More muscle knocks out insulin resistance

muscle mass knocks out insulin resistance More muscle knocks out insulin resistance

Is your cholesterol level high ?  Do you have a belly that sticks out  ?  What about high blood pressure ?  Acne ?  Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) ?   Odds are you’re insulin resistant. 

The big problem, your cells have changed the locks on the door which allows glucose to enter them.   Insulin is the key which should open these gates, but when insulin resistance sets in, the insulin key no longer works.

Locksmiths for hire

The first group of cells to hire a locksmith and have the locks changed, are the muscle cells.  Muscles typically take up 75 % of the circulating sugar levels,  so the lock out, leaves a lot of sugar with nowhere to go.

Since high sugar levels are toxic, the body must make a plan.

The liver and fat cells try hard to mop up the excess sugar.  Both cells become fatter – the liver develops fatty liver disease (NAFLD), the fat cells, particularly the visceral ones, expand and expand and expand, as does your waist line.   Eventually these cells too call in a locksmith, so insulin no longer opens their glucose gates either – now the trouble really begins.    

Locked gates and broken keys

Exactly why cells lock down the gates is not clear,  too much “food” and too much insulin, definitely play a big part. 

The other factor that, contributes to the development of insulin resistance  is the amount of  muscle mass.   More muscle is associated with improved insulin sensitivity.

Probably because more muscles, mean more gates.  Changing the lock on lots of gates, is obviously more difficult than changing the gate on just a few, so the insulin key works better.

Glucose levels climb

Each payload of food, brings a flood of glucose.  But if the glucose gates are not swinging open when the insulin key lands in the lock, the body chemistry becomes increasingly disrupted.    

As long as the pancreas can hold out, more insulin is dispatched in an attempt to force the lock.  The programme of action works as long as the pancreas can keep up with the ever increasing demand for insulin.

Eventually, the pancreas fails.  Locked  gates cause sugar levels to rise above acceptable levels – a diagnosis of diabetes ensues.  

More gates keeps the key turning

Researchers from  the University of California have  verified that increased muscle mass, puts the locksmith out of business and protects against diabetes.

The research team assessed the amount of skeletal muscle in 13 644 people and then correlated this with their insulin sensitivity. 

The found the more muscle in a body, the better the insulin works.

Muscle mass is about fitness not fatness

The amount of muscle mass has a lot to do with how often you use your muscles.  There are muscular fat people and muscle-less thin people.

If you’re not in the habit of using your muscles,  you’re putting yourself at risk of diabetes and a host of other conditions associated with hyperinsulinemia (high levels of insulin).  

So whether you’re fat or whether you’re skinny – dedicate yourself this year to a little body building.

Relative Muscle Mass Is Inversely Associated with Insulin Resistance and Prediabetes. Findings from The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (2011)  96(9): 2898. P. Srikanthan, A. S. Karlamangla.

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Further reading

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A sleepless night stirs up insulin resistance in the healthy Your fat cells are costing you more than a beach holiday in a bikini How to choose an exercise programme you will stick with

The 7 Big Spoons™…. are master switches that turn health on.

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