Around the Web: A New Podcast and Bacterial Warfare

I apologize: I’ve fallen about three weeks behind in responding to the Q&A thread, as I’ve been trying to catch up on other work. I will try to get to all the old questions.

[1] New Podcast with Jonathan Bailor: I had the pleasure of recording a conversation with Jonathan Bailor, producer of The Smarter Science of Slim. I mentioned Jonathan’s new “Slim is Simple” video in my last Around the Web, but there’s more: he’s a terrific conversation partner and his podcast looks to be a great new entry among the leading Paleo podcasts. Check it out!

[2] Help Scholars Understand the Ancestral Health Movement: Historian Hamilton Stapell, who is active in the Ancestral Health Society, is researching the composition of the ancestral health movement. We’re making history, let’s help the historians understand what we’re doing. Please spend a few minutes to fill out his survey.

[3] Music to View Los Angeles By: Via Meredith Harbour Yetter on Facebook, Wilco does “California Stars”:

[4] Interesting Items:

If you’re looking for a new tumblr blog, try WTF, Evolution?.

If you’re looking for a familiar and funny one, re-visit What Should We Call Paleo Life.

MarksDailyApple found this article on barefoot horses doing well in competition. This sentence caught my eye: “Barefoot horses also need to have the sugar levels in their diet carefully managed.” Did horses need shoes because high-carb diets made their feet tender?

Brain cancer mortality increases with Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence.

More evidence that a high-fat diet promotes longevity: Polish centenarians have high adiponectin.

Emily Deans presents more reasons to eat egg yolks, especially in pregnancy.

Via Dennis Mangan, more evidence that a high-fat diet is good for you: 41% fat is better for mood than 25% fat.

When trees die, humans do too.

Jack Peterson offers advice for undergraduate eating; and he’s interviewed a man who normally does the interviewing, Abel James.

Ray Medina approves of Bifidobacterium infantis.

The food reward idea is in the popular press; a journalist has written a new book on it, Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us that is at #78 at Amazon.

Can you tell the profs from the hobos? (Via Craig Newmark)

Sustainable safe starches: Indian farmers are setting record yields growing rice and potatoes with a technique called System of Root Intensification (SRI), invented by a French Jesuit priest in Madagascar in the 1980s. However, a Chinese scientist questions the yield data.

Hitler was a vegetarian, he planned to convert Germany to vegetarianism after the war, and the Hitler Youth promoted soybeans by calling them Nazi beans. I’ll have to remember that name.

Coca-Cola – 10 liters a day of it – has been linked to a death.

Horsemeat is catching on in England.

Fish is better than fish oil: ProfDr Andro says phospholipid-borne omega-3s are better than triglyceride-borne omega-3s.

Lara Briden, N.D., suggests “gentle carbs” (similar to safe starches) for adrenal health.

Seth Roberts comments on a case in which arthritis was cured by dietary changes that successfully remodeled the gut flora.

Ned Kock wonders if testosterone levels are driven by cortisol.

Finally, orthorexia has become a hot topic on Broadway:

[5] Cute Animals:

Via Yves Smith.

[6] Bacterial Warfare: Here is an interesting video from the current issue of Cell. You may have heard that “tit-for-tat” is a successful strategy in repeated prisoner’s dilemma games – a type of game that resembles microbial competition in the human gut. Microbiologist John Mekalanos and colleagues observed the conditions under which microbes like Vibrio cholerae (whose more virulent strains cause diarrhea and cholera) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (which is pathogenic in people with cystic fibrosis) choose to fight or co-exist with one another. Listen to Dr. Mekalanos explain bacterial warfare conducted with Type VI secretion systems:

For more, see “Bacterial Battlefield.”

By the way, Shou-Ching is currently working on a video paper showing how tumor cells interact with and attempt to take control of endothelial cells when they are co-cultured. If the paper is open-access, we’ll share her videos when the paper comes out.

[7] Silly Video: If animals had an epidemic that inflated them like beach balls, the Serengeti might look something like this:

[8] S*** Paleo People Say: PaleoFX is a month away, and I’m sure it will be just as fun as this video:

[9] Video of the Week: Lee Saxby discusses how to avoid injuries when running:

Leave a comment ?

28 Comments.

  1. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1200303#t=abstract

    Looks like Mediterranean diet quite beneficial: very little meat, beans, nuts, fish olive oil.

    Your thoughts?

    • Higher fat Mediterranean diet beats standard low fat diet. Seems to fit the phd narrative perfectly!

    • Hi Steve,

      Their intervention looks very similar to PHD. There is no data on actual macronutrient intakes of participants, so we have to guess, but the advice is generally in a PHD direction (http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1200303#t=articleMethods and http://www.nejm.org/doi/suppl/10.1056/NEJMoa1200303/suppl_file/nejmoa1200303_appendix.pdf):

      – They discourage soft drinks, baked goods, and sweets including “pastries, industrial bakery products (such as cakes, donuts, or cookies), industrial desserts (puddings, custard), French fries or potato chips, and out-of-home pre-cooked cakes and sweets” — thus, much sugar and wheat;
      – They encourage eating a high-fat diet by providing supplemental olive oil and nuts and recommending these foods;
      – They encourage eating fish at least 3 times a week and eating white meats as well, so there’s no reason to expect it to be low in animal protein, and the fish supports omega-6/omega-3 balance;
      – They encourage whole foods and cooking at home;
      – They encourage one glass of wine per day;
      – A wide range of PHD foods are supported: “Ad libitum consumption was allowed for the following food items: nuts (raw and unsalted), eggs, fish (recommended for daily intake), seafood, low-fat cheese, chocolate (only black chocolate, with more than 50% cocoa)”;
      – Apart from the legume recommendation, their plant food advice is similar to PHD;
      – To promote compliance, they worked hard to educate participants on the benefits of a high-fat diet: “Fatty foods such as olive oil and nuts, even if rich in unsaturated fatty acids, are still perceived as fattening by some nutrition experts. Due to this, it was particularly important to allay the fear of an eventual weight gain that might have both the person who is on a weight-management program and his/her nutritionist. This was done by a comprehensive exposition of recent scientific evidence suggesting that these foods do not promote weight gain and might even help to lose weight.”

      So, I think it’s a bit high in omega-6 and would be improved by including red meat and butter and cutting down on the omega-6 a bit, but in general it’s in line with our recommendations, so I’m not surprised it reduced cardiovascular event incidence by 30% against the control diet, which was lower in fat. Replacing sweets and baked goods by fat-rich whole foods was probably the major positive change.

      • The control group was literally uncontrolled, so the so-called “low fat” dieters were actually eating a standard modern junk diet. The study was designed to make olive oil and nuts look good. How?

        The study was funded by the Spanish government and according to the San Francisco Chronicle:

        “The study noted that some authors had financial ties to food, wine and other industry groups, and foods were supplied by olive oil and nut producers in Spain, as well as the California Walnut Commission.”

        Coincidentally, the study somehow appeared on the front page of every single major media outlet in the country, on the exact same day. It takes a massive and coordinated PR effort to achieve that.

        It’s not difficult to connect the dots. The study was about getting people to buy olive oil and nuts. And given the press, I think they achieved that.

        It’s a slam dunk approach. Set up a study that can’t lose, hire a PR firm, and enjoy the profits as everyone runs out to buy your products.

        Olive oil is basically advertised as a lower Omega-6 fat for those who are afraid of saturated fat. But, olive oil isn’t really “low” in Omega-6. It’s just “lower” when compared to industrial seed oils. Whereas a saturated fat is low in PUFA and usually has a very favorable ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 — something you’ll never hear about in the media.

        Additionally, the study verified the purity of every bottle of olive oil given to dieters — something that the average person cannot do as most olive oil is tainted with industrial seed oil.

  2. Around the Web: A New Podcast and Bacterial Warfare | Low Carb RSS - pingback on February 26, 2013 at 1:08 am
  3. “You may think peanuts look innocent, but evil lurks inside.”

    Ha ha, great quote. Have definitely heard similar things from some Paleo friends in the past. I’m also completely stealing that one more grain music video, I know a few people who will get a kick out of it.

    Great post!

  4. Profs from hobos is hysterical. My advisor and my dept director could have easily been on that photo reel.

  5. Loved the link to Lara Briden’s “gentle carbs” blog post, as adrenals have been a concern of mine as of late. There are still resources out there that promote low-carb for adrenals because of the supposed insulin link, but my own experience keeps on telling me this has to be wrong because I end up crashing without the carbs.

  6. Thanks Paul:
    My biggest question regarding the NEJM reported diet study really had to do with the magnitude of O6 intake which with an emphasis on white meat(hi poultry) might be an issue along with the nuts/peanuts and legumes; and the small(less that an ounce per day) intake of red meat. Yes, hi fat, but hi Poly fat, and low sat fat. A takeaway may be that if polyunsaturated oils are avoided along with processed foods, than a diet high in poly sources from fish and poultry with little to no red meat is not so bad.
    Would have been nice if they included more red meat-lamb and beef-, but financial support did come from olive oil and nut companies. The statistical tables were pretty good in detailing the diet.
    Thanks, and yes highly comparable to Phd diet aside from meat intake.

    • Hi Steve,

      Yes, I think the relatively high PUFA intake is a mistake. It is omega-6/omega-3 balanced so that gets rid of half the problem. Due to the low carb / low sugar intake it probably didn’t have a calorie excess which is what makes high-PUFA diets (both omega-6 and omega-3) especially dangerous; also it is low in fructose so you don’t have the fructose-PUFA liver problems. I think PHD would do even better, but this design has a lot of virtues and the positive aspects mitigate the omega-6 excess.

      They were also helped by making the control diet even worse than SAD (by advising people to lower the fat in their normal diets), if they had left the control group eating normally it wouldn’t have looked as good.

      • “They were also helped by making the control diet even worse than SAD (by advising people to lower the fat in their normal diets), if they had left the control group eating normally it wouldn’t have looked as good.”

        I doubt that. I bet the Spanish diet, even after low fat advice, is far superior to SAD. And the authors admitted that the “control” group didn’t actually reduce fat much.

  7. Thanks for the link to Ned Kock’s article. I think there is a strong thread that runs between the “gentle carbs” adrenal fatigue article and Ned’s thoughts on low testosterone.

    How do you feel about phosphatidylserine supplementation for athletes? Ned’s article pulls figures from a study that seems to favor it: http://www.jissn.com/content/5/1/11/

    • I generally oppose PS supplementation. It is very powerful, it should be a small fraction of dietary phospholipid intake, and generally getting balanced phospholipids from food works much better than a distorted phospholipid profile from supplements. Liver, brain, marrow are good phospholipid sources.

  8. Soy milk was first developed by the Soviets in the 1920s and was used as infant food during the siege of Leningrad. The idea was to make the cities and factories less dependent on the countryside and the kulaks. Soy made the extermination of the kulaks and the collectivisation of farming that much more practicable. The Nazi bean, the Stalin bean – what’s not to love?

  9. I really enjoyed the LAX video, I have hundreds of flights in and out (and it’s never raining or snowing) :mrgreen:
    Your other vid I really love is the Toll of the Bell or whatever that was……
    Your site is nice place.

  10. It sounds like Bailor is proposing an almost zero carb diet. He makes some good points, but I think he’s misguided.

  11. Hello, I have a question. I first must apologize since I am sure that I am not posting in the right place but , to be honest, I find your website hard to navigate (that is not a criticism of your website but a sad realization about my intelligence and attention span). I have looked several times but I couldn’t find anything on this topic. Could you please tell me what your response is/was to the study that recently came out regarding the high level of arsenic in American white rice? I am wondering if purchasing rice from other countries might be the answer or if I am overly concerned about getting bladder cancer for no good reason. Thank you!

    • Hi Gabrielle,

      The biggest problem is in rice from the South where arsenic was used as a pesticide against boll weevils in cotton growing regions in the 19th century.

      The arsenic concentrates in the bran.

      So what you want to do is:
      – Eat white rice from Asia or California;
      – Follow our advice to eat a low-carb (30% carb) diet with carbs split among a variety of safe starches, so rice may be limited to about 10-15% of calories at most.

      If you do this your arsenic intake should be well within safe ranges.

  12. Paul, I know this should probably should be posted under the weight loss threads, but I wanted to ensure you saw it. You mention quite a few times about 1300 calories for weight loss. Would this hold true for some of us bigger guys who have been maintaining our weigth at around 3,500 to 3,800 calories. I’m thinking a drop down to 1300 calories would be impossible for me, but 2,300 to 2,500 would be doable and according to most caluclators would have me dropping a pound a week. Thoughts? By the way, love the second edition. I purchased the first edition on Kindle but the second as a “real” book. I think the PHD reads much better as a real book verus the Kindle.

    • Hi Mike,

      It’s fine to eat 2300 calories if that is leaving you satisfied and enables you to lose weight. The larger you are, the more calories you burn, so the more you can eat and still lose weight. 1300 is a lower limit for those who want to go as fast as possible.

      • Got it -thanks for the quick reply Paul. I lost a good chunk of weight initially but seem to have hit a wall lately. I am eating PHD to the letter and tried to get away with not counting calories but unfortunately I think I have reached the point where I need to count everything that goes in my mouth to start the weight loss again. Health wise I never felt better since starting PHD and eating real food.

  13. Having just read Mike C’s post I would like to ask the same thing since I would also fall in the same camp. There are always two camps when cutting back on calories for weight loss. Those who say to do it gradually and those to tell you to just starve yourself to get the weight off. I wonder where you would stand.

    • Hi Gabrielle,

      I’m in the do it gradually camp. You should never starve yourself, weight loss should occur with minimal hunger. But if you nourish yourself properly, most people can generate a significant calorie deficit without hunger and lose weight fairly rapidly. We’ve had plenty of people lose 2 pounds a week continuously for 6-12 months.

  14. Thank you for mentioning the horsemeat scandal – which conviniently gives me a chance to have a rant on something that makes me really angry…

    What I don’t think many people realise is that here in the UK we have some of the highest levels of food legislation in the world. If not the absolute best.

    Many of our standards are better even than mainland Europe (which are already strict): all organic cows have to be grass fed; veal is humanely raised; most eggs, even in processed foods are free range, etc etc etc.

    Farmers and processors are highly regulated. A family member who was a meat processor with a small company even had to provide a furnished office for the inspectors sole use.

    And what do those money grabbing weasels who run (some of) the big supermakets do: they buy abroad and get the cheapest, nastiest bit of old tat that anyone will produce for them, driving reputable companies out of business and giving British food a bad name.

    I am lucky in that I can afford to buy my food from farm shops, farmers’ markets, good supermarkets and independent shops and there are penty of them around, but other people don’t have that luxury. And if we don’t support good, honest British farmers, they won’t be there to buy from.

    So, to all of us in Britain: your surest way of getting quality is to buy British, and to those of you abroad, please don’t judge us on the behaviour of the big supermarkets and nasty chain restaurants; our food is amazing and deserves better than this.

    Rant over, thank you for your time, I feel better now.

  15. I’d like to thank you for expansive linkage to ideologically diverse sites.

    I’ve increasingly observed the rejection of ideas based not on truth or potential truth but prejudice against a political or philosophical viewpoint of the idea’s advocate.

    I’m hopeful for a return of disinterested empiricism.

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