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Americas: Whey beneficially affects diabetes, cardiovascular disease risk factors in obese adults, say researchers

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New evidence shores up findings that whey protein, which is found in milk and cheese, could have health benefits for people who are obese and do not yet have diabetes.

The study, which appears in the Journal of Proteome Research by American Chemical Society, examined how different protein sources affect metabolism.

Lars O. Dragsted, Kjeld Hermansen and their colleagues point out that obesity continues to be a major public health problem worldwide.

In the US, about 35% of adults and 17% of children are obese, a condition that can lead to a number of health issues, including cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes.

One risk factor for cardiovascular disease in people who are obese is high levels of fat in their blood after meals.

However, recent research has found that these levels partly depend on the kind of protein included in the meal.

Studies have suggested that whey protein can lower the amount of fat and increase insulin, which clears glucose in the blood, keeping sugar levels where they’re supposed to be.

Whey found to keep one full longer

The researchers gave volunteers who were obese and non-diabetic the same meal of soup and bread plus one kind of protein, either from whey, gluten, casein (another milk protein) or cod.

The scientists found that the meal supplemented with whey caused the subjects’ stomachs to empty slower than the others.

These subjects also had lower levels of fatty acids in their blood after meals but higher amounts of the specific types of amino acids that boost insulin levels.

The researchers said the study received funding from the Nordic Centre of Excellence to SYSDIET and the Danish Council for Strategic Research to DanORC.