Showing posts from October, 2012

Soya-noia could Destroy-ya!

From Mark Sisson's Weekend Link Love this past weekend comes this:   Soy protein present in egg yolks and chicken tissues .  Ruh roh!!  Mark writes: It’s confirmed: meat and eggs from soy-fed chickens contain soy isoflavones . The title of the article – “Soy protein present in egg yolks and chicken tissues” – isn’t quite accurate, but soy isoflavones are often phytoestrogens and thus somewhat concerning. Boys are reaching puberty younger than ever before, a new study shows, but “it’s unclear why.” Perhaps the phytoestrogens from soy-fed chicken products are involved?

Sandy Report

Hope this post finds everyone safe and having not lost much in the wake of this massive storm.  I was semi-awake most of the night.  Our power went off a few times, and cycled on and off for a couple hours, but luckily it held.  There were no generators to be had as of early Friday afternoon ... this is something we need to get because all I could think of was our freezers full of food being lost.   Being at relatively high elevation and far enough inland, I wasn't worried about water too much, more about wind and our big tree.   One fairly big limb came down on our shed which then blew apart ... Not sure if it can be saved, but it is what it is, and relatively minor.  Quite a few smaller limbs came down as well.  Although it makes for less privacy, I'm happy our neighbor had some limbs on his tree  trimmed recently.  Still, something hit his house and ripped his fascia board off.   According to the hubs, we have a chicken in the neighborhood that clucked its way thro

Blood Sugar 140: Diabetic Neuropathy, Is it All About Hyperglycemia?

Continuing on in this series dealing with  the neuropathy study  from which the following statement has been repeated regarding blood glucose levels:   Nerve Damage Occurs when Blood Sugars Rise Over 140 mg/dl After Meals   (as stated by  Ruhl  , Jaminet  (Kindle Locations 712-716), and   Kresser .) At the risk of repetition, this does seem to have originated with Jenny Ruhl's interpretations of this study wherein 50% of 72 individuals with neuropathy were diagnosed as IGT having a BG level over 140 mg/dL at the 2-hour mark of an OGTT.   The IGT group was also more likely to have painful sensory symptoms than the roughly one-third who were normoglycemic (the remaining group were frank diabetic).

Mark Sisson: It's All About the Insulin

If you’ve forgotten everything you ever learned in biology, just remember this and own it: carbohydrate controls insulin; insulin controls fat storage .  It's All About Insulin (Well, at Least 80 Percent of It): Eighty percent of your ability to achieve body composition goals is determined by your diet—essentially, your ability to moderate insulin production so you can access and burn stored body fat for energy, while preserving or building muscle. Insulin is an important hormone that transports nutrients into cells for storage. When the delicate insulin balance is abused by habitually consuming too many carbs, cells become insulin resistant; more fat is stored and it becomes increasingly difficult to burn. This sets the stage for the development of serious conditions like Metabolic Syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Synthesis of testosterone and human growth hormone are hindered by excessive insulin production, creating an artificially accelerated aging process. Th

A Great Quote

This comes from the Reebok/Crossfit page on Facebook.   In response to a photo of Neal Maddox eating a donut ,  Tom Inkel  writes: One of the rewards of a good diet, fitness level, and self-awareness is knowing what licenses like this that you can take without impacting your goals. I feel bad for people trying to live blindly by some set of rigid rules for life that they've conjured up off CrossFit/Paleo websites. As humans, we have a limited pool of free will/willpower. (Read Dan John's book sometime: Never Let Go.) If you use that willpower up on unnecessary rigidity, two things happen: (1) other parts of your life fall apart to compensate (and eventually, your rule system itself); (2) you alienate from CrossFit/Paleo everyone watching who can't make those same commitments (due to things like a crazy schedule, kids, sickness, etc.), because you've just told them that they aren't good enough for CrossFit/Paleo because they can't do it "right." Th

Blood Sugar 140: Do Postprandial Spikes Glycate?

I've got at least one more post in this series directly relating to the neuropathy study  to which concerns over BG levels over 140 mg/dL and nerve damage can be traced. This post is actually going to be rather short.  In the study, they found that half of those with neuropathy were diagnosed with IGT having a BG level over 140 mg/dL at the 2 hr mark on an OGTT.  An additional 18% were diabetic and 32% normoglycemic.  So the incidence of IGT was roughly three times as prevalent in this neuropathic population as in the general population.  Further, the IGT group had more painful sensory symptoms than the normoglycemic group.  But here's the thing:

Looking AHEAD to a day when Intent to Treat is a thing of the past ...

... it's not a competition, the compliant/successful are analyzed separately, and while we're at it, perhaps we can do away with this notion that any single outcome or cluster of outcomes is somehow more important because we've designated them as "primary" ahead of time. Such is where I find my thoughts wandering as the Look AHEAD diabetes trial passes in and out of my head as I absorb the discussions of it here and about the web.  

More on Look AHEAD

Thanks to the many readers who supplied links and additional information in comments on my last post   on that diabetes study run amok (grin). website  ,  Study protocol  , Four Year Followup Phase I = First Year :   Lifestyle Intervention [subjects] will be seen four times per month (three group sessions and one individualized session) for six months and then twice per month for six months, with an opportunity for more frequent follow-up. The goal will be to induce a 7-10% weight loss and to increase exercise to 175 minutes per week. Participants assigned to Diabetes Support and Education will be offered three educational/support sessions.  Only the first year was intended to be a weight loss phase.   

That diabetes study that ended early ...

Did you hear?  From the New York Times last week:   Diabetes Study Ends Early With a Surprising Result .  Thus far there's been some of the usual responses from the low carb community, and I expect more to come.  For starters, the writer is Gina Kolata, a woman reviled by Gary Taubes and thus his adoring fans, so we'll get the usual round up of Gina doesn't get it that low carb is the bestest and only way to treat diabetes ... duh!!   Let's look a bit closer, shall we?   First, keep in mind this study has not been published up, so we're dealing with press releases and quotes here.  Secondly, ending the study early makes it sound quite a bit more dire than what we know to have happened.  The study was apparently to last 13 years (odd duration, that), but was ended at 11 years because no differences were seen between the study and control groups over that time.  Sounds prudent, because likely they looked at the numbers and probably concluded that there would nee

More Diabetes - A Disease by Any Other Name?

This post is somewhat a followup on a post of mine from over a year ago entitled   Diabetes - A Disease by Any Other Name?   The post was mostly inspired by a comment Jenny Ruhl of the Blood Sugar 101 site made in her first podcast interview with Jimmy Moore - to paraphrase: Diabetes is no more a disease than to say "cough" is a disease. I tend to agree with the above in the current context of the term diabetes being synonymous with hyperglycemia, as opposed to defining it as pancreatic dysfunction.   This is because many diseases/disorders are called diabetes that just so happen to be characterized by, among other things, the symptom (manifestation) of hyperglycemia (fasting and/or postprandial).  Indeed Jenny herself is a MODY (Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young), a relatively rare genetic form of diabetes with an underlying defect that has been identified.  Jenny cannot be cured with current treatments because her disease is inherent.    Thus her hyperglycemia

Blood Sugar 140: Context is Everything II: The OGTT

In the last installment , I discussed the context of blood glucose readings over 140 mg/dL in diabetics vs. non-diabetics.  In this installment I'm going to discuss it in the context of an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test, OGTT.   The crux of this post is that the results of this study do not justify the Ruhl/Jaminet/(and I'll add Kresser) takeaway message vis a vis diabetes complications and "spikes" in blood glucose.   The fact that 50% of the neuropathy subjects to whom OGTT's were administered had 2 hr. glucose levels over 140 (e.g. diagnosed as Impaired Glucose Tolerance, IGT) simply does not support:  Nerve Damage Occurs when Blood Sugars Rise Over 140 mg/dl (7.8 mmol/L) After Meals as stated on Ruhl's site and in Perfect Health Diet (Kindle Locations 712-716).  ( This seems to have been repeated by Chris Kresser as well ). What is an OGTT?  The most common form is conducted in the fasted state, at least 8 hrs, studies seem to favor 10 or 12 hrs. 

Robb Wolf: On Palmitic Acid, Carbs, LDL and CVD

Palmitic acid is 16 carbons long, fully saturated, and commonly found in palm oil and animal products, including beef, eggs, milk, poultry, and seafood.  Palmitic acid has long been implicated in CVD, as it tends to raise LDL cholesterol.  Among the saturated fats, it would appear palmitic acid does pose the greatest likelihood of increasing LDL cholesterol.  However, palmitic acid has also recently been shown to be vital both to forming new memories and accessing long-held memories.  As we shall see when we investigate how our diet has changed, a Paleo diet supplies an adequate amount of palmitic acid for optimum cognitive function while limiting the intake to levels that are not harmful to the cardiovascular system.  It is also important to note that excessive carbohydrate intake leads to palmitic acid production.  If you recall from the insulin chapter, when liver glycogen is full, additional carbohydrate is converted to palmitic acid.  This process appears to blunt our sensitiv

New On the Record Series

In recent discussions here, it's become clear that there is a lot of confusion regarding where "Guru X" stands regarding "Topic Y".  This is somewhat more confused by the fact that many of the movers and shakers in the community have tweaked, refined and sometimes outright done a 180 on various topics through the years.  This series is not to present "gotcha" moments, but rather to collect in one place where various voices stand on issues, and what they've said in print (books, articles, blogs) or otherwise (podcasts, interviews, videos, etc.).  So I'll use the label "On the Record" for all of these posts.  This way I can use the same widget I used for all of my posts chronologically to create a page of OtR posts.  Since this is The Carb-Sane Asylum, the focus will be on the role of carbohydrates in various issues.     My hope is that this can be a resource newbies to the community can be directed for accurate information on whe

Expert in Smarter Science?

This post is about both Jonathan Bailor's Smarter Science of Slim as well as why I will continue to blog about why Jimmy Moore's influence is so detrimental to the larger community.  With his podcasts, Jimmy does more than just disseminate valuable information by bringing various experts and viewpoints on his well-listened to podcasts -- he interjects his personal biases into the conversations.  For quite a while lately he likes to work in the "we're all on the same side" thing so he can be seen as some sort of great healer of the rifts he, himself, has had a part in instigating  In my opinion, a recent "Ask the Low Carb Experts" episode, featuring Jonathan Bailor provides yet another example of what I'm talking about, perhaps even especially so. 28: Jonathan Bailor | The Truth About Low-Carb Research ATLCX is a live weekly podcast where listeners can call in or email their questions ahead of time to be asked for them.  One would have thoug

Is This Your Paleo Diet?

As y'all probably know by now, part of my daily web reading is to check in on what's happening on followed blogs ... which landed me at Dr. BG's Animal Pharm in a post discussing a 2009 study by Linda Frassetto,  (Frassetto presented at AHS12):  Metabolic and physiologic improvements from consuming a paleolithic, hunter-gatherer type diet. This post is not addressing Dr. BG's post and the results of this study ... perhaps another time for that one ... but rather the diet used in the study.  From the abstract, bullet-pointed and formatted for clarity: Methods:   We performed an outpatient, metabolically controlled study, in nine non-obese sedentary healthy volunteers , ensuring no weight loss by daily weight. We compared the findings when the participants consumed their usual diet with those when they consumed a paleolithic type diet. The participants consumed their usual diet for 3 days, three ramp-up diets of increasing potassium a

Blood Sugar 140: Context is Everything I - Diabetic vs. Non

In Blood Sugar 140: Where did the 140 mg/dL threshold come from? , I laid some groundwork as to the source of the concern over postprandial blood glucose levels over 140.  Before moving on, I thought I'd share an additional example of the 140 mg/dL threshold being evoked.  Here is a thread on Dr. Dansinger's WebMD diabetes forums:  glycation damage . I ask this question because the consensus is that blood sugars over 140 cause the sugar to stick to vessels and organs. Dr. Gabe Mirkin writes of this on his web site. Others like John McDougall do not seem to worry about sugars over 140. I can understand that you don't want fasting sugars over 140 but apparently even postprandials over 140 cause damage. I am wondering how long it would take for damage to be recognizable if post prandials are above 140. And does it matter how long they remain over 140 after eating?

We are Hungry Video

I plan to blog quite a bit more on childhood nutrition in general, but the We Are Hungry video on YouTube, made by students in response to the new school lunch guidelines, has been making the rounds.   If you haven't seen it yet, I've embedded it below:

Abnormal OGTT Results - The many causes

direct image link As often happens, when looking for something a bit more specific, I came across this image at right, which led me to this webpage:  Laboratory Testing for Diabetes Mellitus. Curve 1 is a normal OGTT, Curve 6 is a diabetic.  The other causes are listed: Pathologic conditions causing impaired, or diabetic, glucose tolerance results: Hypercorticism - curve 5. Acromegaly - between curves 4 and 5 Hyperthyroidism - curve 4. Pheochromacytoma (or "emotional hyperglycemia") - between curves 4 and 5

Blood Sugar 140: Where did the 140 mg/dL threshold come from?

This post (that is going to be a series to keep post lengths manageable) has been brewing for quite a while, but I was reminded of it because Jenny Ruhl came out with a diet book recently, and appeared recently as an "expert" on Jimmy Moore's Ask the Low Carb Experts podcast.  After listening to her previous podcast with Jimmy , I had some mixed reviews.  Jenny is certainly articulate, well-read (though I disagree, often strongly, with many of her interpretations) on the topic, and quite a bit more moderate/measured than most in her views on controlling diabetes with low carb.   But she also seems to view all diabetes through her own MODY eyes.  MODY (Mature Onset Diabetes of the Young) is a rare genetic form (there are actually several rare genetic forms classified as MODY) that is lumped quite often under the category of Type 1.5.  One of these days I need to address some other things on Jenny's website, as the site (and her book) is one of the commonly linked to


I can't believe it is October 1st.  Wow.  I had so many plans and things I wanted to accomplish over the summer, here and in my real life, and so much of it went undone for various reasons.  And now I'm knee deep into my real job.  Luckily I have a draft bin full of half to mostly finished posts that seem to just wait for a current reason to dust off and publish up ... not much time involved, which is a good thing.   But another thing happened in the past few weeks -- Blogger finally forced everyone to their new interface.  It STINKS.  So I'm playing around in the background when I get a chance with migrating to WordPress, something I've considered doing and worked on from time to time for over a year now.  It's being toyed with, but my biggest obstacle at the moment is that -- whether you like it or not, and I have some things I'd like to format differently but cannot with Blogger's template workings -- I like the basic format of this blog.   I li