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how do herbavores metabolize their fat stores?

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  • how do herbavores metabolize their fat stores?

    One of the common objections I hear to the lipid hypothesis is that it makes zero sense that humans would evolve to store and use saturated fat as energy when it concurrently clogs and destroys our arteries.

    It make sense... but I suppose a counter argument would be that certain herbivores store calories as fat, yet are supposed to consume a plant based diet. Of course of the top of my head I think of the fact that most herbivore infants consume milk that is loaded with saturated fat to re-counter that.

    I tried finding an answer online to this question but couldn't. Does anyone here know? Do herbivores metabolize body fat differently than carnivores do?

  • #2
    A) Fat has never been shown to clog/destroy our arteries. Also arguing with the fact that humans can store and burn fat is sheer lunacy. This isn't a big confusing thing based on meta-analysing the foodstuffs of a remote mountain populace, it's an observed biological trait. Humans can use fat.
    B) Herbivores technically eat the results of fermentation in their stomachs, which is mostly fat anyway.
    C) No clue about the differences in body fat metabolism between carnivores and herbivores but on the surface they look pretty much the same.
    In all of the universe there is only one person with your exact charateristics. Just like there is only one person with everybody else's characteristics. Effectively, your uniqueness makes you pretty average.

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    • #3
      A) never claimed any of the contrary or that i believe the lipid hypothesis to be true - I'm simply curious about how to address a potential counter argument and subsequently became curious if/how herbivore fat metabolism differs from that of omnivores

      B) do you have any sources which discuss this (I'm not being rhetorical, I'm legitimately curious)

      C) what does "on the surface" mean?

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      • #4
        Sorry I am a bit confused here, how is fermentation fat?
        I guess another point most wild animals don't eat grains and also tend to be very lean. Grains are the modern way to fatten livestock. If they are that lean they may not have the same need to metabolize fat for fuel as do.
        Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by primal pete View Post
          I tried finding an answer online to this question but couldn't. Does anyone here know? Do herbivores metabolize body fat differently than carnivores do?
          No.

          They are certainly less adapted to digesting fat though.

          Originally posted by Alex Good View Post
          B) Herbivores technically eat the results of fermentation in their stomachs, which is mostly fat anyway.
          Erm, Herbivores eat vegetation, which stores it's 'fat' as 'starch' or carbohydrates. There are several different kinds of carbohydrates, and many herbivores have gut bacteria which are able to digest starch sources such as cellulose (which is undigestable to humans and considered 'fiber').
          Last edited by magicmerl; 08-09-2012, 05:57 PM.
          Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

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          5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
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          • #6
            it's an observed biological trait. Humans can use fat.

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            • #7
              Ruminants go through a long process of chewing and rechewing, swallowing and reswallowing their food until it can be digested by bacteria. The bacteria turn the food into fatty acids that the ruminant then absorbs. The ruminant also digests the bacteria as they die. They're kinda less vegetarian than it seems.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by primal pete View Post
                A) never claimed any of the contrary or that i believe the lipid hypothesis to be true - I'm simply curious about how to address a potential counter argument and subsequently became curious if/how herbivore fat metabolism differs from that of omnivores

                B) do you have any sources which discuss this (I'm not being rhetorical, I'm legitimately curious)

                C) what does "on the surface" mean?
                A) Never said you did. It's just that the entire complaint that you said you heard is based on a faulty conclusion.
                B) Do you want studies or articles?
                C) They don't seem different to someone who hates memorizing scientific terminology (me).
                In all of the universe there is only one person with your exact charateristics. Just like there is only one person with everybody else's characteristics. Effectively, your uniqueness makes you pretty average.

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                • #9
                  I think he's asking how does a cow metabolise it's own fat stores and use it for energy in times of starvation. I know they ferment and decompose the cellulose into scfa's in the rumen and use them as their fuel source, but what happens when it starves and has to live on it's own fat stores? It's a good question, I would assume the process would be the same as in humans though I have no idea really.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Forgotmylastusername View Post
                    I think he's asking how does a cow metabolise it's own fat stores and use it for energy in times of starvation. I know they ferment and decompose the cellulose into scfa's in the rumen and use them as their fuel source, but what happens when it starves and has to live on it's own fat stores? It's a good question, I would assume the process would be the same as in humans though I have no idea really.
                    Yes, exactly - i tried finding out online but there isn't any obvious information on this topic specifically.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by primal pete View Post
                      Yes, exactly - i tried finding out online but there isn't any obvious information on this topic specifically.
                      I would assume it's the same or almost the same mechanism as we use. Metabolizing fat is pretty basic to our metabolisms and it's probably basically the same among most terrestrial vertebrates. But I have no science to back that hunch up whatsoever.
                      Today I will: Eat food, not poison. Plan for success, not settle for failure. Live my real life, not a virtual one. Move and grow, not sit and die.

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                      • #12
                        If you're fasting, you're fasting. You will use stored energy either way. It doesn't matter if you're herbavore or carnivore. That's my initial thought on the matter.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by wiltondeportes View Post
                          If you're fasting, you're fasting. You will use stored energy either way. It doesn't matter if you're herbavore or carnivore. That's my initial thought on the matter.
                          The main difference is that a domestic cow will rarely, if ever, be in a fasting state throughout its life--digestion of grass is a long, slow process and they eat more or less constantly, so their guts are probably never even close to empty.

                          Of course, their immediate ancestors (only a few thousand years ago) would have seen occasional or even regular lean times--so they would still retain the mechanism for living off stored fat. But I would bet modern, managed domestic cattle are rarely anything but "fed".
                          Today I will: Eat food, not poison. Plan for success, not settle for failure. Live my real life, not a virtual one. Move and grow, not sit and die.

                          My Primal Journal

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