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Sunday, 16 June 2013

On What I Eat These Days

"I forget most of what I have read, just as I do most of what I have eaten, but I know that both contribute no less to the conservation of my mind and my body on that account." - Georg Christop Lichtenberg on food frequency questionnaires.

I've procrastinated about this ever since Peter Hyperlipid posted his own classic eating update a while back, trying to contextualize what purpose a similar post of my own might serve. Ah-Ha! I see. OK then.
Basically, it's good to know these things can be done, are being done, and the reasons for certain decisions are probably worth revisiting.

Music by Mink - a lost treasure from 1996, "Your Bad Example".


Wake up - too early, give a brother some rest, my start is 6am these days which means coffee. Strong with cream and maybe if it's too strong a little soft brown sugar but, like, 1-2g, which is plenty sweet if you eat low carb, yet not enough to contribute to the world's fructose problem. Might have 2 or 3 coffees like this in the day (almost all without sugar). If it's instant coffee I'll stick a teabag in it because - I should have taken out a patent - this makes instant coffee taste like fresh coffee. Yup, I'm a wild and crazy guy, livin' on the edge now.

Coffee, as any fule kno, has powers to protect the liver in every study you can think of, and enhances the response to combination therapy in Hep C. Nice work if you can get it, as a poor liver function can slow caffeine metabolism and make you intolerant of coffee. So a little chicken-and-egg but still, there are solid biochemical reasons why both caffeine and coffee polyphenols of the caffeic acid family ought to inhibit fibrosis etc. (for example, caffeine blocks adenosine receptors, adenosine released from damaged cells serves as a chemoattractant "stop" signal for hepatic stellate cells, these cells remodel collagen matrix, caffeine is switching off their GPS. Caffeic acid phenethyl ester, CAPE, which you will also find in propolis and which is a normal metabolite of other dietary polyphenols, inhibits HCV replication. And so on.)

Other drinks I might enjoy, because I don't drink coffee after the early afternoon, include well water, green tea, black tea, red bush tea (aspalanthus, rooibos) or hibiscus flower. 


Breakfast I will try to have at 10am. I used to be stricter about food-window IF but now that my appetite is tamed I'm more concerned with getting sufficient energy so will eat outside of opening hours if I feel hungry. And if I'm going out for the day I have to eat early anyway. Breakfast is fairly consistent:
3 rashers bacon (chopped small), or occasionally most of a tin of sardines (the dog gets one) or a few kidneys or a chicken liver or two. Fried slowly in a tablespoon of beef and lamb dripping (AKA tallow). This takes care of excess PUFA in the bacon, as I add one large tomato, chopped (for the potassium and carotenoids), a tablespoon of butter (or two or more if I need extra energy), a teaspoon of crushed garlic, 2 (or 3) egg yolks, a bit of any gelatine broth I have lying around, spice and salt if needed. (Note; I use various pre-mixed Indian spice mixes, masalas. I only buy masalas that contain salt - chat - as an ingredient, as this shows attention has been paid to creating a rounded flavour). So any linoleic acid in the bacon or yolks has been diluted by the more saturated fats of the dripping and butter and shouldn't matter in the greater scheme of things.

Snacks - might or might not want these in the afternoon, which might be 25g dark chocolate, or a handful of almonds, 4 Brazil nuts for the selenium, or some cold meat left over from the night before. Probably a little fruit too; at the moment, that's mandarins, kiwifruit, persimmons. Used to eat cheese but I'm a bit allergic so trying to quit. If it's a higher-carb day - or I feel like it - I'll have a banana.

Dinner (served around 6pm): some meat (could be lamb shoulder chop, if it's chicken I'll stuff it with bacon, rolled oats, butter, sage, onions and fish sauce to up the SFA content). Or could be chicken or fish cooked in coconut cream. Or beef shin bone slowly cooked in a stew with one potato, carrots, onions.
But assuming it's the lamb chops, then a lower-carb vege good for fat-soaking will be roasted with them. Pumpkin, sweet potato, oca yam, whole garlic. Roasted Brussels sprouts are pretty special IMO. Any greens - leek, Chinese cabbage, spinach - will be comfited in butter (fried slowly with lots of butter till it goes soft). Boiled carrots, steamed green beans, mashed parsnip with cream, roasted beetroot are optional but welcome. I probably eat about 200g meat, which supplies about 40-50g protein. I prefer ruminant fat, so if the meat is chicken or pork I'll find a way to include more butter or dripping in the veges. I'm not against olive oil but find I have fewer occasions to eat it.


I'll have a cup of black tea after dinner because of some superstition about iron absorption, though I tend to agree with G. C. Lichtenberg, the best thing you can add to a meal is to remove drinking from the experience.

Dessert might be 2 teaspoons Bourneville cocoa mixed to a paste with cream and 1-2g soft brown sugar. A mousse of sorts I think. Occasionally mix up some kelp powder, spirulina powder, and olive oil to a paste and eat for iodine fix. Not pleasant but miles better than iodine deficiency, which will seriously mess you up. I also use the iodised table salt. I wish someone would add the iodine supplement to unprocessed sea salt.

Calories? I dunno. One day I sort of counted and it came to 1,800, so since then I've tried to stop undereating. Carbs? Probably 50g, not often more than 100g. But all starchy carbs are eaten at the evening meal, and with plenty of fat, so the GI and insulin rise is limited. And I do notice, over time, that this has left me feeling healthier and more energetic in the evenings. I try to stay out of glycogen-depleting ketosis but well below the supposed daily requirement of 150g glucose. Actually I would find it hard to eat 150 carb grams in a day with this diet. I don't often eat potatoes or rice, and I'm sceptical that resistant starch is a type of fibre I need. I do occasionally eat small amounts of oats at the moment. I figure that my Scottish genes - and my years of abstaining from wheat and rye - are enabling me to do this with seeming impunity.

I don't usually exercise for the sake of exercising, but I do run or jump or climb or whatever because I feel like it sometimes. Walking up big hills or small mountains is probably the most energetic thing I do, and swimming in the summer. My house is up a steep drive and a few flights of steps and I run up those rather than walk the boring slow way. Instinctive exercise, like instinctive eating, is what works best for me; attempts to develop my strength capacity tend to result in avoidable injuries, and it seems to be developing satisfactorily anyway.


Supplements - vitamin D and K2, magnesium 150-300mg, vitamin C 1g, occasional probiotics, very occasional low-dose multivitamin. I'd take selenium 100-150mcg if I didn't have Brazil nuts and would supplement zinc if I could find a cheap one with no B6.

So what we have here is Atkins-type macronutrient tinkering, tweaked for the effect on microbiota. Which is like "Phase 2" of any long-term diet plan (see Art Ayer's "Cooling Inflammation" link at the right).
So what do I make of the fact that high-fat diets can produce unwanted LPS elevations in rats and humans eating their respectively standard rat and human chows?


The quality of fats is important. Extrapolations from rodent diets where fats are 30% PUFA, are all extrinsic fats, carbohydrate is still a major part of energy as pure sugar and starch, and types and amounts of fibre are limited are only relevant to similar human diets; these rat diets often resemble cheesecake recipes.
My belief is that a high-fat diet (butter, fish, eggs for cholesterol and choline) can be used to restrict bacterial overgrowth (via higher levels of bile and stomach acid) and set the scene for the right fibre and probiotics to work. Further, butter is a good source of butyrate (about 3-4%), which means 100g butter contributes about as much butyrate as 6-8g dietary fibre on a good day without the risk of a non-specific prebiotic effect. My strategy is to cook whenever possible fibrous vegetables (pumpkin, greens, sweet potato, tomato, parsnip) with butter (as you will find in French quisine) which seems to work well.


Music - Mascagni, the "octopus aria" (Aria della poivra) from Iris.



37 comments:

Nigel Kinbrum said...

"magnesium 150-300mcg"
A homoeopathic dose?

George Henderson said...

Ha! Thank you Nigel.
Probably one of those "Schuster's cell salts" nonsense formulations.

Bill said...

Thanks!
I eat so differently from most of my family & friends that reading about all of your diets is kind of therapeutic for me :)
-Bill

George Henderson said...

I understand. +1, as they say.

Interesting experience last night - ate heaps of coconut cream chicken curry, mostly skipped the rice.

Later I couldn't sleep. Too hot (14C ambient) and - hungry. It's not a metabolic advantage if you want the calories and don't need the thermogenesis!
Eventually got up, ate a cup of sticky rice, and slept soundly.

This is what I love about low-carb eating; your food really does become your medicine. Out of sorts?
Take 50g more carb, or 50g less carb, depending on your symptoms, and call me in the morning.
No expensive antioxidant superfood, when added to the diet, has such immediate effects as a cup of rice either eaten or avoided in a low-carb program.

ItsTheWooo said...

Thanks for sharing George. Sounds very practical, not too extreme, easy to live with for life.

We are in agreement coffee is essential. This past weekend I attempted to restrict my coffee use. Caved and eventually purchased 2 giant iced coffees and it was like the best decision I ever made in my entire life. Total debilitation to total awesome in a few minutes.


Vegetation exists for a few reasons; to deliver certain nutrients, to promote fiber and colonic bacterial healthy milieu, and as a butter delivery system ;). I also use vegetation as an acetic acid delivery system which further helps metabolic health.

honora said...

Inspiring post. I also checked out Madame from Iris singing an aria at 99 years old. Breathtaking. Thanks for posting her - sublime.

honora said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
George Henderson said...

Coffee is indeed addictive, with headache the most common withdrawal symptom; but it's also a reasonably manageable addiction and one with benefits. If I'm ever sick I can get by with a little tea, but want the coffee when I get up and go again.
I've kind of perfected my routine over the past 4 years; started with Eades with little focus on actual types of carbs and fats, moved through Atkins testing the extremes, then Jaminet which is like the school of food quality, before rejecting the potato again.
Low carb starches suit me, especially the gourd family - pumpkin, courgette, marrow, choko etc., also cooked peas & dahl.
Eating more butter, good fiber, and gelatine, not going overboard on protein (protein still fairly high but more of it is gelatine), keeping calories up, not overdoing the coconut, and consciously retaining some glycogen capacity are making low-carb more pleasant than it was in the days when sausages, eggs and cheese were mainstays.
Honora, those later Magda Olivero clips are amazing! thanks for pointing them out.

ThisisBetty said...

These "What I Eat Posts" are so great.. very fun to read.

If I start to get a little under the weather I automatically start craving tea over coffee but as soon as I'm on the mend a strong desire for coffee returns.

I've altered things along the lines of many over the past few years. Started in 08 with a classic Atkin's with no regard for type of fat etc. Was influence by the Paleo people and eased up considerably to poor effect and now back again.

I'm wondering about your "consciously retaining some glycogen capacity" .. does that mean that you go in and out of Ketosis? Or do you always consciously try to avoid it? Has this part of your approach changed over four years? thx much

George Henderson said...

There's a kind of fatigue I notice when I run that tells me when glycogen is low. I could go ketoadapted but don't think I need to. I'm not eating carbs before dinner so should drop into ketosis daily, and if a non-ketoadapted person needs 150g glucose daily then quite a bit less than this, and a lot of fat, should induce some increase in ketone body production.

So I think I go in and out of ketosis, and sometimes I consciously deepen it and other times lift it.

A couple of years ago I tried to go fully ketogenic but did experience symptoms like sore eyes, dour moods after a while. It was bearable but not a lot of fun. I think now that I was undereating, but at the time that was kind of the point. Maybe IF plus ketosis was too much. But since going out of ketosis my viral load went up back to near where it was, still low but consistent with the idea that restricting carbs suppresses HCV replication. So finding out how much carb restriction is necessary there is one goal. But generally I want to go with what feels best and gives me most energy.
Food should be tasty, easy on the stomach, easy on the gut, easy on the moods, and be eaten to supply energy. The amount of carbs that best helps to produce that effect consistently being the right one for me! It's been pretty consistently around 50-100g for me.

Bill said...

This.
"Vegetation exists for a few reasons... as a butter delivery system ;)" -Wooo
+1

My recipe for creamed spinach is really just spinach sauteed in a LOT of butter and coconut oil. Cream, pepper, & nutmeg are optional... it's not really Creamed Spinach proper but whatever.

ThisisBetty said...

thx .. that's what I was guessing. I feel pretty good in full on Ketosis for stretches, but I need to cycle out of it every week or two for a few days. But if I stay out of it completely for too long then I get all kinds of mild negative stuff happening. So that's the pattern I'm now for now. I absolutely think that just eating less often (I IF more if not trying to stay really LC) gives me some of the same benefits as Ketosis, as well as eating more fish/beef/butter less pork/chicken/mayo.

In regard to what you said over at woo's today .... people I know who are naturally adverse to gaining weight **seem** to get other symptoms worse than gainers. Maybe it's because they can eat more junk without the super obvious effect of gaining weight... I know serval people who are naturally thin and deal with pretty bad rheumatoid arthritis, kidney stones, IBS, etc etc.

john said...

George,

What happens if you overdo coconut?

Interestingly, depsite high physical activity, I've never noticed an effect of carb restriction or carb loads. My intensity is very high, so perhaps I am mostly relying of ATP/phosphocreatine, and glycogen depletion is not an issue.

George Henderson said...

@ John,

If coconut is thermogenic, one can be starved of the energy that the appetite suggests one is getting.
This will only happen when coconut fat supplies a major part of the calories in a meal, and, I suspect, when carbohydrate is low (glucose plus insulin allowing the conversion of MCTs to longer chain fats rather than ketone bodies, perhaps).
You can clearly see this effect of coconut oil in this study; it generated a fantastic hunger that did not result in weight gain.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1805500/

George Henderson said...

@ Betty,
Yes I think IF produces similar benefits to low-carb and combining the two at the same time may produce additional stress signalling which could be beneficial in small doses but which, if it comes to resemble prolonged deprivation, may upset various aspects of hormonal regulation, slowing BMR and so on.
The warning you get, e.g. from the Jaminets, that IF may worsen adrenal exhaustion in women, I would explain as women tending to eat less than men overall; so calorie restriction is more likely to be added to carb restriction and IF; and this is too much stress.

ThisisBetty said...

YES!! Thanks. : > .. I have seen the warnings here and there about women and IFing. For me, I don't think it's just that I try to diet/starve ... If I do both together in a hardcore fashion (ie VLC with a shorter eating window) I soon have no appetite at all and it's hard to eat enough, especially if I'm busy or stressed ... I get cold hands, etc.

So now if I'm trying to stay in ketosis for a while, I try to eat more often/more.

This stuff is very interesting.

Chip Spitter said...

I feel like I'm at rehab (even though I have no idea what that'd be like), when I type "thanks for sharing, George".

A question - where do you get your K2 supplements?

I've taken 5mg Carlsons (via iherb) for the past 12 months, along with some (shock, horror) non fermented cod oil. The only time I got the full-blown flu was the few weeks I'd run out of K2. Most likely just a coincidence, but made me wonder. I hear Thorne's is meant to be good but haven't tried it.

The long list of supposed biological inefficiencies associated with E4/E4 apparently includes low K2 - I figure a daily dose is probably a good bet.

One of my in-laws has liver cancer and I stumbled upon some good studies recently regarding high doses of K2 suppressing re-occurrence after treatment. Can post links if anyone is interested.

Thanks again, all the best.

George Henderson said...

@ Chip,

the K2 stuff is interesting especially the case study of the guy who resolved liver cancer after one injection. The long-term protection doesn't seem as good, but I figure over a longer period the interplay between K2, vit D and vit A, and probably zinc as well, becomes more important. I use Clinicians "Sunshine Vitamin" which is 1,000iu D3 and 90mcg K2 (MK7) in a sublingual tab (sic). Normally 4 a day, not a super high dose of K2 but it would be a very respectable amount to get from the diet if you didn't eat natto. Spirulina is also a decent source of K2 (MK4) that I take reasonably often.

George Henderson said...

P.S. about liver cancer, check my latest post re: butyrate.

ItsTheWooo said...




George, interesting anecode re: how ketosis affects you.


In comparison, the past few days I have eaten low calorie and protein insufficient. Clearly I must be in a deeper ketosis as my carbohydrate intake is about the same. I feel so *happy* and energetic and motivated, and sleeping realtively well. Even protein seems to count against my well being. I know if I eat more protein I actually look better (and have observed muscle wasting the past few days, which seems to happen relatively quickly, in addition to fat loss of course) but I feel so so so much better emotionally I want to prolong as much as possible. As soon as I start in with eating meat , I risk poor moods and signs of physical dysfunction.

It's hard for me to comprehend "normal" people feel happy eating carbs and ketosis is depressant for them. I'm never so peaceful and calm and content and motivated, as I am following a few days of mild negative energy imbalance and 50gms of protein.

ItsTheWooo said...

@Chip

We are all in carb rehab walking the path of the bacon.

George Henderson said...

@ Woo,

protein catabolism is supplying some energy substrates you wouldn't get otherwise, the mitochondria might run more efficiently when this is happening, and also kynurenic acid from tryptophan catabolism seems to be soothing;
"It has been shown that kynurenic acid possesses neuroactive activity. It acts as an antiexcitotoxic and anticonvulsant, most likely through acting as an antagonist at excitatory amino acid receptors. Because of this activity, it may influence important neurophysiological and neuropathological processes. As a result, kynurenic acid has been considered for use in therapy in certain neurobiological disorders. Conversely, increased levels of kynurenic acid have also been linked to certain pathological conditions."

It's possible that protein catabolism produces more kynurenic acid than dietary protein does (because there's little energy use for tryptophan, it's not an efficient fuel or easily metabolised).

Brain KYNA levels are increased in euthymic men with bipolar disorder:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2861136/
Is the KYNA causative of the euthymia here, or of the bipolar disorder?

Chip Spitter said...

Thanks for the reply, will check out your new post for sure.

Re ketosis, I don't have much of a clue about it, but Peter Attia has recently posted (a rather long), but quite interesting talk on his personal experiments. I know he's not everyone's cup of tea, but he's certainly passionate - must be nice having access to all that fabulously expensive equipment. Of course he's coming from the athlete's perspective most of the time, but if you have a spare hour or so...

Can't help but think of Jeff Goldblum when he speaks.

Woo - I hear ya. There should be a secret handshake or something.

George Henderson said...

I wonder what protein catabolism does to dopamine and serotonin levels. Eating isn't the only way for amino acids to enter the blood.

Some interesting health benefits of aspalanthus (rooibos tea, red bush tea):

Does rooibos tea (Aspalathus linearis) support regeneration of rat liver after intoxication by carbon tetrachloride? (the answer by the way is yes)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18981533

Rooibos Tea (Aspalathus linearis) Partially Prevents Oxidative
Stress in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats:
Besides the parameters characterizing hepatotoxic effect of streptozotocin, rooibos tea significantly
lowered advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) and malondialdehyde (MDA) in the plasma and in different tissues of
diabetic rats, particularly MDA concentration in the lens. From these results we can conclude that antioxidant
compounds in rooibos tea partially prevent oxidative stress and they are effective in both hydrophobic and hydrophilic
biological systems. Therefore, rooibos tea as a commonly used beverage can be recommended as an excellent adjuvant
support for the prevention and therapy of diabetic vascular complications, particularly for protecting ocular membrane
systems against their peroxidation by reactive oxygen species.

http://www.biomed.cas.cz/physiolres/pdf/55/55_157.pdf

Hepatoprotective effect of rooibos tea (Aspalathus linearis) on CCl4-induced liver damage in rats.

Physiol Res. 2003;52(4):461-6.
Hepatoprotective effect of rooibos tea (Aspalathus linearis) on CCl4-induced liver damage in rats.
Ulicná O, Greksák M, Vancová O, Zlatos L, Galbavý S, Bozek P, Nakano M.
Source
Institute of Animal Biochemistry and Genetics, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Moyzesova Str. 61, 900 28 Ivanka pri Dunaji. Slovak Republic. Miloslav.Greksak@savba.sk
Abstract
Hepatoprotective properties of rooibos tea (Aspalathus linearis) were investigated in a rat model of liver injury induced by carbon tetrachloride (CCl(4)). Rooibos tea, like N-acetyl-L-cysteine which was used for the comparison, showed histological regression of steatosis and cirrhosis in the liver tissue with a significant inhibition of the increase of liver tissue concentrations of malondialdehyde, triacylglycerols and cholesterol. Simultaneously, rooibos tea significantly suppressed mainly the increase in plasma activities of aminotransferases (ALT, AST), alkaline phosphatase and billirubin concentrations, which are considered as markers of liver functional state. The antifibrotic effect in the experimental model of hepatic cirrhosis of rats suggests the use of rooibos tea as a plant hepatoprotector in the diet of patients with hepatopathies.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12899659

There are many herbs that can do this, but the beauty of aspalanthus is its cheapness, its availability, its convenience of use, its palatability, its lack of side effects, and the large-scale, long-term evidence of its safety. It is something that can easily be used regularly for a long time without bother.

George Henderson said...

More rooibos:


Modulation of hepatic drug metabolizing enzymes and oxidative status by rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) and Honeybush (Cyclopia intermedia), green and black (Camellia sinensis) teas in rats.
Marnewick JL, et al. 2003
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14690405
Oxidized glutathione (GSSG) levels were significantly (P < 0.05) reduced in the liver of all tea treated rats while reduced glutathione (GSH) was markedly increased in the liver of the herbal tea treated rats. These changes resulted in a significant (P < 0.05) increase in the GSH/GSSG ratio by the unprocessed, processed rooibos and unprocessed honeybush teas.

Johannesburg, Nov 2006- A South African woman, who claims to be the world's oldest living person at 132, advocates fresh food and exercise as the keys to longevity. Moloko Temo holds an identity card from the South African government confirming her birth on July 4, 1874, but international authorities have not verified her age and The Guinness Book of Records gives the title of oldest person to a French woman who died aged 122 and 164 days in 1997. For Moloko Temo, breakfast consists of warm, fresh baked bread, sometimes with a pat of margarine, and herbal rooibus tea. Lunch and dinner is a vegetarian meal of maize, a starchy thin porridge, drenched in fresh milk. She also recommends as a side dish morogo, a leafy African vegetable high in protein and vitamins. Her advise to staying healthy is to "eat (natural foods) and exercise every day."
http://www.raysahelian.com/rooibos.html

George Henderson said...

Morogo leaves:
Morogo leaves have a protein content of up to 36%. The ultimate vitamin content is dependent on the age of the plant and method of preparation; the plants contain vitamin A and vitamin C and complement the low levels of calcium, magnesium and iron in maize.[3]
An examination of three widely consumed variants have found that its consumption may lower the risk of vascular-related chronic diseases and type 2 diabetes.[4]

Bill said...

George,
I always find your input interesting and thought provoking.
I have been HFLC for 7 years now. Also gluten free.

I've found that over the past 6 months my carb intake has dropped and my urine, although clear has started to smell strongly. So I assume I am close to or in ketosis most of the time.

For the past 5 years I have eaten 2 or 3 cloves of crushed garlic left to stand for at least 15 minutes. Normally mixed with chopped beetroot in probiotic greek yoghurt. Also at least a heaped teaspoon of turmeric combined with black peppers and ginger in my food.
Kerrygold butter is my main source of fat.

Keep it coming George.

Bill said...

Also copious coffee...

George Henderson said...

Cheers Bill. I am lucky to be able to buy whole turmeric root here; I like it grated with ginger and boiled with a little honey. Or chewed.
What should ketosis smell like? Acetone is sickly sweet, but carb restriction (and garlic) will increase excretion of sulfur products. I find my ketosis cue is the taste of sulfur - insulin decreases transsulfuration, so maybe that's it, maybe it's from garlic and sensitivity is enhanced in ketosis.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3448636/

Michael said...

Hi George,

Why no B6 with the zinc?

Also, I'm interested to hear more of what you know about the relation between liver function and caffeine metabolism... I think I metabolise caffeine slowly and also suspect I have some liver dysfunction... Any links you could post?

Kind regards,

Michael.

George Henderson said...

Hi Michael,
this is the reason I avoid most B6 supplements (except a little P5P now and then)
http://hopefulgeranium.blogspot.co.nz/2013/02/pyridoxine-toxicity-and-deficiency-and.html

this study shows that caffiene metabolism is determined genetically (or at least epigenetically).
https://sites.google.com/a/luther.edu/genetics/Home/student-research-caffeine-metabolism-and-snp-correlation-1
The same gene difference that makes you metabolize caffeine slowly may also slow down the metabolism of toxins that are harmful to the liver. But it may protect against others, e.g. dioxins
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0041008X01991677
However, grapefruit juice - and possibly other herbs, and certainly many drugs - will slow metabolism of caffiene.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1381556/pdf/brjclinpharm00034-0094.pdf
So the picture is not simple. A simple liver function test should tell you what you want to know. I was fairly intolerant of caffeine at one time, but such things often change when the diet changes, or in my case, it might have changed when I gave up methadone.

Gabriella Kadar said...

Hi George, there was pharmacogenetics done on caffeine a few decades ago. I think it was Dr. Werner Kalow, Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine here at University of Toronto. I was told at the time that there are people who metabolize a cup of coffee in 4 hours if they are fast metabolizers. Then there are intermediate and slow. Not sure if any of this was epigenetic because in those days that concept was unknown.

For quite some time in the department they were putting a whole pound of ground coffee into department lounge coffeemaker. The graduate students and profs all decided that it was atomic. It Was. Gas chromatography indicated it was over 400 mg caffeine per cup! Just a bit overdoing things don't you think? I didn't try it but my father was percolating somewhat similar poison for breakfast too. It was a little over 200 mg per cup.

I'm a slow metabolizer so a 2 p.m. cup of tea will prevent me from getting to sleep at 10 p.m. Caffeine gives me a paradoxical response: coffee does not perk me up. It has a positive effect on cardiac output, increases urine production but makes me mentally blah. Dextroamphetamine is for me what a cup of Joe is for the others.

George Henderson said...

I read somewhere the other day that caffiene's toxicity starts at 300mg.
If I have coffee in the morning it starts me up, but in the afternoon it can often bring on the slump.
Coffee is also very high in acrylamide - some people will be sensitive to its neurotoxicity.
Caffiene cannot hold a candle to benzedrine for upliftingness, that's for sure. Now there's a drug that's never hurt me.

brighteye said...

I loved Peters post on "What I eat" so thanks for posting yours too. I find those posts very interesting, and your explanations are very helpful. Same feeling as Bill: "I eat so differently from most of my family & friends that reading about all of your diets is kind of therapeutic for me"
Can you give some details about your instant coffee/teabag trick? I drink instant coffee because coffee for me is more about the heavy cream than the caffeine. But an easy way to make it taste better with a teabag? Bring it on!

George Henderson said...

i use a standard Dilmah teabag; and it's particularly useful when the instant coffee is not that nice (which is all of them really) and I've been used to perc coffee. I usually leave the teabag in when I add the cream and take it out when the acidity get noticable. It adds a rich, smoky taste and a thicker texture, with the sharpness of the tannin building over time.

Of late I have pretty much decided on sweet potato (orange kumara) being my only starch. I don't like starchier veges like purple kumara, taro, potato as much. I'm also eating (a little) less cholesterol, this means using tallow instead of butter, adding olive oil, not having eggs every day. My gall bladder feels better (i.e. nothing whereas I was aware of its presence before). Also taking taurine 500mg with meals.
Paleo presumption that dietary cholesterol is beneficial regardless of quantity is probably mistaken. Like with anything else there is an optimal intake for anyone at any time.

Docww said...

I'm a big fan of high fat diets for just about everything, especially brain health. My friend Thomas Seyfried uses this diet to treat brain cancer.

Docww said...

I recommend a high fat diet for just about everything. My friend Thomas Seyfried uses this diet to treat brain cancer. This type of diet is also very good for your brain.