A relative of mine has type 2 diabetes. His doctor told him to drink Glucerna shakes because it will help to balance his blood sugar and give him nutrients.
But as much as he drinks these shakes, he never seems to get better; only worse. I explained to his wife that he would do better to get nutrients from actual green vegetables like the ones I juice daily. She told me in horror that he just needs to do what his doctor told him.
From where did we get the idea that these drinks are a panacea? I believe from commercials that target trusting care givers, from drug reps that tell doctors that these shakes are actually nourishing and because they are handed out routinely in hospitals. The drug companies do a surprising and alarming amount of doctor education. As far as I know, there are no sales reps for the vegetable industry.
Today, I want to just address the Glucerna shake. Note that Abbott Laboratories makes Glucerna as well as Ensure, PediaSure, and a whole slew of other meal replacement and “nutrition” drinks.
Abbott Laboratories has a large division of drugs for diabetics, blood glucose testing devices, shakes and snacks for diabetic patients. The evidence below strongly suggests that the ingredients found in Glucerna shakes, actually contributes to insulin resistance, obesity and illness.
First of all, these shakes are chock full of GMOs. As explained in one of my earlier blogs https://thenontoxiclife.wordpress.com/2013/04/06/whats-the-problem-with-gmos/ GMOs are patented seeds made to withstand being sprayed with tons of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide and pesticide instead of dying like a seed found in nature would. The main ingredient in Roundup is glyphosate.
A shocking article published in the journal Entropy states that the effects of glyphosate are “the most important factor in the development of multiple chronic diseases and conditions that have become prevalent in Westernized societies.” 
One of those disease states is type 2 diabetes. Watch Dr. Seneff, a Senior Research Scientist at MIT and author of the aforementioned article in the journal Entropy; explain in this 2 minute video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rIHhdYCUVw
Here are the ingredients in the Glucerna shake from the Glucerna website:
My comments are in parenthesis with references when appropriate.
- Corn Maltodextrin (GMO),
- Milk Protein Concentrate,
- Fructose (Derived from corn, GMO, causes insulin resistance and weight gain)
- Glycerol (Sugar alcohol),
- Short-Chain Fructooligosaccharide (according to a study in the American Journal of Nutrition, Short-Chain Fructooligosaccharides had no effect on glucose and lipid metabolism in type 2 diabetics) 
- Cocoa Powder (Processed with Alkali),
- Soy Protein Isolate (GMO),
- High Oleic Safflower Oil.
The following constitute less than 2% of the content: (This is where the vitamins and minerals are supposed to be but they make up less than 2% of the content. There is also more junk.):
- Canola Oil (GMO),
- Soy Oil (GMO),
- Pea Protein Concentrate,
- Cellulose Gel (A thickener usually made from wood pulp),
- Magnesium Phosphate,
- Potassium Citrate,
- Calcium Carbonate,
- Choline Chloride,
- Ascorbic Acid,
- Potassium Chloride,
- Calcium Phosphate,
- Sodium Citrate,
- Cellulose Gum,
- Potassium Phosphate,
- Natural & Artificial Flavor,
- Monoglycerides (helps oil and water mix, could be derived from cows, pigs, vegetables or man-made),
- Soy Lecithin (GMO),
- Liquid Sucralose (this is Splenda, an artificial sweetener. According to the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, sucralose leads to weight gain and reduces the amount of good bacteria in your intestines by 50 percent. Good gut bacteria has recently been found to help reduce obesity and contributes to overall health), 
- Magnesium Chloride,
- Carrageenan (Banned in Europe, mounting evidence that this causes gut irritation and inflammation),, 
- Turmeric Concentrate,
- Acesulfame Potassium (contains methylene chloride, a known carcinogen),
- Calcium Pantothenate,
- FD&C Red #3 (high doses have been shown to cause cancer in rats),
- Cupric Sulfate,
- Vitamin A Palmitate,
- Folic Acid,
- Thiamine Chloride Hydrochloride,
- Chromium Chloride,
- Pyridoxine Hydrochloride,
- Sodium Molybdate,
- Potassium Iodide,
- Sodium Selenate,
- Phylloquinone (vitamin K found in green leafy vegetables – so why not eat or juice green leafy vegetables as my original point stated? Increasing green leafy vegetables can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 14%),
- Vitamin D3.
I have one more shaming, The American Diabetes Association (ADA). They are culpable in this charade because they actually promote artificial sweeteners on their website. http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/artificial-sweeteners/
Please pass this information along to any diabetics you know or those who drink any of these so called nutritional drinks (i.e. PediaSure, Ensure etc.). They deserve the right to make an informed decision.
 Samsel, Anthony; Seneff, Stephanie. 2013. “Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases.” Entropy 15, no. 4: 1416-1463. http://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/15/4/1416
Sharon S Elliott, Nancy L Keim, Judith S Stern, Karen Teff, and Peter J Havel. “Fructose, weight gain, and the insulin resistance syndrome1’2’3.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2002. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/76/5/911.full
 Luo J, Van Yperselle M, Rizkalla SW, Rossi F, Bornet FR, Slama G. ” Chronic consumption of short-chain fructooligosaccharides does not affect basal hepatic glucose production or insulin resistance in type 2 diabetics.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2000 Jun; Jun;130(6):1572-7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10827212
Abou-Donia MB, Department of Pharmacology, Duke University Medical Center El-Masry EM, Abdel-Rahman AA, McLendon RE, Schiffman SS.Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health. Splenda alters gut microflora and increases intestinal p-glycoprotein and cytochrome p-450 in male rats. 2008 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18800291
 CBS news September 5, 2013, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/gut-bacteria-may-be-key-to-fighting-obesity/
 Monica Eng, Chicago Tribune, “Doubts surface about safety of common food additive, carrageenan” March 18, 2013 http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-03-18/health/ct-met-carrageenan-0318-20130318_1_doubts-surface-fda-scientists-u-s-food
 S. D. Wells, “Sweetener warning: Acesulfame Potassium contains methylene chloride, a known carcinogen.” Natural News, August 6, 2013 http://www.naturalnews.com/041510_acesulfame-k_methylene_chloride_carcinogen.html
Carter P, Gray LJ, Troughton J, Khunti K, Davies MJ “Fruit and vegetable intake and incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus: systematic review and meta-analysis.” BMJ. 2010 Aug 18;341:c4229. doi: 10.1136/bmj.c4229 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20724400