One Thousand Words

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I miss your Divinity terribly, sir.

Ok, 1,006 words.

I’ll Be Hosting the Famous Livin’ La Vida Low Carb Show

April 28, 2014.

Tim Steele and Dr. BG "Grace" are my unconfirmed but planned guests and they are going to get a grilling about this whole resistant starch deal.

My role, in respect of my benefactor, will be to play it military pro and straight, for his audience.

April 28.

Update: No, folks, it wasn't and is not an April Fools. More accurately, given all the emails, tweets and FB comments by those who were sure it was, it's an April Fools, April Fools joke. How clever is that? A serendipitous deal so outlandish and unexpected, that people aren't going to be fooled. But they are after all.

So, I have now raised the bar and set the standard for all future best April Fools jokes: when people are convinced they're not fooled; but that's what makes them fooled, after all. It's complicated.

To Reiterate, Just In Case You Missed It: No Elevated Ketone Levels in the Inuit

Sorry Low Carb dieters: the Inuit just aren't that into you

Since this post the other day and subsequent exchanging of some emails and comments here & there with those I'd generally consider advocates of very low carb dieting—to include those advocating near perpetual states of ketosis—I've been met with surprise bordering on disbelief that indeed no, the Inuit are no more a "ketogenic society" than anyone else across the planet Earth.

And if not, then there is literally not a shred of any basis that chronic ketosis is a healthy state to be in (and so sorry, but I'm just guessing it's not "nutritional," either).

Let's dive into the three old papers cited in that other post: 1928, 1936, and 1972, all with identical findings.

STUDIES ON THE METABOLISM OF ESKIMOS. Peter Heinbecker. Departments of Biological Chemistry and Physiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis. July 9, 1928.

The main objects of the experiments were to learn whether detectable ketosis exists among Eskimos under natural dietary conditions; the extent to which ketosis develops in fasting and the rate at which it disappears on glucose ingestion; the “carbohydrate tolerance” as indicated by blood sugar curves; and to determine the respiratory metabolism during and after a ketosis-producing fast. [...]

It may be said at once that the Eskimo on his usual dietary shows no ketosis and has high tolerance to ingested glucose. [...]

Eskimos show a remarkable power to oxidize fats completely, as evidenced by the small amount of acetone bodies excreted in the urine in fasting.

[emphasis added; note also that "acetone bodies" and/or acetoacetic acid are what are commonly referred to today as "ketone bodies."]

The paper explains why they're not in ketosis. Two reasons.

  1. Very high protein intake (av. 280 grams/day; fat only 135 grams)
  2. Low carbohydrate, but not very low carbohydrate ("54 gm. of carbohydrate of which the bulk is derived from the glycogen of the meat eaten.")

Accordingly, with super sufficient protein to make glucose from dietary protein, combined with the meat carbs (liver and muscle glycogen) they get from eating raw, fresh kills, they maintain good glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity.

Screen Shot 2014 03 31 at 8 27 24 AM
Normal glucose tolerance with adults receiving about 120 grams 12 hrs after last meal

In order to produce deep ketosis, which the paper explains they were very resistant to, they fasted the subjects for 82 hours. Guess what happened to their glucose tolerance? Shot to hell would be an understatement! This should be a sobering picture for anyone experimenting with prolonged ketosis (starvation).

Screen Shot 2014 03 31 at 8 28 16 AM
280-300, and over 220 for three hours after the same 120 gram dose of glucose

Wow, they must be DEB3ATEEZ! No, they were put into starvation, and in order to spare essential glucose for the brain, the metabolism no longer gave a runny shit about cellular sensitivity to insulin. Yea, really healthy and "nutritional," that chronic ketosis thing.

Now, tell me again how "there's no such thing as an essential carbohydrate."

Now I understand exactly what happened when months ago, thinking 'hmm, maybe there's something to this,' I began eating 4-6 oz. portions of protein rather than 8, 12, 16 or more. Upped the fat, stayed lowish carb, and then when I did have a carby meal, glucose tolerance was shot to hell and I'd see 160-180, even 194 once. I also now understand perfectly why upping my carbs to 100-200 of starch daily restored my tolerance to normal human.

Moving on.

A STUDY OF THE BLOOD LIPOIDS AND BLOOD PROTEIN IN CANADIAN EASTERN ARCTIC ESKIMOS. Arthur Curtis Corcoran and Israel Mordecai Rabinowitch. Department of Metabolism, The Montreal General Hospital, Montreal. December 13, 1936.

Both lived at Dundas Harbour, on Devon Island (lat. 74deg 35'), and had had practically no carbohydrate food other than the glycogen of animals for about 10 months before the tests. In each case, the test was commenced in the fasting state and the concentrations of the different plasma lipoids were determined before and again 1, 2 and 3 hours after administration of the oil. [...]

Also suggestive of an unusual mechanism for the utilization of fat is the absence of ketosis in these natives, whereas the urines of both of Tolstoi's subjects contained acetone. The explanation of this absence of ketosis is not entirely clear. As shown previously [Rabinowitch & Smith, 1936], though the small amount of carbohydrates in the diets may be more than balanced by the potential sugar production from the large amount of protein to keep the ratio of fatty acid to glucose below the generally accepted level of ketogenesis, the respiratory quotient data suggest another mechanism also. That the Eskimo possesses a very active fat metabolism is suggested from some of the data. [emphasis added]

I can hear the VLC/Keto "nutritionists" now: "SEE, LC MAKES UZ A FATZ BUR3RZ!" Yea, but they're not in ["nutritional"] ketosis. They're eating their meat fresh and raw, lots and lots of it (high protein), getting glycogen from it, and it's also plenty enough to ensure robust gluconeogenesis from dietary intake.

They are not putting themselves into a "nutritional" state of starvation by restricting protein along with carbohydrate, in order to consume more micronutrient bankrupt fat, without even resistant, fermentable fibers to ensure vitamin-synthesis by gut microbes—just to ensure keto-hocus-pocus long term. The Inuit are not doing anything like it, have never done anything like it, and would avoid it like the plague if they had ever even conceived of such a harebrained idea.

A final note on this one, because some are surely going to purposely misread the study so they can lie. First of all, as the paper makes clear, this was a study about blood lipids and the differences between different populations, i.e., those eating a "civilized diet," vs. those further north eating predominately their natural diet, except for at most 2 months of the year (remember that number).

In order to determine the efects, if any, of the dietary habits of these natives, the data, as stated, were divided into two groups, namely, (a) those obtained in Hudson Bay and Strait amongst natives who live, to an appreciable extent, upon mixed diets, and (b) those obtained in Baffin and Devon Islands amongst natives whose diets, except for about 2 months in the year, consist of the natural foods of their environment (seal, whale, narwhal, walrus, etc.). A summary of this division of the data is recorded in Table III in which are also recorded, for comparative purposes, the average values found with the same technique amongst civilized peoples. It will be noted that the average concentrations of total lipoids, neutral fat, total fatty acids and phospholipins and the average ratio of phospholipins to total cholesterol were higher amongst the meat-eaters than amongst those whose diets, in addition to meats, consisted also of appreciable quantities of carbohydrates (flour etc.). [emphasis added]

Now, recall what I quoted above:

Both lived at Dundas Harbour, on Devon Island (lat. 740deg 35'), and had had practically no carbohydrate food other than the glycogen of animals for about 10 months before the tests. [...]

...the absence of ketosis in these natives. [emphasis added; plus, 10 + 2 = 12]

...Just so you can keep your liars straight.

ALASKAN ARCTIC ESKIMO: RESPONSES TO A CUSTOMARY HIGH FAT DIET. Kang-Jey Ho, M.D., Ph.D., Belma Mikkelson, B.S., Lena A. Lewis, Ph.D., Sheldon A. Feldman, M.D., and C. Bruce Taylor, M.D. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. August 25, 1972.

Grain products and simple carbohydrates are virtually absent from the diet, as they must be imported from a great distance at considerable cost.

The marine mammals and the herds of caribou, upon which the Eskimos depend, tend to be migratory, and famines occur occasionally, especially during the long dark winters (5, 6). In the summertime, their diet is usually plethoric. In general, they have no fixed time for meals and eat as they please, but they usually do have one good meal toward the end of each day. Much of their food is eaten uncooked, partly from preference and especially from necessity, because fuel is scarce. [...]

Average total daily caloric intake was approximately 3,000 kcal per person, ranging from 2,300 to 4,500 kcal. Approximately 50% of the calories were derived from fat and 30 to 35% from protein [260 grams on average]. Carbohydrate accounted for only 15 to 20% of their calories, largely in the form of glycogen from the meat they consumed. Grain products were scarce and although sucrose was not unknown, the average adult ingested less than 3 g/day, primarily for sweetening tea or coffee.

Are you noticing a pattern here in the composition of diet in all three studies, and that the the VLC, Ketogenic and Zero Carb folks have it conveniently wrong? How many times have you heard over the years that "Atkins is not a high protein diet, it's a high fat diet?" Well, Atkins may indeed be high fat, low to moderate protein, but it certainly doesn't have the Inuit as a healthful population as an example, to justify such tomfoolery—as its proponents seem to do endlessly; nor does it have any other population I'm aware of, either. Moreover, much of that protein was fresh and raw, thus providing significant glycogen (carbohydrate) from meat, another aspect that in no way supports a VLC, Ketogenic, or ZC diet. The entire very low carb phenomenon is in part a charade when it uses these Inuit and other populations to justify doing something so unnatural, so unprecedented!

And sorry, but in all cases in all three studies, protein is 250 grams and upward, on average. Ever tried to ingest that much protein without drinking it? Well, I have: 280g on workout days and 230g on rest days, while doing LeanGains for months. It's high protein. Trust me. I hated that part the most, especially when it had to be combined with lower fat on the workout days, in order to accommodate far higher carbohydrate and stay within total caloric bounds because for Martin Berkhan, it's count calories or go home. So this is another thing Atkins and other VLCers get wrong if in any way thinking they are modeling some natural, proven healthy diet by claiming it's not and should not be very high protein. It's not even close. And by the way, Atkins isn't even a ketogenic diet beyond induction and as I recall, one was supposed to find the level of carbohydrate that would keep him out of ketosis. So, this whole "nutritional ketosis" (an enormous contradiction in terms, incidentally) thing is even a vast departure from Atkins, all the while Atkins is likely too low in protein for many practitioners. What a mess.

Well, no need to delay further, you already know the punchline.

Each Eskimo's serum was tested for the presence of ketone bodies by the strip paper technique (18), which is sensitive to concentrations of 1 mg/ 100 ml or greater and all serums were negative. This does not preclude an increase in ketone body production during this time; usually these substances do not attain noxious concentrations until after fasting periods longer than 50 hr. [emphasis added]

So there you have it. Three studies separated by 44 years, from the West of Alaska to the Hudson Bay, all on Inuit with just about the same high protein dietary ratios, all on their natural diets, and not a single subject in ketosis, ever; and it was more difficult to get them into ketosis than for normal subjects, requiring them to be starved for more than two days straight.

So, what are the lies of commission and omission by advocates of very low carb, ketogenic and zero carb diets we've exposed so far, over the last few weeks?

  1. The poster child Inuit do indeed get carbohydrate, above 50g per day on average, from "meat sugar" (liver and muscle glycogen that's only available in appreciable amounts when fresh and raw). See more here.
  2. The poster child Inuit do indeed get fiber, from meat (glycans in the raw blood, raw meat, raw grisly bits and raw connective tissues that resist enzymatic digestion and the gut microbes take over). See more here. Here too.
  3. The poster child Inuit are never in ketosis unless in a severely fasted state.
  4. The poster child Inuit indeed eat as high protein as possible, in oder to have adequate glucose available, both from the aforementioned glycogen, as well as in sufficient quantity for gluconeogenesis without wasting lean tissue.

In other words, I can't think of a single thing I can recall from VLCers, Ketosis fans, or Zero-Carb zealots about the Inuit that's true and accurate—at least in the context of what their diet actually is and how their metabolism responds to it.

Do you believe this is all an innocent mistake? After all, even the oldest paper, from 1928, seemed to take it as an matter of course that carbs from meat (glycogen) was obvious and well known, and all three papers mention that matter-of-factly.

Accordingly, I think you've been conveniently lied to by some people. Why, would be up to you to form an opinion.

So, what are my closing thoughts, suggestions? It's simple. In order to do LC healthfully, based upon the lowest carbohydrate intake of any population we know about, you:

  1. Get that protein high, and unless I'm not mistaken, this has always been Dr. Mike "Protein Power" Eades' take on LC. Good for him.
  2. Unless you're a hunter out eating your kills fresh and raw, including the offal, then you need to get at least 50g of carbohydrate daily. I'd suggest safe starches (rice, potatoes, traditionally prepared legumes).
  3. Get over the notion that fat is particularly healthful or nutritious. 50% of calories ought to be about the upper limit.
  4. Scroll up and look at the 2nd chart again and get over the notion that a state of prolonged ketosis (starvation) is in any way healthful and does anything but mess up your glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity royally. Inuit have excellent glucose tolerance when eating their natural diet. You don't, if you're keeping yourself in ketosis.
  5. Get over the notion that when in ketosis, eat a piece of birthday cake, and see your BG spike to 200 that "you can't tolerate any carbohydrate." No, you're just confirming a bias based on bullshit information. You've fucked up your tolerance and insulin sensitivity by following shitty, wrong advice. Your fault. Your metabolism is probably fine if you follow the above steps. Expect to have high readings for a few days until you adjust. Toss your meter for a while, so you don't freak yourself out.
  6. Exercise ketosis intermittently. It's called a fast. 1-2 days, once every while. Likely healthful in terms of hormesis and autophagy.
  7. Get resistant fermentable fibers like resistant starch in your diet so that your gut bugs have the substrates by which to synthesize vitamin nutrients. And in order to ensure that you're not feeding empty cages, such as after lifelong occasional rounds of carpet bombing antibiotics, or years of VLC dieting that has starved some of them to extinction, get on some rounds of soil-based probiotics.
  8. Stop being such idiots about all of this.

Alright then. Does that about cover it?

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Gut Microbiome and Resistant Starch Roundup

First a bit of The Book update. Tim, Dr. BG and I have completed the first draft and 95% of the content that's going to be in it, is in it. Also, longtime frequent commenter (about 950 comments, going back to 2010) Dr. Gabriela Kadar, DDS contributed a chapter on non-gut microbes (mouth, skin, vajayjay, etc.). Comes in at around 450 pages, but I'm sure that will get trimmed as I go through the 1st editing run, now about 20% through. The references are the the thousands and much of the research published in 2013 and even 2014, is in it.

There's lots of title ideas, but one thing for sure is that it will be for the widest possible audience. Not a "Paleo Book," even remotely. Not a diet book either. It's a book about the other 90% of us, the part ignored to our own detriment for so long. Anyway, this was the title and tagline I had in my mind when I woke up this morning.

Mind Your Gut, Heal Your Body and Mind — The burgeoning new science in the care and feeding of the 100 trillion

So, any suggestions, critiques, input in the comments appreciated. Brevity, please. I also posted this to Facebook, so wherever you prefer to provide input.

~ "Steven Leigh (Univ of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) explores the nature of the primate microbiome with the goal of understanding the impacts of microbiomes on human evolution. His results point to important contributions of microbial ecosystems to the evolution of human diet. He also sees implications for human brain evolution through energy and micronutrients that are produced by microbial taxa. Series: 'CARTA - Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny'"

~ Dr. Art Ayers of Cooling Inflammation has been busy at work with a series of four very nice posts:

Congratulations on 200 valuable posts, Dr. Art! He probably saw he was at 196 and just had to go get busy.

~ Dr. Norm Robillard of Digestive Health Institute has up a new post about resistant starch:

Resistant Starch – Friend, Foe or Lover ?

Since my first article on resistant starch (RS), raw unmodified potato starch, or RUMPS as I like to call it, continues to light up the blogosphere. Like a lot of people, I was caught off guard by the overwhelmingly positive light RUMPS has been cast in. Some people have truly fallen in love with this molecule, or rather two molecules (amylose and amylopectin) all tangled up together. Even Tom Naughton and Mark Sisson have fallen and Jimmy Moore wants to get some. The explosive interest in this topic can be traced to the extraordinary efforts of two flies in the nutritional ointment, Tim Steel, AKA Tatertot and Richard Nikoley of

The reported benefits of RUMPS include the enticing claims of better sleep and vivid dreams. Those alone make me want to buy some tonight and give it a try, but there’s more: improved gut function, curing SIBO (Say what?) preferentially feeding healthy gut bacteria, preventing cancer with more butyrate, immune stimulation, toxin/carcinogen degradation, blood sugar/insulin control, improved cholesterol, triglycerides and even weight-loss. [...]

After all, RUMPS is a form of resistant starch, which I have recommended limiting for SIBO. For more info on this counterintuitive idea, you can visit Dr. BG, AKA Grace, at Animal Pharm and Dr. Art Ayres at Cooling Inflammation. You can also see my mini-debate with Tim in the comments section on Dr. Mike Eades’ blog on heartburn. [...]

Tim and Richard contacted me recently to discuss some of the experiences people were reporting after supplementing with RUMPS. At that time, we agreed to share all information, both positive and negative about RUMPS and digestive health issues going forward. Realizing that our real goal was to help people and that science will figure this out eventually anyway, we agreed to do our best to speed things up hopefully benefiting all involved. In other words:

“Instead of making science conform to our beliefs, let’s find out what’s real and update our understanding”

~ Dr. Bill Lagakos of Calories Proper seems to have been interested in my 2-Part "Duck Dodgers" series: Disrupting Paleo: Inuit and Masai Ate Carbs and Prebiotics (Part 1 and Part 2).

Animal fibre

Fruits and veggies, fermented or otherwise, aren’t the only source of prebiotics in your diet. Eat a whole sardine and some of the ligaments, tendons, bones, and cartilage will surely escape digestion to reach the distal intestine where they will be fermented by the resident microbes.

Salmon skin and the collagen in its flesh, the tendons that hold rib meat to the bone, and maybe even some of the ligaments between chicken bones. All of these are potential prebiotics or “animal fibres.” And it may explain why fermented sausages are such good vessels for probiotics.

~ Mark Sisson of Mark's Daily Apple has had enough, and pushes his substantial blogging weight around by penning a Definitive Guide. I think it means that Mark thinks that resistant starch is definitively here to stay.

The Definitive Guide to Resistant Starch

Mark manages to be the elephant in the room, while also maintaining high levels of respect throughout the Paleo and Primal community in spite of the fact that he dares to actually make money doing this! Here's why:

I’ll admit now, with regret, that I didn’t look as deeply into the matter as I might have. I didn’t dismiss resistant starch, but I did downplay its importance, characterizing it as “just another type of prebiotic” – important but not necessary so long as you were eating other fermentable fibers. While technically true, we’re fast learning that resistant starch may be a special type of prebiotic with a special place in the human diet.

See how easy that was? It happens.

Update: Oops, missed something worthy.

~ The Microbiome Discovery Project.

ME/CFS: a devastating neuro-immune disease as disabling as multiple sclerosis, affecting one million Americans and 17 million people worldwide.

The study: a cutting-edge hunt for the causes of ME/CFS in the gut “microbiome” – the bacteria, viruses and fungi in the digestive system – led by “the world’s most celebrated virus hunter”, Dr W. Ian Lipkin at the world’s largest and most advanced center for microbe discovery and diagnosis at Columbia University in New York.

The payoff: a world-class study with the potential to swiftly lead to treatments using drugs, probiotics or exclusion diets.

Our challenge: to raise $1.27 million (£760,000; €910,000) to fund the project and do it fast! The scientists are ready to go and can complete and publish the study within 12 months. The sooner we fund it, the sooner it starts.

Go check it out and watch the brief video by Dr. W. Ian Lipkin. And pitch in if you can.

The Numbers Matter and Only The Numbers Matter

I didn't need to look far and wide to find the usual hysterics over this post: How Eating Heaps of Safe Starches Cured My “Diabetes”. It's good enough, though. Hate still = passion, and I prefer a mix of both just to keep things real.

Nowadays, I only just skim that kinda stuff, looking for something actually helpful—maybe a valid criticism I can correct—that goes beyond the very boring "Richard is such an asshole" stuff. Kinda duh, really. This is news? I know of no other way to get valuable information across effectively, overcoming the background noise that's everywhere, now. Some people seem to think I don't love being seen as 'his royal highness, the asshole,' perhaps unfamiliar with the 10 year history of 4,000 posts here, where being asshole in noise as best I can be—so as to avoid John Doe vomiting on me for general banality (bonus to the 1st commenter who gets the ref)—has always been paramount; accepting, even embracing the "adverse" consequences.

It's almost embarrassing to see people anguish over my choices as they do, as though I ever saw what I do differently, or wrung hands over how other fingers might type! in reaction. I simply have the self trust to do it my way, daily. Sorry if some lack the confidence to trust in themselves as much as I trust in me, 53 years and running. Not sorry if that bugs the living shit out of some. That part I love, actually. Here.

99% of human problems boil down to an absence of self trust, combined with an obsessive compulsion to seek the approval of the very ones who'll suck the life and joy out of you. It's a recipe for failure and unhappiness. Detect it. Dump it. Let them fend for themselves. Hope they starve to death for the attention in the demolition they always seek, as building values is not their forte; that requires talent and conscience.

Yea, I wrote that, so it's true. Trust me.

...I'm not seeing a lot of numbers in these elsewhere places, in the context of normal or improved glucose regulation—nor any other thing, really. Just sour, dripping resentment—high perturbation (rhymes with masturbation) that the project Tim and I started, and Dr. Grace joined, has gained so much traction all over the place. And now, Mark Sisson has a Definitive Guide to Resistant Starch. I'm betting that Mark doesn't make a Definitive Guide until he's certain it's something that merits permanence as a part of the diet, or Primal-styled health.

I posted numbers, a lot of background, and I think the logic flow makes some sense:

  1. A way better gut biome (prebiotics and probiotics) helps a lot and affords other benefits that have been tossed around by LOTS of people.
  2. Safe starches that have been prepared to maximize prebiotics help a lot. Exercise metabolic response, or go with a limp-dick metabolism. Your choice.
  3. Together, they're synergistic. That should be no surprise. Right, Grace?
  4. The numbers don't lie.

Perhaps it's a trust issue, so next time, I'll have to eat my 80g starchy meal in front of a USA Today, on video, then show my postprandial glucose numbers with the time & date of the meter visible. Because, some of the stuff I see out there, I have to conclude that it's from people who simply think I'm lying, and their assessment of my untrustworthiness is so profound that they don't seem to care about looking like fucktards when it becomes clear and obvious they're wrong, which of course they are. The numbers are the numbers, and it means something. News flash: I and my wife both had unacceptably high fasting and post-meal glucose readings, caused by chronic glucose starvation, and adding in lots of starches fixed it right up. That's the truth, those are the numbers, and I'm an asshole for rubbing it in faces. You really have to love it. OTOH, they're on safe ground in that what they type with their fingers! will never be seen by anyone but the Richard haters. It's got to be in the hundreds, by now. Don't worry, I'm working on it and we'll get those numbers up there to more respectable levels.

...So, I'm just seeing squirming and temper tantrums, because why else would anyone care?

  1. Do I care that some people (and lots and lots of very young people) do great on LC? No. I did fabulous myself in 1991, at exactly 30 years old, first time I tried Atkins. Quickly dropped 10-15 pounds, heartburn went away, etc. Bee's knees. It's like "Ha, I have found the secret!"
  2. Do I laf at 20-somethings who scoff at people like us, with 20-30+ years more dietary and metabolic experience? Of course I laf, because in this context, they're adorably ignorant and it's a bit reminiscently sweet, if you ask me on a good day. Hell, I used to be way smarter and more knowledgeable about everything at 30, the last 23 years being a downward spiral of increasing levels of ignorance on all fronts. At this rate, by the time I check out, I'll think I don't really know anything at all.
  3. I've not only my own experience, but that of my wife, other family members, hundreds upon hundreds of blog commenters in over 90 posts on resistant starch with about 10,000 comments; and even, various forums where people are figuring this all out on their own—including ulcerative colitis and a bunch of other stuff. This has grown far beyond Free the Animal, now, and I see everything. The Launch was over with almost a year ago, and it is more popular than ever.
  4. It's not going away. Plus, it's just delicious how it so puts the 24/7/365 very low-carb and ketogenic catechism peddlers in bunched panties under short pants.

Sure, a relatively small percentage of people have had some adverse issues with RS—especially autoimmune from leaky guts in the first place—but many tweaked that with the unique, soild-based probiotics and reported back with improvements, just as predicted by Dr. Grace—someone with actual clinical experience, not just fingers that type! Now, the probiotics are actually sold out in some places. Reports coming in daily, mostly positive.

...The very first post on resistant starch was over 90 posts ago, April 24, 2013, with a prophetic title: Prepare for the “Resistant Starch” Assimilation; Resistance is Futile [emphasis added]. See, I actually did lots of homework on this with Tim, prior to sticking my neck out—while admonishing him that he'd better be right. It's naturally going better than according to plan and I simply intend to keep at it. The numbers tell the story, and it's a way to live in a natural, fed mode of being, rather than an unnatural, simulated starvation mode in chronic VLC or ketogenic fad dieting, typing LOLS with their fingers! at people who point out that even the Inuit were never producing ketones above the normal. post was targeted at the low carb gurus and promoters who wrote books, websites and articles claiming that the Inuit and other carnivorous cultures were ketogenic. I have three different studies here (one from 1928, one from 1936 and one from 1972) and in each case, there were no ketones in any of the Inuits’ blood. None. Zip. Nada.

In 1972 they even used the fancy “strip paper technique, which is sensitive to concentrations of 1 mg/100 ml or greater and all serums were negative” for ketones. (The only time ketones were ever found in the Inuit was when they fasted).

How did these low carb fanatics miss this? How did they dismiss it? And why didn’t they investigate it further? Why did they bastardize what these cultures actually did (eating raw, fresh animals)? Think of how many people went low carb and got sick because of those misleading suggestions.

So, if you want to eat low carb, great! Do it. But, don’t go around telling people that the Inuit were a ketogenic culture. Don’t go around telling people that homo erectus didn’t eat carbs. The evidence just isn’t there to support those statements when you consider what these cultures were actually doing.

You have websites [that] want people to believe that carnivorous hunters were always ketogenic. What [they] don't seem to understand, or don't want people to know, is those carnivorous hunters who chased down animals and slit their prey’s throats would plunge their fists into the carcass of their kills and pull out the glycemic equivalent of a giant cupcake…and eat it as quickly as they could.

All I’m here to say is that the ancestral-based justification of permanent ketosis is complete bullshit. That has nothing to do with the efficacy of LC, for those who absolutely need it.

Chronic VLC and ketogenic dieting as somehow ideally healthy for most people is utter bullshit and hurts many people, documented about anywhere you care to look, with actual stories. That it's not actually harmful for most people—especially as they get older—is also utter bullshit. Sorry, but some fat loss—until you stall—isn't worth any of the problems I had, my wife had, and that I've seen reported thousands of times over more that five years at this Paleo blogging gig. And I was a big LC advocate way back too. I'm betting that I and a couple of human collaborators, and 100 trillion micro-friends are not going to let me down; and that most folks will gradually take a very different view of VLC and ketogenic dieting, not even close to the panacea pitched. I've been doubling down on this bet for over a year—even before RS, when I saw what The Potato Hack did for stuck LCers—all while others have been shorting me.

Chronic VLC and ketogenic dieting ought come with a huge warning label and ought only be performed under medical supervision, kinda like chemotherapy. OTOH, probably 100g of starchy carbs will be fine for a lot of folks. Just look at all the health benefits from eating 100-200g of starches daily, on Paul Jaminet's Perfect Health Diet. Seriously, do take a look at the list of conditions. They might ring a bell as exactly the stuff reported in the comments of this blog all the time, resulting from years of chronic VLC and ketogenic dieting where elsewhere, these sorts of complaints were always met with the same answer: your carbs aren't low enough! Or, the most laghably ridiculous one of all: oh, you have the 'low-carb flu' hahaha!

Or, stuff like this comment that came in just a few minutes ago, a daily occurence mutiple times, on multiple of the 90 posts going all the way back.

DeeNH // Mar 27, 2014 at 13:46

I just want to report that I read AnimalPharm’s superb 7-part series on how to cure SIBO back in the Nov/Dec 2013 time frame where the details of how-to RS, etc. were nicely laid out. And then I found great reading here on freetheanimal. In early February I finally started twice daily doses of Organic PS + ORAC green powder + psyllium + Primal Defense to awesome results (thank you). Fasting blood glucose finally dipped from above 100-120 to 80-90 and SIBO/IBS symptoms almost vanished (excretion almost back to normal). Great to know you are working on a book together now. I will purchase it for sure. [emphasis added]

I think that due to the popularity of VLC—combined with the marketing hype and willingness to cherry pick everything that tends to support it—while finding fault with any study that has other findings—it's going to fuck up a lot of young people. Unfortunately, many, especially women, won't realize it for a long time—and maybe not until it's too late. Unlike the popular low carb proponents, I could no longer stand to see stories of problems over stories of problems, blithely repeating over and over, "well, carbohydrate drives insulin drives fat storage. You need to lower your carbs even more. And, you need to get a blood ketone monitor to make absolutely certain your carbs are low enough and your 'nutritional' ketones, high enough."

I'm an asshole, but with a conscience.

Adding in the range of 100-200g daily of safe starches while eating otherwise very nicely (paleo/primal), it's my bet that this is going to help the most people and minimize the individual need to try endlessly to tweak every little thing.

...Because, you know, when you go out in nature, all you're seeing is animals tweaking their diets.

Indian Gooseberry “Amla” vs. Diabetes and Cancer

I typically don't go in for "superfoods." I typically make fun of the idea. While I'm sure a lot of them have their benefits, the marketing hype is just always beyond the pale. Remember Goji Berries? How about Acai?

A few weeks back, and I don't recall where, someone sent me another video by Dr. Michael Greger, my favorite vegan, I suppose. You may recall that I devoted a whole post to him concerning Beans and the Second Meal Effect: Resistant Starch. Offhand, I love many of his videos, all of which are a brief 1-3 minutes, typically, right to the point, packed with info...and so far as I've seen, always well referenced. He's an excellent communicator.

So here's the short video I got just a while back (2 minutes) about a rather impressive antioxidant value.

I'd just published my probiotics post and its smoothie recipe, and based on the above, decided to order up some Amla Powder aka Indian Gooseberry or Phyllanthus emblica. (I'm not recommending a specific product. There's tons, so once you click in, feel free to pick another one. I'll still get credit for the purchase.)

Turns out, it's been used in various Eastern medicine traditions for centuries. I used to scoff at such things, but you'd be surprised how often, when some of these herbal remedies get put to the test, they perform in terms of nutrients and anti-oxident value, and so it's obvious why it was such a tradition. Millions of n=1, adding up to obvious. Moreover, consider that likely there are a far greater number of herbs that are not in such current use because they didn't get results. So, careful of the bias against, too.

So, I went over to Greger's site and searched Amla, turns out he has a number of short videos about it. This one is pretty dammed amazing, about how even a pinch goes a long way toward helping with high fasting blood glucose.

Amla versus diabetes

With all respect to the good doc—and I mean that sincerely—I think I'll stick with an omnivorous diet, targeted to high density animal foods, as well as safe starches including resistant starch. But here's a couple of other short ones in terms of cancer cells, and why it's probably a good thing to take regardless of your diet.

Amla Versus Cancer Cell Invasion

Amla Versus Cancer Cell Growth

Pretty damn compelling stuff, and there's way more at that search link. So, looks to me like Amla, Indian Gooseberry, is a plant truly deserving of the superfood label. So why haven't you likely heard anything about it until now? Probably because it's so damn cheap.

Here: Amla Powder

You Heard It Here First Update

The number of posts here are over 90, now.

The body of research is is 30+ years old, encompasing thousands of studies and I and my book collaborators—the amazing Tim, who just did an update with Angelo, and Dr. BG, "Grace", who just recorded with Dave Asprey (Tim & I are scheduled to go on Dave's show jointly on May 2)—have been uncovering it, writing about it—and not only here, but in a book (RS is a mere part of it) that now busts at 450 pages, into the thousands of references, and three appendices. Accordingly, we are now facing a luxurious problem of too much.

Resistant starch: a promising dietary agent for the prevention/treatment of inflammatory bowel disease and bowel cancer.


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Resistant starch represents a diverse range of indigestible starch-based dietary carbohydrates. Resistant starch has been investigated in the past for its effects on bowel health (pH, epithelial thickness, and apoptosis of colorectal cancer cells); reduction in postprandial glycemia; increased insulin sensitivity; and effects on the gut microbiome. This review highlights advances as resistant starch gains clinical relevance as a potential treatment/preventive tool for diseases such as colorectal cancer (CRC) and diabetes.

RECENT FINDINGS: Recent articles have evaluated the comparative physiological effects of different types of resistant starch and investigated the effects of resistant starch on blood lipids, body weight, and defining resistant starch-induced changes to the micriobiome that may be important in health and disease. The most novel and relevant recent data describe a role for resistant starch in ameliorating inflammation; the use of resistant starch for optimal bowel health and prevention of CRC; and, further, that the systemic effects of resistant starch may be important for the treatment of other forms of cancer, such as breast cancer.

SUMMARY: This review describes advances in resistant starch research highlighting the gastrointestinal effects that are now being linked to systemic, whole body effects with clinical relevance. These effects have important implications for overall health and the prevention or amelioration of various chronic diseases. [emphasis added]

Remember how all the paleos and LCers dismissed it out of hand, 99%, back in about 2011 when it seemed to hit the "news" big time?

Screen Shot 2014 03 23 at 11 52 46 AM
Resistant Starch - Looks Like We Have LOTS of Work to Do

As you can see, I'm no match for the MSM, but it'll be interesting to see how that chart looks in a year or two, and I suspect you suspect how it'll look.