24 December 2009

Compliments of the Season

Best wishes for the holidays and for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2010

With greetings at this time of the year - and so many religions, it can be difficult to get the wording right. For example:

In the old days, it was not called the 'Holiday Season'.
The Christians called it 'Christmas' and went to church.
The Jews called it 'Hanukah' and went to synagogue.
The atheists went to parties and drank.

People passing each other on the street would say "Merry Christmas!", "Happy Hanukah!" or they would shout to the atheists "Look out for that wall!"

There are three poems for the season which you will like here. Written by members of THINCS, these are both appropriate to the season and to my websites.

And, as you will want to be with the family rather than reading lots of stuff, I'll just leave you with this:


Best wishes


07 December 2009

The reporting of a new study illustrates how the public are misinformed

Supports Chapter One: Trick to Treat and Chapter 5: Fats - From Tonic to Toxic

A new study, published in the December 2009 edition of the medical journal, Gut, shows that linoleic acid, the major fatty acid in all 'healthy' vegetable margarines and cooking oils increases the risk of some serious intestinal conditions.

But that's only half the story. The other half is the way this study has been reported, not just in the news media, but also on 'health' websites.

Linoleic acid is found in the largest quantities in polyunsaturated vegetable margarines and cooking oils. But we have been told these are 'healthy', so this new study is proving to be a bit embarrassing. So what do they do? Easy, blame it on what 'we all know' is unhealthy: red meat - even though red meat contains very little linoleic acid!

Read the article here.

17 November 2009

New Chapter for Trick and Treat

When I was researching Trick and Treat, I came across a new scientific theory called 'Epigenetics'.

It had always been taught that our DNA, which is fixed at conception, determined all our physical characteristics, and that these could not be changed throughout our lives, and would in turn, be passed on to our children. But then several observations were made in the middle of the last century which questioned this 'truth'. And so Epigenetics was born.

As it now seems that life experiences - including what we eat (or don't eat) - can have a profound effect on not just us but our offspring, and for several generations.

I wrote a chapter about Epigenetics for Trick and Treat. But then, as the book was getting a bit too big already, it was decided to leave it out.

But it seems a shame to leave it on my computer; it is an important subject in that the incorrect diet we are all being forced to eat, could have serious unforeseen effects for generations to come. It's a year late, but here it is.

12 November 2009

Two New Articles

I have put two new articles on my Second Opinions website in the last two day. Both of them support what I have written in Trick and Treat (up to a point :-))

I have been thinking of the first, about Biblical guidance that instructs the faithful of three religions - Jews, Christians and Muslims - that they should eat meat, for some time. This is because, with a world where religion is becoming more and more fundamental, it seemed like a good idea. Then when Prince Philip gave world religious leaders a vegan meal a couple of weeks ago, I couldn't resist it.

The second is a result of big changes in the murky world of prescription drugs - and cholesterol-lowering statins in particular - and drugs regulation. At long last, a regulatory body has woken up to the fact (that many of us have known for several years) that statins are not the benign panaceas they are made out to be.

Both are indexed on my home page

Tomorrow I should have an interview with Dr Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD, a longtime cholesterol sceptic.

08 November 2009

More studies support Trick and Treat

Because of house renovations, I've been very remiss recently in updating both my websites and this blog. With a bit nof luck that will change, but during the last few months, all sorts of studies have been published which I shouldn't have missed - because they support Trick and Treat.

I have just added ten which were published in the last week alone. They are indexed on Second Opinions on both the Home Page and the News Index. I should have a couple of new articles on soon. I'll keep you posted.

From a sunny island off the east coast of Africa (well, I've got to keep the vitamin D up).


14 October 2009

Don't want a heart attack? Eat your fruit with cream.

Supports Chapter 8: Why 'five portions'?

Over the last three months, I have been engaged in bringing my house into the 21st century. Taking out the remnants of a solar heating system that was great in the summer, when I didn't need it - and next to useless in the winter when I did, and replacing that with a high efficiency gas fire and a condensing boiler. All of which involved a lot of knocking down and rebuilding. And I'm not getting any younger! As a consequence, websites and blogging have had to take a back seat and a lot of controversial studies I should have written about have been missed.

But I felt I couldn't let this one go by:

A new Swedish study looking at fruit and veges in heart disease (click here for the full paper in PDF)arrived on my computer this morning. It finds that eating fruit and veg is only of benefit when combined with a high dairy fat intake. Without the dairy fat, not only was there little or no benefit from eating your 5 portions, the fruit and veg actually increased risk of a heart event by 70%!

What it's really saying, of course, is that to reduce the risk of a heart attack, eating fruit and veg are irrelevant, and may actually be harmful, and it's the saturated fat that is beneficial. So much for the UK's Food Standards Agency's advice to use skim milk and other low-fat dairy!

Oh, and by the way, the study found that eating wholemeal bread and fish twice a week were also of no benefit.


07 July 2009

I wish I'd known

Old study I'd missed supports a great deal of Trick and Treat

One of the difficulties I have had, writing as I do in favour of a high-fat, low-carb diet, is that it is deemed to be 'unhealthy'.

A few weeks ago I came across a study from 1997 which I had missed - probably because it concerned the gorilla's diet, rather than ours. But now that I read it, it is a real eye-opener and I wish I'd read it when it was first published so that I could have incorporated it in Natural Health and Weight Loss and in Trick and Treat. It really supports my ideas in a way I hadn't considered.

If you'd like to see what it's about, you can read an article here

18 May 2009

Is it about time we learned not to heed 'experts'?

Supports Chapter 11: Our irrational fear of sunlight

The UK's Daily Express today has an article about yet another study saying that we don't get enough sunlight. If we want to avoid conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, and live longer we need to get out in the sun more, it says.

In 1997 I wrote much the same article for my column 'Second Opinions' in The Oxford Times. The editor refused to print it because it was in conflict with what we were being told by the health industry. A shame really as the paper was published on 21 June, the first day of summer, and so the timing was ideal for such an article. This was the reason I gave up writing for the paper. Well, the articles took time and they didn't pay much then.

Since then many more studies have also said the same thing.

In the Express's article, 'experts' from authoritative bodies such as Cancer Research UK say that they know about this and that we need more vitamin D and should strive to get out more.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't they the same people who have been scaring us with anti-sun propaganda for the last few decades?

And there are a couple of other points they still aren't telling us:

Firstly, it is important to know that only sunshine around midday produces vitamin D at our latitude. UVB, the active wavelength, doesn't penetrate the atmosphere well, so until the sun is well up in the sky, the atmosphere it has to travel though reduces its strength markedly. Sunshine earlier in the day is mostly UVA. It is UVA which causes sunburn - without the vitamin D benefit.

Secondly, it's also important NOT to use a sunscreen as this filters UVB, thus inhibiting vitamin D production. Sunscreens have also been shown independently to increase skin cancer risk. The really silly thing about sunscreens is that they are very good at screening us from the beneficial UVB, but not very effective at stopping harmful UVA! There is much more on this at http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/sunlight.html and http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/full_spectrum_sunlight.html.

Unlike most Brits who take their holidays by the seaside in the summer, for many years now I have been heading south to an island off the coast of west Africa during the winter, just to keep my Vitamin D levels up. If global 'climate change' continues its now 10-year-long current cooling trend for another decade and a half, as it is forecast to do, I'll have to think about going south during our summer too. The last time I comfortably got out in the garden in the nuddy for any length of time was March!

13 May 2009

Cheerios Are a Drug? FDA's Surprising Letter to General Mills

May 13, 2009

The following story is all over the Internet today. But the question si this:
In the US foods and supplements are not allowed make claims to treat or diagnose a disease. However, the FDA has allowed Cheerios' claims to lower cholesterol for over 10 years, so why have they suddenly changed?


Popular US breakfast cereal Cheerios is a drug, at least if the claims made on the label by its manufacturer General Mills are anything to go by, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said.

"Based on claims made on your product's label, we have determined that your Cheerios Toasted Whole Grain Oat Cereal is promoted for conditions that cause it to be a drug," the FDA said in a letter to General Mills which was posted on the federal agency's website Tuesday.

Cheerios labels claim that eating the cereal can help lower bad cholesterol, a risk factor for coronary heart disease, by four percent in six weeks.

Citing a clinical study, the product labels also claim that eating two servings a day of Cheerios helps to reduce bad cholesterol when eaten as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, the FDA letter says.

Those claims indicate that Cheerios -- said by General Mills to be the best-selling cereal in the United States -- is intended to be used to lower cholesterol and prevent, lessen or treat the disease hypercholesterolemia, and to treat and prevent coronary heart disease.

"Because of these intended uses, the product is a drug," the FDA concluded in its letter.

Not only that, but Cheerios is a new drug because it has not been "recognized as safe and effective for use in preventing or treating hypercholesterolemia or coronary heart disease," the FDA said.

That means General Mills may not legally market Cheerios unless it applies for approval as a new drug or changes the way it labels the small, doughnut-shaped cereal, the FDA said.

General Mills defended the claims on Cheerios packaging, saying in a statement that Cheerios' soluble fiber heart health claim has been FDA-approved for 12 years, and that its "lower your cholesterol four percent in six weeks" message has been featured on the box for more than two years.

The FDA's quibble is not about whether Cheerios cereal is good for you but over "how the Cheerios cholesterol-lowering information is presented on the Cheerios package and website," said General Mills.

"We look forward to discussing this with FDA and to reaching a resolution."

Meanwhile, the FDA warned in its letter that if General Mills fails to "correct the violations" on its labels, boxes of Cheerios could disappear from supermarket and wholesaler shelves around the United States and the company could face legal action.

According to General Mills, one in eight boxes of cereal sold in the United States is a box of Cheerios. The cereal debuted on the US market in 1941."

11 May 2009

Another blow to the 'Lower Is Better' craze

Low BP associated with increased risk for stroke and heart attack

Researchers found a J-curve relationship between cardiovascular events and blood pressure (BP) at above and below reference levels.

Data results from the American Society of Hypertension 24th Annual Scientific Meeting and Exposition, San Francisco Marriott, San Francisco, CA, May 6 – Saturday, May 9, 2009, show that patients with coronary artery disease who also have low blood pressure are at higher risk for stroke and heart attack.

Researchers examining results from the TNT study analyzed 10,001 patients with coronary artery disease. Patients were assigned to either 10 mg of atorvastatin daily (n=5,006) or 80 mg atorvastatin daily (n=4,995). The primary endpoint was a composite of death from coronary disease, nonfatal MI (heart attack), resuscitation following cardiac arrest and fatal or nonfatal stroke.

Among the 10,001 patients, 982 (9.82%) reached the primary endpoint during the 4.9 follow-up period.

The researchers reported a J-shaped curve relationship between systolic or diastolic BPs both above and below reference BP ranges (130 to 140 mm Hg for systolic, 70 to 80 mm Hg for diastolic) and major cardiovascular events, despite a reduction in LDL levels.

According to the study results, there was a 3.1-fold increase in the risk for major cardiovascular events in patients with a systolic BP of 110 mm Hg and a 3.3-fold increased risk in the group with a diastolic BP of 60 mm Hg.

Following application of a nonlinear Cox model, the lowest event rates were associated with a systolic BP of 140.6 mm Hg and diastolic BP of 79.8 mm Hg for diastolic BP.

Franz Messerli, MD, director of the hypertension program at Saint Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in New York, said in an interview:
“There is no question that a lot of patients are not controlled at present, but the dictum that lower is better is not true in all patients and particularly not true in patients with manifest coronary artery disease . . . In patients with coronary artery disease, you really have to be careful.”
This means that the current 'healthy' guidelines on BP - the 'optimal' level of 120/80 may need rethinking.

20 April 2009

"New" weight loss drug - We're heading for more sickness!

20 April 2009

A 'new' weight loss drug, called alli is all over the newspapers at present. It is hyped as a wonder drug.

What is alli? The Myalli website says: "alli™ is the only FDA approved, over-the-counter weight loss product. The alli program includes alli capsules and myalliplan, an individually tailored, online action plan to help you lose weight gradually."

But what alli really is is xenical (previously known as Orlistat). And the harm it did under that name, will continue under the new name.

And it doesn't work — for two reasons:

  1. alli prevents dietary fat from being absorbed into the body. But it isn't dietary fat that puts weight on, only carbs do that. Dietary fat is actually slimming. So, eat a low-carb, high-fat diet and you will save a small fortune — alli is not cheap!

  2. If you want to lose weight the alli way, you still have to eat a low-fat diet and take lots of exercise, which is probably what you are already doing. And, if you're doing that, you don't need alli. If you don't also cut your fat intake, you'll spend a lot of time sitting either on the toilet or in very messy, pants. The fat that alli has stopped you body absorbing has to go somewhere; it leaks out of your nether end!
But those side effects could be the least of your problems if you use this product. You could end up like this Swedish alli (xenical)user.

Until people realise that there is only one way to live their lives at a normal weight and in good health — and that way does not include drugs — they will remain a constant source of income for unscrupulous drug pushers, while living an uncomfortable life.

11 April 2009

Wild Chimpanzees Exchange Meat for Sex on a Long-Term Basis

Supports Chapter 13: Homo Carnivorous

Vegetarians, and even more vociferously, vegans, would have us believe that all the other primates (chimpanzees, gorillas, etc) are herbivores and, that, as humans are also primates, we are also herbivores, and should not eat meat.

QED? Well, no. As I wrote in Chapter 13 of Trick and Treat, all the other primates actually eat meat as well as leaves and fruit. And this latest study demonstrates that both male and female chimpanzees are agreed: If you want a good mate to produce healthy offspring, it's the meat-eaters who are the preferred partmers.

The abstract of the study by Cristina M. Gomes and Christophe Boesch of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany, is below. Click on the citation at the bottom for the complete study.


Humans and chimpanzees are unusual among primates in that they frequently perform group hunts of mammalian prey and share meat with conspecifics. Especially interesting are cases in which males give meat to unrelated females.

The meat-for-sex hypothesis aims at explaining these cases by proposing that males and females exchange meat for sex, which would result in males increasing their mating success and females increasing their caloric intake without suffering the energetic costs and potential risk of injury related to hunting.

Although chimpanzees have been shown to share meat extensively with females, there has not been much direct evidence in this species to support the meat-for-sex hypothesis. Here we show that female wild chimpanzees copulate more frequently with those males who, over a period of 22 months, share meat with them.

We excluded other alternative hypotheses to exchanging meat for sex, by statistically controlling for rank of the male, age, rank and gregariousness of the female, association patterns of each male-female dyad and meat begging frequency of each female. Although males were more likely to share meat with estrous than anestrous females given their proportional representation in hunting parties, the relationship between mating success and sharing meat remained significant after excluding from the analysis sharing episodes with estrous females. These results strongly suggest that wild chimpanzees exchange meat for sex, and do so on a long-term basis.

Similar studies on humans will determine if the direct nutritional benefits that women receive from hunters in foraging societies could also be driving the relationship between reproductive success and good hunting skills.

Citation: Gomes CM, Boesch C (2009) Wild Chimpanzees Exchange Meat for Sex on a Long-Term Basis. PLoS ONE 4(4): e5116. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0005116


08 April 2009

More new studies show that Food Standards Agency is wrong

Following my post about the Food Standards Agency demonstration of ignorance about what constitutes a healthy diet, several studies have been published which support my side against them - which is nice!

I've put them on the NEWS section with comments as appropriate.

I must look out for more as I have now attacked both the Food Standards Agency and Unilever's cashing in with their SatFatNav ads on TV where they demonise good, natural, healthy butter as a 'bad' fat and then promote Flora and the other spreads they make which are rich in carcinogenic linoleic acid as 'good' fats.

I have complained to the Advertising Standards Athority about both Unilever and the FSA, as I feel that if I complained directly to the FSA and Unilever, they are not bound to do anything about my complaint. The ASA are. I'll keep you posted.

01 March 2009

Swedes are demanding a healthier diet

Just a short piece of news I thought you might like to know about.

A Swedish friend of mine tells me that the local diary in Dalecarlia, Sweden, is complaining that they are having difficulties delivering enough butter and heavy cream. This is because consumption of these is going up due to the fact people are demanding natural fats instead of margarines.

I wonder what the UK's Food Standards Agency would say about that?

11 February 2009

Eggs are now okay - but not saturated fat!

Hi all

This morning (11 Feb), BBC News announced that we could all eat eggs again. Dr Bruce Griffin of Surrey University said that the anti-egg campaign had been based on "a misconception based on out-of-date evidence".
"The ingrained misconception linking egg consumption to high blood cholesterol and heart disease must be corrected."
"The UK public do not need to be limiting the number of eggs they eat - indeed they can be encouraged to include them in a healthy diet as they are one of nature's most nutritionally dense foods."

Great, I thought, at long last they are finally catching up with what I have been preaching since I started to give a talk called "The Fat of the Land" in 1971. The tide is finally turning.

But I wonder if it is really. Further down he is reported to have said that:
"The amount of saturated fat in our diet exerts an effect on blood cholesterol that is several times greater than the relatively small amounts of dietary cholesterol.

So, Dr Griffin has yet to catch up on the couple of decades' worth of news about saturated fat! But, at least it is a start, I suppose.

Yesterday, four bank CEOs apologised to Parliament and the people for the mess they had made and the harm they had caused to world finances. I wonder how long we will have to wait for the nutritionists to make similar apologies.

Or will they wait until someone who has contracted one of the over 70 diseases discussed in Trick and Treat by following 'healthy eating' guidelines decides to sue them?

06 February 2009

Food Standards Agency shows its ignorance

The following article appeared in the Guardian a couple of days ago. It demonstrates yet again that we are living in an asylum that's being run by the inmates.

People urged to cut out foods with 'killer' fats
guardian.co.uk by Rebecca Smithers on 4 February 2009

The food watchdog is to launch a multi-million campaign to urge people to cut out foods with "killer" fats amid growing evidence that families of all classes are eating far too many crisps, biscuits, cakes and pastries.

The Food Standards Agency will next week underline the strong links between heart disease and diets high in saturated fats, featuring "striking heart-shaped" images in popular foods.

Significantly the agency's research has shown that saturated fat consumption is too high across all social groupings, so the campaign will attempt to reach families from all classes and on various budgets. Middle-class cheese eaters, for example, will be urged to cut back on high-fat hard cheese products and to eat less cheese by grating it rather than eating it in blocks.

One image in the campaign reveals cheese coming through a grater in a heart shape, while another picture shows a "balanced" meal of salmon, peas and broccoli arranged in a heart.

According to the FSA, Britons are eating 20% more than the maximum recommended amount of saturated fat. The campaign will aim to educate consumers about the relationship between saturated fat and heart health, and will provide tips on shopping, preparation and cooking to help adults choose lower saturated fat options. The wide-ranging TV and media campaign will start next week, backed by leaflets, posters, flyers, recipe cards, postcards and shopping guides.

Last year the government announced a series of initiatives to crack down on saturated fats, including the appointment of a "tsar", Susan Jebb, of the government's Medical Research Council, to lead an academic group looking at strategies to reduce saturated fat consumption.

Cutting levels of fat intake by 20% would save an estimated 3,500 deaths a year, the FSA says. Although Britain's consumption of saturated fats has been falling over the past 20 years, largely due to people switching from full-fat to semi-skimmed milk, scientists say it is still too high. The fats make up almost one seventh of the average Briton's calorie intake.

Food manufacturers are also being encouraged to play their part by reformulating products. Snacks such as crisps are high in both salt and saturated fats, for example, but recipes have been altered so that many brands now contain 70% less fat than before.

Claire Hughes, nutritionist with Marks & Spencer, said: "We welcome any campaign from the FSA that helps educate consumers about a healthy diet, and how they can make more informed choices about what they eat."

The FSA hitlist

Foods high in saturated fat, which the FSA wants us to eat less often:

• Meat pies, sausages, meat with visible white fat
• Hard cheese
• Butter, and lard, spreads containing palm oil
• Pastry, cakes and biscuits
• Cream, soured cream, and crème fraîche
• Coconut oil or coconut cream


The Food Standards Agency (FSA) was correct to indict the fats found in crisps, biscuits, cakes and pastries. But these are NOT saturated fats; they are artifically hydrogenated fats which merely resemble saturated fats. There is a huge difference between the two as far as our health is concerned; lumping the two together is highly misleading.

When we talk about saturated fats these days, the popular perception is that we are talking about animal fats. But animal fats are entirely healthy. Indeed, when all the fats we ate were from animal sources -- butter, lard, dripping, cream, et cetera -- the chronic degenerative diseases that plague our lives today were either very rare or non-existent. Evidence over the last decade or so indicates that for optimum health, animal fats should provide upwards of 50% of calorie intake. We should be eating more of them, not less.

An FSA campaign aimed at cutting the consumption of crisps, biscuits, cakes and pastries, may have a useful purpose as the fats used in these have been shown to be harmful, as have the starches they include. But if the safest fats of all -- the fats found in meat, sausages, cheese, cream, butter, and tropical oils such as coconut oil -- are also to be targeted, then our health will only decline even more rapidly than it is at present.

It is no coincidence that diseases such as diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer's and more have taken off since 'healthy eating' was introduced by the COMA Report of 1984. These are classic cases of cause and effect. 'Healthy eating' is not the answer to the problem, it IS the problem. Until that is acknowledged, our health will only get worse.

04 February 2009

So breast cancer screening really isn’t worth it – but women aren’t told that.

Supports Chapter 2: What’s behind the screens?

There is another gem in the British Medical Journal.

Peter Gøtzsche and colleagues argue that women are still not given enough, nor correct, information about the harms of screening.

Three years ago, Peter Gøtzsche and colleagues at the Nordic Cochrane Centre, the Department of Nuclear Medicine, and the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, published a survey of the information given to women invited for breast screening with mammography in six countries with publicly funded screening programmes. The major harm of screening, which is overdiagnosis and subsequent overtreatment of healthy women, was not mentioned in any of them.

This latest analysis shows that nothing has changed. Although the information that women were given should have been about both the benefits and adverse effects of breast cancer screening, the supposed benefits were hyped up, but the harms were still not mentioned. The authors say:
“By contrast, little information is given about harms. It states that "some women" find mammography uncomfortable or painful, which becomes "many women" in the summary. The summary also notes that recalls for more investigations "can cause worry." No mention is made of the major harm of screening - that is, unnecessary treatment of harmless lesions that would not have been identified without screening. This harm is well known and acknowledged, even among screening enthusiasts. It is in violation of guidelines and laws for informed consent not to mention this common harm, especially when screening is aimed at healthy people. The new guidelines from the General Medical Council state: "You must tell patients if an investigation or treatment might result in a serious adverse outcome, even if the likelihood is very small." The likelihood of being overdiagnosed after mammography is not very small; it is ten times larger than the likelihood of avoiding death from breast cancer.”

“Another harm is false positive diagnoses. The leaflet notes that about one in every 20 women screened will be recalled for more tests, but does not explain that this 5% rate applies to only one round of screening. The rate of false positive diagnosis after 10 screenings was 50% in the United States and 20% in Norway.”
And there are many more examples of the harm that mammography causes that are mentioned in Chapter 2 of Trick and Treat.

Gøtzsche and co publish a specimen leaflet which does list both sides. It is this:

Summary from evidence based leaflet
• It may be reasonable to attend for breast cancer screening with mammography, but it may also be reasonable not to attend because screening has both benefits and harms

• If 2000 women are screened regularly for 10 years, one will benefit from the screening, as she will avoid dying from breast cancer

• At the same time, 10 healthy women will, as a consequence, become cancer patients and will be treated unnecessarily. These women will have either a part of their breast or the whole breast removed, and they will often receive radiotherapy and sometimes chemotherapy

• Furthermore, about 200 healthy women will experience a false alarm. The psychological strain until one knows whether it was cancer, and even afterwards, can be severe
But I doubt that women will be told the truth. If they were, they would probably say ‘no, thank you’ and doctors would then see a cut in their salaries – and that would never do, would it?

Gøtzsche PC, et al. Breast screening: the facts—or maybe not. BMJ 2009;338:b86

It’s the glucose, stupid!

Supports Chapter 21: Diseases of the heart and blood vessels

An interesting study has just been published which looks at a wide range of possible variables in the formation of the arterial lesions thought to cause heart attacks. The interesting part is that, although all the traditional ‘risk factors’ for heart disease such as cholesterol, HDL, LDL were considered, the factor that really stood out was none of these. It was blood glucose levels – from a ‘healthy’ carbohydrate-based diet, perhaps?

This study is open access so anyone can read the full paper online.

Nunes JPL, Silva JC (2009) Systemic Correlates of Angiographic Coronary Artery Disease. PLoS ONE 4(1): e4322. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004322

Coronary angiography allows a direct evaluation of coronary anatomy.

The aim of the present investigation was to search for correlations between the magnitude of coronary artery disease, as assessed by angiography, and a number of systemic parameters.

A group of 116 patients (80 male, 36 female) with coronary heart disease diagnosed by angiography, aged 62.0610.5 years, was the subject of an observational study.

Correlation and linear regression analysis using coronary artery disease burden (CADB - sum of the percentage of the luminal stenosis encountered in all the lesions of the coronary arterial trees) as dependent variable, and age, sex, plasma calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, glucose, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, uric acid, estimated glomerular filtration rate and body mass index as independent variables, were carried out.

Significant correlation values versus CADB were seen with age (r 0.19, p 0.04), uric acid (r 0.18, p 0.048) and fasting plasma glucose (r 0.33, p,0.001). Linear regression analysis, yielding a global significance level of 0.002, showed a significant value for glucose (p 0.018) and for sex (0.008).

In conclusion, among several systemic parameters studied, plasma glucose was found to be correlated to coronary artery atherosclerosis lesions.

26 January 2009

Nanny state at its worst

Supports the whole raison d'etre of Trick and Treat

On Monday 26 January 2009, UK's Daily Express published two stories that illustrate the sheer and utter incompetence and wastefulness of the present government and 'health' boffins. They also demonstrate how the 'health' industry is able to con the media so that they can profit from our ill-health.

Article 1:


SQUADRONS of “Food Police” are to start knocking on doors to lecture families on how to feed themselves properly.

In a move branded “Government nannying at its worst”, the teams – operated by councils across the country – will be recruited to visit homes at meal times before handing out advice on diet and how to reduce waste.

Eight thousand Food Police, or Love Food Champions under their official title, will be paid up to £8.50 an hour of taxpayers’ cash. And if a pilot scheme is successful, the idea could be rolled out across the country, costing the taxpayer tens of millions of pounds.

Employed by a private contractor, the teams will advise householders on how to plan their shopping carefully so that they do not over-cater.

You can read the rest at: http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/81804/Now-Food-Police-plan-to-swoop-on-your-fridge

Apart from the obvious intrusion into people's lives and the total waste of taxpayers' money (I thought we were in a recession and short of the stuff), what possible good will it do? Don't people know now that they are wasting money by buying more food than they can eat and so on?

And if these cretins think that advising people to eat more 'healthy' carb-based foods to cut the incidence of conditions such as obesity and diabetes, when there is such a huge amount of evidence that this adv ice is a major cause of these illnesses, then the result can only be that the situation will get worse.

Article 2:


OBESITY can be “caught” as easily as a common cold from other people’s coughs, sneezes and dirty hands, scientists will claim today.

Researchers believe that an airborne “adenovirus” germ could be causing the fat plague that is blighting Britain and other countries.

As many as one in three obese people may have become overweight after falling victim to the highly infectious cold-like virus, known as AD-36.

Read the rest here: http://www.dailyexpress.co.uk/posts/view/81810

Even if this is true, which I doubt, increasing the numbers of fat cells (adipocytes) won't make you any fatter — unless you fill those adipocytes with fat!

Stories like these are making me lose the will to live (at least in this country!)

But there are two other points:

1: Just what qualifications will these £8.50 per hour 'advisors' have to tell me what to do?

2. As my doctor is cannot legally prescribe for me without my consent, what law allows the (probably unqualified) otherwise unemployed to tell me what I can and can't eat?

13 January 2009

Low-carb, high-protein diet beats low-fat diet for weight loss - again

Supports Chapter 4: Learning from history,
Chapter 19: 'Healthy eating' is fattening,
Chapter 20: Diabetes deceit, and
Chapter 21: Diseases of the heart and blood vessels

Results from a systematic review demonstrate, yet again, that low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets are more effective for reducing weight and improving cardiovascular health than are low-fat diets.

Catherine Rolland and colleagues from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, UK, carried out a systematic review of 13 randomized, controlled trials including a total of 1222 individuals comparing low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets with low-fat diets.

Inclusion criteria included publication between January 2000 and March 2007, length of at least 6 months, participants aged 18 years and above, and a mean or median body mass index of at least 28 kg/m2.

Of the 13 studies, five lasted for 6 months, six for 12 months, one for 17 months, and one for 36 months. Eleven studies compared low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets with low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets and two compared medium-protein with high-protein diets. Measurements were compared at 6 and 12 months.

At 6 months, weight loss was an average of 4.02 kg greater in the low-carbohydrate, high-protein group than in the low-fat diet group.

At 12 months, the difference between the two groups had reduced, with the low-carbohydrate, high-protein group having lost an average of 1.05 kg more than the low-fat group.

Rolland and team also noted improvements in serum lipids, although these were more mixed, as a significant improvement in high-density lipoprotein and triglycerides was seen favoring the low-carbohydrate, high-protein group up to 12 months, but improvements in total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol were higher in the low-fat group at 6 months.

A nonsignificant trend toward improvement in diastolic and systolic blood pressure was also observed up to 17 months for the low-carbohydrate, high-protein group.

The researchers conclude in the journal Obesity Reviews that their results show low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets are more effective for weight loss up to 12 months than low-fat diets with unrestricted or high levels of carbohydrates.

They add that although trends toward cardiovascular improvement favoring the low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet were seen in this study, “more evidence and longer-term studies are needed to assess the long-term cardiovascular benefits from the weight loss achieved using these diets.”

But there have already been many studies, both clinical and epidemiologic dating back over 140 years.

For example, as I showed in Trick and Treat, a study conducted in 1932 with four different diets with the same number of calories but different constituents gave these results in grams of weight lost per day on average:

high-carbohydrate/low-fat diet – 49 grams (Typical 'slimming' diet)
high-carbohydrate/low-protein – 122 grams
low-carbohydrate/high-protein – 183 grams
low-carbohydrate/high-fat – 205 grams (As recommended in T&T)

Those were all 1,000 kcals. But obese patients also lost weight at 2,700-kcals - but only on the low-carb high fat diet.

How much more evidence will it take before the disastrous 'healthy eating' experiment is called to a close - and those perpetrating it, and who are responsible for the increasing ill-health in our society, are called to account?

Hession M, et al. Systematic review of randomized controlled trials of low-carbohydrate vs. low-fat/low-calorie diets in the management of obesity and its comorbidities. Obes Rev 2009; 10: 36-50
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2008.00518.x