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Help me understand Insulin

jp2code

jp2code

Member
Feb 10, 2018
69
21
I'm 52, and I've been lifting since 18 or 19.

A while back on Tiktok, I learned that eating refined-sugar-rich foods like enriched white rice is about as bad as donuts or white bread. That made sense to me because I often got uncontrollable diarrhea and really sleepy after having a meal or snack with these in them.

I haven't gone Keto, but my diet now has much less of these refined sugars. And that has helped.

Yesterday I came across another Tiktok (amazing source of information) saying that insulin levels along with lower testosterone levels in men over 40 can be the cause of excessive weight gain, particularly around the belly. I've got that, big time! I've been struggling with getting my weight under control. But it did NOT say what to do to fix that.

My calorie-counting app (I've used it on my phone for about 5 years) still shows that I am hovering around 2500 calories a day.

I go to the gym 5-days a week, Monday - Friday. 30-minutes of cardio followed by about 45-minutes of lifting. I'm typically a sweat ball after the cardio, and my body temperature stays up during my lifting, so I continue to sweat the whole time.

I supplement with Vitamin D, a calcium/magnesium/zinc pill, and creatine.

I've already got enough muscle. I'm 5'9, 225-lbs, and probably 25% bodyfat. At 52, I'm not really looking to get bigger, but I would like to get much leaner. Steroids make me a little leaner while I am on them, but I am also gaining muscle. After the cycle is over, I just wind up being a bigger version of myself.

Is there a way to manipulate insulin so that my body burns more calories and creates more testosterone?

Here is a fuzzy picture. I'm not worried about anybody identifying me.

temp-gym-fuzzy.jpg
 
Mike_RN

Mike_RN

Senior Moderators
Staff Member
Aug 13, 2013
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2,429
Short answer No. Insulin is a "building" hormone. It is by nature a highly anabolic substance. It's main function is transport and storage. Converting circulating glucose into glycogen (through muscle cells) for storage in the liver. It drives circulating glucose into the cells for use as energy and it drives nutrients into those cells.

You could try Metformin or any other GDA (glucose disposing agent) at bedtime to try to blunt glycogen storge but any use of insulin will only build not burn tissue.
 
Mike_RN

Mike_RN

Senior Moderators
Staff Member
Aug 13, 2013
2,430
2,429
One caveat with Metformin is it can actually LOWER testosterone as well.
 
jp2code

jp2code

Member
Feb 10, 2018
69
21
Insulin is anabolic, but lowers testosterone.

The videos I've been seeing seem to indicate that eating sugar causes an insulin spike, which messes with the body. Maybe the controlled release is beneficial.

So is it good to have more or less insulin?

Maybe the answer is adding insulin with testosterone.
 
barbellbeast

barbellbeast

MuscleHead
Oct 4, 2010
368
74
Where did you hear insulin lowers testosterone? The opposite is true. Mike_RN said METFORMIN lowers testosterone, which is true, and it also reduces androgen receptor sensitivity...enough so that it's been researched as treatment for BPH.

If you're looking to lose fat, keep your insulin low and avoid "spikes". Replace what processed carbs you can with veggies, lentils, sweet potatoes, things of that nature.

It might also be in your interest to do you weight routine first, and finish with cardio.
 
jp2code

jp2code

Member
Feb 10, 2018
69
21
OK, I misunderstood Mike_RN's message.

I do cardio first to get my joints warmed up first and give any pre-workout supplements time to kick in and make my scalp itch.

I guess I need to lower my processed carbs more. I might have one sandwich a day when work doesn't give me time to eat. It's with wheat bread, a little bit better than white bread. It's just a means to hold 30 grams of turkey protein and half an avocado together.
 
jp2code

jp2code

Member
Feb 10, 2018
69
21

That's the tiktok I was talking about
 
Type-IIx

Type-IIx

Member
Mar 24, 2022
60
42
Well, TikTok is not known to be an excellent source of information - quite opposite, it has a reputation for attracting quacks and hucksters - though I must admit I have never actually used TikTok (and won't). Just try to be discerning.

You mentioned that high insulin & low testosterone (endogenous levels) can increase adipose tissue stores. While true, you make an apparent leap in logic, attributing apparently normal aging-related increases in adipose tissue to these hormonal derangements... Besides low T & high insulin, there are of course other causes of central adiposity.

Insulin does induce growth (directly and via its increasing bioavailable IGF-I). As mentioned it is a potent (indeed the most potent) endogenous anabolic hormone - regulating (energy) transport and storage - including fat storage in adipose tissue, glycogen storage in skeletal muscle, and protein sparing/muscle anabolism as well.

Metformin has no effect on AR. In rats, it attenuates BPH by decreased IGF-I & IGF-IR (receptor) protein expression in prostate tissue. In healthy men, it does indeed reduce testosterone & increase SHBG (this will be ameliorated by exogenous androgen administration).

Metformin has unclear effects on IGF-I in humans: it has, for example, been demonstrated to increase liver-secreted IGF-I in rhGH users.

Anyhow: I would look beyond insulin, as it's unlikely to play a significant role in age-related central obesity. Rather, decreased exercise- and non-exercise activity thermogenesis (and some decrease to RMR, though minor) are more likely mechanisms. Adjusting diet & activity levels make more sense than Metformin to decrease insulin (because it's not effective at this unless you are hyperglycemic/prediabetic; Metformin decreases mTOR activity/muscle hypertrophy; decreases muscular strength by promoting shifts to more oxidative fiber type; etc.)
 
jp2code

jp2code

Member
Feb 10, 2018
69
21
Well, TikTok is not known to be an excellent source of information - quite opposite, it has a reputation for attracting quacks and hucksters - though I must admit I have never actually used TikTok (and won't). Just try to be discerning.

You mentioned that high insulin & low testosterone (endogenous levels) can increase adipose tissue stores. While true, you make an apparent leap in logic, attributing apparently normal aging-related increases in adipose tissue to these hormonal derangements... Besides low T & high insulin, there are of course other causes of central adiposity.

Insulin does induce growth (directly and via its increasing bioavailable IGF-I). As mentioned it is a potent (indeed the most potent) endogenous anabolic hormone - regulating (energy) transport and storage - including fat storage in adipose tissue, glycogen storage in skeletal muscle, and protein sparing/muscle anabolism as well.

Metformin has no effect on AR. In rats, it attenuates BPH by decreased IGF-I & IGF-IR (receptor) protein expression in prostate tissue. In healthy men, it does indeed reduce testosterone & increase SHBG (this will be ameliorated by exogenous androgen administration).

Metformin has unclear effects on IGF-I in humans: it has, for example, been demonstrated to increase liver-secreted IGF-I in rhGH users.

Anyhow: I would look beyond insulin, as it's unlikely to play a significant role in age-related central obesity. Rather, decreased exercise- and non-exercise activity thermogenesis (and some decrease to RMR, though minor) are more likely mechanisms. Adjusting diet & activity levels make more sense than Metformin to decrease insulin (because it's not effective at this unless you are hyperglycemic/prediabetic; Metformin decreases mTOR activity/muscle hypertrophy; decreases muscular strength by promoting shifts to more oxidative fiber type; etc.)
I wished I understood medical terms more. My degree is in physics, so I understand quarks, spin, and strings. I don't know why it's so hard for me to grasp medical terms or Spanish (I've taken 3 years of Spanish). Probably because I don't use them daily.

My job is sitting at a terminal, writing code to perform tests. I spend 60 to 90 minutes a day in the gym, 5 days a week, keeping my heart rate between 120 and 160 bpm during that time. About 1/3 of my daily calories come from protein drinks. I might eat out once or twice a week. Usually, I make my own food so that it is clean. Dates, cranberries, oatmeal, baked chicken, deli-sliced turkey breast, almonds. Nothing horrible. Sometimes 2 slices of wheat bread or a cup of white rice. My calories float between 2000 to 2500 a day, and I show screenshots of that for the last 4 years from my phone app.

I know you said to exercise more and eat less, but I already exercise a lot and I don't eat much now. I think my body is just an efficient motherfucker! I need something to make my body LESS efficient. I'll stop taking that wonder drug whenever the Zombie Apocalypse kicks off.
 
B

Bilter

VIP Member
Jun 7, 2011
188
233
you may be becoming insulin resistant, or have lower insulin sensitivity.. Have you checked your fasting glucose levels? IF or alternate day fasting can improve insulin sensitivity but the first step should be avoiding all processed carbs and sugar. A 20 min walk after eating any food is also a great add for health
 
jp2code

jp2code

Member
Feb 10, 2018
69
21
you may be becoming insulin resistant, or have lower insulin sensitivity.. Have you checked your fasting glucose levels? IF or alternate day fasting can improve insulin sensitivity but the first step should be avoiding all processed carbs and sugar. A 20 min walk after eating any food is also a great add for health
How do you check glucose levels? Is that in my annual blood work with my physical? I have a report here from May, but I don't see anything in the 3 pages that says insulin.

Below is what I ate yesterday.

And I do walk the dogs around the pond after supper. Dogs have to be walked daily, rain or shine.

Screenshot_20220630-100114_Lose It!.jpg
 
jp2code

jp2code

Member
Feb 10, 2018
69
21
My blood work report from May has a lot of stuff that I don't know what I should do with, but it does show that my Glucose is 86.

20220630_103138.jpg
 
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