Understanding the above artistic rendering of insulin resistance –  Insulin (green) binding to the insulin receptor (violet) activates the transport of glucose (yellow) into the cell.

The following summary of insulin resistance is taken from the excellent summary article by Drs. Cordain and Eades:

Hyperinsulinemic diseases of civilization: more than just Syndrome X
Loren Cordain*, Michael R. Eades, Mary D. Eades  Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A 136 (2003) 95–112

What is insulin resistance?

Insulin resistance is a well-recognized metabolic disturbance that is at the root cause of  the “diseases of civilization” which are obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and coronary artery disease. Abnormalities of blood  clotting and high uric acid also appear to be due to high fat  diet and insulin resistance. Insulin is a well-established growth-promoting hormone which leads to weight gain and obesity. High fasting  blood insulin causes a shift in a number of endocrine pathways that may favor unregulated tissue growth leading to additional illnesses. Specifically, high blood insulin elevates serum concentrations of free insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and androgens (testosterone), while simultaneously reducing sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). These endocrine shifts alter cellular proliferation and growth in a variety of tissues, the clinical course of which may promote acne, early menarche, certain epithelial cell carcinomas, increased stature, myopia, cutaneous papillomas (skin tags), acanthosis nigricans, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and male vertex balding. Consequently, these illnesses and conditions may, in part, have hyperinsulinemia at their root cause.

The following video by Dr. Michael Greger is an excellent visual summary of the cause of insulin resistance, which is essentially eating too much fat and overloading the fat storage site in muscle cells.

 

Insulin Resistance: Prediabetes and type 2 diabetes are caused by a drop in insulin sensitivity blamed on “intramyocellular lipid,” the buildup of fat inside our muscle cells.

 

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