Ripping off Diabetics?

As a Type 2 diabetic I was very interested in a new product promoted in newspapers and on TV as a new breakthrough. It turned out to be Faulding GlucoControl Pre-Meal Diabetes Shake - Vanilla 7 x 26.6g Sachets.

The Australian newspaper reported it as:

Diabetes sufferers will soon have access to an innovative pre-meal drink, designed by a small Australian start-up, that will help manage the disease. Developed over the past five years in Melbourne, GlucoControl works as a pre-meal drink to reduce the glycaemic index of a meal by 35 per cent.

I shopped around for the product and eventually found the cheapest price that I could - $15.95. Others are selling it for $19.99. By weight that works out to be $85.67 to $107.36 per kg !!

Trying the product it tastes exactly (and as disgusting) as other whey powders I have tried previously and looking at the ingredients that’s exactly what it is, except it’s 61.7g protein/100g compared to the usual up to 90g found in other commonly available whey products that sell for about $30/kg.

There has been lots of research over the last 10 years that show that consuming whey before a high GI breakfast can reduce the “sugar spike”(postprandial glycaemia). 12 months ago the World Journal of Diabetes stated:

While whey has convincing dose-dependent effects on glucose, insulin and appetite, the optimal dose for improving long-term glycaemic control in people with type 2 diabetes is yet to be determined.

There is only one research article (funded by Glucocontrol’s developer, Omniblend) which states that their product blend (also containing guar):

could be a potential long term dietary strategy to reduce the glycemic impact of high carbohydrate meals. The drink is palatable [sic] and could be used on a daily or twice daily basis but we have no data on long term compliance yet.

No comparisons were made with other whey products. The study

speculated that dramatically lowering the amount of whey and replacing some of the protein with guar would be just as effective at lowering postprandial glucose as 55 g of whey alone.

So why not just take 55g of whey (at a fraction of the cost)? Very spurious and relatively very expensive product, in my opinion, capitalising on the uneducated fears of an exponentially increasing number of Type 2 diabetics.


What you have noticed is endemic. Another example is 100mg aspros. The basic aspro is cheap unless it is labelled for heart conditions when the price rises smartly. You can pay from about $1.68 to $13.00 for the same medicine, although some may be enteric coated.

It pays to read labels, as you have obviously done.