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Awaiting moderation 14 Article

The g.i. factor: the pancreas produces insulin

        THE G.I. FACTOR: THE PANCREAS PRODUCES INSULIN
Did you know that diets with a high G.I. (glycaemic index) may increase the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease? Recent large-scale studies from Harvard University in the United States have shown that the G.I. of the diet has major implications for ordinary people without diabetes. The studies, one in 65 000 female nurses and one in 43 000 male health professionals, have shown that diets with a high glycaemic index increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. If the diet was low in fibre as well as high G.I., the risk was more than doubled. The risk of heart attack was also doubled in the nurses who ate a high G.I. diet.
The investigators 'controlled' for recognised factors such as age and body weight which are known to influence diabetes risk. Suprisingly, the amount and type of fat were not risk factors in these studies. The mechanism is thought to be related to the demand for insulin generated by high G.I. foods.
The pancreas is a vital organ near the stomach. Its job is to produce the hormone insulin. Carbohydrate stimulates the secretion of insulin more than any other component of food. The slow absorption of the carbohydrate in our food means that the pancreas doesn't have to work so hard and produces less insulin. If the pancreas is over-stimulated over a long period of time, it may become 'exhausted' and type 2 diabetes develops in genetically susceptible individuals. Even without diabetes, high insulin levels are undesirable because they increase the risk of heart disease.

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