Thursday, 9 April 2009

Brown Fat & Sugar

Most of us paleo guys understand the weakness of the 'calories in vs calories out' argument. We understand there is a complex coalition of cells that make each of us, us. We also understand that there is a biological symphony going on between ourselves and our environment.

There is no opt out. The music does not stop. You are being changed right now by your decisions and lifestyle choices. Even if you chose not to chose, your body is adapting.

The New England Journal of Medicine has published two interesting articles on the role of brown fat in the body. Titled Cold-Activated Brown Adipose Tissue in Healthy Men and Identification and Importance of Brown Adipose Tissue in Adult Humans such biological sophistication will come as no surprise to the paleo crowd. The paleo compass would suggest such a mechanism - either still functioning or dormant. And, if not suggest it, then welcome it WITHOUT the raised eyebrows that would greet it's appearance to the wider fitness and health industry.

The notion that 'calories in vs calories out' has never been in such a parlous state.

Does He Take Sugar?
In the same issue of The New England Journal of Medicine is an article starting with this excellent quote from Adam Smith:

  • Sugar, rum, and tobacco are commodities which are nowhere necessaries of life, which are become objects of almost universal consumption, and which are therefore extremely proper subjects of taxation.
    — Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, 1776
The article itself is titled Ounces of Prevention — The Public Policy Case for Taxes on Sugared Beverages. It can only be a matter of time before someone extrapolates and makes the connection between this paper and the fact that carbohydrates are simply long sugars......

The question is how much time? For me, zero!


fooWidget said...

I have no argument with your post or the NEJM article, as far as they go. But it would be a shame to tax sugar-sweetened beverages and not artificially sweetened sodas. Aren't they just about as bad in their health consequences?

Asclepius said...

Couldn't agree more. Artificially sweetened sodas are NOT real food.

To be honest I avoid all soda and only drink juice if it is HEAVILY diluted with water.

Mother nature nailed the optimal 'real thing' when she made water to quench our thirst and wrapped orange juice in a pulpy case with seasonal availability.