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Could High Insulin Make You Fat? Mouse Study Says Yes

By |December 30, 2012|Nutrition|

Source Science Daily

Animals with persistently lower insulin stay trim even as they indulge themselves on a high-fat, all-you-can-eat buffet.

When we eat too much, obesity may develop as a result of chronically high insulin levels, not the other way around. That’s according to new evidence in mice reported in the December 4th Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication, which challenges the widespread view that rising insulin is a secondary consequence of obesity and insulin resistance.

The new study helps to solve this chicken-or-the-egg dilemma by showing that animals with persistently lower insulin stay trim even as they indulge themselves on a high-fat, all-you-can-eat buffet. The findings come as some of the first direct evidence in mammals that circulating insulin itself drives obesity, the researchers say.

The results are also consistent with clinical studies showing that long-term insulin use by people with diabetes tends to come with weight gain, says James Johnson of the University of British Columbia.

“We are very inclined to think of insulin as either good or bad, but it’s neither,” Johnson said. “This doesn’t mean anyone should stop taking insulin; there are nuances and ranges at which insulin levels are optimal.” (more…)