Agave Nectar – The Facts

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Agave nectar, also known as agave syrup, is a sweetener commercially produced in Mexico from several species of the agave plant. This includes the Blue Agave, Salmiana Agave, Green Agave, Grey Agave, Thorny Agave and Rainbow Agave.

Agave nectar as a commercially produced sweetener that hit the shelves of health food stores beginning in the early 1990s and quickly become a highly touted alternative to other sugars and sweeteners such as sugar and honey.

Agave nectar is sweeter than honey but made with healthier ingredients. Agave nectar is produced in the Mexican States of Jalisco, Michoacan, Guanajuato and Tamaulipas. According to Mexican laws pertaining to certificate of origin, the majority is produced in Jalisco.

Although the alcoholic beverages Tequila and Mezcal are produced all over Mexico and throughout the world, the mountainous state of Jalisco is its birthplace. The primary reason for this is that soil in that region comes from the old volcanoes that make up the mountain range. Here, the soil shimmers from the plentiful amount of nutrients.

The Blue Agaves are more plentiful in Jalisco than anywhere else in the world. Incidentally, there’s a town in Jalisco near the city of Guadalajara called Tequila.

The Agave Plant

A mature agave plant has leaves 5-8 feet tall and is 7-12 feet in diameter and has a lifespan of 7-15 years depending on the species, climate, and growing conditions.

Agave and Tequila are both made from the sap that is found on the hearts or pinas of the plant. Agave is actually related to the lily and amaryllis plant. It is technically a succulent even though it shares a common habitat with many cacti. Contrary to popular opinion amongst health food enthusiasts, agave is not a cacti and has an altogether different life cycle.

There are over 160 variations or species of agave.

Varieties

Agave Nectar can and will differ predicated upon the following:

  • The geography or soil that the plant comes from.
  • The variation of the plant the Agave Nectar comes from.
  • How it is commercially processed

Nearly all Agave Nectar comes from Mexico. There are numerous kinds of agave throughout the country of Mexico.

Also, the soil from which an agave comes from is important. Agave from volcanic soil is going to cause the Agave Nectar to have a distinct taste and color as well as nutritional composition.

Make sure to purchase organic and raw Agave Nectar because most of the commercial brands on the market are mislabeled.

Blue Agave

The healthiest variety of Agave Nectar is the Blue Agave Nectar, also known as Blue Agave.

Blue Agave is actually a desert succulent, not a cactus as some have been led to believe. Blue Agave is a species native to Mexico. While there are many kinds of agave throughout Mexico, the Blue Agave variety flourishes in volcanic soil in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Processing

How Agave Nectar is processed has a direct affect on its taste, color, and nutritional value. This is why agave nectar should be processed under 118 F, allowing it to be considered a raw food and still contain nutritional value, mineral content and enzymes.

When agave ferments, it becomes tequila, a distilled beverage.

Benefits

Agave Nectar sweetens with about 25% fewer calories and is low on the Glycemic Index, making it an ideal food for diabetics and those who desire long-lasting energy.

Even though Agave Nectar generally contains a similar amount of calories per tablespoon as sugar, you don’t have to use a lot of it because it tastes very sweet. By using a small amount of Agave Nectar, one can still achieve a high amount of sweetness. Agave Nectar is a great sweetener for cooking purposes, especially desserts.

In fact, some brands of Agave Nectar contain less than 50% fructose, much lower than high fructose corn syrup. With certain brands of Agave Nectar, you can use 1/3 cup of it compared to 1 cup of sugar, thus greatly reducing your caloric intake.

Some Agave nectar’s are raw and are cooked below 118 F, contain no artificial fillers, do not contain large amounts of fructose and have a low Glycemic Index of 27.

Controversies

There have been many controversies regarding the health effects of Agave Nectar.

Some people say that agave nectar is worse than high fructose corn syrup because. This is because high fructose corn syrup contains 55% fructose and many brands of agave nectar contain fructose levels ranging from 70-97%. The reason why some brands of agave nectar contain such high levels of fructose is because it is processed by over boiling the syrup.

Agave Nectar is processed very similar to maple syrup. It becomes very sweet from the sap that is being boiled. The same exact thing happens with Grade A maple syrup, which is not very sweet before processing.

Certain brands of Agave Nectar are great and healthy alternatives to sugar and honey. However, all brands of Agave Nectar are not the same.

Every brand of Agave Nectar on the market does not contain substances from the same plant. It doe not come from the same location or soil, and are not commercially processed the same way.

High Fructose Corn Syrup

High Fructose Corn Syrup is made from starch, However, Agave Nectar does not naturally contain starch. If it does, then the Agave Nectar must contain High Fructose Corn Syrup.

High Fructose Corn Syrup can be detrimental one’s health. It does not have a Low Glycemic rating and it can be a serious threat to those with diabetes. It can greatly disrupt a person’s blood sugar levels and impair homeostasis.

HFCS is a highly processed product. A healthier alternative is Agave Nectar. Being a byproduct of the corn industry. HFCS is one of the most used commercial sweeteners today because it is so readily available.

High Fructose Corn Syrup comes from genetically engineered corn whereas Agave Nectar is made from its natural source, the agave plant. When determining the health benefits of a certain food product, it is important to consider the original source.

In order to avoid certain brands of Agave Nectar that contain High Fructose Corn Syrup, make sure that the product is organic and raw. If the Agave Nectar is raw and organic, it is generally much healthier than sugar or honey. Agave Nectar is an excellent alternative that can be used to substitute unhealthy sweeteners.

2015-09-21T10:43:07+00:00

Related Questions

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    Q: Is there any health benefit in high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)?

    A:

    There aren't any benefits in consuming high fructose corn syrup. Because its an artificial food it's not good for the body. You cannot gain health benefits from foods that are not natural.

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    Q: I had a question about jaggery a natural sweetener. Do you know much about it? There is a company producing it in Kenya, because maple syrup is not available in Kenya. I do eat dates, but sometimes they are not available. Do you think this product is a good alternative?

    A:

    Greetings! If a thing is from a natural source (i.e. plant or fruit) we say GO FOR IT!!!!! Give it a try, Beloved!

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    Q: I'm a so-called diabetic, is it really okay to sweeten the tea with honey or maple syrup (these are no no's in the medical field!)? I'm not the best at swallowing pills-can I take the herbs out of the capsule and take it? I know this one sounds crazy, but I'm 32 and over a period of time, I have developed or formed rolls or dents on certain areas of my scalp. I guess it's hereditary-my father has them as well. I hate it! It's an eyesore to me. Is there anything natural for this? Lastly, could you say a prayer for me so that I may make a few wholesale deals (real estate) this month? I’m trying to create streams of income so that I may parolee' these monies into other things (i.e. health, prosperity, testimony to others).

    A:

    I DON'T RECOMMEND HONEY. BUT MAPLE SYRUP IS OKAY. STEVIA IS EVEN BETTER! YOU SURE CAN! JUST WORK AT CONSTANTLY CLEANSING YOUR BODY, CHANGING YOUR DIET AND VISUALIZING HOW YOU DESIRE YOUR HEAD/BODY TO BE/APPEAR. SURE, I WILL SEND ENERGY YOUR WAY, BELOVED!

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    Q: What Are Some Natural Sweet Treats (Junk Foods) I can Consume? Under free will you can consume what you like, but healthier products are best. You will find plenty of "healthier" snack, treat, and junk foods at good health food stores such as Whole Foods Market, PCC Natural Food Stores, Erewhon, Trader Joes, Natural Grocers, New Frontiers, etc. Just make sure to abstain from salt, sugar, and other harmful chemicals in the products you buy. We list many companies of alternative foods and products (and their website addresses) in our ALTERNATIVE DIET AND LIFESTYLES MANUAL.

    A:

    Recommended: ALTERNATIVE DIET AND LIFESTYLES MANUAL

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    A: Yes, when you have a candida issue it's best to avoid refined sugar. Sugar from a natural source like fruits should be consumed moderately. In your case it would be best to consume fruits mainly in the mornings for breakfast when your body maximizes on food the most, avoiding the ones that are very high in sugar.

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    Q: What do you recommend for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high sugar level (not diabetic yet). I need help with excess weight and lack of energy.

    A:

    We recommend you perform our Full Body Cleanse. The cleanse will help eliminate toxins, balance your weight, and restore your body to its optimal state.

    After the cleanse, order CARDIOVASCULAR FORMULA, CHOLESTEROL FORMULA, BOWEL MOTION, and SUGAR CONTROL to maintain the healthy progress you have made.

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    Q: I heard about Hoodia on the TODAY show on NBC. It's supposed to suppress your appetite for weight loss. I have printed wikepedia for a more formal definition. It's supposed to be natural. Hoodia is a genus of 13 species in the flowering plant family Apocynaceae, under the subfamily Asclepiadoideae. [1] They are stem succulents, described as "cactiform" because of their remarkable similarity to the unrelated cactus family. They can reach up to 1mhigh and have large flowers, often with flesh colour and strong smell. Many Hoodia species are protected plants, typical of the Namib Desert, ranging from Central Namibia to southern Angola, especially in plains and rocky areas. Common names include "Bushman's Hat" and "Queen of the Namib". Several species are grown as garden plants, and one species, Hoodia gordonii, is being investigated for use as an appetite suppressant.

    A:

    Suppression is not cure or healing! You can't solve a problem by suppressing it! A suppressed appetite will manifest in some other area, i.e., an enormous appetite for sex, shopping, drugs, etc. Just because a thing is natural doesn't mean you are addressing the root of the problem, Beloved! It's much deeper than suppressing!

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    Q: Thanks for all of the information which is very beneficial I must say. My question to you is what's the best type of aloe vera juice to drink? Also I have heard that the gel from the plant can be mixed into a smoothie, is that true? Greetings! As far as the best brand I really wouldn't know as there are a few good brands on the market. Just make sure your aloe vera juice is at 99% pure and with no additives. Aloe gel can be added to a fruit smoothie though

    A:

    I personally wouldn't add it to a fruit smoothie.

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    Q: Greetings & Namaste, First, thank you for being U-activated! So many potential energies unable to convert into kinetic activities because of our Earthly baggage(s). Personally, I haven't found the right formula to keep my beautiful curves, which is the major reason I am not vegan/raw now. In my perfect world, I'd have a great-tasting, non-dairy,wheat & gluten source of protein, juiced exotic veggie/fruit smoothies, yummy raw nuts/raisins, and absolutely no meat- the fountain of youth, literally, running thru my body! As i'm sure the cognitive wheels of your expertise are spiraling ready solutions, I ask that you also factor in social-economic status, and workout regiment. From my perspective, the price of health food is aggressively over-inflated compared to the affordability of processed and junk foods; add to that a general inaccessibility to the impoverished & disenfranchised, and dysfunctional eating psychologies impregnating entire families (for generations). I prefer high energy, high impact, anaerobic & weight-lifting training activities. So, you can see a petite person's dilemma. Thanks so much for your time and thoughts. Ms. Tiffany

    A:

    Greetings & Namaste,

    First, thank you for being U-activated!  So many potential energies unable to convert into kinetic activities because of our Earthly baggage(s).  Personally, I haven't found the right formula to keep my beautiful curves, which is the major reason I am not vegan/raw now.  In my perfect world, I'd have a great-tasting, non-dairy,wheat & gluten source of protein, juiced exotic veggie/fruit smoothies, yummy raw nuts/raisins, and absolutely no meat- the fountain of youth, literally, running thru my body!  As i'm sure the cognitive wheels of your expertise are spiraling ready solutions, I ask that you also factor in social-economic status, and workout regiment. From my perspective, the price of health food is aggresively over-inflated compared to the affordability of processed and junk foods; add to that a general inaccessibility to the impoverished & disenfranchised, and dysfunctional eating psychologies impregnating entire families (for generations). I prefer high energy, high impact, anaeorobic & weight-lifting training activities.  So, you can see a petite person's dilemma.  Thanks so much for your time and thoughts.  Ms. Tiffany Janine"

    Being raw or vegan does not have to be hard or expensive. The most inexpensive food are rice and beans. If you are budget consciense you should gravitate towards those foods. Stach based foods are super cheap. You should check out the book "eating vegan on 4 dollars a day" or any of Dr. Mcdougal's programs. 

    I run an online health/fitness/nutrition coaching program that can be found at www.theveganeffect.com. There you might find your answers. 

    Exercise programs do not have to be expensive either. I am a master at building fitness plans with the minimal of equipment. If all you have is your body weight than I can build you a 90 day plan. The same goes if all you have is a resistance band, exercise ball, dumbells, kettlebell, etc.

    If you need any advice or have specific questions you should check out my website and message me there.

    Gary Gibson HHC CPT VLC BMI

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    Q: I need help, which herbal supplements heal high blood pressure and lower sugar levels.

    A:

    Try our SUGAR BUSTERand the PANCREAS AUXILIARY FORMULA .

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    Q: Is sea salt and warm water a good natural laxative? If so how often do you recommend the use of sea salt for elimination? I was reading The Master Cleanser by Stanley Burroughs and it gives this recommendation, along with drinking lemon water mixed with organic syrup and cayenne pepper. Is it safe to give myself an enema 2xs per day using a hot water bottle filled with fresh squeezed organic lemon and distilled water? Asking this because Bzod had me to listen to 88.3 today here in Cincinnati and the guy (Mike) was telling how he does this regularly and has great results.

    A:

    Yes, sea salt in water is a mild laxative!

    You can do it as often as you FEEL the need to drink or take it. 

    You can also consume the Master Cleanse (cayenne, maple syrup, lemon juice) if you choose. You can drink this as much as you like depending on how you feel.

    And yes, you can perform enemas 2X a day! Enemas are very helpful for health!

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    Q: What are your diet and supplement recommendations for a baby that has Candida - 17 months old? She can only eat meat/eggs/low carb vegetables (no sugar, starch, fruit, corn or potato). Please advise. I bought your Children's detox and elixir products. I haven't given them to her. The mom did have Candida when she was pregnant with the child.

    A:

    By all means, start giving the baby the herbs!

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    Q: I have heard things about starch not being good for you, but foods such as potatoes, rice, and corn naturally contain starch. So should these foods be avoided?

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    Just don't eat a lot of them, if you can't avoid them completely. Moderation in all things (within reason)!

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    Q: Dear Dherbs.com, my mother is here visiting and she is diabetic and has high blood pressure. The high blood pressure medicine they switched to has made her very ill. Please help! I know if she detoxes all meds will be purged from her system and at this I am afraid she will fall deathly ill before the cleansing sets her system on the right track. I love my mother dearly and I am very afraid at this point. I am desperate for whatever advice and/or product you can offer. I am pulling her diet under control.

    A:

    Check out the Full Body Cleanse. The Dherbs.com Full Body Cleanse is a safe and effective 20-day herbal-based Cleanse that helps you work toward ensuring that your entire body is functioning at an optimal level: your immune system, circulatory system, digestive system, respiratory system, organs, vessels, and more.

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    Q: I am a 42-year-old female and in the last year I've been diagnosed with many types of environmental and food allergies (corn, soy, peanuts, green peas, and yeast) additionally a HIDA scan showed that my gallbladder is not functioning properly (no gallstones) but only dumping 12%. Could there be a link between gallbladder and food allergies? Could you recommend another option, other than surgery? I exercise 3 - 4 times a week and have a fairly decent diet; but over the past year I've gained aprox 30 pounds. Things are not quite adding up; only the pounds. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    A:

    SURGERY, BECAUSE YOUR GALLBLADDER IS DEFECTIVE? DOCTORS ARE INSANE! YOU SIMPLY REJUVENATE THE ORGAN AND THE ORGAN FUNCTIONS TO PAR AGAIN. AND YOU REJUVENATE THE ORGAN OR THE ENTIRE BODY WITH FOOD THAT NOURISH, PROVIDE ENERGY, AND CAUSE GROWTH, REPAIR, AND MAINTENANCE FOR SUSTAINING LIFE. WE CALL THIS "HERBACEUTICAL" AND THAT'S WHAT WE SELL. BELOVED, SURGERY IS TO GET MONEY FROM INSURANCE AT THE EXPENSE OF YOUR TEMPLE (OF GOD). IT IS UNNECESSARY. BELOVED, I HUMBLY SUGGEST YOU PERFORM OUR FULL BODY DETOX AND FOLLOW THE KIT UP WITH A DAILY MAINTENANCE OF OUR LIVER AND GALLBLADDER FORMULA (3 CAPSULES DAILY) AND LIVER EXTRACT (1-2 DROPPERFULS IN WATER DAILY) AND YOU WILL NOTICE A DIFFERENCE. YOU SHOULD ALSO START DRINKING DANDELION ROOT TEA AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. AFTER YOU GET YOUR RESULTS WE ONLY ASK THAT YOU FILL OUT OUR AFFIDAVIT OF HEALING SO THAT WE MAY PROVE TO GOVERNMENT THAT PEOPLE ARE HEALING THEMSELVES WITH GOD'S PLANTS. THE GOVERNMENT IS PLANNING TO CRACK DOWN ON NATURAL HEALING BECAUSE TOO MANY PEOPLE ARE WAKING UP AND THE DRUG INDUSTRY IS LOSING A LOT OF MONEY. THE PEOPLE MUST NOW SPEAK AND RECLAIM THEIR SOVEREIGNTY.

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    Q: Thank you so much for doing all that you do. I wish that you were in my everyday life...If I ever come to Cali, I hope to be able to take you up on some of your services. I have given your site out to many people that cross my paths...most recently, a man with diabetes who is going blind. He seemed to be quite thankful for your info...I do hope that he contacts you...and my friend who perhaps has a problem with a parasite(s). But me....okay just waiting for tax refund and then I will hit you up for another full-body detox...and perhaps a parasite kit myself...as it is sad but true..with my current boyfriend careless but kind...I now have a problem with genital herpes...a small breakout every other month...I eat well for the most part...ofcourse it could be better. But the stress is hish...I am working on that. But my question is...would an air purifier do me any good? You see I live in Dundalk, Maryland...near baltimore...near a Steel plant, and a yeast plant, and close to the military practice bombing sites, and other military negative stuff, and the city polluted with car pollution, tons of light pollution, and they spray for mosquitos...then I go to work and I work at a place called ABC Supply...great place right, well the stress is high, and the building we work in is shot...I swear there is mold under the carpets in one of the rooms...the ceiling is constantly leaking and we don't know what from...and the fumes from forklifts and the asphalt from the shingles...the filterfrom the intake gets changed like once a year...but is filled with 'shit' probably in a day or week. So the answer is to get a new job and move...yeah I know...I just don’t know how to do it...or where to go. Since I moved here, I have a problem with my ears...filling up with water or histimine or whatever...usually if I don't drink enough water near my menstrual cycle...I went to a doctor once and basically walked out of the office telling him what to do for his cold...yasee..he was no help...I knew more than him already....these past two years have been bad for allergies. Now, my ears and my throat...my nose too...though I do clean it out with water and that helps. I am not the only one. In the past two years there is a great number of people who say the same thing...they have never had a problem with allergies until these past two years. My grandmother and next door neighbor are two..but many more...well they just started up that steel mill again probably about that time...they sprayed hard core for mosquitos right before my grandmother started having problems...global warming for one...and i dont' know..but two years ago I was involved with a group of people sending out petitions against an LNG liquid natural gas plant that would bring in a ship two times the size of a football field and a huge pipe line to pennsylvania, and a skyscraper of a building to store the gas. Well...we fought against it...but apparently the gas company has more say than our own local government...I don't know...but hear about it every once in a while that they are still trying to get it built. So, an air purifier?? what do you think? Much Love and Health and Thanks!! Peace, RESPONSE: Thank you so very much for your words, Beloved. Much obliged from the heart!

    A:

    In regards to your question: Oh yes! By all means purchase an air purifier or an ozone machine (which will actually be best or better for you). Make sure you detox (FULL BODY DETOX) periodically, consume ACTIVATED CHARCOAL, and take plenty of IODINE PHOSPHATE as sea weed is great for neutralizing the effects of radiation.

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    Q: My sister has sickle cell anemia and has to deal with her potassium levels being too high. Although she drinks plenty of water all of the time she was just hospitalized for being dehydrated as well as high potassium levels. This is my question; to help her dehydration if she drank water with the added vitamins would that help? and what can she do to control her potassium levels? She does not eat foods with potassium and her levels are still high.

    A:

    YES, IT IS A GOOD IDEA TO DRINK WATER WITH VITAMINS ADDED TO THEM. THE BEST FORM OF VITAMINS AND MINERALS IS KHEMETIAN GOLD. THIS FORMULA WILL ALSO ADDRESS HER POTASSIUM IMBALANCE AS WELL.

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    Q: My Dad was recently diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol after suffering a mild stroke. What natural supplements/herbs would you suggest?

    A:

    We highly recommend the Full Body Cleanse, followed by the Pancreas Kit. Both of these cleanses can benefit diabetes, stroke and high blood pressure. Individual herbs that should be taken after these cleanses/regimens include:

    Pancreas Aid
    Cardiovascular
    Bowel Motion

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    Q: I am interested in buying something that works well for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Can you please recommend the best product for me?

    A:

    Sure! I'd recommend: High Blood Pressure: CARDIO-VASCULAR FORMULA and CIRCUL-AID FORMULA, High Cholesterol: CHOLESTEROL BUSTER and INTESTINAL JANITORIntestinal Janitor. However, it would be best to first perform the FULL BODY DETOX before taking these formulas.

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    Q: I have been experiencing very trying health issues for many years (over 25 years). The trouble began when my gall bladder was removed 26 years ago. I had mood swings, lack of energy, and severe diarrhea. Approximately 13 years ago I had an additional surgery for an umbilical hernia. Due to pre-op tests, my physician diagnosed me with thyroid disease and placed me on synthroid. This medication dramatically improved the digestive issues I had experienced for many years. I had very loose bowels when menstruating and when I was ill. I am overweight and have dealt with weight issues all my life. Three years ago I had a scare where I thought I experienced a heart attack. I spent three days in the hospital and learned of many health risks. My triglycerides were extremely high along with my sugar being borderline. I have been tested for diabetes on a number of occasions in my life but never show to be. There are numerous cases of diabetes in my family. My mother and one sister are insulin dependent and one other sister is on some form of pill medication for diabetes. At that time, I gave up sugar and began a regime at the gym. The have not eaten any sweets other than what I get in a little ketchup occasionally or some other kind of sauce that may contain some sugar. I have gone to the gym with minimal results in losing weight. I had a total hysterectomy six weeks ago. My regular GP has been on vacation and I've been dealing with one of her associates. This dr. sent me in for glucose tolerance and she has since diagnosed me as Type II Diabetic. She put me on a medication called "Metformin" and has me taking a 500 mg pill twice daily. I have only been on this medication for three days. I have been very careful to eat only what they say I can. I am experiencing the same issues as before with the diarrhea. Last night I was up all night with this and it is like water coming out of me. I am unable to find a physician who understands that I want to lose the weight, but cannot when I'm constantly dehydrated and feeling lethargic. When I have this constant problem, I am not able to do what I need to do for my overall health. Sorry to be so wordy but I wanted to explain the full extent of what I am experiencing. My friend told me to get on this website and explain my issues. He feels that you may be able to guide me in the direction of a natural product or products that can help me to have normal bowel movements and therefore begin doing the physical exercise that is needed for me to reduce my chances of becoming an insulin dependent diabetic.

    A:

    I WOULD LIKE FOR YOU TO FIRST TRY THE FULL BODY DETOX (TAKING THINGS ONE DAY AT A TIME). AFTER THIS CLEANSE, I WOULD LIKE FOR YOU TO PERFORM THE PANCREAS CLEANSE AND REGIMEN . LET'S TAKE THIS SLOWLY AND GET YOU BACK TO OPTIMAL HEALTH AND WELL-BEING. FIRST THINGS FIRST, OKAY? ALSO, PLEASE CONSIDER A CONSULTATION AS THERE'S ONLY SO MUCH TIME I CAN GIVE TO RESPONDING VIA E-MAIL DUE TO ALL THE E-MAILS WE GET DAILY.YOU CAN HEAL. JUST CONCENTRATE ON HEALING, NOT DIABETES. LET'S START HERE, OKAY?