Free The Animal Facebook Housekeeping

Just a quick note to let folks know that I've resumed posting to the Free The Animal Facebook Page.

A little background. Some months ago I stopped updating the page and instead opened my personal profile to following/commenting for all of my public updates. (Note: I only accept friend requests from actual real life friends/family—people I know in person; hence, I have a perfect hunter-gatherer number of 34 friends to keep track of.)

So, since it's my personal page I've been free-er to post whatever I wanted, and I have. So, it's a total eclectic mix of everything, including me at my worst. However, I've come to realize that's left a lot of good folks out in the cold who don't want anything but the Paleoish stuff. Since I always aim to please when I can, I'll be firing the page back up and will post only things relevant to the Paleo/Primal/Real Food community.

I'll continue to post whatever I damn well please on my personal profile. So, everybody happy, now? I hope not, because I'm not happy unless you're not happy. :)

Evidence Mounts on the Therapeutic and Healing Benefits of Fasting

I used to blog about this all the time. About 230 posts going back to 2008 that are either about fasting, or mention it in some way.

There were several things that intrigued me. Off the top of my head:

  1. Makes weight loss pretty easy
  2. Once adapted to it, most people find enhanced mental attitude and clarity
  3. Many religious institutions have various fasting regimens. Hmmm...
  4. It may confer the hypothesized longevity benefits of chronic caloric restriction diets, without being chronic, but acute.
  5. It may protect healthy cells against the ravages of chemotherapy while weakening cancer cells.

It's that last one I blogged about way back here, more than 6 years ago: Counterintuitive Cancer Therapy.

Fasting for two days protects healthy cells against chemotherapy, according to a study appearing online the week of Mar. 31 in PNAS Early Edition. Mice given a high dose of chemotherapy after fasting continued to thrive. The same dose killed half the normally fed mice and caused lasting weight and energy loss in the survivors.

Fortunately, Dr. Longo didn't sit still on this: Fasting triggers stem cell regeneration of damaged, old immune system.

In the first evidence of a natural intervention triggering stem cell-based regeneration of an organ or system, a study in the June 5 issue of the Cell Stem Cell shows that cycles of prolonged fasting not only protect against immune system damage — a major side effect of chemotherapy — but also induce immune system regeneration, shifting stem cells from a dormant state to a state of self-renewal.

In both mice and a Phase 1 human clinical trial involving patients receiving chemotherapy, long periods of not eating significantly lowered white blood cell counts. In mice, fasting cycles then “flipped a regenerative switch,” changing the signaling pathways for hematopoietic stem cells, which are responsible for the generation of blood and immune systems, the research showed.

We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration of the hematopoietic system.

The study has major implications for healthier aging, in which immune system decline contributes to increased susceptibility to disease as people age. By outlining how prolonged fasting cycles—periods of no food for two to four days at a time over the course of six months—kill older and damaged immune cells and generate new ones, the research also has implications for chemotherapy tolerance and for those with a wide range of immune system deficiencies, including autoimmunity disorders.

“We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration of the hematopoietic system,” said corresponding author Valter Longo, Edna M. Jones Professor of Gerontology and the Biological Sciences at the USC Davis School of Gerontology and director of the USC Longevity Institute. Longo has a joint appointment at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

“When you starve, the system tries to save energy, and one of the things it can do to save energy is to recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged,” Longo said. “What we started noticing in both our human work and animal work is that the white blood cell count goes down with prolonged fasting. Then when you re-feed, the blood cells come back. So we started thinking, well, where does it come from?”

Sounds a lot like autophagy, another term that's in lots of my posts going back 6 years.

Interestingly, a chronic ketogenic diet has been touted as an effective therapy for both cancer and epilepsy, and with some evidence to justify hypothesis forming and testing, a good thing. But has it panned out? Moreover, is it less effective than ACUTE ketosis (AKA: an extended fast)? If something is good, is more of it and all the time necessarily better? Does disregarding delicate balances either way get you into trouble?

Angelo Coppola, an honest inquisitor after my own heart—with no turf to protect with stinky obvious bias—recently dropped a comment on the changing landscape with regard to chronic ketosis vs. more effective therapies.

Re: Cancer & Epilepsy

Dr. Gonzales Dismantles the Ketogenic Diet for Cancer

This Dr. claims to have worked closely with Atkins and that Atkins tested a ketogenic approach on cancer patients but failed to show benefits.

~ The surprising story of medical marijuana and pediatric epilepsy: Josh Stanley at TEDxBoulder.

~ An incredible story about the effects of CBD (a non-psychoactive compound in cannabis) on epileptic children. From CNN:

“Paige took her daughter to Chicago to see a Dravet specialist, who put the child on a ketogenic diet frequently used to treat epilepsy that’s high in fat and low in carbohydrates. The special diet forces the body to make extra ketones, natural chemicals that suppress seizures. It’s mainly recommended for epileptic patients who don’t respond to treatment."

The diet helped control Charlotte’s seizures but had a lot of side effects. She suffered from bone loss. Her immune system plummeted. And new behavioral problems started popping up.

“At one point she was outside eating pine cones and stuff, all kinds of different things,” Matt said. “As a parent you have to say, let’s take a step back and look at this. Is this truly beneficial treatment because of these other things?”

Two years into the diet, the seizures came back.”

Go ahead and sort it all out, pass it on to folks who might need it.

Here's my random thoughts about fasting:

  1. Except for fat loss, it ought not be about under eating, but crowding the same amount of food into a shorter time.
  2. I'd rather see a person do a 4-day fast and eat regularly the other 26 days of the month, than a weekly fast.
  3. I'd rather see a person do a 2-day fast and eat regularly the other 12 days of a fortnight, than a weekly fast.
  4. I'd rather see a person do a 30-hr fast weekly than do a daily fasting window, with one exception: a disciplined Leangains-styled protocol that involves holy shit heavy lifting 3 times per week, and eating your ass off, with everything counted, in an 8-hr window every day.
  5. Fasting can be seductive, in that it can gradually adapt you to chronic under eating as you get used to it and plug into the euphoria it can induce. Chronic under eating comes with a whole host of problems, not the least of which is that your body gets very good at making you not exert much energy, all while it guards every molecule of energy it can keep. In short, it can really mess up a metabolism, along with hormonal regulation. I think this was what a lot of women predominantly experienced back when intermittent fasting was all the rage.

Alright, no go empty your fridge and toss it in the trash. Starve.

More Uncovering of the Inuit Myth: Stefansson and Anderson Belleview Experiement; Compromised Glucose Tolerance

Here's a followup to this post: To Reiterate, Just In Case You Missed It: No Elevated Ketone Levels in the Inuit. In retrospect, I wonder what the reaction would have been had I titled the post different, like: "Inuit have normal glucose tolerance on their natural diet, but it goes to shit when in objective ketosis."

In that post, I showed that at no time have Inuit been measured to be in ketosis. It's merely assumed. On the other hand, there's no doubt that after an 80 hr. fast that they were in ketosis.

For me, the big message was not the state of ketosis on their natural diet, but what happened to their glucose tolerance when there could be no dispute about their deeply ketogenic state. Here's the plots, again. The first plot is their tolerance on their normal diet. The second plot is the same people after an 80-hr fast.

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

Yet, when I put that post up, everyone was all on about the suggestion that the Inuit are not actually in a state of ketosis on their normal diet, while completely ignoring the glucose tolerance. All sorts of stuff was offered up, from them being "keto adapted," to Vilhjalmur Stefansson's obituary in the NYT.

Well, thanks to Duck, again, we actually get to see what happened to Stefansson and Anderson themselves in similar circumstances, only reversed.

At the conclusion of the "Bellevue Experiment," another lesser known study was published by Edward Tolstoi, who got to test Stefansson and Anderson with a glucose tolerance test once the year of meat was completed. Anderson's glycosuria is discussed heavily in the paper. Tolstoi also discusses the Heinbecker study that was referenced by Richard in the article.

The Effect Of An Exclusive Meat Diet Lasting One Year On The Carbohydrate Tolerance Of Two Normal Men, by Edward Tolstoi (J. Biol. Chem. 1929, 83:747-752)

Heinbecker studied the tolerance of Eskimos to carbohydrate. His subjects, by necessity, lived on a practically exclusive meat diet for years, before their carbohydrate tolerance tests were made. In spite of the fact that their diets were low in carbohydrate, the results of the tests indicated that they assimilated carbohydrate well. The blood sugar curves were within the normal range and the urine remained free of sugar. Is it possible that Heinbecker’s subjects derived sufficient carbohydrate-forming substance from the protein in their diet to keep the insulin producing mechanism sufficiently stimulated to handle large quantities of carbohydrate? His Eskimos consumed about 280 gm. of protein, 135 gm. of fat, and 54 gm. of carbohydrate of which more than half is obtained from the glycogen of the meat.[1] This seems a likely explanation.

Well, let's see what happened to Stefansson and Anderson, in reverse.

The results obtained by these procedures are presented in Table I and Charts 1 and 2. Both show that a marked rise in the blood sugar occurred after the test meal following the previous high fat, low carbohydrate diet. The curve of K. A. not only increased in height, but the hyperglycemia was prolonged also. He presented a glycosuria. V. S. had only an increase in the height of the curve. His urine was sugar-free. After a mixed diet for the periods mentioned above, both men reacted normally to the glucose tolerance tests, the height and the duration of the blood sugar curve being well within normal limits, and the urine sugar-free.

The plots.

Anderson - solid line after 1-yr LCHF, dotted after 3-4 weeks normal carb
Stefansson - Solid line after 1-yr LCHF, dotted after 3-4 weeks normal carb

And just as I've been saying over and over, based on simple intuition, the paper affirms.

The above results are not new. They were emphasized by Odin (3), Malmros (4), Stenstrom (5), Staub (6), Kageura (7), Greenwald, Gross, and Samet (8) and others. It was believed that during a period of a low carbohydrate, high fat diet, the need for insulin was diminished, with a resulting decrease in its production. Then, upon administration of a large quantity of carbohydrate to a subject subsisting on such a diet, the carbohydrate mechanism is heavily taxed. The production of insulin cannot keep up with the demand, the result being a hyperglycemia and often a glycosuria as well. The extensive and excellent work of Malmros (4) also supports the above view. He worked with normal human beings who had glucose tolerance tests after general diets as well as after high fat, low protein, and low carbohydrate mixtures. The duration of such diets varied from 1 to 23 days.

In every case a lowering of the tolerance to carbohydrate was noted irrespective of the duration of the preceding diet. Greenwald, Gross, and Samet (8) were of the same opinion. They believed that a diet consisting chiefly of protein does not lower the tolerance for glucose as much as a diet consisting principally of fat. This inference might be used to explain the difference between the results of Heinbecker (9) and the ones presented in this paper. [...]

If then a low carbohydrate, low protein, and high fat diet lowers the tolerance to carbohydrate in normal human beings, is it reasonable to assume that a high carbohydrate diet will raise the tolerance?

This too has been demonstrated. John (11) performed glucose tolerance tests on two normal subjects to whom he gave 100 gm. of glucose on 5 successive days. And although the peak of the blood sugar curve was 260 mg. on the 1st day, the maximum was only 90 mg. on the 5th day. Traugott’s (12) experiments concur with this work. He gave an initial dose of 20 gm. of glucose, obtaining an increase in the height of the blood sugar curve. When, an hour later, after the first 20 gm. additional amounts of glucose were given in various quantities, from 20 to 100 gm., no hyperglycemia was noted. Apparently the initial stimulus of 20 gm. evoked sufficient amounts of sugar-metabolizing hormone, to take care of the additional quantities of glucose given later.

Such experiments and the ones presented above lead to the belief that in normal human beings, the quantity of insulin produced is dependent upon the amount of carbohydrate ingested irrespective of whether this foodstuff is administered as such or derived from the protein fraction of the diet.

So there you have it, again and again. We're dealing with a convenient and clever, self-serving confirmation bias on a MASSIVE scale in the VLC communities. Everyone has convinced themselves that they're pre-diabetic—or even diabetic—because after a while on LCHF and they have some birthday cake, feel awful and measure, they have skyrocketing BG and conclude that they've gone and Caught the Debeetus; when most likely, they are suffering a reversible condition—just as it was with me and now, many others. Yep, I fixed it right up with a regular intake of beans, potatoes and rice. Still pretty moderate carbohydrate, but at least enough that my glucose tolerance now performs as a normal human should.

I'll finish with a comment I received on Facebook about these study results, because I like it and it introduces something else we've learned recently too, that gastric bypass cures T2D.

What that diet wrought is probably delayed first insulin response, which is what you see when these guys go on VLC diets. They're still clinging to the progressive beta cell die off theory when gastric bypasses have made it clear that glucose intolerance is multifactorial. This is why these low-carb ignorami still believe such procedures work only by limiting carb intake by reducing stomach capacity. Tell them to explain how an insulin-dependent T2 diabetic now gushes out insulin. One foundation that used to provide rationale for low-carbing gives way and you see how desperately these people are in denial.

Help victims of chronic VLC and LCHF dieting and spread the word.

Yoko Isomoto, Woman’s World Hang Gliding Champion

Yoko Isomoto of Japan won it, there in the carnage of alps flying in Annecy, France. Haven't seen shit like that in nearly 20 years of being around this stuff. Numerous serious injuries, and 9 reserve-chute deployments in 10 days (all survived, but deployments are very rare events—vast majority never do it in a lifetime of flying). Several collisions, and a death. Alps flying can be very unforgiving for tailless aircraft. It's the terrain.

Basically, the format of the competition is about 10 days of a cross country flying task each day, shortest time to goal. Total goal distance averages 80 miles at minimum, 150 miles max, and some are out-and-return. On a weak-thermal day, a 150-mile task will have pilots laboring for over 6 hours in the air.

Françoise Dieuzeide-Banet of France, and longtime world-class pilot Corinna Schwiegershausen of Germany took 2nd and 3rd, respectively.

Isomoto Dieuzeide Banet Schwiegershausen Womens

We need more women hang-glider pilots. Some like these New Zealand and Australian lovelies.

Make it happen, girls. Most of the guys are chicken. :)

Faux Independence

Sorry to rain on your picnic, but America will never be a free country until hot dogs and buns come packaged in equal numbers.

So I must speak out.

It's probably good they have holidays like this, in a bread and circuses kinda way. Religion isn't the only placating, pacifying opiate of the masses.

Patriotism is second.

When it can be said by any country in the world, my poor are happy, neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them, my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars, the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive, the rational world is my friend because I am the friend of happiness. When these things can be said, then may that country boast its constitution and government.

― Thomas Paine, Rights of Man

I quote another founder; but unlike Paine, a slaveholder.

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

It's the only meaningful official American document, and it precedes the actual formation of the United States—somewhat distinct, though folks conflate the two all the time. Even that founding document is mostly a load of crap, easy to tear apart on moral grounds—just as Lysander Spooner tore apart the Constitution on both moral and logical grounds (No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority).

The true problem with the United States is that it has few critics of its foundational basis. I say that it's quite no surprise that America is a fucking wreck now, because its foundation is such a flawed sham. Slaveholders waxing on about human freedom and independence. There should never be a reconciliation or "historical context" about any of it. They owned other people.

A good country, that does not make. Look around.

They were unqualified and thus, America is a fucking mess.

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Via Wikipedia:

The Constitution of the United States was drafted in 1787, and included several provisions regarding slavery. Section 9 of Article I forbade the Federal government, from banning the "importation" of persons that an individual state's laws considered "proper to admit" until January 1, 1808, though a tax of ten dollars each was allowed. Article V prohibited amending those portions of Section 9 before 1808. By prohibiting Federal banning of the slave trade for two decades, Article V effectively protected the trade until 1808, giving the States 20 years to resolve this issue. During that time, planters in states of the Lower South imported tens of thousands of slaves, more than during any previous two decades in colonial history.

As further protection for slavery, the delegates approved Section 2 of Article IV, which prohibited states from freeing slaves who fled to them from another state, and required the return of chattel property to owners.

In a section negotiated by James Madison of Virginia, Section 2 of Article I designated "other persons" (slaves) to be added to the total of the state's free population, at the rate of three-fifths of their total number, to establish the state's official population for the purposes of apportionment of Congressional representation and federal taxation. This increased the power of southern states in Congress for decades, affecting national policies and legislation. The planter elite dominated the southern Congressional delegations and the United States presidency for nearly 50 years.

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Are Americans not the most brain-dead in the world, $17 Trillion in debt, and they're still spending capital as though they just saved the world from Hitler and and an Emperor born of the sun.

Laf. America used to be 10 in the world for a while, in terms of economic freedom. Now it has slipped to like 14. Yea, laf at those commie-ass Democrats all you like, but flag-waving republicans are just as fuckatarded.


The Once and Future King: The Rise of Crown Government in America. Saw a short interview the other day with Frank Buckley, George Mason University law professor, and had to look into the book. It's just so up alleys and I hope it become relevant. Still trying to decide whether to get it in hardcover or Kindle, but I suspect the former. If you do listen to that 5 minute interview, you just may get a sense that this is a very thoughtful man and you'd do good to take in what he has to say. I know I am.

Here's the description:

This remarkable new book shatters just about every myth surrounding American government, the Constitution, and the Founding Fathers, and offers the clearest warning about the alarming rise of one-man rule in the age of Obama.

Most Americans believe that this country uniquely protects liberty, that it does so because of its Constitution, and that for this our thanks must go to the Founders, at their Convention in Philadelphia in 1787.

F. H. Buckley’s book debunks all these myths. America isn’t the freest country around, according to the think tanks that study these things. And it’s not the Constitution that made it free, since parliamentary regimes are generally freer than presidential ones. Finally, what we think of as the Constitution, with its separation of powers, was not what the Founders had in mind. What they expected was a country in which Congress would dominate the government, and in which the president would play a much smaller role.

Sadly, that’s not the government we have today. What we have instead is what Buckley calls Crown government: the rule of an all-powerful president. The country began in a revolt against one king, and today we see the dawn of a new kind of monarchy. What we have is what Founder George Mason called an “elective monarchy,” which he thought would be worse than the real thing.

Much of this is irreversible. Constitutional amendments to redress the balance of power are extremely unlikely, and most Americans seem to have accepted, and even welcomed, Crown government. The way back lies through Congress, and Buckley suggests feasible reforms that it might adopt, to regain the authority and respect it has squandered.

I don't care what happens to America. I don't hope shit hits fan, but I suspect it will, eventually.

My #1 focus is getting myself to a freer country in the next 3-5 years.

My dream is to die a non-American.

Groundbreaking: How to Easily Remove Nightshade Toxins From Potato Starch

Ever since the beginning some percentage of people trying out supplemental resistant starch in the form of Potato Starch have complained of nightshade tolerance issues, primarily headaches and joint pain. This was a mystery, because some of us, including myself, were operating under the belief that these toxins were water soluble. Turns out not so.

I'll let Ken Willing explain, as well as deliver a very simple solution (literally).


Contrary to widespread belief, the nightshade glycoalkaloid poisons alpha-solanine and alpha-chaconine are not soluble in water, so unfortunately it's wishful thinking to assume that these headache-causing and arthritis-worsening toxins are entirely absent from potato starch—even a good brand like Bob's. For those of us outside the U.S., the problem is worse, because Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese brands available worldwide are of dubious reliability: the starch itself is OK, but in it we encounter not only the usual nightshade toxins but also sulfite preservatives, not to mention shelf bacteria in abundance.

Fortunately there is a remedy for these problems—my headaches stopped cold the day I started implementing the following. This method rests on the fact that solanine and chaconine DO dissolve in acid, even a fairly weak solution—in fact experimenters have successfully used as low as 1.5%:

—In the evening, fill a suitable bottle 3/4 full of water and dump in tomorrow's dose of potato starch, together with one heaping teaspoonful of citric acid powder (available in the baking-aids section of any supermarket). (Alternatively, make up a reasonably sour solution with white vinegar, but this is less satisfactory.) Shake well to fully disperse the starch and dissolve the acid crystals. Then wait a couple hours while the starch falls to the bottom to form a non-Newtonian mass. Then, carefully pour off the liquid—which now contains the solanine, etc., in solution—while the starch granules, tightly packed together, adhere in a clump on the bottom. Then, as a rinse: re-fill the bottle with fresh water, shake vigorously again to re-disperse the starch, and let it all sit till morning.

In the morning, again pour off the water, which is now only very slightly acidic. What you now have on the bottom is CLEAN potato starch, which can either be mixed in the same bottle with juice, milk, or water; or dug out and used some other way. I know this all sounds complicated, but I've clocked the total procedural time at about 2 minutes—a small price to pay for poison-free starch, in my opinion... and 100 trillion tiny mouths will thank you.


Thanks Ken. No telling how many people this will really help who would benefit from the PS, but just couldn't do it. Now they can try again.

So, I'd ask that all of you who've seen reports like this in the various forums and such you've frequented, please spread the word and help spread the benefits.

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I Think The Results Of This Moderate Carb vs. Low Carb Study Are Pretty Meaningless. How About You?

A Randomized Pilot Trial of a Moderate Carbohydrate Diet Compared to a Very Low Carbohydrate Diet in Overweight or Obese Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus or Prediabetes

Laura R. Saslow, Sarah Kim, Jennifer J. Daubenmier, Judith T. Moskowitz, Stephen D. Phinney, Veronica Goldman, Elizabeth J. Murphy, Rachel M. Cox, Patricia Moran, Fredrick M. Hecht

Published: April 09, 2014, Plos One

From the Abstract:

We compared the effects of two diets on glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and other health-related outcomes in overweight or obese adults with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes (HbA1c>6%). We randomized participants to either a medium carbohydrate, low fat, calorie-restricted, carbohydrate counting diet (MCCR) consistent with guidelines from the American Diabetes Association (n = 18) or a very low carbohydrate, high fat, non calorie-restricted diet whose goal was to induce nutritional ketosis (LCK, n = 16). We excluded participants receiving insulin; 74% were taking oral diabetes medications. Groups met for 13 sessions over 3 months and were taught diet information and psychological skills to promote behavior change and maintenance.

From Changes in Clinical and Laboratory Outcomes (Results Section):

The mean HbA1c did not change during the trial in the MCCR group, but decreased by −0.6% in the LCK group (p = 0.04, Table 3). The Cohen's d for HbA1c change in the LCK group was −1.8, a very large effect size. No one in the MCCR group achieved a normal HbA1c of <5.7%, compared to 13% percent (n = 2) of the LCK group. All individuals in the LCK group showed a drop in HbA1c, whereas 72% (n = 13) of the participants in the MCCR group showed an improved HbA1c (χ2 = 5.2, p = 0.02). More specifically, 56% (n = 9) of participants in the LCK group showed a clinically significant drop of 0.5% or greater in HbA1c, whereas only 22% (n = 4) of participants in the MCCR group showed a drop of 0.5% or greater of HbA1c (χ2 = 4.2, p = 0.04).

OK, slight advantage to the lower carb group. Or, is it the higher protein group? See, if you look at Table 2, you'll see that over the [self reported] 3-month intake, protein was 106g daily for the LC group, but only 68g for the MC group.

Table 2
Table 2 (click to enlarge)

If you look at the dietary instructions given in the Methods section, you see that the LC group did a reasonable job (self reported) of following the guidelines. They kept protein about the same, lowered carbohydrate by nearly 75% (!), and fat remained the same—though they were instructed to make up any additional food consumption with fat—which means that they dropped 700 calories from daily intake under ad libitum conditions. Of course, as we're accustomed to seeing, all improvements in weight loss and health markers are always attributed to low carbohydrate, not a daily 30% decrease in energy intake.

On the other hand, here's what the dietary instructions say for the MC group:

Participants in the MCCR group were encouraged to derive 45% to 50% of their calories from carbohydrates and were taught to count carbohydrates using 15 grams of carbohydrates as a unit. We provided specific suggestions for the amount of carbohydrate units participants should eat at each of 3 meals and 2 snacks. Most participants were asked to eat 3 carbohydrate units per meal and 1 per snack, or roughly 165 grams of carbohydrates a day. They were also instructed to keep their protein levels about the same as before they started the study and to lower their fat consumption. We further recommended that participants eat 500 fewer kilocalories (kcal) per day than their calculated maintenance needs based on their age, weight, height, and physical activity level (ranging from sedentary to very active), using the formula from the Institute of Medicine Dietary Reference Guidelines. [emphasis added]

A summary of how instructions weren't followed very well:

  1. Protein decreased from 97g to 68g (30% decrease!).
  2. While they did lower fat from 100g to 56g in absolute terms, it only amounted to a small drop in percentage dietary intake, from 39% to 35% of daily energy (b/c way fewer calories).
  3. They went 60% beyond calorie restriction guidelines of 500, reducing by about 800.

I'm not sure in what world a diet that's still 35% of energy as fat is "low fat," as described in the very first paragraph of the paper, but isn't this the same sort of complaint LCers raise when papers have the "LC group" eating 35% carbohydrate? Sure, this is in the context of calorie restriction anyway, but so often are LC groups, yet that complaint still persists—so, what's good for geese... In essence, most of the caloric restriction here came via a substantial reduction in protein in real terms, when it ought to have been the fat being reduced way more than it was—assuming we wanted a true comparison here.

All that said, LC intervention for diabetics and prediabetics seems pretty well established as beneficial to me, in both the literature and anecdotally (though I now believe there are better long-term solutions for a lot of people, like the Perfect Health Diet).

So what, exactly, is the point of this study? And where in the discussion (admittedly, I only skimmed it) does it say that one group really didn't follow the guidelines so what they set out to compare wasn't really compared as designed?