Skip to main content

05-02-2017 | Obesity | Review | Article

Hyperinsulinemia: a Cause of Obesity?

Current Obesity Reports

Authors: Karel A. Erion, Barbara E. Corkey

Publisher: Springer US


Purpose of Review

This perspective is motivated by the need to question dogma that does not work: that the problem is insulin resistance (IR). We highlight the need to investigate potential environmental obesogens and toxins.

Recent Findings

The prequel to severe metabolic disease includes three interacting components that are abnormal: (a) IR, (b) elevated lipids and (c) elevated basal insulin (HI). HI is more common than IR and is a significant independent predictor of diabetes.


We hypothesize that (1) the initiating defect is HI that increases nutrient consumption and hyperlipidemia (HL); (2) the cause of HI may include food additives, environmental obesogens or toxins that have entered our food supply since 1980; and (3) HI is sustained by HL derived from increased adipose mass and leads to IR. We suggest that HI and HL are early indicators of metabolic dysfunction and treating and reversing these abnormalities may prevent the development of more serious metabolic disease.

Please log in to get access to this content

Related topics

Why psychosocial care matters

Clinical experts from the fields of diabetes and psychology address the issues in a new series of interviews.

  • » This content has been endorsed by the PSAD, EASD and ACBRD.

Virtual EASD Annual Meeting 2020 coverage

Get the latest news and expert commentary now.

Image Credits