WHAT IS INSULIN AND WHAT IS IT FOR

Insulin is a peptide hormone produced by the beta cells of the Langerhans islands in the pancreas. Its production is heavily stimulated by carbohydrates ingestion, light stimulated by proteins while the fats do not have insulinotropic action. Insulin is an anabolic hormone par-excellence and performs the following tasks in the orgasm:

  • literally opens the cells by facilitating blood glucose passage and thus has a hypoglycemic action (lowers blood glucose). It promotes glucose build up in the form of glycogen (glycogen synthesis) in the liver and muscle and inhibits the degradation of glucose glycogen (glycogenolysis).
  • facilitates the passage of amino acids from blood to cells by stimulating protein synthesis through its anabolic action and inhibits neoglucogenesis (formation of glucose from some amino acids).
  • Promotes the passage of fatty acids from blood to cells, stimulates the synthesis of fatty acids from excess glucose and amino acids and inhibits the use of fatty acids for energy purposes (lipolysis).
  • simplifys the passage of potassium into cells.
  • stimulates cell proliferation.
  • encourages the use of glucose for energy production.
  • fosters endogenous production of cholesterol.

Therefore, this hormone is essential for the proper functioning of our body. Nevertheless, the problems start to manifest when its presence exceeds certain time and quantity limits in the bloodstream.

WHEN THE INSULIN IS TOO MUCH

According to several authors, Lorein Cordain, the condition of compensatory hyperinsulinemia (loss of insulin sensitivity resulting in hyper-secretion by the pancreas) related to peripheral insulin resistance (the inability of the cells to absorb insulin) would be the panacea of all evils.

Compensatory hyperinsulinemia would be at the root of various diseases and complications such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, coronary artery degeneration, obesity, and limited glucose tolerance [1].

In addition, through complex hormone regulation mechanisms, hyperinsulinemia alters the proliferation and growth of different cellular tissues. This could promote acne development, juvenile myopia, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), skin papilloma, male varicocele, early menarche and increased bodily stature [1].

More and more scientific evidence suggests that hyperinsulinaemia may play a role in the proliferation of different types of cancer (breast, prostate and colon) through inhibition mechanisms of the cellular apoptosis system. This mechanism, also called cellular programmed death, controls the proliferation of carcinogenic cells and once it is inhibited, cancer is much more likely to expand [1].

Of these complications and pathologies hyperinsulinemia could be the common cause. For this reason, scientists like Barry Sears have come to realize the increasingly rampant problem. Experimenting with new dietary strategies such as the famous zone diet, the goal of reducing insulin production was simply lowering the daily carbohydrate portion while simultaneously increasing the percentage of fats and proteins.

But seeing the issue from an evolutionary perspective, insulin has always been a hormone produced occasionally because rare were the meals we did and especially poor in high glycemic index carbohydrates. If everything went well, we use to eat just once a day. In contrast, today we bomb our metabolism from the morning with complex sugar and carbohydrates until we go to sleep. Insulin production is only controlled through nutrition. Reducing the daily insulin production, like the zone diet suggests, could be a good strategy but is not enough.

CONCLUSIONS

Today, the science of nutrition speaks with one voice that man needs at least five meals a day. The same goes for the fact that at least 50% of our caloric needs should come from carbohydrates. But does man really need to eat every 3 hours?

We need to get rid of the cultural and economic schemes of breakfast, lunch and dinner and stimulate greater insulin production only in certain contexts and moments of the day or even of the week. For the rest of the week, insulin should be kept low and within certain baselines in order to promote the proper functioning of our energy systems.

Once again our lifestyle does not agree with our DNA, and everyone, sooner or later, is going to pay the price. Discover with Evoplus how to let your DNA express itself best and find your lost well-being.

REFERENCES

1. Hyperinsulinemic diseases of civilization: more than just Syndrome X Loren Cordain*, Michael R. Eades, Mary D. Eades Department of Health and Exercise Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA Received 27 June 2002; received in revised form 23 December 2002; accepted 3 January 2003