Kurt Harris MD

An Archevore is someone who eats based on essential principles, and also someone who hungers for essential principles. Take your pick.

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« Plants and plant compounds are not essential or magic | Main | KILL THIS BILL »
Sunday
Nov082009

Do you believe in magic?

This is in response to a post but I thought it might be of more general interest.

I am sympathetic to the speculation that there could be a diet which optimizes longevity, but it might not be the one that optimizes the AUC (or the integral, if you will) of function and health over one's lifespan.

Even though I am 48 years old and likely closer to death than birth, it is more important to me to preserve function and avoid degenerative diseases than to live longer. I would never want to look and function like a Caloric Restriction fanatic or marathon runner just to extend my life a few years. Every indication we have so far is that the major way to increase your life expectancy is on an actuarial basis - to avoid dying prematurely of the highly prevalent degenerative diseases we have now, as opposed to inducing some sirtuin - mediated  change in programmed cell death via Acai berry or red wine.

I have a bias against the idea of supplements and "magic food". I have seen little good (human) evidence for beneficial plants. Plants are tolerated and it is adaptive for us to be able to use them for nourishment when food on the hoof or with fins or wings is in short supply.

Netted out, the average non- carbohydrate plant compound (lectins and other secondary compounds) is more dangerous than beneficial. We evolved to exploit plants in spite of these compounds, not because of them.

Remember that plants can't run away. They don't want you to eat them, generally.
(yeah I know, there's birds and fruit and their symbiosis, etc.) . If eaten (seeds) they don't want to be digested.

Plants are not thinking of your welfare, really they are not.

I like what Peter at Hyperlipid says: The antioxidants are in the fruit to protect the fruit from its major oxidizing (glycating) agent - FRUCTOSE. Think holistically about what you are eating.

We can't go naked all the time, so we use D3 - compensatory supplementation

We can't all eat grass fed or pastured animal products all the time, so we may take a teaspoon of CLO to re-adjust out 6:3 ratio -compensatory supplementation.

The rest of the supplement world - the world of special compounds with special properties - like STP for your gas tank -that are supposed to turn on a suite of genes that has never been activated before in human history, seems as likely as the idea that there is life after death, that there is a chosen race of people whom are favored by god, that people are regularly abducted by aliens, etc..

An evolutionary, biological view of diet makes sense. If one is thinking biologically, the search for a magic chemical that will make you immortal seems only a little more productive than looking for extraterrestrial life - it may be a kind of science, but not likely to be of high yield compared to just getting people to stop eating the garbage that is outside of our evolutionary experience.

Eliminate:

1) Excess linoleic acid - avoid plant oils

2) Wheat and other gluten grains - white flour is the major player in the SAD

3) Limit your Fructose to amounts within our our evolutionary experience

4) Carbohydrate- rich foods tend to displace more valuable foods from animal sources. Favor food that is defenseless when dead - favor animal products.

There's the 12 steps condensed to their essence.

Jeez, isn't it enough to just have fewer heart attacks and alzheimer's?

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Reader Comments (29)

Assuming you've made the 12 steps, which is better: A 100% diet of meat or a 85% diet of meat with some broccoli, carrots, wine, onions and some other non-starchy veggies and maybe a piece of fruit here and there?

KGH RESPONDS:

Well, for me I like the taste and variety that some veggies add to my diet. For health, I have no strong belief either one is preferable.

November 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMoran

for what my opinion is worth, lovely piece.
folk are forever trying to cheat, transcend, deny death.
get yourself robust and well now, by eating appropriately now in accordance with
a metabolism which has coped with the basics of foodstuffs for millenia
then, quite possibly you will not be afflicted with many of these modern diseases and maladies.
seeking out some wonder supplement or nutritional goodie will be rendered irrelevant.
but death will still occur.

November 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterj

Longevity might just happen to favor a high-fat paleolithic diet. Studies involving dietary restriction instead of calorie restriction per se have shown if anything, dietary protein - notably methionine - or carbohydrate restriction reduces mitochondrial oxidative stress. Lipid restriction has no effect on this. So these studies happen to agree with a high-fat low-insulin diet.

At the same time a reduced IGF-1/GH axis might not improve your quality of life, but might extend lifespan.

Maybe it's all just a waste of time, but the research continues.

KGH:

I actually think ketosis may be the CR-mimicking thing that can prolong your life, and not just actuarially. I just don't see enough science yet to advocate it on that basis.

I always have a few ketones in my urine just in case.

Even if this is true, I still think the actuarial effect will be the major one.

November 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMCT

Dr. Harris,

Thanks! I don't know if you (in the English speaking part of the world) know the saying:

It's about adding life to someones time, not about adding time to someones life.

Your post made me think of it...

November 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpieter d

Moran, it depends on what kind of animal products you are eating/what kind you are willing to eat/ have access to. For example, if you don't want to eat adrenal glands you may be able to achieve a more optimal level of Vitamin C by eating some citrus.

November 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGreg

If we are talking about normal healthy people (which you were talking about) I agree with you. Under normal circumstances, inflammation is not always considered a negative factor and in fact, plays an essential role in homeostasis. But if you suffer from chronic inflammation plants can be lifesavers. I for example suffer from autoimmune disease which keeps my inflammation chronically elevated. I use various antioxidants/nutrients (mainly from plants) quite heavily and I have managed to keep my symptoms at bay. I have used corticosteroids only in the beginning of my condition. Good diet and lifestyle habits have helped me tremendously but (at least for me) are not enough.

KGH:

You think your autoimmune disease was not caused by eating plants in the first place?

November 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJoonas

No, it's not enough. A good start, but not enough.

There is nothing wrong and everything right with "trying to cheat, transcend, and deny death". Death is the worst fate there is. The fact that death is natural means nothing.

If the secret to cheating comes in the form of a magic pill, so be it. So far it hasn't, but it's certain that true longevity won't be the result of "eating naturally" -- it'll be the result of advances in medicine and technology, both of which are very unnatural (and yet very good).

Eating naturally may, of course, increase one's chances of living to be old enough to see these advances. It may even be superior to things like CR (if you accept the notion that CR sacrifices maximum function for increased lifespan).

I personally cannot understand the idea that "90 years of Alzheimer's-free life is good enough for me" -- as if life suddenly stops being interesting after 90 years. The point is not reaching some arbitrary number of years after which it's okay to die, the point is not dying, preferably at all.

KGH RESPONDS:

JLL, yours is an articulate defense of the life extension crowd. Sometimes I think immortality might be nice. Mostly not. I also wish there weren't 7 billion people on the planet and that we had infinite cheap oil. (Not necessarily connected, just other things I wish) Learning to accept things we are averse to can make what life we are likely to have richer. Yes that is not a dietary opinion, just a philosophical one with a small "p" The search for non-actuarial life extension seems to me motivated by the same thing that makes people believe they will live in heaven forever when they die or be born again as some other creature.

Life extension research (versus lifespan optimization - living to 90 with no alzheimer's) seems like SETI - I am glad someone is doing it and I will marvel if and when they find anything, but it seems unlikely and like there might be more important things to do with our finite resources and time.

November 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJLL

Kurt,
I'm one of those marathoners you've been writing about recently and also an avid reader of your blog. We all don't appear asemaciated skeleons; in fact, it always surprises me to see some of the large body types out there. Please, be easy on us.

I agree with you carbs are bad, and I figured they are still bad for me when exercising. I made the ketoadaption, based on your advice, and worked up to 22 mile runs after 12 hour fasts. It took about 3-6 weeks, as predicted to get comfortable. Most surprising has been the ease of recovery. I'm rarely sore after these runs and soreness never lasts long. Yesterday I ran a marathon Harrisburg, PA. Four hours before the start I had a cup of heavy cream and took water at the stops. I didn't do any better or worse than in other marathons for which I carbo loaded before and munched gummy bears during, but I feel fine today. One difference that I'm beginning to think may be related to carbs is that I did not have any problems with cramping, which usually is not the case towards the end of a marathon, regardless of whether I run slow or fast. Do you think there's any problem with 8 oz of heavy cream (> 50% fat) in the morning?

In "Cardio causes heart disease" you argue against marathon running. I have to admit, that entry really bummed me out. But didn't humans evolve as hunter-gatherers to pursue prey over distances for long periods of time? In other words, are we not evolved for long, aerobic endurance runs on which we burn fat, which in my thinking is what marathoning is? Isn't our advantage over prey that we can vent heat efficiently and they can't? Aren't our feet well adapted to running along with our arms and legs? About the German marathon study: as others have suggested, couldn't the excessive carbohydrate consumption by these runners explain what was found? I'd like to believe those results don't apply to me (because I eat right).

About health care. The health care crisis in this country has 2 components: coverage and cost. No American should have to worry about coverage and solving that problem is easy. For that reason alone I favor passing the bill. Cost, of course, is the big issue and it's people like you and the research that peopel like Gary Taubes has done that will provide the solution to cost. Your job, their job, my job, that is, our job is to make it possible for people to understand that the standard american diet is the reason health care costs so much and people are sick. That means writing this blog, but also writing letters to the editors and contacting senators and representatives and making our case. The most important first steps I think are to end all agricultural subsidies and to counter the conventional wisdom that fat is bad and carbs are good.

Sorry for going on so long.

KGH RESPONDS:


Marathon Running: Just reporting a few scientific studies. Maybe they will never be replicated or its all the diet. Run all you want, it is your choice. (not mine or the governments)

How in the hell can you trust the government that has been telling you to eat carbs since the 70's?
They have killed more people with their advice than Pol Pot.

I am absolutely mystified at this faith in government. They are killing us and so we should write them letters? Perhaps less government involvement in the first place might be a solution.

November 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRichard

i will second sending the government more letters asking them to stop killings us. I wish they would leave our food, and food choices alone... and remember folks, don't get your flu shot this season!

troy

November 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertroy

Kurt,
1. I'm an optimist. 2. I don't believe government is inherently evil or bad or incapable of making good decisions. Many of their decisions are made because they believe they are doing the right thing even if they are not. Also, I don't trust them to make the right decision; that's why we have to be involved 3. If we do nothing, health care costs will continue to rise and even though I consider myself healthy and rarely see a doctor, I wouldn't be caught dead without medical insurance. I just want to be able to afford it.

KGH RESPONDS:

1. I would prefer you be optimistic with your money, not mine taken by force.

2. I don't agree and I don't want your government to make decisions for me because just you want it to. You are favoring coercion, which makes your position statist. But it is not your fault, you have been taught of the virtue of government by the government and our statist public education system. The same government that tells you to avoid saturated fat and eat wheat.

3. Can you not make the connection that right now 80% of all health care dollars pass through intermediaries or the government with no incentive to keep costs down - prices and spending keep rising - and you think the solution is not to decrease it to 40% like it was years ago, but to increase it to 95% with no incentives left to not use resources?

madness

November 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRichard

Richard, "aerobic" metabolism is (supposedly) far newer than anaerobic metabolism in our evolutionary timeline. Which tells me we were not doing anything remotely similar to "marathons" for a very, very long time, and thriving all the same.

Considering this, and the hunting we see of modern hunter-gatherers, I think at "most", we hunted down animals in sprints combined with walking, not 20+ mile steady state bouts.

Can we run distances that far, or substantially farther? Sure, but we can also eat lots of carbohydrate and survive for a time... Just because we can doesn't mean we should.

-Anthony

November 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnthony

"I am absolutely mystified at this faith in government. They are killing us and so we should write them letters?'

Right on! I, too, am mystified by friends and acquaintances who acknowledge government failure in providing services like delivering the mail and public transportation and who acknowledge the corruption of the bailouts and who acknowledge and protest against all the killing of the military's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (and soon Iran?), yet somehow can believe that the Congress will come up with a health care plan that will provide "health care for all." Even pointing out the failures of the national health care systems from Cuba to Canada, from Britain to France to Italy, doesn't seem to have an effect. I chalk it up to another government failure - they've usually been educated in government schools. (I guess that makes the schools actually a success in the sense they've totally screwed up many's thinking clearly when it comes to the damage government does to us.)

Thanks for your writing - I've really enjoyed it and hope you keep it up!

November 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJean Finet

The living forever thing just feels like the rat race extended ad infinitum. What I like best about the nutrition changes I have made is that it now feels so effortless. I don't WAM anymore, I cheat rarely and don't worry about it when I do, and I comfortably choose what/how to eat in social settings. I tinker with it constantly and probably always will but that is just my nature.
Functionality appeals to me and it feels proper. If it does or does not get me a few more years so be it. And by the way, my functionality is MY functionality, achieved by me, not given to me by the government or anybody else.

November 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKen Smithmier

Regarding plant oils. Are any good? I still like a small salad of mixed leaves and herbs with some sheep's cheese. I make my own dressing with MCTs (I don't tolerate coconut) and a bit of avocado and olive oil for flavor. I figured these are mostly MUFA. I was going to try macadamia nut oil too. How naughty am I being?

KGH:

Not naughty, not saving your life either. You know that MUFAs and MCTs are fine, just make sure you don't overload on PUFAs by seeking MUFAs for their magical properties.

November 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterS.

Dr. Harris, I completely agree with your first 3 rules here, the 4th, notsomuch.

Even hunger gatherer tribes, which consumed the majority of their calories as meat, consumed copious amounts of plant material. Because the plant material contributed a paltry amount of the overall calories-- they really weren't consuming plants to "just" survive -- there had to be benefits from their consumption. While many people these days don't pay attention to how food affects them, I bet hunger gatherers were very much in-tune with how foods affected their bodies. I can't believe they would just consume toxic vegetables for the hell of it, or were in a situation where vegetables were damaging their health and they didn't even know it.

What scares me about high fat diets is protein intake and the nature of highly cooked animal products (I know you don't care about cooked foods). Protein is easily the most damaging of all the nutrients we eat. I don't think most people can judge what 15% protein is when they are told to consume 80-85% of their calories as fat. It's way easy to start approaching 30% protein and that is where I start to worry.

KGH:

I don't think there is evidence for much of anything you just said, especially the copious amount of plant material bit. The Masai and Inuit?

Are you suggesting HGs in their ancient, intuitive wisdom, with no epidemiology or laboratory science, intuitively knew that leafy greens were good for them even though there was little energy value.

The same way native americans smoked tobacco, perhaps?

That's modern vegetable worship combined with neo-rousseauism, IMO.

November 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

Aaron: Are the Masai and Inuit the only examples of hunter gatherer tribes? I hope not, they aren't particularly long-lived. Loren Cordain has wrote that most HGs were getting around 100 grams of fiber -- even if you were more conservative and they got 40-60 grams, that's still a lot of plant material when they were getting most of their calories from animal products. Why eat the plants if they didn't have any benefits.

KGH: Which HG tribes live a lot longer that eat a lot of plants? Besides, how many black swans do I need to prove not all swans are white? These groups do not die early of cancer or heart attacks and they eat hardly any plants.

Aaron: Yes, just as a wolf instinctively searches out plant material from time to time. Wolves are fully carnivore, I'd expect humans with a primate lineage to extract more benefits from plants and fruits.

KGH: From time to time is a far cry from can't live without them. Animals do all kinds of strange things, not just humans. An expectation is not enough to prove your assertion.

AARON:I believe that most plant foods work to improve our constitution by hormetic means.

KGH: Hormetic means? I get that you believe that. I've seen no convincing scientific evidence that what you say is true, however. A cigarette and and binge drinking of alcohol are hormetic too, I am sure. Most ideas about hormesis are pretty speculative at best. The most theoretically sound, that low level radiation is good, hs never been proved.

AARON: Of course, you can argue that fasting is all we need as a stress reponse-- and there's no extra need for extra stress from plant "toxins".

I view it like this -- if I consume Olive oil and some constituent in it takes care of some microbes in my system without my immune system having to amount an attack -- isn't that an example of synergy in nature?

KGH: Maybe, but only if that were true, which I doubt. Why do you think if your innate immune system is healthy you evolved to seek out olive oil, even though most of our progenitors had no chance of exposure to it? You seriously think we co-evolved with olive trees to extract the oil from their fruit? what's in it for the tree?

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

KGH: I've read quite a bit of Nietzsche (including Also sprach zarathustra in its entirety) and that is by far the most inappropriately quoted thing he ever said. Usually what doesn't kill you just messes you up.

Show me a randomized intervention that shows the benefits of fruits and vegetables. Such trials have been done and they have not shown a benefit. Same as the trials to limit fat consumption.

Cordain is wrong about saturated fat and fiber and flax seed as well.

Thanks for your thoughts but sorry, no traction here with me.

November 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

For what its worth, regarding vegetables.
I live in the country and I spend much time exploring, trekking, fishing and generally poking around the bush.
The annual rainfall is around 1450mm, so it is by no means water deficient. Most of the bush consists of coastal temperate rainforest.
Anyway, it would literally be impossible to survive on native vegetable matter in this area. Those sources available include some woody roots, bulbs, and stringy tough 'fruits' (although growths is probably a more apt description). Yes, there are some tiny seeds one could use occasionally, but these may sustain a small honeyeater bird pecking from dawn to dusk, but not man.
None of these carbohydrate options however, are consistent year round, and certainly none of them, are sugary or sweet or calorie rich.
On the other hand, the area teems in wildlife: kangaroos, wallabies, fish, possums, any variety of birds and their eggs, etc, etc. Heck, even certain ants and witchetty grubs are sweeter than the plant matter on offer.
And this - compared to many areas - tropics and sub-tropical areas excepted perhaps, is by no means a harsh environment.
In these areas, having done much research on living off indigenous foods, the idea that vegetables would comprise anything other than a smallish adjunct to an animal rich diet is ridiculous.
The notion that someone, living off this bush fare would somehow be 'healthier' by adding green tea, blueberries, dark chocolate, or red wine (not that I have anything against any of these things), seems to defy evolution.


KGH:

I totally agree. I hunt a quite a lot with bow rifle and shotgun in the upper midwest and the quantity of truly edible wild plant biomass is laughable - it is totally dwarfed by the fauna. Some people who imagine a romanticized past of primal salad greens tend to be city folk, I think.

November 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterj

Well, I'm seated here at the back following the debate and liking it. Of course, I'm in dr. Harris' camp and he's winning the argument.

November 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersimona

I have to agree with everything you say because I have not been eating any plant matter in my diet (excepting small additions of certain herbs and spices to some meat dishes as flavouring/condiment) for 19 months, having been on a low carb/high fat diet for some years prior. I have not noticed any loss of health and indeed feel better for it - I certainly have not missed the fibre! I don't think there is anything in plants that is particularly beneficial and a lot that is probably downright toxic. It has long been my position that most of our palaeolithic ancestors did not eat much in the way of plant foods - if at all - so it is satisfying to see I'm not the only one that has come to that conclusion based on research and personal experience.


KGH:

We are able to eat plants and it is highly adaptive to do so - it helps avoid starvation. The mistake in logic is to say that if even 30% of the average paleolithic diet was plants, that the plant fraction was there for any other reason than survival.

November 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlex Thorn

j that was a great synopsis... sounds like a fun area

November 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermallory

First, to set things clear -- I do low carb, sometimes zero carb. I also cheat periodically by eating pizza, ice cream, etc. in social setting. I also periodically fast "Fast5" ( one meal a day ).

So the stage is set. A while ago I ran across either Bolgarian or Romanian study on longevity of nursing home patients.
There were different diets involved, from classic Atkins to mega high carb dessert oriented nutrition ( donuts, chocolate cakes, etc. ). And then they were monitoring who lives the longest.

The results of the study were: people consuming the most carbohydrate lived longest.

Could it be that meat has to be digested and digestion was poor, so it "didn't go in" ? Could it be that sugar from the cakes is in your blood stream in seconds ? Poor/inefficient gluconeogenesis or poor/inefficient adrenals didn't liberate enough fuel on low carb diet?

Another important observation of mine: when I fast, my gums "go" and my knees and shoulder joints start clicking.
I read that synovial fluid is essentially a glycoprotein ( almost wrote "glycotoxin" ). So, could it be that on a high sugar diet the connective tissue glycoproteins are easier for the body to create ?

P.S. I read a joke somewhere:
Someone wakes up in the future surrounded by scientists. Time for breakfast. So that person asks for biodynamic grassfed raw milk, fertile eggs and "active 20+" raw honey from New Zealand. Everything is provided, the person eats voraciously.
Then the scientists privately talk: what's wrong with his tastes? Didn't they have healthy nutritious foods, like rich Black Forest type chocolate cakes, back in those times ? Then someone says: of course they did, but at the time was considered very unhealthy and they were told to limit consumption to nil.


KGH:

Observational studies prove nothing. How about old people in decline lose their appetites? Why do you think meat is hard to digest? You may be confusing chewing with digestion. Do you have an actual reference? It all sounds like nonsense to me.

November 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterIlya

KGH wrote:

"The search for non-actuarial life extension seems to me motivated by the same thing that makes people believe they will live in heaven forever when they die or be born again as some other creature."

I see those two as opposites: the heaven-seeking crowd got into the religion business because they accepted death as inevitable; the life extensionists got into the immortality business because they thought death could be avoided.

If I'd been born a hundred years earlier, I would agree with your position, since death would have truly been inevitable. But now, in this age, there's a chance it's not. No one knows if it's a 1% chance or a 50% chance, but the fact that we know that a) there is no law of physics to prevent us from repairing the human body, and b) we have identified the types of damage that needs to be fixed, and c) technologies like nanotechnology are on their way -- all this makes it rational to pursue life extension.

KGH:

We obviously disagree on the likelihood of this, but I still enjoy your blog : )

November 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJLL

I view the search for life extension the same way I view the idea of limitless power from nuclear fusion, in that its realization always seems to be 10 years away.

I think we're fooling ourselves if we think we know enough about all the workings of the human body to make life extension possible anytime in the near future. Heck, the fact that the AMA still touts a low-fat, high-carb diet shows that there's no shortage of arrogance when it comes to understanding human physiology.

I personally have no desire to live forever. When my time on this world is up I'll be ready to move on to whatever comes next (even if what comes next is nothing).

Changing the subject...... here's a response to "J's" posting:
I see the same thing. I live in the Tennessee and my house backs up to a large forested area. I go on walks through the area, and I don't see how any possible way to live off the available plant matter. There are lots of acorns in the fall, and occasionally some berries and probably some tubers, but overall I would quickly starve. However, there are lots of deer, wild turkey, turtles, rabbits, frogs, insects, and other animal life that would provide an abundant source of food.

November 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCavePainter

"Changing the subject...... here's a response to "J's" posting:
I see the same thing. I live in the Tennessee and my house backs up to a large forested area. I go on walks through the area, and I don't see how any possible way to live off the available plant matter. There are lots of acorns in the fall, and occasionally some berries and probably some tubers, but overall I would quickly starve. However, there are lots of deer, wild turkey, turtles, rabbits, frogs, insects, and other animal life that would provide an abundant source of food."


Hi CavePainter
yes, many illusions quickly disappear when one lives off the wilds.
I have taken folk into the bush to point out what can and cant be eaten, and even on a day-trip attitudes often change.
But spend a few days, and suddenly chowing down on a fatty kangaroo tail seems incredibly appealing by comparison to a mass of woody outgrowth.
And too much woody outgrowth (or leaves, shoots, bulbs, etc that are 'edible') and the stomach cramps, diarrhoea, irritated throat, etc, will be more than enough to instigate a re-think.

KGH:

Watching or reading "into the wild" you will notice that had McCandless competently prepared the moose he shot, he probably would have survived. He was probably poisoned by eating plants as well!

Should have left the edible plants book at home and focused on learning about the food that is defenseless when dead.

November 11, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterj

I think its funny when a study is done using a bovine source, say phosphatidylserine, then a company makes a supplement with the plant source... people buy the garbage up though.

troy

November 11, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertroy

Crap! Since I believe in awareness not limited to the body AND aliens, does this mean I must take up belief in a chosen race favored by the gods too? --as I noticed you grouped those together...

"Favor food that is defenseless when dead" -- I like that.

November 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

Okay, you have convinced myself that I could be saving lots of money each year if I stopped buying a bunch of supplements (turmeric, grapeseed extract w/resveratrol, etc.) that probably aren't really doing much of anything for more. I think I am going to keep it simple and stick to vitamin D, fish oil, magnesium, vitamin K2, and kelp. Do you have any thoughts on over the counter DHEA supplementation? I have been taking 25 mg. a day for years and- maybe it is just placebo- but it does seem to have contributed to keeping me good health and helped me gain some muscle mass. Curious what you think.

KGH: I think you can guess my answer to hormone supplementation whether fake or real :)

November 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

Yep, sounds like I can save some more money by cutting that one, too. I was once a true believer in the cult of the magic healthfood store pill so apostasy doesn't always come easy. Thanks for helping me see the light:-)

November 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

I agree with the magnesium... I think. You need it to make Calcium work. What I read was a study that compared the average age of broken hips. Come to find out that Dallas (Texas) county had broken hips at an average of 19 years EARLIER than a nearby county. That's pretty significant. The study concluded that the county with the higher average age for broken hips had much more magnesium in the water than Dallas county did.
So, it seems that knowing and supplementing magnesium would be a good thing, since broken hips in the elderly typically lead to death within 18 months (at least that's what they taught us in nursing school).
Now... what is a good animal source of mg+??
Having read all this though makes me re-think my supplementation. I take too many. I think I'll cut back to just D3 and K+ and Mg+. I take those (K+ and Mg+) because I seem to have a propensity toward a-fib, and when I take those my rate is nice and steady. My K+ was 3.6 and keeping it above 4.0, I do much better. I can ditch the fish oil because they only meat I eat, for the most part is either wild caught or grass fed, except the chicken. I'll just take the $ I spent on supplements and buy pastured chicken instead.

KGH: Eades stresses Mg and I think he may be right.

January 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDave, RN
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