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turmeric-prediabetes

It’s fair to say that turmeric has earned its title as a functional food of unrivaled versatility. It seems to have the uncanny ability to take on any ailment, illness, or condition—and this claim is borne out by both ancient practice and modern research.

As we’ve discussed before, there’s a simple reason why this magical little root is able to target so many different health problems: turmeric treats the body as a whole, integrated system, and thus brings about overall balance that’s not achievable by pharmaceuticals and other Western medical treatments.

The tools and methods of mainstream medicine fall short in this way because they are designed to target one problem at a time (or a handful of problems, at the very most). Designing a substance in a laboratory that takes into account all the countless interactions between the different systems in your body is extraordinarily difficult, if not impossible—so instead, we focus on isolated mechanisms and hope for the best.

Unfortunately, the current best case scenario for many Western medical treatments is moderate success muddled with all sorts of side effects and risks—which must be addressed with more drugs and treatments…and the cycle continues.

Meanwhile, Nature has handed us an abundance of perfect natural medicines that have been designed by billions of years of evolution (turmeric being among the cream of the crop)—but embracing them as real medicine requires mainstream medicine to swallow its pride and admit that perhaps its laboratory tinkering hasn’t quite caught up to the awe-inspiring sophistication of evolution.

One perfect illustration of turmeric’s healing prowess is the way in which it tackles prediabetes, a condition which affects as many as 1 out of every 3 Americans.[1]

Stop diabetes in its tracks

Disease prevention is not usually a strategy pursued by mainstream medicine—because of the difficulty of doing so, but also because Big Pharma would prefer to profit off drugs designed for full-blown medical conditions.

But prediabetes represents a golden opportunity to acknowledge the warning signs and take action before the disease progresses into type 2 diabetes. Turmeric makes short work of prediabetes: during one study, prediabetic participants were given high-dose curcumin over the course of nine months, and not a single patient progressed to diabetes.[2]

It accomplishes this feat by addressing all the underlying conditions that lead to diabetes—rather than just masking symptoms like pharmaceuticals do. Take a look at how many markers of prediabetes turmeric heals in one fell swoop…

Abnormal blood glucose levels. The high blood sugar and insulin resistance associated with prediabetes creates a vicious cycle that can very quickly lead to diabetes. Turmeric prevents this from happening by reducing systemic inflammation, reducing the production of glucose in the liver, and increasing insulin sensitivity.[3]

Pancreatic dysfunction. The glucose and insulin spiral into diabetes is strongly linked with the ailing health of pancreatic beta cells, which aid in the production of insulin. Studies have shown that turmeric protects these beta cells—by minimizing oxidative stress, and by actively enhancing their ability to produce insulin—thus allowing for better blood sugar control and a dramatically reduced risk of developing diabetes.

Obesity is both a symptom of and risk factor for diabetes (another one of those vicious cycles). Turmeric cuts to the core of the issue by boosting fat metabolism, enhancing glucose tolerance (so all that sugar isn’t continually stored as fat), and lowering blood lipid levels.[4] And losing weight holds more than just aesthetic appeal for prediabetics: every 1kg of weight loss decreases your risk of developing diabetes by 16%.[5]

High cholesterol. High lipid levels in the blood can lead to many other problems besides obesity, including systemic toxicity, chronic oxidative stress that kills pancreatic beta cells, and chronic inflammation (which only accelerates the vicious cycle that leads to diabetes). As we already mentioned, turmeric easily breaks this cycle by lowering cholesterol and addressing all of the other parallel risk factors.

All-around healing (with the right kind of turmeric)

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Because of its profoundly anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities, turmeric heals a whole assortment of other symptoms directly or indirectly related to diabetes, including neuropathy,[6] retinopathy,[7] kidney damage,[8] cognitive dysfunction,[9] cardiovascular issues,[10] and hypertension.[11]

But here’s the catch: the vast majority of studies report that these benefits cannot be achieved simply by including turmeric in your diet (either as a spice or in its whole root form). While spicing up your nutrition with turmeric is never a bad idea, you just can’t get enough of its healing components simply by eating it—mostly because curcumin and other healing compounds in turmeric have a very low bioavailability (i.e. they’re not easily absorbed by the body).

To unlock the real power of turmeric, you’ll need a high-quality extract like this one.

PuraTHRIVE’s revolutionary product features liposomal delivery, a cutting-edge formulation method that increases the absorption of turmeric by up to twenty times. They even use a full-spectrum turmeric extract (because curcumin works best when synergized with turmeric’s many other beneficial compounds), and include fulvic acid for maximum nutrient absorption.

We highly recommend you give this product a try, so you can experience the life-changing therapeutic potential of turmeric for yourself.

 


References

[1] http://icanpreventdiabetes.org/about-prediabetes-prevention/

[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22773702

[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25745485

[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20420526

[5] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16936160

[6] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22411174

[7] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24323538

[8] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25185359

[9] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2527619/

[10] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26471308

[11] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3214182/

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Ginger is a wondrously healing and versatile plant.

Besides being a pungent, spicy addition to a wide variety of dishes, it also offers an impressive array of specific health benefits, many of which we’ve discussed in previous articles.

Ginger extract has been shown to be effective against bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic pathogens (which gives it the official title of universal antimicrobial).[1] It boosts metabolism (thus aiding weight loss), enhances detoxification, and functions as a perfect natural anti-inflammatory.[2]

It has even demonstrated greater efficacy than chemotherapy at targeting cancer stem cells,[3] and is therefore considered a cancer treatment of the future by many cutting-edge researchers and health professionals.

And in case you need yet another reason to include ginger in your diet and supplement regimen, a recent study revealed that ginger can also be a powerful ally for those living with type 2 diabetes.

Plants, not drugs

The American Diabetes Association and its affiliates still maintain that type 2 diabetes cannot be cured, despite voluminous evidence demonstrating that proper diet, lifestyle modification, and the use of anti-diabetic functional foods can all but eradicate the symptoms and complications of diabetes.

There are over fifty peer-reviewed studies demonstrating that ginger exhibits anti-diabetic properties. Previous studies have established that ginger root contains compounds that are strongly anti-inflammatory, antioxidant,[4] and obesity-suppressing (via the regulation of fat and glucose metabolism).[5]

Other, newer studies focus on the ability of ginger compounds (especially zingerone, geraniol, 6-gingerol, ginerenone A, and 6-shogaol) to attenuate the complications of type 2 diabetes, such as xerostomia (dry mouth),[6] oxidative-stress-induced immune dysfunction, prostate issues, and tissue fibrosis.[7]

Another study even observed that daily ginger consumption is associated with a dramatically decreased incidence of diabetes (as well as many of the comorbidities of diabetes, such as hyperlipidemia, cerebrovascular disease, and coronary heart disease).[8]

Perhaps most excitingly, a flurry of new studies point directly to ginger’s ability to improve nearly every marker of type 2 diabetes (without any of the side effects of conventional diabetes drugs).

A 2017 study published in the International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism went so far as to state that the “use of safe and natural foods instead of medications is now [being] considered by many scientists” (my italics). [9]

This is a monumental step toward recognizing that type 2 diabetes doesn’t just have to be “managed” with drugs, but instead can be completely reversed with proper diet and lifestyle (and a little help from particularly anti-diabetic plants like ginger).

In this double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 50 patients with type 2 diabetes were randomly divided into two groups. One group received 2000 milligrams of ginger supplements daily for 10 weeks, and the other group received a placebo.

The group who took ginger experienced a significant improvement in multiple diabetes markers, including fasting blood glucose, hemoglobin A1C (which literally measures the damage being done by sugars to red blood cells throughout the body), and the ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol.[10]

Supporting studies have confirmed these therapeutic benefits, and have added to the list of diabetes markers that ginger can help improve. The simple act of supplementing daily with ginger can improve not only the parameters mentioned above, but also insulin sensitivity and homeostatic model assessment (a comprehensive model for measuring insulin resistance and beta-cell function), triglyceride levels (hyperlipidemia is common among diabetics, and can lead to heart disease and other serious health issues), total cholesterol, and markers of inflammation such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2).[11]

These data points show that ginger doesn’t simply mask symptoms or arbitrarily target isolated imbalances in the body (like pharmaceuticals). Instead, it provides full-spectrum support for every level of diabetic imbalance, from the general (systemic inflammation and oxidative stress) to the specific (insulin sensitivity, glucose levels, and hemoglobin A1C).

By tackling not only the surface-level symptoms of diabetes but also the underlying root imbalances that perpetuate it, ginger can help you heal type 2 diabetes rather than just managing it.

How to heal with ginger

Any healing protocol should start with dietary considerations. Luckily, ginger is a wonderful ingredient to use in the context of many cooking styles.

Add it raw to homemade sushi rolls or finely grate it onto salads. Give your smoothies an anti-inflammatory kick by tossing in a couple inches worth of raw ginger root. It’s also a lovely spice to use in stir fry dishes and soups, of course, but keep in mind that raw ginger has more of its beneficial components intact.

If you want to amplify the anti-diabetic and overall healing properties of ginger, seek out a high-quality, liposomal extract. We highly recommend Curcumin Gold, which combines micelle liposomal ginger oil with turmeric and omega-3s from algal oil, both of which are also powerfully healing for diabetes.

 


References

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27127591

[2] https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/jmf.2005.8.125

[3] http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0137614

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29466287

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28556482

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28884081

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28904557

[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28336112

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29344037

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29344037

[11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24490949

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December 13th was National Cocoa Day—‘tis certainly the season for enjoying a nice cup of hot chocolate by the fire.

But cocoa is much more than just an enjoyable winter beverage. We’ve written about the incredible benefits of raw cacao in past articles—one team of researchers stated that cacao’s “health-promoting benefits are so remarkable that chocolate is being explored as a functional food.”[1] Functional foods are those that can be applied as an acute therapeutic treatment for specific diseases and conditions.

And cacao’s therapeutic applications are abundant: studies have demonstrated that it has extraordinary antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capacities, increases beneficial bacteria levels in the gut microbiome, aids digestion, boosts cognition and protects the brain, optimizes oral health and protects tooth enamel, balances cholesterol, supports cardiovascular health and reduces the risk of coronary heart disease, heals hypertension, and much more.[2]

If these benefits come as a surprise to you, remember that we’re not talking about conventional chocolate bars—it’s the raw, unprocessed cacao that offers real health benefits.

The sugar, milk products, and additives in the vast majority of chocolate products are completely counterproductive—so make sure you’re working with the real thing if you expect to enjoy the benefits of chocolate.

Researchers have added another impressive benefit to cacao’s roster: effective prevention and management of diabetes.

This comes as desperately needed good news, because type 2 diabetes has reached epidemic levels in the United States. It’s estimated that 30.3 million people in the United States have diabetes (roughly 10% of the population), and that an additional 84.1 million people (a staggering 34% of the population) are prediabetic…and the numbers are getting worse every year.[3]

Let’s take a look at how cacao can help.

How cacao delays the onset of diabetes

First and foremost, it’s important to state that type 2 diabetes is, in the vast majority of cases, an entirely curable condition that does not require medication. This truth runs contrary to the experience of millions of Americans, who are told that they can only “manage” their condition with pharmaceutical drugs.

Nonetheless, the condition can be reversed through proper lifestyle (and a little help from functional foods like cacao). This is even more true of prediabetes—by making the proper lifestyle choices, you and your loved ones can easily prevent the condition from progressing into full-blown diabetes.

In order to understand why cacao should be a part of a diabetes-healing lifestyle, let’s start with an overview of how diabetes works.

Diabetes is essentially characterized by a malfunction of insulin and leptin activity in the body. Insulin is the hormone released by the beta cells in your pancreas; it regulates blood sugar levels by storing extra energy (glycogen) that would otherwise end up in the blood.

Leptin is the hormone released by the body’s fat cells; it regulates energy balance by letting you know when you’re full (it works in conjunction with ghrelin, the hormone that lets you know when you’re hungry.)

As prediabetes and type 2 diabetes develops, the body becomes desensitized to both insulin and leptin—this results in obesity, elevated blood sugar, and the resulting cell damage that accompanies these conditions. Researchers noticed that the pancreas’s beta cells are extremely sensitive to oxidative stress, and theorized that beta cell performance could be enhanced through the use of antioxidants.

Here’s where cacao comes in. A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry showed that the antioxidant flavanols in cacao can lower obesity rates and increase the body’s ability to manage blood sugar, especially when combined with a high-fat diet.[4]

Supplementary research has revealed that these cacao flavanols, especially one called catechin, strengthen beta cells and make them more resistant to oxidative stress by boosting mitochondrial function.[5]

Optimal diet and lifestyle are primarily important, but cacao can help

This research is important for redefining the way we treat diabetes, and it gives us yet another reason to include raw cacao in our diets. It’s important to remember, though, that no single functional food is a magic bullet.

Pharmaceutical companies would like us to believe that diseases can be easily treated (or at least managed) with miracle pills—but our country’s skyrocketing rates of disease (and the sub-par quality of life that comes along with them) show us that those products are anything but miracle pills. Real healing requires commitment to optimal diet and lifestyle, and diabetes is no exception.

If you’re prediabetic, diabetic, or would just like to prevent the condition, raw cacao is a great ally for you—but the rest of your diet and lifestyle must be optimized, as well. Here are some principles to follow for establishing a diabetes-healing lifestyle.

  • Eat plenty of soluble fiber (especially in the form of low-sugar berries, nuts, and cucumbers) and insoluble fiber (especially dark leafy greens).
  • Lower your carbohydrate intake, especially packaged foods, refined flour products, and sugars. The majority of your carb consumption should be in the form of whole foods (especially vegetables and low-sugar fruits).
  • Eat lots of healthy fats, such as coconut oil and olive oil, avocados, grass-fed butter, and raw nuts. As mentioned in the study data above, healthy fats heal cell mitochondria and increase the benefits of cacao’s flavanols.
  • Exercise more often, drink plenty of pure filtered water or spring water, and make sure you’re getting enough sleep (ideally at least eight hours every night).

And as for how to integrate cacao into your diet: just purchase a high-quality raw cacao powder from any well-stocked grocery or health food store, and add it to smoothies. You can even use raw cacao and almond milk to make a healthy hot chocolate to enjoy on a cold winter’s night.

 


References

[1][1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3820066/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3820066/

[3] https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/diabetes-statistics

[4] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170828102728.htm

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17909484

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