The identity of this formerly Low Carb Doc will forever be safe with me short of State torture—as will be the identities of the Low Carb Docs who have seen worse, not better, in their patients.
"Spanish Caravan" (edited for style, not content)
Paleophil, the legal issue here is an example I cite because it harkens back to SAD and conventional medicine. We’ve been told that the medical establishment will never admit that they were wrong about fat, especially saturated fat, since that will open a floodgate of lawsuits. So those who’ve harmed themselves, become obese, and developed CVD by avoiding fat and eating processed carbs instead, might have a case if they can prove the nature of the harm—and especially if the medical establishment comes out and admits that they’ve been wrong all along about SaFA.
They’ll never do that. That’s an exposure to legal liability that I can't risk. That’s how corporations behave. Any medical practitioner—or even those who’re not medical doctors, but diet gurus—could be exposed too. Notice how Dr. Perlmutter always prefaces his answers to questions with “you’re not under my care and I don’t have your blood labs, so this is my general take on your question without knowing anything about you or your background.”
If a low-carb doc ever came out and admitted that, "Look I’ve been wrong: VLCing actually lowers WBCs, jeopardizes immunity, facilitates autoimmune pathogenesis, triggers Raynaud’s" …he better have some good liability insurance. He’ll deny, if he wants to survive. It will be like Lance Armstrong coming out and expecting to hold onto his records and endorsements. ...Penn State only became liable to the victims of Jerry Sandusky after it fessed up and fired Paterno and the administration.
I actually know a few low-carb doctors who are no longer touting VLCing, now have developed serious reservations about it, but are never publicly warning about the dangers or side effects for such reasons—for any hint of legal admission of guilt or culpability.
I also know a very prominent guru whose patient population have an autoimmunity rate of 1000%; that’s 100%. He’s said that 90% of his patients have Raynaud’s, and 90% are hypothyroid (low T3). He prescribes cytomel and T3 medication freely. But do you know the other side of the coin? About 1/3 of his patients have a serious immune condition called CVID (Common variable immunodeficiency). Another 1/2 have a singular immunoglobulin deficiency which makes flu and pneumonia shots pretty much ineffective. Sudden food allergies, unexplained allergies to airborne particles, dust mites, and indoor materials are features of some of these conditions. These allergies show up all of a sudden and you start sniffling around constantly.
You may treat all these as anecdotal. I actually know these guys and the doc himself is currently on immunoglobulin injections to stay alive. Most CVID patients will die from lymphoma, and he had a biopsy a year ago, and so do many of his patients. I know what he thinks. But he’ll never admit that he became sick or jeopardized the immunity of patients through long-term VLCing. Doing so would be tantamount to what Lance Armstrong did.
When you have skin in the game, you cannot be objective. It’s very naïve to think that any party will roll over in this diet war. You have to use your power of observation and observe patterns. As far as VLCing goes, I’ve seen enough evidence to convince me that’s it’s not matter of love it or leave it.
The plot will thicken. I guarantee it.
Update: In the interest of clarity I want to point out that I'm not saying LC is never appropriate, but I now see it as an INTERVENTION (like a drug), and especially VLC and ketogenic. Probably best under medical supervision to address some issue with the possible exception of obesity where it seems to be fine for a while, like initial weight loss. Just by my "feel" for it over the years, my experience, those of family and blog readers, the problems crop up down the road, when that stall happens and the answer is always: LESS CARBS!
This is also not advocating high carbs. It's advocating sane amounts of carbohydrate, 30-40% perhaps, from safe sources like potatoes, white rice, fruit and legumes properly prepared. Or, an LC styled diet with regular carb refeeds of several hundred grams weekly or twice per week (anabolic diet).
I fully agree that, just like a drug, VLC or ketogenic has therapeutic applications as I've mentioned a number of times but in such cases, there ought be a cost-benefit accounting, just as in the side effects of many drugs.