I know it will be hard for you to believe but type 2 diabetes did not exist before 1920. When it was first seen, it was so rare it was a medical curiosity. Doctors had no idea what it was. However, the incidence of type 2 diabetes rose exponentially during the late 20’s and 30’s and as it did, doctors were baffled.
In the late 1800’s scientists discovered that removing the pancreas from a dog made its blood sugar skyrocket uncontrollably. Thus, scientists knew something was produced by the pancreas that controlled blood sugar. However, it wasn’t until 1922 that scientists found a way to isolate insulin from the pancreas of animals and inject it into people who had type 1 diabetes. After a 14 year girl’s life was saved by injecting insulin, it was hailed as a medical miracle. In short order, injecting insulin into patients with type 1 diabetes became the standard medical treatment. It worked very well for a while… but… keep reading…
In the mid to late 1920’s, a real medical mystery started developing. Patients were showing up with high blood sugar who seemed to be diabetes patients BUT they didn’t respond to insulin. Doctors were really mystified. It was a head scratcher for sure. At first it was just a few cases but the incidence of this mystery disease grew exponentially, and by the 1930’s, it was a major topic of discussion in the medical community. No one understood it or where it came from but some doctors did have some success treating it with diet.
In the 1950’s, a technique was discovered that allowed insulin levels to be measured. It was discovered that type 2 diabetes, a disease that was now running rampant, was associated with normal or even elevated levels of insulin. This was very different from type 1 diabetics whose bodies could produce little to no insulin.
To recap, in type 1 diabetics, blood sugar was high but insulin levels were low. In type 2 diabetics, blood sugar was also high but insulin levels were either normal or elevated. Moreover, type 2 diabetics did not respond to insulin injections. By the 1930’s, type 2 diabetes had grown 1000% and already far outpaced traditional type 1 diabetes. Today, type 2 diabetes accounts for approximately 95% of all diabetes cases in the United States.
Keep in mind, type 2 diabetes was a completely NEW disease in the 1920’s. To me, this fact is astounding. I think this news should be shouted from the rooftops and reported on every news channel because there must be some reason that type 2 diabetes suddenly appeared in the 1920’s and so rapidly escalated in the general American population. Diseases don’t just appear out of no where with no cause. What is also interesting is that type 2 diabetes appeared about the same time in some of the other developed countries but was delayed in others by differing amounts of time.
So, what caused this mysterious new disease that is so crippling America and other industrialized nations today?
The answer is the widespread introduction of poisonous food into the food supply. In the 1920’s, hydrogenated oils and fats began to be sold in industrialized nations. This is an ARTIFICIAL food. They were not accepted at first but their lower cost made them more attractive once the Great Depression hit and people were so strapped for money. This was followed by the rationing of real butter during World War 2 which helped margarine finally become fully accepted.
The introduction of hydrogenated oils and fats were motivated entirely by profit and greed. With this process, really cheap oils could be turned into solids at room temperature and Crisco could replace animal lard and margarine could replace butter. Hydrogenation also greatly increased the shelf life of food products which meant that mass scale production and storage could be achieve and thus way more profit.
Many scientists expressed serious concerns over the potential health hazards of these artificial foods. There is a record of this as they did so at conferences and in published papers. However, the war effort soon over-shadowed these concerns which unfortunately were not widely discussed again until the 1970’s. By this time, hydrogenated oils were ingrained into our diets and all the big food companies profit handsomely from them. Diabetes and all of its complications is also big business for the medical field. Basically, the idea of curing diabetes equals the loss of profit for many. The idea of removing hydrogenated oils and fats entirely from our food supply is a herculean task… BUT it really must be done or we are going to end up with our entire population having diabetes and dying from the complications of it.
This article is already very long so I can’t discuss the mechanism by which hydrogenated oils cause diabetes in detail. Briefly, however, the process of hydrogenation creates artificial trans fats out of omega-3 fats. Trans fats are VERY rare in nature and their chemical structure is quite different than the healthy and natural omega-3 fats they replace. When we ingest trans fat, it becomes incorporated into our cell membranes and interferes with the process of glucose transport across the cell membrane. So, even if the pancreas is producing adequate amounts of insulin, not enough glucose gets across our trans fat damaged cell membranes, glucose builds up in our bloodstream, our cells don’t get the nutrients they need, and we can develop several different medical ailments from the same underlying cause.
Everyone, especially diabetics, pre-diabetics, and those at higher risk to develop diabetes, should stop eating trans fat entire. You need to keep in mind that eating trans fat (hydrogenated oil of any kind has trans fat) is not like eating icecream where eating it “in moderation” is okay. Trans fat is poison period. Not even a little should be eaten.