Episode 37 – George Henderson takes us on a tour of public health research

Show notes:

  • George Henderson is a research assistant in the Auckland University of Technology (AUT)
  • George’s blog is https://hopefulgeranium.blogspot.fr/ and his Twitter handle is @puddleg
  • [3min] Raphael asks George what he studies in the public health department led by Professor Grant Schofield. He mentions obesity rates, dietary surveys, theories of disease…
  • [6m15s] Raphael asks George how he became interested in nutrition and what was he doing before becoming a science researcher. George is an autodidact; he was a musician with fatty liver disease who learned how to treat his condition by improving his nutrition and overcoming his drug addictions.
  • [15min] Raphael asks George about the relationship between the hepatitis C virus and one’s lipid profile.
  • [19m35s] Raphael asks George if having a higher proportion of saturated fats in ones diet along with more rather than less cholesterol, can help protect one’s liver from hepatitis C.
  • [21m45s] Raphael mentions that fresh olive oil has therapeutic levels of the the Cox-2 enzyme inhibitor called oleocanthal (around 130 mg/kg-1), an anti-inflammatory working on the same pathway as ibuprofen but without the nasty side effects.
  • [23m10s] Raphael talks about how one of his first experiences with pot as a 19 year old led him to find out about orthostatic hypotension; he discovered the satisfaction of finding out answers to questions by digging through scientific literature.
  • [27m35s] Raphael asks George what it means for figures of authorities, like doctors and researchers, that the internet democratizes medical information and vastly increases the pool of ‘peer reviewers’ (the public)?
  • [29m30s] Raphael appreciates people who don’t make a fuss about their credentials and rather prefer share data openly.
  • [32m50s] Raphael talks about the need to steel-man the argument of one’s opponent (when not patently absurd of course!)
  • [33m20s] Raphael asks George about familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) and how LDL and LDL receptors play into the disease.
  • [35m15s] Raphael mentions being one of those people who’s baseline total cholesterol increased when going from a SAD to a LCHF paleo-ish type diet in his early 20s, so much so that his doctor ran a genetic FH test (but he didn’t have it).
  • [42min] Raphael asks George why certain changes occur in the cholesterol panel of lean-mass hyper responders, people who fast, and when eating high-fat + hypercaloric for a few days (also known as a cholesterol drop).
  • [44min18s] HealthIQ mid-roll ad.
  • [48m05s] George says that LDL cholesterol probably plays more roles than we currently know about.
  • [48m48s] George says that people who respond to statin therapy are nearly entirely in the lower quartile of HDL cholesterol (and have already had at least 1 heart attack) – study.
  • [58m20s] George mentions that if a diet improves someone’s diabesity, eventually they should ‘ideally’ become lean-mass hyper responders in terms of the evolution of their cholesterol profile.
  • [59m25s] George says that despite all the unknowns about lean-mass hyper responder dynamics, he’s not too worried about the cardiovascular risk of those people given other factors improve (e.g. insulin sensitivity, body composition…)
  • [1h1m20s] Raphael mentions the Skinnerian model of drug addiction (that pretty much ignores the social/environmental factors) and asks George what he thinks of that and contrary experiments like Rat Park.
  • [1hr5min] George explains how acetyl-carnitine acts as a fat burning stimulant by pushing fat into mitochondria and seems to sometimes cross the blood-brain barrier. More importantly, it can help kick certain addictions [study].
  • [1h9m20s] Raphael recommends that people struggling with mental disorders talk to their doctors about trying out low-risk interventions with good promise such as ketogenic diets and CBD (cannabidiol) oil.
  • [1h13m50s] George explains opioid addiction using the following analogy; they ‘depress’ the energy output of cells (like when an opioid overdose leads to respiratory failure), so our cells get used to ‘jabbing’ themselves to stay alert, which they get less and less sensitive to the more they do it – leading to a vicious cycle.
  • [1h18m13s] Lastly, Raphael asks George if he can recommend resources for people looking to kick addictions. Although George doesn’t know of a good one-stop resource, he wrote about the last time he took methadone. I urge you to read it!

5 comments On Episode 37 – George Henderson takes us on a tour of public health research

  • As usual, lots of interesting information. That’s an interesting link, George mentioned, between acetaminophen and saturated fat consumption. There’s also some details about sat fat and alcohol as well.

    That suggests a topic for a future podcast about alcohol consumption with regard to keto in general and liver issues specifically. Most people listening are keenly aware about carbs and can reduce or eliminate them. However alcohol is one of those “burning questions” in the LCHF community. I’m sure you guys help us get a better understanding here.

  • Thanks Raphi –
    I made a few errors in discussion of topics I hadn’t swotted up on, which I’ll just correct here.
    32:20 – it sounds here like I’m conflating FH with the effects of metabolic disease on LDL; in fact I’m trying to move from a subject I haven’t made a detailed investigation of to something relevant I know better, but it could be clearer.
    1hr:5 – rather than fat supplying 10% of brain energy, the correct claim is that the half-life of fatty acids in the brain is 10x that in the rest of the body.
    1hr:9 – astrocytes and dendrocytes, not glial cells, are the cells in the brain that supply neurons with alternative energy substrates

  • Curious what George think about naltrexone and the Sinclair method for treating alcoholism.

  • Thanks for this, interesting and informative. George mentions something about fasting not having an affect on the heart, and coincidentally I read this http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2018/02/02/crash-diets-may-stop-heart-pumping-properly-oxford-university/ this morning. Although it is in obese patients and only during the first week of what would have been drastic calorie restriction for these people. I couldn’t find the paper / presentation to dig deeper, anyway you may be interested. Chris

  • One of my all time favorite podcasts. I sincerely appreciate George’s candor and his willingness to bare open his life…he is so brave, I applaud him. Great Interview with much food for thought. 🙂 I can’t get enough of this style podcast so I do hope, Raphi, that you continue and increase this format. While I listen to your podcast discussions with Gabor…they tend to deliver the information without the benefit (to me) of reinforcing explanatory feedback or clarifying with follow up questions. Good for the professional but not so good for savvy non-pro’s like me. I suspect your audience potential is huge when you broaden it to individuals with my level of interest and understanding. Just have to mention here…you being interviewed on Ketogeek is…not merely one of…but my all-time favorite podcast(s). You have so much to offer…please share more often. 🙂

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