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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Does beta hydroxybutyrate have an evil twin?

beta hydroxybutyrate

The discovery of CH3CH(OH)CH2CO2H CH3CH(OH)CH2CO2H = beta hydroxybutyrate. It’s a molecule your body makes from fats. The correct spelling is β-hydroxybutyrate or 3-hydroxybutyrate and is often abbreviated BHB. We’ll use beta hydroxybutyrate here. It all started in 1887. Well, actually 22 years earlier in 1865 when scientists discovered a molecule called acetoacetate in the pee of diabetic patients. Acetoacetate is a ketone or also known as a ketone body. Discovering acetoacetate eventually led them to discover beta hydroxybutyrate. Beta hydroxybutyrate was

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Can people with epilepsy benefit from the ketogenic diet?

What is the ketogenic diet? Some might consider the ketogenic diet to be a fad diet, however, it was discovered centuries ago for the dietary management of refractory epilepsy. The ketogenic diet is a high fat, adequate protein and low carbohydrate diet.   The diet was discovered by the observation of decreased seizure frequency during episodes of fasting.  In 1921, Dr. Wilder at Mayo clinic suggested the ketogenic diet for the long-term management of epilepsy. In terms of this suggestion, it

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Cold thermogenesis: how to freeze your fat off


Technology as a crutch The industrial age started in the late 18th century in the United Kingdom and with it, brought about technologies that now keep us in the Goldilocks zone, not too hot not too cold. In effect, we outsourced a fundamental aspect of what it means to stay alive and well temperature control Specifically, we now do very little cold thermogenesis. It’s a process mammals like us use to produce heat in order to stay warm. Our bodies

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Is a Vegan Ketogenic diet Possible ?

is a vegan ketogenic diet possible

Your friend the vegan Picture this. Your friend the vegan who’s always up on the latest plant-based superfood suddenly mentions wanting to try this thing called a ketogenic diet – more specifically, a vegan ketogenic diet. You’re told a ketogenic diet is super high in fat and very low in carbs. Because you’re a good friend, you think about what they’re saying, only to realize that vegan diets aren’t particularly fatty. Plants tend to store a lot of starch or

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Treatment for Metabolic Syndrome

treatment for metabolic syndrome

What is the metabolic syndrome? Metabolic syndrome is a set of criteria used to identify a pathological state of metabolism. If you qualify as having metabolic syndrome, this means one or more aspects of your metabolism is out of whack such that your odds of suffering from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, cancer etc. are substantially increased. Metabolic syndrome is identified by measuring five markers: waist circumference (WC), HDL cholesterol (HDLc), triglycerides (TG),  fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and both systolic

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What is the keto flu or low carb flu and what to do about it?


Keto flu symptoms, mitigation and getting over excess carbohydrates Any major dietary or lifestyle change has the potential to cause discomfort or lets face it, even mess you up for a bit. This is sometimes referred to as a ‘flu’. It’s the most common time during which people will quit their dietary or lifestyle shift as many simply feel they are unable to function without significant carbohydrates and snacking throughout day. Here we’ll discuss the major downside to starting a

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