Samantha Ruth Prabhu, on her recent health podcast, addressed the issue of insulin resistance. Speaking to co-host of the show, Alkesh Sharotri, Samantha decoded the ways by which insulin resistance develops. Alkesh, who sports many hats being a wellness coach and a sports and performance nutritionist, explained that when we intake a lot of sugar in the body, so much so that the body is not able to handle it, it directly goes to the adipose tissue. When this process of consuming sugary items continues for a prolonged period, the body starts to develop insulin resistance.

Sugary items are not good news if had regularly.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Sonali Kagne, Deputy Consultant, Department of Endocrinology, Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital, explained the repercussions of insulin spikes for our health. “The food that we eat gets converted into glucose (sugar). Glucose is the main source of energy for every cell of our body. The glucose released after digestion of the food is transported to various organs and cells via the bloodstream. The insulin dependent cells such as the liver, skeletal muscle and adipose tissues can utilise glucose only in the presence of insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by Beta cells of the pancreas.”

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How insulin spikes can affect health:

Obesity:

High insulin levels result in obesity. It promotes chronic inflammation, and fibrosis of the heart muscles and can lead to increased morbidity and mortality due to heart complications in people with obesity and diabetes.

Triggers inflammation:

It increases levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol in the blood. Sometimes very high triglyceride levels can trigger inflammation in the pancreas known as pancreatitis. Chronic high cholesterol level increases the risk of it getting deposited at the inner walls of the arteries which can compromise the blood supply to the organ the artery is supplying. 8. High insulin levels were also linked with Alzheimer’s disease.

Enhances PCOS symptoms:

High level of insulin increases the symptoms of PCOS in a genetically predisposed woman. It interferes with hormones produced by the pituitary gland (FSH and LH) resulting in irregular periods.

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Reduces sex hormone production:

High insulin levels reduce the production of sex hormones, binding globulin from the liver and indirectly increase the concentration of free testosterone in the blood in women with PCOS. This high level of male hormone increases acne, oily skin, and excess unwanted- thick coarse facial or body hair in women with PCOS. It can also promote temporal hair loss in women.