Posted by: Sabio Lantz | June 5, 2010

Dung Pillows

Stacked Cow Dung

Recent research shows you can make mice smarter by feeding them a bacteria (Mycobacterium vaccae) commonly found in soil.  This bacteria is also plentiful in cow dung and apparently Hare Krishna folks are excited by this because cow dung is used in fuel throughout India where cows are treated as sacred by many Hindus.

Well, I can see people offering retreats in the woods and gardening parties to make their kids smarter, but I have a solution I am offering for free — dung pillows.  Go to your local farmer, grab some cow dung and throw it in your kid’s pillow.

Posted by: Sabio Lantz | May 31, 2010


Canola Oil
Corn Oil
Sunflower Seed Oil
Safflower Seed Oil
Cottonseed Oil
Grape Seed Oil
Soybean Oil
Flax Seed Oil
Palm Oil
Olive Oil
Coconut Oil
Fish Oil
Avocado Oil
Macadamia Nut Oil
Sesame Seed Oil


Posted by: Sabio Lantz | May 31, 2010

Choosing a Diet

Lots of Diets out there:

  • The Zone (moderate carb, high protein, moderate fat)
  • Atkins (low-carb)
  • Ornish (very low fat, vegetarian)
  • Learn (low-fat)

The A-Z study of 311 overweight women showed Atkins a bit better than others for weight loss.  But some people did better on diets than others.   Dr. Parker reviews an article which shows that: “Stanford University researchers obtained DNA from 138 of the 311 women and noted the occurence of three genes—ABP2, ADRB2, and PPAR-gamma—that had previously been shown to predict weight loss via diet-gene interactions.  For example, a particular mix of these genes predict better weight loss with a low-fat diet; a different mix predicts more loss with a low-carb diet.”  This takes the righteousness out of the sails of those that succeed in some diets and states that some diets may be better for certain types than others. (if the study is accurate)

Posted by: Sabio Lantz | May 31, 2010


Chocolate contains healthy components including flavonoids and procyanidins.

Article reviews on potential benefits of chocolate:

  • Decrease risk of stroke: 22% lower risk with one serving per week and 45% reduction in death from stroke if 50 gm per week. My Lindt bars are 100 gms and this study did not differentiate dark from milk chocolate. So for dark chocolate (90%) the right dose 20 grams (2 large squares of the 10 squares to a bar) every three days is probably good.
  • Chocolate improves erectile dysfunction (ED) (I will have to find the study). ED, like stroke is due to poor vasculature.

Good Posts on Chocolate:

Posted by: Sabio Lantz | May 22, 2010

Muscle Types

Does anyone know what is the difference between red and white meat in our diet?  What makes some meat red?

Two Big Categories of Muscles:

  1. Voluntary (Skeletal)
  2. Involuntary (Smooth and Cardiac)

Great article on type of skeletal muscle fibers including gene sources: Wiki

Muscles: mixture of these three fiber types:
Type 1 Type 2a Type 2b
slow twitch
slow oxidative
large myoglobin
many mitochondria
many capillaries
resistant to fatigue
Needed in:
– postural muscles
– long distant running
fast twitch
fast oxidative
large myoglobin
many mitochondria
many capillaries
resistant to fatigue
Needed in:
– swimming and
– middle distant running
fast twitch
fast gylcolytic
low myoglobin
few mitochondria
few capillaries
fatigue easily
Needed in:
– Sprinting
Posted by: Sabio Lantz | May 22, 2010

Red Meat vs. Processed Meat

Source: Circulation 5/17/10 (& NYT)

Type of Study:  Meta-analysis
Dose:  1 serving per day

  • Consumption of red meat NOT associated with higher incidence of CHD and DM
  • Processed Meats ARE associated with higher incidence of CHD (42% inc) and DM (19% inc)
  • Neither red meat nor processed meats associated with stroke.
  • Processed Meat: bacon, salami, sausages, hot dogs, processed deli or luncheon meats.
  • Culprit was not fat but levels of sodium and chemical preservatives.  Processed meats had about four times more sodium and 50 percent more nitrate preservatives than unprocessed meats.
  • The study suggests meats like burgers and steaks have been wrongly implicated in heart disease. But that mistake likely occurred because the people who eat a lot of meat also tend to consume high amounts of bacon, hot dogs and other processed meats.
  • BUT:  NYT article says: “it doesn’t address research that has linked an increased risk of colon cancer with high meat consumption.”  I am sure these are addressed elsewhere but I don’t have them at the tip of my hands.
Posted by: Sabio Lantz | August 29, 2009

Skinny Paleo

Most people on a Paleo/Primal diet are trying to loose weight.  But I am naturally skinny, so below I will build info for skinny folks who want to pursue a healthy Paleo diet.

  • Mark Sisson has a fantastic post on: “How to gain weight and build muscle”
  • Peter talks on wt loss mechanisms in an LC diet
Posted by: Sabio Lantz | August 29, 2009

Wheat & Grains

Type 1 Diabetes Linked To Immune Response To Wheat. (Aug. 2009, Diabetes).

Peter at Hyperlipid: Pullulanse causes arthritis

There is a fairly innocent little bug called klebsiella pneumoniae which lives not only in the soil but in the intestine of many of us, probably most of us. It is a niche bacterium which exploits a particular food source. It eats starch, but not just any starch. Starch is made of long chains of glucose. The chains are branched. At the branch points there are triplets of glucose which will not fit in to the normal digestive machinery possessed by human beings, so they get left undigested. Klebsiella eats these triplets of glucose. It has a special enzyme, pullulanase, to break them down. Happy bacterium.

Unfortumately there is a large subgroup of the population who’s immune system “sees” pullulanase as something to attack. These people have a special marker on their white blood cells called HLA B27. They attack pullulanase as if it were an invading nasty. It is unfortunate that the structure of pullulanase and the structure of the collagen which forms our joints is similar. An attack on pullulanase results in collateral damage to the collagen of our ligaments and joints, most particularly those of our spine.

Posted by: Sabio Lantz | August 29, 2009

Articles against Low-Carb Diets

For easy reference, I will try to compile a list of publications against low-Carb diets and then posts explaining their errors or insights.  Readers will learn about how to dissect “scientific” research by reading these reviews.  (please leave other important articles you hear of)

FASEB Journal (9/2009): Deterioration of physical performance and cognitive function in rats with short-term high-fat feeding.

PNAS Arcicle (7/2009): “Vascular Effects of a Low-carbohydrate, high-protein Diet”

American Society for Clinical Nutrition (10/2005) : “Arterial endothelial dysfunction in baboons fed a high-cholesterol, high-fat diet”

Posted by: Sabio Lantz | August 26, 2009

Paleo Religion

cavemanBefore undertaking this lifestyle I realized that I was beginning yet another experiment in my life.  I knew that this new endeavor could fall prey to poor religious thinking.   I told my wife that I was well aware that the Paleo lifestyle had all the possible trapping of religion and that I would try to keep an eye on all those religious pitfalls.

The word “religion” is used in contrast to “philosophy” in a negative way because as oppose to philosophy, religion is sanctioned off from questioning by using the taboo part of the brain.  Philosophy, on the other hand, is always open to discussion, dialogue and change.

Here are some of the pitfalls of what I call the negative aspects of religious thinking — see how the apply to Paleo, Primal or low-carb practitioner:

  • Bracingly Stubborn:  Doing something counter to what society considers “normal” is difficult.  It takes a certain amount of self-discipline, strength and resolution of will to break out of the norm.  Stubborn blindness is what happens when this effort is not checked.
  • Self-righteousness & Judgement:  Because one undertakes the Paleo lifestyle for health reasons, and it take disciple, the temptation of condemning self-righteousness is huge.  After not even too long into it, you will be tempted to look down on fat people with either pity or detest.  Like religious people, we feel we are on a mission for a higher purpose.  This can lead to the vice of pride.
  • Closed Epistemology: We develop our own major prophets (I won’t name them), and our own sacred texts.  We live in an echo chamber reading more and more from those who agree with us.  We listen only to those in our tribe.  We seek out confirmatory information only.  We are closed from outside input.  We reflexively ignore the weaknesses in the system and suppress our own doubts to maintain our convictions.
  • Evangelical:  We want to tell everyone of this better path. We aggressively tell others what they should do, even when they don’t want to hear.  We justify our intrusiveness by telling ourselves it is for the better of the other person.
  • Truth over Relationships:  Some will start sacrificing relationships for their dogma.  They will alienate friends with their self-righteousness, their evangelism or their social awkwardness.
  • Denominationalism:  We soon splinter off, in spite of great commonality, into smaller circles over how much fat, how much fruit, milk or no milk, etc…  And the bad mouthing is embarrassing.

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