Diabetes is Caused by Low Nitric Oxide

February 26, 2023

Nitric Oxide Loss Drives Adult-Onset Diabetes

The very first incremental step of developing diabetes is insulin resistance as shown by the increase of fasting blood glucose into the 90s. The Whitehall Study from Great Britain showed that a fasting glucose of 86 determined the absence of cardiovascular risk, with a 6% increased risk for every point above 86. Hence, we need to define a "normal" blood glucose as 86, or A1c as 5.2. That is quite a step lower than our current, supposedly "normal" A1c of 5.6. It's in that gap that diabetes is developing, without our being aware. But awareness starts with knowledge.

That first stage of fasting glucose being in the 90s, or an A1c of 5.6 or higher that identifies over 90% of Americans being slightly insulin resistant, or worse, diabetic.

What is the very first step that starts us down to diabetes? The answer has been around for almost 20 years. It's too high a blood glucose from eating foods that are "too processed", meaning they have pure, white flour and delicious glucose in them in such easily available form that our blood glucose rises too rapidly.

So, we now see that research that identifies the suppression of Nitric Oxide by high glucose, that results in the gradual introduction of insulin resistance. We know that NO is necessary for insulin transport. We also know that persistently elevated glucose, or so-called Adult Onset Diabetes or "insulin resistance" also suppresses NO. There you have it. Both sides of the circle make a self-reinforcing gyre. High glucose makes you put out insulin. Insulin makes you store the calories and becomes fatter, making you more insulting resistant, and making the first, key hormone, NO persistently low.

The use of a continuous glucose monitor is instructive. It will show you exactly how high your glucose goes in response to a meal. A slice of white toast with peanut butter and jelly on it gives me a glucose of 180. Just 6 raisins give me 130. Spinach salad with olive oil.....95. Steak.....90.

Eating the processed food of America with its ultrafine refined white flour is so easily digested that our glucose rises rapidly. Rapid rise of glucose means NO suppression. Do that starting at age two in your highchair, and your body has been doing metabolic battle with lack of NO for decades. No wonder we lose 12% of our NO per decade. The first step, the very first step at NO depletion, is our American, high sugar and flour diet (the foundation of "ultra-processed foods).

www.What will Work for me? I have learned a lot from my continuous glucose monitor. If I embark on a 5-day fast mimicking diet with the CGM on, I can watch my fasting glucose drop from 104 to 92, to 82, 72, and 58 by day 5, all without feeling "hypoglycemic". For most of human history, we ran our metabolism on ketones from eating animal fat, or the green, leafy vegetables that are fermented in our guts to beta-hydroxybutyrate. We also didn't have central heating with natural gas, so we slept in colder places and developed brown fat, that burned off more calories. Neither of those turns on insulin or suppresses NO.

References: Diabetes , Biomedical Reports, Clinical Sci, Frontiers Card Med, Exp Physiology, CDC.gov, KSL, J Biol Chemistry, BBC

Pop Quiz

1. What is the very first step of glucose control?                       Answer: the release of NO that facilitates the secretion of insulin. (Think a trip to a fast-food burger joint, with the milkshake for dessert because you deserve it.). You put out a ton of insulin if you can make the NO to secrete it. But that high glucose will gradually chip away at your NO secretion. That becomes a self-fulfilling positive feedback loop, when you wanted a negative feedback loop.

2. Without sufficient NO, what happens to your arteries?                      Answer: Without NO you have the metabolic table set for sticky white cells and LDLs and you start getting endothelial dysfunction....and then plaque....and then a heart attack.

3. What is a normal A1c, or fasting glucose?                            Answer: Our labs tell us glucose under 100 is normal and A1c below 5.7 is normal. But to have a metabolism that never gets diabetes or heart disease, you need to aim lower: 86 and 5.

4. What is the first step to raise your NO back from the cellar it has been in?                          Answer: When you are in a deep hole, the first step is to stop digging. Stop eating sugar and white flour. More vegetables, more fiber, more exercise, no mouthwash, no Flouride toothpaste, infrared saunas and NO supplements.

5. Does my thermostat at 72 drive down my NO?                            Answer. Ah, Yes.  What a dilemma. It makes us develop less brown fat, that make heat, because we are exposed to less cold stress. Brown fat burns a ton of energy. Instead, we store that energy, and our fat cells get bigger and our waist lines larger.