By Brian Miles, M.D.
Because insulin levels have the ability to interfere with growth hormones (GH), you should stick with a low glycemic diet. To simplify the science, insulin blocks many of the beneficial effects from GH by interfering at the receptor level.
Interestingly, GH is a small polypeptide hormone which has a very short half-life. Therefore, its availability to act is short-lived. GH is secreted about six different times in a 24-hour period with the largest pulse occurring when we get into a deep sleep for a minimum of at least four hours. As we age, the volume of the pulse of GH decreases.
Insulin hangs around for a longer duration of time and increases shortly after we eat. Of course, higher glycemic foods will result in higher insulin levels. Unfortunately, if someone has insulin resistance, which is common in individuals with higher body fat or those who fail to exercise properly, the body secretes even more insulin.
Some of the benefits for optimal levels of growth hormones are:
- Increased fat breakdown
- Increased muscle building
- Increased healing
- Increased blood flow to kidneys
- Enhanced immune cell function
For these reasons alone, it is important to keep insulin levels and requirements low. High insulin levels are a trigger for inflammation, especially in the heart arteries. At Cenegenics Carolinas, we focus on optimizing hormones, not just by replacing what is deficient, but by optimizing the hormones present through proper lifestyle including a low glycemic diet, appropriate sleep, and an efficient exercise program.