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  • Writer's pictureNatasha Gradov

Insulin Resistance and Heart Disease

Ways to fight diabetes and heart disease

For decades, the focus of cardiovascular disease research has centered on high blood cholesterol levels. However, medical professionals are now challenging this long-standing emphasis, suggesting that it may have led healthcare practitioners to overlook a critical factor: insulin resistance. Insulin resistance stands as the primary cause of Type 2 diabetes and serves as an important indicator of metabolic health. One study discovered that over 80 percent of Americans were metabolically unhealthy, with nearly half in a prediabetic state. Type 2 diabetics face at least a twofold risk of developing cardiovascular disease, with many ultimately succumbing to cardiovascular events.

Dr. Robert DuBroff, a cardiologist and professor at the University of New Mexico, encountered a patient who had experienced multiple cardiovascular events. Despite undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery three times and receiving aggressive treatment with statin medications, the patient's cardiovascular issues persisted. Dr. DuBroff observed that the patient had borderline prediabetic blood sugar levels and was overweight, yet none of these risk factors had been addressed by previous doctors. Once these factors were addressed, the patient's additional problems ceased.

Insulin Resistance

New research has uncovered that heart disease's primary culprit might not be high cholesterol, but rather insulin resistance. Insulin resistance disrupts blood sugar regulation and contributes significantly to major cardiovascular risk factors such as atherosclerosis, hypertension, and obesity. It not only fosters inflammation, arterial plaque buildup, and dyslipidemia but also triggers the body's fight-or-flight response and leads to excess fat storage from carbohydrates.

To ward off insulin resistance, one can adopt strategies like reducing the consumption of refined carbohydrates, practicing intermittent fasting, ensuring thorough chewing during meals, prioritizing adequate sleep, and building muscle mass. These findings underscore the importance of prioritizing the management of insulin resistance in both the prevention and treatment of heart disease. Medical professionals recommend placing greater emphasis on metabolic health indicators such as blood sugar and insulin levels, rather than fixating solely on high cholesterol. Addressing insulin resistance holds the potential to significantly reduce the occurrence of cardiovascular events.

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