---------THIRD PARTY EDIT------------
The below hack is old stuff. It's interesting background from the spring of 2011, but you might want to read these more current posts:
What???s the deal with PaleoHacks, Dr. Kruse and the FBI?
Richard's blog post about Jack's latest events
Jack's blog post on CT12
There was a paleohacks thread yesterday about how much we should trust various sources of information. We???re lucky to have some very smart people posting interesting information on paleohacks, such as Ron Rosedale, Cate Shanahan, and The Quilt.
Lately there have been many posts about people having positive results with The Quilt's Leptin Rx. The science is complex, but it definitely piqued my curiosity. As an information junkie, I decided to scan through what the Internet could tell me about The Quilt and his ideas.
I found some very positive things, but several fairly disturbing things as well. Please excuse this extremely lengthy hack, but I do believe it is of value.
Let me start by saying that it's clear Jack has some very positive things to contribute to the paleosphere:
- Quilt is a neurosurgeon. Thus, he definitely knows science. Has a strong grasp of several fields, from cell-level to organ-level.
- Quilt gives free advice and will personally answer your questions. Very cool for a busy surgeon.
- Those who follow his protocol appear to be having success.
- The guy can think out of the box. He is curious about all aspects of health. He lost a bunch of weight, and thus walks the walk in addition to talking the talk.
- Quilt can be both serious and funny. See Halloween 2011(NSFW/NSFL) version of Quilt. He is a longstanding and active member of paleohacks who often provides interesting viewpoints.
In looking into his writings further though, I found some disturbing trends. Perhaps I am over reacting? Misinterpreting?
Quilt on cancer reduction through nipple massages
Quilt: "nipple massage will reduce your risk of breast CA by 50% because of the sensitivity to oxytocin....."
Quilt on MUFAs
Quilt: "Mufa's are more sensitive to oxidation. This is why avocado brown so fast when cut. Unstable."
Matthew: "The browning of avocados has nothing to do with mono-unsaturated fatty acids. It is an enzymatic reaction cross-linking phenolic compounds to protect the damaged fruit against microbes."
Kamal: "'Tis true. The culprit is exposed enzymes, not fatty acid oxidation. You can't just go around making stuff up to prove your points. Well, technically you can."
(Current lipid biochemistry indicates that MuFA are very stable...This fact is widely accepted)
Quilt on Mindfulness
Paleohacks user Kamal calls out Quilt for making up statistics:
Quilt: "Mindfulness has shown 56% reduction in cancer recurrence.Show me one drug that even comes close to that number?
Kamal: "Ummm...no. Most of the trial research was done here in Boston at MGH, UMass, and Beth Israel. Neither meta-analyses nor individual trials show a 56% reduction. During the summer that I interned at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine, no one (not even the venerable Dr. Benson) threw around those numbers. I'd ask you to cite your sources, but that does not appear to be your modus operandi."
Kamal: "Yesterday, I saw a claim he made about mindfulness reducing cancer recurrence by 56%. Luckily, I had an internship at the biggest mindfulness research center in the country a few years ago, and knew he was wrong. But who is going to do "due diligence" just to make sure that someone isn't making stuff up?"
Just a few of Quilt's factual errors (overstatements, uninformed speculation, possible plagiarism)
Quilt says, "My principles are based around optimizing life through science not opinion???, though responses often appear to be his opinion rather than substantiated or cited scientific (fact/reasoning).
The following examples (taken from paleohacks) are used to illustrate various errors of fact, faulty reasoning, uninformed speculation and possible plagiarism. Quilt: "Leptin control [sic] fat disposition in body parts. This is why women have curves and men dont. Moreover, people with dosordered leptin function have major body comp and fat deposit issues. See any HIV patient as a great example of the other side of this coin."
akd: "Jesus, lipodystrophy is a side effect from some antiretroviral drugs used to manage HIV infections. not everyone who takes antiretrovirals gets it. its not a function fo the HIV infection, and looking up the cause i dont see the word "leptin" anywhere.
RG73, medical student and paleohacks participant questions a statement made by The Quilt
Quilt: "Cross country running or skiing plus paleo is an oxymoron and might eventually kill you via apoptosis or senescence which ever your programmed for first".......I'll pass"
RG73: "Citation that running shortens telomeres please? Running is going to cause apoptosis? Seriously? That makes zero evolutionary sense. Mitochondria work against our telomeres? Separate genomes. What is the biological mechanism? Werner et al. 2008, Werner et al. 2009, Puterman et al. 2010, LaRocca et al. 2010. I mean I could go on with this all day."
ZZ: "Per what I've read on Whole Health Source and PaNu sites, we want to keep PUFA <= 4%."
Quilt: "This number comes from Mary Enig and truthfully no one knows if it is true."
Jay: "The 4% figure does not come from Mary Enig. It comes from real research done by Lands..."
Quilt possibly making up stuff about gelatin:
Quilt: "All gelatin that is commercially produced is loaded with excitotoxins. So i would never eat it. If you make your own with bone broth that is awesome."
Kamal: "Please explain how home made bone broth (producing gelatin) is different than gelatin made from pig skin and powdered in amino acid profile. Both have glutamine. Most (paleo) people get the regular, unhydrolyzed gelatin."
Jay: "QUILT, this is just mechanistic speculation. Moreover, it doesn't even seem well-founded."
Matthew: "Interesting fact: A breakfast made up beef containing 50 grams of protein can contain 10 grams of glutamate. In contrast 10 grams of gelatin contains only 0.5 grams of glutamate."
One of many instances of Quilt posting something but not acknowledging that the source is another website, not him (mild, perhaps unintentional "borrowing" of ideas)...
Matthew: "By the way, have the LEF been pinching your work? I realise the above quote is from your blog. If you look under the Vitamin K heading at paragraph 37-38 on this page it looks quite similar to the last six lines above..."
Quilt willy-nilly attacks other paleo gurus even when they have never heard of Quilt. See here for Kurt Harris getting pissed off by Quilt...
Dr. Kruse: "While i like both of these guys, neither one has any clinical experience treating cancer patients. They read literature. When kurt was a practicing doc he spent time in a dark room with films not patients."
Kurt Harris MD: "I suppose referring to my by my Christian name when I have never met you supports the impression you know a single thing about my clinical practice or career.You don't. I have had varied and intimate contact with patients doing interventional radiology, including neurointerventional for over 25 years. For 6 years I performed a person consultation with all of my patients at my own private imaging center - that would be about 12,000 in-person patient encounters. This is where I started treating patients with my diet, through this local contact. And I continue to do it locally and in internet consultation, even if you don't know it because I am not as loud about it as some...I am not clear on what being an oncologist has to do with anything, but you are no more of an oncologist than I am. You are a dentist and neurosurgeon. Try sticking to your crackpot theorizing rather than knocking a radiologist and physicist for the "madness" of thinking you might not die if you eat a potato...."
Quilt sometimes predicts that eating things he doesn???t like will kill you, making erroneous blanket statements...
ROB: ???hadn't had dairy in close to 10 months and finally binged on close to 400 grams of sour cream daily for three days, and I feel great.???
Quilt: ???I say eat it.......It will keep me busy down the road...Dairy equal insulin and eventually insulin leads to death. The great circle of life encapsulated.???
Lee: ???But doc...full fat, heavy cream for instance, doesnt spike insulin, does it????
Ikco: ???Dairy isn't dairy. Source and type matter enormously. And scare tactics are just lame.???
So I???m looking for some input. Given the type of information I found above, how should I approach the Quilt???s ideas? Sorry if the post sounded antagonistic, but these are simply the facts that I found using a google search and a paleohacks search. I am genuinely interested in what people???s views are on this. Quilt is providing a potentially useful and absolutely free source of information, but I want to know how much I can trust that information, given what I found above (which presumably is just a small slice of what???s out there).
EDIT & NOTE BY PATRIK: I DON'T THINK IS AN APPROPRIATE TOPIC FOR PALEOHACKS GIVEN ITS EMOTIONAL & SUBJECTIVE NATURE. I WILL LEAVE THIS THREAD UP FOR NOW BUT DO NOT TURN THIS INTO A PILE-ON HATE-FEST AGAINST THE QUILT. PLEASE WATCH YOUR EMOTION & LANGUAGE & DON'T BE MEAN. :)
asked bymari (7304)
Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!
on November 01, 2011
at 11:04 PM
Blanket statements and poor biochemistry aside, I cannot stand his poor grammar and lack of punctuation on this site. Most of the time his answers look like they were written by a 3rd grader.
I'm expecting to be down voted by his all too faithful followers but as you pointed out, I'm not the only person he bothers.
on November 01, 2011
at 11:20 PM
I can't really answer, because of the whole moderator thing and my past arguments with Quilt.
But I will say that Quilt is very very knowledgeable, and I appreciate his willingness to post free information in an effort to improve people's health.
One just has to be fully informed when evaluating the advice of anyone on the internet, and this is no exception.
"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.???
on November 03, 2011
at 02:05 AM
Jack, I apologize. Apparently on March 15, after you commented on Facebook on one of my posts, I did ask you if you would contribute a guest post fleshing out some claims you had made that surprised me. On March 21 you made the statement on PaleoHacks that I had invited you to do a guest post. When, around May or June, someone from PaleoHacks asked me if it was true, I had totally forgotten that exchange and said I hadn't. Just a loss of memory on my part.
In any case I was wrong, your statement was not false, and I apologize for thinking and saying that it was.
on November 01, 2011
at 11:25 PM
you know, ive been around here long enough that i have seen the quilt really dig himself into a few holes. ive never appreciated the tone that he uses with people when they question him. "just look it up," is not an acceptable answer when someone asks you to clarify a statement you make. it just speaks to his character in a way that i dont appreciate. i didnt know about most of this stuff here in the question, though i remember the couple of run ins that im mentioned in. seeing it all together is not totally shocking, i have to say. ive sort of long ago dismissed what he has to say since he is such a poor communicator. im also highly suspicious of anyone who gives medical advice over the interwebs. its just not ethical, and shows a lack of judgement.
i cant speak to his science, since that is not where my strengths lay but again ive seen him caught in enough tight spots that im confident that i can get much better information elsewhere.
besides, i find the relationship advice he offers to be borderline abusive. since that is where my strengths lay, i think ill follow my intuition and get my science elsewhere.
that said, im not a fan of gurus anyway. like rose, i follow my body and listen to my intuition. i never depend on information from just one source so when someone like the quilt makes a claim that i cannot verify elsewhere, its automatically dismissed. after three strikes, i stop listening. this is why i love wolf, harris, and sisson so much though. they are always seeking and striving and growing and citing. its hard work convincing people youre right, as it should be.
on November 02, 2011
at 12:29 AM
I take issue with the way that people are responding to the Quilt. I'd like to defend him a bit.
Kruse is the type of thinker who consumes large amounts of information and then synthesizes it into a similarly large system. When he writes he is trying to bring out all of the connections that are buzzing in his head. Kruse's emphasis - as a writer - is usually on seeing everything come together, and not necessarily on providing what most of us would consider a polished, professional statement. Further, he is a very busy person who wants to help others, so the practical compromise he accepts is that his comments will be made in haste, with poor grammar, minor errors, and various moments when his tone could be misconstrued as rude or dismissive.
It is true that Dr K is an opinionated person with an aggressive, idiosyncratic sense of humor that sometimes gets him in trouble with some types of readers. But I think that he considers it an acceptable tradeoff to offend this subset of readers if it allows him to help others achieve their health goals.
So far I've talked mostly about Kruse's style, now I'd like to shift some to his content (the two are interrelated).
To begin, I'll just say that I really value Kruse's contributions to the paleo discussion. He seems to pour through more of the scientific literature than anyone else. His attempt to synthesize this literature is also the most ambitious I've seen. Most of the information he conveys is also backed up by clinical experience, so it's not just crackpot theorizing. Rather, it's informed speculation plus experimentation; and that is pretty much what science is. Kruse's background or journey - from dentistry to neurosurgery to optimal nutrition - also gives him a unique vantage point that, to my knowledge, has no parallel in this community.
Admittedly, Kruse's communication skills are not as strong or polished as they could be. His readers have to dig around his articles, make some connections on their own, read through the comments, etc. He makes readers do more work than any other science-literate blogger of which I'm aware. What I've found, however, is that in time most of it actually does come together. When Kruse makes a claim on his blog, or here on Paleohacks, that seems unwarranted and without basis, eventually the explanation and evidence on which it is based comes to light.
As for the guru issue, I'm not one to follow gurus. I follow ideas, and try to take in the ideas that sound the most original, creative, and comprehensive. On this front, it is hard to argue against what Kruse has to offer.
Say what you want about his style or personality, but you can't say that the Quilt's heart isn't in the right place. He obviously spends a great deal of his time contributing to this site and his blog. Dr K answers almost everybody's questions and comments, and he is always game for a debate. Granted, he is not as interested in providing citations as some of us would like him to be, but it is also true that, intellectually, those are the least interesting sorts of requests. When ideas and concepts are at stake, Dr K has been very dynamic, informative, and original.
I don't mind the mistakes here and there. Most people who - like me - work in academia and research know how important making mistakes is to achieving substantial progress. The big picture matters far more than whether or not a few details were mistaken along the way. This is true broadly, and it is especially true in the context of Paleohacks comments. Most of us are not in a rush to convey information that fits into a larger system that is being unveiled in pieces as it comes together before our eyes. Whether Dr K is on the right track or not, this is what he is doing, and I think that it makes sense for all of us who understand this to make special allowances because of it.
As Kruse likes to point out, he is a big boy, so criticize him all you want. He can take it. But let's not give him the wrong idea. Kruse may be doing something special. So far, I think it is pretty impressive, and I want to encourage him to keep pushing forward, minor details and pleasantries be damned.
on November 01, 2011
at 11:18 PM
this guy says things that are factually wrong and talks down about legitimate science way too much. his advice might work for you and make you healthier - after all, as far as I know he sticks to the paleo framework to some level of strictness, right? but I would take everything he says with a grain of salt. Working in the field doesnt mean he's always got the science down if he's not going to be conscientious about checking sources and facts before he posts and gives advice. MDs are not superhuman. Also, as someone who invokes his authority as an MD almost constantly, I question the ethics of his posts where he does give medical advice without knowing the patient or often having a basis for making recommendations. He should probably be careful about that.
on November 02, 2011
at 03:13 AM
A point for any of his followers to keep in mind is that a clinician is not necessarily a trained scientist.
Despite his medical knowledge, his results seem to me to be N=1 at this point, just like the rest of us. He's made amazing personal progress with his health and fitness and that's to be respected. Like many of us, he has a great story about regaining his well-being through paleo.
However, I find it hard to believe that he has had sufficient time to collect the clinical data necessary to support his theories; like many of us, he hasn't been paleo for a long time. A careful clinician will not jump to sweeping conclusions based on a few patients, or just his own results. Blanket statements, erroneous cites, and inchoate postings are not solidifying his position.
Given sufficient and rigorous investigation, some of his ideas could prove to be valid while others go to the dustbin. His leptin prescription does seem to be helping some people based on the testimonials here, and he has a strong passion for all things paleo. He's full of ideas and contributes a lot here, but a clear delineation between fact and speculation when making connections between ideas in the medical and academic literature would be helpful and on the level.
on November 01, 2011
at 11:46 PM
I do not read this as antagonistic at all. The fact that you have presented both positives and negatives was very thoughtful of you. This is a VERY tough question and even tougher to answer fairly. Since it seems really appropriate, I am going to reference my response to the question from Matthew yesterday -
We could go on and on about how someone earns our trust and becomes a "guru" that we rely upon (e.g. formal training, letters before/after their name, personal life transformation story, etc). Peter at Hyperlipid says "no gurus". However my take is that there are gurus, but it is not a tenured position. It needs to be continually earned (or at least not lost).
Perhaps it will be more efficient "via negativa" to answer this question
- Has he/she ever blatantly lied or falsified information?
- Does the person make bold claims absent supporting information? I am not talking about cites for every last claim, but at least controversial ones.
- Does he/she have a history of being litigious on blogs and forums with dissenting views?
- Is he/she unwilling to consider alternate points of view?
- Does he/she imply omniscience rather than acknowledging limitations of his/her knowledge?
- Does the person engage in ad hominem attacks?
- Does the person have an incoherent writing style? Genius that no one else can comprehend is not very useful.
- Is the person emotionally unstable? This might seem odd but it is difficult to trust someone, even versed in science, that arguably needs to be institutionalized, or at least get some intensive therapy
- Is the person respected by his peers? This is not synonymous with complete agreement on all points
I could go on. This is not the be all / end all list, just an off the cuff response to the question. Also, this is obviously not a black-white assessment - there are many shades of grey. But if a person fails enough of the questions, then one must consider the possibility that this person is doing more harm than good for our community.
Also, I do NOT think the argument "well, a lot of people have gotten healthier following his/her advice" holds water. People have gotten healthier following Ornish and Oz also. Correlation is not causation
I don't think it is a secret that I have not always seen eye to eye with Quilt. But I do agree with the positives you have cited and I have nothing against him as an individual. To the extent that you have merely copied these quotes from previous posts/blogs, I have to assume that the veracity of these items are not questionable. However, I think the "facts" you have a presented definitely are cause for concern, particularly the excerpts of distortions and comments Quilt has made. The information you have presented is particularly troublesome because I know there are many new and impressionable members of PH community that need to be mindful of the advice they are receiving.
Let's face it, Quilt has become a significant member of the Paleo community, and with that comes responsibility on his part, dare I say some level of accountability - not simply as a blogger but as an MD and someone that could influence many in a positive way.
The bottom line to me is that there are a many paths forward. So will he,
- Not dismiss this post and take the time to address what you've raised in a thoughtful manner analogous to the effort you have taken? And perhaps use it as opportunity for self improvement and growth?
- Tell people to f*ck off because he has a following now and doesn't give two sh|ts what others think because he has achieved his objectives in the blogosphere
- Love every minute of it!
- None of the above
I eagerly await his response. Thanks for posting this question. I hope some day I grow up to be as mature as you (not likely).