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Insulin And Fat Cells

A Simple Way To Fix The Hormones That Make You Fat

A Simple Way To Fix The Hormones That Make You Fat

"Insulin shunts sugar to fat. Insulin makes fat. More insulin, more fat. Period." If you've been involved in nutrition for the past few years, then you've probably heard of Dr. Robert Lustig. He is a pediatric endocrinologist and an expert on childhood obesity. He became well known in 2009 for his viral YouTube lecture called Sugar: The Bitter Truth. In the video above, he is interviewed by Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, about what he believes to be the true cause of obesity and other diseases of civilization. Some people believe that obesity is caused by eating too much and exercising too little. In other words, the behavior is driving the weight gain and it is the individual's fault that this happened. However, Lustig does not believe this to be the case, at least not in the majority of people. He believes that the behavior, increased food intake and decreased exercise, is secondary to changes in the function of hormones (1). It turns out that there are well defined biological mechanisms that can explain how the foods we eat disrupt the function our our hormones, which makes us eat more and gain weight (2). In other words, we're not getting fat because we're eating more, we're eating more because we're getting fat. Obesity is an incredibly complex disorder and scientists don't agree on what it is that causes it. However, it is well established that hormones have a lot to do with it. A key player here is a hormone called leptin. This hormone is secreted by the fat cells. It sends a signal to the brain that we have enough energy stored and that we don't need to eat (3). Obese people have a lot of body fat and a lot of leptin in their bloodstream. But the problem is that the leptin isn't getting to the brain to send that signal. Put simply, the brain doesn't "see" the leptin. It 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 >>

Hacking Fat Cells Metabolism Does Not Affect Insulin Resistance

Hacking Fat Cells Metabolism Does Not Affect Insulin Resistance

Hacking Fat Cells Metabolism Does Not Affect Insulin Resistance - 01/08/2015 Hacking Fat Cells Metabolism Does Not Affect Insulin Resistance Mouse study also suggests inability to burn fat in brown fat doesnt lead to weight gain An image of brown fat, with fat cells shown in green, other cells in red and cells nuclei in blue. Contrary to expectations, preventing the burning of fats within fat cells does not prevent insulin resistance, a mouse study finds. Surprisingly, mice whose fat cells couldnt burn fat also didnt gain more weight than normal mice, even on high-fat diets. Fat cells inability to burn fat had an unexpected impact on the use of many genes to make proteins. In the race to find a safe and effective weight loss drug, much attention has focused on the chemical processes that store and use energy. But a new mouse study from Johns Hopkins suggests that tweaking these processes, even in a targeted way that affects only fat cells, may not yield a silver-bullet obesity cure. The study appears in the Jan. 13 issue of Cell Reports . Its been suggested that if we could make the process of breaking down fat into useful energy less efficient inside fat cells, they would burn more fat to compensate sort of like leaving the windows open while the heat is on, says Michael Wolfgang, Ph.D., an associate professor of biological chemistry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicines Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences. Our experiment looked at the opposite scenario: Would mice be more prone to obesity if their fat cells couldnt burn fat? The answer, surprisingly, was no. Cells use a process called oxidation to break down fats, whether from foods or from the bodys stores, into useful energy. Some researchers have theorized that the byproducts of oxidation may be 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 >>

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 >>

How Insulin Works In The Body

How Insulin Works In The Body

By Elizabeth Woolley | Reviewed by Richard N. Fogoros, MD Science Photo Library - SCIEPRO/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images Insulin is a hormone that has a hand in several processes in your body. Not only does it assist with metabolizing carbohydrates and storing glucose for energy in cells, it also helps utilize the fat, protein, and certain minerals you eat. Because this hormone is so important in helping your body use the foods you ingest, a problem with insulin can have widespread effects on all of your body's systems, tissues, and organseither directly or indirectly. If you have type 2 diabetes, learning how insulin works can help you understand why so many other medical conditions are associated with diabetes, why certain lifestyle practices are beneficial, and how your body reacts to food. Insulin is a hormone made up of a small polypeptide protein that is secreted by the pancreas, which acts as both an endocrine and exocrine gland. Endocrine glands are the system of glands that secrete hormones to regulate body functions, whereasexocrine glands aid in digestion. The pancreas sits behind the stomach, nestled in the curve of the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine), and contains clusters of cells called islets of Langerhans. Islets are made up of beta cells, which produce and release insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin affects carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism. Your body breaks these nutrients down into sugar molecules, amino acid molecules, and lipid molecules. The body can also store and reassemble these molecules into more complex forms. Insulin causes the storage of these nutrients, while another pancreatic hormone called glucagon releases them from storage. Insulin is involved in your body's careful balancing act to keep your blood sugar le Continue reading >>

The Insulin & Fat Storage Myth

The Insulin & Fat Storage Myth

There is a lot of talk on this theory that insulin causes you to gain weight. The basic idea is that certain foods can cause your blood sugar to spike thus signaling your pancreas to secrete more insulin. This insulin shuttles that sugar into your fat cells and you gain weight. Another part of this theory says that since your spike in blood sugar was so sharp your body might shuttle too much sugar out of your blood and your blood sugar levels drop causing hunger so you eat insulin spiking foods once again and the cycle repeats itself until you’re fat, sick and feeling out of control. Like many theories in diet and fitness, it has a lot of truth to it, but there are quite a few holes to the theory and a lot of fine print as to what’s really going on. True parts of the theory #1- Some foods can influence a spike in blood sugar. There is no doubt that certain foods are digested at different rates and along different pathways in the body. Any basic knowledge of human digestion will simply point out that some foods break down and digest faster than others. It is certainly true that simple carbohydrates and sugars tend to break down faster and are entered into the bloodstream at a quicker rate thus raising your blood sugar. #2- Insulin does shuttle sugar out of your blood. Your blood sugar level is incredibly important towards your health and well-being. Insulin is not a bad hormone because you need it in order to survive. It’s primary role is in fact to pull sugar out of the bloodstream when there is too much of it there. #3- Certain foods do digest faster and may cause you to become hungry again much quicker. Since it is true that certain foods digest and break down quicker it’s also true that some foods have less sticking power and helping you feel full longer. Sim 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 >>

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 >>

Are Fat Cells More Sensitive To High Doses Of Insulin? | Endocrine System Disease Treatments - Sharecare

Are Fat Cells More Sensitive To High Doses Of Insulin? | Endocrine System Disease Treatments - Sharecare

Are fat cells more sensitive to high doses of insulin? Theanswer to this question is a little complicated. On the one hand, fat cells respond more as insulin levels in the blood stream go up. The more insulin there is, whether it is made by the body or given as a medication, the more the fat cells will respond by storing energy. On the other hand, as body fat increases -- especially with increasing fat in the liver and other intra-abdominal organs -- fat cells become somewhat resistant to insulin. Insulin resistance means that more and more insulin is required to have the same action. In a person who is insulin resistant, the same amount of insulin will have a much lesser effect on fat cells than it would have in a person who is not insulin resistant. The obvious question that arises in this setting is what makes fat cells insulin resistant in people with too much abdominal fat. Despite many years of research into this question, it is still not completely clear what causes insulin resistance, but it appears that the intra-abdominal fat cells themselves make a variety of hormones and other chemical signals that lessen the bodys responsiveness to insulin. Continue reading >>

Obesity Study Shows Gene Expression In Fat Cells Determines Response To Insulin

Obesity Study Shows Gene Expression In Fat Cells Determines Response To Insulin

Obesity study shows gene expression in fat cells determines response to insulin Obesity study shows gene expression in fat cells determines response to insulin Evening bright light exposure augments markers of insulin resistance, study finds 20 May 2016 Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, studying metabolic differences between fat cells from obese and normal weight people, have found abnormal changes in gene expression in response to insulin stimulation. The study findings , published in the journal Cell Reports, also show that the genetic response to hyperinsulinemia in insulin resistant subjects only differed in a limited set of genes from that in insulin sensitive participants. Over the past 15 years, evidence has emerged that a subgroup of obese people may be metabolically healthy, meaning that they do not present insulin resistance, high blood sugar , high cholesterol , and high triglycerides typical of obesity. Statistically speaking, up to 30 per cent of obese subjects who have this healthy obesity phenotype display normal fasting blood glucose and lipid levels as well as good blood pressure , according to the authors. This notion of "healthy obesity" has led to question whether treating the obesity is the way to address these issues, or whether another kind of metabolic imbalance exists. This study revealed that white fat tissue samples from obese individuals classified as either metabolically healthy or unhealthy actually show nearly identical variations in gene expression governing responses to insulin. The research team made the discovery while looking at differences in the kind of fat that obese people and normal weight people carry leading to a metabolically healthy obesity state and promoting high sensitivity to insulin . To do so, scient Continue reading >>

Fat Vs Sugar In The War On Insulin Resistance

Fat Vs Sugar In The War On Insulin Resistance

Fat vs Sugar in the war on insulin resistance Insulin resistance and the incidence of type 2 diabetes are on the rise. 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, lets look at the action of insulin. 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 insulins 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.1Neither Continue reading >>

Insulin: The Carbs To Body Fat Connection?

Insulin: The Carbs To Body Fat Connection?

Insulin: The Carbs To Body Fat Connection? Insulin: The Carbs To Body Fat Connection? Insulin: The Carbs To Body Fat Connection? Insulin - most people who are even mildly interested in their own health have heard of it. It is probably one of the better-known hormones in the body because it is regularly demonised as a root cause of weight gain. In this article, well look at insulin in more detail - what it is, what its role is in the body and if it deserves its less-than-loved reputation. Insulin is a hormone released by the pancreas. Its primary job is to lower blood sugar and it does this by binding to receptors on the outside of liver, muscle and fat cells. When it binds to the cell, it instructs a protein called GLUT4 (Glucose Transporter Type 4) to shuttle glucose from the blood stream, through the cell wall, into the cell. By storing sugar in cells, insulin reduces blood sugar levels. It is necessary to maintain blood sugar levels within a certain range because if blood sugar becomes too high this will cause cell damage. In cases of unmanaged type-2 diabetes (a disease that makes regulating blood sugar levels harder), the cells of the body start to die from the damage done by regularly high sugar levels. This can affect cells throughout the entire body, but usually, the eyes and extremities are damaged first. Obviously, the body will avoid this damage at all costs - this is insulins job. With a healthy pancreas and cells working properly, whenever anything influences our blood sugar, insulin is there gently regulating. Food and drink will cause blood sugar levels to rise, as canhigh stress levels (yes, stressful situations, emotions and even physical stresses like injury, poor sleep or food intolerances can cause blood sugars to rise due to elevated levels of cort 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 >>

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