Don’t Mean To Hijack
Also There is a person in the medical field on another forum that is spouting this stuff against slin … From what I know about insulin seems a good debate by him - just saying the negatives in his opinion out weigh the positives:
Consider the function of insulin: its a “master hormone” affecting essentially all cells within the body in term of blood glucose metabolism and amino acid uptake. Thatï¿½??s where the “benefits” of insulin come from for bodybuilders. But those aside, I think they are far outweighed by the negative effects in a nondiabetic. The point of taking insulin as a bodybuilder is to essentially induce hypoglycemia—you have to take enough to have an effect. If you just take a little bit, the body secretes hormones in response to the falling blood glucose levels, effectively negating the effects of the insulin. When you take enough to induce hypoglycemia, you have the beneficial side effect of amino acid uptake (and other minor effects)—which can lead to muscle growth under the right conditions but you have a potential plethora of negative side effects.
The body has a set point (normoglycemia) where it tries to maintain no matter what. It also has a biphasic hormonal cascade—one for hyperglycemia (elevated blood glucose) and one for hypoglycemia (below normal). The overall goal of the body is to make sure the brain is getting the fuel (glucose) it needs. Insulin is the hormone that is secreted when you are hyperglycemic. So, say you eat a meal containing simple carbohydrates. The sugar from that meal is absorbed into the blood stream from the mouth and stomach. As this sugar enters the blood stream, your blood glucose goes up. As it goes up, the body responds by secreting insulin. The body knows exactly how much insulin that it needs to secrete to bring your blood glucose levels back down to normal. Thatï¿½??s why dietary manipulation is probably the best way of controlling insulin spikes and is much, much safer with fewer negative effects than injecting exogenous insulin.
Inducing hypoglycemia by taking insulin is more complex. Hypoglycemia will deplete the bodyï¿½??s glycogen stores as the body breaks down the glycogen in an effort to mobilize glucose and return blood glucose to normal. This depletion leads to decreased performance in the gym, which leads to decreased stimulation of muscle growth. I’m also a powerlifter. I’m an insulin dependant diabetic–and have been for over 20 years and I’m a doctor in a very, very specialized field of medicine. Having stable blood glucose levels the week prior to a meet is the single most important thing I have to deal with as diabetic. One episode of severe hypoglycemia will significantly affect my max lifts (ie what I’d do at the meet) for up to 3 days. So don’t take a “little low blood sugar” lightly. Itï¿½??s not just a “shaky weak feeling”.
Second, hypoglycemia stimulates the adrenals for epinephrine release as a means of increase circulating glucose within the blood. Epinephrine (adrenalin) works in two ways. It directly inhibits the effects of insulin by binding with alpha 1 receptors in the liver, which leads to the phosphorylation of insulin, deactivating it. So if you take enough insulin to get “shaky and weak” you will not see the benefit of the insulin like you think you will because your body will do everything it can to shut it down in an effort to maintain normal blood glucose levels. Second, insulin activates Beta receptors in the liver and skeletal muscle, leading to the breakdown of stored glycogen. The glucose from this is released into the blood stream to stabilize your blood glucose levels at their normal level. If you take enough insulin, you can seriously deplete the bodyï¿½??s stores of glycogen, leading to flat, weak, appearing and functioning muscles.
Third, hypoglycemia induces the secretion of glucagon from the alpha cells of the pancreas. Glucagon also leads to the breakdown of stored glycogen, but it also mobilizes free fatty acids and ketoacids in the blood stream to serve in the production of energy and it will affect urea metabolism.
Now, the secretion of epinephrine and glucagon are the classic stress response you see with the “fight or flight response” that you as a powerlifter should know all too well as you approach a max single. Think about it, after this “fight or flight” response, you always feel tired. Why? Because of what has happened with your glycogen stores and blood glucose. Itï¿½??s pretty simple. Itï¿½??s virtually impossible to train hard if you are inducing fatigue like this. The body will have to rest and recooperate, replenishing lost glycogen before you will be at any degree of maximal functionality again. This will also lead to secretion of cortisol as a result of the “stress” you’ve induced. While cortisol has its place in the stress response, it is also a catabolic hormone.
Insulin also has that great side effect of not distinguishing between fat and muscle cells in terms of nutrient uptake. Insulin will increase fatty acid synthesis. It essentially forces fat cells to take in blood lipids which are converted to triglycerides. It also has effects on cholestrol levels. This has obvious negative cardiovascular effects.
Insulin forces fat cells to make fatty acid esters and it reduces the conversion of fat cell stores into blood fatty acids—ie it makes the body more likely to store fat because it decreases the breakdown of fat cells. So what you get with taking insulin is potentially increased bodyfat with any potential muscle growth you get.
I also mentioned the “shaky weak” feeling several times in this post. Whatï¿½??s that? Itï¿½??s a direct result of secretion of epinephrine due to low blood glucose. Remember, the bodyï¿½??s goal is homeostasis. Itï¿½??s going to secrete glucagon and epinephrine in response the injected insulin as the blood glucose drops. You have to take enough insulin to overcome this homeostatic mechanism which is where things get very, very dangerous.
The sole source of energy for the brain is glucose from the blood stream. The body does everything it possibly can to maintain the blood glucose so that there is fuel for the brain. If your blood glucose becomes low, the brain is one of the first organs to be effected because low blood sugar means the brain is not getting the fuel it needs to function. If an individual takes enough insulin to stimulate low blood glucose, they risk the possibility of inducing loss of consciousness or seizures, or even death as a result of the insulin depriving the blood of the glucose it needs to work. You can, in theory, develop permenant brain damage from one severe episode of hypoglycemia. Thats the dangerous, scary bad part of taking insulin. Its not just something that will take a few minutes to get over, it can kill you. Not only that, but say you have one episode of seizures, seizures which were induced as a result of the brain not having enough fuel to function—read part of the brain dying—you will run the risk of irreversable damage from that single episode. Its thought that brief of mild hypoglycemia may have no lasting effects on the brain, though it can temporarily alter brain responses to additional hypoglycemia. Severe hypoglycemia can produce lasting damage. This can include impairment of cognitive function, motor control, or even consciousness. The likelihood of permanent brain damage from any given instance of severe hypoglycemia is difficult to estimate, and depends on many factors including age, recent blood and brain glucose experience, concurrent problems such as hypoxia, and availability of alternative fuels.
There, did that answer your question? Thatï¿½??s why I think taking insulin is stupid. Its got its positive effects, but the negative (ie exhaustion, fat deposition, and potential death) far outweigh the positives. Insulin is something I would not mess with if I wasn’t a diabetic.