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How Insulin Resistance is linked to disease

Insulin Resistance photoAs you know from Insulin resistance: A challenge for health and weight loss,increased levels of insulin in the blood can lead to insulin resistance. This is often the cause of weight gain, especially around the middle, and can make it impossible for fat to be released from fat cells, making permanent weight loss very difficult.

Insulin Resistance is linked with the development of many other serious health concerns:

1.    High cholesterol

People who develop insulin resistance make more cholesterol. Insulin turns on the receptors and genes in the liver which control the production of cholesterol (which is where anywhere up to 99% of the cholesterol measured in your blood test comes from. Very little actually comes directly from your diet). High cholesterol is often a symptom of insulin resistance rather than an independent condition. Insulin resistance = increased cholesterol production

2.    Memory problems and disease

Age related mental decline and even Alzheimer’s is now known as Type 3 diabetes. Our brain is very glucose hungry, and if insulin levels become too high, it can stop energy reaching our brain cells and trigger inflammation. This causes cells to stop working properly, affecting memory and brain function. Insulin resistance = brain cell damage

3.    Cardiovascular disease

Insulin resistance is involved in the development of a “fatty liver” where fat infiltrates the liver and can eventually lead to cancer and cirrhosis. This condition, known as Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, is thought to affect up to one third of the developed world’s population. If that isn’t scary enough, it’s now known as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Japanese research showed that non-alcoholic fatty liver disease raised the risk of cardiovascular disease by about threefold or fourfold for men and about fourteen fold for women! Insulin resistance = liver damage and cardiovascular disease

4.    Age-related disease

Insulin resistance is known as an independent predictor of the likelihood of developing diseases related to ageing such as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. In one study, 1 in 3 people with high insulin levels developed one of these conditions, but those who had normal levels of insulin remained disease free.

Insulin resistance = cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease

So you can see that insulin resistance shouldn’t be ignored. But the good news is that often some simple diet and lifestyle changes are all it takes to get your insulin levels back to normal and greatly reduce your risk of disease.

Mr Vitamins research and further references

Jussi Pihlajamäki, Helena Gylling, Tatu A. Miettinen, and Markku Laakso, Insulin resistance is associated with increased cholesterol synthesis and decreased cholesterol absorption in normoglycemic men. Journal of Lipid Research Volume 45, 2004 Craft S. Insulin resistance and Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis: potential mechanisms and implications for treatment, Curr Alzheimer Res. 2007 Apr;4(2):147-52. Cao D, Lu H, Lewis TL, Li L. : Intake of sucrose-sweetened water induces insulin resistance and exacerbates memory deficits and amyloidosis in a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer disease. J Biol Chem. 2007 Dec 14;282(50):36275-82. Epub 2007 Oct 17. Bhatia LS, Curzen NP, Calder PC, Byrne CD.: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: a new and important cardiovascular risk factor? Eur Heart J. 2012 May;33(10):1190-200. Epub 2012 Mar 8. Facchini FS, Hua N, Abbasi F, Reaven GM.: Insulin resistance as a predictor of age-related diseases. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2001 Aug;86(8):3574-8.