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The personal blog of Peter Attia, M.D.

What would Richard Feynman do?

What would Richard Feynman do?

Today we officially launch the Nutrition Science Initiative, or NuSI (pronounced “new see”).  What started out as a crazy idea in a tiny café in Oakland a year and a half ago has finally begun. When I left clinical medicine over 6 years ago, not once did I ever imagine I’d be back in the thick of things, working on the biggest healthcare crisis of our generation.  At the time I was frustrated with healthcare, for many of the reasons outlined by my good friend, Marty Makary, in his book, Unaccountable. Yet, over the past few years, perhaps because of my own personal struggle with weight gain and metabolic syndrome, I’ve become fascinated by the question, how many other people have struggled with their weight and health, despite doing everything right?’ And, what is ‘right,’ anyway?

The Feynman Foundation

“It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong” –Richard P. Feynman

I’ll never forget the day I finished reading Surely you’re joking, Mr. Feynman! for the first (of five) times as a freshman physics student.  I was devastated.  It was 1992, and Richard Feynman had died 4 years earlier. I would never get to meet him.  It seemed so unfair.  I would have walked from Kingston, Ontario to Pasadena, California to have spent even 5 minutes with him. Over the years, my fondness for Richard Feynman blossomed into an obsession.  [In college and medical school I would not date someone unless she had read Surely you’re joking…] I don’t know exactly why I was so obsessed with Feynman.  Perhaps his story made me feel secure in my quirks?  Maybe it was normal to be so curious, after all.  I held on to some crazy idea that maybe Feynman, if he knew me, would justify my unusual (and at the time, very un-cool) obsession with science and mathematics. I know I’m not alone in my admiration for the late Richard Feynman.  Tim Ferriss posted one of my favorite interviews with Feynman earlier this year on his blog and wrote about his absolute awe of Feynman. He’s inspired many of you, too, I’m sure.  In fact, the first time Gary and I tried to think of a name for our at-the-time-unnamed -nonprofit, we contemplated the name The Feynman Foundation, because of our conviction that if Feynman were still alive, he would be utterly displeased with the state of nutrition science.

In this interview Feynman had this to say:

“Because of the success of science there is a kind of a…I think a kind of pseudoscience, social science is an example of a science which is not a science. They don’t do scientific…they follow the forms…you gather data, you do so and so and so forth but they don’t get any laws, they haven’t found anything, they haven’t got anywhere yet, maybe someday they will but it’s not very well developed, but what happens is…even on a more mundane level we get experts on everything. They sound like a sort of scientific experts. They are not scientists. They sit at the typewriter and make up something like, ‘food grown with fertilizer that’s organic is better for you than food that’s grown with fertilizer that’s inorganic.’  Maybe true but it hasn’t been demonstrated one way or the other but they sit there on the typewriter and make up all that stuff as if its science and then become experts on food, organic foods and so on. There is all kind of myths and pseudoscience all over the place. Now, I might be quite wrong, maybe they do know all these things but I don’t think I’m wrong. You see, I have the advantage of having found out how hard it is to know something, how careful you have to be about checking the experiments, how easy it is to make mistakes and fool yourself. I know what it means to know something and therefore I can’t…I see how they get their information and I can’t believe that they know it. They haven’t done the work necessary, haven’t done the checks necessary, haven’t done the care necessary. I have a great suspicion that they don’t know that this stuff is…and they are intimidating people by it. I think so. I don’t know the world very well…that’s what I think.”

This, from the man who singlehandedly figured out why the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster happened by doing a few simple experiments.  He just had remarkable intuition.  Perhaps it’s why Gary (trained in physics) and I (trained in mathematics) grew so skeptical of most nutrition science. Borrowing a line from the blog of Miki Ben-Dor (who was also kind enough to transcribe the quote above from film): referring to scientists who follow evolution as a guideline, another physicist, John Tyndall, said in the 19th century:

“They have but one desire—to know the truth. They have but one fear—to believe a lie.”

While we eventually decided on the name Nutrition Science Initiative, it’s important to keep in mind the spirit of Richard Feynman as we launch NuSI. If he were alive today, I am 100% sure Richard P. Feynman would not only embrace what we are about to do, but lead the charge. Here’s to you, Mr. Feynman.  Thank you for everything you’ve taught us. We won’t let you down as we embark on this journey to find the truth.


About the Author:

Peter Attia, M.D., is a physician in private practice in NYC and CA. His practice focuses on longevity and healthspan. His clinical interests are nutrition, lipidology, endocrinology, and a few other cool things.


  1. Bob Kaplan  September 12, 2012

    Congrats, Peter! Incredibly excited and optimistic that we will see an improvement in how science is conducted in the field of nutrition and obesity.

    • Peter Attia  September 12, 2012

      Thank you Bob!

    • Maryann  September 12, 2012

      Hi Peter! Perhaps you could dedicate your conference room to him. You could put a plaque engraved “The Richard Feynman Conference Room” on the wall outside the door. Inside the room you could hang those great photos at the top of the post along with some of his inspiring quotes, such as the “beautiful theory” quote you often cite. Congratulations to you and Gary, maryann

    • Peter Attia  September 12, 2012

      I think we may just do that!

  2. KevinF  September 12, 2012

    Excellent! Of course another great philosopher of science was Francis Bacon. You should have called it the Bacon Foundation! What could go wrong?

  3. Jim Georgopoulos  September 12, 2012

    Yes, congratulations. All the best.

  4. lockard  September 12, 2012

    ready and waiting for all NuSI has for us

  5. Mark  September 12, 2012


    I think this is just fabulous, congratulations! I’m a PhD-level biostatistician with much experience in randomized controlled trials, so if there’s anything that I can ever do to help, please let me know. Consider this an offer to review any relevant documents (proposals, protocols, analysis plans, manuscripts, etc.), gratis.

    Regarding Feynman, I’m also a big fan and think the quote is very appropriate. But, I would add, that Popper pretty much said all of that before Feynman. I’m a HUGE fan of Popper, so just thought I had to get a plug in there!

    Anyway, good, good luck, and thank you for taking this extremely important initiative!

    • Peter Attia  September 12, 2012

      Mark, please connect with us through the website in a few weeks.

    • Robert Speirs  September 13, 2012

      I would read David Stove about Popper before getting too fanatical about his problematic (to say the least!) relationship with truth and certaintyl “Popper and After: Four Modern Irrationalists” is probably the best critique. An essay in “The Plato Cult” entitled “Cole Porter and Karl Popper: The Jazz Age in the Philosophy of Science” is also convincing.

      I don’t think one can say Popper had any real insights at all without dealing with David Stove’s analysis.

  6. Andrew  September 12, 2012

    Congratulations to you and your team, Peter! You’ve assembled an impressive scientific advisory board and I can’t wait to see the first fruits of NuSI’s efforts. Important question — can I donate with a debit/credit card? If so, I’m having a hard time finding it on the NuSI site — the “Donate Now” button on the Donate page doesn’t seem to be taking me anywhere.

    • Peter Attia  September 12, 2012

      Thank you, Andrew. Should be working now, or very soon. Little web glitch this morning.

  7. Mel Ona  September 12, 2012

    Peter, I am thoroughly impressed by your NuSI.org mission and greatly admire your courage to leap into the nutrition science fray. No doubt, NuSI will be the “scratch” to the obesity “itch” that’s plagued this country. Huge congrats, and I look forward to witnessing and participating in the critical mass to come!

    • Peter Attia  September 12, 2012

      Thank you so much, Mel.

  8. tess  September 12, 2012

    the best of luck to you and Gary — the world of nutrition science desperately NEEDS you both … though i’m sure they’ll leave you with no doubts that they don’t WANT you.

    best regards,

  9. lorraine  September 12, 2012

    In my twenties I lived in an old (1790) farm house on a couple of hundred acres, located midway between Rutgers and Princeton U. Me and all of my housemates were students or post-docs, and we are also all musicians (and we also continue to be great friends). Dinners at our house, which included physicists and mathematicians, and often luminaries like Wally Hayes, who was a pioneer of supersonic flight at Princeton and the father of one of our friends, would go late into the night debating all the Big Questions of Science. One of us, Jack, a drummer and chemist who is now Director of Research Admin at SUNY, was/is a Feynman Fanatic, and we basically all had to read Feynman to keep up with Jack in conversation. Once when he was attending a conference at CalTech, he just couldn’t stand it anymore, and he schlepped a conga drum on the plane and bum rushed Feynman’s office, saying he didn’t have an appointment, but he simply had to play drums with Dr. Feynman. Feynman saw him right away, and they did.

    I feel that same energy of going against the odds because you simply have to, circles the formation of NuSI, and I anticipate the similar successes that embrace those on a bold mission. Feynman would be proud.

    • Peter Attia  September 12, 2012

      Oh my God!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? Wow. Double wow! I’d feel like a teenage girl around Justin Bieber.

  10. Exceptionally Brash  September 12, 2012

    So wonderful! I had a copy of Feynman’s latest book on my desk at work, hoping someone would take a look. Finally, a colleague picked it up and read about the 0-ring dropping into the water. He grabbed the book, took it to the VP’s office and announced, “You need to read this book!”
    But upon careful reading of that book myself, I knew the VP had already either read it or had been doing it. Here all this time, I thought I was so smart, discovering everything by myself just like our Dear Richard, but then realized that this VP had been plopping me into all the right places, knowing my natural curiosity would lead me to the things he knew needed to be uncovered.
    Dr. Feynman also had that great general who silently knew where all the dead bodies were stored, and did something about it. That is true leadership, and true teamwork.
    Good luck on your endeavor!

  11. Sherie LaPrade  September 12, 2012

    Very VERY excited for this site, this initiative and what you all are trying to accomplish. Can’t wait to see what comes out of this! One of the biggest frustrations for my sister and I that we’ve discussed many times, is just how unscientific many of the nutrition “studies” out there truly are. It seems nutritional science has lost it’s grasp on how the scientific method is supposed to work and many of the so-called studies so prevalent today are so one-sided and biased in one way or another.

    It’s very exciting to see people who care about bringing scientific standards back to nutrition and who promote solid, supportable ideas on what is and is not healthy. As someone who has struggled with weight all my life and is just finally reaching an understanding for myself that everything I had been taught and believed about health and nutrition is upside down, I’m really looking forward to following NuSI on it’s journey!

  12. Jason Williams  September 12, 2012

    After reading the above Feynman passage, I think it’s finally clicked what NuSi is all about. I’ll admit, letting go of pseudo-scientific tendencies has been tough and unnatural for me. Sometimes we trust our intuition more than we ought to and fear that the results of follow-through will contradict what we’d like to believe. Who was the writer who spoke of our “cherished assumptions?”

    Off-topic, I encourage you to reach out the University of Bridgeport. There are very few scientifically rigorous nutritional academic programs in the U.S., and theirs is one of them.

    • Peter Attia  September 12, 2012

      Good to know. I’m good friends with their CTO. Maybe that explains why he’s such a fan of this work.

  13. Abhishek  September 12, 2012

    I’m a big fan of Feynman too. Read his book numerous times. Got a bunch of his lectures and interviews.
    I even bought the calculus book that gave him a “different set of tools” from the US(I’m in India) in 2004.

  14. Carolyn  September 12, 2012

    Congratulations on starting NuSI. I am looking forward to the future and what you discover. I know your focus will probably be on obesity and metabolic syndrome, but I’m hoping I can learn new things about nutrition science that will apply to digestive disease. I have a sneaking suspicion that the two (metabolic syndrome and digestive disease) are linked somehow. Thank you for taking this on.

  15. Laura  September 12, 2012

    I’m so happy to see that NuSi is now officially launched! FYI, in case you don’t already know, the ‘donate now’ button on the NuSi website doesn’t lead to a way to donate now- just by mail, etc. I assume you all realize that you’d get more donations if you made it possible to do it online with a credit card or something! But maybe you have enough start-up funds and don’t really want to start collecting donations yet?

    • Peter Attia  September 12, 2012

      Glitch should be fixed now. Last minute web redirect. Thank you, Laura.

  16. Anne  September 12, 2012

    Now I know I like you! I stumbled on Feynman’s book as a free Kindle download. I have read it twice. What a remarkable man. I am sure he would be a part of your group were he still alive.

    Congratulations on the launch of NuSI. I am excited there will be some real science in the nutrition field.

  17. Greg  September 12, 2012

    I have very fond memories reading “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!” out loud on a road trip with my wife and laughing hysterically the whole time.

    Good luck with the new initiative.

  18. Toni Wray  September 12, 2012

    Great to have NuSI off the starting blocks – I just hope you’ll be able to garner appropriate “headlines” with the scientific data you gather. There is so much “non-science” in the news, so much misinformation that I want to tear my hair out! It would be fantastic if the general public could begin to hear more scientifically tested reality – and less ill-informed and downright dangerous rubbish!

  19. Ellen Davis  September 12, 2012

    Bravo!! I immediately sent you a donation on the NuSI site. The site looks great, and I’m so looking forward to witnessing your success with this. Congratulations!

    • Peter Attia  September 12, 2012

      Thank you so much, Ellen.

  20. Patty Dineen  September 12, 2012

    Congratulations and best wishes on the launch, thank you for you work (past, present, and future).

  21. fran  September 12, 2012

    Congratulations on the launch of NuSI ? We’re a bit ahead of you timewise here in the UK so not sure what’s happened yet …
    I accidentally stumbled onto your site earlier this year after the loss of a close friend from diabetes complications, and realising that her eating habits contributed to her demise. After 3 months of my new LCHF regime I’ve managed to lose several stubborn unwanted pounds (without incremental exercise), and my overweight husband has started to see that CW might not be all that it’s cracked up to be. We share the cooking in our household and for the last 20 years he’s been asked to cook low fat, low cholesterol meals for us and is himself on statins … and I’ve been unsuccessful in trying to get him to relinquish them (“I’ve got ‘high’ cholesterol so I must need them”), even though I’ve repeatedly pointed out to him that my total cholesterol level is twice his (on the UK scale) and I’ve never been offered them … thankfully from my point of view, nothing in it for UK GP’s financially …,
    Your references to his hero Richard Feynman might be just enough to convince him that there must be something in this. I’m hoping that your latest blog might just tip him over …
    So I’m raising a glass in the general direction of the US and wish you and the rest of your new team every success in your new venture. Not all of your information is falling on stony ground …

  22. David Nelsen  September 12, 2012

    Peter, so have you taken up the Bongo drums, painting nudes or cracking safes? I really like the books I’ve read that he wrote. I even re-inforced one of his axioms to a young engineer the other day. “The first principal is don’t fool yourself, and you are the easiest one to fool”. Words to live by. Good luck with everything.

    • Peter Attia  September 12, 2012


    • jw  September 13, 2012

      This effort seems more analogous to Feynman’s reviewing the high school textbooks in CA. Everyone on the “review” board accepted that they were accurate, but no one had ever read them. Some of Feynman’s critiques were addressed, but over time I am sure that they fell back into their old habits (at least that was the case when I read my kid’s textbooks – sheesh!)

      Remember his humor and good will (but you will be allowed a little smirk when you finally pull the O-ring out of the ice water…)

    • Peter Attia  September 13, 2012

      I loved that story about the textbooks. If RPF were still alive, he’d be running NuSI.

  23. Avner Taieb  September 12, 2012

    Congratulation to you Peter and to Gary, I am very excited and waiting for all the interesting data from NuSi.
    I have a feeling (I know it is not a scientific statement 🙂 ) NuSi will be a great success, I’ll do my best to help, already started to spread the rumor here in Israel. My two cents: as I stated here before, I suggest to start by bringing data that support facts that easily will become consensus, like ‘sugars are bad’.
    BTW, I attempted to make a donation but the DONATE NOW button didn’t work.

    • Peter Attia  September 12, 2012

      Should be working now. Thank you!

  24. Travis Koger  September 12, 2012

    A little disappointed that the NuSI site completely ignores Google+ and even the +1 button is no where to be found… and yet it includes Pinterest!

    There are some huge benefits in getting your message out by being involved in Google+. Increased rankings and exposure on the Google Search engine is just one.

    • Travis Koger  September 12, 2012

      Yippeee! A +1 button has appeared on NuSI. Now all that is required is an official Google+ page so I can bring in some followers, share the joy and engage in the debate.

    • Peter Attia  September 12, 2012

      How’s that for taking feedback!

    • Travis Koger  September 12, 2012

      Impeccable as ever Peter. Seriously a G+ Page is needed now more than ever. It should not be ignored. If you need any help in getting it established, let me know as I would be more than happy to assist if I can. It could be started by your own G+ profile/Gmail account and then you can add other admins.

      If anything it can be used to help combat this… https://plus.google.com/u/0/+CadburyUK/posts


      Keep up the good work Peter.

  25. Greg B.  September 12, 2012

    Congratulations, I like many others am excitied at the prospect of seeing better research in this complex, vital field.

    Along those lines I hope you’ll try to incorporate the ideas suggested by Young and Karr regarding study protocol:



    I’m sure both you and Gary can appreciate the authors’ observation that 0 out of 52 observational studies
    produced no repeatable results in one sample survey, and they propose a relatively simple, efficient fix.

    Good luck!

    • Peter Attia  September 12, 2012

      Great stuff. And tragic, of course.

  26. Roy  September 12, 2012

    Thank the Gods, congratulations I hope NuSI does all you and Gary hope it will, the world needs this. If only I new what I now know regarding diet and food, I might not have type 2, but following yours and Gary’s diet advice, I have lost 3st in weight and got my BG under control and BP down. 7lb to go until weight at normal. Thanks to all you folk who don’t agree with the NHS, US diet advice. Keep up your fantastic work.

  27. carolyn  September 12, 2012

    an equally apt comparison for your insight and skepticism of the conventional wisdom is that of semmelweis.

    it’s hard to believe that in the second half of the nineteenth century the fields of physics and chemistry were advancing by leaps and bounds, sort of what the state of computer technology is like nowadays. compare that to the state of medicine both then and now. incredible, isn’t it, that the germ theory was still controversial at a time when some russian scientist whose name escapes me was compiling the periodic table of the elements?

    semmelweis came to mind while reading your nusi web page: ‘ this national failure to curb the ongoing epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes.’ indeed. how come this gets less attention and probably research dollars than coming up with a better ipad?

    good luck to you and your low carb comrades in arms.

  28. Pam  September 12, 2012

    Peter and Gary and team: the biggest congratulations on getting NuSI launched. It couldnt come quick enough. I’m a recent ‘convert’ to the real healthy way to eat and live ( now we all wait for the proof via NuSI). I am a GP way over in New Zealand and I have also been quietly talking to my patients about a new way of looking at their health. They are really receptive to try something new – their experience in doing the ‘right things’ and trying so hard without getting anywhere make them ripe for change. I’m hoping my own n=1 experiment will serve to show the way.
    I am heading to the donation button; I’m going to share and share and share on Facebook and I will get tweeting and retweeting. The power of social media today will get your message circulating round the world faster than any other advertising could ever do. You guys rock.

    • Peter Attia  September 12, 2012

      Thank you so much, Pam.

  29. Aviv  September 12, 2012

    It’s about time we’ll get the facts right around here. Thanks for doing it my friend.
    Good luck to you and NuSI…


    • Peter Attia  September 12, 2012

      Thanks for your support, Aviv.

  30. Bill Lagakos  September 12, 2012

    Peter, will you share with us some of your proposed study designs? (calories, macronutrients, etc.) And thanks for posting the comprehensive lit review over at NuSi.

    • Peter Attia  September 13, 2012

      In time, but it’s really up to the scientists designing the studies.

  31. Crilly Butler  September 13, 2012

    Very excited for you and Gary, and actually for myself and all the others out there that “have struggled with their weight and health, despite doing everything ‘right?'” Scheduled a VAP for next week. Going to get to the bottom of this! You can count on my support for this vastly important endeavor of yours!

    • Peter Attia  September 13, 2012

      Thank you so much, Crilly.

  32. Mark  September 13, 2012

    Holy cow, now I’m having a Justin bieber moment.. I hadn’t even looked at the website closely until now. Nassim Taleb is on your advisory board! In my opinion, he’s just about the greatest scientific mind living today. Congratulations on that!

  33. Crista  September 13, 2012

    Congratulations!!! I’m rapt!
    It’s times like these I wish I was a scientist. A lot goes over my head. But as a professional dancer and aerialist, the workings of the body, especially in how we fuel it for health and performance, are of utmost importance to me and have been the focus and study of my life (on an amateur level to be sure). Most of my family struggles with diabetes to differing degrees. My nose is constantly stuck in some nutritional science or, as the case may be, psuedo-science book.

    and in all things, I feel like this sums up my life “They have but one desire—to know the truth. They have but one fear—to believe a lie.”

    I can’t wait to follow along with all your struggles and findings!

  34. LynneS  September 13, 2012

    Another recent convert to healthy eating from the UK- many congratulations on the launch of NuSi. I cannot wait to hear more news, and wish there was some small way we could organise support here in the UK. We desperately need to get hold of both the scientific and dietary messages; walking around our towns and cities is scary when you see so many people struggling with obesity.

  35. Birgit  September 13, 2012

    Congratulations to you and Gary for getting NuSI started. I’m so excited for you. I don’t know any important people with loads of money but I will share with many people who have benefited from a low-carb diet and from many of your blog posts and are willing to pass on the word. 🙂

  36. Barbs  September 13, 2012

    I am so excited about this! In Australia our nutrition guidelines and heart foundation tick of approval still bangs out the same old stuff about margarine and moderation. As a woman and chocolate lover, I no nothing of moderation and have always loved butter!

    My life has changed drastically this year at 40. I gave up fructose, and recently grains and have had radical changes take place in my health that I am stunned by, I hardly recognise myself. I am also a huge foodie and have found all kinds of ways to continue to create beautiful food, without long ingredients lists. I am very gradually shedding the kilos (it seems to happen quicker for men) but when I do get to my goal weight I know I’ll stay there as there will be no more dieting for me.

    I feel so good that I tell everyone with evangelical zeal but still get met with the saturated fat will kill you thing. So Godspeed, I hope the money and the talent comes to you, I will be watching with great interest from the other side of the world…

  37. Dave Levine  September 13, 2012

    I’ve been meaning to tell you. It’s a toss-up between you and Mark Sisson as my favorite blogger. Since I’ve decided to transition from a Paleo to a Ketogenic diet (after already going from 340lbs to 300lbs in 2 months on Paleo), based on the readings from Eating Academy, I guess you’re in the lead at the moment. Congrats on NuSi’s opening. Can’t wait to see what it can do.


    • Peter Attia  September 13, 2012

      Holy cow…I’m not sure I’m that company, but I really appreciate your comment.

  38. Sol y Sombra  September 13, 2012

    God bless you, Peter, and good luck to you, Gary Taubes and all of the people on your team!

  39. John  September 13, 2012

    Peter, I was wishing you were with me yesterday as I sat in on a Nutrition seminar a local Dr. was giving. I was under the impression it was a science based Nutrition seminar as I am an undergrad studying Dietetics, when I found myself in on a meat hatefest. Vilifying all animal protein and cow milk especially. I paid attention to this lady’s references and noticed they were all from a certain T. Campbell, Documentary Forks over Knives, etc. I see these people all being affiliated with Dean Ornish, people I have come to know through following you and Gary. While she was emphasizing the evil of animal protein I obviously thought she was underestimating the importance of fat. At one time she showed a neat powerpoint graph of the efficacy of a high carb high veg low protein diet. NOOO! I like to try to be objective and hear other points of view but I had to draw the line. Please quickly justify to me why I have 2 canine teeth and deep yurning for Ribeye Steaks.

  40. Christy  September 13, 2012

    After being inspired by Gary’s book Why We Get Fat, I have been following the two of you online. I’ve also transformed myself through healthy eating and probably ‘saved my life’, just like everyone can with the proper information and perspective. The best part is that I’ve already convinced 3 other people to make the same nutritional changes and I’ve seen first hand the power of one person’s influence.

    You have have my full support and attention – if I lived in California, I would be there to apply for a job!

    However, I’ll focus more locally, even considering starting an initiative to ban candy from the school. (Why reward children with sugar when there ARE alternatives?)

    Good luck with all your efforts!

    • Peter Attia  September 13, 2012

      NuSI is not about policy or guidelines. We’re only here to push the science. Let’s do the science right before rules.

  41. Vasco Névoa  September 13, 2012

    Done. Shared and donated.
    Now bring it on!!!
    I think I’ll die of suspense long before any results are published, but hey, at least I’m glad things are chugging along in the good direction. 😉

  42. Craig Valency  September 13, 2012

    Congratulations Peter!

    For years now, I’ve been feeling the subtle tremors signaling the coming of a seismic shift in how we think about nutrition and health in general. I think that what you are doing with NuSI is the first salvo in what will bring about the revolution we’ve been waiting for in nutritional science.

    Thomas Kuhn who wrote The Structure of Scientific Revolutions did a great job outlining how “normal science” operates through long periods where researchers look for agreement on theories, and necessarily ignore contrary findings. When evidence mounts and a critical mass is reached, an acknowledgment of a contrary finding leads to a “crisis.” One of the ways this “crisis” is resolved is with a massive paradigm shift. He calls it an “intellectually violent revolution.”


    Personally, I’ve always been in that lonely club of skeptics and free thinkers in the anti-establishment crowd. But secretly, I just wanted to belong; I don’t want to be that weird guy anymore! In my masters program in Exercise Science it is shocking to me that we are given our marching orders by the U.S. government on what is nutritional science. I can’t think of many other disciplines that require you to spit out stale governmental dogma to get a degree.

    Peter, Good luck to you and Gary. The big shift is coming and I think that what you are doing with NuSI will be a major reason for it. I will do whatever I can to help move this forward.

    Thanks for everything!


    • Peter Attia  September 13, 2012

      Thanks so much, Craig.

  43. P. Jeffrey Ungar  September 13, 2012

    Congratulations to you and Gary on officially launching NuSI! I first read Surely you’re joking, Mr. Feynman! in hardcover when I was an Engineering Physics undergrad working one summer in Stirling Hall, and I keep going back to it. Here are a few more quotes from him and others that can inform NuSI’s activities:

    There are two possible outcomes: if the result confirms the hypothesis then you’ve made a measurement. If the result is contrary to the hypothesis, then you’ve made a discovery. — Enrico Fermi

    Science is the organized skepticism in the reliability of expert opinion. — Richard P. Feynman

    All models are wrong; some are useful. — George E.P. Box

    • Peter Attia  September 13, 2012

      Awesome quotes! Did you also do undergrad at Queen’s?

    • P. Jeffrey Ungar  September 13, 2012

      Yes, Science ’86! Then to Stanford for Physics, but I was done before you came to the Medical School.

    • Peter Attia  September 14, 2012

      I was Apple Math ’96, then to Stanford for med school.

  44. Ryan  September 13, 2012

    real excited to see something like this go down. I hope it is all successful. If there is some way that health students like me can contribute or help, please let us know. just right up the freeway in North County San Marcos.

  45. Deanne  September 13, 2012

    Looks like Paul Ridker is starting up 2 large trials to address the inflammation question.


  46. Scott Miller  September 14, 2012

    If Feynman is your inspiration for curiosity and truth seeking, then I’m even more certain of NuSI reaching an important level of success. All the best.

  47. Denise  September 14, 2012

    Richard Feynman is so amazing! While in school I avoided physics like the plague, but after reading “Surely You Must Be Joking,” I picked up his “Six Easy Pieces,” and I loved it! The “Six Not-So Easy Pieces” were, well, not so easy. But all in all, I don’t think I did too poorly, for someone who studied German as an undergrad.

    I also saw Alan Alda perform as Feynman in “QED” at Lincoln Center, which was fabulous, too. But then again, how can one not love Hawkeye?

    I think it is so cool that he is part of the inspiration for NuSI. Perhaps you will also get to play some bongos in Brazil one day? Thanks for your work in this area, Mr. Attia!

    • Peter Attia  September 15, 2012

      I haven’t seen QED. I must. I wish I had half the talent of RPF..bongos…painting…Nobel Prize…

  48. LeonRover  September 15, 2012

    What would Richard Feynmann do ?

    He would be true to his publication QED – Bongomann understood that this meant both Quantum Electro Dynamics and Quod Erat Demonstrandum simultaneously.

    QED was a theory which predicted various measurements and ratios in an explanation not previously provided, and to an astonishingly new accuracy. It was thus required also to measure data to the same accuracy to verify this new theory. Absent the measurements and data, QED would have remained merely plausible.

    In the thicket of thermodynamic, macro-nutrient, micro-nutrient, hormonal, enzymatic, genetic, epi-genetic etc. plausible, hypothetical mechanisms which have been proposed in nut-rition over the last 50 years, much heat has been generated, which has cooled in the usual way to entropic death, but very little Quantum (or even Maxwellian) light.
    The light of empiricism is what is needed, that is, the generation of results and data.

    I wish you luck in its acquisition.

    However, I suspect that Entropy shall have have claimed me before the Dancing Angels shall have been enumerated.


  49. pam  September 16, 2012

    awesome. but nusi.org seems down.
    i read 3 books by Dr. Feyman.
    & 1 biography about him + 1 movie about him.
    great thinker. a true scientist.
    i heard another quote of his: science is the disbelief of the experts (something like that)
    great sucess

  50. Lesley  September 16, 2012

    As another doctor from Australia who rejects current nutritional pseudoscience, I wish you and Gary every success with NuSi. It is a desperately needed initiative, thank you for leading it, and for all the hard work you have put into this. I can’t wait to see real science emerging to combat the lies and half truths that currently pass for nutritional information. Every day that we continue to officially advocate carbohydrate rich diets, we are killing diabetics and causing metabolic syndrome and its consequences in many others- this is an emergency! I’m also hoping you can manage to change the debate around obesity, which currently blames the obese individual for their weight, rather than laying it at the feet of an inappropriate and ill conceived diet. That would be a huge paradigm shift in our social consciousness. I’m off to donate. Again, thank you both, and everyone at NuSi.

  51. Dorian  September 17, 2012


    In your NuSI video Q&A, you discuss some of the challenges in front of NuSI. When I think about all of the countries in the world, it is logical that some will be less receptive to your message, while others would be more receptive. (Perhaps the more receptive are ones that don’t have a long and broad history of making nutritional recommendations.) I’d be curious to know if your communication strategy involves some priority of these more receptive countries as a foot-hold in the global environment. If a G20 country got on board, perhaps motivated by potentially avoiding a US-like obesity/diabetes/metabolic syndrome epidemic and all the health costs associated, then perhaps more of our 190+ countries in the world would follow.

  52. Dorian  September 17, 2012


    One other avenue of possible NuSI communication is the world of endurance athletes, particularly the teams. Based on Phinney & Volek’s The Art & Science of Low-Carb Performance, it would seem as though a number of sports teams would be interested in how to lessen their players from “running out of gas”. One team in particular comes to my mind: the US National Soccer Team. According to US commentators, this team has traditionally been one of the most fit national soccer teams, with fitness training being a priority. With 90 or 120 minute matches, being able to easily tap into fat stores, once the glycogen is depleted, would seem to be a highly desirable condition. Btw, the US National Mens Team trains in Southern California. You might like Jurgen Klinsmann!

  53. Art  September 19, 2012

    Oops. I meant to say:

    Great story! Very inspirational and informative. I do have one question. In your series on cholesterol, you adamantly state that LDL particle size is not important. You emphasize that only LDL-P matters. However, in this account you say larger LDL particles are less harmful than small ones. Would please clarify this point. Thanks.

    • Peter Attia  September 20, 2012

      Not sure what you’re referring to. In which account do I say larger LDL particles are less harmful than smaller one? This post doesn’t talk about LDL particles.

    • Art  September 20, 2012

      This post includes a link to “my own personal struggle” (first paragraph). In part 3, you discuss lipids and say large buoyant LDL particles are good and small dense ones are bad. In your multi-part series on cholesterol, you present a compelling argument that only LDL-P is important because the rate of plaque build-up is a gradient process. Maybe I misinterpreted you, but I thought you were clearly refuting the argument that it didn’t matter how many LDL particles you have as long as they are large and fluffy. In any event, are large buoyant LDL particles less likely to create plaque than small dense ones? At what size do LDL particles transition from being good to being bad? Thanks.

    • Peter Attia  September 20, 2012

      Ah, yes, you’re right, Art. I do say, later in that post, that this point was controversial and not fully clear. Since the time of writing that post I have come to form a stronger view that size does not matter once particle number is known. Small size is still a predictor or large numbers, but the key is knowing the number. LDL particles become “bad guys” when they “illegally” dump their cargo in a place they should not be doing so — the sub-endothelial space.

  54. paul helman  September 20, 2012

    We recently listened to the collected letters of Richard Feynman as compiled by his daughter. In one he responds to a letter from a women in the field of Social Science who had found his statement to be offensive. In his reply, Feynman, not one to suffer fools kindly, appologizes quite sincerely and admits regret at having made the comments you sight above. Moreover he clearly regreted his statements. You might check this out.
    Otherwise I find your web site quite excellent and have begun referring my patients to it along with the books of Gary Taubes since reading them a bit over a year ago. Even an Internest of some forty years practice experience
    can change his parodyn when confronted with what I feel is the truth.
    Paul Helman,M.D. Evanston,Il.

    • Peter Attia  September 21, 2012

      Paul, I’m hopeful that more physicians like you can keep an open mind and review emerging evidence that may call in doubt pre-existing beliefs and even treatment. Check out the book “Mistakes were made (by not by me)” for a great discussion on this form of cognitive dissonance and how difficult it is to overcome, for all of us. As far as Feynman’s comments, I would say that is a fair point. I actually think the level of rigor in most social sciences is better than in nutrition, especially as it pertains to clinical trials.

  55. denis Tancrede  September 20, 2012

    I hope this is the proper blog to post this question and merit a reply from your part.
    I have been using for the last two years Diovan 160 with diuritic for blood pressure. For the last three months I have faithfully adhered to a low carb paleo inspired eating regime with on average 10% carb 30% protein and 60% fat- this part only in the last month-. Six weeks ago I stopped the medication and monitored my pressure daily and for three weeks it stayed in the 120\80 range ( out of bed ). For no apparent reason it jumped to 140/90, while the only diet change has been the increased portion of fat, a difficult adjustment as for ever I have been on a low fat eating regiment.
    As a complement of info, I am 66 , 169 pounds and 5 feet 11. My weight since it adjusted ( 15 pounds lost) never moves more than a pound either way ( I do not pay attention to quantities anymore) . I monitor my blood glucose ( 5.0 to 5.8 on same device you use and keytone between 0.4 to 0.7 mmols )
    I exercise regularly ( interval cycling and skiing) and I am committed to stay on this eating program for ever.

    I hope to find an answer on the relation of low carb and blood pressure and this sudden reversal. Few people understand the low carb diet and you are obviously the most thorough on this matter, having experienced it yourself. So at this stage I want to find out if this a temporary adjustment of my system or something to reconsider going back to medication. Or some adjustment that I must implement .
    Any bit of advice??
    Thanks and congrats on your dedication to helping people.
    Denis Tancrède

    • Peter Attia  September 21, 2012

      Denis, I can’t speak to your numbers, but most people with essential hypertension (the “technical” term for elevated blood pressure without an obvious cause) have a significant reduction — often enabling them to stop medication — within about 6 weeks of significant carb reduction. The reasons are probably multifactorial, but include reduced circulating plasma volume and sodium excretion.

  56. David Nelsen  September 21, 2012

    Congrats on getting everything going. I was reading an article about the Paleo diet on the Huffingtonpost today and in the comments section came across a link to this guy:


    I was glad to see that he wasn’t on your board of directors.

    The HuffPo article was bad but nothing like the garbage this guy was spouting. You can read it here:

    I’ll highlight my favorite paragraph:

    “There’s also problematically little stated about saturated fat. As part of the Paleo diet, it would be easy to choose cuts of meat that are sky-high in artery-clogging LDL cholesterol and saturated fat. Especially for someone used to eating low-fat dairy protein, this switch would be harmful to cholesterol levels. And while the Paleo diet is high in fiber (thanks to all the fresh produce), forbidden foods like whole grain oats, beans and other grain and legume sources of fiber have been found to help moderate cholesterol levels.”

    It just reminds me of the long uphill battle to be waged. Somehow Dr. McDougall made it out of medical school. I’m still not sure exactly how.

    • Peter Attia  September 21, 2012

      David, I couldn’t make this up if I tried. I got through the first paragraph, but then I was laughing too hard to continue. As I was reading it, I kept hearing the silly music from 1950’s science movies…

    • Craig  September 26, 2012

      McDougall is over the top in many respects – like his inference that starch based diets are superior for individual health because they enabled the development of civilization. And a lot of his statements about meat consumption are clearly biased by his personal beliefs and not well supported. But I think he does make a couple of valid points.

      – I don’t think it is likely that low carb ketogenic diets were the norm for our primate ancestors. It is true that once Homo Sapiens migrated out of Africa, we demonstrated the ability to be very opportunistic eaters. And hunter gathers living in the arctic or near the edge of the ice sheet in the last ice probably did get the majority of their calories by hunting. But was that the norm, or an exception forced by the need to survive in a colder climate? In any case, that out of Africa scenario might have been as recent as 50,000 years ago. For the previous 2 million years, our ancestors would have been primates living in a milder climate where carbohydrates were much more readily and reliably available. (Of course, they were also not the carbohydrates we have today. Most likely they were more fiberous, with low GI, less readily digested, calories less accessible, etc.) Also, structurally speaking, I don’t think we are built like carnivores. We certainly don’t have the fangs for tearing apart animal carcasses, and I believe our intestines are much longer than those found in true carnivores.

      – It is clear that some agriculture-based societies that persisted into modern times managed to derive a large proportion of their food needs from carbohydrates without developing the classic diseases of civilization. These only seem to appear when they start adding fat and higher levels of protein into the diet. Why this happens doesn’t seem entirely clear, but my sense is that if you keep fat (and protein) intake relatively low, then carbohydrates aren’t quite as obesigenic as when they are liberally mixed with fat and protein.

      – There are some people who have managed to lose a lot of weight and improve their health by following a McDougall/Ornish/Fuhrman style diets. This wouldn’t happen if carbs by themselves were dangerously obesigenic. But the key seems to be to keep fat content low, which makes it (in my opinion) a difficult and restrictive diet to follow. And even within groups of people who swear by low fat diets, you will find some who need to stay away from dense, high GI starches (wheat, rice, potatoes) in order to keep blood sugar or plaque in check.

      Leaving aside the issue of obesity, I think it is also hard to tell from the limited evidence at hand what the long term health impacts of a high fat, high meat, low carb diet might be in the absence of obesity. It is easy for an observer to say that X population ‘appears’ free of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. But without autopsy results or well documented causes of death, how sure can you be of that assessment? If a Plains Indian went off on a hunting trip and didn’t come back, how can we know for sure he didn’t kneel over and die from heart disease. (Not all heart attacks occur with sedentary overweight people. Some lean and active people also drop dead unexpectedly.)

      So I hope that NuSi will look at all the evidence with an open mind, and not too easily discard some of the evidence that appears inconsistent with the paleo/LC theory of eating.

    • Peter Attia  September 27, 2012

      All good points, Craig.

    • Caroline  November 19, 2015

      The “garbage” this guy is “spouting” is actually based upon decades of research, done by both himself and his predecessors, many of whom have substantial amounts of evidence backing the idea that high fat, high saturated fat, and high cholesterol diets result in metabolic derangements responsible for cardiovascular disease.

  57. steve  September 21, 2012

    Two questions regarding the LDL-P comments, above: 1. What number of LDL-P is considered to low, since less appears to be better; and 2. If one already has CAD might size in any amount matter? Thanks.

    • Peter Attia  September 21, 2012

      It’s all percentile based. LDL-P of about 1250-1300 is 50th percentile. For “high risk” folks, most lipidologists target LDL-P below 1,000.

  58. Jim Bowron  September 22, 2012

    Here is the summation Dr. Ornish has of his take on the healthy diet in an opinion piece, titled, “Eating for Health, not Weight, in the digital NY Times today, referencing the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study and the Nurses’ Health Study.
    “A diet low in fat and high in unrefined carbohydrates caused the least amount of coronary artery blockages, whereas an Atkins-type diet caused the most. ”
    As well, he again made the claim that the low carb diet”showed more than double the level of CRP (C-reactive protein)” and that low carb diets caused weight loss because they increased your metabolic rate like amphetamines do.
    I’m sure you will enjoy reading his opinion.

  59. Barb ( A discordant fan)  September 23, 2012

    “Eating for Health, not Weight” in the NYTimes this morning.


    Dean Ornish why his way is the only way twisting results “Patients on an Atkins diet in this study showed more than double the level of CRP (C-reactive protein), which is a measure of chronic inflammation and also significantly higher levels of cortisol, a key stress hormone. Both of these increase the risk of heart disease and other chronic diseases.” “….more than 83,000 women from the Nurses’ Health Study who were followed for many years showed that consumption of both processed and unprocessed red meat, a mainstay of an Atkins diet, is associated with an increased risk of premature death as well as greater incidence of cardiovascular disease, cancer and Type 2 diabetes.” to make his argument.

    Happy reading!

    • Peter Attia  September 24, 2012

      Too bad he failed to read the paper or at least report on it honestly. Cognitive dissonance is a powerful force.

    • es  September 24, 2012

      Yeah. I read through the studies he cited. I have to say some of it really gives me pause. I realize this one (below) is talking about mice. But still, I think this is a little worrisome that the mice on low carb, high fat/protein diet (“LCHP-fed”) ended up with verifiable larger atherosclerotic lesions on their aortas than western diet (“WD”) or the control diet (“SC”):

      “Atheromatous plaque were larger in cross-section in LCHP-fed than in WD-fed mice after 12 weeks of diet (146.7 ± 42 ?m2 vs. 79.2 ± 31 ?m2, P = 0.026; Fig. 1 C and D). Both WD- and LCHP-fed mice developed much larger plaques than control SC-fed mice (24.0 ± 12 ?m2, P ? 0.05 for all pairwise comparisons at 12 weeks). Taken together these data demonstrate the LCHP-fed mice developed more extensive atherosclerosis than WD-fed mice, despite similar dietary fat and cholesterol content, and reduced weight gain.”

    • Peter Attia  September 24, 2012

      Does it worry you that mice in a room with a cat all die, too? Why do you think it’s even remotely reasonable to extrapolate what a small herbivore does in response to a diet relative to you?

    • es  September 24, 2012

      Peter, thanks for the fast response. It’s a fascinating question. I wonder if there’s a way to quantify how similar an animal’s vasculature and physiology is to our own? I guess we could try it in chimps.

      Still though, it’s interesting. The authors of that study, as a purely rhetorical matter, meant to convey this sense of worry about a low carb, high protein/fat diet (with an obligatory nod to the danger of extrapolation from mouse to human). And Ornish made the move much more powerful by removing any sense of doubt.

      Which is to say, I’m not commenting on the scientific basis of it. I’m only noting that it had the effect desired by Ornish et al: it made me concerned. Perhaps for nothing.

    • Peter Attia  September 24, 2012

      In my humble opinion, taken in this context, it’s pure chicanery. Sure, it’s interesting and helpful to study things in animal models. But in the NY Times (i.e., out of the context of a scientific journal) to even suggest a linkage to humans is just plain irresponsible.

    • jw  September 24, 2012

      Disingenuousity (disingenuousness?) right in the first paragraph:

      “The country is preoccupied with calories. McDonald’s, for instance, is now posting them.”

      The ONLY reason that McDonalds in now posting caloric content is that the Supreme Court held up Obamacare, which in its thousands of pages of regulations requires that restaurants of over 20 sites must do this. They have made a reasonable marketing decision to get slightly ahead of the curve by posting this information “voluntarily” a few months before the regulations mandate it. It has nothing to do with “preoccupied with calories”.

    • Alexandra M  September 24, 2012

      I glad to see this made it here – I wasn’t sure where to mention it. Larry over at AWLR debunked it pretty well. I do hope there will be a letter to the Times, though:


      He mentions you, Peter.

    • Peter Attia  September 24, 2012

      Very nice work by Larry, over there today. This post contains my discussion for the famous Lancet trial: http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/why-weight-watchers-is-actually-a-low-carb-diet

    • David Nelsen  September 25, 2012

      With respect to Ornish, I’ve never seen anyone get so much milage from 1 study of 35 patients that he (or anyone else) has ever been able to replicate. So many confounding variables and yet like Ancel Keys – he knows that removing red meat from the diet did the trick. Not removed all sugars and refined carbs – or stopping smoking. On a study that small you could get a positive result just by dumb luck. And yet he seems to be sitting on some pedestal (smugly) that the media has placed him on. The other thing which rarely gets mentioned is the success rate of keeping someone on a diet like this, as the fallout rate has to be high for a variety of reasons. Sure, they can supposedly eat all they want, but you can only eat so many vegetables and Soy burgers. As we speak, however, I am slow smoking 3 pork shoulders (14 hours give or take) to make delicious, non artery clogging pulled pork. Dean would probably faint looking at that much red meat!

    • Peter Attia  September 25, 2012

      Yes, you really hit the nail on the head. One very poorly done study 22 years ago is considered the “gold standard.” It really shows the role PR and marketing can play in this space. I will say this, though, Ornish’s trial is very important for one reason: It DOES show that a non-pharmaco intervention can reverse atherosclerosis in at least some people. This is a very important finding and should never be forgotten. The problem, of course, is the interpretation. Was the it the smoking cessation? Was it the removal of sugar? Flour? The exercise? The medication? The removal of meat and dairy? Unfortunately, this trial does not tell us, thought it is almost always extrapolated to do so.

    • David Nelsen  September 25, 2012

      So instead of spending the last 22 yrs figuring out which variables were the most important he seems to have locked in on his unshakable hypothesis. He hit a single an is content to stay at first base. Pardon my French but whenever I have seen him on TV he comes across as a supremely sanctimonious b*stard. Smiling like a cat who just ate the canary. If only there were some sort of New scientific initiative that could help to sort these things out. 🙂 Oh, wait – there is one!

    • Andrés  September 27, 2012

      Actually the assertion that Ornish’s diet reverse atherosclerosis has been disputed by Dr. Davis: “Given the limitations of technology when the Ornish concept got its start, it appeared as if reversal was obtained. In reality, all his approach accomplished was a relaxation in tone of abnormally constricted arteries, thus giving the appearance of reversal. Increased artery tone, or endothelial dysfunction, is extremely common when atherosclerotic plaque is present.” I think that nutrition and medical science should give attention to successful medical practice before designing any new experiment. I myself follow more of active medical experts outside Big Pharma sphere than definitive proofs in published papers: they will be coming, I hope (vitamin C as an antiviral, perhaps in another 50 years), but my father doesn’t have the luxury of that time so I advice to everyone to take control on oneself’s hands.

      Also of interest from Dr. Davis, it is the assertion of the failure of the Ornish’s approach on his patients.

    • jw  October 2, 2012

      For such a significant claim, you would think that replication studies would have been done by the dozens to confirm Ornish’s results. If they have, can someone please point to them?

      Otherwise, all you have is cold fusion….

      NUSI will have to be prepared for this as well. Any significant new claim will have to be replicated by another independent study before critics will accept it. As replication studies get even less funding than new research, it presents a problem which I am sure that you are prepared to address at some point in your NUSI strategy.

  60. Debbie  September 23, 2012

    Unsure where to post this comment, and seething after reading Dean Ornish’s opinion piece in today’s New York TImes Sunday Review – probably the one section everyone reads – I am writing here to urge people, especially Peter, to read the piece and write a rebuttal to the Times. His piece is called Eating For Health, Not Weight.

  61. Greg B.  September 24, 2012

    Interesting article on the ancient origins of sugar production:


  62. Sam  September 25, 2012

    Can you comment on this: http://www.drfuhrman.com/library/article17.aspx

    My favorite line is this one: Additionally, if a slim or highly physically active individual ate only the highest nutrient foods they would become so full from all of the fiber and nutrients that they would not be able to meet their caloric needs, and they would eventually become too thin.

    Is this pretty much just what any nutritionist would tell you, albeit without processed “low-fat” foods?

    • Zak Hendsch  September 27, 2012

      I took a peak at the website. When he says highest nutrient foods, he is using his definition of most nutrients per calorie. So he lists raw leafy green vegetables as the perfect 100 score. As an example, 3000 calories (for a highly active person) works out to about 29 pounds of raw spinach. I’m willing to take his word for it that eating that would be a struggle!

      But most diets make a version of this claim: if you eat healthy enough (although the diets greatly differ on what is healthy) you will feel full sooner and lose or maintain weight.

  63. Cindy C.  September 26, 2012

    Best wishes,

    I saw this on Matthew’s Friends site. There are some International hospitals and centers using ketosis for treating epilepsy, using the food locally available mostly. The modified Atkins diet appears effective, without initial hospitalization, fasting, or limiting proteins.


  64. Emi  June 2, 2013

    I’m really amazed about NUSI, and by that I’m really interested on applying in NUSI. What does it takes to get a job at NuSi? Any tips?

  65. Andrew  July 6, 2013

    I just saw your TED talk and wanted to thank you for it and for starting NuSI. Dr. Feynman (Dr. Sagan, Dr. Asimov, and my physicist relatives) convinced me to take physics (Waterloo 1980). I also studied human vision to develop improved video compression and comprehension algorithms. At the age of 37 I gained 75 pounds in 8 months but was not diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Diabetes for two more years. After losing the 75 pounds I began studying the medical issues and after a steep learning curve started to see some possible links to immune disease. In my family’s case one cousin has Lupus and most of my maternal family has had autoimmune problems (thyroiditis, IBS, psoriatic arthritis), some also have Type 2. Current dogma states that Type 2 is not an autoimmune disease while Type 1 is. I would be very interested in your view on this either way? Best wishes with this project.

    • Peter Attia  July 6, 2013

      Interesting, though I have not seen compelling evidence that T2D is autoimmune.

  66. Tom Bunnell  March 1, 2014


    So glad to hear you are a Richard Feynman fan, Peter.

    I myself became enthralled with this mans wisdom and mystic many years ago.

    I believe he would have been himself enthralled at “The Bunnell Farm Discovery” regarding sugars and hybrid carbohydrates being powerful stimulant drugs, unbeknownst to anybody for all this time and space.

    They being similar in like to amphetamine and methamphetamine and cocaine in nature.

    Producing adrenaline like effects in man, causing war and intellect and kingdoms and all that.

    Give Gary my best.

    I now know he is in good hands.

    I am at peace knowing that you two will look into this phenomena.

    Thank you,
    Tom Bunnell

    • Peter Attia  March 1, 2014

      I often wonder what Feynman would do if around today to watch the buffoonery of the modern diet “scientific” debate. When we started NuSI, I was toying with the idea of naming the “Feynman Foundation.”

    • Tom Bunnell  March 1, 2014

      We are all drug crazed stimulant addicts going off all over the place, he would have grasped what I’m saying and applied it to all of mans insanity and war mongering and greed, and been pleased that there was finally an understandable explanation to all this madness. The unanswerable, answered. He would have expanded and ran with it.

    • The Bunnell Farm  March 21, 2014

      Either that or come lock me up…

  67. Cheryl Erickson  August 27, 2014

    Just read the Wired Magazine article about NuSi and I am very excited to see the results of your study. Grateful to see a study that is not funded and managed by the “food” industry.

  68. Katya  December 2, 2014

    I,was reading about the three studies that NuSi is presently funding and I was wondering why all the subjects that participate in all three studies are obese? Why aren’t they using lean subjects?
    Is it because it’s unrealistic for lean people to willingly participate because they don’t want to gain weight? Or is it because the obese are more genetically predisposed to the treatments?
    Ideally are lean subjects better to use in order to study the cause and effect?

  69. Imran  November 26, 2016

    Love this blog and am incredibly inspired by Feynman – but have a small correction to make:

    Feynman did not solve the Challenger disaster on his own, he was dropped hints by Sally Ride and Colonel Kutyna who had more in-depth knowledge but could not reveal the information themselves due to political reasons. However, the remarkable part about his approach was his teaching style, doing the experiment right there in front of Congress with an ice water bath for the O-ring. Even more remarkable, I think was his commitment to ethics and continuing to maintain a scientific integrity of showing all the facts and their possible conclusions.

  70. Biff Hastings  December 6, 2017

    Hi, much of your stuff us interesting. However, I think you have the wrong Feinman. I have been reading the writings of Richard D Feinman and he saved my life. I always say “…what would DR RICHARD FEINMAN DO!” Two years ago I read his stuff and everything changed. I am not sure of his website but he teaches at Downstate Medical School. His book is on Amazon
    “The World Turned Upside Down” It is ABSOLUTELY the best medical/science/diet book ever…and I have read shelves of them!


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