Monthly Archives: April 2016

Low Fat Milk Makes You Fat

Low Fat Milk Makes You Fat

Reference:  Arch of Disease of Child 2016,

Published April 25, 2016, Archives at:

Did you hear the news this week about milk? It’s simple. A longitudinal study 0f over 10,000 American children was performed to evaluate the effect of drinking low fat (1% milk) versus 2% or full fat milk (3.25%). Now, recognize that 1% means 1% of the volume of the milk. Not the calories, volume. The amount of calories are actually105 in a cup of which 21 are from fat. So 1% milk is, in fact, 21% fat. The calories in full fat milk are 146 to a cup, of which 71 are from fat, roughly 48%. Both have about 8 grams of protein and 13 grams of sugars. The authors assumed that children drinking full fat milk would weigh more. That’s not what they found. They found the opposite. In fact, they found a linear inverse relationship to obesity that matched exactly the amount of low fat milk the kids drank.

This makes perfect sense to me and should to you too. Let me give you two lines of logic and reasoning for you to be able to wrap your brain around this news. Your take away should be that there is no role whatsoever for low fat milk.

Reasoning method number one is biological. Low fat food is by definition going to be higher carbohydrate and protein. Considering that both carbs and protein turn on insulin when given in sufficient quantities, consuming low fat milk is going to turn on insulin. Traditional medicine teaches you that insulin is your blood sugar controlling hormone. Erase that thought and reconsider insulin as your storage hormone. It is excreted whenever you have more carbohydrates than you can burn, and it become the message to turn those extra carbs into fat so that you can store them. Drinking low fat milk therefore turns on insulin and you store some of those calories. That is called weight gain. The only way to lose weight is to turn off insulin. The proper way to gain weight is the opposite. Turn on insulin. Low fat milk is high carb milk. That turns on insulin.  Low fat milk is high protein milk. That also turns on insulin.  Low fat milk will make you fat.

The second line of reasoning is teleological. What messages and signals would the human species have to evolve to make it through periods of calorie deficit and calorie abundance? When you are eating low carbohydrate food, you are signaling to your body that it is the time of year when carbohydrates are in abundance, and it is to your imperative biological need to gain weight and store calories.  Carbohydrate excess means it is September or October, the time of harvest/carb excess. And harvest (carbohydrate abundance) directly precedes winter and starvation. To survive in January, you must store calories in September. When you are eating high fat food, you are signaling to your body that it is January, and time to have access to the calories you stored back in September. Fat is insulin neutral. Without insulin, fat cells open up and share their calories. That is called weight loss. Drinking higher fat milk signals to your body that it is the time of year to open up fat cells and draw on the reserves you stored before. Don’t store these calories. Let these be burned. Children drinking higher fat milk will signal their bodies they are in the time of year when they need to burn fat. There is a huge literature showing that folks who eat fat earlier in the day, eat less food later in the day. Eating less food results in gaining less weight, or even losing it.

WWW.What will work for me. There is no role for low fat dairy products. None. Get rid of them. The low fat yogurt is the worst of all. It has more sugar than a Twinkie and almost as much as a sugared can of Coke. My problem is I get full fat sugared yogurt, and eat those. Eating full fat with sugar turns on insulin, and you then store everything in sight.

Pop Quiz

1. Low fat milk is better for you because you get less fat. T or F

A. Patently false. A burst of carbohydrate sugar will make you put out insulin and store those calories as fat

1. Eating fat will make you skinny. T or F

A. True

1. A big steak doesn’t release insulin. T or F

A. False. Lots of protein becomes insulogenic. If you have a steak, make sure you have the rim of fat on it.

1. Vitamin D milk is only 3.25% fat? T or F

Trick question. Yes, by volume. But basically 50% fat by calories.

1. You mean drinking 50% fat will make me skinny? T or F

Yes, I repeat that. Yes. But not if it is in full fat ice-cream where all the extra sugar is thrown in, which then also releases insulin.

Selenium, Alzheimer’s and Competition for Nutrition

Selenium, Alzheimer’s and Competition for Nutrition

Reference: Frontiers of Aging 2014, Mayo Labs, Science News

Selenium isn’t a supplement we think about much. We get a fair amount of it when we eat Brazil nuts, but also broccoli, organ meats, seafood, grains and breads. Generally, it is thought that we need about 55 mcg a day as adults, though our midwest soils don’t have much of it. Selenium binds lead and mercury quite avidly, which helps with detoxification of those poisonings, but also results in reduction of selenium in normal folks who have lead and mercury exposure. We now know that selenium is needed to activate T4 into T3, which makes for problems when we don’t have enough in our diet.

Just what does selenium do in the brain? That appears to be a key issue that has not been widely appreciated. Alzheimer’s disease represents the coalescence of a wide variety of stressors on the human brain. Oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when there is the inability to counteract that production of reactive oxygen that occurs in burning energy, particularly glucose. Something on the order of 2% of electrons escape the electron transport chain, and slip out to make oxygen negatively charged. CoQ10 is meant to be there to soak that stuff up. In the aging brain, we have less CoQ10 and we don’t clean up those reactive oxygen species. As a consequence, we over-express an enzyme called NADPH Oxidase or NOX. Amyloid plaques also appear to play a role in turning on NOX. Glutathione is the compound that neutralizes NOX and turns off that oxidative stress. And it takes selenium to recharge glutathione.

Aha! Selenium is critical to protect the human brain from oxidative stress. And oxidative stress appears to be central to process of making Alzheimer’s. We don’t have clear proof yet that taking selenium reverses Alzheimer’s, but we do have evidence that it’s deficit is a problem.

Where does competition come in? This is hard to do in humans because we can’t simply remove organs and then study the effect. We can in mice. In mice, the Journal of Neuroscience this week reports that you can demonstrate in mice, given the circumstance of low selenium (know as the Midwest), the testes compete with the brain for the available selenium, to the brain’s detriment. In an elegant experimental model of mice dependent on extra selenium by way of inbred gene mutations, one can demonstrate the same findings of selenium dependent brain degeneration that is fixed by castration, which removes the competition. With the testes in, the brain loses regardless. I know the temptation here for late night comics considering men’s brain and testes, and which gets priority. We won’t go there. For those of us men wanting to preserve our brains, we might want to ensure we get sufficient selenium.

www. What will work for me. This is a new indication for selenium. I try and eat a brazil nut or two here and there but I don’t do it daily. Broccoli and seafood and liver I do. I’ve learned how to measure it and am doing so on myself and my clients. When I found out that Bredesen measures it on all his Alzheimer’s patients, I get the message and am measuring it too.

Pop Quiz:

  1.  Selenium is a metal needed for many functions in the body? T or F

That’s true

2. Regeneration of what critical anti-oxidant protective protein is selenium’s premier task?


3.  Alzheimer’s patients have demonstrated lousy brain protection from oxidation stress. T or F

That’s it in a nutshell

4.  Testes and brain fight over who gets selenium first, with the brain winning. T or F

True for the fight, false for the brain winning

5.  You get all the selenium you need in the midwest because our soils are easily sufficient. T or F

Sadly not true. Locally bought and grown food is largely lacking.


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Cancer Risk Drops with Vitamin D

Cut the Risk of Cancer with Vitamin D

Reference Science News, PLOS One,

Let’s get to the chase. The Institute of Medicine, the supposed gurus and final authority of truth, justice, and the American way decided that a level of 20 ng was enough for humans, and could be achieved in most Americans with a supplement of 600 IU a day. They basically looked at bone health as having the strongest evidence, and claimed that everything else was still too uncertain. That represented a 50% increase from 400 IU a day. It seemed a bit conservative because a 20 year old Caucasian will make 1000 IU in 1 minute of sunshine in June.   Heavens forbid you get more than 36 seconds of sunshine. It seemed overly cautious.

But there has been debate about it because we haven’t had good studies comparing populations and the effects of higher doses. Ok, at least until now. Here, Cedric Garland, faculty from UCSD Medical School compared cancer rates from two populations of women who had Vitamin D levels measured.   In one clinical study, 1,169 women had an average level of Vitamin D of 30 ng and a cancer rate of 1,020 per 100,000 years. In the second prospective trial, they had a Vitamin D level of 48 and a cancer rate of 722 per 100,000 years.

What does that turn into in regards to risk? That’s the bottom line. They essentially found a linear risk of cancer based on Vitamin D level, with a 67% increased risk if your D was below 20 compared to over 48.   That compares favorably to another study published last month that I didn’t review on prostate cancer that shows higher rates of aggressive prostate cancer with lower vitamin D levels.

How does Vitamin D do this? The core role of Vitamin D is to signal cells to become mature and do their function.   Cancer cells never become fully mature. Mature cells have a natural ticking clock which runs out and includes cell death. That’s why we die at age…90-120. It’s the Hayflick Limit. Cancer cells don’t have that. Vitamin D helps set it in motion. Vitamin D is preserved in every living being from Plankton to Humans, and does that function in all of us. And that’s why it has so many myriad activities.

I believe there are several reasons why our research on populations has failed to show much effect yet. The human body is designed to soak up D and save it for a rainy day. It takes a year to get to a new blood level when you change doses. If you do a study that lasts only 1-3 years, the first year is just getting up to speed.   You need to start any study with a loading dose to make sure folks get their blood levels up fast. There is good evidence that 100,000 IU all at once will raise your blood level 14 ng. And no one takes into account skin pigment and its effect on D.   More pigment, more sunshine needed. Dark, African type skin requires up to 6 times as much sunlight. So African-Americans living far up north have much lower Vitamin D levels (12-16 is average) and have much more aggressive breast and prostate cancer than Caucasian folks.

www. What will work for me.   Goodness. My D was 7 when I measured it 15 years ago. I take 20,000 IU a week and my level stays pretty reliably in the 40s. My skin has several cancers on it that is keeping my dermatologist fully employed, so I don’t want any more sunlight than I have to have. And being closer to 70 than 20, I don’t make more D anyways. If I get a cold, I boost my D by taking an extra dose of 50,000 for three days.


Pop Quiz

  1. Our current guidelines for Vitamin D suggest 600 IU a day is enough. T or F


  1. That level of D supplementation will get your blood level to 20 ng. T or F


  1. This study shows that you will have a 69% higher risk for cancer with that blood level.   T or F

In a nutshell, true

  1. Vitamin D has the function of making cells more immature and die later. T or F

False! It makes them die sooner and become more mature.

  1. Folks with skin pigment probably need more supplementation to lower their D levels further. T or F

They need the D to raise their levels, and that will lower their risk of cancer.

Magnesium Stearate, Supplement Poison?

Magnesium Stearate: Supplement Toxin?

Reference:   Mercola, Kresser, Wikipedia,

What is Magnesium Stearate? I’ve been asked about it a couple of times and decided to do my own investigation.   If you look on the bottle of your supplements from many major, reputable supplement manufacturers, you will find it listed as an ingredient in addition to the advertised ingredients.   What’s it doing there? You are eating something you didn’t ask for.   What it is is essentially a lubricating ingredient that allows the machinery making your supplement to not get gummed up.   The FDA has categorized it as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) when consumed at under 2500 mg a day.   It is common in binding sugar into candies, in baby formula, and like it or not, it’s the major ingredient of bath tub rings.   (Yuck!) Manufacturers can make their supplements and pills without the stuff, but it just is more expensive that way. Stearate is actually just a fat,   It is very common in nature, being the second most common animal fat, but in cocoa butter, it’s the primary fat.   Your shampoo or bosap that has a nice pearly quality to it is probably made with stearic acid.   Your body can easily digest it.   Magnesium is magnesium. You need that. Magnesium stearate is simple one molecule of magnesium and two of stearic acid.

Ok! Then why is it a problem? Dr Mercola, on his website, quotes a study on Stearate that suggests that it suppresses T-cell function. In that study, immune cells were removed and placed into petri dishes where they were bathed in high doses of stearic acid until their membranes fell apart. To leap from that study to human implications is bizarre as you could make virtually every human nutrient into a poison by saturating cell environments to the point of toxicity. That certainly goes for sugar and alcohol, but the same could be said for virtually every amino acid. It wasn’t a human study. But that is what Mercola is quoting and depending upon. From his words of caution, the web lights up and there are warnings all over. He quotes the headline, and must not have read the article. Mercola’s other justification for avoiding it is that it is derived from plant sources that could be contaminated with pesticides. If that were really the case, you would have to not eat anything, as the entire planet has some trace of pollutants. This is a typical scare-mongering tactic used when the writer has a product they want to sell you that doesn’t use that process.   Let me repeat, stearate is in every cell in your body, right now. It’s part of you. You can’t get enough to poison your cells. It’s all in the balance.

Chris Kresser is much more nuanced and balanced approach. He also notes that there have been concerns raised about tablets dissolving more slowly, and after study being proven to be ok. Another thought is that because stearate makes bath-tub rings, it must make biofilms in your intestine. That is just silly conjecture without any science to support it.

WWW. What will work for me. I’m not losing any sleep over this one. In fact, I suspect it is such a harmless ingredient that I will prefer to have it over others, that haven’t been studied or are as ubiquitous. I find this to be a perfect example of how the internet search engine picks up and broadcasts an idea with no basis in fact.


Pop Quiz

  1.  Magnesium stearate is one of the chief components of bath tub rings? T or F


2.  Its principle use in supplements is to make the pills easier to manufacturer without sticking to the equipment. T or F


3.  It is widely used in soaps and shampoos to give them their pearly texture? T or F


4.  If you eat a lot of it, you can kill your T-cells and disrupt their membranes. T or F

Nonsense. You can’t eat that much. That sort of experiment is purely a physiological, artificial construct to explore a cellular function. It’s not possible to recreate in humans.

5.  Stearic acid is the most abundant fat in humans. T or F

False. Second most, after palmitic acid.