Hyperglycemia/ Prediabetes/ Insulin resistance
Did you know chronic coffee consumption increases insulin resistance (prediabetes) resulting in the body ineffectively distributing glucose to the cells?
In this situation, insulin, which helps transport glucose into the cells, cannot do its job well because the body’s cells are less receptive. This typically occurs with a diet high in refined sugars and starches. Thus, the body must release ever-larger amounts of insulin to do the job. Like parents tuning out their screaming toddler, the body becomes less and less sensitive to insulin’s effects, which means more circulating glucose, which means more insulin release… and so on.
It’s a vicious cycle. And, unfortunately, it’s a cycle that currently occurs in the majority of North Americans. Combine the standard Western diet high in refined carbohydrates with stress and a high caffeine intake, and you have a potential recipe for metabolic disaster.
Insulin stimulates the release of interleukin-6 (IL-6), which is a Th2 cytokine (a cell signaling molecule). If IL-6 is chronically elevated (in this case, from high insulin levels), it may lead to a Th2 dominance and potential hypersensitivity from an overzealous antibody response. This can result in acquired sensitivities to foods and chemicals.
Interleukin-6 also stimulates the release of cortisol, which, as a glucocorticoid hormone, increases the body’s glucose level. This leads to an increased demand for insulin, which is problematic because of the insulin resistance that started the cascade in the first place.
Let’s recap: a diet high in refined sugars and starches leads to more circulating glucose.
- More glucose means more insulin needed to dispose of it.
- More insulin means cells tune out, which means even more insulin dumped into the bloodstream (especially if people continue to eat this high-carbohydrate diet).
- More insulin means insulin resistance — possibly aggravated by high caffeine consumption.
- More insulin means more IL-6 and more inflammation and hypersensitivity.
- More IL-6 means more cortisol, which means more glucose
….and here we are, back at the beginning of a very nasty cycle.