Posts Tagged ‘silent evidence’

On Supplements and Brian Peskin

January 31, 2010 18 comments

I’m sort of coasting on the high of not being an evolutionary dead-end as a member of the species. I’ll be even happier if I can repeat such stellar performance next month. And there’s been such interesting, heartening stuff on the web these days.

But I should really keep thinking…

If going “paleo” triggered such dismal results of hypothyroid and amenorrhea, I wonder:

What is lacking in the paleo diet that causes this?

Well, the #1 suspect so far seems to be iodine, or possibly minerals in general, depleted from the soil by industrial agriculture that leaves farmland where “The cycles-the hydrological cycle, the mineral cycle with its nesting nitrogen, carbon, and calcium cycles-have been disrupted by the human activity of agriculture, an activity more like war than anything else” (The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith, p. 104).

Traditional fertility foods include seafood, dairy, and organ meats (Real Food for Mother and Baby by Nina Planck, p. 51). These foods supply a good amount of fat (generally present – in some fashion – in paleo diets), and minerals (which, due to soil depletion, might not be).

Hence the “conventional wisdom” of the Paleo eating philosophy: Eat clean, whole, real food. Preferably organic. Preferably grass-fed. And even though, ideally, you should be able to get more than adequate nutrition this way, maybe you should take supplements, because food raised on depleted soil isn’t what it used to be, and our toxic and stress loads are chronic in ways we were never meant to deal with.

So, supplements.

Read more…

An interlude: My story, a new chapter

January 16, 2010 6 comments

January 15, 2010

I’m having a conversation via Twitter direct messaging with a woman whose symptoms and supplement regimen closely mirror mine. She is now having success.

I am happy for her.

I am painfully jealous.

Later that day, perhaps in sympathy, perhaps in envy, perhaps simply coincidentally as the iodine and vitamin D reach some sort of loading threshold in my veins, my body responds.

Warning: Possible TMI re: “Female Things” Read more…

Raising Questions

January 16, 2010 Leave a comment

On Tuesday, Richard of Free the Animal posted about Paleo Diet Problems – BIG Problems, which is more than relevant to me, so I posted a comment relating my story. Richard’s post generated a HUGE response, so we silent evidence are making ourselves heard.

Silent evidence?

January 3, 2010 Leave a comment

Paleo is still on the fringe, though it’s getting more and more mainstream media play.

Still, by now Paleo has its own canon, its own version of conventional wisdom. I was thinking about this the other day, when Dr. Eades tweeted a link to this Wired article by Jonah Lehrer. Lehrer points out that experiments often result in unexpected data that scientists can’t explain and subsequently don’t report, because

“Modern science is populated by expert insiders, schooled in narrow disciplines. Researchers have all studied the same thick textbooks, which make the world of fact seem settled. This led Kuhn, the philosopher of science, to argue that the only scientists capable of acknowledging the anomalies — and thus shifting paradigms and starting revolutions — are ‘either very young or very new to the field.’ In other words, they are classic outsiders, naive and untenured. They aren’t inhibited from noticing the failures that point toward new possibilities.”

Dr. Eades’ point was that the phenomenon illustrated in the article is probably behind low-carb’s lack of acceptance in academia. No doubt this is the case. By the same token, we Paleo practitioners also need to remain skeptical and keep our minds open to new or contradictory evidence. Says Richard Nikoley of Free the Animal,

“Here’s the thing, folks: falsification. For any hypothesis, you need but one observation that contradicts it, and you’re done. For hypotheses like ‘saturated fat causes heart disease,’ every single hunter-gatherer and other non-industrial population that has been studied directly contradicts it. Game over.”

I’m not saying there’s been any evidence that refutes the Paleo principles (quite the opposite), but we should be vigilant and keep considering evidence even when it seems contradictory.

For instance, what can we make of this? (Thanks @madMUHHH for the link!) I’m not saying Matt Stone is right or wrong, but if you read through his site, you’ll find a trove of anecdotal evidence from people who claim to have ruined their metabolisms by following low carb, Paleo diets.

These are the people who have for the most part dropped off the Paleo forums, because their experiments of n=1 have “failed.” Yes, I realize that the evidence is all anecdotal, and from unverified sources living lives fraught with uncontrolled variables. But perhaps this is enough to at least suggest further investigation, perhaps a study or experiment to see just what is up with that, as the kids these days say.