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Science: Round 1 Part 2, Calories or Carbs

December 5, 2015

We decided to give our pancreases a few days off to recharge.  Apparently the entire weeks food activities can effect any given days, so a few days off is the least we can do after the Sausage Egg McMuffin fest.

Before we get down to the part of round 1, I would like to propose that 2 Sausage Egg McMuffins and a large coffee become our standard test.  This will be our baseline.  We are looking to add a few new test subjects to the pool, so we can all get a baseline using the Sausage Egg McMuffins.  As well, I am going to invite everyone reading this blog to join in on the experiment.  I will link the call out here.  I think in the future, when asked, what is your SEMcM score, people will just say 5.0, 7.0, 6.5… or 4 hours to get back to baseline…  I think it might be a better measure of the likelihood of developing diabetes in the next 5 years than any other.  Mind you, if you answer, I can’t get my SEMcM because I never eat junk food, odds are diabetes isn’t in your immediate future.

The other thing I want to talk about is science.  What we are doing isn’t quite science…. well, it is science, but it is not good science.  So often we hear reports in the media that a study proves that x is bad for you, or y is good for you.  The truth is, science is a body of information (technically it is the way in which we get that knowledge, but don’t worry about that for now).  No one study will ever prove anything.  Ever.  Even a well designed study is only one part in a growing body of knowledge.  It is only valid within its context and is limited in how you can extrapolate it to the general public.  The smaller your sample size, the less applicable your findings are to the public as a whole.  Our sample size is ridiculously small.  As well, the less controls you put on all of the variables, the less you can attribute your results to the variable you are varying.  Our experiment is very loosely controlled.

So, with that said, there is still tremendous value in the results we are getting and the experiment we are running.  Still, for any individual, the best thing you can do is get your own blood sugar meter and find out the foods you shouldn’t be eating by getting to know what causes spikes and what to eliminate from your diet.

Back to part 2.

So, as with Part 1, a number of things went wrong.  At 7:30 I was driving through the drive-thru while Dan was texting me a picture of the donut cabinet at 7-11.

  
Plenty of glazed donuts, no problem there.

Unfortunately McDonalds didn’t work out as well, as they would not make me french fries for breakfast.  I thought I read somewhere that they were going to have dinner items available at breakfast and vice versa, but that was probably just a dream… a cruel cruel dream.

So, my plan for french fries will have to wait, but I think this is good as it keeps Dan and I eating the same things, which is probably best for the experiment.  I got us some large coffees to keep as much consistency in variables and headed off to get my half of the donuts.

The equipment for Part 2:

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I didn’t really think that 3 and 1/2 donuts was a lot.  I mean I knew it was a lot of bad, but I didn’t think it was a lot of food.  It is.  It is a ton of food.  You have no idea.  After choking back the last of these donuts, I think I am completely cured of my love of donuts and I am reminded of reading Mrs. Piggle Wiggle as a kid.  Who knew that those techniques really worked.

We got down to eating these and Dan just plowed through.  I still had one and half to go when he finished up.

I don’t think I have ever seen Dan so giddy.  As soon as he was done he was running around getting the gym ready.

It was such a chore to eat these donuts.  I don’t want to belabor this point, but really, 3 and 1/2 glazed donuts is a disgusting meal. You can see the joy on my face… BTW, I had to take a selfie as Dan had already run off to do something.  On a side note, this is 7:45 in the morning.  We aren’t looking our best but are willing to put ourselves out there for science.  Don’t judge.

To recap, we each ate: 3 and 1/2  7-11 glazed donuts.  They are 250 calories each.  The meal had 38.5 grams of fat, 119 grams of carbohydrates, and 10 grams of protein.   22% fat, 71% carb and 7% protein.  40 grams of the carbohydrates were sugar.

Results:

This time I was more prepared and we got our fasting blood sugars.  I hadn’t consumed anything at this point, not even a sip of coffee.  Dan was the same.  We should both pull 5.0’s or thereabouts.

I did my blood test first and came up with a 6.7!!  Seriously, a 6.7! Dan was laughing and making fun of my reading until he realized that he might be jinxing himself.  Spoiler alert, he was.  Dan pulled an astounding 7.8!  Before eating a bite.  We couldn’t figure out what went wrong.  How could we have contaminated the equipment?  These were unprecedented numbers for both of us.  Totally out of the range.  My reading wasn’t entirely surprising to me as I had been at my favorite Christmas party buffet dinner the 2 nights before and had eaten so much food I had gotten the meat sweats.  I had a fair bit to drink too, but there was no good reason for Dan’s results.

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That was just my first plate too.

Then of course it dawned on us.  We had been handling these sugar glazed donuts.  Our fingers were covered with sugar.  That sugar was mixed in with the blood.  We were laughing at how stupid we were and quickly went off to wash our hands and try again.  What a relief to figure out how badly we had messed with the experiment.  A few minutes later, we tested again and my measurement had gone up to 7.0!! Dan’s stayed at 7.8…  I can’t explain this… Could our livers be dumping huge amounts of sugar into our blood in anticipation of the donuts?  We both were very excited at the start to eat these.  Dan was more than a little excited.  He was like a kid on Christmas morning…  This is something for a future experiment.  How does anticipation effect blood sugar readings?  Dan pointed out that the liver pushing sugar into the blood is the opposite reaction you would expect if your body was getting ready for the donuts.  Wouldn’t it pre-flood your blood with insulin.  We both laughed as we imagined Dan passing out at the donut cabinet, unable to ever eat his donuts as his blood sugar dropped.  In any case, more sciencing to be done.

fasting: (7:45 on December 4, 2015)

Mark’s blood sugar was 7.0 mmol/l       Dan’s blood sugar was 7.8

1 hour:  (9:05 on December 4, 2015)

Mark’s blood sugar was 9.8 mmol/l        Dan’s blood sugar was 6.9 mmol/l

My blood sugar did exactly what I expected.  I probably peaked somewhere between 10 and 11 at 45 minutes.  Dan’s blood sugar has no possible explanation except that his pancreas stores a lot of insulin, because his blood sugar went down from his baseline!  I will look into this.

2 hours: (10:15 on December 4, 2015)

Mark’s blood sugar was 7.7 mmol/l      Dan’s blood sugar was 7.3 mmol/l

My blood sugar was exactly on track, but Dan’s is back up a bit.

4 hours: (11:51 on December 4, 2015)

Mark’s blood sugar was 4.3 mmol/l     Dan’s blood sugar was 4.8 mmol/l

So, I finally beat Dan to a lower blood sugar.  I am happy to be under 5.  The time between the last 2 measures was closer to an hour and a half than 2 hours btw.

Discussion:

So, what do we know.  First the 2 meals head to head.

The blood spike difference for me was significant.  I spiked up to 9.8 on the carb meal (donuts) after one hour as opposed to 7.0 on the balanced meal.

Again, at 2 hours, the carb meal was still higher, 7.0 as opposed to 6.5.

The time to clear the sugar was quite different though.  I had a blood sugar under 5 within 4 hours on the carb meal, but it was still 5.8 on the balanced meal.

I did get some  activity in between the blood measurements on the carb meal, so that could have caused the better sugar control.  This is definitely one of the next experiments.  Dan and I will eat the control meal (2 Sausage Egg McMuffins and a large coffee) and then do periods of exercise in between.  I recommend we do 15 minutes of cardio each hour.  A future experiment can be 15 minute High Intensity WODs instead and see the effect of high intensity exercise compared to cardio.

Dan had a  different outcome, but that can probably be attributed to his insanely high fasting blood sugar.

Dan’s 1 hour peak was higher with the balanced meal, 7.3 versus 6.9.  Still his highest peak was less than his fasting blood sugar on carb day.  As well, Dan cleared his sugar much faster on balanced meal day, within 2 hours he was down to 5, but this took 4 hours on the carb meal.  Dan peaked at 7.3 at 3 hours on carb day.

So, it is hard to get a sense of the data with our size of subject pool and variability of circumstances.  Until we measure the effect of exercise on blood sugar, the data is inconclusive.  I am very interested in how long it took to clear the sugar out of my blood on the balanced meal day.  It will be interesting to see if that was a case of lack of exercise or if there is something in that meal that keeps impacting my sugar load in my blood.  Still, the higher magnitude of blood sugar measurements on carb day are impossible to ignore, especially when seen on a chart.

When the balanced meal is graphed you can see that Dan’s blood sugar, although getting out of a healthy range, looks like what blood sugar should.  Mine, not so much.  The reduction from peak is an almost linear path.

BLOODSUGARMcMuffin

The carb day went exactly as I had expected for myself, but I was surprised that my blood sugar was as low as it was at the end of 4 hours.  As well, the balanced day went exactly as I expected for Dan and pretty much matched the results from the day he did the 7-11 egg muffins.  The initial high readings on the carb day have me confused and intrigued, especially Dan’s.

When graphed, my blood sugar looks exactly like it should, although insanely out of the healthy zone.  Clearly 3 and 1/2 glazed donuts are out for me… forever.  Dan’s blood is bizarre though.  Apparently there are 2 major doses of insulin that the pancreas secretes after eating.  A huge one that brings down the big spike and then about an hour later a smaller but significant dose that brings blood sugar back to normal.  Both curves would support that.  Certainly mine does.  If Dan’s first dose of insulin occurred when he was fasting in response to extraordinarily high blood sugar, then he may have peaked at around 8:15 dropping quickly down to 7 at 9:05.  Still with so much sugar he may have rebounded at 10:15 and the next dose of insulin brought him down.  Just a theory.

BloodSugar2Donuts

So, the next phase of this experiment should be to test both of those meals again at exactly half of the calories.  I anticipate that we will see similar but less pronounced results.  This should give us all of the data we need to determine carbs versus calories and move on to see what the immediate effects of exercise are on blood sugar.  It will also help me to determine how large of an unhealthy meal I can eat and not risk future diabetes.

 

 

 

 

Science: Round 1 Part 1, Calories or Carbs

December 1, 2015

The Background:

What causes my blood sugar to rise out of a healthy zone?  Meals with too many calories (exceeding 500 calories in a sitting)?  Meals with too many refined carbohydrates (total carbohydrates minus fiber, where this number exceeds 40% of the total grams of the meal)?  Or a combination of both?

Also, does someone who trains and exercises on a regular basis have a better ability to keep their blood sugars in the zone?

I am going to combine 2 experiments into this one, maybe more… who knows, but last week my trainer and friend Dan came into the office (my gym is right across the street).  He had just bought breakfast, 2 7-11 breakfast egg sandwiches, one bacon, one sausage.  I suggested that those were horrible for him: too many carbs and way too many calories.  He disagreed and then downed them like a pro.  His fasting blood sugar was 5.1.  He peaked at 8.4 one hour later and then dropped to 4.2 by 2 hours.  I am not saying that 8.4 is particularly good, but 4.2 at 2 hours!!!  We agreed to try this head to head.

The Hypothesis:

My hypothesis is that the carb load of a meal will be the main determinant of my blood sugar reading after eating.

I know this sounds simple, but I will be using the outcome of this research to determine just how much of a carb load I can handle and stay in my healthy blood zone, so this is a first step and a necessary one.  It doesn’t help to take assumptions forward in science.

The more fun hypothesis is that I believe Dan, a trainer who works in the gym and trains every day will have a better blood sugar reaction to all of these meals than I will.  I only work out 2-3 times a week and have always struggled with weight gain.  To be clear though, Dan eats a lot and can easily gain weight despite his workouts, so he may not be the perfect trainer example, but he is in on the experiment.

The experiment.

This experiment is in 2 parts.

Part 1: We will eat a meal with a relatively balanced carbohydrate, protein and fat ratio.  Using the Zone diet as the guide, an ideal meal would be 30% fat, 30%protein and 40% fat.  We will test our blood sugar at 1 hour intervals, starting at fasting right before the meal.

Part 2: We will eat a meal with as poorly a balanced a carb to protein and fat ratio as we can come up with without it just being cake or a cookie.  We will again test our blood sugar at 1 hour intervals, starting at fasting right before the meal.

The calories of both meals will be identical or nearly identical.

The equipment for Part 1:

The head to head breakfast sandwich combo seemed like a good starting off point, but as I pointed out to Dan, I would never eat the breakfast sandwiches from 7-11… Never, not even drunk.  So, we agreed upon 2 Sausage and Egg McMuffin’s each.  Those I will eat… mmmmmm….  (By the way, many people have noted that I must be loving these experiments as they are giving me a reason to eat obscene amounts of food.  I have never eaten 2 of these McMuffin’s at one time before).

This morning I purchased the McMuffins and we went head to head.

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2 Sausage and Egg McMuffins Each.

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 1.20.13 PM

Above is the nutritional information for our meal.  You will note the breakdown of macro-ingredients is 26% protein, 32% fat and 42% carbohydrate.  Shockingly, the Sausage and Egg McMuffin is not far off of the ideal Zone meal!  The calories for 2 of these things is way too much for a meal.  As you know I recommend that all meals are under 500 calories and that you eat 4 meals a day.  1 is fine, but I can’t imagine being full after eating one of these calorie bombs.  So small, but so full of salty, delicious flavour.

Procedure:

IMG_7213

Stuff your face, wash it down with coffee (yes, I know we didn’t mention coffee in the equipment because we are bad scientists and because COFFEE!! – for the sake of science, 2 large coffees, Dan’s was black, mine had milk).

1 McMuffin was amazing… just amazing… the first part of 2 was almost as amazing… the second part was a little much.  There was definitely a diminishing marginal return on the end of the second McMuffin.  Still we powered through (I don’t think Dan felt that diminishing marginal return).

Fasting blood sugar:  You would think this was important, but I forgot the blood meter at home so we went without our fasting numbers.  I did go get it before the first hour test though.  Yes, I know I am a terrible scientist…  I am going with 5.0’s for both of us.

Results:

1 hour:  (9:05 on December 1, 2015)

Mark’s blood sugar was 7.0 mmol/l        Dan’s blood sugar was 7.3 mmol/l

So far so good.  Looks like I have a better pancreas than Dan!! Sure he can deadlift about 500 more pounds than I can, but my pancreas is in the lead!!

2 hours: (10:08 on December 1, 2015)

Mark’s blood sugar was 6.5 mmol/l      Dan’s blood sugar was 5.0 mmol/l

What?!?! Didn’t someone tell Dan’s pancreas that this was a marathon, not a sprint!?!? My pancreas is totally dogging this race.  Within 2 hours Dan has totally removed the evidence of this massive meal from his blood.

3 hours: (11:00 on December 1, 2015)

Mark’s blood sugar was 6.0 mmol/l

I had to go to a job site, so I left Dan out of this reading, but who needs him, his blood is already back to normal.  Still not good at 3 hours.

4 hours: (12:00 noon on December 1, 2015)

Mark’s blood sugar was 5.8 mmol/l

Discussion:

So, nothing particularly illuminating in the results so far.  First, 64 grams of refined carbohydrates are probably too much to be eating in one meal and the blood sugars definitely spiked as a result.  Still, nothing too bad.  The meal was very filling.

I have noticed this pattern of it taking a long time for the sugar to get out of my system.  This has me a little concerned.  I will have to look into that.  Still, so far, the second part of the experiment has definitely been informative.  Clearly Dan is much more able to get his blood sugar under control faster, as measured by time to get back to under 5.9 mmol/l.  I wonder if any of that has to do with the fact that he was in the gym for the 2 hours, walking around, grabbing equipment, etc (but not working out).  That is a future experiment.  I will eat this meal again and walk for the whole time in between testing…  Maybe to close the loop we can get Dan to sit for 4 hours.

For part 2 the foods have been decided.  I suggested that we eat 870 calories of hashbrowns because they are much higher in carbs/starches and because there is a poetry to having the other half of the experiment as the other half of a breakfast combo.  Also, wouldn’t mind ordering 11 hashbrowns.  Dan said something about donuts.  We discussed the options but Dan couldn’t say anything but donut.  He wants 7-11 glazed donuts.  They are 250 calories each.  He will have to eat exactly 3 and 1/2 donuts to get the same calories as the meal above.  It will have 38.5 grams of fat, 119 grams of carbohydrates, and 10 grams of protein.   22% fat, 71% carb and 7% protein.  Seems to fit the bill.

I am going to go a different way.  I am going to get McDonalds french fries.  I am going McDonalds again because I think it is important to eat in the same restaurant if I can.  I also dropped the hashbrowns as they aren’t as high in carbs as fat! They are insanely high in fat. (only 77 grams of carbs in meal with 55 grams of fat).  Also I suspect the french fries in the crazy McDonalds high blood reading I had last week so I would like to follow up.

I will eat 1 large fries, 1 medium fries and 6 packets of ketchup (which I don’t think will be enough ketchup sadly).  This will be 860 cals, 39 grams of fat, 111 grams of carbohydrates (121 – 10 grams of fiber) and 10 grams of protein.  25% fat, 69 % carb and 6% protein.  Almost identical to Dan’s meal.

A couple of things to note here.  First, a large french fry  is the macro-ingredient equivalent to 2 glazed donuts.  I find that bizarre.  The other thing that is important and worth a future experiment is that they differ almost exclusively in the sugar content.  The donuts have 40g of sugar.  The fries none.  Is sugar better for your blood sugar than potato starch?  I wonder.  I bet it is though.  We might live blog our results… who said science was boring… oh ya, that was me.

I will add a link to Part 2 here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some initial blood sugar findings

December 1, 2015

For information on blood sugar readings and why I am doing this, click here.

I have done forty or so readings so far.  I know that I am terrible at remembering to follow up on my readings, but I haven’t failed to do so every time.

I have several complete readings, but most of my readings so far have been fasting.

My fasting numbers are exclusively between 4.7 and 5.9, most commonly being about 5.3

I know that isn’t great, but it isn’t bad.

I have eaten a bunch of reasonable healthy meals and rarely follow through to 2 hours.  I have also eaten some classic fast food meals and taken measurements as well.

I ate a Subway tossed vegie salad and a 6″ Italian BMT on wheat.  My blood sugar before eating was 5.3.  At one hour it was 6.4 and at 3 hours it was 5.1.  Surprisingly good.

On Nov. 13th I ate a steak and caesar salad that was made at home.  Fasting was 4.7, at one hour was 6.5, at 2 hours was 6.8 and at 3 hours, 4.8.  Odd little blip there, but overall, pretty good.

On Nov. 14th I ate a Tim Horton‘s Breakfast Sausage Biscuit with cheese and egg and a small hashbrowns.  Fasting 5.5, one hour later 7.0.

For breakfast last week, I was Fasting 4.9 and ate an eggs benedict with a few hashbrown potatoes from Earl’s.  One hour later I was 5.8.

Nothing scary so far, but the week early I got this measurement and it scared me badly.  I ate a McDonalds Quarter Pounder with cheese, medium fries and diet coke and I went from 5.1 fasting to 9.0 at 45 minutes, to 10.1 at 1 and half hours and dropping to 6.5 at 2 hours and fifteen minutes!!  I couldn’t find the healthy zone if I tried!  What scared me was that the meal didn’t appear that bad to me.  I almost never eat french fries any more, but I sometimes get the whole meal.  I wonder if it was the fries that put me over.

Later in the week I tried to eat just the sandwich.  I ate a Quarter Pounder with cheese, nothing else.  Pre-meal 6.0, 1 hour 7.0, 2 hours 6.4.  Not great, but infinitely better than the meal.  I wonder if the diet coke played a role.  I will have to test that.  In any case, I tried the burger alone again and got another 7.0 at 1 hour.

Also during the last 2 weeks, I ate 3 slices of Fresh Slice pizza, cheese with hot sauce on top.  That is not a lot of pizza, but one more slice than I usually try to get by on.  2 slices always leaves me hungry.   My blood sugar was 5.2 at fasting, then shot up to 9.8 after one hour and dropped to 7.5 after 2 hours.  Again, terrible numbers.

So, it does seem pretty clear so far.  The carb load of a meal clearly effects my blood sugar.  The 3 slices of Fresh Slice clock in at just over 850 calories with over 108 grams of carbohydrate in the form of flour and sugar.  The Quarter Pounder with Cheese meal was 860 calories with 87 grams of carb, again all flour and sugar.  I don’t know why the McDonalds meal effected me so poorly, but my guess is that Freshslice just isn’t very accurate with their nutrition information.  The pizza seems awfully flimsy to have 108 grams of carbs in it.  Still, it could be the calories.  The meals were pretty even in calories and carbs, with Fresh Slice having the edge in carbs and McDonald’s in calories, so that would support the calories angle.

The subway meal was a combination of the BMT which was 410 calories of which 46 was carbohydrates.  Of that 5 grams were fiber.  The salad was 190 calories of which 13 grams were carbohydrate, only about 7 of which were refined and 3 of which were fiber.  So, I will directly deduct the fiber and we get a total of 600 calories total and 51 grams of carbohydrate.  These findings support both possibilities, or the possibility that it is a combination of calories and carbohydrates that raise blood sugar.

So, we have an experiment brewing.  In fact, I think I am going to take on 2 at the same time.  Get ready for the Round 1: Calories or Carbs.

 

 

Let the ‘sciencing’ begin…

December 1, 2015

I have had my fasting blood sugar tested on several occasions,  most recently a few months back.  I hadn’t been in the gym in a few months (so far my longest break from the gym), and I was getting exhausted after eating meals that were less than healthy.  My doctor wanted to test to see if I was diabetic.  This wasn’t the first time I had had this test done and it always comes back fine.  So on September 14, 2015 my fasting glucose was 5.0 mmol/l (to convert to mg/dl go here).  Not perfect, but within the range of normal.

I have always been suspicious of the fasting glucose test because I am more curious as to how my body deals with foods shortly after I eat, not after 12 hours.  I feel fine in the morning, but tired after a big meal… what is going on that is making me tired?

I have been thinking I should get a blood glucose meter and test myself for quite awhile.  I finally decided to do just that.  My doctor suggested that this may be a waste of time.  The pharmacist I purchased this device from had a very similar, although much stronger opinion.

I am going to shorten the comedy of errors that was my learning process to determine when to take blood sugar readings and what those readings should be in non-diabetics.

The key times to take blood are before eating (first time of the day is your fasting), 1 hour after, 2 hours after and in some cases 3 hours after.

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Here is a graph of blood sugar readings taken on the hour in healthy adults.  It was created as part of a study that can be found here.

The main thing to see in the chart is the average glucose concentration in the blood.  That is the blue line that starts at about 4.4, tops at about 7 at about 8:15, 45 minutes after eating, and then drops quickly to about 5 at 10:00.  That is what a healthy blood sugar reading should be.

There is a pretty good website that helps a healthy person determine what their blood sugar readings should be and why.  It is here.

Some of the important things to take away from this site:

Normal Fasting Blood Sugar

Fasting blood sugar is usually measured first thing in the morning before you have eaten any food. A truly normal fasting blood sugar (which is also the blood sugar a normal person will see if they have not eaten for a few hours) is:
Between 70 mg/dl (3.9 mmol/L) and 92 mg/dl (5.0 mmol/L) .

This is the finding of a considerable body of research. People whose blood sugar tests at this level do not develop diabetes over the next decade or longer. Those with supposedly normal blood sugars above 92 mg/dl often do. Nevertheless, most doctors consider any fasting blood sugar below 100 mg/dl (5.6 mmol/L) as completely normal

Post-Meal Blood Sugar (Postprandial)

Independent of what they eat, the blood sugar of a truly normal person is:
Under 120 mg/dl (6.6 mmol/L) one or two hours after a meal.

Most normal people are under 100 mg/dl (5.5 mmol/L) two hours after eating.

This is demonstrated by the graph at the top of this page, which shows the blood sugars measured during a study where normal people had their blood sugar sampled every few minutes after eating a high carbohydrate meal.

I believe these numbers are actually really important to everyone who wants to be fit.  I believe that unfit people who are not diabetic may run into blood sugar problems due to poor diet choices or lack of exercise.  The website I listed above and others, although directed at diabetics talk about using your blood sugar to find foods that you shouldn’t be eating and eliminating them from your diet.

I think this part of the actual science behind the Zone diet (and pretty much every effective diet created after the Zone diet is based on the Zone diet).  In the book, if I remember, Dr. Sears talks about how you can tell if you are reactive to refined carbohydrates.  I think he probably mentions a test, but recommends just looking in a mirror.  The gist of it is, if you are overweight, you probably have a problem with refined carbs/starches.

So, it is my theory that there is a continuum of effectiveness of insulin efficacy and it runs from perfect to diabetic.  I believe that at least a large subgroup of unfit people fall just outside the diabetic zone.  Part of this, I believe, manifests itself in that unfit people eat meals that push their blood sugar out of the optimal zone.  They do this regularly and these are the food items that they shouldn’t be eating.  I think this can be measured using a blood sugar monitor and I intend to try.  It is quite possible that this has already been proven in general, but I would definitely like evidence on what pushes my blood sugar out of the zone.

I have so many questions though… does mixing up the order of what you eat help?  Ie. If I ate a salad first, or ate my vegetables before my refined carbs/starches.  If it does, how much time should I leave between vegetables and refined carbs?  How do overall calories effect your blood sugar?  Is blood sugar effected almost exclusively by overall carb load in a meal?  Does walking after eating bring your blood sugar down faster than sitting?  How about exercise?   If I ate the same thing at the same time as a healthy person, how would our blood sugars differ?  Does diet pop effect your blood sugar after eating? (I am beginning to try these experiments, so if the question is in the form of a link, you can find the results there).

I am sure this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of questions that I have.  I am going to create some simple experiments to try to answer some of these questions.  I have had the meter for a few weeks and one problem is that I almost never remember to test my blood 3 times in a row on the hour.  I will shoot for before meal, one hour, and two hours… sometimes I will get the 3rd hour.  I might need it, judging from some recent readings.

 

 

 

Sweat Inc.

October 14, 2015

I just came across this article for a new show .  Sweat Inc.  It  is a sort of Dragon’s Den/Shark Tank meets American Idol for new fitness gear.  Here is the description of the show:

Jillian is taking on the business side of the fitness industry. In their search for the next workout phenomenon, Jillian and fellow judges, TRX founder Randy Hetrick and celebrity trainer Obi Obadike, will meet twenty-seven fitness entrepreneurs from around the country. The contestants will try to convince the judges that their exercise program has the most business potential. In anticipation of the October 20 premiere of Sweat Inc. on Spike, Jillian answered a few questions about her experience in the fitness industry and what we can expect from her new series.

As most of you know, I have had issues with Jillian in the past.  Mostly based around her partnership with Giancarlo Chersich.

I find the man to be a bit of a dumbass.  Watching these two discuss their strategy is painful.  Agonizing even.  I love how the pill pushing didn’t even come up as one of the largest failures for her.  Just watching them together, knowing that Giancarlo is leading the team makes all of her miscues and failures make sense.

In any case, I am quite excited about this new show.  I hope she sticks to the ‘tough’ trainer persona through this show and doesn’t try to push her other products.

So, a little more details on the show:

In the new Spike reality-competition series Sweat Inc., hosted by Jillian Michaels, twenty-seven aspiring fitness entrepreneurs compete to prove they’ve developed the most groundbreaking and effective exercise program out there. In the end, only one will have the business savvy and innovative program to land them $100,000, a feature in Women’s Health Magazine, and the opportunity to launch their fitness empire with Retro Fitness.

I am quite excited to watch this show, and very excited to see what these entrepreneurs have come up with.  So many cool options.  I am hoping for some Crossfit variations!  I saw some obstacle race thing, and I am pumped for that!  I would sign up for that today!!  I am thinking of doing Battle Frog this year, and still going to go for the Spartan Trifecta in 2016.

In any case, it is on Tuesday October 20th, on Spike TV at 7:00.

Check it out!! Let me know what you think of it.  Is anyone else excited for it.

I due find it odd though that the article is actually sponsored.  This stuff scares the crap out of me.

This post is a sponsored collaboration between SPIKE and Studio@Gawker.

Just so you know, my post is unsponsored… yep free advertising.  I guess that won’t be happening for very much longer.  You are welcome Spike TV.

Do not look behind the Dr. Oz curtain…

June 20, 2014

I am actually floored.  It has taken me a couple of days to get this post made as there are 3 extremely important stories that should have come out of Senate’s consumer protection panel that dragged Dr. Oz over the coals for his role as a snake oil pitchman (I don’t say salesman as he claims he does not make any money off of his recommendations).  This story is probably the most important because it is points out the bizarre, and almost unbelievable laziness of the main stream press.

After the Senate’s panel there are thousands of stories posted to the internet, each with their own rewording of the same story.  Each one parrots back the official story, with the same quotes and the same main points.  I doubt any one of the journalists watched the entire video of the panel.  But now, after a congresswoman chastised Dr. Oz, in much gentler words than I have ever used, it seems that for millions of people, Dr. Oz is clearly feeling the heat for his over the top claims of products.

That is the official story.  It is missing the depth of incompetence that Dr. Oz has sunk to in including psychic healers and anti-vaccine nuts as legitimate health care providers.  It is missing just how bad Dr. Oz’s claims have been, only glancing at the problems with his green coffee bean claims, but missing the entire part of the segment that includes Dr. Oz interviewing a fake doctor to support false claims of weight-loss on green coffee beans.  Yes, the entire story was fabricated, most likely by Dr. Oz and sold to the public with a person who claimed falsely to be a doctor.  Lindsey Duncan, who goes by the name, Dr. Lindsey was portrayed as a doctor while presenting to the Dr. Oz show the benefits of green coffee bean extract.  In what appeared to be an infomercial for a company selling green coffee beans, Dr. Oz and Dr. Lindsey went on to give fallacious answers as to what to look for in dosage and timing of pills in what clearly appeared to be an attempt to market a specific brand of green coffee bean extract.

This is very important for several reasons.  First, all of the official stories that are all over the internet refer to this current FTC action:

Within weeks of Oz’s comments about green coffee — which refers to the unroasted seeds or beans of coffee — a Florida-based operation began marketing a dietary supplement called Pure Green Coffee, with claims that the chlorogenic acid found in the beans could help people lose 17 pounds and cut body fat by 16 percent in 22 weeks.

The company, according to federal regulators, featured footage from “The Dr. Oz Show” to sell its supplement. Oz has no association with the company and received no money from sales.

Last month, the Federal Trade Commission sued the sellers behind Pure Green Coffee and accused them of making bogus claims and deceiving consumers. – ABC news

The FTC has brought a legal action against a company that is selling green coffee beans, about $15 million dollars worth from some estimates.  This company came into being just weeks after the show came on.  Their website and their ads show clips from Dr. Oz’s show.  They don’t say that he endorses their products, but they do use the information that was presented on the show.  This information is incorrect and would not stand up to scientific scrutiny.  Dr. Oz and Dr. Lindsey Duncan still felt it was okay to share this information with the public, but it is apparently a crime to sell a product using these claims.  If you go to the FTC and read the complaint against this company, there is no claim that their product is substandard.  In many of the articles, journalists complain that the price for them is exorbitant, but it is actually the going rate for magic beans.  The crime that they are guilty of is using Dr. Oz and Dr. Lindsey Duncan’s claims to sell their product.  Additionally, they have several fake news sites that they use to help sell their magic beans, and this may be the magic bullet that will put them out of business but it is ironic because the more sophisticated con had a real news site (Dr. Oz) help it sell its product.

I am sickened by these companies that come into being and take advantage of the dimwitted Dr. Oz.  Still, this is nothing compared to what the real crime should have been.  Dr. Lindsey Duncan, who has shilled his products before on the Dr. Oz show, already owned one company that was already selling Green Coffee Beans on the internet before the show aired.  He actually started another company in his wife’s name and launched it just weeks BEFORE the broadcast of the show.  He has sold much more than the $15,000,000 of Green Coffee Bean Extract, and he actually misled the public about the dosage so as to give an advantage to his product in the marketplace.  Further, he endorsed the sale of his product without informing the public at the time that he was selling the product and had no shortage of conflicts of interest.

All of this is very apparent to anyone who does any research.  It would only take a few minutes of watching the actual green coffee bean show and then doing a few minutes of research to find out that Dr. Lindsey Duncan has an illegal PhD from a school that does not exist any more, a school which has a startling number of criminals who also claim the honorific of doctor from the same school (feel free to research the Clayton College of Natural Health).  It also takes seconds to find out that he sells green coffee beans.  It takes more time to find that he created at least one additional company in a different state to increase the volume of product he could move, but that wasn’t the hardest thing in the world.

Still, not one report covers this.  It only covers the public announcement that included the green coffee bean company that started a few weeks after the show aired.  Dr. Oz goes on to suggest at the panel, that his biggest failure isn’t his use of the world miracle, or his misreporting of shaky scientific findings of products, but instead that he should be recommending sellers that he trusts.  He apparently trusted as an expert, a fake doctor and presented this man to the world as a doctor.  He doesn’t even see the irony of this when he is talking to congress about including his experts in his shows as if this gives validity to his false claims when he seems incapable of even vetting his experts.

Of course, if journalists were paying attention, something very interesting is happening over at the companies that Dr. Lindsey Duncan works for.  Genesis Today has removed any and all mention of Dr. Lindsey Duncan from their website.  At the same time, Dr. Lindsey Duncan has removed any and all use of the honorific Dr. from his websites.  All of the mentions have been scrubbed of the words Dr.  This has just happened in the wake of the lawsuit against the Florida green coffee bean sellers.  I wonder what is up?

 

Genesis Pure’s Moomiyo Edge and E2, a review

July 29, 2013

Today, I am bringing in a new feature as well as my first guest blogger.  As most of you know, I spend a fair bit of time researching and inevitably debunking supplements, cleanses and weight loss cures.  The thing is, to do a proper debunking you need to take your time and search for any and all research and this has in turn, left me reacting to salacious articles and outrageous claims, rather than systematically going through products and reviewing them on a regular basis.  As well, I have focused on the ones that make the worst claims with regards to weight loss.  So, from now on I am going to attempt to post a weekly analysis/review of a supplement.  Sometimes it might be a generic product and on other times it may be a specific manufacturer or blend.

A blog reader and commenter, Dakota Redwine has supplied for us a review of 2 products from the MLM Line of Genesis Pure.   So, without further ado, here are the reviews:

I’d like to share a some relevant information on two products Genesis Pure sells through its Sportsline. One being a less than your run-of-the-mill standard energy complex , E2, and the other being a “hidden secret” in the supplement industry, Moomiyo Edge. These two products sound promising on Genesis Pure’s website, or backed by a GP IBO with a financial stake in selling them, but if one breaks down the nutritional content in each product they’ll quickly find that you’d be better off flushing your money down the toilet.

Moomiyo

Moomiyo, otherwise known as Shilajit, is a sticky tar or resin found in mountainous regions such as the Caucasa and Altais. Think about that, first off. This is resin found in rocks. As a nutritional supplement, Moomiyo doesn’t have much to fall back on. In the early to mid 1950’s, Russian scientists dove deep into the idea that Moomiyo may provide an athletic edge if consumed. Studies were done on rabbits and rodents to test liver enzymes and the overall effect on health. No clinical human trials have been verified with Moomiyo, and while the Russian’s thought highly of this new substance, these trials are widely considered dated and thus modern age clinical studies involving humans are required to ascertain the effects of Moomiyo. Here’s a breakdown of the Moomiyo itself followed by every other substance listed for “Moomiyo Edge” on Genesis Pure’s website:

Moomiyo (Shilajit): a sticky tar/oil found in the Caucasas and Altai Mountains. Ok…

“Mumijo/shilajit has been the subject of scientific research in Russia and India since the early 1950s. Though there is no clinical study to support any benefits to human health, some observed effects in animal models.”

So only “observed effects” on animals, huh? No clinical trials on humans? Ok.

 

Moomiyo Edge has Purple Orchid Extract (If you take a second to Google this you’ll find nothing but information that says POE is used in cosmetic appliances and eye serums.) Ok, so why is this going into my body, again?

 

Codonopsis Root (All I got were mass links to other scam companies selling this mystery root. Apparently it’s a Korean natural medicine. Found no verified studies on this. Google it.)

 

Golden Root Extract (Sorry, but this one is debunked)

“In a study sponsored in part by the American Phytotherapy Research Laboratory, a company with ties to the marketers of such supplements as Oxydrene and Ripping Gel, the herb rhodiola rosea was tested along with a stabilized oxygenated supplement in water to determine if either of these two could positively affect blood oxygenation in people put in a simulated environment of 15,000 feet altitude. Typically at this altitude, altitude sickness occurs and the treatment given (for prevention mostly) is acetazolamide and dexamethasone.
It’s important to recognize that the rhodiola herb used is also in the supplement Oxydrene. The study participants had to breath hypoxic air for an hour (13.6% oxygen balanced nitrogen at an ambient barometric temperature of 633 torr). The study participants did this breathing (hypoxic air) for three treatments and took the supplements for seven days.
The results strongly indicate that neither the placebo nor the two supplements tested had any effects on blood oxygenation levels (PaO2 and SaO2). The only thing that the study authors noted was that they found a valid method of simulating altitude. Based on this, it appears that rhodiola containing supplements only make the wallet lighter without having any benefit to the consumer.”’

 

Vasica Extract (This one really got me. Seriously, look this one up yourself. You’ll find nothing but nonsensical gibberish about suppliers, and worse, apparently, Vasica has only been tested and examined on usage through rabbits, guinea pigs, and rats to test coughing reactions and monitor biomechanical liver enzymes. So you’re taking something that has not even been tested for human consumption nor proven to be effective for anything. Why it’s in GP’s product is anybody’s guess.)

 

And finally, an Adaptogenic blend. No need to breakdown the two, because as far as adaptogenics are concerned:

“Adaptogens are plants that practitioners of herbal medicine claim decrease cellular sensitivity to stress. The adaptogen concept does not fit easily into the Western model of medicine, and the scientific community calls into question the validity of the concept. Most of the studies done on adaptogens were conducted in the Soviet Union (prior to its dissolution in 1991), Korea, and China during the 1980s, and they are not considered conclusive and have been criticized for having methodological flaws. Adaptogens have been claimed to treat a wide variety of medical conditions, from fatigue to cancer. However, no herbs that are considered adaptogens have ever been conclusively shown to be effective in treating any medical condition, and as a result, none of them are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to cure, treat, or prevent any disease.”

 

So WHAT exactly are consumers paying for in Moomiyo Edge? My research shows that nothing in this product is worth paying for and using.

 

E2 Energy

Now, onto the energy complex that Genesis Pure likes to call “E2.” Anybody well versed in nutrition can attest that energy compounds, nitric oxide, pre workouts powders, and vasodilators are all highly debated as essential to a sports line. A simple low glycemic carbohydrate meal half an hour before a workout is more than enough for the average athlete. For the extra ambitious, a cup of black coffee should suffice. Regardless, there are still athletes, bodybuilders, fitness models, and the like who all swear by pre workouts and energy powders. So with that in mind, let’s dwelve into Genesis Pure’s “E2” and find out exactly what we’d be spending our money on:

E2 Energy:

240 mcg of Vitamin B-12. 4,000% of a standard daily value. Read the label, ladies and gentlemen. 4000%! Is GP trying to kill people? Read on.

“The non-toxic amount a day (b-12)  is 100mcg a day. 100 mcg pr. day is actually a pretty high dose, unless you have a deficiency. The recommended dose for a normal adult is much lower then 100mcg.”

Symptoms of too much B-12:

“Even without having had any Vitamin B12 injections, individuals who run naturally high Vitamin B12 and cobalt levels (which may include patients with mitral valve prolapse), tend to frequently suffer from tachycardia, panic-anxiety attacks, or angina-like chest pains, that may be accompanied by numbness and tingling in the face or extremities.” No thanks, Genesis Pure.

 

The “Energy Complex” is full of crap. It’s supposed to be the central potency in the product – run of the mill micronutrients and overdosing of B-12 aside – yet the energy blend is CRAP. First of all, Glutamine (the main ingredient) has been widely, widely debunked across the fitness industry. It’s a miracle people are still buying it.

http://www.jssm.org/vol2/n4/7/v2n4-7pdf.pdf

http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/content/full/93/3/813

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=10683095&dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=17111006&query_hl=17&itool=pubmed_docsum

 

Then we move on to Tyrosine which isn’t even an essential amino acid. It’s non essential, which means our body produces it naturally and therefore supplementation is not required. There is no reason we need additional Tyrosine. It’s common filler as with a large percentage of supplements out there.

Next, we see Leucine and Isoleucine. While these are essential aminos, they are likely under-dosed being  so far down on the nutritional list. After all, these things are displayed in the order of most to least. Even if they weren’t, they aren’t going to have any affect on energy levels because that isn’t what they do. And these aminos can both be found in wheat, milk, fish, beef, oat, peanuts, etc.

 

Taurine isn’t even an amino acid, to be technical. It’s just marketed as one. This is seen all the time. If you want Taurine, drink a Monster Energy drink (Then again, don’t drink a Monster Energy drink).

 

Malic acid. LOL.

 

Valine:

“Valine is often used by bodybuilders, (in conjunction with leucine and isoleucine), to promote muscle growth, tissue repair and energizer, although little scientific evidence supports these claims.”

 

Basically, both of these products do absolutely nothing. So why are people buying them? It’s a scam. You can get the exact same health benefits out of a high protein, moderate carb diet with healthy fats and unprocessed foods. The overdosing of B Vitamins, product filler consisting of useless Glutamine and Tyrosine, and some vitamin A and C that you can get out of any off the rack health store?? Where’s the Iron? Where’s the Zinc? I mean, “E2” is a WORTHLESS MONEYPIT. Break down the nutrition label yourself if you don’t believe me. Look at what you’re paying for. It’s ridiculous.

 

In Conclusion

The Moomiyo speaks for itself. There is absolutely nothing but insubstantial “myths” applied to the “science” of that product. Do the research like I did and see how worthless it truly is.

People can save a ton of money by doing research. A healthy diet, a reliable multivitamin, plenty of water, good sleep, and exercise is all you need. All of this damn tar found in Pakistani Mountain regions or Golden Root extract is not the “secret” to a healthier body. The unfortunate truth to this is that 90% of the supplement industry makes money by selling crap like this to the uninformed. Anybody that truly wants to dedicate themselves to a healthier life needs to invest the time and effort into researching what exactly they put into their bodies. Sure, the Moomiyo will likely not hurt you – after all it never harmed rodents -but why throw money away on a product that hasn’t been proven effective? Why take in an energy complex with twice the recommended dosage of B-12? It may hurt you. Let’s be smart here and not get trapped in the pit falls that are MLM schemes like Genesis Pure and the like. These “companies” aren’t looking to promote better health. They’re looking to make a quick buck.

This was just a friendly reminder that we, as fitness fanatics, need to understand the importance of proper research in the supplements we take in. And on that note, remember that they’re called supplements for a reason. They aren’t the benchmark of your training or nutrition. It all harkens back to the tried and true formula: a balanced diet of protein, low GI carbs, and healthy fats along with proper sleep, water, multivitamin intake and of course, a kick-ass workout. Rest easy, folks. Read this blog. Educate yourselves. And stay away from the scams of the industry like Genesis Pure. It has been exposed.