3

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IFing vs. insulin

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 16, 2010 at 6:37 PM

This morning a question occurred to me so i thought id put it out there for you guys:

One of IF's positive points that ive heard mentioned many times is its blunting of insulin. However, i've heard many times (this is even mentioned by Taubes in GCBC) that insulin may be generally higher in the mornings for most people.

So what i cant seem to get my head around is that since sleeping is essentially IFing (to a degree) how come insulin would be higher in the morning.

thanks

4e40d2b9e1a762949a25b958762aa10d

(762)

on January 17, 2011
at 04:40 PM

@Chris: If most combinations of protein, carbs, & fat increase insulin levels, then why are low-carbohydrate diets better than others for restoring insulin sensitivity in diabetics? Perhaps diabetics have a sufficiently pathologic metabolism that they respond differently.

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on July 20, 2010
at 08:06 PM

Not to be excessively crass, but it sounds like your understanding of what insulin sensitivity is clouding the issue. Reread the Kitavia studies, they have very low fasting insulin levels.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on July 18, 2010
at 02:45 PM

My point is if there are long term gains from IFing other than for some people, weight loss (and rats may live longer with certain specific IF schedules). I have not seen much evidence that IFing has long term gains for humans. If you are already at optimium insulin sensitivity or getting there via diet in general, then I don't see the benefits of trying to improve insulin sensitivity any further. Seem to me that insulin sensitivity is not going to be something in which more is always better no matter what. LIke I said, I feel IF 'might' be good, just not sure yet.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 17, 2010
at 06:55 AM

"if the sensitivity goes right back to normal later in the day? " - even if so, would it really matter?: even if it goes back to 'normal', that would be neither good nor bad because you simply don't eat

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on July 17, 2010
at 05:55 AM

Any meal will increase insulin levels by a factor of 2-3x regardless of the carbohydrate content.

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3 Answers

2
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on July 17, 2010
at 05:02 AM

One thing that I have yet to see is evidence that IFing increases insulin sensitivity of cells over a long period of time. So far, all research I have seen shows increased insulin sensitivity right after the fast. But how much does this help if the sensitivity goes right back to normal later in the day?

Another issue I have is that so far all the research I have seen has been on people eating normal carbfilled foods. If the goal is a break from high insulin, then eating low carb already provides that and if sufficiently low carb and consistant, it provides that on a much more consistant basis than does IFing. What I would like to see is research on fasting in those who already eat lowcarb and whose insulin is normally not spiking at all in the first place. Would such a person still benefit greatly from intermittant fasting? Would such a person still have increased insulin sensitivity if this person already had increased insulin sensitivity to start with because of low carb?

Seems to me, at some point, there would be a point of diminishing gains. The cells are only going to get so much more insulin sensitive and at some point they will reach the preferred level and there should be no more increases in sensitivity at that point. Seems to me, increases in insulin sensitivity are only good if you assume that your cells are currently not yet at the preferred level. If your insulin sensitivity is already at good levels, what do you gain by IFing?

(Not to say I am against IFing, I am just not sure if I am really positive about the benefits being there for everyone in all situations. I have not yet seen the research to have that much belief and am waiting to learn more. IMO, IFing is one area of paleo in which I don't feel the research is really fleshed out yet.) -Eva

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 17, 2010
at 06:55 AM

"if the sensitivity goes right back to normal later in the day? " - even if so, would it really matter?: even if it goes back to 'normal', that would be neither good nor bad because you simply don't eat

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on July 20, 2010
at 08:06 PM

Not to be excessively crass, but it sounds like your understanding of what insulin sensitivity is clouding the issue. Reread the Kitavia studies, they have very low fasting insulin levels.

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on July 17, 2010
at 05:55 AM

Any meal will increase insulin levels by a factor of 2-3x regardless of the carbohydrate content.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on July 18, 2010
at 02:45 PM

My point is if there are long term gains from IFing other than for some people, weight loss (and rats may live longer with certain specific IF schedules). I have not seen much evidence that IFing has long term gains for humans. If you are already at optimium insulin sensitivity or getting there via diet in general, then I don't see the benefits of trying to improve insulin sensitivity any further. Seem to me that insulin sensitivity is not going to be something in which more is always better no matter what. LIke I said, I feel IF 'might' be good, just not sure yet.

4e40d2b9e1a762949a25b958762aa10d

(762)

on January 17, 2011
at 04:40 PM

@Chris: If most combinations of protein, carbs, & fat increase insulin levels, then why are low-carbohydrate diets better than others for restoring insulin sensitivity in diabetics? Perhaps diabetics have a sufficiently pathologic metabolism that they respond differently.

2
1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on July 16, 2010
at 07:46 PM

After a meal, insulin can increase 3-4 fold for a period of about 4 hours. http://heartscanblog.blogspot.com/2010/03/timing-of-blood-sugars.html

The elevation of insulin in the morning is much smaller.

The argument for IF goes something like: condensing your eating into say a single 6 hour period results in lower average insulin levels over a 24 hour period. Instead of 3-5 meals that keep your insulin levels elevated all day (12-20 hours) with a 4-12 hour break, you have maybe 8-10 hours of elevated insulin levels separated by 14-16 hours of basal insulin levels.

2
52cae90a114ca8f0404948e2b7ccb7ef

(1595)

on July 16, 2010
at 07:25 PM

Cortisol levels are normally highest in the morning and cortisol promotes gluconeogenesis. Which means the liver makes and releases more glucose into the blood. Insulin rises in response to blood glucose.

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