Marilyn's Column | October/2016
Topic: Carbohydrates and Longevity
Today's Question: Of the 3 Macronutrients - "Proteins, Fats, and Carbohydrates" - Which is non-essential?
Answer: Carbohydrates are Non-essential. There is no known carbohydrates deficiency disease.
The human body can survive just fine
without carbohydrates. We can run all day and our ancestors did just that. Of the three macronutrients in our diet (protein, fat and carbohydrates), only
carbohydrates are non-essential for human life.
Avoiding carbohydrate has no short-term or long-term effects on humans, except the (usually beneficial) effect of weight loss. While we need a constant supply of glucose, it can be produced by the liver from fat and protein and doesn't need to be ingested as carbohydrate in our diets. (Note 1)
Fats have twice the energy content of carbs, and we convert all carbs to fats for long term storage. Glucose can be stored as glycogen (energy reserve)
through the process called glyconeogenesis (GNG by the enzyme glycogen synthase. The conversion of glucose to glycogen enables
the body to "park" or store extra carbohydrate calories. This parked glycogen is stored in the liver and muscles. The concentration of glycogen is higher in the liver than in muscle (10% versus 2% by weight),
but more glycogen is stored in skeletal muscle overall because of its much greater mass. (1),
Ref: Table 1.
|Adipose tissue triglyceride||12||110,000|
|Carbohydrate glycogen-muscle, |
Carb-Loading (debunked) is no longer the go to solution for building energy storage and boosting athletic performance. Table 1, simply shows that can not store enough carbs, you must be "Fat Adaped". Ketones are emerging as a far better fuel. For optimal health, it is now recommend that eating a diet high in healthy fats and low in net carbs (total carbohydrates minus fiber), is the best type of diet and may be particularly beneficial for endurance athletes. (Ref: Time-Restricted Feeding and Endurance | contributor). Simple math, we can only store 2-4 Kcal of glucose energy, but 60-120 Kcal of fat energy.
Glycogen is not as reduced as fatty acids are and consequently not as energy rich. Why do animals store any energy as glycogen? Why not convert all excess fuel into fatty acids? Glycogen is an important fuel reserve for several reasons. The controlled breakdown of glycogen and release of glucose increase the amount of glucose that is available between meals. Hence, glycogen serves as a buffer to maintain blood-glucose levels. Glycogen's role in maintaining blood-glucose levels is especially important because glucose is virtually the only fuel used by the brain, except during prolonged starvation. Moreover, the glucose from glycogen is readily mobilized and is therefore a good source of energy for sudden, strenuous activity. Unlike fatty acids, the released glucose can provide energy in the absence of oxygen and can thus supply energy for anaerobic activity. (1,3)
Hypothesis: ... the only reason for glucose in the blood, muscles, and liver of animals is to protect the "Brain" and for "Emergencies", i.e. "Flight or Fight Response and Low Glucose Condition - Survival", this is immediate energy (glucose/gluconeogenesis) vs. endurance energy (fats/ketones).
Hypothesis Proof | The Body's Energy Storage and Reserves
The Real Rub (Rub)
Glucose level = 5.5 mmol/L or 100mg/dL:
Crain Medicine- A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Up! (RubADub)
Normal fasting: 70–99 mg/dl (3.9–5.5 mmol/L)
Normal 2 hours after meal: < 140 mg/dl (7.8 mmol/L)
HbA1c: Normal without diabetes < 5.7%
The math clearly shows that we only have about 1 tsp of sugar in our blood. Consequently, it should be obvious that the quantities eaten in the current western diet are completely wrong - our bodies cannot resolve this overload. Insulin is a very weak modulator of blood sugar, its principle function is as a growth hormone and fat storage trigger i.e. "Survival"".
The fact that doctors recommend to their patients to
Eat Carbohydrates is wrong, in fact, the opposite is true. There is no known carbohydrate deficiency disease, and hence, no reason to eat carbs,
however, they come with the territory when eating fruits and vegetables. Our body has developed a method of using these carbs but only in a limited fashion. We have approximately 5 grams of glucose dissolved
in our 5 liters of blood (5.5 mmol/L or 100mg/dL) which equals about 1 tsp. From sheer math, we see that we are very limited to handling glucose, also,
insulin (Ref: ... this site Insulin Resistance) is really a
Growth Hormone and a trigger for fat storage. (RubADub-Dub)
We knew how the cure Diabetes Mellitus in 1921 as outlined in The Principles and Practice of Medicine - Sir William Osler, MD, page 433, where he describes a Banting (Wiki) like diet an 1860's obesity fad diet). Banting ascribed to a LCHF - Low Carbohydrate High Fat eating plan where he took carbs below 20g/day and a maximum of 75g/day of proteins. (14,15) (Note 2,3)
Conclusion: the human animal was never intended to metabolize glucose/glycogen in large quantities, instead we metabolize and store fats. Insulin is a very weak hormone and just barely can regulate 100mg/dl in our blood. Fat-adaptation is the normal, preferred metabolic state of the human body. Sugar-dependency is an abnormal metabolic state that inevitably leads to insulin resistance and chronic disease. (16,16a)
The constant over consumption of carbohydrates is the root cause of our "Autoimmune Disorders" and "Chronic Inflammation", excess carbohydrates put us in a state of inflammation which damages all of our organs and cells and corrupts all nutritional pathways. Our medical journals provide proof that over 50% of the US population has Metabolic Syndrome, a precursor to our modern inflammation diseases.
- There is a common misconception that eating fat, especially saturated fat, is bad for you and that it is a primary cause of high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity. This is simply not true and was based on a flawed study by Ancel Keys in 1953. The truth is that a diet high in carbohydrates, particularly refined carbohydrates and sugar are the cause of obesity, diabetes as well as other chronic illnesses. Vegetable (seed) oils and their derivatives such as margarine are also a contributing factor to heart disease, although manufacturers tell us the exact opposite. Ref: ... the Obesogenic Diet.
- In 1977 the US government published the Dietary Goals for the United States, a set of guidelines that advocated a diet high in carbs and low in fat, exactly the opposite of the diet we have been following for much of our existence. It was decreed that we should eat six to eleven portions of grains per day and that sugar was absolutely fine to add to everything. This diet was subsequently adopted across most of the Western world and a plethora of low fat-food products hit the shelves. This has had a disastrous effect on our health. Since the early 1980’s the incidence of obesity and diabetes has risen rapidly. Is this a coincidence or the truth? Ref: ... the Centenarian Diet. (17)
- Tim Noakes on Insulin Resistance and High Carbohydrate diets | august/2016 (org) Our bodies are capable of running on all three Macronutrients and converting them to energy. Ref: ... Metabolism. But, fats (... this site) are a better form of energy, are more efficient and produce less damaging by-products which take the form of ROS - Reactive Oxygen Species- Wiki. (18,19)
- Fats or Lipids: the primary role of lipids in your body is to provide energy for muscles and body processes. Fat is energy dense, containing 9 calories per gram, whereas protein and carbohydrate contain only 4 calories per gram. The body uses lipids to transport, absorb and digest fat soluble vitamins, A, D, E and K, and supply the body with essential fatty acids. It is an integral part of cell and hormone production, the correct balance of fats and oils is important to human health. (20)
- Animals can convert proteins to carbohydrates, (Ref: ... this site Proteins as Carbohydrates - when proteins turn into carbohydrates - Gluconeogenesis ). Therefore, excess proteins can be stored as carbohydrates, but primarily this pathway function robs the muscles to support the brain metabolism.