Diabetes IS the enemy of human physiology. Understanding a diabetic food chart is important, but did you know the grapefruit diet plan may play a role?
So why is the grapefruit diet plan so unique?
It all boils down to a bioflavonoid compound present in grapefruit called naringin. This is the compound that raises concern in those patients taking blood thinners because it potentially slows down the breakdown of toxins in the liver, and all drugs are considered as toxins by the body. So, slow down the breakdown of blood thinners and your blood may become dangerous thin, leading to death by internal bleeding. Generally not a good thing.
As a side note, naringin is also present in orange peels, but less people seem to gnaw on orange peels as they seem to eat grapefruit.
It turns out that naringin may have some other interesting effects. But before we go into this, we need a quick review on powerful hormones that control blood sugar called incretins.
The two main incretins in our bodies are Glucagon Like Peptide (GLP-1) and Gastric Inhibitory Peptide (GIP). GLP-1 has a very short life in our bodies because it is broken down by the enzyme DPP-4 in a matter of about 1-5 minutes. Byetta and Victoza are two brand name drugs that mimic our own GLP-1. Januvia was the first drug to market that stops the enzyme DPP-4; all the latest drugs all have “gliptan” in their names.
Overall, this approach is THE Holy Grail of diabetes drug development right now. Most of the research studies focus on these pathways.
My concern over this approach is the long term effects on the pancreas. This pathway basically lights a fire under the gluts of the beta cells of our pancreas. These are the cells that produce insulin. Too much stimulation is likely to burn out the pancreas. This is my concern over long term use of this class of drugs, based on the problems with the sulfonylurea class of drugs (think glyburide, glipizide) that actually increase the risk of a Type 2 diabetic becoming insulin dependent.
Now back to grapefruit and naringin.
In this particular study, researchers looked at how well naringin could affect DPP-IV activity in rats.
It turns out that grapefruit and naringin have the potential to slow down the DPP-IV enzyme just like the new fangled, expensive diabetic drugs.
Kind of makes you rethink the grapefruit diet plan that has been present for decades now, huh? A fruit with compounds in it that help us manage blood sugar and pull back from diabetes would definitely contribute to weight loss.
At the very least, this does not mean that you need to dive full on into the grapefruit diet plan, but adding more grapefruit to your routine may yield dividends that you did not expect when it comes to weight loss, managing blood sugar and diabetes.
How can you add grapefruit into your daily routine?