Let’s Finally Debate Lectins 4 Realz

Consider not just reflexively getting out your cross, wooden stake, and garlic necklace at its mention.

…I know you’re “paleo,” totally free and all, but set aside your newfound religion for a minute or so.

Got wind of a comment thread on a 2-minute Dave Asprey video. (I like Dave, on a number of levels.)

Some comments:


Except that the latest research says the opposite. It’s called “Nutritional Toxicity”: “Vegetables are indeed healthful but not necessarily because they shield you from oxidative stress. In fact, they may improve health for quite the opposite reason: They stress you. That stress comes courtesy of trace amounts of naturally occurring pesticides and anti-grazing compounds.”

The Bulletproof Executive:

that’s a well written article, thanks for sharing. The Bulletproof Diet still recommends that you consume up to 10 servings of veggies per day, many of which will still provide the potentially beneficial hormetic responses discussed in that article, but without the harmful effects that come with consuming lectins. Lectins have been shown to contribute to leptin resistance, leaky gut syndrome, joint deterioration, AND the top 8 food allergens all contain high amounts of lectins if that’s not enough for you. Your body is bombarded by toxins and chemicals that it must detox and deal with every day from a multitude of sources, and adding in additional sources of inflammation when rates of inflammatory disorders are at an all-time high doesn’t sound like a good recipe for longevity. The Bulletproof Diet is all about making better choices and avoiding foods that sap performance, and it’s more a matter of making the choice between high-lectin foods like legumes, or eating something higher performing such as coconut, veggies, or grass-fed butter.


Right. And that would be really scary if it weren’t for the research that shows that legume lectins are deactivated by heat. Chris Kresser explained in a recent podcast episode:

“It turns out that most lectins, especially the most well-studied ones like wheat germ agglutinin, PHA, which is in legumes, which is phytohaemagglutinin, they are deactivated by heat. These proteins are very sensitive to heat, and they’re destroyed. So people waving their hands in the air like, “Oh my God, these things are really toxic!” and whatnot. And it’s true. They are very toxic. We have the research to show that they are toxic in animals in vitro when they’re fed to animals, but it turns out that they’re feeding raw legumes or pure isolated proteins to these things, not cooked food.” Source:

In another article, Kresser provides the research that shows this:

“In fact, cooking legumes for as little as 15 minutes or pressure-cooking them for 7.5 minutes almost completely inactivates the lectins they contain, leaving no residual lectin activity in properly cooked legumes” Source:

Oh, and lectins are present in carrots, zucchini, melon, grapes, cherries, raspberries, blackberries, garlic and mushrooms ( Not so scary when you see the big picture.

My quirky take:

“Lentils are not bulletproof.”

…If you saw my recent interview on Dave’s show in league with Tim Steele, I actually hit him up on this, of—what is to me—an implicit contradiction.

How are you bulletproof by spending countless energy and effort dodging all bullets?

Perhaps you’re bullet averse, and are very good at dodging them, but there is no PROOF involved, because your mantra is one of aversion, not adaptation: like an animal.

Perhaps I’m making too fine a point of it. I’m Free the Animal, Dave is Bulltproof Exec; but to my mind, I’m trying to get folks to live more wild and carefree, which necessarily involves bullets. There is no bulletproof in the wild. Perhaps it’s just a metaphor. Albeit, a bit ironic for my taste, especially for a blog title.

I said I like Dave on a number of levels and this is true. It’s not because Dave might otherwise get irritated with a post like this and come after me. No, my blog is bulletproof. 🙂

Seriously, Dave is all over the map, as am I. He’s into the hacking which doesn’t interest me. I’m into the evolutionary animal and by doG, honest paths cross now and then and I’ll welcome him to take me to task anytime he likes. And yep, both of us have to pay bills. Dave has products, I have Amazon links and Google delivered ads. …At least neither of of us blank out the blog and make you watch 30 seconds to a minute before you get another look—every 10 minutes.

There’s that.

I’ll close. Here’s by 84 year old father-in law, a retired air traffic controller of 1st generation Mexican descent, fluent in the lengua materna. A bean-eater virtually every day of those 85 years. This was taken about 2 months ago. In nearly 20 years with Bea, I can’t recall a single day I’ve ‘bean’ around when Sam hasn’t had his beans.

IMG 2394
Lectin Munching Sam, at 84. Three daughters; three sons out of the pic (Bea didn’t get the shirt color memo)

…It’s kinda like the PaleoStupidity concerning rice, when there are literally fucking billions of counterexamples, involving some of the greatest longevity on the planet, and good longevity—viable up to the end.

Oh, yea, there’s a wife involved, I blogged about their 60th Anniversary here. She recently turned 80.

Sam and Lucia2
Sam and Lucia at 60 Years of Sweetheart

…I’ve been admonishing Lucia to soak her beans for like 10 years. She scoffs at me. She puts the pintos in a pot, adds water, boils them and they get eaten—for decades.

…To be bulletproof, you need to avoid this.

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


  1. Duck Dodgers on August 5, 2014 at 19:00

    As Tim has pointed out before, the world’s longest-lived “Blue Zone” residents all eat legumes:

    Hard to ignore that.

    • GTR on August 6, 2014 at 12:57

      Did those old people use traditional recipies for bean preparation which include soaking, sprouting and fermenting – that inactivate toxins?
      Like the handvo recipe below:

    • Christoph Dollis on August 7, 2014 at 23:23

      @Duck, @Richard

      This convo I was part of (Paul Jaminet and a few others briefly dropped in) with Stan the Heretic was really important, I thought.

      Stan said:

      “There have to be two optima! The fact is many people can live healthy on the low fat high vegetable and fruit diets (althought not on 100% vegan diets – no native culture are completely vegan!), and also many people can live healthy on the high animal fat high meat and high fish diet.

      “It seems to reflect the two adaptations of hunter-gathers, the nomads. When game and fish were available we ate those and thrived, when it was not we could survive through many bad seasons on the “lean cuisine” of roots and berries. It also explains our curious lack of tolerance towards a diet that is equally high in fat and in carbohydrates, unlike for instance some true omnivorous animals such as pigs. You either had meat or you subsisted on roots veg and fruit but not both. Except if you were an upper class individual or a pharaoh and didn’t have to gather your food yourself (see that mummies’ study). So, our bodies had to adapt either to one or the other, at any given time.

      “I think observational and anegdotal [sic] evidence so far (limited) seems to be pointing towards a strong divide between the high animal fat and the very high carb nutritions.”

      but better to read it in context.

    • GTR on August 8, 2014 at 01:38

      @christopher – “You either had meat or you subsisted on roots veg and fruit but not both. Except if you were an upper class individual or a pharaoh and didn’t have to gather your food yourself”

      The problem in this type of thinking is that modern people are descendants of the rich, rather than of the poor or even average. According to the work of Gregory Clark 90% of English at the eve of the industrial revolution are descendants of 10% of the rich at the early Middle Ages.

      There’s a recurring error in the discussion about the diet of OUR ancestors: people acquire information about the typical diets of average people in the past and conclude that this is what the ancestors of contemporary people ate. Such conclusion is based on assumption that there’s some demographic link between typical people of the past and typical people of today.

      This assumption is broken, as we are not descendants of averages, but we are disproportionally descendant from the rich people of the past. This has been confirment by many pieces of evidence, sometimes fragmentary: like informations about hundreds or even thousands of sons of ancient rulers versus slaves that had below replacement fertility etc. The best (most precise and based on the best evidence) available work concerns middle ages in the UK, and was done by Gregory Clark, the book is named “Farewell to alms”. It shows that 90% of English in the 18th centaury come from just 10% of the richest people at the beginning of the middle ages. He calls it “Survival of the richest” Here’s a short version of this:

      “Survival of the richest” is very meaningful in the context of the ancestral diets, as what we really want is to find out diets of OUR ancestors, not just the diets of the majority of population, that left no descendants living today. It means that when studying the past ways of eating with the goal to find our ancestral diet we have to discard the poorest, and concentrate on upper social classes – as much more likely to be either our ancestors, or behaving as our ancestors (same social class) if not directly related.

      How about Eastern Civilizations – a quote from Matt Ridley – the Red Queen
      “Without exception, that vast accumulation of power was always translated into prodigious sexual productivity. The Babylonian king Hammurabi had thousands of slave “wives” at his command. The Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten procured 317 concubines and “droves” of consorts. The Aztec ruler Montezuma enjoyed 4.000 concubines. The Indian emperor Udayama preserved sixteen thousand consorts
      Measures to enhance the fertility of the harem were common. Wet nurses. who allow women to resume ovulation by cutting short their breast-feeding periods, date from at least the code of Hammurabi in the eighteenth century B.C.; they were sung about in Sumerian lullabies. The Tang Dynasty emperors of China kept careful records of dates of menstruation and conception in the harem so as to be sure to copulate only with the most fertile concubines. Chinese emperors were also taught to conserve their semen so as to keep up their quota of two women a day, and some even complained of their onerous sexual duties. These harems could hardly have been more carefully designed as breeding machines, dedicated to the spread of emperors’ genes.”

      There are some interesting followups from others; eg. about the sorry state of the groups that didn’t participate in the Clark model, but didn’t go extinct, just become a minority, but still kept their high-violence, high-time-preference, inability to do monotonous jobs behavior from hunter-gatherers time.
      “In pre-modern Japanese society, the Burakumin specialized in jobs that required contact with dead flesh, e.g., butchery, leather making, and preparation of corpses for burial. They were and still are socially stigmatized, and marriage with them was forbidden. Because of their endogamy and their reserved occupations, they may have thus escaped the process of demographic replacement that Gregory Clark (2007) described for English society, i.e., they were not gradually replaced by downwardly moving members of the middle class. As such, they might provide a glimpse into the genetic predispositions that characterized the Japanese several centuries ago”

      So basically when we look at oru ancestry backwards in time, from us today, to some hominids in the past, what we see is a chain of individuals who are mostly rich – with some perhaps temporary downward moments, followed by upwards one, who thus didn’t suffer from the starvation, but ate a reasonable diet, with enough calories (although in medieval times rich ate less protein than hunter gatherers, same calories according to G. Clark work) even when the average in the population were starving at the Malthusian limits.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 8, 2014 at 08:56

      Nice work GTR and I know you harped on it before. Time is ripe. Now, with any luck, it’ll be a buzz at AHS14. See top of the blog.

    • Benjamin David Steele on July 30, 2018 at 08:15

      @GTR – “The problem in this type of thinking is that modern people are descendants of the rich, rather than of the poor or even average. According to the work of Gregory Clark 90% of English at the eve of the industrial revolution are descendants of 10% of the rich at the early Middle Ages.”

      The problem is that is almost worthless research. Over recent centuries, people were constantly changing their last names because of social and political pressure, because of a desire to assimilate, or because of changing classes or geographic location. In an immigrant country like the US, in particular, few people have the exact same last name as did their ancestors in the paternal line.

  2. pzo on August 5, 2014 at 19:44

    Every single good food has bad shit within. You can’t escape that fact. Meat has methionine, an amino acid that is not good for you. Methionine restriction gives the same longer life that calorie restriction does. Oh, wait, up your glycine amino acids via bone broth or gelatin, and it’s as good as calorie restriction.

    I no longer sweat the little stuff. Keep it real and you can’t go too far astray.

    • GTR on August 6, 2014 at 12:25

      @pzo – “Meat has methionine, an amino acid that is not good for you.”
      Methionine is an essential amino acid, without it a body can’t do methylation. It’s too much methionine that is harmful – like aging. So it is not analogous too lectins at all, as lectins are not essential or obligatory.

  3. Nick on August 5, 2014 at 19:59

    Scientific consensus: it’s usually right.

    • Dan Linehan on August 6, 2014 at 13:27

      Except about, you know, saturated fats. And cholesterol.

    • LeonRover on August 7, 2014 at 04:33

      Most who invoke the notion of scientific consensus ignore the lack of empirical consensus for the speculation being promoted.

      Instead, they proclaim that future studies will definitely produce the empiricals.

      As Dan says:
      “Except about, you know, saturated fats. And cholesterol.”


  4. Duck Dodgers on August 5, 2014 at 20:19

    Interestingly, hormesis has even been applied to radiation!

    Most people think of any amount of radiation as bad for us. But it turns out there very small aounts of radiation may be better for us then none. This is known as Radiation Hormesis.

    From: Wikipedia: Radiation hormesis

    Radiation hormesis (also called radiation homeostasis) is the hypothesis that low doses of ionizing radiation (within the region of and just above natural background levels) are beneficial, stimulating the activation of repair mechanisms that protect against disease, that are not activated in absence of ionizing radiation. The reserve repair mechanisms are hypothesized to be sufficiently effective when stimulated as to not only cancel the detrimental effects of ionizing radiation but also inhibit disease not related to radiation exposure (see hormesis).[1][2][3][4] This counter-intuitive hypothesis has captured the attention of scientists and public alike in recent years.[5]

    • LeonRover on August 7, 2014 at 06:46

      Stan Heretic posted an interesting post on hormesis by X-radiation – – and therein writes:
      “This is supported by many other sources, studies and statistics, for example, see Figure 3 at .”


    • Duck Dodgers on August 7, 2014 at 11:17

      Good find. Great quote from that link:

      Edward Calabrese, formerly of the USA EPA spent 40 years studying poisons such as DDT, arsenic, PCBs, Dioxins etc. He found that without exception poisons in low dose were beneficial. Animals and plants exposed to low doses of any poison including radiation benefit with better reproduction, larger offspring, resistance to infection and fewer cancers.

      Apparently we weren’t meant to sit around worrying about the naturally occurring toxins in our foods. If anything, it sounds like they probably help us strengthen our bodies.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 7, 2014 at 11:47

      Wow, Duck. I had popped that in my place for later reading.

      Instead, my 5pm whiskey gonna has 3 shots instead of 2. 🙂

    • kayumochi on August 7, 2014 at 12:08

      After 3/11 (Fukushima Nuclear Disaster) Ann Coulter on Bill O’Reilly’s show used Radiation Hormesis as the reason that the Japanese have no worries and that Nuclear Power is good for us 🙂

    • Richard Nikoley on August 7, 2014 at 12:31

      And you always display what a shallow fucktard you are.

      Not ever worth more than that.

    • kayumochi on August 7, 2014 at 12:39

      Why would what Coulter said make *me* a “shallow fucktard”? 🙂

    • kayumochi on August 7, 2014 at 12:41

    • Richard Nikoley on August 7, 2014 at 12:45

      Because you post it in a context dismissal of radioactive hormesis, without qualification.

      Coulter is a fucktard. To use her as an example–when she used it out of context–as a counter to a valid idea is: fucktarded.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 7, 2014 at 12:48

      Asked and answered. Both, unless you qualify when context demands it.

      We don’t give brownie points for effort around here.

    • GTR on August 8, 2014 at 01:54

      @Duck – “He found that without exception poisons in low dose were beneficial. ”

      – But how about longevity? Larger size and such might mean that organisms are desperate and invest all their resources into present, rather than the future. There’s Bruce Ames Triage Theory about such tradeoff – it was in the context of nutritients, vitamins etc. but maybe it’s universal? Eg. low doses of poisons strengthening you now, at the expense of shorter life or worse state in the future?

      Here’s an example with H2S response:

    • Gemma on August 8, 2014 at 02:42

      Maria Curie-Sklodowska isolated her first gram of radium from uraninite, obtained from the ore mine near the Czech town Jachymov. By the way, silver ore was mined there for ages, and the coin minted there, a “thaler” later on gave a name to dollar, see:

      (You are welcome, Americans and the global financial system).

      Back to radium and radioactivity. Madame Curie (and her daughter Irène too) has clearly overdone it with radioactivity during her research, the risks of overdosing were not known at that time.

      And back to the healing effects of radioactivity in a spa town Jachymov:

      “For millions of years, living beings, including people, developed on earth in the environment that produced more or less ionizing radiation at various stages. Organisms thus had time to develop natural physiological reactions that protect their cells against radioactive damage. They are especially regeneration processes. Even people are thus able to react to a certain extent to ionizing radiation by activation of their regeneration processes, and are able to harden in a way towards both radiation and, generally, towards further physical and chemical damage to cells. Jáchymov balneology utilizes this phenomenon when curing movement diseases in a broad sense. Radon, or 222 radon isotope, is chemically inert gas that rises in the Ore Mountains depths and dissolves in underground springs. It is a resource of soft ionizing alpha radiation. During radon bath skin is exposed to a sort of energetic shower of radon alpha-particles, and thus a chain of physiological reactions is initiated. Radon penetration into blood circulation is minor and the biological half-life (working radon off the body) is 20 minutes (i.e. length of a radon bath itself).


      Therapy is the skill at utilizing remedy in optimum quality and quantity. Radon quality is soft alpha radiation; quantity is strength of Jáchymov springs and radon baths dosing proved for centuries. Their remedial extent is 10 to 24 baths with strength of 4,5 – 5,5 kBq, for 20 minutes. The absorbed energy stimulates tissues regeneration and liquidation of harmful oxidative stressors (mostly free radicals from chemicals, from industrially processed products and environment). Creation of hormones, including analgesic, anti-infl ammatory and sex, is increased. All elements of an immune system are activated. These processes are started during the treatment stay and continue as long as about 4 – 6 weeks after the last radon bath. Consequently, in the organism there is a phase of relief of painful and infl ammatory complaints and improvement of function of all movement elements: joints, muscles, ligaments and appropriate vascular and nerves supply. In most cases, relief takes more than half a year, quality of life of chronic patients improves, consumption of painkillers and other medicals decreases.”

    • LeonRover on August 10, 2014 at 13:13

      Indeed, DD.

      When hormesis does work to induce future resistance it provides an example of
      “The Dose maketh the Poison” principle.

      As you observe, there are so many natural occurring toxins that we are going to ingest them –
      but they ain’t a toxin to you or me, but an hormetic, when the dose is low!



  5. Regina on August 5, 2014 at 20:47

    Bea’s parents look wonderful.

    Hey, just read your post on grains, vegetarianism and vegans. Great!!

  6. Heidi on August 6, 2014 at 00:11

    lovely pictures 🙂

    my dad lives on a farm and does almost everything that jack kruse recommends, for no other reason than hating the modern world. if you go there on a winter evening you might find him sitting in the dark with just a candle.

    when it comes to food though he doesnt really care and mostly eats bread and cheese. when i went vegan he refused to accomadate it and popped a tinned meat pie in the oven as usual.

    but then, im not really looking for “peak performance”. any performance at all would be nice.

    i think you’re right here and its not bulletproof to be completely neurotic about food.

  7. Dave Asprey on August 6, 2014 at 01:45

    Hey Richard,
    It’s awesome when people debate stuff that’s interesting, and it’s not personal. Chris Kresser has been on my show, twice! I update recommendations when info changes, and most of all encourage self experimentation.

    That said, I’m still down on lentils. They have a ton of carbs (and I’m not opposed to limited carbs, as you’ll see in the book that comes out at Dec 2nd, as long as you do them right), and they don’t make *most* people feel as good as they do when they avoid them. Are most people SIBO? I don’t think so. Maybe some degree of dysbiosis in a good percentage. Whatever is in lentils, it’s not just FODMAPS as fodmaps do specific things in your gut (if you’re sensitive), but lentils can cause other things – like joint pain in a way normal FODMAPS don’t, in the same way that high lectin foods (nightshades) normally do for those who are sensitive.

    I put them in the “suspect foods” part of the Bulletproof Diet. Avoid them, and see how you do. Get used to feeling awesome, then add them back in. If you still are feling awesome, and you want that many carbs, then do it. It’s my experience that lots of people don’t realize that lentils – while more tolerated than beans – aren’t doing them any favors from a performance perspective.
    You won’t die from lentils…but are they something to eat to be more healthy? I dont think so.

    • LaFrite on August 6, 2014 at 05:13

      Hi Dave,

      Why the focus of carbs, especially from lentils ?? This is beyond me. Care to explain ?

      Avoiding a food because you fear its potential toxins is one thing, but because of its nutrient content is quite another.

  8. Dave Asprey on August 6, 2014 at 01:47

    oh, about hormesis…I am a huge fan of ozone therapy, where hormetic changes in your mitochondria cause mitogenesis and better glutathione and SOD levels. And fasting, and HIIT…

    Pesticide hormesis? bad idea.

    • Amy L.H. on August 6, 2014 at 04:46

      What about iocaine powder?

    • Duck Dodgers on August 6, 2014 at 06:53

      Pesticide hormesis? bad idea

      Dave, I honestly love some of your biohacks (keep up the good work in that department), but it’s hard to believe you could argue that pesticide hormesis is a “bad idea” when it’s beyond obvious that all of the longest-lived “Blue Zones” eat lots of legumes. Every…single…one.


      We also know that every indigenous culture intentionally consumed pesticides with virtually every meal. For instance, we know the Masai consumed toxic Acacia nilotica with every meal (they believed it helped them digest meat better). And the Inuit consumed lots of Labrador Tea which is highly toxic:

      From: Wikipedia:

      Labrador tea has narcotic properties. Evidence suggests that excessive consumption of the plant may cause delirium or poisoning. Toxic terpenes of the essential oils cause symptoms of intoxication, such as slow pulse, lowering of blood pressure, lack of coordination, convulsions, paralysis, and death. It is apparently safe as a weak herbal tea, but should not be made too strong

      Obviously, neither of those would be “Bulletproof”.

      I can certainly see that avoiding toxins may be beneficial for sick people with overburdened detoxification pathways. I get that. But, the published scientific and anthropological research on this subject suggests that you are doing a real disservice to healthy people when you convince them that they should worry about naturally occurring trace pesticides. There’s absolutely no evidence to back that line of thought up.

    • Duck Dodgers on August 6, 2014 at 10:22

      I’ll also add that it’s rather shortsighted to suggest that the plant toxins in Labrador tea and Acacia nilotica sapped the performance of the healthy cultures who consumed them regularly.

      All hunter gatherers typically expended far more energy than most desk-bound Westerners ever do — particularly the Eskimos living in their supremely harsh environment. Anything that sapped their performance would have been an obvious impediment to their survival, and would not have become a long-standing tradition.

      The intense desire for those cultures to regularly consume those plant toxins suggest that they somehow improved their performance — not the other way around.

      Their are countless examples of indigenous cultures engaging in these kinds of toxic practices. In fact, so far I’ve yet to see an indigenous culture that didn’t regularly consume plant toxins with virtually every meal.

    • GTR on August 6, 2014 at 13:57

      @Duck – I’m pretty sure that when Dave says “performance” he means intellectual results. Either visible as better intellectual work results, or measurable by tests like Quantified Mind, or Cambridge Brain Sciences:

      So perhaps you can check yourself with such tests – with beans and bean-clean – and compare performance results?

      When it comes to modern people with good intellectual capacity – the fitness doesn’t even look good:

      When to comes to pre-civilized people: some hunter-gatherer cultures like Australian Aboriginals or Bushmen or Pygmeys can have good physical health, willpower and live energy, but are not known for their intellectual abilities (IQs as low as 50+ to 70) – thus not being a good example of performance in this sense. Inuits and Americas natives have reasonable brainpower – would be better examples if you want to use pre-civilization people as examples.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 6, 2014 at 14:10

      Well this is another of my bugaboos about hacking.

      Performance in what, for what?

      Just for instance and I’m sure others could come up with other examples, I write a far better post with 2-3 drinks down the hatch. I’ve tested this many times. Sometimes the stuff I write stone cold sober is crap but usually,with just enough booze for a buzz, it’s easy to see I’d have never come up with that otherwise.

      Of course, there’s a bell curve. Too much and the editing job becomes quite arduous.

      Like Hemingway said: “write drunk, edit sober.”

    • EF on August 6, 2014 at 14:11

      This is the same performance biohacking nonsense that drove Seth Roberts to consume massive unnatural quantities of oils. Why? So he could do arithmetic a slight fraction faster. Looking at isolated biomarkers without regard to the whole system is dangerous. The human body is not a machine.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 6, 2014 at 14:17

      …On the other hand, while I can have the most amazing insights while stoned on marijuana, I can’t manage to write.

      I’ll sometimes send an email to myself so I don’t forget. In a sober state, it’s about 50/50 it terms of those insights via email being useful and 1-2 of 10 are very worthwhile.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 6, 2014 at 14:20


      What do you mean it’s the same.

      Did Dave die?

      Also, keep in mind that we do not yet know, so far as I know, that his use of flax seed contributed. I believe his mom mentioned there was early death in the family from heart disease so if true, it must also be an hypothesis that his practices extended his life a bit.

    • EF on August 6, 2014 at 14:55

      It’s the same in that he is altering the diet (removing a potentially very beneficial food) in the hopes that it marginally improves some isolated biomarker or some measure of “performance.” I think it’s dangerous and we don’t have a clue as to the consequences. Substantially altering the diet (whether by adding or subtracting whole classes of food) seems silly at a minimum and potentially dangerous. I recall a prominent blogger in this area mentioning this recently in regard to Seth. I need to go back any re-listen so I don’t misrepresent the podcast guest.

    • Duck Dodgers on August 6, 2014 at 16:00

      @GTR, I think you’re conflating Dave’s “performance” with “not having brain fog”. Dave gets brain fog if he eats anything with toxins. That’s not normal by any means. He brags that he “upgraded” his brain by 12 IQ points with his “Bulletproof” techniques, but it’s really not all that impressive when you’re starting with brain fog. It just means he cured his brain fog (at least until he eats toxins again).

      As someone who up until last year spent their entire adult life with brain fog, I can attest to the fact that curing brain fog will make you feel like you got a significant brain “upgrade”. But, curing brain fog doesn’t make someone a genius. It just makes them have a normal brain.

      For me, my mental clarity improves whenever I eat RS-rich foods or pure RS. That’s me. For Dave, he needs ketosis to improve his mental clarity. MCT oil gave me lots of brain fog last year (I suppose my past eukaryotic pathogen, which is now a distant memory, probably liked ketones). Everyone is different. We all have different bugs. But, I wouldn’t stand up and make an unsubstantiated video telling everyone that ketosis causes brain fog simply because my n=1 says so. That would be foolish.

      Similarly, these individual quantified brain hacks are pretty much bullshit since we are generally dealing with sick people who are trying to overcome their own brain fog.

    • Duck Dodgers on August 6, 2014 at 16:07

      …And I could honestly care less if ketosis is known to improve mental clarity in most normal healthy people. From an evolutionary standpoint, all that tells us is that when you’re starving, the brain and heart performance are prioritized and their performance is sharpened (perhaps at the expense of other organs) to improve the chances of obtaining food.

      As Richard once pointed out, cutting off your finger will greatly improve your mental clarity, but I wouldn’t recommend doing it that often.

      This quest for the perfect “upgraded” brain is probably mired in confusion of the mechanisms that were essential to our survival as a species.

    • EF on August 7, 2014 at 06:41

      Here is a portion of a transcript of a recent interview between Wendy Myers and Paul Jaminet concerning biohacking and its potential pitfalls.

      Wendy Myers: And doesn’t that clog it up? Doesn’t actually too much fat slow your metabolism and clog it all over because it’s having to process so much fat?

      Dr. Paul Jaminet: Well, the biggest problem is – what your body does is it ramps up energy production in mitochondria. They try to get rid of the oil and the fat. And in that situation with an excess of energy and an excess of oil around – the mitochondria, it’s sort of a 2-way process. You’re going to put fats in on one end and you get ATP out through the other.

      But once you’ve burned a lot of fats and you filled yourselves up with ATP more than they need, then it creates a kind of back pressure in the mitochondria and it leads the mitochondria to produce reactive oxygen species. That’s kind of a signal, “Don’t give us any more energy.”

      But if you’re eating an excess of fat, then your body is also driving things from the other end saying, “Mitochondria, destroy more energy for us. We’ve got extra fat that we need hanging around.”

      And so what ends up happening is that the muscle tissue, which is the main place you dispose of excess energy is producing a lot of reactive oxygen species. That can lead to health problems especially if you’re deficient in antioxidants.

      The place it will show up first is the heart often because the heart is a muscle, a muscle is full of mitochondria and so it’s generating lots of reactive oxygen species. The heart can really get damaged.

      I rather suspect that maybe what happens when you have too few antioxidants and too much reactive oxygen species, you injure the neighboring cells. And in the heart, you get cardiomegaly, you get injured heart tissue, the heart overgrows in order to make up for the lost function. And then, you’re likely to have a heart attack.

      That’s actually what Seth Roberts recently died of. I think part of it was he was eating this very high fat diet. He’d supplement with flax seed oil and butter. So he was eating a large amount of supplemental fat per day because he found it improves our biomarkers he was looking at, which were related to brain and neurological function.
      And the brain and the nerves, they’re very fat-rich. So if you had a fat-rich diet, you can see improvements in your brain and neurological problems, but you can also see problems because of the reactive oxygen species being produced in muscles.

      Wendy Myers: Yeah, that’s the problem I have with a lot of medical testing or people that are kind of bio-hacking is that they’re looking at other markers and ignoring some. There’s a lot of things you can’t test. There has to be a balance. You can’t have too much of any nutrient.

      Dr. Paul Jaminet: Yes. So that’s a fundamental problem with biohacking. People can’t wait and see, “Oh, it’s this going to kill me younger or older? You can’t do 10,000-person trials the last 70 years in order to get an answer on which approach is going to make people live the longest.

      So instead, people picked little biomarkers and they say, “Oh, if this biomarker changes this way, it’s improving my health.” But biology is really complex. There’s no one biomarker that just predicts how long you’re going to live. If you make this biomarker become this number, then you’re going to live another 50 years. That’s not how it works.
      So you can “improve” a biomarker, but you’re actually harming – you may improving one aspect of your health, but you’re harming another aspect and you’re going to be sharpening your life span and not realize it.

      In medicine, they talk about, “Don’t treat the numbers, treat the patient” in trying to have the clinician have a holistic mindset. You need the same kind of holistic mindset.

    • Lomax Zoltor on August 7, 2014 at 11:32

      I think that’s inconceivable.

    • Benjamin David Steele on July 30, 2018 at 08:26

      @Duck Dodgers – “I can certainly see that avoiding toxins may be beneficial for sick people with overburdened detoxification pathways.”

      That very well might true for the vast majority of modern Westerners or anyone else in heavily industrialized countries.

  9. Amy L.H. on August 6, 2014 at 04:45

    Richard, I was beginning to suffer from some serious crippling food paranoia at one point. Can’t eat an apple, or some strawberries, too many carbs. Can’t eat those homemade baked beans with bacon, legumes will make me sick. No more yogurt, dairy is evil.

    Sighs all around. I had to get a handle on it. I was feeling like crap eating all that meat, if you can believe it, and wanted to lighten up my diet. I was unhappy not eating French lentils and chard, baked beans, corn tortillas, rice with my stir fries. And then you read some popular paleo blogs and look at the instagrams of the paleo bloggers and it’s all “not perfect paleo” being hash-tagged up and down. I gave up. I just eat. It’s food, I want it to taste great and satisfy me, not have me fretting over a bite of fruit from my child’s hands.

    I do know that I can’t handle bread, it just drives me to eat and eat and eat until I can’t hold anymore food, and then I want to eat more bread. I don’t know which story about wheat is true: opiate like compounds, carb craving, glyphosate poisoning, or gluten intolerance, but it just does me no favors. Also found out I have a nut allergy.

    So I don’t eat wheat, don’t eat nuts, and don’t eat sugar. Other than that, anything goes. My standard breakfast? Homemade raw-milk yogurt with a bit of honey and a scrambled egg. Keeps me going until lunchtime, when I have lentil dal with rice or some chicken on a green salad. Sometimes I’m not even hungry for dinner. Depends on my workouts.

    I’ve ignored all advice by my personal trainer to eat little other than egg whites and lean chicken breast and broccoli. I suppose it’s a way to eat, but what is it with fitness freaks and their irrational fear of food that tastes good? Like, is cumin or some chili powder going to make your muscles atrophy into dust because you got tired of broiled plain chicken? Is some tarragon and parsley going to drive you to overeat until all of your hard-lost body fat returns overnight? He’s right, I could probably see faster weight loss if I ate nothing but shriveled chicken and fat-free egg whites all day but life is short, ken?

    Sorry, I’m rambling now not enough coffee yet. Can I also say, though, that beans and potatoes and rice are cheap and easy to feed to your picky kids who otherwise don’t want to give up quesadillas or PB&J sammies just to satisfy mommy’s food neuroses? 🙂 My kids are so happy to eat regular meals with me again and not my special diet food. Yeah, paleorthorexia was really getting in the way of my family’s life for a bit there. Not in a detrimental way, but I could tell my older daughter was a bit fed up with me being so nervous about food.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 6, 2014 at 09:02

      I’m with you, Amy.

      We just moved and I’m not down with shopping and cooking with so much to do, so I’ve been going to this little taqueria hole in the wall I can walk to.

      Beans, rice, some kinda meat like carne asada, chili verde, carnitas, a corn tortilla—fresh salsa maybe a little guac now & then… I feel great on this stuff and so long as I keep always away from the flour tortillas, all is always fine and my eating quantities well regulated.

      Add in tortilla chips and/or flour tortillas and the whole thing goes to hell for me.

    • Cathy on August 6, 2014 at 10:15

      Amy, I agree with you. It is too easy to let this food thing ruin your life and the peace of one’s home.
      Richard, that taqueria sounds fantastic. I would eat that food, too. Your in laws are a great looking couple. Very trim and youthful looking. I guess that eating beans/rice must be the fountain of youth! Besides, look at Sam’s hair!!! I can’t even see that the hairline as a bit of receding there. I guess he never ate VLC.

    • LaFrite on August 6, 2014 at 13:46

      Hey Amy,

      Poor former you! So much inhibition due to a fantasy diet advertized by nutritional self-proclaimed gurus!

      You’re back to the “well livings” (bon vivants in French – I am French). Enjoy it because that is one of the few things in life to be genuinely enjoyed while it lasts 🙂

      Richard, if there is an expression you should know and like, it is that one: bon vivant!
      Foods of all kinds should turn every one into a bon vivant!
      Crap foods as much as strict (orthorexic) diets turn people into “mort-vivants” (living dead).

      Tonight I made a quick stew with beef heart chunks, tons of onions, garlic, carrots, leeks, and I prepared some oven baked potatoes which are nicely cooling down in my fridge. I will add them tomorrow in the stew 🙂

      I saved two pieces of heart in the form of steaks which I fried in butter. My 4.5 y.o. son devoured his with some reheated chickpeas, extra raw cuts of veggies, and I prepared one of his fav desserts: a fromage frais with inulin, hydrolised grass-fed gelatin, raw honey, and blue berries (and vit D drops in coconut oil) 🙂

      Well, he actually managed to sneak in a rice cake topped with dark chocolate …

      No bread, no pasta, no weirdo shit pseudo-foods.

    • LeonRover on August 7, 2014 at 06:27

      Bon vivant – hmmm;

      is it synonymous with bon gourmet or bon gourmand ? 🙂


  10. james on August 6, 2014 at 05:13

    Dave. You are the absolute pinnacle of mastering snake oil in the paleo sphere. The paleo blogosphere is obviously a prime target but you are at the cutting edge of exploiting it.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 6, 2014 at 08:53

      How about lighten up, James? Coffee, his flagship product, isn’t snake oil (neither is MCT oil). And I’ve had it several times, even won a pound during one of Dave’s presentations.

      Personally, I prefer my dark Italian or Frenchg roasts, but to each his own.

    • EF on August 6, 2014 at 10:32

      People need to hear some of BulletMan’s criticisms so they can judge for themselves.

      Notice the shameless plug of his book and when it is coming out? Also, he’s driving this paranoia that is freaking people out (like Amy LH above) with his mycotoxins and lectins and crap. Every time he says I spent X hacking my body he means “trust me, I know more than you, you need to buy this from me.” Oh, and this biohacking schtick, it can be fatal as we have recently seen.

      How is it different than big company X stating it spends millions on research so you buy the latest crappy breakfast bar.

      He’s creating an anxiety and then peddling shit to cure it. Classic marketing.

      Also, take off the stupid Matrix sunglasses.

    • EF on August 6, 2014 at 10:34

      For clarity, the Matrix crack was directed at Dave in his video warning people against real food.

    • Duck Dodgers on August 6, 2014 at 11:05

      Well, as shameless as some of the plugs are, I think Dave’s entitled to run his business. This is America after all.

      Personally I would have highlighted the irony of someone looking rather tired and completely sapped of energy in their video about optimizing energy and performance. 🙂

      Jack LaLanne — who loved to eat legumes on a regular basis, mind you — was far more peppy on screen.

    • EF on August 6, 2014 at 11:17

      Maybe the sunglasses are hiding the tired eyes.

      He’s absolutely entitled to run his business and I’m equally entitled to voice my criticisms.

      I guess what bothers me most and fuels my criticism is his “look at me” vibe that I get from interviews. Is it me?

    • Sasy squatch on August 6, 2014 at 12:18

      Over priced and over hyped. I agree, everybody has a right to make a living, but hawking your products every 4 minutes during a podcast (his or others) is beyond annoying. Or hey, did you know Dave spent $300,000.00 bio hacking himself?? STFU!!!!

    • Duck Dodgers on August 6, 2014 at 12:27

      I don’t get that vibe.

      When he says he spent $300,000 hacking himself, what he’s saying is that he basically had $300,000 worth of health issues that needed fixing. In other words, he had a lot of bills to pay. In exchange for some knowledge, others are paying those bill. And I suppose it’s rather impressive to turn that kind of massive debt and knowledge into a profitable business.

      I think the problem is when one projects their own unique recipe for partial recovery upon the general population and tries to convince everyone that they need to fear real foods that most people should probably be eating more of. Even if the intentions are good, that’s just not helpful for healthy individuals.

      The worst offense, in my mind, comes from many so-called “experts” that Dave has relied on in the past. Many of those authors were rather careless with their research and came to incomplete or incorrect conclusions. Perhaps it’s forgivable, in that much of the groundwork for their work came before so much of the research became accessible on the Internet. But, it’s no longer forgivable when they continue to peddle misinformation that is easily debunked by accessible research.

      For instance, it’s easy to see that much of the old-school “Paleo” dogma does not match up with the latest anthropological or scientific research. C4 grasses and tubers (like tiger nuts, USOs), prebiotics, plant toxins… So much of what we know has even changed tremendously just in the past few months — despite the fact that much of the research has been available (though hardly accessible) for decades. Most of the well-known Paleo authors are still operating on data from the 1990s and early 2000s. To admit their errors would require recanting much of their work.

      But, I have to commend Dave for at least having an open mind on a number of topics. Unlike some of his colleagues, he’s at least open to debating the science a bit, and I think that’s commendable.

      I sort of just wish he was a bit more open-minded about it. Saying that people he hears that “*most*” people get tummy aches from beans isn’t evidence of anything significant.

      In my own experience, my stomach didn’t feel that great after finally reintroducing beans for the first time in years. But, the feeling went away after a few attempts and they made me feel great. Reminds me of something I read about the Inuit awhile back:

      From: Traditional Plant Foods of Canadian Indigenous Peoples By Harriet V. Kuhnlein, et al.

      Much has yet to be learned of the digestibility of algae. Apparently due to their complex carbohydrates, or polysaccharides, they can be difficult to digest… However, Madlener (1977) claims the digestibility of “sea vegetables” can be enhanced through conditioning of the digestive tract by successive consumption of seaweeds over a period of about a week. This is borne out by one report on Inuit use: “The Angmagssalik Eskimos state that they get stomach pains from eating large quantities of seaweed after a long period without it. But after a few days’ training they can again eat it without stomach pain (Eidlitz, 1969).”

      Well, that sounds familiar.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 6, 2014 at 13:28

      Oh yea, happens to me every time I go without eating sushi, bowl of misso, seaweed salad, and of course a couple of my fav sushi are wrapped in Nori, like Ikura (salmon roe). About an hour after, stomach in knots for a few hours. But, if I eat it regularly, diminishes each time and after the 4th outing in a short span, no prob.

  11. Colleen on August 6, 2014 at 05:39

    We soak and cook in crockpot our beans. Something about that process makes them a snap to digest compared with what you buy in a can.

  12. Gina on August 6, 2014 at 10:01

    I think eating a bowl of beans is an accurate and cheap test for how healthy your gut is. I always bring a bean dish to potlucks, and I noticed long ago that obese and unhealthy people often comment that they just can’t tolerate them.

  13. GTR on August 6, 2014 at 12:05
    • elmo on August 6, 2014 at 18:16

      a few interesting quotes from the NYT article:

      “Nearly all the polluted wells in the U.S. seem less of a hazard than chlorinated tap water.”

      “You’d think that exercise would be bad, since it raises the metabolic rate, uses oxygen and increases the production of free radicals,” Dr. Ames continued. “But as you become adapted to exercise, the body’s antioxidant defenses go up and the risk of heart disease goes down, so there’s a net benefit.”

  14. Bret on August 6, 2014 at 12:08

    I’m trying to get folks to live more wild and carefree, which necessarily involves bullets. There is no bulletproof in the wild.

    An important distinction to make. And a refreshing one. Half the time I think some of these food purists out there in the blogosphere don’t realize that they are going to die one day.

    Perhaps a person devoting an obsessive, enormous proportion of his life to merely extending his life is missing out on life.

  15. Michael on August 6, 2014 at 13:15

    I’ve learned lots of great things from both Richard & Dave, along with many other bloggers. I’m not sure why there is so much hate towards bloggers who are their own person, and have their own personal characteristics & opinions. It’s almost like people are jealous (haters) of bloggers, and want them to be just like all the cubicle workers, all doing the same thing in a robotic way without creative thought or personalities shining through. Plugging product is one of the most powerful ways a company gets exposure, Don’t hate on Dave just b/c he utilizes strategies that billion dollar companies use on a daily basis.

    Dave how dare you! How dare you have the mental & financial fortitude to create & sell products you believe in, as a way to make capitol while being your own boss & doing what you love, in a society where that is the dream of many, yet only experienced by a few. How dare You succeed. 🙂

    • Richard Nikoley on August 6, 2014 at 13:30

      Thank you Michael.

      And let’s not forget Dave had the courage to pop in here and defend himself. Quite rare.

    • EF on August 6, 2014 at 13:58

      My money says he popped in so he could drop a plug for his book. I know he’s a friend and all…
      No gurus.

    • Michael on August 6, 2014 at 15:07

      Funny thing is both both you guys are right. Dave had the courage to reply which acknowledges he was reading the hate, which shows maturity. Likewise, like a true capitalistic paleoish (or any diet for that matter) entrepreneur, he plugged his book.

      Anybody who treats Dave as a Guru, needs to get their mind checked. He’s just regular guy who’s put lots of time/effort/money into forming ideas some people find interesting, and wants to make a job (aka financial gain) out of it.
      If someones takes on ideas that are an exact copy of another human, then they are in dire need of reading say Krisnamurti’s Life Ahead, or any other writer interested in creating internal questioning. No Gurus indeed.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 6, 2014 at 17:36


      How does Krisnamurti make a living? What values does he trade?

      Or, does he go out and hunt and forage?

    • elmo on August 6, 2014 at 18:03

      eh, you’re entitled to defend yourself form criticism but i thought plugging the book was rude.

    • LeonRover on August 7, 2014 at 06:31

      “viscous post vicious” ?? :))

  16. Sasy squatch on August 6, 2014 at 13:47

    Yeah, don’t any of us dare question the Dave and his ways. Podcast buddies have our full support.

  17. LaFrite on August 6, 2014 at 14:03

    Richard, come on, you pushed the guy in your arena, where all sorts of animals are freely roaming already 😉

    If I have to give an opinion, it can only be about the message and business of Dave Asprey (for I don’t him personally).

    I don’t get any of the bulletproof stuff, it is beyond me. Biohacking ?? what is that ? it means bollocks to me. Either you enjoy what you eat and don’t feel shitty later on, or you don’t enjoy the food and there is no reason to eat then.
    What’s there to “biohack” ? add more of this, less of that and you’ll become an über-human ?? nonsense. To be healthy, the recipe is rather easy. But to apply the latter can more or less hurt depending on your starting point. But without hurt and frictions, you can’t proof yourself from the hurt. The avoidance of perfectly good foods makes no sense, unless all you want is to avoid the hurt that can come along the recovery to a healthy state.

  18. Heidi on August 6, 2014 at 17:16

    “Dave how dare you! How dare you have the mental & financial fortitude to create & sell products you believe in, as a way to make capitol while being your own boss & doing what you love, in a society where that is the dream of many, yet only experienced by a few. How dare You succeed. :)”


    i admire dave asprey. i think his products look great. he’s clearly an enterprising bloke. i dont really want to be spammed with it all until the end of time, so i tend to avoid his site. but i can definately see the appeal.

    its just that none of it is really aimed at someone like me. its all out of my price range, and id be daft to focus on “peak perfomance” over say, making a normal dinner every night.

    but at least he doesnt pretend that its vital that you buy everything he’s selling otherwise you are doomed.

  19. Duck Dodgers on August 6, 2014 at 20:48

    Funny… Phytic acid is believed to offer benefits for brain performance. You’d think that would be right up Dave’s alley.

    As ridiculous as it might sound, the Grain Foods Foundation lobbyists set up the website “,” which says:

    From Phytic Acid in Whole Grains: Anti-Nutrient or Anti-Alzheimer’s Agent? by Gene Bowman, ND, MPH

    “However, despite previous negative associations, it is believed [phytic acid] could actually offer health benefits, including a possible role in the prevention of heart disease and cancer and acting as an anti-inflammatory agent. Likewise, it may even act as a helper to fiber and be key for conveying its benefits to the body {Shamsuddin, 1998 #51}. And more recent research (conducted in animals) indicates phytic acid consumption increases the levels of phytic acid found in the brain (both in its broken down and unmetabolized forms) {Grases, 2001 #34; Grases, 2002 #35}; this may explain other research that’s shown phytic acid can reduce toxic plaques in the brain when someone has Alzheimer’s disease {Anekonda, 2011 #1}. While the mechanism of action is unclear, phytic acid may be a key nutrient for supporting brain health.”

    Obviously I was suspect of that site, but found that Dr. Emily Deans dissected some of the compelling scientific literature on phytic acid for brain performance back in 2011.

    You gotta love this quote from the Anekonda (2011) paper:

    From: Phytic acid as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s pathology: evidence from animal and in vitro models by Anekonda, et al.

    Although PA is often described as a metal chelator, growing literature indicates that PA influences multiple processes, including antioxidant functions, anti-apoptotic effects, clathrin-coated endocytosis, DNA repair, and mRNA export from the nucleus. Phytic acid also lowers serum cholesterol and triglycerides. These studies suggest that PA possesses much broader functions than simply the originally-presumed metal binding properties

    What a fun non-debate this has been so far!

  20. Duck Dodgers on August 7, 2014 at 06:26

    For those interested in learning more about how harmless cooked lectins are, Dr. Ayers had a terrific post explaining the science:

    Lectins – Heat’em and Eat’em

    From: Lectins – Heat’em and Eat’em

    Lectins are proteins common in seeds. They bind to sugars attached in chains to proteins, i.e. glycoproteins, and are displayed on the surfaces of cells that line the gut. Lectins could inhibit digestion of raw beans, but cooking makes them digestible.

    Fear of lectins is puzzling…

    He goes on to explain the science and allays unwarranted fears. Dave should read it.

  21. kayumochi on August 7, 2014 at 12:10

    Met a 90-year old man in Japan once with a cigarette in one hand and a glass of whisky in the other who was in perfect health and had never given a single thought to what he put in his mouth. His son had died recently of pancreatic cancer and had been health conscious (at least compared to his father). Go figure.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 7, 2014 at 12:32

      Don’t disappoint me.

    • Duck Dodgers on August 7, 2014 at 12:32

      Many indigenous cultures smoked pipes, particularly during ceremonies.

      Interestingly, Japanese smokers have much lower incidence of lung cancer than North American smokers.

      See: The Japanese smoking paradox

      Sounds like the cigarettes are better over there.

    • kayumochi on August 7, 2014 at 12:36

      Have often wondered about that “paradox” Duck.

    • kayumochi on August 7, 2014 at 12:42


    • Richard Nikoley on August 7, 2014 at 12:42

      I had my fair share of Japanese ciggies from’84-87. I think they have less additives.

      My bro and I smoke ciggies when we go camping, around the campfire. Two controlled fires. 🙂

      (Side note: prevalent in Ayn Rand’s fiction is the cig as a metaphor for man’s harnessing of fire on a very micro level).

      Anyway, we only ever touch American Spirits, tobacco & non additive paper only. Nothing else.

      Kinda like a cigar, only way more inhale able .

    • Bret on August 8, 2014 at 08:20

      Found this clip from the Japanese smoker article interesting:

      The real question is why the risk of smokers getting lung cancer is ten times greater in North America and Western Europe than it is in Japan.

      And, the answer may be that in North America the real risk associated with smoking and lung cancer has been grossly exaggerated. Maybe the relative risk of smoking in the US has been inflated to such incredible numbers by simply ignoring or deliberately underestimating the effect of the dozens of other risk factors associated with lung cancer, including alcohol consumption and diet.

      Perhaps the real difference is not the cigarettes themselves (though with such a ridiculously over regulated market lacking any prospect of innovation in the US, they are almost surely part of the problem), but the relatively vast consumption of industrially processed foods in one nation vs many more traditional foods in the other. The Perfect Health Diet book’s interesting sections about how excess abundances of omega-6 PUFAs and fructose diminish the body’s ability to dispose of toxins come to mind.

    • LeonRover on August 8, 2014 at 09:12


      For 50 years as a recovered cigarette inhaler, I non-inhaled cigars twice a year.

      In October last I took up e-cigs, imagining that nicotine vaping would only be recreational.
      Four weeks ago I stopped these as the hacking coughs at dawn became toooo much & disturbed my genteel intake of home-espressed Doppio.

      C’est la vie.
      Thus back to my two Romeo y at Hogmanay & Beltane.

      My favourite spirit is BushMills’ Black Bush whiskey, followed by Calvados. On special occasions I sip a 180 proof non-bootleg Poitín.

      Sláinte mhaith ó


    • Richard Nikoley on August 8, 2014 at 09:14

      Yep, Bret.

      The shtick has been that the association is so profound that we’re comfortable ignoring actual causation.

      And of course, American ciggies have so many chemical additives that the confounding is confounding.

      But how about cigar smokers? Typically, they don’t inhale, but what about mouth and throat cancer compared with averages. Since I was a longtime Copenhagen between cheek and gum dipper, I looked into it and found that mouth cancer is twice the rate of general, but half that as for smokers and lung risk is the same. Prior to vaping, chewing or dipping was the most effective way of getting off smokes.

      But America is a very religious country and they love denouncing sin even if less sinful. So, no encouragement and quite to the contrary.

      Of course, since the whole tobacco lawsuit was basically a Mafia shakedown under the color or legal proceedings, don’t expect any honesty or reasonable distinctions anytime soon.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 8, 2014 at 10:31


      When I’m not fantasizing about various international fairies d’un certain gender, I might occasionally think about what it might be like to get drunk with you, fighting over which music is blaring!

    • LeonRover on August 8, 2014 at 12:25

      Blare this; it’s a laff: –

    • Richard Nikoley on August 8, 2014 at 13:23

      Ha, Leon.

      First, it’s just laf. You can laf. Just laf. No need to laff.

      That was delightful on so many levels.

      I’ve seen it before but enjoyed seeing it again. In the 70s, I never understood Tom Jones and his allure even a little.

      But this explains it. He can stand up to Pavarotti, even though latter is just doing light work.

      There’s usually not a lot of mystery to success if you look deep enough.

    • LeonRover on August 8, 2014 at 14:11

      See, Rich, boyo, I’m spellin’ laugh in Cymric – Welsh to ewe.

      In Cymric laf is pronounced as English “lav”, short for lavatory, while Cymric laff is NicoLish “laf”. :)) :))

    • Richard Nikoley on August 8, 2014 at 14:17

      Well, as long an an ewe is involved.

  22. Deidre on August 7, 2014 at 13:13

    If I remember correctly, some years ago (10?) the World Health Organization did a study on the effects of 2nd hand smoke. The results indicated no harm and in fact some benefit. Heads began exploding. I remember all kinds of tsk, tsking that it couldn’t be correct and the report shouldn’t be released. I remember thinking… imagine what else they don’t think we should know.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 7, 2014 at 13:50

      That’s probably when the government and public was in the midst of looting $10 billion or so from people who choose to smoke, via the tobacco companies.

      Of course, it’s always couched in those terms, but just as profitable corporations don’t pay a dime in taxes, then never pay a dime in lawsuit settlement or judgment. Their customers do.

      Just another day in the cannibal pot hysteria of America.

  23. Christoph Dollis on August 7, 2014 at 23:42

    Well, I’m tired of losing weight on low-carb, gaining it back again, eating junk for ages, and then going to pot.

    In large part due to FreeTheAnimal’s opening my mind (including introducing me to Dr. Michael Greger, I’m going to try something else as an experiment.

    Starting today, I’m going near-vegan. Quasi-vegan. Vegan-lite. Vegan-ish:

    • for a strength-training workout, an hour to immediately before, take caffeine: 400 mg if habituated or 200 mg if unhabituated
    • vitamin D3 aka cholecalciferol: two 1,000 IU if, yesterday or today, haven’t had a large area of bare, non-sunscreened skin exposed to relatively high-intensity sunlight
    • vitamin B12 aka cobalamin: 250 mcg
    • highly anti-inflammatory spice [i.e., clove or turmeric]
    • energising adaptogen
    • mild adaptogen
    • calming adaptogen
    • alpha-lipoic acid: 100 mg
    • Trace Mineral by ConcenTrace: tablet or fifteen drops
    • probiotic
    • fat: ~1 g ˜ a quarter teaspoon ˜ 1.25 mL [e.g., ocean fish oil]
    • non-soy protein powder: a coffee measure ˜ 30 mL stirred in a half cup ˜ 120 mL of water
    • starch-based prebiotic: a tablespoon ˜ 15 mL stirred in a quarter cup ˜ 60 mL of water
    • vegetable powder: a half tablespoon ˜ 7.5 mL stirred in an eighth of a cup ˜ 30 mL of water
    • fruit powder: a teaspoon ˜ 5 mL stirred in a twelth of a cup ˜ 20 mL of water
    • micronised creatine monohydrate: a half teaspoon ˜ 2.5 mL stirred in a twentyfourth of a cup ˜ 10 mL of water

    Drink nutritiously
    • low Calorie (otherwise it’s food): coffee, cocoa, maccha, tea, vegetable broth, carob, tisane, or water—with or without spice, electrolyte, or, except within an hour of probiotic or half an hour before brushing teeth, acid seasoning [e.g., lime, lemon, vinegar, carbonation]

    Fast, or eat nourishingly
    • whole day or between meals, which may be spaced well apart, and when nourishing food is unavailable
    aggregately plant based, high fibre, high carb, low fat, unpurified: mostly low-fat legumes, grains, low-fat vegetables, low-fat fruit, fungi, or algae; occasionally seeds, nuts, high-fat legumes, high-fat vegetables, high-fat fruits, or alcohol; and rarely animal products, added fats, or isolated soy proteins—with or without spice, electrolyte, or, except within an hour of probiotic or half an hour before brushing teeth, acid seasoning

    Well that’s a major change. Basically it’s the opposite of what I’ve believed for decades. I’m curious how it’ll go.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 8, 2014 at 07:30


      Let us know how it goes. My idea is to try something along Asian lines but instead of lots of rice with small meat/fish protein portions (and fermented veggies and seaweed), to use rice, potatoes and legumes as starch substrates.

      And in terms of beverage, I’m very curious to try water only, and I mean ONLY, for a time, not even whiskey flavored. 🙂

    • Richard Nikoley on August 8, 2014 at 07:31

      ….oh, and probably about double the proteins shoot for about 20%. Asian diets are probably sometimes too low in animal protein. Just a guess.

    • EF on August 8, 2014 at 08:40

      Sounds complicated.
      Eat food. Mostly plants. Not a lot.
      Seven powerful words. Michael Pollan, of course.

    • LeonRover on August 8, 2014 at 08:52

      Pollan has his proportions wrong.

      Léon’s words:
      “Eat food. Half plants. Not a lot.”
      Just Kitavan, with much more animal as well as . fish.
      Sláinte as DubhLinn

    • Richard Nikoley on August 8, 2014 at 10:10


      I’m thinking Leon actually thought about it more than you. After all, you quoted, he wrote.


    • EF on August 8, 2014 at 10:29

      More words = more thoughts?

      I disagree and don’t follow your logic.

      It takes longer to write a short letter than a long one.


    • Richard Nikoley on August 8, 2014 at 10:57

      Seriously, you’re going to quibble over 16 words vs. 28.

      Dismissed. I don’t deal with Fucktards.

    • EF on August 8, 2014 at 11:17

      Now I’m hurt. I thought you were referring to Christoph, not Leon.

      Anyway, the point is it should not be this difficult to figure out what to eat to be healthy. Looking at nutrients is wrong. Eat the food.

      Still dismissed?

    • LeonRover on August 8, 2014 at 12:14

      “Eat the food.” Yes.

      Before eating: “Cook the food.”
      Before cooking: “Buy fresh in the market.”


    • Christoph Dollis on August 8, 2014 at 13:52

      OK, I’ll double the protein supplement to a 4 ounce scoop, and eat a modicum of animal protein on occasion, but not buy it for home use. So I’ll have it when at a friend’s once in a while, or maybe at a restaurant if nothing else reasonable is available.

      As for beverages, I like the idea of having lots of dissolved plant bits (tea, herbal tea, lemon, lime, etc.) in it for additional nutrition and taste.

      But I do drink water too. This month I bought a water filter for the tap and this filtered Bobble water bottle, which is pretty awesome. Am drinking a lot more water now as it tastes better and is convenient.

      For my home filter, I just attached an Instapure filter to the tap. In each case, the reviews were better for these brands than the Britta equivalents. Instapure has a few filtration options, but I just got the basic one to get rid of chlorine and some sediment. The water here on Vancouver Island is pretty good already.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 8, 2014 at 14:03

      My water only idea stems from wondering how my tastes change if I have no flavor in non-caloric beverage.

    • Christoph Dollis on August 8, 2014 at 14:19

      Oh, and beans and other pulses for more protein than most Asians get.

      Your posts on beans including this one, Chris Kresser’s talks on them, but especially Michael Greger’s videos:

      ‘Preventing Prediabetes By Eating More [Pulses]’

      More Michael Greger videos on beans and other pulses

      … have convinced me to include a lot of these. They just seem really good for you, and they worked out for your wife’s dad and mom clearly.

      They also have more protein than grains, a lower glycemic index, a fair amount of prebiotics, etc., and they’re inexpensive and taste good, and seem more filling (probably because of the protein). Even when I eat a grain dish, which will be often, I plan on often throwing in some pulses.

      This plus the 20 g of protein/day from the supplements should meet my basic protein needs, I feel, with the odd serving of animal products thrown in for B-12.

      I’m supplementing B-12 just in case I get it in me to go full vegan, but I don’t like the idea that a diet should require supplements for survival, so don’t intend on getting rid of animal products entirely forever.

      Although for ethical reasons … well, maybe I’ll consider it one day. By reducing animal usage, I suppose I’m reducing any related harm, which is a start.

    • Christoph Dollis on August 8, 2014 at 14:23

      “My water only idea stems from wondering how my tastes change if I have no flavor in non-caloric beverage.”

      Ah, good idea. An hour ago, I was listening to this about water fasting resetting people’s tastes for a dietary change faster: Alan Goldhamer – Escaping the Dietary Pleasure Trap 2006. What you’re talking about sounds along the same lines, minus the extended fasting (although I think his True North Health Center mostly does week-long or 6-day water fasts, which aren’t super extended).

    • Christoph Dollis on August 8, 2014 at 14:26

      “Sounds complicated.
      “Eat food. Mostly plants. Not a lot.
      “Seven powerful words. Michael Pollan, of course.”

      That’s actually the beginning to my notes for my new plan. I started it with that last night.

      However, I broke it down further by type of plant or other food so I know what to emphasise and what to have only occasionally. Otherwise I could be eating nuts, avocado, and added oils all day and end up with a high-fat diet while still following Pollan’s principles as stated.

      However you’re right. Pollan put it well and that is much simpler.

    • EF on August 9, 2014 at 05:14

      Agree. When you start with real food and cook for yourself, things like macro and micro nutrients fall into place naturally.

    • GTR on August 15, 2014 at 14:19

      “things like macro and micro nutrients fall into place naturally.” – look at Terry Wahls diet. She had to structure her diet in a very concrete way to get proper nutiritient combination. So “naturally” might not work if it just means “intuitively”.

    • EF on August 18, 2014 at 06:33

      I think the Wahls Diet is specifically designed to address her disease state. Others without MS probably just benefit from it because it reduces/eliminates wheat, veg oils, and sugar. She has a great story and I’m afraid the story shades the nutrition of the diet. For example, she advocates no legumes and potatoes. As we know from FTA, lots of good evidence from folks who incorporated them back into their diet contrary to paleo dogma.

  24. VW on August 8, 2014 at 11:06

    I assume that every prolific blogger and “guru” has an agenda with everything he/she writes. I read with that in mind and decide from there how much value there is in the statement/article/post/whatever. If the value is enough to override whatever negatives I see, then I keep showing up and reading. If not, I’m out.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 8, 2014 at 11:56


      That is exactly how it ought be, in my view.

    • GTR on August 16, 2014 at 01:06

      @VW – the agenda might not be only commercial or ideological; it may stem from spefic features or needs of a particular person. A good example is like Terry Wahls concentration on brain health in her diet due to her having MS.
      Dave Asprey’s DNA is 4.5% Neanderthal:
      And we know that European share of Neanderthal genes (Asians have a different subset) involves lipid catabolism:

      How that influences Dave’s choice of high-fat, lower-carb diet? And is it representative of other Europeans that have high Neanderthal gene percentages. Eg. one guy has 5%:
      “I am proud to announce that the Atlantic staffer with the most direct descent from Neanderthal man is … me, with 5 percent of my genes being Neanderthal.” and “the mitochondrial DNA on my (mainly Scottish) mother’s side didn’t really match anything they had seen before.”
      Otzi the Iceman was 5.5% Neanderthal by the way.

  25. GTR on August 15, 2014 at 14:46

    Concerning bullets and real bulletproof stuff – armies of many Northern European countries are traditionally fed with pea soup.

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