Diabetics — and really all of us — need to be careful with fruit juice. The heavy concentration of sugar without the fruit's fiber to slow absorption, can really spike blood sugar levels. But what if there was a fruit juice that could fight diabetes by lowering your blood sugar, would you be interested? Well, there is a juice that does just that. In fact, it might work just as well as the drug metformin.
Researchers at UC Berkeley wanted to find out if grapefruit juice could replace metformin. Metformin, as you may know, is a drug that treats type-2 diabetes. The thought that any fruit juice could replace this drug seems preposterous. But grapefruit juice has a long history of helping people lose weight. In fact, when I was growing up, my mom would eat a half grapefruit for breakfast because she had heard that it would help her lose weight.
Picking up on that long-held belief, the researchers wanted to find out if grapefruit juice could slow weight gain. To find out, they divided mice into six different groups. One group was a control group that drank only water. Another group took naringin. This bioactive compound is what gives grapefruit its bitter taste. A third group took metformin. And the remaining three groups drank varying amounts of "clarified, pulp-free" grapefruit juice every day. The researchers also put the mice on a diet of either 60% fat or 10% fat for 100 days.
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After the 100 days, the researchers measured their body weight and glucose levels. Much to the surprise of the researchers, the mice that ate the high-fat diet and drank diluted grapefruit juice lost more weight than the mice in the other groups. Their weight dropped by an astounding 18.4%. But that's not all. They also experienced a decrease in the blood glucose of 13-17%. And they had a threefold decrease in their insulin levels. That's amazing!
This huge drop in their insulin levels is big news. People with type-2 diabetes produce extra insulin to compensate for increased resistance to the hormone. So lower levels of insulin is a strong indicator that their sensitivity to the hormone was much greater.
Not surprisingly, the California Grapefruit Growers Cooperative paid for this research. Normally, that would be a red flag for me, as money has a way of skewing results. But in this case, the researchers insisted that the coop had no influence on the findings. In fact, the researchers were quite skeptical that the juice would work as metformin.
Andreas Stahl, associate professor of nutritional sciences and toxicology, said: "I was surprised by the findings. We even re-checked the calibration of our glucose sensors, and we got the same results over and over again." In other words, the results could be reproduced, which confirms the findings.
The study's lead author, Joseph Napoli, said, "We see all sorts of scams about nutrition. But these results, based on controlled experiments, warrant further study of the potential health-promoting properties of grapefruit juice."
I think it's a little disingenuous to mention scams in nutrition without mentioning scams in the drug industry, but I digress. It's clear that grapefruit juice has an amazing ability to help diabetics. However, I also think we have to give some credit to the high-fat diet. Changing your metabolism from glucose-burning to fat-burning is the best way to fight diabetes, weight gain, high blood sugar, and insulin resistance. But it's very important to note that the grapefruit juice aided in this conversion. That's a big deal. The sugar content of most juices would prevent this conversion. And metformin doesn't help this conversion either.
So if you want to fight diabetes, start eating a high-fat, low-carb diet with good fats and lots of vegetables, drink grapefruit juice, and exercise regularly. I also recommend taking nutrients that can help your metabolism burn fat. In past issues of Nutrient Insider, I've told you about Metabolic Defense. This proprietary blend of nutrients can help balance your blood sugar and increase your insulin sensitivity. This program can be a powerful way to reverse type-2 diabetes.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.