Podcast > Episodes

episode #284

Kyle Mamounis: The Diet that Makes Mice Lean and Is Sugar Really Bad For Us?

September 4, 2023 in Podcast


This week I interviewed Kyle Mamounis. Kyle has a PhD in Nutritional Sciences from Rutgers and is currently performing biochemical research.

Kyle has an interesting background of trying almost every diet out there and has formed his opinions based on his self experimentation and research. In this episode, we discuss:

  • PUFA's vs. Saturated Fat's
  • Is Sugar Really Bad for Us?
  • The Diet that Makes Mice Lean
  • Endotoxemia
and his one tip to get your body back to what it once was!

Brian (0s):

Coming up on the GET, LEAN Eat, Clean Podcast.

Kyle (3s):

What I was super impressed by and my perspective started to change on sugars is that there is very little evidence that sugar causes anything bad. And. what I mean by that is there's a ton of research, animal and human where sugar, removing sugar from a diet like causes a weight loss or fixes some kind of problem, or giving animals a bunch of sugar causes a problem. But it's always in the context of at least moderate, if not high Fat intake. So I've never found a study where, because if you believe that sugar's bad, then the worst thing would be to have all of your calories from sugar and none from Fat.

Kyle (52s):

Whenever you do that though, you see no problems.

Brian (59s):

Hello and welcome to the Get Lean E Clean podcast. I'm m Brian Gryn and I here to give you actionable tips to get your body back to what it once was, five, 10, even 15 years ago. Each week I'll give you an in depth interview with a health expert from around the world to cut through the fluff and get you long term sustainable results. This week, I interviewed Kyle Mamounis. Kyle has a PhD in Nutritional Sciences from Rutgers, and is currently performing biochemical research. Kyle has an interesting background of trying almost every diet out there and has formed his opinions based on his self experimentation and research. We discussed PUFAs versus Saturated Fats, Is, Sugar, Really, Bad for Us, The Diet that Makes Mice, Lean Endotoxemia, and his one tip to get your body back to what it once was.

Brian (1m 49s):

Really enjoyed my interview with Kyle. I know you will too. Thanks so much for listening and enjoy the show. All, right Welcome to the Get Lean Eat Clean podcast. My name is Brian Gryn, and on today's show I have Kyle Unisan. Welcome to the show.

Kyle (2m 4s):

Thank you.

Brian (2m 5s):

Thanks for coming on. I'm excited to have you on. You've been on a bunch of different Podcasts that I keep an eye on and I'm like, I gotta get Kyle on. He's had some great papers that are out there, health researcher. Maybe give the audience just a small background of, you know, what, what you've been up to, And, you know, what type of research you've done over the last few years.

Kyle (2m 27s):

Recently, I haven't been up to really anything in the health world, but I came into it through a personal interest just being online back in like internet, what was it? 1.0, what's 1.0? you know, before social media, but Wow,

Brian (2m 46s):


Kyle (2m 47s):

You know, like say 2004, 2005, like nutrition forums, people arguing about raw veganism and carnivore all the way back then. So yeah, so I, I was so obsessed with that stuff that I changed my major to biology and then went and got a PhD in Nutritional, I think it's called Nutritional Science, whatever my department called the degree and to do research on this stuff. And over that very long time period from when I was maybe 19, I started experimenting with vegetarianism.

Kyle (3m 27s):

I'm 39 now, so I have been, you know, either online reading and arguing with people about how vegetarianism is better when I was, you know, 20 or something for, for like 20 years. And yeah, that's, I guess that's one way to put my background. So

Brian (3m 53s):

You've been through a, a few iterations of different diets and then you became a health researcher 'cause you were, this is something that intrigued you. What different diets did you try and And? what are you currently doing?

Kyle (4m 9s):

I did, it's ki it's kind of not fair to say because when I started with regular vegetarianism, I didn't really know anything. So I could probably do a much better version of vegetarianism now than I did then. Right. And when I started like the raw vegan diet, this was when David Wolf, who I guess has brand rebranded himself as like a conspiracy theorist guy Oh. Or something. And his middle name is now avocado, back when he was just David Wolf, the author of a book called Nature's First Law, which I don't know, early two thousands at the end the every, the end of every chapter finishes with the same sentence.

Kyle (4m 56s):

Cooked food is poison. So, so basically I was like, you know, truly believed that, you know, like all of the vital life force of foods or whatever is in like the raw form and if you cook it, you kill it, like that kind of thing. Sure. So, you know, I did like a raw vegan thing, super skinny, you know, I didn't even know how much calories were in things, so let alone the macronutrients and everything else. And then I started coming into contact with sort of carnivore adjacent ideas online, specifically through aous Bonder planets, who was the guy who advocated a raw diet but with animal foods, raw milk, cheese and meat, honey, just anything that you can eat raw.

Kyle (5m 49s):


Brian (5m 49s):

So he was eating raw meat as well?

Kyle (5m 52s):

Yes. And so was I, ooh, or that was probably my longest diet. That was, I was, that was an extreme diet. I ate most of my calories from raw meat probably from around 2008 to 2012, 13 maybe. So four to five years. Wow. It wasn't a hundred percent. But yeah, I, my, my most stable, really weird diet regimen was I was part of a co-op in, I lived in New Jersey but close to the Delaware River of right there.

Kyle (6m 37s):

And in Pennsylvania you can sell on pasteurized milk. I think it's only Pennsylvania and California. I haven't checked recently, but at the time it was the only two states. And there's a lot of Pennsylvania, Dutch in Pennsylvania, So, they had these co-ops where they would sell milk and then there are other farm products to people that would be part of these co-op groups where you would, you know, leave a check or money or whatever. It's actually a really interesting system. You where I went, I went to this lady's, this nice lady's house and there was coolers and you would open them up and take the stuff that you had ordered out and like leave money, like cash or checks like,

Brian (7m 10s):

Like a drug deal.

Kyle (7m 14s):

I mean, I'm like shocked that like

Brian (7m 17s):

You didn't get like arrested.

Kyle (7m 18s):

Yeah. Or that like people didn't just take the money. I don't know. It was crazy. Yeah. But, it worked for years I was doing this.

Brian (7m 24s):

So you were buying So I would, yeah. I'm sorry, you were buying raw milk on pasteurized

Kyle (7m 29s):

On pasteurized milk from this

Brian (7m 30s):

Lady leaving money.

Kyle (7m 32s):

Well, from Pennsylvania Dutch farmers, yeah. That would drop it off at her house. And then also bags of beef stew meat, which is like the cheapest cut. So just like, you know, chunks of beef that are like kind of rough cuts that you would generally cook for a long time to soften them up. Yeah. And then also bags of pure sue it, so the internal Fat and I had a food processor and I would pulse them together at about a 50 50 ratio. So that would give you like, I don't know, because you know, Fat has more, the, the, the meat would be heavier, but the Fat has like more than twice the calories per gram. So if you put them together volume wise about 50 50, you probably get like 70% of the calories from the Fat and like 50 from 30 from protein or something like that.

Kyle (8m 21s):

That was kind of my ballpark estimate. And that was like my normal meal. So I'd do that like twice a day, like just a big bowl of like meat slurry. Wow.

Brian (8m 32s):

And you, so the, did you ever get like sick or did anything happen?

Kyle (8m 38s):

No. Okay. The only time I ever got sick eating anything raw. Well, I mean obviously I don't like for all I know I could have had like a long-term parasite, but I never had, you know, any serious symptoms or anything. I did get acutely sick once when I was pretty early on this diet and sometimes I would eat random things. So that was when I had a very regimented, which by the way, if you wanna do a weird diet, you should have a system like that where you don't have to think about it and it's kind of like

Brian (9m 8s):


Kyle (9m 9s):

Factory. Yeah. But, so I had to like a piece of frozen salmon, it's like a salmon file and I let it thaw on a counter and I kind of just let it sit there for like, I don't know, eight hours or something. And then I ate it and I was just hanging out later that night watching TV and I was, I started to like sweat and feel really bad and then I like barfed and then I felt okay. So I mean I have had food poisoning from eating raw stuff, but I mean I've had food poisoning a lot more times from just like

Brian (9m 41s):


Kyle (9m 42s):

You know, other, yeah. It's just random stuff, right. I mean, so, but yeah, if with the, with the raw meat, most parasites are killed if you freeze it. Not all. So if you get like a, from a good quality and it, you freeze it or it's been frozen at some point and you can kind of look at it and it's not ground. 'cause then like things are introduced, you know, from the outside there's some techniques that people do to avoid stuff like that. But

Brian (10m 15s):

And what

Kyle (10m 16s):

Do your I still, I still make tartar once in a while.

Brian (10m 18s):

Oh, okay. And so like, so you went through the raw stage, you did vegan, you did raw vegan for a little bit. Yeah. And then after that, what happened? After the raw stage,

Kyle (10m 32s):

I just started adding more like normal foods. There were kind of two influences, I guess if you count life, like just social pressures 'cause so I've always been sort of an extreme guy. So I was able to handle like every day somebody being like, oh my god, what's in your glass lock container? Is that raw meat? Like every day for, for the first year it's kind of fun to be like somebody who has an interesting thing and then after a while it's like, yeah, you just wanna be normal. Yeah. But the, the two like intellectual influences were one, I had started graduate school at PhD program in Nutritional Science in the fall of 2012 at Rutgers University.

Kyle (11m 18s):

And, you know, I was learning a lot and you know, I don't necessarily agree with everything that I was taught there and And, you know, all that kind of stuff. But you know, I started to be like, okay, maybe like ketogenesis is like shooting for that all the time or you know, burning Fat as the preferred, preferred fuel source is, doesn't have as much slam dunk evidence behind it. As I thought from reading these forums for like, you know, three years. And then just about that same time, because I went to the first, oh no, sorry, it was the fall of 2011, the that I started the graduate school and I went to the first ancestral health symposium, which was this like paleo, paleo adjacent kind of conference that people would have.

Kyle (12m 14s):

I mean it was called a symposium. And the first year they had Robert Lustig, when he was doing the fructose thing, they had Gary Tobs and people like that, Denise Menger. And it was in California, it was at uc, Berkeley I think. And I met Danny Roddy there and he had just sort of flipped over to the Ray Pete thing. So I started reading Ray's ideas as well. So the combination of that and then just studying sort of like a, an irregular nutrition program made me serious. It seriously undermined my faith in the current crazy diet I was on or whatever.

Kyle (12m 60s):

Not to disparage it, extreme diet I was on. And actually extreme diets in general. So I started adding some pretty normal foods like the ray eat, orange juice thing. I started drinking coffee. I never really drank coffee. I even worked at a coffee shop in undergrad and I still didn't drink coffee, Potatoes, you know, just normal foods. I started cooking meat once in a while, if you can believe that. Hmm. And yeah, I just sort of transitioned into a pretty normal diet. I would say. I have a pretty normal diet now.

Kyle (13m 41s):

I do a few things that are sort of influenced from the repeat world. Like I take supplementary collagen, sometimes I takes different vitamin and mineral supplements. I'm not super consistent with a lot of supplements, mostly because I don't notice that many effects. Like I try to take a vitamin E when I eat a fatty meal just to get some vitamin E, but that's not the kind of thing that you feel an acute effect from.

Brian (14m 9s):


Kyle (14m 10s):

So it's not like, you know, oh I have to take this every day or else I feel bad kind of thing.

Brian (14m 16s):

And in 2017, and I'm staring at it right now, you wrote that publication on the dangers of Fat metabolism.

Kyle (14m 24s):


Brian (14m 25s):

Maybe dive into that a little bit and the basis behind that publication.

Kyle (14m 31s):

Yeah, that was my, the culmination of my, so I started a project at Rutgers on studying Fats PUFA versus Saturated Fat. It was a mouse experiment. And I kind of started with more of the carnivore perspective where Saturated Fat is good and anything you can find in meat is good, you know, and as I was doing, so a big part of the a dissertation is introductory literature review. And in Nutritional science there's a few big questions that have been asked a million times in a million different ways.

Kyle (15m 15s):

you know, things about Fat, like high Fat diets to cause you know, obesity or whatever diabetes type symptoms in animals, of course human research as well, clinical, and then carbohydrates, specifically sugar. So to couch my studies in the history of the literature, you know, I'm reading all this stuff and, and, and there actually is, it's kind of a tossup in when you read science about fats, like which fats are healthier. It's actually kind of, I don't know, also animals, you know, like Mice, they don't eat a lot of Fat.

Kyle (15m 57s):

So when you feed them Fat, like even if it's the healthiest Fat, their, their outcomes probably aren't similar to ours. But what I was super impressed by and my perspective started to change on sugars is that there is very little evidence that sugar causes anything bad. And. what I mean by that is there is a ton of research animal and human where sugar, removing sugar from a diet like causes a weight loss or fixes some kind of problem, or giving animals a bunch of sugar causes a problem. But it's always in the context of at least moderate, if not high Fat intake.

Kyle (16m 39s):

So I've never found a study where, because if you believe that sugar's bad, then the worst thing would be to have all of your calories from sugar and none from Fat. Whenever you do that though, you see no problems. So, and, and, and in many cases a weight loss, you know, situation, sort of like if you cut out sugar,

Brian (17m 8s):


Kyle (17m 8s):

You're kind of a thing. So

Brian (17m 9s):

You're saying that everything that's talked about regarding high sugar is also an in combination with something that's high Fat?

Kyle (17m 21s):

Yeah, high or perhaps moderate Fat. So like, like this is one thing I talked about on some stream with Danny and, and my buddy Leo. I was, I, I knew I had remembered this and I wanted to double check, but the animal diet, the mouse diet company that I use research diets, it's in New Brunswick or North Brunswick right next to Rutgers. And it's like the biggest animal diet producer in the world and even its competitors use the same formula. So it's like this, the gold standard and their control synthetic diet.

Kyle (18m 1s):

So you can just buy like a control mouse chow, but it's not, you don't know exactly what's in it, you know, it's like it's, it's either, you know, 12 to 17% this, that kind of thing. But the one that's like put together with exact measurements, it's like 70% carb and like 15% protein or something. And, and, and then like 15% Fat, something like that, it's overwhelmingly carbohydrate and half of the calories is just from sugar like sucrose. And this is the control diet that you use to compare to a diet that might make an animal Fat.

Kyle (18m 42s):

So the control diet that keeps Mice Lean, like all around the world in labs all over the world, is a diet that 35% of the calories come from table sugar and another 35% come from starch. And then the remaining is mixed. I think casing milk protein for the protein and depending on the source like lard or whatever kind of probably a vegetable oil for the Fat. So yeah, that's okay.

Brian (19m 15s):

So, so the, from the, from you're saying from like the gold standard when it comes to doing these tests, these animals are being for the baseline, you know, to, let's just say for maintenance pur purposes, they're being fed 70% carbs, half that coming from sucrose, the other half coming from starch. And that's like, and then so they're, they're taking that as the baseline and then they're, they're they're, they're altering the macronutrient content to see how this affects the animals.

Kyle (19m 47s):

Yeah. Or you would give the animal a drug and just have a standard diet so that it's like, you know, you just put in your methods, like we use this standard diet. So there's no question about, you know, that, but what my point is And, what really culminated in the, like what, what exactly is the evidence that sugar is some sort of super causative agent in problems if And, you know, people could say, oh, well that's Mice, it doesn't matter. Well, okay, then they shouldn't use animal studies either. But if we're gonna consider animal studies Mice all over the world, if if sugar, I mean 35% is a lot, that's over a third right of their calories is coming from table sugar.

Kyle (20m 30s):

If that was extremely obesogenic in animals, then all of those Mice would, I mean, they'd have to be getting Fat and they're not. So, you know, we could say that's different for humans, but I have yet to see a human study where they, you know, have a low Fat diet. Like say for a human low Fat would be, I don't know, less like 15% or less of calories. That's pretty hard to do. Yeah. If you've ever tried to count calories and macros and stuff, like you can't put full Fat milk in your coffee kind of thing. So, so that kind of a thing, you know, or, or even zero Fat, I mean if we were gonna be really rigorous about it and then yeah, ha replicate that sort of diet.

Kyle (21m 12s):

So most of the cow, you know, have like a however many grams of protein per body weight and then figure out the calories from that and then the rest is carbs and like half of it from sugar. Yeah. That, I don't think that's been done. I found this, there's this one really old paper where it was done to one guy who was a lab assistant in the burrs lab, I think burrs the people who discovered the essential fatty acids So, they put him on a Fat free diet. 'cause they were trying to induce essential fatty acid deficiency in humans. And they couldn't, it was just one guy, a healthy guy in his twenties, but they just fed him a bunch of like d fatted milk, all kinds of red products they were able to make without Fat fruit, stuff like that.

Kyle (22m 4s):

Just pure sugar. And he lost weight. He, he, it talks about all these like positive outcomes he had, blood pressure went down. So yeah, if sugar is so, so what I, I went through with and criticized at first with that paper, the idea that burning Fat is necessarily better because I, I don't see a lot of evidence for that, for that like perspective that it's better than burning carbs. And then the following year I had a follow up talk about the sugar side of it, like does sugar cause problems?

Kyle (22m 46s):

And I was also gonna make that into a paper because they asked the people who give talks there. That's what that original paper was, was a, it's called an extended abstract. So my talk condensed into a written form and it didn't work out on the second one because they kept like, just didn't want to publish it. I actually saved the email correspondence and one day I still have the document, maybe I'll try to get it published somewhere else and then have like a little thing where it's like, it wasn't up to the standards of now defunct journey, journal of evolutionary, whatever that journal was called But, it was up to the standards of this real journal.

Brian (23m 31s):

So if, so I guess if sugar's not to blame, what is to blame and is is the reason you think sugar's being blamed is because it's being combined with something that's also high Fat, And, you know, highly palatable, palatable and just be, you know, you just end up overeating it.

Kyle (23m 52s):

Yeah, yeah. you know, there's, there's all these different specializations that people do with nutrition, like the hyper palatable, that's like one topic, right? And then there's the less activity, physical activity, both exercise and non-exercise. People just burn less calories, food availability, you know, caloric availability and, and that it's, that it's higher that endocrine disrupting compounds, you know, these are all topics that people do research on from the perspective that this is the cause of the obesity epidemic.

Kyle (24m 38s):

And it's kind of like, there's a, a bit of an embarrassment of riches there. Like you can't have 10 causes for one thing. So my perspective is that, you know, depending on your personal genetics and lifestyle and yeah, what your diet is like, different people, some people probably don't do as well on a, like a high sugar diet or a high Fat diet as other people. But yeah, there's, there's probably components of, of all of those things. Like some people, if they just exercised more, and I've seen this with people sometimes if some people they're overweight, they pick up a exercise routine and don't change anything else, and things just fall into place for them.

Kyle (25m 29s):

And I've seen other people that do the exact same thing and they don't really make that much of a dent in their weight. And the same thing with changing diets, you know, you can, they're, if you've ever like worked with people or really talk to a lot of people, people that you can kind of verify are real, that have changed diets, you know, you'll find people that just change one thing or do something specific and fix some sort of problem or drop a bunch of weight and other people that do the same change and it doesn't work for them. So yeah, I don't think there's really, like the obesity epidemic is not, to me, it's not a physiological thing that's happening.

Kyle (26m 12s):

It's like a, so it's a, it's a way of talking about something that is probably has different causes for different people. Like it's, you know, it's not that, oh, we don't exercise as much and that's why the average B m I is up by X percent. I don't think that's the way to think about it. Right.

Brian (26m 34s):

Well I, I think we, I think as a society we wanna point to one thing and and just blame that. And it, you know, it's like a little bit what's been going on as, as, as you talk a lot about, it's just like the blame on carbohydrates as the issue. And so everyone's like, okay, gotta go low carb, gotta go no carb. I mean I've, I, I am I've introduced more carbs into my diet just from just from you know, research and just from interviewing different individuals like yourself or Danny Roddy or Jay Felman and things like that. And it's interesting, you know, I've introduced more meals, more carbs, and my weight actually ended up going up a little bit, but then came right back to normal and my, it's the same as it was when I was doing fasting and low carbs.

Brian (27m 20s):

So, you know, I, I'm not saying everyone's like that, but I think we do wanna just point to one thing, And, you know, Fat burning sounds like nowadays it's like, you know, sexy, right? Sounds right. And I think it's, and, and when I was following it, I thought that would be the right thing to do. What would, what would be some of the pros and cons of Fat burning versus glucose burning and becoming, you know, efficient at, at either one or both?

Kyle (27m 52s):

So the biggest problem that I see with humans, it's just this human problem and there's no way around it. Which is that we have a system that probably for evolutionary reasons appears to be set up such that when we, when our bodies perceive a lack of glucose, it is perceived almost identically to just a lack of calories in general. So the same kind of hormones that would release Fat stores if you were fasting or indeed starving, are called upon when you are just not eating carbs.

Kyle (28m 34s):

And that's kind of the first question one could ask. And there's a slew of, so you can take that the, the road forks there and you can have people that say, well therefore that's good. Like, well therefore we're supposed to have, you know, spikes in cortisol or, or these different types of hormones. They're not stress hormones, they're maintenance hormones or whatever. Who's that Amber l Amber O'Hern do, do you know her? She does carnivore content and okay, she does the most unapologetic carnivore content. And I actually really appreciate it because she just goes full like, yes, whatever, like whatever stress hormone or whatever you wanna call it that is activated from non consuming carbs, that is good, you know, it's good to have high cortisol or whatever.

Kyle (29m 30s):

And then there's another camp that says, oh well, you know, the cortisol sort of normalizes after a while or the, there's different hormonal profiles that people can have on these high Fat diets. But ultimately, I mean, in order to get Fat fatty acids out of Fat cells, these hormonal cascades do have to be in operation. So the, you know, it doesn't always translate to like, if you do a spit test for cortisol, you know, it can just, your cortisols goes up and down during the day at different times. It's not necessarily going to correlate, but something is activating lipolytic Proteins to, to release fatty acids from cells.

Kyle (30m 15s):

And the biochemistry of that is pretty, pretty clear. And it's the same thing as if you, if you were in a starvation mode. So beyond just saying this is what happens when your body's burning Fat or carbs, which I think I've framed that paper that way, is getting into that state of burning Fat to me just seems like, and, and this is not true for every animal, but for humans it seems like it's a stressful state and it seems like we're set up to try to avoid it. It's almost like a backup. Like a backup. Yeah. That's what it looks like to me now people, there's a lot of, you know, you could have a different perspective and say, well, in a world where there aren't carbs available, it was the primary system.

Kyle (31m 5s):

And then you can get into a lot of very difficult to answer questions about anthropology. you know, they're always, oh look, we found another thing that looks like it was used to grind up grains 50,000 years ago or something. you know, things like that where people will argue about how much carbohydrate was in the diet of this or that prehistoric population. That is very, that's very dicey, I think dicey territory. There's modern day hunter gatherers and they seek out, you know, honey and fruit whenever possible.

Kyle (31m 47s):

So yeah, to me it seems like, I mean maybe if your background is Inuit, I, you might be more, in fact definitely are more adapted to a lower carb diet. But I also don't think, you know, 50,000, it's actually kind of ridiculous that, I mean, you can change the genetics and of course epigenetics of a population in just a few generations. I mean, if you just, if the the, the environmental change is strong enough. So if you have the invention of grain agriculture, even if it was only 10,000 years ago, the amount of wars, and if you couldn't digest grains, you're probably not gonna reproduce very well in like Egypt or whatever.

Kyle (32m 42s):

So I'm pretty confident that people can and do metabolize glucose in a way that's fairly, you know, I I don't think we need like a hundred thousand year old caveman with a packet of sugar or whatever. So yeah, it seems like it's backup system and that's really, that's really what I think is the problem because when it gets, when, when the actual substrates get into the mitochondria, so after all the hormones are done opening up the doors for these different things, whether it's glucose or fatty acids or whatever, you know, ultimately the, the, the carbons and the oxygens and the hydrogens releasing their energy are not so different.

Kyle (33m 27s):

So it's really like the differences are, I would say the biggest, the furthest away. So when you're first, your body is first like, oh no low blood sugar, time to, you know, open up the Fat reserves. That's where I see the biggest problem. And then the actual burning of the fuels in real time, you know, whatever. I mean, I think ketones probably a great fuel. I don't, I don't think there's anything particularly damaging without using them. It's just, it's just seems stressful to produce them.

Brian (34m 1s):

So you're talking about, you know, lowering insulin will increase glucagon, right. And cortisol and catecholamines and, and put you into a stressful state and this is Yeah, yeah. And this is just a more of a survival mechanism for your body.

Kyle (34m 24s):

Yeah. And I, I really haven't written on this for a while, but when you follow all of the things that happen, like for example, thyroid hormone and just your metabolic rate in general is sensitive to not just calories but carbs. The liver that converts a lot of thyroxine into active thyroid hormone is that process is turned up and down by both just energy amount and by carbs. So, and if you think of, you know, a, a, a hormone like thyroid or the sex steroids or whatever as like a sort of basal master regulator of just the overall body metabolism, I think the hormone profile of burning carbohydrate as sort of your majority energy source, it looks a, a little bit better as well.

Kyle (35m 21s):

And it looks like if, if you're trying to spare thyroid hormone, then you're trying to spare, like that's what happens when, when you're fasting and when you don't have food.

Brian (35m 32s):

Yeah, I mean when it comes to fasting, it's something that I promoted for a long time and I did, I will say that I think it can play a role in individual's lives. 'cause I always like to say it gives you, it can give an individual structure to their day and to, you know, when, and And, you know, when they're eating per se, like if you're eating late into the evening, it's not gonna play a positive role in probably sleep and digestion and things like that. So I like to use it almost as like a, a bumper on each side of the day where you don't need to take a bite of food the second you get up and you don't, and you probably should be waiting, you know, eating your last meal, let's say three hours before you go to sleep.

Brian (36m 21s):

But between those two things in the middle of the day, I think it, you know, I think a lot of it depends maybe genetically what's worked for you in the past and also your activity level.

Kyle (36m 33s):

Yeah, I'm pretty impressed with what they came up with by say the 18th or 19th century, you know, the sort of three meals a day thing. I'm actually pretty impressed with that. I think, you know, people on both sides, you know, you've got people, oh, you need to like, I guess the bodybuilder culture, you know, six meals a day or whatever and Right. If that's, you know, maybe that's, if you're trying to gain, you know, bulk, right. You might have to do that. But, and then of course on the other side there's the fasting culture or the one meal a day culture. People are always criticizing, I I I'm pretty, yeah, I think, I think three meals a day is like a really good discovery that was made, you know, in the, the dawn of the scientific era who discover

Brian (37m 22s):

That, was it the food companies? I mean, you know, the, the food companies discovered snacking. I know that. Or a lot of these companies, right? Wanting,

Kyle (37m 28s):

Well, snacking used to be, 'cause one of my professors was from England and he always talked about that. He, he worked in a lab of Hans Krebs, the guy that discovered the citric acid cycle. And when he was growing up as a boy in England, you would get, he, he made this joke because eating more smaller meals was getting popular, you know, papers coming out like, oh, if you eat this in between meals, you, I don't whatever, like blunt insulin spikes or satiety, blah blah blah. And he was just laughing 'cause he was like, when I was a kid you would get in trouble for doing that. It was called snacking.

Kyle (38m 9s):

It was against the rules. So these things have changed drastically both at the level of, of culture and even of the, the science. 'cause I'm sure there was science back then to support not snacking, And. now, you know, who's to say if the science supporting snacking is better? I mean,

Brian (38m 31s):

Yeah, I think you could probably take a little bit of everything. I mean, three meals a day I think is, is is is probably a good way to go as long as you're eating things that are like satiating. And, and maybe that's the big criticism of sugar is you're not getting, you know, maybe it's efficient for you to burn it, but are you getting any nutrients from it? you know what, I know you, you're, you're into Ray Pete stuff. I don't know if you're still into it as much now, but you mentioned coffee and, and, and orange juice. What, what's the, what would the basis behind Ray Pete And, what he talked about with, with like coffee and, and orange juice?

Kyle (39m 13s):

Yeah. He has like almost a, like a mystical relationship with some of these foods, or at least I guess people impute it that on the internet. But coffee, he would describe as the closest thing that you could come dietarily to a thyroid, like action on the body. So, you know, increase your metabolism. Of course anybody who's ever done like a professional bodybuilding or fitness cut knows that caffeine is in

Brian (39m 44s):


Kyle (39m 45s):

Products to yeah. Cut weight if you're, you know, really cranking your body like that, which is not healthy, but Right. you know, if you have to get to like stage, you know, some type of competition where you have to be like, you know, 8% body Fat is kind of Fat and

Brian (40m 4s):

Aspirin. He talks about aspirin quite a bit too. Yeah.

Kyle (40m 8s):

So the orange juice, I think he just thinks it's a good source of calories. It has potassium and that there's something about like ripe oranges, he says, and if they're strains that it, it, it, it does lower endotoxin, postprandial endotoxin for whatever reason. I don't know, I guess he just thought it was a really, just a very neutral source of calories and some minerals from the oranges, the aspirin that, that I actually pretty much agree with. It blocks the production of, of some of the prostaglandins and

Brian (40m 53s):

Yeah, he's, he's written pretty extensively on aspirin.

Kyle (40m 56s):

Yeah. So one of the main potential ways that having maybe too much of the omega six fatty acids floating around could be a problem is that we have a lot of enzymes that make them into other things like endocannabinoids or ICOs, OIDs, And, you know, some of those, the literature's a little weird because it's like, oh these ones, you know, these prostaglandins or these thromboxanes or whatever are inflammatory and these ones resolve inflammation. Oftentimes the same one is in both categories. It both isn't, you know, present at high levels at the initiation of an inflammatory event and at the resolution of it.

Kyle (41m 44s):

So the way it kind of confusing to talk about this, but if you think of our system as having a basic fatty acid profile from historical diet and how that diet has changed to have, for example, more of the omega six fatty acids and we have the same amount of enzymes that deal with them, then you can imagine that there's probably just sort of excess of those ICO OIDs floating around, especially if you have some type of inflammatory environment in your body and aspirin just, it basically blocks that conversion as its main effect

Brian (42m 31s):

All. right. Kyle, is there anything else that we, that you want to hit on?

Kyle (42m 38s):

How about gut? Yeah, so having gone through all these diets, I'm, I'm actually not too, I'm not too stuck either way on like what we know, as you said, you added carbs back and you gained a little bit of weight and then it went back to normal or to what it was before. Things like that. The same thing more or less happened to me. I, I did go through this, I think I was like 165 pounds or something and then I became influenced by Ray Pete and then one day I stepped on a scale at my cousin's house 'cause I didn't have one at my house.

Kyle (43m 19s):

And I was like, I gained over 10 pounds. And I was like, oh my god. But I didn't, my clothes actually didn't fit that much differently and then months go by, I still didn't have a scale and then I entered a juujitsu competition so I had to weigh myself and I was like 1 67, this was, I was not like really good at eyeballing what was going on with my weight And, you know, some people just gain and lose like 10 pounds and, and not notice it. So I was in that kind of mindset with my life. So that did happen to me. And then I went on an extended period where I was just slamming tons of ice cream and I gained more weight and I noticed it was Fat because my clothes did fit differently and I actually had to try to lose that weight.

Kyle (44m 6s):

So, so yeah, I don't think people should do like the meme, internet meme version of the repeat diet necessarily and just eat a bunch of sugar or ice cream or whatever. But as far as chronic health problems are concerned, I think that's probably the biggest source of possibly the obesity thing. But I think more so the metabolic side, like the insulin Resistance situation and a lot of different inflammatory chronic conditions is probably lipopolysaccharide endotoxin from bacteria. And it's very unfortunate that Saturated fats for reasons of chemistry are much more efficient at ushering them across the enterocytes.

Kyle (44m 58s):

So in other words, if you have a population of endotoxin producing bacteria in your gut and you eat a meal of Saturated Fat, more of the endotoxin that they have, shed will make its way into your system. So I think this is probably one of the reasons for why really low Fat diets seem to help people and also cutting out carbs. 'cause if you get rid of sugars, you probably knock down those populations. Hmm, interesting. Maybe shuffle them around or whatever it is. Right. So it's like one or the other way of, of kind of decreasing this particularly harmful molecule.

Brian (45m 44s):

Is there a way to know if you're, if you have this Endotoxemia,

Kyle (45m 50s):

I wish the it there, there's, you can test for it as a science. Like there's one of the things that convinced me this was such a common problem is anytime I would read a paper that had it as a test, like for example, heart disease research, whenever they tested the people who had heart disease, they, those people had pretty bad postprandial, prandial Endotoxemia. So after a meal they would have quite elevated levels in their blood of endotoxin compared to just whatever the average is, which is never nothing by the way. So it's like this constant assault on your body and yeah, I, I am not aware of any kind of commercial or even, you know, private personal medical doctor test for that.

Kyle (46m 45s):

I've only seen it in the context of research, which is very annoying because as somebody who yeah, is, is interested in people being healthy, there are things like I'm not, I used to be like a total libertarian about health stuff and I was like, oh, people should just be able to buy any drug they want at any store. You know. Hmm. So not, not to be that extreme or anything, but I do think tests like post, like if you could just do a blood test, you know, after a meal for something like that, for something that is so obviously causes problems to so many people, I think that should be available.

Kyle (47m 26s):

And, you know, all these other tests, there's a lot of tests that are done that are, don't give as quality information. So I find that very annoying. But no, as far as I know, maybe there's some people with like super great sources of really weird tests online, you know, where you send your blood in and stuff like that, that, that are aware of them. Yeah. But I am not,

Brian (47m 47s):

I'm actually going through a certification through functional diagnostic nutrition and there's quite a bit of testing, you know, some of it's saliva, blood, even feces, stool, actually stool. So yeah, there's, there's definitely some cool testing out there. How, what would you say for Endotoxemia, some of the biggest culprits and maybe what some things people can do? I know that Ray, he talks about the carrot salad and helping with gut motility and, and that might be the reason why he likes coffee as well. 'cause it, you know, can help obviously make you regular.

Kyle (48m 30s):

Yeah, that's a really tough question because I, I think that the individual responses to diet and how it works in your gut is, is probably pretty divergent. Like, you know, one way to to know this I think is if you see a question of research flipping back and forth a lot, so for example, I don't, you, you've probably seen ever since I was a kid, I remember brand muffins, the, you know, brand muffins prevent colon cancer and then next year brand muffins don't, you know, do nothing to prevent colon cancer and it's just always flip flopping or like the eggs, you know, cholesterol and heart disease or whatever.

Kyle (49m 10s):

Oh, eggs cause heart disease. Oh no, they don't cause heart disease. So to me, from my perspective, when you see something like that happening where it's flipping back and forth, you're just seeing, it's like a epistemological confusion about what they're asking. What they're doing is just kind of like, there's enough of X type of responder in this one group and, and they don't actually know how to weeded out for that because it's just a bunch of factors like genetic or otherwise that are just unknowable at this point in time. And then in the next study they have why responders, you know, up to an amount where you get a different result and it's kind of, you know, if that just happened once, obviously then, you know, but if it's like something that you keep seeing opposing studies, this and that, this and that, then I, I I think it's a problem of not understanding what the question you're even asking and not being able to create groups.

Kyle (50m 6s):

'cause yeah, some people have really great gut motility And, you know, don't have any notice any symptoms, GI symptoms on a higher fiber diet. Whereas, you know, especially in the repeat world, a lot of people will experiment with just cutting out fiber or the carnivore world and have some type of negative symptom reduction. you know, they had something before. So I don't know. But what you should do is you should never, you should certainly like being constipated and having to the extent that you can perceive it like a, a really slow gut motility is never good.

Kyle (50m 47s):

Yeah. So whatever you have to do, not, not like pharmaceutically obviously, but whatever, if you've noticed that your gut feels better on a certain diet, that's something to pay attention to. Even if you think that food for some other reason isn't that good. Like you have some, you were just reading things like this, food is bad, but your personal experience is that, you know, you should, you should pay attention to a few things like that. Things like your gut function, sleep ability and quality.

Kyle (51m 26s):

Things like that should never be ignored in the face of like an idea that you have about what's a healthy diet, you know, when you change, like if you change and you, those things specifically, those kinds of like basic function things get worse. Really, really think twice about that.

Brian (51m 46s):

Yeah. I think now that I'm in like the health world, I'm super aware of that. But back when I was like in high school, I think I remember, I don't think I remember having days where I'd have literally like three bowls of cereal per day. It was like my main meal as my main meal. And I remember after a while, like I was just getting a lot of gas and bloating and once I finally realized that I probably should be eating cereal three times a day and stuff like that, like frosted flakes and stuff, I, I mean that, this is a long time ago, but like now I'm, I'm super like sensitive and aware of like how foods, how I react to foods and again, if it's a one-off, it's not the biggest deal.

Brian (52m 28s):

But if you're noticing over and over again this is causing some type of issue, gas, bloating, or even just causing constipation, probably something's going on there. So I, you know, it's like, I think that's why, like you said, some people have success in like a carnivore diet because it's like almost the ultimate elimination diet where they're getting rid of a lot of these gut stressors and getting relief and maybe some endotoxin relief as well from their gut. And so they're, they're, they're getting, you know, great results and this could be something that could, they could do for a while and then maybe reintroduce certain foods at some point.

Kyle (53m 10s):

Yeah, yeah. And I think like elimination diet type stuff I, I think is fine. But like, just my personal perspective is that one should aim for being able to eat most normal foods. I think that would be a sign of health. you know, I don't think it's a sign of health to have a really big negative reaction to a lot of commonly eaten foods. If you have certain things that you can't eat, you can't eat them. But I don't think it should be a goal, you know, to be on a very restrictive diet. I think that that in and of itself yeah, kind of almost as like a self-fulfilling lifestyle where like you cut things out and it's, it's hard to go back to them and you kind of don't have a lot of latitude lifestyle wise.

Kyle (54m 3s):

Like I'm, when I was on weird diets, I, I didn't really, I centered my life so much about, about it, you know, about, oh well if I go on a vacation somewhere, where am I gonna get my specifically Pennsylvania Dutch raw milk or whatever meat thing I was doing.

Brian (54m 22s):

Yeah. Can't go many places probably.

Kyle (54m 26s):

Yeah. And it's just, if it was true that any specific diet, some very specific diet, just got rid of all of your disease risk and made you live twice as long and perform super high, it would probably be worth it, you know, to be really obsessive compulsive about it. But at least my experience and my understanding of the literature is that that's probably not the situation. You can probably tweak things for yourself, you know, in a positive way, a little bit like 10, 15% here and there, but cutting out something or adding something or whatever isn't gonna make you live twice as long most likely.

Brian (55m 10s):

Yeah. Yeah. No, I think that's, that's true. I mean, if you can, if you have flexibility as far as eating things that you, that you want and that you can have a variety in your diet that shows that, you know, you probably have a healthy gut microbiome as opposed to just always trying to restrict and cut out everything. Maybe initially, but not long term. Well, as we're getting towards the end, a question that I ask all my guests are, if you were gonna give one tip to an individual that was looking to get their, their body back to what it once was 10, 15 years ago, what one tip would you give that individual

Kyle (55m 47s):

Oof, 10, 15 years ago? So we're talking about

Brian (55m 51s):

Somebody, so you're, how old are you? 37. No, you're

Kyle (55m 53s):

39. 39. Yeah.

Brian (55m 55s):

Yeah. So let's say we, getting back to like your 25 years old.

Kyle (56m 1s):

Well, I mean I have specific issues from like a lifetime of Brazilian jiujitsu. Ah, but, so I would actually sort of give like a, if it's a person like that, you know, I would give like, you know, exercise. Like I, I've changed how I work out almost completely. Like I focus on like joint health, you know, and watching stuff like that, what's it called? Squat university, do you know that YouTube channel? Sure. It's like yeah. Stuff like that, you know? 'cause when you're younger this is gonna sound, that's like an old person. But

Brian (56m 39s):

Yeah, I know what you're, yeah, I think I know what you're gonna say. Trust me, I'm in that industry. When you're younger you could probably get away with a lot Right. As opposed

Kyle (56m 48s):

To Yeah. And you're not, like you, you don't necessarily, it's really hard to tear. It's a very unfortunate thing about life. But if you were to just do little things like pay attention to, you know, squat form or something, especially if you're lifting heavy or if you're doing wrestling and grappling and just thinking about how your knees and ankles are moving and doing things correctly, even though you can just do something explosively and it doesn't hurt that day, it's very hard to, to keep that in mind. And then sometimes by the time, you know, so, so yeah, for somebody to, to get back how their body was, you have to put in more, basically more effort to get there.

Kyle (57m 46s):

So if you're, if you want to get back to a certain type of like athletic performance, then you have to put in, I don't know, like two or three times as much preparatory work, like warming up. And as far as overall health and stuff, like you, you just have to multiply. you know, you might have been able to eat X diet and, and be Lean and feel good most of the time and you should sort of have to just be more picky about that kind of stuff. But it's so individual, you know.

Brian (58m 24s):

Yeah, no, I, I

Kyle (58m 26s):

But hey, give give the carrot a try. you know, give the,

Brian (58m 30s):

The carrot,

Kyle (58m 30s):

Give the raw carrot a try.

Brian (58m 33s):

Yeah. I mean, when you're younger you can definitely get away with more, but I think when you get older, like you said, you have to just put, you have to be more mindful of what you're doing. And you know, you're 39, I'm 43. Yeah. My, my, my introduction or getting into my workouts are different as they were when you, when you're 20 you could just start bench, you know, doing whatever. No warmup. But definitely now, you know, I'm a big golfer. Tiger Woods would talk about, he'd, he'd have a tea time at six 30, he'd be up at four starting like all his like physio work and getting the body prepped and ready to go. And, and recovery also takes longer when you're, when you're a little bit older.

Brian (59m 16s):

So I think if you're mindful of, of having your days off and, and, and just how you're feeling as opposed to when you're younger, you probably don't need as much recovery time, but recovery is just as important as the actual workout. So

Kyle (59m 31s):

Yeah. And you're not really getting away with it, by the way. Like I have a lower back injury that I gave myself when I first started lifting when I was younger and I'm more aware of it now, but I, I know that I caused it then and I could feel it back when I was like 17 or whatever. And also I had, I had a tendon tear and I had an m r I for it before a reattachment surgery. And they just found a shoulder tear just as an incidental finding.

Brian (1h 0m 2s):

Oh wow.

Kyle (1h 0m 4s):

That I am sure that I got doing jiujitsu and not tapping, you know, from different shoulder submissions. Yeah. And I, I thought I was getting away with it. Right. Like, 'cause I, I always had like flexible shoulders and it's like, oh, I'm getting, you know, I'm getting away with this. I can get away with this. Well maybe you're not getting away with it. Maybe you should actually just be responsible.

Brian (1h 0m 26s):


Kyle (1h 0m 28s):

But it's very, you know, humans, they react to like what hurts in the moment, you know.

Brian (1h 0m 35s):

Interesting. Well, Kyle, thanks for coming on, sharing all the knowledge. Best place for people to find you. Are you putting content out there?

Kyle (1h 0m 44s):

I've taken a break since moving and, and doing a different, working in a different lab. I think my last video, so I have a YouTube channel. Nutri Chronology. Okay. And U t r i c r i n o l o g y. The last video I just probably like last October or November.

Brian (1h 1m 5s):


Kyle (1h 1m 6s):

But yeah, I will someday

Brian (1h 1m 9s):

Get back into it. Yeah. Yeah. I hear you. Well, I appreciate it, Kyle. And yeah, enjoy the rest of your day and thanks for coming on the podcast.

Kyle (1h 1m 21s):

Oh yeah, thanks for having me.

Brian (1h 1m 24s):

Thanks for listening to the Get Lean Eat Clean podcast. I understand there are millions of other Podcasts out there and you've chosen to listen to mine and I appreciate that. Check out the show notes at Brian Gryn dot com for everything that was mentioned, In, this episode. Feel free to subscribe to the podcast and share it with a friend or family member that's looking to get their body back to what it once was. Thanks again and have a great day.

Kyle Mamounis

Research Biochemist at University of Central Florida.


wanna talk to brian?

Schedule a free 15 min consultation