How Can Eating Excess Protein Raise Blood Glucose?
It is almost an article of faith among low-carbers that the low-carb lifestyle is able to lower blood glucose values in diabetics and pre-diabetics. It would be logical to assume that the lower the carbohydrate intake, the lower the corresponding blood glucose. But recent observations in a limited sample of people who were doing something very close to zero-carbing suggest that this is not necessarily the case. Donald K. Layman has done some interesting work on the effect of dietary protein on glycemic control that may help explain this phenomenon. In an article in The Journal of Nutrition, he presents a diagram of the glucose-alanine cycle, which appears in modified form above. For those who are not familiar with this type of diagram, here is a brief explanation. Ingested protein enters the gut and is digested into amino acids. The amino acids are taken up in the blood and proceed to the liver, where many of them are metabolized. However the branched-chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine are unique. Although they constitute 15-25% of protein intake, they experience very little metabolism in the liver. Most of the branched-chain amino acids, abbreviated BCAA, continue to Continue reading >>