Bull(sh)it Poop Cough-kee

Oh my lordie, last night I went to bed feeling like I had just spent the day in some alternate land of Woo Woo.  I was puttering about the house doing chores most of the day, checking in on the laptop (more than I should have!) from time to time in between.  Every corner I turned it seemed mangled science, marketing schtick and woo woo popped up like some hydra monster determined to relegate me to Grain Brain status. 

And then I awoke this morning to find this in my Facebook newsfeed.  It's a link to Dave Asprey's article in some online BeMore magazine article.  You'll want to type 33 in the top middle to go to the article.  I think we need a new award for cramming the most scientific crapola into the fewest number of words or something.  This guy would win, along with scam artist of the year.   Since I'm way under the weather today, let me take a few moments of convalescence to address this shiz.

In Summary/Response bullet list (see what I did there?) form:
  • Fat is necessary for your body to metabolize fat efficiently. Citation please. This is total nonsense. Most of the fat your body metabolizes is not directly from the diet anyway, it is from fat stores. Actually it is more likely taken from fat stored locally in the cell.
  • Eating more fat makes you a better fat burner. Citation please. There is no evidence for this. Eating fat does not stimulate fatty acid oxidation.
  • Your body only has about 100g glucose onboard but then it burns fat. Someone needs to check his sources. Glycogen stores are thought to be somewhere in the 500g+ range in most. But your body is burning some fat all the time. All.The.Time.
  • Blah bah blah regurgitates Phinneyisms about huge gazillion stored fat calories.
  • How does your body burn fat for energy? The liver converts it to ketones. Umm Wrong. Most, likely well over 90% of your fat burning is done in your muscles and organs, in the mitochondria of those cells, in a series of chemical reactions collectively known as "the fatty acid spiral". The more technical term being beta-oxidation. When this occurs in the cells, the acetyl-CoA that is produced feeds into the Krebs (aka TCA) Cycle, then the FADH2 and NADH produced is fed into the ETC (electron transport chain) where ATP is generated. Some ATP is generated in Krebs directly. Dave Asprey knows this. If he doesn't he's even more of a scam artist than I've given him credit for. See: Ketone and Fat Burning are not the Same.
  • Your body will use glucose before it turns fat into ketones. Yep! Because it is turning fat into ketones when it needs to replace glucose. Your body will, however, burn fat even in the presence of glucose, just not as much. 
  • MCTs (medium chain triglycerides) can help you burn fat even when you eat carbs. Yes they can! Are you burning body fat? NO. Think about this Dave Asprey with the 20 added IQ points. If you are burning dietary fat, you are not burning body fat. Like alcohol, the body has no functional use for MCFA, so it must metabolize them in the liver and exports the Acetyl-CoA as ketones. There ya go. This is why so many of these VLC advocates are so hopped up on bullshit poop coffee. So ...
  • A glop of coconut oil gets you back in ketosis for when you might give in to a craving for ... da da daaaah ... evil fruit! Wouldn't want to assault your liver with fructose for a quick energy burst. Better to slurp some highly refined vegetable oil that's utterly devoid of any micronutrients, phytochemicals, etc.
  • You know what else enhances ketosis? Fasting. Who would have thunk it. But ladies, especially, enhance your fast with bullshit poop coffee. Just realize that this does not get you out of metabolic starvation mode. You're just hopped up on ketones and caffeine like a junkie on cocaine (hey ... goose gander!)
  • Oh we've finally got to the cleaning of cells part and autophagy. Yeah, if you're restricting protein and carbs your body will scrounge around for spare parts before it catabolizes the whole cell to support your ketosis habit (goose, gander, remember!), but if you're downing shots of coconut oil, that's actually less scrounging needed to support gluconeogenesis. Think Dave. Think. Brain octane a little low?
  • Your brain on ketones is just your brain. Unless you have epilepsy or other neurodegenerative disease, your brain is designed to run smoothly on glucose. Lots and lots of glucose. Roughly 125 grams worth a day. Maybe Dave's biohacked brain needs a few more to support that higher IQ he brags about.
  • Less free radicals when you use ketones to produce ATP. Oh please do explain when ketones feed into the same metabolic pathways.
  • Lastly, is ketosis dangerous? No. He gets the part of why diabetics develop ketoacidosis all wrong (wouldn't want to break a good streak), but blah blah ... we get it already: ketosis is not ketoacidosis. It is also not a preferred metabolic state or the body wouldn't slip out of it so easily!
Please folks.  Don't listen to this guy.  And now, I shall have another cup of coffee purchased at a warehouse store in a red plastic "can" and brewed in a drip coffeemaker.  In it I will put cream, and today I think I'll add some sugar!  My big conundrum is one packet or two....  Later folks!


As a total aside re coconut oil, I do have one thing to thank Gary Taubes for: he mentioned in an interview that he could eat Artisana coconut butter out of the jar. I picked some up and you know what, that stuff is really good (sez the person who doesn't like the texture of shredded coconut)!
Thumbdriver said…
Oh come now Evelyn, just because you don't drink BulletBS coffee doesn't mean you have to get your grinds from a plastic can ;)
carbsane said…
I have yet to try the coconut butter, but, yep! Lots say it is divine.
carbsane said…
:-) To me coffee is coffee. So long as it's not bitter or burnt I'm not picky. I really just like one good (large) mug in the morning.
eulerandothers said…
If it tastes like coconut, then I'm not buyin' it. Whatever tolerance I had for the taste of coconut is gone. But I do like the smell of suntan lotion! So, go figure.
LWC said…
Please say you don't microwave it if it gets cold. The only thing worse than cold coffee is microwaved coffee, bleh.
Donnie Reilly said…
Off-topic: Where are the mentions of your book and that bundle? I came here to look for it and cannot find anything about it. Thanks.
carbsane said…
The bundle ended Friday. I'm weighing a few options for selling the book individually very soon. Thanks for asking!
Genevieve Evans said…
Apparently Joe Rogan took Dave Asprey to task for some of his bullletproof coffee claims on his show, but that's all I could find via twitter. If true, hopefully that means people are waking up to his sales pitches and the craze *might* die down.
charles grashow said…
But - nothing works unless you buy ALL of his products

charles grashow said…
charles grashow said…
Thumbdriver said…
Evelyn, have you seen this? http://robbwolf.com/2014/02/24/testimonial-breaking-destructive-cycle/ ... "Paleo" as directed by her doctor basically normalized her ED...
charles grashow said…

Jason Miller

For all commenters touting that long term ketosis is bad, dangerous, or unhealthy, realize that bulletproof is a cyclical ketogenic diet, which relieves these concerns as we make sure to exit ketosis every 7 days max.

SO - we should exit ketosis every 7 days max!! And stay out for how long before we "re-enter"?
carbsane said…
Yes, this made the rounds on FB. http://podcasts.joerogan.net/podcasts/dr-rhonda-patrick
carbsane said…
Oh but I do ;-)
carbsane said…
I like coconut, if I want coconut! That flavor is too pervasive for me :( I do still cook with palm kernel oil -- almost identical fatty acid profile to CO, no taste.
charles grashow said…
One will NEVER know
charles grashow said…
There is More To
Glucose Control Than Carbohydrates (2/?): Non-Carbohydrate Nutrients And
Their Effects On Blood Glucose Management ➲ SFA, MUFA PUFA, TFA &
Co - Fats!
Screennamerequired said…
Everyln did you get that SFA VS PUFA overfeeding study I linked you on twitter.
carbsane said…
I have the full text of this study and will probably blog on it shortly. If I forget about it ... please be sure to remind me!
charles grashow said…
Latest lecture by Gary Taubes


"Why We Get Fat: Adiposity 101 and the Alternative Hypothesis of Obesity" by Gary Taubes,
March 2, 2014
charles grashow said…
Dr Eric Westman - 3/4/2014

charles grashow said…

New research from Uppsala University shows that saturated fat builds more fat and less muscle than polyunsaturated fat. This is the first study on humans to show that the fat composition of food not only influences cholesterol levels in the blood and the risk of cardiovascular disease but also determines where the fat will be stored in the body. The findings have recently been published in the American journal Diabetes.

The study involved 39 young adult men and women of normal weight, who ate 750 extra calories per day for seven weeks. The goal was for them to gain three per cent of their starting weight. The project received considerable attention when it started in 2011, partly because the extra calories were ingested in the form of muffins with high fat content, baked in the lab by Fredrik Rosqvist, a doctoral candidate and first author of the study.

One half of the subjects were random to eat surplus calories from polyunsaturated fat (sunflower oil), while the other half got their surplus calories from saturated fat (palm oil). Both diets contained the same amount of sugar, carbohydrates, fat, and protein; the only difference between muffins was the type of fat.

The increase in body fat and the distribution of fat in the body was measured using a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI scans) before and after the weight gain, as was the muscle mass in the body. Gene activity was measured in the abdominal visceral fat before and after the weight gain with the help of a gene chip that studies several thousand genes at a time.

Despite comparable weight gains between the two diet groups, the surplus consumption of saturated fat caused a markedly greater increase in the amount of fat in the liver and abdomen (especially the fat surrounding the internal organs, visceral fat) in comparison with the surplus consumption of polyunsaturated fat. Moreover the total amount of body fat was greater in the saturated fat group, while, on the other hand, the increase in muscle mass was three times less for those who ate saturated fat compared with those who ate polyunsaturated fat. Thus, gaining weight on excess calories from polyunsaturated fat caused more gain in muscle mass, and less body fat than overeating a similar amount of saturated fat. Since most of us are in positive energy balance, and consequently gain weight slowly but gradually over time, the present results are highly relevant for most Western populations.

"Liver fat and visceral fat seems to contribute to a number of disturbances in metabolism. These findings can therefore be important for individuals with metabolic diseases such as diabetes. If the results regarding increased muscle mass following consumption of polyunsaturated fat can be confirmed in our coming studies, it will potentially be interesting for many elderly people, for whom maintaining muscle mass is of great importance in preventing morbidity", says Ulf Risérus, associate professor at the Department of Public Health and Caring Science and director of the study.


Rakesh Patel said…
I am not averse to using insulin in the right situation, but hypoglycemia would be one reason to limit the use. Peeps taking insulin may have undiagnosed or asymptomatic hypos, especially at night. This can be detected using CGMS. My guess is this is one of the reasons the more aggressively treats patients in ACCORD did worse. They were over treated with SU and/or insulin leading to higher mortality and getting no CVD benefit.
Sanjeev Sharma said…
Even funnier- Lyle's been writing about this preferential fat mobilization effect (trans fat's even "better" than polyunsaturated) for probably more than a decade.

And Lyle doesn't claim "THREE, count 'em: THREE PEE H DEE equivalents"
Sanjeev Sharma said…
OMG ... the VERY FIRST UTTERANCE is just a restatement of the fallacy of composition

and then he continues on with the completely illogical comparison that paleo low carb doctor Ryan made on this blog


wadda maroon
Sanjeev Sharma said…
this is AMAZING.

the same phenomenon that Petro and Hahn (in his potato experiment) need to hallucinate out of reality and twist beyond recognition to force-fit into their paradigm,

... Taubes simply refuses to accept

12:32 "didn't their insulin resistance get better ..."

Wish i had a list of the studies ... nothing older than a couple of years old measured insulin resistance, so I wonder WTH he's talking about
MacSmiley said…
Interesting, Charles. That's the first time I've ever heard of fat of any persuasion having any influence over the gain or loss of muscle mass. It's always "protein, protein, protein".
MacSmiley said…
PBS should hang its head in shame presenting such either/or "flawgic" at its idiotic best. The US Gov't never advocated eating "unlimited carbohydrates". It never intended for the food industry to hijack its recommendations with addictive re-combinations of salt, sugar, fat, and other food fractions.

The new food labels are not meant to advocate for saturated fats over sugar. They are meant to encourage substituting junk carbs with healthy, lower calorie plant foods, thus lowering caloric intake, hopefully enabling the public to make better choices.

We'll see how that plays out. But with confusionist reports like this, I am not optimistic
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