Fructose is converted to glycerol phosphate more efficiently than almost all other carbohydrates. Glycerolphosphate → triglycerides (via the liver) → fat storage. And I thought it was one of the worst types of sugar to raise your blood sugar as well, as it turns out it was not. I wanted to peak my blood sugar because what happens then? Insulin is being released and the blood sugar is absorbed by glucose receptors on tissue cells, causing a drop in blood sugar.
This phenomenon made me interested in using fructose to lower my blood sugar. During my quest for perfect keto adaptation I’ve come to realize that my blood sugar is a bit to high (hovering around 5.5mmol/l (100mg/dl)). I also thought about the possibility of getting away with more carbs (cheat days) if it’s possible to manipulate the blood sugar first.
It’s grapefruit season were I live so I used fresh grapefruit as a source of fructose and started my measurements. The thing is that my blood sugar acted a bit differently than expected…
My blood sugar didn’t increase as much as I thought it would, and went downwards pretty quickly!
It was time for an experiment! As we’re 3 people in my household I took the chance to do an N=3 experiment to see if the results were consistent, and not just due to an individual sensitivity to grapefruit. I was out of Freestyle Precision test strips and used my Chinese blood sugar device Sannuo instead. It shows higher values in genereal, but at least it’s consistent.
- Martina: 5.6 mmol/L – 6.2 mmol/L (Grape fruit) – 5.0 mmol/L (after 1h)
- Mattias: 5.2 mmol/L – 5.9 mmol/L (Grape fruit) – 4.9 mmol/L (after 1h)
- John: 5.2 mmol/L – 5.5 mmol/L (Grape fruit) 4.7 mmol/L (after 1h)
I found it really interesting so I wanted to repeat the experiment with carbs! I ate purple potato and some chocolate and Mattias and John ate soft ice cream…
Hah! My hand drawing is not exact… What I try to illustrate is that the blood sugar didn’t reach its original level after grapefruit + carbs, but stayed pretty low:
- Martina 5.4 mmol/l – Grape fruit – carbs – 5.6 mmol/l
- Mattias 5.5 mmol/l – Grape fruit – carbs – 5.0 mmol/l
- John 5.2 mmol/l- Grape fruit – carbs – 4.6 mmol/l
Purple potato slow things down, and that’s why I didn’t get the same result. Mattias and John ate ice cream which metabolizes a lot quicker.
But what’s happening here?
Is it the fructose?
No it’s not the fructose but the small molecule naringenin, responsible for the bitter taste in grape fruit and other citrus fruits. I discovered this by accident since it happened to be grape fruit season in China right now.
After some research I found that naringenin is actually as powerful as oral anti-diabetic medication;
Naringenin (100 µM) stimulated 163 % glucose uptake in rat adipocytes (compared to untreated cells) and this was significantly higher than the insulin mediated glucose uptake at similar concentration. Thus, naringenin may play an important role as an adjuvant and/or alternative to insulin therapy for the management of diabetes mellitus.
I guess it means that it’s possible to lower ones blood sugar by drinking home made grape fruit juice, even though I’m not too thrilled about fructose in general. Either way, it’s a cool finding! ? Other natural stuff that lowers blood sugar effectively is R-ALA, ALA and Gymnena Sylvestre that can be found in the health food stores and online.
Notes: I choose fruit because I wanted to ingest simple carbs, no protein and no fat, I know that fruit also contains sucrose and that Ascorbic acid can affect blood sugar readings. I won’t repeat this experiment because it was just for fun and it was pretty cool to find out about naringenin ?
Article quote from: Lim, S. L., K. P. Soh, and U. R. Kuppusamy. “Effects of naringenin on lipogenesis, lipolysis and glucose uptake in rat adipocyte primary culture: a natural antidiabetic agent.” Internet Journal of Alternative Medicine 5.2 (2008): 11-11.