Showing posts from January, 2012

TWICHOO Soldiers are Down to Syringes

The following tweet was brought to my attention in comments on another post: garytaubes   gary taubes   Worried about the greatly-exaggerated death of the insulin hypothesis? Take the latest NEJM image-challenge: The image that link leads us to is at right, along with a selection of conditions for one to select as the cause of the malformation.  Well, of course, the answer is " Insulin lipohypertrophy ".  When one answers and goes to the responses, they get the following explanation: These pendulous subcutaneous periumbilical masses were attributed to 31 years of insulin injection to manage type 1 diabetes. Lipohypertrophy can be associated with glycemic flux and prevented by rotating injection sites.

Fat Tissue Expansion: Part II ~ Overview of How it Can Happen

In Part I , I laid out some terminology that we'll use in the discussion of how we get fat.  In this installment, I'm mostly going to list the various means by which fat tissue can expand, emphasis on the word can.  Because as future installments will lay out, while some of these mechanisms are plausible, some of these mechanisms contribute very little if at all to the fattening process.  So what mechanisms might be involved in the expansion of fat tissue?  It is not controversial that fat tissue expands by two means: Adipocytogenesis:  The growth of new fat cells, increased fat cell number Adipocyte growth:  Increased size of adipocytes

Fat Tissue Expansion: Part I ~ Terminology

One of the things that irks me about discussions of various obesity related topics is the inappropriate use of terminology.  I would like to give the benefit of the doubt and presume that for most who do this, it is inadvertent.   Often this is due to not having a complete understanding of human metabolism and physiology (cough ... ahem ... Mr. Gary Taubes) , but at some point, when speaking from a presumed position of authority, this excuse doesn't cut it.  To be fair, the peer review literature and higher level texts are rife with inconsistencies of their own.  Most authors are likely simply using the term they are most familiar with not realizing that those terms mean different things in different contexts.  Still, a careful reading of said literature is all that is needed to understand how they are using the terms and the process to which they are referring.   This has been briefly addressed here previously .   As with insulin resistance, I think the "fat formation"

Gestational Diabetes and Pre-Pregnancy Fat Intake

Gestational diabetes -- hyperglycemia during pregnancy -- effects a considerable number of women.  It is also a known risk factor for developing diabetes (T2) later in life.    Some degree of peripheral insulin resistance normally develops during pregnancy.  Why?  Because the fetus' growth and development takes priority in nutrient partitioning so glucose is conserved for the fetus much like it is conserved for the brain in the fasted/starved/glucose-deprived state.  The link of GD to T2 most likely reveals the genetic predisposition towards IR -- in other words, while diet can cause insulin resistance, there is a genetic component in most who eventually develop hyperglycemia as a result.  Most women will compensate for the mild IR state and maintain normal glycemia during pregnancy, while those who are perhaps even mildly IR to begin with will exceed their capacity to compensate during the pregnancy.  In most cases, deliver the baby and the diabetes goes away.   A prospective stu

A perfect example of why I post what I do about LC personalities

I frequently read folks wondering out loud why I spend (waste?) the time that I do to post on various low carb gurus and personalities.  It doesn't seem like a worthwhile endeavor at times ... and I must admit I occasionally wonder if it's worth the flack and time either.  And then along comes another LC'er "helping others" with their wisdom.  Some of the people I've written about don't "get me" ... after all they are just every day folks sharing their experiences trying to (selflessly) help others.   That "selflessly" is often silent, sometimes strongly implied in their repeated reminders that this is their goal, and sometimes shouted straight out, lest you not notice the generous benevolence in their actions.  They may even go so far as to remind you of the expense they've endured to bring you the free service you're using ..... For all the touting of how any day now the Insurgency will persevere, of how the low carb message

Some thoughts on fructose studies

I've been poking about the literature lately ever since the insulinogenic (in terms of circulating insulin levels but not necessarily secretion of insulin) properties of jelly beans were made known to me a while back.  I've been looking into studies comparing sucrose to glucose or fructose separately, or that measure insulin secretion and/or clearance per se.  It's a rough go.  Much of the research that turns up with fructose in the search phrase involves HFCS not fructose per se.  When you get isolated fructose studied, however, there are still other complications.  For starters, it is impossible to isolate the effect of just fructose with whole foods.  Just about every source of fructose, like fruits, also contains sucrose and even considerable amounts of isolated glucose in many cases.   It is also virtually impossible to attain the levels of fructose generally required to elicit a measurable metabolic response.  For reference, a medium apple contains roughly 10g fruct

If this makes it to TV, will they be consistent?

Earlier this week, Dana Carpender let her audience in on a little more news ... and I do mean just a little ... on the potential upcoming LC TV cooking show.  In a short but sweet announcement, she encourages readers to go "Like" the show on Facebook.  We learn the proposed title:  Your Doctor's in The Kitchen.  She describes this as a " low carb cooking and health advice show that Dana and Dr. Jim Carlson hope will find a network home".   Here is Carlson's website .  He wrote a book called Genocide which you can read there (or excerpts, it's unclear) ... I think I read most of what's on the website at one time, but not recently.  As serendipity would have it, Carlson ends the Preface with the same Mark Twain quote that dons the pages of the AWLR blog -- another rebel without a clue.... In any case, Dana encourages people to go like the show on FB to help increase the chances some network might pick it up.  There's not a whole lot of info oth

Google Giggles

I have a twofer today. The first one I have no idea how it got someone here!  Beth's Weight Maven blog perhaps, what with her always enjoyable Friday Cat Blogging.   But nonetheless, someone found the Asylum with: Mean Kitty The next one makes me wonder if I haven't been cursing too much here on the blog.  I don't do it often, but Google sees all apparently.  I'm happy that someone landed here searching on: Gary Taubes bullshit hee hee hee

Another Quote to live by?

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect"                            - Mark Twain At the time of publication of this blog post, this Mark Twain quote comes from Larry Istrain's blog.  As much as I admire Twain, some of his "isms" are not, in my opinion, good advice ... or at least not in the way many people take them to heart.  The implication, to me, of the above quote is that there is something inherently wrong with being on the side of the majority, and something inherently noble about dissent ... part of some rebellion ... dare I say a would-be paradigm changer.  

Verdict: Guilty as Charged!

Hi all!  I thought for a bit on whether or not to respond to Larry Istrail's Response to Criticism from 'Carbsanity' .  There's not much of substance there to address ... but it is typical of the lack of real substance and mischaracterization that is so common amongst my detractors.  So, I thought I'd address it. Is this registry a joke?  The verdict is in:  Guilty!  I'm sure that Istrail is serious, and many of those who are registering are serious, and that's not what the joke is.  The joke is that somehow anything meaningful to the purported goal of the study will come about.  Let's take a look.  I'll try to be consistent and put Istrail's words in purple. From AWLR Home Page:   The Ancestral Weight Loss Registry is an international assembly of people who have tried a carbohydrate-restricted or paleo diet to lose weight or improve their health. In response to which I wrote in my "cheeky" style:   And I'm an internationally know

The Ancestral Weight Control Registry ~ This is a joke, right?

< gloat > LOL! I scooped Gary Taubes  on the  announcement of the "Insurgency" < /gloat > Hee hee hee ... But onwards and upwards.  Apparently a medical student is getting tired of reading about the National Weight Control Registry, NWCR , and is bothered by the fact that the vast majority of registrants achieved their success with more traditional calorie restricted programs.  You know, that Eat Less Move More, ELMM,  that "doesn't work" (just don't tell those prospective JumpStartMD clients). Gary gushes: 

A Man in the Wilderness ... A Lonely Soldier off to War (on Insulin)

One of my very first albums ... yes ... vinyl albums ... was Grand Illusion by Styx.  I've probably listened to that album all the way through more times than any other, although  Billy Joel's The Stranger might give that a run for the money.  Anyway, I was in the mood for a little self-torture the other day and decided to listen to/read some more recent Gary Taubes interviews.   I couldn't help but have this song pop into my head.   Not a song many are likely familiar with, but soooo apropos!   (Hee hee ... wasn't Tommy Shaw perty?)

Quotes to Live By?

The thing is, it’s very dangerous to have a fixed idea. A person with a fixed idea will always find some way of convincing himself in the end that he is right. ~ Atle Selberg Three guesses where this comes from and the first two don't count!

Physician Phollies ~ II: Dr. William "Wheat Belly" Davis

Next up in our "how can he/she even say that?" series of blatantly erroneous things said by practicing physicians in furtherance of the carbophobic agenda ... I bring you, an Asylum favorite, Dr. William "Wheat Belly" Davis.  In the most recent post on his WB blog , Wheat Belly trips over himself trying to implicate wheat, specifically, in the diabetes epidemic.   But can we blame diabetes on wheat? Yes, absolutely, as much as you can blame poor oral hygience for toothlessness in West Virginia. Wow!  Gratuitous slam on WVa's aside, Dr. Wee Bee goes on  to list all the ways wheat causes diabetes: –Any food that increases blood sugar to high levels (i.e., high glycemic index) also increases insulin to high levels. Repetitive high insulin leads to insulin resistance, which leads to visceral fat deposition, more insulin resistance, inflammation, etc., eventuating in diabetes. –High blood sugar, such as that resulting from eating two slices of whole wheat bre

Paula Deen ~ A Classic Case of Type II Diabetes

Was anyone surprised by the revelation that Paula Deen has type 2 diabetes?   See here and here , for example.  Full disclosure here.  I'm a NorthEast girl and was raised pretty agnostic in terms of regional foods/cuisines.  Still, as an adult I've enjoyed learning different cooking styles, flavors and ways of preparing foods and I'm an admitted Food Network junkie.  But Paula?  She was not one I ever watched much (unless she was judging on a competition show).  Sure, I love some Southern foods -- chicken fried steak w/gravy anyone?? -- but most of those foods are reserved for traveling to where they are local fare (although Chili's does make a pretty good version of the aforementioned steak).  And I find her accent and delivery just a wee bit over the top.  But I think every time I've ever seen the woman cook, I've seen her put half sticks of butter in a pan while saying jokingly that she's adding "a little".  Butter and Paula are synonymous in

Salvaging the Hypothesis

You can't salvage a CIH with fructose and "refined carbohydrates" that has insulin as a mediator because there is no such theory that makes physiologic sense, and this would be obvious the moment such a theory is articulated         ~  Kurt G. Harris MD, 11/18/11 If 2011 will be remembered in low carb circles for anything, it will be for both the lack of anticipated rise and precipitous fall of what I call here at the Asylum TWICHOO .  With the December 2010 publication of Why We Get Fat, no doubt many low carbers began 2011 with a feeling of supreme optimism.   What with all the "Gary you're my hero" comments on his blog, and lots of exposure of the lay friendly book, even in the mainstream media, surely 2011 would be the year when "they" would finally get it.  The momentum of 2010 would be carried forward and by the end of the year low carbers envisioned an even more energized following with an expanding sphere of influence.  Oprah would f


If you're not sitting down reading this, you might just want to, or grab onto something for support, because I'm going to start this post out doing something I don't all that often: praise Mark Sisson.   The sample menu page on his blog reads: A typical breakfast for me is a cup of coffee with cream and sugar and an omelet This page has been around for a good long time and he hasn't changed it, so presumably Sisson hasn't jumped headlong on the stevia wagon.  In the summer, as a kid, we would suck on honeysuckle blossoms for the faint sweetness.  Needless to say, we did this more for the novelty of "hey, this is sweet" than scavenging for every blossom we could find for a sweet kick ... they just weren't that sweet.   If one googles chewing and sugarcane or stevia leaves you will find references to both.    If you are ever in New England in late winter/early spring, you'll see the maple syrup taps on trees.  The dried syrup that may ooze from t

Hold the Hoax! The Dreamfields Dilema - SCAM UPDATE

"I've been on a Dreamfields kick lately and I love having a low-carb alternative to pasta that actually tastes like pasta. It's a nice treat I enjoy eating when I get the opportunity. Some think you shouldn't ever have these kinds of foods, but I disagree. If this keeps me from the real thing that is LOADED with carbohydrate, then what's the harm I say? It's not making me go out and binge on the real thing or sugar or any other carbage ." ~ Jimmy Moore 1/16/10 Yes, I've had these spoof blog titles swirling in my head and they are too apropos to pass up.  Hold the Hoax!  Livin La Vida Low Clue (not my original idea) started this, clearly a take on Jimmy's blog/podcast/etc.  Hold the Hoax! is spoofing on Dana Carpender's blog/podcast/etc. titled Hold the Toast!  I don't know if it's been more than the usual amount of time on my hands, or reminiscing over the events of the past year, if Jimmy has been posting some particularl

Livin La Vida Low Clue: Jimmy Moore on Weight Watchers "Scam"

Yes ... potentially another series ...  Whenever a low carber demonstrates how clueless they are, you can be sure to read about it here! No, Jimmy hasn't come to his senses and actually given the WW "scam" a try to lose those stubborn pounds his deranged metabolism hath wrought.   Instead, he's focused on Charles Barkley in a post entitled:   Even Spokesman Charles Barkley Isn’t Taking Weight Watchers Too Seriously .   Apparently, Barkley has lost close to 40 lbs on WW and is a spokesman for WW's "Lose Like a Man" program.  I've not seen any spots -- something that according to Jimmy qualifies me as living the life of a hobbit -- but what with Dan Marino, Don Shula and now Terry Bradshaw shilling for Nutrisystem, WW going after the male demo is a no-brainer.  We've discussed here a few times how the appeal of Paleo and LC and the success men seem to have on such plans is at least partly due to being able to eat those man foods, and the manlie

Blogger Comments

I don't know if you've noticed, but Blogger has changed the "look" of those of us Blogspot blogs with inline comments.  In addition to a slightly different look, below each comment I now see a "reply" link (I also have a delete link for my blogs, I just tested that and it works.) Oh cool I thought -- a bit more like other comments where replies could be nested.  But I mouse over "reply" and all I see is a "javascript:;" and clicking does nothing, not even skip me down to the comment box.  Is that working for anyone else?  I'm guessing not since I don't see any nested responses.  But I thought I'd ask. Thanks in advance for feedback.

Irisin ~ Just the Pill for Low Carbers

There was an article in the NYT that was passed along to me the other day: Exercise Hormone May Fight Obesity and Diabetes A newly discovered hormone produced in response to exercise may be turning people’s white fat brown, a groundbreaking new study suggests, and in the process lessening their susceptibility to obesity, diabetes and other health problems.

The Low Carb Cruise II -- Will BELCHOW replace TWICHOO?

This post sponsored by:  ScreenHunter Not really, that's just the name of the screenshot proggy I used to capture this comment I tried to leave on Jimmy's blog: I'm not surprised that the lineup of speakers on the LC Cruise in May has changed dramatically since first announced.  It happened before in 2010 as I discussed in my last post.   I think this is rather poor form announcing this on his blog as just a "finalized speaker schedule".   This information is being circulated in rather low key fashion.  While I'm sure Jimmy is disappointed and worried many will cancel, I think he owes it to those he sold on the cruise with those names to let them know ASAP so they can make an informed decision if they still want to attend.  I also wonder how long he's known as well, as he confirmed several replacements prior to making the announcement.  Put in the context of "here's our amazing list", the change in two positions doesn't seem like much,

The Low Carb Cruise

In a few months, the 5th Annual LC Cruise will be underway on the Carnival Magic.  With little fanfare, Jimmy announced in a recent blog post that two of the expected headliners, Gary Taubes and Robb Wolf, would not be attending/speaking after all.  I wonder, if any of those who signed up are more than a little disappointed that these two wouldn't be on board as the  bon voyage streamers are flying.   It's a bit like showing up for a play at an intimate off-Broadway theater where George Clooney is headlining only to find he's sick and his no-name under study will be gracing the stage instead.  At least if you have tickets for such somewhere in the fine print there's the indication this may happen and you take your chances.  And it's not like you expected Clooney to be mixin' and mingling with the audience before and after the performance anyway ... you just hoped to get a close-up look or perhaps a quick autograph.

Superhuman Efforts for Weight Loss/Maintenance

Well, Gary's publicity stunt has created quite a bit of internet buzz over Tara Parker-Pope's Fat Trap article.  I've read a veritable cornucopia of reactions to the piece, including some of the over 1000 comments on her Well blog.  Some of the responses made me wonder if others had even read the same article I did.   You may be interested to learn that the Eades are on a diet again !  For some reason they're not going on their own 6WC diet, but they overdid it a bit on the holidays.  I think I might have some things to say about some other parts of the post another day.  But in a cheerleading post on resolving to diet, Eades had this to say: I want to forewarn you, though, that you’ve got to get your head right if you seriously plan to succeed. Don’t be a Tara Parker-Pope.

Anthony Colpo Rawks!

UPDATE:  The comments were just too good to take this down, but I do not want to be part and parcel to internet spoofing which is apparently what went on here.  So in case you don't read the comments, I want to make it clear:  Anthony Colpo did NOT sign the petition.  This was an impostor.   Anthony signs Gary Taubes' petition. Name:  Anthony Colpo on  Jan 9, 2012 Affiliation:, avid cyclist and bodybuilder Comments:  Oh yeah, carbs rock for training hard, but I learned from Gary's tutoring that all I really need for training is to not exercise too much or I would one day get fat from all the activity induced hunger. LOL is all I can say!!

Gary Taubes' Latest Publicity Stunt

A few days ago, the New York Times Magazine published an article by Tara Parker-Pope entitled The Fat Trap .   This has apparently caused the ego supremous nerve in the whydablitome region of Gary Taubes' cortex to fire uncontrollably.  The result?  Well, a petition , cloaked as a "Letter to the Editor" of the NYT. When I first heard about this I was astounded.  Huh?  Here you have Gary Taubes ... THE Gary Taubes! ... Award winning science journalist who penned the classic " What If It's All Been a Big Fat Lie " in the very same publication, author of the NYT Bestseller Good Calories Bad Calories  ... Yes, THAT Gary Taubes.  The same man who had the lay-friendly version of GCBC published not much more than a year ago, Why We Get Fat .  Yes, the very same Gary Taubes who was on the nationally syndicated TV show of one Dr. Oz ... not to mention countless radio and print interviews in the mainstream press in a publicity flurry surrounding the book

Chill out, live longer? How do VLC & caloric restriction factor in?

I've been working on a related post when I came across an interesting study that I thought was worth a blog  post on by its own and was more timely for other studies I've been looking at more recently. A sidebar of looking into the claims of L.Ron Rosedale is that he's really all about longevity and believes his diet will deliver on that promise.  What I'm about to say may shock  some of you, but, there's some evidence out there that he might just be right!   The Catch 22, however, is that where he's correct it flies in direct conflict to the claims and theories espoused by the other ardent evangelists of carbohydrate restriction.   Any research into aging and longevity these days inevitably lands one into a sea of studies on teeny tiny worms known as C. elegans .   I have some stuff in the pike on these worms, but basically, two ways of  "naturally" extending the lifespans of wild type C. elegans are (1) growing them under lower temperature condition

Physician Phollies ~ I: Dr. Cate Shanahan

As often happens with me, certain potential themes for blog series float through my head.  A stream of thought that connects things I see, read and hear about the web.  One of those themes lately has to do with the quality of information coming from a number of bloggers and otherwise-advocates of low carbing who are by all accounts actively practicing physicians.  Many of these physicians routinely chastise, mock and otherwise scorn their fellow practitioners in the course of promoting their views. This series will highlight the more ridiculous claims made by these doctors,  but not so much on the minutia of their entire pro-low carb message.  In other words, a bit less about the overarching erroneous themes, and a bit more about individual "schtick" or just what I would call absurd random statments they make.  And I guess with each installment of this series, I would ask: Why would (s)he even say that?

Google Giggles

Every now and then I share funny search phrases that land folks here at the Asylum.  This one really made me laugh!  perky moobs

I'm being spoofed

This has happened before, and I'm pretty sure I know who is doing it.   It is being done to stir up trouble on other blogs.  Hopefully the owners of the sites where these comments show up are aware that it is not me, but apparently some have been fooled.    I comment as Evelyn aka CarbSane with my Google ID as exclusively as possible.  If not by logging into that ID, the email provided is my gmail account.   The person posting as "carbsanity", a Discus ID linking back to a blank Wordpress blog of the same name,  is not me.    If anyone comes across this type of stuff, I greatly appreciate you letting me know.   A comment to any post here, a tweet to @carbsane, or via email:  carbsane at gmail dot com.   If you're the spoofer reading this, well, all I can say is get a life.  Sheesh :(

The 2011 Annual Report