Tag: heart disease

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.



Really! Statins side effects all in the mind?

By Marika Sboros

Are cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins really just victims of vested interests’ propaganda? Or is there something about these blockbuster drugs that gives grown medical men and women vision problems?  Can they really not see the scientific wood for the trees?

In the Lancet, UK researchers say that most people imagine the negative side-effects of statins. Co-author and corresponding author is Professor Peter Sever, of Imperial College, London. In a media report, Sever says that tens, if not hundreds, of thousands are dying from a deficiency of statins. If that sounds familiar, it’s probably because it is. His co-author is Professor Sir Rory Collins. Collins has often voiced similar sentiments.

Scottish GP Dr Malcom Kendrick hasn’t. Kendrick has a special interest in cardiovascular disease. In his latest blog post, he takes what he calls a ‘pretty forensic look’ at the Lancet study. From a scientific perspective, it is anything but pretty. 



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:



Science in crisis: not just sugar souring faith in experts

sugar candyIt should be no surprise that there’s a global crisis in science. Scholars of history and philosophy of science predicted it 40 years ago. Yet it is surprising how many scientists are more interested in profit than universal truths.

Revelations that the sugar industry paid top Harvard scientists to downplay sugar’s harms for decades are but one example. US science writer Nina Teicholz, author of The Big Fat Surprise, makes a more important point in the LA Times: sugar only ‘got a pass’ while dietary fat and cholesterol were blamed for heart disease because other industries and, surprisingly, many of the country’s leading scientists colluded.

Here, Andrea Saltelli, a researcher at the European Centre for Governance in Complexity, sheds light on a growing lack of faith in experts, and how best to stem it. – Marika Sboros



Why coconut oil is so good for hearts and minds

coconutCoconut oil has had undeservedly bad press for decades. For years, scientists, doctors and dietitians demonised it and other foods such as butter, eggs and bacon. They believed these foods raised levels of ‘bad cholesterol’  and increased your risk of heart attack and stroke.

They believed the ‘diet-heart hypothesis’ that fat in the diet equals fat in your arteries. I’m still waiting for them to explain just how dietary fat can wreak such havoc in the body. Their deafening silence tells me they can’t explain it. So why do they still cling to the belief that coconut oil is harmful?

Dr Verner Wheelock lives in Yorkshire, grew up in Ireland and has degrees in chemistry and agriculture from Queen’s University in Belfast. He has pioneered research on UK food policy with particular emphasis on official dietary advice and food and agriculture industries. Here, he looks at why we should eat coconut oil daily for the sake of our bodies, hearts and minds. Read on!  –  Marika Sboros



Perfect storm of heart disease: how to protect yourself

storm rainCardiologists are quick to reach for the prescription pad for patients with heart disease. Ditto for endocrinologists faced with diabetics. It’s as if they believe a deficience of certain drugs causes heart disease and diabetes. They are fiddling while a ‘perfect storm’ rages across the planet decimating people’s health. 

Australian orthopaedic surgeon Dr Gary Fettke calls for a very different approach to heart disease, diabetes and all other non-communicable diseases (NCDS) that are epidemic worldwide. 

Fettke is a senior lecturer at the University of Tasmania with a longstanding interest in nutrition to treat or prevent serious disease. He and wife Belinda have founded Nutrition for Life. It is based on the science behind lower-carbohydrate and healthy-natural-fat (LCHF) living. Here Fettke looks at new Japanese research that supports his view of what’s really behind the epidemics worldwide. It’s an important read with more to come. – Marika Sboros

By Gary Fettke*

Processed food is behind cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Statins just make it worse: 



Statins: more evidence on mad waste of time, money

statinsBy Marika Sboros

Cardiologists have said it for years. New Israeli research backs it up: millions of people globally take powerful cholesterol-lowering drugs they don’t need.

Statins are blockbuster drugs to lower cholesterol. They are the world’s most prescribed medicine ever. They make billions for drug companies. 

Some doctors say statins are life-saving. They already prescribe the drugs to millions around the world. They want more, otherwise healthy people to take them daily.  Other doctors say that’s “statin insanity”. They say guidelines on statin use need radical revision.The Israeli-led  multi-centre study published in the JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) Internal Medicine supports that view. Here’s why:



Hearty new evidence: even ‘bad’ cholesterol good for you!

By Marika Sboros

heart disease

Far from harming hearts, cholesterol protects tickers!

For decades, you’ve been fed big fat lies about saturated fat: that it will kill you, and you should lower your cholesterol to prevent premature death from heart attack or stroke. That’s if you believe Scottish GP Dr Malcolm Kendrick in the  video interview below, on his new research in the BMJ (British Medical Journal); and the growing numbers of  doctors and heart specialists worldwide who are on the same page as Kendrick.

If you believe Prof Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director of the British Heart Foundation, and the many others who think just like him, you’ll  swallow the research they regularly trot out about low-fat diets to support their position:



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: 



Bring home the fat! Call by top UK doctors, dietitians

pig fat bacon

Saturated fat doesn’t cause heart disease, say the experts

By Marika Sboros 

It’s official and from Britain’s highest medical and dietetic levels: government-sanctioned dietary guidelines really are making you fat and sick.

The high-carb, low-fat, low-cholesterol message doctors and dietitians have given you for the past 40 years is proving to be the “biggest mistake in modern medical history”. It is one that has had “devastating consequences for public health” globally.

In a powerful public statement just released by UK National Obesity Forum (NOF) in association with the Public Health Collaboration (PHC), the country’s leading doctors, dietitians and scientists say: eating fat doesn’t make you fat; saturated fat doesn’t cause heart disease;  to avoid type 2 diabetes, you need to …



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



Why heart foundations are off beat on health!

heart healthHeart foundations globally keep beating to the tune of billions of dollars funding from product endorsement. I wouldn’t have such a problem with that were it not for heart foundations endorsing products that are anything but heart-healthy. The Heart Foundation of Australia even endorsed McDonalds products as healthy, for heaven’s sake. It very sensibly cut ties with the fast food chain in 2011. That was always likely to be a vain attempt to reclaim any vestige of credibility, given other unhealthy products it endorses. Another example is the Heart and Stroke Foundation of South Africa that still endorses margarine, although CEO Dr Vash Munghal-Singh tells me that’s under revision.

The  Heart Foundation of Australia recently retired it’s endorsement ‘tick’, following the Canadian lead. It can look like one step forwards – but also two steps backwards. The foundation favours a new star rating system that is highly flawed, says Australian physician Dr Joe Kosterich. And like its opposite numbers worldwide, the foundation is fat-phobic. It still promotes low-fat, fat-free foods and a high-carbohydrate intake.  It recently recommended people eat up to 14 servings of carbohydrate foods a day. That’s not just nuts; evidence suggests it can be a killer for both heart and diabetes patients. Here Kosterich looks at why heart foundations get it so wrong so often. – Marika Sboros

Dr Joe Kosterich

Here is something you are likely to have missed. The Heart Foundation of Australia, following Canada’s lead, is retiring its tick:



Ikaria – island diet secrets of people who ‘live forever’

Picutre: FACEBOOK

Idyllic Ikaria vista. Picture: FACEBOOK

WANT to live longer, healthier days on this earth? Drink Greek coffee every day on the island of Ikaria. Better still, drink a ‘bulletproof coffee’ daily, one with a dollop of butter and some MCT oil in it on Ikaria, the island whose people ‘forget to die’.  Ikarians are not fat-phobic. They’d consider low-fat yoghurt an oxymoron. And these days their diets fit into the spectrum of low-carb, high-fat lifestyles that are shown to promote longevity. Here’s how and why:

By Marika Sboros

Ikaria is a tiny little island nestling off the Greek mainland in the Aegean Sea close to Turkey. Just 48km long and less than 10km wide, Ikaria is known as “the ancient healing island”, “the island of old age”,  a “hotspot of exceptional human …



What’s really feeding fat phobia if it’s not science?

bacon eggsFAT phobia is still rampant. Cardiologists and dietitians still routinely tell patients that saturated fat increases the risk of heart attack. That’s despite growing and compelling science to the contrary that is documented in The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz. If you haven’t read it, go out and get it. Fat phobia is based on the belief (it’s just that – a belief, unsupported by science) that fat in the diet equals fat in the arteries. That conventional nutrition ‘wisdom’ is the result of the so-called ‘diet-heart hypothesis’ in the 1970s, the brainchild of  American scientist Dr Ancel Keys. Keys has a flock of loyal followers among doctors and dietitians who regularly dish up this belief without bothering to check if his own research backs it up. (It doesn’t. Teicholz explains why.) Here, a British sports scientist gets to the heart of why the diet-heart hypothesis doesn’t stand up to scientific scrutiny, and what’s REALLY behind fat phobia.  – Marika Sboros

By Craig Scott, University of Hull

THE CONVERSATION – Government nutrition guidelines recommend a high carbohydrate diet regardless of



HYMAN ON A REAL ‘DRUG’ TO CURE HEART DISEASE

heart diseasePsst! Want to know a secret cure for heart disease? Better still, a way to prevent it In the first place? Cardiologists around the world still prescribe statin drugs as if these were smarties. Some, like Prof Rory Collins in Britain, have said everyone over 50 should be on statins, even if they don’t have any signs of heart disease whatsoever. It’s as if these doctors  really do believe that heart disease is caused by a deficiency of statins. In my humble opinion, that’s not just nuts, it’s dangerous. In this video, US physician, scholar and best-selling author Dr Mark Hyman gets to the heart of the matter to reveal what he believes is the real ‘drug’ to treat your ticker. Spoiler alert: it’s not really a ‘drug’. Hyman practices what is called ‘functional’ medicine. That is, medicine that works and aims first to ‘do no harm’. Hyman says even if you have a family history of heart disease “genes are not destiny” and … 



Cracking the obesity code: Jason Fung’s weight loss secret

Photo credit: qu1j0t3 via Foter.com / CC BY-NC

By Marika Sboros

Dr Jason Fung can make you fat – or he can make you thin.

Fung, a Canadian physician and nephrologist (kidney specialist), is the closest modern medicine comes to a magician. Along with fellow Canadian physician Dr Jay Wortman (you’ll be reading lots about both on foodmed.net), Fung is transforming weight loss and



Tim Noakes: Idiot’s Guide to LCHF and Banting

Picture: THE NOAKES FOUNDATION

Picture: THE NOAKES FOUNDATION

By Marika Sboros

Some doctors and dietitians will still tell you a low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet is dangerous. That’s despite compelling evidence to show safety and efficacy of LCHF for weight loss, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and even dementia.

LCHF is a global phenomenon. In South Africa, there are more than three million “Banters”, as fans of LCHF regimens are known in that country. Banting pioneer is University of Cape Town emeritus professor Tim Noakes, a world-renowned scientist and medical doctor. Here, in a Q&A, Noakes gives the basics and an Idiot’s Guide to getting started on the LCHF path.



You need 5-a-day fruit and veg? No you don’t! – Zoë Harcombe

fruit.veg

5-A-DAY fruit and veg servings – it’s a mantra doctors and dietitians repeat to patients as if it’s written in stone somewhere. They even say you can drink most of those servings, and that fruit and veg juices are instant boosts for your health. Yet 5-a-day has no science behind it whatsoever, says British obesity researcher Dr Zoë Harcombe. It’s a number plucked out of thin air, a memorable number, she says, the same  as the digits on one hand. (Presumably, those who came up with it think that makes it easier for people to count servings?) The campaign is a different number-a-day across more than 25 countries, she says. Some say three, others four, five or more.  Harcombe’s not saying you shouldn’t eat fruit and veg. Just don’t believe the magical health benefits doctors and dietitians promise you because there isn’t any science to show there will be. During my last visit to London, the British government told its citizens that fruit juice should no longer be part of 5-a-day servings – because of the high sugar content. Harcombe says’s she’ll only drink a toast to that advice when …



CAN’T LOSE WEIGHT? HARCOMBE BUSTS DIET MYTHS

obesityMany dietitians say that all you have to do to lose weight is eat less and exercise more. They also say you must avoid saturated fat like the plague because it clogs arteries and causes heart disease. And they say that meat is bad, carbs are good and you should eat at least five-a-day fruit and veg.

Those are some of the diet myths that make you fatter and sicker, says UK public health researcher Dr Zoë Harcombe. 

Those myths make dietitians increasingly irrelevant. They also contribute to the obesity, diabetes and heart disease epidemics across the globe, says Harcombe. She demolishes myths in her brilliant e-book, 20 Diet Myths – Busted. Scroll to end for details on where to get it. Here, she gives 12 of those myths in bite-size pieces – Marika Sboros



NOAKES: ‘IT’S THE FATTY LIVER DISEASE, STUPID!’ PART 2

Tim NoakesDOCTORS often terrify patients out of their wits for no good reason, says University of Cape Town emeritus professor Tim Noakes. It’s not because doctors are bad people. They just aren’t all that jacked up on science, says Noakes, a world-renowned scientist. They don’t know how to tell relative from absolute risk. 

Many doctors don’t know that they don’t know vital information about heart disease: that for many patients it’s not their tickers but their livers that are the problem. In other words, ‘it’s the fatty liver disease, stupid’, says Noakes. Harsh? Yes. True? Well, it forms part of the Health Professions Council of SA’s hearing against him . So take a look at the science he presents below and make up your own mind. – Marika Sboros

By Tim Noakes

Perhaps the most abused term in medicine is “risk factors” for the reason that few truly …