I think the condition we’re dealing with that encompasses all these diseases ‒ heart disease, high blood pressure, dementia and even cancer ‒ is insulin resistance.‒ Professor Timothy Noakes
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas; the primary role of which help cells in the body to take up blood glucose to be used as energy. As glucose goes up, insulin goes up.
Many therefore refer to insulin as the ‘fat-storing’ hormone. Insulin resistance occurs when the body’s liver, muscle and fat cells become resistant to the effects of insulin, the story and the science causing the pancreas to secrete more and more insulin to compensate.
Eventually, the blood glucose level rises above the normal range, which then leads to a diagnosis of type-2 diabetes.
However, insulin resistance (a marker of which is chronically raised insulin levels, or hyperinsulinaemia) itself can be present for many years, even
decades, before an individual is diagnosed with type-2 diabetes.
Insulin resistance has also been shown to be a powerful independent predictor of strokes, high blood pressure, cancer and heart disease1.
1. Facchini, F. S., et al., ‘Insulin Resistance as a Predictor of Age-related Diseases’, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (August 2001), 86(8): 3574–8.