Dr. Rosedale points out that insulin levels, and by extension insulin sensitivity, is a key indicator of aging, although it really isn’t the insulin sensitivity that does it, as he seems to suggest. Being insensitive to insulin is actually a symptom, not a disease, and a clear symptom actually.
The reason why we become insulin resistant is that we have undergone cellular damage and the cells are resisting not insulin but nutrients. They are unable to handle the amount that our insulin levels want to dispose of in the cells.
This is due to two things, too much insulin and too many nutrients in our blood, and it’s actually a combination because the two go together. We may resist amounts beyond normal capacity or as we get sicker we’re going to resist even normal amounts because the cells are too damaged to handle that.
This is how we get to the place where we suffer from a lack of glucose in cells even though there is too much in our blood, although it’s just assumed that all type 2 diabetics are like this and it’s never a good idea to assume this. We haven’t even looked into this much but from what we do know, and from outward signs as well, type 2 diabetics get plenty of glucose, too much in most cases, although it’s possible for the disease to progress such that we actually do have a deficiency.
This only really happens in cases of extreme insulin resistance, and the two are correlated, where the less our cells can handle nutrients, the greater the resistance will be. So it’s the damage that causes the resistance, not the other way around.
Now when this deficiency exists, it’s for a reason, and this is a symptom, not the problem itself. The symptom is from our not even being able to handle normal amounts of glucose and fat, and it’s important to consider that both these nutrients present an issue with metabolic disease and especially with type 2 diabetes.
The question we always want to ask ourselves when we see disease is why this is the case, what might be causing it, what may be behind it. If we see insulin resistance as the pathology itself, we aren’t going to get there, but that’s pretty stupid, grade school reasoning actually.
There’s always going to be some cellular damage with insulin resistance, because this only kicks in after a certain amount of damage has occurred, and the protection that insulin resistance affords us is only partial, and the damage here therefore progressive over time. There’s no question about this and no one doubts that diabetes is a progressive disease, at least if you don’t treat it properly, which includes all forms of trying to overpower insulin resistance.
Dr. Rosedale does have an idea of how excess nutrients promote excessive aging, and he’s a champion of calorie restriction for this. We do have good evidence that the two are correlated, but we need to ask ourselves why, and the reason is of course at the cellular level, by way of an excess of not calories but nutrients.
It’s actually quite stupid to think of calories really mattering here at all, it’s the stuff itself actually, too much of it, regardless of what its potential to generate heat is. So we eat too much, plain and simple, but why this matters has to do with too much food basically being delivered to our cells.
Guess what insulin does though? It delivers these excess nutrients more efficiently to our cells. Few people realize that this is a variable process, but this is why people get fatter when their insulin levels are higher, as storage isn’t a linear thing related just to intake. If it was then all one would have to do is reduce how much food they eat in general and this would work every time.
Dietary restriction can and does work, but only if it is focused on what really matters, reducing insulin levels, which means restricting excess carbs, not calories.
The aging process itself is due to cellular damage basically, and overfeeding our cells speeds this up, and therefore higher insulin levels do as well. This is why lower insulin levels are so well correlated with living longer, and vice versa.
i wouldn’t say that aging is a disease in the way Dr. Rosedale proclaims, but excessive aging is, and it’s actually a symptom of excessive nutrients causing excessive cellular damage, which describes exactly what happens with metabolic disease, including type 2 diabetes. We just are in worse shape when it comes to this if we’re type 2.
Just so they don’t feel left out, this is an issue with type 1 diabetics as well, although to a lesser degree than with type 2, because their insulin levels are only about twice what is healthy instead of even higher than that with type 2. Neither type do a good job of managing their diet on the whole though, and with a lot of type 1’s they feel that their insulin injections give them a license to eat what they want.
All type 1’s ought to read Dr. Richard Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution, and although in many respects his approach is a terrible one, being extremely over obsessed with normal blood sugar and proposing diets so extreme that very few would ever consider, he does make some good points and does understand that for a type 1, which he is, the less insulin you need to use, the better, even though he doesn’t get why this is the case.
This is not just about his law of small numbers, making it easier to dose insulin when you are covering less carbs, it’s really more about limiting the cellular damage involved in managing this disease, where it becomes necessary to deliver excessive nutrients to cells by maintaining higher than normal insulin levels to make up for lack of internal glucose suppression.
So glucagon can’t be controlled because you don’t secrete insulin, and the injected kind can’t suppress it properly, so your liver basically makes too much sugar and you use extra insulin in your blood to dispose of this extra glucose into your cells.
So if you consume more glucose, you will get even more of this, even more damage, and type 1’s are subject to this damage as type 2’s are, because in both cases your insulin levels are in excess, even though with type 1’s this is medically induced, and medically necessary actually, to a degree anyway.
So eating less carbs will make it less medically necessary, and this will mean less damage to your body. With type 2 the same principle exists, although it’s a little more complicated as there are other things going on, but less cellular toxicity is certainly a good thing.
All this does accelerate aging among other things, all of them bad, so we need to do our best to promote cellular health instead.