Insulin resistance protects against…insulin!

Virtually all doctors agree that elevated insulin resistance is very bad for human health, being the root cause of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. So, if it is so bad, why do we all develop it in the first place? How can such a mal-adaptive process be so ubiquitous?

As of 2015, over 50% of the American population has diabetes or pre-diabetes. This stunning statistic means that there are more people in the United States with pre-diabetes or diabetes than without it. It’s the new normal. Why does it develop it so frequently? There must be some protective purpose to it since our bodies are not designed to fail. Humans have lived for millennia before the modern diabesity epidemic. How can insulin resistance be protective?

You can discover many things by taking a different perspective. The golden rule states “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” A well-known quote says, “Before you judge me, walk a mile in my shoes”. In both cases, the key to success is change perspective. Invert (turn upside down) your perspective, and see how your horizons are immensely broadened. So let’s look at the development of insulin resistance from the opposite angle. Let’s not consider why insulin resistance is bad, but rather, why it is good.

Read Full Article By Dr. Jason Fung

High carbohydrate intake from starchy foods is positively associated with metabolic disorders: a Cohort Study from a Chinese population

Abstract

Starchy foods are the main sources of carbohydrates; however, there is limited information on their metabolic impact. Therefore, we assessed the association between carbohydrates from starchy foods (Carb-S) intakes and the metabolic disorders of metabolic syndrome (MetS) and hyperlipidemia. In this study, 4,154 participants from Northern China were followed up for 4.2 years. Carb-S included rice, refined wheat, tubers, and their products. Multivariable regression models were used to calculate risk ratios (RRs) for MetS and hyperlipidemia from Carb-S, total carbohydrates, and carbohydrates from other food sources (Carb-O). Receiver operating characteristic analysis was used to determine a Carb-S cut-off value. High total carbohydrate intake was associated with increased risks of MetS (RR: 2.24, 95% CI: 1.00–5.03) and hyperlipidemia (RR: 3.05, 95% CI: 1.25–7.45), compared with the first quartile. High Carb-S intake (fourth quartile) was significantly associated with MetS (RR: 1.48, 95% CI: 1.01–2.69) and hyperlipidemia (RR: 1.73, 95% CI: 1.05–3.35). No associations with Carb-O were observed. Visceral adiposity, triglyceride levels, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol significantly contributed to the metabolic disorders. The Carb-S cut-off value was 220 g. Both high total carbohydrate and Carb-S intakes were associated with hyperlipidemia and MetS; Carb-S appears to contribute more to these disorders.

Read Full Article at NCBI

The Sugar Wars

Science can’t prove it and the industry denies it, but Gary Taubes is convinced that the sweet stuff kills.

“I hope that when you have read this book I shall have convinced you that sugar is really dangerous,” wrote John Yudkin in his foghorn-sounding treatise on nutrition from 1972, Pure, White and Deadly. Sugar’s rapid rise to prominence in the Western diet, starting in the mid-19th century, had coincided with a sudden outbreak of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Yudkin, one of the United Kingdom’s most prominent nutritionists at the time, believed that one had caused the other.

Then, as now, there was no decisive test of his idea—no perfect way to make the case that sugar kills. It’s practically impossible to run randomized, controlled experiments on human diets over many years, so the brief against sugar, like the case against any other single foodstuff, must be drawn from less reliable forms of testimony: long-term correlations, animal experiments, evolutionary claims, and expert judgments.

Read Full Article By Daniel Engber (The Atlantic)

The Man Taking Down Big Sugar

This past fall, Gary Taubes took his wife and two sons on a trip to a wildlife preserve in Sonoma County, California, the kind of place where guests learn firsthand about the species of the Serengeti. They slept in tents and spent the day among giraffes, zebras, antelope, and the like. One morning, Taubes and his boys awoke early. “It was 50 degrees out — freezing by our standards,” he recalls. “I took the kids to breakfast, and” — his face takes on a pained expression — “how can I not give them hot chocolate?”

For most parents, indulging the kids with some cocoa would pose no dilemma. But Taubes, one of America’s leading and most strident nutrition writers, is no ordinary father. His new book, The Case Against Sugar, seems destined to strike fear into the hearts of children everywhere. Taubes’ argument is simple: Sugar is likely poison, and it’s what is making our country fat. And not just fat but sick. So don’t eat it. Ever.

Read Full Article By Daniel Kunitz (Men’s Journal)

The second biggest preventable cause of cancer: being overweight

While most people are aware of the biggest cause of cancer – smoking – many are unaware of the second biggest: being overweight or obese.

In fact, three in four people aren’t aware that obesity causes cancer.

The evidence linking body weight and cancer has been building for decades, with new evidence still emerging.

Only a few months ago the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) released a report saying there is now strong evidence linking body weight to even more cancer types than was previously thought. Bringing the total tally to 13 types of cancer.

Read Full Article By Casey Dunlop (Cancer Research UK)