Low-carb lite…sort of

English breakfast at our hotel.  A good low-carb diet.

English breakfast at our hotel. A good low-carb diet.

It was bound to happen.  Forever the low-fat diet promoters, whenever asked about low-carb diets, would always say: Show me the studies.  Well, we showed them the studies, the vast majority of which demonstrated the superiority of low-carb diet, but they didn’t like what they saw.  So they demanded more.  The rallying cry became: Show me the long-term studies.  Now that those are in, the anti-meat folks are running out of options.  But one of their own great lipophobes (Lipid  = fat; phobic = fear of.  Lipophobe = fearer of fat.), David Jenkins, has come to the rescue.

Since the low-carb diet has proven so effective, opines he, why not make it even more so by making a vegetarian version?  Then dieters can have all the advantages of a low-carb diet along with all the advantages of a plant-based diet.  That is, assuming there are advantages to a plant-based diet, more about which later.

Although the low-carbohydrate diet has proven itself a cut above the low-fat diet in virtually all parameters measured, in one little measurement it has fallen short, at least in the minds of the lipophobes.  A number of studies of subjects following low-carb diets show that LDL-cholesterol levels don’t fall to the levels found in subjects following lower-fat, higher-carbohydrate diets.  And this troubles the lipophobes mightily.

To a lipophobe, LDL-cholesterol is all that matters.  These people have bought in to the premise that LDL-cholesterol is a major driving force behind the development of heart disease, and in their minds, anything that doesn’t lower LDL-cholesterol levels is a very bad thing, indeed.  It doesn’t matter to them if a particular nutritional regimen improves every other parameter relating to general health and even cardiovascular health, if that regimen doesn’t also lower LDL-cholesterol levels, it is suspect.

It matters not to them that there is no evidence showing that LDL-cholesterol levels cause or worsen heart disease; they believe with all their hearts that it does.  In their fat-deprived brains, the lipid hypothesis isn’t a hypothesis at all.  It is fact.

And so they set out to test the hypothesis that a low-carb diet without meat could achieve the Holy Grail of lipophobery: a lowered LDL-cholesterol.

The study published in this week’s Archives of Internal Medicine was picked up and reported on by multiple media outlets. It starts out with an opening statement laying out the problem of low-carb diets from the lipophobe’s perspective.  Remember as you read this that virtually none of the statements presented as facts have ever been proven to be so.

There is a dilemma relating to the proportion and source of fat, protein, and carbohydrate that constitutes the optimal weight loss and cholesterol-lowering diet. Newer dietary approaches for the prevention and treatment of chronic disease increase the consumption of fruit and vegetables but reduce meat consumption either directly as part of the dietary strategy or displace meat by advocating increased intakes of fish, poultry, and low-fat dairy foods. Running counter to this advice has been the promotion of low-carbohydrate diets with increased meat consumption for body weight reduction and also in the longer term for the prevention and treatment of diabetes and coronary heart disease (CHD). These diets not only challenge the concept that red meat intakes should be reduced but also reverse the dietary macronutrient profile with fat and protein as the major macronutrients and carbohydrates as the minor macronutrient. Such low-carbohydrate diets have been shown to be effective in inducing weight loss, reducing insulin resistance, lowering serum triglyceride (TG) concentrations, and raising high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) concentrations. However, the higher meat diets have not resulted in lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) concentrations, but have tended to increase LDL-C concentrations except when vegetarian sources of fat and protein were included. This lack of a benefit for LDL-C control is a major disadvantage in using this dietary strategy in those already at increased risk of CHD.

There it is, the sticking point for lipophobes and the low-carb diet.  It doesn’t matter what kind of good results those following low-carb diets achieve, in their minds all that matters is the LDL-cholesterol.  Read that last sentence again.  After all the description of the multiple benefits of low-carb dieting, it all boils down to LDL.

This lack of a benefit for LDL-C control is a major disadvantage in using this dietary strategy in those already at increased risk of CHD.

A major disadvantage they say.  Will someone show us, please, all the evidence that there is a disadvantage?  Gary Taubes wrote an entire book about the lack of evidence of any advantage to achieving a lower LDL and the lack of data showing saturated fat causing any increase in risk for heart disease, but that information is lost on these guys.

The authors of this paper are going to fix the low-carb diet problem.  Here’s what they did in their own words.

In view of the apparent success of low-carbohydrate diets for weight loss and the demonstration that relatively high-carbohydrate diets low in animal products lower CHD risk factors, we determined the effect of a low-carbohydrate weight-loss diet, without the use of animal products, on serum lipid concentrations compared with a higher carbohydrate diet.

Let’s take a look at what they did.

They recruited 50 subjects, 47 of whom actually started the study.  The researchers randomly assigned the subjects to either a low-carbohydrate or a high-carbohydrate, calorie-reduced diet of a one-month duration.  Couriers delivered the food, all of which was prepared in a metabolic kitchen, to the subjects, all of whom presented themselves to the clinic weekly for evaluation.

Here is a description of the diets:

Metabolically controlled diets in which all food was provided were consumed by the participants. The low-carbohydrate diet provided the minimum level of carbohydrates currently recommended (130 g/d) and eliminated common starch-containing foods, such as bread, baked goods, potatoes, and rice. The protein content was provided by gluten (54.8% of total protein), soy (23.0%), fruits and vegetables (8.7%), nuts (7.5%), and cereals (6.0%). Gluten was provided in the nut bread and wheat gluten (also called “seitan”) products and, together with soy, in burgers, veggie bacon, deli slices, and breakfast links. In addition, soy was provided as tofu and soy beverages. Nuts included almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia, pecans, and pistachios. The fat was provided by nuts (43.6% of total fat), vegetable oils (24.4%), soy products (18.5%), avocado (7.1%), cereals (2.7%), fruits and vegetables (2.3%), and seitan products (1.4%). The diet was designed to provide 26% of calories as carbohydrates, 31% as protein, and 43% as fat. The high-carbohydrate diet was a low-fat lacto-ovo vegetarian diet (58% carbohydrates, 16% protein, and 25% fat) using low-fat or skim milk dairy products and liquid egg whites or egg substitute to ensure a low–saturated fat and low-cholesterol intake. All diets were provided at 60% of estimated calorie requirements using the Harris-Benedict equation with allowance for exercise.

The low-carbohydrate diet featured viscous fiber-containing foods, including oats and barley, for the relatively limited amount of carbohydrates allowed, and the production of a “no starch” high-protein bread made entirely from ground almonds, hazel nuts, and wheat gluten. The carbohydrate foods and low-starch vegetables, emphasizing okra and eggplant, provided 6 to 7 g of viscous fiber per 2000-kcal diet. The bread was provided as part of the diet.

Whoa there!  Did we read that correctly?  Did it say that the low-carbohydrate diet contained 130 grams per day of carbohydrate?  It sure did.  Doesn’t sound much like a low-carbohydrate diet to me.  It takes a restriction of carbohydrates down to the 50 or so gram per day level to get the real benefit of low-carb dieting, the so-called low-carb magic.  Anything much above that is simply a low-calorie diet with a little less carb.

What were the results of this experiment after both groups were on their respective diets for a month?  Well, it’s hard to say for sure because of the way the data were looked at.  Fifty subjects were recruited, but only 47 actually started the program.  Of these 47, only 44 completed the study (22 in each group).  But the data were evaluated using an intention-to-treat analysis, which, at best, gives less than valid answers.

Here is the chart showing the study outcomes:

veg-low-carb-diet-blog

If we ignore the fact that these data were derived using an intention-to-treat analysis and take them as presented, we can see that the lower-carb veggie diet out performed the higher-carb, lower-fat diet in a number of parameters.  Let’s look at those that were statistically significant (a P value of less than 0.05).

Satiety was greater in the higher-fat diet.  As you can see, subjects on the low-calorie, high-carb diet got hungrier as the study progressed.  Those on the lower-carb diet got minimally less hungry as compared to the start of the study, which isn’t a surprise as fat is filling.

Total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol both fell to a larger extent on the lower-carb diet.  Finally, a low-carb diet in which LDL-cholesterol dropped.  I’m sure the researchers were orgasmic.

As anyone with any experience with low-carb diets would predict, triglycerides fell markedly as compared to those on the control diet.

All the lipid ratios were improved more on the low-carb diet.

Apo B (a measure of LDL particle number) fell to a greater extent on the low-carb diet and the apo B to apo A1 ratio was lower on the low-carb diet, a fact the researchers made much of.

Both the apo B concentration and the apo B–apo A1 ratio fell significantly more for the low-carbohydrate vs the high-carbohydrate diet…

Most low-carbohydrate diets have not reported the effects on apolipoproteins. The reduction in apo B and the apo B–apo AI ratio observed in the present study is a further confirmation of the potential CHD benefit that might be expected from this dietary approach to body weight reduction. In some studies, the apolipoprotein concentrations have been claimed to have greater predictive value for CHD events than more conventional lipid variables.

This emphasis on the apo ratios is interesting.  Apo B is the protein associated with LDL-cholesterol and apo A1 is the protein associated with HDL-cholesterol.  One of the big bugaboos about low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets is the fact that although these diets generally bring about a fall in LDL-cholesterol, they also bring about a greater decrease (percentage-wise) in HDL-cholesterol.  This study is remarkable because HDL-cholesterol fell in the low-carb arm whereas in most low-carb diets HDL-cholesterol goes up.  HDL-cholesterol is fat dependent (probably saturated-fat dependent if you want my opinion), and since most low-carb diets are high-fat diets, HDL-cholesterol goes up in subjects following them.  I’m sure these researchers desperately wanted the same to happen here, but, alas, it didn’t.  HDL-cholesterol fell just as it did in the high-carb arm. They are trying to cover for this by focusing attention on the apo B to apo A1 ratio, which did fall, meaning, basically, that LDL-cholesterol levels fell more than did HDL-cholesterol levels.  On a good quality low-carb diet you would typically find that LDL-cholesterol levels stay about the same (or maybe fall a little or even rise a little) while HDL-cholesterol levels go up.

I find the last sentence in the above quote really intriguing.

In some studies, the apolipoprotein concentrations have been claimed to have greater predictive value for CHD events than more conventional lipid variables.

Since apolipoprotein levels are indicators of the various cholesterol particle sizes, I would say this is a great understatement.  Virtually all of the research on this subject has shown that low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets – even though they reduce LDL-cholesterol – end up resulting in LDL-cholesterol of the small, dense particle size, which is much more atherogenic than the larger, fluffier particles found in subjects after following low-carb, higher-fat diets.  To report that this is the case in just some studies is disingenuous to say the least.  But to report it otherwise would give the lie to the notion that LDL-cholesterol levels by themselves amount to much of anything.  And we wouldn’t expect a true lipophobe to do that, would we?

When we slice and dice all the data from this study, what do we find?  We find that a lower-carb diet (not a low-carb diet, but a lower-carb diet) so complicated it basically requires a metabolic kitchen to prepare provides the same benefit as a real meat-based low-carb diet with the only difference being that the plant-based lower-carb diet gives a little lower LDL-cholesterol reading.  When you consider that this lower LDL-cholesterol reading came at the expense of a reduction in HDL-cholesterol and a major effort required to prepare the diet, one has to ask if it is really worth it?

I would bet that if the plant-based lower-carb (130 g/day) diet were compared with a meat-based real low-carb diet (50 g/day or under), the real low-carb diet (such as the one pictured at the top of this post) would win across the board.  The LDL-cholesterol number may not go down as much, but who really cares?  LDL-particle size would be larger (I calculated particle size in this study, and there was no change) and all other parameters would probably be improved more.

Maybe someday someone will do such a study and prove me right.  Or wrong.  In any case, this study has some value in that now maybe all those docs who have shied away from prescribing low-carb diets to their patients because of ungrounded fear of a minimal increase in LDL-cholesterol will give this version a try.  For all its faults, it’s better than the low-fat, high-carb diet.

*Lipid  = fat; phobic = fear of.  Lipophobe = fearer of fat

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69 thoughts on “Low-carb lite…sort of

  1. Dr. Eades,
    I have been doing a high fat, moderate protein and low carb diet for a year now. My CRP before cuing grains was a 7, it then went up to 9 and now a year later is a 13.3. I don;t eat grass fed beef but rather conventional beef and have it twice a day everyday. Do you think lowering my consumption of beef will lower my crp? Also should I give up butter and just use olive oil. I have heard you quoted as saying one should marinate conventional beef in red wine and olive oil would this work? Should I cut out all red meat for 30 days to lower my crp? I am at my wits end.

    Without knowing a whole lot more about your situation, I couldn’t possibly make a recommendation. But I can say that I don’t think red meat is the problem.

  2. mmm. Full English. for all the bad things in English diet, at least there is one redeeming institution- fried egg, sausage (or black pudding if you’re adventurous!), grilled mushroom, back bacon— delicious.

  3. Nice. I was hoping that you’d respond to this study. I wrote a post on it myself (see the ridiculously named link below), but put it MUCH less eloquently. 🙂

    http://lowcarbfightclub.com/eco-atkins-vegetarian-protein-diet-study-equals-stupid/

    I love how he seems to be prepping the media for some kind of “Prof Jenkins finally figured out low-carb with ‘Eco-Atkins'” release. He seems to think that he can get a nod of approval from both vegetarians, the USDA, AND the ‘conventional wisdom’ of the public (i.e. Fat = Heart Disease)?

    Talk about a “straw man argument”…

  4. I recently read the book “Experimental Man,” in which a journalist has a zillion tests and reports the results. The last section is on lab tests, and he discovers he is at high risk for heart disease. He’s been on a LC diet for some time, and when he learns this, he switches to a low-fat, high-carb diet. To his surprise (not ours), his TGs and small LDLs go up and the other lipids hardly change.

    Two interesting things:

    1. The nutritionist tells him that a LC diet would be better for him. Times are changing.

    2. (This is what I find surprising.) He says he was constantly hungry on the LC diet, and when he switched to low fat, his hunger disappeared. This is the opposite of what most people find, so I wrote to him through his Web site to ask if by “hunger” he really meant “carb craving,” but he didn’t answer.

    If you could interview him on this subject, it would be interesting.

    I’ll take a look at the book (which I had never heard of) and see what I can do.

  5. Dr. Eades do you think saturated fat can elevate the crp or even an imbalance of omega 3:6 with the conventional fatty cuts of beef? I have also heard that food allergies can cause this or hypothyroidism. I have an appt with my doc this week, but have been working with him to get this crp down for 2 years now. I thought cutting out the grains would do it but instead the crp went up not down.

  6. Dr. Eades, you said, “I calculated particle size in this study, and there was no change.” How did you do this calculation? Is there a simple formula using the data presented? Thanks!

    You can get a rough estimate by dividing the LDL value by the apo B value. You can tell if it’s going up or downing or staying the same, which it did in this study.

  7. “The protein content was provided by gluten (54.8% of total protein), soy (23.0%)..”

    Apparently Jenkins has no awareness of the prevalence of gluten intolerance and soy allergies. This approach to protein nutrition won’t work for a very large part of the population, perhaps as much as 70% based on some food intolerance studies that show that 70% of people have some intolerance to wheat, including the adverse pharmacological effects of gluten opiods. Compare that to 10% or less having intolerance of beef.

    So unfortunate that Jenkins et al also exhibit carniphobia (carne=meat, carniphobia=fear of meat).

    The bovine family (starting with aurochs) have been on human menus for at least 1.5 million years, wheat less than 10,000, and soy for most of us less than 50 years. So what is our evolutionarily adapted diet, beef or wheat-soy meat? Do these guys have any understanding of human evolution?

  8. I would love to see a study like the one you wished for at the end. We’ll get it eventually, I’m sure.

    Dee — Although I don’t know enough about your situation to give a thorough answer, I will say this. PLEASE consider switching to grass-fed/wild/foraged meats. They are so much more nutrient-dense and have a better balance of fats. If you think the cost is prohibitive, there are a few ways around that.

    First, buy the meat in bulk directly from farmers. I do this and pay $2.50/lb for my authentically free-range chicken and only $3.69/lb for every cut of grass-fed beef imaginable (I buy a half a cow once a year).

    Two, eat a little less meat. I don’t know how much you’re eating, but if eating less meat enables you to afford higher quality meats, I would go for it. You’ll also want to try increasing your “good” fat intake (with real lard for foraged hogs, coconut oil, etc.) so that you’ll still feel satisfied even though you’re eating less meat.

    HTH,
    KristenM
    (AKA FoodRenegade)

  9. Thanks for looking at this study. The article came up in my blog reader and my eyes just about bugged out of my head.

    Have there actually BEEN any studies that were truly low carbohydrate? It’s like the scientists doing these studies haven’t actually read about what low carbohydrate, high fat, high protein diet actually means. Not to mention simple things like an adaptation period of days to WEEKS while the body adjusts to it’s new fuel source. ie: A three week study on mental clarity is going to be bias, or maybe that’s what was intended. 🙂 The money is in “proving” low fat.

    Have you read the book “The Cholesterol Con”? I just finished it. It’s not without it’s flaws, but does a good job demonstrating (in my mind) how backwards the medical research community has approached healthy diet the past 50 years.

    There are two books titled “The Cholesterol Con.” One by Malcolm Kendrick, the other by Anthony Colpo. I’ve read both.

  10. I just wanted to add that the 130g of carbohydrate were bad enough, but look at it after factoring in the fact that their overall intake was 60% of a normal persons diet.

    So 60% of a 2000-2500 calorie diet is 1200-1500. 130g of carbs is 540 calories. That’s still 34%-43% of their daily caloric intake.

    Sheesh!

  11. It reminds me of a nasty joke I once heard about the blondes. What do u call an intelligent blonde? A Golden Retriever! Stereotypes and generalization go hand in hand with close-mindness and epidemics. So to hope these low fat high carb theorists will change their mind is like hoping muslim fundamentalists will embrace american way of life and wouldnt mind porn, offensive music and women in bikinis. Is it possible? May be, but in our lifetime. They are nutritional terorists! They use fear as their tactic, propaganda as their marketing locomotive and doubt as their defensive mechanism.

    Question: Are you getting any TV airtime any time soon? I championed the cause for you to be on Oprah show but got a polite response that even though Oprah doesnt endorse any particular dietary guidelines, she does support her show’s health experts and at this time is not intrested in pursuin it any firther. I did send 100 or so copies before I got the response. But at least they did respond. There is a low carb show on fitness tv and its pretty good. I think the guy’s name is Blake something, he weighs himself every week and shows the benefits of eating healthy low carb way. You have got to get some air time!

  12. Love the blog, Dr. Eades. I have an appt. tomorrow to check my various levels, and as I’ve been on a wheat-free, high-protein, ultra-low carb diet for about 6 months now, I’m very curious to see where everything is.

    Be careful of those wonderful “bangers”. Most of them in Britain use grain fillers – as much as 20%! Not as “meaty” as you’d think!

  13. @ Don Matesz:
    Carno- is from the Latin. Phobia is from the Greek. The correct term for fear of meat would be creophobia. Or carnotimor if in Latin. And any appologies if I get the declinations wrong. Been a while since I did Latin grammar, the most famous example of which is given below:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIAdHEwiAy8
    Enjoy!

  14. The breakfasts I had in the UK (Scotland) were great except for the sausage. It had so much crumb it was like sawdust and crumbled when I tried to cut it. I hope yours was better. One thing I do miss is kippers.

  15. If the vegans are trumpeting lower LDL-C levels due to their Soy Glutenstein diet, then I’ve got to assume that our bodies need LDL-C.

    Can’t help it, they’ve trained me to expect the opposite of their claims. They’ve been so wrong about so many other things.

  16. I think the HDL and the LDL are related. When HDL goes up, and LDL goes up, but LDL particle size goes down, could it be that all that may be happening is that the smaller HDL particles are being counted as LDL particles?

  17. That gluten and soy info popped out at me, too. That’s a recipe for thyroid trouble if consumed for too long by individuals predisposed to making IgA antibodies in reaction to gluten and soy ingestion.

    I still wonder if my hypothyroid condition wasn’t triggered or at least exacerbated by the gluten I was adding to bread machine recipes in the last year of my high carb days followed by the high gluten and soy flour LC pita breads I consumed the first year or two of my low carb WOE. Going gluten and soy-free as well as virtually grain-free has been much better for my health, but it took a while to figure that out.

  18. the low-carbohydrate diet provided the minimum level of carbohydrates currently recommended

    Because it’s been scientifically proven our brains will die if we eat less than 130g a day!!!! Ugh.

    Building on Don’s comment, reading that 50%ish of the protein was gluten based just made me cry. Nearly everything in their diet are foods that I try hard to avoid… mostly because I’m allergic to soy/legumes/nuts… but even if I wasn’t, I think I’d still try to mostly avoid them. Would be nice to have a handful of nuts as an easy, portable snack when I’m running late, but such is life. I’m not really sure what they expect people with allergies like mine to do if we were to try and be vegetarians.

  19. I can speak with some authority on high-fat vegetarian diet. As my wife is lacto-veg we follow the lacto-veg but with dairy providing 50% of the total calories (and this is buffalo milk that is 6% fat).The rest is w.heat, rice and lentils.
    We do not use vegetable oils except some rapeseed and our PUFA is below 4% total calorie.
    The saturated fat intake is approx 28% total calories and total fat about 45% and protein 12-13%.
    We do not consume any soft drink, supplement and very little sugar.

    I had medical test six month ago for Life Insurance purposes, and my fasting sugar was 83 mg/dl,
    HbA1c was 4.8% and total cholesterol was 215 with HDL as 57.
    My wife’s HbA1c is 5.1%.

  20. You mention reading the ones that are statistically significant as those with P<0.5. Shouldn’t this be P<0.05?

    Speaking of P-values and media misrepresentation, have a look at this comic.

    http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive/phd051809s.gif

    English Breakfasts rule, though they come with toast in New Zealand. I’m not super low carb like a lot of people here, so I eat it, though 2 pieces of toast amongst all the other stuff has gotta be better than a big bowl of cheerios.

    Thanks for the heads up on the P-value. It was a typo.

    English breakfasts come with toast in the UK, too. I just don’t eat it. Or, maybe, I’ll have one little half slice to sop up the yolks.

    I’ve already seen the comic. I’m going to use it in a post I’m writing.

  21. Also, did you see the study about dietary effects by Mendiola et al in Fertility and Sterility?

    I’ll copy a bit of their summary.

    Result(s)
    Controls had a higher intake of skimmed milk, shellfish, tomatoes, and lettuce, and cases consumed more yogurt, meat products, and potatoes…

    Conclusion(s)
    Frequent intake of lipophilic foods like meat products or milk may negatively affect semen quality in humans, whereas some fruits or vegetables may maintain or improve semen quality.

    I don’t think I need to elaborate on the selective reasoning here. If you can’t find time to comment on yet another rubbish study (it must seem perpetual at times) we’ll understand, but this got a reasonable bit of media coverage in NZ.

    Ah, so many bogus studies, so little time to refute them.

  22. My concern about eating tons of meat is not the LDL but the cancer link that seems to come up over and over in lots of studies.

    I wouldn’t worry about it. All these studies are observational studies and don’t prove squat. Besides, there are other observational studies that never get reported in the press showing that meat protects against cancer. But these, too, don’t prove anything.

  23. The double entendres set them up for the jabs and the right hook knocked em out at the end. Unfortunately, these guys are stronger than the enegizer bunny (or cockroaches in the summertime here in Houston), they’re a fast moving target, fear the light and impossible to eradicate.

    Brian

  24. As a Brit, I have to confess I love this stuff. LDL is not the issue — insulin is. High carb diets provoke an increase in insulin production, which taxes the pancreas and leads to insulin resistance. End result (after years of doing that) can be diabetes.

  25. Like Anna, I would be concerned about all the gluten and soy and vegetable oils.

    The gluten is probably behind a lot of autoimmune disease traced back to the leaky gut syndrome you wrote on Protein Power Lifeplan. The soy has protease inhibitors, phytates, and anti-thyroid agents[1], and all those phytosterols and phytoestrogens the body fights hard to avoid (so as to not give up control [2]).

    It has been found that atherosclerotic plaque is comprised mostly of polyunsaturated (PUFA) fats[3], and the reason LDL could become dangerous is the oxidation of these very fats. Saturated fat, increases the LDL diameter and somewhat protects the PUFA from oxidation [4]. Our body doesn’t make PUFA, it only makes SFA and MUFA (monounsaturated) fats, so these PUFAs which give LDL a bad name are most probably the result of dietary sources. I’m not talking small amounts here and there from nuts and seeds or fish, but large from mayonnaise, fried foods (using vegetable oils like corn safflower canola peanut etc), etc.

    Another interesting thing that is left out of the picture is that the ApoB interferes with bacterial communication (quorum sensing)[5]. Bacteria alone can’t do much harm, but when they get large numbers and they launch an attack against our body they do this through quorum sensing. So LDL in a sense is part of our innate immune system. Lowering LDL only changes the cause of death.

    Refs
    (1) http://www.soyonlineservice.co.nz

    (2) http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2009/03/margarine-and-phytosterolemia.html

    (3) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7934543 “Dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids and composition of human aortic plaques.”

    (4) http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pubmed&pubmedid=15124014 “Hold the antioxidants and improve plasma lipids? Ronald M. Krauss”

    (5) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19064256

  26. From:
    http://arpa.allenpress.com/arpaonline/?request=get-document&doi=10.1043%2F0003-9985(2001)125%3C0404:LTLACO%3E2.0.CO%3B2

    “A patient with a low triglyceride value of approximately 50 mg/dL, a high cholesterol level, and a discrepant LDL-C level. The LDL-C level using the Friedewald calculation turned out to be much higher than the LDL-C level using direct measurement. We, therefore, suggest that in the presence of low triglyceride and high cholesterol levels, the LDL-C level should be measured directly instead of using the Friedewald calculation.”

    I wish they would do a large study on this.

    I found this at work many, many times. The Friedewald equation does not work for those on low-carb diets with low triglycerides. If you want to know your LDL levels, you’ve got to have them measured directly.

  27. to me, the whole beauty of a low carb diet is that you eliminate processed food and eat whole foods found in nature. aside from the fact that seitan (in my opinion) tastes like a sponge, read the ingredients on some of that stuff! a vegan friend of mine insists that morning star farms “steak” strips is healthier than actual grass fed beef steak strips. all i know is that grass fed beef doesn’t come in a package with a long list of chemical ingredients!

  28. @Dee: Assess whether you might have some sort of chronic inflammation or low-grade infection, either will raise your CRP. Food allergies and intolerances cause inflammation. Garlic, onions, scallions, leeks, ginger, curry (for the cucumin) all work to reduce inflammation and are easy to add to most recipes. There are other common foods that might help. A period of time on an anti-inflammatory ‘diet’ might see your number change. Good luck! PS Abdominal fat cells release inflammatory chemicals.

  29. Michael Richards… while you are correct in your definition, Don Matesz would not necessarily be incorrect in his coining ‘carnophobia’.

    As an example, claustrophobia.

    (Sounds like you may also have had a pre Vatican II Catholic education, teapot help us.)

    But you really wanted an entree to get us to watch that great scene from Life of Brian!

    Great review Dr. Mike, most appreciated.

    You sure attract a ‘thinky’ crowd.

    That’s the crowd I want to attract so I must be doing something right. Thanks.

  30. Matt,
    The impact of low serum triglyceride on LDL-cholesterol estimation.
    SA Ahmadi, MA Boroumand, K Gohari-Moghaddam, P Tajik, and SM Dibaj
    Arch Iran Med, May 1, 2008; 11(3): 318-21.
    Department of Pathology, Sina Hospital, Medical Sciences/ University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran. ahmadise@tums.ac.ir
    Most clinical laboratories directly measure serum triglyceride, total cholesterol, and high- density lipoprotein cholesterol. They indirectly calculate low-density lipoprotein cholesterol value using the Friedewald equation. Although high serum triglyceride (>400 mg/dL or 4.52 mmol/L) devaluates low-density lipoprotein cholesterol calculation by using this formula, effects of low serum triglyceride (<100 mg/dL or 1.13 mmol/L) on its accuracy is less defined.Two hundred thirty serum samples were assayed during a one-year period. In 115 samples, the triglyceride level was below 100 mg/dL and in 115 samples from age- and sex-matched patients the triglyceride level was 150 – 350 mg/dL (1.69 – 3.95 mmol/L). In both groups total cholesterol was above 250 mg/dL (6.46 mmol/L). On each sample, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglyceride were directly measured in duplicate and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol measured directly and calculated with Friedewald equation as well. Statistical analysis showed that when triglyceride is <100 mg/dL, calculated low- density lipoprotein cholesterol is significantly overestimated (average :12.17 mg/dL or 0.31 mmol/L), where as when triglyceride is between 150 and 300 mg/dL no significant difference between calculated and measured low-density lipoprotein cholesterol is observed. In patients with low serum triglyceride and undesirably high total cholesterol levels, Friedewald equation may overestimate low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration and it should be either directly assayed or be calculated by a modified Friedewald equation. Using linear regression modeling, we propose a modified equation.

    http://highwire.stanford.edu/cgi/medline/pmid;18426324?maxtoshow=&HITS=&hits=&RESULTFORMAT=1&andorexacttitle=and&fulltext=%27Friedewald+equation%22+cholesterol+triglycerides+%22+low-density+lipoprotein%22&andorexactfulltext=and&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=20&sortspec=relevance&resourcetype=HWCIT

  31. @Wallflower
    Wasn’t affected by Vatican 2, as I’m a Jew who had a Presbyterian education in Australia. Interestingly enough, my first Latin teacher was the same person who taught Latin to my father. A complete eccentric of the old english school by the name of “Inky” Radford. Those were the days.
    But that’s what an education was like in those days. I’ll never forget the first question in my final high school Physics exam:
    “Given the Lorentz Transforms, and given the assumption that all observers are equal in the absence of gravity, prove that E = mc^2.”
    Those were the days of a REAL education!

  32. Hi Dr Eades,

    I know you appreciate food porn and are now a Twitterer….but do you use Twitpic?

    I have a web page on my blog that displays all the recent pictures of meals that have been Twittered by the ‘Primal’ community – identified by the #primal tag proposed by Mark Sisson in April which has really taken off.

    Look forward to seeing some of your great pictures appearing 🙂

    Twitter Primal/Paleo Food Porn Mashup Page

  33. @Michael Richards

    “Those were the days of a REAL education!”

    Having been recently educated (22 yrs old) I get really frustrated with the education establishment these days. Nobody can fail. In NZ it is so bad that (as of 2004 when I finished high school), if you failed a standard, it was just left off your results instead of telling you you failed. If not enough people are passing a subject, they make the exams easier to meet the status quo.

    I didn’t learn about Lorentz transforms and any decent level of relativity until 2nd year university. Until postgraduate study I got incredibly frustrated throughout education with the idea that “everybody needs a qualification” so we’ll just make them universally achievable.

    I’m not saying I’m anti-progress, but sometimes we need to take a good hard look.

  34. I did throw <rant and </rant tags into that piece, but this blogging software obviously thought I was seriously trying to code something.

  35. Whether or not it raises HDL or lowers LDL is one thing to consider when asking the question “is it worth it?” … but I’d have to say I really don’t care what happens to my LDL when the real answer to that question comes down to taste and enjoyment, in which case no – it absolutely is NOT worth it! As I’m sure any ‘real’ low-carber out there will attest.

    I’d love to know how much participants of such a study get paid for such gastronomic disaster!

  36. Thanks Nonegiven, just the ammunition I needed to fight my friendly statin pusher.
    Dr. Eades, as always, your insights are invaluable. Thank you

  37. Once again, a great post Dr. Eades!
    I just feel like nutrition and LC doesn’t really matter anymore…With the stuff I found out about yesterday.
    Do you know anything about codex alimentarius?
    It is some scary stuff that’s going on and it’s supposed to take effect in the US December 31, 2009.
    Dr. Laibow does a really good overview on youtube. Just look up “nutricide”

  38. Hey Michael Richards!

    You have had a far more interesting set of educational experiences than I have… At least in the area of juxtaposed religions and latitudes!

    But you are right, I thank my stars for my classical education, despite all the religious dogma that I had to ‘put up with’ (from the age of 12, I have identified myself, secretly, as an atheist). But my Mumma insisted on the only private school they could afford – Catholic. Back then nuns insisted on academic rigor, and enforced it with physical punishment if necessary. Lots of memorization of everything from multiplication tables to hundreds of verses of poetry. Many of the nuns were extremely well educated in the areas of their teaching discipline (and interestingly, I bet none of them had ‘teaching certificates’ that useless piece of paper). I was (am) a math savant (so was my Dad), and one of the nuns took me under her wing – she had an advanced degree in physics (you know mathematicians who can DO things). So anyway, there’s the Latin contingent (required!). I also think, in looking back, that many of those same nuns did not have a shred of ‘belief’ in them. They had found a good method of escape from the ‘world’. But hindsight can be rose-coloured as well as 20/20.

    I’m watching my 21 year old nephew go through college (yeah, he’s a sloucher, but sweet) and the courses he takes in his third year are about junior level high school. He’ll graduate with a BA, with less education than I had upon completing high school. Most (real) science disciplines still require a very high degree of prep before entry, but it is getting easier and easier to get into pseudo-science programs. Shrinkology, sociology, ecology… Even biology and (most) of the other ‘ologies’ have no ‘bar’ or professional exams to prove a baseline knowledge of the subject. Math programs are even watered down from what they were in the 60’s. Nowhere in any of the disciplines save philosophy, do I see a philosophy of science course. These ‘kids’ graduate from college with no conception of what science is, or how to recognize it when they see it. That said, my husband (who has an associates in electronics) is probably the best educated person I know. He is truly a Renaissance Man. Interested in everything and willing to do the hard work to get below the surface details.

    Dr. Eades, sorry to have ‘hijacked’ your blog (as someone else cogently put it), but a really good education is as critical to me as a really good diet. As I said, you have a ‘thinky’, set of readers.

    I am sure you understand as given your wide ranging interests, you are also a Renaissance Man.

    Cheers!

    Wallflower returns to the wall…

    Renaissance Man? Maybe. Or maybe just a sufferer of ADHD.

  39. Disease of rich extends its pain to the middle class. That’s a NYT headline that I could not resist:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/13/health/13gout.html?ref=health

    What’s your take on this? Are meat-rich low-carb diets going to have another bad mark against them?

    Old, free of gout, and eating and enjoying schmaltz (chicken fat) and pork.

    Marly

    In our practice, MD and I routinely treated gout with meat-rich, low-carb diets. In my opinion, it’s the best treatment.

  40. Hi Dr. Eades.

    I was diagnosed with IBS some weeks ago.

    I’m wondering if you believe in the IBS – SIBO connection from Dr. Mark Pimentel and eventually if the “gut-rehab” protocol you recommend in PPLP could be used to starve bacteria for good.

    Thanks a lot.

    I certainly do think it can help. It’s been my experience that people with IBS who start low-carb diets experience significant improvement if not out and out cure.

  41. I’ve been reading through your site, and also through some other sites, and I don’t get why, if the evidence for the low carb diet is promising, and if the high-carb diet is so destructive — that seems obvious — why there are so many people defending the carb diet? What’s in it for them?

    Why do so many people support Obama?

  42. Dr Eades,

    Have you written about nutrition for 1) pregnant women and 2) children? If so can you point me towards it (or any other good resources)? (Seems to me like a good book topic in and of itself).

    Thanks!

    Haven’t really written about it, but plan to at some point. At least about feeding kids. Best thing during pregnancy is to avoid refined carbs particularly during the first trimester while the fetal pancreas is under development and load up on protein during the third trimester while the mass of the baby is being formed.

  43. Naah. Dr. Eades, you’re an RM. You couldn’t be ADHD ;-> Why? because, if what they say about it is true, you wouldn’t be able to spend the time necessary to absorb all the cogent details of a difficult topic. You seem to have mastered quite a few.

    Having said that, do we really ever ‘master’ anything. There is always something more to do, learn, discover about practically everything, from any physical discipline, such as riding, shooting kicking a spheroid object around a square arena to intense thought about thought itself.

    Cheers! Love your blog, really do. Always something to ‘chew on’. (Oops. Letting my humor slip show. Oops! Did it again (although that is a reach…)!)

    Wallflower

    I’m with you. I don’t know that we ever master anything. I certainly haven’t mastered the game of golf, and, God knows, I’ve put a lot of time into it. 🙂

  44. I lost 135nlbs in one year after reading your book. Manged to kept it off for 10 years, but in last 2 years have regained 60 – overdoing on carbs as a crutch for stress. Imanage a physician group and work 80+ hours weeek.

    Every time I go back into ketosis (have been 80+ for 28 days with only 2 lbs weight loss – very strict – no cheating!) I start almost blacking out when I stand up or move. Even taking a deep breath makes me almost pass out and this is very scary. This is happening today (almost never got my car home and almost drove myself to ER). Bought a BP cuff (thinking my BP was too low because of the diuresis) but my BP is HIGH 160/90 even after resting and going back to taking HCTZ.

    Any ideas where to look metabolically? I do not want to see a DR and have them tell me I am “ruining my kidneys” with protein. I have severe unexplained bilateral hydronephrosis, but always normal kidney function per the bloodwork.

    Please give me somewhere to look. I am so afraid of adding back carbs because I then start craving them and I am desperate to get my self-respect back.

    I can’t manage your medical situation over the internet. If you are taking HCTZ (or any medications, for that matter), you need to be monitored by a physician. A low-carb diet is a powerful therapeutic tool that works quickly. Such medications as HCTZ need to be discontinued under the care of someone who knows what he/she is doing.

  45. Ha! Nothing wrong with a touch of ADHD. All my favorite people are a mix of crazy obsessive about certain subjects and have a broad, overreaching interest in a number of others. When we get together and talk, it’s chaos, and many people just can’t keep up with the tangents and trips to the backwaters of extremely nerdy subjects. That, and a good dollop of crazy keeps you dissociated from the mainstream enough that you can ridicule yourself and it, as long as you realize your screws were installed off-kilter.

    TonyNZ, the US is a lot like you described. I graduated in 2004 as well, and was only ever not bored in one series of classes. We had an absolutely fantastic English instructor, and her AP Literature class was the first and only one that actually was instructive in both writing and critical thinking. Five years later, I still have the materials she gave the class for reference. Other than that one remarkable class, the others were predominantly boring, slow-paced, and geared towards getting people to “pass” instead of learn.

    Then again, that did give me the opportunity to use the time I didn’t spend studying to come up with completely overdone projects for class and “blow the curve,” as one instructor put it. How many people produce 3D animations, digital music, and elaborate works of art for class projects for no other reason than “I’m bored and want to learn how to do this?”

    Of course, I have the sort of personality that’s terrible for institutionalized schooling. I’d always cut class, teach myself the material (my aural learning is singularly terrible so books were and are easier to grasp), return to school with stacks of completed homework, then ace the tests. This infuriated pretty much everyone. I viewed it as an improvement over middle school where I refused to do the homework and just aced the tests without having ever seen the material before.

    I never had to learn discipline then, and it’s killing me now that I actually have to DO THINGS in college and university. Many other people have the same problem (re: high schoolers with the lowest grades and highest ACT scores are the most likely to drop out – they’re BORED TO TEARS). The kicker is the truly difficult classes are a delight to take, and I think many young people would love to go to school if they were challenged more, and more was expected of them. The education system treats children and young adults like chattel, and they respond in kind. It’s damning.

    It worries me that the system I grew up in is turning out the next generation of physicians and leaders, because most of them lack any kind of ability to think critically at all. That, and I dread having to take another writing class. It’s horrifying how many people can’t piece together something resembling a sentence. It’s even more horrifying how many of those people end up in something other than remedial writing classes. The instructors tend to force us to correct each other’s papers, and I don’t know how to tell the average person that they write like a fourth grader force-fed a speedball. Or that words like “to elect” have multiple meanings.

    Wow, that’s a rant. The lack of focus on critical thinking in our education system is killing us slowly, as many minds in “science” and the “media” are wont to demonstrate for us on a constant basis. Suicide by tiny, tiny increments.

  46. Talking of an English breakfast, well sort of, with bacon and sausages, there’s a piece of news on the BBC today about the find of a piece of Neanderthal skull in the North Sea, and it appears from isotope tests that the man was an extreme carnivore:

    “Dr Mike Richards, from the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, analysed different forms, or isotopes, of the elements nitrogen and carbon in the fossilised bone. This shed light on the types of foods eaten by this young male. The results show he was an extreme carnivore, surviving on a diet consisting largely of meat.”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8099377.stm

    Isn’t it nice to see this kind of evidence of prehistoric diet.

    Anne

    Mike Richards is a friend of mine. I’ve followed his work for years. He has shown using carbon isotope studies (very accurate) that early humans were carnivores as well. Despite what all the vegetarians want us to believe, we were designed by the forces of natural selection to eat meat and there’s an end on’t.

  47. Forgive me Dr. Eades, but I just came across a reference in the Paleo Diet Newsletter to an article authored by you, your wife and Loren Cordain titled Hyperinsulinemic diseases of civilization: more than just Syndrome X. It specifically mentions breast cancer, stature, myopia and acne as ties to hyperinsulemia. I was diagnosed with bc at age 30, am 5’9″, was extremely near-sighted until PRK this winter and had adult acne until I changed to a low-car/paleo diet. I was wondering if you had any other literature you could point me to that would be enlightening. I’ve already read Good Calories, Bad Calories which connected a lot of dots for me, already. Thanks in advance for your time and keep up the good work. There are many of us that appreciate you fighting the good fight and doing it in an interesting, scientific and humorous way.

    There is a lot of info out there. Loren Cordain has done a lot of work on the acne front, so you can read a lot about that on his site. Not a lot you can do about the nearsightedness other than what you’ve done. The best strategy – in my opinion – is to follow a good quality, whole-food, low-carb diet to minimize and repair the damage and keep in good health moving forward.

  48. Amelie, sounds really familiar. I only ever turned up to about half of my classes (I actually blew them off to work with a couple of decent staff on implementing a programme to increase analytical thinking in literature). I handed in a 50 page report on nuclear power for geography. My English teacher was horrible in that status quo way and would never engage in discussion, her word was canon in her opinion. I ended up walking out and not going to that class for half a year and still got valedictorian (maybe still for the fact my grades went up after leaving and I still topped the year level for English at the school).

    And University, whilst I really enjoyed it, required me to undergo a focus shift seeing as they don’t pander to make everyone meet the status quo.

  49. Why do so many people support Obama?

    Because like carbs, on the surface it makes people who eat them feel good!

  50. This response is towards Medmanager! I am in no way shape or form a physician and wouldnt dare to give you a medical advice but I too went through something similar. I did end up in ER with PVC’s and tachycardia. I was non-functional and felt really scared. It lasted for 7 days on induction and I noticed every time I get off the low carb and go back on it, these symptoms come back. I feel lighheaded upon standing and if I walk up a stairs I feel like passing out. I am 100 percent better now that the induction is over and what a blessing it is to feel normal again. Noone appreciates feeling normal or knows what normal is unless you went throgh some debilitating illness or symptoms.

    But what did help me in those induction days when I felt out of it was beta-blockers. I would only take them as needed or when symptoms were intolerable. You absolutely have to get a physician on board. I am sure you are probably going through touph induction mulitplied by some kind of adrenalin response. Your body might be going into full panick attack from not having carbs like a carb withdrawal. See a physician!

  51. Dr Mick Hola..are you still in LDN avec MD,MD ?

    If so and you fancy a meet-up tomorrow drop an email to supachramp@yahoo,com and will check when at LB office.

    Nope. Left last week. Back in the US.

  52. That pic iooks soooo beautiful. It is pretty much my standard breakfast.

    Bacon, eggs (two minimum)
    plus any of the following as available (or as mood takes me)
    liver, kidney, tomato, onion, garlic, mushroom, sausage, black pudding.

    Funny I rarely get hungry until mid afternoon. Some salami and cheese,
    Suffices until dinner.

  53. Dr Eades,

    I agree that high fat diets are great from a satiation point of view, but does it matter what type of fat is used? In other words, can one eat saturated fat and still lose weight? Or shall we focus on olive oil and butter instead and try to trim the meat fat? I have low inflammation (CRP) and normal BP and cholesterol, but cannot lose weight it seems (2000kcal, 70/20/10 fat, protein, carbs ratio). What I am doing wrong?

    I don’t know that this issue has been studied, but my guess would be that saturated fat would be more satiating. But, I don’t know for sure. And I don’t know what you’re doing wrong without a whole lot more info.

  54. Hi, Medmanager.
    For what my experience might be worth, I tried Intervention/Induction levels repeatedly and had to give them up. Even the 72 grams recommended in “Life Without Bread” gave me trouble. I have a couple of chronic conditions–old age and an autoimmune thing–which I suspect complicates things for me. So, I decided to try coming at my goal from the top. In February, I started keeping things around 100 net carbs. Each month I’ve lowered the goal, and by now I’m completely comfortable at 60 net carbs. Will I ever lose any weight? That remains to be seen. But I feel a lot more “settled” now, and cravings have definitely subsided.

  55. Off topic, but I’m tired of hearing about how livestock production is an inefficient use of land. So I thought I’d have a little fun and dust off some of my old pasture management information. We can debate the numbers, but I don’t think I’m too far off …

    Let’s assume the following:

    – Dry matter yield from perennial ryegrass & white clover pasture of 10,000 lb per acre
    – 75% of the pasture dry matter produced is consumed by the grazing animal
    – A conversion rate of 14 lb of pasture dry matter per lb of hanging weight
    – An edible yield of 65% of the hanging weight
    – A cooked yield of 56% of the raw weight
    – A per meal protein requirement of 4 ounces of cooked meat
    – 3 meals per day

    Under these conditions, a piece of pasture less than 209 x 209 feet could produce enough meat to supply a person’s daily protein needs for 260 days (not to mention the lovely fat!).

    If we could bump the pasture yield to 15,000 lbs of DM per acre, we could produce sufficient meat to supply a person’s daily protein needs for 390 days!!

    Oh, and by the way, perennial pasture produces about as much root dry matter as it does above-ground dry matter, thus fixing more carbon.

    This from a perennial “crop” that requires minimal fertilizer, pesticides, equipment, or petroleum to produce. But it isn’t “green” ‘cause it’s not vegetarian!

    *sigh*

    dulcimerpete

    Thanks for all the effort on this.

  56. Dr,

    I had mentioned this before. I am on a low carb (40g net carbs per day) diet for the past 13 months.

    This April I went for lab work and the results were good except Uric acid levels. This jumped from 5.5 (Dec 08) to 8.0 now. The only major difference I see is I am taking Omega 3 Fish Oil supplements now.

    I remember reading from one of your blog that Uric Acid levels increase when someone starts on Low Carb. Any pointers will be highly helpful.

    Thanks

    Venkat

  57. Hi Doc, a gent who reacted to one of my posts came with the claim that the causal mechanism underlying the link between the consumption of red meat and colon cancer is now fairly well understood. He claimed that heme iron is the main culprit. Its absorption allegedely generates NOC carcinogens.

    He also claimed, and this seems incredible to me, that after a person has consumed red meat one can see DNA damage in the colon cells in the feces – similar damage to that seen in cancer sufferers.

    To buttress his case for the link between red meat consumption and cancer he gave the following references:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16991129 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11857415http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11352852

    What do you think of this?

    I think they are all observational studies and don’t mean squat in terms of causality.

  58. God, never mind the soy and wheat allergies, that sort of diet is one big antinutrient with all that phytic acid. *shudder* I learned about that thanks to the WAPF folks. Mentioned it to my little girl’s dad and his eyes lit up and he said, “That is an EXCELLENT chelating agent.” He had fun in high school chemistry, heh. Anyway. I just looked up how to make seitan, and here is a representative recipe:

    http://vegweb.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=0ce7d1e2f6662ede8cb58576d38c4eda&topic=21474.0

    It’s not fermented, and tofu is not fermented, and what is it with these people that they’re such experts on human health and diet but don’t understand how to prepare seed foods traditionally so they do the least amount of harm possible?

    I could understand us meat-eating industrial-eating folks who were raised out of cans and boxes not knowing this stuff but… aren’t veg*ns supposed to be, I dunno, more *aware* or something?

    I was so furious when I found out about this stuff. What? You mean this crap has been *sucking minerals out of my BODY*?? And I keep hearing stuff about diabetes being related to magnesium and chromium deficiency, too. Go figure, huh?

  59. Hey Venkat, I’m not a doctor, but speaking of the WAPF folks, they’re really, really big on cod liver oil. In fact they recommend it over regular fish oil. You still get the omega-3s and you also get some fat-soluble vitamins that you might be short on otherwise. Dr. Weston A. Price used to treat malnourished little kids by giving them a combination of cod liver oil and butter oil (from grass-fed, yellow spring butter) once a day with a meal.

    If you Google “uric acid omega-3” you will find conflicting information about the effects of omega-3s on uric acid levels but there are at least some people finding that omega-3 supplementation seems to increase their UA. I have no idea why but you might start with taking a critical look at your overall dietary fat ratios and reading some Mary Enig. I haven’t read her book on dietary fats yet and she just might have an answer for you.

  60. Dr. Eades,

    3 years ago I had bloodwork done and the results weren’t pretty. My doc wanted to immediately start me on Lipitor, but I turned it down in favor of trying LC, which my dad (retired nurse) was doing at the time. I started LC but didn’t stick it out for more than a month. I’ve no doubt my blood is in worse shape now. They’d probably find bacon.

    Question: on average, how long might it take for committed, consistent low carbers to start seeing improvement in their blood workups? (cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and all that)

    BTW, I’m on day 3 of induction, feeling fine, and plan to stick with it.

    Thank you in advance, and LOVE this site!

    Glad to hear you love the site. I usually check blood work at six weeks in my patients, and most have significant improvement by then. I have checked as early as 11 days after starting the diet and have found major improvement even by then. I think the changes typically occur pretty early on.

  61. Dr. Eades wrote: Why do so many people support Obama?

    I write: What the h*&^ is that supposed to mean? That it’s just as irrational, in your book, to support President Obama as it is to believe in the efficacy of a low-fat, high-carb diet?

    When you use sloppy, antagonistic rhetoric like that, it undermines your credibility. Big time, as the Vice President you probably supported used to say.

    If Obama isn’t low-carb, does that mean Dick Cheney is?

    If so, I’ll take the carbs, Doc. And I’d advise you to learn a bit more about politics — and rhetoric — to go with your diet theory.

    I would advise you to go out and purchase a sense of humor.