Saturday, April 30, 2011

"Low Carbohydrate Diets: Why You Don't Want the 'Experts' to Tell You What to Eat"

Dr. Feinman tells the simple truth:

"I don't know of any study on any other diet that shows such good effects on controlling glucose and insulin without increasing drugs. And it's not just the glycemic control. We recently summarized data in the literature showing that all of the features of the so-called metabolic syndrome-high triglycerides, low HDL, hypertension and obesity-are exactly the features that are improved by low carbohydrate diets [5]. If we had been describing a drug, everybody would have rushed out to buy stock in our pharmaceutical company."

But it's not a drug.  And there's no way to get rich by changing behavior.  So the medical establishment takes a pass on the most effective therapy for diabetes and other diseases, and counsels people on how to keep getting sick.  Wonderful.

Sean's Boston Marathon

A BQ would be cool...

New Study on Possible Paleo Diets

From Boyd Eaton, Loren Cordain, and othersDon Matesz discusses it here:

"...The team excluded the possibility of evolutionary diets consisting of more than 70% of energy from animal foods for two main reasons. First, during the main part of human evolution our ancestors did not have the technology required for hunting the largest, fattest game animals, or being top carnivores, and more likely depended on scavenging for most land animal meat. Scavenging does not often supply large amounts of meat or fat simply because obligate carnivores eat those parts before humans get to them (something I will discuss in the next post)....

"...In other words, despite having more advanced technology than had by human ancestors 100, 000 years ago, modern hunter-gatherers typically do not obtain more than 35% of their food from hunting...."
I find this uncompelling.  As Prof. Dan Lieberman shows, humans are uniquely adapted to a carnivororous role.  We've likely been the dominant carnivore for at least 2 million years and for 1.8 million of those years, we were catching large animals without weapons.

The Megafauna extinctions have been going on for a very long time, and correspond with humanity's spread around the globe.  The most likely cause of these extinctions is human predatation of the "largest, fattest game animals".

Given the blind spot in the Paleo community for the unique human adaptation to hunting via endurance running, it's not surprising that Eaton, Cordain, & co. ignore this aspect of human behavior, but I don't think it's good science.

But of course the entire exercise is hypothetical, although interesting, as it's not possible to know exactly what our ancient ancestors ate.  Likely it was a large range of foods, as available, but meat was pretty clearly a regular item, and it was not scavenged.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

"Review: Barefoot Running Step By Step"

By Deacon Patrick.

I had the oportunity to run with Patrick last summer.  What he's able to do, given his infirmity, really is nothing short of miraculous.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Gary Taubes Posts his Cholesterol Levels

Read the whole thing.  Oddly, given the amout of saturated fat he consumes, he appears to have low risk of heart disease.  A paradox!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

"Fasted Training Boosts Endurance and Muscle Glycogen"

From Lean Gains


"Quoting straight from the discussion in the full text paper:

"'The main findings of the present study were that: training in an overnight-fasted state enhances storage of muscle glycogen compared to training in the fed state; skeletal muscle of men and women respond differently in terms of oxidative activity to training in the fed and overnight-fasted state; and peak VO2 and peak power improved more when training in the fasted state compared to the fed state.'"

It seems that often for "fasted" you can read "low-carbohydrate".  The advantages to longevity of calorie-restriction, for instance, comes from restricting carbs, as discussed here:

"Low-Carb and Longevity"

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sugar and Athletes

Dr. Jeff Volek: “Anti-Ketogenic Effect of Insulin and Dietary Carbohydrate”

  • "...The most potent blocker of lipolysis is insulin
  • "Elevated insulin make it difficult to break down fat–and carbs raise insulin the most
  • "Low-carb diet is best for breaking down fat as compared with a high-carb diet
  • "Insulin is very easy to manipulate through the diet
  • "Fat has no impact on insulin, protein a little, but carbs have a HUGE impact
  • "There are only about 2 teaspoons of sugar circulating in the body
  • "The average meal Americans eat contains 10X the amount of sugar in the body
  • "Concern over carb consumption is regarding the sugar spike then crash–hypoglycemia
  • "Avoiding hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia as a metabolic state is critical to health
  • "When you consume carbs, it is stored as glycogen until full then converted to body fat...
  • "...Eating low-carb is especially good for athletes before exercise
  • "Using fat for fuel enhances athletic performance
  • "The old paradigm for post-exercise is to carb up–new paradigm is no carbs or slow ones
  • "Many pro athletes are eating an Atkins-like diet for optimal performance
  • "Athletes now realize that having elevated insulin is not good for them
  • "A high-carb diet after exercise may diminish the benefits of exercise on heart health
  • "Protein synthesis post-exercise is not enhanced by mixing protein and carbs for recovery
  • "Skip the carbs and simply eat fat and protein for your post-workout meal
  • "Study comparing low-carb diet over 12 weeks with exercise found 5.3% body fat decrease
  • "Study participants did not experience fatigue, lost significant fat, grew muscle eating low-carb
  • "The obligate nature of carbohydrates for athletes has been overblown and is unnecessary"

This makes perfect since if sugar is toxic, and I'm 100% sure that it is (I stopped eating sugar over 20 years ago due to cavities), then it makes no sense whatsoever that it would improve athletic performance.

While it follows that if you think fat is toxic, then glucose must be the primary food source for the body, once you discover that sugar is toxic and fat, in fact, is the primary food source for the body, then the entire body of nutritionional, and a good deal of sport, science is turned on its head.

That appears to be what is happening.

Here's Dr. Volek's web page.

Jimmy Moore and the Nutrition and Metabolism Conference

Jimmy's account is here:

"There was one really strange thing that happened during the conference I have to share with you. I was pretty surprised by what happened when I got up to the microphone to ask my questions for the first time and introduced myself as “Jimmy Moore from Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb”–the audience members consisting of mostly physicians and nurses as well as a few educated laypeople started cheering with spontaneous applause when I said my name. Okay, that was really freaky to me, but I appreciated the sentiment. It let me know that the work I am doing IS making a difference in the lives of common, everyday people as well as people intimately involved in the health profession."

That's not strange, it's well-earned.  Jimmy's rapidly approaching his 500th podcast, and they're really wonderful, it's an incredible body of work, and for any layman, like myself, looking to learn more about human nutrition they're an invaluable resource.

So Bravo, Jimmy.

Reebok Launches a Nike Free Knock-Off

Just like your bare feet!
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, you know...

"Run, jump, stretch, it’s time to move naturally again…"

Again? That implies that we stopped moving naturally... Along around the time we all started wearing sneakers instead of going barefoot, I suppose...

"...'Barefoot or natural running makes a lot of sense from a biomechanics standpoint because all the shock absorption happens in your muscles, not your joints,' said Reebok’s Head of Advanced Innovation, Bill McInnis. 'The problem is that natural running works best in the natural world, not on man-made surfaces. In creating RealFlex technology, we took everything that works with natural running and made it work in today’s world. Simply put, RealFlex is natural movement perfected.'..."

Wow, not just "innovation", but "advanced innovation"! More marketing BS, but welcome to the party, guys.

"...RealFlex features 76 independent sensors on the bottom of the shoe strategically positioned to twist, bend, expand, and support to help athletes’ feet move naturally. The sensors work together throughout the athlete’s stride to help provide all the benefits of barefoot running, while helping to eliminate all the negatives that come with running on hard surfaces. The result -- the natural movement your foot biomechanically needs, with the protection to keep the foot safe from everyday elements.

"When your foot moves naturally, it doesn’t just flex in the forefoot, it flexes throughout the entire foot. Each sensor provides a specific purpose underfoot. For example, the sensors in the heel are joined together to provide optimum heel impact absorption while running downhill. On the lateral side of the shoe, the sensors work together to offer stability. Up in the forefoot, the sensors are linked together to provide impact protection...."

Oh my goodness, the marketing BS needle just hit the red zone!  Too funny.

It's progress, I just wish it wasn't so painful to watch.

They've conceded the legitimacy of the barefoot argument, now they just need a product to sell.  This thing is a bit of a mess, IMHO, but it's a start.

Here's Birthday Shoes on the RealFlex, with better pictures (as usual).

P.S. PR finds the true horror of the RealFlex.  Video at the link.  Although it does make me think that those cleats; sorry, sensors; sorry, little pink buddies, might be decent for mud.

Wheat and Autoimmune Disease

"Conclusions: Our data show for the first time that the prevalence of autoimmune disorders in celiac disease is related to the duration of exposure to gluten."

The longer you consume a poison, the worse the damage.

"Factors Related to Successful Completion of a 161-km Ultramarathon"

Int. J. Sports. Physiol. Perform. 2011

"From this study, we conclude that primary performance-limiting issues in 161-km ultramarathons include nausea and/or vomiting, blisters, and muscle pain, and there is a disturbingly high use of NSAIDs in these events."

Duh.  LOL.

From Amby Burfoot.

Please Stop Doing the Impossible

Patrick Sweeney: "133 Miles Barefoot on the Sand. A New Record Week."  (Mute your device before clicking that link, as Patrick has music set to auto-play.)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Running and Rambling: "Merrell Barefoot Trail Glove Review and Giveaway"

Donald likes 'em:

"This isn’t a 'me, too' effort by a major company looking to cash in on the latest trend – it’s a genuine investment by an established industry player acknowledging that minimalist footwear is here to stay, and looking to establish itself as the dominant brand in bringing minimalism to the masses."

"The Best Shoe Lacing Technique Yet", from Altra

Looks pretty cool.  I'm going to try it.

"Is Sugar Toxic?"

Gary Taubes in the New York Times Magazine.  He'll also be doing a Q&A

"But some researchers will make the case, as [Lewis Cantley, director of the Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School] and [Craig Thompson,  president of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center] do, that if something other than just being fatter is causing insulin resistance to begin with, that’s quite likely the dietary cause of many cancers. If it’s sugar that causes insulin resistance, they say, then the conclusion is hard to avoid that sugar causes cancer — some cancers, at least — radical as this may seem and despite the fact that this suggestion has rarely if ever been voiced before publicly. For just this reason, neither of these men will eat sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, if they can avoid it. "
My major issue is with this article is that it never mentions the role of linoleic acid in this process. 

Taubes spends a good part of the article discussing how fructose causes Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, which can lead to cirhossis, and then liver cancer; just like alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease does.  (Getting NAFLD means you're well on the road to insulin resistance and diabetes, if you don't have it already.)  It seems that the liver metabolizes alcohol and fructose in a similar manner.  What does this have to do with linoleic acid (an omega-6 fat)?

"Dietary linoleic acid is required for development of experimentally induced alcoholic liver injury."
The same appears to be true for fructose-induced NAFLD, although I can't find as clear a link as the above.  Stephen Guyenet has posted on this in the past.

But the point is: if fructose and saturated fat do not cause NAFLD, but fructose and linoleic acid do, as appears to be the case, then is fructose causing NAFLD or is it linoleic acid?

But it's an excellent article, as usual.

Use up one of you 20 free article views on this.  (The Times' site is now mostly subscription-only.)

P.S.  I had some related thoughts on this topic back when Jimmy Moore passed along a question of mine to Gary Taubes during an interview.

P.P.S. Instapundit takes note.

Altra Instinct Review

"Ahhh, That's Better!"

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Gluten-free (Wheat-free) Foods...

Saltines.  Not wheat-free.
...Are becoming more and more popular. Our local pizza place now offers wheat-free pizzas, which is a great option for the girls. (It's nice to be able to order a pizza when we have kids over.)

A colleague of mine told me about some soups that were labeled wheat-free when he was ordering lunch yesterday, so I ordered one. It's pretty tasty, and hopefully I'll have no ill effects from it. I'm a little skeptical, as it arrived with two packs of Saltines on top.

At least they're trying. :)

(When I was a kid I would eat saltines by the sleeve, btw.)

P.S.  Well, the Saltines should have indicated that something was wrong.  As I was eating the soup (tomato, btw), I wondered what they used as a thickener to get the nice consistency.  Then I noticed I was getting a massive head rush, the first sign that I'm eating wheat.  Damn it.  Not much of a subsequent reaction, just mild cramping.

The downside of the growing popularity of gluten-free is the fact that restaurants, while trying to be helpful, don't really understand what it means.  But they're learning.

Cardio Fitness, but not Physical Activity, Predicts Mortality

In other words, people with a fit heart are likely to live longer.  You'd think this would fall under "duh" territory, but some paleo folks have some odd views on this topic.

This finding goes well with the results of the Stanford Runners Study, however.

Via Amby Burfoot.

"Garmin Forerunner 610"

"Touchscreen, Weather-Proof, And Of Course Socially Connected".

Here's a more complete review (from the link above).

The cool feature for me is that you can actually download other peoples' runs and compete against their time.  When I was using my Forerunner 305 I used that model's feature where you compete against your prior time regularly.  Unfortunately, the 305 wasn't very water resistant

I now have a Forerunner 310XT, which I use occasionally.  It actually saved my butt when I got lost on Pikes Peak this summer, but I mostly use it when I'm running on trails, so I can tell what the distance was. 

Trail sign distances are very unreliable, I've discovered.

I'll be interested to see if a sweaty touch screen works, but hopefully they've tested that. ;)

FlexNet by Gravity Defyer

Don't buy this shoe.

A catastrophe

If you want to learn how to run without impact, take off your shoes, or buy something like the VivoBarefoot Neo, or the Vibram Fivefingers models, with no cushion at all.

"Proprioception: Lee Saxby Book Release Party at Terra Plana"

I'll hopefully be attending...  Assuming all goes well.

A Paean to Wild Bison

Well worth your time.

Monday, April 11, 2011

"New Soft Star RunAmoc Preview"

Donald's worried about his baby, but I have to say that I find the later, beta models to be pretty appealing.

I don't know what they were thinking with the silver and yellow, though.  Hopefully those were just scraps they used for the alpha model.

Sentiment on SoftStar's Facebook page seems to be favoring black pretty heavily... ;)

"US Omega-6 and Omega-3 Fat Consumption over the Last Century"

Eat your soy oil
A great post, as usual, at Whole Health Source.

What I find suprising about the data is that grain consumption actually declined over the last century, and a lot of those calories switched to linoleic acid (the primary omega-6 acid in the diet). 

Grain is still the largest single component in the US diet, however.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

"A Brief History of Barefoot Running"

What a great article:

"...Bare feet were not invented in 2009, and have been the footwear of choice for many top and other runners long before the current fashion.

"Same for minimalist shoes. The idea that less weight on your feet helps you go faster is not rocket science, nor a deep secret preserved for centuries by lost tribes. Shoe companies' 2011 'minimalist' models follow a long line. In 1951 Shigeki Tanaka (Japan) won the Boston Marathon in tiny canvas sock-shoes with a separated big toe. In 1953, Roger Bannister's search for perfection and the 4-minute mile led him to a Wimbledon shoemaker called Sandy Law, who custom-made track spikes with uppers of soft, super-light kangaroo skin. I can vouch for it. In 1957, as a young Bannister fan at school in Wimbledon, I had Law make a pair for me....

"...Runners who think about their craft have always been willing to go minimal, as well as learn from people who live close to nature. So we have long been familiar with the Tarahumara Indians. Far from being a hidden unknown tribe, their prowess and their limitations as runners are well-known in the running world. Several of them have been trained and selected to represent Mexico, and their running rituals have been reliably recorded in at least one British mass-circulation newspaper, and American books such as Peter Nabokov's deeply informative Indian Running (1981), required reading for anyone claiming to understand Native American running culture....

"...Runner-coach-scientist-author Bruce Tulloh, who won the European 5,000m championship barefoot on cinders in 1962, visited and studied the Tarahumara in 1971, and wrote fully about them in the magazine of Britain's Observer Sunday newspaper.

"'Those I saw all ran in their huaraches. Their stamina was impressive. I was still in 14:00 shape for 5,000m, and one of their stars, Ramon, in his mid-40s, ran with me for 90 minutes and never took his hat off. I also ran with a younger runner, Madril, whose pulse after a brisk 50 minutes was 10 beats lower than mine (but of course I was not altitude-adjusted),' Tulloh told me.

"Tulloh had been part of scientific research into barefoot running in 1961, conducted by Dr. Griffith Pugh, famous as the medical leader of the mountaineering team that conquered Everest in 1953. Later Pugh did seminal research into altitude training.

"'Dr. Pugh had me run repetition miles, to compare the effect of bare feet, shoes, and shoes with added weight. He collected breath samples.

"'It showed a straight-line relationship between weight of shoes and oxygen cost. At sub-5:00 mile pace, the gain in efficiency with bare feet is 1 percent, which means a 100m advantage in a 10,000m. In actual racing, I found another advantage is that you can accelerate more quickly,' Tulloh said...."

Well, that sounds familiar.

This is how the running establishment will re-embrace barefoot-style running: by claiming they were doing it all along.  Amby Burfoot has shown the way, and others will follow.  From reading this article you might get the impression that Roger Robinson has been beating the drum for barefoot-style running for decades, until Born to Run came along and unfairly stole the limelight.

Well, Mr. Robinson has a website, and if you go there and look for either "barefoot" or "minimalist" you'll find: "Your search returned no documents."  (I presume this will change after he links to his latest piece from his website.)

What McDougall did was re-uncover the fact that barefoot running has a long and illustrious history, and make clear that sneakers are not the only way to run.  This fact had either been forgotten or suppressed by runners like Robinson and Burfoot (depending on how paranoid you are ;), and had complete disappeared from the popular imagination.

Would Robinson ever have written this article without McDougall?  Would Running Times have published it?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Barefoot Runner has Problems, Buys Shoes

No joke, that's the gist of this article:

"...'I just went into it like a silly college student,' Camp said. “All passion and no brains.'...

"...The only problem was all those little dangers that litter even the smoothest asphalt. Shoes laugh at small rocks, cracks and even thorns.

"'But my feet were just getting torn up,' he said.
What was and shall be again

"He would develop calluses, but eventually those would come off, and he would have to take some time off to let the raw skin heal, and then he would essentially start over again. It was a cycle that eventually wore him down, and he gave up on it.

"'I don’t think I did it right,' Camp said.

"Camp didn’t give up running. He just bought a pair of shoes a couple of weeks ago. He still runs on his toes, striking the ground as if he were a barefoot runner.

He wants to do more research. Actually, some research this time, he said with a laugh.

"'Then I want to give it another go,' he said."

Good for him.  Must have been a slow news day.

John Durant: "Ask For It"

Great post.  I do ask for it.  With my wheat issues, I've really got no choice.

"...Shake Shack. This is an epic NYC burger and milkshake joint, and about as far from paleo as you could imagine. I ordered a double burger with no bun. The guy taking my order ASKED ME if I ordered this because I ate gluten-free. He entered it into the computer. They're keeping track...."

I've not had exactly the kind of positive experiences with the restaurants that John has, but I've definitely gotten support from the wait staff.

But, to John's point, the businesses are clearly listening.

Barefoot Running More Efficient than Shod

Oxygen Cost of Running Barefoot vs. Running Shod:

"The purpose of this study was to investigate the oxygen cost of running barefoot vs. running shod on the treadmill as well as overground. 10 healthy recreational runners, 5 male and 5 female, whose mean age was 23.8±3.39 volunteered to participate in the study. Subjects participated in 4 experimental conditions: 1) barefoot on treadmill, 2) shod on treadmill, 3) barefoot overground, and 4) shod overground. For each condition, subjects ran for 6 min at 70% vVO (2)max pace while VO(2), heart rate (HR), and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were assessed. A 2 × 2 (shoe condition x surface) repeated measures ANOVA revealed that running with shoes showed significantly higher VO(2) values on both the treadmill and the overground track (<0.05). HR and RPE were significantly higher in the shod condition as well (<0.02 and <0.01, respectively). For the overground and treadmill conditions, recorded VO(2) while running shod was 5.7% and 2.0% higher than running barefoot. It was concluded that at 70% of vVO (2)max pace, barefoot running is more economical than running shod, both overground and on a treadmill."

Emphasis mine.  Why they also didn't test running flat-out is a mystery...

Via Amby Burfoot on Twitter.

P.S. Consider this a follow-up to this post: "Getting Faster Overnight..."

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

PāNu now Archevore?

Looks like it.

I understand Dr. Harris' frustrations with parts of the Paleo movement, and share many of them. 

But to paraphrase Ronald Reagan, “Thou shalt not speak ill of your fellow Paleo.”

P.S. Thor analyzes Harris' 12 steps.

Linoleic Acid and Melanoma

Dr. Briffa writes: "Could shying away from the sun increase our risk of melanoma?"

Seems a little odd that a condition under which we evolved could cause a fatal disease, right?  You'd think that some other variable would have to have changed to make the sun toxic...  Of course Briffa points out that sunlight isn't toxic, necessarily.

Somebody should look into whether any novel dietary components might be implicated in the rise in melanoma rates.  Oh, wait:

"A population-based case–control study of diet and melanoma risk in northern Italy" (PDF)

"We aimed at examining the association between dietary constituents and risk of cutaneous melanoma."
Well that's helpful.  What did they find, I wonder?  (Or you could re-read the title of this post, but humor me...)

"Results: We found an excess risk of melanoma in subjects with a higher energy-adjusted intake of total polyunsaturated fatty acids and, in particular, of linoleic acid (relative risk = 2.16 for intake in the highest tertile compared with the lowest tertile, P for linear trend = 0.061). Conversely, disease risk was inversely associated with the consumption of soluble carbohydrates (relative risk = 0.34 for intake in the upper vs. the lowest tertile adjusting for total energy intake, P for linear trend = 0.046). No other dietary factors, including alcohol, vitamins and trace elements, correlated with melanoma risk. The association of melanoma risk with linoleic acid and soluble carbohydrates intakes was further strengthened in multivariate analysis, and when analysis was limited to females.

"Conclusions: Overall, these results indicate that an excess energy-adjusted intake of linoleic acid and a lower consumption of soluble carbohydrates may increase melanoma risk"

This doesn't establish causation, of course, but since linoleic acid is already a proven carcinogen, this is not much of a stretch.

What's interesting is the inverse association with soluble carbohydrates, a.k.a soluble fiber.  Stephen Guyenet did a post a while ago on the benefits of fiber in the diet:

"It turns out, butyrate has been around in the mammalian gut for so long that the lining of our large intestine has evolved to use it as its primary source of energy. It does more than just feed the bowel, however. It also has potent anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects. So much so, that investigators are using oral butyrate supplements and butyrate enemas to treat inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's and ulcerative colitis. Investigators are also suggesting that inflammatory bowel disorders may be caused or exacerbated by a deficiency of butyrate in the first place."

Butyrate is produced in the bowel by bacteria consuming soluble fiber, as one of the commenters on that post notes.

So if you're eating lots of processed foods, which feature linoleic acid as a preservative, effectively, and little fiber, you're in trouble.  If you're eating a whole-foods paleo diet, where you eating some fruits and veggies, and avoiding linoleic acid, you're reducing your risk, most likely.

This is a follow-up, of sorts, to this post: My Vitamin D Experiment, and is an explanation of why I'm not too worried about the cancer risks of going sunscreen-free.

I'll also note that sunscreen use has been going up at the same time that skin cancer rates have been increasing. (The conclusions of that paper are amusing.  Take a mouse known to get skin cancer from exposure to UV radiation, block UV radiation.  What do you think happens?)

If sunscreen prevents skin cancer, why is incidence still going up?  (This article notes the differences between different types of skin cancer and sun exposure.)

Folks are slathering their kids with enough sunscreen to give them rickets...

Linoleic Acid and Pain

Heat generates oxidized linoleic acid metabolites that activate TRPV1 and produce pain in rodents:

"...Our data demonstrate, for what we believe is the first time, that oxidized linoleic acid metabolites constitute a family of endogenous TRPV1 ligands that are released under physiological conditions in the periphery. The activation of TRPV1 may explain the role of these metabolites in inflammatory or degenerative diseases such as arthritis, atherosclerosis, and psoriasis (22–23, 28). In rat and mouse TG neurons, the excitatory effect of 9-HODE and 9-oxoODE was almost entirely dependent on the presence of TRPV1. Thus, it is conceivable that oxidized linoleic acid metabolites may be formed by heat or even other stimuli (29) and contribute to ongoing pain or hyperalgesia in inflammatory diseases. This hypothesis suggests that agents blocking either the production or action of these substances could lead to pharmacological interventions for many inflammatory diseases or pain disorders. Indeed, our recent studies demonstrate efficacy of such an approach in blocking TRPV1-mediated central sensitization in the spinal cord (7).

"Previous studies have demonstrated that leukotrienes activate TRPV1, epoxyeicosatrienoic acids activate TRPV4, and 4-hydroxynonenal and 15d-PGJ2 activate TRPA1 (30–32). Our results add HODEs as endogenous ligands for TRPV1. It is noteworthy that all these TRP ligands are lipid oxidation products. It is therefore tempting to speculate that one of the major roles of certain TRP channels in mammals is to act as sensors of membrane lipid oxidation as a surrogate for cellular damage."

"...These data collectively reveal a mechanism by which an endogenous family of lipids activates TRPV1 in the spinal cord, leading to the development of inflammatory hyperalgesia. These findings may integrate many pain disorders and provide an approach for developing analgesic drugs."

Wow. Is there nothing linoleic acid can't do? (Oxidized linoleic acid is also known as heated vegetable oils.)

Of course this is speculation and hypothesis, and I already avoid eating the stuff, so I can be cavalier...

I will note that since these are scientists who must find funding to do research, their response to these findings are to suggest that drugs may be developed to block this process.  This is the insanity of the modern "iron triangle" of the Modern American Diet: eat food that makes you sick (the food industry); so that the researchers can figure out why you're getting sick (institutional science); then you can take a drug that sort of works at blocking the effects of the poison (er, the drug companies).  If you stop doing the first part, you can skip the drama of the other two sides of the triangle (for the most part, anyway).

(One of my little hobbies in the diet arena involves googling for various diseases and cross-referencing the terms "wheat", "gluten", and "linoleic acid".  In this case the search I used was "oxidised linoleic acid".)

ZEM Split Toe Lo Review

Not bad. And you can't beat the price.  They have kids' sizes too, as I recall.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"How Western Diets Are Making The World Sick"

From NPR. Wow:

"...In an essay published last November in Canada's Maisonneuve journal, physician Kevin Patterson described his experiences working as an internist-intensivist at the Canadian Combat Surgical Hospital in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

"One detail he noticed: The Afghan soldiers, police and civilians he treated in Kandahar had radically different bodies from those of the Canadians he took care of back home.

"'Typical Afghan civilians and soldiers would have been 140 pounds or so as adults. And when we operated on them, what we were aware of was the absence of any fat or any adipose tissue underneath the skin,' Patterson says. 'Of course, when we operated on Canadians or Americans or Europeans, what was normal was to have most of the organs encased in fat. It had a visceral potency to it when you could see it directly there.'..."

They go on to note:

"...And the diabetes epidemic correlates to a strain on health care systems around the globe, says Patterson.

"'No country in the world has the resources to continue to treat diabetics the way that they're being treated now, if the prevalence rates increase at the rates that they're increasing for much longer,' he says. 'I worked in Saipan, which is in the Marianas Island in the Pacific, and there, the dialysis population was increasing at about 18 percent a year, all as a consequence of diabetes and acculturation — exactly the same process as what's going on with the Inuit.

"'When you look at the curves, it's clear how unsustainable it is. In 20 or 30 years, everybody on that island will either be a dialysis patient or a dialysis nurse unless something fundamental is done about the rise in diabetes. That's no less true in Canada and in Samoa and Hawaii, and even in Omaha and Toronto. We all have exactly the same problem when we plot out those curves.'..."

Well, we know how to fix it: eat a paleo diet

And to the folks who say that we don't have the resources for everyone to go paleo, here's a suggestion: we continue going the way we're going, and the survivors will be those who are paleo.

"...But obesity commonly underlies infertility in women, just as it also causes the growth of facial hair. And, in men, the growth of breast tissue. Adipose tissue secretes estrogens and insulin resistance increases levels of androgens. Diabetes is overwhelmingly the most common cause of male impotence in the developed world...."

As Jimmy Moore covered in a recent podcast, infertility and delivery problems are yet another side effect of the Modern American Diet.

"Fasting May Boost Heart Health"

This is scary.  The NY Times is getting in sync with the Paleosphere, although late to the party, of course.

Your body stores nutrients (obviously) so that if you miss a meal you don't expire.  So when you're not eating, in what ratio does your body retrieve macronutrients from storage?  The ratio is 70% fat, 20% carbohydrates, and 10% protein.  (This figure came from one of Jimmy Moore's podcast interviews, which I'm not going to go re-listen to to verify.  I think it was Dr. Larry McCleary, however.)

That's pretty much a high-fat, low-carb diet, which also (oddly) seems to have good effects on heart-disease markers.

So it's not too surprising that intermittent fasting should have similar effects:

"For that research, also presented at the New Orleans conference, 30 patients were asked to fast for 24 hours with water only. The scientists used blood tests before and after the fasting period to look at a number of different metabolic markers. Among other changes, they found that levels of human growth hormone, or HGH, surged after fasting — increasing 20 times in men and 13 times in women. The hormone is released by the body in times of starvation to protect lean muscle mass and trigger the body to start burning fat stores.

"'There is a lot more to be done to fill in the research on the biological mechanism,' Dr. Horne said. 'But what it does suggest is that fasting is not a marker for other healthy lifestyle behaviors. It appears to be that fasting is causing some major stress, and the body responds to that by some protective mechanisms that potentially have a beneficial long-term effect on risk of chronic disease.'"

Or it could just be that not eating the Modern American Diet for a while is good for you...

FuturePundit read the same research, and came to the same conclusion that I did:
"The best diet changes to make amount to turning the clock back: Reverse the wheat, vegetable oils, and sweetener consumption increase of the modern age before you start thinking about fasting."


Vibrams Still Selling Well...

...Despite the balogna from the shoe stores:

"Since Fleet Feet started selling Vibram FiveFingers about three years ago, Phoenix said they’ve been difficult to keep in stock. As part of the minimalist trend, these shoes are sought to strengthen feet and different leg muscles, but should be used with caution.

"'A lot of people come in here with the perception that "I’m going to run two hours in these," and you just can’t do it,' she said. 'You’ve got to use it as a tool to strengthen before you do any serious running. I’ve heard of people running marathons in them, but they’re really an efficient runner and they can pull it off.'"

Running barefoot or in minimalist shoes makes you efficient.  Sneakers allow sloppy form, barefoot-style punishes it.

She's right that you're not going to be able to run two hours right off the bat, but after an adaptation period?  No problem.  And your legs (and feet!) will feel great afterward.

Six Years of Jimmy Moore

His podcast has been a wonderful resource for me.  He's truly doing God's work.

Congratulations, Jimmy.

He's also giving away a session with Erwan LeCorre of MovNat.  Follow the link above... ;)

Track Your Plaque 2.0 Released

See here.  Dr. Davis has been busy.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Somnio Nada Review

Looks interesting!  The last, unfortunately, does not seem to be particularly foot-shaped...

New Blog I'll Be Following: Hunter Gait

Dr. Craig Richards.  This falls under "Duh, why wasn't I watching this already?"

Thanks to Pete.

Vegan Parents Convicted of Causing Child's Death

Not a clear verdict, however:

"Joel and Sergine Le Moaligou, who fed the 11-month-old child on nothing but breast milk were accused of 'neglect or food deprivation' after ignoring their doctor and seeking advice in a 35-year-old book on alternative medicine.

"A judge sentenced both to five years in jail. However, they escaped prison after part of the sentence was suspended and the time they had served in custody was taken into account.

"State attorney, Anne-Laure Sandretto, had called for a 10-year sentence against the couple who were convinced they could cure their daughter's pneumonia with traditional remedies. She also suggested the mother's vegan diet could have contributed to the death of the child, though this was argued over by experts giving evidence in the case.

"'We are not here to judge their alternative life style but to decide if this man and this woman have shown a lack of care and caused the death of their child,' said Sandretto.

"She said the parents had been 'blind, and sure of being right' and that this conviction had overridden their love for their daughter.

Time has an article about this case (yes, they're still publishing, apparently):

"Alternative medicine is far more commonplace today than it was in the past. Herbs and natural remedies can, in many cases, be effective at soothing colds and addressing muscle aches and plenty of other ailments. But a verdict handed down last week by a French court is a reminder that homeopathic treatment alone is hardly the answer to every health woe. In some cases, it may even be tantamount to child abuse."

So this leaves open the question as to cause.  Either 1) the vegan diet contributed to poor nutrition from mothers' milk; 2) Mother's milk is not sufficient nutrition at this age; 3) The parents failed to adequately treat an infection.  Most likely all three were factors.

The Time article includes this gem:

"It would be highly unusual for an 11-month-old to be solely breast-fed but even moreso in France, where apparently breast-feeding is 'something akin to drinking your own urine,' according to commentary from Fiachra Gibbons in The Guardian.

"'As a gynaecologist reminded a friend of mine the day she confirmed her pregnancy,' Gibbons wrote, 'Your breasts are for your husband, not your baby.'

That's simply moronic. Ah, medical professionals...

Follow-up to this post.

Friday, April 1, 2011

"Altra Now Taking Orders"

I'm waiting for the Adam, but this is terrific news for Altra!

"FDA Bans Unpasteurized Breast Milk For Breastfeeding Babies"

"'It came to our attention that individuals were suckling directly from an unbleached nipple,' said FDA spokesman Arthur Steenow. 'When we looked at data for the U.S. population as a whole, we realized there was a strong correlation between this intake of unpasteurized mother’s milk and other alarming symptoms, most notably emotional irritability, crying, incontinence, weak limbs, and even a lack of articulate, verbal communication. It became apparent that we needed to move forward with bold action steps immediately.'"

"Meat Eating Is An Old Human Habit"

If you were in doubt

Makes sense.  What's the point of being able to run down meat (PDF) if you can't chew it?

I've Decided to Become a Vegan

I'm also going back to wearing heeled shoes.

This may entail some changes in the subject matter of this blog...

P.S.  Whole Health Source is making a similar change: Raw Fruit Source