Why Eating Sesame Seed Paste (Tahini) Could Save Your Life

Why Eating Sesame Seed Paste (Tahini) Could Save Your Life | sesame_tahini_saves_the_heart | Natural Medicine

We don’t think of sesame seed paste as a ‘life saver,’ but new research shows it is capable of reducing blood markers of cardiovascular disease risk by 39% within only six weeks.

Sadly, in the Western world, when the average Joe thinks of protecting himself from heart disease, aspirin and statin drugs are often as high on the list – if not higher – than exercise and eating better. Through decades of intense marketing and miseducation millions have been made to think of the #1 killer as an inevitable force; one against which we fling pills and various pharmaceutical potions to ‘minimize risk,’ never to strike to the core of the problem and resolve it permanently.

This is one reason why natural medicine continues to gain popularity, as it is founded in more than a palliative approach to disease, and does not require the ingestion of patented chemicals (i.e. pharmaceuticals) whose side effects are often worse and far more plentiful than their claimed therapeutic ones. Instead of simply managing and/or suppressing symptoms, the goal is to invoke bodily self-healing, which is to say remove the interference that keeps it from doing so. And often, this is simply a matter of modifying the diet – adding something medicinal here, removing something not so healthy there.

One of the most promising studies to come through the biomedical pipeline of late was a gem published this month in the journal Archives of Iranian Medicine, and which looked at a traditional, sesame-based food-medicine known as Ardeh (aka tahini) for its ability to decrease cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetics – a group whose risk of cardiac mortality is greatly enhanced due to unhealthy ratios and quantities of blood lipids associated with chronically elevated blood sugar, glycation and insulin resistance.

Titled, “Ardeh (Sesamum indicum) Could Improve Serum Triglycerides and Atherogenic Lipid Parameters in Type 2 Diabetic Patients: A Randomized Clinical Trial“,[i] the study consisted of 41 patients with type 2 diabetes, who were randomly assigned to one of the two groups: group A (Ardeh 28 g/d, n = 21) and group B (control, n = 20).  The patients in group A were given 28 grams (two tablespoons) of Ardeh with their breakfast, while group B patients continued with their regular breakfast, both for six months (the energy content of both groups was kept within the same range).

Both groups were evaluated at baseline and six weeks later for blood pressure, serum levels of total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG), LDL-C, HDL-C, and the so-called atherogenic index (i.e. heart disease promoting index) of plasma (AIP; log TG/HDL-C), TC/HDL-C ratio, and LDL/HDL-C ratio .

Remarkably, after the six week test period, significant positive changes were reported:

“After six weeks, there were significant decreases in serum TG (15.3 mg/dL) and AIP (39 %) in group A. Moreover, slight decreases in serum TC, LDL-C, and other atherogenic lipid parameters and a mild increase in HDL-C also were observed during Ardeh supplementation. Anthropometric measures and blood pressure were unchanged during the study period in both groups.” [emphasis added]

Based on these promising observations the researchers concluded: “Ardeh could have favorable effects in decreasing CVD risk factors in type 2 diabetics.” Keep in mind that they found a 39% decrease in the so-called atherogenic index of plasma (AIP), which is no small effect for a relatively small dietary change. It should be noted that the brand of tahini used in this study (Oghab Halva Company) had no additional additives or oil. It was ground sesame seed, plain and simple. Were this a drug trial, results like these would be broadcast the world over as the next life-saving (multi-billion dollar selling) blockbuster drug. For a more detailed explanation of the results, read the entire study at the link here.

This is not the first human clinical study to find a beneficial effect of sesame on cardiovascular health or diabetes. Here are few others:

Sesame is truly a super star among medicinal foods.  In fact, recently, we reported on a study that found that eating 40 grams of sesame seeds, or the equivalent of two tablespoons of tahini, was superior to Tylenol in reducing pain in those suffering from knee arthritis. You can also take  a look at the over 40 health benefits of sesame seed and/or its components on our sesame seed health benefits research page to learn more about this remarkable healing food.

Let’s face it. At this point, with human clinical research from respected, peer-reviewed journals revealing that simple dietary changes – yes, as simple as eating some sesame paste (tahini) daily — can have huge impacts on risk factors for the most deadly and common diseases known in modern times, the time has come to reevaluate what exactly it is that is going on under the name of medicine today. Drugs don’t cure disease any more than bullets cure war. Foods, on the other hand, can be curative, and may just help us to put our ‘war against heart disease’ – like are failed ‘war on cancer’ —  to rest once and for all.

Finally, for a quick tahini recipe, take a look at this About.com how to, and consider super-charging the heart-friendly properties of this food with the addition of garlic, whose life-saving properties we have expanded on in another article.


[i] Parvin Mirmiran, Zahra Bahadoran, Mahdieh Golzarand, Asadolah Rajab, Fereidoun Azizi. Ardeh (Sesamum indicum) Could Improve Serum Triglycerides and Atherogenic Lipid Parameters in Type 2 Diabetic Patients: A Randomized Clinical Trial.  Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2013 Apr;20(2):202-8. doi: 10.1177/2047487312437625. Epub 2012 Jan 25.

[ii] Kalliopi Karatzi, Kimon Stamatelopoulos, Maritta Lykka, Pigi Mantzouratou, Sofia Skalidi, Nikolaos Zakopoulos, Christos Papamichael, Labros S Sidossis. Sesame oil consumption exerts a beneficial effect on endothelial function in hypertensive men. Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2012 Jan 25. Epub 2012 Jan 25. PMID: 22345690

[iii] Devarajan Sankar, Amanat Ali, Ganapathy Sambandam, Ramakrishna Rao. Sesame oil exhibits synergistic effect with anti-diabetic medication in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Clin Nutr. 2011 Jun ;30(3):351-8. Epub 2010 Dec 16. PMID: 21163558

[iv] D Sankar, M Ramakrishna Rao, G Sambandam, K V Pugalendi. A pilot study of open label sesame oil in hypertensive diabetics. J Med Food. 2006 Fall;9(3):408-12. PMID: 17004907

[v] D Sankar, M Ramakrishna Rao, G Sambandam, K V Pugalendi. Effect of sesame oil on diuretics or Beta-blockers in the modulation of blood pressure, anthropometry, lipid profile, and redox status. Yale J Biol Med. 2006 Mar;79(1):19-26. PMID: 17876372

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Grape Seed Extract Superior To Blockbuster Diabetes Drug, Preclinical Study Finds

Grape Seed Extract Superior To Blockbuster Diabetes Drug, Preclinical Study Finds | grape_seed_extract_diabetes | Natural Medicine

A new study published in the Journal of Cell Communication and Signaling compared the effects of a grape seed extract (GSP) to the diabetes drug metformin (MET) in rats fed a high fat, high fructose diet (HFFD) designed to provoke insulin resistance.

Titled, “Grape seed proanthocyanidins and metformin act by different mechanisms to promote insulin signaling in rats fed high calorie diet,” Indian researchers discovered that both substances reduced elevated blood glucose (hyperglycemia) and elevated blood insulin (hyperinsulinemia), while improving the following diet-altered parameters: glycolysis, tyrosine phosphorylation of IR-β and IRS-1, IRS-1-PI3K association and Akt activation.[1]

Furthermore, adverse changes induced by the HFFD, such as the activation of tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-6, leptin and suppression of cytokine signaling-3 and reduction in adiponectin, were reversed by GSP more effectively than by MET.

Proanthocyanidins are a type of secondary plant metabolites known as flavonoids found in many plants, but are particularly concentrated in cocoa beans, cinnamon, grape seeds and skin, and maritime pine bark (pycnogenol). Proanthrocyanidins are known primarily through their antioxidant properties, but the GreenMedInfo.com research project has identified at least 20 beneficial physiological actions to this phytochemical class relevant to at least 50 disease states.[2]

Metformin, on the other hand, is an oral antidiabetic drug in the biguanide class, and is used as the first-line drug for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The original inspiration for the biguanide class was the discovery, in the 1920s, of guanidine compounds within the herb French lilac (Galega officinalis), long used to treat diabetes in traditional medicine. Metformin, however, is an entirely synthetic compound, whose exact mechanisms of action are unknown. What is known is that like other antidiabetic drugs (e.g. Avandia) metformin is cardiotoxic and has been linked to increased cardiac mortality in a number of studies.[3] Proanthrocyanidins, and grape seed extract in particular, have been extensively researched to have protective and therapeutic properties on the cardiovascular system.[4]

Clearly, the weight of evidence suggests that grape seed proanthrocyanins hold great promise as a metformin alternative and/or anti-diabetic agent. Unfortunately, the law forbids the medicinal use of natural substances, and lacking the $800 million plus required on average to fund the clinical trials necessary to file for FDA drug approval, health consumers are left almost entirely without guidance from conventional medical practitioners who lose their FDA-underwritten liability shield when they deviate from the drug-based standard of care.

Of course, the deeper level of self-care focuses on identifying the environmental, dietary and lifestyle-based causes of blood sugar and insulin disorders, and altering them so that a magical “pharmaceutical” or “nutraceutical” bullet isn’t necessary. For more research on the many problem substances, natural substances, therapeutic actions and lifestyle interventions that may prevent and/or reverse blood sugar disorders, visit our health guide on the topic: Health Guide: Blood Sugar Problems.


[1] Baskaran Yogalakshmi, Saravanan Bhuvaneswari, S Sreeja, Carani Venkatraman Anuradha. Grape seed proanthocyanidins and metformin act by different mechanisms to promote insulin signaling in rats fed high calorie diet. J Cell Commun Signal. 2013 Sep 12. Epub 2013 Sep 12. PMID: 24026800

[2] GreenMedInfo.com: Research > Keywords > Proanthrocyanidins,

[3] GreenMedInfo.com: Research > Problem Substances > Metformin

[4] GreenMedInfo.com: Research > Substances > Grape Seed Extract

 

© April 12, 2017 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter.


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10 Natural Substances That Could Help Cure Type 1 Diabetes

 10 Natural Substances That Could Help Cure Type 1 Diabetes | spices | Natural Medicine

Could the long-sought after cure for type 1 diabetes be as close as your kitchen cupboard? An accumulating body of scientific research appears to point in exactly that direction.

One so-called ‘incurable disease’ that afflicts millions of people around the world is type 1 diabetes. Unlike type 2 diabetes, where the body becomes resistant to its own insulin, type 1 is characterized by the inability of the body to produce enough insulin, as the beta cells within the pancreas which are responsible for the production of insulin (and the proinsulin from which it is made) are either destroyed or seriously impaired. This can happen due to autoimmune issues, bacterial or viral infections, incompatible foods in the diet and chemical exposures (or a combination of any one or more of these factors), to name but a few major triggers.

And yet, plenty of peer-reviewed and published research now indicates that plant compounds, including many found within commonly consumed foods, are capable of stimulating beta cell regeneration within the pancreas, and as a result may be potentially provide a cure – truly a four letter word, as far as the profit-based model of medicine goes, which thrives on the concept of the incurability of the disease-afflicted human body in favor of symptom management.

The discovery of the beta cell regenerative potential of various food and compounds is bound to upset a burgeoning diabetes industry, with millions of dollars of public and private money continually being poured into fund-raising efforts for a future “cure”; A cure that will presumably be delivered through the prohibitively expensive pharmaceutical,vaccine or biologic (e.g. stem cells, islet cell xenotransplantation) pipeline, which by the very nature of the FDA drug approval process requires the promotion of synthetic (and therefore patentable) compounds over natural ones.

Let’s take a look at the latest preclinical study on the topic, published last month in the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology[1]. An active fraction of flaxseed, which researchers named Linun usitassimum active fraction (LU6), was found to generate a wide range of benefits in a type 1 diabetes animal model, including the following:

  • Improved glucose utilization in the liver
  • Supported normalized glycogenesis (glucose forming activity) in the liver and muscle tissue
  • Reduced pancreatic and intestinal glucosidase inhibitory activity, which translates into lower post-meal blood sugar elevations

Even more remarkable was the observation that this flaxseed compound normalized plasma insulin and C-peptide levels (C peptide is not C-reactive protein, rather it is a direct indicator of how much insulin is being produced by the beta cells in the body. Learn more), an indication that beta cell function was effectively restored. The researchers described the truly amazing results as follows:

Normalization of plasma insulin and C-peptide levels were observed in diabetic mice, indicating endogenous insulin secretion after the treatment with LU6. The histochemical and immunohistochemical analysis on pancreatic islets suggests the role of LU6 fraction in islet regeneration and insulin secretion as evident in increase functional pancreatic islets producing insulin. Furthermore, significant insulin producing islet formation was also observed in in vitro PANC-1 cells after LU6 treatment, indicating the cellular aggregates to be newly formed islets. This suggests the potential of LU6 fraction in the formation of new islets in vitro, as well as in vivo. Thus, LU6 can be used as a nutraceutical-based first-line treatment for diabetes. [emphasis added]

Keep in mind that this is not the first time that flaxseed has been found to improve blood sugar disorders. We have a few studies on GreenMedInfo.com already indexed on the topic that you can view here: Flaxseed and Diabetes.

Furthermore, we have found a broad range of natural substances experimentally confirmed to stimulate beta cell regeneration, 10 of which are listed below:

  • Arginine: a 2007 study found that the amino acid L-arginine is capable of stimulating the genesis of beta cells in an animal model of alloxan-induced diabetes.[2]
  • Avocado: A 2007 study found that avocado seed extract reduced blood sugar in diabetic rats. Researchers observed a restorative and protective effect on pancreatic islet cells in the treated group.[3]
  • Berberine: A 2009 study found that this plant compound, commonly found in herbs such as barberry and goldenseal, induces beta cell regeneration in diabetic rats, which lends explanation for why it has been used for 1400 years in China to treat diabetes.[4]
  • Chard: A 2000 study found that chard extract given to diabetic rats stimulates the recovery of injured beta cells.[5]
  • Corn Silk: A 2009 study found that corn silk reduces blood sugar and stimulates beta cell regeneration in type 1 diabetic rats.[6]
  • Curcumin (from Turmeric): A 2010 study found that curcumin stimulates beta cell regeneration in type 1 diabetic rats.[7] Additionally, a 2008 study found that curcumin preserves pancreatic islet cell survival and transplantation efficiency.[8]
  • Genistein (from soy, red clover): A 2010 study found that genistein induces pancreatic beta-cell proliferation through activation of multiple signaling pathways and prevents insulin-deficient diabetes in mice.[9]
  • Honey: A 2010 human study found that long-term consumption of honey might have positive effects on the metabolic derangements of type 1 diabetes, including possible beta cell regeneration as indicating by increases in fasting C-peptide levels.[10]
  • Nigella Sativa (black seed): A 2003 animal study found that black seed consumption lead to partial regeneration/proliferation of the beta-cells.[11] A 2010 human study also found that the consumption of one gram of black seed a day for up to 12 weeks had a broad range of beneficial effects in diabetics, including increasing beta cell function.[12]
  • Stevia: A 2011 human study found that stevia has anti-diabetic properties, including revitalizing damaged beta cells, and compares favorably with the drug glibenclamide but without the adverse effects.[13]

For a full list of beta cell regenerating substances, view our page on the topic. The data is also available to download as a PDF, which members can acquire by using their membership tokens without paying the nominal fee.

For additional research on the topic of regenerative medicine and diabetes you can consult the articles 6 Bodily Tissues that Can Be Regenerated Through Nutrition and Diabetes: An Entirely Preventable and Reversible Disease. Or, visit our Health Guide on Blood Sugar Disorders.


[2] Ana Vasilijevic, Biljana Buzadzic, Aleksandra Korac, Vesna Petrovic, Aleksandra Jankovic, Bato Korac.Beneficial effects of L-arginine nitric oxide-producing pathway in rats treated with alloxan. J Physiol. 2007 Nov 1;584(Pt 3):921-33. Epub 2007 Aug 23. PMID: 17717015

[4] Jiyin Zhou, Shiwen Zhou, Jianlin Tang, Kebin Zhang, Lixia Guang, Yongping Huang, Ying Xu, Yi Ying, Le Zhang, Dandan Li. Protective effect of berberine on beta cells in streptozotocin- and high-carbohydrate/high-fat diet-induced diabetic rats. Eur J Pharmacol. 2009 Mar 15;606(1-3):262-8. Epub 2009 Jan 19. PMID: 19374872

[5] S Bolkent, R Yanardağ, A Tabakoğlu-Oğuz, O Ozsoy-Saçan. Effects of chard (Beta vulgaris L. var. Cicla) extract on pancreatic B cells in streptozotocin-diabetic rats: a morphological and biochemical study. J Ethnopharmacol. 2000 Nov;73(1-2):251-9. PMID: 11025163

[6] Jianyou Guo, Tongjun Liu, Linna Han, Yongmei Liu. The effects of corn silk on glycaemic metabolism. Nutr Metab (Lond).2009 Nov 23;6:47. PMID: 19930631

[7] Malee Chanpoo, Hattaya Petchpiboonthai, Busaba Panyarachun, Vipavee Anupunpisit. Effect of curcumin in the amelioration of pancreatic islets in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice. J Med Assoc Thai. 2010 Nov;93 Suppl 6:S152-9. PMID: 21280528

[9] Zhuo Fu, Wen Zhang, Wei Zhen, Hazel Lum, Jerry Nadler, Josep Bassaganya-Riera, Zhenquan Jia, Yanwen Wang, Hara Misra, Dongmin Liu. Genistein induces pancreatic beta-cell proliferation through activation of multiple signaling pathways and prevents insulin-deficient diabetes in mice. Endocrinology. 2010 Jul ;151(7):3026-37. Epub 2010 May 19. PMID: 20484465

[10] Mamdouh M Abdulrhman, Mohamed H El-Hefnawy, Rasha H Aly, Rania H Shatla, Rasha M Mamdouh, Doaa M Mahmoud, Waheed S Mohamed. Metabolic Effects of Honey in Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus: A Randomized Crossover Pilot Study. J Med Food. 2012 Dec 20. Epub 2012 Dec 20. PMID:23256446

[11] Mehmet Kanter, Ismail Meral, Zabit Yener, Hanefi Ozbek, Halit Demir. Partial regeneration/proliferation of the beta-cells in the islets of Langerhans by Nigella sativa L. in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Tohoku J Exp Med. 2003 Dec;201(4):213-9. PMID:14690013

[12] Abdullah O Bamosa, Huda Kaatabi, Fatma M Lebdaa, Abdul-Muhssen Al Elq, Ali Al-Sultanb. Effect of Nigella sativa seeds on the glycemic control of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2010 Oct-Dec;54(4):344-54. PMID: 21675032

[13] Himanshu Misra, Manish Soni, Narendra Silawat, Darshana Mehta, B K Mehta, D C Jain. Antidiabetic activity of medium-polar extract from the leaves of Stevia rebaudiana Bert. (Bertoni) on alloxan-induced diabetic rats. J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2011 Apr ;3(2):242-8. PMID: 21687353

 

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Turmeric Extract 100% Effective At Preventing Type 2 Diabetes, ADA Journal Study Finds

Turmeric Extract 100% Effective At Preventing Type 2 Diabetes, ADA Journal Study Finds | turmeric | Natural Medicine Special Interests

A remarkable human clinical study published in the journal Diabetes Care, the journal of the American Diabetes Association, revealed that turmeric extract was 100% successful at preventing prediabetic patients from becoming diabetic over the course of a 9-month intervention.[1]

Performed by Thailand researchers, the study’s primary object was to assess the efficacy of curcumin, the primary polyphenol in turmeric which gives the spice its golden hue, in delaying the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in a prediabetic population.

The study design was a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial including 240 subjects who met the American Diabetic Association’s criteria for prediabetes. All subjects were randomly assigned to receive either 250 mg of curcuminoid or placebo capsules for 9 months.

Type 2 diabetes progression was assessed by measuring a wide range of parameters, including changes in the insulin-producing cells within the pancreas known as β-cells, insulin resistance, and the anti-inflammatory cytokine known as adiponectin, at four different times: baseline, 3-, 6-, and 9-month visits during the course of intervention.

The results were reported as follows:

“After 9 months of treatment, 16.4% of subjects in the placebo group were diagnosed with T2DM, whereas none were diagnosed with T2DM in the curcumin-treated group. In addition, the curcumin-treated group showed a better overall function of β-cells, with higher HOMA-β (61.58 vs. 48.72; P < 0.01) and lower C-peptide (1.7 vs. 2.17; P < 0.05). The curcumin-treated group showed a lower level of HOMA-IR (3.22 vs. 4.04; P < 0.001) and higher adiponectin (22.46 vs. 18.45; P < 0.05) when compared with the placebo group.” [emphasis added]

The researchers concluded:

“A 9-month curcumin intervention in a prediabetic population significantly lowered the number of prediabetic individuals who eventually developed T2DM. In addition, the curcumin treatment appeared to improve overall function of β-cells, with very minor adverse effects. Therefore, this study demonstrated that the curcumin intervention in a prediabetic population may be beneficial.”

The full study can be viewed for free on the American Diabetic Association’s Diabetes Care website: http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/35/11/2121.full

Discussion

Considering that at least 40% of the US population ages 40-74 are believed to have prediabetes, according to CDC statistics, [2] the health implications of this study are profound.

Curcumin, which constitutes approximately 3-4% of dry turmeric powder by weight, is affordable, safe and easily accessible. Moreover, over 600 potential health benefits of curcumin (and/or turmeric) have been documented within the biomedical literature freely available to peruse on either the National Library of Medicine’s open access database (pubmed.gov search: “curcumin”), or for your convenience, our intricately organized Curcumin database.

Recently, we highlighted research on curcumin’s potential ability to heal the diabetic liver. (Read: Turmeric May Repair and Regenerate Diabetic Liver Function) But this is really only the tip of the iceberg. Below you will find the related sections on our Curcumin database indicating curcumin’s value in a wide range of diabetic complications:

Disease Category Article Count
Diabetes Insipidus 1
Diabetes Mellitus: Type 1 9
Diabetes Mellitus: Type 1: Prevention 1
Diabetes Mellitus: Type 2 13
Diabetes: Bone Quality & Density 1
Diabetes: Cardiovascular Illness 11
Diabetes: Cataract 2
Diabetes: Cognitive Dysfunction 6
Diabetes: Glycation/A1C 2
Diabetes: Kidney Function 4
Diabetes: Liver Disease 1
Diabetes: Oxidative Stress 2
Diabetic Microangiopathy 1
Diabetic Nephropathy 2
Diabetic Neuropathies 2
Diabetic Retinopathy 4

Considering the abject failure, if not also sometimes deadly nature of diabetic medications, turmeric (curcumin) provides an ideal alternative. We can only hope that medical professionals who treat prediabetics and diabetics will take seriously this study, especially considering that it was published in the American Diabetic Association’s very own, highly respected journal.


[1] Somlak Chuengsamarn, Suthee Rattanamongkolgul, Rataya Luechapudiporn, Chada Phisalaphong, Siwanon Jirawatnotai. Curcumin extract for prevention of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2012 Nov ;35(11):2121-7. Epub 2012 Jul 6. PMID: 22773702

[2] CDC: Diabetes. National Diabetes Fact Sheet; United States, 2003.

© February 1, 2017 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter.

 

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Splenda Found To Have Diabetes-Promoting Effects

Splenda Found To Have Diabetes-Promoting Effects | sugar | General Health Special Interests Toxins

Promoted for decades as a “safe” sugar alternative, presumably to prevent or reduce symptoms of diabetes, Splenda (sucralose) has been found to have diabetes-promoting effects in human subjects.

The artificial sweetener sucralose, which is approximately 600 times sweeter than sucrose (table sugar), and marketed under a variety of brand names, such as Splenda, Cukren, Nevella and SucraPlus, has recently been found to have diabetes-promoting effects in human test subjects, despite containing no calories and being classified as a ‘nonutritive sweetener.’

A study published in the journal Diabetes Care, lead by researchers at the Center for Human Nutrition, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, set out to test the metabolic effects of sucralose in obese subjects who did not use nonnutritive sweeteners.

Seventeen subjects underwent a 5-hour oral glucose tolerance test on two separate occasions preceded by consuming either sucralose (experimental condition) or water (control condition) 10 min before the glucose load in a randomized crossover design. 

The results were reported as follows:

Compared with the control condition, sucralose ingestion caused 1) a greater incremental increase in peak plasma glucose concentrations (4.2 ± 0.2 vs. 4.8 ± 0.3 mmol/L; P = 0.03), 2) a 20 ± 8% greater incremental increase in insulin area under the curve (AUC) (P < 0.03), 3) a 22 ± 7% greater peak insulin secretion rate (P < 0.02), 4) a 7 ± 4% decrease in insulin clearance (P = 0.04), and 5) a 23 ± 20% decrease in SI (P = 0.01).

In other words, a single dose of sucralose lead to a .6 mmol/L increase in plasma glucose concentrations, a 20% increase in insulin levels, a 22% greater peak insulin secretion rate, and a 7% decrease in insulin clearance, an indication of decreased insulin sensitivity.

They concluded

These data demonstrate that sucralose affects the glycemic and insulin responses to an oral glucose load in obese people who do not normally consume NNS.

Discussion

Despite the fact that preapproval research on sucralose found a wide range of adverse health effects in exposed animals [see The Bitter Truth about Splenda], national and international food safety regulatory bodies, including the FDA, now consider it completely safe for daily human consumption.*

The same applies for synthetic sweeteners like aspartame, which despite its well-known link with brain damage and over 40 documented adverse health effects, is safety approved in 90 nations.

Industry influence largely accounts for the fact that synthetic chemicals like aspartame, neotame, saccharin and sucralose are being foisted onto the public as ‘safe’ non-calorie sweeteners, despite obvious research to the contrary, and the fact that stevia, the non-calorie natural alternative, has over 1500 years of documented safe use.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA), for instance, does nothing to hide its explicit partnership with McNeil Nutritionals, maker of Splenda, despite the obvious conflict of interest. On its website, the ADA describes McNeil Nutritionals as a “national strategic partner ” and lauds them as “committed to helping people and their families with diabetes by focusing on the overall nutritional needs of the diabetes community.” McNeil Nutritionals sponsors the ADA’s “Recipe of the Day,” along with a variety of educational tools and information for consumers and healthcare professionals.

Despite these cozy relationships, the research on sucralose’s adverse health effects continues to accumulate. Some of the more recent research on the chemical indicate that it may contribute to the following health and environmental problems:

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A researcher from UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, Newark NJ, proposes that sucralose may be causing a global increase in cases of IBS, including both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. [i] In an article titled “What made Canada become a country with the highest incidence of inflammatory bowel disease: could sucralose be the culprit?”, author Xiaofa Qin describes how Canada, which once had one of the lowest rates of IBS in the world, attained the highest levels after being the first country in the world to approve the use of sucralose in thousands of consumer products in 1991.[ii]
  • Harms Gut Flora and Gastrointestinal Health: A 2008 study found that the administration of sucralose to rats at a dose far below the US FDA Acceptable Daily intake level resulted in: 1) a decrease in the numbers of a wide range of beneficial gut bacteria. 2) “increase in fecal pH.” 3) “enhanced expression levels of P-gp, CYP3A4, and CYP2D1, which are known to limit the bioavailability of orally administered drugs.”[iii]
  • Migraines: A report was published in the journal Headache in 2006 indicating that physicians should be mindful of the possibility that sucralose can trigger migraines.[iv]
  • Environmental Persistence: Like many persistent organic pollutants in the pesticide category, sucralose is exceptionally resistant to degradation, both through environmental processes (microbial degradation, hydrolysis, soil sorption) and advanced treatment processes (chlorination, ozonation, sorption to activated carbon, and UV radiation). Sucralose, after all, was discovered accidentally by pesticide researchers, and is chemically related to DDT, a chlorinated hydrocarbon. Some researchers now consider it an ideal “tracer of anthropogenic activity,” which is true also of lethal radioisotopes such as uranium 238 and plutonium 239, due to their resistance to degradation. [v] Indeed, recent research found that sucralose has a low rate of removal (11%) in drinking water tested that presently serves 28 million people.[vi]
  • Environmental Toxicity: Sucralose was recently found to alter the physiological and behavioral status of crustaceans, leading researchers to warn that the chemical will likely have wider ecological consequences.[vii]

Resources

*The FDA approves 1.1 mg/kg bodyweight, or the equivalent of 75 mg a day (about 6 packets) for a 150 lb adult.

©  January 27, 2017 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter.


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Research: Insulin Can Kill Diabetics; Natural Substances Heal Them

Research: Insulin Can Kill Diabetics; Natural Substances Heal Them | turmeric_insulin | General Health

A paradigm-shifting study indicates that the standard of care for diabetics, including synthetic insulin and oral anti-diabetic drugs, increases morbidity and mortality from diabetes. Natural substances, on the other hand, have proven healing properties that if used could mitigate the global diabetes epidemic. 

A new study titled, “Glucose-lowering with exogenous insulin monotherapy in type 2 diabetes: dose association with all-cause mortality, cardiovascular events, and incident cancer,” renews concern over the harms caused by synthetic insulin in type 2 diabetics previously highlighted in a 2013 study that found double the death rate in type 2 diabetics on insulin therapy.

Contrary to popular notions about the ‘life saving’ value of synthetic insulin — a belief cleverly inculcated by Big pharma over the past three decades — bioidentical-sounding insulin brands such as Humulin (1978) and Humolog (1996) are less like human insulin in form and function than pig pancreas-derived forms, which they displaced from the market soon after being introduced (you can no longer buy pig-derive insulin in the U.S.). Originally produced from genetically modified yeast, synthetic insulin’s structure, and subsequent folding pattern (conformation) and function, radically diverge from the type of insulin our bodies produce naturally. For instance, one of the best-selling forms on the market today Lantus (insulin glargine [rDNA origin] injection), which is manufactured from Sanofi from GM engineered E. Coli, does not even have the same primary structure as human insulin:

“Insulin glargine differs from human insulin in that the amino acid asparagine at position A21 is replaced by glycine and two arginines are added to the C-terminus of the B-chain.”

Synthetic insulin is the pride and joy of the biotech industry, being the first successful product produced through recombinant DNA technology; a technology which would eventually take the world by storm through its use in developing most of the GM crops in our present-day Biotech/Big Chem owned agricultural model, and is now the basis for billions of dollars of products in the food, medical and chemical industries, with an untold vastitude of mostly unexplored health risks.

The new study enrolled 6,484 subjects with type 2 diabetes who were eventually given progressed insulin monotherapy from 2000 onwards and who were tracked for an average of 3.3 years.

The number of adverse events in the insulin treated group were reported as follows:

  • Deaths: 1,110

  • Major Cardiovascular Events [MACE]: 342

  • Cancer Diagnoses: 382.

The adjusted hazard ratios (a measurement of health risk) in relation to one unit increases in insulin dose were a 54% increased risk for all-cause mortality, 37% increased risk for Major Cardiovascular Events, and a 35% increased risk for cancer, clearly indicating that the insulin they were given were both cardiotoxic and carcinogenic.

The study concluded:

“There was an association between increasing exogenous insulin dose and increased risk of all-cause mortality, cancer and MACE [major adverse cardiovascular events] in people with type 2 diabetes.”

GMO Insulin Accelerates the Demise of Type 2 Diabetics

As we reported recently in an article titled, “GMO Insulin Causes Type 1 Diabetes in Type 2 Diabetics, Study Finds,” synthetic insulin produced through genetically modified organisms accelerates disease progression in type 2 diabetics, contributing to the condition known as ‘double diabetes’ which is the development of type 1 (insufficient endogenous insulin) following unsuccessful treatment of type 2 (inability to respond to insulin) diabetes. This is all the more tragic considering that research on turmeric extract, ginger, and the Mediterranean diet, to name but a few natural alternatives, shows that type 2 diabetes can be both treated and even reversed naturally. Additionally, type 1 diabetes, which is widely promoted as ‘incurable’ by the dominant medical establishment, may be reversible through the stimulation of the regeneration of the insulin-producing beta cells within the pancreas and/or removal of the root causes of damage to the insulin-producing cells. See our article: 10 Natural Substances That Could Help Cure Type 1 Diabetes

It All Depends on The Folding Pattern of Insulin (Conformation)

Probably the most fatal error in the field of molecular biology over the past half century is the hypothesis — known as the central dogma (1956, Francis Crick) — is that all biologically/physiologically important information is located solely in the primary sequence of nucleic acid stored within the 3 billion base pairs that make up the DNA of our genome. According to this theory, when a complex protein like insulin is produced, RNA simply transcribes the information templated in the DNA to produce the structure of insulin: the insulin polypeptide (51 linearly attached amino acids), end of story.

But nothing could be further from the truth.  In order for a protein to assume its native, functional state (e.g. the insulin molecule in its fully folded 3D configuration) it must move through a practically infinite number of potential three-dimensional forms that it could randomly fold into to reach its natural (native), perfect form. This remarkable fact is known as Levinthal’s paradox.

How does insulin, or any complex folded protein, get the information (literally ‘to put form into’) to do so? We simply don’t know. But what we do know is that it must come from the ‘outside,’ or ‘above,’ which is what the field of epigenetics is dedicated to understanding. Also, it means one can not construct from the ‘bottom up,’ as the pharmaceutical industry has attempted thus far, the thing itself.

In other words, we know that while genetically modified yeast or bacteria can produce a primary structure of 51 linearly connected amino acids similar to human insulin, it does not have the same secondary, tertiary and quaternary folding patterns and therefore can not perform the same functions in the body as the natural form. This could account for why insulin replacement and/or adjunct therapy, even though it may effectively lower blood sugar (the target determinant for drug efficacy), is still associated with increased morbidity and mortality.

Said differently, for insulin replacement to work when there is a clear need (e.g. death of insulin producing cells), that is to say, for it to have a net health benefit, it must contain the correct information not only on the primary structural level, but on secondary, tertiary and quaternary levels of folding (conformation). Only the miracle of the human body, and as a close surrogate – porcine insulin — can produce the necessary, life sustaining and promoting end product.

Admittedly, this is a confusing topic. For those with a more scientific/clinical bent, you can explore the subject further with this recently published analysis of synthetic insulin’s many possible variations as far as structure/function: “Human insulin analogues modified at the B26 site reveal a hormone conformation that is undetected in the receptor complex.

What Is A Diabetic To Do?

None of what is written in this article should be misinterpreted as medical advice, or advice to self-treat or go off of medication or the medical supervision of one’s physicians — all of which could result in significant harm. We only wish to bring to the attention of the public and medical community alike what underreported scientific research clearly indicates about the potential risks of relying solely on pharmaceutical interventions to both manage and reverse the symptoms of diabetes. In order to alter the fatalistic trajectory of declining health, which is considered the norm within conventional thinking about diabetes, it is instructive to look for natural alternatives that have been vetted through clinical research…

Our ongoing indexing project here at Greenmedinfo.com has identified a wide range of natural interventions that have shown promise through experimental, clinical and epidemiological research. First, our Health Guides section on Blood Sugar Disorders contains both the relevant research abstract sections, as well as article written for the layperson and medical professional to better ascertain the implications of the first-hand literature on complementary and alternative (CAM) approaches to blood sugar disorders.

Of the dozens of relevant subtopics, our Type 2 Diabetes page contains over 350 study abstracts on over 180 natural substances studied to have therapeutic relevance to prevention or treatment of the condition. This section includes research on over 40 problem substances, e.g. statin drugs, pesticides, fructose, which contribute to worsening the condition, and 18 Therapeutic Actions, e.g. yoga, various dietary modifications, exercise, which prove that lifestyle changes can have deeply positive impacts on the condition.

This research includes highly compelling studies, such as one published in 2013 in the American Diabetes Association’s own authoritative journal Diabetes Care which found that a turmeric extract (curcumin) was 100% successful at preventing pre-diabetic patients from becoming diabetic over the course of a 9-month intervention.  If a simple spice-based intervention can prevent the development of a life-threatening disease afflicting hundreds of millions worldwide, this is could be considered one of the most important medical discoveries of our time. Even more profound is the fact that the turmeric extract curcumin has been identified to have over 600 side benefits, with a history of thousands of years of safe use as both a food, spice and medicine.

Consider also that newly diagnosed type 2 diabetics are almost universally prescribed oral antidiabetic medications that have now been shown through extensive meta-analyses of the extant literature to increase heart attacks by 43% and increase the risk of dying from heart disease by 64% versus placebo. Pharmaceutical interventions clearly appear — through the scientific evidence itself — to be oftentimes worse than the diseases they appear to be treating.

As interest in botanical interventions increases, we see almost weekly a new clinical study appear showing the value of traditional medicine in preventing or treating chronic diseases like diabetes. For example, a new study published titled, “An 8-wk, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial for the antidiabetic effects of hydrolyzed ginseng extract,” found that so-called pre-diabetics with impaired fasting glucose responded to a ginseng extract by seeing a drop in fasting glucose levels and post-meal blood sugar elevations.

We won’t see the pharmaceutical industry invest the between 1-12 billion dollars of capital required to obtain FDA drug approval for turmeric or ginseng extract in correcting the condition of type 2 diabetics because natural substances are not patentable. While mother nature’s formulas are proprietary — meaning, refractory to scientific understanding due to the infinite complexity at play within nature — they do not lend themselves to being patented, or controlled by any particular entity. This is why we must educate and empower ourselves with the research freely available through tax-payer funded resources like pubmed.gov, and of course sites like ours that use an open access model. All 23,000 of our carefully organized abstracts are free for anyone to access publicly.


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Cholesterol Lowering Statins Found To Damage Peripheral Nerves

Cholesterol Lowering Statins Found To Damage Peripheral Nerves | pills-tablets-supplements | Big Pharma FDA General Health Medical & Health Natural Health

Have the nerve-damaging properties of statin drugs now been confirmed? There are over 300 adverse health effects associated with the use of this chemical class of cholesterol-lowering medications known as statins, with myotoxicity (muscle-damaging) and neurotoxicity (nerve-damaging) top on the list. When will the FDA step in and warn the public, as proof of the problem in the biomedical literature reaches an alarming level of clarity? 

The neurotoxicity of statin drugs are back in the news. Following on the heels of the FDA decision earlier this year to require statin drugs manufacturers to add “memory loss” as a side effect of this chemical class, a new study in published in the Journal of Diabetes reveals a clear association between statin use and peripheral neuropathy in a US population 40 years of age and older.

The study found “The prevalence of peripheral neuropathy was significantly higher among those who used statins compared to those who did not (23.5% vs. 13.5%; p < 0.01),” which is a 75% increase in relative risk.

Case reports of statin-induced peripheral neuropathy have existed in the medical literature for over 15 years.[i] Now, larger human studies are confirming that statin drugs do damage to the peripheral nerves. Moreover, much of the damage is occurring below the threshold of clinical surveillance, silently causing harm in unsuspecting patients.

For example, in 2011, the results of a 36-month prospective clinical and neurophysiological follow-up of patients treated with statins over 3 years was published in the journal Neuro Endocrinology Letters, revealed in forty-two patients that despite the fact that they did not report subjective symptoms typical for peripheral neuropathy, damage was occurring.[ii] They concluded: “The study confirmed that long-term treatment with statins caused a clinically silent but still definite damage to peripheral nerves when the treatment lasts longer than 2 years.” Click the hyperlink to view all 9 studies on statin-induced peripheral neuropathy on Greenmedinfo.com. Or, view an even more sizeable dataset (54 studies) on statin-associated neurotoxicity.

While this research is adding to a growing awareness of the nerve-damaging properties of statins, this side effect is just the tip of a massive iceberg of under reported deleterious effects. For example, our project has identified 314 possible adverse effects of statins thus far. Conversely, we have identified a wide range of health benefits of cholesterol, running diametrically opposed to the over-simplification inherent in the cholesterol hypothesis (some say “cholesterol myth“) of heart disease causation.

For those who are interested in learning more about natural cholesterol modulating substances, or better, yet the wider array of research relevant to cardiovascular health, visit our Health Guide: Heart Health.

 

 

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Should Diabetics Eat Rice?

Should Diabetics Eat Rice? | rice | General Health Special Interests

Good news for diabetics: Rice has been found to have varying glycemic indices.

How Does Diabetes Affect Blood Sugar?

For persons with type 2 diabetes, managing their blood sugar is an important daily task. Type 2 diabetes is a condition where the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin, or ignores it. When food is digested, insulin is what carries sugar from the blood to be processed as energy. If blood sugar builds up and gets too high, diabetic complications may result.

One way to stabilize blood sugar is to eat a low GI (glycemic index) diet [1], meaning foods that are digested slowly and don’t cause blood sugar spikes. Simple sugars, like candy, are high GI, digested quickly and cause blood sugar levels to peak. This can be dangerous for diabetics.

Low GI Foods Can Help

Many natural foods are known for being low GI, such as cabbage, mushrooms, green beans, and vegetables. Carbohydrates are generally the element most responsible for varying blood-sugar levels and it can be a tricky balance to provide the body with nourishment without upsetting blood sugar levels.

A recent study has found, however, that many varieties of a classic dietary staple are low GI [2].

New research from the International Rice Research Institute and CSIRO’s Food Futures Flagship recently published that most varieties of rice have a low to moderate GI; and they also discovered the gene in rice that determines its glycemic index.

The study found that the GI of rice ranges from a low of 48 to a high of 92, with an average of 64, and that the GI of rice depends on the type of rice consumed. As a point of reference, low GI foods are typically those measured 55 and less, medium GI are measured between 56 and 69, while high glycemic index measures 70 and above.

Diabetes is a problem for many people and getting a variety of nutritious foods in their diet is a must. It’s encouraging to have another food option to add to a well-balanced diet. Especially rice, which is incredibly versatile and popular.

Organic Rice is Best

However, with respect to the study, I was concerned by the mention that the discovery of the glycemic index gene had rice breeders enthused by the, “opportunity to develop varieties [of rice] with different GI levels.” It’s unfortunate that a positive discovery into the makeup of food has some researchers chomping at the bit to get in the lab and, “make it better.”

The study found that there are many varieties of rice that, in their natural, unprocessed, unmodified state, already qualify as a sensible food. Is it necessary to genetically modify or breed new rice? Why not just leave it alone? GMO foods aren’t good and as history has shown, the process of giving mother nature some unrequested help can be a slippery slope with unintended consequences.

Modifying foods also fosters a, “shortcut” mentality. When it comes to living a healthy life, the fundamentals are what they are, and there are no shortcuts. Generally speaking, most people fall short of their healthy living goals because they didn’t stick to the plan, not because they didn’t have enough shortcuts.

My hope is that everyone, not just those with type 2 diabetes, incorporate healthy, organic, and natural foods into their diet.

References:

  1. Queiroz KC, Novato Silva I, de Cássia Gonçalves Alfenas R. Influence of the glycemic index and glycemic load of the diet in the glycemic control of diabetic children and teenagers. Nutr Hosp. 2012 Mar-Apr;27(2):510-5. doi: 10.1590/S0212-16112012000200024.
  2. M. A. Fitzgerald, S. Rahman, A. P. Resurreccion, J. Concepcion, V. D. Daygon, S. S. Dipti, K. A. Kabir, B. Klingner, M. K. Morell, A. R. Bird. Identification of a major genetic determinant of glycaemic index in rice. Rice. colume 4 issue 2, pp 66-74. doi:10.1007/s12284-011-9073-z.

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What Is the Glycemic Index? Best Low Glycemic Foods

apple-low-glycemic-index

The glycemic index (GI) is a way to measure the impact specific types of food have on blood sugar.[1] GI values range from zero to one hundred. Food with a high GI value will make blood sugar levels rise (and fall) quickly, food with a low GI value will have a more slow and steady effect.

A GI value under 55 is low; foods that have a low GI value include beans, cruciferous vegetables, grapefruit, and tomatoes. A GI value between 56-69 is moderate; examples include pasta, green peas, sweet potatoes, orange juice, and blueberries. A GI value over 70 is high;[2] examples include refined sugar, potatoes, white bread, dried fruit, carrots, and watermelon.

Why Are Glycemic Values Important?

Paying attention to the GI values of the food you eat allows you to exert a level of control over your blood sugar; there are many reasons why this is desirable.

Persons with diabetes struggle with maintaining balanced blood sugar.[3] It’s a disease that’s reached epidemic proportions. Over 29 million Americans have diabetes, almost 90 million more are prediabetic. A diet centered around foods with a low GI value can help keep blood sugar under control.

You don’t have to suffer from diabetes to experience the benefits of regular, balanced blood sugar. Studies suggest consuming low GI food may help prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer;[4] and that barely scratches the surface when considering the revelations uncovered by research into the effects of a low GI diet:

  • A low GI diet may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.[5]
  • A high GI diet is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.[6, 7]
  • A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in January 2016 suggests that following a high GI diet increases the risk of depression.[8]

The Relationship Between Blood Sugar and Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are a primary source of energy for the human body[9] and there are two basic types — simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates.

Simple carbohydrates, also known as monosaccharides or disaccharides, are digested quickly and have an immediate effect on blood sugar.[10] Common examples include refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup, as found in soft drinks.[11] In general, foods high in simple carbohydrates have a high GI value.

Complex carbohydrates, also known as oligosaccharides and polysaccharides, are metabolized more slowly and do not have a dramatic effect on blood sugar. Foods high in complex carbohydrates include whole grain bread, vegetables, and legumes. Complex carbohydrates usually have a low GI value and, additionally, accompany other nutrients (such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals) that further reduce digestion time.[12]

The Best Low Glycemic Index Foods

Below is a list of various foods and their GI value, as well as their glycemic load value–something we’ll cover shortly.[13]

Food Glycemic Index (glucose = 100) Total Serving Size (grams) Glycemic Load Per Serving
Hummus 6 30 0
Wheat Tortilla 30 50 8
Oatmeal 55 250 13
Quinoa 53 150 13
Brown Rice 68±4 150 16
Couscous 65 150 9
Apple 39 120 6
Pear 38 120 4
Prunes 29 60 10
Oranges 40 120 4
Carrots 35 80 2
Black Beans 30 150 7
Kidney Beans 29 150 7
Peanuts 7 50 0

What Is Glycemic Load?

It’s easy to think that all high GI value foods are best avoided since high blood sugar is associated with so many problems, but portion size needs to be considered as well.

For example, carrots have a high GI value but a typical serving of carrots only contains about 6 grams of carbohydrates; probably not anywhere near enough to upset the blood sugar of the average person.

This is where glycemic load enters the picture. The glycemic load provides a more thorough consideration of the impact food has on blood sugar because it takes into account the GI value as well as the grams of carbohydrates (fat and protein are not considered as they do not affect blood sugar) in a serving.[14]

Calculating Glycemic Load

Glycemic load is calculated by multiplying the GI value by the grams of carbohydrates in a serving and dividing by 100. A glycemic load value of 10 or less is low; 20 or above is high.[15]

Watermelon, for example, has a GI value of 72 although a typical serving of watermelon only provides 6 grams of carbohydrates; a quick calculation reveals a glycemic load of less than 5.

A can of soda, on the other hand, may have a GI value of 65 but if a single can provides 40 grams of carbohydrates that means the glycemic load is 26, which is very high.

Is it any wonder that steady, daily consumption of soda and other sugary beverages contributes to so many health problems?

Factors That Affect Glycemic Index Values

Keep in mind that the GI value is just a starting point and can be affected by a number of factors. Processing and refining, for example, will result in a higher GI value. A whole baked potato has a lower GI value than instant mashed potatoes; processed orange juice has a higher GI value than fresh squeezed.[16]

Eating different foods together can affect GI values. Research has shown that the negative effects of a high-carbohydrate diet are lessened when consumed with fiber.[17] (Just to ensure there’s no confusion — no, eating a pound of lettuce won’t cancel out eating a pound of sugar.) The more ripe a fruit or vegetable, the higher its GI value. And, individual physiology–age, metabolism, health conditions–affect the way blood sugar is influenced.

Incorporating a Glycemic Diet Into Your Life

When constructing your diet, glycemic index and glycemic load values are great tools for guidance but need to be balanced with fundamentally sound principles of nutrition:

  • Eat a variety of real, whole, organic food.
  • Avoid junk food, refined sugar, and empty calories.
  • If you splurge, do so in moderation.
  • Quench your thirst with purified water.

Have you made a concerted effort to consume more low GI value foods and fewer high GI value foods? What tips can you share for designing a meal plan? What benefits have you noticed? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with us.

References

  1. Brouns F1, Bjorck I, Frayn KN, Gibbs AL, Lang V, Slama G, Wolever TM. Glycaemic index methodology. Nutr Res Rev. 2005 Jun;18(1):145-7.
  2. Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load. OSU Micronutrient Center.
  3. Diabetes. Medline Plus. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  4. Understanding Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load. Counting Carbs. NIH News in Health. December 2012.
  5. Livesey G, Taylor R, Livesey H, Liu S. Is there a dose-response relation of dietary glycemic load to risk of type 2 diabetes? Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Mar;97(3):584-96.
  6. Ma XY, Liu JP, Song ZY. Glycemic load, glycemic index and risk of cardiovascular diseases: meta-analyses of prospective studies. Atherosclerosis. 2012 Aug;223(2):491-6.
  7. Dong JY, Zhang YH, Wang P, Qin LQ. Meta-analysis of dietary glycemic load and glycemic index in relation to risk of coronary heart disease. Am J Cardiol. 2012 Jun 1;109(11):1608-13. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2012.01.385. Epub 2012 Mar 20.
  8. Haghighatdoost F1, Azadbakht L2, Keshteli AH3, Feinle-Bisset C4, Daghaghzadeh H5, Afshar H5, Feizi A6, Esmaillzadeh A7, Adibi P. Glycemic index, glycemic load, and common psychological disorders. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Jan;103(1):201-9.
  9. Carbohydrates. Medline Plus. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  10. Blood Sugar. Medline Plus. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  11. Simple Carbohydrates. Medline Plus. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Feb 9, 2016.
  12. Complex Carbohydrates. Medline Plus. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Feb 9, 2016.
  13. Glycemic index and glycemic load for 100+ foods. Harvard Health Publications. Harvard Medical School.
  14. Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load. OSU Micronutrient Center.
  15. What is the Glycemic Load and Glycemic Index? University of Illinois Extension.
  16. Glycemic Index and Diabetes. American Diabetes Association.
  17. Riccardi G, Rivellese AA. Effects of dietary fiber and carbohydrate on glucose and lipoprotein metabolism in diabetic patients. Diabetes Care. 1991 Dec;14(12):1115-25.

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Scientists Find A Plant That Could Treat Diabetes And Kill Cancer Cells

bitter-melon-cancer-diabetes-natural-medicine

Bitter melon is a fruit that grows abundantly in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. Traditionally it has been used to treat diabetes and other more mild diseases or illnesses.

More recently, bitter melon juice was shown to kill pancreatic cancer cells in vitro and in mice in a study done by the University of Colorado. Considering the results were seen in both in vitro and in vivo tests, the effectiveness of bitter melon juice in treating pancreatic cancer, and potentially other cancers, at a clinical level are promising.[1]

“IHC analyses of MiaPaCa-2 xenografts showed that BMJ (Bitter Melon Juice) also inhibits proliferation, induces apoptosis and activates AMPK (adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase) in vivo. Overall, BMJ exerts strong anticancer efficacy against human pancreatic carcinoma cells, both in vitro and in vivo, suggesting its clinical usefulness.”

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most difficult cancers to treat due to the fact that it is often discovered late, leaving very little time to treat. Since traditional therapies (chemotherapy, radiation, surgery etc) were not showing promising results and littler advancement was being made, researchers have been looking elsewhere to find treatment.

Interestingly, cannabis, specifically cannabinoids, have been shown to induce apoptic (programmed) death of human pancreatic cancer cells in vitro and stop pancreatic tumor growth in vivo.[4] Cannabis is perhaps one of the most popular treatments being aggressively pursued right now given its promising results both in labs and anecdotally.

Many cancerous tumors have insulin receptors which move glucose to cancer cells helping them to grow and divide. Studies have shown that insulin encourages pancreatic cancer cells to grow in a dose dependant manner, since bitter melon has been shown to help regulate insulin levels, this could help prevent pancreatic cancer over the long-term.

The Colorado University study was led by Dr. Rajesh Agarwal. They examined effects of bitter melon on 4 different lines of pancreatic cancer cells (in vitro) and in mice. For the in vivo studies, mice were injected with pancreatic tumor cells and were randomly divided into one of two groups. One group of mice received water, which was the control group, and the other group was given bitter melon juice for six weeks.[6]

Researchers studied the tumors at the end of the study and results showed that bitter melon juice not only inhibited cancer cell proliferation but also induced apoptosis (programmed cell death). Compared to the control, tumor growth was inhibited by 60% in the treatment group and there were no signs of toxicity or negative effects on the body. With toxicity and negative effects being a huge role in traditional mainstream treatments, this was positive to see.

Diabetes

A number of clinical studies have been conducted to evaluate the efficacy of bitter melon for treating diabetes. Since it is believed that diabetes is a precursor for pancreatic cancer, researchers felt bitter melon could treat diabetes as well after seeing pancreatic cancer results.

In 2011, results of a four week long clinical trial were published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology that showed modest hypoglycemic effects and significant fructosamine management for those taking 2000mg/day of bitter melon.

As published by the study: “Bitter melon had a modest hypoglycemic effect and significantly reduced fructosamine levels from baseline among patients with type 2 diabetes who received 2,000 mg/day. However, the hypoglycemic effect of bitter melon was less than metformin 1,000 mg/day.”[3]

Another study published in 2008 in the international journal Chemistry and Biology indicated that compounds in bitter melon improved glycemic control, helped cells uptake glucose and improved overall glucose tolerance. This study was done in mice and led to promising advancements in treating diabetes and obesity with bitter melon.[4]

In contrast, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology in 2007 did not show significant benefit of the treatment of diabetes by bitter melon but 2 years later in the British Journal of Nutrition it was stated that “more, better-designed and clinical trials are required to confirm the fruit’s role in diabetes treatment.”

Since that 2007 study, more studies have been done to show beneficial effects which perhaps was a result of better design.

Conclusion

When it comes to bitter melon juice, the current research available is showing strong results for specific types of cancer cell destruction, diabetes treatment and potential prevention of pancreatic cancer. Further research and clinical trials would be helpful to better understand how effective this plant can be and in what specific cases. It remains a very promising option that could be explored under the correct supervision.

Other Uses of Bitter Melon

Bitter melon has been used as a traditional medicine for a long time. It has been used to treat: colic, fever, burns, chronic cough, painful menstruation and skin conditions.[5]

 

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