It's always interesting to me to observe what sort of medical news makes the headlines, and lately we've seen a number of stories talking about a new study that shows how caffeine destabilizes blood sugar levels in Type 2 diabetics. According to the study, when people with diabetes consume caffeine with meals, it causes their blood glucose to swing wildly and their insulin to go out of control. This study is being published in the journal Diabetes Care
. What's interesting about this is that the effects of caffeine on blood sugar have been well-known for many decades by naturopathic physicians, nutritionists, and people in holistic health fields. In fact, I thought it was common knowledge, but apparently, it's headline news. It should be obvious to anyone consuming caffeine that it is affecting their blood sugar levels. All a person has to do is be aware of what's happening in their own body -- that is, have good body awareness -- and they can detect the effects of caffeine within just a few minutes after consuming it. But apparently, many people do not have such a close relationship with their body, and they may not be aware of the physiological effects being caused by caffeine.
So this news may come as a shock to many Type 2 diabetics, and it could prove to be especially disturbing, given that most diabetics are overweight, that one of the ways they attempt to lose weight is by consuming diet pills that boost their metabolism with caffeine. In essence, the diet pills that many diabetics are taking in an attempt to lose weight may actually be causing their blood sugar to swing even more unpredictably, and ultimately result in more extreme carbohydrate cravings, which causes them to overeat and lose progress on their diet. In response to this, some people just decide to take ridiculous quantities of weight-loss pills, and this is exactly how a handful of people were harmed by taking Ephedra, an herbal weight-loss supplement that contains natural caffeine compounds. If you take too much caffeine, of course you are going to do yourself damage, just as if you drank twelve cups of coffee on an empty stomach.
Beyond the issue of diabetics and diet pills, it's interesting to note that America has a love affair with coffee. So many people, including many people that I know, start their day with one or two cups of coffee, and can't imagine living without it. They are using caffeine as medication, as a drug, to alter their body chemistry and mental response. This use of caffeine is, I believe, irresponsible, if not downright wacky. The human mind shouldn't need a stimulant to function properly. The body shouldn't need a dose of drugs every morning to feel energetic. If you are currently addicted to coffee -- and yes, it is an addiction -- that's an indication that there's something else lacking in your diet, or there's something that needs adjustment in your lifestyle. Because a healthy person wakes up and hops out of bed with extraordinary energy and fantastic mental clarity without needing any drugs whatsoever. If this doesn't describe the way you wake up, caffeine isn't the answer. It's better to look at your food and nutrition to find what might be causing sluggishness.
Getting back to the study, caffeine certainly does alter the balance of blood sugar in the human body, but there's something else here that's worth mentioning: when caffeine is consumed in combination with refined sugars, such as the refined white sugar that many people put in their morning coffee, it multiplies the effect on the blood sugar, causing extreme imbalances that can lead to hypoglycemia. It should go without saying that diabetic patients must avoid that combination for the rest of their lives. Caffeine plus refined carbohydrates (or sugar) is literally a deadly combination for any person who is diabetic. For people who aren't diabetic, the combination can also spell trouble, and it can push someone towards obesity or diabetes if they continue to consume that combination over the long haul.
Now, there may be a few people out there who are able to handle both caffeine and refined sugars without showing these radical blood sugar swings, and if you're one of those people, good for you, but make no mistake, you are the exception, not the general rule. Most people have difficulty with this combination, whether they realize it or not, and they would do much better, in terms of health, body weight, mental clarity and overall wellness, by removing both caffeine and refined sugars from their diets for the rest of their lives. So, say goodbye to that Starbucks Frappucino, and consider ditching that caffeinated tea with sugar. Instead, get yourself a non-caffeine drink, like pure water or unsweetened soy milk.
About the author: Mike Adams is a natural health researcher, author and award-winning journalist with a passion for teaching people how to improve their health He is a prolific writer and has published thousands of articles, interviews, reports and consumer guides, and he is well known as the creator of popular downloadable preparedness programs on financial collapse, emergency food storage, wilderness survival and home defense skills. Adams is an independent journalist with strong ethics who does not get paid to write articles about any product or company. In mid 2010, Adams produced TV.NaturalNews.com, a natural health video sharing website offering user-generated videos on nutrition, green living, fitness and more. He's also a noted pioneer in the email marketing software industry, having been the first to launch an HTML email newsletter technology that has grown to become a standard in the industry. Adams is currently the executive director of the Consumer Wellness Center, a 501(c)3 non-profit, and regularly pursues cycling, nature photography, Capoeira and Pilates. He's also author of numerous health books published by Truth Publishing and is the creator of several consumer-oriented grassroots campaigns, including the Spam. Don't Buy It! campaign, and the free downloadable Honest Food Guide. He also created the free reference sites HerbReference.com and HealingFoodReference.com. Adams believes in free speech, free access to nutritional supplements and the ending of corporate control over medicines, genes and seeds. Known on the 'net as 'the Health Ranger,' Adams shares his ethics, mission statements and personal health statistics at www.HealthRanger.org
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