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the high cholesterol of Stefansson's partner

 
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imsovain
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 4:10 am    Post subject: the high cholesterol of Stefansson's partner  Reply with quote

The other guy in Stefansson's all-meat experiment reached a cholesterol level of 800 at one point. The following is from an old Paleofood post:

Quote:

Date: Sat, 13 Sep 1997 12:59:09 -0700
Reply-To: Paleolithic Eating Support List
Sender: Paleolithic Eating Support List
From: Gary Ditta
Subject: Stefansson's cholesterol (was Re:Todd's cholesterol)
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

On 9/8 Todd Moody wrote:

>I understand (from somewhere) that the total cholesterol of
>Andersen, Stefansson's partner in the 1928 Bellevue experiment,
>went up. But I've never seen the actual report, and Stefansson
>doesn't mention this in Fat of the Land. I realize that total
>cholesterol measurements don't mean much, but I would be curious
>to know the numbers.


Here are quotes and numbers from the published data on one year meat-only
diet conducted at Bellevue Hospital. I think they are of interest to many.


Participants:

Vilhjalmur Stefansson 48 yrs old (arctic explorer, single)
a "...well developed man, though his muscles were soft and flabby"

Karsten Andersen 38 yrs old (fruit grower/accompanied VS on expedditions)
a "...thin, well-developed adult with strikingly tanned skin and almost bald"



Range of daily intakes over the one year period:

2000-3000 cal/d
100-140 g protein/d
200-300 g fat/d
7-12 g carbohydrate/d (glycogen from the meat)

"In this experiment, it was found that boiled meat was preferred to fried.
Broiled steaks and chops were used, - V.S. choosing lamb frequently while
K.A. ate beef almost exclusively."

"Both subjects received considerable quantities of bone marrow at various
times..."

"The men led somewhat sedentary lives" (during the experiment)

Code:

V.S.                                       K.A.

inital wt:     72.2 kg                     inital wt:     59.4 kg kg
after 1 year:  69.4 kg                     after 1 year:  58.0 kg


 Date        Cholesterol (mg/100cc)        Date        Cholesterol (mg/100cc)
2/27/28        263 (before meat diet)          -         -  (before meat diet)
3/2/28         315                         3/7/28       600
4/20/28        307                         3/23/28      285
5/28/28        286                         4/13/28      268
8/25/28        300                         5/28/28      310
12/12/28       226                        11/26/28      500
1/23/29        235                         1/9/29       400
3/6/29         212                         1/24/29      800 (after 20 hr fast)
4/4/29         218 (2 wks general diet)    3/20/29      200 (2 wks general diet)

About the cholesterol values, it was stated:
"The cholesterol values of both subjects were high. K.A. had a maximum of
800mg/100cc on one occasion. This did not persist after the meat diet was
discontinued and is therefore attributed to the large quantity of ingested
fat. A visible lipemia was likewise noted." (The latter refers to a
"cloudiness" in the drawn blood.)



I find these cholesterol numbers to be fascinating. Assuming roughly the
same numbers would be gotten with today's methodology, it seems that living
on domestic meat and fat, both men had cholesterol values that were far
higher than is commonly found to be the case for modern hunter-gatherers.
Stefansson's numbers rose initially for a few months, but then seemed to
more or less steadily decline.

The very high values for Andersen are astounding. One would presume, as the
authors do, that this is spillover from the amount of fat consumed. Which
raises the possibility of an interesting speculation:

On a ketogenic diet, there should be an optimal ratio of fat to protein for
each individual based on that individual's genetics, activity level,
residual carb intake, etc. This seems likely based on simple
biochemistry/physiology. In FAT OF THE LAND, there's a nice account of a
friend of Stefansson's that went on an strict pemmican diet in the tropics
for 9 weeks, varying the ratio of fat to meat, eventually ending up about
at roughly the same ratio as VS and KA at Bellevue. There are also studies
showing that Greenland Eskimos ate a quite different protein:fat ratio -
280 g protein:135 g fat: 54 g carbohydrate (similarly for the Baskin Island
Eskimo). Thus, quite different ratios can be consumed by different people
under different circumstances. If there are indeed optimal ratios under
different conditions, then one can wonder what might happen in the
circumstance that too much fat is eaten relative to the amount of protein?
The answer could be something like the situation with K.A. Namely, rather
than burning all of the fat intake for energy, the body temporarily has a
bit of a problem problem dealing with the excess (low insulin levels would
make storage difficult) and spills it into the blood.

If there's any validity to this line of thinking, this could be a general
concern for anyone consuming more fat than they can readily burn on a
ketogenic diet. Careful monitoring of the protein:fat ratio by each
individual might therefore be an important aspect of ketogenic (or even
near-ketogenic) dieting that's not properly appreciated.


References:

Tolstei, E. (1929) J. Biol Chem. 83: 753-758.
"The effect of an exclusive meat diet on the chemical consituents of the

blood"

McClellan, W.S., Rupp, V.R., and Toscani, V. (1930) J. Biol Chem. 87: 669-680.
"CLINICAL CALORIMETRY XLVI. Prolonged meat diets with a study of the
metabolism of nitrogen, calcium, and phjosphorus"


Last edited by imsovain on Sat Aug 19, 2006 9:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sally
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So much for eating all meat being good for us!

I am starting to worry about this. I really thought it was okay to just eat meat, but I'm not prepared to risk my health. Sad
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Max Thunder
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"the answer could be something like the situation with K.A. Namely, rather
than burning all of the fat intake for energy, the body temporarily has a
bit of a problem problem dealing with the excess (low insulin levels would
make storage difficult) and spills it into the blood."

Could it simply be overeating?


I also firmly believe that exercise is as important as diet for optimal health.
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jl53563
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Could it simply be overeating?


I think it's a good possibility. The were rather sedentary and eating 2000-3000 calories per day.
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Scout Finch
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was also under the impression that they were not getting any exercise during that experiment. That said, each body is different. Just like some people can't adapt to a high-carb diet (that would be me), some folks probably can't adapt to a low-carb or all-meat diet.

And I also think exercise is really important in the overall profile of lipids, B.P., cardiac health, etc. You don't have to go out and run a marathon, but just get moving at least an hour or so every day, no matter what it is.
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bubbaM
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you all read the whole article by Stefansson? I think that it's important to read that to get a better picture of how Stefansson's partner felt during the study.
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Sally
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am getting more terrified by the minute about this. I'm seeing my doctor this afternoon to get a test.

What is worrying me is that some of you seem happy to just disregard anything that doesn't support your theory that just eating meat is healthy.
Don't get me wrong - I WANT it to be healthy, because I feel best eating this way, but I would like to see more proof, I guess.

And please, don't tell me it's okay because that old curmudgeon, the bear said so! He is just a cranky old man who could be telling stories for all we know!

I just need some kind of proof that this is a healthy way to eat for the rest of my life.
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Scout Finch
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there any proof that a high-carb diet is healthy to eat for the rest of your life?

Sally, I'm sorry you are frightened about eating this way. There appears to be plenty of "proof" that a low-carb diet in general is extremely healthy in the long term. Perhaps you simply need to modify an all-meat diet and add in extra carbs? My own experience, after 15 months of eating an all-meat diet, is that I'm in this for the long haul. However, I had a cholesterol check 3 months ago (that would be 12 months into the diet), and my total was 148, HDL was high, and LDL was reasonable. My doc's response was to keep doing what I was doing.

Like I said, perhaps different bodies and different metabolisms react differently to different diets. I do agree with Rob's numerous posts about an all-meat diet working for everybody with respect to weight loss; however, regarding other metabolic factors, like glucose, blood lipids, B.P., etc., there certainly can be more individual responses. But that's true for any way of eating.

You have to find something that is comfortable for you, that you can stay with long-term without feeling that it is undermining your health, obviously. What is the test you are planning to get?
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Sally
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for replying, Scout Finch. Makes me feel better already to know that someone cares.

For now I am cutting back my fat a bit, and am adding a little brown rice and had 1 slice of whole grain bread with my breakfast. I will stay pretty low carb, and as I still hate veges, won't be eating too many of them! I for sure won't be going back to eating high carb, it's the meat only thing that has me bothered.

I was just going to ask my doctor for a cholesterol test, but now I think about it I will ask him for a full blood panel. Will be nice to know everything else is ticking along.

Thanks again for the reply. Smile
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imsovain
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't eat grains. Eat an equicaloric value of fruits, vegetables, and nuts instead. It'll be a whole lot more nutritious. Also, in addition to the nuts, you can use other kinds of predominantly monounsaturated fats like olive or avocado oil since those fats increases HDL (good) and decrease LDL (also good).
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GeoCarnivore
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cholestoral has no ill effects on your health people! If you're cholestoral is high it's because it is acting against a buffer against something else that is wrong with your body. It's too bad Anthony Colpo took down all the resources that were on his site, there was a huge library of medical studies that not only show that there is no connection with dietary cholestoeral and the cholestoral your body produces, but they also showed no connection between atherosclorosis and dietary cholestoral.

I'm sorry, but you've all been mislead in one of the biggest scams in Modern History, it's unfortunate that you now have to pay for Colpo's book, but the research is all there.
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Sally
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

imsovain wrote:
Don't eat grains. Eat an equicaloric value of fruits, vegetables, and nuts instead. It'll be a whole lot more nutritious. Also, in addition to the nuts, you can use other kinds of predominantly monounsaturated fats like olive or avocado oil since those fats increases HDL (good) and decrease LDL (also good).

Thanks, imsovain. How are grains worse than nuts or fruit and vegetables?
I'm not having many of them. Just a small serve or two a day. I do eat nuts, as well as cheese and cream. Im going to cut back the cream for now, though.
After talking to my doctor, I will be trying to eat small amounts of veges, but I really don't like them!
My doctor ordered a bunch of blood tests. He said he doesn't believe it is necessary to test for cholesterol but seeing I'm worrying about it, I should have the test.
gbackus wrote:
Cholestoral has no ill effects on your health people!

Well, see, here's the thing. Do you really, really know that? For sure? Because I had a long talk with my doctor about all this this afternoon, and he said there is more evidence linking high cholesterol to heart disease than not.
And I don't know what training you have done, but well, I think i'm more inclined to believe my doctor than just someone over the internet.
I'm sorry if that sounds rude, I don't mean to be, but I do worry about my future heath. I am never going back to high carb eating, but I would like to know that I am (or was) not hurting myself by only eating meat.

I've been eating pretty much meat only for the last 3 months, so my doctor says that a cholesterol test now should show whether or not I am okay.
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imsovain
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Compare an equicalorie value of grains to almost any combination of nuts, fruits and vegetables, and the grains will come out worse.
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imsovain
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, grains contain anti-nutrients:

http://www.paleodiet.com/phytic.txt
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Sally
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that link, imsovain.

But you know, I can't help but think that calcium depletion from phytic acid would be more likely when a person is getting the bulk of their calories from cereals. I am still getting the bulk of my calories from meat and fat, sorta "supplementing" with grains. (And only for the last couple of days.)

Still, I appreciate your trouble, and will reread it, and continue to think about it. Thank you!
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Dave
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sally,

Check this out:-

http://www.theomnivore.com/
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Scout Finch
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sally and others,

Here is the THINCS website in case you want more info. The members list on this site looks pretty impressive as far as credentials and whatnot.

The International Society of Cholesterol Skeptics


http://www.thincs.org/
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Sally
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the links, Dave and Scout Finch. I can see I have a lot of reading ahead of me. I just wish I had more time in my day. Bonkers

I had my blood tests done yesterday. Cholesterol as well as blood glucose and various other things. I'll get the results in about a week.

Whether or not cholesterol matters (and I guess so far I still believe it sorta does) I still want to know what mine is.

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