The following is a guest post by my newest collaborator: Tar Baby.
Tar, as I’ll call him, is coming out of the muck and to the forefront…in response to a new post by Mike Eades that prefigures an upcoming post of his, where he’s going to show how little we all know about “basic biochemistry,” and how we don’t read the work of “serious anthropologists.” Mind you. The post is not up yet. After 10 months, he’s letting you know he’s been very very very busy, is still very very very busy, that goings on here aren’t really worth his very very very busy time, but in charity, he really owes it to readers to—eventually—answer open questions so that those who haven’t taken a breath for 10 months—owing to him being very very very busy—can finally breath easy.
Dr. Eades promised long ago to settle the matter regarding the questions raised here in about 17 posts, about Inuit being in ketosis or not (he claims they absolutely are, but are so “keto-adapted” that the absence of detectable ketones in urine or blood is evidence of an even more profound ketosis—and it’s very simple, but he’s been too busy to explain the simplicity). He got himself tarred via that substantial series here delving into many on-scene Inuit studies going back 100 years, and initially tried to extricate himself from the mire in an ironically titled post: Beware the confirmation bias.
He subsequently found time to engage in comments at the Hyperlipid blog: The P479L gene for CPT-1a and fatty acid oxidation. He didn’t really fare well. Mostly vacuum, no art. Notably, someone posted a comment he never even tried to answer, an artful comment it was.
Your definition of keto adapted is not ”eating a diet that is named ‘ketogenic diet’ even if it fails to generate ketones.” It has always been about GENERATING and USING ketones:
“What he fails to understand is that the Inuit are keto-adapted. Their lifelong diet of high-fat meat has gotten their ketone-producing-and-consuming systems working in precisely controlled fashion. Like, dare I say it, a well-oiled machine.
The Inuit burn ketones as they make them, so it stands to reason that they might not have measurable ketones under normal circumstances.”
This thinking is unreasonable in itself, it’s like saying “the traffic is high, but because there are no traffic jams, you can’t see cars on the road”. Don’t you understand that in order for ketones to go from the liver to the other places they have to be in the blood in the mean time?
Notice how those enjoying thread-bare illusions of authority for dwindling numbers of hopeless, regurgitate-eating sycophants use metaphor all the time.
Like, dare I say it, a well-oiled machine.
Or, they’re vaguely assertive in an authoritative way (“so it stands to reason”). It’s like when Richard was in comments on Hyperlipid’s most recent post this morning, having to bear someone telling him that “high protein doesn’t kill ketones,” then being unable to explain what he means by use of the metaphor.
Eades’ post that ironically exposed his own confirmation bias was published in April of last year and had a bit of a comment thread run, owing to the activity here. Duck Dodgers posted a comment in October—4 months ago—and Dr. Eades just got to it (he’s always very, very, very, very busy). It coincided with his post of yesterday. Since Duck’s comment hadn’t been published in what might be considered a reasonable time for a science-based contribution that 80% quotes studies in the literature, it got published by Richard here: The Comment Dr. Michael Eades Doesn’t Want You To See.
Here’s the thing. Unlike Duck and Richard’s other collaborators—who count as biochemists, PhDs, MDs, DDSs, Grad Students, and a handful of plain smart laymen they check their work against—I’m the collaborator where, when you mess with me, it bounces off me and sticks to you. I’m the Tar Baby! No science here, unless you consider the art or vacuum of discourse to be science. For the consumption of Eades’ sycophants, clamoring and exuberant for a post every 3-4 months, it’s vacuum in masquerade.
I’m going to go through Eades’ post to demonstrate the level of poisoning the well, always in advance of actually addressing any issue he gets taken to task on (he’s been poisoning the well on this subject for 10 months, his last post is the final few doses).
Poisoning the well (or attempting to poison the well) is a rhetorical device where adverse information about a target is pre-emptively presented to an audience, with the intention of discrediting or ridiculing everything that the target person is about to say.
[It’s also just as commonly used to falsely bolster the confidence in what the poisoner is about to say contra the poisoned.]
- As many of you may know, I got caught up.
- I was variously accused.
- I didn’t have the time.
- If I didn’t…no one would know.
- I also figured if…it would imply.
- I dawdled while I tried to find the time to deal with the thing.
- Then Nikoley gives me an out.
- He throws…demanding that…or he will.
- Which was great because the whole debate got moved to his blog so that all his readers, most of whom understand even less than he, could listen to him expound on it.
- I decided I would let the comment lie for awhile.
- Then Nikoley wrote yet another…this last post on the subject that made me realize how much misunderstanding there is about the basic biochemistry and physiology of ketosis.
- I realized I had been a victim of Curse of Knowledge…that someone knowing something or possessing some expertise has a difficult time understanding how little others know about something he sees as so simple.
- This was the error I made.
- So, I need to fix it.
- Readers…could be led astray.
- It really doesn’t make a difference.
- The physiology of ketosis probably needs to be explained so that people don’t come away from all this thinking about it in the wrong way.
- I’ll be writing a post on the basic physiology of ketosis.
- Not in brain-numbing detail.
Now, to that, Richard in his infinite abrasiveness might write something like, “what a poor busy busy busy victim combined with blowhard, condescending little prick.” That’s why he enlisted my help, Tar Baby.
I’ll simply point out that Eades being so unfortunately burdened and “Curse[d] of Knowledge” is exactly what someone suffering from the Dunning-Krueger effect would say all the time.
The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias wherein unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability much higher than is accurate. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their ineptitude.
By unskilled, I of course mean in the logic of artful discourse, not medical science, per se. In that, Eades is simply like most others in the field who spend their lives “showing” how they’re right and were always right; and not, as Richard might put it in terms of his own approach: how he’s wrong, has always been wrong, but gets a little less wrong every day.
Some of you who’ve seen Eades in action going way back might recall his backs and forths with Anthony Colpo. For a long time, Richard defended Eades on this very blog and even ridiculed Anthony a time or two. But the way in which Eades operated, by going for long periods pleading time constraints—combined with his many well poisoning tactics—such that readers had such unrealistically high expectations by the time he finally got around to being a little less very very very busy—it would have caused readers embarrassment to admit he’s dancing around naked rather than sporting a fine set of new clothes.
Rather, he tells you over and over and over that after he’s less very very very busy, he’ll help you to not be so hopelessly ignorant and fooled. He’s your knight in shining armor; and to really make it easy on you, he’s not going to numb or worry your poor little head with all the very very very simple facts and explanations exhaustively. But he could. Of course. And if he was less very very very busy, and you were way way way smarter, he would.
Well, so there it is, and if I wasn’t so busy, and you were smarter, I’d put in one hell of a wrap on that. Instead, I’ll point to Peter at Hyperlipid who wrote a post about Ketosis and Protein. Those who actually read our series on the Inuit understand that the stuff about meat glycogen was just a means to expose how busy Eades really is, and that it was really about too high of protein to be in perpetual ketosis.
Can’t wait for Eades to say that Peter and his readers don’t understand basic biochemistry. In the meantime…
Duck just rang in, so this be a double guest post. Here’s the thing: Eades picked a stupid fight. First, because he’s “so busy,” he didn’t even realize that the stuff about glycogen in fresh kills was entirely beside the point. It’s the high protein levels by any dietary standard, stupid. But, Eades can never, ever be wrong, see, so he has to poison the well for 10 months—at which point he’s going to dazzle everyone with bullshit, declare “put paid,” and then “wash his hands.”
He simply can’t be content with arguing that VLC or ketosis can be therapeutic for some or all on its own merits, Inuit irrelevant. But since he’s been invoking the Inuit for better than two decades at least, he simply can’t be wrong about it—even though the game is already over and they are by no means metabolically like the rest of us.
Here’s a list of researchers who believed that the Eskimo native diet was a high protein diet:
Krogh & Krogh 1914 (Nobel Prize winner)
Joslin 1917 (first doctor to ever specialize in diabetes in the US)
Heinbecker 1928, 1931, 1932
McClellan & DuBois 1930 (Stefansson’s own doctors)
Rabinowitch & Corcoran 1936
Rabinowitch and Smith 1936
Kaare Rodahl 1952
Sinclair 1953 (A detailed review of the literature)
Bang, Dyerberg & Hjorne 1976
Draper 1977 (anthropology)
VanItallie & Nufert 2003
Leonard & Snodgrass 2005
“Serious anthropolgists,” like Harold Draper, who have expertise in Eskimo nutrition believe that pre-modern Eskimos ate a very high protein diet along with high fat and only minimal carbohydrates. And just the other day, Peter wrote a great post on how protein inhibits ketogenesis.
Meanwhile, I have yet to find a single paper that claims the Eskimos ate a high fat ketogenic diet that didn’t use a false basis to make those claims. In all cases, authors A) made no observations on the dietary habits of actual Eskimos and B) only cited Stephen Phinney, who only cites Vilhjalmur Stefansson’s experience from the Bellevue Experiment and Schwatka’s own high fat sledging diet—all of which are about white explorers who could only survive by eating fatty cuts of meat. It’s circular reasoning. In other words, there are zero scientific papers showing actual Eskimos ate a high fat and low protein diet. The only people in the Arctic who apparently ate a high fat and restricted protein diet were white explorers.
And that’s the problem right there because it turns out that the Eskimos have a unique metabolism that is not shared by the white explorers.
It is now known that as much as 68% of Eskimos have the Carnitine palmitoyltransferase I (CPT1A) gene that causes carnitine palmitoyltransferase I deficiency—a severe reduction of an enzyme found in the liver that is essential for fatty acid oxidation. CPT1A enables Eskimos to have an extremely rare metabolism, which results in a significantly reduced ability to produce ketones either from a high fat diet or from fasting. In fact, the differential diagnosis of CPT1 deficiency is a ketogenesis disorder.
CPT1a is known to cause extremely low levels of ketones as well as hypoglycemia—together known as hypoketotic hypoglycemia. The CPT1a mutation is only particularly dangerous for Inuit children, who cannot fast or rely on ketosis, due the fact that their livers are not fully developed.
It is believed that CPT1A is an adaptation to cold environments. [While the data in those two papers is sound, the authors claim the Eskimos traditionally ate a ketogenic diet only citing Phinney, using the same flawed circular reasoning discussed above]. The mutation still enables the Inuit to obtain energy either as glucose from carbs, or from protein, however their excess polyunsaturated fat intake was preferentially burnt for heat, and not stored as LDL or triglycerides and their ability to create ketones was severely diminished.
For this reason Inuit children are especially well known to have difficulty fasting and it is common practice for the Inuit to eat snacks every hour. It may also explain why Inuit children were traditionally breastfed regularly until the age of 3 or 4 and irregularly up to the 4 to 6 years of age. Due to the autosomal recessive inheritance pattern of this genetic mutation, as well as its high prevalence in current Eskimo populations, nearly all full-blooded Eskimos would have had this genetic mutation prior to modern interbreeding with white people.
Furthermore, CPT1-deficiency in the Eskimo population may protect from the effects of a high fat diet, by increasing oxidation of glucose and by storing of excess fats, in what has been called “healthy obesity” in Eskimo populations exhibiting low prevalence of insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and Type II Diabetes.
It should be clear that the Inuit have metabolisms that are nothing like ours. They might as well come from a different planet. You’d have to be absolutely and completely insane to use their population as a proxy for studying the effects of a long term ketogenic diet.
Here’s the list of Inuit/Ketosis posts with comment counts (as of 12-Nov-2014).
- Disrupting Paleo: Inuit and Masai Ate Carbs and Prebiotics, Part 1 (110 Comments)
- Disrupting Paleo: Inuit and Masai Ate Carbs and Prebiotics, Part 2 (193 Comments)
- To Reiterate, Just In Case You Missed It: No Elevated Ketone Levels in the Inuit (150 Comments)
- One Thousand Nails in the Coffin of Arctic Explorer Vilhjálmur Stefansson, and His Spawn (150 Comments)
- When Confirmation Bias is the Landscape, Dialectics is Your Path to Better Truth (109 Comments)
- What Did Indigenous People Inhabiting the Coldest Places on Earth Really Eat? (69 Comments)
- Sweden Update: Resistant Starch On The Rise, LCHF Stefansson Myths On The Ropes (14 Comments)
- More Uncovering of the Inuit Myth: Stefansson and Anderson Belleview Experiement; Compromised Glucose Tolerance (72 Comments)
- Logic 101: Why The Resistant Starch And Gut Biome Revolution Means Doom For VLC/Keto (179 Comments)
- Hunters Of Wild Game Can’t Remain In Ketosis (14 Comments)
- The New Nutritional Starvation Diet (32 Comments)
- The War On Tastebuds (78 Comments)
- 7 Bigger-Than-Ever Challenges Everyone Should Know About Low-Carb Ketogenic Diets (65 Comments)
- Physiological Insulin Resistance = Low Carbohydrate Diet Induced Insulin Resistance (25 Comments)
- The Swedes Look Beyond Vilhjalmur Stefansson’s NYT Obituary, to The Science He Ignored (9 Comments)
- Lies, Damned Lies, and The Inuit Diet (15 Comments)
- The Comment Dr. Michael Eades Doesn’t Want You To See (163 Comments)