Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Apparently It is Not Urban Legend

Didn't believe it until I actually saw it.

Of course, these were the days when we actually defended the country's sovereignty.
Sugar (by Lifer Renee)

Renee – As a teenager, Renee received a 60-year sentence from a judge in Pima County. 15 years into her sentence, she’s writing from Perryville prison in Goodyear, Arizona, providing a rare and unique insight into a women's prison.

I almost got thrown into some drama. Girlfriend issues. I guess people do not listen when I say I do not do domestics.

I have a friend, Sugar. She came in with 25 to life. Under the reclassification policy at the time she came in, she automatically had to do a year in the hole. While Sugar was in the hole, the policy changed from 1 year to 2 years. She only had 3 months left with no tickets, no problems, but now she has to do 15 more months.

A mutual friend, Terri, decided to hook up with Sugar while she was in the hole. Well Sugar is my roommate, Jess’s best friend, whom I’m also close with. Jess heard on the yard that Terri was cheating on Sugar with Heather, her co-worker. Jess didn’t believe the rumors, and while she was ranting I told her she shouldn’t believe he-said-she-said gossip.

So then she started watching Terri. She noticed Terri going into a cell, and Heather following her in. The occupants came out and sat outside C-pod where they never sit. So Jess walked to the door and saw black construction paper in the window – that’s done to give people at least two seconds before an officer walks in. Jess just walked in, catching Heather between Terri’s legs, doing the business.
Jess told them, “Good to know.”

This is all that I’ve heard about for the past week. So me and my roommate have had to tip-toe around the conversation because even though I know Terri is wrong, she is my friend, as is Sugar to Jess.

Drama! Can not stand it.

Click here for Renee's previous blog

Post comments for Renee below or email them to To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun P. Attwood

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Real Life Lesson in Dangers of Drugs

Click here for the latest news story on my talks to schools.

Postprandial de novo lipogenesis and metabolic changes induced by a high-carbohydrate, low-fat meal in lean and overweight men

Postprandial de novo lipogenesis and metabolic changes induced by a high-carbohydrate, low-fat meal in lean and overweight men
Background: Adjustments of carbohydrate intake and oxidation occur in both normal-weight and overweight individuals. Nevertheless, the contribution of carbohydrates to the accumulation of fat through either reduction of fat oxidation or stimulation of fat synthesis in obesity remains poorly investigated.
Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the postprandial metabolic changes and the fractional hepatic de novo lipogenesis (DNL) induced by a high-carbohydrate, low-fat meal in lean and overweight young men.
Design: A high-carbohydrate, low-fat meal was administered to 6 lean and 7 overweight men after a 17.5-h fast. During the fasting and postprandial periods, energy expenditure (EE), macronutrient oxidation, diet-induced thermogenesis, and serum insulin, glucose, triacylglycerol, and fatty acids were measured. To determine DNL, [1-13C]sodium acetate was infused and the mass isotopomer distribution analysis method was applied.  **My addition:  Subjects were fed isocaloric diet for 3 days prior to ensure equivalent glycogen stores.
Results: After intake of the high-carbohydrate meal, the overweight men had hyperinsulinemia and higher fatty acid and triacylglycerol concentrations than did the lean men. The overweight group showed a greater EE, whereas there was no significant difference in carbohydrate oxidation between the groups. Nevertheless, the overweight men had a marginally higher protein oxidation and a lower lipid oxidation than did the lean men. DNL was significantly higher before and after meal intake in the overweight men and was positively associated with fasting serum glucose and insulin concentrations. Furthermore, postprandial DNL was positively correlated with body fat mass, EE, and triacylglycerol.
Conclusion: After a high-carbohydrate, low-fat meal, overweight men had a lower fat oxidation and a higher fractional hepatic fat synthesis than did lean men.

The discussion section is of great interest to me, especially as relates to the claim that it is excess carbs that are turned to fat.   Some excerpts:

It is known that dietary carbohydrate promotes its own oxidation (9, 13, 32) and that under normal conditions DNL is not a major way to increase body fat stores, as found by other investigators using indirect calorimetry (20, 31). Most short-term studies (1315, 30) in which carbohydrate was added to mixed diets, even in large quantities, did not show net DNL, based on indirect calorimetry, because storage as glycogen was concluded to represent the fate of excess dietary carbohydrate. In the present study, NPRQ was high throughout the postprandial period, reaching values slightly >1 in the overweight group after the first 60 min, although there was no positive postprandial net lipogenesis, and remained <1 in the lean men, as found in other studies (13, 14). This information indicates that there was no net gain in body fat after the administration of a large carbohydrate load.
Using tracer techniques, several authors assessed the effect of carbohydrate on DNL both in isoenergetic diets (10, 15, 18) and during surplus-carbohydrate diets (15, 33) and reported that carbohydrate consumption produced a dose-dependent increase in fractional DNL. Nevertheless, it remained unimportant to body fat stores because it represented only a few grams per day, when the absolute rate of lipogenesis was measured. 
This study's aim was to see if this occurred in overweight men as well.  These men had elevated fasting levels of glucose, insulin, triglycerides and DNL rate.  The overweight men responded differently to the high carb meal with higher DNL, lower fatty acid oxidation rates, increased trigs and NEFA.

Taken together, these results - ... - all point to an impairment of tissue fuel selection (utilization of fatty acids) in the overweight group, in whom a carbohydrate load produced a fat-sparing effect more pronounced than in lean men and so a less negative fat balance than in lean men.
The authors point to a TEF of the carbohydrate load in the overweight men which goes counter to the LC dogma.  This could not be correlated to the energy cost of DNL b/c that was not measured.

But here's some "red meat" for the carbs turn to fat crowd:
... the fact remains that obesity can develop from overeating simple carbohydrates, especially in persons who show a higher hepatic fat synthesis and lower fat oxidation during carbohydrate overfeeding. 
Taubesians will read that and ignore the rest of this study, however.  The discussion goes on to say:
Because the heavier participants in this study were already overweight, it is uncertain whether these responses to carbohydrate intake contribute to the development of obesity, but it clearly could contribute to the maintenance of their overweight state.

My take:  

The fatty acids and triglycerides created through DNL go into various lipid "pools" in the body.  Once there, they are indistinguishable from lipids from other sources, namely diet and adipose tissues.  In lean men, the excess carbs were not converted to fats in any significant manner.  The hierarchy of fuel usage -- where fats are the last on the list -- has been pretty well established, and as the study authors implied, their fuel selection process is in "good repair".   I don't get excited by the whole carbs suppress fat burning thing because they will only do so until you run out of them.  The fact is that DNL occurs in the fasted state.  The fact is that DNL also occurs at fairly low rates in all cases so it is somewhat alarmist to point to 2 or 3 fold increases (temporarily) in the rate.  The fats created through this process are metabolically equivalent to ingested fats that are continually undergoing slow turnover in our fat cells.  They are a few drops in the pool and will be "burned" in due time when energy requirements dictate.  They will only add (net) to STORED fats if there's a chronic positive energy balance.   If anything, the "genesis" of lipids from carbs requires some energy.  All of this does not address whether some may overeat carbs, and certainly refined carby foods make this really easy to do.  I continue to contend that for most, however, this overeating is of foods rich in carbs and fat.   However, once someone is obese, I believe LC induces a metabolic state that can and should more easily allow the person to lose weight -- e.g. return to a normal metabolic state.  Absent permanent damage (e.g. impaired ß-cells) I believe one can return to a "lean metabolism" and handle carbs once the "overstuffed" state has been ameliorated.

Fiber and CRP

Came across this so just putting it out there.  It's a meta study of 7 clinical trials in which fiber was studied or reported.  In 6 of 7 CRP was reduced.  One study involving just psyllium showed no effect.

The effects of dietary fibre on C-reactive protein, an inflammation marker predicting cardiovascular disease
Conclusions: In the presence of weight loss and modified saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat intakes, significantly lower CRP concentrations (25–54%) are seen with increased fibre consumption 3.3 g/MJ). Mechanisms are inconclusive but may involve the effect of DF on weight loss, and/or changes in the secretion, turnover or metabolism of insulin, glucose, adiponectin, interleukin-6, free fatty acids and triglycerides. Clinical studies of high- and low-fibre diets are needed to explore the potential favourable effects as observed epidemiologically, and to understand individual susceptibility to its anti-inflammatory effect and long-term cardiovascular reduction.
Unfortunately for those interested, full text is not free.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Instead of Going to the Movies...

you can just watch the trainwreck of a show that is about to happen.

If only there was somebody who saw it coming.


Finger Pointing at Fructose

Gary Taubes pointed fingers at just the excess carbohydrates in diets as the cause of the obesity epidemic.
Lustig narrows the finger pointing even more to just one little sugar molecule:  fructose.

Where he gets off saying that fructose is poison is beyond me.  When not consumed in excess/acute doses, there's no evidence that fructose if bad for humans.  Given that we have a separate metabolic pathway to handle it AND convert it to another form for energy storage fructose being a poison doesn't make sense.  Furthermore, evidence abounds that paleo man consumed most carbs from fruits and honey (honey having the fructose:glucose ratio similar to HFCS).

AFAIC, it is a no-brainer, or should be, that consuming Mega Gulps of sugary sodas or several glasses of fruit juices and/or drinks is just plain stupid.  Why do Americans do this?  Lustig implies some addictive new ingredients in the secret formulas.  Sheesh!  It is not the American government, or the low-fat advocates who have encouraged folks to consume 20-30% of their daily calories in the form of sugary drinks!!  Nor, frankly to choose processed/refined/fake foods over whole real foods.  And it's not big business' fault either.  They are giving us what we want.  If more Americans wanted XYZ, someone would make it. 

Taubes hit the nail on the head about sodas ... should have stopped there instead of going on with the various unsubstantiable theories on fat and carbs.  Lustig suggests eliminating liquid calories from the diet.  Again ... should have just stopped right there. 

If this stuff scares folks off the sugars, that's great.  But fruits are already wrongly demonized and obsessed over in the LC community.  I, myself, have gone months maybe even without enjoying one of my favorite things on the planet out of fear of the carbs.  And now to fear the fructose itself. 

Count me out on this alarmist's band wagon.  Humans ate and were meant to eat fruit.  I've been adding in more if anything to no ill effect.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

$20 Movie Ticket

The price of a movie ticket is going up.

I stopped going to movies about 3 years ago. I think I saw maybe, MAYBE 2 two movies last year (Gran Torino being one of them).

I've predicted in the past a decline in movie-going as hometheaters, combined with Netflix, not to mention modern-day parents who fail to keep their children quiet, drive people out of the theaters and into their home theaters, just like communism drives capital into tax havens.

But $11 for a regular show, not to mention $20 in New York City for A ticket? All so you can stand in line and listen to kids make noise while you view a screen from the far left corner of a theater? Yeah, that's going to help attendance.

You'll forgive me if I just sit in my finished basement with the LCD projector, surround sound, bean bag and a bottle of Jameson with Natasha in a nice little number under my arm.
Question Time

Jake from Gordon's School in Woking wrote the following:

Coming in and telling your life story about your experiences touched me and made me think in many ways. It made me realise that life is more important than any other thing in the world no matter what comes in the way. After listening to your talk, I walked out the door and I was just hit with many thoughts rushing through my mind. I had images in my head what it was like and then I asked myself if I ever got put into that situation would I be able to cope. So when you were in the American prison what were you emotions like and how did you deal with them, without others around you noticing?

When I first went in, I was terrified and it showed. Prisoners would come up to me and say I needed to get the fear off my face or else I’d get preyed on. When you're in such an environment you adapt fast or else you perish. It's like being in a video game with danger all around you, but you just soldier on and get through it. You'd probably do the same. We all have an amazing ability to adapt that we don't know about until we get in situations. As you adapt you lose the look of fear. A year in I'd see the same look of fear I once had, only in the eyes of the new arrivals. I used yoga to get my stress level down.

Would you say covering up your emotions in prison was one of the hardest things that you've ever done in your life because of the consequences that were on the line?

Covering up emotions became routine for me, but it was hard at first. For the first few days, I couldn’t sleep, and my emotional state was obvious. I was emotionally immature before I went in, and prison made me grow up fast.

You may have said in the talk, but how long were you in prison for? And when coming out of the prison did you come straight back over to England?

I served almost 6 years. I was deported straight back to England, and I'm banned from America for life. You can read more info about this here at my biography.

Now you’re back in England do you regret trying to take the rave scene across to America? Or would you have still tried knowing the consequences?

My biggest regret is the hurt I caused my loved ones. If I had known all of the consequences, I would have modified my behaviour.

And finally, for your book, is there a set date in September for its release?

There is no set release date yet. The publisher said it is slated for September-October publication.

Click here for the previous Question Time.

Post comments below or email them to To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun Attwood
What is Mephedrone?

Mephedrone is a drug based on the chemical compounds of a plant out of Eastern Africa. Sold as a legal high, it’s use has exploded in the UK, where it has been linked to several recent deaths of young people, resulting in calls to have it prohibited.

As I’m getting asked a lot about mephedrone at my talks to schools, here is more info on it from Wikipedia:

Mephedrone (2-methylamino-1-p-tolylpropan-1-one),[3] also known as 4-methylmethcathinone (4-MMC), 4-methylephedrone, meow meow, [4] Miaow,[5] or MMCAT[6], is a stimulant and entactogen drug of the amphetamine and cathinone chemical classes. It is reported to be contained in some legal highs and is sometimes sold mixed with methylone, also known as bubbles.[7]It is a synthetic substance based on the cathinone compounds found in the khat plant of eastern Africa. Mephedrone can come in the form of capsules, tablets or white powder that users may swallow, snort or inject.[8] In 2009 it became the fourth most popular street drug in the United Kingdom, behind marijuana, cocaine, and ecstasy.


The Psychonaut Research Project, an EU organisation that searches the internet for information regarding new drugs, first identified mephedrone in 2008. Their research suggests that the drug first became available in 2007.[6] Mephedrone was first seized in France in May 2007 after police sent a tablet that they assumed to be ecstasy to be analysed.[10] The drug was used in early products, such as Neodoves pills, by the legal high company Neorganics,[12] but the range was discontinued in January 2008 after the government of Israel, where the company is based, made mephedrone illegal. It has been reported to be sold as a designer drug, but little is known about its pharmacology or toxicology at present.[13] Mephedrone has recently been reported as having been sold as "ecstasy" in the Australian city of Cairns, along with ethylcathinone,[14][15][16] and has also been reported in Europe and the United States.[17][18] It is reportedly currently manufactured in China.[19] The Daily Telegraph reported that manufacturers are making "huge amounts of money" from selling the drug.[20] In January 2010 Druglink magazine reported that dealers in Britain spend £2,500 to ship one kilogram from China but can sell it on for £10 a gram making a profit of £7,500.[21][22] A later report, in March 2010, stated that the wholesale price of mephedrone was £4000 per kilogram.[9]

Use in the United Kingdom

Between the summer of 2009 and March 2010 the use of mephedrone grew rapidly in the UK, becoming freely available at music festivals, head shops and on the internet. The drug is used by a diverse range of social groups including teenagers, polydrug using nightclubbers, psychonauts and over 40s with no previous experience of drug use. Whilst the evidence is anecdotal, researchers, charity workers, teachers and users have all reported widespread and increasing use of the drug. The reasons for the rapid growth in popularity is believed to be related to both the availability and legality of the drug. Researchers also believe that the emergence of mephedrone is related to the decreasing purity of MDMA and cocaine on sale in the UK.[23]


Intended effects

According to the company Crew2000, intended effects include increased alertness, euphoria, excitement, feeling of stimulation, urge to talk and openness.[7] Psychologists at Liverpool John Moores University are conducting research into the effects of mephedrone on up to 50 students.[24] Les Iversen, the chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs called the experiments "pretty unethical".[25]

Side effects

According to the Darlington Drug and Alcohol Action Team, mephedrone can cause nose bleeds, nose burns, hallucinations, nausea, vomiting, blood circulation problems, rashes, anxiety, paranoia, fits, and delusions.[1] According to Crew2000, other side effects may include poor concentration, poor short-term memory, increased heart rate, abnormal heart beats, anxiety, depression, increased sweating, dilated pupils, the inability to normally open the mouth, and teeth grinding.[7]

A survey conducted by the National Addiction Centre, UK found that 51% of mephedrone users said they suffered from headaches, 43% from heart palpitations, 27% from nausea and 15% from cold or blue fingers.[26]

Long-term effects

BBC News reported that one person who used the drug for 18 months, in the end using it twice a week, had to be admitted to a psychiatric unit after he started experiencing hallucinations, agitation, excitability and mania.[27] Almost nothing is known about the long term effects of the drug due to the short history of its use.[26]

Typical use and consumption

The Guardian reported that some users compulsively redose, consuming their whole supply when they only meant to use a small dose.[28] A survey conducted in late 2009 by the National Addiction Centre (UK) found that one in three readers of Mixmag had used mephedrone in the last month, making it the fourth most popular drug amongst clubbers.[26]

Harm reduction

The charity Lifeline recommends that to reduce the potential harm caused by using mephedrone, users should only use mephedrone occasionally (less than weekly), use less than 0.5g per session, dose orally rather than snort the drug and avoid mixing it with alcohol and other drugs.[29]


At present, very little is known about the toxicity of 4-methylmethcathinone. In 2009, one case of sympathomimetic toxicity was reported in the UK after a person took 0.2g of mephedrone orally and 3.8g subcutaneously. They were treated with 1mg of lorazepam and the sympathomimetic features decreased within 6 hours of treatment.[30] Reported side effects suggest it may cause pronounced peripheral vasoconstriction, which has been speculated to result from formation of the potent vasoconstrictor 4-methylephedrine as a metabolite,[3] a compound known to have significantly more cardiovascular toxicity than ephedrine itself.[31] The Swedish medical journal, Läkartidningen reported that mephedrone could theoretically cause the cardiovascular problems associated with the use of cocaine and amphetamines and serotonin syndrome associated with the use of ecstasy and LSD.[2] Reports of addiction and problematic use have also emerged.[1] Professor David Nutt, former chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) in the UK has said "people are better off taking ecstasy or amphetamines than those [drugs] we know nothing about" and "Who knows what's in [mephedrone] when you buy it? We don't have a testing system. It could be very dangerous, we just don't know. These chemicals have never been put into animals, let alone humans."[32] Les King, a former member of the ACMD, has stated that it appears to be less potent than amphetamine and ecstasy but that any benefit associated with this could be negated by users taking larger amounts. He also told the BBC "all we can say is [mephedrone] is probably as harmful as ecstasy and amphetamines and wait until we have some better scientific evidence to support that."[11]


In 2008, an 18 year-old Swedish woman died in Stockholm after taking mephedrone allegedly in combination with cannabis. An ambulance was soon called to Bandhagen after the girl went into convulsions and turned blue in the face, Svenska Dagbladet reported.[33] Doctors reported that she was suffering from hyponatremia and an autopsy revealed the woman's brain had swollen.[2] Mephedrone was scheduled to be classified as a "dangerous substance" in Sweden even before the girl's death at Karolinska University Hospital on Sunday, 14 December, but the death brought more media attention to the drug. The possession of mephedrone became classified as a criminal offence in Sweden on 15 December 2008.[34]

The death of a teenager in the UK in November 2009 was widely reported as being caused by mephedrone but a report by the coroner concluded that she died from natural causes. According to criminologists, the reporting of the death by newspapers followed "the usual cycle of ‘exaggeration, distortion, inaccuracy and sensationalism" associated with the reporting of recreational drug use.[23]

In February 2010, a 46 year-old man in the UK suffered a heart attack after taking mephedrone. Toxicology reports revealed he died directly as a result of taking the drug.[35] There have been other unconfirmed reports speculating about the role mephedrone has played in the deaths of several young people in the UK.

Legal status

· Australia: Mephedrone is not specifically listed as prohibited in Australia. Federal Police have stated that it is an analog to methcathinone and therefore illegal. In February 2010, 22 men were arrested in conjunction with importing mephedrone.[38] In March 2010 a youth was convicted of importing the drug and sentenced to six months alternate detention.[39]

· Canada: According to The Globe and Mail, mephedrone is considered a controlled substance by Health Canada.[40]

· Croatia: Mephedrone became illegal in Croatia on January 4, 2010.[41]

· Denmark: Denmark's Minister for Health and Prevention, Jakob Axel Nielsen, banned mephedrone,[26] flephedrone and ethylcathinone on December 18, 2008. This is from the Ministry of Health and Disease Prevention press release.

· Estonia: Classified as a "narcotic or psychotropic" substance and added to controlled substances list on November 27, 2009.[1][42]

· Finland: Through the Medicines Act, 4-methylmethcathinone is classified as a "medicinal product", making it illegal to manufacture, import, possess, sell, or transfer without a prescription. (from, date unknown and, September 5, 2008)[1]

· Germany: Mephedrone became illegal in Germany on January 22, 2010.[43]

· Guernsey: It is illegal to import mephedrone into Guernsey.[44]

· Hungary: As of February 2010, mephedrone is legal in Hungary but legislators are considering whether to make it illegal.[45]

· Republic of Ireland: Mephedrone is currently legal[46] but possession and supply of the drug will become illegal in June 2010.[47]

· Isle of Man:The Medicines Act 2003 was changed in February 2010 in the Isle of Man so that the import and sale of mephedrone is now illegal.[48]

· Israel: In December 2007, 4-methylmethcathinone was added to Israel's list of controlled substances, making it illegal to buy, sell, or possess.[1]

· Jersey: Classified as a Class C drug in 2009.[49]

· Netherlands: In March, 2010, the Dutch Ministry of Health and the Medicines Authority IGZ informed the Ministry of Justice that they now consider Mephedrone an unregulated medicine and sales and distribution of it are now prohibited.[1][47]

· New Zealand: Classified as a Class C drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975. [50]

· Norway: The "Derivatbestemmelsen" is an Analog Act-type law in Norway that controls 4-methylmethcathinone, Bk-MBDB, Bromo-DragonFLY, 1,4-butanediol, GBL, and MBDB. See (last updated April 29, 2009)[1]

· Poland: Mephedrone is still legal in Poland (27.02.2010), but it can be mistakenly regarded as amphetamine by police since it comes out as amphetamine in standard police tests.[51]

· Romania On February 10, 2010 Romania revised its drug policy including 4-mmc and all cathinone related products to Table I considering it a high risk narcotic. Possession, sale, manufacture or distribution are punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison.[52]

· Singapore As of February 2010 mephedrone is legal in Singapore, 'CNN Go' reported that it is ordered over the internet and exported from the UK.[53]

· Sweden: Classified as a "health hazard" or "hazardous substance" ("hälsofarlig vara") pending further legislation, a ban on 4-methylmethcathinone went into effect on December 15, 2008, making its sale illegal. On June 15, 2009 it was classified as a narcotic.[1][54]

· United Kingdom: Mephedrone/4MMC is currently not covered by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971; psychiatrists have lobbied for it to be banned.[19] It is, however, an offence under the Medicines Act to sell it for human consumption, so it is often sold as "plant food".[26][1] The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) are investigating mephedrone as a priority along with other legal highs and will report their findings in 2010.[32] The chair of the ACMD indicated strongly in March 2010 that the drug would become illegal and hinted that it could be classified as a Class B drug.[25] The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction are also reviewing the situation and will report their findings in July 2010.[55]

· United States: 4-Methylmethcathinone is unscheduled in the United States[56] but has been made illegal in North Dakota. [57] Those selling the drug for human consumption may however, be prosecuted under the Federal Analog Act due to its similarity to MDMA.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Obese 6 month olds

One of the issues Dr. Lustig points to in his crusade against fructose is that of the obesity epidemic amongst 6 month olds.  Surely they can't be "eating more and moving less" like the rest of us, so there must be some bogey man here.  He points to sucrose in one brand of formula.  This got me to looking into whether or not there was a link between breastfeeding and obesity.   The results of numerous studies are inconclusive except for controlled studies limiting protein content.  So this got me to thinking of the usual tactic of correlating trends to identify the culprit.  One would expect a negative relationship between breastfeeding rates and obesity rates, when in fact the opposite seems to be the case.

Formula feeding was even more popular in the 50's, and I've seen the resurging breastfeeding rates continue through at least 2003.  It hardly seems plausible, given the varied contents of formulas, that fructose in formula is singly responsible for the obesity of 6 month olds ... it may not even be a factor, let alone the factor.

But here's an interesting study I came across:

Infants born to obese biological mothers consumed more energy, and energy as carbohydrate, than their normal weight counterparts (Table 3). Three, out of the four infants born to obese biological mothers consumed complementary foods. The amount of energy consumed from complementary foods by these infants of obese biological mothers was 18.3 ± 2.5 kcal/kg. This was in addition to the energy intake of 69.1 ± 20.3 kcal/kg from formula for these same infants. However, energy intake from protein and fat, for both complementary feedings and formula, were similar among the two groups (Table 3). The amount of formula intake was also similar (90.1 ± 16.3 vs. 98.9 ± 35.4 ml/kg) between the infants born to obese and the normal weight biological mothers. There was a significant (p < 0.05) correlation between total energy intake and maternal body weight (r = -0.73; p < 0.06; Figure 2a).

Could it be that we're experiencing a generational "multiplier" of sorts?  Whatever it is, I think they should take a closer look at expanding studies of this nature.  Bottom line, it may well be that obese babies ARE just eating more.

International Corporate Tax Rate Comparison

Hey Kids!

Want some fun excitement and craziness in your day!?

Want to be the cool guy on the block that impresses all the girls???

Want to be able to be the one kid in the entire college that might actually know what he or she is talking about?

Then learn your corporate tax rates!

Yes, corporate tax rates!

It's what all the cool young hipsters are learning!

On a more serious note, sadly corporate taxes are the silver bullet to end this recession. You eliminate them you not only bring a flood of investment and capital into the US, but you also immediately boost stock prices and recapitalize people's pensions, 403b's, 401k's, IRA's.

But who wants any of that icky stuff when we can blame corporations for all of our problems?

You Will Enjoy the Weekend

You will also not get this song out of your head.
Mephedrone Prevention in Schools

Author, public speaker and former club-drug user, Shaun Attwood, tells students across the UK, "When you take mephedrone, you're opening yourself up to a range of negative things to happen. It could be death. You might lose your mind. Why play Russian roullette with your lives?"

Shaun Attwood served almost 6 years in Arizona for crimes committed when he was part of an ecstasy ring. Two years after his release, his talks are being praised by teachers as having a major impact on deterring young people from drugs such as mephedrone.

"Shaun's presentation was truthful, honest and really well received by our students. He was able to talk openly and in detail about the effects drugs have had on his life. Our students really engaged with Shaun's honest and frank approach, and when offered the opportunity to question him, we couldn’t stop them!" Katie Royle – Lead Teacher in Citizenship, PHSE and RE – The John Madejski Academy in Reading

As mephedrone claims more teenagers' lives, Shaun Attwood said he is getting asked more questions about the drug from students and worried teachers. "When it comes to drugs such as mephedrone, young people tend to think they're invincible. They don't see what's coming at them down the road. I make them think twice by describing the horrific jail conditions I experienced as a consequence of my drug taking. I generally get bombarded with questions at the end of each session, and the students often email me for further advice."

"A particular boy in my year who has been meddling with drugs in the past spoke to me after Shaun's talk. He said what Shaun had told us had been like a slap in the face, and that he is revolted by what can happen from messing with substances. Since the assembly he has been completely clean and he plans to stay that way. I am sure that he is not the only student that was influenced enough to stay away from drugs, and I know that these people have only Shaun to thank." Year 11 Student - Weydon School, Farnham

Shaun Attwood said, "I just got back from talks in Northern Ireland. A teacher there told me that mephedrone is such a problem that the locals are lynching the sellers out of head shops, and one was even shot dead. He also said that teachers can talk to students about drugs until they're blue in the face, but they won't listen, yet my story had connected with the hardest to reach students. He'd never seen them sitting so attentively for an hour."

Shaun is available for interview and comment on the debate over what to do about mephedrone. Email

Not a Post

Just reverse engineering podcasts that are no longer available on GL.

Link 1

Link 2

Link 3

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I Just Like the Way It Looks

Not adjusted in terms of Percent of GDP, duly noted, but even the KGB and Osama Bin Laden in their wildest dreams couldn't have done this kind of damage.

You will enjoy the ensuing chaos.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Carbohydrate restriction regulates the adaptive response to fasting

Carbohydrate restriction regulates the adaptive response to fasting

The importance of either carbohydrate or energy restriction in initiating the metabolic response to fasting was studied in five normal volunteers. The subjects participated in two study protocols in a randomized crossover fashion. In one study the subjects fasted for 84 h (control study), and in the other a lipid emulsion was infused daily to meet resting energy requirements during the 84-h oral fast (lipid study). Glycerol and palmitic acid rates of appearance in plasma were determined by infusing [2H5]glycerol and [1-13C]palmitic acid, respectively, after 12 and 84 h of oral fasting. Changes in plasma glucose, free fatty acids, ketone bodies, insulin, and epinephrine concentrations during fasting were the same in both the control and lipid studies. Glycerol and palmitic acid rates of appearance increased by 1.63 +/- 0.42 and 1.41 +/- 0.46, respectively, during fasting in the control study and by 1.35 +/- 0.41 and 1.43 +/- 0.44, respectively, in the lipid study. These results demonstrate that restriction of dietary carbohydrate, not the general absence of energy intake itself, is responsible for initiating the metabolic response to short-term fasting.

I've felt for a long time that LC is equivalent to "starvation mode".  It is interesting that NEFA/FFA were the same in both the fasted group and that getting the lipid infusion.  This would indicate to me that "dietary" fat in and of itself does not stimulate further lipolysis.  It would be interesting to see if the result would differ if the fats were ingested.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Matt (Part 2 by Warrior)

Warrior - Serving fourteen years for kidnapping and aggravated assault. Half Hispanic and Scottish-Irish with family still in Mexico. Brought up by a family steeped in drug commerce. He writes some of the best prison-fight stories on the Internet.
This story is a continuation of Warrior’s previous blog that you can read by clicking here.

“What the hell you doin’ here?” Matt exclaimed.
“What the hell you doin’ here?” I replied.
“Ah, man. Long story. Domestic violence. In fact, it happened around when you stopped comin’ around. What happened to ya anyway?” I kept callin’ ya cell, leavin’ messages. You jus’ vanished on me.”
“Yeah, I got caught up. Now here I am,” I lied, telling Matt I was arrested earlier than I was.
“How much time you got?”
Matt’s eyes opened wide as he let out a whistle. “For doin’ business?”
“Nah, an assault. Long story.”
“Wow, Gilbert!”
“Oh, by the way, name’s not Gilbert. It’s Alex.
Matt rasped out a chuckle. “I ain’t good wit’ names, so I’ll stick wit Gilbert.”
We spent the next forty minutes catching up. His family was well. He ended getting into a fight with the boyfriend of one of his daughter’s. The police came, and both were arrested for domestic violence. Matt was put on probation, but unfortunately couldn’t stay clean, so he had to do a year in prison.

Crack! The door opened, and a short prune-faced officer with glasses and a cap squinted at a clipboard and read some names. He called out for Mike and Bill, who both stood up, and exited the holding cell. Bill was heading back to the yard, Mike to see the dentist. The door slammed closed.

“How long you been down?” I asked Matt.
“Jus’ a coupla months.”
“How you blending in?” I could tell by the look on his face that he wasn’t doing too well.
“Awww, I’m hangin’.”
“What’s the matter? Some drama? You’re not fuckin’ with the dope are you? That shit’s serious in here, Matt.”
“Nah, nah. I know better. I’m too old to deal with that shit here. I’m trying to stay clean, and get to my family. I ain’t cut out for this life no more.”
“Well, maybe comin’ to prison is a good thing. You can clean up. You got a good family, Matt, you just needed to get off that shit, and get some clarity. Your old lady loves the shit out of you, man.”
“I know,” Matt said, his head hanging low.
“Is someone fuckin’ with you?” I felt the need to find out what was eating at Matt. I guess because all I’d done in the past, especially with him, I was looking to right my wrongs. After all the shit I’ve done, I often tell myself, I’ll be happy just to break even and end up in purgatory.
“There’s jus’ sorry motherfuckers round here. Ya know. No class.”
“I agree. So who is it?”
“Ah, jus’ some piece of shit named Midget I ain’t getting’ along with. It ain’t no thing though.”

Midget was some junkie deadbeat always borrowing and running up debts he never paid back. He was the excuse king, and life’s victim. Ask him, and he’d make you think he was someone life happens to, life never happened for him. He was quick to prey on those less fortunate or fearful enough to let him get away with it. And if you saw through him, he’d look for some vindictive way to get one on over on you. I couldn’t stand him. I wasn’t surprised to hear that Matt was having problems with Midget.

“Don’t sweat it, Matt. I’ll send word over there about him. A few boys owe me a few favors.”
“Nah, it’s cool, man. I ain’t no coward. I can handle my own problems.”
I had to give it to Matt, he still had his prison pride from the convict code.
“Look, man, don’t worry. I’ll deal with it for you. No one will know or ever speak of it to you or anyone else. It won’t be anything too serious, just an ass kicking, so he’ll relocate. You just promise me you’ll keep your nose clean, and get back to that beautiful family. If I hear of you fuckin’ with drugs or anything else in here, that’s your ass. Deal?”
Looking at me hesitatingly, Matt nibbled his lower lip. It looked as if he were listening to a devil and angel on either shoulder battling it out. “Alright, Alex.” Matt put out his hand and we shook.

Crack! Crack! The door racked open and my name was called. It was my turn to see the dentist. I went and had my routine, and was heading back down the hall. The fluorescent bulbs overhead were radiating an odd yellow that reflected off the linoleum tiled floor. Oddly, it made the hallway trip back seem longer than before. As I came around the bend, the escorting officer told me to wait a second as he had to drop some paperwork off. He disappeared into a door. I stood in front of the intake desk, where an officer was usually posted. With all of the staff shortages, the escorting officer was doing two jobs. Behind an old masonite desk was a dry erase board that held all of the ID’s for all of the inmates scheduled for that day. I glanced down the line, and saw Midget was scheduled, except he was in a different holding cell, for those scheduled for blood work. I immediately snatched Midget’s ID, and relocated it under the heading “Psych Line,” which was for the criminally insane and guys playing crazy. These individuals were placed in separate cells due to their propensity to act out and be violent to inmates as well as staff. By the time the officer came back, I could have rearranged every name on that board if I had wanted. We went back to the original holding cell. Matt was still there. I entered.
“You two are done. Stand by as I call transport to send you both back,” the officer said.

Our friends inside appreciate your comments.

Post comments and questions for Warrior below or email them to To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun P. Attwood

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Charles Beasley

Sadly a another great one has passed on. I must have danced to his band at least 2 dozen times over the years.

Enjoy playing with Benny, Arty, Duke, the Count, and Jack, Charlie.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Health Insurance Industry's Profits

OK, one more time for the cheap seats;


This isn't an opinion. This isn't a suggestion. It's just an "inconvenient truth" (that actually happens to be true) that leftists just plain refuse to verify or confirm.
Here is United Healthcare's income statement from their latest annual report.

If you compare the revenues to profits, you'll see they have roughly a 4% profit margin. A COUPLE billion in profits. Not the hundreds of billions Obama says they have, let alone the trillions he plans on spending.

"Yeah, well those greedy insurance executives are hoarding all the money paying it out to themselves!!! That's why their profits are so low!"



Because, frankly, I've yet to meet a liberal, the president included, that has had the intellectual honesty to look it up first.

Look, at that. Under $1 billion in executive compensation AND THAT'S ASSUMING HEMSLEY CASHING IN ALL OF HIS OPTIONS RIGHT NOW.

If you don't believe me, just look it up here.

The ignorance of the average American is disgusting and I will be happy to watch all the idiots that were taken in by this group of charlatans ask 20 years from now why GDP per capita is down to $20,000 in the US.

Bitter Melon

I did a lot of research on this a while back and believe it may be the answer for some folks.

Friday, March 19, 2010

A calorie is a calorie!

Is a calorie a calorie?
Andrea C Buchholz and Dale A Schoeller
Wanted to post this here for my own organization.  This review looks at the results of various studies comparing high protein (OK, OK, yeah Atkins is high fat not high protein ...) low carb diets to low fat.  Their ultimate conclusion is, basically, yes.
Given the Eades/Colpo dust-up over at their respective blog/sites, this whole thing has come up again.  I think it's important to remember that food calories are a measure of metabolizable energy.  The 4/4/9 P/C/F numbers are averages that were determined for mixed meals.  But this should be accountable for in excretory products, because not only do we have thermodynamic laws, there's ultimately a conservation of mass issue.  Changing the proportions of macronutrients doesn't change the way(s) they are metabolized, though in the case of protein its use is changed.  A fatty acid that goes into the fatty acid spiral will produce the same amount of ATP whether or not carbs are around.  If it didn't, then there would be some FA fragment floating around that has to go somewhere.  The only macronutrient that seems to change in the presence or absence of carbs is protein.  Protein is thermogenic.
If a metabolic advantage exists, it would show up consistently, and increase with time.  As pointed out in this study, most of the extra weight loss at 12 weeks was already accomplished at 6 weeks (and could be attributable to water weight).  Furthermore, the Atkins trajectory for weight loss in one famous comparison study, "The  A to Z Weight Loss Study" is in the opposite direction from 6-to-12 months.  See below (click to enlarge)

I'm not sure if this is statistically significant, but if you look at Atkins vs. Learn, most of the difference is in the 1st two months and after 12 months, the difference is not much more than it was at 2 mo.  Further, if there's a significant advantage at 2 months, one should see that difference in loss triple for 6 months, and be 6X as great at 12.  This clearly doesn't happen. 

In most studies, it is degree of compliance to any plan that correlates best with weight loss.  It just so happens that LC's less structured plan and appetite suppression of protein assists greatly in this endeavor.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Was our ancestral diet REALLY VLC and high fat?

Awareness of the ancestral human diet might advance traditional nutrition science. The human genome has hardly changed since the emergence of behaviourally-modern humans in East Africa 100–50 · 103 years ago; genetically, man remains adapted for the foods consumed then. The best available estimates suggest that those ancestors obtained about 35% of their dietary energy from fats, 35% from carbohydrates and 30% from protein. Saturated fats contributed approximately 7.5% total energy and harmful trans-fatty acids contributed negligible amounts. Polyunsaturated fat intake was high, with n-6:n-3 approaching 2:1 (v. 10:1 today). Cholesterol consumption was substantial, perhaps 480 mg/d. Carbohydrate came from uncultivated fruits and vegetables, approximately 50% energy intake as compared with the present level of 16% energy intake for Americans. High fruit and vegetable intake and minimal grain and dairy consumption made ancestral diets base-yielding, unlike today’s acid-producing pattern. Honey comprised 2–3% energy intake as compared with the 15% added sugars contribute currently. Fibre consumption was high, perhaps 100 g/d, but phytate content was minimal. Vitamin, mineral and (probably) phytochemical intake was typically 1.5 to eight times that of today except for that of Na, generally <1000 mg/d, i.e. much less than that of K. The field of nutrition science suffers from the absence of a unifying hypothesis on which to build a dietary strategy for prevention; there is no Kuhnian paradigm, which some researchers believe to be a prerequisite for progress in any scientific discipline. An understanding of human evolutionary experience and its relevance to contemporary nutritional requirements may address this critical deficiency.
A few things jump out at me:
  • The diet is roughly isocaloric for the macronutrients.
  • The dietary villain du jour --  fructose -- is well represented in fruits and honey.  Could that be why we actually have a specific enzyme for processing this nutrient? 
  • Fiber intake is huge!!
  • Fat intake is almost "low fat" levels.
I see no reason to discount the assertions in this article regarding tracing the modern human genome to Stone Age man living in NE Africa.   The meat eaters often point to the Inuit as "proof" of the ancestral value of high fat intake.   But I'm not an Inuit descendent, nor am I living in a super cold climate.  Also, those cold water fishes and seals have a fat content that in no way resembles the fat of today's farm animals -- even the grass fed variety.  

Many in the LC community point to Paleo diets to counter claims that meats are bad for us etc.  Fair and correct in general.  But many of those also consume a LOT of dairy fats -- something Paleo-Dude and Dudette had little or no access to.  IF they had access to dairy, it seems far more likely they would just drink it carbs and all.   Many also eat only the high fat cuts of meat (cooked with more fat).  Paleos ate the whole bird (including the shunned chicken breast), not just chicken wings. 

I'm not willing to give up my dairy entirely, but I take away from this to forgo the cheese over the nuts and strive to eat the whole of the whole foods.  That may not be possible, but to try to balance that prime rib with chicken breast and the like.
From Two Tonys (Letter 13)

Two Tonys - A whacker of men and Mafia associate serving multiple life sentences for murders and violent crimes. Left bodies from Tucson to Alaska, but claims all his victims "had it coming." Diagnosed with liver cancer, and is fighting to prolong his life.

Hey English Cuz,

What can I say? “I’m sorry” has to be getting old to you, so I won’t even go there. I’ve been getting your mail, books, plus good moral-support letters.

First, allow me to write you with congratulations on your good turn of events in your literary career. This is great. No one can say that you don’t deserve this. I personally observed your hours and days working in your cage of a cell while many around you were busy whacking their puds or spreading drama with a mix of hate and envy. You were busy hunched over at your little metal slab of a desk in a heat-infested cell working your bald head off, with your eyes on the prize and the spoils that come with it. Cocktail parties. Limos. European baronesses, countesses. Dare we even dream of the ultimate? Tea with Her majesty! Yes, we do dare to. This is how railroads, tunnels, Great Walls of China are built, with one man’s dream. Yes, my friend, dream on. Don’t let it die. I’ll bet on you every time your name’s on the card. “You go, Limey boy, you go.” Please keep me posted, and I’ll start to keep up on my writing. I was just down, bro. But I’ve got some real good news at this end for me to share with you and our blog readers.

As you might be aware, I was told in December 08, I had terminal cancer and given an estimate of 3-6 months to live. This was done by a civilian oncologist who was 90 fuckin’ years old, and under an advisory position contract with the Department of Corrections. I was issued chemo, which I knew from my 9th grade education was a killer worse than cancer. Anyway, I quit the chemo, and I truly believe that’s why I’m still alive. This Dr. didn’t want me to quit, and told me if I did I had 90 days to live. Fuck it! I told him 90 days without that shit is better than a year on it. I quit, and I’m still standing. I went from 200 lbs to 140 lbs, but I’m feeling pretty good.

Now in over a year as his patient, I saw the guy once in person. That was at a hospital back in 08. The rest of my so-called exams were from a matchbox office on prison grounds staring into a 16” TV screen with a nurse next to me to poke where the good Dr. told her to. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for any help I get, and the truth is after my wicked past, any help is probably too much. But I’ll still take it. So now I’m on this morphine twice a day, and I stay pretty doped up. It’s a good pain fighter and seems to do the job (for now).

About 2 months ago, my Dr, the old man, along with St Mary’s Hospital had their contracts not renewed, and I got moved down here to Lewis Complex. You know the place we met, when I came out of the hole to a rock-star greeting, and you were mesmerized by my welcoming committee. Speaking of holes, I just got out of one. (But that’s another story. Later on I’ll write you about it.)

Getting back to the story I started. So now I have no oncologist, even though I didn’t really have one back then. The old Dr. was just pissing on my head, laddie, telling me it was drops from a soft summer rain. So I’m up here in Lewis, and early one morning they come and chain me up, put me in the back of a new Ford with two guards, and tell me I’m going to see a doctor. They drive me in style, radio playing, comfortable back seat, good scenery. I’m doing it. We pull up to a new building in Casa Grande about 100 miles from here. It’s a medical lab. 21st century, and it is modern. The 3 of us are shown a nice exam room, and after 10 minutes a real nice Asian Dr. comes and introduces himself to me, shakes my hand and examines me as best he could. Then he proceeds to explain to me that we’re all different. The old Dr. should never have told me that shit at any rate. He ordered all new blood work. Cat scans. Etc. He explained that they were now under contract with D.O.C, and he’s my oncologist. This is great. He explained that after my new tests are compete, him and the surgeons discuss the results, and they may do a treatment called T.A.C.E. It stands for Transcatheter Arterial Chemoembolization. They run a tube up through my thigh to my liver, pump chemo, then take the tube out. Bingo, lots of bad cancer cells die and perhaps I live a little longer. Time will tell. I’ll be sure to keep you posted. I’m so excited.

Love to you and your family and all good blokes and birds across the seas.

Two Tonys

Click here to read Letter 12.

Two Tonys is dying, and really appreciates your comments.

Post comments below or email them to To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

If you would like to send Two Tonys a book or a magazine subscription, then please email me for instructions on mailing literature to the prison.

Shaun P. Attwood

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Some Short Observations About Liberal Talk Radio

Well I was going to go to my favorite Irish bar and do taxes, but I forgot that today is St. Patrick's Day and there was no way I was going to get any work done, so allow me this short post.

I can't listen to right wing talk radio any more because

1. I can finish their sentences.
2. I already know everything they're going to say.
3. It's really depressing.

So, for the past month I've been listening to Air America (which I thought was going bankrupt, but apparently they are still on the air). It's really had to listen before you turn it off or change the station, but after a month, I've come up with some observations about liberal talk radio that are not biased, but just simple observations.

1. They are reactionary to right wing talk radio.

I would say the most prominent thing you notice about liberal talk radio is how about 35% of their show is responding to right wing talk radio. You can't listen for more than 4 minutes before you hear "Glenn Beck" or "Rush Limbaugh" of course referred to in the pejorative. It shows me that their entire existence was founded in countering right-wing talk radio. The problem is this doesn't really pioneer any new lines of thought. It's just them bashing on right wing radio. Not once have I heard Rush or Glenn or Sean utter, "Nick Schultz" or "Mark Malloy." Ergo, right wing talk radio is established unto itself, while left wing talk radio is merely reactionary. There was no real ideological reason for it except to debunk or besmirch right wing talk radio. It's almost like a shell corporation, no real purpose to it.

2. No "Linking" "Domino" or "Cause and Effect" Thinking

To varying degrees all right wing talk show hosts carry through their lines of thought to a logical conclusion or result. Dennis Prager in particular is good at this, but regardless, ALL right wing talk show hosts do a "Cause and effect" analysis of policy, statements, economics, etc. Their left wing counterparts do NONE of this. And it's frustrating because half the reason I started listening was to understand the rationale or reasoning behind the socialist ideology. But since there is no explanation or linking all you get is talking points or stances. For example their arguments are really no more complex than "Oh, those partisan Republicans are trying stop health care because they're rich." No consideration is given to maybe the procedure or the constitution or the real reason "why" Republicans (as well as some democrats) are against the health care bill. It's just "they're rich, they're in bed with the insurance industry" and that is as deep as they get. In other words, even though the hosts are well into their 50's, it's no deeper than having a conversation with a 20 year old theater major.

3. Hate speech

This was the most shocking one of all. Mark Malloy, if you haven't listened to him, puts to rest the notion the right wing of politics in America is the source of hate. He has threatened to kick Glenn Beck's ass more than once, you can't go 10 minutes with out him calling the Republican's nazis and cursing up a storm (amazing the FCC doesn't shut him down) and wishing them essentially death. You think I'm joking? Listen in yourself.

At least when Rush or Glenn or even myself was broadcasting, our ideas were for the overall good of the nation. Balancing the budget, getting the economy going, fighting terrorism, stopping illegal immigration. But this guy just abandons any intellectual honesty and views all conservatives and republicans as nazis no matter what you say or do. You are the enemy to him and forget being Americans, you need to be taken out of the gene pool.

4. Presumption of Premises

When callers call in, there is a whole host of premises and assumptions leftists make that they just take for granted. For example George Bush is to blame for everything. Economy, war on terror, the terrorist attacks themselves. There's no discussion of it. It's just a given Bush caused this all when an intellectually honest person would maybe suggest 100 million Americans spending more than they made was the cause of the recession.

But Bush aside, simple childlike assumptions are the bedrock of their ideology. "Rich people need to be punished." The insurance companies are out to get you. Mark Malloy even cited that some CEO at one of the largest insurance companies in the US made something like $37 million over the past 3 years. Well....yeah, that's about right. By the same logic he should LOATHE professional sports, which he might, but you never hear about it. The overall point is that you can't listen to any intellectual discussion, not matter how intelligent or insightful the people are on liberal talk radio, because they're operating from false premises and thus the entire conversation is worthless.

5. Absolute Ignorance, Pushing Cluelessness, About Economics

Perhaps what gets me to turn to another station so quickly is when I hear them spout off some statistic I know to be completely wrong or just statistically impossible. They have no clue just how much spending Barack Obama has committed the US to, but it's not that they care, they literally think there's $100 trillion in GDP to tax. If you ask them, EVEN THE RADIO SHOW HOSTS, how big the government budget is relative to GDP, or just how much in GDP we produce, I don't think they could answer correctly.

Worse still is the borderline indifference about what the economic ramifications are to implementing higher taxes, higher spending, nationalization of industries, etc. They don't seem to understand that the government gets its money from the private sector. They don't seem to realize that the government needs the private sector and not vice versa. The impression I am LITERALLY getting from them is they think the "economy" is this big, amorphous blog including the government and basically, "stuff comes from it." No concept of taxation, no concept of the Laffer Curve, no concept of income statements or balance sheets. Just, "there's the economy and we get money from it and rich people control it and they suck."

In any case, if you have the time I DO recommend tuning into liberal talk radio and I would love to hear your observations. I just can't listen for more than 10 minutes at a time because it's like listening to 10 year olds trying to explain why they don't like having to work. You don't learn anything and it gets repetitive.

Protein & Satiety I

A few studies and such on protein and satiety:

Weight, Protein, Fat, and Timing of Preloads Affect Food Intake
Two foods, one rich in protein (HP) and one rich in fat (HF), were employed to evaluate the effect of macronutrients on food intake and to underline the differences that occurred when the foods were served as uniform meal, as first course of a varied meal, and as a snack 2 h before a varied meal. Our results showed that HP food always exerted a higher effect on both intrameal satiation and postingestive satiety than HF food. When a uniform meal was consumed, satiation for the specific food was reached before fullness; in this condition, sensory characteristics of foods played an important role in controlling food intake and made the uniform meal more satiating than the varied one. The consumption of a snack far from a meal did not contribute to satiety; consequently, gastric filling seems to be an important factor determining the amount consumed in a varied meal.
Add this to my list of articles I have to get a hold of the full text of. 

The influence of thermic effect of food on satiety.

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate energy expenditure after three isoenergetic meals of different nutrient composition and to establish the relationship between the thermic effect of food (TEF), subsequent energy intake from a test meal and satiety sensations related to consumption.

DESIGN: The study employed a repeated measures design. Ten subjects received, in a randomized order, three meals of 2331+/-36 kJ (557+/-9 kcal). About 68% of energy from protein in the high protein meal (HP), 69% from carbohydrate in the high carbohydrate meal (HC) and 70% from fat in the high fat meal (HF).

SETTING: The experiments were performed at the University of Milan. Subjects: Ten normal body-weight healthy women.

METHODS: Energy expenditure was measured by indirect calorimetric measurements, using an open-circuit ventilated-hood system; intake was assessed 7h later by weighing the food consumed from a test meal and satiety sensations were rated by means of a satiety rating questionnaire.

RESULTS: TEF was 261+/-59, 92+/-67 and 97+/-71 kJ over 7 h after the HP, HC and HF meals, respectively. The HP meal was the most thermogenic (P < 0.001) and it determined the highest sensation of fullness (P=0.002). There were no differences in the sensations and thermic effect between fat and carbohydrate meals. A significant relationship linked TEF to fullness sensation (r=0.41, P=0.025). Energy intake from the test meal was comparable after HP, HC and HF meals.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that TEF contributes to the satiating power of foods.
Breakfasts high in protein, fat or carbohydrate: effect on within-day appetite and energy balance.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the effect of isoenergetically-dense, high-protein (HP), high-fat (HF) or high-carbohydrate (HC) breakfasts (at 08.30) on subjective hunger, fullness and appetite (measured hourly on a 100 mm visual analogue scale), macronutrient balance and ad libitum energy intake (EI), at a test meal (13.30) and throughout the rest of the day (until 23.00).

DESIGN: Six men each spent 24 h in a whole-body indirect calorimeter on three separate occasions during which they received breakfasts designed to match 75% of BMR and that comprised, on average 3.1 MJ of protein (HP), carbohydrate (HC) or fat (HF), respectively, the remainder being split between the other two macronutrients. Every item of the ad libitum diet comprised 13% protein, 40% fat and 47% carbohydrate by energy, with an energy density of 550 kJ/100 g.

RESULTS: Subjectively-rated pleasantness did not differ between the breakfasts, or any of the subsequent ad libitum meals. Subjective hunger was significantly greater during the hours between breakfast and lunch after the HF (26) treatment relative to the HP (18) or HC (18 mm) meals (P < 0.001), although the HP treatment suppressed hunger to a greater extent than the other two treatments over 24 h. However, mean ad libitum lunch intakes were similar at 5.38, 5.30 and 5.18 MJ (NS) on the HP, HC and HF treatments, respectively. After-lunch intakes were also very similar at 6.14, 6.18 and 5.83 MJ (NS). Mean 24-h energy expenditure amounted to 11.12, 11.14 and 10.93 MJ, respectively, producing energy balances of 5.71, 5.83 and 5.04 MJ (NS), respectively. The HP, HF and HC breakfasts led to enhanced P, F and C oxidation, respectively (P < 0.003).

CONCLUSIONS: Large HP, HC or HF breakfasts led to detectable changes in hunger that were not of sufficient magnitude to influence lunch-time intake 5 h later, or EI for the rest of the day. A single positive balance of each macronutrient can be buffered by oxidation and storage capacity, without leading to changes in meal-to-meal EI, when subjects feed ad libitum on unfamiliar diets of fixed composition.
Interesting indeed.  Hunger INCREASED after HF vs. HC or HP (the scores of which seem similar).  But not enough to influence intake.  Still, this flies in the face of the Low Carbventional Wisdom.


Lipotoxicity: When tissues overeat

Recent findings
Excess lipid accumulation in non-adipose tissues may arise in the setting of high plasma free fatty acids or triglycerides.  Alternatively, lipid overload results from mismatch between free fatty acid import and utilization. Evidence from human studies and animal models suggests that lipid accumulation in the heart, skeletal muscle, pancreas, liver, and kidney play an important role in the pathogenesis of heart failure, obesity and diabetes.  Excess free fatty acids may impair normal cell signaling, causing cellular dysfunction. In some circumstances, excess free fatty acids induce apoptotic cell death.
Having stumbled across some disturbing information on elevated free fatty acids, I went back and dug up this review paper I had found a while back. 

IF the low carb gurus are correct -- and LC essentially makes MORE NEFA/FFA's available in circulation -- then I do worry about the long term benefits of LC. Fats in circulation can be as triglycerides or NEFA/FFA's but for some reason NEFA/FFA's aren't measured often (or at least paid attention to). In this regard, I don't want to be lulled into a false sense of security by low trigs.

Circulating NEFA/FFA's are to dietary fats what blood glucose, BG is to dietary carbs.  We have receptors to sense this nutrient level just as we have receptors to sense BG levels.  Elevated NEFA/FFA is as much a symptom of diabetes as are elevated BG levels -- perhaps moreso for Type 2's?
High plasma FFA and triglyceride levels lead to increased import of FFAs into non-adipose tissues, contributing to intracellular lipid accumulation.
As much as we all hate fat, adipocytes are where we're supposed to store fats.  I wonder sometimes if the reason I weigh so much more than I look like I do is because I'm storing fat in my muscle where perhaps it doesn't show up so much volume-wise.

Intracellular FFAs or their metabolites activate a serine/threonine kinase cascade that ultimately results in reduced insulin receptor substrate-1 tyrosine phosphorylation, reduced insulin receptor substrate-1-associated phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase activity and failure to promote translocation of the GLUT4 glucose transporter to the plasma membrane in response to insulin stimulation.
This gets all complicated, but basically this again demonstrates how elevated NEFA/FFA induces insulin resistance.  There are some in the LC community who hail this development.  The theory is IR is good because this directs glucose to the brain and our skeletal muscle is happy to thrive on ß-oxidation of fatty acids.  So the following questions to ponder arise:

  • What does this do for those who have a few carbs here and there ... as most of the LC community does (whether on plan or off) from time to time?

  • Is zero carb 24/7/365 dangerous or the only truly safe version of LC??

  • If LC manages one nutrient level that is elevated in T2 diabetics (BG), but exacerbates the other (NEFA/FFA), is it really a healthier dietary management strategy?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"Hey, Is That an Iceberg?"

The iceberg we knew was coming for the past 40 years, but did nothing to change our course? Yeah, that one? Yeah, it's here.

But do not worry.

You want to know why?

Because Obama will fix it.

A 20 year old philosophy major from the suburbs told me so.

The New Atkins ~ Ketosis & The "Atkins Edge"

One of my "bad" issues with TNA is the whole issue of some magic carbohydrate level for weight loss. 

I had a big problem with this point which led me to go off Atkins "big time" the prior two times I tried it (for extended periods and with much success at the time, I might add).

I'm a firm believer that for a goodly portion of adults, it is dieting and a diet mentality that has contributed to becoming overweight/obese.  If you're not following all the rules, then why bother ... right?  Or you've been good so what's one restaurant or take-out meal going to do -- forget that many of those meals, especially if you add a cocktail, can tally up to 3000 cals in one pop!

At least with CRD's, if you eat maintenance level calories one day, you just put off one or two sevenths of a lb weight loss for a day or so.   Of course plenty of folks on CRD's will continue to eat the entire pkg of cookies or whatever the forbidden goodie is, but the successful ones aren't always purists -- rather they accept the occasional indulgence and move on.

With LC plans, somehow 10g extra carbs is going to set you back days, weeks even?  It sounds so cool, almost, that we have some magical CCL for losing and an ACE for maintining.  All I have to do is find that number, stay at or under it, and voila!  But woe is me if I have a bite of mashed potatoes and exceed it.  

C'mon.  Does that REALLY make any sense?  It defies all earthly laws to gain a pound of body mass without consuming at least a pound of food -- and that would have to be a pound in excess of basic needs.  So any temporary setback on an LC diet is likely mostly water.  Now folks with water balance issues, and especially the rather overweight, can fluctuate by as many as 10 or more lbs just from water.  In my experience, I fluctuate ±3lbs about what I consider to be my true weight ... sometimes even when VLC'ing.  If I've gone from totally glycogen depleted to filling the stores, I can easily gain 5 lbs overnight (as I did on a recent vacation), but since that water weight is w/in my muscle cells distributed about my body, my clothing fits just about the same.  Bottom line, I don't sweat these pounds.  It may take some people longer to reverse the water weight pendulum, but they haven't gained energy-storage weight (outside the glycogen).

So anyway, in the original Atkins, Dr. A was clearly referring to a threshold to stay in ketosis with his CCL for weight loss.  On pg. 94 (paperback version, Sept. 1973 printing, ©1972 Bantam), The Diet Revolution Calorie Theory is stated:  Calories in equals calories used plus calories excreted unused.

Now Westman know full well that excess ketones don't add up to a whole lot of wasted calories.  These three are among the authors of a Review article entitled Low Carbohydrate Nutrition and Metabolism ... rather ironically funded by the Atkins Center but not referenced in TNA.  (Whassup wid dat??)
Two longer-term studies, in persons without diabetes, that measured fasting blood -hydroxybutyrate concentrations over 10 wk found that, whereas the concentrations increased over the first 2–4 wk, they then decreased and, after 10–12 wk, remained only slightly higher than those of dieters following other diets (21, 23).
In the article, they basically identify ~50g as the carb threshold for an LCKD.  In the book they refer to ketogenic diets several times (for treatment of epilepsy mostly and diabetes in one instance).  And yet mysteriously missing is any mention in determining CCL (only seeing if you lose weight).  I find this quite odd.

In the article the "low carb metabolism" is described for LCKD:  70% fatty acids (dietary and lipolysis of adipose tissue), 20% ketones ( dietary fat & protein and lipolysis and ketogenesis of adipose tissue), 10% glucose (gluconeogenesis, glycogenolysis).  If this isn't the "Atkins Edge", then they acknowledge that above 50g there's no significant switch to this alternate metabolism. 

As early as 1980, LaRosa found that subjects following an LCD do not necessarily replace the carbohydrate with either protein or fat, but that they, rather, reduce starch and sugar intake (9). Under such conditions, even though the absolute amounts of fat and protein do not increase, the percentage of fat and protein will increase. Recent research reviewed below has determined that the reduction in calorie intake is a result of appetite and hunger reduction. In this way, LCDs are also low-calorie diets that include an increase in the percentage of calories from fat and protein but not necessarily an increase in absolute amounts of fat and protein.

It seems to me that a more honest presentation and justification for CCL and ACE would be the above.  There does appear to be a spontaneous decrease in caloric intake associated with minimizing carbs.  I think that at least in part is due to the number of calorie dense carby/fatty foods (all those pastries, pizza, french fries and the like) one has to limit.  But given that adaptation to ketosis on LC is well-known (and Atkins isn't even close to the ketogenic diet used to treat epilepsy!), their description of the "Atkins Edge" seems disingenuous at best.  

These authors ignore their own (Atkins funded) writings to re-invent the same old wheel.  I would have loved for them to acknowledge that -- gasp!! -- Atkins was right on the health and weight loss aspects of his diet, but wrong on the calorie theory.

I don't see what's NOT exciting about spontaneously reducing intake without going hungry and possibly with a whole lot less discipline (it can be far easier to count carbs once you get the hang of it).  Wish they had done this.  It would have been a far more fitting tribute to Dr. Atkins.

Ah, Reminds Me of the Olden Days

The education bubble continues.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Clean That Up (The Early Years Part 1 by Polish Avenger)

Polish Avenger – A software-engineering undergraduate sentenced to 25 years because his friend was shot dead during a burglary they were committing. In Arizona, if a burglar gets killed, the accomplices can get 25-year sentences.

The year was 1994. The place was the dreaded gulag known as Cell Block Eight a.k.a. Special Management Unit I a.k.a. SMU a.k.a. Supermax Lockdown. The worst of the worst. The hole of holes. At the time, it was the highest security joint in the entire State of Arizona. And I, your humble Polish Avenger, was sent there directly from the county jail. Not for being a badass, but due to the felony murder charge. Despite my criminal misbehaviours, I’ve never really been a “tough guy.” Nevertheless, I was to begin my 25-year sentence in a baptism of fire.

Actually, it wasn’t all that melodramatic. Sure, there were a few close calls and dangerous moments (to be chronicled in future posts), but for the most part it was 100% what those places are supposed to be: sensory deprivation and solitary confinement. L-O-N-G days! Enough to drive a fellow stark raving bonkers with boredom at times.

So you can imagine how happy I was one day (about 6 months into my stay) when they came and told me, “Get ready to work.” Hell yeah! Out of 60 people in my section, only 5 of us were nominated. Ah me, what an honor, I thought, nearly skipping with glee down to the work area to be issued equipment.

The first shadow of apprehension clouded my delight when the equipment turned out to be a paper hazmat suit, three pairs of latex gloves, a spray bottle of bleach, and several scour pads. The rest of the happy vanished when they led me to one of the infamous holding cells, popped open the door, and told me, “Clean that up.”

We must take a moment here to digress upon the holding cell. The ones at SMU are a particularly unpleasant place to find yourself. Granted, it is deliberately so. In a supermax prison, when you get unruly, and need a “time out,” you go to a holding cell. For up to three days. It has a concrete slab to lay on. It has a steel sink and toilet that the guards can cut the water should you try to flood the room. It has a 12-foot ceiling, so you can’t tamper with the 24-hour lights. It has a little window in the door. It has a trap-door slot, also in the door. And that’s all.

We’ll meet these holding cells again in posts to come.

The one we’re talking about for the moment had just been the living area of one of those unruly, misbehaved malcontents. For three days. And whoever this person was, apparently he’d decided to channel his anger and malcontentedness into trying to cover every single square inch of the place in feces. Literally. There was poo on the floor. There were big pooey handprints all over the walls. There was flung poo stuck to the 12-foot ceiling. There was poo all over the window. About the only poo-free spot was the toilet. Go figure.

At the time, this was the most poo I’d ever seen. Outside of the zoo.

And yes, my new job was to clean that up. All of it. By hand.

And I did! As you might imagine, it did not smell like roses! I also discovered a rather interesting physical property of human excrement, one that I had been blissfully ignorant of up until then. That stuff is like concrete! If you squish it into a cavity, like the holes in cinderblock, and then let it dry, it’ll harden up and become nearly impossible to dislodge. Later on we had decent results using a high-power pressure washer to blast it out. Unfortunately, that also tended to atomize it into easily inhaled particulates.

Back to the story! It took me several hours, almost all the bleach, and a strong stomach, but finally the cell was fit for the next occupant. A sergeant inspected it, gave me a gruff “Good job,” and told me to be ready again for work tomorrow. I was officially a Biohazard Porter for the princely sum of 5 cents an hour. After deductions, I netted 2.5 cents. With hard work and savings, some day I’d be able to buy that bag of chips I’d always dreamed of.

My prison career had begun.

Click here for Polish Avenger’s previous blog.

Coming soon: Two Tonys’ latest letter.

Our friends inside appreciate your comments.

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Shaun P. Attwood