Everyone needs glucose for the energy we use every day. We also need insulin to escort the glucose into our cells to generate the ATP that we use for our energy needs. However, glucose in our bloodstream is not a passive bystander, but is, in fact, a poison.
Glucose reacts with all life-giving proteins, adversely affecting how these proteins are intended to work. As these undesirable “Glycated Proteins” increase, A1C levels rise along with the risk of insulin resistance (due to glycation of insulin and insulin receptors) and damage to your heart, blood vessels, kidneys, and eyesight. A recent publication by Rhinesmith et.al. shows why insulin resistance is due to the glycation of insulin and insulin receptors as illustrated here:
Normally insulin unlocks the glucose door in the cell by connecting to the insulin receptor on the cell surface which then allows glucose to enter the cell where it goes to the mitochondria and generates ATP for energy. However, glucose also reacts (glycates) with both insulin and the cellular insulin receptors so that insulin is no longer recognized by the receptors and therefore the glucose remains in the bloodstream.
Glycation also proceeds through a series of reactions to generate Advanced Glycation Endproducts (AGEs). There is a vast literature showing that AGEs are the cause of diabetes complications and inflammation.
Keeping glucose blood levels in the normal range (around 100 mg/dL) is important for good health. The ketogenic diet is the way to accomplish this task and remain healthy. A nutritional supplement has been introduced that prevents glucose toxicity and will be described in Glucose Toxicity – Part 3.