Integrated Health Center
of Inland Empire
of Inland Empire
Insulin sensitivity refers to how responsive the cells of the body are to circulating blood insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas necessary for blood sugar to pass from the blood into the cells. The more sensitive the cells are to the insulin, the more efficient the body is at processing blood sugar, getting it to the hungry cells where it is needed and not letting the sugar build up in the bloodstream which is toxic to the membranes and cells.
Low insulin sensitivity is termed insulin resistance and is characteristic in type 2 diabetes.
There are 3 types of insulin sensitivity, peripheral, hepatic and pancreatic.
Some factors that affect insulin sensitivity cannot be modified, such as age. Insulin sensitivity naturally decreases with age. However there are many diet and lifestyle factors that stimulate insulin sensitivity and these factors can be utilized to control blood sugar, prediabetes and diabetes in general.
Both aerobic and non-aerobic activity can increase insulin sensitivity. This increase in sensitivity can be seen with or without weight loss. For weight-lifting, more sets of an exercise tend to be more effective than single sets and higher intensities better than moderate. The entire concept is that you want a properly functioning muscle that can contract, move the blood flow and increase glucose uptake. The increase in glucose uptake post-exercise is 2-48 hours.
Just a loss of 10 lbs can make a difference in insulin sensitivity. Obesity and insulin resistance are strongly interrelated and combining a calorie restricted diet with an exercise program is the best plan to increase your insulin sensitivity, lower blood glucose, lose weight and gain control over prediabetes or diabetes.
The following supplements have all shown insulin sensitizing effects:
Improving insulin sensitivity through diet, exercise and supplements may help avoid a negative healthspan result. Always consult with your doctor before making changes.