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fat burning and mitochondria

Discussion in 'The New Monster Thread' started by KiwiLauren, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. KiwiLauren

    KiwiLauren Gold

    I'd like to get some discussion going about upregulating mitochondrial efficiency and becoming an efficient fat burner. The basic facts as I understand them are: there are 3 pathways in the body that we can use to make ATP; sugar burning is the least efficient but requires the least 'infrastructure' so we will rely on sugar burning if we don't have a) the right fuel (food) and b) the correct infrastructure to support fat burning. The mitochondrial Rx is about creating better mitochondrial function to allow optimal ATP production (which includes L carnitine, D Ribose, Magnesium, CoQ10 and taurine, as well as the foundational importance of grounding (and reduction of EMF exposure)). In the free Q&A, Dr Kruse mentioned a couple of times that until you're a fat burner eating high-fat isn't going to necessarily help you and won't create weight loss. And that becoming a fat burner takes 18-24 months. At least that's what I heard. So here are my questions:

    1) What is the optimal diet to get us to become fat burners? Should we stick to the high protein of the BAB or is it OK to be high fat, moderate protein? Will one push fat-burning pathways to emerge faster than others? Should seasonal carbs in summer even be eliminated while we transition to fat-burning? Is there a way to force the body to fat burn efficiently (as in use the correct pathways) with diet alone?
    2) Where do the mitochondrial Rx supplements fit in? Are they simply to accelerate the switch to optimal energy production or will there be cases (perhaps most?) where the body requires exogenous supplementation to get back on track?
    3) Re: mitochondrial Rx supps, I know from the webinar that they each perform a different function and enable different processes to occur... how are you evaluating where your particular mitochondrial needs are and targetting supplementation that way?
    and, lastly,
    4) Do you assume that weight loss will not occur (or that stalls will not re-start toward losing patterns) until mitochondrial function is above 50%?

    Opinions, please!

  2. Destiny

    Destiny New Member

    Those are all very good questions, Lauren.

    I would like to also know if weight loss really indicates the mitochondrial function improvement?
  3. caroline

    caroline Moderator

    Good questions Lauren! I was really wondering about the supps especially. When I last spoke to Dr. Kruse a month ago He said we didn't know yet if it is my mitochondria - his words "we are not there yet" so I am assuming he would have suggested supps if necessary. We did talk about supps and generally he said they won't hurt you - if you want to take them - go ahead .... mind you ... it wasn't the mitichondrial supps we were talking about specifically. Everyone has jumped on that band wagon and I am not sure what to do. I would love to know more about the fat burning too - I thought I was there - but I was surprised by his 18-24 month answer ....Right now I seem to need so much more food but my weight is stable......
  4. NittDan

    NittDan New Member

    Hope Jack chimes in here...great formulation of your questions, Lauren.
  5. Jack Kruse

    Jack Kruse Administrator

    It does.......fat people are more oxidized and less reduced and it means they are lacking electrons in their bodies.
  6. kathylu

    kathylu Gold

    I'm wondering if we heard this correctly? My understanding is that it takes from a few days to maybe 6 to 8 weeks to become keto-adapted. In my case, I have to be burning fat for fuel...it's practically all I eat...lol
  7. Huck

    Huck Silver

    Could it be that it takes 18-24 months for it to become the primary pathway?
  8. NittDan

    NittDan New Member

    I think Jack said it takes SOME people 18-24 months to completely convert.
  9. ashryn

    ashryn New Member

    I was thinking something like that... Like you can be making your fuel from fat when that's what there is, but anything like sugar will still be the preferred mode for a long while until it gets really ingrained in your system.
  10. Jack Kruse

    Jack Kruse Administrator

    To live in that pathway takes a long time........very few stay in it in modern life.
  11. Danco3636

    Danco3636 Silver

    I have been working on that pathway myself as an athlete.
    I IF daily skipping breakfast with having BP Coffee from time to time.
    I am lean 5-6% BF coming up on 49 years young.
    I lift weights (minamialist approach) 3 days a week and the other days Movnat, play, swim bike martial arts etc.
    The fat adapt gets easier as time goes on. My strength levels seem to stay strong.
    I have been having seasonal carbs in small amounts, around 100 grams or less post workout on lifting days with BCAA'S and some whey. On those lift days MWF I up my protein amount and keep fat a little lower. On other days high fat with moderate to lower protein. I call it my "Protein Pulse". Mostly keto with a protein pulse around strength workouts.
    Trying to express that pathway around being active and athleticism.
    How is my approach?
  12. KiwiLauren

    KiwiLauren Gold

    This is what I believed, too. But this is sort of what I'm challenging. Yes, we must be burning fat for fuel. However, I'm really wondering about those of us who have stalled with weight loss on this front. When I listened to a podcast with another paleo doctor he mentioned briefly in passing (while talking about how safe saturated fat is) that the 'worst' thing that can happen with too much saturated fat is that your body will store it in your adipose tissue. And I also heard Jack comment on the Q&A that too much fat can hurt you if you're not fully fat adapted. If I put these things together with the fact that there are multiple ways to generate ATP, I wonder if it's possible that while we transition to fat adaptation mode we can have too much fat as fuel (again, why the BAB focuses on protein) and it stall our weight loss. Continuing this theory, it isn't going to harm us, but we'd potentially be better off with less fat in the interim. At the same time, fat is the best fuel for our mitochondria... does it matter if we aren't using it properly? I'm guessing it does.

    Similarly, this winds back to the mitochondrial supplements. Is everyone simply taking them because they were recommended? Or do any of you have formulations about why and what you're targeting and how you're gauging their effectiveness in mitochondrial efficiency generation?

    Many who follow folks like Jaminet and Kresser report weight stalls end when they up their carbs. I'm thinking this also relates to how effectively they can utilise the fat burning pathways and when they dial down fat and dial up carbs they generate more energy by using both pathways, while also giving thyroid a boost. This makes sense for those of us who have thyroid and weight loss issues (me!) but I am not ready to go the increased carb/safe starch approach. However, I'd like to understand the mechanisms involved in this more optimal mitochondrial process so I can figure out how to fine-tune it for me.
  13. KiwiLauren

    KiwiLauren Gold

    Thanks, Anna. I'd like to keep dissecting this. I appreciate your thinking.

    Re: 1) I'm not sure it's clear that you have to eat high-fat to be a fat burner. I'm guessing when you are truly in that pathway you could eat moderate fat and still remain there.

    re: 2) I think that's agreed, too. However, this circles back to the central question of how long this takes. I know a LOT of people who report stalls/weight gain when they increase fat and I'm interested in what is causing that phenomenon.

    re: 3) Is that always true? Or just when LS/a fat-burner?

    re: 4) I completely agree... so with this 'gradual adaptation' what does that mean for us in the interim? How much do set-backs set us back? Where does the fat we eat go/what is done with it while we are transitioning to being able to burn it? Is it possibly stored? Isn't this the theoretical benefit of eating fish/seafood - the DHA goes directly to the brain (and theoretically of MCT/coconut oil, too) - so isn't stored/used in the body elsewhere? Too much protein causes problems, but I'm wondering if too much fat does, too... especially in the transition stages.

    re: 5) +1 on the general need for Mg; with the other supps I'm interested in targeted use, which Dr Kruse alluded to in the Q&A, but I'm unclear. I'm also wondering for those of us with more serious health histories if we require temporary use of supplements to rebuild infrastructure.

    re: 6) I think this contradicts a comment Dr K made on one of the webinars/Q&A's (perhaps the last one?) where he mentioned that he 'could' eat all the carbs from some treat and remain in the fat-burning pathway, but he chose not to. So I'm surmising that at some point fat-burning/reduced living becomes engrained and not so easy thrown off. I wonder if this is also a transition issue.

    re: 7) I'm interested in the reverse of this thinking... that mitochondrial health underpins ALL other health, including hormones and the rest. This would mean that at some point, weight loss and hormonal balance and optimal organ function would all fall in line with high-functioning mitochondria (which also implies they'd be making ATP in the most optimal pathways and would be entrenched in fat burning).

    Further ideas?
  14. kathylu

    kathylu Gold

    Abstract of an article discussing metabolic inflexibility, which is the issue everyone is skirting around. Wish I had access to the entire article, but I would have to go to the NIH library...not in the cards this week, just too busy!

    Ann Med. 2006;38(6):389-402.
    The metabolic syndrome: role of skeletal muscle metabolism.
    Stump CS, Henriksen EJ, Wei Y, Sowers JR.

    MU Diabetes and Cardiovascular Research Center, Columbia, Missouri, USA. stumpc@health.missouri.edu

    Skeletal muscle constitutes the largest insulin-sensitive tissue in the body and is the primary site for insulin-stimulated glucose utilization. Skeletal muscle resistance to insulin is fundamental to the metabolic dysregulation associated with obesity and physical inactivity, and contributes to the development of the metabolic syndrome (MS). The inability to efficiently take up and store fuel, and to transition from fat to glucose as the primary source of fuel during times of caloric abundance (high insulin) or scarcity (low insulin) has been termed metabolic inflexibility which contributes to a whole body metabolic dysregulation and cardiovascular risk. Potential mechanisms contributing to reduced insulin signaling and action in skeletal muscle includes adipose tissue expansion and increased inflammatory adipokines, increased renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) activity, decreases in muscle mitochondrial oxidative capacity, increased intramuscular lipid accumulation, and increased reactive oxygen species. Future research is focused upon understanding these and other potential mechanisms in order to identify therapeutic targets for reducing MS risk. Strategies will include adequate physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight, but may also require specific pharmacologic interventions.

    [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  15. KiwiLauren

    KiwiLauren Gold

    "and to transition from fat to glucose as the primary source of fuel"

    I don't understand this bit... are they saying to be able to use fat to create glucose? The way it's worded it sounds as if they are saying you want to be a sugar burner!

    I can get the full article but it sounds like it's describing the theoretical mechanisms that underpin poor metabolic function. Which I think are sounding like what Dr Kruse outlined in the mitochondria webinar. I'm trying to figure out how this transition to full fat burning works, what stops it, what accelerates it, and why someone would stop a weight-loss stall by adding carbs (which would be counter to the theory). I'm also trying to get some feedback about using the mitochondrial supps in a well-thought out fashion based on personal context. Does that make sense?
  16. Jack Kruse

    Jack Kruse Administrator

    FFA back bone is glycerol which can be converted to glucose.
  17. KiwiLauren

    KiwiLauren Gold

    Thanks. So if I have this right, it means that free fatty acids generate glycerol which can then be converted into glucose. Which explains what they mean.
  18. Zorica Vuletic

    Zorica Vuletic New Member

    Being a fat burner for some extremely healthy individuals might not mean eating just fat? I wonder if for very athletic and very healthy (at mitochondrial level) can eat way more carbs but they will not feel hungry for many many hours before the next meal...so they end up 'burning fat' so they are fat burners instead of sugar burners even though they might end up eating more sugar from food? Do you know what I mean?

    For example if someone physically cannot eat for maybe 12 hours between meals regardless of the food they are eating? I know there are some people who live on very bad foods and sugars...but they are unable to eat too frequently almost like IF. Know what I mean?

    I guess probably it is referring to fat burner from mitochondrial level---of course a diet with good amount of fats and reduced sugar is just plain optimal and since the body wants that anyway, might as well just take the short cut with a proper diet. lol
  19. Jack Kruse

    Jack Kruse Administrator

    EMF 4 has it in 11000 words or so.......
  20. Destiny

    Destiny New Member

    All this discussion makes me realize that I am also unclear at which stage of fat burning I might be.

    15 months ago, I was LR for sure. I started LR RX and it took me a year to lose 10 lbs with a lot of frustration along the way! During that time, I saw my blood sugar going up but I lost my cravings.

    When I went ketogenic 4 months ago, I lost additional 18 lbs. I eat fat but not huge quantities. I eat 3 times per day. I eat what I feel my body wants (protein and fat, little veggies) if that makes any sense.

    I am at 124 lbs, not sure if the weight loss will continue or if it even should? How low it should go for a 5'4" woman at 51 yrs for the mitochondrial efficiency? Am I burning fat efficiently? Not sure, yes, I am confused too.

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