Friday, July 29, 2011

[Article] Insulin Multi-Tasks

I've just learned something that is mind-blowingly helpful and informative about insulin.

Before I tell you what it is however, I want to give you a few small tidbits of background about myself.

In a nut-shell:

Diabetes runs in my family. One of my two brothers has it. My mother did have it, and reversed it through limiting refined sugars and highly sweet fruits. I have aunts and uncles who have it.

Diabetes can be triggered on and off in the genes. If you have the gene for diabetes, then you will get it if your body becomes unhealthy in particular ways. If you do not have the gene, but your body undergoes the same unhealthy habits that would cause diabetes, then you'll simply develop other issues instead.

From wikipedia: Diabetes mellitus, often simply referred to as diabetes, is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the body does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. This high blood sugar produces the classical symptoms of polyuria (frequent urination), polydipsia (increased thirst) and polyphagia (increased hunger).

Wikipedia also says "All forms of diabetes have been treatable since insulin became available in 1921, and type 2 diabetes may be controlled with medications. Both type 1 and 2 are chronic conditions that usually cannot be cured" which is a load of crap. It usually can be cured, as shown by a number of documentaries including "Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days" and "Dying to have Known" and the book "Sugar Blues" and so on.

In any case, I undoubtedly have the diabetes gene. So, if I were to "trigger" that gene, as Dr. Mark Hyman would say, then I would become a diabetic.

I react harshly to all refined sugars. White sugar, brown sugar, molasses, crystallized white stevia, maple syrup, yaccon syrup, xylitol, agave nectar, coconut sugar, etc. I have written about it in detail in many places, including my FAQ if you want the details on my reactions to sugar.

This would suggest a couple things to me: Refined sugars are bad, but also that my body has more difficulty coping with this particular toxin than most people. A harsh reaction like this is something that isn't usually developed until past middle age. Why do I have it now?

My array of sugar reactions point to thyroid, pancreas and insulin dysfunctions. Undoubtedly caused by damage from a completely cooked mal-nourished diet from birth to age seventeen, and from being repeatedly sick and put on antibiotics, combined with staying in an unclean somewhat toxic home and never getting outdoors (because I hated having to deal with heat, cold, bugs, dirt, inclines, etc)... If you want the sappy details of my incredibly unhealthy childhood I have it written out in detail along with a time-line of photos.

Now, lets explore something I've believed was unrelated.

Many people, especially me, have issues with eating high-protein foods. I talked to a woman who had gone vegan and was afraid of not getting enough protein and was eating beans twice a day in addition to nuts and she was incredibly ill. I told her to cut back to having beans once or twice a week, no more than one slice of bread a day, and no more than a few nuts a day. And her health problems vanished.

In the raw vegan community, it's known more commonly than anywhere else that the hyped up need for protein is just that, it's hype. Especially cooked proteins which are virtually impossible to utilize within the human digestive system. Notice that no other animal on the planet cooked their food, much less eats huge platters of cooked beans to get their protein. Herbivore animals have no problem building muscle with raw wild vegetation.

But why do some people, like myself, have particular issues with eating anything with high protein?

You see, if I ate a half cup of cooked beans right now, I'd wake up with a cramping, aching, lurching stomach the next morning, indicating that it would still be undigested.

To a lesser degree I react similarly to nuts. Large portions of nuts cause severe reactions from me that doesn't happen with eating similar amounts of fat from other sources. Macadamia nuts which have the least protein and the most fat never seem to give me any trouble at all.

Bread also gives me a lot of trouble in particular. White bread is around 11% protein, whole wheat/whole grain bread is around 22% protein. And we're not talking raw amino acids here, we're talking long chains of amino acids that form proteins. This is an important differentiation, because when someone says that spinach has "available protein" what they mean is that spinach has amino acids that your body may use to build protein.

Flax seeds are around 12% protein, and while I've never noticed an issue with seeds, I suspect this is only because I never eat seeds in large quantity.

Now, how is this related to what I started this entry talking about?

I've just learned that insulin does more than just regular blood sugar levels.

"Not only does insulin regulate blood-sugar levels within an extremely narrow range; it is also responsible for getting fat stored in our fat cells (adipose tissue), getting sugar stored in our liver and muscle cells (as glycogen), and getting amino acids directed toward protein synthesis (muscle building). Due to these varied actions, insulin is sometimes thought of as a “storage” hormone because it helps the body put all these great sources of energy away in their respective places for use later." From The Cortisol Connection by Shawn Talbott, PhD

This indicates that both my problem with refined sugar and my problem with protein, are really the same problem. Either I'm not producing enough insulin, or for some reason my insulin isn't being utilized very well.

I found this very fascinating, and so I've shared it with you, my wonderful reader.


~ Raederle


  1. That's an interesting connection to make--everyone loves to talk about insulin and demonize it, and recent research is showing that high levels of insulin in the blood can actually be beneficial in some circumstances.

    It's great that you're taking care of yourself and educating yourself around genetic risk factors for you.

  2. Thanks.

    It's so fascinating to learn about how everything in the body multi-tasks. We usually just learn one aspect of something, but everything performs many functions. Each vitamin and mineral is needed for many things, and each organ we have does many things. The more I learn, the more I realize how true that really is, and how important it is to understand.



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