Insulin Levels Predict Heart Disease Better than Cholesterol

October 28, 2019

References: Cardiovascular Diabetology 2018J Eval Clin PractHarvard Health BlogCell Metabolism, Fung's Obesity Code,

Obsessed with your cholesterol level? Your doctor tell you that you need to be on statins? Are you a slim, trim 62 year old with a cholesterol of 2018 thinking you will die soon if you aren't on a statin? Then you fit right in to the 2019 medical model of heart disease care, that is deeply flawed. The flaws started to show 5 years ago from the HUNT II studyof 10,000 Norwegian women that showed that women with cholesterols over 200 live longer than those under 200. (Oops!). And by the way, you most likely don't need to be on statins. How do you know? How can you make sure? 
As elegantly explained in this week's review article, the core defect in coronary artery disease is insulin signalling. The net effect is incredibly nuanced through many intricate, cross-matching mechanisms and you can get lost in the details. But, an elegant model that explains it all is as follows. You have about 186,000 insulin receptors on a healthy fat cell. Two have to be next to each other to trigger the uptake of insulin. When you are slender, fat cells are smaller and insulin receptors are closer to each other. You only need a very low insulin level to get effective control of glucose. Skinny people have low blood sugar and low insulin levels. As you get larger, you don't make more fat cells, they just get larger. But in that size increase, they don't make more insulin receptors. The insulin receptors get further apart. You need higher insulin receptors to trigger proper blood sugar control. You get bigger and bigger, your blood sugar rises more and more. 
Here is the catch. You can only make so much insulin in a lifetime. It's as though you were only given a million units of insulin to use up in a lifetime. If you are skinny, you only use up 10 units of insulin a day. That means you have enough insulin to last 273 years. If you use 45 units a day, you will run out by age 60. Oddly enough, that's just when many folks become diabetic and need to be put on various insulin treatment drugs. But if you examine those folks who are becoming "diabetic", you will find that their insulin is 23, allegedly in the normal range. The problem is that they are overweight (by a lot) and what their body "needs" is an insulin level of 50, and they just can't make it. Well, their doctor puts them on insulin, cranks up their level to 100 and sure enough, controls their diabetes, and they get even fatter.

What would happen if they were to lose weight? Smaller fat cells, closer insulin receptors, demand for insulin drops. In fact, on a vegan, green vegetable diet, their demand for insulin drops in hours. Hours. Their blood sugar normalizes in hours as they switch over their bodies from glucose metabolism to the necessary ketone metabolism involved in weight loss. It feels rough for a day or two as the cellular mechanisms of ketone metabolism haven't been aroused or activated for decades and need to be woken up. But wake up they do. Weight loss ensues. Receptors get closer to each other. Lower and lower levels of insulin is needed and all the nuanced, intertwined mechanisms of high insulin caused damage go away. And heart disease risk plummets. 
Don't measure your cholesterol. It is an indirect, tangential look at your insulin level. You have high cholesterol because you are eating too many triggers for insulin release like too many carbs, grains, sugar, and animal. Stop eating that. Switch to vegetables and healthy oils (olive, macadamia, avocado, coconut) and delicious spices. Measure your insulin level and do everything you can to get it down to below 5. Don't settle for the "normal" range your lab says for insulin (3-29). Healthy is below 5. Period. Excellent is below 3.5. Included in the "normal" range are all those millions of folks who are overweight and headed for the cath lab and open-heart surgery.

It sounds complex but it's actually elegantly simple. It is complex. It is incredibly nuanced, but it has this simple driving mechanism: your insulin level is defined by the size of your fat cells, your diet (as driven by consumption of glycemic carbs, sugar, and animal), and your activity. And that drives your heart disease risk.

WWW: What will work for me. I've been measuring insulin levels for 10 years now. It works. It is an accurate, responsive, predictive model of those folks in trouble, and those folks getting out of trouble. It responds rapidly to dietary changes. On the fast mimicking diet, it drops to 5 and under in 3 days, exactly in sync with ketones showing up. Try it. You can get your own lab. If it isn't below 5, I would hazard the guess your waist size isn't ideal. Get it there. I just ordered new pants. I'm finally below 38 inches.

Pop Quiz:

  1. A cholesterol level of 200 and above means you should be on a statin. T or F. Answer: that is the American Heart accepted threshold. It is driven by a 30 billion dollar industry, paying for a lot of cardiologists to do flawed research that is looking at the wrong picture. Read the HUNT study from Norway and ponder why women live longer with cholesterol over 200. (Hint: they have large, fluffy, harmless LDLs. It's small dense ones, driven by high insulin that cause trouble.)
  2. Insulin level reflects what? Answer: The standard answer is the level of insulin resistance but the operative model proposed here is better explained by the spacing of insulin receptors over ever-enlarging fat cells. Lose weight, make your fat cells smaller and receptors closer, and your insulin level goes down.
  3. What is wrong with high insulin? Answer. Wow, read the review article. There must be at least 20 separate, destructive, overlapping, functions of insulin; everything from increasing smooth muscle proliferation in artery walls to more oxidized LDLs to more t
  4. What happens to insulin when you fast, or fast-mimick by eating only green vegetables (that make beta-hydroxybutyrate)? Answer. Plummets. I mean, fast.
  5. Does this mean you can cure diabetes by losing weight? Answer: Yup. If you can reduce your demand from insulin from 45 units a day to 2 units a day, the 50,000 units of insulin your pancrease still has in it will last you decades, with good control, instead of months with marginal control. But you have to lose the weight.