Kurt G. Harris MD

PāNu means paleonutrition. The "paleo" here signifies "old" and not necessarily paleolithic. The PāNu approach to nutrition is grounded on clinical medicine and basic sciences disciplined by knowledge of evolutionary biology and paleoanthropology. The best evidence from multiple disciplines supports eating a pastoral (animal-based) diet rather than a grain-based agricultural one, while avoiding what I call the neolithic agents of disease - wheat, excess fructose and excess linoleic acid.

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Check out Nephropal

Be sure to check out all my recommended blogs by clicking "recommended blogs" on the right.

My blogroll is pretty short on purpose. There are many worthwhile blogs I visit regularly and I don't list them all on the blogroll. The reason is that I'd like you to consider my list to be an endorsement and not just a mutual blog marketing tool. These are the resources that I use the most and that I find the most scientifically grounded, whether they are written by scientists, physicians or not.

I will always try to emphasize relevance and accuracy over volume or fluff on the blog, so I figure folks might appreciate the same on the blogroll.

I especially want to bring your attention to my most recent addition, Nephropal, by "Dr. T." Don't know if he wears gold chains, but he has excellent, very technical (in a good way) summaries of medical physiology written within a paleonutrition framework. It's all carefully considered and well- founded. Lots of good color graphics, too. Admittedly, this will be most accessible to those with some biological science training, but I think any motivated bibliophilic reader can learn a lot there, too.

After I read my peer- reviewed articles and my medical textbooks, I check Dr. T's blog (along with Stephan and Peter) before posting to make sure I'm not about to write something stupid!

Visit Dr. T's blog and give him some positive comments - he deserves more recognition.

Reader Comments (18)


Dr. T is great.



October 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterepistemocrat

Yes, it is a really top notch blog. Anyone who writes on the benefits of high altitude wines is okay in my book.

And the fact that I have no training whatsoever in biological sciences hinders me not. He really spells his ideas out well, and his pictures are always helpful as well. Whether or not he wears gold chains.

October 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSatya

"And the fact that I have no training whatsoever in biological sciences hinders me not. He really spells his ideas out well, and his pictures are always helpful as well."
I would agree with this 100%.

October 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDeb Jordan

He ROCKS like Mr. T! As do you!!! Keep up the strong work!!

October 19, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterg

g -

I see you are the one and only Dr BG - thanks!

I've been reading a bit on your blog lately, too. Good stuff there at http://drbganimalpharm.blogspot.com/

All -

I was originally going to say "college educated" but then I realized that one of the smartest people I knew had only a GED and I also know plenty of formally-educated folks who are not very clever. Bibliophilia - or "a book loving nature" seems to mean more than formal education.

October 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKurt G Harris MD

Yes, dr. T's blog is a gold mine too. A lot of topics and all interesting.

October 19, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersimona

Hey thanks!!

I really love your post on 'no carbs'! It is my favorite among many (2nd favorite is the vitamin D one -- so comprehensive, concise and PERFECT). Vitamin D is my favorite steroid (ok, technically pro-steroid *haaa*).

Thank you for your carb posts! I'm starting to come out of the closet regarding the no-carb approach after I saw your post. Seriously I would have gained 25 lbs if it were not for the no carb approach I had to do over 12-14 months when I had a year of synthetic hormone h*ll. So only gained 10 lbs instead! That what happens when one tries to use neolithic synthetic agents to control high paleolithic fertility. *haa* TIMI.


October 19, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterg

The zero carb folks think I am splitting hairs by saying carbs and vegetables are totally unnecessary, yet refusing to say they are poisonous and should be avoided.

It all comes down to science. It's fun to be transgressive, but I see no science to indicate eating a few veggies for flavor and variety is harmful, just as there is no convincing science against using salt or drinking coffee.

Coffee and salt. Onions and mushrooms. Tasty condiments.

October 19, 2009 | Registered CommenterKurt G. Harris MD

Your transgressions are kinda funny :) I'm continuing my condiments too!! Romaine lettuce makes my anchovy/sardine/yolky/peppery Ceasar dressing taste better too (sans croutons).

October 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterg

I visited your resource links section before the blogroll; it is also brief. In resource links under PubMed it says "do your own research". Would you mind explaining to us how you determine the credibility and bias of an article or journal resource found on PubMed?

October 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMCT


I guess this is what makes a science blogger - the hubris to think you can filter out the truth from the garbage that gets published as "science".

Austrian economists like Von Mises emphasize that pure empiricism in the realm of economics leads to pure nonsense - like keynesianism and the insane idea that more debt and spending can be the salve for a debt deflation.

I think culturally this is what is missing from science generally and medicine in particular. You must have a conceptual framework with provisional but well-grounded hypotheses (what I and Crick call "central dogma") in order to make sense of what you read. Otherwise you are reinventing the wheel every time you try to interpret what you read. In a sense, this is actually a kind of selection bias, with the important difference that you purposefully try to find evidence that can refute your central dogma at the same time you are using these dogma to filter information.

So I guess it is a gestalt process with biased but hopefully well-grounded underpinnings. Personally, I like to think it is mostly critical thinking, but no doubt some experience as a medical and scientific insider helps a lot.

Read Thomas Kuhn and Dierdre McCloskey for influences. (Also Richard Rorty)

October 21, 2009 | Registered CommenterKurt G. Harris MD

Nice to see Rorty and Kuhn mentioned here.

October 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersimona

another libertarian with a paleo-type blog.

excellent! good to see... but i'm still trying to figure out the connection. do we admire the decentralist/anarchist/free market way we lived before the confining neolithic systems (though, we were beholden to the tribe rather necessarily)? or, do people like us simply have a tendency to rebel against Conventional Wisdom and zeitgeists?

whatever it is, its working for me.

October 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commentershel

Kurt, I wonder if you would mind giving me your opinion of something I have been reading. It relates to glycogen depletion in muscles during exercise.

"The truth about exercise is that muscles NEVER use carbs as fuel, only fat, so the process of 'burning carbs is only the process of converting them into fat, which puts a severe load on the body during exercise- eliminate the carbs and endurance skyrockets."


Glycogen is not depleted by exercise. The muscles ONLY use free fatty acids complexed within-acetylcarnitine to provide the energy to reverse ADP to ATP, no carbs are consumed in this process, either as glucose or as glycogen.
The famous 'wall' hit by runners etc., indicates a problem in mobilising bodyfat in a carb-loading individual once dietary circulating fat is consumed. It does not occur in a keto-adapted meat eater.
End Quote

Looking forward to reading your thoughts.


October 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlan

sounds like bear.

this and this including comments, and you may find what you're looking for.

October 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMCT

"The truth about exercise is that muscles NEVER use carbs as fuel, only fat, so the process of 'burning carbs is only the process of converting them into fat, which puts a severe load on the body during exercise- eliminate the carbs and endurance skyrockets."

This comment is totally false.

October 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

Alan, here is a study for you:

De novo lipogenesis in humans: metabolic and regulatory aspects.
Hellerstein MK.

Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of California at Berkeley, 94270-3104, USA.

The enzymatic pathway for converting dietary carbohydrate (CHO) into fat, or de novo lipogenesis (DNL), is present in humans, whereas the capacity to convert fats into CHO does not exist. Here, the quantitative importance of DNL in humans is reviewed, focusing on the response to increased intake of dietary CHO. Eucaloric replacement of dietary fat by CHO does not induce hepatic DNL to any substantial degree. Similarly, addition of CHO to a mixed diet does not increase hepatic DNL to quantitatively important levels, as long as CHO energy intake remains less than total energy expenditure (TEE). Instead, dietary CHO replaces fat in the whole-body fuel mixture, even in the post-absorptive state. Body fat is thereby accrued, but the pathway of DNL is not traversed; instead, a coordinated set of metabolic adaptations, including resistance of hepatic glucose production to suppression by insulin, occurs that allows CHO oxidation to increase and match CHO intake. Only when CHO energy intake exceeds TEE does DNL in liver or adipose tissue contribute significantly to the whole-body energy economy. It is concluded that DNL is not the pathway of first resort for added dietary CHO, in humans. Under most dietary conditions, the two major macronutrient energy sources (CHO and fat) are therefore not interconvertible currencies; CHO and fat have independent, though interacting, economies and independent regulation. The metabolic mechanisms and physiologic implications of the functional block between CHO and fat in humans are discussed, but require further investigation.

October 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAaron


Thanks for the link help.


Stanley Owsley is an interesting character but not a source of knowledge on biochemistry. The first quote is either very misleading or false depending on how you look at it. It is emphatically true that muscles use glucose as a rapid source of ATP in the anaerobic state - to me that is certainly using glucose as fuel, even if the resulting lactate is mostly recycled back into glucose using energy from other sources, which may include glucose oxidized aerobically, fat oxidized aerobically or ketones, etc..

As far as "the wall", I believe a keto-adapted person can improve their performance with added glucose during a long endurance event. I know real athletes and serious amateurs who have observed this as well.

My basic response to all this is so what? When Zero Carb enthusiasts quote these "sayings" they take it to mean that our bodies have no use for carbs. But we know the brain and red blood cells requite glucose, so who cares if the muscles do or not. They definitely do for anaerobic work, but so what?

None of does anything to change the fact that we do not require carbohydrate in the diet, yet glucose is essential for life. As I say over and over, something not needed does not make it poison or prove we never ate it as we evolved, and lack of evolutionary experience likewise says nothing by itself about health effects. Both of these conclusions are just stupid, frankly.

Anyone who tells me I can't have cup of coffee because I don't need it or because paleolithic man did not have experience with it better come armed with some actual scientific reasoning, and not just simple-minded paleo food re-enactment rules.

Zero carb zealots are, it seems, trying to prove that you should eat no carbohydrate whatsoever by re-writing the rules of biochemistry and I for one am completely bored with trying to refute their arguments which are not just fanatical, but wrong.

ZIOH - I am guessing this is where you read this stuff - has so many fallacious statements that I could not possible argue with them all.

October 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKurt G. Harris MD
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