Showing posts from March, 2012

Longevity isn't Paleo!

At the end of a recent post, I cited the following study:   Fitness cost of extended lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans .   Abstract:  An insulin/IGF-I-like signalling pathway determines the rate of aging of the adult nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans . Mutations in genes encoding this pathway can result in a doubling of lifespan. While such mutations may appear to have little effect on development or fertility, evolutionary theory predicts that large increases in lifespan will not be optimal for fitness. We demonstrate by laboratory natural selection that partial loss of function of the insulin receptor-like protein DAF-2 results in dramatically reduced fitness even under laboratory conditions. Despite long-lived mutants appearing healthy, they exhibit a heavy fitness cost consistent with an evolutionary theory of aging.

An elegans argument in insulin's favor

No, that's not a typo in the post title.  I'm referring to the nematode (aka worm) known as  Caenorhabditis elegans , or  C. elegans   for short.     More recently the topic of longevity has been introduced into discussions regarding diet and health, and when one looks into aging research, they will inevitably be inundated with studies involving these worms.  The caption of the picture at right is "adult and two juveniles".  Apparently there are some similarities between some genes in this worm and insulin receptor genes in humans.  I'm always intrigued when the "I am not a mouse (or rat)" crowd starts citing worm longevity research to support their theories on metabolism and endocrinology.  Surely they see that where there are differences in rodent and human physiology, these differences are dwarfed many times over when one tries to extrapolate worm physiology to humans!   

A Little Publishing Glitch

Two days ago I accidentally hit the "Publish" button on a very early draft of a post.  I deleted it but not fast enough for it to flicker across the feed readers.  I've since published the finished product, and tried to update the timestamp so it would be in chronological order and come across the feeders again.  It didn't.  Since a large portion of my audience keep up with the blog by this means, and Beth had asked via Twitter when it was coming back, I just wanted to do a "bump" of sorts. The post:   The First Law of Thermo still doesn't violate the Second Law

The First Law of Thermo still doesn't violate The Second Law

Well, I've been meaning to weigh in on the Bray overfeeding study ( Effect of Dietary Protein Content  on Weight Gain, Energy Expenditure, and Body Composition During Overeating ) that made a bit of a splash a little while back. George Bray is especially hated by ardent low carb advocates because he wrote a particularly unfavorable review of GCBC published in Obesity Reviews.   Bray is what Adam Kosloff refers to as a "Calorie Wizard": Regardless of diet, it is a positive energy balance over months to years that is the sine qua non for obesity. Obese people clearly eat more than do lean ones, and food-intake records are notoriously unreliable, as documented by use of doubly labelled water.  Underreporting of food intake is greater in obese than in normal-weight people and is worse for fat than for other macronutrient groups.   Accepting the concept that obesity results from a positive energy balance does not tell us why energy balance is positive.  This depends on

Because you can never have too much fun ...

In honor of Jimmy's podcast with the new leader of the Insurgency , Peter "War on Insulin" Attia, MD, I've gotta introduce the latest in my series of Lego superhero analogies.  Attia is younger and considerably more photogenic than Taubes and puts a fresh face on the movement.  When Taubes introduced Attia on his blog, I just couldn't help but think "Boy Wonder" ... and it all started to fall into place.   The "Dynamic Duo" of Taubes and Attia will from now on be known as Fatman and Glucagon here at the Asylum!  These two shall patrol Glutton City in their Fatmobile protecting its citizens from the dastardly deeds of team CICO.  No analogy would be complete without identifying the everyday alter-egos of these two.  In the role of Bruce Wayne, we have none other than Jimmy Moore (has anyone ever seen Taubes and Moore in the same place at the same time?), and in the role of Dick Grayson, we will have Adam Kosloff. Yours truly, of course, shal

My Favorite 100 Calorie Snack

I've been hearing these things demonized since my very first day that I found Jimmy Moore's LLVLC forum.  All these months later I understand that this is rooted in the firmly held belief that calories must be irrelevant to the whole equation.  Lately there's a 100 Calorie Strawman being erected out there in low carb land -- this notion that somehow these 100 Calorie Packs are "healthy".   This is absurd, IMO.  I don't know a single person, regardless of dietary philosophy who believes that taking any food and repackaging it into 100 calorie portions will alter it's inherent healthfulness in any way.  And certainly if someone has an imperative reason for avoiding an ingredient (e.g. celiacs), there's no such thing as "moderation".  But even Dr. Rosedale says that he'll eat bread from time to time, although he's quite a bit more dramatic in what he considers the risk to his longevity to be.  If anything, packaging some of these snacks

Response to Moore/Kosloff Podcast II: Commentary

These days I choose the LLVLC podcasts I listen to wisely and having read Beyond Caloriegate etc. would likely not have tuned into LLVLC Episode 559: Adam Kosloff Says It’s Time To Move ‘Beyond Caloriegate’  were it not for the heads-up that landed in my Inbox informing me that Adam had mentioned me (it's around the 16 minute mark).   So I listened to it and, in light of our correspondences, was left with a bad  taste in my mouth.     So, a couple points in that regard that concern me, some general comments on the whole podcast, this "overstoring" in the "black box" concept and such, and Oh the antagonism!!  Perhaps we need to have "drinking game Sundays" here at the Asylum where I serve up Cherry Pickin Martinis (Taubes), Spiked Pink Leptinade (Rosedale), Frozen Leptin Drops (Kruse), F'en Wheat Belly Buttons (Davis), and I'll have to dream up a few more (feel free to contribute ideas in comments!!).  We'll call the game "antagonism&qu

Response to Moore/Kosloff Podcast I: My Un-annotated Blog/Email Exchanges with Adam

I plan to respond to LLVLC Episode 559: Adam Kosloff Says It’s Time To Move ‘Beyond Caloriegate’  in more detail tomorrow or over the weekend.  However for now I felt that the way Adam sounded in the podcast when discussing me didn't reflect the details/spirit of our exchanges here on the blog and in our emails.   So I thought I'd collect those all in one place, without further comment from me at this time, for those readers interested in filling in a few blanks. The Exchange began with the Salvaging the Hypothesis blog post where, in the context of discussing the dying TWICHOO, I referenced a post of Adam's.  I've C&P'd the relevant content:

Challenge Accepted!

I have a post that I keep re-working addressing this whole " Antagonism against LC " whine from one Jimmy Moore. Perhaps I hit "Publish" in a day or so.  For my newer readers, a little background.  I basically came to the larger LC/paleo/ancestral community from the LLVLC forum where I was a rather prolific participant.  After losing roughly 100 lbs with an Atkins Induction-style pretty Primal friendly diet with planned cheats from 2007-2009 (most of it in the first 10 months), I plateaued out and went looking for answers.  At that time Jimmy hosted a discussion forum, and it seemed a good fit for a while. Shortly after that I discovered and began following Jimmy's menus blog ... and I'm one with a good memory (something that drives even me crazy at times because I'll often remember exact wordings but not where exactly I read them ... part of the reason for starting this blog) so as I read tidbits there and on his other blog, inconsistencies began to a

Random thought on Sun, Tanning & Vitamin D

As I changed races in Me-hee-co last week something I read in Stephanie Seneff's blog post on VitD and sunscreens, etc.  that got me thinking about my negative vitamin D experience a few years back.  For those who haven't read me drop a comment on it, here's the Cliff's Notes version.  I rather foolishly decided to jump on the megadoses of VitD bandwagon a few years back and began taking somewhere in the 5000-10000 IU/day range.  I started getting weird "dizzy spells" but only when lying down and shifting positions (like rolling over).  I also had my first ever "high" BP reading at my "well woman" doc visit.  So I figured I should stop taking all supps and sort that out.  I've since added back in the other supps and identified it was the D.  I now only take 1000 IU and no more than 2000 IU, definitely not daily (currently I'm experimenting with whether the Estroven is doing anything at this point and it has D in it).  

Odds, Ends and Battery Acid

Hey everyone!  I cannot believe it is Friday already ... this week flew by but we have 2 full days more here and then back to our other hotel for the last night.  We've been here before so we know all the tricks and such.  Even though check in isn't until 3, we arrived in beachwear with a pool bag packed, they slapped a bracelet on each of us, and we were off to sun and lunch while our luggage waited for the room.  Sunday we'll check out early and then catch lunch and perhaps even a dunk in the cold plunge and hot tubs before heading out.   It's almost like getting an extra day this way but with no stress of flying out.   So this worked out really well for us in many ways, not the least of which is the stress of flying always eats into the relaxation, this way we get full relaxation mode for the all-inclusive with so much to enjoy.

Low Fat, VitD and Stephanie Seneff

Before I get to Is the metabolic syndrome caused by a high fructose, and relatively low fat, low cholesterol diet?   I thought I'd share a bit about the lead author Stephanie Seneff .  I don't usually look much into the authors of papers and such unless something seems off in the bias/advocacy/etc. area.   Seneff did in this case.  Although Seneff has a biology background, she hasn't been working in that field so I thought it odd that the first author on such a paper was a PhD in Electrical Engineering.  The second author is described as an independent reader of research, which I suppose would be like me?!,  and the third an Italian doctor.   An interesting mix! One gets a little insight on Seneff when you read her blog a bit .   Clearly her interests lie in gestational and early childhood development area, but I'm also picking up on a feminist angle advocating for acceptance of more body fat on women and not the hyper-lean, model-thin bodies that became more sociall

Happy Monday!

So yesterday we arrived at our beachfront resort.  It's been three years since we were last here -- somehow "transfers" aren't working well for us this trip because the first problem was that our taxi dropped us off at the wrong resort.  We tell everyone the name of the sister resort next door because there are like a zillion resorts with "Royal" in the name, but they dropped us off at the one on the opposite side.   Oh well.  When we finally got settled I think the hustle and bustle of the whole trip really hit and both of us were really tired.   On Saturday we went to Mercado 28 in downtown which reminded me how much I hate being a tourista!  I have little patience for those trying to take advantage of me.  We looked at some jewelry in one store and the guy quoted us like $350 for like 3 silver pieces.  I mean c'mon man!  I was looking for a butterfly pendant and finally found one for around $35.  Y'all will see it at AHS.  We also did the 3 cheap

Why We Get Fat ... Lessons from Obese Humans & Cafeteria Rats

Vacation bump!  Original Post Date:  3/9/11 One of the more interesting things (to me) to come out of the "cafeteria rat study"  is what the composition of the diet eventually chosen by the rats came out to be.  I'm just going to focus on the SC (standard chow) and CAF (SC + human snack foods) diets in this post. To recap, the SC had a composition F/C/P of 10/64/26.  When offered this chow along with a rotating selection of three human snack foods from the following list, the rats only ate 15% of their diet as chow (the wording of this is unclear, but their total consumption is ultimately what's important).  The composition of the diet they ended up eating?  CAF was F/C/P of 44/46/10  (note: I've detected slight discrepancies in the numbers here that involve a 1-2% swing in either direction) .  One might think the rodies were only offered fatty snacks, but this is not the case as can be seen in the table below:

Is Low Fat & High Fructose Causing Metabolic Syndrome?

Via Twitter, Beth from Weight Maven blog asked me if I read That Paleo Guy and a recent paper he blogged on .  The answers would be no and no, but I have now ;-)    The title of the study is:   Is the metabolic syndrome caused by a high fructose, and relatively low fat, low cholesterol diet?   The following stuck out at me from the conclusion of the paper: In conclusion, we would urge medical practitioners to encourage individuals exhibiting MetS to strongly limit the consumption of dietary fructose [ 75 ] and other high-glycemic-index carbohydrates, and to stop discouraging them from consuming foods rich in cholesterol [ 76 ]. Now I don't know what medical practitioners are out there pushing fructose on people, but the recommendations to consume fruit are a far far cry from endorsing the consumption of sugar sweetened beverages and lots of juice.   I do think it's a crime that fruit juices are considered the equivalent of a piece of fruit to many nutritionists, b

Greetings from Cancun, Mexico!

Hello folks!  Just checking in on the blog this lovely quiet morning here in downtown Cancun.  We've had quite an eventful trip so far and it's only day 3.  We flew out of NY on Thursday with a 2 hour layover for our adjoining flight.  I really will try to take non-stops these days because we've just had too many problems with connecting flights ... missing planes ... etc.etc.  And the airlines are not what they used to be for service, but I just couldn't justify an extra $300.  So we sat on the tarmac waiting for a part for our plane -- always a comforting announcement to hear on the loudspeaker -- for an hour and a half.  We were told "those with connecting flights will be met with agent to assist you at the gate.  Yeah right.  There were really no further announcements until we were already almost landing, local time or any such thing.  I will never again fly American if I can avoid it.  Gone are the days of seeing who has connecting flights when a flight is lat

Puzzle Pieces ... Low Carb & Thyroid

So ... it' been a while, almost a human gestation period, since I reported my miraculous selenium insomnia cure .  In a nutshell, I started taking Se to see if it might help and within days I was sleeping like a baby through the night.  Although I found adding starches in somewhat difficult at first, I've also recently made clear that I'm eating a good 100g/day most days now ... at least that would be the average ... for starch.  I still eat a lot of veggies that I don't bother counting the carbs in and fruit several times a week, so probably getting about 150g perhaps up to 200 total grams of carbs these days.  

Hypocritical Low Carb Living: So much for clinical experiences & anecdotes

Apparently hypocrisy is ketogenic or something like that, because it is coursing through the veins of the low carb community these days.  You see, hidden beneath the bellyaching title and opening of the blog post,  What’s With The Antagonism About Low-Carb From The Paleo Community Lately? , lay another one of Jimmy's "data dump" posts having the LC "experts" weigh in on the issue of low carb and thyroid function.  As yet another fairly well known low carber jumps the Carnival ship, things are getting more and more desperate in LLVLClue-landia.

Did you hear? Davy Jones was a Vegetarian

So Davy Jones of The Monkeys died this past week of a heart attack.  He was 66 years old.  The autopsy stated the cause of death as:   ventricular fibrillation resulting from severe coronary atherosclerosis.    Now Dana Carpender weighs in on her blog with Another "Health Nut" Dies Young .  That title rubs me the wrong way ... it's just that smugness doesn't go over well when one is not in stellar health themselves.   As everyone who doesn't live in a cave (and we assume that, having internet access, you do not live in a cave) now knows, Davy died two days ago of a heart attack at the age of 66. What has received less attention has been the mentions I have seen from those who knew him that Davy was a strict vegetarian, a devoted runner and "didn't have an ounce of fat on him." They're shocked that someone with such healthy habits could have died this way.

Live Blogging from the Paleo Summit XII: Day 8: Moore, Greunke, Dwyer

Link:   Jimmy Moore Title:   How to Break Out of the Grips of Morbid Obesity Ratings: ☼ ☼  ☼ ☼ ☼     Content ☼ ☼  ☼ ☼  ☼    Overall Mini-Review: Skip this unless you have a thing for torturing yourself.  I think this is the shortest of the interviews (under 20 minutes) and we learn once again that chronic cardio is bad, weight lifting is good.   Oh ... and Jimmy is 40.   Link:   Stephanie Greunke Title:   Ditch the “D” Word! Ratings: ☼ ☼  ☼ ☼ ☼     Content ☼ ☼  ☼ ☼  ☼    Overall Mini-Review: I don't get the point of this  20 minutes other than to say that we shouldn't call it a paleo "diet".  I'm all for ditching that D word, but that's nothing new.  This is another one of Robb Wolf's "Dream Team" of paleo registered dietitians.  This is more an informercial I guess than anything else ;-)   I listened to her fellow "Dreqm Team" dietitian's presentation as well ... Amy Kubal ... When I get a chance I'm going to do a

Live Blogging from the Paleo Summit XI: Dr. Cate Shanahan

Link:   "Dr. Cate" Shanahan Title:  The Paleo Diet vs. Top-Selling Drugs: Who Wins? Ratings: ☼ ☼  ☼  ☼   ☼    Entertainment Value ☼ ☼  ☼  ☼   ☼    Content ☼ ☼  ☼   ☼   ☼    Informational Accuracy ☼ ☼  ☼     ☼   ☼   Overall Summary: Basically, just eat a low carb paleo diet folks and you won't get osteoporosis, schizophrenia and need cholesterol lowering drugs.  While Dr. Cate spends quite a bit of time discussing how diet can cure/prevent diseases, she goes into scant little detail as to what exactly she means by such a diet.  Shanahan's science is very poor.  If I were a parent I think I'd go nuts just worrying over my kid turning into a schizophrenic any day now after listening to Shanahan.  Just go paleo folks and skip all your meds.  Look, I'm on board with America being a WAY overmedicated society where doctors don't tend to pay enough attention to the role of diet and nutrition in our health.  But after listening to Cate f

Live Blogging from the Paleo Summit X: Day 6 - Chek, Hartwigs, Siebecker

Link:  Paul Chek Title:  Paleo - Instinct Before Intellect Ratings: ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼   Entertainment Value ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼   Content ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼   Informational Accuracy ☼ ☼ ☼  ☼ ☼   Overall Mini-Review: OK, so I awoke early today and so decided to get a jump on today's offerings while still dozing a bit.  Very early on Paul goes off into my idea of woo woo with the whole talking to trees thing or how junk DNA is the stuff of our instincts and all that.  He kind of lost me there and never got me back.  Which is unfortunate because he had some excellent points to make about behavior that is taught and/or part of a civilized construct vs. what we instinctively do.  He compounds this by discussing education as designed to babysit kids and squelch creativity.  While some parts of his history may be true, I'm not sure where slave children's  education on the plantations so that their slave parents could be most productive factors in.  While I'm not a huge student of history,

Ancestral Symposium Bound!

It's official!! I just purchased my ticket to AHS12 at Harvard this August.  I'm looking forward mostly to meeting so many of the people I interact with through this blog.  It should be interesting to see so many folks "in the flesh".  I plan to live blog/tweet as much as possible throughout the event so my readers can get the AHS experience.   The only decision remaining is whether or not to go in disguise :-)  Creative ideas or just funnin' allowed in consideration of that dilema!  I'm pretty sure they don't allow concealed carry at Hah vuhd, but perhaps a water pistol filled with real KoolAid might ward off would be attackers :-)  I don't usually do this, but the cost is a bit steep, so I'm making a special appeal for donations for any who specifically wish to sponsor this trip.  I'm happy to publicly acknowledge your contribution or you can remain anonymous.  I've already received some funding but would greatly appreciate your assist

Here I thought LC was supposed to make you feel younger?!

I have to pipe up and vent a little here folks.  Because as I approach 50, I realize that I'm far from an old person ... and I'm getting increasingly annoyed by those in their late 30's/early 40's talking as if they've already got one foot in the grave.  One in particular, who just turned 40 and has brought that fact up repeatedly on his blog, podcasts, interviews, etc. etc.  Yep, I'm talking about one Jimmy Moore.  Really, you'd think the man was 80 the way he talks sometimes about his hopelessly damaged metabolism and such.   But what do you think when you read defeatist comments from a 40 year old?  I hear excuses, mostly.  Barring some major complicating circumstances, so should you.  It's funny, Jimmy is lamenting how the paleo crowd tend to be young and fit so they just can't relate.  Actually, I remember being young and fit, and if anything, back in my 20's, I would have bought into the excuses because back then 40 sounded SOOOOOO old (hec

Live Blogging from the Paleo Summit IX: Chris Kresser

Link:  Chris Kresser Title:  An Update on Cholesterol Ratings: ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼   Entertainment Value ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼   Content ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼   Informational Accuracy ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼   Overall Summary: Hands down the most informative and important presentation yet.  Go listen.  NOW.  You can read this later!  This one trumps O'Bryan's gluten presentation because I don't think any of us escape the insidious reach of "cholesterol".  Whether it's our doctor pressuring us to take statins, or diet and exercise not working, etc.etc. Chris Kresser lays out a thorough and concise summary of all things LDL these days.  I sincerely hope that those in the low carb wing of paleo ... ahem ... Jimmy Moore ... will listen to this and dial back their "protective fluffy LDL" cheerleading, as well as the "my LDL caused my doctor to have a heart attack" jeering and snickering about the paleo web.   Chris discusses the meaning of cholesterol test results, the possible underlyi

Live Blogging from the Paleo Summit VIII: Denise Minger

Link:  Denise Minger Title:  How to Win an Argument with a Vegetarian ? Ratings: ☼ ☼  ☼ ☼ ☼   Entertainment Value ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼   Content ☼ ☼ ☼   ☼ ☼   Informational Accuracy ☼ ☼ ☼   ☼ ☼  Overall Summary: Although her presentation is entitled How to Win an Argument with a Vegetarian , she mostly talks about a little of this and a little of that.  This is an enjoyable listen, though I think mostly the same as what she presented at AHS11 last August.  You'll probably want to listen to this if you are a vegetarian or vegan, or even your every day low fattie still fearing or on the fence about eating animal protein and/or fat.  She discusses her infamous China Study debunking and some other famous studies.  Denise also addresses some of the trends in paleo, specifically the increased incorporation of carbs to the diet, and the "internals" where disagreements exist.  It's not a scientifically heady talk (hence the 3-star content rating) but what she discusses is acc