Around the Web, Hurricane Irene Edition

Hurricane Irene is bearing down on the eastern United States, and in Boston heavy rain began about 3 pm today. Root for an absence of power outages, so that we can get some much-needed work done.

[1] Interesting posts this week: The Ancestral Health Society announced that the 2012 Ancestral Health Symposium will be hosted by the Harvard Food Law Society and held a few blocks from our home in Cambridge. Fantastic!

Emily Deans has been busy writing about things dear to our hearts – micronutrients. Here are two posts on thiamin – the second invokes the fascinating story of the Erebus and of Shackleton’s Antarctic expedition in which all the men but none of the dogs survived – and one on folic acid. She also questioned whether it is natural for human brains to shrink with age.

John Durant thinks that if Manhattanites have to live 3 days without electricity, “all hell will break loose,” and advises, “Buy ammo.” I’m glad I live in Boston, where ammo would be unnecessary until day 5, and cannibalism still unfashionable at day 7.

Stephan Guyenet sets forth his “roadmap to obesity”. Some of the factors I think are crucial are listed in his “Other Factors” section.

Watch out, Stephan! Sean at Prague Stepchild is going after you.

The most recent post at Hyperlipid was notable for its comment section: A lot of great observations about the possibility that micronutrient deficiencies contribute to obesity.

Bix at FanaticCook wonders if there are too many antibiotics in our food.

Tom Naughton reports that salt deficiency can cause insulin resistance. I knew there was a reason for salt’s high food reward.

At PaleoHacks, some folks recount their experiences adding rice to Paleo. A few people had bad reactions that disappeared when they rinsed the rice before cooking.

Newell Wright, who has diabetes, tested rice syrup and found it wasn’t so bad for his blood glucose.

Although Don Matesz has said “Farewell to Paleo”,  some of his recent meals look Perfect Health Diet-ish.

Finally, some offbeat diet advice from Gonzalo Lira:

A cousin of mine who’s a veterinarian told me never to buy chicken breast. “That’s where they inject the hormones,” she explained. “So unless you’re sure the chicken was slaughtered at least six months after getting a hormone shot, you’ll get a big dose of hormones when you bite into that chicken sandwich.”

[2] Music to read by: One idea for getting away from a hurricane:

[3] The Jurassic Diet: Evidence that dinosaurs ate grains:

[4] “Leaky gut” and dysbiosis cause belly fat: In various places, eg Gary Taubes and Stephan Guyenet: Three Views on Obesity (Aug 11, 2011), I’ve argued that infections, inflammatory signaling, and pathogen die-off toxins are factors in obesity, and that if it is hard to lose weight following a healthy diet such as ours, one should look next to treating infections and gut dysbiosis.

A new study offers support for that view:

Mesenteric fat hypertrophy in patients with Crohn’s disease and in experimental rodent models of gut inflammation suggest that impaired gut barrier function with increased leakage of gut-derived antigens may drive visceral lipid deposition. The aim of this study was to determine whether increased intestinal permeability is associated with visceral adiposity in healthy humans…. Intestinal permeability was assessed using the ratio of urinary excretion of orally ingested sucralose to mannitol (S/M)…. [W]e found a positive correlation between waist circumference and S/M excretion within a time frame of urine collection consistent with permeability of the lower gastrointestinal tract (6-9 hours post-ingestion; P = 0.022)…. The S/M ratio from the 6-12 h urine sample correlated with visceral fat area (P = 0.0003) and liver fat content (P = 0.004), but not with subcutaneous or total body fat. This novel finding of an association between intestinal permeability and visceral adiposity and liver fat content in healthy humans suggests that impaired gut barrier function should be further explored as a possible mediator of excess visceral fat accumulation and metabolic dysfunction.

Intestinal Permeability Is Associated With Visceral Adiposity in Healthy Women. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 Aug 18.

(Hat tip Mario Iwakura)

[5] Marriage is good for you: Single men die 8-17 years earlier and single women 7-15 years earlier than married men and women.

[6] Endurance exercise reverses anorexia in rats: Hypothalamic inflammation is reversed by endurance training in anorectic-cachectic rats.

[7] Not the weekly video: Just to prove mobility exercises can be fun at any age, here’s Gary & Charlotte Chaney with Debbie Wheelis:

[8] Shou-Ching’s photo art:

[9] Video of the week: An essay on truth and deception, told through iPods:

[10] Postscript: Goodnight, Irene:

Leave a comment ?


  1. So far, here halfway between Philly & New York, Irene is as wussy as a vegan.

  2. Paul, I’m intrigued, just what kind of work is it you two do with the power off?

  3. Michael, I like gentle women.

    Hi erp,

    I was thinking it was the absence of power outages that would allow us to get work done, but now that you remind me, there are a few things we can do with the power off …

  4. Around the Web, Hurricane Irene Edition | Low Carb Daily - pingback on August 27, 2011 at 6:25 pm
  5. wonderful! thanks!
    i’m a big fan of Shackelton.

  6. wonderful! thanks!

    i’m a big fan of Shackelton.

    Shackelton (also Amundsen) believed in fresh meat (including organ meat).

    Shackelton’s team probably was on ketogenic diet for the last few months.

    the other hypothesis considered spoiled food was the cause of scurvy which Captain Scott believed. so Scott’s team ate canned food. guess which team got scurvy & perished?

    (sorry about the rambling, i’m an antarctic geek. XD)


  7. Paul, thanks for the link. BTW, I finally got my copy of PHD but I’ve not had much chance to read it yet since my wife has been monopolizing it. And good luck finding things to do without power: there’s Monopoly, Yahtzee, Scrabble…;)

  8. Paul,

    Thanks for reminding me to rinse rice. I grew up watching my (japanese) father allways rinsing rice before preparation, but ultimately was not doing it due to laziness…

  9. Yes, interesting, Don’s meals look very PHD-ish – a higher-carb, lower-fat variant … no butter on those steamed potatoes …

    Don said:
    … about 15-20% protein, carbs fluctuating from 35-50% and fats from 30-45%, mostly from nuts, olives, and avocados …

    Thanks for sharing,

  10. Paul,

    So I got my primary care doc to presribe a 200mg fluconazole for 4 weeks on top of the 50mg for 2 weeks I got from the derm. I have yet to start either. I just have a question in regards to how will I know if I have the infection beat… My symptoms are largely just the skin. My engery level is great and my digestion is quite good at the moment too expect I do not tolerate large amount of sweet potatoes, only white potatoes and rice… If my dermatitis clears in the 4 weeks and my digestion improves even further, should I discontinue when my script is up or ask for another 4 weeks? How likely is it that resistance will develop if I don’t hit it immediately with another 4 week dosage and keep continuing with the Diflucan.

    I also have Kolorex on board and will be eating a high starch version of the PHD, Iodine, raw milk yogurt, 2 brands of probiotics (Theralc and Ohhiras) and will be eating anti fungal plants like cranberries, spinach, tomatoes, and coconut oil.

    I have no idea what to expect do I do imagine I will feel like crap for the first week. I am actually waiting till next week to start because I start school this week and need my mind to be sharp!

  11. Hi Bill,

    I wouldn’t expect huge effects, antifungals are mostly gradual in their effects … just hope for improvement. I wouldn’t expect you to feel too much immediately.

    Keep an eye out for symptoms of kidney issues: swollen feet. If so back off.

    Another thing to keep an eye out for is die-off effects, if you have a gut or systemic issue. Eg acne. This might call for cholestyramine.

    Let me know how it goes!

  12. “… about 15-20% protein, carbs fluctuating from 35-50% and fats from 30-45%, mostly from nuts, olives, and avocados …”

    Some people (I believe it was Kwasniewski?) say that this ~1:1 is exactly the worst ratio of carbs:fat, either lower carb or lower fat beeing healthier. Isn’t that close to SAD as well?
    Approx. the same ratio found in several snacks and fast foods like potatoe chips and burgers/sandwiches?
    And less SAFA and more PUFA to boot!

    And thanks, but no thanks, I will continue to eat my eggs fresh! 😉

  13. Please contact ‘The Great Courses’ and see if you or anyone else can get them to consider changing their nutrition lectures,

  14. “Another thing to keep an eye out for is die-off effects, if you have a gut or systemic issue. Eg acne.”

    Would you expect to see acne as a die off effect from a bacterial chronic infection too?

    Long story short, Ive been following a lot of the PHD advice for about 2 months and I’m pretty sure I have a chronic bacterial infection which I’m pretty sure is getting better but I’ve been getting more spots than usual for the last couple of weeks and now have a patch of big spots on my neck (right under my ear, weird).

    I was trying to think what the problem could be but couldnt come up with anything,

    Thanks 🙂

  15. Hi Carole,

    It’s possible. A lot of weird things can cause acne so I’m not sure I’d say probable, but definitely possible.

    You can try detox steps: salt and lots of water to help kidneys excrete water-soluble toxins, glutathione and bile supports (cholesterol, vitamin C, taurine) to help the liver excrete fat-soluble toxins, cholestyramine charcoal or clay to help those go out in feces.

    PaleoHacks has had a number of posts on acne, with people suggesting different ideas. Zinc supplementation often helps.

  16. Hi Franco,

    I think SAD tends to be higher carb, than fat.

    Here’s some related survey based data:
    Macronutrient composition
    In the present US diet, the percentage of total food energy derived from the 3 major macronutrients is as follows (23): carbohydrate (51.8%), fat (32.8%), and protein (15.4%). Current advice for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases is to limit fat intake to 30% of total energy, to maintain protein at 15% of total energy, and to increase complex carbohydrates to 55–60% of total energy (115, 116).

    Results From USDA’s 1994-96
    Diet and Health Knowledge Survey:


  17. Hi Paul.

    I couldn’t post on Sean’s site, so let me do it briefly here.

    On one hand, we do seem to be generally maladapted to industrial foods in general, but some of us may be better adapted to the consumption of certain foods than others.

    And that may be so due to natural selection operating over a period of a few hundred years among our recent ancestors.

    Mutations do indeed take a long time to appear, but neutral mutations tend to accumulate over time, leading to a lot of variation in traits in any population of animals.

    Given the right selection pressure, neutral mutations cease to be neutral and evolve in, or disappear, from populations:

    One thing that animal breeders will tell you is that, if they select, “almost anything evolves” – e.g., a bigger nose, more body fat etc. (Not really wings on pigs or anything of that magnitude.)

  18. Hi Ned,

    Agreed, great points. Variation built up during the Paleolithic could be the source of genetic material that is now allowing rapid selection-driven adaptation to new diets.

  19. Thank you 🙂 I will work my way through the list and try those out,

    Thank you for the awesome website/ book too – its been really useful – though my boyfriend isnt too keen on you as I keep force feeding him vitamin C tablets 🙂

  20. The difference in life expectancy for married people always seems to be reported as though it’s causative. There’s every reason to believe, however, that it’s merely correlative. Healthy people have an easier time attracting mates, single people are also generally more likely to die by violence or accidents, people that died from childhood or genetic diseases rarely had a chance to get married, and so on.

    To the credit of the linked article in particular, they do at least cite a few folks that point out that you can’t say that getting married will make you live longer.

  21. what about chlorine in our water? Could it mess up our gut flora?

  22. Hi Trina,

    Yes, it does have that risk. It can be toxic in other ways too.

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