Live Blogging from the Paleo Summit III: Leptin Man!
Link: Dr. Jack Kruse ... Neuuurosurgeon!
Title: Leptin Circadian Cycles
Title: Leptin Circadian Cycles
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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". The only unifying theme was that there was no unifying theme. Oh ... and leptin!I'm just going to go through topic by topic with some thoughts and I'll be having a little fun with Dr. Duvet as I can't see any other reason for spending the time on this but for my own entertainment :-) ... and hopefully yours! So pour yourself a cup of levee tea and read on.
Somebody from Zambia reads Jack's blog! He has a mega thread with over 600K hits on a popular paleo forum (ahem ... Mark Sisson's ... why so coy Sean?). I'm not sure if this is supposed to give someone some sort of cred or what, but I've poked fun at the "international notoriety" angle of internet personas before. I get hits from all over the world so if I wanted to brag I could go on about the number of views from Siberia I get ;-) Sean uses the term "Leptin Reset" ... that's the last you'll hear of this.
Jack's schtick is not even a year old and already he's moving on. All over the map apparently as you'll see. At least if you're not going to talk about what you've become famous (or is that infamous) for, pick a single coherent topic for a full hour!
My Knee, My Knee!
OK Tell me about Leptin Jack
Agriculture Led to Mediocrity
I suppose it's not fair to poke fun at someone's injury, but since I've had bad knees most of my life, and wreaked havoc on them with my periods of obesity as well, I'm going to use that as an excuse. Jack's "a ha" moment about obesity apparently came when he stood up at a conference and experienced excruciating pain in his knee. He'd torn his meniscus. From Croxton we learn Jack thought he was going to die. It was at that moment that Jack started researching all manner of things, and realized all levees lead to leptin and he did his LR plan ... lost 77 lbs in 3 months and 133 lbs in a year. (Why we need the breakdown repeated is beyond me). Look folks, of course inflammation played a role here, but sometimes physics just trumps everything. It should be no mystery why Jack blew out his knee! He tells us inflammation caused it. Likely played a role in weakening the joint and in the pain, but he claims it had nothing to do with trauma or movement. (Jeeves, pass me a new BS meter please).
OK Tell me about Leptin Jack
Leptin is made in fat cells folks, and basically the brain calculates how much leptin is in the body (along with other hormones). The cool thing about leptin is that it's a structural analog of Interleukin-6! (IL-6) an inflammatory cytokine ...... that's the last we hear about IL-6 ....It's the Leptin Resistance Stupid!
It turns out that very obese people are leptin resistant. "Leptin resistance underpins obesity and obesity is underpinned by inflammation." Ugh. I'm sorry but again, I've no doubt that inflammation and obesity go hand in hand, but if by underpinning Jack is on the causal bandwagon that inflammation causes obesity I just can't hop aboard that. I've always had pretty messed up knees at any weight going back to pretty much as long as I can remember. If I were to stike a Grok poop squat pose, there's about a 50/50 chance these days that I can't get up because my joint will slip and lock in the bent position. I could regale you with the history of my knees, but back to Quack, er, I mean Jack.
"There's not a Neolithic disease that's not tied to this biological fact"
WTF exactly do you mean by that? Asked about the CDC's definition of obesity as a disease and if he agrees, Jack says no, it's a symptom of a huge underpinning biochemical process. Do we get an explanation of this? No. We're told that in most animals it starts at the intestinal brush border and their leaky guts and a "mismatch". But not in humans because we can control our environment. He comes back to this concept later and I'll express some agreement when we get there, but basically I guess he's saying diet → inflammation → obesity. Can we talk about how please? Well, sorta ...The Three Problems of Obesity
- Inflammation -- Gut is where diet meets immune system
- Organs -- differentially effected, when it gets to the brain you're effed
- Leptin Resistance -- when you're LR you have an asteroid shower and all hell breaks loose
Again we're told all ills trace back to this basic construct but WHAT is that. I feel like I'm trying to find out what's in Adam Kosloff's little black box here.Video (games) Killed the Receptor Star
So Sean moves on to childhood obesity and Jack tells us why video games lead to such but not by the stupid way the media tells us. No, LED lights from playing video games at night has disrupted leptin patterns. While I'm receptive to light after dark having all sorts of effects on us, I'm not aware that there was an epidemic of night time video game playing sweeping the country. And did you know? Video gaming leads to less eating than passive light receptoring (watching TV) so perhaps we should look into that. Look. Anyone who thinks that kids sitting for hours on end inside exercising their brains (good to an extent) and thumbs instead of playing outside with other real flesh and blood little humans till way past when Mom calls them in for dinner has nothing to do with childhood obesity is kidding themselves. Even Fat Head seemed to get that in his movie. There's no need to construct some elaborate leptin connection to everything, but if you're going to, please explain it fully.
At least we get to the title of the talk, and one Quiltism as we learn that leptin evolved (the wording here is awkward because we tend to use that term to apply to organisms not proteins, but ...) to be "yoked" to circadian cycles -- the two important ones being light cycles and geothermal cycles. Leptin controls both of these processes and accounts for everything in our environment. Leptin has a massive effect when kids are bombarded by LED lights after dark and the sheet hits the fan and leptin becomes unyolked from the antimatter nutrients in the whites of their eyes scrambling their brains to one fried mess. Before you know it something's poaching ... sorry, I ran out of egg references.The Intestinal Brush Border
So tell us Dr. Kruse, how does LR start? Well, it starts with a mismatch of our diet with our biology -- something goes awry in our guts at this "brush border". We never get a definition of what this even is. So a mismatch causes a flood of nasty cytokines to be released that invade your body. When they get to the brain, you're toast, especially in those favorite parts where there's no blood brain barrier. The area postremo (this sounds like a good name for Leptin Man's Headquarters!) correlates to the vagus nerve which connects your lips to your distal colon, but doesn't let you kiss your ass. It's that last part that's not controlled that Jack -- in an unfortunate choice of words -- describes as the quickest, easiest way in and out. The vagus nerve controls the brain-gut axis (hee hee, sounds like he calls it the brain-gut access the first time he pronounces it!). Now modern medicine doesn't believe in this kids, and nobody learns this stuff in medical school, but your colon rules.
I get tired of the "I didn't learn this in medical school" schtick. Because most times this is an alert that someone's about to make shit up. Also the "mainstream medicine doesn't buy this". I'm sympathetic more to the latter ... but it's all the more reason that if you're going to break new ground you present a COHERENT discussion. We're not yet halfway through a rather short talk and my head is already spinning with nothingness. But here we go, the gem!
When you start studying the neurobiology, and you start studying how we eat, and how calories are partitioned, how we account for the electrons, the hardwired data and the biologic proof is in our anatomy and that's it's there and that's how it gains access to our brain, the easiest way.
Now I REALLY wish I had a webcam in Sean Croxton's room while he was taping this one! He's gotta be thinking "Is this guy for real?" Right?? So LR is due to an enematic dietary attack near as I can figure -- because when you're talking the easiest way in and colons, I can't help but "go there". Maybe we need a Diaper to replace the Quilt. I'm not sure exactly what's getting in or what it's attacking -- oh yeah, Leptin Man's fort Area Postrema -- but I'm sure Jack will tell us so I listen on. Ahh but it's time for a new question. Jack, what do you think of this whole CICO stuff?The Twinkie & The Pineapple
Did you know that if you took Sean Croxton and made him eat nothing but 2000 calories of Twinkies or nothing but 2000 calories of pineapples for 15 to 18 months, that if he survived his body composition would be considerably different? You're shittin' me Jack! (Clean up in aisle 10 Jeeves, there's been a breach in my brain-gut access again ...) Folks, I get really SICK of this "debunking" of the fact that calories *count*. The fact that we can erect stupid strawman arguments about how we partition a pound of this or that is irrelevant. We all get that the terms are not independent, that our metabolisms adapt, that energy is partitioned to different uses. But can we get something straight for once and for all: THERMAL ENERGY OUT IS A PERFECTLY LEGITIMATE TERM IN A SIMPLE FIRST LAW THERMO EQUATION. Sorry to shout there. Part of our metabolism specifically generates heat from the food we ingest. The food is nothing but energy stored as chemical potential energy in the bonds in the compounds that make up this food. If your body uses any of these compounds for something other than maintenance, it is "burning" them for energy or storing them for another day. So we're talking about that storage. We have defense mechanisms that burn off some excesses, but we don't do that forever. [ /rant ]
Did you know that Michael Phelps has washboard abs and looks great in a Speedo but eats 18000 calories a day. And this has *stumped* all the scientists? Of course, those stupid scientists were mostly nutritional scientists so we all know how stupid they are. Otherwise they would know that LR people simply can't "account for" calories like Phelps. Jack goes on to discuss how Phelps spends 18 hrs a day training in 50 degree swimming pools (umm, most pools aren't nearly that cold, but I'll give him that the person is immersed in a cooler than "body temperature" liquid for substantial time periods). We have uncoupling proteins in our muscles and these allow us to burn energy [sic] as "free heat". Give me a break. DUH!! I would hope that they teach in medical school that the body burns carbs or fats in part to create heat to maintain body temperature. This is nothing magical folks and you need not talk UCP's to get this simple thing. A good part of Phelps' caloric needs go to maintaining body temperature in addition to the mechanical energy he requires to move his body through the water swimming.What's in a Name ... Uncoupling
Jack goes on to tell you that using chemical fuel to produce heat is *uncoupling* your calories from your metabolism. Bull and crap. So if you can eat a ton of food and slide down this uncoupling rabbit hole, you can uncouple that from your metabolism and dissipate all of those calories as heat. You need to have sensitive leptin receptors for this! He goes on to discuss this as some complicated evolutionary adaptation, yada yada. Please, Michael Phelps burns a lot of fuel and uses a lot of the calories to keep from dying of hypothermia. Mystery solved. Go take a cold shower (just don't drop the soap). But we can't just say that, no, we need complex terms and phrases such as:
When you change the thermal coefficient of your environment, you are able to actually burn far more calories than you would if you lived at the equator and you were in constant heat.Brain Evolution is Killing Us
Or in plain English, when a warm blooded creature lives in a colder environment a greater proportion of your metabolic energy requirements will go towards keeping you warm. Magic I tell ya.
Your brain is fighting with your genes to bring you down. But I actually agree with Jack on this one. He goes into why you see ads for exercise equipment in January while mountain lions are lean in winter. So what's the difference? We can control our environment. Our Neolithic brains have evolved faster than our paleo genes and that has created a mismatch. Our brains have figured out ways we can eat bananas in Saskatchewan in January. Serious biologic mismatch leading to inflammation and all else.
Agriculture Led to Mediocrity
The mismatch mish mosh. But the other thing is that with population growth we became stupid and made dumb choices. Crime in the poor inner cities is due to agriculture. I don't imagine wild animals ever get aggressive with one another when resources in their habitats become scarce. Unh huh. He thinks we've slowed down human evolution, Jack's kinda deep ya know, you need to eat a strict paleolithic diet to reverse this!Where Does Inflammation Start?
It starts in our guts or a disruption in our circadian rhythms and our messed up hormonees. We need to limit inflammation -- Rosetta stone moment! -- put on your thinking cap, look at your hormone panels and whatnot. Or just stop eating crap. All of our behavior leads to biologic mismatches. That wave of incongruity is fighting against our leptin receptor and we see it in the mirror!High Cholesterol is Good, You're Lucky
Everything good in our body is made up of cholesterol so high LDL is da bomb. I agree that the mainstream is waaaay off about the meaning of cholesterol levels and high LDL is not "clogging our arteries" and all that. But high (really high, not just over the ever lowering threshold to sell more statins) LDL IS a biomarker for something outta whack in most cases. (And cold is what you want to feel on his leptin reset).Gut Feelings and Leaky Guts
Yo Jeeves, cue the Morris Alpert. Who? "Feelings ... whoa whoa whoa feelings ...." Ya feel it in your gut. Kruse brings it home with a bang here. You know that term gut feeling? Well, did you know that's really a literal term. Because it all traces back to your gut. That guy (or gal) you dated who you thought was "off" and turned out to be a compulsive midnight video gamer uncoupled from reality? Yep. Gut reaction! But there's a part of this discussion by Jack that is actually not so humorously wrong. Leaky gut is certainly a somewhat controversial medical topic, but the definition is not. We are essentially human shaped "pipes" with two barriers against the "outside world" -- our skin on the outside and our gastro-intestinal tract lining on the inside. The reason we must inject certain substances is that they either do not survive the digestive tract intact and/or they cannot be absorbed across the tract lining. That's the way it's supposed to be. Our intestinal cell wall is not supposed to let certain things pass through just as our skin doesn't. Leaky gut is when that barrier has been breached (retreat to Area Postema!). In other words, our guts "leak" into our body, we absorb too much. Not under Jack's magic blanket. No, there, we redefine leaky gut. Now a leaky gut is one that does not properly absorb nutrients. As someone who recently suffered a bout of that sort of megaleaky gut, I can assure you that it did not result in my body absorbing much of anything. If anything, I was afraid little pieces of intestine were coming out next!
But we are what we assimilate. If you have a leaky gut, you can't think. Good thinking requires good neurotransmitters and if you can't absorb the amino acids your thought processes become suboptimal and even mediocre (at least you're not an idiot). And here's the Kruse Missile:
We all have a primal sense and that primal sense is tied to what we know is right and wrong. For example when you hear something from somebody where you think it's total bullshit, you just know ... it's almost like before it even gets to your brain it started actually in your gut and the reason why intuition starts like that is because we can tell whether something makes sense or not because our brain is working well. But when its not working well we cannot think correctly and that allows to more biologic mismatches and when more biologic mismatches happen. We don't think correctly and guess what results? Inflammation and neolithic disease.
I can't take it any more. (He's almost done anyway). My primal sense has been activated!! Think with your distal colon and you get shit. WOW. All I can say is that if this is the future of paleo, as it appears the movers and shakers behind AHS and PaleoFX seem to believe, duck and cover folks. We're in for an asteroid shitstorm of epigenetic proportions. Just use your brain and you won't be a vegetarian.Pass the Imodium AD.