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  • in reply to: dairy issue #15768

    Hey Christinam,

    I think calcium in decently high amounts (1000-1500mg daily) is important. I know many people disagree with this. But many papers suggest how important it is to balance calcium with phosphorus. Since phosphorus is high in grains and beans (phosphorus from phytates) and from meats and eggs (and dairy), most American diets could do well to add calcium.

    I can’t find it now, but I have somewhere an old paper paper showing how dietary Calcium:Phosphorus ratio impacts metabolism greatly. The liver turns thyroid hormone T4 into t3 (activated thyroid hormone) when times are good, and deactivates T4 into reverse t3 (rt3) when times are bad. t3 speeds up metabolism, while rt3 slows it down. The study shows how, as long as the calcium:phoshorus ratio is >1.0, the liver increases T4 to t3 conversion, but when dietary calcium drops below dietary absorbable phosphorus, then the liver slows T4 to t3 conversion and increase rt3 creation.

    Of course, Danny Roddy has written about this a lot. I’m not sure about all his conclusions, but I agree calcium is important.

    There are many sources of calcium. Calcium Carbonate is the most common supplement and Danny Roddy, for instance, prefers this via egg shells. I am not a fan. This form of calcium is somewhat alkaline and can buffer (reduce) stomach acid which is bad news for somewhat already having issues. Tums, an ‘antacid’, is calcium carbonate.

    The more soluble the calcium is–up to a point–the better the absorption. Calcium dissolves well in organic acids, so calcium citrate (from citric acid) and malate (from malic acid) absorbs well. These forms of calcium are on par with dairy calcium for absorption. Calcium Citrate Malate (CCM, a patented combo calcium salt) absorbs perhaps a little better than diary calcium. Dissolving eggshells (calcium carbonate) into tomato juice or orange juice (for citric acid) should theoretically yield calcium citrate with released CO2 gas. I’ve tried this: it’s kind of like a tomato fizzy or orange fizzy.

    But calcium citrate supplements are likely easier. Trouble is, I have only found one without weird fillers or other stuff.

    GNC’s calcium citrate only has cellulose tablets, which I have done fine with.

    Calcium hydroxyapatite (a source similar to bones) dissolves ok. You can find that all over. Here is one:

    I prefer calcium citrate to this, since hydroxyapatite has a decent amount of phosphorus. Since balancing calcium and phosphorus is part of the point of supplementing calcium in the first place, I don’t like the hydroxyapatite version for meat and grain eaters.

    Those are my thoughts.

    in reply to: Elevated Testosterone #15756


    Are you still here? I’d love to hear how you are doing. I don’t have any advice, but was hoping your situation has improved and that you could tell us some of your findings?

    I hope you are ok.

    in reply to: Gut bacteria and weight loss #15753

    There’s argument about why ‘high fat’ diets cause deleterious effects on the microbiota. Anything we eat but do not absorb fully will potentially feed the bugs (bacteria, fungi, whatever), which we can generally call fermentation.

    The effect of fermentation (positive, negative) depends on the selectivity of the feeding (which bugs eat what), which depends on the strains present and the foodstuffs being fermented.

    Almost everything can be fermented.

    Simple sugars can be fermented by almost everything, so the benefit goes to the bugs which are faster growers and dividers (generally more pathogenic); hence why glucose or fructose mal-absorption is big trouble.

    Various fibers can be fermented, and there is broad variability in the effect, since some fibers (such as some types of ‘resistant starch’ and fructooligosaccharides like inulin) preferentially feed the good guys (like bifido) and some longer chain carbs preferentially feed the bad guys.

    Protein is less universally fermented, which highly advantages the bugs which can eat nitrogen compounds efficiently, like klebsiella and clostridium. Thus, too much protein, overtime, can lead to an increase in pathogenic strains.

    Fat is, as I understand, not fermented (at least negligibly so). But the bile acids used to digest fat are fermented selectively by a relative few strains which have adapted to this, which includes the newly discovered Bilophilia.

    In the case of the high fat diet, at least two things are going on here:

    1) The increase in bile acids needed for fat digestion increase the presence of bugs that can eat bile acids (like bilophilia)

    2) The high fat diet was also low in carbs, and therefore low in substrates that would feed non-fat-eating bugs. Thus, these bacteria, including bifido and other generally-accepted-to-be ‘good bugs’ would be starved.

    Some believe that the latter is far more important than the former, and that a high fat diet that is also high in inulin or resistant starch type fibers would suffer ZERO or NEARLY ZERO deleterious effects.

    One could ask the questions: so what?

    Well, I think this is important to note how many long-time low carbers have some serious problems after months to years of low carbing, including autoimmune and metabolic issues. In fact, in the one year all-meat diet at Bellevue Hospital, I believe it was Andersen who ate a sandwich on his first day back from the year of only meat, and ended up in the hospital the next day needing intravenous antibiotics for a serious pneumonia infection. The researchers didn’t know what to make of that, but they added that comment into the end of the paper.

    I think we now know what to make of it: the zero carb, high protein diet selectively bred relatively pathogenic, protein-consuming bugs, while it starved the good guys. As soon as he ate some easy-to-digest starch (everything can eat glucose and short glucose units), the bugs went wild. I think supplementing with inulin for a week or two as a transition from the low carb diet to the more typical diet could have prevented the whole shebang (my hunch).

    To now get to the original question: are some people screwed? Yes. If the necessary strains are present but just dwindled in number, changing the diet may alleviate everything by re-balancing the proportions of the various strains. Eating more inulin, tubers, and fruits, and less simple sugars and protein (but still getting enough protein) will re-balance things within a few months to years. Even biofilms won’t stand a chance, since well-fed bifido can destroy pathogenic biofilms.

    However, if the needed strains are simply NOT PRESENT, you’re screwed. My understanding is that many of the ‘needed’ strains don’t exist out-and-about, but only in our intestines. They have essentially been evolved for within our intestines, and they are only passed from one set of mucus membranes to another. So, vaginal births are good, C-sections bad. Prebiotics and vitamins good, antibiotics bad.

    The best hope for someone without the proper strains is to eat as well as you can, minding your symptoms, and to have lots of mucus membrane contact with other, healthier people (kissing, sex of all types); and to potentially get a fecal transplant, though I would keep that on the back-burner since it is very new and many things are yet to be worked out with that.

    This should not be thought of as exclusive to eating a nutrient-dense diet. The body has many tricks to deal with bacterial endotoxin and/or mycotoxin infiltration and so on when provided with ample nutrients. And also keep in mind, the deleterious effects of endotoxin (that is, the bad effects of bad bugs) are amplified in the presence of high PUFA, for several reasons including greater permeability of the intestines in the first place, and inability of the liver to be able to quickly and quietly detox the garbage coming in from the intestines.

    So, eat well, have some hot sex, kiss everybody as if you were Italian, and go from there.

    in reply to: Need HELP increasing fat in diet… #15598

    Hello Dan!

    The article you attached reminded me of another article I found a while back about thiamin.

    I’m not generally fond of the idea of ‘pharmacological doses’ of natural substances, just on principle. But the idea is interesting to me. I haven’t ever tried it.

    The other thing to consider would be the different forms of B1 in supplements. Thiamin HCl is typical, but that must be phosphorylated to Thiamin ‘pyroposphate’ (TPP) aka ‘diphosphate’ (TDP). Benfotiamine is a synthetic somewhat lipid-soluble version of thiamin, but I don’t like the idea of synthetic/non-natural fat soluble things. Ascorbyl Palmitate, for instance, is known to give people spider veins and burst vessels after some years of use. My understanding is that TPP must be enzymatically dephosphorylated with digestion to even absorb it, before being reabsorbed and then re-phosphorylated in the liver. If this is true, Thiamin HCL would be better than TPP as far as an effective vitamin. In foods, there would be a mix of Thiamin, monophosphate, diphosphate, triphosphate, and whatever else.

    I’d be interested in knowing how much thiamin you take and in what form.

    My history is a strange one where both I and my roommate came down with weird health issues together, slowly over the course of a few years. Then, we found mycotoxins present in our blood through Real Time Labs, which made us suspect environmental mold toxicity. But moving out and trying to deplete molds with binding agents and sauna therapy didn’t help whatsoever as far as we can tell. Starting to eat more did, though we’re still in poor shape. We both not only lived together but followed similar diets. I suspect mold, years of low carbing, and educational/work stresses may have combined to screw us.

    We suffer from fibromyalgia, ‘chronic fatigue’ plus a battery of various ‘autoimmune’ problems. Some of my official diagnoses include undifferentiated spondyloarthropathy, Crohn’s, mixed connective tissue disorder, and rosacea, in addition to more general things like hypothyroidism. I’m sure if I went to a psychiatrist, which I never will, I’d get a slew of additional diagnoses.

    I couldn’t help just know looking up (for probably the thousandth time) thiamin on Pauling’s database (something new sets in every time).

    There is mention of ‘Anti-thiamin factors’ that include various foods but also molds.

    I’d be interested in knowing if you’ve ever played around with your dosing of various things and what the results were.

    Peace, CP

    in reply to: Cholesterol #15370

    Hey, TinaT. No worries! I just have a history of guzzling fish oil, and I wouldn’t want more people to fall into that trap than already will!

    I think the salivary amylase copy number thing and starch digestion are interesting. I would have loved to see 23andme or whoever offer this as part of their genome test. The other question that I’m looking forward to researchers looking into is pancreatic/intestinal amylase activity level. Some say pancreatic amylase is sufficient for starch digestion, independent of any salivary amylase, and that it is less variable among populations. I’m not so sure, so I’d love to see it studied for real. I don’t think salivary amylase copy number would have increased for no reason, and its connection with starch eating among populations seems potentially strong enough to be causal.

    in reply to: Need HELP increasing fat in diet… #15357


    I must have been writing the last note as you were writing yours!

    I think experimenting with some supplementation is warranted, but I’d be careful about the high dose vitamin C, since it inhibits both zinc and copper absorption. I know Paul Jaminet thinks the approach is low risk, but the devastation of low copper is great. I can’t find some studies I found on this in my computer right now, but some vitamin C supplementers (1,000-2,000 mg daily for a couple years) have induced paralysis due to copper deficiency. Since it would be hard to tell exactly which nutrients you are or are not low in right now (and are likely low in nearly all of them), taking anything that would compete strongly with something else is potentially dangerous.

    But do what you think is best! We’re all different snowflakes, as they say, and surely high dose vitamin C has helped many people!

    in reply to: Need HELP increasing fat in diet… #15356

    Hey again Dan,

    I just saw your message. I wanted to give a word or two about a couple things you said that sparked my attention this moment, but I’ll also keep in touch later about some other things that I want to mull over and see if I have anything else to write with further preparation.

    Triglycerides and HDL-C:

    Trigs are typically quite elevated in fat deficient patients (and HDL cholesterol, or HDL-c, rather low). Even in Kitavans, the healthy Polynesians who consume 20% of their calories as fat and 70% as carbs–the majority of those glucose/starch–triglycerides average about 150 mg/dL and HDL-c about 40 mg/dL. These numbers are kind of high and low, respectively. Eating fat of any kind would lower trigs and increase hdl-c (up to a point).

    Fructose more so than glucose/starch increases trigs. My point here is that highish trigs and lowish HDL-c MAY only mean that your diet is highish in sugar and lowish in fat, and MAY NOT indicate any real pathology. Of course, many pathologies can also cause this, the most common of which, in my estimate, is hypothyroidsm (such as under eating), which is known to contribute to high trigs.

    Fat Maldigestion

    One of the first things that pops into most doctors heads when fat maldigestion comes up is the gallbladder. I don’t like how allopathic docs approach this, but IF you have a clogged bile duct, for instance, you would have pains with meals that could include any number of other weird symptoms (potentially even nerve related issues), and you would be unable to absorb most the fat and fat soluble vitamins you eat. This would lead to MANY deficiencies before long.

    I think more likely, your fat digestion issues are just hypothyroidism, which is a known cause of bile excretion problems and the resultant fat maldigestion.

    Supplementing lipase enzymes and/or the ox bile, as you say you’ve tried should theoretically help if you have a bile duct problem. The note you gave in a previous post about fish oil not seeming to cause the same symptoms as butter or olive oil or anything else is consistent with the fact that more bile is needed to help emulsify fat that is more saturated. Thus, for someone with bile issues, butter will give the most pain/symptoms, followed by olive oil, then (last) high PUFA fish oil or flax oil. I am NOT recommending you guzzle high PUFA oil like flax or fish oil, but am I simply mentioning this for diagnostic purposes. And yes, as a previous post of yours eluded to, various things (parasites, whatever) can theoretically live in the stagnant bile salts within the clogged duct.

    You could set up an appointment with a GI allopathic doc (‘gastroenterologist’) and have them do an ultrasound of your liver and gallbladder which, I think, should verify whether or not the duct is clogged. The trouble with this is, that IF it is clogged, they may recommend removing the gallbladder which I WOULD NOT suggest doing. I am frankly unsure what the best course of action is regarding duct problems. Many people like to give input on this, but I am not sure what would be best. Nonetheless, I suppose at least the diagnosis could help narrow the search and focus the plan of action.


    You’re a tall man, Dan. At 6’2″, some would say a recovery effort should involve much more than 2500 kcals. As in 3500+. Even if your bedridden.

    I know this is very hard to do without an ability to digest fat, but do your best. Easy to digest foods, like dried fruit, honey, rice syrup, whatever. Solving the fat digestion problem should help this part out tremendously.

    I am NOT saying that the only hurdle to your perfect health is eating more. I think many people on here have come to believe that our inner anorexia is the cause of all our problems, and I don’t think that is always true. I DO believe, however, that you have many symptoms characteristic of hypothyroidsm/low metabolism AND that you have history of eating/absorbing far too little for the average person of your size. I do NOT think these things are purely coincidental. This does not prove one way or another what the initial CAUSE of your issues are, but I think it’s safe to say that many of us have found ourselves at a point where we are undernourished, and until that singular problem is fixed, nothing else will improve.

    One thing I ran into a while back, and can’t locate off the wing right now, is a study showing that the retention of vitamins and minerals during prolonged under eating is poor, and that under eating can cause many micronutrient deficiencies. MANY of these deficiencies were reversed by adding calorie sources with ZERO additional vitamins (such as corn starch and/or cane sugar). The point here is that our body needs calories to help utilize vitamins/minerals, the same as it needs vitamins and minerals to help process calories. But under eating too long can cause deficiencies in things like niacin, zinc, or whatever. Would supplementing these nutrients help? Absolutely! But doing so would also jeopardize the balance they have with other nutrients which may also be low. How this shows up on Spectracell’s test is anybody’s guess.

    In sum, I think it would be wise to solve for once and for all the underlying cause of your fat maldigestion. Is one or more bile duct(s) clogged? Can a clog be jarred free? Perhaps thyroid supplementation (t3 or desiccated thyroid) will help re-establish bile flow? Perhaps you know of other strategies to investigate in the event that a clog is diagnosed? And in the meantime, keep eating something. Consider supplementing whatever you think may help, but consider broader supplements over singular items (such as a b complex over straight niacin).

    And, as always, keep in touch.


    I came across this article somewhat by chance this morning.

    “Fat to treat fat: Emerging relationship between dietary PUFA, endocannabinoids, and obesity”

    It is another group of authors reviewing the literature on ‘PUFA’ (in this case, meaning both n6 and n3 PUFA) leading to the same abnormalities in endocannabinoids and inflammatory markers that the articles brought up at the beginning of this post sequence claimed were caused by ‘SFA’ (high PUFA lard).

    These authors, too, claim that fish oils can partially reverse the destruction caused by n6 PUFA.

    My point here is that data is now piling on that overall PUFA, especially perhaps vege oil PUFA, is THE leading cause of our obesity epidemic. And, of course, our anorexic tendencies don’t help either. For those people who have stated that eating to raise the metabolism DOES NOT fix the metabolic rate in everyone, and that it only further fattens people who are perhaps more ‘prone’ to obesity, I would say: here’s the next thing to focus on! Keep PUFA LOW!

    This article says something very instructive: modulating tissue and blood ratios of fatty acids (for the sake of example, ‘drowning out’ tissue PUFA with low to moderate overall dietary fat with a high overall percentage of saturated fat and low overall percentage of PUFA) REVERSES the biochemical markers associated with the obesity pathology. I suppose this is a verification of the anecdotal report that eating coconut oil ON TOP OF a routine diet leads to weight loss.

    in reply to: dairy issue #15344


    I see that many issues have been brought up on this post, not just dairy. But I wanted to comment on the diary thing.

    Dairy is trouble for many with poor digestion and dare-I-say ‘leaky gut’ after chronic malnutrition. If you feel dairy is bothering you, you could always just go away from dairy for now, wait a few months eating everything else (and potentially supplementing some calcium citrate or malate to get calcium), and then retry dairy again later.

    On a personal note, milk was always fine and dandy for me (and every other dairy thing). After years of a low carb paleo thing, yogurts and raw milk were still totally ok for me. But, at some point, they all of a sudden were no good for me. My rosacea flared bad with dairy, digestion sucked–IBS type stuff, and I would get especially cold shortly after consuming it. This is one of the changes that alerted me to change my ways. So, I started to ‘recover’ and Eat The Food. But dairy still didn’t work for me. Not milk, not ice cream, not yogurt. So, I stopped all dairy and just ate whatever else (but I still ate cheese). After 4 months or so of Eating for Recovery, I tried yogurt and not only did it NOT bother me, but it actually seemed to HELP my digestion. I now eat ice cream and yogurt and they are cool with me.

    My personal point is to add one more anecdote to the pile of how dairy tolerance does often improve in time with recovery, even if dairy is a major issue while sick. I think I did better avoiding dairy for those first several months of recovery, but others think just forcing it works better. So consider both options and see how it goes.

    Keep us updated with your progress.

    in reply to: Cholesterol #15338

    Hey TinaT,

    I have not read the book, and I’ll check it out. But I wonder how biased the author was if he/she was including fish, seal, and whale on the list of ‘high saturated fat’ sources.

    But surely low PUFA sources of fat would include dairy, coconut, palm, and most olive oils. I am with you on dairy fat being the the most enjoyable on the lsit! :)

    in reply to: Cholesterol #15327

    I strongly ‘third’ Jman99’s statement.

    If we want to trust Weston Price and look at fat intake through an anthropological lens (which I would tend to promote), we see that most traditional, non-industrial and non-broke cultures eat 20% to 50% of their calories from fats. The one exception would be Inuit, but I think it is fair to say their diet was/is far from ideal.

    At the high-end of the spectrum (~50%) are the Tokelau (Pac. Islands; mostly coconut) and Medieval Icelanders (mostly dairy fat). At the bottom of the spectrum are Kitavans (Pac. Islands; mostly coconut) and many cultures within pre-European Americas (fat mostly from game meat).

    I am an armchair student of Medieval Europe, and I have had many laughs reading the dream visions and various poems and tales of France and England describing fantasies for lard and butter. We’re talking dream visions of houses made of cheese, with the banisters made of bacon, and the floors waxed with lard. That kind of thing. Medieval peasants would often subsist on bread, lentils, and ale, and be lustful toward fat. Cheese, eggs, milk, meats and so on were not often available for manorial servants. Fortunately, it was customary for the manorial lords to offer rather large banquets on all the major Christian Feast Days, which totaled several dozen per year. I wasn’t laughing so much because I thought their plight was funny, but because I put myself through unnecessary restriction in the modern day by being a stupid fool.

    In the modern day (in post-industrial cultures), where food availability is mostly unlimited with respect to macronutrients, cultures tend to migrate toward about 30-40% fat, 40-60% carbs, and 10-20% protein. I would not think these more-or-less instinctual ranges inappropriate. I would only encourage better selection of food quality.

    in reply to: Iodine #15326

    Hello Lulu,

    Paul Jaminet has written some good pieces on iodine. Please check them out (some of the segments come in backward order, such as part 2 on top of part 1).

    Autoimmune Thyroid-itis:

    The summarized version is that iodine and selenium are both very important and must be in a particular balance. ‘Autoimmune’ thyroid problems can often be improved with increased selenium intake (food or supplements). With adequate selenium status and no autoimmune symptoms, quite high doses of iodine are acceptable and MAY even be beneficial. But SO LONG AS the autoimmune problems are going along, a more modest intake of iodine and higher selenium intake may be warranted. It’s hard to give exact numbers on this, but Paul tries to give some guidelines in his posts. Up to a point, more iodine causes increased T4 production in the thyroid which requires free radical generation. Selenium is designed to quench the radicals here, and low selenium will lead to a sort of destruction of the thyroid by its own activity. Hence ‘autoimmune’ thyroid-itis. Thus, until selenium status is improved–if, in fact it was low to start with–increased iodine may be trouble.

    High rt3, Low t3:

    But one thing Paul does not touch on is another situation, where people are high reverse t3 (rt3) and low t3–so called ‘euthyroid sick syndrome’, or ‘low t3 illness’, or several other names. This is NOT an autoimmune problem, per se. In these cases, increased iodine may also be miserable, and here’s why. Increased iodine–at least up to a point, increases T4 production from the thyroid. In healthy people, the liver then activates some T4 into t3 and deactivates some T4 into rt3. But if the patient is starving or low carbing or anorexic or whatever, the liver deactivates a higher percentage, leading to higher rt3 and lower t3. IN THIS CASE, the higher production of T4 will only lead to more rt3 which can competitively inhibit t3 and make a starving person even more miserable. Thus anorexic recoverees may also ‘feel’ better by not overdoing the iodine during their recovery.

    The liver is not the only location for T4 and t3 conversion, but it is a primary site so liver energy status is important. Anything that increases the energy status of the liver (glycogen from carbs, short chain fats from butter, coconut oil or beneficial fibers) will increase T4 to t3 conversion. Anything that depletes liver energy stores (fasting, low carbing, increased endotoxin absorption from intestines) will decrease T4 to t3 conversion, and increase T4 to rt3 conversion (and deactivation of t3 into t2, I think). It should also be stated that selenium is needed in the liver here to make the T4 to t3 conversion, so low selenium can cause low t3 and high rt3, just as low selenium also messes up autoimmune thyroid problems.


    I want to mention one more thing about selenium. There are many antioxidants in the human body, and all of them either contain a mineral or require one for antioxidant generation. The most common minerals used as antioxidants, if I’m not mistaken, are selenium, copper, and zinc. I have seen some studies where a low copper diet (or high zinc, since zinc can inhibit copper absorption and retention) CAUSES low selenium activity. Here is one that I quickly came upon again, but there are others I can’t locate right now.

    The point with this last comment is that selenium status can be greatly affected by copper and zinc status. I wouldn’t be too worried about this for most people, but modern ‘paleo’ diets (high red muscle meat with zinc; low beef liver which is the best source of copper) are asking for copper deficiency, which can provoke a selenium deficiency.

    Lulu, coming back to you now. I would read Jaminet’s article. I would then consider supplementing selenium (ideally something organic, like L-selenomethionine) or at least monitoring selenium intake from diet via a nutrient tool like

    Best selenium sources: anything grown in Brazil, especially nuts (hence Brazil nuts); eggs; fish and shellfish; meat of all kinds, especially kidneys; some grains and vegetables, but this is VERY soil dependent.

    Iodine sources: various seaweeds and kelps have most of anything; fish and shellfish; dairy; eggs; some meat and vegetables, but this is VERY soil dependent; some sea salts (Real Salt has about 100 mcg per 5g teaspoon; Celtic Salt has a negligible amount)

    ‘Iodized’ salt has iodine added to a refined NaCl, with some dextrose and sometimes alkaline powder added to it to help prevent ‘caking’ of the iodine. You’ll hear different things about this, but I’m not a fan.


    Thanks, Jman99! I thank you for stating your appreciation :)

    But I wanted to both edit one of my comments above and clarify a couple things.

    First, I’d like to edit my comment of the PUFA% in my previous post. I mis-stated the amount of PUFA above in the High Fat Diet.

    I said the FAT CONTENT was >50% PUFA and so the TOTAL DIET was >30% PUFA. I mis-read this. The real numbers are that the FAT CONTENT is >30% PUFA, and so the TOTAL DIET is ~20% PUFA. Most of this is Linoelic acid, as I stated before. The ‘Scholarly Review’ looks at several trials, but the ones showing injury are using ‘lard’ which is now >30% PUFA. Once-upon-a-time, industrial lard was lower in PUFA and higher in saturated fat. That day is past.

    Second, my friend who reads this blog (and my post here) but does not comment asked me in person about my post, and I wanted to clarify something by highlighting a couple sentences from the original Review abstract:

    Quotes From Original Abstract

    1. Excessive intake of certain macronutrients, such as simple carbohydrates and SFA, can lead to obesity and attendant metabolic dysfunction, also reflected in alterations in structural plasticity, and, intriguingly, neurogenesis, in some of these brain regions.

    2. The present review draws together these observations and investigates whether PUFA may exert their attenuating effects on body weight through the stimulation of adult neurogenesis.

    3. Exploration of the effects of nutraceuticals on neurogenic brain regions may encourage the development of new rational therapies in the fight against obesity.

    My explanations:

    1. By ‘SFA’ (saturated fatty acids), the authors mean diets high in lard from pigs fed soybeans and corn, which results in fat that is ~30% Linoleic acid, with a n6:n3 ratio of about 17. The Saturated Fat content of the High Fat Diet appears to be about 30%, or about 20% of total calories in the overall High Fat Diet.

    2. By ‘PUFA’ (polyunsaturated fatty acids), the authors mean fish oils, with both EPA/DHA and straight DHA preparations used in various experiments resulting in the same result: attenuating (lessening) the damage of the High Fat Diet (the diet which, in reality, is high in linoleic acid n6)

    3. As The Real Amy said, these authors clearly have the goal of patenting/selling a drug/supplement/protocol which, though the norm in medical research, strongly biases both the questions and answers of the analysis.

    • This reply was modified 10 years, 1 month ago by celticphoenix.

    I wanted to share a few thoughts on this study and others like it.

    Here is a link to the whole article for those who have access (I do; in fact, I would attach the whole article if this forum could allow attachments, hint hint!)

    Stephan Guyenet posted something similar coming out of his lab a while ago:

    Fructose-Containing Carbs:

    My overview of the articles is that fructose and sucrose, in rats and in concentrations over 20% of the diet, stimulate a variety of inflammatory mediators that leads to liver damage and hypothalamic damage which can result in long-term set point dysregulations. According to the papers, glucose at any concentrations does not do this. From my reading, these manifestations are consistent with endotoxemia (mild ‘sepsis’) that result from fructose being malabsorbed and fermented into junk by gut bacteria/fungus/whatever.

    Antibiotics given with the fructose prevents the liver injury.

    In healthy humans, fructose is completely absorbed without problematic fermentation PROVIDED THAT the fructose is ingested CONCOMITANTLY WITH equal amounts of glucose. Glucose somehow facilitates the speedy absorption of fructose. In humans, sucrose (50:50 glucose:fructose) up to 100 grams or so in one sitting appear to be fine.

    Again, though, this was in ‘healthy humans’. This is consistent with the rat studies that show up to 10% sucrose is ok (5% fructose) and does not lead to any problems. Considering that most of these studies used 60% fat diets, this would mean about > 3:1 ratio of glucose:fructose. Thus, fruit and honey and natural things that contain roughly equal parts fructose and glucose would be fine for most healthy people, while particularly unhealthy people may want to have even more glucose and less fructose.

    Dietary ‘Saturated Fat’:

    After reading the papers over very carefully, I see ZERO discussion of ‘saturated fat’ outside of the conclusion, and all the trials were given up to 60% TOTAL FAT. The studies are showing that 60% fat diets can injure the brain and lead to obesity and diabetes compared to ‘control’ diets that are low fat and low fructose (high starch). Separate studies (summarized within the same papers) show that high fat diets (or medium fat diets) that are supplemented with EPA and DHA from fish oil (so, high Omega-3 PUFA, NOT omega-6 PUFA or miscellaneous PUFA) increase neurogenesis and thereby partially correct for the brain destruction from the high fat and/or high fructose diets.

    These conclusions in the paper are appalling to me since they didn’t take into account the fact that the base composition of the fat (whether ‘High Fat’ or otherwise) are predominantly high PUFA lard and high PUFA vege oils.

    As Masterjohn wrote a while back, the specific ‘High Fat’ diet used in most of these injurious diets was >30% PUFA (>50% of the fat was PUFA), with almost all the PUFA coming from linoleic acid (18:2, omega 6; the same major fatty acid as in soybean or corn oil).

    Masterjohn has actually eloquently written about this many times before, including in his article ‘Good Lard, Bad Lard’, but the site is down for me at the moment.

    This diet is often referred to as ‘High Saturated Fat’, but this is another example of researchers just flat-out lying to make a headline.

    So, back to the hypothalamic injury: we see that high fat diets WHEN THEY ARE HIGH IN LINOLEIC ACID, destroy the brain (and many other things), but decreasing this and adding fish oil somewhat counters this effect. All this proves is that omega 3 deficiency destroys the brain, and that high linoeic acid diets lead to omega 3 deficiency.

    IN SUMMARY, what is being claimed is that high sugar and high fat/saturated fat diets are injurious. In reality, the data actually shows that high fructose/sucrose and/or high vege oil diets are injurious. The vege oil thing we already knew. The fructose/sucrose thing I think is, AT THIS TIME, equivocal, but LIKELY IN MY ESTIMATE attributable to fructose malabsorption, which is a problem of fructose in excess of glucose–something much more likely with synthetic sweeteners and less likely with fruit, honey, and even cane sugar.

    in reply to: Need HELP increasing fat in diet… #15269

    Hey Dan,

    I can understand something of your run-around. I’ve been diagnosed with a variety of things by a variety of doctors (traditional allopathic, environmental medicine allopathic, and naturopathic), and I’ve completed various blood and stool tests by each one. It’s no fun!

    While often well-intentioned, I also think that 99+% of doctors are absolute imbeciles, and they tend to flail around for ‘the cause’ within the confines of their own myopic world view. It’s hard as a unique case since the medical system cares nothing for the one individual who contracts the oddball pathogen or is exposed to the rare environmental toxin, and society at large couldn’t care less about the one in a million who dies a slow terrible death from the un-diagnosed or improperly diagnosed. The system is set up, at best, to help the masses with the common ailments, and then to do enough random ‘superhero’ work on the side to attract more money and allegiance.

    I did want to point out a couple thoughts on what you said, but I’ll say right off, as you already know, nothing is obvious with health problems.

    Nutrient Balance:

    As you have experienced with copper and zinc, there is a proper balance that must be achieved in order to function optimally. I suspect it’s a lot like vitamins A, D, and K2 as Masterjohn has discussed at length on this various blogs, that the more you have with copper and zinc, the less the exact ratio matters. But overall a number of things can lead to malabsorption and poor retention of copper and zinc, so we ca end up with lowish levels of both, even if we supplement. This makes the supplementation more tricky and potentially dangerous, since a relative surplus (even if only momentary) can cause ad relative deficiency in the other and it can make sue feel like garbage. I think it is wise of you to just monitor with symptoms your situation and supplement wisely (with humble doses) as needed.

    I am not sure what to make of the zinc tally test. I really don’t think zinc status is easily measured, and I wouldn’t put much weight in the test either way. I think symptoms are a better guide. I tested low for zinc and high in cooper on the spectracell comprehensive nutrition panel, and I ‘tested’ low in zinc based on the zinc tally. But then when I did a blood test for neutrophils, cerulopasmin, ferritin, blood copper, and some other things, I was clinically deficient in copper. At this time, whenever I would supplement zinc, I would get a sore throat within a day or two, and it would go away upon stopping the zinc supplementation. Supplementing copper had mild benefits in energy. My point is simply that the test are potentially misleading, so follow your symptoms.

    Methylation Protocol and Balance:

    I know Ben Lynch has commented about this before, but the factors, folate, B12, B2, niacin (B3), B6, magnesium, choline, and glycine must all be in balance. Too much folate in absolute or relative terms can cause a myriad of problems for someone already prone to issues.

    I generally think the methylfolate supplementation thing is misguided. Let me expalin. Surely, synthetic folic acid is bad news, and people are starting to come out about how the biologically equivalent folates (including 5mthf) are the only reasonable supplemental folate molecules. The problem is that this perspective is piled on top of the already-well-established assumption that we are all deficient in folate and need to supplement (especially pregnant women). Research showing decreased neural tube defects in children from women supplementing folate is what caused this all, and so our cereals are now all fortified with rather high levels of folic acid. The problem is that, as more recent research points to, other nutrients are as important if not moreso than folate in preventing neural tube defects (for one example, see, and it completely ignores anthropology. If you examine the levels of certain nutrients that our ancestors would have consumed–such as folate which only comes in decent amounts from liver, eggs, leafy greens, beans/peas, and citrus–I find it hard-pressed to think we could have had more than 300-500 mg daily. And within this dietary context, our dietary folate would have been accompanied by lots of b2, b3, b6, b12, choline, and magnesium.

    I know I felt wretched when I was supplementing even a balanced b complex with activated everything including folate (swanson’s I stopped supplementing it and felt better. I then experimented and found I, too, felt better with the supplement if I added a separate niacin supplement.

    I think the best approach is just to eat lots of real food, follow cravings, try to avoid fortifications but don’t be too religious about it, and go from there. I eat lots of fruit, potatoes, peas, eggs, and liver. I will crave liver for several days, then not crave it for a couple weeks. I’m not a big fan of eating my own liver, so I put the money down to buy the liver sausages from US Wellness Meats. I’ve done well just following my instincts. Of course, I still have issues, but I’ve read the same from others.

    Betaine HCl and Enzymes

    The last thing I wanted to mention is your betaine hcl supplementation. I have found, off and on, that betaine hcl really helps me. But I think 8 caps per meal is too high. I know there are protocols out there that recommend this, but I don’t think it is based on anything. The stomach tries to separate our incoming food into 100ml units, or so. Not all of our stomach is acidic, only the deep pits, which should have a pH of 1.5-2.0 or so. One betaince hcl capsule, at least according to a prior post on I think Melissa Mcewen’s blog, puts 100ml of water to a pH of about 1.5.

    Comments on:

    Two Caps would put 1 entire liter (1000mL) of water under 2.0 pH. So even a large meal would only require 2 betaine hcl caps to have enough acid. Ideally, one at the beginning and one in the middle-end. The problem with more than this is that it requires more alkaline from the intestines (after the stomach) to neutralize this acid. Potassium Bicarb is the base used, which could result in lost potassium and/or bicarb and/or CO2 from the blood, which will acidify your blood, slow your metabolism, give muscle spasms (such as restless legs), and potentially any number of other things.

    This relates to fat intolerance, since fat digestion requires an alkaline environment (and enzymes). The fat doesn’t digest super well until the alkaline intestines. If, however, you take too much acid, and if your digestion is not robust enough to fully counter the acid, your dietary fat will not digest well. This is why people with poor metabolism often (though not always) do well with fruit/sugar, since simple sugars don’t need acid like protein or alkaline like fat and starch. I am not saying this is causing your leg issues, but it may be (or at least contributing to them). Increasing alkaline minerals from fruit and tubers and decreasing betaine hcl dosage somewhat may help balance this.

    If you still have poor motility and/or generally bad digestion (many of us here have this), it, again, may just be overall sluggish metabolism which takes time to come up. In recovering anorexics, I’ve read of many who finally broke the sluggish digestion at about the year mark of refeeding, so it can take a while. Digestion is very parasympathetic, so any stressor (low calories, not enough sleep, sucky work, whatever) will really screw your digestion up. Just do what you can in the meantime, but do consider lowering your betaine hcl dosage.

    I’d be curious to know how many calories you’ve been getting down the past while. Depending on your work and exercise schedule (and age and size and so on), you likely need 3,000-4,000+. This is very hard for someone without good digestion, but bumping up your cals may also be the way to get better digestion, so do your best. Resting as much as possible (and not working out) will also likely help.

    I wish you the best, Dan. Please do continue to keep us all updated on your progress!

    • This reply was modified 10 years, 2 months ago by celticphoenix.
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