Chapter 7; Insulin Resistance (part 1 of 2)
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This is part 8 of my review in Layman's terms of the book 'The Art and Science of Low carbohydrate Living' By Jeff S. Volek, PhD, RD & Stephen D. Phinney, MD, PhD
Insulin was discovered in 1922 and insulin resistance in about 1930, and nearing 100 years later the complete understanding of why the resistance happens is still debated. The reason there is an entire chapter on insulin resistance is its prevalence with a low carb diet. Low carb from short to long term improves, without any doubt to improve insulin sensitivity. With studies done over the years experts have focused on a low carb, high fat diet being 45-60%fat of energy , and that is why the insulin sensitivity only improves in some. By upping the fat to 65-85% this would be going into nutritional ketosis has much better results (more on this in chapter 12)
The Biology of Insulin Resistance Remains Unknown
The problem in science is when the 'reductionist' approach is used (only looking in the singular). This is modern science , isolating each individual factor and just looking at that, not considering if two factors next to each other might be the problem. Insulin resistance is not likely due to be one dysfunctional protein but rather a number of them. a more holistic approach is more likely to fine the problem with looking at each individual person as a whole and breaking down what is going wrong with the combination of things going on in the body.
Carbohydrate Increases Insulin
Insulin' (a hormone) is released from the pancreas by its primary stimulator ' carbohydrate', where as fat being used as energy has virtually no effect on the pancreas (no need for insulin to be released). Elevated blood sugar (hyperglycemia) is when eating a carbohydrate meal , which turns into glucose via liver into the blood, your pancreas releases insulin to store the glucose in cells, buttttttt, the insulin is not opening the cells to let glucose in or out for energy or storage. Think of insulin as the key to open the cells (the key hole,) . So by looking at insulin resistance as literally carbohydrate intolerance , the carbohydrates become the burden on the system and in the long term dysfunction of normal body functions. Insulin is also the key to let fat out of the cells , so if there is high insulin in the blood stream and the cells aren't recognizing the key, fat is not released, you can not loose weight.
How is Insulin Resistance Measured?
There are a number o f ways to measure this, for this purpose the best is to go to your doctor or health care practitioner and arrange for testing through them/
Insulin Resistance is a Hallmark of Metabolic Syndrome and Type-2 Diabetes
As mentioned earlier in this review there are two types of diabetes, one an insulin deficient state and the other over-production of insulin.
Type-1 diabetes is an auto-immune disorder, originally called childhood onset diabetes, this is when the pancreas does not make enough insulin. In this case insulin injections are needed to control blood glucose levels and regulate the release of fats from fat cells (remember the key to open cells). When fatty acids are released to fast in a type-1 diabetic it can cause rapid ketone production leading to ketoacidosis, this is limited to Type-1 diabetics and late stake type-2 diabetics that have become insulin injection dependent'.
Type-2 diabetes- This does not happen in typical type-2 diabetes, because the fat cells are still responsive in part to insulin. So their high insulin levels stay in storage mode for the fat cells and this will cause the problem of over weight or obese..
Insulin resistance (that leads to type-2 diabetes) does not just happen over night , this is some times decades in the making and this is usually a silent process.
The physical and biological changes that are called metabolic syndrome or pre-diabetes are listed;
* Serum triglycerides rise (The liver turns more blood sugar into fat)
* Weight Gain (Fat cells spend more time in storage mode)
* Central Obesity (as well as visceral fat inside of abdomen)
* Blood pressure rises
* HDL cholesterol goes down (the good stuff)
3 or more of these symptoms is classified as on the way to developing full blown type-2 diabetes.
Inflammation is a key to recognize the onset of metabolic syndrome, so inflammation can be a pre pre warning of eventual onset of type-2 diabetes and or heart attack. genetics may also play a part here so having a healthy diet is paramount.
I have extended this chapter into two parts as it is so crucial to get a large chunk of this information from this book in, and it is still condensed! Going back to pre pre warnings, is it as simple as reducing carbs, if you are carb intolerant , yes, yes, yes. And how do you know if you are carb intolerant, everything written above, starting with inflammation. Looking at pre warnings and getting on top of your health at that time (if not before any signs and symptoms) healthy eating and exercise is a wise choice. As said in this book and with the large amount of studies looked at if you are finding it hard to get your body back in to homeostasis, is low carb the answer for you?