Tag: high-fat

NOAKES TRIAL: DID DISGRUNTLED DIETITIANS SET HIM UP?

By Marika Sboros

 

Prof Tim Noakes had no patient on Twitter and his tweet caused no harm to anyone. So, what did two days of heated legal argument prove in the case against him?

It clearly is an “unprecedented prosecution” of a distinguished scientist, as Noakes’ legal team describes it. Even counsel for the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) acknowledged Noakes as “an extraordinary South African”.

But has the HPCSA really done the unthinkable? Has it prosecuted – and persecuted – one of its most eminent health professionals on the whim of another? Certainly, few had heard of dietitian Claire Julsing Strydom before this case.

But is Strydom a malcontent, a disgruntled dietitian who went after Noakes because he disagreed with her? If not, why did the HPCSA take up her complaint that many consider frivolous? And why did it argue forcefully not just in Strydom’s corner but for all dietitians?

Why does the HPCSA believe that Noakes is wrong and Strydom is right? And that she has the right to freedom of expression but he does not?

Just as importantly, why has the HPCSA made a simple hearing over a single tweet into a full-blown trial? After all, its hearings are not supposed to be adversarial. Here’s Part 1 of a review of the case so far and what to expect next. In Part 2, we look at the verdict on who really dishes up dangerous advice. 



NOAKES AND THE WOMAN WHO HOLDS THE KEY TO HIS FATE

By Marika Sboros

What’s really behind the prosecution of scientist Prof Tim Noakes? Is it just a single tweet to a breastfeeding mother, which even she said she didn’t take seriously? Was one dietitian really so “horrified” that she reported Noakes – even though she dishes out the same information?

What of claims of a doctor-patient relationship between Noakes and the stranger on Twitter? The same dietitian admitted that there wasn’t one.

Or is it just because Noakes says things like “cardiology is an evidence-free zone”? (It often is, these days.) Or that he has exposed endocrinologists who preach that diabetes is irreversible? And that he exposes the malevolent influence on nutrition advice of food and drug industries and a shadowy international Coca-Cola proxy organisation? For proof, look to crack US investigative journalist Russ Greene.

What of the Medical Research Council (MRC) investigation into  staff member Dr Ali Dhansay? Dhansay was a key witness against Noakes.  Dhansay is a former president of the Coca-Cola proxy in South Africa. Will the MRC investigation reveal foul play? The Health Professions Council of SA  (HPCSA) has turned its hearing into a full-blown trial against Noakes resumes on April 4. Here’s a preview and a look at who holds the key to Noakes’ fate.



Naudé Review: no mistakes or mischief against Noakes? Fat chance!

Prof Tim Noakes. Picture: The Noakes Foundation

By Marika Sboros

“We made no mistakes and no mischief in our study debunking Banting and Prof Tim Noakes,” say South African scientists. They don’t use those exact words. However, that’s the gist of their letter, which the SAMJ has just published. It relates to the Naudé Review in PLoS One in August 2014 by Stellenbosch and Cape Town University researchers.

Noakes and British obesity researcher Dr Zoë Harcombe published their analysis of it in the SAMJ in December 2016. They found major errors. Therefore, they concluded, the review findings are “not robust”. That’s scientific speak for wrong. Noakes and Harcombe don’t use the words “scientific fraud” – yet. Instead, they diplomatically ask: “Mistake or mischief?” However, if the errors were not honest mistakes, then mischief is a euphemism. So, are these academics giving “alternative facts” to try to silence Noakes? Why should you (or anyone) believe the Naudé authors when they say there was no monkey business against Noakes? Because they say so?



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.

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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.



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 TALKING HEADS: TIME FOR NEW CONVERSATION?

By Marika Sboros

One reason for the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) credibility problem, say critics, is its public face. They say that by default or design, DAA media spokespersons regularly dispense low-fat, high-carb dietary advice that serves the interests of food-industry partners. Such advice lacks evidence for safety and efficacy to treat or prevent obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

DAA spokespersons also regularly show special antipathy towards Paleo and low-carb diets to treat these conditions, despite growing evidence. As well, some spokespersons are prominent university academics. Thus, critics say this leaves DAA open to a common industry tactic. It is the “halo effect” that results from “eminence-based” rather than evidence-based nutrition information. It helps to embed unhealthy products as healthy in public consciousness

In Part 2 of this series, Foodmed.net takes a look at some of those talking heads. We also look at why critics say that the conversation needs to change.



FAT PHOBIA: WILL TEEN REBELS FREE YOU FROM ITS SHACKLES?

Will teens be the rebels who free you from the shackles of fat phobia forever this year? Sammy Pepys, one of my favourite nutrition bloggers, believes so. Pepys is author of the fabulous Fat is our Friend. He styles himself the ‘reluctant’ nutritionist. He has fat phobia firmly in his sights. You should have it in your sights too. – Marika Sboros

By Sammy Pepys

I’m an optimist. I’ve contributed to debates on food and health for a few years now with one core piece of communication. We won’t begin to fix the Western malaise of increasing obesity and related chronic diseases unless we first lose our fear of fat.

Change is starting but it’s running at a snail-like pace. As well, institutional indoctrination has been too effective. Take the 90% of UK citizens who choose low-fat or skimmed milk over the regular “from-the-cow” variety daily. Is it because it tastes better?



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:



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.



Zinn to parents: Don’t feed cereals to your babies!

Caryn ZinnBy Marika Sboros

Parents should not feed cereals to their infants as first foods, says New Zealand-based dietitian and academic, Dr Caryn Zinn. Zinn (pictured right) said this in her evidence in chief at the trial of University of Cape Town emeritus professor Tim Noakes,

It went to the heart of the matter of the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) case against Noakes in Cape Town on October 26. Here, in Part 2 of a two-part series on her testimony, Zinn looks at what science has to say about foods that parents should give infants: 



NOAKES ‘GUILTY’ VERDICT DEVOID OF ALL TRUTH: ADV JOAN ADAMS

screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-7-49-51-amBy Marika Sboros

The Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) released a press release today saying it has found Prof Tim Noakes guilty of unprofessional conduct.

That’s not possible, of course, since the case against him has not concluded. The HPCSA’s  Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) that is hearing the charge against Noakes, hasn’t even heard closing argument from lawyers on both sides yet. And it only intends issuing a ruling after that, on April 21, 2017.

Committee Chair, Pretoria advocate Joan Adams, has issued a tightly worded, clearly irate statement. She said that the HPCSA’s press release is “devoid of all truth”. Noakes’ lawyer Adam Pike said much the same thing on radio.  Pike also announced that Noakes is considering legal action against the HPCSA.

Here’s what Adams had to say:



TEICHOLZ EXPLODES FAT BOMBS IN NOAKES TRIAL

Nina Teicholz

US investigative journalist Nina Teicholz with Prof Tim Noakes

By Marika Sboros

The Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) has a few problems in its prosecution of scientist Prof Tim Noakes. One is research showing that these diets deprive infants and children of much-needed fats and other vital nutrients during their most formative years. Another is the effects of low-fat diets on heart health. It isn’t what the experts want you to believe it is.

US investigative journalist Nina Teicholz presented this and other explosive evidence during her testimony as an expert witness for Noakes. That was at the HPCSA’s fourth session of the hearing against him in Cape Town on October 25, 2016.

In the first of a three-part series on her evidence, here’s what she had to say:



MISTAKE OR MISCHIEF: SCIENTISTS IN PLOT TO NAIL NOAKES?

Tim NoakesBy Marika Sboros

Mistake or mischief? Did top scientists at Stellenbosch and Cape Town universities honestly make so many mistakes in a major study? Did they really not know the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) would use it to charge scientist Prof Tim Noakes? Or was there something a little more contrived behind their research?

British obesity researcher Dr Zoë Harcombe asked those questions in her evidence-in-chief on day six of the HPCSA’s hearing against Noakes in Cape Town today. Harcombe is one of three expert witnesses for Noakes who have flown in from the UK, US and New Zealand.

The public has dubbed them “Tim’s Angels”. There was nothing angelic about Harcombe’s takedown of the study known as the “Naudé  Review”. Here’s what Harcombe had to say about it:



NOAKES: CASE AGAINST HIM FALLING APART? PART 1

Tim NoakesBy Marika Sboros

At the close of the first week of the fourth session of the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) hearing against scientist Prof Tim Noakes, there were signs of  terminal decline in the case against him. Whether you see signs as auspicious or ominous –  or see any at all – depends, of course, on whether you are a friend or implacable foe of Noakes.

Friend or foe – Noakes has both – it wasn’t hard to spot signs in HPCSA advocate Ajay Bhoopchand’s cross-examination of him. Bhoopchand started midday on Tuesday, October 18. By late Friday afternoon, he had achieved not a single major concession from Noakes. When he wasn’t accusing Noakes of having brought the case on himself, Bhoopchand tried and failed to poke serious holes in the science of low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) to treat and prevent serious disease.

Here’s Part 1 of a review of the week: 



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.



NOAKES TRIAL: COULD CARDIOLOGISTS BE AT ITS HEART?

By Marika Sboros

tim-noakesI’ve been thinking: could cardiologists be at the heart of the case against world-renowned scientist Prof Tim Noakes? The pun is intentional. Noakes really does seem to raise cardiologists’ blood pressure into the stratosphere with his views on low-carb, high-fat (LCHF).

Noakes’ trial on a charge of unprofessional conduct resumes in Cape Town from October 17 to 26. That was for two tweets saying good first foods for infant weaning are LCHF. In other words, he was advising meat, eggs, dairy and veg.

The Health Professions Council of SA, assorted academics and doctors (especially cardiologists), and Association for Dietetics in SA (ADSA) dietitians think that advice is rotten. Here’s what UCT cardiologists say about Noakes and his reply:



Chatterjee on curing modern medicine’s sickness

YRangan Chatterjeeou may know Dr Rangan Chatterjee as the star power of the BBC’s Doctor in the House TV series. He is also one of that rare breed in modern medicine: a doctor with an open heart and mind.

Chatterjee has been examining a deadly sickness in medicine today. Its major symptom is doctors who don’t know enough about nutrition. It is about doctors who can’t – or won’t – acknowledge the real root causes of patients’ ill health. Spoiler alert: it’s not a deficiency of drugs.

Here, Chatterjee looks at why doctors need more education. It begins with understanding that ‘the food you eat can be the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison’. – Marika Sboros



Type 1 diabetes: when doctors’ good advice turns bad

doctor

By Marika Sboros

Here’s a fascinating blog that throws up an ethical dilemma for doctors, nurses and dietitians who dish out orthodox advice for type 1 diabetes.

The writer is Lemming Test-Pilot, the alter ego of a British GP who has type 1 diabetes. Last year, Lemming ditched “the almost impossible dark art of carbohydrate counting”, went on a low-carb, high-fat, ketogenic diet and survived. Actually, Lemming  hasn’t just survived but has thrived in body and mind. And has been running half marathons faster ever since, even after fasting.

Doctors and nurses told Lemming to go on the wrong diet for type 1 diabetes for 20 years. Lemming is understandably miffed about that but says with admirable restraint: “Any other condition managed with the wrong treatment for 20 years would rightly merit a lawsuit. The guideline advisers are getting knighthoods.” Here is Lemming’s remarkable, poignant, real-life story:



Cookbook authors dish up scientific ‘cure’ for cancer!

Patricia Daly, left, and Domini Kemp, authors of The Ketogenic Kitchen

Patricia Daly, left, and Domini Kemp, authors of The Ketogenic Kitchen

Cancer is big business, a global industry that makes billions for drug companies and doctors. It’s so lucrative, cynics say it’s ‘too prosperous to allow for cure’. Sure, there have been advances, even cases of ‘cures’. Cancer treatment can be less harsh than in the past. Surgery is also less disfiguring. But cancer is now pandemic. Cancer Research UK says that’s because we’re ‘growing older’. It subscribes to the fatalistic, genetic model of cancer as the result of ‘random errors’ in DNA codes that ‘kick start a cell’s journey towards becoming cancerous’.

 A remarkable new cookbook, The Ketogenic Kitchen (Gill Books), dishes up a more positive message: the evidence-based ‘metabolic model of cancer’. It draws on an ancient premise: the power of food as medicine rather than ‘the slowest form of poison’ it often is these days. It gives ingredients for real cure by showing you how not to feed cancer cells. Here, US psychiatrist Dr Georgia Ede looks at why this is no ordinary cookbook, and why even if you don’t have cancer, it should be in your home – Marika Sboros



Always hungry? Ludwig on feeling full without getting fat

HungerWhen it comes to nutrition, Harvard professor Dr David Ludwig restores flagging faith in that  formerly revered research institution. Ludwig’s latest book, Always Hungry? is a weight loss game-changer. Or should be, all things being equal. In nutrition science, all things are not equal. Food and drug companies still have undue influence on official dietary guidelines. They are one reason the influential US dietary guidelines survive despite little science to prop them up. Ditto for the dietary advice in the many countries that follow the US guidelines slavishly.

Ludwig is that rare species: a medical doctor who is also a nutrition expert. He is also not afraid to go up against conventional high-carb, low-fat ‘wisdom’. For weight loss and to beat hunger pangs, Ludwig is not on the extreme end of the low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) spectrum. Here, US physician and world-renowned LCHF pioneer Dr Michael Eades explains why Ludwig’s book is ‘the most comprehensive on low-carb dieting published to date’. And if you have a friend or family member struggling with weight, why it’s quite simply ‘the best book you could give them’. – Marika Sboros