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

(CharleyD) #142

During insulin resistance, and being hyperinsulinemic, your serum glucose is going to be high. That extra high concentration of glucose is going to be glycating proteins like crazy and taxing your antioxidant capacity.

Yes, bad things happen when you are hyperinsulinemic, and insulin is a pro-growth or anabolic hormone, but I would attribute more jeopardy from the constant hyperglycemia.

(Bunny) #143

Taking into consideration the high blood glucose serum levels and glycation makes me more suspicious about the early onset of pathologies related to high glucose intake that you described but with the modern technology we have at our disposal; is that really giving us an accurate analysis of the entire picture? In other words even if everything appears to be normal at the time of a routine blood panel could there still be excessive glucose floating around in the blood stream from second to second, hour to hour as a routine hba1c (three-month average plasma glucose concentration) in theory is supposed to give us that info but is it really that accurate? The test is limited to a three-month average because the lifespan of a red blood cell is four months? What is a ‘normal/average’ analysis (hba1c) of a healthy high carb, high fat sugar burner compared to a healthy low carb, low fat sugar burner, compared to a healthy LCHF ketogenic dieter?


  1. Scientists question accuracy of HbA1c testing due to red blood cell age variability “…They found inaccuracies in the estimates of a third of these participants which could stem from individual variations in the lifespan of their red blood cells. …” “… The results revealed that the HbA1c test can lead to similar results for people having quite widely divergent blood sugar levels …”

(CharleyD) #144

I agree, HBA1C by its lonesome isn’t a good test.

On the SAD, you’ll have a decades-long run up to T2DM where you’re IR and hyperinsulinemic, which in the early years will keep your BG within the proper range, and therefore HBA1C will likely look pretty normal, too.

I’m thinking the only test that’ll get at the truth of matters will be a Kraft OGTT w/insulin.

(it's official - I'm forked) #145

By the same people who say a high-carb diet is good, tho.


I agree. Dr. Berg is a very prolific poster and gets a lot of good info out. However, he has some biases and vested interests that should be noted. He has been dead wrong about some things and called out with good references in the YouTube responses (which he must not read because he makes the same statements in subsequent posts). For the record he is a Chiropractor not an MD.

(it's official - I'm forked) #147

One of the many good things about Australia is that chiros are not allowed to call themselves “Dr,” they have to qualify it with with “of Chiropractic.” This avoids exactly this sort of deliberate confusion.

(David Brown) #148

same in uk too

(Sandra Lachance) #149

All food intake triggers an insulinic response, even pure fat. The difference is that pure fat insulinic response is so little that it’s barely discernable. For experimenting with myself, a very big protein intake (85 g or more in one sitting) kicks me momentarily slightly out of ketosis, but I’m back in less than two hours. When I do carnivore, my protein intake turns around 150 g per day. I’ve never noticed a drop in my average ketosis. The waves are just more dramatics, but same average aroung 2.5 over the day. I’ve never noticed any slowing in my weight loss either. The curves look the same, with moment faster and moment slower. So for me, I think that gluconeogenesis in on demand, whenever the body needs it. It makes ketosis safe and viable, it’s not his enemy.


The meat sweats!!! So it is a real thing! I never knew. I’ll have to apologize to my brother-in-law who swears that he gets them if he does the all-you-can-eat ribs.

(So much bacon . . . so little time . . .) #151

Bikman is a Ph.D., not an M.D., so of course he doesn’t have patients. But seeing patients doesn’t automatically qualify one as a reasearcher—though it doesn’t automatically dis-qualify one, either.

On the other hand Ted Naiman is an M.D. and does see patients, and he is firmly on Bikman’s side of the argument. I sometimes get the impression that Dr. Naiman is a bit careless about some of the statments he makes, but at least he backs them up with references to studies, and while I may quibble about details, his general message is correct.

I just found this video of Benjamin Bikman giving grand rounds at Timpanogos Regional Hospital in Utah, in which he discusses this very point:

(Sarah Larsen) #152

All I know was when my protein was a bit higher I couldn’t get into ketosis. My hormone doctor who has been doing Keto for 10 years told me to drop it down to 50-55g a day. I was more at 70-80. As soon as I did that… went right back into ketosis. :woman_shrugging:t2:

(So much bacon . . . so little time . . .) #153

That’s because protein does have an insulinogenic effect, about half that of carbohydrate, and too high a level of insulin does inhibit the production of ketone bodies by the liver. On the other hand, my understanding is that once we are fat-adapted, not producing ketones for a brief time is not really an issue.

Benjamin Bikman explains that in the presence of sufficient carbohydrate in the diet, the insulinogenic effect of protein is enormously greater; whereas in the absence of carbohydrate, the effect on insulin is minimal, and the effect on glucagon is significant. The resulting increas of the glucagon/insulin ratio is what makes the difference.


Interesting but turned it off after ten minutes of watching the guy in the green stuffing his face.

(So much bacon . . . so little time . . .) #155

Too bad. Most of the really interesting stuff comes later in the lecture. I’m afraid it’s in the nature of grand rounds that most such lectures have to be given at lunchtime, or none of the residents or interns would have time to attend.

(Bunny) #156

I am curious as to what the side argument was or is?

…or what thereof your referring too?

(Not a Chef) #157

Naiman is a protein leverage hypothesis guy. Pro protein.

(Nicole Sawchuk) #158

I am just curious though - does being in measurable ketosis make a difference? After 3 years on keto, I have trended over that time that my ketone levels have now dropped. I now only get high measurements on long fasts or when I eat straight coconut oil. But I recognize that my body is now efficiently using ketones better, therefore there is less waste and lower measurements. Doesn’t mean I am not in ketosis. I know I am because I can go so long without eating. I never get hangry and my blood glucose levels are low and steady.

I suppose if I was new to this and not fat adapted, lower ketone levels might be an issue.

(Brian Chandler) #159

I was wondering the same. I go between ~40 and ~80g of protein usually and have been doing VLCHF for a while now. The protein has not been an issue for me as far as staying in a ketogenic state. “excess”, as mentioned way up the chain, is ambiguous too, so how is excess being defined? From casual reading, I’m under the impression that it’s broken down and the leftover is excreted through urine or breath ketones if it wasn’t needed for muscle/organ maintenance/growth. I veer to the need/demand based for protein. If we don’t use it, we loose it, but again, I haven’t dug much into it much since it didn’t really affect me.

(TJ Borden) #160

I’m also wondering…and bear with me if this seems obscure, but I’m not sciencey so I do best with analogies:

Does protien act like our household budget. We have a target amount we need in order to pay the bills and keep the lights on.

In theory, when we get a bonus, we tell ourselves we’re going to save it, but when it comes, we end up paying a little extra on credit cards, maybe catch up on a bill that was a little behind (because last months income/protien intake was low), maybe making a larger than normal Costco run, maybe a home repair that wasn’t in the budget, etc…

We always find somewhere to use it and suddenly it didn’t feel like it was really excess at all, even though on paper, there should be an extra $1000 in savings right now.

Again, just a thought… thankfully being married for 15 years has made me not afraid to be complete wrong, so feel feee to blow the theory apart.


Ha! I have no idea if that’s scientifically valid but that analogy makes perfect sense to me. Well done sir.