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New Insights On How Insulin Causes Disease

Insulin, produced by beta cells in the pancreas, is best known for its role in regulating glucose levels in the bloodstream. However, insulin signaling also controls embryonic growth and development, reproduction, and appetite regulation. The widespread influence of insulin and the vulnerability of its signaling pathways to inhibition have tremendous potential to help us understand the basis of how many diseases that face mankind.

I first became aware of the enormous influence of insulin on health when I attended a lecture by Dr. Rosedale in 1995. He helped me understand its importance and that understanding has helped formed most of my health program and is instrumental in my new book.

One of the ways insulin produces its effect is its link to inflammation. When properly activated, the inflammatory process limits damage caused by various injuries and infections, and the insulin resistance that it causes helps speed the delivery of nutrients needed to repair the injury. But chronic inflammation owing to environmental stress, chronic infection or aging also causes insulin resistance that harms the body.

Fortunately, there are simple ways you can normalize insulin. One of the most important would be to exercise vigorously and regularly. Exercise increases the sensitivity of insulin receptors and thus lowers insulin levels. Additionally, one certainly should minimize the use of grains and reduce or eliminate the use of sugar, as that will only cause insulin levels to rise.

Science December 5, 2003;302(5651):1710-1

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