Quick Open Memo to Jimmy Moore and Nora Gedgaudas

Laddies and Gentlemen:

By now, you've seen this post and read it because you couldn't resist: The War On Tastebuds.

Should you actually take a close look and study the references, then surely you'll know that you lose and I win. I can keep doing this for years, with every new study, while you rely upon outdated observations of old studies that never change.

Otherwise, I get all of your smart-thinking people, over time, and leave you with only sycophants and digesters of your increasingly stale regurgitate. If that's all you want, carry on. No prob.

If not: evolve!

Richard

PS: No personal attacks required

The War On Tastebuds

Today I bring you another post by the remarkable "Duck Dodgers." It's part overview of the current state of the anthropological science in terms of hunter-gatherer diets, part critique of  the current state of the low-carbohydrate Paleo fantasy that refuses to keep up with said advances in scientific understanding. In typical Duck style, he does his homework, so this is heavily referenced—posts from this blog (some of which he wrote), articles, and the scientific literature. I hope you don't skip over them.

Over the past year we discovered early hominids ate a raw, sweet and starchy sedge tuber that is more nutrient-dense than red meat. We dug up evidence of starch consumption during the peak of the ice age. We detected starch granules all over the hand tools of North American Paleo-Indians—including granules from the same sedge tubers found all over the African savanna. We found that even the most carnivorous indigenous cultures consumed sufficient levels of carbohydrates and were not in ketosis, when fed their native diet. We learned that VLC advocates developed a false diabetes while being unable to reproduce the diet of the carnivorous cultures that they championed. And, we learned that fermentable carbohydrates are essential for our health and our microbiome.

And just this past month, National Geographic—you know, the magazine that spends each issue examining the latest research on cultures and ancient anthropology—ridiculed the notion of a highly-carnivorous Paleolithic Diet. Times have certainly changed.

Despite all this new knowledge, the old-guard VLC advocates are still promoting their outdated theories. Case in point, Nora Gedgaudas in a recent podcast with Jimmy Moore:

(12:14)

Nora: To me, what our ancestors relied on as the most consistently available food sources throughout our evolutionary history, has to be a starting place, when we're trying to evaluate what's essential to us now...All the research in Paleo early on, almost all of it, started out in support of a very low carbohydrate approach. Because that was really the only rational way to see it.

Ah, to live in a simpler time when people still thought that our ancestors sat around and only ate fatty slabs of meat all day. Apparently the high fat/low carb advocates haven't noticed that if you open your mouth and look in the mirror, you will find that—unlike a carnivore—Homo Sapiens evolved with omnivorous dental features. At no point in evolutionary history has the dental morphology of hominids ever presented as highly carnivorous. In fact, the canine teeth of hominids have only gotten shorter over the course of evolutionary history, and even the earliest hominids had canine teeth that were shorter than those of living apes and chimpanzees.

Interestingly, the saliva of true carnivorous animals do not contain digestive enzymes. Since liberating their proteolytic (protein-digesting) enzymes in the mouth would induce autodigestion (damaging the oral cavity), carnivores do not mix their food with saliva—they simply swallow huge chunks of meat. As you might guess, we omnivores tend to do things a little differently. Our mouths and throats are much smaller. We masticate and we evolved to liberate salivary amylase—a carbohydrate-digesting enzyme in our saliva. If we don't masticate well enough, we tend to choke.

Keep in mind that our carbohydrate-degrading enzymes are secreted into every bite we take, even when we are only eating meat. In fact, you are secreting salivary amylase 24 hours a day, seven days a week until the day you die.

So, did our ancestors purposefully shun the nutrient-dense starchy tubers that were all over the African savanna? It's highly unlikely given their high nutrient density, extremely easy harvesting, their year round availability and long-term shelf life. They were invasive too, with a single tuber able to produce 2,000 plants and 7,000 tubers in a single growing season. No hunting spears or tools were required to eat them—just a human-like grip to dislodge the tubers, by pulling up on the blades of grass, and an omnivorous mouth with a few molars for mastication. Easy peasy.

And, in fact, the clear lack of carnivorous dental morphology, combined with the isotopic signatures discovered across a wide range of hominid fossils, has now led anthropologists to believe that early hominids were thriving on these starchy sedge tubers.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8]

Given all these clues, it should come as no surprise that—as National Geographic pointed out last month—virtually all of the documented indigenous cultures and hunter-gatherer societies across the planet have relied heavily on plants and carbohydrates.

Anyhow, back to the show!

(14:15)

Nora: ...But, somehow, you know, people...like...carbs. They like sugar. And they want to be able to believe that they can enjoy these things. They want to be able to rationalize that idea that these are somehow good for them in some way or another. And it's really, really hard to, ummm, you know it's become very PC to say, "well...you know, it's ok. As long as it's real food, it's ok.

Jimmy: And they make up problems with very low carb diets that aren't true.

Nora: Exactly. Right like, 'This is going to destroy your thyroid.' That's a real gem.

If we can look past Nora and Jimmy's outright dismissal of any potential for health issues from a VLC diet, you have to wonder where Nora thinks the universal human desire for craving sweetness ever evolved from, if we supposedly shunned carbohydrates while we evolved as humans. She seems completely mystified.

Does she think this natural desire for sweet tastes is some flaw in our evolution? We "somehow" evolved liking carbs. We "somehow" evolved with omnivorous dental morphology and continuous salivary amylase secretion. We "somehow" have highly-sensitive tastebuds for sensing sweets on our tongues with strong cravings for carbohydrates after supposedly evolving for millions of years eating buckets of fatty meat?

There's a tremendous irony in having a discussion of human evolution while telling people to completely ignore their own anatomical features and universally-innate cravings.

Skipping ahead a bit...

(16:10)

Nora: There's also the whole issue that a lot of people just really, what they think they're doing as a ketogenic approach may not be. We both know of instances, it's very easy to underestimate the amount of carbohydrates you're getting. It's very easy to underestimate the amount of protein you're consuming. Or to over... yeah, to underestimate the amount of protein you're consuming.

Jimmy: Or assuming that you're ketogenic just because you're low carb, without really testing to see where you are.

Nora: Right.

The thought of our Paleolithic ancestors avoiding all of the invasive energy-positive plants around them and having to test their blood and urine in order to stay in ketosis is just too hysterical for words. I can just imagine the diorama at the Natural History Museum showing cavemen stressing and obsessing about their ketone levels.

You can see where this is going. They want you to believe that people will only have problems on low carb diets if they aren't in ketosis.

And sure enough...

(23:53)

Jimmy: Nora, I have a theory why people feel better when they added carbohydrate back into their diet when they do a quote-unquote ketogenic diet...

Nora: Opiate centers?

Jimmy: Well, obviously that's part of it. But, I think they haven't fully gotten ketogenic. They're stuck between a low carb and a ketogenic diet and they're not really keto-adapted.

Nora: Yes, I actually agree with you and I had the same thought myself and I ran it past Ron Rosedale and I was thinking it occurred to me that a lot of people who failed on an Atkins diet early on, for instance, might have failed because they never really did stop relying on sugar as their primary source of fuel.

Jimmy: Right.

Nora: They were deriving it from the excess protein consumption, which is less carbs certainly, than they were getting before, but at the same time still carbohydrate dependence. And that makes it really dicey...

Jimmy: Still a sugar burner.

Nora: Right, still a sugar burner. And therefore, more likely to experience carbohydrate cravings as a result of that, if they're not eating regularly enough. You can go longer on a more protein-based diet. But it's still not a ketogenic approach. And high fat, and high protein, still does not ketogenic make. And that's the rub.

And there we go.

Did you catch the massive flaw in their logic? If you consistently fall out of ketosis—whether it be from accidentally eating too much protein, or from consuming a few starchy tubers, and not eating regularly enough—you are likely to feel worse, and you'll burn sugar, crave carbohydrates and then feel better as you eat more carbohydrates. At this point, the listener should be left wondering how our ancestors—who obviously couldn't test their ketone levels—didn't just start craving more carbohydrates whenever they executed ketosis incorrectly and then concluded that consuming more carbohydrates made them feel better.

Let's keep listening...

(46:30)

Nora: It helps to reinforce what's already kind of an addictive predisposition. Or an addictive tendency, I should say. I don't think we're at all predisposed to rely on carbohydrates as our primary source of fuel. We're actually born in a state of ketosis. We're born to rely on fat as our primary source of fuel. We would not have the brains we have were it not for the enormous amount of fat that we consumed in our evolutionary history. When we had access to more of it. When we were hunting the great big megafauna. The Pleistocene megafauna. Umm.. you know, once they died out, we had comparatively leaner animals to hunt. Umm, and but fat was always even among more Neolithic societies fat has always been coveted and central to our umm.. to our tastes and was always considered probably the most important dietary inclusion. Certainly Weston Price found that consistently, that those were the sacred foods among every society that he studied no matter how different they were. Umm.. most sacred foods among all cultures were fat-based foods.

[...]

(51:14)

Nora: Milk is fundamentally a very high carbohydrate food...

Let's recap. Humans are born in ketosis but grow with substantial amounts of carbohydrate (39%) from their mother's milk. Supposedly, as adults, we evolved over millions of years only eating lots of fatty megafauna all day and somehow stayed in ketosis all the time (forget that virtually no anthropologists actually believe this and the latest data doesn't support it). At some point in our life span, we should naturally come to the realization to begin shunning those tasty carbohydrates and only crave lots of fat, but not too much protein. And we should have no desire to eat sweets with the caveat that those who consistently fall out of ketosis will likely feel worse and crave more carbohydrates to feel better. And we also simultaneously evolved with the ability to develop an "addictive tendency" toward carbohydrates when we fall out of ketosis, thanks to those darn "opiate centers".

So, now we are all left wondering how billions of our ancestors made this perfectly-engineered transition from a child who is carbohydrate-adapted to an adult that is expected to ignore their innate cravings for sweets when anything slightly off a ketogenic diet causes our brains to reinforce its own desire for carbohydrates.

No, no.. Don't think too hard about it people! Ignore that natural desire in you for carbohydrates. It's just the devil on your shoulder—a miswiring of the brain. You have to fight those instinctual tendencies. It's simply a design flaw that you're supposed to know to resist for your entire adult life.

Incidentally, 50 years ago, Norman Jolliffe's "Prudent Diet" only furthered to scare Americans into believing that animal fats were the cause of all their health problems. Jimmy and Nora worked hard to undo those fears, and they sensibly cited our innate craving for fat as a reason for adding animal fats back into Western diets. However, in a strange twist of fate, they are now the ones scaring people into believing that an entire macronutrient is the root of all their health problems—despite everyone's obvious cravings for it. Nevermind that nearly all hunter-gatherer societies and indigenous cultures thrived on whole foods carbohydrates. Indeed, VLC is the new "Prudent Diet"—simply replacing animal fats with carbohydrates and blood cholesterol with blood glucose. The message from 50 years ago is the very same message Jimmy and Nora are telling us today: ignore your own tastebuds and your cravings for "optimal" health.

Duck Disclaimer: I do not discount that ketogenic diets are therapeutic for some health conditions. However, I do not believe that we should be persuaded by VLC advocates that ketogenic diets are "optimal" based on their shoddy interpretation of a Paleolithic diet that is widely rejected by anthropologists and deviates from the overwhelming majority of documented hunter-gatherer societies.

What is this MYSTERIOUS gluten free flour I’m using?

 All will be revealed Tuesday morning. I'll give you a few hints:

  • It's NOT a nut flour
  • It's NOT a legume flour
  • It IS naturally sweet

As an "official tester," I've used it in baking and most recently, breading for both liver and a trout dish.

IMG 2624
Calf Liver Wok Fried in Bacon Drippings and Coconut Oil
IMG 2626
With Potatoes and Onions
IMG 2630
Pan Fried Trout (coconut oil)

Bonus surprise: the asparagus was oven roasted in a new MYSTERY oil as well.

I must say, that was hands down the best liver I've ever made. In fact, I'm doing it again tonight.

All (and much more) will be revealed on Tuesday morning.

Update: Did the whole liver, onions and potatoes deal again, but with lots more of Juka's Red Palm Oil (100% Organic & Natural From Africa) in the wok.

IMG 2658
MYSTERY OIL For the Salad, emulsified with coconut vinegar and apple cider vinegar (salt & pepper seasoning)
IMG 2659
Beef Liver, Onions, Potatoes, Bacon Bit Garnish
IMG 2663
My Plate. Dijon Mustard For The Liver (learned that in France)

Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota

Well now, this is very interesting on a number of levels. I don't know if you recall, but it was some years ago the Paleo Diet community (perhaps Low-Carb as well) was a buzz with how the use of artificial sweeteners led to physiologically high insulin levels in test subjects. Connecting the dots: elevated insulin ---> insulin resistance ---> glucose intolerance ~~~> diabetes(?)

Now let's bring in a few additional dots to connect.

  1. I've made quite a bit of noise about the poor glucose tolerance in subjects put into a state of ketosis. [1][2]
  2. Heretofore, I've never seen #1 discussed (and it's uniformly ignored in Paleo / LC circles currently—very telling), but only physiological insulin resistance; so-called, because it's supposedly 'no big' and reverses in a few days with normal carbohydrate intake.
  3. Never asked—that I notice—in regard to #2, is why fasting blood gluclose of 120-130 mg/dL is pre-diabetes and very very bad for someone who eats normal levels of carbohydrates, say 150-300g per day, but very very good in people who eat low carbohydrate or ketogenic.
  4. Recall what happened to so many people who introduced various forms of Resistant Starch and later, even Dirt-Based Probiotics back when we began our little revolution around here? Two things were observed by hundreds of low-carb dieters basking in 'the wonders of physiological insulin resistance and glucose intolerance' (when they did a carb 'cheat'): their fasting BG numbers decreased (for many, down below 100) and they began experiencing 2nd-meal effects when they did that 'cheat.'

Now, low and behold, we have some pretty good science to hang our hats on in terms of unifying all of the above experimentation and anecdotal observation. In Nature.

Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota

Jotham Suez, Tal Korem, David Zeevi, Gili Zilberman-Schapira, Christoph A. Thaiss, Ori Maza, David Israeli, Niv Zmora, Shlomit Gilad, Adina Weinberger, Yael Kuperman, Alon Harmelin, Ilana Kolodkin-Gal, Hagit Shapiro, Zamir Halpern, Eran Segal & Eran Elinav

Non-caloric artificial sweeteners (NAS) are among the most widely used food additives worldwide, regularly consumed by lean and obese individuals alike. NAS consumption is considered safe and beneficial owing to their low caloric content, yet supporting scientific data remain sparse and controversial. Here we demonstrate that consumption of commonly used NAS formulations drives the development of glucose intolerance through induction of compositional and functional alterations to the intestinal microbiota. These NAS-mediated deleterious metabolic effects are abrogated by antibiotic treatment, and are fully transferrable to germ-free mice upon faecal transplantation of microbiota configurations from NAS-consuming mice, or of microbiota anaerobically incubated in the presence of NAS. We identify NAS-altered microbial metabolic pathways that are linked to host susceptibility to metabolic disease, and demonstrate similar NAS-induced dysbiosis and glucose intolerance in healthy human subjects. Collectively, our results link NAS consumption, dysbiosis and metabolic abnormalities, thereby calling for a reassessment of massive NAS usage. [emphasis added]

Well, of course, Paleo dieters (LC or otherwise) never advocated for NAS usage anyway. But equally of course, they're in rampant use pretty much across the board in weight loss or diabetes controlling diets (LC or otherwise). My interest is in the connection to the gut microbiome and how this independently jives with what at least hundreds out there have observed in terms of correcting the 'healthful wonders of high fasting blood glucose and glucose intolerance' in a low-carb or ketogenic diet context.

Ira Flatow of Science Friday had a 12-minute interview with study co-author Eran Elinav yesterday on NPR, which I was fortunate to accidentally catch while out and about. It's a really good overview of the whole thing and gives added detail into the two human trials conducted, one observational and one controlled.

And here's an article in The Scientist that covers everything in more depth as well

A previous study showed that sucralose can alter the rat gut microbiome—specifically, by decreasing beneficial bacteria—but this latest work pinpoints a microbe-mediated mechanism by which artificial sweeteners might influence glucose metabolism, said Yanina Pepino, who studies how non-caloric sweeteners influence glucose metabolism at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine.

Elinav and Segal’s team observed that mice given a 10 percent solution of one of three types of commonly consumed commercial artificial sweeteners—saccharin, sucralose, or aspartame—in place of regular drinking water had elevated blood-glucose levels after 11 weeks compared to mice given either a 10 percent glucose solution or water alone. The researchers used saccharin for subsequent experiments as this artificial sweetener showed the most pronounced effect on glucose levels in preliminary trials. Mice fed a high-fat diet plus the 10 percent saccharin solution showed the same effect on glucose metabolism as animals given an even higher saccharin dose—comparable to the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) upper limit for safe human consumption. [emphasis added]

You catch that?

  1. Artificial sweeteners produced worse glucose metabolism than if they were fed the same dose as plain glucose (or water). Kinda strikes me like my exercise analogy. You know: couch potato climbs flight of stairs, heart races to 200+ bpm; he concludes he can't handle any exercise at all. So, perhaps to have a physiologically normal glucose metabolism, you need to ingest some glucose. Use it or lose it?
  2. A high fat diet didn't help any. In fact, it was as bad as mice given even higher doses of saccharin (presumably as part of a normal chow diet).

Four weeks of treatment with gut bacteria-depleting antibiotics reversed the glucose intolerance in mice that continued to receive saccharin. This led the team to examine whether the microbiomes of the mice were somehow altering glucose metabolism. Transplantation of feces from non-antibiotic-treated mice that consumed saccharin- or glucose-containing water into germ-free mice within six days induced the same blood-sugar elevations in animals that were never themselves exposed to the sweeteners.

There's a bit of an ambiguity there—"mice that consumed saccharin- or glucose-containing water"—so hopefully someone with access to the full text can clear that up. But the takeaway here is that it looks like the NAS are causing a gut dysbiosis either in terms of increased bad bacteria, decreased good bacteria, or both (that antibiotics corrects—probably as a general reset or "weeding" deal); a high fat diet (LC) doesn't help, or actually makes things worse.

You know what that last sentence in the quoted text means, don't you? That's causality.

Using shotgun metagenomic sequencing on the fecal samples, the researchers showed that mice given saccharin or those that received a fecal transplant from saccharin-fed mice had a different microbiome composition compared to mice given sugar or no sweeteners. [emphasis added]

Perhaps it's because we evolved with a taste for sweet and there's a reason behind it; that in reasonable doses, it could not only be not harmful, but beneficial?

The team also found similar glucose metabolism and gut microbiota changes in humans.

In a cohort of 381 non-diabetic volunteers who answered diet questionnaires, those who regularly consumed artificial sweeteners—particularly those who consumed the highest amounts—showed higher fasting glucose levels, poorer glucose tolerance, and different gut microbe profiles compared to those who did not consume such sweeteners. The difference between the two populations remained even after correcting for body mass index.

Further, the team exposed seven young, healthy volunteers who did not have a history of artificial sweetener consumption to one week of the FDA’s maximum acceptable daily saccharin intake, and continuously monitored their glucose levels. Four of the seven volunteers showed a poorer glycemic response at the end of the week compared to their baseline responses. Those who showed no metabolic response to the sweetener had no change in their gut microbiomes, while those who exhibited the worst glycemic responses at the end of the week showed a different gut microbiota profile after sweetener exposure. Fecal transplants from two artificial sweetener-responder volunteers into germ-free mice resulted in a similar gut microbe profile and glucose intolerance as did transplants from saccharin-consuming mice. But the same transplants from two non-responder volunteers had no such effect in germ-free mice. [emphasis added]

Wow. I mean, that's pretty compelling stuff, to me. Everything aligns consistently: mouse-to-mouse, human-to-human, and even human-to-mouse. What would be interesting to further explore is the actual diets of those seven participants. It looks like the only variable that changed was everybody got the same amount of saccharin and otherwise kept their same diet (nice control of confounders). So, knowing the differences in baseline diet might give clues as to why four of the seven got compromised guts and glucose intolerance, while the other 3 did not. I'm placing my bet on: beans!

...Although, it might also be sugar, leading to a most ironic finding: 'eating sugar is protective against the negative effects of artificial sweeteners in sugar metabolism!'

Hey, maybe Pay Peat was right all along about sugar. I've been having some interesting results with daily orange juice consumption of about 10-12 oz—half in the morning, half at night—typically taken in a 50/50 mix with water or club soda. So, now that we're increasingly establishing the healthfulness of starches in rational doses, what's next: Safe Sugar! May we live in interesting times.

...Oh, one more thing. The 14 comments so far in that The Scientist article are really laughable. Not one single commenter get the point: it's the microbiome, stupid.

References:

  1. To Reiterate, Just In Case You Missed It: No Elevated Ketone Levels in the Inuit.
  2. More Uncovering of the Inuit Myth: Stefansson and Anderson Belleview Experiement; Compromised Glucose Tolerance.

Quick Public Service Announcement: “Ketosis Induced Rash”

I've heard smatterings of anecdotes over the years about folks coming down with rashes while generally LC dieting (Paleo / Primal / Plain Jane LC). Tough to pin it on anything certain until someone experiments extensively and then does the PubMed crawl. So, posting this simply to get word out, in case anyone has had this condition and was unaware that it's pretty well associated with ketosis, chronic fasting, etc.

Via BJJ Caveman. See his post for a substantial comment thread as well as the links to all the studies he cites, below. From a quick scan of his 170 comments, there's a surprising number of people afflicted. Guess what the common association is.

Prurigo Pigmentosa – The Ketosis Rash Nobody Warned Me About

Purigo Pigmentosa
Purigo Pigmentosa
  • The rash is usually symmetric and predominantly located on the trunk involving the back, chest, and neck.
  • The cause of this is still unknown however there are many suspected causes:
    • Ketosis
    • Fasting / anorexia nervosa
    • Diabetes
    • Pregnancy
    • H. pylori infection
    • Sweating
    • Friction from clothing
    • Allergic exposure
    • Autoimmune disease
    • Sometimes no causes are found
  • Most of the research has been focused on exploring the relationship between diet / ketosis and the rash
  • It usually starts off as a red raised rash and over time as it goes away it turns darker in color.
  • The rash can last from anywhere from months to years.
  • The best treatment for the rash thus far appears to be with antibiotics such as minocycline, dapsone, or doxycycline. Treatment usually lasts around 2.5 weeks.
  • This most recent study from 2012 found that 7 of 22 patients with PP tested for urinary ketones had elevated ketone levels.
    • “The mechanism by which dietary modifications provoke PP is not yet clear, but there are several previous reports of an association between ketosis and inflammation.”
  • Another study from 2012 found that 6 of 21 patients with PP had showed recent weight loss due to strict dieting.
  • This study from 2012, perhaps one of the most interesting found that 6 out of 10 patients with PP who had their urine tested had elevated ketones in their urine, and 2 out of 4 patients who had their blood ketones tested had elevated blood ketones (3.2 mmol/L and 1.65 mmol/L, well within the range for nutritional ketosis). Most of these patients were ketotic due to dieting and/or fasting.
    • “Our findings also support the argument that ketosis produced by fasting or dieting may play a role in the pathogenesis of prurigo pigmentosa. Therefore, physicians need to warn that excessive fasting can cause prurigo pigmentosa.”
  • This study found that menstruation made symptoms worse for 1 of 11 patients.
  • Here is a case report of a ‘fatty young man’ who developed soft-drink ketosis (a type of noninsulin dependent diabetes and ketosis induced by too many soft drinks) and then had PP. The PP went away after he cut out the soft drinks. I like the fact that they described him as a ‘fatty young man.’
  • Another case report of someone with type 1 diabetes and ketosis who developed PP. 5 days after the ketosis was treated with insulin the rash went away (this seems to be the pattern typically found in the early literature)
  • This study from 1996 found that 8 of 10 patients with PP were in ketosis (due to dieting, loss of appetite, or diabetes). The rash cleared when ketosis diminished. In one patient the rash came back when he fell back into ketosis.

He's also set up a specific website: TheKetoRash.

This has been a Public Service Announcement from Free the Animal.

7 Bigger-Than-Ever Challenges Everyone Should Know About Low-Carb Ketogenic Diets

Jamie Koonce Responds To Paleo Criticisms Of Ketogenic Diets (a Jimmy Moore Podcast)

I’m wondering what your thoughts are on the prevailing dogma in the Paleo community that women need more carbohydrates than men and should avoid ketosis and intermittent fasting. These claims don’t seem to be backed up by any research. (At least I’m not finding it.) After listening to a few talks from the Ancestral Health Symposium at Berkeley, I am fed up with the baseless claims and would like to respond on your podcast if you’re game.

Translation: 'I can't find research literature that disproves negatives, so = positive.' Note: "negatives," in this context = falsification of hypotheses and assertions. ...I haven't listened to any AHS presentation but for Grace's REWILD! presentation, yet, but I'm gratified to understand that the VLC/Ketogenic are taking it in the shorts to such an extent that panties are bunching.

Probably, Chis Kresser didn't help very much (Is a Low-Carb Diet Ruining Your Health? and 7 Things Everyone Should Know About Low-Carb Diets; exhaustive comment threads in both)

Briefly as I can, I'm going to hit on Jimmy's 7 Lingering Myths Everyone Should Know About Low-Carb Ketogenic Diets; with dessert at the end, demonstrating why a guy like Dr. Ron Rosedale is to be dismissed. He simply refuses to learn. He already [thinks he] knows everything.

I always like to give you a metatheme, when I can. Today's metatheme is: there's simply no scientific or real-world basis for long-term ketogenic dieting. There's not, and this is undeniable, apart from fantasy stuff. This is not exactly the same as saying that a long-term ketogenic diet is bad for you. Rather, it's saying there's just no evolutionary basis for it. Combine that with the established science that a ketogenic metabolism is absolutely a survival adaptation to starvation, and proponents are simply, a-priori, stranded in the position that modeling starvation is, most enthusiastically, 'optimal for everyone' or, most guardedly, 'something you should try' ("See if Starvation Hormonal Cascades Work For You!").

At the same time, thousands of people are relating anecdotes about how just a bump in carbs to to a moderate 100-200g range, mostly from starches and not refined sugar (though various fruit juices, too, seem to benefit a lot of folks) works for them. And, those anecdotes have the virtue of being backed by the general experience of about 120 billion other people who've lived in history. Undertake a human experiment if you like, long term and not intermittent; but at least, please, not while harboring the fantasy that it's anything but an experiment on yourself and perhaps those you love most.

This is not going to be exhaustive. I could likely write a whole post on each point. Rather, I'll hit one thing or two in each that strikes me.

#1: Ketosis leads to hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue. "Why this popular meme continues to find traction in the lack of any evidence that a well-formulated low-carb, moderate protein, high-fat, ketogenic diet with adequate calories is the causal factor in it is beyond me."

Allow me to make it unbeyond you, Jimmy: Ketogenic diets are, metabolically, starvation diets. This is why they work so well, initially, for fat loss. Metabolism is such that people can "hear" the voices of their fat cells melting away and they're either not as hungry, or fully satiated.

I still remember when I was on a high-fat diet (Refs: All Diets Are High-Fat Diets and Losing Weight is Pretty Much Like Eating Lard) to the tune of 210,000 my-own-ass-fat calories (60 pounds) over about a year. I was typically unhungry enough, usually, that over time, it worked.

"That’s a very clear sign of too low calories, not a very low-carb, ketogenic diet."

Indeed. Such a puzzle—these diet contortions evolutionarily designed to get us through when we have too low energy to thrive. So, again, just unnatural; and if you're going to undertake it long term, then you may find yourself having to eat when you simply aren't hungry—keep calories sufficient for thyroid; test a lot—very natural. Again, just unnatural. Look at wild animals in sufficient environments. This should be our standard.

#2: You’ll destroy your gut health eating a low-carb, high-fat diet. "But yet again, there’s a lot of hype and hysteria that accompanies these bold proclamations that are not backed by any sound scientific data proving it to be 100% accurate."

There's always gonna be a straw man. Nobody has said it "destroys gut health," generally. Certainly, for some individuals, 'destroyed guts' are the reality they face, but the reasons are varied and a diet very low in fermentable fiber is probably only one of them. Problem is, what happens when you combine that with antibiotic use? Is it plausible that SAD dieters fair better with rounds of antibiotics because, in spite of all the crap, they still get substantially more fermentable fiber? I know everyone likes simple answers, but it's looking more complex to me every day, so I just go with it.

[Tempted to delve into the increased Bacteroides and decreased Firmicutes study he cherry picks as a cause, when it's merely an effect. Besides, Hadza tend to have a mix of B/F associated with obesity, and I'm big on falsification of causal phenomena. Saves time.]

"But yet again, there’s a lot of hype and hysteria that accompanies these bold proclamations that are not backed by any sound scientific data proving it to be 100% accurate."

Translation: Falsification of fanciful notions that the natural state of humanity is a hormonal cascade modeling starvation isn't proved to 100% accuracy. Haven't proved the negative to 100% accuracy; an impossibility, a-priori.

Probably—just WA-guessing—you might want to eat a diet of a variety of real foods in a natural, moderate carbohydrate setting. It's not "100% proved to be scientifically accurate;" it's only what 99.9% of the 120 billion of your progeny did to survive and have offspring.

#3: Proponents of ketogenic diets think EVERYONE should be eating that way as a one-size-fits-all approach. "This one is nothing more than a blatant lie intended to paint people who support ketosis with a broad brush as being overly dogmatic. But as perhaps one of the most vocal proponents of a ketogenic diet today, I cannot help but laugh at how nonsensical this myth really is. Anyone who has heard my many recent appearances on a multitude of podcasts promoting Keto Clarity in the past month, again and again you have heard me state quite clearly that a ketogenic diet is not necessarily for everyone."

Ketogenic deits are necessarily restrictive. In a moderate carb setting, you have a world of varied vegetation at your foot. Good luck, Jimmy. You deal with perhaps a few million anecdotes. I'll deal with 120 billion anecdotes including the historical/anthropological record; and we're still all alive, pumping out babies.

Methinks thou doth protest too much.

#4: It’s dangerous for a woman who wants to improve fertility to be in ketosis. "One of the newer arguments being hurled at low-carb, high-fat, ketogenic diets (and it was especially exclaimed in several of the lectures given at last month’s Ancestral Health Symposium in Berkeley, California) targets women of childbearing age and issues stern threats that great harm will come to them and their baby if they even dare get anywhere close to making ketones in their body."

Uh, all humans make ketones in their bodies, all the time... (straw man, again)

This one happens to be the very thing that got me beginning to rethink things a long time back. Being fertile or infertile is, in itself, very fucking sound scientific data in a human context. And very especially for a young woman. It's tantamount to human-fucking-survival. So there I was, blogging in 2008, 9, 10; I was all giddy about high fat, VLC, and fasting and working out at the end of a fast...and I have woman commenters in their 20s who've lost their periods. Uh, sorry? Or, uh, sorry yo'r ohn yo'r o'n?

Everyone knows I'm a cunt-shaming asshole; but I will never, ever knowingly bring harm to someone and I got a sense that the way I was advocating was harming people and hey: if you're harming 20-something girls, what in the holy mother of fuck are you doing?

Hey, sorry. I get thousands of comments and I read even single one. It's a weird thing for me, weird like my forever position on abortion: It's not my business. Don't interfere, but never do harm. And, I'm not a woman. The kind of male hubris that scoffs at particular female issues is the kind of male hubris I can do without. Plus, women are an endless steam of ridiculous in other stuff, so why have to conquer everything?

I mostly trust women to be very cool, when you just back the fuck off and don't pretend you know their physiologic experience, and especially, never make light of it. ...How would you like to bleed from your cock once per month and worse: naturally freak out if it doesn't happen?

#5: There is no harm to health produced by consuming real, whole foods that are starchy or sugary. "The argument has been made that if you opt for whole food sources of carbohydrates such as white rice, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, fruits and honey, for example, they are perfectly fine to make you into the healthy, fit, physical specimen you desire to be. If only it were true. While I’m sure the Kitavans and other traditional people groups (the ones most frequently cited by pro-carb Paleo enthusiasts as their evidence) undoubtedly did perfectly fine eating upwards of 40 percent of their diet from these carbohydrate-based real, whole foods, the fact is they didn’t live in a world chock full of abundant processed, highly-refined sugary and grainy food-like products that can wreak havoc and lead to great challenges on the weight and health of the people who consume them."

I give up. Jimmy, hopefully you can see the inanity of that paragraph, isolated. It's just simply best left up there with no comment, so people can see it for what it is.

Paris Tuileries Garden Facepalm statue
Even Parisians Feel Embarrassed for Their Fellows

#6: Ketosis is not a normal state our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have been in on a regular basis. "How you define what “normal” is will determine whether this myth is valid or not. If you mean it’s a metabolic state our hunter-gatherer ancestors were in 100% of the time throughout their lifetime, then I don’t think that is true about a state of ketosis. But if by normal you are referring to it being a natural part of the ebb and flow of how they lived their lives between big animal kills, then ABSOLUTELY!"

So, he leads off with a hedge. Well, of course, because even Jimmy knows (see right exactly above) that a ketogenic diet in perpetuity, chronically, with people poking themselves and breathing into tubes is...well...fucktarded.

And so I must ask: If it's not the state one is designed to be in 100% of the time, then:

  1. What is the number? For instance, any evidence of like, Blue Zone, longest lived peoples who never spent a day-in-life in ketosis?
  2. And if it's not a required state, then why all the needless expense with meters, testing strips, and now reverse vaping? Hey: entrepreneurial idea: collect all the breath ketones from those pipes, bottle and sell it for the vaping industry as "bad breath."

I'll put it my way: You an HG mofo, and your wife is starving, she's in solid ketosis. You wake up in the morning, she turns her pretty face to you, smiles, and exhales.

...You goin' huntin', yo, mofo!

#7: If you’re an athlete, don’t you dare eat a low-carb, high-fat diet or your performance will tank. "And finally, we come to the myth that is becoming increasingly laughable with all the growing number of especially endurance athletes who are embracing a low-carb, high-fat, ketogenic diet to ENHANCE their athletic training and performance."

Wishful thinking. Relying on outliers when in circles comprised of competitive millionaire athletes, diet = millions $$$ profit. There is not only little, but zero confusion. In competitive athletics, rapidly digesting energy will always outcompete slow, long-haul survival approaches. This is how dumb, in failure to make distinctions.

This is really a dumb ploy in terms of VLC advocacy. But, it does signal the just-so, belief-is-power nature of it. It's the most Dunning-Kruker aspect (too inept to recognize inept). So cocksure, they're willing to laf, just-so, at enterprises whose billions rely opon competitiveness in diet, nutrition, and training.

Let's have a football team win the SuperBowl in an all-ketogenic state; because in obvious fact, all super bowls have been won very carbed up, on average.

...Again, so fucktarded to go after athletes on this. Signals the very highly religious nature of VLC/Ketogenic.

Dessert, from the comments.

Listen to the podcast with Dr. Rosedale because he theorizes why your blood sugar goes down consuming resistant starch--and it's not necessarily a good thing.

Last night when I read this and was lafing, I emailed Duck. Look: there's more than 100 posts on this blog about resistant starch, over 10,000 comments and apparently, Rosedale already knows everything and Jimmy loves it because he's an authority towards absolution over the same sin.

Well, lets begin with a comment Duck posted, still in moderation.

Screen Shot 2014 09 18 at 2 18 35 PM
 

Here's Duck's stream of consciousness in the moment, last night:

~~~

He and Jimmy challenge the audience to go out and test their post prandial insulin after consuming RS. Never mind that researchers have already looked into this and came to opposite conclusions:

Consumption of Both Resistant Starch and ß-Glucan Improves Postprandial Plasma Glucose and Insulin in Women

Rosedale is making things up on the spot. Do Livinlavidalowcarb listeners really just have no idea how to look this stuff up?

Rosedale also recommends people get their fiber from "cellulose" to avoid glucose. Unfortunately, he's oblivious to the fact that few humans have the gut bugs to degrade cellulose:

From: The cellulose-degrading microbial community of the human gut varies according to the presence or absence of methanogens

Attempts to elucidate the cellulose-degrading microbial community have only been partially successful as only a restricted number of individuals appear to harbour such cellulose-degrading organisms (Bétian et al., 1977; Montgomery, 1988; Wedekind et al., 1988)”

Rosedale is still clinging to the overly-simplistic idea that Candida will somehow magically disappear on a low carb diet and that it just eats glucose. Nope. The scientific literature no longer supports that obsolete recommendation. Quoting from Gestalt's excellent post here:

The following 1st paper shows that the ketone beta-hydroxybutyrate will feed candida, and the 2nd shows that the ketone Aceoacetate is used by Candida to evade the body’s immune system. The 3rd shows that starvation makes candida grow exponentially.

The ability to neutrophils from diabetics to kill candida was inhibited by increased concentrations of glucose and beta-hydroxybutyrate, both independently and in combination.

These data indicate that although phagocytosis occurs at similar levels in diabetics and controls, killing of candida by the diabetic neutrophil is impaired under conditions of hyperglycaemia and ketosis.” (reference)

Therefore, prolonged ketosis may be a significant risk factor for candidiasis. This study was undertaken to investigate whether C. albicans itself produces a ketotic metabolite as a virulence factor which can effectively undermine host defense by neutrophils.” (source)

Starvation of yeast cells induces exponentially grown cells (and usually non-germinative) to germinate. This phenomenon is also observed in cells that are transiently treated with metabolic inhibitors. During each of these treatments (starvation, metabolic inhibition), expression of a growth regulatory gene (CGRI) increases. Candida albicans: adherence, signaling and virulence.” Calderone et al. (source)

Glucose obviously feeds candida as well however I have not seen evidence that it impairs immunity against candida such as ketones. Glucose therefore appears to be the lesser of two evils in this case when compared to ketones. From a blood point of view it’s impossible to eliminate glucose anyways. Ketogenic diets and many Paleo diets therefore in the long term are counter-productive. Starch and specifically resistant starch is necessary to feed the good guys which are your primary defense against candida.

I've since compiled a fair amount of evidence showing that a moderate carb diet of starch works best to inactivate candida. Meanwhile, Rosedale just professes outdated and over-simplistic recommendations and his gullible listeners just eat it up.

How do people listen to such fabrications that don't match up with the scientific literature? Any excuse to avoid exogenous glucose, I suppose.

~~~

Well, my only experience with Rosedale was being on hand for his appearance on the starch panel hosted by Jimmy at AHS11, erroneously dumbed (not a typo) "safe." He was an embarrassment to humanity and I'm not the only one who thought that.

Rosedale is a has-been fucktard who absolutely will not face the 2014 quotidian reality. I have a half dozen commenters who would have his ass on currency of awareness of literature alone. To be clear, I'm fucktarded too, sometimes. The difference is that I know when to stop.

As for Jimmy, having a podcast as he does is a double-edged sword. One edge is edge. The other is way dull, "I'm Doktor X-Authority." Rosedale, et al.

No Worries. Scientists Get Busy. They Have to Take Someone Else’s Word On It.

I really did laf out loud. You'll have to get about a 3rd-way through to laf too.

Nick says:

Nobody cares what you think of climate change Richard.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change

Richard Nikoley says:

You do, apparently. Didn’t look at the link, obviously you’re enamored of Argumentum ad populum, and so dunning kruger you don’t even recognize the depth of your own ineptitude.

By the way, fucktard: the post is about AGW, not “climate change,” demonstrating further your fucktarded bias. [...]

Newsflash: I'm not a climate scientist. Also, I'm not so busy as to just take science-whores' word for stuff.

Nick says:

You’re not a climate scientist; neither am I. I’m master’s student in engineering, studying something totally unrelated climatology.

In science, you can’t be an expert in every field. There are times when it’s best to just resign to the scientific consensus. There’s an _overwhelming_ scientific consensus, and it’s laughable when I see dumbass layman like you try to point fingers at the scientists saying, “there all wrong! I’m so smart!”

Btw, read just the first sentence of that Wiki article.

[emphasis added]

He really, really wants me/us to read this FIRST SENTENCE:

The scientific opinion on climate change is that the Earth's climate system is unequivocally warming, and it is extremely likely (at least 95% probability [scientific opinion still]) that humans are causing most of it through activities that increase concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as deforestation and burning fossil fuels.

[emphasis added]

I guess the master's student in engineering isn't quite getting that the article's title is: Scientific opinion on climate change, a contradiction in essential terms: what exactly is a "scientific opinion?" I suppose that's when you simply can't be bothered with contravening data: "[t]here are times when it’s best to just resign to the scientific consensus." I dunno. Perhaps he has finals. Maybe he's simply unaware that there are lots of laudable climatologists who've taken off their miniskirts and high heels, and come indoors from seedy corners.

“there all wrong! I’m so smart!”

"There" ALL wrong? I suppose it comes down to Googling Bias: List of scientists opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming.

This is a list of scientists who have made statements that conflict with the mainstream scientific understanding of global warming as summarized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and endorsed by other scientific bodies.

Establishing the mainstream scientific assessment, climate scientists agree that the global average surface temperature has risen over the last century. The scientific consensus and scientific opinion on climate change were summarized in the 2001 Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Wow, 2001. Way to keep ahead of the CURVE!

...For sure people look at a post like this and think various things. Got Under My Skin. Richard's Just An Asshole. Make Sure to Get Affiliate Links Out Every Day. Whatever.

The truth is, more and more, I'm just a guy who blogs and for whatever reason, I get to have a reasonably substantial audience. I suspect that the most of it is that I'm willing to put out anything, anytime, that's within my personal sphere of propriety. I have zero fear of repercussions. I simply don't care what anyone thinks about what I do, the choices I take. I just don't. I often wonder how caring about what people think affects your own behavior. I mean: it's not exactly like a gun to your head.

Is it just social conditioning?

...Incidentally, I did write this in a comment in the same thread on the topic at hand:

Richard Nikoley says:

Ha, I was just about to shoot him the same link, Gallier.

It’s confusing because it’s quite complex, mixed with a lot of “scientific” hubris. Just look at obesity and disease. As if human metabolism wasn’t complex enough, now we have the included metabolism of hundreds of species of gut bugs and everyone is a snowflake. I just read an article about how by transplanting microbes in mice, these transplanted mice can eat poison that would normally kill them otherwise…

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/inkfish/2014/09/15/poop-transplants-let-pack-rats-eat-poison/

Moreover, you have the added complexity of antarctica, with both land and sea ice. Normally, all the sea ice melts by the end of summer every year, this year no.

To be clear:

1. I’m neither a catch-all “climate change denier,” nor am I necessarily opposed to the idea that the earth may be warming.

2. If it is actually warming, it’s:

   a. trend prediction I’m skeptical of, especially way out into the future (hockey stick).


   b. the man-made factor (original sin) I’m skeptical of. There is zero doubt that the earth has been both very hot and very cold way back, and it wasn’t caused my human activity.

3. More than anything, I’m deeply skeptical of the CO2 positive feedback PREMISE hockey-stick predictions rely upon. Nature is totally dominated by negative feedbacks.

But, you know, it's so tough to take on a graduate student in engineering. I'm just hoping that 1) he's not going to be designing buildings, or 2) sewage treatment plants. I'll consent to my electronic devises being lowest-common-denominator-lazy-I-Have-A-Big-Fucking-Paycheck consensus.