Tag Archives: diabetes

Carb Back-Loading and the Circadian Regulation of Metabolism

Carb Back-Loading (CBL) redux, part I

Step 1: eat little in the morning (maybe some fat+protein; definitely no carb)
Step 2: exercise in the afternoon/evening
Step 3: eat the carbs, all of them.  Preferably high glycemic carbs.
Other: no dietary fat post-workout; protein periodically throughout the day.

What makes CBL different from its predecessors is the stress on the timing – exercise and carbs in the evening.  John Berardi’s “Massive Eating” dietary guidelines are similar: protein+fat meals all day except pre- and post-workout, which are protein+carb meals.  Martin Berkan’s “LeanGains” is fasting most of the time (including pre-workout), exercise in the afternoon, then a big post-workout meal (quite similar to CBL).  My only tweak, as discussed below (and previously here and here), would be a pre- rather than post-workout meal [in some contexts].

There’s a summary of this blog post at the bottom… it might be helpful to read that first (see: “Tl;dr:”).  Also, please note that much of this post is about the fringe of theoretically optimizing nutrient partitioning, like improving from 85 to 90%, or 40 to 45%, not 40 to 90%…  I’m not that deluded.

My initial take, in general, is that this book is loaded with gems about nutrition, exercise, biochemistry, and physiology.  It’s also very readable and has a lot of good recommendations.  In this post, I want to discuss one specific aspect of CBL: tissue-specific circadian regulation of metabolism.

 

nutrient timing

 

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Lipid Hypothesis 2.0: Eat Butter

The original lipid hypothesis stated, more or less, that lowering blood cholesterol would reduce premature mortality from heart disease.  At the time, it was thought that dietary cholesterol and saturated fat increased the ‘bad’ type of blood cholesterol, so the advice was to restrict those foods.  All of that was wrong.

Time

Lipid Hypothesis 2.0: Eat Butter

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Advanced glycation end products (AGEs)

About a decade ago, Michael Brownlee posited that AGEs were one of The Four Horsemen responsible for the microvascular complications of diabetes.

Kill ‘em all

Thereafter, the image below (or a closely related one) appeared in at least one talk at every major diabetes conference for about 5 years.  Then it faded – maybe not because it is wrong, but rather just too simplistic to be useful (similar to CICO & ELMM).

Brownlee

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Skipping meals, intermittent fasting, grazing, etc.

or… Circadian Meal Timing!

They say if you’re going to [intentionally] skip a meal, it should be breakfast – and hey, that’s probably the easiest meal to skip.  However, a recent study showed skipping dinner FTW (well, not exactly).  I’ve never seen a proper study directly comparing the effects of skipping different meals, but here are a few that come close.  The findings may surprise you.

omelette

note: with the exception of Fernemark (Exhibit B), these studies are mostly macronutrient-controlled. That is, protein, fat, and carbs are similar between the groups; the only thing that differs is when they were ingested.  This can be tricky and/or very nuanced in some instances, like if dinner was smaller (fewer calories) but more protein-rich, for example… but in order to include 5 relevant studies and not bore you to death, you’ll have to check the full texts for those details.

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Nutrition Disinformation III

but they actually get it right this time.   Big HT to George Henderson for bringing this ms to my attention.

In Nutrition Disinformation, Part I, the Mediterranean diets employed by Estruch & colleagues were discussed.  The study subjects’ need for antidiabetic drugs, insulin, and anti-platelets all increased over the course of 5 years.  The media and even the authors themselves reported the opposite, touting the benefits of Mediterranean diets.  Thus begat the Nutrition Disinformation series.

Nutrition Disinformation 2.0 was a follow-up to an older post on the Look AHEAD study, when the results were finally published.  The intensive lifestyle intervention consisted of a pharmaceutical-grade low fat diet (ie, LFD + a little bit of Orlistat), and exercise.  By the end of 10 years, medication use was modestly lower in the intensive lifestyle group compared to controls, but it was markedly increased from baseline.  Therefore, I deemed it egregious to say their intervention was “healthy.”  In the context of Nutrition Disinformation, “healthy” means you’re getting better.  The need for insulin, statins, and anti-hypertensives should decline if you’re getting better.

In part 3 of the series, Yancy must’ve been following the Nutrition Disinformation series 🙂 and decided to conduct a subgroup analysis on the patients in his previous low carb vs. low fat + Orlistat study.  Weight loss was roughly similar, but all other biomarkers improved more on low carb.  In the new publication, Yancy analyzed data selectively from the diabetic patients in his original study to generate a “Medication Effect Score (MES).”  MES is based on what percentage of  the maximum dose was a patient given, and adjusted for the median decline in HbA1c experienced by patients on said drug.  A bit convoluted, but I’m on board (at least tentatively).

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Look AHEAD – Nutrition Disinformation 2.0

The day you’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived.  Results from the Look AHEAD study have been published.  When I first wrote about this study (HERE), it had been prematurely halted because the intervention was providing no benefits.  Everybody was in a state of shock and awe because Low Fat didn’t save lives.  But that was before we even had the data.  

Reminder: the “intensive lifestyle intervention” consisted of a Low Fat Diet & exercise.  The results?  Yes, they lost more weight than control, but they also took more Orlistat (of which I’m not a fan, see HERE for why):

orlistat

Orlistat = pharmaceutically enhanced low fat diet. 

Their normal diets were not healthy, but neither was low fat –>

med use

Medication use increased drastically in both groups.  The pundits have gone wild because medication use was lower in the intensive Low Fat group at the end of the study, but this is Nutrition Disinformation 2.0.  Eerily reminiscent of the recent Mediterranean Diet study, the conclusions are the same: keep eating poorly and the need for medications will increase.  You can call it a lot of things, but not “healthy.”  The alternative –>  How to define a “healthy” diet.  Period.


Significant adverse events:SAE

The only thing to reach statistical significance was more fractures in the intensive Low Fat group, but you didn’t read any headlines that said “Low Fat breaks bones.”  Imagine if that happened on low carb [sigh]  The next closest thing to statistical significance was increased amputations in the intensive Low Fat group :/

gem:History of CVD

Translation: if you were healthy at baseline, then you could tolerate a low fat diet.  Otherwise, not so much.  This is exactly what happened in the Women’s Health Initiative.

Ha

needless to say, none of the “possible explanations” they considered were Low fat diet Fail.

calories proper

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salt makes you thirsty, soda makes you hungry.

As previously discussed, DRINK was a randomized intervention study that gave children either regular or diet soda for a year and surprise surprise, the regular soda drinkers gained about more body fat than the diet soda drinkers (de Ruyter et al., 2012).  And in the follow-up, with an opposite study design, overweight & obese children who continued to drink regular soda gained twice as much weight as those who cut their intake (Ebbeling et al., 2012).  There was no apparent black box in the latter study as the kids who stopped drinking soda also decreased their intake of other foods…

-does not compute-fructose

wait a minute … By switching from regular soda to diet, you just end up compensating by eating more of something else, right?  My initial response to that has always been that it doesn’t matter – ANYTHING else is better than a straight shot of 100% HFCS (+ some other chemicals).  But those kids didn’t do that.  they ate less of other foods.

 

Does HFCS soda make you eat more?

A recent study has put a little more fuel on this fire.  Similar to the abovementioned two, it’s not a sophisticated study designed to accurately assess the impact of regular soda on appetite, satiety, hunger, etc., but it supports the theory that diet soda negative calories are NOT compensated for by eating more of something else.


Food and beverages associated with higher intake of sugar-sweetened beverages (Mathias et al., 2013)

It was another big cross-sectional NHANES study that simply asked how much regular soda, diet soda, and other foods kids were eating.Mathias data 1

They showed that as soda intake increased, so did total calories, which could simply mean the soda was adding calories to their diets.  This would indirectly support the opposite of the above mentioned theory, namely, that soda calories aren’t compensated for.  But it gets better (or worse, depending how you look at it):Mathias data 2

soda didn’t simply add to the total calorie intake.  More often than not, calorie intake increased above and beyond that contributed by the soda.  And it wasn’t just that bigger kids were drinking more soda and eating more food – these data were controlled for body weight.  The authors estimated that for every 100 kcal of soda drank, an additional 36 – 86 kcal of food was eaten.

salt makes you thirsty, and now soda makes you hungry?

 

calories proper

 

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The curiosities of nicotin..ic acid

Niacin vs. ketosis

Part I.  Rodents

It is thought: niacin causes red itchy face (> 100 mg/d) and acutely lowers FFAs; chronically, it raises some questionable fraction of HDL (> 1000 mg/d) and probably causes diabetes.

It is speculated: niacin binds a particular “ketone” receptor (GPR109?) (physiological relevance?).

It is known: niacin is ketogenic in rats.  Repeat: niacin is ketogenic in rats.

Niacin aka nicotinic acid and nicotamide aka niacinamide both fulfill the requirement for Vitamin B3 (ie, prevent pellagra).  But only the former causes flushing… and only the former is ketogenic (two apparently unrelated phenomena).

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How to define a “healthy” diet. Period.

Whether you’re strictly adhering to a diet or just doing your own thing, if year after year your GP is prescribing more and more medications to stave off morbidity and keep you intact, then the diet you’re following is most likely Fail.  The same is true if your body weight is creeping upward or your quality of life is creeping downward.lunchables

The glaring Fail of all 3 diets in the recent Mediterranean Diet Study for the medications criteria threw up a huge red flag.  As a brief refresher, at baseline and 5 years later, prescription medication usage was as follows:

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diabulemia

This isn’t a “magic bullet,” it’s a buckshot aimed at a barn door.

Yes, I think sugar and empty calories, and the associated hyperinsulinemia are the bane of anyone with obesity or any sort of hyperplastic fat tissue disorder.  And yes, this is the worst type of evidence to support such a stance, but when you’ve got lemons, well…

Make no mistake, diabulemia may as well be spelled DIE-abulemia.  It’s not a laughing matter.  But yeah, well, lemonade, etc.  So here it goes

Diabulemia

Type I diabetics have low insulin and are lean; type II diabetics have high insulin and are not.  Insulin injections in either population promotes hyperplastic fat growth.  Sounds scary, right?  It is:

insulin

This poor soul unfortunately restricted his insulin injections to only two sites.  Make all the jokes you want, but the effect is obvious…  this is happening everywhere in hyperinsulinemic heavyweights (not just two specific sites).

CHO III Picture 279

 So what do Type I’s do when they want to lose some fat mass?  Stop jabbing themselves with insulin. Unfortunately, it’s really that simple.  Type II’s and anyone with excess or hyperplastic fat tissue can do the same with low carb or keto, although this would be a great benefit to their overall health.  But for Type I’s… not so much – they need insulin to prevent the horrific manifestations of ketoacidosis, which includes but is not limited to: death.

Type I’s are hyperglycemic because of low insulin; insulin therapy prevents diabetic ketoacidosis, a deadly condition.  But for those who simply choose to selectively reduce their insulin dosage, they: 1) don’t die; 2) lose fat; and 3) get hyperglycemic and incur all the damage that ensues (retinopathy, nephropathy, neuropathy).  Furthermore, they’re walking on thin ice – DKA is lurking.  It is just as stupid yet more dangerous than using tapeworms to lose weight.

tape-worms

Type II’s are hyperglycemic because of insulin resistance; a condition that is pathologically neutered via carbohydrate restriction.  Type I’s who reduce insulin injections to decrease fat mass are doing just as much damage as Type II’s who DON’T reduce carbohydrate intake.


Diabulemia is akin to an eating disorder.  Biologically, the lack of insulin allows fat to be released from adipose tissue with gravitas, and it prevents glucose from being stored in any meaningful capacity.  You’re literally pissing calories here, burning ’em like crazy there; all of which is a helluva lot easier than “eating less moving more” … which is why diabulemics do it (because they have the option [unlike the rest of us]).  Diabulemia is good from a fat loss perspective, but will most definitely contribute to severe and possibly deadly complications down the line.   Carbohydrate restriction, however, is a win-win-win… (for everyone except The Man, so perhaps it’s a win-win-win… fail)

This isn’t a “magic bullet,” it’s a buckshot aimed at a barn door.


Humans aren’t big rats, but here it is again, anyway:

Leptin deficiency causes insulin resistance induced by uncontrolled diabetes (German et al., 2010)

I’m ignoring the brunt of this paper and only focusing on the positive control groups.  [Positive controls… meaning they were included because they would definitely exhibit the expected response.]

Force rats into a state of diabulemia, and their insulin levels plummet, blood glucose soars, and they become ravenously hungry (open squares in the graphs below).German I

But lo and behold, fat mass atrophy ->German II

Eat less move more?  Well, they certainly didn’t “eat less…” (see above) … and:German III

nor were they “moving more.”  Low insulin seems to have a way to bypass that whole “eat less move more” thing (eg, Metabolic rate per se).

 

Throwing the baby out with the bathwater works if the baby is fat and the bathwater is insulin.  (no, not a fat baby.)

 

calories proper

 

 

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