Insulin is a hormone that ushers blood sugar (glucose) from the bloodstream into cells for use as fuel. In response to the normal increase in blood sugar after a meal, the pancreas secretes insulin into the bloodstream. With insulin resistance, the normal amount of insulin secreted is not enough to move glucose into the cells – thus the cells are said to be “resistant” to the action of insulin. To compensate, the pancreas secretes insulin in ever-increasing amounts to maintain adequate blood-sugar transfer into cells and a normal blood-sugar level. High insulin levels also have a role in the process that regulates inflammation. In time, insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes, itself a risk factor for heart disease. Insulin resistance can be diagnosed with blood tests that show low levels of HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol), a high triglyceride level, a high fasting insulin level or a high uric acid level.
What Are The Causes Of Insulin Resistance? There are genetic factors that can contribute to the development of insulin resistance, including a family history of diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease, but lifestyle choice can play a major role, specifically carrying excess weight with the extra pounds accumulating in the abdomen.
What Is Recommend For Insulin Resistance? Even small amounts of weight loss can reduce insulin resistance. Dr. Andrew Weil recommends reducing weight if you are overweight and following these insulin resistance tips: 1). Watch your carbohydrate intake. Aim for high fiber, low glycemic value carbs. 2). Eat moderate amounts of monounsaturated fat from sources such as extra virgin olive oil, nuts and avocado. 3). Eat five or more servings of non-starchy vegetables in a variety of colors every day. In addition, eat one to two servings of low-glycemic fruit, such as cherries and apples. 4). Eat fish high in omega 3s frequently. Omega-3s can help reverse the pro-inflammatory effects of insulin and also seem to improve cells’ response to the hormone. 5). Eat smaller meals more frequently. 6). Exercise vigorously for 30-45 minutes daily.
Incorporate The Following Supplements: Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) - A powerful antioxidant, CoQ10 contributes to heart health by preventing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. It re-energizes the mitochondria in the heart cells, which is where energy metabolism occurs. Dosage: 100 mg per day; for best absorption, take with a meal containing fat. Alpha-Lipoic Acid - This antioxidant nutrient improves the cells’ response to insulin and can help stabilize blood sugar levels. Dosage: 100 to 400 mg per day. Magnesium - Higher insulin and blood sugar levels are often observed in people with low plasma magnesium levels. Magnesium supplementation has been shown to improve insulin resistance in studies. Dosage: 100 mg – 400 mg per day, Look for magnesium citrate, chelate, or glycinate. Avoid oxide. Chromium - This mineral helps stabilize blood sugar, may improve serum lipid profiles, and may help the body utilize glucose and burn fat. The best form to use is GTF chromium. Dosage: 1,000 mcg per day. Dr. Andrew Weil, MD