Gary Taubes' Diet Doctor
Since it's the day after turkey day ...
Original Publish Date: 4/19/11
I wasn't going to say anything.
Really ... I tried.
Check the date. It's not April Fool's 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?
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.
I love this blog btw. This is my first post. Sorry I'm not more agreeable on my first post (palm to face).
> 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.
I've done this before, and there is always an Ordering Physician listed on the requisition & results.
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?
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.
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.
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 ...
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.
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
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
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)
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.
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!
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!
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 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)?
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!
His numbers are great. End of story 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!
Good points in the post!
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!
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*.
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.
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. : )
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. : )
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!
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... ; )
By RLKINDELAN on Gary Taubes' Diet Doctor
I was testing something out, reposted.
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.
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.
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.
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 :)
to see if it can survive a forty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation.
My iPad is now destroyed and she has 83 views. I know this is
entirely off topic but I had to share it with someone!
My webpage :: airplane simulator
Here is my page: get fit with quantrim (2delicious.ru)
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.
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