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In this informative podcast, biomedical research expert, Andrew Koutnik, discusses nutrition as it relates to type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Koutnik has dedicated his life to the study of the many biological factors that impact disease and their implications regarding treatment. His body of work has often focused on nutrition and metabolism as they relate to disease and general health. A significant amount of Koutnik’s biomedical research has been conducted at the Metabolic Medicine Lab at the University of South Florida.

Koutnik provides an overview of the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. He states that type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease and the current thought is that an inappropriate immune response targets specific cells in the pancreas that produce and/or secrete insulin (beta cells). And because the immune system response has targeted them inappropriately, they are seen as foreign, thus the body may produce antibodies against them or attack them. There can sometimes be a rapid change and ultimately the body may no longer be able to manage glucose levels. Therefore insulin and glucose must be managed by the patient/doctor, as the body is negligent in its normal duties in this regard. Koutnik explains that type 2 diabetes is generally described as insulin resistance, where you have the ability to produce insulin but the body is resistant to the insulin that is present.

Koutnik discusses the relative blood sugar levels in diabetics and various treatment protocols for both types of diabetes from the traditional to new emerging concepts. He details dietary issues for diabetics and how that relates to their insulin and treatment, with a special analysis of ketones and an explanation of ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis is a complication of type 1 diabetes mellitus that can certainly be life threatening, a condition that results from dangerously high levels of ketones and blood sugar. Koutnik provides a granular overview of the many processes that the body goes through touching on details of elevated blood sugar, carbohydrates, molecules, proteins/amino acids, lipid molecules and more.

Delving deeper into other related issues, Koutnik talks about the relationship between sleep and glucose control. He explains how stress, caffeine, time of day, etc. can influence insulin sensitivity.

Koutnik details the many beneficial factors of regular exercise and how it directly impacts the effectiveness of insulin. However, he stresses that with type 1 diabetes there are numerous variables that influence insulin sensitivity. Additionally, the biomedical researcher provides an analysis of nutritional guidelines for diabetics. He talks about the effects of protein and explains the kinetics of protein. He expounds upon the benefits of a low carbohydrate diet and cites his own personal success after making the shift to low carb.

He underscores the importance of glycemic management and its great impact on the quality of life. He talks about the positive feeling that someone can get when they finally feel that they are taking control of their diabetes through diet, and succeeding! And while taking certain foods, foods we might love, out of the diet completely can be difficult, ultimately the healthy feeling that you achieve is worth the sacrifice.

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