You may want to think twice before eating your next sandwich on white bread. Studies show that alloxan, the chemical that makes white flour look "clean" and "beautiful," destroys the beta cells of the pancreas. That's right; you may be devastating your pancreas and putting yourself at risk for diabetes, all for the sake of eating "beautiful" flour. Is it worth it?
Scientists have known of the alloxan-diabetes connection for years; in fact, researchers who are studying diabetes commonly use the chemical to induce the disorder in lab animals. In the research sense, giving alloxan to an animal is similar to injecting that animal with a deadly virus, as both alloxan and the virus are being used specifically to cause illness. Every day, consumers ingest foods made with alloxan-contaminated flour. Would they just as willingly consume foods tainted with a deadly virus? Unless they had a death wish, they probably would not. Unfortunately, most consumers are unaware of alloxan and its potentially fatal link to diabetes because these facts are not well publicized by the food industry.
How does alloxan cause diabetes? According to Dr. Hari Sharma's Freedom from Disease, the uric acid derivative initiates free radical damage to DNA in the beta cells of the pancreas, causing the cells to malfunction and die. When these beta cells fail to operate normally, they no longer produce enough insulin, or in other words, they cause one variety of adult-onset type 2 diabetes. Alloxan's harmful effects on the pancreas are so severe that the Textbook of Natural Medicine calls the chemical "a potent beta-cell toxin." However, even though the toxic effect of alloxan is common scientific knowledge in the research community, the FDA still allows companies to use it when processing foods we ingest.
The FDA and the white flour industry could counter-argue that, if alloxan were to cause diabetes, a higher proportion of Americans would be diabetic. After all, more consumers consume white flour on a regular basis than are actually diabetic. This point is valid, but it does not disprove the alloxan-diabetes connection. While alloxan is one cause of adult-onset type 2 diabetes, it is of course not the only cause. As the Textbook of Natural Medicine states, "current theory suggests an hereditary beta-cell predisposition to injury coupled with some defect in tissue regeneration capacity" may be a key cause. For alloxan to cause injury to an individual's beta cells, the individual must have the genetic susceptibility to injury. This is similar to the connection between high-cholesterol foods and heart disease. Eating high-cholesterol foods causes heart disease, especially in people who have family histories of heart disease. The link between alloxan and diabetes is as clear and solid as the link between cholesterol and heart disease.
If you've been eating white bread for years and you have a family history of diabetes, all hope is not lost for you. Studies show that you can reverse the effects of alloxan by supplementing your diet with vitamin E. According to Dr. Gary Null's Clinicians Handbook of Natural Healing, vitamin E effectively protected lab rats from the harmful effects of administered alloxan. Now, you're not a lab rat, but you're a mammal and vitamin E is definitely worth adding to your daily regimen of nutritional supplements, especially if you have a history of eating foods made with white flour and are at high risk for diabetes.
Even if you are already diabetic, some simple changes to your diet can help treat your diabetes. First of all, stop eating foods made with white flour. Even though you already have diabetes, vitamin E supplements can still help you, as can many common foods. Garlic, for example, does wonders for diabetes. As Dr. Benjamin Lau states in his book Garlic for Health, "When fed garlic, the rabbits' elevated blood sugar dropped almost as much as it did when they were given the antidiabetic drug tolbutamide. Researchers postulated that garlic may improve the insulin effect."
If you can't handle the taste of natural garlic, you can take it in widely available supplements. Aloe vera is a traditional diabetic remedy in the Arabian Peninsula, and its therapeutic characteristics are now gaining worldwide acceptance in the treatment of diabetes. According to both human and animal research studies, aloe vera lowers blood glucose levels by an unknown mechanism. According to the Clinicians Handbook of Natural Healing, this natural hypoglycemic effect extended over a period of 24 hours. Adding onions to your diet (along with the garlic) can also significantly reduce your blood sugar level. Additionally, as Dr. Michael T. Murray writes in The Healing Power of Herbs, studies show that ginseng controls glucose in both diabetic humans and diabetic laboratory animals.
It all comes down to asking if putting yourself at risk for diabetic coma, blindness, limb amputation and death is worth eating white bread. If you're willing to risk your quality of life and your life itself, then go ahead and eat all the foods made with white flour you want. However, if you want to stop poisoning yourself with alloxan, a known toxic chemical, then make a few simple dietary changes. Eat groceries (see related ebook on groceries) made with whole-grain wheat flour, not processed white flour.
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