The Role of Inflammation, Toxins, Free Radical Damage and Hormones in Insulin Resistance

Metabolic Syndrome is a single diagnosis that includes the multiple manifestations of insulin resistance – the precursor to type 2 diabetes and relentless driver of cardiovascular disease.4 Whilst insulin is normally involved in the efficient delivery of glucose to cells for energy production, it can create a vastly different outcome if insulin resistance occurs within cells.5

Insulin Resistance Occurs Inside Cells

Binding of insulin to cell-surface insulin receptors activates two major intracellular signaling pathways. The phosphatidylinositol-3′-kinase (PI3K) pathway activates translocation of GLUT-4 glucose transporters to the cell surface, allowing for the transport of glucose into cells. The mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathway, on the other hand, mediates the proliferative effects of insulin. In insulin resistance, insulin is still released from the β-islet cells in the pancreas and still binds to the cell surface receptor, however, the PI3K pathway becomes blocked and glucose can no longer enter into cells. The MAP pathway, however, continues unabated, leading to procoagulant effects and other pathological consequences of insulin resistance. Factors that may block the PI3K pathway and induce insulin resistance include:5

  • Inflammatory cytokines;
  • Excessive plasma levels of free fatty acids; (often the Liver and Gall Bladder are to blame for this)
  • Specific toxins (e.g. persistent organic pollutants such as phthalates and bisphenol-A);
  • Certain hormonal factors; and/or
  • Oxidants.

These are the factors in the body that must be overcome in order to break this cycle; Reduce inflammation, attend to liver and gall bladder health, detoxification, and cease free radical damage.

For more detailed help with individual cases of insulin resistance and to discover detailed protocols for this condition, please contact our professional Naturopathic Practitioner at:

A Natural Self,
A Naturopathy Clinic
Dana Kington
244 South Tce
South Fremantle, 6162

At this natural clinic, you will find all the latest technology, such as Toxicity and Heavy Metal Testing, Live Blood Analysis (Hemaview), and Iridology. We also treat with all forms of Natural Medicine with the nutritional supplementation of Homeopathy, Western Herbs, Chinese Medicine, Vitamins, Minerals, Amino acids and Enzyme Therapy.


4 Aguilar-Salinas CA, et al. Review Article. The Metabolic Syndrome: A concept hard to define. Archives of Medical Research 2005; 36:223-231.

5 Sivitz WI. Understanding insulin resistance. What are the clinical implications? Postgrad Med. 2004;116(1):41-8.