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Protein improves blood sugar control for diabetic patients

7 October 2015

A recent study carried out by the German Institute of Human Nutrition (DIfE) showed that a high protein diet may be beneficial in controlling blood sugar in Type II diabetic patients. In the study two groups of type II diabetic patients were provided with diets of similar compositions, consisting of a 30% protein constituent part, with the protein either coming from animal sources as meat and dairy products, or from vegetable sources such as pulses.

After 6 weeks on the diet, improvements in glucose metabolism and a decrease in liver fat was shown across both groups, indicating that the source of the protein is not significant in blood sugar control.

Other effects were seen across the groups which did indicate that the type of protein consumed does have an impact. Insulin sensitivity improved in the group that consumed the animal proteins whereas in the vegetable protein group, improvements in kidney function were observed through a reduction in plasma creatine and a general improvement in kidney function.

Although the findings are generally positive, the scale of this initial study lasted only over 6 weeks with 37 participants. It needs to be expanded to further explore the findings over a longer period of time to understand the metabolic process and whether improvements are still clear to see.

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