Health Research – The Effect of Insulin

Since it has been known for a long time that insulin is the fat-storing hormone this study is a “reinventing the wheel” one. When we have found something that is likely to be unpopular amongst conventional health proponents, we ignore it until we have explored it a thousand times. (Even then, sometimes it will be buried if it means we will have to do a U-turn – perish the thought!)

Breakfast Cereal

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas to metabolise glucose – which the body creates from sugar and carbohydrate foods for easy absorption. If you have just eaten fried eggs, bacon and mushrooms there will be virtually no insulin response because these comprise proteins and fats. If you have just eaten cereal and toast, your insulin levels will rise rapidly. Insulin can store glucose as fat if it is not being used to fuel your work-out at the gym – hence the term “fat-storing hormone”.

This study shows that the right food intake keeps insulin levels low and therefore the mice remain lean no matter how much they eat. The study stops before recommending a low-carbohydrate diet (which I firmly believe is the right diet for humans) and sadly it tries to make it fit with conventional wisdom and treatment. Never mind, everything starts somewhere and more is to be investigated.

Interestingly, a colleague (where I used to work as a nurse) had just been to a weight management conference. To my amazement, she returned with a bagful of Atkins’ bars. (Dr Atkins was responsible for the resurgence of low carbohydrate diets in the Western world during the 90s.) When I questioned my colleague on this “taboo”, she said that the emphasis was being placed on losing weight in any way that provides an effective solution for an individual. This saddens me – but only a little. Our natural diet belongs to us, not to anyone putting their name to it and Atkins is just one of these. We should eat proper food and not be swayed by hype and advertisements. (I would like to say however, that the Atkins book provided the springboard for me into studying human diets worldwide and even this diet is better than the conventional one recommended by professionals in the U.K.)

The sadness for me is that yet again, we’re missing the point. Losing weight is important for some health issues such as high blood pressure, self-image, skin infections and skeletal damage, but the underlying cause is being ignored. No – you’re wrong if you thought I meant overeating is the cause – it usually isn’t. It is a shift in metabolic processes usually caused by constantly elevated insulin levels and this same shift, causes type 2 diabetes and heart disease too. The problem is one and the same.

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