Insulite Labs
April 2005 
IN THIS ISSUE: Insulite Laboritories

Welcome to the thirteenth edition of Viewpoints, our monthly e-newsletter.

We at Insulite Laboratories applaud all our clients who have decided to achieve a healthier life for themselves. Our commitment is total when it comes to pointing the way towards a greater sense of well being via a balanced, nutritional diet and a realistic exercise program.

There's no time like the present to lose weight and escape from the shadow of America's obesity epidemic. The facts behind this crisis never cease to amaze. For example, a study has shown that 27% of the phenomenal growth in health care spending over the last 15 years was attributable to obesity. Over that period, the treatment of obese patients was 37% more expensive on average than for people of normal weight.

Federal officials have estimated that it costs $93 billion a year to treat obesity-related illnesses like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), the cluster of Cardiovascular Diseases known as Metabolic Syndrome (Syndrome X) and Type II Diabetes. All these conditions can have Insulin Resistance as an underlying cause.

Our aim is to help you avoid or reverse the symptoms of these disorders by enabling you to reach your goal of better health. Taking steps in the right direction doesn't have to be a difficult process. Just read this month's Insulite Lifestyle feature on wearing a pedometer while you walk to see what we mean.

“The way to succeed is to double your error rate.”

- Thomas Watson

Keep trying and learn by your mistakes.
Start By Doing What's Necessary


Intelligence Report


If you're losing sleep, you could be gaining weight. A new study has shown that sleep deprivation triggers an increase in a hunger hormone while at the same time reducing levels of a different hormone that make you feel full.

The end result can be obesity through overeating and could explain why so many Americans who are chronically sleep-deprived are also overweight. It may also be the reason why sleepy college students, new parents and shift workers find themselves piling on the pounds.

They are among the 65% of Americans who are overweight or obese. Insulin Resistance is a key factor in causing the country's obesity epidemic, which increases the risks of sufferers developing a host of conditions, including Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Type 2 Diabetes and the cluster of Cardiovascular Diseases called Metabolic Syndrome or Syndrome X.

The medical community is intrigued by the possible connection between the number of overweight or obese people in the U.S. and an estimated 63% of American adults who do not get the recommended 8 hours of sleep. The average adult gets 6.9 hours of sleep on weeknights and 7.5 hours at weekends, making a daily average of 7 hours.

Chicago University professor of medicine Eve Van Cauter, lead author of the new study, has spent 25 years carrying out research on the hormones that are affected by sleep. She says lack of sleep activates a small part of the hypothalamus, which is the region of the brain that is also involved in appetite regulation. There are two critical hormones that regulate food intake: ghrelin and leptin.

These hormones influence eating in different ways. Ghrelin is an appetite-stimulating hormone released mostly by the stomach. When ghrelin levels are up, most people feel hungry.

Leptin, on the other hand, is regarded as a satiety or fullness hormone, which is released by fat cells and tells the brain about the current energy balance of the body. High leptin levels send a message that the body has enough food, resulting in a person feeling full.

"The hormones have been called the yin and yang of hunger," says Professor Van Cauter, who directs the Research Laboratory on Sleep, Chronobiology and Neuroendocrinology at the University of Chicago School of Medicine.

"One is the accelerator for eating (ghrelin) and the other (leptin) is the brake," she added. (For more on leptin, see Consult Dr Mary)

Professor Van Cauter, whose findings were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, arranged for 12 healthy, normal weight men, with an average age of 22, to come into a hospital laboratory to sleep and eat dinner and breakfast. On one occasion, they were limited to four hours' sleep for two consecutive nights. On another occasion, they were allowed to sleep for up to ten hours for two nights. Their blood was tested at regular intervals and they were asked about their hunger.

The findings:
  • Leptin levels were 18% lower and ghrelin levels 28% higher after they slept four hours.
  • The sleep-deprived men who had the biggest hormonal changes said they felt the most hungry and craved carbohydrate-rich foods, including cakes, candy, ice cream, pasta and bread. Those who had the smallest changes reported being the least hungry.
One of the participants, biology student Matt Tierney, 23, said he was so hungry after getting only 4 hours of sleep that "I could have eaten my pillow." He had no problems with hunger after getting the longer nights of sleep.

Different people have different sleep needs. But in general, most adults require 7-9 hours, say experts. Some can do with less. When she was Prime Minister of Britain, Margaret Thatcher only needed four hours a night. Others have to have more.

Professor Van Cauter suggests this method for discovering your individual sleep need:

The next time you're on vacation, sleep as much as you can the first couple of days. That way you can pay off your sleep debt. Then, when your sleep has stabilized, make a record of how much you sleep, plus or minus 15 minutes. The average figure is your sleep need or capacity.



New Research


Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) face a higher risk of developing liver disease, according to a new study in Southern California. Researchers say the finding is important for doctors who may not be aware that women with PCOS face this higher risk and thus treat them with medications that could be toxic to the liver.

PCOS is a disorder caused by a hormone imbalance linked with the way the body processes insulin, which aids the body's absorption of blood sugar for energy. When insulin and glucose levels become unbalanced because of a condition called Insulin Resistance, the ovaries can produce an abnormal abundance of the male hormone testosterone, which is a characteristic of PCOS.

Among the signs of PCOS is the growth of abnormal cysts on the ovaries. This can be accompanied by irregular or non-existent menstrual cycles leading to infertility. Symptoms of the disorder may also include hirsutism (abnormal growth of hair), thinning hair, acne, weight gain, depression and anxiety.

In a study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, physicians at the University of California at San Diego theorized that PCOS is connected with a higher risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD. This is an umbrella term used to describe a range of liver diseases, from benign to potentially fatal, which are characterized by the accumulation of fat in the liver. This increase in fatty liver risk can be caused by different things, such as Insulin Resistance-related disorders such as Type 2 Diabetes, weight gain, poor diet or associated illnesses like tuberculosis. The worst kind of fatty liver disease is known as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which is diagnosed when accumulated fat causes liver inflammation, resulting in damage to the organ.

"We hypothesized that women with PCOS would demonstrate a high incidence of NAFLD because of the link to Insulin Resistance," explained Walter Schwimmer, an assistant clinical professor of Pediatrics at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Bellflower, California, and one of the study's lead researchers.

Insulin Resistance is a shared characteristic of both PCOS and NAFLD. "The data in the study, in fact, demonstrates that elevated ALT is more common in women with PCOS than in the general population of women of a similar age, race and body weight," he added.

Doctors look for levels of ALT as a sign of liver disease. ALT stands for alanine aminotransferase, an enzyme released by the liver into the bloodstream when the liver is damaged.

For the study, researchers reviewed the records of 70 women who had been evaluated for infertility. Information was gathered on height, weight, blood pressure, hirsutism, liver enzyme levels, fasting glucose, fasting insulin and cholesterol.

Nearly a third of the women diagnosed as having PCOS had higher-than-normal levels of ALT, indicating the presence of liver disease. Additionally, levels of another liver enzyme, aspartate aminotransferase, or AST, were increased in 12% of the patients studied. All seven subjects with an elevated AST also had an elevated ALT.

Women with higher ALT levels also weighed significantly more, had a higher waist circumference, increased triglyceride levels and higher cholesterol. "There was a significant association between the presence of hirsutism and the finding of an abnormal ALT in women with PCOS," says the study, adding that the link between fatty liver disease and hirsutism was "very unexpected."

"We determined that Insulin Resistance explains the high rate of elevated ALT in women with PCOS, and that these women with PCOS are at increased risk for NAFLD," said Professor Schwimmer.

But the investigators also cautioned that since liver biopsies weren't performed in the study, it was not possible to determine the true prevalence of NAFLD in the group of women.

In conclusion, the investigators recommend that women diagnosed with PCOS who also have higher ALT levels avoid alcohol and acetaminophen, both of which can be toxic to a diseased liver.

* Schwimmer JB, Khorram O, Chiu V, Schwimmer WB. Abnormal aminotransferase activity in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Fertil Steril 2005 Feb;83(2):494-7.


“The fat that is visible on your body is only a symptom of what is happening behind the scenes.”

This recent research further confirms the importance of reversing PCOS. Previously, most research demonstrated an increased risk in several life threatening conditions such as Cardiovascular Disease and now we have more evidence that increases the urgency to reverse PCOS.

Many of you may be puzzled about this connection. When your body continually uses sugar as its primary fuel source, it is "locked" into a sugar burning mode which can have a serious effect on every organ system. Fat is "stored" and begins to build up in places where it shouldn't. This is in addition to fat accumulating at the waist line or midline -- the "apple shape" distribution that contributes to the cause of Insulin Resistance.

The fat that is visible on your body is only a symptom of what is happening 'behind the scenes' where fat is accumulating around and inside the internal organs, most importantly the liver. The result is two-fold: the liver becomes even more Insulin Resistant, causing it to release greater amounts of glucose, and it creates a further rise in insulin production, which perpetuates the Insulin Resistance problem. A portion of the fat gets stored inside the liver cells and contributes to Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease or NAFLD. The disorder is called 'non-alcoholic' liver disease because it shares characteristics with liver conditions found in people who abuse alcohol.

However, with the Insulin Resistant person or PCOS female, there is an increased incidence of NAFLD which is frequently 'silent' or without obvious symptoms. The basis of this disorder is an impairment of fat metabolism. It is still unclear why this happens - it is possible that the liver is unable to change fat to a form that can be eliminated.

Dr. Mary Shackelton, MPH ND, is the Medical Director of Insulite Laboratories.

Click here to learn about a system that is scientifically-designed to help reverse the symptoms of PCOS.

  Weight Loss: Myth or Fact?
Myth: Exercising on an Empty Stomach is More Effective

Fact: You don't lose more weight by exercising on an empty stomach. In fact, it may hinder the effectiveness of working out if lack of food means you don't have enough energy to exercise properly. You should try to eat a small snack that has adequate protein, fat and carbohydrates prior to your workout if you're exercising in the morning. This will ensure a more stable blood sugar level during and after your workout. If you do exercise on an empty stomach, you are likely to have a surge of cortisol which increases your blood glucose and results in an insulin surge also. This not only contributes to the condition of Insulin Resistance, which can be a major factor in weight gain, but also increases irregular blood sugar levels and day-long carbohydrate cravings.

Dr Mary Shackelton - Medical Director for Insulite Laboratories

A. Most people avoid fat in their diets so as not to gain weight. But what we are realizing now is that, if we add 'good' fats to our diets, our insulin and leptin levels decrease. This means we feel more satisfied and our carbohydrate craving decreases significantly. You can actually lose weight by eating more fat. This would have been a reckless statement 20 years ago. Research confirms, however, that it is true.

We at Insulite Laboratories encourage heavy reliance on sources of "good" fats like avocados, nuts, olives, olive oil, grain-fed beef, nut butters and omega-3 enriched eggs in our daily diets. Try experimenting with these and see how they make you feel. The good fats lower leptin and insulin levels, which, in turn, improve the quality of these hormone signals so that our cells "hear" their messages better and control hunger.

What you may find is that including these "good" fats in your diet will leave you feeling more in control of your cravings and dietary choices. Better control of your choices will condition your neural networks to support this new, healthier way of eating.

“The thing that impresses me the most, aside from the wealth of useful information you offer on your web sites and in your newsletter, is the lack of "hard sell." You really do seem to have the interests of your clients at heart.”

- B.E.,
  London, England

Insulite Laboratories would like to share other experiences like this one to inspire our many clients on the same path. Tell us your story and we will use it in a future issue of this newsletter, as well as on web sites and affiliate sites.

If you are uncomfortable with us publishing your name, we are quite happy to use your initials to preserve your anonymity. Please email us at

Insulite Laboratories is pleased to announce the addition of a new member to its Medical Advisory Board. He is:

Doctor Chuck Davis M.D.Chuck Davis M.D. who works currently in family practice at both Kaiser Permanente, Boulder, and Exempla Health Care, Broomfield, CO. He gained his B.A. and M.D. at Michigan University. He was Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at the University of California in San Francisco. Chuck is also certified in Occupational Medicine and Accupuncture for Pain Control. He is committed to helping reverse the conditions caused by Insulin Resistance such as PCOS, Metabolic Syndrome and Pre-Diabetes. Another interest is documentary film making. Several of his films have been shown on PBS and have won awards at film festivals.

Cinnamon Can Lower Blood Sugar Levels


People with Type 2 Diabetes are 2-4 times more likely to develop Cardiovascular Disease associated with abnormal levels of lipids, namely triglycerides, LDL "bad" cholesterol and HDL good" cholesterol.

Something in the diet that could help balance blood glucose and blood lipid levels would be a major health boost for Diabetics. Now a new study has shown that cinnamon may just be what the doctor ordered.

Researchers in Peshawar, Pakistan, studied a group of 60 people with Type 2 Diabetes. They were equally divided between men and women with an average age of 52, not taking insulin and had a fasting blood glucose level between 140 and 400 mg/dl. Each one had had Diabetes for at least 4 years.

The participants were randomly assigned to one of 6 groups. Cinnamon was available in capsules containing 500 mgs together with placebo or dummy capsules containing 500 mgs of wheat flour. Groups 1,2 and 3 received 2,6 or 12 cinnamon capsules daily, while groups 4,5, and 6 received 2,6 or 12 placebo capsules, respectively.

The capsules were taken after meals, with water, for 40 days. Normal meals and usual medications were continued throughout the study. Blood levels of glucose, lipids and total cholesterol were determined at baseline and on days 20, 40 and 60 (the latter being 20 days after the end of cinnamon intake.)
Cinnamon helps lower Blood Sugar LevelsThe results were dramatic. Daily doses of cinnamon in whatever amount caused a significant reduction in fasting glucose levels after 40 days. The effect persisted to a considerable extent even 20 days after the cinnamon capsules were stopped. A similar effect was seen on levels of LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and total cholesterol, though HDL cholesterol showed no cinnamon-induced changes. The placebo had no effect.

Researchers found that 1-6 grams of cinnamon daily for 40 days reduced fasting blood glucose by 18-29%, triglycerides by 23-30%, LDL cholesterol by 7-27% and total cholesterol by 12-26%. The changes largely persisted for 20 days after the patients had stopped taking the cinnamon.

It's not clear why cinnamon works in this way but doctors think it somehow increases sensitivity to insulin and acts as an antioxidant.

One of the report's co-authors, Dr. Richard Anderson, said: "I don't know of anything else that can change glucose, triglycerides and cholesterol levels so much."

Such an impressive study results have to be confirmed by additional trials before widespread use of cinnamon by Type II Diabetics can be promoted. But the occasional cinnamon bun or pastry may now be devoured with a little less guilt than before...

Use your Imagination
“A smile is a curve that can get everything straight.”
  - Anonymous
Have fun. Don't take everything too seriously!


Stepping up your Exercise


It pays to watch your steps. Wearing a step-counter or pedometer on your waistband has been proved to encourage walkers to travel greater distances, resulting in more benefits from exercise.

For a new study, researchers at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville recruited 58 inactive women who normally walk fewer than 7,000 steps a day. The participants were divided into two groups, with the first group asked to take a brisk, 30-minute walk on most days of the week.

The second group was asked to wear a pedometer and walk 10,000 steps a day, which is a distance of about 5 miles. The women were told they could rack up the steps either by taking a long walk or in shorter bursts like using the stairs at work instead of the elevator.

The 30-minute group averaged 8,270 steps a day compared with 10,149 steps for the other group, according to the study in April's issue of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, the journal of the American College of Sports Medicine. That was a difference of about a mile, depending on stride length.

"The pedometer is a constant reminder to walk more. More steps, more calories burned, more health benefits, " said lead researcher Dixie Thompson, director of Tennessee University's Center for Physical Activity and Health.

Another of the university's studies showed that middle-aged women who walk 10,000 steps or more each day are more likely to be a healthy weight.

Different activities clock up different numbers of steps:

  • 2,000 steps - walking around a shopping mall for 20 minutes without pausing or going grocery shopping in a supermarket and going up down the aisles for 45 minutes
  • 4,000-5,000 - playing doubles tennis for an hour
  • 8,000 - dancing continuously for an hour or playing nine holes of golf without using a cart
"With pedometers, every step counts," said James Hill, one of the co-founders of America on the Move, a national initiative which encourages participants to add 2,000 steps a day to what they are already doing and then gradually increase their activity from there.

Americans walk about 5,310 steps a day on average, says a poll for America on the Move. "People can make a big increase in the steps they take but it works best if they do it in small increments," added Mr. Hill.

CoQ10 anti-oxidant
Eating the skin of apples spurs roughly twice the anti-cancer activity in your body as eating only the pulp, according to a study by Cornell University. That's why this recipe specifically says not to peel the apple. By the way, don't worry about the amount of fat in each serving - 90% of it is good monounsaturated fat from avocado and pecans.

Romaine With Apple, Pecans and Cheese

  • 4½ cups of hearts of romaine lettuce, torn into pieces
  • 1 large unpeeled apple, chopped
  • 1 Hass avocado, cubed
  • ½ cup chopped red onions
  • ¼ cup toasted pecan pieces

Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing

  • ½ cup (approx 2.5oz) blue cheese
  • 2 Tbs white vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 8oz plain non-fat yogurt
Combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss with ½ cup of the dressing. Serves 4.

Per serving with 2 Tbs dressing: 240 calories, 19g carbohydrates, 7g protein, 16g fat (4g saturated), 4g fiber, 225mg sodium.

Insulite Laboratories is Here for You
You are well on the way to reversing your Insulin Resistance and preventing its related conditions such as PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), Metabolic Syndrome (Syndrome X) and Pre-Diabetes. You are also taking important steps to achieving your desired weight loss goal and the healthy lifestyle you deserve.

Remember that persistence is crucial.

We at Insulite Laboratories are committed to your success and your well being. We're here to help you.

Please contact us with any questions or to order the Insulite System or the Insulite PCOS System at

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DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this newsletter is for the sole purpose of being informative. This information is not and should not be used or relied upon as medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician, nurse or other qualified health care provider before you undergo any treatment, take any medication, supplements or other nutritional support, or for answers to any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Nothing contained in or provided through this newsletter is intended to be or is to be used or relied upon for medical diagnosis or treatment. Your use of our newsletter opportunity is subject to certain terms and conditions including, but not limited to, the fact that you have not been seen, evaluated or diagnosed by a qualified medical/health care provider through the use of our newsletter service.

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