How Insulin Affects Body Fat

Insulin is commonly known for its role in diabetes. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that functions as a main regulator of the glucose (a simple sugar that provides energy) levels in the blood. Insulin allows the cells (in the liver, muscles and fat tissue) to take up glucose from blood and use it as an energy source. The rise of blood glucose levels in diabetic patients can be caused by either the lack of insulin or a resistance to insulin. The sugar remains in the blood because the cells cannot absorb it perfectly.

weight gainInsulin and weight gain

However, not everyone knows that insulin also affects the metabolic formation of body fat (lipogenesis). Insulin is considered as the “principal regulator of fat metabolism” Excessive insulin causes more glucose to get into your cells. Glucose that your cells don’t use accumulates as fat. High concentrations of insulin can stop the use of fat as an energy source, because the insulin signals an abundance of external energy and therefore suppress the use of any stored energy. This condition may result in fat accumulation in your body. To control the amount of insulin released, you can eat foods that do not cause a sudden spike in blood sugar. When the insulin is low or absent, the cells stop taking up glucose and the body begins to use fat as an energy source.

Weight gain is a common side effect for people who take insulin. Insulin blocks the burning of body fat. But if you are a diabetic patient, do not reduce the insulin dosages just to avoid weight gain. Taking less insulin than prescribed will be too risky. Your blood sugar level will rise and the diabetes complications might become worse. You can ask your doctor about other diabetes medications that can be applied in your diabetes treatment plan. Some diabetes medications that help regulate blood glucose levels — including metformin (Fortamet, Glucophage, others), exenatide (Byetta), liraglutide (Victoza) and pramlintide (Symlin) — may promote weight loss and enable you to reduce your insulin dosage (source: mayoclinic.com).

 

 

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