Tag Archives: diabetes

Lower Blood Sugar – Essential Amino Acids and Diabetes

The question of whether essential amino acids and diabetes had a relationship was a question asked by researchers at the Biochemistry Research Department, part of the Vision Research Foundation in Chennai, India. What they wanted to look at was testing of free amino acids in type 2 diabetic patients to see if oral supplementation would affect these patients.

Diabetes is a disease where too much sugar (glucose) is in the blood. Some people can have type 1 diabetes from childhood, or get it later, but type 2 diabetes is more common, and is typically developed, chronic, and lifelong as well. Technically diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disease, where the body is unable to produce enough (or any) insulin, which causes these very high glucose levels in blood plasma of patients who have it.

In 2007, the amount of people diagnosed with diabetes, who were 20 years or older, equaled about 1.6 million. Today, in the United States alone, about 7.8 percent of the population—approx. 23.6 million people—have this serious and lifelong disease. The question of essential amino acids and diabetes comes into play because of glucose and insulin.

Insulin, the pancreas, and glucose

Insulin is a hormone created by the pancreas, which must be present in order for glucose to get into our cells (used by the body as food). However, with diabetes, the produces little to no insulin, so the cells do not respond properly, then glucose builds up in the blood and is excreted through the urine; therefore, even though the body has a large amount of glucose, all of that energy is lost. The hope, according to the scientists in India who wanted to test essential amino acids and diabetes, was that amino acids might help with blood glucose levels.

Essential amino acids and diabetes

In a pilot clinical trial the researchers, Sulochana K Natarajan, S Lakshmi, et al., had tested the glucose levels in the blood plasma of Streptozotocin-induced rats that were diabetic. Whether essential amino acids and diabetes, where the former would affect the latter, were related was the question, so they designed an oral test to determine if the effect of such amino acid supplements would help patients that had type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM).

77 subjects with type 2 diabetes participated for two months in a double blind pilot clinical trial. Both sexes, between the ages of 30-60, were involved in the trial and received oral antidiabetic tablets. The essential amino acids and diabetes link was examined by dividing the patients into two groups based on oral supplementation.

The supplements for essential amino acids and diabetes testing included:

1. Lysine

2. Essential amino acids

3. Amino acids and (fat-and-water-soluble) vitamins

4. Calcium phosphate (the control)

Regarding essential amino acids and diabetes, “essential” means that these aminos must be gotten from food or supplements since the body cannot produce them on its own.

Essential amino acids typically include:

Arginine
Carnitine
Histidine
Homocysteine
Isoleucine
Leucine
Lysine
Methionine
Phenylalanine
Taurine
Threonine
Trypthophan
Valine

The scientists tested the subjects who had essential amino acids and diabetes were examined for: fasting and post-prandial plasma glucose, plasma amino acids, glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c), fasting and post-prandial immunoreactive insulin, urea and creatinine in plasma and sugar, proteins and albumin, plus ketones and proteins.

The results of the trial “revealed a significant decrease in post-prandial plasma glucose (P<0.05) in group B when compared to groups C and D after 45 days. Plasma Arginine was increased in group C from 3.84 to 9.24 mg/dl.” Additionally, the patients having oral essential amino acids and diabetes (type 2) showed a “decrease … [in] plasma glucose without any change in plasma insulin levels, perhaps due to improved insulin sensitivity.”

Although this is good news regarding essential amino acids and diabetes, the long term effects of essential amino acids needs continued study.

References:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11887024

http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/overview/

Food that Contain Cysteine and Methionine

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. When we eat protein foods our bodies break down the proteins into their respective amino acids, and then builds them back up into new proteins that help build muscle and organs and help run other functions in the body. The amino acids cysteine and methionine are needed by the body as well, and can be gotten from certain foods.

Benefits of methionine amino acid

Methionine is a sulfur-containing and proteinogenic amino acid. It provides sulfur for the hair, skin, and nails plus lowers cholesterol and provides protection for the kidneys. It can also prevent liver damage from taking too much acetaminophen (Tylenol).

Methionine can increase acidity in the urine, improve wound healing, and treat various liver disorders. Other uses for methionine include treating copper poisoning, alcoholism, depression, allergies, asthma, side effects from radiation, drug withdrawal, schizophrenia, and even Parkinson’s disease.

Benefits of cysteine amino acid

Cysteine helps protect the liver against long-term effects of alcohol use, specifically from the poison acetaldehyde (a by-product of alcohol metabolism), although it does not reduce drunkenness. Cysteine is also an antioxidant and therefore fights free radicals in the body. It can help with treating diabetes, colitis (an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), plus may treat cardiovascular disease, angina, flu, chronic bronchitis, inflammation, and osteoarthritis.

This sulfur-containing amino acid is synthesized only when methionine is in the body, therefore it is connected to methionine in this way and is why both cysteine and methionine are usually taken together through dietary supplementation. This is why it is important to eat foods that contain both cysteine and methionine so that they can complement one another for proper health benefits.

Foods high in cysteine and methionine

Methionine and cysteine work in tandem in the body, with cysteine particularly being dependent upon the presence of methionine to be produced and work in the body.

Food sources for both methionine and cysteine…

Methionine Cysteine
nuts
eggs
spinach
mushrooms
broccoli
potatoes
fish/tuna
meats*
seeds
almonds
parmesan cheese
brazil nuts
wheat germ
peanuts
chickpea
corn
pintos
lentils
medium-grained brown rice
milk
eggs
red peppers
onions
broccoli
oats
whey protein
meats*
cottage cheese
yogurt
ricotta
garlic
brussels sprouts
granola
wheat germ
sprouted lentils

*chicken, pork, turkey, duck, cured/dried or ground beef, bacon, in particular

Be sure to talk to your doctor before making any extreme or unusual modifications to your diet.

References:

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-42-methionine.aspx?activeingredientid=42&activeingredientname=methionine

http://altmedicine.about.com/od/herbsupplementguide/a/L-Cysteine.htm

http://nutrition.nutricia.com/conditions/sulphite-oxidase-deficiency

Taurine Supplements Prevent Diabetes In Animal Study

An animal study into taurine supplementation found that the amino acid delayed the onset of autoimmune diabetes in non-obese diabetic mice. Could this result in preventive treatments for humans?

Autoimmune diabetes is slow-onset Type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is caused by an immune system malfunction, where the autoimmune system destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.

Insulin is a hormone which regulates blood sugar. If the pancreas no longer produces insulin, blood sugar will spike. If untreated, this Type 1 Diabetes is fatal. However, the disease is controllable with insulin injections, or an insulin pump. In some cases, a pancreas transplant is possible.

A Canadian study, developed by researchers E Arany, B Strutt, et al, from Lawson Health Research Institute, St. Joseph’s Health Care, London, Ontario, investigated whether supplements of the amino acid taurine would inhibit the development of diabetes in the offspring of diabetic mice.

Taurine and the pancreas

Taurine is vital to the development of the pancreas, which in turn leads to the production of insulin, which regulates blood sugar. Taurine is produced in our bodies from cysteine and vitamin B6. We can also get taurine from our food, particularly seafood and meat, though we probably don’t need to unless we are deficient in cysteine or B6. Newborns, however, do not produce taurine and must get it from breast milk, or infant formula.

The results of the study on taurine

Two groups of pregnant, diabetic mice were tested in the Canadian study. Their offspring would naturally be diabetic, too. The mice were given taurine supplements throughout their pregnancy, and until the offspring were weaned. A control group was given no taurine. The animals were monitored until they became diabetic.

Taurine supplements reduced the onset of diabetes in the mice, delaying the onset of the disease. The onset was delayed from 18 to 30 weeks, with 20% of taurine-treated mice remaining diabetes free after an entire year.

This animal study concluded that taurine supplements in early life effectively delayed the onset of diabetes.

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Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15502919

Amino Acid Supplements for Addiction Recovery

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and so they come from protein foods; however, some people do not produce or assimilate amino acids as well as others, and so amino acid supplements can be utilized, especially in cases where addiction is an issue. Addiction recovery is commonly found in products that are taken internally in some way (consumption, inhalation, etc.). Amino acid supplements may help.

Food, drugs, and alcohol, are common addictions in society today. The “white foods” like sugar, white flour, white rice, and white potatoes, can act as addictive foods to someone who is prediabetic or diabetic, similarly to how alcohol or marijuana, caffeine, speed, or cocaine, can act as an addiction to someone else.

Amino acid supplements can help curb these appetites for unhealthy habits, and aid in bringing back a sense of control because they activate the neurotransmitters in the brain that affect these issues.

Amino acid supplements for addictions

Consider these addictions:

FOODS/DRINKS: Sweets, starches, chocolate, caffeine, aspartame, alcohol, etc.

DRUGS: Heroin, alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, speed, cocaine, ecstasy, valium, etc.

These items may be as much of an emotional addiction as they can be a physical addiction, depending. Be sure to ask your physician before trying to treat addictions or go through addiction recovery by supplementing with amino acids.

Amino acid supplements chart for addiction recovery

Treating or reducing symptoms to help smooth out the process of recovery may be aided by taking essential or non-essential amino acid supplements.

Here is a chart showing amino acid supplements for addictions from the Addiction Recovery Guide folks, reprinted from: Blum K, Ross J, Reuben C, Gastelu D, Miller DK.  “Nutritional Gene Therapy: Natural Healing in Recovery.  Counselor Magazine, January/February, 2001

Supplemental Ingredient

Restored Brain Chemical

Addictive Substance   Abuse

Amino Acid Deficiency   Symptoms

Expected Behavior   Change

D-Phenylalanine or DL-Phenylalanine Enkephalins
Endorphins
Heroin, Alcohol, Marijuana, Sweets, Starches, Chocolate,   Tobacco Most Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS) conditions sensitive to   physical or emotional pain. Crave comfort and pleasure. Desire certain food   or drugs. Reward stimulation. Anti-craving. Mild anti-depression. Mild   improved energy and focus. D-Phenylalanine promotes pain relief, increases   pleasure.
L-Phenylalanine or L-Tyrosine Norepinephrine
Dopamine
Caffeine, Speed, Cocaine, Marijuana, Aspartame, Chocolate,   Alcohol, Tobacco, Sweets, Starches Most Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS) conditions. Depression,   low energy. Lack of focus and concentration. Attention-deficit disorder. Reward stimulation. Anti-craving. Anti-depression. Increased   energy. Improved mental focus.
L-Tryptophan or 5 hydroxytryptophan (5HTP) Serotonin Sweets, Alcohol, Starch, Ecstasy, Marijuana, Chocolate,   Tobacco Low self-esteem. Obsessive/compulsive behaviors. Irritability   or rage. Sleep problems. Afternoon or evening cravings. Negativity. Heat   intolerance. Fibromyalgia, SAD (winter blues). Anti-craving. Anti-depression. Anti-insomnia. Improved   appetite control. Improvement in all mood and other serotonin deficiency   symptoms.
GABA (Gamma-amino butyric acid) GABA Valium, Alcohol, Marijuana, Tobacco, Sweets, Starches Feeling of being stressed-out. Nervous. Tense muscles. Trouble   relaxing. Promotes calmness. Promotes relaxation.
L-Glutamine GABA (mild enhancement)
Fuel source for entire brain
Sweets, Starches, Alcohol Stress. Mood swings. Hypoglycemia. Anti-craving, anti-stress. Levels blood sugar and mood. GABA   (mild enhancement). Fuel source for entire brain.

Whether you have mental health or emotional health issues, chemical dependency, food related issues such as diabetes, weight gain/weight loss problems, or other health problems, please discuss taking any amino acid supplements with your doctor before attempting addiction recovery.

References:

http://www.addictionrecoveryguide.org/holistic/nutrition

http://www.medhelp.org/tags/health_page/45/Addiction/Amino-Acid-Protocol?hp_id=15

Amino Acids and Diabetes — Drinking Amino Acids Before Meals Controls Blood Sugar

here is new and exciting research regarding amino acids and diabetes. Drinking a protein/amino acid mix before eating can help keep your blood sugar low, finds a Swedish study. This is great news for diabetics, and people at risk for developing diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes is a metabolic disease which causes high blood sugar. It already affects millions of people. Being overweight is one of the main risk factors to developing this disease, and the current obesity crisis—which the World Health Organization calls an epidemic—means more people are being diagnosed as diabetic every day.

Diabetics often suffer from hyperglycemia , which means they have an excessive amount of glucose in their blood plasma.

People with high blood sugars can develop very serious complications, including kidney damage, neurological damage, cardiovascular disease, damage to the retina or damage to feet and legs. So diabetics must control their blood sugar. And monitoring your blood sugar is an important way to reduce your risk of developing diabetes.

Amino acids and diabetes — amino acid drink reduces blood sugars after meals

A study to evaluate the effects of pre-meal drinks on blood sugar was developed by Ulrika Gunnerud, Cornelia Heinzle, et al, researchers with the Department of Applied Nutrition and Food Chemistry, at Lund University in Sweden.

They investigated the effect of consuming drinks containing protein and a mixture of five amino acids, before eating. The amino acids studied were isoleucine, leucine, lysine, threonine and valine.

14 healthy, non-smoking volunteers took part in this randomized, single blind trial. Their blood was tested after fasting, and then again after they had eaten. They were given the pre-meal protein, amino acid drink, and then given a ham sandwich. The drink and sandwich were consumed within 12 minutes.

Amino acids and diabetes — blood glucose levels reduced by almost 50%

Researchers found that starting a meal by drinking whey or soy protein with amino acids significantly reduced the post-meal blood sugar—by up to 47%.

The study concluded that using specific proteins and amino acids in pre-meal drinks could be a new strategy to help diabetics reduce high blood sugar.

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23028596

L-Carnosine Benefits: Can L-carnosine Become the Next Wonder Drug?

Found in abundance in muscles and the brain, the dipeptide L-carnosine is an organic compound comprised of the amino acids histidine and beta-alanine. Because of the various ways L-carnosine can benefit cellular activity, such as slowing down the growth of cataracts and certain tumour cells, researchers at Aston University in Birmingham decided to study the mechanisms behind how L-carnosine works.

In doing so, they believe that it could lead to breakthroughs in L-carnosine helping treat and prevent age-related ailments such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, type 2 diabetes and cancer.

Study for L-carnosine for health benefits, numerous diseases, even anti-aging

Scientists Alan Hipkiss, Stephanie Cartwright, Clare Bromley, Stephane Gross and Roslyn Bill believe that L-carnosine slows down age-related biological disturbances through energy metabolism or proteostasis, which is a type of protein stabilization process. Since L-carnosine also acts as an antioxidant, it has the potential to be used as a drug that can target multiple diseases.

They report that L-carnosine can act as a compound to combine the heavy metal that causes cell damage in the system. In doing so, L-carnosine will effective prevent lipids, proteins and DNA from undergoing age-related damage (antiaging properties).

The researchers recall another recent study that supports the theory that L-carnosine can improve cognition in people living with schizophrenia.

For Alzheimer’s disease, L-carnosine can act as a neuroprotective agent and has been shown to inhibit problems in the mitochondria. The dipeptide can also eliminate mutated polypeptides and stimulate the production of stress proteins that will further work to rebalance the system.

Overall, the researchers are very hopeful that the antioxidant and anti-senescence qualities of L-carnosine can greatly help cell deterioration due to old age. They reviewed studies that show L-carnosine can help slow cells that cause cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and alleviate symptoms of diabetes.

More comprehensive studies will have to be completed but the outlook is promising that L-carnosine can be an effective form of treatment for a variety of health problems.

Source:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23442334

Glycine Benefits: Glycine for Cancer, Diseases, and Other Health Benefits

Glycine is an amino acid that has amazing implications for human health and nutrition. Through the kidneys and liver, glycine uses inter-organ metabolism where it is synthesized from threonine, serine, hydroxyproline, and choline. Glycine is used by the bodies of both humans and animals.

A study done by W Wang, Z Wu, et al., at the State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition in Beijing, China’s Agricultural University, covered some of the glycine pathways and how it is biosynthesized and what it is good for.

Benefits of Glycine

According to the study in Beijing, glycine degrades through three different pathways in the body: through glycine cleavage system (GCS), serine hydroxymethyltransferase, and also conversion. Also, “glycine is utilized for the biosynthesis of glutathione, heme, creatine, nucleic acids, and uric acid.”

What many don’t know is that glycine is an important part of bile acids from the liver, which are secreted into the small intestine for the breakdown of fats in digestion. The glycine then, via the bile acids, also help absorb long-chain fatty acids.

According to those who did the study, glycine “plays an important role in metabolic regulation, anti-oxidative reactions, and neurological function.

Thus, this nutrient has been used to:

(1) prevent tissue injury
(2) enhance anti-oxidative capacity
(3) promote protein synthesis and wound healing
(4) improve immunity, and
(5) treat metabolic disorders in obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, ischemia-reperfusion injuries, cancers, and various inflammatory diseases.”

Glycine Benefits Reviewed

The uses for glycine in the body are unreal! Glycine is obviously beneficial to human health, and it is seriously a functional amino acid.

Reference:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23615880