Major Blood Sugar Discovery Validates Leptin Diet

By Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

March 10, 2008

Problems with elevated blood sugar lead to obesity, difficulty losing weight, diabetes, accelerating aging (due to caramelization of body tissues), and a host of other serious problems. Researchers have now identified the switch that must work right in order to correctly maintain normal function of blood sugar metabolism. Following the Leptin Diet naturally promotes fitness and correct function of this switch.

The key organ in your body that distributes sugar into your bloodstream is your liver. When you eat a meal insulin levels rise, in turn transporting sugar to your liver and elsewhere in your body that needs fuel replenishment. Your liver converts extra sugar to glycogen, storing it for later use (about 60% of the calories from any meal may be stored by your liver in this way). Your liver acts as a warehouse for sugar that can readily be distributed back into your blood, as needed. If your liver-warehouse is already full, then extra sugar is packaged up into fat and sent to storage (weight gain).

Eating too often raises insulin frequently, causing numbness in the blood sugar metabolism system. This is like having a repetitive strain injury in your blood sugar processing system. This has been obvious for some time and is explained in my books on the Leptin Diet. It is why snacking is so bad for your health – regardless of how many calories you snack on or the quality of the snack. Snacking causes hormones and their related switches not to work right.

The new research sheds light on the precise genetic mechanism involved. When you haven’t eaten for 3-4 hours then your insulin levels decline, as insulin is no longer needed to transport calories from ingested food. Your pancreas now sends out glucagon which signals your liver to get in gear and release some of its stored sugar so that your blood sugar levels do not drop too low. Yes, you are supposed to get a snack but it is supposed to come from your liver.

During this “fasting period” your liver turns on a gene switch called CRTC2, which tells your liver to convert stored sugar (glycogen) back into glucose and release it into your blood. In normal health, under the influence of glucagon and CRTC2, your liver sustains your energy level by providing 60% of your calories from this stored sugar and 40% of your calories from fatty acids (fat burning). During sleep this ratio flips around and you are supposed to be burning 60% of your calories from fatty acids (a true fat burning time) and 40% from the liver’s supply of stored sugar.

Next time you eat your insulin level rises, in turn throwing a different liver switch (SIK2) that renders CRTC2 inactive. This shuts of your liver’s sugar raising feature, as the calories coming in from new food are supplying plenty of blood sugar for the next several hours.

When you snack between meals or eat before bed your liver never has a chance to use up its storage of glycogen – meaning that your blood sugar levels start to ebb higher too often during the day, natural fat burning is blunted, and you are more likely to gain weight. The new discovery is that it is the higher blood sugar itself that locks the CRTC2 gene in the on position, causing your liver to keep making sugar even though you have just eaten.

When this problem first starts up you will notice that you gain weight too easily from eating carbohydrates and your fasting blood sugar levels are going up above 90. As the problem magnifies it turns into type II diabetes, as your liver just keeps cranking out too much sugar all the time. This new discovery is a fundamental breakthrough in metabolic science – though the researchers don’t seem to grasp the meaning of what they have discovered (apparently because they are interested in drug design rather than how this finding applies to eating).

The five rules of the Leptin Diet, especially the main point about not snacking between meals, conditions your liver to be healthy, your insulin to work better, and obviously improves the normal function of the CRTC2 switch so that you do not make extra blood sugar in an out-of-control manner. This is why so many people with type II diabetes have seen their problem go away when they consistently follow the Leptin Diet for a number of months.

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