The #1 Cause of a Shorter Life

It is now a well-known fact that insulin speeds up aging. Eating sugar, refined grains, and seed oils will increase insulin levels, equivalent to slamming your foot on the aging accelerator. There may not be a faster way to accelerate aging than eating these refined foods.

A 7 Systems Plan member recently reported her progress. Her fasting insulin was 95 (the highest I have seen). Her diabetes was out of control, and she was on four diabetic medications. She was at a loss for solutions until her daughter suggested she join the 7 Systems Plan. Her improvement was remarkable. In just six weeks, her doctor took her off all four diabetic medications, and her blood sugar improved tremendously. She also lost 25 pounds!

Understanding insulin is critical for a healthy life. It is the energy and fat storage hormone produced in the pancreas, classified as an anabolic or building hormone. Its primary purpose is to drive fuel into cells for energy or fat storage. The higher the insulin is, the more fat is stored.

Excess insulin leads to type-2 diabetes or insulin resistance syndrome. High insulin is associated with all five of the top killers in America:

  1. Heart disease
  2. Hypertension
  3. Stroke
  4. Cancer
  5. Type-2 diabetes

How Insulin Works

Sugar from digested carbohydrates (in the form of glucose) is the primary fuel source for cells, but it cannot get into cells without insulin’s assistance. Think of insulin as a key that opens the door to a cell—the sugar receptors. When an individual eats, blood sugar goes up, and the pancreas responds by sending insulin to let sugar into the cells. When this happens, blood sugar goes down to normal, cells get energy, and the body is happy.

That is what happens when the Systems are all working correctly. However, when too many bad carbohydrates or excess protein are eaten, blood sugar increases more than it should. Since high blood sugar is toxic and damages blood vessels, the pancreas responds to this crisis by making more insulin.

However, more insulin does not always allow more sugar into a cell. If insulin is too high for too long, the receptors on the cell “tune out” the insulin and stop hearing it. What do you do if a friend constantly calls and texts you? Eventually, you tune them out and stop listening. The same is true when insulin remains high for too long.

High levels of saturated fat inside the cell also “gum up” the lock on the cell. Fat from your diet or part of your body can build up in the cells and create toxic products, impairing insulin function. If you keep sticking gum in the lock on your car door, eventually, the key will no longer work.

Keeping your insulin at the ideal level significantly decreases your risk for many diseases. The longest-living people have the lowest insulin (less than 5 mcIU/mL is best) and the most cellular insulin sensitivity. I suggest everyone have a fasting insulin test every year. It is the second most important test to have done (vitamin D is the most important).

Insulin resistance, a significant health concern, often originates in lifestyle choices, particularly dietary habits. Processed foods, laden with added sugars and refined grains, emerge as chief culprits. However, the most insidious contributors to insulin resistance are industrially processed omega-6 seed oils, which are rich in linoleic acid (LA). These oils, often misleadingly labeled as vegetable oils, are pivotal in driving insulin resistance.

The primary step towards combating this issue is eliminating these processed seed oils from the diet. Common examples of oils high in LA include soybean, cottonseed, sunflower, rapeseed (commonly known as canola), corn, and safflower oil. Reducing LA intake to a level closer to that consumed by our ancestors before the surge in chronic health conditions, including cancer, became prevalent is advisable.

Another valuable strategy is time-restricted eating (TRE), taught in the 7 Systems Plan. Our genetic makeup is attuned to intermittent food availability rather than constant access to meals. By limiting daily food intake to a seven-hour window on most days, you can mimic this ancient eating pattern. Research indicates that individuals with obesity who followed a seven-hour eating window experienced better weight loss, blood pressure, and mood compared to those with a longer eating window. Fasting also affects insulin sensitivity, especially in type-2 diabetes.

How to Keep Track of Blood Sugar Levels

A blood sugar level over 90 mg/dl, or insulin above 5 mcIU/mL, puts you in the danger zone of insulin resistance. Blood sugar is measured through a glucose test, of which there are four types:

1. Fasting plasma glucose test — fast overnight and take your blood sample in the morning.

2. Oral glucose tolerance test — fast overnight, measure blood sugar level. Drink a sugary liquid, then test levels for the next two hours.

3. Hemoglobin A1C test — the percentage of blood sugar attached to the hemoglobin indicates your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. Less than 5.5 is ideal.

4. Fasting insulin — the higher your fasting insulin is, the more insulin resistance you have. Less than 5 is ideal.

Bear in mind that your blood glucose levels can fluctuate throughout the day. Ideally, aim for a fasting level below 90 mg/dL. Before meals, your glucose should be within the range of 70 to 99 mg/dL; two hours after eating, it should be below 140 mg/dL. These measures can help you gauge and manage your insulin resistance risk effectively. For most people, a simple at-home glucose test involving a finger prick and a glucose testing strip suffices.

Insulin Resistance: A Fundamental Player in Chronic Disease

For years, I’ve emphasized that insulin resistance lies at the core of most chronic diseases, spanning from heart disease and type-2 diabetes to cancer. Now, researchers from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark echo this concern and encourage doctors to include blood sugar monitoring as a routine practice for their cancer patients. Their findings shed light on the pervasive presence of insulin resistance in cancer patients and underscore its significance.

The research team points out that insulin resistance is a pivotal factor in metabolic dysfunctions. Its frequent occurrence among cancer patients is associated with heightened cancer recurrence rates and diminished overall survival. Despite its critical role, clinicians often overlook insulin resistance in clinical settings.

In their meticulous, systematic review and meta-analysis, the researchers unearthed a startling reality—cancer patients exhibit significant insulin resistance. This revelation carries profound implications for the priorities set in the treatment and prevention of cancer.

These findings reaffirm the need for a holistic approach to healthcare. Understanding the interconnectedness of chronic diseases and recognizing the central role of insulin resistance can pave the way for more effective prevention and treatment strategies. Addressing insulin resistance in cancer patients may improve outcomes and enhance their overall health and well-being.

Insulin Resistance: A Hidden Challenge in Cancer and Beyond

While mainstream cancer treatment often doesn’t consider insulin resistance, the connection between cancer patients and elevated blood sugar levels has been recognized since the 1920s. Sweet-smelling urine was noted in many of them, a telltale sign of high blood sugar levels resulting from the body’s poor response to insulin.

As study author Lykke Sylow explains, in cancer patients, cells don’t react efficiently to insulin. Consequently, it takes more insulin than usual to regulate blood sugar, leading to insulin resistance. Interestingly, this isn’t unique to cancer patients. In the United States, approximately 40% of adults 18 to 44 experience insulin resistance, often associated with obesity, type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and a sedentary lifestyle. Some estimates suggest that more Americans might be insulin resistant than we realize, even if their fasting glucose levels appear normal.

Recent research from July 2022 paints a concerning picture of cardiometabolic health in the U.S. In that year, only 6.8% of American adults exhibited optimal cardiometabolic health, indicating that over 93% of adults were metabolically unfit. The actual percentage may even exceed 95%. Without lifestyle changes, insulin resistance can eventually progress to type-2 diabetes, but its consequences go far beyond this. Insulin resistance accelerates aging and contributes to the development of degenerative diseases.

In response to insulin resistance, the pancreas releases more insulin into the bloodstream to lower blood sugar. However, insulin is highly effective at converting sugar into fat, so increased insulin secretion often leads to weight gain. The consequences of insulin resistance include conditions like hyperglycemia, hypertension, dyslipidemia, hyperuricemia, elevated inflammatory markers, endothelial dysfunction, and a prothrombotic state. Moreover, cancer patients with insulin resistance face a particularly challenging scenario as their cells require more insulin to regulate blood sugar effectively, potentially worsening their condition.

The impact of insulin resistance extends to a range of other diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, chronic kidney disease, heart attacks, coronary artery disease, vascular stiffness, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and cerebrovascular diseases. Additionally, insulin resistance is implicated in various mechanisms that increase cancer risk and worsen outcomes, including chronic inflammation and gut dysbiosis. It all begins with mitochondrial dysfunction, triggered primarily by the body’s inability to burn fat for energy. This glitch leads to an overproduction of damaging reactive oxygen species (ROS) that harm cell mitochondria.

Rapidly dropping insulin is only one of the many benefits of the 7 Systems Plan.

For your health,

Dr. Pat

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Dr. Pat Luse

I'm the president and CEO of one of the largest multi-disciplinary clinics in the Midwest. As one of the most highly trained health coaches in America today, I am uniquely qualified to help individuals have amazing health transformations and I can't wait to help you!

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