Saturday, March 14, 2009

That's the Issue...G-Flux: E ≠ MC2

As any gurrlll will tell ya -- certain times of the month (e.g. when we're bleeding down our legs) no matter what we eat/don't-eat, girls gain %^&*$weight. Yet... at other times...we gals can eat E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G in sight... and... drop pounds... have more energy... more shredding/shedding.

What's the issue...??

Human bodies do not obey the laws of matter and physics. Esp... girls... *wink* We break all the metabolism rules... and hormones fluctuate. Unlike physical matter, hormone-cascades rule energy flux, flow and balance.

Biological Energy Turnover

Often like life... the more you give, the exponentially more . . . you get.

Energy in alive, biological systems appears to follow the same rule, to me. With more propelling exercise and intense power demands, the human body is the greatest machine to turn over and kick out more outputs than inputs. Mitochondria, our tiny nuclear power-generating plants, double...or even...QUINTUPLE in quantity and quality for future expected thermodynamics. (Conversely, they are degraded with 'hibernation signals' -- insulin, low thyroid, movement-deficiency + subsequent T, hGH, adiponectin hormone declines, high carbs, high F**C-tose, x-s omega-6 veggie oils, diminished daylight/Vitamin D deficiency, EPA+DHA insufficiency, micronutrient/co-factor deficiencies, etc.)

Frank Starling's Rule...of Heart/Muscles Biophysics:

Max Cardiac Output = Max Heart Rate X Max Stroke Volume

For us Paleo people, during functional, natural exercise, how does the heart provide so much ATP, energy packets, with constant and high outputs? At high intensity Tabata squats? 100 burpee-pullups? interval 400m sprints? Oly-weight-lifting like dead-lifts and power cleans 8 x3...?? Which then translate effortlessly (without practicing) to faster running, flying across hills, and jumping to never imagined heights...!? I n d e e d y . . . Olympic-lifting explodes vertical-leaping and bounding better than... Superman himself. Another one of our important muscles, the heart, works the same way. It is a muscular biological pump. How strong the heart can pump blood-volume and how efficiently oxygen is supplied are the factors that determine the max work and max volume delivered with every heartbeat. See above Frank Starling formula. With the proper training, the heart muscle cells in fact grow BIGGER (yea)... THICKER (yea-aaahh) with mitochondria, the ATP-power-generators... MORE EQUIPPED with enzymes and co-factors to transfer energy -- fatty acids, lactate, glycogen/glucose -- and to increase 'end-products' neutralizers (Coenzyme Q10).

Our heart cells (cardiomyocytes) are one of nature's best examples of bio-engineering for structure, composition and mechanical genius. They beat for you every second...of your life ~100,000 times per day.

Unless you are . . . Lance . . . only ~46,000 times per day at rest. Uuummm...I'd like to see...umm I mean... study... his... drool-inducing PPARs... *wink* I hear he's finally picking up kettle balls...
What maintains energy supply at peak aerobic exercise in trained and untrained older men? Amir R et al. Gerontology. 2007;53(6):357-61.

In an untrained heart, the volume of mitochondria take up ~5% of the cell. However, in hearts of athletes, mitochondria reside in as much as 20-25% of the heart cell. That is five-times more massive...! Harness the power of your mitochondria... by optimizing your G-flux (see below about energy flow).

Maximal cardiac output increases in response to exercise training. Intensity determines how fast this happens.

In fact excessive endurance exercise (see below 24-h trained endurance results) worsen oxygen efficiency in mitochondria. Short intense, resistance, interval exercise on the hand produce quick generation of mitochondria in a few days, improved glucose utilization, insulin reduction, and activates PPAR-Delta, the switch for anti-inflammatory and pro-immunomodulatory actions in the body.
Reduced efficiency, but increased fat oxidation, in mitochondria from human skeletal muscle after 24-h ultraendurance exercise. Sahlin K et al. J Appl Physiol. 2007 May;102(5):1844-9.
Regulation by exercise of skeletal muscle content of mitochondria and GLUT4.Holloszy JO. J Physiol Pharmacol. 2008 Dec;59 Suppl 7:5-18.
Exercise interval training: an improved stimulus for improving the physiology of pre-diabetes. Earnest CP. Med Hypotheses. 2008 Nov;71(5):752-61.
Regulation of muscle fiber type and running endurance by PPARdelta. Evans RM et al. PLoS Biol. 2004 Oct;2(10):e294.
Genetic variations in PPARD and PPARGC1A determine mitochondrial function and change in aerobic physical fitness and insulin sensitivity during lifestyle intervention. Häring HU et al. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007 May;92(5):1827-33.
Mitochondrial myopathies: diagnosis, exercise intolerance, and treatment options. Tarnopolsky MA, Raha S. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2005 Dec;37(12):2086-93. Review.
Resistance training, sarcopenia, and the mitochondrial theory of aging. Johnston AP, De Lisio M, Parise G. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2008 Feb;33(1):191-9. Review.
Circuit resistance training in chronic heart failure improves skeletal muscle mitochondrial ATP production rate--a randomized controlled trial. Hare DL et al. J Card Fail. 2007 Mar;13(2):79-85.
Antioxidant enzyme activity is up-regulated after unilateral resistance exercise training in older adults. Parise G, Phillips SM, Kaczor JJ, Tarnopolsky MA. Free Radic Biol Med. 2005 Jul 15;39(2):289-95.
Muscle fat oxidative capacity is not impaired by age but by physical inactivity: association with insulin sensitivity. Morio B et al. FASEB J. 2004 Apr;18(6):737-9.
Strength and aerobic training attenuate muscle wasting and improve resistance to the development of disability with aging. Booth FW et al. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 1995 Nov;50 Spec No:113-9. Review.

What is the preferred energy source of heart and skeletal muscle cells? certainly aint Gu or sports drinks or energy bars or carb-loading. As we exercise and become more trained, the preferred source for mitochondria is fatty acids...both our temporarily stored fats in skeletal muscle and the band of saturated fat across the heart...

"Proper heart function relies on high efficiency of energy conversion. Mitochondrial oxygen-dependent processes transfer most of the chemical energy from metabolic substrates into ATP. Healthy myocardium uses mainly fatty acids as its major energy source, with little contribution of glucose."
Metabolic and genetic regulation of cardiac energy substrate preference. de Jong JW et al. Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2007 Jan;146(1):26-39. Epub 2006 Oct 3. Review.

"Mitochondria in skeletal muscle tissue can undergo rapid and characteristic changes as a consequence of manipulations of muscle use (e.g. MOVEMENT...use it or lose it) and environmental conditions . . . Additionally, a shift of substrate metabolism toward a higher reliance on lipids is observed, structurally reflected as a doubling of the intramyocellular lipid content . . . Transcription factors AP-1 and PPARalpha/gamma and the protein kinase AMPK are signaling molecules that transduce the metabolic and mechanical factors sensed during endurance training into the complex transcriptional adaptations of mitochondrial proteins."
Plasticity of skeletal muscle mitochondria: structure and function. Hoppeler H, Fluck M. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2003 Jan;35(1):95-104.

G-Flux: Building the Ultimate Body (excerpt)
by Dr John M Berardi (

What's G-Flux?

"Well, G-Flux, otherwise known as energy flux (or energy turnover) is the relationship between energy intake and expenditure. It's the balance between the two. Put another way, it's the amount of calories you "turn over". ...Having a high G-Flux is 100%, without a doubt, absolutely critical to building your ultimate body – which I'm assuming includes strong, functional, well-adapted muscle, low body fat, and great health."

Energy In ≠ Energy Out

That's the thermodynamic i-s-s-u-e . . .

G-Radio: 'That's the issue...SoulJaBoytellem...'
*air-kiss-u* ...hormones... philematology...another place ancestral hormonal pathways rule


David said...

G, I find it sad that this post doesn't have any comments yet! It's a good one.

I used to do a lot of bodybuilding back in my teens (not too entirely long ago!), and was very anti-fat, at least in that context. Used a lot of dextrose/maltodextrin. Did the heavy aerobic thing for awhile too, along with carb-loading. I never really felt like I had much progress using these tactics.

Then I discovered Dr. Atkins, which caused a total restructuring in how I thought about diet and nutrition, and that way of thinking has stuck with me ever since, with a few modifications here and there. It made a lot of sense, and I wondered what my exercise would be like on a low-carb program. After acclimatization occurred (which took ~two weeks for me), it was great! I felt good, and I dropped down to around 5% body fat, with increased muscle mass gains.

An old friend recently emailed me about my recommendations for carb-loading (I do health and wellness consultations). He's a marathon runner. I find it interesting that most people just assume the "fact" of carb-loading, when it really doesn't even make sense, given how the human body uses fuel for endurance events. I emailed him back with my answer, along with a link to this article:

It's been over two weeks, and I haven't heard back from him. Too much heresy too fast, perhaps? :)

Brett said...

I am an endurance athlete and have done several marathons and two ironmans. I eat very low-carb, less than 100 per day. I have switched to fat burning and am running and biking better than ever.

Many endurance athletes would in fact benefit from paleo type eating, and many pro triathletes do eat this way in general. I think it's a misnomer than endurance athletes are wimpy and drink gatorade and eat pasta all the time. Triathletes in particular are some of the leanest, muscular people you'll see.

I never recommend endurance sports as way for people to get in shape, though. What the paleo lifestyle preaches, short intense workouts and sprinting is best for fat burning, which is all most folks are after. Endurance sports are should be for "sport" only.

Great blog, I have greatly upped my vit D intake and have noticed many immediate benefits! Thanks Doc!

Dr. B G said...


Thanks for the Phinney link -- Volek has some great info as well. Hope your friend inquires about your program more -- it obviously appears to be working!

I have an update on the D -- I tried the 100,000 IU x3 days but perhaps I was already semi-normal/high -- had the hyperkeratosis a week after the high dose, mild tinnitus (which I had when was D-deficient for years, but didn't know), and a return of mild KLUTZINESS. My n=1 experiment was kinda interesting. My cold was definitely kept at bay but since I was not deficient initially to start (compared to individuals perhaps on the Stoss tx) taking my monthly dose over 3-days was too much. The symptoms are almost gone now but...


Dr. B G said...


Thanks for your comments! Hey -- so great the vitamin D is working for ya. The benefits are so immense -- I'm sure you are noticing!

Sounds like you are one of the few endurance athletes that 'get it' :) I pick up all kinds of tri, biking, running mags -- they ALL still pound the carbs, whole grains, blah blah blah issues... None are 'balanced' or mod-high fat enough for the most optimal energy cycling. That is so great to hear how it all works for you!

We're starting some tri training in fact at our X-fit! (we're so COOL!)
Jan, who is sponsored by Fleet Feet is helping us to train:

25mile bike -- 7:45 am Sat AMs

6 mile trail run in Briones -- 2:45 pm Sat


David said...

Wow, that sure is interesting about your vitamin D experience. Just goes to reconfirm to us that vitamin D is a pretty individualized thing. I know I was deficient when I did the mega-dosing, so it was probably fine at the time. But you hang out in the ~70 ng range, right? So maybe (obviously in hindsight!) such a big dose is not for you. :)

I myself have decided to back off of the vitamin D for awhile. I continued a pretty big dose after the "stoss" incident for many months, and recently started getting palpitations, headaches, loss of appetite, etc. I also have ringing in my ears, but I don't think that's the D. I grew up doing a lot of shooting, hunting, CQB training stuff, etc., and didn't wear ear protection on occasion. My bad. :-P So anyway, I think I might be a tad toxic, and will stop my dosing until I get some blood work back.

Brett said...

Yes, it is hard to convince a lot of people, but I think we're getting there slowly but surely.

I'm a totally into kettlebells now, though. I think that's going to be my new addiction for this summer. Laying low on the tris for awhile. :) They're fun, but they hurt!

Good luck with the tri training! It's hard to stop once you start!

Dr. B G said...


The ringing was actually getting better -- then after a night clubbing d*mn I noticed it's BACK...

Like you mentioned, dosing should be individualized. My sister 'M' has 4 children and one requires MUCH less than the others, they realized after testing.

The tinnitus I had during vit D deficiency was from prior dB damage (not shooting, like you)... concerts (Depeche, Duran, Erasure, etc)/clubs. Oh, and now screaming little girls now, from the last High School Musical on ice performance w/my daughters. *haaa ah* I think I am still recovering!


Dr. B G said...

Here's the link for David's article:
Ketogenic Diets and Physical Performance
Stephen D Phinney
(I think he's prof emeritus UC Davis)

A girl friend was just telling me how quickly 'quantum' leaps in technology are happening now -- perhaps the same speed in health is occurring as well. People are catching up. None of the concepts are really 'new' or 'advanced'... in fact imho they are quite crude, right, paleolithic/regressive. *ha* Certainly at TYP the activity has gone up exponentially. Thank GOD for the web. I didn't even know what a blog was 18 mos ago. (OK I was reading celebrity trash, does that count?)


Zach said...

Brilliant. I found your blog last month, and have been going back in your archives, please allow the obligatory "I'm really glad I found your blog!" greetings.

I've been focusing my readings and study on the relationship of mitochondrial mass with aging, free radicals, etc., vis-a-vis diet and exercise for the last few months. I have found Peter's writings at Hyperlipid to tie a lot of my understanding together. This piece really synthesized a lot of understanding for me.

When one is eating right and getting good metabolically healthy exercise, the focus isn't (just) on how you look in the mirror, but how thick are my mitochondria! That's a big shift in one's thinking. Great stuff, thanks again.
Best Regards,

Dr. B G said...

Hey Zach!

Congratulations on your stunningly SCHWINGASTIC transformation!! You and Dr. Dan ROCK!!

I've been reading your blog too on/off... I like Rockwell -- even he knows that nutraceuticals work. They affect and improve mitochondrial. Pharmaceuticals on the other hand being synthetic and often un-recognizable or metabolizable by our receptors and enzymes. 'Mitochondrial poisons' are what they are known as... Neolithic foods as well...

Whereas Paleo can keep them in healthy quality and populations :)

Thanks for your comments,