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What Are The Long-term Adverse Effects Of Nicotine Patch Or Gum Use In Smoking Naive Persons? How Does Chronic Use Impact Insulin Sensitivity?

What Are The Long-term Adverse Effects Of Nicotine Patch Or Gum Use In Smoking Naive Persons? How Does Chronic Use Impact Insulin Sensitivity?

One would simply become addicted to nicotine in other forms. Not sure about the insulin resistance. Caution, nicotine itself is metabolized into carcinogenic compounds. Efforts at harm reduction are ostensibly well meaning but ultimately futile. Ask New Question Continue reading >>

High-protein Diets Promote Weight Loss But Impair Insulin Sensitivity

High-protein Diets Promote Weight Loss But Impair Insulin Sensitivity

When it comes to reversing insulin resistance and simplifying your life with diabetes, one of the most effective ways to gain insulin sensitivity is to lose weight. The reason for this is simple: in overweight individuals, weight gain is associated with a reduction in insulin action. Conversely, weight loss in overweight individuals is associated with a significant increase in insulin action, which results in a reduction in the amount of insulin secreted by your pancreas (in non-insulin dependent individuals), or a reduction in the amount of injected insulin (in insulin-dependent individuals). Think of an increase in insulin sensitivity as a convenient "side effect" of weight loss that happens as a result of burning fat in adipose tissue, liver, and muscle. To learn more about how intracellular fat significantly reduces insulin sensitivity, read the following articles: Weight Loss Results in Muscle Loss When losing weight, you lose both adipose tissue mass as well as lean muscle mass. In an ideal world, you would be able to lose only fat mass while preserving lean muscle mass – however, from a biological perspective this is impossible. Because of this, weight loss diets are often designed to accomplish two tasks simultaneously: Reduce your overall calorie intake, to promote weight loss Increase your protein content, to prevent against the loss of lean muscle mass High-protein diets are extremely common in the weight-loss world, and are very effective at helping you lose weight while preventing against the loss of large amounts of lean muscle. Dietary Protein Content Affects Health Outcomes In a carefully designed study recently published by researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine, scientists compared the effects of weight loss from a normal-protein Continue reading >>

What Tests Should I Get For Insulin Resistance And Pcos?

What Tests Should I Get For Insulin Resistance And Pcos?

Is Insulin Resistance Causing Your PCOS? Insulin resistance and PCOS commonly occur together. Have you got PCOS, but never been tested for insulin resistance? Or maybe you have been tested, but your doctor has told you that your blood sugar is normal? If so, you may have been left wondering what’s causing your PCOS. During my second year at university we did an experiment where were measured our blood glucose levels after eating different foods. We’d just been learning about how blood glucose could be lower in athletes due to higher muscle mass and increased insulin sensitivity. At the time, I was training for 20 hours a week. You can imagine my shock when I found that my results were close to the top end of the normal range. However, when I queried my doctor about this she assured me that it was still within the normal range. She told me that I needn’t be worried. I’m going to explain to you why this is incorrect and why even slight changes in blood glucose can be a sign of insulin resistance. Studies have shown that up to 70% of women with PCOS have insulin resistance. I’m always amazed at the number of women I talk to who have been diagnosed with PCOS, but not tested for insulin resistance. You were not born with PCOS. PCOS is a condition that develops due to your environment interacting with your genes. Your ‘environment’ includes what you eat, how much you exercise, stress levels, environmental toxins, etc. It’s therefore easy to see that there is always something in your environment causing your PCOS. If you can find out what this is then you can remove it, then reverse your PCOS symptoms. I’ve written about the main causes of PCOS and how insulin resistance is the main one. Now I want to further explore insulin resistance: – What is it? – Ho Continue reading >>

5 Ways To Decrease Insulin Resistance

5 Ways To Decrease Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance disrupts our ability to effectively regulate our sugar intake. This can lead to health problems such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. Read on to discover 5 ways you can decrease insulin resistance. A significant genetic contribution has been identified for insulin resistance [R]. Go to SelfDecode to learn how you can have your own genetic makeup investigated for insulin-related mutations. The problem isn’t insulin, but rather insulin resistance. If you are insulin resistant your brain will not get the message that insulin is trying hard to convey (that you have high levels of sugar in your blood stream). In this way, insulin resistance promotes hunger. You eat and insulin is released, but your body tells you to eat some more despite the ability of insulin to act as a satiety hormone. Hence why obesity is linked to brain insulin resistance (R). When rats had their brain insulin receptors removed, they ate more, developed insulin resistance, and became obese [R]. There is a correlation between insulin resistance and fat accumulation in the liver [R]. Insulin resistance was shown to be directly correlated to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in a literature review [R]. Elevated blood free fatty acids (FFA) were shown to cause insulin resistance [R]. In diabetics, insulin resistance was shown to severely inhibit a marker for muscular performance (glycogen synthesis and uptake) [R]. Also, waist and thigh circumference (predictors of insulin resistance) were negatively correlated with the percentage of type 1 muscle fibers [R]. When rats were fed a high-fat diet insulin resistance occurred first in fat and liver tissue than in muscle tissue [R]. In prediabetic subjects, insulin resistance was linked to atherogenic changes [R]. TNF-a levels we 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 >>

Diabetes: What’s Insulin Resistance Got To Do With It?

Diabetes: What’s Insulin Resistance Got To Do With It?

Invisible changes in the body begin long before a person is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. That’s both bad news (no symptoms mean you won’t know you have it) and good news (you can prevent or delay it if you’re at risk). One of the most important unseen changes? Insulin resistance. Insulin in a Nutshell Insulin is a key player in developing type 2 diabetes. This vital hormone—you can’t survive without it—regulates blood sugar (glucose) in the body, a very complicated process. Here are the high points: The food you eat is broken down into glucose. Glucose enters your bloodstream, which signals the pancreas to release insulin. Insulin helps glucose enter the body’s cells so it can be used for energy. Insulin also signals the liver to store glucose for later use. Glucose enters cells, and glucose levels in the bloodstream decrease, signaling insulin to decrease too. Lower insulin levels alert the liver to release stored glucose so energy is always available, even if you haven’t eaten for a while. That’s when everything works smoothly. But this finely tuned system can quickly get out of whack, as follows: A lot of glucose enters the bloodstream. The pancreas pumps out more insulin to get glucose into cells. Over time, cells stop responding to all that insulin—they’ve become insulin resistant. The pancreas keeps making more insulin to try to make cells respond. Eventually, the pancreas can’t keep up, and glucose keeps rising. Now What? Lots of glucose in the bloodstream is very damaging to the body and needs to be moved into cells as soon as possible. There’s lots of insulin, too, telling the liver and muscles to store glucose. When they’re full, the liver sends the excess glucose to fat cells to be stored as body fat. Yep, weight gain. And what Continue reading >>

25 Ways To Improve Your Insulin Sensitivity

25 Ways To Improve Your Insulin Sensitivity

114 Comments Insulin does a lot of important things for us. It pulls glucose from the blood and fritters it away into our cells to be burned for energy or stored as glycogen. It prevents hyperglycemic toxicity to neurons, pancreatic cells, the arterial walls and the generation of excessive levels of reactive oxygen species. It even promotes muscle protein synthesis and helps augment muscular hypertrophy, especially following resistance training. Clearly, we need insulin. Without it, we’d die, as type 1 diabetics readily do without an exogenous source. But insulin has other effects, like inhibiting the breakdown of body fat into free fatty acids for energy production. Although locking fatty acids into body fat sounds terrible, it isn’t evidence of insulin being malicious. Lipolysis is temporarily blunted so that we can burn or sequester the glucose coming in. Once the glucose is handled, lipolysis resumes. We oscillate between fat burning and glucose burning, seamlessly switching fuel sources when needed. Sure, we’re not burning any fat when insulin is elevated, but once our insulin levels normalize we’ll be back on track. When you’re insulin sensitive, this is pretty much how it works. You secrete enough insulin to get the job done, but not so much that you gain weight and stop burning fat. What if a person secretes too much insulin in response to a glucose load? What if, for whatever reason (and there are dozens of possible culprits), a person’s cells are resistant to the effects of insulin? What if, to remove the same amount of glucose from the blood, a person secretes twice or thrice the amount of insulin? What happens when insulin stays elevated? Lipolysis is inhibited to an even greater degree. Body fat becomes even harder to burn. Susceptible brain, ar Continue reading >>

Diet Tips To Improve Insulin Resistance

Diet Tips To Improve Insulin Resistance

Insulin is a hormone that helps the body absorb glucose, keeping blood sugar levels in balance. Insulin resistance makes it harder for glucose to be absorbed. This causes problems for muscles, fat, and the liver, as they need glucose (sugar). Over time, insulin resistance can cause high blood sugar levels and damage cells. Insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes. People with insulin resistance are often diagnosed with prediabetes. They may need extra checks to make sure they don't develop diabetes. Diet and other lifestyle choices can increase the risks related to insulin resistance. Making diet changes can reduce insulin insensitivity. This reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and the health problems that go with it. Contents of this article: Understanding insulin resistance Glucose is a vital source of energy for the body. However, many of the body's cells can't absorb glucose on their own. The pancreas secretes insulin into the bloodstream. It joins up with glucose, and travels to the body's cells, where it attaches to insulin receptors. Insulin allows the cells to absorb glucose, making sure that: blood sugar levels remain at a safe level muscle, fat, liver, and other cells are able to get energy Insulin resistance makes cells less sensitive to insulin. This means the body has to produce more insulin to keep blood sugar levels healthy. If the pancreas is unable to keep up with the increased demand for insulin, blood sugar levels go up. When this happens, cells can't use all of the excess glucose in the blood. This leads to type 2 diabetes. Diet tips Following a healthful diet plan, such as the Mediterranean Diet, can improve insulin sensitivity. This diet recommends eating lots of seasonal plant-based foods, having fruit as a dessert, and olive oil as the main 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 >>

Prediabetes & Insulin Resistance

Prediabetes & Insulin Resistance

What is insulin? Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas, an organ located behind the stomach. The pancreas contains clusters of cells called islets. Beta cells within the islets make insulin and release it into the blood. Insulin plays a major role in metabolism—the way the body uses digested food for energy. The digestive tract breaks down carbohydrates—sugars and starches found in many foods—into glucose. Glucose is a form of sugar that enters the bloodstream. With the help of insulin, cells throughout the body absorb glucose and use it for energy. Insulin's Role in Blood Glucose Control When blood glucose levels rise after a meal, the pancreas releases insulin into the blood. Insulin and glucose then travel in the blood to cells throughout the body. Insulin helps muscle, fat, and liver cells absorb glucose from the bloodstream, lowering blood glucose levels. Insulin stimulates the liver and muscle tissue to store excess glucose. The stored form of glucose is called glycogen. Insulin also lowers blood glucose levels by reducing glucose production in the liver. In a healthy person, these functions allow blood glucose and insulin levels to remain in the normal range. What happens with insulin resistance? In insulin resistance, muscle, fat, and liver cells do not respond properly to insulin and thus cannot easily absorb glucose from the bloodstream. As a result, the body needs higher levels of insulin to help glucose enter cells. The beta cells in the pancreas try to keep up with this increased demand for insulin by producing more. As long as the beta cells are able to produce enough insulin to overcome the insulin resistance, blood glucose levels stay in the healthy range. Over time, insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes and prediabetes because the bet Continue reading >>

What Causes Insulin Resistance?

What Causes Insulin Resistance?

Michael: You wrote: ” Part of the question in my mind are the relative benefits of higher HDL vs lower LDL; a topic I would love to see taken up on a NF video.” I have suggested that this be a topic of future videos. In the meantime, below is some information I’ve gathered about HDL which may be helpful to you. . **************** I am not an expert on the topic of HDL, but some of my favorite NutritionFacts forum members and some experts have had a thing or two to say on the matter. BOTTOM LINE: I synthesize the information below to mean we do not need to worry about HDL levels or HDL falling in the context of a whole plant food based diet, when LDL goes down or is already at a healthy level. . In other words, if you have high/unsafe cholesterol levels (total and LDL) overall, then also having high HDL can be protective (especially if you got that high HDL through exercise or some other healthy behavior rather than diet). But in the face of healthy LDL levels, the HDL level doesn’t seem to matter. I may be wrong about this, but see what you think. ************************************ . First, check out the following article from heart health expert Dean Ornish. He does a great job of explaining the role of HDL and when we need to worry about it’s levels vs when we do not. “A low HDL in the context of a healthy low-fat diet has a very different prognostic significance than a low HDL in someone eating a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet.” . Two of our more knowledgable forum particpants, Gatherer and Darryl, have put together for us some of the strongest evidence–a list of good studies. Gatherer wrote (from comment ) : . “”Don’t put too much stock in HDL levels. Here is a news release “Raising ‘good’ cholesterol doesn’t protect against heart di Continue reading >>

5 Ways To Improve Insulin Sensitivity

5 Ways To Improve Insulin Sensitivity

I wish the formula for getting ripped were as easy as most traditional nutritionists would have you believe. Fat loss is just simple arithmetic, right? Subtract x from y, and boom, instant 8-pack. That sure would make the fat loss game a hell of a lot easier. And best of all, Weight Watchers Centers would be like strip clubs, with the "points/calorie counting" process automatically turning every desperate housewife into a pole dancing bikini babe. Imagine the world we could be living in if simple theories worked off paper, out there yonder, in the real world. Now, I don't want to give you the wrong idea. Achieving a relative calorie deficit is still the most important piece of the fat loss puzzle – it's just not the only one. Of almost equal importance is understanding the metabolic and hormonal affects of food and then using that knowledge to develop a targeted plan of action. The Importance of Insulin Sensitivity I'd argue that the most important piece of the body composition transformation process is getting your body to use the hormone insulin more efficiently. 'Improved insulin sensitivity' should be the #1 goal on your Christmas wish list, but since it's spring; maybe you should throw a coin in a fountain instead. Carbs and insulin can be a double-edged sword. Insulin is the most anabolic, anti-catabolic hormone in the body. It improves amino acid uptake by muscle tissue, which in turn initiates protein synthesis. It also prevents amino acids (from food or muscle) from being oxidized as a reserve fuel source. On the flipside, it also can be the most lipolytic (fat storing) hormone in the body, shuttling fatty acids and glucose to fat cells to be stored as body fat. These days, the majority of fat loss diets only focus on the negative side of insulin, which seems Continue reading >>

A Practical Guide To Carb Tolerance And Insulin Sensitivity

A Practical Guide To Carb Tolerance And Insulin Sensitivity

One of the biggest reasons why people go Paleo is the metabolic benefits. Most people find Paleo to be very therapeutic for a whole cluster of carb-related problems: high blood sugar (or the rollercoaster of highs and lows), insulin resistance, and all the related issues. These issues can make weight loss difficult or impossible, but on the flip side, addressing them through diet can make it easier and more pleasant than you ever thought could happen! On the other hand, though, there are a lot of myths and half-truths floating around about diet, exercise, and carb metabolism. So here’s a quick review of what it all means, and the evidence supporting various different complementary strategies for improving your carb tolerance (preview: it’s so much more than dietary carbs). Note: This article is not written for diabetics. Diabetes is a very complicated disease and strategies that are right for other people might not be appropriate. If you have diabetes, see a doctor! What Is “Carb Tolerance”/Insulin Sensitivity? (If you already know how insulin and glucose work, this section has nothing new for you; just skip down to the next one) Very simply put, insulin sensitivity (or “carb tolerance” in everyday language) is a healthy hormonal state that allows your body to digest and store carbohydrates without a problem. In healthy people, here’s how it works: You eat something with carbs (let’s say a potato, but it could be anything). Your digestive system breaks down the starch in that potato into glucose. Glucose is a simple sugar – this is the form of carbohydrate that you’ll either use for energy or store as fat. Your blood sugar temporarily rises as the glucose enters the bloodstream. This is not a big problem, because… Insulin (produced in the pancreas) Continue reading >>

How Does Natural Sugar In Dairy Products Impact Cvd Risk And Insulin Sensitivity?

How Does Natural Sugar In Dairy Products Impact Cvd Risk And Insulin Sensitivity?

Those with allergies to bovine milk would cause an inflammatory response to the body, weakening the cells over time. 16 g of sugar added to bovine milk together attacks the cells. Stomach upset can be one of the symptoms that one is allergic to milk. Continue reading >>

The Science Of Insulin

The Science Of Insulin

Insulin is perhaps the most well known of all hormones and in the halls of health, fitness, and fat loss. It is mostly maligned and drastically misunderstood. As with many things in health and fitness there is more to the simple story told about insulin. Insulin basics Insulin functions very much like your hands when you are eating. Just as it would be extremely difficult to eat without hands, insulin feeds the tissue of the body in the same way. Insulin is required to facilitate nutrient uptake in the cells. Without insulin, your cells would literally starve and die. Insulin is made in the beta cells of the pancreas and is released into the blood stream in response to food. It assures these nutrients get into the cell. Insulin’s primary job is to make sure the cells have enough glucose, and therefore it has a strong impact on blood sugar levels. In fact, glucose is the primary stimulator of insulin release. In response to food and/or stress, blood glucose levels will rise. Insulin is used to lower blood sugar and balance things back out. Insulin Resistance Insulin works by increasing the amount of glucose receptors on the membranes of cells. So, when insulin interacts with cellular physiology it results in an increased ability for the cell to take in glucose. When insulin is repeatedly secreted in large quantities, over time the cells become less sensitive to its message. This is analogous to walking into a room with a strong smell. When you first enter, you are acutely aware of the odor and may cover your nose in response. After several minutes however, the smell becomes diminished and you no longer smell it. This is what happens to the cells when they become insulin resistant. They no longer respond to insulin the same way. This has consequences for cellular energy Continue reading >>

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