When Insulin Is Out of Whack

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We've discussed the issue of excessive insulin output-what the medical profession calls hyperinsulinism-and the inefficiency of insulin usage-what is called insulin resistance. There can be no question that overweight individuals whose weight control difficulties are caused by hyperinsulinism respond best to the Atkins controlled carbohydrate nutritional approach. Even the majority of people who do not lose weight on a 1,000-calorie low-fat diet will lose weight on an 1,800- to 2,000-calorie meal plan-if carbohydrates are limited to 20 grams per day.

The vast majority will lose weight, yes, but not absolutely everyone.

For those individuals who have not lost weight during the Induction phase of Atkins, nutritionally oriented medicine offers ways to break through this last barrier. In conjuction with Induction, certain vitanutrients can assist in breaking up weight loss logjams.

In my experience, the leading nutrient to accomplish this fat-busting feat is L-carnitine. When carnitine is deficient, the conversion of burned fat to ketones is impaired. The mechanism for carnitine's effectiveness is that it has the ability to ensure that fat converts to fuel. But very high doses of carnitine are often necessary. I start most of my patients off with 500 mg, three times daily (taken before meals), but frequently the dose must be increased, to perhaps as high as 5,000 mg in divided doses before meals. Often, more effective responses occur with the use of aceytl carnitine, a compound that helps focus the carnitine action.

Co-enzyme Q,0 (CoQ10), another vital nutrient necessary for fat to serve as fuel,8 may also require large doses, often in excess of 300 mg daily. Both CoQ,0 and carnitine are extremely valuable for other reasons, such as preserving heart health. You should read more about them and other nutrients in Dr. Atkins' Vita-Nutrient Solution.

Other nutrients capable of overcoming slow weight loss include chromium, alpha lipoic acid, glutamine, phenylalanine and the combinations of inositol, choline and methionine. To get the optimum benefits of these vitanutrients, you should work with doctors experienced in their use to combine them with the Induction phase of Atkins.

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