24 thoughts on “Weekend Bonus: Dr. Connelly on Insulin Resistance

  1. Charles

    Great stuff. A really clear explanation of insulin and what it does and why calories have basically nothing to do with getting fat. Or rather, why getting fat does not imply a simple increase in calorie intake.

    It also explains why some people can tolerate a lot more carbs than others.

  2. steve

    Dr. Connelly sure looks different. I have his book, BodyRx, which has a very healthy and fit looking picture of him.
    In this video, he doesnt’ just look older… he looks ill. Kind of saddening.

    I haven’t see any before/after shots, but I don’t think the room lighting was helping in this video.

  3. Laurie

    YAH BABY! The war on ANIMAL FAT and cholesterol is insane, and it’s the wrong battle. Scientific American, May 2010, teeny tiny little ‘news scan’ blurb from MW Moyer. “Americans have dutifully reduced intake of sat fat since 1970, the obesity rate has MORE THAN DOUBLED, diabetes HAS TRIPLED, and heart disease is still the country’s biggest killer.” !
    We can’t stop banging our heads against the wall yet though. A low-carb convert physician friend sent me this review as of Jan 2010. I’ll just give the title and it is searchable in PUB MED:
    “A randomized trial of a low-carbohydrate diet vs orlistat plus a low-fat diet for weight loss.”
    The gist is that LCKD (low-carb ketogenic diet) results are better than low-fat PLUS FAT ABSORBANCE BLOCKING MED, ORLISTAT. But further tests need to be run to make sure LCKD is safe. OMG. Look up ORLISTAT. That med is immoral and criminal if it’s considered before the recommendation to ‘just eat low-carb. Why don’t the drug developers just recommend amputating the body as treatment for obesity and diabetes and heart disease?

    Trouble is, no one is going to rake in billions recommending a ketogenic diet.

  4. John

    Dr. Connelly had a bone marrow transplant which saved his life. He is very lucky to be alive.

    Also, the Progenex company is non-profit.

    There are interview with him in the archives of rxmuscle.com.

    No wonder he doesn’t look as hale as in years past.

  5. LeonRover

    BUT a version of LCKD (low-carb ketogenic diet) has been working as a tested alternative to medication for the treatment of childhood epilepsy for some time now – ( google “epilepsy ketone”).

    Same old … same old!

  6. Bruce

    I watched this, and then watched the first part. The first part had an Interesting explanation of why the calories in calories out explanation of weight loss or gain is incorrect.

    Good, quick explanation of why there’s way more to it than calories.

  7. Laurie

    The “calories in, calories out” canard is insidious and incorrect. It’s related to, ‘vegetarians have lower rates of… – insert whatever disease or distress du jour’ than omnivores. There are 225 million adults in the US. There are about 5 million practicing vegetarians (and every single one I know is ill, frantic and/or GRUMPY). If you subtract off the diabetics, and those with heart disease, that leaves 175 MILLION healthy omnivores- 170 million more healthy omnis than there are total practicing veges! I’ll take my chances with the omnivorous diet and the 175 million than with the minority 5 million, regardless of their ‘health status’. Take a shot at trying to convince the majority to convert to a tasteless, unsatisfying, anorexic vege diet to prevent disease, because that’s the claim. I’m not buying it. But why does such a small % of the population suck out all the oxygen in the room and monopolize all the discussion?
    It’s because erroneous statements and Gov’nt mandated dietary guidelines are left unchallenged. “Calories in = out” would only be true if we ate merely for fueling, like a car. Fuel makes a car move because you can heat, pressurize and supply higher concentrations of the fuel to do so, without killing the car. The delicate conditions of moderate temperature, pressure and concentration and nearly neutral pH that exist in the exquisite human body are maintained by the fact that most of what we eat is for our structure and that only a fraction of what we eat is shunted to the power plants, the mitochondria. The rest is used for what we are made of and constantly remaking old and new brain synapses, a functioning immune system, structural proteins, enzymes (they allow for those mild conditions of T and P and c), our commensal bacterial maintenance, muscle contraction, breathing, hoping, dreaming, keeping us warm and comfortable, impulses to continue to seek food, and the list could go on and on. We are different from cars that need fuel to move. We need fuel for oh so much more.

    Next you’re going to try telling me I can’t tune up my car by driving it a lot more.

  8. Sizzlechest

    There was a big press release a month or two ago about a company offering a DNA test to determine if you’re better off with a low fat or low carb diet. They contacted a number of the people from the ATOZ study conducted by Dr. Christopher Gardner and tested the women for certain genetic identifiers. They found a strong correlation between genetic markers and the effectiveness the diet had. For example, people who had a particular genetic profile did well on a low fat and poorly on low carb. People who had different genetic markers showed low carb diets most effective and did poorly on low fat.


    Gardner referenced another study that found similar results for obese individuals just by looking at insulin resistance. Obese insulin resistance people did great on a low carb diet. Obese insulin sensitive people did better on a low fat diet. Mismatched diet groups did poorly.


    Of course, the DNA company’s results haven’t been peer reviewed and they obviously have a conflict of interest. Also, the second study’s low carb diet wasn’t a ketogenic low carb diet. However, the results seem to mesh with Dr. Connelly’s two sets of obese people mentioned at the end of the video. The question remains: if you’re obese and insulin sensitive, what do you do?

    Sounds like metabolic typing by another name. Interesting stuff.

  9. Sarah

    A class-wide email was sent to my Biology class today. It was about an extra credit assignment that’s worth a LOT of points. And it’s about diet. A low-fat, “good” carb diet. Ugh.

    Although, it would be a nice way to tell my teacher about the myth about cholesterol… But I’d probably fail then. My very grade in Biology might change according to whether or not I write down more low-fat propaganda.


    Please excuse the rapidshare. It was the attachment in the email.

    Parroting the teacher’s opinion is a time-honored method for receiving good grades. Tough decision on how to handle that one.

  10. Randy


    If you’re ever stumped for a blog topic, I’d love to see you (with opinions from Taubes, Eades, Fallon, etc.) do a “myth list.” Saturated fat, salt, fiber, cholesterol, calories in–calories out, egg yolk dangers,saccharin, whole grains, Elvis is dead…..Doesn’t it make you want to scream, “How Did We Get Here?”

    That would be a 500-page book.

  11. steve

    thanks for the update on Dr. Connelly. His book BodyRx is one of my favorites and I’m very glad that he is still alive.
    Also, thanks for pointing out musclerx. I’m checking it out now- looks great!

  12. Dave, RN

    Sarah, I looked at the assignment and I don’t see a problem, but an opportunity. Good carb? OK, spinach. Bad carb? WHEAT. There’s lots of room there for talking about god fat.
    My son, who is a freshman in College at the University of Texas at Arlington just did a paper on why milk is bad for you!

  13. Howard

    One thing that concerned me was his claim that the Renal Acid Load of a ketogenic diet eventually leads to osteoporosis. Is that true? Did the Innuit suffer from osteoporosis?

    I believe he said if they lived to an old age, they did. I haven’t seen any research on it, so I can’t say.

  14. Sizzlechest

    I was wondering about that, too. I found these two pages here:


    From the first link, protein appears to be the major factor, so any diet high in protein will make urine more acidic. The second link provides an explanationof how this relates to osteoporosis. Also, note the effect of carbohydrates have on acidity even though they are low in protein. The take away from this is that you should include leafy green vegetables to your diet. They’re low carb alkaline foods, which the Inuit didn’t have access to.

    Thanks for the links. I’m all in favor of greens in the diet.

  15. Ben_P


    Vilhjalmur Stefansson wrote about the Inuit diet quite a bit, mostly because nobody in academia believed him when he got back from studying them. My impression of the Inuit diet is that it was low in Vitamin D, because they are too far north for proper sun exposure and got their Vitamin D solely from their diet. I also wonder about the amount of Calcium in the diet. They also wouldn’t have gotten much if any Vitamin C. Stefansson showed that humans don’t seem to need Vitamin C on a carnivorous diet. I don’t tend to question that the Inuit got osteoporosis. I do question whether is was a direct consequence of their diet. I tend to want to blame the latitude.

    The thing that nobody seems to notice is that Inuit grew up fast and lived in a very harsh environment. Also a high fat diet is know to cause early menarche, so women were able and did have children at very young ages. Stefansson writes about 25 year old women being grandmothers. “Old age” meant something different to the Inuit than to Westerners.

  16. Rahul

    That was quite an interesting lecture but are u sure normal people will be able to keep up with all his mumbo jumbo, i mean his presentation was quite complex and hard to keep up. Don’t you think the normal population of this world is too stupid to keep up with all this talk about glucose resistance and glucose sensitive stuff. It’s a lot easier to follow the governments and AHA and CSPI direction of healthy eating by avoiding fast food and fetochini alfredo(sorry about the spelling) which they deem heart attack on a plate/bun. We should just eat only wholemeal bread and a lot of green veges and follow the simple caloric diet (calorie out<calorie in) and im sure everything should workout 😛 (a lot of sarcasm intended lol)

    I think the real problem is that the folks at the AHA and CSPI wouldn’t understand the lecture.

  17. Ramona Denton

    Thanks Tom and thanks Sizzlechest. I was only able to find part one in addition to the one posted here. Now I have the whole thing downloaded, so I can get the whole thing.

    I was especially amazed at the two rats for whom the only difference in their diets was the type of fat eaten. This gives me new incentive to pursue higher-quality foods, not just lower-carb foods!

    Terrific lecture, even though I didn’t follow every bit of the biochemistry.

  18. Willa Jean

    I always thought the Neanderthals’ difficulty was that they thought Pi = 3.1415, but I could be wrong.

    Seriously, have any of these folks ever studied logic? Rhetoric? The scientific method? Have they ever pushed the start button on their brains?

    Their brains are started, but they haven’t been strained reading any of the scientific literature on saturated fat and cholesterol. Perhaps we should send someone a subscription to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Heck, even Scientific American is admitting the anti-fat hysteria was probably misguided.

  19. Roxanne B Sukol MD

    I have always believed that if you understand something well enough, you can explain it to anyone. Preventing diabetes and obesity by teaching folks how to tell the difference between real food and manufactured calories at “Your Health is on Your Plate.” Roxanne Sukol MD http://yourhealthisonyourplate.com

    Great stuff, Dr. Sukol. Copying the link to my blogroll.

  20. Tim

    Another problem with a ketogenic diet is muscle cramps. Connelley touches on it in the video, pointing out that ketogenic Inuits could not run marathons due to their depleted muscular gycogen stores. I spend most of the day in ketosis from a LC diet and do CrossFit, so I frequently experience muscle cramps, usually at night or early morning. The only remedy seems to be to increase my carbohydrate intake in response to increased demands from whatever WOD I am doing. I know that some CF’ers advocate spiking their insulin levels after a workout because it allegedly produces an androgenic effect. From my point of view spiking one’s insulin levels in pursuit of an unproven theory seems like a bad tradeoff. But I definitely need more carbs at certain times.


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