Thinking about diabetes again

When Banting and Macleod won the Nobel Prize for the discovery and purification of insulin in 1923, a very great thing had been achieved. Many, many lives have since been saved, and there is no doubt that the prize was justified. Even if Banting and Best did their furious best to write Macleod (A Scotsman, of course) out of the history books, and trash his reputation. Oh yes, how horrible people are to each other in the world of science.

However, as the same time as this great thing happened, something else, silently, took place. Insulin and sugar become so closely intertwined in the minds of everyone, that we got stuck. Thinking got stuck… into the following paradigm

  • When blood sugar goes up, insulin is released to bring it down.
  • Without insulin we develop diabetes
  • If the blood sugar drops too much, it is because there is too much insulin, and we get the patient to eat more sugar
  • You treat people with high sugar levels with insulin etc.

This is a paradigm with only two variables. Blood sugar*, and insulin. Type I diabetes is due to a lack of insulin, Type II is due to a relative lack of insulin caused by ‘insulin resistance’ whereby enough insulin is produced, but its effects are blocked. Insulin sugar, sugar insulin. End of.

I think of this as the super-simplistic model of diabetes. Of course insulin and blood sugar are connected, but this model is inadequate. A violin with only one string, playing a hopelessly restricted tune. For those who did watch Professor Unger’s YouTube lecture, you will be aware that this ‘insulino-centric’ model of diabetes is, in many ways, just plain wrong.

He has, for example, done experiments on mice whereby he completely destroyed the beta cells in the pancreas, conducted a glucose tolerance test, and found that the resulting glucose levels followed almost exactly the same pattern as in mice with intact beta cells. In short, insulin is not required to keep blood sugar levels under control after a glucose meal.

For those who have watched the video, you will be aware that this statement is true, but I have left out something rather critical. However, the main part of the statement is still correct. Despite what we are repeatedly told, you don’t need insulin to keep your blood sugar levels under control – the body can do this almost as well using other systems. Shock, horror, the body does not need insulin to absorb and store sugar.

This even trumps a statement that I have made repeatedly in other writing. Namely, keeping blood sugar under control is probably the least important thing that insulin does. You may just think that I am talking nonsense at this point. Without insulin, you die. That is what happened to all type 1 diabetics before insulin was discovered, isn’t it. So, why are you trying to tell me that insulin is not hugely important?

Well it is, but it is only important in that, without insulin, we do not control glucagon levels. Ah yes, glucagon, something most doctors heard about in the second year of medical school, then forgot that it ever existed. Except that, if a diabetic gets very low blood sugars levels you can inject glucagon and the sugar level bounces right back up.

However, despite that fact that most people have never heard of it, and most doctors have forgotten that it exists, glucagon is critical, and the interplay between insulin and glucagon is hugely, hugely, important. It is not a lack of insulin that causes catastrophically high sugar levels in type I diabetes. It is the overdrive of glucagon that does this. Equally, if you do not produce glucagon, you cannot get high blood sugar levels. End of.

Ah yes, so we have another player in the game of diabetes. Insulin, sugar… glucagon. And this, ladies and gentlemen is merely the start. Now, just as a teaser, I will introduce you to the critical importance of visceral fat in diabetes. Here is a little snippet from a study on mice:

‘In the present study, DIO [diet induced obesity – my comment] and diabetes mellitus were achieved in 100% of the mice after 8 weeks of treatment. At this point, some animals were submitted to visceral fat removal and the metabolic and molecular consequences of this procedure were evaluated. First, we observed that, 8 days after the surgical procedure, the mice were no longer diabetic

…Thus, we conclude that, in an animal model of DIO and diabetes mellitus, the removal of visceral fat is effective for rapidly reducing the blood levels of glucose. This is accompanied by improved in vivo and molecular actions of insulin and is paralleled by a favorable modulation of the levels of adipokines.1

Remove visceral fat and diabetes is gone. So, here is another massive variable in the old obesity, diabetes, insulin model. This variable is visceral fat, not be confused with subcutaneous fat – the type that Sumo wrestlers have tons of. Indeed, visceral fat is so different, metabolically, to subcutaneous fat that we shouldn’t really call it fat. It is something else entirely, a different organ.

Visceral fat is also another vitally important player in type II diabetes. As is, of course, adipokine production… which you will be no doubt glad to hear I shall talk no more about for the moment. As you may have guessed, I am not providing any answers in this blog about type II (insulin resistant) diabetes – or indeed type I. I am just trying to make it very clear that the model containing two players, insulin and sugar, is a complete barrier to understanding what is going on. You must remove it from your mind.

I will also state that I have most certainly not got it all figured out, fully. So, you are not going to get a definitive answer here – although perhaps some better answer. I keep thinking I have got all the pieces in place, then another bit of information appears and my carefully constructed model splinters apart. Try, for example, looking up the effect of insulin and cortisol on visceral fat, and see if you can make sense of what the hell is going on there. If you do, please let me know.

No, the reason for writing this blog is to continue with my endless theme. Please think for yourselves, and do NOT accept what you are told. This is most especially true in the area of obesity and diabetes.


*I use the word sugar to mean, mostly, glucose

107 thoughts on “Thinking about diabetes again

  1. Jennifer

    So if we solve how to clear out the accumulated visceral fat, do we stand a better chance of returning to good health?
    I think carbs induce visceral fat deposits, so I will stick to my present regime….no meds, very low carbs of any description, and a good deal of sats.
    I am not promoting this regime, merely mentioning that it has worked for me for a couple of years now.

    1. Mary Richard

      Jennifer, I love to read your posts. I have a long list of reading material I have accumulated between you and Professor Goran. If I get to them all, I will have also accumulated quite a lot of both subcutaneous as well as visceral fat. Tell me sweet Jennifer…what in the world is a buggar? Is it a naughty British term? I will tell you why in a later post.

      My answer to your question is simply this: To get rid of both the visceral and subcutaneous kinds of fat…we have to get moving. Many people told me that I had to do a lot of stomach exercises after birthing two beautiful children. The ONLY thing that got that stomach flat again was aerobic exercises and watching my intake of food. Now, as an adjunct if you want a six pack (which did not appeal to me much), then the stomach exercises might help. But just the act of running, walking briskly, and maybe doing some resistance exercise worked great for me (easier the first time around for obvious reasons), but it was getting that heart rate up that got rid of the post partum belly or any other bellies I got along the way when I did not watch my carb intake. It takes stomach and back strength to walk or walk briskly and you naturally use those stomach muscles which is where that nasty visceral fat likes to hide. Dr. Kendrick is the researcher, so he might have much more insight. This is just from my own practical experience as well as that I got through osmosis. In my work I often met with Physical Therapists, physicians, and lawyers/ clients in many face to face meetings. So, I have picked up a lot along the way. It is there somewhere in the subconscious but I believe it to be accurate. Back strengthening helps the stomach and visa versa.

      1. Jennifer

        Mary…we are in stitches here tonight, working out your query about that word, and intrigued as to why you brought it up!
        But here goes…..
        It can be used as a noun.
        It can be used as a verb.
        Its use varies from one part of the country to another.
        As a noun, in its true use, it is …..well, let me see……I suggest you look up in a good dictionary!
        As a noun, in its correct use it would generally refer to a man.
        As a noun, used in polite company, it would be considered a swear word, and unlikey to be used, or just “slip out” unexpectedly.
        As a noun in friendly company, it would be a form if endearment.
        As a verb, it is…..well, I think the dictionary comes in here again!
        As a verb, it can be used with a preposition, extending with “up!”, “off!”, “me!”, as an exclamation, with absolutely no reference to its true meaning, in other words, it is interchangeable with “f**k”.
        How am I doing so far?
        As a child, no one swore in our house. But my father worked in a factory, where it would be common parlance. When I was 12, he got exasperated over something and declared in a very loud voice “b****r!”
        Well, I was horrified…I flew upstairs and flung myself on the bed, sobbing, as it seemed like the end if the world had come about.
        But 5 years later I met my future husband’s family, and their spoken sentences were made up of b****r every other word! Even the children used it, but it was said so sweetly, with no offence meant.
        I have often heard it exclaimed in surgical theatres, when things started to go wrong, without any other explanation as to what the problem actually was.
        Do you get the drift?
        In this week of commemorating Churchill’s death, even he used the present participle when he decared we had to “keep b*****ing on” during World War II.
        So, it is a word used in many situations, in temper, in frustration, as sarcasm, as a put-down…..”useless b****r”, “silly b****r”, “cheeky b****r”.
        I suggest it could even be used when discussing statins which are prescribed by “silly b****rs”, generally to pensioners who pay “b****r-all” ( nothing) for their meds in UK, and who go on to experience “b*****ation” side effects when their systems are finally “b*****ed” (worn out).
        Well, Mary, I can’t believe I have just written all that stuff, and Dr K may be forgiven if it is not published.

      2. Fiona

        Mary Richard – Sorry, but there is no such word as ‘buggar’ in the Oxford English Dictionary. Perhaps you and or Jennifer need to check your spelling; or perhaps it would be better if you didn’t waste Dr Kendrick’s valuable comment space on such trivia.

        1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

          Fiona. I don’t think a bit of trivia is a problem, although too much and I call a halt. Personally, I find a bit of diversion from the main theme can be refreshing. What I really don’t like is when comments turn into personal criticism/attacks. I allow one shot and that’s it. Cheers.

  2. skikinetics

    The model where cholesterol or blood sugar or insulin is viewed as THE problem is what I like to refer to is the ‘One Cause – One Cure’ paradigm. It has been successfully promoted by the medical system because it is neat and profitable. But it has only been successful because it appeals to the masses, most of whom suffer from infantile control fantasies. They only see the head of the monster attacking them, not the body and especially not the powerful limbs and claws. They see themselves being attacked by the enemy of cholesterol or high blood sugar. They have ‘lost control’. Statin drugs and injectable insulin give control back. This is the main reason why statins have such universal appeal. The patient is as much a part of the problem as the doctors who prescribe statins.

    Diabetes. Mainstream medicine says “Let’s keep it simple”. One doctor claimed “Glucose is the gas pedal. Insulin is the brake”. If the car goes too fast (blood sugar rises) you apply the brake”. Now, there’s a model that appeals to the masses. Eat whatever you want and apply the brake as necessary. But as you allude to, it’s not that simple.

    I am type II diabetic. But I am also or were other things like hypothyroid. “Just a minute, says Dr. Pharma, these are all separate conditions with each needing the right drug”. An emphatic ‘No”. They are but manifestation of a deeper metabolic disruption. Address the cause (“Horrors, there is no money in that. Have you gone completely mad!” – “Yes”) and the manifestations disappear. A huge common denominator in many conditions, which are not really medical conditions at all, but signs of the real problem, is a chronic deficiency of magnesium and related minerals which are typically far below the optimal range and even below the lower limit of the lab range which has conveniently been substantially lowered several times just as the end high of the lab value for safe levels of cholesterol have been lowered; for what purpose?

    So it is a simple matter of taking a bit of mag eh? Not really. Your doctor will probably tell you, “Your mag is just fine. It tested well”. Look closer. The lab req probably says magnesium. But that is serum or blood magnesium. Serum levels of minerals are homeostatic. What? Homeostatic means, almost always normal. Serum magnesium is 1% of whole body magnesium. You need the ionic test. But since it’s hard to get, the RBC test will have to do. The problem is your doctor will have never heard of the RBC magnesium test. He or she will probably just prescribe a statin.

    1. Mary Richard

      Thanks for posting. I don’t want to get too far off topic, however, my ears perked up when I saw that you HAD a thyroid condition or at least tested positive for it. Could you briefly tell me how you have managed the thyroid condition and if you had either the RBC or ionic test. It is really important to me and would really like your input.
      Thanks again,

    2. anglosvizzera

      I agree with you about dietary causes of many of today’s ailments. Currently I’m fighting to get my depressed 16 year old daughter (who’s an inpatient at an NHS establishment at the moment) to be able to get proper tests done and subsequent supplements if (no doubt) necessary. I’ve just been reading about how the magnesium content of various foods has declined over the past few decades due to farming/production methods. This undoubtedly applies to other nutrients too. I argued with her psychiatrist about the limitations of the magnesium test last week because he said her blood serum levels were ‘fine’ – I even printed out the research I’ve done (from reliable sources). It makes me so mad that the NHS won’t even consider these potential causes of illness (for T2 diabetes there are many micronutrients implicated) before they throw drugs at everyone. I’ve even written to complain to NICE but apparently when they wrote the guidelines regarding depression and children/young people, nobody thought to look into diet/nutritional status. Why? No idea – and no forthcoming explanation from them either.

      1. GG

        Yes it is either a case of you cannot get the tests needed or the tests they use are not giving the best picture. B12 is one example where the NHS does a serum test and privately one can get the Active B12 test which gives (so they say) a more accurate picture. I do not profess to understand all of this but logic tells me that measuring what is circulating in the blood does not necessarily mean that it is being taken up and put to work in all the right places in the body. It just means that we know what is circulating in the blood. It is a bit like, if a car’s petrol tank is full of petrol but it is not getting to the engine then the car won’t go.

        It never ceases to amaze me how blinkered the NHS and related organisations are. Why would they ignore diet and nutrition when considering health and illness? Are they so in the pockets of Big Pharma that they have completely lost the ability to see what they are doing?

  3. Ali.

    It’s like peeling an onion, Dr. Kendrick. Just when you think you’ve reached the centre, there’s another layer….

    I’m going to add another concept.

    Go back 70 years or so, your mother might have given you a ghastly concoction every few weeks or so to clear any ‘unwanted visitors’ in your gut. Castor oil, Epsom salts, Senna tea, etc., were all given to the family. But who does that now?

    There are experts in the field who believe that parasites are rampant through the World. Western medicine believes them to be a ‘Third-World’ issue, but it’s no less an issue in ‘sophisticated’ nations, merely that there is far less awareness of the problem. It’s under their radar.

    People would think nothing of getting their pets or livestock ‘de-wormed’, yet never consider doing it themselves. Approach a Doctor about your fears and you will be asked, “have you been abroad recently?”. No, and neither’s the dog, but he can get them!

    Duh. Our ancestors weren’t stupid enough to assume they don’t exist. They recognised the huge problems if they didn’t.

    I am diabetic. Type 2 and very insulin resistant. I also have systemic worms. I am convinced both, and my virtual inability to lose weight unless I just water fast are linked. I believe these things have been lurking in my body for well over 40 years, gradually disrupting my body’s ability to process carbohydrates. What I can’t digest, they can.

    Despite my efforts, using good, clean, natural low-carbohydrate food, and whilst I have been able to reverse other health issues (IBS, RLS, neuropathy, palpitations, sweats, flushes, fungus, etc.), the insulin resistance has continued to progress. I know taking more insulin is not the answer, but as yet, I still haven’t managed, to my frustration, to work out what is…..

    My two stool tests have come back negative. I am loathe to have any more done, because the testing procedure is so hopeless, any more false negative results would just bang further nails in my ‘nutcase’ coffin. Without ‘proof’, the Medical Profession is impotent, and I as yet have been unable to provide any. I am not delusional, neither am I suffering from formication. I’ve had babies, for goodness sake, I know what having something live inside you feels like.

    Besides, squirming, wriggling, writhing, biting, knotting, etc., in my back, left side, groin, etc., and wriggly, tickly movements around my face, scalp, arms, legs, feet, etc., plus larvae shaped ‘floaters’ in my eyes that appear after a sharp but brief pain as one enters my eyeball are not normal.

    Neither were the squiggly worm tracks around the wound on my leg in the dead skin after the cast was removed after an op done to repair a broken leg last year or the raised thin welts that appeared on my thigh as they fled from the anaesthetic ‘block’ (roundworms apparently don’t like anaesthetic). I could feel the damn things slithering in and out of the wound making it a darn sight more sore than it needed to be!

    Most of the time people are sublimely unaware they are carrying parasites, or that they may be contributing to their health issues. What health issues one has may well depend on what types of parasite/s one is ‘supporting’. Eating lots of sugary carbs undoubtedly encourages them, but getting rid of them is a whole different ball game. I did read of one lady who got rid of her parasites and her diabetes went away, but she didn’t say how she did it.

    This is a hugely underestimated issue, and one that needs heaps of further investigation.

    1. Agate Karevoll

      Dr Hulda Clark did a lot of work on parasites. Her zapper rid me of flukes and goodness knows what else. The Giardia I finally got rid of by long water fast (5days, 6 nights). I have been prone to pick up these critters as hypothyroidism left me with little stomach acid hence lack of protection. Yes they make us horribly ill.
      I find that this kind of long term stress has left me with adrenal insufficiency, this again produces hypoglycaemia with elevated triglycerides and insulin and yes, intolerance to carbs. What can you doctors make of this?

    2. Stuart Grace

      There is a simple cure for the worms. A herb called wormwood. You can buy it loose and make a tea. Boil it and simmer for a few minutes and drink it. Tastes disgusting so buying it in tablets is better. The medicinal herb got its name in the old days because it kill worms. It should only take a few days. Don’t take it for long periods if time as toxicity levels can increase in the body. A week would be perfectly ok but a few days should be all that’s needed. Worms should come out dead in your stalls when you have a dump.

  4. Mary Richard

    Brilliant and thought provoking post once again, Dr. Kendrick. These studies also have significant implications for the development of cancerous tumors. If I am reading and understanding these studies correctly, visceral fat or the proliferation of it creates a pro-inflammatory environment. I have to wonder if that also has serious implications for the dramatic increases we have seen today in cancers. I smell a rat. I am anxious to see what others have to say.

  5. Professor Göran Sjöberg

    Professor Unger’s YouTube lecture for sure turned my ‘fragile’ medical knowledge about diabetes upside down but still made me feel ‘smarter’ than before and made me realise again that most of what you are subjected to in the health service is just plain religion.

    A Ph.D. friend, a former student of mine, sent me a ‘great’ mail about his meeting with a doctor to understand the benefits with vaccination of his newborn son. The mail went as follows.

    J: I have wondered a little about vaccination.
    God: Nothing to wonder about!
    J: What do you mean? Are there no risks?
    God: No! Or well – the sicknesses are worse!
    J: OK! Could you recommend me some reading to improve my knowledge before deciding to accept the vaccination?
    God: No! It is too complicated – there is no such litterature.
    J: Damn! You just say that because you have not made your homework. You just don’t know this!
    God: You shall KNOW that it is CHILD ABUSE not to vaccinate.
    J: I was almost going to say: “You rascal are not a REAL doctor – you are just a healer!” but was stopped by my wife.

    1. Rimas V. Janusonis MD, FAAFP

      There is ample information on vaccinations, and the doctor should have provided it.

      HOWEVER: patients I see/treat, even if I provide the information, choose not to believe it (Especially since the discredited “Doctor” Wakefield and his doctored study of MMR vaccination just so he could sell Thimerosol free MMR vaccine that he helped develop).
      People have a short memory about how children can DIE or be permanently MAIMED by childhood illnesses for which we have vaccines.

      So now we have to deal with foolishness like the measles outbreak in California.

      I tell my patients that if they choose not to vaccinate, when their child falls ill from a preventable illness, I won’t be saying “I told you so,” but I’ll be thinking it….

      1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        I debated internally about this post, and whether to publish it or not. I think it is in reference to a far earlier post by Prof Goren Sjoberg about a doctor not bothering to answer any questions about vaccination – I presume. The point of the original post was that doctors, very often, are patronizing and refuse to answer questions other than by stating ‘I know best, nothing to worry about.’ Rimas, I do not see how your post relates to the previous post, other than by reinforcing the point made earlier by Prof Goran Sjoberg? Perhaps you can explain the purpose of your post?

      2. Flyinthesky

        A couple of issues for me here:
        The doctor doesn’t provide his own information he reiterates someone else’s.
        Andrew Wakefield, whether right or wrong is moot, was discredited by consensus not fact, I have a grandson that illustrates the possibility. Symptoms appearing in days.

      3. anglosvizzera

        We aren’t always given the whole picture about vaccines – it has recently emerged, for one thing, that the Centre for Disease Control in the US ‘covered up’ the fact that the MMR did, in fact, have a very strong association with autism in Afro-american boys. Also, Merck has been fined recently for falsifying the data as regards efficacy of the mumps vaccine – it doesn’t work well, and the immunity doesn’t last for long – thus exposing adult males to the potential of a far worse disease outcome. And very recently, Andrew Wakefield’s co-author won his appeal because the GMC’s conclusion about them was based on, “inadequate and superficial reasoning and, in a number of instances, a wrong conclusion.” Finally, the presence of antibodies as a result of a vaccine does not automatically imply immunity. There are countless examples of people with high antibody titres who still get the diseases. There’s more I could say but won’t bother as none of this is actually relevant to Dr Kendrick’s original post…..

      4. Professor Göran Sjöberg


        You are quite right. If you are looking back into the history of medicine it seems to be most about religion and obedience to official belief systems where science is really downplayed all the time. There are for sure here many ‘anecdotes’ to be told.

        Where is the scientific foundation, in our so very acclaimed ‘evidence based medicine’, for recommending people who manifestly get sick from eating sugar to exactly continue to do that? My T2 wife wouldn’t even dream to consult and start arguing with a local ‘God’ about this issue. She ‘solved’ her ‘problem’ by taking away the actual cause which to me is much more scientific than to adhere to an incredible dogma though from the mouth of a local ‘God’ and with the hole Holy Church backing him up.

        On a more subtle plane I am now more than happy that I refused the triple or quadruple bypass and all the medicines 15 years ago after my ‘near death’ experience and decided to go for the cause instead. I will soon see an expert bypass surgeon who is an acquaintance of a friend of mine and then bring a copy of the results from my old angiography – no funny reading. Could be an interesting talk if he is interested – we’ll see. Expert bypass surgeons are bigger ‘Gods’ than your local GPs.

        Well – I have have got more anecdotes but enough for now.

        What is so very disgusting to me is the extreme sophistication by which the ‘quackery’ of Big Pharma is performed in the name of science. When I lift the lid to their ‘TRUST US – vaccination box’ – even from that box a weird smell of quackery is evaporating and sticking in my nose though they say that money doesn’t smell – funny!

        And if you as a GP don’t subscribe to an official dogma of monetary importance you are most likely committing a suicide. So it is not without risks to be a local ‘God’.

        1. Jennifer

          Today I have heard that the ‘flu vaccine has been an utter failure this winter, in the UK.
          All that money spent by our NHS, for us vulnerable creatures to be vaccinated, ( generally being recipients of free prescriptions… what the ‘eck…..its free, isn’t it? Might as well give it a go!)
          All that money handed over by the WORRIED WELL, and the FEARFUL, who maybe can ill afford to fork out for a rubbish prophylactic, with no guarantee of saving them from ‘flu…..just FEAR, emptying their pockets, and lining those of Big Pharma. Shame on the system that is promoting such a state of uncertainty.
          I do not dismiss influenza as a trivial condition, and I am fully aware of the seriousness of nasty ‘flu strains….and that they can cause epidemics and pandemics.
          I stopped having the jab 2 winters ago, and I am as fit as a lop. So, hopefully, if the flu does strike, then I am better placed these days to cope with it. We know that such viruses respect no one, and my feelings are that those who are truly susceptible to catching the virus, ought to have access to 1st class Nursing and Medical care….but, alas, the NHS is spending too much on jabs etc, as though that is the solution. Well, it jolly well isn’t.
          Apparently people ‘don’t do politics’ much these days, well,
          vaccination is a political hot potato, if ever there was one.
          My husband says he feels a ‘ right pillock’ having succumbed to ‘the jab’ last year, when all he went to see the GP about was a long-standing, chronic, non-life threatening condition which was needing medical attention. Before the GP even discussed that…..the topic of the ‘flu jab was raised. Husband felt unable to refuse….after all….he feared he may not get help for the condition he was attending for! Blackmail, eh?
          Now where does that fit into the Hippocratic oath?

      5. Professor Göran Sjöberg


        It is a funny world we are living in!

        Hippocratic: “Let the food be your medicine!” – 2500 years ago?

        As long as I can remember I was the constant victim of every possible flu around and every winter I was typically down in bed for week with a high temperature, could reach 40 C. I was often hit twice a year or even more.

        Well now the funny, ‘anecdotal’, Hippocratic but hardly a placebo effect transition I have experienced. I have not been hit by one single time by flu since I turned into the strict LCHF type of living about five years ago. For a day or two I can still feel that something is ‘going on’ in my throat but there is no real break out.

        We have a LCHF pioneer GP here in Sweden, Dr. Annika Dahlqvist, who almost lost her licence when she publicly said that she would herself not take any flu vaccination since she had improved her immune system by cutting the carbs and substituted them with natural animal fat. The dietitian association in Sweden also tried to have the authorities to take her licence away but after a very thorough investigation LCHF was then cleared as being in accordance with approved science and it is now also required that the health service practitioners must support overweight and diabetic people trying to follow the LCHF guidelines. It must though be frustrating when you at the same time do warn people to eat fatty food since the will become obese if they do that as has been done for many years now.

      6. BobM

        We probably shouldn’t get into a vaccine debate here, but vaccines are similar to the current guidance for food: they both involve actors forcing people to do something. They may have valid reasons for what they believe in and even honestly believe what they are doing. But they could be wrong. Certainly, the current guidelines (in the U.S.) for what we are supposed to eat are wrong. If they are wrong, what else could be wrong?

        Seriously, I was one of those people who blindly followed the food pyramid guidance, even going to the extent of lowering my fat intake to 10% of my calories per day. Then I found the Atkins diet and couldn’t understand why I felt so good and had so much energy. How could I have energy when carbohydrates were supposed to give me energy? Unfortunately, it took me years to fully come to the low carb/high fat lifestyle, as I still kept believing the “experts” (i.e., I “needed” carbs to workout).

        Then I realized the experts were wrong about diet. That shook my belief in experts.

        I did more research. I then realized the experts were wrong about statins for men with no heart disease. I realized the experts are most likely wrong about the salt levels they’re recommending. They’re potentially wrong about blood pressure medications, in as much as reducing blood pressure saves lives.

        If the experts are wrong about all of that stuff, why would they be right about vaccines?

        See this study concerning the flu vaccine, for instance:

        My point is that once you start down the path where you realize the experts are wrong (about so many things), that’s a dangerous path to be on. Personally, I no longer believe in experts — none of them, including the ones recommending vaccines. The science has to prove to me that the expert’s opinions are worth following.

        1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

          Bob, You are so right. That is why I wrote the book Doctoring Data. I would only disagree that it is a dangerous path to be on. It is a lonely path for sure, it is a path where ridicule rains down. But it is also, in my view, the only path to be on.

      7. celia

        There are also cases of children dying after having a vaccine, and a lot of “coincidences” of autism following vaccines. There are two sides to this coin.

    1. Professor Göran Sjöberg

      john hall

      Thank you for the link to this ‘delightful’ interview! I really appreciated the interview and for sure learnt a lot!

      And of course it confirmed my present confusion with the complexity at all levels of our metabolism – from the most profound molecular biology levels of the cells to the ‘physic/endocrinological’ control levels governing our general feeding behaviours.

      What is though striking to me is that even among ‘the best’, to whom I now definitely consider Prof. Unger to belong, there is this ubiquitous tendency to turn categoric in their modes of explanation but perhaps this is just a part of the ‘human game’.

      E.g., my favourite sceptic scientist, the double Nobel laureate Linus Pauling, with his great achievements about the nature of chemical bonds and his achievements as the ‘greatest quack’ of all times in medicine (except for Big Pharma of course), actually through another sceptic researcher out from his own lab because Pauling didn’t want to have his own reputation to be tarnished by his, Dan Schechtman’s, finding about the fivefold symmetry in the material science – my own background. Dan Schechtman was amused to his own Nobel Prize 2011 on this subject although Puling was not present at that time to ‘enjoy’ the achievement.

      This interesting story of human mental weaknesses and strength can be read here.

  6. Professor Göran Sjöberg

    In my endeavour to ‘grasp’ the medical world since 15 years now, when I lost my previous innocent ‘belief’ in medicine as a true science, everything though seems to go backwards with my understanding. (A Socratic insight??)

    Anyway I am trying my best and am presently ‘in love’ with the Molecular Biology of THE CELL (Alberts et al.) in which I am digging my teeth for the third time now. I am at the PROTEIN chapter in the beginning of the book and am once more completely ‘knocked down’! Just the deciphering of the functions involved in one single protein is just overwhelming to me in its complexity. Realising that this is just one of the more 10.000 different proteins which harbour in each and everyone of our cells does not make me less exhausted.

    It is a fact (according to Albert) that we know extremely little of how these proteins interact with one another within each individual cell and only for a small number of the 10.000 proteins and we know much less how the communication between the cells in our bodies takes place.

    Still I believe that physiological ‘science’ is possible in medicine and I must say that the way Professor Unger has ‘entangled’ how the hormonal actions relating to diabetes work seems to have been carried out in the scientific spirit of the great French experimental physiologist of the 19th century, Claude Bernard. His clear methodology is so powerful that I have even forced my metallurgy students to read Bernard’s most famous book what true experimental science is all about.

      1. Professor Göran Sjöberg

        I think the point you are making here is very apt.

        I actually used your present remark about the limited explanatory power you can obtain from the fundamentals of the molecular biology for the higher physiology levels as an initiated example in a tutorial talk I had with my last Ph.D student today to ‘warn’ him about the belief that you can explain upper level phenomena in metallurgy from the fundamental principles. I think this is a general trap which is called ‘determinism’ in philosophy.

        Well – my favourite physiologist, Claude Bernard, principally did work at the higher levels of physiology but was well aware of the basics of natural science as chemistry an physics. He was among many other achievements able to explain how carbon monoxide worked by blocking the oxygen uptake in our red blood cells. Bernard was by the way considered as one of the founders of the discipline of the molecular biology. My student today, actually my best one, read Bernard’s book with the greatest interest.

    1. raphaels7

      Hi Professor Göran Sjöberg,

      I’m also using Molecular Biology of THE CELL (Alberts et al. 5th edition) and would recommend it far and wide. In my mind, the manner in which it lays out content requires a systems thinking approach to even start making meaningful sense of it. I also find this mirrored in Dr.Kendrick’s comment about physiology: “Physiology is only understandable at a single level. You cannot make sense of it at all levels simultaneously. At least not without understanding the compromises required.”

      The classical single disease-single organ model will bring up more and more paradoxes we cannot resolve. An engineering type of approach will better allow us to reconcile this apparently conflicting evidence. The more Dr.Kendrick and others point to the incomplete parts of various theories the higher resolution roadmap we will benefit from. Science really is about falsifications so as long as it remains career killer, progress will be tremendously arduous.

    2. Mary Richard

      I have been interested in Dr. Perlmutter’s work for many reasons over the last year or two. He has gotten promising results treating his Parkinsons patients with Glutathione injections. Since my mother’s own Neurologist thought my mother exhibited some Parkinsonian symptoms, I began to look to the experts. I saw a You Tube video and have read his views on Glutathione treatment. When I asked my mother’s Neurologist about having a test done to measure her Glutathione levels, he said. Oh we don’t do that. You will have to pay more for that test, but I can do it. I am amazed at how forward thinking some physicians are and how backward others are. My genius brother in law has read his book and has not touched any gluten since. He has diabetes and believes the gluten free diet has been his friend. He will loan Dr. Perlmutter’s book “Grain Brain” so I can strike that one off the list. Permutter also promotes a supplement called Protandim which purportedly helps the body fight oxidative stress and inflammation through its up regulation of glutathione. I use it (not daily so cannot swear by it) because I have faith in his research. I don’t want to add too much to my supplement list but feel Vitamin D, a multi vitamin and Ubiquinol have been helpful.

      1. Professor Göran Sjöberg


        Dr. Perlmutter’s book “Grain Brain” was to me a true eyeopener though his idea of ‘opioid ‘ actions of wheat has been seriously disputed. Avoiding gluten seems to be a quick fix and eagerly embraces by the food industry as judged from the shelfs in my supermarket.

        Just now I am a strong ‘believer’ in the ‘natural food’ suggested by Dr. Natascha, and keeps away from all cereals, and not least her idea of making stock out of bones from grass fed animals (a lot of ‘natural’ omega 3 versus inflammatory omega 6 in factory farmed animals + saturated fats). A fact is that I have presently a bone charge in a big pot on my favourite old fashioned stove fired with wood which I have chopped myself. Adds to the mythical part of my belief system 🙂 . The bones should simmer for some hours to squeeze the best out of the bones. Fermented cabbage, homemade sauerkraut, and as I have mentioned the home made yoghurt, are also parts of Dr. Natascha’s ‘healing’ concept which I also adhere to. Yesterday I put a new big jar of freshly made sauerkraut in the refrigerator – an excellent one according to my wife.

        Well, well – tomorrow another system of ‘belief’ could appear convincing to us. You never know for sure and as long as the ‘regime’ seems to work for your health you might stick to it. Some years ago we almost turned into vegetarians, great eating, but health did not seem to improve and finally T2 struck like a heavy hammer on my wife and thats when we turned to the very strictly LCHF which has worked wonders on our health state for whatever reason. Significant weight loss was just a bonus here if now losing weight really is a bonus. Natascha’s concept is a new (half a year) add one which has put the blood sugar at ‘dream’ (???) levels – round 5.

        Humility, and a sceptic mind as Malcolm suggests, in all science from the most fundamental chemistry to the ‘top level’ medicine appear to be very good attitudes for survival of the ‘fittest’.

      2. Ali

        Many who follow vegetarianism find their health plummeting, but there is vegetarianism and vegetarianism. If the diet is based very heavily around grains it is almost destined to fail. But basing it around vegetables, especially greens, pulses and fruits produces a vastly different result. I am not specifically vegetarian myself, but do see a vast difference in the types of food that is consumed on it.

        I am concerned that any diet taken to extremes is not good. Many who only eat a plant based diet have a tendency to look very gaunt and hollow-eyed. It is an awesome healing and cleansing regime, but the body cannot stay in a catabolic state all the time. There has to be a balance between catabolism and anabolism. I fear that even a paleo-type diet can also be extreme if one is not careful, with the body veering too much into anabolism, and never having enough rest from digestion to properly break down and eliminate wastes and toxins, or enough vegetation to support that process.

  7. D Malmberg

    The BBC aired a doco series in Oz last year, part 1 was called ” The Men Who Are Making Us Fat” ! That was the absolute first time I had heard of the sugar/health issue and I immediately started reading Doctors Kendrick, Lustig, Ravenskov and Yudkin, also Sarah Wilson and others. This little puppy’s eyes were finally opened!
    Because at the time of the documentary I was mostly agog with the sugar revelation, I can’t quite recall details about related subjects, like one episode where they showed really obese people travelling to South America(?) and paying lots for a kind of liposuction of the gut.
    I wonder would that be visceral fat or subcutaneous fat they were sucking out?
    If it was visceral, wouldn’t that (in spite of the cost) be way cheaper for governments than the zillions now being spent in health related care? I always thought liposuction was merely cosmetic, is it more?
    Clearly, I’m not a professional, but it seems logical, and is that what the mouse experiments are about ??

      1. Mary Richard

        This site…and particularly this particular subject has solved a long time and agonizing question I have suffered with for quite some time. My father who is deceased also had an aneurysm not long before he died of cancer. It took some time for him to have it repaired because he developed what doctors told us was a viral pneumonia. They said they could not operate until it cleared which seem to take forever. However, he went through with the surgery and it was successful. As his vascular doctor was explaining the procedure, he stated that my dad had a great deal of fat around his organs. Fat? He was not ever fat looking, not thin, but certainly no one ever characterized him that way. After that, they told us he was “borderline” diabetic. But, they gave him no medicine for it. It was rather surprising as he would have been the first on that side of the family to have diabetes. Within one year he was diagnosed with cancer which by that time was in his lungs but which they stated started in the stomach. They thought it was a GIST tumor. He did not last long after diagnosis, maybe a few months. I have been haunted by the things I should have could have done to save my father. He was always the picture of health. He told me he would live to be 106 and die just because he wanted to. Only a Scotsman like dad would ever put himself on the same level as a Deity. I have to wonder if there might have been some connection as I now believe the “fat” the doctor described had to be “visceral”. Apparently it is not a good sign for any inflammatory disease.
        Thanks Dr. Kendrick. I found my answer. You did, in fact, bring him back to me.
        God Bless

    1. Mary Richard

      D Malmberg,
      I became fascinated with this subject when I bought a book in its first edition in the late 1990’s. It was called Sugar Busters Cut Sugar to Trim Fat. I, too, never understood the relationship between, protein/natural animal fat food sources, carbohydrates and simple sugars as enemy#1. After all, all the grocery store shelves were touting the low fat diet and we were led to believe that a diet low in fat was the key to weight loss, health, and longevity. Boy were we taught wrongly. While many foods were low in fat, the taste was compensated for by adding sugar. Therein lay the biggest problem. Those authors made the description of how Insulin and glycogen work in harmony to keep the body functioning at an optimum level. You might want to purchase that book both for its relevance and easy to understand content as well as its recommendations for eating a balanced diet that promotes the so called “Good” carbs vs. bad. Although there is a lot of evidence that a High Fat, low carb diet is also a great “recipe” for getting Type II diabetes under control or eliminated, some believe in a more moderate approach to reversing or stabilizing type II diabetes. This diet has worked well for me when I wanted to lose a few pounds, but also to maintain. I have however decided that a diet lower in the so called low glycemic index foods is even better as it relates to a healthy relationship between blood glucose levels and insulin production. I have never had Type II diabetes, but expect that I could if I don’t at least try to keep the glucose levels in check as I age.

      However, I did not even think about visceral fat and subcutaneous fat, until I read Dr. Kendrick’s post and thought of someone in my family. Then, it came together. Alas, both the subcutaneous and visceral fats can and should be dealt with in the old fashion way…through diet and exercise. The diet low in processed carbs and refined sugars is, indeed, the best solution. When you keep those to a minimum, you can eat the healthy saturated fats without worry. I can vouch for that from my personal efforts in 1999 to today. There is lots of information out there on the high fat low carb diet and Sugar Busters is but one. I lose much quicker the fewer carbs I consume. I am not afraid of eating beef, chicken or any animal proteins with the fat any longer.
      I have to admit, I was about to set up an appointment with a Plastic Surgeon to remove some extra fat…then I read about the visceral fat deposition and decided it was not the thing to do. LOL

  8. Jerome Burne

    Fascinating. Presumably pharma fondness for simple models plays a part in the confusion – SSRIs and boosting serotonin, cholesterol and blocked plumbing. Who needs a model with multiple variables when you are making magic bullets. Jerome

  9. jonahide

    Thank you for your thought provoking blog.
    I can’t help asking why it is that the new “Banting” diet ( high protein intake) seems to “cure” some diabetics? Jon

  10. Dr Liz Stansbridge

    Why Isn’t Glucagon used as a treatment? Is it harder to synthesize than Insulin?
    I concur wholeheartedly with your opinions about the pharmaceutical industry. I am a retired psychiatrist and totally bought into the drugs are the gold standard treatment for any disease at one time. Now I think for myself.
    I have had recurrent depression since I developed endometrial cancer at the age of 40, due to untreated PCOS, due to my untreated underlying metabolic syndrome. According to drug company guidelines I should be on antidepressants for the rest of my life, despite the fact I was relapsing frequently. Well a couple of years ago I decided to stop taking them and take control of my moods myself. I have never felt better, have developed all sorts of strategies to help myself. I also suspect this is the well being Atkins described when in ketosis because I low carb for my T2.
    So I control my T2 and depression without drugs. If only the rest of the world would do this, what a loss to the pharmaceutical industry!
    I suspect I wouldn’t be welcomed back in the medical world by doctors, or indeed the patients. Taking charge of your health requires effort. Most people want to pop a pill and make it all magically get better.
    Although I loathe the pharmaceutical industry, the ethos of our society is that when there is something wrong we turn to a magician (the doctor) who will make it all right with a magic pill. I found this utterly frustrating when I was practicing. It is not just the greed and duplicity of the drug industry that needs addressing, it is our society’s attitude to health.

    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Of course, I realise that for the vast majority a simple ‘magic’ pill will always be the answer. I write only for those who are willing to ‘risk’ thinking about their own health for themselves.

    2. Mary Richard

      I too went through a period of depression when my then very young husband had to have open heart surgery (triple by-pass) at the age of thirty. He had stable angina but did have some blockages. He had no heart tissue death, however. I was so distraught…I could not believe it. When we met and before we married, He was a runner, 6’2″, and weighed 177 lbs. His cholesterol was 384 but neither of us thought much of it. We were kids, really. However, he was under extreme long standing duress because of a job requiring the utmost attention to detail. He was an engineer and worked overseas in both Sicily and Scotland. He never got a good night’s sleep as he worked all day and was awakened many times when he should have been getting rest. After the surgery and when he had to return to Europe from the U.S., I fell into a depression I had never before experienced. I did not want to be away from him as I feared he would need me. I had so many obligations in the states that moving overseas with him was just not a good option. His cardiologist recommended I see a psychiatrist. I was not inclined to do so, but did. He immediately put me on some anti-depressants. Liz, I felt worse and furthermore the depression did not lift. In fact, I felt it brought on a feeling of panic and increased depression. He tried several kinds, but I kept telling him they DID NOT WORK. I ditched them. When I discovered I was pregnant, he had the nerve to try to insist I get on yet another these anti-depressants during pregnancy!!!!! I TOLD HIM IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS…NO AND NOT JUST NO… BUT HELL NO!!!! I needed time and understanding, that is all. Time is one of our best defenses with depression. A talented psychiatrist does his job. The good news is that I felt just fine both during and after the baby was born. So, I appreciate what you are saying and believe it with all I have especially when I consider what I have learned in the past two years. I used my instincts even when young and uninformed…I just knew.

      I can’t say I loathe the pharmaceutical industry in general. Pharmaceuticals have their place and have saved the lives of many. But, in certain areas…they are corrupt, you are correct. Something needs to be done. I feel it will change, but may not be at the time and manner we all wish it to be. It will however. I fear many more lives will have to be lost before it does, but we are on the right road. Stay the course, make your voice heard and help people to change those attitudes. You are on the right track. Be a part of the solution.
      Thanks for your contribution.

      1. celia

        I’d like to make “Doctoring Data” required reading in every medical school. That might help change things for starters. Great book. I particularly liked chapter nine, and how Dr Kendrick built up gradually and so clearly to today’s misguided advice.

    3. Professor Göran Sjöberg


      Funny that ketosis has been so demonised in medicine (even by Unger?) and especially swept under the carpet in psychiatry irrespective of the well established effect of a ketostate on mental illnesses as epilepsy. I guess Dr Natasha’s diet treatment of mentally disturbed children must have put them in a rather significant ketosis although she does not talk very much about ketosis.

      Might it be that there is so little money to make since expensive drugs are not involved? Or is it because it is very difficult for us sugar addicts to keep away from all carbs? A daughter of a friend of mine who is depressed and on drugs for some years now just ‘gets wild and mean’ when she doesn’t get her carbs and sweets.

      My diabetic wife and myself are usually in a state of mild ketosis living our strict LCHF ‘way of life’ and mostly we have a strong feeling of well being. Our significant consumption of natural yoghurt with the 4 % lactose keeps the ketosis mild. However the stronger the state of ketosis the better for the health according to the experience of my wife. At times her ketone test sticks have turned very dark which has put me in a state of ‘alarm’ but at the same time her blood sugar levels have been just normal and that together with the fact that her feeling of wellbeing has been on top at the same time have made me relax.

      My belief is that the keton bodies and the fatty acids in in the blood stream are not only excellent food for my own heart but also for all nerve cells and especially when the glucose has manifested problems to reach the mitochondria in us metabolically disturbed people.

      1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        If you want to burn fat a.k.a. lose weight, you have to go into a state of ketosis. If fat stores are releasing fats (free fatty acids), some will be used directly for energy, some will go into the liver where they will be metabolized into ketone bodies for use in the brain, and other such organs that like to use them for energy. Ketosis = mild starvation. Keto-acidosis = something else entirely. They sound sort of similar – but they are not. Just as type I and type II diabetes sound like two versions of the same disease – but they are not.

      2. Ash Simmonds

        Ketones are great for the brain and CNS mostly. The long term stuff though it’s about being able to utilise fat. In the short/medium term ketones come to the rescue in the absence of glucose, but they’re not there to be a full time substrate.

      3. Ash Simmonds

        T2 isn’t even a disease. It’s like calling alcoholic fatty liver a disease. T1 is a legit autoimmune/whatever problem with the cells, T2 is self-inflicted. T3 was a bad movie, but the fan-edit taking out the lame jokes made it better.

      4. Dr Liz Stansbridge

        Yes ketosis is wonderful. My mood is great, energy levels are high.
        Extraordinary how the world reviles this. If it was a street drug, it would be the latest fashion!
        And all you have to do is go through carbohydrate withdrawal!

    1. Dr Liz Stansbridge

      T2 is a disease! It is a genetically caused defect of carbohydrate metabolism. I think this is the message that people here are trying to get across. It is not self induced.
      When I was 13, very thin, it would have been obvious to anyone with our current knowledge that I had metabolic syndrome. Sure my subsequent eating of a carbohydrate rich diet (which is the norm in our society) brought out all the associated problems. Can you say that is self induced? I would say it is progression of a disease that is only now starting to be understood.

  11. amieres

    Based on Dr. Unger’s presentation here goes my theory:
    1- In T2D the alpha cells in the stomach (not the pancreas) are the ones that produce high leves of glucagon. That in turn promotes high levels of glucose.
    2- The reason is that the visceral fat cells somehow interfere or block or deactivate or deplete the insulin signal from the pancreas which does not reach the alpha cells of the stomach at the appropriate level. The message received is greatly attenuated.
    3- This results in two contradictory messages, glucagon says release glucose, insulin says store glucose
    4- By contrast, the alpha cells in the pancreas read the insulin signal loud and clear since they are adjacent to the beta cells. With insulin levels constantly high they are permanently shut down. They may atrophy.

    In a non diabetic eating carbs raises glucose level which triggers beta cells to produce insulin which signals alpha cells to lower production of glucagon. Insulin also signals storage of glucose as glycogen and fats. This process returns levels of glucose, insulin and glucagon back to normal.

    In a Type 2 Diabetic the alpha cells of the stomach do not receive the message. The communication is broken by the visceral fat. This creates a vicious cycle where high levels of insulin promote fat storage (including more visceral fat) and high levels of glucagon promote high levels of glucose which in turn promotes high levels of insulin, and so on. The glucose in turn goes on a roller coaster ride.

    This would explain why high levels of insulin and glucagon coexist in diabetics. This model would also explain why gastric bypass (presumably without simultaneously removal of visceral fat) improves the symptoms of type 2 diabetes, even before patients start to lose weight as has been reported.

    Regarding insulin resistance instead of an actual resistance it is posibly the result of two contradictory messages sent by insulin and glucagon simultaneously: store sugar/release sugar. The cells either try to acomodate both messages or simply respond to the resulting ratio.

    In the case of Berardinelli probably the insulin is not able to lower the level of glucose because of lack of fat storage mechanism and the muscles and liver can only store so much glycogen.

    What do you think?

    1. Jennifer

      In response to blogs from amieres, Goran, Liz, and Mary during the last day or so, ( now that I am back in medical research mode, rather than trying to study English Grammar/vocabulary), I think we are all learning such a lot regarding diabetes and its management, thanks to the great authors out there.
      Perlmutter is so convincing that I have eliminated grains….(but can’t quite bring myself to chuck out the oatmeal…..I will use it sparingly until my supply is finished).
      I believe type II is being used as an excuse to get many of us “medicalised”. Indeed, when I was first ‘diagnosed’ my levels were hardly elevated…but enough to ensure I became labelled as diabetic, and needing life long treatments…..except the situation worstened….it only reversed after I eliminated the blasted tablets!( and the carbs).

      A little aside regarding English vocabulary, if I may.
      I think we can all agree that much confusion arises by the incorrect use and mis-understanding of words and phrases in medicine.
      Diabetes mellitis, diabetes insipidus.
      Osteo arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis.
      Ketosis, keto acidosis.
      Shock, trauma.
      Veins……Arteries. Not exactly as straight forward as one would think (eg in the pulmonary system).
      Stomach…..abdomen, tummy( certainly different meanings to different people).
      Dysphasia, dysphagia.
      Facial, fascial.
      Radical, radicle.
      Ileum, ilium.
      Mucous, mucus.
      Palpation, palpitation.

      Not to mention the old prostate ‘chestnut’, ……commonly incorrectly called the prostrate.
      Yes…..medical vocabulary is a right “b***e*! ( sorry….couldn’t resist).

      1. Mary Richard

        Although I did not realize how complicated one word could be, I asked because I thought it might be another word for a parasite or worm. I guess it could be. I had an Uncle here in the USA whose nick name was “Buggar”. In fact, I have seen this nickname in the US many times. Just curious. Thanks, Dr. Kendrick for allowing us to have a little comic relief as I really loved Jennifer’s response and laughed out loud.
        And I also allow my oatmeal on occasion. If you are going to indulge in carbs, this is a good one! I try not to be to strict with any diet or lifestyle changes. Life is too short. Thanks Jennifer.

  12. David Bailey

    Medical terminology can be most confusing! I had assumed that ‘ketone bodies’ were some sort of carriers of ketone’s – a bit like LDL or HDL particles carry cholesterol!

    It turns out the phrase is just a collective noun for three organic compounds – one of which isn’t a ketone at all!

  13. Gordon Rouse

    I don’t know if it sheds light on the biochemistry puzzle, but I believe the biggest misconception about ‘dietary’ diseases is that they are self-inflicted by diet.
    I put it to the theorists to consider that it is not the patient’s diet that causes the infliction but the patients mother, (and possibly even the father’s diet) that causes the conditions.

    The mother is the most likely culprit given that it is her womb that the patient spent their most important development years in, and apparently methylation of sperm DNA is saturated, which means it cannot pass epigenetic information. However I suspect there is more to epigenetics than what we currently know, and that men will not be innocent after all. I know Dr Weston A Price recalled experiments in his book where nutritionally depleted bulls sired offspring that were highly deformed, despite the good health of the mothers.

    One of the predictions of modelling ‘dietary’ diseases is that dietary changes should have a generational lag, so the current diseases that we are seeing on the rise are the product of the dietary factors that occurred before the 1980s. If you want to look for a dietary factor in the rise of obesity, look back to when the obesity rate started to rise, and then count back thirty years.

    Also, I wonder what role fatty liver has in the progression of diabetes? I believe Chris Masterjohn has written some interesting articles about this:

    1. Mary Richard

      I felt I must reply to your interesting post. I have relayed this story to Dr. Uffe Ravnoskov a few months ago, but feel rather upbeat about the evolution of this little hole in the wall grocery store I frequented in college in the early 80’s. It was a little wooden shack looking building with an old wooden screen door. It was called “The Whole Foods Company”. It was a boring little place with no chocolate, sugar, or any of the other fine brightly packaged foods I saw in the grocery stores in the U.S. All the foodstuffs were “natural” such as brown rice, whole wheat flour and all organic everything. I bought some foods there as I was just then becoming aware of the horrors of mainline groceries, but their importance would not come to me for many years later as I began to notice the sickness in the world and the mis-information we had been fed about how our bodies thrive. The little shack of a grocery store was bought out by the Whole Foods Company. I have had the pleasure of visiting one lately and was delighted to find all the foods Dr. Natasha speaks about in her dietary advice. I finally found some Ghee. It is fabulous!!
      The Whole Foods Company is growing like wild fire here in the states. I am proud to say they bought out a very well known grocery chain here and we will have a Whole Foods Company close to our home.
      I see this as progress. I feel and know people understand that the foods they have eaten and fed their own children are in many ways…poisons. I went online to see how The Whole Foods Stores are doing. Read about it online. I think and hope it will restore some faith in those who understand the value of good whole food. I am excited!!!

  14. Professor Göran Sjöberg


    Interesting thoughts!

    Reading Weston Price, though a dentist, original great works on the connection between ‘natural food’ and health among ‘traditional’ peoples he visited all around the world a hundred years ago was surely revealing to me in a true ‘Popperian’ way. It was just stunning to see how contacts with the modern ‘scientific’ food industry and agriculture just destroyed the health status among these people in a very short period of time – very convincing!

    The nutritional pre-conceptional status of BOTH the father and the mother was evidently considered to very important among ‘traditional’ societies.

    Though, my suspicion is the present epigenetic research craze will turn into a new dream gold mine for BigPharma.

    I wonder if we ever will be able to go ‘back to the future’.

    1. Jennifer

      Goran, strange that you mention ‘back to the future’, because just this evening I have dug out my 25 year old Tortora and Anagnostakos “Principles of Anatomy and Physiology”, in an attempt to get to grips with all these complex issues.
      As a Nurse studying for a diploma at the time, it was classed as essential reading. I must admit that as soon as the words glycogenesis, glycogenolysis, gluconeogenesis etc, appeared on the page, I thought to myself….”no way….as a practising nurse, I really do not think I will be considering these processes as I attend to my poorly patients”. How I wish I had not dismissed it, because now I see how relevant such learning would have helped me. Anyway, its never too late…the book is a bit behind the times, e.g. There is no differentiation between subcutaneous and visceral fat, which we now know function in different ways; also no leptin etc, but nontheless, the text is proving helpful to me.
      I am having a little bit of a turnround regarding carbs being the devil incarnate in type II.
      Can I pass this by you?
      In a healthy adult, there will be about 1:10 ratio visceral:subcutaneous fat.
      An increased volume of subcut…I believe caused by excessive carbs, …..will also cause an increase in the volume of visceral. Once the optimum visceral is upset, there is interference with insulin, caused by proportionately increasing the volume of RBP4, which is produced by the visceral fat. The body has no need for this extra RBP4 because it initiates insulin resistance, and ultimately type II. In the “apple-shaped” diabetic, carrying subcutaneous fat around their belly, the hidden visceral fat is overlooked, and “just being fat” gets the blame.
      BUT, what if there is a large increase in visceral fat, NOT accompanied by an increase in subcutaneuos fat? How can that happen?
      Stress initiates the release of cortisol.
      Cortisol causes visceral fat to be laid down.
      So…the stressed person, who may very well be thin, is building up visceral fat at a rate of knots, and up goes the production of RBP4, manifesting into type II. Again, the visceral fat is not at all visible, and indeed, seems only to show up on an expensive MRI scan… the damage is occuring beneath the rada…then wham! The type II is well in progress in the thinnish, pear-shaped individual too.
      In my case, with a svelt(ish) figure at the time of diagnosis, I had stress levels sky high….my mother died most unexpectedly with a coronary; both our children were married within a few months. 2 grandchildren were born in quick succession, and we moved from one end of the country to the other, and back again, selling and buying houses, with my husband and I changing jobs into the bargain!
      It seems that added to insulin, sugar and glucagon, we cannot ignore RBP4….or, actually, visceral fat deposition, initiated by increased subcutaneous fat or stress. .. Oh, it is so fascinating.
      My old book from the past is helping me how to consider managing the future…and accept that not much changes, we are just gaining a deeper understanding to guide us towards a healthier future.

      1. Professor Göran Sjöberg


        I am not familiar with RBP4 – must be one of the 10 – 20 000 proteins roaming around – and it may for sure be a culprit to a lot.

        The problem as I see it is that you often as a human want to find ONE explanation or cause, as e.g. insulin action on high blood sugar, while the physiological complexity today is so overwhelming to myself so I sometimes want to say with Socrates that I am probably the most ignorant person around until I start asking questions to ‘experts’ who proclaim their knowledge. (NOledge to my wife.)

  15. Dr Liz Stansbridge

    I am most interested as to whether there is much research into the addictiveness of carbohydrate and appetite regulation.
    After carb withdrawal for a few days, I felt like I had woken from a drugged sleep. I felt, and still do, alert, cheerful, sleep well, awake refreshed. I no linger crave food, I eat when I am hungry, enough to satisfy. As I write, I am baking a batch of low carb blueberry muffins. They are scrummy, in no way an inferior food. I will eat one today, put the rest in the freezer and eat them over the next 2 weeks. I don’t eat several, warm from the oven as I used to do with the carby version. All that kind of behavior is gone. Have I suddenly acquired superhuman willpower a year ago, or is there a metabolic explanation?
    I know I could easily fall back into old ways if I let carb back into my life. Fortunately, my T2 won’t let me. Not many people would be thankful for T2!

      1. BobM

        I’m firmly convinced there is carb addiction, although its exact manner of operation eludes me. If I eat many carbs at all, say a piece of chocolate cake for a 70th birthday party (as I did this past Saturday), I immediately crave more carbs. It’s like I have to have them. Not only do I crave carbohydrates, but I find myself overeating for several days thereafter. And I’ve been low carbing now for about a year and rarely eat carbs at all, let alone sugared carbs. I eat no wheat, no “whole grain” products, no grained products whatsoever, no fruit (save berries and these very infrequently), no bread, etc.. I save any “splurges” for good pizza and birthdays for people in my immediate family only. Nonetheless, for the few times I’ve indulged over the last year, I immediately want more carbohydrates. It takes all I can do to get back on a low carb, high fat diet.

      2. Mary Richard

        I do think stress is such a major factor in so many diseases. That is particularly true for long term unabated stress that you live with for so long…you are not aware of how your body is affected. I don’t know if I would be inclined to believe in a carb addiction, maybe a craving? It takes a while to get rid of some of our bad habits with food. I do believe that whatever you get used to as a matter of personal choice, you might crave after getting off them. That can also be true for healthy foods. I have experienced that a lot, as well. I have heard this about coffee or any other caffeine drink also. I never noticed. I do feel awful during times when I eat too much sugar…it may be guilt too. I don’t know that one for sure. First, my heart beats a little hard, then I crash after I eat sugar. Then I feel sleepy. My husband is T2 Diabetic and I check my numbers sometimes but they are always within normal.

      3. Ali.

        I have what I think is a very plausible theory on carb addiction.

        Food is only true food when it not only supplies the elements needed for its own digestion, but enough to support other bodily functions too. So much of our modern food is denatured or fractionated to the point that it actually robs more out of the body than it provides.

        When the body senses it needs more elements it triggers hunger. This ‘food’ triggers insatiety because it is always putting the body into nutritional deficit. Add in the fact that sugar and carbs in general please the gratification sensors and you have a recipe for over- indulgement.

        When people change their diet to a far lower carb-based regime, they have often cut out much of the food, like modern highly-hybridised grains, processed, denatured stuff and chemical additives that robs the body and have replaced it with a more nutritious selection.

        I also wonder how much of the carb addiction is driven by internal unwanted guests. Most parasites love carbohydrate. Is the ‘addiction’ driven by us, or by them? I know I am a bit of a stuck record on this subject, but I really believe it is very relevant and far too easily dismissed.

  16. anglosvizzera

    I expect some people can be addicted to carbs – as everyone says, we are all different and respond differently to various foods. There is no ‘one-size fits all’ to the conundrum which is where the NHS falls down with its ‘eatwell plate’ and other recommendations (not that I agree at all with the ‘eatwell plate’ with rather an over-emphasis on grain-based carbs).

    There’s a bit of a discussion here about carb addiction to start you off –

      1. Jennifer

        Thanks for this link, good stuff.
        This week there appears to be a head of steam rising, regarding criticism of the ‘eatwell plate’, and rightly so….long overdue.
        Having looked closely at it today, I am amazed that we ever took it on board! What is shows is far from healthy food, but panders to the rubbish convenience foods available to buy, and I think, keep the addictive carb pathway satisfied. It is as though there is a belief that the addictive pathway is so strong, and therefore too difficult to combat. ” let them eat cake”. And that is why we are in the state we are in today……the plate is seriously at fault.
        For instance, it does not just permit, but positively recommends cola, battenburg cake, custard creams, chocolates, refined pressed oil, fruit juice, biscuits, potato crisps, smarties, cornflakes, fruity yogurt, soya drink, skimmed milk, victoria sponge, pasta and a doughnut! OK, maybe in moderate amounts, but add them together, and the addiction is hard wired, and the Department of Health endorses it.
        A correct eatwell plate would never have had these toxic products.
        I have no objection the veggies, but where is the butter? The lard? The hard, matured cheeses? And where is good old water?
        I think we must not blame the ill/obese any longer. We have been encouraged to eat garbage, because by recommending( yes, recommening, not just permitting),even a small wedge of the addictive carbs, the thin end of the wedge feeds the addictive pathway, and we are unable to combat the ever increasing urges….that has been shown by research.

    1. Jennifer

      Thankyou, another interesting link.
      To be honest, I became interested in this blog after reading about the cholesterol question, as it involved me personally. Within a short while I was following Robert Lustig, then many others, and my mission took off exponentially….I suppose one could say I became addicted to the whole world of food, medicines, lifestyle, marketing, politics, psychology, corruption, deceit, …on and on….such worthwhile topics, and a little bit obsessive. I must keep life in perspective and
      make time for some essential housework.
      ….so off to spend a couple of hours tidying my DOLLS house ( well, it is the weekend, after all!)

      1. anglosvizzera

        Jennifer, I haven’t heard anything regarding criticism of the ‘Eatwell Plate’ recently – could you point me in the right direction to read about the latest news? I can’t believe it’s been recommended without any changes for the past 20 years!!

  17. Dillinger

    So, would you prescribe Liraglutide/Victoza to all your diabetic patients (whether Type 1 or Type 2)?

    I’m Type 1 so don’t have any experience of it but I understand that it is a glucagon suppressor.

    Wouldn’t that be a start (in conjunction with other meds as necessary plus the old faithful low-carb diet)?

  18. Mary Richard

    I have been reading “Doctoring Data” and also reading an old book I got from Dr. DeBakey, the famous heart surgeon. The date is 1984. The title? “The Living Heart Diet”. This “diet” book was based on a book he wrote “The Living Heart” initially in 1977. As I expected and as I perused through the diet itself, the recommendations were for a low sodium, low fat diet. How he came to these conclusions is quite interesting and confirms much of what Dr. Kendrick says in his book Doctoring Data. Often (and to DeBakey’s credit), he describes atherosclerosis pretty accurately in terms of what we all have learned about what atherosclerosis looks like. He knows that the image of an artery with and without disease looks quite different. He further stated so many times in the first chapters of the book that “No one knows precisely how atherosclerosis begins or what triggers the process” or something to the effect that science has not figured out why young men can have signs of atherosclerosis in their early 40’s. He speaks about collateral circulation. He described the disease in its most critical state as POSSIBLE degeneration. He knew that researchers believed that something caused the protective lining of the innermost layer of the artery (endothelium) to be damaged allowing “toxic” substances from the bloodstream to enter the artery wall. But, alas…stated also “The precise cause and nature of the original injury to the arterial lining is not known.” Of course he claimed that one of the “potential” sources was high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. No one knew at the time how it got there.

    So, here you have a diet book aimed at low fat, low sodium eating as a way to save one’s heart when they did not have a clue as to why or how these atherosclerotic changes came about. Here is an excellent example of how an authority can make an educated guess about the dietary treatment of a disease for which they had no real etiology. But…because it was written by the famous DeBakey who saved so many lives and innovated so many “solutions”, albeit temporary, for the mechanical repair of these circulatory abnormalities, it becomes “bible”.
    As said before, to DeBakey’s credit, he was “honest” about his ignorance and that of the scientific community up to that time.

    I guess this is how rumors are spread. If DeBakey said it is “possible”, not proven…well then it must be true. This is where and how it started at least in general terms. But why would the average Joe adhere to a diet when the “causes” were so unknown? We allow ourselves to be lambs lead to the slaughter so to speak.

    Still reading Doctoring Data with much enthusiasm and enjoying how far we have come but lamenting how we have gotten here. It does somehow explain and confirm how the causes and (worst part, solutions) can be “plucked from thin air.”

  19. Dr Liz Stansbridge

    Thank you, I am still looking for an explanation.
    I haven’t come across anything that explains why I don’t overeat on a low carb diet.
    The transformation is extraordinary, it is not that I am resisting food, it is that I no longer want to overeat, no willpower is required, rather than avoiding carbs.
    I am losing 2lb per week on 40g carb/around 1800kcal/day and I am not hungry or wanting to eat more. My diabetic blood control is perfect, in the non diabetic range, despite being a post-menopausal woman. I assure you that my beta cells are very burned out, initially around 8g carb per meal was all I could eat to keep my BG’s normal. Now probably 15g, but I don’t go that far.
    Can science explain this? Is the lack of insulin response enough to overcome my previous appetite response?
    It is incredible to me that just avoiding carbohydrate sorts everything. I am not advocating this for everyone, but it seems miraculous to me.
    I never was a weak willed greedy guts in comparison to every one around me. I have dieted (low fat) several times, lost many stones, and put back all the weight and more. I gave it up as a bad job, realizing that yo-yo dieting was doing more harm than good. So I said to myself ‘I am not doing that again until they come up with a better option’.
    This time I only resolved to control my T2 and lo! the weight fell off. Now I can see that I can become a normal weight and keep it off by low carbing. A bit of deprivation, but I can eat to satiety and never be hungry. It amazes me, and I think ‘why did no one ever tell me about this before?’.
    The anti ‘lo carb’ brigade are incredible. Why the hostility to something that really, really works? It reminds me of addicts justification of their drug use, that’s why I brought up the subject of carb addiction.
    My friends say I am a different woman, happy, positive, glowing. It’s not just that I have lost weight, the ketogenic diet makes me feel so well.
    Why did I have to find all this out for myself? Why did the NHS never tell me? Today, my lodger’s best friend had his foot amputated as a consequence of T2. Why did no one ever tell him he needs to low carb? Truly, Dr K, they are killing your patients.

    1. Jennifer

      Dr Liz.
      I am with you all the way, and pleased that you have returned to a decent state of health.
      I believe there is an addiction pathway influencing the brain, and although I cannot quote the works explaining this, I have read round the topic, and am convinced by the likes of Permutter and Lustig. Why do I believe their research? because when I tried it for myself, it worked. I acknowledge that carbs have been my weak point, so will always consider myself as a carb addict. High intake of saturated fats reduces my appetite and cravings for all types of food, not just carbs.
      Sadly, my Type II is with me forever….it just does not get a chance to rear its ugly head any longer. The deprivation of a few rubbish carbs is of nothing to the feeling of being in charge of one’s own destiny….I do what I do now for my own selfish ends. Reading Doctoring Data has given me the strength to know that, actually, I am entitled to make up my own mind about things.
      It has taken a lot of time and effort on my part to sort out the science from the pseudo-science, and the free time of retirement has allowed me that luxury.
      As I sit here tapping away on my pad, I am looking at the beautiful spring flowers emerging from their indoor pots, and must say, my eyesight ( with specs, of course) has superb clarity, brightness and definition, as never before. I am convinced it is due to the lack of excess glucose circulating in my system.

      1. David Bailey

        I have seen it suggested that the difference is that fatty food takes longer to digest than carbohydrates – I remember the old school experiment in which you held a piece of bread in your mouth until it tasted sweet because the carbs were breaking down even in the mouth.

        I would say the feeling of satiety associated with non-carb meals seems subjectively to be just that – the stomach is still processing the last batch of food!

      2. Mary Richard

        I am reading Dr. Kendrick’s book today and it is good I have this “day off”. It is strange that commonly held beliefs come from some of the most gifted and intelligent people in society. Those are some of the people however that refuse to enlighten themselves to another’s opinion as they think they just know it all. And when you know it all and think you have it all…you will do whatever you can to hold on to it. My dad used to have a cute saying when he talked about closed minded people. He would jokingly say: “I have only made but one mistake in my life and I corrected it almost immediately”! I think he was making fun of mother as she could be quite controlling and self righteous.
        It looks as though that is a common mentality as we discuss how far the medical/scientific community will go to protect itself. They truly think they are above it all. Just when you think you have it all figured out…you figure out you do not. That is, if you are smart enough and comfortable enough with yourself, you can accept new information and give it a go.

        I hope Dr.Kendrick we can have a discussion about arterial diseases of the peripheral system sometime in the future.

      3. Professor Göran Sjöberg

        What is striking me all the time is that most people only get a real interest in a subject when they think that they have a personal problem with the subject and also willing to do something about this problem on their own. (Though, a sadly large number of people do not want to take charge of their own problems but just trust the pills from their GP’s which may be due to their not wanting to admit a carb-addiction, but Malcolm’s book “Doctoring Data” will now change all that.) This is all very human and is absolutely true for me and my wife. Since almost half of the worlds population now is heading downhill we may hopefully believe that something soon will change worldwide in attitudes.

        If you on top of an insight and have a willingness to conduct serious experiments on yourself and with amazing end results you can turn almost ‘religious’ (read dogmatic) in your belief of the ‘miracle’ you have experienced.

        By throwing out the carbs and replacing them with saturated fat this has definitely happened to us both. There were some stubborn top dog nutritionist who like the famous St Paul have now converted to the ‘true LCHF-religion’ due to deep personal experiences and seeing the ‘light’. Check out on Professor Noaks i South Africa as one of those ‘converts’.

        Jennifer, funny that you mention your eyesight. I think I have mentioned this before but the night-vision of my wife that was lost returned after about half a year and the earlier diagnosed glaucoma could no more be found. Her peripheral neuropathy disappeared completely in one year with our new ‘religion’ which tends to make us ‘believers’.

      4. Ali.

        Whilst I am still trying to reverse the diabetes and lose the weight, dumping gluten grains and most carb 7 years ago got rid of years of IBS, raging restless legs, burning feet (neuropathy), palpitations, sweats, flushes and the fungus-factory. I am the exception to the rule, my insulin resistance seemed to worsen on low-carb, high-fat instead of improving.

        Because of the stubborn insulin resistance, for years my sugar levels have been higher than I would like, averaging around 9mmol (more insulin might lower it more but I know taking more insulin is not the answer and makes losing weight almost impossible). Constantly we are told that high sugar levels lead to ‘diabetic complications’. Yet, by removing food from my diet that was constantly robbing my body of more nutrition than it gave, I have been able to reverse the ‘diabetic complications’ despite higher blood sugar levels.

        Whilst high sugar levels are not ideal, it does raise the question that maybe it’s not the higher sugar that does most of the damage, but the lack of nutrition in the food people are eating. I have known diabetics who have lost their sight, limbs, etc., but their diets were abysmal. One was never without a packet of biscuits. They are not food. They are empty calories that do nothing to support health.

        Without enough nutrition the body basically rots to death…..slowly.

    2. celia

      It certainly seems we need to learn, not from the official guidelines, but from the experiences of other patients. If I had not been following this blog I fear my husband would now be on medication for his ‘pre-diabetes’. Instead he went on the LCHF regime. He has lost weight, has not felt so fit for years, and his numbers are ‘normal’ as well. Thank you to all those who report their experiences.

    3. John U

      Dr. Liz,
      I don’t know if you read Gary Taubes’ book called “Good Calories Bad Calories” or in the UK I think it is called “The Diet Delusion”, but in it he explains the hunger issue quite well, but not in scientific jargon. What I understood from his book was that hunger is a signal which we receive from the Hypothalmus when the Hypothalmus receives a signal from our body cells that there is no nourishment left in the circulation. When the glucose is all gone (either stored or used by our muscle cells) and insulin levels are still high ( as in cases of insulin resistancce and most T2DM), and the fat cells are inhibited from mobilising (sending fatty acid into the circulation, i.e. lipolysis ) to nourish the body due to the high level of insulin, the cells are sending signals to the brain to increase glucose, ie. eat. Once you train your system to use the fat cells for energy when the glucose is gone and insulin levels are low, basal, then the fat cells provide the enery your body needs automatically, and no crisis signals are sent to the brain. This adaptaton process takes about 2 to 3 weeks for most people. How these signals are sent is beyond my level of understandiing.

      Once the fat cells start getting seriously depleted of fat, the homone leptin, produce by the fat cells in proportion to the quantity of fat stored, signals the hypothalmus to send hunger signals for us to eat more food. Otherwise starvation. Low leptin, eat more, high leptin, no hunger. Seriously obese people could have leptijn signalling problems because the of leptin resistance at the Blood Brain Barrier, their hunger does not diminish even thought leptin signals are being sent. The signals do not get through and hunger persists.

      1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        Yes, Leptin is used in Beradinelli Siep lipodystrophy syndrome (where people have no fat cells). It stops them feeling starving hungry all the time. They also found a population in, I think Greece, of people with very low leptin levels. They were all very fat. Using Leptin ‘cured’ their hunger and they all lost weight. However, for most obese people, leptin does not work and clearly other mechanisms are in play. Sadly, as with everything in this area, it is layer upon layer of complexity.

      2. Gordon Rouse

        Gary Taubes is to the Paleo movement what T. Colin Campbell is to the vegan movement. Both self-deluded by their ideology.
        I am not saying low-carb diets do not have their place, however Taube’s theory that carbohydrates are the sole cause of all of societies problems surely requires incredible Cherry picking skills that Ancel Keys would be proud of!
        All over the world there is evidence that paleo humans were not just skilled hunters, but also skilled gatherers. In Australia grain grinders date back to 30,000 years!

        One important low-carb myth that needs rethinking is that low-carb diets ‘cure’ obesity. When the Atkins diet was put to the test against the standard low calorie regime in a clinical trial, the Atkins diet certainly gave quicker weight loss, and maybe was easier to maintain short-term, however long term the net effect was similar, ie a return to original weight set-point after about 3 years. This is because long term, appetite is controlled by leptin, a hormone produced by adipose tissue. It is the perfect feedback mechanism to maintain weight, and will eventually trump any clever satiety trick you can throw at it.

        However there is a nagging question that has occurred to me. When the clinical study chose its participants, I wonder if they only chose non-diabetic (II) ‘overweight’ candidates? I wonder if long term weight loss can be sustained better in diabetic (II) patients using a low-carb regime?

        I am sure the anecdotal evidence and hype would suggest so!

        Of course, what the long term effect of a low-carb diet is on type II diabetes is surely a most tantalizing question, even if it cannot produce sustained weight loss as I suspect, does it have other outcomes? What might it tell us about type II diabetes?

      3. John U

        @Gordon Rouse
        You said “Gary Taubes is to the Paleo movement what T. Colin Campbell is to the vegan movement. Both self-deluded by their ideology.
        I am not saying low-carb diets do not have their place, however Taube’s theory that carbohydrates are the sole cause of all of societies problems surely requires incredible Cherry picking skills that Ancel Keys would be proud of!
        All over the world there is evidence that paleo humans were not just skilled hunters, but also skilled gatherers. In Australia grain grinders date back to 30,000 years!”

        I would not characterize GT as Paleo nor as having an ideology. You must have drawn entirely different impression of the man from reading his book than I did, assuming that you read the book. Colin Campell was a researcher – GT is a journalist who made a case to suggest that a great deal of good research done in the early 40’s to late 60’s which was subsequently ignored by the American academies. He tried to show that this was wrong and probably motivated by other than noble interests. He proposes an ALTERNATE hypothesis which needed to be checked out by proper research. And I think he did it very well. Colin Campell just drew unsupportable conclusions from his research which were very elegantly debunked by Denise Minger. Unfortunately people and still buying and reading his :China Study” book.

        My comment on GT centered on the issue of how hunger is manifested and what may drive it. To denigrate his book and call him “self deluded by his idealogy” is totally without merit.

  20. Jo tB

    Ali, I have seen the same problem you mention, that my fasting blood sugar levels are slowly but steadily rising. I think it could be linked to disbiosis in the gut flora. I have been reading on the subject of Candida overgrowth lately, and have the distinct feeling that that could be my case. It only takes one course of antibiotics to get benign Candida to become parasitc, Read how out of control Candida affects the whole endocrine system. You will be as surprised as I was.

    1. Ali.

      Oh yes Jo, I am sure that is linked somehow. I was given loads of antibiotics as a child, back in the day when they used to dish them out like sweeties. Added to the fact that I was born from a type 1 mother who went on to have a stillborn boy and multiple miscarriages – almost certainly a nutritional deficiency/malabsorption issue as she was finally diagnosed with Coeliac Disease 4 weeks before she died at the age of 64.

      I was also not breastfed due to being born early via Caesar at 8 months gestation, so didn’t get the benefit of immune-building colostrum and breast milk, or the microbe gathering path of natural birth.

      Oblivious to the risks, I carried on having antibiotics at times as an adult too until I woke up and figured it all out around 15+ years ago. Not had any since, but I fear the damage was already done. Through diet I have managed to improve my digestion slowly, an am generally no longer plagued with Candida and fungal issues, but I am sure there is still some dysbiosis in my body, not helped by the worm infestation.

      In the last few weeks I have gone over to a low-carb mainly plant-based diet similar to Dr. Fuhrman’s ‘beans & greens’ regime to see if that will help any. Certainly it beats LCHF into a cocked hat in relation to bowel regularity! I am also trying a somewhat lower ‘Lyme Disease’ salt/vitamin C protocol too (up to 6gms, not 12!). If it can eliminate parasites in Lyme bodies, I see no reason why it can’t also deal with helminths. Although only about 4 days into that, the worms have gone very quiet, and the salt/C combination has triggered electrical activity big-time and my body has gone on the attack against them. I’m impressed.

      Like saturated fats and so many other healing foods, we have been scared off using salt, or just sold out to cheap nasty mineral-devoid table salt. Real salt is healing, not damaging. It’s crazy.

      1. Jo tB

        Oh yes, I was started early on antibiotics. When I was 13 (many moons ago) I developed a mysterious pain in my left foot and couldn’t walk on it for 6 weeks. The doctors at the hospital didn’t know what it was, so gave a 13 year old girl penicilline injections for 7 days in the hope of curing the problem. It didn’t. After six weeks the pain went away and I started to walk again on the foot. But the damage was done. I used to suffer excruciating PMS until I started on the Pill, which I took for 25 years. Is it any wonder that my gut biome is out of whack.

  21. raphaels7

    –The Initial Common Pathway of Inflammation, Disease, and Sudden Death– Stephanie Seneff (MIT)
    (Seneff hypothesis) “the concept that membrane bound endothelial and erythrocytic nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), in the presence of caveolin-1, and sunlight, oxidizes H2S to sulfate”

    A nifty little mechanism that fits right into the CVD-Diabetes commonalities discussed here.

  22. Sue Richardson

    Do practice nurses know what they are talking about, or is it me? Today I was told that because my sugar level was high (7.5) and my cholesterol was also high (9.67) they would mix together, become ‘sticky’ and clog my arteries, thus putting me at risk of a stroke or heart attack. She wanted me to begin a lose dose of medication for diabetes. Is she right? Any comments?

    1. Jennifer

      Sue, I think you may have gleaned from my many responses on this blog over the last 2 years that I am a retired Registered Nurse and Radiographer. Over the 14years since my retirement I have become sick and tired of being fobbed off with so called “nurse consultants” who have inadequate knowledge regarding their area of expertise. I have given up visiting the surgery and taking any meds prescribed by GPs and practice Nurses who do not have an up to date knowledge of current thinking regarding physiology and nutrition.
      I think the news report on Wednesday from The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, calling into question the practices of over medicalisation of the elderly, and inappropriate, premature diagnosis of the population in general, just about sums up my feelings of our present day NHS services.
      Call me old fashioned, (and believe me, I have tried so hard not to be critical of modern techniques etc, ) but i truly believe I had a better education in the 1960s regarding care and understanding, than practitioners throughout the Professions Allied to Medicine, and the Medical Schools themselves, have achieved since the turn of this Millennium.

      1. Sue Richardson

        Jennifer. The trouble is, these young nurses sound so positive that it makes people like me wonder if they might be right – and I’m a ‘questioner’. Others believe everything g they are told and end up on meds. I had questioned the necessessity of taking even a low dose of whatever it was she wanted to prescribe, and she warned me of the greater risk of heart attack/stroke when the cholesterol + sugar became mixed together, causing ‘stickiness’ I had no answer because I have no medical knowledge and so I came away wondering if she was right. Have you ever heard of such a thing? I’ve got to the point where I don’t even know whether a blood sugar level of 7.5 is anything to worry about or not because as has been said before, probably on this blog, the medical profession keep moving the goalposts. I am positive that I do not want medication. I am not so sure if I am just being stubborn!


          Sue, here’s a couple of stories I have been told this weekend which illustrate that you are not alone.
          1) 75 year old female made bold decision to stop statins after 15 years….Dr agreed, but said for her to have blood test after 8 weeks, to check whether she needs to RESUME them. She feels so well, but will do as GP says….At her age, why on earth is there even a hint of returning to the toxins?
          2) 75 year old female with chronic sinus trouble. GP does blood tests to try to sort the problem, and prescribes a nasal spray, antibiotics and steroids, in the mean time. ( As an Ear, Nose and Throat Nurse, I was told that nasal sprays were not appropriate in active sinus infections).
          She gets an urgent phone call from GP….must start statins as her cholesterol is 5.4. She declines, and asks about the blood result regarding her sinus trouble, and is told all other bloods are OK.
          However, the spray had failed to improve the sinuses, and she explained that her face had been beetroot red all week, and she couldn’t shift a thumping headache. She was offered another spray!
          ‘Scripts, ‘scripts, ‘scripts..that is about all on offer at the surgery these days.

          What is the old saying?….give me a hammer, and I will find a nail.
          Here we have 2 elderly women being actively considered for statinisation…totally inappropriate at their age and gender.
          We have a patient, seemingly having an allergic reaction to a nasal spray, being offered yet another spray, suffering terribly with acute sinus pain….but statinisation is the Dr’s first concern!!!
          Our health business is ruled by the computer….5.4….must prescribe statins, regardless of any other factors.
          Spray ineffective….so..must prescribe another one….no discussion about documenting an allergic reaction….. just get her on the statins, and another box will have been ticked for the bean counters.

  23. Ali

    Haven’t a clue, but by far the best thing you could do for both your blood sugar and your cholesterol is to dump grains/gluten and adopt a low carbohydrate diet. Many of us have, by doing this, even managed to reverse the diabetes. It doesn’t have to be a ‘progressive’ disease.

  24. Sue Richardson

    Jenniferscott – it seems like they just want to make sure someone, somewhere pays money for meds. In the case of your stories, either nasal sprays or statins. Why on earth the urgent phone call is odd, as 5.4 is low anyway. An urgent phone call from the doctor’s surgery is enough to panic anyone into being statinised, so well done that lady for refusing. It’s very sad when you have to stand up to your doctor as though he’s the enemy.

  25. Pingback: Insulin and glucagon: Roger Unger |

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s