Kurt G. Harris MD

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 an animal-based diet high in fat, low in cereal grains and relatively low in carbohydrate.

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Friday
Feb122010

Odds and Sods - feb 2010

Long time reader and valued commenter Patrik has started a new site called Paleohacks. It's kind of a hub or nexus for questions about paleoutrition and evolutionary fitness. Patrik says it is based on stack-exchange and I can't really explain that very well, so go check it out, it looks pretty cool and is off to a good start.  

We've been getting a lot of feeds from a very popular (160,000 subscribers) blog called Zenhabits. Leo Babauta wrote a post called 20-plus amazing fitness blogs to inspire you where he asked a few of the better-known fitness bloggers to list their favorite fitness blogs. As I don't really even write a fitness blog, I was especially flattered to be mentioned by Scott Kustes of Fitness Spotlight. Thank you, Scott!

My own favorite fitness blogs are listed on my blogroll. If you have a question about bodybuilding folklore, you are free to skip me and go straight to these guys. (That's kind of a joke) Note that I have added Keith Norris and Mark Sisson to the list - should have done that a while ago, actually. I'll go through them again:

Conditioning Research - An amazing compendium of fitness information. Chris Highcock and I share an interest in mindbody medicine and I hope to blog about that some day.

Theory to Practice - Keith Norris has a scientific and practical approach to fitness that does not worship complexity for its own sake. 

Robb Wolf - A two-fer - paleonutrition ideas from a protege of Loren Cordain and detailed training advice that is based on reality.

Mark's Daily Apple - like Mark needs a link from me! Well,  Mark is the original cardio-skeptic and he puts his fitness principles all together with diet in a highly accessible way. Probably the gentlest introduction to paleonutrition for your vegetarian girlfriend, and yes, that is a compliment.

This will probably be giving you the rope to hang me with, but here is what I am working on:

Coconut Milk

What to eat if you get cancer (may turn into more than one)

Killing your own food

Ketosis

And reading for lots of others, including deep into endocrinology literature and textbooks for thryoid

Ok, so that ended up making this a bit of an excuse post, but I really do prefer to read and think more, even if it means writing a bit less. 

Reader Comments (47)

Really looking forward to hearing your thoughts on all those topics, Dr. Harris, especially Ketosis and Hunting.

Didn't you mention that you had a post on hypothyroidism and iodine in the works?

KGH: Thyroid posts planned - that is why I mentioned I am reading on that right now.

February 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMike

Thanks for the mention!

February 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPatrik

Can't wait Kurt!

I eat lots of coconut milk everyday and am in ketosis a lot of the time, so I hope I'm not eating myself to an early death.

By the way, thanks for changing my life. No. Really.

February 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

Hi Kurt, I guess you're inundated, but don't forget the blood work post either ;-)

February 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWinalot

I'm eagerly awaiting the 'what to eat if you get cancer' post. I gave my coworker, who's 40-year-old son has esophageal massrecently removed. I gave him a couple of articles to bring to his son's oncologist, along the 'sugar feeds cancer' lines, and the doctor blew him off. He eats applesauce, boost, and mashed potatoes now. You would think some pureed meat would be beneficial.

February 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Thank you, Dr. Harris. I'm so happy I found this blog and all the valuable information it holds. I've been searching for health and nutrition answers for years. Going Atkins, going raw vegan,... Now I feel like I struck gold. I've lost a few pounds since following your advice. But most importantly, I haven't been experiencing those out of control blood sugar swings where I need to eat every two hours. I still haven't gotten to the 2 meals a day. But I'm down to about 3 or 4 meals/snacks from about 6. Will keep reading and experimenting with all the advice here.

Thanks again. And if you write a book, I'm buying.

February 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

Thanks for the links. I am checking them out. I strongly endorse Dr. Doug McGuff's book Body By Science and his related blog, for those interested in another treatment of fitness from a PaNu-friendly perspective.

KGH: Good point! I have read McGuff's book but not seen much of his blog. I'll take a look.

February 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermoises

Thanks for your continued post doc! When it comes to dialing in your diet and in relation to fitness your blog has really help me out to explain to others why i eat the way i do and to positive results a person can have.

February 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChuck O

Have been reading for a couple weeks now, great stuff! Though I am always eager to read new posts, I happily will wait for the outcome of more reading and research. Especially interested to see the planned cancer posts as I have two friends who have been recently diagnosed and about to begin treatment. Thanks again for your efforts!

February 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJT

Thanks for the great press, Kurt. And it's the truth, isn't it? The over-complication of diet and fitness is necessary only to extract dollars from the unsuspecting. Thanks for being an erudite ray of light within the Paleo community, helping to expose the voodoo-science surrounding what I like to call "physical culture" for what it is - slick,manipulative salesmanship.

KGH: Thanks Keith. I am not sure if the training side is any more full of BS than nutrition, I just know I have my hands full with focusing on what not to eat!

February 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKeith Norris

We are on pins and needles at our house. Can't wait!

February 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJLB

Thanks Kurt. By the way Doug McGuff has a diet DVD out - reviewed on my blog - which is excellent and in which he speaks highly of you and your site.

I look forward to your anything you write on mindbody medicine. It fascinates me. I know my recurrent backpain correlates well with stress in my life and some of the research on stress and its wide ranging effects is very interesting - e.g. Sapolsky's work.

KGH: Now if I link McGuff it will look like backscratching! I was on your site and noticed that you said he mentioned the 12 steps in your review. I tried to follow links to buy the DVD but they did not work. Do you have a working link?

February 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Not that this is important, but I think you meant PaleoHacks is based off of "stack overflow" (stackoverflow.com)

KGH:

Nope. Directly from the FAQ: "..PaleoHacks.com is a collaboratively edited question-and-answer site based on the StackExchange platform"

February 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMark

You wrote, " I really do prefer to read and think more, even if it means writing a bit less."

Good advice that all should .follow.

February 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Can't wait for the post on what to eat if you have cancer. As my mum is about to undergo chemo for the second time. We have started her on a paleo diet, Vit D and high dose fish oil, and already she feels a reduction in the discomfort she has been experiencing, and a greater feeling of wellbeing.

February 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGraham and Lorraine

Kurt - sorry I just put the link to his product page up and assumed the DVD was mentieond there.....but it isn't

The information is on his blog post here: http://www.bodybyscience.net/home.html/?p=783

He says

"I reviewed my diet DVD this morning and am happy with its content and quality. I made a few misstatements here and there, but nothing that would stop me from distributing it as-is. I have an initial run of 25 copies that I will sell through UE, and am trying to set up an Amazon store account for the remainder. I am setting the price at $45.00. If anyone is interested in getting the early copies you can leave your purchase information at UE by calling (864)886-0200 and following the prompts. I will make notification when the Amazon option is available or if we will offer additional copies through UE. For right now we are set up to process the first 25 orders."

February 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Dr Harris,

I've been on Paleo/EvoFit for 18 months and have benefited greatly in body composition, lipid profile and BP. Everything was fine until I ended up in the emergency room due to a kidney stone (6mm)! I don't know how long it takes for a stone to develop to such a size; but I'm concerned that it even happened at all living a paleo lifestyle. I don't think it's hereditary because I'm the first to have one. It's very easy for a non-paleo to criticize the diet once you tell them about the kidney stones; not to mention the excruciating pain. I hope you can provide some light on this subject or recommend what I could change in my diet to lower the recurrence.

RD

KGH:

No time for a full post but here are some thoughts:

Many uric acid stones are hereditary. Your relatives may have stones that are asymptomatic. Anyone have gout?

I can tell you I see stones about once a week in my day job in people who eat the high carb SAD (just like I see patients every single day with hypothyroidism), and I have heard of two people besides you that have had stones eating some variety of VLC including Lex Rooker. (not saying that's it - just those cases I am familiar with. I can tell you I personally had an extremely sensitive abdominal CT scan done(for unrelated reasons) and had zero stones after 2.5 years of VLC paleo with carbs from 5-10%. I do eat vegetables daily and I drink plenty of water and decaf coffee, though.

I can tell you the competing theories are that:

1) something about low carb or paleo eating (esp VLC with no vegetables or fruit) causes stones.

2) VLC paleo actually causes stones to shrink and they then are free to enter the ureter where they cause pain (did your CT show other stones "on deck" in the kidney?) Also, 6mm is a pretty big stone to have formed de novo in only 18 months, IMO. That would favor this theory.

3) On any low or lower carb diet with decreased meal frequency, thirst is less stimulated without the high load of carbs and salt in processed foods. As drinking water becomes less of a habit, dehydration may encourage stone formation in those genetically predisposed.

I don't have a definitive answer, but for now I look at it like the thyroid issue. Stones and thyroid disease are both HIGHLY PREVALENT and cannot be expected to become nonexistant or cured just because we change our diets for the better after x years on the SAD.

In the meantime, eating green veggies and drinking enough fluids seem like reasonable hedges that can have the bonus of making our meals tastier and more interesting.

I hate to say it, but the scientist in me says a few of the thousands of people reading this blog no doubt have cancers that are already "in the can" such that they will later wonder if the tumors were caused by meat or dairy or low carb or too much vitamin D., etc.

Remember Harris' dictum: Nature is beautiful and it is trying to kill us.

February 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRD

Dr. Harris,

Thank you for your prompt reply. No gout. My stone is located near the ureter opening to the bladder; I have a lithotripsy scheduled on Thursday. I've noticed a decrease by half in water consumption related to #3. I'll increase my veggies and fluid consumption. I too have thought about your last paragraph; what would I do, eat more sugar and processed foods? I don't think so. Stuff happens.

Thanks again for your time.

KGH: No problem. Good luck to you. You might try to find a copy of the CT report and see if it mentions any other non-obstructing stones, and have your uric acid levels checked.

February 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRD

A bit off topic, but am hoping you can help a new friend. I met a woman this weekend who is struggling to find a way to gain and maintain her weight. Any suggestions? She is very tiny, just over 5' tall and weight about 90 pounds, but does have a very small build (narrow shoulders and hips). I did recommend resistance training, the slow burn method, as she's very busy and can't spend several days a week working out....but what about diet?

I know my son, who was underweight, gained when I started cooking for him (low carb, natural, mostly paleo), but I hesitate to recommend too high fat in someone overweight (son doesn't add fat like butter to vegs, etc). From talking to her she seems to have a fairly significant intake of carbs (>50% of calories) so I hesitate to tell her to increase those....will increasing protein make that big a difference? And will the increased protein mean anything as far as her carb level (regarding blood glucose, insulin sensitivity, etc)?

She states she can usually gain a few pounds, but it doesn't seem to "stick" and looses it fairly quickly. She has no medical conditions and has verified this with her doc....but he's been no help at all.....just telling her to increase her calories. From what I saw she eats a LOT of food....or at least she did while I was with her! She's in her late 30s, early 40s. She said she'd like to gain about 15 pounds and maintain it! Her job doesn't allow her to eat constantly and says she eats 3 meals, usually with 2-3 snacks.

KGH: A lot of questions there.

I am sort of confuse by this: "I hesitate to recommend too high fat in someone overweight (son doesn't add fat like butter to vegs, etc)" That is certainly at odds with all my writings.

If your friend eats all the time and does not gain, making sure she s not HYPER thyroid would be wise.

I never know how to answer weight gain questions without knowing the motivation. In my experience, many people (myself included) actually gain muscle mass on VLC paleo.

Plus, what can you do with someone who eats over 50% carbs and has "no time" to do 30 minutes of resistance training once a week?

February 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlcinda Moore

i find the kidney stones comment really interesting. In the past year i have had 4 "attacks" where ive woken up in the morning with intense pain on my right or left abdomen, extending round to my lower back, lasting anywhere between 2-10 days - the pain is constant, is eased by pressing a hot water bottle to the side that hurts, and seems to ease off for a day ot two so i can carry on my day to day life, then go back to really bad (i.e i end up sitting around all day). Every time this has happened i just let it run its course, eventually the pain gets less and less and then i'm back to normal. Once, i went to the doc and he said it was a UTI (didnt get tests done just a urine test and he said there were some WBCs and blood in it, but i didnt get the more comprehensive results from the actual lab analysis)

. I got it again 2 weeks ago, went to the doc, and he said it was probably kidney stones. right now I've pretty much recovered except a dull pain in my lower left back sometimes when i go to bed at night. The other day i went for a blood and urine test, and have an ultrasound soon. Not sure how reliable the results will be, as I got all the tests done when i felt alot better, but we will see.

My mum reckons it's because i don't drink enough water, which i don't, so i'm definetly making an effort to drink more. I also hardly ever eat any fruit or veggies, except maybe mushrooms a couple of times a week, so i'll probably try to eat more. By the way, what effect would veggie consumption have on kidney stones? I don't really understand how it would help prevent them..

KGH:

Unless you are obstructed or the stones are huge, ultrasound is not sensitive enough to detect kidney stones. By not sensitive enough, I mean if the test is negative, you may still well have stones, especially the kind that are small enough to pass frequently, as you may be doing.

The only way to know for sure if you have bilateral stones is with a CT scan - a much better exam.

February 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterreamz

As for the weight gain, shall I remember Dr.Lutz who noticed that by going low-carb overweight people tend to lose, but underweight, to the contrary, gain. In his book there is this telling example with pictures of a man gaining weight on his diet.
PS: not to forget that while Lutz is a pure low-carb proponent he was a pioneer in looking at evolution to give guidance to the "right" way of eating. One can even say that he was a paleo proponent (in his book, he even mentions the aquatic ape hypotheses).

KGH:

I lost fat and gained muscle (visibly and by arm measurement) with less exercise. I have seen low BMI people increase weight with VLC paleo several times.

February 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergallier2

Dr. Harris,

If you email me a good mailing address I would be proud to send you a copy of the diet DVD (how's that for back scratching). Seriously, part of the lecture was your 12-step process (with credit given), so I feel I owe you a debt of gratitude. I have been using your 12-step process with my personal training clients with great success. Those that have done it have been astonished with how easily they lose bodyfat and how good they feel doing it. Their workout records also show an impressive acceleration of their strength gains.

Thanks for your great work on the blog, and kudos to your independent/capitalist practice of medicine.

KGH:

Thanks, Dr. McGuff, that's a great endorsement!

I've emailed you - my "email me" widget is on the about me page.

The 12 steps literally came from a list I wrote on the back of an envelope after over a year of giving my oral presentation to friends and patients, and was actually first written as the outline of my yet-to-be-written book. I am thrilled to hear how well it works for those with practical physical training goals as well as for the metabolically damaged.

I assume you'll let me know when someone shows up with a "destroyed metabolism" from ditching sugar, white flour, vegetable oil and grains : )

Kurt

February 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDoug McGuff, MD

Dr. Kurt, you just shot to epic greatness by using the cover to "Odds & Sods" by the Who in a post. After this, how could I ever doubt anything you have to say? :)

February 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteroaklandrosie

Kurt,

Thanks for the nod and the add. And, yes, we can all use the links! Anxious to see your take on ketosis, but REALLY interested in your take on hypothyroidism (wink, wink).

KGH:

LOL - well I can only guarantee I will not tell you things that are unknowable, and I'll let you know when I'm making something up!

February 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMark Sisson

I would really be interested on your view why we get clogged arteries? i believe it's from sugar, HFCS,grains,they cause inflamation in the arteries i dunno?and if we have clogged arteries can we some how clean some of that plaque out? also since following your steps my blood sugar went from 148 fasting to 90 fasted.YOU ROCK.
thanks Doc

KGH: Sugar, PUFAs, Wheat, saturated fat deficiency

February 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBill

How can you be deficient in saturated fat? I thought the body was capable of producing it on its won.

KGH:

Technically it can. But it is the single non-essential element of your diet that does the most to ward off disease.

The more accurate way to look at it is that it is so important as fuel that we are evolved to make unlimited quantities of it.

Dr. BG and I agree the bane of cardiologists is actually the secret weapon against heart disease

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMikael Jansson

We should not forget either that we cannot synthesize medium chained satured fatty acids like myristic or lauric acid, but that they have important functions that are not acutely vital. Isn't lauric acid one of the "weapons" used by macrophagus cells to kill alien cells? If you get less of it from diet, you will have a less efficient immune system but you won't die right-away.

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergallier2

kidney stones MAY be related to low B-6 and or Magnesium levels.

check it out.

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterketojim

Thank you for the answers!

I have follow-up questions for you:

KGH> Technically it can. But it is the single non-essential element of your diet that does the most to ward off disease.

Forget a layman, but in what ways does SFA /in itself/ ward off disease?

KGH> The more accurate way to look at it is that it is so important as fuel that we are evolved to make unlimited quantities of it.

Or, that it's more dense than glycogen and therefore better suited for storage? Glucose is also something essential to us and therefore something we produce ourselves, and we need a steady supply of to not go into a coma -- more so than fat, at least on a short-term basis.

I'm not trying to nail you down here, and my diet is in fact mostly fat-based -- but I would really appreciate in-depth explanations on the causality "we produce it ourselve, therefore important" to "we need to eat it".

Thanks.

February 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMikael Jansson

Hi, One of my guilty TV veg-out pleasures is watching the reality show 'RUBY'. She is compelling and very sweet and I have sympathy for her. I don't know if you know this show, but she is down from weighing over 700 pounds to about 300 or so.
I just want someone to help her and tell her her problems most likely stem from her body starving at the cellular level from hyperinsulinemia. They have her on a low-fat diet and they try to get her to exercise and for the final indignity, they have her in counseling. I have NOTHING against therapy and psychology, but no amount of rehashing her childhood is going to do anything to help her over the cacophony of her cells SCREAMING for sustenance.
On a recent episode some thin therapist told her she wasn't being truthful about how much she eats. The thing was, Ruby was trying to disagree that that's not the problem. I got the feeling that Ruby can just tell this isn't the reason for her stalled weight loss. Of course poor Ruby can't put her finger on the reason for her woes, she just knows it's not what they're telling her, and then she gets accused of being in denial! Of course overeating is strongly correlated with weight gain and it is and was a HUGE (pun intended) factor in her getting to 700 pounds, but many obese people are NOT in denial when they say they don't eat very much and they eat like birds (GRAIN) and they're hungry all the time. It's the QUALITY and not only the quantity of calories. If they're put on these insane low-fat, low-calorie diets they're obsessed with food, eating only what they're allowed, miserable and then they get accused of being liars!!!!!! Oy Vey.
I'm sorry I'm just venting.

February 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaurie

Here is an interesting topic:

http://heartscanblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/saturated-fat-and-large-ldl.html

Have you heard of this distinction before? Any thoughts? I eat a lot of saturated fat.

KGH: Do you have an actual scientific reference? He does not provide one.

February 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterzach

I have a funny anecdote for you. I have 2 beautiful litter-mate brother cats. They looked identical at birth and when we adopted them. One of them has blown up like a beach ball and the other is a sleek and lean taut muscular fellow. We call tubby Luigi the alcoholic and muscles Mario the caffeine addict ( my kid has more flowery drug descriptions for them, but I won't go there). Anyway, I read a while back that the militant vegans were trying to start to force cats to be vegan. If ever there is an animal that's a carnivore, it's a domestic house cat. So I looked yesterday on the bag of cat kibble (the dry stuff that fat Luigi eats, and it's the premium kibble) and I contrasted that with the canned food that slim Mario almost exclusively consumes (and I see Mario hunting outside to supplement). No self respecting Luigi will have anything to do with hunting, or the outside for that matter. Luigi's eats are made of corn and rice! Now where in his evolutionary past would he
ever have had access to grain? Scientific American had an article about the co-evolution of house cats with us. The cats hung around our grain stores to eat the mice that were eating 'our' 'food'. And Mario's meals are mostly meat by-products. This is only an anecdote, but Taubes points out the hippos and elephants are vegetarians and are HUGE and lions and tigers are lean....oh you get the picture! LAurie

February 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaurie

Quick question. I have a rash that I can't seem to make disappear. On occasion, it will occur on the sides of my neck, but it mostly stays stagnant on my shoulder. Sometimes will spread onto my upper back. An anti-fungal has worked, but I think it could be diet related. I eliminated milk and drastically reduced cheese, because I had a flare after the only thing I ingested was coffee (I used whole milk and half and half, and now use heavy cream). I try not to eat anything with soy (sometimes i can't avoid soy lecithin in some of our tea and the 85% cocoa chocolate I enjoy), eliminated wheat as a new years resolution, try to buy the best meat I can afford (Whole FooLs is the closest available source, no Trader Joes in Utah and some of the local farms are quite a drive and out of my price range), and I am limited to pasture butter, heavy cream and creme fraiche for my dairy (with a bit of cheese). I eat blueberries, occasional banana and clementine, walnuts, coconut flakes, cacao nibs, corn tortilla or two, green veggies; lettuce, celery, herbs, and a ton of eggs (they are probably factory farmed, because I buy in bulk at Costco due to the amount I eat). I take 1-2grams fish oil and 6000 IU vit D. daily. I also started the no soap and and shampoo/conditioner after reading the Free The Animal post. Been about 3 weeks, but I just can't get this rash to go away. Thoughts?

Thank you,
Jeromie

KGH: I can't do these internet dermatology cases - but think about sensitivity to your laundry detergent.

February 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJeromie

Hi Dr. Harris,

Re comments on kidney stones, I think you said before you are a skeptic on the acid/alkaline thing, but I wonder if in some cases it might be a factor in stone formation, or (in my case) hyperuricemia. I found this study interesting:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19911684

There seems to be some disagreement in the paleo community about whether diets were net acidic or basic (eg Don Matesz's smack down of Cordain's fudging a reference), but no one seems to factor in water alkalinity. Wouldn't this have an effect?

Dave Mc

February 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDave Mc

Just read that bit on saturated fat and LDL particle size over at the heart scan blog. Seems a little odd for Dr. Davis to be singling out saturated fat in this case, even using the word "dire", with little more than (what appears to be) evidence based on anecdotal accounts from his patients.

Think he might just be sick of know-it-all low-carbers? Whatever the reason, when it results in a comment like this that goes unchallenged, I don't think it's beneficial:

"Thank you Dr. Davis! Finally a voice of sanity in this whole sat fat hoopla.

I for one, although not neurotic about it, do not favor saturated fats and will eat a good non-hydrogenated margarine (like Smart Balance) over butter any day.

Please keep up this sane blog and give us the WHOLE enchilada, not just what some want to hear."

KGH:

You can see my queries on the blog comments there.

It seems there are two claims:

1) he sees folks with favorable HDL and fTG levels, that have unexpectedly high sdLDL.

2) He has evidence that such subjects worsen their lipid profile (have more sdLDL on an absolute or relative basis) when they increase their saturated fat intake.

It is number 2 that would be surprising, and for which I would like to see evidence.

I'll continue to think that saturated fat is the superior fuel for the human organism until I see real evidence otherwise - we'll see if he posts any in response.

As far as the comment you quoted, I guess someone has to eat all that shitty margarine.

It is not going to be me!

February 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRick

Dear Dr. Harris,
I participated for several years on a forum dedicated to people with skin problems. I see you are not very interested in dermatological issues but maybe I can change your mind?

We had people with acne, eczema, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, you name it. People were trying all sorts of natural remedies like supplements and diet with limited success. A gentleman came to the forum who said he had accidentally cured his acne when trying to help his wife reverse her complications of diabetes that included severe atherosclerosis. To support her, he ate the same way she did - she improved remarkably and his skin problems vanished.

Through his research, he came up with pretty much what you have laid out here in PaNu - eliminating grains, sugar, fructose, vegetable oils, legumes, dairy and eating grass-fed, pastured meats, eggs and plenty of saturated fats. He posited that atherosclerosis was very similar to cystic acne, lesions in different areas of the body but with similar root causes. Some call acne "skin diabetes" - he believed that keeping blood sugar and insulin low are key, especially since high insulin stimulates production of androgens which are known to exacerbate acne (even worse for people with polycystic ovarian syndrome). The other PaNu elements of his diet were designed to balance O3/O6 levels, reduce inflammation and eliminate lectins which cause autoimmune reactions.

The results for people in the forum who followed his recommendations STRICTLY were phenomenal. People with all sorts of skin problems saw their problems disappear or improve greatly.

I just wanted you to know that your EM2 could help a lot of people suffering from dermatalogical problems. They are just more diseases of civilization.

Thanks for all you do!

~Jane

KGH:

I've seen many improvements in acne and rashes like eczema. I have no doubt that wheat sugar and PUFAs are to blame

It's not that I have no interest, I just can't diagnose people over the internet - there are skin conditions that may have nothing to do with diet.

Thanks for your support.

February 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSweetJane

Dr. Harris,

Just a quick update on my kidney stone outcome. The stone was successfully removed, no need for lithotripsy, she was able to remove it using a basket. The best news is that there are no non-obstructing stones! This will be a good baseline as I continue on paleo. The stone will be analyzed and should point to possible causality and preventive measures. I feel great and cautiously optimistic that this is my last stone. I'd like to add that because I'm on paleo I was not too worried about complications; if I had the surgery two years ago when I was obese, and had a poor lipid profile I would be considerably worried. I also had the feeling that the surgical team was glad to see someone that looked healthy versus patients eating the SAD. I'm sure the risk of complications are higher for those individuals. Thank you for your blog and allowing the opportunity to share my experience.

KGH:

Glad to hear they snagged it and no more stones "on deck"!

February 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRD

Dr. Harris,

There's an interesting post up on the Science Based Medicine blog entitled "Longing for a past that never existed" written by an MD with - judging from her past entries - an intense pharmacological bias, especially when compared to "natural remedies" (whatever that actually means). There are some good points made by commenters, and some good contrary evidence brought up, but the admins mostly dismiss it off hand. Disappointing to see, but entirely predictable. I thought you and your readers might enjoy it.

http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=3904

February 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterErik Cisler

"I know my son, who was underweight, gained when I started cooking for him (low carb, natural, mostly paleo), but I hesitate to recommend too high fat in someone overweight (son doesn't add fat like butter to vegs, etc). From talking to her she seems to have a fairly significant intake of carbs (>50% of calories) so I hesitate to tell her to increase those....will increasing protein make that big a difference? And will the increased protein mean anything as far as her carb level (regarding blood glucose, insulin sensitivity, etc)? "

Something Taubes wrote comes to mind. He mentions that when the Pima Indians and other groups switched to the reservation diet, heavy on refined starches, most got fatter, but a small percentage, maybe ten percent, were underweight. Maybe some factor, such as a high sensitivity to leptin or something like that, actually causes underweight in some small percentage of the population?

"I know my son, who was underweight, gained when I started cooking for him (low carb, natural, mostly paleo), but I hesitate to recommend too high fat in someone overweight (son doesn't add fat like butter to vegs, etc)."

Was overweight a misprint here, Alcinda? Are you worried that a diet high in fat, low in carbs will be bad for somebody who is underweight, will cause weight loss, as it does in an overweight person? Many readers here have used high fat ketogenic diet for weight loss, but you have to remember that traditional Inuit used a similar diet to achieve normal growth-- it did not cause them to be overweight, but neither did it cause them to be underweight.

February 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdonny

Regarding stones: I read somewhere that the increase in stones could be linked to improper Vitamin D supplementation, that is, taking vitamin D in pill form rather than in a gel cap w/ fat, or say cod liver oil, since Vit D is a fat soluble vitamin. I don't know the science behind it but it might be worth looking in to.(I follow a lot of blogs so I can't be sure where I saw this, but probably Weston Price website or Cooling Inflammation).

February 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRichard

Peter nails it over there on the heart scan blog. I think you're right...Dr. Davis doesn't have any real evidence implicating saturated fat. He doesn't need it, right? Everyone knows its bad.

February 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRick

Was it just me or did anyone else notice how Peter from Hyperlipid cut to the heart of the matter on the Heartscan blog?

PS @Kurt you were far too generous with your time in corresponding with Michael Miller on Richard's blog.

PPS Thanks for the plug for PaleoHacks. And yes, it is on the StackExchange platform -- StackOverflow actually sits on the StackExchange platform.

KGH: I think Peter and I were saying the same thing on HSB, actually.

February 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPatrik

Dr. Harris,
I have recently found your blog and really enjoy it. I have been successful in losing the "middle-age" middle through low carb eating. Usually return to SAD diet after I lose weight, but I like the emphasis on health in your writings, and have just started to implement the PaNu approach to nutrition. Do "Beginners" on this nutrition plan have digestion problems. I am having frequent loose BMs usually an hour or two after ingesting decaf with cream or other PaNu meals. Perhaps it takes time to adjust to new way of eating.

February 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTina

Hey, just thought I;'d update you on the kidney stone thing...i still need to call for my urine and blood test results (though i have a feeling they will come back fine as i was pretty much recovered when i had them done).
I couldnt go for a CT scan like you suggested as the ultrasound was already booked, and i'd have to make another apppointment with the GP if i really wanted a CT scan. Had the ultrasound today, everything seemed fine, although the woman who did it wrote "There is a mild calyceal dialatation of the left kidney with renal pelvis measuring 12mm in AP diameter. No obvious cause idenfitied"
No idea what this means, could you shed some light on it, before i go talk to the GP again?

I think if this happens again i will definetly go straight to A&E so the appropriate tests can be done there and then and i can finally understand what#s been happening to me!

KGH:

I can't provide a diagnosis but I can repeat what I said earlier - only CT is sensitive enough to say if you have a stone.

February 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterreamz

I'm sorry, I guess I didn't word the part about fat right. My experience has been that fat cuts my appetite and this leads to me eating less (quantity and frequency). Wouldn't this be the wrong way to go for someone who is underweight? Believe me, I am an advocate of eating fat. The only kind I avoid are vegetable oils.

In talking to this woman it seems that she pretty much eats what is considered a "healthy" diet. High in carbs, low in protein and fat. We did talk about protein and I emphasized that (IMHO) the amounts promoted as healthy are actually too low for most people and she did say she would increase her intake. She's also going to stop eating egg whites and have whole eggs....but didn't agree with the idea of cutting out "whole grain" foods. We talked a lot about the importance of fat and how commercial oils are bad, animal fats are good, etc....and she seemed to accept that as a good change she can make.

Her motivation is simply that she doesn't feel that she is at or can maintain a healthy weight. She does have a very slight build, so a little gain is all she's looking for. She says she get sick a lot (colds) and when she does her weight drops even more. She feels that if she could get her weight up and maintain it without "eating constantly" she'd be healthier and feel better. Currently about the only things she says that works to gain weight is to graze constantly or eat every 2-3 hours and she can't maintain that kind of diet. (I'd agree with that!)

For the exercising she was thrilled when I mentioned the weekly weight lifting! I gave her Fred Hahn's name and title of his book (Slow Burn) and she said she was going to stop by the bookstore on her way home and see if she can buy or order it. She's not against doing it weekly, but has been listening to the "experts" who emphasize you must exercise daily! Daily is what she can't handle!

Have I clarified things? We both agreed she needs to increase her fat intake....but how high?

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlcinda Moore

What an exciting discussion. On September 12th, 2009, the Sebring Clinic of Wimberley Texas offered a half day no cost public education workshop on curing type II diabetes at the LBJ auditorium of the University of Texas, Austin. Dr Sebring was NOT promoting his clinic, rather promoting dissemination of information for those in need - both with hand outs and a link to his website, he encouraged folks to share information with their personal physicians as well as have physicians contact him for more information. September 12th was the fourth, final day of torrential rainfall ending Austin's months of severe draught, heavy rainfall flooding streets and rendering people with cabin fever - despite that, nearly 300 folks in need turned out.

Sebring Clinic's approach to integrative or new medicine rests solidly on a foundation of Paleo Diet. Long before publication of Cordain's book, Dr Sebring was a colleague participant in its formative days. Videos of that conference include his presentation on Paleo, Nutritionalist Lynda Arrendo's presentation, the testimony of a guy who turned around type II to nothing in three months of Paleo, and my presentation of Paleo or Primal Fitness. Our work takes the 'next step' with regard to a paradigm of Paleo more robustly congruent with the lifestyle - diet included, but not reductionistic to merely food, of fully living Paleo genetic expression.

Here's the link to nearly four hours of video: http://www.sebringclinic.com/videos/

I would greatly appreciate feedback from this group about your concerns, disagreement, etc.. What's missing from the video came about some months later: establishment of baseline evidential measurements for assessing current conditions as well as evidential monitoring of program efficacy in restoring fitness from degenerative conditions.

February 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterken o'neill

Dr. Harris,
Thanks so much for your blog. I have been following Cordain's Acne Cure Diet (before I found your blog), but not strictly as I eat way too many nuts. And it has reduced the acne, but I still get flare-ups once a month - which I would like to eliminate entirely. I would most appreciate your thoughts on his Acne Cure Diet, and any recommendations you have on the topic.
Thank you.

KGH:

Sorry, i have not read it. Mine and the wife's acne totally disappeared with sugar reduction alone. 2 years ago we still ate a little wheat and plenty of dairy, including milk, which Cordain thinks is the devil, I guess.

March 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTO
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