Who wants to hear Tom rant about diet? Obviously. That's why I put all
this in here: My bet, my insurance, what I'm mad about, and what I
think I'm learning. You can take it or leave it, I don't mind. But
you can't say I didn't tell you, I didn't share what I learned. So
here you go.
Why? It started with a lifetime of nightmares (I just thought I
deserved them), and gets worse. Yes, I'm motivated.
A Diet Bet
You can't not bet, pal. Whatever you do, it's a bet.
My diet, such as it is, is: (keto × vegan) − simple carbs (for
nighttime headaches) + anchovies (for brains).
- Breakfast: oatmeal, blueberries, banana.
- Lunch: a pile of cashews, or a spinach salad on a good day.
- Dinner: Falafel, anchovies, hummus, olives and balsamic vinegar. Occasionally: kale chips.
See?: Little or no sugar, flour, rice, or corn. No meat, milk, or
eggs. I know, it's eating to live, and barely. But just consider the
Supplements: cheap insurance.
- Magnesium, 500mg/day, because everyone is low in Mg and being low causes
Alzheimer's, heart disease,
- Vitamin D3, 7500IU/day, which controls 800 of the 20,000 human
genes and is low for most people, especially people out of the sun,
which is all of us. Reduces inflammation, prevents osteoporosis,
prevents artery calcification, and protects against viruses too
including the flu and
better responses to Covid.
- Vitamin K-2 which activates
bone construction, deactivates bone destruction, and regulates
calcium deposits in the arteries. Works with Vitamin D in
calcium regulation to reduce plaques in the arteries and maintain
bones. K-2 is not the same as K-1 which comes from veggies and
noone is deficient in. Everyone is deficient in K-2 which comes
from fermented soybeans. In Japan where they eat this nasty
natto stuff, no osteoporosis, but in Western Japan where they
don't, lots of broken hips.
- Multivitamin. Because who knows. It's a minimum, so: fine. But
the problem is,
- Multivitamins include the RDAs (recommended daily allowance)
for essential vitamins and minerals. That means 2x the
amount that if the mice in the lab don't get that much, they
die. (SM: Survival minimum. SM*2=RDA). So the doctors
figure, at least 2x will probably keep you from dying right
away from scurvy (vit C) or pellagra (vit B-3) or etc.
There's 14 vitamins, 14 minerals: if the mouse doesn't
get the minimum, the mouse dies (sooner than from old age).
- But nutritional requirements for optimum health are many
more in number and quantity and linked by a logical
dependency graph not by a linear combination.
- So (A) the list is longer, maybe twice as long (estimated by
Rhonda Patrick and Dr. Ames)
- And (B) the amounts required to be useful are more than
the survivable minimum.
- But most of all (C) some (longevity-enhancing)
functions will ONLY be taken up if the higher-priority
(immediate-survival) functions are FULLY satisfied.
It's not like if you consume half the RDA then half
your needs are met: No! If you consume half the RDA
then half the needs ON ONE BRANCH of the tree of needs
are met. The other branches will make you live better,
or longer, or have stronger bones, etc., but they get
ZIP if you don't COMPLETELY meet the needs of the most
important short-term need first.
(This is called "Triage theory" according to Dr. Ames.)
Since the RDA is based only on immediate survival
functions, the optimum health allowance, let's call it
the OHA, is potentially a lot more than the SM or the
RDA. We have no idea how much more, or when we'll stop
adding chemicals to the OHA list.
- Fish oil for the Omega 3 fatty acids which need to not be too
low. Because I met a professor from Israel studying honey bees
who said stupid vs smart bees eat low vs high amounts of Omega
3's, and and so he takes 3g/day. Why not? It's not like he'll
die, when you take 3g of Omega 6's in your small McDonalds french
- Vitamin B3 aka Niacin for many benefits
- Vitamin E, an antioxidant. Not too much please.
- Rosuvastatin to lower cholesterol, post stent. I disproved
lipitor (ask me how), and also hated it. If you dislike lipitor,
ask for a change. Don't be bashful.
- Mini aspirin (80mg/day), post stent blood thinner, because my
cardiologist prescribed it.
- Alpha Lipoic Acid (600mg/day) and Acetyl L-Carnitine (500mg/day).
Shown by J. Ames to improve mitochondia (ALA) and lower mitochondrial
- Resveratrol. 500mg/day by Micro Ingredients. Argued for by Singler.
- Medium Chain Triglycerides from coconuts (~1 tablespoon/day.
Because the brain runs on ketones not carbohydrates, and MCTs
don't need chemical modification to go to the brain unlike
Long-Chain or Short-Chain Triglycerides. So MCTs are brain food.
Other fads I'm looking out for include
- blanched broccoli sprouts, for its high sulphorophane, for
anti-inflammation, anti-aging, anti-cancer. Sulphorophane
activates the NRF-2 pathway which itself controls 3-5% of
cellular proteins, particularly the turning on genes for
- Rapamycin. Apparently Rapamycin has been shown to extends life
for yeast, flies, worms, and mammals. Inhibits mTOR (mechanistic
Target of Rapamycin) (by definition) which "regulat[es] cell
growth, survival, metabolism, and immunity". Maybe it regulates
nutrient sensing, maybe that's good.
Is it people, or is it their doctors, that are the most gutless, when
the doctors won't tell them to just eat falafel, oatmeal, stirfry, and
salads, instead of batter fried meat on cheese plus dessert, so that
they would maybe not die so much of cancer and everything else? I
heard it's because the doctors think everyone will just ignore
them. Fine, go ahead and frickin' die. That's what you prefer? Wow.
Apparently you have to go to the non-idiot line at the doctors office
and say No, you don't prefer McDonalds to Life Itself and you're
actually willing to reconsider a couple diet choices. Then *Maybe*
they'll break down out of their standard-American-diet-locked customer
mode and tell you, Hey that's actually good because you'll probably
not die so young of cancer and heart disease and stuff because of
that. But SSHHHH, don't tell anyone because it's a secret, not
because it's actually a secret, but because some of the people around
here are chickenshit and so we seriously can't even talk about it, or
we can't even talk seriously about it. Now you tell me, who is it,
the people, or the doctors?
An evolutionary aside
Now, low-carb advocates (like Amber O'Hearn
"headache, lassitude, vague discomfort, are symptoms of 'rabbit
starvation'" (!My Symptoms!)) are arguing humans evolved as marrow
scavengers, i.e., as fat eaters. So the first tool was just a rock,
but with a rock an early human, like an australopithecus maybe, could
scavenge otherwise inaccessible and preserved marrow and brain by
breaking the big bones and intact skulls left at a kill after the
vultures were finished. To this evolutionary phase we can attribute
the development (as compared with chimps) of more acidic stomachs, a
more ketotic metabolism, less chimp-like raw-fiber digestion,
preference for fatter (large) prey. And we can infer it supported tool
use, eclectic carnivory, fatter bodies, basically more of ye olde
fat-based brain. If your metabolism is fat-burning, that's called
ketosis; but did you know, most of the carbon atoms in the brain come
into the brain as ketones? Fat = brain food. (Amber, Did I get it
right?) If so, this evolutionary track helped us smarten up and get
bigger brains, fatter bodies, and kickstart the whole human
I'll assert that the marrow scavenging preceded the aquatic phase of
human evolution when we lost body fur, got (even) more skin fat,
became fully bipedal (according to Elaine
Morgan, acquired voluntary breathing control (necessarily
preceding speech), learned to love swimming. Because the marrow+brain
fat consumption and a bit more of our own brains would tend to lead us
toward safer feeding of just as plentiful fat in netted or
group-herded fish. A puddle off a pond being as good as a net if you
have twenty family members splashing in a line to chase the fish into
it, and a log to roll across the neck. And nets themselves, a
generalization, being slightly more complex than rocks (and logs and
puddles), but not much, less so than cloth, for example, therefore the
semi-aquatic phase should be after the marrow scavenging phase based
on increasing tool complexity.
Also if you can tolerate picked over carcasses you can tolerate stinky
fish smells too. I'm going to say that it was later that our smell
preferences changed to become more fastidious.
Okay. So, well, milk is evolutionarily correct too, obviously, so I
tried a cream and bacon type of keto diet, but after a year my
cholesterol was 300 and shortly after that I had to have a stent
installed in my heart in order to not die. So I'm good with healthy
fat (if I could figure out what that might be). For the last couple
years, it's keto + vegan - simple carbs + anchovies. Lots of olive
oil. Kale, when I can find a way to tolerate it (baked into chips
with balsamic and olive oil, yes! Or fresh in bits on falafel with some
olives: it's tolerable. Plus balsamic.
Here: My nutritionist said to try intermittent fasting. No late night
snacks, and a late breakfast, gives your system 14 hours to run in
ketosis and clean out the day's bluck. Longevity, okay? Study up,
friend, the science is actually starting to come in! And please
educate me, too; I don't know everything (for sure), or anything,
Below are notes from Dr. Peter Attia's talk, "Reverse engineered approach
to human longevity", on youtube.
To live longer means to delay chronic disease. Consider the genetic
contributors to longevity; we have documented about dozen among
centenarians. (Among the dozen longevity genes, only the thyroid
mutation doesn't have an evident chronic disease relationship.) For
some examples Attia mentions:
See how all these are tied back to the main chronic diseases:
cardiovascular, cancer, and neurological decline, which along with
accidents cause 80-98% of deaths.
- Hypoactive ApoC-III: which leads to lower triglycerides and ApoB which relates to CHD.
- Hypoactive PCSK9; which leads to much more LDL receptors on the liver, they
clear ApoB-bearing particles out of circulation with great
precision, where ApoB is what you need to understand to assess
cardiovascular disease risk.
- ApoE2 > ApoE3 or ApoE4 genes; these being what regulate
peripheral and central lipid metabolism and cholesterol
ApoE4 is the evolutionarily ancient type and was best for parasitic infection.
People who have the ApoE2 variant have much less Alzheimers (20x less than ApoE4 carriers)
- Less GHR: which seems to protect from cancer.
- Lower IGF1: which seems to protect from cancer.
So perhaps the genotypes can be mimicked.
To control CVD we need to jointly target lipoproteins, inflammation,
and endothelial function. E.g., low dose methotrexate reduced cardiac
Alzheimers: NIH will not even fund research including the word
"prevention", but the Cornell Alzheimer's Prevention Clinic has got us
on the track of managing it better for sure.
That's his argument for longevity as a focal point for science,
medicine, and lifestyle.
II: Widely across species (1) caloric restriction (CR) and diet
restriction (DR) makes yeast, flies, worms, mammals all live longer.
The NIH vs U Wisconsin rhesus monkeys showed only that calorie
restriction helped longevity only if you ate a crappy diet (the UW
one). And (2) Rapamycin (mTOR) extends life across all these. It works
on a protein called TOR, which has to do with growth/non-growth, Both
of which related to nutrient sensing. Also DAF2 in C elegans can be
tweaked to >2x longevity and also sharpen the decline at the end, and
its job is something like IGF1 in humans.
III: Human nutrition density is an evolutionarily recent event. We
likely have not evolved proper nutrient sensing for this new
nutrient-dense context; autophagy is our friend; senescence needs to
be understood as cells poison others to advance aging, though
necessary against cancer; inflammation with its many causes needs
Nutrition should be optimized so that:
carbohydrates make your average glucose low (85mg/dL) with a
standard deviation of <15mg/dL, which leads to low insulin AUC
(integral of insulin over time) proxied by continuously measureable
blood glucose. I.e., aim for perfect glucose homeostasis. Agnostic
w.r.t. paleo or vegan or whatever. Just keep glucose low and not
very variable. For some people this is a high or a low number, and
dependent on exercise and sleep.
proteins aim for a barely positive nitrogen balance. Not protein
wasted, for muscle mass matters, but not so much that it's too
much with excess amino acids . We need homeostasis in muscular
system. Too much and too little are bad.
Fat is the balance by amount. Sat, Mono unsat, polyunsaturateds may differ.
Exercise: Observe the lifespan impact of the metabolic advantage of exercise.
We can put glucose (glycogen) away quickly into the liver (limited
capacity) or into the muscle (potentially a large sink for glycogen),
so muscle mass is very helpful. With insulin resistance in the lower
body muscles it tends toward the diabetes. It's hard to have diabetes
with a lot of muscle.
Avoid exercise-preventing injuries. Lower back pain can bring
Do heavy strength training. Do heavy hip hinge exercises like
squatting dead-lifting and rowing, even until your blind demented
90's. Get the II-B muscle fibers activated at the end of the effort
scale. Interval train too next priority.
Sleep: underappreciated but key. Sleep is a highly conserved behavior,
doesn't go away, evolved before neurons. E.g., Lack -> testosterone
drops, perhaps because slow-wave (delta) sleep, where pituitary puts
out FSH & LH which make testosterone. Hippocampus is sensitive to
sleep disturbances which consolidate memories. Lack of sleep
exacerbates effective glucose dispoal. So improve glucose disposal by
Diet and supplments etc., it's empirical: you have to measure a lot
and cycle through to find the right diet which for 80 people there
will be 70 different optimized diets.