The Arrow #120
Greetings from Dallas.
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MD and I had some old friends come visit with us for a few days at the end of last week. Sometime during the visit, we were asked if we’d ever been to Australia. I said, no, but we would love to go at some point. Among all the other things I would like to do Down Under, I would really like to play at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club. It’s a sister club to my club in Montecito and many tour events have been held there. Both it and my course in Montecito along with Augusta, where the Masters is played, were designed by the legendary golf course architect Sir Alister MacKenzie, who was also a doctor.
Then, out of the blue, I get a text from a doc who recruited me for the talk in Boca Raton asking if we would like to come to Australia to speak at the Low Carb Down Under conference in Sydney on October 13-14 this year. With a trip to Melbourne and a round at the Royal Melbourne to boot. I couldn’t answer in the affirmative fast enough. So, all you readers from Down Under, come to the conference and say hi.
I get a lot of emails from folks telling me they love book reviews and wondering why I’ve quit doing them. I haven’t quit reading, but I haven’t put up any book reviews in a while. I read all the time, but I don’t like to put up reviews unless I really love the books I’m reviewing. I refuse to do bad reviews because I’ve either written or co-written ten books, so I know how much effort goes into the writing and publishing process. Consequently, I don’t want to badmouth the efforts of those who spent a year or more pouring their hearts into a project. Even if I think the end result really sucks.
I set myself a project last year to dig in and read War and Peace, a book I had started countless times. I’ve heard of many people who read that book once a year, and I’ve always felt kind of inadequate in not being able to make it through it even once. And not even not able to make it through it, but not able to get much past the first 50 pages. Part of it was the Russian names. Had the characters been named Bill, Tom, James, etc., I might have made it through, but when there are full Russian names, then first name middle name, then patronymics…it all became too confusing. I truly couldn’t tell the players without a scorecard.
For example, one character named Count Nikolai Ilyich Rostov goes by Nikolai Ilyich, Nikólushka, Nikólenka, Nikoláshka, Kólya, Nicolas, and Coco, depending upon who is talking to him.
By force of will, I made myself forge through the first part, multiple names be damned. I also copied the list of principle characters listed in the front of the book and kept it at hand for about the first third of the book. By that time I had pretty much figured out who they all were and knew their various names, though occasionally I would be thrown and have to consult the list.
Once I got going on the book, I became consumed by it. Finally, I could see why everyone thought it such a masterpiece. About halfway through I mentioned it in The Arrow and got a couple of emails asking about the translation I was reading. Until then, I hadn’t thought much about the translation, but after reading a bit about it here and there, I wondered if I had the best translation. I was reading the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation, which translated only the Russian. Since War and Peace is about the Russian aristocracy, much of it bounces back and forth between Russian and French. Many translations translate all the languages into English. I enjoyed the back and forth between Russian (translated into English) and the French left as French. And the occasional German or Italian left in those languages. Made me realize just how multi-lingual the upper crust Russians of that time were. Plus I speak enough French that I enjoyed trying to translate it myself, before checking the notes in the back.
Once I finished the book, I went back to the first 50 or so pages I had struggled to make sense of multiple times before finally making it through. I found them to be fascinating, because I now knew all the characters. And they are all described in those first pages. So, finally, I learned what they looked like, what they wore, how they moved, etc. I fairly whizzed through the very section I had struggled with so many times before.
Then, I was so fired up with Tolstoy that I immediately grabbed a copy of Anna Karenina and started on it. It had no stumbling blocks at the start. I had no trouble with it. It probably helped that I had gotten into the rhythm of Russian names by then. Anna K is all in English (translated from the Russian) without a lot of other languages thrown in. I read the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation of that as well.
Upon finishing Anna Karenina, I started reading about Tolstoy himself. And about the various translations of both books. There are as many opinions as to which translation is best as there are translations. After considerable study, I decided the Constance Garnett translation of Anna K and the Maude translation of War and Peace were probably the best ones.
So, I started reading them both again in those translations. This is, of course, in addition to my regular reading. I just read a bit of each one every night.
I can tell you definitively that translations make a difference. The Constance Garnett translation of Anna Karenina fairly sparkles. I’m just 60 or so pages into it, and I feel I know the characters much better than I did in the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation. The version I’m now reading was edited by Leonard J. Kent and Nina Berberova, who pretty much left Constance Garnett’s translation intact. The only changes they made were where her “pruderies, which occasionally mute some of Tolstoy,” needed updating to conform to what he actually wrote.
I’m now reading the Louise and Aylmer Maude translation of War and Peace. The Maudes were contemporaries and friends of Tolstoy’s, and they checked with him to clarify any issues they had. And Tolstoy himself thought their translation of War and Peace was the best of those available at the time. The version I’m now reading is edited by Amy Mandelker, who has changed only the bits of the Maude translations their Victorian sensibilities wouldn’t allow them to translate as written. It also does not translate the French, but it is footnoted. This translation reads more smoothly, to my eyes at least, than did the Pevear and Volokhonsky.
Buyer beware. The links above are for the exact version of the books I read. If you go to the Amazon links and switch from the versions I read—Kindle or paperback or hardback—to another version, you may not get the same translation. You’ll get Anna K or W&P, but it may not be in the translation I linked to. I don’t know why Amazon has this inconsistency, but it does. So be careful.
On to other reading…
I just finished The Company by Robert Littell, and I’m sad I did. I hated to see it end. It’s a long dynastic novel about the CIA from its earliest days up until the mid 1990s. I’m kind of a spy nut, so I’ve read the actual histories of many of the events described in this book. All events that I am knowledgeable about are portrayed as they happened. So, I figure those I know little about—the whole Bay of Pigs fiasco, for example—are probably historically accurate.
I say it’s a dynastic novel because some of the children of the characters who start off the novel end up being employed by “The Company,” or “The Pickle Factory,” as it’s sometimes called.
The book, which is about as long as Anna Karenina, starts off with the results of some of Kim Philby’s treachery, moves on to more of Kim Philby’s treachery (it’s almost impossible to overestimate the damage he did to the West’s efforts to thwart the USSR) and on to the Hungarian uprising, which the US totally botched. And on from there. You learn a lot of history while having a great read at the same time. I’ve had this book in my library since it was published, and just now got around to reading it. I can’t believe I waited so long.
When I went to get the link for the book, I discovered that Amazon has in on sale on Kindle for $2.99. That’s the link I used. I don’t know how long this discount will last.
It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re interested in all the recent goings on at the Federal Reserve Bank, you should read The Lords of Easy Money by Christopher Leonard. I read it because it came highly recommended by Matt Taibbi. The book delves into the Federal Reserve’s actions basically since the financial crisis of 2008. It features Tom Hoenig, the head of the Federal Reserve Bank in Kansas City. Usually there is a consensus among the various heads of the different Federal Reserve banks, but Hoening saw big trouble in the future if the Fed continued to print money and keep interest rates at zero. As it turns out, Hoenig was correct, and we’re all paying the price for it today. An enlightening and easy read about an opaque subject.
I highly recommend Serious Adverse Events: An Uncensored History of AIDS by Celia Farber. This book was first published in 2006, but was updated this year. I’m about a third of the way through it, but I can tell you it’s a must read. Many of the same players—Fauci, for example—were active during the AIDS epidemic, if that’s what you can call it. It should come as no surprise that Fauci acted then as he has done throughout the Covid pandemic: lying through his teeth at every opportunity to promote an agenda.
I learned about this book from Heather Heying, who reviewed it on her Substack, to which I subscribe. Here she quotes the author Celia Farber:
“The NIH maintains tight control over the ideas that emanate from U.S. government science, and that control extends to the media, who are rewarded and punished in accordance with their suspension of curiosity.”
Then Heather goes on to write:
Curiosity is the linchpin of science. What if? How does it work? Why is it that way? We suspend our curiosity at our peril. Generating all possible hypotheses, even those that seem ludicrous at first glance—this is the purview of science. If we are to understand what is true, then we must explore all the possibilities. What if the world isn’t as we think it is—wouldn’t you like to know? I would.
What we believe is sometimes handed to us in the guise of science—here is the answer. Once we all agree on that answer, it can seem crazy, dangerous even, to question what is now understood. Obviously the Spanish Flu of 1918 was unavoidably fatal to young people. Or was it? Obviously mRNA vaccines against Covid are safe and effective.Or are they? Obviously HIV causes AIDS. Or does it? What is the evidence, and how thoroughly have the alternative hypotheses been investigated?
Farber’s powerful book addresses that last topic, along with several other questions pertaining to AIDS. Simultaneously, it reveals the playbook by which the government and media suppress scientific curiosity, while enforcing orthodoxy and compliance on a largely unwitting populace.
One of the arrows in the quiver of compliance is to make those who question the orthodoxy out to be an enemy of the people. Those who question the consensus are literally killing people. They should be ashamed of themselves. If they don’t have the common sense and decency to shut up, then it is our obligation to do it for them. [Links and italics in the original]
I clicked the link in the second paragraph above about the deadly Spanish Flu of 1918, which killed many young seemingly healthy people. Turns out many of them were given enormous doses of aspirin, which could well have killed them instead of the flu. Read the paper at the link. This was all new to me.
I read Peter Deusberg’s book Inventing the AIDS Virus back when it came out and found his arguments compelling. (BTW, Duesberg features prominently in Farber’s book.) After all, he was the world’s leading researcher on retroviruses, and he thought the idea that a retrovirus was the cause of AIDS was madness. But a lot of people were making a lot of money from the AIDS epidemic, so the real expert was silenced. Sound familiar?
Back in those days AIDS was supposedly uniformly fatal. If you tested positive, you were a goner. And the only thing that might save you was AZT, a highly toxic drug developed as a chemotherapeutic agent, but never brought to market because of it’s extreme toxicity. It was revived and given willy nilly to those testing positive for AIDS. Who knows how many people it killed?
If you recall, Magic Johnson tested positive for HIV many years ago. It was big news back then. He was supposedly living on borrowed time, but he’s still with us.
There was a saying then:
There ain’t no magic in AZT, and there ain’t no AZT in Magic.
I had forgotten till reading this book how over the top things were then. One paragraph brought it all back to me. The author was commenting on an enormous AIDS conference she attended in Sweden:
The most disturbing thing I hear about AZT at the entire conference comes from Sam Broder, the man behind AZT from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), who says that we should start giving AZT to HIV-positive asymptomatic women, so that their unborn children can absorb it through the placenta and better their chances of never developing AIDS.
Totally beggars belief. But not a lot more than folks saying a series of Covid vaccines should be given to six-month old children. And not surprising coming from “the man behind AZT” any more so than coming from those behind the Covid vaccines.
As I wrote above, I’m about a third of the way through this terrific book. I suppose there is a chance it will start turning to crap the next page I turn, but I somehow doubt it. Few alive today remember the 2018 Spanish flu and what that scene was like, but most of us were around during the height of the AIDS frenzy. It’s interesting to see just how much the government, mainstream media, “experts”, and those looking to make a buck" were so similar to those promoting the Covid epidemic today. And how the whole thing just sort of went away.
I’m getting carried away with these reviews. Let me recommend a few other books I really loved. I’ll go into more detail on them in a future edition of The Arrow, but you can take my word now that they are wonderful reads. First is Methuselah's Zoo: What Nature Can Teach Us about Living Longer, Healthier Lives by Steven Austad, my favorite researcher on aging. His book Why We Age, though 26 years old, is still the best book on aging I’ve read.
Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky is an incredible read, especially when you know her story. Némirovsky was born in Kiev to Jewish parents, who moved with her to Paris during her youth. She grew up there as a French woman, and when the Nazis came into Paris, she and her family moved to the country side. She was a writer of note, so decided to write a series of novels about the Nazi occupation as it happened. Which is what Suite Française is about. She never finished her series because she was sent to Auschwitz where she died from typhus. As I was reading this book, I had to put it down. I became so attached to the characters and feared the worst for them. Took me a few days to pick it back up again and finish. The book is really two books of the five she intended to write. One of her daughters found the handwritten manuscript in an old trunk decades later and got it published in France. An English translation followed.
While you’re at it, you should give The Fantastic Laboratory of Dr. Weigl a read. Dr. Rudolf Weigl worked tirelessly to develop a vaccine for typhus, which was a huge killer in WWI and WWII. Most of the emaciated corpses you see in those hideous photos from the liberation of concentration camps are victims of typhus. It’s a horrible disease spread by lice, and prone to infect people who are crammed in close quarters. The Germans were scared to death of it in WWII and leaned on Dr. Weigl, a German who was living and working in Lvov, Poland (now Lviv, Ukraine) where he had lived for years with his Polish wife, to come up with a vaccine. Weigl and his team recruited a bunch of Poles and Polish Jews, many of whom were saved as a consequence, to come sit in his lab for several hours with boxes of lice that had been infected with the typhus bacteria strapped to their legs. The lice would bite them and Weigl would then retrieve the lice and dissect them to remove their GI tracts, which would then be mashed up in a kettle along with some chemicals to make a vaccine.
You may be wondering how these volunteers, who sat for hours with the lice boxes strapped to them with infected lice feeding on them, didn’t come down with typhus. Interestingly, typhus isn’t spread by inoculation when the lice feed. But when the lice feed they also defecate and the typhus bacteria is in their feces. The bites itch, so when the victim scratches he forces the infected feces into the wound from the bite. Weigl’s volunteers had boxes strapped to their legs filled with infected lice, but they couldn’t scratch the bites as they, along with the lice feces, were under the box. When the box was removed, the volunteers’ legs were meticulously cleaned.
During this story, as a part of the pact between Hitler and Stalin, the Nazis left Poland and the Russians took over. And the brutality increased markedly. Reminded me of what Witold Pilecki, one of my great heroes, told his wife before the Russians shot him after a show trial. He had been in Auschwitz and he had been in a prison run by the Soviets. As he explained to his wife, “Compared to the Russians, the Nazis were children.”
The book is a phenomenal story of sacrifice on the part of the volunteers and their saving from the camps by Weigl.
Okay, this section is itself approaching Tolstoyian lengths, so let me leave you with one final link. This one to a book I’ve just started. Mendeleyev's Dream: The Quest for the Elements is about the great Russian chemist Mendeleyev’s dream during which came to him the insight allowing the structure of the periodic table of the elements. If it continues to be as good as the pages I’ve read so far, I’ll do a review of it in a future Arrow. If not, you’ll never hear of it again from me.
Poll Results In A List It Is
Much to MD’s surprise, the poll on how best to receive further info from me overwhelmingly showed a bias toward a list of interesting links. I was not surprised.
I look at the stats on this newsletter each week, which tell me that readers of The Arrow seldom click on video links (maybe 6 percent open rate at the highest). But they do read the entire newsletter. Which tells me you readers are just that: readers. You would rather get your info from the written word than watch it on video. As would I.
MD and I are headed to Little Rock tomorrow to celebrate the first birthday of Robbie Eades, our youngest grandchild. We’re leaving early in the morning, so I don’t know if I’ll have time to crank out the list before early next week. But keep an eye out for it.
A Better Term than Elite
As those of you who have been reading The Arrow for any length of time know, I hate the term “elite” when applied to our ruling class. I even hate the term “ruling class” almost more. I’ve been searching for a term to describe these people, and I think I’ve finally come across it.
Gerard Baker, one of my favorite columnist in the Wall Street Journal, had a piece this week on how Goldman Sachs was going woke. He kicked it off using his own experience in banking in London.
In London especially, where I began my career in finance, the City was a place in which, in a still heavily regulated market, a slot in one of the big institutions was a coveted ticket to a life of riches.
But the tickets were available mainly to men from the right sort of background. The rules for identifying and selecting these men were opaque. There was no formal bar on anyone from a particular socioeconomic status being admitted to the magic circle—that would have been crass and, even then, illegal. Instead a complex system of semiotics did the job of weeding out the riffraff. A flattened vowel pronunciation, a vulgar word for lavatory, the wrong sort of shoes, and you were excluded without even understanding why. In Britain, the system’s overseers had an acronym by which the untouchables were designated: NQOCD, for “not quite our class, dear.”
The NQOCD encompasses the meaning of the term I’ve been on the lookout for, but doesn’t quite do it.
If you can believe this, I’ve been frantically searching for the last hour and a half for the article containing the term that hit me as the perfect one. And I can’t find it. It’s either in an email newsletter I received or in an online article I read. I’ve spent all the time searching I can afford to spend and still get this newsletter out in time.
As soon as I hit send, I’ll come across it, of course.
The term is the connected class. Much better than elites, which implies some sort of better than thou-ness. Connected class describes what it is. They are in the place they’re in not by merit, but by connection.
And under the guise of anti-racism, they’re trying to further their own.
One of the worst things colleges and universities can do is eliminate the requirement for SAT or ACT scores for admission. The connected class is desperately trying—and have pretty much succeeded in that more than 80 percent of colleges no longer require standardized tests.
Why are standardized tests important?
They are the great equalizer.
A kid can sail through a mediocre high school and get A+ grades, whereas smarter, more motivated kids who go to vastly more competitive high schools end up with maybe a B+ average. The SAT or ACT scores are the equalizers.
If the kid from the mediocre school blows the top out of the SAT, then that kid will probably get into a great college. But if the kid gets an average SAT score, then the college admission folks know the A+ probably wouldn’t be an A+ had the applicant gone to a more competitive school.
By screaming racism and killing the SAT, the connected class has assured that the right people can get into all the right schools irrespective of their innate ability.
Okay, the connected class it is from now on. If and when I ever find the article using that term, I’ll post it here.
Okay, now for some nutritional fun.
The Ice Cream Diet
A few days ago, a friend of mine sent me an article from The Atlantic about an issue that popped up in the Harvard nutrition department a few years ago.
Back in 2018, a Harvard doctoral student named Andres Ardisson Korat was presenting his research on the relationship between dairy foods and chronic disease to his thesis committee. One of his studies had led him to an unusual conclusion: Among diabetics, eating half a cup of ice cream a day was associated with a lower risk of heart problems. Needless to say, the idea that a dessert loaded with saturated fat and sugar might actually be good for you raised some eyebrows at the nation’s most influential department of nutrition.
Earlier, the department chair, Frank Hu, had instructed Ardisson Korat to do some further digging: Could his research have been led astray by an artifact of chance, or a hidden source of bias, or a computational error? As Ardisson Korat spelled out on the day of his defense, his debunking efforts had been largely futile. The ice-cream signal was robust. [My bold emphasis]
David Merritt Johns, the author of The Atlantic article was tipped off about this scandalous finding by a friend who was involved at the time.
“I do sort of remember the vibe being like, Hahaha, this ice-cream thing won’t go away; that’s pretty funny,” recalled my tipster, who’d attended the presentation. This was obviously not what a budding nutrition expert or his super-credentialed committee members were hoping to discover. “He and his committee had done, like, every type of analysis—they had thrown every possible test at this finding to try to make it go away. And there was nothing they could do to make it go away.”
Johns explains his interest in this study:
As a public-health historian, I’ve studied how teams of researchers process data, mingle them with theory, and then package the results as “what the science says.” I wanted to know what happens when consensus makers are confronted with a finding that seems to contradict everything they’ve ever said before. (Harvard’s Nutrition Source website calls ice cream an “indulgent” dairy food that is considered an “every-so-often” treat.)
The article goes on to discuss how Harvard and others tried to somehow find a way to get rid of this pesky result by torturing the data until it confessed or rather recanted. As it turned out, despite numerous studies, they were never able to figure out how to discredit this “robust” data that flew in the face of everything they believed. How could a high-fat, high-sugar dessert possibly be healthful in anyway, much less reduce the rates of diabetes in those who consumed it regularly? It just can’t be possible.
I’m not in the Harvard department of nutrition, but I can tell them how to interpret the data.
The key is in the bolded word in the first quote above: associated. Whenever you see a study saying that one thing is associated with another, you should know you’re looking at an observational study.
And if you know anything about observational studies, you should know they are worthless in determining causality.
Why all the Harvard faculty got their collective panties in a wad over this escapes me. They should know better.
If you’re uncertain as to why observational studies can’t determine causality, read this blog post I wrote years ago about these kinds of studies.
The real joy I got from this article wasn’t in learning about the Harvard researchers squirming around trying to find a way to obscure a finding that is meaningless. The real joy came from a link near the end of the article about a guy who went on an ice cream, protein powder, and booze diet for 100 days and lost 32 pounds. Or at least he said he did. I have my doubts.
In the 2017 article from Men’s Health, a bastion of nutritional wisdom, one Anthony Howard Crow, “a 32-year-old online trainer and YouTuber in Loveland, Colorado” decided to go on a strange diet consisting of
2,000 calories a day of ice cream, 500 calories a day of protein supplements, and a bit of recreational alcohol. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Crow planned to stay on the diet for 100 days, which, at least according to him, he did. And, again, according to him, he lost 32 pounds in the process.
Why did he do such a thing?
His goal was to show that calories matter more than anything else for weight loss—more than macronutrients (carbs, protein, fat), more than exercise, more than when you eat or how many times you chew your food or whatever else the cool kids are talking about these days. If he could go from 192 to 160 pounds in 14 weeks while eating dessert at every meal, then it’s impossible to argue, as many do, that calories don’t matter.
Let’s take a deeper look at this n=1.
Mr. Crow allegedly ate 2,500 calories per day plus a bit of booze. Based on the video below, I’m assuming a bit of booze is maybe a shot. A shot of Jameson Irish Whiskey, a drink I am more than familiar with, is about 100 kcal per shot. And it contains about 14 grams of alcohol.
I took a look at some different ice creams and averaged them. 2,000 kcal of regular (non-dietary, non-reduced sugar) ice cream is made of 123 grams of fat, 185 grams of carbohydrate, and about 40 grams of protein.
Our subject says his protein intake amounted to 500 kcals per day on his diet. I checked a number of protein powders and averaged a few (he didn’t mention a specific brand) and calculated that 500 kcals of one might contain about 12 grams of fat, 20 grams of carbohydrate, and 80 grams of protein.
If you add all this together, it turns out that Mr. Crow was consuming the following:
135 grams of fat
205 grams of carbohydrate
120 grams of protein
14 grams of alcohol
If you calculate all the kcals there it turns out to be 2,613, which is pretty close to the 2,500 he described, if you add in the 98 calories of the booze that he also included.
Based on the video below in which Mr. Crow shows us how he makes his Jameson milkshake, I’m not sure he was all that careful with his caloric calculations. I’ve got it queued to the spot. He uses eggnog ice cream, which makes me want to gag, but to each his own. [The bride says it sounds pretty interesting to her. After all, Jameson laced egg nog is a Christmas tradition at Casa Eades.]
Let’s take all this as factual. That he really did hew closely to his diet. And let’s make some calculations.
First, here are photos from the article showing Mr. Crow before and after his 100 days on the ice cream and booze diet.
I’ve been in the weight loss business a long time, and this doesn’t look to me anywhere near a 32 pound loss. MD agrees. Unless this guy is very tall, which he doesn’t appear to be, I don’t think he really lost that much weight. He says in the article that he lost some muscle, but it doesn’t really look much like it. Plus, he’s only 32, and people that age still retain muscle pretty well.
Fat weighs a little less than 8 pounds per gallon. If he lost 32 pounds, he would have lost a bit more than 4 gallons of volume. Four plastic milk jugs of volume. Does it look like he lost that much to you?
Let’s look at this from a caloric perspective.
The article says Mr. Crow spends about 7 hours per day editing videos. That sounds pretty sedentary to me. The article says he quit going to the gym as much after he became tired of his ice cream diet, so let’s assume he did go to the gym a few days a week.
If you look at his metabolic rate, calculated below, you can see that at 192 pounds, he should be burning about 2,677 calories (kcal) per day going to the gym 4 days per week. I set his height at 5”10,” but it could be different.
So, if he’s taking in 2,600 kcal per day and burning off 2,677, that means he has a deficit of only 77 kcal per day. There are approximately 3,500 kcal in a pound of fat. So divide 3,500 by 77 and it will tell you how many days it would take him to lose a pound. Turns out it is a little over 45 days. Which is almost half of his 100 days.
What’s worse, as he loses weight, his metabolic rate falls. I ran the calculation for 160 pounds.
Whoops, now he’s eating about 40 kcal more than required to maintain 160 pounds. So the reality—on a caloric basis—is that he would never get to 160 on his ice cream diet. Not even close.
But now let’s look at it from a different perspective.
Let’s assume he was maintaining his 192 pounds of weight on a 2,600 kcal regular diet. In my talk on the mass balance theory of weight loss, I put up this slide:
If you look at the top line, which is probably near a standard diet macro-wise, and multiply the figures by 2600/2500 to bring them to the 2,600 kcal/day diet Mr. Crow was eating, you’ll see that it calculates to 540.8 grams per day of food.
If you run the calculations on how many grams Mr. Crow was eating on his diet from the list above (135 g fat, 205 g carb, 120 g protein, and 14 g alcohol) you’ll find he was consuming 474 grams of food per day.
If he was maintaining on his 2,600 kcal regular diet, he was eating ~541 grams of food. Subtract 474 from 541 and you get a 67 gram differential per day. If you multiply that by 100, you get 6,700 grams, or 6.7 kilograms difference in 100 days. A kilogram is 2.2 pounds, so 2.2 X 6.7= 14.74, so say 15 pounds of loss on the ice cream diet.
Which, based on his photos above, seems much more believable.
Metabolic Basis of Cancer Treatment
Okay, we’ve pretty much covered most of the bases here, so let’s review. According to the metabolic theory of cancer, the initial insult occurs in the mitochondria, the organelles inside the cells that produce the vast majority of the energy used to run our bodies. The mitochondria produce this energy via a process known as oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos). When the mitochondria are damaged, this process fails and instead of making energy, the mitochondria throw off large amounts of free radicals, which are the agents that cause the mutations to make the cells cancerous.
The mitochondria in these cells cannot use oxygen like normal mitochondria, but the cell can use glucose. Instead of using oxygen to metabolize the glucose via OxPhos, the cells revert to fermentation, an ancient pathway of metabolism.
The great German scientist Otto Warburg figured this out, and it is called the Warburg effect still.
It was also discovered that cancer cells can’t use ketones for fuel. So, the next logical idea was to deprive the cancer cells of glucose by putting cancer patients on ketogenic diets. Their glucose levels will drop, which will affect only the cancer cells, because the other cells in the body can burn ketones.
This was tried and it worked. Somewhat. People could be kept alive longer on ketogenic diets than on other diets, but somehow the cancer cells still managed to survive.
Dr. Seyfried and his group discovered that cancer cells can also ferment glutamine, the most common amino acid in the body. Which is why the ketogenic diet alone was not entirely effective. It slowed the cancer down, but didn’t completely disable it.
There are a number of old anti-parasitic drugs along with a drug call DOM (6-diazo-5-oxo-L-norleucine) that have been found to interfere in one way or another with the fermentation of glutamine.
Now the protocol is to immediately put the cancer patients on a strict ketogenic diet—or even a water fast for a couple of weeks—to get their glucose as low as possible while providing ketones to fuel the normal cells. Then, once the patient is a bit stabilized and the inflammation caused by the cancer is beaten back, the meds to prevent glutamine fermentation are begun.
This entire process is monitored closely. Sometimes, based on the particular type of cancer, a debulking surgery may be undertaken. Or small doses of chemotherapy might be given. Small doses. Not large enough to cause hair loss and GI issues.
By constant fiddling with various modalities, many cancers can be managed for a number of years, allowing the patients to live fairly normal lives.
Standard cancer therapy—radiation and/or chemotherapy—has been shown to extend life for an average of 2.4 months as compared to doing nothing.
Which raises the question, Why doesn’t everyone do metabolic therapy instead of traditional therapy?
A couple of reasons. First, most oncologists have no idea metabolic therapy exists. Second, everyone is bound by the Standard of Care (SOC).
As I’ve discussed many times re statins, if you are a physician and don’t follow the SOC and your patient doesn’t do well, you are in court. If you rigorously follow the SOC and your patient dies, you are safe.
It works that way with cancer. I don’t care what kind of cancer someone gets, there is a SOC procedure to deal with it. And that’s what doctors do.
You might think changing the SOC would be easy. All you do is show the great results achieved in those patients undergoing metabolic therapy, and everyone will immediately want to change the SOC.
If only it were that easy.
Since the SOC is pretty much chiseled into stone, the revenue model in hospitals has been created with the SOC in mind. I’m not trying to get into greed here and the lure of making money while ignoring peoples’ lives. It’s just the reality.
Hospitals make an enormous amount of money on cancer therapies of one form or another. When MD’s sister came down with lung cancer, she survived almost exactly three months after her diagnosis. MD was the executrix of her estate, and in those three months her sister lived after diagnosis, her medical bills were about $400,000. Most of which was paid by Medicare, and most of which went to various hospitals and the cost of expensive chemo drugs.
Hospital administrators know about how many cancer patients are going to come through the door each year, and how much each one means to the hospital revenue-wise. They base their business model on it. Cancer, heart disease, and all the other issues patients have. The administrators know the SOC, and can predict the income of the hospital based on the numbers generated by doctors following the SOC.
It’s tough to get the SOC changed.
And virtually all of the patients who end up getting metabolic therapy these days have already gone through the SOC, which has failed them. If Dr. Seyfried and his group could get cancer patients before they were traumatized by the SOC, their survival numbers would doubtless be much better than they are.
Should I be unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with some sort of loathsome malignancy, I can tell you for absolute certain that I would opt for the metabolic therapy route.
Videos of the Week
I had in mind a video to put up, but a reader sent me a link to a beautiful song and music by Vivaldi. I’ve listened to it multiple times this week, and it is totally relaxing. I need it in view of what is going on in the world.
This is Chloe Agnew when she was 15 singing Vivaldi’s “Rain.”
Here is the one I was intending to put up. It’s by Pokey LaFarge, of whom I’m a big fan. I love his style; I love his outfits; I love his lead guitarist. And I love his little tiny girlfriend, who isn’t on this video, but is on others. She is a helluva musician who can play about a dozen instruments. And I love this video because it features the Eads bridge over the Mississippi in St.Louis. There is a family connection. With James Eads, the engineer who designed the bridge, not Pokey. (Note that James left the all important extra ‘e’ out of his version of the name.)
Okay, that’s it till next Thursday. Or whenever I send out the list of links. I’ll send that when I can. I’ll send the first one out to everyone, but I’ll probably send the rest to paid subscribers. No whining. Just sign up. It’s cheap.
P.S. I’m hoping this goes out. We’re in the middle of a hellacious hail storm right now, and the internet just went kaput. I’m using the hotspot on my iPhone. Fingers crossed.