Forget insulin injections – the humble pumpkin may be a suitable treatment for both type 1 and type 2 diabetics in the near future.
Researchers found that plain old pumpkin extract helped worn-out pancreatic cells regain sensitivity and begin producing insulin.
Pumpkin 1: I hate diabetes.
Pumpkin 2: Oh, I know. It is lame.
Diabetes develops when blood sugar levels are persistently high. The pancreas, which produces insulin to stabilize blood sugar, cannot keep up. The body can also simply become insensitive to insulin. In the United States, 20 million people have diabetes, and as many as 60 million more are estimated to be undiagnosed and/or prediabetic. Diabetes increases your risk for retinopathy (a fancy word for blindness), reduces immunity to infection (often leading to amputation of extremities and limbs), heart disease, obesity, and stroke.
Diabetes organizations that adhere to traditional medical therapies typically present diabetes as almost mysterious in origin. That is, they will explain that diabetes results from pancreatic exhaustion or insensitivity, but they do not explain why this happens. Now where was my Kit Kat?
Though type 1 diabetes is not diet related (though a bad diet will exacerbate the disease), type 2 diabetes is largely preventable through lifestyle. A diet low in refined carbohydrates and a lifestyle that includes daily exercise are the first important steps to preventing the onset of diabetes. Of course, with the average American diet (as many as 4,000 calories a day from junk food) and the sedentary lifestyle that are so prevalent, it’s no wonder diabetes is a runaway epidemic!
At any rate, pumpkin shows promise. What will Big Pharma do?