#20: Amber O'Hearn - Carnivore Q&A Part 2


Originally published at: https://ketowomanpodcast.com/amber-ohearn-part-ii/

Amber returns for Part 2 of all things Carnivore and continues to answer listener questions.

Amber O’Hearn, M.Sc., is a data scientist by profession with a background in math, computer science, linguistics, and psychology. She has been studying and experimenting with ketogenic diets since 1997, and more recently writing and speaking about her findings. Her review on the evolutionary appropriateness and benefit of weaning babies onto a meat-based, high fat, low carb diet, was included as testimony defending Tim Noakes in his recent trial.  Amber has been eating a carnivorous diet for over 8 years.

Articles mentioned:

Intermittent metabolic switching, neuroplasticity and brain health
Mark P. Mattson, Keelin Moehl, Nathaniel Ghena, Maggie Schmaedick& Aiwu Cheng
Nature Reviews Neuroscience volume 19, pages 63–80 (2018)

Sodium, Nutritional Ketosis, and Adrenal Function
Stephen Phinney, MD, PhD  Jeff Volek, PhD, RD on December 14, 2017

Amber’s lecture at Breckenridge:


Ketosis without starvation: the human advantage

Ketosis is a natural physiological state when fasting. Many species make use of a ketogenic metabolism under conditions of food shortage, and because of this, some researchers call a ketogenic diet a "fasting mimicking diet". What is less often appreciated is that ketosis naturally arises in other contexts. Many mammals use ketones during gestation and suckling, breastfeeding human infants among them. The reason appears to be connected to brain growth; ketone bodies provide both fuel and raw material for growing brains. Humans have exceptionally large and complex brains, and our brains continue to grow long past weaning, with structural changes continuing into adulthood. Interestingly, we also have an unparalleled ability to achieve and maintain ketosis even when energy and protein needs are met and greatly exceeded, so long as carbohydrate intake is minimised. This ability is particularly pronounced in childhood. For this unusual trait to have developed, there must have been a selective advantage and pressure to maintain ketosis even when gluconeogenic substrate was available. In this presentation, I will review evidence for this trait and its uniqueness, its connection to brain evolution and health, and implications for ketogenic diets.

The end quote from this week’s show is from Fran Lebowitz:

“My favourite animal is steak.”

Searching for some hive-mind answers

Thank you so much for this interview. It was so informative and entertaining. You both did great! Amber has such a soothing voice too. Really like her communication style.


Yes she really does get the information across well doesn’t she? I have always enjoyed her lectures at conferences.

(Jodi) #4

I really enjoyed listening to Amber’s interview.
She has so much information to share, and it was interesting to hear her thoughts on topics she didn’t have definite answers for.
It was great to listen to the back and forth between you two, hopefully someday there will be a part 3! :blush:

(Bunny) #5

Thought this also compliments Amber’s research:

The Health Benefits of Consuming Organ Meats

The Discovery of 'Fat-Soluble Activators’

One of Dr. Price’s most significant contributions to nutrition science was the concept of fat-soluble activators, which serve as potent catalysts for mineral absorption. Without them, minerals cannot by used by your body, no matter how plentiful they may be in your diet. Dr. Price was quite ahead of his time—modern research has since validated most of his findings.

Dr. Price identified three primary fat-soluble activators: vitamins A and D, and one he called “Activator X,” because he didn’t know exactly what it was, only that it was present in certain fatty parts of animals (especially the organ meats) that fed on young green growing plants or microorganisms, as well as in oily fish and shellfish. This powerful nutrient is now believed to be vitamin K2, a nutrient that is far more important than most people realize.12, 13

IMPORTANT: Know Where Your Meat Comes From

In another article19 written by a meat processor, Bob Martin explains the differences between products derived from grain-fed animals versus from grass-fed animals. He reports that many grain-finished livers are “condemned,” whereas this does not happen with grass-finished livers. He is very straight in his recommendation to avoid meat and organs coming from animals that are grain-fed or grain-finished, such as those produced by CAFOs.

As stated earlier, it is safest to restrict all of your meats to pastured, or at the very least, grass-finished animals. In the wake of mad cow disease, it is particularly important to consume animals raised on pasture and fed a biologically appropriate diet, which virtually eliminates their risk of mad cow disease, as well as many other dangerous contaminants.20 …More

Note: Why agricultural soil needs sea salt? (esp. forage quality for live stock)

Anyone care to debunk this? Or is it true and all ketoers are doomed?
Do I really need to eat organic meat + dairy?
Anyone had high bad lipids numbers (bad cholesterol, triglycerides, etc.) while in ketosis and successfully lowered it without drugs while remaining in ketosis?