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Welcome all seeking refuge from low carb dogma!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Gary Taubes' Diet Doctor

Since it's the day after turkey day ...
And since I thought I'd lighten up the mood a bit ...

Flashback!  Remember when Gary Taubes had his cholesterol test done by a quack diet doc?!    Enjoy!!

Turns out now he's selling alpha-keto glutarate anti-binge packs.  Very interesting the company some keep ...

Original Publish Date:  4/19/11

I wasn't going to say anything.

Really ... I tried.

Lordy knows I don't need any more accusations about hatred for the LC Messiah.  And I wouldn't want to cause ol' Gary to lose any more sleep over my troublesome stalking habit.

So, really really ... I did try.

But this falls in that *too good to pass up* category, complete with a Fat Head sized helping of *you can't make this stuff up*.  

As I'm sure many are aware, Gary Taubes finally had his cholesterol tested and posted the results on his blog.   His fan boys and girls are all rah rah over this.  I'm happy to see a low carber looking svelte (as he did on Oz) and having such a good lipid profile.  


I had some things to say about Gary's pathetic performance on Oz's show vis a vis that cholesterol test  he refused to take.   Forget the football analogies of fumbling, in retrospect Taubes pulled a Billy Buckner!

In light of his results, it was all the more idiotic for Gary to not have been tested prior so he could have taken Oz's challenge head on.  But, alas, he couldn't be bothered apparently.

So, roughly a month after taping the episode, he finally gets around to getting his cholesterol levels tested.    As he put it:  "So it took me awhile to get to a Quest lab with a prescription. "   One astute commenter pointed out that one does not require a script for such a test, but even if so ... why wouldn't he get one from some legit doctor ... like, say, his colleague at Innovative Metabolic Solutions, Dr. Mary Vernon?  Or Dr. Eric Westman?  

Nope!

Another commenter (or maybe the same one) decided to Google Dr. Bill Nagler of Livonia, MI.  Michigan?  Isn't that just a tad out of the way of Berkley?  (Or NY for that matter where it is my understanding Gary used to reside).  But who is this man?

Turns out he's a PSYCHIATRIST!!!    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm....  I dunno about you, but when I want to get my cholesterol tested I don't call up a psychiatrist/diet doctor several states away to get a script.

Check out "Diet Doctor Nagler's" website folks!  The guy is a quack job pushing pills and food restriction.
Your appetite suppressants and injections block hunger, eliminate sweet and starch cravings, and boost energy. Try to get here every day for your FREE appetite suppressant injection. To speed up weight loss, you can add prescription medication that further blocks your hunger and eliminates cravings. Insurance usually pays for Naltrexone, Zonegran, Topemax, Victoza, Aplenzin, Januvia.
Say what?  Did someone say *appetite suppressants*????   And if those aren't enough we've got a bunch more for you!!  Here I thought nobody was ever hungry on low carb.  Ahhhh, but these are only needed because Dr. N is peddling high carb starvation diets, right?  Well, you got that partly right.  He calls "walk swim fly" his best program.  No ... he's not referring to exercise:
Lose 3-5 pounds every week. Don’t eat breakfast or anything at all, until you are hungry. If you’re not hungry, don’t eat. You can go all day without eating. The less you eat, the faster you lose weight. When you are hungry, eat as much as you want, and as little as you can. If it can’t Walk, Swim or Fly, don’t put it in your mouth. A fist-size portion of protein is about 400 calories, and you can eat this 3-4 times a day, if you need this much.
Sounds like a zero carb diet to me.  As much as you want?  Well, this is qualified with the admonition to not eat at all if you can manage it (hence the appetite suppressants), and limited to 1200-1600 cal/day if you can't get to the office for your injections and are actually experiencing hunger.  

But he goes on with his advice:
Limit hard cheese (too many calories) to 4 slices a day.  You can’t cheat at all, or you might lose no weight all week.  You also can’t eat 3000 calories a day and lose weight.  Don’t do the Atkins Diet, because it doesn’t work.  
Did I just read that correctly???  Was Gary Taubes actually stupid enough to publish the name of the doctor who ordered his cholesterol test (complete with address so there can be no confusion) when this doctor believes that (a) calories count, (b) you can't be a fat/protein glutton or you won't lose weight, and (c) Atkins doesn't work???!!!

Check the date.  It's not April Fool's day!

So.  What is Taubes' affiliation with this Diet Doctor?  Did he go to him for some injections to lean out a bit for his appearance on Oz (he did look quite a bit leaner than other pics)?   Was he afraid this might have messed with his lipids?  

Wowzers is all I have to say about this latest in a long line of BONE HEADED moves Gary Taubes.


52 comments:

Charles L. Peden said...

Would it have given the results more credibility to have bloodwork ordered by an acolyte?

I love this blog btw. This is my first post. Sorry I'm not more agreeable on my first post (palm to face).

Sanjeev said...

> One astute commenter pointed out that one
> does not require a script for such a test

I hear different stories. Lex Rooker claimed California regulations stop labs from testing without a prescription. (I forget which ones, but I think they were cholesterol)

I can confirm in parts of Canada it's definitely true labs won't test you and mail you the results. But I really doubt it's any kind of legal thing, the labs just don't want to deal with citizens, only with doctors.

I've had similar experiences with pharmacists - ask for an out-of-the-ordinary agent and even though it's OTC some pharmacists want to see a prescription. This happened to me once when I lived in Houston for a couple of months in '93.

Jin said...

Is it possible he ordered the blood work through Direct Labs or some other self-serve online blood test service?

I've done this before, and there is always an Ordering Physician listed on the requisition & results.

CarbSane said...

LOL Charles! Welcome! I'm not saying it would be, rather if I were going to "call up someone" to get the script, if it weren't my family doc it would be someone with more respectability.

Me? I've gone many years w/o a regular family doc. There are hospital-affiliated walk-ins I can go to for a quick visit that will order up tests, it's just a matter of whether insurance pays and such, but a routine annual test of this nature being covered wouldn't generally hinge on who orders it up.

@Sanjeev: Probably true - forgot CA is like that - but still, see above. He doesn't have a family doc for his wife and kids, if not for himself?

CarbSane said...

PS - who ordered the test has no bearing on the results. But who he chose to have order the tests is just plain bizarre.

CarbSane said...

Did some checking: https://www.directlabs.com/OrderTests/HowitWorks/tabid/66/language/en-US/Default.aspx

CA not prohibited. So he could have gone the direct route. But, Jin, it appears he didn't: So it took me awhile to get to a Quest lab with a prescription. Then it took another week for the results to come back. He went with a script in hand.

Jin said...

I don't claim to know how Taubes obtained his bloodwork.

I often order my own bloodwork, for various reasons. I've used Direct Labs, & HealthCheckUSA. There are quite a few of these companies online.

It's possible that Taubes is calling the printed out requisition form a "prescription".
These online places send you to a local lab, such as Quest or LabCorp, to have the blood drawn. You have to bring in req. form ("prescription"). Yes, it can take some time to get the results back, depending on what was ordered, did you hit a weekend, etc. Yes, there is an Ordering Physician named on the req. form & results. The patient has no contact or knowledge of the MD.

Just sayin'....

Muata said...

I live in sunny SoCal, and when I see my doctor for my yearly check-up, they draw my blood in the office. I call back a week later for the results. Yeah, I know we folks on the left coast can have our ways that are vastly different from the rest of the country, but getting your blood drawn isn't that different from when I lived back east. If they don't draw blood in the doctor's office, then they will send you to a lab with a req form that Jin mentioned above.

Whether GT knows the doctor or not, I just think it's hilarious that the doctor, whose name is on his blood work, is such an obvious crack pot ...

CarbSane said...

If you get bloodwork through DL, and go to Quest to get the blood drawn, do you get a report from Quest?

I'm just reading Taubes, not trying to read into him. If he ordered the test directly he would have said so. Instead he said "it took me awhile to get to a Quest lab with a prescription" and produced a report bearing Quest's name on it. C'mon.

CarbSane said...

Yep Muata! You just couldn't have made up any funnier scenario for the big cholesterol reveal. We use Quest here all the time. Go to the doc, get a script, go to Quest, Quest sends doc the bloodwork who forwards the info to us. If he had this done through some 3rd party service I'm thinking their name would be on the main page, and the actual analyzing labs listed as on the form.

It's too funny. Send it on over to Mehmet Gary! I'm sure a MI doctor on the form won't raise any eyebrows on his staff.

Wait a minute! I know a doc who could have written the order for him! And imagine the cred having his name on the report as the ordering physician would have given ol' Gary. Isn't Dr. Oz a practicing physician? LOLOL

Margaret said...

Sure, the doctor's a nutcase, but you've got to admit the results are great! I wish I had those numbers!

CarbSane said...

They sure are. All the more shame he didn't do the test on Oz!

My total cholesterol was a tad high the first time it was measured around age 19. Profiles have expanded so since then, and I now know it's because my HDL is high. My lipids are a bit worse when weight is up, a bit better when weight is down. Not ideal but not bad enough to elicit anything more than a suggestion I change my diet.

Many report worsening profiles on low carb. Many do not achieve the low trigs touted by those like Dr. Davis.

Eating cholesterol is not what causes bad cholesterol/lipid profiles. I wish Gary could have gotten that point across!!

Let's do a test. Glieben glauchen (aka Gunther Gatherer) over on Peter's blog challenged me to provide numbers and such. I would like everyone to imagine that was my lipid report. I'm sure nobody would have a problem with it and would defend me to the end! LOL

Alan said...

wait CS; please clarify.

you agree or disagree with DR Kurt Harris's comment that mneasuring blood lipids is foolish, (because the result doesn't gate any sensible decisions)

scall0way said...

So did Gary know ahead of time that Oz was going to challenge him to have his cholesterol checked? Why should he have, so why should he have bothered to check ahead of time? He probably feels the numbers are pointless as do many others. As a self-employed journalist I bet he doesn't have top-of-the-line medical insurance as he probably can't afford it! When my brother-in-law was self-employed it cost $600/month to provide minimal coverage for my sister and the kids - and this was 20+ years ago, and he was only earning a little over $20K a year - which meant that they mostly had to eat mac-and-cheese or ramen noodles in order to hafe minimal coverage, and he didn't even have coverage for himself too. That would have broken the bank.

So I bet anything that Taubes went the self-ordered route through a place like Direct Labs or HealthCheckUSA, as suggested above. Why do that? Well it's **WAY** cheaper than going to your doctor, having a physical exam done, getting the tests done via the doctor's orders, etc. It only makes sense to me.

I did that once myself for some thyroid function tests I wanted done that my own doctor utterly and categorically refused to order for me. I signed up via HealthCheckUSA, got a form in the mail that I would surely have called my prescription, and took it to a lab to have the blood drawn. There was an ordering physician's name on the forms, and it was some name that was meaningless to me. Just as I'm sure Dr. Nagler is probably a meaningless name to Taubes.

Nagler sounds like just the sort of nutcase who would be happy to pick up a few bucks here and there by being on retainer to one of these self-test places so he can sign off as the ordering physician.

Whether you like or hate Taubes I think this scenario makes a lot more sense than believing that Taubes would actually consult with some psychiatrist in Michigan - which makes no sense at all. Taubes probably felt getting his cholesterol checked was pointless, but as long as he was getting the sort of pressure he was figured he might as well bite the bullet and do it, but in as cheap a way as possible, e.g. self-ordered. I'm sure the "ordering physician" was a total unknown.

Obviously I don't know if this is the correct answer but, IMHO, it's the only answer that makes sense.

CarbSane said...

@scall0way: Did you watch the Oz episode?

Gary has a history with Oz going back to 2007 Larry King appearance and lecturing at Oz's med school. He should have known the issue would come up. It's always been the slam against low carbing and he has researched the topic. Imagine had he gotten tested ahead of time so he could have thrown down this gauntlet?!

I agree with everyone who said, ORIGINALLY, that one man's test results are meaningless. Taubes had to know the topic would be raised as it was discussed behind the scenes ahead of time. Go listen to the program again. He could have cited studies instead of rambling on about his age, young children, etc.etc.

Can you look at the reports from the self test lab? Do they ultimately bear the name of the testing service or just where you had the blood drawn. How are you *sure* of anything?

It's awfully hysterical serendipity if it went down by your scenario!

CarbSane said...

As for the testing: GT knows enough docs who would be more than happy to write the script. Then if his insurance didn't cover test costs he could pay out of pocket. If nothing else but for legitimacy, why not do it this way? It sounds like he's afraid to have a personal physician or have them familiar with his diet or lipids whatever they may be. If one is so confident that their research has led them down the dietary path to ultimate health, then why?

eulerandothers said...

If I were Gary Taubes, on the spot on the Oz show, I'd refuse to have my blood drawn and lipids results made public. Could be embarassing.

That Oz had an on-air colonoscopy and the results made public means, to me, that Oz was fairly confident, interested in educating the public about a scary procedure, and willing to take the hit when the results showed he isn't in PERFECT health. Good man, I say.

If I were Taubes, thinking about my lipids - if I were perfectly sure that they would look stellar, I wouldn't hesitate to say, 'Sure, go ahead, draw my blood and let's see the results of a low-carb diet...'

So, he wasn't perfectly sure.

I think I'd have my blood drawn over several days or weeks. I'd watch my diet on those days, I'd get the results and I'd publish the best results on my website.

That's what *I* would do. But then, that's me!

Curmujeon said...

Love the gauntlet idea. Gary missed a really good chance. As it stands now, those who watched the Oz show will only remember that dee-in-the-headlights look on Gary's face when Dr. Oz threw out the blood test challenge. Sadly, Gary's stellar blood test results will probably never make the Oz show or get anywhere near the coverage, though not so good, that show gave him.
Love the blog, CS, and the community that has developed here. I am a bit of a GT fan, but enjoy criticism of Gary's work from your perspective. I am much like you in so many ways. I have been doing Paleo/Primal for 7 months and am currently realizing that calories DO count!

Curmujeon(formerly skcubrats)

Tierney said...

Taubes says on the comment section of that post that the Dr is a good friend of his!

CarbSane said...

Amazing Tierney! Welcome :-)

@Curmujeon thanks for the kind words.

So, you know you messed up on Oz. What to do? First Taubes went silent with Jimmy Moore when he had originally said he would fill him in in advance. Then there's the preemptive blog post. Then the damage control interview with Jimmy. Finally his wife says get the test. He's lived in his new locale for "only" a year but doesn't have a doctor yet. How about use this as an opportunity to get one? Knowing that if he's going to bother he should do it "right", what does he do instead? Calls up a friend to order it. Does he not know his friend's practice is so questionable? Did he not even consider perhaps calling up another friend?

This should leave Gary red faced. Can your face even turn red after botox (just having a little fun here gang LOL)?

CarbSane said...

@eulerandothers: He almost seemed sure his results wouldn't be so good because of all the stress etc. I wouldn't have put my lipids up for discussion, I would have pointed to all the studies that have demonstrated positive outcomes. As to being at a disadvantage, I would have pointed to my blog to say I'll be posting links to all of these studies for anyone in the audience who's interested.

Face it folks. The Oz appearance was to sell books. It was about weight loss. He said as much!

The funny thing about Nagler is that it opens the door for all sorts of speculation for Taubes looking rather leaned out for the Oz show vs. his less fit appearances in his lectures. Was he getting some "help"?? I just can't help but get a chuckle over this. It's just so darned funny that he could trip himself up so much with something so simple as this!

feilong80 said...

I think all of this only opens things up for speculation if you want to immediately take the negative view on virtually every little thing Taubes does.

His numbers are great. End of story to me.

eulerandothers said...

It does suggest something to me:

I wasn't aware you could just have your blood tested by any number of laboratories out there in the Internet jungle - and now I know! Given the information I have from this topic, I will have my lipids tested over the next few months. Then, when I go to my doctor for my physical, I will give him the ones that I like. He'll take those, right?

I like to control what I want someone to see. Enough of this taking chances stuff. What gets recorded in my medical records ought to be what I OK first.... End of story for ME!

ezzirah said...

I have been following all the back and forth on this issue and wondering some of the same things you post about. Even if the actual numbers on the test are correct, it sure reeks of something not good. I looked at the whole diet doctor thing and just went, if you are confidence, why not just submit to OZ'z test?

Good points in the post!

eulerandothers said...

ezzirah, I did have to have my blood tested once - and only once - outside of my doctor's office.

I was just married and we were signing up for life insurance. The insurance company sent a nurse to my house, who stuck me with a needle, weighed me on her scale, and measured my height. In my house!

Wouldn't it just have saved the insurance company some trouble, and been cost-efficient for them if I had done this independently and gave them the results? I would have done it!

They wouldn't even take the results from visiting my own doctor (who I'd had for years already). Came on another day, different nurse, to draw blood from my husband. Picky!

CarbSane said...

@feilong: The "open door for speculation" is there because appearances and procedure do count when you're doing something in a spotlight like this. Either he was seeking legit "redemption" or not. I don't doubt those are his results, and they are great lipidwise (although he shows trending towards acidosis - not so good). It really seems he didn't want anyone to know his results b/c if they weren't so great he wouldn't have shared them. The man doesn't seem to think - although there are well known docs with a low carb bent - he can convince his own doctor of his healthful lifestyle? Seems so.

Welcome to my blog!

@ezzirah: Welcome as well! I don't really think a person has to be a conspiracy theorist to just find this whole episode *off*.

Diana said...

Frankly Taubes doesn't bother me, although I disagree with him and I think he is sincerely deluded. But we are all individuals and react differently.

The two low-carb whores that I hate the most are the heart-scan blog guy and Michael Eades. There's something about blind dogmatism and a medical degree that is strikingly odious.

Great blog!

Ms. Scooter Butt said...

Oh wow...IDK all this...I was gung ho on this man and wow IDK...I feel like I felt when I was 10 and had a kiddie crush on my dad's student. My dad was a professor and took on only students that were doing their MS or PHD in some manner. This guy had a British accent just like the Beatles. My parents had a party and he drank, too much and puked in our bathroom sink. Puke is an instant kiddie crush killer. My sister and I were romantically devastated!

Jon Benson said...

Hi CarbSense,

Question for you: // although he shows trending towards acidosis - not so good //

Are you basing this on his C02 measurement? Could this be related to dehydration? Just curious.

Love the blog... helps keep me from being my naturally dogmatic self. : )

CarbSane said...

Hi Jon, Welcome! Yes, the low CO2 (out of range) combined with - though within normal ranges - high end of sodium, chloride and BUN are all indicative of metabolic acidosis. Even a very pro-Taubes poster over on Jimmy's forum made the same observation, so it's not a bias issue. This is not surprising for Taubes' meat-heavy diet. It could be from some sort of pre-test "crash" diet as well -- I had a similar result when at 18 or 19 I had to take a physical for a summer job and fasted for 3 days prior (because we know that would have made such a huuuuge diff on the scale - this was in the ED days). Thanks for the compliment :-)

Jon Benson said...

@CarbSane:

Thanks for the reply. I figured the BUN had something to do with that. As I understand it, metabolic acidosis is not exactly an easy state to get into, and surely he could balance out his meat-heavy diet (mine is equally meat-heavy) with more veggies, lemon water, etc. I never took your comment as a bias one, btw... in fact, I'm intrigued by your dialog about and with Gary.

Looking forward to your feedback re: elevated trigs and glucose but 'normal' insulin levels on a low-carb diet. Bets are on gluconeogenesis, but keto dieting for life does 'not' appeal to me. : )

Jon Benson said...

@CarbSane:

Sorry, a P.S. : )

My diet is about 55% fat, 30-35% protein, and 10-15% carb; kcals about 2200 (you are SO right about how we overestimate our calorie needs. I'm a bodybuilder and gain muscle on 2200 calories at 224 pounds.) I eat red meat daily; often 2x/day. Bacon, eggs, whole butter, coconut oil, many fresh veggies. No fruit, no starch. Instead, I enjoy 2 meals out per week where I get my carb reload from what my mentor, the late Dan Duchaine, called "satan sugars". One dessert (usually half), some rice or yams, and perhaps bread on the burger. You gotta LIVE you know?

So, if anyone (or CarbSane) has any ideas as to why trigs are elevated, HDL is LOW (32, and this is on 1000mg nicotinic acid, heavy weight training (see the pics : ) and ample sat-fats) and glucose is 99, I'm all ears.

Oh, the protein was higher, but this month I cut it down to test for gluconeogenesis as the culprit, as I literally cannot get into ketosis without heavy weight training on 20 grams of carbs. Feel like shit on it, and I'm popped out after 1/2 cup of brown rice. My muscles are rarely flat, either. Ample glycogen?

Thanks for reading and for any answers you may have!

Jon Benson said...

SORRY! And don't worry -- I'm not a blog stalker... but I forgot this point CarbSense:

Even on that high-meat diet, my creatinine is the only blood variable out of whack other than the lipids. I'm nowhere near acidosis. Considering I drink Diet Dr. Pepper as if I had an addiction, that's pretty cool... ; )

CarbSane said...

No worries Jon. I'm a bit swamped at the moment as I'm going to be "unveiling" the new blog templates and such. Perhaps this might be a topic you'd like to post in the soon to be launched forums here. I've got some thoughts ...

RLKINDELAN said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

What do you have to offer? Sounds like a mother lode of Jealousy working here. Gary Taubes has done come good things, he goes head to head with those who want to discredit, and have you looked at Dr. Oz, the cardiologist who is all right in my book, but wouldn't it be nice if rather than transfer one heart of the dying to a person dying of heart disease, the we essentially eliminate heart disease. It surely won't happen on vegetarian or Vegan diets, who minds give out about the same rate as their bodies do and sometimes they're so damaged they can't recover when they go on a nutrient dense, good animal fat, no soy protein, lots of raw butter, lard, organic vegetables/fruits, etc. Gary is 56 years old and his lipids are impressive. What I hear is this in your comment, Sour Grapes, wannabe author but can only criticize. What do you know that works? Some say canola oil is good, yet how the heck could we have accessed such stuff, and why would anyone in their right mind want to, surely some good fat, animal fat for the animal in us, and haven't you noticed, other then 25% of us being nuts, we do nearly everything other animals do except we destroy the planet and we call that, Progress. Our enemy is government, the FDA, drug companies, corporations, the Monsanto's of the world, why aren't we joining forces in things like non-profit health care, whereby no patents can be allowed for drugs, no monopoly with only one goal, profit no matter what, etc., instead it seems the very soul of the movement is being attacked for not saying what you perceive is what should have been said. Here is something to think about, you know, really analyze, using facts, then maybe, just maybe, we might go after who is causing all the problems: GUESS WHICH ONE.......Even if you aren't a sports fan this is very interesting! The NBA or the NFL ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 36 have been accused of spousal abuse. 7 have been arrested for fraud. 19 have been accused of writing bad checks. 117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses. 3 have done time for assault. 71 repeat 71 Cannot get a credit card due to bad credit 14 have been arrested on drug-related charges 8 have been arrested for shoplifting. 21 currently are defendants in lawsuits, and 84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year. Can You guess which organization this is? NBA Or NFL Give up yet? Scroll down, Neither, It’s the 535 members of the United States Congress. The same group of Idiots that crank out Hundreds of new laws each year, Designed to keep the rest of us in line. You ‘Gotta’ pass this one on! I've come to a conclusion, we get what we deserve, but the problem is, innocent children are beind damaged by some real live sociopaths in governemtn, corporations and maybe the neighbor next door. Adults who see themselves as servants for the people with their health and happiness first and foremost.
By RLKINDELAN on Gary Taubes' Diet Doctor

I was testing something out, reposted.

Annie Sauter said...

well, my husband and I both did Dr Atkins and Pritiken. We tested pre and post. On Pritiken his TC went from 460 t0 410 on a horrible time consuming diet. (and on 80 mg of Lipitor) His TC went from 460 to 165 on Atkins (also on 80 mg of Lipitor) eating all the fat and protein he wanted. My triglicerides shot up on Pritiken and went from 1500 to 145 on Atkins. So, I don't know what to ay.

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

Welcome Annie!

I guess I don't know what to say either. I'm not sure what this has to do with the post. Clearly LC is working for you and your husband and that is FANTASTIC! Keep it up, I'm not against LC whatsoever so long as it's beneficial.

Holly's Mouth said...

The fact is, Gary Taube's does know what he's talking about. Getting through his books isn't a party...it's like reading a science textbook but the guy does his research meticulously. The diet works because the weight just falls off of you if you are true to it. He is specific about eating a lot of greens and other vegetables as well as LEAN protein. (Sometimes I think those that gleefully try to make fun of Taube's haven't actually read his book(s)!).
And good old Doc Oz isn't really up to snuff in all things either: he's the one who blasted the apple juice producers for arsenic levels WITHOUT disclosing that there are two kinds of arsenic: inorganic and organic. His staff had labs test for total arsenic and ended up making a bit of fools of themselves. And this from someone who must have some background in chemistry!
And truth is, cholesterol is only "linked" statistically to heart disease and those swallowing their Lipitor tablets everyday are victims of fraud and a greedy pharmaceutical industry. Oz and his industry isn't telling the whole truth about sodium either.

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

Welcome to the Asylum Holly! I do hope you'll poke around a bit before you leave and read a few of my entries on the writings of Gary Taubes. Getting through his books indeed isn't a party, it's an exercise in utter tedium and nothing like reading an actual science textbook. His research is anything but meticulous as evidenced by the fact that the crux of his theory is based on a single 1965 physiology text. For starters, no science text book published in 2007 would have excluded -- deliberately according to some interviews -- recent research. Let's take insulin resistance, Taubes cites the hypotheses of Neels and describes them. From a 1982 paper. Then he implies that nothing new had been learned in the over two decades since when he began researching GCBC. Oddly enough one of those he cites "agreeing" with his anything-that-raises-insulin-causes-IR is McGarry who had quite different opinions it turns out. Meticulous would include properly citing your main references. On the issue of glycerol 3 phosphate, he misrepresented his definitive 1972 reference that stated clearly there was no evidence to support it. Heck, meticulous would include reading your references. If you listen to his last interview with Jimmy you'll learn that he clearly did not, because there were all these great things he wishes he'd known about in the book he could have used in GCBC. Huh?

There's a search box where you will find "GCBC Reference Check" yields an abundance of material demonstrating that Taubes ultimately makes up what he wants to believe.

Magarietha said...

Hi everybody, here in South Africa you can only have a lipogram done if you've fasted since 10 o'clock the previous evening - at least 10 hours. Plus we can have it done without a prescription, you just put your GP's name on the form. I would never have any lipids tested without the fasting protocol - it doesn't make any sense? And who cares where he had it done. WHY is that a problem. Are you implying that his results were meddled with (since he went perhaps to a personal friend or something) else why would it be a problem at all? I don't get the gist of this article. AND, if people who usually had dangerous levels suddenly show more reasonable levels and become slim to boot, what exactly is your gripe? It's like you're doomed if you do and you're doomed if you don't. Can no scientist just say WOW, that IS unexpected. I will drive 100 km's to get to my personal GP when there are about 50 in my immediate vicinity. It's a thing about humans - you go to the familiar. Gee whiz. So did anybody ASK Mr. Taubes why he went where he went?

Magarietha said...

Sorry just another note: I don't understand why people think it's a meat diet when I've read all his books and books of other people before I embarked on this diet (not to lose weight but to bring down my familial hypercholesterolemia a bit). My husband says he's never seen me eat so many veggies. So if someone should just fall dead, would they say, aha, she never ate her potatoes, or See that comes from leaving out fizzy drinks or perhaps, they died because of a lack of rice. Wha-at? Most of those foods are new world in any case. Poor old Europe only had pigs and greens in the great long ago. I'm flummoxed? by all the negative press. So you can eat fruit too, so what's the problem here exactly? My mother eats low fat sweetened fruit yoghurts so you think that's gonna give her great longevity - why? I'm sorry but I found GCBC really good reading. it was interesting - ordinary peope could read it and Lord knows, a quarter of the book consists of all his "et al's" his reference stuff. I reckon that was hard work and well researched. What would he gain by killing off people? Sorry about hogging the blog here.

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

Welcome Magarietha! This is a rather old article, but I'm happy to address it. In the US it depends on which state you live in whether you can get this done w/o a prescription. The funny thing was WHO he chose to get one from -- did you check out his website? Taubes said on his blog that time was a friend. Umm ... he's friends with far more reputable docs, not to mention he could have had Oz himself order it. So there's the time delay and then he posts labs -- who is to say he didn't get several tests done until he got results worth publishing? I don't think his lipids are in any way unexpected. I did say they were good as well, with some reservations.

As to your comment below, Taubes' wife calls him meat man, so he eats a lot of meat. This is not necessarily true for all low carbers (I'm more a fish and chicken gal myself, though porterhouse is on the menu for tonight). As to your mother's diet, where did I say low fat sugar sweetened yogurt is healthy? False dichotomy there. This is the problem with low carb dogma. There are lots of low fat foods that aren't refined junk full of fillers and crap. Hope this helps clear up some confusion :)

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carbsane said...

I remember that. Well put. The really sad thing is that I doubt he even needs the money ..

eulerandothers said...

Carbsane, I can't find any reference to Gary Taubes selling anything. Could you point me in that direction? I don't doubt it, I just can't find it.

In the meantime, I find EC Westman (can I be mistaking Dr. Westman of Atkins fame with a different Dr. Westman?) was listed for this study about phentermine. What's that all about?

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21527891

Even more recent, and more puzzling:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24045586

carbsane said...

I don't know that Gary sells anything besides books. But he is drawing some sort of administrative salary from NuSI (perhaps we'll learn what that is this tax year) and that organization most definitely relies on continuing his schtick. We've been hearing for ages how his next book is going to be about sugar. The man is a very slow researcher ;-)


Westman seems to be dipping his foot in the money-on-the-side game. If I recall, he didn't take money for The New Atkins. Interesting that he's studied diet drugs.

eulerandothers said...

Ah, my misunderstanding. It's the doc who tested Taubes that is selling those anti-binge packs....

Pochy said...

As a Neuroscience student, i say that he does not represent mainstream Psychiatry. Psychiatrists aren't diet doctors, their supposed to be assessing if some one has mental illness. You can't cure schizophrenia through diet.

carbsane said...

Yeah, he's not practicing psychiatry that's for sure!! Seems a LOT of doctors like to "specialize" in fields they never really studied let alone formally specialized in. :(

Pochy said...

Doctors can be idiots. Then again, their not trained in science. A good doctor does not have to be scientifically literate. They just have to apply the science correctly.

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