Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"Is Going Barefoot the Best Way To Prevent and Alleviate Knee Pain and Arthritis?"

Dr. Nirenberg, my favorite podiatrist, finds a whale of a study:

"...Modern footwear (subjects' own shoe, "stability" and "mobility" shoes, clogs) were likely to increase the [external knee adduction moment] EKAM compared to barefoot walking in individuals with medial knee [osteoarthritis] OA. Walking in innovative shoes ("variable stiffness") decreased the EKAM compared to control shoes. Similarly, shoes with higher heels, sneakers and dress shoes increased EKAM in healthy individuals compared to barefoot walking.


"Further development may be needed toward optimal footwear for patients with medial knee OA with the aim of obtaining similar knee moments to barefoot walking."
As Dr. Nirenberg observes:

"Do shoes contribute to knee pain, joint deterioration and arthritis? According to new research published by Drs. Andy Oliver Radzimski and Gisela Sole at the prestigious University of Otago, and Dr. Annegret Mundermann at the University of Constance, Germany, in most cases the answer appears to be a resounding yes."

Tom Naughton Reviews "Wheat Belly"

I'm ordering my copy now:

"...Perhaps overjoyed at the prospect of the feeding the world, the developers of modern wheat varieties weren’t interested in conducting tests to see if these genetically-modified strains were actually fit for human consumption. Dr. Davis believes they’re not. At the very least, we’re now consuming wheat that’s genetically different from what our ancestors consumed:

"Analyses of proteins expressed by a wheat hybrid compared to its two parent strains have demonstrated that while approximately 95 percent of the proteins expressed in the offspring are the same, five percent are unique, found in neither parent. Wheat gluten proteins, in particular, undergo considerable structural change with hybridization. In one hybridization experiment, fourteen new gluten proteins were identified in the offspring that were not present in either parent plant. Moreover, when compared to century-old stains of wheat, modern strains of Triticum aestivum express a higher quantity of genes for gluten proteins that are associated with celiac disease....

P.S. Dana Carpender also reviews it:

"...I had no idea that the list of health problems attributable to gluten was so long and so frightening. Among the health conditions Dr. Davis links to gluten are:...

...* Several forms of cancer, including bowel cancer.""

How To Be Immortal

From Slashdot:

"Of particular concern to couch potatoes, gamers, and anyone who spends an inordinate amount of time sitting and staring at a screen is how little exercise can I do and still receive a benefit. A new study entitled 'Minimum amount of physical activity for reduced mortality and extended life expectancy: a prospective cohort study,' answers this important question. The conclusion: 92 minutes of moderate activity a week can extend your life by three years."

On of the commenters notes:

"It gets better--following their math, 92 minutes a week gives a 14% reduction in mortality from all causes, and every additional 15 minutes gives an additional 4%. there's no point of diminishing returns identified. So, if you exercise 7 hours a week, you become immortal."

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"Merrell Naked Foot 5K for Barefoot Runners"

This article is about a lot more than just the 5k, even though the notion of a shoe manufacturer sponsoring a race for barefoot runners is pretty revolutionary. It may be the the most positive article I've read about barefoot running:

"About 15 years later, Hadley tried to take up running, but constant pain limited his workouts to a couple of miles at most. At that point, though, he had doctorates in anatomy and physical therapy, and he used a therapy technique that was so effective on other runners that he decided to try it.

"As he went into a modified hamstring stretch one night, something in his lower body cracked and, when he stood up, his legs suddenly were the same length. He now figures his legs always were the same, but the injury jarred his pelvis out of alignment.

"Nonetheless, after more than a decade of wearing one-inch lifts to compensate for the difference, Hadley didn’t wear any shoes for the next four days. One afternoon, he started to run around with his kids at a park and realized he wasn’t feeling any discomfort.

"'It was the most extraordinary experience I’d had in a long time,' the 40-year-old Grand Rapids resident said. 'That was the first time I had run without pain in 15 years.'

"In large part, he credits the shift to going barefoot."

Read the whole thing.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Barefoot Running In Cosmo (Well, Sort Of)

She's headed in the right direction:

"The shoes are super light-weight so you can feel the ground, but they give you enough support that you can just throw them on and go. (Unlike the barefoot shoes, which you have to get used to gradually.) I tossed on my new Brooks this morning, went out and jogged my standard five miles and I felt fantastic. Different—but great. I was sore in new places (like a part of my calf muscle I didn't know existed) and I loved the nothing-on-my-feet feeling (these things weigh less than a hairbrush)." 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"Why Doctors Don't Like To Talk About Antioxidants"


"...This brand of muddle is standard operating procedure for clinicians; we are eternally trying to appear modern and open to the new, while remaining anchored in a reality-based mindset that demands facts and data. Many patients are put off by such caution and come to view us as fuddy-duddies, self-promoting sticks in the mud, flapping bags of hot air (not to mention greedy bastards who may be invested, literally, in maintenance of the status quo). Or else we are seen as being handcuffed and controlled by the rigid iron of Big Pharma...."

And spot on about antioxidants, from what I've read. 

If you're worried about oxidation, change your diet to make it less likely.  And enjoy your blueberries, regardless of how many antioxidants they contain. (I love blueberries.)

A Paleo Alternative To Chicken McNuggets

Links to this post

Adidas Adipure "Toe-shoe"!

All Day I Dream About Toe-shoes
See here.

From the picture provided, they look like a Vibram Five-Fingers knock-off.  I guess Adidas figured they shouldn't let Fila have all the fun.

I'm kind of disappointed by this, actually.  I think that more competition to the Merrell Barefoot line will do a better job of spreading barefoot-style footwear.  Vibrams, while I love them, will always be a niche product to some extent.

Thanks to B4refooter.

P.S. Zero-drop has more info, including pricing.

P.P.S. Runblogger also has pics, including a red-and-black model that's not bad looking.

P.P.P.S.  Here's the full AP story that everyone excerpted, via Forbes

P.P.P.P.S. Birthday Shoes has the best post, as usual, with tons of pictures.

P.P.P.P.P.S. Gizmodo has a brief review.  Thanks to Andrew.  OK, enough of this...

Vibram FiveFingers SeeYa
 P.P.P.P.P.P.S. Alright, one more thought.  These remind me more than anything of the Vibram SeeYa, which I'm really looking forward to.  The sole, from the pictures in the links above, appears very similar, but they're missing the strap.  That strap is pretty key for running down hills, and I think the lack of a strap or lacing system relegates these shoes to the gym or Florida.  Flat places, in other words.

But they'll introduce a whole new slice of the planet to the notion of barefoot-style running, and that's all good.

"Factors Affecting Distance Running Performance: A Literature Review"

From Steve Magness.

So I guess Nike's not paying enough, or Steve's cottoning on to the corporate culture extremely well. :)

I bought a copy.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Big Day (Follow-up to Achilles Ankle)

I posted this on Barefoot Ted's Huaraches group the other day:

Subject: "Big Day

"So as we've discussed, I've been spending most of my running energy trying to get my weaker leg up to par. The four things that I've found helpful so far are:

"1. Making sure I'm using both legs equally. This requires analyzing all the movements I make during the day, and trying to equalize them, to the extent possible (the accelerator is still on the right side of the drivers seat. :)

"2. Balancing on each leg as often as possible. This is great for standing in lines.

"3. Subset of the above, but I've been making sure that (since I wear shoes and socks to work) I put on my shoes and socks while standing on one leg, including tying them. Same for taking them off. This is often done at the parking lot at work.

"4. Long, slow runs. This has had a really surprising impact on the strength of both my legs. I feel like I'm getting a better workout, and yet my legs are less tired. We've covered all this in the Maffetone threads. I run 7 miles, then take off my shoes and run barefoot for the last three, when my legs are the most tired and most likely to get sloppy. All of my leg-related workouts (especially lunges) have gotten much easier since I started this.

"So one of the exercises I've found incredibly difficult to do on the weak leg is jumping. Start with both legs, jump over a small object, and land on one. Repeat, switching the landing leg. This has been pretty trivial with the strong leg, but really hard to do with the weak leg.

"I've not done this one in a while. Today I tried it, did the first jump onto the weak leg. Stuck it, perfectly. Felt like landing on velcro. It did get tired a bit after a few attempts, but this was huge progress. I'm very excited.

"Things that didn't seem to make any difference: balancing on a bosu ball on each leg."

Little did I know... Two days later I posted this (in the same thread):

"Wow, that really was turning the corner. Today I ran 9 miles. I was planning on 6, and was doing a run to break in Ted's sandals. I ran 3 in those, and brought my feet along as the backup.

"I've not been able to run more than three miles barefoot because my bad foot takes such a beating. It's rare that it finishes a run without blisters or a major hotspot.

"I got to the 5 mile point, and the feet felt great. Ran 4 more miles, one on a trail, and got home and the bad foot felt perfectly fine. No blisters, no hotspots.

"Not 100%, but this was major improvement.

"I finally feel like I'm in the home stretch on this issue."

The original post gives all the background on this issue, except for this: I think this issue started when my right foot was put in a cast when I was 11 or so. I've been compensating for a weak leg for 32 years. Wow. I can't think of any other event that could account for this leg strength discrepency, and the injuries to the weaker leg have been consistent over that time. I find it mind-boggling that a bad movement pattern could persist for that long, but from what I've been reading on Ted's group, I'm far from the only one with a problem like this.

Well, that was Saturday, and since I believe in "too much is never enough..."

Daniel Lieberman In The New York Times

Fascinating stuff:

"...Q. Are there any practical benefits to your research?

A. There are. A majority of the undergraduates who register for my evolutionary anatomy and physiology class here at Harvard are pre-medical students. Learning this will help them become better doctors. Many of the conditions they’ll be treating are rooted in the mismatch between the world we live in today and the Paleolithic bodies we’ve inherited.

For example, impacted wisdom teeth and malocclusions are very recent problems. They arise because we now process our food so much that we chew with little force. These interactions affect how our faces grow, which causes previously unknown dental problems. Hunter-gatherers — who live in ways similar to our ancestors — don’t have impacted wisdom teeth or cavities. There are many other conditions rooted in the mismatch — fallen arches, osteoporosis, cancer, myopia, diabetes and back trouble. So understanding evolutionary biology will definitely help my students when they become orthopedists, orthodontists and craniofacial surgeons....

...Q. In your lab, you study the phenomenon of barefoot running. How did that become part of your portfolio?

"...A. About a year after the Nature paper came out, I gave a public lecture where this bearded guy, with only socks and duct tape on his feet, came up to me and said, “I don’t like to wear shoes when I run — how come?” He’d become a barefoot runner because his feet hurt in shoes. The man was “Barefoot Jeffrey,” a Harvard grad who owned a bicycle shop in Jamaica Plains. What a great question!

"Obviously, people had run barefoot for millions of years before shoes, socks, Nikes. I’d sometimes wondered if some of the sports injuries that runners get are related to an issue connected to how people run in shoes — the heel strike, it’s called. When most of us run, we land hard on our heels, and that causes a shockwave and it travels up your leg and eventually hits your head, which jiggles really fast. Those of us who wear shoes think that’s normal, to land with a big jolt.

"So I asked Barefoot Jeffrey to come to the lab and show me how he ran. He ran in this beautiful way that was completely collision-free. Light as a feather. When he hit the ground, he didn’t land on his heel. Instead, he landed on the ball of his foot, and there was no shock wave that hit his head. That led us to producing another paper in Nature where we actually studied barefoot runners like Jeffrey.

"We also went to Africa and went to people who’d never worn shoes. What we discovered was that people who run barefoot tend to run differently than people who wear modern shoes; they run in a much lighter and gentler way because it would hurt to run the way people do in shoes..."

Read the whole thing.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"Barefoot Runner Braves Falmouth Road Race", or More Podiatric Baloney

The Falmouth Road Race is one of the most famous races in the United States, if you weren't aware.
So when a guy runs it barefoot, it's news in Massachusetts:
"...On Sunday, White and two other solid-soled souls plan on running the 39th New Balance Falmouth Road Race in their birthday boots.

"White, 47, began running barefoot about a year ago after he read Christopher McDougall's Born to Run, a 2009 book that, in part, brought barefoot running's status from an off-beat activity to a growing movement. "I had stopped pretty much completely for the past 15 or 20 years," said White, who ran track for University of Maine. 
"Although he enjoyed running in his younger days, nagging pains in his back and a knee kept him away from the sport, he said. But hearing McDougall speaking on the radio about his time witnessing Tarahumara Indians in Mexico running miles over rough terrain — a sight that inspired his book — prompted White to attend a conference about barefoot running where he heard Irene Davis speak...."

Pretty cool story.   Unfortunately, it features the Obligatory Dingbat Podiatrist Quote:

"But many in the podiatry field remain skeptical of the phenomenon. 'The literature is showing that there is increased injury — almost an epidemic — within barefoot running,' said Moira McDermott, founder of Lower Cape Podiatry in Brewster and a past president of Podiatric Medical Society. 'If you haven't grown up your whole life in your bare feet ... as an adult, feet need support.'"

This is really a sweet piece of disinfomation from what I'm coming to realize is an amazingly ignorant or dishonest profession.

By "the literature", she must be referring to stuff like this:
"Although there is no evidence that either confirms or refutes improved performance and reduced injuries in barefoot runners, many of the claimed disadvantages to barefoot running are not supported by the literature. Nonetheless, it seems that barefoot running may be an acceptable training method for athletes and coaches who understand and can minimize the risks. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(3): 231–246, 2011)"

Yes, that's right, this is from the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association.  This lady was supposedly a past president of the Podiatric Medical Society.  So she either doesn't actually read "the literature", or she's not up on the latest literature (that article was from the May/June issue), or she's just making it up.  I'm going with the first or the last options, since there's precious little literature on the topic.  If she's not read this, she's likely not read anything.

And this:  "If you haven't grown up your whole life in your bare feet ... as an adult, feet need support." is just baloney.  Provide some evidence, Doctor.  It's a pity you don't have any.  In which case, you should be quiet.

And I put this under my "Diseases of Civilization" category of posts, because doctors like this one are a major cause of the diseases of civilization.

Here's a post-race report.  Podiatric fear-mongering aside:
"Curtis, who entered the race with three other members of the Barefoot Running Meetup Group, finished the 7-mile course in 1:09.21. 
"'My feet felt so good,' Curtis said. 'Running through water would make them cool. (Then) they would be dry again ... It was no problem at all.'

"Curtis said there was actually a fifth barefoot runner in the race, 'but he was so far ahead,' they weren't able to find out who he was."
P.S. From Craig Payne at Podiatry Arena:
"Quote: But many in the podiatry field remain skeptical of the phenomenon. 'The literature is showing that there is increased injury — almost an epidemic — within barefoot running,' said Moira McDermott, founder of Lower Cape Podiatry in Brewster and a past president of Podiatric Medical Society.

"I would love to know what literature that they think actually says that?
"Quote: Originally Posted by Craig Payne: 'what I object to is the misuse, misrepresentation, misquoting and misinterpretation of the science'
"Not a day goes by that I do not hear ANECDOTAL reports from podiatrists and other health professionals working in running injury clinics about the high number of barefoot runners that are getting injured, but that is NOT a scientific report and its certainly not 'literature' , so I wonder what Moria McDermott thinks she is quoting from?

Gee, I'd guess she's might have been reading your site:

As shown here, and here, it's pretty clearly your site, Payne.

Dr. Payne is unmasked.
But at least he agrees with my interpretation of his colleague.  :)

VivoBarefoot Neo Trail First Impressions

Sounds positive:

"Ran 15 miles in them today up in the Monadhlaith hills. Bog, peat hags, steep heather slopes and rocks and they performed fantastic."

See here for pictures.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Modified New Balance MT101s

Hey, they're becoming famous!  (If you came here from RunBlogger, don't click that link, you just  read it. :)

It's nice to see your creations go forth and have a life of their own. ;)

Here's the summary post of that little experiment.

I don't wear my New Balance MT100s any more, which is why I sent the MT101s to Pete.  (I wore them twice: once while shopping for about half an hour after I bought them and before I had them zero-dropped, and once for the race.)  After modifying them, they were decent sneakers, although they had too much cushion for me, as Pete mentioned.  Due to a leg issue I have, these sneakers gave me serial injuries.  Although other folks had issues as well.

I'm currently running happily in Vibram FiveFinger Speeds, and Merrell Barefoot Trail Gloves, when I'm wearing shoes.  Barefoot running has been key to helping me sort out my leg issue.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Military Kids Can Compete In Vibrams

Good news:

"Resembling nothing so much as a cross between batting gloves and a pair of running shoes, 'finger' or 'toe shoes' are the latest trend in running. And as of last week, they're approved for use in DODDS-Europe track meets, according to track and field 'commissioner' Mike Thompson, whose day job is superintendent of the Bavaria District.

"'The question of the legality/illegality of "finger shoes" for track competition was raised and has been researched through state high school associations,' Thompson wrote to track coaches in a recent email.
"As long as the shoe, which advocates say simulates barefoot running, attaches to the foot with laces, straps, velcro and the like, Thompson reported, they're OK to wear in competition. Thompson added. however, that slip-on versions of the shoe are not allowed.

"However, there's more to the decision to use the shoes in competition than mere legality, according to Kaiserslautern coach Dennis DePriest.

"'We have a large contingent using the ... shoes,' DePriest wrote in an email. 'They are useful in training based on the correct biomechanical form while running. We would never use them in a track compeition based on the lost friction and grab a spike would offer.'...

...""I'm strongly considering wearing them in meets," said Brussels distance runner David Westland by telephone last week."

Seems reasonable to me, especially the part about requiring them to be secured to feet.

The DoDDS - Europe is the Department of Defense Dependents Schools - Europe.

"The Pasteurization Police"

If you wonder why our economy sucks and our food makes you fat, here's your answer.

"Kris Swanberg, a laid-off teacher, did something with her newfound free time and started to sell a product called Nice Cream, an artisanal product of her own creativity. Her apparent issues, among many, are that she uses fresh strawberries instead of high fructose corn syrup-loaded strawberry syrup, and she makes fresh ice cream as opposed to using the industrial, pre-made, processed “ice cream” mix that is made from artificial ingredients and chemicals. The ice cream is so good that even the local Whole Foods store sells the product, as well as the farmers markets"

Then the "regulators" showed up...

P.S. BTW, the reason I found that story so offensive is that they're telling the producer what ingredients she can use in her product, and they're not great ingredients. Thus is our food degraded...

The notion that it's legal to sell a strawberry, but illegal to sell a blended strawberry, is nuts. Either the raw strawberry is a hazardous product, or the blended one is not. You can't have it both ways.

So people like her are trying to improve our food supply, and the regulators who are supposedly responsible for ensuring the quality of the food supply are preventing it from being improved.

That's nuts, but par for the course for the regulatory state.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

"‘Toe Shoes’ Rule At Odds With Medical Officials"

Good for the Navy. They allowed sailors to use Vibrams against their doctors' advice, after finding out that the doctors' advice was not supported by the medical literature.
"The Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery has concerns about the bare-bones shoes and has warned against their use.

"“With musculoskeletal injuries as the No. 1 deployment limiting condition among military personnel, Navy leadership must take responsibility for the safety and well-being of our personnel during unit physical training. While intended for running, barefoot-style running mechanics have not been determined to be safe or effective for all runners,” BUMED spokeswoman Shoshona Pilip-Florea said.

"“Encouraging the appropriate footwear for an activity is the first line of defense against sports-related injuries. Therefore, given the current evidence, Navy Medicine cannot recommend the use of minimalist footwear in command directed physical training activities.”

"Recently, the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center and the Center for Personal and Professional Development reviewed medical literature on minimalist shoes and found insufficient evidence to prove or disprove that the shoes are effective or safe. The review also determined that the shoes strengthen arches, reduce pronation — where either the inner or outer edge of the foot strikes the ground first — and encourage softer landings."..."

So the current protocol has lead to musculoskeletal injuries being "the No. 1 deployment limiting condition among military personnel", so let's keep at it!  Good for the Navy to not buy into that nonsense. 

The medical establishment loves to double down on a losing bet, apparently.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

"Appealing to Runners, Even the Shoeless"

Interesting, but about what you'd expect from the Times:

"Those gains come not from traditional models — which add stability and cushioning to cater to a variety of gaits, and whose sales are actually down as much as 18 percent over last year — but rather from a new crop of pared-down running shoes, whose sales are up 283 percent."
That's good to hear.  I'm always happy to hear about barefoot-style running getting press, but I've got a number of bones to pick with this article...

"Now, to promote its new NB Minimus collection, New Balance is making a case to runners who may be considering going barefoot or converting to barefoot-style shoes, but still would like something more significant between the bottom of their feet and bottle caps on the trail."
Unfortunately, the ads as described in times make the barefooters sound pretty obtuse.  Odd, given that New Balance got the idea for these new shoes from barefooters, but I guess they've got to sell shoes.  Fear, uncertainty, and doubt is a Madison Avenue staple, after all.

"Advocates of barefoot running contend that modern running shoes, which over the decades have increasingly swaddled feet in cushioning, may actually cause injuries in some runners rather than prevent them."

It would be nice if the author had mentioned that some of these "advocates" are scientific researchers in the field.  But that would make NB look bad, since they still sell lots of non-minimalist shoes still.  Gotta keep the advertisers happy, and NB is increasing ad spending...

And now, drumroll please, the Obligatory Ding-bat Podiatrist Quote:

"Marybeth Crane, a podiatrist in Grapevine, Tex., who also is a marathon runner and specializes in sports medicine, told Men’s Health recently that “85 percent of my patients get injured trying to transition to the new shoes.”"
First, the New York Times couldn't find a podiatrist?  They had to quote one from Grapevine, TX, who was invterviewed by another publication?  What is the Times coming to?

Second, I've done a lot of races.  I drive around a lot.  I look at every single runner's feet to see what they're wearing.  I'm OCD.  People may be buying a lot of minimalist shoes, but very few are actually running in them.  At a recent half-marathon I ran in, I could count the number of Vibram-wearers on both hands, for instance, and that was out of 4,500 people.  If 85% of Dr. Crane's practice really did get injured running in barefoot-style shoes, then she must have a very, very small practice.  Grapevine has a population of 46,334, so if she's right, it must have the highest percentage of barefoot-style runners (and runners, for that matter) in the United States.  Color me skeptical.

Back to the Times, NB is spinning as fast as they can:

"“What consumers are looking for is not necessarily a true barefoot shoe but rather the benefits, a product that encourages a more natural gait,” said Katherine Petrecca, manager of the NB Minimus line at New Balance."
What exactly is "a true barefoot shoe", I wonder?  I honestly have no idea, since the term barefoot shoe is an oxymoron in the first place.  But if I had to guess, I would say that it looks a lot like the NB Minimus zero-drop line that they're releasing any day now.  Unlike the current Minimus mentioned in the Times, which features a cushioned heel that prevents a "more natural gait", the new model does away with the heel, becoming a truly barefoot-style shoe.

They look nice, too.  I like NB, but it would be nice if they had a little more respect for the barefoot runners who are their partners in this revolution, and the ones most likely to buy their new shoes for the winter shod running season. :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Keep Your Eye On The Ball

As Steve Magness points out on Twitter, that's impossible.  What I find really interesting in this story, however, is this:

"...That's because forcing an athlete to think consciously about an automated task destroys his ability to anticipate and puts him back in the realm of reaction.

"Coaches who call timeouts to ice free throw shooters and field goal kickers are trying to exploit what researchers have codified: Break up the routine; get the player thinking. University of Chicago psychologist Sian Beilock, author of the book Choke, has demonstrated that, in golf, pressure-induced poor putting can sometimes be overcome with simple remedies such as singing to yourself or counting backward by threes. For automated tasks like putting or placekicking, mild distraction, rather than intense concentration, may be the best approach because it keeps the process out of the higher-conscious areas of the brain, where what Beilock calls "paralysis by analysis" takes root...."

I think this is 100% spot on.  And the implications for barefoot-style running are pretty clear.  Don't look down.  Let your feet react to what's happening, don't try to second-guess them.  Look ahead, or run in the dark.  Once you start to realize that your feet don't need your supervision, it's pretty liberating.

But do take it slow at first.

Is Science Broken? Part 1: Science Doesn't Produce Reliable Results.

I hope not, but it's clearly got a problem (subscription-only link):

"It was the kind of study that made doctors around the world sit up and take notice: Two popular high-blood-pressure drugs were found to be much better in combination than either alone.
""There was a 'wow' reaction," recalls Franz Messerli, a New York doctor who, like many others, changed his prescription habits after the 2003 report.

"Unfortunately, it wasn't true. Six and a half years later, the prestigious medical journal the Lancet retracted the paper, citing "serious concerns" about the findings.

"The damage was done. Doctors by then had given the drug combination to well over 100,000 patients. Instead of protecting them from kidney problems, as the study said the drug combo could do, it left them more vulnerable to potentially life-threatening side effects, later studies showed. Today, "tens of thousands" of patients are still on the dual therapy, according to research firm SDI.

"...Just 22 retraction notices appeared in 2001, but 139 in 2006 and 339 last year. Through seven months of this year, there have been 210, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science, an index of 11,600 peer-reviewed journals world-wide...."
Sounds like any new therapy or finding should be approached with great skepticism.  And not implemented until confirmed.

For myself, I like to take drugs that have been around for a couple of human generations.  Hopefully the effects are at least all known by that point, since long-term, multi-generational human tests are simply not possible.

Just remember, you are the long-term test.

Part 2.

How to Ruin Good Food

Feed it corn:

"...C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 were the main markers studied. CRP is a general assessment of systemic inflammation, and chronically elevated CRP is strongly linked with metabolic syndrome, heart disease, cancer, obesity, and lots of other fun stuff. You basically want your CRP as low as possible. IL-6 is an inflammatory cytokine that the body makes during the inflammatory response using tissue omega-6 fat. It can be useful in the right quantities, but harmful in excess (like, in folks with too much omega-6 in their diet and body tissues). After eating wild kangaroo meat, CRP and IL-6 levels were unchanged in subjects, while eating the wagyu spiked both IL-6 and CRP levels. One hour after eating wagyu, CRP was “significantly” spiked, and after two hours it had dropped to an “insignificant” elevation. The researchers called this evidence of a “low-grade, systemic, immune reaction” to “new” or “modern” meat. In other words, the meat with a high “human interference factor” was more inflammatory than the wild food...."

"...All Australian cattle get a good amount of pasture time, but the wagyu are shifted onto intensive grain-feeding for the last 200-500 days of their lives. They typically receive a mix of corn, wheat, alfalfa, and barley grains, whereas many standard Australian cattle finish out their lives on grass...."
Works for chickens, too:

"Researchers from Tel Aviv looked at the fatty acid composition of conventional eggs from hens fed typical hen stuff: soy, corn (and its oil), sunflower, and safflower. In other words, hens that lived on omega-6 and whose tissues were imbued with the stuff. They then gathered a group of new hens, yet to lay eggs. These innocent, feathered maidens hadn’t eaten the typical omega-6 fare growing up, so their tissues were largely free of omega-6 fatty acids. Instead of corn and soy feed, these hens ate wheat, barley, and sorghum, plus an antioxidant blend. Eggs from both groups were fed to human subjects at a rate of two eggs a day per person for several weeks. At the end, people eating the conventional eggs had 40% more oxidized LDL than people eating the eggs low in omega-6. Oxidized serum LDL is strongly associated with atherosclerosis (and it’s probably a causative relationship)."

People get all worked up about pesticides and hormones, and miss the 600-pound gorilla sitting on their face.

I eat corn on the cob once in a while, and don't sweat it, just as I eat avocado occasionally.  But if you're eating mostly grains, and getting your meat from animals that are fed mostly grains, you've got a problem.  You're malnourished.  Put a person on a diet where they get 80% of their calories from grains, and they're going to get sick.  Celiac, pelagra, and beri-beri are what happens when you eat too much grains.

As usual with Mark Sisson's posts, read the whole thing.

P.S. More on Wagyu here.  Beer and grains to become obese.  Works for cattle, works for people.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"Why I Don’t Post Calorie Counts On My Recipes"

In a nutshell, counting calories can't work.  Your margin of error is larger than the target.  It's impossible to succeed outside of a controlled lab environment.

"How Bad Science and Big Business Created the Obesity Epidemic"

"My doctor is now on Lipitor. I couldn't convince him to cut the carbs."

"David Diamond, Ph.D., of the University of South Florida College of Arts and Sciences shares his personal story about his battle with obesity. Diamond shows how he lost weight and reduced his triglycerides by eating red meat, eggs and butter."

Sounds like my plan. Some vegetables are allowed. ;)

Here's a PDF of his presentation (so you can follow along).  And here's his talk as a podcast.

I don't agree with his conclusion about sugar and smoking, btw.  He never mentions wheat and, very importantly, linoleic acid.  The chart he presents for lung cancer and smoking takes off after linoleic acid was introduced into our diet.  Cultures that don't eat a lot of linoleic acid don't have the same problems from smoking that we do.

P.S.  That's not to say, "start smoking", but rather that seed oils are toxic.  Don't eat them.  They'll make everything else worse, apparently.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Saturday, August 6, 2011

New Vibrams for Next Spring

Vibram FiveFingers SeeYa
The SeeYa sounds pretty cool:

"The SeeYa ($100) strips materials to their minimal. It’s still a long way from the silicone foot condom that is Inov-8′s Evoskin, but the sole is thinner, there’s less support, less sole, less of everything, all designed to get closer to the true barefoot running effect without exposing your dogs to the sharp and nasties of the world. There’s a skoch of padding in the polyurethane insole, enough to take the edge off, and of course a thin Vibram sole, but still, the SeeYa should provide the most natural barefoot feel in the brand’s now-extensive line."

That looks like a nice replacement for my KSOs, which are getting old...

Friday, August 5, 2011

Ancestral Health Symposium 2011

I considered going to this, and decided not to, and now am really, really regretting that decision.

Here's Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt' post, and Richard Nikoley's (with lots of pictures).

Here's the website of the event, and here's a twitter feed.

Apparently they're going to post all the presentations.  I suspect I'll be listening to most, if not all of them.

P.S. "Salad is what food eats." --Denise Minger, tweeted from her presentation.

Running Barefoot From Argentina to Alaska

This is pretty cool, the bogus "climate change" angle aside:

"Professor Henry Sanchez, the Barefoot Eco-Runner, is running from Argentina to Alaska to bring awareness of protecting and reforesting our planet. As he enters each city, volunteers and community organizations join him to plant trees, recycle and present educational talks. After running barefoot through fourteen countries he is now crossing the border from Tijuana into San Diego, CA on August 18th, 2011....

"...The goal is for Henry to reach Alaska in Fall 2012 and along the way his dream is to meet Al Gore."
Hopefully Gore will oblige him.

"US Navy Authorizes the Use of Minimalist Footwear, including Vibram Fivefingers, with PT Uniforms"

Take that, Army!  (The Navy always YELLS):


Original from the Navy here.  Prior Military-related posts here.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Salt Intake and Exercise

"The basics: 18 soldiers did a competitive 25 km march (taking about four hours), carrying 26 kg packs and wearing full battle dress, in temperatures averaging 40.2 C and reaching a high of 44.3 C (112 F). They were allowed to drink only water...."

What happened?
"At this sweat sodium concentration, average total sweat sodium losses during the march could have been >240 mmol. Yet despite such large losses that were not replaced during exercise, participants maintained their serum sodium concentration. This confirms the now well-established finding that serum sodium concentration can be maintained during exercise without the need for acute sodium replacement during exercise."

As Neal Stephenson put it, you're a three-billion-year-old "nightmarishly lethal, memetically programmed death machine".  Do you really think you're going to be stopped by a temporary shortage of salt or water?  Please.

Read the whole thing.

Vibram Toe Shoe Clogs?

I guess they are European...

Justin's minions are busily at work...

Lots of other interesting options.  But it looks like I'd better buy another pair of my black Speeds.

Linoleic Acid and Acne

Dr. Deans is at it again:

"...Acne is accompanied by the overproduction of sebum, a waxy oil, in addition to inflammation, hormonal shifts, and infection. Inflammation is one of the earliest manifestations of the disease, particularly mediated by a leukotriene (which is a type of signaling molecule made from fat) called LTB4. This inflammatory chemical helps up-regulate sebum production, and you might be interested to know that the omega 6 fatty acid derivative arachidonic acid is made into LTB4, while the omega 3 fatty acid EPA (from fish) inhibits the conversion of arachidonic acid to LTB4. I've reviewed how omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are important to mental health in my article Your Brain on Omega 3...."

Arachidonic acid is made from linoleic acid in the body.  Read the whole thing...