Diabetes 101: How Culinary Argan Oil Can Help

In the United States 25.8 million children and adults or 8.3% of the population have diabetes. This is according to the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet. This is an alarming number. Diabetes complications include heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, blindness, kidney disease, nervous system disease (neuropathy) and amputation.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus or diabetes as we popularly call it is a group of metabolic diseases. Abnormally high blood sugar or glucose levels in the blood characterize this disease. Our body produces insulin to bring down glucose levels however in the case of diabetic people, there is an absence or insufficient production of insulin.

Two Types of Diabetes

Diabetes has two types. They are Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes was also called insulin dependent or juvenile onset while type 2 diabetes was referred to in the past as non-insulin dependent or adult onset diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is commonly diagnosed in young adults and children which is the reason why it was formerly called juvenile diabetes. In this type of diabetes the body is not able to produce insulin. Insulin is what converts food, sugar and starches into energy which the body needs for daily functions. Type 1 diabetes is considered as an autoimmune disease. What happens is the immune system produces antibodies and inflammatory cells targeting the body’s own tissues and thereby creating damage. The beta cells of the pancreas which produce insulin are damaged and as a result the body is rendered incapable of producing insulin. Type 1 diabetes is considered in part to be hereditary however details are not completely understood yet. An estimate of 5% of diabetes patients suffer from Type 1 diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes

Most people suffering from diabetes have the type 2 diabetes. In this case, insulin is till produced by the body however the body’s fat, liver and muscle cells are not responding correctly to the insulin produced. This condition is called insulin resistance. Usually, too much insulin is produced by the pancreas but because the cells of the body have insulin resistance blood sugar is not able to get into cells to be stored as energy.

Managing Diabetes

When you are living with diabetes, your goal is to prevent or avoid increase of blood sugar or glucose without causing it to drop down too low. People with type 1 diabetes should exercise and follow a diabetic diet and be treated with insulin. People with type 2 diabetes should shed off excess weight, follow a diabetic diet and exercise regularly. Oral medications can also be taken should these methods fail to keep the blood sugar levels in control. Insulin is considered as the last option for treatment.

Argan Oil as Treatment?

In Morocco,the culinary Argan oil is popularly used to treat diabetes. Recent research revealed that Argan oil can decrease insulin resistance. A 2006 study reported that the oil improved cellular response to low doses of insulin and a 2009 study showed that consuming the oil can reverse the metabolic changes linked with a high-sugar diet therefore preventing the development of diabetes.

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