Tag: saturated fat

SWISS RE: DIETARY GUIDELINES A ‘FAILED HUMAN EXPERIMENT’

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

By Marika Sboros

Global reinsurer Swiss Re is calling for radical reform of low-fat, high-carb dietary guidelines. The call follows global investment bank Credit Suisse’s damning report on the guidelines in 2015. Swiss Re devotes its last medical newsletter of 2016 to a research demolition job of the guidelines.

In it, Swiss Re Chief Medical Officer Dr John Schoonbee calls the guidelines a “failed human experiment” over decades.

Credit Suisse is a $23 billion a year company with 48,000 employees. Swiss Re is even bigger at $35 billion with under 13,000 employees. These are big players in global financial markets. So, what’s in it for them to research and take sides in the scientific controversy around low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diets? A former Swiss Re head of health underwriting and claims explains.



IN PRAISE OF LOW-CARB: CANADIAN DOCTORS RISE UP AGAINST DOGMA!

fistBy Marika Sboros

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.



FOR HEART’S SAKE, EAT SATURATED FAT: NORWAY SCIENTISTS

By Marika Sboros

Photo credit: mysza831 via Foter.com / CC BY

Norwegian researchers dispute the scientific pillar on which official dietary guidelines rest in most countries. It is the so-called diet-heart hypothesis that saturated fat causes heart disease.

The hypothesis just happens to be the pillar on which the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) rests its case against scientist Tim Noakes. It also lies at the heart of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) muting of orthopaedic surgeon Gary Fettke. AHPRA doesn’t want Fettke talking to patients about sugar now or ever again.

The Norwegian study is a small, well-designed, randomised controlled trial (RCT). Scientists consider RCTs the “gold standard” of research. The study authors say that a very-high-fat diet reverses obesity and disease risk. They also say that experts have greatly exaggerated alleged health risks of saturated fat for hearts. Here’s more:



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.



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



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: 



ZINN: ‘IT’S UNETHICAL FOR DIETITIANS NOT TO ADVISE 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: CASE AGAINST HIM FALLING APART? PART 2

Tim NoakesBy Marika Sboros

Something about South African scientist Prof Tim Noakes and his views on the role of carbohydrate and fat gets up the Health Professions Council of SA’s nose faster than a cocaine hit. The fourth session of the HPCSA hearing against Noakes began in Cape Town on October 17.

Noakes told the hearing that humans have “absolutely no essential requirement for carbohydrate”. There is no human disease that a deficiency of carbohydrate causes.  Carbohydrate in the body serves only two functions. It is either used as a resource of energy or it is stored as fat. “There is no other option,” he said. That applies to weaning for infants as well.

HPCSA advocate Ajay Bhoopchand didn’t like that one bit. In cross-examination, he said a low-carb diet for infants is dangerous – and by implication, so is Noakes.  Here is the final of a two-part review of the hearing so far. 



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:



Statins insanity: Sir Prof Collins of Statinshire at helm

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

Doctors, with UK professor Sir Rory Collins at the helm, say we should all pop statins like smarties. Even if our tickers are ticking along very nicely.

Others say that’s unadulterated, mad-scientist nuttiness. South African scientist Prof Tim Noakes calls statins ‘the single most ineffective drug ever invented’. 

Here, UK blogger Nick Mailer deconstructs the man he calls  ‘Collins of Statinshire’. It’s a fascinating, considered read – and harsh for good reason. Collins is his own worst enemy in the harsh way he deals with criticism from peers.  – Marika Sboros



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



Fasting – why it’s not just another F-word!

By Jean Fortunet (Own work) [CC BY 1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Marika Sboros

I’m not going out on a religious limb when I say this book will be the “bible” of fasting.

The Complete Guide to Fasting (Victory Belt) is by Canadian nephrologist  Dr Jason Fung and US Living La Vida Low-Carb blogger Jimmy Moore.

The sub-title is Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended Fasting. It is well-written, reader-friendly and delivers on all promises. It should be in every home. Here’s why:  



Don’t just swallow what doctors say on statins: Kosterich

Photo credit: psyberartist via Foter.com / CC BY

Photo credit: psyberartist via Foter.com / CC BY

Statins are blockbuster drugs that make billions for pharmaceutical companies. Research shows these drugs do little to make patients’ lives longer or better. Read The Truth About Statins by Dr Barbara Roberts, for another view.

Here, Australian physician Dr Joe Kosterich looks at conflicting research in two  British medical journals, He says it is confusing enough for doctors, never mind patients.

Kosterich calls for patients to do research, question what their doctors say about statins, and not just to swallow any prescription whole. I second that. – Marika Sboros



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:



NOAKES TRIAL: EXPERTS FLYING IN TO SUPPORT THE SCIENCE

Picture: ROB TATE

By Marika Sboros

When the Kafkaesque trial of world-renowned South African scientist Prof Tim Noakes resumes in Cape Town in October 2016, two heavyweight international expert witnesses will testify for him: Cambridge University graduate Dr Zoë Harcombe, a British public health nutritionist, and US science writer Nina Teicholz.

The country’s regulatory body, the Health Professions Council of SA, has charged Noakes with unprofessional conduct for his views on diet. Here’s what you can look forward to in this strange scientific saga that has garnered worldwide attention: 



NOAKES IN HIS OWN WORDS: ‘WHY I CHOOSE TO GO ON TRIAL – Part 2

Tim NoakesUniversity of Cape Town emeritus professor Tim Noakes loves challenging convention and being challenged.  ‘It’s when I learn,’ he says. Noakes has challenged conventional ‘wisdom’ seven times in his distinguished career. He has been proved right six times. He expects the same to happen when he goes back on trial in October 2016 in his latest challenge: to conventional ‘wisdom’ on diet. In the second of a 2-part series,  he reveals what really drives him. – Marika Sboros



NOAKES IN HIS OWN WORDS: ‘WHY I CHOOSE TO GO ON TRIAL’ – Part 1

Tim NoakesBy Marika Sboros

World-renowned scientist  Prof Tim Noakes will be back on trial in Cape Town on October 17, 2016, for his views on eggs, bacon and broccoli. Expect more revelations in what is being called the “Nutrition Trial of the 21st Century”

It has dragged on since February 2014 when Johannesburg dietitian Claire Julsing Strydom first reported him to the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA). That was for two tweets telling a breastfeeding mother that good first foods are low-carb, high-fat (LCHF). Noakes could have made this strange saga disappear by deregistering as a medical doctor. Instead, here in the first of a 2-part series, Noakes explains why he has chosen to go on trial:



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