Chronic high-sucrose diet increases fibroblast growth factor 21 production and energy expenditure in mice
I've got a draft of a post from mid summer this year which I wrote simply because I like the attitude of the authors. They say things like:
"Excess carbohydrate intake causes obesity in humans".
That's the first line of the abstract. You know, it's that "nailing your colours to the mast" sort of a statement. Even though I do think life is a little more complex than that.
Anyway, I like these folks who are looking at the slimming effect of sucrose in BL6 mice. That's correct, sucrose is a slimming drug/food in mice, under the correct circumstances. People too. The data in the 2017 paper is an extension of the work they did in 2012, written up in this paper:
Ingestion of a moderate high‐sucrose diet results in glucose intolerance with reduced liver glucokinase activity and impaired glucagon‐like peptide‐1 secretion
I don't intend to go through either paper in detail, it's just that the 2012 paper has some rather special macro ratios that caught my eye.
This is what they did to the mice in that original paper:
"After adaptation for 2 weeks, they [the mice] were divided into three groups and fed a normal chow diet (NC), a high‐starch diet (ST) supplemented with 38.5% corn starch or a SUC containing 38.5% sucrose; the latter two diets were prepared by the addition of corn starch or sucrose, respectively, to CE‐2 (Table 1)"
Essentially they are diluting chow with starch or sucrose. Here is Table 1 for the diet compositions, note my red rectangle:
With group sizes of n=4 and five weeks on the diet very little of anything reached statistical or biological significance. The 2017 study used a slightly modified version of the diet to keep a low fat percentage identical across the diets but still had 38.5% of calories from sucrose, was run for 15 weeks and had group sizes of n=8-10. Results were statistically significant all over the place and suggest that the sucrose diet is decidedly good for metabolic health and gives a slim phenotype on ad lib consumption. Just so long as fat calories are very, very low. This looks very much like what Denise Minger described as carbosis, based in part around Walter Kempner's very effective, very unpleasant, ultra low fat, high sucrose medical diet. The Rice Diet is very real.
This post is not about any of the above.
Now, watch carefully. I'm going to sneak in some more macros
If you wanted a "reduced" fat diet which induces carbosis in human beings I recon the red text is pretty well it. I particularly enjoyed that exactly 7.7% of calories came from fat in each diet, this could almost be deliberate. If you combine what is almost certainly a very effective spontaneous weight loss diet with a 30% calorie restriction I suspect you might be on to a winner when comparing it against a reduced carbohydrate diet. Of course to really nail it you would have to compare it to an absolutely non ketogenic diet, say one supplying a total of 140g/d of carbohydrate. Does carbosis beat a middling carbohydrate mixed diet? You bet.
Oh, the scribbled-in red numbers came from Table 2 of this paper.
Most people in respectable CICO based mainstream nutrition have never heard of carbosis, Walter Kempner, the Rice Diet and have probably never heard of Denise Minger.
But Kevin Hall has. My respect for his knowledge-base and ingenuity is vast. Such a pity it's wasted on constructing props for his bizarre pet theories of weight control.
While the 7.7% of calories as fat in both studies is something which amuses me greatly, I do have to admit it may just be an hysterical accident.
At least I'm up front about my rather pronounced personal biases and rather peculiar sense of humour.