Blog Posts

Episode 22 – Dietary (in)sanity with Dr.Ede

Show notes: Dr.Ede’s interesting professional background includes working as lab assistant in places like the Joslin Diabetes Center and the SUNY Stony Brook Department of Dermatology. She also became an M.D. at the University of Vermont College of Medicine and completed her residency in adult psychiatry at Harvard. In 2012 she completed a graduate course in nutrition from the Harvard School of Public Health entitled “The Science of Human Nutrition”. She is now the psychiatrist for Smith College (Northampton, Massachusetts)

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Omega-6 fatty acids: the alternative hypothesis for diseases of civilization

Diseases of civilization The world is facing a health crisis of unprecedented proportions. What have become known as chronic diseases, Western Diseases, or Diseases of Civilization (DC), have become pandemic as populations around the world adopt the lifestyle that first became prevalent in the country that perfected industrialization, the United States. What are they? The DCs revolve around the Metabolic Syndrome (MetSyn), a set of signs of disease that include central obesity, excess fats in the blood, high blood pressure and

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Episode 21 – measuring Acetyl-CoA in a live rat, for the sake of metabolism

Show notes: A Non-invasive Method to Assess Hepatic Acetyl-CoA In Vivo (Perry and Shulman et al. 2017) Background Futile fat cycling “Regulation is easier if competing reactions are maintained in a cycling steady-state and then biased in one or another direction. This becomes, in the end, more efficient  than starts and stops in response to different conditions” Acetyl-CoA contributes to GNG, glucose oxidation, protein acetylation and the synthesis of steroids as well as fatty acids Episode 1 Break Nutrition study

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Episode 20 – Sweet, sweet insulin and you

Show notes: Sweet taste receptor signaling in beta cells mediates fructose-induced potentiation of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (Kyriazis et al. 2012) Background Beta-cell metabolized nutrients (e.g. amino acids & glucose) stimulate insulin secretion whilst GLP-1 interacts with the beta-cell’s cell-surface GPCRs to stimulate insulin secretion [G-protein coupled receptor] There are many more Non-metabolizable insulin secretagogues than Metabolizable ones TRPM5 (Transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily M member 5) is found on surface of beta-cells, transducing taste for bitter, sweet, umami &

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Study review: Dietary sugars, not lipids, drive hypothalamic inflammation

Study background Today’s post briefly reviews a neat little study in mice from 2017 by Gao et al. [1]. It’s called “Dietary sugars, not lipids, drive hypothalamic inflammation”. Isn’t it nice to a have a clear study title giving away the ending? More and more scientific papers now have a graphical and text abstract, as does this paper. This graphical abstract illustrates how, in mice, dietary fat and carbohydrate individually and synergistically contribute to the production of advanced-glycation end-products (AGEs).

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Reversing brain damage & cancer: 2 case-reports

Two interesting medical case-reports caught my eye last week. I want to tell you about them because they’re different avenues to appreciating the importance of metabolism in health and disease, something I already emphasize when discussing diet. Reversing brain damage with oxygen therapy The first case-report is about reversing brain damage in a 2-year old girl in America [1]. However interesting these sort of medical firsts are, we should remember not to overgeneralize these encouraging results because we’re dealing with

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Heart disease and cholesterol: a new hope

Heart disease and cholesterol- a new hope

Heart disease: the car, the driver & the crash Complex disease processes are best explained with analogies. Heart disease is no exception. To explain two competing theories of heart disease I’ll use an analogy consisting of a driver, a car and a crash. The anatomy of the heart and its more extended vascular system is the car. Some people have better genetics giving them stronger, more disease-proof hearts, just like some cars are more crash resistant. The driver of the

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A brief history of micronutrients

Nutrients: how much, how often, which ones? Most people can’t go more than a few minutes without air, about 3 days without water, approximately 9 to 11 days without sleep [1] and anywhere from weeks to over a year without food if they’re fat enough to start with [2] – but how long can you go without essential nutrients (vitamins, minerals, amino acids and fatty acids)? And how much do you need of each to be healthy? We’re still far

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Episode 19 – Marty Kendall on nutrient dense diets

Show notes: Marty Kendall launched https://optimisingnutrition.com/ in 2015 and has 2 excellent Facebook groups called Optimising Nutrition and Marty Kendall’s Nutrient Optimiser Marty explains how his engineering background helps him make sense of nutrition science What’s the nutrient optimizer? Marty explains his 3-pronged approach for recommending foods based on their insulin index, nutrient density and energy density We discuss the fact that RDIs (recommended daily intake of nutrients) were established in omnivorous diets (relatively) high in carbohydrates and how this

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Episode 18 – Peter Ballerstedt PhD: better nutrition through sustainable agriculture

Show notes: Peter gives his academic and professional background. Peter explains how his study of forage agronomy dove-tailed into his interest in nutrition after being faced with a diagnosis of diabetes. Peter defines ruminants. Peter explains how ruminants can reverse desertification, rendering land productive that otherwise cannot grow crops. Peter discusses the ratio of omega-6-to-omega-3 fats in our foods and how different food for cows affect the ratio in their meat Peter explains how absolute quantities of these fats might

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