Author Topic: Insulin and mannoheptulose (avocado sugar)  (Read 4779 times)

Offline curious_richar d

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Insulin and mannoheptulose (avocado sugar)
« on: January 20, 2012, 05:31:09 AM »
I just got a very large book on health called "Disease Prevention and Treatment" published by the "Life Extension Foundation".  It is an encyclopedia of various medical conditions and non-mainstream remedies.  I have only read a fraction of it, but so far it seems to be pretty good.  As well as giving advice on WHAT to do, it goes into detail about WHY.  I wish the Merck Manual and PDR would explain these things instead of "The mechanism of this drug's action is not well understood".  Note that this is the hardcover Expanded Fourth Edition, copyright 2003 version.

I read the section on Obesity, partly as a "test" of sorts to find out if the authors agree with the insulin theory of weight control, and partly just to read what they have to say.  I was glad to read that the authors agree that insulin is a key factor.  Page after page, they damn insulin and the harm it does to the body.  Okay, I can agree with that.

Yes, but...  They also wrote that going low-carb is not the magic way to keep insulin under control.  Up until now, every low-carb book I have read tells that the only way to keep insulin down is to greatly reduce carbohydrate intake. Okay, what is the magic ingredient to control insulin?

Page 1133:
Quote
The avocado fruit contains a sugar called mannoheptulose, which has been shown to inhibit both synthesis and release of insulin.  Consumption of the proper amount of this avocado sugar would thus appear to be a natural, dietary solution to the problem of hyperinsulemia (excess blood insulin levels).

Human and animal studies document the effect of avocado extract in reducing blood insulin.  In November 2000, a human trial was conducted to ascertain the effects of a standardized avocado preparation on healthy male subjects aged 37-57 (each was at least 40 pounds overweight) (Anon 2000).  A series of blood tests were performed at baseline to assess overall health and to what extent a pre-diabetic state existed.  As expected, all of these overweight individuals exhibited high fasting insulin levels and had additional indications that they were at risk for developing Type II diabetes.

After 3 months of standardized avocado extract supplementation, average fasting serum insulin levels were 26.4% lower.  Fasting serum glucose levels were an insignificant 1.52% higher at the end of the study, indicating that suppression of fasting insulin in response to avocado extract did not induce an increase of serum glucose or development of hyperglycemia in these overweight males.  Other indicators of glycemic control improved during this 3-month study period.

The book continues on with page after page of history and medical tests of the avocado sugar mannoheptulose and how a few tablets per day of this wonder drug can keep insulin levels down (and without reducing carbs).  I think that I have read enough to know that carbs are not good for us, but I was certainly interested in a totally different method.

More info: (page 1134)
Quote
One of the means by which insulin is secreted by pancreatic beta cells is through the activation of the hexokinase enzyme pathway.  Avocado extract (d-mannoheptulose) functions as a competitive inhibitor of the hexokinase enzyme, thus inducing a temporary block of glucose-stimulated release of insulin.  In addition, avocado may interfere with the leucine-provoked synthesis of insulin.

The inhibition of both synthesis and secretion of insulin by mannoheptulose can be seen in studies in which small doses of mannoheptulose fail to elict measurable hyperglycemia, but do suppress glucose-stimulated increases in serum insulin.

So I decided to find out where to buy this mannoheptulose, how much it costs, and what other information people are posting about it.  There were many web sites mentioning this substance, some research papers claiming positive results, and even some patent applications for using it. Such a promising substance should have many sellers, right?  No.

I went to the web store where the book publisher sells supplements.  In the book, they wrote that these pills are for sale in their store.  Nope.  In fact, the only places that I could find were an industrial chemical store (with obscene prices), a high-volume importer, and an obscure web store selling a devil's brew of stimulants that include an unstated amount of mannoheptulose.  It is almost as if some powerful entity just erased it from the market and everyone just forgot about it.

According to the book: (page 1133)
Quote
The 1969 article in Nutrition Review pointed out that the reason why standardized avocado extract had not been made available as a therapy was the difficulty and uncertainty of oral administration.  The problem is that avocado extract readily converts to mannitol in the stomach and is not readily absorbed into the bloodstream.
Apparently, they solved this problem by making tablets with a coating to prevent digestion in the stomach.  Well, I can not buy mannoheptulose, but even so, I will try a short experiment by eating one avocado per day and see if I notice anything.

Offline Bobo08

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Re: Insulin and mannoheptulose (avocado sugar)
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2012, 05:51:43 AM »
I don't know enough about the science to comment on the effectiveness of avocado extract in controlling insulin. But I'm wondering why we should look for a way to keep eating carb when we already know that carb is not good for us.

Offline curious_richar d

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Re: Insulin and mannoheptulose (avocado sugar)
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2012, 06:27:00 AM »
I don't know enough about the science to comment on the effectiveness of avocado extract in controlling insulin. But I'm wondering why we should look for a way to keep eating carb when we already know that carb is not good for us.
That is a good point.  I am interested in reducing insulin, and it seems that for some people (including me), reducing carbs is helpful, but slow.  My body is probably messed up from many decades of eating trash, and if there is a way to "shorten the way" I am glad for the information.

Offline SeekinTruth

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Re: Insulin and mannoheptulose (avocado sugar)
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2012, 06:30:57 AM »
Yeah, the whole thing doesn't sound like the right approach. Why keep eating lots of carbs and try to reduce the insulin response rather than avoid the carbs in the first place. There are so many studies showing the health benefits of restricting carbs and extending life expectancy that, at this point, it's a no-brainer for me to just avoid carbs as much as possible.
"All there is is Lessons." "Knowledge Protects, Ignorance Endangers." - Cassiopaeans

I can think of this network-group as a second, adopted family. I can think of Laura and Ark as the "parents" of this rather large family with all our amusing foibles. Occasionally there will be a "falling out;" a certain member may leave the family. But life goes on... and we all continue learning our lessons.

All for One & One for All. Together we stand, divided we fall.

Offline SeekinTruth

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Re: Insulin and mannoheptulose (avocado sugar)
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2012, 06:32:12 AM »
I don't know enough about the science to comment on the effectiveness of avocado extract in controlling insulin. But I'm wondering why we should look for a way to keep eating carb when we already know that carb is not good for us.
That is a good point.  I am interested in reducing insulin, and it seems that for some people (including me), reducing carbs is helpful, but slow.  My body is probably messed up from many decades of eating trash, and if there is a way to "shorten the way" I am glad for the information.


How much have you reduced your carbs? Are you in nutritional ketosis?
"All there is is Lessons." "Knowledge Protects, Ignorance Endangers." - Cassiopaeans

I can think of this network-group as a second, adopted family. I can think of Laura and Ark as the "parents" of this rather large family with all our amusing foibles. Occasionally there will be a "falling out;" a certain member may leave the family. But life goes on... and we all continue learning our lessons.

All for One & One for All. Together we stand, divided we fall.

Offline curious_richar d

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Re: Insulin and mannoheptulose (avocado sugar)
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2012, 06:52:56 AM »
[How much have you reduced your carbs? Are you in nutritional ketosis?
According to my spreadsheet, my days are usually between 15 and 30 grams of carbs.  I suspect that I might have to get the carbs under 10 or so to stay in ketosis.  But I am not really sure about that.  And yes, these numbers are accurate.

Offline JP

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Re: Insulin and mannoheptulose (avocado sugar)
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2012, 08:22:29 AM »
[How much have you reduced your carbs? Are you in nutritional ketosis?
According to my spreadsheet, my days are usually between 15 and 30 grams of carbs.  I suspect that I might have to get the carbs under 10 or so to stay in ketosis.  But I am not really sure about that.  And yes, these numbers are accurate.

I thought the body could handle up to 72 grams of carbs per day. Have you read "Life Without Bread"?

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

Offline SeekinTruth

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Re: Insulin and mannoheptulose (avocado sugar)
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2012, 09:04:37 AM »
I think that getting to and staying in ketosis is individual -- e.g. some people will need to keep their carbs under 50 grams, others under 40, etc. But I don't think anyone can stay in ketosis if the don't keep it under 70 grams a day.

Also, on the higher end of carb consumption especially, you may need to pay attention to the amount of carbs per meal. In other words, if you have 40 grams of carbs all at once, even if you wouldn't knock yourself out of ketosis until say 55 grams per day, the high amount all at once might do it.

curious_richard, 15 to 30 grams of carbs is pretty good. You probably ARE in ketosis. If not, then try to have no more than 20 grams of carbs and see what happens. I would just give it some time to reduce your insulin. Staying on the low carb diet will eventually get you there, I think.
"All there is is Lessons." "Knowledge Protects, Ignorance Endangers." - Cassiopaeans

I can think of this network-group as a second, adopted family. I can think of Laura and Ark as the "parents" of this rather large family with all our amusing foibles. Occasionally there will be a "falling out;" a certain member may leave the family. But life goes on... and we all continue learning our lessons.

All for One & One for All. Together we stand, divided we fall.

Offline RedFox

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Re: Insulin and mannoheptulose (avocado sugar)
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2012, 10:03:48 AM »
My understanding of insulin is its job is to remove sugar from the blood.....the point being that blood sugar oxidizes the body (which cause a whole host of disease). So disabling the insulin pathway would increase the oxidation damage caused by any carbs you ate. osit

Interesting that the tablet is not for sale, I guess if it was then people would be taking it and they'd have to admit carbs/insulin was the problem - not fat.

[How much have you reduced your carbs? Are you in nutritional ketosis?
According to my spreadsheet, my days are usually between 15 and 30 grams of carbs.  I suspect that I might have to get the carbs under 10 or so to stay in ketosis.  But I am not really sure about that.  And yes, these numbers are accurate.


Have you read Primal Body, Primal Mind?
How long have you been that low? It took me a few weeks to noticeably switch.
How is your digestion (what supplements do you take) and how much fat are you eating? Digestion of fats is one of the points of failure that can stop this all working.
Are you taking l-carnatine? Does your body have enough of the right resources to switch to fat burning?
"there are things and aims and goals available to us, that we do not dream of even in our most courageous dreams."
I mean personal goals here. Often we are afraid to set an aim for ourselves because, in the moment, we cannot
imagine a way to reach it. I think that is a mistake. Let us set goals for ourselves, and no matter how ambitious they are, let us trust that sooner or later, if we persevere, the path itself will emerge.

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Offline MB

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Re: Insulin and mannoheptulose (avocado sugar)
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2012, 06:01:03 PM »
I doubt that people's insulin issues are the result of a deficiency of "avocado extract" any more than they are a deficiency of any prescription drug. As someone who has had lifelong problems with hypoglycemia, problems that corrected within a day or two and ceased permanently once I switched to a grain-free, paleo-inspired diet, I have no use for such supplement hawkers and their claims, since my insulin problems are gone.

And dropping to ~70 grams a day of carbs (grain free) was enough to do it. I consume considerably fewer carbs than that now, but for me the "secret" to stabilizing insulin was to eliminate foods that I could not tolerate, not to take some supplement. My reading over the last 6 months suggests that this would work for a great many other people as well.

Offline curious_richar d

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Re: Insulin and mannoheptulose (avocado sugar)
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2012, 07:02:39 PM »
Have you read Primal Body, Primal Mind?
How long have you been that low? It took me a few weeks to noticeably switch.
How is your digestion (what supplements do you take) and how much fat are you eating? Digestion of fats is one of the points of failure that can stop this all working.
Are you taking l-carnatine? Does your body have enough of the right resources to switch to fat burning?
I have read Life Without Bread, Primal Body, Primal Mind, The Vegetarian Myth, Deep Nutrition, and part of a couple others.  I have not yet read "Why We Get Fat".  I have been low carb for eight months now.  I often take l-carnitine with a meal, but not always.  I think that I am getting enough fat.

My best diet days were when I got my carbs under two per day, so I think I just may be more sensitive than most.  Another factor may be garlic, which I often used with broccoli fried in bacon grease.  (See "Life Without Bread" thread for my post on garlic and insulin.)

Offline MB

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Re: Insulin and mannoheptulose (avocado sugar)
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2012, 09:10:46 PM »
...My best diet days were when I got my carbs under two per day, so I think I just may be more sensitive than most.  Another factor may be garlic, which I often used with broccoli fried in bacon grease...

What are the symtoms you are trying to address? You mentioned insulin -- are you measuring your insulin levels and is there a problem with them?

How are you determining whether or not you are in lipolysis ("nutritional ketosis")?

I reduced my garlic consumption in order to reduce carb intake and lose weight more quickly, but it was not necessary to prevent hypoglycemia symtoms.

I doubt that reducing carb intake from 2 g/day to a lower amount would make much difference, but you certainly can try it. You might better spend your time looking for a food sensitivity, but without knowing what your primary symptoms are it's hard to say.

Most of my GI problems, it turned out, resulted from an unrecognized wheat allergy. I couldn't tell what it was for the longest time, and it was becoming more and more serious. Substituting other grains for wheat didn't help (cross-reactions), but if I eat just a little wheat now now, accidentally, I have a severe reaction (2-3 days later) that leaves me back where I was before, with a thoroughly inflamed gut that doesn't work very well. This is fresh in my mind because I had a mishap 3 weeks ago and my GI function is just now starting to return to normal.

Offline Laura

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Re: Insulin and mannoheptulose (avocado sugar)
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2012, 09:20:49 PM »
I doubt that people's insulin issues are the result of a deficiency of "avocado extract" any more than they are a deficiency of any prescription drug. As someone who has had lifelong problems with hypoglycemia, problems that corrected within a day or two and ceased permanently once I switched to a grain-free, paleo-inspired diet, I have no use for such supplement hawkers and their claims, since my insulin problems are gone.

And dropping to ~70 grams a day of carbs (grain free) was enough to do it. I consume considerably fewer carbs than that now, but for me the "secret" to stabilizing insulin was to eliminate foods that I could not tolerate, not to take some supplement. My reading over the last 6 months suggests that this would work for a great many other people as well.

Exactly.  My story, too.  I started having black-outs when I was fifteen and it was a recurring, debilitating problem for most of my life.  Haven't had any trouble at all in several years now.
He who learns must suffer
And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget
Falls drop by drop upon the heart,
And in our own despair, against our will,
Comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.
Agamemnon, Aeschylus