Fasting: Fung dishes up quick science to reverse type 2 diabetes

By Marika Sboros

Fasting is as old as the hills of ancient Greece. Many doctors and dietitians still dismiss it as a fad. It is proving its worth in modern medicine’s arsenal to beat type 2 diabetes.

Planned intermittent fasting may help to reverse type 2 diabetes, a condition that is now epidemic across the globe. That’s according to Canadian doctors in the journal, BMJ Case Reports. Three male patients in their care were able to cut out the need for insulin treatment altogether after a period of planned intermittent fasting.

One of the co-authors is Canadian nephrologist (kidney specialist), Dr Jason Fung, of the Department of Medicine at Scarborough General Hospital in Ontario. Fung is an expert in fasting interventions to reverse type 2 diabetes.

He and his co-authors readily admit to the limitations of the case reports: small in number and men only. The implications, however, are “huge”, Fung says.



FETTKE: COVER-UP GROWS AFTER CASE AGAINST HIM COLLAPSES?

By Marika Sboros

Australian orthopaedic surgeon Dr Gary Fettke’s professional reputation and licence to practise medicine are no longer under threat. The Australian Health Practitioner Regulatory Agency (AHPRA) recently cleared Fettke of any misconduct over his opinions on nutrition.

That response was legally and ethically correct, under the circumstances. However, it raises more questions than answers.

One question is why AHPRA went to war on the side of the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) and its members who mobilised against Fettke. Another is why no heads have rolled in AHPRA’s prosecution of Fettke – in a case that legal analysts called a “kangaroo court“.

Yet another is why AHPRA has ignored extensive evidence of bullying, mobbing and intimidation of Fettke at his workplace, Launceston General Hospital (LGH) in Tasmania, for more than eight years. That is raising questions of a cover-up at the highest levels.



FETTKE FREE AT LAST: AHPRA DROPS ALL CHARGES!

By Marika Sboros

Australian orthopaedic surgeon Dr Gary Fettke is a free and vindicated man. The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) has dropped all charges against him.

In a letter to Fettke, AHPRA clears him of any wrongdoing or misconduct in a case that has dragged on for more than four years. The Agency has also apologised for its actions against him.

Those actions include slapping a lifetime ban on him in 2016 from speaking to patients about nutrition. Not just any nutrition but his advocacy for low-carb, healthy-fat (LCHF) therapies.

The ban falls away – although Fettke had ignored it anyway.



Gøtzsche sacking: sign that Cochrane is a ‘sinking ship’?

By Marika Sboros

It was once revered as “the world’s most prestigious scientific organisation” devoted to independent, evidence-based medicine. Today, the Cochrane Collaboration is in “moral crisis”, say insiders. They are predicting the beginning of the organisation’s end.

Critics say that the Collaboration has “lost its way”. It has grown too close to the drug industry and too far from delivering “trusted evidence”.

That follows the expulsion of one of its most high-profile members, Dr Peter C Gøtzsche at its annual board meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland recently.

The Board has accused Gøtzsche of bringing the organisation into disrepute. That followed Gøtzsche’s harsh criticism of a Cochrane review of the evidence for the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. He and his team called it “incomplete and biased”.

Gøtzsche is unrepentant and says that the Cochrane has “a moral governance crisis”. Four more board members have resigned in protest at Gøtzsche’s shock sacking.



Seriously! Stomach surgery first option for diabetics?

By Marika Sboros

I’m always unnerved when doctors encourage diabetics to have stomach surgery before more effective, much safer, less invasive methods. Like simple dietary changes.

The recommendation has been popping up again on social media.

There is robust evidence to show that bariatric surgery can be life-saving for morbidly obese people. However,  it is invasive and the success rate is nothing to write home about. Complications can also be lethal and include heart attack, stroke and death.

So it should be worrying when doctors advise stomach surgery as first resort, especially for diabetics who are only mildly obese.



DR DAVID KATZ: MORE WOES AS FORBES DROPS HIM

By Marika Sboros

Dr David L Katz, one of the most outspoken voices in nutrition science in the US, has been terminated as a columnist by Forbes.com following an editorial investigation.

Katz has been a regular online columnist for the publication since 2016. The relationship terminated in June when Forbes deleted his most recent and final column.

Forbes Vice President Corporate Communications Laura Brusca confirmed to me via email that Katz is no longer a contributor.



From hunger to wholeness: ‘road map’ to avoid overeating

By Marika Sboros

Hunger is one driver of overweight, obesity and associated health problems.  Another is the “weight” that many people with obesity carry.

That weight is as much emotional as physical, say the authors of a new book. From Hunger To Wholeness is a “road map” to guide readers back to a healthy weight.

The co-authors are UK-based psychoanalytic psychotherapists, Caroline Taylor-Thomas and Pam Kleinot. I came across it as both are former journalist colleagues of mine back home in South Africa.

The book’s subtitle gives their aim: Strategies To Free Yourself From Overeating. To deliver, they mix extensive investigative reporting skills and clinical experience of patients with eating disorders and other forms of substance abuse.



HARVARD PROF: COCONUT OIL ‘PURE POISON’! WHAT NEXT?

By Marika Sboros

First, they came for low-carb diets. Then they came for coconut oil. What will Harvard scientists come for next?

Harvard epidemiology professor Karen Michels has sent social media into overdrive with her claim that coconut oil is “pure poison”. She also called it “one of the worst foods you can eat”.

Cardiologists and other experts globally called those comments “unscientific” and ignorant. Others have rather rudely dismissed her comments as total ‘BS’. Michels is facing calls to apologise publicly and retract her claims.



Vitamin D: is it snake-oil for snake-oil disease?

By Marika Sboros

Nutrition science is looking decidedly dodgy these days. One reason is the love affair with vitamins, a century after scientists discovered them.

That affair has spawned the billion-dollar global supplement industry. It has also created “pseudo-diseases” in its wake, says British geneticist Prof Tim Spector. One of those pseudo-diseases is Vitamin D deficiency.

Spector is professor of genetic epidemiology and director of the TwinsUK Registry, at Kings College London. Spector has looked at another confounding variable in nutrition research these days: We have ignored a new “virtual” organ in our bodies for the digestive and endocrine system, he says. It is the microbiome that he calls our “second brain”.



Low-carb diets will shorten your life? Fat chance!

By Marika Sboros

Well, here’s a page turner for the diet books. A new study in The Lancet Public Health claims that low-carb diets could be killers.

The researchers claim that the diets increase your risk of mortality (premature death) by shortening your lifespan. In other words, the researchers argue that low-carb diets are life-threatening.

They also claim the same for high-carb diets. But don’t mistake that for any kind of anti-carb stance. On the contrary. The researchers claim that “moderate” carbohydrate consumption (50-55% of the diet) is the way to go.

They say that moderate carbs from plant foods up your chances further of avoiding a premature end. They speak of  “controversy” around low-carb diets. Therefore, they claim that low-carb diets containing animal foods are even more life-threatening than those with plant-based foods.



Diet-heart hypothesis: zombie or written in scientific stone?

By Marika Sboros

The diet-heart hypothesis is a curious creature. To some scientists and physicians, the hypothesis that saturated fat causes heart disease is a zombie. Despite all the stakes they drive deep into its heart, it just won’t die.

To others, it’s written in scientific stone. That’s even when supporters, such as Harvard nutrition and epidemiology professor Walter Willett, call it “incomplete” and “overly optimistic” in its classical form.

The hypothesis hovered in the wings at a groundbreaking conference in Zurich, Switzerland in June. That’s when it wasn’t taking centre stage. Willett and others vigorously dispute the notion of any terminal hole in the diet-heart hypothesis.



SWISS RE: TYPE 2 DIABETES REALLY CAN BE REVERSED

This is the first in a two-part series on a remarkable event that took place in Zürich, Switzerland, in June 2018. It is a review of a conference that will hopefully help to change conventional medical treatment for obesity and type 2 diabetes dramatically in the near future.

The venue augured well: the elegant buildings of the Swiss Re Institute’s Centre for Global Dialogue in Rüschlikon on the west shore of Lake Zürich.

Speakers came from top research institutions around the globe. They argued that mainstream medical treatment for type 2 diabetes just doesn’t work well. In effect, it keeps people fat, sick and dependent on drugs.

That was fighting talk from physicians and scientists from around the globe. Their alternative was just as groundbreaking: It gives people with type 2 diabetes hope that they can reverse their condition safely and effectively without resorting to drugs or surgery.



DID WITS ETHICS CHIEF LOSE HER WAY JUST TO NAIL NOAKES?

Prof Amaboo ‘Ames’ Dhai

By Marika Sboros

Here’s an intriguing ethical and moral dilemma in the latest issue of the SAMJ (South African Medical Journal).

It’s in an article by University of the Witwatersrand bioethics head Prof Amaboo “Ames” Dhai. The title: The Life Esidimeni tragedy: Moral pathology and an ethical crisis.

In it, Dhai speaks of “core values of compassion, competence and autonomy”. Together with respect for fundamental human rights, these are “the foundation of ethical practice in healthcare”, she writes.

But why is that an ethical, moral dilemma and for whom? Well, for starters, for Dhai herself.



Saturated fat causes heart disease? Pure bollocks – Kendrick!

Quick! If your doctor or dietitian still says you should eat a low-fat diet for your heart’s sake, find another one. In the final of a two-part series, Scottish GP Dr Malcolm Kendrick explains why so many doctors and dietitians dish up junk about cholesterol.

And why everything the experts have been telling you about saturated fat, its impact on LDL, and its impact on CVD is – frankly – ‘complete bollocks’. – Marika Sboros



LDL FAT HEART PUZZLE: KENDRICK SOLVES IT!

Some find it puzzling that cardiologists still tell patients to avoid saturated fat like the plague. And that they also tell patients to lower their levels of so-called “bad” LDL cholesterol.

It’s as if cardiologists don’t know that there isn’t such a thing as “good” or “bad” cholesterol. And that LDL isn’t cholesterol at all. Never was, as Scottish GP Dr MalColm Kendrick explains in this two-part series. 

Kendrick has a special interest and clinical experience in cardiovascular disease over decades. He is a voice of sanity in a mad scientific debate. Here, Kendrick explains why saturated fat can’t “cause” heart disease by raising blood LDL cholesterol levels. And why there are more important things to worry about for your heart’s sake.  – Marika Sboros



UK HOSPITAL IN WORLD-FIRST CALL: DITCH SUGAR!

By Marika Sboros

You know the dietary times really are a-changin’ when a UK hospital calls on a community to stop eating sugar and processed foods.

And when mayors, MPs and celebrities support it. Tameside Hospital in Greater Manchester has issued a world-first 70-day challenge to the 250,000 people it serves to go sugar-free.

The DITCH SUGAR! call comes on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the NHS (National Health Service). It highlights soaring levels of obesity and type 2 diabetes in the UK as linked chronic health conditions – which doctors now call “diabesity”. Tameside is also holding a symposium on Wednesday, July 4. Those who register will receive a free guide to kickstart their sugar-free challenge by email. It is based on UK consultant cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra’s bestseller The Pioppi Diet and includes a freeview of his groundbreaking doccie, The Big Fat Fix, with filmmaker Donal O’Neill. 



Green tea: Fung on how it boosts fasting, weight loss

 In China, a “cuppa” usually means a cup of green tea. Green tea is a staple of traditional Chinese medicine and has been for centuries.

It is popular globally these days as people drink it to treat a wide variety of ailments. These range from mood disorders to digestive complaints, aches and pains and even cancer.

Canadian-Chinese nephrologist (kidney specialist) Dr Jason Fung is a big fan of tea – green and black. He is also a big fan of fasting.

Fung introduced fasting as a therapeutic option for patients about five years ago. That’s part of his Intensive Dietary Management program for weight loss and type 2 diabetes reversal.



NOAKES FREE AT LAST, HPCSA LICKS ITS WOUNDS

By Marika Sboros

South African scientist Prof Tim Noakes is a free man. Noakes has won his final battle with the Health Professions Council of South Africa on a charge of professional misconduct for a single tweet.

The HPCSA’s committee has dismissed an appeal against the comprehensive not-guilty verdict for Noakes in April 2017. (Click here to read the full decision.)

The unanimous ruling came down late on Friday, June 8, 2018. It is as complete an exoneration as Noakes could have hoped for. And the only person it exonerates is Noakes.





Vintage eating: look backward, fast forward to good health!

By Marika Sboros

Fast food is often just a euphemism for junk food. Ditto for “convenience”, so-called “comfort” food. A new book gives bold new taste, flavour and health to fast food.

It is Dinner Plans, Easy Vintage Meals by Jennifer Calihan and Adele Hite. It shows how easy it really is to make healthy foods fast for dinner daily.

The secret is in the “vintage”, say the authors. Vintage meals are the “original fast food”. Vintage eating is the way your great-grandmothers used to cook. That was “back when people used to feel satisfied between meals and look and feel better”.



%d bloggers like this: