165 – Ivor Cummins – Eat Rich Live Long

Ivor Cummins - Eat Rich Live Long
Ivor Cummins BE(Chem) CEng MIEI PMP®

Ivor Cummins BE(Chem) CEng MIEI is a chemical engineer and has since spent over 25 years in corporate technical leadership and management positions. He was shortlisted in 2015 as one of the top 6 of 500 applicants for “Irish Chartered Engineer of the Year”. Ivor has had a prolific career leading teams in complex problem-solving scenarios. He has often led worldwide teams with over 60-70 engineers working on major technical issues; the largest of these involved product issues where hundreds of millions of dollars were in the balance.

Several years ago, Ivor encountered a complex technical challenge in his personal life. Receiving poor blood test results, he was unable to get solutions from multiple doctors. He thus embarked on an intense period of biochemical research into the science of human metabolism. Within eight weeks he had resolved and optimized all of his blood test metrics and had shed over 33lb of body fat with relative ease.

In the following years he continued his research on the many “root causes” of modern disease, from “cholesterol” through to insulin resistance. In order to help stem the tide of chronic disease in our modern population, he embarked on a personal mission to share the science and solutions. He began this process by giving corporate talks and releasing them on YouTube for the wider audience. He has since become a professional speaker of note, giving many public lectures and chairing interviews with worldwide health experts. Most notably he was invited by the President of the British Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation (BACPR) to give a keynote talk on heart disease root causes at their annual conference in London in October 2017.

Ivor Cummins is the co-author of Eat Rich, Live Long Mastering the Low-Carb & Keto Spectrum for Weight Loss and Longevity ( Amazon US / Amazon UK ). I really enjoyed this book. It has an excellent scientific underpinning and some of the best high-fat low-carb recipes I’ve ever tasted!

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In this episode, we cover:

  • The lay challenge in analysing and interpreting scientific data
  • How to prevent and reverse Insulin Resistance and Metabolic Syndrome
  • The problems with simplistic advice like “fat loss is calories in vs calories out”
  • … and much, much more


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Comments 83

  • I’m really attracted to Ivor’s approach but I’m also wary of his hubris, the whole “well I’m a genius engineer” strikes me as quite pompous. Also there seems to be a degree of (unintentional?) filibustering, the level of verbiage sort of gets in the way of his point.

    What I want to know is, taking Ivor’s research as read; what are his actual recommendations? Of of the top of my head: How do I find out my relevant insulin status? Should one get a calcium scan? What does Ivor consider “Low carb”?

    Lawrence, well done on hitting the butcher instead of the supermarket! If you need any offal advice I’m your man.

    • Fair criticism. I would watch the presentations in the show notes to learn more about recommendations. This is good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1H889DhAYwc

      As per the podcast, it looks like the beef in the supermarket is grass-fed, since this is the default according to Ivor. It’s very confusing because the owner of my local butcher is quick to say that there’s is grass-fed and the supermarket is nowhere near the same quality, etc, etc. When it comes to buying ribeyes, I can pick up 2 for €6 (£5 / $4) vs the butchers are like twice that.

      • Still, Ivor’s recommendations are fairly broad and nebulous “don’t eat processed food” “avoid excess carbs” “don’t eat seed oils” “get plenty of vitamins” and he doesn’t really say what outcome you can expect other than your coronary artery calcification score will supposedly stabilise. The dietary advice is very similar to 90% of the “paleo-ish” crowd. With the greatest respect, he’s done an incredible amount of work but he’s not really bringing anything new to the table imho.

  • Very interesting guy. I will be getting his book. Hopefully, the book will addess some of the questions that I have. Some comments, observations, and questions follow:

    (1) He seems to be a very capable guy. However, it isn’t uncommon for people who have had professional success in one area to become overconfident about their ability to be successful in other areas. Also, he is still just one guy. And even if you start counting the other guru’s that he consults with, you still have a relatively small community people holding perhaps contrarian views. I, like most of your listeners, lack the time and skills to digest and understand the primary literature. So I still end up in the uncomfortable position of depending on someone else to digest and summarize a rather vast and complex body of information. How do I decide which experts I can really trust, especially if the consensus position of the medical community differs from the contrarians?

    (2) I assume that his approach to prevent/cure heart disease is a low carb, whole food diet. I have no problem with people recommending that kind of diet for weight loss. But when it comes to treating serious medical issues, what does the evidence in support of that kind of diet look like? Are there controlled interventional studies demonstrating the efficacy of dietary changes for a reduction in heart disease risk? If I am at high risk of heart disease, just how much risk reduction can I get with the recommended diet? How do I establish if the dietary changes I’ve made are enough? What is an acceptably low level for inflamation, and how do I monitor that over time?

    (3) He seemed very certain about the value of calcium scans. Since the test is fairly cheap, I wonder why it isn’t used or recommended more often?

    (4) How familiar is he with the medical research on Type 2 diabetes? I ask because the idea that the primary cause of T2 diabetes is insulin resistance might be in the process of becoming a dated one. (See https://www.medicographia.com/2011/07/%CE%B2-cell-dysfunction-vs-insulin-resistance-in-type-2-diabetes-the-eternal-chicken-and-egg-question/)

    I would imagine that mastering the literature on cholesterol and metabolic syndrome is difficult enough to do. To have also mastered the literature on diabetes would mean digesting an incredible amount of research material. At some point, the breadth of the topics has to exceed the grasp of even the most motivated and talented individual.

    (5) In all of this, we have the problem of unknown unknowns. Tomorrow, someone can publish a finding that throws all that we think we know into a different light. Consider the recent discovery that a previously unknown white blood cell mutation might actually be the root cause of heart disease in many people: (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/29/health/heart-disease-mutations-stem-cells.html) How does someone address this particular risk factor via diet?

    (6) His argument that low carb diets are safer in the modern era, because the population is already metabolically broken was certainly interesting. Perhaps if you live in an era of widespread food variety and abundance, with mostly sedentary lifestyles, it is a useful hack to cope life styles that are not congruent with your evolutionary heritage. Low carb is certainly more practical that trying to mimic life under conditions where period food shortages were common, and survival required significant physical activity every day. Then again, the explosion of obesity and diabetes is of fairly recent origins, within the last 100 years. It certainly did not coincide with the start of agriculture, or the end of the hunter gatherer life style.

    • re 3
      Watch the Widowmaker movie
      Of all people, HIT advocates shouldn’t be surprised that the optimal approach hasn’t been widely adopted!

      re 6
      Some suggest the explosion in obesity and diabetes is related to the introduction of the food pyramid guidelines with that big carbohydrate base in the early 70s.

      • Most physicians these days seem to like having data to drive their treatment decisions. So I’m surprised that a cheap test like this, if it could better identify high risk patients, wouldn’t be embraced quickly. It would be another way to sell treatments (drugs) to otherwise asymptomatic people. More likely it is resisted by insurance companies, or else there are concerns about generating too many false positive test results.

        As for the food pyramid: do you really think most people’s diets are strongly influenced by government recommendations? I think most of the issues with diets today are driven by free market innovations. Food engineers have gotten very good at creating tasty stuff that sells really well.

        • Regarding the food choices, I think it’s both: the palatable engineering of junk food combined with government influence. Although I’m starting to think the latter has less influence than many of us like to believe. Especially as taxes continue to increase on sugary goods, at least in the UK and Ireland.

          • Part of what happens is that food companies seize on a government recommendation, and then engineer around it to make the food as tasty and irresistible as possible, regardless of the nutritional consequences. We were told to cut fat, so they cut the fat in pastries, and load them up with sugar. If told to reduce saturated fat, then it is replaced by vegetable oils. It is still junk, but now can be marketed as nutritious, which makes the consumer feel better about indulging. I expect that one consequence of the anti-carb message is that you will see junk food engineered with lots of fat, seasonings and proteins, to make that as tasty as possible, regardless of the nutritional consequences.

        • Very goods points about the food pyramid and i’ve heard this nonsense parroted about how it’s responsible for obesity , OH PLEASE !

      • Once beliefs/ideologies become ingrained in people it’s virtually impossible to root them out . Beliefs/ideologies are probably the most dangerous things on the earth and those combined with the ego & self righteous indignation makes for an unstoppable force .

        • It’s very hard to change the way people think.

          I like to remind people I disagree with that at least one of us is wrong, and that it might be me.

          I really do think it might be me and want to be persuaded towards what’s true.

          That said, it’s harder to be persuaded on ideas and concepts I’ve been pushed towards by investigation and reasoning rather than just picked up without conscious reflection.

          Hence, I love the opportunity to meet new information and reasoning and maybe change the way I think.

    • Thanks Greg 🙂

      (1) Yep tough one. I have biochemical engineering degree and >25 years leading teams in complex multi-factor problem-solving efforts. I also have no commercial interest in certain answers being more desirable. But that’s not a guarantee that I’m broadly correct in this. However, I have an extensive network of PhD’s, researchers, MD’s, professors etc. and we are all broadly aligned. Not a guarantee either – but it ain’t “one guy”

      (2) Too big a question to unpack here – it would take a book – that’s why myself and Dr. Gerber wrote one !

      (3) Core answers on CAC “suppression” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSPcuGjstN4&t=108s
      World’s top expert on cardiology and scanning here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wNKD6ByHzs

      (4) Utterly obsessed with it for years. Around 2,000 related papers in my archive. Aligned in my views with countless docs and profs expert in the field…

      (5) Always evolving – but the countless studies already available mean we can be comfortab le in the core

      (6) Veg oils, refined carb and sugar are the catastrophic combo of the past century



      • Wow, David Bobbit spent £2M on that documentary? Nearly an hour of sob stories and narrative building plus the odd celebrity to say “stents are very profitable but CAC scans have greater potential to save lives”. Also Bobbit has my sympathy but he went on a rigorous diet and exercise regimen (which I assume means similar exercise to before and going “low carb”) and a year later his CAC was roughly the same. What does this tell us? It tells us that as always N=1 is useless. This is still anecdotal evidence even if it is using clinical data to try to lend support.

        • 🙂 Rather bizarre summary Andrew but I am strapped for time so just key Q’s:

          David always did the exercise, for decades before – it was mentioned as exercise is always part of helping out when issues arise. The diet change was the dramatic intervention – he later found out that he was diabetic, and that’s what drove his disease in the first place (he had followed a high carb / high “healthy” veg oil diet). So he went very low carb immediately, and fixed his newly-tracked advanced biomarkers (including PP glucose, insulin, lipoproteins, ratios and pretty much everything).

          He slowed his progression right down which is the crucial thing – e.g. see here:

          He has now achieved six years with stabilized disease – something orthodox medicine effectively says is impossible – also he has increased calcium density ahead of volume:


          • Thanks for the clarifications. I still think the doc was pretty devoid of informative content, I’m sure £2M could have been better invested. I see you’ve conveniently ignored the point about David being an N of 1. I understand that his stabilisation of his condition is fantastic and apparently unprecedented but we’ve nothing to compare it to, how do we know that it wouldn’t have remained stable without dietary intervention?a properly controlled clinical trial would tell us a great deal more although I do understand the extreme difficulty involved in getting that process underway!

            • Addressed in Heinz-Nixdorf and many other studies – “Progression of coronary artery calcification seems to be inevitable, but predictable”
              – this is just the way it is, for people who don’t deploy the correct nutritional interventions – fact of life….until they proceed to have their heart attack (!).
              Many others besides David are stopping their progression, in contradiction of Heinz-Nixdorf etc. – brave new world !

              • Again thanks for the time take to answer me considering my apparent tone! I’m really interested as like many others my existence has contained both ends of the health spectrum. Starting with many years of obesity and sedentary life coupled with heavy smoking. Now healthy BMI, “very fit”, highish muscle mass, lowish (30%) carb “primal” type diet, regular fasting etc. Like many others I’m seeking to undo the potential years of damage, with so many “gurus” online it’s hard to decide what’s the right course of action! I’m just glad I’m only 34, if I’d have gone on that way into my 40’s I think it could have been a whole lot worse.

      • Ivor, could you take a min to address some of my thoughts? I find the focus on insulin as a single factor confusing. I understand that if someone is over consuming carbs throughout the day (in excess of metabolic needs) at regular intervals then hyperinsulinemia may be a consequence with all the negative health outcomes that would entail and so you recommend “low carb” but what is low carb by your definition? If someone is metabolically healthy, exercising regularly, of a healthy weight and insulin sensitive then what level of carbohydrate intake can they “get away with”? Literally millions of people eat carbohydrates 3 times a day get adequate exercise and live to a ripe old age. Considering most of the audience of this podcast eat a higher percentage of protein in their diet, what effect do you think the elevation of insulin that comes along with that? Does the corresponding rise of glucagon negate its supposed “ill effects”? What about fruit and other higher fibre sources of carbohydrates? How would one gauge the difference/benefits in regards to carbs in extremely “fit” individuals with high insulin sensitivity? What are your personal exercise recommendations?

        • * insulin is just a master-marker is all
          * excessive carbs, especially refined in tandem with vegetable oils is the route to diabetic dysfunction and chronic disease
          * Standard low carb is ~20% of calories from unrefined, whole-food carb sources
          * More exercise, more glucose can be burned relatively safely – variable amongst individuals
          * Unless sprinting, you’ll be healthier in general on nutrient-dense low carb exercising regime (see the 100-mile runners etc. who are winning on keto, Zach Bitter etc.
          * Protein not really an issue in a well-formulated low carb scenario – insulin/glucagon please see my buddy Professor Bikman here (super informative talk): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3fO5aTD6JU&vl=en
          * Fruit ok for the healthy non-insulin-resistant (but I stick to berries mainly regardless)
          * Resistance training for me a couple times a week, and the odd 3 mile run

          • So it’s actually the constant raised blood glucose levels (and by extension insulin resistance) that’s the problem, not the mere presence of insulin itself? That’s quite important when addressing the protein question. (Will watch video shortly). What about gluconeogenesus? How is one’s glycogen status under this regime?

            I know I sound like an asshole in my replies but I’m genuinely intrigued by your ideas and just want the concepts laid out simply and without obfuscation. I really appreciate the time you’ve taken to answer what might seem quite obtuse question….

        • This focus on insulin by certain people who are pushing this primal/paleo type eating is just a tactic .

    • Beautifully put.

    • Yeah, the real world is full of such examples. There is a lot more to the world than US. Thanks for sharing!

    • Explained in our book Greg

      – the Kitavans, Tsimane etc. have so many vectors in their favor it is not funny. They never were exposed to refined carb, sugar and veg oils and their machines have performed great on a whole foods diet, with excellent environmental vectors aiding their physiology throughout life on every front.

      The modern population has been destroyed however.

      Hence appropriate interventions now required, as Virta Health and myriad other studies have demonstrated… https://www.virtahealth.com/



      • Ivor,

        Thanks for taking the time to reply. Seems likely that your book will address some of my concerns. The issue of who can we trust, in an internet awash with self proclaimed experts, will be with us for the long term!

  • As Ivor stated, CICO is a half truth. Of course it’s energy balance, but there are so many factors in play like diet induced thermogenesis, metabolic rate, hormones, etc, that I don’t think CICO advice is USEFUL. I think that if you focus on the right foods (nutrient dense whole food, which typically results in HFLC) the amount of calories consumed will permit fat loss if the subject is overfat.

    I don’t think I agree completely with that statement in BBS. It’s my understanding that the body finds a way to liberate fat stores even if there is a calorie deficit via other pathways, it’s just typically very hard to do in a high carb diet IMO.

    • Yep Lawrence – the body will demand payment in calorie deficit, overriding some of the other mechs that apply when people are trying to live more normal, fulfilling lives 🙂 Fasting intermittantly & healthy well-formulated LCHF best overall option for modern IR population

  • Regarding the quote: If you are in a calorie deficit for a sufficient period of time, will your insulin level remain high, even if you eat mostly carbs? It would be a pretty weird evolutionary glitch if your body refused to give up fat stores in the face of a persistent calorie deficit. That would not confer a survival advantage, as far as I can see.

    • If I’ve got it right…

      The survival advantage is preventing blood sugar reaching levels where it will do damage.

      Carbs enter the blood as sugars–quickly or slowly depending on GI.

      Insulin level rises triggering storage (and inhibiting use of fat since there is a ready supply of usable energy in the blood stream.)

      Once the sugars all safely stored away insulin level drops… until the next stimulus.

      Small carby meals and snacks through the day would keep calling that system into action.

      Jason Fung, who Lawrence mentions from time to time, advocates intermittent fasting as an easier way to manage insulin levels (and thus access those fat reserves) than adopting a low carb diet.

      His stuff is worth a read:
      Why The First Law of Thermodynamics is Utterly Irrelevant

      • Surely the fasting makes a huge difference and surely the “ancestors” did not eat all day long – 5-6 meals a day.
        Also the simple carbs if consumed mixed with other foods would not be as simple anymore IMO

        • Yep, I’m suggesting that fasting does make a huge difference. I’ve been down that road while also eating low carb but found that I lost more weight than I wanted to.

          I’m not sure why you mention simple carbs–technical definition covers carbs like glucose, fructose, sucrose. They’re still simple and very quickly digested no matter what they’re consumed with.

          • Going very low carb and fasting will make a case of a very tough job to retain and build muscle. I’ve been in your situation as well e.g. loosing too much. What I see working much better in the fasting context is moderate carbs and fats and modest protein.
            I mentioned the simple carbs, because people commonly refer to them not as glucose, fructose etc. but as bread, potatoes, white rice and bananas for example. These are foods though and not simple shugas derivatives. Overconsumption of calorie denser foods, which happen to be packed with carbs in the same time is the Enemy IMO, not the “shugars”.

      • Fasting is a Kingpin strategy (!)

    • True ! And the supposed connection between insulin & fat gain has never been proven anyway .

      • I’m afraid it has.

        Among other things Insulin acts on adipose (fat) tissue to increase glucose uptake, increase fat production and decrease fat mobilisation for energy.

        The fat gain effect is greatest when muscle tissue has become insulin resistant but fat cells continue to respond as above.

        Chase it up in Body By Science p.102 or google “insulin function”.

        • I see the point, but also note, that fat has both insulin and glucagon receptors, while muscle has only insulin ones!

        • Actually it hasn’t and i’m not going to quote studies because quite honestly we could go back & forth all day doing so . As i previously stated i think that Doug has attached his horse to the wrong cart with regard to nutrition . Taubes has been peddling this insulin theory to fat gain & it preventing the body from mobilizing fat stores without any legitimate evidence to prove this . The consumption of starches has been a mainstay of many in this world for a very long time and logic/common sense would lead me to the conclusion that starch/fruit/veg/pulses are the proper way to eat .

    • Very low fat with very high carb can precariously achieve insulin sensitivity too (especially with calorie restriction). Kinda silly as an engineering solution though, and not a nice way to live (!) http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2015/10/protons-and-ultra-low-fat-once-more.html

  • Great discussion guys. In my humble opinion both CICO and hormones play equally important parts of the equation. Whilst CICO ultimately determines fat loss, as Taubes or Dr Fung would say that’s akin to saying that the aeroplane crashed because it lost too much altitude. The key aspect to me is satiation – ie appetite control. Eating high protein/ moderate fat/ low carb is surely the way to go in my mind since protein is by far the most satiating macronutrient, as well as having the highest thermic effect. In other words, as Ted Naiman would no doubt put it, by prioritising protein you gain control of your appetite and intuitively reduce the calories required to reach satiation. Of course you could theoretically achieve the same objective by eating high carb/ low fat (as long as you kept protein high) but it would be that much harder – with those dreaded carb cravings pushing you to consume more calories..

    • The problem with high protein is the amount of stress that it puts upon the kidneys/liver and it’s harder for the gut to metabolize as well , as well as making the body more acidic which isn’t good .

        • It’s not nonsense and perhaps you should look into the issue more objectively .

        • How many times have you eaten a lot of turkey at x-mas dinner or eaten a big steak and all you want to do after that is lie down on the couch ?! The reason that happens is because it requires a significant amount of energy to break it down . Now you might say well because you overdid it but how often have you felt the same way after eating a large bowl of oats or something similar ?! The effect on the digestive system is not nearly as profound with the oats .

          • As I said before, I think we live on two different planets. Last time I ate an enormous steak or whole large crab (last two memorable meals) it made me feel great, I wanted to run miles, swim in the sea or some such show of vitality. I rarely eat a large portion of starchy food these days but when I was obese a plate of mashed potatoes would have sent me to sleep within an hour.

            Either we have a totally different metabolic make up or totally different psychological make up…which it is is hard to say.

            Also I challenge you to find anyone in the general population who’s Xmas dinner is just a huge pile of turkey. I’ll be having stuffing, potatoes, veg, beer and all the trimmings.

            • You clearly missed the point i was making nor was i implying that a plate full of meat is all ones eats during the holidays . You and i definitely have a different psychological make up no doubt about that .

          • “How many times have you eaten a lot of turkey at x-mas dinner”

            That’s an easy one. Turkey is high in the amino acid tryptophan, which makes you sleepy. My mom had trouble sleeping and said L-tryptophan supplements were the most effective things she took. Also, when you combine turkey (or a big steak) with a bunch of starchy foods and then dessert (typical Christmas dinner), there’s a LOT more at play to make you sleepy than the meat.

    • Hey Rob, I’d like to agree with you, that appetite control is a key aspect. Although for me it is a matter of self control and discipline above all. Simply relying on protein as a protection against hunger is wrong reasoning IMHO. Out of all three, the protein is the least preferable nutrient for providing energy and there is a reason for that. The proper amount of protein in the diet is individually and context dependent and should not be prescribed as panacea for hunger control. If one is doing low carb, moderate fat, protein is up to meet also the energy requirements (inefficient but satiety ensuring way to use it). High carb, moderate protein and low fat works too. But these High, Moderate, Low values in terms of calories are usually what people mess up completely, because they never get serious about it but prefer to look for magical shortcuts instead.

      • I couldn’t agree more with your statement and this demonizing of carbohydrates is just absurd especially once you realize how vital they are to the body .

      • Thanks Kamen, always good to hear a view different to my own! I do understand your point of view on this one, but all I would say is that at least for me, by upping the protein (from real whole foods that is), my level of satiation definitely went up and appetite became easier to control and my previous carb cravings for ice cream (Snickers ice cream bars were my downfall), doritos, crisps etc eventually faded away.

        I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts on Dr Ted Naiman’s strategy – he claims he prefers to satisfy his energy requirements via protein – relying on thermogenesis to endogenously ‘fine-tune’ the exact amount of energy he requires. Clearly the one scenario where this may come up short is where you need a quick, brief ‘nitro-boost’ of energy that only exogenous glucose or stored glycogen can provide – but otherwise his strategy makes a lot of sense to me. And guys such as him, Shawn Baker and Dr Ben Bikman etc hardly appear energy-challenged (HIT workouts everyday/ world record rowing sprints, etc.) My energy also appears to have gone through the roof since starting down this route myself (no starchy carbs or fruit until dinner). I’m reluctant to go the whole hog though as I believe some (relatively low) carb is very beneficial – particularly for sleep and inducing the para-sympathetic/ rest & digest response – as per Chris Masterjohn’s views. Have you seen any studies indicating that Ted’s approach may be short-sighted?

        • Hi Rob, my view is not as different than yours but I rather am saying the protein up may not be the best strategy, depending on the individual and goals. I personally do not follow Ted’s advice. For me personally it is expensive, unnecessary and can also be problematic as carbs overloading (only for other reasons) for a great number of people.

          • 100% agree Kamen – different strokes for different folks, and as you say whilst some may find additional protein to be extremely satiating and to keep their calories in check, others such as yourself may find it unnecessary and expensive. That said though, in order to keep the costs down I do try and load up with cheaper forms of whole-food protein, for example canned sardines/ salmon/ mackerel, eggs, yogurt etc.. On the other hand though, I am definitely open to the view that it is not the protein alone that causes the satiation – but some combo of protein + fat from whole-foods. Interesting stuff no doubt!

            • Hey Rob, put in short, I am not convinced by far, that more protein than a 0,8 to a gram per kilo(2,2 pounds) is necessary for building and maintaining muscle in the context of HIT training. In addition I do not use powders/supplements at all. That being said, putting it extra in your system for energy/satiety reasons I see as unnecessary waste, plus the byproducts of it’s digestion are still to be dealt with by the body. Another problem, when eating food only and aiming for calories often turns out to be eating almost only protein/fat foods. That also seems neither practical, nor best for me. If I am to point out to you a source that represents for me realistic nutrition guide, I’d recommend you read Mike Mentzer’s Heavy Duty nutrition booklet. You can still find in the internet. All plane and simple. You may be surprised how many of today’s nutritional topics and trends were there as well…some 35 years ago. Greetings!

    • Yep Rob not a bad strategy (and many low carb people OD on fat to their detriment…)

  • Here’s a question for you Ivor – have you heard the recent podcast that your fellow engineer Dave Feldman did on Peter Attia’s show? Peter is one guy whose opinion I hold a lot of stock by – but he effectively tore apart Dave Feldman’s hypothesis that in the scenario of high HDL/ low Triglycerides then LDL levels are irrelevant. He implied that he was very wary of engineer-types getting overly confident in their problem-solving abilities and ignoring the many years of medical research (Ronald Krauss etc) that has already shown to a high degree of probability that high LDL levels are concerning in and of themselves. Frankly I am not at the same intellectual level as Peter or Dave so am not really able to definitively come down on one side or the other. What’s your view on this?

    • Hey Rob

      Peter has spent years indicating that LDLp is independently important and dominant. In the podcast he made a massive clarification (several times actually). He said that LDLp was “necessary but not sufficient”. This now aligns with my always-held view. It means that LDL particles are part of the atherosclerotic process (obviously), but that you explicitly require endothelium damage, other inflammatory issues (or indeed other root causes) to be present – in order to drive disease.

      The million dollar question involves identifying the scenarios where high LDLp has little pathological significance (we already know when it does indicate ppathology – hyperinsulin/IR is main example, which drives up particle number and causes havoc all around the vasculature).

      So my main interest is not in whether Dave’s mechanistic explanation is correct in LMHR’s, but rather are they at significant risk or not.

      Here’s an interview I did with Dave after the podcast was aired: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjLjHyPi-Lw&t=1s

      I won’t even comment on Peter’s views on who has a monopoly on the scientific truth (but my new talks in October will continue to share the science on these questions) 😉



      • Thanks for shedding more light on that Ivor – I’ll check out your interview with Dave. I would love to see Dave and Peter having a round 2, now they have both had more time to consider each other’s position. Would be great to see some common ground established between them…

  • With respect i feel that Doug is completely wrong with regard to his nutrition recommendations . It quite honestly just baffles me that people could & would think that consuming the burnt flesh ( through cooking ) of other creatures is somehow healthier than consuming fruits/veg/starch/pulses .

  • Nice one Wez, but I am inundated with work and let Ted and Ben etc. focus on the research there ! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqWHaYh18oo&t=1s

  • Sorry for the continued comments but this interview keeps coming back to me. There’s just a few niggling thoughts I’d rather get out than bottle up.

    I know that there are massive hurdles to be crossed to do otherwise but announcing anything through mass media along with celebrity endorsements, books and documentaries, masses of anecdotes, testimonials etc instead of going through the scrutiny of peer review raises massive red flags for me. I know the response this will get but the claim CAC of being suppressed by mainstream medicine doesn’t hold water for me. If there’s money to be made then effective diagnostic tools should win out. Just the ability to sell drugs to treat otherwise asymptomatic patients should be a huge lure?

    I don’t know whether you started with a null hypothesis or not but I’m presented here with a positive hypothesis that has been supported with biased research and anecdotal reasoning. Seeing as you are dedicated to supporting your claim it’s unlikely that you would look at let alone present any information that contradicts you ideas. There’s no independent external verification, no duplication, no blinding, no legitimate credentials.

    I guess a large part of this is that it seems to run counter to how nearly everyone on earth lives. Yes, I know over consumption of glucose has undesirable consequences and that insulin resistance is a growing problem but labelling essentially a single causal factor as a “root of all evil” points to quackery. It ignores the millions of healthy people worldwide that have eaten high carbohydrate diets well into old age with no ill effect. Pointing out that if they have a CAC scan/insulin assay they might no better is fallacious. If we’re going to rely on anecdotes then look no further than Clarence Bass, a guest on this show. The man couldn’t be more contradictory to your ideas. You can rationalise any anecdote post hoc, you can move the goal posts but to do so to handwave away inconvenient “outliers” ignores the ones that support your own model. While obviously there is merit to your thoughts I think that focusing so intensely on a single root cause and making broad recommendations to the general populace is ignoring the wider milieu. When a claim is presented as the “true” alternative to the mainstream it reeks of ideological motivation, when there’s book sales and speaker’s fees involved it reeks of snake oil.

    The burden of proof is on you, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. If this is how a skeptical layperson such as myself sees your work then I can only imagine the resistance that you might get from a medical professional or serious scientist, if you think what I’ve written/your detractors say is baloney then it’s up to you to provide proof, whether it takes 20 years or not and to become a better science communicator for the layperson. Sorry for the dismissive screed but I feel like as a community, the fitness world is credulous enough as it is, there’s too much fawning and not enough critical thought.

  • My huge reservations about Ivor aside, it’s worth noting that the YouTube channel “What I’ve Learned” has just uploaded an interview with Ivor where he actually gets to the point in several instances.

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