Guess whose back? Me! I've finished my latest assignment so it's back to KPD or abrupt type 2 diabetes; however you wish to look at it.
I was working down in Southwest Detroit (One of the few multicultural areas there.) and I was looking at many of the people walking around and many of them were heavy. The thing about this area is that it isn't a "food desert" there are plenty of stores with many types of produce. This is also a working class area so most people do work that requires a certain amount of physical effort. Yet the story remains the same, way too much weight and with all the problems that this portends.
One of the things that helped to keep this in mind was looking at the stats on this blog while I was away. This blog in particular seemed to be getting a lot of those hits. I tried to address this issue further while I was away with this blog. Now I want to go back again and try to put this all a little more together.
In the last thirty years diabetes appears to be surging both in the US and around the world and it seems to affect people of color disproportionately.
You should look at this graph very carefully. Something happened after 1990. One of them is probably a statistical fluke having to do with the change in what is considered diabetic or the fact that the US baby boomer population is entering its mature years but you would expect for that to flatten out eventually. It hasn't.
Here's another fact to consider. Diabetes is a chronic disease that develops overtime. How long this period of time is varies. Even in the case of Abrupt onset T2, there appears to be a long lag before our type of diabetes becomes full blown. You can view that here. My point is that viewing the take off point of diabetes isn't enough. We have to look at the preceding years and what might have occurred in them, if we wish to see some turning point.
The time frame we're looking at is about 30 to 40 years and frankly there are plenty of changes that have occurred in this time that could be correlated with this sudden take off in diabetes. This is diabetes, however, and the dog that hunts best here, at least for me, is diet.
I've talked about the contamination of traditional foods before. Here. You could look at this post as an expansion of that post. My point was that due to economics the constituents of foods around the world are being replaced with cheaper products that I think are problematic.
First up: wheat. Wheat has been around for years. It was first domesticated around the Fertile Crescent and this wheat is Emmer. Later on with get Eichorn wheat and a host of other varieties. Wheat has been bred and bred through out the years for all types of qualities. It has become one of the central characters in the diseases of civilization. Take a normal healthy society of humans and introduce them to flour and problems tend to arise. Denise Minger on her blog statistically demonstrates a strong correlation between wheat and cardiovascular disease. What should be even more worrying is that 99% of all wheat is of one kind, the dwarf wheat variety. Many people have pointed to this variety as having toxic properties especially as relates to blood sugars. Anecdotally, I've read where people have tried Eikhorn wheat and found no big jump in blood sugars.
My standard answer to any ketosis prone diabetic is to give up wheat. It really doesn't matter what their symtoms are. I say, "Give up wheat." and if they do they always feel better after a month. It makes me appear as if I know what I talking about.The truth of the matter is the giving up of wheat seems to always ease physical problems. Give it a try.
What this has to do with traditional foods is the fact that, due to global trade, a cheaply produced product is easily substituted for a more traditional product that tends to be more expensive. The more plentiful that cheap product is; the more likely it will be used as a substitute. Dwarf Wheat became the dominant variety starting in the late 70's. Unless that traditional food is tightly regulated such as Fasso wheat in Italy, it is more than likely Dwarf Wheat. More Dwarf Wheat If you look at our chart, it was just in time for our diabetes epidemic.
On to seed oils. These have been around since the start of agriculture but except for a few cases like olive oil they could not be produced in great quantity until we had the industrial techniques to do so. These are what we call vegetable oils.
Here's some nice charts.
As noted before, the body does not distinguish much between these two fatty acids. If the body is taking in 6's when it should be taking in 3's then the building blocks for a healthy body are wrong. It sets up a situation of chronic inflammation. This is from Wikipedia.
Most of these oils are not bought by people for consumption. They, for the most part, are used in the preparation of foods because they are cheap. Just imagine if your traditional food now made with flour from Dwarf Wheat is cooked in Soy oil.
Normal A1c's should be around 5. These hover at about 6.3 month after month before taking off. I suggest that what we're seeing is inflammation caused by dietary components that over time essentially
This is an addendum to this post. I started thinking that the key to much of what I have said is food production and the trade in food products. A little research found me this graph.
Once again I ask you to look back at the graph of the growth of diabetes. The growth of trade takes off at about 1986. Ten years later in about 1996 diabetes takes off as well and both increase rapidly from there to the present. I don't see this being explained by ideas of food palatability though there is certainly some of that there, nor do I see genetics or behavior explaining this either. Food has not got that much better tasting. Certainly genetics hasn't changed that much and I doubt we have become less industrious in the entire world in the last forty years. This last graph suggests to me that we have done something in the production of our foods that is metabolically traumatic. I well know that correlation is not causation but there seems to be something here and all I can do is nibble around the edges. This calls for a better mind than mine or more specifically some one like a Ned Kock who could possibly tease out what might be going on here.
I'm at Michigan State University, where some of the best agricultural scientists in the world do their work and though I'm not at liberty to divulge any specifics, world food production is about to seriously take off in the next 10 years. The tests that I have seen suggests we could see a doubling to quadrupling of food production. In other words, an end to famine. More food is good but what if the food isn't?