Monthly Archives: February 2017

Diet Right and Regenerate Your Pancreas

Diet Right and Regenerate Your Pancreas

References: BBC News, Cell,

This is a major story. Type two diabetes is what we all get when we live on a diet of too many carbohydrates and too many calories for too long. The effect to carbs is to make us secrete insulin. Insulin is our storage hormone, not our blood sugar controlling hormone. It instructs our body to make and store fat in an integrated fashion. It is the hormone we need in September and October as we store up calories for January. Our bodies were not designed to have continuous exposure to carbohydrates year around, year after year. As we get fatter, our fat cells get larger, not more numerous. As our fat cells get larger and are continuously bombarded with insulin, the number of insulin receptors on their surface declines. With that, our fat cells become insulin resistant. And in the pancreas gland, our insulin producing cells begin to decline in number and ability to make insulin.

Our bodies show it. In a progressive fashion. We can observe our insulin level rising in response to increasing weight (fat cell size), then our glucose rising, then gradually insulin failing and glucose shooting higher. It’s as though we only have the ability to make a certain amount of insulin in a life time. If we use it up at a rate faster than our pancreas can make, we run out. Our fate is to start on pills, then transition to insulin, all in the vain attempt to forestall organ failure. But organ failure comes inevitably with kidneys failing, arteries plugging, joints stiffening and brains fading. A method to reverse this would be attractive.

That’s what this weeks news is about. In a mouse model of diabetes, the authors demonstrate that the mice progressively lose beta-cells in their pancreas glands as their diabetes progresses and worsens. Just like in humans. But, their intervention was unique. The put the mice on a 4 day diet of just fat with only a tiny trace of protein and carbohydrate. Mostly fat. Fat is insulin neutral. No demand on the pancreas. But it is fuel to work with. Not much. It was the equivalent of 1100 calories in humans. Key, though, is providing some calories in the form of fat instead of carbohydrate. Then, the mice could eat whatever they wanted. Repeat the cycle every week.

What they found was extraordinary. The mice reversed their type two diabetes. They stopped losing beta cells. In fact, they grew them back. By every measure, the fasting turned off what has been thought to be a one way street – a down hill slide into diabetes. Inflammatory cytokines went down, (TNFα and IL-12) and anti-inflammatory cytokines went up (IL-2 and IL-10). Whatever was killing off the beta cells went away.

The authors were so surprised, they then took a known pancreas poison, streptozotocin which is know to kill insulin producing cells. They treated normal mice, not diabetic prone with the streptozotocin. Guess what happened. Yup. The treated mice got diabetic with sugars up to 350 but then recovered within a month with normal insulin production and no diabetes. This suggests they really were inducing brand new beta cells from scratch. Did you get that? Recovered!

The authors warn folks not to do this on their own without supervision from their doctors. They don’t know if the method applies to humans. But they do mention that it would be about the equivalent of 800-1,100 calories a day, mostly in the form of olive oil and a tiny bit of protein and carbohydrate.

WWW.What will work for me. I have a broken foot right now. I’m very anxious for it to heal/heel. I’ve been extremely careful with my diet in the last month and have had most days at 75% fat with a few of them being around 1400 calories. Close to this study. More importantly, my blood sugar has been in the mid 70s all month, my surgical wound is closed and fixed, and I’m on the road to better. I’ve probably rejuvenated some pancreas cells. I’ve had a few days of 1400 calories, not 1100. I’ve been tiptoeing close to reproducing this study in myself. Now, I’m determined to show folks in my practice that they can do it. We can reverse diabetes. This throws open a huge door of opportunity. We should take it. Carefully, of course!

 

Pop Quiz

1. Type Two Diabetes will happen to all of us if we put on too much weight. T or F

Almost true. There are something like 20-30% of folks that can get way overweight and never get diabetic, but it’s a pretty good premise.

‪2. Fat cells get insulin resistant as they get bigger. T or F

That would be true. It’s as though insulin receptors get further apart.

‪3. Starving mice with an insulin neutral high fat diet stimulates the regeneration of pancreas beta cells that make insulin. T or F

Bingo.

‪4. Repeated cycles of the 4 day fast even regenerate poisoned pancreases that have their beta cells killed off. T or F

True.

‪5. If this is that effective, trying it in humans may be risky? T or F True, mostly because if you stay on diabetes medication, your blood sugar may go too low once your own pancreas starts kicking in. You can imagine what the answer to that is. Check your sugar a lot. Like 4-6 times a day and be ready to stop taking as many pills.

How to Make a sdLDL (Small Dense LDL)

How to Make an sdLDL (Small Dense LDL)

References: Lecture by Ron Rosendale, Researchgate, PLOS, JCI,

This is the most common question I get asked: what do I do when my doctor wants to put me on a statin? It gets asked by healthy folks who have all data they need to prove that they don’t need a statin. They are eating optimally and their lipids are, in fact, beautiful. But their doctor thinks they should be on a statin because the rules for cholesterol treatment have been dumbed down to the barest essentials: is your cholesterol over 200? Statin!

Repeatedly, I go through the exercise of explaining that it’s not the total cholesterol that matters, it’s the number and size of particles that matter. If you have big, fluffy LDLs, you are in great shape. If you have small, dense LDLs, you are in big doo-doo. The proper analogy has come down to asking which has more volume, a pick up truck bed or a 5 gallon bucket. (Hint, it’s the truck.) And how many basketballs can you put in a pickup truck? I usually hear “About 50.” And how many golf balls can you put in a five gallon bucket? I hear 400-500. This is as close to your cholesterol as I can get. You don’t need a statin to treat basketballs, they are harmless. They are the equivalent to big, fluffy LDLs. And you don’t need a statin to treat sdLDLs either, unless you can’t change your lifestyle. But your doctor is unlikely to know how you make sdLDLs (golf balls) so they can’t advise you how to do it differently by lifestyle. Besides, a pill is easier and faster and you get to bare the side effects and consequences, but not much benefit from taking a statin.

Ok. The nugget comes down to, “How can I change my small, dense LDLs to big fluffies?” That’s the nugget. And the answer is ….. get rid of insulin. This will save your life. Get rid of insulin. How do I know that? And vice versa: How do I make small dense LDLs? Turn on insulin.

SdLDLs are made in response to insulin. Insulin is made in response to carbohydrates overwhelming your ability to burn glucose. You are signaling your body that you are in the season of carbohydrate excess. That’s fall when plants ripen. You are gorging on carbs. Winter is coming. You need to get fat. You want insulin to make a lot of different actions. You need to increase the production of fat in your liver. Those are called triglycerides. You need to make more transport modules to move the fat from your liver to your fat cells. Those transport modules are called LDLs. But because you have to make oodles of them very quickly, you make small ones just to get them off the production line. And as your fat cells get bigger, they become insulin resistant as the insulin receptors get further apart on the expanding fat cell. Your insulin level rises. You have insulin around all the time, and presto, you have small dense LDLs.

Want to make your LDLs bigger, safer, kinder and gentler? Sure. Then get rid of insulin. Stop eating carbs, and stop eating too much protein. That leaves fat and very low glycemic carbs. (Above ground vegetables) Your LDLs deliver their product, turn into HDLs and you can watch your LDLs drop like a rock and your HDLs climb steadily – about 5-8 points a month. Get your carbs below 20 grams a day and your HDLs will reach 100 in about a year.

WWW. What will work for me. It’s that simple. You can prove it in weeks if you have a lab that will order your HDLs, your sdLDLs and your insulin. Get your insulin below 7, and you will be good. My HDLs were 28 all my life until I lowered my carb intake. I’m now in the 60s, and not quite disciplined enough to get higher. I’ve seen this question so many times, I wanted to put it all in a handout I can show my clients. Here it is. Cut the carbs, eat more butter, make your LDLs get big and harmless. Eat cookies, brownies and ice cream and presto, all the sdLDLs you want. And that’s how to make a sdLDL.

Pop Quiz

‪1. Total cholesterol should be below 200. T or F

True if you are the American Heart Association. It doesn’t matter is you are a scientist and want to know truth. The HUNT study from Norway says women live longer if their cholesterol is over 200.

‪2. If total cholesterol isn’t the measure of trouble, what is?

Probably your Triglyceride/HDL ratio or your Apo-B/Apo A2 ratio – both connected to sdLDLs

‪3. I can raise my HDL be eating bacon and eggs? You’re kidding?

Yup and Nope

‪4. There is consensus in literature review that eating saturated fat is harmless for you. T or F

True. Read the review in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

‪5. sdLDLs are the ones that cause heart disease? T or F

True.

How We Have Been Deceived About Sugar

How We Have Been Deceived About Sugar

References:  New York TimesInt Jr of Health SrvWashington PostGary Taubes in The Case Against Sugar  Huffington Post,

Just about every mammal loves sugar. Of course we do. Through most of human history, it meant ripe fruit becoming available, just before the long dry season of either African drought or Asian/European cold. But in the last 200 years, sugar has become even more bountiful. Sugar was such a hot item, Arabs made a killing transporting it over deserts to Europe by camals. Columbus was all about finding places to grow sugar in the New World, as were all the European colonizers. The Caribbean was hot property, because of sugar. Our biology naturally drives us to seek sugar. Plain and simple.

What we haven’t understood is the power of political money and “lobbying” to undermine our scientific process of enquiry. In America, our politicians carefully guard their re-election money sources, and don’t reveal it, but it is a pay for play game. And this game has been going on for almost 70 years before it has started to come unraveled. And you play a part in it, because you love sugar. You and I both eat more food with sugar in it, and that rewards food companies to add sugar to everything. In fact, Lustig, one of America’s premier sugar adversaries, has documented that 75% of all American foods have sugaradded. And with your consent, the sugar lobby has been focused, nefarious, diligent and successful. It has paid off politician after politician to intercede in just about every guideline every issued about food, to change the conversation with little phrases that shift the truth in a way that just isn’t so. When the World Health Organization, a group outside the USA, tried to issue guidelines limiting sugar to just 10% of calories, the sugar lobby went crazy and got Senators to threaten to pull all funding from the WHO if those guidelines went through.

But it’s worse than that. The shifting of blame to fat was the real win. We have spent decades fighting cholesterol, making a huge artificial industry about statins all because a few key American health leaders, paid off by the sugar industry, pushed us that way. Today, you can still see that effect when you go to the store and buy LOW FAT Yogurt, as though that was a good thing. Please, translate that LOW FAT label in your brain to be HIGH SUGAR, because that is the net effect. And you slurp it down happily. And you can see your waistline, gradually expanding. And all along, it was sugar to blame.

The proof is finally falling together. Metabolic syndrome, the underlying driver of heart disease, cholesterol, hypertension are each and collectively more tightly linked to sugar than anything else. Let me repeat that. Sugar, not fat is the core enemy. You obsess about cholesterol to your peril. It’s sugar.

And what does the sugar industry say to that? Same old play book. Deny, shift blame, “Calorie is a calorie”, “Obesity is all about poor food choices and eating too much”, and other stock phrases are all intended to deceive. And you go down.

The final deceit are all the alternative names for sugar. There are SIXTY ONEcurrent names out there on food labels for sugar. And we are not always as clever as we think when we go for agave, barley malt, cane juice, mannose, maltol, maltodextrin, Desmara sugar and some 50 other names for sugar. You will typically find 3-5 of them on any “healthy” snack bar, which in total makes sugar the number one ingredient in the bar.

Is there an amount of sugar you can safely eat? Well, not really. We are currently around 82 grams a day and close to 10-15 % of our calories from sugar. But many of us are getting more than that, and are sicker to show for it. The American Heart Association says to get down to One Ounce (100 calories) a day for women, for about a 75% reduction. (150 calories for men). If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, are overweight, have elevated bad cholesterol, worried about Alzheimer’s, heart attacks or anything else, less would be better. Generally, any reduction, at any point, is better.

WWW. What will work for me. I’m having fun looking at all the goofy names for sugar on different packaged foods. They are out there. I’ve trained myself to see LOW FAT as HIGH SUGAR. And when I get off sugar and stay there, my HDLs start climbing. I’m back up to over 60 again. You could be there too.

Pop Quiz

1.  Panocha and Muscovado are safe sweeteners. T or F

Sucker


2. Ok, how about Fruit Juice Concentrate? Safe ?
Double sucker

3. The Sugar Industry Lobby group will happily show you their lobbying dollars paid to your congressman. T or F
Wow, you really are trusting. No. But just about every congressman gets some.  Rubio and Sanders.
4. US Senators threatened the WHO with withdrawal of funding if they didn’t change their recommendations on sugar, lowering its use. T or F
You can simply always vote for the worst option. That would be true.
5. I can safely eat sugar and not damage myself. T or F
False. At 15% of calories, you will have metabolic syndrome within a month. Longer at lower levels. How long do you want to stay well?