Paleo Diet: Carbsane Vs. Kruse


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You know, I guess at some point someone is going to yell at me for helping to spread the negativity and dissension within the Paleo community, and my reply will probably be of the inevitable “Don’t shoot the messenger!!” kind.

I happen to think….as many people do…..that what these people who are being attacked, bring to the table might be perfectly valid, but instead of following them blindly, maybe we need to take a critical eye to the whole thing. Some of the experts in the Paleo community are perfectly “qualified” to do such a thing for us, if we choose not to do our own due diligence. I think that these experts who are critiquing veritable “new-comers” to the Paleo community, are doing exactly what I would expect them to do…..looking at how these newbies conduct themselves, and of course, taking a long hard look at the information they bring to the Paleo table. There are a lot of people talking about Dr. Jack Kruse. Some have positive things to say, others have constructive criticisms, and yet others just tear him a new one at every given opportunity. This is the way of the world, and if what these “authorities” have to say is correct, then what they are peddling will stand the test of time.

It’s important to remember that one of the ways that the conventional knowledge mainstream pulled the wool over our eyes for years is by utilizing the “Appeal to authority” logical fallacy. Just because someone has a PHD, or a it doesn’t mean that they are the be-all and end-all of everything. If I had a PHD in molecular biology, it doesn’t mean that I could be trusted to perform brain surgery, and on the flip-side, just because someone started out as a dentist, became an MD, and now practices Neurosurgery, doesn’t make their Nutritional research skills any better than yours or mine. We can access Pubmed too now, can’t we.

Carbsane Vs. Kruse

On April 1st 2012 Evelyn of the Carb Sane-Asylum blog posted an article entitled “You, PCS vs. Jack Kruse MD, DDS”. Check out what she had to say:

“I’m going through a period of intense disillusionment with the state of this larger diet/nutrition/fitness ancestral/paleo/whole-foods/LC community on the internet and beyond. By far the greatest contributor to this disillusionment has got to be the meteoric rise of one Dr. Jack Kruse, NEUROSURGEON! , although there are certainly others adding to the malaise.

The other day I forced myself to re-read — more slowly this time — his Holy Trinity post from the night of his Paleo Summit presentation. Now, apparently Quack Frost (there are just so many good names for this guy, I have to rotate them for him!) has some inside information on how Lance Armstrong trains in the cold. And Phelps too? He implies that he does. But in the Paleo Summit he states affirmatively that Phelps spends 18 hours a day in a 50 degree pool. This is how myths start, because I just Googled “Phelps cold adaptation” and I come across this. Folks I don’t have a medical degree. I was, however, a swim instructor, pool rat and lifeguard in my yoot (as My Cousin Vinny would say). So I suppose one could claim that I have some special experience that qualifies me to know that nobody trains in anything near 50 degree swimming pools. And yet it turns out that most people know this, even if it’s from a report that says so-and-so went missing in 65 degree water with the dire prognosis of survival. The fact that a doctor would even say this, let alone repeat it (Phelps is cited over 10 times in the Holy Trinity post alone) is disillusioning in and of itself. That others seem to accept this without skepticism is disheartening. That still others now repeat it as fact, moreso.”

Honestly, I’m not a big fan of name calling, but Evelyn certainly gets creative with the nicknames. Appropriate or not, I can’t help but find myself chuckling when I read her articles.

“I’m recalling from my Olympic “feel good” coverage, that Phelps is the child of a single mom of limited means who sacrificed greatly for him to be able to train. Although he’s now (though he did his best to blow quite a bit of it) famous and enriched by his success, training in a 50 or even a 60 degree pool for however many hours defies logic. No facility would keep their pool at anywhere near that temperature even if some young speedy swimming whippersnapper promised dreams of gold, because nobody else would use the pool. Even if he could now afford it, how did he get to where he’s at? As a normal warm adapted mammal that’s how. Sure, he spends a lot of time in water colder than his body … but not anywhere near 50 degrees. NOBODY swims in 50 degree water for any length of time on any sort of regular basis without an insulating wetsuit. The cold plunge at my recent vacation spot was at 60 degrees.

So You, PCS — those letters you’ve earned stand for Practitioner of Common Sense — Practice your hard earned degree!”

“Practitioner of Common Sense”…that’s what PCS stands for, I was wondering, weren’t you? She has a point here. Even those of us who don’t have applicable medical degrees etc, we are all qualified to read this stuff for ourselves, and use a critical eye. Just because it is written, it isn’t necessarily the truth!

“Ahhhh but perhaps Dr. Duvet simply misspoke there. I don’t think so because he’s evoked Phelps name over and over. What makes his swimming ability so superior? Do not all the other swimmers also train in water cooler than 98.6F? But let’s move on to another claim by Leptin Man MD, DDS.

Next up we get the “freeze your ass off” theory of cold thermogenesis and weight loss. In this part of the theory Jack tells us that cold adaptation or therapy or whatever leads to the die-off — or that big word “apoptosis” — of fat cells. Now I’m going to ask you this, and go dust off and don your PCS cap and gown first before answering. What evolutionary advantage would there be to a mammal that evolved in the cold (as Frosty claims) to have it’s subcutaneous fat cells die off thereby making it more susceptible to the cold? If we are indeed cold-weather mammals, who are supposed to reconnect with our cold-water brethren, what do You, PCS know of cold water mammals? Ummmm …. they have lots of subcutaneous fat, aka blubber! The purpose of which is to insulate them from the cold! So, exercise your hard earned degree and reject this woo woo! In his Underground Wellness Radio interview with Sean Croxton, Kamal from PaleoHacks called in

and asked him specifically about this. Leptin Man claims that applying cold to the skin in the form of 50 degree water is the same as killing off fat cells by essentially freezing them. And Kruse stood fast that the mechanism was the same. He evoked the fact that Koreans who had frostbite on their faces never regenerated the tissue or something like that. Does this make any sense to you, common or otherwise?? On his blog he cites a study done on pigs. They subjected the pigs to sub-freezing temperatures (-1, -3, -5 and -7 deg C) applied locally to skin, for relatively short periods of time (10 min) under anesthesia. This apparently killed off some fat cells without damaging the skin. How on earth this applies to ice water baths causing fat cells to release leptin I’ll never know and I’m thinking You, PCS can see the difference as well.”

Let’s also not forget that our Ketogenic friends, the Inuits, are known to be rather “plump” in nature. Why? Probably because their cold-adapted bodies require a little insulation to help retain body-heat in frigid temperatures….just like seals, whales, and any other mammals that reside in the cold extremes of the world. The fat composition of these people is probably skewed heavily towards the Brown Adipose Fat (BAT) that we have spoken about before, since the purpose of Cold Therapy in this respect is to activate BAT, since it is metabolically active. Why then would we be looking to “kill” fat cells? Isn’t that counter productive?

“On to the crux of the super dud Kruse missile. What does a blast of cold do to you? You, a warm blooded human being that is … cold adapted or otherwise. It, as the term “thermogenesis” implies, causes your body to shunt fuel use towards generating heat … to keep you warm. The studies that demonstrate reduced temperature extends lifespan have mostly been done in cold blooded animals (like our worm friends). They live longer in cooler environments because it

She looks Cold Adapted Doesn't She!

slows their metabolic rate. Now remember, this CT stuff is for longevity and weight loss. Jack claims that at Restaurant Depot he walks into the freezer and undresses down to his t shirt and when he comes out he’s bright red and his skin is hot to the touch. He also talks about lighting your internal pilot light. This is true I suppose, if a bit exaggerated. But it is also counter to the life extending reduction in core temperature. I simply cannot muddle through all of his ramblings on CT to see if he actually suggests you cool your brain as well, but the fact of the matter is, to cool the core of a warm blooded animal, you have to trick the thermostat in the brain into thinking the body is warmer than it really is — exactly the opposite of sitting in ice baths will do for your metabolism. Jack MD, DDS does not see this although several folks have called him on it and tried to get him to understand that thermogenesis does not reduce one’s core temperature. I’m thinking You, PCS do, but just in case, I have one study for you in a warm blooded mouse. They were able to lower the core temperature by increasing uncoupling in a region of the brain, generating heat near the “thermostat” in the hypothalamus. Sensing warm temperatures, the hypothalamus doesn’t send out the signals to the furnace — the BAT in mice — to warm the core. The mice had lower energy expenditure, lower core temperatures, and lived longer. It is not known if the mice sensed feeling cold all the time ….”

Agreed! None of the evidence that I have seen in reference to the efficacy of Cold Thermogenesis says anything about lowering core temperature. Why would anyone want to lower their core temperature? That’s insane! A cold core temperature doesn’t lead to an increased metabolism, and also doesn’t help the immune system. The aim is to raise core temperature and activate BAT through stimulating the exterior with cold temperatures. This reduced core temp BS sounds like an attempt to invoke hibernation!

Speaking of common sense …

Quack Frost likes to jibber jabber about thermal coefficients and such. If you missed it, I discussed some of this in Quantum Bullshit, but that was more about the electron nonsense. Basically he talks about manipulating the thermal coefficient of the environment. I finally figured out what he was trying to say, which is basic physics. The rate of transfer of thermal energy depends on several factors:

  1. Temperature gradient — faster the larger the temperature differential between two bodies
  2. Surface area of contact — directly related
  3. Thermal conductivity of the bodies

I think the last one is the coefficient he’s talking about. It’s why you can survive for a lot longer in freezing air (32F, 0C) than in ice water at the same temperature. Numbers 2&3 are why your beer gets colder faster if you dunk it in ice water vs. packing it in ice cubes vs. sticking it in the freezer. (Those quick cool gizmos that spin a can in ice water are pretty neat! And I’m not sure where Jack gets that ice water is 8 degrees F warmer than ice …) In any case, Jack discussed in his interview these coefficients again — another Quiltism is that he talks conduction of cold repeatedly which you learn in any basic physical science class is not how it works. Cold is the absence of heat. Thermal energy flows from relatively warmer to relatively cooler. Many engineering majors will take a class called Heat Transfer, not Cold Conduction! But I digress …

So when asked how to do this CT stuff, Jack talks about how you can do it with air but that it is very inefficient to get cold adapted. So instead he got tens of pounds of ice and put them in a tub of water and immersed himself for two to four hours a night! Yes you heard that right. But what’s funnier is that he talks of how metal is an even more efficient conductor … and then … with a chuckle …. he actually cautions people not to use metal to do this! That’s right, folks. Don’t try this at home!! And why? Because you see Dr. “I’m a Brain Surgeon” Duvet, Jack Kruse MD, DDS apparently did. Although he doesn’t give details, one gets the impression that little experiment didn’t end well. I’m quite sure You, PCS would not try this.”

Wow. That about says it all doesn’t it! I don’t think I need to add anything, to that. Finally, In what appears to be an addendum by Evelyn, there is another block of text at the bottom of the article, that looks like it was an afterthought…..but it’s poignant nonetheless:

“OK … Seriously now. For those not aware, Jack Kruse has taken his schtick to a new level with a paid membership site. For free you can be a Kruse Kruiser, for $48/month a Kruse Karnivore, and for $248/month you can be in the Kruse Klub. Now nobody is forcing anyone to part with their money, but something like this only happens when enough people in positions of influence give a person like Kruse a podium of respect. He was part of the Paleo Summit, the inspirational keynote speaker at PaleoFX (in addition to giving a speech), he’ll be speaking at TEDx Nashville, he’s speaking on the Low Carb Cruise, and he’ll be speaking at the Ancestral Health Symposium. This is a travesty in my opinion. I’ve covered the more “physical sciencey” stuff here, and will continue to do so. Do also go please read Melissa McEwen’s Uses and Misuses of Evolutionary Biology where she covers that angle. Others are beginning to speak out about this and I think it’s important that the volume get turned up.

As a formerly obese person who has struggled with my weight for decades, the one thing I cannot sit back and watch happen without speaking out about, it’s taking advantage of obese people for profit. Let me be clear here. I have NO problem with people making a living and charging for their services. Nobody owes anyone anything for free, and that includes those who have something valuable to say to help others improve their lives, be it healthy eating, fitness, performance, weight management, etc. I do have a serious issue with separating often desperate people from their money with false promises and quackery. The formerly obese, and worse yet the still obese, doing it just truly disgusts me. I cannot and will not stand by silently when I see it happening.”

So does anyone agree with Evelyn on this? Maybe you’re all scared to speak out and be judged yourself? Without going into too much detail, I have to be honest and say that I tend to be on Evelyn’s side with this one folks. Have a great day!


Go to, and download my 30-Day UN-Challenge eBook now……It’s a step-by-step guide to your personal health revolution.

Barry Cripps is a Paleo-based, Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, who operates out of Bowling Green, Kentucky.

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