The Renaut Paradigm is insulin resistance leading to hypometabolic immune cells, disease initiation, disease progression and repair failure.
The paradigm is based upon a hypothesis. The definition of a paradigm is a pattern or a model. A hypothesis is an idea. The hypothesis is that Insulin Resistance affects the immune system and is an unintended consequence of a normal homeostatic mechanism that has been carried to an extreme leading to an increased incidence of cancer, heart attacks, strokes, arthritis and Alzheimer's.
The human body has evolved over hundreds of thousands of years. Beyond hunting for and gathering his food primitive man really wasn’t required to do much else. So if food was abundant and he was in a fed state there was no immediate need to go out and look for more.
He probably just stayed in his cave and rested – after all that’s what humans like doing. There was a survival advantage in him having the ability to conserve his stored energy substrates, in the form of glycogen in the case of glucose and adipose tissue in the case of fatty acids, and for this to happen it would require the body to have a mechanism for slowing down its cellular metabolism. In effect a mini-hibernation.
Insulin receptors exist to control how much glucose enters the cell, so one of the ways of regulating a cell’s metabolism is to limit the amount of substrate. And down-regulating the receptor will do precisely this. This will happen with an abundance of insulin which then leads to insulin resistance. An excess of insulin happens in the fed state. It’s a simple and effective way of regulating the metabolism of individual cells, the sum of which is our total energy expenditure.
When the food supply ran out insulin secretion dropped and the cells regained their insulin sensitivity allowing glucose back into the cell and boosting metabolism. This put the body back into a state of readiness that allowed him to search for more food.
All cells have insulin receptors and are therefore subject to the variable state of insulin resistance versus insulin sensitivity. However given the vagaries of food supply and availability the change from one state to the other was relatively small in magnitude and occurred over short periods of time. So any potentially detrimental effects were minimal.
The human body is very efficient when it comes to not wasting any available energy that cannot be used immediately.and this is a normal homeostatic mechanism that has evolved over millions of years. In primitive man it is entirely possible that the individual might go without food for several days and therefore it was very important to have a storage facility.
As discussed in more detail in the presentation entitled Insulin, this hormone has many important functions. It is a naturally occurring hormone, made and secreted by the pancreas. The pancreas is an integral part of the digestive system and all of its functions relate to the digestion of food, in particular to glucose metabolism. Glucose being the end product of carbohydrate digestion in the gut.
When glucose is absorbed through the gut wall into the bloodstream, its baseline level becomes elevated and the response of the pancreas to this elevated glucose is to produce and secrete more insulin.
The primary role of insulin is to push the increased amounts of glucose into the tissues that need them most in particular the vital organs and muscles. It acts upon the individual cells in these organs effectively through a receptor that permits entry of glucose through the cell membrane where it is fully utilised for energy by the cell. Another very important function of insulin is to facilitate lipogenesis which is the conversion of excess food, predominantly carbohydrate into triglycerides which is then stored as fat.
So now I’d like to discuss briefly what happens once the glucose is in the cell. This is a schematic representation of the complex series of chemical reactions that are occurring in each and every single cell in our bodies, constantly. It is called the Krebs’ Cycle after the scientist who discovered it and it explains how energy is produced from the various substrates that can enter the cycle at various points.
This is a simplified version. I show this mainly to emphasise that the main substrates are glucose and fatty acids as shown in this simplified version. They enter the cycle via conversion to pyruvate and acetyl CoA respectively. Please note the alternative substrates namely amino acids, ketone bodies and alcohol. The degree to which an individual cell will utilise these various substrates is beyond the remit of this presentation and is covered in other presentations. Importantly however you can see how regulating the availability of glucose at the cellular level will limit its metabolism. The insulin receptor is effectively the throttle on the car’s engine.
So now I want to run through a set of schematic diagrams that demonstrate how carbohydrate influences the insulin response and how this affects IR and IS. The white arrows show how you can move from having complete IS to complete IR i.e. it is a spectrum that is completely reversible.
A small intake of carbohydrate will produce a minimal insulin response which produces a negligible rise in IR. As a consequence this allows the absorbed glucose to enter the cell and be utilised as a substrate for energy. Very little if any will be converted to fat.
As we increase carbohydrate intake we see that the insulin response increases and we move further towards IR. Less glucose enters the cell and more gets converted and stored as fat.
And so it progresses. The further along we go the less glucose enters the cell and the fatter we get.
And then we reach a point whereby we have maximal response and maximal insulin resistance. So what do we progress to if we increase carbohydrate intake even further?
And one other thing needs to go on here – and that’s cellular metabolism which declines as we become more resistant to insulin for reasons already discussed.
OK so now let’s discuss the immune system which has evolved over hundreds of thousands of years just like all of the other systems and processes in the human body. It consists of several classes of cells, including B and T lymphocytes, Macrophages and Natural Killer cell, amongst others, that operate in a very orchestrated fashion to deal with potential harmful pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and cancer cells and to repair damage resulting from degeneration. Immune cell metabolism is regulated in exactly the same way as any other type of cell and is subject to IR.
Now let’s fast forward several hundred thousand years to our current eating habits where food is always in abundance. We never have the insulin sensitivity that our cells and bodies evolved to function with. All of us have a degree of insulin resistance unless we are doing the Nysteia Formula or something very similar. So our immune cells are constantly in a hypometabolic state simply because glucose can’t get in.
As previously mentioned this is an unintended consequence of the evolution of a normal homeostatic mechanism taken beyond its intended limits. Resulting in a higher incidence of diseases such as heart attacks, strokes and cancer. It’s not the obesity per se that causes the disease. It’s insulin resistance leading to a failure of the immune system.
So there’s one final arrow to be drawn on our diagram to complete the picture. And that’s repair. And that’s my hypothesis which if proven to be correct would explain the Renaut Paradigm.
Insulin resistance would also explain other well-recognised phenomena including, but not limited to:
- Physical fatigue – glucose can’t get into muscle cells.
- Mental fatigue – glucose can’t get into brain cells.
- Poor digestion - glucose can’t get into cells that make up our gut.
All things that overweight people experience fairly routinely. And whilst we’re on the subject give some consideration to the poor overweight individual who is mistakenly allowing a so-called personal trainer to force them into weight loss through exercise. It’s never going to happen in the presence of insulin resistance. It’s akin to a torture regime!
And it would also explain why appetite disappears during illness – it’s the body’s way of forcing itself back into insulin sensitivity thereby ensuring that the immune system has full capability.
So you might be asking if glucose can’t get into the cell why doesn’t it use its alternative energy substrate, namely fatty acids? Well it can’t because lipolysis can only happen in the absence of insulin. So you’re then reliant on ingested fat only, and you might be deliberately restricting this anyway. Therefore the opportunity for losing weight is completely missed.
I would stress that this is merely a hypothesis. The really good thing however is that an intervention is not required to prove this hypothesis. The intervention has already been done in the form of introducing refined carbohydrate into the western diet without, I might add, any evidence as to its benefit. In fact quite the contrary – there is now very good evidence that it has had a profound detrimental effect on our health.
In summary, insulin resistance slows metabolism – that’s what it is designed to do. The aim should be to allow all cells to operate with optimal function. Re-establish insulin sensitivity by using the Nysteia Formula. It’s the only way you’ll achieve it and in so doing you’re simply allowing the human body to function the way that it has evolved to survive. And in the process you will be at your BOF and your BOW and your disease risk will be at its minimum