bookish theorist

Posted September 21, 2009 by SL
Categories: Uncategorized

I’ll be up front and tell you I am a bookish theorist. Those who know me know this already.

All the paleo diet stuff for example: I find the science fascinating, but also have a personal interest because of mediocre health.

Yes, I know I should be consistently on the paleo diet, not least because I am overweight (BMW >30 (technically, obese), have severe complex sleep apnoea and suffer from depression.

BUT, J and I have been pretty well on track so far this month. We’ll see how we go.


Coeliac disease cure – high or low tech?

Posted September 20, 2009 by SL
Categories: Uncategorized

Here is part of a report on a high-tech approach to treating coeliac disease:

“Alvine Pharmaceuticals is developer of therapeutics for autoimmune and gastrointestinal diseases. The money will fund the Company’s recently initiated Phase 2a clinical trial of its lead compound ALV003 for the treatment of celiac disease.

Celiac disease is the most common hereditary autoimmune disease with prevalence estimated to be as high as 1-2% in the U.S. and E.U. Intestinal inflammation in celiac disease is triggered by the ingestion of gluten in genetically susceptible individuals.” –

We just love the high tech way, don’t we. Sometimes this way is best, but what about in the case of coeliac disease?

Assuming that it is right that we are not well-adapted to ‘novel’ foods such as grains/cereals, it would appear that coeliac disease is just the tip of the ice-berg, affecting the genetically unfortunate few. But arguably there is a plethora of other deleterious effects from grain/cereal-based diets (unless you are a bird of course), including, quite possibly, roles in other autoimmune gut diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

The low-tech way to deal with coeliac disease?  Eat the paleo way!  At the very least, avoid foods containing gluten. (I am a coeliac and do the latter, and try to also do the former)

The high-tech way to treat coeliac disease?  Use a high tech vaccine or whatever so you can eat grains with relative impunity, at least with respect to symptoms of coeliac disease.

The advantages of the high tech approach is that avoids adjustments to lifestyle for coeliacs, and it could be a good little earner for the pharmaceutical industry.

Who said prevention is better than cure?  đź™‚

SL    2009-09-20-1400

Cure all Running Injuries (and Pain) with One Simple Fix….Barefoot Running – Fitness Spotlight : Fitness Spotlight

Posted September 20, 2009 by SL
Categories: Uncategorized

Like many runners – or former runners – I have chronic plantar fasciitis.

I went the usual high tech medical route to fix this: orthotics, the best running shoes etc.

Nothing worked. I stopped running ~ 2004.

I am convinced one factor is being quite overweight. Some experts mention this, but as most people in the west are overweight, it doesn’t get much air time.

After reading Chris McDougall’s book, “Born to Run”, recently, I was also pretty sure that modern high-tech running shoes are part of the problem also.

I now have a pair of Vibram Five Fingers KSOs.  So far so good. (Just walking at this stage: ‘still need to lose a lot of weight before I can resume running).

SL    2009-09-20-1310

Paleodiet and health ((tags: paleo diet, nutrition, health, antioxidants, paleo diet update)

Posted September 20, 2009 by SL
Categories: Uncategorized

From the most recent issue of The Paleodiet Update ( | Loren Cordain, Ph.D. | Issue: # 2009 – 38 / September 18, 2009 ) 

“Hello! Welcome to The Paleo Diet Update, where we investigate current scientific research showing how you can improve your life with the nutrition our species evolved to need.

In the face of alarming increases in life-threatening disease, medical research has repeatedly shown that a diet similar to what our Paleolithic ancestors ate can reduce the risk of many diseases, and bring rapid improvement in certain disease symptoms. The Paleo Diet has been shown to improve glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors. Autoimmune diseases, including arthritis and multiple sclerosis, have shown improvement in response to changing to the Paleo Diet.

This is because the Paleo Diet balances a range of variables that can influence many diseases, and improve health in various ways. To hear what participants in the last Paleo Diet Implementation Program (that just concluded yesterday) say about how it has improved their lives, click here.

In this issue, we take a look at how antioxidants fight the damaging effects of free radicals, and where to find the best sources of antioxidants. ….”

SL  2009-09-20-1250

Paleolithic Diet Is Best Bet for Diabetes and Other Diseases by Loren Cordain, Ph.D.

Posted September 5, 2009 by SL
Categories: health, paleo

Tags: , , , , , , , Loren Cordain, Ph.D.
Issue: # 2009 – 36 / September 4, 2009

The following is extracted from The Paleo Diet Update, which “look(s) at new scientific research into the relationship between what we eat and how well our bodies function. We search for nutritional guides to provide optimum health, including how to prevent and reverse disease, how to increase mental focus and memory, how to improve athletic performance, and how to increase daily energy and stamina.

“Different diets have been followed in attempts to improve health and prevent and/or treat disease, including the Paleo Diet. This diet is based on available evidence of what our species evolved to eat over millions of years. For almost all of our evolutionary history, humans and human ancestors survived on hunter-gatherer diets. This included lean meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits and nuts. 

In this issue, we take a look at how well the Paleo Diet protects you from disease compared to other diets”.

“Paleolithic Diet Is Best Bet for Diabetes and Other Diseases by Loren Cordain, Ph.D.

“A newly published study in Cardiovascular Diabetology compared the effects of a Paleolithic diet to the current guidelines for a diabetes diet, and looked at cardiovascular risk factors for type 2 diabetes patients.

“The participating three women and ten men, who had type 2 diabetes that was not treated with insulin, were instructed to follow each diet for three-months.

The Paleolithic diet used was lower in cereals and dairy products, and higher in fruits, vegetables, meat and eggs. It was also higher in unsaturated fatty acids, dietary cholesterol and several vitamins. It was lower in total energy, energy density, carbohydrate, dietary glycemic load (GL) and glycemic index (GI), saturated fatty acids and calcium.

Paleolithic diet compared to current diabetes diet

“The study concluded that a Paleolithic diet improved glycemic control and several cardiovascular risk factors as compared to a diabetes diet.

“The Paleolithic diet produced lower A1c, triglycerides, and diastolic blood pressure.

An A1c test (also known as glycated hemoglobin or HbA1c) gives you a picture of your average blood glucose control for the past 2 to 3 months.

Triglycerides are a type of fat found in your blood. Excess triglycerides in plasma are linked to coronary artery disease in some people. Elevated triglycerides may be a result of untreated diabetes mellitus or another disease.

Diastolic blood pressure measures the pressure in your blood vessels between heartbeats when your heart is resting, and it’s the bottom number in a blood pressure reading. Below 60 is considered low, and higher than 90 is considered high.

The Paleolithic diet also produced lower weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference and higher high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

“Good” HDL cholesterol seems to scour the walls of blood vessels, and clean out excess cholesterol.

“The authors of this study also compared the effects of a Paleolithic diet to those of several other diets:

Paleolithic diet compared to Mediterranean-like diet

“This 12-week randomized controlled study involved 29 men with ischemic heart disease and impaired glucose tolerance or type 2 diabetes.

“The study concluded that a Paleolithic diet improved glucose tolerance independent of weight-loss when compared to a Mediterranean-like diet1.

Impaired glucose tolerance is considered to be a pre-diabetic state of dysglycemia that is associated with insulin resistance, and increased risk of cardiovascular pathology.

Paleolithic diet studies with overweight individuals

In a non-controlled study with nine overweight people who were otherwise healthy, intervention food was supplied and weight was kept steady. Researchers concluded that a Paleolithic diet consumed for just ten days improved diastolic blood pressure, glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity and lipid profiles (2).

“Insulin sensitivity is one measure of the risk for heart disease. In general, the more sensitive one is, the lower the risk for heart problems.

“Lipid profiles include tests that are often ordered together to determine the risk of coronary heart disease. These tests that have been shown to be good indicators of the risk for heart attack or stroke caused by blockage of blood vessels or hardening of the arteries, also known as atherosclerois. Lipid profiles typically include total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) — “good” cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) — “bad” cholesterol, and triglycerides.

“A second non-controlled study of 14 healthy people found that three weeks on a Paleolithic diet significantly reduced weight, BMI, waist circumference, systolic blood pressure, and the plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) (3).

Systolic blood pressure is the top number in a blood pressure reading, and it represents the maximum pressure exerted when the heart contracts.

PAI-1 is mainly produced by the cells lining the blood vessels, but is also secreted by other tissue types. PAI-1 is an inhibitor of the physiological process that degrades blood clots. Elevated PAI-1 concentrations are associated with cardiovascular disease.

Hunter-gatherer diet studies with Australian Aborigines

“One non-controlled study involved ten Australian Aborigines with diabetes, and a mean BMI of 27 kg/m2. Researchers concluded that reverting to a hunter–gatherer lifestyle for just seven weeks led to a 10% weight loss, and reductions in fasting and 2-hour glucose and fasting insulin levels (4).

“The same authors also conducted a second study with healthy Australian Aborigines. In this latter study, they found the insulin response to 70 g of starch from white bread was reduced, while the glucose response was not, following a reversion to a traditional lifestyle for 10- to 12-weeks (5).

Epidemiological study with Pacific Islanders

“This study looked at traditional Pacific Island inhabitants of Kitava, Papua New Guinea. These people, who practiced a hunter-gatherer lifestyle, had no signs of ischemic heart disease, stroke or markers of metabolic syndrome, which may result from their traditional lifestyle6-8.

Metabolic syndrome refers to a group of symptoms that occur together, and promote the development of coronary artery disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

Comparison of findings

“The researchers concluded that all the improvements in markers of the metabolic syndrome on a Paleolithic diet are in line with findings from epidemiological studies in non-Western populations (6-8).

Improvements in A1c1, weight (1, 4, 9), BMI (9), waist circumference1 (, 9), diastolic blood pressure (2), and triglycerides (2) on a Paleolithic diet have been observed in intervention studies.

A lower reported energy intake and energy density of food, despite food intake ad libitum, also agrees with earlier findings that a Paleolithic diet facilitates reduced caloric intake (1, 10, 11).

“Next time, we’ll take a look at theories regarding what our Paleolithic ancestors really ate, and weigh that against existing evidence. We’ll also show you how to make Mexican dining “Paleo”. ”


1. Lindeberg S, Jonsson T, Granfeldt Y, Borgstrand E, Soffman J, Sjostrom K, Ahren B: A Palaeolithic diet improves glucose tolerance more than a Mediterranean-like diet in individuals with ischaemic heart disease. Diabetologia 2007, 50(9):1795-1807.

2. Frassetto LA, Schloetter M, Mietus-Synder M, Morris RC, Jr., Sebastian A: Metabolic and physiologic improvements from consuming a paleolithic, hunter-gatherer type diet. Eur J Clin Nutr 2009.

3. Osterdahl M, Kocturk T, Koochek A, Wandell PE: Effects of a short-term intervention with a paleolithic diet in healthy volunteers. Eur J Clin Nutr 2008, 62(5):682-685.

4. O’Dea K: Marked improvement in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in diabetic Australian aborigines after temporary reversion to traditional lifestyle. Diabetes 1984, 33(6):596-603.

5. O’Dea K, Spargo RM, Akerman K: The effect of transition from traditional to urban life-style on the insulin secretory response in Australian Aborigines. Diabetes Care 1980, 3(1):31-37.

6. Lindeberg S, Lundh B: Apparent absence of stroke and ischaemic heart disease in a traditional Melanesian island: a clinical study in Kitava. J Intern Med 1993, 233(3):269-275.

7. Lindeberg S, Nilsson-Ehle P, Terént A, Vessby B, Scherstén B: Cardiovascular risk factors in a Melanesian population apparently free from stroke and ischaemic heart disease — the Kitava study. J Intern Med 1994, 236:331-340.

8. Lindeberg S, Eliasson M, Lindahl B, AhrĂ©n B: Low serum insulin in traditional Pacific Islanders–the Kitava Study. Metabolism 1999, 48(10):1216-1219.

9. Osterdahl M, Kocturk T, Koochek A, Wandell PE: Effects of a short-term intervention with a paleolithic diet in healthy volunteers. Eur J Clin Nutr 2007.

10. Jonsson T, Ahren B, Pacini G, Sundler F, Wierup N, Steen S, Sjoberg T, Ugander M, Frostegard J, Goransson L, Lindeberg S: A Paleolithic diet confers higher insulin sensitivity, lower C-reactive protein and lower blood pressure than a cereal-based diet in domestic pigs. Nutr Metab (Lond) 2006, 3:39.

11. Jönsson T: Healthy Satiety Effects of Paleolithic diet on Satiety and Risk factors for Cardiovascular disease PhD Thesis. Lund: Lund University; 2007.”

See also Dr Staffan Lindeberg’s page.


Paleodiet, multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases

Posted August 30, 2009 by SL
Categories: health, paleo

Here are videos (Youtube) of a series of talks by Prof Loren Cordain on multiple sclerosis.

The ‘paleo diet’ nutritional paradigm makes a whole lot of sense to me. (Putting it consistently into practice is another thing 🙂  )

Having an autoimmune disease myself (coeliac disease), this is of added interest to me. (‘Index’ page).

Part 1 of 7

Part 2 of 7

Part 3 of 7

Part 4 of 7

Part 5 of 7

Part 6 of 7

Part 7 of 7

-Z  2009-08-30

A journey into my colon — and yours – Dave Barry – MiamiHerald

Posted November 15, 2008 by SL
Categories: health

Tags: ,

A ‘must read’:

Dave Barry’s article on colonoscopies