Insulin Resistance

My journey in learning about myself has meant endless hours of reading everything and then, reading some more. It has given me many “aha” moments and helped me understand so much more about what a low carb life really means.

Here is an excerpt from book THE ART AND SCIENCE OF LOW CARBOHYDRATE LIVING, co-authored by Jeff S. Volek, PhD, RD, and Stephen D. Phinney, MD, PhD.

The underlying cause of insulin resistance is unknown, and we finished by pointing out that low carbohydrate diets make insulin resistance better, and that insulin resistant individuals achieve more weight loss on a low carb diet compared to a very low fat diet. Clearly a great deal of science still needs to be done to explain these observations.

That said, we have also connected some very interesting dots that seem to be leading us in a consistent direction. Inflammation predicts the subsequent development of metabolic syndrome and type-2 diabetes, and inflammation is the biologic enemy of the highly unsaturated fatty acids found in cell membranes. Reduced levels of these membrane HUFAs (Highly Unsaturated Fatty Acids) are associated with insulin resistance, and a low carb diet simultaneously corrects the membrane HUFA deficit, improves insulin sensitivity, and reduces the body’s level of inflammation.

Does this prove that insulin resistance is caused by membrane HUFA degradation as a result of inflammation and oxidative stress? Not necessarily, however it certainly makes for a strong hypothesis. But in the meantime, given the potential benefit of a well-formulated low carbohydrate diet in someone with insulin resistance, plus its very positive effects on blood lipids and fatty acids (described in the next 2 chapters), this powerful tool should not be discounted based upon ill-founded presumption, cultural bias, or extrapolated data.


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