Showing posts from February, 2012

Live Blogging from the Paleo Summit VII: Mat Lalonde (rocks)

Link:  Mat Lalonde Title:  An Organic Chemist’s Perspective on Paleo ? Ratings:      ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼       just go watch/listen!!     OK folks ... I've got me a new sci-crush!  This guy is saying what I've been saying for a long time now -- if you're gonna make claims about something, you better have the stuff to back it up.  Mat, there is no problem with your delivery man, don't change.  Your detractors are obviously those "doth protesting too much" who know they've just been called out without being named.

Live Blogging from the Paleo Summit VI: Nora Gegaudas

Link:  Nora Gedgaudas Title:  Safe Starches: To Eat or Not to Eat? Ratings: ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼   Entertainment Value ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼   Content ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼  Informational Accuracy ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼  Overall Summary: Nora Gedgaudas takes on Paul Jaminet's rationale for including safe starches in the diet.  Her arguments boil down to the oft repeated meme that we humans have no dietary need for glucose because we can make all we need.  She goes into Paul's arguments for starches from his breast-milk composition, body composition and food reward perspectives.  The remainder of the substantative part of the interview is spent trying to find other reasons why many folks start to decline on long term VLC diets.  Enter theme I'm seeing parroted by TWICHOOBs in comments about the ever increasing list of low carb bloggers jumping ship:  we're all just addicts.  With a chuckle (joined by Sean) Nora wonders if methadone is to heroine as "safe starches" are to sugar.  You see, we're a

Blogging from the Paleo Summit IV: Sarah Fragoso, Erwan LeCorre, Paul Jaminet, Matt Stone, Thomas O'Bryan

Hi folks!  Due to some unexpected personal stuff yesterday I was unable to do the "Live" blogging on these two.  I listened to Sarah's interview but never got around to Erwan's.  I very much enjoyed Sarah's even though I don't have kids so it was mostly irrelevant to me.  I'd probably buy that Paleo Pals book for my kid or something else directly from her rather than buy the Paleo Summit if I were to have a use for her works.  Erwan's I didn't get to listen to ... yet.  It's still on my computer to play.  I'll try and post some thoughts on that one in case anyone's interested before the summit is over. On Tap Today we have Matt Stone & Paul Jaminet with whom most of my readers are familiar, and Dr. Thomas O'Bryan (who I've never heard of, sorry) on gluten.  Of course this has to be my busiest day and I'm behind because of yesterday.  I've already listened to Matt & Paul.  Kudos to Sean for giving Matt almost an

Live Blogging from the Paleo Summit III: Leptin Man!

Link:  Dr. Jack Kruse ... Neuuurosurgeon! Title:  Leptin Circadian Cycles Ratings: ☼ ☼ ☼  ☼ ☼   Entertainment Value ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼   Content ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼  Informational Accuracy ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼  Overall Summary: Everything you'd expect in thirty minutes with Dr. Jack Kruse, or Leptin Man as we call him in these parts.  Ah what the heck, it's my blog.  Can we put up that slide Jeeves?   Thanks.  OK.  What you won't get is what's billed.  Leptin circadian cycles account for a couple minutes at most of the talk, and although Croxton promises us that Jack "shares how he lost 133 pounds in a single year by correcting the 'biological mismatches' that were once prevalent in his life" there's nothing about the Leptin Reset that comes out of Jack's mouth in this talk.   Aside from using the words like evolutionary a few times, and exclaiming that paleo fixes all (no grains, limited dairy), this wasn't really a paleo "talk". 

Live Blogging from the Paleo Summit II: Diane Sanfilippo

Link:   Diane Sanfilippo Rating:   ☼ ☼ ☼  ☼ ☼ Summary & Recommendation:   This is a short and sweet review/summary of Diane Sanfilippo's presentation.  I wanted to get this out there because it's not something I would recommend buying the Summit videos etc. for, but I think for most of my readers, even the anti-paleo types, there's probably something helpful in there.  What you won't find is a lot of information on what a paleo diet is (indeed just about any diet could be paleo it seems at one point), the foods to eat, fasting, a litany about PUFA, MUFA and whatnot.  But whether it be how to deal with eating out, responding to criticism or questions from friends and family, etc., there's probably something worth at least being reminded of.   I didn't learn much, but only because I've been there, done that, live it -- and I've been over that part of doing my own thing with diet and lifestyle for quite some time.   It's only 40 minutes long, a

Paleo Summit ~ FYI if you're gonna buy ~ Please read

Folks if you go to the affiliates link for the Paleo Summit you'll learn some information on how folks will be compensated: The cost for this summit is not cheap, but if you purchase the "upgrade" for $67 during the summit, $99 afterwards.  If you click through a favorite presenter's link to purchase, they will receive 70% of the cost.  Clicking through from any other link will net the affiliate 50% of the total which is still a sizeable amount. They are assuring the "first contact" is credited with the sale through cookies, so if you happen to click through from X's site, and later decide to purchase because another presenter moved you, they won't be getting the compensation.  I think allowing the purchaser to direct their affiliate $'s to certain presenters or conduits would be better, but who am I ...  In any case, if you intend to purchase this summit, send a message by clicking through from a solid

Live Blogging from the Paleo Summit I: Mark Sisson

Link:  Mark Sisson Ratings: ☼ ☼ ☼  ☼ ☼   Entertainment Value ☼ ☼ ☼  ☼ ☼   Content ☼ ☼ ☼  ☼ ☼  Informational Accuracy ☼ ☼ ☼  ☼ ☼  Overall Summary: It is fair to say that of all the paleo/LC folks with whom I have disagreements with on the substance of their message, Mark Sisson is probably the most enjoyable personality to listen to.  If you know nothing about paleo/primal, this is a good overview of the basics.  If you're familiar with Primal Blueprint at all, there's nothing new here.  The interview is more notable for what it is missing -- any major emphasis on excessive carbohydrate consumption (no carbohydrate curve), minimal mentions of insulin and no mention of fat being locked away.  Not too many overt factual errors or misrepresentations of the science.  Most of all this interview and other recent ones demonstrate Mark's ability to adjust his marketing pitch to the tune of what's going on out there.   His transition has been so smooth as

Fat Tissue Expansion: Part III ~ Fat Cell Number

Before reading you may wish to read:  Part I ~ Terminology , Part II ~ Overview of How it Can Happen As mentioned in Part II, fat tissue expands by an increase (proliferation) of fat cells and/or a growth of the individual fat cells.  This installment concerns the number of fat cells and is likely the least "actionable" in this series in terms of diet, unless you're planning to have a child and/or have young children.   This does, however, lend some assistance to those formerly obese who are considering liposuction or more drastic surgery that may involve fat cell removal.  Bottom line, the number of fat cells we have is virtually completely out of our control as adults (according to current understanding).  So this post will be rather short, and I plan to expand on the data we have regarding fat tissue development in infancy, puberty and other periods of childhood in subsequent installments.  It would appear that the number of fat cells we are born with is determined

My husband says I must be really sick!

... and I am :(  He was shocked I didn't blog today as I spent the entire time sleeping on the couch.  I almost never get sick, and it's been like forever since I had any sort of intestinal bug which is what this is.  Oddly enough my hubby had it last week which seems too long ago for me to still catch.  So now I wonder if it's in the house or something we both ate from our fridge.    I can't figure out how it is possible I slept all day and I'm still yawning and can barely keep my eyes open typing this!

Ketogenic Diets & Fatty Liver

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease:  NAFLD.  Along with diabetes, a disease on the rise in the US and around the globe where the obesity epidemic is rearing it's ugly head.  Near as I can tell, Peter/Hyperlipid subscribes to a "damaged liver" hypothesis of obesity and diabetes.  That the liver gets damaged, throws your insulin and glucose outta whack, and then you get fat.  There can be no doubt that damage to the liver is an integral part of the metabolic syndrome(s) and the insulin resistance that underlies it.  So the question is, do we take it seriously in all contexts?  Or do we try to explain away inconvenient results when it is one's favored advocated diet that might possibly be a culprit? Sadly, Peter seems bound and determined to spin ever more far-fetched mechanisms with which to explain away inconvenient results.  Having nothing to do with fatty liver, Peter found himself unable to backtrack on his definitive statement that it was fasting insulin levels tha

Physician Phollies ~ III: Dr. Jack "Leptin Man" Kruse

In  light of recent posts by Melissa McEwen (Hunt Gather Love blog) and Danny Roddy , I decided to dust this one off that got lost in the draft bin.  Melissa's post especially got me to go get this out of storage -- she cites a few quotes from Jack that are rather mind-boggling.  Folks over at PaleoHacks are well familiar with Quiltisms on all manner of things.     It seems that the selection of speakers for AHS12 has caused a bit of consternation in the paleo world, and for good reason, IMO.  I had considered entering a talk on eating disorders but figured it would be dead on arrival when I heard that some presenters from last year were rebuked.  So didn't waste my time.  I'm glad to see that others are speaking up -- hopefully more will -- about this disturbing trend in the paleo community.  Especially, as Melissa put it in her comments, how Jimmy Moore has now become some paleo guru kingmaker.  This as the man has now announced that he's pushing 300 lbs despite goi

The Greatest Love of All

This is the first of the CarbSane Chronicles posts I'll be blending into the main blog. I made an "executive decision" of sorts a while back to dial back on the personal stuff here at the Asylum and have all but abandoned the Chronicles. So I'll be moth-balling it and just posting under the CarbSane Chronicles label here on the main blog.   So Whitney Houston has died.  May she find the peace now that seemed to elude her in life.  That's all I can say about that and may her family and friends heal from their tremendous loss.  Amongst the many tributes and media pieces, they've been playing the song "The Greatest Love of All".  I did not know this back story on one of the songwriters , because as I read the lyrics this morning, they sound so much like Whitney could have written them for herself.  Certainly some of those lyrics speak to me (although I had my fair share of heroes and good role models growing up). The year this song came out, 1985, wa

A Fat Burning Metabolism

We hear this term thrown around a lot in LC circles.  The frequency of this seemed to have picked up in 2011 with the mitochondrial tangent of the carbs-make-you-fat crowd.  It's a clever gimick:  If you're burning more fat for energy, that means you're burning body fat, and if you're not, those evil carbs are "locking your fat away" in your fat tissue.   It doesn't take but a little common sense to see through this nonsense folks.  With the possible exception of super-extreme diets, as has been demonstrated in metabolic ward studies, varying the 85% or so non-protein intake between fat and carbs has little if any difference on total energy expenditure.  Also, within a fairly wide middle range of carb/fat balance in the diet, which substrate is preferred or used at higher levels for energy is something that is relatively constant though the major intake macro is used preferentially at some point. 

Science, Truth & Advocacy -- Random Thoughts

Long and rambling.  You've been warned ;-) Disclaimer:   This post is not a discussion of peer review research of possible import to interested parties.  If that offends you, please click that X up there in the upper right corner of your browser. There have been a lot of things going on about the net this past week that don't really deserve blog posts devoted to them by themselves, but that weave into a common theme.  Some involving this blog/blogger, most not so much though I'm ... err ... familiar with the players.  If there was ever a more honest admission of the underlying motivation of the greater LC community than that of Mark Sisson 's a little over a year ago, I don't know of it.

Separating Carbs & Fats ~ My Rationale

I get a fair amount of traffic here from time to time due to my posts about Zoe Harcombe and the Harcombe Diet.  Zoe's dietary philosophy boils down to parroted Taubesian Pseudophysiology, but one of the things she advocates, that I've discussed here before, is the strategy of separating carbs and fats and having them at different meals.  She makes a lot of comments about how calories don't count and all that too ... so the Google searches on her name and/or CICO or the separating carbs & fats thing tend to land folks here at the Asylum.  As a result, apparently just enough folks know enough about my stance on carbs & fats to misrepresent my position in discussions about the web.  More than once I've been described as subscribing to "that old food combining nonsense" or things along that line.  I've long since passed the point where I could answer to these various misconceptions everywhere they are found, but in this case, it's happened enoug

My Sump-Pump Analogy for the ß-Cell

I'm going to try to make this as short and to the point as possible.  It's just me thinking out loud a bit, drawing on the massive amount of peer review research I've read on the topic -- a mere fraction of which I've formally blogged on -- but without any references so that I can just get this out there.  No ... this is not some manifesto grand theory on diabetes and all that to be analyzed and picked apart as if I'm presenting this as fact.  It's just a plausible analogy for what I think happens when metabolic mahem turns to "diabetes".  I'm also going to simplify things and deal with only glucose and fatty acids here. Our ß-cells metabolize glucose and fatty acids the same way our other cells like muscle cells do for energy.  Essentially this metabolism is part of the mechanism by which the ß-cell senses the circulating levels of these energy substrates.  This metabolism also produces ROS -- reactive oxidative species.  While ROS are often

More "Crashing" Diabetes

I found this study tweeted by a follower, @JuhanaHarju, and the ever helpful MM was able to provide me with the full text. Very-low-calorie diet: a quick therapeutic tool to improve ß-cell function in morbidly obese patients with type 2 diabetes Background:  Caloric restriction in obese diabetic patients quickly improves glucose control, independently from weight loss. However, the early effects of a very-low-calorie diet (VLCD) on insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion in morbidly obese patients with type 2 diabetes are still unclear. Objective:  The objective was to study the relative contributions of insulin sensitivity, insulin secretion, or both to improvement in glucose metabolism, after 1 wk of caloric restriction, in severely obese diabetic patients. Design:  Hyperglycemic clamps were performed in 14 severely obese (BMI, in kg/m 2 : >40) patients with type 2 diabetes in good glucose control (glycated hemoglobin < 7.5%) before and after 7 d of a VLCD

Flashback! Adam Kosloff Edition of Insulin Wars Series

As promised in response to my Salvaging the Hypothesis post , Adam Kosloff of Caloriegate blog, recently provided me with a copy of Beyond Caloriegate.  My original post began with something like: "Let me start by saying I had never heard of this guy before reading Jimmy's post, but wonder, if LC is so great, why would one need a "Survivor's Guide"?"  Little did I realize late in 2010 when I published the original, that this was Adam Kosloff, the man behind the original GCBC for Dummies (as I call it) website.   Although Adam acknowledges that the website is outdated, we can probably attribute a large proportion of the remaining "can't store fat w/o carbs" faction of TWICHOOB's to this very fact (that it has not been scrubbed of this erroneous information). So,  I've written to Adam with my thoughts on his new book.  I quickly came to the conclusion that it would be fruitless to pursue this vein any further.   I'm not even sure e

Insulin Resistance ~ Part I: A condition in dire need of diagnostic clarity

I've written many times about how we need some new disease classifications, names or something for the various conditions that are currently termed "diabetes".  This is because hyperglycemia -- the predominant symptom that garners a diabetes diagnosis -- can have many underlying physiological bases.   In this post I'm going to make the same case for the pathologies lumped together under the term "insulin resistance" (from hereon, IR).   The problem with discussions of IR are similar to those of diabetes.  In a nutshell, hyperglycemia is to diabetes as glucose transport/disposal is to IR.  Just as blood glucose is the myopic focus of many discussions of diabetes, so, too, insulin's role in glucose transport is the myopic focus of many discussions of IR.    Let's begin with a diagnosis of insulin resistance.  The most commonly used single diagnostic parameter for this is something called the HOMA-IR .  This ratio is determined from fasting plasma leve

Of Mice & Men: My Rodent Study Disclaimer

The purpose of this post is to have a sort-of "disclaimer" to link to (if I can remember) whenever I discuss a rodent study here at the Asylum ... A small manifesto if you will, on my feelings on the utility and limitations of rodent studies in relation to human beings.   Also, I look at this post as a way to remind older readers and/or inform newer readers as to my background.  I spent roughly five years in the company of countless rats and mice, working for Big Pharma, and when I speak of rats, I'm not talking about my colleagues ;-)  My job was half analytical chemistry, half metabolism.  I worked on mostly discovery level drug candidates (a level before development) characterizing the absorption, metabolism and routes of excretion of these drugs, mostly antidepressants.  As such I've chopped the heads off of more rats than I care to recollect, opened up countless abdomens of mice to get maximum blood samples from the vena cava, removed/homogenized and analyzed cou

Visceral Fat & Hepatic Fat -- Not one and the same

It seems that any time the discussion of fatty livers developing on ketogenic diets comes around, a spate of confusing discussions tend to ensue.  One of the confusing issues is that ketogenic reducing diets are effective at reducing hepatic fat levels.  However, these studies usually start with a fatty liver and with weight loss comes hepatic fat loss.  If there's a study out there where obese people are simply transitioned from a SAD to an equi-caloric ketogenic diet (85+% fat) demonstrating any change in liver fat accumulation, I'm not aware of it.  However I believe the evidence of rodents on such diets is at least enough to be concerned that the change, if any, would be for the worse, not the better.   A lot of lean people also think, I can't have a fatty liver because I don't have a pot-belly so I don't have visceral fat.  One of the reasons I thought the Eades' 6 Week Cure for the Middle Aged Middle  book was such a disaster is that the first two weeks

Bloggo Science ~ FIRKO-ized!

I have long since ceased reading Peter/Hyperlipid's blog for meaningful information.  There are too many examples of him openly manipulating data and misrepresenting science for me to take him seriously anymore.  Still, our blogs share a certain readership and his readers do participate in other internet realms where I linger or participate.   As such, his blog remains on my feed reader.  Peter has been on a FIRKO mouse kick lately and it has caused me to dust off a few posts from the draft bin where this mouse fits into the discussion.  But his latest latest offering on FIRKO (Fat Insulin-Receptor Knock Out) just tripped my epigenetic BSA* gene switch.   *BSA = Bull Sh!t Alert In FIRKO-ise , Peter actually compares a genetically modified mouse to putting a mouse on a ketogenic diet.  Really!  To review, the FIRKO mouse lacks insulin receptors.  As a result, this mouse is resistant to obesity on the usual obesogenic diet for rodents (high fat).  This mouse's fat cells do not &

Weight loss, low carb?, aging, chefs and bikers

Ahh ... a little something for everyone in this post.  I was thinking on the whole biker doc in the kitchen fiasco, the "who looks older" crap on Jimmy's blog, and whatnot ... and one Alton Brown popped into my mind.   You see, a few years back, Alton had a miniseries of sorts on Food Network called Feasting on Asphalt .    Wow ... looking at that link it was six years ago - 2006!   Basically Alton took a bike trip up the Mississippi stopping along the way to culinary landmarks to sample local cuisines.  I love this sort of stuff, I confess.  Still, he was carrying quite a bit of extra weight on his frame at the time.  

Testing testing ...

A weird thing happened yesterday.  Only the one post is showing on the blog homepage.  I didn't change any settings -- I went and looked and it's still set to display the 10 most recent posts -- but there was only the one post.  It's not a blogger glitch either, because I see several posts on other blogspot blogs.  Things that make you go hmmmmmmmmmm.  Maybe too many images?!

Pictures ...