Dr Benjamin Bikman, Why We Get Sick: The Hidden Epidemic at the Root of Most Chronic Disease―and How to Fight It :KKP 141
Published May 8, 2020
78 min
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    We welcome back, a biomedical scientist, professor, and expert on insulin resistance, Dr. Benjamin Bikman. 

    Dr. Benjamin Bikman studies diabetes and obesity, and much of what he focuses on is a seemingly obscure condition called insulin resistance. But it's, in fact, not very obscure at all.

    What is insulin resistance? Why did Dr. Benjamin Bikman devote his career to studying something like this? Well, insulin resistance is essentially two things. First of all, some cells in your body aren't responding very well to the hormone insulin. Second, you have more insulin than you did before, a condition called hyperinsulinemia.

    Dr. Bikman's research focus is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that mediate the disruption that causes and accompanies metabolic disorders, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and dementia. Driven by his academic training (Ph.D. in Bioenergetics and postdoctoral fellowship with the Duke-National University of Singapore in metabolic disorders), he is currently exploring the different roles of insulin and ketones as critical drivers of metabolic function. He frequently publishes his research in peer-reviewed journals and presents at international science meetings.

    In this episode, Dr. Bikman dives deep into his book, Why We Get Sick and how 88% of US adults may have insulin resistance. Dr. Bikman speaks about why we have insulin resistance and how you can test for insulin resistance at home. Dr. Bikman recommends that we all have a small blood pressure cuff at home. Then, Dr. Bikman talks all about fasting – what are the best ways to end a fast, what are the worst ways to end a fast, and why "wrecking your metabolism" simply doesn't make sense. Stay tuned, as Dr. Bikman reveals what we can do to prevent insulin resistance.  

    // E P I S O D E   S P ON S O R S 

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    [00:40] About Why We Get Sick

    • The more Dr. Bikman studies insulin resistance, the more flustered he gets. It’s something so few people know about.
    • There are three segments of the book:
      • Defining insulin resistance
      • Why insulin resistance matters
      • What to do about insulin resistance
    • 88% of US adults may have insulin resistance because they have at least one out of five characteristics of metabolic syndrome:
      • Expanded waist circumference
      • High blood pressure
      • High glucose
      • High triglycerides
      • Low HDL
    • Get Why We Get Sick: The Hidden Epidemic at the Root of Most Chronic Disease―and How to Fight It

    [05:30] Signs You Have Insulin Resistance

    • Your skin can be a window to the metabolic soul. Two pronounced skin disorders are wholly connected with insulin resistance:
      • Skin tags
      • Dark spots
    • Infertility and erectile dysfunction can be a sign of insulin resistance.

    [08:00] How to Test Insulin Resistance at Home

    • Buy a small blood pressure cuff that you can put around your wrist.
    • After fasting, and you notice your blood pressure goes down, that’s a sign of insulin resistance.
    • Insulin controls fuel use. At any moment, it’s a sugar burner or a fat burner. Insulin will dictate that fuel use in the body. Ketones can only be made when the body is in a high state of fat burning. If it takes a long time to measure ketones on a ketone meter, then it may be sign of insulin resistance.
    • If you are in ketosis, your insulin is going down. If your glucose is high, that’s a big question. It could be that you are overeating and snacking too often. Or, it could mean there is an exaggerated hormone response to the fast.

    [13:45] The Best Way to Break a Fast vs. the Worst Way to Break a Fast

    • A seven day fast is a little extreme. If a person is overweight, they need to be smart enough about doing a long fast.
    • The longer a person is in a fast, the lower the insulin is getting. However, our potassium and sodium pump will slow down. The kidneys wills start to dump potassium – they haven’t got the message to stop. So, the person will risk dying by changing the potassium levels in the blood – it’s lethal!
    • Don’t end a fast on a sugary snack.
    • End a fast with fats and proteins – they have the smallest effect on insulin.

    [18:30] About Dry Fasting   

    • Dry fasting will stimulate autophagy faster than a wet fast.
    • It can be used very effectively.
    • A dry fast will have a shorter time span.

    [21:00] Why Fasting Won’t Wreck Your Metabolism  

    • Energy within a living organism is your metabolism.
    • You want your metabolism to be less efficient actually.
    • It’s nonsense when people say something will “wreck your metabolism.”
    • The key to health is to be metabolically flexible.


    [22:30] The Difference Between Fasting and Starvation

    • Have you started cutting muscle? Cutting muscle is the difference between fasting and starving.
    • The greatest defender of muscle during a fast is ketones because we need to continue to feed our brains. Plus, our kidneys are working much harder than any other organ.
    • The moment our ketones come online, the metabolism in our muscles will stop.
    • Ketones are muscle sparing. If ketones are high, our muscles will keep our amino acids.
    • 75% of the brain’s energy will come from ketones.


    [29:30] There are No Issues with Low Insulin Levels

    • Bikman can’t think of any issues with low levels of insulin.
    • People say low insulin means you are depriving your muscles. There are not a lot of studies on this.
    • In gymnasts, they found there was no compromised muscle strength with the adaptation of a ketogenic diet.
    • Most of the time, Dr. Bikman is in ketosis. However, there are moments when it’s difficult to stay in ketosis. Sometimes, Dr. Bikman’s kids will make him a meal that he ends up eating despite the carbohydrates.


    [38:30] About Pathological Insulin Resistance

    • On a ketogenic diet, a person is becoming glucose intolerant. That is not the same as insulin resistance.
    • If a person consumes glucose, it will take longer to burn it.
    • If you have been burning fat for so long and you challenge it with a glucose load, Dr. Bikman says the body will respond to it perfectly.
    • The ketogenic diet isn’t the only way to live. Some people can thrive on a high carb diet. However, if someone is insulin resistant, they will benefit more from a low carb diet.


    [44:50] The Optimal Range for Insulin

    • Most doctors won’t test for insulin because they already tested for glucose.
    • Just because glucose is normal, does not mean that insulin is normal.
    • If you are six or below, you’re great. If it is up to 16 then you need to careful. If it’s higher, then it’s time to take things seriously.
    • Some labs will say that up to 30 is normal – it’s not!


    [49:15] Breast Cancer is Poorly Understood

    • We know so little about breast cancer.
    • The nature of this disease is change. If you think you’ve solved it, you haven’t.
    • The best evidence is hinting that cancer could stem from energy problems and issues in the mitochondria.


    [53:20] Cancer and Sugar Have a Mutual Relationship

    • Cancer depends on glucose.
    • There has never been human cancer found that thrives on ketones.


    [55:15] How to Fix Insulin Resistance

    • A cause of insulin resistance is high insulin.
    • So how do we prevent insulin? A low carb lifestyle.
    • Glucose is necessary for human survival – well, we make all we need.
    • Focus on protein and fat!
    • Learn more at https://gethlth.com/





    Resources from this episode:

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    Disclaimer: This podcast is for information purposes only. Statements and views expressed on this podcast are not medical advice. This podcast including Ben Azadi disclaim responsibility from any possible adverse effects from the use of information contained herein. Opinions of guests are their own, and this podcast does not accept responsibility of statements made by guests. This podcast does not make any representations or warranties about guests qualifications or credibility. Individuals on this podcast may have a direct or non-direct interest in products or services referred to herein. If you think you have a medical problem, consult a licensed physician.

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