A Tale of Two Truths

Herein you will find an account of two truths of optimum human nutrition that are slowly emerging from a huge mix of nutrition literature that clouds rather than clarifies a fundamental field of study.  These two truths, also known as natural laws, evolved in the Beginning together with prehistoric Man.  Through this bond between diet and Man was forged the dietary pattern that established Man’s basic requirementsh for optimum health.  These tales of truth have been passed on to us through contacts from sundry sources.

Preface

In the context of these tales, human nutrition refers to the chemicals that provide the materials for growth, maintenance, and repair in combination with those chemicals that serve as the fuels required for creating and maintaining human life.  These chemicals are grouped together and labeled “food” by modern day humans.

The chemicals consumed by prehistoric Man as he was evolving were, of necessity, chemicals that were available to him and were, by group experience, not harmful.  This was the evolutionary diet.  Because the pace of biologic evolution is so extremely slow, there has not been time for the genetic changes to occur that would be necessary to accommodate the major modifications to the evolutionary diet that the modern diet has imposed.  The genetic constitution that dictates the nutritional requirements of modern-day humans is the same as the genetic constitution of their hunter/gatherer ancestors, which makes current requirements the same as hunter-gatherer requirements.

There is no general agreement today as to what the food components of a healthful diet are or even if there is such an entity as a healthful diet.  Instead, we have a smorgasbord of diet plans that probably exists only because of a lack of understanding of the scientific truths that govern optimum human nutrition.  These truths, or natural laws, are broad based and general in nature; their directives are absolute for all members of the human race, yet they apply to no individual member.  This incongruity invites innovation and experimentation unhampered by truth. Hence, the smorgasbord.

Incongruity is unacceptable to time-pressed people who want straight, simple explanations when inquiring about the health of self or family, yet the incongruity is demanded by the reality of biochemical individuality.  Hopefully this incongruity will be explained to the full satisfaction of the reader as this tale of two truths unfolds.

The First Truth of Optimum Human Nutrition

The first truth of optimum human nutrition says that the carbohydrate component of the diet must be restricted.  This very simple specification is not world-shattering.  It is not even new or unique or unfamiliar.  It was the major force in formulation of the evolutionary diet; it expressed itself many times in human development throughout the millennia; and interestingly, it almost became accepted as a natural law for optimum human health at the time of William Banting.  Note that this truth requires “restriction” but does not specify “how much!”

One of the earliest of the modern-day diet books to recommend restriction of sugar and starch was Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution by the late Robert C. Atkins.  After winning a battle with obesity early in the 1960s, he redirected his medical practice to designing and prescribing for his overweight patients the diet that had been and continued to be beneficial to his own health.

By chance, Atkins had found and promoted an empirically-based weight loss diet to his patients whose health invariably flourished under his care.  The many decades of successful clinical outcomes of his therapies are testimony to the reproducibility of benefit from the restricted carbohydrate diet, a criterion for scientific verification.

As accepted and valued as Dr. Atkins was to his patients, his therapeutic thinking and his remarkable clinical success were an anathema to the medical establishment.  This open display of enmity on the part of the physician community and media plus the great public reluctance to give up the pleasure of eating sweets must surely have dampened interest in study of restricted carbohydrate nutrition.  Thus, a generation passed before the next definitive book came forth to carry the message of the first truth of optimum human nutrition.

This book was Protein Power followed shortly by The Protein Power Life Plan, both authored by Michael R. and Mary Dan Eades.  Like Atkins, the Eades’ restricted-carbohydrate diet plan produced long-term, consistently beneficial clinical outcomes.  However, if Atkins was considered a physician-empirical scientist, the Eades must be viewed as scientists-pragmatic physicians.

In addition to their medical skills, the Eades brought the science and wisdom from their studies of biochemistry, anthropology, and paleopathology to their weight loss practice.  The Eades’ discovery of the paleopathology of the early Egyptian agricultural community supported their conjecture that the benefits of low-carbohydrate nutrition would reach far beyond the treatment of obesity.  The tremendous excitement that accompanied discovery of the Egyptian data is best appreciated by reading Dr. Eades’ blog post, Books That Changed My Life.

The nutritional program designed by the Eades and the scientific data that support it contained the core of the nutritional truth that had been long awaiting recognition.  That core of nutritional truth is, very simply, “optimum human health requires restriction of carbohydrate intake” with the additional caveat of “the least amount the better.”  The Eades’ low-carbohydrate diet plan meets the criteria for concluding that nutritional findings are scientifically valid:

  1. It is not in conflict with known scientific fields of knowledge
  2. It is explainable by known sciences such as biochemistry
  3. It is highly reproducible and survives the passage of time
  4.  

Kris Gunners of authoritynutrition.com recently posted 6 Reasons to Stop Calling Low-Carb a ‘Fad’ Diet.  It is the first law of optimum human nutrition.

The Second Truth of Optimum Human Nutrition

The second truth of optimum human nutrition says that the essential fatty acid component of the diet must be balanced.  This very simple condition is probably perplexing to most people in the nutrition community.  It is a relatively new concept first hinted at in 1929 when the Drs. Burr proposed that one or more of the polyunsaturated fatty acids were essential FAs (source).  Note that this truth requires “balance” but does not specify “in what proportion or direction!”

Progress in study of the EFAs was hampered for decades because of the complexity of the biochemicals involved and the inability of organic chemistry of the time to separate and identify long-chain isomers of polyunsaturated organic acids.  When it became possible to determine EFA structures, it was found there were two families of EFAs instead of one; one family with its terminal double bond at the omega-6 carbon (labeledbad) and the other with its terminal double bond at the omega-3 (labeled good).

EFAs have lived a dual existence ever since.  Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids became the province of nutritional scientists; their eicosanoid and docosanoid lipid mediator endpoints became the province of the science of lipidomics.  Before the second truth of optimum human nutrition can ever be understood or accepted as law, these two disciplines must unite.

Nutritional Science:  Nutritional scientists study the metabolic cascade of EFAs common to both omega-6 and omega-3 families plus the biological roles of their component members.  After the two families were identified, it was found that omega-6 compounds were primarily of plant origin and were usually proinflammatory, whereas omega-3 compounds were primarily from animals and were almost always anti-inflammatory.  Many studies were designed and conducted to determine EFA requirements with little or no success.

It soon became apparent that it was not the total quantity of EFAs in the diet but rather the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 that was the critical factor.  Over the years, the estimates of a healthful ratio have varied from about 5:1 with gradual decreases down to 1:1 or less.  The important point is that all available scientific evidence indicates that the ratio should be considerably less than the 16:1 or greater ratio currently estimated to be in the current American diet (source).

An example of the remarkable skill of the human body to survive by improvising when faced with a nutritional deficiency was found in study of the EFA metabolic cascade.  When the diet is inadequate in EFAs, the body desperately attempts to make up for the EFA deficiency.  It tries to make omega-3 and/or omega-6 EFA from oleic acid.  It adds two more carbons to oleic acid to make a 20-carbon omega-9 acid, and then it desaturates the single bonds at C-12 and C-15 to make the double bonds it normally would make in linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids.  The result, Mead acid, is a biochemical marker of EFA deficiency in humans.

The nutrition community has found that EFAs have important structural and functional roles, particularly in membranes and in neural tissues.  For example, approximately 20 percent of the lipids of the brain are omega-3 DHA.   However, the major function of EFAs appears to be as precursors of the eicosanoid-docosanoid control system.  With the exception of the Eades, who did a noble job of discussing the eicosanoids in a time period when so little scientific information was available, nutritional  scientists have, at most, only a superficial understanding of the eicosanoid system.

Evidence for this lack of understanding of lipidomics by the nutrition community is revealed by the dogged campaign of citizen-activist David Brown who became an enthusiastic nutritional scholar as a result of a disastrous linoleic acid (peanut butter) episode suffered in earlier life.  He has a large correspondence with editors, journalists, and authors, a few of whom politely agree that intake of omega-6 EFAs probably should be limited but do not know why.  For anyone willing to read the scientific literature, David has an extensive list of publications available on the subject in his home library.

Lipidomic Science:  Lipidomic scientists study the metabolic roles  of the final products of EFA metabolism.  The science of lipidomics probably had its origin in the 1982 Nobel Prize in Medicine for the discovery that the analgesic effect of aspirin was due to its ability to prevent conversion of the EFA arachidonic acid to inflammatory prostaglandins by cyclooxygenase, the enzyme now known by the general public as the COX enzyme.  This apparently was the first public notice that the end products of EFAs, known then only as eicosanoids, were subjects of scientific investigation.

Charles Serhan, who began his postdoctoral career in the laboratory of the 1982 Nobel laureate Dr. Samuelson, has been a leading scientist in eicosanoid-docosanoid lipid mediator research during the long journey through very complex lipid biochemistry to final recognition of the new science of lipidomics, a branch of the larger discipline of metabolomics.

The lipid mediators discovered by Serhan and colleagues began to be found and described in the 1990s.  In 2005, Serhan published a seminal paper discussing a decade of progress in eicosanoid research.  It announced discovery of the lipid mediators of endogenous anti-inflammation and resolution and introduced to the scientific community the astonishing concept that disease is failure to heal (source).

Lipid mediators are short lived, biologically active messenger chemicals that produce physiological effects at biologically minuscule levels.  They are biosynthesized in all mammalian cells except erythrocytes and consist of two major groups that maintain the omega-6 and omega-3 designations of their parent EFAs.  Lipid mediators from these two groups tug against one-another to form a net signal, the strength of which depends on their relative concentrations in a given cell or tissue.  A major task of the eicosanoid control system is to regulate inflammation.  In human physiology, there are two types of inflammation, acute inflammation and chronic inflammation.  Acute inflammation is the body’s well known automatic response to minor injuries and infections that includes management of repair and healing processes.

Chronic inflammation is a much more complicated matter; it can be maintained silently in the body for many years.  Eicosanoid research has made it clear that major causes of chronic inflammation are common dietary patterns that cause eicosanoid imbalance.  The eicosanoid control system is critically affected by diet; it cannot function properly on the modern American diet.  Most importantly, chronic inflammation is implicated in the pathogenesis of many of the chronic diseases that are part of modern life: arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, asthma, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.

The concept that disease is the failure to heal is well explained by lipidomics and should be the stimulus for nutritional scientists to welcome the lessons of lipidomics and broaden their views of diet and nutrition.

The Third Truth of Optimum Human Nutrition?

The nutritional need for certain micronutrients and the shocking fact that their absence could cause serious even lethal disease was established more than a hundred years ago with the identification of niacin as the cause of pellagra. In the early 1900s, researchers began to accept that not only pellagra and beriberi but also scurvy and rickets might also be caused by specific dietary deficiencies.  This opened a period of active research that might be labeled the Era of Vitamin Discovery aimed at finding the chemical identity of micronutrients that prevented specific diseases.

The number of classic nutritional diseases for which the etiological agents were unknown gradually decreased as new vitamins were discovered.  By the mid-20thCentury, all of the major vitamins were known, important dietary minerals were recognized, and epidemics of the classic nutritional diseases became afflictions of the past.

Minimum amounts required to prevent overt disease became well known for most vitamins, but the optimum amount, the amount that affords and sustains maximum good health, is still not known for any vitamin.  As a result there has been a great deal of controversy about what amounts of which vitamin supplements, if any, people should take.  Regardless, the fact that vitamins and certain minerals have been generally accepted as essential for many generations and by all varieties of dietary philosophies suggests that the requirement for micronutrients may be the third law of optimum human nutrition.  Or perhaps it should be called an at-long-last-recognized first law.

Biochemical Individuality

It is said that every one of us alive today is descended from a common prehistoric ancestor.  Whether it is true or not, we all are genetically classed as humans.  Yet as far as we know, there are no two of us that are exactly alike in any aspect that can be measured – anatomically, physiologically, biochemically, nutritionally.  How can that be?

Genetic science has shown that minor genetic changes are constantly occurring within individuals and across generations of individuals of a given species.  The accumulation of these small mutations within a species through the millennia is not sufficiently powerful to form a new species; they can only account for individual variations within the species.  That is why some people can enjoy peanut butter sandwiches with impunity and others follow ketogenic diets with gusto.

The phenomenon of biochemical individuality was given its name by Roger J. Williams early in his career in vitamin research at Oregon State College, where he discovered and named the vitamin pantothenic acid (B5, the coenzyme A of acetyl CoA).  His initial scientific studies were concerned with individual differences in the taste of creatine, a work published in 1928.  Later work in this area demonstrated the broad role of inborn differences in creating unique biochemical individuality.  In several books he stressed that these inborn individual differences are widespread, of varying magnitude, and are crucial to the understanding and solving of most human problems.

In 1939, Dr. Williams moved to the University of Texas-Austin, where he founded the Clayton Foundation Biochemical Institute.  He is primarily remembered as the discoverer of pantothenic acid; however, he felt that his most important and far-reaching contributions were embodied in his books: The Human Frontier, 1946; Free and Unequal, 1953; Biochemical Individuality: The Basis for the Genotrophic Concept, 1956; You Are Extraordinary, 1967; and Rethinking Education: The Coming Age of Enlightenment, 1986.

Dr. Williams’ basic idea was that human differences (differences between individual human beings) are widespread, often of great magnitude, and demand careful and extended study and attention, in order that human understanding may progress and better human relations be accomplished.

Postscript

There exists in the public sphere today a myriad of truths and believable untruths in supposedly beneficial diets that cater to widely differing lifestyle philosophies, such as veganism, hedonism, or physical fitness.  Within the philosophy of biochemical individuality, there could very well be as many or more individual diet plans as the current variety of trendy diet plans based on believable untruths.

For example, there probably are at least 5 categories of healthful carbohydrate intakes, 5 of healthful EFA balance, and perhaps 3 levels each of the numerous vitamins and essential minerals.  Assuming 3 levels each of 15 micronutrients (a multiplier of 45), yields 5x5x45 = 1,125 different diet plans.  Eleven hundred and 25 different plans based on nutritional truths and drawn from the same supply of foods that serve the current mishmash of designer diet plans should satisfy the needs and concerns of all but the most stubborn of skeptics.

Would it not be a tremendous gift to all of the current and future sufferers from faulty nutrition if Dr. Williams’ teachings were recalled and current nutritional research funds were dedicated to learning the mechanisms of individual dietary differences rather than by spending the funds repeating more of the same old classic methods of study (only with more sophisticated  constructs) that generally have been labeled as being inherently incapable of establishing reliable nutrition knowledge?

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12 Responses to “A Tale of Two Truths”

  1. Katherine

    Your excellent book Modern Nutritional Diseases is what finally drove home why I need to watch my EFA ratio, and a start of understanding why it’s important to decrease O6, not just increase O3 to achieve that balance. Increasingly I’m seeing some attention paid in this direction by conventional sources, but generally only with respect to vegetable oils. It drives me nuts (only figuratively speaking) that the balance of all O6 and O3 sources in one’s diet must be considered. So even if some expert cautions against O6 oils, there is often a concurrent recommendation to eat lots of nuts and seeds with only their high caloric value a reason not to go hog wild. Hey, I want nuts and seeds in my diet too, but periodically I will check my overall diet against online sources like the USDA nutrient database to make sure I’m not out of whack.

    I do have a question about calculating the balance. Since ALA does not convert well to EPA/DHA, is the amount of ALA in the diet (for instance from flaxseed meal and chia seed) disregarded in deciding whether the LA v. EPA/DHA balance is adequate?

    Reply
    • Alice and Fred Ottoboni

      Many thanks for the kind words, Katherine. It is very gratifying to hear from people who have understood and benefited from our book. Your approach to omega-6 and omega-3 is sound and proper for a healthful body.

      We are especially pleased by your mention of nut consumption. Most nutrition books recommend all nuts without restriction, including peanuts and peanut butter. We share your concerns; they are potentially harmful recommendations. The very least problem could be vague symptoms of discomfort that cannot be accounted for.

      Unfortunately, some very highly regarded nutritionists believe that omega-6 linoleic acid (LA) must be beneficial because a significant fraction of the body’s membranes are LA. Because the body’s lipid composition reflects the lipid composition of the diet, a high LA fraction in membranes doesn’t say LA is good; it says the diet contains too much LA.

      Your question about ALA conversion to EPA/DHA shows you have learned your lessons well. A quick answer is do not bother to count ALA as anything other than just adding to the omega -3 pool. The first step in EFA conversion is delta-6 dehydrogenase (D6D), It is an enzyme that is slow-acting in some people and absent in others. So it is best not to depend on ALA for EPA and the extremely essential DHA. Take EPA/DHA supplements, and count any ALA you get in your diet as a welcome omega-3 present. There is no evidence that an excess of omega-3 is harmful, and there is some indication that ALA may actually have some biochemical role of its own.

      We are happy for you that you are providing your body with a healthful diet.

      Reply
  2. I like the concept of “disease is the failure to heal.” If the body has all the raw materials it needs, disease would likely not exist. Thank you, Alice and Fred, for another very informative article.

    Reply
  3. Esmee La Fleur, you will never cease to amaze us. We know from your blog that you are a pretty sharp young lady, but your comment above captures perfectly, in two brief sentences, the essence of a fundamental biochemical truth that is virtually unknown (or ignored) in popular writings on nutritional science. Disease is the failure to heal.

    Major players in the self-healing process are lipid mediator metabolites of omega-3 DHA. These players cannot be synthesized by the body and self-healing cannot occur if DHA is not available in cells.  Without DHA, the body will try to make it – but cannot. When faced with a deficiency of an essential nutrient, the body improvises and tries to make do with whatever it has available, such as the deficiencies of linoleic and/or alpha linolenic acids that result in synthesis of Mead’s acid. This improvisation results in production of what is termed “scar tissue.”  This is not literal scars you can see, but rather they are biochemicals that the body cannot use; they just cause more inflammation. 

    Reply
  4. This might be the best article I’ve read on nutrition, ever! I definitely have the carbohydrate restriction worked into my lifestyle but I’m going to take a good look at my EFA consumption and make sure I have the optimal ratios.

    And yes I too dream of a day where optimal nutritional strategy is discussed more as a science than a religion.

    Thanks so much for this.

    Reply
    • Alice and Fred Ottoboni

      Hello ketokrate, you have an interesting name; we are curious about what it stands for.

      But we digress. Your very kind comment tells us that carbohydrate restriction is an important part of your life. Thus, because you speak from concern and knowledge about optimal nutrition, we are even more grateful for the tribute you so graciously give us.

      Our article was actually stimulated by a talk given recently by Dr. Michael Eades at The First International Low-Carb, High-Fat Summit in Capetown, South Africa (1). Dr. Eades explored the current miserable reputation of nutritional science and concluded that we need a new narrative. Thus, because we observe that everything in Man’s universe is governed by laws of nature and that it is logical that Man’s existence is also governed by laws of nature, we wrote A Tale of Two Truths to provoke thoughts about new directions for research in nutrition. After all, the sun follows its preordained path and rises in the east every day. The sun is totally unmoved and unconcerned for Man’s needs or wants. Likewise, the optimal fuel for the birth, growth, and maintenance of the human body is set by its preordained code. The optimal fuel for Man is totally unmoved and unconcerned for Man’s druthers.

      We believe that laws of nature are absolute but modified by one’s biochemical individuality. One new direction for research might be study of alterations in biochemical mechanisms produced by different levels of intake of specific nutrients. With carbohydrate restriction in mind, we were delighted to see that Dr. Feinman’s new book (2) presents Table 1-1: Operational definitions of carbohydrate restricted diets on page 41. Dr. Feinman’s excellent, peer-reviewed list is perfect for use in studying biochemical effects of graduated carbohydrate intakes.. Our only suggestion would be the addition of Zero Carb diets (3).

      Your intention to learn more about the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is wise. But remember, more important than EFA ratio is the EFA composition. See the above response to Katherine about counting ALA as omega-3. The important information you need deals with the biochemistry and function of the eicosanoid and docosanoid end products of EFA metabolism. To our knowledge, the only place in nutrition literature where this information is offered for a lay audience is Chapter Nine of our book (4). Greater detail can be obtained from the scientific review papers of Charles Serhan, beginning with his 2005 paper (5).

      Many thanks, ketokrate, for your very kind comments. It is time now for nutritional science to take off its blinders and welcome lipodomic biochemistry into the fold. We share your dreams for the future of nutritional science. That day will be marked by the abandonment of poor old worn out, misused, and distorted epidemiology and replacement by hard science.

      1. 1) http://sugarfreekaren.com/2015/04/13/dr-michael-eades-30-years-of-fighting-conventional-wisdom/
      2. 2) http://www.amazon.com/World-Turned-Upside-Down/dp/0979201829/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1431466325&sr=1-2&keywords=feinman+richard
      3. 3) http://zerocarbzen.com/interviews/
      4. 4) http://www.amazon.com/The-Modern-Nutritional-Diseases-Prevent/dp/0915241056/ref=pd_rhf_se_p_img_2
      5. 5) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Serhan+CN.+Lipoxins+and+aspirin-triggered+15-epi-lipoxins+are+the+first+mediators+of+endogenous+anti-inflammation+and+resolution.+Prostaglandins%2C+Leukotrienes%2C+and+Essential+Fatty+Acids.+2005%3B+73%3A+141-162
      Reply
  5. What are your thoughts on the upcoming class of newly FDA approved drugs to reduce LDL level far beyond achieved by statins , such as

    Repatha™ (evolocumab) is a fully human monoclonal antibody that inhibits proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9).7 PCSK9 is a protein that targets LDL receptors for degradation and thereby reduces the liver’s ability to remove LDL-C, or “bad” cholesterol, from the blood.8 Repatha, being developed by Amgen scientists, is designed to bind to PCSK9 and inhibit PCSK9 from binding to LDL receptors on the liver surface. In the absence of PCSK9, there are more LDL receptors on the surface of the liver to remove LDL-C from the blood.”

    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/amgen-publishes-safety-analysis-of-investigational-cholesterol-lowering-medication-repatha-evolocumab-in-the-new-england-journal-of-medicine-300050638.html

    Reply
  6. Hi Peter,

    Many thanks for the information about the new class of drugs designed to reduce LDL levels below those achieved by statins. We had not heard of these new drugs but are grateful to you for bringing them to our attention. Because we are not physicians but biochemists, we rely on physician-friends for information on drug therapies.

    With regard to cholesterol, we had the good fortune to make the acquaintance of Uffe Ravnskov many years ago when his Cholesterol Myths first appeared in English. Then, after Uffe founded the Thincs group (http://www.thincs.org), we became good friends with Ali and Peter Langsjoen (https://plus.google.com/111091638449027946344/about?gl=us&hl=en).

    We suspect from your description of the new class of LDL drugs that you are in a medical profession. Thus, you may know Uffe or the Langsjoens. If not, we would strongly recommend them to you. To us they represent the ultimate in wisdom regarding all thing concerning cholesterol.

    Reply
  7. I’m a low carb guy for some yrs now… works for me along with a good dose of real aerobic exercise. I do believe your ‘laws’ are not in tune with the facts. Some human genomes thrive with much higher carb levels.. their blood work, health and lack of disease find them just a healthy as humans on restricted carbs. What I am getting at is this: “nutrition-ism” crops up in every ‘diet’ theme… ‘we are the RIGHT ones’… which is simply not always correct. Yes the ‘industrial food’ as I call it in the USA is hard on health… yet lower glycemic carb and a reasonable carb intake is fine for many. Avoid the ‘broad brush’ on all topics… food & diet as well. That attitude only alienates people.

    Good site… one of the best I have found.

    Reply
  8. Many thanks, Aladin, for your comment. Despite your rather disparaging remarks about our views and attitude, we are very grateful to you for sharing them with us. You may be curious why we are happy to receive an unfavorable comment. The explanation for our gratitude is twofold.

    The first reason is because it is a rare pleasure for an author to be able to respond immediately to a reader whose criticism is totally without merit. The second reason is because your disapproval may be due to lack of clarity in our message. We do not see ourselves as ‘the RIGHT ones’ but rather as scientists who are trying to communicate in lay language the nutritional findings that are scientifically valid: i.e. are explainable by known sciences such as biochemistry.

    Your complaint that our ”laws” are out of touch with facts and that people have different dietary needs indicates that you did not read carefully or did not understand our writing. Look at the last sentence of the first paragraph describing the first truth: “Note that this truth requires ‘restriction’ but does not specify ‘how much!’” Also check the last sentence of the first paragraph describing the second truth: “Note that this truth requires ‘balance’ but does not specify ‘in what proportion or direction!’”

    Both of these sentences say that their respective laws are very broad, and they have boundaries that are not explicit. These boundaries exist but are not yet known in detail. They will ultimately be established by clinical experience and studies. We thought Ketopia readers would understand that the broad boundaries prescribed but not defined would allow for an almost infinite numbers of individual variations in each, which is recognition and allowance for a lot of variability.

    The final section entitled Biochemical Individuality should leave no doubt in any reader’s mind that we are fully cognizant of the obvious fact that no two people are exactly alike. They are not only different nutritionally but also they are not alike in any other aspect that can be measured – anatomically, physiologically, biochemically.

    If your problem, Aladin, is that our writing lacks clarity, we apologize. If that is the case, because the subject is so very important to public health and wellbeing, we urge that you and every reader carefully review this reply and then seriously reflect on the final paragraph of this post:

    “Would it not be a tremendous benefit for all of the current and future sufferers of imprudent nutrition if current nutritional research money were dedicated to learning the mechanisms of individual dietary differences rather than by repeating more sophisticated constructs of the same old classic methods that are generally accepted as being inherently incapable of establishing reliable nutrition knowledge.”

    Reply
  9. I find obvious humor in your response… expected.. to blow off anything anti keto.

    I see Peter Attia left NuSI. Seems the ketogenic route does NOT work on many of his patients.

    Go… figure. I’ll leave you to your small world.

    Reply
    • Alice and Fred Ottoboni

      Greetings from our small world, Aladin.

      We are happy to hear from you, but sad that you still question our science and our motivation. In your new comment you imply that we are “anti-keto.” We do not understand why you now think that we reject anything non-keto. In rereading our post we found only one word that contained “keto.” It was in the final section on biochemical individuality. It said: “That is why some people can enjoy peanut butter sandwiches with impunity and others follow ketogenic diets with gusto.”

      We plead guilty to assuming we are “right” in embracing the concept of biochemical individuality. Thus, we would expect that an almost infinite number of individual diet plans would be required to serve the nutritional needs of all people in a population. That is much more than just a few differences in carbo intake.

      You are wise to follow a restricted carbohydrate diet, Aladin. By now you must know the level of carbo best for you. We wish you good health and hope you find something of value in the following suggestions:

      Your next step would be to balance your omega-6:omega-3 ratio. Too much omega-6 can interfere with the benefits of low-carb intake. How much is too much for you? The final adjustments to be made, as far as is known, are micronutrient requirements, with special attention to magnesium and vitamin C. There are lots of good books that can help you with information about nutrient and micronutrient requirements.

      Reply

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