Vital staining with iodine solution in oral cancer: iodine infiltration, cell proliferation, and glucose transporter 1.


Abstract

Background

Vital staining with iodine solution has been used to distinguish dysplastic/malignant oral epithelium from normal mucosa. However, little is known about its critical mechanism. The purpose of this study was to visualize how iodine infiltrates the oral epithelium and reacts with glycogen. In addition, we tested the hypothesis that higher cell proliferation requires increased energy consumption, and consequently exhausted glycogen may lead to a failure to be stained by iodine solution.

Methods

Fifteen frozen tissue samples of iodine-stained and -unstained mucosa were obtained from 15 cases of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Serial frozen sections were cut and examined with hematoxylin and eosin and periodic acid–Schiff methods and immunohistochemical staining for p53, Ki67 and glucose transporter 1 (GLUT 1).

Results

Iodine solution was able to penetrate normal epithelium to a maximum depth neighboring the parabasal layer, but iodine-stained areas were completely consistent with glycogen distribution only in the upper superficial layer. Iodine-negative epithelium presented significantly higher immunoreactions for P53 and GLUT 1 in basal, parabasal, and superficial layers, respectively, whereas the reaction for Ki67 in the superficial layer was higher than that in iodine-positive epithelium (Wilcoxon signed-rank test, P < 0.05).

Conclusions

Iodine infiltrated and reacted with glycogen mainly in the upper superficial layer of the nonkeratinized epithelium. Both histological and molecular margins can be confirmed by iodine vital staining in OSCC. It is also suggested that high cell proliferation induced elevated glycolysis, resulting in an intraepithelial glycogen degradation and consequent failure to be stained by iodine solution.

Source: International Journal of Clinical Oncology

Brain Imaging Study Confirms Addictive Nature of Processed Carbs.


Story at-a-glance

  • Using brain imaging, researchers confirm that highly processed carbohydrates stimulate brain regions involved in reward and cravings, promoting excess hunger
  • Previous research has demonstrated that refined sugar is more addictive than cocaine, giving you pleasure by triggering an innate process in your brain via dopamine and opioid signals
  • Food manufacturers have gotten savvy to the addictive nature of certain foods and tastes, including saltiness and sweetness, and have turned addictive taste into a science in and of itself
  • Refined carbohydrates like breakfast cereals, bagels, waffles, pretzels, and most other processed foods quickly break down to sugar, increasing your insulin levels, which eventually leads to insulin resistance.
  • pretzel
  • A staggering two-thirds of Americans are now overweight, and one in four are either diabetic or pre-diabetic.
  • Carb-rich processed foods are a primary driver of these statistics, and while many blame Americans’ overindulgence of processed junk foods on lack of self-control, scientists are now starting to reveal the truly addictive nature of such foods.
  • Most recently, researchers at the Boston Children’s Hospital concluded that highly processed carbohydrates stimulate brain regions involved in reward and cravings, promoting excess hunger.1 As reported by Science Daily:2
  • “These findings suggest that limiting these ‘high-glycemic index’ foods could help obese individuals avoid overeating.”
  • While I don’t agree with the concept of high glycemic foods, it is important that they are at least thinking in the right direction. Also, the timing is ironic, considering the fact that the American Medical Association (AMA) recently declared obesity adisease, treatable with a variety of conventional methods, from drugs to novel anti-obesity vaccines…
  • The featured research is on the mark, and shows just how foolhardy the AMA’s financially-driven decision really is. Drugs and vaccines are clearly not going to doanything to address the underlying problem of addictive junk food.
  • The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition3 examined the effects of high-glycemic foods on brain activity, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). One dozen overweight or obese men between the ages of 18 and 35 each consumed one high-glycemic and one low-glycemic meal. The fMRI was done four hours after each test meal. According to the researchers:
  • “Compared with an isocaloric low-GI meal, a high-glycemic index meal decreased plasma glucose, increased hunger, and selectively stimulated brain regions associated with reward and craving in the late postprandial period, which is a time with special significance to eating behavior at the next meal.”
  • The study demonstrates what many people experience: After eating a high-glycemic meal, i.e. rapidly digesting carbohydrates, their blood sugar initially spiked, followed by a sharp crash a few hours later. The fMRI confirmed that this crash in blood glucose intensely activated a brain region involved in addictive behaviors, known as the nucleus accumbens.
  • Dr. Robert Lustig, Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, a pioneer in decoding sugar metabolism, weighed in on the featured research in an article by NPR:4
  • “As Dr. Robert Lustig… points out, this research can’t tell us if there’s a cause and effect relationship between eating certain foods and triggering brain responses, or if those responses lead to overeating and obesity.
  • ‘[The study] doesn’t tell you if this is the reason they got obese,’ says Lustig, ‘or if this is what happens once you’re already obese.’ Nonetheless… he thinks this study offers another bit of evidence that ‘this phenomenon is real.’”
  • Previously, Dr. Lustig has explained the addictive nature of sugar as follows:
  • “The brain’s pleasure center, called the nucleus accumbens, is essential for our survival as a species… Turn off pleasure, and you turn off the will to live… But long-term stimulation of the pleasure center drives the process of addiction… When you consume any substance of abuse, including sugar, the nucleus accumbens receives a dopamine signal, from which you experience pleasure. And so you consume more.
  • The problem is that with prolonged exposure, the signal attenuates, gets weaker. So you have to consume more to get the same effect — tolerance. And if you pull back on the substance, you go into withdrawal. Tolerance and withdrawal constitute addiction. And make no mistake, sugar is addictive.”
  • Previous research has demonstrated that refined sugar is more addictive than cocaine, giving you pleasure by triggering an innate process in your brain via dopamine and opioid signals. Your brain essentially becomes addicted to stimulating the release of its own opioids.
  • Researchers have speculated that the sweet receptors located on your tongue, which evolved in ancestral times when the diet was very low in sugar, have not adapted to the seemingly unlimited access to a cheap and omnipresent sugar supply in the modern diet.

    Therefore, the abnormally high stimulation of these receptors by our sugar-rich diets generates excessive reward signals in your brain, which have the potential to override normal self-control mechanisms, thus leading to addiction.

  • But it doesn’t end there. Food manufacturers have gotten savvy to the addictive nature of certain foods and tastes, including saltiness and sweetness, and have turned addictive taste into a science in and of itself.
  • In a recent New York Times article,5 Michael Moss, author of Salt Sugar Fat, dished the dirt on the processed food industry, revealing that there’s a conscious effort on behalf of food manufacturers to get you hooked on foods that are convenient and inexpensive to make.

    I recommend reading his article in its entirety, as it offers a series of case studies that shed light on the extraordinary science and marketing tactics that make junk food so hard to resist.

  • Sugar, salt and fat are the top three substances making processed foods so addictive. In a Time Magazine interview6discussing his book, Moss says:
  • “One of the things that really surprised me was how concerted and targeted the effort is by food companies to hit the magical formulation. Take sugar for example. The optimum amount of sugar in a product became known as the ‘bliss point.’ Food inventors and scientists spend a huge amount of time formulating the perfect amount of sugar that will send us over the moon, and send products flying off the shelves. It is the process they’ve engineered that struck me as really stunning.”
  • It’s important to realize that added sugar (typically in the form of high fructose corn syrup) is not confined to junky snack foods. For example, most of Prego’s spaghetti sauces have one common feature, and that is sugar—it’s the second largest ingredient, right after tomatoes. A half-cup of Prego Traditional contains the equivalent of more than two teaspoons of sugar.
  • Another guiding principle for the processed food industry is known as “sensory-specific satiety.” Moss describes this as “the tendency for big, distinct flavors to overwhelm your brain, which responds by depressing your desire to have more.” The greatest successes, whether beverages or foods, owe their “craveability” to complex formulas that pique your taste buds just enough, without overwhelming them, thereby overriding your brain’s inclination to say “enough.”
  • Novel biotech flavor companies like Senomyx also play an important role.
  • Senomyx specializes in helping companies find new flavors that allow them to use less salt and sugar in their foods. But does that really make the food healthier? This is a questionable assertion at best, seeing how these “flavor enhancers” are created using secret, patented processes. They also do not need to be listed on the food label, which leaves you completely in the dark. As of now, they simply fall under the generic category of artificial and/or natural flavors, and they don’t even need to be tested for safety, as they’re used in minute amounts.

·         Brain Imaging Shows Food Addiction Is Real

·         The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

·         Novel Flavor-Enhancers May Also Contribute to Food Addiction

How to Combat Food Addiction and Regain Your Health

To protect your health, I advise spending 90 percent of your food budget on whole foods, and only 10 percent on processed foods. It’s important to realize that refined carbohydrates like breakfast cereals, bagels, waffles, pretzels, and most other processed foods quickly break down to sugar, increase your insulin levels, and cause insulin resistance, which is the number one underlying factor of nearly every chronic disease and condition known to man, including weight gain.

By taking the advice offered in the featured study and cutting out these high-glycemic foods you can retrain your body to burn fat instead of sugar. However, it’s important to replace these foods with healthy fats, not protein—a fact not addressed in this research. I believe most people may need between 50-70 percent of their daily calories in the form of healthful fats, which include:

Olives and olive oil Coconuts and coconut oil Butter made from raw, organic grass-fed milk
Organic raw nuts, especially macadamia nuts, which are low in protein and omega-6 fat Organic pastured eggs and pastured meats Avocados

 

I’ve detailed a step-by-step guide to this type of healthy eating program in my comprehensive nutrition plan, and I urge you to consult this guide if you are trying to lose weight. A growing body of evidence also suggests that intermittent fasting is particularly effective if you’re struggling with excess weight as it provokes the natural secretion of human growth hormone (HGH), a fat-burning hormone. It also increases resting energy expenditure while decreasing insulin levels, which allows stored fat to be burned for fuel. Together, these and other factors will turn you into an effective fat-burning machine.

Best of all, once you transition to fat burning mode your cravings for sugar and carbs will virtually disappear, as if by magic… While you’re making the adjustment, you could try an energy psychology technique called Turbo Tapping, which has helped many sugar addicts kick their sweet habit. Other tricks to help you overcome your sugar cravings include:

  • Exercise: Anyone who exercises intensely on a regular basis will know that significant amounts of cardiovascular exercise is one of the best “cures” for food cravings. It always amazes me how my appetite, especially for sweets, dramatically decreases after a good workout. I believe the mechanism is related to the dramatic reduction in insulin levels that occurs after exercise.
  • Organic black coffee: Coffee is a potent opioid receptor antagonist, and contains compounds such as cafestrol — found plentifully in both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee — which can bind to your opioid receptors, occupy them and essentially block your addiction to other opioid-releasing foods.7 This may profoundly reduce the addictive power of other substances, such as sugar.

Source: mercola.com

 

Nature’s Goodies for Diabetics.


We understand that as a diabetic, your diet is of utmost importance. And that sometimes those sweet cravings are just way too hard to resist! So we bring you alist of natural goodies that tantalise your taste buds, are easy to find and as a bonus, are great for your health!

Tempting red strawberries or indigo coloured blueberries or just any berries for that matter. Experts advice that these little colourful fruits are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and fibre and are low-carb! So top off your breakfast with some strawberries or just toss them in your mouth. It adds a pop of colour and a dollop of health!

Low in calories and carbohydrate content, this portable fruit can be toted around easily in your bag, making it the perfect snack. Fibrous, with tonnes of vitamins and antioxidants, this diabetes-friendly fruit will add a crunchy and healthy punch to your diet.

Is there nothing this superfood can’t do? Research shows that green, leafy and fresh spinach is extremely low in calories and carbohydrates, which is especially good news if you are a diabetic. In fact, spinach is one of the rare things that a diabetic can eat almost freely!

Kidney beans, black beans or lentils have been shown to have immense health benefits for a diabetic. They are low fat, low calorie and high protein! They make you feel full, slow down your digestion process and prevent blood sugar from spiking.

 

Despite the fact that an orange contains sugar, it also contains other compounds that help control blood glucose, which makes it good for a diabetes patient. The soluble fibre present in an orange thickens as it’s being digested. This in turn slows down the sugar absorption, offering better control of your blood sugar.

Cabbage has a low glycaemic index of 10 which is very diabetes friendly. It is also a rich source of vitamin C and K. However, keep an eye on the fat content if you are including cabbage in your diet.

Brinjal: Non-starchy, low carbohydrate and soluble fibre, could a vegetable be more perfect for diabetes? Load up on this easily available vegetable and enjoy the goodness that it offers!

Okra (Lady’s Finger) is a sure shot hit with kids and diabetics! Like brinjals and oranges, the presence of soluble fibre in okra makes this humble vegetable one of the best things to eat if you are diabetic.

Pears: Rich in potassium and loaded with fibre, a pear is also low in carbohydrates! Add them in your fruit bowl or mix it up with spinach to get an instant fix for your hunger pangs.
Despite the fact that fruits and vegetables are good for you, there’s no denying the fact that some of them contain sugar and carbohydrates, albeit in small amounts. So keep your portions small and do check with your nutritionist before any major diet changes.

 

 

Source: www.mdhil.com

 

What Does It Mean to Be Fat Adapted?


When describing someone that has successfully made the transition to the Primal way of eating I often refer to them as “fat-adapted” or as “fat-burning beasts”. But what exactly does it mean to be “fat-adapted”? How can you tell if you’re fat-adapted or still a “sugar-burner”?

I get these and related questions fairly often, so I thought I’d take the time today to attempt to provide some definitions and bring some clarification to all of this. I’ll try to keep today’s post short and sweet, and not too complicated. Hopefully, med students and well-meaning but inquisitive lay family members alike will be able to take something from it.

As I’ve mentioned before, fat-adaptation is the normal, preferred metabolic state of the human animal. It’s nothing special; it’s just how we’re meant to be. That’s actually why we have all this fat on our bodies – turns out it’s a pretty reliable source of energy! To understand what it means to be normal, it’s useful examine what it means to be abnormal. And by that I mean, to understand what being a sugar-dependent person feels like.

Are You a Sugar-Burner?

  1. A sugar-burner can’t effectively access stored fat for energy. What that means is an inability for skeletal muscle to oxidize fat. Ha, not so bad, right? I mean, you could always just burn glucose for energy. Yeah, as long as you’re walking around with an IV-glucose drip hooked up to your veins.

What happens when a sugar-burner goes two, three, four hours without food, or – dare I say it – skips a whole entire meal (without that mythical IV sugar drip)? They get ravenously hungry. Heck, a sugar-burner’s adipose tissue even releases a bunch of fatty acids 4-6 hours after eating and during fasting, because as far as it’s concerned, your muscles should be able to oxidize them[1]. After all, we evolved to rely on beta oxidation of fat for the bulk of our energy needs. But they can’t, so they don’t, and once the blood sugar is all used up (which happens really quickly), hunger sets in, and the hand reaches for yet another bag of chips.

  1. A sugar-burner can’t even effectively access dietary fat for energy. As a result, more dietary fat is stored than burned. Unfortunately for them, they’re likely to end up gaining lots of body fat. As we know, a low ratio of fat to carbohydrate oxidation is a strong predictor of future weight gain.
  2. A sugar-burner depends on a perpetually-fleeting source of energy. Glucose is nice to burn when you need it, but you can’t really store very much of it on your person (unless you count snacks in pockets, or chipmunkesque cheek-stuffing). Even a 160 pound person who’s visibly lean at 12% body fat still has 19.2 pounds of animal fat on hand for oxidation, while our ability to store glucose as muscle and liver glycogen are limited to about 500 grams (depending on the size of the liver and amount of muscle you’re sporting). You require an exogenous source, and, if you’re unable to effectively beta oxidize fat (as sugar-burners often are), you’d better have some candy on hand.
  3. A sugar-burner will burn through glycogen fairly quickly during exercise. Depending on the nature of the physical activity, glycogen burning could be perfectly desirable and expected, but it’s precious, valuable stuff. If you’re able to power your efforts with fat for as long as possible, that gives you more glycogen – more rocket fuel for later, intenser efforts (like climbing a hill or grabbing that fourth quarter offensive rebound or running from a predator). Sugar-burners waste their glycogen on efforts that fat should be able to power.

The Benefits of Being Fat Adapted

Being fat-adapted, then, looks and feels a little bit like the opposite of all that. A fat-burning beast:

  1. Can effectively burn stored fat for energy throughout the day. If you can handle missing meals and are able to go hours without getting ravenous and cranky (or craving carbs), you’re likely fat-adapted.
  2. Is able to effectively oxidize dietary fat for energy. If you’re adapted, your post-prandial fat oxidation will be increased, and less dietary fat will be stored in adipose tissue.
  3. Has plenty of accessible energy on hand, even if he or she is lean. If you’re adapted, the genes associated with lipid metabolism will be upregulated in your skeletal muscles. You will essentially reprogram your body.
  4. Can rely more on fat for energy during exercise, sparing glycogen for when he or she really needs it. As I’ve discussed before, being able to mobilize and oxidize stored fat during exercise can reduce an athlete’s reliance on glycogen. This is the classic “train low, race high” phenomenon, and it can improve performance, save the glycogen for the truly intense segments of a session, and burn more body fat. If you can handle exercising without having to carb-load, you’re probably fat-adapted. If you can workout effectively in a fasted state, you’re definitely fat-adapted.

Furthermore, a fat-burning beast will be able to burn glucose when necessary and/or available, whereas the opposite cannot be said for a sugar-burner. Ultimately, fat-adaption means metabolic flexibility. It means that a fat-burning beast will be able to handle some carbs along with some fat. A fat-burning beast will be able to empty glycogen stores through intense exercise, refill those stores, burn whatever dietary fat isn’t stored, and then easily access and oxidize the fat that is stored when it’s needed. It’s not that the fat-burning beast can’t burn glucose – because glucose is toxic in the blood, we’ll always preferentially burn it, store it, or otherwise “handle” it – it’s that he doesn’t depend on it.

I’d even suggest that true fat-adaptation will allow someone to eat a higher carb meal or day without derailing the train. Once the fat-burning machinery has been established and programmed, you should be able to effortlessly switch between fuel sources as needed.

How Can You Tell if You’re Fat Adapted?

There’s really no “fat-adaptation home test kit.” I suppose you could test your respiratory quotient (RQ), which is the ratio of carbon dioxide you produce to oxygen you consume. An RQ of 1+ indicates full glucose-burning; an RQ of 0.7 indicates full fat-burning. Somewhere around 0.8 would probably mean you’re fairly well fat-adapted, while something closer to 1 probably means you’re closer to a sugar-burner.

The obese have higher RQs. Diabetics have higher RQs. Nighttime eaters have higher RQs (and lower lipid oxidation). What do these groups all have in common? Lower satiety, insistent hunger, impaired beta-oxidation of fat, increased carb cravings and intake – all hallmarks of the sugar-burner.

It’d be great if you could monitor the efficiency of your mitochondria, including the waste products produced by their ATP manufacturing, perhaps with a really, really powerful microscope, but you’d have to know what you were looking for. And besides, although I like to think our “cellular power plants” resemble the power plant from the Simpsons, I’m pretty sure I’d be disappointed by reality.

Yes?Then you’re probably fat-adapted. Welcome to normal human metabolism! No, there’s no test to take, no simple thing to measure, no one number to track, no lab to order from your doctor. To find out if you’re fat-adapted, the most effective way is to ask yourself a few basic questions:

  • Can you go three hours without eating? Is skipping a meal an exercise in futility and misery?
  • Do you enjoy steady, even energy throughout the day? Are midday naps pleasurable indulgences, rather than necessary staples?
  • Can you exercise without carb-loading?
  • Have the headaches and brain fuzziness passed?

Fat Adaption versus Ketosis

A quick note about ketosis: Fat-adaption does not necessarily mean ketosis. Ketosis is ketosis. Fat-adaption describes the ability to burn both fat directly via beta-oxidation and glucose via glycolysis, while ketosis describes the use of fat-derived ketone bodies by tissues (like parts of the brain) that normally use glucose.

A ketogenic diet “tells” your body that no or very little glucose is available in the environment. The result? “Impaired” glucose tolerance and “physiological” insulin resistance, which sound like negatives but are actually necessary to spare what little glucose exists for use in the brain. On the other hand, a well-constructed, lower-carb (but not full-blown ketogenic) Primal way of eating that leads to weight loss generally improves insulin sensitivity.

About the Author:

Mark Sisson is the author of a #1 bestselling health book on Amazon.com, The Primal Blueprint, as well as The Primal Blueprint Cookbook and the top-rated health and fitness blog MarksDailyApple.com. He is also the founder of Primal Nutrition, Inc., a company devoted to health education and designing state-of-the-art supplements that address the challenges of living in the modern world. You can visit Mark’s website by visiting marksdailyapple.com.

Source: Dr. Mercola

 

 

What Does It Mean to Be Fat Adapted?


When describing someone that has successfully made the transition to the Primal way of eating I often refer to them as “fat-adapted” or as “fat-burning beasts”. But what exactly does it mean to be “fat-adapted”? How can you tell if you’re fat-adapted or still a “sugar-burner”?

I get these and related questions fairly often, so I thought I’d take the time today to attempt to provide some definitions and bring some clarification to all of this. I’ll try to keep today’s post short and sweet, and not too complicated. Hopefully, med students and well-meaning but inquisitive lay family members alike will be able to take something from it.

As I’ve mentioned before, fat-adaptation is the normal, preferred metabolic state of the human animal. It’s nothing special; it’s just how we’re meant to be. That’s actually why we have all this fat on our bodies – turns out it’s a pretty reliable source of energy! To understand what it means to be normal, it’s useful examine what it means to be abnormal. And by that I mean, to understand what being a sugar-dependent person feels like.

Are You a Sugar-Burner?

  1. A sugar-burner can’t effectively access stored fat for energy. What that means is an inability for skeletal muscle to oxidize fat. Ha, not so bad, right? I mean, you could always just burn glucose for energy. Yeah, as long as you’re walking around with an IV-glucose drip hooked up to your veins.

What happens when a sugar-burner goes two, three, four hours without food, or – dare I say it – skips a whole entire meal (without that mythical IV sugar drip)? They get ravenously hungry. Heck, a sugar-burner’s adipose tissue even releases a bunch of fatty acids 4-6 hours after eating and during fasting, because as far as it’s concerned, your muscles should be able to oxidize them[1]. After all, we evolved to rely on beta oxidation of fat for the bulk of our energy needs. But they can’t, so they don’t, and once the blood sugar is all used up (which happens really quickly), hunger sets in, and the hand reaches for yet another bag of chips.

  1. A sugar-burner can’t even effectively access dietary fat for energy. As a result, more dietary fat is stored than burned. Unfortunately for them, they’re likely to end up gaining lots of body fat. As we know, a low ratio of fat to carbohydrate oxidation is a strong predictor of future weight gain.
  2. A sugar-burner depends on a perpetually-fleeting source of energy. Glucose is nice to burn when you need it, but you can’t really store very much of it on your person (unless you count snacks in pockets, or chipmunkesque cheek-stuffing). Even a 160 pound person who’s visibly lean at 12% body fat still has 19.2 pounds of animal fat on hand for oxidation, while our ability to store glucose as muscle and liver glycogen are limited to about 500 grams (depending on the size of the liver and amount of muscle you’re sporting). You require an exogenous source, and, if you’re unable to effectively beta oxidize fat (as sugar-burners often are), you’d better have some candy on hand.
  3. A sugar-burner will burn through glycogen fairly quickly during exercise. Depending on the nature of the physical activity, glycogen burning could be perfectly desirable and expected, but it’s precious, valuable stuff. If you’re able to power your efforts with fat for as long as possible, that gives you more glycogen – more rocket fuel for later, intenser efforts (like climbing a hill or grabbing that fourth quarter offensive rebound or running from a predator). Sugar-burners waste their glycogen on efforts that fat should be able to power.

The Benefits of Being Fat Adapted

Being fat-adapted, then, looks and feels a little bit like the opposite of all that. A fat-burning beast:

  1. Can effectively burn stored fat for energy throughout the day. If you can handle missing meals and are able to go hours without getting ravenous and cranky (or craving carbs), you’re likely fat-adapted.
  2. Is able to effectively oxidize dietary fat for energy. If you’re adapted, your post-prandial fat oxidation will be increased, and less dietary fat will be stored in adipose tissue.
  3. Has plenty of accessible energy on hand, even if he or she is lean. If you’re adapted, the genes associated with lipid metabolism will be upregulated in your skeletal muscles. You will essentially reprogram your body.
  4. Can rely more on fat for energy during exercise, sparing glycogen for when he or she really needs it. As I’ve discussed before, being able to mobilize and oxidize stored fat during exercise can reduce an athlete’s reliance on glycogen. This is the classic “train low, race high” phenomenon, and it can improve performance, save the glycogen for the truly intense segments of a session, and burn more body fat. If you can handle exercising without having to carb-load, you’re probably fat-adapted. If you can workout effectively in a fasted state, you’re definitely fat-adapted.

Furthermore, a fat-burning beast will be able to burn glucose when necessary and/or available, whereas the opposite cannot be said for a sugar-burner. Ultimately, fat-adaption means metabolic flexibility. It means that a fat-burning beast will be able to handle some carbs along with some fat. A fat-burning beast will be able to empty glycogen stores through intense exercise, refill those stores, burn whatever dietary fat isn’t stored, and then easily access and oxidize the fat that is stored when it’s needed. It’s not that the fat-burning beast can’t burn glucose – because glucose is toxic in the blood, we’ll always preferentially burn it, store it, or otherwise “handle” it – it’s that he doesn’t depend on it.

I’d even suggest that true fat-adaptation will allow someone to eat a higher carb meal or day without derailing the train. Once the fat-burning machinery has been established and programmed, you should be able to effortlessly switch between fuel sources as needed.

How Can You Tell if You’re Fat Adapted?

There’s really no “fat-adaptation home test kit.” I suppose you could test your respiratory quotient (RQ), which is the ratio of carbon dioxide you produce to oxygen you consume. An RQ of 1+ indicates full glucose-burning; an RQ of 0.7 indicates full fat-burning. Somewhere around 0.8 would probably mean you’re fairly well fat-adapted, while something closer to 1 probably means you’re closer to a sugar-burner.

The obese have higher RQs. Diabetics have higher RQs. Nighttime eaters have higher RQs (and lower lipid oxidation). What do these groups all have in common? Lower satiety, insistent hunger, impaired beta-oxidation of fat, increased carb cravings and intake – all hallmarks of the sugar-burner.

It’d be great if you could monitor the efficiency of your mitochondria, including the waste products produced by their ATP manufacturing, perhaps with a really, really powerful microscope, but you’d have to know what you were looking for. And besides, although I like to think our “cellular power plants” resemble the power plant from the Simpsons, I’m pretty sure I’d be disappointed by reality.

Yes?Then you’re probably fat-adapted. Welcome to normal human metabolism! No, there’s no test to take, no simple thing to measure, no one number to track, no lab to order from your doctor. To find out if you’re fat-adapted, the most effective way is to ask yourself a few basic questions:

  • Can you go three hours without eating? Is skipping a meal an exercise in futility and misery?
  • Do you enjoy steady, even energy throughout the day? Are midday naps pleasurable indulgences, rather than necessary staples?
  • Can you exercise without carb-loading?
  • Have the headaches and brain fuzziness passed?

Fat Adaption versus Ketosis

A quick note about ketosis: Fat-adaption does not necessarily mean ketosis. Ketosis is ketosis. Fat-adaption describes the ability to burn both fat directly via beta-oxidation and glucose via glycolysis, while ketosis describes the use of fat-derived ketone bodies by tissues (like parts of the brain) that normally use glucose.

A ketogenic diet “tells” your body that no or very little glucose is available in the environment. The result? “Impaired” glucose tolerance and “physiological” insulin resistance, which sound like negatives but are actually necessary to spare what little glucose exists for use in the brain. On the other hand, a well-constructed, lower-carb (but not full-blown ketogenic) Primal way of eating that leads to weight loss generally improves insulin sensitivity.

About the Author:

Mark Sisson is the author of a #1 bestselling health book on Amazon.com, The Primal Blueprint, as well as The Primal Blueprint Cookbook and the top-rated health and fitness blog MarksDailyApple.com. He is also the founder of Primal Nutrition, Inc., a company devoted to health education and designing state-of-the-art supplements that address the challenges of living in the modern world. You can visit Mark’s website by visiting marksdailyapple.com.

Source: mercola.com