Disappointed in Low Carb gurus and covid-19 (and the Dunning-Kruger effect)



Skeptic: A person inclined to question or doubt all accepted opinions.

While I don’t think anyone is skeptical all of the time – especially of their own opinions – there are people who tend to question statements, opinions, and conclusions. I’m sure you know people like that.

Cynic: A person who believes that people are motivated purely by self-interest rather than acting for honorable reasons.

I like that definition, but here’s one from the Free Dictionary that goes more to the point:

Cynic: A person whose outlook is scornfully and often habitually negative.

(bulkbiker) #62

Without some examples I don’t think your point is very valid.

Some people here have had a pop at Ivor Cummins although the guests he has had on his podcast have been of the highest calibre so I guess like everyone we should choose our “experts” wisely.

(Give me bacon, or give me death.) #63

Our commitment on this site is to following the highest-quality data wherever they may happen to lead, like it or not. I personally would value a serious critique of the data presented by some of the luminaries.

For example, Chris Masterjohn presented a blog post early on, discussing the behaviour of the virus and coming to some conclusions that are contrary to the usual advice on these forums. I am not competent to critique Professor Masterjohn’s data or his conclusions, which certainly appeared to be well-reasoned. Anyone wishing to criticise his data or his conclusions is welcome to do so, but I for one would be grateful if people would would actually discuss his data and his logic, rather than simply dismissing his expertise. And since that blog post was issued a while ago, it is entirely possible that the situation might now look quite a bit different—to him and to us—from how it did back then. That is science.

As another example, Gabor Erdosi stated in correspondence a while ago that his belief at the time was that the best approach was to eat a ketogenic diet before infection, in order to strengthen the immune system, but to switch to higher carbohydrate intake after infection, in order to fight the virus. (And then presumably back to keto after the infection is over, though I may be putting words in his mouth, here.) Professor Erdosi may very well have changed his opinion as more data have come to light. That is science.

The short paper cited in Consistency’s latest post seems reasonable, and the data are certainly interesting. There does appear to be a somewhat increased risk according to blood type, but if I am reading the article properly, that risk doesn’t seem to rise to serious clinical significance. It is definitely something to bear in mind as a possible problem when treating patients, but just how serious is the risk, when you get right down to it? I don’t see that this paper justifies categorical statements that blood type determines success or failure at fighting off the coronavirus, at least not at this point in our knowledge. Additional data could very well show that (a) blood type is of no concern whatsoever, or (b) blood type is a serious determinant of response to COVID-19. The point is that we don’t know yet, and we may or may not ever know, but that doesn’t mean that the author’s contribution is of no value. That is science.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #64

6 months on, there is no debate that the primary victims of this particular virus are the elderly, mostly confined to care facilities, and immunocompromised with multiple comorbidities, mostly metabolic related. Yes @gabe those are ‘selectively targeted vulnerable groups’ whether you want to see it or not.

If you want to protect yourself from COVID-19, stay on keto and remain metabolically healthy. If you want to pretend COVID-19 is an arbitrary act of god, pray it passes you by.

(Gregory - You can teach an old dog new tricks.) #65

They are assumed to be healthy because they tested positive, and they didn’t look any further…

We know there are countless people walking around with un-diagnosed CVD, T2D and hypertension.

Not to mention obesity, which they seem to ignore in young people, and still call them healthy.

How many times have you seen them throw up a picture of a " healthy young person " who died of covid19, and they resemble Tweedle Dee or his brother…

(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #66

Competitive cyclist, health-obsessed Sydney doctor. 50 years old. Got COVID. Now he has a new heart condition, new onset epilepsy, and who the hell knows what else. Now he is never allowed to exercise or drive a car again.

I’m sure there will be those on this board who say that this is mere anecdote, and perhaps that he was susceptible because he ate carbs. They can go on believing that. Meanwhile, I’m staying home till we know more. The wisest course, imho, is to avoid this scourge at almost all costs.

(Edith) #67

I’m pretty healthy. I’m at a good weight. I don’t have any autoimmune diseases or other risk factors. I’m not willing to put myself in harms way for several reasons. 1) I won’t know until after I get sick if I will be one of the ones who has a mild case, gets long lasting after effects, or dies. 2) I have aged, ailing parents whom I visit. I don’t want to risk bringing the virus to them. 3) I have a five month old granddaughter I don’t want to infect.

I really don’t think there are guarantees no matter who you are and how you take care of yourself and I’m not willing to use myself as a guinea pig to find out.

There was a 30 year old in the news who died from coronavirus after attending a Covid party. He or she told the nurse before his or her death, “I think I made a mistake.” I don’t want that to me me or a family member because of me.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #68

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #69


(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #70

And for anyone who really likes to play with numbers:

(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #71

This analysis might have been interesting a few months ago. We are now no longer talking about only fatality rates. We are now concerned about how this disease maims people for life.

We do not have enough data. Precautionary principle = smartest approach. You can gamble your organs on dinner or a coffee if you like; I’m staying home for now.


We don’t yet have full information on the effects of COVID but the problem is that we also don’t have enough data on the long-term health effects of shutdowns.


yes, I’ve seen a lot of this. Also a lot of “I’m healthy, I run marathons, I’ve been a vegetarian for 20 years!”

I don’t mean to minimize the devastating effects for folks who get COVID. We have at least one on this forum, and it’s been no fun for her at all. But we know that insulin resistance is widespread, and that industrial seed oils are devastating to human health. Even by the most conservative estimates, COVID morbidity and hospitalization have a very high correlation with other health conditions, and it’s impossible to know what percentage of the others are in fact compromised (seed oils, insulin resistance) in ways that hadn’t yet been diagnosed.

This isn’t to minimize the devastation to those people! I just think that we should shift the conversation to “how do we protect the vulnerable, and how do we make them less vulnerable” rather than “everyone freak out! if you have contact with another human, you might DIE!”

I work with young people, and the rates of depression - suicidal in some cases - are horrifying. Humans are not designed for long-term isolation.

(Edith) #74

We have two teenagers. A month or so ago the news was discussing “quarantine fatigue.” I said to my husband, “I’m fine for myself. I have keeping-my-teenagers-quarantined fatigue.” We pretty much gave up. We now just ask them to stick to small groups and not eat in restaurants. Letting them get together with friends helps a lot in their willingness to keep other activities to a minimum.

(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #75

I hear you guys, but these kinds of attitudes are precisely why you get devastating 2nd and 3rd waves. People think it’s over, or wish it were over, and they get complacent. History repeats. I probably don’t need to remind you about the history of the Spanish Flu.

We are nowhere near the end of this. We are at the very beginning. The global death rate is currently 6% of closed confirmed cases; that may change, but it doesn’t even begin to take into account the long-term health consequences on those who survive.

It’s hard to overstate how these economic concerns will simply be dwarfed by the scale of human misery if this thing continues on its expected trajectory. You’re worried about the psychological and economic effects of shutdowns? Well try to imagine billions of people infected, the millions of dead bodies, and the untold tens or hundreds of millions of people maimed.

I think people fail to take into account the sheer scale of this thing. I’m sorry, I just profoundly disagree with the “it’ll be right mate” attitude, especially amongst people who believe that their excellent diet somehow protects them from a disease about which we barely know anything.

(Edith) #76

The problem is that closing down the economy poses its own threat. Shutting down economies and pushing many people into poverty comes with other health risks. I think there is a fine line between protecting people from the coronavirus and causing an increase in mortality due to health problems that could have otherwise been prevented.

When Greece was forced to do their austerity measures, all cause mortality increased, including infant mortality. I do believe that the Greek austerity measures have a lot of similarities to economic shutdowns due to Covid in part due to massive unemployment.


(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #77

Sorry Edith, but these pale in comparison with a pandemic like Covid or the 1918-19 Flu. It’s just of a totally different magnitude.

(Give me bacon, or give me death.) #78

There are probably no ideal solutions here. The main concern has been to avoid overwhelming the hospital system with patients it can’t handle. It would certainly also be a blow to a nation’s health to have patients stacked in hospital corridors and dead bodies lying around in great quantity. Those are the fears that motivate my sister, who is a public health worker at an international aid organisation. The idea is that the shutdown’s effects have to be less than the massive-illness-and-death scenario. Forgive me if I seem to be over-exaggerating here; my perception of these things has been shaped by the childhood experience of reminiscences by family members of the influenza epidemic a century ago. That epidemic was a terrifying experience for those who lived through it, and it left gaping holes in the family that were still being mourned, forty years later.

(Edith) #79

Nope. I don’t believe you are over exaggerating. Unfortunately, the world is just sooooo complicated. No decision is going to come without costs.

I do recall the idea of shutting down was to keep hospitals from getting overwhelmed not to necessarily keep people from getting sick. Flattening the curve does not mean fewer cases over all. It does hopefully mean fewer deaths because hospitals can keep up and provide quality care.

(Give me bacon, or give me death.) #80

Well, that is certainly the hope. We won’t know till we see how it all works out, unfortunately.