Dr Dingle's Blog / gestational diabetes
Another reason to add some of the cabbage family to your daily diet, preferably raw is because of their gut healing properties and how they promote gut health through the gut microbiome. The Brassica family including cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, arugula (rocket), bok choy, cauliflower, collard greens, radish, turnip and others have been recognized for their gut healing and gut health properties for hundreds of years and modern epidemiologic studies have shown a frequent consumption of cruciferous vegetables is associated with lower risk of cancer, especially cancers of the digestive tract, bladder, breast, prostate, and lung. However, only now are we recognizing that many of these benefits are mediated through the microbiome and that their frequent consumption alters the composition of the microbiome.
Cruciferous vegetables are a rich source of glucosinolates a precursor to the Isothiocyanates (ITC), which exhibit powerful biological functions in fighting cancers, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative diseases and gut healing. The Isothiocyanates are a by product of specific plant enzymes (myrosinase) active during chewing or crushing when broccoli is consumed raw or lightly steamed, however, like all enzymes myrosinase is deactivated by cooking and ingestion of cooked broccoli typically provides only about one tenth the amount of isothiocyanates as that from raw broccoli. So to maximize the gut healing, gut health and overall benefits of these foods they are best eaten raw or just lightly steamed.
Instead when cooked cruciferous vegetables are consumed, gut bacteria are mainly responsible for ITC production in the gut. This is highlighted after taking oral antibiotics, the ITC’s availability and uptake decreases after eating cooked cruciferous vegetable. It also appears that there is considerable difference in the ability of individuals, due to individual differences in gut microbial community, to produce the isothiocyanates. Although, the gut community’s ability is altered over just 4 days. In one study feeding raw or cooked broccoli for four days or longer both changed the microbiota composition and caused a greater production of isothiocyanates. Interestingly, a three-day withdrawal from broccoli reversed the increased microbial metabolites suggesting that the microbiota requires four or more days of broccoli consumption and is reversible.
The lactic acid bacteria appear to have myrosinase-like activity and the fermented Brassica food products, such as sauerkraut and kimchi, are particularly rich in Lactobacillus, and a diet rich in Brassica may promote Lactobacillus growth in the colon.
Diabetes type 2 is just a symptom of a diseased lifestyle. It is probably our body’s mechanism to store food in times of food shortages (which we needed as hunter-gatherers when food shortage was a frequent occurrence). Now we have too much of the wrong food all of the time. The signs and symptoms of diabetes, including thirst and fatigue, are just messages to tell us to change. If we don’t change then we develop insulin resistance, which tells us that we already have too much food (energy) stored in the cell and to stop sending in the sugar. By this time we may have spent 10 or 20 years not listening to the body’s messages. Under normal conditions, our cells take the sugar out of the blood to provide us with the energy our cells need to function. If the sugar remains in the bloodstream, it causes damage to the blood and to cells in the blood. But when there is too much energy stored in the cells, the cells stop taking the sugar in, because we just can’t use any more. Blood sugar levels are also one of the best predictors of dementia later in life.
Although inflammation, oxidation and acidosis (IOA) are natural and essential for a healthy body, they can be seriously problematic if they become chronic and reoccurring as a result of our body being out of balance. Recent studies have established that the three conditions combined are a leading pathogenic force in the development of chronic diseases—including diabetes, cancers, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases (including asthma and arthritis), osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, dementia and even depression, obesity and premature ageing.
In modern medicine, we treat the condition that occurs down the line, such as diabetes, by giving the person blood-sugar-lowering drugs. This lowers the blood sugar but does not treat the condition that is causing the diabetic problem. The problem is not high levels of sugar in the blood; it is the damage that has been done, often over decades, by poor diet and lifestyle that have led to chronic inflammation, oxidation and acidosis, the combination of which eventually results in high blood sugar. High blood sugar is just the symptom; the damage is in the cells—in our powerhouse called the mitochondria—and is the result of inflammation, oxidation and acidosis.
Studies dating back to 1975 show that supplementation with vitamin B6 can reduce the incidence of GD by 95% within 2 weeks. Since then a number of other studies have shown links with low nutrition level in general and in particular low levels of vitamin D and C. this is obvious if you consider there is an increased requirement for nutrients in normal pregnancy, not only due to increased demand, but also increased loss. However, despite these results the medical profession still prefer to use pharmaceuticals.
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is carbohydrate intolerance with onset or first recognition during pregnancy and is a large risk for both mother and fetus. GDM is associated with both short and long term adverse consequences to expecting mothers and their offspring. Immediate maternal complications include preeclampsia and need for cesarean sections while complications in the baby include hyperinsulinemia, macrosomia, hypoglycemia, and respiratory distress syndrome. GDM also increases the risk of obesity and glucose intolerance in the offspring.
The incidence of GD has dramatically increased in the past 20 years in some cases over 100% increase. Currently around 16.2% of women with live births had some form of hyperglycemia in pregnancy. Asian women are more prone to develop GDM than European women and Indian women have 11-fold increased risk of developing glucose intolerance in pregnancy compared to Caucasian women
In this study in 1975 fourteen pregnant women were shown by the oral glucose tolerance test to have gestational diabetes. 13 of these women had an increased urinary xanthurenic-acid excretion after an oral load of L-tryptophan indicated a relative pyridoxine deficiency. All patients were treated with vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) 100 mg/day for 14 days by mouth, after which the pyridoxine deficiency disappeared and the oral glucose tolerance improved considerably. Only two patients then had sufficiently impaired glucose tolerance to justify the diagnosis of gestational diabetes (H J Bennink and W H Schreurs. Br Med J. 1975 Jul 5; 3(5974): 13–15).
In another study thirteen women with late pregnancy gestational diabetes mellitus were treated with 100 mg. of vitamin B6 per day for 2 weeks. There was a statistically significant improvement in the glucose tolerance curve after the vitamin B6 treatment, with a lowering of blood glucose levels at all points on the curve except for the 5 minute value. This glucose effect occurred despite an unchanged or lowered plasma insulin level (Spellacy WN, Buhi WC, Birk SA. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1977 Mar 15;127(6):599-602).
Specific nutrient deficiencies of chromium, magnesium, potassium and pyridoxine (Jovanovic-Peterson L1, Peterson CM. J Am Coll Nutr. 1996 Feb;15(1):14-20) as well as vitamin D and C appear to increase the tendency towards hyperglycemia in gestational diabetic women because each of these four deficiencies causes impairment of pancreatic insulin production.
The best B6 supplement to take is pyridoxal-5-phosphate (P5P)