(NaturalNews) Researchers from the Missouri University of Science and Technology say that they may have found a way to re-sensitize cells to the effects of insulin. Sterculic oil, found in a wild species of almond called Sterculia foetida, may help people in whom the ability to supply insulin is compromised, or who have developed insulin resistance.
Traffic jam in the body's energy highway
Insulin acts as a crossing guard, deciding which sugars and fats are redirected out of the bloodstream and put to use powering the organs. If it isn't immediately needed, the insulin delegates the sugar to fat cell storage. In people with type 2 diabetes, insulin is still being produced, but the organ cells don't understand the signal and don't allow the sugar in. Glucose back piles in the blood, both starving the organs and toxifying the blood, causing impaired glucose tolerance.
When organs are regularly proffered more glucose than they need, instead of rationing it, the cells gradually lose sensitivity to the insulin's commands, in order to protect the organs. when insulin's mediation is no longer effective, the person is said to be experiencing the effects of insulin resistance.
Correcting an imbalance in an ecosystem
When the diets of obese mice were supplemented with sterculic oil, their cellular responsiveness to insulin was amplified. The exact mechanism that controls this relationships is unclear, but the researchers have noted some other curious changes that may be a clue. The digestive tract is also home to a whole host of bacteria and microorganisms. There is a direct correlation between the use of sterculic oil and the suppressed cultivation of three particular species of bacteria: Actinobacteria, Bacilli and Erysipelotrichia. When the oil was included in the diet, their numbers plummeted.
The oil appears to be correcting an imbalance, rather than just stimulating the cell receptors. When given to non-obese mice, there was no corresponding change in the cells' response to insulin. It is possible that the gut flora's elevated levels are a symptom of the raised blood sugar, as an effect of an impaired immune response. The use of sterculic oil also suppressed the production of an enzyme called stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (SCD1), a chemical often implicated in insulin resistance.
The sample of 28 mice was studied from the age of five weeks into adulthood. Half of them were obese, and half were not. For the following nine weeks, half of the obese rats and half of the non-obese mice were fed sterculic oil with their diets. Blood sugar levels and weight were monitored. While weight remained largely unaffected, the team expressed their hope in its potential use in reining in diabetes and weight gain.
About the author: Raw Michelle is a natural health blogger and researcher, sharing her passions with others, using the Internet as her medium. She discusses topics in a straight forward way in hopes to help people from all walks of life achieve optimal health and well-being. She has authored and published hundreds of articles on topics such as the raw food diet and green living in general. In 2010, Michelle created RawFoodHealthWatch.com, to share with people her approach to the raw food diet and detoxification.
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