I've got to say, I about fell off my chair reading the following comment from Stephan Guyenet over at Whole Health Source blog as it flittered through my feed reader. In response to a comment by Thomas, basically asking if insulin surges or calories ultimately govern weight loss/gain, Stephan had this to say:
Yes, the excess calorie consumption is the key. Insulin spikes do not increase food intake unless they cause hypoglycemia. In fact, insulin is kind of like leptin's kid brother: it acts in the brain to constrain fat mass.
Also, insulin is co-secreted with amylin, which also constrains fat mass by increasing satiation and possibly leptin sensitivity.
All this postprandial insulin spikes = fat gain stuff is nonsense as far as I can tell. I still haven't seen a shred of convincing evidence to support it, and in fact, the evidence I've seen mostly supports the opposite hypothesis, that insulin spikes oppose fat gain. The idea that postprandial insulin causes fat gain is contradicted by the most basic empirical facts in both human and animal studies. As I said before, I don't know a single person who studies metabolism/endocrinology professionally who takes that idea seriously-- it is confined to the popular press and internet blogs/forums.
Been saying this and backing it up with citations galore for over a year now. I'm excited to see others finally setting the record straight publicly. First Stephan comes out as a not-so-closet potato eater. Now he's forthrightly rejected Taubes' insulin hypothesis. What next? Dancing with the Stars? Or perhaps the next institution of higher learning inclined to invite Gary Taubes to lecture their medical students might be better served inviting someone else.