Tuesday, January 31, 2012

America Is Fat

ADA* on the left, Primal on the right.
33% of Americans are overweight, 33% are obese.  Do you want to know why:  Expert advice:
Today, with the benefit of a great workout program and a Primal diet, I am 75 pounds lighter and I take -0- insulin and -0- medications. My latest blood work showed NO EVIDENCE OF DIABETES NOR OBESITY! 
I have been insulin and medication free for about 6 months. Because I know how utterly confusing and hopeless life can be when diagnosed with diabetes, I have attempted to reach out to "spread the word" about Paleo / Primal eating and living. I often "befriend" people in social media groups and strike up a conversation.
Multiple times -- I'd say at least 4-5 times -- I have began a conversation with a "Certified Diabetes Educator". EVERY SINGLE TIME -- NO EXCEPTIONS -- they do not HAVE A CLUE when it comes to Paleo / Primal eating. Honestly... I find this disgusting. Especially when I have to hear (or read) how they are required to go to X number of hours of recertification classes and how they are trained on the latest...blah, blah, blah. ALL of this is bad enough, but here's the kicker...
THEY ATTEMPT TO CONVINCE ME TO STOP!!! ...And go back to eating grains, beans, rice, pasta etc. THE AUDACITY!!! EVEN AFTER they know that I have lost weight and kicked diabetes in the ass they try to get me back on the train...the train to hell.
WHY? Why would they do this?????!
Bloody good question. 

But they know what to do to Steve: they're trying to shut him up.  He's making them look bad, isn't he?

*ADA = American Diabetes Association

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"Teen Girl a Weightlifting Phenom"

Too cool:
"13-year-old Abbey Watson can lift twice her body weight and holds eight world weightlifting records."
And the cool part?  Her BACON socks.  Bacon's her favorite food, see, and as her coach explains, "Bacon... can defintely fit into a well-rounded paleo diet."

I guess this is what happens to kids when you start feeding them a species-specific diet.

Thanks to wilberfan.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"Walking into Mordor - Uwharrie Mountain Run Preview"


Looks like some of the easier trails I run up here in CT. :)

And don't even think about Maine...

Friday, January 13, 2012

Is Science Broken? Part 0: Most Medical Research "Is Misleading, Exaggerated, And Often Flat-Out Wrong."

This is the article that drew my attention to the wholesale nature of the problem:
"Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science"

"...Indeed, given the breadth of the potential problems raised at the meeting, can any medical-research studies be trusted?

"That question has been central to Ioannidis’s career. He’s what’s known as a meta-researcher, and he’s become one of the world’s foremost experts on the credibility of medical research. He and his team have shown, again and again, and in many different ways, that much of what biomedical researchers conclude in published studies—conclusions that doctors keep in mind when they prescribe antibiotics or blood-pressure medication, or when they advise us to consume more fiber or less meat, or when they recommend surgery for heart disease or back pain—is misleading, exaggerated, and often flat-out wrong. He charges that as much as 90 percent of the published medical information that doctors rely on is flawed. His work has been widely accepted by the medical community; it has been published in the field’s top journals, where it is heavily cited; and he is a big draw at conferences. Given this exposure, and the fact that his work broadly targets everyone else’s work in medicine, as well as everything that physicians do and all the health advice we get, Ioannidis may be one of the most influential scientists alive. Yet for all his influence, he worries that the field of medical research is so pervasively flawed, and so riddled with conflicts of interest, that it might be chronically resistant to change—or even to publicly admitting that there’s a problem."

Even though this is not new, I wanted to have a link to it on this blog, just for reference. (Emphasis mine.)

Part 1, Part 2.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

"Just Eat Fish"


I supplemented for several years.  It was better than not supplementing.

When I decided to stop eating seed oils, and started supplementing with cod liver oil, I craved the cod liver oil like mad.  Couldn't get to sleep without a dose.  For about four months.

Now I eat fish regularly, avoid seed oils (omega-6 oils) like the plague, and have no desire whatsoever to eat the cod liver oil in my fridge. 

I tried eating a bunch of typical seed oils for lunch a couple of weeks ago.  It messed my brain up seriously for a day or so, and I still don't feel that I've gotten completely back to normal.  The new normal, that is.  I won't make that mistake again.

The only thing I crave now, occasionally, is salmon roe.  Love that.

And listen to folks comment on how different my behavior is.  For the better.

(That article is why I started supplementing with fish oil in the first place.  I now believe that most, if not all, of our modern health problems involve malnutrition in one way or another.)

Red Wine and Resveratrol A Fraud?


"A University of Connecticut researcher who studied the link between aging and a substance found in red wine has committed more than 100 acts of data fabrication and falsification, the university said Wednesday, throwing much of his work into doubt.

"Dipak K. Das, who directed the university's Cardiovascular Research Center, studied resveratrol, touted by a number of scientists and companies as a way to slow aging or remain healthy as people get older. Among his findings, according to a work promoted by the University of Connecticut in 2007, was that 'the pulp of grapes is as heart-healthy as the skin, even though the antioxidant properties differ.'

"'We have a responsibility to correct the scientific record and inform peer researchers across the country,' Philip Austin, the university's interim vice president for health affairs, said in a statement..."

It's hardly surprising.

The French Paradox arose from the fact that the French eat lots of saturated fat (especially dairy fat) yet have low rates of heart disease.  Since we knew that eating saturated fat caused heart disease, clearly something had to protect them from heart disease. 

Resveratrol was the candidate, since we all know those Frenchies drink red wine all day. (Don't you love how this science was justified by a crude stereotype?)

Of course now we know that saturated animal fat not only doesn't cause heart disease, but that eating lots of dairy fat is protective from heart disease. The French Paradox disappears.  Resveratrol is no longer needed, nor is red wine.

So why the heck are they still studying resveratrol?

Also, the only way they ever got resveratrol to do anything was by giving huge doses, far more than even the most alcoholic wine-swigging Frenchman would ever consume.

And now it turns out that guy was just faking the data? Well, he pretty much had to be, right?

(Thanks to Teech.)

P.S. For anyone interested in doing more reading on this, the Wikipedia summary has lots of links to further reading.

This pretty much sums it up, IMHO, though: "Again, there is no published evidence anywhere in the scientific literature of any clinical trial for efficacy in humans. There are limited human safety data. Long-term safety has not been evaluated in humans."

I'll pass. Call me in 50 years when you finish the long-term studies.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Paleo Diet Flowchart

Don't know where this came from, but it's funny.

And yes, peanuts aren't nuts, and the chart doesn't include legumes...

"New Study on Heart Deaths in Distance Runners..."

...“Long distance running races are associated with low overall risk of cardiac arrest and sudden death.”

Indeed, the authors present evidence that cardiac-arrest rates in distance races are lower than those in college sports (18-22 year olds!) and triathlons, and comparable to rates among healthy joggers and avid recreational exercisers. Thus: “The risk associated with long distance running events is equivalent to or lower than the risk experienced in other vigorous physical activity.” (See Tables below for key statistical data from RACER.)...
Amby Burfoot also interviews the Dr. who conducted the study:
As runners, should we be troubled by anything you learned from your study of cardiac arrests in marathons and half marathons?
Aaron Baggish:
No, there's nothing in the study that should be troubling to the average runner. If anything, our findings should be reassuring. Deaths are very rare in marathons and half marathons. For the average runner, the sport we love so much is well-tolerated and safe.
So much for Chronic Cardio...  And this doesn't look so good: Top Ten Reasons Not to Run Marathons.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Not Everything...

But sometimes it sure feels that way.

Access To The Research We've Paid For

This is a really bad idea
US Representatives Darrel Issa (R-CA) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) introduced a bill into the House of Representatives in mid-December that would roll back the National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy, which mandates that any published research that was funded by the federal science agency be submitted to the publically accessible digital archive PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication in journals. The bill, H.R. 3699, would also make it illegal for other federal agencies to adopt similar open-access policies. 
The legislation, referred to as the Research Works Act, is being applauded by the Association of American Publishers, a book publishing industry trade organization that claims the NIH policy and others like it undercut the scientific publishing business, which seldom receives federal funds. “At a time when job retention, US exports, scholarly excellence, scientific integrity, and digital copyright protection are all priorities, the Research Works Act ensures the sustainability of this industry,said Tom Allen, president and CEO of the Association of American Publishers in a statement....
Diet, for one, is undergoing a revolution in part because of the information provided on PubMed; the sneaker industry is also seeing dramatic change.

We shouldn't abandon this tool just because the publishing industry doesn't like it.

One can argue that the Gov't shouldn't be funding so much research.  I think there's a fair argument to be made there.

But once it has, the people who funded it ought to have access to it.

New Balance MT110 Wide First Impressions

They sound nice, especially if you've got a wider foot.

"Bought these last week and now have 2 runs in them. I have wide feet and have a hard time finding shoes that fit comfortably. I buy waaaay to many shoes, unfortunately by mail order, bc no local place to try them on.

"I did not have luck with the NB Minimus Trail, even with Pete's bandotomy surgery, and the 101s were too narrow, but when the 110 came out recently and in wide sizes (EE) I decided to take a chance..."

Friday, January 6, 2012

"Wheat" and Science

I most often get lunch from a Japanese market up the road from my office.  I started eating at this place shortly after going Paleo, after realizing that the office cafeteria was hopeless, and the local Whole Foods not much better.

The market offers an odd selection of foods, including a bunch of lunch-size offerings of cooked and raw fish and some meats.  (Lunch sized for me, anyway.  The Japanese ladies at the registers always ask me if I want two sets of chopsticks.)  The advantage, for me, is that they have simple foods that aren't prepared with a lot of ingredients.  This means that I can find food that is minimally prepared, and doesn't have any nasty surprises in it.

However, ingredient labelling is spotty at best, when present, and labels are often in Japanese.

My typical lunch is a piece of grilled salmon, maybe some tuna sashimi, a Japanese cucumber, a rice ball (wrapped in seaweed), and perhaps some salmon roe, if I'm in the mood.  This has been going on for about 18 months now.

So when they recently introduced pieces of roasted fatty pork I was quite excited.  I asked the manager if they prepared the pork with soy sauce (which, except for one variety known as tamari, contains wheat), and, when he answered in the negative, became a steady consumer.

And then one day, they added an ingredient label.  The listed ingredients contained soy sauce.  I skipped the pork that week.

And then today.  The pork reappeared, as did the soy sauce on the label.  Since the pork was one of my favorites, I decided to try an experiment (here's the Science part of the post).  I wondered if, maybe, the pork had included soy sauce all along, and maybe I'd just come to tolerate it.  I've had a couple of incidents recently when I suspected that I'd consumed wheat, but hadn't suffered the stomach and intestinal cramps that I've come to associate with it.

My gut certainly seems to have healed as I've avoided wheat and seed oils over the last 21 months.

So, inspired by Barefoot Angie Bee, I gave it a shot.  I bought two packages of the soy-sauce laden roasted fatty pork, a spicy tuna rice ball (wrapped in seaweed), a piece of grilled salmon, a Japanese cucumber, and an Asian pear.  My Japanese paleo lunch.

I got back to my office, ate the pear first, then the rice ball, and then the pork.  It went well.  I've had incidents where upon eating trace amounts of soy sauce I've had that spacey feeling that wheat gives me with in seconds, and cramps within minutes, invariably followed by the typical watery diahrrea of celiac the next morning.  No, I've not been diagnosed with celiac. 

I started eating the cucumber, and it hit.  The spaced-out, drugged feeling from wheat.  Not good.  Happily I didn't get any painful cramps, but within 45 minutes I was sitting on the toilet.  Next came some bizarre throbbing feelings in my head, and then a nice dull headache for the next few hours.  I once suffered from what I now suspect was a wheat-induced stroke, so the head issues are a major, major red flag.  (Nothing like a little brain damage to get your attention.)

Oddly, an old back injury in my upper back that hasn't bothered me for years sent me a sharp stabbing reminder that it was still capable of inflicting pain.  (I later read this post from Dr. Davis.)

So, the experiment was a success in that it indicated that the addition of soy sauce to the pork was recent, and it confirmed that my gut is in better shape than it was a year ago.  It also clearly indicated that wheat is a toxin, and I've got no business eating it.

The things we do for Science.  I'll have to speak to the management of the market and see if they can ditch the soy sauce.

I'll explain why I put "wheat" in quotes in the title of this post at another time.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Paul Jaminet's Theory of Obesity

Part I: “The Fat Trap”:

"...However, Jay’s experience on [the Perfect Health Diet] breaks the pattern. Jay went from 250 pounds to 170 pounds – his normal weight – in six months. Weight loss was steady and he experienced little hunger. He’s maintained his normal weight without regain for 3 months. 
"This is just as my theory predicts. PHD is a lean-tissue supporting diet, and if his lean tissue is well nourished, he should feel little hunger. If his lean tissue heals fast enough, then his lean-tissue drive will decrease faster than his leptin signaling, his equilibrium weight determined by the balance of these two drives will always be below his actual weight, and he should experience smooth weight loss. Which he did..."
I follow the PHD.  I started following it before I read about it.

I've been rock-steady around 168 pounds for 18 months after being between 179-185 for years.  I lost the weight in two months, without hunger, and without effort.  I've now started weight lifting, and my "lean mass set-point" seems to now be at 170.  Because I've put on muscle.

I didn't lose much weight compared to some, but if you're looking to lose weight, I highly suggest you read the whole thing.

Backcountry Ski Porn

Pretty spectacular. Watch full-screen and turn the sound up.

Argentina: A Skier's Journey EP3 [Season 2] from Jordan Manley Photography on Vimeo.

Vibram FiveFingers Spyridon LS Review

Vibram Spyridon LS
These sound great.  I need another pair of Vibrams like I need a hole in the head, but I'm tempted.

And the name is great.

Lieberman: "Foot Strike and Injury Rates in Endurance Runners"

It's finally out. (I used to wait for books and movies, now I wait for scientific studies on running form.  I think I've gone off the deep end of nerd-dom.)
"Conclusions: Competitive cross country runners on a college team incur high injury rates, but runners who habitually rearfoot strike have significantly higher rates of repetitive stress injury than those who mostly forefoot strike. This study does not test the causal bases for this general difference. One hypothesis, which requires further research, is that the absence of a marked impact peak in the ground reaction force during a forefoot strike compared to a rearfoot strike may contribute to lower rates of injuries in habitual forefoot strikers."
Professor Lieberman is careful with his language, as always.  But I'm going to continue fore-foot striking when running, because it's sure been safer in my experience...

Thanks to Sweat Science, who's got more in his post.

"VivoBarefoot Breatho Trail First Impressions Review"

Breatho Trail
They look cool, aside from the weight...

"Saturated Fat And Cardiovascular Disease"

Saturated fat and cardiovascular disease: The discrepancy between the scientific literature and dietary advice:

"Given the large social impact of dietary advice, it is important that the advice have a solid scientific basis. Evidence-based dietary advice should be built on results from all studies available, according to a given methodology. Conclusions should be a valid representation of the summarized results.  
"The association between saturated fat intake and cardiovascular disease was examined.  
"Results from three reports of leading U.S. and European advisory committees were compared with results as they were presented in the articles referred to. Findings were put into perspective with results not included in these reports. Different lines of evidence were included in the different reports. No overlap whatsoever was found in the articles included.  
"Most results from the scientific literature were lacking for most different lines of evidence in all reports. All three reports included the effect of saturated fat on low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the evidence linking saturated fat to cardiovascular disease, but the effect on high-density lipoprotein cholesterol was systematically ignored.  
"Both U.S. reports failed to correctly describe the results from the prospective studies.  
"Results and conclusions about saturated fat intake in relation to cardiovascular disease, from leading advisory committees, do not reflect the available scientific literature."
I don't have access to the full paper, unfortunately.  But it's pretty clear that the dietary advice has been more concerned with ass-covering than health of late.

Here's a little more from Mr. Hoenselaar:
"...In conclusion, Pedersen et al. do not consider the effect of [Saturated Fatty Acids] on [High Density Lipoprotein]-cholesterol ["good" cholesterol] when examining its effect on CHD risk and they do not mention that results from controlled trials replacing SFA by [Poly-Unsaturated FA] have been consistently biased by a concomitant decline in [Trans-FA] intake. 
"Because prospective cohort studies showed null results from SFA intake on CHD, these results were omitted when judging the evidence for this association. Instead, the authors turned to correlations found in apparently randomly selected ecological studies. No systematic evaluations were made here, and no evidence was presented that the presumed decrease in SFA intakes over the last 30 years contributed to a decline in CVD mortality. While the authors were able to define the possible errors found in prospective cohort studies, no such evaluation was made for the ecological data. Public health recommendations should be based on a transparent evaluation of the lines of evidence included to judge the evidence for an association. In addition, results from these lines of evidence should be judged after systematically reviewing the available literature. 
"Robert Hoenselaar is a student at the High School of Arnhem and Nijmegen, The Netherlands. There is no conflict of interest. The research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors."

And here's the response:

"...Hoenselaar’s questions reflect some of the difficult problems in evaluating the multiple contributors to the complex processes underlying CVD, and CHD in particular. This was highlighted in a previous editorial which illustrates that an understanding of the CHD epidemic requires that all forms of evidence have to be taken into account(19). This also includes multiple consistent ecological data relating to welldocumented diets and CHD rates in many countries. This evidence should not be set aside in analyses. Dietary behaviour is complex and trials that select aspects of diet in isolation are fraught with difficulties of interpretation in a public-health context. As one component of diet changes very often, other aspects also change; imputing causality to only one of these changes can be difficult. Although we do realise the weaknesses of the ecological studies and their possibility of bias, they do provide important insights into population trends in diet and disease patterns over time, and provide a national perspective of the potential impact of multiple changes and prevailing dietary patterns in a societal context, which is the key perspective required in public health."
Insights, but not a cause-and-effect relationship.  Too many variables change to allow firm conclusions from epidemiological ("ecological") data...

I'd say this round goes to Mr. Hoenselaar.  Correlations do not trump non-results from prospective studies, no matter how one would like them to...

P.S.  See this post ("Veggie Oils and Heart Disease") also.  Hoenselaar is channelling Guyenet.

P.P.S.  Turns out Hoenselaar is 37 years old.  And he has a web site: Cancer and Diet.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Meb Keflezighi In Skechers vs. In Nikes

Very interesting post. 
"The company’s new “Go-Run” line promises to make you switch to a mid-foot strike: “The Way You’re Supposed to Run.”"
Alex links to two videos of Meb running, one in Nikes, and one in Skechers.

Here's a screen shot of Meb running in Skechers.

He's clearly heel-striking.  Perhaps he's reduced the impact transient from heel-striking, which would likely reduce his chance of injury, and improve his pace; since he'd have less braking force.

But that's impossible to tell from a video.

Sweat Science is a great blog, by the way. I've learned a lot from following it.

P.S. Runblogger has an extensive look at Meb's running form.

"How Much Have Human Dietary Requirements Evolved in the Last 10,000 Years?"

Not much.  Cool post.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

"Fierce Feet! Get Your Feet STILETTO READY!"

Dr. Emily Splichal
My new favorite barefoot-friendly podiatrist. And she's in NYC... Her nickname is "Dr. Legs", and you'll see why:

"“We actually have an innate natural shock absorption system in our foot that has become lazy. Our foot is designed to absorb shock. Fancy shoes with all fancy technology throw off your stability, so you work twice as hard to counter that instability,” Splichal said.

"On the other hand, Splichal said shoes like the “sock-like” Vibram Five Finger Shoes and similar-style brands are great transition shoes to barefoot running. Many of her patients with chronic knee, back or foot pain have found relief with these types of shoes. Sporting these shoes requires you to use your natural foot support and strengthen your feet.

"“I always push barefoot balance training because our foot is our foundation,” Splichal said. “I think everyone should be integrating barefoot exercises into their routines. Whether it’s someone with lower back pain, flat feet, women wearing high heels or athletes.”"

Very cool.  Here's a video from her YouTube channel (from whence comes the title to this post):

As I'm learning with my daughters, girls are going to wear heels.  But they can at least balance wearing heels with going barefoot, to minimalize the damage heels to do the feet.

As Galahad Clark, founder of Vivo Barefoot put it:
"We are not against women wearing high heels from time to time parading their best bits.... Just if they spend as much time barefoot between the heels – the better!"

Dr. Nirenberg Reviews The Altra Adam

From one of my favorite podiatrists: "The Eve Of The Next Phase In Minimalist Shoes":

"As a profound adherent of the minimalist footwear lifestyle, I looked forward to trying out Altra’s new Adam. I found it to be an extremely versatile, balanced, and comfortable shoe that is supremely well adapted to everything you can do with your feet: from walking, to running, to just loafing around. This shoe is so advanced that just like the Adam who launched the human race, it is sure to launch a new era in minimalist footwear."

Podiatry Today: "Tackling The 10 Myths Of Barefoot Running"

It's Podiatrist Day here at Yelling Stop:

Barefoot running, minimalist running and natural running are all terms that describe running in a manner that allows our foot to function the way it was designed (or has evolved). This happens through the use of little or no shoe at all. Many runners suffering from chronic injuries are adopting this way of running and are experiencing relief of symptoms to find themselves running with enjoyment and a more relaxing form.

I too have been cured of a running injury, which I suffered from for over eight years after transitioning my gait to that of a “barefoot” runner. Without further ado, here are the 10 myths of barefoot running.

Who is this radical?

Dr. Campitelli is a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. He is board-certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery. Dr. Campitelli is in private practice at Northeast Ohio Medical Associates with various offices in Ohio. He is an Adjunct professor at Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine and is a medical Advisor for Vibram USA.
He's been posting on Vibram's Facebook page for a while now...

P.S.  My two other podiatrist-related posts on "Podiatrist Day":
"Dr. Nirenberg Reviews The Altra Adam"

"Fierce Feet!  Get Your Feet STILETTO READY!"

The last post is by my new favorite barefoot-friendly podiatrist.

Happy New Year

A little late, but I was away last week skiing.  I learned a couple of interesting things about my feet and my diet, and hopefully I'll have a chance to pass them along this week.

In the meanwhile, if you're not pursuing a healthy diet, it's a fine time to start.  Take a look at this: Whole Health Source: Junk Free January, and make a change for the better.