Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: The Carbohydrate Hypothesis of Obesity: a Critical Examination

  1. #1
    Administrator Islander's Avatar
    Join Date
    16th September 2007
    Location
    Maine, USA. The way life should be.
    Posts
    14,418

    Default The Carbohydrate Hypothesis of Obesity: a Critical Examination

    Stephan Guyenet
    August 11, 2011

    Introduction

    I'd like to begin by emphasizing that carbohydrate restriction has helped many people lose body fat and improve their metabolic health. Although it doesn't work for everyone, there is no doubt that carbohydrate restriction causes fat loss in many, perhaps even most obese people. For a subset of people, the results can be very impressive. I consider that to be a fact at this point, but that's not what I'll be discussing here.

    What I want to discuss is a hypothesis. It's the idea, championed by Gary Taubes, that carbohydrate (particularly refined carbohydrate) causes obesity by elevating insulin, thereby causing increased fat storage in fat cells. To demonstrate that I'm representing this hypothesis accurately, here is a quote from his book Good Calories, Bad Calories:
    This alternative hypothesis of obesity constitutes three distinct propositions. First, as I've said, is the basic proposition that obesity is caused by a regulatory defect in fat metabolism, and so a defect in the distribution of energy rather than an imbalance of energy intake and expenditure. The second is that insulin plays a primary role in this fattening process, and the compensatory behaviors of hunger and lethargy. The third is that carbohydrates, and particularly refined carbohydrates-- and perhaps the fructose content as well, and thus perhaps the amount of sugars consumed-- are the prime suspects in the chronic elevation of insulin; hence, they are the ultimate cause of common obesity.
    There are three parts to this idea. I'll discuss them each separately. I know many people are expecting (hoping for?) a bitter takedown of Gary Taubes, but that's not what's going to happen. I don't feel bitter, but I do think some scientific wrongs need to be righted, for the sake of the ancestral health community as a whole. I also acknowledge that there is a lot of useful information in Taubes's books.

    Read more: http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.co...f-obesity.html
    ➤ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member mellowsong's Avatar
    Join Date
    24th September 2007
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    6,349

    Default Re: The Carbohydrate Hypothesis of Obesity: a Critical Examination

    I have not read Gary Taubes' books but am vaguely aware of what he has to say. As far as this article, I am mostly aware of the science he quotes and in agreement with a large part of what he says. However, this quote sums up why I don't agree with him altogether. "but the fact is that obesity is a complex problem and it will not be shoehorned into simplistic hypotheses." Yet, this simplicity is exactly what he attempts to do in his rebuttal.

    I am doing this off the top of my head and may not be 100% correct but the overall gist is right. One thing never ever discussed in this article is the indisputable fact that excess carbohydrates are turned into triglycerides by the body and deposited as fat. Carbohydrates get broken down into glucose. When too much glucose is present in the blood, the pancreas secretes insulin to move glucose into cells. If there is still excess glucose the liver kicks in and converts glucose to glycogen which is then stored in muscle. However, if there is too much glycogen to be stored, it goes back to the liver where it is then converted to triglycerides and stored.

    Fructose does not stimulate the production of insulin and cannot be used by the body as fuel, nor can it be converted to glycogen. The liver takes fructose and makes triglycerides, period. If the body doesn't need an alternate source of energy right then and there, the triglycerides are stored. Most of the fat in the body is triglycerides.

    Never once in this article does he mention the dramatic increase in FRUCTOSE that has occurred as obesity has climbed. You absolutely cannot take all carbohydrates and lump them together as equivalent. The same thing applies to fats. The body uses monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated fats very differently. Yes, fat consumption has increased, however most of this increase has been in the form of polyunsaturated and trans fats. Conventional medicine and the vast majority of sheeple will never ever admit that fat isn't evil and their guidelines keep people sick and fat.

    Another thing he neglects to mention is the toxic world and the massive amounts of estrogenic chemicals in the food supply and in our bodies. Excess estrogen causes fat storage. How about all the studies now that prove artificial sweeteners trigger an insulin response, lowering blood sugar and in the long run, causing INCREASED caloric intake, usually of refined carbohydrates and sugar! He talks about hypoglycemia but fails to mention the fact that a rapid drop in blood sugar, even if it stays "within normal limits" will trigger hypoglycemia symptoms and hunger. For example, if a person drops from 120 to 70 fairly rapidly (say from drinking a diet soda on an empty stomach resulting in insulin secretion but no excess sugar for the insulin to work on) that person will feel hungry and may feel weak, shaky and have cold sweats.

    Although I could rebut his rebuttal, I want to finish with one last point. With all his talk about hormones, he never says a word about ghrelin. Ghrelin is produced in the stomach and pancreas and it stimulates hunger; basically it is a counterpart to leptin. However, ghrelin is also produced in the hypothalamus and tells the pituitary to produce human growth hormone. Ghrelin is needed for cognition and utilization of the nitric oxide pathway. Ghrelin is also the hormone responsible for the "reward" circuit reinforcing enjoyment of natural rewards such as food and contributing to addictions.

    Ok, this is really my last point! I just have to say that this really ticks me off: Let's also address the claim that obese people don't necessarily eat more than lean people. Food records are notoriously inaccurate, however there is at least one way to measure total energy intake in a precise and unbiased manner. It is called the "doubly labeled water method" (DLW). DLW studies have shown that after controlling for confounding factors, obese people almost invariably expend more, and consume more calories than lean people (

    Guess I have to give him credit for using the word "almost"!!! I kept scrupulous diaries for myself and in an attempt to convince the medical establishment that I was not overeating. I was gaining weight on 400 to 700 calories/day. I was desperate for answers so I was not cheating in any way.
    I promise to sit on my hands now
    Last edited by mellowsong; 08-21-11 at 06:40 PM.

  3. #3
    Administrator Islander's Avatar
    Join Date
    16th September 2007
    Location
    Maine, USA. The way life should be.
    Posts
    14,418

    Default Re: The Carbohydrate Hypothesis of Obesity: a Critical Examination

    Quote Originally Posted by mellowsong View Post
    I have not read Gary Taubes' books but am vaguely aware of what he has to say.
    VV has a page devoted to him. You can read the transcript if you are so inclined.
    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/ar...0820_DNL_art_1
    ➤ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member Maurya's Avatar
    Join Date
    29th August 2009
    Location
    Saint Croix
    Posts
    2,334

    Default Re: The Carbohydrate Hypothesis of Obesity: a Critical Examination

    Brilliant, Mellowsong! Especially the part about fructose and triglycerides. And estrogen: Do any of us have experience with fat thighs? That would be excess fat bound estrogen, both xenoestrogens as well as the type produced in the body. Any nutritional theorist seems to observe a mandate to pay lip service to the "calories in = calories expended" theory, no matter how often or how thoroughly it is disproved. IMHO Gary Taubes has yet to be challenged effectively.

  5. #5
    Administrator Islander's Avatar
    Join Date
    16th September 2007
    Location
    Maine, USA. The way life should be.
    Posts
    14,418

    Default Re: The Carbohydrate Hypothesis of Obesity: a Critical Examination

    Thank you for a very informative piece, Mellow! When I made my comment, you had only posted the first paragraph.
    ➤ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. How Much Carbohydrate Do You Really Need?
    By mellowsong in forum Nutrition in General
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 06-26-11, 01:21 AM
  2. New Research Confirms Martin Pall Hypothesis
    By Aaltrude in forum Chronic Multi-System Illnesses
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-09-10, 01:15 AM
  3. Ancel KMeys, the Lipid Hypothesis and Cholesterol
    By Islander in forum Heart Disease and Stroke
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-16-10, 11:46 AM
  4. Iodine: Overlooked but Critical
    By mellowsong in forum Minerals
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 11-08-08, 07:44 PM
  5. Close examination of thimerosal in vaccines
    By Islander in forum Vaccines
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-27-07, 10:46 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
<<<<<<<< Your Customized Value <<<<<<<<