Insulin matters


Does too much insulin contribute to the cause of common obesity? Yes, almost certainly.

Here’s another high-profile study pointing to insulin’s role in obesity: Rats genetically modified to secrete less insulin from their pancreas stay slim even on a diet that makes other rats fat. Apart from the pancreatic insulin there was no difference between the slim (low insulin) and the fat (high insulin) rats.

The researchers, publishing the study in the high-impact journal Cell Metabolism, conclude that too much fat-storing insulin is a necessary cause of common diet-induced obesity (press release).

Granted, this was a study in rats. We are not rats. However, in humans the main cause of elevated insulin is eating too much carbohydrates. So it’s no coincidence that low carb diets consistently outperform other diets for weight loss.

Insulin matters. A lot.

Earlier: The #1 Cause of Obesity: Insulin

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  1. Zepp
    First of all I have to make an apoligy to you.. becuse of my sloppy reading.. you reveal your opinion in #89.

    And I do have the same opininon.. and to that.. some people that are obese do often have a insulin resistance.. more or less!

    No one do deny that eating to much calories make one gain weight.. at least no one serious!

    Its more about if eating junkfood with a lot of sugars and processed carbs.. and without essentiall nutrients do make you eating to much?

    And if that make you getting in a state of diet induced hyperinsulinemia?

    Like this study above.. and I think that its a pain in the back fore somone how deny any biochemikal explanation!

  2. grinch
    Zepp, if sugars and processed carbs are the cause of overeating, why must one go on a low carb diet to correct the issue? Why not just remove all processed carbs and added sugars?

    Look at this study. Basically compares the LF Ornish diet with Atkins and a few others. Notice that there is little difference between diets as far as glucose, insulin, and even weight loss goes. Seems adherence to the diet and amount of calorie restriction is what matters, and other studies will vouch that even Atkins has poor adherence over the long haul.

    And where is the evidence that hyperinsulinemia 1) precedes obesity and/or IR, or 2) is even necessary for obesity to occur?

    Reply: #116
  3. FrankG
    First off a reminder that LOW Carb does not equal NO Carb. Check out the menu suggestions here on Dr Eenfeldt's site and you will see plenty of green leafy veg. which contain carbohydrates, as do berries and dairy... even steak can come with glucagon.

    Beyond that, what is left? Bread, pasta and even rice (polished as we get it) ARE refined starches, so that potentially leaves just fruit and root vegetables. Most modern fruit, as found in Western supermarkets (despite Denise Minger's excellent expose) has basically been bred to be large and sweet... one might as well be eating candy. And many modern varieties of potatoes (for example) are similalry hybridized to maximise starch and potentially lower other nutrients.

    BUT that is not to say that YOU cannot eat these natural whole foods. My 22 year old son eats sweet potatoes, for example and being at University occasionally has beer and pizza! :-0 The operative word there being "occasionally"... pizza is not his everyday staple.

    Remember that many folks who seek out this kind of dietary intervention, are looking to improve their overall health after possibly decades of bad advice and irreversible damage. In my one case I can no longer tolerate even the carbs from starchy root vegetables without health consequences. We each have to figure out what works for ourselves.

    You toss around "LC" as if it is a global term which means the same number to everybody. ALL it means is that: as a percentage of energy consumed, Carbohydrates are lower than Fat and Protein. For someone like me, with an already broken metabolism and unable to tolerate starchy vegetables or fruit (other than occasional berries) to eat a natural, whole food diet that was HIGH Carb would mean mountains of greens which I could not possibly finish in a day... try it for yourself.

    I agree that adherence to the diet is important but after 25+ years of trying every other approach, I started LCHF 4+ years ago and have not looked back since. For me it was almost too easy... it felt as if I should have been eating this way my whole life. I see no reason why I cannot eat this way for the rest of my life. I miss nothing about the way I used to eat, nor do I have any cravings. I eat tasty, wholesome, nutritious food which leaves me totally satisfied. I eat until I am satisfied without having to count calories, carbs, or anything! AND if you spent any time reading just the comments here and at Gary Taubes' blog you will find hundreds, if not thousands, of similar testimonials... all of which makes a lie of the so often repeated "poor adherence over the long haul"

  4. grinch
    Its not a lie that adherence is poor.

    "Overall compliance at month-24 was 85%, with 90% in low-fat, 85% in Mediterranean, and 78% in low-carbohydrate diet (p = .042 between groups). "

    "After 6 months, individuals randomized to low-carbohydrate diets were more likely to complete the trial than were individuals randomized to low-fat diets (156 [70%] of 222 individuals randomized to low-carbohydrate diets vs 129 [57%] of 225 individuals randomized to low-fat diets; odds ratio, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.2-2.6). After 12 months, this difference was no longer significant (84 [62%] of 135 individuals vs 72 [54%] of 134 individuals; odds ratio, 1.4; 95% CI, 0.9-2.3)."

    "Subjects on the low-carbohydrate diet had lost more weight than subjects on the conventional diet at 3 months (mean [±SD], –6.8±5.0 vs. –2.7±3.7 percent of body weight; P=0.001) and 6 months (–7.0±6.5 vs. –3.2±5.6 percent of body weight, P=0.02), but the difference at 12 months was not significant (–4.4±6.7 vs. –2.5±6.3 percent of body weight, P=0.26)."

    So what seems to happen with low carb dieters after 12-24 months? I know with my own experience that a low carb diet helped curb my hunger for about 6 months, and then my body somehow adapted to it and I started getting hungrier and eventually gained some weight. Then I trashed the diet and instead focused more on whole foods regardless of macros, and generously consuming frozen blueberries and mixed berries and just recently had my cholesterol and glucose checked and apparently I'm in stellar health.

    Oh and just so you know, while I was in ketosis, it completely destroyed my libido. The only time I've ever had a reduced libido was on this ketogenic diet. And it was quite obvious because I would have occasional cheat weekends and it would come right back as soon as the carbs start coming in.

    While the dangers of ketogenic diets and even their negative impact on athletic performance is highly exaggerated (I ran a marathon on a ketogenic diet), they certainly aren't optimal by any means.

  5. FrankG
    So you interpret the LCHF diet as starting off with better results up to 6 months but dropping down to the SAME LEVEL as low-fat by 12 months as "poor adherence"? Seriously you need to re-read the studies you just quoted. But I expect you will just continue to ignore the testimonials of so many on blogs such as these... many like me with far more than 24 months under my belt.

    And yet at the same time you think your own n=1 experience trumps everything anybody else says?!? Well I guess for you it does but like I said above you're not really impressing anybody here and you're certainly not proving that I am wrong either.

    So now we've switched tack to "ketogenic diet" slippery customer aren't we? "Low-carb" does not necessarily equal "ketogenic" but so long as you keep moving the goal posts the more you can feel like you win the internet I guess! LOL :-)

  6. FrankG
    As suspected the last study you cite was sabotaged as so many are by allowing the amount of carbohydrate to creep back up...

    "For the first two weeks, carbohydrate intake is limited to 20 g per day and is then gradually increased until a stable and desired weight is achieved" little wonder that the weight loss stopped and allowed the other diet to almost catch up.

    The researchers also describe the diet as "low-carbohydrate, high-protein, high-fat diet" which displays a singular misunderstanding of the LCHF approach (NOT High Protein).

    Both these mistakes are common in many of the studies out there... so common that a suspicious person might even think they were set up to fail.

    Of course the next obvious blunder is to focus on "weight"... if all I wanted to do was to lose weight, I could have just cut off my leg. I'd prefer to see figures for fat and lean mass differences.

    On the other hand they do say on the Conclusions "The low-carbohydrate diet was associated with a greater improvement in some risk factors for coronary heart disease." Which indeed matches my own experience and that of many others.

    So despite the above described potential for sabotage, the "low-carb" diet started off much better (which can be a great morale booster), overall it worked at least as well as the "conventional" diet and at the end of the day improved health markers more... but as with so many free-living studies not all the participants saw it through. You can feel free to interpret that any which way you like but it all sounds worthy of follow up to me :-)

  7. grinch
    If adherence wasn't an issue, how can you explain the lack of differentiating results at 12+ months? Maybe you're right and that its not a matter of adherence, but maybe the body adapts to it and redefines what it considers to be rewarding foods (ie. Guyenet's hypothesis) such that the person starts eating more calories from LC foods, halting their progress and plateauing or even gaining. Seems on the LC message boards plateauing is still a huge issue for many.

    Also since the conventional diet(s) are pretty much based on bad science (considering whole grains healthy and saturated fats unhealthy), I would expect LC to be a healthier alternative. But I still don't consider it optimal because it requires the dieter to reduce the consumption of perfectly healthy, nutrient-rich, antioxidant-rich fruits such as blueberries because of the bad science that says insulin-spiking foods are bad.

  8. Why on earth do you people read these Internet gurus for obesity information?

    WHY don't all of you look to actual researchers such as Dr. Rudolph Liebel, Dr. Douglas Coleman, Dr. Jeffrey Friedman and Dr. Michael Rosenbaum. Watch their lectures. These men are pioneers, leading the field and educating other scientists and doctors, as well as the public.

    All of these Internet gurus are full of laughable misinformation. Mark Sisson is a scamming crackpot salesmen who does not know his anus from a hole in the ground. Where is his uncertainty? These gurus are far too sure and far too certain. Their attitude is the ANTITHESIS to science. Complete certitude is a tell tale sign of a charlatan. Both Mark Sisson and Anthony Colpo have this.

    Science is NOT about absolute certainty. REAL scientists admit to CONSIDERABLE UNCERTAINTY and VAST UNKNOWNS.

    In science, BOTH theories and laws can be shown to be wrong if there are data to suggest it.

    Reply: #156
  9. Obesity is NOWHERE near being solved. When Internet gurus make a claim ( to be able to cure obesity) that genuine, respected scientists cannot do, THAT SHOULD RAISE A RED FLAG IMMEDIATELY.

    The cure for obesity is perhaps several lifetimes away. The unknowns about this DISEASE are far greater than any knowns. If you want job security, get a job in obesity research.

  10. Johan
    " Mark Sisson is a scamming crackpot salesmen who does not know his anus from a hole in the ground. "
    Source for this?
  11. Cat
    Simple Obesity is the result of eating too much carbohydrate and fat in a period of time. Since fats (bar SCFA and MCFA) stimulate ASP and carbs (especially refined ones) stimulate insulin, these elements synergistically encourage adipose growth.
  12. Johan

    Are you really that dumb? Sisson, Colpo McDonald- ALL SCAMMERS.

    If YOU understood science, you would know NONE of these men admit much uncertainty and vast unknowns. You would not be on their sites in the first place. They are all cocksure. This is a HALLMARK of charlatans. This is a dead giveaway that they are NOT genuine scientists.

    Their information is comprised of "knowledge" that has been DISCARDED by real scientists such as Dr. Jeffrey Friedman.

    Use you brian. THAT is your source.

    Seriously educate yourself. The University of Calfornia at Berkeley has an excellent site about what science is and the COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS people have. Sisson holds many of these misconceptions and so does Colpo.

    Start learning from the RESEARCHERS THEMSELVES, NOT Mark Sisson, Anthony Colpo and other completely clueless crackpots.

  13. Here is another source from a man smart enough not to be taken in as you were:

    My "SOURCE" is that these Internet salesmen are making claims to be able to do ( cure obesity) what the world's best respected scientists cannot. THAT SHOULD RAISE A RED FLAG IMMEDIATELY to anybody who is educated and understand the essence of science.

    People like Sisson and Colpo prey on GULLIBLE and STUPID people for monetary gain. Their victims are NOT scientifically literate at all and neither are their gurus

  14. FrankG
    Another look at insulin's role: from Peter over at Hyperlipid...

    for example " physiological levels brain insulin increases peripheral lipogenesis and decreases lipolysis. Did you think insulin would do the opposite through the brain compared to what it does in the periphery?"

    Oh and BTW.. in case I forgot to say It's the Insulin, Stupid!

  15. grinch
    Insulin regulates fatty acids and glucose in the blood, not in the adipose tissue. So when insulin is hypersecreted, its because there is too much glucose or fatty acids in the blood which is a result of insulin resistance. So much for the "internal starvation" nonsense that insulin is locking away fat and starving cells.

    Whether insulin is inhibiting lipolysis is irrelevant because fatty acids are continuously being released and re-stored again when they aren't oxidized (ie. the body doesn't need the energy).

    Since insulin doesn't appear to dictate the body's energy needs, it makes sense why metabolic ward studies show the composition of the diet and its effect on insulin levels appears to make no difference as far as calorie balance goes.

    Reply: #117
  16. Zepp
    Well I can tell you that swedish youths get about 25% of there energy from candy, sodas, cakes and such a things.. and on top of that they often eat an diet dominated of carbs!

    If one can reduce or get rid of those first 25%, then they probably can eat the rest, if its from ordinary home cooked meals.. but thats probably not that certain at all.. if its from ordinary home cookings!

    I do think this is the same in USA, or worse?

    And who says that LCHF is the cure for everything.. and for everyone?

    Its an alternative.. mostly fore those how alredy have a metabolic problem, obesety, bad eating habits or mindless eating for comfort!

    Well this study says that hyperinsulinemia comes before IR.. and I think this is what make you react.. probably becuse its contradict your own thoughts about it??

    I dont realy care.. its another piece in the pussle, probably only a piece.. not the whole explanation!

  17. Zepp
    I dont know were you get those facts from.. I never seeing anything about that Insulin reacting on blood fat levels?

    Insulin is the major regulator of esterification and reesterification of triglycerids.. what I do read.. and is regulated mostly by blood glucose levels?

    So it acts as the major regulator of net fat storage.. thats no secret!

  18. js290
    Well, it also fails to biochemically explain why "palatable" foods bias input energy towards storage rather than expenditure.
  19. grinch

    So in this paper, if NEFA levels are higher in the obese and also in the insulin resistant, how can insulin be locking away fat leading to internal starvation?

  20. FrankG
    Check the URL...

    File not available. [S0029665197000293a.pdf] time=1356960079 [eopocc=1357112714]/app/cjo/content/PNS/PNS56_02/

    But without having yet seen which paper this is, I'd suggest that the answer is: because you are assuming that these end-states of Obesity or IR magically appear overnight... you are failing to consider how that state was reached over many months, years, or decades of high insulin levels.

  21. FrankG
    By definition: Insulin Resistance (IR) means that cells (liver, muscles, fat/adipose) are resisting the normal control of insulin.

    If that normal control includes inhibiting lipolysis -- slowing down, or stopping the breakdown of stored triglycerides into free fatty acids (NEFAs)... as is well established in any physiology text -- then with IR there will be an increased level of lipolysis BUT we didn't suddenly get to this state overnight.

    You seem to think that short term studies, or a meal to meal comparison is enough to disprove what others have observed in a clinical setting with real human beings over many years.

    You're disproving nothing.. It's the Insulin, Stupid

  22. FrankG
    If you moved to live alongside a busy highway, I daresay you would find it hard to sleep at first, due to the higher levels of road noise BUT over time (days, weeks months, years) you would adjust and "down-regulate" your response to that traffic noise, such that you'd hardly noticed it any more. Some people in similar circumstances, have to take white-noise generators with them when traveling to quieter paces, so that they can get to sleep.

    It makes perfect sense to me that the body does the same in the constant presence of high levels of insulin -- as will result from a diet high in sugar and refined starches -- the body will (over time) "down-regulate" its response to insulin and become resistant to its control... IR. Some people with IR have to inject extra insulin so that they can function "normally"... especially if they continue to eat a diet high in sugar and refined starches

  23. FrankG
    Insulin Resistance is NOT a binary state... it is not the case that you either have it completely, or you don't have it at all... there is a range.

    Think again of the busy street dwellers. Imagine (if you can) that after they have adapted to the normal flow of car traffic, a new container port is opened and now there is an increased flow of 18-wheelers trucks... they could eventually re-adjust. Now the local airport opens a new runway and they find themselves directly under the flight path.... again, given time, they adjust their response to the stimuli. Even now they might still perk up at the sirens of emergency vehicles. Do you see how it goes?

    In the same way: a diet high in sugar and refined starches leads to higher levels of insulin. At first this only requires a little adjustment.. after all we would have evolved with seasons where there might be an abundance of berries for example... so we are adapted to handle this in the short term. BUT if that onslaught of sugar and refined starches continues unabated the body can be overwhelmed. Constant high sugar leads to constant high insulin (which is damaging to the body) so in an effort to protect themselves the cells down-regulate their response to insulin and IR begins... just a bit at first BUT now in order to get insulin to do its job, we need to secrete even more of it... more insulin->more IR->more insulin->etc... in a vicious cycle, that for many ends with beta-cell burnout and Type 2 Diabetes

    MEANTIME but over many months, years, or decades: much metabolic damage has occurred, including (most likely) obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia... and all the other hallmarks of metabolic syndrome.

    For you to simply focus on that end stage and say "Soooooo...!" is your mistake and why you are not convincing anyone around here.

    Of course our busy street dwellers do have an alternative solution... they could move away from all that noise. :-) Which, guessing I'll need to spell it out for you, means that they could stop eating a diet high is sugar and refined starches! How early they make this change and how much damage has already occurred will of course impact how far they need to move away from the noise.

  24. grinch
    Since increased fat mass is associated with increased IR, why doesn't the IR process itself prevent obesity from occuring? Since IR leads to higher levels of NEFAs, how do you reconcile that with Taubes' hypothesis that says the reason insulin causes increased food intake is because of internal cellular starvation as a result of fat locked away? Fat can only be locked away if hyperinsulinemia occurs in someone who has insulin sensitive adipocytes. But that's not the case in most who are obese. So why do they continue increasing both fat mass and IR, because IR is caused by increased fat mass, not the other way around. Which means something besides insulin is causing overeating to occur. Maybe we should focus instead on leptin, the actual regulator of fat stores.
  25. Zepp
    grinch, dont you know anything?

    What you descripe is metabolic syndrome, and or prediabetes!

    After a long time with hyperinsulinemia one get obese and have constantly eleveted blood sugar!

    At some point ones body cant excrete enough insulin to get the blood sugar down and get the fat stay in fattcells.. the lipolysis is higher then insulin can manage.

    One get both high blood sugarn and high blood lipids.. its metabolic syndrome!

    And for sure.. moste peopel altso have other dysfunctions, like high blood presure!

    Thats not a secret eighter!

  26. FrankG
    As well as being on a continuum (i.e. NOT binary) IR can occur in different tissues at different rates (look it up for yourself). So consider the scenario where it occurs later in fat cells... increased IR in muscles, drives up the insulin as the body tries to compensate but all that extra insulin is increasing DNL (fat creation and storage) and reducing lipolysis -> adding to fat storage while locking away energy leading to cellular starvation. People with low energy who are continually hungry, despite having just eaten, while getting fatter... sound familiar?!

    In others instances the fat tissues may develop IR sooner and this could explain why only 80% of those diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes are obese by the time they are diagnosed -- long after the damage is already done BTW.

    It seems that you are still stuck thinking about snapshots and end-states, instead of the road leading to those states. None of this happens overnight.. it takes many years; although many unfortunate children are getting an head start by having hyperinsulinemia in the womb.. all thanks to the currently accepted wisdom.

    Focus on leptin all you want... how will you change yours? I know how I can change my insulin requirements and maintain my health today!

  27. None of my physicist friends think much of these Internet shsyters such as Lyle McDonald. Humans are OPEN SYSTEMS - O - P - E - N SYSTEMS. The caloric hypothesis posits a closed system WHERE NONE EXISTS.

    Mice CAN become OBESE WITHOUT consuming more claories. At least 4 other studies show this:

    The claoric hypothesis is a DEAD HORSE in the world of science.

    Much remains to be learned about energy and matter. With the disoveries of DARK MATTER and DARK ENERGY this will illuminate our udnerstanding of phnysics.

    We have reason to suspect the first law is a special case applying ONLY under specific circumstances and not others.It is even possible it may be discarded eventually.

    Energy Is NOT Conserved by Dr. Sean Carrol

    In our expanding universe energy is NOT conserved

    Obesity is a BIOLOGICAL PROBLEM of fat cell failure and disregulation.

    In science, laws are NOT immutable. In fact, the JOB of physicists is to show the results in which our current understanding of physics is WRONG. From there, the newer "less wrong" theories develop.In science, laws are NOT immutable. That is not even a property of a law. There is NO HEIRARCHY WHATSOEVER between theories and laws.

    In science, BOTH theories AND laws can be shown to be wrong at some time if there are data to suggest it.

  28. Lyle McDonald is NOT an obesity expert and does NOT understand physics at all. He MISUSES it and takes it out of context to SOUND scientific and sell books. He also does not understand science in general. He is attempting to oversimplify and EXTREMELY COMPLEX BIOLOGICAL PHENOMENON.

    HUmans are OPEN SYSTEMS which We can exchane energy with out surroundings. We ALSO can exchange matter.

    For example, when we breathe we are changning the numbers of atoms/molecules in our bodies.

    Nature does NOT have to "obey" ANYTHING . That is NOT how it works.

  29. grinch
    Too bad hyperinsulinemia seems to be almost nonexistent without insulin resistance.

    Surely you can show me compelling evidence that people would most likely have IR in the muscles and not the adipocytes, which must be the case in the majority of the overweight population if hyperinsulinemia is indeed the cause of obesity.

  30. FrankG
    Your paper shows that "Although not perfectly related, insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia rarely exist in isolation in a nondiabetic population."

    Earlier you were arguing for increased fat mass as the cause of IR... have you now changed your tune? The study you cite could be used to support my position that IR results from a down-regulation mechanism, to compensate for high levels of insulin (hyperinsulinemia). Show me where the study shows all the subjects as obese... otherwise why do they have IR? I read them described as "...a healthy, nondiabetic population."

    I did not say there is "IR in the muscles and not the adipocytes" but rather that there are different levels of IR in these tissues.

    Why am I wasting my time with you and why are you wasting your time here?

  31. grinch
    So are you or are you not saying that hyperinsulinemia precedes or even causes IR? If not, then what causes IR in the first place?
    Reply: #133
  32. Zepp
    You aint getting it at all?

    In the begining is high glycemic load, and the muscle cells protect them self from overload, they cant store more glucose.. others they get damaged!

    Its almost about allocation of GLUT4 in muscle cells, if the cell is fully loaded it retract its GLUT4!

    Other thissuie dont do this, like the liver.. its supose to convert hyperglycemia to fat and/or glycogen.

    "Surprisingly. skeletal muscle does not develop major clinical complications in the course of ustained diabetes. This raises the possibility that this tissue may have protective mechanisms that prevent the buildup of harmful glucose derivatives. Of course, an important Inherent mechanism of muscle that could partake in this protective action is the fact that glucose transport Is rate limiting In glucose utilization by muscle, with the consequence that glucose does not build up in the muscle sarcoplasm"

    Its a protective mesure.. and the consecvense is hyperinsulinemia, obesety, fatty liver, and in the long run diabetes!

  33. Zepp
    Chesus.. its not we saying this.. its this study.. thats saying that hyperinsulinemia comes before obesety!!

    I gues it can develop in a lot of ways!

    And to make you awake to night.. I can tell you that eating a LCHF diet altso make muscell cells insulin resistante.. and this is altso perfectly normal reaction fore sparing glucose for the brain and red blood cells!!

    But its a temporary condition.. as long you eating verry little carbs!

  34. grinch
    So what about the 20% of the obese population that have normal levels of insulin? Without the insulin hypothesis applying to them, must it be the gluttony and sloth hypothesis?
  35. FrankG

    What were their insulin levels as they changed from being lean to being obese?

  36. Zepp
    No it must not, like those how eat a high carb diet and not getting obese or even get high insulin levels.. its this normal variation in a population!

    The insulin hypotese is about whats the "major cause" of obesety, diabetes, metabilic syndrome and such a conditions rather related to glucose metabolism.

    Its about higher insulin levels as a outcome of a high carb diet.. for more and more people.. its about incidens!

    And one cant exclude that gluttony is a part of it at all, its more about that its more complicated then that!

    For instance, Leptin resistance is another discussed problem, lower lipolysis activity is another.

    Bad eating habits, eating for comfort and a lot of other behavior disturbances.

    But, but.. one should make a differens betwen behavioral and metabolic disturbances, and they can exacerbate each other.

    Its never black or white!

  37. The genetic component and heritability of obesity is greater than any other medical condition studied by science. Obesity is as heritable as height or only the tiniest smidgen under.

    A formal way to phrase this would be: 80 % to 90 % of the variance in obesity CAN BE ASCRIBED TO GENETIC FACTORS.

    This is what the best qualty science from Dr. Jeffrey Friedman , Dr. Douglas Coleman ( retired) Dr. Rudolph Liebel and Dr. Michael Rosenbaum has found.

    Scientists are nowhere near a cure. It may not even happen in a lifetime.

    The Internet people excell at arguing "what cheese the moon is made of." This is exactly what NON- experts Lyle McDonald and Anthony Colpo do. Their misinformation is laughable.

  38. Add to this fact that at least 15 % ( and Dr. Friedman has strong reason to believe the number is significantly greater) of severe obesity is entirely due to mutations in one of these four genes:


    *NPY LEPRb


    *aMSH LEPRb

    Keep in mind that this is at least a 10 fold or higer mutation rate to explain disease than is the case for ANY other complex medical condition such as coronary heart disease or hypertension

    Science is moving FAR AWAY from the discredited caloric/moral hypothesis of obesity and TOWARD :



    Scientists do not understand at all the chemical behvaior of fat cell receptors. And scientists know only a little about the disregulation of fat cells ( such as some things that can do this).

    Scientists are NOWHERE near a cure for obesity. It may take more than a lifetime.

  39. grinch

    Ironically I find Stephan Guyenet's hypothesis on obesity much closer to reality than Lyle McDonald and Anthony Colpo's behavioral models of obesity, but why you seem to equate one who who skeptical of the insulin hypothesis as being a believer in the behavior model is beyond me.

    McDonald and Colpo's audience is those who want to reach optimal fitness. You don't become physically fit by livin la vida Jimmy Moore, who has continually struggled for how many years despite being on a keto diet. While I know first hand that being on a keto diet does not generally impair endurance performance among the non-elite, it does impair muscular strength and it is most certainly unecessary for the majority of dieters to be on this type of diet, given that they are capable of comprehending the difference between good foods that are high in carbs and bad foods that are high in carbs. Blaming the high carb nature of a diet per se is contradictory to numerous cultures including our own, who were also eating high carb diets a hundred years ago without an obesity epidemic.

  40. Gary Taubes is a very smart man. He is far smarter than any of his attackers.

    Forget obesity for a second. I am not talking about obesity for now:

    Do you want to live as long as possible and stave off aging and slow it down? Cynthia Kenyon is a geneticist from the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California at San Francisco.

    She herself follws a LOW GLYCEMIC diet. LOW GLYCEMIC way of eating is what SCIENCE supports thus far.

    Remember this woman is an actual scientist who STUDIES this topic. People who study ging see the damage INSULIN and diets that cause the body to quickly convert food to sugar.

    Insulin surges are bad news. There were studies on centenarians and the one thing they all had in common were LOWER insulin levels. Insulin surges DEACTIVATE the (centenarian) GENE that allows poeple to live to 100.

    This woman looks DAMN GOOD for 55.

    Here is what she does:


    Gary Taubes looks MUCH better and YOUNGER for his age than Colpo does for his. Colpo actually looks OLD in the face, while Gary looks young.

    I was schocked at how old Colpo looks and how much he has aged from his ( looks poorly photoshopped) 2005 picture in the FACE.

    There are many MYTHS on the Internet about various cultures' diets.

    P.S. Here is my obesity comment:

    Obesity is more today than before , however it is not "epidemic." Obesity has always been wth us- since at least 26,000 B.C. that we know of directly. People are just more sensitized to obesity now and notice it more because of the media.

  41. grinch
    "She herself follws a LOW GLYCEMIC diet. LOW GLYCEMIC way of eating is what SCIENCE supports thus far."

    You do realize Colpo also recommends a low glycemic diet, right?

    Here are some more problems I have with insulin being a major cause of obesity.

    "A higher fasting serum insulin level is associated with an increased REE, which may prevent further weight gain in nondiabetic patients with schizophrenia."

    Since higher fasting serum insulin levels are what everyone says are the cause of obesity, how in the world is that associated with increased REE??

    "It was shown that wide variations in the ratio of carbohydrate to fat do not alter total 24-h energy need"

    Doesn't insulin cause energy expenditure to decrease since it is a "disorder of fat accumulation", ie. calories being inappropriately partitioned as fat? So then it must decrease EE in order to comply with the physical laws of the universe.

    On satiety:

    Carbohydrate meals are just as satiating as fat meals, if not more so?

    How the heck can people flame me for rejecting the IH with so much non-supportive evidence that Taubes would prefer to ignore than to address?

    Reply: #146
  42. FrankG
    @grinch (or whatever anoymous name you chose today)... "How the heck can people flame me for rejecting the IH..." blah blah blah... ahhh... poor baby... because it IS the Insulin, Stoopid!

    You get flamed because you bring NOTHING NEW to the discussion. You parrot Guyenet and Colpo as if their words were gospel... didn't one of them write "the bible"?

    Your arguments are all based on straw men... WHO EXACTLY here is stating that high FASTING insulin does anything, who exactly is arguing the insulin per se does this that or the other... or that carbohydrates per se... blah blah blah...

    It is tiresome and OH SO BORING that you keep offering challenges to the straw men positions which ONLY YOU posit in the first place, while steadfastly ignoring the reasoned responses.

  43. Zepp
    Well grinch it seems that you is reading some sort of bible.. without understanding human fysiology!

    First.. GI is a minor part of the concept of GL!

    It means that one should eat less of high GI to avoid sugar spikes and a high glycemic load!

    Becuse of our limited capability of handling high glycemic loads.

    Our abilitys to store glucose is limited.. and the ability to convert it to fat is even more limited.

    And if you is a healty person that have higher then normal insulin levels.. its means that you have high glucose levels.. thats no secret!

    And higher then normal levels of glucose is toxic.. then the body tryes to burn of the some of it.

    One get an uppregulation of futile cycles!

  44. grinch

    I am referring to Taubes' hypothesis that chronically elevated levels of insulin play a major role in causing common obesity because they indicate a "fat accumulation disorder" where energy is partitioned into fat stores instead of being expended. If this is a straw man, then I'd like to know where the goal posts have been moved so I can accurately represent the opposition.

  45. FrankG
    Just above grinch quotes "A higher fasting serum insulin level is associated with..."

    and then writes...

    Since higher fasting serum insulin levels are what everyone says...

    and now bleats "I am referring to Taubes' hypothesis that chronically elevated levels of insulin play a major role in causing common obesity..."

    But apparently *I* am the one moving the goal posts. LOL

    You are a complete waste of my time. You should stick with Guyenet.. especially after his recent melt-down on Hyperlipid... he clearly also doesn't think that the facts should stand in the way of a good story.

  46. You need to understand what laws are in science better. There is a SCOPE OF APPLICABILITY with all laws and theories.

    Don't say "laws of the universe." Energy is NOT conserved in Einstein's General Theory of Relativity .

    Energy is also NOT conserved in our rapidly EXPANDING Universe as Dr. Sean M. Carrol points out.

    I flame you because YOU WERE supporting Colpo and McDonald. I DON'T assume that "all of the people who reject Gary's hypothesis as incomplete automatically believe Colpo's information. "(which is junk)."

    YOu demonstrated through comments that you did believe him . You ALSO recommended his GARBAGE book.

    No, Colpo USED to recommend a low glycemic diet. He now recommends LOTS OF RICE, POTATOES etc.

    Here is an example of Colpo's fraud:

    He followed the money. He had access to all of the 1930's information back then he does now . he simply cherry picked. He REALIZED he could not compete with his low carb stance going up against Dr eades and also a great journalist like Gray Taubes. So Colpo did a different direction to SELL books.

  47. Is the insulin hypothesis complete? No, probably not. It is one of components though- a strong component. Did you know," grinchy", that low calorie diets ALSO KEEP INSULIN LOW? George Bray himself told me this by email. Small meals , even carb rich meals that are LOW IN CALORIES ALSO KEEP INSULIN LOWER.

    Huge meals like 2 to 3 pounds of even salmon at a sitting will RAISE INSULIN A LOT!

    Even if Gary's hypothesis is not complete he is LESS WRONG than is Colpo.

    However, it is WELL ESTABLISHED in science thus far that insulon DOES have a strong role in fat storage.

    Lastly, I respect and admire Gary Taubes and Stephan Guyenet a ton. Their effots are extraordinary. Scientists are struggling to udnerstand obesity. When people make an honest effort and come up with something that is technically speaking incomplete, it still deserved to be recognized and commended.

    I simply do not know enough to say if the insulin hypothesis is complete or not BUT NEITHER IS COLPO. I know ALOT more about obesity than Colpo does. .

    Dr. Jeffrey Friedman is the man to comment on the insulin hypothesis.

  48. Lastly, grinchy,

    Energy Is Not Conserved:

    Sean Carrol is what you call a REAL PHYSICIST, not an Internet idiot who misuses physics for PROFIT and diet book sales.

    Don't talk about "laws of the universe" anymore. You're misapplying them in an uneducated attempt to oversmplify a complex biological phenomenon and blame the VICITM.


    There are many things the first law DOES NOT AT ALL EXPLAIN about obesity.

    REAL physicists do not invoke it.They are NOT AT ALL interested in the NONSENSE and NON- science that Anthony Colpo and other diet gurus are peddling

    You're misapplying them.

    My physicist aquaintances think Anthony Colpo is an idiot who does not have the slightest grasp of physics. All you are grincy is an uneducated pro- Lyle McDonald troll. McDonald and Colpo are LAUGHABLE to genuine scientists in the field.

  49. "Grinchy" and all other Lyle McDonald trolls:

    When the body breaks down complex sugar into simple sugars energy is given off, BUT ALL THE MASS IS STILL THERE, SO weight does NOT change.

    So even if a person burns more calories than they taken in, WEIGHT DOES NOT neccesarily change.

    The ONLY way to lose weight is to LOSE MASS, and the body has various ways of excreting mass which includes exhaling. ALL of these excretory systems RELY ON HEALTHY ORGANS .

    LEARN PHYSICS before you WRONGLY invoke it next time. You are taking these laws out of context FAR BEYOND THEIR SCOPE AND REACH.

    Lastly, MUCH remains to be learned about energy and matter. The discoveries of DARK ENERGY and DARK MATTER may illuminate our understanding of the first law. The first law may be a very specal case, applying ONLY under very specific circumstances and not others. We have reason to suspect this now.

    It is even possible it may be discarded eventually..

  50. ian
    FrankG, Razwell, Zepp, I wonder if you could all comment on University of Newcastle's Dr Roy Taylor's calorie-reduced low carb diet for reversing type 2 diabetes. It involves eating only 600 to 800 calories a day and over 8 weeks is supposed to burn through the fat clogging the pancreas and liver improving insulin sensitivity.
    I have been on a similar version for 2 weeks -- you're supposed to stay on it for 8 weeks. I want to be sure I'm not going to damage my metabolism. I have lost 15 lbs in the last 2 weeks and my blood sugars are getting closer to the normal range without meds or insulin. I need to lose about 60 or 70 more to get to my goal weight.
    Reply: #151
  51. Zepp
    Its like fasting then.. it shouldnt be dangerus if one get other nutrients and dont do it too long!

    But you know cuting carbs are more effective then cuting out calories!

  52. Gareth
    Well, it's been interesting reading all the to-ing and fro-ing about the chemistry of how LCHF works - and the pro's and con's of this or that.

    I've just passed 7 months of LCHF - and have lost 28lbs in total. I have pretty much plateau'd in a very comfortable range - where I vary by about 4 lbs across the course of a month.

    My bp has dropped to almost perfect (124/82 this morning); my bmi is a very comfortable 25; my triglycerides have dropped from 5.4 nm/ol to 0.9 nm/ol, total cholesterol has dropped from 6.9 to 3.9 and I feel great.

    I have eaten like a king (granted, only twice per day because I'm full) and have never felt hungry once. It's the first time that I have made mostly everything from scratch - but there's no flour or sugar in anything that I make (other than natural sugars) and I'm eating some amazing, 'real' foods ;)

    I don't really care about the chemistry. I don't care about who's right or who is wrong. As far as I am concerned, I feel the best I have done in 30 years (I'm 50 next year) and am happy, healthy and keen to use this as a platform for the next 30 years ;)

    Thanks Zepp - I could never have done it if I hadn't been pointed at your website. I have spent hundreds of hours on research - and am confident that LCHF works for ME !

  53. Jim
  54. Bob
    Reading through these blogs can really make me crazy. You dont know who is replying to whom. Hey admins, can you please improve your blog reply method? A better presentation of which reply belongs to which blog would really be an improvement.


    And bloggers, it really would help if you also state your name.


  55. Ken Stephens
    I ran into this while in the midst of a series on my own site on this topic and decide to devote a segment of the series to discussing this article,

    So both of these models have beta cell exhaustion in the second last step, but we don't really see this until much, much later, if we see it at all, after many years of poorly controlled diabetes. What needs to go here is actually hyperglucagonemia, which is the actual proximate cause of diabetes, unloading more and more glucose into our blood from our livers, and there's simply nowhere for this all to go, we can take more in, but only to a certain extent, and the excess is manifest as hyperglycemia.

    A good article nonetheless and any time I see someone try to educate the world on the scourge of high insulin it's always a good thing!

    So what causes hyperglucagonemia? It's the insulin, stupid! :)

  56. Reasonable Conservative

    In science, BOTH theories and laws can be shown to be wrong if there are data to suggest it.

    I'm sorry, a law is an absolute within the paradigm in which it was created, (i.e. empirically verified reality.)

    In order for a law to be scientific, there can be no data that contradicts it.

    I was unaware that there were established scientific laws that had been disproved by something verifiable. Can you disabuse me off that notion?

  57. Courtnay
    Being overweight is not necessarily the result

    Of eating too much ,

    They explain that having too much insulin

    Even on a low calorie diet

    Can cause weight gain

    I've also found that when you eat foods

    Your allergic to,

    It causes weight gain

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