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How Does Insulin Affect Fat Storage?

Insulin And Fat Storage

Insulin And Fat Storage

We left off last week with the question, “What prevents fat from leaving the fat cell?” If you missed out on it, you may want to read The Futility of Low-Calorie Diets. To quickly recap, we talked about the fact that your body has two main fuels: glucose (sugar) or fat. The preferred source of fuel is fat, but under certain circumstances, we can shift the body to using more sugar rather than fat. At times, such as being chased by a rabid dog, this is a good thing. However, it’s not a good thing if sugar remains the main fuel for most of the day. Relying on sugar means you’re not burning fat. Many people make lifestyle choices and nutrition decisions that have basically locked up their extra stored fat in their fat cells, making it useless for energy. The only way you can lose fat is if you use fat. You’ll be unsuccessful at losing fat if you don’t burn fat, even if you eat fewer calories and burn more through exercise. You can lose weight, but most of the loss will come from lean body mass, or muscle tissue, not fat. Fat Storage and Insulin The most significant factor in fat storage is the level of insulin in the blood. Insulin has many effects on the body. With respect to fat storage, insulin increases the storage of fat in fat cells and prevents fat cells from releasing fat for energy. This is such a key point for people to understand that I’ll repeat it: Insulin increases the storage of fat in fat cells and prevents the cells from releasing it for energy. Eight hormones stimulate fat utilization: epinephrine, norepinephrine, adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH), glucagon, thyroid-stimulating hormone, melanocyte-stimulating hormone, vasopressin and growth hormone. One hormone prevents fat utilization: insulin. The pancreas releases insulin when blood suga Continue reading >>

Insulin And Weight Gain: Keep The Pounds Off

Insulin And Weight Gain: Keep The Pounds Off

Insulin and weight gain often go hand in hand, but weight control is possible. If you need insulin therapy, here's how to minimize — or avoid — weight gain. Weight gain is a common side effect for people who take insulin — a hormone that regulates the absorption of sugar (glucose) by cells. This can be frustrating because maintaining a healthy weight is an important part of your overall diabetes management plan. The good news is that it is possible to maintain your weight while taking insulin. The link between insulin and weight gain When you take insulin, glucose is able to enter your cells, and glucose levels in your blood drop. This is the desired treatment goal. But if you take in more calories than you need to maintain a healthy weight — given your level of activity — your cells will get more glucose than they need. Glucose that your cells don't use accumulates as fat. Avoid weight gain while taking insulin Eating healthy foods and being physically active most days of the week can help you prevent unwanted weight gain. The following tips can help you keep the pounds off: Count calories. Eating and drinking fewer calories helps you prevent weight gain. Stock the refrigerator and pantry with fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Plan for every meal to have the right mix of starches, fruits and vegetables, proteins, and fats. Generally, experts recommend that meals consist of half non starchy vegetable, one-quarter protein and one quarter a starch such as rice or a starchy vegetable such as corn or peas. Trim your portion sizes, skip second helpings and drink water instead of high-calorie drinks. Talk to your doctor, nurse or a dietitian about meal-planning strategies and resources. Don't skip meals. Don't try to cut calories by skipping meals. When you skip Continue reading >>

How Fat Cells Work

How Fat Cells Work

In the last section, we learned how fat in the body is broken down and rebuilt into chylomicrons, which enter the bloodstream by way of the lymphatic system. Chylomicrons do not last long in the bloodstream -- only about eight minutes -- because enzymes called lipoprotein lipases break the fats into fatty acids. Lipoprotein lipases are found in the walls of blood vessels in fat tissue, muscle tissue and heart muscle. Insulin When you eat a candy bar or a meal, the presence of glucose, amino acids or fatty acids in the intestine stimulates the pancreas to secrete a hormone called insulin. Insulin acts on many cells in your body, especially those in the liver, muscle and fat tissue. Insulin tells the cells to do the following: The activity of lipoprotein lipases depends upon the levels of insulin in the body. If insulin is high, then the lipases are highly active; if insulin is low, the lipases are inactive. The fatty acids are then absorbed from the blood into fat cells, muscle cells and liver cells. In these cells, under stimulation by insulin, fatty acids are made into fat molecules and stored as fat droplets. It is also possible for fat cells to take up glucose and amino acids, which have been absorbed into the bloodstream after a meal, and convert those into fat molecules. The conversion of carbohydrates or protein into fat is 10 times less efficient than simply storing fat in a fat cell, but the body can do it. If you have 100 extra calories in fat (about 11 grams) floating in your bloodstream, fat cells can store it using only 2.5 calories of energy. On the other hand, if you have 100 extra calories in glucose (about 25 grams) floating in your bloodstream, it takes 23 calories of energy to convert the glucose into fat and then store it. Given a choice, a fat cell w Continue reading >>

Wtf Is Insulin And How Does It Affect Our Health And Fat Loss?

Wtf Is Insulin And How Does It Affect Our Health And Fat Loss?

With so much written about diet versus exercise and exercise versus diet, it’s easy to overlook the role hormones play in our health and wellbeing, but they can make all the difference. That's why we’ve decided to take a closer look at the hormone insulin: What is it, and how does it relate to diabetes? Can we manipulate insulin to help us lose fat and live longer? As it turns out, we can—and pretty easily, too. What Is Insulin and How Does It Relate to Diabetes? Insulin is a super important hormone that helps us absorb nutrients from our food. Whenever we eat carbs (and a little bit when we eat protein), the amount of sugar in our blood increases, and the pancreas releases insulin to help take the sugar out of the bloodstream and into our organs (mostly the liver and muscle cells) where it can be used for energy . Diabetes is a disease that occurs when that insulin response doesn’t work properly and sugar piles up in the blood with nowhere to go. This can result in a whole lot of problems, including vision loss, hearing loss, high blood pressure, and gum disease. There are two main kinds of diabetes: Type 1 occurs when the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Type 2 occurs when insulin is produced, but the body doesn’t respond to it the right way. What causes Type 1 is often hard to pinpoint. Type 2 diabetes is increasingly common—some have estimated that a third of Americans born in 2000 will develop the disease—and a lot of the time, it can be prevented. How? Let’s talk insulin sensitivity. What Is Insulin Sensitivity? Doing a lot of something can make you less sensitive to its effects, right? Drinking coffee all the time can dull the caffeine, regular drinkers find they need more beers to get drunk than they used to, and so on. In kind of the same Continue reading >>

All About Insulin

All About Insulin

What is insulin? Insulin is a peptide hormone secreted by the pancreas in response to increases in blood sugar, usually following a meal. However, you don’t have to eat a meal to secrete insulin. In fact, the pancreas always secretes a low level of insulin. After a meal, the amount of insulin secreted into the blood increases as blood sugar rises. Similarly, as blood sugar falls, insulin secretion by the pancreas decreases. Insulin thus acts as an “anabolic” or storage hormone. In fact, many have called insulin “the most anabolic hormone”. Once insulin is in the blood, it shuttles glucose (carbohydrates), amino acids, and blood fats into the cells of the body. If these nutrients are shuttled primarily into muscle cells, then the muscles grow and body fat is managed. If these nutrients are shuttled primarily into fat cells, then muscle mass is unchanged and body fat is increased. Insulin’s main actions Rapid (seconds) Increases transport of glucose, amino acids (among the amino acids most strongly transported are valine, leucine, isoleucine, tyrosine and phenylalanine), and potassium into insulin-sensitive cells Intermediate (minutes) Stimulates protein synthesis (insulin increases the formation of new proteins) Activates enzymes that store glycogen Inhibits protein degradation Delayed (hours) Increases proteins and other enzymes for fat storage Why is insulin so important? The pancreas releases insulin whenever we consume food. In response to insulin, cells take in sugar from the bloodstream. This ultimately lowers high blood sugar levels back to a normal range. Like all hormones, insulin has important functions, and an optimal level. Without enough insulin, you lose all of the anabolic effects, since there is not enough insulin to transport or store energy Continue reading >>

The Role Of Insulin In The Body

The Role Of Insulin In The Body

Tweet Insulin is a hormone which plays a key role in the regulation of blood glucose levels. A lack of insulin, or an inability to adequately respond to insulin, can each lead to the development of the symptoms of diabetes. In addition to its role in controlling blood sugar levels, insulin is also involved in the storage of fat. Insulin is a hormone which plays a number of roles in the body’s metabolism. Insulin regulates how the body uses and stores glucose and fat. Many of the body’s cells rely on insulin to take glucose from the blood for energy. Insulin and blood glucose levels Insulin helps control blood glucose levels by signaling the liver and muscle and fat cells to take in glucose from the blood. Insulin therefore helps cells to take in glucose to be used for energy. If the body has sufficient energy, insulin signals the liver to take up glucose and store it as glycogen. The liver can store up to around 5% of its mass as glycogen. Some cells in the body can take glucose from the blood without insulin, but most cells do require insulin to be present. Insulin and type 1 diabetes In type 1 diabetes, the body produces insufficient insulin to regulate blood glucose levels. Without the presence of insulin, many of the body’s cells cannot take glucose from the blood and therefore the body uses other sources of energy. Ketones are produced by the liver as an alternative source of energy, however, high levels of the ketones can lead to a dangerous condition called ketoacidosis. People with type 1 diabetes will need to inject insulin to compensate for their body’s lack of insulin. Insulin and type 2 diabetes Type 2 diabetes is characterised by the body not responding effectively to insulin. This is termed insulin resistance. As a result the body is less able to t Continue reading >>

Fat Vs Sugar In The War On Insulin Resistance

Fat Vs Sugar In The War On Insulin Resistance

Dietary choices are implicated in increasing risk, but sometimes it is hard to know where to look when seeking advice on what to eat! But is it fat or sugar we should be more concerned about? Or both? It seems the answer to that question is a little complex. First, let’s look at the action of insulin. When insulin gets high Insulin impacts the synthesis and storage of glucose, fat and amino acids. It is primarily recognised for its regulation of blood glucose levels, and maintains balance of levels of sugar in the blood by: moving glucose from the blood into muscle cells or adipose (fat) tissue, and; inhibiting the formation of glucose from non-carbs, i.e. fats and proteins (a process called gluconeogenesis that takes place in the liver when blood glucose runs low).1 It then gathers excess glucose in the blood and stores it as fat. It also acts as an appetite regulator, and whilst its role is not well defined, once insulin acts to deposits fat into fat cells, leptin – the hunger suppressant hormone – is stimulated to release.1 In insulin resistance, it has been observed that glucose and free fatty acids are persistently high in the blood, likely due to ‘resistant’ cells not heeding to insulin’s call, meaning less glucose uptake by muscle cells, and adipose cells no longer inhibiting free fatty acid release.1 This then results in higher levels of insulin being produced, and chronically high insulin is known as hyperinsulinemia. Liver and kidney cells do not become resistant to insulin-like the muscle and fat cells, and instead are hyper-stimulated to produce triglycerides and retain sodium respectively. This results in high levels of TGL in the blood, and high blood pressure.1 Neither situation is great, especially for your heart. So, considering insulin is i Continue reading >>

The Insulin Advantage

The Insulin Advantage

Here's what you need to know... If you think bulking and cutting are seasonal, think again. By controlling your insulin you can allow your body to build muscle and burn fat daily. Muscle is made of protein. To build muscle, your body must synthesize more protein than it catabolizes. Insulin is responsible for muscle growth and the storage of muscle glycogen. Excess insulin production will lead to the storage of body fat and the inhibition of fat burning. To build muscle and burn fat on the same day, manipulate your insulin production by consuming carbs strategically. Prioritize carb consumption around workout time. Daily Manipulation Forget the idea of the seasonal "bulking" and "cutting" phases that the newbies love to talk about. Instead, bulk and cut throughout the day, maximizing muscle gains while controlling body fat. How? By manipulating insulin. Depending on your background, you probably think of insulin as either the anabolic Holy Grail or the natural enemy of fat loss. Which is it? Insulin is Like a Weapon It's human nature to label something as good or bad, but this myopic outlook often does us more harm than good. Those wanting fat loss call insulin the "bad" hormone that's making us chubby by inhibiting fat burning and increasing fat storage. Those wanting muscle growth call insulin the anabolic and anti-catabolic phenomenon. How can one hormone be a fat boy's nemesis and a skinny boy's best defense? The truth is, insulin is like a weapon: it can hurt you or help you. And the good news is we can accurately predict how insulin will act. Know Your Opponent Insulin is an anabolic hormone. In fact, it's even more anabolic than growth hormone. The problem? It's indiscriminately anabolic and doesn't care whether it helps with the building of muscle or the accumul Continue reading >>

Insulin Sensitivity: Why You Can't Blast That Fat For Good!

Insulin Sensitivity: Why You Can't Blast That Fat For Good!

Have you ever wondered why, after all the exercise and healthy eating you do, you still can't shift that last bit of fat? You hit the gym four to five times a week or more, you even try to get a run in over the weekend and on top of this you're eating all the healthiest food you can find; despite this your still not super lean like you want to be. I have the answer to your nightmare - Insulin sensitivity. Insulin sensitivity will eventually replace the term "weight loss" and "fat loss" as the new hot topic. Insulin has a powerful ability to prevent fat breakdown by its anabolic (rebuilding) properties. Few health and fitness professionals know or understand Insulin sensitivity (IS) which is why its no wonder that the every day man or woman is finding weight and fat so difficult to lose; it's incredibly hard to win against an obstacle you don't know is there! Let me explain Insulin's role and how it's sensitivity changes depending upon how close you are to your weight and fat loss goals. Insulin Sensitivity You might remember the hormone Insulin from articles referring to muscle gains due to its anabolic properties. Well further research into Insulin action shows that these same anabolic tendencies also affect the fat cells1. What most people don't realize is, Insulin also targets the fat, liver, and muscle cells when it is released1. This is not the only problem, though. A review of the research tells us that IS is actually increased when you lower your weight or body fat percentage2,3,11. It's also important to note that IS gets stronger the more you work out. The catabolic effect of exercise increases IS during a work out and for about 30-45 minutes post workout3. This means as a healthy exercising individual you simply can't eat the same amount of carbohydrate food t Continue reading >>

Insulin And Glucagon: How To Manipulate Them And Lose Fat

Insulin And Glucagon: How To Manipulate Them And Lose Fat

I know many of you lean, mean, workout machine Breaking Muscle readers could care less about body fat reduction. You're already there. Your focus goes to your lift resistance amounts, improving training times, shoring up your exercise techniques, strategic planning to defeat your opponents, future competition preparation, and feeling good about your training. That's how it should be. What About Fat Loss? But guess what? There is a large segment of the population who are only concerned about shedding their "love handles.” Yes, most of these people will admit they're over-fat due to lack of physical activity and eating like it's Thanksgiving day multiple times per week. If taken to task, most people don't want to resemble an unshapely blob of protoplasm. They would rather look better, but they just don't know where to start to achieve that goal. On top of this, we all exist in a society where a plethora of high-calorie and/or low nutritional value food exists. Wise decisions must be made by all, regardless of your goals. Is it possible to eat your favorite foods, be happy, and attain your fitness goals simultaneously? Maybe. There are hundreds of diets and workout programs purportedly geared toward expunging body fat while enjoying your favorite foods. Many of them work, provided you actually adhere to their guidelines and remain disciplined with sensible calorie intake and exercise. But here’s my advice if you are attempting to maximally lose body fat: maintain your blood sugar level between 70 mg/dl and 110 mg/dl. Do this, and all other factors being equal, you will burn more fat. Biologically, it comes down to your body's innate ability to regulate two hormones - insulin and glucagon - relative to dietary intake. How Insulin and Glucagon Affect Fat Storage Insulin Continue reading >>

The Basic Food Groups: The Insulin/fat Connection

The Basic Food Groups: The Insulin/fat Connection

The Insulin/Fat Connection The primary source of body fat for most Americans is not dietary fat but carbohydrate, which is converted to blood sugar and then, with the aid of insulin, to fat by fat cells. Remember, insulin is our main fatbuilding hormone. Eat a plate of pasta. Your blood sugar will rise and your insulin level (if you have type 2 diabetes or are not diabetic) will also rise in order to cover, or prevent, the jump in blood sugar. All the blood sugar that is not burned as energy or stored as glycogen is turned into fat. So you could, in theory, acquire more body fat from eating a high-carbohydrate “fat-free” dessert than you would from eating a tender steak nicely marbled with fat. Even the fat in the steak is more likely to be stored if it is accompanied by bread, potatoes, corn, and so on. The fatty-acid building blocks of fats can be metabolized (burned), stored, or converted by your body into other compounds, depending on what it requires. Consequently, fat is always in flux in the body, being stored, appearing in the blood, and being converted to energy. The amount of triglycerides (the storage form of fat) in your bloodstream at any given time will be determined by your heredity, your level of exercise, your blood sugar levels, your diet, your ratio of visceral (abdominal) fat to lean body mass (muscle), and especially by your recent consumption of carbohydrate. The slim and fit tend to be very sensitive (i.e., responsive) to insulin and have low serum levels not only of triglycerides but insulin as well. But even their triglyceride levels will increase after a high-carbohydrate meal, as excess blood sugar is converted to fat. The higher the ratio of abdominal fat (and, to a lesser degree, total body fat) to lean body mass, the less sensitive to i Continue reading >>

Physiologic Effects Of Insulin

Physiologic Effects Of Insulin

Stand on a streetcorner and ask people if they know what insulin is, and many will reply, "Doesn't it have something to do with blood sugar?" Indeed, that is correct, but such a response is a bit like saying "Mozart? Wasn't he some kind of a musician?" Insulin is a key player in the control of intermediary metabolism, and the big picture is that it organizes the use of fuels for either storage or oxidation. Through these activities, insulin has profound effects on both carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, and significant influences on protein and mineral metabolism. Consequently, derangements in insulin signalling have widespread and devastating effects on many organs and tissues. The Insulin Receptor and Mechanism of Action Like the receptors for other protein hormones, the receptor for insulin is embedded in the plasma membrane. The insulin receptor is composed of two alpha subunits and two beta subunits linked by disulfide bonds. The alpha chains are entirely extracellular and house insulin binding domains, while the linked beta chains penetrate through the plasma membrane. The insulin receptor is a tyrosine kinase. In other words, it functions as an enzyme that transfers phosphate groups from ATP to tyrosine residues on intracellular target proteins. Binding of insulin to the alpha subunits causes the beta subunits to phosphorylate themselves (autophosphorylation), thus activating the catalytic activity of the receptor. The activated receptor then phosphorylates a number of intracellular proteins, which in turn alters their activity, thereby generating a biological response. Several intracellular proteins have been identified as phosphorylation substrates for the insulin receptor, the best-studied of which is insulin receptor substrate 1 or IRS-1. When IRS-1 is activa Continue reading >>

Insulin Levels And Fat Storage

Insulin Levels And Fat Storage

This post may be sponsored or contain affiliate links. We may earn money from purchases made through links mentioned in this post, but all opinions are our own. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliates sites. Are you aware of how insulin levels and fat storage in the body are related? The key to preventing excess fat being stored is to maintain stable insulin. Before getting into the correlation between insulin levels and fat storage, it’s important to first understand what insulin is and how it comes about. Insulin is a hormone that is secreted by the pancreas when blood sugar levels get too high. The purpose of insulin is to send a signal to muscle, liver, and fat cells to remove excess blood sugars from the blood to keep normal balance within the body. Insulin is necessary because high blood sugar levels are toxic to the body and can cause great harm. Thus, it can be seen that insulin is a necessary bodily hormone. However, in excess, the hormone begins to cause damage to the body. Consuming high amounts of carbohydrates over a long period of time will cause the body to become insulin resistant. When the body becomes insulin resistant the muscle and liver cells shut off and stop accepting the excess blood sugar. When this happens, the pancreas begins to secrete more and more insulin in order to drop blood sugar levels to a healthy state. Eventually, the body becomes so insulin resistant that the liver and muscle cells cannot hold any more blood sugar. As a result, the blood sugar begins to get stored – and ultimately trapped – in fat cells where it cannot be used as energy. More and more blood sugar builds up in the Continue reading >>

How Insulin Really Works: It Causes Fat Storage…but Doesn’t Make You Fat

How Insulin Really Works: It Causes Fat Storage…but Doesn’t Make You Fat

Many people believe that insulin is to blame for the obesity epidemic. When you understand how it actually works, you’ll know why this is a lie. Insulin has been taking quite a beating these days. If we’re to listen to some “experts,” it’s an evil hormone whose sole goal is making us fat, type 2 diabetics. Furthermore, we’re told that carbohydrates also are in on the conspiracy. By eating carbs, we open the insulin floodgates and wreak havoc in our bodies. How true are these claims, though? Does it really make sense that our bodies would come with an insidious mechanism to punish carbohydrate intake? Let’s find out. What is Insulin, Anyway? Insulin is a hormone, which means it’s a substance the body produces to affect the functions of organs or tissues, and it’s made and released into the blood by the pancreas. Insulin’s job is a very important one: when you eat food, it’s broken down into basic nutrients (protein breaks down into amino acids; dietary fats into fatty acids; and carbohydrates into glucose), which make their way into the bloodstream. These nutrients must then be moved from the blood into muscle and fat cells for use or storage, and that’s where insulin comes into play: it helps shuttle the nutrients into cells by “telling” the cells to open up and absorb them. So, whenever you eat food, your pancreas releases insulin into the blood. As the nutrients are slowly absorbed into cells, insulin levels drop, until finally all the nutrients are absorbed, and insulin levels then remain steady at a low, “baseline” level. This cycle occurs every time you eat food: amino acids, fatty acids, and/or glucose find their way into your blood, and they’re joined by additional insulin, which ushers them into cells. Once the job is done, insu Continue reading >>

Nih Study Shows How Insulin Stimulates Fat Cells To Take In Glucose

Nih Study Shows How Insulin Stimulates Fat Cells To Take In Glucose

Findings could aid in understanding diabetes, related conditions. Using high-resolution microscopy, researchers at the National Institutes of Health have shown how insulin prompts fat cells to take in glucose in a rat model. The findings were reported in the Sept. 8 issue of the journal Cell Metabolism. By studying the surface of healthy, live fat cells in rats, researchers were able to understand the process by which cells take in glucose. Next, they plan to observe the fat cells of people with varying degrees of insulin sensitivity, including insulin resistance — considered a precursor to type 2 diabetes (These observations may help identify the interval when someone becomes at risk for developing diabetes. "What we're doing here is actually trying to understand how glucose transporter proteins called GLUT4 work in normal, insulin-sensitive cells," said Karin G. Stenkula, Ph.D., a researcher at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and a lead author of the paper. "With an understanding of how these transporters in fat cells respond to insulin, we could detect the differences between an insulin-sensitive cell and an insulin-resistant cell, to learn how the response becomes impaired. We hope to identify when a person becomes pre-diabetic, before they go on to develop diabetes." Glucose, a simple sugar, provides energy for cell functions. After food is digested, glucose is released into the bloodstream. In response, the pancreas secretes insulin, which directs the muscle and fat cells to take in glucose. Cells obtain energy from glucose or convert it to fat for long-term storage. Like a key fits into a lock, insulin binds to receptors on the cell's surface, causing GLUT4 molecules to come to the cell's surface. As their name impli Continue reading >>

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