Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

An Unfortunate and Lengthy Adventure in Misdiagnosis

Archive for October 2006

Natural hunters

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From the latest issue of the New Scientist:

Our ability to detect the characteristic metallic smell left on the skin after handling iron-containing objects like coins and keys may have evolved for a more gory purpose: to help our hunter ancestors track down wounded prey.

Fats on the skin break down to form volatile, strong-smelling substances called ketones and aldehydes when they come into contact with iron – whether it comes from the environment or from haemoglobin in blood – says Dietmar Glindemann, a chemist at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg.

Glindemann and his team identified the chemicals after analysing vapours produced when seven volunteers rubbed metal objects on their skin. The strongest-smelling is 1-octen-3-one, the researchers report in Angewandte Chemie International Edition (vol 45, p 7006).

Glindemann then established that the same chemicals are produced by reactions between iron in blood and chemicals in the skin by rubbing his own blood on his skin and analysing the resultant vapour. He suggests that the ability to detect traces of the smelly chemicals allowed our ancestors to sniff out freshly wounded animals. Ancient human hunters smelt blood on the breeze


Written by alienrobotgirl

27 October, 2006 at 8:38 am

Posted in Historical Diets

The funniest thing I read this month

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Time for another incestuous post-modern blog about the blogosphere. This one’s about the carnivores.

Jimmy Moore recently tried to interview Owsley “Bear” Stanley for his new radio show. “The Bear” as he is known is the inspiration behind the totally carnivorous diet that has been gaining momentum in the low-carb world of late. He’s a colourful character who was an underground LSD chemist and a sound engineer for The Grateful Dead. The Bear appeared on the Active Low-Carber’s forum back in February of this year and announced himself as someone who, like Vilhjalmur Stefansson, has lived on nothing but meat, eggs and cheese for most of his life and has come to no ill from it, indeed he feels just fine and hasn’t aged like other people.

I have been eating the natural human dietary regime for over 47 years now. I do not eat anything whatsoever from vegetable sources. The only things veggie I use are spices. My diet is usually 60% fat and 40% protein by calories. I used to eat 80/20 when younger and about twice as much quantity of meat also, but that seems too much energy at my age, which is 71- even though I am very active. I think the body actually becomes more efficient with energy as you age, but I have no way of proving it true. Otherwise, my body today is very like it was at the age of 30. I figure most of what we call ‘aging’ is due to insulin damage to the collagen and other body structures. No carbs = no insulin. I don’t heal quite as fast when injured as I did as a youngster, however. But I have few wrinkles, and my skin is still strong and elastic.

This caused a storm on the forum, with some low-carbers in favour, and others asserting the opinion “ZOMG! How can you not eat vegetables, they’re good for you!!!111!!!” The thread ended up being relegated to The War Zone.

In response the growing number of carnivores set up their own forum, the Active No-Carber’s forum, where they reprinted The Bear’s posts.

Rob is one of the big voices in the world of No-Carb. He’s a frequent poster on Jimmy’s blog. Jimmy is unimpressed by the idea of No-Carb. Rob and Jimmy are always disagreeing with each other.

Jimmy’s failed interview with The Bear is the funniest thing I’ve read all month. Said The Bear to Jimmy Moore:

I have found that people are so socialized to eat vegetable rubbish that the number of people who can actually permanently get onto the carnivorous path is maybe one in fifty thousand or less.

Our bodies are those of carnivores. Carbs are damaging to us, both in making us fat and in causing insulin release. Our minds and the acculturation which we receive from birth overrides instinct and provide the only reason we eat anything. If you are unfortunate like virtually everyone in today’s society and receive early training to eat primarily vegetation with high amounts of carbs and avoid fats, then you are unlikely to ever adapt to the proper human diet.

So, I have to tell you that I do not have the time to waste on a ‘blog’ on any subject, but particularly on one which in fact would only cater to food-obsessives who want a constant stream of ‘reasons’ to eat the right food and ‘proof’ it is good for them.

Trust me, I have eaten as a total carnivore for 48 years, I am nearly 72 and I still have much the same body as I did at 30. Experience is the ONLY proof. The rules of the path are so simple as to be a no-brainer.

I think Jimmy was a bit miffed. The Active No-Carbers were of the opinion that Jimmy caught The Bear on a good day. The thread spawned a discussion about obsession and everyone got a bit self-conscious about their attitude towards diet.

Rob took The Bear’s words to heart and decided to drop out of No-Carb blogging.

Me: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with food obsession. If no-one was food-obsessive, low-carbing wouldn’t even exist. If I wasn’t obsessive about food, I’d still be sick. If no-one was obsessive about anything, we’d all still be in the dark ages. And no I don’t think we used to live in a perfect paleolithic eden.

Come on, Rob! Don’t you have a mind of your own? Your blog has been an inspiration to a lot of people. I didn’t agree with half the things you said (especially omega 3s), but I think you’re an important voice in the world of low carb. It’s about time someone started bashing holes in the all-powerful dictatorship of vegetable eating.

Written by alienrobotgirl

26 October, 2006 at 9:03 am

The effect of salicylates on insulin sensitivity

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In a recent issue of the JCI, Kim and colleagues presented new data on the mechanisms responsible for the induction of insulin resistance by lipids. In an elegant set of experiments, they show that activation of IKK-ß is important in fat-induced insulin (2). High-dose salicylate prevents the fat-induced defects in insulin signaling. Based on these findings, the authors suggest that “salicylates represent a potentially novel class of therapeutic agents for type 2 diabetes”.

Although the carefully performed study by Kim et al. provides new insight into the mechanisms of fat-induced insulin resistance, we would like to caution against the preliminary conclusion concerning beneficial effects of salicylates on insulin resistance. First of all, in contrast to the findings of Kim et al. in the triglyceride (TG) infusion model in the rat, earlier studies in human volunteers using hyperglycemic clamp techniques reported increased insulin resistance by salicylate compounds. These findings suggest that the effects of salicylates may depend on the experimental model, and possibly on the species studied.

There are also strong theoretical arguments that salicylates have deleterious effects on insulin resistance. Similar to TGs (or fatty acids), the proinflammatory cytokine TNF-{alpha} synthesized by adipocytes is a central factor in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance. As underlined also by Kim et al., there is significant overlap between the intracellular events induced by fatty acids and TNF in insulin-sensitive tissues: both activate IKK-ß and decrease IRS-1 tyrosine phosphorylation, and both increase intracellular ceramide concentrations, which leads to inhibition of Akt/protein kinase B activation and impaired GLUT-4 translocation (these relationships are outlined in Figure 1). The effects of salicylates on TNF-induced insulin resistance are completely opposite to those reported by Kim and colleagues on fat-induced insulin resistance. TNF induces the synthesis of prostaglandins (PGs), which function as a negative feedback mechanism by inhibiting the upstream TNF production.

We and others have shown in healthy volunteers that administration of aspirin or indomethacin, both strong inhibitors of PG synthesis, enhances TNF production capacity at least twofold, which can negatively affect insulin sensitivity. In addition, PGs stimulate synthesis of leptin, an adipocytokine known to decrease insulin resistance through improvement of IRS-1-associated phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase activity. Although not yet experimentally tested, inhibition of PG synthesis by salicylate compounds may also negatively influence insulin sensitivity by inhibition of leptin release. Thus, aspirin could increase insulin resistance through at least two mechanisms mediated by the inhibition of PG synthesis, namely the upregulation of TNF synthesis and the inhibition of leptin release. The effect of salicylates on insulin sensitivity

“In conclusion, the influence of salicylate compounds on insulin sensitivity is multifactorial and involves both beneficial and deleterious effects.”

Written by alienrobotgirl

22 October, 2006 at 5:58 pm

Posted in The Science of FCI

Disappearing act

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Sorry for disappearing last week and not publishing or replying to comments, or answering emails or messages on messageboards. I’m almost up to date again now, but if I haven’t replied to a question yet, rest assured I will do soon! I wasn’t ignoring you.

I need a bit of space/time to work on some programming stuff. I’m putting together a new information website that will hopefully clear up a few questions people have had. At the moment I’m going over old ground a lot as blogs aren’t easy things to navigate around. I want to get things like food chemical intolerance symptoms and connected disorders laid out clearly and fully referenced, also, I want to get some information about liver detoxification together, as there’s no one page on the net that is telling the full, true story at the moment.

Also, I’ve been having another coffee reaction. It crept up on me. I’ve started fat fasting again and coffee really helps me get through the first few days. I also wanted to find out how long I could last without experiencing total reaction symptoms, since I always give it up before I completely crash. The answer is about five days – one measure of espresso machine coffee per day. I started this regime on Monday, and by Friday I had brain fog. I tried to wean myself off the stuff over the weekend, drinking smaller/weaker amounts – I felt dreadful, and I still feel awful today. My skin has gone from completely clear back to having a nice ugly patch of dermatitis next to my nose and another on my chin. This is in spite of using clindamycin phosphate every day. When I am not reacting, I do not need clindamycin phosphate to keep my skin clear. When I am reacting, it helps keep the problem under control. Also, I’ve been experiencing some facial flushing (what I’ve come to consider proto-rosacea) again.

Because coffee contains both salicylates and caffeine, I think I’m going to perform a fruit/vegetable experiment sometime soon. I know my dermatitis/proto-rosacea is caused by salicylates, not just caffeine, but I want to “prove” it to other people. Raw Paleo John’s comments have inspired me. There’s nothing better than visual evidence! I’ll perform the experiment very properly, record everything I eat, and take photos of my face every day.

It’s just amazing to be reminded of how fragile my health really is. I’ve felt great on failsafe for months. I went from being clear-headed and clear-thinking on Monday, through to making mistakes, misspellings, writing bad SQL, stumbling on my words, brain not getting into gear, getting stuck halfway through sentences, brain fog, malaise, fatigue, aches and pains, paranoia, and avoidance. I honestly can’t face replying to comments and emails when I’m in condition (it’s no wonder I never kept in touch with my friends). Emotional/social brainwork is hard work, and it’s the first thing to go when reactions start to affect the mind. This is autism!

Written by alienrobotgirl

16 October, 2006 at 9:44 am

Posted in Personal Diary