Remembering Kevin Moore

Take-Home Messages From The 2011 Nutrition & Metabolism Society Symposium In Baltimore

Whew, what a week it’s been getting back into my regular working schedule after a glorious quick weekend trip to Baltimore, Maryland last Saturday and Sunday to attend the 2011 Nutrition & Metabolism Society Symposium. This two-day event that piggybacks on The American Society of Bariatric Physicians (ASBP) conference took a closer look at some of the latest and greatest information about low-carb diets from the researchers and scientists who are studying this remarkable way of eating. I’ve had the distinct privilege to attend this event for each of the past six years and it’s always a great way to connect and interact with the actual professionals who are working behind-the-scenes to examine and prove the veracity of carbohydrate-restriction. These people deserve to be lauded for their courage to study low-carb diets in the face of immense opposition to this nutritional approach from the mainstream, conventional health community. I do believe that someday soon we’ll see mainstream medical professionals universally lauding the groundbreaking, cutting-edge work of people like Dr. Jeff Volek, Dr. Eric Westman, Dr. Steve Phinney, Dr. Mary Vernon, Dr. Richard Feinman, Dr. Jay Wortman, Dr. Eugene Fine, Dr. Thomas Seyfried, and so many other practitioners using low-carb diets with their patients for forging the way with the use of livin’ la vida low-carb to treat not just obesity, but many kinds of diseases as well.

At previous ASBP/N&M conferences we have usually flown in early to hear the last few lectures of the ASBP conference where they tend to have some outstanding speakers in the past like Gary Taubes, Brian Wansink, Mark Hyman and the like. This year they finished off the ASBP portion of the conference with childhood obesity researcher Dr. David Ludwig who has been a guest on my podcast in September 2010. I missed that one since we flew into Baltimore early on Saturday morning. It was such a quick trip, but completely LOADED with lots of excellent information which I shared via my Twitter feed all weekend. Dr. Mike Eades from Protein Power fame usually attends these N&M events, but he just welcomed another grandchild into the world and had to miss this one. He tweeted me about my LIVE updates from the conference saying, “Really spectacular job, Jimmy! Since I couldn’t be there, your tweets were the next best thing. Thanks very much.” It was my pleasure, Dr. Mike, to allow my readers an opportunity to feel like they were there and to benefit from the messages coming from the speakers! In fact, Dr. Westman who was moderating the N&M lectures told me at dinner that he got a kick out of me asking questions posed by people from my social networking sites. Ain’t modern technology amazing?!

There was one really strange thing that happened during the conference I have to share with you. I was pretty surprised by what happened when I got up to the microphone to ask my questions for the first time and introduced myself as “Jimmy Moore from Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb”–the audience members consisting of mostly physicians and nurses as well as a few educated laypeople started cheering with spontaneous applause when I said my name. Okay, that was really freaky to me, but I appreciated the sentiment. It let me know that the work I am doing IS making a difference in the lives of common, everyday people as well as people intimately involved in the health profession. In fact, afterwards I was approached by several doctors in the audience who wanted to know more about me and my work. COOL! I passed out a whole bunch of business cards and networked with lots of new people I hadn’t previously met all weekend. One of the attendees recognized me on Sunday morning and told me an incredible story about how my web site changed her life, helped her lose weight, and educated her further about how low-carb diets can work to help her patients. She said the doctor she works with LOVES low-carb living and is unashamed to use it therapeutically with his patients. It was genuinely gratifying to hear this registered nurse get so excited about livin’ la vida low-carb–and she knows firsthand that it works because it did for her! AWESOME STUFF!!!

There was so much information packed into the Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning lectures which focused primarily on ketones, ketogenic diets and their impact on various aspects of health that I could spends weeks writing it all out for you in a series of blog posts. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to do that. But there were some true nuggets of information that I think would be beneficial to share with you as the take-home messages from the 2011 Nutrition & Metabolism Symposium in Baltimore. This isn’t a comprehensive list of everything monumental that was said, but hopefully it hits enough of the highlights to pique your curiosity. I’ll list the speaker and their topic and then provide bullet points to ponder:

Dr. Richard Feinman“Review of Biochemistry of Ketone Bodies”

  • Ketones are the body’s preferred fuel (not carbs) because they are protein sparing
  • Energy doesn’t just come from carbohydrates–acetyl CoA provides it from fat and protein
  • Gluconeogenesis is a normal part of a fasted state–everyone experiences some form of it
  • Eating low-carb is “fed” starvation by mimicking it metabolically
  • Glucose can’t come from dietary fat but ketones bodies step in as the fuel source
  • Ketone bodies are glucose-sparing because it forces glucose to come from protein
  • Insulin falls significantly during starvation or low-carb diets
  • As ketones rise when carbs are reduced, insulin and glucose drops
  • Ketone bodies kick in to repress reliance on glycolysis by generating acetyl CoA for energy
  • Glucose can come from dietary carbs, glycogen or gluconeogenesis
  • Ketones are an alternative fuel the body can use for optimal health
  • Studies are needed to examine whether high-carb or low-carb diets are best for energy

    Dr. Yoshihiro Kashiwaya“Ketone Body Effects on Cardiac Energetics and Glycolytic Flux”

  • Ketone bodies form in the liver from free fatty acids released from body fat
  • Ketones are used as energy for the body in a fasting state
  • Sperm motility increases and brain function maintained on a ketogenic diet
  • Ketone bodies decrease oxygen consumption

    Dr. Thomas Seyfried“Ketone Bodies and Cancer”

  • Most brain tumors are untreatable and patients die from the pressure build-up
  • Calorie restriction is necessary for treating brain tumors
  • The mitochondria are dysfunctional in human brain tumors
  • Otto Warburg noted that cancer leads to irreversible damage
  • Tumor cells are unable to shift from feeding on glucose to ketones
  • Cancer is more of a metabolic disease than a genetic one
  • There’s an 80% reduction in tumor weight when calorie-restricted
  • Calorie-restriction one of the most powerful therapies for killing cancer cells
  • As glucose is decreased, cancer cells reduce as well
  • A low-carb, calorie-restricted diet is better than the best drug therapy for cancer
  • Ketogenic calorie-restricted diets have reduced brain tumors in mice and humans
  • Blood glucose remains too high on an unlimited calories low-carb diet to treat cancer
  • Calorie-restricted low-carb diets create adequate ketones for treating brain tumors
  • Ketogenic, calorie-restricted diets don’t cure cancer, but they come close
  • Tumors can’t grow when calories are cut to create ketones
  • Limiting carbs and calories puts you in the zone of managing tumor growth
  • Brain cancer in children can be treated with ketogenic diets by reducing glucose
  • Avoid radiation therapy if all all possible–ketogenic, calorie-restricted diet is best for cancer

    Dr. Eugene Fine“Reduced Carbohydrates in Aggressive Resistant Tumors (RECHARGE Trial)”

  • Not all cancers are dependent on glucose for growth, including prostate cancer
  • Hyperinsulinemia is a major cancer risk factor–that’s why reducing insulin in paramount
  • It’s plausible that reducing insulin secretion could inhibit cancer growth
  • The typical American diet contains 300-400g carbs daily–spiking insulin
  • Cut the carbs and you’ll cut the insulin and reduce your cancer risk
  • You don’t want an insulin knockout (Type 1 diabetes), but rather an insulin knockdown
  • A low-carb diet provides the proper control of insulin without eliminating the good it does
  • Reduced carb diets have not demonstrated adverse effects up to 2 years as a medical therapy
  • Humans were built as hunter-gatherers to be in a ketotic state most of the time
  • Fasting is in our ancestral biochemistry with no ill effects
  • There is no known dietary requirement for carbohydrate in your diet
  • Grains and vegetables are only a relatively recent addition to the human diet
  • A very low-carb diet changes the metabolic environment where cancer would grow
  • Too many people are living outside of a sustained ketogenic state leading to more cancer
  • RECHARGE Trial used very low-carb diet on 10 patients who failed on chemotherapy
  • The study placed the participants on a very low-carb ketogenic diet for 28 days
  • Average daily intake consumed by study patients was 27g carbs and 1236 daily
  • All of the study participants were ketotic
  • Future direction of research will be a larger study using ketogenic diets–funding needed

    Dr. Stephen Phinney“Human Keto-Adaptation: Physiology and Function”

  • Keto-adaptation (the term he coined) occurs when ketones become your body’s fuel source
  • Keto-adaptation can happen within 2-3 weeks of eating an 80/15/5 diet of fat/protein/carbs
  • Study of a very low-carb ketogenic diet and exercise found they exercise MORE
  • Another study of fit bike riders on very low-carb ketogenic diet led to negative nitrogen balance
  • When you eat low-carb, you change your body at the cellular level
  • Ketone bodies are an essential fuel for your organs
  • The future research on low-carb diets should observe renal ketone and urate excretion
  • Inflammation and fatty acid composition impact should also be closely examined
  • Why do low-carb diets fail? Fat-phobia or the wrong kind of fats consumed.

    Dr. Jeff Volek“Anti-Ketogenic Effect of Insulin and Dietary Carbohydrate”

  • Carbs raise insulin which leads to dyslipidemia and chronic health issues
  • Insulin promote anabolism and regulates blood sugar levels
  • The primary source of glucose is the liver through glycogen breakdown and gluconeogenesis
  • Insulin promotes the uptake of glucose
  • Muscle glycogen synthesis in diabetics is 50% less than normal healthy people
  • Insulin resistance is the reduced ability of peripheral tissues to respond to insulin
  • The most potent blocker of lipolysis is insulin
  • Elevated insulin make it difficult to break down fat–and carbs raise insulin the most
  • Low-carb diet is best for breaking down fat as compared with a high-carb diet
  • Insulin is very easy to manipulate through the diet
  • Fat has no impact on insulin, protein a little, but carbs have a HUGE impact
  • There are only about 2 teaspoons of sugar circulating in the body
  • The average meal Americans eat contains 10X the amount of sugar in the body
  • Concern over carb consumption is regarding the sugar spike then crash–hypoglycemia
  • Avoiding hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia as a metabolic state is critical to health
  • When you consume carbs, it is stored as glycogen until full then converted to body fat
  • Carb consumption leads to large VLDL cholesterol which increase small LDL particles
  • Small LDL-P is the most dangerous kind of cholesterol to form in your body
  • Low-carb diets significantly reduce the amount of small LDL particles in the body
  • Fructose consumption is popular for product properties and low cost
  • We grow a lot of corn in the United States, so we put it in the food supply
  • Fructose has a very high propensity to be converted to fat
  • Consuming fructose leads to obesity, fatty liver, dyslipidema, and metabolic syndrome
  • Eating low-carb is especially good for athletes before exercise
  • Using fat for fuel enhances athletic performance
  • The old paradigm for post-exercise is to carb up–new paradigm is no carbs or slow ones
  • Many pro athletes are eating an Atkins-like diet for optimal performance
  • Athletes now realize that having elevated insulin is not good for them
  • A high-carb diet after exercise may diminish the benefits of exercise on heart health
  • Protein synthesis post-exercise is not enhanced by mixing protein and carbs for recovery
  • Skip the carbs and simply eat fat and protein for your post-workout meal
  • Study comparing low-carb diet over 12 weeks with exercise found 5.3% body fat decrease
  • Study participants did not experience fatigue, lost significant fat, grew muscle eating low-carb
  • The obligate nature of carbohydrates for athletes has been overblown and is unnecessary

    Dr. Mary Vernon“Clinical Treatments Using Nutritional Ketosis”

  • Metabolic health is not about how much you weigh but rather the fuel source
  • She’s learned from her patients that health is much more important than weight
  • Regularly puts patients on 20g carbs daily–mostly eggs, meat and hard cheeses
  • Don’t let yourself get hungry
  • If you eat preventatively by the clock then you’ll resist temptation to high-carb foods
  • Study of low-carb to low-fat with drugs found equal weight loss, better lipid improvements
  • Just because you aren’t fat doesn’t mean you aren’t metabolically obese
  • Thin isn’t necessarily healthy if your lipids are out of whack
  • Fatty acids and protein can produce all the glucose your body needs for energy
  • Ketone bodies can be used with virtually anyone without concern
  • Your body either makes cholesterol or it makes ketone bodies
  • When low-fat diet do not improve lipid health, doctors blame patients for failure
  • That’s why more and more medications are prescribed for “non-compliant” patients
  • Dietary fat doesn’t lead to fat on the body–patients need to learn this ASAP
  • Control glucose/insulin metabolism to prevent free radical formation and tissue destruction
  • The benefits to being ketotic is converting your body to burning fat for fuel
  • Improving brain function and decreasing oxidative stress are other benefits of ketosis
  • Adiposity isn’t the primary reason for eating low-carb
  • Getting your lipid and blood sugar health under control is the reason for low-carbing
  • If low-carb was a prescription drug, every doctor would be putting their patients on it
  • Ketogenic diets don’t necessarily lead to kidney stones–fix with potassium citrate
  • Two liters of urinary output daily will prevent kidney stone formation from happening
  • Kids especially who are eating low-carb need to be adequately hydrated
  • Get electrolyte support by supplementing low-carb diet with sodium and magnesium
  • Bouillon broth helps prevent fatigue, headaches, and muscle cramps early on a low-carb diet
  • When starting low-carb while on medications, doses may need adjusting as diet improves health
  • Find a good doctor who will monitor your health for you as you begin on low-carb
  • Diabetics who start low-carb should only stay on metformin–decrease insulin use with doctor
  • Low-carb can be done long-term with no ill effects–it just plain works

    Dr. Adam Hartman“The Ketogenic Diet for Epilepsy”

  • One in 20 Americans have had a seizure at some point in their life
  • One in 100 are currently being treated for epilepsy
  • There’s no known cause for epilepsy
  • Aging population with strokes, dementia, trauma and tumors have increased the numbers
  • Medication is only sporadic at controlling seizures
  • Fasting and a high-fat, low-carb, low-calorie diet controls seizures
  • Metabolism-based therapies are needed to control epilepsy–ketogenic diet most of all
  • Epileptic kids would much rather have a pat of butter than a sugary jelly bean
  • We can’t assume what kids with epilepsy will or will not eat
  • Moderate to severe epilepsy responds well to a ketogenic diet
  • If an epileptic child doesn’t metabolize fat well, they shouldn’t eat a ketogenic diet
  • 2008 study published in The Lancet showed effectiveness of ketogenic diet for seizures
  • Most kids have been on 6 medications before they try the ketogenic diet
  • Drugs are significantly reduced or eliminated when ketogenic diet therapy is used
  • There are side effects of ketogenic diet when used as a treatment for epilepsy
  • Intermittent fasting has been shown to work better than ketogenic diet for seizure control
  • The kind of ketone body for seizure control is important
  • Acute acetoacetane and acetone are both anticonvulsants
  • Ketosis appears to be necessary but not sufficient for the ketogenic diet’s anticonvulsant effect
  • Previous research shows cognitive improvements on a ketogenic diet for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s
  • A high-fat, low-carb diet powers the brain to function optimally
  • Ketone bodies provide an alternative metabolic pathway for disease treatment
  • Ketogenic diet is an underutilized therapy for treating epilepsy
  • Ketones have been shown to be anticonvulsant and neuroprotective

    Hopefully this gives you just a small taste of what the Baltimore conference was like and encourages you to do further research on these concepts for yourself. In case you are wondering, all of these lectures will be available in audio and video format at the ASBP web site in a few months. Call them up and tell them you heard about these Nutrition & Metabolism lectures and that you want to reserve your copy. They’ll be happy to take care of you. And by all means, please consider becoming a member and making a donation to the great work of The Nutrition & Metabolism Society presenting this quality scientific information year after year. If the research continues, then it’ll put us one step closer to having low-carb embraced by physicians which then trickles down to their patients. One step at a time, we’re making livin’ la vida low-carb more and more mainstream. Keep the momentum going by passing this information on!

    • Paula

      Thank you so much for this summary. Absolutely awesome!

    • Linda Armistead

      The registered nurse in this article was me!! You have been a huge inspiration to me, Jimmy! I was so excited to meet you! I’ve lost 110 lbs and my life and health has completely changed for the better. I now get to counsel others on living low-carb. The best part is seeing people get healthier and happier everyday! Keep up the great work!

      • Linda, you are an awesome inspiration! KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK! So, when are you gonna start blogging? 😀

      • Congratulations on your success Linda! As a fellow nurse…I would love your job, and working for a Dr that believes in Low Carb? Amazing! My goal in life is to get to where you are for sure :)

    • Cathy

      Jimmy, another great job! Thank you for taking the time to share these important points from each speaker so we can share in the information.

    • Mark Haub

      It’s too bad this conference was at the same time as EB. Would have liked have met you and Bob Kaplan in person.

      Great job with the tweets btw! Was cool to follow while I was flying to EB.

      • We’ll meet one of these days….the NMS conference will be in Denver next April. :)

    • Michelle

      Wow, awesome summation! Thank you so much!

    • Jimmy,

      Thanks for the summary. Busy treating patients here in Denver

      Dr Jeff Gerber

    • Jimmy, does this mean that a ketogenic diet may be a cure for cancer?? This is amazing research! Thank you for the information!

      • It’s quite plausible. Especially for the ones that feed on glucose.

    • Lisa

      The conference must have been pretty exciting…all this research sure is! Really appreciate the excellent summary.

      • Lisa, it’s always cool being able to attend these events.

    • Garry

      Jimmy, do you know if these lectures were recorded for future sale?

      And thanks for doing what you do.

    • Garry, read the last paragraph of my post for the answer to your question. :)

    • Garry

      Duh! I guess I was so caught up in those awesome lecture summaries that I missed that last paragraph!! Ha!

    • Jimmy, great summation of the information. Is there any other source to watch recordings that are affordable for the average joe? I think a $400+ price tag is a great way to keep this information a secret!

      • I’ve asked ASBP to make the lectures more affordable, but they have refused. That’s why I try to interview all of these people on my podcast to make them accessible to you guys for free.