Aug. 22 Over the Hump Bump: Paleo Summit Flashback

I changed the title of this post entirely for obvious reasons.  

So, in T-minus 4 days the world will finally achieve Cholesterol Clarity!  Thanks to NYT Bestselling (hopeful is he) author Jimmy Moore.   The banner states that:

So I looked at the list of experts and recalled this post highlighting how one of them, Dr. Cate Shanahan, blamed carbs for being turned into LDL and then make us fat.  You can browser search to "Skip to here!" and skip the intro stuff.   You might also be interested in my notes from the full presentation, HERE.  I've also had a chance to see what she says about LDL in her book Deep Nutrition, a whole 'nother theory there, and her interview with Jimmy for the book was quite enlightening.  Beware the shaman lab tech and doctor trying to read your bloodwork tea leaves!  If you don't get hungry between meals you are a healthy fat burner ... don't worry, be happy.  

I think it is a damn shame that the Victory Belt Book Mill will be publishing such a book.  I'm sorry but the only thing Jimmy brings to the table here is his incredible bias as regards lipoprotein levels and this is apparent in the introduction he posted online a couple of days ago.   He repeats the lie about his cholesterol levels always being alarmingly high as well, because he starts the clock in 2008 when he began upping the percentage of fat in his diet (which he took to mean upping fat period) on the advice of co-author Dr. Eric Westman (of Atkins fame).   It is also apparent in his choice of experts.  Apparently VB doesn't care to even ensure there is any merit to use of the word expert, but it shouldn't even be enough to be able to rightfully claim the title "health expert" for a book of this nature.  The interviewees should be recognized experts in the field of lipidology in some way, shape or form.  Few on the list meet the standard of even being knowledgeable let alone expert.  However if you're interested in the works of a well known skeptic, may I suggest the essays of Malcolm Kendrick over on THINCS .  Free to boot!

The area of cholesterol is confusing enough without having every so-called expert (as Jimmy calls mainstream experts in his intro) weigh in with unsubstantiated opinions rather than the best of what the scientific evidence is telling us at the present time.   In a comment on his blog regarding Dr. Dayspring, Jimmy wrote:
Dayspring certainly has his position on LDL-P being the be all end all. I let him make his case in my book. But many other of my experts believe it is the size that matters. It’s interesting he left out the Small LDL-P number in the case study. Why? Because it doesn’t support his position.
I have yet to see much evidence for the "large fluffy LDL" being benign or even protective as some were describing it for years.  Indeed that meme seems largely gone from the skeptosphere because newer information has shown that particle size per se is not very predictive ... just like total cholesterol concentration!

So anyway, here's your bump ... in anticipation of some scrutiny of the positions of various experts, Shanahan included, from the book in the future (as time and interest permits ... it would be wonderful if we didn't hear much more about this book ...)

(Note:  The scheduled Thursday bump didn't work as planned, it is indeed Friday today, sorry for the confusion!  Stop by the Asylum bar for a Cherry Pickin' Martini on the house tonight - liver sparing virgin and/or fructose free versions always available.) 

Original Publication 2/19/12

For those who haven't heard, Sean Croxton of Underground Wellness has put together an online event dubbed the Paleo Summit. Over the course of 4 days, there will be 23 video slide presentations from "experts" around the Paleo world on any manner of subjects. You can see the lineup here. So I "mailed" my registration in early and received my links to some free videos: Interview with Mark Sisson, and Interview with Gary Taubes. I've listened to the first (will have some comments on that one as it fits in with a post in my draft bin) but can't really stomach the drone of a dying TWICHOOB much anymore -- I'll save that for a day of torture ;-) 

I don't really know much about Croxton, though his name has come up from time to time in LLVLC-land.  As much as I enjoy his style, my heart sank when he got to the part with Mark where he laid out his mission as getting everyone to forget the failed notion of eating less and moving more. This is basically what I'm going to discuss about the Sisson interview, because after discussing the lectins and phytates and saponins and whatnot from evil grains, Sisson says that he didn't eat breakfast that morning. Then they go into a kitchen and cook taco-less fish tacos. Basically lemon-pepper seasoning on cubed white fish (halibut if memory serves) fried in a bit of olive oil (sorry, too lazy to rewatch) and served in a bowl with a couple of lettuce leaves. They enjoy their lunch and later in the "day with Mark", the two have a little workout with pushups, pullups, squats and planks. Ummm ... sounds like Mark (who skipped breakfast and said he doesn't eat it most days) doesn't eat a lot, and don't give me this crap that their workout wasn't the dreaded exercise!
Skip to here!

In any case, what caught my eye on the list of preview video-shorts was one Dr. Cate "snacking-takes-liters-of-fluid-out-of-circulation" Shanahan.  In the clip, Shanahan schools us on The LDL-Weight Gain Connection.  This is apparently part of her presentation The Paleo Diet vs. Top-Selling Drugs — Who Wins?  The title of the snippet caught my eye, so I had to give a listen.  Basically Shanahan takes a page from Nora "all-bodyfat-comes-from-glucose" Gedgaudas and decides to trace a little bit of extra body fat back to its source:  why, a bowl of pasta, of course!  You see, pasta becomes blood sugar which travels around to your liver where "the liver picks it up and starts transforming it into fat".  Jeez Louise!  Even Taubes & Co only claim that about 30% of carb in a meal is turned to fat.  Dr. Cate continues ... and this part is just over the top:
One thing all of medical students and dieticians should learn, but we don't, is how carbohydrates make us make more cholesterol. 
C'mon Doc!!  One of the things that continues to be an achilles heel for LC diets, especially in maintenance, is that LDL -- the type of cholesterol she's talking about, make no mistake about it -- tends to go up.  In some cases, markedly, shockingly so!  Not in Human Physiology -899 by Dr. Cate.  You see, she goes on to repeat that the glucose from your pasta is made into LDL in the liver where it's then deposited in your fat cells ... like somewhere on your thighs for instance.  I think Dr. Cate may just take the award for the most incorrect information in the shortest time here: 
  • Glucose gets taken up by the liver and turned to fat as some primary metabolic route
  • Glucose is converted to cholesterol packaged up in LDL
  • Cholesterol is deposited as body fat
When in reality:
  • Only carbohydrates/glucose in large excess are converted in small amounts to fat by the liver
  • Fatty acids from the liver are packaged up into VLDL
  • VLDL particles do transport excess fatty acids from all sources, primarily circulating NEFA, to fat cells for uptake
What is the screening process for the speakers and experts for these things?  None, apparently.   The reason medical students don't learn that carbs turn to cholesterol turn to body fat is because that doesn't happen.  Where did YOU learn that?  And what qualifications do you really have (since you claim you didn't learn it in medical school) to teach this nonsense to anyone?  It seems that someone out there has to counter the promotion of pseudoscience as "expert" fact espoused by "brilliant" minds ... it might as well be me :-)

So, in a move that's sure to further ingratiate me to the movement shakers and fakers, I'll be "live blogging" on the Paleo Summit.  The price is right, and I expect to get what I pay for!


I certainly hope you decide to attend AHS12 ... would love to meet you! As far as going Taubsian on us, yes, I can see that's a concern (although I wonder if it'd more like a matter/antimatter reaction ;).
Nigel Kinbrum said…
Vimeo doesn't work properly with Firefox. Firefox users need to use the following link with the 8-digit clip ID pasted on the end:-
Nigel Kinbrum said…
Damn! Embedding is not allowed with those videos.
Paul Jaminet said…
I think Cate clearly meant to say triglycerides, not LDL. It was a mistake. She says people get benefits from [LDL/triglycerides] dropping to 40 mg/dl. That doesn't happen with LDL but does with triglycerides on low carb.
"And Ignatius Reilly himself will be "moderating". " LOL - actually if the "real" Ignatius were moderating, I'd totally pay $500 to see that! But I was looking at the AHS roster of speakers & it seems like they were chosen based on PR value, whether they've written a book & their ability to drive traffic & buzz.
Todd Hargrove said…
I was a little disturbed when I noticed this error in the first five minutes of reading on Dr. Cate's site:

"When your body burns fat for fuel it is said to be in a “ketogenic state.”

She then contrasts ketogenic with "carbogenic." What?
Sanjeev said…
> with "carbogenic." What?

she's in a neologismgenic state, also a misnomergenic one. Wonder what she smoked to get there ...
Sanjeev said…
at 27 minutes Taubes basically repeats "eat infinitely and as long as it's low carb you won't get fat"

with a leeeeetle bit of wiggle room to deny that's what he meant.

It's a bit funny actually .. Croxton is on the way to saying you canNOT eat that much steak and Taubes cuts him off and says Taubes could easily eat 5,000 calories of steak in one sitting.
Sanjeev said…
apologies for this

> Wonder what she smoked to get there ...

I'm in a pleonasmgenic[0] state.

[0] just to be pedantic, also in a pedantogenic state
Sanjeev said…
(last one, I promise)

tangentially, also a Lyle McDonaldgenic state (quite in fact, that's a complicated one)
CarbSane said…
Hi Paul ... I'm sorry but the word triglycerides did not even pass her lips. This was not an extemporaneous Q&A session, it's a pre-prepared and narrated presentation. Worse yet she uses the "cholesterol" not even LDL so you can't say she just left the "V" out. She is saying carbs are turned to cholesterol turned to body fat. The slide uses LDL!

This is a credible voice of paleo?
Unknown said…
Appreciated the Ignatius Reilly reference!

Can't you get into conferences like that for a fraction of the price as a "volunteer"/workshop monitor/some such?
elrajajo said…
CarbSane at AHS12? You've got to be kidding: where's the contribution page? I'll start with $30 but can get more if it's a clincher. Seriously, we need this to happen.
CarbSane said…
Welcome back Todd :) I enjoy your blog ( check it out folks!)

This sort of thing really bugs me. It's one thing to take stuff out of context (ultimately what Taubes does with insulin) or stretch the interpretation (what I believe the whole fat-burning metabolism hype comes down to). It's quite another to make up your own physiology. I wasn't going to address that whole blog post of hers b/c she seemed rather obscure. The paleo community is doing their "cause" no favors promoting this stuff :(
CarbSane said…
I'm pretty sure I'll go, at least right now that's still the plan. Do you know if someone can just go to that dinner? I'd like to meet you too Beth!
CarbSane said…
Yeah, no embedding. I'm thinking they also go behind a paywall after the 24 hours.
CarbSane said…
You're right of course. And for this reason Paleo and Ancestral will remain fads. Somehow as long as that affords one that kitchen to cook in and that patio to not move more on, I don't think the movers and shakers care much. Tis a pity because a real whole foods based diet could save us from ourselves.
Tonus said…
"Wonder what she smoked to get there ..."

Which would have left her in a carcinogenic state!
CarbSane said…
Yeah, there were some of those opportunities, but I would rather pay the full admission for the freedom if ya know what I mean. As for the Reilly reference, your appreciation needs be directed at Fashiontribes Diet (and a bit to Kurt Harris if memory serves). It is OH so appropriate!

I wonder if Croxton has seen Jimmy lately. They're (PaleoFX and Paleo Summit) using his 2005 "After" pic. At some point "I used to eat Little Debbies by the boxful and weigh 410 lbs and have a 67" waist, but now I wear 50" (or larger?) pants" ain't gonna cut it. I would like to see that Dave guy from Mark's Daily Apple, or Caroline Jhingory, or Hank Garner, or ....
CarbSane said…
Welcome elrajajo! Donations are always appreciated and will go to good use to expand things here. Love that you're enthusiastic for me to go to AHS12. It will probably happen, and anything to help defray the cost would be great. Still I'm a bit reticent to set up a "send CarbSane to AHS" fundraising drive if you know what I mean :p
Good question! I presume people can bring folks to the dinner who aren't attending the conference (like a spouse). Not sure if you can buy a ticket without a registration though. We'll see next week.
CarbSane said…
OK OK ... I'm going to have to listen to the whole thing. The video is "jerky" for me and unwatchable.
CarbSane said…
ROFL! At least not insulinogenic though. Insulin kills!
river rance said…
Speaking of Mark Sisson here's a humerous critique of his Grok stuff from another perspective.

elrajajo said…
$30 duly contributed. Please make it happen. I can here "Gonna Fly Now" by Bill Conti beginning to build in the background. I'll have my chair and popcorn ready and waiting!
Todd Hargrove said…
Thanks Evelyn! I am always lurking here, I appreciate you keeping a close eye on the nutrition bloggers I read.
Sue said…
Do you see a pretty recent post where Jimmy got a 'rude' email saying he was fat!
Wright Mind said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maybe we need to figure out how to do a birds of a feather or a barcamp of sorts on Sunday!
Geoff 99 said…

On the issue of 'where does body fat come from' and the notion of carbs being en-mass converted to fats, I find the following paper suggestive.

"Hydrogenated Oils and Fats: The presence of chemically-modified fatty acids in human adipose tissue."

As part of a study into the relationship between fat and CHD related death, researchers recovered adipose tissue from the recently deceased and analyzed it into its constituent fatty acid fractions. They also analyzed the fatty acid composition of a typical diet consumed in the same region.

End result? With a couple of minor and easily explained exceptions there was a very high match between the adipose tissue fat profile (fatty acid composition) and the dietary fat profile. In their words:

"It is proposed therefore (for such tissue samples which form the subject of the present investigation) that a population average depot fat composition truly reflects the fatty acid composition of the average dietary fat of that population, subject only to the difference that a measure of desaturation of dietary 16:0 to 16:1 and of dietary 18:0 to 18:1 occurs to give a degree of unsaturation consistent with optimum cell-membrane fluidity and functional integrity."

So if we accept their methods/findings, and the profile of stored body fat closely matches the dietary fat profile, then, for me anyway, the suggestive inference is that body fat is simply stored dietary fat, with no other "fat factories" making a significant contribution.

Sanjeev said…
for Geoff & Evelyn

or copy & paste this in the url textbox:

rewind for the full context
Sue said…
That's no good.
Sue said…
so if he is 295 that means that he gained around 65 pounds over the years. His original 180 pound weight loss is now 115 pound weight loss. The low testosterone may have contributed to some weight gain. Also, Jimmy ate a lot of artificial products. Staying low carb too long maybe contributed? So he needs to ask himself why the gain and be truthful. I know for myself that low carb usually makes me binge after a long stretch eating low carb. Now I watch the calories and am more moderate carb.
Sue said…
You must go - I wonder if they will let you in??
Thomas said…
Quite an interesting commentary from Durianrider. I'm no vegan, but that was really funny. Look, Mark Sisson is no more than a paleo salesman, and probably does more good than harm overall. But if his mission is to get everyone to forget the failed notion of eating less and moving more, then he is being a total hypocrite and it's just part of his goofy sales pitch. He is a major part of the paleo pop-culture, maybe even its leader, so we shouldn't expect anything different. He's locked into this crap because of his financial interests-just like Jimmy is. That makes anything he says regarding paleo open to suspicion IMO.
Gianni said…
Damn: 295! And I suppose 295 could actually stand for 298-300 (I hope, at least, not more). The other guy is kind of harsh, unpolite, but still...

And, btw, to give an idea, "here speaking" someone who is most of the time a very low carber. Even tough I don't avoid carbs for weightloss (nor because of diabetes or similar) 'cause I'd probably find them equally if not less "fattening" than fat. I mean Glucose/starch.
CarbSane said…
Actually try 80 lbs, because Jimmy has been down to and below 215 since the initial losses. He likes to repeat the 230 mark because that didn't make regaining to the 260ish mark - 30 lbs - seem like quite as much.

Jimmy is a classic example of how activity and exercise MATTER and WORK. From his own n=1 experience, which makes this so sad.
CarbSane said…
Welcome to the Asylum Geoff! Do I recognize you from trying to fight the good fight over on GT's blog? I'd love to chime in, but seems ol' Gary has blocked me from posting ;)

In any case, that is convincing evidence for this. I am going to be blogging on a rat study of different KD's (different fats, 80% fat) and lo and behold, body fat on rats mirrored dietary intake. I do imagine that on very high carb and energy surplus diets, DNL has a greater contribution, but seeing as fat cells seem to suck up chylomicrons and have less of an affinity for VLDL, this should be protective for fattening, no?
CarbSane said…
The emailer is out of line, but most especially because he dragged Jimmy's poor wife Christine into it. I have referred to many of the YouTube vids of the couple as hostage videos -- she doesn't seem at all enthused to be part of this whole thing. I imagine it can't be easy for her relying on this for their sole income source.

I'm going to have to blog on this as the Jimmy of 2008 holds all the answers to the 2012 Jimmy's mysteries.

Here he's lifting weights and apparently eating like he's training for the Olympics -- only with gross "paleo" stuff this time. Ughh.
CarbSane said…
Jimmy's "plug" for Primal Fuel was rather humorous -- best tasting fat burning shake or something like that ... while he was gaining weight!
bentleyj74 said…
Paleo may be the best thing that ever happened to Durian Rider :)
Thomas said…
"Paleo may be the best thing that ever happened to Durian Rider :)"

True, but he's got his own problems with diet craziness. His exchange with AC was interesting.

I can't take any of these guys seriously anymore. They get so locked into a philosophy and it's hard to get out, especially when money is involved. Primal Fuel? The only thing "Primal" about it is the word on the container. I'm not against protein powder, btw-but to pretend that Primal Fuel is somehow more "Grok" friendly is just plain silly. And even if MS denies that he promotes it as a more primal food, it's definitely implied. Anyway.....
bentleyj74 said…
Lol, or just craziness in general but he uses the hypocrisy and nonsense to present his own brand of crazy as the rational counterpoint. It's a sad commentary on the state of things when DR is the voice of reason.
Hannah Finch said…
good work. Its tough standing up to cultish mindsets
Geoff 99 said…
Hi Evelyn,

No - I'm afraid I can't claim the honor of posting to Gary's blog - I long ago gave up on his particular Procrustean solution to the world's dietary problems :-)

I must also confess to being a long time reader and silent supporter, and have greatly enjoyed the underlying common sense and science based understanding you have brought to an area often characterized by strange and self-delusional fantasies.

The corroboration of the results in a rat study is most interesting. It is comforting to know our furry friends are not so metabolically different after all.

With respect to DNL and VLDL contributing to fat gain, a paper on which you have already blogged: (

... seems to sum up the situation quite nicely.

1. After a high carb load DNL is higher in the obese than in average weight men, although DNL does not contribute directly to net weight gain.
2. Circulating fatty acids are high despite concurrent high insulin levels.
3. Tissue oxidation of fatty acids is lower in the obese than normal weight men.

So despite DNL and resultant circulating VLDL not being direct contributors to net weight gain, they do appear to have a significant fat sparing effect. To quote:

"Taken together, these results—the qualitatively higher hepatic
DNL with lower fat oxidation, the correlation between DNL and
increased serum triacylglycerol, and the greater availability of
fatty acids to tissues despite lower fat oxidation by tissues—all
point to an impairment of tissue fuel selection (utilization of
fatty acids) in the overweight group, in whom a carbohydrate
load produced a fat-sparing effect more pronounced than in lean
men and so a less negative fat balance than in lean men."

I think these are interesting findings as they are consistent with the observation that stored fat seems to mirror dietary fat and DNL is not a significant contributor to fat stores per se. However, on the converse side, high DNL levels can ultimately provide a significant fat sparing effect.

Thanks again for the blog.


(ps. I changed my sign in name to avoid any confusion )