Lowering blood glucose

Lowering blood glucose and completely reversing type-2 diabetes without the use of drugs is a fascinating new domain of research[1]. This is a highly complex subject; I will endeavour to make it simpler for you to understand. Nevertheless expect to have those brain cells stretched.

I would suggest that those enjoying a naturally high fibre and low refined-starch diet need have few concerns on the subject; they are unlikely to suffer from T2D and can give this page the miss.

Magnesium from nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds are particularly rich in natural dietary fiber; so are whole-grains such as grits and sourdough breads.

Stone-ground-cheesy-grits

For those who are insulin-resistant lowering blood glucose must be kept in focus; in this 100% wholegrain stone-ground grits we add a little cheese, cream and parsley. The glycemic index is less than 50. The berries are the cherry on top.

Incretin hormones and DPP-4

There are two hormones produced in the stomach and small intestine that normally lower blood glucose; they are secreted within minutes of swallowing food.

  • GIP delays the emptying of the contents of the stomach into the small intestine where starches are digested and the glucose formed is absorbed into the blood stream.
  • GLP-1 on the other hand stimulates the pancreas to increase the production of insulin and reduce secretion of glucagon; this lowers the levels of sugars in the blood stream. Its effectiveness is greatly impaired in those suffering from T2D.

Allowed to continue functioning, these two hormones could dangerously lower blood glucose to the extent that the brain and other organs would run out of energy; coma would soon follow. So they are degraded within minutes by an enzyme called DPP-4; this is normal physiology within our bodies.

DPP-4 is rendered ineffective in various disease states such as obesity, cancer and inflammation[3]. It is also unable to break down the cytokines associated with the storm affecting the lungs and other organs during a COVID infection.

The amino acid proline

Proline residues play an important role in the proper functioning of DPP-4. Being a ring structure is difficult to digest completely by enzymes in the stomach and small intestine. Should short chains of amino acids be absorbed into the blood stream is sets up a powerful inflammatory reaction.

It is particularly high in the plant proteins found in grains, known collectively as prolamines; gluten is one such example.

Almost without exception people find sourdough far more edible. It's no coincidence that in all five Blue Zones where longevity is the norm[6] that all breads are made by this method. The gluten is predigested by bacteria and yeasts in the culture even before it is baked.

Proline is also very high in broths made with bones and the skin from chickens[4] and various animals; best is from those that are grass-fed.

This is all profoundly important for the normal functioning of these hormones and enzymes such as DPP-4. It's all about lowering blood glucose; reducing inflammation in the body and succumbing to viruses such as HIV and Covid-19[3].

Gliptons

Gliptons are a class of drugs that inhibit DPP-4, prolonging the influence of the incretin hormones GIP and GLP-1; that would promote the lowering of blood glucose in diabetics.

Unfortunately Gliptons have quite serious side effects; upper respiratory and throat infections, as well as of the urinary tract. Patients are also more likely to suffer from joint pains and swelling of the heart muscles; pancreatitis and hypersensitivity to bee-stings resulting in anaphalaxis.

There are better ways of lowering blood glucose.

Gluten

Long ferment sourdough breadSourdough bread made with 100% wholemeal is digestible, soft and very tasty.

Complete avoidance of gluten-rich breads, either because of indigestability associated with proline or their high starch content is not necessary for those who enjoy only sourdoughs made from wholegrains; nor is it advisable.

Many nutritionists have pointed out that those avoiding gluten very often turn instead to highly-refined foods to their great detriment.

Numerous studies have shown that gluten that has been hydrolysed by the enzymes in the sourdough method of baking has many beneficial results such as less muscle injury during exercise; and resistance to a hepatitis infection[5]. The tripeptides produced, rich in proline and glutamine, both of which we have difficulty with in gluten that has not been predigested, have a high inhibitory activity on DPP-4; this means that lowering blood glucose by the incretin hormones continues for longer.

Sourdoughs tend to be expensive; think about baking them yourself. The loaf above takes just five minutes every morning to prepare, including grinding the flour. The taste, texture and digestibility are astounding; as is the price tag if you are willing to purchase a mill and source the wheat directly from a farmer. It costs around half a dollar.

100% wholemeal flour from our Hawo mill.

Freshly-ground 100% wholemeal flour is almost impossible to purchase; from your own mill it costs less than a quarter of the retail price. For those who bake daily the cost is paid off in around one year.

Ginger

Researchers have found that an enzyme in ginger is particularly efficient in hydrolising gluten. Currently it is being used orally for enhancing immune function and stimulating insulin release for lowering blood glucose; via its inhibition of DPP-4.

Whilst pharmaceutical companies are looking to use this process for novel new medications, you can simply use finely-ground fresh ginger in your sourdough baking.

It has long been known that fresh ginger has many benefits, especially for the diabetic. It is not however a substitute for avoiding refined carbs. South African Indians eat prodigious amounts of ginger and garlic, but the prevalence of T2D is extremely high because of their love of white rice and cake flour for making soft rotis.

Exercise

Even a brisk ten minute walk after a starchy meal makes a very significant contribution to lowering blood glucose.

Test yourself

In short lowering blood glucose is a highly complex and controversial subject. If you are obese, have diabetes or know that you are insulin-resistant with a high HbA1c it is imperative that you test yourself regularly. Exactly how do unrefined high-fibre carbs affect you personally? Can you enjoy sourdough bread? What about new potatoes?

Continuous Glucose Monitors are coming down in price and have become very user-friendly. Measuring your blood sugar every few minutes, and recording it via blue tooth on your cellphone gives you immediate feedback on the response of your body to these carbs. Use one periodically for two weeks.

Lifting new potatoes

New potatoes have far less digestible starch; in moderation even diabetics can probably enjoy them but should test the response of their blood glucose.

The obese alas should drastically reduce all starches, even the good ones like new potatoes, butternut and sourdough bread; until they have shed those unwanted pounds.

Obesity

Is obesity a disease? The researchers have not made up their minds; it certainly predates the modern "industrial diet."

It's my conviction that the obese should not in the main feel guilty about their affliction. They have been hoodwinked by food companies into consuming the offering found in today's supermarkets; and many of the lies peddled about starches. Lowering blood glucose and keeping it down has become an arduous affair for the majority.

For those enjoying a high fibre and low refined-starch diet it's not difficult at all; these foods supply satiety.

But it does mean indulging in cake flour and sugar products only on high and holy days.

On the other hand the obese know perfectly well what happens when they accept that second slice of chocolate cake; each has over ten teaspoons of sugar and about 110g of refined starch. Like all disease states, obesity is 10% genetic and mostly to do with lifestyle. We can reply "no thank-you; I have enjoyed elegant sufficiency."

Brread salads

You will feel stuffed after a meal like this; one slice of true wholegrain bread is enough. The berry jam contains about 1 tsp of sugar. One has little inclination for dessert.

Lowering blood glucose

Lowering blood glucose can be done naturally by our food choices and walking after starchy meals.


Newsletter

Our newsletter is entitled "create a cyan zone" at your home, preserving both yourself, the family and friends, and Mother Earth for future generations. We promise not to spam you with daily emails promoting various products. You may get an occasional nudge to buy one of my books!

Here are the back issues.

  • Refined maize meal and stunting
  • Should agriculture and industry get priority for water and electricity?
  • Nature is calling
  • Mill your own flour
  • Bake your own sourdough bread
  • Microplastics from our water
  • Alternative types of water storage
  • Wear your clothes out
  • Comfort foods
  • Create a bee-friendly environment
  • Go to bed slightly hungry
  • Keep bees
  • Blue zone folk are religious
  • Reduce plastic waste
  • Family is important
  • What can go in compost?
  • Grow broad beans for longevity
  • Harvest and store sunshine
  • Blue zone exercise
  • Harvest and store your rainwater
  • Create a cyan zone at your home

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