The Paleo Diet

I'm finally getting around to reading The Paleo Diet, by Loren Cordain. I'm doing so on my new Amazon Kindle, which I love. I've had the Sony Reader (500, then 505) for some time, but though it's wonderful quality hardware, it requires software to interface (a kinda iTunes-like thing) and Sony simply refuses to make its Connect software compatible with the Mac (I switched about a year ago, never to look back). So, Sony Corporation: YOU'RE FIRED! I've been purchasing their high-quality products for as long as I can remember, but will never give them another dime for anything if I can help it.

So anyway, one cool thing about the Kindle is that you can clip excerpts and either have the Kindle email 'em to you via the cellular network for a small charge, or, just use USB. Accordingly, I've got an except from the book's intro.

I have examined thousands of early-nineteenth and twentieth-century photographs of hunter-gatherers. They invariably show indigenous people to be lean, muscular, and fit. The few medical studies of hunter-gatherers who managed to survive into the twentieth century also confirm earlier written accounts by explorers and frontiersmen. No matter where they lived -- in the polar regions of Canada, the deserts of Australia, or the rain forests of Brazil -- the medical records were identical. These people were free from signs and symptoms of the chronic diseases that currently plague us. And they were lean and physically fit. The medical evidence shows that their body fat, aerobic fitness, blood cholesterol, blood pressure, and insulin metabolism were always superior to those of' the average modern couch potato. [...]

Amazingly, scientific studies of Greenland Eskimos by Drs. Hans Bang and Dorn Dyerberg from Aalborg Hospital in Aalborg, Denmark, showed that despite a diet containing over 60 percent animal food, not one death from heart disease-or even a single heart attack-occurred in 2,600 Eskimos from 1968 to 1978. This death rate from heart disease is one of the lowest ever reported in the medical literature.

These are the same sorts of things I've been reading in Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, as well as Good Calories, Bad Calories. The failure of the "health authorities" to integrate this information, combined with the murderous advice to "cut the fat and eat more grains" boggles the mind. And here's where it has gotten us.

Hunting Fail

My brother found this one.

But here's the best one of all time, I think.

Enjoy the Holiday.

Cardiovascular Health

Here are a couple of must listen podcasts. You can call 'em up on your computer, or, put them on an iPod, iPhone, or other player and listen whenever. I like taking them in while driving.

These two particular podacasts are a two-part interview by Jimmy Moore.

‘Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show’ Episode 185: Interviewing ‘Heart Scan Blog’ Author Dr. William Davis (Part 1)

‘Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show’ Episode 186: Interviewing ‘Heart Scan Blog’ Author Dr. William Davis (Part 2)

Cardiologist William Davis runs the Heart Scan Blog and is involved with the Track Your Plaque program. Formerly spending his professional time doing cardiac procedures such as stents and angioplasties, he's now focussed on prevention, early detection, and reversal.

Listen to what he has to say about "vitamin D" (it's actually a hormone) and how it's profoundly helping his patients. Find out also why LDL numbers are useless and that you need to know your particle size. It's the small and dense that count, not the big & fluffy. Find out about heart scans and scores. Find out why most cardiologists and hospitals aren't interested (procedures generate billions in revenue).

In the second part, he explains why following the conventional advice to lower fat intake, eat more whole grains, take blood pressure and cholesterol meds killed Tim Russert at an early age.

How Animal is That?

We're going to roast beef bone marrow tomorrow night, to have along with my aunt's French onion soup, which incidentally, she makes from scratch using this exact same thing, roasting and then making stock to a nice thick reduction over about two day's time. Her French onion soup is essentially demi glace with onion in it (and without the roux).

Marrow

There's two of them like that, now cut up into 16 pounds worth. Inspiration here and here.

Good Carbohydrates, Bad Carbohydrates?

I had intended to point out that Dr. Michael Eades sponsored a Q&A with Gary Taubes, author of Good Calories, Bad Calories, and it's worth a read.

I found this quote concerning the general leanness of Asians on relatively carb-rich diets particularly interesting in light of my own conclusions:

The Asian question first. I do address this in the book and I address it again in the afterward of the paperback. There are several variables we have to consider with any diet/health interaction. Not just the fat content and carb content, but the refinement of the carbs, the fructose content (in HFCS and sucrose primarily) and how long they’ve had to adapt to the refined carbs and sugars in the diet. In the case of Japan, for instance, the bulk of the population consumed brown rice rather than white until only recently, say the last 50 years. White rice is labor intensive and if you’re poor, you’re eating the unrefined rice, at least until machine refining became widely available. The more important issue, though, is the fructose. China, Japan, Korea, until very recently consumed exceedingly little sugar (sucrose). In the 1960s, when Keys was doing the Seven Countries Study and blaming the absence of heart disease in the Japanese on low-fat diets, their sugar consumption, on average, was around 40 pounds a year, or what the Americans and British were eating a century earlier. In the China Study, which is often evoked as refutation of the carb/insulin hypothesis, the Chinese ate virtually no sugar. In fact, sugar consumption wasn’t even measured in the study because it was so low. The full report of the study runs to 800 pages and there are only a couple of mentions of sugar. If I remember correctly (I don’t have my files with me at the moment) it was a few pounds per year. The point is that when researchers look at traditional populations eating their traditional diets — whether in rural China, Japan, the Kitava study in the South Pacific, Africa, etc — and find relatively low levels of heart disease, obesity and diabetes compared to urban/westernized societies, they’re inevitably looking at populations that eat relatively little or no refined carbs and sugar compared to populations that eat a lot. Some of these traditional populations ate high-fat diets (the Inuit, plains Indians, pastoralists like the Masai, the Tokelauans); some ate relatively low-fat diets (agriculturalists like the Hunza, the Japanese, etc.), but the common denominator was the relative absence of sugar and/or refined carbs. So the simplest possible hypothesis to explain the health of these populations is that they don’t eat these particularly poor quality carbohydrates, not that they did or did not eat high fat diets. Now the fact that some of these populations do have relatively high carb diets suggests that it’s the sugar that is the fundamental problem. Ultimately we can only guess at causes using this kind of observational evidence. To know anything with certainty we’d need the kind of randomized controlled trials I yearn for in the epilogue of GCBC.

It has been some time that I have thought it's less to do with carbohydrate and more to do with grains (wheat, in particular), sugar, vegetable oils, and all the heavy processing and refinement that goes into those commodities, as well as the thousands of cheap derivative Frankenfoods derived therefrom.

Selfish Fat – Barry Sears on CBN 700 Club

Here's something I was going to toss up the other day, but got sidetracked. It's an interview of Barry Sears, author of The Zone and other books, and his latest: Toxic Fat. Take a look:

It's interesting how he characterizes fat (adipose tissue) as a kind of "cancer." It immediately reminded me of my "tumor" analogy I wrote about back at the first of the year:

I think the tumor analogy is an interesting one, at least in the way I understand Taubes at present. What do you often hear expressed about tumors, short of outright removing them? Well, sometimes they're "small," such that the risk of surgery isn't called for. So, you try to keep them small. Why? Well, because when they're small their effect is minimal. They aren't cannibalizing good tissue sufficiently to cause a large effect. How about shrinking a tumor? Same thing. And what happens when a tumor gets to be of sufficient size? Does it not then become a self-sustaining cannibalistic parasite, sacrificing healthy bodily tissue for its own sake in a positive-feedback mechanism, such that the bigger it gets, the bigger and more parasitic its influence on the rest of the body until eventually its pathological selfishness kills the very host that feeds it?

Harping on Vitamin K2

I'll keep harping on it so long as Stephan keeps harping on it, and I don't think that's happening anytime soon. My previous K2 posts here, here, and here.

What You’re Up Against – Eggs Linked to Diabetes

Via reader Chris S. comes this absolutely astounding news: "Eating an egg a day can raise the risk of developing diabetes." And, of course, such "startling" news is being uncritically reported all over the place. You can access the abstract here.

In a word: absurd. I don't know what's worse, actually doing this sort of meaningless and useless "research" in the first place, or mindlessly shilling for it via sensational "news" reporting. In my opinion, the whole lot of 'em ought to be pelted with rotten fruits, vegetables, and of course, eggs.

Now, here's why. This is an observational study, not a controlled intervention study. And not randomized, either. In essence, what they did was to take data from two other studies, data that was gathered by means of an annual questionnaire. As it turned out when they analyzed the data, those who developed type 2 diabetes were largely the same people who tended to eat a fair amount of eggs. Correlation or association, however, in no way implies causation. It could also turn out that the people who got diabetes take hotter showers, on average.

The only thing you can really say is that type 2 is surely linked to diet, diet composition is an individual thing, and it happens that the people who generally have a taste for the foods that tend to lead to the development of diabetes also happen to have a greater than average liking for eggs as well.

Apparently, they only looked for an association with eggs. They didn't look at what, for instance, those who developed type 2 ate with their eggs, i.e., bacon & sausage, or, lots of hash browns, toast, pancakes, waffles, syrup, jams, jellies, fruit cocktails and so on. They didn't look to see, in general, if those who developed Type 2 tended to have higher or lower carbohydrate intake, and, what kind of carbs, i.e., from fruits & vegetables, or from products containing white flour, white sugar, processed vegetable oils, and/or high fructose corn syrup.

But no; couldn't possibly be foods that have continually and steadily grown to super proportions in the American diet over the last century. Nope: it's the eggs, a food humans and their ancestors have been poaching from nests since the dawn of time millions of years ago.

Some of my other posts to shed light on this sort of menace to society:

  

It’s Gotta Be The Fat…

Via Mark's Daily Apple, comes this Prevalence of Obesity map.

Prevalence_obesity

Click right here to see an animation of how it changes year over year from 1985 - 2007. Then, stop to consider that at no time ever in history have there been so many diet programs, TV shows, books, programs, emphasis -- and by far and away, most of the diets all have a similar common theme: less fat (especially animal), more "whole" grains.

So: how's that workin' out fer ya?

Later: In that same list of links at Mark's, there's this: "How do French Eat What They Want and Stay Slim & Healthy?"

Despite a diet stuffed with cream, butter, cheese and meat, just 11 percent of French adults are obese, compared with America’s 33 percent. The French live longer too, and have lower death rates from coronary heart disease. They don’t diet and they don’t spend hours panting round the gym.

I lived and worked in France for two years, most of my meals taken at the facility I worked at, so authentic French. Never in my life did I eat so well, with so much luxurious animal-based meals and fats of all kinds. My weight reduced about 15 pounds in the first few months, stabilizing at about 5 pounds more than my high school weight of 165. When I returned to the US in 1992 I was 170-175. I immediately added 15 pounds, then bought into the low-fat (20% of calories) nonsense. Before I got my head on straight I was at 230. You know the rest of the story.

Something to Keep You Busy – Lotsa Links

While working on a promised summary page to lay out the basics of my approach to food and fitness, I've been lax in making regular postings. But, there's still lots of great stuff out there. Here's some of it to keep you busy.

  • Doc Eades and Jimmy Moore both take on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Board which, no doubt, will again tell you that you need to "eat more whole grains, less fat, and get more exercise." It's the approach that has led America to unprecedented levels of obesity and diabetes over these last decades, but at least Big Agra is going to be pleased.

  • Mike OD gives you the scoop on personal trainers.
  • Dr. John Briffa gives you the ins & outs of the omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio and how getting it from the 20-30:1 in the average western diet to the 1-3:1 ratio of the ancestral diet just might yield a whole bunch of benefits including inducing a 28% increase in fat burning while in a fasted state.

Wish I had time for more, but that should do for now. 

Wellsphere

You may have noticed the new badge to the right. I've been invited to blog at Wellsphere. Not something I sought out -- they contacted me -- but it looks to be an interesting gig. I'll do my best.

Wellsphere’s mission is to help millions of people live healthier, happier lives by connecting them with the knowledge, people and tools they need to manage and improve their health.

Recognizing that each person has their own unique health questions, we developed a model that combines personalized information and social support to help people address their individual concerns. After extensive research and development, Wellsphere launched WellPages, powered by its innovative Health Knowledge EngineTM, enabling users to quickly and efficiently find comprehensive, personal answers and support for their specific health needs – all on one personalized webpage. Wellsphere’s unique ability to quickly and efficiently answer user’s specific health needs has made Wellsphere.com one of the leading consumer health websites in the world.

One of the keys to Wellsphere’s success is the breadth of knowledge across its network of experts and experienced health writers, and within its caring community. Wellsphere’s network of writers and bloggers includes almost 1,500 of the leading medical minds from Stanford, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Yale and other top Medical Schools, as well as patients facing difficult diseases who bravely share their stories of survival. Wellsphere is extremely selective in admitting writers into its network, ensuring that they are highly credible, eloquent, and caring. By creating such an extensive writer network, Wellsphere is able to connect users with a variety of personal and medical perspectives on any health issue. In addition to expert and patient articles, WellPages present a holistic view, including relevant news, articles, videos and pictures from reliable sources ranging from the FDA and Harvard Medical School to leading health and fitness magazines. Instead of having to spend hours visiting many different websites to get a complete answer to their health concerns, users can instantly get a complete picture within seconds.

Onward, then. You may note that they loaded up the entire blog over there, including all the political posts (the health and fitness stuff is all mixed in there, too). I asked Dr. Geoff Rutledge if he was sure he wanted all that stuff in there and, apparently they don't mind.

Reader Input, Results, Q&A

A bit busy right now, so let me just round up a bunch of things in one post. You know the drill.

  • Reader Bud sends a link to an article along so that we know that diabetes in America is now costing $200 billion per year. Of course, if this and other similar blogs were "required reading," costs would drop to under a 10th of that in time. Well, at least we can be grateful that so many generous Americans are so anxiously clamoring to pay for everybody else's avoidable health problems via "universal healthcare." Good luck with that. Spending other people's money is so much fun.

  • Reader Tex says: "As an occasional reader of your 'old' libertarian blog, I stumbled upon Free The Animal just a few weeks ago. I've found it utterly riveting so far. [...] what you're putting out there right now makes a lot more sense than most of the health-industry nonsense I've endured so far." Then he asks: "...is there some kind of omnibus post somewhere which offers an introduction/summary to/of your project thus far? Trawling through blog archives isn't an ideal way to grasp the essentials of what you're doing." Answer: In addition to a forthcoming book project, I should have up a brief summary post very shortly to serve as a reference and resource for just this sort of thing. The basics.
  • Reader Jim objects to my 'Eggs are trying to kill you' post: "I take issue with the comment that Chickens in cages (regardless of how one feels about the quality of life) have a nutritionally different EGG. The egg is one complete system, it is either 100% functional for the creation of life, or it is a defective and fails. Eating bugs or whatnot should make no difference. Now the MEAT of the chicken could be impacted by being deficient diet, but I do not believe there is any measurable difference in wild, freerange, or caged chicken EGGS." Answer: Actually, the blog I linked two gave a pretty good and plausible references for nutritional differences. And, let's not conflate base reproductive viability with optimal nutrition. That said, he also makes a good point. Factory eggs are highly nutritious (I eat them often), though way not nearly as tasty as those with deep orange yolks. You're better off with eggs via any source than with no eggs.
  • Reader Jeff says and asks: "My Dad has lost 20# doing it the "free the animal" way. His only complaint is that he is getting some loose skin as the fat melts away. He is almost 70 and is concerned that he might be stuck with the extra skin. [...] Your transformation is profound and I wonder if you have any experience with looser skin and what to do about it." Answer: Well, first congrats to you and your 70-yr-old dad. Skin or not, that has to be a real win. Unfortunately, it seems this is an area ripe for scams in the form of various lotions, creams, peels and such. I chased around some links concerning hydration, time, and exercise but nothing looked super real to me. The best advice I found was to keep losing body fat, i.e., leaning out, and/or putting on more lean mass. Otherwise, cosmetic surgery is probably the only solution.
  • Reader Nicky asks: "I'm assuming you at least drink water on your fast day, but are you truly not hungry and do you have enough energy for your workouts? Do you have an 'extra big meal' last meal before you fast? [...] is fasting conducive to a really active lifestyle?" Answer: Yep, water when thirsty; also, unsweetened black coffee or tea. I sometimes have a preparatory large meal, but not usually. My favorite way is to fast in an unplanned way, i.e., just suddenly realizing that I'm just going to skip this meal, maybe even the next one. Skip dinner and go to bed early sometimes. Active lifestyle? Well, when you really get into fasting in an "evolutionary sense" as we advocate around here, I think it's very conducive to an active lifestyle. Always workout hungry.
  • Reader Chris reports on progress: "Lost approx 4lb this week - 2 times previous average Feel less bloated- beginning to look less swollen Tastes or tastebuds beginning to change - have less deisre for sweets / my sweetened tea and soda (I have one per day) do not taste as good. I am no longer leaving any of my veggies and root veggies on the plate- I WANT to eat them / they are tasting better to me. As to workout- I am now at ZERO cardio - I have weened myself off of all aerobic classes, and machines - not easy to do after 20 plus years of "experience" - I do 2 trainings per week / 2 pillates or yoga for core / 2 boxing sessions for interval training / 2-3 days of 40 minutes walking / THAT IS IT / I am spending half of the time that I used to on a weekly basis and am making strides that I never thought possible." Way to go, Chris.
  • My dad emails in: "Down 22# now at 185." It's probably because he fixes himself meals like this (that's cauliflower on the side, not potato):
Steak dinner
  • Reader Elliot asks: "Could you point me to any information concerning the negative nutritional aspects of legumes? I know they probably weren't easily accessible in the stone age, but I have a hard time thinking what harm a plate of fresh green beans would do to me." Answer: It seems that pretty much all legumes, including green beans contain some amount of phytohaemagglutinin, a toxic lectin (kidney and pinto beans are apparently the most toxic). Soaking and/or fermenting seems to help. I doubt it's a big issue when consumption is infrequent. I do have green beans sometimes (cooked with bacon), but those or any other beans are just not a common food choice for me, anymore.

Confirming a Bias

The problem with doing science is enormous. I have often said that science is a "discipline," and what I mean when I say that involves the recognition that it can be used even more easily to conceal the truth -- or even advance falsehood -- than to establish the truth.

In fact, science, qua discipline, can't really "establish the truth." It can only really show what's unequivocally false. Doing this involves confining one's self (through discipline, over the desire to "prove" one's self "right") to speculations and hypotheses that are falsifiable. I've linked this before, but here's my favorite passage that serves to explain the principal. So, in short, we speculate and hypothesize, and then if doing science in a disciplined way, we set about to prove our speculations and hypotheses...not true, but false. Failing to do that, time and again, is the basis of real science. Look at it logically. Even if I came up with a million different associations to "confirm" or suggest that a hypothesis could possibly be true, I only need one single contradictory fact to render a hypothesis useless.

In the fields of nutrition and health, it's an unmitigated disaster. Has been for decades. It's so insane that there have been billions upon billions (much your tax dollars) spent on research to "prove" or confirm a baseless bias that saturated fats from animals, and consuming other foods high in cholesterol (like eggs) substantially increases your risk for cardiovascular disease, typically through the accumulation of atherosclerotic plaque buildup, i.e., calcification. Why? Maybe because it represents a lifetime of employment. As I indicate above, they can come up with millions upon millions of associations, but you'll never know which one, or combination, or which combination among many possibilities is your "secret formula" for heart health. It's even so bad now that when they don't even produce an association they have predicted to produce, it gets chalked up to a fluke.

It goes even deeper than that; for, the chances -- even if you do all the supposedly "good" or "bad" things -- are that you'll live a fine long life in general good health. ...Although, that's getting more tenuous as there are now so many millions doing "all the right things" and getting fat, diabetic, clogged arteries, and dying young -- like Tim Russert.

Those who subscribe to Art De Vany's private blog were recently treated to a great science lesson along these lines. Art has graciously granted me permission to quote liberally, but, by all means: do yourself a favor and subscribe if you can. And here's a hint: It ain't just Art. One of the great things about the private blog is the comments, like those from Doug McGuff, MD, for example. I'll get to him later.

Before I take up the topic a reader asked me about may I mention that studies by psychologists show that we all suffer confirmation bias. That is, we look at evidence to find ways in which it supports a view or opinion we already have. Minds or opinions are seldom changed by evidence. It is so bad that experiments show that if you take a group of people and separate them according to their view point on a subject — marathons are good for you, or gun control is good or bad — and then give them a lot of data and studies to read, they will strengthen their opinion. They find, even in the most objective studies they may read that are neutral on the opinion and just cover the evidence, that the review strengthens their already held opinion. Minds don’t change, they just have more facts to back their opinion when they read the same studies as the other group. Psychologists call this the confirmation bias; we look for evidence to support our views. This is why Popper and real scientists stress the need to look for evidence that goes against your idea.

Art goes on to quote a Dr. Mirkin on why we should avoid red meat. Take a read, it's pretty short. I'll quote one bit:

His theory depends on evolution.

Ha! Blinded by Science, again. What's most amazing is that after millions of years of meat eating all this human heart disease shows up only relatively recently. Evolution, it must be understood, is merely a term we use to describe what is the underlying cause of it: the almost mathematical logic of natural selection.

Now, if one were to firmly affix such logical cause-effect relationships in their mind they would immediately see that Mirkin is full of bunk. According to the doc, this gene mutated way back when, as homo sapiens first emerged. Yet, there is clear evidence that humans have always eaten meat. Had, in fact, this gene's mutation been harmful in the way Mirkin (and Ajit Varki) suggest, then considering that meat was so absolutely essential to human evolution, natural selection almost certainly would have weeded out that mutation (carriers would have died off), or some other mutation would have emerged to neuter its adverse effects on survival and continued evolution, or even render the original mutation beneficial.

There's more. Back to Art:

First you see the new information is used only to confirm his already held view that one should not eat meat. Second, you see that he adopts the hypothesis proposed by Varki with out testing it. It has not been tested and is nothing more than a possibility. Third, you see that much is being attributed to a difference of one molecule between humans and other animals when there are thousands of such molecules. Fourth, the new form of the molecule evolved with the emergence of humans, a late development in our evolution and one that may have occured along with many others to permit brain expansion. Fifth, no evidence is given concerning the function of the molecule. Sixth, the evolutionary argument is used to make a case for the importance of the molecule while failing to note that humans ate animals for at least 3 million years and most other animals also eat animals, whether they are herbivores are not. Seventh, there are many causes of inflammation and the immune system lies at the root of it. Obesity is the primary cause of systemic inflammation and there are other promoters such as alcohol and trans fats. The list is endless. Eighth, many elements of our lives, diet and environment promote inflammation through immune system responses.

Art goes on to point out how Mirkin (and/or Varki -- I'm not certain who was meant) used to be an early promoter of the "fat=bad" hypothesis, now largely discredited for those in the know (the diet and nutrition media are still shilling for and being the fools of the sugar / grain / pharma industries -- and the public is everybody's fool, as usual). So, now he / they have latched onto an obscure molecule to point the finger at meat. So, it's not the fat, now, but the meat: meat=bad.

And modern ignorance marches on...

Eggs: They’re Trying to Kill You

Newly minted with a PhD in biology, Monica, who links to a couple of my posts on healthful fat, also dissects for you the differences in all the labeling concerning eggs.

Go take a look. There's a picture, too. And note: properly raised chickens are not vegetarians. They eat bugs of all sorts when allowed to forage in pastures and this is a huge source of proper nutrition for them; and it shows in the quality of the eggs they produce.

This also seems like a good time to dispense with some lunacy regarding the use of eggs; in particular, the practice of tossing out the yolk in order to have a "healthy" egg-white omelet. Bullshit.

...And Idiotic! And ignorant. This could go under the category of "is god stupid?" if you're a religious person. Otherwise, "is nature malevolent?" Here, presumably, you would have a good source of protein worthy of human consumption, packaged along with something that's trying to kill you.

Yea, eggs & chickens: trying to kill you. You're supposed to just eat the unappetizing "good" white and leave the tasty "bad" yolk part alone. Forbidden fruit. That'll teach you.

See? Moronic, huh? So how about some facts?

In the vastly spanning arena of publicly-circulated diet, health, and nutrition myths, eggs really--sorry, I can't resist--take a beating. People believe eggs are an unhealthy diet choice, that eggs will give them high cholesterol, ultimately that eggs should be drastically limited in or omitted from a healthy diet. None of this is true, yet most people unhesitatingly repeat such nutrition misinformation. [...]

EGGS NUTRITION MYTH #1: Eating egg whites rather than whole eggs is the healthy diet alternative.

The nutritional value of egg whites is practically nil. The whites have about half an egg's protein content, yes, and almost all of its sodium. That's pretty much it, barring trace amounts of other nutrients. The healthiest diet, of course, operates by maximizing nutrition value with every bite. In this sense of nutrition, albumen is fairly pointless, particularly when contrasted with egg yolks.

From a nutrition standpoint, egg yolks are the most nourishing food. Period. They contain almost every mineral and vitamin the human diet requires... [...]

EGGS NUTRITION MYTH #2: Eating eggs causes high cholesterol.

This sentiment is not merely an egg fiction. It's a mass-misunderstanding of how cholesterol works. Eggs just happen to be the most prominent innocent bystander... [...]

Roughly ¼ of your body's blood cholesterol comes from your diet. The other ¾ of blood cholesterol is produced by your body, and is entirely unrelated to food and cholesterol consumption in your diet.

And you shouldn't be anybody's fool about cholesterol and its effects, either. Even the pill pushers know it isn't true (note: it never was, and you should never forget that, or the wonderful nutrition you've been denying yourselves for decades because of an outright lie and knowing manipulations of data).

With JUPITER, cardiologists are finally acknowledging that the cholesterol hypothesis is unsupported. As Dr. James Stein, M.D., from the University of Wisconsin Medical School in Madison told Heartwire yesterday, he praised the JUPITER study for exposing that current therapeutic LDL-cholesterol levels are arbitrary, but more importantly, a poor indicator of cardiovascular risk. “Many patients with heart attacks have normal LDL-cholesterol values,” he said, adding that doctors and patients have been lulled into a false sense of security with normal LDL cholesterol levels. [...]

As lead JUPITER investigator Dr. Paul M. Ridker, M.D., with the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues wrote: “Measurement of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, an inflammatory biomarker that independently predicts future vascular events, improves global classification of risk, regardless of the LDL cholesterol level. We have previously shown that statin therapy reduces high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels and that among healthy persons, patients with stable coronary disease, and those with the acute coronary syndrome, the magnitude of the benefit associated with statin therapy correlates in part with the achieved high-sensitivity C-reactive protein level."

One question these newly enlightened docs (about effin' time) might want to ask themselves is how they might deal with such widespread inflammation, marked by high levels of C-reactive protein, short of prescribing statins. Getting off grains (i.e., wheat and its gluten and other lectins primarily), refined sugar, highly processed vegetable oils, and crap food in general, all replaced with heavy doses of Real Food did the trick for me.

Later: It occurs to me to mention that eggs are also a decent source (yolk only!) of K2 Menatetrenone (MK-4), a vitamin that most are deficient in, and which now looks to possibly be so important as to protect against arterial calcification, and even reverse it.

More on Vitamin K2

No need to do much here but point you to the goods. Stephan (who else?) asks: "Can Vitamin K2 Reverse Arterial Calcification?"

2 MK-4 (and perhaps other menaquinones like MK-7) may turn out to be an effective treatment for arterial calcification and cardiovascular disease in general. It's extremely effective at preventing osteoporosis-related fractures in humans. That's a highly significant fact. Osteoporosis and arterial calcification often come hand-in-hand. Thus, they are not a result of insufficient or excessive calcium, but of a failure to use the available calcium effectively. In the warfarin-treated rats described above, the serum (blood) calcium concentration was the same in all groups. Osteoporosis and arterial calcification are two sides of the same coin, and the fact that one can be addressed with K2 MK-4 means that the other may be as well.

Both osteoporosis and arterial calcification may turn out to be symptoms of vitamin K2 deficiency, resulting from the modern fear of animal fats and organs, and the deterioration of traditional animal husbandry practices. So eat your pastured dairy, organs, fish roe and shellfish! And if you have arterial calcification, as judged by a heart scan, you may want to consider supplementing with additional K2 MK-4 (also called menaquinone-4 and menatetrenone).

My last two posts on K2 can be found here and here.

Carnitas & Persimmon with Cinnamon

Persimmon & carnitas

Sorry for the crappy pic, but this was dinner last night. Pork carnitas & persimmon with cinnamon. Very easy to make, quick, and surprisingly delicious. For the carnitas, I used the pre-cooked & packaged version from Trader Joe's. Doesn't appear to have any ingredients I couldn't pronounce.

I conceived of this only minutes before, while sipping on a glass of The McCallan, 12-yr-old (just as good as the 18, in my very experienced opinion), over at my favorite pub. I reasoned that fruit tends to go really well with pork, and especially pork that you can caramelize a bit.

Here's how it went. First, I unpackaged the carnitas and mashed then up with the ball of my hand into a cookie sheet and spread them all over. Preheat oven to 400.

As the oven is warming, I chopped up two whole persimmons just as you see, then did about 1 1/2 cups of vegetable and chicken broth, half & half, in a covered skillet, along with about I rounded tablespoon each of butter and high-quality lard from Prather Ranch. Once I got that to a boil, I added a little dried parsley and a good amount of cinnamon (about a solid 1/2 teaspoon). Then I added the persimmons and let it simmer covered for a good 20 minutes so as to soften them up nicely. Pleasant surprise is that they have such a good fiber content that they soften nicely while still remaining firm, but with a skin that's soft and not chewy. With an apple, you'd probably need to peel it, and then it would probably fall apart under that kind of heat for that long. Here's a tip: the goal is to both soften the fruit and reduce the broth to a nice sauce. When covered, periodically lift the lid gently and level, then shake off the condensation into the sink. No use letting the moisture go back into the skillet.

In the meantime, into the oven go the carnitas, 5-10 minutes until sizzling a bit. Then on with the broiler for just a couple of minutes in order to crisp and caramelize them.

Once done, into the bowls went the carnitas, and I also fished the persimmons out of the skillet with a slotted spoon. Then the drippings off the cookie sheet went into the sauce and I finished reducing the sauce in under a minute. It really made a nice reduction, probably owing to the sugar content of the fruit. I then spooned it onto the persimmon & carnitas. Wow, the cinnamon combined with the sweetness of the fruit and the crispy caramelization of the pork, and Bea & I couldn't decide whether we were eating dinner or dessert.

Definitely give this a try.

Bones & Fat

Back a month or so ago I posted about Jennifer McLagan's book Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient.

Bones_mclagan

I've been going through it and, well, it's just fabulous. It's really reminiscent of a sort of "tragedy" where it's the virtuous and the good who are vilified which, is bad enough in itself. But to add insult, this all comes at the injustice of elevating the completely fraudulent to undeserved lofty heights.

Now think about that. Here we have wonderful, nutritious foods with literally millions of years of evolutionary credentials, not to mention the visceral pleasure almost anyone in their right mind gets from eating them when handled and prepared properly. ...And they get tossed aside by self-important minions -- those arrogant and obstinate, but ultimately woefully ignorant.

And they have blood on their hands, as far as I'm concerned; and I'm never going to let anyone forget it. They have, through their arrogant ignorance and disregard for human evolution and its unassailable logic, condemned millions upon millions to moribund lives of physical unattractiveness, gross obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and the list goes on. And as we have seen the statistics get worse, year after year in the very face of their changing advice, do we ever get humility, or is it just more authoritarian arrogance? "You eat too much. You don't exercise enough. You haven't been listening to us and you're not properly following our diktats."

And the bulk of nutritionists are just as bad, or worse. Most of them are just shills, hawking the latest BS "advice" to eat more whole grains and less fat -- especially animal fats. Can you guess why? Not to step on any sensitivities out there,Fat_mclagan but it rather reminds me of the Christian foundational doctrine of Original Sin, the whole point of which is to pit man against his very nature so that he always -- systemically -- falls short of the mark. And guess who's coming to the "rescue?" See, failure is baked right into the cake. Virtually No one succeeds under the current dietary guidelines short of becoming the nutritional equivalent of a monk or a nun who practices his or her flagellation three times daily, to correspond to three squares.

They have relentlessly pursued an agenda -- at the urging of huge producers of grain and vegetable oils, who unsurprisingly fund many of the "studies" -- to vilify Real Food and supplant it with Frankenfood. And though grains have been around for 10,000 years, vegetable oils -- of the sort that require solvents to extract -- have only been around for maybe 100 years or so. Then, add to that the astronomical increase in the use of refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup and the plethora of derivative crap in every conceivably packaged combination now being consumed by the American public, and increasingly the rest of the world.

And while obesity and diabetes skyrocket -- now even in children -- in the very face of the advice from these self-serving "authorities," many of whom get their paychecks out of your taxes, you are still being told to cut the fat.

Fat is king, folks. In terms of evolutionary logic, it has to be. Pound for pound, fat has more than twice the energy of either protein or carbohydrate, and thus, must have had to be treasured above all by our primitive ancestors. Next were the organs, and only then, the muscle meat. And, paradoxically, eating a high fat diet will tend to lean you out, and eating a high carbohydrate diet will tend to fatten you up. But what we see in the modern processed-food world is high carbs in the form of processed grains and processed sugars, often also fairly high in fat from heavily processed vegetable oils. And this is at the cost of protein, critical in the restoration and repair of lean tissue. The result? Everyone's getting fatter and fatter. The only good news there is that adding the weight increases lean mass too (so you can carry it), and generally keeps the bones strong. For some of the skinny people it's actually worse. Often, they have been losing lean mass while filling in the void with fat tissue. They are "skinny fat." Above all else, animal fat is what has made me so successful in losing fat and improving my blood work -- my wife's too.

Well, this is going on and my original intent before I got going on the rant was to alert you to the fact that Jennifer McLagan, author of both wonderful books you see above, has a food blog. It's not "Paleo," but it ain't really far off. And anyway, if I'm going to cheat now and then, I can't think of a better way to do it. Here's a suggestion if you've got an hour to kill. Check the right sidebar of her blog for the archives, and beginning with August when she began, click on each month in succession, which will scroll up all her posts for that month. Can't say I read each one, but I skimmed them all in the very least, and there's a lot of great stuff and a lot of great photos. Be sure to read her interesting bio. I liked this bit at the end:

Now based in Toronto. Jennifer survives life in the frozen north by escaping with her husband, as often as possible, to Paris. On either side of the Atlantic, she maintains a friendly relationship with her butchers, who put aside their best bones and fat for her.

Quit dying on crap, people. Live. Eat in luxury. Dump the notion that the eating of animals is the original sin of nutrition, which only serves to make you feel guilty and defeated each time you give in and so enjoy that grilled ribeye smothered in rich, sweet, garlicky butter. If you didn't feel guilty for so enjoying what's so natural, you could quickly replace all the crap with actual good food. Once you go through the withdrawals (and you will), you can emerge into a world where food is fun and makes you feel genuinely good. It'll make you look a lot better, too.

Vitamin K2, Menatetrenone (MK-4)

Since my last but fairly recent vitamin K2 post, Stephan has posted on K2 from the perspective of cardiovascular disease.

Take a good look at it, as well the references he cites. Did you read his other posts on K2, as I suggested? If not, maybe now is the time. I previously wrote:

You really owe it to yourself to look into this. Think of it this way: 60 years ago they were curing cavities in teeth by getting them to re-calcify using this exact thing. Now, think of what happens with a vitamin D deficiency; rickets, right? rubbery bones. Calcium. Other mineral salts. What you will find is that these vitamins, in combination, essentially cause your minerals to go everyplace they should, and no place they shouldn't (such as the walls of your arteries).

Now here's some of the research Stephan dug up.

  • Tissue-specific utilization of menaquinone-4 results in the prevention of arterial calcification in warfarin-treated rats. (link)
  • Dietary intake of menaquinone is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease: the Rotterdam Study. (link)
  • High dietary menaquinone intake is associated with reduced coronary calcification. (link)
  • Matrix Gla-protein: the calcification inhibitor in need of vitamin K. (link)

Coincidentally, Loren Cordain's free newsletter was about the K vitamins this week and here's an excerpt.

There are two different forms of vitamin K: Vitamin K1, or phylloquinone, is found in green plants such as green, leafy vegetables. Vitamin K2, more properly designated: menaquinones (MK), is bacterially synthesized forms of Vitamin K (especially anaerobic bacteria that is present in the lower bowel).

The main function of Vitamin K is to carboxylate or activate a class of proteins called Gla-proteins. Phylloquinone [K1] preferably carboxylates or activates clotting factors in the liver, and menaquinones [K2] preferably carboxylate or activate other Gla-proteins such as matrix-Gla protein (which prevents calcification of soft tissues such as arteries) and osteocalcin (which is responsible for depositing calcium in the bones where it belongs).

So, how do we get it? Well, the best place is in food. Cordian's suggestion:

Liver and to a lesser extent meat also contain MKs and, as Dr. Cordain has explained on the website, organ meats were favoured parts of the animal so presumably this was one way our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have gotten their MKs. And, let's not forget menaquinones from gut bacteria. Unfortunately, today that may not be as reliable a source for some since we now live in a world with the generalized use of antibiotics, which may destroy gut flora.

Therefore, it could be useful to include organic organ meats (such as liver) in your diet, to maintain a healthy gut bacteria flora by supplementing with a broad spectrum probiotic supplement when an antibiotic is needed, to eat enough soluble fibre found in vegetables and certain fruits (such as apples) and prebiotic containing vegetables (such as onions and garlic).

Easy for me, as I love liver. Here's also a list from the excellent Chris Masterjohn article I previously linked. As you can see, various organ meats and eggs seem to be highest, but the general message is clear: eat lots of meats. Makes sense, huh?

As far as supplemental sources, I think it's a good idea, and also for omega-3 fats and vitamin D3. I'll post about the importance of the omega-3 fats later, but essentially my regime on non-fasting days is 3g of salmon oil (3 gel caps), 2g of cod liver oil (2 gel caps), 1g of butter oil (2 caps) from Green Pastures (for the K2, MK-4). I also try to get a few hours of skin exposed sunlight per week during the spring & summer, and then I supplement 4,000 IU of D3 daily from October to April. There's a few other K2 (MK-4) sources: Thorne, Carlson, and here's a D3/K2 (MK-4) combo from Nature's Plus.

Other than that, I take no other supplements, no multi-vitamin or anything. Just food.

And what of my experience? Well, the K2 is the only one I definitely "feel." Marked difference in softness of skin overnight, and my wife has since noticed her skin improve as well. Within a few days, all plaque deposits on my teeth dissolved and have not returned. This has been a big issue, as I had gum disease and two surgeries about seven years ago. Since getting off grains (probably the gluten) my gum disease has reversed completely according to the dentist. And now, my teeth are virtually always smooth. I rarely feel the need to brush them.

The following excerpt suggests why.

Weston Price was primary interested in Activator X because of its ability to control dental caries. By studying the remains of human skeletons from past eras, he estimated that there had been more dental caries in the preceding hundred years than there had been in any previous thousand-year period and suggested that Activator X was a key substance that people of the past obtained but that modern nutrition did not adequately provide. Price used the combination of high-vitamin cod liver oil and high-Activator X butter oil as the cornerstone of his protocol for reversing dental caries. This protocol not only stopped the progression of tooth decay, but completely reversed it without the need for oral surgery by causing the dentin to grow and remineralize, sealing what were once active caries with a glassy finish. One 14-year-old girl completely healed 42 open cavities in 24 teeth by taking capsules of the high-vitamin cod liver oil and Activator X concentrate three times a day for seven months.

Activator X also influences the composition of saliva. Price found that if he collected the saliva of individuals immune to dental caries and shook it with powdered bone or tooth meal, phosphorus would move from the saliva to the powder; by contrast, if he conducted the same procedure with the saliva of individuals susceptible to dental caries, the phosphorus would move in the opposite direction from the powder to the saliva. Administration of the Activator X concentrate to his patients consistently changed the chemical behavior of their saliva from phosphorus-accepting to phosphorus-donating. The Activator X concentrate also reduced the bacterial count of their saliva. In a group of six patients, administration of the concentrate reduced the Lactobacillus acidophilus count from 323,000 to 15,000. In one individual, the combination of cod liver oil and Activator X concentrate reduced the L. acidophilus count from 680,000 to 0.

As a final note, you can round out your calcification management by checking out the Track Your Plaque program, along with Dr Davis' Heart Scan Blog.

Evolutionary Nutrition

I came across a great post from Robb Wolf of CrossFit NorCal. If you live anywhere near Chico, CA, this is definitely the place you want to be working out and training. The thing about Robb is that not only is he running quite a show out there in terms of physical conditioning, but he's a biochemist as well. He knows his nutrition.

You might have noticed that the nutrition approach we recommend at CrossFit NorCal is a bit...oh, shall I say, contrarian? Where the USDA, AMA and the rest of the Government sponsored entities recommend grains and legumes as the base of the diet, we recommend lean meat, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.

That’s crazy, right? aren’t we going to die from heart disease and cancer if we eat meat? How will we ever get fiber if we don’t eat grains!? I mean, fruit and veggies...what have they got to offer?! I’m being fecetious here, I hope you get that. I do understand our recommendations fly in the face of what we are told to eat from nearly every source you can find...what’s the deal? Well...the deal is, our nutritional approach, a diet the attempts to emulate that of our paleolithic ancestors, is without a doubt the best route to optimized performance and health. Big claim? Yep, but easy to back up. Folks start with us, tweak their food, then look, feel and perform better. Every measurable bio-marker such as cholesterol, triglycerides or blood pressure improve...depression resolves. It just works, because this is the way we are wired to eat. But hey, what the hell do I know? I’m just the crazy guy in the shed telling people to do weird stuff like sleep more, take fish oil and increase their protein intake. How could I possibly be right about this?

And here's the critical point he makes:

A Paleo diet, calorie per calorie, beats any other diet you can compare it to. Here is a nice look at this in a paper from Loren Cordain. If you notice, the basic diet presented here looks like taking a nutritional supplement. Now, if you are ambitious, you can take ANY of those listed Paleo foods, Lean meats, nuts, seeds, fruits and veggeis and compare them to the same calorie content of grains, legumes or dairy (non- fortified...just the way nature made them!) and you will decrease the relative nutritional content of the diet. Don’t believe me? You can actually do this experiment with the USDA Nutrient Database. So before you start waxing eloquent about how “nutritious whole grains are” give this a shot...build a diet the way our government recommends you do it via the food pyramid, then compare that to Paleo foods.

I make this point all the time. Beyond all the harping about crappy processed vegetable oils, the sugar crack house, and grain-fed fatties, a Paleo-like diet is simply more nutritionally dense than any other -- by leaps and bounds. (Aside: how come everyone knows and understands that livestock are fattened for slaughter by feeding them grains, but then are completely dumbfounded when it's suggested that grains are how you fatten humans, too?)

Here's the funny scene of woeful stupidity and ignorance on display. You want to see it? Just start having them substitute fruit or tomato slices -- even cottage cheese -- for BOTH your hash brown AND toast that go along with your eggs and breakfast meat of choice. Watch the looks of disbelief from the servers, some of whom even insist in asking me if I'm sure.

This is how brainwashed and laughably idiotic it has become.

Anyway, the next section of Robb's lengthy post deals with athletic performance gains documented on a Paleo diet, and how it's becoming more accepted by coaches and athletes as a means of improving.

Then he gets to his third and final point.

The Paleo diet describes our past, shines a light on our current situation, and provides predictive value for our future. The Nutritional “Sciences” are anything but. In theory they are a subset of Biology. The basic tenant of biology is evolution via natural selection...yet this fact absolutely buggars those in the nutritional sciences.

He then quotes Cordain in offering some explanation as to why everything you are told by the nutritional health "authorities" is wrong, dangerous, and will likely kill you, disable you, and/or make you miserable downing tons of pills every day. I'm not joking. "Nutritionists" are outright killing and maiming people with their "eat more whole grains" mantra.

In mature and well-developed scientific disciplines there are universal paradigms that guide scientists to fruitful end points as they design their experiments and hypotheses. For instance, in cosmology (the study of the universe) the guiding paradigm is the “Big Bang” concept showing that the universe began with an enormous explosion and has been expanding ever since. In geology, the “Continental Drift” model established that all of the current continents at one time formed a continuous landmass that eventually drifted apart to form the present-day continents. These central concepts are not theories for each discipline, but rather are indisputable facts that serve as orientation points for all other inquiry within each discipline. Scientists do not know everything about the nature of the universe, but it is absolutely unquestionable that it has been and is expanding. This central knowledge then serves as a guiding template that allows scientists to make much more accurate and informed hypotheses about factors yet to be discovered.

The study of human nutrition remains an immature science because it lacks a universally acknowledged unifying paradigm (11). Without an overarching and guiding template, it is not surprising that there is such seeming chaos, disagreement and confusion in the discipline. The renowned Russian geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky (1900-1975) said, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” (12). Indeed, nothing in nutrition seems to make sense because most nutritionists have little or no formal training in evolutionary theory, much less human evolution. Nutritionists face the same problem as anyone who is not using an evolutionary model to evaluate biology: fragmented information and no coherent way to interpret the data. All human nutritional requirements like those of all living organisms are ultimately genetically determined. Most nutritionists are aware of this basic concept; what they have little appreciation for is the process (natural selection) which uniquely shaped our species’ nutritional requirements. By carefully examining the ancient environment under which our genome arose, it is possible to gain insight into our present day nutritional requirements and the range of foods and diets to which we are genetically adapted via natural selection (13-16). This insight can then be employed as a template to organize and make sense out of experimental and epidemiological studies of human biology and nutrition (11).

This is why a little guy like me (as well as plenty of guys like Robb, Art, Cordain, Eades, Taubes) are RIGHT and the entire weight of the worldwide "nutritional" establishment is WRONG. We are operating from a GENERAL GUIDING PRINCIPLE: human evolution by means of natural selection.

It's why everything makes perfect sense: we always stay on track and can't lose our way because we have a guiding light. It's why there are no more "paradoxes" (there never were; they were always wrong). It's why this is so simple. It's why food is fun and luxurious, again.

The ignorant-obstinate buffoons that comprise the world's nutritional "authorities" are killing, maiming and unnecessarily enslaving people to a lifetime of pill popping to artificially manage problems caused by their Frankendiets in the first place. And they are doing it with impunity.

More on Alzheimer’s and Ketogenic Therapy

It was last April when I pointed to a study suggesting that Alzheimer's might be linked to the whole sugar-insulin deal. That is: refined carbs and sugar, again.

I pointed to this post at The IF Life in last weekend's roundup, but here it is again for reference. This adds an interesting twist, in identifying an inflammatory omega-6 fat, arachidonic acid, as a potential culprit. And all this leads to speculation and hypotheses, now, that Alzheimer's is actually a kind of third type of diabetes.

Now scientists at Northwestern University have discovered why brain insulin signaling -- crucial for memory formation -- would stop working in Alzheimer's disease. They have shown that a toxic protein found in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer's removes insulin receptors from nerve cells, rendering those neurons insulin resistant. (The protein, known to attack memory-forming synapses, is called an ADDL for "amyloid ß-derived diffusible ligand.")

With other research showing that levels of brain insulin and its related receptors are lower in individuals with Alzheimer's disease, the Northwestern study sheds light on the emerging idea of Alzheimer's being a "type 3" diabetes.

As Mike O'Donnell says:

Insulin and inflammation do run hand in hand. So could it be that insulin is the prime controlling agent for whether brain will function properly or not? Insulin will also drive more inflammatory markers, like the release of more AA (as seen above).

So, years of sugar and other high-refined-carb abuse, and if you don't get type 2, perhaps you'll get "type 3" diabetes  and lose your mind.

To further complicate matters and confuse you, I picked up these bits of info in a comment thread. Doctor treats her own husband with a particular kind of oil and he demonstrates remarkable improvement in his Alzheimer's. Now, before you begin wondering if this doctor is a chiropractor and that the treatment amounts to hocus pocus, it's not.

The evening before the first screening, Dr. Newport stayed up late researching both drugs. During that research she discovered a third that had shown unbelievable results — actual memory improvement.

"Most drugs talk about slowing the progression of the disease … but you never hear the word 'improvement.' Right then I knew I had to find out more," she said.

She began vigorously researching online and uncovered the new medication's patent application. She found an in-depth discussion of its primary ingredient, an oil composed of medium chain triglycerides known as MCT oil.

In Alzheimer's disease, certain brain cells may have difficulty metabolizing glucose, the brain's principal source of energy. Without fuel, these precious neurons may begin to die. But researchers have identified an alternative energy source for brain cells — fats known as ketone bodies, explained Dr. Theodore VanItallie, a medical doctor and professor emeritus at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in New York City. He has been researching ketones for more than 35 years.

So, can you guess which of our favorite oils is loaded with medium chain triglycerides (MCT)? Yessiree: coconut oil, at a whopping 60%. You can go to the article to see in photos and read about the marked improvement. For the purposes of this post, we'll focus on why.

"Ketones are a high-energy fuel that nourish the brain," VanItallie said, explaining that when you are starving, the body produces ketones naturally. When digested, the liver converts MCT oil into ketones. In the first few weeks of life, ketones provide about 25 percent of the energy newborn babies need to survive.

So, essentially, by taking something that metabolizes directly to ketones, you get the same effect as, what? A low carbohydrate diet (free of sugar, grains, processed carb junk "food") and/or fasting, something we've been recommending as healthful all along. Are you seeing how all this stuff keeps coming full circle, all tied together?

There's more info for you in-depth sorts here and here. I also might mention that I just stumbled on the recently published results of yet another study demonstrating the healthful benefits of severely restricting carbohydrate.

Spanish Ketogenic Mediterranean diet: a healthy cardiovascular diet for weight loss.

There was an extremely significant (p<0.0001) reduction in body weight (108.62 kg-> 94.48 kg), body mass index (36.46 kg/m2->31.76 kg/m2), systolic blood pressure (125.71 mmHg->109.05 mmHg), diastolic blood pressure (84.52 mmHg-> 75.24 mmHg), total cholesterol (208.24 mg/dl->186.62 mg/dl), triacylglicerols (218.67 mg/dl->113.90 mg/dl) and glucose (109.81 mg/dl-> 93.33 mg/dl). There was a significant (p=0.0167) reduction in LDLc (114.52 mg/dl->105.95 mg/dl) and an extremely significant increase in HDLc (50.10 mg/dl->54.57 mg/dl). The most affected parameter was the triacylglicerols (47.91% of reduction).

Wow! A 31-pound average weight loss. The study was conducted on 31 obese individuals, and was unrestricted in calories. The reason for the "Mediterranean" bit is that it used olive oil as its chief source of fat, fish as its chief source of protein, and it included red whine. It's not how they eat in the Mediterranean, of course, but I guess this is the way its going to be in order to prove the efficacy and healthfulness of ketogenic diets -- placate the fatophobs with olive oil and breathy whisperings of Tuscany. Whatever.

The other full-circle element here is that a natural, paleo-like diet without processed foods will, depending on specific composition, deliver an omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio of about 2:1 or LESS. That is, no more than twice the amount of omega-3 in the form of omega-6. Well, due to modern vegetable oils, the ratio for Americans is on average 17:1. Very soon I will reference some information suggesting that this may be causing all sorts of trouble, including behavior problems in children.