Insulin's Main Purpose Is To Store Excess Nutrients

Insulin's Main Purpose Is NOT To Regulate Blood Sugar

The food people eat and its affects on hormones, also affects how well our immune system works. What is it that makes leptin levels go up? What makes insulin levels go up?

Dr Ron Rosedale: Let’s talk about insulin first. Its actually a bit simpler. What we know makes insulin go up are glucose levels in the blood. When they go up, insulin goes up to store the excess, not to lower the blood sugar. That's a huge misconception not just among the public but among almost all physicians. We’re taught in medical school that the purpose of insulin is to regulate blood sugar, and that couldn't be further from the truth. The main purpose of insulin is to store excess nutrients for a future time of need. That’s even a minor purpose of insulin. We can get into the major purpose of insulin later.

When sugar goes up in your bloodstream, when it spikes up, you have food that increases blood sugar, which might be an innocuous as a potato, or rice, which the whole world seems to be eating in over-abundance, bread and pasta and cereals, Breakfast of Champions, all of these things will cause the body to manufacture a lot of sugar from the food.

Starch in your mouth will be broken down by the amylase in the saliva into blood sugar, and the blood sugar will rise quite rapidly. You won’t be able to burn it as rapidly, (unless you’re sprinting while you’re eating), and you will raise your blood sugar. That’s a sign that you've got more nutrients available now than you can burn, so your body wants to save that. We come from a history of feast and famine, and your body is not going to want to waste those nutrients, so you’ll save it for a future less opportune time when food might not have been available. Tomorrow you might have to fast.

In our evolutionary history, food wasn't available all the time. It was feast or famine. If it was famine tomorrow, you wanted to save those excess nutrients from today. You’ll store them. You’ll store a little bit as a biological starch called glycogen, but mostly you’ll convert it into fat, which is our major energy supply and major energy storage, or it least it’s supposed to be our major energy supply.

The signal to do all these physiologic things with the excess nutrient is mostly insulin. Insulin will go up and change the way that your genes are being read and it will say, “Hey, you've got a bunch of fuel right now. Let’s take the excess and store it and let’s do something with what we've got.” In our evolutionary history, when there was an over-abundance of food or just an abundance of food, it’ll say that cells should reproduce. You've got enough energy now that you can reproduce, make a new you, make a new cell.

When we talk about reproduction here, we’re not necessarily talking about making a new person, we’re talking about making a new cell. You've got energy available. You can now make cells to replace old damaged cells, but it will do so by changing certain genetic pathways, turning the switch to on, which when left unregulated because of impaired immune system, let’s say, will lead to cancer.

Not only are you giving a switch that's telling cells to reproduce, but you’re also then damaging the control of that reproduction from the immune system and the end result is an increase in cancer. Now we know, and I mentioned this at least 20 years ago, that when insulin levels are high, you will have an increase in cancer, and that’s proving to be somewhat prophetic, because now they’re showing that many different kinds of cancer are related to glucose and insulin levels, and leptin levels, too, by the way. They’re all related.

It’s very, very important not to let glucose and insulin levels spike by the foods that will generally raise those, which are sugars and starches. When I mention the sugars, it has to be recognized we’re not just talking about the glycemic index here. The glycemic index just measures glucose, it just measures sugar. So many people now feel that they can have fructose, things like agave are being espoused on talk shows as a wonderful thing to have, when in fact agave is 90% fructose, and fructose doesn't raise blood glucose, it raises blood fructose.

Fructose doesn't have a high glycemic index, which is why they’re saying it’s healthy, but it does many other really adverse things, such as cause the liver to produce fat, some of which then ends up sitting in the liver and causing a fatty liver. Your liver actually gets obese and it then can’t have proper blood circulation and can’t receive proper hormonal signals from insulin, which tells the liver to stop manufacturing sugar. The liver over-manufactures glucose, you wake in the morning and your sugars are high, even though you haven’t eaten. That’s what you see in diabetics.

Excerpt from talk: Dr Ron Rosedale – Neurodegenerative Disease, Hormones and Diet