Errors in Eades 6 Week Cure: I. D-Ribose

For starters, if I ever went back to review this book, I would give it one star.  I can't recommend against this book and its diet plan strongly enough.  But since I finally got around to installing my Sony reader software on this computer, I was reminded of that book and the errors in it that I had intended to post about.  I'm not sure if I'll post this as a series or update/bump this one.

Pictured below is a screen shot of the D-Ribose recommendation on p. 99 of my ebook (these will likely not coincide with the hard copy).  This was the 9th recommendation in Weeks 1&2 of the "Cure" aimed at clearing the fat out of the liver.

If one does a search on D-ribose and insulin they will find that exactly the opposite is true.  D-ribose has a reputation of being insulinogenic with the potential of inducing hypoglycemia.  Here is a pretty good review paper on this:  Effect of D-Ribose on Insulin and Blood Glucose: A Chronological Examination

The effect of D-ribose (ribose) on insulin secretion and plasma glucose has been investigated since 1957, when the effect of insulin on the transport of various sugars, including ribose, across cell membranes was first studied. Over the decades, research has consistently shown that oral or intravenous ribose administration produces a transient, asymptomatic, and dose dependant decrease in plasma blood glucose to a nadir that is reached 30- to 75-minutes post-administration, before returning to baseline levels in approximately 60- to 120-minutes once administration is discontinued.  The mechanism of this blood glucose lowering effect has not been fully elucidated, but several have been studied and more than one appear to contribute to the effect.  Suggested mechanisms include direct stimulation of insulin secretion by the pancreas, indirect stimulation of insulin secretion by the liver and other tissues, a saturation of carbohydrate receptors in the liver and various tissues affecting insulin release, increased glucose utilization or decreased glucose production resulting from rising levels of blood ribose, and the competition in the liver for the enzyme phosphoglucomutase responsible for glycogen recruitment. Increased glucose utilization does not appear to materially contribute to the mechanism. Instead, the blood glucose lowering effect of ribose appears to result from a combination of factors including indirect stimulation of pancreatic insulin secretion, stimulation of humoral effectors causing secretion of minor, but important, amounts of insulin from tissues in the hepatic-portal pathway, and delayed glucose recruitment in the liver, likely due to competition for phosphoglucomutase activity. 
The linked article is a bit of a tedious read, but I found it interesting that the hypoglycemic effect of D-ribose is  significantly weaker in those with insulin resistance, and IR is correlated with central adiposity which is the purported target fat of this diet plan.  So adding D-ribose would raise insulin levels and exacerbate IR-associated hyperinsulinemia.  It's not all about the insulin, but regardless this recommendation is ill conceived.


Anonymous said…
good find and summary!! i never read the book nor was interested in anything Eades writes, but i do know exasperating hyperinsulimeia is not a good idea
CarbSane said…
Thanks Mal. I'm almost embarrassed to admit I was eagerly awaiting this book and tried this diet. I didn't follow Eades' blog regularly, never read any of the other books, but had read some rather good posts others pointed me to on such topics as gluconeogenesis, ketosis, etc. But the bloom was already coming off the Eades rose prior to that book. I read it more out of curiosity than expecting to learn anything, and tried the diet on the basis that I wouldn't care why it worked if it did. After being in slow loss/plateau/maintenance for over a year at the time, it darned near derailed me both eatingwise and that darned diet mentality.

The science part of the book is a hodge podge of research and lots of dropped trains of thought. Not to mention a whacky rationale for giving blood and toxins that really floored me (this wasn't in the book but Eades' response to reader question).

Since it's been out for a year now and doesn't seem to have had much impact, it's not a high priority for me to review. Still, in the months since, Eades has made some remarkably flawed posts (as well as finding some others from years past) that need to be addressed in due time. Suffice it to say he's on my list of LC "experts" who should be listened to with great skepticism if at all.
Unknown said…
Hi CS. Saw one of your comments on Peter's blog and glad I checked yours out. Very nice.

I was helped by "Protein Power" a couple of years ago in terms of getting real about low(er) carbs, no wheat, etc., but had no desire to read the latest book.

As an aside, have you ever analyzed any of Alan Aragon's thinking? Specifically, he started a real brouhaha by differing with the Received Wisdom about the evils of fructose, and sneers at Taubes' GCBC and his creds. As a non-scientist, I'm left wondering which view is correct, assuming one's metabolism isn't already wrecked.
CarbSane said…
I discovered this whole online LC community only after losing the weight this time. Never heard of Eades or Taubes or this whole metabolic advantage stuff. I had read Atkins years back, but basically ignored his faddish claims and just ate low carb most of the time. I only tried this book to see if a short-term "charge" might finally address the tummy weight I have remaining. It was quite a disappointment, and I think lagging sales reflect that. I have read enough outrageous things on his blog now that I just can't take him too seriously anymore!

I've read Alan Aragon's classic Fructose Alarmism thread (Lustig did not come off well for his participation) and agree with pretty much all of Alan's points. Lustig did an interview with Jimmy Moore where he came off far more reasonable, however so I've somewhat changed my mind on him (though not his points made in the lecture). Where fructose is concerned, it's a no brainer that drinking liters of Coke isn't a good idea. Some took research showing it harmful to the opposite extreme.

My general philosophy is we're never going to get anywhere looking for a singular cause of obesity and this epidemic, nor are we going to make any headway in reversing it by trying to find a magic bullet. There are just too many factors involved. I've done a few fructose posts but others have already done such a masterful job I don't want to repeat their work.

I'm glad you stopped over! Welcome Jim, and thanks for your compliment.
CarbSane said…
@Jim: Forgot to add that you may find this post pertinent: Do other theories on obesity dispel Calorie Balance?

Taubes even acknowledges Calorie Balance, although this does not seem intentional on his part. We eat too much and move too little to get fatTER in his paradigm. Even Atkins acknowledged it in his first book, he just added a huge "out" term in the form of wasted ketone calories. We now know that ketones do not contribute significantly. Eades addresses calories quite often in the context of stalls and such (but still claims futile cycling, etc.).