We were put on this earth to help other people

…That’s what I’ve been doing. The reason I’ve been writing less here, is because I’ve been focusing on helping friends “out there” in the real world.

Someone I know has some chronic joint problems, and recently problems with fluctuating bodyweight. The joint pain doesn’t make exercise easy. I threw together the following email to her. Lots of the intervention I recommend below could also apply to a plethora of health issues, but I still tried to tailor it to my friend’s needs.

My Letter:

“You’ll probably think I’m crazy, but I’m willing to bet money¬†if you give this a try for a few weeks, you’ll notice immediate improvements in pain and body composition, among other things. I did this research with you in mind, so I hope you read it thoroughly. Plus if you don’t try it, I’ll kick your butt ūüėČ
 
And I’m not just trying to prove a point. I actually care a great deal about this stuff, and wouldn’t go to all this trouble if I didn’t think it would help you. I¬†care.¬†A lot. It’s my¬†weakness.
 
I fixed a ton of my health problems this way too, and put on a good amount of muscle in a short time as a bonus¬†(even though I was working out hard for years prior with no results). Anyway, I’ve been doing this for 2 years roughly. It’s definitely sustainable, but a lifetime commitment also. Totally worth it in my opinion.
 
Basically it comes down to minimizing systemic inflammation, which is pretty much the cause of all your problems.
 
(Your doctor likely will shrug this shit off, because they know very little about actual¬†biology, and a lot more about “we can manage this by prescribing you this drug”. (I mean, they still accept the “heart-health hypothesis” for fuck-sake, that blames cholesterol on heart disease. It’s actually not cholesterol that causes heart disease, but oxidized LDL particles (which are not cholesterol, they just are vehicles that carry it around) due to excessive polyunsaturated fats, causing an inflammatory response within the arterial wall, as cytokines attempt to contain the oxidized lipids.) Ask me more about this if you’re curious. Polys are extremely unstable and oxidize rapidly, due to the double bonds in the molecule. Saturated fat has no double bonds, and is therefore nearly impossible to oxidize. Anyway, I’m getting off topic…)
 

Ditch the grains, especially wheat, and sugar: Avoiding grains in all forms ‚Äď and yes, that includes beer (sadly, even though I drink it often enough, eh whatevs)¬†was the single best move I made toward improving my skin problems, IBS, upper GI issues, chronic tiredness, depression, and random aches and pains every day. Gluten intolerance is often connected to arthritis, and¬†there’s tons of papers on possible connections between dietary lectins and arthritis (PDF).¬†They focus¬†on rheumatoid arthritis, but I don‚Äôt think osteoarthritis and RA are so different.

Avoid excess omega 6 fats: Higher circulating levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), a pro-inflammatory cytokine , is highly significant predictors of osteoarthritis of the knee. Can you guess which type of polyunsaturated fatty acid leads to excessive levels of IL-6? Exactly. Skip the corn, soybean, canola, and vegetable oil and the resultant pro-inflammatory eicosanoids. No fried food, duh. Use animal fat, butter, olive oil, and coconut oil instead, and eat plenty of fatty fish or take fish oil.

Avoid potatoes:¬†OPTIONAL. They‚Äôre not the worst things in the world, but some people report joint pain after consuming potatoes. I sometimes get tinges of my old knee pain from a football¬†injury¬†if I eat potatoes on consecutive days, though the problem seems to worsen if I eat the skins, which is where most of the anti-nutrients¬†are held. Most people don’t have a problem with potatoes or tomatoes, but as they are nightshades, they can trigger responses in those with autoimmune diseases like MS or Chron’s disease. This one’s more of a suggestion just in case. You may not have an issue with nightshades, but either way, food for thought. (HAHA see what I did there?) Go for safer sources if you want starches, like sweet potatoes, yams, and winter squash instead.

Get plenty of sun or supplement with vitamin D: According to several studies, low vitamin D status is linked to increased osteoarthritis. I know for a fact it makes me feel better. High vitamin D also makes you feel good because it releases dopamine, and also supercharges your immune system. POW!

Consider glucosamine supplements: Art Ayers had an interesting take on glucosamine. Rather than it providing the raw material for cartilage production as it’s commonly assumed, glucosamine actually binds to free transglutaminase 2 (TG2). TG2 is a well-known marker for osteoarthritis severity, and it often binds with gluten, resulting in the formation of pro-inflammatory antibodies. If glucosamine binds with TG2, less TG2 is available to bind with more inflammatory compounds. This gives your joints more of an opportunity to heal.

Another option is to drink bone broth on a regular basis and gnaw on the articular endpoints of animal bones. I love ribs, and I’ll cook you up some mean slow cooked bbq ribs any time you want! Fucking BOMB!

As a side note, complete proteins are absolutely necessary to repair damaged tissues. So, along with eating lots of animals, the high protein diet improves calcium absorption in the gut. That greater calcium utilization, along with the high levels of vitamin K in the animal products, will produce a double whammy for your bones and joints. Calcium does not function without proper amounts of vitamin K.

Lift heavy things: In order to support healthy cartilage, your joints must bear weight. I use a more traditional barbell approach. Just don’t think biking or swimming is enough; those may be useful for folks with no cartilage at all, but if you want your chondrocytes to do their job, you have to provide the right stimulus, and that means load-bearing exercises. It remains unclear whether cartilage can actually regrow thanks to proper exercise, but we do know that resistance training improves osteoarthritis outcomes. In your case with the joint issues, actually moving a heavy load may not be realistic. But there are other methods that are just as effective, if not more so. the Body By Science method relies on basically holding a contraction for a set period of time to muscle failure, instead of moving a weight for reps. You still work all the muscle fiber types, without having to worry about joint issues. Ask me more about this if you are interested.

Either sprint or move slowly: Chronic Cardio increases systemic inflammation from excess cortisol,¬†and increases your desire for inflammatory, cheap carbs like grains. Try sprinting or hiking instead. You’d have to work up to this slowly, obviously, but the benefits are retarded cool. I sprint once a week. So much more efficient than running on a treadmill for hours, torturing yourself. poo-poo.

Basically it comes down to diet first. Lots of animals, eggs, vegetables, and some fruit. Nothing processed, nothing in a package. High fat, moderate protein, carbs don’t really matter as long as you’re not bingeing in fruit and potatoes every day. There’s a plethora of research and anecdotal reports of people solving every type of health issue imaginable with this basic dietary intervention. Call me a quack if you want, but I honestly don’t think you should knock it until you try it.

Show me any other dietary intervention that has been able to¬†get diabetics off meds, cure obesity, depression, improve autism, improve cancer treatment effectiveness, and help old people stay strong and build muscle while staying lean and healthy. I bet you can’t!”

Recovery from injury could be dependent on your diet

I came across an impressive list of things that proper diet has cured in many people. It looks very impressive, and to those who are unfamiliar with Paleo/Primal type diets, may seem far-fetched.

But to us in the know, those of us who have tried and applied and seen actual positive long term changes in health, body composition and so on, those of us who have an intimate understanding with the link between diet and our immediate and long term health, those of us who have a basic even limited understanding of our biological mechanisms, we understand how possible and real these results are.

Among the list of ills that Paleo has cured:

Joint pain, regular bouts of gout, Depression, chronic fatigue, mental fog, Lyme, arthritis, Diabetes, Obesity, Inflammation, Sugar addiction, Stress, Better Sleep, Mental clarity, Migraines, mild obesity, kidney stones, No ‚Äúfire-in-the-hole‚ÄĚ scorcher bathroom visits, lower back issues, and acne, Nails and teeth are stronger and my senses seem to be like they were when I was in my teens. It‚Äôs like somebody turned the lights on in the world.

It seems that everyone’s body (at least those that reported these changes)¬†is now able to heal itself naturally. That’s the common theme. In my personal case, I no longer wake up fatigued, sore, or groggy. I don’t have those mysterious sore muscles during the day. My old football knee injury (which used to show itself after long walks) has disappeared. Chronic eczema and GERD have been cured. Bad acne. Headaches. Cold, flu, fever, ear infections. You name it, I’ve been free of it for a full year plus. I also train hard in the gym often, have seen very radical results in terms of muscle tone and recovery.

Now, let me move on to something a little more scientific I found regarding healing, relating more directly to sports injuries:

Ligamentous tissue, because it is poorly vascularized, takes much longer than soft tissue to heal. However, there are a number of elements of the Paleo Diet that may promote rapid tissue healing:
It has been demonstrated that protein deficient patients recover more slowly than a control group. This makes the Paleo Diet, because it is a high protein diet, a perfect intervention in this MCL injury and similar injuries. In such cases, it is desirable to have a diet in which protein reaches 1.2 grams/kg/day.
Increased branch-chain amino acids (valine, leucine and isoleucine) from the high animal protein diet will also speed up healing time.
More rapid resolution of the acute inflammatory stage of tissue injury will occur because of increased consumption of long-chain fatty acids (DHA, EPA, and AA).
Increased trace nutrient density (such as zinc, iron and phytochemicals) further promotes healing and tissue regeneration.
In addition to the diet, there are also supplements that could help in wound healing.
Vitamin C is an important cofactor in synthesis of collagen and proteoglycans, and other components of bone, skin, capillary walls, and other connective tissues. It is important for hydroxylation of proline and lysine residues in procollagen. Vitamin C is also an important supplement in immunomodulation and antioxidation.
Oxidative stress delays wound healing so wounds increase the necessity of vitamin C due to the increased reactive oxygen species generated. Vitamin C is also able to regenerate other antioxidants such as vitamin E.
It is recommended that you not exceed 2 grams a day since some adverse health effects have been demonstrated, such as hemolysis (red blood cell destruction), especially in glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficient patients. The recommended dosage is 1-2 grams per day.
Glucosamine increases hyaluronic acid synthesis, which is an important substance in extra cellular matrix composition. Glucosamine may increase insulin resistance and glucose levels so it should not be taken by diabetic patients. Otherwise, it is safe at a dose of 500 mg 3 times per day.
Omega-3 fats will reduce inflammation and help promote the healing process.
Glutamine has been demonstrated to decrease the number of days in the hospital for wound patients. It supports the immune system in the initial phase of inflammation, and serves as an energy source for fibroblasts and protein synthesis. The recommended dosage is 0.2 grams/kg/day.
Arginine is another important amino acid in tissue regeneration. Some of its actions include stimulation of cell migration (for wound recovery), and it is a precursor for proline during collagen synthesis.
Zinc is essential in DNA synthesis, protein synthesis and cell division. All of these are important factors in wound healing. Zinc content is high in the Paleo Diet. A recommended dosage to promote healing is 15-30 mg per day.
Other nutrients that could be beneficial for wound healing are garlic (with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties), pineapple (because bromelain accelerates wound healing and decreases inflammation), and grape-derived phytochemicals (such as proanthocyanidin) that exert anti-inflammatory effects and support healing of elastin and collagen.
We expect both athletes and surgery patients to recover more quickly on the Paleo Diet than they otherwise would eating a conventional modern diet.

So again we see a common theme, that proper nutrients and avoiding anti-nutrients in grains and sugar etc, promotes proper healing. Don’t take this to mean that we can simply supplement to make up for nutrient deficiencies. That’s not the case. You have to take into consideration that all the nutrients in whole food work in harmony together, so one will not necessarily function without the other.

That’s why nutritionists just add confusion to everything. They take the focus off the whole food, and focus on single nutrients, as if we even know the whole story. We don’t. You can’t weigh and measure shit food and get the same results as you can with Paleo, and adding supplements to a shit diet won’t do you any good either. Along those lines, I want you to take a good read at this post by J. Stanton: “what is nutritionism?”¬†It takes a look at some of the more important anti-nutrients, and asks some really hard questions. Things you need to think about. Read it, then come back. I’ll still be here…

What’s my point?

My point is that there are a lot of people out there training, including the most elite athletes, who take every aspect of training into account, analyzing everything they can and taking advantage of the newest-in-new hip-technology supplements or training protocols, but they just haven’t considered their diet may be one of the most contributing factors to their ability to heal after they beat the shit out of their bodies day-in-and-out just to compete in the Ironman. They aren’t asking themselves the tough questions. You need to question everything, to come out on top with the best answer.

I’ve questioned everything, and it seems blatantly obvious to me now¬†that grains screw up every system in your body, along with sugar and too many veggie oils. There’s tons of info out there, so don’t just rely on me to spoon feed it to you. Sometimes you just have to ask your own questions and be able to filter out the bull-shit. Honestly, give me one GOOD reason why I should even bother eating grains. Is there anything in there that I can’t get from veggies, meat or tubers or fruit?? Thought not…

My point is that if you know about inflammation, and you KNOW that you are overtraining and about cortisol, and you KNOW that you need to limit systemic inflammation in order to recover propery, why don’t you pay attention to the biggest item contributing to your inflammation: YOUR DIET. Get it under control and only eat what you could pick, dig, or spear (mostly spear) in the words of J. Stanton.

If you couldn’t tell, this post was inspired by a good friend of mine who is training for Ironman, and has found out very quickly what systemmic inflammation can do to your ability to compete.

 

So¬†what’s a good diet for marathoners and Ironman-ers? Here’s a great post from Mark Sisson about marathon fuel, the cleanest way possible.¬†

End rant…

Like this post? Want to find out more about how to get in shape fast? Check out these articles!

Why you should avoid too many polyunsaturated fats.

What is chronic inflammation. What to eat to avoid it.

The final word on grains and legumes: AVOID them.

The final word on Saturated fat and Cholesterol: EAT them

How to maintain vibrant health and good looks as you age

Aging comes with a lot of stigma these days. The slogan “I’m getting too old for this” is uttered by everyone at some point. We think that getting tired, sick, weak and slow are all part of the process. We are programmed to think that getting old inevitably includes bags, sags, and wrinkles, joint pain, cancer, heart attack, and lots of naps. Adding extra weight around our mid-sections is another accepted part of the “normal” aging process. Don’t believe any of this for one more second!

Aging does not have to come with any of that baggage.

In fact, most of these things are completely in your control. All it takes is living an active life and keeping your body in shape, while following an ancestral type diet that includes healthy animal meats and organs, vegetables and fruit, and eliminates all processed food, grains, and sugar. By doing so you will eliminate systemic inflammation, which is the cause of most modern ills and diseases. You will also find that your skin and complextion are healthier too. Lean muscle mass will provide you with the proper organ reserve to maintin strength and health through old age, and also prevents injury.

Take a look at this succss story from a 71 year old man (who looks more like 50) who has followed this type of lifestyle. Here are a couple of people (Mark Sisson, and his wife) over 50 who also have found success in an ancestral lifestyle. Here’s a few more!¬†Gerry age 64, Paula 51, Dave 54, 65 year old mother, Norman 53, George 54.

Here is an informative list of 10 rules for aging well.

The role of lean muscle mass and organ reserve in aging

How to control your gene expression. Don’t be a victim of your own genes!

How to get that natural glow and maintain healthy skin

Is it really that easy? Yes it is! Try it for 2 weeks and tell me you don’t see immediate changes in your health and energy levels!

Like this post? Want to find out more about how to get in shape fast? Check out these articles about getting in shape, feeling great, and controlling your genes!

Lower bodyfat setpoint.

Lose stubborn body fat. (Intermittent fasting)

Control your gene expression.

Heavy strength training is a required aspect of long term health. For everybody.

How to train your body to burn fat all day long. High intensity interval training (HIIT).

Why you should avoid too many polyunsaturated fats.

What is chronic inflammation. What to eat to avoid it.

The final word on grains and legumes: AVOID them.

The final word on Saturated fat and Cholesterol: EAT them

Smoking does make you fat and insulin resistant. Pesticides in America.

[Reblog from Animal Pharm]

Modern Big Tobacco-Agra/Monsatan Crops

Crops are generally coated with pesticides for the last 30-50 years. Are they toxic? Pesticides are upregulated into the food chain via consumption (corn, soy) by feedlot livestock and poultry. Let’s not forget tobacco (cigarettes, snuff, cigars, etc). ‘Tobacco is a pesticide-intensive crop. With nearly 27 million pounds of pesticides (including insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and suckercides) applied to the U.S.-grown crop from 1994 to 1998, it ranks SIXTH in terms of the amount of pesticides applied per acre. The tobacco industry regards pesticides as essential to tobacco production, stating that ‚Äúthe crop could not be produced economically without them‚ÄĚ.’

Additionally pesticides are employed in municipalities (public schools, parks, government land) and personal home use (termites, ant control, weeds control, lawns, etc). Although pesticides do not taste, smell or look toxic, they are not benign and without metabolic dysregulation consequences.

New studies in PubMed are cropping (pun intended) up in number pointing directly to insulin resistance, obesogenic, neurologic and inflammatory damage secondary to this broad group of pervasive chemicals known as persistent organic pollutants (POPs). They are difficult to avoid as once in the soil, air or bodies of water, fish, birds and animals, they typically fail to degrade and significantly impact the environment.

The researcher Alavanja states ‘Over 1 billion pounds of pesticides are used in the United State (US) each year and approximately 5.6 billion pounds are used worldwide (1). In many developing countries programs to control exposures are limited or non-existent. As a consequence; it has been estimated that as many as 25 million agricultural workers worldwide experience unintentional pesticide poisonings each year (4). In a large prospective study of pesticide users in the United States, the Agricultural Health Study, it was estimated that 16% of the cohort had at least one pesticide poisoning or an unusually high pesticide exposure episode in their lifetime (5).

Although attempts to reduce pesticide use through organic agricultural practices and the use of other technologies to control pests continue, exposure to pesticides occupationally, through home and garden use, through termite control or indirectly through spray drifts and through residues in household dust, and in food and water are common (6). The US Department of Agriculture has estimated that 50 million people in the United States obtain their drinking water from groundwater that is potentially contaminated by pesticides and other agricultural chemicals (7, 8). Children from 3-6 years old received most of their dermal and non-dietary oral doses from playing with toys and while playing on carpets which contributed the largest portion of their exposure (9-12).’

U.S.A. Obesity Trends With Pesticide Use

Guess what?

Pesticide use on crops grown in the South (tobacco) and Mid-West (corn, wheat, soy) trends well with U.S.A. obesity patterns [hat tip: LePine MD]. Above is the trend of obesity that starts mid-1980s then grows exponentially each few years. Maps are from Lim et al and BFRSS data.

Smart people in Korea (Lim et al) report that ‘There is an apparent overlap between areas in the USA where the herbicide, atrazine (ATZ), is heavily used and obesity-prevalence maps of people with a BMI over 30. Given that herbicides act on photosystem II of the thylakoid membrane of chloroplasts, which have a functional structure similar to mitochondria, we investigated whether chronic exposure to low concentrations of ATZ might cause obesity or insulin resistance by damaging mitochondrial function.’

Pesticides Kill Pests, Including Our Bug-like Mitochondria

It’s therefore not surprising to read about the toxic effects of pesticides on pests whose networked pathways overlap almost precisely with our own cells. Atrazine is a mitochondrial toxin, and our mitochondria are the sole energy generators and powerhouses whether the substrate is glycogen, glucose or fatty acids.

Mitochondrial Dysfunction Causes Fatness and Insulin Resistance (IR)

‘A close association between mitochondrial dysfunction and insulin resistance is well established [1]‚Äď[3]. In in vitro studies, we found that artificial induction of mitochondrial dysfunction induced insulin resistance [4], [5].’ This is discussed by Lim et al. He and his colleagues performed an experiment on rodents. They fed low levels of atrazine to rats then examined lab parameters for insulin resistance (IR). What happened? The higher the dose of atrazine, the higher the obesity and insulin resistance. Atrazine was associated with mitochondrial dysfunction, higher visceral (organ) fat deposition, higher blood glucoses and decreased energy metabolism.

Another group of researchers, Ruzzin et al, tested a similar hypothesis. They fed crude Atlantic salmon oil to rodents and examined IR parameters. They state ‘POPs accumulate in the lipid fraction of fish, and fish consumption represents a source of POP exposure to humans (Dougherty et al. 2000; Hites et al. 2004; Schafer and Kegley 2002). Therefore, certain European countries have dietary recommendations to limit the consumption of fatty fish per week (Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition 2004).’ They discovered similar insulin resistant results when they exposed fat cells in vitro to a POP mixture that mimicked the relative abundance of contaminants found in crude salmon oil. Insulin signalling was broken and impaired.

References

BRFSS, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System www.cdc.gov/brfss

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCNW-NgYZ2s [Obesity trend map and cdc slides]

http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity/trend/maps/obesity_trends_2006.pdf [BRFSS raw data by state and year]

Pesticides Use and Exposure Extensive Worldwide. Michael C.R. AlavanjaRev Environ Health. 2009 Oct‚ÄďDec; 24(4): 303‚Äď309.

The Tobacco Industry and Pesticide Regulations: Case Studies from Tobacco Industry Archives. Patricia A. McDaniel, Gina Solomon, Ruth E. Malone. Environ Health Perspect. 2005 December; 113(12): 1659‚Äď1665.

Chronic Exposure to the Herbicide, Atrazine, Causes Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Insulin Resistance. Soo Lim, Sun Young Ahn, In Chan Song, Myung Hee Chung, Hak Chul Jang, Kyong Soo Park, Ki-Up Lee, Youngmi Kim Pak, Hong Kyu LeePLoS ONE. 2009; 4(4): e5186.

Persistent Organic Pollutant Exposure Leads to Insulin Resistance Syndrome. J√©r√īme Ruzzin, Rasmus Petersen, Emmanuelle Meugnier, Lise Madsen, Erik-Jan Lock, Haldis Lillefosse, Tao Ma, Sandra Pesenti, Si Brask Sonne, Troels Torben Marstrand, Marian Kjellevold Malde, Zhen-Yu Du, Carine Chavey, Lluis Fajas, Anne-Katrine Lundebye, Christian Lehn Brand, Hubert Vidal, Karsten Kristiansen, Livar Fr√łylandEnviron Health Perspect. 2010 April; 118(4): 465‚Äď471.

Effect of Endocrine Disruptor Pesticides: A ReviewWissem Mnif, Aziza Ibn Hadj Hassine, Aicha Bouaziz, Aghleb Bartegi, Olivier Thomas, Benoit RoigInt J Environ Res Public Health. 2011 June; 8(6): 2265‚Äď2303.

How Essential are PUFAs? Don’t guzzle veggie oil!

From cholesterol-and-health.com

Current reviews and textbooks call the omega-6 linoleic acid and the omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid “essential fatty acids” (EFA) and cite the EFA requirement as one to four percent of calories. Research suggests, however, that the omega-6 arachidonic acid (AA) and the omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are the only fatty acids that are truly essential. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) occurs in fish products but is probably not a normal constituent of the mammalian body and in excess it interferes with essential AA metabolism. The EFA requirement cited in the scientific literature is inflated by several factors: the use of diets composed mostly of sucrose, glucose, or corn syrup; the use of diets deficient in vitamin B6; the use of purified fatty acids instead of whole foods; the use of questionable biochemical markers rather than verifiable symptoms as an index for EFA deficiency; and the generalization from studies using young, growing animals to adults. The true requirement for EFA during growth and development is less than 0.5 percent of calories when supplied by most animal fats and less than 0.12 percent of calories when supplied by liver. On diets low in heated vegetable oils and sugar and rich in essential minerals, biotin, and vitamin B6, the requirement is likely to be much lower than this. Adults recovering from injury, suffering from degenerative diseases involving oxidative stress, or seeking to build muscle mass mass may have a similar requirement. For women who are seeking to conceive, pregnant, or lactating, the EFA requirement may be as high as one percent of calories. In other healthy adults, however, the requirement is infinitesimal if it exists at all. The best sources of EFAs are liver, butter, and egg yolks, especially from animals raised on pasture. During pregnancy, lactation, and childhood, small amounts of cod liver oil may be useful to provide extra DHA, but otherwise this supplement should be used only when needed to obtain fat-soluble vitamins. Vegetarians or others who eat a diet low in animal fat should consider symptoms such as scaly skin, hair loss or infertility to be signs of EFA deficiency and add B6 or animal fats to their diets. An excess of linoleate from vegetable oil will interfere with the production of DHA while an excess of EPA from fish oil will interfere with the production and utilization of AA. EFA are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) that contribute to oxidative stress. Vitamin E and other antioxidant nutrients cannot fully protect against oxidative stress induced by dietary PUFA. Therefore, the consumption of EFA should be kept as close to the minimum requirement as is practical while still maintaining an appetizing and nutritious diet.

Bottom line: NOT VERY ESSENTIAL. Don’t flood your body with PUFA. You get plenty from butter, eggs, fish, and other animal products. Any more than that leads to inflammation and atherosclerosis.

Don’t use veggie oil, don’t supplement with omega 6 or omega 3.

What the heck is inflammation, and how does it affect me?

There are two types of inflammation: acute and systemic/chronic. Acute inflammation has it’s place and is a natural reaction by our bodies¬†to stress or injury, but when that acute inflammation becomes systemic, we¬†can have major problems with our health.

Acute inflammation is the initial response to a pathogen or an injury. It is usually brief and only lasts a few days. Acute inflammation is usually caused by trauma, infection, burn, chemical irritation, frostbite, cuts, and allergic reactions.

Heat, redness, swelling and pain usually result, but are absolutely critical forms of acute inflammation to get the healing process started:

  • Increased blood flow heats up the injury and turns it red. The blood carries leukocytes that clean up pathogens and start healing.
  • swollen parts like a swollen ankle is full of plasma and leukocytes that start the healing process.
  • Pain is just your body’s way of saying you f**ked up! Don’t do that again!
  • Loss of function prevents you from using a broken part, so it can heal.

What about systemic or chronic inflammation? Why is it linked to obesity, heart disease, and depression?

Inflammation becomes chronic once it ceases to be an acute response, and it becomes a constant feature of your physiology that’s always engaged, always fighting what your body sees as a low level, constant¬†threat.

This is how things really get screwed up, because inflammation is supposed to be an acute, short-and-sweet response to injury, and because a big part of inflammation is tissue break-down, targeting pathogens and damaged tissue, a chronic inflammatory response has the potential to really f**k up your body! You can see how things have the ability to get way out of hand.

Now here’s¬†some things that cause chronic inflammation. These are things we see in most developed countries such as ours, and they all lead to a systemic breakdown of the finely tuned and tightly managed inflammatory system. The first two are the most important!

Toxic diets: High-sugar, high-processed carb, high-industrial fat, high-grain, high-CAFO meat.

Leads to: leptin resistance, insulin resistance, obesity, abdominal fat accumulation, diabetes, poor recovery, weak immune system, chronic heartburn, the list goes on and on and on….

Excessive PUFA intake: Polyunsaturated fats form the precursors for inflammatory eicosanoids, which are an integral part of the inflammatory response. High omega-6 status (High PUFA status in general) means excessive production of inflammatory eicosanoids and an exaggerated inflammatory response to normal stimuli.

Leads to: heart disease, atherosclerosis, obesity.

Lack of sleep: Poor sleep is linked to elevated inflammatory markers. Poor sleep is a chronic problem in developed nations. Either we go to bed too late, wake up too early, or we use too many electronics late at night and disrupt the quality of what little sleep we get. Or all three at once. Try a harder mattress, or no mattress. It’s natural!

Lack of movement: People lead sedentary lives, by and large, and a lack of activity is strongly linked to systemic, low-grade inflammation.

Poor recovery: Other people move too much, with too little rest and recovery. Overtraining is a form of chronic inflammation.

Lack of down time: When you‚Äôre always on the computer, always checking your email/Facebook/smartphone, you are always ‚Äúon.‚ÄĚ You may think you‚Äôre relaxing because your body is stationary, but you‚Äôre not relaxing. That’s why I’m going to Cancun in a couple weeks!

Lack of nature time: We spend too much time stuck in cubicles, cars, trains, and cities, away from the forest and soft earth. We evolved from hunter-gatherers, so the wilderness is natually home for us. Plus getting enough sun gives us much needed vitamin D! Going camping certainly has its measured benefits!

Poor gut health: The gut houses the bulk of the human immune system. When it’s unhealthy, so is your inflammatory regulation.

Leads to: depression, illness, weak immune system, poor recovery, and acne.

All that stuff really adds up and sets us up for a lifetime of woe and misery. MAJOR SUCK!! But you don’t have to fit in with the crowd and say “we all get fat and sick with age”. Hell No! Just do your body right and stick to the Paleo way of life, which¬†will keep inflammation in check.¬†ALL RIGHT!

Next up: Controlling our genes with positive hormone expression

My Progress 2/08/2012 and breaking the plateau.

I’ve done it again! Week-on-week gains have been a walk in the park for me these past 2 cycles.

I’ll post my updated logs below, but first I want to go off on a tangent about…

The Dreaded PLATEAU

I have friends that complain about hitting “plateaus” in their workouts. They just can’t lift any more weight,¬†or get past a certain point in body composition. I wonder what the cause is? My gut tells me they’ve hit the plateaus because of poor diet, and their body just can’t support any more muscle mass with their mediocre nutrient intakes. Or they have some systemic inflammation going on, and recovery from the gym is just secondary to their body’s need to fight that inflammation.

One of my close friends follows a low carb plan (weakly though). He’s got decent definitiion, but seems to get bored easily. I think the boredom has to do with his lack of gains recently, and that exacerbates the problem. He complained to me once that he just couldn’t get past “this one lift”.

Another of my gym-going friends says he pays attention to what he eats, but it really is a shit-poor diet of grains and lean meats. So in reality, he’s eating what everyone else in the weight-lifting¬†world eats. He also started with the “bulking then cutting” bodybuilding mentality, and has paid for it with piss-poor body composition for years. Granted, he CAN leg press 1000 lbs, but that’s just genetic luck on his part. He also seems to have some boredom issues with regards to getting into the gym and lifting. He’s also plagued by constant joint pain and various lifting related injuries that have held him back and caused regressions here and there. The injuries were obviously preventable, but it’s taken him a long time and he still has not fully recovered. This has definitely played a role.

Both friend A and friend B don’t have the same pumped up mentality they used to when we all started out “back in the day”. They do train to failure, and friend A even uses the same Musclehack routines that I do. Again, boredom comes to mind with regards to lack of gains or results in the gym, but I think it all comes down to one thing: they’ve lost their capacity to make further changes in body composition, and lost their capacity to recover.

So what’s holding them back?

Both friend A and friend B continue to eat grains and sugars and all that crap. And the lack of gains is making them lose interest and get bored.

Friend B has a “personal trainer” that no doubt whispers sweet nothings in his ear about “arterycloggingsaturatedfat” and “healthywholegrains”. He trains hard and does the classes and the spinning and all that, but it’s been about a year, and he’s still got that gut. Every time I talk to him about Paleo all he says is “I need my carbs”. Ok buddy, how’s that workin’ for ya? His injuries have also been slow to heal. My experience with this tells me that his “high-carb” attitude has him guzzling grains like a factory-farmed-cow. The immune response from all those lectins and inflammation is undoubtedly keeping his recovery slow, not to mention nutrient deficiency which is absolutely critical to recovery from injury and illness!

Friend A has a wife who loves to cook. Need I say more? Paleo seems like a pretty big life changer for their situation. It would take me a lot of convincing to get both of them to switch. Damn, marriage really does take a toll on your health!

So how do I help my friends? They’ve been stuck in a rut and brainwashed by “professionals”! Meanwhile I’m surpassing them. Huh funny how that works….

Speaking of surpassing

Here’s my latest log update. Keep in mind, most numbers in the spreadsheet are PER SIDE, and don’t include the bar.

Workout Log 1-20-12 to 2-7-12

My biggest lift pundage totals so far

Overhead Press 120 x 8

Smith Shrugs 250 x 10

Leg Press 690 x 8

Bench 175 x 7

Deadlift 245 x 9

Cable Curls 80 x 8

Tricep Pushdowns 145 x 7 (not sure if this is actual weight or what, its one of those cable machines so it could just be a “resistance” measurement)

So there you go! That’s why I never get bored. My body doesn’t plateau because it’s not busy fighting inflammation. [Eat good]. [Train hard]. [Do it right.]

How to lower your body fat setpoint

Leptin is the chief body fat setpoint regulating hormone. It acts on the hypothalamus region of the brain to control our metabolism, nutrient uptake from food, hunger and satiety signals.

Here is how your normal body regulates fat mass and caloric intake

In normal functioning humans, leptin increases as you begin to overeat, and as fat begins to accumulate. The rise in leptin signals the hypothalamus that enough nutrients have been taken in. The increase in leptin tells your body to slow down the hunger signals, speed up the metabolism, and reduce the absorbtion of nutrients.

Likewise, as you fast or fat mass decreases, leptin also decreases. The hypothalamus notices a lack of leptin, and signals the body to slow down metabolism, increase nutrient uptake, and increase hunger.

Here is how a malfunctioning body regulates fat mass and caloric intake

In poorly functioning humans, such as the obese, the leptin signal is muted, and the hypothalamus¬†has difficulty¬†“hearing” the signal. This causes the body to continue to uptake nutrients, slow metabolism,¬†and increase hunger, until the leptin signal is amplified by a greater fat mass, to¬†the point that the hypothalamus is¬†finally able to “hear” the signal. This is how the malfunctioning¬†body defends an incorrect higher-fat mass.

This is called leptin resistance, or a lack of leptin sensitivity.

What causes leptin resistance at the hypothalamus? Inflammation!

Lowering systemic inflammation in the body, by eating a functional Paleo diet and removing neolithic food toxins, as well as staying away from hyper-palatable high hedonic reward foods, is the best way to “deflame” your body, and bring leptin sensitivity back within a healthy range.

Once you have eliminated inflammation and your hypothalamus is able to accurately read leptin signals, your body will self-regulate to a lower body fat setpoint, making fat loss and body recomposition easier.

Missing Link(s) 1/13/2012

Steve Jobs has been immortalized: A new toy, not from Apple this time.

Men do think differently than women: Testosterone changes how you see, think, and act.

Charles Barkeley was stupid to advertise for Weight Watchers anyway

Lard is coming back

How to tell if you’re inflamed: Getting tested for systemic inflammation.

I disagree with this study’s conclusion, and this discussion,¬†that satrated fats make you fat, and monounsaturated fats are better at making you slim. Take a look at the composition of the two diets. They both have roughly the same amount of saturated fatty foods: eggs, cheese, steak, chicken, fish. (Plus that’s the tastiest stuff! yummy).

Here’s the weight chart after (keep in mind, the subjects were already obese, so they already had messed up systems):

I¬†think all this study proves is that eating¬†a variety of¬†good surces of fat is slimming, and that having a sugary ass cheese cake might¬†add about 1¬†kg of fat if you eat it every day for 4 weeks! JEEEZUS these people must think we’re all idiots! OF COURSE IT WILL! There’s too many variables in the diets to say this was even a quality study. Next time remove the toast and the cake, THEN see how they react!

How To FAIL At The Gym. (Health Is Common Sense)

This is Part I. Make sure you read Part II and Part III

I have a complaint.

Is it the media, a lack of information, or just plain LAZINESS that makes people run on a treadmill for an hour and a half, every day, and STILL they can’t manage to change their body composition?

I see them every day, at the YMCA. They run with terrible form, heel slamming, joint killing form. They jump up and down on the elliptical (terrible machines), only doing about 50% of the work they THINK they are actually doing. They pedal carelessly on a bike, while their guts spill over into their laps and they read “Food and Wine” or “People” or some other God-awful publication that’s bound to be contributing to their utter useless lifestyle.

I’ve managed to motivate myself to change permanently for the better, with no other forces at work other than pure determination, and the knowledge that I will not spend, I REFUSE to spend the last 10 to 15 years of my life in decrepitude. The problem with society is that we’ve been programmed, BRAINWASHED into thinking this is normal. Apparently, even though we are still genetically identical to our wild ancestors, we have to accept the fact that we are different, that we can not live without disease and degenerative disorers that render us utterly useless to ourselves, left in the care of our offspring as we lose the ability to MOVE and ACT and have FUN.

BULLSHIT I say. You can change your falsely¬†pre-determined future. Its so friggin easy people, all you have to do is realize that you are poisoning your body slowly over the entire course of your life by feeding yourself food toxins [1] [2], by being lazy, by hiding from the sun, and by listening to the government tell you what is healthy. These problems largely do not exist in the wild! Paloelithic human beings didn’t have to deal with cavities, heart attack, obesity, cancer, etc. Know why? They hunted, sprinted, lifted heavy things, ate animals, vegetables, and fruit. They didn’t sit around playing Halo on Xbox 360. They didnt eat 7-11 servings of birdseed (grains) every day! They didnt have soy. They didnt have veggie oils. They fasted. They didn’t eat every 2-3 hours trying to “keep blood glucose elevated” (fuckingstupid). They were lean, fit and HEALTHY throughout their lives. Don’t believe me? Modern anthropology continues to find evidence of this. GO TO A MUSEUM you fool.

Health is common sense. Most, if not at least 80% of body composition and total health, is determined by what you EAT. Movement only constitutes about 10%. The rest is lifestyle. If you don’t change what you eat to REAL FOOD (animals, vegetables, fruits), you will never know true health.

However, if you realize that there is no science behind the FAT-PHOBIA, CHOLESTEROL, FOOD PYRAMID, HEARTHEALTHY WHOLE GRAINS, you will live largely sickness and disease free, and you will change your body composition. You will lean out and gain more muscle. You will become more attractive naked. You will emit a positive attitude. To everyone around you, you will appear to be unstoppable, full of energy, immune to whatever virus is floating around the office.

Your brain will fucntion at optimum efficiency, soaking up all the information and beauty¬†around you. You will feel ultimate clarity. It’s like a permanent high. Engergy on-tap, whenever it is needed. Power to have explosive workouts at the gym. Speed to spint to your car after work. Drive to make-your-bed-rock (ooooh yeaaaah). Recovery to do it all again. Your immune system will function at top efficiency because you will not have chronic inflammation, you will not get sick, you will recover from your brutal lifting sessions faster. You won’t waste time consuming fillers made of grain or soy, so there will be more room for amino-acids and fatty-acids to build and construct new tissues, bigger muslces. You will train your body to burn fat for energy by promoting mitochondial adaptaion. You will be a FUCKING SUPER HUMAN!!!11 YUP!

Did I mention I feel really really good today?

This is Part I. Make sure you read Part II and Part III