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How little we know about nutrition


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Thanks, that was interesting. (read while eating home made kimchi). I cynically think that this research will just lead us to more "quick fix" solutions. Pill based probiotics that don't address any of the real problems with out modern diet. As much as I love nutrition, the research surrounding it consistently seems like it's a toxic waste land of financial bias and ideology.

Now I just need to wait for the yogurt with Hadza active culture along with the freeze dried, prepackaged paleo snacks. :lol:

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it's funny you mention that, Colin, because I sincerely agree. I get wierd looks from people when I chart down what their eating + supplementation looks like because I rely on less products from the line I represent, but the people i'm servicing are getting good/greater results than what they were previously experiencing.

also, I think it's pretty cool to see the connection made between eating subterranean veggies and roots and how we created a symbiotic relationship with the bacteria in the root mass of said plants. I had been working with ectomycorrhizal fungi and other bacteria to improve the nutrient availability for the plants(especially fruit bearing trees) (rings true with the research they were doing with how mitochondria got into our cells way back when we were single celled organisms. i wish i could link you to it, it was a very cool read, though not much science talk going on.)

basically the fungi creates a "root" system that processes nutrients(phosphorous being one of them, if i remember correctly) and they exchange this bio available phosphorus for carbs. I had always wondered what it would look like if we pooped with a healthy microbial ecosystem, the same way that a healthy microbial and fungal system look like in the root mass of a healthy plant with healthy soil(the fungus does this cool white "webbing" through the dirt and it even helps plants survive during times of drought). imagine how many more nutrients we'd be able to access...we'd essentially be turning our stomach all the way to the intestines into a Vermicompost pit. how sick would that be? (no pun intended)

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Ha....I saw that on Ido's Facebook page

Your topic line is my experience...the more I learn and read and expose myself to the ideas of others....the more I realise...we know very little.

Paul Chek encouraged me to go a route that is all about building awareness about how different foods make you feel at different times and learning to understand...to listen to your body.

No Dogma.

However several key things keep popping up for me.

1) refined, processed foods are hard on us that includes refined fats and proteins, not just refined carbs/sugars

2) consuming living foods - fermented and cultured are critical to our digestive health

3) diversity and variety is optimal...too much of anything is bad...but somethings we can only handle in very small quantities

4) our dietary needs are a combination of our genetic make up and environmental & behavioural history - therefore we are all different.

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Yep. I really enjoyed Ido's take on nutrition myself:

Wild > Grass Fed (for non animal products: grown in wild untreated soils) > Organic > Crappy Food is the order of preference.

Wild food especially gives me some kind of boost that store bought food never gives me.

i think I'll have to go take down another goat some time soon. I was just foraging for dandelions with Dave about an hour ago too. Good times!

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Yes! Wild is best! Then Rare breed/heirloom in natrual high quality soils

Paul Chek was all about the soil and microbs in the soil.

Seasonality is another important concept I think...especially if your ancestors were not from the equator.

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we'd essentially be turning our stomach all the way to the intestines into a Vermicompost pit. how sick would that be? (no pun intended)

I'll leave the experimentation to you. :lol: Though I do ferment a fair amount of stuff to make it more bio-available. I've been having a lot of success recently fermenting oats overnight. I love oatmeal, but it generally leaves me feeling a bit 'hollow' for lack of a better term. But after they've fermented a bit overnight, I find them way more satiating.

As I sip a lick pier ginger beer!

Beer is fermented food, so I think it's ok. ;)

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Very interesting topic; I will share some personal anecdotes about the whole 60/70s cholesterol debate that I am certain contributed to my father's early demise. No time today, but soon.

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Very interesting topic; I will share some personal anecdotes about the whole 60/70s cholesterol debate that I am certain contributed to my father's early demise. No time today, but soon.

I'd love to hear them. This is what I'm playing through right now, waiting to see how my father is going to proceed post quintuple bypass surgery and statin 'treatment'.

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Very timely,

I am currently writing up my "thesis" (It really isn't all that long or complicated) on the association between antibiotics, obesity and the microbiome (or microflora or microbiota, whatever you prefer).

It is obvious that quite abit of our ill health (obesity epidemic, autoimmune diseases, and probably a whole host of other maladies) at least partially can be explained by our microbiota and our interaction with it.

That is not to say that it is all about what we eat, but probably a whole host of our practices as cultures and societes (especially in the affluent west):

  • Early environment (C-section or vaginal delivery?) - (breat or bottlefeeding) etc.
  • (Too much) sanitation
  • antibiotic usage,
  • physical inactivity,
  • Stress
  • etc etc etc.

I would be interested in some specifics about what Chek and Ido are talking about (anyone in the loop?) Most of what I have read so far have been scholarly articles - and while it is all well and good to read about molecular biologic techniques (and boring), there is very little on practical applications - that is apart from what you can do with very high tech equipment.

regards,

Frederik

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Maybe this paper would be of interest.

Title: The extended nutrigenomics – understanding the interplay between the genomes of food, gut microbes, and human host

http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fgene.2011.00021/abstract

The more I learn the stronger the argument against GMOs becomes. And my starting position was virulently opposed!

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I did a nutrition fundamentals course at university a short time ago. I would highly recommend it to anyone who's interested in the topic, as they make it clear what is thought and what is known.

One of the first things taught is that nutrition is very new as a science, and not much can be said with certainty yet - plus it is irresponsible to depict it as otherwise. The newness of this field is even reflected in how terminology is defined. For example, the cutting-edge 'phytonutrient' is simply anything from plants shown to be important for human health. This suggests to me that "there are things beyond vitamins that keep us healthy" is about as far as the definiteness of the science has got so far.

But I don't think it's cause to dismiss the science altogether. These things just take time; like all sciences did when they were as young as nutrition is now. Sure, commercial interests hinder progress and produce an unbalanced body of knowledge, but the same can be said of all sciences at different points in history.

Things I have learned over the past twelve months:

  • mastering the basics of nutrition - getting an appropriate amount of nutrients from fresh foods for at least months - is the "super-duper silver bullet magic secret supplement so-potent it's illegal in 47 countries" (trying to cover all the marketing cliches)
  • give micronutrients the same amount of thought as macronutrients
  • look at what the food does inside your body, not just what is in the food
  • counting calories gets a bad wrap, but it's a very sensible thing to do
  • kefir tea is fantastic for my gut

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I agree with points made by Tris,

What do you mean by kefir tea? Kombucha or is it some DIY-concoction? I make milk kefir myself, would love some inspiration.

I think the point about what is going on "inside that the body" is one aspect that needs much more attention.

One way to address most/all of these issues would be to focus on as diverse a diet as possible (that means lots of different fruit and vegetables and protein sources ) - not, just 101 different ways to eat wheat. Which can be challenging ie. we all have fall-back foods.

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Thanks Dave! :)

---

Kefir is a different strain to kombucha but it has a similar effect. I DIY because it's easy and much cheaper. Ready-made probiotic drink prices are ridiculous for what is in them. If I kept-up my kefir habit buying bottled drinks it would cost $85/week, but with DIY it costs $2.00-$2.50 per week at most and takes 15 minutes/week to prep.

I bought some water grains from eBay. They have an infinite lifespan if you treat them well. I run a three-batch cycle, one batch every 48 hours. 500mL of sparkling bliss after my morning run each day. :D

I feed the grains in sugar-mineral water for seven days, and then strain the water in fruit juice for another 3-4 days to ferment into a potent probiotic iced tea. It is gorgeous with this much fermentation. The taste reminds me of Solo (if I remember the taste of Solo right) but without the damage (acidosis, mineral leeching, BSL spike etc.) and sugar headache.

---

Nutrition "inside the body" is getting better. Food labels are factoring in bioavailability more and more. Eating many colors of fruit/vegetables is a good general rule for diversity, as the phytochemicals in the foods are generally what gives them the color.

I "should" really take my own advice. :P I'm a metronome, basically eating the same stuff every day. Anyway, I feel amazing these days, and can cross that bridge when I'm ready to come to it.

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More grist for the mill, this one from a much more mainstream source:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303678404579533760760481486?mod=trending_now_2

My dad switched from an essentially Paleo country diet (meat, eggs, butter, three veges) to margarine (hydrogenated vegetable oils), reduced meat and eggs intake, and reduced cholesterol diet as a result of the scare-mongering some of these articles mention. He died of rapid-onset bone cancer, after succumbing to prostate cancer. More, but that will do for now.

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The microbiome is a fascinating topic. There is cutting edge research in mice showing that there is a significant gut-brain axis. Having good bacteria in your gut means less anxiety, less depression, and better thought process. fascinating if it translates to humans as well. Could be part of the reason we have such an epidemic of mental health disorders right now. Certainly our industrial food chain has done us no favors on many different fronts.

As to the cholesterol issue, meds have been overprescibed for years and the guidelines are starting to come into better alignment with the data now. Statins are highly beneficial in patients with vascular disease, but for primary prevention (i.e. normal patients without disease), the data is quite poor except for those with strong family histories of vascular disease (at ages < 50-60 in 1st degree relatives). I guess the point is not to throw out the baby with the bath water, but to intelligently parse the data. The biggest problem with big pharma right now is that much of the research is done looking at secondary end points, meaning for example does it lower cholesterol, and not at primary end points, meaning does it lower heart disease risk. this is much cheaper research, doesn't require as long to perform, and gets their drugs approved. I feel we shouldn't be prescribing medications for an issue until it's proven to decrease the primary endpoint. otherwise we get into trouble we had with avandia, a diabetes med that lowered blood sugar but increased risk of heart disease (one of the main reasons for trying to lower blood sugar!). I can tell i'm just rambling now, so I'll cut it off there. Cheers,

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Well said MT, ramble away! My doctor tried to prescribe me statins (I'm under 40, very active, very low triglycerides, good HDL/LDL ratio, but high total cholesterol) as a 'preventative' measure, I thought he was a good doctor up until that point. I also asked him about his thoughts on vitamin K in relation to heart disease, but he thinks it's only a blood thinner. Which was general opinion when he went to school, but I guess he hasn't read any research in the past 15 years.

I'm glad the WSJ article went into more details on refined vegetable oils and didn't just bash carbs as the ultimate evil. Though I'm a bit disappointed they didn't take a few extra words to distinguish between the amount of fructose someone consumes when they eat fruit, and the amount consumed when eating lots of corn syrup and sugar. They made it sound like fruit should be avoided, which I think is an extreme overreaction. They also could have talked a bit more about other fats, which kind of lumps industrial vegetable oil in with olive oil.

But I'm glad this information is getting more widely published. I just hope it's reflecting a wider policy change.

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