3

votes

List of all known things to increase insulin sensitivity / reduce insulin resistance

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created June 16, 2013 at 11:50 PM

So, was hoping to start a list of all known supplements, foods, activities, and techniques to increases insulin sensitivity.

Fire away.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on June 18, 2013
at 04:53 PM

or in other words, being in good health....which will help improve the desire for exercise, help with weight loss or weight gain, etc.

7c09a44d334ef8a8c7c2644b0b7e1383

(279)

on June 18, 2013
at 02:56 PM

I've read that IF can actually DECREASE insulin sensitivity in some women. It doesn't seem to be as beneficial in general for women as it is for men.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on June 17, 2013
at 03:43 PM

LC/HF causes an insulin resistance because blood sugar is being reserved for the brain while everything else is being encouraged to run on ketones. In this context it is healthy. Additionally the LC/HF environment means less overall insulin, which may contribute to healing whatever issue causes the non-healthy version of IR, the one that happens in the presence of carbs. A few low carbers have SLOWLY ramped up their carbs and shown a healthy return of insulin sensitivity. Some pregnant paleors have had to deal with this too- they fail tests for gestational diabetes unless they ramp up.

7c09a44d334ef8a8c7c2644b0b7e1383

(279)

on June 17, 2013
at 03:20 PM

+1 for high seafood diet! Especially if you are eating healthy, starchy carbs. Those two things seem to be magic for insulin sensitivity.

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on June 17, 2013
at 02:12 PM

You might want to qualify your decreases a little better and you put high fat diets in both categories.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on June 17, 2013
at 04:40 AM

I agree wholeheartedly, thhq.

3fc95bca9e723edfbbb72b172798ab49

(1354)

on June 17, 2013
at 04:20 AM

Check out this Hyperlipid post for a somewhat snarky allegory on the matter. http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2009/09/physiological-insulin-resistance-and.html

3fc95bca9e723edfbbb72b172798ab49

(1354)

on June 17, 2013
at 04:19 AM

It's not so much high fat that causes it but rather low carb (and thus, by necessity, yes high fat). And it is physiological (good), not pathological (bad). That is, the insulin sensitivity of tissues that don't necessarily NEED glucose is reduced in order to reserve what glucose there is from the limited card intake for things such as the brain. Think of it as the brain calling "dibs" on glucose. Once carb intake increases this system backs off and everything goes back to normal. Really, it is a good thing that it happens or we would all be dead the first day we don't have any fruit.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 17, 2013
at 03:52 AM

These are probably useful for steady-state diet modifications, but not as significant as eliminating obesity and sedentary behavior.

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10 Answers

3
Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 17, 2013
at 03:43 AM

Last year my insulin resistance (LPIR) was extremely low. Possible causes:

-healthy weight, constant within 5 lbs.

-high seafood diet, especially high in clams and oysters.

-daily exercise, averaging 3 hours/day walking or biking.

-daily calorie consumption averaging about 2200, about 50% higher than my BMR.

-at least 50% of calories were carbs - 200-300 grams/day.

-no dietary supplements other than what is in my food.

I was an obese diabetic 6 years ago. Initially carb restriction was very helpful for improving insulin sensitivity. However with weight loss and exercise carbs no longer have much effect on my insulin sensitivity.

7c09a44d334ef8a8c7c2644b0b7e1383

(279)

on June 17, 2013
at 03:20 PM

+1 for high seafood diet! Especially if you are eating healthy, starchy carbs. Those two things seem to be magic for insulin sensitivity.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 17, 2013
at 03:52 AM

These are probably useful for steady-state diet modifications, but not as significant as eliminating obesity and sedentary behavior.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on June 17, 2013
at 04:40 AM

I agree wholeheartedly, thhq.

2
5c9d6d87c6fb92f4f379f329b2a19683

on June 17, 2013
at 01:33 AM

Increases

Exercise: increases GLUT4 activity in skeletal muscle...meaning exercise makes you carb tolerant in A SINGLE BOUT!

r-ala: do research, Increases glucose transport and uptake without the need for extra insulin

cinnamon: not sure on mechanism

carbs: eat a low carb, high fat diet become insulin resistant (this is a well known fact)

biotin:

losing belly fat

eating protein with carbs: Supported by bro-science...not sure about real science but bro science is enough for me.

Decreases

high fat diets: well known.

Belly fat: well known.

sedentary lifestyle: well known.

Overeating: well researched

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on June 17, 2013
at 02:12 PM

You might want to qualify your decreases a little better and you put high fat diets in both categories.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on June 17, 2013
at 03:43 PM

LC/HF causes an insulin resistance because blood sugar is being reserved for the brain while everything else is being encouraged to run on ketones. In this context it is healthy. Additionally the LC/HF environment means less overall insulin, which may contribute to healing whatever issue causes the non-healthy version of IR, the one that happens in the presence of carbs. A few low carbers have SLOWLY ramped up their carbs and shown a healthy return of insulin sensitivity. Some pregnant paleors have had to deal with this too- they fail tests for gestational diabetes unless they ramp up.

1
8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on June 18, 2013
at 04:45 PM

From here:

http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2012/01/around-the-web-bears-in-the-woods-edition/

The first study to address this question was published in 1935 by Dr. H.P. Himsworth (Himsworth HP. Clin Sci 2:67. 1935). He found that insulin sensitivity was increased by feeding a high-carbohydrate diet and decreased by feeding a low-carbohydrate diet, but these effects were only observed at very high (70-80%) and very low (less than 10%) carbohydrate intakes, respectively.

So both too low carb and too high carb.

Also choline deficiency http://perfecthealthdiet.com/category/nutrients/choline/

Choline deficiency (CD) by itself induces metabolic syndrome (indicated by insulin resistance and elevated serum triglycerides and cholesterol) and obesity.

A combined methionine and choline deficiency (MCD) actually causes weight loss and reduces serum triglycerides and cholesterol ???

I quote both these effects because it illustrates the complexity of nutrition. A deficiency of a micronutrient can present with totally different symptoms depending on the status of other micronutrients.

http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2010/11/dangers-of-a-zero-carb-diet-ii-micronutrient-deficiencies/

Per the last paragraph from Paul - nutrition is complex. It depends on the status of other micronutrients in the body.

So the answer for all of these things will be - it depends on the person and their diet/supplementation/location on whether or not X, Y, or Z will improve or decrease insulin sensitivity no?

In general, not eating a good diet will cause you to be deficient in micronutrients or minerals which in turn may or may not cause insulin sensitivity or decreased insulin sensitivity, but it's hard to say WHY or WHICH one exactly since all the nutrients required are myriad and complex and are present at different levels in everyone of us.

So I'd say having good health by having proper levels of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals in proper amounts and ratios in each person will strongly affect insulin sensitivity or desensitivity

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on June 18, 2013
at 04:53 PM

or in other words, being in good health....which will help improve the desire for exercise, help with weight loss or weight gain, etc.

1
7c09a44d334ef8a8c7c2644b0b7e1383

on June 17, 2013
at 03:19 PM

A skewed omega-6 to omega-3 ratio can cause insulin resistance via inflammation.

This is my personal observation, but it seems to me that a consistently very low carbohydrate diet OR a consistently very high carbohydrate diet can cause insulin resistance. The key seems to be finding a happy medium, or at least cycling between the two extremes.

1
8ce8b8fd33944e67dfd6277e7b671815

(327)

on June 17, 2013
at 03:39 AM

wait so a high fat diet causes insulin resistance.. wtf why are we doing 60 20 20 then O_o

3fc95bca9e723edfbbb72b172798ab49

(1354)

on June 17, 2013
at 04:20 AM

Check out this Hyperlipid post for a somewhat snarky allegory on the matter. http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2009/09/physiological-insulin-resistance-and.html

3fc95bca9e723edfbbb72b172798ab49

(1354)

on June 17, 2013
at 04:19 AM

It's not so much high fat that causes it but rather low carb (and thus, by necessity, yes high fat). And it is physiological (good), not pathological (bad). That is, the insulin sensitivity of tissues that don't necessarily NEED glucose is reduced in order to reserve what glucose there is from the limited card intake for things such as the brain. Think of it as the brain calling "dibs" on glucose. Once carb intake increases this system backs off and everything goes back to normal. Really, it is a good thing that it happens or we would all be dead the first day we don't have any fruit.

0
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on June 18, 2013
at 02:15 PM

I'd add to the above, doing intermittent fasting, and then on the days you do work, work out fasted, and don't have a post workout meal for about an hour, and follow that by a high carb, high protein meal, as per Art De Vany.

Both IF, and not working out immediately will raise insulin sensitivity, providing the low end of the spectrum, then, a higher carb meal (think paleo friendly starches such as sweet potatoes, carrots, white rice, etc., not doughnuts), provides for a spike, so you reset both ends of the spectrum.

IF, and working out fasted, also provide another useful benefit: autophagy.

You can skip the PWO carby meal, and it would probably be more beneficial, but, you may have a rough recovery and feel like a zombie for a day.

7c09a44d334ef8a8c7c2644b0b7e1383

(279)

on June 18, 2013
at 02:56 PM

I've read that IF can actually DECREASE insulin sensitivity in some women. It doesn't seem to be as beneficial in general for women as it is for men.

0
303da756656a877256622dd5dcf0a02e

(157)

on June 17, 2013
at 03:20 PM

Apparently stevia can help reduce insulin resistance which is great as it doubles as a way to help lower your sugar intake (which of course will raise your level of insulin resistance). Mark Scission wrote a fantastic piece about it - http://www.marksdailyapple.com/stevia/

Also increasing protein and fat intake whilst decreasing your reliance on carb laden foods, particularly grains is a tried and true method of reducing insulin resistance, but I think this is a given.

0
5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on June 17, 2013
at 02:15 PM

You can add taurine supplementation to the increase list. Pubmed has a ton of interesting studies on it.

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