Articles

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Do humans have GI lengths similar to that of carnivorous animals like lions? Not quite.

Reading Time: 5 minutes I have always thought that reasoning from anatomy to the human diet was ridiculous. Humans are unlike any other animal in one very important and relevant respect: we have harnessed…

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Why Peter Attia (and many other commentators) is wrong about the value of nutritional epidemiology in dietary recommendations. A conceptual defense of nutritional epidemiology and scientific nutrition.

Reading Time: 6 minutes Last week, Peter Attia wrote a criticism of Game Changers, where he presented the argument (long repeated him) that nutritional epidemiology is fundamentally flawed. By implication, it cannot be used…

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Basscal’s wager: or how we should understand the epidemiology of meat eating, in two slides

Reading Time: < 1 minute It’s kind of a joke but kind of not Producing high-quality scientific work like this takes many hours of work. This is made possible through the support of readers and…

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Science 101 series. You can’t “disprove” trial research using anecdotes: an example and explanation in the field of type 2 diabetes

Reading Time: 3 minutes I don’t much care for Neal Barnard as a nutrition authority–I frequently complain about him to my vegan friends–but the scientific illiteracy demonstrated in this tweet is frustrating and sad….

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Do vegans and vegetarians have lower B12 levels and higher rates of B12 deficiency? A quick overview of the research.

Reading Time: 2 minutes Among omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans in the UK in the EPIC-Oxford study, the omnivores had the highest, vegetarians had intermediate, and vegans had the lowest blood B12 levels. A systematic…

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The ketogenic diet: anti-inflammatory effects and the prevention of disease, especially cancer. A critical review of a selection in vitro, animal model, and randomized controlled trial research.

Reading Time: 13 minutes The following is an early draft of a section written for a review paper  Inflammation has a well-characterized role in promoting cancer [1] and an inverse relationship with longevity [2]….

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The invention of the ketogenic diet: a short, critical history from Hippocrates to Abrahams

Reading Time: 15 minutes This is an early, lightly edited draft of a section from an upcoming scientific review. Early days: carbohydrate restriction for diabetes and weight loss Historically, culturally, and clinically, what is…

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What is ketosis and why do humans enter it? An introduction to the evolutionary biology of ketosis, fasting, and the ketogenic diet.

Reading Time: 10 minutes The following is an early, edited draft of a subsection of an upcoming scientific review. Definition of ketosis and composition of the ketogenic diet Ketones are always being produced in…

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A brief review of evidence in favor of a ketogenic diet for the treatment of type 1 diabetes

Reading Time: 4 minutes Prior to the discovery of insulin, a very low-carbohydrate and probably ketogenic diet was used by some respected physicians to treat type 1 diabetes [1]. Many considerations may argue in…

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Cancer epidemiology points toward making your low-carb diet a predominantly plant-based one

Reading Time: 12 minutes The following is an early draft of a section of a scientific review article in preparation. Observational studies are largely consistent in showing an association between low-carbohydrate dietary patterns and…

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How the carnivore diet works.

Reading Time: 5 minutes So apparently Paul Saladinos and Mikhaila Peterson have recently been talking about me on a podcast.🤨 I haven’t had a chance to listen to the podcast, and I probably won’t. But apparently it had…

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Ketogenic diets and cancer in preclinical mouse models: more hype (and protein restriction) than reality?

Reading Time: 6 minutes This represents an early draft of a section of an upcoming scientific review. One of the most exciting series of findings involves reduction of xenograft growth in mouse cancer models…

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How to do nutrition science, and why low-carbers usually do it wrong. Part 2. Why nutrition science today is hard: we are biased and don’t have a systematic approach

Reading Time: 3 minutes Nutrition science is challenging. In its own way, it is the most challenging of the sciences. But also the greatest. Could it possibly be argued otherwise? This difficulty comes from…

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How to do nutrition science, and why low-carbers usually do it wrong. Part 1. Why this series?

Reading Time: 4 minutes I have had a few exchanges with Paul Mason over the past couple of months. Most of the time he has explained concepts well, and I agree with his explanations….

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Animal agriculture and the deforestation of the Amazon: are those in the developed world responsible because we eat too much meat? No. All relevant facts and figures in one article.

Reading Time: 4 minutes A narrative has sprung up on the Internet, largely fueled by mainstream media organizations like Vice, CNN, etc., that meat consumption in the developed world is causing deforestation of the…

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Go vegan for the climate? That is not what the data say.

Reading Time: 9 minutes I eat a mostly plant-based diet and I think most people should do the same. But it is important not to spread ideas that are not true. This leads to…

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The ketogenic diet and weight loss: a critical look at the science in humans

Reading Time: 6 minutes This is a draft of a subsection that I have written for an upcoming review paper on the ketogenic diet. This is comprehensive look at what we know about the…

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A proposal: four new principles of science communication on the cutting edge of science, quackery, and patient care

Reading Time: < 1 minute 1. If a quack is promoting an underused but scientifically legitimate therapy and helping people, critics have the moral responsibility to promote this intervention themselves or they do not have…

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Why the Oura ring sucks for tracking sleep and might be harming your health

Reading Time: 6 minutes A dream I wake up at 7AM, alarm clock blaring. As I get to my feet, I look around frantically. Just a moment earlier, I had been hunched in a…

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The case for coming to conclusions based on weak evidence

Reading Time: 4 minutes I want to make a case for the way science should be done in the health sciences–in a way that is totally different from physics–and I want to make this…

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The ENCORE study: or how not to design a lifestyle-blood pressure lowering trial if your goal is to be useful to actual patients and clinicians

Reading Time: 3 minutes The ENCORE trial, a 4-month lifestyle intervention published in 2010, showed reduction in BP similar to that achievable by drugs. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3633078/ Subjects were assigned to three groups: usual diet (UC),…

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Ask Kevin #1. Do diet activists know that their gurus are lying?

Reading Time: 4 minutes I had the idea to do an Ask Kevin series. Whenever I get a question I want to spend some time answering, I will write about it here. I was…

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A tale of two (recent) studies: isocaloric high-meat and ketogenic diets worsen important heart disease markers LDL and CRP compared to their low-meat and baseline diet counterparts

Reading Time: 11 minutes Two exciting studies with relevance to the currently popular high-meat, low-carbohydrate diets have been published in the past month. One, conducted by Kevin Hall and Juen Guo at the NIH…

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The data do not support the idea that the low-fat dietary guidelines caused the obesity epidemic. (A reply to Dr. Ludwig’s response–Part 3 in the macronutrient trend series.)

Reading Time: 4 minutes The first two parts of the macronutrient trend series, which explores the association between changes in carbohydrates and fat in the diet and the obesity epidemic in America, are here…

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The data do not support the idea that the low-fat dietary guidelines caused the obesity epidemic. (A scholarly debate: Dr. Ludwig’s response–Part 2 in the macronutrient trend series.)

Reading Time: 3 minutes In response to my first post, Dr. Ludwig responded with his own. I have recopied it here in full, with his permission. Additionally, for illustration, I have added figures from…

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Did the dietary guidelines cause us to eat more grains and sugar and cause the obesity epidemic? A look at the actual data.

Reading Time: 4 minutes There is a narrative online that Americans have become obese because they have too closely followed the Dietary Guidelines. I looked at this suggestion in depth in my post here…

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Why I question the objectivity of low-carb pioneers Stephen Phinney and Jeff Volek

Reading Time: 9 minutes Stephen Phinney and Jeff Volek are among the most important minds of the low-carb movement. With four advanced degrees between them (Volek has an RD and PhD, and Phinney has…

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The data overwhelmingly indicate that Americans do not follow the Dietary Guidelines.

Reading Time: 9 minutes There is a narrative, circulating for the past decade or longer, that Americans have gotten fat because of the dietary guidelines. This narrative has been circulated above all by Gary…

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Lipoprotein(a) series. Part 1. What’s the risk?

Reading Time: 3 minutes Lipoprotein(a) is a lipoprotein particle. Like the LDL particle, it increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Before diving into details about just what Lipoprotein(a) is, let’s get a handle on…

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Why personal responsibility requires the absence of free will

Reading Time: 5 minutes Willpower is substantially genetically determined The willpower versus genetics dichotomy in discussions of behavior is bizarre. Personality traits like willpower are substantially genetically determined. To the degree they are not,…

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Is it really reasonable to obtain the recommended calcium intake on an unfortified and strictly vegan diet?

Reading Time: 5 minutes It all started with an argument. Opening the refrigerator door. I say to my wife, scowling, “Why do we have so much cheese? We have talked about this.” Compared to…

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One of the most important science debates of the decade. Gary Taubes versus Stephan Guyenet, March 19th, on the Joe Rogan Experience. Why this is so important.

Reading Time: 6 minutes The debate between Gary Taubes and Stephan Guyenet may be one of the most important scientific debates of the decade. Here’s why. Gary Taubes is arguably the most influential nutrition…

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The Joe Rogan Experience: The most popular podcast in the world is heavily slanted about nutrition science. Can that change?

Reading Time: 5 minutes The following is a reposting of a thread (here)–with minor, introductory and concluding modifications to make it more appropriate for a blog–that I wrote on Twitter as part of an…

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Why cancer deaths have been declining, dramatically, for the past 30 years: A comprehensive debunking of Jason Fung’s and Andreas Eenfeldt’s deceit.

Reading Time: 5 minutes In latest news, Jason Fung presents a sobering graph on increasing death from cancer, blaming doctors and “Cancer Incorporated” for the rise. That is, until the last 20 years are…

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Contrary to claims, Virta has not reversed diabetes.

Reading Time: < 1 minute Contrary to claims, Virta has not “reversed diabetes”. Not tolerating carbohydrate is a pathology. If diabetes has been reversed, glucose tolerance should be restored. If glucose tolerance has not been…

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The data do not support the idea that the low-fat dietary guidelines caused the obesity epidemic. (A reply to Dr. Ludwig–Part 1 in the macronutrient trend series.)

Reading Time: 10 minutes (Originally posted January 10, 2018 on Medium: https://medium.com/@kevinnbass/the-data-do-not-support-the-idea-that-the-low-fat-dietary-guidelines-caused-the-obesity-epidemic-687e382894ed. Copied in full to Patreon September 21, 2018, with sporadic additional commentary as noted in the text.) According to Dr. David Ludwig…

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When pursuing health, you should choose modern science over popular myths about your ancestors–some arguments (and facts) against so-called Paleo diets

Reading Time: 3 minutes “Eat like your ancestors. Go Paleo like your caveman forebears. Eat in an evolutionary way. Cut gluten—our ancestors didn’t eat wheat—and gain your health back. Intermittent fasting—like hunters who haven’t…

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Why I don’t train (or sometimes even eat) with a fever: learning how to manage personal illness from fitness tracker data and scientific research

Reading Time: 5 minutes It was two months since I had last stepped into a Jiu Jitsu gym. A white belt having started training 6 months ago, spar after painful spar I had been…

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20 popular, must-read books on health, science, and nutrition (1-5 complete)

Reading Time: 4 minutes 1. The Role of Medicine by Thomas KcKeown McKeown’s book had an extraordinary influence on the discussion of what we now call the “social determinants of health.” The central argument…

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Tim Noakes is a kook: a discussion of an infamous debate.

Reading Time: 5 minutes Professor Timothy Noakes is well known in the world of science. His work has played an important role in the world of sports science. He has published more than 400…

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The logical structure of the pseudoscientific personality

Reading Time: 2 minutes 1. The desire for total self-reliance leads to the belief that one can and should have a competent opinion on everything; 2. The belief that one should have a competent…

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How to Write a Pseudoscientific Best-Selling Diet Book

Reading Time: 3 minutes Want to write a best-selling pseudoscientific diet book? Look no further. Follow these tried-and-tested rules, and you too are guaranteed to have your very own pseudoscientific diet book best-seller. 1….

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Good Low-Carb, Bad Low-Carb: Many low-carbohydrate diet gurus constantly lie. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Reading Time: 3 minutes I do not pretend that I am the final judge of scientific fact. Sometimes—or even often—I am wrong. My emphasis is on intellectual humility, an openness to evidence, and a…

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The psychology of a charlatan

Reading Time: 5 minutes The distinction between ideology and fraud is commonly asserted, but strikes me as false. Both ideology and fraud are premised on the privileging of personal interest or feelings over a…

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Is fruit specially engineered to be more calorie- and carbohydrate-dense–and thus fattening–than at any other time in history? Maybe, but that’s not the whole story. Meat and hypercaloricization.

Reading Time: 3 minutes A common meme in alternative health circles is that fruit has been engineered to be more calorie-dense, thus more carbohydrate-rich, thus more fattening–than at any previous point in history. Therefore,…

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Contrary to claims, Virta has not reversed diabetes

Reading Time: < 1 minute Not tolerating carbohydrate is a pathology. If diabetes has been reversed, glucose tolerance should be restored. … Want to read more beyond the above preview? The full post will be available for free…

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Nina Teicholz misleads readers by chronically failing to disclose how her work is financially supported

Reading Time: 5 minutes Receiving a paycheck dependent on performance in promoting partisan claims about science–e.g. paid roles as author, speaker, and paid director of lobbying group promoting such claims–is a serious conflict of…

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July 3, 2018, selected research digest

Reading Time: 4 minutes Type 2 Diabetes: The Pathologic Basis of Reversible β-Cell Dysfunction. As disease progresses in a type 2 diabetic, insulin-secreting cells can dedifferentiate and stop secreting insulin. When weight loss occurs,…

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