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Can carbs help heal cuts/grazes?

Commented on August 12, 2014
Created August 11, 2014 at 4:18 PM

I've noticed recently that on days after I go for it on carbs that wounds from cuts/grazes that I've had for too long tend to heal noticeably, is there an explanation for this?

I also noticed this weekend after eating about 400g carbs, which for me i'd usually consider insane and which weren't all 'safe starches' either, that the next day I looked undeniably well, i'm not saying doing this everyday is a good idea but maybe my body was missing something that a carb/sugar binge gave it.

I was one of the VLC disciples, Rosedale, Volek & Phinney were my goto guys, there's times where i'm ketogenic and the mental hyperdrive that eating some pure butter gives me is astronomical, sometimes a zero carb meal feels fantastic, but I can't deny that when I carb up I can appear to go from zombie to ten years younger overnight, what gives?

Medium avatar

(138)

on August 12, 2014
at 10:32 AM

'Don't be a 'disciple' of anything but your own temple' I like that!

I do feel that fat/protein/carbs work synergistically even if it's just the carbs taking the stress of GNG away.

The next question is what about amount of carbs!? I'm guessing at least 150g so the brain has its fuel & some left over for glycogen? I remember one of the VLC guys saying either eat enough carbs to fuel the brain or eat very little so you adapt to using ketones, hovering inbetween may not be wise.

I think ketosis and carb consumption both make sense from an evolutionary perspective, likely cycling in/out of both.

Medium avatar

(138)

on August 12, 2014
at 09:38 AM

It could have been good nights sleep around the times I carb up, weekends/sleeping in and all that, it could also have been the jump in calories. I'm aware of the dangers of carbs but I can't help notice that adding a good portion of them back in I just seem to look better, feel a bit better, have more energy, and better body composition. Even though I ate VLC for the best part of 2 years, I never went past 2/3 weeks of strict keto so maybe never 'fully' adapted, although I can switch back to VLC any day I choose and the next day I notice increased fat burning so must be adapted somewhat.

Medium avatar

(138)

on August 12, 2014
at 09:22 AM

That makes some sense, eating some carbs free's up protein & fats to be used for other means rather than being used for GNG, although when I was VLC and ate a lot of protein I didn't particularly look or feel healthy, maybe its just tricky to dial in how much you really need for synthesis, repair & GNG, and maybe its more stressful to use GNG rather than just eat some carbs.

4426b9b77d6cc822cbb9525d10e20e5e

(20)

on August 12, 2014
at 01:30 AM

Hmm. Comparing a diabetic to a healthy person is not something I would necessarily follow when it comes to carb intake and healing. Kitavans and some African tribes have a carb intake in excess of 50-70%, and don't walk around with gangrene. Diabetics lack the stable ability to properly shuttle glucose into cells. Free excess glucose would of course cause damage and inflammation - in a diabetic.

Medium avatar

(138)

on August 11, 2014
at 06:00 PM

I noticed a period where my hair was shedding more so than usual but i found it stopped soon after. I just find it contradictory as when i'm VLC i can feel pretty great, it feels physically relaxing and mentally clear, my memory and attention improves, but when i got a small cut on my forearm that isn't fully healing after months and when i up the carbs i notice it starts healing, it makes me ask questions...

C6032b723b12cf0073ec6d22c5f4e7ae

on August 11, 2014
at 04:49 PM

When I was very low carb, I'd get cuts and scrapes on my fingers at work every day and bleed everywhere. I also lost hair and developed gastritis. So, in my experience, carbs are necessary for healing, so I'll never do VLC again.

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3 Answers

0
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on August 12, 2014
at 01:25 AM

Excess carbs can interfere with wound healing--ask any one legged diabetic. Consider what you ate WITH those carbs, maybe something lacking in your diet, or just a coincidence of time.

4426b9b77d6cc822cbb9525d10e20e5e

(20)

on August 12, 2014
at 01:30 AM

Hmm. Comparing a diabetic to a healthy person is not something I would necessarily follow when it comes to carb intake and healing. Kitavans and some African tribes have a carb intake in excess of 50-70%, and don't walk around with gangrene. Diabetics lack the stable ability to properly shuttle glucose into cells. Free excess glucose would of course cause damage and inflammation - in a diabetic.

Medium avatar

(138)

on August 12, 2014
at 09:38 AM

It could have been good nights sleep around the times I carb up, weekends/sleeping in and all that, it could also have been the jump in calories. I'm aware of the dangers of carbs but I can't help notice that adding a good portion of them back in I just seem to look better, feel a bit better, have more energy, and better body composition. Even though I ate VLC for the best part of 2 years, I never went past 2/3 weeks of strict keto so maybe never 'fully' adapted, although I can switch back to VLC any day I choose and the next day I notice increased fat burning so must be adapted somewhat.

0
4426b9b77d6cc822cbb9525d10e20e5e

on August 12, 2014
at 12:53 AM

Don't be afraid of carbs! Evidence against long term ketosis is everywhere - including incidences of poorly healing wounds, lowered metabolism (cold hands and feet, lowering of internal body temperature, etc). Freetheanimal put me on to the idea that long term, consistent ketosis is a modern invention, and not something that was likely to have occurred often in our ancestry. Whether through a steady intake of carbs, or 'refeeding' as glucose sources would come available, the body needs glucose. There's a reason the liver and pancreas make sure glucose is circulating in our blood stream at all times - I won't bother posting any references, as one can spend an hour on google and find an equal number of proponents and opponents. For healing, well, fat, protein and glucose work synergistically in the body, and if your body doesn't need to get into GNG, that's less work for it to do.

Unless you have some sort of condition where you are legitimately made worse by carbs, such as with dysbiosis and some autoimmune or mental conditions, I would say carb up. The glucose fear in the paleosphere is, like many things (including CW and SAD) based on an incomplete scientific picture.

You say you look and feel good when you carb up, even if it's occasionally. Your own experience is going to be better evidence for what you should do (or experiment with and document) than anything people post here, including my own ignorant and biased opinion. If you haven't noticed, everything is constantly changing within health science (including Paleo and Primal). Nuts: Yay! Oh no, omega 6s! Potatoes nay - nasty nightshades and toxins! Wait, potatoes yay, safe starches?! Mm, sweet potatoes, yum... wait, there's fructose in those?! The debbil himself!!!

Trust yourself my friend, and play with your machine. Don't be a 'disciple' of anything but your own temple. :)

Medium avatar

(138)

on August 12, 2014
at 10:32 AM

'Don't be a 'disciple' of anything but your own temple' I like that!

I do feel that fat/protein/carbs work synergistically even if it's just the carbs taking the stress of GNG away.

The next question is what about amount of carbs!? I'm guessing at least 150g so the brain has its fuel & some left over for glycogen? I remember one of the VLC guys saying either eat enough carbs to fuel the brain or eat very little so you adapt to using ketones, hovering inbetween may not be wise.

I think ketosis and carb consumption both make sense from an evolutionary perspective, likely cycling in/out of both.

0
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 11, 2014
at 06:58 PM

not sure how reputable this site is, but it mimics what my initial thoughts were (confirmation bias anyone?): http://www.woundcarecenters.org/article/living-wit...

Essentially it says protein is needed to repair the damaged tissue. Protein and Fats are more about energy than repair.

So my take is that the body will elevate the need for muscle synthesis, energy, and glycogen restoration over a superficial wound. When you are VLC, energy and glycogen restoration come via GNG. If you were to "Carb-up" then your body can use the carbohydrates for energy and glycogen restoration allowing the protein to be used for muscle syntesis with left-over protein going to repair the cut.

Medium avatar

(138)

on August 12, 2014
at 09:22 AM

That makes some sense, eating some carbs free's up protein & fats to be used for other means rather than being used for GNG, although when I was VLC and ate a lot of protein I didn't particularly look or feel healthy, maybe its just tricky to dial in how much you really need for synthesis, repair & GNG, and maybe its more stressful to use GNG rather than just eat some carbs.

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