You may want to think twice before eating your next sandwich on white bread. Studies show that alloxan, the chemical that makes white flour look "clean" and "beautiful," destroys the beta cells of the pancreas. That's right; you may be devastating your pancreas and putting yourself at risk for diabetes, all for the sake of eating "beautiful" flour. Is it worth it?
Scientists have known of the alloxan-diabetes connection for years; in fact, researchers who are studying diabetes commonly use the chemical to induce the disorder in lab animals. In the research sense, giving alloxan to an animal is similar to injecting that animal with a deadly virus, as both alloxan and the virus are being used specifically to cause illness. Every day, consumers ingest foods made with alloxan-contaminated flour. Would they just as willingly consume foods tainted with a deadly virus? Unless they had a death wish, they probably would not. Unfortunately, most consumers are unaware of alloxan and its potentially fatal link to diabetes because these facts are not well publicized by the food industry.
If you've been eating white bread for years and you have a family history of diabetes, all hope is not lost for you. Studies show that you can reverse the effects of alloxan by supplementing your diet with vitamin E.
Even if you are already diabetic, some simple changes to your diet can help treat your diabetes. First of all, stop eating foods made with white flour. Even though you already have diabetes, vitamin E supplements can still help you, as can many common foods. Garlic, for example, does wonders for diabetes.
If you can't handle the taste of natural garlic, you can take it in widely available supplements. Aloe vera is a traditional diabetic remedy in the Arabian Peninsula, and its therapeutic characteristics are now gaining worldwide acceptance in the treatment of diabetes. According to both human and animal research studies, aloe vera lowers blood glucose levels by an unknown mechanism.
It all comes down to asking if putting yourself at risk for diabetic coma, blindness, limb amputation and death is worth eating white bread. If you're willing to risk your quality of life and your life itself, then go ahead and eat all the foods made with white flour you want. However, if you want to stop poisoning yourself with alloxan, a known toxic chemical, then make a few simple dietary changes. Eat groceries made with whole-grain wheat flour, not processed white flour.
Alloxan in Medical Terms
Alloxan is an oxygenated pyrimidine derivative. It is present as alloxan hydrate in aqueous solution. It is a pyrimidine ring with carbonyl oxygens at all 4 carbon atoms; an oxidation product of uric acid which, by destroying beta cells in the pancreas, can cause diabetes mellitus; an experimental antineoplastic. Alloxan is widely used to induce experimental diabetes in animals. The mechanism of their action in B cells of the pancreas has been intensively investigated and now is quite well understood. The cytotoxic action of this diabetogenic agent is mediated by reactive oxygen species, however, the source of their generation is different in the case of alloxan and streptozotocin. Alloxan and the product of its reduction, dialuric acid, establish a redox cycle with the formation of superoxide radicals. These radicals undergo dismutation to hydrogen peroxide. Thereafter highly reactive hydroxyl radicals are formed by the Fenton reaction.
The action of reactive oxygen species with a simultaneous massive increase in cytosolic calcium concentration causes rapid destruction of B cells. Streptozotocin enters the B cell via a glucose transporter (GLUT2) and causes alkylation of DNA. DNA damage induces activation of poly ADP-ribosylation, a process that is more important for the diabetogenicity of streptozotocin than DNA damage itself. Poly ADP-ribosylation leads to depletion of cellular NAD+ and ATP. Enhanced ATP dephosphorylation after streptozotocin treatment supplies a substrate for xanthine oxidase resulting in the formation of superoxide radicals. Consequently, hydrogen peroxide and hydroxyl radicals are also generated. Furthermore, streptozotocin liberates toxic amounts of nitric oxide that inhibits aconitase activity and participates in DNA damage. As a result of the streptozotocin action, B cells undergo the destruction by necrosis.
The original preparation for alloxan was by oxidation of uric acid by nitric acid. Alloxan is a strong oxidizing agent and it forms a hemiacetal with its reduced reaction product dialuric acid (in which a carbonyl group is reduced to a hydroxyl group) which is called alloxantin. Organic Syntheses is a scientific journal that since 1921 has provided the chemistry community with annual collections of detailed and checked procedures for the organic synthesis of organic compounds.
History of Alloxan
Alloxan was originally generated in 1818 by Brugnatelli and got its name in 1838 by Friedrich Wöhler and Justus von Liebig. The name "Alloxan" emerged from an amalgamation of the words "Allantoin" and "Oxalsäure" (oxaluric acid). Allantoin is a chemical compound with formula C4H6N4O3. It is also called 5-ureidohydantoin or glyoxyldiureide. Allantoin is present in botanical extracts of the comfrey plant and urine from cows and most mammals. Chemically synthesized bulk allantoin is nature-identical, safe, non-toxic, compatible with cosmetic raw materials and meets CTFA and JSCI requirements.