Thursday, January 17, 2019

the EAT–Lancet Commission on healthy diets

An important study was just published in The Lancet, titled "Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT–Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems". It's available for no cost on The Lancet website:
Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT–Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems

I learned about it from an eight minute vlog by Garth Davis MD posted earlier today:

Friday, January 11, 2019

Am I falling for an alarmist perspective, or is this really happening?

Zack Bush again, the succinct version.

I (and many others) have been concerned with the national debt, the aggregate total leverage in the global financial system which has only increased since global central banks linked arms and "fixed" the problem. It's a growing problem that is easy to see.

I've been concerned with the collapse of health we see all around us, but I was not aware of the dire acceleration of the statistics Zack Bush shows us in his standard (?) presentation (link below). Or maybe we don't see this all around us, and have come to accept the present state of health as simply a function of getting older..."here you are, you'll need to take these meds the rest of your life, you have bad genes".

The state of inadequate nutrition combined with over in-toxic-ation can only lead to disaster. And we are seeing?

Bush is talking not just about financial collapse, or health collapse, or population collapse, or global collapse, but an everything collapse. The most constructive frame for this POV is nature "correcting" over-industrialization, over reliance on technology to "fix everything" (when it is the very thing that has distanced us from nature), scientific myopia, and human tendency toward hubris (man above nature).

And that POV, if it comes to pass, would be a "natural correction" we simply have not seen heading our way...yet. Nature (including human nature) goes to extremes, then swings in the other direction at some point.

Nature is bipolar? It goes through "happy medians", but it does not stay there? If so, that is an uncomfortable perspective, one we can happily ignore and forget during periods of "happy median".

Nature (everything) occurs as fractals, in the longer fractal durations some of those happy medians will last for generations.

If Bush is  correct this particular fractal (the one he's helping us see) is occurring on a scale just slightly beyond the frame of human apprehension (longer than a single generation). And if so most will not begin to "see it" until it's fairly progressed (not quite there yet, getting closer?), and if/when it does become apparent to all many will not understand the simple corrective nature of it.


And if this does come to pass we (as always) will need our clued in young people to understand and not freak out by what they are seeing, so that they may collectively manage "the big correction" as constructively as possible.

Zack Bush covers a lot of ground in a short space here.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Food Independence & Planetary Evolution: Zach Bush, MD

Zack Bush, MD, connects the dots as coherently as anyone I've seen. He is, among other things, a triple board certified MD, founder and director of M Clinic, an integrative medicine center in Charlottesville, Virginia, scientist, enlightened philosopher, agricultural activist, educator, film maker. All in all, a very busy human.

Here he is in conversation with Rich Roll, published Jan 8, 2019.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Monsanto (the name) Is No More

The name Monsanto was killed with its acquisition by the German chemical giant Bayer. A smart move considering Monsanto is one of the most hated names in corporate history (and for good reason IMHO).

The article linked below "Five things to know about Bayer and Monsanto" begins with the sentence "A cancer victim's surprise court victory over US pesticide maker Monsanto". Huh? Surprise? What fumes was this author inhaling? The musky scent of cranial insertion rectus abdominis?

Who did not see this coming was not paying attention (juries being comprised of actual citizens...still). The proximity of the sale with the impending court decision may be pure coincidence, but is at the very least, curious.

The article

And finally, a price chart of Bayer marked with the relevant points in time (click to enlarge).

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Does the body want to be in ketosis?

Dr. Garth Davis, a gastroenterologist who puts patients into ketosis before and after stomach reduction (weight loss) surgery, says no, he thinks the body does not want to be in ketosis. When we think about this question a little it becomes obvious why this is so...the body only "forces" ketosis when we are quite ill or injured. This can also be called "body initiated fasting", where we eat nothing, and drink only water for some period of time determined by the body. This occurs for example when we are so ill that the body reflexively regurgitates any solid foods we consume. Or when we are so injured we cannot move until we recover sufficiently to find food again.

During this period of body initiated fasting, or ketosis, normal energy stores (glycogen) are mostly depleted in 12-16 hours, and completely depleted in a few days. At that point the body goes into an accelerated healing process known as autophagy where the most superfluous tissues begin to be removed from the body. And what are the most superfluous tissues? The pathologic diseased ones. The dysfunctional ones.

Autopsies on people who have starved to death show that the most critical tissues, brain, eyes, and the like, are spared right up to the point of death, and there's a logical natural reason for this: if one is close to death from starvation but does survive, when health is regained all critical facilities remain intact. Showing, in only one of so many ways, our body's innate intelligence knows exactly what it's doing.

Therapeutic water only fasting, BTW, is not starvation, not even close to it. Starvation does not occur until all fat stores are depleted, whereupon proteins (body structure) begin to be converted to fuel. When there is progression from ketosis to starvation any further lack of caloric intake is no longer therapeutic and becomes dangerous.

Fat is consumed for fuel in ketosis because fat is the most plentiful source of stored energy in the body. So pathogenic tissues are removed, new healthy tissues are generated, and fats stored in the body are used as fuel for that process. Glycogen stores are completely depleted in a few days, stored fats in all but the anexoric will provide sufficient energy for the autophagy process to continue for several weeks and even longer.

This is a good point to mention that extended water only fasting should not be done without medical supervision. Intermittent water only fasting is usually OK, up to 24 hours, no more than once a week. The problem with finding medical supervision of water fasting is the number of MDs who have any training (much less practical expertise) in fasting supervision is very limited. More and more MDs are beginning to learn of the immense leverage fasting introduces in health recovery as the studies are coming at a rapid clip recently, but it is not common knowledge yet. And it also bears mentioning widespread fasting expertise among MDs may be a long time coming, as far greater revenues (and with much less effort) can be achieved prescribing minimally effective (or even counterproductive) drugs.

So does the body want to be in ketosis? Probably not until very ill or injured, when there is a lot of healing to be done, and then the body "forces" the condition of ketosis, rather than being "consciously chosen".

In addition, primates (including humans) instinctively chose carbohydrates for foods (when available) over fats. Thus ketosis in not our natural condition, it's the emergency back up survival system. Without which, BTW, we as a species would not still be it is not superfluous, it's just not primary.

Consider if you will a thought experiment to illustrate: you're lost in the woods for a week and really hungry. All the sudden you come across a big fruiting apple tree with low hanging ripe apples and chickens on the ground pecking at the fallen apples. Would you pluck and eat the ripe apples hanging from the branches, or catch a chicken first? If you think "chicken", consider the following: you are freaking hungry! It's takes mere seconds to begin eating all the (incredibly delicious) apples you want, but the chicken you have to catch, then begin eating it...raw? Tearing it's flesh with the claws (you don't have)? Ripping into its muscles and organs with the rows of razor sharp teeth (you also don't have)? Or gather the wood, build a fire, cook the chicken?

Right, you'd eat the frickin apples.

In this brief vid Dr Davis talks a bit about his experience putting patients into ketosis for fat loss surgery, and recommends a few books he's currently reading, one of which sounds very interesting to me: "The Idiot's Guide to Plant Based Nutrition".

And here is Dr. Davis:

Friday, December 21, 2018

Cholesterol - Does it matter? Or not? A few words on a confusing topic

A few words from Dr. Garth Davis, a gastroenterologist and specialist in gastric bypass surgery for weight loss, who is intimately familiar with this topic.

If your curiosity about Dr. Davis is peaked check out a talk he gave about his personal story, it's both entertaining and enlightening.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Toxins pt 2: Can they play a positive role in emotional health?

This is a complex topic. Let's begin with the obvious: human cultures have used measured doses of toxins for various purposes since the beginning of human cultures. Various purposes range from benign mood enhancement at social gatherings to horrific chemical weapons of mass destruction, and everything in between.

I'm not going to approach the more destructive uses of toxins here, except to note we humans have an intractable innate capacity for destruction / self-destruction that Freud called the death instinct (instincts are intractable).

That unsettling innate capacity noted, I'm going to hue closely to the title topic. This is not a blog on psychology, but emotional health is certainly within the purview. Can toxic substances have a positive effect on emotional health?

We are innately attracted to certain substances because they temporarily induce euphoria, and "pleasure seeking" is one leg of the "motivational triad" that controls behavior to a predictably greater extent than conscious thought. The other two legs are "avoid pain" and "conserve energy", together they can be called the basic set of survival instincts present in all creatures. (See the book "The Pleasure Trap").

The motivational triad works quite well for creatures in the original primordial setting, as there are no circumstances occurring outside the innate "instinct envelope", in other words there are no technologically concentrated substances. There is honey (and bee stings), but no white sugar, cocoa leaves, but no cocaine. Modern humans have the innate instinct set of "primordial conditions", but live in a self-made wilderness of concentrated substances.

So how might a chemically induced pleasurable (euphoric) episode benefit emotional health? It's like a mini holiday that does not require the effort and expense of actual travel. Changes in routine and perspective can "reset" emotional condition in very positive ways. 

The important question: is it possible to gain a net benefit to health? The answer would be yes if biologically destructive impact is outweighed by gains to emotional well being. Obviously we cannot go too far down the biologically destructive path before the net effect to health is a loss. Also obviously, there is no practical way of actually measuring net gain/loss in this situation, so it comes down to personal intuition, or "listening to your body".

The notion of "intelligently measured dose" (all things in moderation) comes to play here, and as you might imagine different folks have very different interpretations as to what that is. And it becomes very easy to rationalize on this point, which is essentially one description of addiction.

So there is a layer of complexity to ignore (path to addictive behavior) or contend with (balance and moderation).

And many will argue since our bodies have a baseline toxic load to contend with (generated by continuous ongoing metabolic "house cleaning"), and since we cannot control (or even identify) all the toxins coming into our bodies from various sources, we should put known toxins into our bodies (most typically in the form of rich foods and alcohol), very moderately, if at all.