Insulite Labs
September 2004 

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

Autumn can evoke for us thoughts of a new beginning or fresh start, just as palpably as the New Year. It must be a residual memory of all those September mornings wearing tight new shoes, when the first day of school sparked personal pledges to study harder, not to chat in class and finish homework before dinner.

We’re older and, hopefully, wiser now and the promises that we make to ourselves are less likely to become diluted by youthful diversions. Why is it, then, that we’re more apt to make – and keep – promises to others? Do our commitments have more value when made to others?

It seems that the biggest obstacle in getting our health and weight on track is keeping our own good intentions – our own word – to ourselves.

A new season can elicit a new perspective. We at Insulite Laboratories support you in making a promise to yourself and keeping it.

Visualize yourself in one year and make a commitment to achieving that vision. Decide to walk instead of drive. Select an apple instead of a pastry. Opt for movement over watching TV. Choose to be well.


“The only goal you can’t accomplish is the one you don’t go after.”

- Vilis Ozols

Let your ambitions be limitless!
Walking on the Beach


Atkin's Diet Research
The Atkins Diet: Does It Work and Is It Safe?

Questions still remain about the effectiveness and safety of the Atkins Diet, even though 45 million copies of the weight loss lifestyle guide have been sold.

According to a new study, dieters using the high-fat, low-carbohydrate Atkins plan lose just as much weight as those on low-fat diets. But low-carb side effects could mean problems down the road, according to a scientist who looked at 60 diet studies.

Writing in the British medical journal, The Lancet, Dr. Arne Astrup, an obesity expert at RVA University in Copenhagen, Denmark, concludes that headaches, muscle cramps, general weakness, rashes and either diarrhea or constipation are reported more often by Atkins dieters that people on conventional diets. These side-effects may be signs that the eating plan isn’t healthy in the long run, wrote Dr. Astrup.

Other experts say, however, that the Atkins Diet remains a viable option for some people because the side-effects aren’t bad enough to throw them off the plan, which shuns bread, pasta and many fruits, while recommending eating meat.

“More people stayed in the low-carb group than in the low-fat group, so you’ve got to wonder how severe those side-effects were,” said researcher William Yancy, who conducted one of the major studies that Dr. Astrup reviewed.

Three recent randomized trials looked at the long-term effects of low-carbohydrate diets. Generally speaking, all the people on the low-carb diet did lose more weight over a six-month period, compared to subjects on a low-fat diet. But there was no difference in weight loss between the two groups after 12 months.

Dr. Astrup did, however, report some improvement in heart risk factors among people on a low-carbohydrate diet but noted that the Atkins Diet is not healthy because it restricts whole grains, fruit and vegetables.

The absence of these foods “might increase the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease,” he noted.

Dr Astrup also indicated long-term studies of up to 2 years are needed to assess the effectiveness of low-carbohydrate diets. He recommends that people who want to lose weight and keep it off should increase physical activity and eat a diet that is low in fat.

Click here to read why the Insulite System Nutritional Plan recommends gradual reduction of carbohydrates for permanent weight loss.


Measuring Up

Insulin Resistance, PCOS and Alzheimer’s Disease: New Links Emerging

An emerging body of evidence suggests that Insulin Resistance, the root cause of PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and other related conditions such as Metabolic Syndrome, also plays a role in the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease. Conditions like Type 2 Diabetes and depression that are common in PCOS sufferers may also make them vulnerable to dementia.

Insulin Resistance prevents the efficient conversion of food or glucose into energy due to a vastly reduced number of insulin receptor sites on the cell’s surface. Too few receptor sites slam the door on glucose and insulin, causing levels of both in the blood stream to become unbalanced. This leads to an increase in free-floating glucose and insulin that can cause excess body fat and obesity, resulting in PCOS-related conditions like cardiovascular disease, Type II Diabetes and depression.

Very large numbers of insulin receptor sites occur in a normally functioning brain, including the regions responsible for the formation of memory. In addition, insulin-sensitive glucose transporters are localized to regions which support memory, with insulin playing a key role in this capability. A new study* suggests that insulin may contribute to normal cognitive functioning. The findings also suggest that insulin abnormalities may exacerbate cognitive impairments such as those associated with Alzheimer’s.

Researchers have long known that both being overweight and having Type II Diabetes raise the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. There is also growing evidence that Insulin Resistance and glucose irregularities may contribute to the pathophysiology and symptoms of depression, Alzheimer’s and other mental disorders.

PCOS sufferers can be prone to depression or mood swings. Although more research is needed to determine the exact causes of this link, there are studies that connect depression to Type 2 Diabetes, which may be caused by Insulin Resistance.

Depression and mood swings could also be the result of hormonal imbalances and the cosmetic symptoms of PCOS such as acne and excessive hair growth or loss. Women with Type 2 Diabetes, who run twice the risk of developing depression, showed improvements in their depressive states after receiving education about and treatment for Insulin Resistance.

“Insulin Resistance is clearly present in Alzheimer’s and may be linked to depression, which in some cases precedes Alzheimer’s,” says Dr. Natalie Rosgon of the International Psychogeriatric Association. She theorizes that persistent, untreated Insulin Resistance among patients with depression leads to the neurodegeneration associated with Alzheimer’s.

Neuro-endocrine (pertaining to the nervous and endocrine systems as an integrated functioning mechanism) conditions exist in both neurodegeneration and Alzheimer’s. There have also been tests showing increased bloodstream levels of glucose and decreased cerebral blood flow in specific areas of patients’ brains, which put them at risk for Alzheimer’s years before other mental disorders develop.

The exact interaction of all these factors is still somewhat unclear. But early data suggests that Alzheimer’s patients show improved memory after an infusion of insulin, which underscores the role of reversing Insulin Resistance in the physiology of dementia.

SOURCE: CNS Drugs, 2003, 17 (1):27-45


“Insulin Resistance continues to be revealed as a major contributor to diverse medical conditions.”

Dr. Mary Shackelton I find this study fascinating as it points to some further potential areas of cognitive research. There is currently little treatment available for Alzheimer’s patients and these findings suggest there are some lifestyle factors involved that were previously unknown.

If our memory is impaired because of Insulin Resistance, I wonder what other brain functions are similarly affected? For those who have Insulin Resistance, reversing the condition may mean that foggy memory or sluggish thoughts could be an additional benefit to healing the condition.

Overall, Insulin Resistance continues to be revealed as a major contributor to diverse medical conditions

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

Myth: Eating at night causes weight gain.

Fact: It doesn’t matter when you eat – what’s critical to making you gain or lose weight is the amount of exercise you get and how much food you consume in a day.

Your body will store extra calories as fat regardless of the time you eat. If you’re contemplating having a snack before bed, take a minute to calculate the number of calories you’ve consumed during the day.

It’s best not to combine snacking with other activities such as reading or working at your computer as the two may become inseparable! If you must, make it a high-protein snack, such as almonds or seeds and measure it by the handful. Leave those family-sized bags and boxes sequestered in the kitchen cabinet.

Dr Mary Shackelton - Medical Director for Insulite Laboratories

Q. How will I feel when I am taking the Insulite System Supplements?

A. As you get into the Plan and the longer you use the Insulite System, you should feel more energized and your level of stamina is apt to stay constant throughout the day. Afternoon lulls in focus or concentration should decrease.

You should also experience a marked reduction in cravings for simple carbohydrates in the early afternoon. Most people will also sleep more soundly and awake more refreshed in the morning.

WATCH THIS SPACE: In the coming months, Insulite Laboratories will introduce the first complete System to reverse PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome).

The Insulite PCOS System has been scientifically-formulated to treat Insulin Resistance, the root cause of PCOS, as well as balancing the hormones responsible for the many symptoms of this disorder.

The new System is partnered with a comprehensive web site featuring cutting-edge research, information and guidelines for PCOS sufferers who comprise 5-10% of women between late adolescence and menopause.

We are here to support you.

“I was researching Syndrome X and was quite drawn to your sound explanations. This is an answer to everyone’s health problems, it seems.”

- S.B., MS RD
Victorville, CA

Various food types take different amounts of time to be transformed in the bloodstream into glucose or sugar for energy. Some foods peak rapidly while others have a more gradual effect on glucose levels. This data converts into a dietary measurement known as the Glycemic Index, or GI for short.

Growing research suggests that preventing blood sugar (glucose) from spiking is beneficial to everyone’s health in numerous ways. These benefits range from staving off heart disease and preventing Type II Diabetes to curbing your appetite so you lose weight and, hopefully, feel more energetic.

A food’s GI indicates how it impacts blood sugar levels. Foods are rated on a scale of 0-100. High index foods (more than 70) will rapidly boost blood glucose and insulin levels, which can be a health risk. Foods between 55-70 have an intermediate GI. Low index foods (less than 55) will take longer to peak and go easier on the body.

In theory, health-conscious people, and diabetics in particular, should try to eat the majority of their carbs in low GI foods to avoid a rapid rise in sugar levels. Not all foods, however, have a GI rating and those of you with Diabetes who are interested in using this method of dietary planning, should discuss it with your doctor or dietician first for guidance.

The current Glycemic Index database, compiled by the University of Sydney, Australia, contains approximately 300 food items, while a 2002 article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition by Sydney University researcher and GI authority Jennie Brand, lists 750 foods. For more information go to

Low GI foods include grapefruit, plums, peanuts, canned tomato and lentil soups, fettuccine, low-fat yoghurt with artificial sweetener, fat-free and soy milk and bananas.

Intermediate GI foods are brown rice, sweet corn, pita bread, raisins, pineapple, taco shells, orange juice from frozen concentrate, Coca-Cola, cheese pizza and white bread among others.

High GI foods range from carrots and watermelon to – not surprisingly - bagels, doughnuts, frozen waffles, jelly beans, Rice Krispies and cornflakes, baked and instant mashed potatoes, pretzels, French bread and more.
Be Carefull with Medications
Keep Trying
“To know how to wait is the great secret of success.”
  - Joseph DeMaistre
Be patient and you'll achieve your goals.


Take Some Breaks During the Day A great way to get a jump on your protein intake for the day is to start the morning with a protein smoothie. There are a variety of protein powders on the market and their contents vary as much as power bars. It’s best to pick one with fewer carbohydrates e.g. under 15 grams per 2 scoop serving. And because of the frequency of allergies with various products e.g. soy powder vs. dairy-based powder, make sure you pick one that is appropriate for you.

Once you’ve made your choice, mix the following in a blender for two minutes: 4 ice cubes, 1 cup of soy or rice milk (original formula) 1 cup of berries, ½ cup of almonds, ½ to 1 cup of plain or vanilla yogurt and 1 tbs. of flax oil (This is a taste-free ingredient loaded with potent Omega 3’s!).

With their antioxidant properties, blueberries are an excellent choice. And, when they’re out of season, the frozen variety is equally as effective. (Use fewer ice cubes with frozen berries.)

Because their skin is intact, blueberries provide fiber which decreases the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. (Blueberry juice retains antioxidants but is not such a good idea from a Glycemic Index perspective: it is too sugary and not enough fiber is present to prevent a glucose spike.)

So, if you can’t find frozen fruit, we suggest adding small amount of blackberry juice, another source of antioxidants.

A protein smoothie is fast and easy to make, not to mention satisfying and good for you. It will stabilize your blood sugar throughout day so you are less likely to binge or eat high carbohydrate foods. Try one in the afternoon for a protein boost.

Mix up Your Exercise Routines Mixing up your exercise routine increases your chances of sticking to your commitment and achieving your fitness goals. So that you don’t get bored with doing the same thing day in, day out, here are a few suggestions for varying your program:
  1. From time to time, change your reason for working out from “weight loss” to “preventing illness”, “anti-aging” or “improving my mood”.
  2. Vary the time of day you exercise.
  3. Alter the intensity of your exercise activity – try increasing the pace for 1-2 minutes at a time.
  4. Change the surroundings in which you exercise – go outside if you normally work out inside.
  5. Choose a partner for some company to exercise with if you usually work out on your own.
You are well on the way 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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