A Calorie is Not A Calorie - A Discussion of Thermodynamics

(Bunny) #62

But according to the physicist that’s 20 grams of mass?

Where did the sugar go?

Or what did the sugar do?

”…Einstein’s equation E = mc2 shows that energy and mass are interchangeable. The theory of special relativity explains how space and time are linked for objects that are moving at a consistent speed in a straight line. …” …More

(Bacon by any other name would taste just as great.) #63

Actually, this has been known for centuries. Increasing population height has been attributed to a diet rich in high-quality protein since long before the current nutrition guidelines.

The height and health of the American population, as compared with its European cousins, used to be attributed to the abundance of meat in the diet. I believe it may be significant that the generational height increase has leveled off since the introduction of governmental nutrition guidelines (it may also explain why the generational increase in lifespan has not only leveled off, but become a decline in recent years). Likewise, the native populations that ate an abundance of meat, such as the Plains tribes, were also known for their height and health. (The deleterious effect of their switch to the “Western” diet has been well-documented.)

(Bunny) #64

Is height or bigger stature a good thing? Too much Human Growth Hormone?

“…Men of height 175.3 cm or less lived an average of 4.95 years longer than those of height over 175.3 cm, while men of height 170.2 cm or less lived 7.46 years longer than those of at least 182.9 cm. …” …More

Some how the short people were malnutritioned and ‘deformed (small stature in height)’ because they did not eat as many animal proteins as other cultures?

Because they eat more plant protein (non-IGF-1 food), essential amino acids from grains and starches from tubers and corn?

Looks like it is the total opposite; taller stature or ‘deformity‘ and decreased life expectancy comes from excessive animal proteins? (over-nutritioned)

(Bacon by any other name would taste just as great.) #65

But that is exactly what it does mean, so what is the problem? Coca-cola, for one, uses the phrases interchangeably in its advertising, in order to claim that you can drink its sugar-water with impunity, so long as you account for the calories involved.

While these discussions are always fun, they never seem to get resolved, because the people on the various sides of the argument are not always clear about how they are using terms.

For instance, people arguing that the body’s hormonal responses to foods in the diet trump the caloric content of those foods are not saying that the First Law of Thermodynamics is being violated thereby (even though they may appear to be saying so), merely that there is more to the picture. For example, Gary Taubes makes the point that while the First Law always applies, it says nothing about the direction of causality. It may be that eating less may cause us to lose weight or—as Taubes points out—it may be that the eating less is the result, not the cause, of our being in weight-loss mode for hormonal reasons.

Taubes points out that no one claims that teenagers grow up into adults because they ate more than they expended. We are all clear that their hormones caused the weight gain and directed it to muscle and bone, while causing fat loss in certain places (particularly in boys) and the deposit of fat in certain places (particularly in girls). The fact that pubescent children are eating machines is the result of their growth, not the cause. He points out that it might make sense to apply the same logic to adult weight gain and loss, as well. Along the same lines, Phinney recounts the experience of one of his research subjects, a woman who lost half the amount of weight of the other women in the study. A DEXA scan revealed that she had lost the same amount of fat but had gained some lean tissue at the same time.

Thus it is clear, from both research and experience, that whether we gain or lose muscle, bone, or fat depends strongly on the dietary context. For example, the body tends to hold on to its fat stores until fairly late in the process of starvation. This was most clearly demonstrated during World War II by the victims sent to the German concentration camps, who didn’t start to look truly emaciated until they were within a few months of death from starvation. There appear to be mechanisms that spread out the damage from lack of adequate food intake, so that no one area of the body alone takes the hit.

This is part of the reason that eating a ketogenic diet to satiety allows the body to shed excess stored fat. The mechanisms that control appetite appear to take into account the source of the calories expended, so that both dietary and stored fat can be metabolised. And this all makes sense, because for the vast majority of the two million years of human evolutionary history, nobody knew about calories or macronutrients, and yet our ancestors managed somehow to avoid the metabolic diseases that plague us today.

Also, my impression is that your objection to the article by professors Feinman and Fine, which started this whole thread, appears to be a misunderstanding of where they are coming from, and of how their point fits into the scholarly conversation. I tend to think that the article ought to have been unnecessary, but it points out a logical inconsistency in arguments often used in scholarly papers and thereby serves a purpose. As Taubes points out, the difficulty of performing randomised, controlled trials on human subjects leads to shortcuts and sloppy thinking that would not be tolerated in any other area of scientific endeavour.

(Doug) #66

We pretty much stay within a Newtonian world, however, for our eating and metabolism. We’re not really converting mass to energy, for example, as with nuclear fission, fusion, etc.

(Doug) #67


Good one, Bob. :smile:


(Bunny) #68

However, adipose tissue weighs more than the lipid droplet it stores which is mostly protein but to burn protein:

”…The body rarely burns protein as its sole fuel source, and when it does it is usually under conditions of starvation. Interestingly, when no carbohydrate is present in the diet, the body will use the amino acid backbones of protein to form glucose (a carbohydrate) in order to supply the brain with adequate energy. …” …More

…so it is said?

Then you have this:

“…What Is Starvation Ketosis? “If the body depletes glycogen stores enough, it will move on to burning fat to fuel the body and the brain,” Dr. Metzgar said. When someone isn’t eating for a long enough period of time, their glycogen stores get depleted, so the body has two choices: burn stored fat, or break down the protein in muscles for fuel. The body will turn to fat before muscle, Dr. Metzgar explained, and that is when someone enters starvation ketosis.

Although intermittent fasting and the keto diet are often done in conjunction with each other, in order for starvation ketosis to kick in, Dr. Metzgar said someone would need to fast for a week to burn fat for fuel, which is obviously not recommended.

“Starvation ketosis is not something to strive for and can actually result in loss of lean muscle mass, so I would not recommend long-term fasting to reach this starvation state if one’s goal is to achieve ketosis,” she said. …” .…More


(Gregory - You can teach an old dog new tricks.) #69

That is totally demonstrably false…

(Bunny) #70

Do you have a source on this, I would like to read it?

Also keep in mind we are talking about starvation processes?

(Gregory - You can teach an old dog new tricks.) #71

Are you kidding?

Have you heard about the Keto diet?

The quote said " in the absence of carbohydrates in the diet "… etc…

The brain and everything else does just fine in the absence of carbohydrates in the diet…

The absence of food ( starvation ) would be a problem…

Finding cites would be a total waste of my time…

(Hagen) #72

This is both a non-sequitur and apparent insanity.

(Bunny) #73

Really? I have the research to back it?

Give me a sec!


[1] Analysis of adipose tissue in relation to body weight loss in man

[2] Adipose tissue density, estimated adipose lipid fraction and whole body adiposity in male cadavers

(Hagen) #74

Perhaps just word it differently…?

(Gregory - You can teach an old dog new tricks.) #75

Adipose Tissue Composition

The majority of cells found in adipose tissue are adipocytes. Adipocytes contain droplets of stored fat (triglycerides) that can be used for energy. These cells swell or shrink depending on whether fat is being stored or used. Other types of cells that comprise adipose tissue include fibroblasts, white blood cells, nerves, and [endothelial cells]

Nothing there about protein…

(Bunny) #76

Tell the researchers that?

(Hagen) #77

This is the problem. Do you really mean that the liquid droplet is mostly protein?

(Bunny) #78

The part surrounding the adipocyte is a lipid droplet organelle that contains protein RNA storage compartments (proteome) which regulate the storage and hydrolysis of triacylglycerols.

This gets more interesting as we go:

”…Microscopically adipose tissue is mainly composed of indistinct lobules of adipocytes surrounded by thin bands of collagen and small blood vessels. …” …Protein Atlas

You could not store fat without a protein membrane!

Collagen comes from the fibroblasts, your still dealing protein any way you slap it.

(Gregory - You can teach an old dog new tricks.) #79

You are talking about the structure of the tissue. The protein in the adipose tissue is not available as a source of energy, as far as the discussion of calories is concerned.

(Bunny) #80


“…The brain signals fat cells to release the energy packages, or fatty acid molecules, to the bloodstream. The muscles, lungs and heart pick up these fatty acids, break them apart, and use the energy stored in the bonds to execute their activities. The scraps that remain are discarded as part of respiration, in the outgoing carbon dioxide, or in urine. This leaves the fat cell empty and renders it useless. The cells actually have a short lifespan so when they die the body absorbs the empty cast and doesn’t replace them. Over time, the body directly extracts the energy (i.e., calories) from food to the organs that need them instead of storing it first.

As a result, the body readjusts by decreasing the number and size of fat cells, which subsequently improves baseline metabolism, decreases inflammation, treats disease, and prolongs lives. If we maintain this situation over time, the body reabsorbs the extra empty fat cells and discards them as waste, leaving us leaner and healthier. …”

David Prologo is an associate professor in the department of radiology and imaging sciences at Emory University. …More

Parts is parts no matter where the mass derived energy or calories come from, stored adipose TAG’s or protein from body parts?


(Gregory - You can teach an old dog new tricks.) #81

What part of " discarded " is confusing you?