protein

New protein could boost benefits of exercise for type 2 diabetics

by Barbara Hewitt on August 19, 2016

It is well documented that exercise can improve the health of people with type 2 diabetes but now scientists are trying to find out if a protein can enhance the benefits.

The researchers from Massey University’s School of Sport and Exercise in New Zealand are undertaking a study to see if a novel keratin-derived protein extract can help.

081916-exercise-kettle-bell-592905_1920Dr Martin Gram, Dr Lee Stoner and Dr David Rowlands are studying whether the protein extract developed in New Zealand, can enhance the benefits of exercise in people with type 2 diabetes.

The results so far from the ongoing study are promising. Participants are finding that they are sleeping better, feel more alert and experiencing improved concentration levels. One woman whose doctor wanted her to start injecting insulin as her sugar levels were at an alarming rate has avoided doing so.

According to Dr Nick Oscroft from Newtown Medical Centre in Wellington, patients have shown meaningful improvements in the control of their diabetes, as well as other measures of general health.

‘Speaking with those who have completed the study period, many have come out with a renewed sense of control over their long term condition and knowledge of how their body responds to exercise,’ he said.

He added that four of the eight participants who have now completed the study no longer qualify to be considered type 2 diabetic as their sugar level has dropped below 50.

Dr Martin Gram, one of the lead researchers, said that the reason for the beneficial effects might be caused by the unique amino acid and mineral composition of the protein, which may protect the body’s tissues through anti-oxidant mechanisms.

‘Ingestion of the keratin protein may help diabetics lower blood glucose levels. Consequently, the study will provide an opportunity to assess this promising practical, natural and non-drug intervention for diabetic therapy,’ he explained.

The study is ongoing and the research team is currently looking for participants who are sedentary, aged between 35 to 65 years who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes but not on insulin treatment. The study is 17 weeks long and includes 14 weeks of exercise supervised by clinical specialists. During the study health tests are done to evaluate the effects of the training and protein intervention.

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