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How honey could prevent type 2 diabetes

BY Mike McInnes

18th Jul 2023 Wellbeing

How honey could prevent type 2 diabetes

In his new book Honey Sapiens, pharmacist and sports nutritionist explores the health benefits of honey, including type 2 diabetes prevention

Few would argue that excess consumption of refined sugars is not a major influence on the increased incidence of type 2 diabetes in adults and children. Honey is a food high in sugars and therefore it would seem nonsense to suggest that rejecting refined sugars in favour of honey might act to prevent type 2 diabetes, but that is exactly what is argued in the book Honey Sapiens.

How do type 1 and type 2 diabetes differ?

There are two major types of diabetes. Type 1 is a condition in which insulin is not produced by the pancreas and blood glucose rises to dangerous levels. This condition is thought to be largely autoimmune in origin, linked in some cases to infection and in others to food allergies/intolerances that lead to autoimmune destruction of the pancreas, but with a strong genetic component. Type 1 is also therefore referred to as "insulin dependent diabetes" and, before the introduction of insulin 100 years ago, most sufferers had a short life expectancy.

"Type 2 diabetes has dramatically increased in numbers from the 1970s on"

Type 2 diabetes does not cause, but rather is the result of blood glucose levels being dangerously high. It is largely due to overconsumption of refined carbohydrates and sugars. In other words, type 1 causes high blood glucose levels; type 2 is caused by high blood glucose levels.

These are two very different conditions, although superficially similar in terms of symptoms. Most of the world’s diabetics have type 2, and it is this condition that has dramatically increased in numbers from the 1970s on, when we adopted a diet of increased carbohydrates and reduced fats.

"Honey blindness"

Honey consists of 80 to 85 per cent carbohydrates and has been categorised as just one of many high-sugar foods by mainstream health professionals, but research over many years tells a different story. However, most of this research has been undertaken outside the western world.

Honey - how honey can prevent type 2 diabetes

The health benefits of honey are not widely recognised in the western world

You may wonder why academia and mainstream health professionals believe that honey is essentially the same in its effects on the body as refined sugars, and that it (honey) has no additional benefits. This "honey blindness", as I call it, was at least in part caused by a book by American physician Clinton Jarvis. Published in 1958, it claimed (on the basis of folklore) that honey could cure a variety of diseases; this was without scientific evidence, and the book was seized and destroyed by the US’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after initially selling widely. 

"Honey has remained largely unresearched in the west"

The notion that honey possessed no health benefits mutated into a dogma and honey has remained largely unresearched in the west. Elsewhere around the world, in China, Japan, India, Korea, Malaysia, the Middle East, Africa and South America, researchers had probably never heard of Clinton Jarvis, and from the early 2000s new studies emerged that showed the US notion (exported to the UK and Europe) was nonsense. Indeed, it may now be stated that honey is the most antidiabetic and neuroprotective brain fuel known to humankind. 

In Honey Sapiens I show that refined carbohydrates and sugars—but not honey—are shrinking the human brain and degrading human cognition, and that diabetes type 2 is neurodegenerative condition involving lack of energy to the brain. The mechanism that drives this condition is that of excess circulating glucose, which oxidises and degrades an enzyme which is an essential part of the human brain’s fuel pump; this is the ancient enzyme glutamine synthetase (GS). Suppression of GS deprives the brain of energy, as would occur in any engine, mechanical or biological; overwhelming the engine disables the fuel pump.

Bioflavonoids and the api-paradox

If French red wine consumption offers a paradox that negates ill health via bioflavonoid intake, the honeybee qualifies as the most effective, the most brilliant, and the most potent modulator of such a paradox in the history of evolution. The honeybee carries in its circulation a high level of toxic sugars during flight—50 times that of humans.

Honey bee - how honey can prevent type 2 diabetes

The honeybee should be diabetic, but it isn't

Yet somehow it is enabled to protect its brain from destructive sugar oxidation, express its colossal metabolic rate, articulate its highly advanced waggle-dance communication, and perform its sophisticated selective mapping and gain of nectar and pollen reward during complex foraging. That is to say, the honeybee should be diabetic—but is not. 

Nature excels at paradoxes, but the api-paradox is the most potent of these, and a paradox that demonstrates to us modern humans just how to protect our fragile brains from sugar toxicity.  

"Honey, with its battery of bioflavonoid regulatory principles, may act as a protective brain fuel"

We must be aware, however, that this impressive profile in no way suggests that bioflavonoids in honey (of which there are many) are any kind of treatment for diabetes type 2. It simply shows us that honey, with its battery of bioflavonoid regulatory principles, may act as a protective brain fuel to replace refined carbohydrates and sugars in foods and drinks.

In Honey Sapiens, I show that every time you add a spoonful of refined sugar to a cup of tea or coffee, you are digesting your brain—yes, digesting your cerebral organ and degrading your cognition. If, on the other hand, you add the same quantity of sugar in the form of honey, you are protecting your brain, enhancing your cognition, and helping to prevent type 2 diabetes. The choice, you will learn, is yours.

Honey Sapiens by Mike McInnes - how honey can prevent type 2 diabetes

Honey Sapiens: Human Cognition and Sugars by Mike McInnes (Hammersmith, July 2023) is available now

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