Rooting out more anti-low-carb bias

In an example of more brain damage from the mainstream medical press, a recent online article from heartwire savaged the low-carb diet as a treatment for diabetes along with one of its main academic proponents.  This piece, when read critically, provides a blueprint for how to subtly (and not so subtly) disparage an idea that doesn’t meet mainstream approval.  And it shows why the low-carb diet – despite the mountains of evidence demonstrating its superiority – continues to have difficulty gaining traction.

Here’s the story.  Dr. Eric Westman, from Duke University, gave a talk at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) conference last month in Stockholm.  Dr. Westman made the point in his talk that since 98 percent of the research presented at diabetes meetings involved a pharmaceutical approach to treatment perhaps it was time to take a look at the benefit of lifestyle changes, specifically diet, to treat the disease.  He went on to provide data showing the benefits of low-carbohydrate diets in the care of diabetic patients.

As might be expected, the mainstream – and let me assure you, the EASD meeting was the most mainstream of mainstream meetings – didn’t like what they heard.  Neither, apparently, did the writers at heartwire, another mainstream organization.

(Heartwire is an online magazine, available to anyone but requiring free registration, that goes out to physicians – cardiologists, primarily – and provides the latest news of various drugs, procedures and therapies for heart disease.  Heartwire is owned and operated by another mainstream medical news agency, Medscape, which is owned by the even more mainstream (if possible) WebMD.)

Let’s take a look at this abysmal excuse for balanced coverage and see how the writer sprinkled seeds of doubt about the efficacy of the low-carb diet throughout the article.  As we go through this exercise, bear in mind that most readers of this piece are busy cardiologist who most likely scan these pieces in an effort to get the gist of them without spending the time reading the entire thing.

(In case you don’t want to register for heartwire to read this piece online, I’ve uploaded a pdf for you to read here Kill or cure? Atkins diet debated in diabetes )

The bias starts early: right with the title:

Kill or cure?  The Atkins diet debated in diabetes

Most cardiologists (and other physicians) reading this article more than likely already have a bias against the low-carb diet.  Imagine for a moment that you are a busy cardiologist and have come across this article as you scan your emails between patients. (Heartwire is delivered to subscribers via email.)  You’ve had a few patients who have done well on low-carb diets, and you’ve heard about these diets in the media, but you don’t really know all that much about them.  You do have a bias, however, because you are a cardiologist, after all,  and therefor you are more than likely to be a believer in the lipid hypothesis, and you know that these diets are high in fat. Reading this title, most will assume the article is anti-low-carb and that it will confirm their own anti-low-carb bias.  And even the little picture at the top of the piece (reproduced above left) hints at bias because of the large chunk of red meat the questioning physician is holding.  You will then scroll down, skim through and have your eyes caught by the bold quotes set apart from the body of the piece.  If you’re in a hurry, these quotes are probably all you’ll read.  They tell you everything you need to know: heartwire – and by extension, mainstream cardiology – believes these diets to be bad.

Read these quotes as a stand alone substitute for the meat of the article and see what you think the takeaway message is.

I would never prescribe an Atkins diet to a person with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

There are no long-term data comparing the different diets in diabetes management.

Low-carb is not defined consistently across all the research studies, it’s very confusing.

If you want your patients to love you, improve their glucose; get them off insulin and injections.

It’s my hunch that it’s both—it’s the weight loss, but how you do it gives you a little extra power.

With these diets there is no suffering, no hunger and there is a feeling of satiety.

Atkins is atherogenic. I’m concerned about . . . its impact on LDL cholesterol.

The ADA does not recommend an Atkins type low-carb diet because of the concerns about the impact of that fat load on heart health.

Based on these quotes, the low-carb diet doesn’t sound like an effective option for diabetes treatment, does it?

But what about the body of the article?  Let’s take a look.

The piece starts out presenting the crux of the problem.

The fact that lifestyle interventions can often do better than drugs at controlling type 2 diabetes is recognized by many in the field, but implementation of this approach is hampered by the fact that it is difficult to get busy general physicians to actively encourage lifestyle change or to get affected individuals to alter lifelong habits.

The next paragraph introduces Dr. Westman, who may have a solution for the problem.  But let’s take note of how they introduce him.

But one nutrition expert believes he has the answer: the Atkins diet. Dr Eric C Westman (Duke University, Durham, NC) admittedly has vested interests in promoting this approach—he is the coauthor of the latest Atkins book and receives honoraria from Atkins Nutritionals—but argues that he values his reputation above all else and that his aim is to convince people that the science exists to back his claims.

The above is absolutely outrageous!  I’ve read many articles about statin drugs in heartwire, Medscape and WebMD (and countless other mainstream publications), and I’ve never seen this kind of introduction.  Could you imagine reading the following:

But one expert believes he has the answer: statin drugs.  Dr. Joe Blow (Harvard University, Cambridge, MA) admittedly has vested interests in promoting this approach – he is paid tens of thousands of dollars every year as a consultant to several pharmaceutical companies that make statin drugs – but argues that he values his reputation above all else and that his aim is to convince people that the science exists to back his claims.

Believe me, that would never, ever happen despite the fact that in the majority of cases it is true.  Most of the people who promote statins in print and in lectures are on the payroll of the statin companies.  Annoying as this is, it is even more abhorrent since most of the controlled studies that have been done (and there have been many) demonstrate the efficacy of the low-carbohydrate diet whereas controlled trials showing any benefit from statins are scarce as hen’s teeth.

As you read on through the piece, you’ll find Dr. Westman’s answers to questions being characterized in the following ways:

Westman acknowledges…

Westman admits…

Westman concedes…

This way of stating Dr. Westman’s responses imply that he is, well, admitting or conceding to the other point of view.  When describing the responses of those chosen to refute Dr. Westman – all lipophobes to their very cores – the writer uses a different characterization.

Eckel [Dr. Robert Eckel] says…

Eckel believes…

says Eckel…

And he [Eckel] is keen to stress…

Eckel begs to differ

Dietitian Stephanie A. Dunbar…says…

she adds…

Dr. Arne Astrup says…

Astrup says…

Dunbar says…

she notes..

You can see that all the mainstreamers trotted out to refute the low-carb guy all ‘say’ and ‘believe’ and ‘note’ and ‘add’ and ‘beg to differ’ and are ‘keen to stress.’  They don’t ‘concede,’ ‘admit’ or ‘acknowledge.’ (They actually do in one or two places, but mainly they ‘say’ whereas Dr. Westman ‘concedes’ or ‘admits’.)  This is a subtle but effective way of presenting material to the reader in an appallingly biased way.  The writer should be ashamed.

I’ll leave it to readers of this blog to peruse the entire heartwire article to notice the rest of the bias that runs throughout.  Those who choose to go ahead and register (free) can read the rollicking debate following the article containing comments by Gary Taubes, Richard Feinman and a number of other people most will recognize.

I do want to take a moment to show how easily a mind can be closed.  I would like to look at a couple of specific responses from Dr. Robert Eckel, the academic heavy hitter the author used to refute Dr. Westman’s approach.  Dr. Eckel is a professor of medicine at the University of Colorado and has held numerous lofty positions in the academic world including the presidencies of the American Heart Association and the North American Association for the Study of Obesity, now the Obesity Society, the organization of academic obesity researchers.  (Full disclosure: I am a member of the Obesity Society.) Dr. Eckel has written and lectured extensively on the dangers (as he perceives them) of the low-carb diet, and has attacked numerous specific low-carb diets and their developers, including yours truly.

Throughout the article while Dr. Westman is ‘admitting,’ conceding’ and ‘acknowledging,’ Dr. Eckel is (pompously, in my opinion) is attempting to refute whatever it is Dr. Westman admits, concedes, etc.  It quickly becomes clear that Dr. Eckel is so close minded about the subject of low-carb diets that he has lost all objectivity.

Dr. Westman makes the case that a recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine demonstrated that low-carb diets raised HDL-cholesterol levels.  Most of the readers of this blog – at least those who have gone on a low-carb diet – know that HDL-cholesterol goes up on such a diet.  We all know that saturated fat raises HDL-cholesterol levels.  And we all have seen or at least know of the countless studies showing the benefits of having higher levels of HDL-cholesterol.  In fact, a number of studies performed over the past few years have shown that infusing HDL into subjects with coronary plaque brings about a reversal of the plaque.  Dr. Eckel has got to be aware of at least some of these studies, but look what he says when Dr. Westman raises the issue:

“This claim that Atkins preserves the HDL level” is irrelevant, he [Eckel] says, since “the science is not advanced enough yet to say whether a rise in HDL is a good thing. To make any conclusions on this is really premature.”

The very model of a modern closed-minded academician.

And it’s obvious that Dr. Eckel wants to remain close minded.  He doesn’t even want there to be the possibility that the low-carb diet could be shown to be beneficial.

At the end of this extended attack on him, Westman, disappointingly to me since there is so much data already out there, seeks not to do battle with the large body of existing research showing the benefits of the low-carb diet but instead bolts for the ever-present refuge of all researchers and recommends even more research.

Westman says a long-term outcomes study comparing low-carb and low-fat diets is sorely needed; such data do exist for the Mediterranean diet, he notes.

“Everyone talks about the Mediterranean diet, but the low-carb one looked just as good in the DIRECT study. I’m an advocate for studying this kind of approach within mainstream medical research; it’s been avoided, and that’s too bad. It needs to be given the same attention as other approaches,” he concludes.

Surely, you may think, Eckel would agree with this.  Let’s gather some good data and settle this once and for all.  But that’s not the case.

But Eckel is vehemently opposed to any such outcomes study with Atkins, telling heartwire: “I feel that would be an irresponsible trial.”

Irresponsible?  Why?  Because just about every study done so far shows the low-carb diet to stabilize blood sugar, reduce high blood pressure, and improve the lipid levels Dr. Eckel so believes in.  It seems unbelievable.  But maybe not so unbelievable when you dig a little deeper.

Why, you might ask, is this scientist so obdurate in the face of all the evidence that’s out there?  Perhaps because much of the evidence isn’t in accord with his religious beliefs.  I try never to mention a person’s religious faith, but when it impacts his scientific thinking it at least needs to be made known.  Unless he’s changed his thinking recently, Dr. Eckel apparently is one of the few academic scientists who are literal interpreters of the bible.  I assume this because Dr. Eckel serves on the technical advisory board of the Institution for Creation Research, an organization that believes that not only is the earth only a few thousand years old , but that the entire universe in only a few thousand years old.  And they believe that man was basically hand formed by God on the sixth day of creation.  And Dr. Eckel’s own writings on the subject appear to confirm his beliefs.

I don’t have a problem with people who have such beliefs (or any other beliefs, for that matter) as long as they don’t conflict with my own life and activities.  But when my own notions of what constitutes the most healthful diet based upon my education, study and work with thousands of patients is denigrated as hucksterism, as it has been by Dr. Eckel, then I do take exception.

Part of my own coming around to the low-carb diet was driven by my many hours of study in the anthropological and paleopathological literature.  Using technology available today, it’s possible to see what early man ate, and it’s very easy to determine his health.  As it turns out, when early man made the conversion from a hunter-gatherer diet and lifestyle to an agricultural one, he experienced an enormous decline in health.

In a post I recently wrote, I put up the graphic below showing all the factors confirming the low-carb diet to be the best for the greatest number of people.

Of all the evidence that exists, I think the evolutionary/natural selection data and the anthropological data are the most compelling because they provide the largest amount of evidence over the longest time.  To Dr. Eckel, however, these data aren’t applicable because in his worldview prehistoric man didn’t exist and therefore wasn’t available to be molded by the forces of natural selection.  I haven’t a clue as to what he thinks the fossil remains of early humans really were or where they came from.  Perhaps he believes – as I once had it explained to me by a religious fundamentalist – these fossilized remains of dinosaurs, extinct ancient birds and mammals and prehistoric man were carefully buried by the devil to snare the unwary and the unbeliever.  If this is the case, I guess I’ll have to consider myself snared.

In Dr. Eckel’s view, man was created post agriculturally.  In fact, in his view, there was never an pre-agricultural era, so how could man have failed to adapt to agriculture?

Whatever the reason, Dr. Eckel seems to have a preternatural hatred for anything low-carb.  His mind is made up, and not only does he not want to be confused with the facts, as the old saying goes, he doesn’t even want research to be done to perhaps come up with the facts that might confuse him.  It is even more troubling that he sits as an editor and is a reviewer for numerous mainstream medical and nutritional journals.  What chance do you think a low-carb paper has to make it through his review?  Until he retires, all we can do is understand his biases and try to work around them.  I would suggest that whenever you read or hear reported anything Dr. Eckel says or writes about low-carb dieting – including his responses in this piece to Dr. Westman – you should take it with a very large grain of salt.

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250 thoughts on “Rooting out more anti-low-carb bias

  1. Dr. Mike,

    It will be you and your ilk, that ultimately promulgate the truth about the superiority of low and very low carb eating. It won’t occur at the mainstream level. In today’s “webbed” world, information dissemination will be channeled in such fashion, that people will HAVE to become more active in their own research as they will continually see enormous successes out there. We will see a groundswell that eventually will drown out the nonsense that is today’s conventional “wisdom”.

    Much like the climate change debate, skeptism plays HUGE roles in teasing out the truth, where biases potentially breed.

    Thank-you for your enduring work, and providing better health to new people every single day!

    -Long time PP’er/carnivore,
    Geo

      • Ah, not so fast!

        Kent reminds me very much of another … former … mutual friend, whose 911 conspiracy obsession rather detracted from his credibility in other areas!

        Like I’ve just mentioned in another post, you can’t pick and choose which bits of science you support … that would put you in the lipophobes club wouldn’t it? 😉

        • I love it:

          A book called “Absolute Truth Exposed”

          It contains truths about “Absolute Scientific Proof the Big Band and Redshilft Light Theories Are Wong” along with “Absolute Scientific Truth Dietary Fiber is Unhealthy” and “Absolute Scienfific Proof Carbohydrates are Pathogenic”

          • Yes, sadly you see my point George. Years ago I had a fairly brief, and as it turned out, pointless exchange with Kent trying to explain the scientific premise and how the death of a low fat, high carbing runner or two didn’t ‘absolutely prove’ anything.

            I gave up. As someone said you can’t reason someone out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into … and that applies to low carbers (who aren’t doing ‘the cause’ much good) just as much as anyone else.

    • I’m a bible believer and yet I know that low carb is beneficial. I first tried it in 1999 when a co-worker introduced me to the book, “Protein Power”. I lost 15 lbs, gained muscle doing resistance training along with it and felt much healthier. I think Dr Mike is accurately exposing bias but I can’t help but wonder why he cannot see similar bias being perpetrated in the promotion of evolutionary theory! When such hoaxes as “The Piltdown Man” and “Lucy”, just to name a couple, are still printed in textbooks as fact, one can only attribute it to bias! The bottom line is both are faithbased. I choose to adhere to God’s word because He has proven Himself to me. His prophet Isaiah lived well before Cyrus of Persia (appr. 150 yrs.) yet he wrote of Cyrus’s appearance, actions against and victory over the Babylonian Empire prior to it happening (Isa. 45). Secular history documents the chronolgies and occurrences. Revelation chapter 13 records the prophecy of an end time, one world government. Since the advent of the computer and the push for globalizing from many political & corporate forces, this prophetic word is seemingly unfolding right before our eyes. Billionaire George Soros (a proponent of a one world government) has stated, “The largest obstacle standing in the way of a new world order and justice is the United States.”. When speaking of closed mindedness, man can often, more readily close his mind to God than anyone or anything else. Why? Because we want what we lust for! God is not far from each of us though. He says that those who seek Him will find Him! There are many more prophetic words that have been fulfilled and secular historical documentation to verify them, such as Daniel ch. 11 foretelling of other persian kings as well as Alexander The Great of Greece 200 to 300 years prior to their arrival. Secularists and Bible believers alike can however close their minds and reject whatever they choose to. For me God works and so does protein power!

      • You have apparently been told that the early 20th Century “Piltdown Man” hoax is “still printed in textbooks as fact”. If so, you’ve been told a falsehood, and should perhaps reconsider your trust in the source, or the source’s source.

        The Piltdown Hoax was an ape jaw fitted to a modern skull, both stained brown to look old. Even if there were a grand, world-wide, cross-cultural conspiracy to promote a false idea of evolution, trying to pretend that this old hoax was real would simply be idiotic. No one does. Again, consider your source.

      • I read and hear recently that excess intaken protein gets converted to carbohydrates; where do I learn the true about this? is there a limit to the amount of protein I should intake other than that coming from “filling full”?

        Thanks!
        JLMA

  2. Even if someone doesn’t believe in evolution, they surely believe Native Americans used to be hunter-gatherers, don’t they? According to a study at Ohio State University, plains equestrian Indians used to be the tallest people in the world, height being one measure of good health.

    http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/tallind.htm

    The article emphasizes plant foods, but edible flora is pretty thin on the ground here on the Great Plains. There are seasonal fruits, but they’re tiny and a lot of them bitter and woody. Besides, you don’t need to be an equestrian to forage–but it’s useful for hunting.

    Your post also reminds me of an essay titled “Dursley Duplicity: The Morality and Psychology of Self-Deception.”

    http://books.google.com/books?id=VS2WHBipkm4C&pg=PA22&lpg=PA22&dq=duplicitous+dursleys&source=bl&ots=squj18gC92&sig=yI4WsCTCCQK98QKSlsQ2ifsIDb8&hl=en&ei=qLLZTIbKMIiosAOjw4nuBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

    One point the author argues is that it’s not possible to contain self-deception to one area, since facts are related to one another. The self-deceiver has to ignore or explain away conflicting evidence all over the place. Dr. Eckel’s views seems to be a prime example of this.

    • “The article emphasizes plant foods, but edible flora is pretty thin on the ground here on the Great Plains. There are seasonal fruits, but they’re tiny and a lot of them bitter and woody. Besides, you don’t need to be an equestrian to forage–but it’s useful for hunting.”

      Lori,

      All native horses had been eaten to extinction by the Native Americans. It was only after the Spanish came that Native Americans used horses for riding.

      • Why would you eat stringy plants if your nation was full of game and you had a warrior tradition that glorified hunting?
        You might eat them in famine, as an occasional sweet treat, or (my favourite) as medicine. If you look at the traditions of the native americans, they have left us more plants as medicines than plants as foods. The medicinal plants supply much the same antioxidants and prebiotics as the food plants, with less carbs. In fact, much of what we think of as food, berries for instance, they also saw as medicine, a view we are also coming round to.
        It’s amazing the delusion involved in thinking that these societies were mainly vegetarian. No-one who tried to live off the land in that environment could ever believe that.
        As for the “nasty, brutish and short” view of hunter-gatherer life; look to their view of the afterlife. American Indians, like the Classical Greeks, were unable to imagine an afterlife being as good as or better than the life they led. Compare industrial or agricultural man’s view of Heaven as paradise, with the gloomy prospects of less advanced people, and you might suppose that they knew when they had it good, while later civilisations had more need of consolation for their earthly woes.

  3. I’m viewing this as “glass half full”. When the flat-earthers feel the need to crank up the propaganda machine, it’s a good sign that cognitive dissonance has a choke-hold on their narrow minds.

  4. Congrats for the “he noted” (implying pointing out something that is true) vs “she claimed” (implying contrary to fact) comments. When I was a newspaper editor, this was one of my pet peeves, and I insisted that anyone I edited use only “said” or “says” to avoid bias.

    I’ve concluded it’s impossible for closed-minded people to see the evidence even when it’s pointed out to them. So maybe it’s not worth getting upset about.

    • “…it’s impossible for closed-minded people to see the evidence…”

      Perhaps not worth getting upset about, but certainly worth denouncing when they twist facts in public — not to change their minds, but to undercut their influence.

  5. If confirmation bias (or straightforward dogma) was limited to aging religious zealots like Eckel I think we’d be ok.

    Totally dug the use of preternatural.

  6. I am seeing a new doctor who is a lifelong vegitarian. I went shopping for doctors when the one I was seeing would not even consider the possibility of a low-carb diet being healthy, even after losing 80 lbs following the guidelines in the six week cure.

    My new doctor is very interested in diet and in debating which is superior. I tried to point him to your book, and Taubes’ Good Calories Bad Calories, but he resistant as he feels the authors have an agenda.

    In your opinion what would be the correct place to point my new doctor to in order to help him see the facts about low-carb living? One thing he didn’t appreciate was that Taubes is not an M.D.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I think that if more of us spoke about these things with our doctors and moved to doctors that are more open to the Low-Carb lifestyle we may be able to help shift public perception about diet.

    • I like yourhealthbase.com

      This site has been run by two Canadian biochemists who have been reviewing health literature for the past 19 years. They understand the science and have open minds. I read their free monthly magazine cover to cover.

  7. just curious as to your stand on soy based products? going low carb you’re bound to run into many items filled with soy. it seems to me that soy is not the answer that people want it to be. i say that as a post hyster. woman who is on estrogen replacement (10+years). i, at one time, used a lot of soy in hopes to combat the hot flashes and other symptoms from surgery but found no relief outside of estrogen replacement. once i was on that regimen for a while i noticed whenever i ate soy i had hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. i now stay away from any soy products. recently i ran into an article that spoke of the medical consequences of soy as detrimental to a person’s health. i am just wondering if you had any thoughts about it. Oh and ketosis, i know it can/does cause halitosis but can it go further and create an unhealthy mouth, that is, cause increase in caries or gum disease?

    i hope you made it to sunny weather. here it’s cold and snowy.
    shasta

    • The bad breath from ketosis does not come from an unhealthy condition in the mouth, but rather is simply the smell of ketones being eliminated in your breath. It’s carbs and acids that hurt your teeth.

        • The fruity breath is only temporary and is caused by your body not being used to burn so many ketone bodies and having to ditch excess unburned ketones in your breath and urine.

    • Shasta, I have gone low carb, and I don’t touch anything with soy, I eat vegetables , fruit, grass fed meat, bacon , lot’s of eggs, fish etc can’t stand soy, my body dosen’t accept it. I eat wallnuts, almonds and pecan as my snack. I am always satisfied this way. My two cents worth anyway.

    • I have been low carbing for 7 years, every time I have my teeth cleaned the hygienist comments on how healthy my mouth and gums are. It is the carby stuff that sticks to your teeth and feeds the bacteria that makes an unhealthy mouth.

      • I don’t like soy any more, it causes rashes and GI problems. But I do like soy isoflavones; however, all these products are not equal. I’ve had a dodgy prostate since I was 21 which disturbs my sleep. Testosterone elevation makes it worse, cranberry, hibiscus, mannose, which help clear bacteria from the UT, make it better (there is a vicious cycle between prostate swelling, bacteria, and more prostate inflammation). Isoflavones are supposed to reduce swelling of the prostate. I have tried 2 different soy or red clover extracts without noticable improvement. But a third product with 25mg isoflavones per cap was immediately effective. Ergo, there is a great deal of variation between isoflavone extracts. The effective product was OriKiwi Red Grape Seed (7,500mg Red Grape Seed, 25mg soy Isoflavones, 8mg vitamin E per capsule). The other contents don’t have significant effects seperately. However, the activity and bioavailability of isoflavones depends on probiotic metabolism. It may also depend on how thoroughly any soy allergens are excluded from the product.
        It is likely that soy isoflavones interfere with estrogen supplements for the same reason that they can help with hot flushes in the absense of estrogen. They replace low levels of estrogen with an agonist effect but antagonise high levels. Isoflavones and other salvesterols only act on the estrogen type 2 receptor, whereas estrogens and estrogenic pollutants act on both types 1 and 2.
        (see “salvesterol hypothesis” for detailed anticancer mechanism of phytoestrogens).

  8. I read somewhere that if someone comes to a position via their emotions, no amount of logic and facts will dissuade them. Such people must be moved emotionally ,which can happen but they then become a fanatic for something else.

  9. In fact, a number of studies performed over the past few years have shown that infusing HDL into subjects with coronary plaque brings about a reversal of the plaque

    Dr Eades can you cite some studies showing this? I would love to show it to a Doc

    Thanks. Excellent post. To bad so many do view things in an objective manner.

  10. I always enjoy your articles and you’ve done an excellent job pointing out the bias in that article. I would like to point out, however, that Dr. Eckel’s religious beliefs likely have nothing to do with his bias. If he believes the Bible and has actually read it (a very important key) there is no way that he can be against meat and fat. Meat was always used in celebrations and feasts (kill the fatted calf?), Jesus himself and all his disciples and apostles ate the Passover lamb. The Israelites were nomads, and the bigger the flocks and herds, the more rich you were, and so their diet was likely very high in dairy. Grains would be less common except when they were living with the Egyptians and when they eventually settled into cities. There is even a great verse in Romans (14:2) that says those who are weak in faith eat only vegetables (though, granted, it’s referring to those afraid to buy meat in the marketplace in case the meat had been sacrificed to idols).

    As far as I know, quantity is never discussed with the exception of gluttony. Grain seems to have been as revered as meat, dairy, vegetables, and fruits, but there is certainly nothing in the Bible that encourages vegetarianism or particularly high carb (even the story of Daniel appears to be more about depending on God rather than indicating a healthy way of eating). On top of that, after the Ascension, Christianized Jews were freed of all the dietary restrictions they’d grown up with, and Christianized pagans were not forced to conform to kosher standards (ok, some groups, but that was always railed against in the New Testament- knock down drag out fights over it between apostles).

    Sorry for the long comment, but for some reason, this is one of those subjects that gets me all riled up. It’s very possible that Dr. Eckel’s viewpoints are based on his religious beliefs- but those beliefs can not be Bible based, as there is nothing in the Bible that backs them up. I’ll sit down and be quiet now. 🙂

    • I concur with your thoughts, WordVixen. My mind went in the same direction when I read this blog post. Additionally, I would assume that Eckel believes in the account of the Great Deluge, after which Noah and his family were told that they could eat animal flesh. I would also assume that at that time there would not have been a lot of vegetation available to eat and so meat and fat would have had to been primary staples for a bit anyway.

      I do agree with Eades’ apparent viewpoint that Eckel is a pompous ass who would refuse to see reason if it bit him in the ass. Oh wait, those are my words. But whatever.

      Thank you Eades, for the great posts. I started low carb out of desperation a month ago, in conjunction with weight lifting and for the first time in ten years I feel great, no longer foggy and I’m rapidly losing weight!! I tried Adkins in 2000 and lost weight, but didn’t continue. I don’t know why it was so hard, but cutting carbs have been a breeze this time. Your posts have been the most informative of any of the information I’ve been able to glean on the net. Again, thank you, thank you!!

    • I go to a holistic MD who keeps telling me my triglycerides are too low, that I need to raise them, because they move chemicals out of the body. So, I’m living proof that low carb lowers triglycerides (and my HDL is quite high). And I’m not even super low carb, as I do eat some brown rice and potatoes, but no other grains, no sweets whatsoever and no fruit except Goji berries. I eat a lot of animal fat and no vegetable oils except coconut and olive. So the idea that saturated fats raise triglycerides is clearly absurd.

      • Serum triglycerides per se don’t move chemicals out of the body; bile does. Your liver will make bile regardless of serum lipids, the bile ducts lead away from the circulation (bile backing up into the circulation is called jaundice). Because your diet is not fat-restricted, you will make lots of bile, and saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet produce the healthiest bile. Also, because your stored lipids are freely mobilised, and your intake of protein is high, toxins are less likely to accumulate in your body. The most toxic fat-soluble environmental pollutants, the dioxins, exert some of their worst effects as retinol antagonists (retinol deficiency during pregancy can result in the same birth defects, such as failure of the eyes or internal organs to fully form, that are seen in cases of occupational herbicide exposure) and also trigger lipid peroxidation; a diet rich in preformed vitamin A and saturated fats offers protection missing from a vegetable-oil diet.

    • Jeff, Mike, What did you think of these comments:

      “Others have shown that if you take this diet out 6 months, there is no difference in the amount of fat that is reduced in the liver. If you take this out 6 months to a year, it probably doesn’t matter what diet you’re eating, as long as you are losing weight,” he said.
      After 6 to 12 months of weight loss, “you have kind of leveled the playing field. A lot of these metabolic consequences of fatty liver disease are probably gone by 6 months, so there is no metabolic advantage to carbohydrate restriction.”
      Dr. Browning said the study “was more an exercise in knowing what the underlying physiology was. Can we manipulate it in the short term? This shows that we can.” It may have implications in situations where a more rapid decline in triglycerides is desirable.
      “I wouldn’t tell a clinician that this [diet] is better than that [diet] based on this study, but I would say, whatever works for the patient is fine,” he said.”

      Why do they always make such comments. Is it true that triglycerides will eventually come down after 6 months or so of fat loss. What is the benefit of triglycerides coming down faster with low carb diet? Some people may not ever be able to lose weight the low fat, high carb way so triglycerides will never come down.

  11. Dear Dr. Eades,

    I’ve lost 75 lbs using your book ‘Protein Power’, and I keep buying copies and handing them out to people I know. I would really like to help my husband, as he is a type 1 diabetic, but can’t find any physician, endicrinologist, or nutritionist that will work with us on this. I would really, really appreciate a book on how to do low-carb for type 1 diabetics, and hope you will write one.

  12. I’m wondering if Dr. Eckel benefits financially from the drug based approach to diabetes treatment. I’ve noticed that money can have a powerful effect of disengaging the intellect from reality.

  13. Dr. Mike, you recently said something to the effect that your former patients represent many thousands of patient years on a low carb program and none of those patients ever had a heart attack. (I can’t find the quote at the moment.) Have you ever published an article about that? Sure, it would be just an observational study, but it would certainly make a point.

  14. Nice post, It will take at least another generation for the sitting mainstream to die out. I don’t know whether that will be in time. I think we have to be creative in reaching governments, big pharma and the food industry. Show them that changing the world to low-carb/paleo will be quite a transition, but that it will be very profitable at the end of the day. I’ll retweet and place this on our Facebook fan page. VBR Hans.

  15. Something many Christians miss is that the first mention of bread in the Bible is as part of a curse: Genesis 3:17 – 19. God curses Adam and Eve for their disobedience — “and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; (Gen 3:19) In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground;”

    Doesn’t sound like God thinks it’s such a great thing to me.

  16. I’ve been reading this blog for years and Im going to delurk for this issue. I’m a Christian and I eat low carb. No I don’t believe in evolution, I believe that eating this way is because God made our bodies to function this way. Give the body something outside of its purposed function and everything goes to pot. I think it’s a big stretch to say that just because he’s a Creationist means that THATis the reason he fights this way of eating so much, it could just mean he’s just plain wrong on this issue. Ever consider this? I realize that creationist-bashing is quite in favor these days but to link these two issues together may just be looking for something that isn’t there.

    • “Creationism” is a religious belief. People try to dress it up as science, but it isn’t. It presupposes the answer and then searches for evidence to confirm it. That is not part of the scientific method.

      People can believe whatever they like. But they can’t believe whatever they like and still be scientists. I’m a scientist, and that means that I stand ready to change my thinking based on the material evidence.

      I know a good many scientists who are also devout Christians. But none of them I know start from the supposition that the world was created 4500 years ago and insist that they won’t change that point of view no matter what the facts. (In fact, none of them I know see any conflict between evolution and their religious faith.)

    • With respect, it is entirely relevant when a so called scientist is taking an active position in promoting creation ‘science’/”intelligent design” as having equal standing with real science in the classroom.

      As Mike says, logically he must then dismiss any supporting evolutionary evidence for the low carb diet for reasons that have nothing to do with science. If he is prepared to do this in one area, his reasons/motivations for doing so for other compelling evidence are also legitimately in question.

      • There is no empirical evidence for macro evolution. Many PhD scientists have written about this and Darwin has been thoroughly debunked except among his devout followers. Therefore so-called evolution has no bearing on biochemistry and an optimal human diet.

  17. Hey all–

    I was traveling all day yesterday – a delayed two hour flight followed by a four hour drive. Got into Monterrey late last night and have a tee time this morning at Pebble Beach. After, I’ll have a four hour drive back to Santa Barbara where I’ll be for the next few days before taking off again for the rest of the month. I posted all comments that were pending on this post. I’ll go bay in tomorrow and address a few specifically.

  18. Self-responsibility is perhaps the single most important trait of a survivor – and perhaps – the single most important trait of anyone wanting to live a good life in the convoluted morass of CW (conventional wisdom).

    We all have the where-with-all to find our sources/information and judge them accordingly (the good doc here being top notch. 🙂 ) there is simply not much excuse for being uninformed about anything in our modern internet world – of course you have to engage your intelligence and filters – but as opposed to prior ages – we have it all at our fingertips.

    just put it out there doc- those with the brains to figger-it-out will survive (and presumably survive and multiply) so maybe we’ll improve the gene pool against all odds.

    as the saying goes: ” when you are ready, your teacher will come” – and when you find that your teacher is you, yer getting close….

    thanks Michael, for your always insightful analysis.

  19. The religious beliefs of Dr. Eckel (or anybody else) don’t necessarily have anything to do with their ability to draw scientific conclusions. However, one needs to differentiate between faith and scientific inference. Faith is the acceptance of absolute truth with no evidence. As such, no amount of evidence is ever going to change someone’s faith (and as such items of true faith tend to involve unprovable questions, like the existence of an omnipotent god). Scientific inference is all about assessing the degree of belief in hypotheses given evidence. Thus, as new evidence is gathered, our relative beliefs in different hypotheses are modified. Evidence is at best an annoyance for faith, but is the driving force behind scientific inference.

    Now, must actual scientists tend to operate more in the realm of faith rather than being scientific. They already “know” the truth, and basically noodle around reconfirming it. Eckel’s support of creationism is a dead give-away on this front. It’s not his religious beliefs at issue, but that he apparently doesn’t know the difference between faith and scientific inference. Creationists start with the answer and search for evidence to support it, rather than examining the available evidence and changing conclusions. Eckel appears to behave similarly on apparently scientific questions as well. He knows the answer already, and know amount of evidence is going to shake his faith. You can have faith and still be a good scientist, you just can’t mix the two modes of thinking.

    BTW, saying “I don’t believe in evolution” is like saying “I don’t believe 2+2=4”. Any system that exhibits reproduction, selection, and variation is going to exhibit evolution. That’s just math, no evidence required. Now, you may assert that humans did not evolve from lower organisms, and rather were created as they appear today by some mystical force. But be sure you are clear on whether this belief is absolute, and thus an article of faith, or if you understand that it receives some level of support given the totality of the evidence, and said support will change as the evidence changes.

    • Actually, biblical faith is not blind at all. A creation scientist works from the same evidence as the Darwinist. However, their conclusions are different. Why? Because the creationist sees the Father Creator behind the origins of life whilst the Darwinist sees Mother Nature as the prime cause. While the Father Creator used a command to bring forth nature, Mother Nature used “natural selection.” So you see, both groups operate from a faith paradigm. Now of course a Darwinist such as Richard Hawking will deny this but that doesn’t change the fact.

      To illustrate my point I will quote from the Eades’ book “The 6 Week Cure for the Middle-Aged Middle” (ps. very good book): “Our ideas of beauty are not driven by Madison Aveneue, but by the microchip in our DNA, placed there by Mother Nature using her most indispensible tool: natural selection.” (pg.13) And again on pg.24: “If we follow the diet of our prehistoric ancestors-the diet on which the forces of natural selection designed us to perform optimally-we would consume at most only a few grams of fructose per day…” Notice the superintelligent (divine?) qualities given to natural selection!

      BTW no creation scientist denies the genetic variations and mutations that can occur within a “kind” of creature. However, no matter how long you watch and wait, an ape will always be an ape, a human a human, a horse a horse, a canine a canine, etc.

  20. @WordVixen, @Rob K November

    To argue from the bible against someone who is dogmatic about something doesn’t make any sense. The bible is dogma, not science. That is the point. The fact that this “scientist” is a creationists casts doubt on his ability to be objective, not on his ability to make one dogma he believes be compatible with another dogma. Which is remarkably easy. Religious people have to pick and choose things they want to agree with and do from the bible because it isn’t a cohesive story and it’s even self-contradictory. No logical system can survive, but it doesn’t have to, it’s religion! Stop pretending like it’s logical or even reasonable. If you can believe in miracles and magic trying to have a logical argument is completely pointless. These things defy reason! They defy allcr edulity!

    @Robert Smith

    It’s easy to bash creationism because it’s a silly belief. Someone wrote this story down maybe 3000 years ago (at the earliest according to academic biblical scholars) and creationists believe it over the same science that feeds the hungry and heals the sick. It’s an incredibly preposterous and untenable position to have and live in the modern world, driving around an internal combustion engine and enjoying the benefits of central air. If you don’t understand evolution by means of natural selection, you don’t understand yourself, other people, or the world around you.

    For a medical doctor and researcher to be a young-earth creationist should raise all kind of red flags about their ability to reason objectively and question their assumptions about things.

    If one had never been taught young earth creationism, no one today would come up with it. If this doctor had not been taught to fear low-carb diets, there is no evidence that he could deduce these fears logically, after casting aside all of these assumptions and dogmatic beliefs.

    His belief that doing a study to illuminate the issue would be irresponsible has an undeniable link to the attitude of a young earth creationist. He doesn’t even believe in science!

    • Jared- I think I see your point as to how being a creationist casts doubt on his ability to be an objective scientist. My point was simply that being a believer in the literal interpretation of the Bible and being a young earth Creationist can’t be the reason for his bias against low carb specifically. There just is nothing, Biblically, to support an anti-low-carb bias. Even Seventh Day Adventists base their vegetarian diet on modern research (flawed research, in my opinion, but still modern research), and not from a Biblical basis. Only if you view low carb as an evolution-only based diet could there be a bias there, and, frankly, there are a lot of other things to base low carb on.

      Sadly, true objectivity is in short supply. Everyone has been brainwashed by something, and in our media driven area of the world most of us have been brainwashed in multiple areas, usually from multiple sources. Scientist or not, I suspect this particular bias is from the same source as the rest of the US and many parts of the western world.

      • It’s too bad that Dr. Eades resorted to this sort of character assasination based on his own belief in darwinism. Low carb, high fat diet is pure biochemistry (as you can read in Dr. Jan kwasniewski’s book “Homo Optimus”) and has nothing to do with man’s so-called “paleo” existence or eating habits (as if anyone actually knows what people ate “millions” of years ago). I love the good science in the Eades’ books but the evolutionary dogma is totally beside the science of the diet. However, most darwinists who write about dietary matters love to appeal to our supposed ape ancestry to try to convince people of the superiority of the low carb diet. Now all of us Christian low-carbers have to turn the other cheek at yet another slap.

        • You complain that it’s “yet another slap” because if anyone discusses something you don’t “believe” in (i.e., you *choose* not to believe in), it’s somehow related to or attacking what you believe? How frail is your belief structure if a medical doctor discussing science makes you insist he has to discuss it your way — in accordance with your *beliefs* (and thus not the actual science) — in order to keep from hurting your feelings?

          And yes of course it’s about hurting your feelings: objecting to a perceived slap (not even an actual one!) is you complaining about how it hurts you, not about it conflicts with the science. If you choose not to believe in the science of evolution, that’s your choice. But to ask anyone else to NOT talk about things they know to be true — or even know to be the best explanation for the current investigations — in order not to conflict with your beliefs?! Do you know the concept of hubris?

          Sheesh. Amazing. “I don’t believe in it, so you can’t discuss it?!”

          • I don’t object to the discussion but Dr Eades’ assumptions against Dr Eckert come across as cheap and desperate. Eades felt his professional integrity required defending and he resorted to blaming Eckert’s diet attitude on his Christian beliefs. What belief system can the good doctor blame when non-Christian low carb opponents ridicule his dietary position?

            What Eades wrote felt like a slap but I sounded too pathetic complaining about it.

  21. I love this from Moksha “Self-responsibility is perhaps the single most important trait of a survivor – and perhaps – the single most important trait of anyone wanting to live a good life in the convoluted morass of CW (conventional wisdom). ” How true, how true.

    I’m fairly savvy about nutrition and have come to believe that most doctors don’t know diddly about it, and those who really do seem to get much flack.

    Me: everyone in my family has high cholesterol, and now so do I and I’ve yet to get the diabetes that runs rampant. Diet: I’m the one who always had the high fat diet and felt fine. Then I began eating a traditionally high fiber diet, low in animal fat and voila! My cholesterol is higher. I’ve gone back to my old ways and things are improving. Point: Why do we listen to everyone and not us? I believe if most people looked hard at the supposed evidence, but paid attention to their own bodies, their answer might arrive.

    The only time I feel good and am at a healthy weight is when I restrict carbohydrates. Period. My tri’s went up with carbs and fiber. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist. My cholesterol is always high.

    I’ve learned to read to see who has a vested interest in the products they are pushing, who has an agenda that is other than healthy, and which food and drug companies are pushing products that can kill me/us.

    Thanks for this info. It reminds me to be a smarter human in a chaotic world.

  22. Dr Mike,
    I have a technical question for you. I am looking at the possibility of controlling Hepatitis C Virus by dietary change. There are two aspects of HCV natural history that are relevant here: HCV is dependent on DGAT1 for completion, and HCV leaves the infected liver cell via VLDL exocytosis.
    Both of these are related to lipogenesis and carbohydrate metabolism. (HCV also infects new cells via LDL endocytosis)
    I believe that a low-carb diet can significantly lower triglycerides. Does this mean that a) lipid synthesis through DGAT1 is reduced, and b) that VLDL expression is reduced? And if so, are these reductions significant on a ketogenic diet?
    I suspect that the virus will not live for long in the body if it cannot replicate. Anecdotally, I know three anorectic speed freaks who appear to have cleared HCV sponteneously. This might be consistent with ketosis curbing replication of a virus that piggy-backs on carbohydrate metabolism. HCV core protein also triggers insulin resistance, which works to the virus’s advantage.

    • I had never thought about this until you brought it up, but, mechanistically, it seems to make sense. I’m certainly not a virologist nor am I an expert on HCV, so I’m relying on what you’re telling me as being true. On a ketogenic diet the VLDL expression is certainly reduced significantly, but I’m not sure about the DGAT1.

      I would certainly give it a try since it would cause no harm and potentially great benefit. Thanks for writing. You’ve triggered my awareness on the subject, so I’ll start keeping an eye out for more info.

      • Since I’ve gone low-carb my health and energy have certainly improved, and those GI symptoms that are usually linked to chronic hepatitis are much in abeyance.
        It’s hard to say now, however, whether they were caused by HCV, or by excess of carbohydrate and PUFA.
        The interesting thing for me is that I’m much less dependent on supplements to maintain health when carb intake is low and intake of animal protein and natural fats is high. I am becoming more and more convinced that the theory Gary Taubes proposes, that excess dietary carbohydrate creates micronutrient deficiency, is accurate.
        Back when I tried to limit saturated fat, I noticed that high doses of vitamin E conferred protection against burns and accelerated healing. Now that I cook with tallow instead of rice bran oil, and avoid processed PUFAs as far as possible, I notice the same thing without the vitamin E. It’s as if dietary PUFAs cause vitamin E deficiency. I’m satisfied that 50-100iu of vitamin E today is equal to 1000-2000iu a year ago.

        Here is the technical stuff about DGAT1, from Nature
        http://www.nature.com/scibx/journal/v3/n42/full/scibx.2010.1253.html
        Building on 2007 findings2 that showed lipid droplets are involved in HCV production, the Gladstone researchers hypothesized that enzymes responsible for lipid droplet biogenesis—diacylglycerol O-acyltransferases (DGATs)—also could play a role in the virus’ life cycle. Serendipitously, the Farese lab had a small molecule DGAT1 (diacylglycerol O-acyltransferase-1) inhibitor on hand that had been developed for clinical trials for metabolic disease.

        Ott and Farese teamed up with researchers at University Paris Descartes to test their hypothesis.

        In cultured human hepatoma cells and primary human hepatocytes, the inhibitor decreased the production of infectious viral particles compared with vehicle.

        Surprisingly, DGAT1 inhibition did not lead to an apparent decrease in lipid droplet biogenesis, suggesting that reductions in lipid droplets were not responsible for the inhibitory effect on HCV. Indeed, neither the DGAT1 inhibitor nor anti-DGAT1 small hairpin RNA changed the overall lipid content or lipid droplet numbers in hepatoma cells.

        Rather, in vitro studies showed that inhibiting DGAT1 caused the HCV core protein to remain in the endoplasmic reticulum of hepatoma cells instead of associating with lipid droplets, thus halting the life cycle of the virus.

        Together, the data demonstrate that DGAT1 directly interacts with the HCV core protein and transports it to DGAT1-generated lipid droplets, thereby facilitating virus assembly and maturation.

        On entry: from http://www.natap.org/2009/HCV/011309_06.htm

        The incoming virion, which appears to associate with apolipoprotein complexes, may first bind a host cell by interacting with the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDL-R) and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) on the cell surface.
        interacting with the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDL-R) and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) on the cell surface.

        Eva Herker (Gladstone Institute, San Diego, CA) reported that the assembly of infectious HCV depends on active diacyl glycerol acyltransferase (DGAT1)-mediated lipid droplet formation, induced by the viral core protein. On the other hand, carboxyesterase 1, a key enzyme in lipid and cholesterol storage, was reported by John Pezacki (University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) to block formation of the HCV replication complex.

        HCV leaves the cell on VLDL-c:

        A team of researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Engineering in Medicine (MGH-CEM) report that HCV is bound to very low-density lipoprotein (vLDL, a so-called “bad” cholesterol) when it is secreted from liver cells and that the viral secretion required to pass infection to other cells may be blocked by the common flavonoid naringenin.
        “By finding that HCV is secreted from infected cells by latching onto vLDL, we have identified a key pathway in the viral lifecycle,” says Yaakov Nahmias, PhD, of the MGH-CEM, the paper’s lead author. “These results suggest that lipid-lowering drugs, as well as supplements, such as naringenin, may be combined with traditional antiviral therapies to reduce or even eliminate HCV from infected patients”

        “Identifying the route by which HCV is released from cells introduces a new therapeutic target,” says Martin Yarmush, MD, PhD, director of the MGH-CEM and the paper’s senior author. “That pathway’s dependence on cholesterol metabolism could allow us to interfere with viral propagation to other cells and tissues, using tools already developed for atherosclerosis treatment.”

      • I seem to have lost my first reply; in any case, you are right, and restriction of carbs in my case has produced over time improvements which are indistinguishable from the results that might be expected from reducing or eliminating viral load.
        HCV virions associate with LDL-c in serum, which facilitates viral endocytosis; http://www.natap.org/2009/HCV/011309_06.htm

        The HCV entry process appears to require numerous interactions with host factors, both soluble and on the cell surface. The incoming virion, which appears to associate with apolipoprotein complexes, may first bind a host cell by interacting with the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDL-R) and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) on the cell surface.

        HCV requires DGAT1: http://www.nature.com/scibx/journal/v3/n42/full/scibx.2010.1253.html
        In cultured human hepatoma cells and primary human hepatocytes, the inhibitor decreased the production of infectious viral particles compared with vehicle.

        Surprisingly, DGAT1 inhibition did not lead to an apparent decrease in lipid droplet biogenesis, suggesting that reductions in lipid droplets were not responsible for the inhibitory effect on HCV. Indeed, neither the DGAT1 inhibitor nor anti-DGAT1 small hairpin RNA changed the overall lipid content or lipid droplet numbers in hepatoma cells.

        Rather, in vitro studies showed that inhibiting DGAT1 caused the HCV core protein to remain in the endoplasmic reticulum of hepatoma cells instead of associating with lipid droplets, thus halting the life cycle of the virus.

        Together, the data demonstrate that DGAT1 directly interacts with the HCV core protein and transports it to DGAT1-generated lipid droplets, thereby facilitating virus assembly and maturation

        HCV exits cells via VLDL-c exocytosis: http://www.science20.com/news_releases/naringenin_in_citrus_fruit_may_help_combat_hepatitis_c_infection
        “By finding that HCV is secreted from infected cells by latching onto vLDL, we have identified a key pathway in the viral lifecycle,” says Yaakov Nahmias, PhD, of the MGH-CEM, the paper’s lead author. “These results suggest that lipid-lowering drugs, as well as supplements, such as naringenin, may be combined with traditional antiviral therapies to reduce or even eliminate HCV from infected patients”

        “Identifying the route by which HCV is released from cells introduces a new therapeutic target,” says Martin Yarmush, MD, PhD, director of the MGH-CEM and the paper’s senior author. “That pathway’s dependence on cholesterol metabolism could allow us to interfere with viral propagation to other cells and tissues, using tools already developed for atherosclerosis treatment.” Yarmush is the Helen Andrus Benedict Professor of Surgery and Bioengineering at Harvard Medical School (HMS).

        The fact that HCV leaves the infected hepatocyte attached to VLDL-c and arrives at the next cell attached to LDL-c speaks for itself, regardless of the DGAT1 link.
        Statins do exert anti-HCV effects; fluvastatin in particular seems to be as effective as ribavirin when combined with Interferon-alpha. Presumably this combination was not widely used because fluvastatin was not a new drug, so any investments could not be recovered (plus statin side-effects added to known side effects of INF-a and Ribavirin may have been too much for too many people. Ribavirin causes hemolytic anaemia, INF-a depresses bone marrow, and statins chelate iron).
        http://www.google.co.nz/#sclient=psy&hl=en&site=&source=hp&q=fluvastatin+HCV&btnG=Google+Search&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=fluvastatin+HCV&gs_rfai=&fp=bd15ef50cd518046

      • Here we go:
        Harvard Medical School research fellow Yaakov Nahmias, PhD and colleagues first described their discovery that HCV is secreted by infected cells while bound to very low density lipoprotein (vLDL), and that silencing apolipoprotein B (the primary apolipoprotein in LDL) messenger RNA in infected cells results in a 70 percent reduction in the secretion of the virus that is necessary to maintain chronic infection.

        Naringin, which is commonly found in citrus fruits, is metabolized by the body’s intestinal bacteria to naringenin, which, in addition to its antioxidant activity, has been shown to reduce plasma cholesterol levels. Acting on previous findings which showed that naringenin inhibited vLDL secretion from the liver, the researchers cultured HCV infected human cells with the flavonoid for 24 hours. They found that naringenin inhibited HCV secretion dose-dependently and without toxicity, with an 80 percent reduction occurring at the highest concentration tested.

        “The ability of the liver to regenerate in the context of the RNA-based lifecycle of HCV allows for the potential clearance of the viral infection,” the authors write. “It is thought that clearance occurs in about 30% of HCV infected patients. The possible reduction of HCV viral load by inhibiting viral secretion could allow uninfected cells to regenerate, potentially increasing the overall rate of viral clearance.”

        Reference to HCV virion entering cells attached to LDL apolipoprotein:
        The incoming virion, which appears to associate with apolipoprotein complexes, may first bind a host cell by interacting with the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDL-R) and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) on the cell surface.
        Wagane Benga (Universite Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, Alsace, France), Vinca Icard (Universite de Lyon, Lyon, France), and Jiang each presented evidence that HCV glycoprotein secretion and virus particle assembly require an intact very-low-density lipoprotein assembly pathway. Thus, HCV appears to represent a new paradigm in virus assembly and host-pathogen interaction.
        http://www.natap.org/2009/HCV/011309_06.htm

        and requiring DGAT1: http://www.nature.com/nm/journal/v16/n11/fig_tab/nm.2238_F1.html

      • Here we go:
        Harvard Medical School research fellow Yaakov Nahmias, PhD and colleagues first described their discovery that HCV is secreted by infected cells while bound to very low density lipoprotein (vLDL), and that silencing apolipoprotein B (the primary apolipoprotein in LDL) messenger RNA in infected cells results in a 70 percent reduction in the secretion of the virus that is necessary to maintain chronic infection.
        Acting on previous findings which showed that naringenin inhibited vLDL secretion from the liver, the researchers cultured HCV infected human cells with the flavonoid for 24 hours. They found that naringenin inhibited HCV secretion dose-dependently and without toxicity, with an 80 percent reduction occurring at the highest concentration tested.
        “The possible reduction of HCV viral load by inhibiting viral secretion could allow uninfected cells to regenerate, potentially increasing the overall rate of viral clearance.”

        The incoming virion, which appears to associate with apolipoprotein complexes, may first bind a host cell by interacting with the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDL-R) and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) on the cell surface.
        Wagane Benga (Universite Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, Alsace, France), Vinca Icard (Universite de Lyon, Lyon, France), and Jiang each presented evidence that HCV glycoprotein secretion and virus particle assembly require an intact very-low-density lipoprotein assembly pathway. Thus, HCV appears to represent a new paradigm in virus assembly and host-pathogen interaction.
        http://www.natap.org/2009/HCV/011309_06.htm

        and requiring DGAT1: http://www.nature.com/nm/journal/v16/n11/fig_tab/nm.2238_F1.html

      • Here we go:
        Harvard Medical School research fellow Yaakov Nahmias, PhD and colleagues first described their discovery that HCV is secreted by infected cells while bound to very low density lipoprotein (vLDL), and that silencing apolipoprotein B (the primary apolipoprotein in LDL) messenger RNA in infected cells results in a 70 percent reduction in the secretion of the virus that is necessary to maintain chronic infection.

        Naringin, which is commonly found in citrus fruits, is metabolized by the body’s intestinal bacteria to naringenin, which, in addition to its antioxidant activity, has been shown to reduce plasma cholesterol levels. Acting on previous findings which showed that naringenin inhibited vLDL secretion from the liver, the researchers cultured HCV infected human cells with the flavonoid for 24 hours. They found that naringenin inhibited HCV secretion dose-dependently and without toxicity, with an 80 percent reduction occurring at the highest concentration tested.

        “The ability of the liver to regenerate in the context of the RNA-based lifecycle of HCV allows for the potential clearance of the viral infection,” the authors write. “It is thought that clearance occurs in about 30% of HCV infected patients. The possible reduction of HCV viral load by inhibiting viral secretion could allow uninfected cells to regenerate, potentially increasing the overall rate of viral clearance.”

        • Reference to HCV virion entering cells attached to LDL apolipoprotein:
          The incoming virion, which appears to associate with apolipoprotein complexes, may first bind a host cell by interacting with the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDL-R) and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) on the cell surface.
          Wagane Benga (Universite Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, Alsace, France), Vinca Icard (Universite de Lyon, Lyon, France), and Jiang each presented evidence that HCV glycoprotein secretion and virus particle assembly require an intact very-low-density lipoprotein assembly pathway. Thus, HCV appears to represent a new paradigm in virus assembly and host-pathogen interaction.
          http://www.natap.org/2009/HCV/011309_06.htm

          and requiring DGAT1: http://www.nature.com/nm/journal/v16/n11/fig_tab/nm.2238_F1.html

        • The incoming virion, which appears to associate with apolipoprotein complexes, may first bind a host cell by interacting with the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDL-R) and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) on the cell surface.
          Wagane Benga (Universite Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, Alsace, France), Vinca Icard (Universite de Lyon, Lyon, France), and Jiang each presented evidence that HCV glycoprotein secretion and virus particle assembly require an intact very-low-density lipoprotein assembly pathway. Thus, HCV appears to represent a new paradigm in virus assembly and host-pathogen interaction.
          Eva Herker (Gladstone Institute, San Diego, CA) reported that the assembly of infectious HCV depends on active diacyl glycerol acyltransferase (DGAT1)-mediated lipid droplet formation, induced by the viral core protein. On the other hand, carboxyesterase 1, a key enzyme in lipid and cholesterol storage, was reported by John Pezacki (University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) to block formation of the HCV replication complex.
          http://www.natap.org/2009/HCV/011309_06.htm

        • LDL endocytosis and DGAT1 are here http://www.natap.org/2009/HCV/011309_06.htm but I can’t get the details to load. It’s been certainly my experience that the longer I follow a low-carb (high in animal protein and animal fat) regime the less aware I am of any symptom that could be blamed on HCV, and the less dependent on antioxidants and other supplements I become. Restricting vegetable PUFAs also seems to help, and lipid peroxides stimulate viral replication.
          Insulin resistance seems to be linked to both liver fibrosis and non-response to antiviral drugs. Low cholesterol levels and low vitamin D levels are also linked to fibrosis and non-response.

    • Hi G.D. Henderson
      Fat researcher Mary Enig claims that if one consumes an ounce or so of coconut oil a day, in maybe a year all your body cells will have Lauric acid built into their membranes, And: a viral lipid envelope including significant Lauric acid will (somehow) lyse and leave the new viruses undisguised and open to attack by your immune system. ( I just saw that Hep.C viruses have a protein shell too,- so quien sabe?) The only major disease virus that does not have a lipid envelope appears to be the Polio virus.
      Humans seem only to be supplied with Lauric acid via mothers milk, and mama can’t even make it for her own use! 78 degree ( ie: non trans) Coconut oil, is, if I recall, about 15% Lauric acid.
      You might also google a Dr. Ely’s G.A.A. ( glucose ascorbate antagonism) theory. Ely worked with Pauling, if that’s any reccomendation. Apparently leucocytes can get loaded with up to 20+times ambient blood levels of vit.C by insulin iff insulin isn’t unduely busy getting glucose out of the way. Have Fun! J.A.L.O.

  23. I believe in a literal interpretation of the bible. I’m also a believer of the low-carb diet. I don’t see how one affects the other. Most Christians who take the bible literally believe there were physical differences in the Earth prior to the flood of Noah. These differences are what allowed humans to live for hundreds of years while not eating meat. After the flood, the Earth was changed, and God instructed Noah that it was now okay to eat meat. The reason I presume was becuase humans now needed to eat meat to be healthy. So again, taking the bible literally does not require a person to be in disagreement with the science behind the low-carb diet.

    • Are you for real – after the flood??? Get real the flood never happened except for a small area in Iraq 5000 years ago. Thats where the story of Noah originated from – folklore, myth and legend.

    • Oh stop the bashing of the believers. Atheists are just fundamentalists in reverse.

      The ONLY one to read on this subject is an agnostic Jew and science writer, David Berlinski in his “The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions” – it’s a rip-roaring read (read parts of it in Google Books: Go to Google, at the top in small blue letters it says “More” click the dropdown, choose Books and type in The Devil’s Delusion” and read away).

      Berlinski will leave us all in the state to which Socrates attempted (or just plain DID) bring his interlocutors: aporia.

      ‘Cause lets face it folks, none of truly knows, ’cause none of us us is dead yet.

      I read Dr. Eades’ recommendation, Lierre Keith’s “The Vegetarian Myth” and profited greatly (tho some of her views aren’t mine) and HIGHLY recommend it (read it after watching the 2007 documentary, “King Corn” so you’ll believe her!).

      We can all be friends here. None of us knows the absolute truth.

      Now dip into Berlinski’s book!

      Love, P

  24. As part of my normally zero carb diet I supplement potassium and magnesium. I pop 5 99 mg tablets a day all in one sitting. Someone told me that this much at one time might be harmful.

    What is the likelihood that this much potassium at one time could be harmful?

    • It’s unlikely unless you happen to be on certain medicine – particularly some drugs for high-blood pressure – than can cause the kidneys to retain potassium. Five OTC 99 mg potassium supplements is equivalent to one prescription potassium pill of the lowest strength. We routinely put our patients on one prescription potassium pill daily when we start them on low-carb diets.

    • It might be worth purchasing a little canister of potassium salt (one brand is Morton’s NoSalt) instead of spending the money on supplement pills. The salt’s cheaper, and all you have to do is sprinkle some on your food along with the regular salt.

  25. Dr. Eades,
    I have religious beliefs similar to those of Dr. Eckel, but that doesn’t mean I ignore the advantages of a low-carb diet. What works best for the human body is not changed by my beliefs about the origin of man.

  26. Good refutation of the article. If diabetics would just use their glucose meters to guide their eating, they’d arrive a low carb, or at least lower carb.

    I don’t beleive in evolution, but I belive in low carb. As Amber pointed out, there are Christians who eat low carb and there is even a Low Carb Christian’s discussion forum, though I don’t participate in it. Evolution and low carb don’t go together and neither to creationism and anti-low carb. Being closed minded about medical science has nothing to do with beleifs in evolution or creation. I’m sure I can find plenty of evolutionists on the anti-low carb bandwagon.

    Recently, Jimmy Moore interviewed Dr. Neal Barnard. Dr. Barnard used an evolutionary argument to support his position — apes are vegetarians and since humans are just evolved apes, they too should be vegetarian. By contrast, God told people to eat meat and told his chosen people to eat meat from certain animals, including red meat — namely beef and mutton.

    My approach is in God I trust, all others bring data.

    • If Dr. Barnard can examine the digestive system of a gorilla, compare it to the digestive system of a human, and conclude that they must both be ideally suited for the same diet, he has no business advising people on health-related subjects.

      “Apes” are not vegetarians, anyhow… some of them are MOSTLY vegetarian. Orangutans eat mostly fruit but also get greens and insects and eggs, Bonobos eat mostly fruit but also consume meat from small mammals as well as insects, Gorillas consume primarily foliage but actively consume insects as well. Chimps, our closest relatives, are despite their mostly plant-based diets relatively active and innovative predators, and they are quite good at it. The macronutrient contents of most of these diets are pretty similar, honestly, to what Sisson’s Primal blueprint advocates.

      Even if one doesn’t believe in evolution, a close examination of human physiology makes it clear that our dietary needs are not identical to those of the other apes; humans are optimized for a greater intake of meat/fat than of plant matter. If one does believe in evolution, that distinction becomes even more meaningful as the reason why human anatomy is so distinctly different from that of our closest cousins.

      That said, I’m glad to hear God’s got our back too. 😉

  27. Narda, are you familiar with Dr. Richard Bernstein’s “Diabetes Solution” book? He’s managed his own Type I diabetes, so has some first hand experience. Good luck to your husband. With a little tweaking, the step from “Protein Power” to “Diabetes Solution” shouldn’t be a huge one.

    • I find this Eckel presentation strange. I heard Dr. Eckel speak at least a dozen times over the years and have read most of what he’s written, and this presentation of his take on the matter is at odds with everything I ever heard him say or seen him write. I’m not sure that a) those slides were his or b) that they weren’t selectively plucked from a longer presentation he gave. Having said that, though, I do agree with the conclusions based on the data contained in those slides – I just don’t believe Dr. Eckel does.

  28. I’ve heard another explanation for fossils. God put the fossils there to test our faith.

    How could anyone worship such a duplicitous God?

    • The bible also says that God is not a God of confusion. Some believers say the above to justify their ideas of a literal reading of the bible. The bible infers no such thing that god will salt the earth with basically lies to test faith. An honest god and as a believer i believe he/she is –is more interested in what kind of life the believer lives and how they treat others. That is the test of faith to gain reward in their future and influence behavior for good–not just for own reward but for good of others.

  29. Mike, do you have any insights on the recent ongoing experiment by the prof. at Kansas State Univ. who subsisted on Twinkies and other junk food for 10 weeks, but reduced calories, and improved just about everything measurable (BMI, blood lipids, etc.)? Even he didn’t expect such positive results! I’m still pondering it.
    regards
    Duff

      • If you read the CNN story on the KSU professor’s “twinkie” diet study, you’ll find this gem of a quote:

        “That’s where the head scratching comes,” Haub said. “What does that mean? Does that mean I’m healthier? Or does it mean how we define health from a biology standpoint, that we’re missing something?”

          • SOME ANSWERS I LIKED

            • Carolyn

            October 20th, 2010 at 11:58 pm • Reply
            This is interesting, but the “weight” he lost was probably muscle because of the inadequate amount of protein, don’t you think?

            • Torstein Grotnes
            October 21st, 2010 at 3:09 am • Reply

            I did a small calculation based on the values the good doctor [Haub’s] provided:

            He lost 19 pounds in 6 weeks. 1 pound of (body) fat contain 3500 calories according to Google. Multiplied by 19 give 66500 body fat calories lost. Divided by 6 weeks/42 days give a burn rate of bodyfat at 1583 cal. pr. day (we assume he didn’t lose muscle mass).

            Noting that he consumed 1800 calories a day, that would bring the total calories used pr. day (on average) to 3383 calories (excluding any water kilos which shouldn’t be an issue on a light diet like this with coffee and milk).
            A serving (2 cookies) contain 107 calories fat of a total of 268 calories, and if he ate 1800 calories a day it would amount to 6,7 servings a day adjusted down to 6 servings a day (due to milk consumption and vegetables). 6 times 107 cal. is 642 cal. of cookie-fat a day.

            So of the total 3383 calories energy expenditure a day, 2225 of those would have come from fat.

            This amounts to ~66% of his nutrition coming from fats.
            Of course this is a rough sketch, given that he ate different cookies, but assuming the fat content was similar in all cookies, it seems to me that he was doing just fine on a high fat, low protein, restricted carbohydrate diet?

            Then given the 6 week weight loss was just above 8 kilos in total (and looking slim in the video), imply that his BMI was not obese but somehow overweight, and probably having a well-functioning insulin-response that works just fine on a moderate carbohydrate diet.

            That he also according to what he wrote did not have much of a sweet-tooth, implies that his body-metabolism is not of the fat-storing type and that his maximum weight range before the diet was below any obesity-epidemic range (within the topic of nutrition, weight and disease-risks).
            I believe it is elaborated by Gary Taubes in his talks/book that % increased risk of disease could be a function of the amount of damage being done to the body’s insulin-production (over time). This could also explain the doctor getting better blood-result values after 6 weeks.

            Kindly,
            Torstein
            Oslo, Norway

  30. Hey you guys, we’ve got it all wrong. I went to a cooking class last night with some girlfriends taught by a master chef who studied in France.

    Anyway, somehow we got on the subject of breakfast. She says that she and her husband have cooked oatmeal every morning with fruits and nuts. Her doctor told her that the cooked oatmeal (unlike the “raw” oats in Cheerios) coats your esophogas and then absorbs all the fat you eat over the rest of the day so you don’t then gain weight from the fat and it doesn’t clog your arteries then.

    Who knew?

    It’s all I could do to keep my mouth shut!

    Oh, and even though she used heavy cream in several of the dishes and lots of cheese in the appetizers, she made it a point of using “light” butter.

    It really does make you laugh!

    It came out during the class that I have been known to drink heavy cream straight, eat a pat of butter (or two) as a snack, and eat fatty red meat. One of the women said I’d blown out my arteries long ago. I just smiled and said I’ll match my triglyceride level of 30 against anyone’s in the room. That shut them up!

  31. Interesting. You can’t add to the comments on the Heartwire article anymore. The site is “under maintenance”
    ever since you posted this article.

  32. I know some creationists who are not only low carb, but on the paleolithic diet. The garden of Eden, after all, was preagricultural.

    It’s also to be noted that when presented with a choice, God accepted a sacrifice of meat from Abel, but rejected a sacrifice of grain from Cain.

    None of this is to deny the possibility that Eckel’s scientific view is clouded by religious prejudices.

    • I may have been the one who raised the question of creationism and it was partly in response to Eckel’s no-holds-barred ad hominem attack on Eric Westman and the idea that he wants to repress low-carb research even while his colleagues get their own low-carb research funded. Maybe HIS kind of religious belief would have us have an inquisition for others who do low-carb research.
      In any case, it is not about religious belief but rather about confusing religion and science. There is also the question of consistency of personality. Dr. Raymond Damadian, the inventor of MRI, is a creationist but he is a great man and has made an enormous contribution and is allowed whatever odd ideas he wants. Dr. Eckel is not burdened with any of these traits.

  33. I guess I don’t understand what the issue is with Eckel’s beliefs. The commenters seem to be preoccupied with his belief of creationism. Yes it is evidence that there is a close minded faith/dogma driven attitude to him. But so what? Are not most scientists that still push low fat diets doing so on faith and dogma and not by examining the scientific evidence and are they all creationists? I’m not suggesting that we ignore evidence, but lets not crucify (pun) the man for the one belief and use it as the cause for not agreeing with us about carbs. We certainly don’t do the reverse thinking…Lets look at all the atheist scientists and nutritionists that bash low carb. Clearly they are not open to the evidence on low carb. Do we then use this as evaluation of their conclusions on evolution?

    My long winded point here is that you will be hard pressed to find anyone that acts and believes in a strictly scientific manner and I think it is entirely possible to apply faith in one area of your life and still use science in the other (I not suggesting that one do this on purpose). I believe this is true if for no other reason than the vast amount of knowledge out there requires us to learn certain things on faith just to function in society.

    Eckel’s beliefs about creationism should be considered as nothing more than one sliver of evidence, a character witness if you will. The smoking gun physical evidence is his absolute refusal to consider the evidence on low carb. Whether that refusal to consider the evidence is linked to his other beliefs is speculation. This is how I read Mike’s article, it is a piece of evidence, a character witness.

  34. Shame on you, Dr. Eades, for the ad hominem attack on Dr. Eckel at the end of this post. None of that has any bearing on the argument over the risks and benefits of a low-carb diet. He ridiculed you and you ridiculed him right back. I know it’s frustrating, but that doesn’t make it right to respond in kind.

    You are alike in this way: each of you stands with the majority in one area and against the majority in another. He stands with the majority in his views on lipids and ridicules you for holding alternate views. You stand with the majority in your views on evolution and ridicule him for holding alternate views. That’s the way Galileo was treated. Sometimes those with crazy minority views turn out to be RIGHT.

    Meanwhile, I’m one of your big fans. I find the EVIDENCE you present for the low-carb diet to be compelling. I’m spreading the word and it’s working out well for those who try it. (I also love my SVS.) Alas, it will be a long, long time before the total mortality evidence is conclusive, and I expect some surprises along the way.

    Keep up the good work.

    • I don’t think my ‘attack’ on Dr. Eckel was ad hominem. An ad hominem attack is when one is attacked for holding a particular position (political, nutritional, etc.) by going after the person himself instead of the position. For instance, if I were to denigrate Dean Ornish’s ideas on diet and nutrition by saying, ‘Well, what can you expect from a man who beats his wife?’ That would be an ad hominem attack. Dr. Ornish’s domestic situation has no relation to his nutritional ideas, which should be debated on their own merits (or lack thereof) and not some totally unrelated part of his life. (Let me hasten to state that I have no reason to suspect that Dr. Ornish beats his wife- in fact, I would seriously doubt he does. I’m just using this as an example.) Now if I say, ‘Well, what can you expect from someone who is an ethical vegan?’ That’s a different story; in my view that wouldn’t be an ad hominem attack. Dr. Ornish’s nutritional ideas should still be debated on their merits, but the fact that he is an ethical vegan tells us that he might be defending those views from a not-too-scientific perspective. I feel that Dr. Eckel’s religious beliefs may well influence some of his dogmaticism on diet.

      • I agree there was no ad hominem attack. But in response to the statement “I feel that Dr. Eckel’s religious beliefs may well influence some of his dogmaticism on diet.” I would ask what does it matter?

        Here is a question: What is worse a pseudoscientist that applies science selectively and only when it helps their cause (most low fat types) or someone that has dispensed with the sham altogether (allegedly Eckel)?

        Neither are truly scientists (and this fact to me is all that matters). The former strikes me as somewhat more deceptive. In the case of the latter we can’t even prove it we can only suspect. Or am i missing something?

      • Re Ornish, what if you said, “Well, what can you expect of someone whose braincell membranes contain high levels of plant fats?”

        Ad hominem? Valid? Both? 🙂

        • Nuts and fruits are both plant, but their fats can be part of a healthy diet for humans (with animal fat rounding out the trifecta, of course). Every experience in this world is an opportunity to practice discernment.

  35. My be it it time for doctors to start talking on conferences for insurance companies. They are loosing money on patients with diabetes and could be more interested in life stile approach (If they are not involved in pharmaceutics business, of course. If I were them, I would.).

  36. Dr. Eckel has to ignore the Bible to believe what he does, then.

    1. The earth was not created post-agriculture. Adam and Eve were not agriculturalists in the beginning. They did not become so, in fact, until they were cast out of Eden.

    2. God Himself does not appear to favor agriculturalists. Cain’s offering of “the first-fruits of the harvest” (in other words, grains) was blown off by God, while Abel’s harvest of the best of his flock (in other words, meat) was accepted. That’s why Cain killed Abel: jealousy that God appeared to like Abel better than He liked Cain.

    If I had a dollar for every time I’ve run into some “Bible believer” who has not, in fact, actually read the Bible, or at least not enough to back up whatever claim they’re making, I’d be a very wealthy woman.

    • Dana, I’m sure you are right but as a Young Earth Creationist he has to ignore whole swathes of science, and it his astonishing ability to do so, that as Mike says, puts his “dogmaticism on diet.” into perspective.

    • Late reply but to point #2, God rejected Cain’s offering because he and Abel were bringing sin offerings, which from the start required shed animal blood to ‘cover’ the sin of the supplicant. Abel followed that rule but Cain did not. Hence it his sacrifice that was rejected, not Cain himself. Unfortunately, Cain didn’t see it that way.

  37. Mike, Did you see the following from Heartwire:
    “Oxford, UK and Sydney, Australia – Further reductions in LDL cholesterol with more intensive statin regimens safely produce definite further reductions in vascular events, even down to very low LDL levels, lower than current targets, results of two new meta-analyses show [1]. There was no evidence of any lower threshold where the benefit is not seen.”

    http://www.theheart.org/article/1145175.do

    • You notice that there is no mention of any reduction in all-cause mortality, the most important endpoint. Who cares if there is a reduction in cardiac events if there is a corresponding increase in cancer and other events?

  38. Hi, Dr. Eades! I posted this question on the PP forum, and no one answered but the administrator, who said that you and MD are the only ones who know the answer to this question:

    Does the 6WC only work if you have mostly VAT, or does it also work if you have mostly SAT?

    • It works for both, but a little more slowly for SAT. But, that would be the case for any diet. SAT comes off less quickly than does VAT, which is one of the reasons men typically lose weight more quickly than women. Men usually have more VAT than SAT, whereas it’s often the opposite with females.

      • Thank you so much! I have a few more questions, as long as I’ve got your ear:

        In the book, I read that saturated fat in higher amounts will help get rid of VAT. And yet, the first two weeks are kind of lower fat, without that much saturated fat. What is the reason for this?

        Also, I put a day of 3-1 into fitday to see how the macronutrients come out and found that it was around 1340 calories, with around 55% fat, 36% protein and 9% carbs. Would the first two weeks of 6WC work just as well eating whole foods that contained the same macronutrients, along with the BCAA, instead of shakes and one meal? Would the body be able to tell the difference?

        I know it might be easier to do the shakes, but I am a very disciplined person who tracks every morsel on fitday and would get it right using whole foods.

        And with the shakes, you said that you wanted them to have at least 18 grams of protein (108 daily total) per scoop, but more was okay. Mine has 25 grams of protein (150 daily total), and using 6 scoops of that per day would add another 42 grams of protein per day over what your “minimum” would be – another 168 calories. Should I adjust my protein down so that I am only having 108 grams rather than 6 scoops?

        One more question: In the book, you said to compare the measurement of the abdomen standing with the measurement lying down, and see if they were close. But you didn’t give a reference for what constitutes “close”. My standing is 1.25″ larger than my lying down. Does that mean that my fat is mainly SAT, or is 1.25″ considered not “close”.

        By the way, I watched you and your wife in “Fat Head” last night, and really appreciated how you shared your knowledge in these matters, and made it so easy to understand. My 81-year-old father is now convinced, in part thanks to you and MD, to stop taking statins and to start increasing his saturated fat and to cut out the grains and starches! And thank you for helping me now.

        Rebecca

      • Going from this, what do you think is going on with people that put on a huge amount of subcutaneous abdominal fat, but not much visceral fat? It seems to be a body type common to my mother’s family, so I’m curious. I have a huge belly, but it’s all soft, flexible folds that you can lift up and poke through to feel the (flat) abdominal wall, underside of ribs and pelvis poke out when lying down, things like that.

        It’s very, very stubborn and does not want to come off. It is something to worry about beyond a more typical distribution?

        • I ought to probably add that I’m not seeking specific medical advice, but am curious about what could possibly be driving that particular subcutaneous fat distribution. It’s all very interesting! 🙂

  39. The snake offered Eve an apple. Being a low carber I just recently appreciated the evil in this move (fructose is poison!) Some people think that evolution is just the way through which God created the world. I support freedom of religion, speech and thought.

    But science is different and suffers from dogma’s. I put MY faith in Dr Eades, Mary Enig and Barry Groves. Halleluja!

  40. I was perusing that Heartwire site. Oy vey!

    Check out their HDL series for CME. A whole bunch of stuff about how beneficial it is to have a high HDL and not one mention of how a locarb – high fat diet will do the job.

    It would never occur to them that combining their statins with a lo-fat/ high carb diet might undermine their goal.

  41. O/T

    Dr. Eades, you know how vitamin D3 levels are expressed in x ng/ml? Well, how many millliliters of whatever-it-is are there in a body?

    I know/believe that giving someone 5000IU/day should be good (and it’s what I’ve been doing for a few winters, 50k every 10 days), but is there any way to guesstimate how to bring their levels up?

    Thanks. I know you can’t practice on the internet, I just need a pointer. Very hard to find hypotheses behind these things.

    • Lab results are usually reported as a number per milliliter of serum. There are about five liters of blood in a typical human body, and about half of that is serum (the other half is red blood cells), so there are about 2.5 liters of serum. Each liter contains 1000 milliliters, so 2.5 liters would be 2500 ml.

  42. I am a big fan of lo-carb, paleo diets (I have lost over 50 lbs on them since last Dec). I am doing the 6wk cure right now. Since no one else mentioned it, I have to mention that I am also an OLD-earth creationist. I believe that God created the universe in an event we call the Big Bang something like 15 billion years ago. The Genesis account is obviously not referring to literal days, since the sun was not created until several days in. I also work in a field related to geology, and it would be pretty silly to maintain that the geological strata referred to only thousands of years. It would be like someone in the astronaut program believing the earth was flat. Anyway, I love your blog, Dr. Mike. I would also love it if you would post a rebuttal to the Twinkie Diet when you come up with one. I also suspect that it is not what they are claiming it to be.

  43. It wasn’t a snake in Genesis, it was the Serpent; God turned it into a snake after the Fall to punish it, and perhaps to punish A&E further; “crawl on your belly and bite the sons of Adam” (I’m quoting from memory, I don’t have the OT here).
    To turn a facetious argument into a more serious one than André intended, the fructose in apples isn’t the same as that in HFCS; natural fructose is D-fructose, HFCS fructose is L-fructose, a sugar only made naturally by bacteria. They are metabolised differently.
    Also, the small amount of carbs in apples come packed with what may be the 4th source of calories; Krebs cycle intermediates. Citric acid, Malic acid, Isocitrate etc are energy sources in the Krebs/Citric acid cycle, aren’t they?
    This may (or may not) affect the way carbs from sour fruits are metabolised. Hydroxycitrate is used as a weight-loss supplement because it is strongly thermogenic. Perhaps Krebs cycle intermediates are mildy thermogenic?
    My instinct is not to condemn whole, natural foods by association. If there is proof that apples are harmful, so be it, but proof that glucose or fructose are harmful is not proof that apples are. For example, there is evidence that honey has quite different metabolic effects from the invert sugar it contains, despite not containing much else. Grape juice is very sweet, but drinking grape juice has been shown to reduce hypertension.
    A carb restricted diet is a carb restricted diet, and my point is not to undermine that, but to understand better the factors that influence carb metabolism.

    • George, The message I got from Dr Lustig’s presentaton was that fructose is a chronic hepatic poison whoese negative effects are dose dependent. If eaten in sensible quantities in whole food form fructose should not pose a metabolic problem. I guess we’ve moved a long way away from that as a society.
      Condemnation or demonization of particular foods (eg fruit) is unhelpful and more about propoganda than science. I know it was a revelation to me when I realised that fructose in honey was not metabolised the same as isolated fructose. Nevertheless I try to eat honey and other sweet foods sparingly as I have a sweet tooth and given half a chance would easily fall back to having toast & honey for breakfast, a muffin for morning tea etc etc. I know I go much better on a higher protein, fatty diet with minimal processed/sugary foods.
      The more I read about nutrition the more I’m convinced that everything we consume is a two-edged sword.

      • I think that we could compile a body of science that would allow us to choose low-insulin carbs over high-insulin ones, or whatever the benefit we were looking for, and that would then allow us more leeway in the total amount of dietary carbs. But that is probably more work than almost anyone can be bothered with. On the other hand, knowledge has its own value, whether it’s applied or not.
        I find that, on a high-fat low carb diet, my taste buds work amazingly well. I need very little honey to sweeten a drink – 2 grams is as sweet as 5 grams of sugar used to be. I think I’m past that slippery slope you describe (and that I know so well). Paleo man would have encountered honey occasionally, and fruit often – but only in season. He would not have been exposed to it all year round once he crossed the tropics.
        Food is a two-edged sword only in the sense that life kills us all. If you’re using the preferred fuels in the right proportions and getting the antioxidant and other protections – and avoiding the allergens – the ability of food to build up and repair damage often incurred long ago can be amazing.

    • “To turn a facetious argument into a more serious one than André intended, the fructose in apples isn’t the same as that in HFCS; natural fructose is D-fructose, HFCS fructose is L-fructose, a sugar only made naturally by bacteria. They are metabolised differently.”

      There is very little real world difference in how HFCS and sucrose are metabolised.

      “Citric acid, Malic acid, Isocitrate etc are energy sources in the Krebs/Citric acid cycle, aren’t they?”

      They are oxidised by stomach acids and never reach the bloodstream.

      • Thanks for taking up this challenge blogblog. But I think you are wrong (at least in part) about Krebs cycle intermediates. The use of malic acid in fibromyalgia is predicated on it reaching the mitochondria where it produces NADH. That it does work in some way is not really in doubt (and alterations in NADH/NAD balance could conceivably influence metabolism of carbs). Further, citric acid appears to be metabolised as it will not acidify urine (as ascorbic acid, which is not metabolised, does). There is a patent online claiming that isocitrate can elevate platelet counts. Of course evidence that supplementary Krebs intemediates are bioactive is not convincing evidence that smaller dietary amounts reach the circulation.
        Oxidation can be, and often is, reversed by antioxidants in the gut. But these compounds may also be metabolised by microrganisms there.

  44. I’m interested in Protein Power and the physiology/biochemistry of diets. But debates about religion on a nutrition/diet site turn me off so much that I consider unsubscribing completely.

    Is there any way to set rules for comments?

    • I there is a way, I don’t know about it. Most posts don’t inspire a great level of religious debate, so I doubt that you’ll have to endure all that much.

  45. One can look at all the “vectors’ that point to low carb diet- the clinical studies, human biochemistry, and natural selection; but there is no evidence more compelling than the anthropological evidence. By saying that, I’m not dissing God, the Bible, Christianity, or anything else religious. I’m also not making the claim that the anthropologists get it 100% of the time … but extinct vegetarian Hominids are a fact, bone density tests are fact, the chemical constituents of coprolite is fact. The three thousand year old obese mummies and thirty thousand year old cave paintings are just icing on the cake. If we don’t need to hunt tofu, why all the arrowheads?

  46. Dear Dr. Eades:

    Keep up the GREAT work of picking the conventional dietary wisdom to shreds!
    I correspond with Dr. Westman’s colleague Dr. Stephen Phinney MD/PhD and meet with him regularly to learn about the cutting edge research they are doing on lipids outside the carb-based dietary model and the stuff is absolutely astounding! Am forwarding the link to your site to him right now….contact me if you want to meet Stephen…you will be blown away with the stuff they are doing (Westman, Phinny, Volek et.al.)

    Thanks again!

    Cheers!

    Peter Defty

      • BTW, I’m finding data relevant to my HCV hypothesis in Volek et al’s work. The difference in post prandial serum TGA between a low-fat diet and a very-low-carb diet is a whopping 77 percentage points (both sides of baseline, combined). Their research really does confirm that VLDL expression can be significantly reduced (or increased) by macronutrient choices.

        • So far the best diet for lowering TGA, and hence VLDL, is VLC with supplementary fish oil. This is pretty much what I follow already, and I have to say, it works fantastically well for me; on both of the last two days I climbed hills, something that usually is doable but wipes me out, and I feel that I can do it again today if I want to. I’ve never been overweight; it’s certainly possible to consume enough carbs to drastically undermine your health without gaining much at all; indeed, one can lose weight as muscle mass without gaining fat to compensate, if that’s how the genes play out.
          I don’t want people to think these are just weight-loss diets; no sirree! The VLC diet is the strongest painkiller I know.

  47. Talking about rooting out anti-low-carb biases, have you heard that the Executive Director of the Washington State Potato Commission is eating nothing but 20 pounds of potatoes a day for 60 days in “an effort to remind the public about the nutritional value of potatoes”. Potatoes are fat-free, you know.

    http://20potatoesaday.com/index.html

    Apparently, someone has convinced him to add some oil to his “diet” because without the fatty acids he wouldn’t “look or feel very good at the end of these 60 days”. So hm…turns out a person can’t just survive on fat-free potatoes.

    I heard him on a radio interview and couldn’t believe it. Besides the inanity of just eating potatoes, he seemed genuinely surprised that hey had to eat a couple or three potatoes every two hours in order to get all 20 pounds in by the end of the day. Wouldn’t he have figured that out ahead of time?

    • Many eons ago, I read somewhere that the Irish had often survived on nothing but potatoes and milk from their cows, and that made a nutritionally adequate diet. As I’m a quarter Irish, I wondered what it would be like to live that way, so I spent a week trying it. I figured if I had milk, I’d also have butter and cheese.

      The interesting thing was that I never got bored with the food. Potatoes are so versatile that when you combine them with milk, cheese, and butter, you can have so many different dishes, both hot and cold.

      I’m not claiming this is a good way to lose weight or improve your heart health. But an all-potato diet doesn’t sound bad to me anymore. These days I’d be thrilled if I could eat just one potato . . .

  48. Well done Mike. I didn’t read the entire article (thanks for the link) but I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of comments disputing Eckel. You, Richard Feinman, Gary Taubes and the other professionals are on the ramparts and although that may be a heavy mantle, we need you guys. I and so many others don’t have the scientific knowledge and background to take on the lipophobes directly. But I’ll say this – a huge, expensive trial may be just fine, but why don’t they just ask all the people who have switched over to low carb and got turned around? Simple. Take care.

    • Exactly, I hate reading about “experiments” that are done on test subjects who fail to do this diet properly. Part of doing this diet corectly is enjoying it. So many end up stopping the diet because they don’t like it. They need to use people who actually live this way before they come to the conclusion of the health benefits of the diet.

  49. Jim, I think that doctors are being converted one by one by their patients who have had such excellent results on low carb. I know that even 7 years ago when I started and told my doctor she said that’s good.

  50. Thanks for this post.

    As one of those involved in the “rollicking debate following the article” (comments 71, 77, 93) I actually felt that more and better information appeared there than in the covering article. Unfortunately it gradually descended into a bit of a bar-room brawl and it loses cohesion after some posts were deleted by the moderators, but it was good for a while.

    Cheers, Alan

  51. Great blog. A couple of points.
    I think it is likely that you are wrong about the EASD not receiving Dr. Westman well. I spoke at EASD in 2009 and my talk was well received by an audience of 300 or so. As I mentioned in the comments in the Heart.org article, Arne Astrup was also on the panel where I spoke and told me at the break that of course he agreed that a low carbohydrate diet was best for diabetes because it was a disease of carbohydrate restriction. He then told a reporter that it was a fad diet. (The reporter didn’t use his comments but did show it to me).

    I also mentioned in my comments that Eckel had said almost word for word the same thing to me on the phone last month.

    The main point to me is that I have met Dr. Westman’s patients and know that he has helped them. The main effect of attacking him in the way that they did is plain nastiness and disregard for patients for which I doubt they will receive forgiveness even here, never mind the life to come.

    The problem with all of these guys is that they start out thinking there is something bad about carbohydrate restriction even though they haven’t studied biochemistry for thirty years and have no success with their own diets and we are supposed to shoulder the burden of proof. Along which lines, do you have any evidence that Ornish doesn’t beat his wife?

  52. Have there been long term studies of the so-called “Mediterranean” diet (assuming one can determine what this means) relative to other diets?

  53. Whoo hoo! I’m just reading the Dec 2010 issue of WIRED magazine and their “100 Things We Want” (i.e., holiday gifts for geeks) article has — guess what?!?! The Sous Vide Supreme as number 16 best gift!! That’s great!

    Way to go Dr. Mike! (er… that is, congratulations Mr. Chairman/CEO/COO of Eades Appliance Technologies.)

  54. Thanks for standing up for the data. Reading your first book changed my life. Doctor wanted to put me on medicine to lower my blood pressure and to lower my uric acid levels (I had a kidney stone). I refused and went on a low carb diet per your recommendation. You know the result. Normal blood pressure and normal uric acid levels.
    The weight loss was a fringe benefit.

  55. Indeed, cholesterol can be harmful but because it has control, as this leads to different situations such as heart attack, stroke, and it is paramount that you take proper control and we do not know at what point can happen We must prevent a stroke and is very painful, since I had a friend who suffered from it and he was given hydrocodone, morphine, only to control the pain I felt, and Findrxonline says that these drugs are for chronic pain control and durable, they must know also that all medication must be prescribed by the doctor and after an evaluation, please remember that health care is important to us.

  56. Whew — did you see this?
    =========
    By my calculation, one would need to treat 48 patients for 5 years at a cost of $288,000 to prevent one event, which is most likely to be a revascularization procedure – and you will not reduce the person’s likelihood of dying over those 5 years.
    =========

    quoted here: http://healthjournalclub.blogspot.com/2010/11/vytorin-versus-baking-soda.html#more

    (about the SHARP trial, looking at Vytorin versus placebo to treat heart disease in patients with chronic kidney disease.)

  57. Found this 1897 quote from Leo Tolstoy from Michael Lewis’ book The Big Short, which I think has bearing on efforts to convince the anti-low carb crowd of the fallacy of their beliefs:

    “The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.”

  58. In response to “This is very odd. Where did you hear this? Fructose from HFCS is D-fructose is metabolized exactly the same as normal D-fructose. I doubt that L-fructose is metabolized at all.” Oddly, the comments appear in my e-mail box before they appear on the site.

    I also wondered about the comment about L-fructose, thinking perhaps something had been discovered since I studied biochemistry (so many things I was taught have turned out to be wrong) and looked around to see if I could find a source.

    I think it comes from the Weston Price article on agave:
    https://www.westonaprice.org/modern-foods/1604

    The Internet can be a great source of information but also, alas, a great source of misinformation, which gets passed around and accepted as true.

    The comments to that article pointed out the error last June, but it hasn’t been corrected, which unfortunately undermines Sally Fallon’s credibility on other matters.

    It’s very confusing for most people to understand the D- and L- prefixes, which are not the same as the d- and l- prefixes. The comment in the Fallon article that points out the error links to another one that explains all this:

    http://betterworldcookies.blogspot.com/2010/06/why-i-use-agave-nectar-examination-of.html

  59. As a pharmacist I am seeing more people take charge of their health. I’ve had several patients this year that have ditched grain and sugar. They were able to get of most of the medications (which I love to see). The won’t be able to discount low-carb diets much longer because people are finding that they work. Not only do the work, but going low-carb isn’t “work.”

  60. Well this just came in on the wire this morning:

    http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1007137

    CONCLUSIONS
    In this large European study, a modest increase in protein content and a modest reduction in the glycemic index led to an improvement in study completion and maintenance of weight loss. (Funded by the European Commission; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00390637.)

  61. Hi, Dr. Eades. 🙂

    Very good article. I really enjoy your blog.

    I also like how you show the common “eat less ,move more ” nostrum that so many Internet gurus believe in, to be extremely overrated.

    Guys like Stephen Hawking, the Japanese physics professor from the Discovery Channel and Robert McCleoud understand thermodynamics. All conventional matter ( possibly not dark matter or dark energy) obeys the laws but that does not mean at all that the laws explain obesity.

    I suspect Stephan Hawking, if he addressed obesity and the application of thermodynamics, would probably say that there are problems using a measurement of heat output from burning to predict what happens when substances are consumed by humans. Someone needs to tell Anthony Colpo, James Krieger et al that……..

    Take care,

    Razwell

    A low carb lifestyle is a good all around choice.

  62. Had my twice yearly dental cleaning and checkup yesterday. Ever since I start low carb I have had excellent reports on both gum and tooth health. Just another benefit of low carb.

  63. Thanks for battling the deception in the medical community. Nearly fell out of my chair this morning watching this new commercial on high fructose corn syrup. Help!!

    http://www.cornsugar.com/video-gallery/

    Thanks for all you’ve done for my health. Excellent health, weight loss of 50 pounds maintained for 8 years even at age 55, all due to your dietary regime. Yet my friends all around me are aging faster, getting more overweight, and think I’m killing myself.

  64. Yesterday I saw an interesting program on the research of Professor Elisabeth Blackburn et al. regarding the enzyme telomerase and its role in extending telomeres. Somehow Dean Ornish had wormed his way into this program with a section about cancer sufferers who had chosen for a lifestyle change to beat their cancers. That change, you guessed it, included a low fat diet. The implicit suggestion was also that if you want to extend your telomeres (and your lifespan) you had to go for that. Amazingly the program makers didn’t see fit to have that claim challenged. The false prophets have an easy time of it.

  65. I am a huge fan and always read your articles and blog. I had great success with the Six Week Cure and it’s great to
    have a plan when the scale is headed in the wrong direction. 🙂

    Some time ago, you promised an article on fiber to explain why it is overated in the scheme of one’s low-carb diet. Something about making little tears in the digestive track (?). Did you write in depth about this and I missed it? Do you still plan to write about it if you haven’t already?

    Thanks for all you do!

  66. When I try to imagine what would happened if everybody adopted the low-carb eating style (I wish they would) immediately , it looks like another bubble burst – stocks of Pharm, Agricultural, Food processing companies dropping, doctors who perform bariatric surgeries, prosthetic limbs fitting, selling masks for sleeping acne, cardiologists are not getting much of a job. Just imagine – you are the leader making decisions about the extension of the benefits for corn producers and health care costs are raising as a result of your decision or national economy is being pushed into another crisis while people are getting healthier.
    I made my personal decision, and I am glad I don’t have to worry about my neighbor who sells insulin pumps.

    • Insulin pumps are used by people with type 1 diabetes, which is an autoimmune disease, not caused by eating carbs. We need to stop blaming victims for their diseases.

  67. I was diagnosed with diabetes (t 2) at the end of May. I was shocked and horrified, having eaten a ‘healthy’ low fat, low calorie diet since my teen years in an attempt to lose weight (i didn’t work!) and avoid the diabetes that runs heavily in my family and genetics (I am part Native American).

    I immediately started researching how to eat, because the diet given to me by my doctor did not make sense. I was told to eat low fat, with lots of whole grains and rice! Having a background in science, something struck me as OFF about this.

    I came across low carb diets, and on the recommendations of other diabetics online, decided to give them a try.

    6 mons. later, I am 50 pounds lighter, and my A1c went from 7.2 to 5.
    My lipid profile is completely normal.
    My fasting blood sugar is normally around 77. 2 hr PP not above 100. When I was diagnosed, my fasting number was 432.

    Basically, when I eat this way, I am indistinguishable from a non-diabetic.

    I cannot say enough GOOD things about low carb eating for diabetics. I am shocked and horrified that there is so much opposition, when this kind of eating SAVES LIVES!

    Thanks for the article. The more people that get this information the better!

  68. Hi Dr. Eades

    I just wanted to let you know that I have a blog , fully referenced, that goes into great detail about exposing the bank account model of obesity and its long term failure over the last 50 years .

    The Laws of Thermopdynamics do not at all explain fat cell regulation and behavior, and real physicists would admit this, if they ever even addressed the subject of obesity.

    Please feel more than free to take any and all information on my blog to refute several Internet gurus. ( Anthony Colpo, Kames Krieger) I hope you find it useful. Many of Dr. Jeffrey Friedman’s lectures are on there.

    I told Gary Taubes this too. I fully support the both of you 100 % in your efforts to expose the standard bank account model of obesity.

    Urgelt left some great comments on Gary Taubes’ blog. He like myself, realizes the bank account model of obesity is and always was wrong. He’s a very smart guy.

    You and Gary have the exposure to make a difference. I am very happy about that.

    Take care,

    Razwell

  69. Dear Dr. Eades,

    I hope that you will have a few minutes to reply to this question…I wasn’t sure where the appropriate location to post it was, so I just opted for a recent blog entry with hopes that you monitored the comments here.

    I have been following a Purist diet (+ small amount of high-fat dairy) as advocated in Protein Power Lifeplan since September, with all of the well-established benefits following: lost 18 lbs, dysmenorrhea gone, acne gone, headaches gone, HDL up, VLDL and triglycerides down. Feeling great. Thank you!! You’ve changed my life!

    Now here is my problem. Given my positive experience, I was able to convince my slim and healthy yet pre-diabetic husband to give this diet a try with the expectation that it will lower his fasting glucose, HbA1C, and uric acid levels (92 mg/dl, 5.7%, and 7.3 mg/dl, respectively, at his last check-up). His doctor has told him to follow a “strict diabetic diet” and to get rechecked in 3 months with the threat of needing to start oral diabetic medication. My husband has started reading Protein Power Lifeplan and started following something between Dilettante and Purist diet 1 week ago. He rechecked his fasting blood glucose this morning, and it was still elevated at 93 mg/dl. How quickly should blood glucose values drop on a very-low-carb diet? I know, of course, that it will take 3 months to see a change in A1C due to the lifespan of the red blood cells, but don’t know how long it could take for blood glucose to normalize. My concern is that my husband gets demoralized and quits the diet before it is reasonable to see blood glucose changes. Can you offer a timeframe so as to keep him compliant until results are seen?

    Thank you very much for your excellent books, and highly informative blog. Thank you in advance for any insight into this question. Happy Holidays!

    With best regards,
    Clarissa

    • Somehow your comment got stuck in my spam filter, and I just now found it. I hope your husband is continuing to hang in there. A blood sugar level of 93 mg/dl is not particularly elevated. His HbA1C shows that his average blood sugar is a tiny bit elevated, but a fasting sugar of 93 is within the normal range (it’s in the high end of normal, but still normal). I would expect to see his HbA1C levels fall over time as his blood sugar levels after meals should be much lower on his new diet, making his average blood sugar fall.

      • Thank you very much for your reply! After the initial “adjustment” phase, my husband is now feeling so good on this diet that he says that we are never going back to our old way of eating. HbA1C to be rechecked at the end of March, so hopefully we will see some improvement in his lab values by then. Thanks again for your response.

  70. WAY too much money to be made in treating diseases with drugs. Evidently, the money-fueled mainstream will resist the idea that their efforts are useless and lifestyle changes yield 100x better results. Applies to diabetes, acne, and the host of fake psychological diseases (ADD, fibromyalgia, etc) invented by modern man.

  71. I have been on a low carb diet for at least 20 years. But I don’t try to lose weight in fact I try to do the opposite. I am six foot six inches tall and weigh around 400 pounds. Every time I go for a physical the doctor does blood work and though he admits my cholesterol is normal still tries to prescribe statin drugs. One of my favorite garden designs involved a path with green vegetable rows on both sides. As I walk down the path I browse on the greenery. Later I go back to the house for a steak. In winter I just have the steak. I stay away from the bathroom scale and only know when I am losing or gaining weight by the evidence provided by my pants getting loose or tight.

  72. Actually the “Biblical diet” was intended only for the Jews. Any claim that a Christian Bible believer would be biased toward a diet for that reason is just plain ignorance.

    I am totally sold on the low-carb diet with the single issue of ketosis, which I am researching now.

    I was a Geology major and worked for Shell Oil in Alaska for several years. I was steeped in evolution. Since then I discovered the problems with evolution are so many and varied that it is now a theory in search of answers for ever increasing problems.

    Intelligent design will, in due time, totally destroy the theory of evolution. To believe otherwise is to believe that mud and rocks have intelligence.

  73. Wow Ron. That’s the most incredibly ignorant thing I’ve read in a long time.

    Intelligent design is not a theory, it’s a cop-out.

    If you don’t understand evolution, you understand neither the world around you nor yourself.

  74. Oh really. I feel so foolish.

    Will you show me one witnessed instance of evolution adding new information to DNA?

    What evolved first in the eye? Was it the millions of rods and cones, the iris, the lens, the tear ducts, the lids, the nerves to the brain, etc. All are necessary for sight. It is one of may organs that are of “irreducible complexity.” They do not work unless the entire system is suddenly in place.

    No my poor fellow, you, like I, have been sold a bill of goods and swallowed it hook line and sinker.

    I am 70 years old and have been steeped in evolution. That is all I heard for 50 years. It wasn’t until I stopped to listen to other intelligent people about the major, one could even say fatal, problems of evolution that I started to reason for myself on the issue.

    Only closed minds will not listen carefully to other viewpoints and scientific data.. If you are so sure of yourself, I suggest you read some intelligent design and/or creation books.

    This is really not the proper forum for this discussion so lets drop it.

  75. I’m with Ron A. Proper forum or not. I DO think eating as IF we evolved is the proper approach. Let’s face it folks, we really DON’T know where we came from, but I believe one day I will know, even as also I am known.

    My suggestion to both sides: read David Berlinski’s “The Devil’s Delusion” – hilarious and brilliant. No one could give religion its due better than this brilliant SCIENCE writer and Jewish agnostic! Berlinski has criticisms of I.D. but he also has criticisms of evolution.

    In addition I really like Leo Strauss’s cryptic question (and only thing he ever said on the subject, as far as I know) re evolution: “What did the first human say to his mother?”

    • Answer: The first couple did not have a mother since the man was made directly from organic material and the woman from a part of the man. Eve was the first mother and so Cain was the first human to have a mother.

  76. I’ve read intelligent design and creation books. I was steeped in them for 20 years. Then I got an education. It’s amazing what rigorous scientific study will do for a person.

    Your arguments with evolution amount only to intellectual laziness and wishful thinking. Like I said, Intelligent Design is not a theory, it never will be. It is a cop out.

    If you didn’t want to discuss your incredible beliefs, you shouldn’t have brought them up.

    • To me, “incredible beliefs” include “punctuated equilibrium” (to explain the sudden appearance of fossils i.e. the Cambrian explosion) and Crick’s “directed panspermia” to mention a couple. Darwin makes an offhand remark about a “warm puddle” and suddenly his acolytes are taking this seriously (“The Master has spoken. He done spoked!”).

      To me, Jared, it’s sad what “rigorous scientific study will do for a person.” Make them harsh and empty. I wish that you would consider for just one second (maybe hold onto something) that YOU don’t know either.

      Random chance? From apes?

      Nah… I prefer David Berlinski’s “The Devil’s Delusion” — he is an agnostic Jew who seriously questions I.D. (see back issues of Commentary Magazine) but also Darwin. He’s also truly hilarious. Something that those who “know where we come from or didn’t come from” are NOT.

      Rigid and contemptuous! God save me from that. What is it but fundamentalism in reverse?

  77. Is there any difference in the content between your Protein Power book of Dec 1997 & 2009?I have been on a low carb diet for a few months & I am feeling good ,though I have not lost any weight yet.Your post was excellent!

  78. Agree that it takes a lifestyle change. Low carb diets, high protein diets etc. need to be accompanied with increased activity, good sleeping hours etc. Thanks for your great blog.

  79. I’m wondering if you can elaborate on this:

    “As it turns out, when early man made the conversion from a hunter-gatherer diet and lifestyle to an agricultural one, he experienced an enormous decline in health.”

    I thought all early men just died in their 30s or 40s.

  80. I just spent a day in the hospital (ruling out post-surgical blood clot/heart problems) where the cardiologist tried to put me on a ‘diabetic diet’ of 160gm of carbs and half the protein I usually eat. When I told him I eat less than 45gm per day and only in low carb vegies (no grains, fruit, etc.) and that if I ate his diet my sugars would be high enough to need insulin, his response was “well that’s why they make medication.” Amazing. He did remove the dietary restrictions when I told him my husband would be bringing my meals in for me.

  81. Kill or cure? The Atkins diet debated in diabetes

    ^this sentence in no way is biased towards or against the atkins diet. How the heck did you think that whoever was reading that title would think anti-carb. Does it say “A cure? atkins diet…”? Does it say “Killer? Atkins diet…”? No. It says “kill or cure” (or would you rather have it say Cure or kill?). Does it say atkins diet maligned in debate? atkins diet ignored in debate? atkins diet refuted in debate? No. It says atkins diet debated.

    Also, you’re going to dock the article because when they introduced the lead scientist one end of the debate they told their readers he might be biased as he is strongly affiliated with the atkins institution? so you would prefer that readers not know that he might be strongly biased? especially since he’s trying to introduce a “novel” method of combating obesity?

    This blog post might be the single most example of cherry picking and confirmation bias I have ever read.

    Did you read sentences you posted? You say all of the following sentences are anti-low carb. Lemme do a count for you

    I would never prescribe an Atkins diet to a person with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. ->anti-low carb

    There are no long-term data comparing the different diets in diabetes management. ->neither

    Low-carb is not defined consistently across all the research studies, it’s very confusing. ->neither

    If you want your patients to love you, improve their glucose; get them off insulin and injections. ->pro lowcarbish (westman said this meaning that the atkins diet would improve your glucose, but a quick glance wouldnt tell you that)

    It’s my hunch that it’s both—it’s the weight loss, but how you do it gives you a little extra power. -> pro lowcarbish (westman said this meaning that the atkins diet would give you extra power, but a quick glance wouldn tell you that)

    With these diets there is no suffering, no hunger and there is a feeling of satiety. ->pro low carb

    Atkins is atherogenic. I’m concerned about . . . its impact on LDL cholesterol. ->anti low-carb

    The ADA does not recommend an Atkins type low-carb diet because of the concerns about the impact of that fat load on heart health. ->anti low carb

    You have 8 sentences. 3 are definitely anti-LC. 1 is definitely pro-LC. 2 are pro-LC, but a quick glance would not tell you that. 2 are neither.

    Possibly a slight anti-LC bias, but enough to warrant call the writer shameless? Enough to brazenly call the entire article an anti-LC article? If you had all 8 sentences be anti-LC yes you might have an argument, but this is just utter bovine excrement.

    And then you say

    “As you read on through the piece, you’ll find Dr. Westman’s answers to questions being characterized in the following ways:

    Westman acknowledges… Westman admits… Westman concedes…

    When describing the responses of those chosen to refute Dr. Westman – all lipophobes (LOL to their very cores – the writer uses a different characterization.

    Eckel [Dr. Robert Eckel] says… Eckel believes… says Eckel… And he [Eckel] is keen to stress… Eckel begs to differ Dietitian Stephanie A. Dunbar…says… she adds… Dr. Arne Astrup says… Astrup says… Dunbar says… she notes..”

    Wow. Some serious cherrypicking going on here.

    Lemme just write out all the synonyms for said written as attributed to westman in the first 13 paragraphs

    admittedly, argues, says, explained, acknowledges, believes, explaining, says, says, pointed out, said, pointed out

    the next 13 paragraphs when other people talk

    says, said, believes, says, acknowledges, keen to stress, says, adds, does point (conceding in context), says, notes

    -> you read this and thought totally anti-low carb bias? how did you like your cherry pie?

    and then you go on an ad hominem attack on eckles because he’s a creationist? what the heck does being a creationist have to do with a stance on obesity? you say you didn’t do an ad hominem attack because an ad hominem attack would critique someone based on criteria that are irrelevant. so creationism is relevant to low carb diets…. how???

    and then you go on to put words in eckles mouth. as a creationist he doesnt believe in a pre-agricultural man and is thus wrong about low carb diets. and this is relevant how? he said these words when?

    WHAT THE F***?

  82. @Eugene

    If eckles likes a particular football team or is divorced, those kind of facts are irrelevant to a question like obesity research. Creationism is far from irrelevant. For one, the theory of evolution is the bedrock of biology. If you don’t understand evolution, you don’t understand biology. Second, the theory of evolution has an incredible amount of scientific evidence supporting it. If a scientist can’t be bothered with scientific evidence for something else, it is not a stretch to question his ability to do science in any domain.

    I’m sorry, you’re not quite understanding either what an ad hominem attack is, or how incredibly unscientific believing in creationism is.

    Aside from that, your analysis of the bias from start to finish is laughable. If you think “Kill or Cure” is an unbiased headline then this discussion is over. If you want to talk about the false dichotomy and loaded language of the title and come up with a better explanation for how it is unbiased, maybe we have something to talk about.

    As far as I can tell, you think it’s ok to associate the word “kill” with a simple dietary regime that has been demonstrated safe by millions of people. What if someone asked the same thing about the Vegan diet? Would you really think they were unbiased?

    • http://www.answersingenesis.org/

      I think you need to go there and look at some things, cause you sure are saying a lot of stuff in generalities. Exactly what parts of the THEORY of Evolution work, and which do not?

      Anyway, you can go along blindly attacking things, but there are viable alternatives worth looking into rather than just accepting certain ideas promoted as truth in science. Isn’t that what led most of us here in the first place?

  83. Believing creationism has nothing to do with understanding evolution and the evidence for it (although it might influence one’s agreement with it). Neither has anything to with understanding biology and human physiology. You can have a thorough understanding of human physiology and have only a basic understanding of evolution and vice versa.

    Whether or not the fact that “a scientist can’t be bothered with scientific evidence for something else” brings about doubt of his credentials and ability to do science in other domains, this has no relationship to whether his arguments themselves have credibility. You can refute his argument, but refuting his character or beliefs or credentials or past statements have no bearing on his argument.

    Do you understand what an ad hominem is now?

    To try and say that I dont understand what ad hominem is you would have to show me how I misunderstood instead of disagreeing with me on the idea that it is an ad hominem attack . For example if I had mistook tu quoque for ad hominem and said Eades is also a creationist and thus his argument is wrong and you told me I misunderstood, that would make sense. Another example: if you had told me that you disagreed that Eades’s point was an ad hominem attack, then your argument would be valid, but misunderstanding and disagreeing are two different arguments.

    Since an ad hominem is fallacy where a person’s character (an irrelevant factor in the argument presented) is disparaged in an attempt to refute an argument, I would say that what Eades said is in fact an ad hominem as Eckles’s standing as a creationist is irrelevant because it does change the basic tenets of his argument against low carb diets.

    Seeing as you still engage on middle school logic and might not have understood fully what I am trying to say, I will try and show you how it could have been relevant. For example if Eckles had said Adam and Eve did not eat meat until they were banished from Eden and thus the natural state of human beings is to not eat meat and thus low carb diets are bad, then yes his beliefs on creationism are relevant. Seeing as how he did not, it does not have any bearing.

    In addition, nowhere did Eckles state he does or does not believe in a post-agricultural man, yet Eades goes on to lambast him about it. Strawman much?

    Also you call my critique laughable, but you are silent on my point that what Eades said about a quick glance revealing a anti-LC bias is not true. I guess then it is not that laughable?

    What you said about kill being a biased word also has bearing on the word cure. You think its ok to call a simple dietary regime a cure for (presumably) various diseases for millions of people? You don’t think its reasonable to think that a diet could be killing millions of people? Or do you simply not think its reasonable to even question if the Atkins diet is killing millions of people and thus any title with the word kill and and atkins in it is inherently biased?

    If someone said the same thing about Vegan diets I would say and think the article was about whether or not the vegan diet is a kill or cure, not that a vegan diet is a killing diet. That’s why the word cure is there.

    Where is the false dichotomy? How is it false?

  84. Ad Hominen is not logically relevant. Whether or not someone believes in creationism is completely relevant to their opinion as a scientist. End of story.

    I wouldn’t listen to a movie critic who loves The Phantom Menace either. A good way to lose credibility as a scientist is to say you don’t believe in evolution by means of natural selection. It shows a serious lack of not only critical thinking and analysis skills, but open mindedness and healthy skepticism. How can you possibly not see the relevance?

    You can’t see the false dichotomy? Do you really think a diet can either kill or cure you? You don’t see the fallacy of this question?

    Beyond that, do you honestly believe most people believe they have an illness that needs to be cured? What’s left in this dichotomy? If they don’t need to be cured the diet will only hurt them according to the title headline. Why choose a diet that can either kill you, or do something you don’t need done? Can I put the bias in any simpler terms?

    You think you’re smart… but these are the simple concepts here. This is NOT that complicated.

    • A movie critic deals with subjective opinions. A scientist deals with objective observations. Not the same thing.

      Whether or not a person has credibility (derived from credentials, beliefs, past statements) has nothing to do with the validity of a statement they make. A credible person (eg like Dr Eades) could still say the sky is actually green and his credibility would be irrelevant to whether or not that statement is true. OTOH a creationist could say 1 + 1 = 2 and his being a creationist would be irrelevant to the validity of that statement.

      Again, I’m not sure if you understand this yet, but you would have to show me how belief in Creationism has something to do with Eckle’s argument/stance on low carbs, not his character (eg his trustworthiness as a scientist) because character is irrelevant to the argument.
      It would be valid if you distrusted his opinion on scientific matters because he’s a creationist, but your trust issues have little to do with the validity of his arguments.

      IOW this statement “Whether or not someone believes in creationism is completely relevant to their opinion as a scientist” should actually be this statement “Whether or not someone believes in creationism is completely relevant to my opinion of them as a good scientist”. While it may influence their subjective opinion as a scientist it does influence the logic and proof of evidence of their arguments

      You think I think I’m smart, but this (ad hominem) is a very simple concept. It is NOT that complicated.

      Basically your argument of false dichotomy boils down to people not needing a cure for an illness they dont have? I think you would agree that most people feel that obesity is a big health issue in the US and in the world and would be willing to read an article describing a diet that could possibly be the cure. I would also say that your perception of people not having illnesses is not a perception inherent in the title, but in you (ie the title is not inherently anti-LC, but your perception makes it so).

  85. Ok, at least we’ve discovered where your error in reasoning is. You do in fact understand ad hominem, you do not however understand the arguments that Dr. Eckles was making. They are not based on facts, but his interpretation of data and his opinion. This is all propped up by his position. Knowing this, it is entirely clear that the correctness/incorrectness of past interpretations of data are relevant to the likelihood of this interpretation being correct, i.e. creationism.

    As far as the false dichotomy goes. “Cure or Kill” is a clear false dichotomy. There are many other possible outcomes. Nothing could happen, something could happen for some people, some people could get slightly better, some could get slightly worse, etc.

    Do you think people see obesity as a disease? And if they do, don’t you think they think they know how to cure it? Eat less/exercise more? Are you saying these public attitudes are irrelevant especially when the author knows what conventional wisdom is? I think you’re stretching quite a bit here. The title is overly-dramatic and brings up irrelevant imagery. I don’t even think objectively the title is neutral, but it doesn’t have to be objectively biased if it’s biased for the majority of people that will read it.

  86. Lol at “Knowing this, it is entirely clear that the correctness/incorrectness of past interpretations of data are relevant to the likelihood of this interpretation being correct, i.e. creationism”. You don’t need to interject big words to make a convincing argument. It hurts your argument and makes you sound bombastic when you use irrelevant words.

    I’m tired of hammering this point and having you revert to an old argument, but past positions are irrelevant if they are not brought up in the current argument. Nowhere in the article did Eckles say low carb diets are bad because the bible says so. You can’t argue that Eckles’s statement (LC diets are bad) is false by saying Eckles’s is a creationist -> he doesn’t know biology and evolution -> his science is bad -> his statement is false. This is the definition of an ad hominem attack. e.g. his science could be bad, but this does not mean his statement is false. You don’t attack the person. You attack the argument. It doesn’t matter if his being a creationist undermines his credibility. All that matters is the current argument.

    It appears you’ve googled false dichotomy because you’ve changed your argument from the cure part of the dichotomy is not true to there are many possible outcomes and it’s therefore not a dichotomy. Which doesn’t matter to the argument at all because what Eades was trying to say was that the title has an anti-LC bias, which it does not. He wasn’t trying to say that it’s not kill or cure, it’s many different outcomes, which is something you are now trying to argue. This would be a strawman.

    People do see obesity as a disease, but seeing the proliferation of fat loss devices, gadgets, pills, and programs its clear that they want something simpler than eat less exercise more. e.g. the reason why people are attracted to Atkins is because it promises them a magical cure where you can eat all you want except carbs and still lose weight.

    The title is in no way biased for the majority of people that read it, but for the pro-LC people it apparently has an anti-LC bias. You guys are reading things into something that is not there. Sure it maybe overly dramatic, but my point is not it’s not biased.

  87. Now guys, quit grumbling and read some Strauss.

    Leo Strauss (1899-1973) (tho I can’t find the quote) said a couple things to about evolution and science.

    When asked about evolution, Strauss apparently thought about it and asked, “What did the first human say to his mother?”

    Ain’t that hilarious? Apparently his one and only “mot” on evolution!

    RE: Science v. Revelation (below) (FYI – Strauss also wrote an utterly fascinating essay called “Athens and Jerusalem” … adverting of course to Reason v. Revelation).

    Here is “the man himself” on Science v. Revelation:

    from pp. 42-44 of “The City and Man” by Leo Strauss

    “Science is for the sake of power, i.e, for putting at our disposal the means for achieving our natural ends. Those ends can no longer include knowledge for its own sake; they are reduced to comfortable self-preservation. Man as the potential conqueror of nature stands outside of nature. This presupposes that there is no natural harmony between the human mind and the whole. The belief in such harmony appears now as a wishful or good-natured assumption.

    “We must reckon with the possibility that the world is the work of an evil demon bent on deceiving us about himself, the world, and ourselves by means of the faculties with which he has supplied us or [google Descartes evil demon hypothesis!], which amounts to the same thing, that the world is the work of a blind necessity which is utterly indifferent as to whether it and its product ever becomes known.

    “Surely [in such a case] we have no right to trust in our natural faculties; extreme skepticism is required. I can trust only in what is entirely within my control: the concepts which I consciously make and of which I do not claim more than that they are my constructs, and the naked data as they impress themselves upon me and of which I do not claim more than that I am conscious of them without having made them. The knowledge which we need for the conquest of nature must indeed be dogmatic, but its dogmatism must be based on extreme skepticism; THE SYNTHESIS OF DOGMATISM AND SKEPTICISM EVENTUALLY TAKES THE FORM OF AN INFINITELY PROGRESSIVE SCIENCE AS A SYSTEM OR AGGLOMERATION OF CONFIRMED HYPOTHESES WHICH REMAIN EXPOSED TO REVISION IN INFINITUM.

    “The break with the primary or natural understanding of the whole which is presupposed by the new dogmatism [this dogmatism being that “modern science is the only way to know”] based on extreme skepticism [“open to revision forever”] leads to the transformation and eventually to the abandonment of the questions which on the basis of the primary understanding reveal themselves as the most important questions; the place of the primary issues is taken by derivative issues…”

    . . . . . .

    In “Why We Remain Jews” (I by the way, am a Mark-Sisson Gary-Taubes The-Drs-Eades worshipping LCHF-er in addition to being a practicing Catholic!?! ;-), Strauss (who is Jewish) discusses the Jewish belief in God.

    What if it is a delusion?

    Strauss writes:

    “…delusion… We also say a “dream.” No nobler dream was ever dreamt. It is surely nobler to be a victim of the most noble dream than to profit from a sordid reality and to wallow in it. Dream is akin to aspiration. And aspiration is a kind of divination of an enigmatic vision. And an enigmatic vision in the emphatic sense is the perception of the ultimate mystery, of the truth of the ultimate mystery.

    “The truth of the ultimate mystery — the truth that there is an ultimate mystery, that being is radically mysterious — cannot be denied even by the unbelieving Jew of our age.

    “That unbelieving Jew of our age, if he has any education, is ordinarily a positivist, a believer in Science, if not a positivist without any education [ooooh, Strauss, that was mean! ;-)].

    “As scientist he must be concerned with the Jewish problem among innumerable other problems. He reduces the Jewish problem to something unrecognizable: religious minorities, ethnic minorities. In other words, you can put together the characteristics of the Jewish problem by finding one element of it there, another element of it here, and so on. I am speaking from experience. I once had a discussion with some social scientists in the presence of Rabbi Pekarsky, where I saw how this was done. The unity, of course, was completely missed. The social scientist cannot see the phenomenon, which he tries to diagnose or analyze, as it is. His notion, his analysis, is based on a superficial and thoughtless psychology or sociology. This sociology or psychology is superficial and thoughtless because it does not reflect on itself, on science itself. At the most it raises the question: “What is science?” Nevertheless — whatever may follow from that — I must, by God, come to a conclusion.

    “Science, as the positivist understands it, is susceptible of infinite progress. That you learn in every elementary school today, I believe. Every result of science is provisional and subject to future revision, and this will never change. In other words, fifty thousand years from now there will still be results entirely different from those now, but still subject to revision. Science is susceptible of infinite progress.

    “But how can science be susceptible of infinite progress if its object does not have an inner infinity?

    “In other words, the object of science is everything that is — being. The belief admitted by all believers in science today — that science is by its nature essentially progressive, and eternally progressive — implies, without saying it, that being is mysterious. And here is the point where the two lines I have tried to trace [religion/revelation vs. modern science] do not meet exactly, but where they come within hailing distance. And, I believe, to expect more in a general way, of people in general, would be unreasonable.”

    END OF STRAUSS QUOTE

  88. AGRICULTURE (CITIES) BEGAN TO REPLACE THE WAYS OF THE HUNTER-GATHERER

    If we’re going to get Biblical here, let’s get down to an interpretation we probably all can agree upon (if we’re “allowed” to agree).

    We think we’re so much smarter than men of the past. I hate to crush your (our) illusions. For centuries it has been considered that Scripture has four levels of interpretation: the literal, the allegorical, the moral, and the anagogical.

    Before we consign a story such as the following to the “they-were-ridiculous-back-then” ash heap, let’s see if it might have at LEAST an underlying truth, and a powerful one at that:

    CAIN VS. ABEL

    From wiki:

    “In all versions, Cain is a crop farmer and his younger brother Abel is a shepherd. Cain is portrayed as sinful, committing the first murder by killing his brother, after God has rejected his offerings of produce but accepted the animal sacrifices brought by Abel.

    “The oldest known copy of the Biblical narration is from the 1st century Dead Sea Scrolls. Cain and Abel also appear in a number of other texts, and the story is the subject of various interpretations.

    “A few scholars suggest it may have been based on a Sumerian story representing the conflict between nomadic shepherds and settled farmers. Others think that it may refer to the days in which agriculture began to replace the ways of the hunter-gatherer.”

    I think we can agree that Scripture contains (at the very least) powerful depictions and analyses of the human condition – it gets to the root of very many things. You don’t have to believe it to be literal or (dare I say) even divinely inspired, to reap a very great deal from it.

    I love Leo Strauss’s “An Intepretation of Genesis.” He nails why there are two creation stories in Genesis (something I actually had never noticed), for instance. But he does the book the great honor of viewing it as word perfect.

    • Actually, there aren’t two creation stories in Genesis. Genesis 2:4ff simply elaborates on the creation account of Genesis 1.

      • Hi Rick, I’ve liked your comments on this blog.

        I’m a little paranoid in answering that I’ll run afoul of Valerina (one can see reason for her comment below; tho I didn’t start this discussion of Creationism, Dr. Eades did 😉 and in fact many others on this blog have joined in from the beginning of the comments); I’m also paranoid that I’ll run afoul of Dr. Eades himself! (Dr. Eades – I just purchased yours and Mary Dan’s wonderful “Sous Vide Supreme” so maybe you’ll grant me some leeway here!?! :-0 )

        At any rate, I’ll risk this. Yes, the further creation account in Genesis:2 and Genesis:3 represents an elaboration, but what is the nature of this elaboration, what is its purpose, what does it achieve? Why set things out one way, and then work further on it? This is what Strauss sets out to investigate.

        To me it is amazingly illuminating. Not just for the answers it attempts, but for the questions it asks. And how it frames the entire investigation. You can google “An Interpretation of Genesis” by Leo Strauss and read it online. Buckle your seatbelt and have some LCHF snacks and a beverage on hand. It’s long. You can’t read it in 5 minutes.

        Here are a few suggestive points from that essay:

        LEO STRAUSS, FROM “AN INTERPRETATION OF GENESIS”

        “I would like to say a very few words about the second chapter, because one great difficulty of the beginning of the Bible is that there is a two-fold account of creation, one in chapter one and another in chapters two to three. The first chapter of the Bible contains a cosmology which is overarched by an account of the creation of the world, a cosmology which is integrated into an account of the creation of the world. This integration of cosmology into an account of creation implies the depreciation of heaven. Heaven is not divine; heaven is subordinate in rank to earth, to life on earth [depreciation of heaven, this means the “heavens” with their stars, planets, sun, because did not want men to worship the heavenly bodies – Paula].

        “But this cosmology used by the Bible, as distinguished from the assertion regarding creation…[by definition, cosmology] is based on evidence accessible to man as man, whereas the assertion of the createdness of the world is not based on such evidence. Hence the question arises: with what right is the horizon of cosmology, of the things we see, describe and understand, transcended — or, in other words, what’s wrong with cosmology?

        “What is wrong with man’s effort to find his bearing in the light of what is evident to man as man? What is the true character of human life? What is the right life of man?

        “This question is the starting point of the second account of creation in the second chapter. The first account ENDS with man; the second account BEGINS with man.

        “It seems that an account which ends with man is not sufficient. Why? In the first account, man is created on the same day as the terrestrial animals, he is seen as part of the whole, if as its most exalted part. In this perspective, the absolute difference between man and all other creatures is not adequately seen. lt appears from the first account that man is separated to the highest degree, that he can move or change his place, in a very metaphorical sense even, to the highest degree. But this privilege, this liberty, freedom, is also a great danger. Man is the most ambiguous creature; HENCE MAN IS NOT CALLED GOOD, JUST AS HEAVEN IS NOT CALLED GOOD. There is a connection between the ambiguity of man, the danger to which man is essentially exposed, and heaven, with what heaven stands for, the attempt to find one’s bearing in the light of what is evident to man as man, the attempt to possess knowledge of good and evil like the gods.

        “Now if man is the most ambiguous creature, in fact the only ambiguous creature, we need a supplement to that account in which man appears also as part of the whole. We need an account which focuses on man alone; more precisely, since ambiguity means ambiguity in regard to good and evil, we need an additional account in which man’s place is defined, not only as it was in the first account by a command “Be fruitful and multiply” in general, but by a negative command, a prohibition. For a prohibition sets forth explicitly the limitations of man – up to this point and not beyond! – the limit separating the good from the evil.

        “The second chapter of the Bible answers the question not about how the world has come into being but how human life, human life as we know it, has come into being. ….

        “…the second account of creation distributes accents differently than the first account had done. Man is now said to be, not created in the image of God, but dust from the earth. Furthermore, in the first account man is created as the ruler of the beasts. In the second account the beasts come to sight rather as helpers or companions of man. Man is created in lowliness; he was not tempted therefore to disobey either by need or by his high estate.”

        etc.

        END OF QUOTES FROM STRAUSS’S “An Interpretation of Genesis”

        A FREEBIE:

        p. 85 of Strauss’s “Three Waves of Modernity”: “…all natural beings…are directed towards an end, a perfection for which they long.”

        I believe that longing intimates that we are part (ultimately) of what is eternal. We do not end as literally “senseless” pieces of matter sucked up by the daisies growing on our graves. But we end as part of that which was First; what was there from the beginning. Like everything, we are part of that beginning; I don’t believe we end in senselessness, as Darwin would have it, with what is human about us expunged into senselessness. Explain the Cambrian Explosion, and don’t give me “punctuated equilibrium” or “directed panspermia”! Read David Berlinski for joy, hilarity and enlightenment – about what we maybe do, but especially about what we DO NOT know.

        I prefer

        “…we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belong to God and not to us.”

        “And we all, with unveiled face beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”

        I’m not eating LCHF merely to delay the time at which I’ll be a daisy, looking out at the world from my own grave.

        There are things I hope to do/make/learn. Grandchildren I hope to love. And keep away from sugar and crappy eating (here’s where one has to believe in miracles! 😉 Paula

  89. I am new to this blog and thought it was about nutrition… Paula, I am sure there are philosophy/religion blogs that would love all that cut and pasted verbal diarrhea!!

  90. I personally think Eades is being very unfair in his comments and I think he is wrong!! so I have included a few links here to a experiment was done in a small Canadian town where diabetes is a major problem .. its worth a look.. for those looking for the opinion of a REAL Doctor..
    Here is a few Links to the study that took place……..
    http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/booksanddvds/fr/mybigfatdietdvd.htm
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2008/03/10/bc-alertstudy.html
    http://forum.lowcarber.org/archive/index.php/t-402615.html

  91. Paula, Good posts and lots of stuff to follow up on (as a practicing Episcopalian and LCHF-er. They are not mutually exclusive concepts. 🙂

    • Thank you so much Jesse!!!! One thing I’ve noticed about flamers: they allow the good guys to come out of the woodwork. Have you read any David Berlinski? Agnostic Jewish science writer… Watch his interview on devilsdelusion dot com, too funny! And his book, “The Devil’s Delusion” – very very very funny. He totally slays me. He doesn’t take SIDES exactly. You’ll see what I mean.

  92. Jesse, one more thing. Just wanted to send it to you (to satisfy my day’s “cut-and-paste” tendencies, per Valerina! 😉

    George Carlin’s “New Rules for 2007” are very funny, and many are spot-on, but Carlin attempts a take-down of religion, so I like to “troll” and put this quote in occasionally on YouTube – and tell me this isn’t the most amazing quote ever:

    Plato, about Thrasymachus, but it fits George Carlin (whom I used to love):

    The apparently shameless Thrasymachus, willing to say anything, is revealed in all his vanity. He has no true freedom of mind, because he is attached to prestige, to the applause of the multitude and hence to their thought. He gives voice merely to common opinions which are usually kept quiet and therefore appears wiser than most men. But he is really conventional and petty, a lover of applause more than of truth.

  93. Hey Dr. Mike,

    I’ve been reading a bunch of entries on your blog and I really like what I’m reading. I tried “South Beach” couple of years ago and found it unsustainable because of the low-fat requirement. I was still hungry all the time. I’m moderately overweight, and know I’m super sensitive to carbs. I also love craft beer and ice cream ; ) I watched Robert Lustig’s Sugar lecture, and have now devoured most of Gary Taubes’ writings, among others. I’ve been following the LCHF way of life for the past week and I’m already a true convert.

    I’m also a literal 6 day Creation believer, (and not looking for a debate), but that doesn’t stop me from seeing all the wisdom that is in the LCHF lifestyle. Regardless of any belief system regarding evolution vs. creation, I don’t think that should or would stop anyone from seeing clearly what’s right in front of them! I can easily take the data that is presented and interpret it based on what I believe. No problems whatsoever.

    At any rate, I’m convinced, all belief systems aside, that this is a beneficial and healthy way to live. I can hardly wait for my next physical with my M.D., to tell him what I’ve been doing and to get some blood tests to show the good results!!

  94. They say (and they’re smarter than I am) 4 levels of Biblical interpretation: literal, moral, anagogical and allegorical. I’m more comfortable with Creationists than Atheists or Agnostics, but the point is, Christianity is compatible with being HUMAN. Y’all (you guys, you all guys, youse?) can be proud of your ape ancestry, me, I’ll stick to David Berlinski (Jewish, hard on the science) and “me precious Jesus.” So there. *ptthhhhhhhhh!*

  95. It is a shame we can’t have dialogue about food. Period. I’m not interested in reading long posts about religion. If I was, I’d go to a religion blog. Those of us who are solid in our beliefs (and you don’t know mine so there is no reason to slam me) do not have to be on a nutrition blog and spout our beliefs. There is no reason to attempt to convince anyone else.