Syndrome X - Insulin Resistance

Prolonged unhealthy blood sugar metabolism can significantly affect the health of your nerves, eyes, blood vessels, kidneys and pancreas. It can impact your weight, body shape, energy levels, blood pressure, cholesterol, triglyceride's, overall cardiovascular health and more. Over 60 million Americans have "insulin resistance," a form of unhealthy blood sugar metabolism that frequently goes unrecognized and can progress to the point where signs of significant health deterioration appear.

Don't let this happen to you! It is never too late to learn how you can achieve and maintain healthy blood sugar metabolism and experience the benefits of sustained good health.

Diet, Lifestyle and Healthy Blood Sugar Metabolism

Poor diet, obesity and lack of exercise are considered major contributors to developing poor blood sugar metabolism. Incorporating lifestyle changes that focus of effective weight control, healthy eating habits and a program of regular exercise are very important to promoting healthy blood sugar metabolism.

Factors That Lead to Unhealthy Blood Sugar Metabolism

Over time, inactivity and an unhealthy diet can lead to unhealthy sugar metabolism. When we consume excess sweets and refined or processed foods the simple sugars they contain are absorbed very quickly and can cause a rapid and dramatic increase in our blood sugar levels. With a high concentration of sugar in the blood, the pancreas responds by producing a proportionally high surge of insulin in an effort to help the sugar gain entrance into the cell. In unhealthy blood sugar metabolism, the cell may be unresponsive or"insulin resistant" and sugar delivery into the cell can be reduced. The pancreas then tries to compensate by producing even more insulin. Over time these high levels of insulin can lead to a host of problems, including increased triglyceride's levels, decreased HDL (good) cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, cardiovascular manifestations and hormone disruption.

This "insulin resistance" may occur because, along with excess sweets and refined carbohydrates, an unhealthy diet is also frequently deficient in the nutrients necessary to support healthy cell membranes, insulin receptors and a strong insulin signal. Unhealthy insulin receptors can result in poor binding of insulin and, in concert with other factors, a diminished insulin signal, thereby, reducing sugar delivery into the cell. These other factors include the negative effects of specific enzymes and cytokine's, such as phosphotyrosine phosphatase, nuclear factor-kappaB (NK-kappaB), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha).

An unhealthy diet may even alter the way the genetic information within our cells influence blood sugar metabolism. Scientists now know that a poor diet, along with other contributors, can alter our genetic potential or gene expression. Appropriate gene expression is important for healthy blood sugar metabolism because it stimulates sugar utilization by the mitochondria of the cells, producing energy and, in effect, clearing sugar from the blood.

Taken as a whole, excess weight, lack of exercise and an unhealthy diet can reduce the "sensitivity" of your cells to insulin and even impact their gene expression. Without effective insulin binding and signaling, the sugar transport channel vesicles remain static and unable to travel to and fuse with the cell membrane. As a result, the number of sugar transport channels is reduced leading to poor cellular sugar absorption and utilization, excess blood sugar and insulin, low energy and a host of other possible manifestations of deteriorating health. The product of choice to help increase cell sensitivity is "Glysen" by Apex.

So to summarize, insulin resistance results when normal insulin action is impaired and the cell does not "hear" the message of the insulin molecule.5 To overcome this impairment, and to maintain glucose homeostasis, the pancreas will attempt to secrete larger and larger amounts of insulin. Many individuals will go on to develop type 2 diabetes, as their compensatory hyperinsulinemia fails and glucose is no longer controlled.

There are an estimated 16 million type-2 diabetics in the U.S. and the overwhelming majority carries the underlying pathophysiology of "insulin resistance."8

Insulin Resistance and Chronic Disease

Not all individuals who are insulin resistant ultimately develop diabetes; however, those that do not are at increased risk for hypertension (HBP), stroke, and coronary heart disease CHD).9 The Insulin Resistance Syndrome (IRS), also referred to as Syndrome X, refers to a cluster of symptoms characterized by varying degrees of glucose intolerance, abnormal high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and/or triglyceride's levels, high blood pressure, and upper body obesity, which are all independent risk factors for CHD.

Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)

As indicated, those individuals who maintain the compensatory hyperinsulinemia in the face of insulin insensitivity do so at great biological cost. A primary consequence is increased risk for CHD through three mechanisms: 1.) elevated insulin stimulated lipogenesis in arterial tissue and enhances the growth and proliferation of arterial smooth muscle cells, contributing to arterioscleroses; 2.) insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia decreases fibrinolysis by stimulating plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAL-1), which is associated with an increased risk for coronary thrombosis; 10,11 3.) hyperinsulinemia leads to increased hepatic production of triglyceride's and inhibition of HDL.12-14

Poly cystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Insulin resistance also appears to have a critical relationship to androgen hormonal modulation. Research over the past 10 years has linked insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia with PCOS, a prevalent disorder affecting an estimated 6% of women of reproductive age and the most common cause of female infertility in the U.S.21


Another area of increasing research interest is the relationship of insulin resistance to cancer. One hypothesis has postulated a link between colorectal cancer, insulin resistance, and hyperinsulinemia. 26-30 Even more recently, speculation has centered on the link between hyperinsulinemia and breast cancer. 31 It has been known for some time that exposure of breast tissue to estrogen's increases the risk of breast cancer. It is well established that only the fraction of estrogen's unbound to sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) are biologically available to receptors on target cells, insulin inhibits the formation of SHBG. While SHBG binds to both testosterone and estrogen, it binds preferentially to testosterone, so decreased levels of SHBG will result in increased levels of free unbound estrogen. 32

Modifiable Risk Factors

Although the cellular disturbance is not completely understood at the biochemical level, modifiable factors such as obesity, exercise, and nutrition appear to play a significant role. 36-40 While genetic background may determine propensity to the disorder, these modifiable factors should be addressed as part of a preventative clinical management strategy. Although obesity, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle increase risk and should be managed aggressively, they are not necessarily an essential attribute of this disease. Evidence point to the use of diet and nutritional supplementation as a primary clinical strategy to manage IRS.


Implementing a program of regular exercise and effective weight control is important. Following specific dietary guidelines primarily choosing foods that have a moderate effect on raising blood sugar, referred to as "low glycemic index" foods and choosing foods and supplements that improve the body's ability to support the effect of insulin, functionally reducing "insulin resistance."
In nutrition many vitamins and nutrients have been sighted as being a great help to diabetes. By supplementing your diet with a combination of high macro nutrients that include soy protein,special fibers and low glycemic starch such as high-amylose starch to help support healthy carbohydrate absorption and blood sugar metabolism.

Supplementing your diet with various fatty acids and micro-nutrients may also be helpful. These include the essential fatty acids EPA and DHA to support healthy cell membranes; 52 Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) to support the insulin signal and promote adequate gene expression for improved utilization of sugar by the mitochondrion, 98 alpha lipoic acid (ALA) to further support insulin signal and sugar utilization by the mitochondrion; 99-102 the minerals vanadium, chromium and magnesium to provide additional support to the insulin signal; vitamin E and inositol for further insulin signal support; and biotin to support sugar utilization by the mitochondria. 79-93 The B complex vitamins have always been utilized in Diabetes as they help convert food into energy. Zinc is an essential mineral to the pancreas as it is involved in insulin production. Vanadyl sulfate a recent discovery has been found to greatly enhance the actions of insulin. It helps boost insulin's actions and helps to regulate fats. There is a lot of data available about these nutrients and many others. However in order to achieve a greater understanding of IRS we must look all the possible relationships.


Insulin Resistance Syndrome is a multi factorial health condition that affects, by conservative estimates, a quarter of the U.S. population. Loss of insulin sensitivity appears to be a slow process, and returning to ability of the cells to optimal functioning may be a gradual process as well.

Recognition and treatment of the underlying biochemical defect, loss of insulin sensitivity, and resistance to glucose disposal is of central importance, that is why early detection through effective testing using the Glucose/Insulin Tolerance Test would be an appropriate place to start.

Call to set up a nutritional consultation so these tests can be performed and a comprehensive strategy of lifestyle, dietary modification and nutrient supplementation can be implemented to aid you in reversing this disorder.

For an appointment, contact our office at: 800-956-7083 go to lab tests and click on appropriate test for information.

Dr. Rispoli, Ph.D., L Ac. has had a clinical practice for over 20 years. Her programs work because she is so thorough in testing and providing a nutritional approach. Remember that the body can heal itself if given the proper nutrients.

All lab tests can be done through the mail in the privacy of your own home, except blood tests, we send you to a lab to have your blood drawn for these. After you pay for the test we mail you the kit, the results take two weeks, the test results will be mailed to us and we will call you to go over the results, its that easy! All tests include the consultation for the report of findings.

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If you are suffering from unexplained symptoms that come and go you may have hidden allergies. Find out today call for a Nutritional Consultation with Dr. Rispoli, PhD in Nutrition for over 25 years. Your happiness is a reflection of your health call today (800) 956-7083.

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