Comparative Effects of Co-Ingesting Whey Protein and Glucose Alone and Combined on Blood Glucose, Plasma Insulin and Glucagon Concentrations in Younger and Older Men

Avneet Oberoi, Caroline Giezenaar, Rachael S Rigda, Kylie Lange, Michael Horowitz, Karen L Jones, Ian Chapman, Stijn Soenen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The ingestion of dietary protein with, or before, carbohydrate may be a useful strategy to reduce postprandial hyperglycemia, but its effect in older people, who have an increased predisposition for type 2 diabetes, has not been clarified. Blood glucose, plasma insulin and glucagon concentrations were measured for 180 min following a drink containing either glucose (120 kcal), whey-protein (120 kcal), whey-protein plus glucose (240 kcal) or control (~2 kcal) in healthy younger ( n = 10, 29 ± 2 years; 26.1 ± 0.4 kg/m 2) and older men ( n = 10, 78 ± 2 years; 27.3 ± 1.4 kg/m 2). Mixed model analysis was used. In both age groups the co-ingestion of protein with glucose (i) markedly reduced the increase in blood glucose concentrations following glucose ingestion alone ( p < 0.001) and (ii) had a synergistic effect on the increase in insulin concentrations ( p = 0.002). Peak insulin concentrations after protein were unaffected by ageing, whereas insulin levels after glucose were lower in older than younger men ( p < 0.05) and peak insulin concentrations were higher after glucose than protein in younger ( p < 0.001) but not older men. Glucagon concentrations were unaffected by age. We conclude that the ability of whey-protein to reduce carbohydrate-induced postprandial hyperglycemia is retained in older men and that protein supplementation may be a useful strategy in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes in older people.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3111
JournalNutrients
Volume14
Issue number15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2022

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