Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Completing the trine: vive la différence!

First, the obligatory picture of Hannah Spearritt :-)
Women have a harder time losing weight than men. Women retain water more than men for hormonal reasons, but a factor that's overlooked is that, on average, healthy women have higher body-fat percentages than healthy men. This is because women have babies and men don't. Who knew? On the plus side, women produce more DHA than men.

Why should having higher body-fat percentages make a difference to weight loss? See What is the required energy deficit per unit weight loss? The energy deficit required to lose 1lb of body-weight increases with increasing body-fat percentage. It's rarely 3,500kcals per lb.

If you really love mathematics, see The Dynamics of Human Body Weight Change by Carson C. Chow and Kevin D. Hall.

From the above paper:- ΔU = ΔQ - ΔW

where ΔU is the change in stored energy in the body, ΔQ is a change in energy input or intake, and ΔW is a change in energy output or expenditure. This is the Energy Balance Equation. As I said back in Back to black, CIAB, pharmaceutical drug deficiencies & nerds.

Where body weight is concerned, calories count (but don't bother trying to count them).
Where body composition is concerned, partitioning counts.
Where health is concerned, macronutrient ratios, EFAs, minerals, vitamins & lifestyles count.

N.B. Poor health can adversely affect body weight and/or body composition, by increasing appetite and/or by adversely affecting partitioning.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Chow on chow, Parkinson's Law, two ways of doing something, and love.

Another mixed bag of subjects. First, here is Mr Carson C. Chow.
From A Mathematical Challenge to Obesity
According to Mr. Chow, Americans are getting increasingly fat because they're eating increasingly large amounts of "chow", because there's increasingly large amounts of it being produced. That's classic Parkinson's law (consumption expands to absorb the available supply).

According to Armi Legge, over-fat people need to . . . . Eat Less (& Move More).

There are two ways to "Eat Less".

1) Measure everything that goes into your mouth, calculate the calories in it and stick to an average daily calorie limit. Weigh yourself daily and adjust your intake to achieve a certain rate of rolling-averaged weight loss i.e. you consciously create a caloric deficit.

2) Tweak your diet until you find one that you can live with, that results in your belt and/or clothes getting looser i.e. you unconsciously create a caloric deficit. If you can't unconsciously create a caloric deficit, there will have to be some conscious restriction.

1) suits athletes & body-builders, as they are highly-motivated people who have a specific target in mind, whether it be athletic performance or a specific body-fat percentage/muscle mass/appearance.

2) suits the general public, as they aren't generally highly-motivated and won't tolerate hunger pangs.

Unfortunately, "Move More" has to be done consciously. Unconscious "Move More" i.e. Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) a.k.a. Spontaneous Physical Activity (SPA) is genetically-determined.

Finally, I read Stretching out. I've been spending too much time on a blog full of fallacies & hate and it's been making me tetchy. I've now disengaged from that blog permanently. Breathe in. Breathe out. That's better!

Continued on Completing the trine: vive la différence!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Taking levothyroxine & overheating in hot weather - the penny bounces back up.

Oh, whoops!
Two weeks after discontinuing levothyroxine, I was still feeling too hot (we're still having a heat wave). I thought that maybe my pituitary had started to function and my thyroid had started to produce thyroxine. I checked my body temperature. It was 35.3°C (95.5°F). The penny bounced back up.

How hot I feel ≠ How hot I am.

I'm back on 125μg/day of levothyroxine.

Back to black, CIAB, pharmaceutical drug deficiencies & nerds.

First, a song by someone who should be alive, but isn't...

The above video was inspired by a Facebook friend who had an accident with Schwartzkopf black hair dye and spent ages getting the stains off her skin. You know who you are!

I may have mentioned that nutrient deficiencies can adversely affect mental (and/or other) function. Nowadays, many people live on a diet of Crap-In-A-Bag (CIAB). There's just enough essential amino acids (EAAs), essential fatty acids (EFAs), minerals & vitamins to keep their bodies alive. However, Alive ≠ Working properly.

To compensate for one (or more) nutrient deficiencies, many people are prescribed one (or more) pharmaceutical drugs to tweak how their brains work e.g. fluoxetine, citalopram/escitalopram, venlafaxine, quetiapine, risperidone, valproate etc. There are no pharmaceutical drug deficiencies!

There are people who suffer from mental (and/or other) illnesses, despite having diets & lifestyles that provide sufficient amounts of all nutrients. This post isn't about them. There are people who suffer from depression due to traumatic & inescapable events/situations. This post isn't about them, either.

Finally, nerds! We nerds love to compile information. For an interesting interview with a top compiler of useful information, see Examine's Supplement Goals Reference Guide.

For an excellent article with a mere 148 references, see Why Calories Count. To sum up:-

Where body weight is concerned, calories count (but don't bother trying to count them).
Where body composition is concerned, partitioning counts.
Where health is concerned, macronutrient ratios, EFAs, minerals, vitamins & lifestyles count.

N.B. Poor health can adversely affect body weight and/or body composition, by increasing appetite and/or by adversely affecting partitioning.

Continued on Chow on chow, Parkinson's Law, two ways of doing something, and love.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

FAO the over-fat and/or those with metabolic syndrome: Big breakfast, medium lunch & small dinner is beneficial.

Breakfast like a King/Queen.
Go to work on an egg.
According to High caloric intake at breakfast vs. dinner differentially influences weight loss of overweight and obese women.
"High-calorie breakfast with reduced intake at dinner is beneficial and might be a useful alternative for the management of obesity and metabolic syndrome." See the other PubMed studies listed in the above study, which corroborate it.

What about all the "artery-clogging" cholesterol in egg yolks? See Eat Whole Eggs All Day and Throw Your Statins Away? 375x Increased Dietary Cholesterol Intake From Eggs Reduces Visceral Fat & Promotes Healthy Cholesterol Metabolism.

Monday, 15 July 2013

I don't believe it.

And neither should you.
Well, opinions are like assholes, honey. Everybody's got one and everybody thinks everybody else's stinks. The internet is full of opinions. Why should anyone believe anything they read on the internet?

If a writer has (a) qualification(s) in "A", it means that they know something about "A". It doesn't mean that they know anything about "B", "C"....."Z". However, humans being human, they have biases. Writers write in a biased way. Also, readers read in a biased way. Having (a) qualification(s) means diddly-squat. What does mean something, is backing-up what's written with quality evidence. As I have no formal qualifications in Diet & Nutrition, I try to do that as often as possible. When I don't, it's my opinion.

Many people are intolerant of other people's opinions. No wonder so many "fights" break out on forums, message-boards & blog comments. As a writer's qualifications mean diddly-squat, what's the point in arguing about a writer's qualifications? There isn't one! It's an ad hominem fallacy. Bloggers whose blog contents consist mainly of ad hominems & other fallacies are ass hats.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

This blog was morbidly obese!

Uh, do what?
That's my blog, that was!
According to for this site:-
"This site weight is 261 Kbs. The site weight should ideally be less than 125 Kbs in length."
This blog is over twice the recommended site weight, which makes it morbidly obese. The reason for this is because I like to have a large number of posts visible on the main page. Unfortunately, this makes the main page take an age to load.

I've now put this blog on a PSMF (Posts Strictly Mother F***er), by reducing the number of posts visible on the main page to four. As there's a search box in the top left-hand corner and a blog archive section & comprehensive list of labels to the right, it shouldn't be hard to find what you're looking for.

Bursting from the seams: "Obese adipocytes" literally "explode" and leave a nasty inflammatory mess.

I just read a Public post on Facebook from someone I follow and whose blog is in my list.
It contained a word that I've never seen before, but would like to see more often - Pyroptosis
See Obese adipocytes show ultrastructural features of stressed cells and die of pyroptosis.

Adipocytes dying, huh? You know what that means? Loss of body-fat. Unfortunately, there is an issue with the nasty inflammatory mess left, after adipocytes "explode". This limits the rate at which adipocytes can be "exploded".

See also SuppVersity Cellulite Special: The Etiology of Cellulite, Genetical and Behavioural Risk Factors? Physical and Supplemental Treatment Strategies & Their Efficacy. Warning! Not Safe For Work, due to pictures of naked botties.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Diet, Nutrition & Fitness: Whatever the question, the right answer is "It all depends".

The carbohydrate pendulum keeps on swinging! Bloggers keep on fighting!
Carbohydrates are good. No, they're bad. Wait, they're good again. Nope, bad again. Good again. Aargh!
See also
So, are carbohydrates good or bad? See the title. Gluten? See the title.

As Everyone is Different, whether "X" is good, bad or indifferent all depends on genes (including gender), the expression of those genes, environment (i.e. birth weight, exposure to pollutants in the womb & after birth), general diet (i.e. nutrients, anutrients & anti-nutrients), lifestyle (i.e. sunlight exposure, stress, sleep etc) and type, level & volume of activity.

How many working brain cells do researchers have? Part n+1

Once upon a time, I took the mickey out of some eejit researchers in How many working brain cells do researchers have? Guess what? I'm doing it again. A Facebook friend sent me a link to a worrying "new" study Omega-3 Supplements Linked To Prostate Cancer. Oh, dear. Things are looking bad for oily fish & fish oil supplements. Just a moment!

I did some digging on PubMed for the author and found this:- n-3 Fatty acids and prostate cancer risk. The main feature of wild oily fish & fish oil supplements is their high ratio of EPA & DHA (long-chain omega-3 fatty acids) to LA (a shorter-chain omega-6 fatty acid). It would therefore be logical to assess oily fish consumption and/or fish oil supplement intake by measuring the ratio of serum EPA:LA and/or DHA:LA and/or (EPA+DHA):LA.

What did Brasky TM, Crowe FL & Kristal AR actually do? According to the abstract, they measured only serum EPA, DHA & (EPA+DHA). They didn't measure serum LA. Therefore, if the subjects in the EPIC study ate a diet with a high omega-6 (n-6):omega-3 (n-3) ratio (i.e a Standard English Diet), subjects with a high serum n-3 level would have a very high serum n-6 level. As excessive levels of serum n-6 pufas are carcinogenic (see Completing the trine: Which are the safest fats?), it's not surprising that the study produced the results that it did.

There only one thing to do, in cases like this...
Because one palm just isn't enough!
EDIT: Here's a better analysis:- Fish Oil and your Prostate. It looks as though n-6 was measured, which makes my analysis wrong, but I'm keeping the double face-palm, as the full study is hidden behind a £30 pay-wall. Here's another good analysis:- Omega-3 Fats and Cancer.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Taking levothyroxine & overheating in hot weather - the penny drops.

Last night, I was sitting in a hot stuffy pub listening to some excellent music being played at a jam session. During the breaks (when it was quiet enough to hold a conversation), I was chatting with Jack the Rapper. As I was chatting, a thought popped into my head about why I was dripping with sweat, when everyone else in the audience wasn't. Here it is.
The Hypothalamus secretes TRH (Thyrotropin Releasing Hormone) which reaches the Pituitary via the hypophyseal duct.

The Hypothalamic Pituitary Thyroid Axis (HPTA) regulates body temperature. It varies thyroid hormone levels (T4 & T3) which varies Uncoupling Protein (UCP) expression, which varies heat production, which varies body temperature. See Minimal changes in environmental temperature result in a significant increase in energy expenditure and changes in the hormonal homeostasis in healthy adults.

"Thyroid hormones axis Compared with exposure to 24 °C, exposure to 19 °C resulted in small, non-significant increases in total triiodothyronine (T3) and TSH AUCs and a significant increase in serum free thyroxine (T4; P=0.03). When the analysis was performed according to the gender, a small but significant increase in serum T3 AUC was observed in males (P < 0.05) but not in females. Similarly, while the change in free T4 was highly significant in males (P < 0.002), no significant change was observed in females." Is this why women feel the cold more than men?

My Pituitary doesn't secrete Thyrotropin a.k.a. Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), so I'm prescribed levothyroxine 125μg/day every day. When the ambient temperature rises, my HPTA doesn't lower my thyroid hormone level as I am running "open-loop". My UCP produces too much heat which makes me overheat. Ker-ching!

From now on, I will adjust my levothyroxine dose to a value where I feel comfortably warm at all times. According to, the half-life of levothyroxine is 6-7 days. Any change in levothyroxine dose will take about a week to get half-way to its final effect on internal heat generation. This could take quite some time!

Continued on Taking levothyroxine & overheating in hot weather - the penny bounces back up.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Sunday Smörgåsbord: liberty, the internet, worry, health & Lyle McDonald.

Five items this time, not necessarily related.
By liberty, I mean personal liberty. I believe that individuals should be free to do whatever they want, provided that they don't harm another individual. However, collections of individuals should not be free to do whatever they want, as collections of individuals (i.e. businesses) usually try to profit from individuals, so the welfare of the individual isn't of importance. Businesses obviously don't want to instantly kill their customers, as that's obvious and will probably get them sued. However, "killing them softly" isn't obvious!

In the EC, just about everything has a CE kite-mark in order that it may be sold in the EC. Standards include EMC (Electro-Magnetic Compatibility) to ensure that:-
a) Devices don't emit excessive levels of RF "radiation", which may interfere with other devices.
b) Devices don't respond to excessive levels of RF "radiation", which may interfere with their operation.
I put "radiation" in quotes, as it's TEM (Transverse Electro-Magnetic) radiation i.e. Radio Waves.

In the US, who knows?

This is about "Smart Meters" - again! I've recently seen a surge in Facebook statuses about Smart Meters. I posted a technical article about these devices in Smart meters. Even after I posted a link on Facebook to my article, links to alarmist pages still appeared. The latest one is The Great “Smart Meters” Hoax. Electromagnetic Fields Are Real And Dangerous To Our Health, where Sam Milham, MD, MPH epidemiologist & researcher tells us how things really are.

Unfortunately, he's talking shite. The problem with people talking alarmist shite on the internet is that people who read alarmist internet shite and who are ignorant of the subject, believe it! This causes Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt (FUD), which in turn causes chronic worry. Chronic worry causes chronic hypercortisolaemia, which isn't good. A placebo (e.g. wrapping aluminium foil around your Smart Meter or paying for a "proper" solution to the non-existent problem) alleviates the chronic worry, which improves health.

I don't know about US Smart Meters. For all I know, some eejit has designed them to transmit 1,000W of RF (I'm just being silly), to get an outdoor range of >100miles. As these devices are designed for short-range communication, they probably transmit up to 100mW (about the same power level as WiFi) to get an outdoor range of ~150m. 1mW is one thousandth of a Watt. Transmitting more power than is necessary increases the probability of interference to other electronic devices.

100mW is a lot lower than the power transmitted by mobile phones (up to 2,000mW for the 850/900MHz Vodafone/O2 network), which need to be able to reliably communicate with the nearest mast, which may be miles away. As mobile phones constantly transmit occasional bursts of RF (to let the network know that they are on) and they are either in a pocket or are held against the ear/in front of the face to make/receive calls etc (while transmitting regular bursts of RF) and they are safe to use, how can a Smart Meter which is transmitting a much lower power level at a much greater separation be harmful? It can't.

With WiFi, Equivalent isotropically radiated power (EIRP) in the EU is limited to 100mW. Dunno about the US. Bluetooth is very-low-power (~1mW for Class 3 devices).

So stop worrying! Chronic worry (also, reading alarmist internet shite) is bad for your health.

Finally, I noticed that Evelyn Kocur "liked" an article that I'd read and completely forgotten about. It's Evidence From the Metabolic Ward: 1.6-2.4g/kg Protein Turn Short Term Weight Loss Intervention into a Fat Loss Diet. Interestingly, the protein intake for optimum body recomposition is 1.6-2.4g/kg LBM. This is equivalent to ~1g/lb LBM, which is the protein recommendation given by Lyle McDonald in his Rapid Fat Loss Handbook. Yup, Lyle was right all along. That amount of protein isn't bad for the kidneys (even 50% more protein than that, isn't bad for the kidneys).

Thursday, 4 July 2013

We are all just prisoners here, of our own device.

If you don't recognise the words in the title, here's the classic song from which they came.

An increasing number of people are becoming like birds in gilded cages. See The perfect crime.
"What's fascinating is this: the marketing is so powerful that some of the people being hurt actually are eager for it to continue. This creates a cultural feedback loop, where some aspire to have these respected marketing jobs, to do more marketing of similar items. It creates a society where the owners and leaders of these companies are celebrated as risk-taking, brave businesspeople, not as the modern robber barons that they've become."

Did I ever mention?...