WHAT’S BEHIND NOAKES, OTHERS ‘ANTI-VAXX’ SMEAR? – PART 2

By Marika Sboros

The strategies that critics use to persuade the public that doctors like Prof Tim Noakes are “anti-vaxx” are becoming transparent. Also transparent is likely their real target: Noakes’s promotion of low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) to treat and prevent serious disease.

One strategy appears to be to bring up the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine. They do so whenever the opportunity arises – and even when it doesn’t.

Another is to link Noakes’s views to that of a “discredited, disgraced” doctor. That’s a reference, of course, to Dr Andrew Wakefield, the UK gastroenterologist who lost his licence to practice medicine in that country.

Wakefield co-authored a study series the Lancet published in 1998. It showed an associational link between gastrointestinal disease, autism and MMR vaccines. The journal eventually retracted the study. And in the fallout, the British regulatory body, the GMC (General Medical Council), stripped Wakefield of his licence to practise medicine.

Many continue to report, wrongly, that Wakefield lost his licence because he fraudulently claimed that the MMR vaccine causes autism. Yet the Lancet study does not make that claim. Instead, Wakefield’s sole claim in that study was an associational (thus, not causal) link between the MMR vaccine n a single combination and the subsequent development of autism. And that was in a small case series of affected children.



TIM NOAKES REALLY ‘ANTI-VAXX’? FAT CHANCE! PART 1

Prof Tim Noakes. Picture: The Noakes Foundation

By Marika Sboros

When some doctors run out of science or nasty things to say about Prof Tim Noakes, they resort to a canard. They claim that Noakes is “anti-vax”. Or “anti-vaxx” as it more commonly appears.

Anti-vaxx is a loaded, pejorative term. It should be used for anyone who, as the name suggests, opposes vaccinations for whatever reason. Instead, critics use it as an attack term to silence anyone who even mentions the word vaccines, unless in unqualified, glowing terms.

It’s pretty serious stuff for a doctor to be accused of being anti-vaxx. The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) could charge such a doctor with unprofessional conduct. It could strip that person of the licence needed to practise medicine.

Thus, say legal experts, and depending on the context, calling a doctor anti-vaxx can be highly defamatory. Or slanderous, if anyone says it publicly as some doctors do. Of course, it’s really only defamatory if the claim is untrue or malicious. That is, if there is a deliberate intention to denigrate and damage the doctor’s standing and reputation.

Yet Noakes has made it clear that he is not anti-vaxx. He has stated publicly that vaccination is one of modern medicine’s greatest life-saving achievements. He had vaccinations, as his children and grandchildren have had.

Despite that, some doctors and academics continue to claim otherwise. Many, if not most, are from Noakes’s alma mater, the University of Cape Town.

Leading the latest charge these days is Cape Town paediatrician and UCT graduate Alastair McAlpine, a long-time troll of Noakes on Twitter. McAlpine regularly attacks Noakes’s medical and scientific credibility and knowledge in inflammatory, defamatory terms.

He also recently acquired a new vehicle from which to launch attacks on Noakes: the Medical Brief website. Of six columns he has written since January, McAlpine devotes four to attacking Noakes. (One is an attack on me but includes  Noakes.)

His latest column repeats his claim that Noakes is “anti-vaxx”. (Click here for Noakes’s full response.)



BIG FOOD, BIG PHARMA KILLING FOR PROFIT? YES, SAY TOP UK DOCTORS!

By Marika Sboros

 

Are Big Food and Big Pharma really killing people for profit globally? Yes, say some of the biggest names in European orthodox medicine. They’re joining forces on a panel discussion at the European Parliament in Brussels on April 12

The doctors say they will “blow the cover” on the dark world of Big Food and Big Pharma lobbying” to influence dietary and medical guidelines.

Click here to view the trailer

 

They promise a “unified show of force” that will expose collusion between politicians, respected medical institutions, “charities” and medical journals. They say that they will present new evidence of how food and drug industries have coerced doctors into prescribing unnecessary and potentially harmful treatments.

And they will show that major conflicts of interest at the highest levels have “hijacked evidence-based medicine”. The result, they say, has been an “epidemic of misinformation”.

Heading the panel is award-winning British cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra. With him are Dr Richard Thompson, personal physician to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth from 1984 to 2005 and past president of the Royal College of Physicians; endocrinologist Dr Carl Heneghan, Oxford University professor of evidence-based medicine; and Dutch diabetes professor at Leiden University Dr Hanno Pijl.



SUGAR ‘CONSPIRACY’ A SOUR FIGMENT OF YOUR MIND? LUSTIG WEIGHS IN!

By Marika Sboros

Was there ever really a “Big Sugar Conspiracy”? Did the sugar industry (including Coca-Cola) indulge in widespread funding and influencing of nutrition scientists and professionals?

Only in some scientists’ fevered minds, according to an editorial in Science Magazine by two US public health history researchers. They say that the claim of industry “meddling” to demonise fat instead of sugar is just an “alluring tale”.

Researchers dreamt it up based on a “highly selective and profoundly flawed interpretation of the history”, they say.

Their view doesn’t sit well with many distinguished scientists and journalists who have documented that very meddling. One of them is Dr Robert Lustig, a target of the editorial’s authors. Lustig is professor emeritus of paediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and author of Fat Chance: The Bitter Truth About Sugar. His most recent book is The Hacking of the American Mind. The subtitle is The Science Behind the Corporate Takeover of Our Bodies and Brains.

Lustig doesn’t say so in so many words, but his public response makes his opinion of the editorial’s authors clear: sugar corporates have taken over their bodies and brains.



NOAKES: WILL ACADEMIC ‘MOBSTERS’ FINALLY SILENCE HIM?

By Marika Sboros

How did a dietitian with a business to protect get the might of a South African state body to prosecute world-renowned scientist Prof Tim Noakes? That question is hanging in the ether.

The Health Profession’s Council of South Africa (HPCSA) has appealed its committee’s comprehensive not-guilty verdict for Noakes. The appeal concluded in Pretoria on February 23, 2018. Appeal Committee chair, advocate Justice Mogotsi, will rule before the end of March.

The HPCSA charged Noakes with unprofessional conduct for a single tweet on February 4, 2014. In it, he said that good first foods for infants are LCHF (low-carb, high-fat). Johannesburg dietitian Claire Julsing Strydom reported Noakes to the HPCSA. She claimed that the tweet claiming was potentially “life-threatening”.

The answer to how Strydom persuaded the HPCSA to go after Noakes on that basis is easy to find. Why she succeeded in doing so is more complex – but not impossible to work out. The answer lies partly in voluminous, unanswered evidence that the Appeal Committee must review. It shows that Strydom had help from academics at top South African universities: Cape Town, Stellenbosch and the Witwatersrand. She also had help from academics at a minor institution, North-West (formerly Potchefstroom) University.

The evidence also suggests, as Noakes’s lawyers successfully argued in closing, that Strydom was just a vexatious, “disgruntled” dietitian. They also argued that the HPCSA had no sustainable case against him from the start.

But the answer also lies in evidence the Appeal Committee cannot review because Noakes’s instructing attorney, Adam Pike, only uncovered it after the not-guilty verdict. And increasingly, it lies in evidence of academic “mobsters” behind Strydom.



LUSTIG ON BIG SUGAR, GOVT, SOCIAL MEDIA TAKEOVER OF BODIES, BRAINS

By Marika Sboros

US paediatric professor Robert Lustig’s new book, Hacking Of The American Mind, is a riveting read. It’s like a scientific Invasion Of The Body Snatchers. Only this time, earth-bound “alien” invaders are brain snatchers too.

That makes this book a must-read if you care about your health in body and mind. And the health of those you love. Especially your children.

Lustig’s focus is control of the American mind, but Hacking has relevance for minds globally. The sub-title speaks volumes: The Science Behind the Corporate Takeover of Our Bodies and Brains.

The invaders are ubiquitous and not just in corporates. They’re in governments and in our own homes. They are parents, other family members and friends. And they’re in social media.

They have ingrained in our psyche the premise that pleasure is the same thing as happiness, Lustig says. They have perverted and subverted the meaning of those two emotions. They’ve made that premise the bedrock on which our economies and the “corporate consumption complex” are built.

Hacking can look very different from Lustig’s other best-sellers. You may know him as best-selling author of Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease. Or from his seminal lecture, Sugar – The Bitter Truth that went viral on YouTube. 



KETOGENIC DIETS FOR CANCER: FUNG FOCUSES ON MYTH, MAGIC, PARADOX

One of the most exciting areas of cancer research currently takes inspiration from the Warburg Effect. Researchers base that on the work of German physiologist and Nobel laureate Dr Otto Warburg in the 1920s.

Warburg described ‘aerobic glycolysis’ – a defect in mitochondrial glucose metabolism. He showed how it causes fermentation of glucose and diverts glucose from energy production to cell growth. That has given rise to the ketogenic diets as adjuncts to conventional treatment methods for cancer. 

Canadian nephrologist Dr Jason Fung has a special interest in weight management, diabetes and cancer. Not the least because many of his patients are obese diabetics. And research shows that diabetes significantly ups the risk of cancer. 

Fung says that the simplistic notion that a ketogenic diet may ‘starve’ cancer cells of glucose does not hold up to the facts. Indeed, in certain cancers, he says that glutamine is the more important component. Here, he looks at the implications of the ‘paradox’ of the Warburg effect. – MARIKA SBOROS



NOAKES: MEDICAL, SCIENTIFIC WORLD WATCHES AS HPCSA DECIDES HIS FATE

By Marika Sboros

South African scientist Prof Tim Noakes will know within 30 days if his regulatory body will fail in a last-ditch attempt to find him guilty. He will also know if it will have to pay dearly for doing so.

And this time round, global medical and scientific communities are watching.

A group of independent doctors in the US launched a petition on February 19. The US-based Nutrition Coalition has supported it. The petition calls on the Health Professions Council of South Africa to stop prosecuting Noakes. Before a week was up, more than 31,000 of the world’s leading doctors, scientists, dietitians and others had signed.

One signatory is Harvard physician and nutrition professor Walter Willett. Willett is no fan of low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diets. However, Willet signals his support for the right of scientists right to express opinions that differ from his.

The HPCSA has appealed its Professional Conduct Committee’s comprehensive not-guilty verdict for Noakes in April 2017. The charge was unprofessional conduct for a single tweet in 2014. In it, he said that good first foods for infant weaning are LCHF.

Noakes’s lawyers have filed a cross-appeal going for costs. Their grounds are that the HPCSA has acted in bad faith throughout. They say that the HPCSA is a statutory body and therefore the law offers it no protection against “bad behaviour”.

The appeal was held in Pretoria from February 21 to 23 before a committee that the HPCSA appointed. The Committee Chair, advocate Justice Mogotsi, reserved his ruling till “some time before the end of March”.



KENDRICK: ‘HPCSA VENDETTA AGAINST NOAKES IS DANGER TO US ALL’

Scottish GP Dr Malcolm Kendrick isn’t a conspiracy theorist. Especially not when it comes to the trial of scientist Prof Tim Noakes. It would be funny were it not so deadly serious, Kendrick says. But it isn’t funny at all. He says it’s clear that the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) is pursuing a vendetta against Noakes. And that’s for daring to promote a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet (LCHF).

The HPCSA is appealing its own committee’s comprehensive not guilty verdict for Noakes in April 2017 on a charge of unprofessional conduct. The appeal begins in Pretoria today and runs until Friday.  

The HPCSA has objected to a request by Noakes’s lawyers to introduce new evidence. It shows that dietitians from the Association for Dietetics in South Africa (ADSA) set Noakes up from the start. And that it was an inside job –  from within the HPCSA.  The Appeal Committee – that the HPCSA sets up – will have to rule on that first.

In his latest blog, Kendrick compares Noakes’s case to Australian orthopaedic surgeon Dr Gary Fettke and science investigative journalist Dr Maryanna Demasi. Both regularly challenge dogma on nutrition.

Kendrick says doctors and others globally must keep an eye on Noakes’s case. If not, he fears that the HPCSA will “shred” him on made-up charges, held in virtual secrecy. After that, the “industry-sponsored PR machine will get to work” and the HPCSA will spread more lies about Noakes. That will affect us all.

Kendrick quotes Winston Churchill: a lie is halfway round the world before the truth has a chance to get its boots on. Here’s what he says. – MARIKA SBOROS



NOAKES: TOP DOCTORS GLOBALLY CALL ON HPCSA TO STOP PROSECUTING HIM!

By Marika Sboros

Top doctors and scientists in the US, Canada and Australia have signed an open letter to the Health Professions Council of South Africa. They want the HPCSA to stop prosecuting scientist Prof Tim Noakes for allegedly tweeting “unconventional advice” that was not evidence-based. They provide evidence to show that his tweet was evidence-based and thus not unconventional.

Among the signatories is Australian cricket team physician Dr Peter Brukner. Brukner is a professor of sports science at La Trobe University.

Others include leading US, Canadian and Australian endocrinologists, obesity specialists, obstetricians and gynaecologists, oncologists, orthopaedic surgeons, anatomical pathologists, nephrologists, internal medicine specialists, anaesthetists, psychiatrists and researchers.

They have disseminated the letter as a petition. At last count there were more than 9000 signatures. (Editor’s note: the number is now above 11,000.) Many of those are doctors, other health professionals and scientists.

The HPCSA is appealing its own committee’s comprehensive not guilty verdict for Noakes. That was in April 2017 on a charge of unprofessional conduct. The appeal takes place at its Pretoria offices from February 21 to 23, 2018.

The HPCSA has objected to a request by Noakes’s lawyers to introduce new evidence. It shows that dietitians from the Association for Dietetics in South Africa (ADSA) had inside help from the HPCSA to set him up.

In a related move, South African paediatric surgeon Prof Alastair Millar has called the HPCSA’s case against Noakes ” madness and wasteful”.

“It makes one ashamed to be listed on the HPCSA register as a medical practitioner.”



NOAKES: HPCSA BACK ON WARPATH, BLOCKS EVIDENCE DIETITIANS SET HIM UP!

By Marika Sboros

The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) is back on the warpath against Prof Tim Noakes. It is appealing its own committee’s comprehensive not guilty verdict for Noakes in April 2017 on a charge of unprofessional conduct.

It will hold the appeal at its Pretoria offices from February 21 to 23, 2018.

The HPCSA claims that its Professional Conduct Committee “erred and misdirected themselves on the law and facts”.

It has objected to a request by Noakes’s lawyers to introduce incriminating new evidence. The evidence supports extensive evidence already on record suggesting that dietitians from the Association for Dietetics in South Africa (ADSA) really did set him up. And they had help from inside the HPCSA.

The new evidence shows up in a PAIA (Protection of Access to Information Act) request. Instructing attorney, Adam Pike, of Pike Law, made the request to ADSA in June 2017.

Noakes’s legal team has filed a cross-appeal going for costs. They say that the HPCSA went after Noakes illegally. It had no sustainable case from the outset.



NOAKES: WHY VIRTA HEALTH STUDY IS GOLD FOR DIABETICS

Picture:  NOAKES FOUNDATION

By Marika Sboros

You’d think all doctors and dietitians would join Prof Tim Noakes and many others in welcoming robust new evidence showing that a simple dietary change really can reverse type 2 diabetes.

In other words, evidence showing that diabetes doesn’t have to be chronic, progressive and degenerative. And that diabetics don’t have to face an increased risk of heart attack, blindness, limb loss and declining mental function.

Physicians at the Virta Health company in the US have shown just that in a peer-reviewed study just published in Diabetes Review. Led by Virta medical director Dr Sarah Hallberg, it is a one-year trial showing that a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet puts 61% of patients with type 2 diabetes into remission.

That’s big. It shows that patients have a choice: to accept or not to accept conventional wisdom on diabetes. Yet many have been quick to attack the research and undermine its conclusions. Noakes has written a letter to a Cape newspaper (scroll down to read it below), explaining why the study really is a watershed. He looks at why it gives diabetics and their families renewed hope.

And why, in essence, type 2 diabetes is “a condition of choice”.



NOAKES, NUTRITION NETWORK AND FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Prof Tim Noakes with his sister, Mandy Ruysch van Dugteren

By Marika Sboros

You could say that Prof Tim Noakes is at it again, spreading the word about low-carb,high-fat (LCHF), ketogenic therapies, busily challenging orthodoxy. This time though, the vehicle is really his eponymous family-founded Noakes Foundation.

The Foundation launched its Nutrition Network in Cape Town at the weekend. It is a world’s first professional training in low-carb, high-fat therapies for patient treatment.

Foundation COO Jayne Bullen says the Nutrition Network has a specific aim: to support medical and allied health professionals in implementing LCHF and keto lifestyles in their practice.

The two-day conference featured an impressive line-up of speakers from a wide range of medical fields, including the founding Medical Board of the Nutrition Network. The Board includes Noakes, Cape Town GP Dr Neville Wellington and specialist physician Dr Hassina Kajee.

Bullen was suitably expansive. “This is the healthcare of the future,” she said.



Vitamins: Kendrick on which ones you really need and why!

Confused about which vitamins to take or if you need to take any at all? You are not alone. Just ask Scottish GP Dr Malcolm Kendrick. Kendrick is a heart specialist as well as a GP, author, speaker and sceptic. That doesn’t mean he calls himself a cardiologist.

However, he knows a lot more than most cardiologists know when it comes to the real causes of heart disease. He also knows more than many doctors about the effects of diet on heart and overall health.

In this feature, Kendrick meant to write about stress, mental health and heart health. Instead, he says that people keep asking about vitamin supplements. So he looks at which ones really are likely to make a difference to your health. And he looks at why the pharmaceutical industry is so keen to persuade you not to take vitamins. You may be in for a big surprise. – Marika Sboros



HEALTHY EATING: MODERN MEDICINE’S ‘BIG MISTAKE’?

By Marika Sboros

If you’re expecting scientific consensus on “healthy eating” in 2018, don’t hold your breath. Many doctors and dietitians continue to dish up conventional advice that many experts say is dangerous.

These experts go further and say that “healthy eating” is one of modern medicine’s biggest “mistakes”.

A new book reveals who is behind that big mistake and why so many perpetuate it. It is Healthy Eating: The Big Mistake by Dr Verner Wheelock.  The subtitle speaks volumes: How modern medicine has got it wrong about diabetes, cholesterol, cancer, Alzheimer’s and obesity.

It is a fascinating and important read

Of course, you could accuse me of bias as I contributed a chapter for the book. That’s on the ongoing trial in South Africa of Prof Tim Noakes for his challenge to dietary dogma.

I became involved after it became clear Wheelock intended the book as a labour of love of scientific truth. And that he makes the scientific case for an urgent revision of official dietary advice in the UK. Thus, the book’s message has global relevance.

Publishers Columbus have made Healthy Eating: The Big Mistake heavily discounted on Kindle and in print on the book’s website for January 2018.

Wheelock’s is an intriguing perspective as he is neither a doctor of orthodox medicine nor of dietetics. Instead, he is a food scientist.



TAKE DINICOLANTONIO WITH MORE THAN A PINCH OF SALT!

VITAL SIGNS

By Marika Sboros

Dr James DiNicolantonio, a US cardiovascular research scientist, is up next in Foodmed.net’s Vital Signs Q&A series of personality profiles. He shows why the US legal profession’s loss has been the health profession’s gain.

DiNicolantonio once wanted to be a lawyer but his parents steered him into the family tradition of pharmacy.

He is also a doctor of pharmacy at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Missouri, an associate editor of British Medical Journal’s (BMJ) Open Heart and a mythbuster of note.

He is perhaps best known these days as author of The Salt Fix. It’s a seminal book that dashes to death the low-salt myth. In it, he provides fascinating new understanding of salt’s essential role in our health and what happens when we aren’t getting enough salt. And why that has far-reaching, even heart-stopping, implications.



CANCER: METABOLIC MODEL A NON-TOXIC PATH TO UP SURVIVAL ODDS?

By Marika Sboros

If cancer has touched you or anyone you’ve ever cared about, this book is for you. Even if you just want to reduce your risk of dread disease, it is for you.

The Metabolic Approach to Cancer (Chelsea Green Publishing) is groundbreaking. The book’s subtitle speaks volumes: Integrating Deep Nutrition, the Ketogenic Diet, and Nontoxic Bio-Individualized Therapies.

Yes, the “k” word (ketogenic) diet is there. Yet many oncologists still consider it a swear word despite the growing evidence base. And they pass that prejudice on to patients who believe ketogenic signals grave danger.

Take, for example, an oncologist’s response to a patient in South Africa last year. The patient said that he had done research and wanted to go on a ketogenic diet before and during chemotherapy. He might as well have said that he wanted to inject laetrile (discredited apricot kernel extract) into his veins.

The doctor’s response was abrupt and angry: “In that case, I’ll cancel your chemotherapy.” The doctor went on to indicate that the patient’s medical aid wouldn’t pay for future treatment. That’s enough to terrify the life out of any cancer patient. After all, orthodox treatment costs can bankrupt patients and their family, even with medical aid.

The response was an example of what experts say is “eminence-based medicine”. It is also the symptom of the terminally ill paternalistic model of medicine. This book effectively sabotages any vestige of foundation for that model. It also undermines one of modern medicine’s “most entrenched paradigms”. 



NUTRITION THERAPY – IT’S 21ST CENTURY MEDICINE!

It wasn’t all that long ago in China when patients paid their doctors to keep them healthy. If they ever did get sick, they didn’t have to pay a cent. That was until doctors did their jobs properly and made them well again.

In ancient Greece, no one took physicians seriously if they did not advise patients about diet. They were considered oxymoronic. 

Canadian Dr Jason Fung is a nephrologist (kidney specialist). Thus, he sees the ravages of obesity and diabetes on his patients daily. He has watched in horrified fascination as doctors have mutated from ‘the person who keeps you healthy’ they have become ‘the person who gives you drugs and surgery’.

The Jewish Middle Ages physician Maimonides had it right. He said: ‘No disease caused by diet should be treated by any other means.’ That should be a no-brainer.  Here, Fung calls for a radical paradigm shift back to ancient wisdom. He wants doctors to educate themselves to use therapeutic nutrition as the medicine of the future for diet-related disease. – Marika Sboros



IRISH ‘FAT EMPEROR’ FORGES NEW PATH TO BEATING HEART DISEASE

VITAL SIGNS

By Marika Sboros

Irish engineer Ivor Cummins, aka the Fat Emperor, is a man on a mission. In our Vital Signs Q&A series of personality profiles, Cummins reveals the roots of his popular alter ego. Through the lens of the muscular Fat Emperor, he looks at best predictors of and treatment for heart disease.

Spoiler alert: cholesterol means nothing compared to more important measures of risk. Cummins is currently working on a scanner that can rapidly detect heart disease risk. It can also weed out those who don’t need any treatment at all. He covers much else besides, including diabetes, fatty liver disease, dementia and more.

As well, Cummins shows that Fat Emperor is a metaphor for the corporate power that funds science and has grown fat on keeping dangerous dogma going. Therefore, he gets down and dirty on deceit as ‘central in the nutrition science world’. 



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