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Controlling Insulin
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PRIDE
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Controlling Insulin - 10-12-2011, 01:19 PM

By: chemicalwarrior


Controlling Insulin Response/Gastric Emptying for Accelerated Fat loss
I was approached by a friend awhile back to help research the effects of GLP-1 agonists on blood sugar, glucose disposal and any other effect that may be of interest to gym rats everywhere. Namely, said friend was looking for an alternative to insulin use (for bodybuilding purposes) that was safer and did not decrease insulin sensitivity. When he discovered that GLP-1 agonists (such as the prescription diabetes drug Byetta) actually increased insulin sensitivity as well as helped control blood sugar he believed he'd found the bodybuilder's holy grail of safe and effective glucose disposal agents.

Unfortunately, after some initial research on my part we discovered that drugs like Byetta were simply not suited for putting on muscle mass. I cover this in the article at the bottom of this page- please scroll down and read all about it if interested. Furthermore, he informed me awhile later of the pending class-action law suits against the makers of Byetta and similar drugs that made claims of kidney failure and other serious/dangerous side effects! This is a big no no for gym rats who already may be experimenting with various supplements that have an impact on the kidneys all their own. Creatine, excess protein, even advil for pain all effect the kidneys. Not to mention the effects of heavy/intense weight training. The last thing a bodybuilder wants is another drug or supplement that negatively impacts a vital organ!! So, please consider this when reading my article below and understand I'm sticking my foot in my mouth with my original enthusiasm for the product!

Over the years I've heard of various techniques for lowering blood sugar naturally, controlling insulin spikes and so on. A ketogenic (low-carb) diet will both lower blood-sugar and increase insulin sensitivity. If you think about it, it makes common sense, you don't have a lot of sugar/carbs coming in to spike insulin levels, over time your body adjusts to these amounts and "makes due" with less. I've actually had my very best fat loss results using a ketogenic diet. But, I find it hard to gain muscle on a keto diet.

Another technique is using various spices and compounds like cinnamon. A teaspoon of cinnamon in your protein shake is said to have a variety of healthful benefits- including lowering blood sugar. I'm not certain what mechanism this is achieved by, but it may be due to slower gastric emptying- i.e. how fast food/nutrients are digesting and entering the blood stream. Along that same line of thought, adding in extra fiber to the diet will slow gastric emptying with any meal. Want that pasta to digest more slowly? Add some slowly digesting cheese like low-fat cottage cheese. And/or, have a drink with a bit of flavored (but sugar-free) metameucil with your meal (no, I wouldn't do this either! lol). These are all good techniques, but this next is my favorite, go-to way to control insulin spikes.

Drum roll please.....

Add vinegar (1-2 tablespoons) to 8 oz of water, low-cal juice, or what-have-you and drink before, during or after your meal. This one comes to me by the way of an Rxmuscle.com board member, Arabmuscle. Props bro! Your suggestion has helped me immensely! Here's a link to his thread so you can read his post for yourself. It's good stuff!

Vinegar Clinically Proven To Destroy Fat Without Diet Change - RX Muscle Forums

Now, I'm sure a lot of people are thinking, "Vinegar!? WTF? I'm not drinking that!" Ok, here's the deal: Get some good-tasting vinegar and put it in low-calorie juice! You can get a half gallon of diet cran-grape at wally world for $2, dump 6-8 oz of Pomengranate infused Red wine vinegar and you will barely even notice the vinegar in it! Some say you must use organic apple cider vinegar to get these effects. Are they correct? No. Plenty of people ARE getting results using other types of vinegar. Just look for a 5% acidity and we've got our "magic" ingredient. But, if you want to use organic ACV, go for it. It tastes great. Put it in some sugar free tea, or a small glass of apple cider with your meal!

My personal results so far are that I've lost 2% body fat, or about 5 lbs., with little to no change in diet over the course of 3.5 weeks. This is while only using the vinegar at about 50% of my meals, but generally the higher carb meals. This is where the technique shines. It's giving you the benefit of controlled blood sugar- ala a ketogenic diet!- but without removing the carbs. So you don't feel sleepy after a meal and you've got all your fuel for work, play etc. Good stuff!

Ok, here's the original article I put out on byetta etc. just for reference. Remember the health risks/concerns I listed about it that have since some to my attention!! I wouldn't use byetta at this point given the new info. But, it's interesting to keep an eye on the research and, hopefully, we'll have a better, safer drug in the future that works at least as well!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

GLP-1 Agonists and why we Gym Rats Might be Interested

GLP-1 (Glucagon-like peptide) is a strange bird. It has a very short half-life of 2 minutes in the body and while it increases insulin secretion it also slows gastric emptying. Someone asked me recently if it would make a good replacement for insulin as used by bodybuilders. And, the short answer to that is no. Since it slows gastric emptying there'd be no call for using it as you would humalog or humalin-r pre or post workout. The carbs, aminos, creatine etc. just wouldn't get into the system fast enough to work their magic as they do with regular insulin. But, a better explanation is that it would be to insulin as a good PCT is to a heavy steroid cycle. I'll get into that in a minute. Plus, because of its short half-life it is basically useless in and of itself. What we want is a good GLP-1 "agonist" and that's where exenatide comes in.

Exenatide (trade name Byetta) was discovered in the saliva of gila monsters and is actually found concentrated in the tails. Hence the slang term for it "lizard spit!" lol. It only shares a 50% identical amino acid sequence to GLP-1 thus making it an "agonist" or promoter of GLP-1 vs actually being a copy or analogue. The benefit to all this is that because of its structure it produces many of the same positive effects but is prevented by being broken down by GPP-4, the protein that is present throughout the body that destroys GLP-1, so quickly. Thus exenatide has a much longer half life and is injected only twice per day in a similar way that we use our GH secretogues: subcuteneous injections, 1 hr before a meal on an empty stomach.

Now, for a bodybuilder, what are the benefits of exenatide?

1) Induces Insulin secretion/Increases insulin sensitivity- This is important after a period of use of GH, insulin, IGF-1, steroids etc. All which tend to decrease insulin sensitivity over time. Think about it: When we come off a long steroid cycle we use something to get the "boys" working again and the testosterone flowing. With insulin being the most anabolic of all hormones shouldn't we also seek to maximize our own natural production and sensitivity?

2) Slows gastric emptying- This happens because of exenatide's ability to block glucagon release. Hence, we get a sense of being fuller, longer. And, essentially we are. This is the value we derive from eating whole wheat products vs high glycemic white bread. With a slower release of nutrients into the system we get a less "jagged" insulin spike = less carbs stored as fat! But, with the effect of increased insulin sensitivity, our bodies make better use of what glucose is in the system, i.e. makes us more "efficient" at using what we eat! A word of caution here. Since exenatide slows gastric emptying, it should never, ever be used in direct conjunction (at the same time) with insulin. While you are trying to get those carbs into your system to prevent a blood glucose crash, exenetide will be slowing down the release of those nutrients in your gut! Big trouble potential!!

With these two properties, exenatide appears to be a great product for use during a pre-contest diet that includes, and especially one that cycles, carbs. Since its effects are glucose dependent (i.e. the more carbs you eat, the more insulin is released) you will likely be able to tolerate more carbs while dieting than before while yet remaining insulin sensitive and putting them to use- though I, obviously, wouldn't try to eat more carbs than you need in this situation. In various trials people lost an average of 7 lbs over the course of some 26 weeks. But, these were average schlubs, not bodybuilders actually trying to burn fat and using other supplements along the way. Combining exenatide with a little bit of t-3 and a healthy dose of test might be a great combo while tackling a tough contest diet. Just a thought.

So, if you want to maximize insulin sensitivity and carb utilization, exenatide may be an interesting option at some point. Though it wouldn't be an ideal candidate for bulking/gaining cycles (the slow gastric emptying will make you actually want to eat less), it may be just what the doctor ordered while trimming off excess fat after a bulk cycle. The usual peptide side-effect of occasional nausea was reported (though I'm used to that with mt2 and other peps). But, for the most part it has been well tolerated and would seem to be, overall, a "healthy" drug as it evens out blood glucose spikes and tends to help trim the waistline.

I haven't tried it yet. But, when I get the chance I'm gonna give it a go just based on the little bit of research I've done. Go out and google it. Read about other options for these benefits and I'll think you'll see why I'm talking about this drug. It's a kind of "middle of the road" thing: it's more powerful/effective than metformin but with much, much less risk of going hypoglycemic as you might with actual insulin. The half-life is much longer than GLP-1 but shorter than a couple other GLP-1 analogues that are in the works. These analogues often last for a day and some for up to ten days! No thanks, I'd like to have a bit more control over what my system is doing. i.e. if I wanted to have some insulin pre-workout, I still could with exenatide. I'd just schedule doses far enough away that they didn't overlap in any way- exenatide 7 am, humalog 4 pm pre workout, exenatide 8:30 pm... or something like that.. Not recomending that, but I'd just rather have some control and know it'd be out of my system in a matter of hours vs. days.
   
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