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Greetings from a converted skeptic!

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  • Greetings from a converted skeptic!

    Hi everyone, have been lurking here for a while and decided to officially join in the fun!

    I am 45 years old, married, father of 2. I am a physician by trade (oncologist) and I have for years been very skeptical about all of these "fad diets". My nutrition recommendations to my patients has been the standard mainstream medical advise - mostly fruits and vegetables, easy on the meat and fat, grains and starches are great, dairy is fine if it doesn't bother your stomach.

    In my work, I both treat cancer patients but also direct a clinical research program. A discussion about the causes of cancer would be a whole other thread but the avalanche of data pointing at the tidal wave of cancer coming our way due to insulin resistance and obesity is too much to ignore. And it is also clear that the epidemic of bad health afflicting our nation is more than just too many calories in and too few calories out.

    From a personal standpoint, I have always felt that I am pretty healthy. I've not struggled with obesity but have always wanted to drop that extra 10 or 15 pounds. I have been a fairly avid runner and do a couple of half marathons per year. My diet has been the typical Americanized diet - lots of grains, too much processed junk. And when it came right down to it, I just didn't feel very healthy. I went in for a check-up myself and my lipid profile was pretty crappy and my liver enzymes were a little high indicating probable hepatic steatosis.

    One of my patients actually gave me a book about the paleo diet which I skimmed. I finally decided to dig into things a bit more and the more data I saw, the more impressed I was. I had always thought of this as a glorified Atkin's diet but I was clearly wrong about that.

    I decided to try out this lifestyle myself. It has been about 6 weeks. I dumped the running (from which I was chronically injured and getting squishier all the time) and started lifting "heavy" 3 days per week. I switched my diet to Paleo (hasn't been perfect but a work in progress). I was shocked to see that I dropped 10 pounds and nearly 2 pants sizes in the first month without even intending to. My sleep has been great, my digestion has been great. The only downside is that I've had to do way more cooking!

    So personally I'm convinced. And I think professionally I am also convinced. When I talk to my patients about food, I still emphasize fruits and vegetables (which I still think needs to be the basis for a cancer survivor) but now recommend considering dumping grains and to not be afraid of healthy meats. People are still looking for the magic bullet - a dietary supplement that will cure cancer. I think giving the body the nutrition it needs can't be replicated in a pill. But my view of what that nutrition should look like has shifted.

    So I look forward to participating in this community. I have devoted my life to finding ways to make people healthy. But it's clear that there has been a huge gap in my education. Here's to trying to fill it.

  • #2
    Good stuff!! Love having an MD jump on board. I hope your personal experience will provide the "fire in the belly" when you provide the nutrition advice to your patients.
    The Buck stops here. I am responsible for my past and my future. So for today: I choose to be happy. I will seek wisdom. I will be a servant to others. I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit.

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    • #3
      Welcome Doc! I wish all medical folks (and folks in general) were as open-minded as you!
      My journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread82833.html

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      • #4
        Welcome docjoe. Your relevations are truly awesome!

        Sent from my SGH-T989 using Tapatalk 2

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        • #5
          Awesome! It's great to have you here doctor. Yes, you have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen but it's a small price to pay. I like how you mentioned sleep being better. That was a huge difference I noticed right away but with me the weight training seems to be the biggest reason I sleep so good. If I don't lift for a week my sleep immediately suffers.
          Last edited by Mr. Koozie; 08-15-2013, 09:02 AM. Reason: Grammar clean-up
          “You may have thought you heard me say I wanted a lot of bacon and eggs, but what I said was: Give me all the bacon and eggs you have.” - Ron Swanson

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          • #6
            Great to here....

            Im not a Doc but I was skeptical as well and have had similiar results. My biggest surprise has been steadily improving (quantifiable) power output on the bike.

            Glad to have you here!

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            • #7
              Thanks guys! This looks like a pretty amazing, active community and I look forward to participating.

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              • #8
                Great intro, I'm glad you've joined us. I look forward to hearing more from you.
                Annie Ups the Ante
                http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread117711.html

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                • #9
                  Welcome DocJoe.

                  Congrats on the results so far.


                  Originally posted by Docjoe View Post
                  When I talk to my patients about food, I still emphasize fruits and vegetables (which I still think needs to be the basis for a cancer survivor) but now recommend considering dumping grains and to not be afraid of healthy meats. People are still looking for the magic bullet - a dietary supplement that will cure cancer. I think giving the body the nutrition it needs can't be replicated in a pill. But my view of what that nutrition should look like has shifted.

                  So I look forward to participating in this community. I have devoted my life to finding ways to make people healthy. But it's clear that there has been a huge gap in my education. Here's to trying to fill it.

                  Open minded doc- great.

                  Some people eat ketogenic diets ( near zero fruit, very little veg, high animal fat) for cancer re-occurrence prevention.

                  I believe the basic idea is that cancer being fast growing cells prefers a 'fast' fuel like carbs and doesn't do so well on 'slow' fuel ( fat) - but normal body cells can do well with fat for fuel.

                  Anyway, I would be interested to read some posts from you in the future.

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                  • #10
                    Hello doc!

                    There are a few other doctors of various stripes on here (I am thinking of an ophthalmologist in particular at the moment), and it is always nice to have another person of science on board. Which I am not, btw - I just muddle through the best I can!

                    Welcome here, and may your stay be informative and fun and thought-provoking!
                    I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

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                    • #11
                      Hey Doc. I'm a pharmacist and my fiance is a physician. It's quite interesting hearing a perspective of not only another physician, but an oncologist. I've been combing through a lot of the literature (there's a lot) on the effects of hyperinsulinemia on IGF and IGF binding proteins as well as gluten's relationship with inflammation. By the very fact that studies have shown a link between breast cancer and exogenous insulin gives me pause. Years ago I worked in a biomedical genetics laboratory. Our lab was working on extending the lifespans of flies. To do so, they knocked out the Drosophila genes analogous to the human IGF genes and FOXO genes. In addition, a large a mount of literature is out there linking the mitogen IGF to cancer (Reduced Susceptibility to Two-Stage Skin Carcinogenesis in Mice with Low Circulating Insulin-Like Growth Factor I Levels). In addition, Dr. Loren Cordain has review some of the literature as well as there being some other articles out there showing links between gluten/insulin and increased amount of free testosterone (with a decreased SHBG) leading to prostate cancer (Association of diet-induced hyperinsuline... [J Natl Cancer Inst. 2007] - PubMed - NCBI).

                      It's hard to draw conclusions from a lot of these studies of course, but I think if you feel like me, I'm a little tired of treating this stuff after the fact. I feel like we're spinning our wheels as the rates of these diseases continue to increase.

                      Anyway, glad you've decided to give it a try. My snoring and allergies have disappeared! It's been quite amazing to say the least.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by EatMoveSleep View Post
                        Welcome DocJoe.

                        Congrats on the results so far.





                        Open minded doc- great.

                        Some people eat ketogenic diets ( near zero fruit, very little veg, high animal fat) for cancer re-occurrence prevention.

                        I believe the basic idea is that cancer being fast growing cells prefers a 'fast' fuel like carbs and doesn't do so well on 'slow' fuel ( fat) - but normal body cells can do well with fat for fuel.

                        Anyway, I would be interested to read some posts from you in the future.
                        Interesting points. There is certainly interest in going very low carb and a group in Germany is actually conducting a phase I study in patients with endstage disease using a ketogenic diet. The counter to that is that you lose many of the micronutrients present in fruits and vegetables that have demonstrated benefit for cancer patients. So I still recommend making them a dietary staple but agree that going ketogenic is certainly interesting. I think a balance of trying to stay low glycemic but not avoiding fruits and vegetables makes the most sense based on current data. But the current data admittedly is pretty crappy.

                        Originally posted by speednutsII View Post
                        Hey Doc. I'm a pharmacist and my fiance is a physician. It's quite interesting hearing a perspective of not only another physician, but an oncologist. I've been combing through a lot of the literature (there's a lot) on the effects of hyperinsulinemia on IGF and IGF binding proteins as well as gluten's relationship with inflammation. By the very fact that studies have shown a link between breast cancer and exogenous insulin gives me pause. Years ago I worked in a biomedical genetics laboratory. Our lab was working on extending the lifespans of flies. To do so, they knocked out the Drosophila genes analogous to the human IGF genes and FOXO genes. In addition, a large a mount of literature is out there linking the mitogen IGF to cancer (Reduced Susceptibility to Two-Stage Skin Carcinogenesis in Mice with Low Circulating Insulin-Like Growth Factor I Levels). In addition, Dr. Loren Cordain has review some of the literature as well as there being some other articles out there showing links between gluten/insulin and increased amount of free testosterone (with a decreased SHBG) leading to prostate cancer (Association of diet-induced hyperinsuline... [J Natl Cancer Inst. 2007] - PubMed - NCBI).

                        It's hard to draw conclusions from a lot of these studies of course, but I think if you feel like me, I'm a little tired of treating this stuff after the fact. I feel like we're spinning our wheels as the rates of these diseases continue to increase.

                        Anyway, glad you've decided to give it a try. My snoring and allergies have disappeared! It's been quite amazing to say the least.
                        IGF is a hot target right now in cancer research. The data linking elevated IGF levels (in particular IGF-1) and the risk of both getting cancer and dying faster once you have it is pretty clear at this point. We are conducting clinical trials in breast and pancreatic cancer with metformin for this reason since it downregulates IGF production. We have also conducted several studies with anti-IGF-1 antibodies for patients with advanced cancer, particularly in lung cancer which overexpresses the receptor.

                        I think the logical leap is: we know that elevated IGF levels increase risk of cancer. We know that the standard American diet (and standard American obesity) promotes high IGF and insulin levels. Therefore, doing something different should translate into a lower risk of cancer.

                        Sounds like what the people around here are doing, no?

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                        • #13
                          Welcome, I am pleased to see you here. You are having great results. I too, have found this way of eating has worked for me from day one, apart from the inconvenience and the worry of my sisters and one of my kids, (who think I am killing myself eating so much meat and fat), it has been effortless weightloss and increased energy for me. Just got my cholesterol results, and they are way down, helps with my case with them.
                          Started Primal June 2012 at 148.5lbs, and 5' 1", reached goal weight in 5 months.
                          Lowest weight 93lbs - too thin. Now stable at around 100lbs much better weight for me at my age.
                          Primal, minus eggs, dairy and a myriad of other allergens.

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                          • #14
                            Very fascinating. You're absolutely correct. I think the very essence of this diet (i've only been doing it for two weeks) is its ability to decrease a person's chronic hyperinsulinemic state. Dr. Loren Cordain authored a number of interesting reviews and original research on this topic 5-10 years ago. He speaks a lot about the hormonal role insulin, IGF and IFGBP3 (antiapoptotic) has to play in inflammation, acne, infertility, and cancer. I've found the articles to be well written and scholarly sound.

                            In addition, they make an argument that gluten, which has been basically selected for in wheat plants over thousands of years of cultivation because of its ability to fight disease and ward off predators, is toxic to our GI tracts (remembers, it wards of predators, i.e hungry mammals). Natural wheat plants are so toxic as to be inedible to humans typically. They need to be processed and ground and fermented or sprouted. We've made it edible but still...I buy the possibility that it is causing low grade inflammation. In addition, the diet naturally boosts (as long as you eat more fish, nuts and grass fed meat) omega 3's (antiinflammatory) verse's omega 6 (proinflammatory). I'm starting to understand why my chronic allergies and snoring have dissipated in a week! I'm a pharmacist so I wish I could say fluticasone and antihistamines helped...but they didn't.

                            I'll be interested to see what the research finds in a few years.
                            Last edited by speednutsII; 08-17-2013, 10:10 AM.

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                            • #15
                              It is nice to see more MDs on the forum! I commend you for having an open mind and seeing there is a very real flaw in the way medicine has been approaching some very serious illnesses. I wish we had more doctors like you.

                              I work for an endocrinologist and we see a lot of very sick people! I have tried to talk to the doc about this way of eating/living - but he is less than interested in hearing about it. He is a close personal friend who later became my boss so I have to maintain a certain balance in our relationship which means not pushing my opinions about the advice being given to his patients. But the good news is - the dietician is learning more about the benefits of eating low carb for diabetics and is changing her approach in how she instructs the patients to eat. That is encouraging! I wish the doc would do a little research on the subject.

                              I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2001, in 2008 I was unable to continue working and I applied for disability. Luckily they denied my application because it forced me to continue searching for answers. In Oct. of 2011 I found MDA and after only 3, yes THREE days of cutting grains, legumes and sugars from my diet ALL my symptoms were gone. I was able to start exercising again, starting with just walking a few blocks, but I am now able to hike 5-6 miles on moderately difficult trails. I also jump rope and do pilates/yoga almost daily. This lifestyle has changed my life! I should mention I am 53 years old and have not felt this good since 1998!

                              Weight is slow to come off - but that is due to my bad food/drink choices. I have lost 23 pounds in 22 months.

                              I also suffer from digestive issues - having chronic diarrhea for nearly 7 years now. Doctors don't know what to do about it. I've have all the standard tests with no answers except "there is nothing wrong with you". I'm currently working on a 100% primal diet with no alcohol (just started this on the advice of many people who follow my journal). I believe if I can heal my gut my body will more easily shed the excess weight. I'm 5'3" and currently weight 183. My heaviest was 216.

                              So - welcome to the community! I hope you will be as pleased with this way of life as the rest of us are. A word of caution - not everyone on this forum is following the guidelines of the Primal Blueprint - there are some people wandering off into sugar-land and other odd-ball places. Most of us just ignore them
                              1. Love ME no matter what noises are screaming at me, or who is trying to tear me down.
                              2. Eat to heal
                              3. Move to live
                              4. Embrace today
                              5. Live with intention
                              6. Respect my body
                              7. Cultivate joy
                              8. Find my passion
                              9. Meditate on peace in my soul

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