Glucose for Fat Burning – Episode 161

Performance Menu: Journal of Health & Athletic Excellence

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  1. [3:27] Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN)
  2. [5:40] Distended Abdomen
  3. [10:03] Canola Oil and Carotenoid Absorption
  4. [13:03] Did Cavemen Eat More Plants?
  5. [16:26] Best Olympic Weightlifting Certification
  6. [20:33] Glucose and Fat “Combustion”
  7. [25:33] Cancer as a Metabolic Condition
  8. [28:55] Heart Rate and Metabolism Post Workout
  9. [33:08] BPA and Pseudo Estrogens


1. low dose naltrexone

Kat says:
I heard you speaking about low dose naltrexone on one of the podcasts, but it wasn’t clear about why the person was taking it.  I go on and off of it for M.S- I have been great with my disease for 3 years- ever since changing my diet- I do sometimes as insurance take LDN- but lately haven’t bothered- What are your thoughts


2. Distended Abdomen

Keysa says:
Hi, I am a 32 year old female.  I started eating paleo in January of 2011.  I have participated in four challenges since then, and when I am not on a challenge, I eat about 90% paleo, sugar being the biggest “cheat”.  I have really tried to stay away from gluten, and rarely eat it.  I joined crossfit in January of 2012, and I also train for marathons as well as outrigger canoe paddling.  A few years ago (before my first paleo challenge) my abdomen started becoming distended after eating and I had the feeling of being bloated.  And often I would wake up in the morning with a distended abdomen.  This has continued fairly consistently for the past few years.  My stomach looks like I am pregnant, and is very firm (as if a balloon has been blown up inside my lower abdomen).  Rarely do I see what my stomach looks like without distention.  I also have excessive burping, especially when I run.  When I drink water and continue running, I burp a lot.

I went to my doctor, and he told me to exercise more and eat more fiber.  I took his advice on the fiber, but not on the exercising, as I was already exercising 5-6 days a week.  The fiber had no effect on my stomach, but gave me gas.  I returned to the doctor, he did a blood test to test my thyroid levels, for celiac disease, and parasites. After they came back normal he sent me to a gastroenterologist.  The gastroenterologist said that I had heartburn, and put me on medication, which again did nothing.  After failed attempts with Medical doctors, I did my own research and tried a few things including: going off birth control, drinking unfiltered apple cider vinegar before eating, taking Hydrochloric acid tablets, body cleanses, probiotics, digestive enzymes.  None of these had an affect on my abdomen.  I tried each one in isolation for a duration of a month.

I would like to know if there is something I am missing that is causing my abdominal distention. If you have any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate them!  Thank you!


3. Canola Oil

Brooke says:
We have a local Paleo group on Facebook where we share recipes, debate topics, post local sales, and ask questions in general about the Paleo lifestyle and Whole 30.  We do 30 day challenge groups and we have been doing this for about 3 months, so we are fairly new in our research.  We listen to several different podcasts and review books and articles.  Once of our members found an article in Good Housekeeping that states “What you drizzle on you bowl of greens may be just as in important as what’s in it.  A recent Purdue University study found that dressings made with canola oil were best at helping your body absorb the healthy compounds-like lutein and lycopene-found in vegetables”  I know that everything we have researched has told us canola oil is bad and usually if we come across something like this I always tell our friends refer to the book, and my answer this time was just plain GMO,  but I was wondering what your thoughts were on this, how they could have come to this conclusion,  and how to help our group understand it better since it was a “study” based on a reputable institution.

Thanks so much for all the information you provide.  You have helped our group tremendously.

Squatchy’s note:

*link to study


4. Caveman diet

Troy says:
This article suggests that “cavemen” ate Less Red Meat, More Plants.

What’s your take on this report?


5. Weight Lifting and Learning.

Davin says:
Hi, Robb and Greg. I had a question primarily for Greg I would think. Out of all the Olympic weightlifting certs out there which one do you think is the most beneficial? I was considering the USA weightlifting course. I have a pretty firm grasp on the lifts through formal instruction playing collegiate level sports and my own research (I own both your book and DVD), but wanted some pedigree of sorts to make it official. You guys both rock and sorry Robb for not having a question for you!


6. Fat – doesn’t it burn well???

Kaspar says:
Robb and Greg! Thanks for a GREAT podcast! I have listen to it since episode 1, and from knowing NOTHING about nutrition it has often been hard to understand what you were talking about! (and sometimes still is :-)! ) But I keep listening, and because of you (and other reasons too though), I am now studying Sport and Science at University (in Denmark).

My question is simple: When reading about how macronutrients are being “burned/used” by the body, I often read in books that if you have a very low level of glucose coming into the cells (like if somebody had diabetes 1, or I guess, if you went on a very low carb diet too), then cells will increase the use of fat as a fuel instead. And then!! – they write: “this can lead to an incomplete combustion of fat and can lead to a production of the acid-like ketone bodies which can lead to ketoacidosis”.

May question is more about: what is this “incomplete combustion”? How is it incomplete? And how would some glucose into the cells make the combustion any different, and then thereby making the combustion “complete”?
I just haven’t been able to find that answer yet!
Hope you can help me, since I am getting very frustrated about this “incomplete fat-burning”….

Keep up the good work!!!

P.s. Sorry for any mistakes in my English, or if my question(s) are unclear.


7. Cancer as a metabolic disease

Josh says:
Hi Robb

I saw a tweet of yours a couple of weeks back about Dr Thomas Seyfried and how his work seems to show that cancer may be a metabolic disease due to impaired mitochondrial health.

I have since done some reading of Dr Seyfried’s work and also listened to his interview on Jimmy Moore’s show. I am a little confused and have two questions:

1.) Dr Seyfried seems to think that unrestricted ketogenic diets would be dangerous and that they should only be done under calorie restriction. Do you think it dangerous to be on a long term ketogenic diet without necessarily restricting calories?

2.) Do you think it is a good idea to do an extended 7 day fast once a year as per Dr Seyfried’s recommendations?

Hope this makes it to the podcast. Thanks for all the great information.


8. Heart Rate Recovery Time

Kyle says:
Hello Robb & Greg,

I’ll keep this brief.  My wife keeps coming home from intense CrossFit workouts  wondering why her heart rate is still so high 10, 15 or 20 minutes later.  She then goes on to wonder just what the heck proper recovery time really is. She might also wonder about other things like how long her metabolism might stay elevated.  In keeping with the dictum “happy wife, happy life” might you be able to give me some type of informative answer I can pass along to her, at least as regards to heart rate?  Why ask you two?  Because you are entertaining and will most like give me better information than I would get trying to sort through hits from the Google machine.  Not to mention the fact that my wife is more likely to believe the two of you than she is me on this particular topic.


9. Pseudo-estrogens soup/ BPA WTF?

A-Money says:
Robb, Greg, and Heir Squatch!  Love the show.  Thanks for keeping the ‘magic of mediocrity’ alive! Long time listener first time writer.

So I’m curious about your feelings regarding the whole pseudo-estrogen BPA plastic bottle mess.  How significant a concern is this?

I probably don’t have the greatest hormonal profile in the world so I’d like to do whatever I can to help it.

Basically I just wanna know if you think I should throw away my nalgene bottle and get an aluminum one or what?

Quick rundown my history:  I was born on a Monday, hate boardgames, stubbed my toe real good a few weeks ago and think it may be broken.  Oh also!  I have a BMI and an old Fran time.

Thanks for all you guys do,

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  1. Stephanie says

    I have to comment on the commenting of the isotope study.
    First, it wasn’t as bad of protocol as Robb makes it seem. While not metabolic ward, participants were housed on site for the study (Dunn Human Nutrition Unit) and their diets for 30 days were prepared by technicians to mimic their habitual diets in a controlled setting. The diet diaries Robb referred to were actually the pre-intervention interviews with the subjects so that the researchers could recreate what their participants normally ate.

    Next, this kind of work is desperately needed. This paper highlights the difficulty of interpreting trophic levels from nitrogen isotopes because of confounding variables such as what tissues are sampled, environment, geography, and to some extent, species (they say previous work showed no real difference between species but the error is large). Because isotope studies on archaeological samples (paleolithic humans) must use bone collagen (because bone is what preserves for this length of time), and the authors noted their enrichment estimate for collagen to be almost double the conventional value (DeNiro and Epstein (1981) trophic enrichment of 2-3‰), then it must be acknowledged that we may have to recalibrate these earlier data on the paleolithic specimens, otherwise it would be scientifically irresponsible and foolish.

    The “interpretation” about plant and animal consumption is thus: if the enrichment level is actually higher than we previously assumed, then smaller contributions of nitrogen enriched foods (meat, dairy, fish, etc) lead to high signatures of nitrogen isotope. Therefore, the measured isotope values may have been produced by less nitrogen enriched food than expected, and that would leave room for other less enriched foods (plants).

    But this problem is already acknowledged by researchers looking into the plant contribution to early hominin diets- the isotope signature from N enriched foods blots out any other dietary signal. Thus it is perhaps premature to take the N values for hominins that are already published, talk about how much meat they ate and then close the book.

    • TJ says

      Kudos for a great comment.

      I was wondering the same thing, why be so quick to dismiss the study? I was hoping Robb would at least touch on the fact (?) that this is the first time researchers have done this type of study with nitrogen isotopes with controlled diets (non-recall) to minimize isotopic changes from dietary habits. Previously the best we have had for comparison is recall dietary analysis and animal studies.

      Is this not a sound addition to our toolbox of understanding paleolithic nutrition?

      The quickness to dismiss any utility of a study that doesn’t align with paleo preconceptions is distressing.

      • Stephanie says

        It is an interesting paper and is causing some current isotope research in review to acknowledge these findings. Certainly deserves more than a dismissive wave of the hand.

  2. janet says

    Burping, and digestive things like that plus distended abdomen were symptoms that my mother in law had. She ended up with ovarian cancer. Her doc put her off for years and then it was too late. She was only 46. Those were her only symptoms. Get checked.

  3. Kyle says

    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for answering my question, my wife got a kick out of it. Not to mention we’ve both now moved on to a new gym with more thoughtful programming and hopefully she’ll be over training less and we won’t need to start testing her glucose levels!


  4. David Green says

    For question #2 Distended abdomen, it is really, really important to GO GET CHECKED FOR OVARIAN CANCER. The following is from my Pathophysiology Class Textbook “Essentials of Pathophysiology: Third Edition By: Carol Mattson Porth (pg 1054)”

    “Several studies have now established that symptoms are often present and reported by women before diagnosis, but are nonspecific and therefore difficult to intrpret, Symptoms that are believed to have a STRONG CORRELATION to OVARIAN CANCER include INCREASED ABDOMINAL SIZE, DYSPEPSIA, EARLY SATIETY, OR BLOATING

  5. David Green says

    For question #2 Distended abdomen, it is really, really important to GO GET CHECKED FOR OVARIAN CANCER. The following is from my Pathophysiology Class Textbook “Essentials of Pathophysiology: Third Edition By: Carol Mattson Porth (pg 1054)”

    “Several studies have now established that symptoms are often present and reported by women before diagnosis, but are nonspecific and therefore difficult to intrpret, Symptoms that are believed to have a STRONG CORRELATION to OVARIAN CANCER include INCREASED ABDOMINAL SIZE, DYSPEPSIA, EARLY SATIETY, OR BLOATING as the result of increased pressure from ascites (Fluid in the peritoneal cavity)… Because GI manifestations can occur for a variety of reasons, many women self-treat with antacids and other remedies for a time before seeking treatment and health care providers may dismiss the complaints as being caused by other conditions… It is not fully understood why the initial symptoms of ovarian cancer are manifested and GI disturbances”

    It’s a definite possibility Keysa has this and needs to get a test for serum tumor marker CA-125. There aren’t really many good test or early detection methods for ovarian cancer but this is the best we have. Presence of it is not caner or tissue specific for ovarian cancer but elevated levels can indicate that something is not right whether it is cancer such as: endometriosis, uterine fibroids, liver disease and other cancers of the female reproductive organs.

    I really hope someone sees this. I will tweet at Robb and email as well.

  6. Kaspar says

    Hi Robb!

    Thanks for posting my question! I will study your answer and in more books to understand the glucose/fat/protein burning in the Krebs cycle.

    If I may ask an additional question: So is this incomplete burning of fat what we call being in ketosis in the “Paleo Diet”? And is it why it wouldn’t be to good to be in too long (and in the end lead to ketoacidosis)? Or is it another story?



  7. says

    Hey! I just wanted to comment on the distended abdomen. I fully agree that further testing is needed because many stool analysis are not good at picking up bugs, the dosage of betaine HCL may not have been right or there could be another kind of gut dysbiosis (fructose malabsorption, SIBO, etc.)

    You might be interested in reading more about these on my website.
    Digestive Health Community:

    Good luck! :)

  8. says

    Regarding distended abdomen. Once ovarian cancer is ruled out, I would guarantee (if it was legal for me to do so) that the cause is disbiosis – chronic intestinal infection of some sort. Probably half the people I see at my office have some form of this – which may be high because I practice in a semi-rural setting. The solution (that always works even with lab confirmed giardia and lyme) is not poison (black walnut, wormwood etc.), it is specific digestive enzymes on an empty stomach for three weeks. This is a comfortable process, unless liver or gallbladder congestion is present and not addressed at the same time. Other symptoms my include vitamin and mineral deficiencies (foot problems, cramping, nail issues, etc.), teeth grinding, anxiety, recurring cough or lung issues, low energy or compromised immune system. Especially when people are already paleo-ized, this is the one most common last frontier.
    I would like to share why I know this with absolute certainty, but I’ll spare you the long version and I am working on the book. A new paleohead patient just turned me on to your site. I’m all in.

  9. says

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  10. Ellie says

    Regarding distended abdomen…Keysa, hopefully you have ruled out ovarian cancer by now. I, too, had terrible distended abdomen issues for YEARS. I took several inconclusive tests and tried all kinds of hijinx until I tinkered with vegetable intake and there I found my culprit: the offending foods are cruciferous vegs and fruits. Are you eating pounds of broccoli, cauliflower, brussels, etc every day or week? As an experiment, I took them out of my diet, and immediately the bloating disappeared. According to Chris Kresser, some of us may not be able to deal with digesting large quantities of vegs; you can check his blog for more on that. As far as fruit…it just cramps and bloats me in anything other than the tiniest doses: fructose, I guess. Anyway, that’s my experience. I stay away from those foods almost entirely and I am very rarely bloated now. Abdomen is pretty much flat most of the time. I just wanted to share in hopes this simple solution can help you like it did for me. Good luck, Keysa!

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