6

votes

Do some types of low-carb diets cause red puffy skin?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 09, 2011 at 12:10 AM

In her observation on AHS, Melissa McEwen observed that the old low-carbers in attendance have red puffy skin.

Is this true?

In other words, does her observation reflect an actual cause-and-effect relationship? If so, what is the mechanism?

Additionally, I wonder if those who seem to do best with LC should be concerned about problems that are implicated by or part of the red puffy skin phenomena.

Here is what Melissa said:

'It was interesting to observe that among the low-carbers, there seemed to be an epidemic of puffy red skin, particularly in older men. I'm sure the pictures, when they are posted, will make obvious who these people are. The ones who had health complexions like the Eades and Nora are those espousing a high-fat diet. It goes very well with some of the anthropological stuff I've been working on showing that almost all cultures that eat meaty diets are doing so because they have access to high-fat game. More of that in another post.'

EDIT:

Annie offers this reformulation, which I'm including because I think its really great:

'What are the long term effects of VLC? Hypothyroid, stomach cancer, and now the red face phenomenon among others have been noted as possibilities. Is VLC something only for the metabolically deranged? In other words, a lesser of two evils (obesity and diabetes being the alternative), or is it a healthy state of being?'

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on November 09, 2011
at 12:54 PM

http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?cat=51

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on August 15, 2011
at 04:31 AM

@Katherine - thanks I will try this. I am pretty religious about sunscreen - I always wear a big horrible floppy hat. I don't know what MAP or SAP are. I take A LOT of supplemental antioxidants, but I mix it up a lot. I have been reading about the potential negatives of antioxidant supps, so I am on the fence - what do you think about this?

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on August 10, 2011
at 08:01 PM

@Meredith - it's not likely the cortisol but rather the lack of antioxidants reducing 1)tissue integrity and 2)reducing intrinsic protection against photodamage. I'll bet that if you go hardcore on sun protection (really hardcore like a 5" hat/visor, excellent high ppd sunscreen) in combination with topical antioxidants (ascorbic acid, MAP, SAP) and dietary antioxidants, it'll all go away in about six months - even if you keep carbs low.

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on August 10, 2011
at 06:20 AM

I actually LOVE your hair color. I wanted to tell you but didn't want to be creepy since we just met.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on August 10, 2011
at 04:52 AM

Sorry about that Dr K - no ulterior motives here. I just thought it was an interesting observation that would lead to similarly interesting discussion. Again, sorry for giving the wrong impression. I'm a big fan of both you and Melissa - and I don't want to be instigatory in a bad way or otherwise disrespectful.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on August 10, 2011
at 02:04 AM

I'd say this is well beyond what she intended, but I thought it was still interesting and worth tossing around. The fact that it was first put out there by a familiar face to paleos just makes it seem juicier to everyone. But I don't think that invalidates this thread - at least I hope it doesn't.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on August 09, 2011
at 10:02 PM

i eat a ton of it and have for the last three yrs. And did at AHS. I just think there is ulterior motives at work here and that bothers me more than the question. I think shari hit the nail on the head above. It says more about the person doing the questioning in my view.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on August 09, 2011
at 03:46 AM

+1 for Shari. CLAPS LOUDLY AND LOOOOONG!

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on August 09, 2011
at 03:45 AM

Melissa - I was never metabolically deranged, I just adopted a low carb paleo approach several years ago because all the books and gurus said it was best. On top of a HIIT style workout approach. I am older than you - 37 - and in the last two years or so my skin HAS reddened. I attribute this to cortisol from the long term low carb and HIIT exercise. My 2 cents n=1.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on August 09, 2011
at 03:44 AM

Well, I had it for a couple of years before it was diagnosed. I was eating mostly VLC at that time. Shortly after that I started ZC for the first time. It's gotten quite a bit better since then, but it's not completely gone. Coffee seems to worsen it, and I haven't quit coffee, which is telling of how deeply addicted I am.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on August 09, 2011
at 03:42 AM

Cacao is excellent for the skin. Excellent sun protection.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on August 09, 2011
at 03:20 AM

I eat a lot of yucca and berries....blue to be exact. I just was alerted to a nice attack at CarbSane courtesy of Melissa. I went over there to straighten it out. The pettiness of some amaze me at times. But anytime I eat them I am also lifting heavy things. At AHS meeting I was found eat two large tubs of blueberries for breakfast......but it seems Melissa missed that photo op. Is this the NY Paleo Post now?

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on August 09, 2011
at 03:18 AM

I can vouch for Kamal since I brokered the deal and have the dowry to prove it.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on August 09, 2011
at 03:09 AM

I know you don't eat much fruit or tubers. So that should leave rice as the only possible source of significant carbs. That is, unless you've changed, as you noted.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on August 09, 2011
at 02:51 AM

Plus one............

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on August 09, 2011
at 02:49 AM

Well considering I was surfing for 6 hours Thur but I will say this. I will match my labs and hair samples any day with anyone. And while age may matter due to previous sun damage.....in the winter my skin is just fine. I swim everyday here in Nashville. Also a big assumption on what type of diet I consume. I dont think its a subject I have ever commented upon. But its not low carb or high protein ironically. I would venture to say my diet changes more than most here because I test so often and make adjustments every three months based upon that feedback. I believe in altering switches

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on August 09, 2011
at 02:17 AM

Lay off Eric S, Shari was bequeathed to me at a hotel bar this weekend. (I'm not sure if she knows this yet)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 09, 2011
at 02:08 AM

thank you! melissa makes one comment and it gets taken up like it's some new gospel, or a great hypothesis to be tested. did she even intend for this to happen?

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 09, 2011
at 01:48 AM

but thanks for encouraging the non-literate types to respond :P they always motivate me to type out a thrashing.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on August 09, 2011
at 01:37 AM

"You aren't giving me enough time to do research." This is the world wide web-- no time to do paleo research, work, and have social life. Time to outsource one of those to India.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on August 09, 2011
at 01:37 AM

There are people who eat fetuses??? Would not have expected that one.

03281912f1cb9e4e771a8a83af302e3a

(1204)

on August 09, 2011
at 01:36 AM

"I think you guys should wait for my post" can I up vote twice?

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on August 09, 2011
at 01:35 AM

Shari, I think you just became my favorite Paleohacker

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 09, 2011
at 01:34 AM

Obviously you didn't read my argument ;)

03281912f1cb9e4e771a8a83af302e3a

(1204)

on August 09, 2011
at 01:34 AM

I have heard people talk of genetic Rosacea as well. Some people just have bad skin for a number of reasons. Is it a truly genetic condition, or is it a genetic propensity for red puffy skin that could be avoided by good diet; I don't know.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on August 09, 2011
at 01:28 AM

Cool - looking forward to it. Maybe some of the discussion that occurs here will inform your post.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 09, 2011
at 01:13 AM

Love you Shari!

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on August 09, 2011
at 01:08 AM

Have you noticed any triggers for it? Also, did it change in frequency/severity when your carb level dropped?

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on August 09, 2011
at 01:02 AM

Eric you ignornant slut! (Sorry. No sleep) I might add that I believe JK was out surfing for a few days pre-AHS. Might old white dude from Tennessee out in the CA sun have oh, something to do with his face being red. Call me a rebel or an inflexible old low carbing fool but this is just a huge stretch that I just can't entertain as serious in any way.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:53 AM

I understand your frustration here, but, channeling my inner Seth Roberts, I'd like to point out that its usually from simple anecdotal observations like Melissa's that most successful scientific hypotheses originate from. Still, though, I appreciate your point: some of us are a bit promiscuous with what we are willing to explore :)

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:49 AM

Also, I added it as a quote, which might not make it an additional question technically, but more like a related comment/Q of interest to the original Q. That said, I don't mind if anyone wants to edit it out. I'm just happy to see such interesting stuff so quickly :)

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:49 AM

On the ball as usual. Good low carb sources of skin-protecting nutrients are good palm oil, spinach and other leafy vegetables, and supplements like astaxanthin. I tend to think that low carb shouldn't be low low carb too, so let's add sweet potatoes in there. Berries are good too.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:45 AM

Great points, Kat.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:41 AM

Kamal, you are technically incorrect. Cordain posted twice on this thread http://paleohacks.com/questions/42798/paleo-ranked-worst-diet/ but his posts are identical. A moderator should probably clean that up.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:41 AM

Interesting post. Your #5 suggests an interesting explanation. A long period of poor nutrition could ruin one's metabolism and thus necessitate LC to avoid weight gain. And the former, not being LC per se, is the primary cause of the red puffy skin. It is the cause behind the LC eating *and* the red puffy skin. Seems like a plausible possibility to me.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:41 AM

Thanks Katherine, he did edit his post to include. If it should be a separate question regardless, I will delete.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 09, 2011
at 12:39 AM

I also think lack of salt could be a cause.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:38 AM

Even the sturdiest of men can be delicate flowers inside. I guess I was just thinking back to the (in my opinion stupid) "Is Loren Cordain fat" paleohack from a few months back, in which one random picture spawned some silly speculation. Interesting factoid: Dr. Cordain posted on paleohacks exactly once.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 09, 2011
at 12:38 AM

I am on my stupid little phone right now, but yes, I believe it's high protein that's the issue, not low carb.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:38 AM

Remember: on question per post. Annie's is a very different question and one that should definitely be addressed. signed: one who things eschewing plant foods is a Very Bad Idea.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:35 AM

Annie: absolutely, I agree.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:34 AM

Oops, can you include that again, my last edit may have interfered. Sorry about that.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:33 AM

Thanks Eric, dying to know the answer as I am a VLC-LC myself and worried about long term problems.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:32 AM

I think we also need to know how long LC's have been LCing. The possible ill effects may not be apparent until later in the game.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:31 AM

Everyone should go look at Melissa's post in the meantime. I just edited this to add the link.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:30 AM

No no, I'll include that, I think it's great.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:30 AM

So the distinction is high protein VLC/LC versus high fat VLC/LC?

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:30 AM

That's a valid concern. In this case, though, I feel comfortable calling him out because I don't think he is very sensitive in this regard, and I also think it makes him more likely to chime in. If he indicates any discomfort, though, I'll change it. Let me know if you still think I'm out of line, though, I don't want to be inappropriate.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:27 AM

You might consider changing the question wording as to not call out Jack Kruse. I would feel a little weird if someone asked "does Kamal have big ears because he doesn't eat enough protein?" You don't want to get stuck as an unwilling participant in the middle of a potentially unprovable hypothesis.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:26 AM

Thanks for the comment. Out of curiosity, how long have you been eating LC? Also, how 'pure' is your version of paleo? I'm sure the situation is very complex, but, at first blush, these are plausible factors that might be implicated (if such a relationship even exits, which isn't yet clear).Thanks for any clarification that you might provide - hopefully other LCers will provide their experience along with potentially relevant details.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:22 AM

WCC Paul: You make a good point, and I hope you are right that Melissa will chime in. I think it will be really interesting and helpful to flesh this out, regardless of how it happens.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:14 AM

I don't agree with chronic low carb intake, but I'm hoping that this (should it actually be shown to be a common trait among the VLCers) turns out to simply be a manifestation of health that we're unaccustomed to seeing. A healthy glow, if you will.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:14 AM

I think a further distinction should be made: Melissa means the high-protein low-carbers in particular. I assume she'll see this and clarify one way or other.

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10 Answers

17
98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

on August 09, 2011
at 12:45 AM

I would swear I just heard Lalonde's head explode.

What's next? Low carb causes bad hair color (uh, me!)? I observed some really short former vegans. Hmmm, maybe something else for us to explore???

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on August 09, 2011
at 02:17 AM

Lay off Eric S, Shari was bequeathed to me at a hotel bar this weekend. (I'm not sure if she knows this yet)

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on August 09, 2011
at 03:46 AM

+1 for Shari. CLAPS LOUDLY AND LOOOOONG!

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on August 09, 2011
at 01:02 AM

Eric you ignornant slut! (Sorry. No sleep) I might add that I believe JK was out surfing for a few days pre-AHS. Might old white dude from Tennessee out in the CA sun have oh, something to do with his face being red. Call me a rebel or an inflexible old low carbing fool but this is just a huge stretch that I just can't entertain as serious in any way.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 09, 2011
at 01:13 AM

Love you Shari!

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on August 09, 2011
at 01:35 AM

Shari, I think you just became my favorite Paleohacker

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:53 AM

I understand your frustration here, but, channeling my inner Seth Roberts, I'd like to point out that its usually from simple anecdotal observations like Melissa's that most successful scientific hypotheses originate from. Still, though, I appreciate your point: some of us are a bit promiscuous with what we are willing to explore :)

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 09, 2011
at 01:34 AM

Obviously you didn't read my argument ;)

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on August 09, 2011
at 03:18 AM

I can vouch for Kamal since I brokered the deal and have the dowry to prove it.

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on August 10, 2011
at 06:20 AM

I actually LOVE your hair color. I wanted to tell you but didn't want to be creepy since we just met.

13
Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

on August 09, 2011
at 12:34 AM

definitely not. plenty of CW adherents have rosacea (what red puffy skin looks like over time). It's strongly associated with excessive alcohol consumption. But there are other potential issues as well:

1) excessive sun exposure (a cause of redness in rosacea but also just plain old erythema from sundamage can cause permanent redness over time) 2) vascular issues
3) infection 4) insufficient antioxidants in combination with the above 5) a lifetime of poor nutrition resulting in poor tissue integrity (including vessel integrity) and takes a tremendous amount to reverse.

This is the same kind of thinking (if there are people with red puffy skin, do we need to be concerned that low carb causes red puffy skin?) that caused Chris Masterjohn to post a picture of him, Melissa and Nikoley that says "smiling leads to shopping at whole foods".

If anything a lower carb diet is protective but "low carb" can be just as crappy as high carb if not done properly. It's not carbs that are the problem anyway but rather an excessive reliance on sugar (esp fructose), linoleic acid, and plant toxins like lectins and phytates as well as insufficient zinc, A, b vitamins etc due to an excessive reliance on muscle meat replacing necessary organ meats.

Having said that, I think the evidence that's been amassed so far is clear that humans ate a lot of plants. To stray from eating a lot of plants, we should have a significant amount of evidence to indicate that plant consumption is bad. Thus far, we have no such evidence. In other words, I think VLC diets that eliminate all plant foods do not appear to be beneficial.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on August 09, 2011
at 02:51 AM

Plus one............

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:49 AM

On the ball as usual. Good low carb sources of skin-protecting nutrients are good palm oil, spinach and other leafy vegetables, and supplements like astaxanthin. I tend to think that low carb shouldn't be low low carb too, so let's add sweet potatoes in there. Berries are good too.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:41 AM

Interesting post. Your #5 suggests an interesting explanation. A long period of poor nutrition could ruin one's metabolism and thus necessitate LC to avoid weight gain. And the former, not being LC per se, is the primary cause of the red puffy skin. It is the cause behind the LC eating *and* the red puffy skin. Seems like a plausible possibility to me.

03281912f1cb9e4e771a8a83af302e3a

(1204)

on August 09, 2011
at 01:34 AM

I have heard people talk of genetic Rosacea as well. Some people just have bad skin for a number of reasons. Is it a truly genetic condition, or is it a genetic propensity for red puffy skin that could be avoided by good diet; I don't know.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:45 AM

Great points, Kat.

11
21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:43 AM

For what it's worth: Dr. K seems to be outdoors quite a bit, apparently surfing before AHS while paleohacking and repairing a prolapsed disc at the same time.

Age combined with outdoor exposure and not living the frigid northeast --> rosy skin.

Dr. K also appears to have started paleo later on in his life. So low-carb exposure may not fit so well as an explanation. Not to mention that the majority of AHS attendees were in a young age bracket, so the comparison covered strata that are not directly comparable. That's why studies age adjust, after all.

Hold on, did I just defend the Quilt? Hmmm...perhaps I'm tripping...

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on August 09, 2011
at 02:49 AM

Well considering I was surfing for 6 hours Thur but I will say this. I will match my labs and hair samples any day with anyone. And while age may matter due to previous sun damage.....in the winter my skin is just fine. I swim everyday here in Nashville. Also a big assumption on what type of diet I consume. I dont think its a subject I have ever commented upon. But its not low carb or high protein ironically. I would venture to say my diet changes more than most here because I test so often and make adjustments every three months based upon that feedback. I believe in altering switches

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on August 09, 2011
at 03:42 AM

Cacao is excellent for the skin. Excellent sun protection.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on August 09, 2011
at 03:09 AM

I know you don't eat much fruit or tubers. So that should leave rice as the only possible source of significant carbs. That is, unless you've changed, as you noted.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on August 09, 2011
at 03:20 AM

I eat a lot of yucca and berries....blue to be exact. I just was alerted to a nice attack at CarbSane courtesy of Melissa. I went over there to straighten it out. The pettiness of some amaze me at times. But anytime I eat them I am also lifting heavy things. At AHS meeting I was found eat two large tubs of blueberries for breakfast......but it seems Melissa missed that photo op. Is this the NY Paleo Post now?

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on August 09, 2011
at 10:02 PM

i eat a ton of it and have for the last three yrs. And did at AHS. I just think there is ulterior motives at work here and that bothers me more than the question. I think shari hit the nail on the head above. It says more about the person doing the questioning in my view.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on August 10, 2011
at 04:52 AM

Sorry about that Dr K - no ulterior motives here. I just thought it was an interesting observation that would lead to similarly interesting discussion. Again, sorry for giving the wrong impression. I'm a big fan of both you and Melissa - and I don't want to be instigatory in a bad way or otherwise disrespectful.

9
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 09, 2011
at 01:24 AM

I think you guys should wait for my post, which is more about the upper safe limit for protein than about people with red skin. You aren't giving me enough time to do research. But when someone has a normal complexion in youth and morphs into redness as they age...that's something we should look into. I am changing the title because Kruse is not the person I am primarily interested in and I don't have a ton of pictures of him to compare, though it's interesting to note that his complexion is rather nice in many of his pictures and I would wonder whether redness is a recent issue or maybe he was sunburned! I can only find one pictures of him where his skin is red. I kind of wish I hadn't gotten into naming names in the first place. I would note that all the people with red skin are perfectly nice, but I wonder why they aren't alarmed that their skin exhibits inflammation. When the pictures of AHS come out you will be able to pick them up immediately.

I don't think it's low-carb per se, unless some people are just poorly adapted to it and others aren't. There are a host of older low carbers that look fine. We need to look at the differences between successful low carbers and ones who seem to degrade with age. Either way, the best looking older people at AHS certainly weren't low carbers. Based on the cultures I study, when I do low-carb/high-fat (in the winter) I keep in mind that it's a diet of peoples who have access to higher fat game, cook at low temps, eat unusual organ foods (fetuses for example in Plains Indians) and also consume bitter herbs and plants alongside their food. I think that's why so many of the LC swedes look so good- in their country it isn't called low-carb, it's called low-carb high-fat. I think some people just aren't going to do well on LCHF because of genetic differences though.

Update: OK, some people have accused me of being "agist" because I pointed out that some LC-ers have these and it just so happens that some of these are older individuals. Well, I now have permission from Female Relative X to discuss her condition, which is why I noticed this in the first place. Female Relative X is in her early twenties and eats mostly low-carb paleo, but doesn't have access to high-quality meat. She had experienced a lot of health improvements, but she has not leaned out to her satisfaction. She eats lots of lean proteins: turkey, chicken breast, etc. Her skin started to exhibit redness around a year and a half into this diet. We are trying a regimen that is

  • lower in protein
  • higher in fat, particularly monounsaturated and saturated fat
  • higher in butyrate-producing fibers in the form of resistant starch
  • higher in antioxidants
  • no more unrefrigerated fish oil from the drugstore
  • fermented cod liver oil (she is related to me, so I assume she might share the same gene that is related to lower conversion of carotenes to retinol)

I'll be posting about her experience and whether or not this reduces the signs of inflammation. The main concern here as it relates to low-carb is that she did not have this when she started the diet. And on a woman it's a little more noticeable.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on August 09, 2011
at 01:37 AM

There are people who eat fetuses??? Would not have expected that one.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on August 09, 2011
at 01:28 AM

Cool - looking forward to it. Maybe some of the discussion that occurs here will inform your post.

03281912f1cb9e4e771a8a83af302e3a

(1204)

on August 09, 2011
at 01:36 AM

"I think you guys should wait for my post" can I up vote twice?

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on August 09, 2011
at 01:37 AM

"You aren't giving me enough time to do research." This is the world wide web-- no time to do paleo research, work, and have social life. Time to outsource one of those to India.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 09, 2011
at 01:48 AM

but thanks for encouraging the non-literate types to respond :P they always motivate me to type out a thrashing.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on August 09, 2011
at 03:45 AM

Melissa - I was never metabolically deranged, I just adopted a low carb paleo approach several years ago because all the books and gurus said it was best. On top of a HIIT style workout approach. I am older than you - 37 - and in the last two years or so my skin HAS reddened. I attribute this to cortisol from the long term low carb and HIIT exercise. My 2 cents n=1.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on August 10, 2011
at 08:01 PM

@Meredith - it's not likely the cortisol but rather the lack of antioxidants reducing 1)tissue integrity and 2)reducing intrinsic protection against photodamage. I'll bet that if you go hardcore on sun protection (really hardcore like a 5" hat/visor, excellent high ppd sunscreen) in combination with topical antioxidants (ascorbic acid, MAP, SAP) and dietary antioxidants, it'll all go away in about six months - even if you keep carbs low.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on August 15, 2011
at 04:31 AM

@Katherine - thanks I will try this. I am pretty religious about sunscreen - I always wear a big horrible floppy hat. I don't know what MAP or SAP are. I take A LOT of supplemental antioxidants, but I mix it up a lot. I have been reading about the potential negatives of antioxidant supps, so I am on the fence - what do you think about this?

5
6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:27 AM

I would love to see this question expanded to: "What are the long term effects of VLC?" Hypothyroid, stomach cancer, and now the red face phenomenon among others have been noted as possibilities. Is VLC something only for the metabolically deranged? In other words, a lesser of two evils (obesity and diabetes being the alternative), or is it a healthy state of being? I guess I should have made my own question instead of piggy backing yours. Apologies.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:41 AM

Thanks Katherine, he did edit his post to include. If it should be a separate question regardless, I will delete.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:33 AM

Thanks Eric, dying to know the answer as I am a VLC-LC myself and worried about long term problems.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:30 AM

No no, I'll include that, I think it's great.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:49 AM

Also, I added it as a quote, which might not make it an additional question technically, but more like a related comment/Q of interest to the original Q. That said, I don't mind if anyone wants to edit it out. I'm just happy to see such interesting stuff so quickly :)

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:38 AM

Remember: on question per post. Annie's is a very different question and one that should definitely be addressed. signed: one who things eschewing plant foods is a Very Bad Idea.

4
27361737e33ba2f73ab3c25d2699ad61

(1880)

on August 17, 2011
at 01:25 PM

Re: Stomach cancer? Where is the evidence that long-term low carb causes stomach cancer? The East Asians lead the world in stomach cancer rates and they certainly are not eating a low carb diet. Re: red face: Tree pollen does this to me every Spring. No nasal congestion - just red, itchy, puffy face. My father in law -- healthy 90 year old has slightly larger than average red blood cells and tendency to store iron -- result? Red face, puffy face. This is genetic as my father in law does not eat red meat or high protein at all -- he's a low fat,high carb fish and miniscule pieces ofskinless chicken breast kinda guy. Doc has him donate blood more frequently. I tend to have ferritin levels at the high end of normal -- I still menstruate so I'm not that concerned -- but am a few pounds under the 110 limit to donate blood. Might try it anyway...

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on November 09, 2011
at 12:54 PM

http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?cat=51

3
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:50 AM

I have rosacea, and I'm a long time VLC/ZCer, but, it's likely genetic, as it's more common in people of my ancestry, and also my mother has it, and she is not a low carber.

I wonder if the point about ancestry is important in another way, though. It could be that we are both more susceptible to carb intolerance and more susceptible to rosacea.

Incidentally, though I know I have rosacea, most people, including my doctor (though not my dermatologist), ask me what I'm talking about. It doesn't flare very often, and when it does, it just looks like I got too much sun.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on August 09, 2011
at 01:08 AM

Have you noticed any triggers for it? Also, did it change in frequency/severity when your carb level dropped?

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on August 09, 2011
at 03:44 AM

Well, I had it for a couple of years before it was diagnosed. I was eating mostly VLC at that time. Shortly after that I started ZC for the first time. It's gotten quite a bit better since then, but it's not completely gone. Coffee seems to worsen it, and I haven't quit coffee, which is telling of how deeply addicted I am.

1
2b2c2e4aa87e9aa4c99cae48e980f70d

(1059)

on November 09, 2011
at 07:38 AM

I have been LC for close to 2 years, primal for 14 months. I noticed some recent facial redness in the mirror and wonder if it might be caused by a supplement or combination of supplements? I'm guessing older primals might take more supplements to address specifc concerns or to attempt to keep the age monster at bay.

1
11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on August 10, 2011
at 01:23 AM

My beard gets rougher/redder skin when I lowcarb for a few weeks. Cortisol? Excess protein? Fats compositions? don't know. On lower carbs/non keto I can eliminate rough skin with just using a superfatted soap (Oilatum). It's not enough when I'm ketogenic. I do think people are smarter about not doing super high protein long term. Thank goodness I can do cheese.

Note that there's some evidence that low thyroid numbers in some low carbers does not seem to be associated with reduced metabolism. Sorry I don't remember the cite.

1
64c9261eb27ec9d841a5ace87973b907

on August 09, 2011
at 12:19 AM

*This is absurd!! I am a 25 carb a day person & I don't have red puffy skin!! *

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:32 AM

I think we also need to know how long LC's have been LCing. The possible ill effects may not be apparent until later in the game.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:35 AM

Annie: absolutely, I agree.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 09, 2011
at 02:08 AM

thank you! melissa makes one comment and it gets taken up like it's some new gospel, or a great hypothesis to be tested. did she even intend for this to happen?

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on August 09, 2011
at 12:26 AM

Thanks for the comment. Out of curiosity, how long have you been eating LC? Also, how 'pure' is your version of paleo? I'm sure the situation is very complex, but, at first blush, these are plausible factors that might be implicated (if such a relationship even exits, which isn't yet clear).Thanks for any clarification that you might provide - hopefully other LCers will provide their experience along with potentially relevant details.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on August 10, 2011
at 02:04 AM

I'd say this is well beyond what she intended, but I thought it was still interesting and worth tossing around. The fact that it was first put out there by a familiar face to paleos just makes it seem juicier to everyone. But I don't think that invalidates this thread - at least I hope it doesn't.

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