Is the “too much protein turns to sugar” a myth?

(Peter groth) #122

It might well do BUT what if you were to do a few weight sessions per week?wouldnt this utilise excess protein for building and repair ?
Just throwing my two bobs worth in👍

(Bunny) #123

Really good points made and now more pursuaded by what your discussing is demand driven rather than supply driven. :+1:

I think the differences in what is being discussed here is when a person is first starting a ketogenic diet and the issue of limiting the protein intake when specifically trying to lose weight and take into consideration the increase in lean muscle mass in contrast to a person who has been doing the ketogenic diet long-term (fat-adapted) is going to need the extra type of glucose (to store as glycogen) any way (because the brain might need it?), especially while fasting. Amy Berger really nails it on the head with the entire issue (problem solved):

”…And if the hormonal state is primed to make GNG happen, you better be damn glad it does happen. See, this is what keeps us alive when we fast, or pretty much just on a very low carb or even zero carb diet. If you’re eating close to zero carbohydrate—which is very much possible—your liver and muscles will still have glycogen, but where did that glycogen come from, if you’re not eating any carbs? It had to come from other things being turned into glucose, and then stored as glycogen. Thank goodness for GNG, eh? If GNG didn’t happen on a low carb diet, not only would you not be able to exercise, but you would also probably straight-up die …” “…Don’t confuse a rise in blood glucose with gluconeogenesis. Protein we eat doesn’t automatically and instantaneously become glucose. News flash: as stated earlier, the amino acids leucine and lysine cannot be converted into glucose. They are “ketogenic amino acids,” because they can be converted into ketones, but not glucose. Does that mean you should run to your favorite supplement shop and get a bunch of leucine and lysine in order to boost your ketone levels? No . Because these aren’t automatically converted into ketones— in the same way that the glucogenic amino acids are not automatically converted into glucose. …” More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Protein & Gluconeogenesis

(David Brown) #124

I’m not sure where i stand on this. i often watch competitive body builders consuming vast, and i mean vast amounts of protein during a cutting diet and they get to 6% body fat no problem.

on the other hand we’re told a calorie is a calorie and if you over consume any calories you’ll get fat.

personally I’ve found that a big steak knocks me straight out of ketosis. well, 1.8 to 0.2. it doesn’t bother me as my body fat is falling off

(Allie) #125

It is well known though that the more muscle mass you have and the more you use those muscles, the more protein your body will need / use effectively. I don’t think many of us on regular keto diets can compare ourselves to people competing at that kind of level.

(Jane) #126


(David Brown) #127

i appreciate what you’re saying but grams of protein per gram of lean mass is the same for all of us no matter how much muscle you have. these guys are going 1 to 1.5 grams per pound. imagine the shopping bill.

imo that amount of protein is excessive, even for a pro bodybuilder. but they dont get fat.

personally i think protein is over eaten by most of us.

(Doug) #128

Thanks, Bunny. :slightly_smiling_face:

This is a great thread; going over and over this stuff - maybe I’ll remember more of it in the future.

In the end, I think one’s context of being keto or not has huge impact - due to the profoudly different levels and ratios of insulin and glucagon. Yet I’m not convinced that’s the end of the matter.

If one eats more protein than they can absorb, I see two situations, regardless of one’s way of eating. One is where the body has adequate calories/energy overall, no shortfall perceived. The body does not need to make more sugar at this point.

The other situation is where even with excess protein, overall calories/energy are low enough that the body thinks it needs more. The body is then thinking, in effect, "Okay, I’ve got this extra protein, might as well make glucose from the excess amino acids that can be converted into it. If not, I’m just going to break them down and excrete them anyway.

I wonder, too, if some of the “protein turns to sugar” thing comes from the insulin/glucagon action. I often think of insulin in terms of blood sugar, but it also increases the rate of amino acid movement into some tissues - a response to eating protein. The insulin isn’t selective, so it’s going to be taking some sugar out of the blood at the same time. Even with eating ketogenically, that’s going to result in some glucagon secretion which will increase the rate of sugar production in the liver. Not a direct turning of protein into sugar, but the result is a little more sugar, overall.

(Bunny) #129

See what I just posted here by Professor Roger Unger that Amy Berger recommends watching concerning “glucagon and insulin working in concert to regulate BG,“…it blew her mind several times.” That says a lot?

(CharleyD) #130

Yep, my money’s on it’s the coincidental rise in BG when Glucagon is raised due to a protein meal.

(Bunny) #131

Interesting that glucagon is also secreted and manufactured/produced by gastric a-cells in the stomach!

Insulin b-cells seem to only be found on the pancreas!

(CharleyD) #132

Yep I had heard that. Anyone know of an evolutionary reason why that might be?

Would it be because we’re designed or evolved to eat a glucagon dominant WOE?

(Doug) #133

Makes total sense to me. For sure, we’re not designed to eat as much stuff that rapidly stimulates insulin as many of us do.

(Bunny) #134

You know it is kind of peculiar that no one ever really brings this to the forefront; this other independent source of glucagon, independent of the pancreas and insulin-b cells; that really blows my mind!

…and is there differences in how IGF-1 interacts with glucagon on BG when no insulin is in the mix?

This scientist (Anssi H. Manninen) here really sums up the equation:

Metabolic Effects of the Very-Low-Carbohydrate Diets: Misunderstood “Villains” of Human Metabolism “…Contrary to popular belief, insulin is not needed for glucose uptake and utilization in man. Finally, both muscle fat and carbohydrate burn in an amino acid flame. …”

(Wendy) #135

I’m eating lunch and I’m having trouble finishing one chicken thigh today. I had breakfast and that makes a difference for me. But I have room for my small Greek Yogurt.:laughing:

(Bunny) #136

What if, let’s say those pancreatic insulin b-cells are their as a backup only so our blood glucose consistency does not become Karo Corn Syrup but by design were meant to handle a large dose of fructose from fruit, not man made sugars and processed carbohydrates; thus those insulin b-cells were not designed by nature to be used all the time or to handle that amount (SAD diet) of in-organic matter?

(CharleyD) #137

Sounds good to me. Remember that fructose goes pretty quickly to abdominal fat. As it should, if evolutionarily we’re to pack on fat in the summer and fall to ward of starvation in the winter or dry season.

And that visceral fat is the first or easiest to be burned once carbs are subsequently restricted.

At the moment I would agree with that. Otherwise there would not be T2DM and then b-cell burnout. If they could handle an unlimited sugar challenge, then we’d be fine until death from old age.

(Bunny) #138

One other little thing that is kind of bothering me that could be possible?

We have some of the fructose being stored as glycogen and fat of course, and some possibly being used by the brain but what about left overs (glucose), where does that go if insulin is overwhelmed (is that possible)? If “… insulin is not needed for glucose uptake …” ???

(CharleyD) #139

Fructose is almost completely metabolized in the liver. Shouldn’t worry about any leftovers. Which could be the main problem, as TAG spills over as ectopic/visceral fat.

Under one percent of ingested fructose is directly converted to plasma triglyceride.[2] 29% - 54% of fructose is converted in liver to glucose, and about quarter of fructose is converted to lactate. 15% - 18% is converted to glycogen.[3] Glucose and lactate are then used normally as energy to fuel cells all over the body.[2]

(CharleyD) #140

Oh, leftovers as in glucose. Well, we know where it goes, interstitial space when all the cellular capacity for glucose uptake is maxed out. Then you have glaucoma, cataracts, gangrene and neuropathy in extremities, etc.

At the end, ectopic fat in the b-cells, and they strangulate and can’t eject insulin.

(Bunny) #141

And maybe something like this too: