Which comes first: high insulin or obesity?

Do you become obese because of high insulin or does high insulin follow obesity?

In this chicken-or-egg scenario, new research shows that the former is true--a notion that contradicts current theory about the subject. The University of British Columbia study was published this week in Cell Metabolism.

Engineered mice eat their hearts out

Researchers found that mice with lower insulin levels stayed thinner, even when they were indulging in high-fat foods.

Mice have two insulin genes--giving them a unique genetic difference. They have Insulin 1 in the pancreas and Insulin 2 in the brain and pancreas. Scientists were able to develop mice that only had Insulin 1 but that varied in their fasting blood insulin levels. Mice with only Insulin 1 who had lower fasting insulin seemed to be able to eat whatever they wanted--and they didn't become obese.

Study author James Johnson said that "reprogramming" the animals' insulin levels led to them burning and wasting more energy via heat.

Implications for diabetes

So what does this mean for diabetics? Johnson notes that the study doesn't have clear implications for humans just yet, but that diet can indeed play a big role in helping insulin levels to even out.

"There are ways to eat and diets that keep insulin levels lower or that allow insulin levels to return to a healthy baseline each day," said Johnson.

The results of the study support other widespread evidence that diabetics who take insulin long-term can suffer from weight gain and, ultimately, obesity. But don't toss your insulin stash just yet.

"This doesn't mean anyone should stop taking insulin," Johnson said. "There are nuances and ranges at which insulin levels are optimal."

Source: Science Daily

Get a Free Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to InformationAboutDiabetes.com who may contact you with updates and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy.

More Articles

Limiting our intake of highly processed foods, and eating more whole and lightly processed fare can boost our nutrient and fiber intake, lower...

Chamomile tea has long been prized for its calming properties, but few people realize it’s also beneficial for glucose regulation. Traditionally,...

Today, the healing benefits of essential oils are more than the claims of ancient tradition and alternative medicine. They are increasingly the...

The different sugar content of fruits can be confusing when you are trying to manage your...

There is nothing close to a one-size-fits-all exercise program for those with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. The best general advice is to...

More Articles

With such a marked increase in the number of new diabetes cases, more people are wondering if type 1 diabetes...

Keeping your blood sugar levels under control can be tough. There are so many factors that can affect blood sugar, like exercise, food, illness,...

Today, the healing benefits of essential oils are more than the claims of ancient tradition and alternative medicine. They are increasingly the...

Stomach aches and other gastrointestinal pains can be signs of a bigger problem. One such problem for diabetics is gastroparesis, or delayed...

Two of the most common symptoms of diabetes are increased thirst and increased urine production. These symptoms are so prevalent in diabetics that...

Pilates is an exercise method proven to improve flexibility, strength, coordination, muscular stamina, balance, and posture. Many Pilates...

All diabetics know that maintaining proper blood sugar levels is the lifeline...

It can be difficult enough to get on stage and make a roomful of strangers laugh, but for comedians suffering from type 1 or type 2 diabetes,...

Most people with insulin-dependent diabetes use syringes and lancets every day. However, many of them do not know how to dispose of these...

Explaining diabetes to children can seem like a daunting task, but in reality, it is no more difficult than discussing anything else important....

Diabetes is a complex disease, affecting virtually every part of the body. The damage it does, to nerve endings, blood vessels, organs, and the...

People with type 1 and type 2 diabetes have successfully competed in the Olympic Games. Their amazing stories prove that diabetes is no match for...

If your child has diabetes, you want him or her to be safe while in school and to have the same educational opportunities as other children....

Do not let pictures of yoga experts with their bodies twisted into bizarre, compact shapes fool you. Even people with stiff muscles, creaky joints...

The American Diabetes Association estimates that more than 7 million people in the United States have diabetes but don’t know it yet. These people...