The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it. ... In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

Monday, May 23, 2016

New Battle of Fat in the British media

British National Obesity Forum and the Public Health Collaboration have just issued a damning report accusing public health bodies of colluding with the food industry, blaming them for contributing to the obesity epidemics and calling for a complete overhaul of the present low fat dietary reccomendations.

Mainstream health "authorities" have fired their salvo accusing the authors of the report of irresponsibility.

(Illustration by Cecilia Bleszynski)

The report is described here, titled "'Eating fat does not make you fat,' says UK health report".


Focus on low fat diets fails to address obesity, return to whole foods like meat, dairy needed.
Urging people to follow low fat diets and to lower their cholesterol is having "disastrous health consequences", a health charity has warned.
In a damning report that accuses major public health bodies of colluding with the food industry, the National Obesity Forum and the Public Health Collaboration call for a “major overhaul” of current dietary guidelines.
They say the focus on low fat diets is failing to address Britain’s obesity crisis, while snacking between meals is making people fat.
Instead, they call for a return to "whole foods" such as meat, fish and dairy, as well as high fat healthy foods including avocados, arguing that "eating fat does not make you fat".
The report — which has caused a huge backlash amongst the scientific community - also argues that saturated fat does not cause heart disease while full fat diary — including milk, yoghurt and cheese — can actually protect the heart.

Processed foods labelled "low fat", "lite", "low cholesterol" or "proven to lower cholesterol" should be avoided at all costs
and people with Type 2 diabetes should eat a fat-rich diet rather than one based on carbohydrates.
The report also said sugar should be avoided, people should stop counting calories and the idea that exercise can help you “outrun a bad diet” is a myth.

The authors of the report also argue that the science of food has also been “corrupted by commercial influences”.
Just as big tobacco companies bought the “loyalty of scientists” when a link was made between smoking and lung cancer, the influence of the food industry represents a “significant threat to public health”, they argued.
They said the recent Eatwell Guide from Public Health England (PHE) was produced with a large number of people from the food and drink industry.

Professor David Haslam, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, said: “As a clinician, treating patients all day every day, I quickly realised that guidelines from on high, suggesting high carbohydrate, low fat diets were the universal panacea, were deeply flawed.
“Current efforts have failed — the proof being that obesity levels are higher than they have ever been, and show no chance of reducing despite the best efforts of Government and scientists.”
Dr Aseem Malhotra, consultant cardiologist and founding member of the Public Health Collaboration, a group of medics, said dietary guidelines promoting low fat foods “is perhaps the biggest mistake in modern medical history resulting in devastating consequences for public health.
“Sadly this unhelpful advice continues to be perpetuated. The current Eatwell guide from Public Health England is in my view more like a metabolic timebomb than a dietary pattern conducive for good health.

Professor Iain Broom, from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, said: “The continuation of a food policy recommending high carbohydrate, low fat, low calorie intakes as ‘healthy eating’ is fatally flawed.
“Our populations for almost 40 years, have been subjected to an uncontrolled global experiment that has gone drastically wrong.”

A counterattack has been launched through the BBC by Public Health England "Advice to eat more fat 'irresponsible'":


Advice to eat more fat is irresponsible and potentially deadly, Public Health England's chief nutritionist has said.
Dr Alison Tedstone was responding to a report by the National Obesity Forum, which suggests eating fat could help cut obesity and type 2 diabetes.
The charity said promoting low-fat food had had "disastrous health consequences" and should be reversed.
Other experts have also criticised the report saying it cherry-picked and misquoted evidence.

But the report has been criticised for not going though scientific peer review.
Dr Tedstone responded to the publication by saying: "In the face of all the evidence, calling for people to eat more fat, cut out carbs and ignore calories is irresponsible."
She said thousands of scientific studies were considered as part of the official guidance adopted throughout the UK, whereas the National Obesity Forum quoted just 43 studies, some of which were comment pieces.

She praised the call to lower refined carbohydrates, but said the overall message to cut carbs ignored the issue of quality as "we do need wholegrain carbs and fibre in out diet".

Prof Tom Sanders from King's College London said: "It is not helpful to slag off the sensible dietary advice.
"The harsh criticism of current dietary guidelines meted out in this report is not justified as few people adhere to these guidelines anyway.

I need to help the readers who may have difficulty uderstanding or comprehending Prof Sanders statement. Let me translate it to a language that the working class people may understand.

According to Prof Sanders its OK to tell the public questionable theories because people don't listen anyway so there is no harm done.

On the side note, for people who did happen to listen, perhaps accidentally, who may have by a chance taken his dietary theories seriously, and got fat - please contact King's College London.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Eating too little salt may increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke claims new research

Daily Mail On-Line article:

Eating too LITTLE salt may INCREASE your risk of a heart attack or stroke, claims controversial new research

Wiki Salt

Nutritional heresy strikes back, some quotes:

The research was carried out by investigators at McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences.
They analyzed more than 130,000 people across 49 countries, focusing on whether the relationship between sodium (salt) intake and death, heart disease and stroke differs in people with high blood pressure compared to those with normal blood pressure.
Their findings showed that regardless of whether people have high blood pressure, low-salt intake is linked to a greater incidence of heart attacks, stroke, and deaths compared to average intake.

Dr Mente said that this suggests that the majority of individuals in Canada and most countries are consuming the right amount of salt.
He added that targeted salt reduction in those who are most susceptible because of hypertension and high salt consumption may be preferable to a population-wide approach to reducing sodium intake in most countries except those where the average sodium intake is very high, such as parts of central Asia or China.

He added that what is now generally recommended as a healthy daily ceiling for sodium consumption appears to be set too low, regardless of a person's blood pressure level.
'Low sodium intake reduces blood pressure modestly, compared to average intake, but low sodium intake also has other effects, including adverse elevations of certain hormones which may outweigh any benefits,' Dr Mente said.

'The key question is not whether blood pressure is lower with very low salt intake, instead it is whether it improves health.'

Dr Martin O'Donnell, a co-author on the study and an associate clinical professor at McMaster University and National University of Ireland Galway, said: 'This study adds to our understanding of the relationship between salt intake and health, and questions the appropriateness of current guidelines that recommend low sodium intake in the entire population.'

The study was funded from more than 50 sources, including the PHRI, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.



A.Mente et al., The Lancet, 20/05/2016, "Associations of urinary sodium excretion with cardiovascular events in individuals with and without hypertension: a pooled analysis of data from four studies"

Please note that the medical authorities have again been caught issuing inaccurate, perhaps harmful nutritional guidelines for half a century based on what appears to be the "treating the numbers" paradigm and experts' opinions rather than based on science. Is nobody responsible for the misconduct?

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Environmental predictions of the 1970-ties

Interestingly, some environmentalists and climate researchers of the 1960-ties and 70-ties seemed to have believed that the Earth climate faces imminent catastrophic cooling rather than "global warming", and they were backing it up with research and studies. There is an interesting reference article on the Wiki Earth Day. Quote:

Predictions from Earth Day 1970

During the 1970 Earth Day, given assumptions of continued exponential annual population growth of 2% or more[12] and unchanged or increasing climate impact per person, the following predictions were made:[13]

  • Denis Hayes, the chief organizer for the first Earth Day, wrote, "It is already too late to avoid mass starvation."
  • Senator Gaylord Nelson, the founder of Earth Day, stated, "Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct."
  • Peter Gunter, a professor at North Texas State University, stated, "... by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions.... By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine."
  • Paul Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb, predicted that between 1980 and 1989, 4 billion people, including 65 million Americans, would starve to death.
  • Life Magazine wrote, "... by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half."
  • Ecologist Kenneth Watt stated, "The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age."
  • Watt also stated, "By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil."

More on the professional environmental "prophecy of doom" business and the achievements of some of its greatest academic spin-masters, read this article:
Earth Day, Then and Now / The planet's future has never looked better. Here's why. (by Ronald Bailey, May.1,2000)


Earth Day 1970 provoked a torrent of apocalyptic predictions. "We have about five more years at the outside to do something," ecologist Kenneth Watt declared to a Swarthmore College audience on April 19, 1970. Harvard biologist George Wald estimated that "civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind." "We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation," wrote Washington University biologist Barry Commoner in the Earth Day issue of the scholarly journal Environment. The day after Earth Day, even the staid New York Times editorial page warned, "Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction." Very Apocalypse Now.

Three decades later, of course, the world hasn't come to an end; if anything, the planet's ecological future has never looked so promising. With half a billion people suiting up around the globe for Earth Day 2000, now is a good time to look back on the predictions made at the first Earth Day and see how they've held up and what we can learn from them. The short answer: The prophets of doom were not simply wrong, but spectacularly wrong.
Of course, the biggest environmental crisis facing humanity nowadays is supposed to be global warming. Not surprisingly, worries about the future climate were a common theme among alarmists on the first Earth Day. However, they couldn't agree on what direction the earth's temperature was going to take.

"The greenhouse theorists contend the world is threatened with a rise in average temperature, which if it reached 4 or 5 degrees, could melt the polar ice caps, raise sea level by as much as 300 feet and cause a worldwide flood," explained Newsweek in its special January 26, 1970, report on "The Ravaged Environment." In the service of balance, however, the magazine also noted that many other scientists saw temperatures dropping: "This theory assumes that the earth's cloud cover will continue to thicken as more dust, fumes, and water vapor are belched into the atmosphere by industrial smokestacks and jet planes. Screened from the sun's heat, the planet will cool, the water vapor will fall and freeze, and a new Ice Age will be born."

Kenneth Watt was less equivocal in his Swarthmore speech about Earth's temperature. "The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years," he declared. "If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age."

Watt was wrong. Global temperatures didn't fall, and fears of a new ice age dissolved like frost on an early-autumn morning. Since 1988, when government climatologist James Hansen testified before the Senate Energy and Natural Resource committee that he had detected global warming, climate doomsters have switched almost entirely to worrying about global warming. The theory is straightforward--burning fossil fuels like coal and oil puts excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere; the carbon dioxide traps heat from the sun and re-radiates it, heating up the atmosphere.

It's generally agreed that the earth's average temperature has indeed gone up by 1 degree Fahrenheit or so in the past century. The question now is, How much man-made warming can we expect in the 21st century? Computer climate models originally predicted that atmospheric temperatures might increase between 3 to 5 degrees centigrade by 2100. However, as the models have been refined, their estimates of how much warming might occur have been declining--the range is now down to 1.5 degrees centigrade to 3.5 by 2100. A recent report from the National Research Council noted that "the surface apparently warmed by 0.25 C to 0.4 C since 1979." Remarkably, the NRC panel also estimates the change in the temperature of the atmosphere as being between 0 C to 0.2 C during the same period. In other words, the atmosphere may not have warmed at all since 1979. This is an odd conclusion because the climate computer models have never predicted that the surface would warm first or faster than the atmosphere--in fact, they predict the opposite. Consequently, this gap between surface temperatures and atmospheric temperatures calls the predictive accuracy of the models into serious question.
Indeed, a far greater threat for the next century comes from environmental activists. To counteract global warming, they essentially want to plan the energy future of the entire world for the next 100 years. They are enacting the plan through the U.N. Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. The absurdity (and arrogance) of that type of planning becomes clear when one imagines the same exercise taking place in 1900. The best scientific panel available in 1900 would simply not have been able to plan for millions of automobiles and trucks, ubiquitous electric lighting in millions of houses and office buildings, fuel for thousands of jet planes, and millions of refrigerators, air-conditioners, and the like. Virtually none of the devices on this nearly endless list had even been invented by 1900. Given the increasing rate of technological innovation, we undoubtedly have even less chance of foreseeing the future than people in 1900.

Why So Wrong?

How did the doomsters get so many predictions so wrong on the first Earth Day? Their mistake can be handily summed up in Paul Ehrlich and John Holdern's infamous I=PAT equation. Impact (always negative) equals Population x Affluence x Technology, they declared. More people were always worse, by definition. Affluence meant that rich people were consuming more of the earth's resources, a concept that was regularly illustrated by claiming that the birth of each additional baby in America was worse for the environment than 25, 50, or even 60 babies born on the Indian subcontinent. And technology was bad because it meant that humans were pouring more poisons into the biosphere, drawing down more nonrenewable resources and destroying more of the remaining wilderness.

We now know that Ehrlich and his fellow travelers got it backwards. If population were necessarily bad, then Brazil, with less than three-quarters the population density of the U.S., should be the wealthier society. As far as affluence goes, it is clearly the case that the richer the country, the cleaner the water, the clearer the air, and the more protected the forests. Additionally, richer countries also boast less hunger, longer lifespans, lower fertility rates, and more land set aside for nature. Relatively poor people can't afford to care overmuch for the state of the natural world.

With regards to technology, Ehrlich and other activists often claim that economists simply don't understand the simple facts of ecology. But it's the doomsters who need to update their economics - things have changed since the appearance of Thomas Malthus' 200-year-old An Essay on the Principle of Population, the basic text that continues to underwrite much apocalyptic rhetoric. Malthus hypothesized that while population increases geometrically, food and other resources increased arithmetically, leading to a world in which food was always in short supply. Nowadays, we understand that wealth is not created simply by combining land and labor. Rather, technological innovations greatly raise positive outputs in all sorts of ways while minimizing pollution and other negative outputs.

As side note, below is Bailey's other fascinating interview, enjoy!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Rediscovery of Discount Rate


This post deals with economy and bond market pricing rather than medical heresies. I am posting it because the article is somewhat heretical and is pointing out some (probably intentionally) forgotten aspects of the bond investing that may soon become very important.

Rediscovery of Discount Rate.


Some implications of bond discounting under negative interest rate policy (NIRP) are as follows:

* Banks will not be able to avoid discounting (as they were doing in the past) of their own government-issued bonds (otherwise they would be risking their own insolvency)

* Collateral assets held by the banking system will be loosing value (since the discounting would have to be accounted for).

* Total market capital value of the entire bond market will probably keep growing faster [deleted --be gradually declining---] in relation to monetary mass in circulation, due to discounting mechanism during the roll-over refinancing at maturity. (At roll-over the borrower must re-pay the principal amount by issuing a higher nominal amount of bonds to offset the discounting). .

* Bond market will have to be made working under the truly open market rules controlled by supply and demand rather than by market administrators. Under NIRP the market will probably not be able to tolerate mispricing or distorsions in the discounting mechanism, because it requires accounting for cash losses or gains upfront leaving very little scope for market losses deferrals and creative accounting. Any attempts at manipulating the discount rate back towards 0, would result in buyers (even government buyers) walking away otherwise they would risk immediate losses.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Vegetarian diet causes genetic adaptation that raises risk of heart disease and cancer

- which was found by an Indian/American study "Positive selection on a regulatory insertion-deletion polymorphism in FADS2 influences apparent endogenous synthesis of arachidonic acid" published in Mol Biol Evol (2016) doi: 10.1093/molbev/msw049 on March 29, 2016.

The study found a specific genetic adaptation to vegetarian diet that is detrimental to cardiovascular health and causes higher susceptability to cancer, due to enhanced production of arachidonic acid. Such adaption is not observed among populations consuming diets that are not exclusively plant-based.

From Wiki 
More discussion of the study can be found in:

Science Daily / Are we what we eat?
Evidence of vegetarian diet permanently shaping human genome to change individual risk of cancer, heart disease


In a new evolutionary proof of the old adage, 'we are what we eat,' scientists have found tantalizing evidence that a vegetarian diet has led to a mutation that -- if they stray from a balanced omega-6 to omega-3 diet -- may make people more susceptible to inflammation, and by association, increased risk of heart disease and colon cancer.

Daily Mail - Vegetarian diet 'raises risk of heart disease and cancer'


Vegetarianism over generations can result in genetic mutations which increase the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Researchers found a long-term vegetarian diet means populations are more likely to carry DNA that makes them vulnerable to inflammation.
The mutation is believed to make it easier for vegetarians to absorb necessary fatty acids from plants, but also boosts their production of arachidonic acid, which increases inflammatory disease and cancer.

Added 2/04/2016

This is an important study because it is not only describing statistical correlation which may or may not reflect the real causes, but it also described specific biochemical and genetical mechanisms underlying the effects they have observed. I am tempted to draw the following conclusions, some of them may be a bit stretched, some not. Time will tell.

1) The key factor in the chronic diseases are polyunsaturated fats - not the carbohydrates and not the other types of fats (for example not the mono-unsaturated or saturated fats).

2) Adaptation to a low fat plant based nutrition takes place over many generations of people, works through epigenetic mechanisms, predisposing such populations to efficiently process and convert the little amount of total and mostly polyunsaturated plant fat that they eat. This adaptation allows them to very efficiently convert the small amounts of vegetable oils they consume to some essential fatty acids required for the body, preventing malnutrition related deficiency diseases.

3) The same adaptation allowing low fat plant based food eaters to survive, causes chronic diseases risk once they add too much polyunsaturated fat into their diet, due to hyperactivity of metabolic pathway involving arachidonic acid and prostaglandins. The threshold is probably 5-10% of calories. This threshold applies to polyunsaturated fats of all kinds, including fish fat - BUT IT DOES NOT APPLY TO SATURATED FATS!

4) Both population groups - the one adapted to a low fat plant based diet and the one unadapted could safely consume larger amounts of saturated fats (i.e animal saturated fat, dairy fats, coconut fat etc) if they choose so, without a detriment to their health because saturated fats do not partake in the biochemical pathways involving arachidonic acid and prostaglandins.

5) Population adapted to low fat plant based diet should not consume more than a few percent (in total calories) of polyunsaturated fats such as vegetable oils (and fish oil!), otherwise the risk of chronic diseases increases.

6) Population not adapted to low fat plant based diet, not only can but should consume somewhat higher amounts of polyunsaturated fats including fish fat. How much would be OK and how high is too high? This is to be determined, I am not sure! This will ensure adequate supply of some essential polyunsaturated fatty acids, that their bodies cannot synthesize as efficiently as the adapted group! At the same time, the non-adaptation to low fat makes this group particularly well adapted to consuming larger amounts of polyunsaturated fish fat!

7) For the people who are not adapted to a low fat plant based diet, or those who tried it but could not or would not do it, I would say this: - a high animal fat diet will automatically make it low to moderate in polyunsaturated fats (suitable to both adapted and non-adapted) as long as you avoid using vegetable oils! If in addition, you avoid also consuming excessive amounts of carbohydrates then you will avoid other risk factors involving metabolic dysfunctions involving hyper-insulinemia and glucose overload.

8) Last but not least, I am directing this message to my vegetarian on-line friends and real life friends: - if you find yourself thriving on a low fat plant based diet then you are probably genetically adapted to it, therefore ABSOLUTELY avoid consuming more than a few % of daily calories in form of plant oils and fish (or fish fat)! Stay with it - it will probably work for you, however you most likely DO NOT NEED TO AVOID SATURATED FAT! You do not need to avoid meat, dairy and poultry either but watch out for the polyunsaturated contents of some animal fat! In this respect, if you wanted to add meat to your low fat plant based diet, you are probably better off adding beef rather than chicken or fish!


9) Limiting consumption of polyunsaturated oils, especially Linoleic Acid present in commercial vegetable oils, will likely reduce mitochondrial damage alleviating the risk of metabolic syndrome, even on a high carbohydrate diet. This is key point of the Cardiolipin hypothesis that postulates that the primary cause of metabolic syndrome is mitochondrial degeneration due to incorporation of the linoleic acid into cardiolipin molecules, which makes mitochondria exceedingly vulnerable to oxidative damage. Such oxidative damage may be triggered be glucose overload as in a high carbohydrate diet, or by other factors. This is a two step process the primary factor (a) being the linoleic acid making mitochondria vulnerable and in the second stage (b) carbohydrate overload (or other toxins) actually damages the mitochondria. For further details on Cardiolipin hypothesis read Tucker Goodrich comments under my previous post and this blog.
I thoroughly enjoyed this article by Dr. Kendrick, very much on the topic of polyunsaturated fats: "Greater Cholesterol lowering increases the risk of death" , I hope you too. Here are some quotes:

The original researchers who set up and ran the SDHS did not fully publish their data at the time (one can only speculate as to why this may be so). When this current group of researchers finally managed to get hold of the full data from the SHDS, it was found that replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat did lower cholesterol, however:

and another one:

The Minnesota Coronary Experiment (MCE), a randomized controlled trial conducted in 1968-73, was the largest (n=9570) and perhaps the most rigorously executed dietary trial of cholesterol lowering by replacement of saturated fat with vegetable oil rich in linoleic acid.
Now, a few years later, the researchers who re-analysed the Sydney Diet Heart Study decided to try and find all the unpublished data from the Minnesota Coronary Experiment (MCE). (One can again only speculate as to why the original researchers did not reveal all of their data). The main points from this re-analysis were the following

* Though the MCE intervention lowered serum cholesterol, this did not translate to improved survival

* Paradoxically, MCE participants who had greater reductions in serum cholesterol had a higher, rather than lower, risk of death

Stan (Heretic)

Saturday, March 5, 2016

They tried really really hard...

.. to prove that cholesterol and eggs were supposed to be harmful, in the most recent Finnish study:

Associations of egg and cholesterol intakes with carotid intima-media thickness and risk of incident coronary artery disease according to apolipoprotein E phenotype in men: the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study

I respect persistence, dedication, efforts and resources devoted by the world medical establishment to their long term goals. I believe that no civilian scientific project ever, in the history of science, commanded more time, efforts and money than attempting to prove Ancel Keys' cholesterol theory of the 1950-ties! Probably more so, if we include the R&D efforts by the pharmaceutical companies, than even the space programs.

Conclusion: Egg or cholesterol intakes were not associated with increased CAD risk, even in ApoE4 carriers (i.e., in highly susceptible individuals).

(Thanks JC for the link alert)

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Zika virus, GM mosquitoes or TDAP vaccine?


More controversies and more "known unknowns"...

Zika Virus – What They Are Not Telling You

While the Brazilian government rushes to blame the Zika virus for this huge rise in abnormal birth defects, causation remains unclear. Only a small number of babies with birth defects, who died, had the virus in their brain or in the mother’s placenta. This means a large number of the babies who died had no Zika virus in their brain. Hard to blame Zika then, which has been around since before 1948 and has never been known to cause birth defects and/or death. In fact, Zika makes only one in five people get “mildly” sick with flu-like symptoms, with no symptoms at all in 4 out of 5 people. So why are they quick to blame a generally benign Zika virus?

In late 2014, the Brazilian minister of health announced that a new Tdap shot would be mandatory for all expectant mothers starting in 2015. Since it’s mandatory, mothers with birth defect babies received this newly formulated vaccine while pregnant. The timeliness of the Tdap vaccine and the sudden rise in birth defects is more than just a little coincidental. The consequences of this untested vaccine is being swept under the rug.

More links (far out warning - not for mainstream believer types!):

The CDC / Its agents run global covert ops / The virus hunters

Zika Outbreak Epicenter ... in Same Area where GM Mosquitoes were Released in 2015

Is the Dreaded Zika Virus Another Giant Scam?

Update 13/02/2016

A dissenting voice of reason. By Anonymous:


Zika virus damages babies when pregnant women initially become infected for the FIRST time. A mother who was previously exposed to Zika has natural immunity. Zika is native to West Africa, NOT to South America. Women in west Africa have natural immunity since they are exposed to it as children. But Zika was brought to Brazil by the World Cup a few years ago and introduced to a population that was not exposed to it before, leading to a LARGE number of first infections, many of whom were pregnant women.

In other words, a West African woman is unlikely to have her first Zika exposure while she is pregnant and her children will be protected by her already-developed immunity. However, South American women are NOT exposed to Zika endemically and therefore a first infection for them is catastrophic. Zika does its damage in the first 1-2 weeks of exposure, after which the body develops antibodies and fights it off so it is undetectable. This is why many pregnant women and children with microcephaly will not show signs of active Zika infection; the damage has already been done during the initial course of infection, which has resolved and been cleared by the immune system by the time of testing (testing for ANY virus outside of its initial symptomatic outbreak is not very effective, e.g. herpes simplex). Zika causes microcephaly through widespread clotting in the brain during the early weeks of fetal development. Infection with Zika resolves quickly for the mother.

TDAP has never been associated with these specific birth defects. It is in fact a very well tested vaccine which has never demonstrated an increase in microcephaly anywhere it has been used, e.g. in the Western world where it has been administered routinely for decades. Additionally, a 2015 rollout of TDAP would not have produced the massive increase in microcephaly incidence in time for it to be noticed this year (the data that showed the increase in microcephaly is from 2014 onwards). - paper from 2009 detailing difficulty of accurately assessing Zika infection r/t cross-reactivity of tests with other dengue fever viruses. Also contains data on antibodies vs. Zika in endemic populations.  - paper from 2015 detailing clinical cases of Zika in women in Rio. Interestingly, many pts positive for Zika had not been exposed to dengue, an endemic cousin of Zika which may have granted partial cross-immunity?  - the CDC has a great, sourced write-up on guidelines for pregnant women concerned about Zika.

Added 20/02/2016:
Zika Virus Associated with Microcephaly


My comments:

There are still some doubts about TDAP vaccine in pregnancy, although the risk may be presumed but not proven.

For example this:


The truth is that the Tdap shot has never been proven safe for use during pregnancy. In fact, Tdap is classified by the FDA as a Class C drug.

The definition of a Class C drug which is how the Tdap shot is classified:

Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks.

Sanofi Pasteur Adacel (TDAP) safety sheet (FDA document):


Safety and effectiveness of Adacel vaccine have not been established in pregnant women. (8.1)


* from Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Summary Report February 23-24, 2011 minutes (p. 34-35)

"From January 1, 2005 through June 30, 2010, of 10,350 reports after Tdap vaccines, 129 involved pregnant women who submitted a report to VAERS. Although there were reports of 20 spontaneous abortions, 2 stillbirths, and 2 congenital anomalies, VAERS is not designed to assess whether a vaccine caused an adverse event. A review of VAERS reports in pregnant women who received Tdap vaccines revealed no elevated frequency or unusual patterns. Both GSK and sanofi pasteur maintain vaccination pregnancy registries to collect data on pregnancy outcomes and newborn health status outcomes following vaccination. Both were kind enough to allow Dr. Liang to present on their behalf. The work group reviewed their data in detail, and she provided the summary points. Boostrix® was licensed in 2005 for 10 through 18 year olds, and in 2008 for adults. GSK maintains a registry to collect data on pregnancy outcomes and newborn health status outcomes following vaccination. From its U.S. market launch in 2005 through August 2, 2010, 33 pregnancies were prospectively registered. Of these pregnancies, 18 were lost to follow-up. Outcomes were reported for seven pregnancies, and consisted of six live infants born without birth defects and one spontaneous abortion at seven weeks gestation. The remaining eight pregnancies were on-going at the time of last contact. In addition to the prospective reports of pregnancy received to the pregnancy registry from the U.S., GSK has received 13 reports from other countries. Just over half of these reported normal outcomes. The rest are on-going or were lost to follow-up. There have been no birth defects after Boostrix® vaccination reported to GSK."

Stan (Heretic)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

They finally proved correlation between saturated fat and heart disease...


... and it is inverse!

From Wiki
In case you missed it, see the study link and the post on Diet Doctor.  See also an interesting post on the High Fat Hep-C Diet blog.  In a nutshell:

Each additional 5% of saturated fat (SFA) contents was associated with 17% lower risk of ischemic heart disease (IHD)  : Hazard Ratio 0.83 +/- 0.1.

During 12 y of follow-up, 1807 IHD events occurred. Total SFA intake was associated with a lower IHD risk (HR per 5% of energy: 0.83; 95% CI: 0.74, 0.93). Substituting SFAs with animal protein, cis monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), or carbohydrates was significantly associated with higher IHD risks (HR per 5% of energy: 1.27-1.37). Slightly lower IHD risks were observed for higher intakes of the sum of butyric (4:0) through capric (10:0) acid (HRSD: 0.93; 95% CI: 0.89, 0.99), myristic acid (14:0) (HRSD: 0.90; 95% CI: 0.83, 0.97), the sum of pentadecylic (15:0) and margaric (17:0) acid (HRSD: 0.91: 95% CI: 0.83, 0.99), and for SFAs from dairy sources, including butter (HRSD: 0.94; 95% CI: 0.90, 0.99), cheese (HRSD: 0.91; 95% CI: 0.86, 0.97), and milk and milk products (HRSD: 0.92; 95% CI: 0.86, 0.97).

Interestingly, equal-caloric substitution of 5% of SFA in the diet with:

  •  any carbohydrate type (low GI, medium GI or high GI),
  •  mono-unsaturated fats,
  •  polyunsaturated fats,
  •  animal protein,

- correlated positively with IHD, while substitution of SFA with vegetable protein correlated negatively! (Correlation calculations were corrected against known confounding factors such as age, sex, BMI, waist circumference, educational level, physical activity level, smoking status, alcohol intake, energy-adjusted intakes of cholesterol, fiber, and vitamin C.

Stan (Heretic)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Manufacturing of fake profits by some corporations

(Note: I rarely post that kind of analyses but this time it is probably important to know about, and interesting to watch).  

From Wiki
Surprized by the booming US stock market in the past few years 2012-2015 in spite of rotten business fundamentals and no growth?

How to transfer cheap credit into fake profit and create an illusion of growth, simple:

  • borrow a few billions of dollars at near zero interest rate
  • buy your own corporate stock back, which allows the company to increases dividend per free trading share without incurring extra costs or improving anything nor adding anything of value. It also triggers a buying momentum on the stock market, which other "investors" tend to follow. 
  • wait until stock price increases due to higher dividend yield and due to momentum investing.  This will also increase a value of the previously purchased corporate stock held as the asset, making it available to use as a collateral for future loans.  
  • repeat the above, roll-over the old loans if necessary.

In fact, one can argue that it makes no sense whatsoever to invest in production if stock buyback brings more return on “investment” and quicker since the lag is much shorter then a new product development cycle.

What can go wrong?

  • if interest rates go up too much then rolling over the old loans would drain the cash and bankrupt the companies.  This is highly unlikely since the central banks are well aware of that kind of systemic risk and will not raise the interest rates substantially, any time soon.
  • if the stock prices decline in spite of buybacks due to market correction or declining fundamentals (as in case of mining & energy sectors and some banks) , then the own corporate stock held as a collateral must also decline which may trigger the calls on the existing loans and may make it more difficult to borrow  and to roll-over the old debt.  This may potentially expose the company to a liquidity crisis.  We will probably see some interesting examples of this phenomenon in 2016, beginning with the mining sector  and some oil companies and then possibly some banks exposed to bad loans. Previously, the governments fought it by issuing another QE (“quantitative easing” of credit), will it work this time?  We shall see.     It will cause US dollar exchange rate to rapidly go down as it happened during 2008-9, which may trigger an outflow of capital out of the US stock and bond market, again as in 2008-9 (this time into the currencies of countries that are not exposed to deflationary risk of mining and energy markets).   This will exacerbate the stock market rout in the US.  Note that the above mechanisms are not self-correcting, they form a positive feedback loop, that is a movement in one direction, up or down tends to amplify itself reinforcing the trend.     
Stan (Heretic)

Updated 9/02/2016:

Big companies have lost billions buying their own shares

And it's not just a few big corporate losers accounting for all the pain. The group includes 229 companies in the Standard and Poor's 500 index, nearly half of the companies in the study prepared by FactSet for The Associated Press. When a company shells out money to buy its own shares, Wall Street usually cheers. The move makes the company's profit per share look better, and many think buybacks have played a key role pushing stocks higher in the seven-year bull market.

Updated 10/02/2016:

Why Stock Buybacks Won’t Save The Market This Time

There's a reason investors have blindly trusted Wall Street's "buy the dips" mantra since 2009. In fact… there are 2.3 trillion reasons. That's because since 2009 U.S. companies spent more than $2.3 trillion buying back their own shares, according to a report by Aranca Investment Research Services. All that buying acted as a floor for stocks and launched the major indices to new heights.
Fundamentally, spending cash on or debt-financing buybacks is touted by management as "returning cash to shareholders" by reducing share count, which reduces the number of shares the company's earnings are divided across. So, by reducing shares through buybacks, earnings per share can rise even if actual earnings are flat or falling. And that's a source of positive sentiment for those holding those stocks.

Update 14/03/2016:

There is only one buyer keeping S&P 500 bull alive

When The Prop Drops - Company Share Buybacks Accounted For 100% of New Stock Market Cash Since 2010

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Skinny on Fat by Credit Suisse

A better title would have been "Money and greed trump medical lies and stupidity"
I shall better be kind to the bankers, some of them are on our side!

Credit Suisse Investor's report   (a short summary titled The Real Skinny on Fat is available on The Financialist page) concludes that saturated and monounsaturated animal fat is healthy and was unjustifiably blamed for the health problems that were in fact more likely caused by the overconsumption of vegetable polyunsaturated  oils and carbohydrates.  The institute's report is thus    advising to invest in natural food producers selling product rich in saturated fats.  

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Praising civilization for saving life on Earth by increasing carbon dioxide!

We should be proud of carbon emission rather than ashamed.  According to  one of the original Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore.  Read his excellent  presentation on October 2015,  Annual GWPF Lecture, Institution of Mechanical Engineers, London.


Here is the shocking news. If humans had not begun to unlock some of the carbon stored as fossil fuels, all of which had been in the atmosphere as CO2 before sequestration by plants and animals, life on Earth would have soon been starved of this essential nutrient and would begin to die.

Given the present trends of glaciations and interglacial periods this would likely have occurred less than 2 million years from today, a blink in nature's eye, 0.05% of the 3.5 billion-year history of life.

No other species could have accomplished the task of putting some of the carbon back into the atmosphere that was taken out and locked in the Earth's crust by plants and animals over the millennia.

This is why I honor James Lovelock [proponent of Gaia hypothesis] in my lecture this evening. Jim was for many years of the belief that humans are the one-and-only rogue species on Gaia, destined to cause catastrophic global warming. I enjoy the Gaia hypothesis but I am not religious about it and for me this was too much like original sin. It was as if humans were the only evil species on the Earth.

But James Lovelock has seen the light and realized that humans may be part of Gaia's plan, and he has good reason to do so. And I honor him because it takes courage to change your mind after investing so much of your reputation on the opposite opinion.

Rather than seeing humans as the enemies of Gaia, Lovelock now sees that we may be working with Gaia to "stave of another ice age", or major glaciation.

This is much more plausible than the climate doom-and gloom scenario because our release of CO2 back into the atmosphere has definitely reversed the steady downward slide of this essential food for life, and hopefully may reduce the chance that the climate will slide into another period of major glaciation.

We can be certain that higher levels of CO2 will result in increased plant growth and biomass.

We really don't know whether or not higher levels of CO2 will prevent or reduce the eventual slide into another major glaciation. Personally I am not hopeful for this because the long-term history just doesn't support a strong correlation between CO2 and temperature.

It does boggle the mind in the face of our knowledge that the level of CO2 has been steadily falling that human CO2 emissions are not universally acclaimed as a miracle of salvation.

From direct observation we already know that the extreme predictions of CO2's impact on global temperature are highly unlikely given that about one-third of all our CO2 emissions have been discharged during the past 18 years and there has been no statistically significant warming. And even if there were some additional warming that would surely be preferable to the extermination of all or most species on the planet.

You heard it here.

"Human emissions of carbon dioxide have saved life on Earth from inevitable starvation and extinction due to lack of CO2".

Updated link 08/01/2016:    Researchers Predict That A “Mini Ice Age” Is Coming Very Soon

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

USDA dietary recommendations of fruit & veg increase energy use and greenhouse gasses emission

New study:

Energy use, blue water footprint, and greenhouse gas emissions for current food consumption patterns and dietary recommendations in the US

...This study finds that shifting from the current US diet to dietary Scenario 1 [eat less] decreases energy use, blue water footprint, and GHG emissions by around 9 %, while shifting to dietary Scenario 2 increases energy use by 43 %, blue water footprint by 16 %, and GHG emissions by 11 %. Shifting to dietary Scenario 3, which accounts for both reduced Caloric intake and a shift to the USDA recommended food mix, increases energy use by 38 %, blue water footprint by 10 %, and GHG emissions by 6 %. These perhaps counterintuitive results are primarily due to USDA recommendations for greater Caloric intake of fruits, vegetables, dairy, and fish/seafood, which have relatively high resource use and emissions per Calorie.

I like this. It makes me think I should be supporting the plant based lacto-ovo-pesco vegetarian diet since a little bit warmer climate is better for the environment than a new ice age (that we may be perilously close to).

Which is more "Climatologically Correct" ?

Lettuce-nibbling veggies menace Mother Earth /
'Three times worse in greenhouse gas emissions than eating bacon'

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Mental health risk of going meatless

New article:

The Scary Mental Health Risks of Going Meatless
Vegetarianism can come with some unexpected side effects.
BY JILL WALDBIESER December 2, 2015


Her symptoms were sudden and severe. Drew Ramsey's 35-year-old patient had always been fit and active, but her energy had flatlined. When she did manage to drag herself to the gym, it didn't help. She felt anxious and was often on the verge of tears for no reason, even when she was with friends. Worst of all were her panic attacks, a rare occurrence in the past but now so common that she was afraid of losing her job ...

Sure enough, six weeks after adding animal protein back onto her plate, her energy rebounded and her panic attacks dropped by 75 percent.

Her case is far from unique. "I hear from vegetarians every day; they have this terrible depression and anxiety, and they don't understand why," says Lierre Keith, author of The Vegetarian Myth. "People think they're eating a beautiful, righteous diet, but they don't realize there's a potential dark side."

It's true that many of America's estimated 8 million vegetarians are drawn to the diet's promise of a healthier weight, heart, and planet. They pass on beef, poultry, and pork, unaware that a growing body of research suggests a link between going meatless and an elevated risk for serious mental disorders.

So it was startling last year when Australian researchers revealed that vegetarians reported being less optimistic about the future than meat eaters. What's more, they were 18 percent more likely to report depression and 28 percent more likely to suffer panic attacks and anxiety. A separate German study backs this up, finding that vegetarians were 15 percent more prone to depressive conditions and twice as likely to suffer anxiety disorders.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Banned TED talks

You may enjoy it, well worth listening to:

Nick Hanauer "Rich people don't create jobs"

Graham Hancock - The War on Consciousness

The Science Delusion - Rupert Sheldrake 

There is no such thing as too much heresy!

Stan (Heretic)

Friday, November 6, 2015

Non-religious upbringing makes children kinder, more altruistic!

... a newly published study has found:

The Negative Association between Religiousness and Children’s Altruism across the World

Here, we assessed altruism and third-party evaluation of scenarios depicting interpersonal harm in 1,170 children aged between 5 and 12 years in six countries (Canada, China, Jordan, Turkey, USA, and South Africa), the religiousness of their household, and parent-reported child empathy and sensitivity to justice.
However, religiousness was inversely predictive of children’s altruism and positively correlated with their punitive tendencies. Together these results reveal the similarity across countries in how religion negatively influences children’s altruism, challenging the view that religiosity facilitates prosocial behavior.

Stan (Heretic)

Monday, November 2, 2015

Low fat diets are useless - new study

... a recently published study has found.   The Telegraph article  on the same topic:
Cut out carbs, not fat if you want to lose weight, Harvard study finds

Wiki Cereal
 The analysis of 53 studies, involving 67,000 dieters found who cut back on fat were two and a half pounds heavier after a year than those who embraced a “low carb” approach.
Dr Deirdre Tobias at Bingham's Division of Preventive Medicine said: "Despite the pervasive dogma that one needs to cut fat from their diet in order to lose weight, the existing scientific evidence does not support low-fat diets over other dietary interventions for long-term weight loss." "In fact, we did not find evidence that is particularly supportive of any specific proportion of calories from fat for meaningful long-term weight loss.” The study found low carbohydrate diets were the most successful.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

It's sugar not calories!

New study just published in the Obesity Journal by Dr. Robert Lustig and others.
The results are described in this article:
The science is in: the case for a sugar tax is overwhelming,

Wiki: Soft drink

Is sugar dangerous because it’s calories? Or because it’s sugar?

...we took the added sugar away from 43 obese children who were already sick, to see if they got well. But if they lost weight, critics would argue that the drop in calories or the loss in weight was the reason for their improvement. Therefore, the study was “isocaloric”; that is, we gave back the same number of calories in starch as we took away in sugar, to make sure they maintained their weight.
For nine days we catered their meals to provide the same fat, protein, and total carbohydrate content as their home diet; but within the carbohydrate fraction we took the added sugar out and substituted starch. We took the pastries out, we put the bagels in; we took the yoghurt out, we put the baked potato chips in; we took chicken teriyaki out, we put turkey hot dogs in. We gave them processed food – kid food – but “no added sugar” food. We reduced their sugar consumption from 28% to 10% of their calories. They weighed themselves every day; if they were losing weight, we told them to eat more.
We were astonished at the results. Diastolic blood pressure decreased by five points. Blood fat levels dropped precipitously. Fasting glucose decreased by five points, glucose tolerance improved markedly, insulin levels fell by 50%. In other words we reversed their metabolic disease in just 10 days, even while eating processed food, by just removing the added sugar and substituting starch, and without changing calories or weight. Can you imagine how much healthier they would have been if we hadn’t given them the starch?
This study establishes that all calories are not the same (“a calorie is not a calorie”); substituting starch for sugar improved these children’s metabolic health unrelated to calories or weight gain.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Beliefs are harmful including this one...


I have to explain.

This statement is a logical contradiction - but only paradoxically, until it is expanded. In my personal experience, beliefs and thoughts are harmful causing divisions, hatred and in the most extreme cases make people fight each other - if and only if we identify with the "thing" inside our brains that actually does the believing and thinking! Likewise, the statement "Beliefs are harmful" is also harmful if we identify with it! Once the mind realizes that "The thoughts in my head are not Me" then the paradox disappears.

Stan (Heretic)


I consider heretical mindset to be a good thing and one of the main factors, even a precondition behind creativity in general; in science, technology and art in particular.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Dangerous radiation?

Interesting article about Manhattan Project scientists contaminated by Plutonium.

The Scientists Who Pee Plutonium

Government conducted live-long study of the 26 contaminated people. Results, quote: "the mortality rate for the group is about 50 per cent lower than the national average."

It appears that up to a certain level of radiation, its effects don't seem to be harmful and it is possible (though not proven) that it may even be beneficial. See also the other posts on the subject.

More quotes:

It may be a surprise to learn that the members of the UPPU club have all done well, especially when compared to national averages. “They’ve fared pretty well as a group,” George Volez and expert on plutonium exposure told Los Alamos Science in 1995. “Of the original 26, only seven have died, and the last death was in 1990.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Off topic: TPP - triumph of bureaucracy over international trade


Proponents of "managed" economy are having a field day! Interesting summary of what our governments have in secrecy concocted may be found in the following article.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership - Statist Aggrandizement Posing As Free Trade, by Carmen Elena Dorobat, October 10, 2015


Although the text has not been made available to the public, and will not be for the next four years to avoid opposition, the TPP is publicized as a tremendous boost in free trade for the signing countries, and thus for almost 40% of world trade. It is supposed to ‘promote’, ‘enhance’, and ‘support’ many things, from innovation to investment and development, and job creation. The language used, characteristic now of all such governmental agreements, is a clear indicator that the TPP is nothing more than additional thousand(s) of pages of new trade regulations, with a sprinkling of tariff reductions that will benefit some industries and companies, and hurt others.

This illustrates what Ludwig von Mises pointed out half a century ago: that the focus of these agreements has long shifted from trade liberalization (defined as removal of barriers) to trade regulation (or what we know today as "managed trade") and the promotion of special interests.

As Rothbard amusingly wrote about the NAFTA myth,

The folks who have brought us NAFTA and presume to call it "free trade" are the same people who call government spending "investment," taxes "contributions," and raising taxes "deficit reduction." Let us not forget that the Communists, too, used to call their system "freedom."

BTW - Does it really exclude China? Are they kidding us?