Diabetes
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Diabetes
By Lita Lee, Ph.D.
A Nutritional Support Program For Diabetes
Diabetes mellitus is a degenerative disease characterized by either lack of insulin or a resistance to insulin, a hormone which is crucial for metabolism of blood sugar. In a healthy person, the pancreas produces insulin to help metabolize sugar in the blood and maintain blood glucose (sugar) levels within their normal range. This article provides nutritional support for people with diabetes.

Published Date: Revised 2/1/07

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Diabetes mellitus is a degenerative disease characterized by either lack of insulin or a resistance to insulin, a hormone which is crucial for metabolism of blood sugar. In a healthy person, the pancreas produces insulin to help metabolize sugar in the blood and maintain blood glucose (sugar) levels within their normal range. Diabetics are unable to produce insulin or are resistant to insulin, and consequently cannot remove glucose from the bloodstream. Whether there is inadequate insulin or insulin resistance, glucose levels in the blood increase and cause severe health problems.

There are two major types of diabetes. Type 1, or insulin-dependent juvenile diabetics, is genetic in origin and is characterized by the body's inability to produce insulin, and the resulting buildup of glucose in the blood. It usually occurs during puberty or adolescence but can occur during adulthood. Symptoms include extreme hunger and thirst, frequent or excessive urination, and weight loss. The ultimate effects of diabetes include heart disease, kidney disease, cancer, hypertension, gangrene, infections, blindness, strokes, and death.

Type II, or non-insulin-dependent adult-onset diabetes, is the more common form and is characterized by the body’s resistance to insulin. About 90% of diabetes are type II and 80% of them are overweight when diagnosed, generally during middle age. Most obese diabetics have elevated insulin levels, but it doesn't control their blood sugar because of the deficit in insulin receptor cells and insulin resistance. Obesity and excess calories create a resistance to insulin - that is, the pancreas continues to produce insulin in response to blood glucose, but the body's cells resist the action of insulin. The combination of obesity and high blood sugar lead to a decrease in the number of insulin receptors, sites to which insulin attaches to initiate conversion of glucose to glycogen or fat for storage. Weight loss and decreased caloric intake cause an increase in the number of receptor cells leading to more efficient insulin metabolism.

Symptoms of Type II diabetes are the same as symptoms of Type I, but weight loss is rarely experienced in a type II diabetic without a change in diet. Unlike Type I diabetes, which generally requires regular insulin injections, Type II diabetes can usually be controlled by natural methods, including diet, weight control, hormonal balancing, enzyme therapy and herbal supplements. In general, physicians consider a fasting plasma glucose level above 140 mg/gl as excessive. The optimum range is actually 85 to 100, and I like to see it around 100 in my clients.

What Dr. Raymond Peat Says About Diabetes

Peat takes a fresh look at diabetes, one that seems far more hopeful than the standard medical textbooks. Although diabetes is defined by an elevated blood sugar (greater than 140) plus glucosuria (spilling sugar in the urine), Peat says that an elevated blood sugar by itself has no biological meaning because so many factors can raise the blood sugar level. Among these factors are a fever, such as those that occur during viral infections, a cortisone shot, and even puberty. See a complete list below. For example, young children are often diagnosed with diabetes following the rise in blood sugar after a fever. Insulin continues this so-called diabetes, causes insulin dependence and raises the cortisol level, which exacerbates the problem. Even eating a large amount of pure protein, such as 6 or so eggs alone without some carbohydrates causes a surge of insulin and cortisol, which is stressful, so Peat recommends that everyone combine protein with some carbohydrates, such as potatoes or orange juice, etc. So much for food combining.

Peat says that Type I (juvenile diabetes) with low insulin production is rare compared to cortisol-induced high blood sugar. Because of the frequent occurrence of elevated cortisol levels with elevated blood sugar, Peat recommends that the levels of both cortisol and insulin be measured, but many doctors measure only the blood sugar. The most common physiological cause of elevated blood sugar is high cortisol, a direct outcome of hypothyroidism, and most of these people have a normal insulin level. Cortisol causes the liver to produce estrogen (Peat, Ray, Ph.D., Nutrition For Women, p. 38) and excess estrogen desensitizes the skeletal muscles to the action of insulin. Thyroid therapy will normalize blood sugar by normalizing the cortisol and the adrenalin levels. Pregnenolone also lowers cortisol levels. Dr. Broda Barnes had very good results treating diabetics with thyroid glandular therapy and found that it protects the patient from diabetes, even in insulin-dependent diabetes.

It was only recently that doctors began measuring insulin levels in patients with high blood sugar. This showed that the majority of “diabetics” had plenty of insulin. Therefore, most diabetics are not insulin-deficient but insulin-resistant. The two most common causes of insulin-resistance are estrogen dominance and excess unsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). The estrogen-insulin-resistance connection explains why menopausal women have five times more diabetes than men. But the signs of insulin-resistances sets in at puberty. Again, this is more prevalent in women than men, because estrogen increases during the reproductive years and the effect of estrogen dominance worsens at menopause because progesterone decreases more than estrogen at menopause. This situation worsens in women given “estrogen replacement therapy” during menopause in doses that are twenty times higher than the amount of estrogen produced by a woman at the peak of her fertility.

I have observed the onset of diabetes following menopause and especially surgical menopause in women who did not have not prior symptoms. Peat explains this in his book, Nutrition For Women. He says that menopause is similar to Cushing’s syndrome (overactive adrenal cortex) leading to increased cortisol. This would be exacerbated with surgical menopause. Diabetes following hysterectomy is largely due to the loss of progesterone in addition to increased cortisol.

In diabetics whose blood sugar hops up and down from 300 to 90 after just walking a short distance, peat says that thyroid therapy would prevent the blood sugar from dropping. Also, DHEA, derived from pregnenolone rejuvenated the beta cells in rabbits whose beta cells were destroyed by drugs. In addition, he suggests trying Brewer’s yeast (several ounces) in juice daily for about two weeks because it can help correct the blood sugar. Long term use of Brewer’s yeast is not recommended because it is high in phosphorous which can lead to loss of calcium from the bones.

Diabetics tend to be overly acidic because a major energy cycle in the body – the Krebs or Citric Acid Cycle, which produces carbon dioxide – is faulty and this causes formation of acidic compounds (fat byproducts such as ketobutyric acid and related ketones). So, if you are low in carbon dioxide, your body makes acids. Thyroid hormone causes the body to make carbon dioxide and allows glucose to go into the cells. Exercise has the same effect (but not endurance exercise). Thus, the failure of good thyroid function causes decreased carbon dioxide and the failure of glucose to get inside the cells. This leads to the products of acids instead of carbon dioxide, which, in turn, leads to poor circulation.
In summary, Peat says that thyroid glandular support, DHEA and pregnenolone support is the best way to correct the hormonal causes of diabetes. In drug induced diabetes, such as taking Prednisone or cortisone, weaning oneself from the drug is usually self-corrective.


What Dr. Howard Loomis Says: The Lipase-Diabetes Connection

Diabetics are deficient in lipase which is required for the metabolism of insulin and optimum cell permeability, which includes the transport of insulin inside the cell. Insulin is suppressed in proportion to the amount of undigested fat (triglycerides) in the blood. If fat can be digested, insulin metabolism can be improved. Lipase deficiency (fat intolerance) leads to the inability to utilize glucose. The enzyme formula for fat intolerance (diabetes) is very high in lipase (in addition to other plant enzymes) and is called VSCLR (vascular).

Summary of Major Causes of Diabetes

• The use of Prednisone (synthetic cortisone)
• The production of excess cortisone, which occurs in all hypothyroid people.
• Stress, which exacerbates hypothyroidism and suppresses the immune system in general
• Genetic defect (juvenile diabetes) - much more rare than hypothyroidism - induced high cortisol
• Certain viral infections
• Chemical poisoning from substances such as pesticides, and certain chemical additives such as alloxan, which is present in bleached white flour and is used in commercial wheat products as well.
• Allergic triggers.
• A zero-enzyme, refined, junk food diet. In particular, diabetics are deficient in lipase, which is required for optimum cell permeability, which includes the production of insulin and its transport inside the cell. Insulin is suppressed in proportion to the amount of undigested fat (triglycerides) in the blood. If fat can be digested, insulin metabolism can be improved. Lipase deficiency (fat intolerance) leads to the inability to utilize glucose.

Diet And Nutrition

As noted above, most cases of Type II diabetes can be controlled by diet, and many cases of Type I will benefit from proper diet and nutrition as well. First, let’s discuss foods for diabetics to avoid: white flour and all commercial flour products (including bleached and unbleached). Bleached white flour is a poor excuse for food. Not only have the bran and germ been stripped away, but bleached flour also contains a substance from the flour bleach (alloxan) which causes diabetes in animals. And if animals get diabetes from white flour, I sure wouldn't eat it. Avoid unbleached white flour as well. It's still white flour, and is devoid of nutrients.

Avoid white sugar, and all refined sugars, which include white sugar, fructose, corn syrup, and dextrose. Diabetics must generally be careful about their use of natural sweeteners as well, including honey, maple syrup, and molasses. Avoid artificial sugars like the plague. NutraSweet is especially bad for insulin-dependent diabetics because it makes controlling blood sugar more difficult. Also avoid saccharin, which has been shown to cause tumors in animals. This means excluding drinks such as regular and diet sodas, juices with added sugar, and concentrated foods such as dried fruits.

Unsaturated oils (PUFA) - those that are liquid at room temperature (except olive oil) should be avoided. This includes soybean, corn, safflower, sesame seed, flaxseed, Canola, flaxseed, Evening Primrose, Borage and fish oils. Also, avoid all partially hydrogenated oils, including margarine, which are toxic for everyone--not just diabetics. In general, the diet must be low in fats, even if they are healthy fats because of the lipase deficiency associated with diabetes. The only fats I recommend are coconut oil, organic or even better, raw butter, and extra virgin olive oil but in very limited amounts.

Most diabetics, either Type I or Type II, benefit from the same diet: whole, unprocessed foods, complex carbohydrates in the form of fresh fruits, raw cow or goat milk and cultured milk products such as yogurt, low fat raw cheeses, cottage cheese and lean organic meats, especially lamb, fish, and poultry. Some diabetics can tolerate whole fruits and some cannot. It depends on the severity of the case.
 
Avoid wheat, rye and barley, the least healthy grains.  The safest grains for some (not all) are oats, corn and rice.  In addition, some people can tolerate heirloom grains (spelt, kamut, quinoa, amaranth, etc.).

High-fiber foods are excellent for stabilizing blood sugar. Dietary fibers (especially oats) lower blood sugar levels, reduce insulin requirements, and decrease the rate of absorption of foods from the intestines into the bloodstream. I do not recommend fiber which has been isolated from the whole food but the whole food itself. High-fiber foods include fresh whole vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and whole fruits. Zero-fiber foods include all refined carbohydrates (flour, sugar, pasta, bread, etc.). Foods rich in fat and sugar activate intestinal bacteria which produce estrogen, as does fat tissue. Too much estrogen desensitizes the skeletal muscles to the action of insulin. Garlic and onions have been reported to have blood sugar-lowering action The active ingredients are reported to be sulfur-containing compounds, although other constituents, such as bioflavanoids, may play a role as well.

Certain nutrients are required to metabolize glucose in the body, including the trace minerals chromium and manganese, zinc, B-complex vitamins (including pantothenic acid, or vitamin B5), inositol, and vitamin C. Glandular secretions (thyroid, pituitary, adrenal, pancreas and liver) and the green foods (green Kamut, wheat grass, and blue green algae) - available in supplement form--are also excellent nutrients which help modulate the blood sugar.

Here are some foods which contain the above nutrients, but remember to avoid those to which you are sensitive. This list is not complete, but they'll give you an idea of the varied food sources containing the desired nutrients. Foods are listed in descending order of the particular nutrient. You can see from reading this list of foods how important it is to eat whole foods, direct from Mother nature.

Chromium: Brewer's yeast, whole wheat and rye bread, bovine liver, potatoes, and green peppers, eggs, chicken, apples, butter, parsnips, cornmeal. Many diabetics have reported to me that taking small (microgram) amounts of chromium picolinate has helped reduced their insulin dosage. Large amounts of chromium can be toxic.

Manganese: nuts, barley, rye, buckwheat, spilt peas, whole wheat, spinach, oats, raisins, beet greens, Brussels sprouts, cheese, carrots, broccoli, brown rice, whole wheat, corn, cabbage, peaches, butter.

Zinc: fresh oysters, ginger root, lamb chops, pecans, split peas, beef liver, egg yolk, whole wheat, rye, oats, lima beans, almonds, walnuts, sardines, chicken, and buckwheat.

B-complex: Brewer's yeast, torula yeast, beef and chicken liver, mushrooms, split peas, blue cheese, pecans, eggs, lobster, oats, buckwheat, rye, broccoli, turkey (dark meat), brown rice, whole wheat, red chili peppers, sardines, avocado, chicken (dark meat), and kale.

Inositol: navy beans, barley, whole wheat (the wheat germ), brewer’s yeast, oats, black-eyed peas, oranges, lima beans, green peas, molasses, split peas, grapefruit, raisins, cantaloupe, brown rice, orange juice, peaches, cabbage, cauliflower, onions, sweet potatoes, watermelon, strawberries, lettuce, tomatoes, eggs and milk.

Vitamin C: acerola, red chili peppers, guavas, red sweet peppers, kale, parsley, collard leaves, turnip greens, green sweet peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, mustard greens, watercress, cauliflower, red cabbage, strawberries, papayas, spinach, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, turnips, mangos, asparagus, cantaloupes, swiss chard, green onions, tangerines and oysters.

Nutrients And Supplements Which Help Control Blood Sugar

Hormonal Balancing:

Pregnenolone Powder or tabs: In insulin-dependent diabetics, certain cells in the pancreas, called beta cells, do not function properly to produce insulin. In animal studies in which diabetes was induced by destroying the beta cells of the pancreas, DHEA was found to reverse the damaged beta cells. Although no human studies have been reported, I recommend pregnenolone for all diabetics, young and old alike at a dosage of 100 to 150 mg (about 1/16th tsp) daily or 3 tabs of the 25 mg pills. Dr. Peat uses DHEA and brewer’s yeast to lower insulin dosages in diabetics. A case history is described at the end of this article. However, DHEA is contraindicated in cancer patients because it can convert to estrogen which exacerbates the condition.

Thyroid glandular: Most diabetics are hypothyroid, have high cortisol and really need thyroid glandular therapy. This was proven by Dr. Broda Barnes, M.D., who discovered that thyroid glandular protects diabetics from the side effects of insulin.

Natural Progesterone (10%) in natural vitamin E: I recommend this in diabetic women. It stimulates the release of the thyroid hormone from the thyroid gland.

Enzymes:

• VSCLR: a high lipase multiple digestive enzyme formula is used as the multiple digestive formula, 2 to 4 caps with each meal three times daily. Insulin-dependent diabetics must monitor insulin and glucose levels.
• PAN: multiple digestive enzyme formula for sugar, grains and fruits. Dosage: 2 caps per meal 3x/d.

Other enzymes may be indicated according to the Loomis 24-hour urinalysis, the Loomis palpation test and patient history.

Herbs:

Gymnesyl (gymnema sylvestre): Gymnesyl is an Ayurvedic herb from India used in the treatment of diabetes. It has been shown to reduce the insulin requirement in Type I diabetes, and there is some evidence that it may regenerate or revitalize the cells of the pancreas that are responsible for producing insulin. It has also shown positive results in Type II diabetes. In fact, some patients were able to discontinue their oral drugs and maintain blood sugar control with gymnesyl alone.2 In one study of non-insulin dependent diabetics given gymnesyl along with their oral blood sugar lowering medication, all patients showed improved blood sugar control. Twenty-one out of 22 type II diabetics were able to reduce their drug dosage considerably, and five subjects were able to maintain blood sugar control with gymnesyl and diet alone. The dose for gymnesyl is 400 mg daily in both type I and type II diabetics. (Murray, Michael, N.D., “Are Botanical Medicines Useful in Diabetes?” American Journal of Natural Medicine, 1:3, Nov. 1994, pp. 5-7)

Stevia: This herbal sweetener is excellent for diabetics and helps stabilize blood sugar while not requiring insulin for its metabolism.

Fenugreek seeds (Trigonella foenumgraecum): Fenugreek contains several active ingredients in the defatted portion of the seed. These include trigonelline alkaloid, nicotinic acid, and coumarin. Defatted fenugreek seed powder, given twice daily (50 gram dose) to Type I diabetics resulted in lowered fasting
blood sugar and a 54 percent decrease in 24-hour urinary glucose excretion. In Type II diabetics, the addition of 15 grams of powdered fenugreek seed soaked in water significantly reduced postprandial glucose levels (Murray, ibid.)

Pterocarpus (Pterocarpus marsupium): has historically been used in India as a treatment for diabetes. It contains a flavonoid called epicatechin, which has been shown to prevent and rejuvenate beta cell damage in rats. Epicatechin is also found in green tea (cammelia sinensis). Since pterocarpus is not available in the United States, green tea may be a good alternative. Dr. Michael T. Murray recommends at least two cups daily. Green tea is available in health food stores and from health care providers. (Chakravarthy, B.K. et al. “Pancreatic beta-cell regeneration in rats by epicatechin,” Lancet, 2:759-60, 1981; Murray, Michael., N.D., ibid.)

Huereque: This is derived from the root of the huereque cactus from the northwestern Mexican desert. It has a profound effect on lowering blood sugar levels. Dr. Daniel Dunphy of the San Francisco Preventive Medical Group, has used this botanical on 15 patients who presented with insulin-dependent adult-onset diabetes. All 15 are now almost or entirely off insulin. Dunphy reports that the only drawback to huereque is that after about six months, its ability to control blood sugar starts to wear off, as if the body has developed a tolerance to it. Still, he maintains that huereque is a very helpful aid in modulating blood sugar IF it is used with other important nutrients and IF all factors that triggered the diabetes are addressed. Please contact Dunphy for more information. (Daniel Dunphy, N.D., “Diabetes, It’s reversible,” Alternative Medicine Digest, Issue 12, p. 44; Source: Daniel Dunphy, N.D., San Francisco Preventive Medical Group, 345 West Portal Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94127. Phone: (415) 566-1000).

Case Histories

The diabetic who ate junk food:

A 45-year old male presented with type II diabetes requiring oral diabetic drugs. Although he took his drugs, his diet was a diabetic’s nightmare, consisting of fast foods, junk foods, refined sugar and little whole organic foods, fruits or vegetables or organic meat or poultry. His urine test revealed the drastic effects of his diet on his health. It showed a large amount of urinary glucose, a very toxic colon, sugar and fat intolerance, severe allergies and an overly acidic condition with low calcium and low vitamin C. Even though there are enzymes for all of his conditions, I emphasized to him that popping enzymes without dietary changes was a waste of money. As a prerequisite to recommend enzyme support, I extracted a promised from him that he would indeed change his diet. He told me, “I have no choice, I feel terrible.” Even with this promise, I minimized his regimen, because he was so toxic. Here is what I gave him:

• VSCLR, a multiple digestive enzyme for fat intolerance, 2 caps per meal
• PAN, a multiple digestive enzyme for sugar intolerance, 2 caps per meal
• Challenge Powder, a colon cleanse powder which reduces colon toxicity from high indican (which is a poison that forms from undigested food) and is also for parasites.
• Kdy, an allergy relief formula
• Thyroid glandular, important in all hypothyroid diabetics

I told him that I would hold off on formulas containing calcium and vitamin C and would wait one month, ample time for him to change his diet and then see what the second urine revealed. My lecture on diet worked. This man totally changed his diet, eliminated his fast foods, junk foods and processed foods. I was very impressed with his next urine test. Not only was there no urinary glucose, his doctor told him to delete his oral diabetic drug because his blood sugar was now normal, and his colon was no longer toxic.

The Woman Who Hated Insulin:

This is a true story from Dr. Peat. He has had many cases like this but I asked him to be specific and to tell me one individual case. A middle-aged, slightly overweight woman presented with “insulin-dependent diabetes.” She asked Peat if he could help her reduce her dosage of insulin which she had been taking for ten years. Peat recommended the following:

• Thyroid glandular
• DHEA, 10% in natural vitamin E oil: 10 mg (3 drops) daily for 2-4 weeks
• Brewer’s yeast: up to 4 ounces daily added as a paste to chicken broth or other soups
• A diet high in animal protein (eggs, milk, yogurt, chicken, fish and so on), plus coconut oil and a raw carrot daily

In three to four days, she had to decrease her insulin dosage. In two-three weeks, she was off insulin completely.

The Old, Blind Diabetic Man:

Another true story from Peat about a friend of his, a 78-year old man who had been an acrobat and was in the Spanish Civil War who became diabetic. After being on insulin for 50 years, he became blind and his feet were totally numb, making walking difficult. He was so blind that he drove down the left side of the street, but he never admitted his blindness. He was so numb that he had trouble getting from his bed to his easy chair. Peat put a plate beside his bed which contained eight ˝-grain tablets of a good thyroid glandular. He told his friend to take one of these pills daily. In about two weeks, Peat came to visit his friend and found him out walking. I asked Peat what happened to his blindness but since he never admitted it, Peat couldn’t answer my question.

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements and the formulations listed are not intended to diagnose, prescribe for, treat or claim to prevent, mitigate or cure any human disease. They are intended for nutritional support only. The FTC requires that we tell you that the results in case notes and testimonials published here are not typical, however they do show what some people have been able to achieve. One of the main lessons that Natural Healing teaches us is that no one is typical. Individuals vary, which is why we must always consider the whole person when recommending a course of action. These results are what some people have achieved with our methods. The third party information referred to herein is neither adopted nor endorsed by this web site but is provided for general informational purposes. Any person suspecting disease conditions should seek the advise of a licensed physician.

2001
01/01/01 rf3

"Disclaimer: I am a chemist and an enzyme nutritionist, not a medical doctor. I do not diagnose, prescribe for, treat or claim to prevent, mitigate or cure any human diseases. I do not provide diagnosis, care, treatment or rehabilitation of individuals, nor apply medical, mental health or human development principles. I do not prescribe prescription drugs nor do I tell you to discontinue them. I provide enzymes and other dietary supplements to improve digestion and to nourish and support normal function and structure of the body. If you suspect any disease, please consult your physician."

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. They are not intended to diagnose, prescribe for, treat or claim to prevent, mitigate or cure any human disease. They are intended for nutritional support only. The FTC requires that we tell you that the results in case notes and testimonials published here are not typical, however, they do show what some people have been able to achieve. Individuals vary, which is why we must always consider the whole person when recommending a course of action. The third party information referred to herein is neither adopted nor endorsed by this web site but is provided for general information purposes. The listing of specific disease terms is based upon medical literature and is not a substitute for competent medical advice. If you suspect a medical condition, you should consult a physician.

Copyright 2001 - 2007. Neither this article, nor any part of it, may be reproduced without permission. If permission to reprint is granted, the article must include author and URL information.
Lita Lee, Ph.D.
Click here to email Lita.
 


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Notice: I am a chemist and an enzyme nutritionist, not a medical doctor. I do not diagnose, prescribe for, treat or claim to prevent, mitigate or cure any human diseases. I provide enzymes and other dietary supplements to improve digestion and to nourish and support normal function and structure of the body. If you suspect any disease, please consult your physician.

The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements and the formulations listed are not intended to diagnose, prescribe for, treat or claim to prevent, mitigate or cure any human disease. They are intended for nutritional support only. The third party information referred to herein is neither adopted nor endorsed by this web site but is provided for general informational purposes.


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