In Dr Barry Sears Zone diet book The Zone, we learn that the function of Glucagon and Insulin is, among other things, the regulation of blood glucose. What a mouthful! (there I go with the keywords again )
Just how important is this function of Glucagon and Insulin? That’s a good question indeed and the answer is:
The Function Of Glucagon And Insulin Is Way More Involved Than Simply The Regulation Of Blood Glucose
Now wait a minute! I’m not trying to say that the regulation of blood glucose isn’t important – it is….
After all if Insulin levels are too high and Glucagon levels too low – brother, you’ve got a real bad problem going on with the regulation of blood glucose.
In fact, at the least it may lead to hypoglycemia, (low blood sugar), and cause your brain to go bonkers…
Of course, eventually it could lead to Insulin Resistance and we REALLY don’t want to go there! Prolonged hyperinsulinemia will quite often lead to diabetes and even heart disease – not to mention almost always – obesity!
A Brief Explanation Of The Function Of Glucagon And Insulin
OK, here goes… Let’s say you eat a high glycemic load meal, (high in carbohydrates and low in proteins) – Then, the pancreas secretes insulin into your blood and it travels directly to your muscle cells and liver and tells them to take Glucose from the blood and put it in storage, and it happens!
The more your insulin levels rise the more your liver and muscle cells take Glucose into storage. Eventually hypoglycemia, (low blood sugar), is the outcome.
So then, even though your blood sugar is way too low and you’re suffering from hypoglycemia and your brain is going bonkers and needs blood sugar – The liver won’t release the blood sugar because Insulin told it not to.
Obviously, the only way around this ensuing calamity is to eat more carbohydrates. So your brain tells you you’re hungry and guess what? You got it… You start grazing again on carbohydrates and the vicious little cycle continues.
But You Say…
The Function Of Glucagon And Insulin Is For The Regulation Of Blood Glucose, Is It Not?
And it is… Because if you had kept the proper balance of Protein vs Carbohydrates the protein would have signaled your pancreas to secrete Glucagon and it would have traveled to your liver and told it to release the stored Blood Glucose. Now you know why the function of glucagon and insulin is called the glucagon-insulin axis! Elementary my dear Watson.
But then there’s at least one more BAD thing that happens when you’ve caused hypoglycemia because of exaggerated insulin levels. And that is….
You have caused the ratio of good eicosanoids to bad eicosanoids to become unbalanced which will lead to Silent Inflammation.
If THESE hormonal issues are allowed to continue, eventually you’re going to wind up real sick. It might not be until you’re 60 years old, but someday it’s going to get you!
And that, in a nutshell is why Dr. Barry Sears formulated the Zone Diet. That’s why this blog is here and you’re reading it.
For every type of food you eat there is a hormonal response – either bad or good – depending how you formulate your meal.
Too many carbohydrates, especially high glycemic load carbohydrates and the hormonal response is bad. Too little carbohydrates and the hormonal response will again be bad.
But just the right amount of carbohydrates, proteins and dietary fats and presto…
You are in the “Zone”…
I’ve got writer’s cramp now!
Author: The Zone Diet Basics Blog
To learn more about the effects the function of Glucagon and Insulin has on other hormones, bookmark this site or subscribe to my RSS feed!