Saturday, December 23, 2006

Glucose Recycling and Obesity and Diabetes

Surplus glucose is the precipitating factor of obesity and diabetes type 2. Ingestion of glucose rich foods like Rice, Potatoes,Bread, Bakeries and table sugar is the primary factor in precipitating obesity and diabetes in genetically predisposed people.

Although all foods can produce energy in the human cell after entering its energy house -mitochondria-, yet it is only glucose that can be fermented to produce energy without Oxygen, before it enters the mitochondria to be oxidised to produce energy, consequently, it is the
indispensable energy source for some tissues that can not accommodate lack of energy like nerves and muscles.

By virtue, the human metabolism is adjusted so that glucose can never be deficient for these tissues, and it is so designed that the skeleton of glucose molecule formed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen is available in all food categories, and except fats which would stress respiration by taking a lot of oxygen- had it required to form glucose-, actually carbohydrates, proteins, and glycerol split from fats, all can be recycled to produce glucose.

Moreover, the muscle stores some glucose in the form of animal starch-glycogen- and it never releases glucose into circulation, rather it releases amino acids resulting from break-down of muscle protein under extreme conditions. The brain stores its glucose in the blood-ready for use- and it keeps its concentrations within a narrow range. Finally, the liver recycle all nutrients susceptible to recycling to replenish its glycogen store on a daily basis.

For glucose to produce energy, it should enter first into the cell and this entry is controlled through Insulin hormone, and once insulin secretion is inefficient or the cell responds to it below normal response,
a plenty of glucose is circulating in the blood without broken down, this surplus glucose is either involved in what is called -glycation-reactions
which can deteriorate blood vessels and participate in other aging phenomena, or it is built-up into fats.

Some diet plans make use of this theory and cut down carbohydrate intake, thus the body is forced to recycle other metabolites to produce glucose needed.

Glucose is as sweet for our bodies in the thin and thick, as money is sweet for our children to feel some freedom, yet as soon as they become
largely abundant, money spoils the kids and glucose spoils our bodies.

Biology is full of such easy yet unachievable missions!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Vitamin C and Diabetes

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin needed for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of the body.Vitamin C is essential for the healing of wounds, and for the repair and maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth.Vitamin C is one of many antioxidants that are present normally in a balanced diet, other antioxidants include vitamin E, B-carotenoids, Selenium...etc.

Vitamin C deficiency can lead to dry and splitting hair; gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and bleeding gums; rough, dry, scaly skin; decreased wound-healing rate, easy bruising; nosebleeds; weakened enamel of the teeth; swollen and painful joints; anemia; decreased ability to ward off infection.A severe form of vitamin C deficiency is known as scurvy, which mainly affects older, malnourished adults.

The body does not manufacture vitamin C on its own, nor does it store it. It is therefore important to include plenty of vitamin C-containing foods in one's daily diet. Large amounts of vitamin C are used by the body during any kind of healing process, whether it's from an infection, disease, injury, or surgery (In case of burns, blood content of vitamin C was found to be Zero). In these cases extra vitamin C may be needed.

Vitamin C may be helpful for people with diabetes in a number of ways. First, some studies suggest that people with diabetes have high levels of free radicals (the damaging metabolic by-products, associated with many chronic illnesses) and low levels of antioxidants, including vitamin C. This imbalance may contribute to the fact that those with diabetes are at greater risk for developing conditions such as high cholesterol and atherosclerosis.

Secondly, insulin (which is low in type 1 diabetics and does not function properly in type 2 diabetics) helps cells in the body take up the vitamin C that they need to function properly. At the same time, lots of circulating blood sugar (glucose), as is often the present in diabetics, prevents the cells from getting the vitamin C that they need, even if eating lots of fruits of vegetables. For this reason, taking extra vitamin C in the form of supplements may be helpful in those with diabetes.

Researchers found that women with diabetes consuming at least 300 mg of vitamin C/day faced 2-3 times the risk of death from stroke and twice the risk of dying from coronary diseases, as did diabetic women with less
intake of vitamin C.
Similar assessments for the study with 32,500 other participants, none of
whom started the study with diabetes, showed no link between heart disease and high intake of vitamin C.

Many antioxidants can,at high doses, increase the harmful oxidation's rather than reduce them, and that is what may be happening in diabetic women.It is , by far, better for them if they maintain good blood sugar control, because that is going to prevent of oxidation stress.

Glucose and vitamin C share a common transport mechanism in human blood cells, thus prolonged exposure to high blood glucose in diabetes might lead to intracellular deficiencies of Vitamin C.
Results of studies employing animal models of diabetes (induced diabetes in animals) suggest that these low levels, when are not due to low intake,are caused by increased urinary excretion of the vitamin and defective transport across cell membranes along with increased oxidation
of vitamin C to De-Hydro-Ascorbic Acid ( DHAA).

Vitamin C supplementation has been shown to improve glucose tolerance and lipid profiles in non-insulin-dependent-diabetes-mellitus (type2 diabetes),and to reduce cutaneous capillary fragility, ( in an open trial, each gram of oral vitamin C taken daily, permitted a 2 unit reduction in daily insulin requirements for insulin-dependent-diabetes-mellitus(type 1).

There is some evidence that supplementation may reduce the non-enzymatic glycosylation of proteins, a process that plays an important role in the
development of diabetic complications. Moreover, after continued vitamin
C administration, DHAA( de-hydro-ascorbic-acid) disappears.

Don't forget your Oranges,Lemon,Cranberry and other vegetables and fruits that are rich in vitamin C.

Living with Type II Diabetes?

Monday, December 04, 2006

It Is Fats and Proteins that Affect Insulin Sensitivity

It Is Fats And Proteins And Not Carbohydrates That Affect Insulin Response or sensitivity.

What are the effects of fats ( saturated and unsaturated ), proteins and carbohydrates on the sensitivity of the cells to Insulin and other ligands that control cell activity?

First, let us see the recent researches that are connected to this aspect:

# At Rutgers University, Dept of Nutrition, Researchers found that fish oil- fed animals- have greater stimulation of the Glucagon stimulated adenylate-cyclase ( Glucagon is a hormone that raises blood glucose, and adenylate-

cyclase is its responsive enzyme). They found the stimulation is less in corn oil- fed animals, they found also that Butter fat- and all cholesterol supplemented group- fed animals show a depression in Glucagon-adenylate cyclase- stimulation. In other words, fish oil and corn oil increased blood glucose and Butter fat and cholesterol

supplements decreased blood glucose in this specific experiment.

#R.S.MacDonald and W.H.Thornton Jr. found that dietary fat composition has been shown to alter the plasma membrane lipid composition of adipocytes, muscles and other tissues. These changes in membrane lipid composition have been correlated with altered Insulin receptors binding and signal transduction( across the cell membrane).

#As is written in Medical Journal of Australia(e MJA), the functionality of proteins in the membrane is dependent on membrane fluidity ( which was found to decrease with age leading to a stiff membrane as S.M.Harman M.D. showed), especially when the proteins have to collide with other molecules to exert their effects (as in case of Insulin effect).

#Surveys in some Asian islands revealed that inhabitants never knew overweight, diabetes and cardiovascular

diseases while eating grains, vegetables,fruits and coconut oil until they changed their nutritional style to eating

the modern rich diet composed of meat, refined flour and the new wave oils, when they were found to have high incidence of cardiovascular diseases, obesity and diabetes ( 1 out of 2 is diabetic).

Before we lead ourselves to certain conclusions of these scientific findings, let us first recognize the Insulin and other ligands ( molecules that bind a receptor to exert its effects, like hormones) receptors and their surrounding environment.

Cell membranes are designed to act like a boundaries between the cell and its surrounding environment. Both the cell and its surrounding environment are composed mainly of water, then the membrane should not be water soluble, and the material that fulfils this crucial function is phospholipids which is neither water soluble nor lipid soluble at its concentration in the membrane ( to keep an intact membrane and not a detached one).

The phospholipid molecule is present in edible fats in small concentrations (except egg yolk). It is a derivative of TriAcylGlycerol ( triglycerides) ,the main component of fats, and is composed of a molecule of Glycerol attached to 3 molecules of fatty acids and is not charged. But phospholipids has an electrically charged part attached to one of the fatty acids in a triglyceride molecule, this charged part acts like a polar head that is entailing a bi-forked uncharged tail composed of the remaining 2 fatty acids. An electric charge in a molecule increases its solubility in water.

The fluidity of membrane depends on the nature of the tail of a phospholipid molecule ( the 2 molecules of fatty acids in that molecule) when they are saturated fatty acids ( present abundantly in coconut and palm kernel oils), then they are closer to each other making a denser membrane, but when one of them is mono- or

poly-unsaturated fatty acid, then the part bearing a double-bond acquires coils acquiring the shape of the letter S when bearing 2 double bonds or half the latter S when bearing one double-bond.This bend or -kink- in the molecule shortens the molecule and causes a change in the electrical affinity of the adjacent molecule at the same time, leading to more spaces between them.

Cell membranes are composed of 2 layers of phospholipids having the polar multi-head part in the outer most and innermost surfaces facing blood and cytoplasm respectively ( both are composed mainly o water ). The non-polar tails of phospholipid molecules are included between the 2 polar surfaces, and they represent the matrix of the membrane. The nature of a phospholipid layer is determined in part by the lipid matrix of the membrane ( Diet ) and its polar heads part ( genetically ).

Embedded in these 2 layers of phospholipid are Protein molecules, which act like locks on the membrane and open the cells for import or export of metabolites (products of metabolism, like sugars, amino acids,fatty acids, electrolytes....etc). The keys of these locks are either hormones or neurotransmitters ( the end product of a nerve impulse or signal ).

The receptors or locks on the cell membrane are arranged within the cell membrane in such a way to expose its functional part with a spacial configuration that has a geometrical design and electric affinity to specifically fit a specific ligand ( hormone or neurotransmitter). Any change in the position of the displayed functional part of a receptor (lock) may change the response of this receptor to its specific key ligand, with an attenuated, impaired or abolished response.

We cannot derive any solid conclusions from these results, because scientific facts cannot be based on speculations or conventional wisdom, there should be a design of many experiments that lead to an approved conclusion leading to a specific recommendations. It is a premature time to throw accusations on this side or that side.

For you and me as folks reading these published findings, we can think about what we have in hands now of solid facts. We should eat polyunsaturated fats to supply us the Essential Fatty Acids, and we can now think about using the saturated fats when our food should be exposed to high temperature to minimize the production of Trans-Fats.

Living with Type II Diabetes?

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