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#LCHF #INSULIN The Missed Opportunity of the Helsinki Policeman’s Study

(Thanks to engineer-turned-superdoc Ted Naiman @tednaiman for reminding me of the auld Helsinki Insulin-Fest!)

Did you ever hear of this classic study? It was a zinger, where they measured the copper’s insulin following a glucose load and tracked them over 22 years for heart disease death. But they made a huge mistake: they only measured the guys ‘area under curve’ (AUC) insulin response metrics at the START of the study, not throughout. What does this mean? Well, many with a good (low) insulin response at the start will inevitably drift into hyperinsulinemia over time, given our ridiculous food supply since the 1970’s. So you MUST measure their response over time, to properly see the fate of guys who STAY low AUC insulin – right?

Wrong – they didn’t. So over the 22 years, all of the low AUC guys (at start) who snaffled carby trash and steadily descended into  ‘Diabetes In Situ’ – well their increased disease incidence would be unfairly laid at the door of their original ‘low AUC Insulin’ reading!

Nonetheless, this experiment showed a dramatic result – in spite of being heavily flawed towards minimizing the apparent relationship between high Insulin and heart disease 🙁

Let’s look at the result – basically the high AUC Insulin peeps had far more disease, independent of the other usual risk factors:


Mmmmn…look at those high AUC Insulin guys drop off the mortal coil – impressive, n’est pas?

But what if they had measured the AUC of the cohort during the 22 years, and pulled out the survival curves for the guys who STAYED LOW AUC INSULIN??? Well, then I would humbly suggest that they would see something like my green dotted line below:

Sadly though the buggers didn’t – so a lost opportunity of epic proportions – they could have helped focus the world on the real root cause of hyperinsulinemia / diabetes in situ (see also Reaven’s study in following post:

I suggest that the difference between having a low AUC / 2 Hour Insulin and a high one post a glucose load is…..MASSIVE in terms of disease risk. Nothing comes close. The way to achieve a healthy low value? Easy – a low carb, moderate protein, high fat diet.

The study here:  Helsinki

Their explanation for the fading relationship between AUC Insulin and disease? See below (I agree with the first explanation, and disagree with the second. Importantly, I will never forgive them for missing my one – who are these guys?  🙁

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