Monday, 10 April 2017

Everyone is different Part 5, Vaccination.

I'm back!


I've seen various arguments from people who are against vaccinations:-

1. Vaccinated people can still catch the diseases for which they've been vaccinated, therefore vaccinations are ineffective.
2. Vaccinations can damage people.
3. Vaccinated people can shed viruses, infecting others.
4. Morbidity & mortality rates fell dramatically before vaccinations were introduced, therefore vaccinations are unnecessary.
5. Vaccines cause Autism.

1. Vaccination can't stop people from being infected by viruses. What it does is give people a much milder form of the disease so that they produce antibodies to the modified virus. If/when they are subsequently infected by the full-strength virus, their bodies have a much faster immune response to it, much reducing morbidity & mortality and much reducing the chance of infecting many others. See for more detailed information.

2. As everyone is different, some people don't produce any/enough antibodies to the modified virus and have to be re-vaccinated. Most people produce the correct response, which may make them feel mildly unwell. Some people have a bad reaction to the modified virus, which may make them very ill and in very rare cases may damage them. If someone is damaged by a modified virus, a full-strength virus would either damage them much more, or kill them.

3. When people are infected with an infectious virus, there's a period of time (the incubation period) during which they shed the virus and infect many others before symptoms appear and they are then isolated from others. This is why vaccination rates need to be high in order to achieve "herd immunity", to minimise the full-strength virus rapidly spreading through a dense population, or other populations due to rapid transportation. Should modified viruses be shed during the incubation period after vaccination, it's not a problem unless it infects immunocompromised people (who would be much more adversely affected should they be infected by full-strength viruses).

4. Yes, due to improved health care, but there was still higher morbidity & mortality due to catching full-strength viruses back then than there are now from being vaccinated with modified viruses.

5. Association doesn't prove causation. See Vaccines and Autism: A Tale of Shifting Hypotheses. If anything....


If anyone who's not white-listed wants to comment, READ THIS BEFORE COMMENTING.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

The Elephant in the Room.

On Twitter about two weeks ago, Max Roser tweeted the following graphic:
From Health and the Economy in the United States from 1750 to the Present

The plots of low & stable BMI's until ~1945 made me think.

1. Over-refined sugars & starches entered the US food supply in ~1880. Ref: How the Mid-Victorians Worked, Ate and Died. ∴ Over-refined sugars & starches don't cause obesity.

2. Americans ate more carbohydrate per day from 1909 to 1929 than they do now. Ref: 3rd Fig. from More Thoughts on Macronutrient Trends. ∴ Carbohydrates don't cause obesity.

3. The "low-fat" dietary guidelines were issued in 1980. The two dates at which BMI began to increase significantly are ~1945 (slow rate of increase) and ~1990 (rapid rate of increase). ∴ The 1980 "low-fat" dietary guidelines didn't cause obesity.

So, what happened in the US in ~1945? From my comment HERE:
"After World War 2, the economy was in a slump and something had to be done to get people to buy more stuff, to stimulate economic growth. Corporations changed the way that they marketed to people. Instead of appealing to people’s logic, they began to appeal to people’s emotions. It worked.

Edward Bernays pioneered all of the dirty tricks used by the Food Product Industry to get people to over-consume. Ref:

One of Bernays's dirty tricks is confusing the public by promulgating conflicting information. The Tobacco Industry paid health professionals to advertise cigarettes. On the one hand, you had researchers telling people that smoking was bad for them and on the other hand you had a doctor on TV saying that he preferred to smoke Camel cigarettes. This confused the public and made them mistrust researchers & science. Another dirty trick was setting-up organisations with scientific-sounding names to promulgate conflicting reports which the press published as “science”, saying that “X” was good for you, then some time later “X” was bad for you, then some time later “X” was good for you again and so on. The public mistrusted researchers & science even more.

The recent NOF report from Malhotra et al telling people to eat more fat is conflicting information, resulting in even more public confusion and even more mistrust of researchers & science. This is exactly what the Food Product Industry wants."

The Tobacco Industry used Bernays's dirty tricks to encourage women to smoke in public by making smoking a women's rights issue. Cigarettes were marketed to women as "Torches of Freedom". From the 1920's, women became as free as men to greatly increase their risk of getting Emphysema a.k.a. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Lung Cancer & Coronary Heart Disease, while the Tobacco Industry's profits increased.

By focusing on foods/macronutrients/micronutrients etc, people like Taubes, Teicholz, Malhotra et al are helping the Food Product Industry to manipulate the masses to over-consume their products.

So, what happened in the US in 1990? Which dirty trick used by the Food Product Industry caused the rapid rate of increase in BMI from 1990?

See also The cause of America's rising obesity rate is irrelevant. The cure for it is what's important.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Supplement Alert! Carlson Labs Vitamin K2 MK-4 (Menatetrenone).

In 2003, I started supplementing with one a day of Ultra K2 Menatetrenone (MK-4) 15mg (plus 1.5g/day of Ca plus 400mg/day of Mg plus ~1,000iu/day of Vitamin D3) to reverse osteoporosis in my lumbar spine (bone density by DEXA went from -2SD to 0SD) in 3 years. I then used a maintenance dose of 15mg per week (~2,200ug per day). Everything was fine.

At some point, I switched to one a day of Vitacost Ultra Vitamin K with Advanced K2 Complex. Everything was fine.

Around 2012, I switched to one a day of Carlson Labs, Vitamin K2, 5 mg, in order to use-up my remaining iHerb rewards from the use of my discount code NIG935. I'd lost ~$300 of rewards through non-use. Everything was fine - for a while.

In ~2014, my right hip joint, which had previously caused me pain due to iliotibial band impingement on a bony/calcified outgrowth (cured when I began K2 supplementation), began to cause me pain again. As sleeping on my right side worsened the pain, I began to sleep on my left side. My GP felt my right hip joint and declared that there was some "wear & tear" in it and to use topical analgesics. This helped a bit.

In ~2015, my left shoulder joint, which had previously caused me pain due to impingement on a bony/calcified outgrowth (cured when I began K2 supplementation), began to cause me pain again. I assumed that it was "wear & tear", so I put up with it and applied topical analgesics. This helped a bit.

I recently looked-up rotator cuff pain and was perplexed to see that it was usually caused by impingement on a bony/calcified outgrowth. This of course is quite impossible, if taking 5mg/day of K2!

I took a look at the product reviews on, and noticed comments about joint pains from some reviewers, so I ordered a pot of Ultra K2 Menatetrenone (MK-4) 15mg.

Within a week of switching from Carlson Labs to Vitamin Research Products, my joint pains had virtually* all gone.

Therefore, there's something wrong with Carlson Labs, Vitamin K2, 5 mg. DO NOT USE!

*As the rotator cuff is damaged, there will always be some shoulder pain. As a herniated disk in my lumbar spine (before my osteoporosis was reversed) damaged nerves to/from my right leg, I walk lop-sidedly which means that there will always be some hip & knee joint pain.

Friday, 11 December 2015

In starvation or ketosis, protein should have NO EFFECT on blood glucose level, not RAISE it.

From Blood Sugar is Stable:-

In a healthy person, BG (blood glucose) is held at a fairly constant value with slowly-varying glucose inputs (except after high-GL meals, which produce rapidly-varying glucose inputs) by a NFB (negative feed-back) loop. See Blood Glucose, Insulin & Diabetes.

When protein is eaten, this produces a glucagon response from pancreatic alpha cells, which tries to raise blood glucose level by stimulating the liver to convert liver glycogen plus water to glucose. Protein also produces an insulin response from pancreatic beta cells, which tries to lower blood glucose level by a) increasing glucose uptake from the blood and b) inhibiting HPG (hepatic glucose production). The net result is no change in BG level.

In extended fasting or on VLC (very low carbohydrate)/ketogenic diets, there's no liver glycogen left after ~1 day.
The glucagon response has no effect on HGP.

The insulin response still has an effect, until physiological IR* develops.
∴ Blood glucose tries to decrease, but the HPAA keeps it steady by raising cortisol level.

RE How eating sugar & starch can lower your insulin needs: Blood glucose level on a VLC/ketogenic diet can be RAISED, due to the BG NFB HPAA (hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis) loop not having a precise set point with the cortisol/adrenaline response (hyperglycaemia is not fatal, whereas hypoglycaemia can be fatal, as the brain always needs some glucose to function (~50%E from glucose)).

So, how come people on LCHF (low carbohydrate, high fat) diets can have normal or slightly low BG levels?

1. Luck. The BG NFB HPAA loop isn't very precise.

2. Excessive intake of Booze. Ethanol inhibits HGP (dunno about RGP (renal glucose production)).

3. Insufficient intake of Protein. This deprives the liver & kidneys of glucogenic amino acids (Alanine & Glutamine are the 2 main ones), forcing BG down and making the HPAA run open-loop and raise cortisol level. There's another source of Alanine & Glutamine available - Lean Body Mass. Uh-oh!

Consuming more protein on extended fasting or a VLC/ketogenic diet can result in higher BG level for three reasons.

1. It allows the HPAA to run closed-loop, as it's supposed to.

2. The lack of a 1st phase insulin response in people with IR/IGT/Met Syn/T2DM* results in a temporary BG level spike with the intake of rapidly-absorbed proteins e.g. whey. There's an unopposed glucagon response, until the 2nd phase insulin response begins.


*Long-term drastic carbohydrate restriction kills the 1st phase insulin response! See

P.S. This only applies to people who have sufficient liver glycogen, due to them eating some (50 to 100g/day, say) carbohydrate.

3. Hepatic Insulin Resistance results in the insulin response inadequately suppressing Hepatic Glucose Production. As 50g of protein (an 8oz steak, say) yields ~25g of glucose from glucogenic amino acids, there's an increase in the amount of glucose entering circulation, which raises BG level.


Friday, 4 December 2015

Low-carbohydrate High-fat diets: Green flags and Red flags.

Fun with flags. But first, a poem!

Atkins Antidote

Eating low carbohydrate what threat that poses

Do my friends think I’m suffering from halitosis?

I’ve got these sticks for measuring ketoacidosis

I’m taking supplements but I don’t know what the dose is

I’m trying hard to keep in a state of ketosis

I’m not sure what the right amount of weight to lose is

I’m sure I’ve put on a pound just through osmosis

Is eating this way risking osteoporosis

Are my kidneys wrestling with metabolic acidosis

My store of liver glycogen I don’t know how low is

Who knows what the glycemic load of oats is

Does anyone know if I can eat samosas?

Ian Turnbull

I do. The answer's "No!" :-D

The Green flags...

1. For a person with Insulin Resistance, an ad-libitum low-carb diet results in more weight loss than an ad-libitum high-carb diet.

See How low-carbohydrate diets result in more weight loss than high-carbohydrate diets for people with Insulin Resistance or Type 2 Diabetes , for an explanation.

2. For a person with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM), a lowish-carb (~100g/day), highish fat diet results in minimal disturbances to blood glucose levels and minimal bolus insulin doses.

See Diabetes: which are the safest carbohydrates? , to see which foods should comprise the ~100g/day. N.B. As ~50% of dietary proteins can be converted into glucose by gluconeogenesis, ~100g/day of slow-digesting proteins such as meats, eggs & cheeses can contribute ~50g/day of glucose towards the ~100g/day total.

3. For a person with LADA or MODY, see 2.

4. For a person with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM), a LCLF 600kcal/day Protein Sparing Modified Fast can normalise BG in 1 week and reverse T2DM in 8 weeks (provided there are sufficient surviving pancreatic beta-cells).

"After 1 week of restricted energy intake, fasting plasma glucose normalised in the diabetic group (from 9.2 ± 0.4 to 5.9 ± 0.4 mmol/l; p = 0.003)."

"Maximal insulin response became supranormal at 8 weeks (1.37 ± 0.27 vs controls 1.15 ± 0.18 nmol min−1 m−2)."

After 8 weeks, transition to a diet based on whole, minimally-refined animal & vegetable produce.

See also

As Insulin Resistance is multi-factorial, ALL of the potential causes need to be addressed. Once this has been done, IR should be reversed, allowing restrictions on dietary carbohydrate intake to be lifted. See also Can supplements & exercise cure Type 2 diabetes?

The Red flags...

The low-carb diet is a temporary patch to ameliorate IR/IGT/Met Syn/T2DM, a bit like replacing a failed circuit-breaker by sticking a nail in its place, to allow the house to function while you fix the problem by buying a new circuit-breaker. Although the house functions fine with a nail in place of a circuit-breaker, you wouldn't want to spend the rest of your life without a working circuit-breaker protecting the house.

So, why do low-carbers seem to want to spend the rest of their lives using a temporary patch to ameliorate their IR/IGT/Met Syn/T2DM?

Long-term use of very-low-carb, very-high-fat diets is not recommended.

1. Cortisol level can gradually increase, resulting in increasing fasting BG level. See How eating sugar & starch can lower your insulin needs and Survival of the Smartest (part 2) - Dr Diana Schwarzbein.

2. If you do too much high-intensity exercise, you may momentarily black-out, fall and hurt yourself. See "Funny turns": What they aren't and what they might be.

3. Some people seem to gradually go bat-shit crazy. See Can very-low-carb diets impair your mental faculties? Read the comments in Do the behaviours of Ivor Cummins & Gearóid Ó Laoi seem normal to you?

4. Insulin Resistance is bad, mmm-kay? See Lifestyle-induced metabolic inflexibility and accelerated ageing syndrome: insulin resistance, friend or foe?

5. Dyseverything elseaemia isn't addressed. See Type 2 diabetes: between a rock and a hard place , Type 2 diabetes: your good signalling's gonna go bad and When the only tool in the box is a hammer.

6. Dietary deficiencies may develop. See Rigid diets & taking loadsa supplements to compensate for them.

7. High-fat diets with no energy deficit result in high postprandial TG's. Postprandial lipaemia is atherogenic. See Ultra-high-fat (~80%) diets: The good, the bad and the ugly.

There may be more but I'm knackered, so I'm Publishing!

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Doctor in the House – Watch Diabetes Not Being Reversed Using Low Carb on BBC, While LCHF'ers Freak Out.

This post is about Doctor in the House – Watch Diabetes Reversed Using Low Carb on BBC, While Old-School Dietitians Freak Out.
The YouTube videos may be gone, but the image lives on!
Available to view in the UK on iPlayer 'till 19.12.15 at

In Dr. Eenfeldt's blog post, he makes some schoolboy errors.

1. T2DM (type 2 diabetes mellitus) Reversed with LCHF (low-carb, high-fat) diet. Uh, nope!
a) Sandeep's HbA1c fell from 9.0 to 7.0, which is an improvement but by no means a reversal, as Dr. Chatterjee agrees in
b) Sandeep has T2DM, not T1DM. See When the only tool in the box is a hammer...
Sandeep's BG (blood glucose) went down on LCHF, but what about his dyseverything elseaemia? *sound of crickets chirping*

2. Old-school dietitians freak out. Uh, nope!
In BDA alarmed by controversial and potentially dangerous advice in BBC’s ‘Doctor in the House’, Dr. Duane Mellor sounds pretty cool, calm & collected (though I expect that he sustained injuries from all of the eyeball rolling, as he had to refute for the umpteenth time yet another load of LCHF bullshit).

3. He plays the Shill Gambit card.

Oh, the comments! In typical echo-chamber fashion, LCHF commenters praise Eenfeldt's flawed points. I wonder how long my comment will stay up for?

My comments on the programme (c/p'ed from Facebook):-
"6 minutes in. I think that Priti is deficient in Magnesium (Mg), from her stress levels, anxiety, headaches and difficulty in getting to sleep. Blood tests are useless, as they don't correlate with Mg stores. Need CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) test (lumbar puncture - very painful).

12 minutes in. Priti's blood test results normal. Sandeep has hypovitaminosis D, which is a cause of IR (insulin resistance, it's what caused mine). This important fact is not mentioned. unsure emoticon See

16 minutes in. Talked about sugar in foods & drinks but ignored the large amount of cheese that Sandeep ate earlier. Cheese is *very* energy-dense. Sandeep has been in positive Energy Balance for *way* too long.

24 minutes in. Priti's getting sugar cravings in the morning. Lack of Magnesium also causes IR & poor BG regulation. See

29 minutes in. HIIT (high-intensity interval training) for Sandeep is good for increasing his IS, but little use for reducing his VAT (visceral adipose tissue). You can't out-run your fork.

33 minutes in. Walking for Priti to lose weight? You can't out-walk your fork. If 1,000 steps takes 10 minutes and burns an extra 40kcals, then 10,000 steps takes 100 minutes and burns an extra 400kcals = one chocolate bar.

33:47 minutes in. Sareena has had a full-time job working indoors for the last year. Less sun exposure = falling Vitamin D3 level = deteriorating immune system, deteriorating mood & deteriorating IS. See

I don't think that I can watch much more of this programme!"

followed by:-
"In conclusion:-
1. Anyone who suffers from chronic anxiety is probably deficient in Mg.

2. Anyone who lives in the UK (United Kingdom :-D) and has coloured skin and/or works indoors is probably deficient in Vitamin D3.

3. ~85% of people who have T2DM have excessive VAT. Asians who were skinny in early adulthood have limited SAT (sub-cutaneous adipose tissue) hyperplasia, resulting in small skin-folds but large bellies. A LCHF diet is not suitable for over-fat people with T2DM. It should be a LCLF diet i.e. a low-calorie diet, to deplete over-full cells. Calories count.

4. You can't out-walk/run your fork.

5. Dr Chatterjee has a strong bias. This is not a good trait for someone who's supposed to be practising Evidence Based Medicine."

It's interesting that Priti is fatter than Sandeep, yet Priti doesn't have T2DM and Sandeep does. Priti was most likely fatter than Sandeep in their respective childhoods, for whatever reasons. Priti had more SAT hyperplasia than Sandeep, so she has more storage capacity for dietary fat than Sandeep does. Priti can gain more SAT, which protects her from developing T2DM. Sandeep can't, so he gains VAT, which has limited storage capacity and is more metabolically-active than SAT.

See also Adipocyte Hyperplasia - Good or Bad? and A *very* special dual-fuel car analogy for the human body that I just invented.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Free will? It's just an illusion! How the Food Product Industry gets people to dance to their tune, part 4.

Cont'd from Free will? It's just an illusion! How the Food Product Industry gets people to dance to their tune, part 3.

"You tend to get what you accept" Tillerman (don't ask). The following music video sums it up.

If you give someone an inch, they'll take a mile. Why do people put up with the following piss-takes?

If you accept crap, you get crap. Therefore, insist on non-crap.

I used to think that I couldn't do certain things, e.g. perform in public, due to extreme shyness.
Now I do things like this...

Almost anything is possible, if you put your mind to it.


Friday, 6 November 2015

Free will? It's just an illusion! How the Food Product Industry gets people to dance to their tune, part 3.

Cont'd from Free will? It's just an illusion! How the Food Product Industry gets people to dance to their tune, part 2.
Derren Brown shows how easy it is to manipulate your thoughts, by the use of subliminal images.

I may have mentioned it somewhere on this blog, but everyone is different. The reactions of the kids in the "I ate all your Halloween candy" video in the previous blog post varied from total melt-downs, through feigned deaths, through tears, to "That's all right!". Candy/sweets have different importance to different people and people's suggestibility varies from "Very easy to manipulate" to "Very hard to manipulate".

There's engineering of foods to be as moreish as possible. "The trouble is, they taste too good!" (Crunchy Nut Cornflakes), "Bet you can't eat just one!" (some savoury snack made from refined starch, salt & flavourings) and "Once you pop, you can't stop!" (Pringles). As Harry Hill once said "The problem with heroin is, it's rather moreish!" Although addiction to pure table sugar isn't a thing, addiction to hyperpalatable foods is a thing (which can be reduced by Naltrexone). See Food cravings engineered by industry and Sugar addiction: pushing the drug-sugar analogy to the limit.

Then there's the incessant marketing, including direct adverts, sponsorships, product placements, celebrity endorsements, tie-ins etc. See The Money Spent Selling Sugar to Americans Is Staggering and It’s Not Your Imagination: Celebrities Hawk Pretty Much Only Junk Food.

Then there's the bribery lobbying of government to:-
1. Water-down Dietary Guidelines so that crap-in-a-bag/box/bottle (CIAB) meets them. As people get fatter and sicker, the Guidelines and the government get the blame.
2. Subsidise the ingredients of CIAB so that it's cheaper than produce.

Then there's corruption of science e.g. getting doctors to advertise cigarettes years ago. Organisations with vested interests are created, to promulgate conflicting dietary information. Is it any wonder that the public distrust science and scientists?

Edward Bernays' manipulation techniques have worked exceedingly well. If you're too fat and someone says to you "Nobody made you over-consume that crap", point out the above.

What can you do? You can't sue Food Product manufacturers, as their products don't immediately harm you. See How Ultra-Processed Foods Are Killing Us. Hit them where it hurts i.e. in their bank accounts, by eschewing CIAB and basing your diet on whole, minimally-refined animal and vegetable produce. CIAB should be treat foods, not staple foods.

Finally, here's a nice video on how to form good habits for life.

Cont'd on Free will? It's just an illusion! How the Food Product Industry gets people to dance to their tune, part 4.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Free will? It's just an illusion! How the Food Product Industry gets people to dance to their tune, part 2.

Cont'd from Free will? It's just an illusion! How the Food Product Industry gets people to dance to their tune, part 1.

Remember the video "YouTube Challenge - I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy 2015"?

Some of those kids reacted as if their life had just come to an end!

Disclaimer: I don't know anything about psychotherapy, so I don't know how accurate the information is in Hypoglycemia and Neurosis.

Please don't pacify crying babies/toddlers/children with sugary crap.

Cont'd on Free will? It's just an illusion! How the Food Product Industry gets people to dance to their tune, part 3.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Free will? It's just an illusion! How the Food Product Industry gets people to dance to their tune, part 1.

Cont'd from Public Service Announcement: Calling all Low-carb, Low-fat and Veg*n advocates.

I feel a music video coming on! It's Not Safe For Work!

Start of clarification.
I've noticed some confusion over the term "Crap-in-a-bag/box/bottle" (CIAB). My previous post received the following comment, which I'll annotate.
"Is highly processed the problem? Yes.
Tinned tomatoes are processed, what's wrong with including those in your diet. Nothing, other than the fact that they're too salty for me if they're tinned in brine.
What about low sugar baked beans? Nothing, other than the fact that they're too salty for me.
What's wrong with a burger if all it is, is minced beef? Nothing.
Other processed food:
Smoked mackerel Fine.
Frozen peas Fine.
Milled porridge oats Fine.
Parma ham Fine.
Cheese Fine.
Nitrate free bacon Fine.
Prunes Fine.
Almond butter Too calorie-dense & moreish for me.
Filtered milk Fine.
Low sugar jam Fine.
Roasted chestnuts Fine.
Haggis Fine. I think."

CIAB is stuff like French fries/chips, chips/crisps, "fast food", take-aways, pizzas, biscuits/cookies, chocolate, sweets/candy, sugar-sweetened beverages, sugary cereals etc.
End of clarification.

In How to lose weight and get slim by eating "fast food" for 180 days. I showed that it's possible to be healthy on a diet of fast food, if you have a plan and you stick to it. The vast majority of people who eat fast food don't have a plan!

Between the ages of 5 & 8, I spent my 12d/week (that's 5p/week, for those of you who are too young to remember £,s,d.) on sweets. Aniseed balls were 4 for 1d. I also ate French Fancies (small sponge cakes covered in fondant icing) and drank Corona Lemonade (~15% sugar content) at home.

How did I get such a ferocious sweet tooth? Here's the probable answer:- Farley's Rusks.

Look at the health-washing on the Heinz web-site.
"Farley’s Rusks have been loved by mums and babies for generations. Each rusk is lovingly baked using baby grade ingredients."

Let's take a look at the baby grade ingredients:-
"Wheat Flour, Sugar, Palm Oil, Raising Agents (Ammonium Carbonates), Calcium Carbonate, Emulsifier (Monoglycerides), Niacin, Iron, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin A, Vitamin D."

The first three ingredients are refined starch, refined sugar and refined fat. The refined sugar content is 29% by weight. Perfect food for a baby! The previous sentence may contain traces of sarcasm.

Cont'd on Free will? It's just an illusion! How the Food Product Industry gets people to dance to their tune, part 2.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Public Service Announcement: Calling all Low-carb, Low-fat and Veg*n advocates.

Cont'd from The cause of America's rising obesity rate is irrelevant. The cure for it is what's important.

While you're rearranging the deckchairs by squabbling over which diet is best...

People are getting fatter and sicker in increasing numbers around the world, due to increasing numbers of people eating a diet based on crap-in-a-bag/box/bottle. Would switching back to a diet based on whole, minimally-processed produce not be an improvement?

So, why don't you all agree to say the same thing, like:-

Base your diet on whole, minimally-processed produce, rather than products. Tweak it to suit.

While you're wasting time shouting each other down, the manufacturers of crap-in-a-bag/box/bottle are laughing all the way to the bank. :-/

Cont'd on Free will? It's just an illusion! How the Food Product Industry gets people to dance to their tune, part 1.

Monday, 2 November 2015

The cause of America's rising obesity rate is irrelevant. The cure for it is what's important.

NuSi go home. You're drunk!

On a blog comments section somewhere, a argument discussion took place about what caused America's rising obesity rate. Certain people have a hypothesis that there's one cause. Here's a rough list, in no particular order:-
Carbohydrates (Taubes)
Refined Sugar (Yudkin. Lustig)
Refined Fructose (Lustig)
Wheat/Gluten Grains (Davis)
Fat (Ornish, Esseltyn etc)
Saturated Fat (Ornish, Esseltyn etc)
Animal Protein (Vegans)
Mineral Imbalances (Karlsson, "Duck Dodgers")
The Government (Nikoley)
Dietary Guidelines (Teicholz et al)

It's not Refined Sugar. Sorry, John Yudkin & Robert Lustig. See below...
Refined Sugar intake (kcal/capita/day) is higher in France than in the USA, but in France there's a lower obesity rate. ∴ Hypothesis disproved*.

*As the Refined Sugar intake data may be unreliable (it's also associational data), the hypothesis is not necessarily disproved. If only there's an interventional study (which proves causation) which results in lower weight on a higher sugar/fructose intake. There is! See The effect of two energy-restricted diets, a low-fructose diet versus a moderate natural fructose diet, on weight loss and metabolic syndrome parameters: a randomized controlled trial. ∴ Hypothesis disproved.

I asked Duck Dodgers what he wanted to happen. He said:-
"My feeling is that if people recognize that enriched foods are the antithesis of whole foods, then the demand for enriched/refined foods may diminish, forcing the industry to change."

I want people to eschew over-refined food products for produce, too. So all of the arguing about what caused America's rising obesity rate was a complete waste of time. This gave me an idea. I decided to run my idea past someone who deals with obese people with T2DM and who just happened to be in the U.K, attending the Health Unplugged Conference, I PM'ed Dr. Jeffrey Gerber on Facebook, inviting him to meet me at Cafe Class in Woking (a location roughly half-way between my home and London).

So this happened...
Ivor Cummins came, too!

Suffice it to say, the afternoon was a blast!

Cont'd on Public Service Announcement: Calling all Low-carb, Low-fat and Veg*n advocates.

Friday, 30 October 2015

A treatment for epilepsy that's as cheap as chips and not a ketogenic diet.

I did some research on PubMed about epilepsy and found something unexpected.

The art of magnesium transport.
"Patients with hypomagnesemia suffer from a wide range of symptoms including muscle cramps, cardiac arrhythmias and epilepsy."

See also Magnesium: Just as important as Calcium , The usual suspects and Depression: The similarity between magnesium and ketamine.

Failure to communicate: How to fix it.

First, a video. I used this video about two and a half years ago.

We communicate with each other verbally and non-verbally. To maintain a reasonable rate of information flow from talker to listener, non-verbal handshaking from listener to talker is used for flow-control.

Unfortunately, people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) like me (I was officially diagnosed as having an ASD, yesterday) can't detect non-verbal handshaking, resulting in failure to communicate. Body-language = Double-Dutch. This is confusing and upsetting for all concerned, because neither the talker nor the listener understand what's going on.

A talker with an ASD thinks "Why won't they listen to me?". "Why are they walking away?", while a listener without an ASD thinks "Why do they keep on talking when I'm giving clear signs that they should stop?".

Like SkyNet, I have become self-aware. Now that I am aware of this problem, I can fix it. Here's the solution. If you're having a conversation with someone, and they don't stop talking when you're giving clear signs that they should stop, do the following:-

Oh, look. The French already do it. From the above site:-
"Chut! / Silence!

When you want some one to shut up or fermez-la, you can hold up your index finger in the air (not in front of your lips), and give a severe look to the people disturbing you. French teachers use this gesture frequently."

Please don't give us a severe look. We don't do it on purpose to annoy you. We can't help it. TIA. :-)

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Both Sides Now: Asperger's.

Continued from Both Sides Now: Nerds!

A couple of years ago, a psychologist that I was chatting to at a party told me that she thought I had Asperger's. I wasn't upset. I was actually rather relieved, as it explained everything. Since then, several more people, who work for "Disability Challengers", working with children with severe ASDs (Autism Spectrum Disorders) have told me much the same thing.

Here's everything(ish)
A preference for reading science books rather than being with people.
A desire to take things apart and put them back together again (sometimes failing at the latter!) to see how they worked.
Being known as "Professor" at school, as I could chatter away about science facts for hours.
Sucking at forming relationships with women. Logic & emotion mixed like oil & water.
Becoming an Electronic Engineer rather than a Doctor, as it meant working with objects rather than people.
Focussing on a task for hours e.g. Researching, producing new blog posts and updating old ones.
Obsessive behaviour in certain areas.
Loving routine.
Hating change.
Difficulty with communicating facts to people e.g. having a "hectoring" tone.
Offending people without realising it by speaking bluntly or interacting with them in a very logical way, and then failing to recognise their body language shouting "Stop talking!", "Go away!", "Why did you do that?", "I'm offended!" etc at me.

In January 2015, after a series of failed relationship attempts, I asked my GP for a referral to an ASD clinic. After a wait of 10 months, I've got an appointment to see an ASD specialist at the end of this month.

Knowing that I would be seen by a specialist made me more self-aware and I started to push myself into doing things that would normally scare the crap out of me e.g. Approaching a complete stranger in a pub, introducing myself and engaging them in meaningful conversation.

So, I know that there's a monkey on my back and I know what it's getting up to an increasing proportion of the time. Bear with, bear with!

By the way, the computer/smart-phone that you're using to read this post was invented/designed/developed by people like me! Ditto, the Internet.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Netiquette and obnoxious arseholes.

Hey, look! I baked you a cake!

I live my life on the principle that if I wouldn't like someone doing something to me, I won't do it to them.

If I see a man having a discussion with a woman that I know in the street, I wouldn't barge in and start haranguing the man, because I wouldn't like it if someone did that to me.

So, why is it that on the Net, obnoxious arseholes think it's O.K. to do it? No, it's not! There's something called Netiquette. Observe it.

Yes, Man and Bali. I'm looking at you! When someone is commenting from the safety of their computer keyboards (or Smartphone touch-screens), they can turn into obnoxious arseholes. In real life, they might get a punch in the chops, which they'd richly deserve.

Addendum: On a Facebook status, far far away, the following conversation occurred (the beginning has been redacted):-

Me: I've liked some of their comments, too. That's why it's odd that they're playing up now. They seem to be "White knighting" Jane.

Kade: And now the plot thickens. You see, this might be something entirely different.

As an amused onlooker with no real interest in this drama, or the anonymous actors, I'll offer two educated explanations.

1. As you've already touched on, this might be a simple case of plain 'White Knighting', which isn't all that uncommon on the internet. Case closed.

2. If one were to really consider where the various moving parts of these dietary arguments -- and their actors -- find their home ground, Jane would actually be someone who'd get considerable sympathy from the plant-based or plant-centred crowd. Her general theories and ideas espouse a very low animal product intake paired with a puritanical focus on non-refined plant foods. Considering this avenue, one could see where this is going and why those individuals would like my comments and support her regularly. It's one of those areas where they find considerable overlaps of agreement.

Too bad they didn't realise that even *you* share in those overlaps and that much of your exchange with Jane is actually harmless and over a truly minor disagreement. Unfortunately, the relative anonymity of the internet not only makes individuals rambunctious, but also extremely presumptive of things they cannot gauge, such as tone and intent behind comments. This might prompt certain hot shots into White Knighting for someone in a friendly disagreement, which they can't decipher as being friendly, *because* that someone also happens to relatively champion their outlook in a highly volatile environment where even mild disagreements are far too often perceived as polarising.

Me: I couldn't have put it better myself!

Would it be a good idea to put what you just wrote in an addendum at the end of my blog post?

Kade: Up to you, Nige. Go for it if it is any good to the point you're making. ; )

As a result of the above conversation, I've changed my mind about Man & Bali. They're not obnoxious arseholes.

Further addendum: We seem to getting on O.K. now!

Cooperation is so much better than endless squabbling.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Science and zealots: How to detect bad science and how to detect zealots.

Last night, I got banned from Zoë Harcombe's blog. More on that later. Meanwhile, this...

I re-read It's all about ME, baby! (1997 - present) and there's something important missing.

In 2005, I discovered Lyle McDonald. Before this happened, I had the following beliefs:-
1. If something works for me, it must work for everyone else.
2. If someone with qualifications states a fact, it must be true.
3. If someone without qualifications states a fact, it must be false.
4. If a study confirms my beliefs, it must be true.
5. If a study contradicts my beliefs, it must be false.

Sound familiar?
1. is a "Hasty generalisation" fallacy.
2. is an "Appeal to authority" fallacy.
3. is an "Ad hominem" fallacy.
4. & 5. are a "Cherry-picking" fallacy.

Suffice it to say, Lyle bitch-slapped the fallacies out of me. Thank you so much! Read Lyle's site, if you want to learn.

How can studies conflict with each other so much?

Having read a number of conflicting studies, here are some of the tricks that bad studies use:-

1. Fudge the methodology:-
In a meta-study (a study of studies), to make something that's bad (e.g. some saturated fats/fatty acids) look harmless or to make something that's good (e.g. Vitamin D) look useless, fudge the inclusion criteria so that only studies using low intakes or a narrow range of intakes are used, so that the RRs are either close to 1 or have 95% CI values above & below 1. In addition, include studies that show both positive and negative effects (due to them looking at different types of saturated fats/fatty acids, say), so that the overall result is null.

In a study, use a different type of the thing being studied (but bury this fact somewhere obscure so that it's easily missed) to get the opposite result. E.g. To make "carbs" look bad, use a test "carb" that comprises 50% simple carbs (sugars) and 50% complex carbs (high-GI starches, preferably), thus guaranteeing a bad result.

2. Fudge the statistics:- e.g. Regression toward the mean. I'm not a stats nerd, but there are many ways to lie with statistics.

3. Make the abstract have a different conclusion from the full study (which you hide behind a pay-wall), by excluding the methodology and results.

Back to Zoë Harcombe: I left some comments on Jennifer Elliott vs Dietitians Association of Australia.

My M.O. for detecting zealots is by using a slowly, slowly, catchee monkey approach. I left a comment supportive of low-carb diets, because:-

For people with Insulin Resistance, low-carb diets DO ameliorate obesity, postprandial sleepiness and postprandial hyperglycaemia.

Was that loud enough?

I added that I thought the first priority should be to tackle the causes of the Insulin Resistance, because reversing a condition is better than ameliorating it.

My comments were helpful, with links to blog posts showing the above and how to reverse T2DM in 8 weeks. I then went for the throat, criticising Jennifer Elliot, as the article she wrote contained cherry-picked references. I included three more links to my blog as supportive evidence. This resulted in the removal of all but one of my comments (and the comment that remained had the link removed) and the addition of the following:-

"Zoë Harcombe says:
Nigel – too many comments purely trying to get traffic to your site – link above removed; other comments spammed. You’re now spammed.
Best wishes – Zoe"

The correct word is "banned", Zoë! Low-carb zealot successfully detected.

It's not a problem if a lay person becomes a low-carb zealot, but it is a problem if a Health Professional/Fitness Trainer becomes one. Cognitive bias and a refusal to accept contradictory evidence are not good traits for someone who's supposed to be practising evidence-based health/fitness.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

The UK: A green and pleasant gun-free land, or not?

First, see A US tourist made a list of 100 things he thought about Britain... and it's very accurate.
Ee by eckerslike! Where's me Hovis?

A pro-gun advocate told me that when guns were banned in the UK, gun crime increased a lot and that police now have to be armed. Yeah, right!

From Gun politics in the United Kingdom:-
"In the United Kingdom, access by the general public to firearms is tightly controlled by law, although this is less restrictive in Northern Ireland. The United Kingdom has one of the lowest rates of gun homicides in the world.[1] There were 0.05 recorded intentional homicides committed with a firearm per 100,000 inhabitants in the five years to 2011 (15 to 38 people per annum). Gun homicides accounted for 2.4% of all homicides in the year 2011.[2] There is some concern over the availability of illegal firearms.[3][4][5]"

There are pockets of deprivation in virtually every large city in the world. These pockets are often "no-go" areas for police, even if they're armed. In ungoverned/ungovernable areas, gangs thrive. From Kowloon: Inside A Walled City #9
"From the 50s until the 80s Triad groups (Chinese mobsters) had a significant amount of power in The Walled City. Kowloon became a hotbed for prostitution, drugs, and gambling; however most residents of the Walled City were not involved in the illegal activity."

Another change that encouraged the thriving of gangs in the UK was the repealing of Sus law in August 1981, after race riots in 1980 and 1981.

So, in exchange for an almost total elimination of Spree killings and mass shootings, we have an increase in Other Firearms crime, most of which occur in large cities. We can live with that.

Here's a thought experiment:-
You own a shop in an area where gangs thrive, and you have to pay a gang for "protection".
An armed gang-member is about to arrive to collect a payment. You have 3 options:-
1. Compliance: You end up poorer.
2. Unarmed resistance: Your shop, you and/or your family end up getting smashed-up (or worse).
3. Armed resistance: You and/or your family end up getting shot.

That's why there's no point in carrying a gun, in areas where gangs thrive. In other areas, there's no need.
Gangs always have the advantage over Individuals.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Why humans are more like Chimpanzees than Bonobos.

The following video contains scenes of murder, bloodshed & cannibalism.

Bonobos are the hippies of the Chimpanzee world. The following video contains scenes of sex.

Bonobo/Bonobo murder rate is about 3% that for Chimpanzees, according to the following video.

What would have happened to our ancestors if they'd been more like Bonobos than Chimpanzees? Here's a thought experiment. To translate from Ancient Bonobo to English, I stuck a Babel Fish in my ear. The dialogue is inspired by "Duty calls".

Her: Are you coming to bed?
Him: I can't. This is important.
Her: What?
Him: I'm inventing fire.
Her: Fancy a quickie?
Him: Coming, dear!

There'd have been no progress and we'd be living in a rainforest nowadays, having lots of sex. Oh, well!

Chimpanzee society is male-dominated, with males forming into cliques/groups/gangs/etc. Groups have an advantage over individuals. The third video stated that 90% of male Chimpanzees murder another Chimpanzee during their lifetime.

Human society is male-dominated, with males forming into cliques/groups/gangs/etc. Luckily, humans have some of the caring, sharing characteristics of Bonobos, otherwise human society would have become a dystopian nightmare of rampant murder.

What "sheeple" and "selfish arseholes" have in common.

Here's a clue...

When we're born, we're selfish arseholes.
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah (I'm hungry!).
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah (I've got wind!)
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah (I've wet myself!)
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah (I've crapped myself!)
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah (I'm too hot!)
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah (I'm too cold!)
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah (I want attention!)
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah (I just felt like going "Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah" for the hell of it!) and so on.

Then we learn how to walk and talk.
Mummy mummy mummy! I want it!
Mummy mummy mummy! I need it!
Mummy mummy mummy! I really need it!
Mummy mummy mummy! I must have it! and so on.

When we don't get what we want, we throw a tantrum.
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! It's not fair!
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! It's so unfair!
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! I never get anything!
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! I hate you! and so on.

We don't like to share our toys.
It's mine! You can't have it! Biff! and so on.

Then we learn how to cooperate. Life becomes more peaceful, although children who still are selfish arseholes can be a right pain in the arse! With all of this in mind...

I've often mentioned a documentary by Adam Curtis called The Century of the Self, Part 1: Happiness Machines. If you've not watched it, please do so. It shows how easy it is to use propaganda (now re-badged as Public Relations) & emotion-targeted marketing to manipulate populations. The two main groups doing the manipulation are:-

1. Governments.
2. Industries.

Governments want populations to be docile, compliant and sheep-like, to keep the peace, pay their taxes and not ask awkward questions.

Industries want populations to be selfish arseholes and buy stuff that they don't need, to maximise their profits.

So there you have it. "Free-thinkers" may think that they are free to do whatever they want, and they may deride "sheeple" for being gullible, but they've been manipulated too.