Discover the shocking discovery made by Dutch researchers about post-meal amino acid levels in metabolically challenged individuals.
Click to listen to the audio…
The Shocking Truth About Post-Meal Amino Acid Levels for the Metabolically Challenged
If you’re metabolically challenged then YOU KNOW that handling sugar is your nemesis. The drama begins when you sit down for dinner. A bite of an ordinary sandwich can leave you with a sugar spike. And a piece of lemon meringue pie can put you into a glucose-induced stupor for HOURS.
Shredding blood vessels……..
And putting you at risk of a Major Adverse Cardiovascular Event (MACE).
As your biology deteriorates, the problem extends to high fasting blood glucose levels and culminates in a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. Which comes with a long list of nasty complications. Eish !
Now it’s not just your sugar metabolism that is off…
Fat metabolism is wonky too
The details might be a little fuzzy, but you also KNOW the fatty acid side of your metabolism is compromised. This is why you’re continually told to AVOID saturated fat.
NOTE : The fuzziness comes from the fact that the connection between dietary fat and circulating fat is not linear. For the most part, the fat problem is home made, something that is not always appreciated by “experts”.
The third macronutrient does what ?
It’s not something that is talked about too often. And when it is, fasting levels are the focus. For the record, fasting levels are not 100 % NORMAL. One particular family of amino acids, the branched chain amino acids, runs high.
It is seen as a PROBLEM.
How much of a problem is still debated, but the current thinking is this is related to COOL FURNANCES – they’re just not being burned.
This is more a consequence of “insulin resistance” rather than a cause.
The rest are within the normal ranges, with one exception, GLYCINE. Glycine is typically down and this comes with it’s own set of consequences – you can learn more here.
So are they high when you eat ?
The prediction is……… THEY SHOULD BE.
After all, insulin’s job is to put away “the groceries” and amino acids are one of the groceries insulin is IN CHARGE OF. When you’re insulin resistant – the response to insulin is rather LACK LUSTRE.
This leaves sugars floating in the circulation and AMINO ACIDS………
Amino acids behaving BADLY
Wrong ! When you’re metabolically challenged, the post meal amino acids, levels ARE DOWN. This is what a team of Dutch researchers uncovered a couple of years ago.
The findings are part of the Netherlands Epidemiology of Obesity (NEO) study. This is a pretty big ongoing study (involving 6771 people) designed to investigate the pathways that lead to obesity related disease. In 2008, when the study began, the people were divided into three groups
- Metabolically healthy
- Metabolically challenged (glucose intolerant)
- Metabolically “broken” – T2DM.
The post prandial response
In this particularly experiment, a subset of these people were fed a liquid mixed meal composed of
- 16 % protein
- 50 % carbohydrate
- 34 % fat
A blood sample was drawn at 150 min and the amino acid levels recorded. Here is the data. The green is the data for “NORMALS”, the blue is what happens in people who are glucose intolerant and the maroon in people with type 2 diabetes.
It’s ALWAYS wrong and there definitely is a dose response effect i.e. the more disturbed your metabolism is, in terms of sugar control, the more disturbed your post prandial amino acid levels.
And a few amino acids are more sensitive to the disturbance – suggesting something about their biology is important.
Checkmate versus a delayed check in
Who knows ?
It’s actually not something that has been contemplated much and it definitely needs to be. We don’t know if it can or even if it should be fixed…….
This was beyond the scope of this research.
It is possible that the decrease simply reflects a timing issue, of course, on the other hand, it may be VERY REAL…. with downstream consequences.
Amino acid availability has profound effects on many aspects of cell function, including the control of membrane transport mechanisms, cell signalling, and gene expression.
In the case of skeletal muscle, we know only when circulating levels of amino acids are “high enough”, does muscle synthesis happen. This makes muscles acutely sensitive to amino acid levels.
Lower muscle mass is something that characterizes the metabolically challenges.
The viscous cycle ?
The lower amino acid levels, alongside “delivery issues” be compromising the anabolic signal, leading to less muscle.
And a shortage of sugar cupboards, leaving more sugar molecules with NO WHERE TO GO.
I think it is a distinct possibility…..
Muscles with THE MUNCHIES
Amino acid availability also plays a role in appetite regulation – as a rule, spontaneous calorie consumption tends to be lower on high-protein diets.
Flipping it around……..
If amino acid availability is lower, you could be tempted to EAT MORE.
And the lower levels of specific amino acids, such as glycine, serine and histidine, may bring consequences of their own. Shortages of glycine, histidine and serine have been implicated in diabetic complications. Visit the Ups and Downs of Insulin Resistance page to learn more.
There is plenty of science that suggests….
More protein is HELPFUL
Multiple studies suggest slightly higher levels of protein lead to more weight loss and improved glucose homeostasis, especially in people who are metabolically challenged. More protein is less helpful in “the healthy” and on occasion can be “hurtful”.
Protein is a “Goldilocks” nutrient.
You want to steer clear of too much, while at the same time, avoiding the prospect of getting TOO LITTLE.
If you’re metabolically challenged….
Too little might be A THING
Hedge your bets – make sure you are getting ENOUGH to keep your cells happy and healthy.
Obey the RULE OF THIRDS.
Every time you eat.
And let’s hope, this research sparks more research into what is happening to protein metabolism. It’s NOT normal and it’s complicated. Insulin and glucagon may play on opposite teams at night, but at dinner time, they’re collaborating.
Need a little guidance on how to apply the RULE OF THIRDS to your life. Join THE LAB, the Better Body Chemistry community to get the help and support you need to create BETTER BODY CHEMISTRY and BETTER HEALTH !
Are you trying to keep your appetite in check through willpower ? Make sure to load up your plate with protein if you want to stop the give me MOREs.
The incretin effect is mediated by glucagon, making it an honorary “INCRETIN” – so if you’re metabolically challenged, you must eat protein, along with your carbs
Believe it or not, your ability to put away sugar – INCREASES ! But despite this improvement, your glucose levels, won’t take a dip. It’s all thanks to glucagon
Want to discover more ways to create BETTER BODY CHEMISTRY ?