Prof Tim Noakes with Dr Zoe Harcombe

Prof Tim Noakes with Dr Zoe Harcombe

By Marika Sboros

If South African scientist Prof Tim Noakes were enough to raise cardiologists’ blood pressure into the danger zone, British obesity researcher Dr Zoë Harcombe’s could fell them with a heart attack.

Noakes once memorably called statins “the single most ineffective drug ever invented”.  In her evidence at the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) hearing in Cape Town, Harcombe called statins “one of the biggest crimes against humanity that the pharmaceutical industry has unleashed”.

She also said health professionals have a duty to tell the public that the Association for Dietetics in SA (ADSA) dishes out advice biased in favour of industry. Here’s why:


Tim NoakesBy Marika Sboros

Mistake or mischief? Did top scientists at Stellenbosch and Cape Town universities honestly make so many mistakes in a major study? Did they really not know the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) would use it to charge scientist Prof Tim Noakes? Or was there something a little more contrived behind their research?

British obesity researcher Dr Zoë Harcombe asked those questions in her evidence-in-chief on day six of the HPCSA’s hearing against Noakes in Cape Town today. Harcombe is one of three expert witnesses for Noakes who have flown in from the UK, US and New Zealand.

The public has dubbed them “Tim’s Angels”. There was nothing angelic about Harcombe’s takedown of the study known as the “Naudé  Review”. Here’s what Harcombe had to say about it:


Tim NoakesBy Marika Sboros

Something about South African scientist Prof Tim Noakes and his views on the role of carbohydrate and fat gets up the Health Professions Council of SA’s nose faster than a cocaine hit. The fourth session of the HPCSA hearing against Noakes began in Cape Town on October 17.

Noakes told the hearing that humans have “absolutely no essential requirement for carbohydrate”. There is no human disease that a deficiency of carbohydrate causes.  Carbohydrate in the body serves only two functions. It is either used as a resource of energy or it is stored as fat. “There is no other option,” he said. That applies to weaning for infants as well.

HPCSA advocate Ajay Bhoopchand didn’t like that one bit. In cross-examination, he said a low-carb diet for infants is dangerous – and by implication, so is Noakes.  Here is the final of a two-part review of the hearing so far. 


Tim NoakesBy Marika Sboros

At the close of the first week of the fourth session of the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) hearing against scientist Prof Tim Noakes, there were signs of  terminal decline in the case against him. Whether you see signs as auspicious or ominous –  or see any at all – depends, of course, on whether you are a friend or implacable foe of Noakes.

Friend or foe – Noakes has both – it wasn’t hard to spot signs in HPCSA advocate Ajay Bhoopchand’s cross-examination of him. Bhoopchand started midday on Tuesday, October 18. By late Friday afternoon, he had achieved not a single major concession from Noakes. When he wasn’t accusing Noakes of having brought the case on himself, Bhoopchand tried and failed to poke serious holes in the science of low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) to treat and prevent serious disease.

Here’s Part 1 of a review of the week: 


screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-9-44-29-amBy Marika Sboros

Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) advocate Ajay Bhoopchand has spent nearly two days cross-examining Prof Tim Noakes. He hasn’t got far in achieving any major concessions.  He still has time, but will he really be the one to nail Noakes?

Bhoopchand is clearly keeping for last his attempt to force concessions from Noakes on two major studies on which the HPCSA has hinged its case against him. There are some big scientific hoops he’ll have  to go through before then.


screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-7-49-51-amBy Marika Sboros

There was more drama, intrigue and “silent dogs” on day one of the trial of South African scientist Prof Tim Noakes in Cape Town on October 17. Noakes resumed his evidence-in-chief and began to untangle what he believes the case against him is really about.

He also started to reveal just who he believes may be behind the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) case against him. For “DNA” proof, Noakes pointed to “the dog did not bark”. He fingered some usual suspects and more:  


Tim NoakesBy Marika Sboros

The first day of the nutrition trial of South African scientist Prof Tim Noakes resumed on a note of high drama in Cape Town today. The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) tried and failed to stop Noakes calling two of his three expert witnesses.

The HPCSA also tried and failed to stop Noakes introducing new evidence in concluding his evidence in chief. Pretoria advocate Joan Adams, chair of the independent committee hearing the charge against Noakes, dismissed all the HPCSA objections. Here’s what she had to say:

Tim’s Angels: hear them speak! One night only – book now!


People have quickly dubbed them “Tim’s Angels”. They are three down-to-earth international experts on low-carb, high-healthy-fat eating. They are flying in to support University of Cape Town emeritus professor Tim Noakes in his trial on a charge of unprofessional conduct. That’s for his views on butter, eggs, bacon and broccoli – and biltong along the way.

Join us at an exclusive dinner in Cape Town on October 26, 2016 to hear what the angels say about the trial. You’ll hear British obesity researcher and public health nutritionist Dr Zoë Harcombe, US science writer Nina Teicholz  and proudly South African-Kiwi academic and registered dietitian Dr Caryn Zinn on a panel with Noakes. 


By Marika Sboros

University of Cape Town cardiologists say Prof Tim Noakes is a true “cholesterol denialist”. They accused him of being one in a letter to the media in 2012. They say the accusation holds true and he’s a danger to the public.

Cholesterol and hearts are a major focus of the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) case against Noakes, a medical doctor and UCT emeritus professor on a charge of unprofessional conduct. So are minds and all other bodily organs, of course. Also under the spotlight:


Tim Noakes

By Marika Sboros

Prof Tim Noakes and his legal dream team must think all their birthdays have come at once. “Tim’s Angels”, the nutrition science equivalent of “Charlie’s Angels” in the hit TV series, are flying in to be expert witnesses for him in the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) hearing against him.

Proudly South African-Kiwi academic Dr Caryn Zinn joins British obesity researcher and public health nutritionist Dr Zoë Harcombe, and US science writer Nina Teicholz.  When the HPCSA’s Kafkaesque trial of Noakes resumes in Cape Town on October 17, I expect the HPCSA to try to clip Tim’s Angels’ wings.


By Marika Sboros

tim-noakesI’ve been thinking: could cardiologists be at the heart of the case against world-renowned scientist Prof Tim Noakes? The pun is intentional. Noakes really does seem to raise cardiologists’ blood pressure into the stratosphere with his views on low-carb, high-fat (LCHF).

Noakes’ trial on a charge of unprofessional conduct resumes in Cape Town from October 17 to 26. That was for two tweets saying good first foods for infant weaning are LCHF. In other words, he was advising meat, eggs, dairy and veg.

The Health Professions Council of SA, assorted academics and doctors (especially cardiologists), and Association for Dietetics in SA (ADSA) dietitians think that advice is rotten. Here’s what UCT cardiologists say about Noakes and his reply:

Statins insanity: Sir Prof Collins of Statinshire at helm

Photo credit: Phinzup via / CC BY-NC-ND

Doctors, with UK professor Sir Rory Collins at the helm, say we should all pop statins like smarties. Even if our tickers are ticking along very nicely.

Others say that’s unadulterated, mad-scientist nuttiness. South African scientist Prof Tim Noakes calls statins ‘the single most ineffective drug ever invented’. 

Here, UK blogger Nick Mailer deconstructs the man he calls  ‘Collins of Statinshire’. It’s a fascinating, considered read – and harsh for good reason. Collins is his own worst enemy in the harsh way he deals with criticism from peers.  – Marika Sboros

Sugar barometer: how much sweetness are you eating?


By Marika Sboros

The Sugar Barometer™ is a sweet idea whose time has come. It’s a labeling product that aims to change sugar consumption patterns in South Africa and globally

It’s the fruits of the Noakes Foundation’s education arm, the Eat Better SA campaign. The Barometer follows the debate around whether a sugar tax can realistically reduce obesity rates:

Science in crisis: not just sugar souring faith in experts

sugar candyIt should be no surprise that there’s a global crisis in science. Scholars of history and philosophy of science predicted it 40 years ago. Yet it is surprising how many scientists are more interested in profit than universal truths.

Revelations that the sugar industry paid top Harvard scientists to downplay sugar’s harms for decades are but one example. US science writer Nina Teicholz, author of The Big Fat Surprise, makes a more important point in the LA Times: sugar only ‘got a pass’ while dietary fat and cholesterol were blamed for heart disease because other industries and, surprisingly, many of the country’s leading scientists colluded.

Here, Andrea Saltelli, a researcher at the European Centre for Governance in Complexity, sheds light on a growing lack of faith in experts, and how best to stem it. – Marika Sboros

Fasting – why it’s not just another F-word!

By Jean Fortunet (Own work) [CC BY 1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Marika Sboros

I’m not going out on a religious limb when I say this book will be the “bible” of fasting.

The Complete Guide to Fasting (Victory Belt) is by Canadian nephrologist  Dr Jason Fung and US Living La Vida Low-Carb blogger Jimmy Moore.

The sub-title is Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended Fasting. It is well-written, reader-friendly and delivers on all promises. It should be in every home. Here’s why:  

Don’t just swallow what doctors say on statins: Kosterich

Photo credit: psyberartist via / CC BY

Photo credit: psyberartist via / CC BY

Statins are blockbuster drugs that make billions for pharmaceutical companies. Research shows these drugs do little to make patients’ lives longer or better. Read The Truth About Statins by Dr Barbara Roberts, for another view.

Here, Australian physician Dr Joe Kosterich looks at conflicting research in two  British medical journals, He says it is confusing enough for doctors, never mind patients.

Kosterich calls for patients to do research, question what their doctors say about statins, and not just to swallow any prescription whole. I second that. – Marika Sboros

Chatterjee on curing modern medicine’s sickness

YRangan Chatterjeeou may know Dr Rangan Chatterjee as the star power of the BBC’s Doctor in the House TV series. He is also one of that rare breed in modern medicine: a doctor with an open heart and mind.

Chatterjee has been examining a deadly sickness in medicine today. Its major symptom is doctors who don’t know enough about nutrition. It is about doctors who can’t – or won’t – acknowledge the real root causes of patients’ ill health. Spoiler alert: it’s not a deficiency of drugs.

Here, Chatterjee looks at why doctors need more education. It begins with understanding that ‘the food you eat can be the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison’. – Marika Sboros

Keto power – dispelling myths, revealing natural magic

Photo credit: Ninara via / CC BY

By Marika Sboros

 Ketogenic (keto) diets are all the rage globally.  It’s a big mistake to dismiss these diets as a fad.

Many doctors and dietitians still do just that. They’ll tell you that ketogenic diets are dangerous. That’s dishing up dogma.

If keto diets really were dangerous, the  Maasai in Kenya wouldn’t be around today. Ditto for the Inuit in Canada and the many other traditional communities worldwide that have naturally existed in ketosis.

Worldwide, people use ketogenic diets safely and effectively for a range of different aims and have done so for aeons. Some use it for weight loss, others to ward off chronic illness.
Still others use ketosis simply to wake in the morning feeling full of the joys of spring – even in the dead of winter. Here’s how to do keto best – and safely:

Alzheimer’s: can right diet prevent it? Sure, here’s how!

tree alzheimersAlzheimer’s is the most common dementia disease and its incidence is rising worldwide. Estimates currently are that nearly 5.5million people in the US alone have Alzheimer’s.

Some specialists like to say the spectre of dementia lies over us all. It’s mostly a function of growing older, they say. Evidence suggests that’s not the case.

Studies  show a powerful link between what you eat and your risk of Alzheimer’s and other dementia diseases. Research also shows that the pathway to Alzheimer’s is similar to that leading to type 2 diabetes. That’s why some doctors now call Alzheimer’s as ‘type 3 diabetes’.

In an article in Psychology Today, US psychiatrist and psychopharmacologist Dr Georgia Ede explains why preventing Alzheimer’s disease may be a whole lot easier than you think it is. – Marika Sboros

Cancer: Seyfried on real cause, right diet to beat it

Dr Thomas Seyfried

Dr Thomas Seyfried

Come with me on a remarkable journey with US psychiatrist and psychopharmacologist Dr Georgia Ede as she delves into the mind of Dr Thomas Seyfried. Seyfried is a biology professor and brain cancer researcher at Illinois University, with over 25 years’ experience in the field.

In 2012, Ede attended a presentation Seyfried gave on cancer at the Ancestral Health Symposium at Harvard Law School. It challenged everything she thought she knew about the dread disease. It inspired her to read Seyfried’s brilliant book, Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: On the Origin, Management, and Prevention of Cancer. 

The secrets inside are so important, Ede has made them available to everyone in a fascinating four-part series on her blog, Diagnosis Diet – Nutrition Science Meets Common Sense. It covers what Seyfried says about the real causes of cancer, and the role of ketogenic diets. Here’s Ede’s first blog, with links to the rest. – Marika Sboros