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.


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. 


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


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”.


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


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.”


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.



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”.


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


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.



By Marika Sboros

Dr James DiNicolantonio, a US cardiovascular research scientist, is up next in’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.


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”. 


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



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 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 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


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.


 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



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: