Fat Fiction Fat, lies and measuring tape



Least relevant picture to this post I could find...

It’s been a big week for news. Huge. Lies, deceit and moral condemnation have been on the forefront of everyone’s mind as government officials trot out the same tired old clichés about doing what’s right, not just for our sakes but for the sakes of our children and generations to come. But say what you like, we've got a result, even if it's not the one we wanted ...

And no, I’m not taking about News of the World. The real story is that kids under 5 aren’t exercising enough (slipped in alongside that weird picture of Andy Coulson who seems to be always wearing a scarf, even in summer). With the eat less move faster crowd, it was only a matter of time before cognitive dissonance kicked in. So the thinking goes, exercise makes you slim, so if kids are getting fatter, kids must need to exercise more. I'm not sure about Karl Popper turning in his grave so much as having a fit. And off the back of this fag packet logic, out trots the recommendation for 3 hours of exercise a day, swimming lessons and stretching on baby mats.

Baby mats, right…

Given we’ve got a growing economic concerns in the UK too, don’t stop there. Let’s bring back chimney sweeping for the under 5s. I know, traditionally sweeps used to be a little older, but the early we send these lazy lumps scrabbling up the chimneys to dust down the cobwebs, the quicker they’ll burn off those McDonald’s milkshakes, while simultaneously providing free labour and allowing us to enjoy a tidy coal fire.

Or you could just address the actual problem – sugar, processed grains and gut flora. Do they honestly think when we’ve got 6 month old cases of obesity, it’s because they’ve been strapped in the car-seat of a Volvo the entire time? Or is it more likely they’ve inherited gut flora from their overweight mother from their breastmilk which is equally inefficient at processing nutrients? And as for exercise for the under 5s. Well, you’d have thought that Government’s chief medical officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies may have paid attention to the news a mere 3 days ago that getting fat causes kids to exercise less, not the other way around.

We should be paying a little more attention to this, because what happens to those fat kids when they get older? They end up taking the NHS to court in a desperate bid to get gastric band surgery to try and stay alive. In this tragic case, the guy’s been told he’s got 1 year left to live, and now has trouble seeing, walking and sleeping. Probably not what gurgling tots nor their proud parents dream of for their future eh?

Nutrients results

Talking of nutrients, the good people at Biolab did a nutritional profile for me. 3 blood samples, 3 tests (trace elements, vitamins and fatty acids) and 2 weeks later, the results have come back. Given I always contended that gallstones are caused by a lack of nutrients, and given they’ve got worse over time, not better, I would have been very disappointed if everything came back as top notch. And happily, I was right. I discussed the results with my GP:

-          Fat soluble vitamins were mostly deficient – alpha-carotene (A), alpha-tocopherol (E), gamma-tocopherol (E). Vitamin D wasn’t measured but it’s a fair assumption that it might well be low.

-          Trace elements: deficiency in zinc

-          Fatty acids, low in GLA/DGLA (Omega 6).

Given my diet is pretty spot on, the only conclusion you can make is malabsorption, in turn caused by poor bile circulation (most likely), villous atrophy (years of gluten abuse) or poor gut flora (missing appendix, antibiotics, previous diet). The answer is most likely a combination of all three.

Food wise that translates into:

Alpha-carotene: carrots, squash, tomatoes, green beans
Alpha & gamma-tocopherol: sunflower seeds, almonds, olives, most green veg
Zinc: calf’s liver, beef, lamb, spinach, sesame/pumpkin seeds, green peas, shrimps
Omega 6: nuts, seeds, seeds oil (avoid!), olive oil, chicken

And do any of these deficiencies come up in studies on gallstones? You bet.
The most promising is this pilot study of antioxidant intake in patients with cholesterol gallstones:

The results support the hypothesis that insufficiency of dietary antioxidants, particularly α-tocopherol, may be germane to human gallstone disease; they also suggest that low intakes of linoleic acid and essential amino acids may be relevant.

What’s more, vitamin E is used for zinc distribution, so it’s likely that a low zinc level is purely the result of the vitamin e deficiency.

I agreed with the GP that I’d go back and get a scan in 9 months to a year, and keep a close eye for any signs of trouble. And will restoring these nutrients reverse gallstone disease? Let's face it, I've been here before. In all truth, I have no idea but it's worth a shot…

Voicemail picture copyright Salim Fadhley

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  1. Mike, since you’re deficient in fat soluble vitamins and certain minerals, you might be interested in a Weston A Price diet, which is more or less what I’ve been doing for about six months. The calf liver is a good idea; my dog and I eat some every week. They recommend bone marrow broth, too: I cook a roast and then scoop the marrow in for stock. And you’ll get lots of zinc from a few oysters. According to some of their papers by Chris Masterjohn, a lot of vitamins and minerals are more plentiful and more bioavailable from animal sources. They also suggest soaking and roasting nuts and seeds to help remove nutrient blockers. However, I find that I still need supplements. I’ll give the vitamin E a try since I seem to need a megadose of zinc.

    If what I’ve read about digestion is correct, and I’m remembering correctly, digestion of animal products doesn’t require gut bacteria nearly as much as plant foods do.

    Hope you’re doing well, and good luck to you!

    • Not at the same time right?! Thanks for the tips Lori. It’s not a million miles off what I’m doing at the moment so it’s a case of wait and see. Good to hear from you

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