Welcome all seeking refuge from low carb dogma!

“To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact”
~ Charles Darwin (it's evolutionary baybeee!)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Paleo Water Update

Wasn't sure where to discuss this, but I figured it might as well be on the blog.  A week or so ago, I blogged on Paleo Water.  James Fell also blogged on this atrocity that popped up in ads on Jimmy Moore's Livin la Vida Low Carb blog.  His post:  Paleo has jumped the shark.  

At that time, the Paleo Water page was green and looked like a spoof.  There was a caveman top left, Jimmy Moore's eight year old "thinker pose" photo on top right with “As recommended by Jimmy Moore of Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb” .  It then listed, along with alkalinity, all the ways paleo water was more like the water our paleolithic ancestors drank.  Free of bacteria and parasites, the water was touted as "as close as scientifically possible to the water our genetic blueprint demands – but no longer receives".  

James' post went viral on Facebook and seemingly everyone was laughing at this product and its endorser ... except of course for those people that owe their paleo paycheck in some part to Jimmy Moore.  Nary a peep of concerned criticism about this hijacking of the paleo label from a one of them.  If there was, I missed it.  This is how the paleo community rolls.  When Robb Wolf launches his next tirade at another anthropologist or serious disease researcher and attacking them for misrepresenting paleo as a fad diet associated with scientifically unsubstantiated medical practices, perhaps someone will remind him that his silence on these matters bolster those claims.

But I noticed on yesterday that Jimmy had Marilyn Diamond's husband on his ATLCX podcast this week to talk magical anti-aging woo woo.  I was wondering where the smattering of traffic to my post on Diamond was coming from!  Interestingly enough, Diamond is an ex-raw veganite citing 20 years of research for the book she now denounces.  But what caught my eye was the new look of the Paleo Water ad.  So I clicked on through ....


Was this the same website?  This is what you see today.  And the claims?  

No Jimmy Moore.  No primal genes.  No claims about hydrogen infusion even.  Do I even need to address the claims?  Didn't think so ;-)  

So ... I take one for the team and watch the video.  Cassie Bond -- wow ... that name rang a bell from  She promotes an alkaline paleo diet and I've read a smattering of her nonsense.   

Folks, if you thought paleo was a nebulous term that Robb Wolf would rather eat gluten rather than provide a single sentence definition of, or that "low carb" was a term meaning a different thing depending on outcome, I invite you to click on my collection of images here.  Clockwise from top left:  1, 2, 3, 4 ... or do an image search on your own.



First you will notice that there are foods that are listed as alkaline on one but acidic on the other.  Next, you will notice that both alkalized water AND lemon water are considered "alkaline" foods.  Please ...  I would note that such foods as beef and chocolate are listed pretty unanimously in the highly acidic category -- how can you do alkaline paleo?  

I am struck by the emotional grimmace-faced appeal leading up to the unveiling of the *whole* story.  Here is a woman that claims to have done twenty years of research and lived the life.  She actually claims the alkaline diet is best, but if you do *just* that diet you could harm your body as much as if you ate the SAD diet!!  Seriously?  Well, she claims she and her partner Ian suffered some serious health issues despite their healthy diet.  And then they found paleo I suppose.  

And they shall share their secret based on over 20 years of research!  Nobody else ever stumbled upon this secret ...

So I even took an extra one for the team and watched the additional videos.  The first thing that strikes me is that neither Cassie nor Ian look particularly healthy, vibrant or anything special compared to the average American.  This is becoming a recurring theme.  He's early 60's ... not sure her age.

In the last video where Cassie promotes their water filter, she makes the claims as shown on the screen but with the following adjectives:
  • large amounts of oxygen
  • huge amounts of antioxidants
  • amazing amounts of electro-energy
  • vast amounts of alkalinity
Ummm ... I can't help but note the irony of the first two bullet points.  The antioxidant of which she speaks must be the hydrogen that has gone missing from the pitch here.  Amazing amount of electro-energy?  Bullpuckies!!  This isn't even Science Krispie terroir folks.   Vast amounts of alkalinity?  What does that mean Cassie?    She begins her pitch about alkalinity by stating that the body works very hard to maintain a relatively constant pH.  Our foods are too acidic (actually, the correct interpretation, right or wrong as it may be, of the alkaline diet is that it is the acidic or basic effect that the byproducts of food metabolism produce, not the pH of the food itself) so I guess "vast amounts of alkalinity" are better?  Why not just drink baking soda water or something?   I get a chuckle just thinking about how many of her alkaline diet friends will make lemon water with her alkalized water!   Electro-energy?  Ions have no "electro-energy" just dissolved in water.  

You can watch all the rest if the vids w/o giving an email addy with these links:

The last one with Tyler LeBaron, biochemist.  Here's a bit about him -- I just won't even go there.  Sigh and shakes head at how any of that translates into paleo man drank hydrogenated water a liter at a time to maintain their hydrogen concentrations.  Whatevs.  I wonder what his chem profs would think of this video:  


But I thought y'all might just find it amusing that although he is still advertising their product, the Alkaway team has scrubbed all reference to Jimmy Moore from their promo materials, and, for whatever reason (I'm thinking they didn't like the humiliating rebuke of their outlandish claims) pretty much any reference to paleo times, etc.  They retooled the schtick to appeal to the low carbers that might find them through Jimmy's site, but that's about it.  

I find this to be an interesting development ...


charles grashow said...

1) There is NO SUCH THING as a paleo diet! The paleolithic era extends from the earliest known use of stone tools, probably by hominins such as australopithecines, 2.6 million years ago, to the end of the Pleistocene around 10,000 years ago. Define which part of this period the diet is based on. The part BEFORE humans had control of fire or after?

2) Paleo jumped the shark years ago when the low carb crowd hijacked it and merged it with the induction phase of Atkins.

3) We evolved in largely equatorial Africa, for well over 99% of our total evolution so where's the evidence that we ate a low carb diet?

Lighthouse Keeper said...

" Amazing amounts of electro-energy" that one raises more red flags than a Beijing May Day parade.

Steven said...

I find it amusing that you have some people who criticise Paleo because 'there's no one Paleo diet' and other people who criticise Paleo because 'it's poorly defined and has no consistent set of guidelines'. It's impossible to win on the internet

charles grashow said...

I said there is NO such thing as a Paleo diet.

Susanne said...

Wouldn't Paleo water be glacial meltwater? I know they market it, one of my former archaeology students gave me a "collection" of 5 bottles packaged in a fancy box, with a map showing the glaciers they came from and the "age" of each. Someone connected with her family was selling it. Never tasted any of them, it's too much fun to show off the box in class.

Oh lord, the pH woo. I looked into this when my loopy crunchy-granola hippie aunt (who is on a fixed income) got talked into buying a hugely expensive home water ionizing/alkalinizing system. Respectful Insolence did a big column on it, Ben Goldacre of Bad Science covered it also, his "Awful Poo Lady" Gillian McKeith over in the UK is into it. Cf. Orac:

Their basic science-based take on it, if you don't feel like reading the above: 1) The pH of your pee (which is what the alkaline loonies mostly test) does not reflect the pH of your body. It is a WASTE PRODUCT, which by definition is your body eliminating a bunch of stuff it doesn't need to keep around. 2) Your body has very many wonderful feedback and buffering mechanisms which keep its different bits in a tight range very close to their appropriate respective pH values. (Different bits have different appropriate pH, you don't want your stomach acid to be buffered to 7, otherwise your digestion wouldn't work very well, would it?) It does not casually let these pH values stray back and forth just because your aura has become wonky or whatever. 3) Because of these wonderful feedback mechanisms, you can luckily not change the pH of your various bitses very much by means of the stuff you ingest, which is a Good Thing. ((TM) Martha!) 4) The chemistry logic of alkalzing proponents doesn't make any sense anyway, because some of the things they claim are alkalinizing are actually acid and vice versa.
5) Don't drink bleach. Do not make other people drink bleach, especially helpless minors in your care.

Paleo Nouveau said...

Charles, let's assume Man had not yet mastered fire. What available food sources would they have had that would have consistently provided them a high carb diet? Fruit? It would seem to me that foraging and hunting would have provided mostly protein, fiber and fat.
Keep in mind I am only referring to this in the context of what they may have ate then. Not arguing or implying that it has any basis of merit on how we should eat now.

carbsane said...

They just keep recycling this crap!

I don't think it's going over on this group much (the water that is) but the acid-alkaline part is ingrained in the paleo literature :(

carbsane said...

Was waiting for her eyes to pop out of her head at some point there! ;-)

carbsane said...

There was a great line in one of the paleo critiques that made the rounds a while back about there not being one diet in the paleo times. The line went something like: You can't chuck all of these diets in a blender and make a smoothie you call the paleo diet.

In many ways, that is exactly what Eaton/Konner and more than anyone for implementation, Cordain, did.

But you have to define guidelines that people using that label will no longer do. No grains, legumes or dairy! What do they make concessions to first? Well dairy of course, the food least likely to have been available in the paleolithic. Makes perfect sense to ignore the evidence of grain and legume consumption ....

It's not about winning, it's about clarity and consistency. There is none.

carbsane said...

I just noticed that you have continued your blogging on the paleo clinical trials. Does it not bother you AT ALL that "paleo in practice" tends to bear little resemblence to these relatively fruit heavy, low fat, low saturated fat, and usually low calorie diets? Not even a little?

This post is about baseless health claims. Well, the health claims about paleo are that it is how we evolved to eat and this is what our genes are designed to eat. Paleo is based, ultimately, on neolithic data for hunter gatherers. OK ... but if we accept that, and researchers implement it (mostly associated with Lindeberg who is co-author with Eaton/Konner/Cordain in some cases) and see good health outcomes, then it is that diet, and that diet only that is supported by these studies. ... whether or not Robb Wolf has learned the difference between an RCT and an observational study as of yet.

Sanjeev Sharma said...

> glacial meltwater? ... "collection" of 5 bottles
was any of it purple (the colour of Mastodon urine)?

carbsane said...

The only thing better than ordinary paleo water is purple pee paleo water!!!

charles grashow said...

1)Can anyone explain how paleo became tied to low carb eating?

"he best available estimates suggest that those ancestors obtained about 35% of their dietary energy from fats, 35% from carbohydrates and 30% from protein. Saturated fats contributed approximately 7.5% total energy and harmful \trans-fatty acids contributed negligible amounts. Polyunsaturated fat intake was high, with n-6:n-3 approaching 2:1 (v. 10:1 today). Cholesterol consumption was substantial, perhaps 480 mg/d.
Carbohydrate came from uncultivated fruits and vegetables, approximately 50% energy intake as compared with the present level of 16% energy intake for Americans. High fruit and vegetable intake and minimal grain and dairy consumption made ancestral diets base-yielding, unlike today’s acid-producing pattern. Honey comprised 2–3% energy intake as compared with the 15% added sugars contribute currently. Fibre consumption was high, perhaps 100 g/d, but phytate content was minimal. Vitamin, mineral and (probably) phytochemical intake was typically 1.5 to eight times that of today except for that of Na, generally < 1000 mg/d, i.e. much less than that of K. The field of nutrition science suffers from the absence of a unifying hypothesis on which to build a dietary strategy for prevention; there is no Kuhnian paradigm, which some researchers believe to be a prerequisite for progress in any scientific discipline. An understanding of human evolutionary experience and its relevance to contemporary nutritional requirements may address this critical deficiency."

2) In a paper he co-authored Loren Cordain (the co-godfather od the "modern" paleo diet with Boyd Eaton) stated that

data from multiple lines of evidence consistently demonstrate that the
physiologically normal LDL level and the thresholds for atherosclerosis
development and CHD events are approximately 50 to 70 mg/dl."

We live in a world very different from that for which we are genetically
adapted. Profound changes in our environment began with the introduction of agriculture and animal husbandry 10,000 years ago, too recent on an evolutionary time scale for the human genome to adjust. As a result of this ever-worsening discordance between our ancient genetically
determined biology and the nutritional, cultural, and activity patterns
in modern populations, many of the so-called diseases of civilization,
including atherosclerosis, have emerged. Evidence from hunter-gatherer
populations while they were still following their indigenous lifestyles showed no evidence for atherosclerosis, even in individuals living into
the seventh and eighth decades of life (15-16). These populations had total cholesterol levels of 100 to 150 mg/dl withestimated LDL cholesterol levels of about 50 to 75 mg/dl. The LDL levels of healthy neonates are even today in the 30 to 70 mg/dl range. Healthy, wild, adult primates show LDL levels of approximately 40 to 80 mg/dl (17). In fact, modern humans are the only adult mammals, excluding some domesticated animals, with a mean LDL level over 80 mg/dl and a total cholesterol over 160 mg/dl 15-16 (Figure 1). Thus, although an LDL level of 50 to 70 mg/dl seems excessively low by modern American standards, it is precisely the normal range for individuals living the lifestyle and eating the diet for which we are genetically adapted."

Now - the paleo people poo-poo this BUT AFAIK he's NEVER published and/or stated a direct rebuttal of this.

carbsane said...

The acid base woo woo goes back to the original, I'm afraid:

What I could capture in this screen alone is quite interesting

"Bone health is substantially dependent on dietary acid/base balance. All foods upon digestion ultimately must report to the kidneys as either acid or base. When the diet yields a net acid load (such as low-carb fad diets that restrict consumption of fruits and vegetables), the acid must be buffered by the alkaline stores of base in the body. ... The highest acid-producing foods are hard cheeses, cereal grains, salted foods, meats, and legumes, whereas the only alkaline, base-producing foods are fruits and vegetables. Because the average American diet is overloaded with grains, cheeses, salted processed foods, and fatty meats at the expense of fruits and vegetables, it produces a net acid load...

The Paleo Diet recommends an appropriate balance of acidic and basic (alkaline) foods (i.e., grass produced or free ranging meats, fish and seafood, fruits, and vegetables) ..."

See? WHAT paleo diet DOES matter.

I don't expect everyone to be a watchdog and openly criticize. But dialing back on knee-jerk association/affiliation/promotion of anyone promoting "paleo" would be a good start. Would you not agree?

Thomas said...

Now that's some mighty fine H2O!......Oh no! We suck again!

Sanjeev Sharma said...

the bestest is paleo wooly mamoth clinker water

Sanjeev Sharma said...

>explain how paleo became tied to low carb eating?


but which science? empirical marketing ; test out multiple marketing campaigns and commit to the highest - yielding ad copy

charles grashow said...

Is the fear of a skewed off, greater than 1:1 Omega-6, Omega-3 ratio, irrational and unfounded?

Yes, it is unfounded. There’s no objective evidence demonstrating the optimality of a 1:1 ratio of dietary omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. It’s all speculation without a solid research basis. For example, the ratio of omega-6 to omega 3 in coconut oil (a Paleo fetishist favorite) is almost 4000 to 1, yet the weight of the evidence does not indict
coconut oil as an agent of adverse effects. Most commercially available land animals’ fatty acid composition has omega-6 content that’s many times greater than its omega-3 content. So, if we were to strive for a 1:1 ratio in the diet, we’d have to minimize the consumption of beef, chicken, pork, etc. It’s just silly. In line with this, the higher proportion of omega-6 fats in whole foods of plant origin such as nuts is not a concern. The evidence of omega-3 consumption’s beneficial effect on health indexes is abundant, so I would recommend keeping fatty marine foods in rotation in the weekly menu in order to reap these benefits. For those really worried about it, omega-3 supplementation is always an option.

Wuchtamsel said...

Let me take a guess, you also don't believe in evolution?
Just take a look at the diet of men's ancestors and relatives and your "questions" will be promptly answered in a satisfactory way...

charles grashow said...

"There is near unanimous current opinion that saturated fats should comprise less than 10% of each day's dietary energy, perhaps 7±8%. Similar consensus exists that high intakes of cholesterol (>500mg/d) are to be avoided, an intake of 300mg/d or less being widely advocated. Further, there is substantial agreement that high total fat diets (>40% of dietary energy) are unwise; however, there is dispute as to whether the target for fat consumption
should be low (<20% of energy) or intermediate (in the 30±35% range) (Grundy,1994).
Saturated fatty acids are calculated to have provided about 6% of the average total energy intake for Paleolithic humans (Eaton,1992). Their cholesterol intake is estimated at 480mg/d, unavoidable when game makes up a third of the nutrition base, and their overall fat intake is projected at 20±25% total energy (Table1), intermediate between the frequently lauded traditional (c.1960) Japanese(11%) and Mediterranean (37%) patterns (Willett,1994)"

Susanne said...

No, it is all clear. Although I just checked and it looks like the plastic bottle of "Ice Age" water from the purest glaciers of British Columbia has seeped a little, it's got some mineral deposits under it. Which means the ungrammatical blurb on the web page is a lie when it says "The water has a super low mineral content of less then 5mg/l something that low is usually only achieved by by melting snow or ice." !!! Is it possible that the marketers of my expensive waters are not being truthful?!! The Canadian water is the only one in plastic, the New Zealand and French waters are in sexy glass bottles, with an expiration date (now passed). So: 15,000 years in a glacier, perfectly good, but after 1 year in a bottle, no go. (The woo degrades after that.)

When I searched to find out if the "Waterbar" company is still in business (apparently not) I found that if you want to be sure of your water you can travel to Alaska to collect your own, although if you want to take a lot you need a permit: What a great country.

Is the purple mastodon pee a real thing? I'm afraid to google it.

Bris Vegas said...

Hydrogen-rich water (hydrogen dissolved in water) seems to be a very promising and cheap therapy for a number of medical conditions. Gaseous hydrogen is readily absorbed into the bloodstream from the and has a very potent antioxidant effect.


Hepatology. 2012 Sep;56(3):912-21. doi: 10.1002/hep.25782. Epub 2012 Jul 17.

Hydrogen-rich water prevents progression of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and accompanying hepatocarcinogenesis in mice.


Magn Reson Med Sci. 2011;10(3):169-76.

Protective effect of hydrogen-rich water against gentamicin-induced nephrotoxicity
in rats using blood oxygenation level-dependent MR imaging.


J Clin Periodontol. 2011 Dec;38(12):1085-90.

Hydrogen-rich water attenuates experimental periodontitis in a rat model.

British Journal of Radiology
(2010) 83, 509-514

2010 The British Institute of Radiology

Experimental verification of protective effect of hydrogen-rich water against cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity in rats using
dynamic contrast-enhanced CT

Bris Vegas said...

The vast majority of anthropologists and archaeologists consider the whole paleo diet idea to be unscientific BS.

It is generally accepted that early hominids ate a plant based diet very similar diet to that eaten by chimpanzees.

Steven said...

"But dialing back on knee-jerk association/affiliation/promotion of
anyone promoting "paleo" would be a good start. Would you not agree?"

I agree.

Perhaps in time we'll see less promotion of anything 'Paleo' as the community gets less desparate, and see more criticism of pseudoscience under the Paleo umbrella because that is probably the greatest 'threat' (for lack of a better word) to the movement being seen as legitimate, becoming widespread and ultimately helping people.

Steven said...

It does, particularly when they are being used to promote something so far from the actual diets (VLC diets, low starch or low fruit Paleo, or nuts (I saw one of them linked on a pro-nut site, nut consumption was really low)) and that's half the reason I did it.

Steven said...

But what's wrong with looking at common threads (most calories from meat, fruit and starches) and differences between our diet today (no refined grains, refined sugar, vegetable oils, etc) and acknowledging the variety in macronutrients or proportions of types of food. (Especially if this is supported with other stuff like nutrient density and availability, etc)

It sounds like you're not convinced by those 'just so' stories where HGs often killed lactating animals and drank their milk. Nevermind about lactose intolerance

carbsane said...

Where is all this fat coming from? Seriously.

Sanjeev Sharma said...

completely made up for effect.

carbsane said...

Where I have a problem with the "common ground" thing is that this always seems to be on someone else's terms. I think Jimmy's interview with McDougall was a perfect example of this. McDougall is stone set against refined carbs and it would appear even favors whole starches to fruits and such. Now I'm not buying it, but Jimmy claims he was trying to get McD to chat with him and demonize Twinkies but to what end? The discussion McD wanted to have was why starch vs. fatty meats.

I have from time to time thought I could make peace with "the movement" and join it most-if-not-whole heartedly w/o selling out ... but it's just not possible. I cannot promote paleo on the basis of having common ground about real foods and such when they so adamantly oppose ALL grains and legumes, and a large percentage shun real whole carb foods like potatoes and bananas. It's almost the same as I was made to feel when I was low carb but didn't buy into the insulin nonsense.
So this is where something's gotta budge and the paleos need to sort out their own differences and put forth a single unified message-- however nuanced. They can't. At this point I think it's gotten away from them so that they won't be able to. Saying "no Jimmy, this won't fly" would be a good start, but one get the feeling such has not happened even on a private level.

In the mean time when someone says paleo = just eating real food I have to cry foul. Because the paleos tout all manner of refined and processed stuff when it suits them and then demonize legumes and fruit. So they can't have the umbrella handle, they gotta try to fit under the umbrella just like the rest do.

Paleo Nouveau said...

"... all this fat coming from?" Why would you think I am referring to substantial amounts of fat? I am not. I am simply pointing out that if we obtained the majority of our food from foraging and hunting, as is widely accepted and we had yet not mastered fire, then it would seem that for the most part we were eating mostly protein and some fat from game and fiber and some carbs from foraging/gathering. The only other major sources of carbs would have come from fruits or honey. Fruits would not have contained the "fountains" of fructose we have today. Honey would have been eaten on rare occasion.
I don't prescribe to the "we consumed tons of saturated fat" school of thought, by the way.
I am not claiming this was "paleo" as I don't believe in the 'paleo" diet being historically accurate as it is too broad a period to pin down.

carbsane said...

Mark Sisson with a side order of Gary Taubes.

In the vein of Sanjeev's response, Mark is a marketing genius. Cordain's diet was way too restrictive and about as exciting as watching paint dry.

Mark "tweaked" it, spun a good tale of Grok and relaxed the rules just enough to appeal to people. He marketed it to the LLVLC gang and picked off just enough people to run with the high fat message. He was the one that intertwined Gary's insulin schtick into paleo. It sure seems that way to me anyway.

carbsane said...

We cannot survive on mostly protein though. I'm not sure where the upper limit is set these days, but 300 grams is pretty high and that's only 1200 cals. I would say that 200 is more reasonable if one presumes eating a lot of animal matter. Thus the diet would have to be high in carb or fat -- or moderate in both, but that seems unlikely given how most HG diets bear out (they are either high in one or the other, not moderate in both).

There seems to be more evidence supporting starch consumption in early hominids vs. fat, and the type of animals humans would hunt were likely quite lean.

The Inuit really are an outlier as cold-water wild animals tend to be fatty. Warm climate animals, not so much

Steven said...

I wasn't talking talking about common ground between diet groups, rather I was I wasn't talking about common ground between HG diets.

But as for the common ground thing you brought up I also agree. The McDougall podcast was unproductive. Another one was Jonathan Bailor with T Colin Campbell. I don't know why I listened to them

So long as you have camps under the Paleo umbrella with extreme dogmatic positions I don't think there there will be too much of a unified message beyond meat and veg are good and we eat too many grains, vegetable oils and refined sugar. Which still leaves like 50% of the diet up to debate

I don't like the real food thing as it's kind of an appeal to nature and some real foods are better/worse than others. Most people in the JERF camp are anti-wheat and anti-soy anyway

carbsane said...

Yeah, I came across some promising information there which is why downplaying that aspect in this update seems strange.

I'll have to look at the studies but since you presumably have, can you save me the time and tell me how they accomplished the H2 enrichment? Did any bubble H2 through the water or do most rely on reaction with magnesium?

carbsane said...

But if not real food then what? Are you perhaps referring to the "contains only natural ingredients" thing that I agree is pretty bad.

Paleo Nouveau said...

Perhaps. But at some point in time we started eating more than plants. Today we would be hard pressed to survive in the wild just on plants. Is this an evolutionary adaptation that backfired? Or indicative of something else? The premise is "what did Paleo" people eat a point where fire was still not viable?

Paleo Nouveau said...

Why would you ASSUME such nonsense? Look at my relatives? At what point in time? Which relatives? Those that merely survived or the ones that may have thrived? What region? What ethnicity? What the heck would that answer? Certainly none of my questions!!!

My questions were directed at Charles as I find him to be intellectually engaging and this can lead ALL OF US to further our knowledge through give and take discussions.

Paleo Nouveau said...

Well said!!!

Paleo Nouveau said...

Bias is rampant on ALL sides! Vegans? Biased! Paleo? Biased! Low carbers? Biased! You name it and they are biased. Why? They are convinced they have the "magic bullet." The reality is there is NO SUCH THING AS A UNIVERSAL PERFECT DIET UNLESS IT IMPLIES REDUCING OR ELIMINATING PROCESSED AND JUNK FOODSTUFFS!!! Macro nutrients and micro nutrient profiling is a waste of time! Even if you eat "right" for you the reality may be that life will not be extended by one minute. You may however enjoy a healthier life! The opposite may not be as idealistic. Eating and poor lifestyle choices may indeed SHORTEN your lifespan.

Steven said...

Some of my problems with real food are:

1) Most people in the JERF camp (like the WAPF and Sean Croxton) are anti-wheat, anti-soy, etc. So even they aren't 100% real food

2) Some real foods are clearly unhealthy like poisonous plants. There is a spectrum and not all real foods are healthy or equally so (healthy compared to what?). Some in Paleo community exaggerate and give the impression that if you eat X you'll die or something, but there is a spectrum

3) Real food needs more guidelines. There are ways to do really badly on a real food diet. Exaggerating for a moment to make a point: eating 40-50% of your calories from protein >> rabbit starvation; or 70-90% of your calories from seeds >> probable nutrient deficiencies

4) Is minimally processed food like cheese, olive oil, etc real food?

5) Some processed food is/can be good. Cod liver oil, gelatin, coconut oil, etc can all be helpful in certain circumstances

"But if not real food then what?" I don't know. It's easy to criticise, but harder to make something that's resistant/immune to (well argued) criticism. Maybe we'll see it in Chris Kresser's book, or if not, maybe later.

carbsane said...

Ahh ... I gotcha now. I didn't get your point re: wheat and soy (though I see WAPF as much less anti wheat, just into the whole fermented/sprouted).

Yeah so I hope for a coalescing around *BASE* your diet on real whole foods, use minimally processed stuff in "normal" amounts, and live it up a little as needed here and there.

I have become quite down in the Kresser wing of paleo because (1) he's not really paleo but seems to be bringing that term back for marketing purposes only (he had gone "beyond paleo" ... and (2) he is part of the growing contingent of paleos espousing woo woo medical treatments, I cannot get over the Poliquin-inspired betaine HCl stomach acid nonsense with his and Robb's Paleologix You don't get much worse than a specific law citing that supplement for lack of evidence for any efficacy and yet they peddle it at like 3X the cost no less.

I just tweeted Cordain endorsing some Paleo Bars made with dehydrated egg whites instead of date paste. Shakes.My.Head.

charles grashow said...

You might give this a look

"Which paleo diet should we eat? The one from twelve thousand years ago? A hundred thousand years ago? Forty million years ago? If you want to return to your ancestral diet, the one our ancestors ate when most of the features of our guts were evolving, you might reasonably eat what our ancestors spent the most time eating during the largest periods of the evolution of our guts, fruits, nuts, and vegetables—especially fungus-covered tropical leaves."

"But the truth is, for most of the last twenty million years of the
evolution of our bodies, through most of the big changes, we were eating fruit, nuts, leaves and the occasional bit of insect, frog, bird or mouse. While some of us might do well with milk, some might do better than others with starch and some might do better or worse with alcohol, we all have the basic machinery to get fruity or nutty without trouble. And anyway, just because some of us do better with milk or starch or meat than others doesn’t mean such foods are good for us, it just means that those individuals who couldn’t deal with these foods were more likely to die or less likely to mate."

"So, what should we eat? The past does not reveal a simple answer, ever. Our bodies did not evolve to be in harmony with a past diet. They evolved to take advantage of what was available. If the best diet we can, with billions of dollars invested in nutritional studies, stumble upon is the one that our ancestors of one or another stage happened to die less when consuming, we are in trouble. Should we take our evolutionary past into account when figuring out the optimal diet. Yes, definitely. But there are two big caveats. First, our evolutionary history is not singular. Our bodies are filled with layers of evolutionary histories; both recent and ancient adaptations, histories that influence how and who we are in every way, including what happens to the food we eat. The recent adaptations of our bodies differ from one person to the next, whether because of unique versions of genes or unique microbes, but our bodies are all fully-equipped to deal with meat (which is relatively easy) and natural sugars (also easy, if not always beneficial), and harder to digest plant material, what often gets
called fiber. Our ancient evolutionary history influences how we deal with these foods, as does our stone age past, as do the changes that occurred to some but not all peoples as agriculture arose. With time, we will understand more about how these histories influence how our bodies deal with the food we eat. But the bigger caveat is that what our histories and ancestral diets offer is not an answer as to what we should eat. It is, more simply, context. Our ancestors were not at one with nature. Nature tried to kill them and starve them out; they survived anyway, sometimes with more meat, sometimes with less, thanks in part to the ancient flexibility of our guts."

Your thoughts

Ian Blair Hamilton said...

Hi, Steven, we came to the paleo diet after 13 years on the alkaline diet. It follows that we were not happy with the alkaline diet's promise or result, and in my case it was a broken leg with severe undetected osteoporosis that sealed the case of alkaline diet and fully converted me to Paleo.

So I can say that we are not alkaline diet people. We are paleo people who have learned by experience that the SAD diet of large amounts of red meat IS acidifying, but the Paleo diet of less or no grains, no bread, less meat and more greens is not as acidic as the SAD. However it still revolves around some rather large amounts of greens on a daily basis and our experience tells us that few people actually do consume sufficient greens. Greens of course, are antioxidants, as is hydrogen water. Hydrogen water, however, is a targeting antioxidant, neutralising the cytotoxic free radicals anbd not the less harmful 'janitor' free radicals our body relies upon to remain 'clean' but which are neutralised by most antioxidants - but not hydrogen. May I resepectfully suggest you search on hydrogen studies on PubMed? There are over sixty disease-specific ones to choose from.

Ian Blair Hamilton said...

Dear WooWoo, I would dispute the alkaline food chart you are referring to. Most acid.alkaline food charts are based on the potential after metabolism to leave either an acid or alkaline 'ash'. The glaring example of its problem is what you quoted; fruit. The vast majority of fruits are loaded with fructose which sneaks by the kidneys and raises insulin resistance. net result is inflammation which is - guess what? Acid forming. This second level acidosis effect is never mentioned in the alkaline food charts, and you also see many grains in the charts. We now know thanks to some great literature on the scene now that grains are also inflaming.

So.. we agree that a smaller amount of grassfed grass finished meats, fish and seafood plus vegetables can provide a less inflaming, less acid forming diet than the SAD.

The issue of whether hydrogen water is or is not paleo has nothing to do with acid/alkaline balance. It has to do with good clean water with the added benefit of infused hydrogen..

Ian Blair Hamilton said...

Hmm. given that we can actually measure it and prove it... Normal tap water is around +200mv and therefore oxizing. AlkaWay UltraStream water has a mv rating of anywhere from -300 to -700mv.

Ian Blair Hamilton said...

Agree. At least we can all agree that we love to disagree.

Ian Blair Hamilton said...

Er yeah. Right.

Ian Blair Hamilton said...

Carbsane, Here's a link to AquaSciences test of the UltraStream to show actual hydrogen production.

Cassie Bond said...

I am so glad I don't need to bring other people down in order to feel good about myself. I started my blog almost 5 years ago because I got well on the Paleo diet after being vegetarian for many years. So I wanted to share the success to help others who were interested. And yes I have sold water ionizers in Australia for the last 13 years in my small business and seen my customers have good health effects from drinking the ionized water.
So make fun of me all you want, I just (and only just) make a living and I am proud of what I do.

carbsane said...

I would be fascinated to learn how this measurement is done. This is the potential of your water measured compared to what? With what instrumentation?

carbsane said...

You are calling me WooWoo? LOL

Yes, hydrogen in the water has nothing to do with acid base balance. I should say little to do with it.

Your product claims about alkalized water are separate and apart from your attempts to market it as paleo. The H2 claims seem to have some backing in the literature, but this has nothing to do with the claims about the alkalinity of the water.

carbsane said...

The paleo diet is less meat than the SAD. Stop! You're killing me man!

carbsane said...

Interesting that your source water starts out slightly alkaline at pH 7.5.

I am interested in the H2 claims as there appears to be some validity to these, however I do not know if this has been evaluated while controlling for magnesium. Hence my query to Bris Vegas as I don't have the time to look through all of these studies.

carbsane said...

Also -- Does your filter come with instructions to let it sit for at least two hours between dispensing for maximum hydrogen production?

carbsane said...

So your ionized water didn't do crap for you until you went paleo. Only according to your partner paleo = less meat. Not much fruit either. What DO you eat?

I'm not making fun of you but I will hold you to account for bogus scientific claims. However I will make fun of this notion that this is "paleo water". Face it. You guys flubbed selling this through Jimmy Moore as evidenced by the revamped ads.

John Smith said...

Sounds like you are being a little harsh on the young biochemist their. It appears that hydrogen does have some benefits.

Tyler LeBaron said...

Yes, that is normally how hydrogen water is prepared is via bubbling. There are many other methods to produce hydrogen-rich water, but bubbling H2 under high pressure is one of the easier ones, especially when designing controls.

carbsane said...

Yes there are other ways, such as how your filter works which introduces a confounding variable -- magnesium -- into the equation.

Am I reading your specs correctly? After 3 hours sitting, when you dispense 1 liter of water it is 18% saturated with hydrogen?

carbsane said...

I did say that it did. I think he's a bit misguided in mixing his autoionization of water with electrolysis.

Tyler LeBaron said...

I assume you are referring to table 1 with the SD501? Then yes, at normal flow rate you average about 18.8% saturation.

Tyler LeBaron said...

I assure you I was not misguided, confused or otherwise mistaken regarding the self-ionization of water with electrolysis. Although the scientific explanation is simple here it is accurate. Surly someone who has taken advanced quantitative chemical analysis at the University and tutors biochemistry can explain the process of electrolysis.

I feel that if I explained it more scientifically, I would not be able to educate majority of people watching the video. But if you are interested in a more complex explanation than I will gladly oblige.

When current is applied to the water the cations and anions travel to the anode and cathode respectively where they undergo either oxidation or reduction as appropriate. The hydronium ions migrate at high mobility via the Grotthuss mechanism (i.e. quantum tunneling) to the cathode where it adsorbs at the electrode interface with subsequent reduction to its monoatomic radical species which immediately reacts with an identical counterpart, facilitated by polar alignment (from the electric field) thus enhanced solvation activity, resulting in nanoscopic cavities in liquid water. The hydrogen gas formed can be in nanobubbles or in a solvated hydrogen
molecule, para-H2 and ortho-H2, confined inside the small dodecahedral (H2O)20 cage of the sII clathrate hydrate (based on the coupled
translation-rotation eigenstates). This reduction of the hydronium ions shifts the equilibrium in favor of more hydroxides in accordance with the Kw of water, resulting in an increase in pH. Therefore, proton reduction and subsequent H2 evolution is proportional to the raise in pH. :))

Ian Blair Hamilton said...

No, because we have tested it as you will see from the tests i sent you. You are correct in assuming a dropoff in hydrogen infusion with contiunual flow. We do not claim high volume hydrogen rich water production but as the report shows, the Ultrastream is very capable of providing for the needs of an average family on a glass-by-glass basis. Interestingly, we now have another report comparing it directly with a $4000 water ionizer, showing that at normal flow rates in domestic use parameters, the UltraStream delivers THREE times the infused hydrogen.

Ian Blair Hamilton said...

I would suggest, given your real interest, that you ask Tyler LeBaron, biochemist. he is contactable through his Hydrogen Water' Facebook group at

Ian Blair Hamilton said...

Apologies. I got a mite confused; Thought you were posting as WooWoo. Agree with you. UltraStream water achieves 3 objectives;
1. It purifies the water using state of the art filtration media including catalytic carbon and KDF to neutralise heavy metals.
2. It elutes magnesium and to a lesser extent, calcium.
3. It uses a slow release magnesium media to infuse hydrogen into the water.

Acid base balance is all about the amount of alkaline minerals in a liquid. There is often some confusion about alkalinity and pH. Most people think they are the same. pH comes from the french term 'per hydrogene' and yes, it relates to the amount of hydrogen ions in a liquid.

The essential point we are all looking at here is whether this form of water may be closer to water our ancestors drank or the modern industrialised water we now drink.

Ian Blair Hamilton said...

Hi, Carbsane.

The measurement is done by ORP meter. It measures the potential for oxidation or reduction of a liquid in mv.

Cassie's descriptions are designed for newcomers to the concept. It's a little bit of an overload to discuss it as ORP for a first time visitor.

Paleo Nouveau said...

Great simple and to the point article. Painting "Paleo" with such a broad brush is over simplistic and leads to erroneous conclusions. People seem to think that we "evolved" and have stop doing so.

carbsane said...

Hi Tyler,

Tell me this, in your version of electrolysis with autoionization, what happens to the OH- at the anode?

C'mon man, YouTube is filled with demos of electrolysis, and it's something that is commonly part of a general chem lab to illustrate stoichiometry and/or gas laws.

See for example:

I suggest you take a class in electrochemistry ... it is quite a different animal from biochemistry or quantitative chemical analysis. You will learn none of whatever the frig you are trying to put over on me and my readers in your second paragraph.

It is rather more simple and requires none of those complex explanations ... only a basic understanding that the electrons must come from somewhere and go somewhere.

cathode: 2H+ + 2e → H2

where the 2e come from the anodic reaction

anode: 2O-2 → O2 + 4e

thus balancing the redox couple, for every molecule of O2 formed at the anode, electrons to form two molecules of H2 are "produced"

Hydrogenating water via electrolysis would also oxygenate it unless you were to trap and vent just the oxygen evolved. The water should still be enriched in both as some of the gas remains dissolved. The pH in the vicinity of the electrodes is altered slightly, but the overall pH of the solution is not changed.

This seems like a reasonable academic link for the benefit of my readers.

carbsane said...

Thank you. This is important to the claims being made for this product when citing studies on hydrogen-enriched water. The few I've seen utilized water with significantly higher hydrogen levels.

carbsane said...

My crashing browser ate my last response :( So I'll address the chemistry stuff at a later time (hopefully today, likely tomorrow). But I wonder if you care to address the new marketing claims. These are above and beyond the questionable benefits of ingesting alkaline water, etc.

In the original ad you claimed that paleo water was pure and rich in hydrogen. As to the purity, you were rightly mocked about the internet because this is one of the most absurd things I've ever read. But do you have evidence that water in paleolithic times was more richly infused with hydrogen? Was hydrogen gas more prevalent in the atmosphere at that time? I pose these as questions to which I don't know the answer, but for which it is incumbent upon you to provide the evidence.

However upon receiving the criticism you have changed your claims to how a low carb diet and your water would work together in the fashion you claim??? Remember, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. And I call BOGUS on this. B.O.G.U.S.

As I call bogus on any claims that your water is somehow "paleo".

As to alkalinity, electro-energy, etc., Tyler LeBaron is a guy with a degree in biochemistry, not a biochemist. Here's his LinkedIn bio:

I am unable to find his publication in the Journal of Kitchen Chemistry (or that journal for that matter, but I didn't look extensively for it, there are no hits on Google for "the journal of kitchen chemistry") but it seems hardly groundbreaking. Measuring potentials of fluids with different pH and H2 content? Sounds like an undergrad chem lab.

So this video is pretty absurd:

As to the making fun -- I will mock mercilessly your science and claims. They deserve to be mocked. Period. When you and Cassie put yourselves as faces on such and base SO much of your pitch on your PERSONAL experiences, then the result becomes fair game for scrutiny. So, Cassie mentioned you having health issues at 60 so I presume you are early 60's and I -- in not mocking, yet matter of fact fashion -- say that you do not look particularly healthy or youthful for your age. My father is closing in on 80 and looks younger and healthier than you. I don't know Cassie's age, but unless she's about your age, I would not say that she looks particularly extraordinary either.

Now, you both have claimed that somehow paleo = less meat. And that fruit is acidic. So what exactly DO you two eat? Vegetables? Where do you get your energy (as in calories) from? Starch? A ton of avocados and coconuts?

Now ... this blog is a FREE service and I sell exactly one product here which is entirely voluntary for purchase and I earn exactly zero for the page hit. So YOU are making the usual baseless accusations against me as to my motivations for blogging as I do. Jimmy Moore has been at that game for a while now, you would be wise not to become bedfellows of his but to each their own. I mean seriously, why would you choose to advertise your product as "paleo water" on the website of a man that doesn't even believe in evolution, consumes an extremely acidic diet (for whatever that is worth) that is not by any stretch of the imagination paleo (whatever that is anymore anyway)? It undercuts ANY credibility you have.

So, as a free service to my readers, and whomever else might be drawn to read my criticisms, I share my vast (adjective used appropriately here) knowledge of electrochemistry to debunk your science. The video claiming "vast this" and "huge amounts of that" is technically inaccurate. It just is. I'll see how much time I want to spend on that at some point.

carbsane said...

If you're talking mineral content, talk mineral content. I suspect much of the benefits of such waters are due to the Mg content. Alkalinity is pH .. unless chemistry has changed since I studied it, which I believe it has not.

As mentioned in my other comment, the essential point is indeed whether his water is "paleo". Do you have ANY basis for such claims?

carbsane said...

As I said ... I'm fishing. I would be curious about the potentials if they are vs. SHE or other standard electrode potential. For comparison of course. I am rather more interested in the health claims and this notion that somehow your water mimics water available to and consumed by our paleo ancestors. I found this table -- on a competitor website -- rather interesting:

Many of these waters are "natural" waters from springs and wells. The pH's are quite variable, many in acidic range, including spring waters in the 5's. As to the ORP, all but one -- natural and "processed' alike have positive ORP's, most considerably more positive than 200. You have one "artesian" water that comes in at -57. And then you have your product at -300 to -700 mV and your competitor's at "up to -850".

Now, I ask you, is your water likely to be "paleo"??

Further, the ORP is commonly used as a measure for water contamination. It seems that in most of what I've quickly looked at in that area are shooting for higher, not lower ORP.

Tyler LeBaron said...

Hi Carbsane,

I should have been clearer in my above comment about the
reason I made the video for you. It was not to merely talk about how
electrolysis works, it was specifically done for how these commercial “water
ionizer” works in making the cathodic water alkaline and also contain dissolved hydrogen gas. Indeed, I specifically state that in my

You see a lot of people (in the water ionizer business) were
saying that if you produce a pH of 10 on the cathode side then you would get a
pH of 4 on the anodic side because the pH scale is 0 to 14. Of course that is
not true, and so I explained why the pH increases. Moreover, I was not teaching stoichiometry,
notice I didn’t even mention the anode side. I wanted to show the “electron
pushing” the actual mechanism of hydrogen gas production.

Please notice that my explanation for H2 evolution is
exactly the same as given in the 2nd YouTube video you posted (see
2:05-2:30). The only difference is I give more detail about the formation of
atomic hydrogen, which reacts with another atomic hydrogen to form molecular
hydrogen. However, both of us still only showed a simplistic idea, as you don’t really have a free H+ in water. It would have been more accurate to show the migration of the hydronium cation and its
subsequent reduction—but I thought (and apparently so did the other guy) that such would be to confusing for the intended viewers.

Most importantly, remember, I am talking about a “water electrolyzer”. ( so any mention about the pH isn’t really changed and all that jazz is not talking about the same thing. These “water ionizers” produces alkaline water on one side and a slightly acidic water on the other.

Also, the last website you gave by Martin Chaplin is a great
resource and I actually used it when I tock some of my collage courses dealing with electrochemistry. I have a pretty strong grasp on what is going on in electrolysis. I have had much more than just a mere gen chem look at it.

Actually, when writing my above, more scientific,
explanation I referred to the section on electrochemistry in my quantitative chemical analysis book, as well as the very website you posted above—that’s why I used the term ‘nanoscopic cavities’.

Again, I only focused on the cathode side, because that is where H2 is being formed and that is what has therapeutic potential. Furthermore, the anode side can be more confusing because generally there are chloride ions in the water and these are preferentially oxidized to chlorine gas as opposed to the predicted O2 formation, due to bubble overpotential.

Tyler LeBaron said...

I see the confusion. Yes, stoichiometrically speaking the ratios of OH- to H3O+ are the same, so it would appear that the pH stays the same (except at the vicinity of the cathode their will by a slight increase, but overall in bulk water the change is insignificant).

However, we are not dealing with pure water, and like I
mentioned above chlorides ions are preferentially oxidized to chlorine (seembubble over potential Of course O2 is also produced, I am not saying it’s only chlorine.

There may be different redox couples as well in the source water that further complicate the matter. So just because I didn’t mention what occurs at the anode that doesn’t mean I am not aware of the production of O2 or Cl2 or any other oxidation reaction. Again, my focus was specifically on H2 production. Also note that these “water ionizers” have a semipermeable membrane that allows the two waters to have a separate pH (See your link again 2nd paragraph.

I hope that clears up the confusion. And yes, it is off topic because Ian's machines uses Magnesium metal (Mg + H2O => Mg(OH)2 + H2) not electrolysis. I did that video before I really had any contact with Ian.

Ian Blair Hamilton said...

Dear Evelyn,

now I am confused. What did I say that was negative about your motivations for blogging? I said (see above) " I expect that your intentions are the same as ours; truth and the good of all, and not just posts designed to fuel controversy and therefore garnish comments and the holy grail of more traffic."

Not sure how you construe that as an attack on you and if you perceive it as so I apologize for my inability to phrase my response appropriate to your sensibilities.

My simple response to your points about purity is that the water in paleolithic times had none of the industrial waste we now have in our water supplies. Hope that's not too far out a claim.

And yes, of course there was no more hydrogen in the air. We have created a water similar to the waters in certain springs around the world, such as Nordenau. in W. Germany that have been tested and found to be high in hydrogen. And yes, of course, we have used the paleo concept as a marketing device.

My health issue is severe osteoporosis which was highlighted by a fall off my son's skateboard which broke my leg. It was quite shock because I had been following the alkaline diet principles for 13 years, much of that time as a vegetarian. Since going paleo and increasing my K2 I have seen an increase in bone density evidenced by Dexascan. I have no other health issues other than a lazy prostate which is pretty normal for a male my age.

I would really love to see a picture of your father. He must be quite a guy.

It is sad to me that conversations like this have to be so adversarial. You are obviously more educated than me and I cannot refute or argue your science.

All I know is that we have a wonderful product developed over the last two years, based on our layman experience of the last 13 years that really is helping people every day - as you have seen by the user stories I have sent you. The base issue here is whether clean infused hydrogen water is a good thing and there seems no debate about that in the light of the multitude of studies on PubMed.

So rather than continue to argue about how old I look or why I choose to eat less meat and more vegies, I would like to ask you what you would have done with our product if you were convinced, as we are, of its potential to assist people everywhere.

I look forward to your reply.

Ian Blair Hamilton

Tyler LeBaron said...

Ian, just a quick note. I would not say that the water at Nordenau is "high in hydrogen" relative to percent saturation. It is quite low (don't remember exact numbers, and it fluctuates). The point is 1) it contains hydrogen gas and 2) there are some documented health benefits attributed to the ingestion of these types of waters.

carbsane said...

My apologies, I read your response too quickly. Blogging for page hits is something I'm accused of doing rather regularly. Hey .... it beats addressing the substance of my arguments. Re-reading I realize your intent was the opposite.

I do think that based on the water chart I linked to etc. there is little reason to believe that H2 is prevalent in all waters in higher content. It may be in some. Paleolithic man likely got his water from rainfall, surface puddles and streams where H2 content would have been low (and pH likely neutral to ever so mildly acid or base depending on ground conditions).

So yeah, I get that it was a marketing schtick and I am calling you guys on it. As I am the outlandish other claims that are not warranted for health.

As I said to Tyler yesterday, I don't understand why you don't market your product as a purifying and hydrogen-enriching device. The science behind that sounds exciting enough to me.

Tyler LeBaron said...

Thanks for the update

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