Insulin (and Sulfonylureas) Induced Fat Gain
How Insulin Makes Fat Cells Fatter
Insulin is the hormone that tells your muscle cells to take in glucose via glut 4 transporters to be metabolized for fuel. It also “…increases the uptake of triglycerides from the blood into adipose tissue and muscle” (Dimitriadis). Which means it makes fat cells fatter. So insulin can make you fat.
How does insulin get into your blood?
Some insulin dependent diabetics need to inject it directly into their body. Also, insulin is secreted by beta cells in the pancreas. Insulin secretion is triggered by high blood glucose levels. So if you eat a lot of carbohydrates, you need more insulin. Therefore a high carbohydrate diet makes you fat. Furthermore, if you are insulin resistant (diabetic or pre-diabetic), your beta cells will secrete even more insulin and will make you even fatter. Some diabetes medicine (sulfonylureas like glyburide, glimepride etc.) will signal the beta cells secrete more insulin. These drugs are also known to promote weight gain for this reason. Consult your doctor before changing your medication.
How To Remedy
Since high insulin levels are making you gain fat (adipose tissue), it makes sense to control our blood insulin levels. Insulin blood levels are triggered by carbohydrate intake; so a diet of balanced micronutrients would control the secretion of insulin. Exercise is a great way to decrease insulin resistance and reduce the need for pancreas to secrete more. So diet and exercise is the best way to avoid insulin induced fat gain.
Insulin effects in muscle and adipose tissue. George Dimitriadis Panayota Mitrou, Vaia Lambadiari, Eirini Maratou, Sotirios A. Raptis https://doi.org/10.1016/S0168-8227(11)70014-6