There are two types of diabetes, Type 1, or insulin dependent diabetes, and Type 2 diabetes, which is lifestyle related. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all diabetes cases and is the topic of this particular discussion. Prevalence of Type 2 diabetes started to rise in the 1980s, at a time when obesity had yet to become a significant trend. However, as obesity became more prevalent, so did Type 2 diabetes.

But the fundamental underlying problem of Type 2 diabetes, which is insulin resistance, is actually much more widespread than that. The innovative thing  Dr Joseph R Kraft did was that he took a standard glucose tolerance test, and measured blood insulin levels instead of blood glucose. Because if you think about what’s happening, when you ingest 75 grams of glucose [the amount administered prior to the test], your blood glucose may stay normal.

But, your body may be producing a huge amount of insulin to really shove that glucose into the cell. Because one of the functions of insulin is to move the glucose from the blood into the cell. Insulin resistance refers to the fact that blood glucose is simply not getting in there. So, if your body needs to produce two, three, four, five times the amount of normal insulin to get that glucose in there, you have a problem, which is not detectable if you just measure blood glucose.

Because, yes, you are shoving all that glucose into the cell, but it took you a huge amount of effort to do so. And by [using the] Kraft assay, which looks at how much the insulin goes up, you can detect [insulin resistance] at a much earlier stage. This is important because there are things we can do about reversing … insulin resistance, and the sooner we get to it, the sooner we can get on the path to wellness.”

Ultimately, diabetes is just one symptom. Insulin resistance, which results in mitochondrial dysfunction, is also at the heart of cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases, and it all starts because your body is unable to burn fat as a primary fuel. When your body relies primarily on sugar instead, more reactive oxygen species (ROS) are generated, which damage the mitochondria in your cells.