Blood Sugar

Why Muscle is Essential to Blood Sugar Balance, Insulin Sensitivity and Metabolic Health

by Mike Mutzel

1 comment

New research finds that age-related muscle loss and metabolic disease are linked via shared molecular pathways. We dive into the science and discuss ways to slow muscle loss and preserve metabolic health as you age.


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Episode Time Stamps


00:10 83% of American adults have some degree of insulin resistance or poor metabolic health. Poor blood sugar control and insulin resistance are linked with dementia, cancer, heart disease, increased risk for stroke, asthma, allergies, IBS, autoimmunity, and erectile dysfunction.

01:46 Regular exercise and healthy skeletal muscle is the most effective way to regulate your blood sugar. As you become more insulin resistant, muscle loss is exacerbated. Muscle loss worsens metabolic health.

03:10 80% of post meal glucose goes into your muscle. If you don’t have muscle, there is nowhere for the blood sugar to go, so it gets converted into lipids/fats. It can be stored in your pancreas, liver, and heart where it negatively impacts your health.


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07:00 Muscle is a metabolic sink. It gives you more resilience. Glycation accelerates muscle loss. Shared pathways are upregulated in diabetics that lead to muscle loss.

09:00 Your legs should contain about 2 times the amount of muscle as your upper body extremities. Insulin resistant people have more concentrated insulin resistance in leg muscle than in their upper body.

11:00 Take a brisk walk within 90 minutes after a major meal. 5 – 10 minutes to help decrease blood sugar.

14:22 You can improve insulin sensitivity of your muscle, even if you are diabetic or pre-diabetic, by doing 6 resistance exercises over the course of 2 weeks.

14:50 Dramatic blood sugar control improvements can be made with short duration high intensity interval training of between 30 sec and 1 minute, 5 to 6 intense sets within 1 exercise session spread out over 2 weeks.

16:30 As you age, you lose muscle mass in your legs (especially post-menopausal women). Get your legs involved in your activities. Spread sessions of resistance training and all out high intensity interval training throughout your week.

19:00 Breast Cancer: Higher levels of skeletal muscle with lower levels of inflammation within the muscle correlates with better prognosis after breast cancer.

20:05 Asthma: Leg muscle mass is inversely correlated with asthma symptoms in women, but not muscle mass in the upper body. Asthma is linked with muscle and metabolic health.



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Tang, R., Deng, J.-P., Zhang, L., Zhang, W.-W., Sun, J.-Y., Chi, F., et al. (2022). Prognostic significance of the skeletal muscle index and systemic inflammatory index in patients with lymph node-positive breast cancer after radical mastectomy. BMC Cancer, 1–9.
Kim, H.-K., Lee, M. J., Kim, E. H., Bae, S.-J., Kim, K. W., & Kim, C.-H. (2021). Comparison of muscle mass and quality between metabolically healthy and unhealthy phenotypes. Obesity, 29(8), 1375–1386.

Sylow, L., Tokarz, V. L., Richter, E. A., & Klip, A. (2021). The many actions of insulin in skeletal muscle, the paramount tissue determining glycemia. Cell Metabolism, 33(4), 758–780.

Sylow, L., & Richter, E. A. (2019). ScienceDirect Current advances in our understanding of exercise as medicine in metabolic disease. Current Opinion in Psychology, 12, 12–19.

Dalle, S., & Koppo, K. (2020). Is inflammatory signaling involved in disease-related muscle wasting? Evidence from osteoarthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and type II diabetes. Experimental Gerontology, 137, 110964.

Shiyuan Huang, C. X. Y. S. (2022). Identification of the shared gene signatures and pathways between sarcopenia and type 2 diabetes mellitus, 1–15.

  1. May I simply say what a relief to uncover somebody that really understands what theyre discussing over the internet. You certainly know how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More and more people really need to check this out and understand this side of the story. I was surprised that youre not more popular because you certainly have the gift.

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