Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

Tell Me More
Stay Connected
November 08, 2017

The Insulin-Illness Connection

By Mark Sisson
74 Comments

Inline_The Insulin-Illness ConnectionMost discussion of chronically-elevated insulin levels (hyperinsulinemia) and insulin resistance revolves around their relationship to bodyweight. This is unsurprising. Bodyweight’s what “sells tickets.” It’s why most people get interested in diet, health, fitness, and nutrition—to lose weight or avoid gaining it.

But improving insulin sensitivity and reducing fasting insulin levels have major ramifications for your health, longevity, and resistance to disease. And it’s not just because “weight gain is unhealthy.” Insulin itself, in excess, exerts seriously damaging effects. Today, I want to impress upon you the importance of controlling your insulin response by laying out some of the health problems that stem from not controlling it.

Hyperglycemia

If you’re insulin resistant, insulin doesn’t work very well. You need more of it to get the same effect an insulin sensitive person would get. When insulin doesn’t work, its ability to shuttle glucose out of the blood suffers, and blood glucose goes up and stays up. That’s hyperglycemia. Everyone “knows” that high blood sugar is bad, but why? What exactly goes wrong?

Some cells are passive recipients of blood sugar, while others have mechanisms that prevent excess blood sugar from entering their membranes. In the presence of high blood sugar, the passive recipients begin producing excessive amounts of reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS aren’t pathological in and of themselves. They’re signaling molecules that our bodies need for healthy cellular function. But unchecked ROS generation induced by hyperglycemia causes a lot of problems.

In endothelial cells, hyperglycemia inhibits the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator—it helps our blood vessels widen to accommodate increased blood flow and reduce shear stress. Without sufficient nitric oxide, our blood vessels are more susceptible to high blood pressure and our risk for heart disease and atherosclerosis goes up.

In neurons, hyperglycemia causes shrinkage. No one likes shrinkage, especially not in the brain cells where thinking occurs.

In pancreatic beta cells, hyperglycemia reduces cell mass, induces oxidative stress, and reduces functionality. Since the pancreas secretes insulin—the stuff used to deal with excess blood glucose—this is disastrous.

Cancer

Insulin is a growth promoting agent, and cancer is a disease of unchecked cellular growth. There are nuances to this of course. But by and large, those are true statements. It’s no surprise that hyperinsulinemia is a risk factor for most, if not all cancers.

While insulin isn’t everything when it comes to cancer, the links are undeniable and myriad—and worrying.

The link between colon cancer and hyperinsulinemia likely involves the increased availability of insulin-like growth factor in a hyperinsulinemic state. Post-menopausal women with genetic variants related to insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia have a greater risk of colorectal cancer, and colon cancer patients who eat the most insulinogenic foods have poorer outcomes.

In breast cancer, hyperglycemia increases the tumors’ resistance to chemotherapy. Fixing the hyperglycemia makes chemotherapy more effective.

People with a genetic predisposition toward hyperinsulinemia have a higher chance of developing pancreatic cancer.

Independent of bodyweight, hyperinsulinemia predicts endometrial cancer; so does a high postprandial insulin response.

Diabetics who use insulin therapy have an increased risk of liver cancer.  One study of Taiwanese diabetics found that those on insulin therapy have an elevated risk of dying from cancer and from non-cancer.

Across the board, in both obese and people of normal bodyweight, hyperinsulinemia, whether it’s genetic, simulated, or diet-driven, increases cancer incidence and mortality. 

Okay, okay. That’s all rather convincing, but there’s a chance that these are merely associations and some common factor is causing both the hyperinsulinemia/insulin resistance and the cancer. Right?

What seems to counter that hypothesis is the effect of metformin, an anti-diabetic drug, on cancer. Compared to other diabetic drugs, metformin reduces the risk of cancer in type 2 diabeticsMetformin’s mechanism of action? A reduction in insulin levels and improvement of insulin resistance. 

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s hits families like a freight train, but if you know what to look for you can see it coming.

Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are characterized by brain insulin resistance. In experiments where researchers simulate brain diabetes by administering drugs known to induce brain insulin resistance, it looks almost exactly like Alzheimer’s. Some people even call Alzheimer’s type 3 diabetes, so closely is it linked to insulin resistance. 

Alzheimer’s patients have high blood sugar, but their neurons are so resistant to the effects of insulin that they’re unable to utilize the available glucose for energy. That’s why ketogenic diets and ketones in particular are so helpful for Alzheimer’s; they offer an alternative fuel source that even the insulin resistant brain can utilize.

Heart Disease

Independent of most other factors, insulin resistance predicts heart disease riskOne of the best predictors of heart disease risk—the HDL:triglyceride ratio—also happens to be an accurate barometer of insulin resistance. The lower your HDL and the higher your triglycerides, the more likely you are to be insulin resistant. 

The two go hand in hand, and it’s not just a coincidence.

As you saw in the hyperglycemia section, insulin resistance can increase the risk of heart disease by increasing hyperglycemia and reducing endothelial function. This impairs the blood vessels’ ability to react to stressors and makes them more vulnerable to atherosclerosis.

What You Can Do

A big step, maybe the first step when you’re insulin resistant with hyperinsulinemia, or even just suspect you are, is to reduce your intake of the most insulinogenic macronutrient around: carbs. This stems the tide and stops feeding the fire until you can figure out and resolve the root cause of your dysfunction.  

That next part is harder. Some of it is genetic; there will be people who simply make more insulin than others, or who are more insulin resistant as a baseline. Oftentimes the dysfunction is multifactorial, stemming from a dozen different causes, all of which require your attention. In past posts, I’ve explained strategies for combating insulin resistance and reducing hyperinsulinemia. If you haven’t read those yet, do so.

Take the issue seriously, whatever you do. An expanding waistline might be unsightly and undesirable, but it usually doesn’t strike fear into hearts and minds. You know what does, and what should?

  • Developing a cancer you didn’t have to develop and dying earlier than you should have.
  • Seeing your sanity and identity slip away as your helpless family members watch in vain.
  • Bathing your neurons and arteries in a toxic hyperglycemic soup until they wither and atrophy.

Take care of your insulin response, folks. It’s fundamental.

Thanks for reading, everyone. Take care, be well, and let me know what you think about all this down below!

ketoreset_640x80

Subscribe to the Newsletter

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

Leave a Reply

74 Comments on "The Insulin-Illness Connection"

avatar

Sort by:   newest | oldest
Nocona
Nocona
6 months 17 days ago

Don’t know about hyperglycemia, but Primal got rid of my hypoglycemia. No more carrying around emergency food in case of a blood sugar crash. Thinking of food 24-7 is a long gone, distant memory.

HealthyHombre
HealthyHombre
6 months 17 days ago

Very sobering, thanks for the reinforcement Mark.

laurie
laurie
6 months 17 days ago

It’s so very frustrating to have all this info at your finger tips and for people (coworkers/family) to simply shrug and say, “The doctor says I’m doing fine.” And, “I have to eat 45grams of carbs a day, the lady at the diabetes clinic told me.”
Says my mom eating a loaded bagel. So sad and afraid for them.

Shary
Shary
6 months 17 days ago
Here’s an interesting article that says just the opposite about Alzheimer’s and the ketogenic diet: Some of the comments are pretty interesting too. http://nutritionstudies.org/can-ketogenic-diet-lead-alzheimers-disease/#comments I think we have to ask ourselves why Alzheimer’s has become so much more common, and what, if anything, can we do about it. I’m not a fan of dietary extremism, which also means I’m not a fan of long-term ketosis. In its strictest form, it works–sometimes–for various intractable illnesses, and it’s great for weight loss. But how much do we really know about the effects of long-term adherence? Maybe not nearly enough. Without factoring in… Read more »
OnTheBayou
OnTheBayou
6 months 16 days ago
” And stay as far away from pharmaceuticals (including OTC) as you possibly can.” WHY? There is so much fear on this site of pharms and vaccines I sometimes think I’m dealing with dogma driven idiots. And yet, most here are pretty smart. Why not take certain, no side effect drugs? Despite eating pretty much true to form , weight only abou 7% over Ideal, getting exercise, I have to take metformin and losartan, a blood pressure med to keep things better. I took myself off of metformin a few months ago, things looked for some weeks, then the creeping… Read more »
Shary
Shary
6 months 16 days ago
OTB, there’s no such thing as a drug without side effects. It’s more a case that not everyone is adversely affected. And not everyone is “smart” about the subject. Many older people take multiple prescriptions for anything and everything, thinking it’s a lot easier than making lifestyle changes. Yes, it probably is easier, but that doesn’t mean it’s a better idea. If you need to ask why, then you haven’t done enough research. Without getting into the many, very valid reasons, my comment was intended to mean that we should lose the cavalier attitude that has become so prevalent. It’s… Read more »
Eva Fain
6 months 16 days ago

there is a connection between hyperglycemia and Alzheimer’s Disease that has some research proving that a low carb & ketogenic diet may prevent onset.

Eva Fain
6 months 16 days ago

Here is the latest link that hit my inbox today via the National Institute of Health
https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/higher-brain-glucose-levels-may-mean-more-severe-alzheimers

hedgie
hedgie
6 months 17 days ago

Mark, what do you think of Denise Minger’s hypothesis that one can increase insulin sensitivity by ‘carbosis’ (i.e., carb cycling). Is it worth pursuing? I am on a ketogenic diet (and produce ketones) but my insulin sensitivity is still poor.

Superchunk
6 months 17 days ago

While we await Mark’s reply, here is the take from Peter and Hyperlipid, with lots of lively discussion in the comments. The basic summary, as is so often the case, is that some people can do fairly well on fairly high carb ( I used to be one of them), but they rarely do better than lowish carb , and many people cannot tolerate high carb even intermittently.

http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2015/10/protons-and-ultra-low-fat-once-more.html

Some related discussion more focused on insulin is here:

https://optimisingnutrition.com/2017/07/25/vegan-vs-keto-for-diabetes-which-is-optimal/

JennyC
JennyC
6 months 15 days ago
“Carbosis” seems to work well for me! I did low carb for a few years, and became very sensitive to carbs, while still having borderline high blood sugar. For the past year, I’ve had a moderate carb, low fat, high quality diet, and my carb tolerance and general sense of health has improved dramatically. I’ll get blood work and hbA1c done soon. That’ll be interesting! My ancestors probably ate this kind of diet. Where I had issues on a low carb diet, my husband, who is a different ethnicity than me, thrives. Our bodies are all different! But it’s a… Read more »
Carol Harrison
Carol Harrison
6 months 15 days ago

You should read the works of Dr. Jason Fung. He is a nephrologist with a practice in Canada. Most of his patients have adult onset diabetes. His low carb and intermittant fasting programs have reversed many patients’ diabetes. He explains how fasting is necessary to reduce overall insulin levels.

Andrea
Andrea
6 months 17 days ago
I recently wrote an article about Type 3 Diabetes– otherwise known as Alzheimers. I think we need to continually refer to Type 3 diabetes as Alzheimers in the same sentence, because it helps people draw the very real connection between insulin resistance and the damage that excessive carbs create for the brain. It may pierce the buffer of denial that many people have, especially if they are not overweight. And when people say “I’m so forgetful these days” as if that is a normal part of aging, that can be a “teachable moment” to point out that they could always… Read more »
Timothy
6 months 16 days ago

My experience is that teaching the ill effects of carbohydrate dependence is generally ineffective in changing behavior, for the same reason that teaching the ill effects of alcohol or opiate dependence is generally ineffective in changing behavior.

What “gets through” to people seems to be highly individual, but usually requires some kind of crisis, often family-related. Many, however, will pursue their addictions to the end regardless of consequences.

I’d be curious to read your article if you wouldn’t mind linking it…

RF121
RF121
6 months 16 days ago
“Many, however, will pursue their addictions to the end regardless of consequences.” That is the same logic that doctors have been using regarding their obese patients. If you only had more will power you would not be fat. As all who browse the health blogs know, the battle against obesity continues to be lost. Like you said, some people respond to a crisis but not as many as we would like. My father died believing that the he was receiving the proper standard of care vice trying some of the alternatives that we see in the paleo/keto community. For many… Read more »
Timothy
6 months 16 days ago
Like you, I agree that “willpower” is not a helpful explanation. It may not even be a coherent concept. Perhaps there are only things we want to do, and things we don’t want to do. Like you, I have had several family members that died — quite horribly — convinced they were getting the highest standard of care. Convinced that the increasing mountain of pills they took was far more important than the food they ate, and that going under the knife was as benign and straightforward as an extensive automobile repair job. One obese family member was told by… Read more »
Shary
Shary
6 months 16 days ago

Timothy, I doubt that people are deliberately dishonest regarding their own health. I think it’s more that they become very adept at twisting the truth into whatever they want it to be. Willpower IS important in making difficult changes. In fact, it’s absolutely critical for success. However, willpower won’t even enter the picture if a person rationalizes away the need to make any changes.

tribal
tribal
6 months 16 days ago

Aye, eat carbs, and you may die. Don’t eat them, and you’ll live — at least a while. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the carbs from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our carbs, but they’ll never take our freedom!!!

Mathieu
Mathieu
6 months 16 days ago

Sugar is the issue, not “carbs” in general. Putting them on the same level as alcohol or drugs is exagerated.

Sebastian
6 months 15 days ago

What makes “carbs” so different from sugar? They both become glucose immediately after passing through the walls of our digestive tract. Yes, I know that some carbs (fiber) are not digested at all and that for instance fructose is an even more dangerous type of sugar than glucose, but what exactly is your point?

What concerns alcohol and drugs vs. sugar, I tend to agree with you.

gwen bridge
6 months 16 days ago
yes there is some much to address in terms of the sickness that pervades American Society (I’m in Canada, not so much better but an outside perspective and I’ve lived in the states). I think mark even did a post that contained a hypothesis, or i read somewhere else, that the diet of americans in breeding increasing stupidity. This is really sad and coupled with a denial about the issue of guns and a frustrated populace who can’t take it out on the government and military, take it out on the general population. We canadians learned that americans had guns… Read more »
Bobbi
Bobbi
6 months 17 days ago

If one is insulin resistant (prediabetic), should coconut butter be skipped as a high fat snack? I know it does have sugar in it, but it does take the edge off hunger and I enjoy it.

Timothy
6 months 16 days ago
My experience is that you need not go very-low-carb immediately (although that certainly works if you can handle strong side effects of low energy and hormonal disruption for a week or so). Mark’s recommendation of cutting down to ~100g for the first three weeks, then to ~50g, and perhaps then gradually to 20g, works easily for many people. Coconut butter gives you 9g of fairly high quality fat for only 2.5g net carb. So if you ate a ridiculously large portion like ten tbsp that would still only be 25g carb, but 90g fat for a total of 910 calories.… Read more »
HypoHarriet
HypoHarriet
6 months 17 days ago
Oh insulin. I went primal years ago and felt great, but I slipped back to eating more and more garbage and ended up with nasty episodes of reactive hypoglycemia. Recently my blood glucose levels were falling to the 40s and 50s. I tried to fix it by conventional means – “healthy whole grains!” and snacks every 2 hours. Constant eating, no energy, and regular hypo symptoms. I’m back on strict primal and feeling so much better. Yet, a nutritionist looked at my meal log and kept telling me I need to eat more carbs – even though I feel better… Read more »
Carol Harrison
Carol Harrison
6 months 15 days ago
Hypo Harriet, If you haven’t heard of Jason Fung MD, you really need to read about how he has helped his patients with adult onset diabetes reduce and in many cases eliminate the need for insulin and oral meds. He explains how to reduce insulin levels through low carb diets and intermittent fasting. He is a nephrologist in Canada. Most of his patients were needing dialysis due to kidney damage from diabetes. He also has different interviews on you tube.His website explains the program and has a blog with many videos explaining different aspects of insulin resistance and the research… Read more »
HypoHarriet
HypoHarriet
6 months 15 days ago

I’ll look into his work. Thanks so much for the recommendation!

Nannsi
Nannsi
6 months 17 days ago
Funny thing is, I have really low insulin levels and run borderline high fasting glucose levels. My (former) FP knee-jerked a diagnosis of pre diabetes, but I am not overweight, in good shape, strictly primal, and clearly not insulin resistant. My suspicion is LADA (latent autoimmune diabetes of adults), sometimes labeled as Type 2.5 diabetes. My family is full of members with autoimmune issues. But antibodies are negative. It’s a mystery to me what’s going on, and I don’t expect you to have an answer. But if anyone out there has a bead on an explanation, I’d be interested.
Colleen
Colleen
6 months 16 days ago

Have you checked your A1C and post-meal glucose? I’m 50 and have the same issue but no answers. Weight training helps and I’m trying to get back into it.

CHARLES TANNENBAUM
CHARLES TANNENBAUM
6 months 16 days ago

Not sure if you’ve checked out Dr. Ted Naiman on this topic. I believe, but am not sure you are talking about something called Physiologic Insulin Resistance, not a bad thing to have. There is a calculation to make which gives one a HOMA-IR value. Not sure how high your FBG is, but with a low fasting insulin value, you are likely in good shape. I’m sorry but I don’t have the link to Dr. Naiman’s work, but he has a FB page “Burn Fat Not Sugar” where you can probably find lots of good info.

Nannsi
Nannsi
6 months 16 days ago

Thank you both. FBG runs 98-105, used to be consistently under 75. A1c was borderline…5.7 with upper limit 5.6. No retest. Which is what triggered the diagnosis and why I left the FP and found a functional doc. She’s not fond of A1c, nor am I. I have considered the physiologic insulin resistance, but my insulin is low. Colleen, I have 15 years on you, and I haven’t been consistent with my weight work, so more is on the schedule. Charles, I’ll look up Dr. Naiman’s blog and see what’s there. Thanks!

CHARLES TANNENBAUM
CHARLES TANNENBAUM
6 months 16 days ago

My understanding is that with Physiologic Insulin Resistance, your insulin would be low. Here is a link to an article that might be helpful. https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/fasting-blood-glucose-higher. It happens to some on a LCHF/Ketogenic diet.

Carol Harrison
Carol Harrison
6 months 15 days ago

Another thing to consider with the A1c is that is based on the average life of red blood cells. If you are a really healthy person, your red blood cells will last longer and have more time to pick up glucose. One of my friends has never been overweight, walks a lot and eats a healthy diet (lots of vegetables, meats and fish, and not a lot of carbs). His A1c is similar to yours.

Eva Fain
6 months 16 days ago
In my experience (over 26 years) Type 2 diabet(es) is really more than 1 sub-type. Some folks have lower amounts of beta & alpha cells in their pancreas & develop hyperglycemia….No matter what you eat, you may be getting insulin deficient diabetes. Get a referral to an endocrine physician ASAP please…I am a Diabetes Educator x 16 years & I have studied type 2 for over 30 years. We now have a “cure” for one sub-type of type 2 which is ketogenesis via diet & exercise. there is one commercial start-up out there in the world doing intervention care. I… Read more »
Robert
Robert
6 months 17 days ago

I have a question. I have been on the 21 day ketosis plan and have actually continued so this is my 5th week. I am concerned because I have only lost 5 lbs and I am am a big guy at 6’2 and 333 pounds. Should I be concerned?

Damon
6 months 17 days ago

How are the details? Is there any aspect of the plan you are not making sure to follow? I’m thinking here of the synergy that results from not only maintaining the recommended carb/protein/good fats ratio, but also the exercise and 16 hour daily intermittent fast. Are you lifting something heavy and sprinting once a week, for example?

Robert
Robert
6 months 16 days ago

I eat a balanced Paleo meal 3 Times a day. My exercise may not be enough but I do lift weights. No sprinting, bad knees.

Shary
Shary
6 months 17 days ago
Some ideas: 1) First of all, are you sure you’re actually in ketosis? 2) Are you eating too much fat? The idea that fat won’t make you fat is an internet meme that is total BS. Unless fat is all you eat, too much of it can stall weight loss. Try cutting back your fat intake. 3) Are you eating overly large portions of protein? 4) Ketosis doesn’t work well for everyone. Most people lose weight like crazy but you might be one of those who loses very slowly, if at all. 5) Instead of winging it, you might consider… Read more »
Robert
Robert
6 months 16 days ago

Thanks for your response. I eat prepared Paleo meals which are under 150 g of carbs and protein on average 65-75 g per day.

John
John
6 months 16 days ago

A couple thoughts:

150 gm of carbs is on the high side for getting into ketosis (particularly if you meant 150 gm per meal, instead of 150 gm per day). You might try getting your carbs below 100 gm per day, or even lower.

And for a guy your size, 65-75gm of protein per day is on the low side, but that may not be a factor here. But if your weight routines are strenuous, you should probably be getting more protein.

Shary
Shary
6 months 16 days ago

+1. I thought 150gm of carbs sounded way too high as well. A lot of people seem to think they are in ketosis when they probably aren’t. Sometimes (judging from what I read) they aren’t even doing low-carb Paleo, much less keto. It’s a learning experience and mistakes along the way are to be expected. The only way to know for sure is to test.

Jack Lea Mason
Jack Lea Mason
6 months 17 days ago

This is a good one to send off to the primal resistant types. The SAD diet fuels insulin resistance and insulin resistance is the precursor to preventable disease.

Peter
Peter
6 months 17 days ago

If you want to really dive deep into insulin, I highly recommend Amy Berger’s series on that necessary but occasionally pesky hormone:

http://www.tuitnutrition.com/2015/09/its-the-insulin-1.html

CHARLES TANNENBAUM
CHARLES TANNENBAUM
6 months 16 days ago

I 2nd that suggestion

Amanda
Amanda
6 months 16 days ago

Amy Berger’s series are incredibly good and I also recommend it to anyone who wants to know all about insulin. Her writing style is in layman terms, so they are very easy to understand. I’ve read many of her blogs posts, they are always interesting.

TeeDee
TeeDee
6 months 15 days ago

Agreed; Amy Berger gets into certain details that really get my attention. She (and Ted Naiman) especially helped me when I lowered my protein too much because some were telling people that ‘too much protein spikes insulin’. The problem was they weren’t telling people that you can consume hundreds of grams of protein without problems. A lot of people suddenly became scared of protein intake. When I went low (35-50g per day) weight loss stalled completely and hunger returned, even with extra fat intake. Now, I’m eating about 100g+ pro; moderate fat, low carb and losing weight again.

NaturalGirl
NaturalGirl
6 months 17 days ago

Valuable information on “The Insulin-Illness Connection.”

Jeff
Jeff
6 months 16 days ago

Not much talk here about actual insulin levels. My doc says below 7 is preferred. Mine is 4 after three years of LCHF. But doc says the important number is HOMA-IR, which is insulin times blood glucose. That is the number to be aware of (should be below 400).

The old engineering saying is, “what gets measured gets managed”.

Strangely, I meet few people who have ever had their insulin measured…

Rob
Rob
6 months 16 days ago

I’d like to have my insulin tested, but as with other tests, the doc won’t order it unless it’s somehow connected to a diagnosis. And my A1C is 5.0%, so he says there is no need for testing insulin. My triglyceride/HDL ratio is 0.77, which I think is pretty good, so I have to assume that my insulin is fine.

CHARLES TANNENBAUM
CHARLES TANNENBAUM
6 months 16 days ago

You can use an on line lab like Life Extension to order a Fasting Insulin with your doctor being involved. Costs about 30.00.

CHARLES TANNENBAUM
CHARLES TANNENBAUM
6 months 16 days ago

I meant without your Dr. being involved

Tom Laverty
6 months 16 days ago

Robert C Atkins back in 1978 coined the phrase “I have Never met a carb I liked”!

Daria Schooler, MD
6 months 16 days ago

Fantastic article. My weight struggles were due to hyperinsulinemia. It did require adding a prescription medication (metformin), combined with fasting, to reverse this awful condition of hyperinsulinemia. With a strong family history of diabetes, getting control of hyperinsulinemia had kept over 50lb weight off and likely spared me from a diabetic fate.

Vicente
6 months 16 days ago

Across the board, in both obese and people of normal bodyweight, hyperinsulinemia, whether it’s genetic, simulated, or diet-driven, increases cancer incidence and mortality.

simulated? stimulated?

TeeDee
TeeDee
6 months 15 days ago

I’m thinking that’s when they do animal studies, Vincente. They purposely give them the conditions they want to study and test drugs on.

Vicente
6 months 15 days ago

Thank you TeeDee. I didn’t understand the meaning. You are probably right 🙂

framistat
framistat
6 months 16 days ago

What would someone who is APOE 3/4 and insulin resistant do? Is a ketogenic diet contraindicated?

Craig Lunaas
6 months 16 days ago

Got our lab results last night. We had baseline labs done prior to switching and another panel done 3 1/2 months after changing to a high fat low carb lifestyle. My insulin levels dropped from 2.1 down to 1.2. My wife’s were more dramatic, dropping from 4.8 all the way down to 1.6. In a little over 3 months! Better yet, both of our total cholesterol levels dropped 25 points, while the good HDL levels rose and our triglycerides dropped dramatically. Both of our glucose levels dropped 20 points also. Not a bad start!

Eva Fain
6 months 16 days ago

your information is correct as per my research. I follow type 2 diabetes via online peer reviewed research & the exact cause for type 2 diabetes was found & published. Yet I hear nothing about it via the popular press.

Katie
6 months 16 days ago

This is scary information. I wish more people knew the dangers of high insulin levels and were open to lowering insulin through diet.

Interestingly, my last lab work showed an insulin level of 1.9 uIU/mL, which the lab report marked in the red, as in dangerously low. (The lab report said a normal range would be 2.0-19.6 uIU/mL.)

My naturopath wasn’t worried at all. She said my body probably didn’t need to produce much insulin as my primal/keto lifestyle involves minimal sugar/starchy carbs/glucose.

I feel amazing, and that is what is most important to me!

Bob
Bob
6 months 16 days ago

I think this may be your best post ever, Mark. Thanks for changing my life.

Rob H
Rob H
6 months 16 days ago
Great post Mark, very thought-provoking. However it throws up a big question for me: you wrote that “colon cancer patients who eat the most insulinogenic foods have poorer outcomes” and from clicking through to the study it appears this was based on the insulin index of foods. Now, as I understand it, whey protein is one of the most insulinogenic of foods (higher even than white bread), so is this something we should be avoiding? I take 40g of your ‘Primal Whey Protein’ every morning before breakfast, but is that going to cause me problems down the line? From your… Read more »
Shary
Shary
6 months 15 days ago

There may be valid reasons for consuming whey protein, but I think you answered your own question with your last sentence. For most of us, real food is always going to be superior to something that’s so highly processed..

Rob H
Rob H
6 months 15 days ago
Hi Shary, I hear what you’re saying but I don’t think it’s that simple. I either use Mark’s ‘Primal Fuel’ or Bulk Powders Pure undenatured unflavoured whey protein isolate. This product is actually not highly processed at all: apparently it is not heat-processed (12 degrees celsius) and only uses ultra and micro-filtration. The only agent used to help is rennet, an enzyme used to separate whey from milk, and it contains no additional ingredients. Moreover, whey protein has a multitude of benefits, including anti-tumor effects: to quote Mark’s “Not just for bodybuilders” article on whey protein, it contains the following… Read more »
Bob
Bob
6 months 13 days ago

Agree!! Whey is a super food! Sure it’s a food component , but so is olive oil , another super food. The use of whey goes back to the Renaissance , when it was used to help recover from illness.
This is a case where purifying is a good thing . A truly great supplement,
You’re correct. Acute insulin spiked from from whey are good, unlike CHRONIC insulin elevation from excess carbs.

Jacqueline
Jacqueline
6 months 15 days ago

This is very scary, as we take cold processed Whey daily too!
But how do we explain all those long lives race like Okinawans who eat a lot of rice, and those who eat a lot of bread in the Blue Zone book? Their main diets are mostly carbs…

Bill
Bill
6 months 12 days ago
Jacqueline, I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know what Okinawans eat. However, I know that many Chinese who immigrate here become type 2 diabetics at an alarming rate. My take on it is that their diet in China, even though it is high in starches, is probably low in fructose. It’s the fructose in everything here that causes the beginning of insulin resistance by building up fat in the liver. Starches convert strictly to glucose which has a very different effect on the body. There are articles on the Internet about a man who ate nothing but… Read more »
TeeDee
TeeDee
6 months 12 days ago

+1

Deborah Gordon
6 months 15 days ago

Even more issues pertaining to dementia: brain is more insulin resistant (glucose unusable) than the body and the same enzyme that cleans up excess insulin (insulin degrading enzyme) would otherwise be busy cleaning up amyloid!
“Oops sorry, no time, got to go clean up some more excessive insulin!”

Aaron H
6 months 15 days ago

Insulin resistance is no match for a bowl of cannabis at least according to some not often cited research out there.
May not be for everyone esp those with jobs that test or where it’s still illegal but I can swear by it. Used it nearly daily to fuel the ‘fun fsctor’ of going keto. Even with deep cases of the munchies eating a small hoard of calories (keto aligned), I often look leaner the next day. I can’t explain it so I don’t try. I just keep it mostly to myself.

Tara
6 months 14 days ago
Love the post. I am keto, all the way. I was low carb, years ago for like 8 years and was healthy and sharp then I met my husband… dunt, dunt, dunt… He can pretty eat anything and so my low carb life become much less so. I went full keto about a year ago and although I haven’t lost as much weight as I would have liked at this point, there is NO QUESTION that my brain fog is gone! Obviously, a sign of metabolic syndrome. My family is a T2D family and so, without a doubt, I must… Read more »
Robert Iafelice, MS, RD, LDN
6 months 14 days ago
Hey Shary, I assume you realize that article you cited is from the king of the vegan cult (dare I say that wacko Campbell). I started perusing the research articles the authors cited, and sure enough, they’re all flawed and garbage studies. For example, in one rat study, the saturated fat group consumed a diet with 10% HYDROGENATED coconut oil (trans fat anybody??), along with sucrose, soybean oil, and other garbage foods. Not to mention casein ( no whey). Study is completely worthless. The author even cited a another study IN FAVOR of LC diets, i.e., they RAISE HDL..of course… Read more »
TeeDee
TeeDee
6 months 12 days ago

You’re so right, Robert.

Playpus
Playpus
6 months 13 days ago
Thyroid nodules are also a culprit of insulin resistance according to these studies. “It is concluded that the higher circulating levels of insulin cause increased thyroid proliferation. The clinical manifestations are the larger thyroid volume and the formation of nodules. Thus, the thyroid gland appears to be another victim of the insulin resistance syndrome.” Thyroid. 2008 Apr;18(4):461-4. doi: 10.1089/thy.2007.0223. Introducing the thyroid gland as another victim of the insulin resistance syndrome. Rezzonico J1, Rezzonico M, Pusiol E, Pitoia F, Niepomniszcze H. ” The presence of disorders of carbohydrate metabolism has been demonstrated in thyroid disease involving either overt hyperthyroidism or… Read more »
Isabelle
6 months 9 days ago

Hi,

Here is an interesting article that compares the insulinogenic of whey to white bread. In this context whey was more insulonigenic. https://nutritionandmetabolism.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1743-7075-9-48

But again, I would not worry about too much, it’s the dose that makes the poison just like any hormone, we need insulin, too low and we can’t repair, recover… and also whey does not raise blood sugar as much if at all compared to white bread.

wpDiscuz