Author Topic: Lex's Journal  (Read 607318 times)

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Offline lex_rooker

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #850 on: December 01, 2009, 09:01:07 am »
Lex, Peter at HyperLipid actually discusses this in his latest post.  He thinks that high-carb diets result in many people having asymptomatic kidney stones...asymptomatic, because they are too large to enter the urethra.

But correct the diet and they begin to dissolve, eventually shrinking to the point where they will fit into the urethra, thus becoming symptomatic (causing excruciating pain.)

I have direct experience (which I'd prefer not to repeat) with the excruciating pain.  I read Peter's post and he seemed to put forth several possible causes.  Of all of them the reduced fluid intake seems to fit with the experience of many of the people I know who have suffered from kidney stones.  Children on a ketogenic diet for epilepsy seem to have them in greater numbers than average and part of their regime is to reduce water and fluid intake.  Us older males who reduce fluid intake to help manage enlarging prostates also have kidney stones in higher numbers.  The idea that constant ketosis itself is a major contributing factor doesn’t quite ring true with me as almost everyone that I know that suffers from them eats a high carb diet and therefore are not in ketosis.  Of course I’ve been shown to be wrong several times before so take my arguments with a grain of salt.


Alphagruis – what you say certainly makes good sense.  Let’s hope you and PaleoPat are correct about the kidney stones and that the two that I have will be the last.


Whereas I seem to have come out of ketosis after 3.5 months. Fascinating stuff. Ketosis is certainly one of the more mysterious aspects of VLC/ZC.

For me this seems dependent on the amount of fat I eat and the amount of water I drink.  More fat and/or less water the greater the amount of ketones in the urine.  Less fat and/or more water and I get lower ketone readings.  The actual amount of ketones for any given level of fat intake may be the same, but Ketostix measures the amount of ketones in a specific volume of fluid (mg/dl).  Drinking more water dilutes this so your ketone reading will be lower as the volume of urine increases even though total ketones produced in a day might be the same.

Assuming a somewhat restricted water intake (urine is always dark yellow):
Eating 60%-65% calories as fat I usually see a trace amount of ketones.  Eating 65% -75% calories as fat and I usually see trace and up to level 1.  Eating anything above 80% and ketones are usually in the range of level 2 or 3.  When eating 85%-90% calories as fat ketones were always level 4 or maxed at level 5.

When I increased water intake to 3+ liters per day, even very high fat intake of 80%-85% gives a reading of Trace to level 1 on the Ketostix and urine is very pale yellow to almost clear.  However, urine volume has increased about 4 - 5 fold which would drop my previous level 4-5 reading down to Trace/Level 1 as the urine is now very dilute.

I think this accounts for why there is so much variability of urinary ketone levels.  We are measuring a ratio of ketones to fluid volume, not the total amount of ketones actually produced.  This also makes it almost useless to try to compare ketone levels of one person with another without also knowing something like the specific gravity of the urine samples that are being compared so we can correct for the difference in density or concentration.

Lex



Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #851 on: December 01, 2009, 10:16:48 am »
I have direct experience (which I'd prefer not to repeat) with the excruciating pain.  I read Peter's post and he seemed to put forth several possible causes.  Of all of them the reduced fluid intake seems to fit with the experience of many of the people I know who have suffered from kidney stones.  Children on a ketogenic diet for epilepsy seem to have them in greater numbers than average and part of their regime is to reduce water and fluid intake. 
Yes, and I think I recall that some of the ketogenic children who got stones in the study Yuri posted were consuming less fluid than average, right? Fluid intake is the one factor that has popped up consistently in our investigations. You're probably charting a wise course by consuming more fluids. Better to be safe than sorry.

Quote
For me this seems dependent on the amount of fat I eat and the amount of water I drink.  More fat and/or less water the greater the amount of ketones in the urine.  Less fat and/or more water and I get lower ketone readings.  The actual amount of ketones for any given level of fat intake may be the same, but Ketostix measures the amount of ketones in a specific volume of fluid (mg/dl).  Drinking more water dilutes this so your ketone reading will be lower as the volume of urine increases even though total ketones produced in a day might be the same.
Thanks for the info. I did increase my water intake some, so that could explain my drop in urinary ketones.

Quote
When I increased water intake to 3+ liters per day, even very high fat intake of 80%-85% gives a reading of Trace to level 1 on the Ketostix and urine is very pale yellow to almost clear.  However, urine volume has increased about 4 - 5 fold which would drop my previous level 4-5 reading down to Trace/Level 1 as the urine is now very dilute.
I wonder if dilution of ketones in body fluids is a benefit that might help explain why wolves and traditional Inuits have apparently developed the adaptation of consuming a lot of water? I wonder what, if anything, the benefit of diluted ketones might be?
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline lex_rooker

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #852 on: December 01, 2009, 01:38:09 pm »
Thanks for the info. I did increase my water intake some, so that could explain my drop in urinary ketones.
I wonder if dilution of ketones in body fluids is a benefit that might help explain why wolves and traditional Inuits have apparently developed the adaptation of consuming a lot of water? I wonder what, if anything, the benefit of diluted ketones might be?

I have no idea if there is any benefit at all as far as ketones go.  I do hope that increased water intake will solve the kidney stone problem as they are much more painful than ketones!

Lex

Offline Michael

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #853 on: December 06, 2009, 05:52:53 am »
Most skin cancers are fairly harmless. It's mainly melanomas which you need to worry about and most specialists will check the soles of your feet first for these cancers! Since when do they get exposed to sunlight!

Think about all those dodgy flip flops that you wear and the rubber and plastics. I got told walking bare foot on asphalt causes melanomas from a friend who recently had a checkup with a specialist. Forget the sun there's other factors at play here.

I think that's a really interesting point Andrew.  My partners father died 4 years ago from a skin cancer which spread.  He was the biggest, toughest gorilla of a man you could ever meet.  He was a builder and a grafter and had spent his entire life working all day every day exposed in endless sunshine (and rain of course!) with no use of protective creams etc.  His workboots always had huge holes in them and, as a concrete layer, he spent most of his time exposing his feet to wet and dry cement.  Where did his cancer originate?  That's right - on the soles of his feet!!
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Offline Michael

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #854 on: December 06, 2009, 05:56:38 am »
Bob Marley was pretty dark skinned.  I heard what killed him was a melanoma that started on his toe.  Does anyone here know if this was the top of his toe or another part of it?

I seem to recall that Bob's problems began when he sustained a football injury to his toe which then spread a cancer throughout his body.  How this could possibly result in cancer I have no idea!  I'm not sure which part of his toe is was either I'm afraid.
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Offline Michael

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #855 on: December 06, 2009, 06:07:10 am »
For me this seems dependent on the amount of fat I eat and the amount of water I drink.  More fat and/or less water the greater the amount of ketones in the urine.  Less fat and/or more water and I get lower ketone readings.  The actual amount of ketones for any given level of fat intake may be the same, but Ketostix measures the amount of ketones in a specific volume of fluid (mg/dl).  Drinking more water dilutes this so your ketone reading will be lower as the volume of urine increases even though total ketones produced in a day might be the same.

Assuming a somewhat restricted water intake (urine is always dark yellow):
Eating 60%-65% calories as fat I usually see a trace amount of ketones.  Eating 65% -75% calories as fat and I usually see trace and up to level 1.  Eating anything above 80% and ketones are usually in the range of level 2 or 3.  When eating 85%-90% calories as fat ketones were always level 4 or maxed at level 5.

When I increased water intake to 3+ liters per day, even very high fat intake of 80%-85% gives a reading of Trace to level 1 on the Ketostix and urine is very pale yellow to almost clear.  However, urine volume has increased about 4 - 5 fold which would drop my previous level 4-5 reading down to Trace/Level 1 as the urine is now very dilute.

I think this accounts for why there is so much variability of urinary ketone levels.  We are measuring a ratio of ketones to fluid volume, not the total amount of ketones actually produced.  This also makes it almost useless to try to compare ketone levels of one person with another without also knowing something like the specific gravity of the urine samples that are being compared so we can correct for the difference in density or concentration.

Lex

Brilliant information there Lex, thanks.  I'm hoping to get some MultiStix soon and start monitoring these levels myself so that's really useful information to bear in mind.  I'm currently consuming 80-85% calories by fat but am only managing to drink 1-2 litres of water per day so I'll be interested in my ketone levels.  Have you kept a record of your specific gravity along with your ketone and water consumption levels for comparisons?  If so, it may prove interesting for yourself, PaleoPhil and I to log these stats as it may show up some useful patterns?

BTW, Sorry for filling your journal with 3 separate posts rather than compiling my replies into one!!   :D
1. When offered something that is too good to be true. It is.
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Offline wodgina

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #856 on: December 06, 2009, 07:39:54 am »
I seem to recall that Bob's problems began when he sustained a football injury to his toe which then spread a cancer throughout his body.  How this could possibly result in cancer I have no idea!  I'm not sure which part of his toe is was either I'm afraid.

I think he assumed it was an old football injury and didn't get it treated. He found out eventually and refused treatment? from what I remember.

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Offline Michael

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #857 on: December 06, 2009, 07:45:22 am »
I think he assumed it was an old football injury and didn't get it treated. He found out eventually and refused treatment? from what I remember.

Yes, that's probably a more likely scenario.  A great shame and a great loss all the same!   -[
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Offline cherimoya_kid

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #858 on: December 06, 2009, 08:03:11 am »
I think he assumed it was an old football injury and didn't get it treated. He found out eventually and refused treatment? from what I remember.



Yes, his Rastafarian beliefs prevented him from seeking Western medical treatment, is what I've read.  It's tragic.  He was so young, and had already made so much great music.   

Offline Nicola

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #859 on: December 06, 2009, 09:14:50 pm »
No just 1 hour of sunlight exposure an average of 5 days per week.

Lex

What about your meat?

http://www.healthyfood.co.nz/articles/2007/february/beef-and-lamb-good-for-your-bones

Nicola

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how about hot water?
« Reply #860 on: December 15, 2009, 04:07:34 am »



you may want to try hot water esp. 1st thing in the am -- neither boiled or scalding, though
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Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #861 on: December 15, 2009, 08:38:05 am »
What about your meat?

http://www.healthyfood.co.nz/articles/2007/february/beef-and-lamb-good-for-your-bones

Nicola
Wow, excellent find, Nicola! So apparently, when the 250HD3 in meats (and I'm guessing seafood too) is added to the regular D3, you get a total that may fill a day's requirements if you eat 2 to 4 times what the avg American does (which I do). That may confirm Peter of Hyperlipid's hypothesis that meats/seafood can provide sufficient vitamin D in absence of sunlight, which could explain why Arctic peoples didn't develop D3 deficiency diseases despite the long winter seasons with little or no sun.
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline raw

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #862 on: December 16, 2009, 12:12:07 am »
WOW! great info about vit D3. i'm still wondering a little bit of question of skin color, different races might be a factor. people who have darker skin, they do very well living in tropical country, because of lots of sun. darker skin needs more sun to get enough amount of Vit D than lighter skin. if we want to get that from eating raw meat, than darker colored people need to eat more raw animal food to get the enough amount of vit D3? ??? 
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Offline lex_rooker

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #863 on: December 16, 2009, 01:15:12 am »
Nicola - Interesting.  Not sure that food sources will totally repalce sun exposure for most of us.  My own experience has been that I've been eating nothing but raw grass fed beef for several years now, yet I've seen significant changes when I added a full hour of sun exposure per day.

Rafonly - could you expand on the hot water comment a bit.  Not sure what you think it will do, and also I don't get what the difference would be between drinking the water cold or hot.  Water is water.  No matter if you drink it cold or hot it will rapidly be brought to body temperature before it is absorbed.

Phil - As stated above, I've seen a significant difference since I added some sun exposure.  It could be possible that we get enough Vit D from food, but from my personal experience, I don't think eating beef will do the trick.  Maybe sea food is a richer source.

Raw - I think you are correct.  Skin color makes a big difference.  Darker skin reqiring more exposure to achieve the same result.  I also believe that as my skin tans, I'll need to increase sun exposure to get the same effect.  That is why I try for a minimum of 1 hour per day.  Theory says I get all I need in about 20 minutes, however, I now have a nice tan and feel that 1 hour is a safer bet.

Lex

Lex

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #864 on: December 16, 2009, 03:41:29 am »

Raw - I think you are correct.  Skin color makes a big difference.  Darker skin reqiring more exposure to achieve the same result.  I also believe that as my skin tans, I'll need to increase sun exposure to get the same effect.  That is why I try for a minimum of 1 hour per day.  Theory says I get all I need in about 20 minutes, however, I now have a nice tan and feel that 1 hour is a safer bet.

Lex

Maybe our skin tans only once we've got enough vit D. This vitamin is stored by our organism in the liver for later use.

Maybe also sun exposure has other yet unknown beneficial health effects, besides vit D synthesis.

Offline jessica

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #865 on: December 16, 2009, 09:31:42 am »
Maybe also sun exposure has other yet unknown beneficial health effects, besides vit D synthesis.

sitting in the warmth of the sun should be proof enough of its importance to ones health and livelihood
i have read that it is important to have sun exposure(not direct anytime other then dusk or dawn! ambient otherwise) to your eyes because it can stimulate the release of positive chemicals into your brain.  i dont know, there is a whole culture behind sun staring, i did a bit this morning, not blind yet 
i definitely try to get an hour or more of sun a day and will strip down in the field behind work to sunbathe on my lunchbreak
i always feel recharged and more mentally happy when done with a sun bathing session!  maybe this is not just from the sun but from being outside (and in pleasant weather) in general

Offline raw

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #866 on: December 24, 2009, 12:13:41 am »
hi lex, my toddler is on paleolithic diet for couple of months now. he doesn't consume any kind of grains, legumes. but he does consume little fruits ( once a week), and only some green juice in the morning. he does not want to drink enough water . so, i get fear of developing kidney stones which is related of high fat and protein diet. i need  opinion. thanks.  -[
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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #867 on: December 24, 2009, 03:22:27 am »
I notice that when I cheat with cooked meat (social occasions) I drink much more water after. I think that this is normal - others have said as much, so your son is probably OK.
Aajonus Vonderplanitz noted the same thing, no liquid at all for him other than the green juice IIRC.

Offline lex_rooker

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #868 on: December 24, 2009, 07:05:55 am »
hi lex, my toddler is on paleolithic diet for couple of months now. he doesn't consume any kind of grains, legumes. but he does consume little fruits ( once a week), and only some green juice in the morning. he does not want to drink enough water . so, i get fear of developing kidney stones which is related of high fat and protein diet. i need  opinion. thanks.  -[

I really don't have much advice on this subject (other than to dump the green juice, yuck - horrible stuff and full of anti-nutrients), as I clearly have suffered this miserable fate.  However, there might be a small ray of sunshine peaking through the dark clouds.  It may well be that kidney stones are just another manifestation of metabolic syndrome along with diabetes, arthritis, etc. 

There seems to be some evidence that my stones could well have formed several years ago and become too large to cause problems.  Once I changed to a paleo lifestyle the stones started to dissolve and as they shrank in size they became loose and once they were small enough to enter a ureter they caused great pain as they passed into the bladder.  Peter talks about this in his Hyperlipid Blog here:

http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2009/10/there-have-been-comments-from-two.html

I wasn’t overly sure this could be true, however, when I had the problem with my first kidney stone on November 11th of this year, they did a CAT scan and found that I had another stone of almost identical size in the other kidney.  The initial stone took 4 days of misery and pain to work its way through.  Just last Sunday the stone in the other kidney decided to seek greener pastures and started its painful trip towards the bladder.  This second stone though very painful, passed in about 12 hours rather than 96, and the pain was not nearly as bad.  This makes me believe that this second stone had grown smaller over time since it passed far more quickly and with significantly less pain.

Sooooo, I’d dump the green drink crap, allow a little fresh fruit as a treat (remember that things like tomatoes and cucumbers are fruits as well), stop worrying about kidney stones, and get on with enjoying life.

Lex
« Last Edit: December 24, 2009, 07:42:27 am by lex_rooker »

Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #869 on: December 24, 2009, 08:05:58 am »
That's good news; were you able to save the stone this time?
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline lex_rooker

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #870 on: December 24, 2009, 11:55:22 am »
That's good news; were you able to save the stone this time?

Nope.  Elusive little suckers.  Actually, I have no evidence that either has left the bladder, but hope springs eternal.

Thinking about asking for a CT scan late next year to see if anything else has developed.  If something new has formed then we know it's the current conditions causing it.  If not, then there is a chance that these truly were old stones that dissolved.

Lex

Offline moises

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #871 on: December 25, 2009, 06:42:36 am »
Hi Lex,

I have read the forum rules, and, as I understand them, I am free to post here. I mention this because I am a zero-carber but not a raw foodist. I am posting to your journal to get some clarification from you.

First, some personal background. I have been ZC for more than 6 months. In that time, I was eating almost only cooked meat and water. I had eggs a few times when traveling. More recently, I added coconut oil, to test whether its purported antimicrobial properties would improve my digestion. The 6 months before that I was VLC with no grain, dairy, or legumes, with the tiny exception of a few tastes of 100% cacao mixed with coconut. Before that, I've been low-carb for about 20 years.

My whole life I was underweight, so that puts me in a separate category from the start. Also, from my teenage years on I had digestive issues, which would now be termed Irritable Bowel Syndrom (IBS) with the primary symptoms being diarrhea and burping. Until a couple of decades ago, I rarely ate any meat, maybe a serving once a month. About 20 years ago I found that eating meat helped control my diarrhea, enabled me to gain weight, mostly in the form of muscle, and gave me more energy overall.

The reason I am posting to your forum is that I recently got a blood test that gave me my HBA1c measurement. To my knowledge, I've never had that measured before. I am 54 years old. At first, I didn't even look at the A1c result, since, unlike my cholesterol and Friedewald-calculated LDL, it was not outside the reference range. But a few days later I did examine my A1c measurement and noticed that it was 5.9% with a reference range of 4-6.

I wondered how I could be so close to the upper limit of the range when I had been on what is basically an all-meat diet for the prior 6 months. I started Googling and your posts here had the most relevance to my situation.

I have not yet made it through your entire corpus here, I have only gone backwards from today to 8/11/09. But I seem to detect 2 points of view in your writings with regard to A1c, and I wonder if you are interested in taking the time to clarify them. Note, I am not accusing you of being self-contradictory (not that that would be a capital crime), but you do seem to have different emphases at different times and I am wondering if your views have evolved or if you were merely putting the emphasis on different things at different times.

In one of your earlier posts, you write

Quote
Did you every stop to think that maybe the lower values of A1c are caused by very low BG levels driven by huge infusions of insulin after eating a carb heavy meal?  Here’s my reasoning:

When eating carbs, glucose spikes quickly and the pancreas responds with a large shot of insulin to control it.  The refined sugars we eat creates a rapid and massive BG spike that causes the body to overestimate the actual sugar content so it over shoots with more insulin than needed. This forces BG to rapidly fall to an artificially low level for extended periods of time.  Of course, if it gets to low then fat and muscle will be sacrificed (and/or you'll crave a snack) to bring the level back up.  Our modern solution is to eat a candy bar or drink a soft drink which zooms BG back up and the process starts over.  This creates a yo-yo effect, and, I expect, a very skewed ‘average’ which could quite easily lead to a skewed A1c level (whatever that is).
 
When eating fat and protein, glucose climbs in a gentle curve over several hours.  The pancreas still releases some insulin but not in the panic mode as there is no large spike to make it think the body is in trouble.  This gentle rise in BG with the associated slow release of insulin to control it, would keep BG in a very stable and narrow range at the high end of the 'normal' scale - right at the edge of where insulin release is triggered.

I'll call this the Lab Value Fetishization position. This critique is similar to Taubes's critique of cholesterol readings. It's something we can measure, so let's measure it and investigate how these measurements correlate with other things we can measure. But, it's not telling us anything of fundamental worth about our true health. Thus, people can have low A1c values and sub-200 cholesterol readings and drop dead tomorrow from cardiovascular disease.

The other viewpoint that you seem to be advocating more recently is that A1c values are important signs of our underlying well-being, and should be examined, and, if possible, responded to when too high. Accordingly, you have been upping your fat-protein ratio in order to lessen the amount of protein available for conversion to glucose.

Let's call this the A1c Essentialism position, because it affirms that A1c tells us something essential about our health. Recently, I read you citing studies that show that people with higher A1c and lower Vitamin D have much higher probabilities of dying in the next 12 months.

It seems as if you have abandoned the Lab Value Fetishization position for the Essentialist position. Do you agree? If you do, suppose there were a carb-eater with healthy Vitamin D levels and 4.8% A1c measurements. Do you think she's better off than a zero-carber with 6% A1c and healthy Vitamin D?

Please note, I am not asking you for advice. I end up following my gut, both literally and figuratively. My biggest concern is digestive health. So far, ZC has not brought me digestive health, but I am not ready to abandon it quite yet. But the ultimate arbiter, as far as I am concerned, of any diet or lifestyle, is how it affects my digestion. But, although I am not asking for you to advise me, I respect the care and thought you put into your postings. So I am genuinely curious how your approach the issues I raise. Thanks.

Offline lex_rooker

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #872 on: December 25, 2009, 09:48:42 am »
The reason I am posting to your forum is that I recently got a blood test that gave me my HBA1c measurement. To my knowledge, I've never had that measured before. I am 54 years old. At first, I didn't even look at the A1c result, since, unlike my cholesterol and Friedewald-calculated LDL, it was not outside the reference range. But a few days later I did examine my A1c measurement and noticed that it was 5.9% with a reference range of 4-6.

I wondered how I could be so close to the upper limit of the range when I had been on what is basically an all-meat diet for the prior 6 months. I started Googling and your posts here had the most relevance to my situation.

Rather a surprise isn’t it?  I had the same reaction as I, too, had never paid any attention to HbA1c levels and just assumed that they would be low since I was eating just meat and fat.  Mine came in at 6.0%.

I'll call this the Lab Value Fetishization position. This critique is similar to Taubes's critique of cholesterol readings. It's something we can measure, so let's measure it and investigate how these measurements correlate with other things we can measure. But, it's not telling us anything of fundamental worth about our true health. Thus, people can have low A1c values and sub-200 cholesterol readings and drop dead tomorrow from cardiovascular disease.

Yup, probably most of the agonizing we do over diet and lifestyle is a total waste of time but I do find some of it interesting.  My Journal started out to follow my experiences in testing Taubes’s theory that without carbs we wouldn’t gain weight.  I found out that this is not true. 

Yes, I do measure things that I can such as ketones, BG, body fat, weight, etc, and then try to correlate them with what I’m doing.  I’ve found that much of what I believed to be true was mostly non-sense and I’ve learned much along the way.  Unlike most people I don’t measure things in an attempt to control the outcome.  Instead, I make a change and then simply observe how that affects the measurements.

If I’ve learned anything, it’s that no one really knows what any given parameter should be.  The best they can do is tell me what is considered “normal” for a population that suffers from obesity, auto-immune, and degenerative diseases.  Therefore, I look to see how my measurements differ from the “norm”, but don’t try to make them conform to any ‘ideal’ since no one knows what that is – especially for someone eating Paleolithic or Zero Carb diets (which clearly aren’t normal).

The other viewpoint that you seem to be advocating more recently is that A1c values are important signs of our underlying well-being, and should be examined, and, if possible, responded to when too high. Accordingly, you have been upping your fat-protein ratio in order to lessen the amount of protein available for conversion to glucose. 

Let's call this the A1c Essentialism position, because it affirms that A1c tells us something essential about our health. Recently, I read you citing studies that show that people with higher A1c and lower Vitamin D have much higher probabilities of dying in the next 12 months.

It seems as if you have abandoned the Lab Value Fetishization position for the Essentialist position. Do you agree?

I don’t see that I’m doing anything different than when I tested Taubes’s idea of no carbs no weight gain.  I read that there was a high correlation between HbA1c levels as well as Vitamin D with death rates and overall health.  I found this interesting – especially in the light of my own raised A1c levels.  I have no way of testing the increased death rate caused by elevated A1c levels, but since my A1c levels seemed at the high end, I thought it would be interesting to see if changing the fat/protein ratio would have an effect on these levels.  To this end, I raised fat, lowered protein, and kept calories the same.  Early next year I will see if A1c levels were measurably affected.  The results are purely academic as no one, especially me, has any clue if A1c levels are indicative of anything at all, especially since I eat differently than the general population. 

One thing I think I can say, based on my personal experience and now supported by your experience as well, people eating a high fat ZC diet often have A1c levels in the upper range.  I find this information useful to pass on to others who panic over such stuff.  I referenced the studies you mention as back ground for what got me interested in this in the first place.

If you do, suppose there were a carb-eater with healthy Vitamin D levels and 4.8% A1c measurements. Do you think she's better off than a zero-carber with 6% A1c and healthy Vitamin D?

Who knows?  We’re in uncharted territory.  The best I can do is a bit of research, set up the occasional experiment, make observations, and then report my findings.  You’ll have to draw your own conclusions.  By the way, if it weren’t for my Lab Value Fetishizations as you call them, I wouldn’t have anything to report, and we wouldn’t be having this exchange of ideas.

So far, ZC has not brought me digestive health, but I am not ready to abandon it quite yet. But the ultimate arbiter, as far as I am concerned, of any diet or lifestyle, is how it affects my digestion.

I’ve repeated over and over that there is no magic in ZC.  It is just another dietary protocol, and as such, has trade-offs just like everything else.  I’ve stuck with it to see if such a radical diet would solve my problem with BPH.  It hasn’t, but there have been many other positive aspects so I stick with it.  My guess is that VLC would be just as effective and I may revert to that in the future if I ever feel that ZC is not serving my best interests.

But, although I am not asking for you to advise me, I respect the care and thought you put into your postings. So I am genuinely curious how your approach the issues I raise. Thanks.

I’m doing what interests me and attempting to report on my research and observations in a way that others may find of value.

I hope I covered all the bases.  If not, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification where I missed the mark.

Lex 
« Last Edit: December 25, 2009, 10:28:18 am by lex_rooker »

Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #873 on: December 25, 2009, 10:14:56 am »
... The best they can do is tell me what is considered “normal” for a population that suffers from obesity, auto-immune, and degenerative diseases.  Therefore, I look to see how my measurements differ from the “norm”, but don’t try to make them conform to any ‘ideal’ since no one knows what that is – especially for someone eating Paleolithic or Zero Carb diets (which clearly aren’t normal).
...
A somewhat better, though still imperfect, measure of the truly natural "norm," is the limited data we have from HG populations, who are less afflicted by "diseases of civilization" than Americans. I put more weight in the range of HG data than the avg American data, though neither is a "perfect" measure (and perfection is a vain goal anyway). Of particular relevance to people like you and me would be the data from VLC HG populations like the Inuit.
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline moises

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Re: Lex's Journal
« Reply #874 on: December 25, 2009, 08:30:51 pm »
Hi Lex,

Thanks for taking the time to provide a detailed reply. I do appreciate the enormous effort you've put into this forum to educate and encourage others. I am still working my way through all your posts. The signal-to-noise ratio is brilliantly high.

Your responses to my questions strike me as quite reasonable.

I eat grass-fed meat only occasionally. I do not plan on going 100% grass-fed anytime in the near future. I have taken O3 fish oil many times prior to going ZC. I am considering adding a few servings of sardines each week to see if that has any effect on my A1c.

Your posts have also prompted me to think in another direction. If A1c is supposedly providing a 2-3 month average of blood glucose levels, then perhaps I should follow your lead, by a blood glucose monitor, and chart the dynamics of my blood glucose. I know there are supposed to be correlations between blood glucose levels and A1c readings. So, I can see if they apply to my particular situation.

Again, thanks for being so generous in sharing your time and your knowledge.

moises

 

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