Saturday, August 15, 2009

Benefits of High-Saturated Fat Diets (Part V): The Traditional Okinawans

Goya Chanpuru dish courtesy of TastyIsland

According to Dr. Willcox, Principal Investor for the Okinawa Centenarian Study that started in 1975, "Among the entire population, which takes a sparing approach to food, there is 90 percent less coronary artery disease than in the wider world, a third less incidence of cancer, and breast cancer is virtually unheard of." HERE. In long-living Okinawan and Japanese, their dietary intake as surveyed in the 1970s was higher in both protein and dietary saturated fatty acids (see below abstract) compared to their shorter-lived peers at that time. When Okinawans move away (like to Brazil) heart disease risk factors appear (see last abstract). Diet is 80-90% of our health I believe because our bodies are designed to express what is dictated by our environment and food macro- micronutrients (foraging/hunting v. lounging; fecundity v. fasting). (These are the PPAR alpha gamma and delta receptors; their role is to 'sense nutrients' and to 'sense energy demand' in order to ultimately balance our energy needs). To me, the observations from blue zones and centenarian data always seem to reinforce that the physically active, low carb mod-high fat Paleo/TYP approach is the most optimal at this time, as it was for centenarians studied in the 1970s.

Protein and Fats?

Dietary Protein and Fatty Acids activate PPAR alpha gamma delta. (Like drugs but no adverse effects and gosh so yummy...)
(a) PPAR Delta: Omega-3 PUFAs, Fish Oil, Grassfed Beef
(b) PPAR Delta: Dagger in the Heart of CAD
(c) PPAR Delta: Prevent Sarcopenia, Poverty of the Flesh
(d) PPAR Delta: Saturated Fatty Acids Are Anti-Atherogenic

Okinawan culture not only embraces one of the most heart-healthy diets (high seafood, animal meat, milk, eggs, saturated fats, high minerals and low carb) but also a very physically active lifestyle. Additionally, like other long-living societies, they display a distinct community spirit and lifestyle that values every members' contributions including elders, daily prayer, frequent festivals honoring ancestral spirits, playing/dancing (Bali, Polynesian style) regularly, exercising/tai chi together, working diligently until the day they pass away, hot baths (sweat out toxins) daily, avid music listening, folkmusic singing, instrument playing (sanshin) and is tied around all generations of extended families yet promotes self-sufficiency and self-reliance. Traditional Okinawan livelihoods and common activities are still farming, fishing and gardening.

Internet? I am not sure if it would be embraced by these happy, busy, peaceful inhabitants of this subtropical semi-Paleo-fantasy island... They are too busy LIVING. *ahaa*

Carbohydrate intake (less than mainland Japan, ALL GLUTEN-LESS):
--sweet potato
--mochi (sticky rice dessert)
--buckwheat noodles
--raw goat milk (alkaline, more similar casein profile to human milk)

Here are some 'secret' foods from this ancient society:
--goya (twice the vitamin C as citrus) Okinawan version of Chinese bitter melon known to lower blood glucoses and inflammation; the above pictured dish goya chanpuru is a staple (goya, eggs, pork, lard, bonita shaved taurine/fish)
--nigari (more Magnesium and Calcium than trad'l tofu)
--sweet potatoes (anti-inflammatory, rich in carotenoids and hormone precursors)
--fish fish fish seafood seafood seafood (taurine, iodine, omega-3s, carotenoids, krill oil, astaxanthin)
--goat meat: stewed, stir fried
--raw goat sashimi which is considered a delicacy (taurine, omega-3s, CLA, and other muscle building/fat-burning fatty acids)
--raw goat milk (plant sterols, short and medium-chain saturated fatty acids, CLA)
--LARD LARD LARD (anti-inflammatory, lowers sdLDL-particles and %-sdLDL, increases particle buoyancy like other saturated fatty acids like lauric acid)
--BOAR PORK BOAR PORK BOAR PORK (pork belly, stews, stock, etc)
--miso (centenarian Okinawans have ME-SO-PRETTY skin and coronary arteries! ..."source of vitamin E, saponin, isoflavones, lecithin, choline, and dietary fiber from soybeans; vitamin B2 from koji mold; and vitamin B12 from lactic or propionic acid bacteria" ...fermented foods and probiotics that promote longevity are staples Japanese food)
--fermented fish sauce (source of vitamins B12, K2, MKs) Ishiru/squid, Ishiru/sardine, Shozzuru (pickled juices of mackerel-sardines-anchovies)--red tofu (fermented source of vitamin K2 MKs)
--seaweed (iodine, marine minerals and antioxidants like FUCOIDAN/ fucoxanthin)

Nutrition for the Japanese elderly.
Shibata H et al Nutr Health. 1992;8(2-3):165-75.

The present paper examines the relationship of nutritional status to further life expectancy and health status in the Japanese elderly based on 3 epidemiological studies.

1. Nutrient intakes in 94 Japanese centenarians investigated between 1972 and 1973 showed a higher proportion of ANIMAL PROTEIN to total proteins than in contemporary average Japanese.

2. High intakes of MILK and FATS and OILS had favorable effects on 10-year (1976-1986) survivorship in 422 urban residents aged 69-71. The survivors revealed a longitudinal INCREASE in intakes of ANIMAL foods such as EGGS, MILK, FISH and MEAT over the 10 years.

3. Nutrient intakes were compared, based on 24-hour dietary records, between a sample from OKINAWA Prefecture where life expectancies at birth and 65 were the LONGEST in Japan, and a sample from Akita Prefecture where the life expectancies were much shorter. Intakes of Ca, Fe, vitamins A, B1, B2, C, and the proportion of energy from PROTEINS and FATS were SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER in the former than in the latter. Intakes of CARBOHYDRATES and NaCl were LOWER.

PMID: 1407826

Impact of diet on the cardiovascular risk profile of Japanese immigrants living in Brazil: contributions of World Health Organization CARDIAC and MONALISA studies.
Moriguchi EH et al. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2004 Dec;31 Suppl 2:S5-7.

1. Japanese immigrants from Okinawa living in Brazil have a higher mortality from cardiovascular diseases and have their mean life expectancy shortened compared with their counterparts living in Japan.

2. A cross-sectional study comparing Okinawans living in Okinawa (OO) and Okinawan immigrants living in Brazil (OB) was designed to characterize the dietary factors that could interfere with the profile of cardiovascular risk factors and with this reduction on the life expectancy when Okinawans emigrate to Brazil.

3. In total, 234 OO and 160 OB (aged 45-59 years) were recruited to the present study to undergo medical and dietary history, blood pressure measurement, electrocardiograph (ECG), blood tests and 24 h food/urine collection.

4. In the present study, OO subjects presented with 37% less obesity and 50% less systemic hypertension than OB. The OB subjects used threefold more antihypertensive medication than OO. Meat intake was 34% higher in OB than OO, whereas fish intake was sevenfold higher in OO than OB. Serum potassium levels were 10% higher in OO than OB. Urinary TAURINE (an index of seafood intake) was 43% HIGHER in OO than OB. Urinary isoflavones (an index of the intake of soy products) were significantly lower in OB than in OO. Of (OMEGA-3 PUFAs) acid (20:5) and docosahexaenoic acid (22:6) were TWO- TO THREE-FOLD HIGHER in OO than OB, respectively.

5. The rate of ischaemic ECG changes in OO subjects was only 50% of that of OB subjects.

6. There were no differences in the smoking rate between OO and OB subjects.

7. The results of the present study suggest that coronary risk factors and cardiovascular health are not only regulated by genetic factors, but that the impact of LIFESTYLE (MAINLY DIET) can be large enough to modulate the EXPRESSION OF GENES.

PMID: 18254187

The Food of Paradise: Exploring Hawaii's Culinary Heritage

By Rachel Laudan (Kolowalu Books, 1996) HERE

Read more about Okinawan food, culture and lifestyles:

Diary of Local Okinawan TASTY Dishes *YUMM* Goat sashimi, boiled testicles with miso and vinegar, slow cooked stews (fatty pork), goya chanpuru
Children of Heaven Interview: Live SLOW Live LONG
Okinawan 'Lard' Recipes *ahhhha*
The Way of ChoJu: Consuming Longevity in a Rural Japanese Village (Masters Thesis by J. Busch)
Mashed Okinawan Purple Sweet Potato Recipe (americanized)
Goat Meat and Milk Productivity in Subtropical Okinawa for last 80-130+ years
Goat Meat and Pig Rearing in Okinawa Prefecture
Traditional Yagi (Goat) Dishes and changes in modern Okinawan youth -- Yagi-jiru Goat soup, stir-fried goat, raw yagi-sashi goat sashimi, etc
Raw Grassfed Goat Milk in an Okinawa Study Tolerated due to different type of non-allergenic beta-A2 casein and better saturated fatty acid profile (butyric, propionic, lauric, caprylic, etc)
Okinawan Goat Milk
Traditional Japanese Condiments: shoyu, miso, ishiru, preparations
Truth About Saturated Fats by M. Enig and S. Fallon: "In Okinawa, where the average life span for women is 84 years—longer than in Japan—the inhabitants eat generous amounts of pork and seafood and do all their cooking in LARD (Franklyn D, Health, September 1996, 57-63 .)" This is not apparently the case currently... as canola and other refined omega-6 oils which oxidize super rapidly increased to predominant use after the 1980-90's; canola is not great but less omega-6 compared with corn, soybean, safflower, sunflower, cottonseed, grapeseed, or peanut oils.
Okinawa Centenarian Study and Genetics
Ex-Pats in Okinawa and Crossfit Asia/Okinawa
Bizarre Food's Andrew Zimmern checks out: traditional Okinawan sea snake soup, raw goat ball and testicles, yako-gai (giant sea snail), squid ink soup, and giant tuna eyeballs, stewed in mirin, garlic, ginger, and brown sugar
"Blue Zone Okinawans formed moais to support each other in good times and bad" HHhmmmmm.... sounds like... our TYP forum? our Paleo blogoshere? our Xfit gym networks?
Goat's Milk, Blue Zones and Longevity: "Goat's milk - 80 percent of all people over 90 have consumed goat’s milk many times per week throughout their life. It is rich in blood-pressure lowering tryptophan and antibacterial compounds."
Blue Zone concordance: Ikaria, Greece similar to Okinawa, Japan in lifestyles, hot baths (?Magnesium, Iodine), raw goat milk consumption, wild greens, tea-drinking, relaxing, embracing community and family closely, etc


Anonymous said...

Dr. B.G.,

Great stuff, as usual (been reading ALOT of your previous postings, having a ball!!) It's a pity, I love my beef, just not at point where I can afford the massive quantities of the grass-fed stuff that it would take to feed me and the wife day in and day out for most of our meals, (although it's probably less expensive than the occasional trip to our neighborhood Outback--yick--but convenient, no?)
So, yes, there's a question in here somewhere--am I undoing whatever benefits I'm hoping and low carbing/paleo-ing for by ingesting 'regular beef'? I know, I should be eating more fish, but...not a fan, yet, anyway...(tuna without mayo is rough rough rough, but I've gone without and survived!)
I really hope the price of grass-fed comes down soon soon soon!
Again, you rock!

Dr. B G said...

Hey Adam,

Great!! My sister has actually checked out some online ranch options and says they are not as expensive as Whole Foods. They will air-drop frozen grassfed goat, beef and pork!

At Robb Wolf's nutrition certification, he gave us stories of how many members had reversal of autoimmune diseases as well as impressive increases in LDL particle sizing in only 4wks.

The labs he advised gym owners and coaches to ask their clients to order were (baseline, then repeat 4wks later):
--Fasting Glucose
--LDL particle size, count
--Fasting lipid panel

The interesting thing was that although he and his gym encourage grassfed and pastured meat/dairy and wild seafood, he observed that people still had wonderful results on Walmart or Costco meat/ eggs.

Have you ever tried making your own extra virgin olive oil mayo? I don't often because I'd eat the whole JAR *haa*. Great in deviled eggs and on salmon.

Homemade Mayonnaise (YUUMM!)


Matthew said...

Okinawa longevity is because of Calorie Restriction. A study on over 900 Centenarians looking at their dietary habits showed that their calorie intake is much reduced, but has steadily been increasing since the 1960's Okinawans were also only CR half their life. 1993 okinawa prefectural survey showed that yes meet increased, but oil was still at 18g a day up from 3g in 1949. Meet intak up from <1g to 98g and egg intake 38g a day. This is all still FAR LOWER than westeners eat. When okinawans move to brazil they experienec a much higher death rate because of higer red meat intake, saturated fat and processed foods.

Ogimi being the poorest okinawan prefecture has the highest number of centenarians given its tiny population.

It's disturbing to me that you would twist the truth to meet your beliefs.

Please show us where one of the Wilcox brothers said that okinawans longevity is due to saturated fat?

susan allport said...

Thought you'd find this article ome omega-3s interesting. It a new take:

Dr. B G said...

Hello Matthew,

Your labs appear great. We practice a lot of CR at TrackYourPlaque, among Paleo followers and at my Crossfit gym.

That is funny, I thought Willcox twisted the truth by not accounting for the first 80-100yrs of centenarian Okinawan nutrition and the diet of their mothers as well. You mentioned the CR aspects of the first 50yrs of Okinawan lives... don't you think the trad'l diet the first 50yrs makes a difference on bone health as well as cardiovasc health?

No doubt Okinawans who move off the island are subjected to many dietary factors that raise cancer and heart disease:
--wheat, gluten (in refined foods)
--omega-6 refined oils
--omega-6 pufas in industrial feedlot meat
--hydrogenated fats, transfats

I highly doubt that the saturated fat is bad compared as these constant, toxic food components. In fact, studies show quite the opposite.

Is there any mention of traditional goat milk, meat or goat sashimi in his books? Lard? It would be a blatant omission and propogating misconceptions if not.


Thomas said...


Would you say the following are completely wrong:

"A major factor in the extraordinary health enjoyed by Okinawan seniors is their distinct diet. It is plant-based, high in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and flavanoids and low in protein. It includes low to moderate alcohol intake, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and very low levels of saturated fat and sodium."

"Eat less saturated and trans fat. Americans and other Westerners eat more of the "bad" fats, the kind that clog arteries and raise "bad" cholesterol: saturated fat, derived mostly from animal sources like red meat and dairy"

If so does it not seem strange that such conflicting records of 'evidence' exist?

Dr. B G said...


R U questioning the 'dogma' in the Okinawan Program???

I think something was definitely LOST IN TRANSLATION... Okinawans have lost their 'longevity' edge. Surprisingly it didn't take long.

Why? Who knows... Perhaps it is related to stopping lard and trad'l foods, and adding vegetable oils and refined carbs to their diet.

The below abstracts to not account for carb intake. Why not? Meat? Fat? Umm.. no I don't think so. These are USUALLY accompanied by high carbs, typically modern refined wheat- and gluten-containing carbs, which are known factors to causing Met Syn, Diabetes, Cancer and Heart Disease.

Declining longevity advantage and low birthweight in Okinawa.
Hokama T, Binns C.
Asia Pac J Public Health. 2008 Oct;20 Suppl:95-101.

Longevity and diet in Okinawa, Japan: the past, present and future.
Miyagi S, Iwama N, Kawabata T, Hasegawa K.
Asia Pac J Public Health. 2003;15 Suppl:S3-9.

Thanks George!


Thomas said...

What gets me is this. I'm a simple (but persistent) kinda guy.

The Okinawa study was comparatively recent and yet....totally conflicting views. Google Okinawa diet and you'll see people who say the diet was mainly plant based foods:

Others such as this site say HIGH in saturated fat:

They cannot both be true. If we cannot even agree on recent research then why believe anything from anyone?

And surely the various parties who post 'knowledge' about the Okinawa diet should email each other so wandering simpletons like me can at least find out something approaching the truth. I know Wikipedia is not 100% reliable but even Wiki stresses the lack of saturated fat...

Dr. B G said...


Don't believe me... Believe your Grandma (if she cooked traditionally)! *haa* BTW... do you still believe in the tooth fairy?

The below is from Dr. Eades MD blog:

"Lard has a fatty acid profile that is not way too different from the superstar oil of today: olive oil. Lard does have a little more saturated fat. According to the USDA nutrient database lard contains about 39% saturated fat, of which 35% is the proven cholesterol lowering stearic acid; olive oil contains 14% saturate fat, of which only 15% is stearic acid. The predominant fat in lard as it is in olive oil is monounsaturated fat. Lard checks in at a little over 45% while olive oil contains about 74% monounsaturated fat."

Let's say... indeed... believe all the cookbooks, stories, the 1970s diet surveys, Master's thesis, etc (ALL... except that silly book which does however have some MERIT; I liked the americanized recipes).

If we calculate the saturated fat intake -- 2 Tbs daily of Lard (50% sat fat) and then another 13 grams saturated fat from food (seafood, hamachi/fatty fish, pork, grassfed goat, FULLFAT raw goat milk , etc) total.

Total saturated fat 13 + 13 g = 26 g x 9cal/g = 234 cal

Let's say Trad'l Okinawans consume a semi-CR diet... that's 234 cal Sat Fat divided by ~1700 cal/day.

Sat Fat = 13.8%

That's not that high but it's A LOT HIGHER than the silly AHA 10% 'dogma'.

In fact, 12% and higher is the percent saturated fat that has been shown in clinical trials to improve HDLs and was associated with regression in coronary disease women (see below). It is a pretty healthy level in fact of saturated fat! It's also about what I consume daily (more on some days, none on fasting days).

Dietary fats, carbohydrate, and progression of coronary atherosclerosis in postmenopausal women. PDF click HERE. Mozaffarian D, Rimm EB, Herrington DM. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Nov;80(5):1175-84. EDITORIAL. Figure 1 below.

Benefits of High-Saturated Fat Diets (Part IV)

Why would the authors do this? I have no idea coz I've been wondering as well. Cancer takes years or decades to develop, whereas carotid and coronary plaques only months to years. (They regress equally fast as well! *wink*) Diet can make amazingly rapid changes -- good AND bad. I think the Okinawans make an excellent example not unsimilar to the cultures studied by dentist Weston A Price as they transitioned from a mod-high fat traditional diet (mostly grainfree) to refined processed foods lacking nutrients and lower in saturated fats.

Hope that helps -- KEEP asking questions...

Thomas said...

'Keep asking questions'


I'll repeat one:

"And surely the various parties who post 'knowledge' about the Okinawa diet should email each other so wandering simpletons like me can at least find out something approaching the truth. I know Wikipedia is not 100% reliable but even Wiki stresses the lack of saturated fat.."

So you 'could' contact the others and make your point then in the end people like me wouldn't be confused. With something like the Okinawa diet surely it is a matter of FACT as to whether their diet was high/low sat fat? Plus you could edit Wikipedia and then link to here!

Thomas said...

I have another question (you should never encourage me! :-))

You follow the Track Your Plaque site...

On the site:

"Bad diets high in sugar, saturated and trans-fats cause the membrane to become hard and impermeable to nutrients that need to move freely in and out of the cell, thus insulin resistance. .....Bad diets high in sugar, saturated and trans-fats cause the membrane to become hard and impermeable to nutrients that need to move freely in and out of the cell, thus insulin resistance."

Forget the transfats...we all agree on that. BUT this says saturated fats should also be low if one needs to reduce triglycerides (which I do) Doesn't that go contrary to what is said on this blog?

Dr. B G said...

Hi George,

I highly doubt you are a simpleton!

Gosh -- wiki -- who has time to correct?? The whole USDA food pyramid is wrong... how to we go about correcting THAT one?

OK -- I admit we have a lot of outdated info on the TYP website where I provide information! I apologize for any confusion. We have outdated info on Actos, Cilastazol and fibrates indications as well for HDLs (fish oil, krill oil, IF, ketosis, no-carb/low-carb, taurine, protein, niacin, etc work better than all these it has been shown in studies and our TYP members).

Additionally a diet % for saturated fat has not been 'determined' yet but our TYP Diet Part 3 encourages 'liberal use of fats.' One can interpret as one likes... We are constantly evolving the program as you can -- sometimes our materials do not jive cohesively. Sorry -- will probably fix later this year.


Kevin said...

Similar to Matts comments, I'd read that their longevity comes from a diet 90% sweet potato and 10% fish. Sweet potato is high fiber so doesn't raise blood sugar the way Idaho potatoes do. If that's the case, then all the saturated fatty acids you laud are mainly condiments, not plates full of fatty meat. Just a contrarian opinion. :-)


Dr. B G said...


That's great -- I think you are correct -- lot of sweet potatoes and some fish were the norm. Sweet potatoes are not nightshades like white potatoes (and tob tomatoes gr red peppers). Yes, asian sweet potatoes are in fact considered anti-inflammatory! I've not read those ratios but that would certainly jive with rationing in the 1940s. Lard...kinda conjecture right now eh? Anyone could be 'right'... *haa* Certainly if each Okinawan family raised 1 pig per winter, that is not a small quantity of lard, in my opinion.

BTW No one is talking about plates of fat... Did I say that? The misconception lies in the fact that even 1-2 Tbs of lard or other saturated fat is evil, bad and toxic and... clearly that is not the case.

IMHO Books like the 'Okinawan Program' are trying to propagate this silliness that low (saturated) fat, whole grains are Okinawan... It sounds kinda colonial to me. Seriously, that is one of the most twisted things about Asian traditional food I have ever heard of. My parents grew up poor in rural Taiwan much like Okinawans -- they ate some lard, some fish and a lot of sweet potatoes. Their teeth, bones and current health are excellent. Canola oil...? didn't exist. EVOO...? Umm... they are Asian and no olive trees. 50% of lard is monounsaturated like olive oil... so... lard was their 'olive oil' *haa* Even now, my parents make fatty pork feet, savoring every bite. BTW they are physicians!

Indeed Okinawans (traditional) were not necessarily 'low (sat) fat' nor did they even consume whole grains. Brown rice?? no. White polished rice was the norm. Mochi was made also from polished white rice. (buckwheat...yes! but this is boiled and perhaps the phytic acid was leached and thrown away like soaking)

Whole grains... that is whole baloney.

Low saturated fat... baloney.

Low fat yes relatively speaking -- they were all poor, starving and skinny in the 1940-1970s -- they were low everything -- low carb (relatively speaking), low fat, low protein, low PUFAs, hypocaloric...

But... high omega-3/6 ratio.


Thomas said...

Not everyone thinks fish oil is great...

Dr. B G said...

Fish oil can be overdone -- in sedentary people... or people who have VERY very low omega-6 consumption (eg, Inuit -- risk of higher hemorrhagic strokes).

Even on a perfect Paleo plan... I think some supplementation doesn't hurt (I take mine 'cyclically' based on memory, eg I forget ALL the time, I've cut back now after 2yrs of high dose to rebalance FYI)

Otherwise -- it is very hard to suppress immunity.

Optimally, 'tracking' is best -- one can order and test the RBC membrane n-6:3 ratio, as DR. Barry Sears PhD recommends (Fatty Acid Profile test). Ideal 1.5 to 2.0. A few years ago American ratio was 30:1. Worsening? Yeah since the AHA is trying get Americans to consume MORE toxic omega-6.

Bill said...

One for the doubters.

Latest findings 2009.

"A reappraisal of the impact of dairy foods and milk fat on cardiovascular disease risk."

[.....] there is no clear evidence that dairy food consumption is consistently associated with a higher risk of CVD"$=citedinpmcreviews&logdbfrom=pubmed

Dr. B G said...


That is wonderful. Thank you!

Raw grassfed goat (caprine) milk is not exactly Paleo but since it is commonplace among centenarian communities I'm re-looking at it (plus Robb drinks that stuff).

You got me thinking and here is another article defending the heart protective properties of the contents of milk.

I like the info on goat milk because they contain:
(1) essential fatty acids (SATURATED) Caproic, caprylic, capric and lauric acid (like coconut... like the one that Dr. Davis enjoys on his heartscanblog banner!!) which lowers small dense LDL and raises HDL2b
(2) taurine like human breastmilk. Taurine is heat-labile ESSENTIAL amino acid (humans must consume it; we don't produce it and it gets depleted fast under certain conditions).
(3) minerals and K (probably iodine in Okinawa d/t proximity to the mineral-rich ocean water)
(4) vitamin A and powerful antioxidant carotenoids
(5) vitamin E
(6) omega-3, EPA DHA ALA, and CLA
(7) casein profile (A2 beta) is less allergic since similar in profile to human milk


Thomas said...

Anyone know the two studies referred to?

Dr. B G said...


I knew if I waited long enough smarter people would debunk this silly study. Ck out Hyperlipid, where I think I've seen u?

Someone at our forum was able to obtain the PDF. The fat was 'milkfat' which I'd presume like industrial feedlot milk, is chock full of O-3 pufas and pro-inflammatory and initiates high insulin/obesity. Are you knockout? No, hard to apply these results because we are not apo E (-/-). Or vegetarian.


David said...

How's it going, G?

Rosenzweig's study was ridiculous. ApoE-deficient mice were damaged by a high-fat diet. Really? Ya think? HA.

What kills me is that Rosenzweig actually stopped his low-carb dieting after seeing the results. Surely you'd think he would be smart enough to know that you can't extrapolate the results on ApoE-/- mice (which should have been predictable at the outset) to humans who aren't ApoE-/-? That's a head-scratcher.

Dr. B G said...

Hey you David,

BUSY! Thought my research (boring) days were other and now I'm grant writing and doing other writing projects *urrg*

Do you think Rosenzweig is on wheat? People on wheat or high carbs/fruits say the most demented things... He must of been HIGH. On gluten-derived opium... *haa*


David said...

Heh, gluten-derived opium indeed! I know that my brain seems to get a little screwy when I eat that stuff. I can only imagine how much worse it might be for an accosted researcher. :-P

Dr. B G said...


Neonomide said...

Ah, that lovely goat milk!

I drinked some in Turkey last week and a LOT of goat cheese - fat content well over 50% !

I thought that at least there was ONE superfood since people had only sunflower oil and white bread ad infinitum on every meal.

Anyone knows about the differences between organic goat milk/cheese compared to non-organic one?

Dr. B G said...


Like cow dairy, 'organic' might be misleading. The goats could be consuming organic corn or other grains. Hard to find pastured and 100% grassfed goat products!

Turkey sounds like fun! (except your food)

Received beta-alanine and started a capsule every other day yesterday. Will let you know if I start looking like Gisele Bundchen. *haa*


Neonomide said...

Dr. B G said...

"Received beta-alanine and started a capsule every other day yesterday. Will let you know if I start looking like Gisele Bundchen. *haa*"

Hey, you already look like Gisele, you should overdo it! *haa*

I read that BA has some immediate effects on muscles, perhaps via (almost immediate) nitric oxide synthase. So taking it just before training is a good idea. I guess it's the reason why men a-l-w-a-y-s report improved morning boners while on BA... 8-)

Did you notice that in many sport performance studies, the daily dose is usually 4 x 0,75 - 1,5 grams or so? It takes many weeks to load muscles with carn - the saturation point seems to be around three months though. After that you can drop to a maintenance dose.

I guess the much touted paraesthesia/tingling sensation feels like nothing compared to niacin flush, right? ;-)

I'd like to discuss BA a bit more. I haven't used it for about a year now, but I think that some it's effects do seem to "stick around" with me - I used it almost daily for 1½ years. Not that I'd do it again - safety concerns even though hypothetical made me more cautious.

I noticed improved mental clarity ever since I started BA and an MUCH improved ability to fast. Before BA supplementation, eating every two hours seemed mandatory to keep brains going. I figured out this could come from some effect on glucose metabolism via carnosine, or some direct effects on GABA, AGE or chelating those heavy metals out of my brains? Who cares, it was a HUGE combo with EPA/DHA for my studying ability back then. Just imagine, only READING/WRITING 12 hours straight. :-)

I mentioned before about the BA:s possible problems with zinc and copper. Here:

"However, histidine and carnosine are powerful carriers of copper. They transport copper from the intestinal milieu into the portal blood and from there to organs and tissues in the body. And don't think you can displace copper with zinc once the copper is on histidine - you cannot. The equilibrium constantt for copper II chelated to histidine is 18.3; for zinc it is 6.7 to 12.9, depending on chelate structure (Ref. Chaberek and Martell, Organic Sequestering Agents, John Wiley & Sons, p.549). Because these are exponential relationships, the real difference in the constants is 10 tothe 5th up to 10 to the 11th. Only glutathione, cysteine and thionein can intercept this carnosine-copper transport, but that's one of the big problems in autism, isn't it? These sulfur players have gone AWOL, and copper is excessive at the expense of zinc. Dr. Bill Walsh has made excellent presentations on this. You might think that carnosine plus zinc will act to put zinc in and take copper out. With these equilibrium constants and with the natural copper content of food, that's very unlikely. You need a million or more zinc atoms for each copper atom to be competitive in this game!

Carnosine is a threat to worsened Wilson's disease because it and its sister anserine are such good importers of copper to body tissues. Ref: Scriver CR and TLPerry, Chapt 26 in Scriver et al eds, The Metabolic Basis of Inherited Disease6th ed McGraw-Hill (1989) 765.

Now, let's go to the really bad guy here, beta-alanine. To be concise: beta-alanine blocks renal conservation of taurine and causeshypertaurinuria - loss of taurine in the urine. This, in turrn, causes urinary loss of magnesium, which worsens sulfotransferase activity as well as lots ofother necessary enzymatic processes. If you give carnosine, you lose taurine and magnesium. There are lots of references, but you can start with Dr.Charles Scriver's work referenced above, because all of this biochemistry (carnosine, beta-alanine, taurine, etc.) is closely related."

Neonomide said...

The doctor who popularized carnosine here in Finland always put a little zinc in it, yet I never fully understood why. I do think it's a good idea to take some extra zinc with BA though every now and then - even on meat-heavy paleo? (perhaps)

Although the taurine link has been proven weak or nonexistent with humans, I think the copper problem just m-i-g-h-t be there, who knows?
In the meanwhile, I think it's better to cycle BA for max 3 months and then stop for a month or two (& take some taurine), just like Mark Tallon says.

Also, some people do not seem to tolerate BA as they are getting fast pulse and heart pounding. Can taurine deficiency cause those symptoms, or can they be side effects of massive carnosine formation and it's too-fast chelating effects? These are rare, but they seem to happen to some people.

For a fun and critical BA sports-blog be sure to check this:

Ah and before sounding too critical, according to a new study BA seems to work with HIIT training as well - just about what you are doing now with Tabata, right? 8-)

Please keep me informed on your experience about BA, I'm very interested! I might start taking it as well before the snow starts to fall down here. :-)

Dr. B G said...

Ahh. In fact, I am having heart pounding with beta-alanine. I get that with many of the protein powders (even the VERY $$$ expensive grassfed milk etc ones) so I rarely use they I read about the whey protein benefits ALL THE TIME. I can't handle too much of these isolated proteins... I tried several times and rechallenged with alanine. Hhhmm... Also I am not intensely working out. In fact I made an error on Saturday (used the wrong brakes) and had a bike accident (tumbled involving my head). *urg* I'll be taking it easy on Crossfit and HIIT for a little while.

Not sure if related to chelating effects? I don't take that much taurine b/c I tend to forget so could be mild taurine deficiency?

I'll ck out the neat links! Thank you very much for all the extra info!


Dr. B G said...

Hey Neonomide,

Sorry I missed the earlier post some how! You crack me up!

Copper is quite an issue for some people -- like autism as you mentioned. I didn't know all the metals were related in that manner -- it is definitely more complex than it appears? I can see how various autoimmune and chronic conditions wear out our stores of taurine, carnosine and alanine (or abilities to self-produce carn). No, I didn't not about the N.O. effects. I thought that was primarily arginine's 'role'. That does make sense... *ha haa*


Mrs. Ed said...

I just found your blog, it's very interesting. In our household, after lots of dietary research and finding a diet that we felt better on, the specific carb diet, I finally looked into what my great ancestors, the Welsh ate. I guess I should have done that to start grains (until oats were introduced in @970 AD), lots of salmon, game meats, marsh fed lamb, lots of pork, mostly non starchy veggies, dairy and some eggs. Hmm, no wonder we were falling apart on the food pyramid diet. So, I really enjoy your articles and research, I'll be book marking this blog!

Neonomide said...

Dr B G said...

"No, I didn't not about the N.O. effects. I thought that was primarily arginine's 'role'. That does make sense... *ha haa*"

I think arginine's N.O. effects can be boosted by several ways. Like here:

Apparently that one has also a fair dose of beta-alanine, which should make pumps (vasodilation) quite incredible. Other ingredients are arginine precursors and an arginase enzyme inhibitor. Creatine is good stuff as itself as Dr Davis has written before:

Oh and a finnish BA researcher noted just a while ago (in finnish), that some people here have used BA for preventing/treating migraine!
I theorized that there m-i-g-h-t be a similar histidine/histamine releasing mechanism as with niacin, perhaps? Some people seem to like to take some niacin for migraines yet it's role has been proposed to be connected to serotonine metabolism somehow.

Btw I just got back from colonoscopy and guess what, I'm practically CURED ! :-D

Absolutely perfect labs as well, better than ever. When I talked about Vit D my doctor wished me luck, although warned taking more than 50 µg... (DOH !)
I'll also have a 25(OH)D + serum calcium checked before Christmas as well for free (costs LOTS of lettuce here otherwise) so I'm very happy so far! :-D

Started D3 today again and this time for good, 135 µg/d. My D3 storages were boosted in Turkley that's for sure, but UV index < 3 in Finland from now on (until May x-) is not too fun. Swine flu comin' closer as well...

Maybe I'll start taking some melatonin too to further drop BP faster and for some nice extra anti-inflammatory effects...

Some bloke informed me last week that his very nasty Crohn's went to crazy remission in two weeks with 80 µg/day. A month ago - still near zero symptoms. This is getting interesting, don't you think?

Sorry to hear about your accident - good luck for your training!

Dr. B G said...


Oh My! Congrats on several fronts -- excellent results on the colon (sorry for the procedure -- u r truly a TROOPER and I admire that), no residual damage from Turkish bread *haaa* and wheat-what-nots, resuming good ol' vit D3 after the UVB waves start fading, F R E E vit D test (don't forget the PTH and Magnesium levels too if they are FREE; checking will ensure all the main calcification related hormones/vitamins are replete, since u r YOUNG not close to andropause yet *haa*), lower BPs!!!!! Melatonin is good stuff -- I'm taking some now too for my stupid head injury.

Creatine is good stuff but don't know if the studies were in grrllls and applicable to me and my wallet. I prefer to get creatine from meat and organ meats right now (and some MK4 K1 vit A etc). HEY, I'm not too surprised about the BA and migraine improvements -- that's cool and glad to hear that WORKED -- still taking the BA and the heart pounding is less. For some reason it makes me drowsy, so that is not totally an unwelcome effects since I'm still hooked on mega CAFFEINE. *haa* My brain can use all the help from BA and other stuff after I knocked the f***CKIN SH*T out of it. Train train T R A I N (ok or just a little)... 1st time in a pool... bike in a year. D U M B. (Surprisingly I am fine and uninjured permanently. Thanks for your kind concern!)

Seriously, big BIG HEEEYYYYYUG salutations and congratulations again on ur AWESOME colo!!! Wonderful news!