scratch-mark

Australian Catalyst: Gut Reaction; It Signals The End of VLC and Ketogenic Diets For Everyone

I’m blown away.

You’ll see.

The last week, I’ve been at a rural mountain place where data is quite fast, but metered; and since my brother pays for it, I have to shuttle stuff away for later.

…And so it was when a commenter, last week, clued me in to another Catalyst program from Australia (Yea, the same one that took it in the shorts because they threatened the profits of the statin-drug industry that’s in the billions of $$$—most profitable drug in history…not, like, antibiotics, that saved hundreds of millions…).

GUT REACTION PART 1

New research has linked the Western diet to asthma, autism, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, emphysema, cancer, and the list goes on. The reason a healthy diet could be even more important than previously thought is because food affects the bacteria deep inside our guts. Unbeknownst to most of us, we each carry about 1.5 kg of bacteria – that’s trillions of tiny microbes that contribute 100 times as many genes as our genomes do. In the last ten years, a technological revolution means scientists are now beginning to discover just how crucial these microscopic creatures are to our overall health…and what they’re learning is shaking the very foundations of medicine and nutrition.

This is 100% what our book—and I will always characterize it as such—is about. Literally, I do not think there’s a single idea or sentence that Tim did not have the foresight to include, for me to wordsmith.

You must watch this. Ridiculously, there does not seem to be any embed code, but oh, well, watch it. I can’t wait for part 2. …I’ll have to satisfy myself with Season 6 of Parks and Recreation, and just getting into Season 1 of The Wire in the meantime.

…The part I haven’t addressed but decided to include in the title is the part about the end of VLC and ketogenic Diets (for regular folks, I understand its therapeutic value). This is addressed, not directly, but by implication in the video.

The problem is that there is an intransigent low carb industry now that is just as successful as antibiotics were, with the same consequences. Antibiotics carpet bomb the gut, VLC starves it. In both cases, you can eliminate or ameliorate problems by lowering populations of pathogens.

Both, however, come with the same costs: you’ve killed or starved the good ones, too.

You know why I have come to hate and loath the VLC community? One word: intransigence. None of them will dare to integrate this, because integrating it is suicide. And they know it.

They thought they knew it all. Perhaps they did, but it was only 10% of the equation and they’re riddled with confounding variables in the 90% range, up to 1,000 species, producing unaccountable compounds.

Laf. I want to see them all in potato soup lines.

Update: I must add that yesterday, I was working on some of Tim’s integrations and though it’s covered previously in the book, he brought up again how the gut bugs “train” the immune system. Listen to the video at about 7:50.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

80 Comments

  1. Chris Sturdy on August 18, 2014 at 20:08

    I just watched the show – very cool, indeed!

  2. JB on August 19, 2014 at 03:41

    I started reading FTA about a year ago. Learning that humans are 90% bacteria, and everything else that I’ve learned related to that, has been very beneficial for me. Healthwise.

    A couple of weeks ago I learned that humans are LITERALLY 99.9% empty space. So that’s weird. It’s too interesting not to think about, but it’s a serious fucking red pill. I don’t know where the rabbit trail ends up but I thought I’d throw it out on FTA because I know Richard keeps things very REAL over here.

    (it’s a 2-page article)

  3. Dan on August 18, 2014 at 17:11

    http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/blogs/chew-on-this/preventing-bowel-cancer-why-you-need-beans-with-the-barbecue-20140815-3ds67.html

    Basically RS and the resultant Butyrate from the beans with your steak will reduce a molecule in cancerous cells that increases with red meat intake. Might be ironic that maybe copious amounts of meat can lead to cancer and its the BEANS that prevent it…

    “”In our study, high red meat intake increased miR-17-92 levels in otherwise healthy cells in the human gut.”
    But resistant starch was unable to lower levels of another cancer-promoting molecule called miR-21, Dr Humphreys adds”

    Unfortunately not without its bias’s…

    “It’s also likely that red meat is having other effects on cells such as damage to DNA, and we are doing more studies to see if these effects can be changed by resistant starch.”

  4. Nick Lo on August 18, 2014 at 17:58

    Being in Australia I watched this but minor warning for any of your readers, like me, that have followed your (and your colleagues) articles on this subject, you’ll likely find yourselves going, yep, I knew that, yep knew they were going to conclude that, fast forward through long shots, yep, knew that too.

    Great testament to the amount of depth you’ve all gone into of course.

  5. Bret on August 18, 2014 at 18:29

    You know why I have come to hate and loath the VLC community? One word: intransigence. None of them will dare to integrate this, because integrating it is suicide. And they know it.

    The bitingly ironic thing is that integrating this gut stuff would not necessarily ruin these people’s relevance to the national dialogue on healthy eating or even their profitability; quite the opposite, in fact, in the long run. Most of them, in my view, are deathly afraid, even if deep down on a subconscious level, of admitting that they were wrong (or at least insufficient in their rightness) in public. But people by and large are forgiving, and understand that folks aren’t perfect. How else do these ultra moronic shitheads in the House and Senate keep their seats for decades?

    (Okay, so there’s plenty of ways, but I’m sure forgiveness factors in as well.) 🙂

    Laf. I want to see them all in potato soup lines.

    Oh, good grief. Best line ever.

    • Gina on August 18, 2014 at 21:57

      “… integrating this gut stuff would not necessarily ruin these people’s relevance to the national dialogue on healthy eating or even their profitability…”

      All due respect, I disagree. “Sorry, folks, I was wrong. Put down the buttered bacon, stop checking your blood for ketones and just eat like a normal person” isn’t going to sell very many books. Railing against low-fat diets is passé and demonizing wheat has been done to death. The only thing that would be left to distinguish their diets from the evil government recommendations (that absolutely no one pays any attention to) would be to start shitting on fruit.



    • Bret on August 18, 2014 at 23:27

      Gina, it sounds like you have a much more cynical, charlatanesque view of low-carb advocates than I do. I seem them as otherwise smart people who are simply embroiled in some fierce bias and groupthink.

      I don’t think it’s the same as the mainstream low-fat b.s., because the low-carb people have actually seen results. They were short-lived results, but still significantly longer-lived than those of the low-fat state religion.

      I really do believe that if these folks came forward and said something along the lines of, “We have seen new information that reliably and consistently contradicts our previous beliefs; therefore, the only responsible thing we can do is to change our beliefs,” their readers would respect them more, not less. Tom Naughton and Mark Sisson, in fact, have done just that, and I don’t see them being crucified on the Appian Way.

      Shitting on fruit sounds like a much more gut bug-minded strategy than LC-minded, by the way. As long as the shitter has a robust and healthy microbiome, of course. 🙂



    • LaFrite on August 19, 2014 at 00:57

      As far as I could read, one most likely adopts the low-carb / high-fat diet primarily for weight loss.
      This way of eating is then extended to longer periods because these folks have fallen in love with it, not because they are still losing weight to oblivion. It is remarkable how one can lose weight during the first 3-4 months of this diet so no wonder it is then confused with a magic bullet.

      But as written here many times, it is a new kind of experiment, and I don’t think the low carbers understand this due to all the related myths circulating in the internet (Inuits, Maasai, etc) …



    • Gina on August 19, 2014 at 08:24

      Bret:
      I don’t think they are charlatans so much as zealots. When someone fails to thrive on their diets, they are quick to point out that said person must be lying about their compliance (e.g. Eades’), they misrepresent their own “success” on LCHF (e.g. Moore) and they constantly attack straw men (e.g., Naughton). I don’t think Sisson was ever a LCHF advocate.

      “I don’t think it’s the same as the mainstream low-fat b.s…”

      Low-fat hasn’t been mainstream since about 1995. This is what I’m talking about. Every fat person I know starts Atkins induction or the Dukan diet on New Year’s day. There are far more low-carb frankenfoods in the grocery store than low-fat ones, and you’re more likely to find an Atkins section on the menu of a casual dining restaurant than a Weight Watchers one. The current mainstream in the media is the Mediterranean diet, but with the bourgeoisie it’s still low-carb, though not quite so bad as it was a decade ago.

      “…because the low-carb people have actually seen results. They were short-lived results, but still significantly longer-lived than those of the low-fat state religion.”

      The evidence says otherwise. Low-carbers balloon right back up just like everyone else on a diet, with the added bonus of a screwed-up gut biome and wrecked metabolism. The successful people in the National Weight Control Registry (people who have been tracked and kept substantial weight off for at least five years) overwhelmingly count calories and fat – not carbs. Check out the research findings on the NWCR site.



    • Bret on August 19, 2014 at 21:23

      Gina,

      I take issue with nearly everything you said:

      How exactly did you determine Tom Naughton argues against straw men? On every post I have read, he criticizes people he has argued with, often random people in comment sections of blogs, Amazon reviews, etc. By exactly what evidence do you assert he is misrepresenting the beliefs or positions of any of these people?

      Take a look through Mark Sisson’s book, the Primal Blueprint. He says many times throughout, as well as quite often on his blog, that the less glucose you burn over a lifetime, the better off you are. He talks about becoming “fat adapted” by reducing carbohydrate in the diet and increasing fat. He has discussed “nutritional ketosis” in extremely favorable terms in many blog posts and with Jimmy Moore on several podcasts. I’m not convinced you’ve paid much of any attention to Mark’s publicly expressed opinions if you believe he has never advocated LCHF, or at least a cousin of it.

      That’s a nice anecdotal story about the supposed omnipresence of Atkins mania. I see almost none of the same. Cracker Barrel’s low-carb menu is about the only thing that comes to mind. Nearly every other restaurant I ever go to seems to be obsessed with calories, if anything at all.

      And on that note, the NWCR you mentioned is an interesting site, but it is not the end-all, be-all. There is plenty of contradictory evidence out there, not the least of which is 450 pages of commentary of the scientific literature in Gary Taubes’ Good Calories, Bad Calories, which I am currently rereading. In example after example therein, calorie and fat restriction failed and carbohydrate restriction was demonstrated to be superior. Clearly, the issue is not nearly as cut and dry in favor of calorie and fat restriction as you are portraying it.

      Lastly, this next item is the one exception to my otherwise universal disagreement with your comment. And it’s not agreement either, but curiosity: When/where did the Drs. Eades accuse their unsuccessful patients/subjects of noncompliance? It would not surprise me, given some of the absurd things I’ve seen written over at pp.com recently, and I am simply curious what you are referring to.



    • Richard Nikoley on August 19, 2014 at 22:01

      Bret

      I would recommend, if you haven’t already, balance out GCBC with Anthony Colopo’s The Fat Loss Bible.

      Therein, he covers pretty exhaustively every single English language metabolic ward study comparing various diets (about 35 of them, as I recall).



    • Bret on August 19, 2014 at 22:19

      I haven’t run across that one, but will check it out.



    • Gina on August 20, 2014 at 20:07

      “How exactly did you determine Tom Naughton argues against straw men? ”

      Maybe not straw men so much as windmills. He’s literally the only person I know of who thinks government diet recommendations are of any consequence to anyone. Every time I’ve ever glanced at his blog (admittedly, very few times) he was bitching about them. He also seems to enjoy caricaturing and then ridiculing low-fat diets. None of it seems very germane. Too bad, because I find him somewhat amusing.

      I know Sisson advocates limiting carbs to an extent, but I wouldn’t conflate that with VLC or LCHF. When I last saw his recommendations they struck me as in the realm of sanity.

      “… calorie and fat restriction failed and carbohydrate restriction was demonstrated to be superior.”

      The studies included in GCBC weren’t exactly chosen without a confirmation bias. The hypothesis presented in GCBC hasn’t been used to make any accurate predictions and seems kind of ridiculous on its face just from observing populations. Carbohydrate restriction may very well be superior to fat restriction for weight loss, but it doesn’t fare so well for weight loss maintenance. I’m not into restricting macronutrients at all, for what it’s worth. Life sounds grim without regular coconut-poached red curry tofu over rice. 😉

      “When/where did the Drs. Eades accuse their unsuccessful patients/subjects of noncompliance?”

      On their blog, both in the posts and the comments section. When people complained about stalled weight loss or weight gain or lethargy, etc. they were treated pretty nasty. I’ve only looked at it when it’s been referenced here at FTA. Not my scene.



    • Bret on August 21, 2014 at 01:18

      [Tom is] literally the only person I know of who thinks government diet recommendations are of any consequence to anyone. … None of it seems very germane.

      I’m not sure what kind of company you keep, but I know plenty of people who have their heads dug deep into the government bullshit. It’s so pathetic; many of them seem as addicted to government advice as they are to government subsidy (in one form or another). Separately, as many, including Tom, have repeatedly pointed out, government standards influence hospital food, school lunches, military chow, and food products in general. Implying they are of no significant consequence is beyond a stretch.

      Mark calls his own brand primal, and it’s a flavor of paleo, with some lifestyle advice that helps give it a more unique edge. But given the points I made in the previous post, I think associating him with low-carb advocacy is neither a conflation nor unreasonable. I agree his recommendations are sane, and reasonable to boot. More so on both counts than many other LC advocates.

      The studies included in GCBC weren’t exactly chosen without a confirmation bias. The hypothesis presented in GCBC hasn’t been used to make any accurate predictions and seems kind of ridiculous on its face just from observing populations.

      No work is without bias. My question is, how well does the writing represent the evidence? Considering the book is overflowing with examples of influential research whose supporters reinforced their low-fat/calorie obsession biases by ignoring evidence, I find it to be an extremely valuable contribution to the dialogue.

      I don’t agree one bit with your statement that epidemiological observation refutes the GCBC hypothesis. Taubes makes very clear numerous times throughout the book, almost ad nauseum, that his thesis implicates sugar and other refined/easily digestible carbohydrates. Neither of those phenomena exists in nature (at least not in the relatively enormous quantities and not lacking surrounding fiber/micronutrients as they are in the average American’s diet, courtesy of industry and the g.d. government), and so I find the argument to be pretty solid. Observational studies as a rule of thumb do not impress me, because you can often cherry-pick whatever result you like from the data. Although, in case after case portrayed in GCBC, researchers omitted and explained away populations with data that did not fit the popular paradigm, and ignored the fact that civilized diseases and obesity had stronger correlations with sugar consumption than fat. The book also discusses plenty of clinical corroboration, though not the silver standard of large, randomized trials. (I suppose the gold standard would be double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, but those are virtually impossible on this subject.)

      I’m not saying it’s air tight and the case is closed, but you on the other hand do seem to be saying it’s next to worthless, and I think you’re coming to that conclusion without having given the book a fair study.

      Carbohydrate restriction may very well be superior to fat restriction for weight loss, but it doesn’t fare so well for weight loss maintenance. I’m not into restricting macronutrients at all, for what it’s worth.

      I hear you. In fact, this may surprise you, but I think some reasonable fat restriction is likely helpful in weight loss (with the fatty acids coming from intra-body storage rather than food intake), provided the body also meets its micronutrient needs without having to process a bunch of junk, such as industrially processed vegetable oils and enormous doses of sucrose. I must the Jaminets for helping me reach that belief through their Perfect Health Diet book and blog. I certainly agree that carb restriction is not the end of the story, but restricting or eliminating refined carbs (many people skip the ‘refined’ part when discussing Gary’s thesis, which is a significant enough omission to constitute a straw man, intentional or not), the likes of which our primitive ancestors never would have been exposed to and thus could not possibly have genetically adapted us to, certainly cannot hurt. I also agree that quantitative macronutrient obsession is a silly waste of time–but again, I am making a big distinction between saying ‘all carbohydrates’ and ‘refined carbohydrates’.

      Can’t blame you for not being much interested in the Eades’ blogs. Dr. Mike has let me down pretty big recently. After watching his brain work in what he surely thought was a clever exposure of someone else’s piddling confirmation bias, and in fact was an unwitting exposure of his own such bias, I sincerely doubt I will regain the desire to visit that blog any time soon, if ever.



    • Gina on August 21, 2014 at 07:46

      “… government standards influence hospital food, school lunches, military chow, and food products in general. Implying they are of no significant consequence is beyond a stretch.”

      I guess I’ve just accepted that school lunches and hospital food are now and always will be shit. Don’t much care what the military eats, and sane diets all eliminate “food products.” If you know people who check with a government website before choosing dinner, they’ve got bigger problems than their diets.

      “Taubes makes very clear numerous times throughout the book, almost ad nauseum, that his thesis implicates sugar and other refined/easily digestible carbohydrates.”

      He has said that for some people even green, leafy vegetables could be fattening. Perhaps that’s why it’s hard to remember that his thesis only implicates refined carbs. The diet he included in Why We Get Fat (a perfect recipe for gut and metabolic dysfunction) doesn’t allow beans, carrots or peas. I’m inclined to ignore anyone who thinks carrots are fattening.

      I think we can all agree that refined carbs are bad. Refined fats aren’t exactly healthy, and low-carb diets in practice are just as full of processed crap as the low-fat diets of the 90’s were in practice. My friends on low-carb diets aren’t eating wild salmon and organic vegetables; they’re eating pork rinds dipped in ranch dressing and drinking diet soda.

      Interesting discussion, Bret.



    • Richard Nikoley on August 21, 2014 at 09:05

      “I guess I’ve just accepted that school lunches and hospital food are now and always will be shit.”

      You forgot airline food. …Oh, wait!

      “My friends on low-carb diets aren’t eating wild salmon and organic vegetables; they’re eating pork rinds dipped in ranch dressing and drinking diet soda.”

      Yep, this is really the fucking rub, isn’t it?



    • Bret on August 21, 2014 at 12:00

      Interesting discussion, Bret.

      Agreed. It appears to me that we see eye to eye on most of the dietary nuts and bolts, and disagree chiefly on how useful specific contributions/contributors are to the productivity of the dialogue.

      I guess I’ve just accepted that school lunches and hospital food are now and always will be shit. Don’t much care what the military eats, and sane diets all eliminate “food products.” If you know people who check with a government website before choosing dinner, they’ve got bigger problems than their diets.

      Saying that they check a government website before eating is a bit hyperbolic. I am talking about the more insidious influences on people who don’t know much about how to eat, such as the things I mentioned.

      Still, I agree with your point of view overall, and in my view it describes a frightfully large portion of society. Whether they have problems or not, this particular proportion of the population is a sizeable one, and they are affected in no small way by the kind of government incompetence we have been discussing. But I get it–at some point I have to stop blaming the rain and just let those people go, no matter how many they are in number.

      [Taubes] has said that for some people even green, leafy vegetables could be fattening. Perhaps that’s why it’s hard to remember that his thesis only implicates refined carbs. The diet he included in Why We Get Fat (a perfect recipe for gut and metabolic dysfunction) doesn’t allow beans, carrots or peas. I’m inclined to ignore anyone who thinks carrots are fattening.

      Fair criticisms, and I disagree with him on those points. I get the sense that he probably ought to have stopped at GCBC, instead of making a dumbed-down version that included premature conclusions such as those. Still, I try to be careful not to discard the baby with the bath water. Gary is undeniably neither perfect nor omniscient, but neither is anyone else. If our only sources of information are people who never utter anything we disagree with, then even those people will eventually let us down. I wouldn’t take Gary’s word (or anyone’s) as gospel, but in spite of the issues you bring up, I am still inclined to give him the time of day, with a healthy dose of skeptical scrutiny as always, given what quality research he has done.

      I think we can all agree that refined carbs are bad. Refined fats aren’t exactly healthy, and low-carb diets in practice are just as full of processed crap as the low-fat diets of the 90′s were in practice. My friends on low-carb diets aren’t eating wild salmon and organic vegetables; they’re eating pork rinds dipped in ranch dressing and drinking diet soda.

      This reminds me of discussions I have observed here and elsewhere about the future of gut bacteria science, specifically in its application by media, industry, and public health enterprises. Folks have speculated that a combination of weak tenet comprehension among the masses, compromised messages delivered by the media/government, and industrial pursuit of maximum profitability will all likely result in some kind of minimally effective solution, largely divorced from the original science, in the mainstream. Not at all unlike what you describe here, in the sense that many (maybe most) people will cop out in favor of convenience over actual understanding and truly useful application.

      That is why I prefer to avoid labels in general when I can remember to (I don’t always succeed). I have noticed that what I refer to as “gut bug-minded research,” or some variation, doesn’t seem to have a commonly cited label. I think as soon as a consistent label formulates itself–just like LC, LCHF, paleo, etc–that is when we need to crank up the skepticism to any research that comes out. The ‘civilized’ western world and its psychological inertia will find a way to screw this stuff up, just like it has screwed up nearly all other science–I feel it is all but a guarantee.



    • Bret on August 22, 2014 at 09:15

      I am nearly finished with my reread of GCBC and will have to retract a previous error. While Gary includes the word “refined” quite often in the first half (maybe first two-thirds) of the book, toward the end, on the other hand, he starts blurring the lines. Lots of references to how “the carbohydrates” do damage, etc, including in the epilogue.

      To his credit, he still makes full disclosure that the idea must be tested before it is accepted and pushed, but in any event, I wanted to clarify, because my earlier remarks on GCBC painted a different picture.



    • john on August 24, 2014 at 02:32

      After myreread of GCBC I put it in the psudeoscience/denialist/wingnut section of my bookshelf. After the next reread I flushed it down the toilet.



    • Bret on August 24, 2014 at 02:57

      @john:

      Is it really that bad?

      All this hostility is pretty mind-boggling. Yes, I wish Gary had explored nutrient density quite a bit more, which would have made a better case against refined foods in general, rather than singling out carbohydrates. I’m not saying the work was perfect by any means.

      But his biggest point was that diet and public health authorities have more or less been ignoring evidence for decades and practicing horrendously shitty science. He also said that carbohydrate restriction showed more promise in the evidence, but was rebuffed as an idea to put to the test because it was politically incorrect. He said more testing is needed. What more do you want? Unless you are prepared to argue that he lied and/or made huge errors in his work, I do not understand why you think GCBC is such trash.

      All this hostility seems more the result of clique loyalty than honest assessment.



  6. Harriet on August 18, 2014 at 20:39

    My husband was a bit surprised by my ho-hum attitude to the Catalyst program. I’ve added resistant starch to our paleo diets and gave him a brief overview of why but he hadn’t understood it really till he watched the program.

  7. rs711 on August 19, 2014 at 00:52

    You are surely right that many are on VLC diets lacking variety & quality. This says more about ‘lay’ implementation in popular food movements & the psychology around it. However, I don’t think it is correct to characterize all “VLC diets” as lacking in variety (vegetation or animal).

    You says: “Both, however, come with the same costs: you’ve killed or starved the good ones, too.”

    This is an unfair generalization. You’re ascribing a value judgement to a phenomenon that is modulatory of the microbiome environment; both in terms of #s & species diversity.

    It is similar to criticizing a “lowered cholesterol” without teasing the individual constituents apart.

    Here: http://raphaels7.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/gut-microbial-metabolism-drives-transformation-of-msh2-deficient-colon-epithelial-cells/ I write about fiber/butyrate/cancer metabolsim. This grew out from a discussion with one of your commenters, Gemma.
    This post would be an example of how one can reconcile conflicting evidence regarding fiber. Hopefully I am the ‘exception’ to those loathed of intransigents of your (honestly, not holding my breath).

    • Gemma on August 19, 2014 at 07:07

      @rs711

      We both commented on the butyrate study, yes, but in my opinion it went on rather as two monologues, and not as a dialog. If I remember well, you have not replied to my question:

      “What is “a ketogenic diet*/LCHF with a diverse & plentiful intake of fibres”?

      At the end of your blog, there is such a confusing statement again:

      “A varied and nutrient dense ketogenic diet combining evolutionarily concordant foods (for the most part), including vegetation feeding colon cells butyrate (& other metabolites) by bacterial proxy seems not only reasonable, safe and tasty but also a good strategy for avoiding god damn ass cancer.”

      The Belcheva group used less than a threshold concentration of butyrate, that is why the cancer cells were not killed. In sublethal concentration butyrate acts as fuel for a cancer cell. The beast is hungry.

      Perhaps you might like to read a very recent answer to the Belcheva paper (some parts of the full text copied in here):
      Microbial-Derived Butyrate: An Oncometabolite or Tumor-Suppressive Metabolite?
      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1931312814002662

      “Interestingly, the findings of Belcheva et al. suggest that butyrate functions as an oncometabolite, a provocative thought since numerous previous studies have identified butyrate as a tumor-suppressive metabolite (Bultman, 2014). In addition, R5 human microbiome sequencing projects have reported that CRC cases have decreased abundance of butyrate-producing bacteria compared to healthy controls. Furthermore, when butyrate is added to CRC cell lines, it decreases cell proliferation while increasing apoptosis and/or cell differentiation. In fact, butyrate-induced expression of p21 is responsible for the decreased proliferation of HCT116 cells (Archer et al., 1998). Yet, in the ApcMin/+;Msh2 А/А model, Belcheva et al. observed in creased butyrate levels in untreated mice were correlated with decreased expression of p21 (and increased cell proliferation and polyp number) compared to mice treated with antibiotics or provided a low-carbohydrate diet.

      How does one reconcile these seemingly disparate findings? Butyrate is a pleiotropic molecule that functions as an energy source, a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, and an agonist of several G protein-coupled receptors. It may thus have different effects depending on the genetic background of the host. In this regard, ApcMin/+; Msh2 А/А tumor initiation does not necessarily involve dysregulated b-catenin expression, which is different from the more commonly studied ApcMin/+ and azoxymethane (AOM) models (Kongkanuntn et al., 1999). Furthermore, MSH2 deficiency results in a mutator phenotype that magnifies the somatic genetic background differences in the tumor (Reitmair et al., 1997).

      It is worth noting that this is not the first instance of a ‘‘butyrate paradox.’’ Butyrate has long been known to have differential effects on normal versus cancerous colonocytes, and only recently has this been addressed. Due to the Warburg effect, butyrate is metabolized by cancerous colonocytes to a lesser extent and therefore accumulates as an HDAC inhibitor (Donohoe et al., 2012). Similarly, butyrate may have heterogeneous effects on tumorigenesis depending on host genetic background, the presence of other bacterial metabolites such as an omega-3 fatty acid (docosahexaenoic acid), which synergizes with butyrate to induce colonocyte apoptosis (Kolar et al., 2007), and whether it is exerting a direct effect on the tumor (cell autonomous) versus non-cell-autonomous effects such as regulating mucosal immune cell activity as mentioned above.

      Therefore, although the current study contributes to our understanding of the interplay between diet, microbes, and CRC, the role of butyrate in cancer protection/promotion will still require further investigation. Altering microbial activities through dietary manipulation represents an exciting means to harness the microbiome and influence health and disease states. Whether dietary manipulation could be used effectively to preserve homeostatic functions afforded by microbiota while attenuating its potential pathological effects is still an open question, and more research would be necessary before this strategy becomes a reality.”



    • rs711 on August 19, 2014 at 08:01

      Hi Gemma, nice to hear from you again. I did not know you did not see my reply. July 27 I said:

      “Thanks for suggesting I read both studies, “Microbial Regulation of Glucose Metabolism & Cell- Cycle Progression in Mammalian Colonocytes”
      & “The Warburg Effect Dictates the Mechanism of Butyrate-Mediated Histone Acetylation & Cell Proliferation”. They really helped clarify why the “Gut Microbial Metabolism Drives Transformation of Msh2-Deficient Colon Epithelial Cells” study makes some sense in the larger context.”
      …and proceeded to make some points.

      I think the “Msh2” study combined with the 2 other papers you thankfully got me to look at really shed some light on butyrates’ pleiotropic effects.

      I actually agree with essentially everything you said in your analysis.

      I also do not see this supposed ‘chasm’ between VLC/keto diets and lots of plant food. You asked for an example of a ketogenic with varied vegetation of sorts. I think my lunch today is an example of this:
      – grated carrots, cucumbers, steamed kale, avocado, lemon, blueberries + lots of spices/herbs & apple cider vinegar.
      – cod-liver (& its oil) with sautéed veal heart, all cooked in coconut oil. Raw butter & olive oil to taste. Salt & pepper of course! 🙂

      Do you agree?



    • Richard Nikoley on August 19, 2014 at 09:10

      “You are surely right that many are on VLC diets lacking variety & quality. This says more about ‘lay’ implementation in popular food movements & the psychology around it.”

      Exactly. Pretty much like the vegans. That’s why both extremes ought be dismissed as impractical. It’s just quite ridiculous on the VLC side, that 150g of carbohydrate from wholesome sources strikes fear in people and as I’ve shown several times, the PIR brought on by VLC falsely confirms to people that they can’t tolerate any measurable carbs—a very convenient thing for the LC Diet Industry.

      At the other extreme, a near vegan diet could be marvelously healthy with the addition of eggs, dairy, and a few oysters per week in addition to everything else being real, wholesome food.

      We’re dealing, largely, with the impractical practice of religion and dogma in a dietary setting.



    • Gemma on August 19, 2014 at 10:53

      @rs711

      I can see no starch / resistant starch in your diet. Perhaps some in carrots, but that depends, and not much anyway.

      What is the aim of you eating this way?



    • Duck Dodgers on August 19, 2014 at 10:55

      I also do not see this supposed ‘chasm’ between VLC/keto diets and lots of plant food. You asked for an example of a ketogenic with varied vegetation of sorts. I think my lunch today is an example of this:
      – grated carrots, cucumbers, steamed kale, avocado, lemon, blueberries + lots of spices/herbs & apple cider vinegar.
      – cod-liver (& its oil) with sautéed veal heart, all cooked in coconut oil. Raw butter & olive oil to taste. Salt & pepper of course!

      Well, Gemma was referring to your referenced blog post that said that “ketogenic diets are NOT synonymous with fiber poor diets”.

      Let’s analyze your lunch, shall we?

      1/2 cup of carrots = 1.8g fiber
      1/2 cup cucumbers = 0.3g fiber
      1 cup of cooked kale = 2.6g fiber (55% insoluble)
      1/2 avocado = 2.5g fiber (60% insoluble)
      1 Tbsp spices = 0.5g fiber
      1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar = Trace
      1/2 cup blueberries = 1.8g of fiber
      ————————
      TOTAL = 9.5 grams of fiber, predominantly cellulose and insoluble fiber.

      What you don’t seem to realize is that there isn’t much of a diversity of fibers in that lunch. It’s mainly cellulose and insoluble fiber. And it’s well known that cellulose is extremely poor at fermenting SCFAs. And, of course, insoluble fiber isn’t considered to be much of a fermenter either. You might as well eat some paper for lunch.

      Nice try though.

      Interestingly, 10%-15% of the glycemic starches in a SAD diet are believed to escape digestion, which means that most ketogenic dieters have to shovel lots of plants into their face just to roughly equal the fiber in a SAD diet.



    • rs711 on August 19, 2014 at 11:02

      AFAIK “Paleo” is the only ‘diet’ that explicitly uses evolutionary biology as a non-limiting logical framework to get answers. How can any serious (scientific) endeavor into physical & mental health not account for this somehow? Veganism certainly doesn’t.

      150g of CHO is too much for more and more people. Some for ever, some only temporarily. Does that make CHO, even high-carb diets inherently unhealthy to all humans? Of course not. People have broke world records being fueled by McDonald or the equivalent.

      We know of putatively healthy traditional populations on very high carb whole-foods diets doing fine. The same cannot be said for HC (not whole-food) diets in modern environments. It’s an interesting question to figure out: nowadays, why do whole-food HF diets work well in both modern & traditional groups for the most part but HC diets not so much, except in traditional groups. My bias is that whole-food HC diets in a modern setting works for a less and less people but that their is no reason, in principle, why it couldn’t work across a population average. Just like for HF diets.

      I’d like to see what is penalizing HC diets in our modern environment. I think answering that question does not require pitting ketosis as the mutually exclusive counter-part.

      The whole RS thing – another hefty piece of evidence in favor of varied vegetation diets (with no rule about quantity), confirming to evolutionary theory. Another confirmation of human cellular metabolism doing great on fatty acids. A lot of new information teaching us about microbial behavior. The knowledge about the gut being SO important: we can adapt to a substantial range of bacterial species & load while staying healthy. Fascinating.

      I see no frontal collision with HF/keto science.



    • Richard Nikoley on August 19, 2014 at 11:07

      Address the Elephant.



    • rs711 on August 19, 2014 at 11:13

      I don’t know how you can confidently quantify fiber grams or much else – I certainly didn’t measure and weigh my meal.

      I feel like this is obvious but I’ll say it anyways – this was 1 meal. Also, I’m currently experimenting with temporary FODMAP elimination (yes – save the raw carrots). Otherwise, almonds, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, garlic & some taters etc…are the norm for me. The RS content would go up. How much, I don’t.

      I’m also going to start a Bob’s Red Mill PS experiment in a few weeks. I disagree with your demonization of HF diets by default. As I do with those doing the same about HC diets.

      So, I’m genuinely curious: how much RS do you think I should get in on average? And, since you are being so diligent – what would you add & subtract from my template lunch to make it RS-friendly or FreeTheAnimal-friendly?

      Thanks



    • Richard Nikoley on August 19, 2014 at 11:15

      “150g of CHO is too much for more and more people.”

      Let me introduce you to your blind spot. It’s that spot that VLC/Keto advocates absolutely refuse to address, and for obvious reasons.

      https://freetheanimal.com/2014/03/reiterate-elevated-ketone.html

      https://freetheanimal.com/2014/07/stefansson-experiement-compromised.html

      Exact same result. IOW, the only reason you think this is because of, what I consider, an enormous physiological confirmation bias baked right into the VLC/Keto cake.



    • Gemma on August 19, 2014 at 11:17

      @rs711

      “A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.”
      (Saul Bellow)

      Good luck to you.

      “how much RS do you think I should get in on average?”

      Read the posts here on how much RS you need, please, before asking this question.



    • Richard Nikoley on August 19, 2014 at 11:36

      “what would you add & subtract from my template lunch to make it RS-friendly or FreeTheAnimal-friendly?”

      I don’t pro or pre-scribe.

      Did you watch the video? Leach says the Hadza get 5 times the fermentable fiber we do.



    • rs711 on August 19, 2014 at 12:15

      I don’t think it’s a blind spot when considering widespread insulin resistance related disorders. Again – there’s nothing inherently wrong with 150g of whole-foods carbs, the problem lies in the current response of many people eating 150g of any absorbable carbs, since the majority of them unfortunately come from SAD diets.

      I’m familiar with both your posts but I don’t see them as evidence for or against keto, or other diets for that matter. They both present an interesting take with some new information, without discrediting the basic premise behind them – Inuit diets or Bellevue experiments.



    • rs711 on August 19, 2014 at 12:19

      I’m well aware of the general prescriptions here. I was asking Duck Dodgers specifically, seeing how keen he was in diving specifics.

      That’s a cool quote. I will do my best to heed your advice.

      Ciao for now.



    • rs711 on August 19, 2014 at 12:27

      Sucks, I can’t see it now as it’s blocked in my location (FR) and I’m not clever enough to set-up a proxy off-handedly. I am well aware of Leach’s work and his views on dietary matters though.

      I’m not surprised that their fiber intake is that high. I think there is more to it than just total fibre intake. This information is hypothesis generating (great!) but not hypothesis testing.



    • Sap on August 19, 2014 at 12:36

      It’s got to be more than just the blanket term “fiber” – think of all the psyillum husk and metamucil people take to try and get things moving (especially on VLC diets gone wrong).



    • Duck Dodgers on August 19, 2014 at 12:55

      rs711,

      You’re missing my point. Starch consumption is a key point here. As I said, roughly 10% of all starch consumed escapes digestion to feed gut bugs. (Hat tip to Tim).

      From: Measurement of starch fermentation in the human large intestine

      “Overall on Western diets, approximately 10% of all starch is probably resistant starch”

      …and…

      From: Validation of an in vitro assay for predicting the amount of starch that escapes digestion in the small intestine of humans

      “In studies in which a range of starch-containing foods was fed to individuals with ileostomies, it has been noted that the carbohydrate recovered in the effluent included significant quantities of free sugars (other than glucose) and dextrine…This has led to redefining RS to include the products of partial starch digestion and absorption in the small intestine…

      …The results of this study demonstrate that significant amounts of starch from foods such as baked beans, pearl badly, corn flakes, and white rice escape digestion in the small intestine. In reaching the large bowel undigested, RS is behaving physiologically like dietary fiber (i.e. NSP).”

      Sooo… if the Standard American Diet includes 225-325 grams of carbs per day for a 2,000 calorie diet, and 10% of all starch consumed escapes digestion, it would seem that you would have to work extremely hard just to get in the neighborhood of SAD levels of fiber. Someone eating a diet rich in complex carbs is apparently getting more prebiotics than they even realize.

      And if we’re going to reference evolutionary science/logic, what kind of moronic hominid (or survivalist) would avoid extremely energy-positive starchy plants in the wild? It makes zero sense — particularly when you consider that hominids needed to have free time to produce technology and could not afford to forage 8 hours per day. There’s zero evidence for shunning carbs in the evolutionary/survivalist sense.



    • Richard Nikoley on August 19, 2014 at 14:38

      “the problem lies in the current response of many people eating 150g of any absorbable carbs, since the majority of them unfortunately come from SAD diets.”

      80% bullshit, at least.

      See my latest post. You have fallen prey to a convenient scam.

      There is no fucking way in the world that most people can’t handle 150g of carb normally. Most are just as fooled as a couch potato climbing a flight of stairs.

      It’s BULLSHIT!



    • Richard Nikoley on August 19, 2014 at 15:52

      “widespread insulin resistance related disorders.”

      You mean, perhaps, “widespread, convenient physiological insulin related ‘disorders?'”

      https://freetheanimal.com/2014/08/resistant-revolution-vlcketo.html



    • GTR on August 19, 2014 at 17:06

      @rs711 – “the problem lies in the current response of many people eating 150g of any absorbable carbs” – if someone has problems with such amounts of carbs, then the quickest solution would be to empty his glycogen stores, so that they can act as a buffer for carbs. Emptying can be done by interminnent fasting, or HIT/HIIT excercises.
      And then managing the glycogen stores, so that they are never full. This may not be easy, eg. requiring excercise.
      Should high blood glucose levels even happen if one’s glycogen storage is half-empty?



    • GTR on August 19, 2014 at 17:28

      @Duck Dodgers “Sooo… if the Standard American Diet includes 225-325 grams of carbs per day for a 2,000 calorie diet, and 10% of all starch consumed escapes digestion”

      It may be more for Italian diet, because of “better” beans called Borlotti Beans, that have substances decreasing carb digestion in small intestine, so that more goes to the gut.



    • el-bo on August 20, 2014 at 08:45

      >> ” It’s just quite ridiculous on the VLC side, that 150g of carbohydrate from wholesome sources strikes fear in people ” <<

      [shrugs] all a question of perspective, as, for many of us, the idea of 150g of carbs as a cut-off, (beyond which all manner of weight-gain hell ensues), is just embarrassingly ludicrous [ /shoulders]



    • GTR on August 23, 2014 at 03:17

      @Duck Dodgers – “You’re missing my point. Starch consumption is a key point here. As I said, roughly 10% of all starch consumed escapes digestion to feed gut bugs. ”

      Question: neolithic people evolved to have more amylase genes copies. This means that they would get LESS starch into the gut compared to the hunter-gatherer state of having less copies of amylase genes. Why would that be, and what does it mean?

      By the way – the only diet I know that is compatible with having more amylase is Carb Backloading by John Kiefer – it explicitly tells to consume high-glucose/insulin spiking food after workouts. The rest of the diets advice to go against the effect that high amylase causes, by either using a lot of fiber in meals, or slow-digesting carbs, or low-carb.



  8. GTR on August 19, 2014 at 01:06

    Are you sure that it won’t just end up with a set of RS/fiber supplements for VLC dieters, rather than end the VLC diets?

    • Richard Nikoley on August 19, 2014 at 08:07

      I’m not sure about anything, but I’m predicting at minimum, a waning of enthusiasm and of its growth as a movement. Once people begin paying attention to their guts and targeting gut health, most are going to find that there is absolutely no need for the vast majority of people to endure a restrictive diet like VLC.

      The idea that 150g of carbs per day from wholesome food sources is somehow “unhealthy” is going to eventually be seen as pretty insane.



    • Sap on August 19, 2014 at 11:51

      I’m not sure on this. I’ve been vlc for 3 years (it “cured” my chronic inflammation/autoimmune issues…until it didn’t). I have started adding RS to my diet (via potato starch), as well as probiotics, but I’m also adding potatoes and even a bit of rice to my diet. If the starches don’t contribute to inflammation then there is no reason not to eat them.



    • GTR on August 19, 2014 at 16:09

      My question was motivated by the fact, that Atkins himself considered his LC diet incomplete and required his patients to take the supplements he produced. So perhaps the appropriate evolution of LC diets should have been more and more supplements, as the science discovers more and more vitamins, enzymes, hormones, probiotics, prebiotics etc.



    • Richard Nikoley on August 19, 2014 at 17:47

      “So perhaps the appropriate evolution of LC diets should have been more and more supplements, as the science discovers more and more vitamins, enzymes, hormones, probiotics, prebiotics etc.”

      Fucktarded just won’t quit.



  9. LaFrite on August 19, 2014 at 02:18
  10. Tinkerer on August 19, 2014 at 04:36

    Richard Wrote: “None of them will dare to integrate this, because integrating it is suicide. And they know it.”

    Don’t sell yourself, Tim and Dr. BG short. Several of them already have at least partly integrated it – Mark Sisson, Tom Naughton, Robb Wolf, Dr. William Davis, Dr. Doug McGuff; and more to come, I’m sure.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 19, 2014 at 08:51

      Yes, of course. I was using “none of them” as a bit of a hyperbolic figure of speech.



    • Tinkerer on August 19, 2014 at 18:48

      Check. And I left out Dave Asprey, who has been experimenting with RS, thanks to you.



  11. eddie on August 19, 2014 at 05:59

    You know……the part on red meat I dont understand…

    when you get polyps in your nose -its blamed on yeast, when you get them in your GI tract its red meats fault.. and yeast its believed to be a problem in the GI tract
    just my 2 cents

  12. eddie on August 19, 2014 at 06:00

    type O
    and yeast isnt believed to be a problem in the GI tract
    just my 2 cents

  13. Sap on August 19, 2014 at 08:59

    I’m a moderator on a keto forum. I’v ebeen supplimenting potato starch for the last 3 weeks (with excellent results) – I have a feeling this could get me in some trouble, but in this case I’d rather change my opinion and be healthy than keep going in a direction that wasn’t working for me anymore.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 19, 2014 at 09:14

      Excellent news, Sap.



    • Frank Enstein (@SkyKing1717) on August 19, 2014 at 18:33

      Which Keto Forum is that, Sap? Gotta link?

      Do you go by the name of “Sap” on the forum?



    • Tinkerer on August 19, 2014 at 18:49

      Wise choice. Kudos.



  14. OldTech on August 19, 2014 at 11:17

    Interesting post. I am a type II diabetic on a very low carb keto diet and I am consuming 35 g of RS. So far the RS seems to have eliminated my chronic constipation and looks like that it helping to control my BG highs by about 7 mg/dl*. That may not sound like much but it has allowed me to drop my average postprandial values below 100 mg/dl.

    Back to the topic. Since RS (using Bob Red Mill Potato Starch as an example) is so easy to integrate into a keto diet without impacting ketosis, I don’t know why the keto/low carb community will not just choose to integrate RS. As you point out some already have. Why not the rest? How long will it be until RS supplements start appearing in stores?

    *I still need more data to confirm the reduction in BG highs because my 1 hour postprandial data has a lot of noise.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 19, 2014 at 11:39

      “I don’t know why the keto/low carb community will not just choose to integrate RS. As you point out some already have. Why not the rest? How long will it be until RS supplements start appearing in stores?”

      Because, they understand quite well that embracing it is like welcoming Barbarians at the gate of the Castle.

      Bank on it.



    • Richard Nikoley on August 19, 2014 at 11:43

      I’ll elaborate just a bit to give you a clue as to why this is and why RS in a zero-win for VLC/Keto.

      Should it turn out that supplementation via things like PS, green plantain/banana flour, etc., help folks, then it takes no genius to conclude that they were fucktarded from day one. Or, ignorant-fucktarded, to be more magnanimous.

      Nobody had access to isolated RS in human evolution. Ergo, starch consumption in various forms is a more appropriate dietary regime.



    • Sap on August 19, 2014 at 12:09

      The funny thing is, for me, coming from 3 years of following/moderating people on a ketogenic diet, it seems those with the best success are the ones who eventually switch over to a TKD/CKD approach (usually related to heavy lifting or other intense activity) which means adding carbs into their diet in some form or other, but generally I’ve seen rice, potatoes and other paleo-acceptable starch sources. Otherwise long term what I see is a lot of people “fall off the wagon” or find some sort of set point far away from where their goal was (which is why many start with the heavy lifting and such).

      Carbs are still vilified. They’re the reason for all the problems we see in the first place (at least thats what we keep telling people on our forum). Admitting short sightedness on this issues means eating a lot of humble pie, which is hard for people to do.

      I see it more as a “you know better, you do better” situation. I’ve seen VLC/keto help a LOT of people with various issues (weight loss, inflammation, BG control, etc. etc.), I don’t think it’s a bad idea per-say, but I do think the new info coming out does mean that we need to reevaluate our understanding of how it all works.



    • Richard Nikoley on August 19, 2014 at 17:04

      Sap:

      You’re exposing your honesty. Not good for business. Better curtail that shit, instanter.



  15. Heidi on August 19, 2014 at 12:26

    i never liked the idea of keto, or high fat. but thats just me. i was on low fat for years and cant get used to the idea.

    anyway i am trying something called “the plan”.

    http://lyngenet.com/

    what you do is eat foods that not many people “react” to (ie health issues/ inflammation)…

    then you test more foods to see if you react. the idea is- everyone’s different, reacts to different stuff.

    having some success with this but its early days. i had to do something because i was getting very sick.

    mostly eating lamb or chicken with some chickpeas and veggies ie lettuce.

    will add more foods soon.

    • Cathy on August 19, 2014 at 14:04

      Heidi, I read her book and thought it was interesting. She has no dogs in any fight — either low carb/high fat or vegan although she does allow for vegetarians. I was amused at all the so called “healthy” foods that may be bad for you and cause inflammation. If Richard is fine with it, let us know how it goes! She does seem to be pro carb.



    • Heidi on August 19, 2014 at 14:28

      i found out about it on the optimal health cave board. i wouldnt have looked at it normally, because it seemed to be about weight loss and i am more interested just in “not feeling like crap all the time”. but, i have just cut out gluten and dairy and had some success with that… so i am giving it a go 🙂



  16. Tom Naughton on August 19, 2014 at 12:28

    Season One of “The Wire” … it’s like a good novel. Takes a few episodes for the story to really kick in, but more than worth the wait. Just thought I’d mention that so you don’t give up after one or two episodes, as a friend of mine did.

    Tom (still full from last night’s potato-ham-cream soup)

  17. rs711 on August 19, 2014 at 12:31

    Sir Naughton – the wire is THE BOMB. Plain & simple. On this I am happy to consider myself a “loathed intransigent” 🙂

    • Tom Naughton on August 19, 2014 at 13:04

      Agreed. Watched the whole series twice.



    • Richard Nikoley on August 19, 2014 at 15:39

      Tom:

      I’ll tell you that I loath the fact I was thinking “what would Tom write?” as I drafted this.

      Fuck You! Sir! 🙂

      https://freetheanimal.com/2014/08/resistant-revolution-vlcketo.html



    • Richard Nikoley on August 19, 2014 at 16:31

      rs711:

      You may not have seen my FB about TW. For years I’ve been admonished. Last June, up here at the cabin, watches S1E1 ’cause I have Amazon Prime and it’s included; but, just didn’t get it.

      Two days ago, arrived back up here and Sunday night, said what the hell. Began to watch Ep2. Began to get it. Ep3 and I’m hooked. Ep4 is in the can.

      What a brilliant way to do embedded institutional incompetence as comedy, unintentionally.



    • Tom Naughton on August 19, 2014 at 17:37

      I apologize for inadvertently serving as a second conscience.



    • Richard Nikoley on August 19, 2014 at 17:48

      You are forgiven, my son.



  18. Tinkerer on August 19, 2014 at 19:01

    I think one of the most constructive things we can do is commend the LCers like Tom Naughton who have been open minded about resistant starch and other prebiotics and publicly changed their minds, which takes courage. And also recall re: the holdouts that many of us were VLCers who made some of the same mistakes in the past.

  19. Sky on August 20, 2014 at 10:27

    Does anyone here care to share their opinions/thoughts on the role that beta-hydroxybutyrate or BOHB, a major ketone body, plays in nourishing the cells in our guts in relation to RS?

    for those unawares….RS-derived butyrate is structurally and functionally similar to BOHB which is produced in the liver during a well formulated LC diet. It’s soluble and readily passes across membranes. A provocative theory is that it also nourishes intestinal cells, and thus the need for RS in the context of a ketogenic diet is reduced. Anecdotally, gut issues are often improved on a ketogenic diet which may also be related to the anti-inflammatory effects of the diet.

    • Bret on August 20, 2014 at 23:26

      Hi, Sky. I will be happy to share my thoughts on the subject, for whatever they’re worth to you.

      By my reading, the working hypothesis of the gut bug-minded research is that the bacteria in our digestive tract, including and especially the colon, assert an overwhelmingly powerful influence over many of our body’s ordinary functions, one of them being body fat storage, another being sleep quality, and so on.

      While beta-OHB is certainly chemically similar to butyrate originating in the colon and, in my speculative opinion, likely influences our cells and organs in a way similar to beta-OHB with all else being equal (this is an important caveat), the rub is that the liver-produced beta-OHB does not demonstrably result from the nourishment of our gut microbiome.

      This is a key point, because it throws off that “all else equal” caveat. If the hypothesis described in my first paragraph above is correct, then the gut bugs, which thrive from converting starches, fibers, and their components into butyrate (that’s their “food”), do more to our body’s benefit–perhaps much more–than simply delivering the butyrate to our bloodstream. It’s not a simple matter of UPS vs. FedEx. With a focus only on ketosis, you are leaving the matter of your gut bug health to chance, which means you are running the risk of missing out on many of the associated benefits.

      I do not mean to discount, ignore, or otherwise diminish the obvious success some people have had with KG/VLC. Jimmy Moore’s 78-lb weight loss, for instance, coming after a multi-year plateau and even weight gain, is undoubtedly impressive, as were the unexpected benefits of the experiment that he cited. But, there is also plenty of reason to question whether ketosis is the end-all/be-all that Jimmy, Phinney, and others seem to think it is, and Richard has enumerated those at great frequency at this blog and elsewhere.

      The Inuit’s conspicuous lack of evidentially corroborated native-diet-induced ketosis and post-ketosis blood sugar roller coaster are among the most convincing pieces of evidence/commentary in my mind. In addition, if you haven’t done so already, I encourage you to read Dr. Mike Eades’ blog post about confirmation bias (side note to others in the know: my long, thoughtful, critical comment is still, weeks later, “awaiting moderation” by Dr. Eades, tee hee), centered around his debate with Duck Dodgers over the issue of Inuit ketosis, read a few of the comments and his replies therein, then read Richard’s reply and some of the following comments/replies. You might have to expend some time and patience to get through it all, but that whole interchange convinced a previously neutral me of who was actively seeking new data/information to consider, and who was defending his existing beliefs, incidentally enough, via confirmation bias.



    • Bret on August 21, 2014 at 11:13

      Damn typo (I should start keeping my comments shorter)– Retrying:

      While beta-OHB is certainly chemically similar to butyrate originating in the colon and, in my speculative opinion, likely influences our cells and organs in a way similar to beta-OHB colon-produced butyrate as well…

      I’m sure you got the idea. Just making sure. 🙂



  20. Lawrence Petruzzelli on August 26, 2014 at 05:06

    I don’t think it means the end of ketogenic diets. On ketogenic diet I am eating way more fiber than I was on prior Western Diet. Also started supplementing with RS-2 from potato starch. Then once per week I eat starch, have changed it to cooled potatoes and sushi after reading your blog.
    One thing I discovered about ketogenic diets is they tend to starve negative bacteria and allow good bacteria to survive, less diversity but more good bacteria. Then going on to feed these with a simple shake with mixed fiber would be a good inclusion on the ketogenic diet.
    Further more fiber will create SCFA in the gut helping ketogenic dieters stay in ketosis, so I think both can co-exist.
    I am ketogenic for health issues that were fixed after going on a strict ketogenic diet. I love the work you guys put in on this blog and I have started experimenting with potato starch and other fibers, getting my green veggies in and eating lot’s of nuts and seeds.

  21. Eric on August 26, 2014 at 13:16

    I watched the second part of the Catalyst program and something occurred to me. I could not tell from the program how much of the fiber they added to the particpants’ diet was RS and how much was other types. It also brings up the question of which types of “fiber” are useful to your gut. Whole foods tend to have multiple types, but I was wondering about specifics . My understanding is that Type 1 RS is no use to gut bacteria, and it’s the Type 2 and 3 that we really need.

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