Tag: dietary guidelines

WHAT’S BEHIND NOAKES, OTHERS ‘ANTI-VAXX’ SMEAR? – PART 2

By Marika Sboros

The strategies that critics use to persuade the public that doctors like Prof Tim Noakes are “anti-vaxx” are becoming transparent. Also transparent is likely their real target: Noakes’s promotion of low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) to treat and prevent serious disease.

One strategy appears to be to bring up the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine. They do so whenever the opportunity arises – and even when it doesn’t.

Another is to link Noakes’s views to that of a “discredited, disgraced” doctor. That’s a reference, of course, to Dr Andrew Wakefield, the UK gastroenterologist who lost his licence to practice medicine in that country.

Wakefield co-authored a study series the Lancet published in 1998. It showed an associational link between gastrointestinal disease, autism and MMR vaccines. The journal eventually retracted the study. And in the fallout, the British regulatory body, the GMC (General Medical Council), stripped Wakefield of his licence to practise medicine.

Many continue to report, wrongly, that Wakefield lost his licence because he fraudulently claimed that the MMR vaccine causes autism. Yet the Lancet study does not make that claim. Instead, Wakefield’s sole claim in that study was an associational (thus, not causal) link between the MMR vaccine n a single combination and the subsequent development of autism. And that was in a small case series of affected children.



TIM NOAKES REALLY ‘ANTI-VAXX’? FAT CHANCE! PART 1

Prof Tim Noakes. Picture: The Noakes Foundation

By Marika Sboros

When some doctors run out of science or nasty things to say about Prof Tim Noakes, they resort to a canard. They claim that Noakes is “anti-vax”. Or “anti-vaxx” as it more commonly appears.

Anti-vaxx is a loaded, pejorative term. It should be used for anyone who, as the name suggests, opposes vaccinations for whatever reason. Instead, critics use it as an attack term to silence anyone who even mentions the word vaccines, unless in unqualified, glowing terms.

It’s pretty serious stuff for a doctor to be accused of being anti-vaxx. The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) could charge such a doctor with unprofessional conduct. It could strip that person of the licence needed to practise medicine.

Thus, say legal experts, and depending on the context, calling a doctor anti-vaxx can be highly defamatory. Or slanderous, if anyone says it publicly as some doctors do. Of course, it’s really only defamatory if the claim is untrue or malicious. That is, if there is a deliberate intention to denigrate and damage the doctor’s standing and reputation.

Yet Noakes has made it clear that he is not anti-vaxx. He has stated publicly that vaccination is one of modern medicine’s greatest life-saving achievements. He had vaccinations, as his children and grandchildren have had.

Despite that, some doctors and academics continue to claim otherwise. Many, if not most, are from Noakes’s alma mater, the University of Cape Town.

Leading the latest charge these days is Cape Town paediatrician and UCT graduate Alastair McAlpine, a long-time troll of Noakes on Twitter. McAlpine regularly attacks Noakes’s medical and scientific credibility and knowledge in inflammatory, defamatory terms.

He also recently acquired a new vehicle from which to launch attacks on Noakes: the Medical Brief website. Of six columns he has written since January, McAlpine devotes four to attacking Noakes. (One is an attack on me but includes  Noakes.)

His latest column repeats his claim that Noakes is “anti-vaxx”. (Click here for Noakes’s full response.)



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 orthodox 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

 

They promise a “unified show of force” that will expose collusion between politicians, respected medical institutions, “charities” and medical journals. They say that they will present new evidence of how food and drug industries have coerced doctors into prescribing unnecessary and potentially harmful treatments.

And they will show that major conflicts of interest at the highest levels have “hijacked evidence-based medicine”. The result, they say, has been an “epidemic of misinformation”.

Heading the panel is award-winning British cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra. With him are Dr Richard Thompson, personal physician to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth from 1984 to 2005 and past president of the Royal College of Physicians; endocrinologist Dr Carl Heneghan, Oxford University professor of evidence-based medicine; and Dutch diabetes professor at Leiden University Dr Hanno Pijl.



NOAKES: MEDICAL, SCIENTIFIC WORLD WATCHES AS HPCSA DECIDES HIS FATE

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”.



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: HPCSA BACK ON WARPATH, BLOCKS EVIDENCE DIETITIANS SET HIM UP!

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.



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.



TAKE DINICOLANTONIO WITH MORE THAN A PINCH OF SALT!

VITAL SIGNS

By Marika Sboros

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



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’. 



DR EVELYNE BOURDUA-ROY: IS SHE CANADA’S TIM NOAKES?

By Marika Sboros

Quebec family physician Dr Èvelyne Bourdua-Roy looks set to become “Canada’s Tim Noakes”. Bourdua-Roy’s regulatory body, the Quebec College of Physicians, is investigating her for comments on diet and nutrition she made on a radio talk-show.

Nutritionists who may be members of Dietitians of Canada (DoC) lodged complaints with the College, claiming that Bourdua-Roy made  “inappropriate declarations”.

They also claim that she gave “medical opinions” that could “mislead the public on low-carb, high-fat (LCHF)/ketogenic diets”. (Ketogenic diets are very low-carb, very high-fat but low-to-moderate protein).

The parallels with Bourdua-Roy and  Prof Tim Noakes are striking even as there are differences. 



WHY WE’RE LOSING WARS ON OBESITY, DIABETES, CANCER

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



‘PURE’ PROOF FATS DON’T KILL, DIETARY GUIDELINES WRONG?

By Marika Sboros

Major new research, the PURE study, is creating controversy about dietary guidelines globally. It shows that the more fat you eat, including saturated fat, the lower your risk of dying from heart disease.

And the more carbohydrates you eat, the higher your risk of premature death.

PURE (Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology) cohort study,  is the largest ever investigating links between carbs, fats, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and death. Thirty-seven researchers looked at dietary habits of 135,335 people in 18 countries over five continents with an average follow-up of 7.4 years. They are calling for changes to the guidelines. They say that the much-disputed cap on dietary saturated fat (no more than 10% of energy intake) is wrong.

Critics say PURE proves that low-fat diets are as lethal for hearts as low-carb experts claim. Others say PURE shows no need for change and doesn’t exonerate saturated fat.



Low-Carb Companion: a new best friend for life

By Marika Sboros

Low-carb books are not yet a dime a dozen but they are weighing down shelves in bookstores and in cyberspace. The Low-Carb Companion should fly off those shelves.

The author is reason enough to buy it. Zimbabwean Dr Austin Jeans is a specialist sport, exercise and lifestyle medicine physician in Harare.

He has been involved in lifestyle aspects of orthodox medicine for over 25 years. However, it took his own deteriorating health and family history of type 2 diabetes to drive him in new directions.

It set him on the journey of discovery that he documents in this book. Like many doctors, he swallowed whole the dogma on diet and disease that he learned at medical school. And when he came across compelling evidence to the contrary, he did the decent scientific thing. He admitted that he had it all wrong. If something about his story sounds familiar that’s because it is.



Lifestyle medicine: front in Big Religion’s war on red meat?

By Marika Sboros

Lifestyle medicine sounds benign enough. It may be a new front that Big Religion has opened in its war on red meat, says Dr Gary Fettke.

Fettke is an Australian orthopaedic surgeon with a special interest in evidence-based nutrition. He spoke at the CrossFit health summit in Madison, Wisconsin on August 2, 2017.

His talk was on nutrition’s central role in everything. In other words, in health, politics, education, economics, environment and beliefs.

In the first of a two-part series, Fettke raised the taboo topic of religion and nutrition science. His focus was the Seventh-Day Adventist Church and its medical evangelism. In Part 2 here, Fettke looks at “unique” partnerships Adventists use to spread a belief-based anti-meat agenda.

The spectrum of partners is disparate. It veers from relationships with extreme animal rights groups to the World Health Organisation (WHO). It also now includes “lifestyle medicine”.



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’.



Why are so many doctors so stupid about nutrition?

By Marika Sboros

Why are doctors so stupid – particularly about nutrition? It’s a question one of my favourite scientist doctors, US physician Michael Eades, has asked.

It’s a question I’ve asked myself many times. More so recently after a ‘conversation’ with two paediatrician trolls on Twitter. (It was more like a testy, trivial exchange.)

These doctors live far apart – one in South Africa, the other in Canada. They could be twins when it comes to god complexes and willful ignorance about nutrition.

Of course, not all doctors are stupid when it comes to nutrition. And Eades says that stupid is not quite the right word to describe the dear medical souls who don’t know about nutrition. Ignorance is the word.