Olypmic weightlifting, this is not a post on Olympic weightlifting

Off topic. I read some posts on the pseudonutritionosphere that triggered some early memories and thoughts.

Thinking back I was always an active child, both mentally and physically. And both seemed to enhance each other. Experiences like that can help a grown man make sense of things sometimes. In my teenage years I played a lot of recreational basketball on the weekends. I also played baseball. I also did a lot of cycling, and there was a period I remember in middle school where I would run around the track during recess. I never really fit in with the physical types and I never really fit in with the mental types. In high school, I went to football camp in my freshman year, and then played on the football team for most of the season but quit towards the end. I was also in the choir from elementary school through high school. If I recall correctly I stopped singing at the end of 11th grade. Then I got a guitar. Fast forwarding a little bit into the time while I was in the military I had a small studio set up and I recorded a lot of music. Eventually I found the drums. I like the drums. In my mid-twenties I was a marathoner for several years before I discovered lifting weights.

You see although I was physical and into doing physical activities, I was not into the sports culture. I did those things because there was an element of challenge that stimulated me. So if you asked me the rules or what is what I still don’t know, I’ve never had an interest in those aspects of “sports”. My thoughts were just give me the ball and I’ll do what I need to do. I think things like that are good.

After that I discovered Olympic weightlifting. I’m almost 32 now and still do the Olympic lifts everyday, sometimes twice.

In the old days Olympic weightlifting was an old mans hobby. Looking back I can see why. It requires a certain amount of patience that is hard to ingrain into a twerp without having a lot of supervision. And that is not a bad thing, you have to repress curiosity and introduce structure for a child to do something so mindless because at that point Olympic weightlifting seems rather pointless.

When most people think of weightlifting they think of crossfit (I’m not going to even legitimize that with a capital letter) and bodybuilding.

Those things are not Olympic weightlifting. At least not to me. And because this is an opinionated post it’s probably wise to keep that fact in mind.

I think Olympic weightlifting is one of the healthiest physical hobbies you can engage in. Why? No scientific studies here, not that there aren’t any, but because it’s not important. So why is it one of the healthiest activities besides drinking wine, eating chocolate, and smoking or Snus? Or eating beef ribs? Because it makes me feel healthy. That’s why. That is all there is to it.

Now for you it might be reading a book, or going for a stroll in the park, or injecting a dose of insulin. Fair enough.

When I was growing up, and I’m not old by any means, children still had hobbies. We started things on fire, we played in the swamp, we were outside past the time the street lamps came on, we burned slugs in gasoline, climbed roofs, jumped out of our windows at night, we wrestled, and we still did a lot of things that are typically associated with the golden age of American culture. A lot of stupid shit. To be fair, I was on the tail end of that, right as we began to transition from board games to their digital counterparts. So even though my friends typically had hobbies there were also a lot of children who were just learning to mold the couch to their asses.

I write a bit, o.k. mostly about material things like saturated fatty acids, graspable things you can hold in your hand to improve your life. And while those things can go a long way to improve your life. The recipe will never be complete without some missing ingredients:

Getting a life.

I have part of a book sitting on my hard drive collecting digital dust. The book as far as I can tell is my most original idea, I’m just not ready to finish it yet. I’m still testing it. So far it has stood up to several years of new data. As I’ve said before, I’m curious about exceptions, and because my idea is important to me I want to cherish it a bit, and if it should happen I’m wrong, then I will let it go and will never publish it. I think in one of my posts on PUFA that I never finished the second part to I even eluded to the fact that some people seem to do fine and live a long time with it, or get away with it. Of course that is only happening because they are maintaining normoglycemia. Are they lucky? Yes of course in their eyes. But I see something else at play something very material and explainable.

That is what the book is mostly about, not how to get a life, but why having a life matters tremendously.

If you spend a lot of time arguing on the Internet, it’s time for you to stop. Why not start your own blog and share your ideas with others. One of two things are going to happen, either a) you’ll loose interest and realize that the only reason you are on the Internet is because you like to argue with people or b) you’ll start exploring things on your own and be more likely to discover solutions to your problems that will give real change in your life. You’ll become a scientist in your own right specializing in the study of you. Perhaps you might make some breakthroughs instead of using other peoples paradigms on yourself.

Do you know what being sedentary does to oxidative stress markers? And I’m not just speaking of being physically sedentary I’m talking about an idle unfulfilled brain more concerned with arguments instead of exploration.

May the force be with you.




You’ll notice around here that I sometimes post papers on the usefulness of ketones yet I rarely talk about ketosis. The reason is that I think ketosis is secondary to the main point. The main point being: run your metabolism off of saturated fatty acids. I do not think that the benefits of a high fat diet stem from being ketotic I think the benefit comes from running your metabolism on fat, even high fat PUFA rats do better than low fat rats when we are speaking of longevity. And I think that I’ve been consistent about that, the saturated fat bit, to the point of ignoring a lot of other things people seem to care about, which I do on purpose because I think it really doesn’t matter.

It’s useful to think of the word “metabolism” and what it really means. I think we can compare this to Cogito ergo sum, “I think, therefore I am” or “I am thinking, therefore I exist”. Do you really think that if you are eating a high carbohydrate diet that “you” exist? What exists in that state is your hyperglycemic self and your hypoglycemic self. Somewhere in the middle you exist, that is where you exist in pure form, that is where your metabolism lies, an efficient one at that. The balancing act between hyper- and hypo- glycemia is amazing. It’s what helps to maintain “form” i.e. you. The things your physiology does to try to maintain OXPHOS and suppress the Crabtree effect thus preventing you from degenerating into giant mass of primitive cells is not appropriately appreciated.

When free fatty acids rise during stress or during sickness or when anything bad happens that is a signal, a good one, that your physiology is trying to maintain form, trying to maintain you, if that doesn’t happen or you block it, degeneration follows, much like when you take statins to try to lower cholesterol. This way of thinking, that because this or that rises during stress or bad times therefore this is bad is completely ignoring the mechanisms that caused the flux in the first place.

It’s like saying the ball dropped because I opened my hand and let it go, without considering gravity and the impact it has if you opened your hand in zero gravity or on another planet. It goes right back to the cause and correlation thinking that a lot of people spend their time pointing out and arguing against.

Judging by comments and walking around the web I think that some people have this idea that if your cells are not running off of glucose then your cells are running off of ketones. The misunderstanding being that if you aren’t feeding your cells glucose that you are eating a lot of fat or glucose deprived and then, that fat (dietary or stored), is being converted into ketones and then being oxidized by your mitochondria. That is a misguided black and white understanding of metabolism.

Your cells prefer to burn saturated fat. End of story. They are happy that way. Every cell in the body that has mitochondria can and does prefer to burn saturated fat. End of story.

If you think “high fat diet” and then automatically think “ketones” you’re missing the point.

Ketones are not a dose dependent fuel source i.e. the more you have floating around the better. I detect a level of lipid hypothesis trains of thoughts when people talk about ketones. For example, some people still believe that low cholestorol is good and that more is bad, without considering what is actually causing the flux. The same is true I think when people are thinking about ketones, the context is not considered.


Fructose: aneurysms and atherosclerosis

A while ago I wrote my thoughts on aspirin.

Recently, Joe asked: “If a large part of a chimpanzee’s diet is fructose, why are they not dying from any heart or aneurysms?”

It’s a good question. But I would ask in return how do we know they aren’t?

In the wild animals get sick and die just like we do. Only we are less likely to take notice because they have no newspapers with obituaries or anyone to do autopsies on a regular basis so we can investigate the cause of death. I would guess primates die all the time and are left behind where they return to the earth. I would also say that sick animals that are burdensome to the group would be left behind as well.  The San people did this as well if I am recalling The Old Way correctly.

Because of the lack of autopsy reports done on Chimpanzees in the wild it would be hard to know either way. But we do have Zoos. And autopsies are done there on occasion. Still we might say that the diet is a bit different from what a certain animal might eat in the wild. True. However, I think fructose is uniquely harmful. And I think that animals who eat a lot of fruit will have some of the same problems humans do with fructose.

But then we have the diet thing. The diet we feed them in the Zoo and then the diet they would eat in the wild. That’s a problem. But really, we can kind of work around this by say comparing the Chimpanzee to other animals say the Gorilla or Sheep which both ferment their food to short chain fatty acids. So perhaps we can compare animals that live in captivity to see a difference.

I have a couple papers on this topic. But I want to look at the pathology which is the most revealing. Lets start with the Chimpanzee:

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O.k. tea and milk? I doubt Chimpanzees are brewing tea in the bush. Nonetheless, I would think these food choices are something Dr. Peat would agree with. Nix the tea.

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Interesting. Now lets move to the other animals that eat a lot of leaves and grass and other roughage and convert it into fat.

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Interesting. What about a sheep? Those are probably fed pretty “normally” even in captivity.

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So we have one Chimpanzee, one Gorilla, and 122 Sheep. Is this enough data to get a realistic look into what is happening in the wild? Maybe for the sheep it is a better sample size.

I don’t base the harmfulness of fructose totally on macroscopic studies. I’m thinking more at the cellular level i.e. Crabtree effect. And thinking like that, this paper is convenient and fits with my bias.

But we have other omnivorous species of monkeys as well that tend to eat what a lot of folks would consider healthy.

2014-11-23 19_49_06-The Nonhuman Primates as Models for Studying Human Atherosclerosis_ Studies on t


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Day, C. E. (Ed.). (1976). Atherosclerosis Drug Discovery (Vol. 67). Boston, MA: Springer US. doi:10.1007/978-1-4614-4618-7

Kavanagh, K., Wylie, A. T., Tucker, K. L., Hamp, T. J., Gharaibeh, R. Z., Fodor, A. A., & Cullen, J. M. C. (2013). Dietary fructose induces endotoxemia and hepatic injury in calorically controlled primates. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 98(2), 349–57. doi:10.3945/ajcn.112.057331

Muldoon, M. F., Kaplan, J. R., Manuck, S. B., & Mann, J. J. (1992). Effects of a low-fat diet on brain serotonergic responsivity in cynomolgus monkeys. Biological Psychiatry, 31(7), 739–42. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1599991

Stehbens, W. E. (1963). Cerebral aneurysms of animals other than man. The Journal of Pathology and Bacteriology, 86(1), 161–168. doi:10.1002/path.1700860120