CANCER MYTH: DOCTORS ‘TORTURE’ ANCIENT FACTS TO FIT THEORY?

Cancer is big business globally. Cynics  – or realists, depending on your viewpoint – say it’s an industry ‘too prosperous to allow for a cure’. In 2015, the global market for annual sales of cancer drugs hit $100 billion. Estimates then were that it could reach $147 billion by 2018. It’s probably much more by now.

Yet despite the decades-long ‘war on cancer’ and billions spent on research, a cure is elusive. Of course, there has been progress. However, conventional treatment methods of chemotherapy and radiation have serious limitations, both in safety and efficacy. Even orthodox oncologists these days privately admit that these methods can be life-taking as much as life-saving.

Canadian nephrologist Dr Jason Fung has a special interest in cancer. Many of his patients have diabetes, a condition that significantly increases the risk of cancer. He says that there’s good reason why doctors lost the war. They cut the limbs of the facts to fit a popular – but wrong – theory. And still do. He says it’s time to stop lopping off limbs of inconvenient truths about the dread disease Fung turns to a myth of ancient Greece to explain why. – Marika Sboros



HEALTHY EATING – NOT ALWAYS GOOD FOR YOU?

Healthy eating sounds like it’s a given that it’s good for you. Not always. Healthy eating can stimulate orthorexia nervosa. It’s the psychological term for an ‘unhealthy obsession’ with healthy eating. It literally means ‘ fixation on righteous eating’.

Those who write the ‘Bible’ of psychiatric disorders, DSM-5, don’t recognise orthorexia nervosa as a clinical diagnosis. However, doctors and dietitians say it’s not unusual. It also appears to be more prevalent among vegetarians and vegans.  At heart, it’s about a fixation on food quality and purity. 

Australian cardiologist Dr Ross Walker has a medical practice in Lindfield, on the upper north shore of Sydney.  One of his areas of expertise is preventative cardiology. Walker has published seven best-selling books on preventative cardiology. He also lectures nationally and internationally on the topic.  Here’s what he says about whether healthy eating is really always good for you – Marika Sboros



LORE OF NUTRITION: USING SCIENCE POWER TO BEAT DIET DICTATORS

By Marika Sboros

Lore Of Nutrition, co-authored by sports scientist Prof Tim Noakes and me, has hit the ground running. It’s also flying in cyberspace. The sub-title says it all: Challenging Conventional Dietary Beliefs.

Noakes devotes much of our book to the growing body of compelling science for benefits of low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diets.

In it, we also reveal the “Diet Dictators”.  These are the many top doctors, dietitians and academics who have tried to suppress or distort the science for LCHF. It’s probably no coincidence that most have industry links. Our book documents how the Diet Dictators and assorted hangers-on also tried and failed to destroy Noakes’s career, character and reputation. We show how and why eminence-based medicine is giving way to evidence-based medicine.



DIABETES: TIME FOR DOCTORS TO LOOK AT IT UPSIDE DOWN

 Scottish GP Malcolm Kendrick has a wonderful way with words about diabetes – and lots else besides. Here’s an oldie but goldie from Kendrick. In it, he argues why so many endocrinologists have got it so wrong about effective treatment for type 2 diabetes. Why they, in effect, look at type 2 diabetes from the wrong way round.

Upside down, if you like.

Kendrick says that insulin is not really the key hormone. It is ‘merely’ the subservient hormone.  The body produces it counter the effects of too much of another hormone, glucagon.

 He’s not saying that insulin isn’t important, just that it is far from essential. He is also saying that drug treatment for diabetes misses the mark. And while useful, metformin is not a wonder drug. If you don’t follow Kendrick, do so. On his blog, he has written a fascinating 40-part series on heart disease. – Marika Sboros



CARNIVORE QUEEN: HACKER O’HEARN ON MAGIC OF MEAT

VITAL SIGNS

By Marika Sboros

Today, Foodmed launches Vital Signs, an occasional series of Q&A interviews with those forging new paths in nutrition science globally. Along with top doctors and scientists, we also feature ordinary mortals. These are the brave lay people who make up the wisdom of the crowds. They usher in bottom-up change from eminence-based to genuinely evidence-based medicine.

First up is Canadian-born US-based carnivore and artificial intelligence hacker L Amber O’Hearn who lives in Colorado. O’Hearn is a data scientist by profession. She is also a singer, writer, mathematician who has been researching and experimenting with ketogenic and evolution-based diets since 1997.

O’Hearn has put her day job aside to focus on researching, writing, and speaking about nutrition. She is an author at The Ketogenic Diet For Health and Empirica and has no qualms about going carnivore. And yes, she eats some of her meat meals raw. And no, she’s not aggressive as a result of being a dedicated carnivore. Here’s what drives her dietary habits:



KENDRICK ON INUIT, NOSEBLEEDS, NO HEART DISEASE

Scottish GP Dr Malcolm Kendrick says there is good reason that the Inuit of Canada had frequent nosebleeds but zero heart disease. Kendrick is an author and a sceptic. He has also studied cardiovascular disease for decades.

Thus, he knows as much, if not more, about heart disease than many cardiologists. He knows all the theories of causes and best treatment options.

Consequently, he is no fan of cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins.

Kendrick wroteThe Great Cholesterol Con. If you haven’t read it, I advise you to do so now for your heart’s sake. Here’s why Kendrick says that the diet-heart and lipid hypotheses are ‘the perfect shapeshifters’.  – Marika Sboros



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DR EVELYNE BOURDUA-ROY: IS SHE CANADA’S TIM NOAKES?

By Marika Sboros

Quebec family physician Dr Èvelyne Bourdua-Roy looks set to become “Canada’s Tim Noakes”. Bourdua-Roy’s regulatory body, the Quebec College of Physicians, is investigating her for comments on diet and nutrition she made on a radio talk-show.

Nutritionists who may be members of Dietitians of Canada (DoC) lodged complaints with the College, claiming that Bourdua-Roy made  “inappropriate declarations”.

They also claim that she gave “medical opinions” that could “mislead the public on low-carb, high-fat (LCHF)/ketogenic diets”. (Ketogenic diets are very low-carb, very high-fat but low-to-moderate protein).

The parallels with Bourdua-Roy and  Prof Tim Noakes are striking even as there are differences. 



WHY WE’RE LOSING WARS ON OBESITY, DIABETES, CANCER

Want to know why we are losing the war on obesity, type 2 diabetes and cancer? We don’t admit to problems. And the first step to solving a problem is to admit that one exists, says Canadian nephrologist Dr Jason Fung.

Fung has a special interest in weight management and diabetes. He says that there’s a terminal malaise affecting all of public health. It’s that the “experts” don’t welcome dissenting opinions.

Rather than acknowledge the truth, they pretend that everything is just fine, thank you. No one wants to yell: ‘The emperor has no clothes!’

That’s despite an obesity and type 2 diabetes epidemic that dwarfs anything the world has ever seen. And rising cancer death rates. Here’s what Fung believes doctors and researchers should do – starting with changing dietary advice. – Marika Sboros



NOAKES: ‘HPCSA WILL LOSE NEW WAR AGAINST ME!’

By Marika Sboros

The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) is back on the warpath against Prof Tim Noakes. It has also thrown down legal gauntlets to Pretoria advocate Joan Adams.

Adams chaired the HPCSA’s Professional Conduct Committee that heard the charge of unprofessional conduct. She delivered the comprehensive, 60-page, four-to-one not-guilty verdict in Cape Town on April 21, 2017. The HPCSA announced its decision to appeal in early May but only gave grounds in August.

The HPCSA effectively claim that the committee, including three medical doctors, didn’t know what they were doing. They “fundamentally misconstrued their role in evaluating the evidence”. And they “erred and misdirected themselves on the law and the facts”. The HPCSA believe there’s a “reasonable chance” their Appeal Committee will overturn the entire verdict. They don’t just want a guilty ruling. They want a whole new “rehearing”.

Noakes calls that “malicious”. He says that the HPCSA face “five rather large roadblocks in its case against him”. Those include compelling new evidence of collusion between a dietitian on the HPCSA and the dietitians who reported him.



LOW-FAT: EXPERTS KEEP ZOMBIE MYTH ALIVE

The low-fat diet for heart disease, weight loss and much else besides is a zombie myth. Those who keep it alive remain devoted to the diet-heart hypothesis that saturated fat causes heart disease.

No one has yet proved the hypothesis. Thus, it is currently unscientific. 

You wouldn’t know it from the reaction of many doctors and dietitians to the PURE study. Although associational, PURE is yet another nail in the low-fat coffin. Yet many ‘experts’ have a vested interest in keeping the low-fat myth alive. Here, Australian GP Dr Joe Kosterich speculates on why. And shows why it’s time to give it a decent burial. – Marika Sboros



CANCER: LI COOKS UP REVOLUTIONARY MENU TO BEAT IT

By Marika Sboros

For decades, many doctors dismissed the idea that diet can treat or prevent cancer. For decades, US internal medicine specialist Dr William Li did the exact opposite. He actively embraced the idea.

His compelling research has borne fruit – and vegetables. He shows that there really is such a thing as an anti-cancer diet.

Li is on a stellar list of international speakers at the groundbreaking Rethinking Cancer conference in Paris on September 21, 2017. It’s about a real revolution in cancer treatment: angiogenesis, the natural process by which the body grows new blood vessels.

But perhaps most exciting about the Paris summit is that cancer is not the revolution’s only target. And right diet is only one weapon in its armoury. Speakers say that a variety of methods to harness blood vessel power could be the path to beating heart disease, diabetes, vision loss, declining cognitive function and much more. It’s why Rethinking Cancer holds the promise of longer, healthier life.



CANCER: FUNG ON WHY IT’S NOT JUST GENETIC!

By Marika Sboros

Divergent views on cancer treatment make some oncologists green around the gills. It’s as if specialists believe it’s their way or the highway to certain death.

Yet patients still die from complications of conventional treatment. That’s when they aren’t complaining that treatment is worse than the disease. Of course, treatment can be lifesaving. But you have only to read Siddhartha Mukkerjee’s The Emperor of all Maladies to know how hit-and-miss orthodox medicine can be against cancer.

Canadian nephrologist (kidney specialist) Jason Fung says aspects of the genetic model of cancer are as unlikely as humans mutating and gaining the ability to shoot laser beams out of their eyes or to stick to walls like a spider. Yet we accept unlikely feats from cancer cells daily. Here, Fung argues for cancer as not just a genetic but also an endocrine disease.



Cancer: pilot’s revolutionary survival ‘secret’ takes wings

By Marika Sboros

Air France captain Jean-Jacques Trochon

Can you eat to starve cancer? What about not eating – fasting? Ask Air France captain Jean-Jacques Trochon and cancer specialists and scientists globally.

Trochon is the visionary behind Rethinking Cancer. It’s a world-first summit in Paris on September 21, 2017, on new horizons in cancer treatment. Hosts are France’s internationally renowned Gustave Roussy Cancer Institute and Espace Maurice-Tubiana Medical School.

Specialists worldwide accepted Trochon’s invitation to speak on what he believes is a real “revolution” in cancer treatment.  It is anti-angiogenesis treatments. Angiogenesis is the growth of new blood vessels, including those feeding cancer cells.  Angiogenesis is the “hallmark of just about every kind of cancer”, Trochon says.  Diet and fasting are on the conference’s revolutionary anti-cancer menu.

But what does a pilot know about cancer research and treatment? Lots as it turns out. Trochon is a cancer survivor who did his own research. On the strength of it, he “intelligently delayed” having chemo and radiation. That decision may be why he is still around to tell his remarkable tale.



PARIS CANCER SUMMIT: SCIENCE OPENS BRAVE NEW FRONT

By Marika Sboros

The upcoming world-first cancer summit in Paris looks set to open a new scientific front in the decades-long “War on Cancer”. The Rethinking Cancer conference runs on September 21 22, 2017, at the internationally renowned Gustave Roussy Cancer Institute.

It brings together for the first time world leaders – top scientists and clinicians working separately – in a vital but under-investigated research area. It is the role of diet and metabolism in cancer control. They are leading what they believe is a major part of the real “revolution” in treatment: anti-angiogenesis methods. Angiogenesis is the term for growth of new blood vessels that cancer needs to survive and thrive.

The conference will, therefore, address three main topics: metabolism, caloric restriction and dietary bioactives.

Organisers are Gustave Roussy Cancer Campus’s Dutch Director General Dr Alexander Eggermont and French renal specialist Dr Bernard Escudier. The visionary behind the summit is Air France captain and cancer survivor Jean-Jacques Trochon.



‘PURE’ PROOF FATS DON’T KILL, DIETARY GUIDELINES WRONG?

By Marika Sboros

Major new research, the PURE study, is creating controversy about dietary guidelines globally. It shows that the more fat you eat, including saturated fat, the lower your risk of dying from heart disease.

And the more carbohydrates you eat, the higher your risk of premature death.

PURE (Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology) cohort study,  is the largest ever investigating links between carbs, fats, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and death. Thirty-seven researchers looked at dietary habits of 135,335 people in 18 countries over five continents with an average follow-up of 7.4 years. They are calling for changes to the guidelines. They say that the much-disputed cap on dietary saturated fat (no more than 10% of energy intake) is wrong.

Critics say PURE proves that low-fat diets are as lethal for hearts as low-carb experts claim. Others say PURE shows no need for change and doesn’t exonerate saturated fat.



Fasting without fasting: key to beat diabetes and cancer?

By Marika Sboros

Fasting is as old the hills of ancient Greece. Mention just about any Greek sage you can think of: Plato, Aristotle, Plutarch, not forgetting the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates and maths whizzkid Pythagoras. All were dedicated followers of fasting. 

Fasting is not for the faint-hearted. In its classical form of no food or drink – except for water – for an extended period, it takes  commitment and discipline. (I’ve only ever managed to last eight days on water only.)

Below, a University College London neuroscientist looks at the power of intermittent fasting. Dr Nick Lesica says it’s ‘all the rage’ right now. Don’t even think of dismissing it as a fad. Research suggests it can give you the benefits of fasting without really fasting.



Healthwashing: 7 tactics Big Food, Big Soda use to fool you

Healthwashing is a dirty business – a close cousin of whitewashing. Whitewashing is loosely defined as ‘a coordinated attempt to hide unpleasant facts, especially in a political context’. Healthwashing is the weapon food and soft-drink companies use to hide unpleasant, soiled facts about their products.

In 2015,  New York Times writer Anahad O’Connor showed that Coke spent billions over decades funding scientists and front organisations to shift the blame from sugar to fat for the global obesity epidemic. Now in the US, two pastors have filed a lawsuit against Coca-Cola and the American Beverage Association. They say that the company has deliberately deceived customers about health risks through its advertisements. Coca-Cola vigorously disputes all claims. It has deep pockets to protect its profits.



KOSHER LOW-CARB LIFESTYLES: BEGINNER’S PATH TO BETTER HEALTH

By Marika Sboros

If you are Jewish and kosher then this book is for you. Even if you aren’t Jewish or kosher, it’s still for you. Tasty Healthy Easy LCHF Kosher Low-Carb Cooking for Beginners is a reader-friendly, basic introduction to the world of low-carb lifestyles.

The author is Israeli Dina David. Never was it more needed as obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease rates are rising rapidly in that country.

David is a rare breed in Israel, a trained low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) nutrition therapist. She is one of few voices advocating for LCHF lifestyles.

David has yet another innate advantage that makes her book attractive: She was born in Sweden, a country that leads the fight against fat demonisation and carb glorification. That gives her a dual perspective on adapting Jewish cuisine and tradition to LCHF lifestyles.



Low-Carb Companion: a new best friend for life

By Marika Sboros

Low-carb books are not yet a dime a dozen but they are weighing down shelves in bookstores and in cyberspace. The Low-Carb Companion should fly off those shelves.

The author is reason enough to buy it. Zimbabwean Dr Austin Jeans is a specialist sport, exercise and lifestyle medicine physician in Harare.

He has been involved in lifestyle aspects of orthodox medicine for over 25 years. However, it took his own deteriorating health and family history of type 2 diabetes to drive him in new directions.

It set him on the journey of discovery that he documents in this book. Like many doctors, he swallowed whole the dogma on diet and disease that he learned at medical school. And when he came across compelling evidence to the contrary, he did the decent scientific thing. He admitted that he had it all wrong. If something about his story sounds familiar that’s because it is.