Whey protein may reduce risk of diabetes and liver disease10 August 2012
Consumption of whey protein isolate or powder pay protect against developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and type 2 diabetes, according to a new study published in The Journal of Nutrition and Disease.
The study, led by HG Shertzer of University of Cincinnati Medical Center in the United States observed energy consumption and glucose and lipid metabolism in female mice which were fed a high fat diet, supplemented with or without 100 grams of whey protein isolate per litre of drinking water over a period of 11 weeks.
The researchers found that the mice consuming the whey protein isolate had lower rates of body weight gain and fat mass. They had a greater muscle mass despite consuming the same amount of energy from a high fat diet as the control mice.
Consumption of whey protein increased basal metabolic rates, respiratory quotients and hepatic mitochondrial respiration, said the researchers.
Whey protein isolate consumption also enhanced early biomarkers of fatty liver disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus. The mice eating the whey protein supplement had fewer hepatic lipid droplets and less deposition of non-polar lipids.
The study also concluded that whey protein isolate promoted enhanced glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity.
According to the researchers, if the results of the study are replicated in humans, whey protein may prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes mellitus by promoting higher metabolic rates and reducing the deposition of non-polar lipids. Eating whey protein isolate may also prevent non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus by preventing hepatpsteatosis and insulin resistance.
Source: ‘Dietary Whey Protein Lowers the Risk for Metabolic Disease in Mice Fed a High-Fat Diet’, Howard G Shertzer, Sally E Woods, Mansi Krishan, Mary Beth Genter and Kevin J Pearson (2012) published in The Journal of Nutrition and Disease.
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