What is it?
Insulin resistance is defined as an attenuation of the response to the action of circulating insulin in peripheral tissues, and is a very common defect in pathologies such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. In addition, it is linked to other diseases such as nonalcoholic hepatic steatosis, endothelial dysfunction, chronic kidney disease, polycystic ovary syndrome and some endocrine tumors, such as breast cancer.
How does insulin resistance arise?
The genesis of insulin resistance is found in an unbalanced production of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, which can be caused by obesity, and is also related to high consumption of refined carbohydrates, sugars and the lack of physical activity, as well as the reduction of protein intake. The good news is that insulin resistance can be reversed with a healthy lifestyle, contemplating a calorie deficit diet and the beginning of a physical activity of the patient’s taste. These changes can lead to a weight loss of 5-10%, which already greatly improves cardiometabolic parameters, blood pressure and longevity, in addition to positive changes in inflammatory biomarkers and insulin sensitivity itself.
Is there a diet that helps with insulin resistance?
Several studies have been conducted over the years to answer this question, and so far the Mediterranean dietary pattern has proved to be a great option for a better reduction in insulin resistance due to a large amount of functional and nutraceutical foods. The Mediterranean diet is characterized by a large amount of vegetables, vegetables, whole foods, seeds, oilseeds, fresh fruits as dessert, olive oil as the main source of fat, fish, poultry, eggs low to moderate dairy consumption, low consumption of red meats and moderate consumption of wine, usually along with meals.
When do you need to supplement?
There are some studies that seek to understand whether different supplements have action on outcomes related to insulin resistance, and the results are still controversial. There was very low evidence that chromium, vitamin C and omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids were superior to placebo for the primary outcome of glycated hemoglobin. Probiotics were higher than placebo for HbA1c (glycated hemoglobin), and there seems to be very low certainty that vitamin D was superior to placebo to reduce HbA1c in 6-month <trials. Magnesium, zinc, vitamin C, probiotics and polyphenols were higher than placebo for fasting glycemia. However, international guidelines do not yet bring any of these supplements as strictly necessary in the treatment, and it is more important to evaluate individually the micronutrient deficiencies of each patient.
Insulin resistance and Metabolic Syndrome
Article: Mirabelli M, Chiefari E, Arcidiacono B, et al. Mediterranean Diet Nutrients to Turn the Tide against Insulin Resistance and Related Diseases. Nutrients
. 2020;12(4):1066. Published 2020 Apr 12. Doi:10.3390/nu12041066
Fong C, Alesi S, Mousa A, Moran LJ, Deed G, Grant S, Tapia K, Ee C. Efficacy and Safety of Nutrient Supplements for Glycaemic Control and Insulin Resistance in Type 2 Diabetes: An Umbrella Review and Hierarchical Evidence Synthesis. Nutrients. 2022 May 30;14(11):2295. doi: 10.3390/nu14112295. PMID: 35684094; PMCID: PMC9182772.