If you are a person who wants to attain a leaner, more defined physique, then you need to take action to lower cortisollevels and lower your carbohydrate consumption.
… And here is why
There was a fascinating study performed by researchers from the University of Birmingham that examined Glucocorticoid (cortisol) & insulin regulation and how it affects aromatase activity in human adipose tissue, revealing different outcomes in men and women.
In this study, researchers wanted to examine insulin & cortisol’s role in potentiating aromatase activity in men and women by taking samples of subcutaneous and omental (visceral) adipose tissue for rigorous testing.
The research candidates were premenopausal women (7) and postmenopausal women (10) and 9 men. The researchers found that the male candidate’s basal aromatase activity was significantly higher in the subcutaneoustissues opposed to omental (visceral) tissue with cortisol + insulin present. Insulin appeared to exacerbate cortisol’s effect in promoting aromatase activity.
The female test subjects had similar results as the males, but even more aromatase activity with insulin + cortisol present. This small piece of the study reveals that subcutaneous adipose tissue has a much greater affinity for aromatase activity than omental (visceral) fat in both genders.
When they examined the differences between pre & postmenopausal women and their reaction to insulin + cortisol the results revealed that postmenopausal women had high aromatase in the omental (visceral) tissues than premenopausal women. However both pre & postmenopausal women revealed the same response to aromatase activity in the subcutaneous tissues.
Sex steroids such as Dhea, Androstenedione, Estrone, Testosterone etc… may regulate adipose mass by increasing preadipocyte proliferation, differentiation, and adipocyte size through effects on lipolysis (fat-loss) and lipogenesis (fat accrural).
Insulin plays a crucial role in adipocyte proliferation and differentiation, however in this study, insulin ALONE has no effect on aromatase expression, whereas insulin + cortisol demonstrated an additive effect on aromatase activity.
You know what that means for most people who utilize high carbohydrate diet’s to either keep dietary fat low or to gain weight?
It means that relatively high doses of insulin (think dextrose & white rice) in combination with cortisol (think low blood sugar from spiked insulin) increases aromatase activity, which promotes estrogen levels in excess.
This is extremely undesirable for favorable body composition as this phenomenon will promote proliferation and differentiation of preadipocytes, enhancing central adiposity (fat mass accrural).
– Now what you should do –
I hope after reading this article you recognize that ingesting copious amounts of carbohydrates in your plight for ultimate muscle mass or general health (because you still abide by the USDA outdated food pyramid which is simply asinine)you understand that manipulating your insulin and cortisol levels through meticulous nutrition planning will be in your best interests.
I am NOT telling you to switch to an Atkins or Ketogenic Diet by any means, simply just to pay attention to your carbohydrate choices(high glycemic VS low glycemic)and also your glycemic loads(grams of carbs per meal).If you absolutely insist you MUST incorporate carbohydrates around the clock with each meal, make sure to keep the gram allotment low, at around 20-30 grams per meal, as this keeps the glycemic load under control. Also, employ high glycemic carbs ONLY around your weight training or high activity event. The remainder of your carbs(if you insist you need them) should be low glycemic.
I would suggest you to just use carbohydrates INFREQUENTLY, meaning pre & post training, while the rest of your meals consist of top quality protein sources and raw, undenatured fats.
Incorporating a supplement that increases growth hormone production while lowering the stress hormone cortisol would be beneficial for those striving to get as lean as possible while dieting for fat-loss or gaining mass while keeping body fat lower.
Look no further than EndoAmp Max, which will do just that – Increase GH & lower cortisol, while enhancing mental acuity and focus.
– Helpful tips to lower cortisol & insulin –
References: J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2002 Mar;87(3):1327-36. Glucocorticoid regulation of p450 aromatase activity in human adipose tissue: gender and site differences. McTernan PG, Anderson LA, Anwar AJ, Eggo MC, Crocker J, Barnett AH, Stewart PM, Kumar S.