Insulite Labs
December 2004 

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

As the year draws to a close one doesn’t know whether to review and dissect the previous twelve months or just acknowledge what’s passed and look ahead.

Too much introspection of “the year in review” could weigh us down, stop us in our tracks. But then a laborious compilation of New Year’s resolutions is as dangerously ambitious as the participants in “The Apprentice”. What to do?

A bit of both is what we recommend at Insulite Laboratories. Both reflection and projection are called for, each infused with confidence and hopefulness.

We know that self-criticism raises stress levels which, in turn, increase cortisol and that spurs unhealthy snacking. A vicious cycle wrapped up in a self-fulfilling prophecy is no gift to ourselves.

Conversely, did you know that optimism boosts life expectancy and strengthens our immune systems? And, that a study of older people showed that their perceptions of their own health were found to be more important in longevity than their actual health?

Please give yourself credit for your triumphs of the year gone by, no matter how small. If you went out walking when you didn’t feel like it or made a nutritious selection while dining out – Bravo! The simple fact that you’re reading a newsletter about improving your health – well done!

Pat yourself on the back for every healthy choice you make this year. Applaud your commitment to being well. Admire the positive changes in your body and look forward to more. Praise your efforts...we certainly do.

Our best wishes to you and yours for good health, happiness and fulfillment in the coming year.

“You miss 100% of the shots you never take.”

- Wayne Gretzky
   Legendary hockey player

Believe in yourself and your ability to achieve.
Walking on the Beach


Intelligence Report
Women with PCOS Share the Same Gene Defect
With Their Female and Male Siblings

A gene defect in women with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) often shows up in their female and male siblings, putting both sexes at risk of developing serious illnesses.

Researchers discovered that sisters of PCOS sufferers have metabolic and hormonal abnormalities that are connected to the same gene defect that causes PCOS, a disorder linked with infertility, ovarian cysts, menstrual irregularities, excessive body hair/hair loss and skin problems. The defect also increases the risk of Type 2 Diabetes for women with PCOS as well as their brothers.

The new findings come from a $6 million National Institutes of Health-funded study by the National Centers Program for Infertility Research. Lead researcher Dr. Andrea Dunaif of Northwestern University and her colleagues believe they pinpointed the PCOS gene mutation on chromosome 19 near the insulin receptor gene, which is associated with risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes in PCOS sufferers and their male siblings. This gene plays a key role in blood sugar (glucose) being converted into energy via insulin receptor sites or “doors” on the cell wall.

Insulin acts as a key to unlock the cell “door” for glucose to pass through to become energy. When this process is impaired by a vast reduction in receptor sites, the disorder is called Insulin Resistance, which is the underlying cause of PCOS. Because access is so restricted, glucose bounces off the cell wall and free-floats in the blood stream, causing increased levels of blood sugar that are sent to the liver. Once there, it is converted to fat and stored throughout the body. This process may result in weight gain or obesity, which, in turn, can cause PCOS.

The second way Insulin Resistance underlies PCOS is by causing insulin “rejected” by the cell to free-float in the blood stream. This excess insulin creates unbalanced hormone levels in women with PCOS. Excess insulin stimulates the ovaries to produce large amounts of the male hormone testosterone, which may prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg each month, thus causing infertility. High levels of insulin also increase the conversion of male hormones (androgens) to female hormones (estrogens), upsetting a delicate balance between the two and having a direct effect on weight gain and the formation of cystic follicles or cysts in the ovaries.

In recently published studies, approximately 50% of the sisters of women with PCOS had elevated androgen levels, while the other half of the sisters were unaffected. Of the high androgen group, half the sisters had PCOS and Insulin Resistance, while the other half were Insulin Resistant but showed no PCOS symptoms and had normal menstrual periods.

The high androgen level sisters of women with PCOS were found to be more obese than the others who were free of the condition. The brothers of women with PCOS also had significantly elevated levels of the androgen DHEAS.

Insulin Resistance in PCOS sufferers can be a precursor to Type 2 Diabetes. In fact, PCOS sufferers have seven times the risk of other women for developing adult-onset Type 2 Diabetes. This condition greatly increases the risk of Cardiovascular Disease, stroke and kidney problems. Research has also shown that PCOS is an important risk factor for the adult form of Type 2 Diabetes in teenage girls.

The PCOS Center at Northwestern University is recruiting women with PCOS and their families to participate in this nationwide gene study, which is receiving collaboration from Pennsylvania State University and the University of Pennsylvania. To qualify, women with suspected PCOS should be between 18 and 40, have six or fewer menstrual periods a year and not be taking oral contraceptives.

Family members may be asked about their willingness to participate in the study. All study-related tests will be performed free of charge. The study consists of four visits over approximately 6 months. For information, call 1-800-847-6060 or e-mail



People who repeatedly lose and regain weight are putting themselves at higher risk for illness. Diet and nutrition experts are concerned about the potential health consequences for people who flip-flop with their weight, as evidence grows that rebound dieting may weaken the immune system.

Women who begin dieting before the age of 14 are most at risk. A study by nutrition educators at the University of California, Berkeley, reported that these women were heavier as adults. They were also more than twice as likely to have been on more than 20 diets than women who tried to lose weight later in life. Lead researcher Joanne Ikeda said females who begin a pattern of losing and regaining pounds before puberty could disrupt their physical development.

Going on so many diets could have a harmful effect on long term health, according to another study. The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle measured the effectiveness of natural killer cells, which attack viruses and cancer. Researchers asked 114 obese women aged 50-75 with sedentary lifestyles how many times each one had taken off at least 10 lbs in the previous two decades.

Among women who had lost weight at least five times, natural killer cell function, which is part of the body’s complex immune system defense against illness and infection, dropped 30%. Scientists aren’t entirely clear about how much disease-fighting power must be lost before it can do harm. But a crucial finding of the study was that weight cycling had effects on the immune system that lasted as many as 15 years after women had last dieted.

Another report, in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, showed that yo-yo dieters had 7% lower levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL), the “good” cholesterol. Changes in blood lipids, including a decrease in HDL cholesterol, can encourage the build-up of plaque on the inside of artery walls, raising the risk of stroke and heart attack.


“Slow and steady weight loss is the safest and most effective way to take off extra pounds and keep them off.”

Dr. Mary Shackelton's ViewAt a time when an estimated 50% of American women and 25% of American men are either dieting or thinking about dieting, these findings reinforce the wisdom of sticking with a sustainable weight. They also underscore the need for more research into yo-yo dieting, which has become a lifestyle for many people.

Weight cycling, or regularly losing and regaining weight, is a somewhat neglected topic in the research community. Further studies are needed to compare the different health effects of weight loss and gain over a matter of months and even years.

Slow and steady weight loss is the safest and most effective way to take off extra pounds and keep them off. Rapid weight gain can cause a reduction in more metabolically-active muscle tissue rather than fat tissue. This reduces the body’s ability to burn fuel and increases the chance of putting the weight back on again.

The most permanent way to lose weight is take off no more than ½ -1 lb. a week, so the body can slowly normalize to a lighter weight. This pace will prevent “shocking” your metabolism which can cause future difficulties with losing weight as well as having damaging effects on your immune system.

The slow and permanent approach is the best way to avoid the dreaded “rebound effect” of weight loss and gain. Our goal at Insulite Laboratories is to inspire you to include exercise in your lifestyle (if you don’t already) so that your chances of losing weight slowly and safely are more likely! Additionally, remember that food can serve as your medicine, so choose healthy foods when you shop or eat out and watch the pounds slowly fade away forever.

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

  Glass of Milk
Myth: Eating red meat is bad for your health and will make it harder to lose weight.

Fact: Like most things in life, there are pros and cons to consider when it comes to red meat.

Unhealthy factors like saturated fat and cholesterol can be found in red meat, along with pork, chicken and fish. But these foods also have nutrients like protein, iron and zinc, which are important for good health.

Lean meat, that is meat without a lot of visible fat, can be eaten in small amounts as part of a healthy, weight-loss plan. An ideal serving size is 2-3 oz. of cooked meat, which is about the size of a deck of cards.

It’s best to choose cuts of meat that are lower in fat, such as beef eye of the round, top round or pork tenderloin. Trim any extra fat before cooking. The “select” grade of meat is lower in fat than “choice” or “prime” grades.

Dr Mary Shackelton - Medical Director for Insulite Laboratories
Q. How do glucose and insulin affect cholesterol levels?

A. Anytime there is an elevation in glucose in the blood stream, such as after a carbohydrate-rich meal, there is a compensatory rise in insulin production from the pancreas. Over time, and after consistently elevated carb consumption or over-nourishment, excess insulin may accumulate in the blood stream to such a degree that it can cause damage to the interior lining of blood vessels.

This elevated insulin level is called hyperinsulinemia and it encourages your liver to produce more triglycerides (TG), which are directly related to a greater risk of Cardiovascular Disease. Increases in TG and an accompanying decrease in HDL “good” cholesterol can cause the buildup of plaque on the inside of artery walls, raising the risk of stroke and heart attack.

Additionally, people who suffer from the Insulin Resistance-related symptoms of unbalanced glucose and insulin levels also have smaller and denser LDL “bad” cholesterol particles, which increase the chance of a heart attack.

Click here to read about Insulin Resistance and a System that can treat this condition.

Thank you for the wonderful response to news about the Insulite PCOS System!

Enquiries about PCOS, its diagnosis, relationship to Insulin Resistance, symptoms and – most importantly, how to reverse this condition - have been reaching us literally, from Iran to South Africa, Canada to Malaysia.

We’ve heard from teenagers and their concerned parents and women whose PCOS precludes them from conceiving, to post-menopausal sufferers and those who tell us that their health care providers have never heard of PCOS, to members of the medical community.

PCOS is truly a universal condition and Insulite Laboratories is here to help.

If you, or someone you know and care about, would like to receive information about the Insulite PCOS System available online in early 2005, please contact us at

“Once I started using the Insulite System, I noticed a change right away. I had been trying to lose weight for over a year with a strict regimen of diet and exercise but did not have success. My weight just wouldn’t budge and I was feeling fairly discouraged.

“The Insulite System has given me a fighting chance to be successful and I am encouraged to continue. Now I’m able to see results and feel the hard work is paying off. My weight has come off naturally and not too fast.”

- Tracey Miller
  Boulder, CO

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, web sites and affiliate sites. Please email us at

Some people might literally be able to walk away from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The sooner people of any age start getting regular physical activity - like walking - the more likely they are to lower their chances of developing these conditions.

Two new studies show that seniors who walk regularly or go in for other more strenuous levels of activity had 20 to nearly 50% less risk of suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s than those who led sedentary lives. The greatest benefit occurs in someone who has been exercising all his or her life. But older citizens who have just begun walking regularly also improve their chances of avoiding illness, so it’s never too late to start.

Robert Abbott, a biostatistician at the University of Virginia and a co-author of one of the reports, studied 2,257 physically able, non-smoking Japanese-American men between the ages of 71 and 93 living around Honolulu, Hawaii, who were already taking part in a long term aging study.

The distance they walked each day was checked between 1991 and 1993. They were also assessed for dementia in two exams between 1994 and 1999. During this follow-up period, 158 cases of dementia were identified. After making adjustments for their age, it was found that men who walked less than a quarter-mile a day had 1.8 times the risk for dementia than men who walked two miles a day.

The second study measured the effects of activity like walking on the cognitive function of elderly women. Researchers for the Nurses Health Study run by Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, with the Harvard School of Public Health, tracked 18,766 women aged 70-86, with two rounds of mental function tests staged about two years apart.

The women were ranked in five groups depending on average energy expenditure each week. Women with the highest rates of physical activity, including walking, had significantly less cognitive decline than women with a more sedentary approach to life.
Walking is Hard to BeatWalking is hard to beat as a natural way to improve your health. The benefits of this simple form of exercise include keeping weight down and raising HDL “good” cholesterol, which help to protect the heart and circulatory system.

It may also boost the immune system and benefit hormone levels, thereby helping to prevent cancer. Walking also plays a role in bowel regularity, which, in turn, reduces the risk of colon cancer. Studies are underway to see whether walking helps prevent breast cancer, too.

To start a walking program, it’s best to begin slowly and build up very gradually to the stage where you can walk comfortably for 30-60 minutes a day. In the first week, start with a 15-minute walk with an easy pace on five days out of seven. Spread out your rest days, e.g. make days 3 and 6 rest days. Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes and clothes.

Consider buying a pedometer and keeping a record, adding time and distance to your walk at a rate that suits you. There’s no rush. The fact that you’re getting exercise is the main thing. Walking half-an-hour a day or 3 hours a week is associated with a decreased risk of heart disease, while walking 7 hours a week is thought to improve the chances of avoiding Type 2 Diabetes and breast cancer.

But only walk at a pace and cover a length that feels comfortable.
Good Intentions
“Good intentions are not enough. Ultimately, we are measured by our actions.”
  - Anonymous
Translate your dreams into reality
by physical effort


Keep your arms toned.Carbohydrates may be notorious for being a source of weight gain. But there is a way to make them a friend rather that a foe. Carbs are the basis of all food groups so you’ll find them in almost everything you eat. But by counting them as part of a meal- and snack-planning system, you can eat a specific number of carbohydrate grams without adverse effects.

The most compelling reason to count carbs is that this method can improve blood sugar control. This is crucial because growing scientific data suggests that preventing blood sugar, or glucose, from spiking can help prevent heart disease as well as the onset of Type 2 Diabetes.

Carb counting can also curb your appetite and facilitate weight loss. An increasing number of scientists and doctors now believe that controlling carbs, rather than calories, results in greater and more lasting weight loss, which, as we all know, leads to better health.

The average person consumes more than 300 grams of carbs a day, which is too great an amount for most individuals to burn as energy. In other words, there is more intake than expenditure of energy which leads to weight gain and lifestyle-related diseases such as Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease and Insulin Resistance. High carb foods are converted in the body to glucose. In turn, the glucose is converted to energy by passing through the cell wall via insulin receptor sites. Any glucose not used for energy ends up stored as fat.

The beauty of the carb counting approach is that it allows you eat a wide variety of foods as long as you are careful to stay within your per-meal allowance of carbs. Everyone is different as regards creating the most beneficial meal plan. It’s helpful to consult a health professional or nutritionist to determine the number of carb grams you should consume when you eat a meal or snacks. You can choose your favorite food within carb counting guidelines.

Another approach to counting carbs is to use a blood glucose meter available online or in retail outlets to test how foods affect your blood sugar 1-2 hours after eating. You’ll also need a food scale, measuring cups and spoons plus one of the numerous carbohydrate counting guides sold in book and health stores. Don’t forget to pay attention to the nutritional facts on food labels.

The key to reducing your intake to an ideal level at any meal is to gradually reduce the amount of the carbs you consume at each meal, each week. The Insulite System’s Nutrition Plan follows this philosophy by advocating a gradual reduction in carbs each week. You need to wean yourself off carbs slowly, otherwise intense cravings can develop that will sabotage your efforts. We’ve found that a gradual, 7-week plan to integrate more green leafy vegetables and protein into your diet at the expense of carbohydrates streamlines the transition dramatically.

Foods that are highest in carbohydrates include pastas and noodles, breads, rice, pastries, pancakes, soda, honey, sugar, potatoes, bananas, corn, fruits, ice cream and energy drinks.

Green leafy vegetables do contain carbohydrates but at very low levels. Recommended are lettuce, broccoli, spinach, celery, kale, brussel sprouts and parsley. Cauliflower may not be green but it’s good for you.

Wash your hands often.

There’s nothing like a quick vegetable curry to warm up a cold dark winter’s night. The Thais know a thing or two about how to spice up a meal, so why not try this delicious Vegetable Curry? Simple and satisfying, it offers plenty of cheer as the temperature drops outside.
  • 1 cup dry basmati or brown rice
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp roasted peanut oil
  • 1 Tbs finely chopped ginger
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 2 Tbs soy sauce
  • 1-3 tsp Thai red curry paste
  • 4 large, fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1 zucchini sliced into ¼ in. pieces
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 3 carrots, shredded

Rinse the rice in cold water and cook according to package directions. Heat the oil in a wide, non-stick skillet or wok; add the garlic, ginger, scallions, onions, zucchini, carrots and beans and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the coconut milk and soy sauce and stir in the curry paste (1 tsp for mild; 2 for medium and 3 for hot). Simmer until thoroughly heated.

Spoon the mixture over the rice and garnish with basil leaves. Serve with a dish of low-fat sour cream or plain yogurt for a cooling complement and a green salad topped with toasted, slivered almonds and low-fat sesame dressing.

Insulite Laboratories is Here for You
You are well on the way to reversing your Insulin Resistance, preventing its related conditions such as PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), Metabolic Syndrome (Syndrome X) and Pre-Diabetes, 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 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.

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