Does Fluoride In Your Water and Toothpaste Make You Fat and Screw With Your Brain?

[Update: I got one comment: “What does this have to with low carb??? Do NOT send this crap. And… I disagree with your logic.”]

I am old enough to remember the 60s when crackpots were labeled as such because they thought water fluoridation was some sort of government conspiracy. I don’t consider myself a crackpot, though your opinion might differ.

What I AM doing is taking the tack that modern science, particularly when it comes to our complex biological processes, really has little clue what is good for us and what only appears to be good for us, so my only defense is to minimize the number of ‘modern marvels’ – processed foods, man-made chemicals and the like, and try to eat as little of them as possible. For me, that means eating organic as much as I can afford it, avoiding the household cleaner aisle – or at least staying away from the nastier stuff that lies there and using more old-fashioned cleaners, using glass containers for food rather than plastic, not drinking bottled water that comes in plastic, and putting a water filter on my tap water to remove the God-Knows-What that is contained therein.

It is not that I am convinced beyond a doubt that these things matter – it more that I believe the jury is still out on, say, if the plastic in plastic water bottles leaches into the water and screws up our internal chemistry.

I don’t know – so I’ll avoid it as much as I can.

So I went to purchase a new replacement cartridge for my Pur water filter the other day. When I got it home, I just happened to read the box, which listed it’s features. One jumped out at me (here it is on their website – search for ‘fluoride’):

  • Removes 95% of mercury, while leaving beneficial fluoride in the water.

Beneficial flouride. Hmmm… I did a little digging, and came across a website named Flouridealert.org. I found this on their page ‘50-Reasons to Oppose Flouridation‘:

In the first half of the 20th century, fluoride was prescribed by a number of European doctors to reduce the activity of the thyroid gland for those suffering from hyperthyroidism (over active thyroid) (Stecher 1960; Waldbott 1978). With water fluoridation, we are forcing people to drink a thyroid-depressing medication which could, in turn, serve to promote higher levels of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) in the population, and all the subsequent problems related to this disorder. Such problems include depression, fatigue, weight gain, muscle and joint pains, increased cholesterol levels, and heart disease. It bears noting that according to the Department of Health and Human Services (1991) fluoride exposure in fluoridated communities is estimated to range from 1.6 to 6.6 mg/day, which is a range that actually overlaps the dose (2.3 – 4.5 mg/day) shown to decrease the functioning of the human thyroid (Galletti & Joyet 1958). This is a remarkable fact, particularly considering the rampant and increasing problem of hypothyroidism in the United States (in 1999, the second most prescribed drug of the year was Synthroid, which is a hormone replacement drug used to treat an underactive thyroid). In Russia, Bachinskii (1985) found a lowering of thyroid function, among otherwise healthy people, at 2.3 ppm fluoride in water.

The above was written by a Paul Connett, PhD – a Professor of Chemistry at St. Lawrence University. He appears to be a legitimate professor (at least he was when I first wrote this 6 years ago – it appears he has since retired).

Oh, Jeez – here’s another thing I know nothing about. Another thing to make me seem even crackpottier than I already am. There is a huge crackpot element that opposes fluoridation. Here’s a comment from Yahoo Answers that shows the kind of nuttiness that gravitates to this subject:

Fluoride is accumulated in your pineal gland. This gland absorbs more fluoride than any body part and in very large quantities; it is now thought it has a lot to do with many of our health problems like early onset puberty in girls. As i have been able to awaken my pineal gland in the past thus access the crown chakra I will use my own self for the control. I do not know another person who has accessed the crown chakra or achieved christos. The feeling of oneness with the Creator and of travelling as if in deep space is gorgeous. The feeling of unconditional love and of peace makes me want to be able to do it or go there more often. Once awoken it is always awoken but you can fine tune it.

After the first two sentences, utter and complete New Age nonsense. But because whack-jobs gravitate to it, does that mean that it’s untrue? So now I’m led to the question: how did the notion that fluoride was so good for us that it should be put in most water supplies in the US come about? Think about it – that’s a massive health experiment – making everyone, young and old, with a vast spectrum of health concerns, all take a mandatory medication – that’s essentially what it is, isn’t it? So a visit to Wikipedia gave me an answer:

Community water fluoridation in the United States is partly due to the research of Dr. Frederick McKay, who pressed the dental community for an investigation into what was then known as “Colorado Brown Stain.”[8] The condition, now known as dental fluorosis, when in its severe form is characterized by cracking and pitting of the teeth.[9][10][11] Of 2,945 children examined in 1909 by Dr. McKay, 87.5% had some degree of stain or mottling. All the affected children were from the Pikes Peak region. Despite the negative impact on the physical appearance of their teeth, the children with stained, mottled and pitted teeth also had fewer cavities than other children. McKay brought this to the attention of Dr. G.V. Black, and Black’s interest was followed by greater interest within the dental profession. Initial hypotheses for the staining included poor nutrition, overconsumption of pork or milk, radium exposure, childhood diseases, or a calcium deficiency in the local drinking water.[8] In 1931, researchers from the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA) concluded that the cause of the Colorado stain was a high concentration of fluoride ions in the region’s drinking water (ranging from 2 to 13.7 mg/L) and areas with lower concentrations had no staining (1 mg/L or less).[12] Pikes Peak’s rock formations contained the mineral cryolite, one of whose constituents is fluorine. As the rain and snow fell, the resulting runoff water dissolved fluoride which made its way into the water supply. Dental and aluminum researchers then moved toward determining a relatively safe level of fluoride chemicals to be added to water supplies. The research had two goals: (1) to warn communities with a high concentration of fluoride of the danger, initiating a reduction of the fluoride levels in order to reduce incidences of fluorosis, and (2) to encourage communities with a low concentration of fluoride in drinking water to add fluoride chemicals in order to help prevent tooth decay. By 2006, 69.2% of the U.S. population on public water systems were receiving fluoridated water, amounting to 61.5% of the total U.S. population; 3.0% of the population on public water systems were receiving naturally occurring fluoride.[3]

So it seems that dentists and an aluminum company thought it would be a good idea for everyone to take unmeasured and varying amounts of a toxic element because it appeared to prevent tooth decay. I have nothing against dentists, but they are tooth-centric, and aren’t exactly the health professionals I want to advise me about a substance that might impact other parts of my body. And why ALCOA, the aluminum company, would be involved is beyond me. This question puzzled me, so I thought to look at who supplies the fluoride. I found this page on the CDC website, which talks about shortages of fluoride, though it mentions. If you read the CDC page, it makes it appear that lack of fluoride is an immediate health crisis – enough to make you panic:

Adjusting the fluoride content of water is a safe and healthy practice that provides significant oral health benefits for a community. For the greatest benefits to occur, it is important to consistently maintain optimum fluoride levels. The three fluoride additives used for water fluoridation are derived principally from phosphate fertilizer production. Although shortages of fluoride additives for water fluoridation are infrequent, they do sometimes occur.

[You will note that some of the links referenced above don’t lead anywhere. Perhaps the CDC has quietly had a change of heart on the ‘safe and healthy’ practice?]

I wrote the above maybe six years ago and never published it. I thought it a bit too crackpot – but during that time I’ve eliminated as much fluoride as possible from my diet and my family’s diet. We still get dosed with the stuff – I still use the water filter that lets through the ‘beneficial fluoride’ but I don’t get fluoride treatments from the dentist for my kids and don’t buy fluoride toothpaste.

Then an article hit the news cycle  about common everyday chemicals that are affecting our brains – and fluoride was one of them.

I don’t consider The Atlantic to be a crackpot site, so I thought maybe I can be comfortable in letting this post see the light of day.

Here’s a link to the article – The Toxins That Threaten Our Brains.

And here is a recent bit of writing I did on the topic. It interweaves with the first part and a good writer would integrate the two to craft a single, coherent article.

But since I don’t have the time nor inclination to do so – nor do I feel the burden of wanting to be seen as a ‘good writer’ – I’m just going to put this out there:

Imagine this. Allergists, in conjunction with a technology company, find that a poisonous industrial waste, when given in very very small quantity, prevent people from developing allergies. Sometimes even severe allergies. What these groups decide to do is lobby the government to have this chemical put into the water supply so that everyone can benefit from the allergy eliminating effects of this substance. Now it is known that it does not work 100% of the time. It is also known to have some side effects. Additionally, depending on how much water you drink you might get a lot or a little so dosing would vary across different people. Children, adults the elderly, the very big, the very petite would all be getting essentially random doses of this chemical. It is also known that not everyone has allergies and so people who have no need for this chemical would also be getting it.

Would you think this is a good idea?

Believe it or not this more or less has already happened. The only difference is instead of allergies its cavities and the chemical is fluorideFluoride has a bizarre story. In the early 1900s a group of people were discovered to have spots on their teeth. These people also had no cavities. Investigations show that the water that they drank had a very high level of fluoride. This caused the speckles on their teeth as well as their lack of cavities. Then the story seems to get a bit murky. Somehow we went from a situation where it was found that a particular chemical could prevent cavities to putting a unregulated dose of a chemical that essentially is like a medicine with side effects and indications and potentially contraindications for people who shouldn’t be taking it and putting it into the water supply. How the hell did that happen?

My understanding of the events in so far as I feel like researching it at the moment has to do with World War II. During the draft of World War II so many potential soldiers were rejected for service because of bad teeth that a decision was made to add fluoride to the water.

This is also a time where we decided to take American citizens of Japanese nationality and lock them up in prison camps. Not every decision that we made because of World War II was a smart one.

The problem with labeling fluoride as somehow bad for you or the results of poor thinking suffers from one big problem: crackpots love this. Dissing fluoride has become a sure fire way to label yourself a crackpot fool. You can’t even question this without people immediately labeling you as slightly unhinged. Why is that? Why can’t we revisit this without being labeled a crockpot? We know a lot more now than we did then and we even know things now that were known then that but weren’t brought up as part of the discussion.

Remember: World War II was a war like no other. Hitler’s plans for America was to essentially turn us into a slave colony. There was a real potential that this could happen. We haven’t had a war since that mobilized the entire country to focus like we did then. We can be excused for the excesses of that war because it truly was a war of good and evil. Studs Terkel the famous author wrote a wonderful book about World War II with that exact thesis: The Good War.

Perhaps almost 70 years later it’s time for us to revisit some of the assumptions without being labeled a crackpot.

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Fat, Dumb & Happy Day 19: I Screw Up

March 25, 2014 – 222.8

(Continued…)

I ate lunch at noon – two ‘sandwiches’ consisting of mortadella between slices of the Kerry Gold Irish Swiss cheese with mustard. Satisfying. Mid afternoon a wave of tiredness made me get more Dunkin Donuts coffee.

Late in the afternoon I had perhaps 20 macadamia nuts before leaving work.

Today was the day I screwed up. I had some wine, then went to the fridge to grab some pork shoulder after making pasta for the kid. I had a little bit of the mortadella left and was going to finish it up.

There was leftover toast by the fridge, made by one of the kids, untouched. Without thinking, I ate it – then the ‘What the Hell Effect kicked in. A tiny bit of pasta and Trader Joe’s mini meatballs, 2 small bread rolls with butter, and 2 regular chocolate candies later, I went to bed.

As binges go, this was small potatoes (small potatoes….yummmm). I had been waiting and waiting for when I would screw up – then stopped waiting for it. It wasn’t stress or even a particularly strong craving. Like a lot of criminals, it was a crime of opportunity.

Maybe the ‘reward’ of the mortadella had something to do with it. I love the stuff and it’s certainly low carb, but I don’t believe that it’s good for you. I’m not even saying I know that as a fact or not – maybe mortadella has life-extending properties unknown to science for all I know – it’s the *belief* itself – in it being a ‘reward’ and being ‘bad for you’ that might be the culprit here.

I didn’t want to go all ‘pop psychologist’ in watching for the steps that lead to a failure, albeit a small one. There’s nothing much to see here: maybe some moral licensing mixed with opportunity, with a dash of the regular stress and fatigue thrown in. Boring.

Maybe the interesting part is not preventing the fall off the horse but ensuring you get right back on after the fall?

March 26, 2014 -223.6

Still in ketosis – at least this morning. Sometimes there’s leftover ketones that will disappear from the afternoon measurement. What’s concerning is the blood glucose: 135. I believe that’s an out-of-shape glucose regulation mechanism responding to a small amount of carbs.

I could have recovered there – but I didn’t. I thought I was going to. I bought more cheese and roast beef and was prepared to get back on the horse…but there’s no pizza on the horse, so I stayed off the horse and had 2 slices of pepperoni pizza after having my low-carb-friendly cheese and roast beef with what turned out to be a not-so-friendly leftover salad dressing that was obviously sweetened with sugar.

Then, to ensure that I screwed up big for the day: 2 crappy energy drinks and a small bag of chips for the ride home.

I felt wasted and bloated by all this. When I came home I didn’t have much of an appetite. The kids had some coconut shrimp, and I had a few of those – and that’s it except for water.

March 27, 2014 – 225.6

Any reasonable person, assessing the current situation of my diet, would most likely throw in the towel and begin looking elsewhere. There’s plenty of new diet books out there – there always is.

I suspect that diet books have become a trope: there are standard devices and conventions for these things, and all you need is a good ‘hook’ – the diet book equivalent to the guitar intro to ‘Smoke on the Water’ by Deep Purple – or a celebrity, or a reasonably attractive and slim author for the cover.

Lastly you need a good title. ‘The End of Dieting’, currently on the bestseller list, is a common title convention: the ‘This-is-Not-a-Diet-Book Diet Book’. It promises something different, but it’s another diet book.

Then there’s ‘Hungry Girl Diet’. Since most diet book purchasers are women, they take the risk of leaving the fat guys behind by making the women feel like it’s especially for them – a girl’s club. It’s worked for this title – it’s #1 at the moment.

Where’s the diet for the guys? Oh, there it is: ‘Super Shred Diet’ – that sounds macho. And there’s a manly man on the cover.

Then there’s the nerd diets that blind you with science: ‘Wheat Belly’. Cute, yet sciency for the folks that want real data. Invent a disease, then cure it with your diet. I haven’t read this one, but I might add it to my collection as this is the one that most appeals to my particular sub-genre of diet book reading.

For those of us that want to hear from an actual doctor, there’s ‘The Doctor’s Diet’. You buy that one on the basis of an authority, though doctors have failed to halp anyone lose weight for 50 years, so I don’t necessarily see the allure. It’s probably for people who haven’t thought this proposition through.

Smoothies are cool. They’re fast to make and convenient for busy folk, so of course, there’s a Smoothie diet on the bestseller list, as well as a Paleo diet book. There’s also a book on dieting with Intermittent Fasting – as well as a ‘fast’ diet – we fat suckers *always* fall for that one: “In a couple of weeks i’ll be in Speedos just so long as I buy this book!”

Anywho…end of rant. I ain’t goin’ nowhere.

I bought Applegate Farms american cheese and when I had it today for the first time, I was blown away. Delicate flavor, yet distinct – not what you think of when you think ‘American cheese’, with it’s in-your-face-sloppy-wet-dog-jumping-on-you-bold-dumb flavor.

I had family duties and drove home eating some to pick up my kids for class after school. I also stopped at McDonalds. (Doum-Dum-DUMMMMMmmmm.) I bought 3 double cheeseburgers and they were gone in a flash. I also had 2 energy drinks because I was tired and was not going to make it through the evening. Got home with the kids after nine and was shortly in bed where I quickly fell asleep.

March 28, 2014 – 226.4

Ate mostly the Applegate American cheese, which has a wonderful flavor. I think I ate the entire pound of the stuff in work and on the way home. I also had a Fage yogurt with EZ-Sweetz – and if I could find any more of them, I would have had some macadamia nuts.

In the evening the family want to a steakhouse. I indulged in a vodka martini as well as some of the bread brought to the table. I had a salad, then the main course: a prime rib steak with wasabi mashed potatoes. I had ‘em – they were good.

At home afterward I had some frosted flakes that the kid left out on the counter and some soft sweet bread of some sort with Nutella.

Not low carb. No point in testing for ketones, eh?

I did lose 2 pounds the next day – but that’s for the next post.

 

Fat, Dumb & Happy Day 14 &15

March 23, 2013 – 221.8

Still in ketosis. The weight gain was half of what I expected so I’m not particularly disturbed by this.

The overaged kielbasa has not had any ill effect on me. Of course, if the kielbasa was contaminated with listeria, that bacteria can incubate for weeks before symptoms show up.

The package was sealed, however, so if there was no listeria in it to begin with, none could spontaneously generate.

Got up 6am, had my coffee and cream and did a few hours work. Then it was time for some chores and playing taxi for the kids.

5pm

Had my first meal of the day: 3 avocados with a little salsa and tabasco, drizzled with olive oil, on pork rinds. I like avocados but they are a pain. The time window for ripeness is a small one – and they tend to ripen all at once. Forget about them for a few days and they’ve gone from too hard to eat to too rotten to eat. I had four. One was DOA – the rest became my dinner.

I took a vitamin after eating. I realized that I probably hadn’t had much in the way of vitamin C for a while and would like to avoid a case of scurvy (great name for a vitamin deficiency, don’t you think?)

 I had to work in the evening and had a 2-hour conference call from 8pm to almost 10. I had put a dry-rubbed pork shoulder in the oven and expected the call to end earlier, and almost burned it. It came out good, though.

I was tired and wired after the call and didn’t get to sleep until nearly 12am. I did have some strawberries and whipped cream – the real deal. The carbs are low enough that having some doesn’t matter much – especially given what I had all day. Strawberries are also cool – again, not too many and not every day and I’ll be fine.

I also had wine and chocolate before bed.

March 24, 2014 – 221.4

Down a wee bit. I’m fine with that. What I wasn’t fine with was getting up at 5am and having to work for an hour before work. Today was the day of the launch of a 6-month project and I had to be there – getting a case of the runs was NOT helpful to my getting to a meeting at 9am.

Four Immodium later I somehow made it and the launch began. This is going to span a number of days and then there will be lots of testing to be sure everything is working as expected.

Tired, though.

I had a Fage yogurt at around noon, then some cheese and roast beef around 2pm. Still hungry, I thought I needed a ‘reward’ for six-months on the project – and almost nothing but this project every day, all the time, for the last few weeks. I thought about a lot of things not low carb, but settled on an old fave – mortadella. That hit the spot.

As I write this (4:30pm) I am waiting for the Dunkin Donuts coffee to kick in but it isn’t working.

I could barely drag myself home I was so tired. I was too uninspired to cook – even eggs – so I took 3 raw eggs and nuked them in a microwave-safe dish with butter, salt, pepper and cheese. Three minutes with a stir in between will do it.

I wanted to jazz it up with something and thought of salsa. I put in a generous amount – not sparingly like the day before. Let’s see if I have a reaction to it.

I enjoyed it with the salsa, but the meal was really too much to eat – I should have put the 2nd half away. Really, it was my stomach that was sensitive. Perhaps that ancient kilebasa was having a delayed reaction on me?

I was also really thirsty had had glass after glass of water. The mortadella, probably. That’s why, despite it being low carb, it went on my ‘bad food’ list.

I had my chocolate then went to bed and read – the first time I did this in a while – I’ve been too distracted by work as of late to concentrate.

This project will drag on for months – but it feels good to be in the next phase.

March 25, 2014 – 222.8

A bump in the weight – no doubt from the water.

The most telling thing is that I was so stiff I couldn’t get out of bed.

The salsa. Remember the thing about nightshades and solanine from a few days ago? It really does seem to have a correlation. I wasn’t stiff all those days I *didn’t* have nightshades.

Still – it could be a coincidence. I’ll still have to play around with this one.

Oh – got my glucose test strips – it was 116 this AM. I did not have wine last light – just chocolate. I can begin testing my ‘wine and chocolate lowers fasting blood glucose’ now.

TBC…

Fat, Dumb & Happy Day 12 & 13

March 21, 2014 – 219.6

What was different than yesterday? Little. Same hectic day. Maybe more tension. Didn’t eat all day. Went out mid afternoon for coffee and to clear my head a bit. Dunkin Donuts had a power outage and I had to make due with Starbucks – not a huge fan of their coffee but I compensate by adding cinnamon & nutmeg, which I like a lot. No nutmeg though – they were out of it.

At home, had my roast beef and cheese with mayonnaise and had some wine before bed. I also had a few small pieces of watermelon and a big mug of almond milk.

March 22, 2014 – 219.2

I have to work this weekend.

My weight is *slowly* creeping downward. Today is the lowest weight during this go at ketosis and the lowest weight in a month. It seems to be inching down somewhat slower than is usual but bodies do not like to change their weight downward.

At this point, however, I feel OK, have few cravings, mood seems to be less volatile, mind is clear and productive and I don’t feel particularly deprived. It’s really not a bad place to be.

I’ve been keeping tabs on the news in between everything else and there’s been a few articles worth noting – I might sprinkle future posts with brief mentions.

News: Woman treats brain tumor with low carb diet

It has been said that ‘sugar feeds cancer’. Cancer cells apparently don’t thrive in people on a ketogenic environment because cancer cells are carb addicts.

As this particular woman is the director of operations at a biochemistry research firm, I can only assume that she has the smarts to make an informed decision when she decided to forego normal cancer treatments for this approach.

Ditching traditional cancer treatments is a game of ‘You Bet Your Life’. Steve Jobs tried this and lost. I’m sure this was a tough personal decision and I wish her the best.

Here’s the link: http://www.examiner.com/article/woman-battles-deadly-brain-cancer-without-chemo-using-low-carb-ketogenic-diet

(If anyone can explain to me why Examiner.com is almost always the source of pro low-carb news in my news feed, let me know.)

11am

I had made my kids eggs and toast for breakfast and thought: why not have a breakfast yourself? If I was at work I probably could had done a day 3 of not eating all day but I’m still not sure it’s necessarily good for you.

I made myself 3 eggs in lots of butter and grated cheese over the top. They were lightly cooked. I play the odds, betting that the extra $ I pay for top-notch eggs makes the odds greater that I will get salmonella.

Way before former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg instituted nanny-state laws like regulating the size of sodas, my great state of New Jersey was in the vanguard of this trend and in 1992 banned ‘runny eggs’ being sold in restaurants. New Jersey is a nice state that gets a bad rap because parts of the state have some curious pecadillos. It’s a complex place – the same state has one of the richest counties in the country – and one of the worst cities. Organic farmers dot the bucolic central region. The Jersey Shore suffers from multiple personality disorder: we have a hippy-dippy nude beach (I think the only one on the east coast), uptight law & order beaches that are quiet because no radios or food is allowed like Spring Lake (also known as the ‘Irish Riviera’ because of the enclave of Irish that inhabit the area), and then we have what the word thinks of as the ‘Jersey Shore’ – Seaside Heights – tawdry, tacky, and tasteless.

But for our legislators to broadcast to the country their laser focus on fixing problems that don’t need fixing instead of focusing on the problems that actually matter and making ‘runny eggs’ illegal made New Jersey a laughing-stock at the time. The law was quickly repealed and whoever came up with that waste of taxpayer dollars probably wore a fake beard and sunglasses so as not to be recognized.

Here’s the story: (http://photos.nj.com/star-ledger/2013/04/eehdiner.html)

4 pm

Worked, did some errands and was hungry. I’ve drank surprisingly little coffee in comparison to most days and I’m tired. Looking for something to eat I found a polish kielbasa in the meat drawer. I cooked it up and ate maybe 8 or 9 ounces with mustard.

Then I looked at the label: ‘Use by December 29, 2013’.

Will I be in trouble?

It tasted fine. I’ll guess we’ll find out.

9pm

A somewhat troubling day from the diet standpoint – and it isn’t done yet. The kielbasa has produced no ill effects so far, but I’ve had a powerful thirst – no doubt from the salt. The kielbasa had no nitrates and proudly proclaims only 5 ingredients – all ones you don’t need a chemistry degree to understand.

I drank a LOT of water and almond milk. I don’t like to overdo it on the almond milk but I would say I did. My younger daughter came back from a friend’s house around 6 and was hungry. My wife and older daughter had taken a day trip and nothing was prepared for dinner. I asked the kid what she wanted:

“Pizza.”

I thought to myself: “You’re up to this.”

I bought her three slices: plain, pepperoni, mushroom.

The kid did the usual: pulled off a lot of the cheese and toppings.

At the risk of drawing the wrong conclusion, the kielbasa was a bad idea. I’ve had this unquenchable thirst after other meals – and this usually signals for some reason my eating everything in sight and gaining 5 pounds at least. Kielbasa goes on my ‘Bad Foods’ list. Not a great loss if I’m wrong and some other thing caused this. I eat this maybe three times a year, tops.

There were more than a few times I wanted to snatch one of the kid’s slices. She ate slow and kept the box open. I’d close it so I didn’t have to look at it.

Then my wife and daughter came home with leftovers from Legal Seafood.

As this is the best seafood restaurant ever, all this was a bit much for me. I did have a taste of their fried cod – excellent – and some of their fried calamari – also excellent. I did NOT have the french fries, any pizza, nor the bread rolls.

I did have their tartar sauce that might have contained some sugar as well as a bit of their coleslaw.

Considering my day of living really low carb, the small amount of carbs shouldn’t put me out of ketosis.

I ate my chocolate before bed and also had wine. I do not have my glucose meter to determine if this works long-term as a blood glucose control or was just a fluke that after this combo the other day when my blood sugar was normal in the AM without meds, but I should have it in a few days.

Fat, Dumb & Happy Day 11 – No Bonking

March 20, 2014 – 220.8

 On this particular day, I ate nothing until after 8pm. Cream in my coffee was the only thing I had.

This wasn’t intentional. It was a combination of busyness, lack of appetite, and stupidity.

The authors of “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable“, Stephen D. Phinney and Jeff Volek (http://amzn.com/0983490708) discuss ‘bonking’ in the context of athletes, bring up an interesting aspect of living ketogenic low carb.

‘Bonking’ or ‘hitting the wall’ as some long-distance runners call it, is when in an endurance event you run out of glycogens in your body to fuel your 26-mile run or whatever long-duration athletic event. You literally run out of gas and can’t go any farther. This is why there’s all these people lining the marathon route giving the runners Gatorade – and in this context, Gatorade makes perfect sense – you need the glucose as well as the minerals for both energy and to maintain electrolyte balance.

But people who are keto-adapted, having switched over to burning ketones for a month to six weeks have created a body perfectly adapted to running on ketones. You can only store  very small amount of glycogen in your muscles and liver, but you store WAY more fat – and being keto-adapted means your body knows how to efficiently turn that fat into ketones and use it.

Their assertion is that keto-adapted long-distance runners never ‘bonk’ because they realistically will never run out of fuel.

While I’ll let others debate if this is true, it might explain my experience not eating: I was so busy that I forgot to eat. Since ketosis is an appetite suppressant, I wasn’t hungry, and because my body is adapting to living mostly on ketones, there was an abundant fuel supply throughout the day – my own body fat.

While not running a marathon (except metaphorically), I had more than enough energy, my head was clear, and I didn’t experience the shakiness or other symptoms that glycogen-fueled mortals would experience in the same situation.

It’s kind of a neat trick, eh? But – from a weight loss perspective – a dumb one.

I think the whole simplistic ‘eat less and you’ll lose weight’ is a neat, simple and wrong approach.

You have to eat *enough*. Not too much and not too little.

While I don’t believe this harmed me in any way, it might have slowed down weight loss because if the body enters starvation mode it can become very miserly about expending energy.

I don’t think this happened to me. I was energetic all day, then came home and spent 2 hours cleaning the kitchen, still wasn’t tired, and went to bed later than usual.

I did have more Kerry Gold Irish Swiss cheese with roast beef and mayo in the evening, as well as wine and chocolate. Other than cream and coconut oil in my coffee, that was my total eats for the day.

As I occasionally do, a reminder: please remember I’m not giving advice – I’m reporting.

Fat, Dumb, & Happy Day 10 – Carb Ennui

March 19, 2014 – 221.2

Down 2 pounds. Still in ketosis. Drank wine and ate chocolate – but no peppers and tomatoes. Maybe it’s a fair trade.

Another interesting tidbit: my blood glucose went from 132 to 95 without meds (I keep forgetting to take them).

Let’s think about this one for a second.  I’ve been in ketosis every day since day 2. That means the total amount of carbs is so low that my body must convert fat into ketones as fuel. Despite this pretty low level of carbs, my blood glucose spiked to 132. It usually stays in the 110s, so 132 is high. This was not only after my nightshade soup, but also after a day where I had ketchup, mustard, raw milk cheese, and Lindt dark chocolate.

Then yesterday I have only roast beef, cheese, cream, Lindt dark chocolate – and wine.

And the number – without medication – plunges nearly 30 points to high-normal – what I was a decade ago.

A quick search on the Internet came up with this headline:  “Compounds found in chocolate, red wine may lower Type 2 diabetes risk”.

(http://www.cbsnews.com/news/compounds-found-in-chocolate-red-wine-may-lower-type-2-diabetes-risk/)

OK – I’m still suspicious of nutrition studies – especially ones from a major news outlet, condensed and twisted to get more pageviews. But what if instead of using this sort of thing to make decisions on what to do, you notice an effect from your own experimentation and find information that seems to explain the phenomenon?

Does a glass of red wine and 4 squares of Lindt dark chocolate before bed control my glucose levels? Or was this a fluke of some sort?

This sounds like a fun experiment, doesn’t it?

It would look something like this: continue to eat ketogenic low carb as I am, avoiding the nightshade family of vegetables, then in the evening have 1 or 2 glasses of wine and the dark chocolate. Track fasting blood glucose and see what happens.

I am not going to try to back this up with research to solidify my position or try to ‘prove’ anything from the current body of science. Instead, I’m going to try to prove it on my own body.

4pm

Stuck in meetings, I didn’t get a chance to eat until a short while ago, so I’ve been fasting since having some cream around 5am. When I went to the kitchen at work there were leftover sandwiches from some guests who came in and had a working lunch. I had a roast beef and cheese sandwich and a ham and cheese sandwich – throwing away the bread and tomato and hoping no one would come in and see me. I also had the tuna salad off another half sandwich as well as a dozen black olives.

7:30pm

I’m really tired, but I’m going to chalk this one up to work-stress. A lot of brainwork and a major launch next week where I’m a big part of the success or failure could mean I might be ‘free to pursue new opportunities’ Really Soon.

OK – maybe hyperbole. But it is a project that could get people fired if things go very wrong. I am lucky to have worked with a bunch of very smart and very hard-working, decent folks and we’ve tried to think of every little detail, but right now I keep running through all the details trying to uncover just one more thing to check, one more thing to test. It’s like a program running constantly in the background. Whether I am consciously thinking about it or not – I’m thinking about it. Brushing my teeth, I come up with things to add to my checklist. While driving I tell Siri – the somewhat intelligent voice-controlled feature on my iPhone – to remind me to check X and double-check Y.

I’m – ahem – *experimenting* with the wine and chocolate to control blood glucose – but ran out of the damn test strips! No fear – I can still perform the wine & chocolate part until I get more strips – science marches on.

As to ketosis, it’s beginning to feel as boring as being a weatherman in Arizona. Today, dry and sunny. tomorrow, dry and sunny. Morning – in ketosis. This evening – in ketosis. Yesterday – ketosis. The day before: ketosis.

How about from this point on I just report if I’m NOT in ketosis.

As mentioned, non-events are hard to notice because they don’t exist. Non-events, however, can be just as important as events.

The sun did not blow up today – that’s pretty important – I have that project to launch.

The non-event was at my late lunch with the sandwiches. I only noticed it hours later: as I stripped each sandwich of it’s bread and threw it in the trash, I didn’t care. I didn’t even see the bread as food – it was merely a container that held the meat and cheese I wanted. The thought of eating it was as foreign to me at the time as considering eating the sandwich bag a sandwich came in.

I’m beginning to notice the same with the goodies around the house. The apple pie doesn’t call to me, nor all the other various and sundry items in the house. Aside from the suspected solanine-induced grazing the other day, I’m just not pining for carbs in general and my favorite carbs – bread – in specific.

Even writing this caused me to fantasize about a fresh, hot baguette – but the fantasy wasn’t all that compelling. It might be described as ‘carb ennui’.

I hold no illusions that this will continue forever, but I’ll take what I can get in the moment.

Evening eats were the last of the Kerry Gold Irish swiss cheese wrapped in a few small grass-fed burgers and a few eggs and cheese.

Both I had with ketchup.

Remember that the ‘toxin is in the dose’? I’m hoping my suspected sensitivity to nightshades was because I simply ate too much of the stuff and a small amount of ketchup – a few tablespoons – might not cause the same effect.

It didn’t. Again, this is all speculative at this point, but the ketchup didn’t start the same cascade of hunger like I had the sunday night and Monday afternoon after having the soup.

Nor did the wine and chocolate.

Before bed I had a big glass of almond milk and then slept fine.

Fat, Dumb & Happy Day 9

March 18, 2014 – 223.2

Feel much better today. Still in ketosis. I’m thinking perhaps the ‘healthy veggies’ in my soup were perhaps not so healthy. I’ve come to distrust almost all general health and nutrition advice  – and the more emphatic the announcements the more I distrust them – and feel very on-my-own to sort things out.

On my way to work I picked up more roast beef and Kerry Gold swiss cheese. The woman at the deli counter said about the cheese: “Good, isn’t it? I can only order it around St. Patrick’s Day.” How did she know I liked it? Perhaps my walking up and asking for that particular brand without hesitation showed her that I had it before and knew what I was buying.

“You mean you can’t order it after?”

“No – but I can still order it now – maybe I’ll buy another case before it’s unavailable – you’re not the only one who likes it.”

“If you buy it, I’ll keep coming back to get more.” I smiled.

As this is my new favorite cheese – I mean it.

5:30pm

All I ate today was the Kerry Gold Irish Swiss cheese and roast beef – and I feel a hell of a lot better than yesterday. I might have been able to eat more after the 2 servings I had, but I wasn’t obsessed with eating like the past two days – it’s a world of a difference.

Can I really have a food allergy? I’ve always thought of myself as someone who didn’t have allergies to *anything*.

(Well, maybe you can say I’m ‘allergic’ to carbs.)

If I keep experimenting and find this reaction to these vegetables consistently happens…well, that sucks. I love tomatoes and tomato products. I love the spice of peppers. I like artichokes but they aren’t a ‘core food’ – if you told me I could never have one again, I could deal with it.

Tomatoes and peppers, however, leave me somewhat mortified – though as I once heard from a toxicologist: ‘the toxin is in the dose’.

Perhaps I can still have these in limited quantities and not have problems – and not make myself ‘Solanine Soup’ again. Another experiment.

8:30pm

Dinner was more of the roast beef and Kerry Gold Cheese – this time with mayonnaise. I also had a Fage yogurt with some sucralose, and some wine and dark chocolate. I have been blaming wine for carb-fests for years – was it really the culprit? Or something else in my diet? I had the wine, the carbs all around me were left untouched, and I went to bed the regular hour without any noticeable hunger.

Maybe it’s more complicated than I thought.