Logo by S. Popis


Insulin and Its Metabolic Effects

Part 1 of 4 (Part 2, Part 3, Part 4)

By Ron Rosedale, M.D.

Presented at Designs for Health Institute's BoulderFest August 1999 Seminar


This is a very long article which is essentially a lecture transcription given by Dr. Rosedale in 1999 at BoulderFest. We were both speakers there in July 2001.

I am very grateful to Dr. Rosedale, as he is the person who convinced me in January of 1995 with a three hour lecture that contained much of the material below, of the great importance of insulin. I have been using this work for six and half years and I am absolutely convinced of its validity. I see similar results that Dr. Rosedale describes nearly every day in my practice.

It is also interesting to note that Dr. Rosedale is a HUGE fan of grass fed beef.

Let's talk about a couple of case histories. These are actual patients that I've seen; let's start with patient A. This patient who we will just call patient A saw me one afternoon and said that he had literally just signed himself out of the hospital "AMA," or against medical advice. Like in the movies, he had ripped out his IV's.

The next day he was scheduled to have his second by-pass surgery. He had been told that if he did not follow through with this by-pass surgery, within two weeks he would be dead. He couldn't walk from the car to the office without severe chest pain.

He was on 102 units of insulin and his blood sugars were 300 plus. He was on eight different medications for various things. But his first by-pass surgery was such a miserable experience he said he would rather just die than have to go through the second one and had heard that I might be able to prevent that.

To make a long story short, this gentleman right now is on no insulin. I first saw him three and a half years ago. He plays golf four or five times a week. He is on no medications whatsoever, he has no chest pain, and he has not had any surgery. He started an organization called "Heart Support of America" to educated people that there are alternatives to by-pass surgery that have nothing to do with surgery or medication. That organization, he last told me had a mailing list of over a million people, a large organization, "Heart Support of America."

Patient B is a patient who had a triglyceride level of 2200. Patient B was referred by patient A. He had a triglyceride of 2200, cholesterol of 950 and was on maximum doses of all of his medications. He was 42 years old, and he was told that he had familial hyperlipidema and that he had better get his affairs in order, that if that was what his lipids were despite the best medications with the highest doses, he was in trouble.

He was not fat at all, he was fairly thin

Whenever I see a patient on any of those medications, they're off the very first visit. They have no place in medicine. He was taken off the medications and in six weeks his lipid levels, both his Triglycerides and his cholesterol were hovering around 220. Six more weeks they were both under 200, off of the medications. They have no place in medicine.

I should mention that this patient had a CPK that was quite elevated. It was circled on the lab report that he brought in initially with a question mark by it because they didn't know why. The reason why was because he was eating off his muscles, because if you take (gemfibrozole) and any of the HMG co-enzyme reductase inhibitors together, that is a common side effect that is in the PDR, and they shouldn't be given together.

So he was chewing up his muscles, including his heart which they were trying to treat. So if indeed he was going to die, it was going to be that treatment that was going to kill him.

Let's go to something totally different, a lady with severe osteoporosis. She is almost three standard deviations below the norm in both the hip femeral neck and the cervical vertebrae, and she is very worried about getting a fracture. A fairly young woman and she was put on a high carbohydrate diet and told that would be of benefit, and placed on estrogen, which is a fairly typical treatment.

They wanted to put her on some other medicines and she didn't want to, she wanted to know if there was an alternative. Although we didn't have as dramatic a turn around, we got her to one standard deviation below the norm in a year, taking her off the estrogen she was on, anyway.

Let's go to claudication

That is severe angina of the leg when you walk, same thing as angina of the heart except of the leg. While walking, after walking a certain distance, there is pain. There was a gentleman who had extremely severe claudication, who happens to be my stepfather. It was a typical case, he would walk about fifty yards and then he would get severe, crampy pain in his legs. He was quite well off and was going to see the best doctors in Chicago, and they couldn't figure out what was wrong with him initially.

He went to a neurologist, they thought it might be neurological pain or back pain. He finally went to a vascular surgeon who said he thought it was vascular disease, so they did an arthrogram and sure enough, he had severe vascular disease. They wanted to do the typical by-pass surgery that they normally do on this. He was thinking of going in for the surgery for one reason, they had a trip planned to Europe in two weeks, and he wanted to be able to walk since they normally do a lot of walking.

Ten years previously he'd had an angioplasty for heart disease. At the time ten years ago, I told him he had to change his diet and he didn't of course. But this time he listened. I said that if he was not going to have a by-pass, then do exactly what I tell you to do and in two weeks you'll be walking just fine because by modulating this one aspect of his disease, I have never seen it not work, and it works very quickly to open up the artery.

We can talk about a patient with a very high cancer risk

She had a mother and a sister who both died of breast cancer and she didn't want to, so she came in and I put her on the exact same treatment as the other cases I just mentioned. They were all treated virtually identically because they all had the same thing wrong with them.

What would be the typical treatment of cardiovascular disease? First they check the cholesterol. High cholesterol over 200, they put you on cholesterol lowering drugs and what does it do? It shuts off your CoQ10. What does CoQ10 do? It is involved in the energy production and protection of little energy furnaces in every cell, so energy production goes way down.

A common side effect of people who are on all these HMG co-enzyme reductase inhibitors is that they tell you their arms feel heavy. Well, the heart is a muscle too, and it's going to feel heavy too. One of the best treatments for a weak heart is CoQ10 for congestive heart failure. But they have no trouble shutting CoQ10 production off so that they can treat a number. And the common therapies for osteoporosis are drugs, and the common therapy for calaudication is surgery. For cancer reduction there is nothing. But all of these have a common cause.

The same cause as three major avenues of research in aging. One is called caloric restriction. There are thousands of studies done since the fifties on caloric restriction. They restrict calories of laboratory animals.

They have known since the fifties that if you restrict calories but maintain a high level of nutrition, called "C.R.O.N.'s:" Caloric restriction with optimal nutrition, or adequate nutrition, which would be CRAN"S, these animals can live anywhere between thirty and two-hundred percent longer depending on the species.

They've done it on several dozen species and the results are uniform throughout. They are doing it on primates now and it is working with primates, we won't know for sure for about another ten years, they are about half way through the experiment, our nearest relatives are also living much longer.

Then there are Centenarian studies

There are three major centenarian studies going on around the world. They are trying to find the variable that would confer longevity among these people. Why do centenarians become centenarians? Why are they so lucky? Is it because they have low cholesterol, exercise a lot, live a healthy, clean life?

Well the longest recorded known person who has ever lived, Jean Calumet of France who died last year at 122 years, smoked all of her life and drank.

What they are finding on these major centenarian studies is that there is hardly anything in common among them. They have high cholesterol and low cholesterol, some exercise and some don't, some smoke, some don't. Some are nasty as can be and some nice and calm and nice. Some are ornery, but they all low sugar, relatively for their age. They all have low triglycerides for their age.

And they all have relatively low insulin. Insulin is the common denominator in everything I've just talked about. They way to treat cardiovascular disease and the way I treated my stepfather, the way I treated the high risk cancer patient, and osteoporosis, high blood pressure, the way to treat virtually all the so-called chronic diseases of aging is to treat insulin itself.

The other major avenue of research in aging has to do with genetic studies of so-called lower organisms. We know the genetics involved. We've got the entire genes mapped out of several species now, of yeast and worms. We think of life span as being fixed, sort of.

umans kind of have an average life span of seventy-six, and the maximum life-span was this French lady at one-hundred and twenty-two. In humans we feel it is relatively fixed, but in lower forms of life it is very plastic. Life span is strictly a variable depending on the environment. They can live two weeks, two years, or sometimes twenty years depending on what they want themselves to do, which depends very much on the environment.

If there is a lot of food around they are going to reproduce quickly and die quickly, if not they will just bide their time until conditions are better. We know now that the variability in life span is regulated by insulin.

One thinks of insulin as strictly to lower blood sugar. Today in the clinic there was a patient listing off her drugs, she listed about eight drugs she was on and didn't even mention insulin. Insulin is not treated as a drug. In fact, in some places you don't even need a prescription, you can just get it over the counter, it's treated like candy.

Insulin is found as in even single celled organisms. It has been around for several billion years. And its purpose in some organisms is to regulate life span. The way genetics works is that genes are not replaced, they are built upon. We have the same genes as everything that came before us. We just have more of them.

We have added books to our genetic library, but our base is the same. What we are finding is that we can use insulin to regulate lifespan too.

If there is a single marker for lifespan, as they are finding in the centenarian studies, it is insulin, specifically, insulin sensitivity.

How sensitive are your cells to insulin. When they are not sensitive, the insulin levels go up. Who has heard of the term insulin resistance?

Insulin resistance is the basis of all of the chronic diseases of aging, because the disease itself is actually aging.

We know now that aging is a disease. The other case studies that I mentioned, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, obesity, diabetes, cancer, all the so-called chronic diseases of aging, auto-immune diseases, those are symptoms.

If you have a cold and you go to the doctor, you have a runny nose, I did Ear, Nose and Throat for ten years, I know what the common treatment for that is, they give you a decongestant. I can't tell you how many patients I saw who had been given Sudafed by their family doctors for a cold and they came to see me after because of a really bad sinus infection.

What happens when you treat the symptom of a runny nose from a cold and you take a decongestant? It certainly decongests you by shutting off the mucus. Why do you have the mucus, because you are trying to clean and wash out the membranes, and what else? What else is in mucus? Secretory IgA, a very strong antibody to kill the virus is in the mucus. If there is no mucus, there is no secretory IgA.

Decongestants also constrict blood vessels, the little capillaries, or arterioles that go to those capillaries, the cilia, the little hair-like projections that beat to push mucus along to create a stream, they get paralyzed because they don't have blood flow so there is no more ciliary movement. What happens if you dam a stream and create a pond?

In days you've got larvae growing. If the stream is moving, you are fine. You need a constant stream of mucus to get rid of and prevent an infection. I am going in to this in some detail because in almost all cases if you treat a symptom, you are going to make the disease worse because the symptom is there as your body's attempt to heal itself.

Now, the medical profession is continuously segregating more and more symptoms into diseases, they call the symptoms diseases. Using ENT for example, that patient will walk out of there with a diagnosis of Rhinitis which is inflammation of the nose. Is there a reason that patient has inflammation of the nose? I think so. Wouldn't that underlying cause be the disease as opposed to the descriptive term of Rhinitis or Pharyngitis?

Some one can have the same virus and have Rhinitis or Pharyngitis, or Sinusitis, they can have all sorts of "itis's" which is a descriptive term for inflammation. That is what the code will be and that is what the disease will be. So they treat what they think is the disease which is just a symptom.

It is the same thing with cholesterol.

If you have high cholesterol it is called hypercholesterolemia. Hypercholesterolemia has become the code for the disease when it is only the symptom. So they treat that symptom and what are they doing to the heart? Messing it up.

o what you have to do if you are going to treat any disease is you need to get to the root of the disease. If you keep pulling a dandelion out by it's leaves, you are not going to get very far. But the problem is that we don't know what the root is, or we haven't.

They know what it is in many other areas of science, but the problem is that medicine really isn't a science, it is a business, but I don't want to get in to that, we can talk hours on that. But if you really look at the root of what is causing it, we can use that cold as a further example.

Why does that person have a cold?

If he saw the doctor, the doctor might tell him to take an antibiotic along with the decongestant. You see this all the time because the doctor wants to get rid of the patient. Well we all know that in almost all cases of an upper respiratory infection it is a virus, and the antibiotic is going to do worse than nothing because it is going to kill the bacterial flora in the gut and impair the immune system, making the immune system worse.

The patient might see someone else more knowledgeable who will say no, you caught a virus, don't do anything, go home and sleep, let your body heal itself. That's better. You might see someone else who would ask why you caught a virus without being out there trying to hunt for viruses with a net. We are breathing viruses every day; right now we are breathing viruses, cold viruses, rhinoviruses.

Why doesn't everybody catch a cold tomorrow?

The Chinese will tell you that it is because the milieu has to be right, if the Chinese were to quote the French. Your body has to be receptive to that virus. Only if your immune system is depressed will it allow that virus to take hold.

So maybe a depressed immune system is the disease. So you can be given a bunch of vitamin C because your immune system is depressed and it is likely that the person has a vitamin C deficiency. That's where most of us are at right now, where we would give a bunch of vitamin C to try to pick up the immune system.

But why is the vitamin C not working. Vitamin C is make in almost all living mammals except humans and a couple other species. Vitamin C is made directly from glucose and actually has a similar structure and they compete for one another.

We've known for many years that sugar depresses the immune system.

We have known that for decades. It was only in the 70's that they found out that vitamin C was needed by white blood cells so that they could phagocytize bacteria and viruses. White blood cells require a fifty times higher concentration at least inside the cell as outside so they have to accumulate vitamin C.

There is something called a phagocytic index which tells you how rapidly a particular macrophage or lymphocyte can gobble up a virus, bacteria, or cancer cell. It was in the 70's that Linus Pauling knew that white blood cells needed a high dose of vitamin C and that is when he came up with his theory that you need high doses of vitamin C to combat the common cold.

But if we know that vitamin C and glucose have similar chemical structure, what happens when the sugar levels go up? They compete for one another upon entering the cells. And the thing that mediates the entry of vitamin C into the cells is the same thing that mediates the entry of glucose into the cells. If there is more glucose around there is going to be less vitamin C allowed into the cell and it doesn't take much. A blood sugar value of 120 reduces the phagocytic index seventy-five percent.

Here we are getting a little bit further down into the roots of disease. It doesn't matter what disease you are talking about, whether you are talking about a common cold or about cardiovascular disease, or osteoporosis or cancer, the root is always going to be at the molecular and cellular level, and I will tell you that insulin is going to have its hand in it, if not totally controlling it.

What is the purpose of insulin?

As I mentioned, in some organisms it is to control their lifespan, which is important. What is the purpose of insulin in humans? If you ask your doctor, they will say that it's to lower blood sugar and I will tell you right now, that is a trivial side effect. Insulin's evolutionary purpose, among others at least known right now, we are looking at others, is to store excess nutrients.

We come from a time of feast and famine and if we couldn't store the excess energy during times of feasting, we would all not be here, because we all have had ancestors that encountered famine. So we are only here because our ancestors were able to store nutrients, and they were able to store nutrients because they were able to elevate their insulin in response to any elevation in energy that the organism encountered.

When your body notices that the sugar is elevated, it is a sign that you've got more than you need right now, you are not burning it so it is accumulating in your blood. So insulin will be released to take that sugar and store it. How does it store it? (Someone in the audience suggest the answer glycogen)…Glycogen?

How much glycogen do you store?

Do you know how much glycogen you have in your body at any one time? Very little. All the glycogen stored in your liver and all the glycogen stored in your muscle if you had an active day wouldn't last you the day.

Once you fill up your glycogen stores how is that sugar is stored, as what particular kind of triglyceride, or fatty acid? Palmitic acid. Saturated fat, ninety-eight percent of which is palmitic acid.

So the idea of the medical profession to go on a high complex carbohydrate, low saturated-fat diet is an absolute oxymoron, because those high complex carbohydrate diets are nothing but a high glucose diet, or a high sugar diet, and your body is just going to store it as saturated fat. The body makes it into saturated fat quite readily.

What else does insulin do?

It doesn't just store carbohydrates, by the way. Somebody mentioned that it is an anabolic hormone, it absolutely is. Body builders are using insulin now because it is legal, so they are injecting themselves with insulin because it builds muscle, it stores protein too.

A lesser known fact is that insulin also stores magnesium. We mentioned it's role in vitamin C, it stores all sorts of nutrients. But what happens if your cells become resistant to insulin? First of all you can't store magnesium so you lose it, that's one effect, you lose it out the urine.

Part 2

| Up | Home | Feedback |
Designs and implementation by S. Popis. All Rights Reserved