The insulin breast cancer connection starts with high insulin levels. Here is how to lower your risk. It begins with a diet that lowers your insulin needs.
New studies in 2011 have shed some light on the insulin breast cancer connection.
This new research is of great interest to us, the type 2 diabetics because we have insulin resistance and high blood sugar.
We are warned to keep our blood sugar levels under control to avoid complications in our eyes, kidneys and feet, as well as increased chances for strokes and heart attacks.
But we also need to care about insulin levels. Hyperinsulinemia causes all kinds of inflammatory problems. Now breast cancer has been added to the list.
Researchers studying breast cancer in women saw that reduced insulin levels also reduced the risk of breast cancer.
This sparked the new research into the insulin breast cancer connection.
Insulin is called a cancer-promoting hormone. Why? The insulin marker C-peptide is higher in women with breast cancer, and it shows up high in other cancers as well.
The reason may be that insulin is a hormone that makes cells grow. Its job is to bring glucose into every muscle cell, so it acts like a growth hormone.
For some reason it seems to be more active in breast tissue in women, and it acts differently there.
Looking for a reversible cause in cancer cell growth, researchers have singled out insulin. There is plenty of proof that a lower C-peptide is a signal for lower cancer risk.
Insulin is a hormone. Our bodies produce at least four hormones for regulating the balance between releasing and using blood sugar as well as storing or getting rid of leftover glucose.
That means when we try to "fix" a hormone imbalance like type 2 diabetes we often cause other imbalances in the process.
Since the 1920s insulin has prolonged the lives of type 1 diabetics and made controlling blood sugar easier for those of us with type 2 diabetes.
But today we know that it is important for type 2 diabetics to keep insulin use under control.
The problem is hyperinsulinemia. We type 2 diabetics with insulin resistance see the symptoms in sugar cravings, intense hunger, weight gain and chronic fatigue.
Our cells resist insulin, and our pancreas is making more in an effort to satisfy those hungry cells. Hyperinsulinemia is the result.
But reduced insulin levels in women reduces our breast cancer risk. That is the insulin breast cancer connection.
Measuring C-peptides in blood tells doctors how much insulin is floating around unused. The fact that it shows up high in pancreatic, colon and breast cancer makes them connect cancer and high insulin levels.
A new study shows nearly three times the amount of breast cancer in diabetic women who inject the 24-hour insulin Lantus.
Researchers point to a 10-fold increase in cell division caused by this insulin in lab tests as a cause.
Note this. Lantus insulin is not the same as other forms of injectable insulin like fast-acting Humalog.
To make Lantus work for 24 hours the insulin was chemically changed. It may be that this change made the new insulin a cancer accelerator.
Unfortunate and even life threatening side effects are not unheard of when synthetic medications are put on the market.
The Lantus makers are fighting these conclusions and doing their own tests, and Lantus is still growing in popularity and use.
But if you have concerns, talk to your doctor. A 24-hour insulin is convenient but not absolutely necessary. Besides, there are other 24-hour insulin products out there, and insulin pumps are a great option too.
Doctors, dietitians and weight management gurus all agree on how to reduce insulin resistance, and the same is true for insulin levels. They know insulin is released in response to the needs of your diet.
So if you choose the largest portion of what you eat from things that do not trigger the release of insulin, you will reduce insulin levels, and the good news is that the same diet reduces insulin resistance.
C-peptide levels lower, insulin levels lower, and blood glucose levels lower. Since insulin makes you gain weight, reduced insulin means you lose weight too.
There's more good news. The results of a new study were given in a press release in December of 2011. Three types of diet were compared according to weight loss after a few months on each.
The diets were a calorie-restricted Mediterranean diet, a low-carbohydrate calorie-restricted diet, and a low-carbohydrate diet with no restriction on proteins and fats.
Here is what Michelle Harvie, Ph.D, SRD, the lead research dietitian (University Hospital, Manchester, England) had to say.
"The diet that only restricts carbohydrates but allows proteins and fats is as effective as the calorie-restricted low carb diet."
The women on the two low carbohydrate diets only had to eat the diet two days per week, while those on the low calorie diet stayed on it every day. The results are really eye-opening.
People on the two intermittent low carb diets two days per week had greater weight loss than those on the standard calorie restricted diet. The low carb diets also did a better job of lowering blood levels of insulin.
There was reduced insulin resistance of 22% in the 2-day a week low carb diets but only 4% in the low calorie diet.
Those on the low carbohydrates who were able to eat proteins and fats lost just as much weight as those on the calorie restricted low carbohydrate diet.
This diet is more of a lifestyle than an actual diet, which is why it appeals to me.
The main changes from our Western diet are olive oil instead of hydrogenated vegetable oil, very little red meat, and lots of vegetables and fruit, nuts and whole grain.
The best things about this way of eating are the high antioxidants and the lowered insulin levels. It emphasizes fresh over processed foods.
The benefits include lower risks of heart problems, cancers and Alzheimer's disease. Lower blood sugar is an added bonus. If the insulin breast cancer connection concerns you, this lifestyle change may be the answer.
If you are a type 2 diabetic, the insulin breast cancer connection means you need the diabetes cure.
The diabetes cure - a diet rich in low glycemic choices with lots of fruits and vegetables, no processed foods and few sugars - is the best way to reduce insulin levels, lower insulin resistance and lose weight.
What about exercise?
People who exercise regularly have more muscle mass, which lowers insulin levels. Also, insulin resistance is improved by aerobic exercise and increased muscle mass.
So the new research just gives us more reasons to exercise and change what we eat.
The insulin breast cancer connection provides type 2 diabetics cause for reducing our dependence on medications like insulin by losing weight and being active.
I have found that I use much less insulin with a meal that has no high glycemic foods. I hope you can find this out for yourself.These laboratory tested herbal remedies can reduce insulin resistance.