Carbohydrate connection

A board to discuss various diet-centered approaches to treating or controlling Multiple Sclerosis, e.g., the Swank Diet

Carbohydrate connection

Postby lyndacarol » Tue Nov 27, 2007 7:17 pm

Although this post deals with vitamins and I was tempted to put it in "Natural Approach," its underlying message concerns diet. The following quote comes from my new favorite book, Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. I have recommended it in the past and probably will again in the future--it has so much good information in it! I wonder if jimmylegs or others with knowledge of vitamins and nutrition already knew this; I never heard these ideas before!

(From page 321-2) What the nutritionists of the 1920s and 1930s didn't then know is that animal foods contain all of the essential amino acids (the basic structural building blocks of proteins), and they do so in the ratios that maximize their utility to humans. They also contain twelve of the thirteen essential vitamins in large quantities. Meat is a particularly concentrated source of vitamins A, E, and the entire complex of B vitamins. Vitamins D and B12 are found only in animal products (although we can usually get sufficient vitamin D from the effect of sunlight on our skin).
The thirteenth vitamin, vitamin C, ascorbic acid, has long been the point of contention. It is contained in animal foods in such small quantities that nutritionists have considered it insufficient and the question is whether this quantity is indeed sufficient for good health. Once James Lind demonstrated that scurvy could be prevented and cured by eating fresh fruits and vegetables, nutritionists assumed that these foods are an absolutely essential dietary source of vitamin C. What had been demonstrated, they will say, is that scurvy is "a dietary deficiency resulting from lack of fresh fruit and vegetables." To be technically accurate, however, Lind and the nutritionists who followed him in the study of scurvy demonstrated only that the disease is a dietary deficiency that can be cured by the addition of fresh fruits and vegetables. As a matter of logic, though, this doesn't necessarily imply that the lack of vitamin C is caused by the lack of fresh fruits and vegetables. Scurvy can be ameliorated by adding these to the diet, but the original lack of vitamin C might be caused by other factors. In fact, given that the Inuit and those Westerners living on the Inuit's vegetable- and fruit-free diet never suffered from scurvy, as Stefansson observed, then other factors must be involved. This suggested another way of defining a balanced diet. It's possible that eating easily digestible carbohydrates and sugars increases our need for vitamins that we would otherwise derive from animal products in sufficient quantities.

Further on page 325:
Nutritionists would establish by the late 1930s that B vitamins are depleted from the body by the consumption of carbohydrates. "There is an increased need for these vitamins when more carbohydrate in the diet is consumed," as Theodore Van Itallie of Columbia University testified to McGovern's Select Committee in 1973. A similar argument can now be made for vitamin C. Type 2 diabetics have roughly 30% lower levels of vitamin C in their circulation than do nondiabetics. Metabolic syndrome is also associated with "significantly" reduced levels of circulating vitamin C, which suggests that vitamin-C deficiency might be another disorder of civilization. One explanation for these observations -- described in 1997 by the nutritionists Julie Will and Tim Byers, of the Centers for Disease Control and the University of Colorado, respectively, as both "biologically plausible and empirically evident" -- is that high blood sugar and/or high levels of insulin work to increase the body's requirements for vitamin C.

Aren't vitamin C levels low in people with MS, too? Much food for thought in Taubes' book!
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Postby gwa » Thu Nov 29, 2007 8:48 am


Just wanted to post and say that I agree with your opinion about the carbohydrate debacle in America. Getting Taubes book to become mainstream is not going to happen, in my opinion, because people are glued down to the bogus low fat mantra.

One thing about his book that is interesting is that there are very few gurus criticizing his research. The silence about his book has been deafening. His book is hard to impossible to refute and yet doctors and others are still going with the high carb, low fat garbage.

My daughter-in-law has been staying with us for a week and I am about to go nuts watching the foods she feeds my two year old granddaughter. Although I have for years told her and my son about the health hazards of high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oils, the foods she brought for the baby are full of both concoctions.

She gives her fat free milk, very little meat and no fats as far as I have seen except for occasional butter on an English muffin. She is following her doctors food list for babies, which includes pop tarts, lots of bread and pasta, fruits and vegetables. The baby eats a pint of blueberries a day!

I have made no attempt to tell her again about the crap in the food because I believe she would not want to come back for a visit if I continue to be the food police. It has been less than a month since I sent her an article talking about how babies need good fats and protein and less carbs. The article did nothing to change the way she and the baby eat. The woman and my husband both have master's degrees, so stupidity is not the problem here.

Until the FDA does something about making the companies get the crap out of the food supply, I see no hope for the future generations of kids and their health problems due to eating the wrong foods.

Did you notice the fuss made when New York decided to ban all trans fats? The goofies came out of the woodwork and said it was their right to eat these fats if they wanted to do so. Most people do not realize the dangers here and I think all of the crap will have to be banned in order to get people off of the foods.

I have followed Atkins for years and continue to do so because I believe it is the healthiest way of eating. It looks like Gary Taubes agrees.

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Postby jimmylegs » Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:55 am

good things to bring up! there surely is a lot of info on vitamin c that is starting to gain attention. and i also believe a high protein diet is definitely a good idea. i didn't know that (i'm assuming 'simple' ) carbs can mess with absorption. fortunately i stay away from them! :)
i think mostly the best answer is to have diverse, whole, local foods, measure how your body is dealing with things, and always question and investigate "normal" results and reference ranges!

ps. i have been off my supplements all month, too busy and too low energy to go for my bloodwork on the 15th. i was concentrating on food sources of vitamin A and ate a lot of liverwurst. got a batch from a local shop that makes their own super-clean variety because the owners had/have a family member with high sensitivities so they had to come up with something that person could safely consume. otherwise very hard to come up with anything processed that is clear of metabolic landmines!
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