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  #1   ^
Old Wed, Oct-23-02, 09:42
jhilgeman jhilgeman is offline
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Default Refute an Article

Hi,

I'm looking for someone to counter an article that I've written/compiled from different sources. Due to the popularity of low-carb diets, I was originally under the impression that low-carb dieting was a positive, working idea, but the more I look up on the Internet about ketogenic / low-carb dieting, the more sources I find that suggest that it is unhealthy. Obviously, I'm striving for the truth in the article, so I need some people to refute it.

The article is at http://www.ketogenic.net called "What is Ketogenic?"

If you can't respond to/counter the article, if you could point me in the right direction, I would really appreciate it. Thank you!

(BTW, I'm posting this to a lot of different low-carb sites, so you might see this on another site forum.)

- Jonathan
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  #2   ^
Old Wed, Oct-23-02, 10:05
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lkonzelman lkonzelman is offline
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Plan: Atkins
Stats: 273/182/160 Female 5' 4"
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Hi Jonathan -

I looked at the site you posted and can't find the specifics like who wrote it and what their credentials are and where are the case studies are that this information represents.

Just linking to other reputable sites doesn't make this information reputable.

I have done much research on the net as well and have found nothing documented by case study that proves this data to be true and what you will find on this forum is much living proof of the effectiveness of living low carb. Effectively true life case studies.

And my own experience is that living low fat - high carb kept me constantly hungry and never losing weight even with much exercise and now I feel healthy, full and am losing weight at a reasonable and I think healthy speed.

Also - please look on the links on the right of the Studies linked to this site when you get a chance.

All the best.
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  #3   ^
Old Wed, Oct-23-02, 10:55
jhilgeman jhilgeman is offline
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Hi,

Thanks for the quick response. I'm looking up case studies but those tend to be harder to find - but perseverance (and maybe some book purchases) will pay off.

However, I still believe in the effects stated because on many of the forums I've visited, I see people complaining about this or that, and their complaints and symptoms (reported from their mouths - I'm not a doctor) seem to correlate with the article's predictions. I could save discussion threads and link the different pieces of the articles to those threads for the time being.

Basically, I do see a lot of people complaining that the weight loss is not constant, that things slow down after the first onset of loss. I do see people complaining about even the smallest signs, like bad breath (from the acetone ketone bodies), nausea, etc... . All this just tends to make me believe a bit more in what the different sources say (I will set out to create a references section at the bottom).

In any case, I wouldn't doubt that high-carb and low-fat diets would be bad for you, too, although I haven't done the research in that area just yet. But here's another question - what about a nutritional diet that would be about equal parts carb, protein, and fat combined with regular amounts of exercise? So rather than stressing one point, just even them all out...?

It just all sounds... well... in my opinion, it sounds unhealthy to fake your body into thinking that it's starving when it really isn't.

- Jonathan
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  #4   ^
Old Wed, Oct-23-02, 11:23
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tofi tofi is offline
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There are facts and there are "this is fact so something else must be true."

For example: a person in ketosis may notice a particular sweetish or metallic odour to their breath. That is a fact. But it is not a fact that this odour is dangerous or bad in any way. Nor does it indicate illness.

Fact: the weight loss on ALL diets is not constant. All diets result in an initial loss in the first week or two which is greater than anything the person will see again - even if they stay on a particular diet for years. But it doesn't mean anything except that that is how the body works - it loses water first. Even on a starvation diet, the body adapts and tries to conserve itself as much as possible.

Go and visit a Weight Watchers support site if you want to see the same complaints about slow loss or stalls.

Case studies that prove "a ketogenic diet is harmful" to someone in normal good health without kidney or other problems are going to be IMPOSSIBLE (not just harder) to find, because there aren't any. Dr. Atkins alone has publicly on television challenged the medical community to come up with even one case of harm from a ketogenic diet. NOT ONE HAS EVER BEEN BROUGHT FORWARD. And if you have read his book, he advises people with EXISTING kidney problems that his plan is not for them.

The eating plan you describe sounds quite a bit like The Zone. You could click on the heading to the right of this thread "which LC plan is right for me?" to read about it. Protein Power Plan does not talk about ketosis at all, nor test for it. Neither does Sugar Busters nor CAD/CALP.

Ketosis is a normal and natural state which many people get into without knowing it. Could be a pregnant woman who has morning sickness and can't keep food down, or someone with stomach flu who can't eat for several days.

Where did you get the idea that ketosis is "faking your body into thinking it's starving"? HOW could it possibly think it's starving when there is a steady and generous supply of protein, fat and low-glycemic carbohydrates coming in?

I think your reading and research should start in our "Low Carb Studies and Research/Media Watch" forum (find it near the top of the pull-down menu). There are many articles from journals WITH REFERENCES, authors and case studies that may answer some of your questions.

One very important point to note: there is often confusion between ketosis and ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosi IS a dangerous condition for a DIABETIC to get into. Ketosis is not dangerous to a healthy person. In fact, many of us feel better, and our blood numbers (cholesterol, triglycerides, BP & pulse rate) have improved with ketosis.

I hope this helps to get you started on finding out why that article may be full of "fact" but the conclusions are not valid.

Last edited by tofi : Wed, Oct-23-02 at 11:30.
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  #5   ^
Old Wed, Oct-23-02, 13:30
jhilgeman jhilgeman is offline
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Hi Tofi,

> There are facts and there are "this is fact so something else must be true."

I realize this, and I realize that it is a flaw in good logic. However, if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and smells like a duck, then chances are it's a duck. To make an immediate connection without first checking-for-sure is a worse error, which is why I'm here trying to find these types of gaps in my article, and not just leaving my article as-is.

> But it is not a fact that this odour is dangerous or bad in any way.

Depends who's on the receiving end. But seriously, I'm not stating that the odor itself is dangerous. I'm just saying that there are a lot of people on low-carb forums complaining of certain problems, and that these problems fit in with the existing article.

> Fact: the weight loss on ALL diets is not constant.

Obviously true. Otherwise long-term diets would be fatal. Also, not all diets offer rapid weight loss in the first couple of weeks. Simple regular nutrition (eating balanced meals - not ones stressed in anything in particular) plus a good amount of exercise does not usually pay off with rapid weight loss during the first week or two and then stop. Rather, this type of conditioning seems to offer slow, but healthy and sure weight loss until the body is at a point where weight can just be maintained.

Rapid weight loss (b/c of water loss?) only seems to be on specialized diets like these, whether it's Atkins or Weight Watchers.

> Case studies that prove "a ketogenic diet is harmful" to someone in normal good health without kidney or other problems are going to be IMPOSSIBLE (not just harder) to find, because there aren't any.

That's an assumption. I might never find one, but that doesn't mean it's not out there and that I should just stop looking before I've started.

Besides, I'm not even saying for sure that a ketogenic diet will directly cause problems. Obviously there's always the possibility that any diet could cause problems with any person - there's just too many factors to say things for sure. The only inference I could draw from this whole thing is that if the ketogenic diet turned out to be harmful after all, that simple unhealthiness might cause problems.

> Dr. Atkins alone has publicly on television ...

Eh, it's probably best not to start your paragraphs with "This man has stood alone..." - it has a connotation of a scam artist. Before you get upset, I'm not saying Atkins is a scam artist - I'm just talking about your wording. I'm not even attacking Atkins - all I'm doing is questioning low-carb diets in general. If the Atkins diet fits into that category, then... <shrug>

> The eating plan you describe sounds quite a bit like The Zone.

The medium levels of everything? <shrug> That was just something that popped into my head. Still, these types of diets seem to focus way too much on strict adherence and any wavering will cause failure. Our bodies are so complex that I wouldn't be surprised if trying to manipulate/control them chemically via food and dieting would be generally unhealthy. Maybe high carbs are good for someone on one day and low carbs are good the next day, and then the next, too. Maybe a variety (as long as it's not just variety in the "Value Menu") is what the body needs in addition to exercise.

> Protein Power Plan does not talk about ketosis at all, nor test for it.

But it does advocate reduced carb intake, which would theoretically trigger ketosis. Just because it doesn't talk about it or test for it...

> Ketosis is a normal and natural state...

I disagree at this point. From what I've read, ketosis is the state you're in when you are running on backup power. Going back to the analogy I made in the article to electric power, when the regular power goes out and suddenly you're on backup power, do you consider it a normal and natural state? You kind of wait for the power to go back to normal, don't you? If the mind was meant to be fueled primarily by ketones all the time, why isn't that the case?

Similarly, I would ask you why you would consider starvation via morning sickness and the stomach flu normal and natural. Both are certainly temporary, and a person would most likely incur serious health deficiencies if they had these problems every day.

Obviously, it's a good thing that you have a backup fuel source in your body, but I reiterate that I would think it would be dangerous to trick/force your body into using it instead of its preferred source.

> Where did you get the idea that ketosis is "faking your body into thinking it's starving"?

Because, as you said, ketosis is naturally-occurring. However, it naturally occurs when you're starving. By depriving your body of carbohydrates, you're simulating the lack of glucose you would experience during starvation. Perhaps you're not fooling the ENTIRE body into thinking that you really are starving, but you're triggering the criteria that is used by parts of your body to determine whether or not to produce ketone bodies.

> One very important point to note: there is often confusion between ketosis and ketoacidosis.

I understand, but my article is dealing with ketosis, not ketoacidosis. Thanks for clearing that up anyway.

> Ketosis is not dangerous to a healthy person.

If everything in my article is factually correct, then I can't see why sustained ketosis would NOT be potentially dangerous to any person, healthy or not.

- Jonathan
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  #6   ^
Old Wed, Oct-23-02, 16:58
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tamarian tamarian is offline
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Plan: Atkins/PP/BFL
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Hi Jonathan,

Thanks for sharing you site with us.

I looked up all the opinions on your site and found not facts to refute, since they provide no scientific studies, just opinions and beleifs.

I respect you beleifs, whatever they are. But to claims that there are no clinical studies proving the a ketogenic diet is healthy, flies against a mountain of scientific and clinical studies, published here, and in medical journals (Clcik on Low-Carb Studies). In addition, it goes against the only diet we ever knew until recent times with the introduction of processed sugars and refined foods that coincided with the developments of all sorts of medical problems, diabetes, cholesterol etc..

It seems to me you started with the premise "Ketogenic" is unhealthy, so how can I find an analogy to explains it, hence questions about "What is a farmer had no rain for 10 years........"

If you are willing to accept the possibility that Ketogenic diets might actually be very healthy, you will easily find those facts. And we will gladly point to you and repeat those links from our list under Low-Carb Studies, if you can't find them.

Wa'il
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  #7   ^
Old Wed, Oct-23-02, 17:25
jhilgeman jhilgeman is offline
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Hi Wa'il,
Believe me, I set out to write positive things on ketogenic diets. It was in my best interest to have a site that promoted them because I'm thinking of becoming a reseller of some ketogenic products and I wanted to promote myself through the site.

However, to try and remain as unbiased as possible, I searched with ambiguous terms so I wouldn't purposefully run into any site that hated ketogenic diets and I wouldn't run into any site that was pro-ketogenic diets, either. I wanted to start with something more unbiased and medical, and all the information that I found seemed relatively unbiased but said that while ketogenic diets were a good concept, they didn't work for weight loss.

Yes, the article was supposed to be easy-to-read, so I did take the concepts I read and tried to use analogies like the farmer gathering water. However, analogies aren't out to prove facts or anything - they are only there to make the article more interesting and help people understand the concept better.

> If you are willing to accept the possibility that Ketogenic diets might actually be very healthy, you will easily find those facts.

I did accept that possibility as a fact in the very beginning of all this. However, I did NOT want to go searching for biased information. I could easily go to Atkins' site and get all the supporting information I wanted (I was actually intending to request that Atkins link to my site once it was finished), but there is a big problem with this.

Atkins is trying to sell their products, so all of their information is obviously going to be nothing but good information about ketogenic diets. Thus, I'll have less chances of running into phrases like, "My diet is good, but there are some legitimate downsides to it." Even if there were phrases like that, they most likely wouldn't be in-depth.

Someone said there would be a lack of case studies against ketogenic diets - this is probably true. After all, case studies cost lots of money to organize and publish, so it would make sense for Atkins to have lots of case studies to sell their products. Likewise, it would make sense to have a lack of case studies against Atkins or any diet because there's no money to be made unless you're selling a competing brand.

I also tried to avoid any other competing brands that would have reason to bash ketogenic diets. If someone is not out to sell something to you, there's a higher likelihood that you'll get more honesty out of them on the subject. After all, it's not their product, so they have nothing to gain or lose.

You also implied that by starting with a premise of "ketogenic diets are unhealthy," that I was doing it incorrectly. However, starting with any premise of opinion is incorrect. Once again, unbiased information.

Finally, I -have- read some of the studies and am still reading them. I appreciate people pointing me to them, but I have to weigh out the total credibility of each study and try to read it from an objective point of view. After all, it's easier to see what you believe, right?

- Jonathan
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  #8   ^
Old Wed, Oct-23-02, 17:41
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suze_c suze_c is offline
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Default Low-carb Ignorance & Myths

I found this website when looking for some evidence to give someone who was bashing my LC'ing... It has some very valid points...


in reference to low-carb ignorance & myths (click here)
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  #9   ^
Old Wed, Oct-23-02, 17:51
jhilgeman jhilgeman is offline
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I'm still reading this, but I thought I'd mention that this guy has no references, either. I just thought that was a bit ironic in this situation at this point (I am about 3/4ths done compiling a list of references for my article that I will put up soon).

- Jonathan
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  #10   ^
Old Wed, Oct-23-02, 18:06
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Lisa N Lisa N is offline
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I have to say....

Ketosis is not just a state you are in when you are starving. It's a state you are in whenever you are burning fat. Fat metabolism produces ketones as a byproduct of that metabolism. So unless you are willing to say that all diets where fat is burned (and that would pretty much include all diets for the purpose of weight loss) are unhealthy, you might want to rethink your position on the danger of ketosis.
Furthermore, our ancestors that lived in hunter/gatherer societies lived in a state of ketosis for several months out of every year and did quite well on it. Inuits that follow a traditional Inuit diet still live in that state for many months of the year and have a much lower rate of disease then than their higher carb counterparts.
Being in ketosis does not mean that you are starving, although one could argue that all diets that produce weight loss through a negative caloric balance are simply a controlled state of starvation. Is this dangerous or desired for weight loss? If it's dangerous, then all diets that produce weight loss through "starvation" should be condemned equally. Personally, I get more than enough calories daily to support my basal metabolic functions (between 1,500 and 1,800 daily) and have still managed to lose 75 pounds over an 18 month period (no...my weight loss did not stop after a few weeks).
Finally, I have to disagree with your statement that a ketogenic diet can only benefit certain rare disorders. I wouldn't consider diabetes, especially in it's near-epidemic proportions, a rare disorder and low carb diets are certainly helpful in controlling that disease as well as insulin resistance.
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  #11   ^
Old Wed, Oct-23-02, 18:07
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Kristine Kristine is offline
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Hi Jonathan,

One section I have a particular problem with:
Quote:
...depriving your body's natural homes and offices of their normal power source {glucose} and forcing them to run on backup power can create problems where problems did not exist (some sources even suggest potential fatality).
What sources? What problems, exactly? I know you wanted to make this reader-friendly, but I think it sounds rather vague and could be improved with a more facts and sources. I happen to dislike analogies. Don't assume that the reader isn't intelligent enough to understand basic biology - provide the necessary facts.

Another point: "The time {ketosis} happens naturally is when you are starving." But it also happens naturally when you consume the same type of diet that humans ate for the majority of our *2,000,000* history - a protein and fat based diet. Grains were only consumed for the last 10,000 years. Our ancient ancestors were probably in ketosis much of the time, save for when they came across a fruit tree or managed to nab some honey without being stung by bees...

I do appreciate the fact that you didn't equate "low-carb" with "ketogenic." I have been low-carbing for quite a while, and I probably wouldn't have had measureable ketones once. But - it should be pointed out that no low carb program I've ever seen recommends being in ketosis for ever and ever, amen. It's a temporary state until you are ready to move to maintenance.

Ketosis doesn't mean that you're lacking glucose. Your body produces it - if it didn't, everyone on Atkins would be severly hypoglycemic and drop dead. Ketosis means you're burning your body fat - it doesn't mean you consume zero carbohydrates, or that there's any lack of glucose in your blood.

Last edited by Kristine : Wed, Oct-23-02 at 18:24.
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  #12   ^
Old Wed, Oct-23-02, 18:27
rjakubin rjakubin is offline
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You said you wanted references or a name of a book. Read "Life Without Bread" by Christian B. Allan & Wolfgang Lutz" They explain ketosis very well and very simply. They also give references to some very big studies. I'd look them up but I won't. Your pickin on Atkins. Theres more than Atkins out there to explain low carbing as a valid life style. Pick on Schwarzbien and Perricone. These two doctors experimented on themselfs to get they're health back in order.
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  #13   ^
Old Wed, Oct-23-02, 18:43
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tamarian tamarian is offline
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Plan: Atkins/PP/BFL
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Location: Ottawa, ON
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Quote:
Originally posted by jhilgeman
but I have to weigh out the total credibility of each study and try to read it from an objective point of view. After all, it's easier to see what you believe, right?


This is too vague Jonathan. I don't see how you did any research on this topic.

Which scientific journals have you read, and which scientific journal study did you find biased? If you are willing to list them, then we will at least have something to discuss.

We've had many come here, and list vague references to studies, but they all share a common problem, then can't recall which study. That's just too convenient to support one's argument!

I was going to point you to some scientific studies, but if every study that doesn't match your assumptions is biased, then your are not really open to any facts, you made up your mind. That's fine too.

Wa'il
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  #14   ^
Old Wed, Oct-23-02, 18:45
Lisa N's Avatar
Lisa N Lisa N is offline
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Plan: Bernstein Diabetes Soluti
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Progress: 63%
Location: Michigan
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Let's not forget Drs. Dan and Mary Eades who co-authored Protein Power and also use the low carb diet themselves and recommend it to their patients with no reported ill-effects to health long-term.
Then there's Dr. Richard Bernstein, a type 1 diabetic who has been using a ketogenic diet to control his diabetes for more than 40 years (with reversal of previous diabetic complications) and has been using it to control diabetes in his patients for more than 20 years. Again, no reported ill-effects to health unless you consider weight loss and a reduced (or no) need for medications to control diabetes an ill effect.
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  #15   ^
Old Wed, Oct-23-02, 18:55
seyont seyont is offline
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Plan: parts of them all
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Jonathan,

Is this site a demo for your web-design and PHP skills? It's a pleasant-looking site with nice, low bandwidth requirements. I like it. iCab will give you an 'HTML 4.0 Strict' smilie if you add the '!DOCTYPE' tag and not use the 'CENTER' and 'U' tags.

If it's meant as a cybersquat, you need far more outrageous content. Dr Ornish might have some good material, but searching the web for "Anti-Atkins" would also be a good start.

If it's a sincere attempt to discredit ultra-low-carb diet plans, then perhaps we should wait until the paste dries. Some minor points, though :

In "What is Ketogenic?" you will have trouble equating Ketogenic with Zero Carbs. Yes, Zero Carbs would technically be Ketogenic but the reverse is not necessarily true. Starting with this definition as the foundation of your site is risky, as everything else depends on people not noticing that what you are condemning does not actually exist.

Under "Side Effects of Ketones", you've done a good job asserting that the mere presence of ketones leads to all these symptoms. If, however, ketones are the by-product of any lipolysis then this section gets pretty shaky.

Under "The Main Reason for Weight Loss" you should probably use another word for glycogen. Any reader who does a search will find that the body can only hold about 200 grams of glycogen. That would place the limit of ketogenic weight loss, acc. to your calculations, at 800 grams. Not much of a diet, eh?

The last two sections, "The Weight Loss Doesn't Stick", and "To Make Matters Worse" simply aren't serious writing.

Might I suggest turning "What is Ketogenic?" into a personal study of the low-carb regimen? You have come to the right place...
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