Who: Dr. Jack Kruse MD – Neurosurgeon
Topic: Leptin Circadian Cycles. Dr. Kruse uncovers how leptin resistance lies at the root of inflammation, obesity, and chronic disease. He also shares how he lost 133 pounds in a single year by correcting the “biological mismatches” that were once prevalent in his life..
What did you think of the Quilt's presentation?
Reading the discussion of Kruse's emissions here reminds me of nothing so much as Being There by Jerzy Kosinski.
People apparently will take anything seriously, to the point where the more incoherent and implausible it sounds, the more profound it appears to them.
I thought it was great! The quilt always sounds better than he reads. He couldn't help getting more complex than he had intended to be, so I don't know how it works for people who haven't heard him before. If I have time I'll go back and listen again.
Awesome presentation. He goes over interesting stuff around circadian rhythms, light exposure, inflammation, leptin, cholesterol.
Best quote ever: "Every bit of conventional wisdom I learned in medical school, I now do the opposite."
I've read criticisms of Dr Kruse here and elsewhere for communicating in doctor-speak, acronymns, etc. In this talk, I thought he went out of his way to speak in general terms. There were times I wished he went into more substance for deeper precision but I realize others might not have wanted him to so you can't please everyone.
I agree with his comment that we've "come to the mean" by ensuring that as many individuals survive as possible. I think I disagree with his conclusion that doing so has slowed our evolution; I think it's just as likely we've sped it up because people with many genetic variations have reproduced. Some of those have definitely perpetuated weaknesses that wouldn't have survived "in the wild" but others allowed superior traits to survive despite accompanying weaknesses (think Stephen Hawking.)
I came to attention when Dr Kruse spoke about uncoupling proteins because all my life the guys around me were walking "blast furnaces" while my skin was cool. I was always cold when others were warm despite my obesity.
Hmm. You know, I think my uncoupling proteins were "broken." I'm happy to report that 10 months of quality nutrition have helped and while I'm still not close to radiating heat I'm definitely less cool than in the past.
I'll be willing to read more on his thoughts.
I admit, I was skeptical of his ability to communicate before listening to his presentation.
He was very clear & sounded right on to me.
I wish he had explained his throwaway line about "using his mind to change his DNA" better than he did--it puts some people off, unnecessarily, I think!
Too bad his writing style isn't as clear. Hopefully he will hire a really good editor for his book!
I will be interested to hear Evelyn's take on this presentation, but I found it fairly compelling. His take on leptin is, to this lay person, more satisfying than provided elsewhere (like over on Robb Wolf's blog, where supposedly increased leptin levels leads to leptin resistance).
I will let Dr. K and Stephan Guyenet duke it out in a steel cage over which is primary here (leptin or reward systems). Myself, I don't think it's an either/or, and it certainly seems that a similar paleo-ish diet addresses both ... by both reducing inflammation and reward compared to SAD.
He speaks far less "creatively" than he writes. That said, I'm sure many folks may ding him for using the sloppy "change your thought, change your DNA" when what it sounds like he means is "think about things differently, take a different path from conventional wisdom and change your diet and your environment, and you will affect the expression of your DNA in a healthful way."
But if you weren't going to listen to this presentation because of his writing style, I'd encourage you to reconsider. I'm looking forward to other folks' take!
Thinking out loud here on some meta issues... I personally appreciate the obvious ambition to weave together epistemic problems and dietary / biochemistry problems. Because he's obviously doing a lot of thinking about thinking, it makes sense that he has a bit of an artful approach to communication on the blog and elsewhere. "Art" (ideas conveyed in a non literal structure?) is the most natural way we deal with our world, so the slow stiching of the quilt pieces, just its form, can be a great catalyst for others to think through, to think laterally, to approach old problems in fresh ways. Thinking more clearly, becoming better 'artists', doing better self analysis / self experimentation, etc. That's certainly one of my life goals, at least as important as being free of ND into the later years.
It could very well be that the role of the brain and its patterns of reasoning will become more important than it already has in the ancestral health movement or whatever you want to call it. Because of the inherent interdisciplinary nature of the movement, like with any interdisciplinary movement, there needs to be more exploration into useful, descriptive models to demonstrate cause and effect on any given overlapping topic. Imagine an organized arena for instance to get the neuro surgeon's perspective, the physicist's perspective, the biochemist's perspective, and the anthropological perspective on the same thing. I think Dr Kruse might implicitly be pushing more for something like this (and the symposiums sort of stab in that direction as well)? He and some others seem to be a few steps ahead so its hard to know.
For instance he alludes to gut intuition at one point in the interview; it would be wonderful to see more of that spelled out and explored from across disciplines, coherent theories proposed from competent disciplinarians, what this means for the ancestral movement, if and what are formal models of information evaluation. Or perhaps it already has been worked out from several angles and needs to be further dispelled in the public arena.
What I'm sensing is we can't just try to think logically about the things related to health, but also our role of thinking itself and how the health related matters fold back on that. I'm wondering if situation theory (google Barwise and Perry's work) may be helpful in working this stuff out.
I find myself defending him here more than I probably need to, but I've gotta say that time and time again as I wade through the scientific literature I find sources and explanations for many of his assertions....
I've posted a lengthy list of references about leptin and thermogenesis on here, today I've come across this paper that includes a section about cold temps. I'm not saying this paragraph answers everything, but in response to people who say his blogs spout unbacked claims, there are at least solid connections to be made between leptin and cold temps.
It has been shown that cold exposure reduces circulating leptin levels and leptin expression,19,28,70 – 72 suggesting that leptin may participate in the adaptive mechanism triggered by variations in external temperature. Trayhurn and co-workers28,73 hypothesized that the inhibitory effect of low temperature on leptin results from an increase in the adrenergic tone induced by exposure to cold temperatures,which would in turn act through the b3-adrenoceptor (b3-AR) present in adipose tissue, inducing a reduction in the expression of leptin mRNA. It has been reported that this was the case for mice19 and rats.28 Hardie et al70 also found that acute cold exposure decreased the level of circulating leptin in lean Zucker rats. However, it appears that this is not so for other rodents, such as the Djungarian hamster.21 For animals living in areas with large seasonal temperature variations, a decrease in serum leptin may represent an adaptive mechanism for maximising the size of fat deposits when environment temperature is low. Trayhurn et al28 showed that the leptin mRNA observed in brown adipose tissue was further reduced on cold exposure, paralleling the response observed in mouse white adipose tissue. These authors postulated that these findings may suggest the existence of a feedback loop between the hypothalamus and BAT, that would result in an inhibition of leptin gene expression when the sympathetic system is activated. Interestingly, Trayhurn et al28 reported contrasting results to those reported by Moinat et al,19 who showed no change in leptin expression in the white adipose tissue of rats which were acutely cold-exposed.
19 Moinat M, Deng C, Muzzin P, Assimocopoulos-Jeannet F, Seydoux, J, Dulloo AG, Giacobino JP. Modulation of obese gene expression in rat brown and white adipose tissues. FEBS Lett 1995; 373: 131 – 134.
28 Trayhurn P, Duncan JS, Rayner DV. Acute cold-induced suppres- sion of ob (obese) gene expression in white adipose tissue of mice; mediation by the sympathetic system. Biochem J 1995; 311: 729 – 733.
70 Hardie LJ, Rayner DV, Holmes S, Trayhurn P. Circulating leptin levels are modulated by fasting, cold exposure and insulin administration in lean but Zucker (fa=fa) rats as measured by ELISA. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 1996; 223: 660 – 665.
71 MacDougald OA, Hwang CS, Fan H, Lane MD. Regulated expres- sion of the obese gene product (leptin) in white adipose tissue and 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1995; 92: 9034 – 9037.
72 Peino R, Pineiro V, Gualillo O, Menendez C, Brenlla J, Casabiell X, Dieguez C, Casanueva FF. Cold exposure inhibits leptin secretion in vitro by a direct and non-specific action on adipose tissue. Eur J Endocrinol 2000; 142: 195 – 199.