Calculate Your Insulin Resistance & Sensitivity With Homa
For this experiment, you will require:
1. Your fasting glucose in mg/dl or mmol/l (standard labs)
2. Your fasting insulin in mIU/l (WellnessFX, others)
Using a model called HOMA2, you can calculate your insulin resistance as a percentage of the average metabolically healthy <35 population. Average is expressed as 1.00 . It's not perfect, but it correlates to other more accurate ways of determining insulin resistance really well (r=.88). More details on Wikipedia, as well as glucose mmol/l model.
When glucose is expressed in mg/dl:
HOMA-IR = (Glucose x Insulin) / 405
(when glucose is expressed in mmol/L, divide by 22.5 instead of 405)
On my last labs, my glucose was 83mg/dL and my insulin was < 2 (the test doesn't count below 2, and it was below)
Therefore, my HOMA-IR is expressed as < 0.41. In other words, my insulin resistance is lower than 41% of the average healthy person under 35's insulin resistance.
Using this incredibly confusing calculator that breaks Chrome, Safari, and Opera (I had to download it and run it on my desktop) I was also able to calculate the same number, but expressed as insulin sensitivity. I'm 365% sensitive compared to the average.
HOMA has been mentioned on the forum here, but no one followed up and there's been no other discussions I could find that mentioned "calculate insulin."
I learned about this last night in an excellent article on cardio biomarkers on low-carb diets by Peter Attia.
Questions for the Geeks:
1. Peter Attia says "ideally, [HOMA-IR] is 1.00" but then brags about his is < 0.48 (except mine is lower, eat it Peter.) Do we think his first statement was a mistake, and that lower is always better? Are there any downsides to having high insulin sensitivity?
2. The HOMA model also expresses pancreas beta cell function. Does anyone understand that?
3. Finally, for the truly geeky, the HOMA calculator I linked above (once you get it working) displays all kinds of cool (I think) graphs that I don't understand. It gives me a graph of glucose uptake in the brain, gut, liver, periphery, kidneys, and pancreas. It also claims to model personal blood sugar changes depending on "drug effects or phenotypes or pathology," (!!!) but I don't really understand this stuff. So if you want to really geek out, be my guest. In the attached files, you can compare my liver glucose uptake/efflux to my brain glucose uptake.
My Biomarkers | How to: Find Full Text of Research when you Have an Abstract | How to: Calculate your Insulin Resistance
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