Tag: diabetes

CANCER: FUNG ON WHY IT’S NOT JUST GENETIC!

By Marika Sboros

Divergent views on cancer treatment make some oncologists green around the gills. It’s as if specialists believe it’s their way or the highway to certain death.

Yet patients still die from complications of conventional treatment. That’s when they aren’t complaining that treatment is worse than the disease. Of course, treatment can be lifesaving. But you have only to read Siddhartha Mukkerjee’s The Emperor of all Maladies to know how hit-and-miss orthodox medicine can be against cancer.

Canadian nephrologist (kidney specialist) Jason Fung says aspects of the genetic model of cancer are as unlikely as humans mutating and gaining the ability to shoot laser beams out of their eyes or to stick to walls like a spider. Yet we accept unlikely feats from cancer cells daily. Here, Fung argues for cancer as not just a genetic but also an endocrine disease.



Fasting without fasting: key to beat diabetes and cancer?

By Marika Sboros

Fasting is as old the hills of ancient Greece. Mention just about any Greek sage you can think of: Plato, Aristotle, Plutarch, not forgetting the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates and maths whizzkid Pythagoras. All were dedicated followers of fasting. 

Fasting is not for the faint-hearted. In its classical form of no food or drink – except for water – for an extended period, it takes  commitment and discipline. (I’ve only ever managed to last eight days on water only.)

Below, a University College London neuroscientist looks at the power of intermittent fasting. Dr Nick Lesica says it’s ‘all the rage’ right now. Don’t even think of dismissing it as a fad. Research suggests it can give you the benefits of fasting without really fasting.



Medical evangelism: a hand out for bad diet advice?

By Marika Sboros

If nutrition science proves anything these days, it is that Karl Marx was right. Religion really is the “opium of the people”. It is a reason that bad dietary advice has spread globally, says Australian orthopaedic surgeon Dr Gary Fettke.

It’s why nutrition guidelines are increasingly vegetarian, or “plant-based” as some doctors and dietitians now call it. That distances them from overtly religious associations with vegetarian diets. That’s despite robust evidence on health risks of vegetarian and plant-based diets, says Fettke.

Fettke was a keynote speaker at the CrossFit Health Conference in Madison, Wisconsin on August 2, 2017. The title of his talk: The Central Role of Nutrition in Our Health, Education, Economics, Politics, Environment and Beliefs. (Scroll down for a link to his talk.)

It was seismic scientifically and ethically. In the first of a two-part series, Fettke raises a taboo in nutrition science: Big Religion. He shines a light on its right arm: medical evangelism.



TIME FOR BIG FOOD TO GET TASTE OF OWN MEDICINE?

By Marika Sboros

There’s something deliciously karmic about giving Big Food a taste of its own medicine.

Years ago, I interviewed the head dietitian for that Big Food stalwart, Kellogg’s. She tried hard to persuade me that Fruity Loops really are good breakfast foods for children.

‘Do you feed them to your children for breakfast,’ I asked, looking her straight in the eye. She stared back. To her credit, she hesitated long and hard before saying: ‘Yes.’ It was an awkward moment because she knew that I knew she was lying.

But then, she had a job to do. In the trade, it’s called ‘eating your own dog food’, or ‘dogfooding’ for short. The software industry adopted it years ago for the process of actually using your own product.

Below, one of my favourite nutrition blogger poses an intriguing question. What if, to rise up in the ranks, managers in food and soft drink companies had to make a simple commitment: to ‘dogfood’ from now on. In other words, Big Food executives would have to take daily doses of their own’medicine’.



Virta Health visionary behind diabetes ‘cure’ of the future

Sami Inkinen

By Marika Sboros

For diabetes treatment of the future, look no further than Virta Health. The US start-up is an online specialty medical clinic with a brilliant app for type 2 diabetics. It is on track to achieve a holy grail: a diabetes ‘cure’ without drugs or surgery.

It’s  the closest that modern medicine comes to a ‘cure’ for the global epidemic.

Virta Health‘s ‘cure’ is safe, sustainable, cheap and accessible. Virta is about to publish research on its method that looks set to be a game-changer. It’s the largest and longest trial using the ketogenic (very low-carb, high-fat) diet to treat type 2 diabetes.

The visionary founder behind Virta is its 41-year-old Finnish-born CEO, Sami Inkinen. He’s a data-driven technology entrepreneur and multi-millionaire philanthropist. His co-founders are the ‘fathers’ of ketogenic diets: Prof Stephen Phinney and Prof Jeff Volek. I call them the ‘kings of ketosis’.

Yet ketogenic diets are still controversial, despite significant and growing anecdotal evidence. Many doctors and dietitians still believe that ketogenic diets will be killers rather than saviours of diabetics.



Who gets type 2 diabetes? Addicts and athletes!

By Marika Sboros

Here’s an intriguing new take on type 2 diabetes. A US bariatric surgeon says that only two groups of people develop it. They are drug addicts and performance athletes.

That’s fighting talk about a life-threatening, lifestyle disease that is sweeping the planet. After all, many type 2 diabetics don’t look like your average junkie or performance athlete.

Dr Robert Cywes is up for the avalanche of criticism that will surely descend on him. Still, his theory makes sense once you know what drug he means.  It’s the drug of choice for both addicts and athletes. It is sugar and other carbohydrate foods.

Cywes is an author of Diabetes Unpacked. It’s another gem from Columbus Publishing and the Noakes Foundation. It is a compelling collection of writings by some of the world’s finest minds in diabetes and diet research. The subtitle says it all: Just Science and Sense, No Sugar Coating.



SALT FIX: RIGHT WHITE STUFF FOR HEARTS, MINDS, SEX LIVES

By Marika Sboros

The next time your doctor or dietitian tells you to eat less salt, find another one – fast. Better still, buy a brave new book, The Salt Fix. In it, US cardiovascular research scientist Dr James DiNicolantonio shows how health experts have demonised the wrong white stuff for decades.

They have dished up dangerous lies about salt for your heart’s sake, or any other organ you care to mention. They allowed salt to “take the fall” for another, far more dangerous, addictive white crystal, he says.

That crystal is so sweet, you probably bought into the belief that it is benign. When consumed in excess, it can lead to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and kidney disease. It is sugar, DiNicolantonio says.

His book’s subtitle speaks volumes about the right white stuff: Why The Experts Got It All Wrong, And Why Eating More Could Save Your Life. He shows why salt reduces your risk of premature death from heart attack or stroke. And why it protects your kidneys and fertility levels. It is as good for your brain as for your body. Salt improves your thinking and sexual performance. It boosts your energy levels and mental focus and ensures restful sleep. It also stops you getting fat.



New Noakes Banting book: small size, big science shift

By Marika Sboros

It’s a simple enough question: why is Banting so popular yet still so controversial in South Africa and globally? The answer, scientist Prof Tim Noakes will tell you, is also simple. Because it works. Banting is the popular name for low-carb, high-fat diets in South Africa. Noakes explains why and how Banting weaves its healing magic in a new book: The Banting Pocket Guide (Penguin Random House).  He has co-authored it with Bernadine Douglas and Bridgette Allan.

CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOOK ONLINE
IN THE FOODMED.NET BOOK STORE

It’s available in a Kindle edition. In print soon, it will be literally small  – just the right size to fit into your pocket or purse. Figuratively speaking, it’s big in nutrition scientific heart. It explains why Banting, as low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) lifestyles are called in South Africa, are such a powerful paradigm shift.

Note that  I say lifestyles, not diets. LCHF opponents – who were legion but are diminishing as the science grows – still call it a fad diet. This book is another nail in the coffin of powerful vested interests in medical and dietetic establishments and food and drug industries. All oppose LCHF because it threatens reputations, livelihoods, practices and profits. Here’s more on why this book is a small but significant scientific treasure trove.



TAUBES AND THE CASE AGAINST SUGAR: SWEET AND SOUR

By Marika Sboros

Unless you’ve just beamed down from another planet, you’ll know that US science journalist Gary Taubes has a new book out. It’s called The Case Against Sugar. I haven’t read it yet. I’ve only read the reviews, most of them favourable – except one. It is Bad sugar or bad journalism? An expert review of “The Case Against Sugar”. The author is US neurobiologist and obesity researcher Dr Stephan Guyenet.

Guyenet’s review is not a complete hatchet job. First, he damns Taubes with faint scientific praise. Then he sticks the knife straight into Taubes’s research heart. Guyenet says that Taubes “misunderstands (or chooses not to apply) the scientific method itself”. He accuses Taubes of “extraordinary oversight”. He also says that Taubes ignores “inconvenient facts”.

Buy Gary Taubes books online
in the
Foodmed.net bookstore

US physician Michael Eades has read the book – twice – and reviews it in a post on his Protein Power blog. He has given me permission to republish it here. He comes to very different conclusions compared to Guyenet. Here’s the sweet and the sour of reviews.



BIG PHARMA: DOSE OF OWN MEDICINE FOR PROFITS OVER PATIENTS

By Marika Sboros

Is Big Pharma really as sinister as research suggests? Certainly, its products have been life-saving but also life-taking. And the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies have long had unhealthy effects on economies in many countries. Consequently, people’s health in those countries has become secondary to Big Pharma’s profits.

It is especially the case in the US, which spends the most per capita on prescription drugs than any other country. Research by The Law Firm shows that Americans filled 4.3 billion prescriptions for $374 billion dollars in 2014.

Rebecca Hill has developed an innovative infographic for the personal injury law firm on how Big Pharma spends its money. (Scroll down  to view it below).  It highlights the effect of the spend on the health and finances of Americans, says Hill. It also reveals who spent the most money – Genentech, which spent $388 million in payments to 1,888 doctors. And it points the way forward to reducing the burden of Big Pharma on people’s health and pockets, she says.



DOES DAA TARGET DISSIDENT DIETITIANS WITH FAKE NEWS?

By Marika Sboros

When the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) isn’t dishing up fake nutrition news to the public, it makes up fake news to try to discredit dietitians who cross it, say critics. It’s probably no coincidence, that those dietitians support low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diets to treat obesity, diabetes and heart disease and/or criticise Australia’s dietary guidelines and DAA’s food industry links.

Critics say that  DAA’s Big Food sponsors don’t like those dietitians either as they affect product sales. In the final of a four-part series on DAA’s conflicts of interest, Foodmed.net looks at the cases of three dietitians who fell foul of DAA and its long-time CEO Claire Hewat. DAA also thought nothing of going after one of the dietitians in another country. It tried and failed to silence a top dietitian academic in New Zealand for her views on LCHF.

Hewat flatly denies that LCHF or its industry links had anything to do with actions against the dietitians below. Here, Foodmed.net looks at whether that claim stands up to scrutiny.



DAA CLUELESS ON LCHF – DIETITIAN DOWN UNDER

Feng-Yuan Liu

Feng-Yuan Liu, of Metro Dietetics, is a relatively rare but growing species Down Under: a dietitian who is a member of Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) and brave enough to speak up publicly for LCHF (low-carbohydrate, high-fat) diets to treat obesity and diabetes. DAA’s antagonism towards low-carb diets for diabetics is legendary.  Also becoming legendary is DAA’s response to some of its members who support LCHF. On January 30, 2017, Foodmed.net will publish the final of a four-part series on DAA’s links with Big Food. It will look at three dietitians who have fallen foul of DAA for various reasons.

Here, Liu goes head to head in a blog with DAA over the information it dishes out to the public on LCHF for diabetes. She quotes verbatim from DAA statements on its website and presents research in rebuttal. It’s another long read, but a fascinating one scientifically. Along the way, Liu shows that DAA uses a discredited study by South African researchers to discredit LCHF. She also suggests that DAA is clueless – she describes it as ‘confused’ – about just what constitutes LCHF. It will be interesting to see how DAA reacts to another of its members who believes that LCHF is a safe, effective option for diabetics.  – Marika Sboros



CANINE OBESITY: SCHULOF ON SCIENCE TO PROTECT BEST FRIENDS

Daniel Schulof and Kody

By Marika Sboros

You don’t have to love dogs to appreciate the brilliance of this book on canine obesity, but it helps. It makes it easier to see why Dogs, Dog Food, and Dogma really is a riveting read. One reason is the subtitle: The Silent Epidemic Killing America’s Dogs and the New Science That Could Save Your Best Friend’s Life. 

It reveals the bare bones of the raison d’etre: evidence-based solutions to the epidemic of canine obesity.

Another reason is that this book isn’t just about canine obesity. It’s also about another global epidemic: of human adipose tissue. That’s the medical profession’s euphemism for excess fat. This book looks at why obesity shortens lives, whether canine or human. And why even moderate obesity in dogs is more dangerous for them than smoking is in humans.

But this book’s biggest strength is probably US author Daniel Schulof. He is not a veterinarian, medical doctor or scientist. He makes no bones about that in his author’s note. In fact, he claims to be no expert of any kind. That’s not true, of course. He’s just humble and that’s a nice trait. Here’s his real expertise and the power of this book:



LOOK WHO’S FIGHTING MEDICAL DIABETES GROWTH INDUSTRY!

The research team: left to right Chris Webster, Tamzyn Murphy Campbell, Prof Tim Noakes, Dr James Smith and Dr Salih Solomon. Picture: THE NOAKES FOUNDATION

By Marika Sboros

Many doctors and dietitians are still pessimistic about diabetes. They tell patients that diabetes is chronic, progressive and irreversible. They tell patients that they’ll need more drugs for the rest of their lives to manage their condition.

The Noakes Foundation has now received a full grant of R5.6 million (around $400 600) for ongoing research that could radically change that perception. That research is investigating reversal of diabetes through diet alone. It also aims straight at the heart of a powerful vested interest: the medical growth industry of diabetes.

It’s a big one – none bigger in the medical industry, says scientist Prof Tim Noakes. Its growth in profits last year alone was about 20%. “It is not interested in a possible cure or reversal of diabetes,” Noakes says. He has worked out who is protecting that industry’s commercial interests. Here’s who. 



IN PRAISE OF LOW-CARB: CANADIAN DOCTORS RISE UP AGAINST DOGMA!

fistBy Marika Sboros

This is big: nearly 200 doctors and allied health practitioners in Canada have signed an Open Letter to their government calling for urgent, radical reform of nutrition guidelines to include low-carb diets.

They say that authorities told Canadians to follow guidelines for nearly 40 years. During that time, nutrition-related diseases, such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease, increased sharply. The doctors are also concerned about sharp increases in childhood obesity and diabetes rates.

They say that the evidence does not support conventional low-fat dietary advice. In fact, they say it worsens heart-disease risk factors. They say that those responsible must be free to compile dietary guidelines without food and drug industry influence. They want the guidelines to promote low-carb diets as “at least one safe, effective intervention” for people with obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

At heart, the letter’s signatories call for mainstream medical advice to include low-carb, healthy-natural-fat. Here’s more of these doctors’ powerful challenge to orthodoxy.



VICTORY FOR TEICHOLZ IN BATTLE OF BUTTER

Nina TeicholzBy Marika Sboros

US investigative journalist Nina Teicholz calls it “a victory for science.” South African scientist Tim Noakes says it proves that one person can “change the world.” I say it’s a decisive defeat for medical, scientific and dietetic establishments in their ongoing war against the critics.

The BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal) has announced that it will not retract the peer-reviewed investigation it published by Teicholz in September 2015. The feature documents in detail how the US Dietary Guidelines (DGAs) have ignored vast amounts of rigorous scientific evidence. This evidence is on key issues such as saturated fats and low-carbohydrate diets.

Teicholz’s article has been the target of an unprecedented retraction effort that was organized by an advocacy group that has long defended those guidelines. The BMJ stance is becoming a lesson in unintended consequences for those attempting to stifle debate on the topic. It raises fundamental questions about who was behind the retraction effort and their motivation.



Cyber bullying virus – infection spreads among doctors

By Marika Sboros

cyber bullyingSomething is rotten in the state of nutrition science. In parts, it’s terminally ill. One symptom is cyber bullying. It’s a virus that is infecting doctors and dietitians on an unprecedented scale. These health professionals are also using their associations to spread the virus further and target nutrition experts who challenge conventional nutrition “wisdom”.

They are active on Twitter and Facebook hate pages. Those are toxic and unprofessional environments for doctors and dietitians to inhabit.

Two bloggers have started a series aimed at naming and shaming cyber bullies. It’s rough stuff but could help to stop infection rates. Cyber bullying creates significant collateral damage. It causes depression, even among doctors. It leads victims to kill themselves. Here’s the first in the series.



TEICHOLZ: HOW LOW-FAT DIETS CAN KILL YOU

Nina Teicholz

Nina Teicholz

By Marika Sboros

At the heart of the trial of scientist Prof Tim Noakes is the diet-heart hypothesis that saturated fat causes heart disease. US investigative journalist Nina Teicholz focused on the hypothesis in her testimony in Noakes’ favour. That was at the fourth session of the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) hearing in Cape Town on October 25.

Teicholz showed how the creator of that hypothesis ignored evidence showing that sugar and others carbohydrate are far more likely causes of heart disease. Here, in Part 2 of a three-part series on her evidence, she shows why low-fat diets can be lethal. Teicholz also looks at the role of sugar in the rise of chronic diseases. 



NOAKES TRIAL: ‘ANGEL’ HARCOMBE AIMS AT ITS HEART

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 an instant 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 them “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 advice the Association for Dietetics in SA (ADSA) gives is biased in favour of industry. Here’s why:



NOAKES: THE MAN HPCSA HOPES WILL NAIL HIM

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.