Ketosis in an evolutionary context

Humans are unique in their remarkable ability to enter ketosis.  They’re also situated near the top of the food chain.  Coincidence?

During starvation, humans rapidly enter ketosis; they do this better than king penguins, and bears don’t do it at all.

Starvation ketosis

 

Starvation ketosis

Humans maintain a high level of functionality during starvation.  We can still hunt & plan; some would even argue it’s a more finely tuned state, cognitively.  And that’s important, because if we became progressively weaker and slower, chances of acquiring food would rapidly decline.

Perhaps this is why fasting bears just sleep most of the time: no ketones = no bueno..?

Observation: chronic ketosis is relatively rare in nature. This doen’t mean animals evolved a protective  mechanism against ketosis.

 

 

Animals with a low brain/carcass weight ratio (ie, small brain) don’t need it. Babies and children have a higher brain/carcass weight ratio, so they develop ketosis more rapidly than adults. Is this a harmful process? No, more likely an evolutionary adaptation which supports the brain.

ketones age

The brain of newborn babies consumes a huge amount of total daily energy, and nearly half comes from ketones.  A week or so later, even after the carbohydrate content of breast milk increases, they still don’t get “kicked out of ketosis” (Bourneres et al., 1986).  If this were a harmful state, why would Nature have done this?  …and all those anecdotes, like babies learn at incredibly rapid rates… coincidence?  Maybe they’re myths.  Maybe not.




 

Ketosis in the animal kingdom

Imagine a hibernating bear: huge adipose tissue but small brain fuel requirement relative to body size and total energy expenditure.  No ketosis, because brain accounts for less than 5% of total metabolism.  In adult humans, this is around 19-23%, and babies are much higher (eg, Cahill and Veech, 2003Hayes et al., 2012).

 

For the rest of this article and more, head over to Patreon!

 

 

calories proper

 

Become a Patron!

 

Save

Save

Save

Share

The Omega-3 Index: Eat Seafood

“Need” is a funny concept.  You don’t need to eat seafood.  You don’t need an appendix or legs, either.

For example, Association of marine omega-3 fatty acid levels with telomeric aging in patients with coronary heart disease (Farzaneh-Far et al., 2010)

Telomere length is believed to be a biomarker of aging: the shorter your telomeres, the faster you’re aging.  In the study, they measured telomere length in white blood cells and EPA+DHA in whole blood at baseline and again 5 years later.

omega-3 intake and telomerase

Quartile 1: EPA+DHA = 2.3% of the fatty acids in whole blood.

Quartile 2: 3.3%

Quartile 3: 4.3%

Quartile 4: 7.3%

Potential confounders: quartile 4 was comprised of educated rich white old non-smokers with low levels of inflammation, but the statisticians assure us those variables were controlled for… so there’s that.

 

 

You might be thinking: Bill-man, I don’t feel like getting my Omega-3 Index tested, how much seafood will put me in that fourth quartile?

 

omega-3 index

 

For the rest of this article and more, head over to Patreon!

 

calories proper

 

Become a Patron!

 

 

Save

Save

Share

A robust circadian rhythm is the key to good aging

That’s basically everything.

 

 

Aging predisposes you to pretty much every single disease. We all die eventually, and no one wants the last 10 years to be low quality of life. We used to say “healthspan,” now people say they “want to die as young as possible, as old as possible.” That is, to live a long life but remain healthy and active until the end.

Couple recent studies suggest a robust circadian clock (both centrally & peripherally) may be the key.

LIGHT is the primary zeitgeber which entrains the central clock. Food entrains the peripheral clock. Both in the morning, to co-entrain both clocks and prevent desynchrony.

DARKNESS and decreased food intake in the evening is just as important. Being young helps, too (von Gall and Weaver, 2006)

 

 

 

For the rest of Part 1, all of Part 2, and more, head over to Patreon!
(plus, it’s ad-free)

update: part 2 is up now!

 

calories proper

 

Become a Patron!

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Share

On the impact of diet on circadian phase setting

We’ve seen that meal size and frequency can influence circadian rhythms, but here are some examples of how nutrients can, too.

Circadian phase advance: going to bed earlier, waking up earlier.  Blue blockers at sunset, bright light at sunrise.  Flying east.  Autumn.

Circadian phase delay: staying up late, sleeping in.  Flying west.  Spring.  Using smart phones, tablets, and iPads in bed at night.  Light pollution.

Relative to adolescents, infants and children are circadian phase advanced.  This is part of what is fueling the movement to delay high school start times.  Kids are mentally better prepared to work later in the day.  With early school start times, performance is down in the morning, but they kill it on video games after school.  Delaying start time by an hour won’t totally fix this, but could help.

 

 

For the rest of this article and more, head over to Patreon!

 

calories proper

 

Become a Patron!

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Share

Low carb, low glycemic index, or something else entirely

Why Low Carb?

OmniCarb (Sacks et al., 2014)

Study design & results in a nutshell:

5 weeks, low(ish) vs. high carb (40 vs. 58%) with the calorie difference split between protein (23 vs. 16%) and fat (37 vs. 27%).  In other words, the low(ish) carb diet was higher in protein and fat.  And there was 2 versions of each diet —  a high and low glycemic index.  Lots of crossing over; all in all, weak intervention but decent study design & execution.

Aaaand nothingsauce nothingburger.  Goal was insulin sensitivity, not weight loss.

 

glucose and insulin

 

 

 

For the rest of this article, and all past & future articles, head over to Patreon! Three bucks a month for all access!

 

calories proper

 

Become a Patron!

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Share

Hormesis and a blow torch

I joke about hormesis a lot because it has little-to-no scientific proof. Maybe it’s true, but it’s really hard to prove experimentally.

Imo, whatevs. But I do walk the walk: Hormesis of the AGEs.

disclosures: I’m a horrible food photographer… it’s really hard to take pictures while actively blow torching food! (and not burning down the house)

and 2) bowls don’t last forever, especially mine.

 

My weapon of choice: this and these

 

 

 

Continue reading

Share

Endurance Performance Doesn’t Decline on a Low Carb Diet

The new study by Zinn and colleagues doesn’t debunk ketoadaptation. And the authors agree!

In brief, it was 5 ~50-year old recreational endurance athletes. They’ve been training a lot for a very long time. In other words, one way to view this study is the opposite of n00b gainz. Experienced exercisers don’t typically make gains in 10 weeks without drastically changing their training program or increasing protein intake – neither of which occurred in this study.

 

 

For the rest of this article, and all past & future articles, head on over to Patreon! Three bucks a month gets you all access.

 




 

Long-term fat adaptation.

Ketoadaptation

More on physical performance and ketoadaptation

A timeline of ketoadaptation.

 

calories proper

 

Become a Patron!

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Share

Allu-lujah: the new Quest Hero bars

Hey fam, I’m moving over to Patreon soon — will still be posting about 4-5 articles per month with at least 1 open to the public. The rest will be for Patrons at $3/month or more. I’m still trying to figure it out and I’m open to suggestions!

 

On that sweetener in the new Quest Hero bars: allulose (formerly known as D-Psicose).

1. I’m sure they were quick to adopt the alternate nomenclature because it’s hard not so say Piss-cose lol

2. Nutrition-wise, Hero bars are basically Quest Lite. A bit less fibre. But I really think they’re getting much better at texture.

3. On to allulose. It’s not really like sugar – even though the FDA says it must be labeled as such – because it carries virtually no calories and actually blunts the blood glucose spike from a meal.

 

Exhibit A. n=20 healthy peole: 7.5 g D-psicose alone, 75 g maltodextrin alone, 75 g maltodextrin + 2.5, 5, or 7.5 g D-psicose (Iida et al., 2008)

amazeballs

 

 

 

 

 

Exhibit B. n=26, zero or 5g psicose with a standardized meal (Hayashi et al., 2010). Note: there are ~12 grams of allulose in a Hero bar.

It works better in diabetics.

 

 

They did a 12-week study where psicose was dosed 3 times a day, 5 grams each time, and showed it was perfectly healthy. Some markers even improved.

 

Exhibit C. Psicose metabolism (Iida et al., 2010)

In doses ranging from 5 to 30 grams, up to 70% is excreted intact and the rest does not go to farts.

It’s virtually calorie-free:

 

 

and is barely fermentable (compared to FOS):

 

 

compare to other low carb protein bars here, get the new Quest bars here, or just buy some straight allulose and experiment with it!

Mechanisms? 1) it’s not sugar, but it still enhances glucose disposal; and 2) some animal studies show it enhances liver glucose uptake. Idk.

 

 

calories proper

 

Become a Patron!

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Share

Scheduled Meals for Circadian Entrainment

Scheduled Meals for Circadian Entrainment

This one’s for Patrons!

For $3 a month, Patron’s have access to all articles.  I still plan on 4-5 new ones per month and I’ll post at least one of ’em here.  Join up! Thanks.

 

calories proper

 

Become a Patron!

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Share

FOOD PROFILE

Hey Fam, announcement: I’m moving to Patreon soon — will still post about 4-5 articles per month with at least 1 open to the public. The rest will be for Patrons. I’m still trying to figure it out and I’m open to suggestions!

 

I loved this – when describing the two study diets, which differed markedly in carb content (10% vs. 53%), the authors said they were similar in energy, protein, and “FOOD PROFILE,” meaning low-processed, lower-glycemic foods.

Non-industrial foods.

Hunger-free Diet(s).

BOOM!

Visceral adiposity and metabolic syndrome after very high-fat and low-fat isocaloric diets: a randomized controlled trial (Veum et al., 2016)

 

What happens when you give up industrial foods and start following a Hunger-free Diet (regardless of carbz)?

 

 

EVERYBODY LOSES WEIGHT

 

 

And le saturated fat? Industrial foods are the problem, not saturated fat. One group went from 48 to 31 grams per day (LFHC), the other group went from 42 to 81 (VLCHF): all metabolic parameters improved in both groups.

 




 

Even their livers shrank:

 

 

My only qualm: everyone lost a bit of muscle. NOT SURPRISING when you cut calories & protein and don’t exercise. Protein dropped by about ~25 grams in both groups. When you cut calories, you need to up protein or start lifting heavy shit otherwise you’ll lose muscle. The ketonez won’t help.

 

 

calories proper

 

Become a Patron!

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Share