Showing posts from December, 2010

Happy New Year ... and going on vacation

... one and all!  Wishing everyone who reads this blog a very Happy and HEALTHY New Year. I'm also going on vacation Sunday through the 12th.  Needing some computer access for work and puttering on the net being my morning "veg" ritual, I'll probably pop in from time to time, but posting will be limited if at all. I plan to get me plenty of that natural Vitamin D, indulge my inner water child and eat moderately of all different sorts of food.   Looking forward to this big time.   Hope to see y'all back here when I return.  

The Finger Pricking Diet?

Dr. William Davis is touting the success of one of his patients on a No BG Rise After Eating diet.  The post is HERE . So Jack was overweight and: Try as he might, Jack could simply not stick to the diet I urged him to follow. Three days, for instance, of avoiding wheat was promptly interrupted by his wife's tempting him with a nice BLT sandwich. This triggered his appetite, with diet spiraling downward in short order.  Presumably the diet he urged was low carb.  But just going LC and trying to cut wheat lasted only three days.  So the good Dr. Davis told Jack to get a BG meter and strive for 1 hour postprandial glucose levels to be no higher than before eating.  So: If any food or combination of foods increase blood glucose more than the pre-meal value, then eliminate the culprit food or reduce the portion size. For example, if dinner consists of baked salmon, asparagus, and mashed potatoes, and pre-meal blood glucose is 115 mg/dl, post-meal 155 mg/dl, reduce or eliminate the

Metabolism v. Fat Burning

I was reading  Alcohol Revisited on Low Carb  by Dana Carpender and something she said jumped out at me: No doubt, however, that alcohol can be fattening, not only because of the calories it contains, but because it slows metabolism - to quote a medical journal article I read, "Alcohol profoundly inhibits lipolysis." In English this means that alcohol slows fat-burning to a crawl. Like carbs, your body burns alcohol preferentially. Don't expect to burn any fat until you've burned through all your alcohol calories.  First of all, Carpender makes the all-to-common mistake of equating lipolysis with actual fat-burning.  As I summarized in Lip-ocabulary  , lipolysis is the breaking apart of triglycerides to glycerol and free fatty acids.   This occurs constantly in our bodies, inside the fat cells by hormone sensitive lipase (HSL) to release FFA's continually as part of the triglyceride/free fatty acid cycle , and in the capillary beds by lipoprotein lipase (LPL).  T

A Review (not mine) of Why We Get Fat

A Diet Manifesto: Drop the Apple and Walk Away .....A few things to understand at the outset: First, despite the happy fact that unlike many in this field, Mr. Taubes is not out to sell you anything (other than his book), it is still a manifesto. Thus, though it is bursting with data, a reader has no way of knowing whether other data has been overlooked or minimized to support the author’s points. Second, the new book is not really a new book at all; it is a sort of CliffsNotes version of “Good Calories, Bad Calories,” a long, dense tome Mr. Taubes published in 2007. With the new, smaller and more focused version, Mr. Taubes openly admits he is aiming for a broader audience and bigger impact. Fair enough, although one does begin to wonder if a line of protein bars is not far behind..... The highlighted statement kinda caught my eye ;-)

Some links about Gut Microflora

This is mostly a bookmarking post to put some links out there. Same poop, different gut  - this one deals mostly with fecal transplants to treat bacterial infections The gut flora as a forgotten organ  - mostly dealing with diseases though touts the promise of obesity relationship The environment within: how gut microbiota may influence metabolism and body composition  - An excellent review of the current understanding of the role of gut flora in inflammation, disease, obesity, etc.  The lead author is the researcher who did the fecal transplant study on obese men that demonstrated improvements in insulin sensitivity (see next link).  I recommend reading this one.  IMO, at this point, finding a bacterial solution to obesity seems to be a long-shot and lots of wishful thinking.   Fecal Transplant Flushes Insulin Resistance   I really look forward to their upcoming publication of this work.  It will be interesting to see the magnitude of the improvements, if it persisted past 6 week

Of Mice, Men & Microflora II: Microflora & Energy Balance

Mostly based on studies like THIS  (abstract only), there's a new whiff in the air around obesity researchers.  Some go so far as to call gut microflora an "unsung organ".  Some have picked up this ball and run with it to the point of making wild claims that microflora control how much energy we extract from our food and we have no control over "energy in".    Our results indicate that the obese microbiome has an increased capacity to harvest energy from the diet. Firstly, we have correlation here, not causation. Furthermore, this trait is transmissible: colonization of germ-free mice with an 'obese microbiota' results in a significantly greater increase in total body fat than colonization with a 'lean microbiota'. Many have read this and jumped all over it to say this indicates the arrow of causation goes from microflora to obesity.   That seems reasonable until one considers what actually happened here.  Germ-free mice are smaller because they

Gastric Bypass Surgery & Diabetes

If you've read at all on the LC web you'll see that there's an almost grudging hatred (well that might be too strong a word, but ...) towards those who take "the easy way out" getting gastric bypass surgery.  If not aimed at the person who has undergone surgery, a palpable feeling of animosity towards the WLS "industry" and the "pusher" doctors is in the air.  At some point someone will chime in to remind everyone that "you know what kind of diet they eat don't you?", because it is low carb.  The implications of which are that the weight loss is due to going LC so why not forego the surgery.   I tend to agree with this sentiment, somewhat, especially since most WLS candidates must follow a diet and lose a bit of weight before the surgery.  Which begs the question of if one can do this before the surgery, why can't they just keep it going and lose weight w/o the surgery?  It's a fair enough question, but one with no e

Merry Christmas!

... to all my readers who celebrate. Tonight is a big food night in my household and I'll be cooking all day.  Gotta run to the store (ugh) for a few ingredients I forgot :(   But I may pop in here and there while stuff is simmering and baking.  It won't be low carb, but it will be near "Perfect".

Random thought on sugar, carb & wheat "junkies"

We've all heard the stories of the alcoholic downing cough medicine, vanilla extract, mouthwashes or even other alcohols in desperation when a palatable/usual source of the ethanol they are addicted to is not around. So I've often wondered why the "carbaholic", sugar addict, wheat addict, etc. doesn't do the same.  Addiction is often blamed for binge behavior and overeating certain foods.  They're addictive and worse yet, we have to eat. The addict must abstain completely, you would't offer alcohol to an alcoholic after all.  Etc. etc. But I've been in desperate situations in my binge disordered life where there's been nothing binge-worthy in the house but lots of raw materials.  If it's just the carbs I so desired or were addicted to, or wheat proteins, why did I get in the car and drive however far to find a "fix" rather than eating flour from the bag?  Or mixing it with diet soda or something.  Sounds gross?  Sure, but so would s

Insulin Wars VIII: Adam Kosloff of Low Carb Survivor's Guide

Let me start by saying I never heard of this guy.  But wonder, if LC is so great, why would one need a "Survivor's Guide"?  But I digress. This is my latest installment in response to Jimmy's roundtable of "experts"  on James Kreiger's series on insulin;   “Insulin…an Undeserved Bad Reputation” ,   Part 2 , Part 3 ,   Part 4 ,  Part 5 . Kosloff starts out with a long "preamble" directed to James as if he were corresponding with him.  I am not privy to their interactions and will defer to James to discuss this part when he has the time to draft his own rebuttals.  I will comment on my observation that Kosloff seems to come at this from the viewpoint of having bought into the carbohydrate hypothesis hook line and sinker, and basically he disagrees with "calories count".

Of Thermodynamics, Complexity, Closed Systems & Equilibrium

In light of this recent post , I've been thinking more and more again on this topic.  And when Adam Kossloff liberally quoted from Entropy Production's author Robert McCleod's rebuttal to rebuttal or whatever in the Taubes/Bray dust-up, I just had to weigh in on this.

Insulin Wars VII: Tom "Fat Head Movie" Naughton

I thought I would share some thoughts on some of the responses of LC "experts" to James Krieger's excellent series on insulin.  For any who missed them, here are the links    “Insulin…an Undeserved Bad Reputation” ,   Part 2 , Part 3 ,   Part 4 ,  Part 5 . Jimmy Moore asked an array of people in LC circles for their thoughts  HERE This installment is in regards to Tom Naughton of Fat Head film documentary fame. I feel a bit bad "picking" on this guy.  He seems nice enough and all that.  But I guess first of all I question Jimmy's judgement in asking a comedian's opinion on James' rather thoroughly steeped in science series on insulin.  I would have given Naughton a pass had he simply taken his own pass here with an "I'm not qualified to discuss such".    But since he didn't, I won't ;-)

Insulin Wars VI: Dr. William Davis of Heart Scan Blog

I thought I would share some thoughts on some of the responses of LC "experts" to James Krieger's excellent series on insulin.  For any who missed them, here are the links    “Insulin…an Undeserved Bad Reputation” ,   Part 2 , Part 3 ,   Part 4 ,  Part 5 . Jimmy Moore asked an array of people in LC circles for their thoughts  HERE The subject of this installment is Dr. William Davis of Heart Scan Blog. The focus cannot be only on insulin. Glucose itself is harmful via the process of endogenous glycation, i.e., glucose-driven modification of proteins. The higher the blood glucose, the greater the glycation, with the process beginning at blood glucose levels of 100 mg/dl or more.  Blood glucose after a 3-egg omelet is typically 95 mg/dl. Blood glucose after a bowl of slow-cooked, stone-ground oatmeal is typically 150-200 mg/dl in non-diabetics. Firstly, kudos to Dr. Davis for saying the focus cannot be only on insulin ... but ... then what does the rest of this have to

The ASP pathway and regulation of postprandial metabolism ~ Part I

The acylation-stimulating protein pathway and regulation of postprandial metabolism By regulating the rate of adipocyte triacylglycerol synthesis, the acylation-stimulating protein (ASP) pathway plays a critical role in postprandial triacylglycerol clearance (Baldo et al. 1993) I came across this one following the trail of, who else?, Keith Frayn.  Thank you Gary Taubes for inadvertently introducing me to this fountain of truth of the science of fat metabolism.  I was going to make this the lastest install in Frayn v. Taubes series, but I think that does an injustice to Frayn, not to mention Allan Sniderman, Katherine Cianflone, Lucinda Summers, and Barbara Fielding (the first four authors of this article). I'll do my best at a bullet point summary of the research cited in this review and the conclusions of the authors.  Indented italics will be direct quotes from the article.  Note:  triacylglycerol = triglyceride

Oh Nevermind ..... (Taubes and G3P)

Poor Gary Taubes is embarrassed by his whole glycerol phosphate debacle, and since that was just too difficult a subject for dummy laypersons to understand anyway, he just left it out of his upcoming book.  So let's just forget about that one folks and move on.  He takes the opportunity to set the record straight in an interview, had time to post two long blog posts rehashing his latest spin on carbs and such, but hasn't addressed this issue in print despite at least one commenter asking about it.  He "hopes" to be able to get to such heady topics at some future point.  I'm not holding my breath! But I think Mr. Taubes should have his feet held to the fire on this issue and not be allowed to get away with a simple "oh nevermind" on a key aspect of his theories. One can listen to his latest (James Kreiger bashing **more on this at the end of this post) interview HERE .  It's a bit of a tough listen with audio difficulties and such, but the issue I w

The First Law of Thermodynamics

I've been fighting off a cold so begging off housework in favor of goofing off at my blog today.  Lots on my mind so I've been rather prolific! I get tired of hearing this misstated time and again by both people who should know better and those ill equipped to comment on such matters, but who do anyway.  I'll abbreviate The First Law of Thermo as TFLOT. Calories In = Calories Out + Energy Stored is a fact.  This boils down to simple conservation of mass in the end as I discussed in a bit of a rambling post HERE .    From hereon out I'll use CI and CO for calories in and out respectively.

Random thought re grassfed meats ...

... I'm listening to Jimmy's podcast with Zoe Harcombe and she's discussing Lierre Keith and feeding grain to animals vs. humans, etc.  I don't have a beef (pun?) on this topic, but it reminded me of something I read a while back regarding grassfed meats and grain consumption in general.   It went something like this:  The current population of the world could not be sustained if every human on the planet were to consume grassfed livestock and tried to eliminate grains entirely as a carbohydrate energy source.    What this says to me is that were we to try to transition to such a diet for "everyone", it could not be sustained.  Then the question becomes which humans get access to the good stuff, and which are relegated to consuming what's left, and what are the ethical implications? Anyone else here ever read or consider this?

Insulin Wars IV: Todd Becker of Getting Stronger blog

Okey Dokey, I made a big boo boo and edited the original of this post to create another post in this series by changing the title.  Result?  The original disappeared.  Won't be doing that again!  Live and learn some more :-)  Anyway, luckily I had the post open in another browser window so I didn't lose it.  Phew!!  C&P'd the existing comments too.  Hope I didn't lose any!  Sorry if I did :-( Friday, December 17, 2010 Insulin Wars IV: Todd Becker of Getting Stronger blog I thought I would share some thoughts on some of the responses of LC "experts" to James Krieger's excellent series on insulin.  For any who missed them, here are the links    “Insulin…an Undeserved Bad Reputation” ,   Part 2 , Part 3 ,   Part 4 ,  Part 5 . Jimmy Moore asked an array of people in LC circles for their thoughts  HERE The subject of this installment is Todd Becker of Getting Stronger blog.

Insulin Wars V: Dr. Richard Feinman

I thought I would share some thoughts on some of the responses of LC "experts" to James Krieger's excellent series on insulin.  For any who missed them, here are the links    “Insulin…an Undeserved Bad Reputation” ,   Part 2 ,  Part 3 ,   Part 4 ,  Part 5 . Jimmy Moore asked an array of people in LC circles for their thoughts  HERE The subject of this installment is Dr. Richard Feinman, infamous to me for his mangling of thermodynamics.  In any case, Feinman focuses on the relationship between insulin its suppression of hormone sensitive lipase, HSL, the enzyme responsible for lipolysis in our fat cells and release of free fatty acids (NEFA/FFA).  This one really caught my eye because he evokes the following study by Hernandez that I have previously come across, demonstrating a similar effect of low-carb diets releasing NEFA that I blogged on HERE discussing the following study:   Acute exposure to long-chain fatty acids impa

Insulin Wars III: Valerie Berkowitz (formerly of Atkins Center)

I thought I would share some thoughts on some of the responses of LC "experts" to James Krieger's excellent series on insulin.  For any who missed them, here are the links    “Insulin…an Undeserved Bad Reputation” ,   Part 2 , Part 3 ,   Part 4 ,  Part 5 . Jimmy Moore asked an array of people in LC circles for their thoughts  HERE I'm just going to address one quotation:   It’s true that the body can store fat even when it has low insulin levels when excess calories from a high carbohydrate low fat diet are stored as fat even if insulin levels are not high. Upwards of 85% of excess carbs turns to triglycerides or fat. The body is less likely to store fat if it is primarily burning fat for fuel. This perpetuation of the myth that it is excess carbohydrate calories that are converted to fat has got to stop!

Insulin Wars I: Zoe Harcombe

I thought I would share some thoughts on some of the responses of LC "experts" to James Krieger's excellent series on insulin.  For any who missed them, here are the links    “Insulin…an Undeserved Bad Reputation” ,   Part 2 , Part 3 ,   Part 4 , Part 5 . Jimmy Moore asked an array of people in LC circles for their thoughts HERE ********  EDIT:  There was confusion here and at time of initial posting Jimmy had "Anonymous",  Zoe Harcombe has since in the comments cleared up that she is the author.  I've since edited out speculation regarding the identity of the author.  *********** This first installment will address "Anonymous LC Author", now self-identified as Zoe Harcombe.    Myth 1 – who’s talking about healthy individuals? We’re trying to do something about the 1.1 billion overweight and obese people in the world and the fact that we have 171 million diabetics already confirms that there is nothing healthy about the working

Metabolic Advantage, Obesity and Eric Jequier

Since I had the whole metabolic advantage thing on my mind writing my last post, and "Anonymous LC Author" mentioned Feinman and Jequier, I was reminded of something that's bothered me for a while now regarding citations of Jequier's work.  A calorie is a calorie violates the second law of thermodynamics  argues for the potential of a metabolic advantage in low carbohydrate diets.   Oddly enough, they ultimately make a first law argument for the MA, but that's a subject for another day. It was this paper that introduced me to the work of Eric Jequier after which I stumbled upon the subject of my most popular post to date, Nutrient Fates after Absorption  referencing this Jequier paper:   Nutrient effects: post-absorptive interactions .  But the Feinman & Fine paper cites a different Jequier paper to which the TEF values of macronutrients can be ubiquitously traced in LC circles.  That paper being:   Pathways to Obesity .   Surely that paper is al

Case of Disappearing Comments Solved

I've occasionally received emails from folks wondering why their comments don't seem to post to my blog.  I pretty much manage my comments by being alerted to them in Google Feed Reader, click on the link there and it takes me to the post/comment where I can respond.  Well, Blogger has a Comments management tab that I don't really use much unless I'm trying to search for something in the comments (even then I can search just as well in Google reader).  So anyway, I just discovered that a number of comments that show in my reader do not make it onto the blog.  Perhaps if I respond right away Blogger automatically moves them out of spam, but I get no other notice like a red flag on the Comments tab that there have been some comments moved to a Spam Inbox.  Who knew? Anyway, I have 19 comments in there, some I know have been published, some don't show up.  I'll be "unspamming" them now. Sorry about that!  Live and learn :-) Edit:  Oh, BTW, if any of

Fat Accumulation: Taubes v. Frayn ~ ASP in vivo in humans

This is actually a re-posting of the cited article, but I've updated the post significantly since the original. Coordinated release of acylation stimulating protein (ASP) and triacylglycerol clearance by human adipose tissue in vivo in the postprandial period   Jumana Saleh,* Lucinda K. M. Summers,† Katherine Cianflone,1,* Barbara A. Fielding,†Allan D. Sniderman,* and Keith N. Frayn.  1998. This paper demonstrated ASP actions  in vivo  for humans in the postprandial (post-meal) period.  ASP levels were measured locally to the adipocytes  (venous output side) and systemically in the arterial "supply" side.  This was important because many who would dismiss the action of ASP look at systemic ASP levels and claim no connection.  However, this paper demonstrated otherwise: Abstract 

Of Mice, Men & Microflora I: The microflora transplant study

A while back I listened to an interview with Steven Guyenet of Whole Health Source blog where he mentioned a study where the gut bacteria were transplanted from obese mice to normal mice that had no endogenous bacteria.  The normal mice gained more weight.  Microflora differences have been identified between normal and obese humans and normal and anorexic humans.   This has led to much speculation that changes in microflora could be a causative agent in obesity. This is one such study:    An obesity-associated gut microbiome with increased capacity for energy harvest I look at such studies and consider them to be interesting, but of all the alternate theories out there, I'm probably most skeptical of this one as being a significant  cause  of obesity.  I'll deal with the energy balance aspects and some related math in future post.   This post will focus on the differences between rodent and human digestion that lead me to believe that the observations in mice may well

Dr. Michael Dansinger on Weight Loss and Diabetes

I recently listened to an interview Jimmy Moore did with Dr. Michael Dansinger available HERE      My reason for sharing this here is that Dansinger makes a point of discussing how the big secret to weight loss is ..... drumroll please ..... achieving a calorie deficit!!!   In my opinion, it will be through the likes of Dr. Dansinger that low carbohydrate approaches take their rightful place among the mainstream approaches for weight loss, healthy living and disease management.  No gimmicks.  No wild claims.  Just the facts ma'am.  And a plug for compliance/consistency being the real key in the end. For those who don't recognize the name, Dansinger is the lead author on probably the first famous diet comparison study to compare a real LC diet with other approaches:   Comparison of the Atkins, Ornish, Weight Watchers, and Zone Diets for Weight Loss and Heart Disease Risk Reduction .  While the results were mostly a wash, this study demonstrated that LC performed similarly to ot