According to the International Diabetes Federation, there are 246 million diabetic people worldwide. Diabetes affects almost 6% of adults, including over 8% of adults in North America. As the links between diet, obesity, and lifestyle and the incidence of diabetes are growing, researchers and nutritionists are looking to confirm that changes in diet can reduce or even reverse the symptoms of diabetes.
Diabetes mellitus takes two forms, known as Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is also referred to as insulin-dependent diabetes. The pancreatic beta cells are destroyed, and can not produce insulin. Thus individuals are dependent on external insulin for their metabolic needs. Type 2 diabetics do produce insulin, but the cells do not respond to it effectively. Type 1 diabetes does not have as strong a genetic link as type 2 diabetes.
Importance of Diet & Nutrition
Information going back to the early twentieth century indicates that a healthy diet is a natural treatment for diabetes, and that reversing type 2 diabetes is possible through diet. Dr. Max Gerson is generally considered the first to have accomplished a curing of diabetes in patients using dietary transformation in place of medication. Recently Dr. Gabriel Cousens, MD has designed a program that is successfully reversing the symptoms of diabetics of both types. In addition, indigenous communities typically do not show any symptoms of diabetes when living their traditional lifestyle, including their native diet, and only begin to develop diabetes and other degenerative diseases when they take on the Western diet and lifestyle.
Max Gerson is most famous for having treated Albert Schweitzer. At the age of 75, Schweitzer had advanced diabetes, and began treatment with Gerson. The program included consumption of large quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables each day, mostly in the form of fresh juice. Healthy raw and cooked foods were provided as well, and enemas were included in the program. The juices especially provided large amounts of enzymes, minerals and nutrients. Schweitzer was cured of diabetes by Gerson’s treatment.
The Live Food Diet
In his book “There Is a Cure for Diabetes” and in the film “Simply Raw”, Dr. Gabriel Cousens, MD reports the results of his 30-day program working with diabetic individuals. He contends that Type 2 diabetes is “a curable disease” and that even Type 1 diabetes can be largely reversed and managed with diet. Of the 11 people in his pilot program, two were Type 1 diabetics. After a program of live raw foods, fresh green juice, and added enzymes and herbs, all the people showed dramatic reversals in their diabetic symptoms, including the Type 1 diabetics, one of whom was down to normal blood sugar levels within two weeks. The other was off insulin by the end of the program, and had reduction in blood sugar from 279 to 126. Clearly managing a diet this way is an effective natural treatment for diabetes.
So can diabetes be reversed with a live food diet? Even Dr. Cousens does not claim that his program reverses type 1 diabetes, though he does state that “type 2 diabetes is a curable disease.” Note that his program includes not only a live raw food diet but also additional components such as herbs and digestive enzymes. But for the individuals who have gone through his program, as well as for Schweitzer, the improvements from this combination are so drastic that it would seem the issue of reversal or not is one of semantics. Clearly this is an option that could benefit many diabetics.
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