Bacon, Eggs & Battery Acid

Dietary Animal and Plant Protein and Human Bone Health: A Whole Foods Approach

According to a reliable source, I should be very concerned about the following table:
Sulfuric acid is among the most powerful and potentially harmful acids known. Get even a dilute quantity in your eyes and you will suffer serious burns and possibly loss of eyesight. Ingest it and you can sustain fatal injury to the mouth and esophagus. Sulfuric acid's potent tendency to react with other compounds is one of the reasons that it is used in industrial processes like petroleum refining. Sulfuric acid is also a component of the harsh atmosphere of Venus.
Given that the amounts in the table are for 100g of protein in the food, eggs top the list followed close behind by pork!  Yikes!!  Battery acid for breakfast?

OK, yeah, I'm picking on Dr. Heart Scan Davis again for his latest offering:  Battery acid and oatmeal .  Sure is funny what you'll come up with when seeking to demonize a single food!   To the good doc, 

Know what food is the most potent source of sulfuric acid in the body? Oats.

Yes: Oatmeal, oat bran, and foods made from oats (you know what breakfast cereal I'm talking about) are the most potent sources of sulfuric acid in the human diet.

Really?  2 large eggs contain 12g protein = approx 9.6 mEq SAA, while an equal caloric (140) serving of oatmeal contains just under 5.5g protein = approx  4.5 mEq SSA.  Less than half.

Pass the battery acid!


Galina L. said…
Dr.Harris's blog is getting paranoid. I wonder what happened with him? I am subscribed to it and after the last post decided to unsubscribe.
Helen said…
Just found your blog and am looking forward to reading through your archives. I'm a mildly diabetic former low-carber who found, after nearly a year of low-carbing to address my newly diagnosed hyperglycemia, that I am the specimen you and Peter discuss here:

Perhaps I'm what Peter terms an "outlier."

I now eat a lot of oatmeal. My blood sugars are much better.

But I'm pissing sulfuric acid!
CarbSane said…
Welcome Helen! I was never a regular HSB reader, but Davis' recent crusade against oats just boggles the mind. I honestly don't get where he gets his "normal" glucose excursions from a bowl of oatmeal from. In any case, look at it as "cleaning your pipes" (drain cleaner often is sulfuric acid) if it bothers you. I wouldn't worry.

If protein is leaching me bones I'd love to know my bone density on Pritikin! As a post-meno woman I have off the chart bone density compared to a 30 y.o. woman. (I'm not sure that is all a good thing though, still opposite of what the propaganda says).

I've seen excellent glycemic control in studies with more moderate carb consumption. If it's working for you keep it up!
Anonymous said…

I assume you mean Davis and not Harris.

I am not paranoid, just cranky ; )

The oatmeal and cornstarch jihad mystify me as well. The wheat part makes some sense, but that's due to proteins (gluten) not starch.

I wouldn't base my diet on any grain, but oatmeal should be harmless in small amounts if you have normal glucoregulation.
CarbSane said…
Chuckle ;-) I didn't catch Galina's mistake, and you called her Helen! :D
Anonymous said…
I posted once and the filter deleted it.. re-typed to fast apparently

sorry, I meant Galina : )
Sue said…
Foods that contain sulphur are important for liver detoxification.
Sue said…
The oatmeal can sometimes be contaminated with gluten.
CarbSane said…
Yes Sue, this is basically the answer I've received when looking into oats - they don't contain gluten themselves but might be contaminated with it. I think for most people this really isn't an issue. Gluten sensitivity is a bit overhyped (just my opinion there). It seems doubtful that the amount of gluten that might come from the dust in the air of a facility processing other grains would be consequential for all but the most gluten sensitive.

I eat oatmeal (steel cut, 1/4c dry) with a little flax (I'm trying to use the stuff up) made with almond milk once or twice a week these days. Dr. Davis suggests folks eat flaxmeal porridge. Yuck!
Helen said…
My daughter and I have celiac disease, so we eat Bob's Red Mill Certified Gluten-Free oats. I soak them overnight at 100 degrees (using a reptile mat as heat source) in a solution of buckwheat flour, water, and yogurt to break down the phytic acid.

No, Dr. Harris, I am hardly gluconormal, but my blood sugar is more adversely affected by fat than by carbs. I learned this over nearly a year of obsessively taking my blood-sugar readings on a low-carb diet, followed by a low-fat diet, which I'd reluctantly adopted to ease apparent gallbladder pain. I was shocked to see my blood sugars dramatically improve.
Helen said…

I still haunt the pro-fat/trad diets/paleo blogs rather than the vegan/low-fat/mainstream ones, as they're more rigorous, intellectually curious, and overall make more sense to me. And they are for the most part far less hysterical; CarbSane seems to have caught a lot of the exceptions.

It was Jenny Ruhl and Peter at Hyperlipid who first suggested to me that I might be the rare diabetic whose blood sugars deteriorate on fats rather than carbs. I can't imagine Joel Fuhrman suggesting to someone they might benefit from eating bacon.
CarbSane said…
Helen, this is just my gut feeling, but I think in the long run, you are far more the rule than the exception regarding glycemic control and low carb. And I say this mostly on what I prefer not to base assumptions: the dreaded anecdotal evidence. Long term ardent low carbers report becoming more and more sensitive to any sort of carb. They've managed the end-line symptom (hyperglycemia) but not the cause (IR and beta cell dysfunction).
Mirrorball said…
I'd like to know if low-carb would help control glycemy without any weight loss. I bet it would make it worse. Eat fat and your body gets better at using fat for fuel. Eat carbs and your body gets better at using carbs for fuel. It makes much more sense to me than the opposite. OTOH, if somebody can't metabolize carbs properly, it might be dangerous to eat carbs. Weight loss and exercise should work for everybody though.
CarbSane said…
Helen, thanks for that reptile mat idea! Cool.

I'm with you Mirrorball, that's my sense. One of these days I'll get around to my insulin/IR series to address these thoughts.
Sue said…
How would blood sugar be more adversely affected by fat than carb?
Nigel Kinbrum said…
Sue said...
How would blood sugar be more adversely affected by fat than carb?
One plausible mechanism is transient Hepatic Insulin Resistance (IR). This would greatly increase Hepatic Glucose Production (normally suppressed by insulin). In addition, transient Muscular & Adipose IR would reduce glucose disposal.
Helen said…
Free fatty acids induce insulin resistance (in everyone, though in most it's transitory and compensated for by adequate insulin), and can also blunt insulin response. Some people, likely me, have more trouble processing free fatty acids and the effect is hyperglycemia, particularly if they have other problems with their insulin response - either disturbed insulin signaling or compromised beta cells.

Although my glucose response is slightly delayed (judging from my meter readings), allowing my glucose to go higher than a normal person's in response to a carb load, on a low-fat diet, when my insulin kicks in, it quickly drives my blood sugar down to a normal level. So I have more peaks than a non-diabetic, but can get down to normal with my own insulin.

With excess fat, I stay higher longer and don't go down to normal.

On a low-carb diet, I'll get better results for a few days (though not as good as on a low-fat diet), but then my insulin signaling adjusts downward, so I have to adjust carbs downward again, with diminishing returns. And my between-meal and fasting glucose creep up and up.
Helen said…
I have to credit Cheeseslave for the reptile mat idea.
I recently got gluten-free oats (Bob's Red Mill). I hadn't had oatmeal in 8 months and had a craving. I figure I'd make sugar-free oatmeal cookies for hubby, who's a cookie lover. Me, I prefer a bowl with cinnamon and raisins or apple chunks compoted to a softer texture.

I wont' have it daily, but now and then, yeah. I like oatmeal. :D I just didn't want gluten. (Auto-immune issues).
CarbSane said…
I feel for those with gluten issues that they have to buy overpriced BRM to make sure of no cross contamination. As I understand it, oats have no gluten in and of themselves. Trader Joes or Stew Leonards steel cut oats are my choice (not again until late fall/winter), but I also toast them with garlic and paprika and use for binder in meat balls with eggs. I'm lucky ... no issues. And oatmeal fills me up big time!
Oh, yeah, meatballs. Thanks for reminding me. Hubby adores them and I haven't made them in ages! Never used oatmeal --used regular braed crumbs before. :D
Fred Hahn said…
Evelyn -

Nice try.

Here is what Dr. Davis means:

Copyright infringement? Perhaps. But I had to post this.
CarbSane said…
OMG he actually put that in the book? FWIW don't worry over copyrights on that. I had quite a bit of training in "Fair Use" and a page is not even coming close to meeting a threshold. Is reference 13 the same one from that post?

Are you afraid of your stomach Fred? Because your gastric acid is hydrochloric acid. Go check out the MSDS on that one!


Really, Fred. I can read and I know what Davis means. He means to confuse people to separate them from their money. But thanks for that screen shot! Worth a million! LOL
Fred Hahn said…
Let me ask you this. What is wrong with what he is saying? Be specific about what he is wrong about. Don't just say he is wrong and poke fun. Explain WHY he is wrong.

And if your stomach lining didn't continuously replace itself, you bet your boots your the acid would burn right down through to your footsies.
CarbSane said…
Fred, did you read my post? Apparently not or you wouldn't ask such a question.

1. The sulfuric acid content (at such miniscule amounts) is not significant.

2. If it was, by Wheat Belly's own references, PER GRAM PROTEIN grains fail in comparison to meats and eggs.
Fred Hahn said…
What Bill is saying is that the ADDITION of oats and other grains to meats is the issue. Considering the anti-nutrients in oats and other grains on top of this, why eat them at all? Don't you get that? You're so hyped on exposing anyone for being a sheister you can't read and understand what they are saying overall. You nit pick for no reason.

And oats do indeed have gluten. From wiki:

"Oats are the only cereal containing a globulin or legume-like protein, avenalin, as the major (80%) storage protein.[8] Globulins are characterised by solubility in dilute saline. The more typical cereal proteins, such as gluten and zein, are prolamines (prolamins). The minor protein of oat is a prolamine, avenin."
M. said…
Fred Hahn said:

And oats do indeed have gluten. From wiki:

"Oats are the only cereal containing a globulin or legume-like protein, avenalin, as the major (80%) storage protein.[8] Globulins are characterised by solubility in dilute saline. The more typical cereal proteins, such as gluten and zein, are prolamines (prolamins). The minor protein of oat is a prolamine, avenin."

I don't think technically that avenin is gluten.
M. said…

"Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest that the immunogenic sequences in gliadin are not present in avenin. Moreover, they are in keeping with in vivo studies which report that oats are safe for consumption by coeliac patients."
CarbSane said…
Fred, I'm beginning to think you can't read. In his many blogs tirading against oats, Davis didn't say a thing about adding them to meat. The question should be why NOT eat them. You presume all carbs/grains/starches = bad = VLC best and healthiest diet. Just as you would expect evidence demonstrating sat fats truly are detrimental before considering avoiding them, the onus is on you (or whomever is making the charge) to demonstrate that oats are bad.

Nobody has yet to provide the case for why oats and rice are bad. And wheat, for most people is probably not ba either. Rather it is an economical energy source that shouldn't lead to overweight if not consumed as donuts, bread products with indiscriminate amounts of butter, mayo or cream cheese, or pasta with fatty sauces.
Fred Hahn said…
Fred Hahn said…
So Evelyn my question to you is this - why do you think you are over fat? How come you have not been able to become lean? What would YOU say is the problem/issue with your weight control?
Fred Hahn said…

"Both wheat and sorghum not only have
a low biotin bioavailability, but seem to have elements within them which seem to elicit a depression of biotin metabolism."

This alone would suggest to anyone conscious of their health not to eat these substances.

"Cereal grains have been shown to cause their rachitogenicand osteomalacia-producing effects in spite of the presence of adequate sunshine."


"Consumption of high levels of whole grain cereal products impairs bone metabolism not only by limiting calcium intake, but by indirectly altering vitamin D metabolism."

Really nice.

"There appear to be a number of elements within cereal grains which may inhibit nonheme iron absorption including phytate [75], tannins [95], fiber [75], lectins [96], phosphate [97] and perhaps other unknown factors [98]. However, the primary inhibitor of nonheme iron absorption by cereal grains is its phytate
content....Consequently, diets based upon whole grain maize [100], rice [101], wheat
[102] and oats [103] have been consistently shown to reduce iron absorption."

Grains are great for women!

Enjoy the paper.
Fred Hahn said…
M -

Oats contain avenin, a prolamine that is toxic to the intestinal mucosa of avenin-sensitive individuals, so it can trigger those with celiac. Because of this, the Codex Alimentarius officially lists them as a crop containing gluten.

Wasn't that clear from the Wiki description?
CarbSane said…
Fred, why are you so underpersonalitied?
Fred Hahn said…
I don't know what that word means.
CarbSane said…
I'm not surprised.
Fred Hahn said…
I looked up the word "underpersonalitied." It's not a word.
Fred Hahn said…
2.2.1 Gluten
For the purpose of this standard, "gluten" is defined as a protein fraction from wheat, rye,
barley, oats1 or their crossbred varieties and derivatives thereof, to which some persons are
intolerant and that is insoluble in water and 0.5M NaCl.

2.2.2 Prolamins
Prolamins are defined as the fraction from gluten that can be extracted by 40 - 70% of ethanol. The prolamin from wheat is gliadin, from rye is secalin, from barley hordein and from oats1

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