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Disclaimer:  This information is not meant as direct medical advice. Readers should always review options with their local medical team. This is the sole opinion of Dr. Meakin based on literature review at the time of the blog and may change as new evidence evolves.

Homeostatic Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR)

HOMA IR may be one of the most revealing laboratory tests to measure one's overall metabolic health. HOMA IR tells you how much insulin your body needs to produce to keep your blood glucose levels in check. In short, HOMA-IR detects a condition called insulin resistance.

Plagues of Prosperity

Modern lifestyles, including processed foods and low activity levels, can lead to insulin resistance. When blood glucose levels rise, insulin is released, signaling the cells to absorb blood glucose. Over time, cells can become "resistant" to insulin’s signal. The body then has to release more insulin to check blood glucose levels. The end stage of insulin resistance is type 2 diabetes when the cells fail to respond to insulin.

How common is insulin resistance? Very. Over half of the U.S. population has prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, and according to a recent study, only 12% of the U.S. adult population is considered "metabolically healthy." Worse, another recent study determined that 40% of young Americans (18-44) have insulin resistance.

What are the consequences of insulin resistance? Because insulin resistance affects the core cellular energy generation process, its effects include many disorders. As determined by HOMA-IR, increasing insulin resistance is strongly correlated to life expectancy.

A study that tracked 5,511 participants for 8.5 years illuminates the consequences of increasing HOMA IR on life expectancy.