Author Topic: Insulin and hormonal regulation of body fat  (Read 3165 times)

Offline Todd Becker

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Insulin and hormonal regulation of body fat
« on: February 03, 2011, 03:12:14 PM »
The role of insulin and other hormones in weight or fat loss has recently become hot topic on many diet and health blogs.  On the one side is the Carbohydrate/Insulin Hypothesis, which holds that obesity is a disorder of excess fat accumulation, not voluntary overeating or inactivity, that insulin is the primary hormone control regulating fat storage, and that carbohydrates are the primary driver of insulin.

On the other side are critics of this theory are a number of critics who find the Carbohydrate/Insulin Theory to be oversimplified and flawed.  They point to recent research suggesting that another hormone, Acylation Stimulating Pormone (ASP) may actually be more important than insulin in controlling fat storage.  They also challenge the idea that carbohydrates are uniquely fattening, contending instead that weight gain is merely a matter of "positive caloric balance" -- eating more calories than you expend.

Today's post "Does insulin make you fat?" is an attempt to weigh the arguments and evidence on each side. In the end, I present an argument that obesity is hormonally regulated, but that it is insulin resistance and basal insulin levels that we should focus on, not transient spikes or dips in hormones like insulin, glucagon, ASP, or enzymes like LPL and HSL.  This fits in with the overall thesis of Hormetism that we should gear diet and exercise to produce long term adaptations such as insulin sensitivity, and not worry about daily or hourly consequences of our meals and workouts.

I'd like to open this up to a vigorous discussion, encouraging participants to share both personal experiences and scientific evidence in support of their views.  I've seen only friendly discussions on this forum, but I've seen this debate get intense and even personal on other blogs, so my only ground rule for the debate is civility, mutual respect and no personal attacks. 


Offline OtisBrown

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Re: Insulin and hormonal regulation of body fat
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2011, 09:16:41 PM »
Hi Todd,
I have about 10 pounds "excess".  I don't like it -- but I did it myself.  Can I "starve" myself, and lose it?  I truly don't know.  But, as an "Engineer", I look at it this way.  It might not be possible to put weigth on, but, there are no obese people in a concentration camp.  It is the law of "conversation of energy".  Not enough  calories in, and you will lose weigth.  That is my "brutal" assessment of myself.  You know my "attitude" in other types of "prevention".  I don't ask people to attempt something that can not be accomplished.  But in the end, it is the "stress" you are willing to put yourself "under" that can make a major difference in your life.  Peace!  Otis

Offline UrsusMinor

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Re: Insulin and hormonal regulation of body fat
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2011, 06:01:10 PM »
Sure, if you starve yourself, you'll lose it. Along with a good deal of muscle tissue.

Another big danger from starving yourself is that you may lower your metabolic rate, which is a logical response by the body to an acute food shortage.

The real questions are about how caloric intake is partitioned into burning and storage, and this seems to be affected by the types of nutrients we consume (and their consequent effects on hormones, receptors, and the concentration of different kinds of enzymes). Adiposity isn't some big moral issue, it's a matter of science--and the science isn't the same as feeding a furnace.