Friday, 2 August 2013

its all about the insulin!

In response to my comment on Wooo's blog about ric drasin coming out and saying that carbs determine body fatness, another bodybuilder has recently come out proclaiming the same thing, carbs/insulin play a HUGE role in body fatness.

In the video he touch's on stuff I have mentioned here previously, that the more easily and fast digesting the carb, the more fattening it is. AKA processed carbs.

Elevated fasting insulin is the cause of the obesity epidemic. I feel quite confident about this.  The postprandial insulin spikes play a role in body fatness, but I think it is the elevated fasting insulin causing the rampaging fat tsunami;s. It is the failure to expose yourself to low insulin levels, especially during the overnight fast, that results in never-ending fat accumulation.  Your suppose to properly oscillate in and out of the anabolic/catabolic states between eating and fasting.  But you never quite properly enter the catabolic state with the high fasting insulin. When you get your fasting insulin low enough, then sex steroids will determine fat deposition in the body. I also have a feeling that it is elevated fasting insulin activating aromatase constantly as to why we have so many men with gyno + low T.

So what determines fasting insulin?

No-one knows! other than the obvious fact of the recent days carbohydrate intake influencing it, the others factors involved seem to be obscure. If you search on pubmed for fasting insulin, theres very little research in this area. However we do know the GI tract plays a huge role in insulin secretion, both fasting and postprandial.

An interesting study recently came out detailing how the GI tract is reprogrammed after gastric surgery. The surgery changes the GI tract so that it itself becomes a major source for glucose disposal. More glucose disposed of in the GI tract means less hitting the bloodstream and less needing to be disposed of in adipose tissue. Will that cause weight loss?  The reprogramming of the GI tract to act as a glucose sink was initiated by exposing it to undigested nutrients.

Still further, another new study looked at lipolysis in overweight vs lean subjects. They found that overweight subjects had reduced catecholamine stimulated lipolysis. In the study they say this....

The factors regulating the expansion of human adipose are less well known.

Funny, I thought it was all about calories?

Whats the cause of this catecholamine resistance in fat people? *I think its the elevated fasting insulin*

How to reduce fasting insulin?

Well other than avoiding carbohydrate, there is one food I think actively reduces fasting insulin, sauerkraut, the combination of vinegar and fibre seems to be very potent at reducing insulin. I even think that the more sauerkraut you eat, the more weight it will force you to lose, provided you keep carbs in check.


  1. I recently measured my fasting insulin, it is exactly on the lower border of norm. I am LCarbing since Nov 2007,only 30 lbs are lost. My leptin is also low (not pathologically), so I am not a fat-burning beast at the moment, but at least my desire to eat is very modest.
    May be my insulin spikes too much after meals? I could only speculate.

    1. arent you post-meno? lowering insulin is only going to work if insulin was the cause of the weight gain. If the cause of weight gain is due to estrogen deficiency its unlikely lowering insulin will do much.

    2. No, I am not post-meno yet, however at 52 my estrogen is on a lower side, but not below norm .

    3. Galina as im sure you know, theres many middle age women on the net who are obese, some of them are barely eating 1200 calories per day, and the thing they all have in common is they find it nigh impossible to lose weight.

      I dont think any of us have the answer. ( yet )

    4. I am not complaining about not loosing any more weight because I am a realist, and my clothing size is appropriate, LC keep me healthy, so nothing particular is bagging me at the moment.
      I was referring to the phrase "it is all about insulin". Hunger control is mostly about insulin, and when insulin is low, low leptin doesn't cause a binge eating and all day grazing, but people who are interested in the moving from their plateaus would have to find what to do about low leptin resulted from a weight loss. Injections are our of reach, lipos(surgical and laser) are expensive. I am afraid the most realistic answer is fat treatment with a laser. I am not planning to do it in a nearest future, but I like to have something planned for the worst case situation.

  2. i get a perceptible drop in thyroid levels when i eat sauerkraut, even a half-cup size serving -- i need to find another fermented vegetable (not a goitrogen) which can do the same job! i read from Kresser that cooking goitrogenic foods "disables" them, but that fermentation actually augments their thyroid-inhibiting qualities, and it bears out in real life.

  3. Sauerkraut! Awesome.

    I haven't followed the "RYGB enhances intestinal glucose uptake" story too closely, but just a few years ago it was the opposite --> RYGB increases intestinal gluconeogenesis (PMID 18762021). A good article reviewing the early studies on intestinal gluconeogenesis is 16295149; it says that all the enzymes might be present, but intestinal gluconeogenesis isn't likely a quantitatively important contributor to the maintenance of blood glucose.

  4. You can ferment just about anything. I guess that chopped cucumbers could be a decent sauerkraut substitute. It is like chop or shred or cut in any way cucumbers, salt it (a lot of liquid will get released), put a weight and leave it on a counter top until it gets sour.

  5. I think I get an insulin surge in the middle of the night, despite remaining very low carb all day. I wake in a sweat, heart pounding, all the stress hormones flowing freely, too. What causes that????

    1. an insulin surge is the absence of anything else will cause hypoglycemia and death.

      something else is happening.



    Plz return when u has PhD or good enough PhD, either or will do

    Low testosterone/gynecomastia in males is more of a consequence of insulin driven elevated LH. The symptoms of male pattern baldness, obesity, gynecomastia and low free testosterone are like the male equivalent of PCOS in women. When insulin is too high, LH levels are elevated; in men this results in excessive testosterone production in testes which ironically results in low free testosterone, particularly in the context of elevated body fat. Estrogen from body fat and estrogen from excessive testosterone metabolism inhibit free testosterone in obese men. Dropping LH by lowering insulin will actually improve testosterone signalling in obese men by reducing the estrogen metabolites of excessive LH. Male pattern baldness tends to cluster with the "moobs" anecdotally for this reason. It tends not to cause infertility like female PCOS so this syndrome largely goes unnamed, except for the arm chair observation that a lot of overweight men are bald and have boobs ;).

    Sex steroids always influence where body fat is stored, insulin modulates how *much* of it. Estrogen for example is obesigenic and drives adipocyte differentiation, not just on the hips/butt but the entire body. However, if a woman is starving, she will have very little body fat. Ultimately the insulin controls the fat, the hormones decide where (and how much there).

    I drink vinegar and sour kraut ... very obvious difference in energy appetite and body fat change is symptomatic.

    The older I get, longer I do this, the more I appreciate what we eat and when we eat is only a small part of insulin / body fat control.

    For example, working nights really makes this crystal clear. The good enough PhD E.K. and the expert scientist S.G. have been known to call my wt loss success an "anomaly". This is true of course socially speaking only; in reality from a biological perspective my weight loss success is entirely expected given the endocrine regulation of body fat.

    The real anomaly of course is that now that I live an sleep so strangely, I gain body fat / resist losing body fat in spite of the fact my diet ought to promote bone thinness. The anomaly was not my (much thinner) past, but my rather weight loss resistant present, which is of course secondary to hyperinsulinemic pressure / adipogenetic pressure from night shift work.

    I've decided one of the best ways to reduce insulin is simply to sleep. Just literally sleep 10 hours or so, every single day. You will lose body fat, I promise, even if you eat just as much (but you won't, because your endocrine system will normalize, which will normalize your appetite...but even if you did eat, your entire body comp will change and you will lose body fat).

    I also believe a significant portion of the obesity epidemic is as uncomplicated as not sleeping like humans are supposed to. Cycle begins of starvation dieting to lose weight with more disturbed sleep then resulting from the food deprivation.

    YOu really appreciate these things when you do nights for a year or two after enjoying the simple human requirement of sleeping at night in darkness previously.

    1. "YOu really appreciate these things when you do nights for a year or two after enjoying the simple human requirement of sleeping at night in darkness previously."

      aye so true, once you start working shift ONLY THEN can you really understand and feel how important sleep is to bodyfat levels and just general overall health. Shift workers SHOULD get substantially higher pay imo.

      I been working shift 5 years now and the toll it has taken on my health is immense. Need to get me some chinese HGH and start injecting. ( pharma stuff is tooooo expensive )

    2. @ Wooo: lol

      @ Kindke: great blog

      Anyway, I hate moving, but I need to move to a place more conducive to sleeping well. (My bedroom is adjacent to a street which seemed quiet when I looked at the place, but turns into an interstate highway from 5 am - 8 am.)

      This place is making me fat & taking years off my life. I believe this.

  7. I don't think that raised fasting insulin neccesarily produces obesity.

    Excessive insulin signalling in adipocytes causes obesity. This may be caused by enhanced insulin sensitivity and/or insulin hypersecretion. They often go together, i.e. lack of sympathetic tone will make the pancreas secrete teh insulin and the adipocyte will be sensitive to it.

    Sleep is very important because leptin spikes during sleep. More deep sleep = thinner/energetic you.

    1. yes it is the excessive insulin signalling in the adipocytes, but my point is that it is COMING from the high fasting insulin.

      high fasting insulin is a form of insulin hypersecretion.

  8. btw the French eat a LOT of vinegar. I'm staying with my (old) aunt and uncle in France at the moment and we always have raw veggies with vinaigrette before a meal as an entree. My aunt however is overweight. She said she gained a load of weight at menopause and on estrogen replacement therapy.

    Food is not the whole picture. Seriously.
    Perhaps it is the ability of the mitochondria to use fats for fuel for some ppl? Although insulin regulates this, not being able to burn fatty acids would equally raise insulin, thus creating a vicious cycle.

  9. I reckon that in research we are getting to the point where we are discovering uniquely genetically regulated proteins that in turn regulate adiposity (e.g. pre adipocyte factor 1 is lower in some ppl and they are fatter).

    Ketosis (lower insulin) mimics lack of excess food so this would prevent the body from developing a thrify phenotype.