Did you know that there's a sweet fruit that can help you lose weight? And when I tell you what it is, you'll be surprised. That's because most people shy away from this fruit because it's high on the glycemic index.
It starts with the hormone adiponectin, which I told you about recently. Adiponectin is a hormone that's made in fat cells. One of the actions of adiponectin is to improve insulin sensitivity. In this sense, it's an anti-diabetic hormone. But it's also an anti-obesity hormone. That's because it encourages the body to burn fat. So a decrease in adiponectin creates an increased likelihood of developing diabetes and could easily result in obesity. That means we need to increase adiponectin.
And it's where this sweet fruit comes in. You see, eating bananas is one way to increase adiponectin. At least that's what a new study shows.
The study shows that eating nine ounces of banana every day will not only increase adiponectin, it also will improve blood sugar levels in diabetics. Now that just flies in the face of what we would ordinarily expect. Bananas are loaded with sugar. So how could eating them improve your blood sugar? To be honest, I'm a little skeptical of the idea. But I think you should know about the study anyway. Maybe there's something in bananas that counteracts the sugar?
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The researchers studied 15 type-2 diabetic men and women. They gave the participants either 9 or 18 ounces of bananas every day for breakfast for 12 weeks. They compared their blood fats, glucose levels, and insulin levels before, during, and after the 12-week study period. They found that nine ounces of bananas lowered the fasting blood sugar levels an average of 7%. And the 18 ounce dose lowered the levels and an average of 10%. And that's not all. Some of the patients had too much of the "bad" LDL cholesterol and too little of the "good" HDL cholesterol. The researchers discovered that eating the bananas decreased the LDL/HDL ratio by 11%. That's exactly what you want to see. But here's the problem with the study.
There were not enough diabetic patients to make the blood sugar and cholesterol results statistically significant. So the odds are that the results might just have been coincidental and nothing more. However, when it came to adiponectin levels, the results were statistically significant because the improvements were so large. Adiponectin levels went from an initial average of 37.5 to 48.8. That's an increase of almost 30%. And remember, adiponectin is an anti-diabetic and anti-obesity hormone. So maybe there's something to this banana thing.
If you're a diabetic, particularly if you struggle with your weight, here's some advice.
Have your adiponectin levels checked. If they're on the low side, try eating nine ounces of bananas every morning. And be sure to mix them with some protein and fat, such as fish oil supplements, eggs, or yoghurt. Before you start, make sure to check your A1c levels. Then, after three months, recheck your adiponectin and A1c levels and your weight. If the results are better (or if they are worse for that matter) be sure to let me know.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
Cressey R, Kumsaiyai W, Mangklabruks A. Daily consumption of banana marginally improves blood glucose and lipid profile in hypercholesterolemic subjects and increases serum adiponectin in type 2 diabetic patients. Indian J Exp Biol. 2014 Dec;52(12):1173-81.