Hyperinsulinemic diseases of civilization: more than just Syndrome X Loren Cordain*, Michael R. Eades, Mary D. Eades Department of Health and Exercise Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA Received 27 June 2002; received in revised form 23 December 2002; accepted 3 January 2003
Abstract Compensatory hyperinsulinemia stemming from peripheral insulin resistance is a well-recognized metabolic disturbancethat is at the root cause of diseases and maladies of Syndrome X (hypertension, type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, coronary artery disease, obesity, abnormal glucose tolerance).
Abnormalities of fibrinolysis and hyperuricemia also appear to be members of the cluster of illnesses comprising Syndrome X. Insulin is a well-established growth-promoting hormone, and recent evidence indicates that hyperinsulinemia causes a shift in a number of endocrine pathways that may favor unregulated tissue growth leading to additional illnesses.
Specifically, hyperinsulinemia elevates serum concentrations of free insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and androgens, while simultaneously reducing insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3) and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG).
Since IGFBP-3 is a ligand for the nuclear retinoid X receptor a, insulin-mediated reductions in IGFBP-3 may also influence transcription of anti-proliferative genes normally activated by the body’s endogenous retinoids.
These endocrine shifts alter cellular proliferation and growth in a variety of tissues, the clinical course of which may promote acne, early menarche, certain epithelial cell carcinomas, increased stature, myopia, cutaneous papillomas (skin tags), acanthosis nigricans, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and male vertex balding.
Consequently, these illnesses and conditions may, in part, have hyperinsulinemia at their root cause and therefore should be classified among the diseases of Syndrome X. 2003 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Acne; Early menarche; Epithelial cell carcinomas; Hyperinsulinemia; Increased stature; Myopia; Cutaneous papillomas (skin tags); Acanthosis nigricans; Polycystic ovary syndrome; Male vertex balding.