Monday, April 27, 2015

it's hard to reason with specialists

I started to read the Intensive Dietary Management site, because I was impressed by a few of Dr Jason Fung's posts.  He's a bit myopic, though, when it comes to the very edges of what he chooses to view -- he doesn't perceive well what's in the corner of his eye, metaphically-speaking.

Though restricting "bad" carbohydrates has got to be the number-one strategy when you're treating diabetics, he has some funny ideas about the low-carb world.  And like some other individuals who are "interested" in nutrition, he points out that although the "Atkins diet" is very effective at first, it eventually fails;  what he does NOT point out is that it does work as long as you actually follow it.  At the end of that year-or-five, if an "Atkins dieter" is no longer adhering to Atkins principles AS ACTUALLY DESCRIBED BY ATKINS, they're no longer ... "Atkins dieters." 

There are a lot of people out there on a roll-your-own kind of low-carb regimen who may THINK or SAY they're on Atkins, but are not even close.  I might even propose that what was written in "A New Atkins For a New You" isn't really ATKINS, although he may have evolved that way in time....

Fung even thinks that Atkins Nutritionals failed because people were leaving the program:  I can only speak for myself here but NO -- I stopped buying their damned soy-laden, gluten-loading, industrial-seed-oil-filled junk frankenfoods because they're filled with ... soy, gluten, bad fats and fake nutrients.  I doubt if i'm the only one.


There's also an awful lot of hand-wringing over the insulinotropic nature of [gasp] ANIMAL PROTEIN!  It doesn't raise blood glucose, but that isn't important to him -- only hyperinsulinemia is important, and meat and dairy RAISE INSULIN!  ...Of course he only waves LEAN meat in front of us, and seems to be puzzled that high-fat dairy isn't a problem....

Forest.  Trees.  Low-carb doesn't necessarily = high-protein.  Percent of diet means NOTHING without total-gram context.  There are other important hormones besides insulin.  Need I, a mere amateur, go on?

What would happen if dietary protein did NOT provoke insulin secretion?  Yeah -- amino acids ain't gettin' into cells for all their important chores, like repair and maintenance of tissues.  Forget THAT little fact, Jase?

He pointed out the particular talent that whey has, for provoking insulin.  He should probably be reading Calories Proper, and learn that morning insulin-sensitivity in MUSCLES can cause very good things to happen in building lean mass, if people consume a low-carb whey-based shake for breakfast.

Doubtless, his work with severely insulin-resistant, hyperinsulinemic people has caused him to regard this crucial hormone as something rather sinister.  It's definitely something to keep an eye on, but most of us can afford to be a little more charitable.  To me, insulin is a little like a police force:  a real nuisance if you're doing something you shouldn't, but potentially life-saving


  1. I always listen to Dr Jason Fung with interest. I have noticed that 'Cooksey' has written a few articles about him recently too.

    On a personal note do hope your allergy symptoms have dispelled a little .....

    All the best Jan

    1. he certainly is on the cutting-edge of the science, when it comes to diabetes! I guess I need to read Cooksey, out of sheer curiosity.... :-)

      the oak pollen is still high, here, but today was bright and pleasant -- makes a lot of difference!

  2. I agree, folks seem to get confused about what is low carb eating. I don't call it dieting because that implies you will eventually stop the diet...although diet actually is just what you eat..blah x 3. I know people myself included that have eaten lowcarb for more than 5 years. Myself since 2007. We have excellent lab # s (and that is all my colleagues care about) and they are healthy. No illness, no degenerative disease. Sigh.

    1. :-) "diet" is a much-misused word, all right!

      ...but I do get so annoyed at the hypocrisy and double-standards when it comes to "authorities" talking about LC! people have been eating this way for extended periods of time, but it's not a RCT so it doesn't count! it's wrong to eliminate entire food groups! (funny, they never say that to vegetarians, or more astonishingly -- to vegans!) no matter how outstanding the performance of the LCHF diet, they dismiss it ... the dickweeds....

  3. There are so much more blogs than I am reading now, but I am trying to cut on internet time and return to a regular book reading. I have checked Dr.Fung web-site and got an impression so far that he argues for adding IF to LCarbing, which is what I am doing myself.

    1. yes, i was really impressed with his video series on diabetes, too, but so far haven't gotten a LOT out of his blog....

      but there ARE so many worthwhile blogs -- you might see i put Tuit on my list, and i'm working back through her archives. don't know why i didn't notice Amy's work before! :-)

    2. Thank you, Tess, for your work. So many, me included rely on blog rolls .

    3. Woohoo! Thanks, Tess! I don't claim to be an expert on any of this (even if I'm a nutritionist...maybe I've just read a couple more textbooks & papers than the average schmoe on the street). I just try to share what I know, and what I "think" I know. (And there's probably a lot more of the latter than the former, hehheh. I think what I have going for me is that I'm okay with *admitting* that.)

    4. If anyone happens to be interested, this is probably one of my all-time favorite posts:

      This one's a close second, along with its sequel:

    5. you know a lot, Amy, and your writing-style is pleasant and concise. I'm really interested in hearing people's n=1 experiences, and I consider "people who work with people" to be a concentrated source of stories. :-)

  4. Hi Tess

    Speaking as a type two diabetic, who has reversed the main and most dangerous symptom, elevated blood glucose, I have to wade in.

    It is my opinion that Dr. Jason Fung is one of the most clued up people in the world re. the reversing of type two diabetes and weight reduction. The world needs far more Jason Fungs and I applaud all his doing. The last thing I want to do is start a bun fight on your blog, but he is a hero to me.

    I also have a lot of respect for Steve Cooksey, but lately I am wondering, is he going batshit with his rants against Jason Fung? Is he doing a CS to raise awareness for his blog?

    Kind regards Eddie

    1. I still haven't read any Cooksey -- I guess I need to get up to speed! ...I DO still have a lot of respect for JF's work, and after reading dozens of his posts, all I have to criticize about him are the couple of points I picked on, above. if ALL doctors dealing with "diabesity" were HALF as good, the world would be a healthier place!

  5. Tess

    "it's wrong to eliminate entire food groups! (funny, they never say that to vegetarians, or more astonishingly -- to vegans!) no matter how outstanding the performance of the LCHF diet, they dismiss it"

    How much do vegans or vegetarians cost big pharma, the medical profession and junk food? With the reversal of type two diabetes by diet and exercise by a big percentage of type two diabetics, big pharma would suffer revenue losses across the world of many billions per year, some would go out of business. Makers of highly processed factory food the same. In the UK we tend not to concentrate on medical costs, because almost all medical cost are free at point of delivery. But in many countries the cost of medical requirements are eye watering and highly profitable.

    So, we are left with the massive misinformation industry. Outfits that push nutritional advice often no more than shills for junk food, leads to massive obesity and a myriad of health issues. In steps the medical profession, the eat less move more message, and dishes out the big pharma drugs. As we know this has failed totally, but hey, what a fantastic business model for generating trillions in revenue. The Governments take a big slice in taxes and everybody is happy. Except the victims of course. Looking at the big picture that is not a problem. Every day countless human beings are staving to death, killed in natural disasters, and war. The fact is human beings or so called collateral damage is a nil sum game, and the game is profit. I think people in developed countries, feel they are more valued than what we see happening to the poor people, in so many other countries, we are not. We are just as much seen as cannon fodder, by Governments and more realistically the people that own the Governments.

    What I find so discouraging, is the fact when you try to explain this situation to people, they either right you off as a conspiracy theorist, or one wave short of a ship wreck. This is despite the fact the evidence confronts them, everywhere they go. The massive rise in obesity, the often linked type diabetes numbers going through the roof, to name but two conditions rapidly bankrupting healthcare systems around the world.

    People have said to me in the past be careful what you wish for Eddie, they could be right. Could we afford to eat whole fresh food, if every-one went in our direction. My guess is the supply could not keep up with the demand, and we are left at the place we started, back to junk food made in factories, ain't life grand.

    Eddie The older I get, the better I used to be.

    1. I think it is not a conspiracy, Eddie, just the economic system forces at work. In our system economy is given the priority. Another piece of puzzle - our human nature - industrial food costs less money, and it is normal for human beings to act on immediate benefits rather than on a delayed danger (than people wouldn't live near volcanoes, in flooding zones, in tsunami-prove areas).
      People do stop listening when a conspiracy theory is the offered topic of a conversation, and it is better to keep it in mind if you want to convince more people rather than getting a reputation of a paranoid nut. For better or for worse nowadays the danger from taking an easier road (eating anything what is available and aiming for a quick fix in a pill form) is looking less as a distant danger, and slightly more people are open to more mindful existence when it comes to taking care of own health. I think it gives a hope. Such chandes can't be quick.

  6. "I think it is not a conspiracy, Eddie"

    Check out who backs the US Dietitians outfit. Black OP's outfit behind some UK health and diet advisers. Not a conspiracy?

    More Black Ops outfits and pay masters.

    DUK The diabetes charity.

    Abbott Bayer Boehringer Ingelheim Bristol Myers Squibb Bupa Bunzl Everyclick First Capital Connect Flora pro.activ Kodak Lilly Lloyds Pharmacy Menarini Merck Serono Morphy Richards Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited Novartis Novo Nordisk Nursing Times PAL Technologies Ltd Pfizer Rowlands Pharmacies Sanofi-aventis SplendaTakeda Tesco Diets

    HEART UK -The Nation’s Cholesterol Charity

    Abbott Healthcare Alpro UK AstraZeneca BHR Pharma Cambridge Weight Plan Cereal Partners UK (Sh Wheat) Food & Drink Federation Fresenius Medical Care (UK) Limited Genzyme Therapeutics Hovis Kellogg’s (Optivita) Kowa Pharmaceutical Europe Co Limited L.IN.C Medical Systems Limited Merck Sharpe & Dhome PlanMyFood Pfizer Premier Foods Progenika Biopharma s.a. Roche Products Limited Unilever (Flora) Welch’s (Purple Grape Juice)

    The British Nutrition Foundation

    However, the organisation's 39 members, which contribute to its funding, include – beside the Government, the EU – Cadbury, Kellogg's, Northern Foods, McDonald's, PizzaExpress, the main supermarket chains except Tesco, and producer bodies such as the Potato Council. The chairman of its board of trustees, Paul Hebblethwaite, is also chairman of the Biscuit, Cake, Chocolate and Confectionery Trade Association.

    The European Food Information Council

    Current EUFIC members are: AB Sugar, Ajinomoto Sweeteners Europe, Bunge, Cargill, Cereal Partners, Coca-Cola, Danone, DSM Nutritional Products Europe Ltd., Ferrero, Kraft Foods, Mars, McDonald's, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Pfizer Animal Health, Südzucker, and Unilever.

    The British Heart Foundation

    Unilever Flora margarine.

    1. I hope others(especially Eddie) would excuse my rant, because i have only rant as an answer.

      Eddie, I had the same conversation with another blogger (who was , actually, not your friend at all) who thought that corporations created the situation when people ate too much, and such corporate actions and policy led to the modern obesity epidemic. I argued that while corporations did what they could to increase their profits (as their shareholders expected them to do), it was not the main reason why we observe now the explosion of metabolic deceases and obesity. The problem is complex, and so solution should be complex as well and therefor can't happen quickly or by doing something simple. We can't destroy capitalism (not the perfect way to organize society, but the best so far), we can't outlaw corporations, and, unfortunately, we can't get rid from the bureaucracy growth which makes any problem worse while "working" on solving it (complitely off topic, but only the support by international bureaucracy allows the existence of refuges camps for 30+ years, without that international bureaucracy refuges could have incentives to move away from the camps and to organize their life differently). Unfortunately, complex systems not only regulate themselves, but also self-replicate. Charities, Foundations and Councils have very poor success rate when dealing with any long-term problems not because they are evil, but because it is the nature of any bureaucracy - which is self-serving, unfortunately. I saw a lot of it during socialism.

      You and your co-bloggers do the only right thing possible - you create different consumer demand and your actions create better educated customers who are capable of changing something by creating a pressure on business and politicians, only such things may impose changes in a system. I wish to your influence to succeed,and it is the right thing to disclose connections (it is natural for such connections to exist) between health organisations bureaucrats and business. Such disclosures create doubts about the credibility of above-mentioned bureaucratic organizations,and some people are naive enough to believe, but I do wish you wouldn't see the existing system as one big evil conspiracy, which is an intentional act of the people who created it. There is a reason why people stop listening about conspiracy theories. Conspirators in all theories look like evil geniuses, and problems are presented in simplified forms.But "conspirators" are just narrow-sighted human plankton who can't solve or design anything, good or evil. May be it is splitting chips, but I hate when they are given too much credit for their actions.
      More apologies for too long post.

    2. Hi Galina

      A great comment thank you. As always you post from the heart and speak with wisdom. May I take this opportunity to thank you for your loyalty and the work you have put in commenting on our blog and elsewhere.

      You are right, I don't always get it right, but I am acutely aware my time is limited, and so much work we need to do. Almost all my life I was a rebel without a cause, becoming a type two diabetic changed that big time.

      The very best of luck and health to you and yours.

      Eddie x

    3. Thank you for your understanding, Eddie, you know that I am just trying to help. We all have different personalities, and it is a good thing - the people who read have different personalities as well and different styles of conversation appeal to them. You do all what you can , and probably even more, to inspire fellow diabetics to take personal control over their condition. It is a difficult fight, but most of the time when people have a big goal in life, they live longer, so continue to think "but I am acutely aware my time is limited, and so much work we need to do". I wish you luck and success as well.

    4. Well said Galina! As I am often drawn up short when a client ask me "WHY" their beloved pet developed cancer... Short answer: most of the time I cannot pinpoint any direct cause (well, except for the easy ones like pink-skinned white dogs & cats that develop skin cancer). Long answer: cancer develops due to a multitude of factors - genetics undoubtedly play a huge role, as well as diet, potential carcinogen exposure, etc etc. I believe similar factors are at play in our obesity epidemic.

    5. Yes, living structures and creatures are way more complicated than something man-made to the point that the root cause for a trouble may be hard to pinpoint and even comprehend, but our human nature craves understanding, and in the pursuit of understanding we, humans, simplify in our minds most of what we try to wrap our minds around, and than we fight about whose simplification is better.
      Nowadays cancer is a very common cause for pets to die, may be the main reason for that - pets live much longer than their ancestors in a wild, but the wide-spread of diabetes among home animals also points strongly at the direction of inappropriate diets. The combination of longer life span with poor life-style (+ inbreeding) should produce poor results. I wonder why in the case of pets the frequent poor outcome is a cancer, not stroke, heart attack or an infection.

  7. I just started reading/listening to some of the stuff on the Intensive Dietary Management site. My Type 2 boyfriend has finally grudgingly started reading Richard Bernstein's book (which I gave him two months ago) but seems really reluctant about the idea of lowering his carbs. He already grossly underestimates the amount he takes in in the first place. Sigh, I think he is angry that he is diabetic despite being thin and athletic. If Bernstein doesn't open his eyes, I need to find some other medium (youtube lecture or something) to try to help him.

  8. I may nit-pick at the minor "shortcomings" I see in people like Dr. Fung, but in fact i'm grateful for ALL the "low-carb warriors" who work and study hard, and bravely speak out, thereby helping countless individuals like us! They risk their reputations and professional futures by bucking the crumbling system we have....

    May they be rewarded as they deserve -- the ones who go out on a limb for the benefit of sick people everywhere ... and all those "good doctors" who obfuscate for their own glory [cough - SG - cough]....

  9. GD soy and gluten, indeed! Yeah, once I started eating real food and getting off my soy filled (and sugar substitute) "diet" food, my hs-CRP dropped even lower.

    I've not listened to Fung yet. I see he was on a few podcasts recently. I think people will go to what works for them. I would bet that genetic testing would reveal the same DNA SNP's in the groups of people that gather in the "this works well" camps.