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Type II Diabetes and EFAs

How the right fats and oils can protect you from this insidious disease.

What is now called lifestyle or adult onset diabetes is a condition where ones body loses its sensitivity to glucose, and therefore becomes insulin resistant.

This means that cells do not respond properly to insulin when it’s present, because the cells have become less functional.

This happens due to the continued, and long term consumption of too many refined carbohydrates, which release their glucose too quickly into the blood stream, raising blood glucose levels too high, too quickly.

Stress, with the accompanying release of adrenalin, which leads to insulin release, may also have a role to play in the development of this disease.

Type I diabetes, is different, and is a disorder where there is not enough insulin produced, due to faulty functioning within the pancreas, which is responsible for producing insulin.

Unfortunately, excess glucose, due either to the inability of insulin to do its job, or a lack of insulin, in getting the glucose into the cells, both lead to increased free radical damage, which will cause further damage to cells and cause you to age faster.

The lining of your arteries, the endothelial cells, are also damaged by excess glucose, so the entire circulatory system will become dysfunctional over time.

In diabetes, particularly type I diabetes, there is an impairment of the conversion of dietary Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) to HUFA’s (highly unsaturated fatty acids) such as EPA, DHA, AA (arachidonic acid) and DGLA (dihomogammalinolenic acid). If these derivatives aren’t produced, there are many vital functions that are unable to occur or are impaired in fundamental ways.

There is also an inability to incorporate these HUFA’s into cell membranes, likely linked to an enzyme dysfunction.

Damaged fats, such as trans fats and saturated fats, also stop insulin from working properly, which means that it is unable to get the glucose out of your blood stream and into your cells quickly enough.

Consuming the right kinds of fats and oils can therefore facilitate insulin activity, so knowing what these special fats are, is therefore important. They are called essential because you body cannot manufacture them – they have to consumed in your diet. If you don’t eat them you will be deficient, and it is estimated that 95% of people are deficient in them, for various reasons.

Depression puts you at greater risk of getting diabetes, and suffering from diabetes puts one at a significantly greater risk of getting depression, with figures indicating that depression is twice as common among diabetics than among people who don’t have diabetes.

Having both of these conditions worsens the course of both. So the situation can become a vicious cycle. Furthermore, depression is a risk factor for Cardio Vascular Disease (CVD) too. And, having Diabetes also puts you at a much greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

Many researchers believe that the underlying mechanism that links all these disease states may very well be a deficiency in EFA’s, coupled with an inability to convert them into the various derivatives required for optimal cell and membrane health.

However, as medical practitioners continue to look at diseases as separate and distinct, they are unable to piece the puzzle together and come up with the whole picture.

Whatever they may uncover as time goes by, it is accepted that Essential Fatty Acids have an enormously important role to play in overall health, so supplementing with the right blend will improve your health on many levels.

POSTED ON March 25, 2011, ,