Glucose Metabolism : Insulin Activity

Diets high in refined carbohydrates and simple sugars are creating an epidemic of Metabolic Syndrome, Obesity, and Type II Diabetes. At the root of this crisis are sugary foods and beverages that carry a high glycemic index. When consumed, these foods create a rapid increase in blood sugar to which the body must respond. This is critical to understand because extended durations of elevated blood sugar can damage the organs and organ systems of the body in several ways. To drive down elevated blood sugar levels the pancreas secretes insulin, which allows glucose to pass from bloodstream to cells where it serves as a primary constituent in energy production. If unhealthy blood sugar fluctuations persist over time, high insulin secretions can lead to a loss in insulin activity and production, thereby allowing glucose to linger in the bloodstream and damage cellular membranes and organelles. This excess amount of glucose in the blood facilitates glucose attachment to structural or enzyme proteins, which ultimately form destructive products called AGEs, short for Advanced Glycosylated End products. AGEs are aptly named because they exacerbate the aging process and the development of chronic pain and degenerative disease. Many of the harmful consequences of Type II Diabetes such as heart disease, blindness, loss of sensation, and poor wound healing are caused through this process. Though individual genetic expression undoubtedly contributes to the likelihood and onset of blood glucose disorders, a healthy diet consisting of low glycemic foods and specific nutraceuticals may help to regulate blood sugar levels and support insulin activity.*