The Deeper Roots of Health and Diet as Told by Our Ancestors
I felt the talk was of such importance, I took the time to transcribe it. Reading through it, many things become clear, I didnt get watching the video.
Video available on YouTube.
Thank you for coming. Just by way of a very brief introduction, in the low-carb circles I'm kinda last man, last original man standing. There were several people espousing a low carb diet twenty years ago, I'm one of them. Most were correlating it with a high protein diet and I'm glad to see that I have convinced people that's not the case, And that shouldn't be the case. I was also the first person to connect leptin to diet and health and then mTOR. I fought against cholesterol being a villain for twenty years.
Might be new to you now but soon be hearing about not taking calcium, because taking calcium is quite detrimental to health, increases mortality and does not increase strong bones. I've talked about that on national public radio for twenty years and there's a reason. Not because I'm a genius but because twenty years ago, I recognized it was much more important to look at the commonalities among life and treat those commonalities if they were going wrong.
I looked at the pathway that we took to life, to know what is vital to life, and if something was out of whack, then that needed to be looked at. So lets go on a little bit of a journey for just a short while. I don't have very long. In 15 minutes or so, we're going at tell you everything you need to know about nutrition, the formation of life and medicine.
About four billion years ago, life formed in the oceans. The prevailing view. It could have come from another planet, where the same scenario might have taken place. Fatty acids coalesced like bubbles and they formed around amino acids. We had primitive cells that ultimately were able to divide in two and learn how to reproduce and at that point then, it was a numbers game.
Cholesterol at this point was vital right from the start because it helped in the rigidity of cell membranes otherwise cells would break apart too rapidly. That tells you one thing, that cholesterol cannot be the villain it's being made out to be, since it is common to every cell on earth. You get rid of cholesterol you get rid of life. That told me way back, that we should not be taking statin cholesterol-lowering drugs, they cannot be good for you and will increase mortality and that has shown now over and over and over again. They failed to tell you that.
It became a numbers game. Those organisms that could reproduce the fastest were the most likely to survive and at that point, glucose was the dominant fuel. It's a very simple molecule and you can burn it without oxygen. There was no oxygen in the atmosphere at that point.
Fat could not be used as fuel. Fatty acids. Good thing. Didn't have to eat it's own membrane which delineated it from the world and made it, kinda kept its separateness. But you cannot burn fat without oxygen, but it's very easy to burn glucose without oxygen. That's really important, that fact.
So we know that glucose was used as a fuel, for billions of years, before fat could be used. There had to be nutrient sensors that formed, that told cells when to start reproducing, when fuel was available, meaning glucose. When glucose was dominant, there was a lot of glucose. They said let's go. Let's make hay while the going's good. The cells would reproduce as fast as possible. Those are our ancestors.
We still have that genetic heritage in us. And when those signals come forth, when glucose is very available and nutrient sensors such as insulin start telling the cells to start reproducing as fast as they, can we end up calling it cancer. Cancer is a default condition that has to constantly be kept in check, dependent on nutrient availability.
Cells formed colonies because in unity there is strength. There's a physical limit to how big cells can form. So to get bigger, there were colonies of cells. That required extracellular communication. There had to be communication among the parts, to tell the parts what to do for the common good. Forming colonies was really smart for two reasons, because by this point they were plants, single-cell plants that were putting out oxygen.
Oxygen was not the life-giving chemical that it's made out to be right now. It was likely the very first weapon of mass destruction. It was theorized that it destroyed at least 90 percent of life on Earth. It oxidized and the the poor ancient life had no means of anti-oxidation. Oxygen burns, and it virtually burned up almost all life. Cells would huddle together, and those that could be more resistant to oxygen would be on the outside and those that were more sensitive were on the inside. We get a sort of division of labor.
Antioxidant systems were built up and especially mitochondria which was a type of bacteria learned how to use oxygen to burn food, rather than burn itself. Symbiosis took place where a mother kinda ate a mitochondria and learned they could cooperate together, and use that mitochondria to generate energy from food, while at the same time protect itself from the damage of oxygen. And it in turn would supply the mitochondria with food substrates to use.
A division of labor was really important because another division of labor came forth. There had to be a means of documenting what was good, what worked and what wasn't. The genetic apparatus came along very early in the ballgame. At first it was probably some sort informational protein molecule then it's probably acknowledged that it was RNA, later morphed into DNA.
We had a division between the important information molecules that tell how to make and maintain life called the germ cells and the germline, and the soma, the body that took care of the germ cells. We still have that division of labor it's the most important division of labor that there is. Why? Because that is why we age. That is why we die.
Early on, when you were just single cell bacteria, dividing and dividing and dividing, a numbers game, there really was no death. They just kept dividing. There's no corpse. Maybe occasionally from accident, if you stepped on it, but not through disease as such.
However with the advent of the division of labor between the genome and the soma, the soma's purpose now was to protect that genome. It's the temporary caretaker. It's supposed to handle that baton and run with it to the next soma. Protect it. Be its shield, and take the environmental hits and then pass it on, tired and spent, to the next soma, to do the same thing in a perpetual relay race, and then get off the track and die.
This is what Nature wants and this is Nature's purpose. And it's very important to understand, that the soma, that you think of yourself as yourself, the body is there to protect the genome. All Nature cares about is, that we can protect that genome enough to get it to the next generation, and allow the pogeny to stand on its own two feet.
Nature does not care about us and allows us to die, as we fulfilled our purpose. We have no more purpose. When you hear people say, let's just do what's natural. Doing what's natural is making a baby, making sure that it can walk and eat, and then dying. Post reproductive life span is irrelevant to Nature. Without exception.
What we're trying to do, if you're my age and post reproductively and you were trying to live as long as healthy a life as possible. That is not natural. We're trying to do what is not natural. The only way that we can accomplish that. The only way we can really make headway into the chronic diseases of aging, is to learn how Nature has endowed us with tricks, To at least get to reproductive age. And it has.
We know now that there is a common genetic pathway that virtually all life has and especially all animal life. It can be turned on or turned off. Its regulated by nutrient sensing hormones that correlate nutrient availability with reproduction.
In the ancient ocean, I told you there was one very important fact, and that was that glucose was a dominant fuel. These rules were set up when glucose was a dominant fuel and not fat. Fat came later. Fat didn't come until mitochondria became incorporated into other cells. Mitochondria are the only organisms that can burn fat, as they can use oxygen.
You've got insulin. It's a major nutrient sensor of glucose.
You've got mTOR. It's a nutrient sensor for protein.
You've got leptin. It's the nutrient sensor for fat.
The two main building blocks of life early on, that were required to build any life, were glucose as a fuel and proteins. The nutrients that regulate all nutrient sensors, and then regulate a genetic pathway of longevity, are insulin and mTOR. The nutrients being glucose and protein.
Leptin came later and it's probably the most important one in humans. But its one I in get arguments with people all the time on various blogs tell me, well leptin is just regulated by how much fat you have. Its false. Its regulated by every meal. You can double your leptin levels in 12 hours, if you eat a high-carbohydrate meal. And it is those spikes in leptin and spikes in insulin, that cause insulin and leptin resistance.
Then you have a miscommunication. Just as communication was required for life to form, when you had multi-celled colonies, miscommunication is the cause of all disease. There is no exception to that. It is the communication you have to deal with, when you're trying to treat somebody.
Diabetes is not a disease a blood sugar. It's a disease of miscommunication of insulin and leptin. Sugar's just listening to the orders. Medicine just treats glucose. Lowers glucose. To hell with insulin and almost always goes up and people die faster. That was seen in the Accord study, if you wanna look that up and they were puzzled. How could that be? They took more medicine, and had better glucose control and yet they had much higher mortality rate. It was because they were raising insulin. Same thing with leptin.
We are not our genes. We are the music that our genes play. Genetic expression. Meals regulate genetic expression more than anything. Food does. The meal, the breakfast I ate this morning will change at least 8,000 genes. I've got maybe 30,000. The difference between a man and a woman is about 200 genes.
You can take a piano of 84 keys or so and how many different songs can you play? An almost infinite variety. You can take your same genes and you can play the music of diabetes. Or you can play the music of a long life. A healthy life. That will be determined by what you eat, as what you eat, regulates nutrient sensors, insulin, mTOR and leptin that regulate a longevity pathway.
When they were all kept low, which fools your body into believing you are experiencing a famine, it upregulates repair mechanisms. DNA repair, intracellular antioxidant systems, autophagy, which is a kinda cellular garbage collection, heat shock proteins. All sorts of things that will allow you to stay healthy and outlive the famine, so you can reproduce, at a future more opportune time. We can keep those things going post reproduction, if we keep insulin, mTOR and leptin down. And the only way to do that, is to keep glucose down. And to keep protein down.
Fat is a free fuel. It's not really involved in regulating the nutrient sensors. That's interesting. In other words you can make your body believe that you are experiencing a famine and get all the benefits of fasting. Get all the benefits of caloric restriction. But you don't have to do it. Just eat a lot of fat. You get the same benefits and I wrote a paper on that. It's published. And it is the way to go.
Any questions? I think I have about, what, two minutes?
Q: Can I ask, what is your position and fiber? Excess fibre verses moderate amounts of fiber.
A: Sure. Fibers. Fibers are either soluble or insoluble. OK. Soluble is a fiber that can only be digested by bacteria, into short and medium chain fatty acids. So it's fine. It's good. Fills you up, makes you believe that you've eaten something and you actually are going to end up being fat.
Insoluble fibers is just like eating nothing. You know, it just goes in and out of you. Its essentially a non-factor. You might say that it helps scrub out the intestines a little bit, so might have a little bit benefit, but for the most part, it's a no more than that.
Q: Dr Kresser mentioned yesterday in a debate you had, that the evolution of the brain was from carbohydrate.
A: He's totally wrong on that. Huh, you know, a lot of things that you hear are just, I don't know where they get these things.
It could not have been that way. Impossible, because we know that our brain consumes a lot of energy. A newborn consumes almost seventy percent of the energy requirements of that body. OK. The only way that the the brain, even currently can operate properly, but especially, could evolve into a larger brain, was to start eating a more nutrient-dense food.
You can only utilize fuel that has energy over and above what you're going to expend to get it. So you have to expend a lot of energy to hunt and gather vegetables. You don't have a lot left over. And they've shown, that our mouth became smaller, and our intestines shortened. Our intestines are also an expensive tissue, uses a lot of energy. We had to use less energy in our intestines, so we could put more energy into our brain.
The only way to do that, is if we evolved into eating a higher-fat diet. This is called the expensive tissue hypothesis. It's widely, widely accepted in paleoanthropology, and many other papers now, have come out in support of that, and so that was wrong.
This safe starch debate, if I had more time, really boils down to, we know that glucose is maintained up until death. You can starve yourself and your glucose will maintain. There is no such thing as a glucose deficiency. That's wrong. All you can say is, they might say, err, is that it's more advantageous to eat glucose than have your body make it. Thats what they might say. Thats all they could correctly argue. But that's wrong.
You will never know exactly when and where and how you will need that glucose. Your body will make it when it needs it, and where it needs it. And let your body do its thing.
It's also when you eat it, you have adverse effects that take place. Such as, it will raise your insulin, it will raise your leptin. You will shut off your maintenance and repair mechanisms. That pathway we just talked about. You want to keep them low, and by eating the glucose, you can't keep them low. So there's an adverse effect from eating it, as opposed to gluconeogenesis.
Furthermore, with gluconeogenesis, the substrates matter. In other words, if you are making the glucose from amino acids, that is not good. That's why I've always recommended a lower protein diet, cos I don't want you to burn protein for fuel. All food can be used either, to supply the parts that you need or to burn for fuel. You want protein to supply the parts, you don't want it to burn for fuel. To burn protein for fuel you have to de-aminate it, take off the nitrogen, make urea and ammonia which is a poison that your kidneys have to get rid of.
So we do not want to use protein as a substrate to make glucose, but we don't have to. On a high-fat diet, you use the fat to make glucose. The glycerol, you can make glucose. The ketones will... your body preferentially burns ketones, and many studies show that ketones are much healthier fuel for nerves, and your brain and almost every other tissue, including your heart, which will pump harder on ketones, than it will on glucose. So between the ketones, between the glucose manufactured from the glycerol, between recycled lactate and pyruvate, you can supply all of your glucose needs.
You know they keep saying that glucose is necessary for glycoproteins, blah blah blah. Nobody's arguing that. We know the glucose is necessary. But it's not necessary to eat it. In fact, its very disadvantageous to eat it. Your body can make what it wants, when it wants, and it can make it through an easier mechanism, a more efficient mechanism, it is a healthier mechanism. ie through keytones. OK.