The Peat Whisperer Whispers Paleo

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By: Danny Roddy; author of The Peat Whisperer

Matt Stone and I have a lot in common: we both hate that sleepy-eyed bozo from Coldplay, we both had a crush on Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes from TLC, and we both agree that not since Wiene’s ‘The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’ has there been a film as important as Bay’s ‘Transformers II: Revenge of The Fallen.’

In addition to the above, we were both convinced early on that the metabolic rate (as defined by body temperature and pulse) was a compelling factor in health. Well, Matt was convinced before I was, and Dude probably saved my life by introducing me to the potato, but I digress.

I credit Matt for turning me onto the relationship between the metabolic rate, the thyroid gland, and the stress hormones. In short, he found that:

  • A high metabolic rate is associated with youth
  • Arguably, the dominant characteristic of youth is the ability to regenerate
  • A low metabolic rate is associated with aging
  • Arguably, the dominant characteristic of aging is imperfect repair
  • An efficient metabolism (youth) is supported by active thyroid hormone (triiodothyronine, or T3)
  • An inefficient metabolism (aging) is supported by adaptive stress hormones (e.g., cortisol, adrenaline, etc.)
  • A targeted diet and lifestyle can restore the metabolic efficiency of our youth

Matt’s ideas resonated with me due to my experiences with my own health; however, they are not popular amongst our peers in the Paleo community.

Rather than discussing ways to support the metabolic rate, those that view health from an “evolutionary” lens are finding new exciting ways to slow the life process.

For example:

  • Have you ever filled your bathtub with ice to engage in “cold thermogenesis”?
  • Have you ever “felt great” on a 24-hour “intermittent” fast?
  • Have you ever added a stick of grass-fed butter to a cup of coffee?
  • Have you ever called fructose “f#%ktose”?
  • Have you ever nodded your head in agreement with anything Robert Lustig or Gary Taubes has ever said?

If you answered, “yes” to any of the above, you may be an unknowing participant in a phenomenon I have dubbed, “The Race to Torpor!”

And if you’re befuddled, don’t worry; as Matt once said, “If you aren’t confused about health and nutrition, then you haven’t studied it long enough or deeply enough.”

In the following paragraphs I will attempt to make the case that:

  • Stress is often an overlooked factor in nearly every health condition
  • Adequate context for dealing with stress was described before the 1950s
  • Stress is characterized by inefficient cellular energy with an increase in unfavorable adaptive changes (e.g., cortisol, adrenaline, lactic acid, etc.)
  • While protective in the short-term these adaptive changes are degenerative and inflammatory in the long-term
  • Efficient cellular energy limits the need for these adaptive changes
  • The consumption of oxygen is usually the ‘bottleneck’ in efficient energy production
  • Among its many functions, carbon dioxide allows the cells, tissues, and organs to absorb oxygen
  • Thyroid hormone is the largest factor in the production of carbon dioxide and is the basic anti-stress hormone

I’ll end the article with a series of questions that are pertinent for anyone with unresolved issues adhering to a “Paleo template.”

Let’s get into it.

Stress: The Most Misunderstood Concept In Paleo

While the Paleo community agrees that stress is central in sickness and aging, little attention has been given to the role of the metabolic rate. Luckily, pioneering Hungarian physiologist Hans Selye painstakingly detailed the stress response several decades ago.

Selye’s view of stress was formed by lectures he attended in 1925 as a medical student. As part of his curriculum, Selye was shown several patients in the earliest stages of various infectious diseases. The professor carefully pointed out that the patient looked and felt ill, had a coated tongue, digestive issues, aches and pains, was depressed, and had psoriasis.

However, the professor ignored the patients’ symptoms explaining that they were “non-specific” and hence “of no use” when attempting to find a suitable drug for killing the germs “responsible” for making the patient ill.

The professor’s course of identifying specific maladies to be treated by specific drugs was lost on Selye. Rather than accepting the closed-minded view towards the patient’s “non-specific” symptoms, Selye asked himself why a wide variety of disease states (measles, scarlet fever, influenza) shared the same “non-specific” symptoms of a number of toxic drugs, allergens, and non-infectious diseases.

Later on in his career, Selye found that exposing animals to stressors (e.g., environmental toxins, adrenaline, insulin, extreme cold, extreme heat, x-rays, trauma, intense light or sound, hemorrhage, or inflicting pain or forced muscular exercise) induced a variety of unfavorable adaptive changes.

If the stress were not so great to be incompatible with life, animals would go through three distinct stages: the alarm stage (shock), the stage of resistance, the stage of exhaustion, and finally death. Selye and his team dubbed this phenomenon general adaptation syndrome (GAS), which has also been referred to as “the stress syndrome” or “the syndrome of being sick.”

While Selye wasn’t able to find a stressor that didn’t elicit GAS, the animal’s ability to cope with the stress varied. Selye believed that each animal had a finite amount of “adaptation energy” that could be used throughout the animal’s lifetime or used very quickly, similar to an inherited fortune.

Context Was So Several Decades Ago

Some hear the word “energy” and immediately tune out, but Selye was talking about real biological energy. Additionally, those who are inclined to dismiss Selye’s work thinking that he was a fringe character should consider the words of Nobel Prize winning physiologist Bernardo A. Houssay: 

“The endocrine organs contribute to the reactions of the organism when an emergency situation arises. This is the case in the event of adrenaline secretion during hypoglycemia or hypotension, or during rage or terror or fear. The role of the endocrine organs in the general-adaptation-syndrome [GAS] of the organism, when confronted with physical or chemical damaging agents or excessive physiological demands, has been brilliantly demonstrated by Selye. According to his studies these reactions, which in principle are generally favorable, can become damaging due to excess or frequent repetition; then they result in pathologic conditions such as nephrosclerosis, arterial hypertension, mycardial lesions, periarteritis, etc.” – Bernardo A. Houssay

In addition to Selye’s work on the biological events of stress, the work of Albert-Szent-Györgyi, Otto Warburg, Broda Barnes, and Raymond Peat alluded to nutrition, hormones, and the environment as having the most profound effect on an organism’s ability to withstand stress:

  • Nobel Prize winner Albert Szent-Györyi described that there was a large difference between producing energy through glycolysis (no oxygen: glucose to lactic acid) and producing energy through our highly evolved oxidative machinery (oxygen: glucose to carbon dioxide).
  • Nobel Prize winner Otto Warburg found that even in the presence of oxygen, a “respiratory defect” inhibited the cell’s use of oxygen producing lactic acid instead of carbon dioxide, which he found to be a characteristic of all cancers.
  • Broda Barnes found that those with low thyroid (low energy production) were privy to anxiety, heart disease, digestive issues, depression, chronic fatigue, insomnia, low sexual desire, acne, poor cognition, and premature aging.
  • Raymond Peat in many ways has continued the work of Szent-Györgyi and Selye. At 76 years old Peat continues to describe the interlocking features of cell excitation/relaxation, lactic acid/carbon dioxide, water retention/water loss, salt regulation, pH and energy levels, along with the biochemical and physiological processes that reinforce or modify them, including hormones and other biological signaling substances, nutritional adequacy and the type of fuel used.

T3: The Basic Anti-Stress Hormone (and anti-good movie)

As described by Selye, supporting the resilience of an organism during stress requires additional energy. The rate-limiting factor in energy production is usually oxygen, so supporting the cell’s ability to consume oxygen seems like a reasonable starting place. While it might sound far fetched, there are several known factors that influence energy production.

Buteyko, whom Matt has mentioned here and there over the years, found that inadequate carbon dioxide could cause anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, and a variety of other stress related conditions. His idea of ‘permissive hypercapnea’ has been discussed in journals describing the role of carbon dioxide in oxygen utilization.

Buteyko’s breathing exercises, which basically involve breathing less, invoked the work of Danish physiologist Christian Bohr. Bohr found that carbon dioxide helps separate oxygen from hemoglobin in the blood allowing cells, tissues, and organs to better absorb oxygen. Naturally, he called this phenomenon the “Bohr effect.”

Thyroid hormone is the most important factor in the production of carbon dioxide. Sometimes called, “the hormone of respiration,” T3 supports the cell’s high-energy relaxed state. Sufficient thyroid hormone assures the complete breakdown of glucose (providing carbon dioxide instead of lactic acid) as well as the production of protective sex hormones.

In the 1930s diagnostics such as basal oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide production, Achilles tendon reflex, bowel function, serum cholesterol, pulse rate, carotenemia, and quality of hair and skin were used to accurately assess thyroid function.

Body temperature and pulse (rate of blood circulation) were two particularly useful tests, as they could be measured easily and did not require a laboratory. A high body temperature (warm hands, feet, nose, genitals, or ~98 ° F) and high pulse (~85 BPM or so) coincided with adequate thyroid function.

A Paleo Template: The Best Way To Combat Adaptation?

So, before I ask these questions, I would like to state that I’m not interested in getting everyone to eat like me; in fact, I want you to eat whatever you want.

However, having gone through the wringer myself, I empathize with those who are stuck in a dietary paradigm that is not getting them to where they want to be.

If you’re following a “Paleo template” and are still experiencing problems, I believe that ruminating on these questions is pertinent:

  • Are pulse rate and body temperature meaningful health diagnostics?
  • What makes more sense: slowing the metabolic rate, increasing it, or is it a “U-shaped” curve?
  • Does the way you produce energy have any significance in health?
  • Carbon dioxide appears to be a central feature in resisting stress and maintaining health. Why is no one in the Paleosphere (besides Chris Masterjohn) talking about it?

To sum it all up: Do modern-day “Paleo templates” provide the appropriate context for dealing with the unfavorable adaptive changes seen in stress, sickness and aging?

I’ll be sticking around for a while for the comments so think out loud.

Matt’s thoughts on the built-in flaws of the Paleo Diet

249 Comments

  1. Just to clarify… I don’t mind Coldplay at all, I had to actually Google Lisa “left eye” Lopes to find out which TLC member she was, I’ve never seen a Transformers movie, I didn’t even bother Googling The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. I did, however, laugh my ass off while reading the first paragraph. For that I thank you Rowdy Roddy.

    Reply
    • I can and have performed the Left Eye verse of Waterfalls in front of a crowd. I’m cool like that.

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    • “I didn’t even bother Googling The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari”

      Reply
  2. After I eat sugary food, I thank Matt Stone.
    “Thank you Jesus for providing me the information to heal my body so that it can clear the glucose more easily from my body and does not send my body into a deep nap.”

    Reply
  3. Really good text, what’s your beef with grass-fed butter though? :-P

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    • No beef. Just poking fun at very high fat diets.

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  4. I don’t have any responses, but just wanted to say that I love both you guys for what you do, and so does my metabolism.

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  5. I like how Danny refers to Ray Peat as Raymond Peat. Hopefully me and Danny will be awesome enough one day that people will call us Daniel Roddy and Matthew Stone. Dreamin’ big here.

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    • I think “Stoner” and “Rowdy Roddy” have a more lasting and enticing ring.

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      • Yes, but ‘Stoner’ could be any of the guys I knew in college.

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  6. That paleo list was exactly what i saw when visiting the MDA forums for a week. A post on doing a 100+ hour fast and people congratulating him. A post on making “bulletproof” tea (stick of butter added to tea). Fear mongering and mob mentalities on any thread about carbs.

    So Danny, have you been branching out at all or is your diet still a strict Peat inspired diet? What do you think about Matt’s ideas that too much fluid can slow metabolism? I know that a Peat diet is very heavy on fluids although its also heavy on sugar and salt.

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    • I think there is a pretty large value in having solid foods in the diet.

      Anecdotally, if I eat a breakfast with solids (maybe a piece of meat, coke, coffee and milk) I tend to get a lot warmer than If I didn’t include the meat.

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      • A piece of meat, coke, coffee and milk.

        Great dietary advice.

        Not.

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  7. I feel like I can die a happy woman now. Matt Stone + Danny Roddy = ALL THE BEST THINGS.

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    • Candy and cola are pretty good too.

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  8. Excellent. Thank you Danny, Matt and Ray Peat for helping me follow my own instincts and leave the 7yr 0-50 carb/day lifestyle that was not only keeping me sick, but making me sicker. Articles like this further confirm that I am on the right track.

    Reply
  9. Haven’t read the article yet, but I can sufficiently say Danny Roddy is a badass. I’m grateful for both of your contributions to the health realm.

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    • By both, I’m referring to Matt and Danny. Badly worded sentence. Danny Roddy is not two people, as far as I know.

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      • Or is he…. DUN DUN DUNNNN…

        ::Looks up sheepishly, quietly walks away::

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        • That is an identity crisis he must deal with on his own. Maybe Ray Peat has an article on it somewhere.

          Hahah.

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  10. 2 things:

    1. as 180 nicknames go, “mayor of hair danny roddy” was my super favorite

    2. i’d like a date with danny roddy

    sorry if that was off topic!

    Reply
    • Matt outdid himself on that one.

      I hope you enjoy talking about menstruation Sophie.

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    • For the record I wouldn’t mind a date with Danny Roddy as well, but considering the intro of his article I got the feeling you’ll have more chance than I Sophie :-)

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      • We can always brodown and talk about Menstruation if you’re feeling left out Laurent.

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        • I can’t say that I have explored menstruation as a conversation starter lately; I believe that I have much to learn in that department so that sounds good :-)

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        • What is the deal with menstruation…should i read the post again? o.O

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  11. So what’s your take on respiration rate? Is Buteyko breathing about fewer breaths and thus more time for CO2 to do its thing? Is that a desirable practice? Is it related to meditative practices which slow the breath?

    How does this relate to kids having real fast respiration rates typically, commensurate with their higher metabolism?

    Reply
    • This was actually just discussed by someone way smarter than me on my facebook:

      Steven Scott posted:

      Awesome!! It is mentioned the the blog about hyperventilation in diseases but Ray Peat has told me that the low respiratory rate is a mistake by the Buteyko people, similar to those who think that a slow pulse is good. Here is what he said “The last air out of the lungs should approach 6% CO2, but with a continuous recorder you can calibrate it to make a correspondence between normal breathing and the forced expiration. The liters per minute don’t matter at all, except for estimating your metabolic rate, if you know the percentage of CO2. Some of the Buteyko people have mistakenly focused on the ventilation rate, forgetting that it’s meaningful only when you know the thyroid status…..Yes, when thyroid supports a higher metabolic rate, the increased CO2 is preventing physiological hyperventilation, in the sense of breathing so much that the amount of CO2 in the body is decreased. Slow breathing hypothyroid people, and many athletes with a slow heart rate, are really hyperventilating in the physiological sense, and are likely to have elevated lactate in the blood, displacing CO2.”

      “I think that Peat is saying that someone with optimal thyroid would have a higher breathing rate. However I don’t know if he would recommend forced slow breathing or not…but at least would probably recommend nasal breathing.

      High ventilation and low thyroid is probably what will lead to declining health.

      Buteyko often talked about the super endurance of the yogi. In his Moscow Lecture Artour Rakhimov mentions that what he meant by super endurance of the yogi is “be buried in a sealed coffin for several days and come out alive afterwards; go into a state similar
      to hibernation of animals with very low heart rate and body temperature for many hours or days (some yogi
      did not survive the last two endeavors), etc.”

      While Buteyko got a lot of things right about co2 he often recommended foods that slow metabolic rate and was against foods that stimulate metabolic rate…I”m guessing probably because an increase in metabolic rate increased the breathing rate which he reasoned that you were breathing out more co2 without taking into effect that those metabolically stimulating foods are increasing production of co2″

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      • So what I’m hearing is:

        High respiration and high metabolism = good
        Low respiration helps a low metabolism act like a high metabolism, and thus = good
        High respiration and low metabolism = not good

        Is that a fair enough condensation?

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        • That’s right. High respiratory rate = high metabolism, generally speaking, although there are some interesting caveats to that to be answered in response to Matthew Bowen below (which I will provide a good answer to I promise). Compare the panting of a 10-pound dog to a 100-pound dog, for example. Respiratory rate is something that declines with aging (and blood volume, oxidation, and on and on).

          The Buteyko method is more about decreasing hyperventilation and the escape of CO2. Hold it in and CO2 goes up, similar to breathing in and out of a paper sack. It probably has some very useful applications but as a theory it’s incomplete.

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          • is this why deep, slow breathing helps with anxiety?

          • Higher partial pressure of CO2 – PCO2 – in the lungs leads to more bicarbonate ion – HCO3 – in the blood.

            Two effects: i) more O2 unloading in the blood and ii) vasodilation in the arterioles. Vasodilation enhances blood flow, with lowering of BP and warming of the extremities.
            Those who do TM, Ashtanga Yoga breathing, Buteyko etc usually experience warming extremities within minutes of beginning the exercise.

            Whether performing these regularly always reduces BP, stress or even increases body temperature does not seem to have been established.

            Benson, in his book “The Relaxation Response” certainly did, and explained his belief by reference to Hans Selye and GAS.

            I have researched and used most forms of “guided breathing” and have found that the throat-restriction technique of Ashtangic breathing to be most effective in extremity warming. (It never reduced my mind wandering . . . . )

          • Interestingly, the “Iceman” Wim Hof recently wrote a book (in terrible need of an editor, but interesting nonetheless) in which he does describe a restricted-breathing meditative technique that he uses to help keep his body temperature (particularly extremities) while doing things like running marathons in shorts in the arctic, being encased in ice, etc. Given Hof’s demonstrated capacities for regulating things like body temperature and endotoxin response (which he mostly ascribes to the mind), I’d think he’d be an interesting topic of discussion in Peat-y circles, even if he clashes with the usually anti-cold-thermogenesis stance.

  12. Also, I find it so much more productive to talk about mechanisms and actually targeting hormones than to throw around scientific studies at each other all day to support whatever side of an argument you’re on.

    I actually do have a question though. Are there any downfalls to this approach? Obviously, I’m feeling much better when I’m warming up and my heart is beating a little faster than I’m used to, but what could go wrong by eating in a way that targets energy production and metabolism? I guess what I’m meaning is that are there any negatives to high salt and sugar intakes (among a nutritious diet that contains proteins and fats as well) even if your metabolism is revving up nicely? Over time perhaps? I’m used to thinking there are some downsides anywhere when it comes to nutrition.

    You don’t have to convince me of the validity of this approach, I’m just curious. I’ve been working at this for a few months and the results have been consistently good even when there have been times that I temporarily lost the benefits. So in that sense, I don’t feel that it’s a honeymoon phase like it has been with my other dietary experiments.

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  13. “Also, I find it so much more productive to talk about mechanisms and actually targeting hormones than to throw around scientific studies at each other all day to support whatever side of an argument you’re on.”

    Agreed.

    I look at Peat’s stuff like a toolbox for modulating the hormones and signaling substances that are associated stress, disease, and aging.

    I don’t think “perfect health” is the goal, but its fun to “know what to do” or “know what you could experiment with” when things aren’t right.

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  14. Swoon… it’s like Batman and Superman join forces and rule the universe!
    More later.. love me some Roddy and Stone together xo hag

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    • I think it’s more like batman and robin. 1960s version.

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      • Are you Robin Danny? :-)

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      • It’s Debbie btw in case you were fooled by my secret identity :-)

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        • I’m Robin and Matt is Batman circa Schumacher’s ‘Batman Forever’ (George Clooney).

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  15. Hey Danny and Matt,

    I was wondering how you two would explain the outcome of studies showing obese and prediabetic individuals often having very high respiratory quotients (usually around 0.8-0.85), suggesting a suppression of fat oxidation and an increase in glucose metabolism resulting in CO2 production, as well as sublicnical hyperthyroidism (with many of them often having higher than normal body temperatures). In addition to this, we see many non-elderly obese individuals with bone masses much higher when compared to non-obese individuals (obviously due in part to loading demands, but still, the regenerative process is continuing at a high rate). At the same time, we see increases in inflammatory markers (obviously related to fat hypoxia) and an increase in health complications.

    How do you reconcile these findings with your perspective on metabolism and health? Many obese people would have all the qualifications of good health that you recommend (high body temperature, high pulse, CO2 production, and high bone mass), yet ideal outcomes are absent. I have my own theories, but I’m here to pick your brains :p

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    • Are you referring to the study Guyenet recently tweeted?

      Admittedly, I’m not the best at picking apart studies, which is why I enjoy reading books on physiology.

      However, the study was brought up on Facebook, and a few people smarter than me pointed out that:

      -there was no control
      -RQ increases with overeating
      -AGEs was more associated with atheroclerosis than RQ

      When I think of this kind of scenario (overweight but healthy) I always think of a really good friend of mine who was extremely lean/healthy looking, but was diagnosed with NAFLD.

      When I started “coaching” last December my goal was to gather labs from those with “male pattern baldness.” Often, I would see a CBC/hematology that was “normal” — high CO2, good BUN, balanced sodium and potassium, etc. but when we obtained additional tests for specific markers of stress, they would have very high prolactin, lactic acid, or serotonin.

      In other words, I found that things weren’t always linear

      Interested to hear your thoughts.

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    • I’ve been thinking about some of the above lately Matthew, so thanks for the great questions. For starters, it’s my understanding (and certianly my experience) that it’s typical for the obese to have low body temperatures, not high body temperatures. Such a connection was easily found and established amongst dogs. It would be surprising if this didn’t hold up in humans. Especially if you were to look at resting body temperature (such as first thing in the morning), which is not the same as active body temperature. With extra body fat even slight movements require tremendous energy especially when the strength to bodyweight ratio is extremely low. But even more importantly, total metabolic rate is always higher with increasing body size. But metabolic rate per pound of bodyweight gets progressively lower as body size increases, a trend that can be seen with virutally all mammals. This is an interesting read about the “mass specific metabolic rate.” http://www.franklincollege.edu/pwp/lmonroe/Metabolic%20Rate%20Lab.pdf I have addressed this too in a post called “Definition of Metabolism” I think I called it.

      So a look at total metabolic rate can almost be looked at in reverse. The higher the total metabolic rate, typically the lower the mass specific metabolic rate – and I think it’s mass-specific metabolic rate we should be after.

      I assume the higher bone mass is from an increase in gravity from extra weight, and doesn’t have much to do with any internal hormonal events. But gaining a ton of weight is an anabolic process. Excess growth of everything should be expected I suppose.

      Also, the belief that fat = unhealthy is not very straightforward. All the data compiled in the U.S. suggests this is just a cultural belief, but not a scientific or statistical one. From the compiled NHANES data, the best longevity and morbidity stats are among those with a BMI of 25-30. After age 65 the best stats are among BMI 30-35 (stage 1 obesity by BMI standards). The underweight have the shortest lifespans, and probably the most stress hormone production and lower respiratory quotient as well.

      But my recent studies into higher RQ in diabetics has definitely made my head spin a little bit. I”m curious to hear your “theories.” Postprandially, RQ is usually lower in diabetics too – as the higher the rise in insulin the more glucose is used preferentially as a fuel. Diabetics typically don’t see much of a rise until way after a meal is consumed, with stagnant clearing of glucose out of the bloodstream.

      Also, I wil say that most obese people have very high resting heart rates, but to my understanding – low resting body temperatures. It’s a huge demand on the body to be huge, and I think that’s where these things start to get muddied up. That’s also why I have chosen over the years to de-emphasize resting pulse in assessments of metabolic rate, and instead put more focus on biofeedback (physiological indicators of a rise in metabolism) and resting body temp.

      Anyway, lots of interesting stuff to discuss no doubt.

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      • Wouldnt the high pulse rate be from having to push the blood much further then in a lean person?

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      • I would affirm that last paragraph, Matt. Overweight, low thyroid 36 year old woman here, with a consistent 96.1 resting temp, and a consistent 70-80 resting pulse. I had emailed Peat for a consult, and he asked me to chart my resting pulse. It wasn’t low, so that confused me.

        But you said, confused was good? Right? ;-)

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  16. Hag – actually Matt’s great grandfather’s name was: Roddy Stone.

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    • Nice one Ron

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  17. I have not seen the study Guyenet posted, I’ve just come across quite a few different ones while being the pubmed warrior that I am. One of the specific ones I remember reading was controlled for though. I’ll post a few up later tonight or tomorrow morning when I get the time (so check back!). Thanks for your thoughts. I would like to hear what Matt thinks too if he wants to chime in.

    Some more food for thought right now. Patients with COPD produce more CO2, exhibit higher rates of bone loss, have higher rates of inflammation, and have higher rates of resting energy expenditure. I think you are right in saying these things don’t behave in a linear manner.

    My idea is that there is a lot going on beyond creating a high metabolic rate. When I get some time I’ll expand some more.

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  18. Hey Danny, nice to see you on here (minus the awesome music with the cat growl thing). Quick questions:
    a) Where can i get that cat growl music :)
    b) What is your opinion on vascularity (good or bad)? My feet have visible veins but are prone to get cold. I had a problem in donating blood sometime back as they had trouble location a plump vein. So I was wondering how I can get that and if it is desirable.

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    • Google helped me answer (a). Wildcat by Ratatat – mind blowing.

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      • Mind blowing indeed.

        Anecdotally I’ve found it to be helpful health marker. When I’m warmest you can usually see the veins in my arms pretty well.

        When I gave blood back in my zero-carb days the nurses always had a problem finding a vein to use.

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        • Funny you mention that. I have like invisi veins in my arm and used to have trouble with them finding them and bruising me all up. Now adays, twice a year at the oncologists, no problemo. Could it be all the lovely carbs I consume? And I find that my fingers and toes are not nearly as ice like and white anymore. Enough calories and enough carbs I assume.

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        • That’s one of the first things that sparked my curiosity in sugar specifically. I felt crappy eating it but noticed a huge increase in vascularity. I knew what a positive sign that was so I kept eating it, and over time the problems I had eating sugar went away but the benefits remained – this was especially so when I began to eat more concentrated sources of sugar and cut back on sugar from very high water content sources, which caused me problems but I didn’t understand why until recently.

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          • Matt, I’ve asked you this twice, but you did not react. I have just bought your 180 Degrees Diabetes book. In that book you strongly advise the reader against sugar and white flour in any form. Have you changed your stand on the sugar issue?

        • I have that too,they also really look blue against my whiter skin,however I have no idea if it’s such a good thing as I find but I’m totally showing signs of dehydration (weird feeling in fingertips despite having warm hands,very dry flaky skin,wrinkles etc.)and need to drink even more on top than I do for my bowels to move along too.(And I sometimes can feel tired and/or lethargic then while being warm.)

          Despite the fact that my constipation sometimes seems to decrease lately, I usually out-of-the-blue feel highly stressed/OCD thinking about bad food etc,large pupils. and first lose a lot of pee when I’m usually also about to be able to poop (whether it’s a big or tiny amount).

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          • Weird thing is also sometimes before I’m about to make a poop or when I’m warm or sometimes when I’m eating, I all of a sudden get these thoughts of “I wanna eat all kinds of PUFA-filled processed junkfoods and grow fat&lethargic”…it feels like I’m insatiable despite the fact that I’m not hungry and then from one minute to the other it’s completely gone….(after I pooped.)……..I really don’t know what that’s about :s

  19. What would be reason to think of metabolic rate and health as a U shaped curve?

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    • Well, regardless of what Ray Peat says about people “enjoying” periods of hyperthyroidism, its pretty damn bad for you, just as being on to much thyroid hormone can lead to a-fib and bone loss, people who experience goiter and thyrotoxic events are not happy or healthy so benefits of high metabolic rate decrease when thyroid hormone goes to much above or below optimal.

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      • Things get slightly confusing when the medical community thinks that thyroid hormone is T4.

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        • Hi Danny,
          great article. I am one of those people who does wayyy better on T4 and cannot handle T3 even in tiny amounts. In fact I just raised my levo again and had a better weekend than I’ve had in quite a long time. Any ideas on why someone who is hypothyroid would not tolerate straight T3? Like some mechanism behind the usage of T3 by the cells?

          Reply
          • Good question, have you tried different brands of T3?

          • I sure have- name-brand Cytomel, generic Cytomel, Nature-throid, Armour, and some OTC bovine product I can’t remember the name of. Anything with T3 gives me anxiety, worse insomnia, and especially hair falling out like crazy. Even at very low doses (like 5 ug of Cytomel). I spent over a year going on and off T3 trying to figure out what was wrong because the STTM people had convinced me that of course I needed T3. But it creates some sort of stress reaction in my body. I think with enough T4, my body can just make however much T3 it wants, in whatever tissues it needs it. It makes more sense to me now that the pro-hormone would be more useful, and the body can decide what to do with it. At least that seems to work for me. Also there are like 20 million people in this country on Synthroid and I have trouble believing all of them are sick and unhappy. I know a lot of people do feel better with T3 though.

          • Really interesting.

            The only thing I can think of is that T3 dramatically increases my need for sugar/glycogen. If I take too much it can leave me feeling hung over.

            The liver is more easily able to convert T4 to T3 when it needs it, if all the cofactors are present.

          • Just would like to comment on not tolerating T3. i am an ICU nurse and have seen people go in to afib after starting on thyroid hormones. I think it has more to do with poor nutritional status and trying to increase the metabolism through thyroid supplimemntation. Kinda like Matt has elluded to, this mass hypothyroid dx is like type 2 diabetes. The hormone levels are normal or borderline hypo but we are resistant to our thyroid hormones because our bodies are downregulating the metabolism. So if you artificially increase the thyroid production with considering nutritional defencies – the body rebels. At least this is what I think. I have been studing metabolism and hormones for the last 3 years and I get to see alot of disease process in action being a nurse.
            Any how if you can reverse the cause of the low thyroid (excessive dieting, nutritional deficiencies, stress, etc) eventually there is no need for extra thyroid .
            PS- huge fan of Matt and Danny both and love your books. They have helped me tremendously in my studies

          • Thyroid supplementation is my biggest beef with Roddy/Peat. You do all these things to raise your metabolism, drink strain, salty OJ, eat ice cream, slam salt and sugar, etc…but when all that fails, buy some Mexican Cytomel and self-administer.

            If the dietary guideline really worked, no one would be taking T3/T4 meds.

          • @Otz,

            You are master of the straw man. There is literally nothing you do not confuse or misunderstand.

          • Otz,

            You’re not the only one who has noticed that there is a lot more mutual admiration pud pulling circles than logic around here!

          • Oh dear, such a silly comment. Like the possibility of having inborn low thyroid function doesn’t exist. Read Pottenger’s Cats or something like that and you’ll realize the extent of inborn damage that’s possible. Not to even mention that our Western environment/food is still very far removed from perfect, no matter how hard we try.

          • Well, I am not sure what nutritional deficiencies I would have though. I have been maybe 50% WAPF for 5 years now, drink tons of raw mlk, had everything tested that I could, etc. I don’t restrict sugar but I don’t have much of a sweet tooth so I don’t eat a ton of it either. (While on T3 I ate like a hog and still lost tons of weight.) I have tried supplementing the things I know play a role in T4->T3 conversion: iron, Vit A and selenium. Never saw a difference with any, except selenium makes me wired after a few days of use. I think I agree with Otz, if only diet was in play then no need for T3.

          • Hey Tierney. I’ve read the STTM and got heaps of information from it, but can’t stand the dogmatic approach of some. Why can’t they just believe their approach might not work for everyone? crazy. Anyhoo, for the past 6 months I’ve found a doctor to help me out with my thyroid stuff. I’ve had a thyroidecotomy, so no choice in taking meds. So I’ve been on synthetic T4 for nearly 3 years, getting more and more tired, life sucking balls etc. So I found this doc, and he goes on symptons first, labs second. So we’re in the process of taking me of all synthetic T4 (nearly 2 weeks now), and have been on natural T3 for several months. My doctor did a shitload of tests when I first came in (based on his experience) and found I had a severe chromium and iodine deficiencies, plus zinc, iron lowish – not too bad – and a couple of others I can’t think of. But most importantly, my cortisol has completely flat-lined, I have super low testoserone, low DHEA etc. Doc said its hard to get the most out of the thyroid meds when you have a hormonal profile like that. So we are working on a lot of things before I can really feel the power of T3. It’s very complicated and I wish I could help with some experience that mirrors yours. I spoke to Matthew this week so I am putting some dietary changes in place and am hoping that will help too. I can’t say I’ve been much for ‘sweet’ stuff for breakfast, but I did some pancakes with bananas and a bucket of maple syrup the next morning and to my surprise, I was full really, really quickly and most importantly did not get tired, which happens all the time after breakfast for me. Love instant results! I really have noticed over the past few days that the more carbs I have in terms of fat and protein, the quicker I get fuller, and the warmer I get. So I actually eat less quantity, and feel better. I’ve heard Matthew say this many times, and I thought it was BS or didn’t apply to me. Wrong again!

          • Tanya,
            First of all I am glad you are seeing success. I know how draining it is to feel bad all the time.

            I have been through all the hormonal testing with a anti-aging Dr, no dice. Hormones were all fine. Done the cortisol spit test twice, have a perfect cortisol profile.

            Never been tested for iodine and Iodoral is one thing I haven’t tried, mostly because the Iodine group is even more dogmatic than STTM and scared me away! I mean 100 g of Iodine/day? Holy shit. At some point I might take 1 or 2 grams and see what happens.

          • My daughter is 14 and has hypothyroidism since 4. She’s been on Synthroid for a while and before that another synthetic thyroid replacement. All her hair fell out about a year ago, which is when we tried Syntroid instead of whatever it was before. Recently, within the last 2 weeks I’ve started her taking raw thyroid in the morning with sythroid in the evening. she reports feeling a little more energy and we have started seeing new hair growth. I understand synthroid is only T4, but before she started taking it, she hadn’t grown in 2-3 years. T4 works. I’ve heard about Armour as a natural thyroid treatment and that it contains T3 and T4. Also, I’ve heard some endocrinologists hesitate to prescribe it for some reason. I’d appreciate any advice or insight into this.

          • Some endos do and some don’t. Mine is awesome and prescribes anything I ask for. You just have to ask and be prepared to shop around.

            I think most people say their hair grows back with addition of T3, but for me it makes it all fall out, go figure.

          • I fought the thyroid battle for about 10 years now. When first diagnosed hypo, my TSH was 60. They put me on Synthroid and upped the dose til my TSH was around 2.0. It stayed there for years. I gained weight and went downhill fast. Started eating on a low carb paleo template and got well. I was on 150mcg Synthroid as only medicine. I quit the Synthroid and tested TSH every 3 mo. It went from .88 to 3 in 6 months, then leveled out at 5.5 for 6 months. I started noticing cold hands and feet and started Armour. The doc was against it, but gave it a go. Started me at 30mg, my TSH went from 5.5 to 3.5 in 6 weeks (T4 from low range to midrange), we doubled the dose and 6 weeks later I was still cold, and TSH was 4.0, T4 had went down.

            Doc didn’t want to up the Armour any more and put me back on my original Synthroid 150mcg. Within 2 weeks I’m feeling much warmer, no cold toes. Getting TSH/T4 checked in 2 weeks. I’m wanting to get my TSH to 1 or less and T4 at top of range. I seem to have no problems converting T4 to T3 as it always follows perfectly. Never any antibodies either. I thnk trouble with Armour is that it has T3 and in people who convert T4 to T3 well the extra T3 interferes with feedback signalling and TRH is wrong

          • I think you’re probably right. Well also pigs make about 10x more T3 in proportion to what humans make. So the T3:T4 ratio in Armour is really not ideal. If you really want to mimic the human thyroid profile, add some synthetic T3 to your synthetic T4.

          • Pigs make 10x more T3 than humans? Where did you get that from, pharma reps?

          • Xena,
            don’t be an idiot. Who do you think makes Armour, and Nature-throid, and other dessicated products? You think some nice hippie makes them in their kitchen somewhere? Or do they also come from, DA DA DUM BIG PHARMA!!!

            Why would you expect the ratio and even the molecular structure of the hormone in another species to be the same as ours?

  20. are you the danny roddy from chris kresser’s podcast once upon a time? there can’t be many danny roddies…

    Reply
    • The one and only danny roddie.

      Reply
      • i always wished you had more airtime on that show. respect!

        Reply
        • and the first thing I find on your blog is a post about serotonin and lsd. even. more. respect. haha!

          Reply
  21. I’m loving the unity here! Many of these questions are tough to address. It is very tough to muddle through the research and even approach a theory. This is why I’ve been trying to look at things in a way that another favorite author of mine does. Nassim Taleb’s concept of “antifragility” provides great perspective with which to view research as, in his “Triad” (fragile-robust-antifragile) he makes a great point that theorizing is fragile when compared to phenomenology. I’m still working on how exactly this concept may apply but it certainly helps to free you of dogmatic approaches.
    Per the above question regarding RQ, I feel it is rather difficult to draw anything relevant from studies indicating, i.e. high RQ is correlated with X-pathology. Also, going further to relate it all the way back to habitual diet makes things even more confusing. Simply changing the ambient tempurature can effect RQ, overeating (carbs) can raise RQ, but that doesn’t mean carb rich diets are harmful as Guyenet has shown time and time again. I tend to think chronic overeating and undernutrition are primary drivers of many ill effects and the “phenomenon” that occurs in metabolic ward studies that control for calories is that many “dysmetabolemias” disappear as soon as subjects eat eucalorically or hypocalorically on almost any diet. Anyways, just my thoughts.., peace!

    Reply
    • Thanks Gabe, I was hoping you would chime in.

      Reply
  22. This is kind of off topic, but given all the talk on breathing, etc. what are your thoughts on meditation and yoga in relation to increasing the metabolism?
    Especially in the sense that they can reduce stress….
    great article:)

    Reply
      • This ones, pretty good as well. The thing that confounds me is that theysay metabolic rate drops when in this meditative state, and heart rate totally drops, so its hard to say exactly what’s going on, but it would be hard to argue that stress hormones play much of a role here.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Arr4C52grQ

        Reply
      • Interesting, thanks!

        Reply
  23. Here’s an interesting quote from Peat about is Christal:

    “In ancient China the Taoists were concerned with longevity, and according to Joseph Needham (Science and Civilization in China) their methods included the use of herbs, minerals, and steroids extracted from the urine of children. Some of those who claimed extreme longevity practiced controlled breathing and tai chi (involving imagery, movement, and breating), typically in the early morning hours, when stress reduction is most important. As far as I know, there are no studies of carbon dioxide levels in practitioners of tai chi, but the sensation of warmth they typically report suggests that it involves hypoventilation.” -RP

    Reply
  24. So if I switch from Paleo to Peat/Roddy/Stone and gain 20lbs, but increase my temp and heart rate, I’m better off? I went from an obese 250lbs to a lean 165lbs on low carb paleo as a 5’10, 47yo guy. My body temp is consistently 97 and pulse in the 50’s.

    I’m afraid if I add sugar, wheat, etc… I will be back where I was before. Removing them from my diet cured me of fatty liver disease, pre-diabetes, high bp, high trigs and gout…

    What in the SAD is not compatible with Peat/Roddy/Stone?

    Reply
    • Lots of people improve in those metrics from weight loss. Unfortunately there is usually a rebound phase with a worsening of all those metrics, and even weight gain on the diet used to lose all the weight. That may not happen to you. But it happens to over 90% of people who lose weight with the popular methods, such as low-carb, low-fat, vegan, exercise starvation, calorie restriction, etc.

      You will probably find that if you get your temp up a little bit and add some of those foods back as part of an intelligent approach that you won’t gain all that weight back, won’t experience a worsening in all the areas you’ve improved in thus far, etc.

      Reply
    • I would ask if there’s anything you’re currently struggling with (cold extremities, mood, libido, sleep, anxiety).

      I was ridiculously lean on zero-carb, but had serious libido problems in my early twenties.

      If you have no problems, I’m not sure I would recommend any radical changes.

      Reply
    • Otz, for fwiw I went from fairly low carb GAPS to a much more Peat style of eating and haven’t gained weight. I’m eating 200-300 carbs a day I think. I don’t eat grain and I’m currently dairy-free as well though hopefully not for long.
      I healed from a host of health problems on GAPS/paleo but continued to have issues with migraines and anxiety and some hormonal issues which is why I continue to tweak….
      experiment and follow your body’s cues!

      Reply
      • On the flip side, I gained back all the weight I lost through paleo/LC because my body was in a state of stress for a VERY long time.
        Constantly cold, peeing tons, low temps, a heart rate of 48, muscle cramps, and arrhythmia to boot.
        But with the weight I gained back, I got my life, color, personality, period, and BRAIN back. I’m not neurotic anymore, and have friends who like me just the way I am.
        I think it depends on how long you’ve been in a ‘damaged’ state. I really believe in all that b*ullshit balance everyone’s talking about. You may swing back up weight wise for awhile, but it will all even out. Just remain active, and enjoy life, and your body will follow suit.

        Reply
        • Thanks, Camila, I needed to hear that. I am constantly asking (since I’ve gained weight so rapidly after relaxing my rigid way of eating since finding Matt) would I rather be cold, cold and skinny or warm and FAT?? The sad thing is— I choose Cold and Skinny—trying to ignore the consequences of my choice.

          Reply
          • at first I thought I’d rather be dead than ‘fat’. It took some therapy and self-esteem before I realized I had much more than I ever had at a higher weight. These days, I don’t think I look all that ‘fat’. People have actually called me ‘skinny’ or ‘athletic’, despite being 40lbs higher than my LC days. Push on and life becomes livable again…it takes awhile for hormones and brain chemistry to normalize after dieting. Especially when cutting out all that exercise and fasting which leads to a huge decline in endorphins for awhile.

          • I really want this—it’s the highest truth I’ve heard with regard to diet programs–and I’ve read and heard it all but it has to be the hardest thing ever—to let go. I sometimes wish I had never heard this message b/c once I did–as much as I want, I can’t seem to go back to any mainstream or Paleo or LC programs. Great to have those who have travel this path already. But 40 lbs higher?? Is it more muscle or distributed differently with this program? Does it really not bother you anymore? Can’t thank you enough for sharing with me. One great thing–I used to get up at night to pee about 4 or 5 times–down to one—Love that.

          • Well, here’s how my diet recovery worked in a nutshell:
            You immediately gain water and fat. It goes to your tummy/midsection to protect your starving organs. After MONTHS of gain (and it’s different for everyone…fast, slow, or just steady) you come to a halt…I RRARFED until I got sick of food. And I really did. I could take it or leave it. Last night there was a potluck at work and I had a few bites of some cookies, an egg roll, a meatball but wanted to dance and sing with my friends more than anything else.
            Right now my fat has shifted a bit from my belly going to my boobs and thighs. That fat also gets burned off in working to repair organs, muscles etc once the body can come out of starvation mode and go into repair mode. Many people try to ‘gain weight the healthy way’ by adding muscle. But if your hormones are f*cked up, it won’t work. Working out is only beneficial for the metabolically restored.
            Yes, I still have issues. I HATE the way clothes fit. But I’ve found a few tried and true comfortable items, and I just buy them all the same cut, and move on. And again, I reiterate, people compliment how fit, flexible, and yes, ‘pretty’ I look. Much more than when I was a nervous wreck. Ever noticed how your cheeks flush beautifully after a warm piece of pizza?
            I’ve recently dropped 5 lbs after my weight reached its peak without additional exercise. It may keep going down, it might not. But this is a VERY long process undoing years of damage.

          • @Camila Interesting what you mention,bc I noticed on days where I feel depressed,anxious,fatigued,not being able to reletavate etc. and do step on the scale at the gym I have gained weight and I guess probably fat from what I see mostly on my belly.
            Simultaneously on days where I feel better mood,energy for working out,being able to reletavate etc. I noticed when I stepped on the scale I had lost ‘weigth'(dunno what ‘weigth’ that is) or at least stayed arounsd the same weigth……:s

          • I suggest ditching the scale. It causes stress, and stress = fat. ;)

        • That’s great advice Camila.

          Reply
  25. “I Used To Think Matt Stone Was A Douche, I Was Wrong ”

    Heh Heh. Story of my life right there

    Reply
    • It was that god damn interview with Jimmy Moore. If Matt hadn’t done it, I would still be zero-carbing and hating life.

      Reply
  26. Danny,
    Are there any areas where you disagree with Ray Peat?
    Thanks,
    ks

    Reply
    • I’ve been asked this a couple of times, but I consider myself a student of Ray’s. I’m constantly learning from him and those that he learned from.

      Reply
      • Right on. Ray Peat has a very unique perspective on things, just about every time I have emailed him, I have been happily surprised by his responses.

        Completely unrelated, I like the photography that accompanies your blogs.
        ks

        Reply
  27. I have been reading through all of Peat and Danny’s stuff for a year or more, and recently found Matt Stone, so cool to see Danny here.

    Ray Peat has said himself there is no “Ray Peat Diet’, but his dietary advice is prescriptive based on metabolic cues and labs. But you guys (Danny/Matt) seem to be advocating a single diet that is good for a population irregardless of metabolic status…am I getting that right?

    I’m going to post this in different replies to make it readable…
    Otz

    Reply
    • Hey Otz,

      “But you guys (Danny/Matt) seem to be advocating a single diet that is good for a population irregardless of metabolic status…am I getting that right?”

      I think that is specifically what we are *not* saying.

      Reply
      • But all of your ‘devotees’ tell everyone they come in contact with that they need to eat lots of sugar, fructose, wheat, etc… They never say, depending on your medical needs you should consider X.

        For instance, a person named Depamix posted this recently on Mark’s Daily Apple and it is very typical of “Peatatarians'; (http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread73085-9.html) comment 82

        “More gelatin and bone broth. Glycine, the amino acid highest in gelatin/bone broth inhibits lipolysis. Also, the collagen is great for skin vibrancy.

        You need to try eating more sugar from fruit and raw sugar. Starch is metabolized differently than fruit and sugar, and in general is more stressful. You have a compromised metabolism and digestive system. Eat more fruit. Melons, cherries, oranges, etc. Berries just don’t cut it, and they have unavoidable seeds and too much fiber.

        Pulp free orange juice is fiber free and lowers insulin resistence: ARS | Publication request: Orange juice consumed regularly decreased the Insulin Resistance in normal subjects

        Another thing… You have a really high dietary iron intake. Do you drink coffee with iron rich meals? Donate blood? Excessive iron is definitely a contributing cause to aging in men.

        I also don’t see where you’re getting any sufficient calcium in this diet whatsoever, so your phosphorus to calcium ratios are all out of whack. Drink more milk, eat some cheese, etc

        Reply
        • “But all of your ‘devotees’ tell everyone they come in contact with that they need to eat lots of sugar, fructose, wheat, etc… They never say, depending on your medical needs you should consider X.”

          Maybe call them out on it then?

          Reply
        • Funny to see you commenting about me here.

          “But all of your ‘devotees’ tell everyone they come in contact with that they need to eat lots of sugar, fructose, wheat, etc… They never say, depending on your medical needs you should consider X.”

          I never tell anyone to eat wheat, I only mention wheat in jest because I believe that gluten phobia is overblown.

          Medical needs? Such as? My post is perfectly relevant to the topic. Also, I’m no one’s “devotee”. I respect Danny Roddy a great deal, but I will have my own opinions about topics too. But, yes, feel free to call me out on it.

          Reply
          • “Funny to see you commenting about me here.”

            I know, right? It’s like when Abby from NCIS showed up on CSI New York…

            I’m picking on you because your advice included the “4 Pillars of Peat-ism” Strained OJ, More Sugar, Calcium, and Iron. Any time I see those words mentioned together, it always comes from someone who follows Peat/Roddy/Stone closely.

            I loves me some Peat, but he is a doctor who fixes broken people based on their labs. I put him in the same boat as Jack Kruse…people should not be doing something he says just because he recommended it to someone else.

            I would love to make an appointment with Dr. Peat and a couple years follow-ons, but to just start eating more sugar, strained OJ, coffee, and donate blood? All in the hopes of raising my metabolism? No way.

          • I wouldn’t lump me together with Peat and his closer devotees. OJ and coffee aren’t things I recommend for raising metabolic rate. I take a mineral supplement called Min-Col with buttloads of iron and pass out when I get stabbed with a needle and would never give blood even if my life depended on it. Hey, what can I say? I’m a pussy. Kind of like you, deathly and irrationally afraid of strained orange juice :)

          • “Hey, what can I say? I’m a pussy. Kind of like you, deathly and irrationally afraid of strained orange juice :) ”

            Can’t stop laughing.

          • I think your style and advice is better for everyone than Peat’s, but it often seems people generally find you through that avenue–I did.

          • “I think your style and advice is better for everyone than Peat’s”

            Otz, do you mean THIS advice:

            “Since the contextuality of communication is always in the foreground when I talk or write, you know that someone is confusing me with an authority when they talk about my ‘protocol’ for something. Context is everything, and it’s individual and empirical.” -RP

          • No, I’m talking about the advice he gives to his patients or sick people that folks take out of context and use on themselves.

          • Most of “peat recommendations” actually come from his articles.

          • You still haven’t mentioned what medical issues I should not recommend the same things to. If you mention metabolic syndrome so help me…

            I have my own bad experiences that have all but gone away since implementing Matt Stone/Danny Roddy/Ray Peat/ ideas. I’ve mentioned them before, and it’s just funny how they all showed up in such a short time.

            “My hair, skin, digestion, body odor, libido, mood, sleep quality, body temperature were all TERRIBLE. I was freezing in 70 degree weather. I honestly felt like I was dying. I have no idea why I did that to myself other than self-experimentation. I thought since others claimed ketosis was some magical promise land of mental clarity and energy that I would give it a shot. Worst mistake I’ve ever made, and I only tried it for a month.”

            I drink an excessive amount of coffee, for sure, but I never tell anyone to just parrot whatever it is that I’m doing. Maybe it seems like I’m trying to rustle the jimmies of a bunch of impressionable cavemen, but if they’re feeling anything like how I felt they’ll come to their own conclusions. Isn’t it inquisitive minds that drive the world forward?

            The dogmatic hivemind mentality shared largely by this paleo community is exactly the problem. It’s also funny how you couldn’t wait to post this blog entry on MDA in hopes of stirring up some shit with an inflammatory(see what I did there) topic title. “Danny Roddy slams Paleo”

            http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread73295-2.html

          • You are a strange duck…

            This is why people have a hard time with “Peatatarians”. Look familiar? It’s your post on MDA this morning:

            “Would probably help if you knew what you were talking about. Not only is liver and brone broth a Peat-friendly food, but the special carrot salad is nothing but grated carrots in coconut oil and vinegar. Straining OJ is not hard, and you can even use commercial orange juice. Hell, he even uses frozen concentrate OJ himself. Ice cream is fine if it doesn’t contain gums, additives, et el. Haagen Daz for example, which I eat liberally.

            How hard is this diet(mine for example when I started at first):

            4 quarts of milk, 2 quarts of orange juice, 10oz or more of cheese, 1-2lbs of dates, 28oz of haagen daz daily, lots of salt, some bakers chocolate, 8oz of beef liver every week, butter, coconut oil, coffee, supplemental sugar(in coffee, milk, orange juice, and even on my cheese) gummy bears, mexican coke, blackstrap molasses.”

            There is no dietary guidelines in the whole world that advocate eating that much sugar. I’d be willing to bet that Ray Peat would not recommend your diet to any of his patients. Admit it, you are a sugar-holic and you just loves your sugar. You are going to eat sugar because you like sweet things, and now that Roddy-says-Peat-says it’s OK, you have a soapbox to stand on and shovel it down with wild abandon.

            Sugar lovers are going to do whatever the guy who says ‘sugar is good’ tells them to. They will then say, ‘it’s OK to be fat because my temp is normal’.

          • Keyword was at first, I was just pasting that from another forum. I was coming off an extremely low carb diet, I was binge eating struggling to get my temperature up. I typically consume around 300g of carbs a day now.

            I’m actually not addicted to sugar though. I could just not eat it, if I wanted, but I do want to, that’s the beauty of choice.

            Again, if someone blindly parrots guy on the internet named “Derpamix” for fucks sake, they deserve whatever shit happens to them if it’s bad. Might not be though. Do whatever you want, be smart, listen to how you feel.

            I’m 6’3 and 155lbs, I’m not fat, this way works incredibly for me.

          • i always thought you were a chick…

          • @Otz

            Newsflash: Roddy, Stone & Peat are different people.

            “I loves me some Peat, but he is a doctor who fixes broken people based on their labs.”

            It’s pretty clear you haven’t read Peat.

            “I put him in the same boat as Jack Kruse…people should not be doing something he says just because he recommended it to someone else.”

            Peat and Kruse are nothing alike.

            “All in the hopes of raising my metabolism? No way.”

            No one is putting a gun to your head Otz. Do whatever the fuck you want.

          • “Peat and Kruse are nothing alike.”

            Sure they are. They are exactly alike.

            They are both doctors who have made a living seeing real patients and get results fixing them.

            They both have claims that go against the mainstream medical community.

            They both have legions of followers trying to turn them into gurus.

            They are both very vocal about what they believe in.

            They both like to write and tell people what they have discovered.

            They both get their advice taken out of context which makes them look like idiots.

          • “They are both doctors who have made a living seeing real patients and get results fixing them.”

            Peat is not an MD, he has his PhD in biology. He does not have patients.

            “They both have claims that go against the mainstream medical community.”

            Sisson has claims that go against the mainstream medical community.

            “They both have legions of followers trying to turn them into gurus.”

            I’m trying to figure out what kind of logical fallacy you’re invoking here.

            “They both like to write and tell people what they have discovered.”

            You’re right. Kruse’s “EPI-Paleo Rx” is very similar to Peat’s “Adaptive substance, creative regeneration: Mainstream science, repression, and creativity”

            “They both get their advice taken out of context which makes them look like idiots.”

            This is true, as you’ve demoed for us throughout this thread.

          • Unless I’m mistaken, Ray Peat has never been a practicing physician.

  28. OK, I’m a 47 yo guy. I was in the military from age 17-38. In the early years, I ate whatever I wanted and my weight was stable in the 170-180lbs range. As I hit my 30’s, my weight started creeping up. I was eating firmly SAD; pizza, ice cream, cookies, fast food, etc… In order to meet weigh-ins, I had to do drastic calorie cutting/dehydration efforts to get under my max weight of 195.

    I retired in 2003 and ballooned from 200 to 250 in 2 years. I was eating ice cream, pizza, cokes, pop-tarts–all the things you guys like.

    Also during those 2 years, I was diagnosed hypothyroid and put on 150mcg Synthroid (made no diff to weight), put on meds for high bp, high trigs (were over 1000), pre-diabetic, had bad gout, and fatty liver disease. I was the poster boy for metabolic syndrome.

    My question to you guys: What do you feel led to my decline into met syn?

    Reply
    • I would guess lots of fast food PUFA, genetic weight gain propensity (this tendency is mostly developed in utero and in early development (future bodyfat levels can indeed be predicted at age 2, and maybe as early as 6 months), falling metabolic rate that starts at 30, overconsumption of fluids, stress – and most of all… repeated extreme dieting – the most fattening thing in the universe.

      Reply
      • Thank-you, Mr. Stone, that was a very insightful answer. I agree 100% with what you wrote. I wish I could have changed my path at an earlier age, but at any rate, I definitely don’t want to go back to where I was!

        It’s too bad most people don’t seek out people like you before they get into a mess.

        Reply
      • Ooh can you expound on how future bodyfat levels can be predicted at age 2??

        Reply
      • Amen!

        Reply
      • OK , I love this
        “repeated extreme dieting – the most fattening thing in the universe”

        Should be on a bumper sticker or something!

        Reply
    • Also, what kind of military training did you do? I have it in my mind that there’s ‘bootcamp’ style stuff, lots of running, and endurance exercises (though there’s nothing wrong with push/pull ups). That’s pretty catabolic.
      Also how was your sleep? Did you stay up at night and sleep during the day?
      I never gained weight faster than when I had to survive off of 5-6 hours of sleep, but that’s just a personal anecdote…

      Reply
      • I was in the Air Force, often called the “Chair Force” because we don’t focus on fitness like the Army and Marines…For 10 years, my fitness requirement was a once-a-year, 1.5 mi run in under 14 minutes. That was changed because too many people were dying! The replacement standard was a ride on a stationary bike while wearing a heart-rate monitor. If your heart rate went too high under a minimal load, you were sent for remedial training–almost everybody passed…

        Sleep – crap. Rotating shifts, all-nighters, early mornings…
        Stress – high. Moved to new post every 2-3 years, Lots of extended workl away from home, lots of time in combat zones. Lots of cross time zone travel.
        Diet – Horrible. Pizza, beer, donuts, fried food were staples at home. Meals-Ready-to-Eat (Prepared rations) for months at a time in field locations.

        Reply
  29. Last post in series…

    In 2005, my doc said I had better start exercising and eating right. He advised me to cut all the fat, keep calories under 2500, and eat lots of whole grains. At this time, I could barely walk for the gout, couldn’t do a single pullup or pushup. I worked hard at exercising, followed his dietary advice, but could not lose weight and my labs were all terrible. I felt like crap.

    I kept like this until 2010, meds increasing, weight bouncing between 220-250. Gout attacks monthly. I ‘discovered’ Mark’s Daily Apple in late 2010. My last gout attack was Dec 2010.
    By May 2011, I was off all meds, except Synthroid, and doing 15 pullups and 100’s of pushups/situps/squats. I started off low carb and added back starch slowly.
    Since 2010, I have strictly avoided only 3 things: Vegetable oils, refined sugars (table/HFCS/etc..), and flour of all kinds. Avoiding these 3 things takes almost all prepared and snack foods off he table. I eat lots of fruit and starchy veg. I don’t count anything, but would guess my carbs come in at under 100g most days and protein is above 100g, with remainder fat from meat, cheese, nuts, and coconut oil.

    I still take Synthroid, but my body temp is still 97. My T3 is in upper quartile of ref range and TSH below 1.

    Not looking for medical advice, but wonder if you guys could deconstruct my descent into poor health and how I’ve clawed my way out with Paleo a la Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint…anything you would have do different or think I should do different for future?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • I would just eat a few more carbs and work on improving in some key biofeedback areas to make sure your metabolism is solid. Labs are good but body temperature signifies the total net metabolism in my view. Biofeedback like free flowing bowels, strong teeth, pink tongue, strong libido, sleeping through the night without a wakeup, warm hands and feet, fast growing hair and nails, moist skin – that kind of thing.

      Reply
      • Again, awesome answer. Low carb is something that I think can be helpful when re-establishing a relationship with eating, but not a good long-term strategy.

        Your bio-markers should be noted by everyone. The trouble with conventional medicine is that if I went to the doctor with stopped up bowels, weak teeth, poor libido, poor sleep, and cold hands–I would walk away with laxatives, fluoride, Viagara, sleeping pills, and expensive, prescription mittens!

        I nearly let the docs kill me til I took it in my own hands.

        Thanks for your work.

        Reply
  30. This topic is so interesting to me as I have low thyroid…as I have hashimoto’s and I have all of the above mentioned symptoms by Broda Barnes. No matter what I seem to do…I just can’t get warm!! Is anyone else experiencing this…if so what are you doing to get warm. Would be interested hearing from anyone.
    Thanks!!

    Reply
    • Donna, someone just wrote me explaining that the ANTI-serotonin drug, Zofran, reduced all of there “Hashimoto antibodies” down to 0:

      “I have been taking Zofran (ondansetron) for a little over a year now due to panic attacks that caused severe nausea after eating. My doctors initially wanted me to take an SSRI to counteract the anti-serotonin nature of the Zofran, but it completely made the nausea and anxiety flare up and made me feel like crap and caused me to gain weight. I have to say at no point have I had any depression that my doctor suggested I might. I am still working on diet to try to find ways to make it so I don’t have to take it anymore, but I went from being on an all liquid diet for 6 months and severe malnutrition and hypothyroidism to being able to eat solids with the help of the Zofran.”

      “I should probably add that the panic attacks have gone away as have the signs of hypothyroidism and hashimoto’s antibodies back down to 0, but this happened once I was able to start eating, which the Zofran was the big help on. Great article, really helps pull some things together for me and my situation.”

      Not suggesting you take that drug, but there are many different ways to lower serotonin, which synergizes with estrogen and suppresses the thyroid.

      Here is a little about estrogen and “Hashimoto’s disease”:

      http://www.dannyroddy.com/main/2012/3/12/hashimotos-disease-excess-estrogen-in-disguise.html

      Reply
      • Thank you Danny for your reply…so if I understand this right.. if I lower my serotonin levels, I will reduce my thyroid problems and I won’t be suffering so much as I have been for years. I will also try and have my doctor allow me to do the necessary blood work as mentioned on your blog. I am wiling to try anything as my doctors just have the wait and see approach, and its been like this for 10 years or so and I just can’t function anymore.
        And if anyone else has any type of success I would really appreciate it if you could let me know what you did.

        Reply
  31. Selye was a massive genius.

    Off topic: Is it just the picture, or do you have massive traps?

    Reply
    • Just the picture. I’m very lean/skinny, about 155 lb. at 5″11.

      Reply
  32. Otz,

    I’m not arguing for specific foods per se, I’m arguing for context.

    I have no doubt in my mind that someone could become “healthy” on a paleo diet. However, I wouldn’t buy for a second that they became healthy because they ‘recreated the metabolic condition we evolved under’ (Harris)—which is changing everyday in the paleo community.

    Reply
    • From your article above:
      To sum it all up: Do modern-day “Paleo templates” provide the appropriate context for dealing with the unfavorable adaptive changes seen in stress, sickness and aging?

      I think the answer is yes. There are some short-comings with paleo, however, the biggest being that people make it ‘Low Carb’. I think that is changing rapidly, though.

      Otherwise, the adoption of eating non-processed, whole foods, exercising, getting good sleep, and paying attention to nutrition I think are all great things.

      Reply
      • @Otz,

        The question, you answered it. Awesome. Thank you.

        Reply
  33. Love it! Fascinating stuff. Keep it up: Stone/Roddy 2016! Goodbye “bulletproof” coffee, hello salty-ass ice cream.
    Sorry if this question sounds redundant but you mentioned Selye’s views on a “finite” amount of adaptive energy potential– do you believe then that an individual is born with a fixed amount of “adaptation energy” and this is determined by preexisting genetic factors? Is the goal then to maximize our own energy potential as an individual, based on our own specific physiology? I just wonder how much of our metabolic health is determined by genetics and am curious as to why some individuals seem so resistant to stress (despite living in incredibly stressful conditions), while others seem much more prone to even minor stressors. I suppose this is a fairly broad topic– it’s just Peat talks a lot about the failings of “genetic determinism” and I am curious as to what role (if any) you believe genetics play in overall metabolic health.

    Reply
    • I think Peat’s concept of “generative energy” builds upon Selye’s idea of finite “adaptation energy.”

      As for genetic diseases… It’s a big question. The mainstream believes that diabetes, allergies, and arthritis, etc. are caused by “defective genes.” They also believe that serotonin makes you feel good and that estrogen protects your bones.

      Peat famously doesn’t buy into this. There was a podcast where he described a split between those that believed that the environment had the largest influence on the organism and the “gene people” who propelled the genetic determinism concept of disease.

      He lays out his views in this article. It’s online somewhere:

      From Mitochondria & Mortality

      —–

      “Mitochondrial metabolism is now being seen as the basic problem in aging and several degenerative diseases. The tendency has been to see random genetic deterioration as the driving force behind mitochondrial aging. Genetic repair in mitochondria was assumed not to occur. However, recently two kinds of genetic repair have been demonstrated. One in which the DNA strand is repaired, and another, in which sound mitochondria are “recruited” to replace the defective, mutated, “old” mitochondria. In ordinary nuclear chromosomal genes, DNA repair is well known. The other kind of repair, in which unmutated cells replace the genetically damaged cells, has been commonly observed in the skin of the face: During intense sun exposure, mutant cells accumulate; but after a period in which the skin hasn’t been exposed to the damaging radiation, the skin is made up of healthy “young” cells. In the way that the skin can be seen to recover from genetic damage, that had been considered to be permanent and cumulative, simply by avoiding the damaging factor, mitochondrial aging is coming to be seen as both avoidable and repairable.

      The stressful conditions that physiologically harm mitochondria are now being seen as the probable cause for the mitochondrial genetic defects that accumulate with aging. Stressful exercise, which has been known to cause breakage of the nuclear chromosomes, is now seen to damage mitochondrial genes, too. Providing energy, while reducing stress, seems to be all it takes to reverse the accumulated mitochondrial genetic damage. Fewer mitochondrial problems will be considered to be inherited, as we develop an integral view of the ways in which mitochondrial physiology is disrupted. Palmitic acid, which is a major component of the cardiolipin which regulates the main respiratory enzyme, becomes displaced by polyunsaturated fats as aging progresses. Copper tends to be lost from this same enzyme system, and the state of the water is altered as the energetic processes change.”

      —–

      One thing is for sure though; genetic determinism is definitely good for business. You don’t make billions of dollars by telling people their problems are the result of parental stress, prenatal stress, and early life stress.

      Reply
      • TRUE DAT. Thanks for the great reply, and for all the stellar info! Seriously, I thank you and Matt for saving me from Paleo-induced-torpor-hell… *shudder*

        Reply
      • I am super confused by this. Mitochondrial damage has nothing to do with hereditary diseases. There is no reason why some component of metabolic diseases wouldn’t be genetic. In fact the thought that there wouldn’t be some GenexEnvironment interactions is kind of silly. Am I misunderstanding what you are saying?

        Reply
        • So, I am not going to get an answer to this, after giving you the benefit of the doubt? I am going to assume that you really need to pick up a genetics text then, like you told Otz to pick up a nutrition text. Become your own expert, Danny.

          Reply
  34. I just re-read Danny’s visit to Mark’s Daily Apple forums last summer: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread59985-25.html

    It looks like the biggest difference between Mark’s Primal Blueprint and Danny Roddy’s interpretation of Ray Peat’s work would be the inclusion of sugar. Sisson says this of sugar:

    “Sugar stimulates a physiological stressor-reaction cascade that provokes adrenaline and cortisol release and thickens the blood.
    Sugar effectively disables your immune system by impairing white blood cells’ functioning.
    Sugar decreases your body’s production of leptin, a hormone critical for appetite regulation.
    Sugar induces significant oxidative stress in the body.
    Sugar appears to fuel cancer cells. (Check out Free the Animal for much more on the cancer connection.)
    Sugar promotes fat storage and weight gain.
    Sugar disrupts the effective transfer of amino acids to muscle tissue.
    Sugar intake over time spurs insulin resistance, subsequent Type II diabetes and the entire host of related health issues like nerve damage and cardiovascular disease.
    Yes, sugar is one insanely powerful drug. Addictive, to boot.”

    Ray Peat likes sugar to ‘increase metabolism’, but beyond that, there is no ‘Ray Peat’ or even ‘Danny Roddy’ diet. When people try ‘going Peat’ they simply start drinking lots of strained OJ and eating gummy bears and wonder why they gain weight.

    As far as I’m concerned, there is no comparison between Ray Peat/Danny Roddy/Matt Stone’s diet recommendations and Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint. Primal Blueprint wins hands-down as a long-term strategy for regaining health, losing weight, and keeping it off. When one says, ‘but there’s not enough sugar to support a high metabolism’ it doesn’t compel me to start eating sugar.

    Reply
    • Otz, you completely lost me. I have no idea what the fuck you’re talking about.

      Reply
      • Well, sorry. It’s late.

        Your article here describes a Paleo diet as a path to torpor. You posit that eating whole foods, without sugar, leads to decreased metabolism. The only difference I see between your way of thinking and the entire paleo movement is ‘Sugar”, and when sugar isn’t it, you suggest taking thyroid supplements.

        It seems like having a metabolism running on sugar and exogenous thyroid hormones isn’t the best way to a long, healthy life, but I’m open to having my mind changed.

        Reply
        • @Otz,

          “Your article here describes a Paleo diet as a path to torpor.”

          No, I don’t think it does. It describes the Paleosphere’s context, something like, “the diseases of civilization are largely related to abandonment of the metabolic conditions we evolved under,” as being a path to torpor.

          I don’t think that subscribing to a Paleo diet is necessarily incompatible with health. I remember mentioning that repeatedly in the MDA thread, but it seemed to be over a lot member’s heads.

          “You posit that eating whole foods, without sugar, leads to decreased metabolism.”

          No, I don’t. I’m not sure where you got that.

          “The only difference I see between your way of thinking and the entire paleo movement is ‘Sugar”…”

          Yes. You’re right. The Paleosphere, like me, is very concerned with CO2, serotonin, prolactin, lactic acid, gelatin, estrogen, the pituitary, progesterone, salt, calcium and in general, cellular respiration.

          “It seems like having a metabolism running on sugar and exogenous thyroid hormones isn’t the best way to a long, healthy life, but I’m open to having my mind changed.”

          Again, I have no idea where you’re getting this stuff.

          Reply
    • Wow, I thought you were going to mock Sisson after putting up that long list of complete fallacies about sugar. It lowers cortisol and adrenaline, raises leptin, doesn’t induce oxidative stress, doesn’t promote fat gain in isolation, increases amino acid transfer to muscle tissue, increases immune system function, and the part about fueling cancer has more to do with what happens when you make a petri dish full of cancer cells syrupy – in the body eating sugar doesn’t increase blood concentrations and in some contexts lowers it.

      A diet of gummi bears and strained orange juice would cause extreme weight loss, not gain.

      Reply
      • I’m sure that list could be used to mock Sisson, but this is the great disconnect I see.

        Sugar, especially refined white sugar, brown sugar, HFCS, Agave syrup, and however else the package it is what many believe led to the obesity crisis we are in.

        I find it terribly confusing because both sides of that argument can find studies, articles, and anecdotal evidence supporting views for or against sugar in these forms.

        Even natural fruit sugar “Fructose” is villified to some extent as a burden on the liver by most in the paleosphere and as such we tend to limit it, but accept it as a necessary evil to get the good stuff from fruit.

        Reply
        • “Sugar, especially refined white sugar, brown sugar, HFCS, Agave syrup, and however else the package it is what many believe led to the obesity crisis we are in.

          I find it terribly confusing because both sides of that argument can find studies, articles, and anecdotal evidence supporting views for or against sugar in these forms.

          Even natural fruit sugar “Fructose” is villified to some extent as a burden on the liver by most in the paleosphere and as such we tend to limit it, but accept it as a necessary evil to get the good stuff from fruit.”

          —–

          @Otz, become your own expert.

          —–

          “Everyone should know the basic principles of nutritional physiology and have a general idea of the chemical composition of foods. Otherwise, you will be confused by conflicting claims. Become your own expert – for example, if someone tells you not to eat fruits and proteins at the same meal, get a book on digestion and absorption of food from the library, and read about interactions.” – Ray Peat, PhD

          Reply
  35. Hello there.

    In the article, you mention ice baths as not being a good thing. I am from a cold climate and I often love to swim in chilling water (40 -60 deg F or 5 – 15 deg C). I find the lure of a river very tempting and feel great afterward. I also note that Buteyko favoured cold baths here at http://www.normalbreathing.com/l-cold-shower.php.

    I would like to know more about why this may be good/not good?

    Reply
    • It’s just an acute stress. That’s why you feel euphoric, and why many people often get themselves into trouble doing what feels good. What feels the best is increasing stress… for a while. Quotes from Danny’s blog, the first from Selye…

      ACTH and cortisol, possibly due to their anti-inflammatory effects, can make one feel good, at least in the beginning:

      “Adaptive hormones can cause mental changes in man. Many patients who take ACTH or cortisol first develop a sense of extraordinary wellbeing and buoyancy, with excitement and insomnia; this is sometimes followed by a depression which may go so far as to create suicidal tendencies.”

      — Hans Selye

      “Glucocorticoids exert early influences on the brain that tend to elevate mood and increase the sense of ‘well-being.’ Larger amounts can bring on temporary euphoria. However, the secondary effects include psychic depression. Patients with chronically elevated levels tend to have mood swings. They have been known to display bizarre behavior and to suffer hallucinations.”

      — Constance R. Martin

      Reply
      • Thank you for responding.

        The penny is beginning to drop. Then I thought some more. Is not strength training and a lot of other beneficial things a stress? Does not anabolic muscle building start with the catabolic tearing of muscle. It seems there is a dance of opposites going on here and the trick is to get the timing and balance right, which will not be the same for every body/life situation?

        I often have to play a musical instrument in 5 deg C (@40 deg F) temperatures if I am lucky. Even though my hands are usually warm, I wear fingerless gloves that also cover my wrists to ensure that I do not injure my hands. If I have to play outdoors in winter, I prepare by plunging my hands in ice water (never ice); it usually takes me two weeks to adapt. I have always wondered how some people can play outdoors without fingerless gloves at freezing temperatures without injury. Now I know, it must be the adrenaline of being on stage.

        Reply
        • As a personal experience, I did cold/very cold baths for months to try
          and induce thermogenisis.
          At this time my hair started going gray..
          A coincidence?? Probably not.
          I did not see benefits either..

          I think every now and then maybe ok- but as a long term ongoing thing- I think it was just a big stressor on my body,
          and broke it down more than built it up.

          Reply
  36. I need some guidance , been following and practicing what has been written here for ages- i have ocd and severe depression compounded by severe anxiety

    My body this winter has felt warmish, sometimes i get cold feet- but i am intolerant to exercise
    I dont know if its the pysch meds that is causing all my problems i take a small dose of lexapro 2mg, when i dropped it down from 4mg a few months ago- i had the most horrendous withdrawal symptoms ranging from not being able to feeling my legs to fatigue which made me bed ridden for 6 weeks, with unbelievable body pain.

    Reply
    • The psych meds obviously interfere with your physiology and have an overall impact. All drugs do. I don’t think this is something Danny and I would venture to troubleshoot in a comment with little details of the situation. But generally in my experience if you can focus on improvement in the major systems of the body (digestion, skin/hair/nails, high body temp, warm hands and feet, improved sleep, urine frequency and concentration, etc.) then that generally translates to improvements elsewhere.

      Reply
  37. Matt and/or Danny,
    Do a post on acne. I’m still waiting for a follow-up to http://180degreehealth.com/2011/09/cause-of-acne-acne-and-diet
    I know that Peat and Barnes say that it is related to thyroid (and vitamin A), but have you worked with anyone who’s gotten rid of it successfully with diet/lifestyle?

    Reply
    • I would say most notice an improvement after an initial worsening of acne issues when raising metabolic rate. The ones that don’t see improvements seem to be the ones that don’t successfully raise metabolic rate. There are lots of ways to sweep it under the rug. Eating zero carb or raw vegan or fasting or doing a “juice feast” might be ways of temporarily improving it, but those are not sustainable or particularly healthy ways for most people to eat. The goal of course is to be able to eat what you’re eating now without a blemish. That represents true improvement in your physiology and is a better metric.

      Reply
      • Hopefully I’m still in the initial worsening then. I can keep my temp high as long as I’m calm and don’t have much going on, but as soon as something makes me feel rushed, anxious, worried, frustrated, etc, that takes the wind out of my sails right away, and back come the cold hands. After reading EFH, that seems like the ideal time for salt+sugar.
        It is a big leap of faith, as all other popular diets speak of “cleansing” or “healing” reactions, and it will all get better after that. We all know how that goes.

        Reply
      • I agree with Matt. I had zero acne when I was on zero-carb, but my skin belonged to a zombie.

        When I began eating food again, I started breaking out a lot. I found that consuming oysters and beef liver regularly helped.

        Reply
        • Here is what has greatly reduced my Acne (arms, back, chest, face), as in its gone now:
          B vitamins, especially extra B5
          Liver, egg shell calcium, extra gelatin
          Lowering fat intake, while concentrating on SFA’s only, 0 PUFA’s
          Upping all Carbs, including white sugar, wheat, rice…
          Upping sodium to above 5grams/day
          Watching fluid intake

          Of course studies can show anything, but there is stuff on how B5 helps metabolise fats and that oily skin is “bad fat metabolism” in the body, via lowered metabolism of course! The above stops my oily skin, and no acne.

          Reply
          • I will add that following Matt’s advice for the last 3yrs, and Danny since he switched to pro-Matt-Peat has got me from 178lbs low carb fucked up metabolism, to closing in on 210lbs. But all my clothes fit the same and look much better on me! and no Acne! Thanks Bro’s!

          • Undertow,
            Do you supplement with B vitamins? B5 in particular? Or are you just counting what you get from liver? Any particular form/brand of B vitamins you’d recommend?

          • Hi Derek,
            I do take a B-50 multivitamin about 3x times per week, eat liver when I can and take dessicated liver pills everyday (Solgar). On top of that I take a few grams of B5/day, people can range from 1g to 10g per day for first month or so, then back off to smaller doses, depends on your skin.

            Should add that I have stopped milk for now, the extra fat and lactose still give me issues, I planning I adding it back slowly in the future again. I take egg calcium everyday.

    • Hi Derek,

      My entire dietary experience have been largely motivated by acne (and getting healthier in general, I just went about it a dumb way initially)

      What I can speak from experience is this: When I raise my body temperature, my acne prone areas become naturally WAY less prone. So when my metabolic rate is suppressed for a few days, I start getting lots of whiteheads around my mouth and chin area. That’s been the way it has for all my life till I found out that raising my body temp reduces the amount of breakouts I have there and all around my face in general. My chest and back have had significant reductions. My pores tend to get smaller as well.

      What i’d recommend is working towards a higher metabolic rate and then make sure you consume a good amount of nutrients, especially vitamin A. I’ve noticed that the vitamin A does have a really good effect when you increase your metabolism.

      I also have greater food freedom when my body temperature is higher. I ate a buffalo chicken hot dog strip thing from the gas station yesterday and I didn’t even feel anything. I had a little bit of regular bread the day before and no breakouts.

      I’m not quite where I want to be yet. I’d like to consistently be in a higher metabolic state for quite a while to see what effect that has on my health.

      I’ve done Paleo and GAPS for acne. Gut health is important, but raising my metabolism had a better effect on my gut health than anything else did. I’d imagine the higher body temp kills off bacteria in the small intestine like fevers do and the greater regularity helps a lot as well. With this approach to diet, I have the greatest food freedom, the greatest resistance to foods, and the least acne I’ve had in my teenage/adult life. I don’t have any outstanding pimples anymore, save for a whitehead or two when I eat a moderate amount of wheat-y foods.

      Best of all, none of the sugar makes me break out anymore :)

      So provided that something doesn’t suddenly change for me, I can say that this approach does wonders for my acne and skin in general. I don’t look like a model (yet :P) but I can almost say I’m acne-free. If I can keep my metabolic rate up (which seems a little easier these days), it works great.

      Reply
      • I’d like to state that over the course of a few months, whenever my body temp went up, this was generally my experience.

        Reply
      • I put my daughter – who refused meds for severe rheumatoid arthritis – on a WAP type diet: lots of raw milk, raw egg yolks, raw liver, seafood, butter, fermented cod liver oil (which I know deep down Matt loves), high vitamin butter oil, veggies, grains, etc. We did not restrict her food except for avoiding vegetable oil and white sugar, and minimizing processed grains. Despite glowing reports of low carb/no carb approaches from smart paleo advocates, we decided she not go that route. (I personally get shaky, crabby, and head-aches when I haven’t had enough carbs.). Anyway, so now 2 years into this diet, her pain levels are way down, flares are less intense and less frequent and ability to live a full life is back to before illness level.

        Also – most recently – her acne is much much cleared up. Interesting how she would tend to break out with pimples right before her joints flared, as if it were an anabolic-catabolic-detoxing cycle. Anyway, just wanted to encourage those who are trying to heal acne on this diet: be patient. It takes time for the body to clean out crap.

        Reply
  38. Hi Matt
    Thanks for getting back to me, I have eaten and followed most of what you have said- but it seems i cant get my temps over 97.3
    Concentration is horrendous, sleep dependent on the day ive had, skin goes from dry to ok
    digestion always seems to be ok

    Reply
  39. Hey Matt and Danny

    Great to have you two together in the same space. First off, let me just make it clear that I totally agree with your approach. After years of doing crazy stuff in an effort to get leaner/healthier (off the top of my head: zero/low carb, ice baths, lots of fasting, no sugar and all starch, juicing, bulletproof coffee, slow carb, high protein, carb backloading, fruitinarian (sp?), grassfed meats, fish oil (still makes me gag when I think about shooting down a shot glass of ‘lemon’ flavored fish oil), gluten free, Crossfit WODS, little to no artificial light after sundown, zen sleep watch to ‘wake up during the right REM cycle’, and using a sleep mask) I’m at the point where I just want to be healthy for the long-term and just be a regular person.

    This leads me to my only question with this approach, which I’d say is what you guys advocate. What level of leanness should I be shooting for? I’ve always been on the heavier side, but for the last couple of years I’ve settled out around 200 lbs at 5’11” and 15-20% body fat. Given my background, I’ve always had a huge desire to get lean (say 8-10% range). This has led me to read everything from guys like Martin Berkhan, Johnny at The Simple/Lean Saloon, and the guys over at the Adonis Index (John Barban and Brad Pilon) as the only method that has helped me get leaner is fasting (16-hour most days, 24-hour a few days a week, or like a 32-hour fast once a week) but I inevitably take it too far (lots of fasting) and burn out. So my question is, given that I don’t want to over-stress myself but that I still want to lean out over time (I’m out with a 8-12 month timeline here), do you think it’s ok to stress the system once a week with a full-day fast (say like under 500 calories for one day a week)? Obviously I’ll have cold extremities on that day, but I’m just thinking of doing the best that I can with it on that day (low fluid intake, eat some salt, don’t exercise, go to bed early) and then just see how my bio-feedback is on the non-fasting days.

    All in all, I agree with your approach, but I’m just trying to find a way to do it at a lower level of bodyfat. Any help/thoughts/suggestions would be great.

    Thanks!
    Mark

    Reply
    • I’m a bad person to ask as I’ve never had the Adonis complex. I blew up to 170 lb. on zero-carb and shrunk back down to 150 lb. (seems to be my “regular” weight) on a Peat inspired diet (400+ carbohydrate a day).

      Matt may have some insight.

      Reply
      • Roddy,

        How did you lose weight on a Peat-style “diet”? I gained some weight when trying to eat according to Peat, but my “insidious” weight gain stopped once I swtiched from fruits/OJ to Starch (ala Matt’s ideas) and so many people have commented here that they have experienced weight gain on a Peat diet. Did you keep track of calories/ortion control? Can you give an example of amounts of food you ate when going from 170 to 150lbs? Thanks.

        Reply
  40. Hi Matt and Roddy!!
    Thank you for everything that you are doing!!! It´s wonderful to read something different to Paleo blogs or Paleo lifestyle. I was sure that the paleo lifestyle was the best diet in the world, because it was very logical about evolutionary terms and I ate a low-carb diet during more than 1 year. I felt really bad, I hadn´t got enough energy, my libido was very low and I decided to start changing somethings. When I started increasing my CH levels, and reducing my protein intake, I felt really nice and start gaining weight inmediately. 8 years ago I was a really good runner but when I started my paleo life, I stopped running, because I was too tired and felt without enough energy.
    I need to gain more weight inmediately and I would like to know what´s your opinion. What foods will be the best to gain weight? what do you think about white sugar? I thought that it was really bad for our health but after reading your opinions, I´m really convinced that is very good to reduce adrenalin and cortisol levels. I usually put 5-6grams of sugar in my black coffee, in the mornin and in the afternoon. Should I put more sugar in my coffee?

    Matt, tell me something about why you good whit sugar concentrated foods and not whit high water content sources of sugar. Is the coffee in the last group?

    Wooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuw, I think that I did too much questions in my first letter to you, but I´m so happy to meet you and I´m not going to read anything more about paleo lifestyle or paleo diet. THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING AND NICE TO MEET YOU!!!

    Reply
    • The proportion of sugar to water make a huge difference. You can eat watermelon or oranges all day but just get colder and colder. Eat the same amount of sugar and calories from dates or maple syrup you’ll be sweating.

      Likewise, if you increase the calorie-density of your coffee you can make it much more warming. Put lots of sugar, milk, and cream in it with a nice pinch of salt and you’ll be warm and won’t crash out, get cold, and pee frequently (not sure if that happens to you but many with metabolic problems have a very low threshold for fluids).

      Reply
      • Thank you Matt!!!
        I get cold if I eat too much fruit and now I only eat sweet fruits or cooked fruit.
        All my life (since 14, now I´m 23) I´ve been consuming 3 cups of coffee (homemade) daily and I wanto to know your opinion about it.
        I read you some days ago about what to eat in the morning and I feel really identificated about it. I feel better when I eat some cookies, croissant, mufin or something similar than when I eat a piece of fruit or yogurth (both of them cold). Could I have some coffe whit this wheat products. How many sugar would you put in the coffee?? I have to admit that I´m a bit scare about white sugar but I´m increasing it´s consuption day by day.
        Would be eggs also good for the breakfast??
        Thank you!!!!!!!!!!
        I love the 180 degree health blog. My live is changin 360 degrees!!!!

        Reply
      • Sorry matt!!!
        I didn´t read the second part of your comment!

        Reply
  41. Hey Danny and Matt,

    What do you guys think about tracking the ratios of carbs, protein, fat to make sure you’re getting enough of each or to make sure you’re not eating too much protein or fat in relation to carbs, or vice versa?

    Reply
    • I use cronometer every now and then. I don’t think it’s a bad idea. Data is data.

      Reply
  42. Hey Danny, would a 5 Hour energy drink be a good idea to get in caffeine and niacinamide – 2 things that RP likes ? But was unsure about the other things like taurine etc.
    http://www.5hourenergy.com/ingredients.asp
    Do you see any problems with any of the ingrediants?

    Reply
    • I’m pro-supplementation in context, like with salt, gelatin, or white sugar, but that product has so many ingredients it would hard to be objective about it.

      If you’re trying to inhibit lipolysis, some people use 100-200 mg of niacinamide with food.

      Reply
  43. One place I’ve seen this addressed recently is in the NZ TV show “Is Modern Medicine Killing You”. Various people with chornic health problems are helped by therapies that include elements of Paleo (gluten, sugar, dairy free diets, magnesium vit D and fish oil supps, etc).
    And a therapy that’s sometimes prescribed is Buteyko breathing exercises. Which is reported to be effective by those patients.
    http://tvnz.co.nz/is-modern-medicine-killing-you/s1-ep10-video-5267924

    Reply
  44. Question for Danny:

    How stable are your temps now? How stable is your health in general in your day-to-day life?

    I only ask because like if you were to go on a vacation or something, would you be good without your usual diet for a few days/weeks?

    Another user asked if you’ve branched out with your diet choices or if you’re still strictly Peat, and I don’t believe you answered that, but I think it would be cool to know.

    Thanks :)

    Reply
    • When I moved to SF I had to tweak a few things because it was colder than I was used to. I’m warm consistently if I get enough salt, calcium, thyroid, sugar and protein.

      I went travelled back to LA for a few days during Thanksgiving and only brought aspirin, I didn’t notice any difference, and nutrition definitely wasn’t optimal.

      I stick to seafood, eggs, red meat, fruit, milk, soda, cheese, and liver pretty much all the time. It’s not because I’m scared something horrible is going to happen if I don’t consume those foods, but more so because I enjoy them.

      Reply
  45. Matt and/or Danny,

    Any ideas on the difference btwn visceral fat and subcutaneous fat? I’m more of apple shaped female, with thin legs and arms with my body fat concentrated in my abdominal area (mostly waist) and I’ve had large breasts since I was a preteen (I know, most women would not be complaining; however, they drive me crazy and I personally hate them). I have very little fat (subcutaneous) on my hips, thighs, and arms.

    I have always been hirsute and have been steadily losing scalp hair for the past few years (other women on my father’s side are also the same body shape and have hair loss; my mother’s side is the exact opposite, with no weight or health problems). I’ve been under a lot of financial stress in the past few years, I am a work-at-home mother (I own a small business), so I really never get a break or relax.

    I have been working out fairly consistently for 20 years (I’m 40). After my I had my son (7 years ago), I joined a gym and lost 65 pounds (I only gained about 20 pounds while pregnant). I was “eating healthy” and had given up sugars and eating “whole foods”, et al. But then our finances went to shit when my husband lost his job, we lost our house, and I had to work more hours at my business. Anyhoo, I gained back about 15 of those pounds and had lost a lot of scalp hair (I did not lose hair after giving birth; it was nearly 3 years after). However, I only gained weight around my waist and chest, not legs, hips, or arms. Everything I tried just wouldn’t budge that area.

    I attempted a Peat diet, in which I rapidly gained another 15 pounds in about 6 weeks. I was eating a ton of protein, fat, and sugar. I felt pretty good and slept like heaven, but the weight gain was utterly depressing.

    This year I changed my diet to most carbs with very little protein and fat and a ton of sugar. I felt great! I also added apple cider vinegar, selenium, magnesium, and B vitamins with each meal. I increased my workouts to 90 minutes a day. My stress levels were lessened when my husband got a job. I lost nearly all those Peat pounds and was feeling fantastic.

    But then my husband lost his job yet again and I had to work around the clock. Stress level out of control again. I added more and more sugar, but I still gained about 8 pounds in 2 months.

    Do you think could this be the amount of visceral fat that I have (vs subcutaneous)? I thought my cortisol levels would be improved with the added sugar, but could I also have high circulating cortisol but a only a small portion is being utilized? In other words, could my body be thinking I have enough cortisol circulating that not enough is released? I have researched this endlessly; however, I have come to a brick wall with this. My temps are pretty consistent with my cycle. I am very sensitive to estrogen; I have so much premenstrual breast and abdominal swelling that I have to go up a size for a week each month.

    Thoughts?

    Reply
    • I become pretty resistant to any stress if I consume enough sugar, protein, calcium and salt. Those all reduce serotonin.

      My only recommendation would be to experiment and keep things very simple when doing so.

      If you need more evidence I think lab tests for prolactin and lactic acid are useful.

      I’m not sure about the visceral fat/subcutaneous fat deal.

      Reply
  46. Do you think male pattern baldness, acne, and anxiety are related in any way? Possibly a zinc deficiency?

    Reply
    • Everything is connected to everything.

      Reply
  47. Danny,

    I think the Peat Whisperer is an incredible resource and it seems like I’m always going back and rereading some part of it again and again. Sometimes though, it seems like a breakfast of something like eggs/OJ/milk really puts me in a hypo state even though I love the breakfast, but I really identified with a lot of what was in Eat for Heat new book about lowering fluid consumption. Do you think simply raising the salt (or sugar) of that first meal would do the trick or should I be trying to avoid fluids in the morning and go with something like eggs and dates/raisins/something salty for that first meal. Also, do you find it easier to handle more liquids with an improved metabolism?

    Reply
  48. Thanks Ryan.

    I think it depends on what works best.

    Years ago, when I was zero-carbing, I noticed that if I drank water before sex that it could completely crash my libido. I wasn’t sure what was going on, but I figured it had something to do with prolactin.

    Later, I read this passage from Peat:

    “Since respiratory metabolism, governed by the thyroid hormone, is our main source of carbon dioxide, it’s obvious that thyroid deficiency should impair our ability to regulate water and solutes, such as salt. An organism that illustrates this function of thyroid is the young salmon, when it leaves a freshwater river to begin its life in the ocean. As it converts its physiology to tolerate the salty environment, its thyroid hormone surges. When it’s mature, and returns to the fresh water to spawn, its prolactin rises sharply. In experiments with rodents, it has been found that drinking a large amount of water increases their prolactin, but the same amount of water, with added salt, doesn’t. Hypothyroidism is typically associated with increased prolactin secretion. Hypothyroid people typically retain water, while losing salt, so the hypothyroid state is analogous to the salmon that has returned to the river, and to the mice that drink too much salt-free water.”

    Since then I’ve been consuming about a tablespoon of salt a day, but lately I’ve been consuming even more (weather is colder).

    Reply
  49. All those prematurely ageing Okinawans, Japanese, Taiwanese and what have you not certainly should listen to St. Ray and stop eating all that starch and oily fish and instead have some sucrose, OJ and coconut oil. Also they should up their calorie intake, 1,930 is way too little to have toasty hands. What about the Monks on Mt Athos who eat two meals 10min each? By 180 degree logic, they’d all be hypothyroid, freezing and getting fat. How come this is not the case at all?

    Reply
    • Hans, re: monks…Altitude perhaps?

      Reply
    • Sorry, but this is exactly the b/w thinking which is making it all so difficult.
      People are always thinkg “in Asia they eat this and that and therefore they are healthy and never die” …. Aaaaahhhrrg!
      I’m so tired of this way of communication. I think for the average western-diet-and-lifestyle-victim it’s totally irrelevant what a himalayan minority is doing, eating or else.
      They’re living in a completely different environment, experiencing different kind of stress ( if any significant similar to us ), are used to different types of food, AND SO ON.
      We have to find something that is working for us here and now. In our polluted and stressed out urban environments.
      And there’s a big chance that 1930 calories a day or eating only two ten minute meals a day would help.

      Reply
      • Sorry…
        And there’s a big chance that 1930 calories a day or eating only two ten minute meals a day would NOT help.

        Reply
        • That may be so, and indeed eating a lot of calories may be necessary, at least for many people for a certain time. I’m just criticizing the absolutes that are thrown around here. “Eating a lot raises metabolism and therefore makes you healthy” may sound convincing and may work for some or many, at least temporarily, but it certainly isn’t universally true. I don’t think that everyone can just mimick those relatively healthier populations either. Too many have failed doin that. But that doesn’t mean we can just ignore the facts. Come to think about it, I think it was that St. Ray quote that starch makes your skin age which made me snap. It’s just way too far out there and not reflected by reality, just like the supposed benefits of extreme PUFA reduction.

          Reply
    • I wonder what St. Szent-Györgyi, St. Warburg, or St. Barnes would say.

      Reply
    • Hans, like most Europeans, you have an idealized vision of Asian people. They aren’t all a model of health, as you imagine in your wet dreams. How much do we know about the health of monks on Mt. Athos?

      Look, I am not saying what these people eat is good or bad. I am just saying (A) Asian people should not be put up on some kind of health pedestal. They also, btw, should not be put up on a spiritual pedestal. Some of the nastiest people I know are Asian, a far cry from, say, the Dalai Lama. (B) We don’t know much abut the health of the monks of Mt. Athos. I am sure they suffer from afflictions like the rest of us, but since they lead lives of seclusion, we don’t know what diseases may plague them Or health benefits, for that matter.

      Recently I read this interview with one of my heroes, the Catholic David Steindl-Rast. Turns out he suffers from depression and sometimes even takes medication for it.. Look, he’s still one of my heroes, but I had absolutely no idea he suffered from depression: http://www.johnhorgan.org/a_modern_catholic_mystic_15277.htm

      Reply
      • “Some of the nastiest people I know are Asian, a far cry from, say, the Dalai Lama.”
        + 1
        Haha ! Somehow I always get an Asian boss which makes me agree with the above. Just an observation based on a tiny sample size which is not meant to be extrapolated.

        Reply
      • I don’t have an idealized view of Asians. During my university studies, most of my friends were Asian, I’ve travelled to East Asia many times and lived there for a little. What I do know is that people tend to not eat as much, especially in terms of sweets, as people do here. An regarding stress (Lars,) how about elementary school children getting picked up after cram school at 10pm? Hint: They haven’t been home since morning… that is a common thing.
        I also know there are many old people who are very skinny but surprisingly healthy and fit, who have grown up eating little and mainly sweet potatoes and other tubers. Meat was for feast days, fish was more common. Therefore it just cannot be true that a massive amount of calories is a prerequisite for health.
        If that were true, the monks’ health would be appalling. From what I’ve read, they have very low rates of heart disease and cance. They are also known for their longevity. Since people do indeed go to Mt. Athos in order to visit the monks, spend time with them and get their advice, we do know a little about them. I haven’t been there personally, but I’m planning to.

        Reply
      • I also never “idealized” the health of Asians….

        About the “nasty” part, what does that have to do with the topic of healthy eating? Also, I’m not sure if the Dalai Lama isn’t nastier than the nastiest person you know. He’s not known to be very polite in dealing with competition. I’ve also heard that back in the day when he was still running the show in Tibet, mutilation was a common punishment and the peasants were starving.

        Reply
  50. so danny are you advocating that an ssri can cause anxiety

    Reply
  51. HI Matt!!

    We always use brown sugar at home, because we prefer it´s taste. Would we change to white sugar? All my family started whit your recomendations and all of them are really happy, they feel better than 1 month ago and I´´m also improving a lot.
    Thank you!

    Reply
  52. I’ve heard that the Bohr effect contributes only a negligible fraction in the tissue oxygenation. Does anyone have the breakdown of what are the other processes contributing?

    Reply
  53. I have been reading this blog for quite some time and recently read “Eat for Heat”. If anyone out there reads this, please read “Eat for Heat” and try the things mentioned in there before taking thyroid medicine on your own.

    I gained some weight in college, I’m a 30 year old white male, 6′, 210lbs now. When I was 230lbs, I was looking for answers on the internetz. I found Ray Peat and Danny Roddy and convinced myself that my problem was a low metabolism. My body temp was consistently 95-96 degrees as measured with an ear-type (tympanic) thermometer. I tried the salt, OJ, ice cream, milk, etc… I gained 15lbs, but thought I was doing good, however, my temp stayed low. My pulse has always been in the 60’s. I went to a doctor, he checked my thyroid and vitals and said I was fine, just get on a good diet.

    I didn’t like this advice and found an internet site that sold thyroid meds. I bought generic Cytomel and generic Armour from the Phillipines. I started slowly with the Armour and started feeling like superman. I added the Cytomel a couple times a week when I felt sluggish, cause that’s what I thought Ray Peat was saying. Within 2 months, I had lost 30 pounds, and my body temp was up to 97 and pulse was in the 80’s.. I added more Cytomel, but couldn’t get my temp up to where I thought it should be.

    4 months after starting all this, I was a wired mess. I wasn’t sleeping well and my heart fluttered at night. I went to a doc, but didn’t tell him what I was taking. turns out I was severely hyperthyroid and had developed a goiter. I eventually told him what I took and he couldn’t believe I was still alive. They had to destroy my thyroid with radiation, so now I get to take Synthroid from the US for the rest of my life.

    Guess what? My body temp is now 97, my pulse is 65. My heart still flutters. My message is, don’t go chasing magic bullets on the internet. Don’t buy on-line thyroid medications from other countries. If you think you have a bad thyroid, see a doctor and take his advice. If you don’t believe him, see another doctor. Try diet and exercise if it makes sense, but don’t take this advice:

    “Healthy and intelligent groups of people have been found to have an average resting pulse rate of 85/minute, while less healthy groups average close to 70/minute.” – Ray Peat

    “Occasionally, a small supplement of thyroid in addition to a good diet is needed to quickly escape from the stress-induced “hypophysectomized” condition.” – Ray Peat

    “Whereas dietary changes (like the ones outlined here) in thyroid status may take months or even years, supplementing thyroid, whether it’s desiccated or T3, can start “moving things in the right direction” within a matter of minutes, days, or weeks.” – Danny Roddy

    Reply
    • oh man. I feel like this could have been my story, but my hair falling out on the Cytomel freaked me out so much I quit taking it. Maybe the hair loss was actually a blessing in disguise. I did become a nervous wreck and had to go on other drugs for anxiety, but my heart never did anything weird. So sorry you went through all that.

      Reply
      • The Endocrinologist I am now seeing thinks I was hyperthyroid to begin with, which can also cause weight gain. Taking so many thyroid drugs caused an auto-immune response in a multinodular goiter that was already there. Nothing to play with, but easy to buy on-line. I shudder when I see body builders talking about taking T3.

        Reading Ray Peat, you get the idea that doctors are idiots and don’t know how to treat thyroid disorders. Bottom-line is that if you have high TSH and low T4 and low T3, you should be on a medically supervised treatment plan to get it in order. There can be so many other things wrong, that self-treating is not an option. Hashimoto’s, Graves’s, Reverse T3 syndrome to name a few can all have overlapping symptoms.

        I don’t blame Danny Roddy or Ray Peat, I blame myself. Getting an injection of radioactive iodine was not a fun way to spend my birthday last year…I guess I deserved it.

        Reply
    • wow, what a story.

      i remember googling something Peatish and coming across a forum where peeps were casually talking about “nibbling” on Cytomel/Cynomel and self dosing desiccated thyroid meds based on temps, it all seemed just a wee bit reckless.

      ks

      Reply
      • I was eating my Armour like candy…2 or 3 in the morning, a couple during the day, a couple at night. I thought since it was natural, it would be fine. It’s just dried up pig thyroid, right? I figured when my temp increased to 98.6 and my pulse was in-line with “healthy, intelligent populations” I’d know when the dose was right. When that didn’t work, I also nibbled Cytomel. HUGE mistake!

        Reply
        • Sorry to hear about this Markus. Hope you do well. Yes, in the end, you can’t blame anybody, but I, for one, think Ray Peat acts a little bit irresponsibly with some of the T3 information he puts out there. I don’t know if he’s changed his tune. One woman I know on Facebook claims her brother died as a result of following Ray Peat’s suggestions regarding supplementation of T3. He was, according to her, even getting consultations from Peat at the time. I have no reason to doubt her, even though I have never verified her statement. She was following the Peat protocol at the time. That tragedy happened at the same time I was experimenting with the T3 myself. My heart started to flutter, even though I was taking a very small quantity of the T3. This was something the woman’s brother had reported to her some time prior to his death. When I heard the story of this woman’s brother, I abandoned the T3 experiment. Scary. You are right. People should try less radical methods to raise temperature first.

          Reply
          • Peat and company need to realize that a lot of people are desperate and if they are given any reason to think that X (a drug) works better than Y (food), they are going to seize upon it. Yes, they can claim that they are not prescribing it, but come on, be a bit more responsible.

            For example, Peat touts the benefits of T3. Does he in any of his articles cite the serious side-effects it might have. I haven’t visited his website in about six months, but last look, he had never done this. Same goes for Bromocriptine.

            Speaking of the ergot family, he touts the anti-serotonin effects of LSD. Now that is the case. But doesn’t he think that there might be some ill or fanatical people that will go out and try LSD based upon his statement. Don’t get me wrong. I happen to think that LSD CAN be a really good drug. A REAL MIRACLE for some people. It’s a pity it’s been demonized. However, people with a history of schizophrenia should NEVER take it and people who come from a family with a history of schizophrenia should be EXTREMELY CAREFUL with it. Again I know that he never directly recommends LSD, but he sort of just throws the information out there without any warning.

            I’ve read some Peat people who say it might be ok to take something like 10 or 20 micrograms….Hah! Where are you going to find that on the street? I am thinking most street doses are 200 mikes (micrograms) If you are a chemist (LSD is not difficult to manufacture if you have a strong background in chemistry) then you might be able to swing this. However, be warned, you are not going to find a dose of 10 to 15 mikes on the street.

          • I think you make a good point Thomas, but everyone is in control of their own health.

            If I sold LSD and thyroid on my website it would be a different story.

          • “mikes”? That must be some cute street slang. I’ve worked in a lab where I measure everything in micrograms and microliters and I’ve never heard that :)

          • I meant to say, I’ve worked in labs for 12 years (and still do).

        • Hey Markus,

          Thanks for sharing your story.

          I’m sorry that you went through all that, and I respect that you understand who was at fault, but your conclusion is a non sequitur (i.e., “self treating is not an option”)

          So before anything, I’ve never said that everyone needs thyroid. And when I’m talking about T3 in my articles (like this one), I’m talking about T3’s physiological importance, and how diet/lifestyle/supplementation can be used to support it.

          You said:

          ****“I was eating my Armour like candy…2 or 3 in the morning, a couple during the day, a couple at night. I thought since it was natural, it would be fine. It’s just dried up pig thyroid, right? I figured when my temp increased to 98.6 and my pulse was in-line with “healthy, intelligent populations” I’d know when the dose was right. When that didn’t work, I also nibbled Cytomel. HUGE mistake!”

          So if you were taking 2 grains in the morning, 2 grains in the afternoon and 2 grains in the evening (I’m not counting the cytomel you said you were nibbling on), you were taking 6 grains, which is equivalent of:

          -360 mcg of T4
          -90 mcg of T3

          When Barnes treated his patients, he started at ½ a grain and waited two months to see any results. One grain is roughly 60 mcg T4 and 15 mcg of T3, so half is:

          -30 mcg T4
          -7.5 mcg T3

          When Peat recommends for people to experiment with T3, he recommends 1/8 of a 25 mcg pill (3-5 mcg) with food once or twice a day.

          When thyroid “doesn’t work” (doesn’t increase pulse or body temp) Peat doesn’t recommend taking more.

          All of this info can be found on a FAQ that has been on my site for a while: http://www.dannyroddy.com/2011/12/29/ray-peats-brain-building-a-foundation-for-better-understandi.html

          I think appropriate hindsight for your situation might sound like, ‘I took a shitload of thyroid—way too much—and wasn’t exactly sure what I was doing. Because of this I was convinced by a doctor to irradiate my thyroid, and now I take T4.’

          Other than that, I don’t think you can conclude anything.

          Reply
        • lol’d hard, thanks for the laugh markus

          Reply
  54. Hello
    You have worked with some raw fooders and many of them tend to be cold.
    For raw wooder eating high carb low fat, what did you do to make him feel better? just adding alot of salt? salt tasted crap on fruit and greens

    Reply
    • Karl,
      Most raw woodies are vegan and do not eat enough animal protein and fats, that is the main cause of having cold. I eat salt pur, mixing with veggies or fruit makes you overeat. Good luck converting vegans!

      Reply
  55. I actually got the idea to buy Armour on line from Ray Peat, somewhere he wrote, or maybe said in an interview, something like ‘I don’t believe you need a prescription for thyroid meds, you can get them on line from Mexico’ something to that effect. I did a quick Google and found it all over the place! I really thought it was a natural supplement.

    When I read Danny’s stuff now, I see me in his words, acting all ‘alpha-maley’ when people question his advice: His “You can do whatever the FUCK you wanna do” attitude is a serious indicator of his internal stress. If his diet/T3 supplementation worked, he’d be way more Zen-like I believe. Just reading through these posts, Matt Stone seems unbelievably cool and collect, but Danny seems a bit out-of-control unless someone is stroking his ego.

    Reply
    • Hi Markus

      I’m afraid I agree with Danny here, and I don’t think he was trying to be aggressive. :( Looks like you went hyper from taking massive doses of thyroid. I don’t know any thyroid patient who takes that much, and certainly not without doctor’s supervision.

      It sounds like you went to the docs and they didn’t seem to understand that your hyperthyroidism was temporary, so they nuked your thyroid and made you even more hypo than you were in the first place. Many docs don’t really understand the thyroid at all, and base everything on TSH instead of T4 and T3 levels, antibodies and *symptoms*.

      Plus, I imagine that that high amount of thyroid would have crashed your adrenals too.

      I am on a high amount of T3 and have been for the past year. However, I am under medical supervision and I titrated up to this amount slowly because I have thyroid resistance. I feel fantastic, but I did not start on 6 grains plus cytomel a day!

      I really feel for you. If you are on T4 only now that might not work best for you. It doesn’t work well for many people. I know many people who take Synthroid with a *small* amount of cytomel and of course some people take natural thyroid. Then, of course there are people like me who do best on T3 only. Paul Robinson has written an entire book on this and the information in it is very science based. Again, he recommends going very slowly and under medical supervision.

      You might also find the stop the thyroid madness site and FB group to be of benefit.

      Reply
  56. Does anyone know Sarah fragoso of everyday paleo? She’s been paleo for over 4 years & still feeling great. How do you explain those that are long term paleo & still doing great like Sarah or Jason Seib or sisson? Just curios anyone’s thoughts.

    Reply
    • If she is doing well, more power to her. However, from my experience, most people following restrictive diets, be they vegan, paleo or whatever, end up in bad shape and lying about their health condition. Obviously I can’t say that about Sarah, don’t know her. But this is the Internet and anybody can say whatever they want to. Why would a health guru do this? Well, it could be money or, in a lot of cases, it’s just ego attachment. People don’t like to admit they are wrong, especially if they have been proselytizing for a certain time. It’s about losing face.

      Reply
  57. No one says you can’t do well on paleo if you include enough carbs. What explanation is needed?

    Reply
    • Well how much is enough carbs? I know Sarah eats sweet potatoes but i doubt she ever eats any grains or potatoes or much sugar other than honey. And I know for weight loss she recommends keeling your carbs pretty low. That’s how she lost weight 4 years ago & has maintained it through 80/20 paleo & crossfire training.

      Reply
  58. Hi Danny/Matt,

    Great article and I’ve been following Peat’s recommendations since Spring…

    Good news: temps are consistently above 98, often reaching into 99 in afternoon, energy is better, skin softer, more muscle tone
    Bad news: very bad dark circles under eyes, pulse at 90+ in morning, muscle pain/tightness (have had my neck “go out” several times), headaches, breathless, and kinda feel like shit

    What gives? Any thoughts at what could be doing this? I was feeling great there for awhile but now I feel worse than before.

    Any thoughts would be so appreciated.

    Reply
    • Are you drinking more coffee than you used to?
      I find that coffee, especially with cream added, will give me those symptoms. I still drink it because I love it, but keeping it down to one cup in the morning, without cream or milk (but with plenty of sugar) helps quite a bit.

      Reply
    • Are you taking any non-prescribed thyroid meds? Have you had your thyroid checked? The symptoms you describe are exactly how I felt when super hyperthyroid, especially the ‘neck going out’ part.

      The high morning pulse is particularly indicative of hyperthyroidism…

      Reply
      • I echo Markus’ concern. Your symptoms do sound like hyperthyroidism. At first being ‘hyper’ feels great but eventually it wears you out and leaves you exhausted. If you are taking taking thyroid meds (whether prescribed or not), you should definitely get your levels (TSH, FT4 & FT3) checked. Not sure if a cardiologist will do that for you but please do it.

        Reply
  59. Eve with those symptoms I would go for a full medical check-up just to be safe.

    I’m not so sure that the dreaded stress hormones are anything but a harmless healthy reaction to the normal trials of life; diet or otherwise. To push the point are we to avoid public speaking, interviews and exercise because they cause stress to the system. We would have to live in a protective bubble to prevent any stress hormones from entering the bloodstream. It’s surely about balance and only stress that goes on for too long will have negative consequences and health implications. It could be argued that temporary stresses are healthy and strengthen the body and mind. Balance has to be key in diet as well as lifestyle.
    Andy

    Reply
    • I made an appointment with a cardiologist as my heart rate is concerning me. I haven’t had coffee in over 6 weeks due to this. Hope all goes well!

      Reply
    • AW,

      I don’t think the message here is avoid all stress forever. Stressful events like public speaking and temporary anxieties and nervousness are all great fun.

      The type of stress Matt and Danny are talking about shutting down is the chronic physiological stress that beyond a certain threshold weighs down on your system and eventually degrades it. This type of stress is brought on by crash dieting, low metabolism, excess fluid consumption, and perhaps extreme chronic psychological distress. A combination of those factors most likely. They’re all related too.

      When you shut down the constant activation of the adaptive stress hormone system, you begin recovery and you begin regaining your health. There will always be something negative and unhealthy going on in your body, but if you can shut off the major constant stress hormone production a majority of the time, I think that will do wonders.

      My two cents.

      Reply
  60. Hi Kamran,
    I see what your saying that prolonged adaptive stress hormones are well worth addressing and the relationship between the different causes of stress is a pretty interesting topic given that they may cause similar physiological results. . Its especially ironic that ill health can be caused by seemingly healthy actions such as prolonged dieting, excessive cardio and obsessive hydration.

    However I think short term stressors may well strengthen the body/mind and are a healthy stimulus that a person can thrive on. I would include intemittent fasting, moderate exercise, fun fare rides, getting out of your comfort zone and even the odd cold shower etc. The adaptions to such short term stress may make the system more stress proof through flexing and therefore improving the responses. I can see that such stressors would most likely not benefit a “wacked out” system and it would be best to correct that first before deliberately introducing anymore. Just didnt want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Thanks for replying,

    All the best with your check up Eve…

    Reply
    • Yeah, I see what you’re saying and I completely agree. I just wanted to say that I don’t think the purpose of Matt or Danny’s work is to avoid all stress forever. Just the major, constant, physiological stress from something we’ve done/are doing to ourselves.

      Like the saying goes, the difference between poison and medicine is in the dosage.

      Have a nice day!

      Reply
  61. This is kinda OT question,I know a lot of ‘diets’ wether good or bad are being discussed here such as Paleo,Glutenfree,Ray peat etc. but are there readers here who have seen digestive&especially mental relief with a Fructose free diet? perhaps combined with Eat for Heat?
    And if so,what do you eat on a daily basis?

    I’ve been researching Fructose/fructan malabsorption Foodlists,but there are a lot of contradictory allowed/avoid lists,such as for instance this one:
    http://www.healthhype.com/nutrition-guide-for-fructose-malabsorption.html

    and this (Paleo)one(especially regarding veggies):
    http://www.thepaleomom.com/2012/08/modifying-paleo-for-fodmap-intolerance.html

    I know it’s all about self-experimentation,but I really want to start off with a reliable safe-list,so does anyone know if the first one is a reliable one? or does anyone have a reliable list?
    (One thing I did find surprising is that the whole-version of (certain) grains contain more fructose/fructans than the refined versions)

    Reply
  62. Donny, Peat’s suggestion to become ‘one’s own expert’ is missing the simple fact that most
    of us are not studying medicine and lack the necessary expertise. this is obviously your
    hobby and passion so you enjoy spending hours in books or internet. The role of experts, like Peat and others, in this field is to do this work for us.

    Reply
  63. Sorry for misspelling of your name, Danny.

    Reply
  64. Matt and Danny,

    I have been on Peat’s style diet for a few months and I noticed that the level of my Triglycerides is rather high (too much sugar?). According to Peat, apparently this is not such a big problem. However, I am
    wondering where this fat in the blood is going to? Doesn’t it eventually translate into body fat?

    Reply
  65. Well, looks like all is OK with heart. I stopped taking my armour thyroid in the mornings and evenings (just take at lunch) and this seemed to help today. Last thyroid test, my t4 was low so maybe I’m getting too much t3.

    I also find that I don’t do well with 7+ servings of fruit a day. I feel almost “manic.” I’m fine with 3-4 but more than that and I feel terrible. I like starches better from a heat perspective but don’t digest as well. Aw, well, keep experimenting :)

    Reply
  66. Any advice for us vegetarians? Can you point me to some things I can read? My wife has Hashimoto’s and her health is declining rapidly. Any help is greatly appreciated!

    Reply
  67. @paul
    “Any advice for us vegetarians?”

    Just avoid grains, cereals, vegetable and seed oils (and sources such as fries, chips, crackers, packaged goods, et al) and use coconut oil as your main source of fat. Nuts and seeds are best avoided, or eaten sparingly, preferably sprouted or fermented. Consume dairy, *preferably cultured, if you’re not vegan. Cheese is great! For everything else, just have fun.

    I’m just an anonymous poster, so don’t read my comment as gospel.

    * Those who are lactose-intolerant, such as myself, do better with cultured, whole fat dairy products, such as kefirs, certain yogurts, and “soured” buttermilk. Look for the following species of probiotics in cultured dairy:

    + streptococcus thermophilus
    + lactobacillus bulgaricus
    + lactobacillus helveticus

    Reply

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