Tag: Axel Sigurdsson

OBESITY? FORGET FAT – IT’S THE CARBS, STUPID!

 What has obesity to do with hearts? Lots. Icelandic cardiologist Dr Axel Sigurdsson spoke recently at a meeting mostly of cardiologists and endocrinologists.

He discussed, among others, the current status of diet-heart hypothesis that saturated fat causes heart disease. And the possible relationship between fear of dietary fats and the obesity epidemic.

After the meeting, a senior colleague, an old friend and mentor, who Sigurdsson highly respects, lambasted him privately. The colleague said that the mortality from heart disease had dropped dramatically for the last 30 to 40 years. He said that was mostly from dietary changes to lower blood cholesterol. 

He was angry with Sigurdsson for asking: has the emphasis on low-fat food products ultimately steered us into an epidemic of obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes? Here, Sigurdsson explains how and why low-fat diets contribute to obesity and a whole lot more. – MARIKA SBOROS



WANT TO LIVE FOREVER? POP OVER TO ICELAND!

By Marika Sboros

The title is one of Queen’s greatest hits: Who wants to live forever. It’s the annual conference of the Icelandic Health Symposium (IHS) in Reykjavik in September 2017. It brings together global experts in health and longevity.

They will reveal what science says about lifestyle for health and lifespan. They will gives talks on how your genes control your fate. And they will show how your species can achieve longevity in a way that harmonises with nature.

That’s the path to a long, sustainable future for both humans and the planet. And what better place to learn about that than Iceland? It is, says Icelandic cardiologist Dr Axel Sigurdsson, home to some of the planet’s strongest,  healthiest humans.



Low-carb for fatty liver? No-brainer! says cardiologist

LIVER BRAINIt’s a killer disease you can’t catch even as its tentacles spread across the globe. It is called NAFLD – non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. That distinguishes it from liver damage from bingeing on alcohol, but it is just as deadly. NAFLD affects hearts as well as livers. It affects children as well as adults, thin people as well as those who are overweight. Here, top Iceland cardiologist Dr Axel Sigurdsson gives the science to show why low-carb makes sense to treat NAFLD, and why it really should be a no-brainer. – Marika Sboros

By Axel Sigurdsson*

About 30% of people in the US have a disease characterised by abnormal deposits of fat in the liver. The disease is not contagious, and unlike many other disorders of the liver, it is not caused by overconsumption of alcohol. It is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and has become the leading cause of chronic liver disease in many countries around the world.

It is normal to have fat in the liver. However, if the amount of fat is more than 5-10% of the weight of the liver, fatty liver disease is probably present. But why is having much fat in the liver a bad thing?



Hearts and age: It’s not just the cholesterol, stupid!

heartHeart disease is not caused by a deficiency of statins, as some heart specialists seem to believe. Top Icelandic cardiologist Dr Axel Sigurdsson isn’t one of them. He is my favourite kind of heart specialist – one with a gloriously open mind and heart, who will look at all the evidence before choosing pills to boost ailing tickers. Sigurdsson is one of the speakers on the stellar panel at the Icelandic Health Symposium’s innovative Foodloose conference in the country’s capital city, Reykjavik, on May 26. He is also a fan of food as medicine for first resort, a refreshing change from orthodox colleagues who think we should all be popping statins like smarties. Here’s what Sigurdsson has to say about hearts, age, cholesterol. – Marika Sboros

 

By Axel Sigurdsson*

For decades, scientists have been trying to find out what causes heart disease. Although we have gained some knowledge along the way, many questions remain unanswered: 



Will LCHF trigger a new heart disease epidemic?

Photo credit: digital-dreams via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo credit: digital-dreams via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diets will give you a heart attack. Or rather, that’s what doctors who believe the so-called diet-heart hypothesis will tell you. That hypothesis is on the menu at Foodloose, a seminar on health and nutrition to be held in Reykjavik, Iceland on May 26. The hypothesis, for the lay person, is that fat in the diet equals fat in the arteries. It underpins the influential US dietary guidelines launched in the late 1970s and followed by most English-speaking countries thereafter. 

The results of those guidelines on population health worldwide have been nothing short of catastrophic – global epidemics of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. One of the speakers on the stellar panel of international experts at Foodloose is Icelandic cardiologist Dr Axel Sigurdsson. In a blog here, he poses the question whether the popularity of LCHF will trigger another heart attack epidemic. He explains why, based on the evidence available at the time, he thinks that outcome will be highly unlikely. Sigurdsson tells me he hasn’t seen any science so far to make him change his mind. – Marika Sboros