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Topics - Warren Dew

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Miscellaneous / Is Hillary Clinton vegan?
« on: September 15, 2016, 10:42:53 PM »
Apparently one of the "drugs" Hillary Clinton's doctors say she takes is vitamin B12.

That makes me wonder if she's vegan.  Bill claims to be vegan but has salmon once a week.

If she's vegan, that could certainly explain her health problems.

Miscellaneous / I must be paleo if ...
« on: May 06, 2016, 02:14:42 PM »
... I run to the drugstore instead of walking because I'm in a hurry, rather than because I need the exercise.

Research / Modern hunter gatherers sleep less than 7 hours a night
« on: October 15, 2015, 08:30:38 PM »
While modern hunter gatherers may not accurately represent paleolithic humans, the fact that three widely separated groups all had the same sleep patterns, averaging 6.5 hours of sleep per night, suggests that this may be a natural amount of sleep.  They generally went to bed 3 hours after sunset and got up before dawn.  At least, that's what this study seems to have found.

Research / Calorie restriction extends lifespan in primates
« on: August 02, 2015, 07:11:57 PM »
Somehow I missed this when it came out.  Calorie restriction has previously been shown to extend lifespan in a wide variety of animals from microbes to rats.  Now that result has been extended to primates - specifically, rhesus monkeys.  A 30% calorie restriction resulted in about a 20% increase in lifetime when looking only at age related deaths, and about a 10% increase in lifetime when other causes of death were included.

Caloric restriction (CR) without malnutrition increases longevity and delays the onset of age-associated disorders in short-lived species, from unicellular organisms to laboratory mice and rats. The value of CR as a tool to understand human ageing relies on translatability of CRs effects in primates. Here we show that CR significantly improves age-related and all-cause survival in monkeys on a long-term ~30% restricted diet since young adulthood.

Research / Paleolithic man consumed elephants in the levant
« on: April 05, 2015, 11:35:56 AM »
Data from a site in Israel show that during the paleolithic, humans skinned and processed hides from elephants.  Seems likely they were eating the meat and fat they were separating the hides from.

Research / Fatty acid mutation in coastal Inuit
« on: February 22, 2015, 09:59:50 AM »
Apparently there's a kerfluffle between various ancestral health diet blogs about a mutation found in most coastal Inuit and almost no one else, and what its implications are regarding whether the Inuit were in ketosis most of the time, and whether they are a good model for the effects of long term ketosis in people without the mutation.  The information is sufficiently interesting that I thought I'd post a summary here.

The mutation is in the CPT1 gene, which is ultimately responsible for oxidation of long chain fatty acids.  The associated enzyme activity was reduced by a factor of roughly 17 in people homozygous for the mutation - that is, that had the mutation on both strands of their DNA - and appears to inhibit ketosis on modern diets.  Out of 422 consecutive infants screened from one affected region, 70% were homozygous for the mutation and another 24% were heterozygous - had the mutation on one of their two DNA strands.  A significant proportion of the affected people are in hypoketotic hypoglycemia - that is, have low blood sugar, but without the normal response of going into ketosis - and there were at least 10 infant deaths out of the 422 screened.

So basically we have a mutation that seems to kill a noticeable percentage of infants, but which has actually been selected for, rather than against, in coastal arctic Inuit populations.  The question is, why?

Petro Dobromylskyj, who writes the Hyperlipid blog, has an explanation that hangs together pretty well.  He notes that the coastal inuit's precontact diet was extremely high in fat and had virtually no carbohydrate.  He argues that with such a diet, the free fatty acid concentration in the body would increase to the point where even the small residual activity from the enzyme from the mutated CPT1 gene would be sufficient to allow adequate levels of long chain fatty acid metabolism.  This would explain why the mutation didn't get rapidly selected out of the gene pool, for this population.

There remains the question of why there was selection in favor of the mutation.  Dobromylskyj notes that normally, when the energy from oxidative metabolism is no longer needed, the enzyme from the CPT1 gene is inhibited by malonyl-COA.  The enzyme from the mutated CPT1 gene is not inhibited by malonyl-COA, so long chain fatty acid oxidation would continue even when the energy was not needed for normal functions:  the energy would simply be dissipated as heat when it wasn't powering muscles or other tissue activity.  In addition, the increased free fatty acid concentration would mean that this elevated level of metabolism could be sustained for much longer than in people without the mutation.  In the arctic areas where the mutation is found, the extra body heat would be adaptive:  for example, it could keep you alive through a cold night or rest period where normal humans would die of hypothermia.

What does this mean for the paleo diet, and for the argument that the Inuit are a model for a sustained ketogenic diet?  Well, it does mean that they metabolized an extremely high fat, virtually zero carb diet slightly differently from most of us.  The differences mean that such a high fat diet won't give most of us quite the ability to survive the arctic wilderness that it gave the Inuit.  On the other hand, the extra free fatty acid metabolism that the Inuit have on such a diet would mean that they would see a bit more oxidative stress than most of us on such a diet.

Ultimately, though, they were still likely in long term ketosis.  And, if anything, a long term ketogenic diet, outside of the arctic wilderness, is likely more healthy for us than for the Inuit, given our lower levels of oxidative stress on such a diet.

Vitamins and Supplements / Eric - online vitamin source?
« on: December 04, 2014, 06:00:36 PM »
I need to order a bunch of vitamins for my kids.  Did you have a source that supports this site?

Progress Reports & Photos / Women, ketosis, and weight loss
« on: November 02, 2014, 09:37:55 AM »
I've previously observed that while men can easily lose excess weight on paleo, women have a lot more difficulty.  More recently, I've noticed that of the two or three cases of successful substantial weight loss in women - by which I mean 30 lb or more - all seemed to be operating in ketosis.  So, I theorized that the reliable way to use paleo for weight loss for women was to use ketostix and stay in ketosis.

My wife, who had previously not been in ketosis and had been having trouble losing her most recent pregnancy weight, recently changed jobs, saw her weight increase due to the temptation of a candy bowl that was kept near her new cube, and got serious about losing weight.  This gave me an opportunity to confirm my theory.

I suggested she start using the ketostix at least daily to ensure she got into ketosis, and she did.  Within the first week, she lost the expected six or seven pounds of water weight.  Since then, she has been losing a pound or two per month, though of course it is as always somewhat obscured by changes due to the monthly cycle - during one part of the cycle she loses a pound a week, and during the rest of it she stays flat.

It looks like ketosis, measured through ketostix, may be the way to go for women who really want to lose substantial amounts of weight.

Recipes and meal photos / Primal honey butter frosting
« on: June 21, 2014, 11:39:51 PM »
This recipe is not paleo due to the use of butter.  Still, when one has a daughter who really wants a birthday cake at her sixth birthday party, it's hard to say no.  We're combining it with a hazelnut flour banana loaf recipe baked into cake rounds.


12 ounces - 3 sticks - butter, preferably grass fed and unsalted
10 ounces honey, preferably raw
1 teaspoon vitamin C powder (optional)


1.  Allow butter to warm to room temperature.

2.  In a medium mixing bowl, mix all ingredients until smooth, using a whisk, egg beater, or mixer

Yield:  enough for two layers of an 8 inch round cake.

Miscellaneous / Do plants feel pain?
« on: May 02, 2014, 09:00:32 PM »
Apparently yes.  Next time a vegetarian talks about all the cuddly animals your paleo diet is killing, refer him to this video:

Plants' physical reactions can be inhibited by anesthetization with ether, and burning a leaf results in the propagation of electrical signals in the plant.

Research / Yet another randomized controlled trial shows Paleo better
« on: April 11, 2014, 09:39:37 PM »
Epidemiological correlations are a dime a dozen and can be massaged any which way, but randomized controlled trials - experiments - are the only way to show causation.  A newly published (January) article documents a randomly controlled trial of the paleo diet and another, nonpaleo and higher carb diet, and demonstrates that the paleo diet results in more weight loss.

Research / Okinawan diet data
« on: January 19, 2014, 02:09:13 PM »
Vegetarians love to claim that the Okinawa diet proves the healthiness of a plant based diet.  Turns out, back when Okinawans were more healthy than other Japanese, they also ate 20% more meat:

They also ate more greens.  Granted they also ate more tofu, so it's not an example of a paleo diet, but it's certainly not an example of meat being bad for you either.

In my opinion the reasons Okinawans used to be long lived was because they simply ate less food, essentially being calorically restricted, but that argument is too subtle to open with against rabid vegetarians.

Diet and nutrition / Argh GMO strawberries
« on: January 07, 2014, 11:25:13 AM »
I've been eating a couple pounds of strawberries each week - they don't have a lot of sugar, and they're one of the few fruit that has vitamin C levels comparable to wild fruit.  I generally get organic strawberries, because they're so delicious.

When organic strawberries aren't available, I get regular strawberries.  I've been noticing over the last year or so that when I eat a lot of regular strawberries, I tend to get sniffles and feel like I'm coming down with something. I just chalked it up to the sugar, thinking that maybe the 20g of sugar in a pound of strawberries was enough to mess up my immune system a bit.

However, apples and pears don't have the same effect.  So what's going on?  Well, a few days ago after a I had these problems I finally checked into the possibility that the strawberries were genetically modified.

Turns out they are!  A lot of stawberries now are genetically modified with a gene that improves their cold resistance.  The source of the gene?  Peanut.  Seems likely that the peanut gene produces something that I'm mildly allergic to.

Ah well, looks like I'm going to have to start limiting myself to organic strawberries, which aren't allowed to be GMO.

Research / GERD, SIBO, and carbs
« on: December 02, 2013, 08:38:07 PM »
Just wanted to post a link to a good article by Dr. Eades on GERD - gastroesophogeal reflux disease, also known as acid reflux or heartburn.  Apparently excessive bacteria in the small intestine - small intestine bacterial overgrowth, or SIBO - produce gases while fermenting carbohydrates that push stomach acid back up into the esophagus, causing the problem.  Complex carbohydrate is worse than sugar in this respect, because it digests more slowly and is thus more likely to reach the lower small intestine where there are more bacteria.

Parenting / Is breast milk a ketogenic diet?
« on: November 14, 2013, 08:54:02 PM »
I've been noticing recently that (warning:  TMI) my poop has been kind of sweet smelling, which I think is attributable to being in ketosis just as sweet smelling breath is.  Then I got to thinking that breast fed babies have kind of sweet smelling poop as well.  So I googled "baby sweet breath" and got millions of hits.  The babies in question were breast fed when it was mentioned.  Usually there was lots of advice to take the baby to the doctor right away to check for type 1 diabetes, but the babies ended up being pronounced healthy.

So, sweet smelling breath and poop?  Does this mean that most or all breast fed babies are in ketosis?  That would be interesting.  And does that answer the question of why acetone, which isn't a sugar, smells sweet to us?  I'm thinking there could be an evolutionary advantage to babies' smelling sweet to their parents.

If we ever have another baby, I'm going to use some ketostix to find out whether this is the case.

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