March 25, 2001    Diabetes


The children cry - the mothers weep
A nation torn by disbelief . . .

This newsletter is dedicated to raising awareness for diabetes. This is especially in honor of Valerie Minuti - a local woman whose persistence and dedication to raising awareness for diabetes has recently paid off. Valerie, inspired by her son's condition, has traveled all over the country for the past 2 years promoting diabetes education and gathering support for an awareness campaign. Her hard work was recently honored by the unveiling of a new postal stamp which promotes diabetes awareness, education, and research. ARNOLD'S WAY knows that it is through awareness and education that hope for a better tomorrow thrives.

According to the American Medical Association, this disease cannot be fully examined until there is both more money for research and more public support for the cause. The American Diabetic Association claims the cause of diabetes is unknown. Well, the AMA or the ADA may not be able to have an official platform when it comes to causation. But let's take a good look at what information IS out there regarding the cause of diabetes.

What exactly is diabetes? Diabetes is a disease in which your body is unable to transport blood sugar - via insulin - into your cells where it is used for energy. Insulin is a hormone produced by specialized cells of the pancreas. Insulin actually transports blood sugars directly into your cells. There are 2 ways this disease operates. Childhood-Onset Diabetes, or Type I, is when you don't produce enough insulin in order to transport the sugar from the blood into the cells. Adult-Onset Diabetes, or Type II, is when you do produce enough insulin, but it is unable to function properly.

In "Food For Life", Dr. Neil Barnard states that Type I, Childhood-Onset Diabetes, is caused when there is damage to the pancreas early in life. How might one damage the pancreas as a child? Well, mounting evidence is showing a link between dairy consumption and Type I diabetes. The New England Journal of Medicine reports that researchers in Canada and Finland found high levels of antibodies to a specific protein in cow's milk called bovine serum albumin. In all 142 diabetic children who participated in the study, EVERY one of them had high levels of antibodies to that milk protein. These antibodies actually destroy those specialized cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. The destruction of these specialized cells occurs gradually, and diabetes becomes evident when 80-90% of these cells are destroyed. The fact that out of 142 diabetic children, all 142 had very high levels of antibodies to bovine serum albumin, points to a very strong link between dairy consumption and Childhood-Onset Diabetes.

To this day, milk is served in almost every school in America. It is considered a staple of a healthy diet, and is touted as a great source of dietary calcium and protein. The only thing I can say is : America - wake up and smell the roses!! Do we really have to wait 10 or 20 years for more and more research to point us in the right direction? Do we really have to keep raising our children on a substance that in fact could force them to take insulin injections for the rest of their lives? While more trials must be conducted to fully explore the link between dairy and Type I diabetes, would it really hurt to cut milk and dairy products out of our children's diets?

Yet this is America - the society of consumers. We are told by ads and billboards and the Food Pyramid that we should drink milk for healthy bones. That it's "cool" to drink milk. Yet, do you know that milk and dairy products in and of themselves only offer an absorption of 25% of the available calcium content in every glass of milk? In order for the body to absorb dietary calcium, it needs comparable amounts of magnesium. Yet milk and dairy products contain only small amounts of magnesium. So what happens to the excess calcium the body can't use? The kidneys convert it into painful stones which block our urinary tracks. The body uses calcium to build plaques on the arteries which contribute to the development of arteriosclerosis and heart disease. Excess calcium is also manifested as gout, a form of arthritis, a painful condition in which joints become inflamed.

Beyond all these facts, there are also strong links between food allergies to milk and other conditions such as asthma, skin rashes, and of course the well-known gastrointestinal symptoms classified as "lactose intolerance." And don't forget about contaminants in milk like hormones and antibiotics. ( Another subject, another newsletter . . .)

Education regarding the assumed benefits and harmful effects of dairy products may help all of us make better decisions when it comes to what we feed our kids. I don't allow my kids to drink milk. I find it hard to believe that the only information the American Diabetic Association can give us is that the cause of diabetes is unknown. Causes of disease are usually multi-faceted, yet I believe that the evidence is pointing us in the direction of at least ONE possible cause.

When people do start to wake up and smell the roses- and stop feeding their kids milk- the dairy industry will lose millions of dollars in profit. This debilitating effect on the profit margin of the dairy industry will cause great havoc not only within the sphere of the dairy industry and its leaders, but also on our economy. For example, there would be a loss of profits from medications designed to treat gastrointestinal illnesses and discomforts. So the effects will ripple all the way down. Thus, it is in the best interest of economists and industry leaders to not only keep us in the dark about the negative effects of dairy, but also to do the opposite: keep promoting their products and convincing us to consume them.

So let us join together in Valerie Minuti's fight to fix the diabetes problem in this country. Let us investigate and educate and continue to spread awareness. Let us keep an open mind and be driven by a strong thirst for the truth. Thank you Valerie for your noble efforts, and we at Arnold's Way fully support your cause!

RAW Sources of Dietary Calcium : Green leafy veggies, almonds, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, oats, beans - especially soybeans, parsley, & sesame seeds

RAW Sources of Dietary Magnesium: Green leafy veggies like kale and collards, whole grains, OJ

NEXT WEEK : We will explore Type II Diabetes, Adult-Onset Diabetes, and its links to sugar consumption.

SOURCES OF INFO: Milk- The Deadly Poison. Robert Cohen. Argus Publishing, 1998.
Food For Life. Neal Barnard, MD. Three Rivers Press, 1993.
"Stamp stands for hope in diabetes effort." Michelle Jeffrey, Philadelphia Inquirer.