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What causes insulin resistance?
Old 11-12-2011, 12:08 AM   #1
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What causes insulin resistance?

Whole Health Source: What Causes Insulin Resistance? Part I

Stephan Guyenet writes a fairly technical blogpost that boils down to "You are eating too much relative to the amount of work you are doing, and that makes you fat, insulin resistant and much more susceptible to diabetes."

Ha
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Old 11-12-2011, 06:59 AM   #2
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My blood sugar was high. A1C was 6.8 I have lost about 45 pounds and my A1C is now 5.7 No medications. Still need to lose some more but I think the weight loss was beneficial to my blood sugar levels.
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Old 11-12-2011, 08:27 AM   #3
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Gary Taubes is in the process of refuting Guyenet's hypothesis in his blog.

The essential point seems to be that Guyenet has not posited a credible mechanism for his supposed effect, and he seems to be ducking some of Taubes' more pointed questions.
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Old 11-12-2011, 10:21 AM   #4
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Gary Taubes is in the process of refuting Guyenet's hypothesis in his blog.

The essential point seems to be that Guyenet has not posited a credible mechanism for his supposed effect, and he seems to be ducking some of Taubes' more pointed questions.
Yes, I am aware of this feud. My strongest evidence that Guyenet is at least partially wrong is that I have never been even 10# overweight, and have never really been way out of shape, yet I am prediabetic and almost by definition have insulin resistance. I have spoken to Stephan several times, and also met and spoke with Taubes. Guyenet is a postdoc (as I recall in some aspect of neurophysiology), and Taubes of course is a well regarded, serious journalist.

Blogging seems to attract people who like to champion a cause or POV. I believe it will be years before we can say what is really going on, if it is indeed some unitary thing.

Thanks for posting this link to Gary's piece. He certainly does not shrink from a fight. But he was a college boxer, and I knew a couple of them, and they were not exactly shy of stating their opinions either. "This scenario can appear to be one that rejects, as I do, the simplistic calories-in-calories-out idea, but I’m going to argue that this appearance is an illusion. And that, as I said, is one reason why the hypothesis irks me so."

Not often do you see words like "irk" in these seemingly polite disagreements.

Ha
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Old 11-12-2011, 10:26 AM   #5
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I think there are some medical types who feel strongly enough about the value of "proper diet and exercise" that they are quick to blame bad diet and/or obesity and/or lack of exercise for almost anything they can, even where the medical science may be inconclusive at best in regard to some medical conditions.
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Old 11-12-2011, 10:38 AM   #6
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I think there are some medical types who feel strongly enough about the value of "proper diet and exercise" that they are quick to blame bad diet and/or obesity and/or lack of exercise for almost anything they can, even where the medical science may be inconclusive at best in regard to some medical conditions.
I agree.

I'm a T2 diabetic, diagnosed (at normal weight) over 10 years ago.

The "condition" does not run in my family "blood line", going back at least two generations.

However, it was determined that it occured (by better minds than me) due to "environmental conditions" that I was subject to:

Agent Orange: Diabetes Mellitus (Type 2) - Public Health

Sometimes, diet or family history has little to do with the condition...
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Old 11-12-2011, 10:55 AM   #7
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My strongest evidence that Guyenet is at least partially wrong is that I have never been even 10# overweight, and have never really been way out of shape, yet I am prediabetic and almost by definition have insulin resistance.
Ha
I didn't read the blog, but based on your summary:

"You are eating too much relative to the amount of work you are doing, and that makes you fat, insulin resistant and much more susceptible to diabetes."

I don't think your condition makes him 'wrong'. Does he say that being overweight is the only way to become insulin resistant?

It's not like smokers are the only ones to develop lung cancer, but surely smoking makes one much more susceptible to lung cancer.

-ERD50
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Old 11-12-2011, 11:10 AM   #8
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I think the take-away message is that we should eat only exactly as much as we need to maintain our weight. This is why yo-yo dieting is harmful. We could overeat for a few weeks, then undereat to drop back down to our original weight, but in the end, we've damaged our bodies in ways beyond simply the amount we currently weigh.
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Old 11-12-2011, 12:49 PM   #9
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I think the take-away message is that we should eat only exactly as much as we need to maintain our weight.
If that worked, there would be no obesity epidemic.

An aside on the obesity epidemic: This Newsweek cover appeared in the year 2000:



There are now over three times as many seriously overweight kids as there were when that issue came out.

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Old 11-12-2011, 12:55 PM   #10
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Timely posting Ha. I was reading Andreas Eenfeldt's blog last night and he posted an interview he did with Robert Lustig on this very topic.

Link to the video at Diet Doctor website: Beyond gluttony and sloth | Dietdoctor.com

And the video at YouTube (link only, don't know why video is not displaying here). eenfeldt's Channel - YouTube
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Old 11-12-2011, 01:00 PM   #11
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Here's a recent Lustig video with nice slides, etc.

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Old 11-12-2011, 01:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
Whole Health Source: What Causes Insulin Resistance? Part I

Stephan Guyenet writes a fairly technical blogpost that boils down to "You are eating too much relative to the amount of work you are doing, and that makes you fat, insulin resistant and much more susceptible to diabetes."

Ha
I am certain that this is dead-on correct, no question in my mind.

Having said that, I am doing all the wrong things and I know it. I am very good at gluttony and sloth. This is a subject of discussion in this house. If I can turn things around, I will share it with all. If [those who have not blocked my posts yet, notice that] I stop posting, I got dead first. Oh, well.
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Old 11-12-2011, 01:14 PM   #13
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As far as obese kids go, the lack of physical exertion in play today compared to when I was a kid is probably the main reason. We didn't exactly eat the best diet when I wasa kid, but we were outside running around and playing ball for several hours a day, most days of the week -- so none of us got fat.
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Old 11-12-2011, 01:48 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by ziggy29
As far as obese kids go, the lack of physical exertion in play today compared to when I was a kid is probably the main reason. We didn't exactly eat the best diet when I wasa kid, but we were outside running around and playing ball for several hours a day, most days of the week -- so none of us got fat.
I'll agree to that. Played all day outside and very active in high school. Skinny as a rail, as they say. But my diet featured the core food groups of macaroni and cheese, ravioli, hot dogs, french fries, and pot pies. I would be a porker if I ate like that now.
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Old 11-12-2011, 03:22 PM   #15
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I am doing all the wrong things and I know it. I am very good at gluttony and sloth. This is a subject of discussion in this house. If I can turn things around, I will share it with all.
Since I'm very pleased with the way I turned things around for myself, I'll share my results.

Back in about April, I became acquainted with Gary Taubes from a post here (thanks, HaHa!). After reading everything I could find (Taubes' books, other references by Lustig, Phinney, Westman, and many others), I decided that it all made wonderful sense and I embarked on a very low carb, high fat diet. I also stopped taking the Lipitor I had been on for a number of years.

The best predictor for coronary heart disease, according to everything I've read, is your ratio of triglycerides to HDL. A fairly safe ratio is 3 or less (triglycerides less than three times your HDL) and the lower the better.

When I began, my ratio was 2.1 so I wasn't actually in bad shape, but now it's 1.1 which is considered ideal.

Also when I began, my blood glucose had gradually crept up to 106, which is considered pre diabetic. Now it's 91 which is completely normal (my A1C is 5.2).

Additionally, my blood pressure had been borderline high but is now considered normal (134/76).

I've lost 30 pounds and am at what most charts indicate to be my ideal weight (although I still plan to drop a few more, since my BMI is 24). I feel better than I have in many years, and I'm getting stronger and have more stamina.

So, there is my purely anecdotal story of what I've done over the past six months. As HaHa points out, it will be years before we know the real story on exactly what works best and why, but following Taubes' guidelines has been "the answer" for me.
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Old 11-12-2011, 03:40 PM   #16
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I didn't read the blog, but based on your summary:

"You are eating too much relative to the amount of work you are doing, and that makes you fat, insulin resistant and much more susceptible to diabetes."

I don't think your condition makes him 'wrong'. Does he say that being overweight is the only way to become insulin resistant?

It's not like smokers are the only ones to develop lung cancer, but surely smoking makes one much more susceptible to lung cancer.

-ERD50
In other posts he may posit other things, but so far in reading his blog I have not seen different ideas.
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Old 11-12-2011, 10:51 PM   #17
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I have never been even 10# overweight, and have never really been way out of shape, yet I am prediabetic and almost by definition have insulin resistance.
Is this true? Could it be possible that even though your pancreas produces insulin, it simply doesn't produce enough to handle a large carb load? I believe 15-20% of Type 2's are not overweight. Do they all have insulin resistance?
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Old 11-13-2011, 06:24 AM   #18
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Most likely, yes. Congratulations, Lazarus.
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I think the weight loss was beneficial to my blood sugar levels.
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:31 AM   #19
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The best predictor for coronary heart disease, according to everything I've read, is your ratio of triglycerides to HDL. A fairly safe ratio is 3 or less (triglycerides less than three times your HDL) and the lower the better.
It's funny, but with all my reading, I missed that info. Here are some articles I just found:

Better Know Your Triglyceride/HDL Ratio if You Want to Prevent a Heart Attack

High Ratio of Triglycerides to HDL-Cholesterol Predicts Extensive Coronary Disease

I like that info, because my ratio is .71 (Tri: 49 HDL: 69). Thank you, bacon!
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:36 AM   #20
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I like that info, because my ratio is .71 (Tri: 49 HDL: 69). Thank you, bacon!
Congratulations Al! Now you know something else is going to kill you...
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