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Messages - aem42290

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General Discussion / Re: high fat, keto, feeling sick all the time
« on: November 16, 2014, 03:39:07 am »
I'm not sure what motivates you to copy what someone else is eating when you don't feel that it works for you. Also, I don't want to challenge you about what type of diabetes you have, but weight loss like you describe is not typical of diabetes type 2. What does a medical doctor say about your situation? That information might be helpful to you - I find that information useful - but it doesn't mean you have to follow a doctor's treatment plan if you can do well on your own.

If there are foods that you tolerate (without high blood sugar) within the 100 g - 200 g range of daily carbohydrates, why not start there? That should put you in the "low carb" range without ketosis. In terms of "diabetes" jargon, you'd probably be eating 3% and 6% vegetables plus some fruits.
Eve makes some very valid points here. How do you know that you are a type 2 diabetic? Are you self-diagnosed?

General Discussion / Re: high fat, keto, feeling sick all the time
« on: November 16, 2014, 03:11:50 am »
Not all of us are built for high fat/low carb diets. I, for one, tolerated the diet well for the first few months, and then my body began to crumble.  Judging from your general symptoms, it would seem that your body is kindly screaming at you to stop the experiment. However, as a type 2 diabetic, ketosis may benefit your metabolism in some ways--so long as you use the diet intermittently and very carefully. But let me ask a few questions before saying much more:

How long have you been on the diet for? The adaptation curve for a ketogenic diet can be rather steep, and typically people experience negative side effects for the first few days, up to a couple of weeks.

What fat/protein ratios are you working with?

Are you eating fresh organs along with muscle meats?

Are you getting at least 30-40g carbs per day for your brain's glucose needs?

How is your gut health?

Regarding the weight loss, what you are experiencing does not seem to be completely out of the ordinary, as ketogenic diets have a tendency to initially cause a significant decrease in the body's ability to store water, I.E., reducing water weight. As a diabetic, though, you should be extra cautious with sudden drops in weight.

As a final thought, I think balance is key when it comes to a functional, optimal diet. Going down the strictly fruitarian path is as problematic as reducing carbs to a negligible amount. You can still reap the metabolic benefits of a moderately low carb diet even if you include some more fruits, greens, and certain vegetables. For some of us, being in either ketosis or ultra-high carb mode constantly can really take its toll on our health. Again, think balance.

needless to say in the wild, most mammalian carnivores will not pass up the opportunity to consume carbs. of course this consumption is seasonal, and would be considered a "treat"

the way i look at it, i'm fine eating as many carbs as i could safely eat, without degenerative reactions and stressors to the body. in other words, how much carbs can the human body safely handle, without the insulin system being overtaxed hence diabetes, plaque formation in the arteries, weakened immune system,ect so on so forth? to what extent can the human body take advantage of this carbohydrate energy source, and suffer none or inconsequential side-effects?

That's a fantastic question, Colorles. Personally, I now choose to consume around 75-80g of carbs per day (in the form of fruits and raw starches--definitely never any empty carbs), although this number fluctuates depending on daily exercise intensity. I seldom measure how many carbs I eat, unless I am engaged in an active experiment, or if my curiosity has been piqued by some readings. I believe that it was Alive that pointed me to Paul Jaminet's website (I thank him for this greatly). Jaminet states that in order to achieve optimal levels of metabolic flexibility, the inclusion of carbs in a diet should account for  20-30% of daily total caloric needs. Jaminet's number is a bit on the high end for my liking, and I have found that I am typically satisfied with 15-20% of my calories coming from healthy carbs.

I would definitely be curious to hear from others, though~

This has to be one of the most biased, unscientific post I’ve read in a while.

I had been waiting for someone else to pull the “unscientific” card. I'll address your concerns in their order of appearance. A bibliography is attached at the end of this response.

“By and large, carnivorous mammals across the world exhibit lower average lifespans than omnivorous creatures.” Really? Please show any evidence of this.


This comes straight from the Max Planck institute for Demographic Research. The average life span data for each species is supported by peer-reviewed studies.

If you look through the document, you'll notice that strictly and/or predominantly carnivorous mammals exhibit lower average life spans than their omnivorous counterparts. While I don't have the time to construct a chart which explicitly compares the two groups (or which deals with the statistical significance of the data), I will pick out some quick examples that address the underlying concerns in a succinct manner:

1) Hippopotamus (omnivorous) in relation to the lion (classic, cliche example of carnivorous animal).
2) Suborder mysteceti whales (fin whales, blue whales, etc.) in relation to carnivorous whales.
3) Eurasian brown bear (predominantly omnivorous since the middle ages) in relation to the polar bear (predominantly carnivorous).

On a tangential note, it would seem that whales possess metabolic adaptations to predominantly carnivorous diets that allow them to live longer than most land carnivores. However, this all comes with a rather large caveat: within the whale groups themselves, the filter-feeders, or baleen whales, exhibit larger average life spans than the predominantly carnivorous species. For the baleens, consuming zooplankton means that phytoplankton is difficult to avoid, and indeed, perhaps even constitutes an important dietary element for the aquatic mammals. Zooplankton depends primarily on phytoplankton for survival, and the two are seldom found separated in the oceans. “The physical factor that influences zooplankton distribution the most is mixing of the water column…along the coast and in the open ocean….that affects nutrient availability and, in turn, phytoplankton production” (Lalli et al. 1993). At least for certain species such as the bowhead whale, research has demonstrated that phytoplankton is an important, if consequential, aspect of their diets. “Each adult [bowhead] whale consumes on the order of 100 metric tons of zooplankton prey, which in tum represents a much larger ( -10 times) biomass of phytoplankton” (Schell 2000). Finally, here is a quote from an accessible article which ties the levels of phytoplankton in the world's oceans to the diets of blue whales: [].

Another user on this forum (Edmon) posited that the differences in carnivore/omnivore life spans are due to the expression of the simple mechanisms of survival involved in predatory activities. To take his claims further, the logic supporting such a statement is as follows: If a hunter feasts solely on meat, then the hunter's capacity to survive is tied directly to their hunting skills, and hunting skills are tougher to maintain than grazing faculties. Edmon argued that carnivorous animals typically die while attempting to secure their prey, in fights with other predators, and of infections/other illnesses. While we can accept such an Occam's razor-like approach to the life span problem in carnivores, and immediately cease considering a myriad variables, a series of critical, thought-provoking questions will yet remain: All things considered, why does the wild carnivore's survival functions—namely, the capacity to engage in a successful hunt, acquire nourishment, and deflect other predators, pathogens, etc.—decline at a faster rate than the omnivore's, thereby leading to observable differences in life spans? In other words, why does the carnivorous mammalian, which is supposedly well-adapted to hunting and the consumption of an all-meat diet, fail to adequately maintain its physical faculties for longer than the omnivore's? Is it simply that hunting full-time is harder work than foraging and scavenging? What does such harder work constitute, in a metabolic sense? Harder work in what specific terms? What of the omnivores, who hunt, scavenge, and forage, depending on the seasons, their needs, desires? Capturing live prey obviously involves a great deal of exertion and stressors, but are the lion's overall stressors necessarily greater than the hippo's per se?

The emergence of these questions led me to the eventual exploration of the mechanisms of action involved in the mammalian body's metabolic pathways. Before I get into the theoretical and scientific underpinnings of my section dealing with the human’s metabolic pathways, let me tackle your point regarding "the validity of a diet to optimal health:"

And even if this was true, it means nothing about the validity of a diet to optimal health. Optimal health means heath level during life, not how long that life lasts.

Since I refuse to play a game of semantics, I'm going to assign a very specific definition to my usage of the concept of optimization, so that there may be no confusion regarding what I'm referring to.

Optimization involves the process of making something as effective, sustainable, and fully-functional as possible. The optimization of a system refers to the maximization of productivity and the minimization of refuse. In the context of my discussion, optimization is directly tied to temporal sustainability, and therefore, by extension, to life span.

Simply put, the form of optimization that I seek does not only account for the short-term benefits of efficiency; I am far more compelled by the notion of efficiency as it relates to sustainability and longitudinal performance. Thus, I initially frame optimization within the context of life span because I am asking how we can optimize both the quality and duration of human life. You seem to be arguing that the quality of a life is all that matters for an organism's existence. In this sense, it does not matter whether a person lives past their forties, so long as they have experienced an acceptable level of health throughout their active moments. I disagree with this rather simplistic and limited conceptualization of health and optimization. My argument attempts to push beyond the strictly qualitative domain and into the temporal and quantitative.

Mice are herbivores, but they live less long than a cat that feeds on them, if they both die of old age.

I’m not exactly certain as to why you are bringing up herbivorous mice. At no point did I address the life spans of herbivorous species. However, if we want to go down that road, then I will note that large mammalian herbivores, such as ruminants, do tend to live longer than large carnivores (where ‘large’ refers to animals bearing an average body weight of over 150 lbs.), if subjects are allowed to die strictly of old age. But—and this is a huge but—the encephalization quotients, as do the brain sizes, of herbivores (Deaner et al. 2007; Nelson et al. 2001) tend to be much lower than omnivores and carnivores, thereby revealing an apparent deficit in the cognitive abilities of the herbivorous group—which would make sense from an evolutionary perspective that considers brain growth as tied to the consumption of animal proteins and fats.) Of course, we can get into extended and unfruitful discussions of what constitutes intelligence within a particular species. For the sake of simplicity, I am using the rubrics of the encephalization quotient and total brain size to describe mental processes as they become appreciable to our human understandings of intellect.

The evolutionary ideas, while “somewhat” valid as empirical evidence (is there any evidence that animals in the wild tend to eat what is best for them?

It does not matter whether you believe that “animals in the wild tend to eat what [is or isn’t] best for them.” (Although there are numerous people on this forum—“instinctos”—that will strongly dispute this point in relation to human evolution.) The point of my discourse is to emphasize the fact that countless years of human evolutionary adaptations have laid the biological foundations for the execution of a potential diet which utilizes rational, historically-valid reasoning to provide the body with its optimal requirements. You are attacking my usage of evolutionary ideas by mobilizing a completely unrelated assertion. Evolutionary theories do not ipso facto rely on optimization apparatuses to describe animal bodies; evolutionary theories present us with frameworks for approaching the adaptations and survival dynamics that allow for the reproduction, transformation, and destruction of a species. I am drawing on evolutionary theories insofar as they reveal the present conditions of human metabolic pathways, and allow for us to make informed judgments regarding the optimal means by which to expand the living performance of bodies. I am not, as you crudely assume, drawing on evolutionary theories to supply evidence for the supposed “natural” existence of optimization mechanics in the “wild.” Do not misconstrue my words.

However, no one knows what earlier humans ate. It’s all guesses and suppositions. They had element “X” in their environment, it’s edible, they probably ate it. Again, why would people assume that they would eat what is good for them rather then what they might stumble upon is beyond me.

Absolutely irrelevant to my argument. I highly doubt that ancient humans were thinking of how to grow larger brains when they decided to hunt other animals. I would not be so naïve and foolish to claim this. Rather, the evolutionary result of the ancient human’s dietary decisions contributed, directly and indirectly, to the development of specific bodily facets—namely, the larger brain. Evolution is not akin to optimization, but dietary optimization theories must draw on evolutionary knowledge to pass grounded judgments. Your failure to grasp my assertions makes me wonder whether you even read my opening post before engaging in this unfounded collection of attacks.

Worse, using arguments of authority is dishonest. “reading up on a great deal of scientific studies and informal experiences” What’s that supposed to mean? Every doctor I’ve ever heard talk about nutrition…

I don’t even feel the need to quote that statement in its entirety. Your ad hominem tactics are infuriating, at the very least, and, at most, rather disheartening. Considering the overt assaults on my character, if your response to my post were to appear in a scholarly journal, I would feel no need whatsoever to offer you a rebuttal. Thankfully, this is a public forum, and I’ll gladly humor your offensive reply for the sake of fostering public knowledge.

I am not marshaling “arguments of authority” in any way whatsoever. If your definition of arguments of authority means that I declared my knowledge of the subject that I am describing, then yours is truly an atypical approach to the expression. The reason why I stated that I read up on a significant number of scientific studies and informal experiences is because I did. As for informal experiences, my own encounter with a sustained ZC diet has led to heart issues that I am still recovering from. At several moments throughout my ZC experiment, I was dealing with ridiculous and unexplainable palpitations; my extremities were becoming cold, my emotions were receding, and I was consistently irritable. If you would like to talk about the problems that others have experienced while on a sustained ZC diet, just ask PaleoPhil about the symptoms that he dealt with. On Carbsane and other forums, informal evidence for symptoms of what has been termed “VLC/ZC torpor” have emerged as well. PaleoPhil, I’m sure, would be glad to provide you with actual links to the pages where people talk about their problems while on ZC diets.

Regarding the formal underpinnings of my theories, I have drawn on specific scientific studies which demonstrate the inefficient properties of gluconeogenesis (Hendrick et al. 1990; Veldhorst 2009; Veldhorst 2012; Baba et al. 1994) while in a deep ketogenic state (Tagliabue A 2012), and relative to glucose metabolism (Mcdonald 1998; Prince et al. 2013); as well as revealing the difficulties associated with the production of glucose from fatty acids (Kaleta et al. 2011); and the limitations on the potentially therapeutic overall uptake of ketones by the brain (Devivo et al. 1978; Seyfried et al. 2003; Lahanna et al. 2009; Cahill 2006). All of these studies address periods of deep ketosis as exceptional for the mammalian body, with Lahanna (2009) and Seyfried (2003) particularly making use of such exceptional circumstances to augment the validity of their experimental procedures. Taken in tandem, these studies point to the short-term therapeutic benefits of a ZC or VLC diet (for the metabolically deranged, epileptic, etc.), but direct us toward challenging the long-term metabolic stressors that arise from the sustained inefficiencies of the aforementioned key metabolic pathways. I will return to this last point soon.

The body does not tend towards an optimal state. It maintains a “minimal” state. Enough to not die, nothing more. Lie down in a bed for a few months, eating the best diet you can. Your bones will still end up brittle, your muscles will be almost inexistent. Even if you eat a lot of protein and fat. Why? Because your body does the least in can if it has the option.

The body tends toward homeostasis, which is absolutely different from the “minimal” caloric state that you are describing. Your definition of minimal begs interrogation. If you are defining the human’s basal caloric requirements as being constitutive of a minimal state or set-point, then even at this level, homeostasis involves a conglomerate of intensely erratic, fluctuating processes. Homeostasis is about balancing and stabilizing the entropic reactions of a semi-structured body. Confronted with an obviously necessary minimal caloric intake (which is about the only minimal element of a human existence), the entropic body incessantly attempts to adapt and respond to the chaos generated both by and within metabolic processes.
Homeostasis, for one, cannot be separated from hormesis, which details the body’s responses to disordered metabolic chains. Even the subject lying on a bed will be exposed to organic stressors (atrophy, etc.) that cause their body to reflexively manipulate key metabolic pathways in response to sedentary functions. Oftentimes, these metabolic pathways involves seriously disruptive physical processes that make maximum use of inefficient metabolic structures, such as gluconeogenesis and ketosis, and which may not contribute to the optimal health of the subject, but which certainly allow for the subject to survive and adapt.
This is all to say that what you perceive as the body doing “enough to not die,” is actually the body doing enough to survive and reproduce; and there is a massive, indisputable difference between these two expressions. Your fatalistic approach to human existence is wholly unsupported by science. Humans have been shown to possess psychological and physical regulatory mechanisms that further the pursuit of reproduction, survival, and survival beyond reproduction. The body does the most it can to survive and reproduce, not the least it can to ward off death. The body, in fact, is not concerned with life and death--this Christian dichotomy that so many scientists submit to. The human body, the mammalian, animal body, is invested in the protection of reproductive faculties that are inextricably bound to the adaptive survival of an entropic organism. Survival is about adaptation and reproduction, not death and a minimalistic quality of degeneration.

So the fact that gluconeogenesis and ketosis are very inefficient (on a calorific) and taxing (on the organs) is irrelevant. That’s like saying that a jet is not optimal because it consumes too much energy and stresses its components, so a bicycle is better.

The underlying logic here is absolutely flawed. You moved from A to B without adequately connecting the two thoughts.

A) "The body does not tend towards an optimal state. It maintains a “minimal” state."
B) "So the fact that gluconeogenesis and ketosis are very inefficient (on a calorific) and taxing (on the organs) is irrelevant.

So, “if the body does not tend towards an optimal state,” then “the fact that gluconeogenesis and ketosis are very inefficient…and taxing on the organs….is irrelevant.”

What? How have you established the irrelevance of point B in relation to point A? In legal-speak, this is what we call a non-sequitur.

The notion of a minimal state serves no purpose in addressing the particular metabolic inefficiencies of gluconeogenesis and ketosis. As I stated above, the only minimal state in the human body is the basal need for calories that defines survival. To reiterate: optimization, as per my discussion, entails rationally reflecting (an anti-‘natural’ process) on the specific qualities of metabolic pathways so as to determine their maximum performance levels in relation to life spans and health.

That’s like saying that a jet is not optimal because it consumes too much energy and stresses its components, so a bicycle is better.

Do you really want to get into the thermodynamics of using petroleum to power jets? I'm just going to marginalize this. By all means, keep believing that jet planes are efficient machines.

If you are going to take your own arguments as a basis for optimal behavior, then you should be against exercise. After all, exercise is inefficient, it taxes many organs, including the heart, wastes energy, and produces many “dangerous” chemical reactions.

Now we are getting deeper into ad-hominem territory. That's fine, though. I'll play along.
To begin with, I am not against exercise, and at no point did I imply or state this. Most exercise does not involve a sleuth of chronic stressors, and exercise satisfies many of the hormetic requirements of a homeostatic system. Hormesis, though, is not the same as systematic degeneration. Provided that a body is properly nourished, exposure to exercise allows for the optimization of life span and health viz. the enhancement of metabolic flexibility. Many forms of exercise satisfy the conditions of adaptive and sustainable optimization that I embrace within my writings. I am, without a doubt, against endurance training, for I believe (as do other scholars) that it places undue stress on the organ systems of the human body (Benito et al. 2011; Wilson et al. 2011). Do you see the difference here? There is a huge gap between short-term hormetic stressors and chronic degenerative stressors.

The very fact that gluconeogenesis is associated to cortisol levels should send up some red flags” So again, are you against exercise? Exercise is strongly associated to cortisol levels. Cortisol is associated with stress. Stress is good for the body. Absence of stress is bad. Why don’t you tell astronauts how the absence of stress on their joints is good for them?

You are foolishly misconstruing my arguments. I am not claiming that short-term stressors are unnecessary for human health; I am writing against the long-term stressors emerging from a chronic ZC diet and its inefficient metabolic pathways. The reason why cortisol sends up a red flag in relation to gluconeogenesis is because while in a deep ketogenic diet, a subject is constantly engaged in gluconeogenesis, and therefore exhibits elevated cortisol levels (Swain et al. 2012). Dichotomizing stress as good/bad is a ridiculous proposition. Stress is neither good nor bad; stress is a physical signifier that directs our attention toward bodily processes that may indicate the absence or presence of particular adaptive mechanisms. I have opted to question which adaptive mechanisms are optimal for both longevity and maximum health.

However, if you want to argue along the dichotomy of “stress is good” and the “absence of stress” is bad, you’d do best to research how the body deals with the elevated cortisol levels of exercise. A little hint: as the body becomes used to stressors, cortisol levels begin to decrease. Chronically elevated cortisol levels are a serious problem, leading to heart disease, etc., but cortisol released in response to short-term stressors allows for the body to adapt to the demands of exercise.

Retrieved from: [].

Negative Effects [of cortisol]
Unfortunately, the negative effects of cortisol outweigh the positive. Cortisol has an immunosuppressive effect, meaning that if your body constantly has high levels of cortisol, you are more susceptible to illness or infection. Also, because cortisol is a response to stress and the goal is to increase fuels in the blood, it will increase blood calcium by inhibiting bone formation and decreasing intestinal calcium absorption. This may result in a decrease in bone density over time. Cortisol also inhibits the pathway that releases sex hormones (gonadotropins), so if you are constantly stressed, you may experience a decreased libido and, in some cases, infertility or difficulty conceiving. Women who have high levels of cortisol in combination with low body weight may have amenorrhea (loss of menstrual cycle).
Training Effects
Because cortisol is released in response to stress, exercise training will increase the threshold of cortisol release. For example, if you begin an exercise program walking at a 20-minutes per mile pace, cortisol will be released at that intensity. However, as your training progresses and you begin walking at a 15-minutes per mile rate, the body will not perceive the 20-minutes per mile pace to be as stressful and will not release as much cortisol.

Finally, telling people that they should seriously switch their diets if they start feeling sick is irresponsible. People get sick irrespective of their diets. You trying to be an authority on what people should or should not do is laughable.

Using the internet’s anonymity to make hostile, assumptive statements against my intents involves a great deal of cowardice, to say the least.

When did I say that anybody should stop eating a ZC diet? I was trying to help others on this forum by presenting my theories and understandings of the problematic attributes of a chronic ZC diet. I am not trying to brainwash or control anyone. Do whatever you want. If you feel fantastic and want to continue on the ZC diet, then by all means, go right on ahead. I am presenting people with my understanding of what an optimal human diet does and does not contain, and my conclusions are, despite what you may believe, supported by science.

I know I said finally, but I lied. Here is some pure wisdom: The true optimal form is to be dead. Then you consume nothing, you experience no stress, and you have no chance of having any disease.

The so-called purity of your wisdom leaves much to be desired.

But that is not what I want. I want to be as strong and vigorous as I can. I don’t seek to be free from pain and stress, I want for everything that doesn’t kill me to make me stronger. I don’t want an easy life, I want the strength to endure a hard one.

I applaud you on the rhetorical flourish; truly, I was nearly brought to tears.

Works cited
Baba, H., Zhang, X. J., & Wolfe, R. R. (1994). Glycerol gluconeogenesis in fasting humans. Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.), 11(2), 149-153.

Benito, B., Gay-Jordi, G., Serrano-Mollar, A., Guasch, E., Shi, Y., Tardif, J. C., ... & Mont, L. (2011). Cardiac Arrhythmogenic Remodeling in a Rat Model of Long-Term Intensive Exercise TrainingClinical Perspective. Circulation, 123(1), 13-22.

Cahill Jr, G. F. (2006). Fuel metabolism in starvation. Annu. Rev. Nutr., 26, 1-22.

Deaner, R. O., Isler, K., Burkart, J., & van Schaik, C. (2007). Overall brain size, and not encephalization quotient, best predicts cognitive ability across non-human primates. Brain, Behavior and Evolution, 70(2), 115-124.

Devivo, D. C., Leckie, M. P., Ferrendelli, J. S., & McDougal, D. B. (1978). Chronic ketosis and cerebral metabolism. Annals of neurology, 3(4), 331-337.

Hendrick, G. K., Frizzell, R. T., Williams, P. E., & Cherrington, A. D. (1990). Effect of hyperglucagonemia on hepatic glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis after a prolonged fast. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology And Metabolism, 258(5), E841-E849.

Iwaniuk, A. N., Nelson, J. E., & Pellis, S. M. (2001). Do big-brained animals play more? Comparative analyses of play and relative brain size in mammals. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 115(1), 29.

Kaleta, C., de Figueiredo, L. F., Werner, S., Guthke, R., Ristow, M., & Schuster, S. (2011). In Silico Evidence for Gluconeogenesis from Fatty Acids in Humans PLoS Computational Biology, 7 (7) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002116

Lalli, C.M. and Parsons, T.R. (1993). Biological Oceanography, an Introduction. 30 Corporate Drive, Burlington, MA 01803: Elsevier. p. 314. ISBN 0-7506-3384-0.

LaManna, J. C., Salem, N., Puchowicz, M., Erokwu, B., Koppaka, S., Flask, C., & Lee, Z. (2009). Ketones suppress brain glucose consumption. In Oxygen Transport to Tissue XXX (pp. 301-306). Springer US.

McDonald, L. (1998). The ketogenic diet. A complete guide for the dieter and practitioner. Austin TX: Morris Publishing.

Prince, A., Zhang, Y., Croniger, C., & Puchowicz, M. (2013). Oxidative Metabolism: Glucose Versus Ketones. In Oxygen Transport to Tissue XXXV(pp. 323-328). Springer New York.

Schell, D. M. (2000). Declining carrying capacity in the Bering Sea: isotopic evidence from whale baleen. Limnology and Oceanography, 45(2), 459-462.

Seyfried, T. N., Sanderson, T. M., El-Abbadi, M. M., McGowan, R., & Mukherjee, P. (2003). Role of glucose and ketone bodies in the metabolic control of experimental brain cancer. British journal of cancer, 89(7), 1375-1382.

Ebbeling CB, Swain JF, Feldman HA, Wong WW, Hachey DL, Garcia-Lago E, Ludwig DS. (2012). Effects of dietary composition on energy expenditure during weight-loss maintenance. 27; 307(24):2627-34.

Tagliabue A, Bertoli S, Trentani C, Borrelli P, Veggiotti P (2012). Effects of the ketogenic diet on nutritional status, resting energy expenditure, and substrate oxidation in patients with medically refractory epilepsy: a 6-month prospective observational study. Clin Nutr 31(2):246–249

Veldhorst, M. A., Westerterp-Plantenga, M. S., & Westerterp, K. R. (2009). Gluconeogenesis and energy expenditure after a high-protein, carbohydrate-free diet. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 90(3), 519-526.

Veldhorst, M. A., Westerterp, K. R., & Westerterp-Plantenga, M. S. (2012). Gluconeogenesis and protein-induced satiety. British Journal of Nutrition,107(4), 595.

Wilson, M., O'Hanlon, R., Prasad, S., Deighan, A., MacMillan, P., Oxborough, D., ... & Whyte, G. (2011). Diverse patterns of myocardial fibrosis in lifelong, veteran endurance athletes. Journal of Applied Physiology, 110(6), 1622-1626.

Health / Re: Acne
« on: May 30, 2014, 11:28:47 am »
Soo, I think my acne is FIXED.

I did a bit of digging on Google and a reliable source said that Vitamin A, C, and D, along with Zinc are related to acne. I haven't been eating enough liver lately (Vitamin A), I eat more than enough fruit and raw meat (Vitamin C), lots of egg yolks and seafood and adequate sunlight (Vitamin D), but NO shellfish, and definitely no oysters (Zinc). Although, it did say that red meat is a great source of Zinc, I felt like I needed to get a boost.

Two nights ago, we got a ton of oysters and had them for dinner with a side of liver. Well, the oysters did their job in the bedroom area heheh, but the best thing was that as of this morning, it's VERY OBVIOUS that my skin is CLEARING up. My chin and nose are almost completely clear, and my forehead looks to be about 50% healed. NO new pimples at all! And the ones that were there are going down. It's a significant difference.

I know this is probably one of those DUH moments. I should be eating shellfish and seafood often and keeping a variety. But hey, things happen. It's great to see how fast I'm healing, and I can only hope that it continues and will also help with my boyfriend's skin. I just wanted to post here in case anyone has acne issues ... get your Zinc! Vitamin A and D help Zinc absorption, so you can't skimp out on those either.

Hey CatTreats,

Really glad to hear that you seem to have found the problem. How long had it been since you had eaten shellfish?

Please keep us informed about how you continue to feel throughout the next few days!

aem42290, I do appreciate your specifying that it is that complete Raw Zero Carb or pure Carnivory that you are harping against and making it clear in this thread.

And I do appreciate other people chiming in with their experiences.

Let's all be welcoming to each other's sharing... we are a very small number of global practitioners and every experience counts.

So please don't "lose patience".

This is all good conversation.

I agree, GS. Thank you for that reminder. It's important to retain a sense of community while discussing our points. Honestly, I appreciate all of the perspectives that have been shared on this post--whether I agree with them or not. We are a very small group of people, relatively speaking, and at the heart of all of these topics resides the fact that most of us have adopted a rare and condemned diet for the sake of improving our health.

Forgive me if I seem to be losing my patience throughout the following replies. I ask that you please do not take my sarcasm and cynicism personally.

been following the thread, and can see that much has already been discussed. yet one particular aspect of the opening post, hasn't seemed to have been discussed in any detail:

" the carnivorous ZC/ultra VLC diet typically calls for abhorrent amounts of daily fluid intake (wholly against what would be expected in a non-domesticated environment.) "

is it not something we can all agree upon, that humans seem to require more water compared to other comparably sized mammalian carnivores (or "omnivores" or whatever other moniker you choose)?  granted of course you can get much fluids from a fresh kill...and it would be going a bit too far to claim that these "abhorrent amounts of daily fluid intakes" would be unrealistic in a natural environment, you know considering hunter-gatherers have been long surviving with such daily fluid requirements...but i digress

anyways though has anybody else here noticed any changes in daily fluid intake, since adapting raw VLC and/or seasonal diets?

I was not referring to water consumption on raw VLC or seasonal diets. I'm not entirely certain as to why people continue to defend/reference raw VLC when I am specifically critiquing continuous raw ZC/ultra low carb diets (less than 30g carbs p/day). There is a significant difference. The raw ZC diet purposefully avoids all plant foods perpetually, and urges its followers to consume only raw animal foods for subsistence.

Quote from: eveheart
Thirst is a sign of diabetes, and monitoring my thirst levels was my primary way of monitoring my correct carb intake.

Could be diabetes, certainly. But thirst may also indicate dehydration, which has a tendency to impact those on a sustained ZC diet. The kidneys become highly effective at excreting salts from the body while in very deep ketosis. For some folks, this is not a problem; they simply heighten their sodium intake to compensate for the problems, or add in magnesium supplements to mitigate the mineral losses. I, for one, was never interested in adopting a diet that demanded supplements in order to function effectively. My understanding is that a diet which requires supplementation (be this in the form of iodine pills, Amazonian minerals, magic joojoo pills, etc.) is a rather problematic diet to begin with.

On numerous occasions, my heart problems on a ZC diet were attributed to "dehydration." In response to those statements, I thought: complete BS, considering that I was consuming a large amount of water throughout my waking hours. However, one should realize that larger amounts of water don't precisely add up to adequate hydration. In fact, drinking multiple liters a day when the body is in a deep ketogenic state may exacerbate the loss of electrolytes by accelerating excretory processes.

Quote from: Inger

What does this tell us?

We probably know nothing about how a healthy gut flora have to look like....

Inger, I find it interesting that you, as PaleoPhil mentioned earlier, are not a chronic ZCer. I would like to remind you that this post is not about calling for the intake of resistant starches, or decrying the maintenance of seasonal/LC diets. I am writing explicitly against the problems associated with a sustained ZC diet that systematically excludes all plant foods for the sake of appeasing the mystical Gods of the [insert favorite obscure exoticized population], the stupidity of unscientific Western dogma, and/or/especially the dead ex-singer of the Grateful Dead (seriously).

What we should all agree on is that, although a healthy gut flora varies from person to person, generally speaking, there are certain structural markers for health that we should remain respectful to. A dysfunctional gut flora is usually one that lacks appreciably active microbes, or which has been completely overpopulated by fungi and/or well-known problematic microorganisms (parasites, for instance.) An emptier gut flora, whether innately healthy or not, is probably not optimal for most humans. Pushing the Hadza aside as an exception (which they most clearly are), research conducted by the human gut project has shown that VLC dieters exhibit less-active gut floras than other LC humans. At this point, I'm not particularly concerned with whether X or Y bacterial strain has been found in the Hadza (an exceptional, high carb population.) Science is not all that great at relating the tiniest components of structure to incontrovertible definitions of function. Science, however, is useful for describing what a structure constitutes, and hypothesizing how differences across structures might translate to functions. For all I know, the presence of X or Y strain in my gut may indicate that I recently won the lottery at the local corner-store. Who knows what individual bacterial strains do, and more importantly, why does it matter? From an inquisitive perspective, I am interested in two primary elements:
1) The total activity levels of the human microbiome, i.e., the gut flora and other human bacterial colonies.
In relation to--
2) The empirical effects of such activity levels (How does the subject feel/experience their health?)

Is an absent or depleted gut flora optimal for human survival ? My experiences and research tell me probably not.

I was passing stools an average of two to three times per week while on my ZC experiment. And I have to admit that they weren't healthy looking stools; they were enfeebled, sad little things. My gut flora took some serious blows. I don't know if it became populated by X or Y magical bacterial entity, but what I am certain of is that the flora lost a substantial number of inhabitants, and this was demonstrated by my overall lack of bowel movements.

Now, since I know there is a tendency on this forum to extend arguments to their logical extremes: Is it healthy to be pooping ten times a day, and excreting great amounts of feces with each bowel movement? Probably not, because the subject's bowel movements do not produce empirical effects that would indicate health (I'd be rather unhappy if I had to poop ten times a day, like some grain-eaters do.) Let's not get too far from sensible and well-grounded conclusions.

To reiterate, two conditions need to be met in a favorable manner in order to validate the perspective that I am arguing for: 1) gut activity levels should be substantial AND 2) these heightened activity levels should empirically demonstrate beneficial markers of health.

Inger, no one on this post is calling for you to consume vast amounts of starches to make your gut flora "healthier." Even though the Hadza, curiously enough, do consume rather large amounts of starches. (But that's probably just a coincidence, right?) If you feel fantastic on a chronic ZC diet (which, Inger, you do not engage in, so this would be impossible), then continue to do what you have been doing.

No one on this post is condemning ZC diets for their therapeutic short-term value. The key words here are "therapeutic" and "short-term." Long-term is a completely different story, especially for industrial humans who don't have access to freshly killed animal carcasses.

This applies to everyone: if you are one of the rare few who are able to obtain freshly-killed animals on a regular basis; if you are able to obtain raw blood, raw organs, and raw meat from animals whose glycogen stores have not yet converted into lactic acid (better make it quick, because the process occurs during a 48 hour period following the kill); then by all means, go ahead and adopt a raw ZC diet--even though I will still hold reservations about your decision to do so (mainly because no hunter-gatherer group in the history of the world has ever purposefully marginalized vegetables and fruits for the sake of following the "correct form" of a diet.) Your chances of succeeding might be higher than many other Rawpaleodiet forum users residing in the cities of heavily industrialized nations. When all we have access to is a crappy Whole Foods, the occasional local farmer's market, and a few farmer friends, it becomes very difficult to mirror the proper environment necessary for executing a raw ZC diet in all its [potential] glory.

On the contrary, you were insisting that  hysterical, science-free, dubious  "warning" threads should be put in the RZC forum, but did not insist on other forums being so afflicted.  That is almost as bad as banning a  particular dietary path.

I echo PaleoPhil in saying that, as a moderator, your callous and irreverent language sets a very poor example for the broader quality of exchanges on this site. And since you have been so neglectful of the scientific data in my opening post, I am going to assume that you are treating my thread as one of the "hysterical" texts. If so, then this would be the first time in my life that I have been called hysterical, and while I do take some offense to your erratic and implicitly ad-hominem condemnation, I will gladly provide you with a substantial bibliographical document to support all of my conclusions. Perhaps then your thirst for "truths" will be satisfied.

Yes, intermittent fasting and intermittent ZCing do appear to be beneficial and none of my warnings were regarding it. They were regarding chronic long-term ZC.

I'm with Edmon and PaleoPhil: I am not disputing the short-term use-value of a ZC ketogenic diet (so long as there exists an adequate understanding of the numerous variables involved in the diet's execution), and I am especially not challenging the benefits of intermittent fasting, which I engage in on a frequent basis. Rather, I am questioning the long-term health effects of a ZC diet for the majority of humans. In this sense, I am using 'optimization' to express an index of and for sustainable metabolic efficiency, which, by extension, contributes to the conditions and intricacies of establishing longevity.

I do IFing and intermittent ZC myself. My posts had nothing to do with that.


In the end what is optimal is unique to the individual.

I strongly disagree with this. Although it is tempting to assume that individuals should always be at the center of discussions regarding optimization and dietary health, the fact remains that core metabolic processes function in comparable manners for most humans on the planet. To offer some counterpoints: I would argue that most humans would benefit from incorporating an intermittent fasting plan in their diets; most humans would benefit from eliminating grains entirely; and most humans would benefit from ceasing the consumption of antibiotics. There is a fine line between structure and particular that I believe dietary advice must tread. In regards to optimization, this line must be drawn along the terrain of temporality. A short-term dietary success is likely to correct individual problems, but a long-term dietary failure is likely to reveal structural (i.e., human) vulnerabilities.

Quote from: edmon 171
I'd like to continue this debate if you would indulge me, though in a more gentlemanly manner. I must say its been a while since I have researched any of this and its possible that there is new knowledge out there. This is one of those things where you can't just take any study and run with it because there are vested interests that like to fudge numbers and mislead people when health is at stake.

Of course, Edmon. We'll continue the debate. I must say that I have been rather busy as of late, and have thus been unable to post here as frequently as I'd like.

I'm going to take some time later on today to address a few of the key points brought up by others. Namely, I'd like to tackle:
1) The role of glial cells in relation to ketosis. (Edmon171)
2) Ketogenic diets as possessing healing qualities, short-term. (Sabertooth)
3) Why "differing/critical posts, which would serve as warnings about potential risks for people to make their own judgments " should be allowed in their respective forums. (PaleoPhil)
4) Epigenetic adaptations to ZC/ketogenic and high carb diets. (Sabertooth)

I had a similar experience to this about three months ago, so I thought I would share. I had been ZC/carniviorous for about 5 years and vlc for 15 yrs prior, excluding some infrequent relapses. It had been over a year since I have been sick. There were some instances when I felt I had caught something, but never got sick. It just sort of went away, which is interesting because you mentioned something about quarantining infections and not dealing with them in ketosis. I've never heard of that, but it may explain the phenomenon. i was just assuming my immune system was stronger in ketosis and able to knock it down before it became systemic.

I'm really glad to hear from you, Edmon. Regrettably, I don't have any references for the theory regarding the quarantining and managing of infections on a RZC diet. I recently arrived at this hypothesis by studying my own reactions (and my partner's, for she was on RZC as well) to infections on the ketogenic diet, and by marshaling scientific knowledge to make sense of such reactions.

I've been delving into the literature that deals with immunological responses to infections while in ketosis, but there is a pathetic amount of research on the subject--as is to be expected. My thoughts at this moment are that there are a few factors which contribute to the seemingly heightened immunological faculties of the human body on a RZC diet:

1) The large amounts of fat consumed while in ketosis, combined with decreased spikes in blood glucose, may create a metabolic environment that is directly toxic to infectious entities. Lauric acid and other medium-chain and long-chain fatty acids have consistently exhibited anti-microbial properties in laboratory experiments.
Ketones may also play a role in the 'poisoning' of invading pathogens, albeit I'm not certain about this just yet.

2) A decrease in the amount of beneficial bacteria in the gut flora may contribute to the body's reluctance to mount a full-fledged immune response to infections. This point is to be taken seriously only if we believe that the prebiotic-starved ketogenic gut flora is indeed less effective at modulating bodily functions than the well-fed and properly managed gut-flora of a raw paleo VLC/LCer. Most immune responses begin with bacterial 'conversations' that take place in the gut. To quote Dr. Schulzenko (although I should stress that I do not agree with all of his theories): "The human gut plays a huge role in immune function. This is little appreciated by people who think its only role is digestion. The combined number of genes in the microbiota genome is 150 times larger than the person in which they reside. They do help us digest food, but they do a lot more than that."

The second point, taken in tandem with the first, speaks to the potential reason why immune systems appear to be stronger while in ZC deep ketosis.  While on the one hand, the body's defenses are indeed strengthened by the presence of free fatty acids, as well as by the scarcity of an excessive amount of blood glucose, and (possibly) even by the presence of ketone bodies--on the other hand, the immunological structures of the ketogenic gut flora may not be active enough to openly declare an attack on an infectious pathogen. Curiously, white blood cells continue to reproduce and, according to my blood tests, thrive while in ZC ketosis. But the targeting systems that control the directionality of white blood cells may not be functioning properly. It is as if a ZC ketogenic body possesses all of the proper accouterments to swiftly deal with an invading force, but remains incapable of adequately channeling its resources--much as a typical army without its general.   

As for the heart issues, it could be that the tachycardia is related to the ketogenic body's attempts at mobilizing an uncommonly utilized mechanism for dealing with illnesses: literally, mechanically filtering the blood through lymphatic nodes at a phenomenally high rate to expose the illness to immune cells that have been concentrated at particular points. In effect, rather than launching a full-scale assault on the pathogens, the body concentrates WBCs at critical points (lymph nodes) and proceeds to deter the invaders by increasing the effectiveness of the immunological system.

Of course, these are just informed speculations, and I'd be curious to hear your take on all of these ideas.

Edmon, it's interesting that we went at each other on the other thread (which, by the way--yes, I would like to continue our other discussion in a more gentlemanly manner), considering that we are both seemingly well-aware of the RZC diet's therapeutic value, as well as the pharmaceutical industry's interests in proliferating curious medicalizing discourses/practices. Although I have written against the use-value of a ZC diet for long-term health, I am not so naive as to dispute the fascinating therapeutic (and anti-therapeutic) properties of the diet. 

  My theory about the strange infection was that we are constantly being experimented on and the people who take flu-shots are being used to spread new infections for testing every year.

Can you tell me more about your take on this? I avoid flu-shots like the plague, and I have a similar perspective, but I'd like to hear your course of logic.

I'm sorry, but I don't buy any of this thesis. Writing a post that is 10 miles long does not add to its validity.

At what moment did I state that the validity of my post is augmented by its length? A rather weak and unnecessarily confrontational point.

There is no account for the glycerol that is released on fat breakdown being easily converted to glucose.

You must have missed the section about the acetyl CoA cycle. Or perhaps you are not familiar with the fact that glycerol is converted into pyruvate, which later becomes acetyl CoA, and finally turns into glucose (viz. a highly complex and inefficient series of metabolic interactions)? Whatever the case, you failed to properly engage with what I have written.

By the way, I will stress that the generation of glucose from fatty acids is not easy work for the human body (as you make it seem.) A recent (2011) study explored the metabolic pathways involved in the generation of glucose from acetyl CoA. Their conclusion? "Analyzing the detected pathways in detail we found that their energetic requirements potentially limit their capacity." Activating the systems that concert fatty acids and glycerol involves inefficient metabolic structures that require fair amounts of labor on behalf of the liver.

There is no account for glycogen consumed in muscle and organ meats converting easily to glucose. There is no account for glucose being consumed directly in fresh blood.

Are you aware that the glycogen in most meats turns into lactic acid shortly after slaughter?

For a very simple and clear expression of this:

If you are still not convinced:
"During the post slaughter period the muscle cells are still capable of converting glycogen to lactic acid -
the process takes about 48 hours for completion (at refrigeration temperatures) - electrical stimulation of
carcasses speeds this process so as the reactions are complete by 24 hours" (Kastner et al. 1993).

Consider the fact that very few people (myself included) in industrial societies have access to a steady supply of freshly gathered meat. Therefore, unless one is consuming an animal immediately upon securing the kill, glycogen in muscle tissue rapidly degenerates into lactic acid, and your point about deriving glucose from muscle tissue is rendered wholly moot.

There is no account for glucose being consumed directly in fresh blood.

Ah, I've heard this one before. To frame the question in a familiar context: Do you know how much sugar is in the blood of a  a typical human's body? About 82 mg/dl to 110 mg/dl (4.4 to 6.1 mmol/l) following the successful digestion of a meal. Other mammals aren't too far off from these numbers. This means that an adult human male with about 5 liters of blood at 100mg/dl will have a measly 5g of glucose in their blood at most moments throughout the day. 5 grams of glucose is very little, even on a ZC diet. So, If you were to drink a whole 5 liters of mammalian blood, you'd get 5g or so of glucose. Quite a trivial source of glucose, considering how difficult raw blood is to obtain for most ZCers.

At best, gluconeogenesis is a temporary condition that is used to provide up to 100g of glucose per day until one is fully adapted to ketosis.

Do you have any evidence to substantiate this claim? Unless you are asserting that the human brain can run on ketones exclusively, your statement is completely inaccurate. Gluconeogenesis is not a "temporary" phase for ZC dieters; it is a constant process that must be accounted for within a metabolic environment that is forced to meet the needs of a glucose-dependent organ (the brain.) So far, studies demonstrate that the brain, even when fully keto-adapted, requires 30-50g of glucose to function properly.

Albeit misconstrued, your argument regarding glycerol does not get away from the fact that the conversion of fatty acids to glucose is an energy intensive process in relation to the absorption of sugars from carbohydrates.  In the context of my piece, optimization is related directly to metabolic efficiency at numerous levels. I am not arguing against a LC diet (so long as LC provides at least 30g glucose per day.) I am decrying the naive and historically unnatural pursuit of a long-term, completely ZC diet (carried out in industrial settings) that ignores all plant foods for the sake of trendiness, ignorance, or unreflexivity. 

The short life span in carnivores is explained by the fact that their food and their competition is trying to kill them almost every time they eat. Eventually they get old and get gouged in a hunt or a fight and succumb to an infection or bleed-out. There is no need to complicate it any further than that.

I'll write a response to this later.

As an afterthought, before you approach this thread with such a dismissive disposition, I would urge you to seriously research the processes that you are narrowly describing. To be frank, I am glad that ZC is working for you. As Francois (Iguana) once said on these forums: we (the imagined human species) are honored to have you as an experimenter in the name of superior health. Thank you for subjecting yourself to the conditions of a dietary plan that very few humans in the history of our planet have exposed themselves to. If things continue to go well for you, then so be it. If matters take a turn for the worse, then consider taking into account some of the points that I have made.

It seems that quite often there are people saying that eating zero carbs initially provided benefits, but over time 'ruined' their health.
If the moderators keep moving the evidence of these issues to a place where they won't be noticed then how are newbies looking at ZC to know ?
If keeping the critical posts in the topic cannot be tolerated, then how about a sticky post providing some warning of this, plus a reminder that there is a lot of room to be low carb without being zero carb.

Looking at the description for this topic it says "Not literally zero carb but eating only from the animal kingdom: muscle meats, organs, and fat of sea, sky, and land animals alike -- the raw meat diet for humans."

Eveheart is the moderator and she says that she eats low carb plant food, as does Van.
Inger likes to post here, but for her it is more about eating with the seasons and nature, and being low carb temporarily.

So this is a carnivorous / zero carb diet title seems misleading, as it is rather a low or very low carb diet.

I would like to echo sentiments expressed by Van, Alive, and Eric in pleading for the moderators to either move this post back to the ZC section, or add in a warning sticky to the ZC section directly that addresses nuanced critiques of the diet. Critical resources are necessary for people starting a ZC diet. I would have benefited greatly from reading critical topics when I first learned of ZC from these forums. I certainly didn't think to look in "Hot topics."

Yes, there is room for criticism, this thread was not deleted not censored, this is why this raw paleo diet forum exists and Tyler and the other mods try to keep a balance.

There are those who really follow the zero carb thing and it works for them and just to respect what is working for them, criticisms are placed in the hot topics section.

I am not a zero carber, but I respect this zero carb section.

I whole heartedly agree with many points of the very very nicely written piece.  Thank you. 

And I would have to agree with Tyler it still belongs to the hot topics section.

Thank you for your kind response, GS. For the many years that I've been lurking these forums, I have consistently found your nutritional suggestions to be highly useful and well-balanced.

My point of contention remains that I believe ZCers (and ex-ZCers, such as myself) should be exposed to critical arguments directly--out of respect, even. What is respect if not the desire to take someone's actions seriously enough to critique them?

I am wondering if you gained  benefits initially from VLC that were worthwhile, and if you had started to very slowly increase carbs early on that might have worked well?

I have been interested in reading the research of Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet (The Perfect Health Diet book). In regards to carbs their findings are that the ideal is 30% of energy from carbs (Typically ~600 calories), from 'safe starches' like potatoes, rice and bananas, to provide for the bodies glucose needs, and the rest from fat.

Here is Paul's investigation of ideal glucose levels for longevity and dialog with Ron Rosedale:

Thank you for this information. I will be looking into the research shortly. At a quick glance, it seems that this website offers some very intelligent pieces of advice, and that, generally, arguments are grounded in rigorous scientific studies.

As for the viability of a ZC diet, I do believe that the temporary elimination of plant-foods offers a therapeutic value for many people, specifically those who are metabolically deranged (GS has stated this before as well.) The body in deep ketosis will choose to keep only the strongest of cells. This culling  process has obvious benefits. However, for the long-term subsistence of a human, the ZC diet comes attached to some critical and alarming factors.

Interesting, thanks.
Good to know, I already eat for the most part that way but I might implement raw shrimp, or such, if I were able to find them from trustable sources.

Anyway, reading the whole blog-post, relatively to many paragraphs (not the ones here), honestly I wouldn't be able to tell whether he is extremely brilliant (cutting edge etc.) or if he jumps to quickly onto conclusions that are actually quite far-fetched.
Jack Kruse is a rather well-known liar in the medical community. The American Neuroscience board recently suspended his license due to questions of integrity.

Having read his little rant regarding electrons and protons in the body's metabolic systems, I would suggest that Mr. Kruse retake some basic physics courses. About the only thing he got right on his website is that raw meats/ seafoods are healthy. Overall: of course, we should eat raw seafoods. Will they feed our guts? Yes, most likely-- but the extent of their capacity to do so is seriously questionable.

It is a shame than an MD is marshaling extremely flawed and bombastic scientific rhetoric to legitimize his positions.

This post is wholly inappropriate for the ZC forum. I will put it in the hot topics forum instead.

With all due respect, I believe that putting this post in the "hot topics" section is unjust. Inappropriate in what sense? What I have written is a reflexively critical piece that deals with ZC diets directly. Is there no place for intellectual criticism on these forums? I do believe that those on a ZC diet have the right to be exposed to what is on the other side of the fence. Moving this post to "hot topics" seems almost punitive.

I suspect that a so-called "elevated" resting heart rate is usually good, rather than bad (up to a point and depending on individual context, of course), and that the conventional wisdom on this is mostly wrong.

What is your avg basal and mid-day temp (oral or armpit)? The extremities are the first part of the body to go cold from torpor, so if that's all that's cold, that's somewhat encouraging.

I probably should have been more skeptical of the conventional scientific knowledge concerning resting heart rates. I'm going to look into this. I'll research the subject at my university, ask some professors, read some texts at the library, etc. I'll report back with what I find. I'm going to try and trace the genealogy of this RHR question.

As of today, after adding some carbs back into my diet (consumed a sweet potato and berries after lifting at the gym), my RHR is up to 61. The evidence thus far corroborates your statements. My temperature at the moment is 96.7. That said, I've been dealing with low basal temps for as long as I can remember (which might simply indicate that my metabolism has been rather deranged for a long time.) I have never experienced any thyroid problems and/or serious metabolic problems (I've never been overweight, and have always been muscular/relatively healthy.

When did you start researching the RHR matter? What is your current RHR?

I find it compelling that newborns have a very high RHR. Perhaps the standard understanding of the matter (lower RHR means the heart needs to pump less) should be reversed; perhaps a faster RHR, within limits and taken in context, in fact indicates a certain level of fitness, and the capacity to beat harder and faster is reduced by dietary/physiological stressors.

I appreciate the thought put into this 'thesis'.   May I suggest that you post this to Ron Rosedale, he has a blog, and see if he'd care to respond to your conclusions.   I for one would love to see his response.  I think it would add value as I'm sure, if he did respond, he would include some science to ponder over. 
    One of the difficulties of using say the Inuit as a barometer is that they didn't eat for longevity, except you might call it longevity of the moment, or simply to survive the day.     Another way to say this is, I wouldn't use a wine drinking alcoholic to study the health benefits of wine.
    There may never have been any group of peoples who knew how to use diet to maximize longevity.    For sure we know of no strictly raw eating peoples..    That is why I say one has to dig deeper, or be willing to experiment with one's self.    But please, blog Ron, see if he'll respond.   thanks

Hey, Van. Thanks for your response and for your (earlier) reply to my PM. Really appreciate it.

I agree, we do need to continue experimenting. I wrote this thesis to dispel the notion that ZC diets are optimal/healthy long term. I feel strongly about this, considering that the diet eventually took a silent and fairly insidious toll on my body. Hence why I thought it'd be meaningful to share my knowledge with this excellent community.

How would I go about posting this to his blog? Should I leave it as a comment to any specific threads?

Initial conjectures related to life span on a ZC/VLC diet

By and large, carnivorous mammals across the world exhibit lower average lifespans than omnivorous creatures. This may be due to countless variables, but the fact that these creatures survive for smaller periods of time may indicate that mammalian bodies are not well-adapted to purely carnivorous diets, even when the carnivores have been consuming such diets for a very long time. Further, archaeological records have demonstrated that only about 25% of early humans and Neanderthals made it beyond 40 years of age. We should take into account the fact that Neanderthals and early humans were known to have consumed predominantly carnivorous diets, and that the ice age during the Neanderthal’s reign probably made the routine consumption of plant-based foods difficult. The following text critically questions the value of a ZC/VLC diet in relation to optimal human performance. If a ZC/VLC diet is not optimal for a human, then the lower life span (and increased brain size) of these ancient humans may be justified by their decreased access to abundant plant foods. Note: I will use VLC/ZC to refer to diets that consistently contain less than 30g carbohydrates on a daily basis.

For any intrigued readers, here is what I am doing at the moment to respond to heart issues following a fairly lengthy zero carb/very low carb diet. I have included the carefully thought-out conclusions that I arrived at to justify my actions.

After dealing with my problem, and reading up on a great deal of scientific studies and informal experiences, I've decided to cut the ZC (well, ZC insofar as there weren't any plant foods, for there were certainly a healthy amount of organs) experiment short, and start consuming a reasonable amount of carbs per day (50-100g).


The body is an intricate series of processes that are disjointed, collaborative, and oftentimes unpredictable. Historically, humans have adapted to our environments in curious manners. Any mono diet (even a near-perfectly calibrated mono meat diet) has the tendency to deal with corporal processes in a similar manner to the dreaded techniques of Western medicine: in a homogenizing, mechanical fashion. Let me unravel this bold assertion.

The following three dilemmas are fairly in alignment with the "old friends" theory that Paleophil has presented on these forums for quite some time. His call to challenge chronic ZC should intelligently be taken into consideration in light of the emergence of certain questionable physical circumstances for numerous offal-ingesting, carnivorous ZCers (myself included.) I will tie these three dilemmas into a cohesive argument at the end of this post.

First dilemma: Evolution, rapid brain expansion, and the historical transition to a predominantly carnivorous lifestyle

Having studied evolutionary anatomy, I can confidently say that the human body has not evolved in an absolutely unified manner throughout the last few millennia. If we believe the scientific disciplines (that most of us agree with on some points) in arguing that humans were primarily plant-eaters before carnivores, and that our brains became much larger during our carnivorous days, then we arrive at a conundrum: the expansion of the human brain's size occurred very rapidly, evolutionarily speaking. This initial expansion happened because a primarily herbivorous species (ancient humans equipped with a plant-oriented bacterial flora and bodily qualities prepared to metabolize plant-foods) chose to substantially increase their raw meat consumption, viz. hunting and scavenging. In response to--and in consequence of--heightened meat intake and anatomical specificities (opposable thumbs, etc.), the human brain became incredibly refined and potent. We are obviously still basking in the brain-expanding glory of this momentous carnivorous evolutionary trajectory; albeit, of course, we should question for how long we will be able to do this, collectively, considering the quality of the modern human's diet (namely, the absence of raw meats/fats/offal, as well as the presence of genetically modified, anti-nutrient-laden plant-foods.) The point here is that the enlargement of the human brain occurred, at least in an evolutionary time-scale, at an accelerated and atypical rate. Such an expansion of cognitive functions was atypical in that it did not reflect directly on our physical bodies; we did not grow massive fangs or claws to hunt down and slaughter large game; rather, we created tools, and used our newfound intellectual abilities to skillfully dispose of our subjects. Similarly, other attributes of our bodies did not evolve as quickly as our brains. Which brings me to the second dilemma.

Second dilemma: The divergent evolution hypothesis (similar to the ‘old friend’ theory)

Bacterial processes in the body account for much of the health of the human. The inhabitants of our gut flora, for one, provide us with the accoutrements necessary to digest nutrients, synthesize vitamins, neurotransmitters, and immune cells. Other bacterial-human symbiotic relationships offer what is a long list of relatively unexplored, distinctive benefits for organ systems (bacteria on the skin serve specific functions, and so on.) For the most part, the bacterial microbiome of the body is at the core of the animal’s ability to function properly. Without an optimally functioning microbiome, the human is exposed to dire environmental dangers that will rapidly deteriorate living systems. This truth has been demonstrated by numerous studies on the importance of a thriving microbiome, and the functionality of different gut floras is specifically being researched at the moment by the human microbiome project (which I urge all of us to look into, if even for the sole sake of criticism.)

Back to the brain. If we agree that the human brain indeed expanded in such a rapid manner—as is evidenced by the archaeological record—and that ancient humans decided to maximize meat intake at the potential expense of plant-foods, then what we must recognize is that the human microbiome (that is, the bacterial underpinnings of the body, such as the gut flora and other bacterial agents) of the ancestral, predominantly herbivorous humans, more likely than not failed to properly catch up to the accelerated evolution of cognitive structures—mainly because the microbiome had no need to catch up; ancient humans were still consuming at least some plant-foods. What occurred, in effect, was that the enduring plant-dependent (in that they had thrived on plant-foods for millennia) bacterial entities within the ancient human bodies were quickly, over the course of a few thousand years, forced to confront a vastly different set of digestive demands—those of predominantly carnivorous diets—in order to properly account for the newly-modified consumption practices of the rapidly changing humans. In response to such evolutionary stressors, the human microbiome, which was at one moment well-adapted to an optimal herbivorous functionality, cracked, adapted, and ceded to carnivorous demands.

The cracks and adaptations exhibited by a historically herbivorous human microbiome as it collides with a carnivorous ZC/VLC diet have appeared for different dieters in interesting forms (specifically on these forums.) Personally, I dealt with heart issues, constipation, diarrhea, and reduced bowel movements at different points throughout my VLC/ZC experiment. I followed the diet as properly as possible: minimized raw protein, increased fat, ate lots of raw offal, etc. The diarrhea and constipation were sparse, but the reduced bowel movements were constant. I attributed this, as many others have done, to the supposedly commonsensical reduction of bowel contents on a raw ZC/VLC diet. But soon I realized that even on a low fiber diet, feces is not constituted primarily by metabolic waste: feces is predominantly bacteria by mass. This made me seriously question the underlying implications of the assertion that excrement inevitably decreases when ZC/VLC. What seems to be decreasing on a ZC/VLC carnivorous diet is the actual mass of the bacterial entities in the gut. The livelihood of these organisms, which evolutionarily have remained dependent on the human’s consumption of plant-based foods, is put in peril by the absence of plant-based products.

Some will argue that the human gut flora—only a single aspect of the microbiome, but indubitably the most important—does not need plant-based foods to survive; these same people might argue that the herbivorous gut flora hypothesis is merely a myth: that humans on a ZC/VLC diet can simply reconstitute their gut floras, and create a purely carnivorous microbiome. There is no evidence to support the claim that the human gut flora, evolutionarily and historically nurtured by plant-based foods, thrives under carnivorous ZC/VLC conditions. In fact, there is a striking amount of evidence to the contrary.

According to recent research compiled by Dr. Jeff Leach, the gut flora of chronic LC dieters demonstrates fairly poor traits in relation to known optimal conditions. Truly, what we know about gut floras in rather limited compared to our general anatomical knowledge, but the fact remains that serious changes are occurring in our guts when we drastically reduce the intake of carbohydrates. These changes, taken in total and observed anecdotally and scientifically, seem to point toward a reduction in the total numbers of bacterial symbiotic agents in the guts of ZC/VLC subjects.

Third dilemma: ketosis, gluconeogenesis, brain glucose requirements, and the optimal human diet

There are numerous indicators and pieces of evidence that corroborate the above hypothesis concerning the fragmented evolution of the brain in relation to the rest of the body. In order to properly dispel the myth that ZC is the optimal human state, we will first need to consider a variety of arguments. To begin with, let’s analyze the main metabolic structures involved in the ZC diet--gluconeogenesis and ketosis--and their different properties in relation to the human brain.

A) On a very basic level, scientific studies of the brain demonstrate that it demands a certain amount of glucose each day. When in a deep ketogenic mode (as most ZC dieters are), the brain refuses to consume 100% glucose, and demands that the liver produce glucose for its minimum sustenance requirements viz. gluconeogenesis—a process which many of us are familiar with, and which involves the cleaving of amino acids to generate glucose. Gluconeogenesis is a liver-intensive process that is modulated by glucagon, cortisol, insulin, and various other interconnected hormonal pathways. The very fact that gluconeogenesis is associated to cortisol levels should send up some red flags: gluconeogenesis is tough work, and our bodies will avoid activating the metabolic pathway unless absolutely forced to do so. In fact, glucose is stored as glycogen in fairly high quantities (around 500-1000+ calories, depending on the person) in the liver, brain, and to a lesser extent, in muscles, to prevent the body from having to generate glucose via gluconeogenesis. It is evident from the body’s attempts at quarantining and preserving glucose that it does not want to have to turn water into wine (protein into glucose) constantly. Functionally, the body is far more interested in granting the brain its glucose requirements without overstressing the liver, which is already responsible for enough metabolic processes. This makes sense, because sugars aren’t too difficult to come by in most environments (arctic north excluded, but we’ll tackle that in a moment), and there’s no reason why the brain should be denied its 30g of glucose per day. Unless, of course, something has gone wrong.

B) In the deep ketogenic near-total absence of glucose, the body engages in gluconeogenesis and, to a lesser degree, the production of glucose from fatty acids, to supply the brain with its minimum glucose needs. Both are relatively tolling tasks compared to the simple absorption of free-floating blood glucose, or the consumption of glycogen for glucose. And what about the other organs? When in a deep ketogenic state, the heart will effectively utilize ketone bodies for energy, as will most other organs (although the heart itself prefers fatty acids, which haven’t been cleaved into ketones.) The functionality of the non-brain organs while in deep ketosis isn’t much of a surprise, considering that ketosis is an ancient metabolic state, and the body evolved to withstand ketogenic periods for a fair amount of time (in order to support the probable nomadic lifestyles and difficult environmental conditions of our predecessors.) Despite the capacity of the organs to utilize ketones effectively for extended periods, the brain will continue to refuse to convert entirely to a 100% ketone-driven mode. Of course, having to produce only 30g of glucose per day via gluconeogenesis is not a dire or critically exhaustive task. Carnivorous ZCers and very, very LCers will argue that this is not a stressful process at all; it is natural and beneficial. The specific stress of the generation of 30g of glucose via gluconeogenesis is not particularly relevant for my argument. Instead, the main issue here is that even when a body is in deep ketosis, the brain refuses to sacrifice its glucose requirements entirely, and it will call upon a strenuous metabolic pathway to make certain that its own needs are satisfied. The brain demands glucose—not ketone bodies. If ketosis were the default and optimal metabolic state of the human body, then why would the brain make such absurd demands?

There is a simple explanation for this: deep ketosis is not the human’s default and optimal metabolic state. We arrive at this conclusion by determining that the human’s dominant organ, the brain, refuses to survive on ketones alone, and the body will go to great extents to quarantine and protect glucose reserves, as well as produce its own glucose when no other sources are available. Instead of conceiving of deep ketosis as a default optimal state, I encourage you to understand that ketosis is a metabolic state which is mobilized to deal with the sustained absence of an organ system’s minimum nutritional/glucose requirements, and which serves to heighten certain physical processes to facilitate the procurement of the nutritional agents needed for the production of said glucose needs. Nutritional agents come in one of four forms:

1) Through the consumption of a large protein-heavy meal (not favorable, because then the body will need to switch on gluconeogenesis to make glucose from the protein that remains after feeding core skeletomuscular processes, and the excess protein will need to be excreted via the kidneys to prevent toxicity, which may place a large stress on the urinary system.) Note that various ZCers and very LCers have dealt with kidney stones in the past, and that the carnivorous ZC/ultra VLC diet typically calls for abhorrent amounts of daily fluid intake (wholly against what would be expected in a non-domesticated environment.)

As an added note, in the absence of glucose, the body calls on the kidneys to flush out stored water and electrolytes from cells (the reasons for this are various. My personal perspective is that, on a fundamental level, the body releases water because it wishes to be lighter so as to make long distance traveling while in a deep ketogenic state easier.)

2) Through the activation of the TCA cycle, and the marshaling of the acetyl-COA metabolic chain, following the consumption of a large fat-heavy meal without protein (not favorable for similar reasons as above, and in fact rather unnatural, considering that fat is almost always found with some protein.)

3) Through the ingestion of carbohydrates. (Simple, basic, and clean. Breakdown of glucose occurs in the animal cells themselves in a direct and rapid process which involves commonly discussed hormones.) Water is the end result of the burning of carbohydrates. The ingestion of carbohydrates to meet the brain’s minimum requirements is favorable because the liver does not need to actively reconfigure amino acids to produce sugar, and it is involved in this process only marginally through the storage of excess glucose, the secretion of hormones, etc.

4) Through the breakdown of body fat and lean protein tissues. (Not optimal for obvious reasons. The body does not want to consume itself. This is a desperation measure.)

Summary of dilemma #3: The human brain can only utilize ketones to a certain extent, and it requires approximately 30g of glucose daily to survive. ZC/V-VLC dieters typically stay in deep ketosis, thereby forcing their bodies to generate glucose via gluconeogenesis. In the absence of glucose, the human body activates a series of metabolic pathways that are in no way optimal or efficient from a thermodynamics perspective (the reconfiguration of amino acids to create glucose, for one, requires a substantial amount of energy). The livers and excretory systems of ZC/VLCers bear the burden of having to deal with the production of glucose from proteins (a non-optimal process), as well as shouldering the significant electrolyte changes that occur during deep ketosis, the latter of which evolutionarily may exist to simply facilitate the acquisition of glucose during difficult nutritional periods.

But what about the Inuit, whose consumption of a ZC/VLC diet has been stressed by advocates of deep ketosis constantly?

The Inuit, in those old days before the arrival of the European colonials, were able to thrive in the coldest parts of the north by making full use of their livers in the absence of glucose. In studies conducted in the 1930s, the Inuit were shown to consume large amounts of protein (250g+ per day) which exceeded their daily skeletomuscular requirements. Whether in ketosis or not (this has been a point of contention for some scholars), the large consumption of dietary protein kept the Inuit out of a fully ketogenic state, even though this metabolic reality came with an increased burden on their livers. Over the course of numerous generations and in response to the demands of a high level of protein consumption, the livers of the Inuits grew larger than those of most modern humans. Such an enlargement of the liver evidences the heightened level of stress on this particular organ due to a high protein diet. From an anatomically logical standpoint, the body will not aggrandize any component that it can use efficiently unless there is a need to augment its size in order to preserve homeostasis. In the case of the Inuit, elevated and prolonged states of gluconeogenesis made serious demands on livers, and this resulted in the general expansion of the organ. The Inuit express specific physical adaptations to a high protein, VLC/ZC diet that most followers do not possess. Even if a VLC/ZC subject consumes a low protein, high fat diet, this would still not represent an optimal metabolic state as per the basic principles which I have already discussed. The example of the Inuit is critical to emphasize because it represents the extent to which the ZC/VLC carnivorous diet is anti-optimal for most subjects; the Inuit were not in deep ketosis (in that their protein intake allowed for gluconeogenesis), and they certainly had larger livers to cope with the added metabolic stressors. One of the pitfalls of the ZC/VLC diet is that if a subject consumes too little protein, i.e., not enough to meet core daily skeletomuscular requirements, then it doesn’t matter if they eat large amounts of fat—the brain will demand its glucose, and it will pull the glucose from the very tissues of the body if it must.

Summaries and Conclusions: Making sense of the three dilemmas in concert

The first dilemma presented us with the disjointed evolution of the human body throughout the different historical moments that have led to the emergence of large and powerful brains. According to rigorous and respectable scientific studies, humans began as predominantly herbivorous mammals, and later acquired the desire to pursue predominantly animal proteins for subsistence. Beginning with the Middle Pleistocene, the brains of our ancestors increased in size substantially and swiftly, thereby reflecting the acquisition of carnivorous habits. This accelerated evolutionary increase in brain mass occurred over a period of several thousand years (documented by Ruff, Trinkaus et al. 1997), and likely was not accompanied by an accelerated evolution of the human microbiome. However, explicit symptoms of such a disjointed evolution did not emerge within ancient human populations because many of these groups consumed appreciable (30-100g+ carbohydrates) amounts of plant-based foods in addition to raw high-fat/meat/offal carnivorous diets (this is what I consider an optimal diet, for it keeps the body out of deep ketosis, in a fat-adapted state, and allows for the critically important microbiome/gut flora to subsist, and, indeed, thrive.) Alarmingly, though, within recent ZC/VLC experiments, evidence for disjointed evolution of the gut/brain systems is revealed by numerous symptoms which are both anecdotally and formally recorded. These symptoms include, for many dieters, the apparent overall reduction of bowel movements, which seems to reflect on the decrease of total bacterial biomass within otherwise healthy subjects. Purposefully limiting daily carbohydrate intake is an unheard of practice in extant and historical hunter-gatherer populations. The symptoms and evidence presented by the bodily problems of chronic ZC/VLC illuminates a particularly troubling—and at the same time scientifically fascinating—reality: while the human brain thrives on diets high in meats and fats (particularly raw meats and fats), the microbiome of our bodies does not fare particularly well under deep ketogenic/ZC/VLC conditions. Following arguments made in the second and third dilemmas, I feel that it is safe to conclude that deep ketogenic diets are not only anti-optimal for long-term subsistence (in regards to the efficiency and stress-levels placed on basic and emergency metabolic pathways, i.e., stress on the liver, kidney, etc.), but are also rather harmful to the overall health of the human subject (namely, by considerably altering the structures of a gut flora that evolved divergently in regards to other bodily organs such as the brain, and which remains nearly-exclusively dependent on nutrients derived from certain plant-based foods.)

Welcome, aem42290.That sounds much like a nocturnal panic attack, which happened to me in the past.
43-45 resting heart rate is very low for any adult who isn't an elite long-distance runner. I also had low RHR in the past. Low RHR is common among people who have been on diets too low in carbs, prebiotics and/or calories for too long. See Ray Peat's info on this (ex:
Have you had any other symptoms of LC torpor, like low basal temperature, cold extremities, lightheadedness after exertion, reduced sleep quality, dry skin, skin rash, high and rising FBG, high and rising LDL, low T3, ...?
How did you run an EKG on yourself?
Hey, Paleophil.
First off, thanks for your prompt response. I'll try to systematically answer/comment on your thoughts.
1. I question the notion that what I experienced was a panic attack. My disbelief here is justified by the elevated resting heart rate following the incident (an unnecessarily elevated resting heart rate that I am still dealing with.) I have dealt with panic attacks before while on the SAD, and I am rather aware of the symptoms that come attached to them (feelings of limited breathing, imminent death, heightened anxiety levels, etc.) I'm relatively convinced that this heart episode was something else entirely.
2. I agree that my RHR is low, but I don't consider this to be an indicator of any underlying problems. Rather, there are genetic factors involved in the RHR factor (my father has a low RHR, and my grandfather before him), and, further, I was, in fact, a sprinter for much of my undergrad college career. My heart has always been one of my healthiest features. Which makes all of this much more distressful. I ran the EKG on myself using a fully-functional personal EKG device that was gifted to me by an old med school mentor. His technology firm created the apparatus in late 2000s.
3. I have experienced only one other symptom of what you refer to as low carb torpor: cold extremities. My basal metabolic rate seems to be within acceptable limits, and my thyroid blood profile is very solid. I am, at least in the eyes of most knowledgeable people, in top-notch shape at this moment—and yet, my heart is still behaving erratically.
4. Berries seem to irritate my throat. As per your advice, I will look for other forms of carbs.
I don't quite know what to say because I understand that this is something that happened only once in six months of RPD. You sound like you've read enough information to know how to eat low carb - the "secret" of getting a variety of organs and enough fat - at any rate, if there were a problem like protein poisoning, you'd have a set of definitive symptoms.
As far as colds go, I've never been prone to catching cold. Again, if I got one cold, I wouldn't think too much about it.
Are you in a health-care profession? That might make you prone to running mental diagnostics. Personally, I try to "dumb myself down" about a lot of modern medical knowledge. Waiting for things to happen more than once has made it easier for me to notice valid trends, such as which foods make me have certain symptoms. That being said, I'm not a science-y person, so I might be missing something.
Thank you for responding, Eve.
1. You are wholly correct: I have researched the LC carnivorous diet extensively. I've been consuming moderately high fat amounts; watching my protein intake; eating a fair amount of fresh raw organs; and I have been selecting only the finest wild and grass-fed organic meats. To the best of my knowledge, I've done this experiment as well as is humanly possible.
2. Interesting that you have never caught a cold. I felt invincible while on this diet for most of my days, but following recent events, I stress that it is sometimes important to confront humbling experiences with a reflexive eye.
3. You called it. I was a med school student for three years. Although I am not currently in the healthcare world, I do have a substantial amount of medical knowledge (and the lofty burden of critical inquisitiveness that comes along.) I should probably put aside minor issues and wait for a repeat, but I am too cautious and observational to marginalize any physical ailments. ?

I will soon be creating another post where I address numerous conclusions that I've arrived at following my heart incident. I will address elements of the ZC/V-VLC carnivorous diet in detail.

Hey all,

This is my first post, but I must say that I've been lurking these forums for a very long time. The knowledge I've gained from many of you has been valuable beyond measure (Lex, Paleophil, Tylerdurden, Eve, etc.), and I am truly grateful for the fact that this virtual gathering place exists. You are all brilliant people.

That said, I need some help. I know that a lot of you have been on zero carb/VLC/carnivorous diets for a while, and I would like to tap into your experiences regarding common colds/infections on the diet.

Let me share my story. It's a bit lengthy, but I promise it will be worth the read.

Recently, after six months of dealing with no illnesses, I caught what seemed like a cold/flu from a hospital visit (I was there with a relative.) A day after contracting the bug, my symptoms showed up as a runny nose, a bit of sneezing--and that was about it.

The illness seemed to dissipate into the mystical void of the hunter's metabolism. Not too terrible, eh? So it appeared, but then~

A couple of weeks later, I woke up at 3:30 AM with a racing heart (140 BPM.) For comparison, my resting heart rate is typically 43-45. As I was experiencing the tachycardia, I ran an EKG on myself and determined that there weren't any signs of critical arrhythmia. My heart was literally just beating at an accelerated rate for apparently no reason whatsoever. I panicked, despite the fact that I knew I wasn't in immediate danger. I'm careful about heart issues, even if my cardiovascular system can easily handle 170-180BPM (for short periods) safely.

While dealing with the tachycardia, I figured that my body needed quick-access energy (glucose) to prevent any further problems, so I ate a handful of wild blueberries. Things became stranger. I began to shiver. I wasn't cold--merely shivering intensely. My heart rate decreased a bit (to 100), so I ate another handful of berries--and then another. My heart rate dropped to 95 BPM and remained there for the rest of the next day. The shivering gradually disappeared. At 4:30AM, I didn't go back to sleep; instead, I went to the hospital and got some blood tests. Surprise, surprise: they came back stellar. The authoritative lab coat-clad geniuses in the E.R. eyed me angrily and I was released. They couldn't figure out what was wrong with my body. This didn't surprise me. After all, Western doctors are not used to dealing with healthy patients.

Throughout my waking hours after the incident, I continued to eat carbs (fermented sweet potatoes and blueberries), thinking they would help my recovery somehow (again, by providing resistant starches and reducing gluconeogenesis.)

And then something fascinating happened: while eating all of those carbs, my nose started to run again, my stomach felt upset, and my throat became extremely sore. Following my little potato and blueberry binge, I actually got sick. Wait, what? Yes, indeed. It seems that the little bug I had caught a few weeks before came out of hiding, and manifested in full-force.

Here's what I have thus far~

 To the best of my knowledge, the human body, while in raw VLC/ZC carnivorous mode, handles illnesses/common colds differently. Rather than destroying the invaders directly, it quarantines the pathogens, mitigates the expression of symptoms, and unconventionally manages the problems (but the question here is: does it ever actually deal with them?). My conclusion was that my heart issues were related to my body's attempts at somehow eradicating the tamed cold/flu that I had caught weeks earlier at the hospital (how it intended to go about eradicating the 'tamed' pathogens--well, that made little sense to me.)

My thinking is: when I ate the carbs, I fed the bug and it overwhelmed my immune system.  But why had my heart begun to race in such a frightening manner?

So, here I am to ask, after this absurdly long story, what all of your experiences with infections/colds/viruses on a ZC carnivorous diet are (since I was ZC when the incident occurred, and had been for a bit, let's leave it at ZC).

Have you ever experienced heart issues when sick with a common cold in the way that I described? How has your body dealt with the pathogens? What symptoms have you noticed?

Please share your thoughts. Any suggestions would help tremendously to calm my mind following what happened. Note that I know Paleophil has recently stated his position regarding chronic ZC and its dangers. Although I agree with some of his thoughts, I'd prefer to keep my ZC/carnivorous experiment going for a bit longer (since I feel healthy otherwise), and it'd be nice to receive input from some of the ZC/carnivorous veterans on this forum!

Very quickly, a bit of background: I've been VLC/carnivorous for about eight months now; I oscillate between the two, but tend to gravitate toward the latter. For many years, I ate the SAD, and at the age of 22, I began losing my grip on reality (becoming schizophrenic). After researching alternatives, I dropped the SAD and picked up raw ZC/VLC. My mental symptoms disappeared entirely. Luckily, I caught my cognitive degradation quickly enough. My mother is a schizophrenic. Unfortunately for her, she never had the chance to heal before her mind slipped. I'm a habitual weightlifter and scholar (weight 180, height: 6FT, Bodyfat: 11%). This diet has served me incredibly well. My mind is eerily sharp most days, and my physique is as powerful as I'd like it to be.

Thank you to all the wonderful people on this forum. Eager to hear your replies.

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