Eggs, Cholesterol, and Survival Training

How well do you know the use of force laws in your state? Are eggs still evil? Is LDL still the "bad" cholesterol? Do psychedelics improve athletic performance?

Eggs, Cholesterol, and Survival Training
Photo by Jakub Kapusnak / Unsplash

What's New:

  • Heart and Soil Supplements Giveaway:  As my Instagram surpasses 1,300 followers (6x'd since pre-pandemic) I'm giving away a jar of Heart & Soil's Beef Organs supplement.  This is for U.S. newsletter subscribers only.  If you're not in the U.S. and win, I'll still contact you and we'll work something out!
  • Use of Force in Georgia: I recently attended a defensive pistol course at Randall's Adventure & Training (see below) and followed up with my own review of the Georgia (USA) laws regarding "self defense."  Of course, the article I wrote isn't legal advice, and is really for my own homework and interests.  The point though is that this is something we should all be knowledgeable about.  A 3 second decision may cost you a 3 year legal battle that, and even if you win both cases, you may spend 30 years dealing with the fall out.

Things I'm Reading:

Egg consumption improves vascular and gut microbiota function without increasing inflammatory, metabolic, and oxidative stress markers

The authors here write "... moderate egg consumption may help to improve vascular and intestinal function in individuals at low risk of developing CVD and other metabolic disorders."  Of course, they can't just come out and say eggs are healthy – in fact, one of the most nutritious things you can put in your body!  They relegate the results to "moderate" consumption of two eggs per day.

Naturally, this stems from fear mongering regarding cholesterol (see below).  If you're wondering, I eat about 6 eggs / day or 3-4 dozen per week.  My dog eats 3 eggs / day.  To be fair, this article does at least point to other literature that illustrates the absence of a causal or even correlative association between egg consumption and / or cholesterol and cardiovascular disease and mortality.

Elevated LDL-Cholesterol with a Carbohydrate-Restricted Diet: Evidence for a ‘Lean Mass Hyper-Responder’ Phenotype
Among adults consuming a carbohydrate-restricted diet, elevated LDL-cholesterol was associated with leanness and low triglyceride to HDL-cholesterol ratio, cont

This is a juicy and long-awaited study from cholesterol guru Dave Feldman and Co.  Let's start at the end, "These data suggest that, in contrast to the typical pattern of dyslipidemia, greater LDLc elevation on a (carbohydrate restricted diet) tends to occur in the context of low cardiometabolic risk."  In other words, elevated LDL (cholesterol) in the context of a low carbohydrate diet is actually a marker of low cardiovascular risk!

Some specifics to note here include lower (better) TG/HDL ratio corresponded with a greater increase in LDL in the context of a low carbohydrate diet.  LMHRs ("lean-mass hyper-responders") had similar LDL levels as the control group before low-carbohydrate intervention(s) were implemented.  LMHRs are characterized here by LDL > 200 (check), HDL > 80 (check), and Triglycerides (TG) < 70 (not quite for me, but close).  Their data is, by the way, open source and publicly available; exactly how science should be – *cough* take note Pfizer!

Twenty percent better with 20 micrograms? A qualitative study of psychedelic microdosing self-rapports and discussions on YouTube - Harm Reduction Journal
Background Psychedelic microdosing is the trending practice of using tiny repeated doses of psychedelic substances to facilitate a range of supposed benefits. With only a few published studies to date, the subject is still under-researched, and more knowledge is warranted. Social media and internet…

This is a neat study that analyzed claims of 34 people on YouTube regarding their use of psychedelics.  I've been on a recent kick about this sort of thing and fully realize the limitations of this study and it's data source.  Of note though, "Athletic performance and exercising benefits of microdosing were exemplified by practitioners of many different sports and activities including ice hockey, basketball, freestyle climbing, MMA, and long-distance trail running. Increased energy, focus, coordination, prevision, and overall motivation were typical benefits attributed to the use of microdosing in sports and physical exercise."

My experience has been that whatever sort of mood I'm in is amplified while microdosing.  This can be good or bad, which is why we need to draw a careful line between recreational use (microdosing or partying) and guided / integrative clinical care; such as with a therapist (or two as it's usually conducted.  The literature here seems to be congruent with my experience.  "Interestingly, reports involving anxiety were more disparate than for all other indications, whereas users also experienced increased anxiety and negative emotions."

Beliefs and Experiences of Individuals Following a Zero-Carb Diet
The adoption of carbohydrate-restrictive diets to improve health is increasing in popularity, but there is a dearth of research on individuals who choose to severely restrict or entirely exclude carbohydrates. The present study investigated the beliefs and experiences of individuals following a diet…

Why is this published in a psychology journal?  Standby.  I'm very glad to see these kinds of questions being asked.  This, though a qualitative study, will hopefully get researchers more interested.  Anecdotes aren't just "pseudoscience", they are a starting point; and when there is enough demonstrated interest "... in spite of lack of supporting evidence" people should take note.  After all, a placebo that is working, isn't a placebo!

"We also recommend research into the social identities of people on carb-restrictive diets, the ways these social identities shape initiation and adherence to the diets, and how individuals can help dispel myths and prejudice surrounding these diets."  This is the real kicker here.  Identity and community are hugely underrated components of health and well being.  Though, be cautioned, we've seen this taken too far to the other end of the pendulum – that is, being viciously exclusionary and vindictive – with other ways of eating!


Resources to Thrive:

  • The Learner Lab Podcast:  I've been following Trevor's work for quite a while (then called "Train Ugly") and had always been a fan of his style of communicating normally cliche' topics like learning, fear, growth mindsets, etc.  I'm very glad he survived his bout with cancer and is back to work producing great content!  Thanks Trevor!
  • Randall's Adventure & Training:  If you're in the south (Alabama), this is a great training resource for  SAR, firearms training, field/bushcraft survival and more.  Of course, there's plenty of southern hospitality and plenty of good people looking to share knowledge and build a strong community.  I recently attended their Defensive Pistol 1 course and will definitely be returning in the future!

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