Tuesday, 14 August 2007

The discovery of insulin resistance

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The idea of insulin resistance first emerged in a study conducted in 1936. Although it wasn't until nearly 40 years later that insulin resistance became a more common occurrence in diabetes care - this study cited a cause and effect of injected insulin in Type 2 diabetes.

Patients were tested on two different days. One day patients were given a drink containing glucose and their blood sugar was measured for the following 90 minutes. On the other day, patients were given a drink containing glucose at the same time they were given an injection of insulin. The subjects were clearly definable into two groups based on their reaction to the glucose drink with the insulin injection. Some patients had an immediate response to the insulin injection lowering their blood sugar and others had little or no response to the insulin injection.

The doctor conducting this study referred to this phenomenon as insulin sensitivity, rather than insulin resistance. He hypothesized that there was a sensitizing factor rather than something causing resistance to the cells absorbing the insulin. Over 70 years have passed and research now shows that arginine, the champion of amino acids can help improve insulin sensitivity, which is the same as diminishing insulin resistance.

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