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Tough times cause insulin resistance
If you’re insulin resistant THIS IS TROUBLE. You and your doctor, consider the insulin resistance to be PATHOLOGICAL i.e. a disease.
But, is it ?
What if insulin resistance is really a clever strategy, to survive TOUGH TIMES.
And it is the TOUGH TIMES, that make you insulin resistant.
A body at war
Well, intuitively know, that surviving TOUGH TIMES, depends on having the necessary RESOURCES. Our immune system, produces sophisticated weapons, but these weapons are useless, without boots on the ground.
And a very famous General once noted, the troops MUST BE FED….
Starting with the CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES ! The brain.
Then the soldiers on the ground.
The lymphocytes and macrophages, who are the cells, doing the actual work.
Next, you need someone organizing the distribution of scarce resources, during TOUGH TIMES, so it pays to keep the quartermaster happy.
In war, everyone else is expendable…..
Feeding the masses or not
The quickest way to descent, is hunger. You do need to feed THE EVERYONE ELSE, failure to do so, could cause a riot.
But when resources are tight, it’s a balancing act…. is this what insulin resistance is ?
The adjustable threshold hypothesis
This is what a Chinese computational biologist, proposes. Using mathematical modelling of clinical data, Guanyu Wang formulated the adjustable threshold hypothesis.
Now the central tenet of the hypothesis is that cells, don’t all respond the same way to insulin.
It’s an intriguing idea, based on the viewpoint, that insulin is running the body’s stores – and when supplies are low, INSULIN MAKES A PLAN.
Introducing FOOD STAMPS
When supplies are low, it is a good idea, to ration the scarce resources, this way ……
- The general and his army, KNOW, they will not be expected to march on an empty stomach.
- Everyone else KNOWS, they will not go hungry, some food will be allocated to service their needs.
Of course, the level of need, has to be carefully calculated, so on paper at least, each individual gets what they need. Well sort of – let’s be REAL, you’re getting less than you would prefer, on a rationing system, but you are getting !
Insulin resistance is a rationing system
In insulin resistance there is plenty of insulin floating about, but for some largely unknown reason, the cells choose to ignore the cries of insulin.
Instead of responding, by assembling glucose gates, the cells DO NOTHING !
This lack of response is seen as RESISTING insulin.
But, what if cells are not “defying” insulin per se, what if, they’re just simply waiting their turn ?
Insulin the store man
Insulin’s principal job, is to distribute the nutrients that come in, since sugar is the MOST desirable nutrient, much of his attention is focused on sugar’s distribution.
Privileged cells don’t ASK insulin for their sugar ration – they simply take what they need.
If your brain cells don’t eat – you’re HISTORY.
Likewise the troops, don’t queue for their ration, they’re too busy in the trenches, ensuring YOUR SURVIVAL. This means insulin, only controls the sugar supplies, for the less privileged, the “expendable”. Which in body terms, is the liver, muscle and fat cells, in that order.
So how does it work ?
The door is open or closed
Insulin interacts with these cells through the insulin receptor. Think of it, like a door. Insulin knocks…..
Either the cell opens the door, or it doesn’t.
Biologically speaking, this is an ALL or NOTHING response.
If the cells, open the door, insulin is able to step through the door and make things happen.
NOTE : He is rather bossy – The thing, that he makes happen, is he gets the glucose gates assembled………….allowing for a sugar delivery.
Knocking on the door
To open that door, you need to HEAR the “knocking”….
So step one, is for insulin to knock on the door, but there is a catch. When supplies of sugar are tight, he creeps around, quietly knocking on doors, where he wants to make a delivery.
Delivering to the quartermaster (the liver) is helpful, delivering to a muscle cell is a liability.
NOTE : Muscle cells are capable of blowing through large quantities of sugar in minutes. And, unlike the liver, they never GIVE IT BACK !
This “quiet” knocking is strategic. Insulin knows….
Some cells are hard of hearing
- Liver cells can hear a pin drop.
- Fat cells are as deaf as a post.
- And muscle cells are somewhere in between.
So when insulin is creeping about, in stealth mode, knocking on doors, liver cells are quick to respond. Muscle and fat cells don’t hear A THING !
When the sugar flows
It’s time to distribute the sugar more widely.
More insulin is dispatched. There is now knocking in stereo.
This knocking can be heard by the muscle cell, who happily takes a sugar delivery…..
To get fat cells to hear insulin, is a little more challenging.
It takes a couple of insulin molecules, knocking and shouting, to finally get the fat cells , to open their door and take the delivery.
A job well done
Insulin can sit back and relax.
He has done his job, the sugar delivery has been made. Everyone has been supplied.
But war is a noisy business
As the store man, insulin goes about the body, making his deliveries, with a knock-knock here and a knock-knock there. His knocks, have not really changed…..
But what is happening INSIDE the cell impacts it’s hearing.
And WAR is inherently NOISY.
To make routine sugar deliveries, insulin must knock LOUDER, which requires more insulin to be circulating. Tough times impede sugar delivery.
Blame TOUGH TIMES for insulin resistance ?
The adjustable threshold hypothesis, suggests insulin resistance is completely normal…
And how much insulin resistance occurs, depends on just how tough things are.
So the solution to insulin resistance……………..
Begins with a quiet life
NOTE : Scientists know in the insulin resistant, there is low grade inflammation…….. they’re just not sure, who the body is fighting ! Stressed out fat cells have been implicated, so have the gut flora and AGEs.
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….
Jo Soap was skinny, ate “right”, exercised, yet he dropped down dead from a heart attack. How could this be ? His BMI betrayed him.