- Herbert George Wells
Saturday, September 29, 2012
Friday, September 28, 2012
Those with higher fasting blood sugar levels were more likely to have a loss of brain volume in the areas of the hippocampus and the amygdala, areas that are involved in memory and cognitive skills, than those with lower blood sugar levels.
This part is the language of an epidemiological study:
These are interesting results, in that they correlate with the widely held view that high blood sugars are injurious to the nervous system. In fact, for a while it was fashionable to cause Alzheimer's "Type III Diabetes" or "Alzheimer's of the brain." However, as the authors noted, epidemiological studies only suggest a possible cause, and prove nothing. Whether or not the effect is as dramatic as showing a loss of brain tissue in four years, there are many reasons to fear high blood sugar's negative impacts on your health, and zero negative side effects of eating for glycemic control.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Here's an opinion piece by the Dean of those low fat true believers that are still alive, Dean Ornish. There are those who think his dogged devotion to low fat, non-meat diets is a reflection of his faith, and reading this, one would not be dissuaded from that perspective. A test for you, dear readers, to see if you can find the faults in logic in his articulation of the case for low fat/against a paleo modeled diet - go have a look and see what strikes you as non-scientific, bad science, or wishful thinking. You can hunt around and find critiques pretty easily, and I'll publish those next week, too.
- When your liver breaks down fructose, uric acid is produced as a byproduct. Uric acid also drives up your blood pressure by inhibiting nitric oxide in your blood vessels. Nitric oxide helps your blood vessels maintain their elasticity. When you consume large amounts of fructose, increasing uric acid levels drive up your blood pressure. If your uric acid levels are chronically elevated, you have an increased risk for hypertension, kidney disease, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Large amounts of fructose also place a great strain on your liver, which is responsible for most of the metabolic burden.
- As metabolic physician and nutrition expert Dr. Ron Rosedale has explained, insulin stores magnesium. If your insulin receptors are blunted and your cells grow resistant to insulin, you can't store magnesium, so it passes out of your body through urination. Magnesium relaxes muscles; so, when your magnesium level is low, your blood vessels will constrict rather than relax, which further raises your blood pressure.
- Insulin causes your body to retain sodium, which in turn causes fluid retention. Fluid retention results in elevated blood pressure and can ultimately lead to congestive heart failure.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Reduction in urinary albumin excretion with a moderate low-carbohydrate diet in patients with type 2 diabetes: a 12-month intervention
Introduction: Urinary albumin excretion (UAE) is a marker of the early phase of diabetic nephropathy. Although a low-carbohydrate diet (LCD) has been shown to effectively improve glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM), its effects on UAE remain unknown.
Patients and methods: A total of 124 patients (mean age ± standard deviation, 61.6 ± 9.2 years) with T2DM were instructed to consume a moderate LCD (1734 ± 416 kcal/d; % carbohydrate:fat:protein = 38:37:19) for 12 months. We measured the levels of UAE, hemoglobin A1c, fasting plasma glucose, fasting serum insulin (IRI), and the serum lipid profiles in the patients and recorded their dosages of antidiabetic drugs during this 12-month period.
Results: Of the 124 patients, 68 were normoalbuminuric, 50 were microalbuminuric, and six were macroalbuminuric at baseline. The patients had relatively good compliance with the moderate LCD diet. After 12 months, the mean levels of hemoglobin A1c, fasting plasma glucose, IRI, homeostasis model assessment-estimated insulin resistance, and the body mass index of all participants significantly decreased (P = 0.003 for IRI and P < 0.001 for the other parameters). Among the microalbuminuric patients (n = 50), remission to normoalbuminuria was frequently achieved (52%) and the geometric mean UAE significantly decreased by 53% (95% confidence interval: 43, 62) over 12 months (P < 0.001). After patients taking an angiotensin 2 receptor blocker were excluded, the UAE significantly decreased by 41% (n = 26, 95% confidence interval: 25, 54; P < 0.001). Moreover, the reduction in UAE was significantly and positively correlated with a reduction in homeostasis model assessment-estimated insulin resistance levels (rs = 0.308; P = 0.031).
Conclusion: A moderate LCD (38% carbohydrate diet) achieved a remarkable reduction in UAE over 12 months in microalbuminuric patients with T2DM.
This is not a particularly low carb or high fat diet, but the positive results after 12 months were significant. Even moderately restricted carb intake - 38% of kcal, ~1750 kcal per day, or 166 grams/day of carbs, which is quite a lot for a pre-diabetic but still fewer than the 40% of kcal from carbs recommended on the Zone Diet - proved therapeutic.
Monday, September 24, 2012
The BLUF: BMI based measures do not indicate poor health (as measured by insulin resistance) as well as an index of waist circumference and triglyceride levels. And why wouldn't it? Waist circumference changes and decreasing triglycerides are hall marks of carb restrictions.
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Friday, September 21, 2012
After shedding 10 pounds, this low-carb group showed no change in two key measures of vascular health: finger tip tests of how fast the inner vessel lining in the arteries in the lower arm relaxes after blood flow has been constrained and restored in the upper arm (the so-called reactive hyperemia index of endothelial function) and the augmentation index (a pulse-wave analysis of arterial stiffness).
While this is another bit of good news about the safety of high fat diets, the funny part is that there wasn't any of this testing 30 to 40 years ago when the "conventional wisdom" adopted the low fat diet. There was very little scrutiny, sadly. Would that the establishment had been as disciplined about evaluating the effects of low fat diets - but perhaps the current efforts are the result of "lessons learned" about embracing dietary philosophy without rigorous evaluation.
More from the article:
Thursday, September 20, 2012
BLUF: High sugar intake does in fact EFF up your liver.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Summary of the case represented by the six complainants:
"We are experts, and we think this is wrong. If we had evidence, we know it wouldn't take a fight in public like this, because we could just show data from intervention studies instead. But since we don't have science on our side, we expert you to take our expert word for it."
Here's the funny part - the diet these doctors likely advocate - high carb, low fat - has no more evidence to support its long term goodness than does a high fat diet. In fact, in short term studies, high fat diets win hands down. There was a time when the best info one could get was expert opinion. That time has passed. We all have access to information, and relying on experts is not longer smart. Instead, you can sort things out for yourself by self experimentation.
Full fledged advocacy of statins is based on belief but not science - it requires that 100 people take stains every day for five years in order to save a statistical life - ridiculous.
The complainants say: "We understand some patients are placing their health at risk by discontinuing statin therapy and their prudent diets on the basis of this “expert opinion”."
"Such a diet may have allowed him to lose weight and run faster but its widespread implementation is contrary to the recommendations of all major cardiovascular societies worldwide, is of unproven benefit and may be dangerous for patients with coronary heart disease or persons at risk of coronary heart disease."
In other words, "experts think this might be bad for some people". Hardly a convincing scientific case, and in short a feeble, pathetic response.
For what it is worth, it probably is true that high fat diets are not good for everyone. But there's no reason to be fussy about this since it's clear that high carb diets are bad for almost everyone! For folks who respond well to high fat diets, they'd be foolish to listen to the huffying and puffing of these statinators. Anyone who cares to can simply check and see if their smart, low carb diet reduces their waistline, their triglycerides, their blood pressure, their gout and their appetite, while raising their HDL. Having accomplished that, there's not a respectable doctor on the planet that could argue with the results.
Folks who don't respond well to high fat diets - typically ectomophs - would be able to figure this out by their non-favorable response in the above criteria.
We'd all be better off if there were conclusive long term science on the topic, but until then I recommend you sort out these issues for your own satisfaction and ignore the blow hards who can do no more than appeal to authority.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Song: I'd Love To Change The World, by Ten Years After
Gary Taubes, unlike the song's protagonist, found a way to change the world. It's called NuSi. Horrible name, but it stands to change the world of science research. The stakes are immense. I can't wait to find out how to contribute. Read on to get a fabulous, short, intro to Gary's effort to right wrongs, slay dragons, save damsels, and keep Medicare from bankrupting the US of A.
Friday, September 14, 2012
This is a great example of how much change a good coach can give to a good student in a short time. While it's not easy to follow Dr. Romanov's ideas or accent without understanding ahead of time where he's going, you can easily see how much less effort his student is using to run after the lesson.
All the big points are there - maintain a vertical posture in order to waste the least effort resisting gravity; do not place the feet in front of the GCM, rather, let them place themselves under the GCM to avoid having the feet act as a brake; do not push off the rear foot, rather pull it from the ground as soon as it touches. Let gravity do the work, so that all you have to do is use just enough strength to sustain your position in the fall. Most of us use more strength than we need to, and the most pleasure in running comes from using the least necessary effort.
Sit-ups once ruled as the way to tighter abs and slimmer waistline, while "planks" were merely flooring. Now planks — exercises in which you assume a position and hold it — are the gold standard for working your core, while classic sit-ups and crunches have fallen out of favor. Why the shift?
This stuff is all true, so hats off to those that are catching up with what should have been obvious for a long time. I still do situps in CrossFit WODs, but think of them as a metabolic conditioning tool vice a method for achieving core strength.
I've been working on an article for the CrossFit Journal for many, many months, which uses simple models to describe how the structures of the torso combine to contribute to the best midline stability; hoping to finish this week. The BLUF: the design compromises inherent in the human design are significant challenges to maintaining a stable torso under a load. Being able to maintain a stable torso under a load requires skill and practice, but it applies to many, many human movements.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
There are interesting take aways in the linked summary of this study, but the big one for me is - "it's about 50% half mental", as an ex-athlete was reported to have said. If you want to be your smartest, feel your best, and be at your best health, exercise is essential.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Monday, September 10, 2012
In short - there's "no free lunch." You can't eat fake foods and expect abundant health.
How do you "get off" the bread, wheat, sugar train to illness, poor mood, poor appearance and higher risk of early terminal illness following years of degraded mobility and wellbeing?
Short answer: First, you have to want to change, and then you have to stay with it over time. I know of few folks that ditch their food indulgences and never regress. Most succeed because they start over, many times, and eventually break their negative food habits and associations. Eventually, feeling better becomes its own reward, and there's a lower need to use food treats to feel better in the short term at the expense of health. These changes are not easy, but it's also not easy to be overweight, in poor health, with poor moods, physical pain and little hope to escape serious illness. It's also not easy to take meds every day and hope they stave off the symptoms of one's illness. It's also not easy to think you should change, to know you want to change, but be unable to change.
Everyone has their time. When you are ready, call me and I'll give you all the shortcuts you need for sustainable lifestyle change following the paleolithic model of nutrition.
Friday, September 7, 2012
While I didn't like this article much in toto, the conclusion was rock star grade (although I have to admit I like the phrase but don't think much of rock stars). I will also say, like the author, I can't believe anyone's still worried about saturated fat.
After a CrossFit sabbatical in Ramona with the founders of CrossFit Kids, and all around delightful people, Jeff and Mikki Martin, I'm fired up to get back to blogging and kicking my paleo brain into gear.
Have a nice weekend, all!