May 09, 2011

Demonic possession

Is real. Between yeasts, toxoplasmosis, and gut flora, how many actions that we take are really, you know, ours?  The really, really spooky thing is how many of these pathogens get into people by way of things that were proscribed by religion (promiscuity, eating forbidden foods) or simple superstition (avoiding cats).  It's almost like various cultures adopted heuristics (i.e. "traditions") that protected them from these things while remaining scientifically ignorant of their true causes.  Nah, I'm sure they were just evil, unenlightened, patriarchal meanies and haters.  It couldn't possibly be the case that fitness strategies and hygiene were ascribed to the supernatural because it was the best way to ensure compliance and protect the kinship group.  Just big ol' fun-hatin' men, right?

Sarcasm aside, how long before we all regulate our lives pretty much the same as Victorian-era Christians because science proves them right?  Because I assure you, as antibiotics and fungicides lose efficacy in the face of ever-evolving micro-organisms, abstinence and faithful monogamy will eventually be the only strategies that actually work.

Posted by: leoncaruthers at 07:48 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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May 03, 2011

Toxic fuels

So I was reading this post over at Gnolls, and I had something of a clever thought (probably not original).  It's widely accepted that the human body burns alcohol preferentially to all other fuels, which is a big part of the reason it pretty much shuts down fat-burning metabolism (along with a smattering of related, depressive hormonal effects).  I hadn't really thought about it, but glucose is basically treated the same way by the body.

Like alcohol, glucose is burned preferentially if present (at least in the absence of alcohol), but it's also basically toxic to many tissues at blood concentrations that are easily achievable with modern, processed foods (or a once-in-blue-moon giant dose of honey).  Sure, you need some of it floating around to power your brain, but that amount is small-to-zero if you're keto-adapted and have functioning gluconeogenesis and adequate protein intake.   Too much of it over a sustained period of time, however, will damage your body in a dozen different ways.  So before resorting to the primary -- and safest -- aerobic fuel of fats, sugar in your blood is taken up and burnt, in no small part simply to protect you from it. 

Posted by: leoncaruthers at 02:26 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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