A new article (http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304149404579323092916490748?goback=%2Egde_4513679_member_5830785294147817474#%21) paints a moderately encouraging picture of dietary progress in the USA. Itreports, “Working-age adults consumed an average of 118 fewer calories a day in the 2009-10 period than four years earlier, according to a study released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Americans also reported eating more home-cooked meals with their families and fewer in restaurants—though the economy played a role—and reading nutritional labels on food at grocery stores more often.” In one respect this is merely a drop in the ocean when it comes to present average diet and the mass marketing and consumption of processed foods packed with sugar, salt and trans-fats. In another way it does suggest that there may be hope that information about good nutrition is starting to get through despite the influence of food and pharmaceutical propaganda. The article itself is not overly optimistic: “Nutrition and public health experts caution that the tide hasn't turned on the problem of obesity and the health risks that come with it, such as diabetes.”
There have been very good results for sufferers from Type 2 Diabetes taking L-arginine supplementation. The scientific underpinning for these results is as yet to be definitively established. As long ago as 1994 it was established that oral Arginine supplements reduced collagen accumulation in the heart muscles of diabetic mice, which led to the conclusion that cardiac dysfunction in diabetes mellitus is due to impaired availability of Arginine Derived Nitric Oxide (ADNO) (Joffe et al, Circulation (abstracts), 96 (1997), 1518). More recent research (e.g. Hrabák and Kutor, “Arginine Amino Acid” page 33 et seq.) has linked the beneficial effect of Arginine on diabetes to the fact that it is an Arginase inhibitor. Arginase, which is, of course, a key liver enzyme, is directly implicated in cardiovascular disease, silicosis and asthma. In Type 1 Diabetes the impairment of endothelial ADNO is well established. The relationship between Arginase and reduced serum Mg2+ levels has been suggested to be a consequence of reduced insulin action (Bjelakovic, J.Basic Clin. Physiol. Pharmacol, 2009, 20, 319-334). Dr Louis Ignarro (1998 joint Nobel Laureate for ADNO research) concludes, “If you run tests on people with advanced diabetes, you would find that their endothelium is incapable of producing adequate amounts of [AD]NO….We know that nitric oxide can reduce blood pressure levels. ….We know that it can reduce the risk of diabetic retinopathy” (NO More Heart Disease”, pp 190-191).