The main goal of this review is to provide more specific and effective targets for prevention and treatment of insulin resistance and associated atherosclerosis. Modern technologies and medicine have vastly improved human health and prolonged the average life span of humans primarily by eliminating various premature deaths and infectious diseases. The modern technologies have also provided us abundant food and convenient transportation tools such as cars. As a result, more people are becoming overfed and sedentary. People are generally ingesting more calories than their bodies’ need, leading to the so-called “positive energy imbalance”, which is inseparable from the development of insulin resistance and its associated atherosclerosis. A direct consequence of insulin resistance is hyperinsulinemia. The current general view is that insulin is not functional properly in the presence of insulin resistance. Thus, the role of insulin itself in the development of insulin resistance and associated atherosclerosis has not been recognized. We have recently observed that the basal level of insulin signaling is increased in the presence of insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia. In this review, we will explain how the increased basal insulin signaling contributes to the development of insulin resistance and associated atherosclerosis. We will first explain how insulin causes insulin resistance through two arbitrary stages (before and after the presence of obvious insulin resistance), and, then, explain how the excess exposure to insulin and the relative insulin insufficiency contributes to the atherosclerotic diseases. We propose that blockade of the excess insulin signaling is a viable approach to prevent and/or reverse insulin resistance and its associated atherosclerosis.
Keywords: Atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, insulin, insulin resistance, insulin sensitivity, obesity, Ectopic Fat Accumulation, Mitochondrion-Derived Oxidative Stress, Foam Cells