Insulin: A role in cancer, inflammation, & Alzheimers

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Insulin: A role in cancer, inflammation, & Alzheimers

Postby NHE » Mon Nov 13, 2006 4:48 am

Here's an interesting article which discusses the multiple roles of insulin and its link to cancer, inflammation, and Alzheimers.

Resisting Insulin: The hormone insulin, a key part of diabetes, may be the real culprit in everything from cancer to Alzheimer's disease.
by Monika Guttman, UCS Health Magazine

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Postby viper498 » Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:30 am

LyndaCarol,

What do you think about this? This article looks like it supports everything you believe in...

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On USC article concerning insulin

Postby lyndacarol » Mon Nov 13, 2006 6:31 pm

Viper, you beat me to posting! Here is what I think about this:

NHE, I am so-o-o thankful for your posting of this USC Health Magazine article! There was much good info in it, like "...incredibly hot topic in cancer research: insulin...." and "...high levels of insulin might be linked to the development of pancreatic cancer."

The mention of other hormones, IGF-1, apoptosis, but , most of all, that "Bergman says he ...personally believes hyperinsulinemia will be found to play a significant role in disease," makes me hopeful.

And, as you all know, his is my bias, too--with respect to MS! I am pleased to know that researchers are investigating insulin!

Thanks again, NHE. You have given me reason to be especially thankful this year on Thanksgiving Day next Thursday!
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reducing insulin levels?

Postby ljm » Tue Nov 14, 2006 2:02 pm

Hey Lyndacarol, could you possibly point again to any research you've found about means to reduce insulin levels (non pharmaceutically if possible). I think you did that in previous post but I can't find...
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Reducing insulin levels

Postby lyndacarol » Tue Nov 14, 2006 6:24 pm

ljm, you have pinpoiinted the problem exactly. I have not found a way to reduce insulin levels.

Dieticians I have consulted say the only way is with a diet that reduces glucose (blood sugar). This is basically a low-carb, low sugar diet. I think this is the mechanism that brings some an improvement with the Swank diet or the one described in The Gold Coast Cure by Andrew Larson, M.D. and his wife Ivy Larson. However, I have tried diet since March, but see no improvement.

My physician said there was no medication to reduce insulin levels, but I learned that Dr. Douglas Feinstein at U of Illinois at Chicago found a woman whose MS dramatically improved by taking pioglitazone (Actos). He is currently doing a larger study with the drug. The Physician's Desk Reference (PDR) reports the drug reduces circulating insulin levels.

My physician let me try it, but I saw no change in two months so I stopped.

In a post to me jimmylegs informed me of an abstract entitled "Naltrexone effects on insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion in hyperandrogenic women" done by researchers at Universidad de Chile, Santiago. The sentence, "Treatment with naltrexone in hyperandrogenic patients resulted in a decrease in fasting insulin concentrations of 40% and C-peptide concentrations of 50% (p<0.05)." caught my attention.

My physician is letting me try low-dose naltrexone. Three weeks have passed with no changes yet.

I am also now taking Vitamin D supplements after reading:

http://www.uspharmacist.com/index.asp?s ... 8_1396.htm

"Vitamin D Part 2: Low Status and Chronic Diseases"

In the section on Diabetes Mellitus was the sentence:

"The dependence of normal insulin secretion in pancreatic ß-cells on vitamin D has been known for many decades."


Again, I have seen no changes, except I no longer bruise for no reason.

If anyone has other ideas, I am open to suggestions.
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Postby Melody » Wed Nov 15, 2006 6:22 am

Not sure if this is relevant but here goes

<shortened url>

How can I lower my insulin levels?

You can help lower your insulin levels naturally by getting at least one half hour of exercise each day and by eating foods that are lower in sugar and higher in fiber.

What else might lower my insulin level?

Metformin (Glucophage) is a medicine which is used to help bring down insulin levels and help keep blood sugar normal. It lowers insulin levels by lowering the amount of glucose released from the liver. It also makes your body more sensitive to insulin, so it doesn’t have to make as much.

How do I take metformin?

If your doctor prescribes metformin, you need to take it before your main meals (usually breakfast and dinner). Your doctor will tell you to begin at a very low dose and slowly increase the amount of medicine you take over a few months—“start low, go slow.” It’s a good idea to take a multivitamin every day when you are taking metformin because it can decrease your digestion of certain vitamins (B12 and folate).

What are the side effects?

In general, healthy young people do not have many side effects. People with kidney or liver problems should not take metformin. Your doctor will check your blood to make sure that you do not have kidney or liver problems. About a third of people who take metformin have stomach discomfort, nausea (feeling like you are going to vomit), or diarrhea. If these are a problem for you, you can lower your dose by half a pill for a few days before going back up to the regular dose. If you don’t or can’t eat for some reason (like you get sick or you have to have surgery), don’t take metformin. Do not drink large amounts of alcohol while taking metformin. If you stop taking metformin for a few days, it’s important to restart the medication at a low dose and build up to your regular dose gradually so you don’t have as many stomach side effects.
John was diagnosed Jan 2005. On lipitor 20mg .On Copaxone since July 4,2005. Vitamin D3 2000iu-4000iu (depending on sunshine months)June 10 2005(RX::Dr. O'Connor) Omega 3 as well Turmeric since April 2005. Q10 60mg. 1500mg liquid Glucosamine Nov 2005.
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Response to suggestions on lowering insulin level

Postby lyndacarol » Wed Nov 15, 2006 6:29 pm

I appreciate your suggestions so very much!

CureOrBust, I had read some time ago that chromium helps with glucose metabolism and insulin usage. I have taken a supplement every day for several years--it doesn't seem to do anything. Nevertheless, I thank you for the suggestion.

Likewise with cinnamon, so I take some in my tea each morning--ineffective for me.

I think I will pursue the metformin idea with my physician. I eat virtually NO carbs or sugar; it does seem logical that my liver is releasing glucose. It certainly is worth investigating. Thank you, Melody.

Any other thoughts out there?
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Postby ljm » Sun Nov 19, 2006 2:45 pm

LyndaCarol, another general question, aside from you, has anyone posting here shown abnormal insulin levels in their blood tests? Thanks//
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insulin level testing

Postby lyndacarol » Sun Nov 19, 2006 6:10 pm

As far as I know, no one here has done a "fasting serum insulin test."

Interestingly, I just made contact with a fellow college alumna; she was diagnosed with MS in February 1991 and has a history of pancreatitis!! I have just asked her if her insulin levels are known. If high, she makes six I know about.
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Re: insulin level testing

Postby Lyon » Sun Nov 19, 2006 6:22 pm

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To answer your question, Bob

Postby lyndacarol » Sun Nov 19, 2006 9:24 pm

Bob, to explain more precisely:

I have asked everyone with MS that I know to be tested for their insulin levels. Five people have done this (including me) and all five have reported to me that the levels were above 10 UU/ML (I understand a normal to be under 10).

Now a friend in PA with MS has told me that she has a history of pancreatitis; I have asked her if she knows her insulin level--I have not yet received an answer.

I expect it will be high and if so, I'm 6 for 6.
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Postby Lyon » Sun Nov 19, 2006 9:33 pm

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Postby Melody » Mon Nov 20, 2006 5:42 am

I checked all John's blood work and his insulin levels have never been checked specifically although he has had triglycerides done all the time. They were high back in the beginning(2004) but are fine now. Next month is John's 3 month blood work I will ask to have insulin levels run and report back
John was diagnosed Jan 2005. On lipitor 20mg .On Copaxone since July 4,2005. Vitamin D3 2000iu-4000iu (depending on sunshine months)June 10 2005(RX::Dr. O'Connor) Omega 3 as well Turmeric since April 2005. Q10 60mg. 1500mg liquid Glucosamine Nov 2005.
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On insulin testing

Postby lyndacarol » Mon Nov 20, 2006 6:29 pm

Melody, I appreciate your willingness to check John's insulin level. I am not surprised that John's insulin has not been checked in the past--it does not seem to be done much at all, unless requested. To prepare you for a discussion with a doctor about it, I will share what I know (I always like to have some info as I feel you do when meeting with doctors.)

There are two types of tests: a fasting serum insulin test and a post prandial (after eating) test.

With the "fasting" one I understand the desired result is below 10 UU/ML (Mine was 12).

For the post prandial, our lab lists 27 as the top of normal (Mine was 30). It is usually done after a meal with a significant amount of carbs in order to determine how the pancreas is reacting to them. From the sample diet you posted I assume that John does not eat many carbs. With his general diet, post prandial may not be the one for him unless you are willing to throw down a few more carbs that day of test.

Or maybe the doctor would order both in order to get a more complete picture.

Of course, if John is having other blood tests that require fasting, it would be more convenient to have just one more for insulin thrown in rather than coming back another day for the post prandial, too. Something to discuss with the doctor.

I will be VERY interested to hear how it goes.

From NHE's initial post on this thread, I think Finland is more advanced in this area. This sounds as if insulin testing is almost routine there: "By examining blood samples given by the men at least five years before any of them were diagnosed with the cancer, the researchers found that those men with higher levels of insulin (and higher levels of blood glucose) were more likely to develop pancreatic cancer."
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