Assorted Links

  • A good example of how misleading drug-company-sponsored analyses of drug trials can be. Independent reanalysis by Daniel Coyne, a professor of medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, reached opposite conclusions. Good work, Coyne.
  • Coke contains a carcinogen.
  • “I used sunflower seeds to lose weight.” Someone else used them to reduce addictions. The link between the Shangri-La Diet and reduction of non-food addictions (smoking, coffee) fascinates me. People start SLD to lose weight and say they become less addicted to smoking, coffee drinking, and so on. One possibility is that by reducing hunger, SLD reduces discomfort. Addictions gain strength from discomfort, often resemble self-medication.
  • Steve McIntyre replies to Gavin Schmidt’s claim that McIntyre’s beliefs resemble “classic conspiracy theory”. I used to watch a lot of football — when the 49ers won most of their games. (I am a classic fairweather fan.) I get a similar pleasure reading Steve McIntyre’s posts as I did from watching 49er games.
  • Congratulations, UCLA press office! A study that measured the effect of omega-3 by comparing two groups of rats — one gets omega-3, the other doesn’t — is called a study about the evils of fructose (both groups got a high-fructose diet). I am surprised the scientists involved didn’t object to this misrepresentation. The study supposedly shows — according to the press office — that fructose is bad because performance went down when the rats were switched from standard lab chow to a high-fructose diet. Let’s say you start with a diet (standard lab chow) that has a barely adequate amount of omega-3. You feed both groups lab chow for several months. Then you do an experiment in which both groups get 60% of their calories from the lab chow and 40% of their calories from a diet that contains no omega-3. Performance is likely to decline due to insufficient omega-3 no matter what the new diet contains.

Thanks to Tim Beneke.

11 Replies to “Assorted Links”

  1. Hi Seth,

    I have another question on an issue related to sleep. (thanks a ton for your response last time!). Sorry to bother you with this, but I thought you might find my experience interesting given your research on circadian rhythms…so here goes!

    Generally I used to go to bed anytime between 4 AM and 6 AM every day and wake up 7-8 hours later- it was a pretty weird routine, but it worked for me, I slept well and continuously, woke up well rested and never had any trouble with sleep. (I am an academic mostly working from home, not a shift worker). Suddenly I started having trouble sleeping – couldn’t fall asleep on my usual time on quite a few occasions which left me puzzled – since there was nothing new in my life that would cause stress/anxiety etc.

    I later understood (my inference) that the way I practised intermittent fasting probably screwed up my sleep/wake cycle.(I was also taking Vitamin D at night while starting to eat more healthy and roughly following a Paleo style diet). In an attempt to loose weight, I would eat only one major meal in 24 hours and I would take that meal before I go to bed – that means at 2 AM or 3 AM. (taking only light snacks through the day). I read a Harvard study that suggested that if an animal takes food after a 16 hour fast, then its body starts treating the time when it takes food as “morning”. According to Paul Jaminet, food intake dominates light in the setting of circadian rhythm, given the role the liver can play in the setting of the biological clock (particularly true in an environment of food scarcity created through the fasting).

    To fix my routine, I have now started (a month back) going to bed at around 12- 1 AM after having dinner at normal time at 8 PM, but I observe two problems. First, I have occasional trouble falling asleep which is quite unusual for me. Second, I wake up after sleeping 5-6 hours every day and can’t go to sleep after that, which is very unusual for me as well. I don’t typically feel very tired throughout the day, so it is not a big problem I guess, but I don’t feel nearly as well rested as I did before and I know 7-8 hours sleep is healthier, so I want to fix this if I can.

    I found your blog while investigating these issues – I have been trying out some of your ideas – skipping breakfast, morning sun, morning faces, Vitamin D and animal fat. They have helped, but haven’t completely resolved the issue. (I am still continuing to experiment with your ideas, however). I was wondering whether you think …..a) Taking a time release melatonin tablet one hour before bedtime will help in more firmly re-establishing circadian rhythm – does melatonin have a role in this? b) Any other ideas? (Now I eat at 12 at noon and 8 PM at night, so only lunch and dinner, two meals in a day with only a small snack in between).

    Thanks a lot for your time if you have read up to this (don’t blame you if you didn’t) and hope you find my problem interesting! Best
    p.s: One clue – I have more trouble sleeping on those nights when I have more social contact in the evening.

    Seth: How much Vitamin D3 are you taking and when are you taking it? How much sun exposure in the morning are you getting and when? I’ve never tested melatonin. How much butter are you eating and when?

  2. “I am surprised the scientists involved didn’t object to this misrepresentation.”

    I am surprised that you are surprised.

  3. Too add to the SLD. I have done varying degrees of it and lost weight with fish oil and bland foods since Christmas. I have not done nose-clipping or ELOO in a long time since my weight not far from where i’d like it to be. I recently began taking MCT oil for it’s health benefits. It has no taste and I have noticed my appetite is substantially down. I’m losing more weight even though i’m really trying to right now. Just wanted people to know it’s worked for me.

  4. Hi Seth,

    Thanks a lot for your response. Here are the answers to your questions.

    a) I am taking a little more than one table spoon of butter every day. I also eat meat and eggs fairly regularly – though it is often difficult to get fatty cuts of meat due to the low fat craze! I am eating the butter during the evening – around 8 PM. Should I eat more butter/animal fat?

    b) I used to take 1000 IU of Vitamin D every night. For the past two weeks, I switched to morning (after reading discussion of this in your blog) – then I upped my doze to 2000 IU in the morning – now for the last 2 days I have again upped my doze to 3000 IU in the morning around 9 AM. Should I try increasing my dose again?

    c) I have a lawn and the sun falls on it directly every morning. (I live in Brisbane which is often sunny on most months). So I stand (standing desk) and work on my computer in front of the lawn every morning starting around 9 AM. I would get more morning sun if I take a walk outside (it is a lawn rather than a back porch, so the roof is covered), but I don’t do this until later in the day. I wake up around 7.30 every day, but I lie on my bed till 9 every morning trying to get back to sleep, so my day begins at 9 AM.

    Thanks again for your help. If I do try melatonin, are you aware of any negative side effects of melatonin? (I didn’t find much in the literature, except that people ask you not to take it regularly, because then your body stops making enough of it once it senses it in the blood).

    Seth: Sorry, don’t know about melatonin. I suggest you increase your butter intake to 4 T/day. And take 10000 IU of Vitamin D at 7 am. Continue the morning sun exposure. That should help a lot. After you are sleeping better you can reduce the Vitamin D and/or butter until your sleep gets worse, if you dislike those amounts. I don’t know your weight but you have been taking dosages that are quite far from what data posted on this blog suggests are best.

  5. Thanks a lot. Seth. I will do this….I need to be go to bed a little early to wake up at 7 A.M and take the Vitamin D then. You are right about the dosages, I saw now that you recommend 60 grams of butter. ( I also probably shouldn’t lie on bed so long after waking up so that I get morning sun sooner rather than only after 9 AM).

    I am 5 feet 9 inches (age 37) and my weight is now 170 pounds (male). I lost 14 pounds over the last three months (a Paleo style diet and 1600 calories a day approx), so I am not too overweight now, but I still have some abdominal fat and I also have impaired glucose tolerance or pre-diabetes and want to get my weight in the optimal range. (particularly given that I am South Asian and at a high risk for diabetes). Thanks a lot again for generously sharing your advice and all the great info on your fantabulous blog!

  6. Hi Seth
    I will start to thank a lot for this goldmine of information you share on the blog and all the help with answer you give to everyone. That is so amazing rare in this age, and have put you on to my favorite to find the best information. I have read in to all the posts for days now and tried out all the tips for sleeping, except not enough one leg standing.
    When I saw this questions and your answers about sleep from Mitra. I almost get all the needed answers to many of my questions. As I have wondered when the best time for D3 was in the morning and if I should take the high amount of butter to. My experience so far is that I wake up earlier and earlier now in this test.
    I have started to take 7.200 iu of D3 some were between 6.30 am to 7.30 am and around 5 to six tsp of butter a day to my meals. Yesterday I even tried to take 2 tsp of flaxseed oil at 11 pm, after reading a post about that. But today I woke up even earlier than ever at 4.30 am and was not able to get back to sleep, as I was extremely hungry. I am always very hungry in the morning and are not able to skip breakfast yet. I have order the Shangri-La diet book and hope to have it any day now. But I don’t now how much answers there is on sleep in the book.
    I saw your answers to Mitra , so I have increased the D3 to 9600 today and also understand the right time to take it, as I have wondered about that to.
    But I still have some questions ( I live in Sweden and I am 5,5 inch tall and 150 punds.)

    Does it matter when you have the butter to promote longer and better sleep
    To skip breakfast,how long has it to be before eating after wake up
    Does it matter what to eat and how long before bed, you eat dinner
    Does early sun exposure get me to sleep longer
    Do you take Omega 3 fish oil as well and If when in the day
    Do you take Flaxseed as well as butter or only one of them

    Kindly Anne

  7. Hi Anne,

    I will try to answer your questions BASED on the information that is already provided on Seth’s blog and Seth’s response to my questions. First, I think you can take butter anytime through the day, but Seth found taking fat (animal fat?) in the evening helped his sleep, so I plan on taking 60% of my butter in the evening. To skip breakfast, it should ideally be 3 hours after waking up – like if you WANT to wake up at 7 AM, don’t eat earlier than 10 A.M. Usually, it is recommended that people eat dinner 2-3 hours before they go to bed. Early sun exposure (along with Vitamin D3 in the morning) should strengthen your circadian rhythm and help with sleep. I don’t know about omega 3 fish oil or flaxseed oil – I mean I don’t know whether they can be taken together with butter or only butter is enough. You can experiment with all combinations. (Seth also says that more social contact in the morning and less social interaction in the evening can help – I found this to be true). Also, remember lot of standing in a day or one-legged standing enough number of times. You will find more info on these things in Seth’s blog if you look at the topic “sleep” here. (Personally I felt less hungry when I started eating a fat heavy low carbohydrate diet). I take my dietary advice from Seth and from another book called “Perfect Health Diet” by Paul Jaminet.

    I plan to experiment with these remedies using Seth’s advice. If these don’t work for me, and given my specific problem, I also plan to take time release melatonin tablet one hour before bedtime for a week and see if it helps. It is annoying because I had perfectly fine sleep before I screwed it up by trying to do intermittent fasting in a wrong way.

  8. Hi Mitra
    Thank you for taking the time to answer me on all the questions. I thought that I had read all the posts on sleep.
    Anyway after increase the dose to 9600 yesterday the sleep was better. If you have had a good deep and it went away whit a diet, it seams to me that what you eat really matters to sleep. All this years I have struggled, I have been told that I need to relax more and it is only happens to me, because I am stressed 🙂
    Now it is summer and light in the morning, and very easy to get sun in the morning. But half the year it is dark when you go to and from work. I am thinking maybe to bay sun light box. I have one of the earlier and it did nor work that well, but the are very developed today.
    I got the Shangri La book yesterday so I hade read a lot yesterday. I tried to take oil capsule between breakfast and lunch as I was on the move, when I usually are starving. It worked very well and I could wait for a late lunch. But between lunch and dinner I used some flaxseed oil and it did nor work so well, I was starving after some time. But I am new so it will take some practice with try and error until it works as designed

    Kindly Anne

  9. Thanks – if you read my post carefully, my sleep problem didn’t happen because of what I ate, it was more of a timing issue. Flaxseed oil has a strong flavour, so you have to drink it with your nose clipped for it to work. Anxiety about sleep (or more typically about other things) can also have an impact- so I think we have to strike a balance between doing absolutely nothing about this problem and being overly concerned about it. Best of luck!

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