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Insulin Resistance -- More Dangerous Than High Cholesterol

Updated: Jan 23, 2022

Contrary to what most people have been told, elevated cholesterol is not the villain it has been made out to be.

Unfortunately many people are chasing the wrong criminal when it comes to improving health outcomes.

The medical literature is exploding with the dangers of insulin resistance in the increase of cardiovascular disease and other disease entities.

It is reported that chronic insulin resistance is also associated with various types of cancer such as colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, endometrial cancer, and breast cancer.

Insulin resistance is when cells in your muscles, fat, and liver don't respond well to insulin and can't use glucose from your blood for energy. To make up for it, your pancreas makes more insulin. Over time, your blood sugar levels go up.

Some signs of insulin resistance include:

  • A waistline over 40 inches in men and 35 inches in women

  • Blood pressure readings of 130/80 or higher

  • A fasting glucose level over 100 mg/dL

  • A fasting triglyceride level over 150 mg/dL

  • Fasting insulin greater than 6

  • A HDL cholesterol level under 40 mg/dL in men and 50 mg/dL in women

  • Skin tags

  • Patches of dark, velvety skin called acanthosis nigricans

Effective Treatment for Insulin Resistance

  • Carbohydrates such as simple sugars, grains and starchy vegetables should be avoided as they stimulate insulin secretion. They should be replaced with higher protein containing foods and non starchy vegetables.

  • Adequate vitamin D intake

  • Aerobic and resistance training--High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has been found to be superior to low intensity cardio. Of course I suggest that people completely out of shape to work their way up to HIIT. Start out slow. Some exercise is better than none.

  • Get adequate sleep.

  • Reduce stress-- meditation is recommended.

  • Get adequate magnesium intake.

  • Take Berberine supplementation.

What causes insulin resistance? Many factors contribute to insulin resistance.

  1. Increased levels of fat in your blood.

    1. Numerous studies show that high amounts of free fatty acids in your blood cause cells to stop responding properly to insulin. The main cause of elevated free fatty acids is eating too many calories and carrying excess body fat. In fact, overeating, weight gain, and obesity are all strongly associated with insulin resistance.

  2. Visceral fat, the dangerous belly fat that accumulates around your organs, may release many free fatty acids into your blood, as well as inflammatory hormones that drive insulin resistance.

    1. Although this condition is more common among those with excess weight, people with low or normal weight are also susceptible.

  3. Fructose. High fructose intake (from added sugar, not fruit) has been linked to insulin resistance in both rats and humans.

  4. Inflammation. Increased oxidative stress and inflammation in your body may lead to this condition.

  5. Inactivity. Physical activity increases insulin sensitivity, while inactivity causes insulin resistance.

  6. Gut microbiota. Evidence suggests that a disruption in the bacterial environment in your gut can cause inflammation that exacerbates insulin resistance and other metabolic problems.

What’s more, various genetic and social factors may be contributors. Black, Hispanic, and Asian peoples are at particularly high risk.


I recommend one take insulin resistance very serious. The implications in being associated with increased cardiovascular disease and cancer is overwhelming. The following robust list of peer reviewed citations should be reviewed. I have provided above a good starting point in reversing insulin resistance.


Compliments from Functional Medicine University (

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