Insulin Levels in the Obese

Another interesting study on the levels of fasting Insulin in obese vs non-obese people (J Clin Invest. 1988 Feb; 81(2): 442–448. Twenty-four-hour profiles and pulsatile patterns of insulin secretion in normal and obese subjects. K S Polonsky, B D Given, and E Van Cauter). Here’s the differences in Insulin levels.

The obese have a much higher basal (background) level.

Insulin secretion rates were consistently elevated in the obese subjects under basal conditions (11.6 +/- 1.2 vs. 5.4 +/- 0.5 nmol/h)

The obese also had a much higher Insulin response.

…in the 4 h after breakfast (139 +/- 15 vs. 63 +/- 5 nmol/4 h, P less than 0.001), lunch (152 +/- 16 vs. 67 +/- 5 nmol/4 h, P less than 0.001), and dinner (145 +/- 18 vs. 65 +/- 6 nmol/4 h, P less than 0.001)…

When Insulin is high it pushes fat and glucose into cells. In the obese it takes more Insulin to push the fat into cells than it does in the normal.

When Insulin is low it allows fat to be mobilized from fat cells.

So what happens when you put a person on Insulin? They get fatter. And they have a harder time losing fat.

If you remove carbohydrates from the diet the Insulin levels drop. After a couple of weeks the basal Insulin levels drops to a level comparable to a normal person.


Author: Doug

I'm an Engineer who is also a science geek. I was pre-diabetic in 1996 and became a diabetic in 2003. I decided to figure out how to hack my diabetes and in 2016 found the ketogetic diet which reversed my diabetes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.