Thursday, September 29, 2011

Forks Over Knives: A Pictorial Review

 My Dinner Tonight.  Typical Wednesday Fare.
(The salad is dressed in macadamia nut oil and coconut vinegar.)
The plantains I sauteed in coconut oil jumped ship and swam
to the bottom of my belly as soon as they saw the camera coming.

by Chris Masterjohn

I don't buy bacon very often, but when I went to Whole Foods this past Thursday, I couldn't resist.  After all, I was there to pick up the new Forks Over Knives DVD, and it lured me right over to the Campbell & Co. corner, where the complete works of Drs. Campbell, Esselstyn, Fuhrman, McDougall and friends lie directly perpendicular to all the most delicious meats.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How T. Colin Campbell Helped Prove That Protein Protects Us: Glutathione

by Chris Masterjohn

New over at Mother Nature Obeyed: a post celebrating the one-year anniversary of "The Curious Case of Campbell's Rats," taking a look at how glutathione can prevent and reverse liver cancer, and reflecting on the role of glutathione in Campbell's animal experiments.

You can read it here:


Read more about the author, Chris Masterjohn, PhD, here.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Masai Part II: A Glimpse of the Masai Diet at the Turn of the 20th Century -- A Land of Milk and Honey, Bananas From Afar

by Chris Masterjohn

The next post in my Masai series is up over at Mother Nature Obeyed:

The Masai Part II: A Glimpse of the Masai Diet at the Turn of the 20th Century — A Land of Milk and Honey, Bananas From Afar

Indeed, the Masai eat much more than milk, meat, and blood.


Read more about the author, Chris Masterjohn, PhD, here.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

How to Do a Proper Self-Experiment, and Why Your "N" Doesn't Technically Equal "1"

by Chris Masterjohn

Aravind recently suggested in the comments that I write a blog post about a discussion he and I had in the hallway at the Ancestral Health Symposium about "n=1 experiments."  The thrust of this discussion was that if you want to do a true self-experiment where you can definitively demonstrate cause and effect, you can actually conduct a randomized, controlled trial on yourself where your n is equal to the number of repeated observations rather than "1," although we can still casually call them "n-of-one experiments."  Anything less than this provides interesting information, but not necessarily a demonstration of cause and effect.

First I'll describe why we should perform self-experiments in this way (if we're going to perform them at all), then how to go about doing so, and finally what to do in the cases where such rigorous self-experimentation is obviously impractical.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Gary Taubes on Cherry-Picking and Paradigm Shifts (A Brief Thought on Science)

by Chris Masterjohn

Warning: A Serious Blog Post Occurs Somewhere Below

Some controversy recently erupted in the Twitter-sphere when a number of us including Dave Dixon and Dallas Hartwig were recently discussing Denise Minger's angular hypothesis of atherosclerosis, in which she proposed that increased concentrations of serum bananas and increased concentrations of other plasma constituents with pointy ends or sharp edges penetrate the blood vessel wall and initiate plaque development.  Andrew Badenoch's research showing that increased banana intake does not increase serum banana levels has made it difficult to base a dietary theory on this hypothesis, but we have tentatively concluded that picking cherries, because of their sphericity and resultant tendency to bounce cleanly off the blood vessel lining without incurring any injury, is likely to lengthen lifespan.  

After several of us observed that not chewing such fruits is likely to preserve their roundness, reduce their insulinogenic properties, and lower their effect on reward centers in the brain, I used the definition of cherry-picking recently put forward by Gary Taubes to suggest that dismissing studies demonstrating the benefits of not chewing your food might significantly increase lifespan.  In other words, if Mr. Taubes is seeking key experiments that are capable of distinguishing between competing hypotheses, and if he considers this "cherry-picking," then his approach to studies like the one I just linked to that support all three hypotheses are likely to lead to increased cherry-picking and thus increased immunity to heart disease. In suggesting that Gary was likely to outlive most of us, I was simply wishing well to a man that has introduced innumerable people to the work of Weston Price and to the paleo movement, an achievement Melissa McEwen recently emphasized, and infusing this wish with a little of the humor that has thus far characterized the bulk of this discussion.

Nevertheless, some found this comment to be "snarky." Dallas and I therefore decided that humor just doesn't come across that well in 140 characters, and that this issue deserves a serious blog post rather than a bunch of tweets.  I had written such a serious blog post at lunch yesterday (Monday), but duty called, more important things arose, and I never managed to finish it.  Given the issue's import, I have decided to finish and publish that post.  So here it is — a very serious post about the art of cherry-picking.