Guest Review: Nutritional Chromodynamics

Posted: April 1, 2012 in Guest Blog
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April 1, 2012.  Piltdown, East Sussex, UK . Two prominent researchers, Drs. Ferdinand I. Charm and June E. Feigen of the University of Piltdown Center for Applied Nutrition (PCAN), submit the following guest review on a ground-breaking area of nutrition.

Nutrition is frequently accused of being a loose kind of science, not defining its terms and speaking imprecisely.  Complex carbohydrates, for example, still refer, in organic chemistry, to polysaccharides such as starches and for many years, it was absolute dogma in nutrition that complex carbohydrates were more slowly absorbed than simple sugars.  Science advances, however, and when measurements were actually made it was found not to be so simple, giving rise to the concept of the glycemic index.  The term “complex,” had since then been used loosely but has currently evolved to have a more precise meaning derived from mathematics, that is, as in complex numbers, having a real part and an imaginary part although the recent Guidelines from the USDA make it difficult to tell which is which.  In any case, the glycemic index has expanded to the concept of a glycemic load and now there is even more hope on the horizon.

Nutrition has borrowed a page from particle physics in the application of quantum chromodynamics. In the way of background, the discovery of the large number of subatomic particles and the need to classify them meant that designations had to go beyond charge and spin to include strangeness and the three flavors of quarks.  Ultimately, it was decided that quarks have an additional degree of freedom, called color and the strong interaction was identified as a color force.  A large amount of evidence supports this idea with interaction via the gluons.

Nutritional Chromodynamics.

A similar idea has arisen in nutrition and it is now clear that the more color, the better and extensive experimental work at CARN is currently under way (Figure 1). The recent CRAYOLA  study showed the value of spectral nutrient density. Support for the theory was summarized in a recent press release:

Blueberries were up there, the wild type being the best.

 “The wild blueberries are blue inside as well as blue outside. The ones we normally eat are sort of white inside. So there are more of the antioxidants in these all-blue blueberries.”

Along the line of color is good, cranberries were close behind as were blackberries.

 But what about vegetables?

 Dried red beans topped the list overall–red kidney and pinto beans were also in the top 10. But surprisingly, so are artichokes. “This is sort of interesting because they are not deeply colored, the inside, the part that we actually consume is white or very pale green but never the less they contain very large amounts of antioxidants.”

 There are nuts that did not make it into the top twenty but did have high enough content worthy of mention– pecans, hazelnuts and walnuts were the ones with the greatest antioxidant content. But the antioxidants are concentrated, so you need only a handful a day to get the amount you need.

 The problem here may be the bland coloration of the nuts. This has been jarring to some theorists, leading many to question whether the Standard Model of nutrition will last, or whether the highly abstract bean-string theory will ultimately prevail.  The recent identification of chocolate with the dark matter that fills the majority of the universe, however, has established the field of nutritional chromodynamics.  Still, critics point to the problem of red meat, one of the very few foods that actually decreased during the epidemic of obesity.  By applying the USDA Nutritional Guidelines, however, this result can be made to vanish.

Figure 1 Souper-Collider at CARN (Centre Alimentaire de Recherche Nucléaire).

Although this is pretty convincing, there is the uncertainty principle.   Because the outcome of a nutritional experiment and its support for the experimenter’s theory rarely commute, it is impossible to simultaneously measure outcome and whether the results mean anything.  Again borrowing from particle physics, there is the concept of the virtual particle that mediates interaction between other particles.  The evolving principle in the field of nutritional chromodynamics is the existence of the  mayon, the virtual particle that mediates the so-called Dietary Weak Interaction or DWI, as in “phytochemicals may prevent cancer.”

And then there is the matter of Quark. Most physicists know that Quark is the German word for sour cream and many physicists on tour in Germany have their picture taken in front of delicatessens selling Quark (at least those who don’t have their picture taken in front of a jewelry store).  Less widely known outside of the German-speaking countries is that Quark colloquially means nonsense or trash.  In any case, it’s pretty clear at this point that, the Tevatron results notwithstanding, blueberries and sour cream are the real Top Quark.

  1. Scott Moore says:

    Ha! You had me for a paragraph, and then I got suspicious. But very well done. I was even on the lookout this morning…

  2. LeonRover says:

    While in Zurich, the well known Irish literary-physicist James Joyce, “borrowed” the term “quark” from the Züridütsch for his esoteric fundamental text – Finnegan’s Wake:

    “Three quarks for Muster Mark!

    Sure he has not got much of a bark
    And sure any he has it’s all beside the mark.”

  3. Marilyn says:

    Oh, man! I used to love blueberries and white grapes with sour cream and brown sugar. Hadn’t thought of those for years. Wonder if I can devise a low-ish carb — or at least low-ish glycemic load — version. 🙂

    Meanwhile, I guess I’ll have to be satisfied with my red meat.

    • FrankG says:

      I have a box of wild local blueberries in my freezer. On occasion I will have an handful either just pop them in my mouth still frozen, or smush (technical word) them into some heavy cream.. almost like ice-cream For me the trick is to change the mindset from “a bowl of berries with a dollop of cream” to “a bowl of cream with an handful of berries” 😉 enjoy

  4. Marilyn says:

    Ah, yes! Now I get it. Today is April 1. Thanks for a very clever and very funny post!

  5. David Boothman says:

    Perhaps the ‘color’ of the white ones is outside the range of human vision!

  6. FrankG says:

    >> The term “complex,” had since then been used loosely but has currently evolved to have a more precise meaning derived from mathematics, that is, having a real part and an imaginary part although the recent Guidelines from the USDA make it difficult to tell which is which. <<

    LOL 😉

  7. Tom Naughton says:

    I don’t want to strain my brain with all this science-talk. Just tell me what colors to eat already!

    I’d also like to know if some colors clash with other colors. I don’t want indigestion.

  8. Eric Schmitz says:

    I believe these are the authors who have also collaborated with researchers at Miskatonic University. They produced an excellent treatise on non-Euclidean wavelengths, titled “Color out of Space.”

  9. Dana Carpender says:

    I like the Piltdown dateline. Very nice touch.

  10. marie curious says:

    “Centre Alimentaire de Recherche Nucléaire” – LOL
    Merci Professeur ! 🙂

  11. You had me all the way to CRAYOLA!

  12. George Henderson says:

    The principle of the Dietary Weak Interaction mediated by the Mayon; indeed!

    I was reading a Nat Geographic article on heart disease that listed risk factors.
    Things like obesity, high blood pressure, low HDL:LDL ratio seperately influenced risk by factors of 2-4.
    That’s 200%, 300%, or 400%
    “Healthy eating” may reduce risk by 30%

    Of course, all of the major risk factors can be improved by low-carb dieting, regardless of chromatological values.
    But let’s all work on that 30% instead…

  13. Lori says:

    Does this mean that garlic and white wine don’t prevent heart disease anymore?

  14. Marilyn says:

    I just noticed the “Piltdown East Sussex, UK.” Wonder if anyone has ever analyzed the Piltdown Man’s diet????

  15. Marilyn says:

    HAHA a spaghetti harvest. I once saw a picture of potatoes growing on a plant above ground. (I don’t think they were joking.) I wonder if that’s from the same area where they grow spaghetti.

    One of the comments to the spaghetti harvest video is “well, don’t many children nowadays believe that milk comes from the supermarket?” It happens. My husband was in grad school with a city kid who got to grad school before he found out where milk came from. Must have been an eye-opener.

  16. Marilyn says:

    Crayola. Wonder if you find that in the same aisle in the grocery store as Canola. . .

    • rdfeinman says:

      Canola, of course, stands for Canadian oil or some variation. I actually once thought that there was a canola plant but, in fact, they have bred the euricic acid (which is toxic) out of rapeseed oil and there really is a canola plant so I do expect to see Crayola cereal in the grocery store. I am not looking forward to that since it is already a major hassle to keep my daughter away from the Froot Loops (current rule is only when we are on vacation and stay at the Marriott which has Froot Loops at the breakfast buffet).

  17. gallier2 says:

    Only problem, Quark doesn’t mean sour cream (that would be Sauerrahm) but fresh cheese.

    Sorry couldn’t resist, I’m the ultimate nitpicking troll.


    • rdfeinman says:

      Thanks. I stand corrected. But is there an American equivalent?

      • gallier2 says:

        Sorry, I can not help on that. I’ve never been in the US so I don’t know the products you have. This said, there is probably no direct equivalent because even things that seem quite similar can have subtle differences. I live in France but have 3 other countries in a range of less than 30km (Luxembourg, Belgium and Germany) and buy things in all 4 countries. Fresh cheese is one of these things that is definitly recognisable from where it comes. Quark is much denser than fromage frais or faisselle (France), Stoffi (Luxembourg is a little bit granulous, a bit like cottage cheese but much, much finer grained and the Belgian one is still different. The brand of the products isn’t important, the difference is in the country of origin. It’s difficult to describe in words, but the difference is really obvious when tasting.

      • rdfeinman says:

        Wikipedia among others says “Quark is a type of fresh cheese, also known as tvorog (from the Russian творог)…. It is made by warming soured milk until the desired degree of denaturation of milk proteins is met, and then strained.” I rarely get to German groceries but Brooklyn has many Polish-Russian groceries and tvorog that is sold there is closest to sour cream. In the end, Wikipedia is probably right that “As the large popularity of quark desserts is limited to mainly the German-speaking and central European countries, confusion might arise when talking about quark with people unfamiliar with cuisine from this area.” I will leave the post as is pending my trip to the German grocery.

  18. rdfeinman says:

    Hard to believe there is another one of us out there but has a post about another breakthrough in physics. “Faster Than Light Neutrino Puts New ‘Pep’ In Pepsi “

  19. George Henderson says:

    Professor Stephen Sondheim was the Banting of chromodynamics; one of his early papers stated:

    “The shiny stuff is tomatoes
    The salad lies in a group
    The curly stuff is potatoes
    The stuff that moves is soup
    Anything that is white is sweet
    Anything that is brown is meat
    Anything that is grey, don’t eat”

    (Do I Hear A Waltz, Pubmed ref. 0987654321)

  20. Marilyn says:

    Froot Loops. Well, Dr. Feinman, you have to admit they’re very colorful, so they must be loaded with vitamins and antioxidants and all that.

    • rdfeinman says:

      I believe that the color may be part of the attraction. Although I don’t eat too much of it, I like junk-food as much as the next guy but I don’t think Froot Loops taste good but my daughter says otherwise. Or maybe it is those antioxidants.

  21. dhackam says:

    Dr Feinman,
    I was wondering if there was any evidence that blackened (or otherwise carmelized) foods are carcinogenic? Or is that all just “bullocks”.
    I greatly enjoy reading your blog.

    • rdfeinman says:

      I don’t know. Blackened or caramelized food, may contain compounds that are carcinogenic in animals. Also, I think that there are epidemiologic studies showing that the more barbecue, the more cancer but I have pretty much stopped reading these because of the poor science, misleading presentation of the data and the extensive bias …that is, “bullocks.” Frank Hu can prove that anything that tastes good will make you sick. The general problem is that until we know what causes cancer, we won’t find out. By analogy with a court of law, you cannot be proven innocent. You can only be found not guilty. I have not really gone over the “court records,” but I doubt the prosecution has made their case. I myself am president of the Institute of Intercostal Protein Chemistry and, our motto, stolen from some other organization that I can’t remember is: “Barbecue. It’s not just breakfast anymore.”

      • dhackam says:

        Dear Richard David,
        Thank you very much for your reply. I read the 15 theses on diabetes management with great interest. Why is it that there is no realization in the diabetologist/endocrinologist community that carb restriction is the cornerstone of management of diabetes? Why are we so quick to jump to metformin, TZDs, incretins, sulfonylureas and insulin? I don’t think it is all drug company motivated. We want to do the best we can for our patients – I really do believe that, and I think you do too, since you are still working in an academic medical center.

      • rdfeinman says:

        Well, there is some realization. As you say, most physicians want to help their patient but many truly have no training in nutrition, which they see as “lifestyle” and carbohydrate restriction, in particular, is seen as a popular fad. They learn drugs and surgery and get one year of biochemistry. The ignorance of endocrinologists is frequently staggering. But then, the medical curriculum is so difficult, I’m amazed that they can learn all the things that they do.

        The academic medical center I work at recognizes the value of carbohydrate restriction but don’t know how to do it, or don’t do it systematically but may be too busy to question the party line. As for the big shots, there is a different motivation and it is outside my area of expertise, or maybe everybody’s area of expertise; until it really comes to some kind of legal proceeding, you can’t really accuse people of anything. There really is such a thing as making peace with cognitive dissonance. So, I think it’s mostly ignorance. As for influences that one has to resist, I don’t think it is drug companies so much as the NIH which has pretty much made it clear that low carb is out and you put your career on the line if you even want to study it. Those are the major factors but there is such a thing as evil. The Tuskegee Doctors were doctors and they weren’t German.

      • dhackam says:

        Thank you for providing me with a very interesting perspective. I am a clinical pharmacologist at a Canadian university in London, Ontario, Canada. Regarding the NIH, I have no experience with submitting research proposals studying low carb diets to this or other granting agencies. From your personal experience, can you recall anecdotes of specific comments by anonymous peer reviewers or scientific officers of peer review committees shooting down grants out of ignorance, malice and the like, just because they aimed to study a low carb diet? For instance, I can imagine that the common misperception that “Fat is atherogenic” and “Fat is carcinogenic” could alone cause many such grant proposals to fail and be falsely questioned on ethical grounds alone (“How can he/she be doing that to those patients, hamsters, etc?”).

        Another thing that really bothers me is the spate of small experimental studies actually purporting to study the effects of high fat/low carb diets which really do nothing of the sort. One was published just this past Friday in Circulation: Imaging and the other in Diabetes Care in February 2012. I can send you the studies. These papers were uncontrolled, small N, took people who were chronically eating standard american diets, and then fed them fat in bolus fashion with very short follow-up (no ketoadaptation phase) and used clinically meaningless surrogate markers to state that fat is dangerous. Surely these authors have no problem getting their ideas funded!

      • rdfeinman says:

        In the end, it will all be documented. Your description is sufficient for me to avoid the articles you mention. On the other hand, at least they will come out in the open. Today’s post will describe the sins of omission, not mentioning carbohydrate restriction studies that would be useful. Of course, they are not really sins of omission and more passive aggression which is even less admirable.

  22. Marilyn says:

    “Of course, they are not really sins of omission and more passive aggression which is even less admirable.”

    A malignant case of “our minds are made up; don’t confuse us with the facts.”

    • rdfeinman says:

      I think they are genuinely hostile. They hate Dr. Atkins more then they hate obesity but if they actually cited the work, it would be obvious what’s going on. At this point, however, it is a question of when passize aggressive turns to depraved indifference.

  23. Alfonzo Luz says:

    Dear Comrades,

    Not to be contrary, but quark is definitely a kind of curd and the word I suggest for BS in polite company is “dreck”. I learned it from a German fellow who said it means fetid data of the type that is toxic to the brain. What an image that evokes…

    Quark can be a real delight on a taco.


    • rdfeinman says:

      I have just returned from Germany and I did only one experiment but quark is sour cream as indicated. In New York, Dreck (via Yiddish or German) is not polite and means “shit.”

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