• Diabetes, Juicing and L-arginine

    If you refer to my blog of 9th September, 2013, you will find that research showed that consumption of whole fruits improved life expectancy and general health.  Whilst this was not a surprise, the key point was that processed fruit juice, rather than promoting health as proclaimed on the packaging (often endorsed by Heart Organisations!) shortens your life.  Given the sugar, or sweeteners, in fruit juice and the major role of sugar in causing oxidization of cholesterol in the cardiovascular system this should not come as a surprise to better informed readers: whole fruit and freshly liquidized whole fruit is good, whereas shop bought fruit juices are bad.   Dr Aseem Malhotra, London cardiologist, is quoted as saying, “A standard glass [of fruit juice] can contain well above the maximum daily limit recommended by the World Health Organisation of six teaspoons.  Consumption of fruit juice has been strongly linked to increasing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which is now at an all-time high in the UK. In my view, fruit juice represents a significant health hazard.” (“The Times”, 4th July, 2015).

    The Times article contains a timely warning about ‘juicing’.   Juicing, especially of vegetables, is a very good thing.   However, this voguish practice, promoted in such books as Jamie Oliver’s “The Juice Master Diet”, does require a word of caution.  Whole fruits and liquidized whole fruits are very good for most people, but in juiced, as opposed to liquidized, fruit there is a real risk that fruit sugars, which are generally benign, become so concentrated as to be harmful; by juicing the body and pith of the fruit is diminished to that the concentration of sugars will be increased.  So blend/liquidize the fruit, rather than using a juicer and all will be well.  Professor Thomas Sanders (Ibid) is quoted as saying, “Obesity is the reason for the increase in type 2 diabetes and it is affecting mainly people in their late fifties and sixties, whereas the juice consuming population tends to be a younger age group.”   Whilst I am not sure that I agree with the Professor on age groups, I am sure that he has missed one other obvious cause of type 2 diabetes amongst older people.  That cause is statins.  Sadly, but predictably, there is no mention of the benefits of L-arginine supplementation when it comes to Type 2 diabetes.

    In one study half the patients with diabetes mellitus orally took a mere 2 grams of Arginine daily and the other half a placedo.   After 3 months the Arginine group showed ‘significantly decreased lipid peroxidation (Lubec et al, “Free Radical Biology & Medicine, 22(1997), 355-357).   Oral Arginine (equivalent daily dosage for an average human 7.5 grams) has been shown to reduce collagen accumulation in the heart muscle of diabetic rats (Joffe et al, Circulation (abstracts), 96(1997),I518) and in humans with Type 2 Diabetes ADNO was shown to increase levels of hormone insulin (Schmidt et al, Science, 255(1992),721-723).   Recently Harak and Kukor published research showing the role of ADNO as an arginase inhibitor (arginase is implicated in cardiovascular disease, silicosis, asthma and diabetes - Bjelakovic et al., Basic Clin. Physiol. Pharmacacol, 20(2009), 319-334).   They note, “Dietary arginine supplementation resulted in decrease of plasma glucose and lipid levels and in the improvement of insulin sensitivity in rats with chemically induced or genetically determined …diabetes. In contrast to drugs utilized in diabetic therapy, arginine supplementation also reduced adiposity and improved insulin sensitivity (Harak and Kukor, Arginine Amino Acid, 45-46).

    Of diabetes Dr Louis Ignarro (Nobel Laureate for his work on ADNO) writes, “…we do know it [ADNO] can intervene to help prevent potential complications” and he advises diabetes sufferers, “We know that nitric oxide can reduce blood pressure levels. We know that it plays a role in erectile function. We know that it can reduce diabetic retinopathy. Nitric oxide can make a great and positive difference in your quality of life.” (“NO More Heart Disease”, 190-191)

    Research has shown that oxidation/free radicals are the underlying initiator of over 70 chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart disease (Davies, “Oxidative stress: The paradox of aerobic life,” Biochem Soc Symp, 61 (1995), 1-31).   L-arginine creates Arginine Derived Nitric Oxide (ADNO), which resists and reverses oxidation in the arteries (ADNO carries an extra electron to neutralize other free radicals, which lacking an electron can damage neighbouring atoms creating a domino effect).   Dr Ray Strand sets out how he has successfully treated diabetes by (a) directing a diet that does not spike the blood sugars (proteins and fats basically good, sugar, processed carbohydrates, etc. basically bad), (b) using extensive antioxidant supplementation, and (c) recommending, in addition to antioxidants, chromium, vitamin E (this is, of course, an antioxidant), magnesium and vanadium ( “What Your Doctor Doesn’t Know About Nutritional Medicine May be Killing You”, 147-161).

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