There’s an old proverb used in my grandmother’s time… “Necessity is the mother of invention.”
This is what drove one man to become the first doctor to specialize in diabetes care.
You see, Dr. Elliott P. Joslin was attending Harvard Medical School when his aunt was diagnosed with diabetes, which in those times was rare and most often fatal.
Ironically, one year into setting up his own medical practice, his mother Sara developed diabetes. Dr. Joslin became more determined than ever to find a cure.
Because he was a deeply religious man, he looked to the Bible for inspiration. And he found it…
Using this Bible “secret,” Dr. Joslin was able to trigger a diabetic patient’s body into activating a metabolic master switch called AMPK. And once this switch was turned on, a patient’s blood sugar levels returned to normal. And their diabetes went away…
Dr. Joslin activated AMPK in his patients by having them practice strict calorie control — or intermittent fasting. It’s something I recommend to all my diabetic patients.
AMPK — 5’ AMP-activated protein kinase — is a very important enzyme in your body. It works kind of like a traffic cop by moving excess sugar and fat into your cells to be burned as energy.
When you’re young, AMPK keeps your metabolic functions running smoothly. Helping you stay slim and disease-free. But as we age, AMPK signaling declines, which may quickly lead to an excess buildup of blood glucose and dangerous fat accumulation.
With reduced AMPK signaling, a range of damaging conditions begins to take over a previously healthy body, often leading to an early death. These damaging conditions include:
• Increased belly fat
• Elevated blood sugar
• Chronic inflammation
• Insulin resistance
In other words, the ideal conditions for type 2 diabetes.
But when AMPK is activated, incredible things happen. Your cells leap into survival mode. Your body no longer stores new fat, and instead it burns the fat it’s been storing. It also boosts insulin resistance and pumps glucose into cells from the blood.
That’s why AMPK is such a powerful weapon against diabetes.
But when your AMPK “switch” is not functioning optimally, the opposite happens.
Your blood sugar begins to rise dramatically. Your body tries to fix this excess blood sugar by pumping out more insulin. But that doesn’t work. Soon, your insulin-producing pancreas cells get worn out. This becomes a vicious cycle…
Whenever a diabetic patient comes to the Sears Institute for Anti-Aging Medicine, I immediately put them on my diabetes protocol. And an important part of that is activating AMPK through fasting.
In a brand-new study, researchers put three diabetic patients taking various diabetes drugs and insulin on an intermittent fast.1
After 30 days, all patients no longer needed insulin. Two patients were able to stop taking their other diabetic drugs. And the third quit taking three out of his four Big Pharma pills. All lost weight (up to 18%) and reduced their blood glucose reading. But unlike Dr. Joslin, I don’t recommend starving yourself for extended periods of time. Going to extreme measures to cut calories is no way to live.
I recommend my patients start with a safe, simple regimen that calls for an 8-hour eating window each day, followed by a 16-hour fast. You start your day with a 10 a.m. breakfast. Lunch is eaten at your regular time and dinner is finished by 6 p.m. Your body gets no additional food from 6 p.m. until 10 a.m. the next morning.
That’s all there is to it. Doing this will jump start your AMPK without leaving you feeling deprived.
Activate AMPK and Kick Diabetes to the Curb
Fasting is a sure-fire way to immediately activate AMPK. But there are other ways to kickstart your AMPK activation — and protect yourself from diabetes. Here’s what I suggest:
- Boost AMPK with “magic bullet.” One way to increase AMPK activity in your cells is with an herb called berberine. My patients use it to boost their cellular energy levels, lose weight and lower blood sugar.
In the 1980s, an accidental discovery proved that berberine is one of the most effect type 2 diabetes treatments in the world. In a study of 116 diabetic patients, researchers found that 1 gram of berberine a day lowered fasting blood sugar by 20% — from diabetic to normal levels.2
And a large analysis of 14 studies found that berberine works as effectively as Big Pharma’s diabetes drugs, including metformin.3 I suggest supplementing with 1,000 mg daily.
- Stabilize blood sugar with weird-looking “weed.” Bitter melon is a vine that produces a warty green fruit. In South America, the Caribbean, East Africa and Asia it’s a well-known food and natural medicine. Studies show bitter melon could play a key role in helping to balance insulin in your body, which, of course, means healthy blood-sugar control.4
I like to use bitter melon in cooking. But you can also supplement. I suggest 500 mg to 1,000 mg three times a day with food.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Furmli S, et al. “Therapeutic use of intermittent fasting for people with type 2 diabetes as an alternative to insulin.” BMJ Case Rep. 2018;bcr-2017-221854.
2. Zhang Y, et al. “Treatment of type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia with the natural plant alkaloid berberine.” J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008;93(7):2559-2565.
3. Dong H,et al. “Berberine in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus: A systemic review and meta-analysis.” Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012 591654.
4. Tan MJ, et al. “Antidiabetic activities of triterpenoids isolated from bitter melon associated with activation of the AMPK pathway.” Chem Biol. 2008;15(3):263-273.