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Are there no Neolithic Agents of Disease now?

by (1112)
Updated about 20 hours ago
Created August 23, 2011 at 1:56 AM

Is there no such thing as NADS any more? Today's post by Stephan Guyenet addresses seed oils. It seems that his focus has been on causes of obesity and he is taking down the NADs one at a time. Are we confusing the causes of obesity with the causes of the diseases of civilization? I am certainly confused. There were some good posts asking about inflammation that he may answer in the future. What do you think about seed oils in the diet? I thought there was plenty of evidence that these contributed to inflammation, etc.

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4359 · August 24, 2011 at 8:53 PM

This isn't necessarily true and underlines the hazards of relying on the logic of biological pathways to make conclusions. Excess linoleic acid (short chain omega 6) actually seems to causes a decrease in tissue (red blood cell) levels of arachidonic acid, a precursor to PGE2. It seems, contrary to expectations, that excess LA actually causes lower levels of AA and PGE2. I still think most cases of CVD, cancer, and numerous other diseases could be prevented by avoiding excessive intakes of LA; just not for the mechanistic reason you state.

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4359 · August 24, 2011 at 8:48 PM

I don't think Stephan is addressing diseases of civilization in his posts about seed oils. He specifically says so in the comments section. There is a lot of evidence that excess omega 6 intake causes disease; I trust Stephan that there isn't so much evidence that it causes obesity.

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4359 · August 24, 2011 at 8:47 PM

I don't think Stephan is address diseases of civilization in his posts about seed oils. He specifically says so in the comments section. There is a lot of evidence that excess omega 6 intake causes disease; I trust Stephan that there isn't so much evidence that it causes obesity.

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2226 · August 24, 2011 at 7:03 PM

But there's a difference between a disease, on the one hand, and an agent of disease, on the other. The original question asked about the latter.

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1112 · August 23, 2011 at 10:33 PM

sorry should be CHRIS KRESSER. at least I think that is who you were responding to in your comment section

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1112 · August 23, 2011 at 10:24 PM

@Stephan Your comment to Chris Kessler "the basis for saying that n-6 causes inflammation is mostly hypothetical" sounds as if you are questioning more than n-6 just as a cause for obesity. That is my confusion. Are seed oils a cause of inflammation?

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5477 · August 23, 2011 at 7:38 PM

@nancy64 and All: "I'm not saying that seed oils aren't harmful, this post was specifically about body fatness. I still believe in the diseases of civilization." Posted by Stephan in his questioon responses for the cited post. August 23rd, 2011 @ 11:24AM

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5477 · August 23, 2011 at 6:30 PM

I don't see the present post that this PH question is concerned with as being contradictory to this post of Stephan's: http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2010/01/body-fat-setpoint-part-iii-dietary.html But I may be wrong in my assumption...will query Stephan.

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11986 · August 23, 2011 at 1:49 PM

And a host of other problems as well. My adoptive mom is quite slender, yet has heart failure, hypertension, colitis, and diabetes.

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56616 · August 23, 2011 at 1:14 PM

You can have fatty liver and be thin. I have family members with fatt liver who are pretty lean.

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20411 · August 23, 2011 at 1:05 PM

But the sickenss can include fatty liver from n6/fructose/alcohol - which seems implicated in insulin resistance (along with magnesium deficiency). Insulin resistance (and the associated leptin resistance) clearly lead to obesity. I think SG has gone off the deep end, as interesting as his palatability hypothesis is.

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1906 · August 23, 2011 at 12:50 PM

That's a point I've been focusing on throughout the latest paleo community dramas. A lot of people are focused on what does and doesn't make you _fat_, and it's easy to forget that we don't avoid all foods because of their fat-inducing qualities, but rather because they're not good for you in other ways. Too much of this community is built around weight loss, when the central theme should be overall health (weight loss being a component thereof for _some_ people).

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25467 · August 23, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Totally agree with this.....but that is much tougher to do. Rats present few problems but their biology does not come close to ours. Same for any rodent.

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25467 · August 23, 2011 at 11:41 AM

This is an oxymoron. Pufa to excess cause an increase in series two peostagladins and directly cause inflammation

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25467 · August 23, 2011 at 11:39 AM

You might realize this but those diseases I mentioned all are caused in some fashion by those agents

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1112 · August 23, 2011 at 11:34 AM

OP here. This was my takeaway also. He is focusing lately on what causes obesity, but in doing so he seems to be trying to debunk each of the 3 tenets of paleo eating and pushing his food reward theory. Fructose is next I think. I believe the causes of obesity are multiple and I suppose he is trying to make all the science line up. I am still holding to the idea that eliminating gluten, sugar, and seed oils will result in better health along with weight maintenance/loss.

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8979 · August 23, 2011 at 5:17 AM

I think if he really wants to understand fat people, he should focus on fat people instead of rats.

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2226 · August 23, 2011 at 3:45 AM

You may have misunderstood the question. (Either that, or I did.) Neolithic agents of disease (as opposed to diseases of civilization) are commonly thought to be added sugar (especially fructose), seed and vegetable oils, and wheat.

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6 Answers

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56616 · August 23, 2011 at 2:18 AM

It might not make you fat, but it sure as heck can make you sick.

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11986 · August 23, 2011 at 1:49 PM

And a host of other problems as well. My adoptive mom is quite slender, yet has heart failure, hypertension, colitis, and diabetes.

Da8e709acde269e8b8bfbc09d1737841
1906 · August 23, 2011 at 12:50 PM

That's a point I've been focusing on throughout the latest paleo community dramas. A lot of people are focused on what does and doesn't make you _fat_, and it's easy to forget that we don't avoid all foods because of their fat-inducing qualities, but rather because they're not good for you in other ways. Too much of this community is built around weight loss, when the central theme should be overall health (weight loss being a component thereof for _some_ people).

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad
56616 · August 23, 2011 at 1:14 PM

You can have fatty liver and be thin. I have family members with fatt liver who are pretty lean.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
20411 · August 23, 2011 at 1:05 PM

But the sickenss can include fatty liver from n6/fructose/alcohol - which seems implicated in insulin resistance (along with magnesium deficiency). Insulin resistance (and the associated leptin resistance) clearly lead to obesity. I think SG has gone off the deep end, as interesting as his palatability hypothesis is.

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5477 · August 23, 2011 at 7:30 AM

I don't think Stephan is letting the the O6/O3 ratio off the hook at all.

The following is my interpretation:

He's saying that he can't find any evidence that O6 fats, as the dominant fat/oil source in industrialized food like substances/combos is any more fat promoting than animal based fats would be if replaced as the dominant fat in frankenfoods.

The door is still wiiiiiiiiiiiide open re: dominant O6 in diet and diseases of civilization and for other industrial ingredients contributing to same, as well as the whole or sum of all the industrialized ingredients resulting in fat promotion.

Other possible pictures exist -

For instance, if O6 seed oils in industrialized food combos (think inner grocerstore aisles and all kinds of meal bars, for instance) were replaced with animal source fat, do we think those products would be inherently less fattening?

On the other hand, might it be possible, in one of these bars that is say all fruit, some macadamias and lots of sugar, stuck together with animal fat instead of seed oil fat,that it would infact STILL promote fatness but be far less implicated with autoimmune disorders and some other DOC?

We'll say for the sake of argument that the same bar exists with only fruit, macadamia nuts, sugar and soybean oil. Might this bar also equally promote fatness, but also put one at greater risk for some autoimmune and other DOC?

And lets not forget about all the additional soup of chemicals in both bars, independent of either type of fat, that may be fat and disease promoting.

I agree that FAT (basically of any kind) +SUGAR is an excellent fattening combo from a food reward standpoint as well as a caloric and carbohydrate/insulin theory standpoint, nevermind which kind of fat it is.

From an autoimmune (and other DOC as well) promotion standpoint, I'd stick with animal based fat. :)

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6
5477 · August 23, 2011 at 6:30 PM

I don't see the present post that this PH question is concerned with as being contradictory to this post of Stephan's: http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2010/01/body-fat-setpoint-part-iii-dietary.html But I may be wrong in my assumption...will query Stephan.

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1112 · August 23, 2011 at 11:34 AM

OP here. This was my takeaway also. He is focusing lately on what causes obesity, but in doing so he seems to be trying to debunk each of the 3 tenets of paleo eating and pushing his food reward theory. Fructose is next I think. I believe the causes of obesity are multiple and I suppose he is trying to make all the science line up. I am still holding to the idea that eliminating gluten, sugar, and seed oils will result in better health along with weight maintenance/loss.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
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25467 · August 23, 2011 at 2:38 AM

Plenty of them. Fibromyalgia, MS, ALS, AD, SLE, Guillian Barre, Sporadic Inclusion Body Myositis......plenty of them but no one is talking about them Their incidences are growing at exponential rates. And they are commonly seen with other neolithic diseases.

E639bc85fd42430285596434a6515ad5
2226 · August 23, 2011 at 3:45 AM

You may have misunderstood the question. (Either that, or I did.) Neolithic agents of disease (as opposed to diseases of civilization) are commonly thought to be added sugar (especially fructose), seed and vegetable oils, and wheat.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
25467 · August 23, 2011 at 11:39 AM

You might realize this but those diseases I mentioned all are caused in some fashion by those agents

E639bc85fd42430285596434a6515ad5
2226 · August 24, 2011 at 7:03 PM

But there's a difference between a disease, on the one hand, and an agent of disease, on the other. The original question asked about the latter.

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20353 · August 23, 2011 at 2:05 AM

Metabolic Disease is a main cause of diseases of civilization of which obesity is one of them. Modern oils are the cause of much disease with their high PUFA levels.

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8979 · August 23, 2011 at 4:53 AM

To me, the whole issue is irrelevant. Since I have switched from a vegetarian diet, I have no use for seed oils. There is plenty of fat for cooking attached to meats. I used to be a huge fan of butter, and rarely eat it anymore either. Soybean oil would not add any variety or interest to my diet at this point.

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4991 · August 23, 2011 at 7:55 AM

Having read his post, I think all he is talking about is the fattening (or not) effects of seed oils - nothing at all about inflammatory effects. So as far as I can see, he isn't discussing or addressing neolithic agents of disease here.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
25467 · August 23, 2011 at 11:41 AM

This is an oxymoron. Pufa to excess cause an increase in series two peostagladins and directly cause inflammation

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94
4359 · August 24, 2011 at 8:53 PM

This isn't necessarily true and underlines the hazards of relying on the logic of biological pathways to make conclusions. Excess linoleic acid (short chain omega 6) actually seems to causes a decrease in tissue (red blood cell) levels of arachidonic acid, a precursor to PGE2. It seems, contrary to expectations, that excess LA actually causes lower levels of AA and PGE2. I still think most cases of CVD, cancer, and numerous other diseases could be prevented by avoiding excessive intakes of LA; just not for the mechanistic reason you state.

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