The obesity epidemic continues in the U.S. Obesity rates are increasing around the world. The latest estimates are that approximately 34% of adults and 15–20% of children and adolescents in the U.S. are obese. Obesity affects every segment of the U.S. population. The Metabolism Clinic focuses on treating the underlying metabolic problems that causes the body to put on weight.
In this article we will discuss one of the most important hormones that causes obesity. It is insulin.
Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas. Insulin directly or indirectly affects the function of virtually every tissue in the body. Many of us just think that the only function of insulin in the body is to lower the blood sugar level. Insulin has many other metabolic functions. We will focus on the effects of insulin on obesity.
There are two main processes that affects fat accumulation. The fist process is called “lipogenesis” which means fat synthesis and “lipolysis” which is the breakdown of fat.
If you have more lipogenesis and less lipolysis you will increase the amount of fat on your body. If you have more lipolysis and less lipogenesis you lose fat. Insulin is the most important hormonal factor that causes lipogenesis. Insulin also suppresses lipolysis.1 This simply means if you have high insulin, your fat synthesis will be activated and fat breakdown will be suppressed. If you have low insulin, fat synthesis will be suppressed and fat breakdown will be activated. Insulin basically is the switch for weight. High insulin equals weight gain. Low insulin equals weight loss.
What goes wrong in patients suffering from obesity?
In most patient suffering from obesity, they have insulin resistance which causes higher than usual levels of insulin within the bloodstream. When the cells become resistant to insulin, the body responds by sending signals to the pancreas to increase the insulin production to maintain the blood sugar level in the normal range. This causes the insulin level to be consistently higher than normal which causes lipogenesis and inhibits lipolysis which in turns simply causes weight gain. If the insulin resistance continues for long time, Type 2 Diabetes occurs. Insulin level are almost 20 percent higher in obese patients.2
It is important here to delineate that insulin resistance is strongly associated with obesity. The relationship is as follows: insulin resistance causes high insulin level. High insulin causes weight gain. Obesity-induced chronic inflammation which causes insulin resistance.3
Insulin resistance is a self-perpetuating cycle.
Weight loss is physiologically impossible with elevated levels of insulin. Insulin resistance needs to be addressed for weight loss to occur.
The Metabolism Clinic is established as the destination for weight loss and reversal of diabetes. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina. www.themetabolismclinic.com