I support Zero Acre Farms in their mission to give the world an oil change by helping big food and all of us say goodbye to seed oils. I describe the nature of my relationship in this post.
Table of Contents
- 1 Don’t you love Erin Brockovich?
- 1.1 How Doctors Measure Testicular Size
- 1.2 Why Size Matters, Biologically
- 1.3 The Most Powerful Testicle-Shrinking Toxins are Easily Avoided
- 1.4 Related Posts
6 Minute Read
- The book Countdown, by Shanna Swain, makes some shocking claims about human genitalia and the future of the human race
- My observations from 30 years in practice
- The link between toxins in vegetable oil and altered sexual development
- Why does size matter, biologically?
Authors: Luke Shanahan, Cate Shanahan, MD
Don’t you love Erin Brockovich?
She’s the one who took PG&E of California to task for poisoning the water supply of Hinkely, CA with chromium effluent from improperly disposed industrial waste. She’s a hero. Someone ought to make a movie about her.
Well, she’s just written an article for the Guardian I think everyone is going to be talking about. In it she spotlights a book that’s just come out called Countdown, penned by renewed reproductive epidemiologist, Shanna Swan, that argues convincingly that the toxins children are now exposed to in utero and as growing children are having a concerning effect on the development of their genitalia.
Deep Nutrition changed my life.
Fox News Primetime host
Saved my life
I would like to thank you for literally saving my life. Back in February, I had to be hospitalized while on vacation in Phoenix with an A1C of 11% and had to start taking 2 types of insulin and 2 other meds. I read the Fatburn Fix in April, and followed the program to a tee, and I’m down by 15 pounds, 6.8 A1C, and only one once weekly diabetes medicine. Prior to reading the book, it was almost impossible for me to lose weight as a diabetic.
I feel free
For the last month, I have really been reading all labels on everything. I have completely remove those 8 oils you talk about. I must tell you, I feel great! I have more energy and I am now 197 lbs (have always been around 205 to 210lbs). I eat potatoes with real butter, grass fed steak, pasta with the right toppings. I eat everything! I seem to crave less sugar. I love it!
I feel so much better
I had terrible aches and pains everywhere in my body, my hands, shoulders and knees. I feel so much better and the way I feel is motivating me every day! Thank you
Mike Deb Wootan Burcin
Better than ever
I am an anesthesiologist in Orlando and a huge fan of both of your books! I have been incorporating your principles for the last 10 months and feel that my health is better than ever.
Marnie Robinson, MD
My allergies disappeared
The biggest difference for me (and a surprising one) is that my allergies have almost completely disappeared! This is a big deal for me, because I’ve had allergies most of my life and they have often affected what I do which is a teaching music in [a public school district]. In general, I feel much better and have more consistent energy throughout the day.
Heart Palpitations have Stopped
I’ve lost 20+ pounds (also fasting 16-24 hours daily) and haven’t had palpitations except for one occasion — I had a mini bag of Fritos for the first time in July. And, I feel better now on a daily basis than I ever did all through college.
Deep Nutrition and Fatburn Fix reader
I’ve lost over 50 pounds
I’ve lost over 50 pounds. I’m 56 years old. Cutting processed food and unhealthy fats from my diet was one of the first things I did on my health recovery journey...I went cold turkey off the bad oils. Emptied my pantry into the trash and just started eating real food
Mitzi Wilkinson Champion
Knowledge I didn’t know I needed
Your Fatburn Fix book is amazing, my friend. Thank you! I’m an Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and I know my stuff. This is the extra layer of knowledge I didn’t know I needed. Well done!
Fatburn Fix reader
Lost a solid 20 lbs and my bloodwork is great
I have lost a solid 20 lbs and my bloodwork (after 3 months of eating your way) was even better! I was metabolically healthy (per your book) before I read your book, but barely. Lowering my weight, sealed the deal! I have been talking about you and your book to anyone who will listen...Thank you for all you’ve done and what you continue to do! You are changing lives for the better!
FatBurn Fix reader
Lost 20 lbs I could never shed
I love your Fatburn Fix! Has helped me so so much! I have had the dreaded weight all my life - 20 or so pounds I could never shed. I have lost that now. I only eat 2 meals a day lunch and dinner with a glass of milk or cappuccino around 4 to hold me over. No snacking and not bad oils. It has been the key to unlocking my fatburn. I work out in the am and believe I am burning fat for energy not from food!
I feel great
My waist is four inches smaller. I feel great and many of the minor aches and pains that I had (knees and lower back) are gone. Also, my muscle tone is amazing, even though I have not increased my workout routine.
Completed Dr Cate's online course
The go-to for strength and conditioning coaches
Whenever I advise my clients about eating to perform I go straight to what I have learned from Dr. Cate. Her book Deep Nutrition has become the go-to for strength and conditioning coaches across the country.
Major League Baseball Agent with WME Sports
Dismantles the lie
Dr. Cate dismantles the lie that seed oils are healthy, which may the biggest lie about nutrition and health because it’s so insidious.
Ken D Berry, MD
Author of Lies My Doctor Told Me
She knows the chemistry
Dr. Cate alerts us to the harms of seed oils and she’s convincing because she knows the chemistry better than anyone.
Dr. Drew Pinskey, MD
Globally recognized internal medicine and addiction medicine specialist, media personality, LoveLine Host, and New York Times bestselling author
No one is better at communicating nutritional truth
Dr. Cate has had the single greatest impact on how we talk to people about fueling for both performance or durability. While we all are a little unique, the foundational principles of human nutrition are immutable. If you are looking to create a more durable, resilient body, no one is better at communicating nutritional truth than Dr. Cate.
Dr. Kelly Starrett
Physiotherapist coach and New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author
Highly recommend The Fatburn Fix
Dr. Shanahan has had a significant impact on my practice of medicine. I am known as a Low Carb Doctor, but I never really appreciated the negative effects of processed seed oils on the health of my patients. I highly recommend The Fatburn Fix to my patients and have a loaner copy in my waiting room. It is amazing how quickly blood sugars and overall health improves with cutting seed oils. It is not just about the carbs!
Dr. Brian Lenkzes, MD
CEO of LowCarbMD San Diego, co-host of Low Carb MD Podcast and host of Life's Best Medicine Podcast
Respected in the sports world
Dr. Cate reordered my diet when I was with the L.A. Lakers, and the benefits, for me personally, were felt immediately and have served me to this day. I’ve come to take real food so seriously I started a small family farm. I know of no M.D./nutritionist more respected in the sports world than Dr. Cate Shanahan.
Brought seed oil issue front and center
Cate brought the seed oil issue front and center. Healthy fats matter. So much so that I created an entire product line to swap out bad fats with good.
Founding Father of the Primal/Paleo Movement
Optimal health starts with food
If you want to understand how optimal health starts with food, start with Dr. Cate. Her book Deep Nutrition leaves you with an appreciation of the profound relationship between our genes and the planet, inspiring us to be good shepherds of both.
Attribution author of The Whole 30
Helped me with endurance
Deep Nutrition really helped me with endurance. I started to feel better as a player. I was able to run more, I was able to be more active …and I just decided to keep going with it to this day.
Silver bullet for me
Dr Cate’s teachings helped me lose 60 pounds like it was nothing. It was like a silver bullet for me.
Paul Grewal, MD
Dr Grewal Internal Medicine, MD, author of Genius Foods
Radically improve your health…
Dr. Shanahan has provided a solid reference that deserves a place in the library of anyone who is seriously interested in nutrition. Her perspective on the vital role that healthy fat has in our diet is novel and, if implemented, can radically improve your health.
Dr. Joseph Mercola
Author of Fat for Fuel and Founder of Mercola.com
Pull up a chair…
I have based my work on the idea that getting the right kinds of healthy fats into your body and avoiding the worst fats is essential to optimal health. I've interviewed dozens of the world's top experts about this, and I know of no one who speaks more eloquently on this topic than Dr Cate. If she’s talking fats, pull up a chair. Take notes.
Author of the Bulletproof Diet
The key to unlocking my fatburn
I love your Fatburn Fix! Has helped me so so much! I have had the dreaded weight all my life - 20 or so pounds I could never shed. I have lost that now. I only eat 2 meals a day lunch and dinner with a glass of milk or cappuccino around 4 to hold me over. No snacking and not bad oils. It has been the key to unlocking my fatburn.
Saved my life
I would like to thank you for literally saving my life. Back in February, I had to be hospitalized while on vacation in Phoenix with an A1C of 11% and had to start taking 2 types of insulin and 2 other meds. I read the Fatburn Fix in April, and followed the program to a tee, and I’m down by 15 pounds, 6.8 A1C, and only one once weekly diabetes medicine.
> Tears of joy
I'm crying tears of joy and appreciation for all you've done for me and my health! Without Deep Nutrition and Fatburn Fix, I would literally still be in the vicious cycle I'd been fighting all my life! In a nutshell - I am no longer a compulsive overeating addict suffering under the crushing 'thumb' of all food and alcohol.
Countdown points to alterations in “penis size and volume of the testes.”
I want to challenge you here to take a guess as to the nature of these alterations. Really think about this, as if there is money at stake: if these phthalates and other “forever chemicals” now found in everything from children’s toys to shrink wrap to wild fish is making a little boys package bigger or smaller?
I exposed a hint in the language of the question for all to see. If you guessed smaller, ding ding-ding-a-ling! You guessed right.
Here’s why you guessed right. We’re talking about something called sexual dimorphism. All that means is how boys and girls are different, which is something of great debate as of late. If you guessed right, and I would think 99% of you probably did, it’s because you know instinctively that order is harder to create than chaos. Sexual dimorphism represents order while, in contrast, loss of sexual dimorphism is a result of disruptions that occur to normal development that bring chaos into the normal orderly biological systems. It comes from static fed into the communication channels between your body and the hormones that direct its growth. That static is coming from toxin exposure.
In her book, Dr. Swan calls attention to evidence that toxic chemicals that threaten humanity’s ability to reproduce, including:
- Sperm counts have decreased nearly 60% since the early 70s
- The average twenty-something woman today is less fertile than her grandmother was at 35
- Toxins that reduce penis size and testicular volume are playing a role in the unprecedented rates of infertility
- Chemical exposure correlates with altered gender identity in girls and boys
It’s no joke. This is life changing stuff. I’m not in a position to talk about the larger societal impact of millions of children being born with bodies that don’t look very much like their great-great-great grandparent’s did. But I can tell you about my own 30-year clinical experience as a medical doctor.
How Doctors Measure Testicular Size
Believe it or not, part of what happens during a well-child checkup involves a doctor assessing development by numerically estimating testicular volume (we’re talking about boys, here). Physicians assess this as they examine each testicle looking for abnormal lumps, hernias and other abnormalities. There’s a thing called an orchiometer, which looks like a necklace with different size olive-shaped beads strung together, that’s used to assign a numerical volume to the testicle in question.
When I read about Shanna Swan in her book saying that, when it comes to sexual dimorphism among the younger generation, it’s a whole new ball game, I can say in all honesty that this jives with what I’ve seen in clinic. The normal adult size on an orchiometer is 25, and I’ve not seen anything much above an 18 for decades.
But there was one. He was Russian, six foot two, started out on breast milk and then grew up eating real food and home cooked meals.
In other words, he wasn’t exposed to the barrage of toxins that most children today endure. You see, I agree 100 percent with Erin Brockovich and Shanna Swan and I’m glad to see that this book is getting the publicity it deserves. But if we’re willing to talk about the toxins in our sippy cups, I hope we will get to the point where we can talk about to the cell-killing, DNA-mutating compounds in vegetable oil and foods cooked in vegetable oil including those at hoity toity grocery stores and high-end restaurants.
Why Size Matters, Biologically
Testicular size is an established indicator of sexual maturity. We’ve recently learned that failure to reach full adult size is an indicator of poor reproductive fitness and a strong predictor of both reduced number of sperm and poor sperm quality, meaning ability to swim fast and whether or not they look normal. The adaptive benefit to this when it comes to producing more offspring is obvious. Further, there is some evidence that less healthy sperm, when they do manage to fertilize and egg, do not communicate the genetic information that healthier sperm do, leading to less optimal pregnancy outcomes.
And studies have shown that men with significantly smaller than average sex organs have higher rates of depression and suicide. It’s hard enough to navigate through the dating world with this medically recognized condition, known as micropenis, but we add insult to injury when we insist that their dating difficulties are due to a lack of confidence or charm or some other character defect. Politically “correct” assurances aside, more and more men will be dying due to physiologic shortcomings.
On a final note, I think this trend towards disrupted physiologic development doesn’t end with the sexual organs. Although I have not seen a lot of studies on this, just having been alive for over half a century I see a distinct difference between the musculoskeletal development of young adult men today as compared to the 1970s, when I was growing up. What I’m seeing, and you will too if you look, is a narrowing of faces, shrinking of the lower jaw, sloping shoulders, hunched upper backs, and thinning of long bones—all changes that make a man look and feel less masculine.
We do have an instinctive attraction to certain body types for a reason: for most of human history, our survival has depended upon our physical health much more so than it does today. As I write in Deep Nutrition, “the ultimate purpose of this subconscious appreciation of the form-function relationship is the perpetuation of our DNA through the act of reproduction.” Today, slight distortions in growth are increasingly commonplace, and include the eye abnormalities that cause nearsightedness and ear canal abnormalities that cause otitis media. Shortcomings as innocent seeming as slightly narrow hips once had fatal consequences during childbirth.
Might all the growth disruptions be somehow related to the unprecedented rates of children challenging the sexual assignment on their birth certificate and opting for sexual reassignment surgery and hormone therapy, as documented in the recent book Irreversible? We can’t say for sure because its becoming increasingly difficult to honestly discuss physiology in terms of good or bad, desirable or undesirable, healthy or unhealthy.
But I think we should consider doing so. Because in my view the culprit toxin behind most of these changes is fairly easy to avoid.
The Most Powerful Testicle-Shrinking Toxins are Easily Avoided
Erin’s correct that it makes sense to avoid toxins so powerful that they can effect our babies’ development. After all, until Elon Musk figures out how to upload our consciousness into robots so that we better survive the exodus from Earth to Mars, expectant mothers, or anyone trying to get pregnant, should remember that their newborn will be utilizing his biological body for a least a while. Unlike global pollution in the general sense, that no one can completely avoid, eliminating the Hateful 8 seed oils is something you can actually take control of staring today simply by avoiding it. So why not follow your motherly instincts to avoid exposing your growing baby to the toxin in plain sight—the foods saturated with seed oils that are incapable of providing all the building blocks for a healthy baby’s growth. In fact, I dedicate a good part of my latest book to giving you a roadmap for finding and eliminating these nearly ubiquitous but still avoidable industrial oils.
Start there, and you’ll be placing your little man at a distinct advantage for the rest of his life, allowing his body to properly honor the proud genetic heritage of his ancestors. And that’s not no small thing.
Further Reading (The Science)
Support for the idea that vegetable oil is the number one cause of oxidative stress in the modern world: The PUFA Project
Support for oxidative stress induced by 4HNE (which can come from vegetable oil) and testicular cell death. “Exacerbation of diabetes-induced testicular apoptosis by zinc deficiency is most likely associated with oxidative stress, p38 MAPK activation, and p53 activation in mice“
Support for the link between testicular size and sperm health: “Testicular size in infertile men: relationship to semen characteristics and hormonal blood levels”
Support for the link between poor sperm health and worse pregnancy outcomes: Overweight men with nonobstructive azoospermia have worse pregnancy outcomes after microdissection testicular sperm extraction
Support for the link between sexual underdevelopment and suicide: Many articles
Support for the idea that we are attracted to certain physical features for the benefit of the species survival from Deep Nutrition (2017 Edition), Chapters 2-5
Hot dog and bun photos by https://unsplash.com/@charlesdeluvio