Friday, June 28, 2013

Laura Dolson on the recent meeting of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians

*** Can you help a girl out?  Where is the traffic coming from?? Thanks! ***

In the past week, I've noticed a sustained trickle of traffic to this post of mine from over a year ago (original publish date 4/28/12) .  Therefore, rather than write another post on a somewhat older topic, I decided to bump this one and add some comments.   For most of this year I have been under attack for posts of this nature and all I can do to counter those is to point out that this post is not a personal attack.  What I've written is as respectful as can be when the subject is someone who, were she promoting veganism or McDougall's diet would be vilified and likely destroyed in the LC community.   Yet I haven't done so even though I believe Laura Dolson is deserved of some criticism for not telling the full story here.

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

The BE&HM Series ~ Part VIII: Electron "Ownership" & Non-Reversible Oxidation

Previous posts in this series: Biophysical Electrochemistry and Human Metabolism, Part II: Atoms & The Periodic Table, Part III: The Main Group Elements, The Octet Rule and Ions, Part IV: Ionic Compounds, Elements & Oxidation State Defined, Part V: Covalent Bonding & Molecules, Part VI: Electron "Ownership" & Polarity, Part VII:  Chemical Reactions

In a lot of the discussions of mitochondria and the various metabolic pathways in general, the term "redox" gets thrown around a lot.  Redox is a contraction of the terms reduction and oxidation.  This generally applies to reversible reactions where one species is oxidized and the other reduced, but it actually applies to all reactions wherein electrons are "transferred" from one element to another.  Where I'm going here (and I don't know when I'll get there, but I will)  is to discuss redox couples and basically how we are electrochemical machines where one chemical reaction is coupled with another -- the energy released from  the favorable reaction drives the otherwise unfavorable chemical reaction to which it is coupled.
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Protein Metabolism

This one I'm bumping for myself, but perhaps some folks might find it interesting.  The red bolding is new.

Original Publication:  4/17/10

Looking for some info on protein, I came across this link:

The page focuses on changes in dietary requirements and/or the impact on the body of malnutrition, disease and stress, but I found this site through the following graphic on protein metabolism:

Something in the numbers doesn't add up here, but I was surprised to see how much protein is "recycled" in our guts.  Perhaps the total protein synthesis is balanced by catabolism/turnover and that is the missing number?  Not sure.  Here is the quoted text referring to this diagram (my apologies for the messed up formatting).  
Protein in the body is not static; protein synthesis and breakdown is constantly taking place. However, the total body protein pool in a healthy adult is constant. Synthesis of protein from endogenous and exogenous amino acids is equal to degradation and external losses. Some proteins have a long lifetime, such as muscle protein and plasma albumin, while others have a high turnover rate. Muscle protein constitutes up to approximately 50% of total body protein, but contributes only approximately 30% of the protein turnover in the body, because in visceral and other organs, protein turnover rates are several times higher than in muscle tissue. 
Protein metabolism is dependent on a vast number of endogenous mediators. These mediators define the balance between anabolic and catabolic processes. Insulin is the major anabolic hormone and also has an important role in amino acid and protein homeostasis. During injury and stress two major alterations in insulin are noted: a catecholamine-mediated suppression of insulin release and an insulin resistance, leading to a release of skeletal muscle amino acid for gluconeogenesis and, at the same time, a decreased utilisation of glucose by insulin-dependent tissues. This mechanism provides glucose to the insulin-dependent tissues that are important for survival and the healing of injury, such as the central nervous system (CNS), immune system and red blood cells. Other hormones, like glucagon and the catecholamines, control or counteract the effects of insulin and are more or less proteolytic; the exact role of catecholamines is still under discussion, however.
In order to define protein requirements, an overview of protein metabolism is necessary. By determining the renewal of proteins susceptible to measurement, such as plasma, muscle and digestive secretion proteins, it has been possible to estimate the daily turnover in proteins. Considerable recycling of endogenous amino acids seems to occur, the quantity amounting to twice the daily intake.   Hence, normal protein metabolism incorporates about 100 g of dietary amino acids and over 200 g of endogenous amino acids daily. Allowance must therefore be made for increased losses of endogenous proteins when assessing patients´ protein intake. 
So fully 2/3rds of our daily protein metabolism comes from proteins in our body -- the amino acid pool in our cells and/or breakdown of tissues.  Another factoid:  Structural proteins have about a 6 month half life, while hormones/peptides/etc. can have half-lives of a matter of minutes.  However hormones etc. constitute a very small amount of protein weight wise.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Low Carb Diet Meal Delusion

Fat Head had a post up yesterday.  In it he has the picture of the dining cart scene from Silver Streak (loved that movie!)  

The gist, grandma (and his high school wresting coach) knew it was carbs that were fattening and the diet plates were LC.  I would point out that wrestlers employing various dietary schemes to make weight for competition are probably not a good advertising point for any diet.  Meeting a number on the scale, or in the case of body builders looking ripped for competitions, is not necessarily equivalent to consuming a healthful diet (especially for the long term).  Wrestlers are prevalent among the growing numbers of men with eating disorders.

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Eating less .....

Japanese style.  I just had two quotes/sayings to share today.  The first is one you may be familiar with:
Hara hachi bu:  (腹八分), or hara hachi bunme (and sometimes misspelled hari hachi bu), is a Confucian teaching that instructs people to eat until they are 80 percent full.  Roughly, in English the Japanese phrase translates to, "Eat until you are eight parts (out of ten) full", or "belly 80 percent full".
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Monday, June 24, 2013

The Ache now?

Robb Wolf has another post up complaining about paleo bashing.  This time it is about this article in Scientific American:  How to Really Eat Like a Hunter-Gatherer: Why the Paleo Diet Is Half-Baked.  Such articles are written because:
People, particularly folks in the academic scene, seem to really have their britches bunched over biochemists, MD’s and others using this evolutionary biology concept to look at nutrition and health.
Yeah that's it.  The article begins with:
paleo diet, hunter gatherer food.
image link
Meet Grok. According to his online profile, he is a tall, lean, ripped and agile 30-year-old. By every measure, Grok is in superb health: low blood pressure; no inflammation; ideal levels of insulin, glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides. He and his family eat really healthy, too. They gather wild seeds, grasses, and nuts; seasonal vegetables; roots and berries. They hunt and fish their own meat. Between foraging, building sturdy shelters from natural materials, collecting firewood and fending off dangerous predators far larger than himself, Grok's life is strenuous, perilous and physically demanding. Yet, somehow, he is a stress-free dude who always manages to get enough sleep and finds the time to enjoy moments of tranquility beside gurgling creeks. He is perfectly suited to his environment in every way. He is totally Zen.
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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Fast or Feltham III

This will be the last of the post with this title, until perhaps sometime in September when Sam Feltham plans to do another publicity stunt the oh so insightful will fawn over and promote as science and whatnot.  However, the post title is a play on "Feast or Famine" and intended to highlight the great disparity between the claims about calories in the "alternate" community and the actual practices engaged in by long time converts to the "opposite of everything we've ever been taught about nutrition" folks.    See: Fast or Feltham and Fast or Feltham II.
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Battle of the Obesity Experts!

Sam Feltham and Zoe Harcombe "battle it out" over 5-a-Day!


I've now asked him how he was eating in 2010.  He's already, in another tweet, said he was lifting 2X/day back then for a competition in Men's Health.  Due to time constraints he only lifts 12 min/week now.  

Monday, June 17, 2013

That 5000 Calorie Jokesperiment

Note:  I started this article with the intent of it being a single stand-alone before Smash the Fat's Sam Feltham had done his final summary of his overeating stunt.  Since then, however, he has written said summary and I've written two posts discussing this disconnect between the you-can-eat-all-the-calories claims and the current uber-restrictive low carb plans many long time low carbers are actually following themselves.  See:  Fast or Feltham and Fast or Feltham II

Apologies in Advance:  I wrote this with updates/edits over several days and with "new information" coming in the interim.  It could probably use a good bit of editing and crunching down, but as this is just a blog, I'm going to publish it up w/o wasting time on that.  Please forgive the length, repetitiveness, etc.  Thanks!

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Must See "TV" for those suffering from CDS

BUMP!  Original posting:  1/24/11

CDS = Calorie Denial Syndrome

BBC Story about Low Carb Dieting - Part 1
BBC Story about Low Carb Dieting - Part 2
BBC Story about Low Carb Dieting - Part 3
BBC Story about Low Carb Dieting - Part 4
BBC Story about Low Carb Dieting - Part 5

(HatTip to Wolfstriked for linking to this in comments.)

Just a few thoughts on this aside from the content so that my opinions will not cloud your listening of the presentation:

I found it interesting that they showed both Westman and Foster exercising (running and playing basketball) in their intros in the piece.  Indeed they are interviewed in their gym clothes!  Then there's Dr. Mary Vernon horseback riding.  Did we need so many closeup chewing scenes?  And, lastly, was the full rear (albeit blurred) Sipowitz moment in the shower, actually that rather lengthy soaping/showering scene, really necessary as a backdrop to the discussion of ketosis?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Fast or Feltham II

Busy weekend here!  I'm working on a couple of posts, one of which is a closer look at the 5000 calorie/day stunt by Sam Feltham as that provides a context in which to discuss some common CICO strawmen.  But a comment came across the feed reader yesterday that caught my eye with a few more thoughts in the vein of my first Fast or Feltham post. 

I'm not going to say much more about Feltham here except to say that his experiment was basically "nuts".  The majority of his calories (53%) were from walnuts, pecans and almonds, to the tune of a pound a day, containing more than the entire claimed caloric surplus, and almost the full claimed surplus in nut fat calories.  This was a stunt that demonstrated nothing other than that Feltham likely doesn't digest nuts well, and is using this to promote a rip-off of Jonathan Bailor's clogged sink scam.  But stunts like this bring the calorie deniers out of the woodwork as various folks will be like "did you see this?" and link to various other overeating stunts of years gone by.  LCHF is being sold, still, as a diet where calories don't matter, "overeating" is inane, and you can eat thousands of calories more and not gain weight.  
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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Fast or Feltham ...

The title of this post is a play on "feast or famine".   One of the things about blogging, for me anyway, is that over time you accumulate a draft bin full of posts that never get published.  Some of these are on studies I never got the chance to fully flesh out, others are on the "goings on" during a particular time that never seemed appropriate to hit Publish on by the time they were ready.  They are the closest thing I have to a diary and it can often be interesting to read back through the draft bin.  

It is hard to believe that I've been blogging over three years now, and involved in this community for more than another year longer than that.  Barely a blink of an eye compared to some but my how times have changed.  This time four years ago Mark Sisson published Primal Blueprint and Jimmy Moore weighed around 245 lbs after getting down to the mid 230's earlier in the year.  Nobody would have known about or considered eating nothing but eggs for weeks on end ... they would have to wait almost a year and 35 more pounds for that stunt.  This was the hay day of CarbSmart and other companies selling all manner of LC fair from Dreamfields to Julian Bakery to Chocoperfection and more!  
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Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Heritage of Corpulence

OBESITY is a disorder which, like venereal disease, is blamed upon the patient. The finding that treatment doesn’t work is ascribed to lack of fortitude. Corpulence in America is regarded along with narcotic addiction as something wicked, and I shall not be surprised if soon we have a prohibition against it in the name of national security. The condition is referred to in disparaging terms, including the most impolite references to the appetite. Appetite is held to be the cause, but I say it is hunger. I wish to propose that obesity is an inherited disorder and due to a genetically determined defect in an enzyme; in other words, that people who are fat are born fat, and nothing much can be done about it. I would like further to propose that the more serious of the consequences of being fat are not due to the corpulence but to the inherited defects; if this be so and we like food, we might as well eat up and be happy.
Astwood, 1962  

Adding:  A free double Cherry Pickin' Martini for anyone who can get me the full text of this.  Carbsane at gmail dot com.  Thanks in advance!

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Myth of Starving Cells II and NEFA Levels Again.

UPDATE (and a tiny bump for feed subscribers):  I noticed a bit of traffic to a prior related post, so I'm just linking to that one here as well:  Insulin Doing Its Thang! And Still No Starving Cells.  It discusses another study by Keith Frayn that shows increased NEFA uptake into the muscle cells of men with hyperinsulinemia.  It may be worth a read for newer readers along with The Myth of Starving Cells.

Original Content:

A little sidetrack here, but I came across an article the other day. I just had to blog on it before I forgot!  

A little background as well -- A couple of years ago I wrote:  The Myth of Starving Cells.  As the story goes, as related by science journalist Gary Taubes, to Low Carb Diet Doctor Mike Eades, to Fat Head Naughton, insulin traps our fat in our fat cells, causing "internal starvation" as the rest of our cells go without, triggering hunger and overeating.   We overeat because we are getting fat, or some nonsense like that.   In the post, I discussed studies demonstrating the opposite is true.  In obesity, there is failure to properly suppress NEFA release from fat cells, NEFA are elevated in the fasted state, and irrespective of absolute concentration, NEFA delivery to cells is higher.  The last point leading to accumulation of fat within ectopic cells, such as muscle cells (called intramyocellular triglyceride or lipid, IMTG, IMCT or IMCL).  The cells have plenty of fat fuel to burn ... indeed this is a problem!

So I was looking for a  link to that Ebbeling study the other day -- this one: Effects of Dietary Composition on Energy Expenditure During Weight-Loss Maintenance.  In the study, a group of obese people were put on a relatively high protein (25%), relatively low fat (30%) and moderate carb (45%) diet and lost between 10 and 15% of their initial body weight.  After which they were weight stabilized and then fed one of three maintenance diets for 4 weeks in randomized cross-over fashion.  These diets were P/F/C:  low fat = 20/20/60 , low GI = 20/40/40, and low carb = 30/60/10.  
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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Why Fructose is NOT Like Alcohol

Where did this come from?

Beginning with his viral YouTube video (I won't link to it, every additional view is one view too many!), and continuing on, Dr. Robert Lustig has been making the claim that fructose is metabolized like alcohol by the liver.  You cannot make your misinformation more clear than to title a section in your book as Lustig did in Fat Chance --  Fructose versus Ethanol:  Pick Your Poison.

Before Lustig, I don't think I'd ever heard anyone equate sugar to alcohol on a metabolic level.  A few may have made an addiction analogy, but it was Lustig who "taught" us the "science" that the liver processes sugar just like alcohol.

It is shocking to me that his video was produced and distributed by an institution of higher learning as a "Mini Medical School for the Public" presentation.  This implies to me that the content has been somewhat vetted.  Apparently it has not been, and also, nobody within that establishment has ever seen fit to correct the record?  Again, apparently not, as there is that Skinny on Obesity series out there repeating many of the previous errors.
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Monday, June 3, 2013

Announcement: Alan Aragon's Research Review Article

I'm proud to announce that I was asked to contribute an article to the April/May 2013 edition of Alan Aragon's Research Review.   

Type 2 Diabetes:  Insulin Resistance or Insulin Deficiency?

Yes, it's for subscribers only, so if you're not one already, there's no time like the present to sign up!  Alan Aragon's Research Review

{BTW, between working on the rather lengthy article and a print interview and suffering some devastating word processor crashes, I've been a bit more sparse than usual answering comments, etc.  Please don't take it personally if I didn't respond, I'm going to try to go back through the past week when I get a chance and check if I missed anything.}

GCBC Reference Check ~ Part VIII of ? ~ The Paleo Diet

Preface:  When I first read GCBC some time in 2009, I skimmed over the parts that were irrelevant to my issues with the book, which were on the basis of Taubes' misrepresentations of metabolism and obesity, etc.  In the intervening years I've gone back and read large chunks of it in more detail, but if I ever read the parts about the Paleolithic, I didn't take much note at the time because the names were not familiar to me.  

I've always found it odd how Taubes was described as paleo in some circles, his book is even cited on an infographic listing 10 years of paleo literature!  Aside from calling out refined carbs and sugar quite a bit, Taubes doesn't really make much of a deal about quality of foods, especially fats.  (Shhhhhh, don't tell the paleo peeps, but peanut oil is listed as an "especially healthy" oil in WWGF - Kindle Locations 3423-3424)
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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Another Great Quote

In reality, those who repudiate a theory that they had once proposed, or a theory that they had accepted enthusiastically and with which they had identified themselves, are very rare.   The great majority of them shut their ears so as not to hear the crying facts, and shut their eyes so as not to see the glaring facts, in order to remain faithful to their theories in spite of all and everything. 
Philosophy of Scientific Investigation, 1921

Taubes, Gary (2007-09-25). Good Calories, Bad Calories (Kindle Locations 1514-1518). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. 

Worthless Degree Awarness Month

I finally figured it out, and if you follow me on this, I think we might actually be able to do some good.

Today, I declare June to be "Worthless Degree Awareness Month."

It may sound funny, but it really is no laughing matter.  The single worst thing we do to our young kids is cripple them financially for the rest of their lives by telling them to waste 4-8 years of their youth and anywhere between $50,000-$150,000 on worthless degrees.  Economically, the education bubble is on par with the housing bubble, but this time it is within our own control to stop it.

Since most kids graduate from high school during early June, it's the perfect time to "raise awareness" (I always wanted to use that vile phrase for something that's actually good, legit and noble) about the threats and dangers of majoring in a worthless field.

All we have to do is get the word out there.

Got a blog?  Start linking and citing articles about worthless degrees.
Got a child or a family member?  Sit down and have a chat with them.
Got a PTA group you know?  Have someone come speak to them.
And as always if you don't know how to broach the subject with your children, buying them a copy of "Worthless" is definitely a diplomatic and caring way to tell them about the economic realities of choosing a good degree.