Stephan Guyenet Coming on the Podcast - Submit Your Questions!

Stephan Guyenet Coming on the Podcast – Submit Your Questions!


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Dr. Stephan Guyenet will be joining us again on the podcast to discuss his developing theories on obesity and weight regulation. Stephan is a researcher at the University of Washington studying the neurobiology of fat regulation. He also writes one of my favorite blogs on nutrition and health, Whole Health Source.

If you have not already, I recommend you listen to my first podcast with Stephan. This show will build on material we discussed during the first interview.

Please leave your questions for Stephan about obesity, body fat regulation and weight loss in the comments section. We’ll be recording the interview on 5/13, and it will air on 5/24.

  1. I’d love to hear your thoughts on vitamins A, D, K2-MK4, their interactions, and Dr. Weston Price’s work.

  2. I am interested in research/studies/data related to cortisol’s effect on weight. I have spent (admittedly not a ton of) time looking, but am only seeing anecdotal information and advice to get more sleep, meditate, etc, etc. I would like to learn more about any relationship between cortisol levels and weight loss that is based on data.

    • I suggest you check out The Cortisol Connection by Shawn Talbott. Tons of data in there supporting cortisol’s role in obesity and metabolic dysfunction.

  3. Please outline a unified theory of obesity. Current (incomplete) theories are extremely unhelpful, particularly for those struggling with serious weight problems.

  4. Chris Masterjohn has discussed the limitations of the following study ( in his post, “Gluten Sensitivity — Promises And Problems” due to the deamidated gluten used by the researchers. He explains that gluten is typically only rendered immunoreactive after it has been deamidated by the transglutaminase present from gut damage in celiacs. Stephan commented in a later Masterjohn post (“How to Properly Interpret Ex Vivo Studies”) that commercially baked goods often use deamidated gluten to improve baking properties. In addition, transglutaminase itself is also being used in processed food to modify the properties of meats and other products (there is even an Iron Chef episode featuring Chef Wylie Durfresne whose makes extensive use of transglutaminase in his style of cooking).

    All this makes me wonder if the observation that gluten in wheat causes negative health outcomes in many people may be hugely confounded by processes used in the modern food system.

    Do you think it’s possible that the problems related to wheat consumption result solely from a combination of plant breeding to increase gluten, modern food processing techniques, and industrialized food as a whole or is wheat simply inherently toxic? For example, if someone is consuming wheat along with a food product made using transglutaminase, could this be a potential cause of immune system reactions to gluten? Aside from being a waste of time, will properly preparing emmer or einkorn make it a relatively safe food?

  5. Hi, I just recently discovered your blog and I am really interested in what you have to say about leptin resistance and body fat setpoint.

    I have been obese long before turning 1. Later in life, mostly by NOT following doctors’ advice, I managed to lose a significant amount of fat, but I am still overweight…I’d love to lose another 20-30 pounds but my body seems to be against it, even if I eat 100% clean (I have been LCHF, 100% compliant Paleo for the last 2 years (80% for another 2 years prior to that), olympic weightlifter, crossfitter, etc…)

    I think that my initial obesity was due to the fact that I was fed cow milk since day 1, which triggered inflammation, then insulin resistance and so on…
    Do you think that could have triggered leptin resistance too? how do you measure it? is it reversible in the same way insulin resistance is? Does food palatability include…ehm…coffee (it’s the ONLY thing I can’t seem to be able to get rid of!).

  6. Would Stephan comment on the physiological state that makes a person plateau or stall when losing weight? I read a lot about “how you break a stall” which seems to come down to changing things in exercise or diet, but I’m really interested in what happens in the body to cause it in the first place.


  7. Dear Chris and Stephan,
    I am interested in the relationship between the body fat setpoint and highly rewarding foods. Is there much evidence indicating that the rewarding property of highly palatable foods relies on the accompanying calories, or is it independent and can non-caloric sweeteners therefore raise the body fat setpoint just as effectively, for example?Many thanks,

  8. Chris: I listened to your first podcast with Stephan. Other than sauerkraut and j.artichokes, what are some other fermentable fibers? Thanks

    • Chris: a follow up to this question. When you refer to fermentable, do you mean that the fermentation takes place naturally in the gut (except sauerkraut which is already fermented), or that the fiber can be fermented prior to ingestion? Thanks

  9. Fructose: I am a bit confused as to fructose metabolism. I believe it is similar to ethanol metabolism. Could we elaborate on the reasons behind this fructose alarmism. Is fructose from fruit metabolized the same as high fructose corn syrup. Lalonde And Wolf both are low on fructose thus fruit right now. Does eating a banana post workout do anything to restore my muscle glycogen? Also, this visceral fat around the waste and organs, is this a spill over from excess liver carbs mainly fructose? If you eat tons of animal fat to the point where you have over eaten and gain fat would it deposit in more of an apple shape, as in from neck to toe vs the pear shape?

    • The question is the ratio of fructose to glucose in a food. If fructose and glucose are in a roughly equal amount, fructose is well-absorbed and tolerated in moderate quantities (like in whole fruit). But in foods that have excess amounts of fructose in relation to glucose, like HFCS (55% fructose) or agave syrup (90% fructose!), the fructose will be poorly absorbed. Excess fructose is toxic as Lustig and many others have pointed out. It raises uric acid, which in turn has many detrimental effects. Small amounts, fine. Large amounts, bad.

      • I’m a little bit confused here.

        “But in foods that have excess amounts of fructose in relation to glucose”. I presume you are talking about ratio here ?

        I can’t imagine 0.2 points ratio wise making a diffrence between OK and bad.

        Honey (fructose/glucose) 50/44 ; 1: 1.13
        HCFS (fructose/glucose) 55/41 ; 1: 1.34

  10. I would like to know his thoughts on the recent published research concerning DHA/fish oil supplements, Omega 3, etc and potential health concerns about supplementation with same.


  11. Hi,
    Both your blogs are such valuable resources. Thanks for all the good research and good writing. I suspect both of you are admirers of Gary Taubes. And you both recommend Anthony Colpo’s Cholesterol Con book. Yet Colpo has no respect for Taubes. See this, where he says:
    What do I think of Taubes?

    I think a lot of what he writes nowadays is complete and utter nonsense. And that’s putting it nicely….

    Would love it if you could talk about this schism between Colpo and Taubes. Thanks

  12. Experienced 30lb. weight gain during a period (3 months) of unavoidable stress, despite eating less than normal. Realize now (23 yrs later) that it was cortisol related – so what can one do during times like these to avoid weight gain – is intense exercise the only option? and what if you are unable to do that?

  13. I’m interested—and maybe this isn’t the podcast to address it—in understanding more about this study associating high blood DHA levels with increased risk of aggressive prostate cancer: It’s just one study—actually a review of existing research—but it would be interesting to know what caused this particular correlation to show up in the data set.

  14. Regarding PUFAs, I have read some paleo bloggers recommend against fish oils or eating oily fish now. I have found lists of the PUFA content of common paleo foods floating around the internet! Is this really something to worry about?

  15. Stephan:

    I recently discovered Dr. Art Ayers Cooling Inflammation blogsite and noticed you also were a reader. In one of his blogs where he wrote about biofilms, he said that “the biofilm matrix is like jelly, a gel formed by acid polysaccharide, pectin, cross-linked with calcium, and there is a reservoir of bacteria in gut biofilms. Inflammatory gut biofilms support system-wide chronic inflammation that leads to allergies, autoimmune diseases, degenerative diseases and probably cancers. Absorption problems (of nutrients) are likely.” In another blog I think he inferred (not quite sure) that constipation is one of the consequences of gut biofilms.

    Now jump to the book ‘Breaking the Vicious Cycle’, written by the late Elaine Gottschall. The book discusses the cycle of events occurring in the intestines of those with digestive disorders and how the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) can break this cycle. She writes “the increasing levels of irritating substances given off by the growing microbial population cause intestinal cells to defend themselves. Mucus-producing cells (goblet cells), which are normally present in the intestine secrete their product to cover and protect the naked free surface of the intestinal absorptive cells. The small intestine responds to a disruption of the normal balance by producing more goblet cells which produce more intestinal mucus. As the integrity of the small intestine is further threatened by the microbial invasion and the products it produces, a thick mucus barrier forms for self defense. The enzymes embedded in the absorptive cell membranes cannot do the job for which they were designed: to make contact with and split certain sugars in the diet.” One of the consequences of this condition is loose stools or diarrhea.

    Art recommends ingesting specific foods and supplements to break up the biofilm matrix. Elaine recommends that the carbohydrates consumed should be only those which are monosaccharides (fruits, honey, some veggies) and avoid disaccharides (sucrose) and polysaccharides (starches). She says that the digestive system can better fully digest the monosaccharides, thus not feeding the microbial population with undigested sugars and starches.

    Do you think Art and Elaine are referring to the same condition? Do you think that the biofilm matrix Art refers to is formed by the polysaccharides that Elaine recommends avoiding? Any insight you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

    All my best. Ron