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Is Paleo a band-aid?

by (1026)
Updated about 3 hours ago
Created March 25, 2012 at 9:15 AM

This is what Kurt Harris says in the comments for Melissa's recent article The many-venomed earth :

Hi Chris

I must respond to your comment as it is so spot-on. I am starting to think the core paleo conceit of our health being ruined by eating particular things, and we can all be fixed by avoiding them, is simply wrong. Dangerously, misleadingly, wrong.

I've long ago tossed the idea that a particular macro ratio is poison, and am now starting to think that the EM2 (or EEA) is defined less by novel NADS as particular substances, and more by the gut microbiome and environmental pseudocommensals and their critical effects on our health.

I believe loss of tolerance for eating just about anything (except obvious NADS like excess LA and huge amounts of fructose) is a sign of immune dysregulation in MOST cases. It definitely is a sign of immune dysregulation to have an allergy to beef, or shellfish, or rice (very common in Japan). I disagree with Dr. Ayer's on that point. Even IBS has been recently shown to be characterized by abnormal mast cell populations in the gut- the same cells mediating airway and skin allergies.

Take the case of Wolf. Robb Wolf was not poisoned by wheat and saved by paleo. He was rather a victim of a particular disease of immune dysregulation- celiac disease - which was and is ameliorated BUT NOT CURED by a wheat free paleo diet. He must stay off gluten to stay in remission. He is not "cured". If he were he could eat wheat with impunity like I can (Yes, my tests for celiac were negative).

In the same way, someone with Crohn's disease or AS is not being poisoned by starch feeding particular bacteria in the gut, they are victims of an abnormal immune response to gut bacteria macromolecules that we are supposed to be able to - are actually evolved to - tolerate. The GAPS diet or similar, if it works for IBD, is palliative and not curative. The idea that starch or even gluten are per se NADS is wrong.

As you have discovered, one may eat any of a variety of PERFECT paleo diets and still not really be emulating the EM2, and therefore may still be or become seriously sick.

In your own case, you've palliated your Crohn's disease with diet, but still have a haywire immune system, which now has given you the disease of Lupus.

Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that any paleo diet or guru with do anything for your Lupus, because what particular foods you eat is not the most important part of the EM2 that you are missing.

If you want to, you can email me off blog.


The auto-immune paleo diet didn't do me much good, except for the first month or 2. Since adopting some of Ray Peat's ideas, who focuses more on eating things than not eating things, I'm a lot better (I do have a long history of hypo-thyroid-like symptoms).

His fructose hate bothers me a lot though.

What are your thoughts on this? Is gluten the new safe starch? Does food avoidance equal stupidity?

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5381 · September 07, 2013 at 1:28 AM

Dr Harris, I enjoy your theories! :) I agree with your thoughts on hormesis regarding polyphenols and excercise. Your proposition here is very very interesting, thank you from bringing it to our attention. There is an epidemic of immune disorders in western countries. Yes they do seem to be triggered in part by things like wheat (italy has one of the highest rates of IBS), but people have speculated many reasons, none of which make much sense, as to why they occur. This old freind hypothesis makes logical sense. For people with immune dysregulation its hard to know how

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69 · July 31, 2013 at 6:36 AM

Why does Dr. Harris appear to be in a perpetual bad mood? Perhaps because he consistently sides with CarbSane.

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69 · July 31, 2013 at 3:10 AM

As an aside, it's amazing the lengths Paleohackers will go to protect CarbSane. Makes you wonder who's benefiting most from her vitriolic rants and subversion of science. Follow the money...

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5381 · July 06, 2012 at 3:41 PM

+ activity, sunlight, posture, sleeping and probably much more...

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5381 · July 06, 2012 at 3:40 PM

It doesnt mean people shouldnt avoid wheat though per se. Certainly if our immune systems are all compromised from lack of historical or present "old freinds", and people commonly either react to gluten etc its probably not good to eat alot of it either way. I mean, why would you eat wheat, its not nutritous, its chock w/ anti-nutrients and it tastes like bird feed? I think the bigger point is that evolutionary health is about more than just food. I agree. I think it extends as far as community/touch, natural lighting, and a sense of place and purpose as well as perhaps this old freinds thing

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5381 · July 06, 2012 at 12:24 PM

This thread has made me think alot...

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5381 · July 06, 2012 at 11:46 AM

man is psychologically optimal, because we lack a sense of place and purpose, a small tight community, we treat touch as taboo, and sex. Some of these things are human needs, and some of them may well impact our health, and also our modern anti-social behaviour. I am interested in anything regarding our evolutionary design, from proper footware, to culture/society, to sunlight exposure, or limitation of night time light and proper sleep. For me, its not just about diet. This idea also makes sense. Thanks for the food for thought and I hope we hear more..

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5381 · July 06, 2012 at 11:41 AM

reasonable caution about introducing these ideas. But when you consider how much western illness is immune related, it would be great for everyone if you could come up with some cautious or safe ideas on how to implement this, over time, and with thought....and also perhaps how to deal with immune systems that are already dysregulated - how do we stop them from over reacting, once they have begun. I hope you do blog about this in the future. Of course there is a great deal of things about our evolution that we are doing wrong, other than food. For example social structure. Its doubtful modern

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5381 · July 06, 2012 at 11:36 AM

one would do anything practical about it. Living in rural areas, with lots of animal exposure is not practical for everyone, and once you have a dysregulation, i am not certain if that would help. I understand why you are properly formulating your theory. One does not want to risk exposure to dangerous pathogens, the whole idea of hygeine is very culturally ingrained, and as a novel scientific area, theres not enough certainty to make safe total recommendations. Perhaps being less afraid of dirt might be a start. I know your not interested in money, and you blog infrequently, and you have

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18402 · May 14, 2012 at 3:40 PM

"I didn't say that someone said that... " yes... you did. it is 12 comments above this one.

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32518 · April 11, 2012 at 9:00 PM

100% Gluten-free, raw milk (if tolerated), kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, etc.. would be a good idea. Interesting stuff on the web about helminthic therapy (see this: http://coloncomrades.wordpress.com/about/) but I haven't done any research on it...

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383 · April 11, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Any practical advice on ameliorating disrupted maternal gut flora to set one's children up as well as possible going forward? With even garden soil being sterilised, where do we access Old Friends for our young family?

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78407 · April 10, 2012 at 7:54 AM

Eric - Are you confusing this with a formal debate? If you are the moderator it would be nice if you called both teams on the "rule" breaking rather than opting for favoritism.

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0 · April 02, 2012 at 11:06 PM

Funny... If we're going to bring up logical fallacies... The most blatant and the lastest one to me actually came from asking "why if ED is primarily hormonal, that the most important male hormone can be entirely missing and one can still get an erection". Not to mention of few other ones: genetic (based on other people dismissing Peat due to "reputation"), ignorance (not having studied his ideas sufficiently before commenting), ad hominems ("I doubt you have the intelligence"!?!?) and straw men ("your god is an HIV->AIDS denier"... Lovely...

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20411 · April 02, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Maybe people get the idea from book titles like "Paleo Solution". Sounds like a cure to me... But, of course, paleo is not a cure and you are very wise Mr. Bruno.

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439 · April 01, 2012 at 3:26 PM

@Dr. Harris, your entertainment value is still intact, if not strengthened. So I am likely to pay some attention. Anyway, as opposed to most of the other "names", you seem to be smart and confident enough to change your mind if you think you have been wrong. Thus, I am sure your understanding of the "metabolic milieu" will evolve and converge with that of Peat sooner rather than later.

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3743 · April 01, 2012 at 4:27 AM

like “tradition” you can twist it but from these examples I think it should be clearer what I’m getting at.

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3743 · April 01, 2012 at 4:26 AM

skin and heart. The hunters eat the skin and heart for energy, o.k. why are those parts preferred? Is that because it’s easily assimilated energy or is there some other x factor or perhaps it is just superstition. Some cultures have forbidden foods o.k. why? One funny one is are there any cultures that eat raw salads with dressing? Why not? Again is it superstition or something to it. Using those types of observations as starting points for research I think would be valuable. So of course with a loose word (...)

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3743 · April 01, 2012 at 4:26 AM

majority of their calories from fruit? Is it because fruit is harder to grow for those cultures and so it isn't sustainable or is starch preferable for some other reason. And then there is variation amongst diets for example protein sources, there some that drink tons of milk, there are some that eat fish, there are some that eat lots of meat, they are all protein sources but what differences can we observe from the traditions. Or hunting tribes some will kill the animal and before they go back to camp they will eat the (...)

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3743 · April 01, 2012 at 4:26 AM

@Tom Pentzer I think when we look at different populations some patterns emerge e.g. Price's book does a good job of highlighting a lot of that, for example we see populations eating the whole animal... so we should ask why? Is it merely not to waste and eat what you can get your hands on or is there some underlying wisdom to it, using observations like that as a starting point for further exploration. Or another good question starch vs. fruit, are there any traditional populations on earth that get the (...)

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65 · April 01, 2012 at 4:24 AM

Though I'm curious as to what KGH has to say to you, Primal E.

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65 · April 01, 2012 at 4:22 AM

Primal E. Be patient. Solutions are on the horizon.

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1786 · March 31, 2012 at 11:41 PM

and after you've done this for a few years, if you haven't gotten the results you want, it'll either be your fault or tough luck :) but you have to give it a long shot first

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1786 · March 31, 2012 at 11:39 PM

you can improve on paleo, but you can also just trade problems on paleo. same can be said for any diet because everybody is uniquely individual. hopefully u cover your nutrient bases, reduce diet related stress and stay out of the red zone. for some that is easier than for others...

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1786 · March 31, 2012 at 11:35 PM

"i will use the one time i think you are wrong everytime you say anything to prove that you are wrong because ..." this is jilted lover syndrome at its finest. no one is saying that everyone is 100% right all of the time, but even if peat is wrong about the cause of AIDS, does that mean that he is wrong about the thyroid, or that danny roddy hasn't helped some people by giving them advice he gained by implementing peat eating strategies?

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1786 · March 31, 2012 at 11:23 PM

...issues and you'll get laughed out of the office (which has happened to me numerous times). i have tried test. treatments to restore libido - fail, i have tried low carb ketosis to gain energy - fail. i have tried numerous gut probiotic expensive ibs supplements = confusion. i ahve tried to say, hey, maybe it's my thyroid, etc etc. so while we can all masterdebate on the internet, the practice in real life is still FAILING some people, and i guess that's just their damn luck.

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1786 · March 31, 2012 at 11:20 PM

my personal point, to hijack and already hijacked thread, is to say that everyone SEEMS smart. harris seems smart, he may even have real evidence to prove he's smart, but that doesnt mean he's right, or that any of the practicing paleo MDs or nutritio gurus are right. each of us has to practice and see what happens. it just so happens that when someone fails to obtain the good results, there is always an excuse and a blame appointed to the failed person. in jaminet's case it's "oh it must be a hidden chronic secret infection" that no one will test for because it could be 1 of a billion...

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1786 · March 31, 2012 at 11:10 PM

For me the bottom line is this, if a person follows the ideas of wolf,kresser, jamnet, sisson, Harris, etc. Goes and sees many docs, gets many tests and still has poor health, it must be their fault, not the people recommending a low Carbs or safe starch diet right? Am I rite? So if I can't digest starches well and my temps are low and I'm sub clinical hypothyroid, I should still persevere with low Carb paleo?

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2065 · March 31, 2012 at 11:03 PM

Dr. Harris-Do you have any comments regarding the idea that probiotic supplementation can actually be detrimental? Do we risk simplifying our gut bacteria when we introduce a select few species over the long term? Thanks for your time.

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50 · March 31, 2012 at 10:47 PM

Interesting observation on tradition as science, but it makes me wonder what you think qualifies something as "traditional."

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8953 · March 31, 2012 at 3:35 PM

@Meredith *I am just genuinely curious what y'all get out of it? Exercise in constructing arguments?* There isn't a good Peatarian forum, at least not as good as this forum. I've seen that http://peatarian.com is taken, so the owner might do something with that, but in the meantime paleohacks remains the best website for all things health. Your progesterone bit really made me laugh btw.

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8953 · March 31, 2012 at 3:24 PM

*Dr. H has no grounds telling people that Ray Peat is full of shit. Why??? Surely a doctor should have some kind of rebuttal rather than a childish "full of shit response.* you all gotta admit this is true.

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8953 · March 31, 2012 at 3:14 PM

@danny the video doesn't work : it's private. Even the password doesn't allow us to see it.

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0 · March 31, 2012 at 8:33 AM

I still don't understand what is so quackery about Peat dietary recommendations, If your body craves sugar, preferring sweet fruits and dairy over tasteless white rice with stevia doesn't sound too insane to me.

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1026 · March 31, 2012 at 7:09 AM

It would explain the head scratching, but wouldn't solve that. Who really thought paleo was curative? I didn't. That's why Kurt Harris' words didn't blow me away. I'm sorry for that.

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1026 · March 31, 2012 at 7:08 AM

*Bruno nobody EVER said you should shut up and applaud him.* I didn't say that someone said that...

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114 · March 31, 2012 at 6:12 AM

But this is so depressing. I've been eating paleo for over a year and I still have chronic bloating and fatigue. I've tried eliminating pretty much everything with no success. Now I'm being told that no diet can cure me, that probably at this point no diet will even put me into remission, and that the only possible cure you can think of is too dangerous to try...I don't want to give up.

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2890 · March 31, 2012 at 5:50 AM

^^ :D +1 for the reference.

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2890 · March 31, 2012 at 5:49 AM

And you don't even know what a stress hormone is, so please just stop talking. Serotonin still stressful? Give me a break. Please explain SSRIs, why 5-HTP or carby meals make people relaxed and sleepy, or MDMA. And before you say SSRIs lower libido that's not due to their effects on the serotonin system.

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2890 · March 31, 2012 at 5:45 AM

Oh and libido != erectile function, so your 2006 anecdote is completely off base. And c'mon, your god is an HIV->AIDS denier.

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2890 · March 31, 2012 at 5:32 AM

And you don't even know what a stress hormone is, so please just stop talking. Serotonin still stressful? Give me a break. Please explain SSRIs, why 5-HTP or carby meals make people relaxed and sleepy, or MDMA. And before you say SSRIs lower libido that's not due to their effects on the serotonin syndrome.

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2890 · March 31, 2012 at 5:28 AM

@danny, you mock me but I doubt you have the intelligence to understand what my comment even meant. And your most recent comment is equally ignorant. Dr. Harris said why can !A -> B, and you said because A -> !B. That's not how logic works. Sincerely, Conciliator.

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661 · March 31, 2012 at 3:06 AM

@Dr. Harris, it’s obvious: testosterone isn’t the only factor involved in libido. In 2006 I was on testosterone cypionate injections, my anti-aging doctor was enthralled that I had jacked my T levels to near top range, but I still had pretty bad ED. Talk to Dr. John Crisler, this is extremely common and it’s why he measures both PRL, E2, and cortisol in all of his guys.

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661 · March 31, 2012 at 3:06 AM

...And for the record, I never worshipped Charles Washington—I always thought he was as douche, I didn't worship Lex either, but I was really into Delfuego (the pemmican dude).

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661 · March 31, 2012 at 3:06 AM

@Dr. Harris, our interpretations of hormones differ. You and Richard openly dismissed the integral connection between diet and thyroid health—I disagree completely. Peat brings thyroid to another level examining the monumental importance of oxidative energy and CO2—that has nothing to do with crystals, chakras, or dream catchers. You said a lot of dumb shit on your blog too Dr. Harris, but I'm not calling you out on it—it’s all part of learning and growing. If someone suspects me of guru worship, they owe it to themselves to do more research...

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1092 · March 31, 2012 at 2:16 AM

Danny - "You're not interested in endocrinology; I think it's everything" I know a dammed sight more about real clinical endocrinology than either you or Peat. And nothing is "everything" in biology. That is the first sign of quackery, when someone explains everything in terms of one field of study. Your no closer to the truth with Peat than when you worshipped Charles washington or Lex Rooker. It's "The Secret" all over again. You still haven't explained to me why if ED is primarily hormonal, that the most important male hormone can be entirely missing and one can still get an erection.

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3743 · March 31, 2012 at 2:14 AM

@Eric Thank you for the kind words. "Guns, Germs, and Steel" is excellent and though provoking work. This dismissive attitude we are experiencing is unfortunate and typical of Western thinking. I have been in Europe since '06, it became apparent quickly that Americans and their thinking is delusional and embedded at an early age from the culture (something Max Weber noted), thankfully that is only a small percentage of the total world population. That's a harsh generalization but the exceptions know who they are.

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1092 · March 31, 2012 at 2:10 AM

@Edle - If I accomplish one thing here, let it be that there is zero overlap between those who are taken in by Peat and those who pay any attention to what I say. I hope I have made some progress.

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1092 · March 31, 2012 at 1:51 AM

Pierce Inverarity! - 5 points awarded for Pynchon- derived pseudonym.

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661 · March 31, 2012 at 1:41 AM

@Conciliator, dude you are so right on! Next time, when I'm helping someone who's struggling with hair loss/low-libido/feeling miserable, I'll remember that the elevated levels of anti-bone, anti-sex, and anti-hair hormones is really just a bunch of statistical hoo-ha! That should elevate me to MD status!

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3743 · March 31, 2012 at 1:31 AM

Nice try. Again you fail to convince the reader of any significant reading comprehension reducing everything down to doodles and rants and dick sucking. You imply you read Peat by speaking in an inflammatory way about Peat in other responses further you say "Dr. H is right about one thang. Paleo is incomplete in one aspect. It's not just the food. It's the environmental..." you mind as well change your name to Percy you've made your position clear.

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5132 · March 31, 2012 at 12:15 AM

Your incompetence lies in not realizing that there are aspects of human wellness which you cannot analyze objectively. And to claim that as a view shared by Peat and trying to give him credit shows that you don't have much of an argument. Rants, half-baked generalities, sociological doodles ... incoherent babbles.

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5132 · March 31, 2012 at 12:07 AM

When did I say I read Peat? I was commenting on Harris' point about factors other than diet that influence our diseased state. And I say very clearly that the comment is very general and subjective, and any objective analysis of this factor could lead us astray. You, in claiming that this general observation to have been originally made by Peat, demonstrates your inadequacies, since you cannot even grasp that the above observation could have been made by anyone, anyone in the street with some common sense. It's revealing that ur find comments like that to be shattering insights! They r not!

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24523 · March 30, 2012 at 11:44 PM

conciliator is right about the multiple testing problem. If you're going to test a bunch of stuff, better use the ol' Bonferroni correction or face the wrath of Biostats overlords! It's like the medical findings of "incedentalomas".

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2890 · March 30, 2012 at 10:22 PM

Here's a study with the mentioned hair loss. http://www.calstatela.edu/faculty/rdeleon/504/westman.pdf

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5232 · March 30, 2012 at 9:26 PM

Many of Peats ideas are very simple physiology like that aldosterone can be lowered by increasing arrival of Na+ at the afferent arterial. It isn't rocket science, it isn't sitting in a tube for an hour, it's assessing and addressing the basic physiology before making up acronyms for that ideas that are so overly complex that they're simplistic (NAD, EM2, etc).

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5232 · March 30, 2012 at 9:25 PM

Many of Peats ideas are very simple physiology like that aldosterone can be lowered by increasing arrival of Na+ at the afferent arterial. It isn't rocket science, it isn't sitting in a tube for an hour, it's assessing and addressing the basic physiology before making up acronyms.

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2890 · March 30, 2012 at 9:19 PM

I can't remember the source, but I know that it was reported in low carb diets which usually happen to be hypocaloric. Whether the problem happens in a eucaloric low carb situation I don't know. I assume it's a matter of degrees. Some people would lose hair in a eucaloric low carb diet, some only on a hypocaloric low carb diet, and others just don't lose hair ever. And some people lose hair no matter what. C'est la vie.

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5132 · March 30, 2012 at 9:10 PM

Hey, conciliator, where is your source that low carbing will result in hair loss? Is that Roddy's position? I lost my hair low-carbing but I thought that was due to the weight I lost low-carbing. U sure hair loss is not related to the weight loss?

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2890 · March 30, 2012 at 8:54 PM

And duh Peat is right that carbs are beneficial. Euthyroid stress syndrome occurs with low carbs and has low T3 and high rT3. Hair loss is also blamable on low carbs. That doesn't mean he's right about everything. And serotonin = stress? Give me a break. Is that why 5-HTP helps with sleep, or why high carbs make you drowsy? Is that why MDMA makes us feel so good? Is that why SSRI help out depressed people? What a joke.

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2890 · March 30, 2012 at 8:47 PM

There are Berkeley Professors who believe in intelligent design I'm sure as well. And regarding Roddy, he said he tested many lab variables and found anomolies in everyone. That's pure statistics, assuming normal distributions you have 5% of variables outside of 2 SDs, so if you test 20 variables you are expected to have something awry. And finally, adrenaline and noradrenaline are fight or flight hormones, yes, but it's not that simple. Having too much is bad but having too little is bad too. Can someone explain why healthy regular endurance exercise raises catecholamine secretion at rest?

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2890 · March 30, 2012 at 8:39 PM

If you test 100 variables, then by pure statistical chance a lot of those variables will fall outside the normal range. It isn't evidence of disfunction it's evidence of math.

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661 · March 30, 2012 at 8:35 PM

VIDEO of Peat in action: http://vimeo.com/39028285 (password "raypeat")

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216 · March 30, 2012 at 8:23 PM

Bruno you are right, it was very hypocritical of me. It was written in a state of frustration, after glimpsing an insight deeper than any I've yet experienced on this ever evolving ancestral journey. It was like a beautiful spring morning with birds chirping and your comments were a chainsaw.

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3743 · March 30, 2012 at 8:00 PM

and further these concepts are mentioned on his about page and the first few paragraphs of his home page. What you talkin bout Willis?

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3743 · March 30, 2012 at 7:56 PM

"It's the environmental toxins, germs, immunization shots, cleaning agents, cooking utensils, bacteria, and anti-bacteria brought about by our antiseptic, modern lifestyle. Also factor in the inflammation caused by our electronic and communications gadgetry, including our beloved microwave." You I'm now convinced are a moron you've have not read Peat's work. If anything should echo in your brain about Peat is his phobia of the external environment. He's mentioned all of these as factors and their roles. Peat has talked about these factors for years (...)

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3743 · March 30, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Namby maybe your just too stupid to know this but most intellectuals prior to I'd say the baby boomer generation played an instrument, painted, or wrote, etc. Take an Art History class maybe you'll retain enough to learn why things like painting and music contribute to critical thinking rather than hinder it.

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3743 · March 30, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Prenatal "care" and the rest of the factors you listed (except trauma care in some cases), has nothing to do with increasing longevity. You're listing factors for mortality and quality of life I'm talking about longevity. There is a difference. I'm not talking about evolutionary masterpieces such as yourself who would otherwise fail to thrive under primitive circumstances pushing up statistical averages. The only thing incoherent is your superb reasoning ability and reading comprehension.

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20411 · March 30, 2012 at 5:48 PM

Not empty words at all. Palliative vs curative is a huge paradigm shift and could explain all the head scratching and mumbling when someone seems to be "doing it right" but is still sufffering or not getting well. Sure, we've been saying "heal your gut" for quite some time, but when push comes to shove, nobody has been able to say how to do it for sure. I drank kombucha and ate kimchee - is my gut better? I have no freaking idea. The Old Friends/G. Rook ideas are new to me and certainly could be ground breaking. If Dr. Harris thinks so, it's worth a look. He's earned his credibility.

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18402 · March 30, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Bruno nobody EVER said you should shut up and applaud him. Where in the hell are you coming up with this stuff. Please let us know where someone indicated that to you. You write to Dr Harris... "You're a hype, incase you didn't notice" and then you wonder why you get backlash. "you're words are empty" and "your safe starches make me fart". Good job dude.

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5132 · March 30, 2012 at 3:45 PM

"as our diet has become shittier our life expectancy has gone up." Longevity has more to do with vaccinations, prenatal care, reduced infant morality rates and trauma care. All it means is we're very good at keeping you alive, depsite suffering from multiple autoimmune and degenrative diseases of civilization. Once again, this is like reading Peat: no cogent argument, no cohrent thought or any pattern of reasoning from A to B. It's basically a rant, parts of which seem plausible given what has transpired but most of it is just random mush and doodling.

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699 · March 30, 2012 at 2:56 PM

So, in short, you are arguing against something KGH never said. Critical review is good, but calling people names because you won't take the time to understand what they are trying to say... that's not so good.

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699 · March 30, 2012 at 2:55 PM

...the poison that so many on this site think it is. But if you do have the immune problems (as you seem to) then nobody is suggesting you eat bread (which is how you seem to be taking this). FWIW, I have absolutely no negative reaction to gluten/wheat/etc. I determined this after adding it back in after a strict multi-week elimination. So I had already come to the conclusion that the generalized wheat-phobia on this site was misguided. If you have a wheat sensitivity, of course, avoid it. But if not, it's just not a big deal. (Certainly not healthy, but not a big deal). (cont)

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699 · March 30, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Bruno, this appears to be an issue of you simply not understanding, or not paying attention to, what KGH is saying. You seem to think he is saying, "bread is ok for everyone." You feel affronted because bread causes you problems. But this is not what he is saying at all. He is saying that bread (or whatever) intolerance is the symptom of the problem, not the problem itself. The problem itself is immune system dysregulation. This is an important distinction, whether you agree or not, because it implies that if you do not have that flavor of immune problems, eating bread is not... (cont)

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5132 · March 30, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Those are very good points, which is what drove me to check out his site and discover his treasure trove of nekkid paintings. Egad.

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733 · March 30, 2012 at 2:30 PM

I gotta thank melissa and dr harris for this discussion. fascinating.

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0 · March 30, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Thank you Edward. I believe you summed it up best. I think dismissing Peat for his ideas is akin to contemporary sociologists and philosophers of the time who also dimissed Ivan Illich's ideas based on having only been exposed to a few of his observations, without context. The same could be said of Edgard Morin, Jared Diamond and other very multidisciplinary thinkers, of which I believe Peat is also one. Ultimately, it is the people who dismiss Peat's entire approach based on little evidence who are doing themselves a disservice; not that that in itself is a consolation, quite the contrary...

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24523 · March 30, 2012 at 1:41 PM

http://paleohacks.com/questions/104730/here-are-paleo-website-traffic-rankings-thoughts#axzz1qbhzzZOO

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24523 · March 30, 2012 at 1:41 PM

@Danny- Can you elaborate on the brightest stars of paleo prescribing heavy supplementation to address disease? The top "idea" websites (rather than recipe websites) are Mark Sisson's, Robb Wolf's, and Paul Jaminet's, in that order. The first two don't recommend much in terms of supplementation, and Jaminet recommends the most. It seems that most who follow a Jaminet diet don't take all those supplements, depending on what they're trying to address and whether they eat liver, get sunshine, and take in sea vegetables. Pill for pill, it seems on par with Peat, if not just a bit more.

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439 · March 30, 2012 at 12:35 PM

@Kurt Harris MD. For the record: I think you are a cool guy. Rather funny. Used to follow your blog. And your diet approach, more or less. Heard a Jimmy Moore interview with you where you said the focus on thyroid was BS. You were pretty strong and dismissive. I thought: useless. Nothing new that an MD dismisses hypothyroidism. But so useless. I now have to seriously question the validity and reliability of anything from Archevore, I thought. I do not care if Peat is wrong on a million issues if he gets the big picture right. His articles have been useful for me.

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4111 · March 30, 2012 at 12:05 PM

You certainly like to tease.

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78407 · March 30, 2012 at 11:49 AM

we ARE the commercial animals,not merely"rather similar" to the commercial animals. Great answer, as usual.

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1026 · March 30, 2012 at 10:58 AM

*Why would you promote my ideas and then complain about hype? You make no sense.* I never complained about the hype.

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1026 · March 30, 2012 at 10:58 AM

*Who are you Bruno? You sound like someone back from the dead who used to be here but got banned.* I never got banned and find it a bit weird you say that. *Dr Harris is simply using the knowledge that he has gained and continues to gain to piece together the fasctinating puzzle we call human health and he is sharing his thoughts with us.* So, just because he shares his thoughts I should shut up and applaud him? I'm under the impression everyone attacks me here just because I don't agree with Dr. Harris. If you don't agree with me, then tell me what's so revolutionary about what he says.

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8953 · March 30, 2012 at 10:48 AM

*We can't even fathom the possibility that in some way tradition might be a form of "science" itself, tested (we are still here) and sound, because there aren't any fucking bar graphs and pie charts to go along with it.* love that part, Edward. Effin great answer.

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3743 · March 30, 2012 at 9:30 AM

And that I feel is Peat's contribution--his scope--not the OJ, the milk, shit loads of salt, buckets of aspirin, nor dipping your balls in pure crystalline fructose or shoving a carrot up your ass. I don't yet think this complexity is fully appreciated or understood in the mainstream.

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3743 · March 30, 2012 at 7:14 AM

There is a huge egocentric interpretation of our place in this world as organisms. And if you can’t grasp what that means than you can’t grasp Peat’s ideas in their entirety.

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3743 · March 30, 2012 at 7:14 AM

if you isolate any one point and draw conclusions from that point of reference you confuse yourself. Peat talks a lot about hormones but he also understands that the availability of vitamins and micronutrients are the driving force behind those hormones. He also knows how to look at the body in isolation away from the environment—in a test tube—which is also important to understand the body at a fundamental level. (...)

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3743 · March 30, 2012 at 7:13 AM

Most of what I hear about Peat from others is mostly incorrect. In order to understand Peat you have to be intelligent enough to look at the organism as whole (in the context of the environment) and understand the interdependent cascade from the complex organism all the way down to the cellular level; (...)

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3743 · March 30, 2012 at 7:13 AM

Typically I will look at a proposed theory and see how it meshes with evidence e.g. papers and other relevant factors such as climate, population, and disease rates, etc. You will find that if you look at things globally and listen to Peat closely you learn quickly where his ideas originated—from simple observation—from that point he moved towards his hypothesis. (...)

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3743 · March 30, 2012 at 7:13 AM

I'm familiar with Peat's work and I've gone through all of his references. I took the time to read his work because I had early reservations about “paleo”. Before I encountered Peat I’d been thinking about how globally we all eat different diets with different macros, we originate from different environments, how the environment dictates diet, and how the diet and environment dictate the “enthusiasm of life”. Common themes stick out when you look at things rationally. (...)

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661 · March 30, 2012 at 4:42 AM

@Namby, consider adding actual value to your response by explaining where Peat goes wrong in his interpretation of maintaining an oxidative metabolism while limiting hormones of adaptation. Ray's artistic style and ability to consider whole organism physiology is what sets him apart from the "I've-read-more-of-the-scientific-literature-than-you-have-dick-measuring-contest" that is so prevalent in the paleosphere. Funny considering the SOLUTION to most health ailments, as prescribed by the brightest stars of the Paleo, involve heavy SUPPLEMENTATION. Sounds pretty "WOO-BULLSHIT" to me!

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5132 · March 30, 2012 at 4:18 AM

Speaking of Ray, I got an unrelated question. What's with all the paintings of nubile nekkid wimmen at his site? These are his own oil paintings he's selling? So not only is he an erstwhile English major (which may explain his big words), he's a watercolorist. My concusion: Peat is more a poet, a lyricist, than a scientist. Not saying that negatively at all. But he seems to have an artistic temperament, which may help or hinder his scientific writings and the pattern of his reasoning; he's not exactly given to ratiocination but more inspiration. It's like revealed religion.

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5232 · March 30, 2012 at 2:46 AM

@Dr Harris - I very much understand that Peat is difficult to read because he meanders into stories about mole rats, shetland ponies, and queen bees. We're working on breaking down Peat dietary recommendations in to mechanisms so that they can be easily reviewed and critiqued.

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661 · March 30, 2012 at 12:12 AM

@Meredith, who's suggesting you do any of that? When replacing hormones I'm not sure I can convinced that measuring them before hand isn't a worthwhile idea. You don't need help; you're smart as fuck. Like I said in another thread, "failing" on a Peat protocol requires the participant to produce labs with markers in Peat's favored ranges.

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16131 · March 30, 2012 at 12:03 AM

I do not BLAME anyone but myself. Truly. But a "Diet" or protocol that is based on buying labs all the live long day and paying a coach to interpret them to stay on point ain't my bag. But that's just me.

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661 · March 29, 2012 at 11:57 PM

@Meredith, be honest, before using progesterone did you test markers for prolactin, serotonin, PTH, and other variables? Because 99% of the time those who engage in "eating Peaty" cannot be bothered with such things. If you didn't your poor experience is on you, not him.

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1515 · March 29, 2012 at 11:56 PM

That MD quote is valuable because it is exactly what you would get from an expert in any field, quickly assessing something in his area of expertise: an intuitive and accurate response. I'm a painter, so when I look at his Art Gallery, I probably get the same reaction an MD gets looking at his articles: Peat's knowledge is shallow, his observations inaccurate, his style cursory, and I don't want to look at the rest of his stuff.

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661 · March 29, 2012 at 11:53 PM

@Dr. Harris, I don't even bother measuring testosterone because of how useless of a lab marker I think it is, especially for libido. You're not interested in endocrinology; I think it's everything; we just disagree on what's fundamentally important in health. My Peat fascination is a culmination of my whole health experience. The first time I had my prolactin and estradiol measured was in 2005. Beating me over the head with, "He's wrong," and "He's full of shit," doesn't make me feel any different about the research I've conducted over the last year and a half.

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16131 · March 29, 2012 at 11:47 PM

^^ And this is why I think paleohacks and blogs are great. I am not an expert - by a FAR shot - and I know it. Peat can and has dazzled me and I rubbed fucking progesterone cream all over myself because of him- to my detriment I might add. So I appreciate that KGH is addressing this Peat topic, even if it is a bit of a derailment from the original thread. Peat is big among the "Metabolic Typing" nutrition coaches now. So some balancing arguments are welcome, IMHO!

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4059 · March 29, 2012 at 11:23 PM

OK, at last I am beginning to understand KGH. Thanks for sticking it out. (I am a slow but thorough dummy).

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 10:48 PM

"Will Graham's work help me understand the connection between high prolactin and the ability of a dude to bone his girlfriend?" He will not be able to find you water with a dowsing rod, no.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 10:47 PM

True hyperprolactinemia is seen with pituitary tumors. Peat is dazzling you with pure bullshit. Sounds plausible, but means nothing or is just wrong. Sorry but that is the truth. Do you think HIV is not the cause of AIDS?

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 10:45 PM

Danny this will inflame you and all the other Peatophiles, but thinking Ray Peat is a genius is a sign of lacking the knowledge to see how obviously full of shit he is. For one thing, erectile function is much more a neural reflex than a hormonal phenomenon. Did you know that eunuchs, who have T levels as low as you can get, can get erections? Please explain how that fits with your hormone theory.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 10:39 PM

Pubmed and the blog's on my blogroll are more compelling and vastly more reliable alternatives. Medical textbooks. Medical school. Heck, Melissa's blog alone would be a fine way to spend your day. Just memorize it.

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661 · March 29, 2012 at 9:14 PM

@Dr. Harris, lol. I am aware I have not turned the scientific world upside down with an email I received about the quality of some guys erection. You keep saying that Peat's work is useless, but are not providing me with anything more compelling to work with. High prolactin/ED is something I see often. Will Graham's work help me understand the connection between high prolactin and the ability of a dude to bone his girlfriend? I DOUBT IT. That anonymous quote is just another vague/un-compelling non-rebuttal from someone who has spent no time attempting to understand what he's talking about.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 8:49 PM

That was for Bruno, obviously.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 8:49 PM

You are definitely being a dick by starting this thread because I am "way too popular". Maybe you should produce a documentary about me to protest my popularity. Or print T-shirts with my image on it as a form of protest. That would make as much sense as what you are doing here.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 8:43 PM

That MD has the good sense to request anonymity.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 8:42 PM

QUOTED MD:There is one issue I struggle with which is those who hang on every word of Peat or Kruse. I mean, literally, I spend exactly 20 seconds reading the first pararaph of one article and I'm thinking, "okay, total bullshit." When someone asks me *why* I have a hard time even framing an answer. It's just obvious. The big words, the blustering, the contradictions. "What contradictions?" Well, I don't even know. Look at that first paragraph and that talk about hormones. It doesn't even make sense

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 8:42 PM

I know I am beating my head against the wall here, and Peat cultists are immune to reason, but here is the opinion of a very learned doctor who spent a fair amount of time reading articles by Peat in the following comment:

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 8:38 PM

ALL- please understand I am not saying peat is 100% wrong, I am saying he is unreliable and useless. There is a very big difference. He admonishes against excess LA. So do Lands and Guyenet and Kresser and myself. I am not arguing with the many individual statements he makes, I am saying it is impossible to sort the wheat from the chaff and pointless when the useful info is not unique to Peat

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 8:36 PM

Danny it is wonderful you are practicing medicine over the internet now with such great results. Most of us sad-sack doctors could only hope for the same success I am sure. But if I had a dime for every anecdotal report of x curing y in a dramatic fashion, I would have a hell of a lot of dimes. ED is very highly affected by emotional state and autosuggestion. Try to get a boner while thinking of your grandma naked, I dare you. But seriously, that one report is SCIENTIFICALLY meaningless.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 8:32 PM

Eric - Think of sampling statistics. If there are 1000 articles in a hat, and I pull out a dozen, and they all look bogus, I am done in a statistically robust sense. How many pages of a book do I need to sample to tell what language the book is in or whether the author can write? Every single one of them? Of course not.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 8:28 PM

pfw- that might well account for some remission in sxs, but I see that as anologous to rhinitis waxing and waning with pollen seasons.

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37177 · March 29, 2012 at 8:02 PM

Also read this: http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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37177 · March 29, 2012 at 8:02 PM

Read this: http://www.gnolls.org/1141/eat-like-a-predator-not-like-prey-paleo-in-six-easy-steps-a-motivational-guide/

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661 · March 29, 2012 at 7:28 PM

@Dr. Harris, a few days ago I got an email from some dude's girlfriend thanking me for helping him overcome ED through implementing Peat's dietary recommendations. Hot sex is valuable. Paleo practitioners/all MD endos on the planet have the most bogus theories for treating situations like this. They refuse to look at serotonin/estrogen/prolactin as the anti-sex, pro-stress hormones they truly are.

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0 · March 29, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Macro ratios are not fixed. Protein is important for both. Dairy is either encouraged (Peat), or at least not villified (Harris), unlike many other paleo approaches. Unsaturated oils are limited for both. Both accept that grains should be limited or eliminated altogether (especially gluten-containing ones), as well as legumes... The major difference is in carb sources, where you prefer safe starches and low-fructose fruits, while Peat doesn't villify fructose...

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0 · March 29, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Macro ratios can vary for both. Protein is important for both. Dairy is either encouraged (Peat), or at least not villified (Harris), unlike many other paleo approaches. Unsaturated oils are limited for both. Both accept that grains should be limited or eliminated altogether (especially gluten-containing ones), as well as legumes... The major difference is in carb sources, where you prefer safe starches and low-fructose fruits, while Peat doesn't villify fructose...

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0 · March 29, 2012 at 7:24 PM

I'm sorry Dr. Harris but, your opinion of Peat's work is quite strong considering that it is mostly based on (and this, self-admittedly), having only read a few of his articles and relied mostly on ideas stemming from his devotees' "interpretations" (of which there are many, and many of which are in fact just that: "interpretations" not to say, at least in some cases, "MIS-interpretations". In fact, I can't help but wonder why you have yet to realize that the difference between what you espouse and what Dr. Peat espouses, at least in terms of dietary approach, is really very minimal.

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7821 · March 29, 2012 at 7:14 PM

I've often wondered if this is the underlying reason for the relapse/remission cycle many CD sufferers report. As the immune system loses its sensitivity, you can "get away" with eating/acting/exposing yourself to whatever it was that triggered the original flare, at least until you re-cross the threshold. And then you're back in active disease territory.

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7821 · March 29, 2012 at 7:11 PM

@KGH: From my admittedly shallow reading on the subject, it's seems possible that after a sufficient time without an active immune response, the immune system will begin to lose sensitivity to that particular irritant. Some vaccines require readministration periodically, as an example. So, it might be possible that in the case of CD, a long enough period of time without exposure would result in a "cure" - in the sense that one could act as if they didn't have CD - at least until the underlying geno/phenotypical vulnerability was once again triggered. (continued)

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 6:37 PM

Bruno- I have spent plenty of time with Peat's articles besides the 10 minutes just now. I have read Peat before. I have read Peat before. Get it?

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 6:34 PM

I have read several of Peat's Articles in addition to being exposed to "interpretations" of his ideas via his devotees. I find his ideas to be mostly unsupported by the references he uses, over broad, vague and not really argued as much as they are just a pastiche of declarations. He mines real hormones and physiologic processes and just makes absolute statements that sound plausible based on them. Even when he is not in the real of total kookiness by denying that HIV causes AIDS (all those africans just got messed up "hormones" all at once, I guess) there is nothing reliably of value there.

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Okay, I see. Self-diagnosis of gluten sensitivity seemed to have skyrocketed after Stephan (or somebody) posted that stat about 99.4% of people having susceptible haplotypes. So not eating wheat could have made things better- or just not eating junk food all the time.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 6:20 PM

This is why self- diagnosis of gluten sensitivity, etc. is so fraught with hazard and really unreliable.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 6:19 PM

Kamal- echoing Lucas' comment, there is very little concordance between GI symptoms and even the most severe pathology. Consider eating raffinose (blazing saddles) and having gas cramps so bad you feel like you are going to die. Totally harmless. Then imagine someone with wasting and failure to thrive but no GI sxs whatsoever who turns out to have total villous atrophy from celiac disease.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 6:14 PM

@Lucas. We are more in agreement than not. If you are healthy enough even crap will be more tolerated.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 6:12 PM

Regarding cause and effect, immune disorders, even the most severe, are often characterized by a relapsing-remitting course. Before I ever did any dietary intervention, I had rhinitis, asthma, IBS, etc. over decades and all these disorders would spontaneously wax and wane and often disappear completely for years at a time. You can easily be misled by spurious correlations, even discounting the radical subjectivity of the whole n=1 paradigm (which I have also questioned)

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 6:08 PM

Your lungs and nose may have healed, but your immune disorder, including Specific IgE floating around and mast cells primed to go nuts in response to a cat, have not.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 6:07 PM

OK, back to the posters with sincere questions. @Dean - Starch, to the degree there is resistant starch or soluble fiber or even FODMAPS that make it to the colon, are uniquely determinant in shaping the mix of bacterial gut flora. If there is a disease that is caused by immune dysregulation and an ABNORMAL response to NORMAL flora, then decreasing fermentable carbohydrates may well stop the immune reaction, in the same way avoidance of cats ameliorates your cat allergy. You are not cured of Fel D 1 allergy by cat avoidance even if you feel better. cont...

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 6:02 PM

"You're a hype, if you didn't notice yet. Look at this question, it's all over the place." What kind of person starts a thread on paleohacks based on one comment I made on another blog in an attempt to help a person with Lupus and then complains that I "am a hype". You started this thread under no compulsion whatever from me and there would be no discussion here without you, would there? Did I write a blog post about it? NO. Did I sell you an ebook on the topic? NO. You started the thread, not me. Why would you promote my ideas and then complain about hype? You make no sense.

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4620 · March 29, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Thanks Danny. Love your blog by the way, keep up the good work!

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37177 · March 29, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Sure. Pay close attention to what you eat and how you react. Eat whole foods andcuts ofwhole meat. Eat only when the urge comes from your stomach/gut vs. your brain (cravings.) Avoid manufactured food-like products.

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661 · March 29, 2012 at 5:13 PM

@Phoenix, I emailed him that question a while ago, here was his response: "Dry instant coffee is close to 0.5% magnesium, so a cup of strong coffee has about 40 mg. I make strong drip coffee."

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0 · March 29, 2012 at 5:00 PM

According to fitday, 8oz of espresso contains 189mg of magnesium.

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1550 · March 29, 2012 at 4:53 PM

Kamal, a common GI distress would be bloating after eating a massive load of sugar/fructose, gas after eating a high amount of starch, extreme fullness after eating a big high carb-high fat meal...That would be normal. This, in addition to increased BP, sweating and core temperature is normal. By "Abnormal" or "uncommon" GI distress I mean an exaggerated response to these foods reflected by the same symptoms but in a higher magnitude. Other "uncommon" side-effects would be anxiety, depression, headaches, extreme fatigue, etc; in the short term.

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4620 · March 29, 2012 at 4:52 PM

Those are pretty insignificant things though. I’m actually a big Peat fan and loves me some sugar, calcium, and gelatin. Just pointing out that the all mighty Peat is indeed human and may not be 100% right about absolutely everything. And it would be nice for someone to be able to question Peat and have a healthy discussion without immediate vitriol from his followers. Some of them like to poke fun at the paleosphere’s dogmatic attitude, but they have the exact same attitude.

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4620 · March 29, 2012 at 4:52 PM

While we're on the topic of things Peat may be wrong about (Peat wrong about something? BLASPHEMY!), I'm curious about this statement: "Coffee provides very significant quantities of magnesium." Everything I've read says a cup of coffee has about 7mg of magnesium. Hardly a very significant quantity. Also, I *think* I read somewhere on either his site or Danny's blog that vegetable juicing is bad because it concentrates the PUFAs without the protective fiber. What about strained OJ though? 24oz will have ~300mg PUFAs, the same if not *more* than 24oz of spinach or broccoli juice.

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0 · March 29, 2012 at 4:49 PM

Did Peat ever address the fact that many dairy products are contaminated with perchlorate(thyroid suppressing substance)?

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10497 · March 29, 2012 at 4:47 PM

@Kurt -- there are only a few mods, and we don't see it all given the amount of traffic on the site. However, we are alerted when someone flags a comment or answer.

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18402 · March 29, 2012 at 4:45 PM

Who are you Bruno? You sound like someone back from the dead who used to be here but got banned. Going around here and calling all kinds of peoples' comments "empty words". Pretty much all the crap you say is "empty attacks". Dr Harris is simply using the knowledge that he has gained and continues to gain to piece together the fasctinating puzzle we call human health and he is sharing his thoughts with us. "One man's opinions on health, science, and the essentials of diet." Do not forget to keep a level perspective on what role he's ever even claimed to be playing in the Paleosphere. Jeez.

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16131 · March 29, 2012 at 4:17 PM

@danny - I agree! Thanks for answering. We like you too. (Truly I am just curious about this).

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16131 · March 29, 2012 at 4:16 PM

@not a doctor - Danny is a stellar guy too IMO. (((Danny)))

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18402 · March 29, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Bruno - what do you mean by "his words are empty"? That doesn't make any sense. Sorry but I think you're just stirrin up drama with that and using Kurt Harris' name as clout for attention.

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16131 · March 29, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Cliff, I am totally not trying to bait you or anything - I am truly curious about the time and energy you put into posting Peat stuff on a Paleo board. Just FYI, I happen to really like Peat. I took pages and pages of notes on all his radio interviews for close to a year (look in the docs section of your facebook group, that was me. :) I own his books. Am I scared? Not about food and diet. Certainly not about Ray who seems a stellar dude. One thing that does scare me are fundamentalist zealots - not saying you are one but you asked.

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5232 · March 29, 2012 at 4:12 PM

I like Danny. Don't send Danny away, Mer. Dammit, I'm tearing up.

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1515 · March 29, 2012 at 4:11 PM

I used your blog as an example because it is a well documented account of something other people have also experienced. Your account alone doesn't have to prove anything. No personal story has statistical significance, but there is obviously little coincidence when it comes to Lutz's data. Former IBD patients have been asymptomatic on his diet for decades, which is anecdotal again, but relevant.

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 4:06 PM

Sorry if I came across as making assumptions about the way you think, cliff. You are someone who has strong opinions, always, and it's an easy thing to peg ideas to you. "kill you liver" is just hyperbolically paraphrasing though. The study you cited is fine. But it is not as applicable to the issue in hand (leaky gut) because of several issues, and being a rat study is not the biggest of those issues. If I ever get around to reading about aspirin again, I will consider it, and if it changes the conclusions of my post, I will change it.

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661 · March 29, 2012 at 4:05 PM

@Mearbear, discussing ideas about health with friends is fun.

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12847 · March 29, 2012 at 4:01 PM

You are making assumptions about what I think. I never said avocados kill your liver. You wanted to know why we dismissed your aspirin article but you don't want to say anything about this study which shows the benefits.

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 3:58 PM

Yes, I have something to say about aspirin! I'm not a total blockhead, obviously there are subtleties to the way aspirin interacts with intestinal lining. But these are actual issues, and starting out with a preformed opinion only gets in the way of fruitful discussion.

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5232 · March 29, 2012 at 3:57 PM

I'm going to start counting the number of times cliff uses more than one sentence in a post.

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5232 · March 29, 2012 at 3:56 PM

I'm going to start counting the number times cliff uses more than one sentence in a post.

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Yes cliff, Meredith is scared. (???) Meredith is also one of the most accurate surveyers of evidence on paleohacks. Except for that time she pulled out a study comparing heavy unrefined avocado oil consumption to heavy refined avocado oil consumption in growing female rats in order to prove that eating avocados will kill your liver.

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12847 · March 29, 2012 at 3:54 PM

You have nothing to say about aspirin though?

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 3:51 PM

In what Bizzaro world am I actually taking the time to argue the applicability of a study comparing heavy consumption of different avocado oils on liver health in growing female rats? Do the terms "applicable control group", "applicable sample", "applicable species", and "applicable dose" not mean anything anymore? Time to gracefully exit. I'll just combine the advice of all guru followers into my own extreme diet-- no eating a banana in the winter ala Kruse, no eating an avocado ala Peat followers, no non-fruit foods ala 30bananasaday...

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12847 · March 29, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Why not meredith; are you scared?

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12847 · March 29, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Because Peat is more paleo than any low carb diet.

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12847 · March 29, 2012 at 3:46 PM

If you think aspirin is bad with your study(where they didn't even say aspirin was bad) you have to explain away this study http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11595418.

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16131 · March 29, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Personally, I am a diet agnostic. I like to read broadly and take about 10% of what I learn from various writers with me. What I am curious about is what draws Danny, Cliff, Steven and the other Peaters to this PALEO exchange site? I really don't mind, I read Peat too. I am just genuinely curious what y'all get out of it? Exercise in constructing arguments? Attempting to convert lost souls? Marketing? Again, not an attack here at all. I would LOVE to know this answer.

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12847 · March 29, 2012 at 3:38 PM

That's just one study I found offhand, I know there are others.

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12847 · March 29, 2012 at 3:36 PM

The refined avocado oil had the best results, unrefined avocado oil and avocado seed oil had the worst results.

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12847 · March 29, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Avocados aren't refined oil, do you get that? Its the unrefined.

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12417 · March 29, 2012 at 3:31 PM

damn, kamal. you mad, brah? heh...

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1026 · March 29, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Thank you very very much Bill. I thought I was the only one thinking of it like this. I never thought about paleo as curative either, and just didn't understand what was so special about Dr. Harris' statements... He's just putting into words what we're all thinking ('*will I never be able to eat pizza again?*'). Nothing new.

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1026 · March 29, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Love your reasoning, Alex. *You actually think eating pizza CAUSES disease because pizza itself is evil? Amazing!* I never said that, Dr. Harris. I just said I'm avoiding pizza. That doesn't imply I'm avoiding it because I think it's *causing* my problems...

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1026 · March 29, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Cave Man Mind, what are you adding then? Hypocrite... It isn't my job to add anything of substance, but I felt the need to criticize Dr. Harris because he's way too popular (which is why I agree with your answer : he's so popular people applaud him without actually reading his stuff). If that means I'm the dick, so be it.

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Anywho, Danny, I do look forward to your further posts on Ray's ideas. Can you make the posts longer? Since there are so many interrelated hormones and compounds, readers may like a little more exposition.

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Which, funnily enough, is the opposite conclusion that Peat would want--eating avocados typically involves eating the flesh, not the seed.

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 2:40 PM

So next time I am choosing to make avocado oil into 10% of my diet for an entire month, I will definitely choose refined avocado "seed" oil rather than unrefined avocado oil from the flesh of the fruit. That is, if I'm a growing female rat.

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Cliff, are you sure you linked to the right avocado study? Because this is what the study reports..."The effect of various avocado oils on liver metabolism was studied in growing female rats. The rats were fed diets containing 10% (w/w) avocado oil for 4 wk. In comparison with rats fed refined avocado oil obtained from cored fruit by centrifugal separation, rats fed unrefined avocado oil showed a significant increase in total liver lipogenesis..."

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 2:32 PM

And how about a little less "us versus them" here? Just because it's Ray Peat doesn't mean everything he says is right. And just because it's Ray Peat doesn't mean everything he says is wrong.

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 2:30 PM

And I'm not overly swayed by an avocado article on "Avocado oils and hepatic lipid metabolism in growing rats". If I extrapolated studies on growing rats to humans, I would not be able to eat very many things at all.

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Whoah there cliff! I've read Peat's articles and experimented with his protocol. No doubt you will say that I haven't understood his writings, but hey, that's just...like...your opinion, man :)

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20411 · March 29, 2012 at 2:11 PM

I apologize and have come to my senses. I also have no critical reasoning skills. One thing about Peat - I am no longer afraid of orange juice. Where can I get some of these worms? My 7-11 has live bait...

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5949 · March 29, 2012 at 2:10 PM

WRT diet and health, I actually agree with everything Kurt is saying. I just don't get his bizarre fixation on belief.

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216 · March 29, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Bruno, meet Kamal, an amateur actually adding to the discussion!

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216 · March 29, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Also in this thread: bruno just being an annoying voice without actually adding anything of substance (whilst complaining about lack of substance) !

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7821 · March 29, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Weird, my blog being used as an example. FWIW, if you read my last posts on that blog, you'll see that I am very careful to say more or less exactly what Dr Harris just said. To quote myself: "Or maybe the starch hypothesis is total crap and I just happened to have a flare up and remission which coincided bizarrely well with a radical shift in diet." It is literally impossible for my account do prove anyting. All it can do is give you ideas about what to test, or if you have Crohn's, some reassurance that you might not die if you try a dietary approach.

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12847 · March 29, 2012 at 12:55 PM

or why he does.

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12847 · March 29, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Everything else you claimed about ray is pretty much false and assumptions on your part. You don't even know what ray recommends.

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12847 · March 29, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Kamal its pretty clear you haven't even read his articles. We scoffed at your aspirin article because its weak, your study doesn't even show aspirin causes any problems and we have other studies showing aspirin protects the gut(not to mention the hundreds of other things it protects you from). Here's a tip go and actually read rays articles, you will see why he makes the statement he does about avocados. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0278691589901282

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1515 · March 29, 2012 at 10:12 AM

@Dr. Harris. I'm aware you don't think starch is causative. But when combined with impaired gut flora and modern diet, it looks very much like a contributory factor. We can safely assume based on http://www.scdiet.org/7archives/lutz/graphs.html that remission isn't just random and actually pretty permanent. Would these people have gotten sick in the first place if they had always eaten the Lutz diet, "lack of old friends" being the same? I doubt it. I understand your point is that they would never have gotten sick with the right gut microbiome, to which I agree.

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1026 · March 29, 2012 at 6:35 AM

I don't want to fight with you, Dr. Harris, as you obviously did way more for this community than I ever will. Nonetheless, I think someone has to question you, whatever your thought evolution is. You're a hype, if you didn't notice yet. Look at this question, it's all over the place. It would be dangerous to accept your thought process without any critique or without analyzing your words, your thoughts, ... To be honest, I'm a bit shocked most people here applaud you without even reading the comments on Melissa's blog. Oh, and I will read Ray Peat some more. Your safe starches make me fart.

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1026 · March 29, 2012 at 6:26 AM

At the time I posted the question, I thought you might be onto something, as Patrik put it at the top of this website. Now I don't think so anymore. Nance, if his words aren't empty, then please explain to me what new things he is saying?

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1026 · March 29, 2012 at 6:24 AM

Why did you tell Danny Roddy to stop reading Ray Peat if you didn't try reading him yourself yet??? And now you're judging others in 10 minutes?

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661 · March 29, 2012 at 6:16 AM

@Dr Harris, ...Lab values are being defined by the lab, but ranges are extremely broad. I've had luck utilizing ranges from Dr. Peat, Dr. John Crisler, and Dr. Shippen.

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661 · March 29, 2012 at 6:15 AM

@Dr. Harris, Not the same thing for everyone, but all factors that Peat believes are defects in respiration. Efficient cellular respiration is disrupted (lack of CO2, defective sugar handling, lack of active thyroid hormone), adrenaline is released to mobilize glycogen, if it's not there it mobilize free fatty acids (PUFA) for fuel and cortisol to breakdown structure (THYMUS, muscles) for glucose. From there, Peat believes stress-inflammatory cycle propels itself increasing levels of "emergency" adaptive hormones: serotonin, estrogen, prolactin, PTH, aldosterone, in a vicious cycle... (cont)

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661 · March 29, 2012 at 6:04 AM

...4) Peat doesn't like PUFA because he believes it: wastes oxygen, inhibits glucose utilization (Randle cycle), displaces thyroxine and vitamin A from the carrier protein transthyretin, degrades cytochrome oxidase through the displacement of palmitic acid in the lipid cardiolipin, and retards sex hormone binding globulin from removing estrogen.

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661 · March 29, 2012 at 6:03 AM

@Kamal, 1) Yes, because respiration has usually been compromised in some way shape or form (reduced CO2, elevated free fatty acids, malnutrition, etc.). 2) Ray's article on aspirin covers that question. I'm in contact with two people using 7+ grams of aspirin per day to combat serious illness. 3) I disagree. He rarely ever mentions anything besides diet and optimizing thyroid function. People tend to complicate his recommendations... (cont)

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2544 · March 29, 2012 at 5:54 AM

@Patrik and @Kurt it wasn't a nasty post really but a ridiculous rant that honestly had nothing to do with what is being discussed here and was edited after Phoenix, Nance, and I responded in the comments.

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 5:45 AM

...and although I don't fully (well, sometimes even partially) trust Peat's writings, I do find the perspective interesting. It just could have been SOOOOOOOO much better with references and fewer gaps in logic. If you recreate Peat's articles but with these things, that would be cool. Which I think maybe you are kind of doing?

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 5:43 AM

Fourth, Peat sometimes says things that make me scratch my head, because he is either jumping to conclusions or saying something so profound that I'm never going to understand it. Like "Animal proteins, and fruits, because they contain the lowest levels of toxins, should form the basis of the diet. Not all fruits, of course, are perfectly safe--avocados, for example, contain so much unsaturated fat that they can be carcinogenic and hepatotoxic."...http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/vegetables.shtml

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 5:41 AM

I had the impression a nasty post was moderated - maybe not... Anyway, my response to maybe HIV does not cause AIDS is .. Groan.... Smart and esteemed perhaps, but not for their views on that topic and not using Peat's logic. Seriously, this is 9/11 truther and we never went to the moon territory. I can't believe you could defend the article I just linked as written.

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 5:39 AM

Thirdly, Peat shares a peculiar characteristic with Dr. K. That is the "try a million things" approach, but then attribute the effect to just one of the things. Randomized trials are done to control for everything else, plus the effect of time. Not that you have to have an RCT for everything, but at least be aware that the cause is not always the thing that it being focused on intellectually.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 5:36 AM

The question is, how are the levels of these hormones being defined? By the lab or by Peat? This sounds like the iodine loading test of Brown - a test literally designed to always be abnormal.

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 5:36 AM

Second is Peat's lack of attention to dose-response relationships. I'm aware that Peat-atarians love them some OJ, sugar, pregnenalone, aspirin, etc. But every substance has a different shaped curve when it comes to affecting different bodily processes. For example, I wrote a tiny bit about aspirin, and then heard that you Peaties sort of scoffed at it. But...why? http://paindatabase.com/aspirin/

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 5:34 AM

@Danny. Maybe it helps to be involved in medical diagnostics here, but don't alarms bells go off when you look for something and find it in EVERYBODY? If I diagnose MS clinically, I might find it in only two thirds of them by MRI. If someone told me to look for a sign of disease and there are no negatives, to me that means the metric is bogus.

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 5:33 AM

@Danny- There are a few issues I have with Peat's ideas, other than the lack of specific citations and occasional strange claims. First, I find many of the articles to have a conceptual hole in them--Peat sort of assumes that the body has a terrible homeostatic regulation mechanism, and most people are being ravaged inside at all times. I find this difficult to swallow.

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 5:28 AM

Note that I am only talking about the acute reaction that the person feels, not the nature of the reaction in the intestine (which could be more clearly separated into immune attack or simply parasite reaction or something of that nature)

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 5:27 AM

Note that I am only talking about the acute reaction that the person feels, not the nature of the reaction in the intestine (which could be more clearly separated into immune attack or simply parasite reaction of something of that nature).

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 5:26 AM

Lucas- the line between "common GI distress" and "uncommon GI distress" is a fine one, no? Eating a plant containing a novel antinutrient, symbiote, or anything else could lead to exceptional tummy distress. (or at least, I would conjecture) While humans surely have a greater range of foods they can handle than most animals, how "iron" is the gut of those growing up with "Old Friends"?

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10497 · March 29, 2012 at 5:25 AM

So, I think Danny & Kurt should get on the phone. Kurt shows Danny where Peat mis-references stuff and Danny shows Kurt his coaching data. CUE EVERYONE NOW: KUMBAYA MY LORD KUMBAYA!!!! :)

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10497 · March 29, 2012 at 5:17 AM

Also -- if folks are attacking you ad hominem -- please point out to me or other mods and we'll take appropriate action.

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10497 · March 29, 2012 at 5:16 AM

So, Kurt, let very carefully qualify my forthcoming comment: 1) I am NOT a Peatarian (although I am very intrigued by his ideas) 2) and you well know I respect your intellect. 3) And I subscribe to the view that HIV DOES cause AIDS BUT......other smart & esteemed folks share his view too. Namely Duesberg of Berkeley. For fun reading, see here post & comments here: http://blog.sethroberts.net/2010/04/11/academic-horror-story-uc-berkeley-2/

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 4:27 AM

And who said anything about food frequency? Not me. I only specifically addressed a claim about the thymus which is demonstrably factually wrong and which was claimed to have originated with Peat. None of the rest of your rant has anything at all to do with anything I said here.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 4:26 AM

@ Steven. I shouted no one down, I just offered advice to Danny Roddy, whom I have know for years. I was not addressing you and this thread is not about Ray Peat nor was my original post on HGL. That said, I do not know a single MD who takes Ray Peat seriously. Not one. It is not a matter of dissing him or disagreeing with him, it is that we do usually don't read him more than once. Being attached to someone like Peat to the point of rage when someone dismisses him is not a sign of a very critical mind, maybe.

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661 · March 29, 2012 at 4:16 AM

@Dr. Harris, you could spit in my face and I would still like you. You probably saved my life with your comments on my all-meat adventure. You're right, I don't deny it, I'm obsessed with Peat. Here's where I'm at though: In December I started "coaching" others and asked them to obtain what I considered "Peat-oriented" lab work. Out of 40 or so people I've talked to since December, all of them, ALL OF THEM, have hormonal anomalies associated with Peat's framework: elevated prolactin, elevated PTH, high reverse T3, low free T3, elevated lactic acid, etc. This, IMO, is the "missing link."

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1550 · March 29, 2012 at 4:11 AM

By "bad diet" I meant crap. But yes, I share your POV. In the same line, a few weeks ago I tweeted in response to Dr. Ayer's last post that IMO, the way you react towards a SAD-type diet reflects your gut microbiota/immune status. A healthy person should be able to eat anything without side-effects, other than common GI distress, depending on the foods. Re: gluten. Yes, it seems that we have trusted the ability to degrade problematic gliadin peptides to Rothia: http://www.lucastafur.com/2011/10/rothia-to-rescue.html

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 4:00 AM

@Cindy. Thanks for recognizing that I coined the term NAD.But a neolithic agent of disease can be anything - a habit, something present we are not adapted to, or something missing that we need. I am all about finding out what they are. The list may grow or shrink.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 3:54 AM

Hugh gets what I am saying. Check out the big brain on Hugh : )

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 3:52 AM

Emily will tell you that is not just a literary trope.....

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 3:51 AM

I like Danny too (hugs) that is why, just like I was concerned when he ate only meat and water, now I am now concerned he is enamored of Peat.

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10497 · March 29, 2012 at 3:49 AM

BTW "The babbling schizophrenic with three cigarettes going at the diner no doubt also has some wisdom to offer me" is genius. I literally laughed out loud. Going to use that line in casual conversation.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 3:49 AM

I feel like I am being asked to explain EXACTLY what parts of intelligent design theory I object to. It's not worth the work to go back and research all the stuff I found inconsistent. The burden of proof is on someone else to prove he is saying anything interesting. You go first.

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10497 · March 29, 2012 at 3:48 AM

@Kurt -- I am synthesizer by nature -- if Peat has interesting ideas that can help with health & nutrition, that is great. If not, c'est la vie. I have no dog in a Peat vs. "Paleo" fight. Although, I do think Danny Roddy is a great guy & a friend.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 3:46 AM

I meant reputational, that is a typo. I meant argument not based soley on peer review and such.... Your damned spell -checker changed the word on me!

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10497 · March 29, 2012 at 3:46 AM

@Kurt Harris -- when you write, "I follow his references and they do not say what he claims they say, I am done." -- is this a question of a dispute on the interpretetation of data or Peat's factual mis-representation (either intentional or accidental)?

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56596 · March 29, 2012 at 3:45 AM

He also does what Dr. K does, though not as badly, which is put his references on the bottom without indicating which of his text corresponds to which reference, as is required in basic college-level courses and always in scientific literature.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 3:45 AM

@Patrik. He might, I suppose. But I have yet to hear some unique idea of his that is worth wading through the rest of his weird theorizing. If you want to explicate Peat for us and sort it out, go ahead.

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10497 · March 29, 2012 at 3:43 AM

@Kurt Harris -- PaleoHacks & the nutrition blogosphere IS "repetitional" but my feeling is that open-sourcing these ideas and then sharing them to digest and re-digest and debate is, net net, better than not.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 3:42 AM

The babbling schizophrenic with three cigarettes going at the diner no doubt also has some wisdom to offer me, but life is short, and when I have sources that have proved a thousand times more reliable than Peat, I refuse to waste a minute of my time reading him and trying to sort out what is nonsense and what is wisdom. Your choice is to believe Peat or to believe my assessment of him, I guess. If you think I am full of it because I don't waste precious time debunking him, I really don't care. I don't mean that in a bad way, honestly. Believe whatever you like.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 3:37 AM

@Danny "I will take criticisms of Peat's ideas more seriously when the due diligence to debunk his work is more apparent." I am trying to figure out what sort of fallacy you are invoking here. Here is the deal. This paleohacks thing here, and the whole nutrition blogosphere, is not the peer-reviewed literature. For better or worse, it is basically repetitional. When I am exposed to Peat's ideas, and they include stuff like not knowing that the thymus is supposed to involute, or when I follow his references and they do not say what he claims they say, I am done.

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2544 · March 29, 2012 at 3:28 AM

Way to edit the answer to make our comments now defunct.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 3:28 AM

" Do you think that a person who is exposed to the Old Friends, but has a bad diet, would have good health?" In a word, yes. Not a bad diet in the sense of eating crap, but a bad diet in the sense of eating any vegetable or starch in any amount, any type of meat or fish or seafood and not having to eat some kind of special idiosyncratic "paleo" diet tailored to their weird and unpredictable food sensitivities. And there are anecdotal reports of gluten intolerance disappearing with restoration of old friends, so even wheat might turn out to be a "conditional" NAD.

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78407 · March 29, 2012 at 3:28 AM

I did. Or hoped...

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78407 · March 29, 2012 at 3:27 AM

You didn't read all the comments did you?

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5132 · March 29, 2012 at 3:25 AM

When I went overseas for 2 weeks, I was afraid I was gonna have a flare up as I wouldn't be able to avoid eating out. Well, my Sjogren symptoms were in complete remission while I was there, when I was eating nightshades, dairy, even gluten. Then, a week after I came home and started back my very strict autoimmune diet (gluten/dairy/nightshade/soy/nut-free), I had one of my worst flare ups. Then it occurred to me. Autoimmunity is cyclical and comes in waves -- may not correlate with diet. This is one of those "spurious associations" Dr. H is talking about. I do agree w/that.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 3:22 AM

@Harfatum. I'll have to find my source. It was an article on food allergies I read. I did not make it up.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 3:20 AM

@Dean. Like most diseases of immune dysregulation CH is relapsing and remitting. One would need to keep eating the starch for many years to claim a cure, and then one could still not be sure it just spontaneously gone into remission. Once again, not sure how many times and ways I can say it. It is not NORMAL to not be able to tolerate starch. The starch intolerance is a symptom of immune disease, not the cause of it. CD is not caused by starch, even if it is put into remission by avoiding it for a while.

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5132 · March 29, 2012 at 3:10 AM

Steve, they're both certified Ph.D's. So they are only subject to a "peer review". So bring on Dr. J and Dr. K. It'd be a tag team match inside a barbed wire steel cage with a ladder.

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37177 · March 29, 2012 at 2:55 AM

I don't have credentials and those who do can answer from that perspective. As I've mentioned, I happened to grow up in a way that gave me a fairly traditional and robust immune system. I am incredibly sensitive to additives and fake foods, perhaps more so than average. And, as is seen with the traditional folks you mentioned I responded very quickly and well to a whole-foods diet. Since my body knows exactly what it wants, I figure that's why it got so angry in response to junk food?

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2544 · March 29, 2012 at 2:46 AM

^Nance said it way better and more efficiently than I did.

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37177 · March 29, 2012 at 2:44 AM

A reasoned argument disputing what you felt were errors in Dr Harris's statements would have found some listeners. I don't think Danny or others who have areas of agreement with Dr Peat would applaud the words you chose.

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2544 · March 29, 2012 at 2:39 AM

The "Old Friends" Hypothesis isn't that radical at all... And neither are some of Peat's stuff if you really think about it (excessive protein, PUFA, estrogen etc). Sure, Harris's tone is debatable but "getting back what he was giving" does not help anyone... Your not on our side. I'm not on your side. I don't take sides. I sit back and read objectively and do my own research. I try not to form an opinion until I can sure of what I am forming an opinion on. You, on the other hand, are not that kind of thinker and that is evident from your answer.

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102 · March 29, 2012 at 2:34 AM

Nah, you my friends are the joke of this site. Dr. H was getting back from me what he was giving, which was ludicrous disrespect towards somebody without reason. Whether right or wrong, Dr. H has no grounds telling people that Ray Peat is full of shit. Why??? Surely a doctor should have some kind of rebuttal rather than a childish "full of shit response." You guys are so blind that you don't see that I am on your side. Here we have a doctor spewing out radical claims and shouting down others simply based on opinion, which I think is dangerous, and can wrongfully change peoples' opinions.

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2544 · March 29, 2012 at 2:28 AM

Your choice of words and quotes that don't make sense in the context of your arguments (such this "if an athlete can't fucking get through the day without adequate carbs, how can anybody else think they can"... normal folk are able to get on with much less carbs than athletes... they do substantially less activity... so it should read, *"if normal folk can't get through the day without carbs, how can athletes"*) are exactly what many here are mocking Peat followers for. Like I said, Danny works really hard to make sense of Peat in proper fashion... answers like yours don't help.

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4620 · March 29, 2012 at 2:28 AM

Agreed with Bill. I think Ray Peat is awesome and would love to see his ideas get explored more around these parts, but this "answer" has nothing to do with the topic at hand and may be one of the most immature things I've read on PaleoHacks. Why are you so angry?

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2544 · March 29, 2012 at 2:23 AM

LMAO dude... I dig Peat's writings and Danny Roddy works really hard to make them accessible to people... but your answer is seriously LOL worthy. You make threats that the disbelievers will run crying to Peat... Seriously bro? SERIOUSLY? The quote from Harris that this discussion pertains to has honestly nothing to do with Peat. Further, your attack Dr. Harris's character with an answer that quite frankly, reflects incredibly poorly on yours.

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12847 · March 29, 2012 at 1:16 AM

Melissa-Don't you think Ray thinks people shouldn't eat vegetables?

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661 · March 29, 2012 at 1:11 AM

@Kamal, I'm not sure I follow. I buy into his concept of the importance of oxidative energy (T3, oxygen, sugar) for avoiding the release of degenerative "emergency" hormones.

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56596 · March 29, 2012 at 1:10 AM

Peat= excessive reductionism IMHO, but there is some useful information there.

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1299 · March 29, 2012 at 12:31 AM

This is a fantastic post, and I find this whole idea pretty mindblowing. However, I can't corroborate the rice comment - it seems that milk, eggs, wheat, peanuts, soy, and soba are the top allergens in Japan. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18397411

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661 · March 28, 2012 at 11:33 PM

@Dr. Jaminet, I stand corrected. I should have checked those links more thoroughly.

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5929 · March 28, 2012 at 10:59 PM

Danny, Ray has a single paper in Pubmed from 40 years ago, plus a letter to the editor (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2571272/pdf/jnma00287-0032b.pdf). Your link gives Ray credit for 3 papers by Rachel A Peat.... In any case, the literature he should be judged on is that on his site, not his work on Pubmed.

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10497 · March 28, 2012 at 10:57 PM

Kurt, you really think that Peat has nothing of value to add?

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733 · March 28, 2012 at 10:02 PM

@ Dr. Harris a band aid is a band aid, and until we learn more about symbiotic gut flora and fauna, i am going to keep the band aid on my gut.

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7660 · March 28, 2012 at 10:00 PM

I'm not educated enough about the topics you point out here, but I, too, am circling around the fact that everything about our modern lives is just wrong and stacked against us. Our human drive for comfort and stability will be the end of us.

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661 · March 28, 2012 at 9:36 PM

@Namby Pamby, what exactly are you talking about?

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5132 · March 28, 2012 at 9:17 PM

Danny, after today, I fear there will be at least a dozen Paleos who'll start eating gluten again.

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5132 · March 28, 2012 at 9:10 PM

Dr. H, do you not believe in Fassano's gut permeability with regard to the genesis of autoimmunity? That's all the rage because it posits a common pathogenesis of all autoimmune diseases. Granted, it probably requires genetic vulnerability + possibly gluten + inflammation + weakened immune system + environmental agents. But however attained, making your gut impermeable is supposed to be the key to not AGGRAVATING autoimmunity; let's leave alone CURING or even pushing it into REMISSION. If so, all Paleo means is just doing what's under your control: do your part by keeping your diet clean.

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3499 · March 28, 2012 at 9:03 PM

Kurt, I think much of this thread is evidence that what we argue most heatedly about is not the words you are saying or not saying, but the concepts people are taking away from reading and (mis)interpreting those words you do say. I'll check out the Rook sources when I have reading time.

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19469 · March 28, 2012 at 9:01 PM

Who says there's "nothing useful" on Paleohacks?

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2890 · March 28, 2012 at 8:23 PM

I want to add that the immune system is very complicated. Optimize things all you want, including exposure to the proper stimuli, and there will still be autoimmune diseases. Maybe we've made things worse with over-hygienic practices, but there will always be autoimmune diseases no matter what.

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1550 · March 28, 2012 at 8:04 PM

Yes, I meant that it is not about "food" (ie. wheat) but more about specific nutrients and/or biomolecules (ie. linoleic acid). Do you think that a person who is exposed to the Old Friends, but has a bad diet, would have good health? Re: immune shaping. Yes, it is true, but this is not static. Even if you have a defective immune system, the way you eat affects your immune response, contributing or ameliorating your condition. And it depends on the age, ie. breastfeeding. So the key is exposure + nutrition.

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955 · March 28, 2012 at 7:52 PM

@ Dr Harris: I think the key in Anthony's statement was "prevents FURTHER infections/diseases via inflammation", in that the elimination of inflammation inducing foods lowers unnecessary and easily "curable" inflammation through avoidance.

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661 · March 28, 2012 at 7:38 PM

@Everyone, emphasis was given to his work on PubMed because a common dismissal of him is that he relies so heavily on rat studies—not to suggest that it is the be-all-end-all of achievements.

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661 · March 28, 2012 at 7:37 PM

@Dr. Harris, I'll just add your response to the pile then. He writes, in depth, about that vague statement with his research on the anti-respiratory factors like endotoxin, adrenaline, cortisol, serotonin, estrogen, prolactin, PTH, and the thyroid inhibiting properties of free fatty acids (which Masterjohn supports—he must be insane too). There's no doubt in my mind that within a few years paleo and Peat will be mostly aligned. The ebb and flow of the paleosphere is almost comical. I will take criticisms of Peat's ideas more seriously when the due diligence to debunk his work is more apparent.

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5949 · March 28, 2012 at 7:36 PM

In my particular case, I have no belief that my diet diet is curative, but if I did believe it was curative, no harm would come from that belief unless bodily feedback started telling me more than just diet was needed, and I ignored the signals based on that belief.

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5949 · March 28, 2012 at 7:26 PM

A decision to stop learning based on belief that one already has all the answers would come under acting out stupidly. IMO, one should never stop learning. As for the hygiene hypothesis, I have been aware of it and the concept of helminthic therapy for a number of years, but I have not been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, so as far as I know, there's currently nothing there for me to pursue. And, I'm sure as hell not going blindly join the raw paleo fringe in believing raw meat cultured with human feces is some kind of curative "food" that I should be eating.

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3850 · March 28, 2012 at 7:24 PM

His views are pretty clear. What he suggests as an alternative however was not.

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24523 · March 28, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Red meat is going to kill you! Courtesy and Stampfer and friends...http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22412075. Okay, I've overplayed my point here.

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519 · March 28, 2012 at 7:12 PM

if you find something that works for say .00001% of a given population, it's still very easy to think that it might work for a larger percentage and address more problems than it initially seems to solve. That's just probability and the perception of control. I grew up in a cult. People who stayed there like one or more components of the guru-founder's message. That doesn't mean that the cult ideas are 100% invalid nor that they 'work' for anyone but those stalwarts. This is because stalwarts don't systematically compare comparable cults and make judgments. They've found a team.

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24523 · March 28, 2012 at 7:11 PM

"Meir Stampfer is one of those researchers that falls into the bracket of ‘churners’. He is currently top of the science charts according to the ISI Essential Science Indicator...Dr. Stampfer, Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, at present has 385 papers that have been cited over 32,717 times in various other publications. His area of expertise covers the cause or origin of chronic diseases...http://www.null-hypothesis.co.uk/science/straight-talking/unsung-heroes/meir_stampfer_most_published_scientist

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1515 · March 28, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Dr. Harris, I wonder if you think diet alone would still qualify as a "cure", if a slow one, in a case like the one documented on this blog: http://crohnscarnivore.blogspot.de/ -- The Author commenced on a plant free diet for a year and was later able able to reintroduce starch and other foods without a relapse of Crohn's. I take this to mean that he successfully "fixed" his gut microbiome with diet to a point where it no longer causes immune reactions. Could this man not be considered cured by diet? I imagine a hypothetical provocation of his crohn's would entail a diet outside the "EM2".

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24523 · March 28, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Can we ignore the issues for a quick second and instead focus on Kurt's vocabulary? "Venal", "Harpie", "Flippant". Okay, maybe the last one isn't that special. But as someone who enjoys a well-crafted sentence, I'm loving this.

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24523 · March 28, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Danny-- While I personally found Ray's articles interesting as thought experiments, he seems apt to repeatedly fall into the trap of "your health problem pretty much boils down to this". In his case, "this" equals hormone optimization through diet. He never ever does systematic (or even quasi-systematic) reviews of related literature. Even though I only know teensy bits about nutrition things, I still have several pubmed publications, so I'd hesitate to ever use that as an argument. After all, the most published person on pubmed is an old chrony in the nutrition dept at Harvard SPH-M. Stampfer

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24523 · March 28, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Danny-- While I personally found Ray's articles interesting as thought experiments, he seems apt to repeatedly fall into the trap of "your health problem pretty much boils down to this". In his case, "this" equals hormone optimization through diet. He never ever does systematic (or even quasi-systematic) reviews of related literature. Even though I only know teensy bits about nutrition things, but still have several pubmed publications, I would hesitate to ever use that as an argument. After all, the most published person on pubmed is an old chrony in the nutrition dept at the Harvard SPH.

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65 · March 28, 2012 at 6:53 PM

http://i.imgur.com/hiusz.gif Dr. Harris, you're damn good at picking apart the arguments of your detractors. And you're sharing some very worthwhile knowledge. Thanks.

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 6:47 PM

sorry makes A difference, not NO difference....

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Alex. "But, if a person has an enhanced quality of life by avoiding certain foods, what difference does it make if he believes it is curative or palliative?" If you don't think that it makes no difference then I have no response to you. Are you sure you understand the implications of failing to make the distinction? Is there no practical difference between avoiding bee stings and hymenoptera immunotherapy that makes one anergic to bee stings?

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 6:42 PM

Who would differ with a vague statement like "energy and structure being interdependent". That is utterly trivial and tells us nothing, really. I am referring to nonsense like saying involution of the thymus is worrisome, when the thymus normally involutes so much by the time you are a young adult that it is basically invisible.

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 6:40 PM

Danny, Peat is full of shit on too many things to bother parsing the wheat from the chaff. Life is short, spend it the way you like. I never bother with anything by Peat. If he is right it tends to be by accident. There is too much unsupported nonsense there. Kresser Deans and Petro are all 100% correct about Ray Peat. BTW, I am (unlike 90% of paleo or health bloggers) on pubmed too. Look at how much good it does me with morons like your fellow Peato-phile "bruno" : )

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4163 · March 28, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Danny, I'm on pubmed, it's not that remarkable an accomplishment.

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 6:34 PM

@Bruno."I am talking about the importance of the gut microbome and how it affects food tolerance, not advocating donuts and pizza. No you're not, or you would cite sources. You're just telling people to read Graham Rook." Wasting time arguing with people like you is indeed why I don't blog much. Pardon me while a write a review article for you and publish it for your convenience. I made a comment on Melissa's blog and recommended an academic symposium edited by Graham Rook and you have the balls to say my words are empty because of lack of references? Go read Ray Peat some more.

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 6:28 PM

@Karen. Thanks for your kind thoughts. Some people forget that unlike many of the "gurus" on the scene I am selling absolutely nothing. No book, no protocol, no seminars, no supplements. People who would compare me to Jack Kruse are simply too stupid or venal to engage. Why I try to sincerely address their concerns, as I have, is a mystery.

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 6:24 PM

If you prefer quoting a sentence I wrote 3 years ago to paying attention to evidence for the evolution of my thought and what I am saying right now, you are a fool. Quit insulting me by comparing me to that quack Kruse and saying my words are empty. Did you quote Ray Peat? That explains a lot, I guess.

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 6:22 PM

Bruno. "You're basically saying the paleo diet is a band-aid, but you don't provide an alternative." I have to do all the work for you for free? Can you freaking read? Did you read the 100 or so comments I have made here and on Melissa's blog? The ones about the gut microbiome, helminths and pseudocommensals like M. vaccae? The solution. if it exists, is complex and possibly dangerous. I'm not going to coach a hostile internet harpie like you who seems to think I owe you actionable advice and hand-holding. Do your own work. I have.

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7660 · March 28, 2012 at 6:15 PM

@Dr. Harris, I just wanted to thank you for shedding some light on this. It has unified a lot of (what I thought were) disparate thoughts about the dogged search for answers, Paleo dogma, and the immune system's role in all this.

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661 · March 28, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Specifically, how is Peat's thesis of energy and structure being interdependent nonsense Dr. Harris? Please do not join Kresser, Deans, and Peter, who have all publicly denounced Peat without ever having alluded to what parts of his thesis they actually disagree with. The universal dismissal of someone who patented a form of oral progesterone, is actually ON pubmed (http://www.functionalps.com/blog/2011/10/15/ray-peat-on-pubmed/), and has been researching hormones longer than most paleo gurus have been alive (he's 75), is beyond me.

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1026 · March 28, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Yes, everyone here is blaming the food. And they're right, since bread etc. is making it worse for most of us. But not everybody is saying that food is the *cause* of their problems. *You've all been duped* is that right? Can you elaborate? How have we been duped, and what theory do you think is right? Empty words, again.

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2890 · March 28, 2012 at 5:58 PM

He is saying everyone here is blaming it on the food when it has nothing to do with the food and everything to do with their own bodies. Will we ever find a way to improve what our bodies can handle? Not likely since people refuse to accept the blame. We like to pretend we're missing nutrients or eating the evil foods, which is why we're fat, injured, sick, etc. Or some like to believe it's because we eat carbs or exercise in the morning, or don't tie our carb consumption into astrological states (Hi Kruse). You've all been duped and it's because everyone was so eager to be duped.

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1026 · March 28, 2012 at 5:35 PM

You're basically saying the paleo diet is a band-aid, but you don't provide an alternative. This is why I said that your statements come over like empty words to me. Just like Jack Kruse does a lot : talks about lots of things, yet he doesn't explain any of them in detail. It might be not cool to compare you with Kruse, but I'll even go a step further : at least Kruse makes me laugh.

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1026 · March 28, 2012 at 5:32 PM

I'll quote you, Dr. Harris : *tolerated is not optimal, why is that so difficult to understand?* This is why I equate doughnuts to pizza : can't tolerate either of them. If I consume them, I get insomnia, stomach ache, constipation, skin and mood issues. *I am talking about the importance of the gut microbome and how it affects food tolerance, not advocating donuts and pizza.* No you're not, or you would cite sources. You're just telling people to read Graham Rook. Fine, I'll read him, and his hundreds of papers. But don't you dare say I'm the cause of your lack of blogging *(continued)*

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8953 · March 28, 2012 at 5:28 PM

Dr. Harris, you're saying what we all already know : yes, paleo is not a cure-all. What should I do, applaud you for that? *And what has it come to where people equate doughnuts to pizza?* I equate those because they both mess up my body like crazy. They might not do that to you, but that doesn't make them okay to consume. Didn't you say in one of your articles that *tolerated is not optimal, why is that so difficult to understand*?

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78 · March 28, 2012 at 5:21 PM

This is an interesting concept. It joins a couple of ideas I have seen in Tai Chi Chuan books; that the slow movements of TC gently massage the internal organs, and some TCC masters have cured their own very serious illnesses by taking up TCC. I second the request for links about neuromuscular interventions.

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24523 · March 28, 2012 at 5:09 PM

Perhaps we should place more emphasis on the role of chronic stress in immune dysregulation. Tweaking diet without reducing allostatic load may be a fool's errand...http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S156899720700170X

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10497 · March 28, 2012 at 5:09 PM

Hey Bruno --- comparing Kurt Harris to Kruse, not cool. Not cool at all.

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37177 · March 28, 2012 at 5:04 PM

@Bruno, for the record I think his words are as far from empty as you can get. Many questions/comments on this site demonstrate that we needed to hear from Dr Harris because there is a bit of herd mentality at times that just going VLC is a perfect remedy/cure. It's never that simple.

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37177 · March 28, 2012 at 5:01 PM

@Dr Harris, I agree that nothing is being healed by just restricting what we eat--I experienced that for nearly 5 months, then enjoyed significant healing because of water kefir (by the way, I agree with you that if I stopped the water kefir I'd lose my current tolerance of yogurt--I see water kefir as a wonderful catalyst rather than a permanent cure and as usual you are right. :))

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5949 · March 28, 2012 at 4:51 PM

I don't understand why you're so fixated on belief, which is merely mind addicted to ideas. IMO, "OMG! You believe paleo is curative rather than palliative!" is as ridiculous a concern as "OMG! You believe in Buddha instead of Jesus!" Now, if belief drives one to act out stupidly, that's a different story. If I decided to live with a thermometer up my ass while binging on crap, believing it would cure my thyroid, by all means, be concerned. But, if a person has an enhanced quality of life by avoiding certain foods, what difference does it make if he believes it is curative or palliative?

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65 · March 28, 2012 at 4:47 PM

PS Thanks for commenting here. I personally really value your insights!

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65 · March 28, 2012 at 4:45 PM

@Dr Harris So if Paleo, GAPS, low FODMAP, etc. is not healing us per se, how do we actually heal ourselves? Given that we don't have time machines, of course. Is it really just tough luck?

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 4:39 PM

Danny you are cool guy but are being misled by nonsense. Stop reading Ray Peat and start reading Graham Rook

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 4:34 PM

@Nance. Going gluten free if yo have celiac or GAPS or low FODMAP for gut issues and having it work is a happy outcome. But nothing is being "healed" by doing so. That is a myth. But where is the sympathy for people who suffer with some chronic inflammatory condition no matter what they eat? Are we supposed to blame the victim or just shrug and say "tough shit" to them so we can preserve the fiction that the paleo diet is all-powerful? That's my main point here.

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 4:30 PM

And what has it come to where people equate doughnuts to pizza? Pizzas have cheese, meat, tomatoes, onions mushrooms and in my house a thin crust to carry them on. If you do not have celiac disease some gluten in the crust is of no consequence. Doughnuts are fried in vegetable oil and are nothing but sugar and white flour, with no micronutrients or healthy fats or vitamins at all. For Christ's sake, how can you lump doughnuts with pizza?

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Granted that huge amounts of excess LA and excess calories and body fat elevate inflammatory cytokines. Stipulated. Do you really think excess LA and being a bit fat is the main cause of autoimmune diseases?

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 4:22 PM

Explain exactly how "paleo" prevents inflammation. I mean, let's say you meet someone eating a perfect paleo diet and it has no effect on their multiple sclerosis, or chronic sinusitis or rheumatoid arthritis. Explain why the prevention provided by paleo diets is so powerful yet so ineffective if you have REAL inflammation.

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 4:19 PM

GERD, periodontal disease, heart disease many forms of arthritis and possibly dementia and cancer have elements of immune dysregulation involved. Read the symposium edited by Graham Rook before deciding these are not immune diseases. There is plenty of evidence most of them are. And I have not once said diet is not important, only that it may be less important than other things. I do nt drink big gulps and eat hot pockets. I still mainly eat pastured meats, fish, starchy veggies and green salads.etc.

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37177 · March 28, 2012 at 4:14 PM

@Bruno, with respect I disagree. Dr Harris is saying that just giving up grains and junk food isn't enough to restore full gut health and is, at best, a temporary band-aid. Many of the PH questions, recent research abstracts and blog posts back him up. Restricting what you eat is a very helpful first step but we need solutions to restore full gut function, otherwise known as a "cast iron stomach."

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 4:14 PM

Did anyone actually read the whole thread at Melissa" blog? I guess not. If you had diabetes it would not interest you to find out you could eat like a normal person if you fixed it? You actually think eating pizza CAUSES disease because pizza itself is evil? Amazing!

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 4:09 PM

I am talking about the importance of the gut microbome and how it affects food tolerance, not advocating donuts and pizza. My words seem empty to you because you are not paying attention to what I am saying, only to what you imagine I am saying. Have you read Graham Rook and the hundreds of papers on the old friends hypothesis already and not been impressed? Comparing me to Kruse makes you sound like an idiot. People like you are why I rarely blog anymore, frankly. It's a time sink to teach the unteachable.

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 4:04 PM

Interesting how you have devoted a whole paleohacks question to "empty words". If what I said seems obvious to you, then you need to read it again, because you don't get it.

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1026 · March 28, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Dr. Harris, are you just trying to justify a diet with donuts and pizza? Your statements seem a bit like empty words to me. You say Patrik gets it, but Patrik simply says *Kurt Harris has, with his brief comment, delivered what may prove to be very deep insight into the nature of health & diet. (It may also disturb some of you too. C'est la vie.)* How can you know he gets it just because he applauds you? You come over like Dr. Kruse, to be honest : lots of sensational speaking but nothing meaningful except the already known.

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1026 · March 28, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Love this answer, Alex. Or I don't get Dr. Harris' point, or he's just saying something we all know : we'll have to keep avoiding gluten as long as we don't find the underlying cause. So what? Is it that hard to avoid pizza?

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1026 · March 28, 2012 at 7:59 AM

Am I the only one who thinks what Dr. Harris says are just empty words most of us already knew? Did anyone here really believe paleo cures us all?

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 4:16 AM

It is true that much is conjecture and that time will tell. For now, though, one can fairly confidently say, based on extant literature, that the effect of the old friends on shaping the immune system has much more support for it than the effect of the food (non organismal)components of our diets do. Do you not agree with this?

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 4:12 AM

You said you disagreed regarding the importance of diet. I took that to mean you disagreed with my contention that diet in the sense of particular foods eaten is not important compared to exposure to the old friends in shaping our immune system. Maybe you meant something else, then.

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5132 · March 28, 2012 at 3:49 AM

Mork calling Orson. Come in Orson.

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1550 · March 28, 2012 at 3:47 AM

a. you cant expect that a single (or few) strain(s) can alter dramatically the microbiota composition, b. We have nothing more than correlations and some experimental evidence of the effects of some species, but we almost dont know anything of what happens in vivo (metabolic crossfeeding, quorum sensing, gene expression patterns, etc.), c. there are many species that have not been characterized and modern technologies (16S rRNA) are not able to discriminate certain species or subtle differences among them. Finally, the things I write or discuss are just hypotheses, time will tell (hopefully)

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24523 · March 28, 2012 at 3:29 AM

"The answer lies in our evolutionary history. And I am slowly unveiling it in 2012 for you to digest piece by piece. If I just blurted it out it would stun you and you would race past by it and never pay heed to it because it is that stunning and easy for you to dismiss. When Einstein said that light bends in space for 11 years people mocked him until some scientist went to Africa and studies the perihelion of mercury…….in 1916 and found out Einstein was indeed correct…….and he did it without any testing……..there is now way to enter space in 1905 and prove it………but guess what……"

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3499 · March 28, 2012 at 3:25 AM

We're smarter together than we are alone. Without this constant influx of debate and new ideas, we would be much farther from the general curative solution. I am greatly interested in seeing what insights putting all of our chips in the pot will produce in the shorter and longer terms.

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24523 · March 28, 2012 at 3:22 AM

Speaking of Dr. Kruse and the K4, he is scheduled to give a talk at TED Nashville. It looks like there will be some unleashing going on..."His discoveries came in a fight for his life as a patient that doctors couldn't heal. After devouring everything he could find on biochemistry, metabolism and evolutionary biology, he connected the dots and made three major discoveries, two of which have been unleashed to the public."...http://tedxnashville.com/tedxnashville-2012/blog#JackKruse

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1550 · March 28, 2012 at 3:06 AM

Partially because in the case of Treg, there are many different phenotypes. Nevertheless, it would be expected to find that this metabolic signature is shared among subtypes. I agree with you Dr.Harris regarding the impact of specific foods. It is not that simple. I have never implied that diet alone is the treatment. But diet should be an integral part of any autoimmune disease treatment. I disagree that gut flora is a primarily a consequence of the immune status. It is a double way relationship. The fact that trials with probiotics dont show many promises is because (cont...)

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1550 · March 28, 2012 at 3:00 AM

Most studies done, for instance, on fecal transplantation for C.difficile infection have follow ups (if Im not mistaken) for 2 years maximum. And that is focussing only in the recurrence of infection. Here is a must read for anyone interested in nutrition and the gut microbiome: http://www.lecomprime.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Microbiome-nutrition-and-immunity-Nature-20111.pdf Regarding T-cell differentiation, distinct metabolic profiles have been characterized recently: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21317389. However, we must aknowledge that it is only part of the picture (cont..)

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1550 · March 28, 2012 at 2:57 AM

Kamal, Dr. Harris: I haven't seen any controlled human trial attempting to modulate or treat autoimmune diseases via diet. Most of what it is known (which is not much) is from animal models and gnotobiotic mice. The problem with previous studies (and I mean previous for those studies done before any of this was known) is that they focus on specific macronutrients or foods (animal vs. plant foods) rather than specific nutrients (fatty acid profile, etc.). It would be ludicrous to think that diet alone can cure all autoimmune diseases, but IMO, it is important for long-term success. (cont...)

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24523 · March 28, 2012 at 2:48 AM

The gastro who did some of the initial worm trials works in my building. Maybe I should hold him up for a month's supply of helminths. http://sackler.tufts.edu/Academics/Degree-Programs/PhD-Programs/Faculty-Research-Pages/Joel-Weinstock.aspx

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 2:41 AM

sorry again meant "in concert" not "in convert"...

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 2:39 AM

Kamal your conjecture is intriguing. If one were to extirpate your entire gut microbiota and remove the appendix, then perform a fecal transplant, it is possible your equilibrium bacterial population might change, but it might not for reasons I suggested. If this happened it would be analogous to bone marrow transplant after radiation kills every white cell and stem cell in your body.

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 2:37 AM

On the other hand, helminths are complex multicellular organisms that have occupied the guts of vertebrates for nearly a half billion years. Our immune systems are dependent on their presence and expect them to be their. They act as active load-balancing immune organs and most of us are missing these organs entirely. Single celled prokaryotes could not be expected to be as beneficial as helminths capable of dynamically elaborating hundreds of bioactive compounds in convert with our own immune systems

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24523 · March 28, 2012 at 2:36 AM

What about a colonic followed by probiotics? I jest, I jest. That's a good thing to keep in mind--people jump to the "causation conclusion" way too often, rather than the more prudent "indicator conclusion". It happened with the lipid hypotheses once, and it can happen again. (and again...)

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 2:33 AM

Kamal I think the bacterial microflora reflects immune status much more than it causes it. This explains why most trials of probiotics in humans, except in particular exceptional cases, show weak effects or none. I personally expect that to remain the case. When there are beneficial effects demonstrated, they cease as soon as the probiotic is stopped. There is no good evidence you can permanently "improve" your gut flora with probiotics.

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24523 · March 28, 2012 at 2:30 AM

...so I would conjecture that there is not likely to be a "silver bullet" that you can shoot into your gut, at least not at this time, to help better regulate your immune system.

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 2:29 AM

The genotype is most important in determining which autoimmune disease you get and far less important in determining if there is one. CD, AS, Asthma, etc. There is no one or even group or defects responsible for "autoimmune disease" - there are probably thousands of them in toto. It is simply inaccurate to think of any immune disease as being "genetic" or due to an SNP.

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24523 · March 28, 2012 at 2:28 AM

Pertinent musings from Science... "either probiotic administration of human gut-resident Clostridium species or boosting the relative frequency of Clostridium species in the gut microbial ecosystem with antibiotics could reduce susceptibility to chronic disease. However, targeting defined Clostridium species that enhance Treg cell activity should be done cautiously, because the closely related bacterial species SFB and Clostridium difficile can instead trigger or exacerbate inflammatory disease." http://www.sciencemag.org/content/331/6015/289.full

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 2:26 AM

sorry in my response to rodger I meant "is NOT what conveys protection" on line 4....

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 2:24 AM

Unless you have a time machine, you cannot affect maternal epigenetics or exposure to pseudocommensal saprophytic bacteria. On the other hand, there is quite a bit of anecdotal evidence that helminths can correct the immune response with no other maneuver, and also evidence that they can alter the other non-multicellular gut flora besides, partly by changing out immune responses to the gut flora as well as our food.

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 2:21 AM

Rodger- It used to be thought that particular gut species were what conveyed protection, but attempts to alter the flora in a way that helps have been at best mixed. Now it looks like turnover or variety of commensall and exposure to mild bacterial pathogens is what is key, and harboring particular species is what conveys protection. There are indeed big differences in gut biota between modern city folks and modern primitives, but there is no evidence that one can permanently switch your biota from one to the other once it has been well established.

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 2:17 AM

Of course starch reduction can be dramatically helpful with AS or CD, but as we've discussed, that is palliation. The bacteria in the gut are not abnormal, the immune response is.

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 2:16 AM

I'd be very interested to see what papers you've found showing clinically significant alteration of TReg via diet alone. A paper showing amelioration of any disease of immune dysregulation with diet alone, or better yet proof that some food or lack of food is what causes immune dysregulation would be even more interesting. I rank food choices as slightly behind yogurt.

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65 · March 28, 2012 at 2:11 AM

"It is true that an abnormal gut microbiota since childhood in most cases is impossible to cure" - can you please expand on this?

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24523 · March 28, 2012 at 2:02 AM

Lucas, what's the most easily digestible (har har) academic paper on gut recovery via diet (even a case study) that you've seen?

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24523 · March 28, 2012 at 1:59 AM

Beware the GAPS army. Also, I hope Lucas Tafur's AHS presentation gets into painful detail on the gut and immune system.

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37177 · March 28, 2012 at 1:37 AM

My cheers added. If all I'd done was "switch to paleo" I wouldn't be able to eat half of the foods I'm currently enjoying. I'm sure I/we have much more to learn and it's more than time to open our minds.

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2485 · March 28, 2012 at 1:35 AM

Dr. Harris... thank you for spending a good deal time time off-line *thinking* before spending a lot of time online *expounding*. Your ideas are stronger for that effort. :-)

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12417 · March 28, 2012 at 1:32 AM

Kurt, this Rook stuff is fascinating. Thanks.

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2485 · March 28, 2012 at 1:29 AM

"It saddens me to see all the paleohack questions about lapses, binges cycled with pureness and strictness" I agree. That's no way to live. I do have to stick to a stricter eating framework because of health issues, but within that framework I try to be as flexible and joyous in my eating as possible. Stress over dietary purity does no one a bit of good. I would love it if my health someday allowed a reaquaintance with homemade sourdough. :-P

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 1:12 AM

It is not my style to be coy or cryptic like Dr. K of the K4. Seriously, this is a very powerful - actually dangerously powerful idea. It is the old friends hypothesis, a sophisticated and well-thought out subset of the older and oversimplified hygiene hypothesis. I want people to learn about this and think about it on their own. If I summarize in my admittedly pithy way in a blog post, I will have people taking it as actionable advice instantly. The ideas are too dangerous to speak about flippantly but rest assured I will have more to say in next year about this.

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1550 · March 28, 2012 at 1:06 AM

...and not only bacteria, there are other "Good Friends" too.

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1550 · March 28, 2012 at 1:06 AM

Once again, it all boils down to the immune system. This is why it caught my interest so much. But remember that the human microbiota (specially in the GI tract) is very responsive to diet, specially during childhood.

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2544 · March 28, 2012 at 1:02 AM

@ROB... Antibiotics, over-cleanly enviroment... lack of germs/friendly parasites etc etc. A bad diet worsens the issue by curropting the flora even more, problems get worse, inflammation rises, immune function worsens... goes on and on.

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2544 · March 28, 2012 at 1:00 AM

Great stuff Kurt. I have thought for a while now that gut flora is definitely more than half the equation. Diet does impact gut flora and this is why some can do Paleo and be 100% while others only hit 75%... their gut is still messed up. If only Rook's ideas were more mainstream and we had ways of going through with them that weren't highly dangerous.

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3521 · March 28, 2012 at 12:59 AM

But what is the cause of this immune dis-regulation? Antibiotics, environmental toxins??

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56596 · March 28, 2012 at 12:52 AM

On some Pacific island there is a popular book called Octopus Belly and a site called unoctopushacks.com where people give advice on how to avoid the evil octopus in your diet. According to unoctopushack.com user Tomnga Toga, "Unoctopus does not say avoid octopus because it's an allergen. It's says avoid it because it is not food, so it doesn't count!"

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1786 · March 27, 2012 at 9:22 PM

rob, have you read his comment thread on melissa's post? pretty much sums up his current views.

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1515 · March 27, 2012 at 4:14 PM

If you disagree with his take on GAPS, you didn't get his point. His follow-up posts explain it more. Also some people need to stay on the GAPS intro diet for years, unable to reintroduce plant foods without issues.

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298 · March 27, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Just to add, I had 3 children by unmedicated homebirth, nursed them to at least a year, and they have had only 2 ear infections among them that led to the doctor's office.

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8953 · March 27, 2012 at 12:07 PM

PrimalDanny, there's a difference between something that would kill pretty much anyone and gluten, since gluten is eaten by tons of people with no problems.

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78 · March 27, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Yea i think many people who go on strict diets get even more sensitive so eating a wide variety of foods is really a great idea but you really need to listen to your body properly.

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8953 · March 27, 2012 at 9:53 AM

Gluten and wheat is not natural?

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8953 · March 27, 2012 at 9:52 AM

Kelly, you've hit the nail on the head :D. I find Dr. Harris' take a bit too pessimistic. He's practically saying we should all give up, eat gluten, cause diet doesn't cure us anyways.

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5188 · March 27, 2012 at 9:25 AM

There is no clear distinction between food and drug. It is legal or cultural but not scientific. And there's plenty of natural substances which would kill pretty much anyone ingesting them. Natural is not necessarily any better an indicator.

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1786 · March 27, 2012 at 8:58 AM

The cracks are showing! Yay!

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1786 · March 27, 2012 at 8:57 AM

Do u have some links?

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2175 · March 27, 2012 at 6:40 AM

Also, there are plenty of drugs that are not manmade.

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2175 · March 27, 2012 at 6:38 AM

We;re not meant to eat GMO food. Which is... MAN MADE FOOD.

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3850 · March 26, 2012 at 6:29 PM

The more I think about this the more I am bugged by it. In simplistic terms - if you drive a spike through your leg, yes, removing the spike doesn't heal the wound. But it's going to be nigh impossible to heal without removing the spike.

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4059 · March 26, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Plus plus plus!

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5768 · March 26, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Nance/Bruno.....we may not be meant to drink or do drugs and it may not be natural or good (debatable), but neither is gluten or wheat. That's the point George is trying to make.

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1026 · March 26, 2012 at 6:44 AM

There is a nuance, George. Alcohol is not necessarily natural and good, it's made by humans. Drugs too. Problematic foods are often completely natural, so it doesn't make sense people don't tolerate them. I mean, if someone doesn't tolerate beef, don't you think there's something wrong with their body, and not with beef?

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20353 · March 26, 2012 at 4:02 AM

Thanks for sharing DragonFly! I really enjoyed reading this post and agree 100%.

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37177 · March 26, 2012 at 2:44 AM

We are meant to eat food. It's not the same as drugs or alcohol. If you can restore gut function/gut flora, eating the widest possible mix of whole foods makes sense. If a sweet potato causes problems for me, then I can't eat it for now. If I can eat it next month because of improved gut function, then why not?

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32518 · March 25, 2012 at 10:40 PM

Thanks, Grace! :D

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24528 · March 25, 2012 at 10:40 PM

I am starting to picture healing through food as more of a ladder than a static plan where you just continue on in the same way ad infinitum. Taking away things that trigger harm is certainly a good place to start, and you might need to live in a proverbial cave for a while to get there, but that is the beginning, not the end of the healing process.

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24528 · March 25, 2012 at 10:39 PM

I am starting to picture healing through food as more of a ladder than a static plan where you just continue on in the same way ad infinitum. Taking away things that trigger harm is certainly a good place to start, and you might need to live in a proverbial cave for a while to get there, but that is the beginning, not the end not the end of the healing process.

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3703 · March 25, 2012 at 10:13 PM

'defend the gut health of our children'. EXCELLENT comments Dragonfly!! My parents thought they were doing us a favor (being physicians) giving us antibiotics for many of our fevers and sniffles but each on of my 4 siblings have had an autoimmune disease. I got formula from day one. You trace the history of the many factors of our current disease epidemic well you guys on thus thread....!!!! U girls rock!

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3521 · March 25, 2012 at 9:45 PM

I am waiting for him to post something up on his blog so we could get better insight into his views.

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32518 · March 25, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Firestorm~ I absolutely agree. The funny thing is, that many so-called illnesses of childhood (like ear infections) are often not seen with children who have a mom with good Vitamin D and nutritional status throughout pregnancy(plus very healthy gut flora), an unmedicated vaginal home birth and exclusive breastfeeding for 6+ months.

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11682 · March 25, 2012 at 6:47 PM

I have the same story when I was born in 1973. I was born via caesarian, and while I was breastfed a bit, my mom ceased to have milk soon after, and after that my parents had only money for cheap milk, which was full of weird hormones in it. I was one of these kids that failed to thrive. I got all my height (4'11") until the age of 10, and then I just stopped there. I never grew an inch after that (according to doctors, I should have been 3 inches taller). All my ailments started then from falling hair, to ADD, and when I moved to the US 11 years ago, the super-gluten here got me some IBS too

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12540 · March 25, 2012 at 5:16 PM

From one midwife to another, I really enjoyed your commentary regarding medicalization of birth and health/food/life outcomes. I'd like to add that it isn't just birth, but THROUGHOUT life, that it is important to be aware of how medical intervention can have untoward consequences... that antibiotic for an ear infection may shorten the duration of THIS illness... but I believe that it also destroys our immune system's ability to defend itself, until we become virtually addicted to outside defenses to face our world... and must put up with the damage they do in the process.

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37177 · March 25, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Your thoughts resonated deeply with me, Firestorm! I decided long ago that my gut would never fully heal if all I did was avoid certain foods. I believe I am now healed, only because I've made good use of pre-/probiotic foods and--like you--avoid eating too much of any one thing. I really believe the best answer is to eat the widest variety of whole foods as you heal. It's hard now to remember just how bad I felt.

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24528 · March 25, 2012 at 9:40 AM

I think where he was going with his comment is that a number of diet gurus are confusing their personal autoimmune responses with the healthful/unhealthfulness of certain foods. I don't think he is dissing the basis of those diets necessarily, just wanting us to get our facts straight if we are going to be shouting this stuff from the rooftops.

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24528 · March 25, 2012 at 9:40 AM

I think where he was going with his comment is that a number of diet gurus are confusing their personal autoimmune responses with the healthful/unhealthfulness of certain foods. I don't think he is dissing basis of those diets necessarily, just wanting us to get our facts straight if we are going to be shouting this stuff from the rooftops.

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1026 · March 25, 2012 at 9:30 AM

I totally disagree with his take on GAPS. That diet tries to improve one's digestion, and is not really a food avoidance diet (only in the first couple of weeks). Dr. Harris has the tendency to be a bit too confident.

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24528 · March 25, 2012 at 9:26 AM

I think time will have to tell on this one. If GAPS is just a bandaid, it has been a really good one. Just doing it short term I was able to heal enough to eat gluten without the really bad responses I used to have. Who knows how long the bandaid lasts though, I don't plan on finding out by including it all the time. If the body responds to something as poison, and has an autoimmune response, isn't it better to avoid it while healing the immune system? Once healed the body might react completely differently, but why live with the physical stress in the interim?

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 12:42 AM

Patrik gets it. Most of the rest here are simply illustrating the beliefs I find so disturbing.

Does everyone here think that you can be normal and not be able to eat beef, rice, peanuts, tomatoes, apricots, fish, crustaceans, gluten, or starch?

Does everyone think that the cause of allergies to a thing is the thing? The very definition of an allergy is that the reaction is to something that should be and usually is innocuous.

Those who think I am "bashing" the GAPS diet are totally missing the point. GAPS can be profoundly effective, like an asthmatic can stay out of the ER by avoiding cats.

Would I advocate that an asthmatic allergic to Fel d 1 antigen sleep with a cat in his bed?

Of course not. Does that mean that cats are the cause of cat allergies?

Did you know the most common food allergy in Japan is to rice? The most commonly eaten food is the one most often causing allergy.

On a pacific island some well-meaning doctors showed up a few decades ago and de-wormed the population. The rate of environmental and food allergies and asthma skyrocketed. Guess what the most common food allergy was. It was octopus, because they all ate a lot of Octopus.It was not rice or beef or pork. Octopus.

Think carefully about this. Is there a pop book on Japanese amazon that focuses on healing your gut by avoiding rice? If there were, what would that tell you?

When thinking about what is wrong with modern health and whether DOCs are caused by deviation from the EM2 (evolutionary metabolic milieu, otherwise called the environment of evolutionary adaptedness) we need to consider many things. Diet is only one.

I used to think, like Eaton and Cordain and Lindeberg and my friend Robb Wolf, that most of our deviation from the EM2 was diet. Eating the wrong things or not eating enough of the right things, sites like this one are all based on this premise. Even if it takes tweaking or hacking, or adding in IF or cold therapy or vitamins or supplements, the basic premise has been that if you keep at it you can come up with a diet that will make you optimally healthy.

I used to think so too. But now I don't.

Is this some kind of disavowal of the Archevore diet? No, I think the diet is pretty great for me and most everyone who has used it.

I still think diet matters, but I no longer see the most important NADs as likely to be particular foods to avoid.

A state where everyone needs to eat a customized, idiosyncratic paleo diet to not be sick, where there are legions of people continuously altering their diets in an attempt to get healthy, and there are many many people who eat PERFECTLY in every way that still have serious DOCs is telling us something.

It is telling us to look at other things.

My bias is now that avoiding totally novel amounts of unnatural foods like excess LA and excess fructose is important, but there are some factors that are likely to be more important.

These factors relate to the history and state of your microbiome environment throughout your life, and this in turn is the major determinant of food intolerances, allergies and the epidemic of serious diseases of immune dysregulation in western society. These are likely the major cause of many of the DOCs, more than failing to eat an idiosyncratic diet you need to learn from a book or website.

Allergies and intolerances are not caused by allergens. They are caused by an unruly, undisciplined, uneducated immune system that if often well armed but blind and operating with a hair trigger.

Anyone who is really interested should pubmed Dr. Graham Rook and read whatever he has written or edited very carefully, especially if you are sick.

And don't take any action in a half-assed fashion. Very powerful ideas are like a double rifle in .470 nitro express. Effective but very dangerous. You can hurt yourself or others if you have no idea what you are doing.

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5381 · September 07, 2013 at 1:28 AM

Dr Harris, I enjoy your theories! :) I agree with your thoughts on hormesis regarding polyphenols and excercise. Your proposition here is very very interesting, thank you from bringing it to our attention. There is an epidemic of immune disorders in western countries. Yes they do seem to be triggered in part by things like wheat (italy has one of the highest rates of IBS), but people have speculated many reasons, none of which make much sense, as to why they occur. This old freind hypothesis makes logical sense. For people with immune dysregulation its hard to know how

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5381 · July 06, 2012 at 11:46 AM

man is psychologically optimal, because we lack a sense of place and purpose, a small tight community, we treat touch as taboo, and sex. Some of these things are human needs, and some of them may well impact our health, and also our modern anti-social behaviour. I am interested in anything regarding our evolutionary design, from proper footware, to culture/society, to sunlight exposure, or limitation of night time light and proper sleep. For me, its not just about diet. This idea also makes sense. Thanks for the food for thought and I hope we hear more..

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5381 · July 06, 2012 at 11:41 AM

reasonable caution about introducing these ideas. But when you consider how much western illness is immune related, it would be great for everyone if you could come up with some cautious or safe ideas on how to implement this, over time, and with thought....and also perhaps how to deal with immune systems that are already dysregulated - how do we stop them from over reacting, once they have begun. I hope you do blog about this in the future. Of course there is a great deal of things about our evolution that we are doing wrong, other than food. For example social structure. Its doubtful modern

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5381 · July 06, 2012 at 11:36 AM

one would do anything practical about it. Living in rural areas, with lots of animal exposure is not practical for everyone, and once you have a dysregulation, i am not certain if that would help. I understand why you are properly formulating your theory. One does not want to risk exposure to dangerous pathogens, the whole idea of hygeine is very culturally ingrained, and as a novel scientific area, theres not enough certainty to make safe total recommendations. Perhaps being less afraid of dirt might be a start. I know your not interested in money, and you blog infrequently, and you have

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18402 · May 14, 2012 at 3:40 PM

"I didn't say that someone said that... " yes... you did. it is 12 comments above this one.

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65 · April 01, 2012 at 4:24 AM

Though I'm curious as to what KGH has to say to you, Primal E.

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65 · April 01, 2012 at 4:22 AM

Primal E. Be patient. Solutions are on the horizon.

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2065 · March 31, 2012 at 11:03 PM

Dr. Harris-Do you have any comments regarding the idea that probiotic supplementation can actually be detrimental? Do we risk simplifying our gut bacteria when we introduce a select few species over the long term? Thanks for your time.

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1026 · March 31, 2012 at 7:08 AM

*Bruno nobody EVER said you should shut up and applaud him.* I didn't say that someone said that...

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114 · March 31, 2012 at 6:12 AM

But this is so depressing. I've been eating paleo for over a year and I still have chronic bloating and fatigue. I've tried eliminating pretty much everything with no success. Now I'm being told that no diet can cure me, that probably at this point no diet will even put me into remission, and that the only possible cure you can think of is too dangerous to try...I don't want to give up.

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1092 · March 31, 2012 at 1:51 AM

Pierce Inverarity! - 5 points awarded for Pynchon- derived pseudonym.

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18402 · March 30, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Bruno nobody EVER said you should shut up and applaud him. Where in the hell are you coming up with this stuff. Please let us know where someone indicated that to you. You write to Dr Harris... "You're a hype, incase you didn't notice" and then you wonder why you get backlash. "you're words are empty" and "your safe starches make me fart". Good job dude.

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699 · March 30, 2012 at 2:56 PM

So, in short, you are arguing against something KGH never said. Critical review is good, but calling people names because you won't take the time to understand what they are trying to say... that's not so good.

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699 · March 30, 2012 at 2:55 PM

...the poison that so many on this site think it is. But if you do have the immune problems (as you seem to) then nobody is suggesting you eat bread (which is how you seem to be taking this). FWIW, I have absolutely no negative reaction to gluten/wheat/etc. I determined this after adding it back in after a strict multi-week elimination. So I had already come to the conclusion that the generalized wheat-phobia on this site was misguided. If you have a wheat sensitivity, of course, avoid it. But if not, it's just not a big deal. (Certainly not healthy, but not a big deal). (cont)

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699 · March 30, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Bruno, this appears to be an issue of you simply not understanding, or not paying attention to, what KGH is saying. You seem to think he is saying, "bread is ok for everyone." You feel affronted because bread causes you problems. But this is not what he is saying at all. He is saying that bread (or whatever) intolerance is the symptom of the problem, not the problem itself. The problem itself is immune system dysregulation. This is an important distinction, whether you agree or not, because it implies that if you do not have that flavor of immune problems, eating bread is not... (cont)

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1026 · March 30, 2012 at 10:58 AM

*Why would you promote my ideas and then complain about hype? You make no sense.* I never complained about the hype.

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1026 · March 30, 2012 at 10:58 AM

*Who are you Bruno? You sound like someone back from the dead who used to be here but got banned.* I never got banned and find it a bit weird you say that. *Dr Harris is simply using the knowledge that he has gained and continues to gain to piece together the fasctinating puzzle we call human health and he is sharing his thoughts with us.* So, just because he shares his thoughts I should shut up and applaud him? I'm under the impression everyone attacks me here just because I don't agree with Dr. Harris. If you don't agree with me, then tell me what's so revolutionary about what he says.

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4059 · March 29, 2012 at 11:23 PM

OK, at last I am beginning to understand KGH. Thanks for sticking it out. (I am a slow but thorough dummy).

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 8:28 PM

pfw- that might well account for some remission in sxs, but I see that as anologous to rhinitis waxing and waning with pollen seasons.

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7821 · March 29, 2012 at 7:14 PM

I've often wondered if this is the underlying reason for the relapse/remission cycle many CD sufferers report. As the immune system loses its sensitivity, you can "get away" with eating/acting/exposing yourself to whatever it was that triggered the original flare, at least until you re-cross the threshold. And then you're back in active disease territory.

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7821 · March 29, 2012 at 7:11 PM

@KGH: From my admittedly shallow reading on the subject, it's seems possible that after a sufficient time without an active immune response, the immune system will begin to lose sensitivity to that particular irritant. Some vaccines require readministration periodically, as an example. So, it might be possible that in the case of CD, a long enough period of time without exposure would result in a "cure" - in the sense that one could act as if they didn't have CD - at least until the underlying geno/phenotypical vulnerability was once again triggered. (continued)

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 6:12 PM

Regarding cause and effect, immune disorders, even the most severe, are often characterized by a relapsing-remitting course. Before I ever did any dietary intervention, I had rhinitis, asthma, IBS, etc. over decades and all these disorders would spontaneously wax and wane and often disappear completely for years at a time. You can easily be misled by spurious correlations, even discounting the radical subjectivity of the whole n=1 paradigm (which I have also questioned)

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 6:08 PM

Your lungs and nose may have healed, but your immune disorder, including Specific IgE floating around and mast cells primed to go nuts in response to a cat, have not.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 6:07 PM

OK, back to the posters with sincere questions. @Dean - Starch, to the degree there is resistant starch or soluble fiber or even FODMAPS that make it to the colon, are uniquely determinant in shaping the mix of bacterial gut flora. If there is a disease that is caused by immune dysregulation and an ABNORMAL response to NORMAL flora, then decreasing fermentable carbohydrates may well stop the immune reaction, in the same way avoidance of cats ameliorates your cat allergy. You are not cured of Fel D 1 allergy by cat avoidance even if you feel better. cont...

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 6:02 PM

"You're a hype, if you didn't notice yet. Look at this question, it's all over the place." What kind of person starts a thread on paleohacks based on one comment I made on another blog in an attempt to help a person with Lupus and then complains that I "am a hype". You started this thread under no compulsion whatever from me and there would be no discussion here without you, would there? Did I write a blog post about it? NO. Did I sell you an ebook on the topic? NO. You started the thread, not me. Why would you promote my ideas and then complain about hype? You make no sense.

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18402 · March 29, 2012 at 4:45 PM

Who are you Bruno? You sound like someone back from the dead who used to be here but got banned. Going around here and calling all kinds of peoples' comments "empty words". Pretty much all the crap you say is "empty attacks". Dr Harris is simply using the knowledge that he has gained and continues to gain to piece together the fasctinating puzzle we call human health and he is sharing his thoughts with us. "One man's opinions on health, science, and the essentials of diet." Do not forget to keep a level perspective on what role he's ever even claimed to be playing in the Paleosphere. Jeez.

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1515 · March 29, 2012 at 4:11 PM

I used your blog as an example because it is a well documented account of something other people have also experienced. Your account alone doesn't have to prove anything. No personal story has statistical significance, but there is obviously little coincidence when it comes to Lutz's data. Former IBD patients have been asymptomatic on his diet for decades, which is anecdotal again, but relevant.

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7821 · March 29, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Weird, my blog being used as an example. FWIW, if you read my last posts on that blog, you'll see that I am very careful to say more or less exactly what Dr Harris just said. To quote myself: "Or maybe the starch hypothesis is total crap and I just happened to have a flare up and remission which coincided bizarrely well with a radical shift in diet." It is literally impossible for my account do prove anyting. All it can do is give you ideas about what to test, or if you have Crohn's, some reassurance that you might not die if you try a dietary approach.

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1515 · March 29, 2012 at 10:12 AM

@Dr. Harris. I'm aware you don't think starch is causative. But when combined with impaired gut flora and modern diet, it looks very much like a contributory factor. We can safely assume based on http://www.scdiet.org/7archives/lutz/graphs.html that remission isn't just random and actually pretty permanent. Would these people have gotten sick in the first place if they had always eaten the Lutz diet, "lack of old friends" being the same? I doubt it. I understand your point is that they would never have gotten sick with the right gut microbiome, to which I agree.

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1026 · March 29, 2012 at 6:35 AM

I don't want to fight with you, Dr. Harris, as you obviously did way more for this community than I ever will. Nonetheless, I think someone has to question you, whatever your thought evolution is. You're a hype, if you didn't notice yet. Look at this question, it's all over the place. It would be dangerous to accept your thought process without any critique or without analyzing your words, your thoughts, ... To be honest, I'm a bit shocked most people here applaud you without even reading the comments on Melissa's blog. Oh, and I will read Ray Peat some more. Your safe starches make me fart.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 3:22 AM

@Harfatum. I'll have to find my source. It was an article on food allergies I read. I did not make it up.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 3:20 AM

@Dean. Like most diseases of immune dysregulation CH is relapsing and remitting. One would need to keep eating the starch for many years to claim a cure, and then one could still not be sure it just spontaneously gone into remission. Once again, not sure how many times and ways I can say it. It is not NORMAL to not be able to tolerate starch. The starch intolerance is a symptom of immune disease, not the cause of it. CD is not caused by starch, even if it is put into remission by avoiding it for a while.

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1299 · March 29, 2012 at 12:31 AM

This is a fantastic post, and I find this whole idea pretty mindblowing. However, I can't corroborate the rice comment - it seems that milk, eggs, wheat, peanuts, soy, and soba are the top allergens in Japan. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18397411

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19469 · March 28, 2012 at 9:01 PM

Who says there's "nothing useful" on Paleohacks?

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2890 · March 28, 2012 at 8:23 PM

I want to add that the immune system is very complicated. Optimize things all you want, including exposure to the proper stimuli, and there will still be autoimmune diseases. Maybe we've made things worse with over-hygienic practices, but there will always be autoimmune diseases no matter what.

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1515 · March 28, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Dr. Harris, I wonder if you think diet alone would still qualify as a "cure", if a slow one, in a case like the one documented on this blog: http://crohnscarnivore.blogspot.de/ -- The Author commenced on a plant free diet for a year and was later able able to reintroduce starch and other foods without a relapse of Crohn's. I take this to mean that he successfully "fixed" his gut microbiome with diet to a point where it no longer causes immune reactions. Could this man not be considered cured by diet? I imagine a hypothetical provocation of his crohn's would entail a diet outside the "EM2".

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24523 · March 28, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Can we ignore the issues for a quick second and instead focus on Kurt's vocabulary? "Venal", "Harpie", "Flippant". Okay, maybe the last one isn't that special. But as someone who enjoys a well-crafted sentence, I'm loving this.

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 6:34 PM

@Bruno."I am talking about the importance of the gut microbome and how it affects food tolerance, not advocating donuts and pizza. No you're not, or you would cite sources. You're just telling people to read Graham Rook." Wasting time arguing with people like you is indeed why I don't blog much. Pardon me while a write a review article for you and publish it for your convenience. I made a comment on Melissa's blog and recommended an academic symposium edited by Graham Rook and you have the balls to say my words are empty because of lack of references? Go read Ray Peat some more.

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 6:28 PM

@Karen. Thanks for your kind thoughts. Some people forget that unlike many of the "gurus" on the scene I am selling absolutely nothing. No book, no protocol, no seminars, no supplements. People who would compare me to Jack Kruse are simply too stupid or venal to engage. Why I try to sincerely address their concerns, as I have, is a mystery.

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 6:24 PM

If you prefer quoting a sentence I wrote 3 years ago to paying attention to evidence for the evolution of my thought and what I am saying right now, you are a fool. Quit insulting me by comparing me to that quack Kruse and saying my words are empty. Did you quote Ray Peat? That explains a lot, I guess.

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 6:22 PM

Bruno. "You're basically saying the paleo diet is a band-aid, but you don't provide an alternative." I have to do all the work for you for free? Can you freaking read? Did you read the 100 or so comments I have made here and on Melissa's blog? The ones about the gut microbiome, helminths and pseudocommensals like M. vaccae? The solution. if it exists, is complex and possibly dangerous. I'm not going to coach a hostile internet harpie like you who seems to think I owe you actionable advice and hand-holding. Do your own work. I have.

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7660 · March 28, 2012 at 6:15 PM

@Dr. Harris, I just wanted to thank you for shedding some light on this. It has unified a lot of (what I thought were) disparate thoughts about the dogged search for answers, Paleo dogma, and the immune system's role in all this.

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1026 · March 28, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Yes, everyone here is blaming the food. And they're right, since bread etc. is making it worse for most of us. But not everybody is saying that food is the *cause* of their problems. *You've all been duped* is that right? Can you elaborate? How have we been duped, and what theory do you think is right? Empty words, again.

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2890 · March 28, 2012 at 5:58 PM

He is saying everyone here is blaming it on the food when it has nothing to do with the food and everything to do with their own bodies. Will we ever find a way to improve what our bodies can handle? Not likely since people refuse to accept the blame. We like to pretend we're missing nutrients or eating the evil foods, which is why we're fat, injured, sick, etc. Or some like to believe it's because we eat carbs or exercise in the morning, or don't tie our carb consumption into astrological states (Hi Kruse). You've all been duped and it's because everyone was so eager to be duped.

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1026 · March 28, 2012 at 5:35 PM

You're basically saying the paleo diet is a band-aid, but you don't provide an alternative. This is why I said that your statements come over like empty words to me. Just like Jack Kruse does a lot : talks about lots of things, yet he doesn't explain any of them in detail. It might be not cool to compare you with Kruse, but I'll even go a step further : at least Kruse makes me laugh.

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1026 · March 28, 2012 at 5:32 PM

I'll quote you, Dr. Harris : *tolerated is not optimal, why is that so difficult to understand?* This is why I equate doughnuts to pizza : can't tolerate either of them. If I consume them, I get insomnia, stomach ache, constipation, skin and mood issues. *I am talking about the importance of the gut microbome and how it affects food tolerance, not advocating donuts and pizza.* No you're not, or you would cite sources. You're just telling people to read Graham Rook. Fine, I'll read him, and his hundreds of papers. But don't you dare say I'm the cause of your lack of blogging *(continued)*

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8953 · March 28, 2012 at 5:28 PM

Dr. Harris, you're saying what we all already know : yes, paleo is not a cure-all. What should I do, applaud you for that? *And what has it come to where people equate doughnuts to pizza?* I equate those because they both mess up my body like crazy. They might not do that to you, but that doesn't make them okay to consume. Didn't you say in one of your articles that *tolerated is not optimal, why is that so difficult to understand*?

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24523 · March 28, 2012 at 5:09 PM

Perhaps we should place more emphasis on the role of chronic stress in immune dysregulation. Tweaking diet without reducing allostatic load may be a fool's errand...http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S156899720700170X

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10497 · March 28, 2012 at 5:09 PM

Hey Bruno --- comparing Kurt Harris to Kruse, not cool. Not cool at all.

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37177 · March 28, 2012 at 5:01 PM

@Dr Harris, I agree that nothing is being healed by just restricting what we eat--I experienced that for nearly 5 months, then enjoyed significant healing because of water kefir (by the way, I agree with you that if I stopped the water kefir I'd lose my current tolerance of yogurt--I see water kefir as a wonderful catalyst rather than a permanent cure and as usual you are right. :))

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65 · March 28, 2012 at 4:47 PM

PS Thanks for commenting here. I personally really value your insights!

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65 · March 28, 2012 at 4:45 PM

@Dr Harris So if Paleo, GAPS, low FODMAP, etc. is not healing us per se, how do we actually heal ourselves? Given that we don't have time machines, of course. Is it really just tough luck?

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 4:34 PM

@Nance. Going gluten free if yo have celiac or GAPS or low FODMAP for gut issues and having it work is a happy outcome. But nothing is being "healed" by doing so. That is a myth. But where is the sympathy for people who suffer with some chronic inflammatory condition no matter what they eat? Are we supposed to blame the victim or just shrug and say "tough shit" to them so we can preserve the fiction that the paleo diet is all-powerful? That's my main point here.

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 4:30 PM

And what has it come to where people equate doughnuts to pizza? Pizzas have cheese, meat, tomatoes, onions mushrooms and in my house a thin crust to carry them on. If you do not have celiac disease some gluten in the crust is of no consequence. Doughnuts are fried in vegetable oil and are nothing but sugar and white flour, with no micronutrients or healthy fats or vitamins at all. For Christ's sake, how can you lump doughnuts with pizza?

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37177 · March 28, 2012 at 4:14 PM

@Bruno, with respect I disagree. Dr Harris is saying that just giving up grains and junk food isn't enough to restore full gut health and is, at best, a temporary band-aid. Many of the PH questions, recent research abstracts and blog posts back him up. Restricting what you eat is a very helpful first step but we need solutions to restore full gut function, otherwise known as a "cast iron stomach."

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 4:09 PM

I am talking about the importance of the gut microbome and how it affects food tolerance, not advocating donuts and pizza. My words seem empty to you because you are not paying attention to what I am saying, only to what you imagine I am saying. Have you read Graham Rook and the hundreds of papers on the old friends hypothesis already and not been impressed? Comparing me to Kruse makes you sound like an idiot. People like you are why I rarely blog anymore, frankly. It's a time sink to teach the unteachable.

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1026 · March 28, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Dr. Harris, are you just trying to justify a diet with donuts and pizza? Your statements seem a bit like empty words to me. You say Patrik gets it, but Patrik simply says *Kurt Harris has, with his brief comment, delivered what may prove to be very deep insight into the nature of health & diet. (It may also disturb some of you too. C'est la vie.)* How can you know he gets it just because he applauds you? You come over like Dr. Kruse, to be honest : lots of sensational speaking but nothing meaningful except the already known.

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5132 · March 28, 2012 at 3:49 AM

Mork calling Orson. Come in Orson.

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24523 · March 28, 2012 at 3:29 AM

"The answer lies in our evolutionary history. And I am slowly unveiling it in 2012 for you to digest piece by piece. If I just blurted it out it would stun you and you would race past by it and never pay heed to it because it is that stunning and easy for you to dismiss. When Einstein said that light bends in space for 11 years people mocked him until some scientist went to Africa and studies the perihelion of mercury…….in 1916 and found out Einstein was indeed correct…….and he did it without any testing……..there is now way to enter space in 1905 and prove it………but guess what……"

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24523 · March 28, 2012 at 3:22 AM

Speaking of Dr. Kruse and the K4, he is scheduled to give a talk at TED Nashville. It looks like there will be some unleashing going on..."His discoveries came in a fight for his life as a patient that doctors couldn't heal. After devouring everything he could find on biochemistry, metabolism and evolutionary biology, he connected the dots and made three major discoveries, two of which have been unleashed to the public."...http://tedxnashville.com/tedxnashville-2012/blog#JackKruse

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24523 · March 28, 2012 at 1:59 AM

Beware the GAPS army. Also, I hope Lucas Tafur's AHS presentation gets into painful detail on the gut and immune system.

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2485 · March 28, 2012 at 1:35 AM

Dr. Harris... thank you for spending a good deal time time off-line *thinking* before spending a lot of time online *expounding*. Your ideas are stronger for that effort. :-)

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12417 · March 28, 2012 at 1:32 AM

Kurt, this Rook stuff is fascinating. Thanks.

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 1:12 AM

It is not my style to be coy or cryptic like Dr. K of the K4. Seriously, this is a very powerful - actually dangerously powerful idea. It is the old friends hypothesis, a sophisticated and well-thought out subset of the older and oversimplified hygiene hypothesis. I want people to learn about this and think about it on their own. If I summarize in my admittedly pithy way in a blog post, I will have people taking it as actionable advice instantly. The ideas are too dangerous to speak about flippantly but rest assured I will have more to say in next year about this.

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1550 · March 28, 2012 at 1:06 AM

...and not only bacteria, there are other "Good Friends" too.

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1550 · March 28, 2012 at 1:06 AM

Once again, it all boils down to the immune system. This is why it caught my interest so much. But remember that the human microbiota (specially in the GI tract) is very responsive to diet, specially during childhood.

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2544 · March 28, 2012 at 1:02 AM

@ROB... Antibiotics, over-cleanly enviroment... lack of germs/friendly parasites etc etc. A bad diet worsens the issue by curropting the flora even more, problems get worse, inflammation rises, immune function worsens... goes on and on.

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2544 · March 28, 2012 at 1:00 AM

Great stuff Kurt. I have thought for a while now that gut flora is definitely more than half the equation. Diet does impact gut flora and this is why some can do Paleo and be 100% while others only hit 75%... their gut is still messed up. If only Rook's ideas were more mainstream and we had ways of going through with them that weren't highly dangerous.

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3521 · March 28, 2012 at 12:59 AM

But what is the cause of this immune dis-regulation? Antibiotics, environmental toxins??

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56596 · March 28, 2012 at 12:52 AM

On some Pacific island there is a popular book called Octopus Belly and a site called unoctopushacks.com where people give advice on how to avoid the evil octopus in your diet. According to unoctopushack.com user Tomnga Toga, "Unoctopus does not say avoid octopus because it's an allergen. It's says avoid it because it is not food, so it doesn't count!"

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851 · March 25, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Bruno, I did paleo because of IBS and pancreatitis. I could not handle dairy, grains, lots of vegetables, beans etc. Now I can eat whatever I like (but I don't eat crappy processed food because it tastes like ass compared to real food and it's simply not nutritious). I also got better through Ray Peat's work. All that easily digested food gave me a chance to get better, also frequent eating and more food than before overall. At first I was strict about keep starch low, now I do really well on a more starchy diet (potatoes, rice, even bread gives me no bother and I can get back to my old love affair with homemade sourdough). I think Kurt Harris is a humble crusader in the search of health. I really admire people who have the balls to keep it moving forward. It finally hit me that good nutrition shouldn't be restrictive and difficult to follow. It saddens me to see all the paleohack questions about lapses, binges cycled with pureness and strictness. That's a rollercoaster of stress and it's not good for you, physically or emotionally. Been there. Now I eat what I like, enjoy it, don't feel guilty and don't get sick. I am just looking at a thread named 'do you avoid looking at food picture while IFing'. That kind of sums paleo up for me. I understand that not everyone can get to the stage of eating pretty much anything, certainly not quickly. Btw, Ray Peat is the most interesting scientist discussing nutrition I have read. But I'm no cultist. Feel like I have to say that because I tend to get accused of following a 'guru'.

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2485 · March 28, 2012 at 1:29 AM

"It saddens me to see all the paleohack questions about lapses, binges cycled with pureness and strictness" I agree. That's no way to live. I do have to stick to a stricter eating framework because of health issues, but within that framework I try to be as flexible and joyous in my eating as possible. Stress over dietary purity does no one a bit of good. I would love it if my health someday allowed a reaquaintance with homemade sourdough. :-P

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24528 · March 25, 2012 at 10:40 PM

I am starting to picture healing through food as more of a ladder than a static plan where you just continue on in the same way ad infinitum. Taking away things that trigger harm is certainly a good place to start, and you might need to live in a proverbial cave for a while to get there, but that is the beginning, not the end of the healing process.

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24528 · March 25, 2012 at 10:39 PM

I am starting to picture healing through food as more of a ladder than a static plan where you just continue on in the same way ad infinitum. Taking away things that trigger harm is certainly a good place to start, and you might need to live in a proverbial cave for a while to get there, but that is the beginning, not the end not the end of the healing process.

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12540 · March 25, 2012 at 12:56 PM

In my explorations, I discovered a blog called "Cheeseslave". I've been following it for a while, and recently, through the author's exploration of traditionally-prepared seeds and grains. In a way, it brings me "full circle" in my own health explorations, because it brings me back around to something close to WAPS.

I figured out about half a year ago that for me, the issue of food is more heavily related to how close to 'real' food what I'm eating is. Is it naturally fermented? Great. Is it eaten with respect to my body's own clock and sensory commentary? Great. Does it avoid over-emphasis on "replacement" foods that delve into heavy use of "alternatives" while not changing the paradigm from which I eat? Not so good.

For me, I find that anything in excess exacerbates my less-than-functional self. Staying healthy has become a conversation revolving around things I knew way back when I was a midwife (like how to feed a pregnant woman in a way that provides the best health for her and the baby, even through nausea and late-pregnancy stomach compression); through my naturopathic training (eliminating whole groups of foods just to replace them with OTHER 'imitation' foods is -not- improving health -- it's just pushing the issues off until they show up somewhere else); and through my progression into "paleo" and "primal" eating.

What does eating "primal" mean to me? It means choosing the BEST foods of the season, and eating them according to my appetite. It means learning to trust my BODY again to tell me when it's doing well, and when I need to make changes. It's about -challenging- myself to move more, do more, and avoid "societally programmed thinking" that makes me lazy about how I nourish and sustain myself and those I love. It means remembering where my food comes from, and taking pains to assure that the food that I eat is given as much chance as possible to be at peak performance itself.

I love this community, but I am pretty sure I stopped being "paleo" a year ago by the strictest standards, and I think I may have dropped off the "primal" radar recently as well, with the introduction of a few sprouted and fermented seeds that I've been experimenting with (in particular millet, which my body seems to -really- like). The point, for me, though, is that listening first to my body was a gift of the Paleo culture--it wasn't until I found this community that I found other people who had some of the same experiences that I did, and who found a real problem with the apparent solutions out there.

I'm a VERY large lady -- but I'm an ENTIRE PERSON smaller than I was when I started out on this. I didn't come on board looking for miracles -- but in a way, I found one, because, out of all of this, I found my own voice, not just where my body is concerned, but where my apparent persistence of Shamanic behaviors (which our culture now, mostly, consider to be good reasons to go get medicated), and my general approach to society were concerned. I found myself among people who, for the most part, were comfortable with someone returning to a simpler, less technologically-repressed way of interacting with our world. THAT, I think, is the gift of paleo/primal for me -- that I stopped seeing all of the technology as a filter through which my world had to pass in order to be "acceptable"... and started seeing the technology and the opinions that garner from a technological world as TOOLS -- I could use them if they worked for me, or set them aside where they massively -failed- in MY LIFE... and now I understood that I had a choice.

Whether paleo/primal is a solution for some people, I think we've developed this idea that there is some "magic" way of living that is going to solve all of our problems. No diet can do that. The best we can hope for from our food is that it nourishes us and gives us the strength and energy to use OTHER tools to become capable of everything that we want to do in our lives... and isn't that enough

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78 · March 27, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Yea i think many people who go on strict diets get even more sensitive so eating a wide variety of foods is really a great idea but you really need to listen to your body properly.

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37177 · March 25, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Your thoughts resonated deeply with me, Firestorm! I decided long ago that my gut would never fully heal if all I did was avoid certain foods. I believe I am now healed, only because I've made good use of pre-/probiotic foods and--like you--avoid eating too much of any one thing. I really believe the best answer is to eat the widest variety of whole foods as you heal. It's hard now to remember just how bad I felt.

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1550 · March 28, 2012 at 1:35 AM

I find very interesting that different people, with different ideas and backgrounds, are converging towards what seems to be the most important and (until now) overlooked health component. The Human Microbiome Project is the new Human Genome Project. This is how big is seen in the area.

However, I disagree with Dr. Harris regarding the importance of diet. As I have written in some posts (and will be writing more thoroughly in following posts), nutrition is able to modulate the response, differentiation and maturation of immune cell types. Differentiation towards T-regulatory cells or T-effector cells is controlled by intracellular proteins that play a central role in metabolism. It is true that an abnormal gut microbiota since childhood in most cases is impossible to cure, but diet can make a great contribution towards partial recovery or remission of the broad range of possible symptoms. This would be mediated both directly (on immune cells) or indirectly (via adipose tissue composition, energy balance and gut bacteria composition). I think that any measure with basis on the Old Friends Hypothesis should take into account the effect of diet and use other measures (antibiotics, fecal transplants, biofilm disruptors, etc.) as tools, not as central components.

Forgot to mention that the genotype seems to be very important for the immune response to a given microorganism, being an Old Friend or not. Not only the given combination of MHC alleles, but also, there are specific SNPs in interleukin related genes which influence the inflammatory status. Interleukin genes have been selected depending on the pathogen load of the individual as well as the specific exposure. So the immune response of an individual is also shaped by pathogen history from its geographical area and ancestors. In a more global-related manner, this co-evolution with microorganisms shaped the expression of interleukin related genes. It seems that in the case of helminths and some other parasites, we have "trusted" some part of the inflammatory balance (ie. the production of some molecules with anti-inflammatory actions, like IL-10) to these organisms, upregulating some inflammatory genes. If you take out of the equation the presence of these organisms (as produced by modern hygiene practices) you are skewed towards a basal pro-inflammatory environment.

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Okay, I see. Self-diagnosis of gluten sensitivity seemed to have skyrocketed after Stephan (or somebody) posted that stat about 99.4% of people having susceptible haplotypes. So not eating wheat could have made things better- or just not eating junk food all the time.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 6:20 PM

This is why self- diagnosis of gluten sensitivity, etc. is so fraught with hazard and really unreliable.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 6:19 PM

Kamal- echoing Lucas' comment, there is very little concordance between GI symptoms and even the most severe pathology. Consider eating raffinose (blazing saddles) and having gas cramps so bad you feel like you are going to die. Totally harmless. Then imagine someone with wasting and failure to thrive but no GI sxs whatsoever who turns out to have total villous atrophy from celiac disease.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 6:14 PM

@Lucas. We are more in agreement than not. If you are healthy enough even crap will be more tolerated.

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1550 · March 29, 2012 at 4:53 PM

Kamal, a common GI distress would be bloating after eating a massive load of sugar/fructose, gas after eating a high amount of starch, extreme fullness after eating a big high carb-high fat meal...That would be normal. This, in addition to increased BP, sweating and core temperature is normal. By "Abnormal" or "uncommon" GI distress I mean an exaggerated response to these foods reflected by the same symptoms but in a higher magnitude. Other "uncommon" side-effects would be anxiety, depression, headaches, extreme fatigue, etc; in the short term.

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 5:28 AM

Note that I am only talking about the acute reaction that the person feels, not the nature of the reaction in the intestine (which could be more clearly separated into immune attack or simply parasite reaction or something of that nature)

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 5:27 AM

Note that I am only talking about the acute reaction that the person feels, not the nature of the reaction in the intestine (which could be more clearly separated into immune attack or simply parasite reaction of something of that nature).

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 5:26 AM

Lucas- the line between "common GI distress" and "uncommon GI distress" is a fine one, no? Eating a plant containing a novel antinutrient, symbiote, or anything else could lead to exceptional tummy distress. (or at least, I would conjecture) While humans surely have a greater range of foods they can handle than most animals, how "iron" is the gut of those growing up with "Old Friends"?

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1550 · March 29, 2012 at 4:11 AM

By "bad diet" I meant crap. But yes, I share your POV. In the same line, a few weeks ago I tweeted in response to Dr. Ayer's last post that IMO, the way you react towards a SAD-type diet reflects your gut microbiota/immune status. A healthy person should be able to eat anything without side-effects, other than common GI distress, depending on the foods. Re: gluten. Yes, it seems that we have trusted the ability to degrade problematic gliadin peptides to Rothia: http://www.lucastafur.com/2011/10/rothia-to-rescue.html

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 3:28 AM

" Do you think that a person who is exposed to the Old Friends, but has a bad diet, would have good health?" In a word, yes. Not a bad diet in the sense of eating crap, but a bad diet in the sense of eating any vegetable or starch in any amount, any type of meat or fish or seafood and not having to eat some kind of special idiosyncratic "paleo" diet tailored to their weird and unpredictable food sensitivities. And there are anecdotal reports of gluten intolerance disappearing with restoration of old friends, so even wheat might turn out to be a "conditional" NAD.

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1550 · March 28, 2012 at 8:04 PM

Yes, I meant that it is not about "food" (ie. wheat) but more about specific nutrients and/or biomolecules (ie. linoleic acid). Do you think that a person who is exposed to the Old Friends, but has a bad diet, would have good health? Re: immune shaping. Yes, it is true, but this is not static. Even if you have a defective immune system, the way you eat affects your immune response, contributing or ameliorating your condition. And it depends on the age, ie. breastfeeding. So the key is exposure + nutrition.

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 4:16 AM

It is true that much is conjecture and that time will tell. For now, though, one can fairly confidently say, based on extant literature, that the effect of the old friends on shaping the immune system has much more support for it than the effect of the food (non organismal)components of our diets do. Do you not agree with this?

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 4:12 AM

You said you disagreed regarding the importance of diet. I took that to mean you disagreed with my contention that diet in the sense of particular foods eaten is not important compared to exposure to the old friends in shaping our immune system. Maybe you meant something else, then.

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1550 · March 28, 2012 at 3:47 AM

a. you cant expect that a single (or few) strain(s) can alter dramatically the microbiota composition, b. We have nothing more than correlations and some experimental evidence of the effects of some species, but we almost dont know anything of what happens in vivo (metabolic crossfeeding, quorum sensing, gene expression patterns, etc.), c. there are many species that have not been characterized and modern technologies (16S rRNA) are not able to discriminate certain species or subtle differences among them. Finally, the things I write or discuss are just hypotheses, time will tell (hopefully)

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1550 · March 28, 2012 at 3:06 AM

Partially because in the case of Treg, there are many different phenotypes. Nevertheless, it would be expected to find that this metabolic signature is shared among subtypes. I agree with you Dr.Harris regarding the impact of specific foods. It is not that simple. I have never implied that diet alone is the treatment. But diet should be an integral part of any autoimmune disease treatment. I disagree that gut flora is a primarily a consequence of the immune status. It is a double way relationship. The fact that trials with probiotics dont show many promises is because (cont...)

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1550 · March 28, 2012 at 3:00 AM

Most studies done, for instance, on fecal transplantation for C.difficile infection have follow ups (if Im not mistaken) for 2 years maximum. And that is focussing only in the recurrence of infection. Here is a must read for anyone interested in nutrition and the gut microbiome: http://www.lecomprime.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Microbiome-nutrition-and-immunity-Nature-20111.pdf Regarding T-cell differentiation, distinct metabolic profiles have been characterized recently: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21317389. However, we must aknowledge that it is only part of the picture (cont..)

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1550 · March 28, 2012 at 2:57 AM

Kamal, Dr. Harris: I haven't seen any controlled human trial attempting to modulate or treat autoimmune diseases via diet. Most of what it is known (which is not much) is from animal models and gnotobiotic mice. The problem with previous studies (and I mean previous for those studies done before any of this was known) is that they focus on specific macronutrients or foods (animal vs. plant foods) rather than specific nutrients (fatty acid profile, etc.). It would be ludicrous to think that diet alone can cure all autoimmune diseases, but IMO, it is important for long-term success. (cont...)

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24523 · March 28, 2012 at 2:48 AM

The gastro who did some of the initial worm trials works in my building. Maybe I should hold him up for a month's supply of helminths. http://sackler.tufts.edu/Academics/Degree-Programs/PhD-Programs/Faculty-Research-Pages/Joel-Weinstock.aspx

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 2:41 AM

sorry again meant "in concert" not "in convert"...

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 2:39 AM

Kamal your conjecture is intriguing. If one were to extirpate your entire gut microbiota and remove the appendix, then perform a fecal transplant, it is possible your equilibrium bacterial population might change, but it might not for reasons I suggested. If this happened it would be analogous to bone marrow transplant after radiation kills every white cell and stem cell in your body.

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 2:37 AM

On the other hand, helminths are complex multicellular organisms that have occupied the guts of vertebrates for nearly a half billion years. Our immune systems are dependent on their presence and expect them to be their. They act as active load-balancing immune organs and most of us are missing these organs entirely. Single celled prokaryotes could not be expected to be as beneficial as helminths capable of dynamically elaborating hundreds of bioactive compounds in convert with our own immune systems

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24523 · March 28, 2012 at 2:36 AM

What about a colonic followed by probiotics? I jest, I jest. That's a good thing to keep in mind--people jump to the "causation conclusion" way too often, rather than the more prudent "indicator conclusion". It happened with the lipid hypotheses once, and it can happen again. (and again...)

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 2:33 AM

Kamal I think the bacterial microflora reflects immune status much more than it causes it. This explains why most trials of probiotics in humans, except in particular exceptional cases, show weak effects or none. I personally expect that to remain the case. When there are beneficial effects demonstrated, they cease as soon as the probiotic is stopped. There is no good evidence you can permanently "improve" your gut flora with probiotics.

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24523 · March 28, 2012 at 2:30 AM

...so I would conjecture that there is not likely to be a "silver bullet" that you can shoot into your gut, at least not at this time, to help better regulate your immune system.

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 2:29 AM

The genotype is most important in determining which autoimmune disease you get and far less important in determining if there is one. CD, AS, Asthma, etc. There is no one or even group or defects responsible for "autoimmune disease" - there are probably thousands of them in toto. It is simply inaccurate to think of any immune disease as being "genetic" or due to an SNP.

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24523 · March 28, 2012 at 2:28 AM

Pertinent musings from Science... "either probiotic administration of human gut-resident Clostridium species or boosting the relative frequency of Clostridium species in the gut microbial ecosystem with antibiotics could reduce susceptibility to chronic disease. However, targeting defined Clostridium species that enhance Treg cell activity should be done cautiously, because the closely related bacterial species SFB and Clostridium difficile can instead trigger or exacerbate inflammatory disease." http://www.sciencemag.org/content/331/6015/289.full

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 2:26 AM

sorry in my response to rodger I meant "is NOT what conveys protection" on line 4....

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 2:24 AM

Unless you have a time machine, you cannot affect maternal epigenetics or exposure to pseudocommensal saprophytic bacteria. On the other hand, there is quite a bit of anecdotal evidence that helminths can correct the immune response with no other maneuver, and also evidence that they can alter the other non-multicellular gut flora besides, partly by changing out immune responses to the gut flora as well as our food.

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 2:21 AM

Rodger- It used to be thought that particular gut species were what conveyed protection, but attempts to alter the flora in a way that helps have been at best mixed. Now it looks like turnover or variety of commensall and exposure to mild bacterial pathogens is what is key, and harboring particular species is what conveys protection. There are indeed big differences in gut biota between modern city folks and modern primitives, but there is no evidence that one can permanently switch your biota from one to the other once it has been well established.

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 2:17 AM

Of course starch reduction can be dramatically helpful with AS or CD, but as we've discussed, that is palliation. The bacteria in the gut are not abnormal, the immune response is.

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 2:16 AM

I'd be very interested to see what papers you've found showing clinically significant alteration of TReg via diet alone. A paper showing amelioration of any disease of immune dysregulation with diet alone, or better yet proof that some food or lack of food is what causes immune dysregulation would be even more interesting. I rank food choices as slightly behind yogurt.

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65 · March 28, 2012 at 2:11 AM

"It is true that an abnormal gut microbiota since childhood in most cases is impossible to cure" - can you please expand on this?

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24523 · March 28, 2012 at 2:02 AM

Lucas, what's the most easily digestible (har har) academic paper on gut recovery via diet (even a case study) that you've seen?

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32518 · March 25, 2012 at 2:16 PM

Great topic!

I think Dr. Harris has nailed it again.

An old friend once used the phrase, "Her pathology has become her theology." I think this sums up what Dr. Harris is saying.

Going Primal has given me the opportunity to experience real health for the first time in my life--so the avoidance of certain foods (esp. gluten & FODMAPS) has been very beneficial to me.

From my new perspective, I am pursuing further healing of my gut so that I can eat more freely when socializing. Needing to avoid guacamole (while living in New Mexico) because of the FODMAPS in avocados and onions has been great incentive to do this! And thanks to Melissa & others who have posted here, I feel more confident of my body's ability to heal fully, given the time and space it needs.

In my work in the birth world, I have learned how much our U.S. medicalised pregnancy & birth practices are setting up a large percentage of the population to have impacted gut health.

Babies have a sterile gut, so it is essential that it is populated by beneficial gut bacteria if they are to enjoy good health. With over 30% of births being caesarians, many babies aren't getting exposed to the flora of their mom right away because they are missing the journey through the vagina.

Prophylactic antibiotics are killing off beneficial gut flora in many moms before they even have a chance to inoculate their baby. Even if they have a vaginal birth, many moms are suffering from gut flora imbalance that they pass on to their babies.

And the poor rates of exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months (WHO recommendations) means that many, many babies are being exposed to gluten, soy & other foods that their bodies are not yet ready to digest, further disturbing their gut environment.

I am a fine example of this. When I was born (vaginally) in the hospital in 1963, my mom was given antibiotics at the end of her pregnancy because she was fighting an infection. Also, I was not breastfed--in fact, she couldn't afford formula, so as soon as we were home, I was fed condensed milk (probably sweetened!)

There is a growing awareness of this issue among birth professionals, but really, it is up to the parents to defend the gut health of their children, if they want to truly support our population's future health.

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32518 · April 11, 2012 at 9:00 PM

100% Gluten-free, raw milk (if tolerated), kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, etc.. would be a good idea. Interesting stuff on the web about helminthic therapy (see this: http://coloncomrades.wordpress.com/about/) but I haven't done any research on it...

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383 · April 11, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Any practical advice on ameliorating disrupted maternal gut flora to set one's children up as well as possible going forward? With even garden soil being sterilised, where do we access Old Friends for our young family?

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298 · March 27, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Just to add, I had 3 children by unmedicated homebirth, nursed them to at least a year, and they have had only 2 ear infections among them that led to the doctor's office.

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20353 · March 26, 2012 at 4:02 AM

Thanks for sharing DragonFly! I really enjoyed reading this post and agree 100%.

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32518 · March 25, 2012 at 10:40 PM

Thanks, Grace! :D

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3703 · March 25, 2012 at 10:13 PM

'defend the gut health of our children'. EXCELLENT comments Dragonfly!! My parents thought they were doing us a favor (being physicians) giving us antibiotics for many of our fevers and sniffles but each on of my 4 siblings have had an autoimmune disease. I got formula from day one. You trace the history of the many factors of our current disease epidemic well you guys on thus thread....!!!! U girls rock!

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32518 · March 25, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Firestorm~ I absolutely agree. The funny thing is, that many so-called illnesses of childhood (like ear infections) are often not seen with children who have a mom with good Vitamin D and nutritional status throughout pregnancy(plus very healthy gut flora), an unmedicated vaginal home birth and exclusive breastfeeding for 6+ months.

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11682 · March 25, 2012 at 6:47 PM

I have the same story when I was born in 1973. I was born via caesarian, and while I was breastfed a bit, my mom ceased to have milk soon after, and after that my parents had only money for cheap milk, which was full of weird hormones in it. I was one of these kids that failed to thrive. I got all my height (4'11") until the age of 10, and then I just stopped there. I never grew an inch after that (according to doctors, I should have been 3 inches taller). All my ailments started then from falling hair, to ADD, and when I moved to the US 11 years ago, the super-gluten here got me some IBS too

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12540 · March 25, 2012 at 5:16 PM

From one midwife to another, I really enjoyed your commentary regarding medicalization of birth and health/food/life outcomes. I'd like to add that it isn't just birth, but THROUGHOUT life, that it is important to be aware of how medical intervention can have untoward consequences... that antibiotic for an ear infection may shorten the duration of THIS illness... but I believe that it also destroys our immune system's ability to defend itself, until we become virtually addicted to outside defenses to face our world... and must put up with the damage they do in the process.

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206 · March 28, 2012 at 4:55 PM

Yes, paleo is a band-aid. No, paleo is not a cure-all. No, calling paleo a band-aid does not in any way detract from it, or from those who have successfully used it to achieve their health goals.

But for every person who has achieved vibrant health and six pack abs through eating a nutrient dense paleo diet, there are others who have failed. Go take a look at a handful of paleohacks questions for evidence of this. Most of the advice for these people who are "failing" is to "Go more paleo!" or some other version of this. It's eerily reminiscent of the vegan crowd, where people who aren't thriving must not be doing it right, or need to go even more vegan. "Try a 30 day juice fast raw protocol, yo!"

The paleo community is better than that, and even if you're already on board with Dr. Harris's skepticism about over-reaching health claims, I still think it's always good to hear another wake-up call. My first was with Mat Lalonde's AHS seminar, which basically told me to study actual science or STFU. This was another wake-up call I definitely needed, because part of me still believed that if everyone went paleo from birth, the diseases of civilization would go away. Today, I'm realizing that is most likely not true.

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2890 · March 31, 2012 at 5:50 AM

^^ :D +1 for the reference.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 3:54 AM

Hugh gets what I am saying. Check out the big brain on Hugh : )

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2544 · March 27, 2012 at 10:55 PM

My question is... Did anyone actually ever think Paleo cured anything? To me it seemed clear that the diet was a long term lifestyle treatment. I hardly see anyone doing Paleo/PHD/Peat/Primal etc for the 3 months, calling themselves cured only to happily return to the SAD. What makes paleo better than a drug treatment is all around more beneficial than whatever that specific drug is targeting.

Seriously, if there was a cure for these ailments, don't you think people would be eating whatever the hell they wanted? I love eating whole foods, but if someone told me I could eat pizza and cookies everyday and not get acne, fat, etc etc then by all means I'd be having them for breakfast.

Whatever the reason you go "Paleo" or diet that fits under the "WAP, WHOLE FOODS" umbrella, they are all focused on whole foods and cutting out the junk. Of course that's a treatment and not a cure... because you have to be regular and consistent about it.

I don't think what Kurt is saying is sensational or a revelation at all. How was this not obvious from the start?

It is true though that the people going ultra restrictive are not doing themselves any good... Perhaps the remark is good for that. But who cares if he eats wheat ad lib?

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1026 · March 29, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Thank you very very much Bill. I thought I was the only one thinking of it like this. I never thought about paleo as curative either, and just didn't understand what was so special about Dr. Harris' statements... He's just putting into words what we're all thinking ('*will I never be able to eat pizza again?*'). Nothing new.

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78407 · March 29, 2012 at 3:28 AM

I did. Or hoped...

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10497 · March 27, 2012 at 10:45 PM

Kurt Harris has, with his brief comment, delivered what may prove to be very deep insight into the nature of health & diet. (It may also disturb some of you too. C'est la vie.)

His observation that Paleo might be palliative rather than curative is non-trivial, and deserves further exploration and meaningful discussion.

Things just got very interesting again, and cheers to that!

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3499 · March 28, 2012 at 3:25 AM

We're smarter together than we are alone. Without this constant influx of debate and new ideas, we would be much farther from the general curative solution. I am greatly interested in seeing what insights putting all of our chips in the pot will produce in the shorter and longer terms.

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37177 · March 28, 2012 at 1:37 AM

My cheers added. If all I'd done was "switch to paleo" I wouldn't be able to eat half of the foods I'm currently enjoying. I'm sure I/we have much more to learn and it's more than time to open our minds.

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661 · March 28, 2012 at 6:24 AM

"...there are many many people who eat PERFECTLY in every way that still have serious DOCs is telling us something.

It is telling us to look at other things."

Perhaps HORMONES that have an interaction with the thymus has something to do with it.

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78407 · April 10, 2012 at 7:54 AM

Eric - Are you confusing this with a formal debate? If you are the moderator it would be nice if you called both teams on the "rule" breaking rather than opting for favoritism.

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0 · April 02, 2012 at 11:06 PM

Funny... If we're going to bring up logical fallacies... The most blatant and the lastest one to me actually came from asking "why if ED is primarily hormonal, that the most important male hormone can be entirely missing and one can still get an erection". Not to mention of few other ones: genetic (based on other people dismissing Peat due to "reputation"), ignorance (not having studied his ideas sufficiently before commenting), ad hominems ("I doubt you have the intelligence"!?!?) and straw men ("your god is an HIV->AIDS denier"... Lovely...

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439 · April 01, 2012 at 3:26 PM

@Dr. Harris, your entertainment value is still intact, if not strengthened. So I am likely to pay some attention. Anyway, as opposed to most of the other "names", you seem to be smart and confident enough to change your mind if you think you have been wrong. Thus, I am sure your understanding of the "metabolic milieu" will evolve and converge with that of Peat sooner rather than later.

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1786 · March 31, 2012 at 11:23 PM

...issues and you'll get laughed out of the office (which has happened to me numerous times). i have tried test. treatments to restore libido - fail, i have tried low carb ketosis to gain energy - fail. i have tried numerous gut probiotic expensive ibs supplements = confusion. i ahve tried to say, hey, maybe it's my thyroid, etc etc. so while we can all masterdebate on the internet, the practice in real life is still FAILING some people, and i guess that's just their damn luck.

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1786 · March 31, 2012 at 11:20 PM

my personal point, to hijack and already hijacked thread, is to say that everyone SEEMS smart. harris seems smart, he may even have real evidence to prove he's smart, but that doesnt mean he's right, or that any of the practicing paleo MDs or nutritio gurus are right. each of us has to practice and see what happens. it just so happens that when someone fails to obtain the good results, there is always an excuse and a blame appointed to the failed person. in jaminet's case it's "oh it must be a hidden chronic secret infection" that no one will test for because it could be 1 of a billion...

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1786 · March 31, 2012 at 11:10 PM

For me the bottom line is this, if a person follows the ideas of wolf,kresser, jamnet, sisson, Harris, etc. Goes and sees many docs, gets many tests and still has poor health, it must be their fault, not the people recommending a low Carbs or safe starch diet right? Am I rite? So if I can't digest starches well and my temps are low and I'm sub clinical hypothyroid, I should still persevere with low Carb paleo?

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8953 · March 31, 2012 at 3:35 PM

@Meredith *I am just genuinely curious what y'all get out of it? Exercise in constructing arguments?* There isn't a good Peatarian forum, at least not as good as this forum. I've seen that http://peatarian.com is taken, so the owner might do something with that, but in the meantime paleohacks remains the best website for all things health. Your progesterone bit really made me laugh btw.

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8953 · March 31, 2012 at 3:14 PM

@danny the video doesn't work : it's private. Even the password doesn't allow us to see it.

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0 · March 31, 2012 at 8:33 AM

I still don't understand what is so quackery about Peat dietary recommendations, If your body craves sugar, preferring sweet fruits and dairy over tasteless white rice with stevia doesn't sound too insane to me.

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2890 · March 31, 2012 at 5:49 AM

And you don't even know what a stress hormone is, so please just stop talking. Serotonin still stressful? Give me a break. Please explain SSRIs, why 5-HTP or carby meals make people relaxed and sleepy, or MDMA. And before you say SSRIs lower libido that's not due to their effects on the serotonin system.

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2890 · March 31, 2012 at 5:45 AM

Oh and libido != erectile function, so your 2006 anecdote is completely off base. And c'mon, your god is an HIV->AIDS denier.

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2890 · March 31, 2012 at 5:32 AM

And you don't even know what a stress hormone is, so please just stop talking. Serotonin still stressful? Give me a break. Please explain SSRIs, why 5-HTP or carby meals make people relaxed and sleepy, or MDMA. And before you say SSRIs lower libido that's not due to their effects on the serotonin syndrome.

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2890 · March 31, 2012 at 5:28 AM

@danny, you mock me but I doubt you have the intelligence to understand what my comment even meant. And your most recent comment is equally ignorant. Dr. Harris said why can !A -> B, and you said because A -> !B. That's not how logic works. Sincerely, Conciliator.

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661 · March 31, 2012 at 3:06 AM

@Dr. Harris, it’s obvious: testosterone isn’t the only factor involved in libido. In 2006 I was on testosterone cypionate injections, my anti-aging doctor was enthralled that I had jacked my T levels to near top range, but I still had pretty bad ED. Talk to Dr. John Crisler, this is extremely common and it’s why he measures both PRL, E2, and cortisol in all of his guys.

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661 · March 31, 2012 at 3:06 AM

...And for the record, I never worshipped Charles Washington—I always thought he was as douche, I didn't worship Lex either, but I was really into Delfuego (the pemmican dude).

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661 · March 31, 2012 at 3:06 AM

@Dr. Harris, our interpretations of hormones differ. You and Richard openly dismissed the integral connection between diet and thyroid health—I disagree completely. Peat brings thyroid to another level examining the monumental importance of oxidative energy and CO2—that has nothing to do with crystals, chakras, or dream catchers. You said a lot of dumb shit on your blog too Dr. Harris, but I'm not calling you out on it—it’s all part of learning and growing. If someone suspects me of guru worship, they owe it to themselves to do more research...

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1092 · March 31, 2012 at 2:16 AM

Danny - "You're not interested in endocrinology; I think it's everything" I know a dammed sight more about real clinical endocrinology than either you or Peat. And nothing is "everything" in biology. That is the first sign of quackery, when someone explains everything in terms of one field of study. Your no closer to the truth with Peat than when you worshipped Charles washington or Lex Rooker. It's "The Secret" all over again. You still haven't explained to me why if ED is primarily hormonal, that the most important male hormone can be entirely missing and one can still get an erection.

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3743 · March 31, 2012 at 2:14 AM

@Eric Thank you for the kind words. "Guns, Germs, and Steel" is excellent and though provoking work. This dismissive attitude we are experiencing is unfortunate and typical of Western thinking. I have been in Europe since '06, it became apparent quickly that Americans and their thinking is delusional and embedded at an early age from the culture (something Max Weber noted), thankfully that is only a small percentage of the total world population. That's a harsh generalization but the exceptions know who they are.

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1092 · March 31, 2012 at 2:10 AM

@Edle - If I accomplish one thing here, let it be that there is zero overlap between those who are taken in by Peat and those who pay any attention to what I say. I hope I have made some progress.

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661 · March 31, 2012 at 1:41 AM

@Conciliator, dude you are so right on! Next time, when I'm helping someone who's struggling with hair loss/low-libido/feeling miserable, I'll remember that the elevated levels of anti-bone, anti-sex, and anti-hair hormones is really just a bunch of statistical hoo-ha! That should elevate me to MD status!

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24523 · March 30, 2012 at 11:44 PM

conciliator is right about the multiple testing problem. If you're going to test a bunch of stuff, better use the ol' Bonferroni correction or face the wrath of Biostats overlords! It's like the medical findings of "incedentalomas".

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5232 · March 30, 2012 at 9:26 PM

Many of Peats ideas are very simple physiology like that aldosterone can be lowered by increasing arrival of Na+ at the afferent arterial. It isn't rocket science, it isn't sitting in a tube for an hour, it's assessing and addressing the basic physiology before making up acronyms for that ideas that are so overly complex that they're simplistic (NAD, EM2, etc).

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5232 · March 30, 2012 at 9:25 PM

Many of Peats ideas are very simple physiology like that aldosterone can be lowered by increasing arrival of Na+ at the afferent arterial. It isn't rocket science, it isn't sitting in a tube for an hour, it's assessing and addressing the basic physiology before making up acronyms.

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2890 · March 30, 2012 at 8:39 PM

If you test 100 variables, then by pure statistical chance a lot of those variables will fall outside the normal range. It isn't evidence of disfunction it's evidence of math.

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661 · March 30, 2012 at 8:35 PM

VIDEO of Peat in action: http://vimeo.com/39028285 (password "raypeat")

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3743 · March 30, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Namby maybe your just too stupid to know this but most intellectuals prior to I'd say the baby boomer generation played an instrument, painted, or wrote, etc. Take an Art History class maybe you'll retain enough to learn why things like painting and music contribute to critical thinking rather than hinder it.

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5132 · March 30, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Those are very good points, which is what drove me to check out his site and discover his treasure trove of nekkid paintings. Egad.

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0 · March 30, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Thank you Edward. I believe you summed it up best. I think dismissing Peat for his ideas is akin to contemporary sociologists and philosophers of the time who also dimissed Ivan Illich's ideas based on having only been exposed to a few of his observations, without context. The same could be said of Edgard Morin, Jared Diamond and other very multidisciplinary thinkers, of which I believe Peat is also one. Ultimately, it is the people who dismiss Peat's entire approach based on little evidence who are doing themselves a disservice; not that that in itself is a consolation, quite the contrary...

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24523 · March 30, 2012 at 1:41 PM

http://paleohacks.com/questions/104730/here-are-paleo-website-traffic-rankings-thoughts#axzz1qbhzzZOO

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24523 · March 30, 2012 at 1:41 PM

@Danny- Can you elaborate on the brightest stars of paleo prescribing heavy supplementation to address disease? The top "idea" websites (rather than recipe websites) are Mark Sisson's, Robb Wolf's, and Paul Jaminet's, in that order. The first two don't recommend much in terms of supplementation, and Jaminet recommends the most. It seems that most who follow a Jaminet diet don't take all those supplements, depending on what they're trying to address and whether they eat liver, get sunshine, and take in sea vegetables. Pill for pill, it seems on par with Peat, if not just a bit more.

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439 · March 30, 2012 at 12:35 PM

@Kurt Harris MD. For the record: I think you are a cool guy. Rather funny. Used to follow your blog. And your diet approach, more or less. Heard a Jimmy Moore interview with you where you said the focus on thyroid was BS. You were pretty strong and dismissive. I thought: useless. Nothing new that an MD dismisses hypothyroidism. But so useless. I now have to seriously question the validity and reliability of anything from Archevore, I thought. I do not care if Peat is wrong on a million issues if he gets the big picture right. His articles have been useful for me.

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3743 · March 30, 2012 at 9:30 AM

And that I feel is Peat's contribution--his scope--not the OJ, the milk, shit loads of salt, buckets of aspirin, nor dipping your balls in pure crystalline fructose or shoving a carrot up your ass. I don't yet think this complexity is fully appreciated or understood in the mainstream.

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3743 · March 30, 2012 at 7:14 AM

There is a huge egocentric interpretation of our place in this world as organisms. And if you can’t grasp what that means than you can’t grasp Peat’s ideas in their entirety.

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3743 · March 30, 2012 at 7:14 AM

if you isolate any one point and draw conclusions from that point of reference you confuse yourself. Peat talks a lot about hormones but he also understands that the availability of vitamins and micronutrients are the driving force behind those hormones. He also knows how to look at the body in isolation away from the environment—in a test tube—which is also important to understand the body at a fundamental level. (...)

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3743 · March 30, 2012 at 7:13 AM

Most of what I hear about Peat from others is mostly incorrect. In order to understand Peat you have to be intelligent enough to look at the organism as whole (in the context of the environment) and understand the interdependent cascade from the complex organism all the way down to the cellular level; (...)

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3743 · March 30, 2012 at 7:13 AM

Typically I will look at a proposed theory and see how it meshes with evidence e.g. papers and other relevant factors such as climate, population, and disease rates, etc. You will find that if you look at things globally and listen to Peat closely you learn quickly where his ideas originated—from simple observation—from that point he moved towards his hypothesis. (...)

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3743 · March 30, 2012 at 7:13 AM

I'm familiar with Peat's work and I've gone through all of his references. I took the time to read his work because I had early reservations about “paleo”. Before I encountered Peat I’d been thinking about how globally we all eat different diets with different macros, we originate from different environments, how the environment dictates diet, and how the diet and environment dictate the “enthusiasm of life”. Common themes stick out when you look at things rationally. (...)

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661 · March 30, 2012 at 4:42 AM

@Namby, consider adding actual value to your response by explaining where Peat goes wrong in his interpretation of maintaining an oxidative metabolism while limiting hormones of adaptation. Ray's artistic style and ability to consider whole organism physiology is what sets him apart from the "I've-read-more-of-the-scientific-literature-than-you-have-dick-measuring-contest" that is so prevalent in the paleosphere. Funny considering the SOLUTION to most health ailments, as prescribed by the brightest stars of the Paleo, involve heavy SUPPLEMENTATION. Sounds pretty "WOO-BULLSHIT" to me!

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5132 · March 30, 2012 at 4:18 AM

Speaking of Ray, I got an unrelated question. What's with all the paintings of nubile nekkid wimmen at his site? These are his own oil paintings he's selling? So not only is he an erstwhile English major (which may explain his big words), he's a watercolorist. My concusion: Peat is more a poet, a lyricist, than a scientist. Not saying that negatively at all. But he seems to have an artistic temperament, which may help or hinder his scientific writings and the pattern of his reasoning; he's not exactly given to ratiocination but more inspiration. It's like revealed religion.

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5232 · March 30, 2012 at 2:46 AM

@Dr Harris - I very much understand that Peat is difficult to read because he meanders into stories about mole rats, shetland ponies, and queen bees. We're working on breaking down Peat dietary recommendations in to mechanisms so that they can be easily reviewed and critiqued.

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661 · March 30, 2012 at 12:12 AM

@Meredith, who's suggesting you do any of that? When replacing hormones I'm not sure I can convinced that measuring them before hand isn't a worthwhile idea. You don't need help; you're smart as fuck. Like I said in another thread, "failing" on a Peat protocol requires the participant to produce labs with markers in Peat's favored ranges.

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16131 · March 30, 2012 at 12:03 AM

I do not BLAME anyone but myself. Truly. But a "Diet" or protocol that is based on buying labs all the live long day and paying a coach to interpret them to stay on point ain't my bag. But that's just me.

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661 · March 29, 2012 at 11:57 PM

@Meredith, be honest, before using progesterone did you test markers for prolactin, serotonin, PTH, and other variables? Because 99% of the time those who engage in "eating Peaty" cannot be bothered with such things. If you didn't your poor experience is on you, not him.

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1515 · March 29, 2012 at 11:56 PM

That MD quote is valuable because it is exactly what you would get from an expert in any field, quickly assessing something in his area of expertise: an intuitive and accurate response. I'm a painter, so when I look at his Art Gallery, I probably get the same reaction an MD gets looking at his articles: Peat's knowledge is shallow, his observations inaccurate, his style cursory, and I don't want to look at the rest of his stuff.

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661 · March 29, 2012 at 11:53 PM

@Dr. Harris, I don't even bother measuring testosterone because of how useless of a lab marker I think it is, especially for libido. You're not interested in endocrinology; I think it's everything; we just disagree on what's fundamentally important in health. My Peat fascination is a culmination of my whole health experience. The first time I had my prolactin and estradiol measured was in 2005. Beating me over the head with, "He's wrong," and "He's full of shit," doesn't make me feel any different about the research I've conducted over the last year and a half.

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16131 · March 29, 2012 at 11:47 PM

^^ And this is why I think paleohacks and blogs are great. I am not an expert - by a FAR shot - and I know it. Peat can and has dazzled me and I rubbed fucking progesterone cream all over myself because of him- to my detriment I might add. So I appreciate that KGH is addressing this Peat topic, even if it is a bit of a derailment from the original thread. Peat is big among the "Metabolic Typing" nutrition coaches now. So some balancing arguments are welcome, IMHO!

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 10:48 PM

"Will Graham's work help me understand the connection between high prolactin and the ability of a dude to bone his girlfriend?" He will not be able to find you water with a dowsing rod, no.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 10:47 PM

True hyperprolactinemia is seen with pituitary tumors. Peat is dazzling you with pure bullshit. Sounds plausible, but means nothing or is just wrong. Sorry but that is the truth. Do you think HIV is not the cause of AIDS?

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 10:45 PM

Danny this will inflame you and all the other Peatophiles, but thinking Ray Peat is a genius is a sign of lacking the knowledge to see how obviously full of shit he is. For one thing, erectile function is much more a neural reflex than a hormonal phenomenon. Did you know that eunuchs, who have T levels as low as you can get, can get erections? Please explain how that fits with your hormone theory.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 10:39 PM

Pubmed and the blog's on my blogroll are more compelling and vastly more reliable alternatives. Medical textbooks. Medical school. Heck, Melissa's blog alone would be a fine way to spend your day. Just memorize it.

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661 · March 29, 2012 at 9:14 PM

@Dr. Harris, lol. I am aware I have not turned the scientific world upside down with an email I received about the quality of some guys erection. You keep saying that Peat's work is useless, but are not providing me with anything more compelling to work with. High prolactin/ED is something I see often. Will Graham's work help me understand the connection between high prolactin and the ability of a dude to bone his girlfriend? I DOUBT IT. That anonymous quote is just another vague/un-compelling non-rebuttal from someone who has spent no time attempting to understand what he's talking about.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 8:43 PM

That MD has the good sense to request anonymity.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 8:42 PM

QUOTED MD:There is one issue I struggle with which is those who hang on every word of Peat or Kruse. I mean, literally, I spend exactly 20 seconds reading the first pararaph of one article and I'm thinking, "okay, total bullshit." When someone asks me *why* I have a hard time even framing an answer. It's just obvious. The big words, the blustering, the contradictions. "What contradictions?" Well, I don't even know. Look at that first paragraph and that talk about hormones. It doesn't even make sense

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 8:42 PM

I know I am beating my head against the wall here, and Peat cultists are immune to reason, but here is the opinion of a very learned doctor who spent a fair amount of time reading articles by Peat in the following comment:

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 8:38 PM

ALL- please understand I am not saying peat is 100% wrong, I am saying he is unreliable and useless. There is a very big difference. He admonishes against excess LA. So do Lands and Guyenet and Kresser and myself. I am not arguing with the many individual statements he makes, I am saying it is impossible to sort the wheat from the chaff and pointless when the useful info is not unique to Peat

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 8:36 PM

Danny it is wonderful you are practicing medicine over the internet now with such great results. Most of us sad-sack doctors could only hope for the same success I am sure. But if I had a dime for every anecdotal report of x curing y in a dramatic fashion, I would have a hell of a lot of dimes. ED is very highly affected by emotional state and autosuggestion. Try to get a boner while thinking of your grandma naked, I dare you. But seriously, that one report is SCIENTIFICALLY meaningless.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 8:32 PM

Eric - Think of sampling statistics. If there are 1000 articles in a hat, and I pull out a dozen, and they all look bogus, I am done in a statistically robust sense. How many pages of a book do I need to sample to tell what language the book is in or whether the author can write? Every single one of them? Of course not.

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661 · March 29, 2012 at 7:28 PM

@Dr. Harris, a few days ago I got an email from some dude's girlfriend thanking me for helping him overcome ED through implementing Peat's dietary recommendations. Hot sex is valuable. Paleo practitioners/all MD endos on the planet have the most bogus theories for treating situations like this. They refuse to look at serotonin/estrogen/prolactin as the anti-sex, pro-stress hormones they truly are.

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0 · March 29, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Macro ratios are not fixed. Protein is important for both. Dairy is either encouraged (Peat), or at least not villified (Harris), unlike many other paleo approaches. Unsaturated oils are limited for both. Both accept that grains should be limited or eliminated altogether (especially gluten-containing ones), as well as legumes... The major difference is in carb sources, where you prefer safe starches and low-fructose fruits, while Peat doesn't villify fructose...

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0 · March 29, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Macro ratios can vary for both. Protein is important for both. Dairy is either encouraged (Peat), or at least not villified (Harris), unlike many other paleo approaches. Unsaturated oils are limited for both. Both accept that grains should be limited or eliminated altogether (especially gluten-containing ones), as well as legumes... The major difference is in carb sources, where you prefer safe starches and low-fructose fruits, while Peat doesn't villify fructose...

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0 · March 29, 2012 at 7:24 PM

I'm sorry Dr. Harris but, your opinion of Peat's work is quite strong considering that it is mostly based on (and this, self-admittedly), having only read a few of his articles and relied mostly on ideas stemming from his devotees' "interpretations" (of which there are many, and many of which are in fact just that: "interpretations" not to say, at least in some cases, "MIS-interpretations". In fact, I can't help but wonder why you have yet to realize that the difference between what you espouse and what Dr. Peat espouses, at least in terms of dietary approach, is really very minimal.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 6:34 PM

I have read several of Peat's Articles in addition to being exposed to "interpretations" of his ideas via his devotees. I find his ideas to be mostly unsupported by the references he uses, over broad, vague and not really argued as much as they are just a pastiche of declarations. He mines real hormones and physiologic processes and just makes absolute statements that sound plausible based on them. Even when he is not in the real of total kookiness by denying that HIV causes AIDS (all those africans just got messed up "hormones" all at once, I guess) there is nothing reliably of value there.

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4620 · March 29, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Thanks Danny. Love your blog by the way, keep up the good work!

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661 · March 29, 2012 at 5:13 PM

@Phoenix, I emailed him that question a while ago, here was his response: "Dry instant coffee is close to 0.5% magnesium, so a cup of strong coffee has about 40 mg. I make strong drip coffee."

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0 · March 29, 2012 at 5:00 PM

According to fitday, 8oz of espresso contains 189mg of magnesium.

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4620 · March 29, 2012 at 4:52 PM

Those are pretty insignificant things though. I’m actually a big Peat fan and loves me some sugar, calcium, and gelatin. Just pointing out that the all mighty Peat is indeed human and may not be 100% right about absolutely everything. And it would be nice for someone to be able to question Peat and have a healthy discussion without immediate vitriol from his followers. Some of them like to poke fun at the paleosphere’s dogmatic attitude, but they have the exact same attitude.

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4620 · March 29, 2012 at 4:52 PM

While we're on the topic of things Peat may be wrong about (Peat wrong about something? BLASPHEMY!), I'm curious about this statement: "Coffee provides very significant quantities of magnesium." Everything I've read says a cup of coffee has about 7mg of magnesium. Hardly a very significant quantity. Also, I *think* I read somewhere on either his site or Danny's blog that vegetable juicing is bad because it concentrates the PUFAs without the protective fiber. What about strained OJ though? 24oz will have ~300mg PUFAs, the same if not *more* than 24oz of spinach or broccoli juice.

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0 · March 29, 2012 at 4:49 PM

Did Peat ever address the fact that many dairy products are contaminated with perchlorate(thyroid suppressing substance)?

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16131 · March 29, 2012 at 4:17 PM

@danny - I agree! Thanks for answering. We like you too. (Truly I am just curious about this).

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16131 · March 29, 2012 at 4:16 PM

@not a doctor - Danny is a stellar guy too IMO. (((Danny)))

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16131 · March 29, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Cliff, I am totally not trying to bait you or anything - I am truly curious about the time and energy you put into posting Peat stuff on a Paleo board. Just FYI, I happen to really like Peat. I took pages and pages of notes on all his radio interviews for close to a year (look in the docs section of your facebook group, that was me. :) I own his books. Am I scared? Not about food and diet. Certainly not about Ray who seems a stellar dude. One thing that does scare me are fundamentalist zealots - not saying you are one but you asked.

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5232 · March 29, 2012 at 4:12 PM

I like Danny. Don't send Danny away, Mer. Dammit, I'm tearing up.

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 4:06 PM

Sorry if I came across as making assumptions about the way you think, cliff. You are someone who has strong opinions, always, and it's an easy thing to peg ideas to you. "kill you liver" is just hyperbolically paraphrasing though. The study you cited is fine. But it is not as applicable to the issue in hand (leaky gut) because of several issues, and being a rat study is not the biggest of those issues. If I ever get around to reading about aspirin again, I will consider it, and if it changes the conclusions of my post, I will change it.

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661 · March 29, 2012 at 4:05 PM

@Mearbear, discussing ideas about health with friends is fun.

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12847 · March 29, 2012 at 4:01 PM

You are making assumptions about what I think. I never said avocados kill your liver. You wanted to know why we dismissed your aspirin article but you don't want to say anything about this study which shows the benefits.

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 3:58 PM

Yes, I have something to say about aspirin! I'm not a total blockhead, obviously there are subtleties to the way aspirin interacts with intestinal lining. But these are actual issues, and starting out with a preformed opinion only gets in the way of fruitful discussion.

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5232 · March 29, 2012 at 3:57 PM

I'm going to start counting the number of times cliff uses more than one sentence in a post.

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5232 · March 29, 2012 at 3:56 PM

I'm going to start counting the number times cliff uses more than one sentence in a post.

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Yes cliff, Meredith is scared. (???) Meredith is also one of the most accurate surveyers of evidence on paleohacks. Except for that time she pulled out a study comparing heavy unrefined avocado oil consumption to heavy refined avocado oil consumption in growing female rats in order to prove that eating avocados will kill your liver.

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12847 · March 29, 2012 at 3:54 PM

You have nothing to say about aspirin though?

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 3:51 PM

In what Bizzaro world am I actually taking the time to argue the applicability of a study comparing heavy consumption of different avocado oils on liver health in growing female rats? Do the terms "applicable control group", "applicable sample", "applicable species", and "applicable dose" not mean anything anymore? Time to gracefully exit. I'll just combine the advice of all guru followers into my own extreme diet-- no eating a banana in the winter ala Kruse, no eating an avocado ala Peat followers, no non-fruit foods ala 30bananasaday...

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12847 · March 29, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Why not meredith; are you scared?

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12847 · March 29, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Because Peat is more paleo than any low carb diet.

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12847 · March 29, 2012 at 3:46 PM

If you think aspirin is bad with your study(where they didn't even say aspirin was bad) you have to explain away this study http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11595418.

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16131 · March 29, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Personally, I am a diet agnostic. I like to read broadly and take about 10% of what I learn from various writers with me. What I am curious about is what draws Danny, Cliff, Steven and the other Peaters to this PALEO exchange site? I really don't mind, I read Peat too. I am just genuinely curious what y'all get out of it? Exercise in constructing arguments? Attempting to convert lost souls? Marketing? Again, not an attack here at all. I would LOVE to know this answer.

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12847 · March 29, 2012 at 3:38 PM

That's just one study I found offhand, I know there are others.

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12847 · March 29, 2012 at 3:36 PM

The refined avocado oil had the best results, unrefined avocado oil and avocado seed oil had the worst results.

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12847 · March 29, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Avocados aren't refined oil, do you get that? Its the unrefined.

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12417 · March 29, 2012 at 3:31 PM

damn, kamal. you mad, brah? heh...

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Anywho, Danny, I do look forward to your further posts on Ray's ideas. Can you make the posts longer? Since there are so many interrelated hormones and compounds, readers may like a little more exposition.

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Which, funnily enough, is the opposite conclusion that Peat would want--eating avocados typically involves eating the flesh, not the seed.

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 2:40 PM

So next time I am choosing to make avocado oil into 10% of my diet for an entire month, I will definitely choose refined avocado "seed" oil rather than unrefined avocado oil from the flesh of the fruit. That is, if I'm a growing female rat.

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Cliff, are you sure you linked to the right avocado study? Because this is what the study reports..."The effect of various avocado oils on liver metabolism was studied in growing female rats. The rats were fed diets containing 10% (w/w) avocado oil for 4 wk. In comparison with rats fed refined avocado oil obtained from cored fruit by centrifugal separation, rats fed unrefined avocado oil showed a significant increase in total liver lipogenesis..."

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 2:32 PM

And how about a little less "us versus them" here? Just because it's Ray Peat doesn't mean everything he says is right. And just because it's Ray Peat doesn't mean everything he says is wrong.

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 2:30 PM

And I'm not overly swayed by an avocado article on "Avocado oils and hepatic lipid metabolism in growing rats". If I extrapolated studies on growing rats to humans, I would not be able to eat very many things at all.

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Whoah there cliff! I've read Peat's articles and experimented with his protocol. No doubt you will say that I haven't understood his writings, but hey, that's just...like...your opinion, man :)

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12847 · March 29, 2012 at 12:55 PM

or why he does.

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12847 · March 29, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Everything else you claimed about ray is pretty much false and assumptions on your part. You don't even know what ray recommends.

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12847 · March 29, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Kamal its pretty clear you haven't even read his articles. We scoffed at your aspirin article because its weak, your study doesn't even show aspirin causes any problems and we have other studies showing aspirin protects the gut(not to mention the hundreds of other things it protects you from). Here's a tip go and actually read rays articles, you will see why he makes the statement he does about avocados. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0278691589901282

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661 · March 29, 2012 at 6:16 AM

@Dr Harris, ...Lab values are being defined by the lab, but ranges are extremely broad. I've had luck utilizing ranges from Dr. Peat, Dr. John Crisler, and Dr. Shippen.

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661 · March 29, 2012 at 6:15 AM

@Dr. Harris, Not the same thing for everyone, but all factors that Peat believes are defects in respiration. Efficient cellular respiration is disrupted (lack of CO2, defective sugar handling, lack of active thyroid hormone), adrenaline is released to mobilize glycogen, if it's not there it mobilize free fatty acids (PUFA) for fuel and cortisol to breakdown structure (THYMUS, muscles) for glucose. From there, Peat believes stress-inflammatory cycle propels itself increasing levels of "emergency" adaptive hormones: serotonin, estrogen, prolactin, PTH, aldosterone, in a vicious cycle... (cont)

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661 · March 29, 2012 at 6:04 AM

...4) Peat doesn't like PUFA because he believes it: wastes oxygen, inhibits glucose utilization (Randle cycle), displaces thyroxine and vitamin A from the carrier protein transthyretin, degrades cytochrome oxidase through the displacement of palmitic acid in the lipid cardiolipin, and retards sex hormone binding globulin from removing estrogen.

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661 · March 29, 2012 at 6:03 AM

@Kamal, 1) Yes, because respiration has usually been compromised in some way shape or form (reduced CO2, elevated free fatty acids, malnutrition, etc.). 2) Ray's article on aspirin covers that question. I'm in contact with two people using 7+ grams of aspirin per day to combat serious illness. 3) I disagree. He rarely ever mentions anything besides diet and optimizing thyroid function. People tend to complicate his recommendations... (cont)

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 5:45 AM

...and although I don't fully (well, sometimes even partially) trust Peat's writings, I do find the perspective interesting. It just could have been SOOOOOOOO much better with references and fewer gaps in logic. If you recreate Peat's articles but with these things, that would be cool. Which I think maybe you are kind of doing?

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 5:43 AM

Fourth, Peat sometimes says things that make me scratch my head, because he is either jumping to conclusions or saying something so profound that I'm never going to understand it. Like "Animal proteins, and fruits, because they contain the lowest levels of toxins, should form the basis of the diet. Not all fruits, of course, are perfectly safe--avocados, for example, contain so much unsaturated fat that they can be carcinogenic and hepatotoxic."...http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/vegetables.shtml

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 5:39 AM

Thirdly, Peat shares a peculiar characteristic with Dr. K. That is the "try a million things" approach, but then attribute the effect to just one of the things. Randomized trials are done to control for everything else, plus the effect of time. Not that you have to have an RCT for everything, but at least be aware that the cause is not always the thing that it being focused on intellectually.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 5:36 AM

The question is, how are the levels of these hormones being defined? By the lab or by Peat? This sounds like the iodine loading test of Brown - a test literally designed to always be abnormal.

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 5:36 AM

Second is Peat's lack of attention to dose-response relationships. I'm aware that Peat-atarians love them some OJ, sugar, pregnenalone, aspirin, etc. But every substance has a different shaped curve when it comes to affecting different bodily processes. For example, I wrote a tiny bit about aspirin, and then heard that you Peaties sort of scoffed at it. But...why? http://paindatabase.com/aspirin/

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 5:34 AM

@Danny. Maybe it helps to be involved in medical diagnostics here, but don't alarms bells go off when you look for something and find it in EVERYBODY? If I diagnose MS clinically, I might find it in only two thirds of them by MRI. If someone told me to look for a sign of disease and there are no negatives, to me that means the metric is bogus.

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24523 · March 29, 2012 at 5:33 AM

@Danny- There are a few issues I have with Peat's ideas, other than the lack of specific citations and occasional strange claims. First, I find many of the articles to have a conceptual hole in them--Peat sort of assumes that the body has a terrible homeostatic regulation mechanism, and most people are being ravaged inside at all times. I find this difficult to swallow.

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10497 · March 29, 2012 at 5:25 AM

So, I think Danny & Kurt should get on the phone. Kurt shows Danny where Peat mis-references stuff and Danny shows Kurt his coaching data. CUE EVERYONE NOW: KUMBAYA MY LORD KUMBAYA!!!! :)

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661 · March 29, 2012 at 4:16 AM

@Dr. Harris, you could spit in my face and I would still like you. You probably saved my life with your comments on my all-meat adventure. You're right, I don't deny it, I'm obsessed with Peat. Here's where I'm at though: In December I started "coaching" others and asked them to obtain what I considered "Peat-oriented" lab work. Out of 40 or so people I've talked to since December, all of them, ALL OF THEM, have hormonal anomalies associated with Peat's framework: elevated prolactin, elevated PTH, high reverse T3, low free T3, elevated lactic acid, etc. This, IMO, is the "missing link."

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 3:52 AM

Emily will tell you that is not just a literary trope.....

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 3:51 AM

I like Danny too (hugs) that is why, just like I was concerned when he ate only meat and water, now I am now concerned he is enamored of Peat.

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10497 · March 29, 2012 at 3:49 AM

BTW "The babbling schizophrenic with three cigarettes going at the diner no doubt also has some wisdom to offer me" is genius. I literally laughed out loud. Going to use that line in casual conversation.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 3:49 AM

I feel like I am being asked to explain EXACTLY what parts of intelligent design theory I object to. It's not worth the work to go back and research all the stuff I found inconsistent. The burden of proof is on someone else to prove he is saying anything interesting. You go first.

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10497 · March 29, 2012 at 3:48 AM

@Kurt -- I am synthesizer by nature -- if Peat has interesting ideas that can help with health & nutrition, that is great. If not, c'est la vie. I have no dog in a Peat vs. "Paleo" fight. Although, I do think Danny Roddy is a great guy & a friend.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 3:46 AM

I meant reputational, that is a typo. I meant argument not based soley on peer review and such.... Your damned spell -checker changed the word on me!

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10497 · March 29, 2012 at 3:46 AM

@Kurt Harris -- when you write, "I follow his references and they do not say what he claims they say, I am done." -- is this a question of a dispute on the interpretetation of data or Peat's factual mis-representation (either intentional or accidental)?

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56596 · March 29, 2012 at 3:45 AM

He also does what Dr. K does, though not as badly, which is put his references on the bottom without indicating which of his text corresponds to which reference, as is required in basic college-level courses and always in scientific literature.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 3:45 AM

@Patrik. He might, I suppose. But I have yet to hear some unique idea of his that is worth wading through the rest of his weird theorizing. If you want to explicate Peat for us and sort it out, go ahead.

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10497 · March 29, 2012 at 3:43 AM

@Kurt Harris -- PaleoHacks & the nutrition blogosphere IS "repetitional" but my feeling is that open-sourcing these ideas and then sharing them to digest and re-digest and debate is, net net, better than not.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 3:42 AM

The babbling schizophrenic with three cigarettes going at the diner no doubt also has some wisdom to offer me, but life is short, and when I have sources that have proved a thousand times more reliable than Peat, I refuse to waste a minute of my time reading him and trying to sort out what is nonsense and what is wisdom. Your choice is to believe Peat or to believe my assessment of him, I guess. If you think I am full of it because I don't waste precious time debunking him, I really don't care. I don't mean that in a bad way, honestly. Believe whatever you like.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 3:37 AM

@Danny "I will take criticisms of Peat's ideas more seriously when the due diligence to debunk his work is more apparent." I am trying to figure out what sort of fallacy you are invoking here. Here is the deal. This paleohacks thing here, and the whole nutrition blogosphere, is not the peer-reviewed literature. For better or worse, it is basically repetitional. When I am exposed to Peat's ideas, and they include stuff like not knowing that the thymus is supposed to involute, or when I follow his references and they do not say what he claims they say, I am done.

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12847 · March 29, 2012 at 1:16 AM

Melissa-Don't you think Ray thinks people shouldn't eat vegetables?

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661 · March 29, 2012 at 1:11 AM

@Kamal, I'm not sure I follow. I buy into his concept of the importance of oxidative energy (T3, oxygen, sugar) for avoiding the release of degenerative "emergency" hormones.

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56596 · March 29, 2012 at 1:10 AM

Peat= excessive reductionism IMHO, but there is some useful information there.

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661 · March 28, 2012 at 11:33 PM

@Dr. Jaminet, I stand corrected. I should have checked those links more thoroughly.

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5929 · March 28, 2012 at 10:59 PM

Danny, Ray has a single paper in Pubmed from 40 years ago, plus a letter to the editor (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2571272/pdf/jnma00287-0032b.pdf). Your link gives Ray credit for 3 papers by Rachel A Peat.... In any case, the literature he should be judged on is that on his site, not his work on Pubmed.

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10497 · March 28, 2012 at 10:57 PM

Kurt, you really think that Peat has nothing of value to add?

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661 · March 28, 2012 at 9:36 PM

@Namby Pamby, what exactly are you talking about?

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5132 · March 28, 2012 at 9:17 PM

Danny, after today, I fear there will be at least a dozen Paleos who'll start eating gluten again.

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661 · March 28, 2012 at 7:38 PM

@Everyone, emphasis was given to his work on PubMed because a common dismissal of him is that he relies so heavily on rat studies—not to suggest that it is the be-all-end-all of achievements.

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661 · March 28, 2012 at 7:37 PM

@Dr. Harris, I'll just add your response to the pile then. He writes, in depth, about that vague statement with his research on the anti-respiratory factors like endotoxin, adrenaline, cortisol, serotonin, estrogen, prolactin, PTH, and the thyroid inhibiting properties of free fatty acids (which Masterjohn supports—he must be insane too). There's no doubt in my mind that within a few years paleo and Peat will be mostly aligned. The ebb and flow of the paleosphere is almost comical. I will take criticisms of Peat's ideas more seriously when the due diligence to debunk his work is more apparent.

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24523 · March 28, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Red meat is going to kill you! Courtesy and Stampfer and friends...http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22412075. Okay, I've overplayed my point here.

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519 · March 28, 2012 at 7:12 PM

if you find something that works for say .00001% of a given population, it's still very easy to think that it might work for a larger percentage and address more problems than it initially seems to solve. That's just probability and the perception of control. I grew up in a cult. People who stayed there like one or more components of the guru-founder's message. That doesn't mean that the cult ideas are 100% invalid nor that they 'work' for anyone but those stalwarts. This is because stalwarts don't systematically compare comparable cults and make judgments. They've found a team.

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24523 · March 28, 2012 at 7:11 PM

"Meir Stampfer is one of those researchers that falls into the bracket of ‘churners’. He is currently top of the science charts according to the ISI Essential Science Indicator...Dr. Stampfer, Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, at present has 385 papers that have been cited over 32,717 times in various other publications. His area of expertise covers the cause or origin of chronic diseases...http://www.null-hypothesis.co.uk/science/straight-talking/unsung-heroes/meir_stampfer_most_published_scientist

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24523 · March 28, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Danny-- While I personally found Ray's articles interesting as thought experiments, he seems apt to repeatedly fall into the trap of "your health problem pretty much boils down to this". In his case, "this" equals hormone optimization through diet. He never ever does systematic (or even quasi-systematic) reviews of related literature. Even though I only know teensy bits about nutrition things, I still have several pubmed publications, so I'd hesitate to ever use that as an argument. After all, the most published person on pubmed is an old chrony in the nutrition dept at Harvard SPH-M. Stampfer

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24523 · March 28, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Danny-- While I personally found Ray's articles interesting as thought experiments, he seems apt to repeatedly fall into the trap of "your health problem pretty much boils down to this". In his case, "this" equals hormone optimization through diet. He never ever does systematic (or even quasi-systematic) reviews of related literature. Even though I only know teensy bits about nutrition things, but still have several pubmed publications, I would hesitate to ever use that as an argument. After all, the most published person on pubmed is an old chrony in the nutrition dept at the Harvard SPH.

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 6:42 PM

Who would differ with a vague statement like "energy and structure being interdependent". That is utterly trivial and tells us nothing, really. I am referring to nonsense like saying involution of the thymus is worrisome, when the thymus normally involutes so much by the time you are a young adult that it is basically invisible.

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 6:40 PM

Danny, Peat is full of shit on too many things to bother parsing the wheat from the chaff. Life is short, spend it the way you like. I never bother with anything by Peat. If he is right it tends to be by accident. There is too much unsupported nonsense there. Kresser Deans and Petro are all 100% correct about Ray Peat. BTW, I am (unlike 90% of paleo or health bloggers) on pubmed too. Look at how much good it does me with morons like your fellow Peato-phile "bruno" : )

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4163 · March 28, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Danny, I'm on pubmed, it's not that remarkable an accomplishment.

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661 · March 28, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Specifically, how is Peat's thesis of energy and structure being interdependent nonsense Dr. Harris? Please do not join Kresser, Deans, and Peter, who have all publicly denounced Peat without ever having alluded to what parts of his thesis they actually disagree with. The universal dismissal of someone who patented a form of oral progesterone, is actually ON pubmed (http://www.functionalps.com/blog/2011/10/15/ray-peat-on-pubmed/), and has been researching hormones longer than most paleo gurus have been alive (he's 75), is beyond me.

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 4:39 PM

Danny you are cool guy but are being misled by nonsense. Stop reading Ray Peat and start reading Graham Rook

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17083 · March 27, 2012 at 10:38 AM

This is like saying Robb Wolf had an intolerance for cyanide, and paleo didn't cure that intolerance, only abstinence to cyanide prevented him from a quick death. So, therefore a cyanide free diet is not curative, it's only a band-aid. (Who knows, maybe there exists a human that can tolerate cyanide, or will in the future, maybe with the same adaptation that golden bamboo lemurs have). Genetics is a funny thing.

But Seriously? It's come to this sort of nit picking semantics?

Yes, of course, there is a difference between saying someone is allergic, or intolerant to a particular food, but let's not argue about semantics so closely when in both cases they are suffering from damage caused by that food. Removing that food might not reverse the damage immediately, and maybe never fully reverse it, but continuing to ingest it is more likely to continue causing more damage and prevent the healing process.

On the other hand, people who have no reaction to wheat toxins, will happily go on eating toxins that inflame their guts and cause all sorts of problems, such as autoimmune issues, poor nutrient absorption, etc. and they'll have no idea that it's actually happening until very late in the process.

Paleo is never going to fix you so you can eat neolithic agents of disease without them causing damage. To call it a bandaid is just trying to be sensationalist, in the same way I used cyanide in the counter.

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78407 · March 29, 2012 at 3:27 AM

You didn't read all the comments did you?

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5949 · March 28, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Considering that I'm never going to have a time machine that lets me go back and do it all over the right way, the whole palliative vs. curative shtick is, IMO, a ridiculous exercise in intellectual masturbation. Fine... I have a never cured, permanently damaged, crippled physiology that needs the palliative crutch of avoiding certain foods. I can happily live with that. The diet works, regardless of any palliative vs. cure beliefs I could have about it.

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1026 · March 29, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Love your reasoning, Alex. *You actually think eating pizza CAUSES disease because pizza itself is evil? Amazing!* I never said that, Dr. Harris. I just said I'm avoiding pizza. That doesn't imply I'm avoiding it because I think it's *causing* my problems...

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5949 · March 28, 2012 at 7:36 PM

In my particular case, I have no belief that my diet diet is curative, but if I did believe it was curative, no harm would come from that belief unless bodily feedback started telling me more than just diet was needed, and I ignored the signals based on that belief.

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5949 · March 28, 2012 at 7:26 PM

A decision to stop learning based on belief that one already has all the answers would come under acting out stupidly. IMO, one should never stop learning. As for the hygiene hypothesis, I have been aware of it and the concept of helminthic therapy for a number of years, but I have not been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, so as far as I know, there's currently nothing there for me to pursue. And, I'm sure as hell not going blindly join the raw paleo fringe in believing raw meat cultured with human feces is some kind of curative "food" that I should be eating.

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65 · March 28, 2012 at 6:53 PM

http://i.imgur.com/hiusz.gif Dr. Harris, you're damn good at picking apart the arguments of your detractors. And you're sharing some very worthwhile knowledge. Thanks.

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 6:47 PM

sorry makes A difference, not NO difference....

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Alex. "But, if a person has an enhanced quality of life by avoiding certain foods, what difference does it make if he believes it is curative or palliative?" If you don't think that it makes no difference then I have no response to you. Are you sure you understand the implications of failing to make the distinction? Is there no practical difference between avoiding bee stings and hymenoptera immunotherapy that makes one anergic to bee stings?

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5949 · March 28, 2012 at 4:51 PM

I don't understand why you're so fixated on belief, which is merely mind addicted to ideas. IMO, "OMG! You believe paleo is curative rather than palliative!" is as ridiculous a concern as "OMG! You believe in Buddha instead of Jesus!" Now, if belief drives one to act out stupidly, that's a different story. If I decided to live with a thermometer up my ass while binging on crap, believing it would cure my thyroid, by all means, be concerned. But, if a person has an enhanced quality of life by avoiding certain foods, what difference does it make if he believes it is curative or palliative?

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 4:14 PM

Did anyone actually read the whole thread at Melissa" blog? I guess not. If you had diabetes it would not interest you to find out you could eat like a normal person if you fixed it? You actually think eating pizza CAUSES disease because pizza itself is evil? Amazing!

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1026 · March 28, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Love this answer, Alex. Or I don't get Dr. Harris' point, or he's just saying something we all know : we'll have to keep avoiding gluten as long as we don't find the underlying cause. So what? Is it that hard to avoid pizza?

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4059 · March 28, 2012 at 5:21 AM

I'm just going to go back to eating donuts.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 4:52 AM

OK, in the interest of giving Ray Peat a fair shake, I just spent 10 minutes on his website. I searched for the term "thymus" and immediately got this article, which argues THAT HIV IS NOT THE CAUSE OF AIDS. As Dave Barry would say "I am not making this up".

http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/immunodeficiency.shtml

Read it for yourself. I'll wait patiently for all the Peat Defenders to regain their senses and apologize for attacking me here. Or admit they have no critical reasoning powers. Either will do.

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1786 · March 31, 2012 at 11:35 PM

"i will use the one time i think you are wrong everytime you say anything to prove that you are wrong because ..." this is jilted lover syndrome at its finest. no one is saying that everyone is 100% right all of the time, but even if peat is wrong about the cause of AIDS, does that mean that he is wrong about the thyroid, or that danny roddy hasn't helped some people by giving them advice he gained by implementing peat eating strategies?

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2890 · March 30, 2012 at 10:22 PM

Here's a study with the mentioned hair loss. http://www.calstatela.edu/faculty/rdeleon/504/westman.pdf

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2890 · March 30, 2012 at 9:19 PM

I can't remember the source, but I know that it was reported in low carb diets which usually happen to be hypocaloric. Whether the problem happens in a eucaloric low carb situation I don't know. I assume it's a matter of degrees. Some people would lose hair in a eucaloric low carb diet, some only on a hypocaloric low carb diet, and others just don't lose hair ever. And some people lose hair no matter what. C'est la vie.

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5132 · March 30, 2012 at 9:10 PM

Hey, conciliator, where is your source that low carbing will result in hair loss? Is that Roddy's position? I lost my hair low-carbing but I thought that was due to the weight I lost low-carbing. U sure hair loss is not related to the weight loss?

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2890 · March 30, 2012 at 8:54 PM

And duh Peat is right that carbs are beneficial. Euthyroid stress syndrome occurs with low carbs and has low T3 and high rT3. Hair loss is also blamable on low carbs. That doesn't mean he's right about everything. And serotonin = stress? Give me a break. Is that why 5-HTP helps with sleep, or why high carbs make you drowsy? Is that why MDMA makes us feel so good? Is that why SSRI help out depressed people? What a joke.

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2890 · March 30, 2012 at 8:47 PM

There are Berkeley Professors who believe in intelligent design I'm sure as well. And regarding Roddy, he said he tested many lab variables and found anomolies in everyone. That's pure statistics, assuming normal distributions you have 5% of variables outside of 2 SDs, so if you test 20 variables you are expected to have something awry. And finally, adrenaline and noradrenaline are fight or flight hormones, yes, but it's not that simple. Having too much is bad but having too little is bad too. Can someone explain why healthy regular endurance exercise raises catecholamine secretion at rest?

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 6:37 PM

Bruno- I have spent plenty of time with Peat's articles besides the 10 minutes just now. I have read Peat before. I have read Peat before. Get it?

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10497 · March 29, 2012 at 4:47 PM

@Kurt -- there are only a few mods, and we don't see it all given the amount of traffic on the site. However, we are alerted when someone flags a comment or answer.

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20411 · March 29, 2012 at 2:11 PM

I apologize and have come to my senses. I also have no critical reasoning skills. One thing about Peat - I am no longer afraid of orange juice. Where can I get some of these worms? My 7-11 has live bait...

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1026 · March 29, 2012 at 6:24 AM

Why did you tell Danny Roddy to stop reading Ray Peat if you didn't try reading him yourself yet??? And now you're judging others in 10 minutes?

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2544 · March 29, 2012 at 5:54 AM

@Patrik and @Kurt it wasn't a nasty post really but a ridiculous rant that honestly had nothing to do with what is being discussed here and was edited after Phoenix, Nance, and I responded in the comments.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 5:41 AM

I had the impression a nasty post was moderated - maybe not... Anyway, my response to maybe HIV does not cause AIDS is .. Groan.... Smart and esteemed perhaps, but not for their views on that topic and not using Peat's logic. Seriously, this is 9/11 truther and we never went to the moon territory. I can't believe you could defend the article I just linked as written.

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10497 · March 29, 2012 at 5:17 AM

Also -- if folks are attacking you ad hominem -- please point out to me or other mods and we'll take appropriate action.

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10497 · March 29, 2012 at 5:16 AM

So, Kurt, let very carefully qualify my forthcoming comment: 1) I am NOT a Peatarian (although I am very intrigued by his ideas) 2) and you well know I respect your intellect. 3) And I subscribe to the view that HIV DOES cause AIDS BUT......other smart & esteemed folks share his view too. Namely Duesberg of Berkeley. For fun reading, see here post & comments here: http://blog.sethroberts.net/2010/04/11/academic-horror-story-uc-berkeley-2/

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2175 · March 26, 2012 at 2:26 AM

Alcholics who quit alcohol are just band aiding their alcoholism (eliminating alcohol is the solution). Drug addicts should go back to using drugs once they are healed and sober, because it would just be a band aid if they didn't reintroduce the problematic substance. If you get a flat tire, don't bother looking for the nail in your driveway, just go get a new tire... we have to ELIMINATE problems, and calling it a band aid is just ridiculous and conceited thinking. Problematic foods are PROBLEMATIC. No argument, debate or counter needed.

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8953 · March 27, 2012 at 12:07 PM

PrimalDanny, there's a difference between something that would kill pretty much anyone and gluten, since gluten is eaten by tons of people with no problems.

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8953 · March 27, 2012 at 9:53 AM

Gluten and wheat is not natural?

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5188 · March 27, 2012 at 9:25 AM

There is no clear distinction between food and drug. It is legal or cultural but not scientific. And there's plenty of natural substances which would kill pretty much anyone ingesting them. Natural is not necessarily any better an indicator.

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2175 · March 27, 2012 at 6:40 AM

Also, there are plenty of drugs that are not manmade.

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2175 · March 27, 2012 at 6:38 AM

We;re not meant to eat GMO food. Which is... MAN MADE FOOD.

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5768 · March 26, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Nance/Bruno.....we may not be meant to drink or do drugs and it may not be natural or good (debatable), but neither is gluten or wheat. That's the point George is trying to make.

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1026 · March 26, 2012 at 6:44 AM

There is a nuance, George. Alcohol is not necessarily natural and good, it's made by humans. Drugs too. Problematic foods are often completely natural, so it doesn't make sense people don't tolerate them. I mean, if someone doesn't tolerate beef, don't you think there's something wrong with their body, and not with beef?

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37177 · March 26, 2012 at 2:44 AM

We are meant to eat food. It's not the same as drugs or alcohol. If you can restore gut function/gut flora, eating the widest possible mix of whole foods makes sense. If a sweet potato causes problems for me, then I can't eat it for now. If I can eat it next month because of improved gut function, then why not?

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3850 · March 25, 2012 at 7:25 PM

I don't know if he understands what GAPS is, because if he did, he would see that they are on the same side. GAPS is very restrictive at first to give the gut a chance to heal, but then it is pretty aggressive about introducing foods back into the diet as soon as you can tolerate them. It's not meant to be restrictive long-term.

I do agree that most "allergies" really do start in the gut. That's my experience definitely. However, his response here seems to imply that eliminating foods doesn't help to cure anything. I disagree, at least as much as eliminating things you react to gives your body time to heal. I know that going out and eating all the things I am sensitive to on principle would just drive my immune system bonkers.

I would like to know what he believes is the right way to go about healing your immune system. I am assuming he discusses that somewhere else, since it's not there.

(oh and on a personal note, he used way too many acronyms)

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3850 · March 28, 2012 at 7:24 PM

His views are pretty clear. What he suggests as an alternative however was not.

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1786 · March 27, 2012 at 9:22 PM

rob, have you read his comment thread on melissa's post? pretty much sums up his current views.

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3521 · March 25, 2012 at 9:45 PM

I am waiting for him to post something up on his blog so we could get better insight into his views.

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90 · March 29, 2012 at 2:50 AM

Is this idea being that our genetic make-up and developed immune system is responsible for our health more so than what we eat once we are adults? It does seem relevant, even obvious - with implications to help us fight disease in the future. However, where does that leave so-called primitive tribes/cultures who had good health that then failed once introduced to the SAD - ? The fact their health failed dramatically would seem to indicate the inflammatory, disease promoting aspects of said foods introduced.

Why then, would this happen? I am still not acquainted with a primitive group of peoples who used gluten grains as their staple, much less canola oil and sugar! Dr. Harris, if I'm not mistaken you coined the 'neolithic agents of disease'term - as much as I see the new direction and how pithy it is, I do believe there is indeed something in reality that is NAD and the avoidance of such, even in healthy peoples, is to be desired.

I do understand that you are not saying diet has no effect on health. I do understand you are saying that the issue is immune related, genetic, the early environment. And once damaged therein lies the root issue. But, as I remarked - this does not apply to primitives introduced to SAD who decline in health markedly. It would seem that diet might be more important after all - ?

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 4:00 AM

@Cindy. Thanks for recognizing that I coined the term NAD.But a neolithic agent of disease can be anything - a habit, something present we are not adapted to, or something missing that we need. I am all about finding out what they are. The list may grow or shrink.

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37177 · March 29, 2012 at 2:55 AM

I don't have credentials and those who do can answer from that perspective. As I've mentioned, I happened to grow up in a way that gave me a fairly traditional and robust immune system. I am incredibly sensitive to additives and fake foods, perhaps more so than average. And, as is seen with the traditional folks you mentioned I responded very quickly and well to a whole-foods diet. Since my body knows exactly what it wants, I figure that's why it got so angry in response to junk food?

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78407 · March 26, 2012 at 10:47 PM

I've mentioned many times over the past year on Paleohacks(and completely ignored:) that there is way more to gut health than metabolic interventions. Gut issues involve physical issues, "scars" in the intestines.Find a good neuromuscular therapist who knows how to treat the organs of digestion and anyone, ANYONE will multiple the effects of any and all dietary interventions by a factor of two to ten !!!! It's like playing basketball with one arm vs. two. We can't go back into the womb and come out "properly", we can't go back and change out our crappy formula for breast milk of a Paleo mother, but we can try healing our gut with "two arms". A good neuormuscular therapist can provide in one hour,(actually 0ne half hour!) the equivalent of gallons of fermented food, pots of bone broth, bottles of probiotic pill. The stomach, small and large intestine need to be touched. and touched regularly. ... Kurt Harris is my favoritve Paleo maven, and he probably is correct in almost everything he says/writes, but he is basing the above view on observing one armed basketball players. There are other "health/healing" geniuses out there. Paul ST John is one of them. Let's play ball with two arms for a while and then revisit this question.

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4111 · March 30, 2012 at 12:05 PM

You certainly like to tease.

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78 · March 28, 2012 at 5:21 PM

This is an interesting concept. It joins a couple of ideas I have seen in Tai Chi Chuan books; that the slow movements of TC gently massage the internal organs, and some TCC masters have cured their own very serious illnesses by taking up TCC. I second the request for links about neuromuscular interventions.

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1786 · March 27, 2012 at 8:57 AM

Do u have some links?

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3743 · March 30, 2012 at 10:27 AM

It is obvious watching PaleoHacks that there are bunch of sick people out there. It's also apparent that these sick people are sick not because of the food they haven't yet eliminated from their diet but some other factor. When you're sick or reactive to everything this suggests you???re far from normal.

This shouldn't be a mystery to anyone engaging in critical thinking. A limited and strict ???paleo??? diet does not fit in with our evolutionary model (whatever that is supposed to mean) as it is much too limited for us to have dispersed across the globe as quickly as we did. Just take a brief moment of pause and reflect on the numerous and varied diets across the globe. We all have pretty similar life expectancy and we all eat a lot of different crap. If you had to migrate to a new land and you reacted to the food available, tough shit, your dead.

When it comes to things like deciding what not to eat we just have to use our brains. Almond flour? Coconut flour? (Insert your favorite nut here) flour? And other modern inventions that would otherwise be sub-optimal because they are a pain in the ass and otherwise don't offer any benefit. Get real. It seems that most of the damage done is done by our tendency to trust cultural fads over our common sense (who became a vegetarian without a little self-convincing?) and by environment and over sterilization.

It seems problems are caused more from what we aren't eating rather than what we are eating. What normal person eats liver anymore? Or the rest of the animal? Yet it was once pretty common. Our sickly society largely has its roots in culture i.e. when we began trusting experts and government panels over what tasted good (naturally tasted good not engineered cheese flavored horse shit). Notice we are now to the point where a fucking radiologist is dishing out health advice--"I used to think so too. But now I don't."--heard that bullshit from the same guy before.

If we want to be real we have to understand one thing, that is, as our diet has become shittier our life expectancy has gone up. Interesting. On the surface this seems like garbage logic but if we consider the idea that anytime food energy becomes available sustainably there seems to be an explosion of civilization and culture. That tendency has more to do with available energy rather than what exactly it is we are eating. Who looks at civilization as a bad thing? I would view proliferation of the species as a good thing.

It's easy to cite collateral damage like more disease and disorders etc., but I'd argue this is rather similar to what happens to commercial animals who live ass-to-ass and are fed some type of barfed up corn mixture. They get sick. They get all kinds of disease. And then they load them with antibiotics. Do you think in those same types of living conditions that if instead they replaced the corn with grass that it would really make a significant difference? Apparently not, because most of you replaced SAD with FOOD and you still are sick. You see this same thing with zoo animals, pets, etc. They all get shitty when taken out of their normal element and start suffering with different "unknown" diseases. Hmm. Immune system. Not a new idea. Undervalued? Yes. But not a new idea.

Human eating traditions don't get passed down over millennia by random chance, it's passed down because it works (so anything normal you can't eat should cause you pause), perhaps if we explored some of our passed down "common sense" with science instead of looking to science to invent or reinvent common sense we'd learn something practical and expandable and probably would progress a bit faster.

Essentially in the mainstream we've rejected the possibly that tradition has its roots in sound reasoning, rejecting our ancestors as primal idiots, eating these random weird diets, etc. We can't even fathom the possibility that in some way tradition might be a form of "science" itself, tested (we are still here) and sound, because there aren't any fucking bar graphs and pie charts to go along with it.

Anyway stop taking folks so seriously things like "I'm starting to think" or "I believe" should make any rational person pause and investigate for themselves rather than fall into the same "expert" cycle.

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3743 · April 01, 2012 at 4:27 AM

like “tradition” you can twist it but from these examples I think it should be clearer what I’m getting at.

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3743 · April 01, 2012 at 4:26 AM

skin and heart. The hunters eat the skin and heart for energy, o.k. why are those parts preferred? Is that because it’s easily assimilated energy or is there some other x factor or perhaps it is just superstition. Some cultures have forbidden foods o.k. why? One funny one is are there any cultures that eat raw salads with dressing? Why not? Again is it superstition or something to it. Using those types of observations as starting points for research I think would be valuable. So of course with a loose word (...)

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3743 · April 01, 2012 at 4:26 AM

majority of their calories from fruit? Is it because fruit is harder to grow for those cultures and so it isn't sustainable or is starch preferable for some other reason. And then there is variation amongst diets for example protein sources, there some that drink tons of milk, there are some that eat fish, there are some that eat lots of meat, they are all protein sources but what differences can we observe from the traditions. Or hunting tribes some will kill the animal and before they go back to camp they will eat the (...)

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3743 · April 01, 2012 at 4:26 AM

@Tom Pentzer I think when we look at different populations some patterns emerge e.g. Price's book does a good job of highlighting a lot of that, for example we see populations eating the whole animal... so we should ask why? Is it merely not to waste and eat what you can get your hands on or is there some underlying wisdom to it, using observations like that as a starting point for further exploration. Or another good question starch vs. fruit, are there any traditional populations on earth that get the (...)

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50 · March 31, 2012 at 10:47 PM

Interesting observation on tradition as science, but it makes me wonder what you think qualifies something as "traditional."

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3743 · March 30, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Prenatal "care" and the rest of the factors you listed (except trauma care in some cases), has nothing to do with increasing longevity. You're listing factors for mortality and quality of life I'm talking about longevity. There is a difference. I'm not talking about evolutionary masterpieces such as yourself who would otherwise fail to thrive under primitive circumstances pushing up statistical averages. The only thing incoherent is your superb reasoning ability and reading comprehension.

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5132 · March 30, 2012 at 3:45 PM

"as our diet has become shittier our life expectancy has gone up." Longevity has more to do with vaccinations, prenatal care, reduced infant morality rates and trauma care. All it means is we're very good at keeping you alive, depsite suffering from multiple autoimmune and degenrative diseases of civilization. Once again, this is like reading Peat: no cogent argument, no cohrent thought or any pattern of reasoning from A to B. It's basically a rant, parts of which seem plausible given what has transpired but most of it is just random mush and doodling.

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78407 · March 30, 2012 at 11:49 AM

we ARE the commercial animals,not merely"rather similar" to the commercial animals. Great answer, as usual.

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8953 · March 30, 2012 at 10:48 AM

*We can't even fathom the possibility that in some way tradition might be a form of "science" itself, tested (we are still here) and sound, because there aren't any fucking bar graphs and pie charts to go along with it.* love that part, Edward. Effin great answer.

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3499 · March 28, 2012 at 4:27 AM

Let's not lose sight of an important distinction, when we talk about what Paleo can be good for.

If we're only focused on the autoimmune issues prevalent in many of us and our society, that is if we are talking about obesity, thryoiditis, ASD, diabetes, celiac, corn intolerance, psoriasis and skin issues, etc., then I would agree with KGH. Paleo itself is not going to heal me and prevent bad proteins from getting in, or my immune system from attacking my own tissues. KGH's post and his response in this thread seems to be tailored to this particular issue.

But I'm worried when I see a comment like "I still think diet matters, but I no longer see the most important NADs as likely to be particular foods to avoid." Are not the foods we consider to be NADs the richest sources of LA, fructose, and phytates? We focus on foods to avoid instead of molecules to avoid, not because we are uninterested on a chemical level why they're the NADs, but because foods do not announce to us, "Hey! Linoleic acid here! Got a bunch!"

The other half of the distinction lies in longer-term diseases: not the autoimmune ones we're dealing with in this context, but things like GERD, tooth decay, heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and dementia? Few of these things affect me acutely, but if I don't care and eat SAD now, some or all will affect me eventually. I'm not just doing paleo to fix what's wrong with me now. I'm doing paleo because I care about making it to 75 with the ability to enjoy life and good years ahead of me. Avoiding the diseases of civilization, not the ones that exploded in the last 50 years but the ones we've had to endure for 5000 years, that's what I currently believe paleo can do for me. That's a cure.

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3499 · March 28, 2012 at 9:03 PM

Kurt, I think much of this thread is evidence that what we argue most heatedly about is not the words you are saying or not saying, but the concepts people are taking away from reading and (mis)interpreting those words you do say. I'll check out the Rook sources when I have reading time.

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 4:19 PM

GERD, periodontal disease, heart disease many forms of arthritis and possibly dementia and cancer have elements of immune dysregulation involved. Read the symposium edited by Graham Rook before deciding these are not immune diseases. There is plenty of evidence most of them are. And I have not once said diet is not important, only that it may be less important than other things. I do nt drink big gulps and eat hot pockets. I still mainly eat pastured meats, fish, starchy veggies and green salads.etc.

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1786 · March 27, 2012 at 9:14 AM

To answer your question: for some people, in certain cases, food avoidance is the best available choice currently. But it is not addressing the cause, mainly because the cause is probably beyond our current comprehension.

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733 · March 28, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Paleo may be a band aid, but it is a band aid that prevents further infection/diseases via inflammation.

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733 · March 28, 2012 at 10:02 PM

@ Dr. Harris a band aid is a band aid, and until we learn more about symbiotic gut flora and fauna, i am going to keep the band aid on my gut.

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5132 · March 28, 2012 at 9:10 PM

Dr. H, do you not believe in Fassano's gut permeability with regard to the genesis of autoimmunity? That's all the rage because it posits a common pathogenesis of all autoimmune diseases. Granted, it probably requires genetic vulnerability + possibly gluten + inflammation + weakened immune system + environmental agents. But however attained, making your gut impermeable is supposed to be the key to not AGGRAVATING autoimmunity; let's leave alone CURING or even pushing it into REMISSION. If so, all Paleo means is just doing what's under your control: do your part by keeping your diet clean.

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955 · March 28, 2012 at 7:52 PM

@ Dr Harris: I think the key in Anthony's statement was "prevents FURTHER infections/diseases via inflammation", in that the elimination of inflammation inducing foods lowers unnecessary and easily "curable" inflammation through avoidance.

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Granted that huge amounts of excess LA and excess calories and body fat elevate inflammatory cytokines. Stipulated. Do you really think excess LA and being a bit fat is the main cause of autoimmune diseases?

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1092 · March 28, 2012 at 4:22 PM

Explain exactly how "paleo" prevents inflammation. I mean, let's say you meet someone eating a perfect paleo diet and it has no effect on their multiple sclerosis, or chronic sinusitis or rheumatoid arthritis. Explain why the prevention provided by paleo diets is so powerful yet so ineffective if you have REAL inflammation.

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216 · March 29, 2012 at 2:03 PM

I think all the detractors in this thread combined have probably read < 10% of the literature on the subject as Dr Harris. You can't just follow all the blogs guys and think you know that the hell is going on, it doesn't work like that.

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216 · March 30, 2012 at 8:23 PM

Bruno you are right, it was very hypocritical of me. It was written in a state of frustration, after glimpsing an insight deeper than any I've yet experienced on this ever evolving ancestral journey. It was like a beautiful spring morning with birds chirping and your comments were a chainsaw.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 8:49 PM

That was for Bruno, obviously.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 8:49 PM

You are definitely being a dick by starting this thread because I am "way too popular". Maybe you should produce a documentary about me to protest my popularity. Or print T-shirts with my image on it as a form of protest. That would make as much sense as what you are doing here.

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1026 · March 29, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Cave Man Mind, what are you adding then? Hypocrite... It isn't my job to add anything of substance, but I felt the need to criticize Dr. Harris because he's way too popular (which is why I agree with your answer : he's so popular people applaud him without actually reading his stuff). If that means I'm the dick, so be it.

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5949 · March 29, 2012 at 2:10 PM

WRT diet and health, I actually agree with everything Kurt is saying. I just don't get his bizarre fixation on belief.

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216 · March 29, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Bruno, meet Kamal, an amateur actually adding to the discussion!

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216 · March 29, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Also in this thread: bruno just being an annoying voice without actually adding anything of substance (whilst complaining about lack of substance) !

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5132 · March 28, 2012 at 9:03 PM

Dr. H is right about one thang. Paleo is incomplete in one aspect. It's not just the food. It's the environmental toxins, germs, immunization shots, cleaning agents, cooking utensils, bacteria, and anti-bacteria brought about by our antiseptic, modern lifestyle. Also factor in the inflammation caused by our electronic and communications gadgetry, including our beloved microwave.

Drs. Sinatra and Hyman do talk about these. Admittedly, it's a broad and subjective realm that's hard to tackle. But it should be addressed given how little we know about their impact. I do agree that food alone isn't gonna fix autoimmunity. And it wasn't just food that brought about my autoimmunity. I'm not talking about genetics. I'm talking about that big X Factor, the environment.

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3743 · March 31, 2012 at 1:31 AM

Nice try. Again you fail to convince the reader of any significant reading comprehension reducing everything down to doodles and rants and dick sucking. You imply you read Peat by speaking in an inflammatory way about Peat in other responses further you say "Dr. H is right about one thang. Paleo is incomplete in one aspect. It's not just the food. It's the environmental..." you mind as well change your name to Percy you've made your position clear.

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5132 · March 31, 2012 at 12:15 AM

Your incompetence lies in not realizing that there are aspects of human wellness which you cannot analyze objectively. And to claim that as a view shared by Peat and trying to give him credit shows that you don't have much of an argument. Rants, half-baked generalities, sociological doodles ... incoherent babbles.

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5132 · March 31, 2012 at 12:07 AM

When did I say I read Peat? I was commenting on Harris' point about factors other than diet that influence our diseased state. And I say very clearly that the comment is very general and subjective, and any objective analysis of this factor could lead us astray. You, in claiming that this general observation to have been originally made by Peat, demonstrates your inadequacies, since you cannot even grasp that the above observation could have been made by anyone, anyone in the street with some common sense. It's revealing that ur find comments like that to be shattering insights! They r not!

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3743 · March 30, 2012 at 8:00 PM

and further these concepts are mentioned on his about page and the first few paragraphs of his home page. What you talkin bout Willis?

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3743 · March 30, 2012 at 7:56 PM

"It's the environmental toxins, germs, immunization shots, cleaning agents, cooking utensils, bacteria, and anti-bacteria brought about by our antiseptic, modern lifestyle. Also factor in the inflammation caused by our electronic and communications gadgetry, including our beloved microwave." You I'm now convinced are a moron you've have not read Peat's work. If anything should echo in your brain about Peat is his phobia of the external environment. He's mentioned all of these as factors and their roles. Peat has talked about these factors for years (...)

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5132 · March 29, 2012 at 3:25 AM

When I went overseas for 2 weeks, I was afraid I was gonna have a flare up as I wouldn't be able to avoid eating out. Well, my Sjogren symptoms were in complete remission while I was there, when I was eating nightshades, dairy, even gluten. Then, a week after I came home and started back my very strict autoimmune diet (gluten/dairy/nightshade/soy/nut-free), I had one of my worst flare ups. Then it occurred to me. Autoimmunity is cyclical and comes in waves -- may not correlate with diet. This is one of those "spurious associations" Dr. H is talking about. I do agree w/that.

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7660 · March 28, 2012 at 10:00 PM

I'm not educated enough about the topics you point out here, but I, too, am circling around the fact that everything about our modern lives is just wrong and stacked against us. Our human drive for comfort and stability will be the end of us.

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20 · March 29, 2012 at 4:17 PM

Can just someone tell me what to eat and when and what not to ?

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1786 · March 31, 2012 at 11:41 PM

and after you've done this for a few years, if you haven't gotten the results you want, it'll either be your fault or tough luck :) but you have to give it a long shot first

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37177 · March 29, 2012 at 8:02 PM

Also read this: http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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37177 · March 29, 2012 at 8:02 PM

Read this: http://www.gnolls.org/1141/eat-like-a-predator-not-like-prey-paleo-in-six-easy-steps-a-motivational-guide/

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37177 · March 29, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Sure. Pay close attention to what you eat and how you react. Eat whole foods andcuts ofwhole meat. Eat only when the urge comes from your stomach/gut vs. your brain (cravings.) Avoid manufactured food-like products.

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277 · March 28, 2012 at 11:19 PM

Besides palliative and curative, what about preventative? I'm not sure how many paleos actually thought the lifestyle truly cured existing problems, but I'm pretty sure a lot of people believed it prevented the creation of the problem in the first place for those who didn't have it yet, e.g. the idea that gluten -> leaky gut -> new autoimmune problems for some people.

Now it was mentioned gluten is not a NAD, though I'm not sure how things are classified as a NAD or not. Is it because some people can eat it just fine? Then if some people can eat excessive amounts of fructose or LA (whether now or in the future), does that mean those things are not NADs either? What about lactose for lactose intolerant people? Where do we draw the line, which seems to be what the argument(s) is really about. This is especially confusing since the archevore site itself also says to avoid gluten (though I'm guessing maybe his position's changed since then). I'm suspecting maybe NADs are something that needs to be defined on a per-individual basis. So it is technically incorrect to say, this this and that are NADS, and this this and that are not NADS without qualifying with "for X individual"

Maybe redundant with the what is a NAD question above, but if paleo neither cures nor prevents anything, then it would seem there is no good (health) reason to promote it to anyone not already suffering from problems, no more than it's a good idea to prescribe any other form of treatment to those who are healthy.

Additionally, IS there something remotely resembling a cure? And/or what should we do then in the meantime for optimal health?

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1786 · March 31, 2012 at 11:39 PM

you can improve on paleo, but you can also just trade problems on paleo. same can be said for any diet because everybody is uniquely individual. hopefully u cover your nutrient bases, reduce diet related stress and stay out of the red zone. for some that is easier than for others...

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7063 · July 06, 2012 at 7:31 AM

I just want to tell my story here. I thought paleo was the answer to my diet problems and not just a sticking plaster/band aid. I believed in it, I loved the idea of it and I saw so many people do well on it, though I continued to have problems whilst on it (strictly). And I was always having a nagging feeling about people I saw on raw vegan diets who were doing just as well as those on paleo.

I resent the fact that some paleo people think paleo is the ONLY way to eat, just because it works for them. From my experience, I see it as amazing for some and disastrous for others.

I continued to search; I tried metabolic typing which advocates very different diets according to your metabolism and so far it is the only thing that has 100% worked with me. The beautiful thing is that some people need paleo, some people need vegan, some people need a very broad range of carbs/proteins for optimum health - and many people are on a life long learning curve to try and discover this optimum recipe which is totally unique to each person, based on genetic and environmental factors. My metabolic typing nutritionist has been practising for 15 years and told me everyone who passes through her door is unique and requires an individual diet plan.

I have come a long way on my diet journey, from raw vegan to strict paleo, I have now settled into a metabolically-typed diet which is based on 45% low purine proteins/low fat and 55% low G.I.carbs - and this has hit the spot. This I know now, is not a band aid but a long lasting answer.

I call this my own primitive diet (although it is not what one would call a classic paleo diet by any stretch of the imagination) as I know there was a group of people somewhere in the world (nearer to the equator than I am now) who ate my diet indigenously and thrived on it - they lived in a habitat which matched my particular fuel mix perfectly.

For many people, their 'spot' will be paleo - (varying degrees of strictness) for others it will only ever be a band aid which allows them to move away from a SAD diet and become more conscious of their eating habits. It will be a springboard for further exploration - as it was for me.

As someone else mentioned on this thread, we must continue to be forward-thinking and not get stuck in a rut about all of this, as that would truly be a Neanderthal way of viewing the world and all the myriad people who live within it.

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102 · March 29, 2012 at 2:12 AM

I dont agree with Dr H.

Edit: My point with the athlete analogy is, that athletes go through stress. They reduce that stress by consuming adequate carbs. Peat's suggestion that people should eat adequate carbs is not some kind of cherry-picked idiotic claim. Everybody has a different level of carbohydrate need. Some people need more carbs than others. Peat recognizes this. If you don't get enough carbs, the liver can't have adequate T4 to T3 turnover because there is insufficient glycogen. FFA's begin to be used as primary energy which also shuts down the thyroid gland. Free radical by products result from FFA oxidation and you begin to have a need for antioxidants. Vitamin E becomes deficient, and the need for vitamin e greatly increases. Fatty acid oxidation and release induces prostaglandin modulation of the aromatase enzyme which will convert testosterone to estrogen, furthering the metabolism's shift for burning fat for fuel instead of glucose. Ever smell a females breath when estrogen is spiked? Yep Acetone! Then, it gets worse, cortisol is released to induce gluconeogenesis from the liver to break down amino acids released from lean tissue. Your body begins to eat itself, and your myo-catabolic environment encourages the repartitioning end result of less lean muscle and more fat mass. The ratio becomes worse. Since you are mainly running on catacholamines on a low carb diet, you are continuously cold in the periphery. You get very shitty sleep because you can't quiet down at night as a result of this. Been there done that for 3 years. Low Carb Dieting was a waste of time for me, and only made me worse. Paleo dieting is not inherently bad, but I bet any of you can't even describe what paleo is or what it should be? What did our ancestors eat 10000 years ago? Did you personally go back in time and observe them? Is it better to use the observations of Weston Price and other explorers, and current observation for what indigenous populations REALLY eat? Probably!

But I gotta say that one thing Dr. H claims is that there are other aspects to health besides diet. I agree wholeheartedly, but do realize that whether or not these environmental aspects play a huge role, there still is a vast degree of physiological processes that are able to resist these issues. He mentions Doctors visiting islands with natives who had parasites, and curing them. We are not natives!!! He mentions that a large majority of people had a food allergy that was a result of a frequency problem. Since when has there been any culture pre 17th century who didn't consume just about the same foods every day? If you were a swizerland dairy farmer, guess what you were eating the next day? Milk, eggs, and possibly some grains. This is obviously not scientific evidence rather than observational and epidemiological research but by god Dr. H, if you are going to argue the old food frequency thing, you better be arguing with the entire globe before three hundred years ago. Could he be right with this? sure, but it says nothing about his disagreement with Peat, other than maybe he doesn't feel like its healthy to eat the same foods every day, which is based on "iffy" science and opinion rather than fact.

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69 · July 31, 2013 at 6:36 AM

Why does Dr. Harris appear to be in a perpetual bad mood? Perhaps because he consistently sides with CarbSane.

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8953 · March 31, 2012 at 3:24 PM

*Dr. H has no grounds telling people that Ray Peat is full of shit. Why??? Surely a doctor should have some kind of rebuttal rather than a childish "full of shit response.* you all gotta admit this is true.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 4:27 AM

And who said anything about food frequency? Not me. I only specifically addressed a claim about the thymus which is demonstrably factually wrong and which was claimed to have originated with Peat. None of the rest of your rant has anything at all to do with anything I said here.

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1092 · March 29, 2012 at 4:26 AM

@ Steven. I shouted no one down, I just offered advice to Danny Roddy, whom I have know for years. I was not addressing you and this thread is not about Ray Peat nor was my original post on HGL. That said, I do not know a single MD who takes Ray Peat seriously. Not one. It is not a matter of dissing him or disagreeing with him, it is that we do usually don't read him more than once. Being attached to someone like Peat to the point of rage when someone dismisses him is not a sign of a very critical mind, maybe.

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2544 · March 29, 2012 at 3:28 AM

Way to edit the answer to make our comments now defunct.

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5132 · March 29, 2012 at 3:10 AM

Steve, they're both certified Ph.D's. So they are only subject to a "peer review". So bring on Dr. J and Dr. K. It'd be a tag team match inside a barbed wire steel cage with a ladder.

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2544 · March 29, 2012 at 2:46 AM

^Nance said it way better and more efficiently than I did.

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37177 · March 29, 2012 at 2:44 AM

A reasoned argument disputing what you felt were errors in Dr Harris's statements would have found some listeners. I don't think Danny or others who have areas of agreement with Dr Peat would applaud the words you chose.

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2544 · March 29, 2012 at 2:39 AM

The "Old Friends" Hypothesis isn't that radical at all... And neither are some of Peat's stuff if you really think about it (excessive protein, PUFA, estrogen etc). Sure, Harris's tone is debatable but "getting back what he was giving" does not help anyone... Your not on our side. I'm not on your side. I don't take sides. I sit back and read objectively and do my own research. I try not to form an opinion until I can sure of what I am forming an opinion on. You, on the other hand, are not that kind of thinker and that is evident from your answer.

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102 · March 29, 2012 at 2:34 AM

Nah, you my friends are the joke of this site. Dr. H was getting back from me what he was giving, which was ludicrous disrespect towards somebody without reason. Whether right or wrong, Dr. H has no grounds telling people that Ray Peat is full of shit. Why??? Surely a doctor should have some kind of rebuttal rather than a childish "full of shit response." You guys are so blind that you don't see that I am on your side. Here we have a doctor spewing out radical claims and shouting down others simply based on opinion, which I think is dangerous, and can wrongfully change peoples' opinions.

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2544 · March 29, 2012 at 2:28 AM

Your choice of words and quotes that don't make sense in the context of your arguments (such this "if an athlete can't fucking get through the day without adequate carbs, how can anybody else think they can"... normal folk are able to get on with much less carbs than athletes... they do substantially less activity... so it should read, *"if normal folk can't get through the day without carbs, how can athletes"*) are exactly what many here are mocking Peat followers for. Like I said, Danny works really hard to make sense of Peat in proper fashion... answers like yours don't help.

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4620 · March 29, 2012 at 2:28 AM

Agreed with Bill. I think Ray Peat is awesome and would love to see his ideas get explored more around these parts, but this "answer" has nothing to do with the topic at hand and may be one of the most immature things I've read on PaleoHacks. Why are you so angry?

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2544 · March 29, 2012 at 2:23 AM

LMAO dude... I dig Peat's writings and Danny Roddy works really hard to make them accessible to people... but your answer is seriously LOL worthy. You make threats that the disbelievers will run crying to Peat... Seriously bro? SERIOUSLY? The quote from Harris that this discussion pertains to has honestly nothing to do with Peat. Further, your attack Dr. Harris's character with an answer that quite frankly, reflects incredibly poorly on yours.

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0 · April 10, 2014 at 3:07 AM

Bruno states:

"The auto-immune paleo diet didn't do me much good, except for the first month or 2. Since adopting some of Ray Peat's ideas, who focuses more on eating things than not eating things, I'm a lot better (I do have a long history of hypo-thyroid-like symptoms)."

Bruno—can you elaborate on your process? Are you diagnosed with an autoimmune condition (Hashimoto's). Can you give specifics of your autoimmune protocol and how/how long you implemented it? My Dr. wants me to do this one, but it seems so restrictive. I'm much more keen on Dr. Peat's ideas, but ultimately I just want to feel well.

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69 · July 30, 2013 at 9:34 PM

Help rid the Paleosphere of its biggest threat right now - http://carbsaner.blogspot.com/.

AHS13 was a victory, but it's hopefully just the start of a new SANITY in Paleo.

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69 · July 31, 2013 at 3:10 AM

As an aside, it's amazing the lengths Paleohackers will go to protect CarbSane. Makes you wonder who's benefiting most from her vitriolic rants and subversion of science. Follow the money...

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63 · December 30, 2012 at 8:40 AM

What about WGA and gluten problems in non-celiacs? Is Kurt saying that wheat isn't a NAD anymore, or just that the gut flora is more of the underlying issue? I've always assumed that wheat can cause leaky gut, so it's pertinent to avoid it in novel amounts (a piece of bread a day isn't too big of a deal, but why eat wheat at all?)

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222 · July 06, 2012 at 6:13 PM

It may not be as magical as we'd hoped, but eating mostly real food probably isn't going to go out of style any time soon.

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102 · March 29, 2012 at 3:02 AM

My point with the athlete analogy is, that athletes go through stress. They reduce that stress by consuming adequate carbs. Peat's suggestion that people should eat adequate carbs is not some kind of cherry-picked idiotic claim. Everybody has a different level of carbohydrate need. Some people need more carbs than others. Peat recognizes this. If you don't get enough carbs, the liver can't have adequate T4 to T3 turnover because there is insufficient glycogen. FFA's begin to be used as primary energy which also shuts down the thyroid gland. Free radical by products result from FFA oxidation and you begin to have a need for antioxidants. Vitamin E becomes deficient, and the need for vitamin e greatly increases. Fatty acid oxidation and release induces prostaglandin modulation of the aromatase enzyme which will convert testosterone to estrogen, furthering the metabolism's shift for burning fat for fuel instead of glucose. Ever smell a females breath when estrogen is spiked? Yep Acetone! Then, it gets worse, cortisol is released to induce gluconeogenesis from the liver to break down amino acids released from lean tissue. Your body begins to eat itself, and your myo-catabolic environment encourages the repartitioning end result of less lean muscle and more fat mass. The ratio becomes worse. Since you are mainly running on catacholamines on a low carb diet, you are continuously cold in the periphery. You get very shitty sleep because you can't quiet down at night as a result of this. Been there done that for 3 years. Low Carb Dieting was a waste of time for me, and only made me worse. Paleo dieting is not inherently bad, but I bet any of you can't even describe what paleo is or what it should be? What did our ancestors eat 10000 years ago? Did you personally go back in time and observe them? Is it better to use the observations of Weston Price and other explorers, and current observation for what indigenous populations REALLY eat? Probably!

But I gotta say that one thing Dr. H claims is that there are other aspects to health besides diet. I agree wholeheartedly, but do realize that whether or not these environmental aspects play a huge role, there still is a vast degree of physiological processes that are able to resist these issues. He mentions Doctors visiting islands with natives who had parasites, and curing them. We are not natives!!! He mentions that a large majority of people had a food allergy that was a result of a frequency problem. Since when has there been any culture pre 17th century who didn't consume just about the same foods every day? If you were a swizerland dairy farmer, guess what you were eating the next day? Milk, eggs, and possibly some grains. This is obviously not scientific evidence rather than observational and epidemiological research but by god Dr. H, if you are going to argue the old food frequency thing, you better be arguing with the entire globe before three hundred years ago. Could he be right with this? sure, but it says nothing about his disagreement with Peat, other than maybe he doesn't feel like its healthy to eat the same foods every day, which is based on "iffy" science and opinion rather than fact.

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149 · March 28, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Wow, now I am really stumped! (in a good way) I have chronic sinusitis/apnoea/seasonal allergies and I eat low carb paleo. Would improvement (cant say yet that there is yet) be only because I have eliminated a food allergen?

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