Did you know that nearly 18 million Americans have been diagnosed as having diabetes, and this figure continues to rise? Of those diagnosed, 95 percent have adult-onset (or Type 2) diabetes, and only about half of them are even aware that they have the disorder. Adult-onset diabetes used to be a rare occurrence, developing in an individual around the mid-forties. Now, however, it is becoming increasingly more common at younger ages, and even among children.
Although there have been some research studies that have shown how caffeine (from coffee consumption) can stabilize insulin levels in Type 2 diabetes, a recent study conducted at Duke University, headed by James D. Lane, PHD. shows quite the opposite effect. This small study focused only on 14 individuals who had Type 2 diabetes, which is a life-long disease marked by high levels of sugar in the blood. It occurs when the body does not respond correctly to insulin, a hormone released by the pancreas. The results revealed that when caffeine was ingested together with meals it caused their blood glucose levels to spike wildly, and insulin levels swung out of control.
What is interesting about this study is, that the effects of caffeine on blood sugar levels is not new, or breakthrough scientific news. This has been known for decades, and a commonly learned concept by most first year biochemistry medical school students.
When a Type 2 diabetic ingests caffeine from coffee, or any other caffeinated product, it almost always produces an elevation in their glucose levels, throughout the day, by about 8 percent. Researchers think that caffeine interferes with the glucose transporting process in moving glucose out of the bloodstream and into body cells and muscle tissue where it is burned for fuel.
Caffeine consumption also triggers the release of the hormone and brain neurotransmitter, adrenaline, which raises blood sugar levels. When caffeine is consumed in combination with refined sugars such as white sugar and artificial dairy creamers that many people put in their morning coffee, it will intensify the effects on blood sugar levels. Long-term use of the two can lead to hypoglycemia. Caffeine plus refined sugars, or sugar substitutes, can be a deadly combination for anyone with diabetes, no matter which type.
It would seem to go without saying that a diabetic would would be well-advised to avoid this combination for life, or plan to be fighting their daily control of their insulin levels. Consider this as well, daily and heavy caffeine consumption reduces insulin sensitivity-the effects of which can last up to 12 hours after last ingesting a source of caffeine.
Dehydration is a common effect of drinking too much caffeine. Although you may think you are getting plenty of water in these type of drinks, caffeine, however, works against your body in two ways, it dehydrates body cells, by increasing urination. And, dehydration inhibits insulin secretion in the pancreas.
According to Dr. F. Batmanghelidj, M.D., author of “Your Body’s Many Cries For Water”, when adequate water level amounts are denied to the pancreas, by you not drinking enough, the body will adapt by clinging to what water reserves it has left to act upon the most important function it must perform at the time. Digestion of a meal you just ate by breaking it down and neutralizing acid in the intestines comes before proper insulin secretion.
Dr. B explains,in chapter 10, page 125, “As it happens, when insulin secretion is inhibited, except for the brain, the metabolism of the body is severely disrupted. In a dehydrated state, the brain benefits from insulin inhibition. The brain cell itself is not dependent on insulin for its functions. The cells in most other parts of the body are totally dependent on the properties of insulin for their normal function. If we think about it, there is a natural logic to the ultimate production of insulin-independent diabetes in severe chronic dehydration. Why is it called insulin-independent diabetes? Because the Body can still manufacture insulin, although it takes the influence of some chemical agents to promote its secretion.”
“This phenomenon of insulin inhibition with dehydration shows that the primary function of the pancreatic gland is directed at the provision of water for food digestion. The insulin inhibition is an adaption process of the gland to the dehydration of the body.”
Although controlling Type 2 diabetes is, clearly, more complicated than just reducing, or eliminating, one’s caffeine intake, further reading and investigation of this chapter in this book will open some eyes, also, into the important role amino acids play in this disease as well. Diabetes seems, to me at least, to be a disease brought on by the over eating of processed food, the wrong type of fats, and drinking the wrong type of fluids. It’s more than just genetics. A, highly, controllable condition when one maintains the eating of a proper diet.