124 – Controlling insulin and inflammation, and understanding metabolic flexibility with Dr. Ben Bikman


In this episode, returning guest Dr. Benjamin Bikman from Brigham Young University joins Ben to talk about insulin and its role in our overall health, specifically as it pertains to insulin resistance and the various lifestyle and genetic factors that come into play. Insulin resistance is not only strongly correlated to chronic disease, but it can also negatively impact our ability to build muscle, and Dr. Bikman discusses how sleep deprivation and incorrect food types can escalate the problem. He discusses the link between carbon dioxide tolerance and metabolism and how the ketogenic diet can impact metabolic flexibility, highlighting the practical benefits of a cyclical ketogenic diet in general. He also explains how metabolic flexibility can be measured and why it is difficult to identify an ideal resting blood glucose range.

The conversation then turns to the controversial subject of fat and protein consumption. Dr. Bikman is an advocate of consuming fat and protein together and gives his reasons for not buying into the plant-based protein trend but rather sticking to the natural proteins found in animals. He also answers questions about adaptive glucose pairing, the relationships between insulin and Crohn’s disease, and how eating the right fats aids the fat-burning process. Remember to head over to blublox.com/muscleintelligence and use the code ‘Muscle’ to get 15% off my favorite protective eyewear.

Check out Dr. Bikman’s meal replacement supplements at gethlth.com


  • An introduction to Dr. Bikman and the work he does teaching pathophysiology. [5:06]
  • The relationship between chronic disease, lifestyle, and insulin resistance. [6:50]
  • Factors that contribute to insulin resistance, including genetics and lifestyle. [8:17]
  • Learn how insulin resistance impacts our ability to build and maintain muscle. [10:58]
  • How eating the wrong foods (not just carbs) could give way to insulin resistance. [12:34]
  • Speculation about the correlation between carbon dioxide tolerance and metabolism. [14:56]
  • An explanation of metabolic flexibility and the impact of the ketogenic diet. [18:26]
  • Dr. Bikman makes a case for the practical advantages of a cyclical ketogenic diet. [23:37]
  • Measuring metabolic flexibility by testing the exchange between oxygen and CO₂. [27:05]
  • Thoughts on the ideal resting blood glucose and two other useful metrics. [30:12]
  • Where insulin resistance starts and the good and bad ways that fat tissue grows. [33:12]
  • Why you might get away with eating more calories when it is fat versus carbs/sugar. [39:29]
  • Protein and other considerations for consuming fat in a healthy, balanced manner. [42:41]
  • Dr. Bikman’s take on why you can consume natural sources of protein more or less freely.[46:47]
  • Hear about the circumstances from which Why We Get Sick was born. [50:12]
  • The changeability of insulin resistance and how it can be improved on a variety of diets. [52:18]
  • The problem with plant-based proteins and the processes that are applied to it. [54:17]
  • Answers to question about adaptive glucose pairing and the relationship between insulin and Crohn’s disease. [57:41]
  • Eating the right fat, the adaptability of the phospholipid bilayer composition, and how it impacts fat burning. [1:00:06]

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Ben Pakulski

Since first lifting weights as a teenager, Ben has been on a mission to do whatever it takes… …to become the most muscular man on the planet! On the eve of The Arnold Classic, he confronts the dark realities of bodybuilding… And his own future! Follow him on his journey…

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About the Podcast

Formerly the Muscle Expert Podcast. The world’s top authority on intelligent muscle building and fat loss gives us a simple to understand deep dive into the complex world of building a body you love, and living your greatness. Weekly interviews with leading experts in a vast number of scientific fields focusing on health optimization (nutrition, sleep, hormones, mindfulness and mind set), strength, (both physical and mental), and muscle hypertrophy. Learn proven strategies for optimum life performance, whether it be in the gym, the board room or the bedroom; this is the blueprint for becoming the upgraded modern man. Ladies, this podcast is for you too. The topics, tips, and life hacks covered are essential for every individual who wants to upgrade themselves mentally and physically.

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