Given that insulin is one of the first hormones that any organism ever developed, all the other hormones we have in our body were actually built upon it. Thus, it is more pervasive and multi-faceted than the title suggests.
For example, did you know that it is also an anabolic hormone and body builders inject themselves with insulin because it builds muscle and stores protein?
Insulin’s evolutionary purpose, as is known right now, is to store excess nutrients. None of us would be here now if our ancestors had not been able to store nutrients, which they were able to do because they were able to elevate their insulin in response to any elevation in energy that the organism encountered.
When your body notices that sugar is elevated, it is a sign that you’ve got more than you need; you’re not burning it and it is accumulating in your blood. So insulin will be released to take that sugar and store it.
How does it store it? GLYCOGEN.
Your body stores very little glycogen at any one time. All glycogen stored in your liver and muscle wouldn’t last you through one active day. Once you fill up your glycogen stores excess sugar is stored as saturated fat.
So why doesn’t your body store more sugar (glycogen), if it is so needed?
SUGAR WAS NEVER MEANT TO BE YOUR PRIMARY ENERGY SOURCE; IT IS MEANT TO BE YOUR BODY’S TURBO CHARGER. The energy you need while running after tonight’s meal or escaping from the saber tooth tiger.
Insulin plays an important role in magnesium storage, sodium retention, blood lipid control and other crucial bodily functions.
There is not a hormone in the body that insulin doesn’t affect, if not directly control.
THUS, CONTROLLING INSULIN SENSITIVITY IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.
As mentioned in my previous post on Leptin, people become resistant to ANY HORMONE by exposure to high levels of that hormone. Age also plays a role in the loss of hormonal sensitivity.
Cells become insulin resistant because they are trying to protect themselves from the toxic effects of high insulin.
I was quite shocked when I read in an article published in the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website, which states that:
“Although the exact causes of insulin resistance are not completely understood, scientists think the major contributors to insulin resistance are excess weight and physical inactivity.”
I agree with the physical inactivity part, but excess weight is not the cause but the result of insulin resistance.
Recall, the smelly room analogy.
If all cells were to become resistant to insulin at the same time, we wouldn’t have that much of a problem, but they don’t.
The liver becomes resistant first, then muscle tissue, then fat tissue.
Since fat tissue is still insulin sensitive while muscle tissue isn’t, the sugar “refused” by the insulin receptors in your muscle tissue are accepted by the fat tissue and STORED AS FAT.
So the fatter you are, the propensity to get even fatter is high. Where’s the justice in that?
When you have insulin resistance of the liver, you end up with type 2 diabetes.
When you have insulin resistance in your brain, you end up with Alzheimer’s disease.
Insulin resistance in the kidneys leads to chronic renal disease, and so forth.
SO TO SUMMARISE, INSULIN RESISTANCE CAN LEAD TO:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- Cancer, and
How do you go about resolving the insulin resistance problem?
From the nutritional aspect: EAT REAL FOOD. No processed food as an initial step.
The building blocks that your body needs are proteins and fatty acids, not much in the way of carbohydrates. Vegetables with fiber and low GI fruits are tolerable, because they have positive contributions to your health.
No sugar or anything that contains sugar. Most of the processed foods on your supermarket shelves have High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), as fiber is removed from most of these foods to prolong shelf life and HFCS substituted to enhance flavor lost by the removal of fiber.
I don’t think it’s necessary to go over, once again, what a POISON HFCS is.
Sugar acts as a liver toxin when consumed in excess and it has been determined that 74 percent of processed foods contain sugar under more than 60 different names. Yes, one of them is HFCS.
If you think your body needs sugar you don’t have to consume it. Ketones, explained in the previous post fill that need. AND YOUR BODY CAN MAKE SUGAR FROM YOUR FAT AND MUSCLES, by the process called gluconeogenesis.
The other thing I highly recommend is to do RESISTANCE TRAINING. This will increase the mitochondria in your muscle and it has been proven that this helps prevent insulin resistance.
Notice that I am NOT suggesting AEROBIC EXERCISES.
Increasing fluidity of cell membranes can also increase receptor sensitivity. One way of doing this is by taking omega-3 oils.
A ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting are also highly recommended in the fight against insulin resistance.
HOW DO YOU FIND OUT IF YOU ARE INSULIN RESISTAN?
Unfortunately, there are no obvious symptoms and measuring your waist and calculating your body mass index (BMI) leave much to be desired.
The best and most accurate way is to have blood work done.
YOUR FASTED INSULIN LEVEL SHOULD BE BELOW 10 mIU/mL on the conservative side. I say below 5 mIU/mL. And some health practitioners say below 3 mIU/
Given how crucial a health problem insulin resistance is, please have your blood work done ASAP:
See you all next week.