Showing posts from July, 2012

Just a Quick Note

Hey all!  Some may have noticed that I've been a bit less interactive over the past week or so.  I'm generally far more responsive to comments.  I like to recognize and welcome new readers/commenters, and respond to questions and/or just in general.  I'm way behind in this regard of late, and since there haven't even been as many as usual, some might be wondering whassup wid dat!   Just wanted to let y'all know that there is a lot on my plate lately -- most of it related to my husband switching jobs and all that such a process involves.  While this is ultimately a very good thing, it wasn't really something that was anticipated even a few months ago ... just busy, busy, busy.   I might polish up and post some of those almost-complete drafts I have, but I don't know ... we'll see.  Just realize that if I do it doesn't mean I'm necessarily "around and active" so if you leave a comment, please be patient. I'm going to leave moderat

A Fein(man), Fine Mess of Thermodynamics

I was truly baffled beyond all bafflement (is that a word?) that Feinman & Fine wrote  "A calorie is a calorie" violates the second law of thermodynamics , let alone that it passed the peer review process to be published in any reputable journal.  In the abstract they write: Here, we propose that a misunderstanding of the second law accounts for the controversy about the role of macronutrient effect on weight loss and we review some aspects of elementary thermodynamics. Here I propose that it is their apparent misunderstanding of thermodynamics, as put forth in this "study", that accounts for most of the gimmickry surrounding low carb diets in the community.  In the section entitled  "Thermodynamics" , they write:

Is it Possible? "Smarter Science" worse than "Good" Science Journalism?

I'm really disgusted folks.  I'm sorry, but I get a whole heckuhlot of criticism for checking the references of one Gary Taubes.  I must be some obsessed, hermit crab stalker type to spend my time and a few dollars to actually look into what he says his references say, vs. what they actually say.  Nah, rather that I just accept what he says at face value.  Taubes' misuse of the Pima as an example of his carbs-make-you-fat-and-diabetic garbage is one where you don't even need to try to understand the science.  He flat out misrepresents this "poster population" for his hypothesis to have people believe their's was a lower carbohydrate diet back when.  But, in fact, it was far higher in carbohydrate than the SAD, to the tune of 80+%.  Still ... no program has approved GCBC for their curricula to the best of my knowledge. Well, Jonathan Bailor is giving The Master a run for his money when it comes to misinterpreting/misrepresenting studies in his Smarter Scie

Insulin Doing Its Thang! And Still No Starving Cells

In comments yesterday, Wayne/ProudDaddy wondered whether triglycerides might be the bad guy instead of NEFA based on this study from Keith Frayn's research group: Adipose tissue fatty acid metabolism in insulin-resistant men . Aims/hypothesis   Increased NEFA production and concentrations may underlie insulin resistance. We examined systemic and adipose tissue NEFA metabolism in insulin-resistant overweight men (BMI 25–35 kg/m 2 ).

Diabetes "Crash" Cures: VLCal vs. VLCarb

In light of my post earlier today regarding treating diabetes, I thought I'd bump this post from around a year ago that compared the impact of acute caloric deficit to acute carbohydrate restriction.  If the results don't give one pause regarding low carb always being the best and forevermore necessary diet for diabetics, it's probably hopeless ... but I'll keep trying :-) Original Publication Date:  7/4/2011 As I was looking at the results from the VLCal diet that "cured" diabetes, I was reminded of the discussion of "curing" vs. remission of diabetes over at Dr. Davis' Heart Scan blog.   At the time I couldn't recall the thread in which it had occurred but just now stumbled across it.   The post was entitled The Westman Diet .   Westman being Dr. Eric Westman of Duke University whom most of my readers are probably rather familiar with. In that post Davis cites the following study: The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic

Diabetes Treatment & Stuffs

I think if I were someone without my background and diagnosed with diabetes, I'd probably go crazy.  Really!  I try to imagine what it would be like to get some direction from my doctor who likely hooks me up with a diabetes educator.  I'd probably go looking for additional information on the internet, and no doubt find all of the conflicting information from all sides including the low carbohydrate community -- many of whom are medical doctors.  There is so much misinformation out there -- from both sides -- but the LC advocates are more dangerous, IMO, because they are not vetted and weeded at least of the worst charlatans.  I think most people who are diagnosed with diabetes just want effective treatment.  Unfortunately, for too many, current protocols only manage the disease and postpone physiological decline, and diabetes is all rather complicated making being your own patient-advocate all the more difficult.   Perhaps it is some sort of grand conspiracy between the

The Smarter Science of Slim ~ General Thoughts

A few days back a copy of this book was donated to me, and for the past months or so the occasional query has come my way for my opinion of the book.  The author, Jonathan Bailor has a website that I've read bits and pieces of -- mostly the blog.   I think I know who the mystery guru some have been hinting at these past days, and I'm pretty sure I know why -- Bailor classifies foods as SANE or inSANE based on the acronym of four factors: S = Satiety     A = Aggression (towards body fat formation)   N = Nutrition    E = Efficiency We'll get back to that acronym later, but as I've also blogged on quite a few of his references and science here, it makes sense to me that searches for Bailor's book/website/diet might land someone here.   That and, I suppose, this post:   And the Cherry-Picking Baton has been passed .  So I've now read through the diet section of the book and have a full critique in the works (if I can stomach it).  I may or may not get to t

Our gasoline works at a molecular level

Just saw an Exxon Mobile commercial claiming "our gasoline works at a molecular level" and it just struck me ... perhaps if we all take a step back from the often emotional/dogmatic diet world and look at another area where science often factors in and is exploited for fun and profit, perhaps one message I'm getting at might make it through to the recent wave of detractors. That was an exact quote.  Perhaps someone with no chemistry background can please chime in here with what that statement would mean to you.   It is so utterly nonsensical and meaningless to this chemist and I find it insulting to all that someone thought up this crap.  I looked to see if this made mention about the net, and here is j ust one such in the comments : This reminds me of some commercial from Exxon-Mobil a few weeks ago. I wasn't particularly paying attenion, but the commercial started out:  "Our gas works on a molecular level..."   At that moment, my inner smartass snapped an

Fame ~ The Remake

The discussion is interesting on some of my recent posts.  As always, the more I try to explain, it seems the more some try to read into things what they will.  The best example is this: Me:  ... Which is not to say my story is relegated to the dust-bin, but that I want this blog to be more than just about me ... as I think it really has been for quite some time! I never intended this main blog to be about my story. It is relevant, but as I've always said -- this is important! --  I could weigh 100 lbs or 400 lbs, that doesn't change the science I present here. justprayin: As a person who also just started reading this blog i tend to view her 'exposing and debunking' more reminiscent of a scorned wife who has been cheated on by her husband. And as for the 3x tshirt, i guess you might have to order one for evelyn too, who apparently could weigh up to 400lbs, (her words, not mine).

Rambling my way to a Mission Statement

Last week I was asked or told a few times that the purpose of this blog is unclear.  I suppose that's fair, but then again, how many people sit down and write a mission statement when they start blogging?  I dunno how many people in my audience here have ever blogged, but it's certainly a different animal than anything I've done in my life.  It is easy to get tugged in one direction or another based on how the audience reacts to what I write and my choice of topics.  It's difficult, sometimes, to stay on "message" when I've never had a specific message other than this.   I really did start this blog to sort through the peer review literature and what it says about the long term healthfulness of a VLC diet.   I've attracted a considerable readership of the science, but also of ex-low carbers and/or VLC'ers who have moderated their approach over the years.  Most if not all of these have improved their position -- be it weight or health -- often after

Name that low carber

I just have to say that I’ve been living a low-carb lifestyle for [5-15 years]*.  I don’t feel deprived at all and could care less what “society” suggests I should eat.   I’m happier and healthier than most of the people around me.   Low-carb is sustainable if you want it to be and care about your health above all else.   We can eat berries and melons without breaking the “diet”, among many other low glycemic foods Dr. X* didn’t mention because it would make low-carb living look even better, so the argument that we are depriving ourselves of essential nutrients is pointless. As far as antioxidants go,  refined carbohydrates cause oxidization. Without those in our system, antioxidants aren’t quite so “essential” anymore. * details "blurred" to make it fair, but it doesn't show up on my search engine anyway. Which low carber said the above?

Nutritional Idiotosis II: All the Benefits of Type 1 Diabetes w/o All that Pesky β-cell Dysfunction

After reading some of the comments on Nutritional Idiotosis , I was reminded of an impression I got of low carbers from almost the beginning.  They want to be Type 1 diabetics -- or as close to them as possible.  Which begs the question ... WHY??  Oh, they'll protest, and yet you hear of the desire to achieve the lowest insulin levels possible through dietary manipulation.  What is that the next-best-thing to?  Type 1 diabetes, that's what.  And we all know the other myriad health benefits of that disease right?  What?  You've never heard of them you say?  That's because the Type 1 diabetic state is all bad, no good ... unless you think all there is to life is being obesity resistant.  Other than that, Type 1's spend their whole lives supplementing insulin to prevent all manner of bad happening.   This nutritional ketosis fad just takes this another step towards mimicking the metabolic state of a diabetic.  Yes, it is true that while you have a functioning pancreas

Google Giggles

Heh hee hee. My Comment Moderation message is a tongue in cheek reference to notorious trollie of the LC or formerly LC web.  AKA Razwell. Not today I have 5 hits from Google for "Razwell virus" Snicker ;-)

Life, Risk & Biomarkers

Let's start out with a little nostalgia, eh?  Before video games, there was a time when humans played boardgames, like Life and Risk. Newman & Kramer play Risk on the subway!

Nutritional Idiotosis

There's a new wave sweeping through the low carb internet, dubbed "nutritional ketosis" by Drs. Stephen Phinney and Jeff Volek.   Apparently Volek actually lives this stuff, no idea about Phinney. (EDIT:  In this video, he says he's been nutritional idiototic ketotic for 7 years.)  These two teamed up with Dr. Eric Westman to write The New Atkins (TNA) before writing their own book The Art & Science of Low Carb Dieting and now The Art & Science of Low Carb Performance.   I read TNA, and gave it a rather favorable review , though I had concerns .  Have not read the A&S books, but as always if anyone wants to donate their copies to science I'm happy to have a look!  

Imposters & Spammers

From time to time here, the infamous Razwell will make an appearance with his usual all-caps rants citing Urgelt and Freidman and blasting Colpo, etc.  As such, I had to put that Razzy virus warning up a while ago, and it's active as of this post. Please ignore this person here if comments get through from time to time.  He manages to behave in spurts -- as he has done over on Stephan's blog of late -- but this individual is best ignored. I bring this up because in the past I'm also pretty sure that whoever Razzmatazz is was behind posting as "Evelyn" or even "carbsanity" using the Wordpress website carbsanity.  Sigh.  Buying up domains just to prevent this is beyond my means and desires, though I have secured and intend in the near future to migrate things there in some way, shape or form.  Perhaps that is what got me on the spam list of so many bloggers to where my comments go into the intervapors.   In any case, recently someone usin

I Make Failed Low Carbers Famous!!!!

And they made up tee shirts to brag about it!!!   Scamming one's readers must be good business these days if these two frauds have the money to make up T's (fashion tip ... large lettering isn't flattering) to mock those they "have no use for" nuisance bloggers.  Well blogger, singular.

The Sugar Twins step in it ... or almost. Part I: Lustig Eats Crap

The Rock'em Sock'em battle of the gurus in Carblandia continued last week as both Lustig and Taubes took to the media airwaves.  I'll now call them the sugar twins because ultimately both hinge their arguments on sugar/fructose.  Lustig says that because fructose is converted to fat in the liver, sucrose is the one food on the planet that is both fat and carb together and that makes it fattening.  That combo is particularly insulinogenic and insulin blinds your brain to leptin so you don't know when to stop eating cheesecake.  Taubes is making his last stand at TWICHOO Bunker Hill by saying that all the bad things he's been telling you for years about carbs -- fat cells going wild, spontaneous horizontal growth spurts, starving cells, etc. -- you may be spared of this forever and eternity so long as you never bathed your liver in fructose.  Fructose causes insulin resistance and sets the wheels in motion for fat accumulation.  Both (misguided) positions hinge on SUG

Fish Safety: A Selenium/Mercury resource

Chris Kresser spent quite a bit of time in his Real Food Summit presentation discussing the "inactivation" of mercury by selenium.  The good news about this is that for many of the fish where mercury contamination is of concern -- particularly large coldwater ocean fish -- there is a high level of selenium.  Selenium binds mercury and in essence converts it to a non-toxic form.  Sorta like those amalgam fillings most folks over 35-40 (and younger but less common) have had*.  The good news is if a fish has high selenium, it's a low mercury toxicity risk.  The bad news is if the fish has a high mercury content, there's less of the beneficial "free" selenium you need.    I went looking for mackerel since it was brought up in comments and found this "pamphlet".  Thought I'd share:   Selenium and Mercury - Fishing for Answers                                                  I feel much better eating my fatty fishies, farmed or otherwise.  Meanwhil

Chris Kresser talks Fish @ The Real Food Summit

Hey gang!  Sean Croxton is holding an online Real Food Summit starting today.  I'm sure you've seen the logo on the blogs/websites of others ... and perhaps you're wondering if I plan to "live blog" on this one as I did for the Paleo Summit.   The short answer is no ... at least not in that same manner, and I'll make a short post on the reasons sometime today. But since we were talking fish here recently, a discussion that included contamination, I recommend listening to Chris Kresser's presentation on Seafood .   If you're going to listen for this reason alone, the selenium "protection" against mercury is discussed around 22 min mark.    Phew ... I don't eat swordfish often enough to worry about it.  He discusses PCB's and dioxins and some studies on cancer risk vs. CVD risk and how these toxins are present in beef, chicken and other protein choices.  So if you're eating animal protein, eating fish vs. beef can alter some exposu

Fish & Food Purity Wars

I really like fish -- all kinds.  And fish is one way to get a lot "supplements" -- in whole form, complete with other components that act in synergism with what has been refined out in supplements.  I've been getting more into fish lately as the new Korean-American owned market opened nearby.  They have an amazing seafood department including crystal clean tanks of live fish. (The other Asian market with large tanks is not quite so pristine).  One day they were having a hard time constraining jumpers!  In addition to seafoods you don't usually see elsewhere --  abalone, barrels & tanks of live crabs, octopus -- they have a really nice selection of fish varieties, both common and eccentric.   Even if I'm not in the market for fish I'll still swing by for the Chilean sea bass samples, to die for! But as protein sources go, fish is pretty danged expensive nowadays.  Even your run-of-the-mill cod While this market is rather more affordable than where we usua

What Diet is Best?

With apologies in advance for the length of this ... I've mentioned before that I'm glad I didn't look to the internet for help/support back in 2007 when I decided to give this weight loss thing one more try.  I knew LC had worked in the past, so that's what I did.  I also knew that I'd have to stick to it for the long haul and planned cheats were what worked for me and it was a good long ride ... but like so many I hit that plateau.  Since I was eating VLC most days already, other than cutting down on the days off, there wasn't much else to do.   As I've mentioned many times, I was a rather prolific participant on Jimmy Moore's discussion board looking for ideas what to do next.   That's where I learned about intermittent fasting, and did knock my plateau weight down around 10 lbs.  I quickly learned, however, that the answers to my questions would not be found on that or any other low carb discussion board.   To this day I only know one other per

Obesity Related Diabetes & How Gary Taubes has it all Bass Ackwards

Starting sometime in April, I started coming across a deluge of new information related to diabetes -- the classic obesity related T2 diabetes (roughly 80% of T2's are obese, those are the ones I'm talking about here).  There's so much, and by research groups I'd "researched" before, I'm simply amazed I somehow never came across it before.  It's frankly sidetracked me quite a bit from where I was going before the first light bulb over head find, because it all just seemed to fall in place like dominoes fall in some of those intricate arrangements that I'm always intrigued by.   The first discovery was not in a journal article, however.  It was that I finally got my paws on Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry, 4th Ed (2004) and 5th Ed (2008).    This book is cited frequently by low carbers due to the fact that in recent years Taubes snickers at how stupid the scientists who wrote the book are with two short excerpts he claims are in conflict.

What we really learn from Ebbeling

I think Carson Chow's observation that the TEE's measured in the supposedly weight stable phase of this diet, that varied from an average of 140 to >500 cal/day more than the average intake pretty much negates drawing any sort of meaningful conclusions from the   Ebbeling study .  It really is a waste of time and mental energy to discuss a highly suspect 300 cal/day difference in TEE measured by state of the art methods, but highly susceptible to error as it was not measured directly. But what can we learn from this study?  Well, as with the Biggest Loser study we learn that:

Revisiting the "Cafeteria Rat" Study -- Why Doesn't Everyone Get Fat?

I was thinking these past few days a lot about scatter plots ... yeah, I'm a geek.  But in that recent n=21 Ebbeling study, as chaotic as the plots (and connecting lines in that case)  were, they are still instructive.  And apparently some think I should be on a mission to cure obesity by finding out why their wives can eat crap and not get fat, I was reminded of the scatter plots in "Cafeteria Rat" study:   Cafeteria Diet Is a Robust Model of Human Metabolic Syndrome With Liver and Adipose Inflammation: Comparison to High-Fat Diet .   If you're a newer reader, may I suggest checking out past blog posts on that study:   Why We Get Fat ... Lessons from a Cafeteria Rat  ;  Why We Get Fat ... Lessons from Obese Humans & Cafeteria Rats  ; and  Why We Get (Sick) Fat - Lessons from a Cafeteria Rat To summarize that study, they took four groups (n's varied for various legs of this study) of a normal strain of rats (Wistar, not genetically predisposed towards