Insulin And Appetite, Part Deux

      115 Comments on Insulin And Appetite, Part Deux

My previous post quoted from a study in which researchers induced rats to overeat and gain weight by injecting them with insulin – a.k.a. the “acute appetite suppressant,” according to some.

I’m not usually a big fan of rat studies because of how they’re conducted. Researchers will feed fats a high-fat (ahem) “Atkins” diet of frankenfats, casein and corn starch, then pretend the results have some bearing on how a diet of meats and eggs will affect the health of human beings. The study I cited in my last post, however, wasn’t a diet study. It was study of how a hormone affects appetite and weight.  The insulin was injected directly.

Based on links in the comments, I looked for and found a handful of studies that demonstrate what insulin does to human subjects. Let’s take a look.

In this study, diabetes patients were treated either with 1-2 injections of insulin per day (called the conventional therapy by the researchers) or multiple daily injections (called intensive therapy by the researchers). Here are the results:

Intensively treated patients gained an average of 4.75 kg more than their conventionally treated counterparts (P < 0.0001). This represented excess increases in BMI of 1.5 kg/m(2) among men and 1.8 kg/m(2) among women. Growth-curve analysis showed that weight gain was most rapid during the first year of therapy. Intensive therapy patients were also more likely to become overweight (BMI >or=27.8 kg/m(2) for men, >or=27.3 kg/m(2) for women) or experience major weight gain (BMI increased >or=5 kg/m(2)). Waist-to-hip ratios, however, did not differ between treatment groups. Major weight gain was associated with higher percentages of body fat and greater fat-free mass, but among patients without major weight gain, those receiving intensive therapy had greater fat-free mass with no difference in adiposity.

So people treated more aggressively with insulin ended up gaining about 10 pounds more than those treated with less insulin. For many, the difference was more body fat. For others, it was a mix of more body fat and more lean mass. Well, no surprise there. Insulin spurs growth. That’s some why body-builders shoot the stuff. But if you have a tendency to get fat, higher insulin will make you fatter.

In this study, researchers treated diabetics with a sulphonylurea (drug that stimulates insulin internally), or with insulin directly, or with diet (which was labeled conventional therapy). The goal was to improve glucose control, not weight. But weight changes were included in the results:

Weight gain was significantly higher in the intensive group (mean 2.9 kg) than in the conventional group (p<0.001), and patients assigned insulin had a greater gain in weight (4.0 kg) than those assigned chlorpropamide (2.6 kg) or glibenclamide (1.7 kg).

Subjects who were either stimulated to produce more insulin or given insulin directly gained more weight than those treated with diet, and those given insulin directly gained the most.

In this study, researchers added three different insulin therapies to metformin:

In an open-label, controlled, multicenter trial, we randomly assigned 708 patients with a suboptimal glycated hemoglobin level (7.0 to 10.0%) who were receiving maximally tolerated doses of metformin and sulfonylurea to receive biphasic insulin aspart twice daily, prandial insulin aspart three times daily, or basal insulin detemir once daily (twice if required). Outcome measures at 1 year were the mean glycated hemoglobin level, the proportion of patients with a glycated hemoglobin level of 6.5% or less, the rate of hypoglycemia, and weight gain.

And the conclusion based on the results:

A single analogue-insulin formulation added to metformin and sulfonylurea resulted in a glycated hemoglobin level of 6.5% or less in a minority of patients at 1 year. The addition of biphasic or prandial insulin aspart reduced levels more than the addition of basal insulin detemir but was associated with greater risks of hypoglycemia and weight gain.

More insulin resulted in lower glycated hemoglobin (a.k.a, what’s measured in an A1C test as an indicator of average glucose levels over time), but also in more weight gain.

In this study, researchers put 50 subjects on a weight-loss diet after running a series of lab tests. They wanted to identify which factors predicted success or failure in losing weight and keeping it off. Here’s what they found:

On the basis of body weight trajectories, 3 subject clusters were identified. Clusters A and B lost more weight during energy restriction. During the stabilization phase, cluster A continued to lose weight, whereas cluster B remained stable. Cluster C lost less and rapidly regained weight during the stabilization period. At baseline, cluster C had the highest plasma insulin, interleukin (IL)-6, adipose tissue inflammation (HAM56+ cells), and Lactobacillus/Leuconostoc/Pediococcus numbers in fecal samples. Weight regain after energy restriction correlated positively with insulin resistance (homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance: r = 0.5, P = 0.0002) and inflammatory markers (IL-6; r = 0.43, P = 0.002) at baseline.

The conclusion:

The resistance to weight loss and proneness to weight regain could be predicted by the combination of high plasma insulin and inflammatory markers before dietary intervention.

Yes, there was more going on here than insulin levels – inflammation and a difference in gut bacteria. But the point is that those with high plasma insulin (the “acute appetite suppressant”) lost less weight and regained it more quickly. I don’t think their appetites were suppressed very effectively.

In this study, diabetics were treated with an “intensive program” of insulin for six months. Once again, the goal was glucose control, not weight control. But weight did change:

During treatment, mean serum insulin levels increased from 308 ± 80 to 510 ± 102 pM, while body weight increased from 93.5 ± 5.8 to 102.2 ± 6.8 kg.

After six months, the “intensive program” of insulin led to an average weight gain of just over 19 pounds.

I suppose the explanation from the “insulin is an acute appetite suppressant” crowd would be that these studies were conducted on diabetics who are by definition insulin resistant. Right. And so are a helluva lot of people out there who are overweight and looking for a way to drop the pounds. We see it over and over in these studies: higher insulin, whether produced internally or given as a treatment, leads to more weight gain.  Dr. Lustig apparently speaks the truth when he says I can make anyone fat with enough insulin.
(Lustig is an endocrinologist, in case you’ve forgotten.  Hormones are his specialty.)

So for the people most desperate to lose weight, the “insulin is an acute appetite suppressant” notion is clearly a load of bologna. If their appetites were acutely suppressed, they wouldn’t be obese; they’d be anorexic. As part of their weight-loss strategy, need to bring down their insulin levels. Period.

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115 thoughts on “Insulin And Appetite, Part Deux

  1. Michael

    Hey Tom –

    You got me looking into this – very interesting.

    Here’s some food for thought on insulin – what the research is showing:

    1) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0026049585901064
    – —> “The data showed that hyperinsulinemia, unrelated to change in plasma glucose concentration, resulted in increased hunger, heightened palatability of sucrose or sweetness, and greater food intake.”

    2) http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v59/n9/abs/1602197a.html
    –> Insulin / Glucose go down and satiety increases

    It goes on and on – every study I saw that had insulin injected into people resulting in satiety were typically insulin sensitive / thin people.

    It makes sense – the people who hate Gary Taubes the most are usually athletic jocks who have been lifting weights their whole life that think they’re somehow morally superior to someone who is struggling to lose weight.

    Love your blog – and that you’re willing to fight back 😉

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      If you’re metabolically healthy, it makes sense that a rise in insulin after a meal would signal that you’ve eaten. And if you’re metabolically healthy, the rise in insulin would also be transient. Soon as insulin goes down, fat and glycogen are both more freely available as fuel sources. So yeah, I can buy that insulin sends a satiety signal to insulin sensitive / thin people.

      Those of us who tend to gain weight easily, however, are in a whole ‘nuther category. Insulin tends to stay high, which slows the release of fat and inhibits the release of glycogen. That would make us hungry, not satiated.

      So these people who tell overweight, insulin-resistant people not to worry about reducing insulin because it’s an appetite suppressant are, in my opinion, out of their gourds.

      Reply
    2. Justin

      The world would be a whole lot better if individuality was a commonly accepted idea on how to handle metabolic diseases.

      Reply
  2. Tim

    I work in the diabetes field. Insulin causes weight gain. It’s like the GEICO commercial: everyone knows that. Except your friend from Facebook apparently. It’s why the new medicines are so popular such as the GLP1 agonists. They lower blood sugar without weight gain, and in fact weight loss is often seen. These new agents are truly appetite suppressing, not insulin. Nothing compares to diet for glucose lowering however, not even the new drugs. LC in any form is so much better.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      “If you take insulin, you gain weight. It’s what you do.” Yeah, I could see that commercial.

      Reply
  3. Joern M. Vikse

    I have noticed that the opponents of the insulin hypothesis more often than not now add «in healthy people» when writing about that. And they argue what text books say insulin is supposed to do.
    So it could boil down to
    «Who is healthy» anymore ?

    Reply
  4. Michael

    Hey Tom –

    You got me looking into this – very interesting.

    Here’s some food for thought on insulin – what the research is showing:

    1) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0026049585901064
    – —> “The data showed that hyperinsulinemia, unrelated to change in plasma glucose concentration, resulted in increased hunger, heightened palatability of sucrose or sweetness, and greater food intake.”

    2) http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v59/n9/abs/1602197a.html
    –> Insulin / Glucose go down and satiety increases

    It goes on and on – every study I saw that had insulin injected into people resulting in satiety were typically insulin sensitive / thin people.

    It makes sense – the people who hate Gary Taubes the most are usually athletic jocks who have been lifting weights their whole life that think they’re somehow morally superior to someone who is struggling to lose weight.

    Love your blog – and that you’re willing to fight back 😉

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      If you’re metabolically healthy, it makes sense that a rise in insulin after a meal would signal that you’ve eaten. And if you’re metabolically healthy, the rise in insulin would also be transient. Soon as insulin goes down, fat and glycogen are both more freely available as fuel sources. So yeah, I can buy that insulin sends a satiety signal to insulin sensitive / thin people.

      Those of us who tend to gain weight easily, however, are in a whole ‘nuther category. Insulin tends to stay high, which slows the release of fat and inhibits the release of glycogen. That would make us hungry, not satiated.

      So these people who tell overweight, insulin-resistant people not to worry about reducing insulin because it’s an appetite suppressant are, in my opinion, out of their gourds.

      Reply
      1. Galina L.

        I know several people who react on eating sugar by increased desire to move. I guess, if such people were selected as a study group, the result would be the recommendation to eat more sugar in order to move more during day.

        Reply
        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          Seems for a lot of kids, eating sugar makes them want to move (and act crazy and not listen) and then crash soon after.

          Reply
          1. Thomas E.

            My daughter, grade 4, is annoyed by morning snack time.

            She eats a good L(‘ish)CHF breakfast around 7am, lunch is at noon, all the other kids in her class NEED snacks at snack time around 10:30. My little girl, is of course not hungry, and would rather spend more time outside doing the recess thing instead of “snacking”

            She also complains about the crap the other kids eat for snacks and lunches. At 9 years old, she knows more about nutrition then I did when I was in my 20’s and body building.

            I’m proud of my kids, but I still wish we did not have to burden them with level of detail we’ve had to go into on what is healthy and not. But they ask questions, we give appropriate responses.

            And yes, she loves your movie. And yes we are waiting on your book, hope all is going well with finishing it and the publisher.

            And let me add in again, thank you for the time you put into this blog, it is very appreciated.

            Reply
            1. Tom Naughton Post author

              I’m slowly making progress on the book. That darned making-a-living thing prevents long writing sessions most days.

  5. Peggy Cihocki

    Love this. Yeah, insulin may be an appetite suppressant–when it’s injected into the brain. Otherwise, no. Take that, SG and others who love to hate Gary Taubes and the insulin hypothesis.

    Reply
  6. Jean

    A long time ago, more than 30 years, I heard of a doctor who complained that young, female diabetics (Type 1) were not using their insulin and risking ‘hypos’ because they wanted to stay slim. This was in the UK.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      Yup, that’s a common problem among teenage diabetics, especially girls. They know if they don’t take their insulin, they can eat what they want and not gain weight — never mind the dangers.

      Reply
  7. Tim

    I work in the diabetes field. Insulin causes weight gain. It’s like the GEICO commercial: everyone knows that. Except your friend from Facebook apparently. It’s why the new medicines are so popular such as the GLP1 agonists. They lower blood sugar without weight gain, and in fact weight loss is often seen. These new agents are truly appetite suppressing, not insulin. Nothing compares to diet for glucose lowering however, not even the new drugs. LC in any form is so much better.

    Reply
  8. Joern M. Vikse

    I have noticed that the opponents of the insulin hypothesis more often than not now add «in healthy people» when writing about that. And they argue what text books say insulin is supposed to do.
    So it could boil down to
    «Who is healthy» anymore ?

    Reply
  9. Peggy Cihocki

    Love this. Yeah, insulin may be an appetite suppressant–when it’s injected into the brain. Otherwise, no. Take that, SG and others who love to hate Gary Taubes and the insulin hypothesis.

    Reply
  10. Vicente

    Hi Tom,
    just a couple of ideas about this topic.

    1) Fasting insulin levels are not the whole story. They are just the levels at one specific time in the day.
    2) Injected insulin doesn’t replicate the physiological evolution in time nor in space of insulin. The 24h relationship to other hormones, like glucagon or leptin can also be important, and is neither replicated by injected insulin.
    3) People usually gain just a little weight per year (a pound or so). That is 1-2 g/day of weight gain. Being that so, the normal influence of insulin on appetite or in energy expenditure can’t be measured. “Appetite suppressant?”. Come on!
    4) Measuring appetite or energy expenditure is not measuring the real phenomenom. The real question is “Are we or are we not gaining fat mass in the long-term?”
    5) Short-term experiments do not reproduce the real long-term action of hormones, nor the influence of a damaged metabolism, e.g. the development of insulin resistance.
    6) Insulin can be fattening while you get fat, but not so much fattening when you are already fat, because of insulin resistance. Elevated fasting levels are compatible with being fat and a fattening role of insulin.

    IMO, Guyenet’s posts about the insulin hypothesis are a joke. He could find some wisdom in humbleness.

    Best regards,
    Vicente

    Reply
  11. Jean

    A long time ago, more than 30 years, I heard of a doctor who complained that young, female diabetics (Type 1) were not using their insulin and risking ‘hypos’ because they wanted to stay slim. This was in the UK.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Yup, that’s a common problem among teenage diabetics, especially girls. They know if they don’t take their insulin, they can eat what they want and not gain weight — never mind the dangers.

      Reply
  12. Vicente

    Hi Tom,
    just a couple of ideas about this topic.

    1) Fasting insulin levels are not the whole story. They are just the levels at one specific time in the day.
    2) Injected insulin doesn’t replicate the physiological evolution in time nor in space of insulin. The 24h relationship to other hormones, like glucagon or leptin can also be important, and is neither replicated by injected insulin.
    3) People usually gain just a little weight per year (a pound or so). That is 1-2 g/day of weight gain. Being that so, the normal influence of insulin on appetite or in energy expenditure can’t be measured. “Appetite suppressant?”. Come on!
    4) Measuring appetite or energy expenditure is not measuring the real phenomenom. The real question is “Are we or are we not gaining fat mass in the long-term?”
    5) Short-term experiments do not reproduce the real long-term action of hormones, nor the influence of a damaged metabolism, e.g. the development of insulin resistance.
    6) Insulin can be fattening while you get fat, but not so much fattening when you are already fat, because of insulin resistance. Elevated fasting levels are compatible with being fat and a fattening role of insulin.

    IMO, Guyenet’s posts about the insulin hypothesis are a joke. He could find some wisdom in humbleness.

    Best regards,
    Vicente

    Reply
  13. Firebird

    Researchers will feed fats a high-fat (ahem) “Atkins” diet of frankenfats, casein and corn starch, then pretend the results have some bearing on how a diet of meats and eggs will affect the health of human beings.

    The diet of meat and eggs sure does affect the health of human beings. After 7 weeks on a diet of nothing but steak and eggs (with a small carb meal every 5th day) I lost 17 lbs.

    Reply
  14. Bob Niland

    Jardiance (empagliflozin) is here, and looks to be a looming health hazard.

    It’s an SGLT2-inhibitor, that reportedly flushes glucose out of the body. Unsurprisingly, by doing that, it also reportedly reduces CVD risk (at least compared to the placebo (which placebo may turn out to be no such thing on closer examination).

    Long-term outcomes are as yet unknown to me, and perhaps to the pushers. Near term side effects can be found in the Drug Fact foldout, and include what you might expect for something that messes directly with blood glucose, one of which is hypoglycemia.

    My concern is that this stuff, like statins, is going to be foisted on damn near everyone, due to damn near everyone being on the MyPlateOfMetabolicSyndrome diet and thus having high BG and bad lipid labs. When hypo hits (as it will if the victim goes low carb, by intention or accident), they’ll be told “eat more carbs”.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      I’m not against all drugs. Some work wonders. But given what we’ve seen with statins, yes, it pays to be cautious.

      Reply
  15. Firebird

    Researchers will feed fats a high-fat (ahem) “Atkins” diet of frankenfats, casein and corn starch, then pretend the results have some bearing on how a diet of meats and eggs will affect the health of human beings.

    The diet of meat and eggs sure does affect the health of human beings. After 7 weeks on a diet of nothing but steak and eggs (with a small carb meal every 5th day) I lost 17 lbs.

    Reply
  16. Steve J.

    Mr. Naughton,

    I’m curious with this whole discussion of insulin and appetite and weight gain etc, what your thoughts are on correlation/causation as it relates to the NFL players issue. Some very large group of nfl players (link at the bottom) tested positive for brain disease afterwards. Any idea whether a high-insulin existence (5’6 220 lbs is not normal for 20 years) might have something to do with these late-in-life problems?

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sports/concussion-watch/new-87-deceased-nfl-players-test-positive-for-brain-disease/

    Reply
  17. Bob Niland

    Jardiance (empagliflozin) is here, and looks to be a looming health hazard.

    It’s an SGLT2-inhibitor, that reportedly flushes glucose out of the body. Unsurprisingly, by doing that, it also reportedly reduces CVD risk (at least compared to the placebo (which placebo may turn out to be no such thing on closer examination).

    Long-term outcomes are as yet unknown to me, and perhaps to the pushers. Near term side effects can be found in the Drug Fact foldout, and include what you might expect for something that messes directly with blood glucose, one of which is hypoglycemia.

    My concern is that this stuff, like statins, is going to be foisted on damn near everyone, due to damn near everyone being on the MyPlateOfMetabolicSyndrome diet and thus having high BG and bad lipid labs. When hypo hits (as it will if the victim goes low carb, by intention or accident), they’ll be told “eat more carbs”.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I’m not against all drugs. Some work wonders. But given what we’ve seen with statins, yes, it pays to be cautious.

      Reply
  18. Steve J.

    Mr. Naughton,

    I’m curious with this whole discussion of insulin and appetite and weight gain etc, what your thoughts are on correlation/causation as it relates to the NFL players issue. Some very large group of nfl players (link at the bottom) tested positive for brain disease afterwards. Any idea whether a high-insulin existence (5’6 220 lbs is not normal for 20 years) might have something to do with these late-in-life problems?

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sports/concussion-watch/new-87-deceased-nfl-players-test-positive-for-brain-disease/

    Reply
      1. Firebird

        Often times it is not the violent and heavy hit that causes the most serious injuries. They’ve shown that an accumulation of “softer” hits over a period of time. In fact, a hockey player had to retire because of a concussion that was caused by the back swing of an opposing players stick that caught him in the face.

        Reply
      1. Firebird

        Correlation =/= causation. A 49 year-old retired hockey player just committed suicide due to repeated blows to the head…from fights. You cannot tie in his fisticuffs to steroid use.

        Reply
        1. Galina L.

          It is just not healthy to live a life of a professional sportsman. They are supposed to be the pictures of perfect health and models of healthy life style, in a reality they are examples of a body abuse, the human equivalent of racing horses.

          Reply
  19. Dianne

    Sort of off topic, but yesterday morning I took Emmylou Hairiest, my Maine Coon cat, to the vet for some preventive stuff. Emmy will turn 2 at the end of November, and has been steadily gaining weight because, unlike any other cat I’ve ever had, she does not seem to know when she’s eaten enough. She now weighs 19.2 lbs. – 5 or 6 lbs. more than she should weigh, even with her large Maine Coon frame. I asked the vet about diet cat foods, since Emmylou doesn’t like meat, and the vet said she couldn’t recommend any of them because the manufacturers have taken the fats out of the diet pet foods, including the ones for diabetic pets, and replaced them with carbs. She wasn’t happy about it, believe me.

    Dr. W gave essentially the same advice Tom gave a while back — give Emmy meaty moist food and ignore her complaints, because if she doesn’t get what she wants, she’ll eat what she gets. Hopefully. So as of yesterday I have decided to forget about using up that big bag of dry food and just start my fat cat on meaty canned foods now. (She won’t touch meat meant for people, except for chunk light tuna, which is bad for cats in much quantity.) Emmylou is letting me know things aren’t right in her little world, but her health is my responsibility and I mean to hang tough. But it really gets me that food manufacturers are applying the “fat makes you fat” nonsense is even to obligate carnivores like cats. Sighhhhhhhhhhhh — will this insanity never end?

    Reply
    1. Jo

      Glad to hear your vet give that advice. Most stick with advising starch filled dry food. I had a lean cat that would only eat wet food. After her I had a fat cat that would only eat dry food (I get rescue cats, so not from kittens). The fat cat refused to eat wet food. I should have tried harder. Interestingly the fat cat spent all day resting, the thin cat ran around everywhere. While some might claim that is why they were fat/thin, my own view is that they were active or not because of the diet.

      Reply
    2. Andrea

      Just a thought: have you tried the canned chicken? It’s texture and taste are pretty similar to the tuna and doesn’t have the same “do not feed in quantity” warning.

      Reply
  20. Dianne

    Sort of off topic, but yesterday morning I took Emmylou Hairiest, my Maine Coon cat, to the vet for some preventive stuff. Emmy will turn 2 at the end of November, and has been steadily gaining weight because, unlike any other cat I’ve ever had, she does not seem to know when she’s eaten enough. She now weighs 19.2 lbs. – 5 or 6 lbs. more than she should weigh, even with her large Maine Coon frame. I asked the vet about diet cat foods, since Emmylou doesn’t like meat, and the vet said she couldn’t recommend any of them because the manufacturers have taken the fats out of the diet pet foods, including the ones for diabetic pets, and replaced them with carbs. She wasn’t happy about it, believe me.

    Dr. W gave essentially the same advice Tom gave a while back — give Emmy meaty moist food and ignore her complaints, because if she doesn’t get what she wants, she’ll eat what she gets. Hopefully. So as of yesterday I have decided to forget about using up that big bag of dry food and just start my fat cat on meaty canned foods now. (She won’t touch meat meant for people, except for chunk light tuna, which is bad for cats in much quantity.) Emmylou is letting me know things aren’t right in her little world, but her health is my responsibility and I mean to hang tough. But it really gets me that food manufacturers are applying the “fat makes you fat” nonsense is even to obligate carnivores like cats. Sighhhhhhhhhhhh — will this insanity never end?

    Reply
      1. T33CH

        Pet food manufacturers are adding in carbs because they are cheap and not satiating – more pet food sales. Interestingly, a friend that owns a horse told me that farmers have been growing alfalfa with a higher carb content because they sell more of it – meaning horses eat more of it. She has to watch her horses weight because of it. But hey, sugar is satiating – that’s why we can eat 100lbs of it a year.

        Reply
    1. Jo

      Glad to hear your vet give that advice. Most stick with advising starch filled dry food. I had a lean cat that would only eat wet food. After her I had a fat cat that would only eat dry food (I get rescue cats, so not from kittens). The fat cat refused to eat wet food. I should have tried harder. Interestingly the fat cat spent all day resting, the thin cat ran around everywhere. While some might claim that is why they were fat/thin, my own view is that they were active or not because of the diet.

      Reply
    2. Andrea

      Just a thought: have you tried the canned chicken? It’s texture and taste are pretty similar to the tuna and doesn’t have the same “do not feed in quantity” warning.

      Reply
      1. Bob Niland

        re: … what prompts Credit Suisse to write this report?

        The Credit Suisse Research Institute publishes reports on various economic trends from time to time.

        This one from two years ago
        http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/credit-suisse-publishes-report-on-the-impact-of-global-sugar-consumption-223288301.html
        makes me suspect they have a diet dissident on staff.

        In any case, the present report might be to warn borrowers that CS is going to be more skeptical on writing loans for big carb projects going forward.

        Reply
      2. Mike

        I believe the motivation is to provide guidance on future consumption trends as part of their investment business. Because of emerging scientific data, they they are arguing that the the low fat diet recommendations which drove a lot of the food production and marketing etc, is deeply flawed and we are now seeing shifts away from the high carbohydrate consumption patterns. From Credit Suisse perspective, investors should be looking at production in meat, eggs, and other sources of healthy fats as where the biggest growth will be occurring.

        Reply
    1. The Older Brother

      Holy cow, Batman!

      Looks like the paradigm has officially shifted. The summary on page 4 is like a bullet-point list of everything the Fat Head/paleo/LCHF/etc has been saying for the last decade or more.

      It’s worth downloading just for the summary. Plus, it’s got pages and pages of food porn. But I’m telling The Wife I”m just reading it for the articles.

      The summary has a couple of points that answer the “why does a banker care” point, but the section starting on page 60 gets specific, opening thusly:

      “Based on our research, recent medical papers, the trends we analyzed in consumer demand and key data from the “OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2015-2025,” we have developed global and regional scenarios on the likely evolution of the consumption of fat, carbohydrates and protein. Here are our main forecasts:…”

      The details follow in that section, but essentially if you’re investing in commodities, big grain/cereal, companies, Ag chemical companies, etc., it’s very important to be aware if the consumption trends are suddenly increasing markedly in things like eggs and butter and falling quickly for processed grains and fats.

      In other words,

      FOLLOW THE MONEY.

      Hmmm, where have I heard that before?

      Cheers!

      Reply
  21. Linda

    That Credit Suisse report was in Dr. Malcolm Kendrick’s last post. I think he kind of asked the question of why they wrote the report. The only thing he had to say about that was that they only tell their investors what they believe to be the absolute truth, or something to that effect. Dr. Kendrick’s post is a good read:

    http://drmalcolmkendrick.org/

    Gotta love Dr. Kendrick!

    Reply
  22. Linda

    That Credit Suisse report was in Dr. Malcolm Kendrick’s last post. I think he kind of asked the question of why they wrote the report. The only thing he had to say about that was that they only tell their investors what they believe to be the absolute truth, or something to that effect. Dr. Kendrick’s post is a good read:

    http://drmalcolmkendrick.org/

    Gotta love Dr. Kendrick!

    Reply
  23. Tim

    I skimmed through that report last night. It’s the best review and analysis I’ve seen in a long time.

    I guess it’s purpose is to try to get a handle on what is the truth and then predict how that will affect people’s actions and then try to position yourself to make good investments with that information.

    It sounds like they are bullish on things with saturated fat and bearish on carbohydrates and it sounds like they see that people are recognizing the truth about processed carbs and oils despite what the established medical community says. I think they are spot on.

    Reply
  24. Tim

    I skimmed through that report last night. It’s the best review and analysis I’ve seen in a long time.

    I guess it’s purpose is to try to get a handle on what is the truth and then predict how that will affect people’s actions and then try to position yourself to make good investments with that information.

    It sounds like they are bullish on things with saturated fat and bearish on carbohydrates and it sounds like they see that people are recognizing the truth about processed carbs and oils despite what the established medical community says. I think they are spot on.

    Reply
  25. Stephen T.

    Tom, purely financial. Credit Suisse are an investment bank and they appear to have a research arm that tries to predict future trends to guide investment. Regardless, it’s an unusually clear summary of nutritional research and a condemnation of official’ health care policy. They did a paper on sugar a couple of years ago.

    Outsiders with no vested interest or preconceived ideas have done this field a lot more service than those paid to help us. I’m thinking of Gary Taubes, Nina Teicholz, you and many others.

    The report has generated an article and comment on Dr Malcom Kendrick’s site.

    Reply
  26. Stephen T.

    Tom, purely financial. Credit Suisse are an investment bank and they appear to have a research arm that tries to predict future trends to guide investment. Regardless, it’s an unusually clear summary of nutritional research and a condemnation of official’ health care policy. They did a paper on sugar a couple of years ago.

    Outsiders with no vested interest or preconceived ideas have done this field a lot more service than those paid to help us. I’m thinking of Gary Taubes, Nina Teicholz, you and many others.

    The report has generated an article and comment on Dr Malcom Kendrick’s site.

    Reply
  27. Stephen T.

    Tom, I’m glad people like the report. I think it’s useful because it comes from outside of the usual scientific circles and they can’t be labelled as being pro one position or the other. The report provides a good summary for anyone interested. Every doctor should read it.

    The café in the health club where I swim serves only skimmed or semi skimmed milk on the grounds of health. They do, however, sell lots of coke and high-sugar fruit drinks. I asked for whole fat milk for my coffee and e-mailed them the report. I can now have whole milk! One small step . . .

    I liked the part of the report that pointed out that no tribe of hunter-gatherers has ever been found that is vegetarian. I’m not anti-veggie, but some of the nonsense the fanatics put out is plain daft. They’ll hate this report and are probably thinking of a new ‘conspiracy’ to explain it away.

    Reply
  28. Linda

    I’ve been reading more on the Credit Suisse site and it seems that they have a wonderful research division. Their article on sugar consumption is excellent also! As for why they do this research, there is this statement in the overview of the sugar article:

    “The scale and cost of the type II diabetes and obesity epidemic leaves little question as to the need for change. This change will bring new investment opportunities with winners and losers,” said Giles Keating, Head of Research for Private Banking and Wealth Management. “This report provides investors with insight into an emerging megatrend that will help shape the evolution of the investment world.”

    In your words, “follow the money.” However, it occurs to me that this research is probably some of the most honest we are likely to run across! It doesn’t behoove Credit Suisse one whit to fudge research or omit the truth!

    Reply
  29. Stephen T.

    Tom, I’m glad people like the report. I think it’s useful because it comes from outside of the usual scientific circles and they can’t be labelled as being pro one position or the other. The report provides a good summary for anyone interested. Every doctor should read it.

    The café in the health club where I swim serves only skimmed or semi skimmed milk on the grounds of health. They do, however, sell lots of coke and high-sugar fruit drinks. I asked for whole fat milk for my coffee and e-mailed them the report. I can now have whole milk! One small step . . .

    I liked the part of the report that pointed out that no tribe of hunter-gatherers has ever been found that is vegetarian. I’m not anti-veggie, but some of the nonsense the fanatics put out is plain daft. They’ll hate this report and are probably thinking of a new ‘conspiracy’ to explain it away.

    Reply
      1. Walter Bushell

        Even the low fat gurus are against sugared skim milk, because it’s an animal product even those
        gurus who think sugar is good.

        Reply
  30. Linda

    I’ve been reading more on the Credit Suisse site and it seems that they have a wonderful research division. Their article on sugar consumption is excellent also! As for why they do this research, there is this statement in the overview of the sugar article:

    “The scale and cost of the type II diabetes and obesity epidemic leaves little question as to the need for change. This change will bring new investment opportunities with winners and losers,” said Giles Keating, Head of Research for Private Banking and Wealth Management. “This report provides investors with insight into an emerging megatrend that will help shape the evolution of the investment world.”

    In your words, “follow the money.” However, it occurs to me that this research is probably some of the most honest we are likely to run across! It doesn’t behoove Credit Suisse one whit to fudge research or omit the truth!

    Reply
      1. Walter Bushell

        “Everybody’s money at stake. Guess who’s paying for all that diabesity care? “,Walter rhetorized.

        Dialysis is very expensive, amputations aren’t cheap, and dementia may be the most expensive of all.

        Not to mention lethargic workers who can’t work effectively because they are either too fat to have
        energy or dieting and hence have lower metabolism.

        Reply
  31. Nick S

    N=1 but I absolutely feel this effect. I can’t have just one of anything sugary. It’s fairly easy for me to resist having one piece of candy, but if I have one, resisting the second through tenth is almost impossible. As soon as the first piece is gone, my body is demanding more.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      Sugar was never the problem for me. It was refined carbage foods like Doritos or Pringles. Once I opened that bag or can, the odds were pretty good it would be empty when I set it down.

      Reply
  32. Josh

    “Researchers will feed fats a high-fat (ahem) “Atkins” diet of frankenfats, casein and corn starch, then pretend the results have some bearing on how a diet of meats and eggs will affect the health of human beings.”

    I have always wondered what Dr. Atkins would think of people who intentionally consume huge amounts of manufactured fatty food while on a LCHF diet. I don’t mean the natural fat found in whole milk, red meat, nuts, avocados, etc. I mean people who make ‘fat bombs’ by mixing butter, coconut oil and some fake sweetener together and eating it. It seems they are doing to themselves what these scientists are doing to the rats: Making up a very unnatural diet we we never meant to eat. IOW, it’s no different from gorging on cookies, ice cream, cake, and highly processed grains.

    Just Eat Real Food.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      Probably not as harmful as gorging on grains and sugar, but yeah, I agree with your basic point. I don’t think whipping up and consuming fat bombs serves any purpose.

      Reply
  33. Nick S

    N=1 but I absolutely feel this effect. I can’t have just one of anything sugary. It’s fairly easy for me to resist having one piece of candy, but if I have one, resisting the second through tenth is almost impossible. As soon as the first piece is gone, my body is demanding more.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Sugar was never the problem for me. It was refined carbage foods like Doritos or Pringles. Once I opened that bag or can, the odds were pretty good it would be empty when I set it down.

      Reply
        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          Yeah, I sometimes didn’t notice until I discovered the chalk outline of where the bag fell on the floor.

          Reply
  34. Josh

    “Researchers will feed fats a high-fat (ahem) “Atkins” diet of frankenfats, casein and corn starch, then pretend the results have some bearing on how a diet of meats and eggs will affect the health of human beings.”

    I have always wondered what Dr. Atkins would think of people who intentionally consume huge amounts of manufactured fatty food while on a LCHF diet. I don’t mean the natural fat found in whole milk, red meat, nuts, avocados, etc. I mean people who make ‘fat bombs’ by mixing butter, coconut oil and some fake sweetener together and eating it. It seems they are doing to themselves what these scientists are doing to the rats: Making up a very unnatural diet we we never meant to eat. IOW, it’s no different from gorging on cookies, ice cream, cake, and highly processed grains.

    Just Eat Real Food.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Probably not as harmful as gorging on grains and sugar, but yeah, I agree with your basic point. I don’t think whipping up and consuming fat bombs serves any purpose.

      Reply
  35. Michael

    And there’s also the sumo fattening diet: they eat a ton of rice because the insulin makes them fat. They don’t eat a ton of bacon and butter to get as fat as they are and it would fail anyway they wouldn’t be able to eat 8 to 10 000 calories per day of LCHF.

    Reply
  36. Michael

    by the way this is a list of satiety and hunger hormones (I think the only major one missing on that list is amylin):

    http://www.thepaleomom.com/2013/01/the-hormones-of-hunger.html

    Hormones that tell your body you’re satiated:

    Cholecystokinin (CCK)
    Oxyntomodulin
    Peptide YY (PYY)
    Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1)
    Leptin
    Adiponectin

    Hormones that tell your body you’re hungry:

    Ghrelin
    Cortisol
    Glucagon
    Insulin

    Reply
  37. Michael

    And there’s also the sumo fattening diet: they eat a ton of rice because the insulin makes them fat. They don’t eat a ton of bacon and butter to get as fat as they are and it would fail anyway they wouldn’t be able to eat 8 to 10 000 calories per day of LCHF.

    Reply
  38. Jack Holloway

    After reading the WHO news release: World Health Organization, meat & cancer!

    I just had to send you my tongue-in-cheek story about observational studies – and my maybe not so exaggerated government reactions.

    CARROTS REALY ARE THE KILLERS AFTER ALL!
    Carrots finally fingered, as cause of most fatal automobile accidents!

    After a massive 12-year painstaking U.S. Government observational study involving fatal automobile accidents, costing $310 Billion in taxpayer dollars, it was determined that carrots were at the “root” cause (pun intended) of 96.34% of all fatal auto accidents.

    Autopsies, and extensive surviving family member interviews prove beyond a doubt all these innocent victims had all eaten carrots within the last 30 days prior to the tragedies. Some drivers had even consumed these deadly vegetables as recently as within 2 hours or less, just prior the accidents. (Sadly some of drivers were snacking on these dangerous vegetables as their fatal accidents occurred)

    Another new nationwide government study has just been launched to determine if these killer carrots were consumed raw or cooked, and if cooked by which method: steamed, boiled, roasted, microwaved or some other clandestine family recipe passed down through the ages.

    Pharmaceutical companies now rushing to formulate new drugs that would negate the dangerous effects of eating carrots.

    USDA and other government agencies push to put regulations in place to prohibit growing, importing, transporting or selling carrots until agriculture researchers can develop safe varieties. (U.S. Government will subsidize this research)

    Food giants Del Monte and Green Giant will layoff thousands as they hurriedly close packing and canning facilities and they file for bankruptcy protection.

    Food manufactures rush to find and patent new artificial carrot replacement foods made from insects, worms, rusty nails (for natural coloring), and tree bark. Billions of dollars in profits expected to be made on these new products. Shortage of orange colored dies expected as newly manufactured carrot products and substitutes hit the market.

    Food manufacturer stocks skyrocket as new highs unfold.

    Public demands answers – how could this have gone on so long and harmed so many people? Marshall Law and curfews invoked as police and National Guard called up to help quell the massive demonstrations as angry millions flock to streets and storm government facilities to protest.

    Trial lawyers have been suddenly bombarded with requests for new class action lawsuits against farmers, growers, and grocery stores – after all they must have known the problem with carrots all along. Class action suits also to be filed against cookbook publishers whose recipes include carrots.

    Justice department will investigate conspiracy allegations of massive bribes and payoffs to elected officials and government employees by the carrot growers taken over the years from their enormous carrot government subsidies.

    The President, by virtue of an executive order, excludes all public schools and school officials from lawsuits that have served carrots in government mandated food programs.

    Researchers were shocked at just how dangerous carrots really were, and asked for more U.S. taxpayer funds to study how carrots may also be involved in bicycle and skateboard accidents among children of ages between 4-16 years old.

    Congress and the Senate quickly approved (within only 6 hours) the requested $270 Billion with only 1 descending vote (which came from a California Senator who’s family owned a small 1200 acre carrot farm), after all, this new research is necessary to help protect the children.

    This just in: hundreds of thousands of dietitians and nutritionists file massive class action law suits against their former colleges – demanding refunds on their tuitions paid (with interest) for there now worthless degrees. (Jury still out if professors can also be held personally liable as well) Government, of course considering a program to reimburse colleges for these tuition refunds.

    More requests urgently needed for research to determine just exactly how the carrots react in the digestive system to enable them to cause so many automobile accidents. It is also suspected carrots might also be the cause of most industrial accidents as well. New government studies will be needed to validate this suspicion.

    Congress also considering legislation requiring all citizens (over 16 with drivers licenses) to keep a detailed electronic food diary to be kept on their person at all times. A new electronic smart card would be created and issued to every citizen with said drivers license, that records ALL food purchases both at grocery and convenience stores, as well as restaurants, bars, ball parks, theaters, street vendors etc., where ever food is sold or consumed. This will help facilitate desperately needed research. There may be more killers lurking in what we eat. (Ice cream, mushrooms, and pepper also now beginning to look very suspicious) New $300 yearly tax on drivers to help fund this badly needed research.

    Food police could stop anyone at any time, swipe the electronic food and diary card to see if suspects have consumed carrots with in the last 30 days. This would be similar to the breath analyzers in use today for alcohol consumption.

    Government officials assure us that all this new spending would be completely paid for by the savings from the outdated seat belts, shoulder restraints and air bags no longer necessary as auto accidents are dramatically finally reduced and/or eliminated in America.

    Tom: please feel free to publish this in one of your blogs of posts

    I would appreciate hearing your thoughts

    jack holloway

    Reply
  39. Jack Holloway

    After reading the WHO news release: World Health Organization, meat & cancer!

    I just had to send you my tongue-in-cheek story about observational studies – and my maybe not so exaggerated government reactions.

    CARROTS REALY ARE THE KILLERS AFTER ALL!
    Carrots finally fingered, as cause of most fatal automobile accidents!

    After a massive 12-year painstaking U.S. Government observational study involving fatal automobile accidents, costing $310 Billion in taxpayer dollars, it was determined that carrots were at the “root” cause (pun intended) of 96.34% of all fatal auto accidents.

    Autopsies, and extensive surviving family member interviews prove beyond a doubt all these innocent victims had all eaten carrots within the last 30 days prior to the tragedies. Some drivers had even consumed these deadly vegetables as recently as within 2 hours or less, just prior the accidents. (Sadly some of drivers were snacking on these dangerous vegetables as their fatal accidents occurred)

    Another new nationwide government study has just been launched to determine if these killer carrots were consumed raw or cooked, and if cooked by which method: steamed, boiled, roasted, microwaved or some other clandestine family recipe passed down through the ages.

    Pharmaceutical companies now rushing to formulate new drugs that would negate the dangerous effects of eating carrots.

    USDA and other government agencies push to put regulations in place to prohibit growing, importing, transporting or selling carrots until agriculture researchers can develop safe varieties. (U.S. Government will subsidize this research)

    Food giants Del Monte and Green Giant will layoff thousands as they hurriedly close packing and canning facilities and they file for bankruptcy protection.

    Food manufactures rush to find and patent new artificial carrot replacement foods made from insects, worms, rusty nails (for natural coloring), and tree bark. Billions of dollars in profits expected to be made on these new products. Shortage of orange colored dies expected as newly manufactured carrot products and substitutes hit the market.

    Food manufacturer stocks skyrocket as new highs unfold.

    Public demands answers – how could this have gone on so long and harmed so many people? Marshall Law and curfews invoked as police and National Guard called up to help quell the massive demonstrations as angry millions flock to streets and storm government facilities to protest.

    Trial lawyers have been suddenly bombarded with requests for new class action lawsuits against farmers, growers, and grocery stores – after all they must have known the problem with carrots all along. Class action suits also to be filed against cookbook publishers whose recipes include carrots.

    Justice department will investigate conspiracy allegations of massive bribes and payoffs to elected officials and government employees by the carrot growers taken over the years from their enormous carrot government subsidies.

    The President, by virtue of an executive order, excludes all public schools and school officials from lawsuits that have served carrots in government mandated food programs.

    Researchers were shocked at just how dangerous carrots really were, and asked for more U.S. taxpayer funds to study how carrots may also be involved in bicycle and skateboard accidents among children of ages between 4-16 years old.

    Congress and the Senate quickly approved (within only 6 hours) the requested $270 Billion with only 1 descending vote (which came from a California Senator who’s family owned a small 1200 acre carrot farm), after all, this new research is necessary to help protect the children.

    This just in: hundreds of thousands of dietitians and nutritionists file massive class action law suits against their former colleges – demanding refunds on their tuitions paid (with interest) for there now worthless degrees. (Jury still out if professors can also be held personally liable as well) Government, of course considering a program to reimburse colleges for these tuition refunds.

    More requests urgently needed for research to determine just exactly how the carrots react in the digestive system to enable them to cause so many automobile accidents. It is also suspected carrots might also be the cause of most industrial accidents as well. New government studies will be needed to validate this suspicion.

    Congress also considering legislation requiring all citizens (over 16 with drivers licenses) to keep a detailed electronic food diary to be kept on their person at all times. A new electronic smart card would be created and issued to every citizen with said drivers license, that records ALL food purchases both at grocery and convenience stores, as well as restaurants, bars, ball parks, theaters, street vendors etc., where ever food is sold or consumed. This will help facilitate desperately needed research. There may be more killers lurking in what we eat. (Ice cream, mushrooms, and pepper also now beginning to look very suspicious) New $300 yearly tax on drivers to help fund this badly needed research.

    Food police could stop anyone at any time, swipe the electronic food and diary card to see if suspects have consumed carrots with in the last 30 days. This would be similar to the breath analyzers in use today for alcohol consumption.

    Government officials assure us that all this new spending would be completely paid for by the savings from the outdated seat belts, shoulder restraints and air bags no longer necessary as auto accidents are dramatically finally reduced and/or eliminated in America.

    Tom: please feel free to publish this in one of your blogs of posts

    I would appreciate hearing your thoughts

    jack holloway

    Reply

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