Having read the Archevore archives in toto last week, I just started at the beginning of Hyperlipid -- this is gonna take a LOT longer!
One of my favorite series, over there, is on the FIAF: fasting-induced adipose factor. It begins by talking about this hormone and what it does
"Fiaf (amongst its many other actions) blocks the action of lipoprotein lipase, that enzyme which packs on the pounds of fat in humans. Fiaf is normally made by our liver, muscles and in particularly by our gut wall in times of starvation. It appears to be a signal to the body to stop storing fat, crank up blood triglycerides and start running metabolic processes on fat, but fat derived from our adipocytes (obviously, it's a starvation hormone, there is no dietary fat).
"But Fiaf from the gut wall is under the control of the gut bacteria. Active bacteria stop Fiaf production, inactive (hungry) bacteria allow Fiaf to be produced. It's pretty obvious that starvation gives quiescent gut bacteria, to the point where starvation actually mimics not having any gut bacteria at all.
"Germ free mice really do have no gut bacteria at all, so they produce lots of Fiaf, all of the time. This suppresses their LPL and so they are slim, whatever they eat! Bacteria added to their gut immediately suppress Fiaf production from the intestine wall and so allow recently colonised (ex germ free) mice to store fat as soon as ever they have access to food. Lots of fat.
"Also the mice rapidly become insulin resistant as well as obese. That's interesting.
"But under more standard laboratory conditions Fiaf is ONLY produced from the gut of normal animals in times of starvation. My presumption here is that it is the hunger of the GUT BACTERIA that allow Fiaf levels to rise, which allows the stored fat of the host to be burned, in order to keep their microbial bioreactor (our colon) alive. A dead host is of no use to a bacterium."
I've long wondered if alternating dietary schemes might be a good idea -- let your body get used to one sort of fuel, then flip to another one. I've seen success in miniature, as have many other people -- merely requiring our bodies to adapt to a different fuel seems to cause a wastefulness of resources. This concept seems to prove itself as "new-vegan high," the fat-loss people sometimes see in adding fiber/resistant starch, a first-time Atkins convert, et al.
But in reading Peter's post YET AGAIN, after learning more about WHAT plant foodstuffs do WHERE in our guts, I just had a revival of interest and a clearer idea of something I might try. If I still continue a low-carb diet but increase the soluble fiber and resistant starch, I will surely encourage my colon-ies (pun intended) to reproduce. If I then drop back to ZC, they SHOULD think that the food supply just ran out, and pour on the FIAF!
Hmmmm.... Is this what salad-lovers are doing when they eat "mostly plants" and grow thinner and thrive on Atkins? For me, with my generalized vegetable "intolerance" it's going to be tricky, but definitely worth an experiment.