Monday, August 26, 2013

Will NuSI clear the bar?

Gary Taubes is out with a new article in Scientific American ... rehashing the same old same old, and essentially getting paid to write a press release for NuSI.  

What Makes You Fat: Too Many Calories, or the Wrong Carbohydrates?

Rigorously controlled studies may soon give us a definitive answer about what causes obesity—excessive calories or the wrong carbohydrates

We get the rehashing of how WWII stopped Bergmann and Bauer's Lipophilia Hypothesis from becoming the working hypothesis for obesity, and yet another primer on calories vs. carbohydrates.  We again are asked to ignore the obvious -- that Americans are definitely eating more, on average, with no concurrent need for those calories, and likely moving a bit less as well.   The obesity epidemic that supposedly was instigated by the low fat craze is blamed on the fact that much of our additional caloric load is in the form of carbohydrates.  This is not supported by one of Gary Taubes' own paradoxical cultures, the Pima, who did not eat a low carb diet prior to the 1900's, let alone billions of humans all over the globe.   Or .... despite the "modern paleo's" insistence, the paleolithic diet in the literature -- both cited for the basis of the diet and that used in clinical trials.  
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Friday, August 23, 2013

Aug. 22 Over the Hump Bump: Paleo Summit Flashback

I changed the title of this post entirely for obvious reasons.  

So, in T-minus 4 days the world will finally achieve Cholesterol Clarity!  Thanks to NYT Bestselling (hopeful is he) author Jimmy Moore.   The banner states that:

So I looked at the list of experts and recalled this post highlighting how one of them, Dr. Cate Shanahan, blamed carbs for being turned into LDL and then make us fat.  You can browser search to "Skip to here!" and skip the intro stuff.   You might also be interested in my notes from the full presentation, HERE.  I've also had a chance to see what she says about LDL in her book Deep Nutrition, a whole 'nother theory there, and her interview with Jimmy for the book was quite enlightening.  Beware the shaman lab tech and doctor trying to read your bloodwork tea leaves!  If you don't get hungry between meals you are a healthy fat burner ... don't worry, be happy.  
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Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Grand Carbohydrate-Cholesterol Switcheroo ~ Are We Repeating History?

In Deep Nutrition, one of the World's best health experts* Dr. Cate Shanahan writes this of cholesterol:
Genetic Experimentation—On You
You may have noticed the various cut-off levels over the years to identify people at “high risk” of a heart attack.  Years ago, if your total cholesterol was 300 or less, your doctor would have said you were fine. Soon, that number was lowered to 200.  Now people also watch their LDL, “safe” levels of which have been lowered from 200 to 160, to 130, to 100, and now 80.  Currently, the average person’s LDL level is still about what it’s always been, around 120–130. The controversial 2001 revision of the cholesterol guidelines means nearly half of the US population can now be labeled “high risk.”  And drug companies are raking it in.
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Monday, August 19, 2013

When Orthorexia Goes Bad


According to the National Eating Disorders Association  {all emphasis mine}
Those who have an “unhealthy obsession” with otherwise healthy eating may be suffering from “orthorexia nervosa,” a term which literally means “fixation on righteous eating.”   Orthorexia starts out as an innocent attempt to eat more healthfully, but orthorexics become fixated on food quality and purity.   They become consumed with what and how much to eat, and how to deal with “slip-ups.” An iron-clad will is needed to maintain this rigid eating style. Every day is a chance to eat right, be “good,” rise above others in dietary prowess, and self-punish if temptation wins (usually through stricter eating, fasts and exercise). Self-esteem becomes wrapped up in the purity of orthorexics’ diet and they sometimes feel superior to others, especially in regard to food intake.
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Sunday, August 18, 2013

80/20 IS Moderation Folks!

I'll have another followup post to the War on Moderation, but just some random thoughts in response to some of the reaction to the first one.   Most of the knee-jerk reactions come down to:
  • I can't eat X because I have Y-syndrome so I can't eat everything in moderation.
  • Oh you're just using this as an excuse to eat crap
  • OK so just go stuff yourself with SAD Cheetos and Twinkies.
On Facebook, the following caught my eye
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Friday, August 16, 2013

A note about comments ...

Last week, or so, there was an issue with a comment that had never shown in my moderation queue jumping back and forth.  It said awaiting moderation when I viewed the post here, then I saw it in Pending, then I'd approve it.  All was well then it jumped back.  Then I whitelisted the ID ... In the end I think it eventually "stuck" ... I think.

For most of the time I've been using Disqus, using the Disqus dashboard has been a mixed blessing.  While new comment notifications appear (sweet!) when I am reading comments on the blog, they do not appear "real time" on the dashboard (not so sweet!)    Therefore I'm left to have to refresh the dashboard from time to time.  Which is OK, but it does not alway refresh properly.

And then there's Feedly which I am using to replace my sorely missed Google Reader.  Perhaps it's time to look for other options there.  I don't like it all that much on its own, but its interaction with Disqus is rather spotty.  I won't see comments sometimes for like 12 hours!  Not good.

Which leaves me with email notifications or Blogger's dashboard.  I do try to check the email and I have notices pop-up, but I have enough clutter in the email as it is so I'd prefer not to go that route.  I used it for a while where you could moderate by email by replying "Approve" and all that.  Eh ... it's glitchy as well.

So I guess this is a long winded way of letting you know that managing Disqus comments has been frustrating to say the least of late and I've probably missed out on replying to more than a few.  Maybe Disqus expanded too quickly.  Maybe they'll work out the bugs.  I hope so, but Disqus has rendered the Blogger feed (preferable for the "latest comments" widget) useless from Anonymous spam.  I think I'll stick with Disqus as on the balance it is preferable to shutting down the doors when a bout of Razwell virus hits, and other plusses.  But it would be nice if it weren't so glitchy ...

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Bump: The Diabetes "Crash" Cure & Pancreatic Fat

Today's 8/15/13 bump was inspired by a comment by Tsimblist (thanks!) alerting me to this paper:  Type 2 Diabetes Etiology and reversibility
Reversal of type 2 diabetes to normal metabolic control by either bariatric surgery or hypocaloric diet allows for the time sequence of underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms to be observed. In reverse order, the same mechanisms are likely to determine the events leading to the onset of hyperglycemia and permit insight into the etiology of type 2 diabetes. Within 7 days of instituting a substantial negative calorie balance by either dietary intervention or bariatric surgery, fasting plasma glucose levels can normalize. This rapid change relates to a substantial fall in liver fat content and return of normal hepatic insulin sensitivity. Over 8 weeks, first phase and maximal rates of insulin secretion steadily return to normal, and this change is in step with steadily decreasing pancreatic fat content.
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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Alternative Medical Ethics?


1.  I want to make it clear up front that I am not making light of those who have health conditions for which they cannot find solutions, be it through the medical establishment or alternatives.  This post is not about that, except to highlight how unfortunately such circumstances can make people susceptible to being taken advantage of.

2.  I'm not saying mainstream medicine has all the answers or the only answers, and I'm not saying that all treatments that would fall under the umbrella of "alternative" are ineffective or woo woo.

So, with that said, I laid out a scenario in my Medical Ethics post to highlight some practices in the alternative medicine realm that would be questionable (and in some cases illegal) were they engaged in in a traditional practice.
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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Robb Wolf: On Fruit

Notice that I did not mention fruit. Most folks are battling some kind of metabolic derangement, aka obesity, diabetes, fertility issues, depression, etc. This with a mixed bag of autoimmunity and systemic inflammation. Until you are lean and healthy, you don’t get much fruit. There is no nutrient in fruit that is not available in veggies, and fruit may have too many carbs for you. When we start talking about what constitutes “health,” we will see where on that spectrum you are. For now, just keep things simple and you will reap the greatest rewards.  
~ Robb Wolf, p. 214 The Paleo Solution

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Monday, August 5, 2013

Calories, Starvation, and Bygone Gurus

As I am spending more time working on my upcoming book, Calorie Clarity: Entropic Thoughts on a Hot Topic,  I have had a bit less time for blogging of late.  I don't know what it is about this calorie debate, but just when you think the latest scheme to convince you that calories don't count has been beaten back, another huckster comes flying down the poop slide regurgitating the crap they swallowed on the way down.  Apologies to those who have eaten recently.  I use the term huckster because my name was used in vain in an exchange with one of the best hucksters in the low carb sphere, Dr. Mike Eades.

Who?  If you're asking that question, congratulations, you've either forgotten everything you've ever read on his blog or never read it at all.  Either of which would be a good thing.   Eades imagines himself a scientist in a doctor's coat and apparently still tweets his pearls of critical thinking wisdom.  Yeah, I'm being snarky because, well, it's a goose gander thing ... or is there a black swan needing some love somewhere?    Now a little while ago now, Tim Noakes gave leave of his own critical thinking skills and jumped on the LC "science" wagon.  A couple of days ago, Noakes tweeted a link to a 2007 post by Dr. Eades hailing it as an example of "supreme logic" in the (for some reason ongoing) debate over calories.
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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Aug. 1 Over the Hump Bump: Baby Your Pancreas? Part II: Go all Jillian Michaels on your Liver?

On Facebook today, Mark Hyman MD (functional medicine doc) posted:
There are no essential carbohydrates. There are essentials fats and essentials proteins, but if you never had any carbohydrates again, you would survive.
The Teaspoon Party
This was brought to my attention but also reminded me that Richard Feinman is at it again with a recent blog post on this no essential dietary carb canard, couched in a history lesson of sorts:  Revolutions. Political and Scientific.  He discusses Claude Bernard finding sugar in a dog that hadn't been fed any carbohydrate.  The question is why ... again ... why ... now?   This idea has earned him an honored place in the group at right.

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Aug. 1 Over the Hump Bump: Baby your Pancreas? Part I: The Tired Pancreas

Another two-fer for the Thursday post bumps again this week.  More explanation for why this set in the next bump.

Original Publish Date:  7/26/11

In the comments on a recent post on beta cell lipotoxicity, Ned Kock (of Health Correlator blog) posted a link to a post he made a while back entitled:  Lipotoxicity or tired pancreas? Abnormal fat metabolism as a possible precondition for type 2 diabetes.  This article deals with the concept of the "tired pancreas" in the development of diabetes.  It seems that (and hopefully he corrects me if I'm wrong here) Ned and I agree that this is not a likely explanation for diabetes.   Ned summarizes the progression of obesity induced T2 diabetes from Unger & Zhou, 2001.  It is worth mentioning that Unger is often summarily dismissed from the "scientific discussion roundtable" by low carbers because of the unfortunately titled "Gluttony and Sloth" paper, that, even more unfortunately also included a biblical verse.   Unger's hypothesis is very leptin-centric, but not at all incompatible with other lipotoxicity based theories.  Basically, lipotoxicity is the result of dysfunctional adipocytes leading to excessive "spill-over" of fatty acids into circulation and accumulation in ectopic tissues.   Unger & Zhou identify dysfunction in leptin secretion and/or signaling as the initiating factor in this process.  One thing that doesn't quite add up for me here is that I keep finding citations indicating leptin action increases free fatty acids which would seem counterintuitive.  In any case ...
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