Brent Pottenger Comments

I asked Brent if he had any comments on his experience (after he adopted an ancestral diet, his migraines and sinus infections stopped). He wrote:

The quality of my life (mental + physical health) improved even further when I started eating slices of butter throughout the day awhile back. For awhile, I was using spoonfuls of coconut butter/coconut oil and/or Greek yogurt for this satiation role, but once I added butter slices to the mix, I beefed up my nutritional ‘bag of tricks’ quite a bit. Of course, I had cooked in butter for a few years, but I never made the link to simply eat it in slices, despite enjoying its taste so much. And, a little bit goes a long way. I eat cultured butter from a few different brands and a few different locations of the world (hoping this diversification may carry extra beneficial side-effects: different strains of micro-organisms, etc.). I try to find brands that are pastured too (more naturally-occurring Omega-3’s, evidently). I usually suck on/chew on the butter slowly because I’ve found this has improved my oral health too: animal lipids (plus coconut oil) are good for epithelial tissue health (that’s why I rub coconut oil on my face and skin and rub butter, coconut oil, and yogurt on my hands). Pairing butter and coffee (I eat the butter; I don’t put it in my coffee; I drink my coffee black) has become a nice start to my day (Dave Lull even found a study speculating on the benefits of coupling hyperlipidity and anti-oxidants together in this way; I think it’s also a useful approach to detoxifying the liver), particularly when I know I am going to workout that morning–this little hyperlipidity kick seems to help in the gym too (when I am not fasting). Using butter slices in this manner is a nice compliment to fasting intermittently–these two practices allow me to enjoy low-caloric intake periods pleasantly. They set up my “feasts” nicely. Whenever I have a “grumbling” stomach, or I feel a “biting” sensation in my stomach, I eat a small piece of butter, and my mood and body tend to stabilize. And, like bacon and yogurt and eggs, it’s cheap. Butter has certainly been an excellent ‘cheap health option’ for me.

He later added:

Now I am working intently on Meta-Rules. Meta-Rules are simply ‘rules for making rules’ to live by. Three dynamics concern me deeply: (1) The problem of induction; (2) biochemical individuality; and, (3) factoring for the unseen. For instance, one of my nutritional Meta-Rules is: “Don’t consume anything that causes a negative physiological reaction.” From this Meta-Rule, I have deduced the following rule to live by (as one example): “Don’t consume high-fructose corn syrup.” A marker for monitoring this rule could be facial inflammation and ‘puffiness’ post-consumption, as one possibility. That’s an example of a higher-level precept empowering an individual to deduce for him or herself how that concept applies (or does not apply) in his/her own specific case (I like the term: Patient of One). Over time, I suspect that something like William Baines’ Biomedical Mutual Organization (BMO) could emerge if enough people were self-experimenting with Meta-Rules and interacting about their experiences and results. Amongst this cohort of parallel n=1 clinical trials, some convergence of Meta-Rules may occur, indicating ways that our bodies are the same, and also showing how our bodies differ individually when it comes to things like diet, exercise, and lifestyle design.

To explain why headaches can be due to inflammation, he pointed me to this.

6 Replies to “Brent Pottenger Comments”

  1. *Thanks to my friend, Will Eberhardt: He tipped me to cultured butter (and FAGE Greek yogurt and lots of other great nutrition things). And he’s a vegetarian golfer (among other things).

    Nutrition is the ultimate non-expert expertise: we are all engaging in its science and discovery each and every day.

    Also, my ancestor, Dr. Francis. M. Pottenger, Jr. (see Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation), did fascinating research on the beneficial effects of animal fats and saturated lipids on skin and hair (epithelial tissue generally) health. Good hyperlipidity is a protective against skin cancer, for instance, most likely.

  2. Very interesting, never thought of a stick of butter as biscotti before! My question is how would you, and other non-traditional lifestyle people educate and gain acceptance from the “mainstream” audience. I am imagining Brent working out at the gym, then pulling out a stick of butter, instead of sugar filled power bars or gatorade. That won’t fly with even “health conscious” workout nazis. Yes, health conscious is a relative term, as many of them follow conventional beliefs when it comes to dieting.

    How do you make it stick with people?

    Also, I’m partial to the idea of MetaRules. Sounds like there are a lot of “don’ts” and absolutes and it sounds discouraging to me. Probably a necessity and some are humorous, but still not very positive sounding.

    I tried my own n=2…2 because my girlfriend and I both experimented with a 90/10 mix of protein/veggies/fruits to 10% carbs and in about 4 weeks, we both lost a combined 8 lbs… A positive side effect was that I ate more variety of veggies and meat, and more often because we wern’t filled up with “empty” carbs, like all the refined grains we were eating before. So instead of a side of carbs, we would replace that with more greens and a larger portion of meat.

  3. Pottenger’s cats are fascinating nutritional research. Amazing that there’s a connection! Would also be interesting to see the research replicated.

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