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  Category: Articles » Health & Fitness » Diabetes » Article

What a Diabetic Needs to Know about Insulin

By John Goh

Insulin is a hormone secreted by groups of cells within the pancreas called islet cells. The pancreas is an organ that sits behind the stomach and has many functions in addition to insulin production.

Sugars and carbohydrates are absorbed from the intestines into the bloodstream after a meal. As a result, the blood sugar of the body increases. Insulin is then secreted by the pancreas in response to the increase in blood sugar.

Cells get the energy to carry out their functions from glucose and fatty acids. Insulin is required by the cells of the body in order for them to remove and use glucose from the blood. Insulin transports fatty acids and glucose through the cell wall.

Type 1 diabetics cannot make insulin in their bodies and require insulin shots to stay healthy. Type 2 diabetes can result from genetics defects that cause both insulin resistance and insulin deficiency. In type II diabetes, the beta cells produce insulin, but cells throughout the body do not respond normally to it.

Insulin hormone cannot be taken orally as a pill because it is a protein that can easily be broken down. Once it is rapidly digested, it is no longer effective. Hence, insulin has to be injected in the form of shots so that it enters your blood slowly and remains there longer.

Long chain fatty acids (LCFAs) require insulin to get through the cell wall but medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) can penetrate the cell walls without the help of insulin. Thus, MCFAs are a good source of nutrition for diabetics to get their cells working and to reduce their dependence on insulin shots.

Coconut oil and palm kernel oils are the best natural source of MCFAs. Coconut oil improves insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose. Coconuts and coconut oil have a lower potassium / higher sodium ratio, which helps sustain higher blood sugar levels.

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