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J Nutr. 2008 Jun;138(6):1079-85.

The muscle protein synthetic response to carbohydrate and protein ingestion is not impaired in men with longstanding type 2 diabetes.

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Department of Human Biology, Nutrition and Toxicology Research Institute Maastricht, Maastricht University, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands.


Protein ingestion stimulates muscle protein synthesis and improves net muscle protein balance. Insulin resistance has been suggested to result in a reduced muscle protein synthetic response to food intake. As such, we hypothesized that type 2 diabetes patients have a impaired muscle protein synthetic response to food ingestion. To test this hypothesis, 10 male type 2 diabetes patients using their normal oral glucose-lowering medication (68 +/- 2 y) and 10 matched, normoglycemic men (65 +/- 2 y) were randomly assigned to 2 crossover treatments in which whole body and muscle protein synthesis were measured following the consumption of either carbohydrate (CHO) or carbohydrate with a protein hydrolysate (CHO+PRO). Primed, continuous infusions with L-[ring-13C6]phenylalanine and L-[ring-2H2]tyrosine were applied and blood and muscle samples were collected to assess whole-body protein balance and mixed muscle protein fractional synthetic rate over a 6-h period. Whole-body phenylalanine and tyrosine flux were higher after the CHO+PRO treatment compared with the CHO treatment in the diabetes and control group (P < 0.01). Protein balance was negative following CHO but positive following CHO+PRO treatment in both groups. Muscle protein synthesis rates were higher in both groups following the CHO+PRO (0.086 +/- 0.014%/h) treatment than in the CHO treatment (0.040 +/- 0.003%/h; P < 0.01) with no difference between the diabetes patients and normoglycemic controls. We conclude that the muscle protein synthetic response to CHO or CHO+PRO ingestion is not substantially impaired in longstanding, type 2 diabetes patients treated with oral blood glucose-lowering medication.

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