The Easiest Way to Prevent Insulin Resistance! Easy & Effective – But Why is it Illegal?

By on January 2, 2017
One common–but possibly illegal–habit could help people fight off diabetes, say researchers.

The findings, which appear in the American Journal of Medicine, say that people who smoke marijuana had “significantly lower” fasting insulin, reducing their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Even better? Many of them were insulin resistant, meaning their risk of diabetes was much lower.

As for the reason why, researchers point out that marijuana users had smaller waists, and in turn, lower body mass indexes (BMIs).

“Previous epidemiologic studies have found lower prevalence rates of obesity and diabetes mellitus in marijuana users compared to people who have never used marijuana, suggesting a relationship between cannabinoids and peripheral metabolic processes,” says Murray A. Mittleman, M.D., Dr.P.H., lead researcher of the study and a scientist at the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research Unit at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. “But ours is the first study to investigate the relationship between marijuana use and fasting insulin, glucose, and insulin resistance.”

The Research

Analyzing data from the National Health and Nutrition Survey, or NHANES, researchers examined 4,657 people who filled out a drug questionnaire, detailing their use of marijuana. Of the 4,657 people sampled, 479 were current marijuana users, whereas 1,975 were past users.

To determine their risk of developing type 2 diabetes, researchers tested their fasting insulin and glucose, assessing it using a homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, or HOMA-IR.

They found that people who used marijuana in the past month had lower levels of insulin resistance and fasting insulin, indicating their risk of developing type 2 diabetes was lower. They also had higher levels of HDL cholesterol, or good cholesterol. On the contrary, people who reported never using marijuana had higher fasting insulin and insulin resistance, suggesting they faced a higher risk.

Eventually, they estimated that marijuana users had 16 percent lower fasting insulin levels compared to non-users, proving its ability to lower insulin.

“These are indeed remarkable observations that are supported, as the authors note, by basic science experiments that came to similar conclusions,” says Joseph S. Alpert, M.D., a University of Arizona College of Medicine Professor of Medicine. “We desperately need a great deal more basic and clinical research into the short- and long-term effects of marijuana in a variety of clinical settings such as cancer, diabetes, and frailty of the elderly.”

However, researchers are hesitant to recommend it to prevent diabetes, as the drug’s legality is still under question. However, it does reveal an important point–if you have a lower BMI, your risk of diabetes is lower. Your best option is to find a way to keep your weight under control. While marijuana may help with that, there are other ways to maintain a slimmer physique as well.

So use this as a guide to stay in shape–the more fit you are, the less likely you’ll develop diabetes.

“The mechanisms underlying this paradox have not been determined and the impact of regular marijuana use on insulin resistance and cardiometabolic risk factors remains unknown,” says Hannah Buettner, co-author of the study.

Readers: What are your tips and tricks for a slimmer physique?

Marijuana Users Have Better Blood Sugar
The Impact of Marijuana Use on Glucose, Insulin, and Insulin Resistance Among US Adults (Study)

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