What Causes Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes?
Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are essential to health because the body can not manufacture them so they need to be obtained from dietary sources. The omega 6 fatty acids are plentiful as they are found in corn, soybeans, sunflower, canola, hemp, pumpkin and sesame seeds, nuts and oils. Omega 3 fatty acids are less available because they are found primarily in flax oil, perilla oil, grazed beef and fish oil. Another factor contributing to the lack of consumption of Omega 3 fatty acids is valid concerns about the mercury found in all fish.
The Omega 3 fatty acids prevent inflammation but Omega 6 fatty acids cause inflammation in the body. Many persons do not eat fish and few persons eat flax oil, so most persons consume far too much Omega 6 fatty acids and have too little Omega 3 fatty acids in their diet. This contributes to the occurrence of inflammatory illnesses in a major way.
Cellular membrane dysfunction occurs when the body must manufacture and repair our cell membranes with the wrong fatty acids, because the right ones are not available from our diet. Our cell membranes require Omega 3 fatty acids for proper functioning. Because most persons in developed nations are currently obtaining their essential fatty acids primarily from Omega 6 fatty acids manufactured in factories at high temperatures using chemicals (salad oils, cooking oils, margarine) these persons are eating artificial chemical substances (similar to plastic) called transfats that are very injurious to health. When it comes time to make new cell membranes, their bodies are forced to use these abnormal chemical Omega 6 fatty acid substances to construct cell membranes. These abnormal cell membranes are what causes insulin resistance and Type 2 Diabetes.
When the cell membranes are made out of synthetic transfats the new membranes are sticky and stiff instead of having the slippery smooth character of healthy cell membranes. As this outer cell membrane becomes damaged from transfats, less sugar is able to enter the cells. Therefore, more insulin must be secreted to keep the blood sugar levels down.
During the transition to Type 2 diabetes the number of insulin receptors in cells is gradually decreasing from the normal level of 2000 per cell to 1000 per cell which is the level noted when Type 2 Diabetes appears. When normal amounts of insulin production and blood glucose values have been restored by effective therapy the number of insulin receptors in cells returns to the 2000 range.
Why Does Arteriosclerosis Plague Diabetic Patients?
Inflammation is believed to play a major role in causing arteriosclerosis. The massive use of synthetic Omega 6 transfats by the American public has contributed to great increases in inflammatory illnesses such as arteriosclerosis, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's Disease, Crohn's Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Arthritis, Multiple sclerosis etc.
Current research also suggests that inflammatory reactions caused by infectious organisms contribute to arteriosclerosis. Infections such as pneumonia and gingivitis are associated with an increased incidence of strokes and heart attacks. Markers for inflammation such as increased levels of C Reactive Protein CRP and elevation of Sedimentation Rates have been discovered to provide valuable warnings that such patients are at increased risk for heart attack and stroke. Insulin in large amounts causes inflammatory reactions in the body and it is well known that when diabetic patients are started on insulin therapy there is a greater likelihood of onset of heart attacks, strokes and gangrene.
A third adverse problem contributing to arteriosclerotic damage is increasing levels of low density lipoproteins and triglycerides which are common in diabetes. High levels of these fats in blood cause sludgy blood flow which may result in blood clots diagnosed as heart attacks and strokes.
Insulin is a hormone that stimulates the production of new tissue. When new fibrous and muscular tissue appears in the lining of arteries it has the appearance of what we call plaque. This narrows the opening in the artery that blood passes through. This may progress to produce symptoms of inadequate blood supply (anginal pain, temporary paralysis) due to oxygen lack. If greater artery narrowing occurs the tissue oxygen levels worsen, blood clots easily appear in these narrowed arteries with slowed blood flow and the end result is a heart attack, stroke or gangrene.
These plaques can be caused by high homocysteine values which appear in high insulin states. Failure to metabolize homocysteine to normal levels leads to aging with a greater chance of developing Alzheimer's Disease and acceleration of the arteriosclerotic process.
An additional problem caused by the synthetic transfats consumed by 90% of US citizens is suppression of the immune system. Suppressed immune systems have difficulty in killing the multitudes of cancer cells normally made daily by the human body. This probably helps explains why cancer of the lung was uncommon in the 1930s when 80% of US males smoked cigarettes. By the time Archer Daniel Midlands stopped manufacturing flax oil in 1950 most Americans had already moved over to the use of synthetic fats for cooking and salad oils and had substituted margarine for butter. There was a steady rise in the incidence of lung cancer as Americans stopped using lard, butter, unrefined coconut oil and flax oil and switched to synthetic transfats.
This ability of the transfats to suppress immune function encouraged Dr. Eric Newsholme of the Department of Biochemistry at Oxford to treat two girls, who had become invalids from Guillan Barre Syndrome, with "sunflower oil" 2 tablespoons daily. Both girls made complete recoveries after previously failing to respond to immunosuppressive drugs.
Why Do Diabetics Become Obese?
When the pre-diabetic person is experiencing chronic high insulin values with too many carbohydrate calories, this insulin is converting some of the excess glucose into the fat triglyceride, which gets stored in fat cells which end up distended in an obese patient.
In this manner, high insulin levels are producing many of our obese persons. Obese persons need to have insulin levels checked, as many of them are certainly pre -diabetic. A long term follow up study in an English obesity clinic revealed that all patients eventually became diabetic.
Many persons becoming obese have been using monosodium glutamate (MSG) and aspartame (NutraSweet), often unknowingly in packaged food. Both these substances increase insulin levels, cause obesity and have addicting properties. These are found in nearly all packaged foods which must be avoided.
Another dangerous food is white bread. In addition to being a poor food, as its nutrients have been removed, it contains alloxan to give it a nice white appearance. Alloxan has been used for many years to cause diabetes in laboratory animals and certainly has the capability of killing the insulin producing beta cells in the human pancreas. White bread and other baked goods are made using sodium aluminum phosphate and sodium aluminum sulfate (baking powder). These aluminum substances contribute to the development of Alzheimer's Disease.
What Role Does US Soil Play In The Diabetic Problem?
The human body runs smoothly when there is an abundance of enzymes facilitating the chemical processes needed for health. In the 1930s when the US Department of Agriculture mandated compulsory use of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium fertilizer by farmers it guaranteed that the citizens of our country would have poor health. This fertilizer does not contain the critical nutrient sulfur and over time the trace mineral content of our soil has steadily declined.
The soil our food comes from has been changed in our modern world. Chemical fertilizers have caused the protein content of vegetables to decrease and the vital trace minerals we need are no longer being replaced. Artificial fertilizers restore only 3 to 6 of the 20 minerals removed by plant growth. Composting is preferred to fertilizer because good composting returns to soils all the 20 minerals removed by plants. When trace minerals are lacking from the soil the enzyme levels in plants also diminish. Enzymes are vital to many life processes including digestion. Enzymes contain large protein molecules with added trace minerals such as zinc, selenium, manganese and copper.
Mineral deficiencies and imbalances in plants grown in polluted areas using contaminated water contribute to enzyme deficiencies in the general population. Lack of trace minerals in enzymes and the presence in the body of metals that damage enzyme function (lead, mercury) contribute to the declining health suffered by the US population.
At least 75% of US citizens lack adequate amounts of the vital mineral magnesium. Foods grown in depleted soil contain much less magnesium. This combined with the disappearance of real food from the US diet, caused the magnesium intake by US Citizens to drop by more than 50% since 1900. The use of bottled and filtered water has contributed to this problem as it contains little magnesium. Magnesium is involved in acid base balance, carbohydrate metabolism, cellular energy production, synthesis of nucleic acids and protein, mineral absorption, bone construction, blood pressure control, muscle function and utilization of B complex vitamins, Vitamin C and Vitamin E.
An example of how seriously depleted our soil has become is provided by a research study conducted by the legendary Dr. William A. Albrecht of the University of Missouri. One hundred bushels of Kansas wheat were tested in 1926 for mineral content.
This same study was repeated in 1968 on wheat from the same farm. To get the same amount of minerals now required 1000 bushels. In 1940 US soil contained an average of 60 minerals. The soil mineral analysis in 1996 now reveals that less than 20 minerals are still present. Oranges that contained 50 mg of Vitamin C fifty years ago now contain only 5 mg.
Louis Bromfield summarized this situation aptly: "As soils are depleted, human health, vitality, and intelligence go with them."
Control of blood sugar values is dependent on enzymes which contain trace minerals (zinc, manganese, chromium, vanadium, magnesium etc.). When these trace minerals are lacking in the diet proper carbohydrate control of blood sugar values is compromised and rising blood sugars may occur. The soil in the US has lost 85% of its mineral content because of these despicable farming practices.
Diabetics are at increased risk for mineral deficiencies compared to the general populace because when their blood sugars are elevated they pass large amounts of urine, which contains valuable minerals and nutrients.
1. Smith, Thomas Insulin: Our Silent Killer pg. 35 published by Thomas Smith, P.O. Box 7685, Longmont, Co. 80537
2. Smith, Thomas pg 36 ibid.
3. Newsholme, Eric Lancet March 18, 1978
4. Quarterly Journal Of Medicine 1960s
5. Fats That Heal Fats That Kill Udo Erasmus page 317 Alive books Vancouver, Canada
What is the cause and cure for type 2 diabetes?
How Safe Is Fructose?
High fructose corn syrup came into widespread use as a sugar substitute in the 1970's because of its lower price. By 1990 the quantity of fructose consumed had gone up ten fold. This is now present in candy, soda, cereal, crackers, bread, packaged foods and hundreds of other foods.
Fructose was believed to be a safe sugar substitute because it has no adverse effects on either blood sugar values or insulin output. However, there are two serious problems from fructose usage.
When ingested, fructose is immediately shuttled directly to the liver. In the liver it is a key building block in the manufacture of triglycerides. These triglycerides are then transported to the bloodstream carried by LDL (bad) cholesterol to the arteries where they can deposit in the artery walls. Animal research has shown that feeding a high fructose diet to animals is one of the fastest ways to raise triglyceride levels in the blood. The amount of fructose eaten by Americans is comparable in quantity to that fed to these animals. Diabetics commonly have elevated blood triglyceride values which clearly contribute to the development of arteriosclerosis.
Fructose is commonly regarded as the sugar found in fruit. The important distinction is that in fruit the quantity of fructose is small and it is bound to complex plant fiber, nutrients and minerals. Because of this fructose contained in fruit is slowly released into the bloodstream and fruits are considered a valuable protection against cardiovascular disease and other health problems because of their powerful antioxidant qualities.
The second major problem with fructose is its ability to combine with amino acids to form advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Ages are believed to be permanent. They accumulate in body tissues where they accelerate aging and thus contribute to the formation of cataracts, narrowing of arteries and kidney disease.
High intake of fructose contributes to increased levels of glycation in the body. Reducing all sugar and fructose intake appears to be a wise health measure.
When you eat only food that spoils, avoid sugar and transfats and begin Omega 3 essential fatty acids you will start turning your health around.
How Can Type 2 Diabetics Recover From Their Illness?
Several features are common to most diabetics:
- Sedentary Life Style
- High Intake of synthetic hydrogenated transfats
- Hugh intake of refined simple carbohydrates (sugar)
- Absence of adequate amounts of dietary essential Omega 3 fatty acids
- Inadequate body stores of trace minerals, vitamins and nutrients. When blood sugars are elevated diabetics pass large quantities of urine containing important vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Dietary repletion is difficult until blood sugar control is restored.
Processed food contains pesticides, additives, synthetic disease producing fats, sugar, and artificial sweeteners some of which are quite deleterious to health (Nutrasweet [aspartame}, Sucralose, Splenda etc). If the sugar substitute is made in a factory you can be certain it is dangerous to health. Many of these contain chlorine. The best safe sweetening substance appears to be the natural substance stevia. Several of the glycosides in stevia have blood sugar lowering capability.
To regain normal blood sugar values requires:
- Permanent elimination of all packaged food. This means that foods packaged in boxes, cans, bottles have objectionable contents in 90 % of cases. Read labels so you can refuse to buy dangerous foods. The simplest solution is to buy only foods that will spoil. Fast foods are loaded with calories, sugar and transfats and should be avoided. All transfats must be permanently terminated. This is what caused the problem and if you return to eating transfats the diabetes will recur. In the supermarket all bottles labeled soy oil, canola oil, corn oil, saffola oil, sunflower seed oil contain dangerous transfats. Substances labeled unsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat are also transfats made in factories that will not spoil.
- Initially get rid of all sugar intake. This means sugar, sodas, candy, pies, cakes, cookies and ice cream must go along with the packaged food. When blood sugar values have stabilized at normal values small quantities of honey and brown sugar may be added. Use safe stevia for sweetening foods.
- One of the characteristics of the Type 2 diabetic is failure to progress into severe ketoacidosis, which is a medical emergency. This has been attributed to the presence of small amounts of residual insulin sufficient to prevent ketosis. This residual insulin is adequate to slowly decrease blood sugar values if the fat intake is restricted As soon as the dietary fat intake is violated there will be prompt reappearance of elevated blood sugar values and the dangerous hyperinsulinemia with the risk of arterial narrowing. Remember high insulin levels are just as dangerous as high blood sugar levels. Dietary fat needs to be restricted to 15 to 25 % of total calories. This is far less than the average American's fat intake of 45 % of total calories. An informed intelligent dietitian can be an asset in creating low fat meals.
When my bout with Type 2 Diabetes occurred in 2000 Dr. Julian Whitaker's book Reversing Diabetes was a valuable resource because it contained menus for 30 days of low fat meals. After terminating the use of transfats my appetite decreased and I was able to lose 50 pounds in 6 weeks. My food intake since then has been about 70 % of previous caloric intake.
- Restore your body's mineral and nutrient content toward normal by taking Glucobalance or Blood Sugar Improvement Formula. These can be found in health food stores and the Tehama Clinic pharmacy phone 425-264-0059. Dr. Jonathan Wright suggests diabetics have a daily intake of the following nutrients chromium 1000 to 2000 mg., Niacin 1.5 to 2.5 mg , Niacinamide 50 to 100 mg ,Biotin 8 to 16 mg., Alpha-lipoic- acid 300 mg., Co-Enzyme Q 10-60 mg. Vitamin K 5 to 10 mg., Vitamin D -2000 I.U. daily, Vitamin E (as mixed tocopherols) 400 IU, Vitamin C 2000-3000 mg., Magnesium 300-400 mg., Vanadium 1-2 mg., Zinc 30 mg. Copper 2 mg., Manganese 5-10 mg., Most supplements will lack a few of these ingredients which can be added from another source. Swanson Health of Fargo, N. Dakota has a large stock of nutrients Their phone number is 1-800-437-4148.
- Begin taking Omega 3 fatty acids. Thomas Smith currently suggests alternating 2 or 3 tablespoons of flax oil or 4 tablespoons of ground flaxseed one day with one capsule of fish oil twice daily the following day. We like Barlean's flax products which can be found in health food stores. Because flaxseed has cancer preventing lignans and valuable aminoacids it has greater health values than flax oil. We like Nordic Naturals Artic Omega brand of fish oil because of the high quality controks used in it's production and it's pleasant taste. This can be ordered by phoning our fulfillment house at 1-800-416-2806 and is also found in health food stores. Both these oils supply the body with the healthy omega 3 fatty acids needed to build normal cell membranes. As the cell membranes heal the blood sugar values will improve.
- Food intake initially will be ideal if large amounts of raw foods such as vegetables in salads with Bragg's raw apple cider vinegar are eaten. The food enzymes are preserved in uncooked food when it is raw.
- Initially minimize dietary fats as much as possible other than the daily Omega 3 fatty acids (Flax oil, Fish oil). Baking and broiling will help. After blood sugar control has been restored butter, unrefined coconut oil, and extra virgin olive oil and unrefined sesame oil may be slowly added back into the diet. The addition of these new fats should be gradual so no relapse in blood sugars from excessive fat intake occurs. Use only butter, extra virgin olive oil, and unrefined coconut oil for cooking. Add water to the olive oil and coconut oil as needed to avoid burning.
- A critical cornerstone of diabetic management is regular exertion (walking, swimming, gym workouts etc.) This can be as simple as walking two miles 5 or 6 days weekly. Burning up calories by exercising greatly improves blood sugar values. If you wish to undertake strenuous exertion it is advisable to obtain an exercise treadmill test first as diabetics are notorious for having significant coronary artery arteriosclerosis without symptoms. Weight lifting increases muscle mass which facilitates greater calorie burn up with exercise. Fifteen to 20 minutes of exercise after meals works very well to lower blood sugar values but should be avoided if you have chest pain (angina) after meals.
Guidelines Toward Recovery From Type 2 Diabetes
Initially all sugar needs to be eliminated. This impedes the liver's ability to transform sugar into fat. Remember, when blood sugar levels are returned to normal the insulin blood level is often still elevated. High blood insulin levels are implicated in damage to arteries Later when glucose control is well established you can add brown sugar for flavoring, dates, stevia and honey in small quantities. When sugar is added prematurely the blood sugars rise and the recovery is set back in time.
Obese patients take longer to recover blood sugar control possibly because they have larger fat reserves than thin persons. These large fat reserves contain more abnormal trans fats, which may still be used in building cell membranes. When these abnormal fats have been totally metabolized away the new forming cell membranes will be normal and sugar will again enter cells normally with return of blood sugar to normal. Continue to take flax oil and fish oil permanently.
A glucometer will be needed to monitor response to therapy. Blood sugar control can be assumed to have satisfactorily returned when blood sugar values are below 100 mg. on seven consecutive mornings. At this stage blood insulin levels are still probably elevated. .
To be successful in ridding yourself of Type 2 diabetes you must change what you eat. If you continue to believe that "I deserve a break today" you will have great difficulty curing this disease.
To summarize: Type 2 diabetes appears to be an illness caused by abnormal fat metabolism induced by absence of Essential Omega 3 fatty acids and the presence of dangerous artificial fats in the diet. Omega 3 fatty acids are responsible for the maintenance and repair of cellular membranes. When the body lacks Omega 3 fatty acids the omega 6 and omega 9 fatty acids must be used. This results in a stiff and sticky cell membrane, instead of the usual slippery and smooth membrane. These abnormal membranes do not permit easy transport of glucose into the cell and the blood sugar stays high.
The disease is reversible with appropriate dietary changes in approximately 90 % of cases. Mr. Smith is uncertain why 10 % of cases fail to respond to these dietary changes. Some of these failures may be related to faulty compliance.
DHEA May Postpone Or Prevent Insulin Resistance
The adrenal gland hormone dihydroepiandosterone (DHEA) is the precursor hormone for the formation of both estrogen and testosterone in the human body. Levels of DHEA steadily fall from maximum levels at age 25 to 30 to about 50 % of normal by age 40 (200 mcg./dl.). Supplementation with DHEA in the elderly has slowed some of the effects of aging on estrogen and testosterone. Stress is counteracted, immune function is improved, protection against the appearance of cardiovascular disease may occur, increased insulin growth factor appears which preserves muscles and diminishes fat accumulation, excessive clotting of blood is slowed, improved survival is seen in population studies, depression is alleviated in 50 to 60 % of persons often beginning within 10 days and brain aging is stopped.
A recent research article sheds some interesting light on the problem of insulin resistance and central obesity seen in elderly patients. Fifty six patients with an average age of 71 were studied for glucose and insulin response to a standard sugar challenge. All 56 patients had a MRI evaluation of the extent of abdominal fat. One half these patients were given a placebo and the other half received 50 mg of DHEA for 6 months. When retested after 6 months those patients who were given DHEA showed significant decreases in abdominal fat. Those DHEA receiving patients also exhibited a decrease in insulin output with no change in blood sugar response following glucose administration. This suggested their resistance to insulin had decreased.
These results showed that resistance to the effect of insulin can be reduced by DHEA therapy. Development of Type 2 Diabetes might be postponed or prevented in elderly patients by the use of DHEA therapy. The dosage of DHEA selected for this study (50 mg.) is a dosage that is known to cause pimples and less frequently increased hair growth in women. A lower dosage of DHEA in women of 10 to 25 mg. daily should avoid these effects. Monitoring DHEA, etiocholanolone, androsterone, estrogen in males and testosterone in females and will ensure that the DHEA dose is proper. The Meridian Valley Laboratory in Washington State offers a Comprehensive Steroid Analysis that can be ordered by individuals as well as health care providers. Taking DHEA after age 40 may improve general health as we age. DHEA is found in health food stores.
1. Villareal, DT, Holloszy, JO Effect of DHEA on abdominal fat and insulin action in elderly men and women : a randomized controlled trial JAMA; 292 (18):2, 243-248