How Safe is Fructose?
by Dr. James Howenstine, M.D.
Part: 1 | 2
High fructose corn syrup came into widespread use as a sugar
substitute in the 1970's because of its lower price. By
1990 the quantity of fructose consumed had gone up ten fold.
This is now present in candy, soda, cereal, crackers, bread,
packaged foods and hundreds of other foods.
was believed to be a safe sugar substitute because it has
no adverse effects on either blood sugar values or insulin
output. However, there are two serious problems from fructose
When ingested, fructose is immediately shuttled directly
to the liver. In the liver it is a key building block in
the manufacture of triglycerides. These triglycerides are
then transported to the bloodstream carried by LDL (bad)
cholesterol to the arteries where they can deposit in the
artery walls. Animal research has shown that feeding a high
fructose diet to animals is one of the fastest ways to raise
triglyceride levels in the blood. The amount of fructose
eaten by Americans is comparable in quantity to that fed
to these animals. Diabetics commonly have elevated blood
triglyceride values which clearly contribute to the development
is commonly regarded as the sugar found in fruit. The important
distinction is that in fruit the quantity of fructose is
small and it is bound to complex plant fiber, nutrients
and minerals. Because of this fructose contained in fruit
is slowly released into the bloodstream and fruits are considered
a valuable protection against cardiovascular disease and
other health problems because of their powerful anti-oxidant
second major problem with fructose is its ability to combine
with amino acids to form advanced glycation end products
(AGEs). AGEs are believed to be permanent. They accumulate
in body tissues where they accelerate aging and thus contribute
to the formation of cataracts, narrowing of arteries and
intake of fructose contributes to increased levels of glycation
in the body. Reducing all sugar and fructose intake appears
to be a wise health measure. When you eat only food that
spoils, avoid sugar and transfats, and begin Omega 3 essential
fatty acids you will start turning your health around.
Can Type 2 Diabetics Recover From Their Illness?
Several features are common to most diabetics:
Sedentary life style
High Intake of synthetic hydrogenated transfats
Hugh intake of refined simple carbohydrates (sugar)
Absence of adequate amounts of dietary essential
Omega 3 fatty acids
Inadequate body stores of trace minerals, vitamins
and nutrients. When blood sugars are elevated diabetics
pass large quantities of urine containing important vitamins,
minerals and nutrients. Dietary repletion is difficult until
blood sugar control is restored.
food contains pesticides, additives, synthetic disease producing
fats, sugar, and artificial sweeteners some of which are
quite deleterious to health (Nutrasweet [aspartame], Sucralose,
Splenda etc). If the sugar substitute is made in a factory
you can be certain it is dangerous to health. Many of these
contain chlorine. The best safe sweetening substance appears
to be the natural substance stevia. Several of the glycosides
in stevia have blood sugar lowering capability.
regain normal blood sugar values requires:
Permanent elimination of all packaged food. This
means that foods packaged in boxes, cans, bottles have objectionable
contents in 90% of cases. Read labels so you can refuse
to buy dangerous foods. The simplest solution is to buy
only foods that will spoil. Fast foods are loaded with calories,
sugar and transfats and should be avoided. All transfats
must be permanently terminated. This is what caused the
problem and if you return to eating transfats the diabetes
will recur. In the supermarket all bottles labeled soy oil,
canola oil, corn oil, saffola oil, sunflower seed oil contain
dangerous transfats. Substances labeled unsaturated fat
and polyunsaturated fat are also transfats made in factories
that will not spoil.
Initially get rid of all sugar intake. This means sugar,
sodas, candy, pies, cakes, cookies and ice cream must go
along with the packaged food. When blood sugar values have
stabilized at normal values small quantities of honey and
brown sugar may be added. Use safe stevia for sweetening
One of the characteristics of the Type 2 diabetic is failure
to progress into severe ketoacidosis, which is a medical
emergency. This has been attributed to the presence of small
amounts of residual insulin sufficient to prevent ketosis.
This residual insulin is adequate to slowly decrease blood
sugar values if the fat intake is restricted As soon as
the dietary fat intake is violated there will be prompt
reappearance of elevated blood sugar values and the dangerous
hyperinsulinemia with the risk of arterial narrowing. Remember
high insulin levels are just as dangerous as high blood
sugar levels. Dietary fat needs to be restricted to 15 to
25% of total calories. This is far less than the average
American's fat intake of 45% of total calories. An informed
intelligent dietician can be an asset in creating low fat
my bout with Type 2 Diabetes occurred in 2000 Dr. Julian
Whitaker's book "Reversing
Diabetes" was a valuable resource because it
contained menus for 30 days of low fat meals. After terminating
the use of transfats my appetite decreased and I was able
to lose 50 pounds in 6 weeks. My food intake since then
has been about 70% of previous caloric intake.
Restore your body's mineral and nutrient content toward
normal by taking Glucobalance or Blood Sugar Improvement
Formula. These can be found in health food stores and the
Tehama Clinic pharmacy phone 425-264-0059. Dr. Jonathan
Wright suggests diabetics have a daily intake of the following
nutrients chromium 1000 to 2000 mg., Niacin 1.5 to 2.5 mg
, Niacinamide 50 to 100 mg ,Biotin 8 to 16 mg., Alpha-lipoic-
acid 300 mg., Co-Enzyme Q 10-60 mg. Vitamin K 5 to 10 mg.,
Vitamin D -2000 I.U. daily, Vitamin E (as mixed tocopherols)
400 IU, Vitamin C 2000-3000 mg., Magnesium 300-400 mg.,
Vanadium 1-2 mg., Zinc 30 mg. Copper 2 mg., Manganese 5-10
mg., Most supplements will lack a few of these ingredients
which can be added from another source.
Begin taking Omega 3 fatty acids. Thomas Smith currently
suggests alternating 2 or 3 tablespoons of flax oil or 4
tablespoons of ground flaxseed one day with one capsule
of fish oil twice daily the following day. We like Barlean's
flax products which can be found in health food stores.
Because flaxseed has cancer preventing lignans and valuable
aminoacids it has greater health values than flax oil. We
like Nordic Naturals Artic Omega brand of fish oil because
of the high quality controks used in it's production and
it's pleasant taste. This can be ordered by phoning our
fulfillment house at 1-800-416-2806 and is also found in
health food stores. Both these oils supply the body with
the healthy omega 3 fatty acids needed to build normal cell
membranes. As the cell membranes heal the blood sugar values
Food intake initially will be ideal if large amounts of
raw foods such as vegetables in salads with Bragg's raw
apple cider vinegar are eaten. The food enzymes are preserved
in uncooked food when it is raw.
Initially minimize dietary fats as much as possible other
than the daily Omega 3 fatty acids (Flax oil, Fish oil).
Baking and broiling will help. After blood sugar control
has been restored butter, unrefined coconut oil, and extra
virgin olive oil and unrefined sesame oil may be slowly
added back into the diet. The addition of these new fats
should be gradual so no relapse in blood sugars from excessive
fat intake occurs. Use only butter, extra virgin olive oil,
and unrefined coconut oil for cooking. Add water to the
olive oil and coconut oil as needed to avoid burning.
A critical cornerstone of diabetic management is regular
exertion (walking, swimming. gym workouts etc.) This can
be as simple as walking two miles 5 or 6 days weekly. Burning
up calories by exercising greatly improves blood sugar values.
If you wish to undertake strenuous exertion it is advisible
to obtain an exercise treadmill test first as diabetics
are notorious for having significant coronary artery arteriosclerosis
without symptoms. Weight lifting increases muscle mass which
facilitates greater calory burn up with exercise. Fifteen
to 20 minutes of exercise after meals works very well to
lower blood sugar values but should be avoided if you have
chest pain (angina) after meals.
Toward Recovery From Type 2 Diabetes
Initially all sugar needs to be eliminated. This impedes
the liver's ability to transform sugar into fat. Remember,
when blood sugar levels are returned to normal the insulin
blood level is often still elevated. High blood insulin
levels are implicated in damage to arteries Later when glucose
control is well established you can add brown sugar for
flavoring, dates, stevia and honey in small quantities.
When sugar is added prematurely the blood sugars rise and
the recovery is set back in time.
Obese patients take longer to recover blood sugar control
possibly because they have larger fat reserves than thin
persons. These large fat reserves contain more abnormal
trans fats, which may still be used in building cell membranes.
When these abnormal fats have been totally metabolized away
the new forming cell membranes will be normal and sugar
will again enter cells normally with return of blood sugar
to normal. Continue to take flax oil and fish oil permanently.
glucometer will be needed to monitor response to therapy.
Blood sugar control can be assumed to have satisfactorily
returned when blood sugar values are below 100 mg. on seven
consecutive mornings. At this stage blood insulin levels
are still probably elevated.
be successful in ridding yourself of Type 2 diabetes you
must change what you eat. If you continue to believe that
"I deserve a break today" you will have great
difficulty curing this disease.
summarize: Type 2 diabetes appears to be an illness caused
by abnormal fat metabolism induced by absence of Essential
Omega 3 fatty acids and the presence of dangerous artificial
fats in the diet. Omega 3 fatty acids are responsible for
the maintenance and repair of cellular membranes. When the
body lacks Omega 3 fatty acids the omega 6 and omega 9 fatty
acids must be used. This results in a stiff and sticky cell
membrane, instead of the usual slippery and smooth membrane.
These abnormal membranes do not permit easy transport of
glucose into the cell and the blood sugar stays high.
disease is reversible with appropriate dietary changes in
approximately 90% of cases. Mr. Smith is uncertain why 10%
of cases fail to respond to these dietary changes. Some
of these failures may be related to faulty compliance.
May Postpone Or Prevent Insulin Resistance
The adrenal gland hormone dihydroepiandosterone (DHEA) is
the precursor hormone for the formation of both estrogen
and testosterone in the human body. Levels of DHEA steadily
fall from maximum levels at age 25 to 30 to about 50 % of
normal by age 40 (200 mcg./dl.). Supplementation with DHEA
in the elderly has slowed some of the effects of aging on
estrogen and testosterone. Stress is counteracted, immune
function is improved, protection against the appearance
of cardiovascular disease may occur, increased insulin growth
factor appears which preserves muscles and diminishes fat
accumulation, excessive clotting of blood is slowed, improved
survival is seen in population studies, depression is alleviated
in 50 to 60% of persons often beginning within 10 days and
brain aging is stopped.
A recent research article sheds some interesting light on
the problem of insulin resistance and central obesity seen
in elderly patients. Fifty six patients with an average
age of 71 were studied for glucose and insulin response
to a standard sugar challenge. All 56 patients had a MRI
evaluation of the extent of abdominal fat. One half these
patients were given a placebo and the other half received
50 mg of DHEA for 6 months. When retested after 6 months
those patients who were given DHEA showed significant decreases
in abdominal fat. Those DHEA receiving patients also exhibited
a decrease in insulin output with no change in blood sugar
response. following glucose administration. This suggested
their resistance to insulin had decreased.
results showed that resistance to the effect of insulin
can be reduced by DHEA therapy. Development of Type 2 Diabetes
might be postponed or prevented in elderly patients by the
use of DHEA therapy. The dosage of DHEA selected for this
study (50 mg.) is a dosage that is known to cause pimples
and less frequently increased hair growth in women. A lower
dosage of DHEA in women of 10 to 25 mg. daily should avoid
these effects. Monitoring DHEA, etiocholanolone, androsterone,
estrogen in males and testosterone in females and will ensure
that the DHEA dose is proper. The Meridian Valley Laboratory
in Washington State offers a Comprehensive Steroid Analysis
that can be ordered by individuals as well as health care
providers. Taking DHEA after age 40 may improve general
health as we age. DHEA is found in health food stores.
>> Previous: Part 1
Reprinted with permission. NaturalHealthTeam.com
1, Villareal, DT, Holloszy, JO Effect of
DHEA on abdominal fat and insulin action in elderly men
and women : a randomized controlled trial JAMA; 292 (18):2,
James A. Howenstine is a board certified specialist in internal
medicine who spent 34 years caring for office and hospital
patients. After 4 years of personal study he became convinced
that natural products are safer, more effective, and less
expensive than pharmaceutical drugs. This research led to
the publication of his book
Physicians Guide To Natural Health Products That Work.
Dr. Howenstine can be reached by mail at Dr. James Howenstine,
C/O Remarsa USA SB 37, P.O. Box 25292, Miami, Fl. 33102-5292.