Click here to watch this video
A new federal report projects 1 in 3 American adults could have diabetes by 2050. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the number of Americans with diabetes may double or triple over the next 40 years.
People with diabetes face medical costs more than twice that of those without the illness. The total costs of diabetes is about $174 billion annually. Currently, roughly 24 million Americans, or 1 in 10 adults have the disease.
The Boston Herald reports:
“The CDC report … gives a range for the predicted increase — from 1 in 3 to 1 in 5 [people] by 2050 — to reflect differing assumptions about how many people will develop diabetes, and how long they will live after developing the disease.”Sources:
Dr. Mercola’s Comments:
Conventional medicine would have you believe that there is no stopping
the rise in diabetes, but I ‘m going to tell you precisely how to not
only prevent it but reverse it.
Currently, roughly 1 in 10 of US adults has type 2 diabetes, and according to the latest CDC estimates published last month, diabetes is expected to affect a staggering 1 in 3 adults by 2050.
But the statistics get even more mind-blowing than that when you factor in those with pre-diabetes; those who are a hair’s breadth away from the full-blown disease.
Add those to the equation, and nearly 1 in 4 Americans are already either pre-diabetic or diabetic!
Rise in Diabetes Also Drives Other Disease Rates
Most of my paternal relatives (my dad included), have, or have died from, diabetes, so this is an issue very close to my heart.
It is definitely not a disease to be taken lightly. It increases your risk of heart disease and brings on fatal and non-fatal heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular events 15 years earlier than in those without diabetes, as well as significantly shortens your lifespan.
Rising diabetes rates exponentially increase other serious diseases, one of which is Alzheimer’s disease. As I’ve discussed before, some are even referring to Alzheimer’s as “type 3 diabetes,” due to the links between the two diseases.
Diabetes also fosters numerous other health complications, including:
- Heart disease and stroke
- High blood pressure
- Kidney disease
- Nervous system disease
- Dental disease
- Pregnancy complications
Diabetics are also increasingly being misled to take statin drugs to prevent heart disease (which is strongly associated with diabetes), which adds further insult to injury.
Statin drugs have been shown to actually cause heart failure and are not the right treatment for most people. These drugs offer a “cure” that is far worse than the disease, yet vast numbers of people are being manipulated into taking them as “preventive medicine” once they’re diagnosed with diabetes.
The truly insane part of all this is that type 2 diabetes is virtually 100 percent preventable, and most people can successfully reverse the condition without any drug intervention at all.
The problem is that the conventional advice for preventing and managing this disease is incorrect, which is why most doctors’ advice causes diabetics to die. Even the CDC is clueless here, stating in their report that “intervention can reduce, but not eliminate, increases in diabetes prevalence.”
I firmly disagree.
The High Cost of Diabetes
Again, type 2 diabetes is virtually 100 percent preventable and treatable with common-sense lifestyle changes that cost little to nothing. Meanwhile, the conventional treatment of diabetes is VERY expensive.
As reported by the Boston Herald:
“People with diagnosed diabetes have medical costs more than twice that of those without the disease.
The total costs of diabetes are an estimated $174 billion annually, including $116 billion in direct medical costs, according to the CDC.”
I shudder to think about the enormous ramifications to health and the health care system should we fail to turn this disease trend around.
Fortunately, there is plenty of room for hope, because all we need to do is inform people about the truth about this disease. This is why I ask you to keep sharing this vital information with everyone you know.
These large numbers of people with diabetes are simply unnecessary, because as you’ll see below, avoiding diabetes is a fairly simple and straight-forward affair. However, it does require you to take control of your diet and your lifestyle.
According to the Boston Herald:
“… [A]bout 15 percent of families don’t want dietary counseling because their insurance company will deny the fee.”
First of all, the advice you get from conventionally-trained nutritionists may or may not be accurate and helpful, and secondly, the information you need to make the correct lifestyle changes are available for FREE!
So please, always avoid allowing the lack of insurance coverage to prevent you from taking control of your diet.
My website contains nearly 8,000 pages of free information about diabetes alone! The best way to access this free information is to visit our diabetes index page.
Why are Diabetes Cases Surging?
The latest statistics on diabetes in the US are a very sad commentary and a major clue that conventional medicine has it all wrong; their standard diabetes recommendations — both in terms of medication and nutrition — are incorrect.
At best, they simply do not work. At worst, they’re aggravating your problem and speeding up the deteriorating disease process.
There’s no doubt in my mind that if government agencies and the medical community would stop catering to the greedy demands of the sugar, grain and pharmaceutical industries, and start issuing recommendations that actually promote health rather than deteriorating it further, this modern epidemic would be curbed in fairly short order.
But again and again, you’ll find the ludicrous advice that consuming starchy carbohydrates, and even added sugar “in moderation,” is okay for diabetics, as long as you use blood glucose lowering tools to balance out their effects.
Just ONE Soda a Day Can Raise Your Diabetes Risk by 25 Percent!
A recent meta-analysis concluded that drinking just ONE soda — or other sweetened drink, including Vitamin Water — per day can raise your risk of developing diabetes by 25 percent, compared to drinking just one sugary drink per month.
“Previous studies have shown that sugar-sweetened beverages are strongly associated with weight gain.
They identified eight studies with enough data to let them check for a link between sugary drinks and type 2 diabetes and three similar studies of metabolic syndrome.
The largest diabetes study, which followed more than 91,000 American women ages 24 to 44 for eight years, made the strongest case for a relationship, and it wasn’t just because higher consumption of sweetened drinks added excess calories that turned into pounds.
While weight gain is a known diabetes risk factor, the diabetes-beverage link persisted even after adjusting for that.”
Considering the fact that the number one source of calories consumed in the US is in the form of soda, it’s not hard to see the correlation between inappropriate dietary choices and the meteoric rise of diabetes.
Why Conventional Diabetes Recommendations are almost all WRONG
It’s vitally important to understand that type 2 diabetes is NOT a blood sugar disease like you’ve likely been led to believe.
Type 2 diabetes is a disease caused by insulin resistance and faulty leptin signaling, both of which are regulated through your diet. Every diabetic needs to understand that the number one way to avoid and control this disease is to severely restrict or eliminate sugars (particularly fructose) and starchy carbs like breads and cereals – more or less the complete opposite of conventional recommendations.
Until this concept becomes well-known in both the medical community and by the public at large, the misconception about what diabetes is and the appropriate way to treat it will continue to be promoted.
Conventional treatment that is focused on fixing the symptom of elevated blood sugar, rather than addressing the underlying disease, is doomed to fail in most cases. Treatments that concentrate merely on lowering blood sugar while raising insulin levels can actually worsen rather than remedy the actual problem of metabolic miscommunication.
It just trades one evil for another.
Since most treatments for type 2 diabetes utilize drugs that either raise insulin or lower blood sugar, the tragic result is that the typical, conventional medical treatment for diabetes contributes to the additional diseases and the shortened lifespan that diabetics’ experience.
Diabetics Must Become Aware of the Function of Leptin
The two hormones insulin and leptin work hand-in-hand when it comes to diabetes.
Insulin — When your blood sugar becomes elevated it is a signal for insulin to be released to direct the extra energy into storage. A small amount is stored as a starch called glycogen in your body, but the majority is stored as your main energy supply — fat.
Thus, in this regard insulin’s major role is not to lower sugar, but to take the extra energy and store it for future times of need. Insulin lowers your blood sugar as a side effect of directing the extra energy into storage.
This is why treatments that concentrate merely on lowering blood sugar for diabetes while raising insulin levels can actually worsen rather than remedy the actual problem of metabolic miscommunication.
So, please, understand that if you only implement strategies to treat your blood sugar level, you are destined for premature death. Taking insulin is in fact one of the WORST things you can do, as it will actually make your insulin and leptin resistance worse over time.
Leptin — Leptin is largely responsible for the accuracy of insulin signaling, and whether you become insulin resistant or not.
Leptin is a hormone produced by your fat cells. It helps regulate your appetite and tells your body and brain how much energy it has, and what to do with that energy.
Two of the most important organs that influence whether you develop (type 2, insulin resistant) diabetiesor not are your liver and your brain, and it is their ability to “hear” the leptin signals that determines this.
Once you become leptin resistant, the part of leptin’s message that would normally reduce hunger and fat stores, and increase fat burning, does not get through to your brain — so you stay hungry and store more fat, rather than burning it.
It’s a vicious cycle, where a high sugar/grain diet increases fat storage and promotes leptin resistance, which in turn drives insulin resistance and obesity, which eventually leads to full-blown diabetes.
If You Want to Prevent or Reverse Diabetes, IGNORE the Following “Health” Agencies
- American Dietetic Association
- American Heart Association
- American Diabetes Association
For the last 50 years, many people have been following the nutritional recommendations from these agencies, which advise a high complex carbohydrate, low saturated fat diet.
Clearly, these recommendations are NOT working.
Again, it’s imperative to understand that if you have diabetes, you need to avoid sugar/fructose, grains (even organic, whole grains) and other starchy carbs like rice, potatoes and cereal, to get healthy.
Most Diabetics Can be Cured with Lifestyle Changes
The good news is, you do NOT need to become another statistic!
Rest assured that nearly 100 percent of type 2 diabetics can be successfully treated – eliminating the symptoms of diabetes, or the high risk of developing health complications — if you are willing to implement the following recommendations:
Exercise is an absolutely essential factor, without which you’re highly unlikely to get this devastating disease under control. It is clearly one of the most potent ways to lower your insulin and leptin resistance.
Typically, you’ll need large amounts of exercise, until you get your blood sugar levels under control. You may need up to an hour or two a day. Naturally, you’ll want to gradually work your way up to that amount, based on your current level of fitness.
For more information and guidelines for an optimal exercise program, please see this article where I explain the superior benefits of Peak 8 exercises.
- Eliminate sugar/fructose, artificial sweeteners and grains
For the last 50 years, people have been following the nutritional recommendations dictated by conventional health agencies, which advise a high complex carbohydrate, low saturated fat diet. The end result has been a 700 percent increase in diabetes in the same time frame and many have come to view diabetes as an incurable chronic disease.
Our current diabetes statistics are the inevitable result of seriously flawed dietary recommendations. Also artificial sweeteners are not a good substitute for sugar and will actually cause you to gain more weight than sugar.
Instead, you’ll want to eliminate foods that your body will react to by creating insulin, which includes all types of sugars and grains. This also means avoiding most processed foods of all kinds as they are loaded with fructose. You may even need to avoid fruits until your blood sugar is under control.
- Eat right for your Nutritional Type
Exercising and avoiding grains and sugars might not be enough unless you balance your protein, carb and fat ratios for your unique and specific genetic biochemistry.
This is so important, I now offer the entire online nutritional typing test for free. Please do take advantage of this free offer as we previously charged $29 to take the same test.
- Monitor your fasting insulin level
This is every bit as important as your fasting blood sugar. You’ll want your fasting insulin level to be between 2 to 4. The higher your level, the worse your insulin receptor sensitivity is.
The recommendations mentioned above are the key steps you need to achieve this reduction.
- Optimize your vitamin D levels
Interestingly, optimizing your vitamin D levels can not only help improve type 2 diabetes if you have it, but can likely eliminate the risk of type 1 diabetes in your children if you are pregnant. It’s also vital for infants to receive the appropriate amounts of vitamin D in their early years for these same reasons.
Ideally, you’ll want to do this by exposing a large amount of your skin to appropriate amounts of sunshine (or a safe tanning bed) on a regular basis, year-round. Your body can safely create up to 20,000 units of vitamin D a day this way.
However, if neither of these options are available, you may want to use an oral vitamin D3 supplement. But remember, if you choose to take an oral supplement it’s essential that you get your levels tested regularly by a proficient lab to make sure you’re not reaching toxic levels, and are within the therapeutic range.
Maintaining your vitamin D levels around 60-80 ng/ml can significantly help control your blood sugar.
These are the basic steps you need to take, starting today, if you have type 2 diabetes.
Doing so will virtually guarantee that your diabetes will disappear. And if you want to make sure you are not one of the millions impacted by the coming diabetes epidemic, these same steps will help you to stay healthy and diabetes-free.
Related Articles:Diabetes Epidemic and Treatment
Ori Hofmekler, author of The Warrior Diet, is an expert on how to build muscle and improve your health with foods.
In this interview, Ori shares his insights about whey protein – known as the gold standard of proteins. But as you will find out, not all whey products are created equal.
Dr. Mercola’s Comments:
Ori Hofmekler is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to fitness and how to use food to burn fat, build muscle, and optimize your health.
He has found whey protein to be a particularly beneficial food for all of these purposes.
Whey protein, a by-product of milk and cheese, was promoted for its health benefits as early as 420 B.C. At that time, Hippocrates, also known as “the Father of Medicine,” recommended whey to his patients. These days, evidence continues to mount in favor of whey, often referred to as the gold standard of protein.
Ori is an authority in this area and I’ve learned a lot from him personally.
We cover a load of information in this interview, so I urge you to listen to it in its entirety, or read through the transcript for additional information, over and above what I’ve summarized below.
Health Benefits of Whey Protein
Whey protein has been linked to a variety of health benefits, including:
- Helping your insulin work more effectively, which helps maintain your blood sugar level after a meal — This is important as research suggests lowering your blood sugar levels after meals may be more beneficial for your health than lowering fasting blood sugars.
- Promoting healthy insulin secretion, which is imperative for optimal health. This is one of the foremost reasons for avoiding sugars and grains, as overconsumption of grains and sugary foods has a negative impact on both, and is a prime factor in developing type 2 diabetes.
- Helping to promote your optimal intake of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals needed for your overall wellness
- Supporting your immune system, as it contains immunoglobulins
- Helping you preserve lean body tissue (particularly during exercise) as it delivers bioavailable amino acids and cysteine
- Maintaining blood pressure levels that are already within the normal range
There are a number of whey products on the market, but unfortunately many of them will not give you the health benefits associated with high-quality whey.
Most commercial whey products are derived from pasteurized dairy and are processed with heat and acid. Many are also artificially sweetened. All of these factors render them completely useless from a health perspective.
Whey isolate is one such inferior product, because when you remove the fat, you actually remove important components of itsimmunological properties, such as phospholipids, phosphatidylserine and cortisol.
Additionally, all of the IgG immunoglobulins, which are an excellent source of glutamine and cysteine, are also bound to the fat globule. Fat provides not just calories. In fact, most food rich in healthful fat, including nuts, seeds, chia and almonds are carriers of antioxidants, such as vitamin E and phytosterols.
Dairy also contains lipoic acid, which is a carrier of enzymes and immunoglobulin.
Therefore, if you take the fat out you’re left with a clearly inferior whey protein.
“I’m totally against whey isolate,” Ori says. “I think it’s just the wrong whey.”
Pasteurized versus Raw Milk Whey
When selecting a whey product, I strongly recommend making sure it’s made from raw, grass-fed milk, in order to obtain the majority of its immune-enhancing benefits.
Unfortunately, most of the whey protein sold on the market is made from pasteurized milk, including whey protein concentrate and New Zealand whey. The New Zealand whey does come from grass-fed cows. However by New Zealand law the whey must be made from pasteurized milk, which negates many of the inherent health benefits of whey, even though it’s grass-fed.
There are, however, a few good sources of high-quality whey protein, made from the raw (unpasteurized) milk of grass-fed cows.
“When you look at this whey,” Ori says, “you can immediately tell the difference in the smell, the taste. It tastes creamy and good by itself. It’s water soluble. It gives you only the mineral component.”
Fortunately, manufacturers in the US are allowed to process whey from raw milk.
“In my opinion. in America, you can find some of the best whey in the world. You just need to know where to look for it and how to process it,” Ori says.
Guidelines for Buying High-Quality Whey
As explained by Ori, these are the factors you need to look for in order to ensure you’re buying a high-quality product:
- Organic (no hormones)
- Made from unpasteurized (raw) milk
- Cold processed, since heat destroys whey’s fragile molecular structure
- Minimally processed
- Rich, creamy, full flavor
- Water soluble
- Sweetened naturally, not artificially
- Highly digestible-look for medium chain fatty acids (MCTs), not long chain fatty acids
Some of the best whey protein you can get today is derived from raw milk cheese manufacturing. They have very high quality controls and produce great-tasting whey, with optimal nutritional content.
One of the most important components of the whey is glycomacropeptides (GMP). GMP has amazing immuno components that are critically important for your gut flora. However, only whey produced from raw milk cheese contains GMP. Other varieties do not.
For more in-depth information about the actual processing procedure that high-quality whey must undergo, please listen to the entire interview above.
Your Second-Best Option.
High quality whey is typically more expensive than lower quality whey products and I believe it’s well worth the investment. However, if you can’t afford high quality whey, what’s your second-best option?
The answer is simple: raw dairy products, such as raw milk or raw milk cheese.
To find a source near you, check out www.RealMilk.com. They are a great resource for raw dairy.
An additional benefit of raw milk cheese is that the fermentation process also produces vitamin K2, which is a very important nutrient for optimal health that is difficult to obtain on a normal diet, unless you eat traditionally-fermented foods.
Raw milk and raw milk cheese is also a good source of calcium, which we discuss in further detail in this interview.
Whey Protein versus Yoghurt – One Builds Muscle, The Other Doesn’t
Research clearly shows that sour milk, such as kefir or yoghurt, has amazing cardiovascular benefits, such as reducing your blood pressure and triglyceride levels.
Whey and raw milk cheese also both contain compounds called casomorphins that have beneficial effects on blood pressure and blood sugar.
The real difference between them, however, becomes apparent when you want to build muscle. The benefits of sour milk products are primarily evident in your cardiovascular system, not your body’s ability to build muscle.
So if you want to build muscle, do not use yoghurt. It contains protein, but the fermentation process strips away many of the additional immuno components that make whey stand out as a primary fuel to increase your muscle mass.
Ori recommends yoghurt for detoxifying your body and reestablishing a healthful balance of beneficial gut bacteria (probiotics). This is also important for building muscle, but yoghurt is not an ideal source of protein to build muscle or boosting your immune system.
Increasing Your Muscle Mass
Whey protein, however, is a great source of protein for building muscle.
Ideally, you’ll want to use a combination of sour milk products and whey, as each has its own set of benefits.
Ori explains the supportive mechanisms of these two products.
“. [A]s protein is digested in your stomach, a large percentage of amino acids actually are not fully utilized and do not reach your low intestine. That’s when probiotics come into action. They can help you utilize the remaining amino acid.
More than that, if your gut flora is healthy, we now have proof that they can actually synthesize essential amino acids, including lysine, which is missing in food stuff.
That’s one of the downside of vegans — they don’t have enough lysine.
They [probiotics] can also synthesize leucine, which you need for muscle building. Good quality protein and good gut flora, and good timing of meals, is important.”
Please remember that a major challenge many go through is a process called sarcopenia, which is age related muscle loss This recent New York Times article addresses this topic and clearly suggests most of us should be doing some type of strength training.
You just need to know that lifting weights will NOT necessarily result in gaining muscle mass. If you are involved in heavy catabolic exercises like aerobics or running, you will not have the hormonal influences to build muscle.
Additionally, you need to supply your muscles with fuel at the appropriate time so they will have the building blocks to build new muscle tissue. Ideally you would want to consume the whey about one hour before and one hour after your workout.
I personally add two organic pasture-raised eggs to my whey shake along with some raw milk rather than water. I am currently in a muscle gaining phase and have gained about 10 pounds of muscle in the past six month, and lost about 13 pounds of fat, using the Peak Fitness program and whey protein/raw milk/raw egg combination.
Another important benefit of the whey is that if you consume it during the day, you facilitate detoxing while at the same time giving your muscles exactly what they need to rebuild. For more information about this, please see this previous article that discusses how whey can naturally optimize your glutathione production, which is an important component for optimal health and muscles.
You will also burn more fat because you’re less likely to consume excess calories. (Protein, as you may recall from previous articles, is the most filling type of food, which will help eliminate high-carb/high-calorie snacking.)
What About Naturally Occurring MSG?
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a commonly used flavor enhancer with potent neurotoxic properties. MSG should therefore be avoided as much as possible.
That said, however, it’ important to realize that MSG can also occur naturally in certain foods, including yoghurt, and these types of MSG-containing foods do not cause the same kind of harm that synthetic, added MSG does.
“You want to stay away from MSG. However, your body is very well equipped to protect itself from MSG… [W]e have naturally occurring MSG in many healthy foods; tomato, potato, yoghurt.
Are you going stop eating sour milk and yoghurt with all their benefits just because it produces some MSG in the processing, the fermentation of milk?
No. We cannot be too obsessive, because your body can easily protect itself from MSG when on a healthy diet.
One of the compounds your body produces is called betaine. Betaine is produced from choline. Milk and whey is loaded with choline; with all the nutrients that help you protect yourself from MSG. It’s not that it doesn’t produce MSG, it provides you — through the sunflower lecithin — with all the nutrients your body needs to protect itself from glutamate excitotoxicity.”
Whey Protein – A Great Way to Start Each Day!
For all the reasons mentioned here, and then some, high-quality whey protein is my preferred breakfast. I drink a delicious whey protein shake after my morning exercise routine, which includes high intensity Peak 8 exercises, as whey is ideal for facilitating muscle building and fat burning.
Related Articles:Whey Protein Improves Heart Health
A 12-week London study was recently conducted involving 58 type 2 diabetics with hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels over 7 percent. Hemoglobin A1c is a marker for long-term glycemic control in diabetics.
After 12 weeks on 2g of cinnamon per day, study subjects had significantly lower HbA1c levels, as well as significantly reduced blood pressures (systolic, SBP and diastolic, DBP).
The researchers’ conclusion:
“Intake of 2g of cinnamon for 12 weeks significantly reduces the HbA1c, SBP and DBP among poorly controlled type 2 diabetes patients. Cinnamon supplementation could be considered as an additional dietary supplement option to regulate blood glucose and blood pressure levels along with conventional medications to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus.”
In related news, a new study out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill points to a connection between magnesium in the diet and lowered risk of diabetes.
According to Reuters:
“It’s plausible that magnesium could influence diabetes risk because the mineral is needed for the proper functioning of several enzymes that help the body process glucose.”
Researchers studied magnesium intake and diabetes risk in about 4,500 men and women aged 18 to 30. None of the participants were diabetic at the start of the study.
Over the ensuing 20 years, 330 of the test subjects developed diabetes. The people with the highest magnesium intake – about 200 milligrams for every 1,000 calories consumed – were almost 50 percent less likely to develop diabetes than men and women who consumed about 100 milligrams per 1,000 calories.
The study also revealed that as magnesium intake increased, inflammation levels decreased, as did insulin resistance.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Reuters reports one wildly inaccurate conclusion: that consuming whole grains (which are high in magnesium) is associated with lower diabetes risk.
This is simply not true.
If you’re looking for ways to increase the magnesium in your diet, avoid grains and opt for healthier choices like avocados, almonds, certain types of beans and peas.
Dr. Mercola’s Comments:
As I discussed in yesterday’s article on the insanity of Avandia, drugs are not the answer for type 2 diabetes. In that article, I described the natural and most effective way to address type 2 diabetes. If you haven’t already read this article I would strongly encourage you to do so.
The two reports above are related in the sense that they demonstrate the power of natural therapies – as opposed to drugs — to combat this epidemic problem.
However, like drugs, supplements such as cinnamon or magnesium should not be misconstrued as cures. They are safer alternatives than drugs, but you cannot properly address your diabetes if you still maintain a sedentary lifestyle and a poor diet — with or without helpful supplements.
How Cinnamon Can Benefit Diabetics
Researchers have investigated the “insulin-like” effects of cinnamon for a number of years now, and as the latest study in Diabetic Medicine shows, cinnamon keeps proving it’s a viable contender in the fight against diabetes.
Among this spice’s most impressive health benefits is its impact on blood sugar and ability to improve glucose control.
For example, just half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day has previously been shown to significantly reduce blood sugar levels, triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
Another study found that the spice increased glucose metabolism by about 20 times, which would significantly improve your ability to regulate blood sugar. Cinnamon has even previously been indicated as a potential insulin substitute for those with type 2 diabetes due to a bioactive component with “insulin-like” effects.
Interestingly, cinnamon lowers your blood sugar by acting on several different levels.
It slows the emptying of your stomach to reduce sharp rises in blood sugar following meals, and improves the effectiveness, or sensitivity, of insulin.
It also enhances your antioxidant defenses. A study published last year stated that “polyphenols from cinnamon could be of special interest in people that are overweight with impaired fasting glucose since they might act both as insulin sensitizers and antioxidants.”
Yet another bioflavanoid compound called proanthocyanidin may alter the activity of insulin signaling in your fat cells.
Researchers have suggested people with diabetes may see improvements by adding 1/4 – 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to their food, and I see no reason not to give this a try if you enjoy cinnamon (along with doing the other essentials to improve diabetes, including eliminating fructose and grains from your diet and exercising daily).
Other health benefits of cinnamon include:
- Supporting digestive function
- Relieving congestion
- Relieving pain and stiffness of muscles and joints
- Anti-inflammatory compounds that may relieve arthritis
- Helping to prevent urinary tract infections, tooth decay and gum disease
- Relieves menstrual discomfort
- Blood-thinning compounds that stimulate circulation
Clearly, adding ample amounts of cinnamon to your diet is an incredibly inexpensive and great tasting tool for diabetics, and the likelihood of this food causing any long-term complications is very small.
Just remember that unless you’re adding it to a proper diet – high in vegetables and extremely low in fructose and grains — you likely will not experience any benefit whatsoever.
Whole Grains Do NOT Lower Your Diabetes Risk!
Reuters makes a grave mistake when claiming that “the results may explain in part why consuming whole grains, which are rich in magnesium, is associated with lower diabetes risk.”
The results they’re talking about is that people who consumed the highest amounts of magnesium, from foods and vitamin supplements, were half as likely to become diabetics over two decades as those who consumed the least amount of magnesium, according to a recent study.
According to the researchers, magnesium may decrease your diabetes risk because magnesium is required for the proper functioning of enzymes involved in glucose processing.
This has nothing to do with whole grains, and does not support the claim that whole grains are good for diabetics.
In fact, if you’re diabetic or want to avoid becoming diabetic, then grains – including whole grains — are at the TOP of the list of foods to AVOID, right after fructose and other sugars.
Because just like sugar, grains typically are a primary cause of insulin insensitivity, which is at the root of diabetes.
Healthful Sources of Magnesium
As for magnesium, the study found that those who consumed about 200 mg of magnesium for every 1,000 calories consumed were 47 percent less likely to develop insulin resistance and diabetes, compared to those who consumed half that amount of magnesium.
In addition, the researchers also discovered that as magnesium levels rose, markers of inflammation decreased.
Magnesium serves many important metabolic functions in your body, but if you want to increase the magnesium in your diet, please stay away from grains and opt for healthier choices, such as:
- Green vegetables, such as spinach
- Raw broccoli
- Black beans
Other Great Anti-Diabetic Foods
Aside from cinnamon and magnesium-rich fare, other foods shown to be particularly beneficial for diabetics include:
- Broccoli – Eating broccoli could reverse the damage that diabetes inflicts on your blood vessels. The key is likely a compound in the vegetable called sulforaphane.
Sulforaphane encourages production of enzymes that protect the blood vessels, and reduces the number of molecules that cause cell damage — known as Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) — by up to 73 percent.
People with diabetes are up to five times more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes — both of which are linked to damaged blood vessels
- Probiotics – Researchers have found that bacterial populations in the gut of diabetics differ from non-diabetics, and that modifying your gut microflora with probiotics and prebiotics can help improve the health of diabetics.
- A Mediterranean-style diet rich in vegetables can also help ward off diabetes. The benefits are likely from the use of healthy fats and increased veggies — NOT from the large amount of grains. Swapping out your grains and sugar for high-quality sources of protein, healthy fat (which INCLUDES saturated fat) and vegetables, can set you off on the right path.
Ideally, you’ll want to customize your diet according to your nutritional type. To help you do this, I now offer the entire online nutritional typing test for FREE!
Related Articles:Cinnamon Can Help Control Your Blood Sugar
Researchers have discovered that women who breastfeed are half as likely to develop type 2 diabetes. It may have something to do with the additional weight that expectant mothers gain – breastfeeding helps them lose extra abdominal fat more efficiently.
While abdominal fat is important for a gestating baby’s development, it can be bad for the mother’s health after delivery. It has been linked to a greater risk of heart disease as well as diabetes.
According to Time Magazine:
“Animal studies have helped reveal other reasons … Breastfeeding … can increase a mother’s response to insulin, allowing her to break down glucose more effectively and keep sugar metabolism in check. Lactation also inhibits hormones that promote growth hormone activity, which can also affect insulin levels.”
U.S. News & World Report also offers four reasons you should breastfeed your child for your own sake:
- Reproductive cancers. Prolonged nursing lowers your risks of breast, ovarian and endometrial cancer. This could be because it suppresses the hormones that play a role in these cancers.
- Heart disease. Women who nurse for at least 24 months during their lives have a 23 percent lower risk of developing heart disease. Nursing may also decrease dangerous visceral fat.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. A number of studies have linked breastfeeding to protection from rheumatoid arthritis. One found that nursing for a total of two years decreased the risk by 50 percent.
- Diabetes. Nursing protects against type 2 diabetes, possibly because lactation makes cells more sensitive to the hormone insulin.
Dr. Mercola’s Comments:
That breast milk is the best source of nutrition for newborns is one of the most clear-cut, non-debatable topics in health care. But that there are dramatic health benefits for the mother as well does not always receive as much attention.
But make no mistake about it, the benefits to the new mom are just as important and impressive as the health benefits the baby receives.
Unfortunately, many American mothers are still resistant to the idea of breastfeeding, for a variety of reasons.
According to a recent press release by the Cambridge Health Alliance, about 75 percent of American mothers initiate breastfeeding, but only 32 percent are still breastfeeding exclusively at three months.
Only about one in ten or a mere 12 percent of U.S. infants are breastfeed exclusively for six months.
A study published in the April issue of the journal Pediatrics called the current breastfeeding rate in the US “suboptimal” and calculated that health care costs could be reduced by a whopping $13 billion a year if 90 percent of US families would comply with the recommendation to breastfeed exclusively for six months.
It could also eliminate nearly 1,000 infant deaths.
At 80 percent compliance, an estimated $10.5 billion could be saved and nearly 750 infant deaths could be prevented.
Amazing how you never see the American Academy of Pediatrics, the CDC or the media announcing this from rooftops like they do when they want to vaccinate kids to “save lives,” as the benefits of breastfeeding are clearly superior to those of immunizations.
Health Benefits for Your Baby
Breastfeeding confers a host of health benefits to your baby, such as fewer:
- Ear infections
- Gastrointestinal illnesses
- Respiratory infections
But the health benefits they receive extend well past infancy; breastfed children are also less prone to obesity, type 2 diabetes, eczema, and certain cancers later on in life. And breast milk is a vital component for healthy brain development and function.
It is believed that the exclusive composition of breast milk benefits your child’s immune system and body fat composition, which would account for many of these long-term benefits.
Previous research has also found that infants who are breast-fed for more than 12 months also have a very low incidence of hypertension. Researchers believe this protective effect is due to the polyunsaturated fatty acids contained in breast milk.
As mentioned earlier, breastfeeding can also protect against infant death.
Several studies performed in the United States and other industrialized nations have revealed increased risks of SIDS among babies who receive formula instead of breast milk.
In fact, one U.S. study conducted in 2003 found that infants fed formula has a five times greater risk of dying from SIDS compared to breastfed infants!
And again, in 2009, researchers found that exclusive breastfeeding for just one month cut the risk of SIDS in half.
For even more health benefits to your baby, please review my previous article Seven Reasons to Breastfeed Your Child.
Nursing Mothers Reap Excellent Health Benefits Too!
But now on to the health benefits for the nursing mother, which are just as impressive.
It’s well known that breastfeeding can help you burn calories and get back to your pre-pregnancy weight faster. In fact, lactation will consume about 500 extra calories a day, helping you shed those pregnancy pounds more efficiently.
(However, many nursing women may find their appetite increases as well during this time, so weight loss is in part dependent on maintaining a healthy diet and avoiding unhealthy, processed snacks and foods.)
But the benefits for the mother don’t end there. Many of the other health benefits that breastfed children reap, the nursing mother gets as well.
Nursing Mothers Reduce Their Own Diabetes Risk as Well as Their Baby’s
Research published in The American Journal of Medicine this month shows that women who breastfeed for less than one month (compared to those who breastfeed longer, or have no children) almost double their risk of developing type 2 diabetes later on in life – even decades later.
So clearly, your child is not the only one who gets some added protection against diabetes from the simple act of breastfeeding.
The exact mechanism is still unknown, but one theory is that it is related to the weight reduction that nursing brings about. Visceral fat, the fat that clings around your midsection, has been linked to chronic inflammation and hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), and is therefore considered a risk factor for diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
So although visceral fat is beneficial for your baby during gestation, this excess fat can contribute to health problems for you if you retain it, and it appears that breastfeeding is nature’s way of helping you shed this excess fat once it has served its intended purpose.
Another theory built on animal studies is that breastfeeding may improve your insulin response by promoting efficient glucose metabolism.
Time Magazine reports that:
“Lactation also inhibits hormones that promote growth hormone activity, which can also affect insulin levels.
In addition, studies have shown that when women do develop diabetes during pregnancy, known as gestational diabetes, breastfeeding the newborn can improve their glucose metabolism and help stabilize the condition.”
Whatever the mechanisms, the evidence is clear that the longer you breastfeed the better, but at the bare minimum, you’d want to nurse exclusively for at least one month, to reap health benefits for both yourself and your baby.
Ideally, you should strive to breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months, and only then begin to supplement with solid foods (while still continuing to breastfeed as well).
If you can continue past those first six months, know that breastfeeding longer is even better.
Breastfeeding for the First Year Imparts Added Long-Term Health Benefits for Mom
A study published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2009 found that women who breastfed for a full 7 to 12 months, compared to women who never breastfed, were significantly less likely to develop diabetes or cardiovascular disease in their post-menopausal years.
The authors concluded that:
“Among postmenopausal women, increased duration of lactation was associated with a lower prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and cardiovascular disease.”
A recent article in the US News & World Report also highlighted a number of health benefits that nursing mothers stand to gain, including protection against:
- Certain cancers, such as breast-, ovarian- and endometrial cancer — This may be due to the fact that lactation suppresses ovulation, which exposes you to lower amounts of ovulatory hormones that contribute to the development of these particular cancers.
One Chinese study found that breastfeeding for two full years or more can reduce your risk of breast cancer by 50 percent!
- Rheumatoid arthritis – Similarly, a 2004 article in CBS News reported that breastfeeding for two years or longer also cuts women’s risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis by half.
The article states:
“Breastfeeding for between one and two years decreased the risk of rheumatoid arthritis by 20 percent, compared with women who did not breastfeed at all. Breastfeeding for at least two years decreased the risk of rheumatoid arthritis by 50 percent. This was total time spent breastfeeding all children. Breastfeeding for less than one year total did not decrease rheumatoid arthritis risk.”
The study, which was published in the November 2004 issue of Arthritis and Rheumatism, included nearly 122,000 women.
It is thought that lactation may permanently alter the levels of female sex hormones, which can contribute to rheumatoid arthritis. This is yet another reason for avoiding birth control pills.
Breastfeeding Myths Debunked
There are certain medical conditions that can prevent a woman from breastfeeding, however the majority of women are able to breastfeed successfully. Often, those who choose not to are doing so because of misinformation, so I want to clear up some of the myths right now.
MYTH 1: “I don’t have enough milk” – This is a common misperception. However, all women have enough milk to breastfeed. The more the baby nurses, the more milk you will produce!
MYTH 2:Infant formula is more nutritious — This is absolutely not true. There are at least 400 nutrients in breast milk that are not found in formula. Of course, the healthier that a new mom eats, the healthier her breast milk will be.
MYTH 3: Breastfeeding is painful — Breastfeeding can be painful for some women, but this is almost always the result of incorrect positioning. Trouble with positioning can be resolved by getting help from a lactation consultant.
Ideally, you’ll want to strive to breastfeed your baby exclusively for the first 6 months, at which point you can begin to supplement with solid foods. (But remember, even breastfeeding for as little as one month can impart great health benefits for both you and your baby.)
You should begin nursing as soon after birth as possible, as your baby’s sucking instinct will be very strong at that time, giving you the best chance of success.
In the beginning, the milk that is produced is called colostrum – a thick, golden-yellow fluid that is very gentle for your baby’s stomach and chockfull of beneficial antibodies.
As your baby continues to nurse, your milk will gradually change in color and consistency from thick and yellow, to thinner with a bluish-white hue.
Newborns need to nurse at least once every two hours, for about 15 minutes or so on each side, but most do not adhere to any kind of strict schedule and feedings can vary in length.
It is this frequent nursing that stimulates your breasts to produce increasing amounts of milk to keep up with demand.
There’s virtually no need to fret should your baby lose a little weight during the first week or so. This is normal, and she should have regained the weight by about two weeks of age.
Additional Help for Moms Who Can’t Breastfeed
You may want to begin planning for successful breastfeeding before your baby is even born. One consideration to take into account is that epidurals may have a detrimental effect.
One 2007 study discovered that women who receive epidural anesthesia during childbirth with the narcotic fentanyl may have trouble breastfeeding.
Women who got a fentanyl epidural reported more difficulty with breastfeeding in the first week early on, and they were also twice as likely to give up breastfeeding within the first six months. Evidence from other research suggests that fentanyl can interfere with infants’ ability to suckle.
Whether you want to prepare beforehand, or find you’re having trouble breastfeeding once your baby is born, Le Leche League is a terrific resource to contact for help.
You can also call the National Women’s Health Information Center’s (NWHIC) Breastfeeding Helpline at 1-800-994-9662; TDD 1-888-220-5446 (9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, EST). This hotline is staffed with La Leche League-trained breastfeeding information specialists.
Another helpful source is the American Academy of Pediatrics Breastfeeding Initiative.
However, if for whatever reason you’re still unable to breastfeed, please steer clear of commercial infant formulas as much as possible and definitely avoid all soy infant formula, as it is loaded with toxic elements like high doses of manganese and aluminum.
There is no question that it is the worst commercial food you could give your baby. It is likely that at some point in the future when all the health complications are fully appreciated, it will be removed from the market and banned.
The next best alternative to breast milk is to make a healthy homemade infant formula. There may be others, but here is one recipe for homemade formula created by the Weston Price Foundation, which I believe is sound.
Related Articles:Breastfeeding Improves Glucose Tolerance And Cholesterol Levels
Insulin resistant people with type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop plaques in their brains which are associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
A study looked at 135 elderly participants who were monitored for signs of Alzheimer’s disease for 10 to 15 years.
After they died, researchers conducted autopsies on their brains and that those who had high blood sugar levels while they were alive also tended to have the plaques.
According to Reuters:
“Twenty-one participants, or 16 percent, developed Alzheimer’s disease before they died and plaques were found in all of their brains. But the autopsies also found plaques in other participants who had abnormally high blood sugar levels.
Plaques were found in 72 percent of people with insulin resistance and 62 percent of those with no indication of insulin resistance, the researchers wrote.
“The point is that insulin resistance may possibly accelerate plaque pathology (development),” Sasaki wrote.”Sources:
Dr. Mercola’s Comments:
This is not the first time researchers have connected diabetes with Alzheimer’s. In fact, Alzheimer’s disease was tentatively dubbed “type 3 diabetes” in early 2005 when researchers realized that your pancreas is not the only organ that produces insulin.
Your brain also produces insulin, and this brain insulin is necessary for the survival of your brain cells. But interestingly, while low insulin levels in your body are associated with improved health, the opposite appears to be true when it comes to your brain insulin.
A drop in insulin production in your brain contributes to the degeneration of brain cells, and studies have found that people with lower levels of insulin and insulin receptors in their brain often have Alzheimer’s disease.
A 2004 study also revealed that people with diabetes have a 65 percent higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
New Evidence Strengthening the Link Between Diabetes and Alzheimer’s Disease
According to this recent Japanese study, insulin resistance and/or diabetes appear to accelerate the development of plaque in your brain, which is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s.
This study, which had a very long observation period, further strengthens the link between these two diseases, as different as they may otherwise appear to be.
Previous research have already found a strong correlation between body mass index (BMI) and high levels of beta-amyloid, the protein that tends to accumulate in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, causing plaque buildup. It is believed that beta-amyloid destroys nerve cells, contributing to the cognitive and behavioral problems typical of the disease.
In this study, which monitored 135 people for 10 to 15 years, 16 percent developed Alzheimer’s disease before they died, and autopsy showed they all had plaque in their brains.
However, 72 percent of those with insulin resistance also had plaque, as well as 62 percent of those who did not have insulin resistance yet had very high blood sugar levels.
The authors believe that insulin resistance speeds up the development of plaque, hence accelerating and increasing your risk of developing Alzheimer’s as you age.
Genetic Factors May Increase or Decrease Your Risk
Genetic factors may also play a role in whether diabetes will dramatically increase your risk of dementia.
A 2003 review of the available research at the time stated that the number of people with Alzheimer’s and diabetes may have been underestimated, simply because people with suspected vascular dementia were typically excluded from an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
The author stated:
“When people with cerebrovascular disease are included, diabetes is associated with an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Studies that have examined peripheral glucoregulation in Alzheimer’s disease are not consistent but some show small to moderate impairments in insulin sensitivity.
One recent study suggest that in people that have both diabetes and an ApoE4 allele, the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease is more than double the risk of people with an ApoE4 allele without diabetes.
Although diabetes does not produce any of the usual brain pathology associated with Alzheimer’s disease, one study has shown that diabetes dramatically increases the amyloid deposition and neurofibrillary tangles in people with the ApoE4 genotype.
Taken together, the data available suggest that diabetes is probably a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease mainly through the cerebrovascular disease diabetes causes. In people with other risk factors such as ApoE4 allele, diabetes appears to lead to a more dramatic increase in Alzheimer’s disease pathology.”
The APOE e4 gene is known to influence many neurological diseases, and is considered a high risk factor for Alzheimer’s. So, in a nutshell, if you have this particular gene, AND are insulin resistant or have diabetes, your risk of developing Alzheimer’s may be significantly increased.
This is yet another example of how you can overcome genetic predispositions through lifestyle choices. Because if you have this genetic risk factor for dementia, but maintain a lifestyle that prevents you from becoming diabetic, your genetic risk factor is significantly reduced.
The Major Four Culprits Causing Alzheimer’s
According to the University of Michigan, dementia strikes about 50 percent of people who reach the age of 85. Of those, about 60 percent go on to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
So far, insulin resistance appears at the top of the list of known culprits contributing to dementia, but there are a few other factors that can also cause or add to the nerve damage that leads to Alzheimer’s disease, such as:
- Insufficient omega-3 fats
- Aluminum toxicity
- Mercury toxicity
- Certain drugs — Anticholinergic drugs is one class of drugs that have been linked to increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Available both over-the-counter and by prescription, anticholinergic drugs include night-time pain relievers, antihistamines, and other sleep aids.
Anticholinergic drugs block a nervous system neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. Those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease typically have a marked shortage of acetylcholine.
One recent study found that seniors who took drugs classified as ‘definite anticholinergics’ had a four times higher incidence of cognitive impairment.
Interestingly, in those who were not carriers of the specific gene, APOE e4 allele (which predisposes you to neurological disease, as mentioned above), the risk was over seven times higher! And taking two of these drugs further increased the risk of cognitive impairment.
So, although you may NOT have a genetic predisposition, your drug use can negate this inherent benefit… just as diet and lifestyle can help you overcome a detrimental genetic factor. Even more reason to ditch the drugs and focus on a healthful lifestyle!
Six Guidelines to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease, While Combating Diabetes at the Same Time
Clearly, the best “treatment” for Alzheimer’s disease is prevention, not drugs.
And, although science is now starting to catch up and providing the actual scientific evidence to support my advice, my top three recommendations for Alzheimer’s prevention are identical to those for combating insulin resistance, and have been for some time.
This is because the single most important physical factor that is responsible for accelerating nearly every chronic disease known to man is to normalize your insulin and leptin levels.
Interestingly, this normalization will typically lower insulin and leptin levels in your body while raising your production of brain insulin.
The following seven guidelines can help you prevent Alzheimer’s disease and keep your mind sharp as you age:
- Avoid sugars and grains, particularly fructose. Eating a nutritious diet that is low in fructose, added sugars and grains, and high in fresh vegetables (which are high in folate), is one of the best things you can do to prevent diabetes, dementia, and a variety of other chronic diseases.
Ideally you’ll want to devise a nutritional plan geared to your specific nutritional type to maximize the health benefits. I believe this is so essential to everyone’s health, I’m very pleased to now be able to offer the full online nutritional typing program for free.
- Take a high quality animal-based omega-3 fat. I recommend consuming high quality krill oil to meet the optimal amount of omega-3 fats needed to achieve good health and fight Alzheimer’s. I recently did a five hour interview with an industry expert which goes into great detail as to why I am strongly recommending krill. That interview should be published in a few weeks.
- Increase your intake of antioxidants. Wild blueberries, for example, have high anthocyanin and antioxidant content that are known to guard against Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases.
- Exercise. We all know that exercise is good for our cardiovascular system, but studies have found that exercise can also protect your brain, thereby warding off Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
According to one study, the odds of developing Alzheimer’s were nearly quadrupled in people who were less active during their leisure time, between the ages of 20 and 60, compared with their peers.
Similar to a healthy diet, regular physical activity is one of those things that can significantly improve many aspects of your physical and emotional health. For the elderly, simple activities such as walking and light weight training would likely provide benefits. For those who are younger, more strenuous exercise may heighten the benefits.
- Avoid and remove mercury from your body. Even trace amounts of mercury can cause the type of damage to nerves that is characteristic of the damage found in Alzheimer’s disease.
Dental amalgam fillings are one of the major sources of mercury, however you should be healthy prior to having them removed. Once you have adjusted to your improved diet, you can follow my mercury detox protocol and then find a biological dentist to have your amalgams removed.
- Avoid aluminum. Aluminum has been widely associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Your main sources of exposure are likely through drinking water and antiperspirants.
Aluminum cookware may also be a source of exposure. Although aluminum pots are probably less problematic than the sources mentioned above, I personally would not use aluminum cookware.
- Challenge your mind. Mental stimulation, such as traveling, learning to play an instrument or doing crossword puzzles, is associated with a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s. Researchers suspect that mental challenge helps to build up your brain, making it less susceptible to the lesions associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Related Articles:Diabetes Ups Alzheimer’s Risk by 65 Percent