Insulin resistance: BYU professor warns against the ‘plagues of prosperity’

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Ben Bikman remembers when the light came on. He was pursuing a doctorate at East Carolina University in nutrient biochemistry. His research included studying two groups of rodents that received exactly the same amount of calories. But only one of the groups received artificially high levels of insulin, the hormone that controls glucose or blood sugar. When they weighed the rodents at the end of the study, the two groups had the same weight. But those who received an insulin injection had significantly more body fat and less lean mass. In the dietary vernacular, they were obese. Did that make sense? “Not if you adhere to the pure laws of thermodynamics that say obesity is clearly a matter of excess calories,” Bikman says, “If that’s true, then what happened should be impossible.” But it happened, and “I couldn’t see it,” Bikman says. ‘follow is purely the consequence of a calorie imbalance, was inaccurate. His view on obesity became “while calories matter, hormones matter more.” Bikman’s path was set. three years in Asia at Duke National University in Singapore has only reconfirmed his findings: the key to containing obesity, and therefore the myriad diseases it causes – including type 2 diabetes, heart disease , hypertension, migraines, erectile dysfunction, Alzheimer’s disease and more — is insulin. Or more precisely: insulin resistance. When the food we ingest in our body overloads the hormone at point that she can no longer do her job effectively, that’s where the trouble begins. And what is the best way to control insulin resistance? The answer isn’t with drugs and doctor visits, Bikman says, but avoiding foods that cause insulin to work overtime. That primarily means carbs — all the chips, pastries, bread, pasta, and other starches that make up such a big part of a 21st century diet. The list of “bad carbs” is long – it includes “essentially anything that comes in a package with a barcode” – but avoid these foods and your body’s insulin factory will feel like it’s gone. holidays in Aruba. On the plus side, you are free to eat all the protein and fat you want. That’s the gospel Bikman has been teaching at BYU since joining the faculty in 2011. If you call it a crusade, he won’t mind, because that’s what he calls it. “It became a crusade when I became a teacher and realized that my main mission was to teach students who are studying to be doctors – nurses and doctors. I realized that I had the opportunity to help them understand how insulin resistance works and its relevance in chronic disease Rather than just prescribing blood pressure medication (when working out), I hope they will remember of my course and say, “Hey, let’s improve your insulin resistance”. Of his published academic research would only be read by other researchers, in 2016 he dove into social media making a few YouTube videos and appearing on podcasts. He had no idea the tsunami he was about to unleash. It turned out that in a world where type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and others, are the main causes of misery and death, there were many who wanted to hear what he had to say. Over the past six years, his videos have received millions of views, leading to invitations to talk about insulin resistance literally all over the world. One of those invitations came right here at home when BYU in 2018 asked Bikman to address the entire student body in its weekly forum. His speech, “The Wounds of Prosperity,” has since become a longtime hit on YouTube. In this speech, Bikman pokes fun at the Latter-day Saint culture in which he is immersed. Noting that studies show that the Latter-day Saint community is the most obese and diabetic of any religious group in the state, he said, “How often do we meet around a table filled with ice cream and brownies and offer a prayer of gratitude, including a plea that food bless us with health and strength? Although I believe Heavenly Father has a sense of humor, it can take him too far. » Does he see progress? For one thing, he stopped answering his office phone because so many people who saw his speeches, heard his podcasts, read his book (“How We Get Sick”), or went to his website and have tried his meal replacement shakes ( HLTH Code, gethlth.com) call him to tell him how much it helps. On the other hand, after years of resistance to acknowledging the effectiveness of low-carb diets, the American Diabetes Association officially declared in 2020 that a low-carb diet can lower glucose levels. in a diabetic. And then there’s the study he and his colleagues recently completed in association with a Utah Valley Health Clinic. The study looked at 11 middle-aged women who had just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The women had a choice: first, to leave the office with a prescription for diabetes medication that they would actually be taking in ever-increasing doses throughout their lives. Or two, follow a strict low-carb, high-protein, high-fat diet. All 11 chose option two. Within 90 days, “their average blood sugar had gone from the diabetic range to normal. Not only did they reverse diabetes, but they had significant weight loss and improved blood pressure. better.”

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