January 4, 2012

New Jimmy Moore Podcast on La Vida Low Carb Show

Listen to it here:


Questions and comments are welcome, just click on the "comment" link below.



LeonRover said...

Hey Jenny

I have just finished listening to your excellent podcast with Jimmy.

I have been tuning in to your website and blog for some years now and I want to congratulate you on how you presented in interview the themes that characterise Blood Sugar 101 and Diabetes Update.

Many of these themes resonate strongly with me.

Here are some:

- examine studies for evidence, ignoring both the journalist and the summary/abstract

- distinguish between the (high) statistical significance of a small effect and the (low) statistical significance of a large effect

- the lack of integration between an explanstion at micro level (cellular, eg mitochondral) and that at the macro level(kilos of muscle or fat)

- take one's own measurements, whether BG levels and titrate how they vary with dietary inputs or others such as Blood Pressure or Temperature. (I also ensure I get copies of my MD's lab reports)

I do understand why you might be wary of writing Jenny Ruhl's Obesity 101.

Were you to do so, it might achieve the importance of (Dr) Malcolm Kendrick's The Great Cholesterol Con or (Dr) James le Fanu's The Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine.

Good Luck and a Happy New Year.

Jenny said...

LeonRover, Thanks for the kind words about the podcast. Re the book, no way am I writing about obesity. I'm sticking to what I know the most about, which is what is going on under the hood with the low carb diet, in this case both as it is used for blood sugar control and for weight loss. As is my wont, I'll be filling in the things that the millionaire diet book authors conveniently ignore or oversell. Lyle MacDonald's book, The Ketogenic Diet, opened my eyes to the physiology of LC a decade ago which helped me understand the limits and benefits of the diet, and I'm hoping to write a more accessible (and cheaper ) work that stays on diet topics unlike his book which goes off into body building half way through.

LeonRover said...

Jenny, It is a "mare's nest" in that diet/obesity/magic macro world.

I've got Lyle's book myself - probably my most recent purchase on an aspect of Physiology.(I've also got McArdle Katch Katch Sports Phys (pub 2000).

My own take is that while low carb/keto can be a fix for some (not all), that root starches, ie carbs absent HFCS, sucrose, industral flours etc., are not a problem, at least in the pre-modern environment of Kitava or Central New Guinea.

My own interest in this area is to understand the feedbacks between over/underfeeding and RDEE/NRDEE.

For example, in my early 40's I lost 10 kg while on a 3 week mountaineering trip; in my 50's I lost 15 kg in 15 months while running 40 miles per week; in my 60's I lost 12 kg doing keto.

Maybe you could title your book "The Varieties of Dieting Experience" - if not forbidden by the Estate of William James.

Jenny said...

I'll be calling it "What They Don't Tell You About Low Carb Diets" in harmony with the Diabetes book. But first I have to write it, which is a lot of work though I've started chipping away at it.

Buttercup said...

RE: Gina's question during the podcast. I've had the same experience where going extremely low carb had no impact on my fasting BG results. I started doing some reading and discovered that calcium/potassium/magnesium are all important players when it comes to cellular uptake of insulin/glucose and that most North Americans are deficient in magnesium. So, I went out and bought a bottle of magnesium supplements, took one with dinner and awoke for the first time with a fasting result under 6.1 mmol/l. After starting the magnesium I was also able to bring down my HbA1C into the 5s. I told my mom about my awesome results, as she is also diabetic with high morning fasting numbers, so she tried the magnesium, but it didn't seem to make any impact at all for her.

Jenny said...

Buttercup, Yours is a good example of why we have to test things to see if they work. I tried magnesium back when a book was hyping it, and found it had no impact on my sugars or, for that matter, troublesome blood pressure, at all.

Many of these touted supplements are occasionally useful when people are deficient. The problem is that the extent of the deficiency can be exaggerated by the authors.

The only concern with magnesium is that its levels affect those of calcium, and without testing your blood levels its hard to know if supplementing one might put the other out of balance. Very high and very low calcium are bad for your health.

Jenny said...

Harold posted the following (which was accidentally deleted):

I read "the Magnesium Factor" by Seelig a long time ago and was very much influenced by it. Mg apparently is primarily an intracellular ion. The serum Mg has little or nothing to do with the bodies need for Mg. It is the intracellular Mg that is important and it is difficult and was very expensive to measure but a large number of older people are deficient because our diets have become deficient. Mg is essentially non toxic, too large a dose resulting in loose stools. It is probably the best hypertension medicine and certainly the least expensive. It is still used for toxemia of pregnancy and very effective. Drug companies do not promote it as there is no big money in selling it.
If you have low intracellular Mg you will probably also have low K and need to replace both to function optimally. I take it regularly (800 Mg/day). I don't know if it has an effect on my diabetes but I don't think it has hurt it. I am on insulin, very low carb and have an A1c under 5.

Marc Sitkin said...

Enjoyed the podcast very much.

I've recently started Atkins and have had great results with A1C and blood lipids all moving in the right direction. I intend to continue with the diet for the foreseeable future since the stabilization of blood sugar and lowering of insulin has been a big help.

As a Type 1 diabetic on statins for 15 years, I'm interested in your thoughts on how to make a decision on stopping them.

Obviously, all my blood work has been while I've been taking statins (currently 40 mg lovastatin).

Jenny said...


Statins are so controversial a topic, that I don't feel like I should express an opinion as to whether an individual should take them or not. You pretty much have to read up on them, pro and con, and consider your own personal and family history, as well as whether you have inflammatory conditions active. Statins do seem to have a positive effect on inflamed arteries, indeed that seems to be their major benefit.

With an autoimmune condition like Type 1 diabetes, it is possible they are helpful, for that reason.

Unfortunately, the tendency for this subject to polarize people and the overselling by the drug companies makes it hard to get a sane opinion from a doctor about them.

Anonymous said...

Jenny - great interview with Jimmy! Thanks for all your hard work on blood sugar issues.

I don't have diabetes but am a devote low carber and have been trying to use a blood sugar meter to test my blood sugar response to various foods. I am finding however that my meter/strips can vary up to 25 points when I check the consistency of my readings. Is that normal? The strips are awfully expensive and I do not want to waste hard earned money!

I have a OneTouch Ultramini.

Jenny said...

My experience with an Ultra Mini which I used for several years was that the readings are usually quite consistent. I used to check my mini against another One Touch meter and they usually matched within a few points. That said now and then you'll see a reading that is way off.

Things to check if you don't trust the readings:

1. Make sure you fill the strip with blood. Too little blood may give a false reading.

2. Make sure your finger is clean.

3. Don't squeeze your finger hard to get blood out as that can introduce intrastitial fluid and dilute the sample.

4. Breakfast readings for the same food may be considerably higher than readings taken later because we are all more insulin resistant at breakfast.

Sarah said...

It would be great if you do a book on low carb dieting. I would like to understand more about it and I know you would make it interesting informative. The low carb diet is the only way I've ever been successful with weight loss, I think because it tamed the hunger. I suppose I was having blood sugar and insulin issues for quite some time.
In relation to low carb, what do you think of the book," Life Without Bread?" The doctor who wrote this seems to feel that for most people the standard Western diet contains too many carbs for good health.
You talked about LDL cholesterol (in relation to Statins, I think) in the interview. My LDL level keeps being high (143 last time) although my HDL was 67, and triglycerides were 100, and my A1c, 5.4. Is the LDL so bad by itself?

Jenny said...


I'm working on the LC book. The short answer to your question is that studies show that LC does raise LDL, however, other measurements suggest that the LDL is shifting towards the large fluffier LDL particles that aren't the very small kind most closely associated with plaque formation.

I don't have the same evangelical feeling some authors have about carbs. There are plenty of people who can eat them and live into their 90s and older--I've known some. But for people with abnormal blood sugar, cutting carbs is important, though how much they have to cut them has a lot to do with the specifics of their blood sugar dysfunction. I know plenty of people who eat modest amounts of carbs who control their bgs well, and just as many who have to be more stringent. Others need to add safe diabetes meds.

Sarah said...

Thank you for answering my question about the LDL level. I know there are many people who live to a healthy old age on a pretty high carb diet. Maybe that happens to be the diet that suits them very well, or maybe they would thrive on all sorts of diets, because they were born with great genes. Of course, environmental factors, both social and physical play into it. It's interesting what researchers like Robert Sapolsky have found about the social environmental factors. The toxins in our physical environment have got to be bad for us, but as you said, we have to eat, drink and breath.