The incidence of type II diabetes has increased some 600 percent over the last thirty years. Historically a disease of overweight, middle-aged people, it is not unusual today to see children as young as ten who have developed this devastating disorder. Overall, incidence of type II in the teenage population has increased 16 percent over the last decade alone.
Many theories have attempted to explain why we are now seeing such an explosion of type II diabetes, but none really meet all the observations associated with the condition.240 While children and teenagers are eating a lot of junk food and exercising little, the situation is not that different than when I was a teenager. What is different are the huge amounts of MSG and similar excitotoxic food additives children are consuming. The amounts of these additives has doubled every decade since their introduction in 1948.241
This also means that, while pregnant, mothers of diabetic children also consumed very large amounts of these excitotoxin-containing foods. Likewise, many parents feed their babies table food from an early age—food often laced with large amounts of MSG. In addition, large numbers of babies are fed formula, and many formulas are known to be high in excito-toxins such as caseinate. I have already cited studies showing that gross obesity is frequently linked to excessive MSG consumption in test animals. In addition, genetically susceptible mice exposed to MSG developed juvenile-onset diabetes. Several independent studies have shown that MSG causes significant increases in insulin secretion, just as we see in cases of type II diabetes.
Yet, in studies, animals without the gene for type I (insulin-dependent) diabetes still became grossly obese. This MSG-induced obesity was characterized by a preference for carbohydrates and an aversion for more nutritious foods, just as we are now witnessing in our youth. Also, excess weight was extremely difficult to exercise off or diet off in these experimental animals.
These experiments showed that damage occurred in the hypothalamus of the brain. As far back as 1940, it was known that stereotactic lesions to a particular part of the hypothalamus could produce grossly obese mice, exactly like those seen with MSG exposure. Because the FDA has refused to address this issue, we are more likely to see an unchecked increase in childhood obesity and type II diabetes.
Also characteristic of MSG exposure is an increase in insulin release from the pancreas. As we have seen, the pancreas contains numerous glutamate type receptors, and glutamate in the diet can induce as much as a threefold increase in insulin release from the pancreas. In addition, experiments in animals have demonstrated that MSG can induce insulin resistance, exactly as we see in type II diabetes in humans.
Now that we have experimental evidence that dietary MSG can cause insulin resistance, it is ludicrous to allow the food processors to add increasing amounts of MSG to our food. In addition to type II diabetes, MSG also causes abnormal lipid profiles, hypertension, and abnormal adrenal responses. With our children consuming tons of this toxic additive, we can expect things to get worse.
The major contributing factors related to type II diabetes include: obesity; overeating refined carbohydrates and fats, both polyunsaturated and saturated; a lack of omega-3-type fats in the membranes of cells; chromium deficiency; and a lack of soluble fiber and phytochemicals.
The final common cause is a defect in the insulin receptor on cell membranes, most often caused by an abnormal composition of fats in the membranes. Diets high in saturated fats, trans fatty acids and omega-6 type fats contribute to this diabetes-related membrane malfunction. It may be that food-borne excitotoxins are the final common denominator.
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