Friday, December 20, 2013
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
'In 1957, a fledgling nutrition scientist at the University of Illinois persuaded a hospital to give him samples of arteries from patients who had died of heart attacks….
It would be more than three decades before those findings were widely accepted — and five decades before the Food and Drug Administration decided that trans fats should be eliminated from the food supply, as it proposed in a rule issued last month.
In the past two years, he has published four papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals, two of them devoted to another major culprit he has singled out as responsible for atherosclerosis, or the hardening of the arteries: an excess of polyunsaturated vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower — exactly the types of fats Americans have been urged to consume for the past several decades.
The problem, he says, is not LDL, the "bad cholesterol" widely considered to be the major cause of heart disease. What matters is whether the cholesterol and fat residing in those LDL particles have been oxidized. (Technically, LDL is not cholesterol, but particles containing cholesterol, along with fatty acids and protein.)
"Cholesterol has nothing to do with heart disease, except if it's oxidized," Dr. Kummerow said. Oxidation is a chemical process that happens widely in the body, contributing to aging and the development of degenerative and chronic diseases. Dr. Kummerow contends that the high temperatures used in commercial frying cause inherently unstable polyunsaturated oils to oxidize, and that these oxidized fatty acids become a destructive part of LDL particles. Even when not oxidized by frying, soybean and corn oils can oxidize inside the body.
If true, the hypothesis might explain why studies have found that half of all heart disease patients have normal or low levels of LDL.
"You can have fine levels of LDL and still be in trouble if a lot of that LDL is oxidized," Dr. Kummerow said.
This leads him to a controversial conclusion: that the saturated fat in butter, cheese and meats does not contribute to the clogging of arteries — and in fact is beneficial in moderate amounts in the context of a healthy diet (lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other fresh, unprocessed foods).
Dr. Robert H. Eckel, an endocrinologist and former president of the American Heart Association, agreed that oxidized LDL was far worse than nonoxidized LDL in terms of creating plaque.
But he disputed Dr. Kummerow's contention that saturated fats are benign and that polyunsaturated vegetable oils promote heart disease. "There are studies that clearly show a substitution of saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats leads to a reduction in cardiovascular disease," said Dr. Eckel, a professor at the University of Colorado…
His early research on trans fats was "resoundingly criticized and dismissed," said Dr. Walter Willett, the chairman of the nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health, who credited Dr. Kummerow with prompting his desire to include trans fats in the Nurses' Health Study. A 1993 finding from that study, which showed a direct link between the consumption of foods containing trans fats and heart disease in women, was a turning point in scientific and medical thinking about trans fats.
"He had great difficulty getting funding because the heart disease prevention world strongly resisted the idea that trans fats were the problem," Dr. Willett continued. "In their view, saturated fats were the big culprit in heart disease. Anything else was a distraction from that."'
Sunday, December 15, 2013
Friday, December 6, 2013
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
beyond belief, said Smith. "One synapse, by itself, is more like a
microprocessor -- with both memory-storage and information-processing
elements -- than a mere on/off switch. In fact, one synapse may
contain on the order of 1,000 molecular-scale switches. A single human
brain has more switches than all the computers and routers and
Internet connections on Earth," he said.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
'The long-standing strategy of reducing heart-attack risk by lowering cholesterol to specific targets is being jettisoned under new clinical guidelines unveiled Tuesday that mark the biggest shift in cardiovascular-disease prevention in nearly three decades.
Gone is the familiar and easy-to-understand guidance to keep LDL, or bad cholesterol, below 100 or below 70 for people at high risk—a mainstay of current prevention policy. Instead, doctors are being told to assess a patient's risk more broadly and prescribe cholesterol-lowering statin drugs to those falling within one of four risk categories.
The aim is to more effectively direct statin treatment to patients with the most to gain, and move away from relatively arbitrary treatment targets that are less reliable in predicting risk than is widely believed.'
Sunday, November 10, 2013
'The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday ruled for the first time that trans-fats aren't generally considered safe in food, a sharp policy shift that could lead to banning trans-fats in baked goods and other foods.
Trans-fats, or partially hydrogenized fats or oils, are considered a potential prime factor in leading to heart attacks and strokes, and the FDA specifically said it was taking this step to protect the public health.
"While consumption of potentially harmful artificial trans-fat has declined over the last two decades in the United States, current intake remains a significant public-health concern," said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg. "The FDA's action today is an important step toward protecting more Americans from the potential dangers of trans-fat. Further reduction in the amount of trans-fat in the American diet could prevent an additional 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year—a critical step in the protection of Americans' health."'
Bacon will be banned next by the FDA. Think of the 20,000 less heart attacks and 7,000 less deaths if the FDA banned Bacon.
Saturday, November 9, 2013
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Friday, November 1, 2013
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Sunday, October 20, 2013
'Connecticut College students and a professor of neuroscience have found "America's favorite cookie" is just as addictive as cocaine – at least for lab rats. And just like most humans, rats go for the middle first.
In a study designed to shed light on the potential addictiveness of high-fat/ high-sugar foods, Professor Joseph Schroeder and his students found rats formed an equally strong association between the pleasurable effects of eating Oreos and a specific environment as they did between cocaine or morphine and a specific environment. They also found that eating cookies activated more neurons in the brain's "pleasure center" than exposure to drugs of abuse. '
'A recent study was picked up a lot by the media, claiming that "Oreos are as addictive as drugs". Just to get that out of the way as soon as possible, this headline, as flashy and attractive it is, is flawed. I'll explain why in this post…
The question which naturally arises after that is: If you stop eating Oreos, do you experience Oreo withdrawal? This is basically the difference between things you really like and things you're addicted to – the difference between physiological addiction (addiction to a drug) and psychological addiction.'
Sunday, October 13, 2013
The discovery of the first chemical to prevent the death of brain tissue in a neurodegenerative disease has been hailed as the "turning point" in the fight against Alzheimer's disease.
More work is needed to develop a drug that could be taken by patients.
But scientists say a resulting medicine could treat Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's and other diseases.
In tests on mice, the Medical Research Council showed all brain cell death from prion disease could be prevented.
Prof Roger Morris, from King's College London, said: "This finding, I suspect, will be judged by history as a turning point in the search for medicines to control and prevent Alzheimer's disease."
He told the BBC a cure for Alzheimer's was not imminent but: "I'm very excited, it's the first proof in any living animal that you can delay neurodegeneration.
"The world won't change tomorrow, but this is a landmark study."'
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
A Word of Caution
There is a large gap between the conclusions of the paper, which sensibly state that the study was very small and needs to be replicated in larger populations, and Ornish's statements, which promise that aging can be reversed at the cellular level, seemingly for all people at all ages. Here are a number of reasons why you should be very cautious before drinking this Kool-Aid, despite its resemblance to the elixir of youth.
This was not a randomized trial. Patients in the treatment group agreed to intense and highly demanding lifestyle changes. They were compared with a group who had similar risk factors but who clearly did not share their high level of motivation. There is no way to know what other important differences might exist between the two groups.
This was a very small trial. The original 2008 trial enrolled 30 patients– there were no controls– and 24 patients had sufficient blood samples to assess telomerase activity. In the new report only 10 patients had adequate blood samples available for analysis. This severely limits the generalizability of the findings.
What caused the changes (if there were changes)? The Ornish program is famous for containing multiple interventions, including drastic reductions in dietary fat and sugar, significant increases in exercise , as well as yoga classes and group therapy. There is no way to know the relative importance, or lack of importance, of any of the individual components of his program.
It is entirely possible that other, completely different interventions would have a similar effect. Last spring a paper reported that telomere length increased in people who lost weight after 5 years on the Mediterranean diet, which is not a low fat diet and which is generally thought to be much more palatable than the extreme low-fat Ornish diet.
Finally, we should be extremely cautious about the use of surrogate endpoints. There is no doubt that telomere research represents one of the most significant research advances of the last generation. But it is far too early to know if measuring telomere length is a good way to assess the value of an intervention.'
... It is a pretty small study.
It is interesting that Dr. Dean Ornish youtube videos have been saying
the same thing.
Friday, September 6, 2013
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Friday, August 16, 2013
… It is not clear to me that they are showing causality.
Monday, August 12, 2013
Sunday, August 4, 2013
Sunday, July 28, 2013
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Monday, July 15, 2013
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Monday, July 8, 2013
Thursday, July 4, 2013
Friday, June 14, 2013
Monday, June 10, 2013
As a result, consumers don't know that taking megavitamins could increase their risk of cancer and heart disease and shorten their lives; they don't know that they have been suffering too much of a good thing for too long.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Monday, April 22, 2013
Wow, this thing is 20% fatal …
‘H7N9 Bird Flu Cases In China Rise To 104; Deaths At 21’
Thursday, April 11, 2013
'Another person died from a new strain of bird flu in China on Thursday, state media said, bringing to 10 the number of deaths from the H7N9 virus, as a U.N. body said it was concerned the virus could spread across borders in poultry.
The latest victim was in the commercial hub of Shanghai, the official Xinhua news agency reported, where several of the 38 cases to date have been found. All of the cases so far have been found in eastern China.'
'A Chinese military official has blamed the US government for the new strain of bird flu affecting China, calling it a secret biological attack.
People's Liberation Army Senior Colonel Dai Xu said America released the H7N0 bird flu virus into China, in an act of biological warfare, in a blog on Saturday.
Writing on Sina Weibo, a Chinese microblogging site similar to Twitter, Dai alleged the new bird flu strain had been designed as a weapon, similar to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), that affected the country in 2003 and which he claims was also developed as a US bio-weapon.'
Monday, April 8, 2013
'Chef found out she has hepatitis, may have exposed 3,000 NYC diners
You can get anything in New York restaurants: Peruvian, Nepalese … hepatitis. High-end Greenwich Village eatery Alta is frantically calling recent diners to warn them about exposure to hepatitis A through their pastry chef. She apparently picked up the infection by eating something contaminated with human feces on a recent trip to Mexico. (Honestly, these daredevil gourmets are the worst.) The restaurant is now dialing its way through the reservation book to warn everyone who ate dessert since the chef's return that they missed their meal's final course: a vaccination shot'
'New York Department Of Health Expands Meningitis Vaccine Recommendations
The New York State Department of Health (DOH) is expanding a recommendation issued earlier this month by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYCDOHMH) regarding meningococcal vaccinations…
Meningococcal disease is a severe bacterial infection of the bloodstream. Common symptoms include high fever, headache, vomiting, stiff neck, and a rash. Symptoms may occur two to 10 days after exposure, but usually within five days.'
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Friday, March 15, 2013
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Friday, February 8, 2013
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Monday, January 21, 2013
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
According to what I saw on the internet, here are the caffeine amounts for certain teas …
English Breakfast: 50mg
Black Tea: 40mg
Green Tea: 20 Mg
I suspect that these numbers could be inaccurate, because I sometimes have seen numbers that were higher.
Regardless, I think that it is still valid to use these numbers as a guide. It is easy to see how I could use this to slowly decrease my caffeine intake …
Day 1: I ingested 120 mg caffeine.
Day 2: I ingested 100 mg caffeine.
Day 3: I ingested 90 mg caffeine.
My plan is to continue going down in increments of 10 where possible. When I get down to 40 I might stay there a few days before going down to 20.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Friday, January 11, 2013
Needless to say, I think that flu shots save lives.
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
disease or early death. a full 40% of normal-weight individuals harbor
insulin resistance—a sign of chronic metabolic disease—which will
likely shorten their life expectancy. of those, 20% demonstrate liver
fat on MRI of the abdomen (see Chapter 8).7 Liver fat, irrespective of
the rest of body fat, has been shown to be a major risk factor for the
development of diabetes. You think you're safe? You are SO screwed.
And you don't even know it.
Friday, January 4, 2013
If I can add my 2 cents here, I am not sure that there is a clear cause and effect (causality). It is rare that I hear anyone say why being overweight would increase your chance of death. Instead there seems to be a casual association with other health problems.
One problem with this theory is that heavy people aren't very motivated to exercise.