I’m still busy unpacking boxes and making arrangements with banks, insurance companies, etc., so this will be a short post … but I hope you all watch this video and make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D.
Tom Monahan, the composer for Fat Head, sent me the YouTube link. I found it fascinating simply for the science, but also because my dad has had two surgeries for colon cancer, followed in each case by a round of chemotherapy. Afterwards, he was so weakened, he couldn’t get out of bed without help. I certainly don’t want to follow in his footsteps 25 years from now. I already take vitamin D for other reasons, but this video reminded me to be diligent about it.
If the DINOMIT theory is correct – and I have no reason to doubt that it is – it’s interesting for a couple of reasons. For one, we’ve all been told to avoid the sun to prevent skin cancer. It’s looking more and more like that wasn’t such a good idea (which would put that advice in the same category as avoiding fat in the diet). Human beings have been living and working and playing in the sun forever, but skin cancer only became a national concern in the past several decades.
Hmmm … I wonder if anyone’s ever tracked skin cancer rates against the introduction and ever-increasing consumption of Frankenstein fats, such as corn and soybean oil? As Sally Fallon explained in our interview, when researchers inject carcinogens into rats that have been fed corn oil, the rats develop cancer. But if the rats have been fed tallow or lard, they don’t develop cancer. Maybe the sun wouldn’t be a problem if we weren’t oiled up inside with unnatural fats.
The theory also underscores (for me, at least) just how little scientists really know about disease. I’ve been hearing about cancer for as long as I can remember, yet this theory is just now being introduced. Keep that in mind when some doctor tries to tell you that “everyone knows” saturated fat causes heart disease. The “everyone” folks don’t know nearly as much as most people believe.
While vitamin D may indeed be crucial for preventing cells from becoming renegade cancer cells, I believe it’s also important to avoid providing fuel for any cells that do become cancerous. That means keeping your blood glucose levels under control. Cancer cells need glucose to flourish and multiply. They can’t live on fats or ketones – just one more reason to get most of your energy from fat instead of carbohydrates that are metabolized into glucose.
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While we all loved Fat Head, I find myself thinking that what I need quite often is a how-to movie which tells people how to live a life free of carbs and why. Fat Head was great and funny but it suffered from the fact that you only discovered GCBC late in in the production, so the low-carb education almost seems tacked on on top of the anti-Supersize Me direction.
I think your next movie should start with a small recap of how we came to think that fats are bad and carbs are good, followed by a primer on how to live a LC lifestyle, a bit about what you have learned about exercise and weight loss, and possibly end with a look at what eating carbs is doing to our health: obesity, cancer, Alzheimer’s, High Blood Pressure; all the diseases of civilization.
Something I can refer my friends to when I want them to have help planning Why to LC and How to LC. Incorporating the best of GCBC but for those I come across (who are, unfortunately, legion) who are too lazy to digest GCBC but will sit through a funny and informative movie.
Oh, and can you put subtitles on your next movie? It would be a big help.
You read the situation correctly. Fat Head began as a reply to Super Size Me, then in researching diet and health for the film, I discovered just how wrong the current advice really is. So that became the narrative: Spurlock is full of bologna, and so is most of what you’ve heard about diet and health.
I’d love to take another crack at the diet and health angle alone. But first I have to recoup my rather hefty investment in Fat Head.
Subtitles are the responsibility of the distributors, which makes sense; they’d need to switch languages for different markets. Since my hearing isn’t the best, I love subtitles. I often turn on the closed captioning on our TV so I don’t have to crank the volume.
Just make sure you are getting your vitamin A as well.
A while back, I saw a post on Dr. Briffa’s blog about a BMJ article stating that most malignant melanoma occurs in areas of the skin that get litle or no sun exposure.
I can’t say that this totally settles the question, but I’m begining to wonder if all this sun-skin cancer stuff is just a ploy to sell sunscreen. It would be interesting to look at skin cancer before sunscreen. 🙂
I’d like to see some historical data myself. I suspect cancers of all types became more common when we began decreasing our natural fat intake and increasing our consumption of sugars and frankenfats.
I’ve also read that windows play a large role in the increase of skin cancer. They block part of the spectrum. Humans evolved with nature in its complete form, whole foods, full spectrum sunlight, etc.
Any time we break something up into what we believe are its components, we see the consequences.
Which leads me to my suggestion to supplement Vitamin D with high quality Cod Liver Oil instead of the D3 pill when possible. There are nutrients we haven’t yet discovered so it’s probably best to supplement with food products rather than lab creations.
Good point. Nature created the combinations we need.
“I find myself thinking that what I need quite often is a how-to movie which tells people how to live a life free of carbs and why”.
There are a lot of resources. Try marksdailyapple.com
Great post. Read “Sunlight” by Kime, if you can get your hands on a copy. There are plenty of reasons to get more sun (and less sunscreen) in your life:
For another good summary of the importance of Vitamin D, see this video (which I think came from the same conference):
Vitamin D and Prevention of Chronic Diseases
I’ve seen Holick’s lecture online before. Great information, and the guy is funny to boot.
Grassrootshealth D Action
This charity promotes Vitamin D awareness by offering, as part of a trial, Postal 25(OH)D testing at cost price currently $40
While it would be helpful if people signed up for the full 5 yrs there is no compulsion to do so.
When you get your results back you need to be aware it generally takes between 1000~2000iu/daily D3 to raise status 10ng/mL. So UK adults, with average current levels between 20~30ng/mL to rise to 50~60ng/mL will require an ADDITIONAL 5000iu/daily D3.
Here is a useful calculator that works out how long you need to stay outdoors where you live to get 1000iu. but do remember the least tanned skin generates the most vitamin d3 so the more skin exposed the better remember you cannot overdose from vitamin D from sun exposure. (that’s no excuse to ever get burnt though)
Good information. Thanks for the links.
I have had a wild experience this week. I never would have noticed this if it had happened a year ago, Pre-Taubes and Pre-Keith (The Vegetarian Myth) and pre-FAT HEAD. There is an autistic girl where I am. She doesn’t say much, but these are the only things I’ve overheard her say…..”ice cream, brownie, french fries, snack, potato chip, lollipop, orange.” I’m kind of stunned. It’s an anecdote and may be insignificant, but because of what I’ve learned in the past 12 months I am imagining that in the depths of her foggy autistic mind and body, her cells are SCREAMING for some animal FAT!!!
This is one of the most informative and most interesting blogs, great job !
This is an excellent video. Thanks for sharing it, Tom! I’ve been reading about the importance of vitamin D for a while and I think this takes it’s importance to a new level.
I put this post on StumbleUpon, Facebook, and Twitter. Everyone needs to see it and stop fearing the sun!
Glad you’re spreading the news, Vin. This is indeed important stuff.
Fascinating. Really good post. Makes me feel better about being on your blog:-).
I thought the doctor did an excellent job explaining the concept. And of course, I’m glad to have you aboard.
I’ve never heard you mention it, but what do you think about olive oil?
I’ve switched over to high fats since watching fathead, and my mood is much more leveled, my hair is growing faster, I find it almost impossible to overeat (I’ve had an issue with this for as long as I can remember), and it’s so much easier to follow a lower-calorie diet full of healthy vegetables-drizzling in buttah! Thank you for your work!
Olive oil a perfectly natural fat. You can squeeze olives to get the oil, no processing required. That’s not the case for corn oil, soybean oil, canola oil, etc.
My only problem with olive oil is the way it’s held up by some experts as the be-all-end-all of health-promoting oils because it’s monosaturated. Nearly half of the fat in lard is also monosaturated, and the fat that isn’t will likely raise you HDL.
Great blog! I do tend to stay out of the sun for the less wrinkle affect. Ever notice those tennis players that are so dark brown and wrinkled all over their bodies?
I think it’s a matter of balance. My skin comes courtesy of my Irish ancestors, and I’d get fried if I spent all day in the Tennessee sun without covering up. But I know now to get a little sunshine.
I still put sunscreen on my neck because I got a deep sunburn there a few years back (trying to fix my golf swing at the range … all day) and if I let that area get much sun exposure, it gets dark and blotchy again.
That first stage requires low Vitamin D and low calcium. Guess we’re back to milk being good for you.
I once read about a study that correlated the quantity of sunburns in childhood with all non-skin cancers. Basically the more you got burned while a kid, the less chance you had of getting cancer. Since sunburn would correlate with a higher Vitamin D level, once could make a connection there.
Also would like to point out that, while Melanoma is a pretty nasty cancer, most other skin cancers are treatable, and generally not life threatening. Also, Melanoma makes up about 6% percent of skin cancers, but is the cause of about 70% of skin cancer related deaths. Methinks the fuss to use sunscreen has been overblown.
Methinks you’re correct. We’re looking into getting some raw milk soon, since it’s available around here. I’ve already been enjoying raw-milk cheeses.
I have seen in a couple places on this blog that, in your opinion, soy and soymilk should not be consumed. I was wondering if you could elaborate more? I apologize if this was in another post. Personally, I have a sensitivity to regular milk where if I drink a glass straight it makes my stomach upset. For this reason I buy the soymilk and it gives me no problems.
I know there have been some reports done that show that soy, when eaten in massive quantities, can in fact be harmful to the body (unfortunately I don’t know the links to these studies that support this claim), but is soymilk honestly that harmful if one cannot drink regular milk? I do sometimes eat tofu and soy protein, but am not a vegetarian or anything so it isn’t that often.
Soy contains anti-nutrients that can be detrimental for some people … messing up the thyroid, for example. Here are some links:
As with fat and cholesterol, there are researchers on both sides of the issue who claim the evidence is on their side. I suspect many people can consume soy products without any ill effects, but I avoid them. Thyroid issues aside, I’m concerned about the lectins, which can interfere with digestion and pass through the gut into the bloodstream, which in turn can cause auto-immune reactions.
I drank soy milk for awhile and suffered with anxiety, mood swings, hair loss, weight gain. The phytoestrogens in the soy milk were messing with my iodine absorption and causing thyroid issues. our thyroid uses 80% of our iodine intake. Anyway, if soy milk were good for you, it would grow that way. Asians don’t drink soy milk, they eat tofu. Incidentally, they eat it with seaweed [which is mega-high in iodine]. Thanks.
I’ll drink soy milk the day I see someone milking a soybean.
to Scott: You have to be careful with vitamin A. It competes with vitamin D for the same receptors, so you don’t want to over-do vitamin A.
Raw Milk is amazing!
And may be the answer for the commenter that has issues with milk. If you are lactose intolerant you likely won’t be with raw milk, because the beneficial bacteria will still be there to help your body digest the milk (among other benefits and none of nutrient depletion and micro fat globules found with pasteurization and homogenization).
“The Untold Story of Milk” by Ron Schmid, ND.
“Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon
Now that we live in an area where we can buy raw-milk cheese, I’ll be looking for raw milk next. My wife is (supposedly) lactose intolerant, but we’ve never tried the real stuff.
Tom: your information is an eye-opener. Exposure to sunlight is an important source of vitamin D. Ultraviolet (UV) rays from sunlight trigger vitamin D synthesis in the skin. Therefore people should not fear sun exposure. Over-exposure can be health hazard. I will pass this information around.