Click to listen to the audio…
Gut bacteria influence whether insulin is part of the in crowd
You’re insulin resistant.
In short, this means, a whole host of cell types don’t play nicely with insulin.
They ignore the poor fellow. He frantically knocks on the door, but nobody opens.
And, this creates metabolic troubles for YOU ……. the most notable – a big belly. Less notable, but more ominous troubles, include
- high fat levels,
- “high” cholesterol,
- high blood pressure and
- high sugar levels
The collective name for these metabolic deviances – metabolic syndrome.
It’s a recipe for trouble………………. metabolic syndrome is implicated in heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer.
Why aren’t they playing nicely ?
A great friend to have
Insulin is a good guy.
He is tasked with putting away the groceries, after a meal, especially the sugar and amino acid molecules.
His first priority is to feed the BIG boss.
Next he worries about the body’s movers and shakers (the skeletal muscle) – so they can move and shake in the moment. And, they have more than enough supplies of sugar, to keep them going for some time. Muscles can use fat, but they prefer not to, sugar is a lot easier to burn, when you’re exercising.
Once everyone is “satisfied”, insulin arranges for the left over sugar to be stored as fat.
This is rather important, because sugar molecules circulating in the blood stream, can be a little abrasive. They cut through the special non-stick layer on the surface of blood vessels – this leads to STICKING and blocking and………….. trouble with a capital T.
As I said, insulin is a good friend to have.
Snubbed the big boys
But, in the insulin resistant – his friendship is rejected.
Unfortunately, he doesn’t respond all that graciously, to this rejection. Rather than back off, he get’s bossy ! More and more insulin arrives at the scene (hyperinsulinemia).
Insulin does get to play and EVERYONE benefits – but it is probably safe to say, the cells are not playing nicely. They’re playing because they HAVE TO.
Why don’t they want to ? What is to blame for insulin resistance ?
The IN people
In high school, there are the IN people and the OUT people. A lot of the time, the IN people are not GOOD FRIENDS per se.
But, they carry influence…….
And they use their influence, to influence opinion.
French researchers think this is what is happening in your body. Your cells are choosing who to hang out with, based on the opinion of influencers. Who are these influencers ?
The trillions of bacteria living in your gut……….
Asking for opinions about insulin
The French team assessed the opinions of gut residents, by looking at their DNA.
What made this study different from the multitude of other studies surveying gut bacteria, is the gut bacteria that were interrogated were ACTUAL gut residents, not gut bacteria that had left the building i.e. bacteria found in poop samples.
To pull this off, the team persuaded 16 obese people, some insulin resistant, some insulin sensitive, to donate bits of their appendix, while they were undergoing routine abdominal surgery.
NOTE : The appendix is considered a reservoir of gut bacteria, so the bacteria in this sample are pretty representative of who is who, in the gut zoo.
Snubbed by trillions
They found, microbial DNA patterns were different in insulin resistant and insulin sensitive individuals.
Implying the bacteria hanging out in the gut are influencers.
Under their INFLUENCE, insulin is either in the IN CROWD or the OUT CROWD.
Gut bacteria to blame for insulin resistance
In insulin resistant peeps, the resident bacteria have ganged up and decided, insulin is NOT COOL. Since body cells, don’t want to break social protocol………….. they too treat insulin as a social pariah, shunning his advances.
Ag, shame ! Help insulin feel part of the team………….
Make sure you’re feeding , seeding and not accidentally or deliberately, weeding your gut microbiome, to encourage the “right” bacteria to take up residence.
In the insulin resistant, its thought that insulin arrives at the cell’s glucose gate, but the gate doesn’t open. What if insulin never makes it to the gate ?
Low grade inflammation, is responsible for the metabolic upheavals of insulin resistance. Putting the fire out, should be our body’s priority, but it’s not….
The short answer…….your digestive system, notifies your brain, in lots of little ways. Some are more helpful than others. You gut bacteria are very helpful.