A “basic” scientist proffers an hypothesis and then attempts to prove it wrong. If by experiment it is unable to be proven wrong, it can then be offered as “true.” At this point it is open to other disinterested scientists to prove it “wrong.” If they fail, the hypothesis gains acceptance and eventually becomes “received wisdom.”
Applied science is the application of the “knowledge” discovered in basic science. The search for this “truth,” wherever it is to be found, requires an inquiring mind that is open and skeptical of all such “received wisdom.”
I am just a humble blogger, but I have noticed that the “Insulin Hypothesis” has gained a degree of acceptance in the mainstream media. I began to eat Very Low Carb after my doctor read Gary Taubes’ “What If It's All Been a Big Fat Lie?” in 2002. In 2008, after reading “Good Calories-Bad Calories” (“The Diet Delusion” in the UK), I accepted Taubes’s Insulin Hypothesis as “true.” I had totally reversed my type 2 diabetes, achieved an A1c of 5.0%, and over a period of years lost 170 pounds. “Clinically speaking,” that A1c means that I am now considered (erroneously) to be “non-diabetic.” I will always be Carbohydrate Intolerant.
Mainstream science, though, has yet to get the message. This article, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, describes a study about a different “received wisdom.” It is predicated on the premise that losing weight by eating a restricted calorie diet (800kcal/day), over a period of time, should improve insulin sensitivity; put another way: that the driver of improved insulin sensitivity is weight loss.
Gabor Erdosi, on his Facebook group Lower Insulin, was skeptical. He wrote, “The general advice to improve insulin sensitivity is to lose weight. However, it doesn’t look like the proper advice when put to the test. In this study, 55% of the participants turned out to be non-responders, meaning that even after similar weight loss on an 800 kcal/d diet, and following weight maintenance, their insulin sensitivity didn’t improve much.”
Erdosi doesn’t need to explain why to his erudite readers, but, for the uninitiated, I will. It isn’t weight loss that improves insulin sensitivity; it is lower insulin that improves insulin sensitivity. The body doesn’t have to resist being besotted with insulin and so is more receptive. Lower blood insulin, from eating Very Low Carb (VLC), and/or Intermittent Fasting (IF), also permits the body to access its fat stores and lose weight easily, and also maintain weight loss without hunger. Eating an 800kcal/day “balanced” diet does neither of these things.
When you eat a “balanced” (high carbohydrate) diet – one that includes processed carbs and simple sugars in every meal – whether you are non-diabetic, pre-diabetic or a diagnosed type 2, your body will elevate the level of insulin flowing in your blood. Insulin is both the transporter of glucose and the cellular gatekeeper. It signals cellular receptors to open to receive the glucose energy. If you have insulin resistance, the cellular gate is stuck, so your pancreas sends more insulin into your bloodstream. This begins a vicious cycle.
So, to improve your insulin sensitivity, you need to lower your blood insulin. If you have less insulin flowing in your blood, whether you’re non-diabetic, pre-diabetic or a diagnosed type 2, your body’s receptor cells will become more sensitive to the insulin it “sees.” And, if you have less insulin flowing in your blood, your body will also have access to energy from the food you previously ate, and stored as fat, and you will lose weight.
Thus it’s not lower weight that improves insulin sensitivity. It’s lower insulin that improves insulin sensitivity.But mainstream science continues to ignore the Insulin Hypothesis because government doesn’t fund the kind of research that would test it and accept it as “true.” There are too many corrupting influences. For example, the research cited above was conducted by the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences, Lausanne, Switzerland. Nestlé makes the 800kcal meal-replacement product (Modifast; Nutrition et Santé) used in the study. In U.S. markets, Nestlé sells Optifast, Boost and Carnation, among many other HIGH-CARB “health science” products.