Monday, March 07, 2011

Insulin Resistance? Stop the Nonsense

...with relevant commentary by medical practitioner, and medical researcher and lecturer Dr. Philip Yoon, MD, MBA, CCFP(EM), FCFP Chief, Department of Emergency Medicine, Professor of Medicine.

As a preamble to this piece, which turned out to be more of an article than it is a simple blog post, I would like to publicly thank Dr. Philip Yoon for taking the time to add commentary to my writing below. Dr. Yoon is a very busy man and. like me, he values his time immensely. So we should all be grateful he would take the time to lend his considerable opinion to something like a blog entry of mine - THANK YOU, DR. YOON.

Oh how the fitness industry loves its little myths and clings to them regardless of science. And I must say the “science” of late isn’t exactly all that articulate and definitive either. But I have written about “scientism” before so I will leave that aside for now.

 Let’s just say a little science in the wrong hands is a dangerous weapon wielded on the uninformed. The issue with the diet and fitness industry is that they seek to “use” science to fit into an agenda. They want to sell you diets and programs.

Therefore, getting scientific information from the fitness and diet industry means it has already been filtered by them. Real science seeks the truth. It has no agenda. It has no perceptual filter. And let’s be clear, a “research finding” is not hard science. It is quite easy to interpret any research in many particular ways and means, especially if you are not educated regarding how to look at scientific research.

My 2010 Workshop Workbook, took to task many “assumed” nutritional facts. But none of this stops the machine of industry. Diet and fitness industry product promoters know they need “science” to promote agenda. People should be viewing with scepticism any such research used by these industries. They need to present certain research as “fact” so that they can promote one size fits all programs and diets.

Paleo diet, Atkins, and many others use bogus research or take research completely out of context in order to sell products en masse. But often what can be studied from the microscope is not nearly as informative and accurate as what can be observed from the macroscope.

 This is the difference between inductive and deductive reasoning. These promoters of “diets” need a “hook” for agenda. For these particular diets and most of their off shoots, the “hook” is the anti-carb bandwagon. But before you hop on it, let’s just examine one truth, shall we?

 “What can be studied from the microscope
is not nearly as informative and accurate as
what can be observed from the microscope”.

Most promoters of low carbs to no carbs diet, or no starches want you to believe two things. The first is they want you to believe that insulin resistance is ‘an absolute’ and a modern probability of genetic predisposition. Secondly, they want you to believe that ‘man in nature’ ate primarily a carbs-free diet. Well neither of these two assumptions is true.

For the purpose of this blog I am only going to address insulin resistance. (I think there is more on this as well in my download lecture, The Science Behind the Cycle Diet, as well as in my audio download, The Truth About Diet.)

Insulin Resistance
(This is some unrelated science so you can skip it, if you like.)

Insulin resistance is often correlated to what is now known as Syndrome X. By definition, insulin resistance (and its extreme of Syndrome X) is characterized by “a collection of metabolic and hemodynamic disorders associated with coronary artery disease believed to be secondary to pronounced insulin resistance/hyperinsulinemia.

” Syndrome X itself represents at least 4 elements which commonly occur together. These are central obesity (that apple shaped middle of the body) dyslipidemia (this just means elevated triglycerides with depressed HDL levels), hypertension (high blood pressure), and hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar).

The diet and fitness industry want to connect the dots of extremes of insulin resistance to “scare” you away from carbs. (Fear is often used as a marketing tactic) Unfortunately you do not really get the whole truth about insulin, insulin resistance and carbohydrate metabolism by relying on the paradigm blindness of the fitness and diet industry.

So allow me to explain all of this to you, so you can stop being duped into thinking “carbs are bad” and into having buzz words like insulin resistance being used to promote bad science. Moreover let me reassure you that you are NOT carbohydrate resistant, no matter how many bogus questionnaires can be set up to get you to think that way.

“I can assure you that you are not CARB Resistant, 

Important Concepts: Let’s Examine the Facts Shall We? 

We all know insulin to be a storage hormone, or as I like to say, “a storage hormone with bias.” And when we discuss insulin resistance we must always discuss the meaning of the word hyperinsulinemia.


Hyperinsulinemia means exactly what you think, hyper = too much; therefore, hyperinsulinemia just means too much insulin. Fine: Most people stop there and therefore mistakenly believe that insulin is the problem and you must limit insulin production. Well the absurdities of that statement would take a chapter in a book to explain. But just let me say, that is an absurd notion (unless you are medically diabetic of course).

In real science although some statements can be made “in general” that never means they are “absolute.” In terms of insulin resistance, it is not hyperinsulinemia that is the problem; it is the receptor. The cells are producing enough insulin but insulin receptors elsewhere in the body become insensitive the circulating insulin.

 More often than not “events” have occurred to cause eventual down-regulation of the insulin receptor. And the events I refer to here are almost always a matter of genetics, lifestyle, and body weight. The truth is about 80% of people with type 2 diabetes insulin resistance are obese. 80 percent!

 The other 20 % are almost always genetically predisposed to genetic material coded for the production of an abnormal receptor-in other words they have inherited a genetic problem that does not allow the insulin receptor to work properly.

As you can see this doesn’t even remotely tend to describe active individuals or more or less people of normal or regular body weight.

In terms of lifestyle and environment high fat stores down-regulate insulin receptors. This of course causes a resistance to circulating insulin. (Think of trying to pour water in a glass when the top of the glass is covered with cellophane with a pin hole or two in it.)

"Healthy eating does not mean low carb eating.”

Without getting overly scientific here, the truth is and the conclusion is that insulin resistance is not endemic to everyone on the planet-not even remotely. Genetic predisposition and lifestyle are the most important contributors to insulin resistance. Hyperinsulinemia is just a commonly used buzzword in the fitness and diet industry that is overused without contextual relevance.

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