insulin resistance

  1. Too much insulin can damage the brain

    How diabetes turns into dementia

    I've heard of dementia referred to as "type 3 diabetes" because up to 70 percent of all diabetics eventually end up with it.

    Now, new research shows why -- and it's just what I've been warning you about -- too much sugar causing too much insulin. 

    It's the damage caused by spikes in your blood sugar levels. More specifically, it's the damage caused by your body's attempts to control that excess sugar.

    When your blood sugar levels rise, your pancreas is forced to work harder. It pumps out more insulin to deal with the sugar. If it happens too often, even the extra insulin becomes ineffective and you develop insulin resistance -- and, ultimately, diabetes.

    But that's not all that happens when you have too much insulin.

    Some of the excess insulin can slip out into your brain, where it doesn't belong. That requires your brain to use an enzyme to clear it out.

    Trouble is, your brain also needs that enzyme to clean up excess protein. When it's used on insulin instead, the protein builds up -- specifically the beta amyloid proteins that turn into the infamous "brain plaques" that mark the damage of dementia.

    The more plaques you have, the more memory you lose -- and the higher your risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

    In the new study of the effects of too much insulin, researchers watched this process unfold in diabetic rats until eventually they showed signs of memory loss and the rodent equivalent of dementia.

    The researchers say the results show that diabetics should start taking Alzheimer's drugs even before memory loss kicks in -- but I think that's missing the point.

    Most of those drugs don't even work in the first place.

    The real answer here is to get control of your blood sugar so there won't be too much insulin to do that damage in the first place. And if you're not diabetic, that goes for you as well -- because studies have consistently shown that even slightly elevated blood sugar levels can eventually lead to memory loss and dementia.

    Those are the levels that are above normal, but well below anything that would be considered diabetes or pre-diabetes.

    Your doctor may be happy with blood sugar readings below 100, but even that's too high. Aim for 90 or less.

  2. Eating breakfast leads to better glucose control

    Don't skip this meal

    If you want to avoid diabetes, there are plenty of foods you should skip or limit -- like the red meat I just mentioned. But there’s one thing you should never skip, and that’s eating breakfast.

    Just like mom used to say, it’s the most important meal of the day.

    Eating breakfast can give you the energy you need for the morning, reduce the impulse for a 10:30 donut and even stop you from overeating during lunch.

    Now, new research shows how eating breakfast can help keep your blood sugar levels under control right up through lunchtime, reducing the need for insulin and in the process reducing the risk of insulin resistance.

    And ultimately, that can help slash your risk of diabetes.

    In the new study, nine overweight and obese women were tracked on two separate days each: A day in which they ate a normal breakfast, and a day in which they skipped the meal entirely.

    When they skipped breakfast, their glucose levels were an average of 12 percent higher after lunch.

    Higher glucose levels, of course, means the body needs more insulin to convert it into energy -- and as a result, the insulin response shot up by 28 percent.

    When insulin levels spike too often, you run the risk of developing insulin resistance -- and when you develop insulin resistance, you’re in the express lane for diabetes.

    So it’s of course important to keeping eating breakfast. But what you eat is every bit as important -- and if you eat a McGriddle each morning, you’re not going to lower your risk of diabetes.

    You’ll probably increase it.

    So make sure you stick to healthy foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner alike -- and as long as you’re looking for a healthy breakfast, why not get back to basics and start with an egg?

    As I told you told you recently, eggs can help you to feel fuller longer and eat less at lunch -- and you can read more about that right here.

  3. How carbs lead to mild cognitive impairment

    A new study finds that people who eat the most carbs have four times the risk of mild cognitive impairment, which often leads to dementia.
  4. Alcohol-free wine can help blood sugar

    Wine with the alcohol removed can help control blood sugar without any of the risks that come from drinking actual booze.
  5. Magnesium helps control insulin and cut cancer risk

    The mineral magnesium can slash the risk of colon cancer, especially in overweight patients.
  6. Waist size can be more important than BMI for diabetes risk

    Obesity causes diabetes -- but too much belly fat can bring on the condition as well, even if you're not obese. Measure your true risk here.
  7. Diabetics should concentrate on a low-carb diet

    The best way for diabetics to get control of their blood sugar is to cut down on their carbs -- and the latest research confirms this approach.
  8. Dangerous meds for little girls

    An outrageous new study is pushing powerful diabetes meds on girls as young as 8 years old who don't even have the disease in a bizarre effort to preserve their fertility decades later.
  9. Slash your diabetes risk with this simple vitamin

    It's so easy it seems unreal: A key weapon in the fight against diabetes might be hovering right outside your window, right now. It's the sun -- the primary source of vitamin D, and a new study shows how this pancreas-boosting super nutrient can help stop the disease before it starts.

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