Why Your Carb Tolerance Changes with Age: Aging and Insulin Resistance Explained

by Mike Mutzel


Aging is linked with changes in carbohydrate tolerance and insulin resistance, here’s the details.



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Links to studies and videos mentioned:


Shou, J., Chen, P.-J., & Xiao, W.-H. (2020). Mechanism of increased risk of insulin resistance in aging skeletal muscle. Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome, 1–10.

Episode Time Stamps:

0:00 Your ability to process and tolerate carbohydrates declines with age.

0:40 Aging is linked with a decline in skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity.

1:45 Insulin resistance prevalence for those ages 40 to 59 is 40% to 60% and ages 20 to 39 is 20%. Over the age of 75, prevalence is over 75%.

2:35 Autophagy declines with age. There is a reduction in quantity and quality of mitochondria within the muscle, reduced insulin sensitivity and an increase in background inflammation.

03:20 Exercise increases mitophagy, the recycling of mitochondria.

4:45 Loss of fast twitch muscle fibers, associated with ageing, is associated with declines in insulin sensitivity and an increase in inflammation.

5:25 Over age 40, there is an 8% loss of muscle per decade. By age 70, your muscles are 30% smaller than age 20.

5:55 Loss of type 2 fibers causes a loss of strength.

6:20 Strength loss is 25 to 40% per decade after the age of 40. Muscle size lost is about 10% per decade over 40.

6:55 Exercise to improve metabolic health.

7:50 Do explosive, high intensity movements and compound multi muscle movements.

9:40 Periodically, focus on strength, speed, and concentric movement to prevent the preferential loss of type 2 fibers.

13:25 Exercise reduces blood pressure and increases autophagy and mitophagy.





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