Tag: obesity

CARNIVORE QUEEN: HACKER O’HEARN ON MAGIC OF MEAT

VITAL SIGNS

By Marika Sboros

Today, Foodmed launches Vital Signs, an occasional series of Q&A interviews with those forging new paths in nutrition science globally. Along with top doctors and scientists, we also feature ordinary mortals. These are the brave lay people who make up the wisdom of the crowds. They usher in bottom-up change from eminence-based to genuinely evidence-based medicine.

First up is Canadian-born US-based carnivore and artificial intelligence hacker L Amber O’Hearn who lives in Colorado. O’Hearn is a data scientist by profession. She is also a singer, writer, mathematician who has been researching and experimenting with ketogenic and evolution-based diets since 1997.

O’Hearn has put her day job aside to focus on researching, writing, and speaking about nutrition. She is an author at The Ketogenic Diet For Health and Empirica and has no qualms about going carnivore. And yes, she eats some of her meat meals raw. And no, she’s not aggressive as a result of being a dedicated carnivore. Here’s what drives her dietary habits:



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



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.



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’.



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.



NOAKES: ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM PROVES HE’S INNOCENT?

By Marika Sboros

Prof Tim Noakes is guilty of unprofessional conduct on “a balance of probability”, advocate Ajay Bhoopchand argued yesterday. He also accused Noakes of using the Health Professions Council of SA’s (HPCSA) hearing to “settle personal scores”.

Johannesburg senior counsel Michael Van der Nest argued that Noakes is not guilty of unprofessional conduct.  The only ones using the hearing to settle scores are dietitians opposed to Noakes, he said.

The dietitian who lodged the complaint against Noakes did so because he wouldn’t agree with her on diet, Van der Nest said. And when she and her colleagues couldn’t persuade him to agree with her, she decided, on a whim, to ask the HPCSA to prosecute him.

The tweet regarding LCHF for infants presented a perfect pretext for a complaint against Noakes.

Somehow, the dietitian “miraculously” succeeded in getting the HPCSA to do her bidding, Van der Nest said. Thus, the case against Noakes has become an “unprecedented prosecution” of a scientist for his views on nutrition.



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

UPDATED

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.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: I’ve since read it. It’s riveting and definitely vintage Taubes. It’s an investment in long-term health.)

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.



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 these dietitians 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



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?



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

UPDATE, October 16, 2017: Over 700 doctors and allied practitioners have now signed. 

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.



KENDRICK: SWEDEN GETS IT RIGHT WITH ‘IDIOT’ DIETITIANS

Malcolm KendrickTrust Scottish GP Dr Malcolm Kendrick to get down and dirty to the heart of medical ethical dilemmas. Kendrick doesn’t suffer fools gladly. In particular dietitian fools who dish out dangerous dogma for obesity and diabetes. He reserves special antipathy for dietitian fools who try to silence doctors who go against that dogma.  

Here, Kendrick’s focus is Sweden and dietitians’ unsuccessful attempt to muzzle Dr Annika Dahlqvist. It’s an earlier blog, but eerily relevant today. The Australian Health Practitioner Regulatory Agency has banned orthopaedic surgeon Dr Gary Fettke from speaking to patients about diet. Dietitians complained that he was telling diabetics to avoid sugar. South African dietitians have joined forces with the Health Professions Council of SA to silence scientist Prof Tim Noakes. Kendrick makes a joke that is a serious commentary on the dietetic profession: ‘What do you call 500 dietitians lying at the bottom of the ocean?’  ‘A good start.’ – Marika Sboros



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.



ZINN: ‘UNETHICAL FOR DIETITIANS NOT TO OFFER LCHF’

Dr Caryn Zinn and advocate Dr Ravin 'Rocky' Ramdass

Dr Caryn Zinn and advocate Dr Ravin ‘Rocky’ Ramdass

By Marika Sboros

Three things embarrass New Zealand-based dietitian and academic Dr Caryn Zinn most these days. At university, she never questioned what lecturers said about diet. In her private practice, she prescribed low-fat diets to adults and children for 15 years.  As a university lecturer, she told students low-carb diets were dangerous.

Zinn said this in her evidence led by Advocate Dr Ravin “Rocky” Ramdass, for University of Cape Town emeritus professor Tim Noakes, at the fourth session of Health Professions Council Of SA (HPCSA) hearing against him on October 26.

In Part 1 of a two-part series on her evidence in chief, she explains why she believes that it’s unethical for dieitians who know about  LCHF (low-carb, high-fat) not to offer it as an option to patients.



NOAKES TRIAL: WILL HPCSA TRY TO CLIP TIM’S ANGELS’ WINGS?

Tim Noakes

By Marika Sboros

Prof Tim Noakes and his legal dream team must think all their birthdays have come at once. “Tim’s Angels”, the nutrition science equivalent of “Charlie’s Angels” in the hit TV series, are flying in to be expert witnesses for him in the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) hearing against him.

Proudly South African-Kiwi academic Dr Caryn Zinn joins British obesity researcher and public health nutritionist Dr Zoë Harcombe, and US science writer Nina Teicholz.  When the HPCSA’s Kafkaesque trial of Noakes resumes in Cape Town on October 17, I expect the HPCSA to try to clip Tim’s Angels’ wings.



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: