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Monk Fruit, it’s good for Diabetes

monkMonk Fruit is also known as Luo Han Guo refers to the fruit of Siraitia Grosvenori, formerly called Momordica Grosvenori, a member of the Curcubitaceae. Monk fruit has been traditionally grown on steep forested mountains in small family orchards. According to legend, monk fruit is named after the Buddhist monks who first cultivated it nearly 800 years ago. Ever since then it has been treasured for its health-giving powers and its unique low-calorie sweetness. Monk fruit is primarily grown in southern China, mainly in Guangxi Province, with most of the product from the mountains of Guilin. The outer surface of the dried Monk fruit is round and smooth, dusty yellow-brown or dusty green-brown. It is covered with fine, soft hair. The fruit is covered by a hard but thin shell. Inside is a partly dry, flexible substance containing the juice, as well as a large number of seeds. The skin, juicy part, and seeds all have a good sweet flavor. Its nature is cool, and it has no poison.

The monk fruit act as a natural sweetener. Monk fruit extract is a high intense, zero-calorie sweetener, and can be used in blends with sucrose, fructose and erythitol. The sweetness of this fruit is due to the presence of a chemical mogrosidein. The pulp of this fruit contains around 1% mogroside making it the sweetest fruit on earth. Both the fresh and dried fruits are extracted to yield a powder that is 80% or more mogrosides. The mixed mogrosides are estimated to be about 300 times as sweet as sugar by weight, so that the 80% extracts are nearly 250 times sweeter than sugar; pure mogrosides may be 400 times sweeter than sugar by weight. It therefore, is good for Diabetic patients.

Guo-Ping Lin etal (2007) conducted a study on Effect of Siraitia Grosvenorii Polysaccharide (SGP) on Glucose and Lipid of Diabetic Rabbits. The SGP was isolated and purified and induced by feeding high fat/high sucrose chow to the diabetic rabbits to analyze the therapeutic effects of SGP. The study concluded that SGP not only reduces the lipid disorder, but also lowers plasma glucose levels. SGP have obvious glucose-lowering effect on hyperglycemic rabbits induced by feeding high fat/high sucrose chow.

Some of the other known beliefs are that monk fruit helps relieve sunstroke, moistens the lungs, eliminates phlegm, stops cough, and promotes bowel movements.

But I feel we need to do some more researches on medicinal properties of monk fruits. As in my knowledge, there is only 1 research study available in database that stated monk fruit have good effects on diabetes. If we conduct researches, keeping in mind, it’s sweetening properties, then I think we don’t need artificial sweeteners for diabetic patients, monk fruit will work perfectly.

References:

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?cmd=HistorySearch&querykey=4
  2. http://www.agricare.org/monk_fruit.html
  3. T. Tsurtematsu and A. Shigenobu, “Study on the constituents from fructs of momordicae grosvenori,” Pharmaceutical Journal, vol. 103, pp. 1151–1173, 1983.
  4. R. Kasai, R.-L. Nie, K. Nashi, et al., “Sweet cucurbitaneglucosides from fruits of Siraitia siamensis,” Agricultural and Biological Chemistry, vol. 53, no. 12, pp. 3347–3349, 1989.
  5. L.-Q. Zhang, X.-Y. Qi, W.-J. Chen, and Y.-F. Song, “Effect of Mogroside extracts on blood glucose, blood lipid and antioxidation of hyperglycemic mice induced by Alloxan,” Chinese Pharmacological Bulletin, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 237–240, 2006.

Mahak

 

 

 

 

 

Articile compiled by Ms. Mahak Sharma

Assistant Professor, Food Science and Nutrition, Lady Irwin college, Delhi University

PhD. scholar, Food Science and Nutrition, Delhi University

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Use of sweeteners in your day to day life

sweetenersIn the global fight against diabetes, here you can learn a little more about sweeteners. Many of us now easily embrace the use of sweeteners in our daily diet while making a tea, coffee or dessert. All of us want to reduce the calorie consumption as well as keep a check on sugar consumption too. Did you know that there are different varieties of sweeteners available in the market today but their intake should be moderate?

Worldwide, it is estimated that there are approximately 371 million people suffering from diabetes and another 600 million are pre-diabetic. Diabetes is very silently killing our children, adults and seniors, and if left untreated can cause irreversible damages to various body parts, like the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart and blood vessels. Diabetes is managed with lifestyle reforms, dietary adjustments, proper exercise and medication. While making dietary adjustments, consumption of sugar is usually substituted with other sweeteners.

We suggest avoiding consumption of sweeteners and sugar both for all age groups and even diabetic patients should also not use it to a certain extent. You will learn about the benefits and risks of using various sweeteners in below comparison.

Aspartame has almost no calories compared to sugar, and is 200 times sweeter than natural sugar. It is widely used in soft drinks and alcoholic beverages, gelatines, frozen desserts, breakfast cereals and sweets in general. While some studies suggest a connection with the neuronal death and cancer development in mice, others go the opposite direction, suggesting the sweetener to be completely safe for consumption. It is approved by the regulatory bodies of the U.S., Brazil and many other countries. However, reports to US FDA have associated aspartame to minor adverse reactions and life-threatening conditions such as Migraine, Change in vision, Nausea and Vomiting, Insomnia (Sleep problems), Abdominal and Joint pains, Change in Heart rate, Depression, Memory loss, Seizure, Brain cancer.

A case study, by Drs. Bigal and Krymchantowski, found that in brands containingSucralose, may induce migraine. Sucralose has been acknowledged for its inability to be metabolized by the body. Since it is not digested, Sucralose does not increase calories, raise blood sugar, or leave an aftertaste. Testing of sucralose has revealed organ, genetic, and reproductive damage. Other side effects may entail shrinkage of the thymus gland, swelling of the liver and kidneys, and initiate calcification of the kidney; but the US FDA determined that it does not increase cancer risk in humans.

Even today, the two sweeteners which are most popular and most widely used are Aspartame and Sucralose.

Cyclamate is 30 times sweeter than sugar. It can withstand high temperatures and dissolves easily in liquids. It has no calories. The findings of experiments done on rats suggested that cyclamate might increase the risk of bladder cancer in humans. The US FDA banned use of cyclamate in 1969, however after re-examination of cyclamate’s carcinogenicity and evaluation of additional data, scientists concluded that cyclamate was not a carcinogen or a co-carcinogen (a substance that enhances the effect of a cancer-causing substance). A food additive petition was filed with the US FDA for the re-approval of cyclamate, but this petition is currently being held in abeyance (not actively being considered).

Saccharin is 300 times sweeter than sugar. It is resistant to high and low temperatures. It has no calories. Studies in laboratory rats during the early 1970s linked saccharin with the development of bladder cancer. For this reason, Congress mandated that further studies of saccharin be performed and required that all food containing saccharin bear the following warning label, “Use of this product may be hazardous to your health. This product contains saccharin, which has been determined to cause cancer in laboratory animals.” However, mechanistic studies have shown that these results apply only to rats. Human epidemiology studies have shown no consistent evidence that saccharin is associated with bladder cancer incidence.

Acesulfame K is 150 times sweeter than sugar.  It has a bitter aftertaste and is heat resistant and has no calories at all. It is the sweetener used in most diet drinks. Acesulfame potassium was approved by the US FDA in 1988 for use in specific food and beverage categories, and was later approved as a general purpose sweetener (except in meat and poultry) in 2002.

Stevia is a natural sweetener that is extracted from a plant native to the Sierra Amanbai on the border of Brazil and Paraguay. About 300 times sweeter than regular sugar, is considered non-toxic. Researches show that it is a good weapon in the fight against Diabetes, Obesity and Heart disease. Its major disadvantage is the strong bitter residual taste, feels nasty after use.

Fructose a sugar found mainly in fruits, but also in some cereals, vegetables and honey. It can be metabolized in the liver, without the presence of insulin, is widely used in the manufacture of foods for Diabetics. Also used by athletes, people with heart and stomach problems and for those looking to lose weight.

To summarize, Stevia and Fructose could be considered as healthy alternatives to sugar.

REFERENCES:

  1. Bigal, M.E. & Krymchantowski, A.V. (2007). Should You Sour on Aspartame? Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter, 25 (7), p. 4-5.
  2. Hirsch, A. R. (2007) Migraine Triggered by Sucralose – A Case Report. Headache: The Journal of Head & Face Pain, 47 (3), p. 447.
  3. Hull, J. (2005). The Dangers of Artificial Sweeteners. Total Health, 27 (1), p. 30-32.
  4. Newman, L. C. & lipton, R. B. (2001) Migraine MLT-Down: An Unusual Presentation of Migraine in Patients With Aspartame-Triggered Headaches. The Journal of Head & Face Pain, 41 (9), p. 899-901.
  5. Rebhahn, P. (2001). Dangerous Diet Drinks. Psychology Today, 34 (2), p. 20-25.
  6. IDF Diabetic Atlas Update 2012, Fifty edition

Article compiled by Ms. Hema Manchanda

Importance of Psychological Intervention in patients with Diabetes

William Shakespeare said “The Eyes are the window to your soul.” Similarly, beauty is the reflection of our health. We all have a desire to look beautiful but still ignore our physiological and psychological health. But what if we are diagnosed with an illness? Can we look beautiful then?

Suman was very young when she got diagnosed with Diabetes. Her childhood was protected by her parents but because of this she was isolated from her peers. She was not allowed to spend much time with other classmates and neighbors for better management of her diabetes by her parents. This led to low self esteem in her. As she grew up she became an introvert child who was very well behaved and good in studies. When she was in 11th standard, a boy approached her and proposed to her. Attracted by him, she did not notice that her relationship with him was at the cost of her spending money on him where ever they went. Like him she continued higher studies and got a bachelors degree. She soon looked for a job but the boy decided to study further. Once Suman started working, her regular exercises stopped and her diet also became irregular.  She started physically deteriorating and her face lost its charm. She was under regular stress because being the only one earning between her and her boy friend she had to support her boy friend for most of his expenditures. Based on the commitment of marriage and advancements by the boy, they even got physical and she conceived. She wanted him to marry her immediately but the boy refused. She was forced to abort her child. She is experiencing immense stress as the boy continues to have sexual relationship with her. He is also exploiting her financially but when she asks him for marriage he refuses. When brought in for therapy, Suman was facilitated to maintain a healthy life style with regular exercise and diet control. Relaxation was introduced to combat stress and BP related problems which she had developed over a period of time. She initially chose to avoid her boyfriend for some time. During this time she went to a trip with her office team during which she was proposed to by her colleague and she immediately refused stating that she was in a relationship. She is now in therapy for the last one year physiologically maintaining well. She has broken off from that boy and thinking of a better relationship.

In the case above we can see that beauty can be maintained in illnesses like Diabetes by seeking support by multi specialist professionals.

This article would look into the significance of Psychological intervention for a patient with diabetes.

Any illness has some psychological impact but in lifelong illness like diabetes it becomes profound. The news of the diagnosis makes the patient and his family members go through a grief process. This grief has to be resolved at the end otherwise the individual patient or the families of children and adolescents would become dysfunctional. Adjustment to the diagnosis is facilitated with the help of a health psychologist or clinical psychologist.

Studies show Depressive Disorder is found 3 times in people suffering from Diabetes than general adult population. Anxiety disorder is also significantly more common in people suffering from Diabetes. The most common psychological factor associated with patients with Diabetes is Stress. Along with other biological changes, acute stress in the general population typically results in suppression of insulin release and thus increases glucose level in the blood. These studies further emphasize the importance of Psychological intervention for patients with Diabetes.

Article compiled by Ms. Deepali Bedi

M. Phil. Clinical Psychology
M. Sc Psychology
PG Diploma in Management of Children with LD
M.A. Counseling Psychology

John fights back!

My name is John,
and I have diabetes,
half of my life is worn,
due to this group of diseases,

Doc says some strange things,
about my blood and about my insulin,
my blood has sugar,
more than it should be,
despite so much sugar,
it is not really sweet.

“John your body cannot hold that much,
your cells don’t react your condition is such.”

But that doesn’t cease me to live,
I still have several things for taking and much more to give,
this life which has so much sweet, still isn’t tasty,
it’s like nothing to enjoy in a chocolate pastry,
but I have faith in life, faith in god,
my determination can fight every little odd,
this disease is a mere stone,
kept in my path by me very own,
it’s me who will kick it or take it towards an end,
this stone is definitely not a kind friend,

John has one life and nothing else to mention,
he has one goal to live and nothing as a tension,
if he can do, then why can’t you,
lets fight this disease, life has a long way through.

This is a short poem on a diabetic man named John; he is fed up of it and wants to recover. He expresses his desire to live and not let this disease take over. Then he tells everyone to be determined and not to lose hope.

Image

Creation of Virinder Sabharwal, a science student currently in 11th grade. Writing poems and science philosophy is a passion.

Things will be all right

Diabetes is a challenge – we have to fight

Let us be cautious – and not take it light

With proper guidance – monitor the diet

Brisk walk is a must – before sun is too bright

If we are sincere – things will be all right

Image

Creation of Tarun Sethia, an investment advisor by profession based in Kolkata with keen interest in poetry writing.

Me n sugar

Sugar sugar sugar Oh! sweet sober sugar,
I just wanted you so much, I just loved you so much,
So many O so many all shapes n size n so yummy,
I ate you when I was a kid, and sipped you when I used to play,
I dug in you n woke with you n ate you all all day,
But now I see you near yet so far,
Still yummy your dishes are,
But I cant have them, yes, I cant have,
And I’m strong n I’m glad,
Coz slowly n slowly your love was killing me,
And I was fatter yet I didn’t see,
But my heart wept quietly everyday,
Till it was attacked one day,
I then understood that I love you no more,
N for my dear heart I made sure,
That I will break away from you,
You wont be able to lure me again,
N you wont be able to give any pain,
I’m happy to be still away from you, n will always be!!!

annu

Creation of Annu Tripathi, a freelancer, passionate about creative writing, poetry, short stories and content writing. Otherwise, a full time housewife.