Fire in a Bottle - The ROS Theory of Obesity and The Proton Theory



So I did some additional reading, also on r/saturatedfat, and I do have to say I’m a little disappointed - it seems that barely anyone can replicate Brad’s results. It’s mostly “well, I haven’t lost any weight, I did lose some belly fat, but at least I haven’t gained any weight.” I have no idea what and how they are eating, and since I am a control freak, I decided to track my husband’s diet and keep it as clean as possible. Almost two years of keto have taught me that you have to keep the ingredients clean and simple, everything else leads to weight gain.
I will keep his macros at 125g of protein, 100g of carbs and 100g of fat, of which at least 50% has to be SFA. We will track everything and adjust as we go along. I haven’t been able to find food-grade stearic acid, so I will mostly use butter and beef fat and I’ll see how he will feel with cacao butter. I found some great filo (flour+water) and puff pastry(flour+butter) dough, a garlic butter baguette and butter croissants.

I removed EVOO and on chicken and pork days, I will choose breast and tenderloin, the leanest cuts.

(PJ) #162

I think that Brad indicated was trying to avoid people saying “oh but it only works because of X” and that was one of the reasons he chose to intentionally use processed grain carbs as part of the diet. (That, and he’s a french chef, so of course he chose a non-sugar french pastry lol.)

But I feel like that also creates problems because maybe people who have metabolic issues Brad does not have – and let’s be honest, most people who go keto, do so for bodyfat or blood sugar reasons – will be screwed up by the carb factor of the diet.

Why not be lowcarb – not keto, but lowcarb, which for most people is about 35 a day sometimes a few more – and high sat, and see if that works?


My husband isn’t like me, he can’t just stop eating foods that he likes. I’ve been on keto for almost two years, he starts whining and moaning after two weeks. He believes that cheat meals are a good thing and then they continue on until he goes back to old diets. I have this eternal struggle of telling him what to eat vs “he’s an adult, he can make his own choices.” I have yet to find something sustainable and I am willing to test this with WoE on his body.
He’s fully aware of what is going on and we will adjust as we go along.

I’m different than him and it took me a long time to stop complaining about his eating. He thinks that he can control his “craving” and cheat, I tried to explain it to him that he can’t, but he just doesn’t (want to?) understand me.

He had his first TCD dinner last night, I’m wondering how his hunger levels will be…

(Bunny) #164

Some other things that are interesting about the ketogenic diet which I think has little to do with type of fat eaten or stored in the human body (fat is fat and is stored food and will be oxidized), is that it is creating new mitochondria in the brain[1] (BDNF- factors), more specifically in the structure area of the hippocampus, as well as other parts of the body like producing more iron rich mitochondria surrounding fat cells and inside the quick twitch muscle fibers especially in the gluteus maximus which affects all the other muscles in the body as if it we’re conducting an orchestra?

It seems like the more mitochondria you have or the bigger your mitochondrial cristae are (shaped like a ball or long and oval?), the more efficiently you burn body fat or oxidize carbohydrates before they are stored as fat (lipid droplets in fat cells)? Fat burning and it’s byproducts (ketones) seem to enhance longevity and make more iron rich mitochondria through-out the entire body because the human body was originally intended to be powered on plant matter (in my opinion; the deeper science says so) which has more to do with the external environment the mitochondria are exposed to like atmospheric pressure, the earths electromagnetic field and cosmic radiation exposure time; when these elements in nature are reduced or magnified out synchronized homeostasis; the more meat and fat you need to eat to survive under current conditions.


I thought this was interesting on the mitochondrial level:

[1] “…Content of SOD2 has increased in the livers of mice fed a ketogenic diet (% energy: 89 fat, <1 carbohydrate, and 10 protein), which occurred in conjunction with increased median lifespan and decreases in tumors and age-associated losses of physical and cognitive performance [36]. In addition, activity of GCL and the protein content of its two subunits increased in the hippocampal homogenate of rats fed a ketogenic diet (Bio-Serv F3666) for 3 weeks [97]. This was in conjunction with higher levels of reduced glutathione (GSH) and lower ROS production in hippocampal mitochondria. The ketogenic diet also increased resistance to mtDNA damage in hippocampal mitochondria exposed to H2O2 [97]. Consistent with these results, total antioxidant capacity and activities of GPx and catalase were increased in hippocampal homogenate of rats fed a ketogenic diet (% energy: 86 fat, <1 carbohydrate, and 13 protein) for 8 weeks [98]. Furthermore, in cortical homogenate of rats induced with traumatic brain injury, a ketogenic diet increased cytosolic and mitochondrial protein contents of NAD§H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) and SOD1, as well as mitochondrial protein content of SOD2, and also prevented mitochondrial oxidative damage (indicated by 4-HNE) [99]. …” …More


Just a tiny update on my husband’s TCD trial. I couldn’t find any food-grade stearic acid and he could taste cacao butter in other foods, so it could be that you really do need stearic acid for this test.
We tried for 5 days and we failed miserably - he was constantly hungry, he just couldn’t stop eating. I set up macros as 125g of protein, 100g of carbs and 100g of fat, carbs:fat were 1:1 in grams, usually SFA were around 60-70% of the fat content and we used butter, white flour, white rice and regular pasta. He woke up starving, he had to eat at work, he ate as soon as he came back home, we had dinner together and he was still hungry by bed time. We decided to stop and go back to how he ate before.

(Anne Brodie) #166

I appreciate you giving this update. I’m eager to know more about this whole theory, particularly since the guy originally doing it said he had results and yet seems to not be following his own plan. I have so far only tried cacoa butter in coffee and sometimes it seems satiating and other times not. Would like to hear updates from others on this, especially those who were experiencing great satiation with the stearic acid added to butter.


Of course, we need to share failure, as well. :slight_smile:
The more comments I read, the less faith I had - the majority just couldn’t replicate Brad’s results. Maybe we ended the trial too quickly as I really wanted this to work, but he was so miserable and hungry.
Maybe stearic acid the the key component, hopefully I’ll find it someday and we can try again.

(Ellenor Bjornsdottir (spare me thy resistant starch spiel)) #168


AHAHAHAHA! I think midichlorian is a misspelling of mitochondrion.

(PJ) #169

So, the dude who “translated for the layman” the proton theory, into Fire in a Bottle website, said that the reason – this is only reason he listed – that he included starch etc. in his experiment, was so that people could not argue that any benefits were a result of a low-carb eating plan.

The confusing thing to me is that then, a ton of people followed this, and him leading, into going, “Great, let’s eat the unsweetened french pastry diet!”

This… was not supposed to be the point, as he initially described it.

That was merely to rule out a certain variable being used to invalidate his test.

It was only to clarify that ROS generation via satfats – like stearic acid – in sufficient quantity – had a certain result.

I would expect that a person would still be eating at least “low-carb” (<50ecc) if not “keto” (<20ecc) and simply focus on or add-in the satfat element to it.

I would not expect that anybody who has a health issue or damaged metabolism would be likely to benefit from eating the kind of diet he used in his experiment. He is a french chef. He wanted to use a base he knows well. That does not mean “the pastry diet” is a good diet, in my opinion.

It may be improved by sufficient stearic acid.

It may at least for some people not affected by the rest of the dietary content, even be redeemed by sufficient stearic acid.

But that was to prove a point, initially. It was not to suggest that a pastry diet is ideal.

I think if people eat a reasonable diet AND emphasize the satfat element – which happens purely by accident for most full/near- carnivores who like red meat it seems – would probably have a better result.

To me, the pastry diet is like people in the LC/KETO world who talk about eating 100 carbs a day, or high carbs on weekends. If it doesn’t bother them, if they still do well, awesome, that works for them! But chances are if it does, it’s because their metabolism is not so whacked as many who begin keto, or they have corrected it somewhat, or they are getting a lot of exercise, or they have a really good body-repletion of nutrients as a base, or really ideal genetics, or (insert another million possibilities here).

Most people who “need” to keto (as opposed to merely want to) have a gradual lifetime of metabolic damage, and don’t have the same tolerance/bandwidth for those things that others like athletes might.

So @Meerkatsandy I’d like to see how it worked if you were keeping your husband on the same quality, healthy diet you already had him on prior – which I assume is LC or keto given you are here – but just focus on the satfats, whether that means making some fatbombs from tallow, cocoa butter and stearic acid (an experiment I have coming up before long here), or cooking everything in tallow (btw I was surprised that everything including eggs are quite good in that), or focusing on a lot more grass-fed red meat (with good butter or something) than fish/poultry… whatever. I think it would be a more reasonable approach if improving his health is the primary goal.

(Kristen Ann) #170

Wasn’t the fire in the bottle guy drinking red wine with his meals? Isn’t red wine a strong antioxidant… and I would think that could screw up the ROS theory. I thought I saw a post where he said avoid taking antioxidants with the sat fat…

Anyway, I don’t think I saw a benefit from eating a ton of cocoa butter. Hard to say though. I was losing weight before the cocoa butter, during, and after. I’m no longer using it.

(PJ) #171

Fortunately, I like cocoa butter for the so far sole use I put it to, and the tallow is lovely used in food/cooking. I have some stearic acid I haven’t even tried, but might add some to a fat bomb or something before long just out of curiosity (and that it might make them harder at room temp which would be useful).

I have only focused on it a few meals. They were very filling for me for a long time, but that is not to say that some entirely different kind of fat used alternatively would not have been equally filling.

The main alleged potential benefit, I’m not sure is measurable, that being, whether or not the fat cells ‘independently chose to be resistant to taking in more fat.’ The idea is that if they are, then that fat wanders your bloodstream for longer, the assumption is that this results in being satiated longer. I suspect however that is ONE of the results but possibly not the only one.

Maybe the body just used more energy for thing-X right then (internally) so it’s not noticed. Or maybe it has to be SO MUCH fat involved in order to reach “cognitive level” for most people that lower levels simply go under the radar. Maybe other options.

In the end, I’m glad I stumbled on it, if for no other reason to gear my fats more toward satfats and to teach me something about the fats in modern chicken/pigs, because I did not know that. It makes me feel a focus on red meat is probably more important for me. I suspect I have a huge amount of stored PUFA, so consistent work toward resolving that (aside from just ‘weight loss’) is probably good.


I am on keto and I have since removed the majority of PUFA sources for my testing - no more EVOO+avocado and 90% of my meat is beef, the rest is pork tenderloin and chicken breasts, I only use butter and beef fat from my bone broth, I eat eggs and sardines. We never used fat bombs and I had no way of incorporating those into his diet.
The basis of his experiment is SFA vs PUFAs and the only way I could test this is by placing my husband on Brad’s TCD. Brad described the diet in detail, although he didn’t calculate macros and ate at libidum. My husband eats our cooking at home (meats, EVOO, butter, veggies), but he loves his nuts, he eat regular food in restaurants and cheats often. His PUFA intake is much higher than mine, so I hoped that we could see some better results and that this WOE would be more sustainable.
I understood his posts as an approachable diet for those who find keto too restrictive. Brad ate the french way - white bread, croissants, potatoes and other starches, so basically mimicking a regular diet. Omega 6, very high in vegetable oils, are the “reason” Americans are getting fat.
I read the posts on reddit, some said that this TCD should be approached with the use of starches and Brad based the TCD diet on white starches. You can have pizza, just eat all the cheese, if you want a burger, have the bread but without sauces, etc… And for testing purposes, I decided to do the same - white bread (I couldn’t believe how difficult is was to find bread without vegetable oil), white flour products and potatoes.
This is what my husband ate for the week:

  1. All-butter croissant, 15g butter and 50g cheese
  2. Filo pastry+meat “pie” - filo pastry (white flour, water) with ground beef, cheese, kajmak (balkan spread of cream, milk fats and salt) and mushrooms.
  3. Beef with gorgonzola cheese sauce and mashed potatoes (200g of potatoes, 30g butter and 100g of sour cream - 40g carbs, 42.5g fat (24.5g SFA)
  4. 56g white-flour pasta, 30g butter, 50g parmesan cheese with chicken breast - 46g carbs, 46g fat (22.8 SFA)

He was miserable, he was constantly hungry, overate…I hoped that he would find this WOE would suit him better and it would make my life easier, as well. :wink:

There can be so many reasons why we “failed” - too short of a trial, no butteroil (Brad’s recipe), my husband’s deranged metabolism, etc.

I did remove more PUFAs from his diet (nuts are off-limits and he will be forbidden from eating certain items in restaurants ;)) but the point of the experiment is to try Brad’s way of eating. The reddit group does it the same, so for testing purposes I added starches. I am in no way arguing ROS theory, I just tested Brad’s WoE as described on his blog.

The one good thing that came out of this experiment - my husband finally understood that he isn’t invincible, he does have issues with foods. :wink:

Keto is approachable to me, I’m histamine intolerant with basic and clean ingredients, but some people can’t eat that way and my husband is one of them. I can’t change him all the way, he’s a grown man.

(PJ) #173

What hub’s protein level? If my protein is high enough (30%, sometimes a bit more) I am just not hungry, assuming I’m eating any fats at all as well.

Starches and fructose make me hungry like a ravenous hyena. I had a problem with anorexia (no appetite, not the psych condition) for medical reasons for many years. I used to eat a piece of toast with a tiny bit of jam on it and I’d be eating like crazy all day, it was the one way I had to “force” my appetite. If I ate a diet starch based… I couldn’t do it. I’d be hungry all the time.


I set his macro to 125g and he ate about the same amount of protein as he usually does.
TCD didn’t work for him, you would probably have the same experience as he did - constant hunger.
I really hoped that this would work for him, simply because he doesn’t have enough strength in him to realize that he can’t eat everything in moderation, it just doesn’t work. He thinks that he can, but he can’t. :wink:
He felt the effects of higher carbs and I hope that those feelings will remind him to back off certain food choices.

(PJ) #175

Yeah, I totally get it. Most people I know eating lowcarb can’t eat >50 or they get cravings. That used to be true for me true but something has shifted a little I think. Either I am better fat adapted or gradual menopause is having some other invisibly byzantine effect.


We are all so different, like you said, who knows what sets off who. :wink:
In Slovenia, all heavy-industry factories/companies have their own canteens and my husband’s company opened a new one last week. Before, they would get their monthly food allowance added to their paycheck and they would order their own lunches, if they wanted. Now they gave them an option of choosing lunch at the cafeteria + 4.40€/day added to their paycheck or they get nothing if they don’t eat at work. :woman_facepalming: Lunches are just as we expected - 3 options with meat+carbs and 1 vegetarian. :wink: He decided to try a test of eating his lunch at work+dinner at home and get the “smartest” option. So far, he’s been able to replace rice and potatoes with veggies or a larger salad and he’s been feeling good. :slight_smile:


I wrote down our results in r/saturatedfat subreddit and had some interesting replies that made me think. One user said that his satiety varies greatly day by day, he hasn’t been able to put his finger on what causes what.
User fireinabottle (maybe Brad?) mentioned that our fat is mostly PUFAs and both ingested SFA and our own fats enter the mitochondria, so that might be affecting satiety. It makes sense, but since he ate 500 times per day, I doubt his high insulin levels allowed him to access his own fat stores? One user found a food-grade stearic acid link that delivers to Slovenia, so we will might repeat the test again with stearic acid.

He’s been feeling much better, he eats lunch at work and dinner at home, so we will see where this leads.

(Ivan ) #178

Well I tried this out and have to say the results are great. I’ve been on keto for months, but removing as much PUFA as possible and replacing it with SFA. Ive lost additional bodyfat, mostly around the abdomen, have way more energy, im warmer, and can tolerate hunger/fasting even easier.

My wife has similar results altho she is more lax than me. Kind of the opposite of Meerkatsandy and her husband. :sweat_smile:

There is apperantly something to this theory, so I will be continuing it for the time being.

(PJ) #179

Glad to hear it! Thanks for adding to the thread, Ivan.

(Anne Brodie) #180

I have been wondering if people are having success with this, as the concept became quickly popular and then I didn’t hear much more about it. Thanks for sharing your experience. In addition to removing/replacing the PUFA, did you also add starch? My understanding is that Brad Marshall added the starch to show that the benefits will be seen regardless of carbs, and that PUFAs are the real focus here. But I haven’t heard much follow up on this topic.