Richard G. Petty, MD

Insulin Resistance, Diabetes and the Timing of Meals

At a meeting of the American Diabetes Association in June 2006, Professor Markus Stoffel from the Eidgenossische Technishe Hochschule in Zurich and Rockefeller University in New York, received the Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award for his extremely interesting and important research on the molecular mechanisms involved in the developmental insulin resistance.

This may sound as interesting as watching paint dry, but in actual fact the research is supremely practical, and may lead to a complete re-working of some commonly used dietary strategies.

Many physicians have not yet been taught that the liver is the key organ involved in the genesis of insulin resistance and of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Up to 90% of the glucose circulating in your blood has come from your liver. As the liver becomes less sensitive to the actions of insulin, it starts producing more glucose, particularly after meals. This in turn causes blood glucose to rise and with it insulin levels. One of the other consequences of insulin resistance is that the liver stops storing triglycerides, which then start circulating, while at the same time storing other types of fat, leading to what we call, not surprisingly, fatty liver. Or in the dog Latin that doctors use to confuse the general public, hepatic steatosis.

When we are fasting, the liver switches on banks of genes that produce the enzymes responsible for oxidizing fatty acids to produce fuel.

The main objective of a balanced diet is to maintain balance: we want to avoid sudden swings in glucose, fatty acids or insulin: it is these sudden changes that can cause inflammatory changes in blood vessels and in the liver and may lead to some of the circulatory problems that are such distressing complications of diabetes. We want to try and keep our insulin levels smooth and low. The best way not to do that is to have frequent high calorie snacks and to eat late at night. The best way is to follow the plans that I’ve talked about before. Eat little and often, keep the balance of nutrients just right, and be aware of the exact times at which you eat. Nothing except a little protein in the 2-3 hours before you retire for the night, and go very easy on alcohol, which can wreck your metabolism.

“The secret of life is balance, and the absence of balance is life’s destruction.”
–Hazrat Inayat Khan (Founder of the Sufi Order of the West, 1882-1927)

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About Richard G. Petty, MD
Dr. Richard G. Petty, MD is a world-renowned authority on the brain, and his revolutionary work on human energy systems has been acclaimed around the globe. He is also an accredited specialist in internal and metabolic medicine, endocrinology, psychiatry, acupuncture and homeopathy. He has been an innovator and leader of the human potential movement for over thirty years and is also an active researcher, teacher, writer, professional speaker and broadcaster. He is the author of five books, including the groundbreaking and best selling CD series Healing, Meaning and Purpose. He has taught in over 45 countries and 48 states in the last ten years, but spends as much time as possible on his horse farm in Georgia.

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