Insulin, Brown Fat & Ketones: Dr. Bikman’s Recent Interview with Mike Mutzel from High Intensity Health

By September 16, 2017Blog

POST SUMMARY: What this means for you…

Dr. Ben Bikman shares his latest scientific findings in this field and the synergism between the ketogenic diet and brown adipose tissue activation.

Key Takeaways from the Interview:

  • 02:02 During PhD studies, he learned that insulin is the metabolic key. Now that he has his own lab, the relevance of insulin upon normal metabolic health is his area of study.
  • 03:11 Insulin is needed to Grow Fat Cells.
  • 03:35 Distortion of the Fat Cell
  • 05:59 As we grow larger fat cells and we reach 150% of what is ideal for our bodies, we start making new fat cells. As someone loses weight, they will not reduce the number of fat cells. They shrink the size of their existing cells.
  • 07:14 Triglycerides are Not Relevant to Insulin Resistance
  • 09:34 Muscle is Our Biggest Glucose Sink
  • 10:35 Insulin is a Factor in Inflammation
  • 12:08 Exercise is Important, but Diet is Critical
  • 13:45 Toxic Lipids Cause Mitochondrial Alterations
  • 15:39 Brown Adipose Tissue and an Uncoupling Protein
  • 18:39 When Brown Fat Cells are Exposed to Insulin, Their Metabolic Rate Will go Down by about Half.
  • 19:38 When our White Fat is Exposed to Ketones, Our Fat Goes from Storing to Wasting.
  • 20:34 The Evolutionary Benefit of Ketones Inducing Wasting: Perhaps the conversion of white fat into heat burning instigated by ketones was meant for heat production. Our bodies act protectively. Evolutionarily, ketogenic diets would be seasonal.
  • 24:55 Cold Thermogenesis to Activate Brown Fat: Constant cold exposure, to the point where you are shivering, works to activate brown fat. Ice baths and genuine cold exposure does this as well.
  • 27:31 You Can Alter Your Metabolic Rate
  • 30:24 Benefits of Low Insulin
  • 32:46 We Need Insulin: It is necessary for normal mitochondrial function. Eating a healthy low carb diet will give you enough insulin variability. We want to keep insulin normal.
  • 25:16 Time Restricted Feeding and Fasting to Trigger Beiging
  • 28:05 We are All Insulin Resistant First Thing in the Morning
  • 39:01 The Effect of Protein and Carbs on Insulin: If you are insulin resistant, you will get a huge long lasting fat storage spike from eating something like a bagel, as opposed to the quick bump for someone who is insulin sensitive.
  • 41:45 Speculation that Exogenous Ketones Turn to Fat when Insulin is high
  • 46:34 Dr. Bikman’s Morning Routine
  • 48:08 Dr. Bikman’s Favorite Exercise is the Deadlift
  • 49:09 Dr. Bikman’s Desert Island Herb, Nutrient or Botanical: He would bring cow liver, which is packed with mitochondria. We do not adopt the mitochondria of the meat we eat, but we can get the building block components of the mitochondria.
  • 51:06 Dr. Bikman’s Elevator Pitch: Stop emphasizing a high carbohydrate/low fat diet.
  • 51:36 Don’t Worry about Gluconeogenesis

This blog post (and all other posts and content on this website) is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

About Benjamin Bikman, Ph.D. – Ben earned his Ph.D. in Bioenergetics and was a postdoctoral fellow with the Duke-National University of Singapore in metabolic disorders. Currently, his professional focus as a scientist and professor (Brigham Young University) is to better understand chronic modern-day diseases, with special emphasis on the origins and consequences of obesity and diabetes. He frequently publishes his research in peer-reviewed journals and presents at international science meetings.


  • Jan warner says:

    I’ve been using exogenous key tones for help with appetite control, I eat keto so it’s not because I ate something bad and want to stay in ketosis. When I initially started keto and IF it kept my “carb flu” in check and I noticed a huge decrease in appetite for several hours. Now 4 months later I only take them if my appetite is high (a common time for this would be about 2 to 4 pm just before my eating window opens about 6 or 7 pm). So my insulin would be relatively low…is this ok?

  • Greg says:

    This was a fantastic interview and introduced me to Dr. Bikman and for that I am grateful.

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