For tl;dr, skip to 2nd paragraph :)
I am considering doing a degree in nutrition and dietetics, after having done a 3 year social sciences degree. I've been reading stuff in the 'paleo' etc online sphre for a year and would like to understand the chemistry etc a lot more than I currently do. I may be at risk of becoming a perpetual student (I would be 26 or 27 upon graduating, but a degree seems a way of generating understanding in a conducive (and social) context, and perhaps potential for me to work in related fields down the track. I did not do any science in the final two years of high school so it would be probably be challenging to say the least.(It could be a decision of madness too, who knows if I'd go into practice.) If udnerstanding is a main goal though, maybe I'd be better off in some way to work in realtion to current field and read in spare time... This is the course in question http://www.uow.edu.au/handbook/yr2012/ug/hbs/H12006102.html
I don't expect feeback on the above per se, although I would welcome it... Instead I'm interested in how you as a Paleohacks users have cultivated your understandings re chemistry, biochesmitry etc. Would you say you know a lot of about things? (reading posts of some users it seems that knowledge levels are high).At what stage in your life did you develop an interest in these things, pursue them? Was it a part of life from high school/broader life or a more recent interesT? Did you study at uni, or 'on teh side' in leisure time? And iin either cases, how do you think you've beneffited, whether professinoally of personally?
I would love to read any thoughts on these questions or any other issues that seem pertinent to you...
asked byMichael_17 (2934)
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on May 07, 2013
at 05:24 PM
I think I've been a chemist since I was 8 years old with my chemistry set. Fooled myself into thinking I like biology in early high school, but chemistry simply clicked for me, and I haven't looked back. Currently on the cusp my PhD in chemistry. At 31 years of age myself, absolutely nothing wrong with going to school when you know what you want to do with your life, instead of "doing undergrad" as if it's expected (I did a chemistry bachelors, but wasn't sure I was going to enjoy it as a career.)
I though am weary of somebody falling in love with the science of paleo, it's certainly not as glamorous as it's made out to be. Just like the mass spectrometer doesn't solve every murder on CSI/Bones, reality is a bit more mundane.
Paleo itself is just an idea of a few, the rest of the world probably thinks we're a bit silly. Nutrition science is pretty awful as well, it attempts to reduce problems to single variables, when that's impossible and that's the antithesis paleo. Paleo is a holistic approach.
Just the ramblings of a chemist who's waiting for his rotovap to finish.
on May 07, 2013
at 09:51 PM
If you are a very curious & open-minded person with a good memory, and you genuinely enjoy reading & learning broad subjects...then I say go to college.
I've wanted to be a doctor since I was a kid, so I went to college & got my BS in Biology & Chemistry. During that time, I began doing advanced scientific research/internships with several biochemistry professors. I learned how scientific research works and how to read difficult scientific studies. It helped that I studied hardcore in my first year of my biology/chemistry degree (4.0 gpa)...it really helped me set the foundation for furthur knowledge & understanding in the sciences.
I also took ecology/evolution & anthropology courses, and have a strong interest in healthy nutrition & fitness...those experiences combined with health issues slowly drove me towards the logical, paleo lifestyle. Now I am finishing my Masters in microbiology and I work as a research technologist for the Mayo Clinic. I conduct cool medical research experiments everyday. On the side, I am constantly reading scientific studies on paleo/natural therapies (they exist! There's lots of compelling scientific evidence for paleo). I spend much of my free time cooking...and LOTS of time reading paleo recipes/blogs. Eventually I would like to continue my education towards an MD/PhD, and become a paleo diet researcher like Dr. Loren Cordain (my hero).
I would definitely say that my liberal, well-rounded college experience has allowed me to better understand & appreciate evolutionarily-proper diet & lifestyle. I intend to keep learning the rest of my life...and I've already made it a part of my living/career too. It's hard work but I am proud and can't believe how much I've learned and grown throughout my education.
on May 07, 2013
at 05:59 PM
I went straight through to an MS in Chem E at Berkeley 36 years ago. The chemistry is one tool in the bag working around the chemimechanical processes used to make paper and hardboard from wood and recycled fiber. It's all over the map from organic to inorganic, but it's familiar country at this point, from cooked starches to wetting agents to inorganic bleaches.
There are other tools in the bag, which act like muses to prevent chemi-geekness. Music performance, reading, cooking, travel, etc. I live off of what I know of chemistry but it's not my life.
on May 07, 2013
at 05:48 PM
I have 4 years of undergrad behind me that resulted in my BS in Chemistry. That includes about 30 credit hours of biology. I completed my degree in 2005, when I was 22. As I become more interested in the world of paleo, I'm finding my scientific knowledge to be incredibly useful in understanding the way in which what we eat affect our overall health and well-being.
on May 08, 2013
at 09:56 PM
I did a B.S. in Biochemistry at UCLA; did research and all that; but regarding how "legit" a study is, I'm less versed. I guess I'm slowly getting better just shadowing some well written blogs, and reading the occasional banter online. Not a fan of scientific papers though.
To understand all of this, I do feel there needs to be an understanding of the foundation in the pathways in our body. You don't need to know every step of metabolism and synthesis, but terms like Krebs cycle and gluconeogenesis shouldn't send you scrambling down a path of confusion. This, imo, can be self-taught.
on May 08, 2013
at 07:50 AM
BA and MSci in chemistry, minored in cell biology, pharmacology and evolutionary biology. It's the latter one that's given me the most insight to paleo. In chemistry I specialised in inorganic chemistry and didn't do much biochemistry.
If you want to do a science degree, do a real science degree. I really don't think that 3 years learning conventional nutritional BS plus a lot of $$ will help you much in the long run , I started science in school and continued it at uni. Now I work in the luxury goods industry, so there you go. It benefited me a lot having a difficult, numerate degree from a very good uni, as employers like that kind of thing. I switched to chemistry from biology in the 1st year for this reason (and I enjoyed it more). I loved my degree but didn't want to do a pHD or work in industry so left it behind after uni. Do miss it :(
on May 07, 2013
at 07:33 PM
Based on my experience with the Nutritional Science and Dietetics program at my University, don't waste your time and money. If you are interested in a piece of paper saying you know about nutrition, go for it. If you actually want to learn useful and relevant information, pursue a degree in biology, biochemistry, physiology/neurobiology, etc. The NUSC department here is stuck in 1990. I've attempted to speak with several professors, and each time I can't get over the "saturated fat causes high cholesterol which causes heart disease" hump. None of them had even heard of Gary Taubes or Good Calories Bad Calories. I've read GCBC and it's what convinced me not to waste my time with the program. I am a bio major, and interestingly enough, I will be doing research concerning Low Carb diets under Dr. Jeff Volek in the Kinesiology dept next year. Tl:DR: to learn, pursue a biology degree. To "learn" myths, pursue a Nutritional science degree.
on May 07, 2013
at 05:14 PM
I took AP Chem and AP Bio in High school. I have a BS in Computer Science. I've learned a lot about the health side of biology, chemistry, physiology as a side hobby because I didn't have the vibrant health I wanted and knew that there must be a reason for it. Never had tons of money to go to the Doctor, never knowingly had any life threatening issues or anything though, and a lot of what I've learned has just been from logging in my internet hours reading blogs, patrolling Science Daily, PubMed, Science Direct and Google.
You can't have a successful happy life if you're miserable and sick all the time, as far as I'm concerned health is an absolute priority and learning about health stuff excites me like some people get excited about going to clubs/parties or doing drugs, like smoking weed (which might not be as addictive as it is just habbit forming).
I think it's Aristotle who said "We are what we repeatedly do, Excellence then is not an act but a habit". Discover what you want and if anyone says it doesn't exist or you can't find it then ignore them. I've had friends and family tell me I should have gone to medical school, and I'm sure studying this stuff in school would start you off with a great foundation. I don't think with the internet the way it is that going to school for this kind of stuff is a necessity, but if you want to do it for a career someday then it's a great start.
on May 08, 2013
at 09:14 PM
I know absolutely nothing about chemistry and biochemistry and proud of it.
Actually, I remember just one things: acids neutralize bases. That's all. Nothing more.
No, I don't have a burning desire to learn chemistry. When I read some posts (and some articles on Perfect Health Diet) my reaction is huh? What are they talking about? When the only words you can understand are articles "a" and "the" in the whole paragraph, it gets quite boring. I need things to be spelled out in simple form. Like grains are not good for you because antinutrients are there to protect grains from being eaten. That's what I understand.
Also, I would like to warn people about dangers of getting too much into details. Usually many brainy people with high testosterone-driven brain prone to zero in on one thing and one thing only. It used to help during the hunt - here is our gazelle, go get it.
However, you need to see the big picture behind the elephant. When you get too technical and search for "how" you overlook answers to the most important question - "why".
I respect people's interests in chemistry and biochemistry as long as they see the world as a whole, not as a compilation of chemistry and physics and understand that both disciplines are just a tiny drop in the bucket. We need to constantly remind ourselves that everything is interconnected. One of the main reasons I love anthropology because it can exhibit (and should) a more holistic approach to science.
"One cannot pluck a flower without disturbing a star."
on May 08, 2013
at 08:41 AM
I am currently studying for the Precision Nutrition Certification which is excellent. I also found these below as supplementary lectures/material.
Professor Steven A. Fink: Cellular Respiration. http://bit.ly/ZDVcxr
Both seven part series (2008), and newer two part series (2012). I do recommend watching the seven part series first.
Steven A. Fink is Professor of Biological Sciences, Vice-Chairman of the Sciences Division, and Director of the Environmental Hazardous Materials Technology Program at West Los Angeles College. He is also Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology for the West Los Angeles College Dental Hygiene Program, and Adjunct Associate Professor for Anatomy & Physiology in the Life-Sciences Department at Santa Monica College. For the past 30 years his primary instructional responsibilities have been in the areas of Human Physiology, Clinical Pharmacology and Environmental Toxicology. http://www.professorfink.com
The Saylor Foundation: Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology: http://bit.ly/11EkpJO
Welcome to BIO101B, Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology. This course is intended for the student interested in understanding and appreciating common biological topics in the study of the smallest units within biology: molecules and cells.
I work as a GNU/Linux system administrator for a hosting company. I just passed highschool by 2% overall (36% final score!). That is all I have in terms of an educational background.
on May 07, 2013
at 07:51 PM
If the purpose is thirst for useful knowledge (rather than to meet a degree requirement for a specific position), I'd simply go to the university bookstore to look up the course textbook titles (if the information is unavailable online), buy at discount off Amazon (frankly, after having checked the torrent websites), and plow through the texts at my leisure.
This I see as far preferable to jump through hoops set up by others, pay thousands in tuition, and spend 3 years in program.
It's not that a university education could not add value, but that university social sciences is brainwashing for slaves. All of the first principles, unifying concepts have been scattered or deleted, and strategically placed behind the censorship of "political correctness". And if you fuck with that, the crypto-government organizations such as the ADL and SPLC (in Australia, they come under different names, but you guys have the same overlords so identical State censorship) will have you fired & permanently blacklisted the same day from any position higher than manual laborer.