What medical conditions are associated with insulin resistance? While the metabolic syndrome links insulin resistance with abdominal obesity, elevated cholesterol, and high blood pressure; several other medical other conditions are specifically associated with insulin resistance. Insulin resistance may contribute to the following conditions: Type 2 Diabetes: Overt diabetes may be the first sign insulin resistance is present. Insulin resistance can be noted long before type 2 diabetes develops. Individuals reluctant or unable to see a health-care professional often seek medical attention when they have already developed type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Fatty liver: Fatty liver is strongly associated with insulin resistance. Accumulation of fat in the liver is a manifestation of the disordered control of lipids that occurs with insulin resistance. Fatty liver associated with insulin resistance may be mild or severe. Newer evidence suggests fatty liver may even lead to cirrhosis of the liver and, possibly, liver cancer. Arteriosclerosis: Arteriosclerosis (also known as atherosclerosis) is a process of progressive thickening and hardening of the walls of medium-sized and large arteries. Arteriosclerosis is responsible for: Other risk factors for arteriosclerosis include: High levels of "bad" (LDL) cholesterol Diabetes mellitus from any cause Family history of arteriosclerosis Skin Lesions: Skin lesions include increased skin tags and a condition called acanthosis nigerians (AN). Acanthosis nigricans is a darkening and thickening of the skin, especially in folds such as the neck, under the arms, and in the groin. This condition is directly related to the insulin resistance, though the exact mechanism is not clear. Acanthosis nigricans is a cosmetic condition strongly Continue reading >>
Diet And Diabetes: Why Saturated Fats Are The Real Enemy
This is the seventh article in our “Controversies” series and the third piece focusing on the subject of fats. Today, we are going to explore the very important relationship between saturated fat intake and the onset of diabetes. As we mentioned in The Ultimate Guide to Saturated Fats, “Once we control for weight, alcohol, smoking, exercise and family history, the incidence of diabetes is significantly associated with the proportion of saturated fat in our blood.” Today we will take a deep dive to fully understand why there is such a strong link between diabetes and saturated fat consumption. We will also discuss how a plant-based diet may protect you from (or even reverse!) the disease. What Is Insulin Resistance? Insulin resistance is a hallmark of both prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. So what is insulin resistance exactly (and why is it important)? Let me explain. Insulin is what permits glucose (sugar) in the blood to enter our (muscle) cells. In essence, insulin ‘unlocks’ the door, allowing the glucose to come in. If there is no insulin at all (the case of type 1 diabetes), the blood sugar ‘hangs out’ in the bloodstream because it cannot get inside. That causes the blood sugar levels to rise. But what happens if the insulin is there but is simply not working properly? In that case, the lock to the cell door is ‘blocked.’ This is what is called insulin resistance. So what causes insulin resistance in the first place? Insulin resistance is caused by fat. Fat build-up inside (muscle) cells creates toxic fatty breakdown products and free radicals that ‘block’ the insulin-signaling process, close the ‘glucose gate,’ and make blood sugar levels rise. And this cycle can happen really fast. In fact, insulin resistance can occur in 180 short minu Continue reading >>
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 >>
A A A What is Insulin Resistance? Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the beta cells found in the pancreas. Insulin is an important hormone that has many actions within the body including those involved in metabolism (control) of carbohydrates (sugars and starches), lipids (fats), and proteins. When insulin resistance develops, tissues in the body – particularly muscle and fat tissues- do not respond appropriately to insulin. In fact, more insulin is needed to elicit the same response from these tissues. As a result, higher levels of insulin are needed in order for insulin to continue to exert its physiologic effect. There are many causes of insulin resistance, including a strong association with genetics (an inherited component). In addition, insulin resistance is often associated with the following conditions: infection or severe illness, the metabolic syndrome, obesity, pregnancy, steroid use and with other medications, and Aside from the well known association of insulin resistance with the metabolic syndrome, abdominal obesity, elevated cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure; there are several other medical conditions that are associated with insulin resistance specifically. While the associations are clear, whether insulin resistance is the cause of these conditions is not yet known. While insulin resistance is usually seen long before diabetes develops, in cases in which medical attention has lapsed, insulin resistance can present as type 2 diabetes. The accumulation of fat in the liver is a manifestation of the disordered control of lipids that occurs with insulin resistance. The extent of liver damage can range from mild to severe. Newer evidence suggests that fatty liver may even lead to cirrhosis of the liver, and possibly liver cancer. Insulin re Continue reading >>
Belly Fat: Is Insulin Resistance To Blame?
Can’t shift stubborn belly fat? Insulin resistance could be to blame. Take action now to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes in the future. Craving sugar, constantly feeling tired and really struggling to lose weight, you put yourself on a strict diet. But despite exercising regularly and keeping junk food in check, you simply can’t lose that spare tyre. Why? Because your body’s natural food-into-fuel process is failing to function properly. When you eat carbohydrate-rich foods, such as fruit, bread, starchy veg and sugary snacks, they break down into glucose to fuel your body. Of course, you want to use this fuel for energy, not store it as fat, but this all depends on your body’s response to the hormone insulin. Q. What is insulin resistance? Insulin moves glucose from the blood into the cells so that the body can either burn it as fuel or store it as fat. Insulin resistance occurs when the body’s cells fail to respond properly to insulin. For some of us, insulin’s effectiveness wanes as we age, so the body begins to need more and more to help glucose enter the cells. Over time, often years, this resistance escalates, as the body continues to pump out ever-increasing amounts of insulin. When the body starts struggling to make enough insulin to overcome the resistance, blood-glucose levels rise. Initially, these levels are mildly elevated, causing impaired glucose tolerance, a condition we call prediabetes; however, levels can eventually rise even further, causing the onset of type 2 diabetes. Q. What are the symptoms? “The main symptoms of insulin resistance are extra weight around the midriff and difficulty in losing weight, particularly if you have a family history of diabetes,” explains Kate Marsh, PhD, an Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian an Continue reading >>
Does Insulin Resistance Cause Weight Gain, Or Vice Versa?
One of the biggest questions swirling my mind over the last year has been trying to decipher which of the following is more likely: (A) Does insulin resistance cause weight gain? (B) Does weight gain cause insulin resistance? The difference between these two questions may seem quite nuanced, but it is incredibly important. It changes how you might approach the treatment of type 2 diabetes as well as those with Impaired Glucose Regulation (a.k.a. ‘pre-diabetes’). Do you specifically focus on weight loss or do you focus on the underlying insulin resistance? Do you focus on both? In this article (a warning: this has essentially become an extended essay), I will cover 4 areas that I think are incredibly interesting when looking at these questions: Professor Roy Taylor’s work at Newcastle University Peter Attia’s talk on insulin resistance Professor Roger Unger’s prize winning lecture Slim diabetics and the exceptions Professor Roy Taylor’s work at Newcastle University Professor Roy Taylor is a professor of medicine and metabolism at the University of Newcastle. He and his research group have specifically focused on understanding if, and how, you can reverse type 2 diabetes. Answers to this question would also broadly apply to reversing pre-diabetes. On the research group’s university website, they have stated that type 2 diabetes can be reversed with major weight loss: “It has been possible to work out the basic mechanisms which lead to type 2 diabetes. Too much fat within liver and pancreas prevents normal insulin action and prevents normal insulin secretion. Both defects are reversible by substantial weight loss.” So here we have our first interplay between weight loss and insulin function. Professor Taylor is saying that if you lose weight, then you can Continue reading >>
When The Liver Gets Fatty
As Americans have gotten fatter, so have their livers, and some hearts may suffer as a result. There's a fair amount of guesswork to the estimates, but perhaps as many as 20% of American adults have some degree of fatty liver disease, a condition that used to occur almost exclusively in people who drink excessively. The epidemics of obesity and diabetes are to blame. Fatty liver affects between 70% and 90% of people with those conditions, so as obesity and diabetes have become more common, so has fatty liver disease. Fatty liver disease isn't confined to any one group, and there doesn't seem to be pronounced gender differences, but studies suggest that Latinos are disproportionately affected. It's primarily a condition of middle age, although children may get it, too. Fatty liver disease is rapidly becoming more common in Asia, and some research suggests that men in India may be especially susceptible. Plumped-up liver cells The prevailing theory is that the condition gets started because of insulin resistance, which is, in turn, frequently a consequence of obesity and excess fat tissue in the abdomen. When people are insulin resistant, their muscle, fat, and liver cells don't respond normally to insulin, so levels of the hormone — and the blood sugar it ushers into cells — build up in the blood. As a result, the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease increases. But insulin resistance is a complicated metabolic state that also includes an increase in the amount of free fatty acids circulating in the blood. Fatty liver disease occurs when some of those fat molecules accumulate inside liver cells. The presence of those fattened cells can then lead to inflammation in the liver and damage to surrounding liver tissue. Once that happens, if excess alcohol is not in Continue reading >>
This Kind Of Fat Lowers Your Risk For Diabetes
TIME Health For more, visit TIME Health. Not all saturated fats are created equal, it appears. A pair of new studies suggests that certain sources of saturated fat may be worse than others—especially when it comes to raising risk for type 2 diabetes. In one study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers from Harvard University and the Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Spain tracked 3,349 Spanish adults for about 4.5 years. Overall, they found that people who consumed higher amounts of saturated fats and animal fats were twice as likely to develop diabetes than those who consumed a lower amount. When the researchers broke down the results by specific food type, the consumption of butter (at 12 grams a day) and cheese (at 30 grams a day) were both linked to an increased risk of diabetes. On the other hand, people who ate whole-fat yogurt actually had a lower risk than those who didn’t. The researchers have several explanations for these findings. Yogurt contains healthful ingredients, like probiotics and protein, that may have protective effects when it comes to diabetes risk, says lead author Marta Guasch-Ferre, a nutrition research fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Even though the results were adjusted to account for other food intake, unhealthy eating patterns may have influenced them. “Butter and cheese often come with carbohydrates, like toast or crackers,” Guasch-Ferre says. Plus, people who eat more yogurt tend to have better diets than those who don’t, she adds. The study did not find any significant links between diabetes risk and consumption of red meat, processed meat, eggs or whole-fat milk. That was a surprise to the researchers, who suspect that other factors may have diluted these results. They poi Continue reading >>
Is Insulin Resistance Really Making Us Fat?
Is Insulin Resistance Really Making Us Fat? Disclaimer: I love and respect many low-carbers and low-carb researchers, and think low-carb diets are very appropriate and perhaps necessary for many people. Many in the low-carb field seem to think that insulin resistance is what is making us fat and even that insulin resistance is caused by insulin. Too much carb makes too much insulin and the insulin receptors get scared and run away. Intriguing theory, but very simplistic. During the Q&A session of my Wise Traditions talk this weekend, I made the following quip: Saying that insulin causes insulin resistance is like saying that childhood mortality is caused by children. Melissa McEwen caught this quote on her live twitter feed . Melissa also live tweeted many other excellent talks from the conference, including Stephan Guyenet's masterpiece on the traditional diet of the Pacific islands. He uncovered islands where the traditional diet was over 90% carbohydrate and other islands where the traditional diet was mostly fat, including a whopping 50% of calories just from saturated fat alone. Neither ofthe populationshad insulin resistance, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease, and none ofeitherisland's inhabitantswere fat. In came refined foods, and they became vulnerable to all of these diseases. Lots of other people live tweeted talks and other events from the conference, and you can see a hodge podge of these tweets here . In this blog post, I'd like to review a couple animal models that strongly suggest thatbetween insulin resistance and leptin resistance, leptin resistance is much more critical to the development of obesity. The mainstream often cries eat less and exercise more whenever someone has trouble losing weight. Well in fact there's a little molecule called leptin Continue reading >>
The Root Cause – Insulin Resistance
THE Root Cause – Insulin Resistance Drying Up the Root LCHF and the Fasting Cure If the major chronic illnesses of today were pictured as a tree, Insulin Resistance could be pictured as the root of that tree. From this root, the trunk of poor blood sugar control grows and the many branches of that tree represent almost every modern illness that have destroyed the lives of people we all know and love. The driving force, of why I made “Butter Makes Your Pants Fall Off” was my desire to explain the complicated problem of “insulin resistance”. Last year, while I was losing weight, I was also reading everything I could get my hands on about insulin resistance, because as I studied, I came to understand that this disorder was literally at the root of most the illnesses that plague people we all have known and loved. The Root of the Problem Why do I say insulin resistance is the root of the problem? Because, insulin resistance has been associated with most of the worst diseases we all know about including: Obesity, mental illness like Schizophrenia, Depression and anxiety, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, irregular menstrual cycles, ovarian cysts, high triglycerides (fat in blood), intestinal problems like IBS, joint pain and skin problems are all related to or in some way caused by or made worse by insulin resistance. What causes insulin resistance? Insulin resistance begins as the levels of insulin in the body remain high over a prolonged period of time. Insulin resistance is also closely related to fat around the middle, or belly fat. Becoming fat around the middle is thought to cause system wide inflammation in the body, which causes the immune system to release chemicals that interfere with the effectiveness of insulin. What Causes Insuli Continue reading >>
High-fat Diet-induced Hyperglycemia And Obesity In Mice: Differential Effects Of Dietary Oils
Author links open overlay panel ShinjiIkemoto MayumiTakahashi NobuyoTsunoda KayoMaruyama HiroshigeItakura OsamuEzaki Get rights and content Mice fed a high-fat diet develop hyperglycemia and obesity. Using non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) model mice, we investigated the effects of seven different dietary oils on glucose metabolism: palm oil, which contains mainly 45% palmitic acid (16:0) and 40% oleic acid (18:1); lard oil, 24% palmitic and 44% oleic acid; rapeseed oil, 59% oleic and 20% linoleic acid (18:2); soybean oil, 24% oleic and 54% linoleic acid; safflower oil, 76% linoleic acid; perilla oil, 58% -linolenic acid; and tuna fish oil, 7% eicosapentaenoic acid and 23% docosahexaenoic acid. C57BL/6J mice received each as a high-fat diet (60% of total calories) for 19 weeks (n = 6 to 11 per group). After 19 weeks of feeding, body weight induced by the diets was in the following order: soybean > palm lard rapeseed safflower perilla > fish oil. Glucose levels 30 minutes after a glucose load were highest for safflower oil (21.5 mmol/L), modest for rapeseed oil, soybean oil, and lard ( 17.6 mmol/L), mild for perilla, fish, and palm oil ( 13.8 mmol/L), and minimal for high-carbohydrate meals ( 10.4 mmol/L). Only palm oil-fed mice showed fasting hyperinsulinemia (P < .001). By stepwise multiple regression analysis, body weight (or white adipose tissue [WAT] weight) and intake of linoleic acid (or ratio) were chosen as independent variables to affect glucose tolerance. By univariate analysis, the linoleic acid intake had a positive correlation with blood glucose level (r = .83, P = .02) but not with obesity (r = .46, P = .30). These data indicate that (1) fasting blood insulin levels vary among fat subtypes, and a higher fasting blood insulin level in palm oi Continue reading >>
How To Reverse Insulin Resistance: An Actionable Guide
If you’ve been in the space of alternative health and wellness for a while, then you’ve likely heard the term ‘insulin resistance’ floating around. But if not, I’m going to do that right now so your brain can stop screeching to a halt every time it reads that word. What Does Insulin Do? Insulin is a hormone. To put it quite simply, you can think of hormones as “body messengers” that communicate and respond to everything from hunger signals to reproduction, to emotions and a heck of a lot more. Because we are an intelligent and integrated feedback loop, some hormones have more than one, and/or, overlapping functions. Insulin is produced in the pancreas (which is part of the endocrine system). Its major responsibility (which is uber important) is to help regulate blood sugar. When you eat foods that contain any form of sugar, that sugar gets broken down into glucose. By the way, when I say that foods containing sugar I’m not just talking about sweet foods. I’m also talking about any carbohydrate (both simple and complex) containing foods. In this case, flavor is secondary to chemical make-up because that’s what ultimately determines how it’s going to be digested. Let me give some examples of foods that will get broken down into glucose: Desserts: ice cream, cookies, cakes, pies, candy, dried fruit… Sweet drinks: gatorade, creamers, soda, koolaid, juices… Simple carbs: bread, pasta, crackers, cereals… Complex carbs: quinoa, oats, brown & wild rice, corn, sprouted wheats, plantains, cassava, turnips, squashes… Fiber-rich: most fruits, most vegetables, peas, beans, legumes Those foods, the ones above and the others I didn’t have space to include, once simplified into glucose molecules (this is what we mean when we say blood sugar) are then esc Continue reading >>
Does Fat Cause Insulin Resistance?
For decades now, we have been told that fatness (or “obesity”) is a major cause of diabetes. Health “experts” have warned about this, but they could never say how being overweight could cause insulin resistance (IR). Without IR, you can’t have Type 2 diabetes, so the whole “blame fat” theory has been suspect. Well, now they have a plausible explanation. Obesity may cause inflammation, causing IR, leading to diabetes. But is this theory true? Does adipose (fat) tissue really create inflammation? Or do both obesity and inflammation come from some other cause? Get ready for some science as I try to explore these questions. In a new report in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, two Japanese scientists report that “obesity is associated with a state of chronic, low-grade inflammation.” They explain that as fat cells get larger, they seem to attract immune cells called macrophages. These cells produce inflammatory chemicals called cytokines that help cause insulin resistance. Chief among these chemicals are interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha. In animal models, insulin resistance doesn’t occur until after macrophages invade the fat cells. So the question remains, which comes first, the inflammation or the fatness? What draws the immune cells into adipose tissue? Remember that most overweight people never develop diabetes. And some overweight people have much more inflammation than others. (The same is true of thin people, of course.) Why do some develop this fat-related inflammation and some don’t? Some think that weight itself provokes inflammation. According to French scientists writing in the journal European Cytokine Network, weight loss is associated with reduced “macrophage infiltration” and reduced inflammation. Also, another chemical, Continue reading >>
Insulin resistance (IR) is a pathological condition in which cells fail to respond normally to the hormone insulin. The body produces insulin when glucose starts to be released into the bloodstream from the digestion of carbohydrates in the diet. Normally this insulin response triggers glucose being taken into body cells, to be used for energy, and inhibits the body from using fat for energy. The concentration of glucose in the blood decreases as a result, staying within the normal range even when a large amount of carbohydrates is consumed. When the body produces insulin under conditions of insulin resistance, the cells are resistant to the insulin and are unable to use it as effectively, leading to high blood sugar. Beta cells in the pancreas subsequently increase their production of insulin, further contributing to a high blood insulin level. This often remains undetected and can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes or latent autoimmune diabetes of adults. Although this type of chronic insulin resistance is harmful, during acute illness it is actually a well-evolved protective mechanism. Recent investigations have revealed that insulin resistance helps to conserve the brain's glucose supply by preventing muscles from taking up excessive glucose. In theory, insulin resistance should even be strengthened under harsh metabolic conditions such as pregnancy, during which the expanding fetal brain demands more glucose. People who develop type 2 diabetes usually pass through earlier stages of insulin resistance and prediabetes, although those often go undiagnosed. Insulin resistance is a syndrome (a set of signs and symptoms) resulting from reduced insulin activity; it is also part of a larger constellation of symptoms called the metabolic syndrome. Insuli Continue reading >>
What's The Mechanism Behind High Fat Diet Model That Causes Insulin Resistance?
Krista's reference relates to LDL receptor metabolism so don't think that answers the question. Birgitte's article looks like it might speak to the various issues being considered but I only have access to the abstract at present (which only tells me what the article will tell me). It makes physiologic sense however that when lipids are prevalent in the bloodstream, they will be used preferentially as fuel and will signal the cells to reduce their glucose transport and metabolism thus resulting in insulin resistance. Should be a straightforward feedback loop. Samuel VT, Petersen KF, Shulman GI. Lipid-induced insulin resistance: unravelling the mechanism.Lancet. 2010 Jun 26;375(9733):2267-77. Lipids impaired insulin-stimulated glucose use by muscles through inhibition of glycolysis at key points. However, work over the past two decades has shown that lipid-induced insulin resistance in skeletal muscle stems from defects in insulin-stimulated glucose transport activity. The steatotic liver is also resistant to insulin in terms of inhibition of hepatic glucose production and stimulation of glycogen synthesis. In muscle and liver, the intracellular accumulation of lipids-namely, diacylglycerol-triggers activation of novel protein kinases C with subsequent impairments in insulin signalling. This unifying hypothesis accounts for the mechanism of insulin resistance in obesity, type 2 diabetes, lipodystrophy, and ageing; and the insulin-sensitising effects of thiazolidinediones Afonso et al British J Nutrition 2010, 104, 1450-1459 showed that a high fat diet caused reductionof meal-induced insulin sensitization (MIS) that progressed with duration of the diet and correlated with obesity. MIS is seen as a dramatic potentiation of the hypoglycemic effect of insulin pulses after a Continue reading >>