Biohacking: Insulin

What is Insulin?

"...a peptide hormone produced by beta cells of the pancreatic islets, and it is considered to be the main anabolic hormone of the body. It regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and protein by promoting the absorption of, especially, glucose from the blood into fat, liver and skeletal muscle cells. In these tissues the absorbed glucose is converted into either glycogen via glycogenesis or fats (triglycerides) via lipogenesis, or, in the case of the liver, into both."

Wikipedia, in the entry Insulin

"Insulin also signals the fat cells to take up fat and hold on to it."

Gary Taubes, in The Case Against Sugar, page 118

"All foods raise insulin to some degree. Refined carbohydrates tend to raise insulin the most and fatty foods the least, but insulin still goes up in both cases. Therefore, the most effective method of reducing insulin is to avoid all foods altogether ... Regularly lowering insulin levels leads to improved insulin sensitivity — your body becomes more responsive to insulin."

The Complete Guide to Fasting by Jason Fung and Jimmy Moore, page 47

Exposure leads to resistance

"People who eat a lot and eat frequently -- especially if they eat a lot of high-carb foods or sugars -- really spike their insulin levels very high. The cells of the body grow tolerant to insulin, as an alcoholic grows tolerant to alcohol, and begin ignoring "normal" levels of insulin. Normal levels of insulin don't cause cells to accept glucose. The pancreas detects that blood sugar has not decreased due to its release of insulin, and releases more insulin.

This is the start of a syndrome called "insulin resistance." Cells are exposed to higher-than-normal levels of insulin and won't take in glucose; the pancreas responds by spiking insulin even higher."

Ace, of the Ace of Spades blog, in Fast Friday: The Last Word in Fasting for GAINZZZ

Insulin Resistance leads to high blood sugar

"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."

Wikipedia, in the entry Insulin resistance

Healthy glucose levels

"The general population, rather than worrying about cholesterol, should start paying attention to their postprandial [after eating] sugars. To me, the key to health is controlling your blood glucose levels following a meal to less than 140."

Dr. Dwight Lundell, in Cholesterol Clarity, page 119 by Jimmy Moore, Eric Westman, MD.