Tag: diabetes

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.



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.



PHC FINALLY LAYS LOW-FAT DIETS TO REST! Part 2

By Marika Sboros

Are you on a low-fat, high-carb diet because your doctor or dietitian says that it’s “healthy”?

That’s “fake news”, says Scottish professor of metabolic medicine Iain Broom.

You are part of an “uncontrolled global experiment” over 40 years.

It is one that has had “disastrous” results for people across the planet, Broom said.



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 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



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: 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: 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.



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.



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’. 



DIABETES: TIME FOR DOCTORS TO LOOK AT IT UPSIDE DOWN

 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



WHY WE’RE LOSING OBESITY, DIABETES, CANCER WARS

Want to know why we are losing the war on obesity, type 2 diabetes and cancer? We don’t admit to problems. And the first step to solving a problem is to admit that one exists, says Canadian nephrologist Dr Jason Fung.

Fung has a special interest in weight management and diabetes. He says that there’s a terminal malaise affecting all of public health. It’s that the “experts” don’t welcome dissenting opinions.

Rather than acknowledge the truth, they pretend that everything is just fine, thank you. No one wants to yell: ‘The emperor has no clothes!’

That’s despite an obesity and type 2 diabetes epidemic that dwarfs anything the world has ever seen. And rising cancer death rates. Here’s what Fung believes doctors and researchers should do – starting with changing dietary advice. – Marika Sboros



LOW-FAT: EXPERTS KEEP ZOMBIE MYTH ALIVE

The low-fat diet for heart disease, weight loss and much else besides is a zombie myth. Those who keep it alive remain devoted to the diet-heart hypothesis that saturated fat causes heart disease.

No one has yet proved the hypothesis. Thus, it is currently unscientific. 

You wouldn’t know it from the reaction of many doctors and dietitians to the PURE study. Although associational, PURE is yet another nail in the low-fat coffin. Yet many ‘experts’ have a vested interest in keeping the low-fat myth alive. Here, Australian GP Dr Joe Kosterich speculates on why. And shows why it’s time to give it a decent burial. – Marika Sboros



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.



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