Type 1 diabetes patients require about 50 per cent more insulin with a high protein meal then with a low protein meal to maintain a stable blood glucose level, according to new research from the Children’s Diabetes Centre at the Telethon Kids Institute.
The small but detailed study of 11 adolescents and young adults with type 1 found the increased insulin requirement was seen immediately after the high protein meal, particularly in the first two hours.
Children’s Diabetes Centre co-director Professor Liz Davis said current guidelines for people with type 1 focused exclusively on the carbohydrate content of a meal when determining a pre-meal insulin dose but there was mounting evidence to suggest that protein and fat should also be considered.
“Or study aimed to quantify the insulin requirement for a high-protein meal compared with a low-protein meal, controlling for carbohydrate and fat content,” she said.
“Given that this is the first study to suggest this early increase in insulin requirements, further research is required before the development of definitive recommendations around the optimal timing of insulin to manage high-protein meals.”
The study was recently published in Diabetic Medicine journal. Read the full paper here.