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

Friday, December 24, 2010

Mainstream media hinting that Atkins was right!


A reversal on carbs

I am going to put a big quote from this article, since it puts this better than any abstract of mine would have done:

Fat was once the devil. Now more nutritionists are pointing accusingly at sugar and refined grains....

Carb consumption has risen over the years. So have U.S. obesity levels. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times) ...

Most people can count calories. Many have a clue about where fat lurks in their diets. However, fewer give carbohydrates much thought, or know why they should.

But a growing number of top nutritional scientists blame excessive carbohydrates — not fat — for America's ills. They say cutting carbohydrates is the key to reversing obesity, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and hypertension.

"Fat is not the problem," says Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. "If Americans could eliminate sugary beverages, potatoes, white bread, pasta, white rice and sugary snacks, we would wipe out almost all the problems we have with weight and diabetes and other metabolic diseases."

It's a confusing message. For years we've been fed the line that eating fat would make us fat and lead to chronic illnesses. "Dietary fat used to be public enemy No. 1," says Dr. Edward Saltzman, associate professor of nutrition and medicine at Tufts University. "Now a growing and convincing body of science is pointing the finger at carbs, especially those containing refined flour and sugar."

Americans, on average, eat 250 to 300 grams of carbs a day, accounting for about 55% of their caloric intake. The most conservative recommendations say they should eat half that amount. Consumption of carbohydrates has increased over the years with the help of a 30-year-old, government-mandated message to cut fat....

The first sign of insulin resistance is a condition called metabolic syndrome — a red flag that diabetes, and possibly heart disease, is just around the corner. People are said to have the syndrome when they have three or more of the following: high blood triglycerides (more than 150 mg); high blood pressure (over 135/85); central obesity (a waist circumference in men of more than 40 inches and in women, more than 35 inches); low HDL cholesterol (under 40 in men, under 50 in women); or elevated fasting glucose.

About one-fourth of adults has three or more of these symptoms.

"Put these people on a low-carb diet and they'll not only lose weight, which always helps these conditions, but their blood levels will improve," Phinney says. In a 12-week study published in 2008, Phinney and his colleagues put 40 overweight or obese men and women with metabolic syndrome on a 1,500-calorie diet. Half went on a low-fat, high-carb diet. The others went on a low-carb, high-fat diet. The low-fat group consumed 12 grams of saturated fat a day out of a total of 40 grams of fat, while the low-carb group ate 36 grams of saturated fat a day — three times more — out of a total of 100 grams of fat.

Despite all the extra saturated fat the low-carb group was getting, at the end of the 12 weeks, levels of triglycerides (which are risk factors for heart disease) had dropped by 50% in this group. Levels of good HDL cholesterol increased by 15%.

In the low-fat, high-carb group, triglycerides dropped only 20% and there was no change in HDL.

The take-home message from this study and others like it is that — contrary to what many expect — dietary fat intake is not directly related to blood fat. Rather, the amount of carbohydrates in the diet appears to be a potent contributor.

"The good news," adds Willett, "is that based on what we know, almost everyone can avoid Type 2 diabetes. Avoiding unhealthy carbohydrates is an important part of that solution." For those who are newly diagnosed, he adds, a low-carb diet can take the load off the pancreas before it gets too damaged and improve the condition — reducing or averting the need for insulin or other diabetes meds.

Americans can also blame high-carb diets for why the population has gotten fatter over the last 30 years, says Phinney, who is co-author of "The New Atkins for a New You" (Simon & Schuster, 2010).

"Carbohydrates are a metabolic bully," Phinney says. "They cut in front of fat as a fuel source and insist on being burned first. What isn't burned gets stored as fat, and doesn't come out of storage as long as carbs are available. And in the average American diet, they always are."

Here's how Phinney explains it: When you cut carbs, your body first uses available glycogen as fuel. When that's gone, the body turns to fat and the pancreas gets a break. Blood sugar stabilizes, insulin levels drop, fat burns. That's why the diet works for diabetics and for weight loss.

When the body switches to burning fat instead of glycogen, it goes into a process called nutritional ketosis. If a person eats 50 or fewer grams of carbs, his body will go there, Phinney says. (Nutritional ketosis isn't to be confused with ketoacidosis, a dangerous condition that can occur in diabetics.)

Beyond the fat-burning effects of ketosis, people lose weight on low-carb diets because fat and protein increase satisfaction and reduce appetite. On the flip side, simple carbs cause an insulin surge, which triggers a blood sugar drop, which makes you hungry again.

"At my obesity clinic, my default diet for treating obesity, Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome is a low-carb diet," says Dr. Eric Westman, director of the Lifestyle Medicine Clinic at Duke University Medical Center, and co-author of the new Atkins book. "If you take carbohydrates away, all these things get better."

See also this:

Was Atkins Right? Scientists Say Carbs -- Not Fat -- Are the Biggest Problem with America's Diet


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Study: add more carbs be more hungry!

A new study: "A Paleolithic diet is more satiating per calorie than a Mediterranean-like diet in individuals with ischemic heart disease"

What is remarkable about it, is that the patients felt more satiated and thus ate automatically 24% less by their own choice, and the only major difference between the two tested diets was the amount of carbohydrates (grains)! Everything else was very similar.

Think about it: both groups eat some typical basic foodstuff, then just let one group add 82g more carbohydrates (grains!) plus 13g more fat (oil) per day and what is the main result? - THEY FEEL MORE HUNGRY!


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Definition of money and the time-symmetry


A few thoughts:

1) Gold Money = Past Work.

A money system that is 100% backed by tangible products such as gold or by some real consummer produce such as food, cars, seashells etc is the symbol or equivalent substitute of work done in the past. A found pot of Roman gold coins represents work done by some people 2000 years ago. To create a monetary system like that you first have to mine out and accumulate some gold, copper etc or make some products and then you can have a "money" backed by it. It is mildly deflationary (in a harmless way, probably) since the amount of goods and products generally accumulates faster than gold.

A monetary system based on the assets produced in the past is inherently stable for the same reason that the automation control systems based on the "feed-forward" principle (as opposed to "feed-back") have to be. That is because past products are inherently more solid that the promise of future products! (I was just about to write "because the Past is Immutable" but on the second thought decided not to).

It's downside (or perhaps an advantage?) is the fact that it is very difficult to generate new investment credit and lend money very quickly for large projects, other then through a slow process of accumulation of capital. In particular, it is very difficult for governments and large corporations to obtain large amounts of capital without direct taxation or outright confiscation of capital from productive business entities. Such activity cannot be easily concealed by authorities and if attempted, it would be declared illegal as well as incompatible with the democratic principles. This type of monetary system probably enforces honesty and encourages work-oriented culture (if backed by the effective legal system). This is probably the main reason why the gold backed monetary system was first subverted and finally abolished by most governments.

2) Debt Money = Future Work.

Money based exclusively on debt is the present equivalent substitute of a work promised, a work that will be done in the future. Other than this difference, the system works (initially) the same way as #1! It is typically mildly inflationary because it is always easier to borrow more and generate excessive debt. The system tends to generate more of the debt-backed money, than can be reasonably predicted to be covered by the productive work in the future. In addition to the inherently poor money issuance control, unpredictable disasters or business failures tend to undermine a balance tilting it towards inflation.

When the future comes and some debt proves to be defaulted, then the equivalent amount of debt-backed money must by law be destroyed. This 'must' NEVER happens! It's a Keynesian's fallacy, for example that a government is supposed to be counter-cyclical, restraining its spending during a boom. In theory it must be done but never gets done! At least, not when the big governments run by incompetent collectivists have their way! :)

Eventually, excessive unbacked phantom money keeps accumulating because nobody is destroying it! Nobody likes becoming the first one to burn their paper banknotes, admit that their bonds (held or issued) are worthless etc. In the event of mass defaults, business closures or just corporate downsizing, the debt-backed monetary system seems to give all players an incentive to maintain a fiction and pretend that the paper assets backed by the defunct debt still have some value. It encourages the players to cheat, and punishes honesty. This honesty disincentive is also compounded by massive leverage through banking lending multiplier (it's name is '33') and derrivatives (I think the system would probably still remain inherently unstable even without the multipliers and derrivatives).

The main advantage (or perhaps its main fault) is the fact that it is very easy to generate additional credit to finance some urgent projects or startups. It's main alure is probably the fact that the very large players such as governments and some very large corporations, may generate and use gigantic amounts of new credit/money without actually producing anything useful co-measurate with the amount of resources they are appropriating. They can do all that in plain view without breaking any law, and without breaking principles of democracy.

3) Present Time Money

Can Present Money be defined as the average of #1 and #2?  One can envisage a 50%-50% mixture (or similar ratio) of both forms of money-backing asset classes (hard assets from the past or gold,  plus debt counted as an asset), but it is not really equivalent to any product being produced in the present! The 50-50 money backing scheme has no relation to the current work being done in the present time! Such monetary systems have been used in the past and are called "fractional reserve gold backed currency". It is like standing on two boats with one foot in each.

I think, the nearest equivalent of a "money" system that reflects a work being done in the present time is barter - which in fact uses no money at all! Such a system did work in the past, but only in a very primeval economy. Could such a system have worked in an industrialized economy such as during the Industrial Revolution in the last 200 years? Absolutely not! Would such a system work in the future information based economy? Perhaps, I don't know but I would not exclude a possibility that it may work!  We have to get used to a habit of challenging the old "wisdoms" because the new ways of global information access make certain formerly impractical ideas possible, for example a direct democracy! I have a gut feeling that this could be the key point behind the future economic revival!

I think, that kind of systemic classification based on the symmetry patterns is always helpful in science, it may even have some predictive power.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Drug trial success - anacetrapib did not kill significantly more than placebo!

This is great news for Merck regarding their new HDL-boosting-LDL-busting drug Anacetrapib.  Published about a week ago:

Safety of Anacetrapib in Patients with or at High Risk for Coronary Heart Disease

Quote: "The prespecified Bayesian analysis indicated that this event distribution provided a predictive probability (confidence) of 94% that anacetrapib would not be associated with a 25% increase in cardiovascular events, as seen with torcetrapib."

See also this:

Merck’s Risky Bet on Heart Drugs May Yield Lipitor-Like Success

Interestingly, the company's stock declined by about 5% in November to date.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lack of social skills made us human

[Part 2 of 2]

Continuing on Sapolsky's lecture, see this video:

Robert Sapolsky: Stress, Neurodegeneration and Individual Differences

About 50 minutes into this lecture, Sapolsky changes slightly the subject and describes his stress research on baboon monkeys in Africa, describing their society's structure and detailed habits. This was discussed in the context of biochemistry and stress hormones (glucocorticoids), with blood samples taken and analyzed, correlated within the context of the social interaction. Over 20 years of solid experimental and observational research, really impressive piece of work!

Brief summary.

Baboons in the reserve (Serengeti) need only about 3 hours a day to gather their food. They live in baboons' paradise, their health is good and infant's mortality is lower than among neighboring human villages. They spend the rest of the day, 9 hours every day on average making each other miserable and stressing each other to the limits of their adrenal biochemistry, using social interplay, emotional and physical harassment. They follow a very elaborate and rigid social hierarchy with a strong male gang leader and a score of lesser levels. At each position within the gang, a member is continuously subjected to harassment and being picked on by higher member, while at the same time, they are compelled by their biology to release their own stress by picking, incessantly upon the weaker members of lesser position.

I strongly recommend to watch this video to give you a better idea what it is really like. I have to admit I couldn't help by noticing how similar is their structure to the structure of the human subculture in:

- criminal gangs
- government institutions,
- large corporations
- armed forces and paramilitary organizations,
- large religious institutions
- academic institutions

Comments and thoughts

If one ever wondered about any of the above cultures, then watching Sapolsky's video will neatly illustrate what is that all about. In contrast, one wonders what kind of culture would rather protects the weaker members and work creatively to build tools, shelters and grow food rather then spend all their time on social warfare? I think, it can't possibly be a culture solely focused on social interplay, with a rigid hierarchical structure. I think the pattern is the same, regardless whether we are dealing with intelligent humans or monkeys. The main dichotomy is I think clear: a group either focuses most of their free time on perfecting the social interaction and learning practical social manipulation skills to the detriment of other skills, or it follows a decentralized model allowing their members to develop and use individual skills in creating technology, art and science (individuals being free to keep the results of their work!). This dichotomy can be seen in both individual characters and on the scale of the herds, tribes, societies or countries. This dichotomy is expressed in two different approaches towards problem-solving. For example, take a lack of something like food: one approach is to steal food from others. The second approach is to search or grow more food - to fix the actual problem! Another example that we keep hearing so often is energy and resources' shortage. The "monkey" way would be for Mr. Leader to make me and you use less energy, while conserving what is left for his elite friends and his electorate. The other less fashionable but natural human way is to use technology to tap into a source of energy that is thousands of time more abundant than oil or coal. One mindset is about controlling the people; the other is about controlling the environment.

Coming back to the title of this note: I think there is a snowball-in-hell chance that any society behaving along the pattern described in Sapolsky's lecture on baboons, would ever develop technology, art or science. It is also doubtful, if they ever managed to capture the fruit of modern civilization by force, that they would be able to keep and maintain those achievements!

The fact that humans did achieve a highly developed technological civilization means that the periods of herd-like rigid hierarchical social structures must have been a rare anomaly rather than the rule! Otherwise we probably would never evolve creative skills and would be living today in a tropical "paradise" living off wild fruit and spending our time plotting how to became "herd-managers".

No it is not the society and the social skills that made us human, it was the lack of it! Those who spend their time partying and socializing create no wealth and no value. Those who tinker, build, experiment and learn science - do! It was the "nerddom" that drove us forward while social skills held us backwards towards social competition, stress, warfare and death.

[see also Dozent's comment underneath]

(Style and grammar edited 7/02/2011)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ketone bodies protect neurons from stress hormone-induced damage

[Part 1 of 2]

This is inspired by this video presentation:

Robert Sapolsky: Stress, Neurodegeneration and Individual Differences

Scrolling to minute 26 of the video, reveals a slide summarizing the results of an experiment, where neural tissue was exposed to an "insult" (damage cause) equivalent to hypoglycemia.

The degree of damage to the neurons was asessed in volume units (vertical) while the 4 cases are represented by color bars:

green - damage caused solely by the original "insult"
yellow - damage caused by the "insult" in the presence of glucocorticoid (stress hormone)
red - damage caused by the "insult" in the presence of glucocorticoids and mannose sugar
white - damage caused by the "insult" in the presence of glucocorticoids and ketone bodies (beta-hydroxy-butyrate)

What do I make out of that? Basically, it shows that not only ketone bodies work better as the energy source than mannose sugar, but also protect against the damage caused by both factors combined: hypoglycemia and glucocorticoid: - the white bar is smaller than the original green bar on the left!

[part 2 essay inspired by the same video will be titled "Lack of social skills made us human!" ]

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cow's milk formula triggers t1 diabetes, new study


Dietary Intervention in Infancy and Later Signs of Beta-Cell Autoimmunity

A journalist's write-up is here

Double-blind study on 230 infants with HLA-conferred susceptibility to type 1 diabetes and with at least one family member with type 1 diabetes, were split into test group fed casein hydrolizate based formula, and the control group fed conventional cow's milk based formula.

Autoantibodies to insulin, glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), the insulinoma-associated 2 molecule (IA-2), and zinc transporter 8 were analyzed, as well as monitored for the incidence of diabetes t1, until the age of 10.  

The risk of developing diabetes t1 markers in the casein hydrolizate group was substantially reduced - by  ~50%, compared with the control group reciving cow's milk formula!

Updated (14-Nov-2010)   This is going to be a story of two food villains and one food hero.

There is more to milk that 1 paper. Much more: a study involving a billion people. The China study. I am going to dump some facts here for the reference.

My source of data is Mono Mortality document. A cursory look at all diseases with the focus on correlation with milk reveals that milk correlates positively with almost all diseases! The same cursory look reveals also that two other food items: wheat flour and eggs correlate very consistently too across most diseases,
one positively one negatively. Note: positive correlation means that an increase in consumption is associated with more disease and more harm, whereas negative correlation means an increase in consumption is associated with less risk of a disease. The main bullet points of this review are these:

* Wheat flour correlates positively with almost all diseases (except pulmonary TB in adults)

* Milk correlates positively with almost all diseases (except diabetes)

* Eggs correlate negatively with almost all diseases (except cancer, diabetes and IHD)

One should keep in mind that a correlation is no causuation, however the fact that milk and wheat and eggs correlate simultaneously and follow the same consistent pattern, albeit with different signs, may indicate that something real is going on in the human biochemistry in relation to those foods. This is a strong indication that more reseaarch should be made to investigate the effect. This is also a indictment against Cornell University that sat on such a rich set of data for a decade without doing anything usefull about it. (Other than letting one of their staff profesor hijack the study title to propagate his veganism!)


Here are some examples, I will list correlation factors from the above linked document, for disease mortalities against wheat, milk and eggs only.  Correlation factors are given as two digit numbers in percentage, followed by the food item.

M015 Pullmonary TB (age 0-34):+34 Milk , -27 Eggs
M016 Pullmonary TB (age 35-69): -29 Wheat
M018 Other TB (age 35-69): +52 Wheat, -30 Eggs
M023 All cancer (age 35-69): +31 Eggs
M043 Endocrine (age 0-34): -36 Eggs
M044 Endocrine (age 35-69): -31 Milk
M045 Diabetes (age 35-69): -29 Milk, +26 Eggs
M050 Mental (age 0-34): +75% Milk
M059 All Vascular (age 35-69): +56 Wheat, +29 Milk, -26 Eggs
M060 Rheumatic (age 0-34): +37 Milk, -35 Eggs
M061 Rheumatic (age 35-69): +26 Wheat, -32 Eggs
M062 Hypertension (age 35-69): +43 Wheat, +75 Milk, -28 Eggs
M063 Ischaemic heart d.(age 35-69): +59 Wheat, +25 Eggs
M065 Stroke (age 35-69): +43 Wheat
M066 All vasc excl stroke (0-34): +33 Wheat, +42 Milk, -43 Eggs
M067 All vasc excl stroke (age 35-69):+65 Wheat, +50 Milk, -33 Eggs
M068 All respiratory (age 0-34): +50 Milk, -27 Eggs
M069 All respiratory (age 35-69): - (no correlation) -
M070 Pneumonia (age 0-34): +51 Milk, -27 Eggs
M071 Pneumonia (age 35-69): -32 Eggs
M087 Pregnancy and birth: +41 Wheat, +49 Milk, -48 Eggs
M104 Maternal mort.: +38 Wheat, +46 Milk, -42 Eggs


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Is modern wheat variety more toxic?

This time I am posting some blog links, to indicate an important issue that we should really pay a very close attention to:

 Dwarf mutant wheat

Why do morphine-blocking drugs make you lose weight?

The second link discusses the addictive opiate-like properties of wheat exorphines.

Very interesting discussions of metabolic and biochemnical effects of wheat:

Hyperlipid Blog

To complete the picture, here is another must-read article by Denise Minger on this subject:

The China Study, Wheat, and Heart Disease; Oh My!

Last but not least my own simple graph presentation of China study heart disease versus wheat consumption:

China Study says wheat is associated with vascular disease

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Scientists Find Liberal Gene?


UCSD Paper:
Friendships Moderate an Association Between the DRD4 Gene and Political Ideology
by Jaime E. Settle [jsettle at], Christopher T. Dawes, Nicholas A. Christakis, James H. Fowler


"It is the crucial interaction of two factors - the genetic
predisposition and the environmental condition of having many friends
in adolescence - that is associated with being more liberal,”
according to the study.

Here, we link our understanding of the genetic basis of political ideology with
environmental factors known to influence political attitudes. We suggest that individuals with the 7R allele of the DRD4 gene, given certain environmental stimuli, are more likely to have a liberal ideology.

The 7R allele of the DRD4 gene is known to be associated with several haracteristics, such as increased extraversion, novelty-seeking, and sensation-seeking (Eichhammer et al. 2005).

In a landmark piece synthesizing five decades of research on conservatism and social-cognitive motives, Jost et al. (2003) assert a motivational basis for the stable, definitional core of conservative ideology, claiming that conservative ideologies are adopted in part to satisfy a variety of social, cognitive, and psychological needs. The authors write that people’s response to threatening environmental stimuli, such as fear and uncertainty, affects the development and expression of political beliefs concerning the core components of conservative ideology, such as resistance to change and acceptance of inequality (p. 366).

We would expect to find a negative correlation between traits associated with DRD4-7R and a conservative ideology if conservatives perceive new experiences as a threat and thus, to satisfy their psychological needs, they avoid novelty and sensation seeking. This has been demonstrated in the literature with sensation seeking (Kish and Donnenwerth 1972, Kish 1973), a taste for broad-mindedness (Feather 1979, Feather 1984), and openness to experience (Pratto et al. 1994, Jost and Thompson 2000, Peterson et al. 1997, Peterson and Lane 2001).

Novelty-seeking should not necessarily lead one to make more friends - those high in the 7R allele often exhibit certain asocial behaviors. Rather, the influence of a large number of friends could serve to develop social cognition (Staub 1995), create a better understanding of other’s needs (Niebrzydowski 1995) and greater consideration in regard to the society in which they live (Selman 1990, White et al. 1987), as well as increase expression of prosocial behaviors (Hartup 1993).
It is the combination of the desire for new experience and many different pathways to these experiences that we hypothesize has an impact on political ideology.

(See also this article.)

I find it fascinating that a dychotomy between different types of characters comes out even through genetics!  It makes me think that a difference between the two classes of population goes deeper than just "liberal" and "conservative" views in the political sense. The authors identify the liberal view as the one associated with openess, curiosity and a willingness to embrace new experience, where as the conservative is described as perceiving new experiences as threats, thus, to satisfy their psychological needs, they avoid novelty and sensation-seeking, and tend to "accept inequality" - meaning acceptance of the class hierarchy and the authority I presume.

This is not quite the way I see it, based on my experience. Since I grew up in a communist state before moving to the West, I have noticed an awful lot of Western "Liberals" (in the American sense of this word) exhibiting anything but curiosity and openess, while some of the poster "boys" and "girls" of  Conservatism ("Neocons" as they are being fondly nicknamed), seem to have been more open to new ideas or willing to "rock the boat".

I think a more accurate way of political labelling is to use the European meaning for "Liberalism" = pro individual freedom. In the US language it would be called "Libertarianism". European Liberals have always been unafraid and willing to entertain new ideas while the European "Conservatives" were those interested in preserving the power of the oligarchies and their institutions thus any new ideas were generally regarded as harmful.  On the other hand, in the North America, the Conervatives seem to consist of an unworkable - "unholy" mixture of the European style Conservatives and Libertarians.

I see a much more fundamental split in the present society, along the lines of "open and individualistic" versus "closed and hierarchical" that fits the above described model better than the political divide. I wrote about that in the following posts:

Human regression, anthropology

Baby boomers' monkey business 

It is not just as much about socializing and having many friends versus being a recluse - it all probably depends whom you have to deal with! If one is mostly surrounded by the members of a not-ones-own types then obviously, that person isn't going to spent as much time socializing, as he/she would have liked. Each type is as sociable as the other one but on their own terms!  They probably perceive (mutually) any social or societal/civic/business activities of the other kind as boring, unnatural, fake or criminal.  I know I do!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Insulin, Glucose, Grim Reaper and Sweet Sixteen gene


Important new reasearch published just recently by Cynthia Kenyon, University of California, described in the following Oct-26,2010 Daily Mail article (Jerome Burne):

Can cutting carbohydrates from your diet make you live longer?


She made her remarkable breakthrough after studying roundworms, specifically the C.elegans, a worm just a millimetre in size that lives in soil in temperate climates all over the world. By tweaking some of their genes she has been able to help these worms live up to six times longer than normal. 'Not only that, but we also know how to make them stay healthy all that time as well,' she told an audience at the Wellcome Collection in London earlier this month.
Scientists already knew how to make laboratory animals live longer and healthier lives - you just cut back their calories to about three-quarters of their normal amount.  ... But what Professor Kenyon found out was why ­drastically reducing calories has such a remarkable effect. She discovered that it changed the way two crucial genes behaved. It turned down the gene that controls insulin, which in turn switched on another gene, which acted like an elixir of life.  'We jokingly called the first gene the Grim Reaper because when it’s switched on, the lifespan is fairly short,' she explains.  The ­second 'elixir' gene seems to bring all the anti-ageing benefits - its proper name is DAF 16, but it was quickly nicknamed 'Sweet Sixteen' because it turned the worms into teenagers.
Discovering the Grim Reaper gene has prompted the professor to ­dramatically alter her own diet, ­cutting right back on carbohydrates. That’s because carbs make your body produce more insulin (to mop up the extra blood sugar carbs ­produce); and more insulin means a more active Grim Reaper.  So the vital second gene, the 'elixir' one, won't get turned on.

To test this, last year she added a tiny amount of ­sugary glucose to the normal diet of some of her worms that had had their genes engineered so they were living much longer, healthier lives.  'The effect was remarkable,' she says. 'The sugary glucose blocked the ''youthful'' genes and they lost most of the health gains.'
Following Kenyon’s lead, other researchers started looking for the Grim Reaper/ Sweet Sixteen combination in other animals — and of course in humans.

They found it.

One clue came from a small remote community of dwarves living in northern Ecuador who are cancer-free. They are missing the part of the Grim Reaper gene that controls a hormone called insulin-like growth factor. The downside is they only grow to 4ft tall because the hormone is needed for growth.  But this missing bit of the Grim Reaper gene also means they don’t develop cancer and are less likely to suffer from heart disease or obesity.

Professor Jeff Holly, who specialises in insulin-like growth factor, confirms that it is linked to cancer of the prostate, breast and colon.  In fact raised insulin levels, triggered by high carbohydrate ­consumption, could be what ­connects many of our big killers. Research is at its early stage, but raised insulin triggers an increase in cholesterol production in the liver, makes the walls of blood vessels ­contract so blood pressure goes up and stimulates the release of fats called triglycerides (linked to heart disease).
'Carbo­hydrates, and especially refined ones like sugar, make you produce lots of extra insulin. I’ve been keeping my intake really low ever since I discovered this. I've cut out all starch such as potatoes, noodles, rice, bread and pasta. Instead I have salads, but no sweet dressing, lots of olive oil and nuts, tons of green vegetables along with cheese, chicken and eggs. I'll have a hamburger without a bun and fish without batter or chips. I eat some fruit every day, but not too much and almost no processed food. I stay away from sweets, except 80 per cent chocolate.'


Refs (older, not this one):


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Can Ireland exit EU and join US?

Something is happening, see the articles:

Soden: Let's quit EU and join US

Frederick Forsyth: Rise up, reclaim your country

Leaving the euro might well be our 'least bad' option

Mike Soden's [Irish Central Bank advisor] announcement is probably not accidental because of it's timing. This issue was simmering since 2008. Ireland jeopardised its sovereignty by assuming their private banking debt on call from Brussels, in return for some guarantees, as revealed through some leaks on David McWilliams forum, recently.

The fact that Soden chose now to speak out plus the rumors of a feud between Lenihan [fin.min.] and Cowen [prime min.], indicate that something bad is happening. My guess is that they are finding out to their surprize that those German and French "guarantees" are probably not as solid as they seemed 2 years ago (if it comes to foreign "guarantees" they should ask Poles - they may know something about that...).

Also, Lenihan has probably realized (by adding up all figures) that Irish economy will not recover on cutbacks alone. The reason is obvious to me or McWilliams - the lack of indigenous industry. A service based economy (with a notable exception of the Swiss banking phenomenon) cannot cut-back its way to prosperity, as Greeks are now finding out too.

[shocking economic heresy=on] You have to actually _produce_ something that other people would buy and charge competitive prices for that. [shocking economic heresy=off]

In my humble opinion, Ireland will not be able to solve it by exiting EU and joining US, going alone or with other alliances - the moment this happens, European banks will probably immediately pull out resources and loans from the Irish banks collapsing them and sinking the state. It is worse than Iceland - Iceland is small enough to survive being cut off, on cod fishing alone. Ireland is too big to do that and too small to do what the British are doing now.

Also, you can see here a classical example of "monkey" regressors' culture in action, among the Irish/EU ruling caste: when everything is well they cooperate, when "bananas" are lacking, they kick out the weakest members out of their herd.

Update 8-Nov-2010

Interesting articles:

THE BIG PICTURE: Ireland is effectively insolvent – the next crisis will be mass home mortgage default, writes MORGAN KELLY

Eoghan Harris: Public-sector wealth can only lead to private decay

Update 11-Dec-2010

Interesting article:

Iceland safe, Ireland sorry?


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Alzheimer's, B12 and homocysteine - vegans beware!


This is based on the newly published Scandinavian study:
Homocysteine and holotranscobalamin and the risk of Alzheimer disease


Results: The odds ratios (ORs) (95% confidence interval [CI]) for AD were 1.16 (1.04–1.31) per increase of 1 ┬Ámol/L of tHcy at baseline and 0.980 (0.965–0.995) for each increase of 1 pmol/L baseline holoTC.

Notice how did the authors skillfully manage to conceal the impact (really huge!) - by not putting the risk ratio over the full range in the abstract. Instead they mitigated their grant-loosing risk by showing only an incremental change per 1umol/L or per 1pmol/L of the intependent varaibles. (Note: tHcy=homocysteine, holoTC=B12, AD=Alzheimer's Disease).

The impact seems to be huge indeed, based on some quick-and-dirty calculations of the typical tHcy and B12 variability among some populations. Taking two other studies (see [1] and [2] below) giving the average difference between vegetarians and non-vegetarians for tHcy and B12 ( 2.6 to 12.3 umol/L and -94 to -195 pmol/L respectively),   applying the above incremental ratios of (1.16 and 0.980 respectively) one obtains the estimated ralative risk ratio for AD for vegetarians versus non-vegetarians of: 1.5 to 6.2 based on the homocysteine, and 6.7 to 51 based on the B12 data.

(Disclaimer: risk ratio estimates that are based on statistical data do not prove nor disprove causuation.)

My conclusion: the study indicates that the B12 defficiency as well as (independently) high homocysteine seem to be very strong predictors of Alzheimer's disease risk. The overal risk estimate is also much stronger than the washed-out figures presented in the paper's abstract. This should be of utmost importance for vegans and vegetarians!

See also:

1. Effect of Vegetarian Diet on Homocysteine Levels

2. Plasma Homocysteine Levels in Taiwanese Vegetarians Are Higher than Those of Omnivores

3. BBC Health News: Vitamin B12 link to Alzheimer's backed by study

4. BBC Health News: Vitamin B 'puts off Alzheimer's'


Friday, October 15, 2010

red meat fights back

New meta study:

Red meat consumption: an overview of the risks and benefits.


Red meat is long established as an important dietary source of protein and essential nutrients including iron, zinc and vitamin B12, yet recent reports that its consumption may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and colon cancer have led to a negative perception of the role of red meat in health. The aim of this paper is to review existing literature for both the risks and benefits of red meat consumption, focusing on case-control and prospective studies. Despite many studies reporting an association between red meat and the risk of CVD and colon cancer, several methodological limitations and inconsistencies were identified which may impact on the validity of their findings. Overall, there is no strong evidence to support the recent conclusion from the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) report that red meat has a convincing role to play in colon cancer. A substantial amount of evidence supports the role of lean red meat as a positive moderator of lipid profiles with recent studies identifying it as a dietary source of the anti-inflammatory long chain (LC) n-3 PUFAs and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). In conclusion, moderate consumption of lean red meat as part of a balanced diet is unlikely to increase risk for CVD or colon cancer, but may positively influence nutrient intakes and fatty acid profiles, thereby impacting positively on long-term health.

This blog article contains a long list of studies (with abstracts) on this topic.


Friday, October 8, 2010

U.S. Air Force Officers Recount Experiences With UFOs

ABC News article by KI MAE HEUSSNER, Sept.27,2010

During a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., seven former Air Force officers once stationed at nuclear bases around the country said that not only have UFOs visited Air Force bases, some have succeeded in disabling nuclear missiles stationed there.  ...

Why am I quoting this?  I don't know, though I am getting an impression that something is changing about the tone of the media outlets, regarding this particular topic.  Perhaps this fact is important!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Vit D in childhood and diabetes T1 or schizophrenia - almost total protection!


Fatty fish, such as salmon etc, are natural sources of vitamin D. (source - Wikipedia)

How often do we see a statistical risk reduction of some disease 8-times (relative risk reduction RR=0.12) or by a factor of 12 (RR=0.08)?   One cannot be 100% sure based on the outcome of just two studies but I am tempted to entertain an idea of the TOTAL PROTECTION, with the residual incidents possibly explained by non-conformance or observational errors.

Intake of vitamin D and risk of type 1 diabetes: a birth-cohort study.


Vitamin D supplementation was associated with a decreased frequency of type 1 diabetes when adjusted for neonatal, anthropometric, and social characteristics (rate ratio [RR] for regular vs no supplementation 0.12, 95% CI 0.03-0.51, and irregular vs no supplementation 0.16, 0.04-0.74. Children who regularly took the recommended dose of vitamin D (2000 IU daily) had a RR of 0.22 (0.05-0.89) compared with those who regularly received less than the recommended amount. Children suspected of having rickets during the first year of life had a RR of 3.0 (1.0-9.0) compared with those without such a suspicion.

Vitamin D supplementation during the first year of life and risk of schizophrenia: a Finnish birth cohort study.


RESULTS: In males, the use of either irregular or regular vitamin D supplements was associated with a reduced risk of schizophrenia (Risk ratio (RR)=0.08, 95% CI 0.01-0.95; RR=0.12, 95% CI 0.02-0.90, respectively) compared with no supplementation. In males, the use of at least 2000 IU of vitamin D was associated with a reduced risk of schizophrenia (RR=0.23, 95% CI 0.06-0.95) compared to those on lower doses. There were no significant associations between either the frequency or dose of vitamin D supplements and (a) schizophrenia in females, nor with (b) nonpsychotic disorder or psychotic disorders other than schizophrenia in either males or females.

CONCLUSION: Vitamin D supplementation during the first year of life is associated with a reduced risk of schizophrenia in males. Preventing hypovitaminosis D during early life may reduce the incidence of schizophrenia.

Update (6/9/2010):

Another paper on the subject (thanks Neonomide):

Relation of schizophrenia prevalence to latitude, climate, fish consumption, infant mortality, and skin color: a role for prenatal vitamin d deficiency and infections?

A review article by J.J. Cannell MD of "The Vitamin D Council":

The Vitamin D Newsletter August 2009, Vitamin D and Schizophrenia

More update (18/09/2010)

Paper: Schizophrenia, gluten, and low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diets: a case report and review of the literature


C.D. is a 70 year-old Caucasian female with a diagnosis of schizophrenia since the age of seventeen. Her diagnosis was based on paranoia, disorganized speech, and hallucinations. She reported both auditory and visual hallucinations,... she has had these hallucinations on almost a daily basis since the age of seven. ...has also been hospitalized at least five times over the last six years for suicide attempts and increased psychotic symptoms.

... Over the course of 12 months, C.D. has continued the low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet and has had no recurrence of her auditory or visual hallucinations. She has also continued to lose weight (body weight 131.4 kilograms) and experience improvements in her energy level.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


If you haven't already seen the post, this is a must-read:
The China Study, Wheat, and Heart Disease; Oh My!

Quote (added 13/05/2015):

If you’ve been following along with the previous China Study entries (and the wild drama that ensued), you know that I’ve been promising an entry on wheat for a while now, mostly because this little snippet snagged so many eyes:

Correlation between wheat flour and coronary heart disease: 0.67

That’s a value straight from the original China Study data. Could the “Grand Prix of epidemiology” have accidentally uncovered a link between the Western world’s leading cause of death and its favorite glutenous grain? Is the “staff of life” really the staff of death? Bwah ha ha.

Two graphs from Denise Minger blog article, (the graphs are based on the Oxford China Study spreadsheet data) :

(China Study, Denise Minger blog)

(China Study, Denise Minger blog)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

No benefit of veg and fruit consumption in t2 diabetes!


 Fig 4 Hazard ratios for incidence in diabetes type 2 for highest versus lowest intake of fruit and vegetables combined. Weights are from random effects analysis

Newly published meta-study in BMJ:

Fruit and vegetable intake and incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus: systematic review and meta-analysis


Results Six studies met the inclusion criteria; four of these studies also provided separate information on the consumption of green leafy vegetables. Summary estimates showed that greater intake of green leafy vegetables was associated with a 14% (hazard ratio 0.86, 95% confidence interval 0.77 to 0.97) reduction in risk of type 2 diabetes (P=0.01). The summary estimates showed no significant benefits of increasing the consumption of vegetables, fruit, or fruit and vegetables combined.

I have to add a comment:
   There is only one supposedly significant, positive correlation found in this study - the one with green veg (hazard ratio 0.86).  It is possible [but see also (*)] that the significancy results from pooling four separate studies together. When you look at the individual studies on FIG5 : three are only marginally positive, that is their error estimates touch 1.0, while one large study [39] (Women’s Health Study) shows the hazard ratio of 1.0 which indicates no effect.

This paper  [37] (Nurses' Health Study data) is also interesting because it is one of the largest and longest of its kind. Again, no benefit overall from vegetable consumption and miniscule benefit from greens alone. It also shows this interesting graph:

Note (*): There is a discrepancy in the data. The resulting hazard ratio may also turn out to be not statistically significant for green vegetables, since the overall P=0.18 as per FIG.5 while at the same time it is written as P=0.01 in the abstract for the same result. Given the wide spread 0.77-0.97, my guess is that the abstract figure of 0.01 may be a typo, but I am not 100% sure.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

China Study says wheat is associated with vascular disease

... but probably not with cancer!

The following graphs are based on the Raw China Study data  , using 1989 part of the study, total M+F, 3-rd "xiang".  My original spreadsheet is here in OpenOffice 3.2 Calc format.  The following graphs represent raw scatter plots for specific disease mortality (all vascular or all cancer)  against each of the independent variables, with no data processing of any kind.


I have to add a paper I found quoted by Denise Minger in her laterst response, that is definitely worth a note:

Nunes and Silva, 2009, "Systemic Correlates of Angiographic Coronary Artery Disease"


Significant correlation values versus CADB [coronary artery disease burden] 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).  

Interestingly, in addition to plasma glucose, uric acid correlates with fructose consumption. Both point to metabolic syndrome and pre-diabetes as the main causative factor behind atherosclerosis in this particular study. How is Chinese wheat consumption fitting in here? Since rice does not correlate with vascular risk while wheat does, it may indicate a presence of another factor associated with wheat that correlates positively and perhaps causuatively with the metabolic syndrome and thus with the vascular disease. I am going to come back to this issue in the future posts.

Updated 7-Aug-2010

The situation is very confusing, since some studies done in the West such as those reviewed in this compilation or the Nurses' Study  tend to indicate that consumption of the whole grain wheat correlates with lower heart disease. I can't think of any obvious explanation of that contradiciton.   Perhaps one of the following possibilities may be playing a role:
(a) China Study is wrong or is showing a spurious correlation (albeit a very strong one M059 over D038 is +56%, see page 215); (b) Western medical studies are wrong or showing a spurious (weak -17% to -29%) correlation masking some other underlying factor such as an overal carbohydrate intake? (overall carbs intake also correlated with vasc disease in China Study!); (c) It may depend on what wheat consumption is compared against - either wheat compared against rice or whole wheat consumption compared against refined wheat and sugar? In the latter case the problem is what toxic factor playes the role in the refined wheat but not in the whole wheat? Logic would dictate that it should be the other way around, for example wheat germ agglutins (ref) should be more aboundand in the whole wheat products than in the refine flour products.

China Study says animal fat is healthy!

The following graphs are based on the Raw China Study data  , using 1989 part of the study, total M+F, 3-rd "xiang".  My original spreadsheet is here in OpenOffice 3.2 Calc format.  The following graphs represent raw scatter plots for specific disease mortality (all vascular or all cancer)  against each of the independent variables, with no data processing of any kind.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The China Study corroborates Kwasniewski's diet

The data seem to corroborate Dr. Kwasniewski's Optimal Diet, to some extent, in terms of the trend.  That is, a higher fat shows a trend towards better health, where as the more protein and more carbs tend towards higher mortalities. At the same time the raw data I have seen so far do not seem to support an idea that plant based very low fat nutrition is healthier!

Dr. Kwasniewski's diet is high in animal fat, low in protein (unlike Atkins) and low in carbohydrates. Similar to Atkins but puts a restriction on protein (1g/kg of ideal body weight, per day) and does not advocate an "induction" stage followed by an increase in carbohydrates.

The following graphs are based on the Raw China Study data  , using 1989 part of the study, total M+F, 3-rd "xiang".  My original spreadsheet is here in OpenOffice 3.2 Calc format.  (Sorry, no Excel, got tired of loosing data).  The following graphs represent raw scatter plots for specific disease mortality (all vascular or all cancer)  against each of the independent variables, with no data processing of any kind.  You be the judge!   :)





"..The ‘Grand Prix’...the most comprehensive large study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease....tantalizing findings"
The New York Times

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Atkins revisited

The reason I decided to post this note today is the following discussion
thread: Atkins Meat and Millet Diet . Start reading with Dolores' posts.

My Cholesterol Bomba

I started experimenting with the high animal fat low carb nutrition in July 1999. It worked so well for me that it became my lifestyle ever since. Since it never caused me any trouble, I could never understand why were some people, especially diabetics, opting out after just a few months with lots of complains. Yet those were exactly the people for whom a high fat low carb diet was best suited (*) and could have been the most benefitial had they been able to persist. Why couldn't they?

I think I can probably answer this question now:

The most likely reason behind diabeitc's failures to follow Atkins lies in the induction stage being too short and Dr. Atkins unfortunate recommendation to increase carbohydrates beyond the ketogenic limit (about 20g) following the short induction stage, as well as the lack of restriction on the amount of protein! Diabetics need probably about 2 years to adapt, before they can add more carbohydrates and protein back to their HIGH FAT diet.   I needed 1.5 years before I could tolerate the average beyond 20g carbs a day!



Fat does not cause permanent insulin resistance. Under normal circumstance, it only does it while you eat it, not a few hors afterwards. Even if I eat lots of fat, I can have 100g of carbs on the next day (though I rarely do).

My body WAS insulin resistant intitially on the high fat diet, but I was able to increase my occasional consumption of carbs way above my initial 50g level [NOTE: this is an error, should be 25], gradually over time.

In the first year I could not exceed 25g of carbs (1 beer) without suffering a massive headache. Gradually after a couple of years my body recovered its usual flexibility and I am able to eat occasionally up to about 100g of carbs as vegetable, fruit and my two favored "truly essential macronutrients" - ice cream and chocolate.

For me a high fat low carb diet wasn't a road from bad to worse, it was from bad to normal!

I suspect that the reason behind Atkins diet #1 delayed (not immediate) blood glucose deterioration among some patient was his allowance to up the carbs after his initial induction stage. Some patients probably took it too liberaly and coupled with the then much stronger fatophobia than nowadays, may have resulted in overconsumtion of lean protein and carbs.

In my experience on the high fat, which is probably representative to many middle-aged adults ( 43 at that time) , my hormonal imbalance involving insulin resistance, with hypoglycemia and poor glucose regulation persisted throughout the first 1.5 year! Atkins induction period (6m ?) was probably not long enough for people with metabolic syndrome and with diabetes! It certainly was not long enough for me. In the first 1.5 years I could only tolerate 25g of carbs! Which was not a huge problem but I just had to remember to be strict. Whenever I ate more, even 50g would cause me a headache especially if I simultaneously exceeded protein as well! For example, I remember a massive headache I got from a plate full of salmon with potatoes!

Technically my capacity to consume carbs became in that initial period much reduced than before on the high carb diet, therefore technically you could argue that I had "deteriorated" from being insulin resistant to being virtually a diabetic! However, that is purely of academic interest (i.e of useless value) because I RARELY exceeded those 25g of carbs/day, and when I did stuck to those 25g I had absolutely no problem and my health continued improving. That 25g limit didn't bother or worry me at all! For example my intestinal sensitivities and dry eyes syndrome went away with weeks. My mild angina begun gradually abate and I was feeling stronger and more energetic with every passing months. That was the story of the first 1.5 years. Most Atkins patients I guess - would probably bail out during that stage, not understanding why they suddenly feel much worse the moment they add "little" bit more carbs after Atkins unfortunate recommendation!

The second stage of my adaptation to my high fat nutrition occured after 1.5 years. My mild angina completely disappeared, and I discovered that I am no longer carbohydrate intolerant!

I remember how surprized I was when after eating two full bowls of strawberries I did not get any sensations! I no longer would get a headache after drinking wine and especially beer.


I recommend also to look back at this post Can ketogenic diet cure cancer?, please notice the two papers referenced:

Ketosis leads to increased methylglyoxal production on the Atkins diet.

A brief critical overview of the biological effects of methylglyoxal and further evaluation of a methylglyoxal-based anticancer formulation in treating cancer patients.


*) For example, see the following comments and papers:

1.  Beware of the carbs!

However, at least 22 experiments have documented the benefits of reducing the dietary intake of carbohydrates in type 2 diabetics.2-23 Most of them were controlled studies where a low- carbohydrate diet was compared with a low-fat diet, and almost all of them found that the former was better than the latter as regards weight reduction and glycemic control. In several of the low- carbohydrate groups patients were even able to reduce or stop their antidiabetic treatment.
Most of these studies were ignored by the Cochrane authors because their length was shorter than six months. However, to-day four studies with a length of six months or longer have been published and with similar benefits as in the short-term experiments.14, 15, 19, 23

2.  Control of blood glucose in type 2 diabetes without weight loss by modification of diet composition

... A 30:20:50 [P:C:F] ratio diet resulted in a 38% decrease in 24-hour glucose area, a reduction in fasting glucose to near normal and a decrease in %tGHb from 9.8% to 7.6%. The response to a 30:30:40 ratio diet was similar.


Altering the diet composition could be a patient-empowering method of improving the hyperglycemia of type 2 diabetes without weight loss or pharmacologic intervention.

3. Dietary carbohydrate restriction in type 2 diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome: time for a critical appraisal

Current nutritional approaches to metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes generally rely on reductions in dietary fat. The success of such approaches has been limited and therapy more generally relies on pharmacology. The argument is made that a re-evaluation of the role of carbohydrate restriction, the historical and intuitive approach to the problem, may provide an alternative and possibly superior dietary strategy. The rationale is that carbohydrate restriction improves glycemic control and reduces insulin fluctuations which are primary targets. Experiments are summarized showing that carbohydrate-restricted diets are at least as effective for weight loss as low-fat diets and that substitution of fat for carbohydrate is generally beneficial for risk of cardiovascular disease. These beneficial effects of carbohydrate restriction do not require weight loss. Finally, the point is reiterated that carbohydrate restriction improves all of the features of metabolic syndrome.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

China Study - Raw Data - more plant food = more heart disease!

At last! Finally the Raw Data behind the infamous "The China Study..." book by Dr. TC Campbell from Cornell University has emmerged out of some obscure "unobtainium" publication and became available on-line on the Clinical Trial Service Unit at Oxford University web site!

Below are the links to blogs and sources.

#1. Denise Minger on China Study - long and in depth analysis of the raw data with graphs. See also her article on Tuoli county the only county in the China Study that consumed a high fat medium carb diet:

According to our prominent vegan theorists such as Drs Campbel, Ornish, McDougall, Esselstyne et al, the Tuoli people ought to have been very sick or dead. As you can read from Denise analysis nothing is farthest from truth. Tuoli seems to be healthier than in most other China counties!

#2. Fantastic comment by Richard Kroeker on Amazon forum,
- giving his own analyzis of the raw date similar to and corroborationg an analysis by Denise Minger.  Note: you should start reading from that post and then move on to #1 above, since Kroeker's article is much shorter.


... This is not at all what Campbell's book implied the data said. As I said above, I am an engineer (with a PhD) with heart disease simply trying to find out what to eat. You do the math...

My day-job is analyzing hard drive failure statistics that result from usage and stress testing; I get paid to make the problems being studied "go away". I have also recently had a triple bypass, ...

For instance, the people who ate the most animal protein had 68.9% less heart disease (at 95% confidence) than those people who ate the least animal protein. The people who ate the most plant protein had 64.9% more heart disease (at 89% confidence) than those people who ate the least plant protein.

I am quoting here some interesting correlation (actually the risk ratio between the extreme sample bins for a given variable, '-' means improvement, '+' means harm) from Kroeker's post, the first column numbers are univariate (single-variable, uncorrected against possible confounders) risk ratios in %, the most negative numbers (blue) = low mortality, the most positive numbers (red) = high mortality. The second number in brackets are the "confidence" estimates in % as per Kroeker's definition (see here in his methodology document). This is for mortality of all vascular disease age 35-69.


-55.6% (90%) - ANIMAL FOOD INTAKE (g/day/ref)
-55.1% (94%) - FOLATE plasma FOLATE (ng/mL)
-54.8% (89%) - ANIMAL PROTEIN INTAKE (g/day/ref)
-54.1% (90%) - FISH INTAKE (g/day/ref)

-49.5% (84%) - TOTAL LIPID INTAKE (g/day/reference man)

-49.1% (87%) - PERCENTAGE ANIMAL FOOD INTAKE (for refere
-48.4% (83%) - MEAT INTAKE (red meat and poultry) (g/day
-48.0% (83%) - CHOLESTEROL INTAKE (mg/day/reference man)
-46.6% (81%) - RED MEAT (pork, beef, mutton) INTAKE (g/d
-42.2% (82%) - SATURATED FATTY ACID INTAKE (g/day/ref)
-40.7% (89%) - RICE INTAKE (g/day/reference man, air-dry
-38.0% (84%) - TOTAL CAROTENOID INTAKE (retinol equivale
-36.0% (84%) - POULTRY INTAKE (g/day/reference man, as-c
-42.9% (82%) - Se plasma SELENIUM (ug/dL)
-42.8% (85%) - TOTPROT plasma 1989 TOTAL PROTEIN (g/dL)
-42.6% (86%) - APOA1 plasma APOLIPOPROTEIN A1 (mg/dL) (non-pooled analysis
-40.7% (88%) - Zn plasma ZINC (mg/dL)
-38.7% (76%) - B-CAROT plasma BETA CAROTENE (ug/dL)
-38.0% (82%) - ANHYDLUT plasma ANHYDRO LUTEIN (ug/dL)
-34.6% (81%) - TOTCHOL plasma TOTAL CHOLESTEROL (mg/dL)
-34.1% (79%) - NON-HDL plasma CHOLEST.(mg/dL)[=LDL+Trig/5]

32.4% (79%) - plasma LDL to HDL ratio
35.6% (75%) - PLANT FOOD INTAKE (g/day/reference man)
37.5% (82%) - POTASSIUM INTAKE (mg/day/ref)
39.3% (76%) - SPICE INTAKE (g/day/ref)
40.0% (84%) - MAGNESIUM INTAKE (mg/day/ref)
42.2% (80%) - MANGANESE INTAKE (mg/day/ref)
43.0% (90%) - OTHER CEREAL INTAKE (g/day/ref)
46.4% (93%) - TOTAL PROTEIN INTAKE (g/day/ref)
47.7% (91%) - COPPER INTAKE (mg/day/ref)

50.5% (87%) - IRON INTAKE (mg/day/ref)
58.9% (95%) - PLANT PROTEIN INTAKE (g/day/reference man)
62.4% (97%) - WHEAT FLOUR INTAKE (g/day/reference man)

#3. Richard Nikoley's blog where I found the original links (thanks):

Stan (Heretic)


Update 13-July-2010

HILLARIOUS response (and also the comment #505 here (*) that is   ) by Dr. TC Campbell of Cornell University to Denise Minger!

No discussion of the data, instead plenty of ad-hominem attacks, pointing out her age, questioning her character integrity and weaving some conspiracy theory implying backing by some lobbying organization having "untold financial resources" such as Weston A. Price Foundation!   :)

Dr. TC Campbell of Cornell U. (probably) wrote:

"I find it very puzzling that someone with virtually no training in this science can do such a lengthy and detailed analysis in their supposedly spare time. I know how agricultural lobbying organizations do it–like the Weston A Price Foundation with many chapters around the country and untold amounts of financial resources. Someone takes the lead in doing a draft of an article, then has access to a large number of commentators to check out the details, technical and literal, of the drafts as they are produced. I have no proof, of course, whether this young girl is anything other than who she says she is, but I find it very difficult to accept her statement that this was her innocent and objective reasoning, and hers alone. If she did this alone, based on her personal experiences from age 7 (as she describes it), I am more than impressed."
- I am not!


*) If someone figured it out how to link to a comment by its number, on wordpress blog please let me know. Nothing obvious such as ?comment=505 etc seems to work.

Update 17-July-2010

Reordering and reformatting. It is interesting to notice that in China Study the higher total cholesterol, and the higher LDL+Triglycerides correlated with LOWER cardiovascular mortality; while higher HDL level correlated very strongly with lower cardiovascular mortality!

Update 29-July-2010

Added confidence levels in brackets (%) and a link to Rich Kroeker's methodology document.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Butter and cream twice as effective as statin


Relative risk reduction by 49%!

Conjugated linoleic acid in adipose tissue and risk of myocardial infarction


Results: Adipose tissue 9c,11t-CLA was associated with a lower risk of MI in basic and multivariate models. Compared with the lowest quintile, odds ratios and 95% CIs were 0.80 (0.61, 1.04) for the second, 0.86 (0.64, 1.14) for the third, 0.62 (0.46, 0.84) for the fourth, and 0.51 (0.36, 0.71) for the fifth quintiles (P for trend <0.0001). Dairy intake was not associated with risk of MI, despite a strong risk associated with saturated fat intake [*].

*) The last sentence is a bul..t of course.  There is no extra cardiac risk associated with saturated fat as many other studies such as this  this or this have shown.

(JC - thanks for the link)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Why does Canadian gov...

... steal less?  Less than other governments! Hope you will enjoy this refreshing point of view, and appologies for straying away from the main blog topics.  (feel free to click that box on the right, it's OK.  8-:) )

This discussion begun with Gavin Hewitt's BBC article


Stan "Dozent" P. wrote:

You were right, the British papers are much more interesting and honest then North American, BUT...

"That is one of the key conclusions of the paper. Since adopting the euro Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain have become increasingly uncompetitive. That and the slowdown in productivity is the heart of the crisis in the eurozone, rather than debt. Debt is a symptom."

No, It is not, pure and simple. Uncompetitiveness is a symptom. Debt is the result of the disease. The Euro is a facilitator, not the root cause. The cause of the cancer is rooted deeper, much deeper. It is true that without the conversion to Euro the massive theft ( or misallocation of capital  8-)  ) in Greece and Ireland would not have happened.  But a similar story has happened in USA and it is hard to blame it on adopting a dollar. Iceland is in the worse situation then Greece or Ireland yet it does NOT use the Euro! One can not blame it on the Mediterranean culture either. Iceland is a country of tough, hard working people yet it is screwed up just as well.

The root cause is that western elites and governments are indolent and corrupt to the bone. Give the mouse a piece of cheese, he will ask for a glass of milk.

20 years ago Argentina and Brasil went bankrupt. Their liabilities were about 100 Billion. Their popolation 100 million Who the heck lent 120 Billion to Iceland, a country of 300,000 people? Who lent 600 billion to Ireland, the country of 3 million? Greeks did what Bernie Madoff would do if he was a state! Cheated, falsified numbers, and paid bills with new phony money. Who the heck packaged all these Alabama Ninja mortgages into "AAA" securities. Who sold this crap to Icelandic banks? Where did they got the money to pay for it? When you look at it closely, Iceland was used to launder money and they got a commission for doing it.

The establishment, the governments and their paid journalists will invent one reason after another why this crisis happened and continues.  This will change nothing Thanks God our Canadian Prime Minister took a bribe of $300,000.  He thought it is BIG MONEY.  Thanks God another Prime Minister got involved in his friend Golf Course.  It cost taxpayers 0.5 million.  Thanks to these crooks, our government was paralyzed for 20 years and missed the greatest thieving opportunity of their lives.  Thank to them, we can calmly wait until this economic bomb explodes SOMEWHERE ELSE.  Explode it will! A few hundred crooks cannot stop 6 billion people who want to live decent lives.  Someone, somewhere, sometimes will default on their "obligations" and this whole house of cards will fall apart.

Stan P.

Working notes on cholesterol and diet


The following "features/benefits" matrix, represents qualitative risk estimate of heart disease versus total blood cholesterol level (vertically), and versus diet (horizontal). In each cell a value 0(no risk) to 5(very high), would represent a qualitalive heart disease risk based on a subjective estimate. It would probably look like this:

TotCholV.low fat veganmed.fat low sugarmed-hi fat hi sugarhi fat lo carb
low23not happen1

Disclaimer Note:

This is my conjecture/guesswork based on my my medical literature study. This was constructed as an aid in a discussion with my forum friends. This is not a scientific data, PLEASE DO NOT QUOTE THIS! The numbers are subjective reflecting my belief in the reality rather than the reality itself. They are intended only to illustrate a trend rather than to quantify it.

Please note that I do not believe that the cholesterol level is a causual factor (i.e. causing disease), I believe that it is just a marker thus too high or too low a level may indicate that something else is wrong with the endocrine system, and that "something else" may be contributing to a heart disease.

I do not separate medium fat low sugar from medium fat vegetarian low sugar because I do not believe that vegetarianism per se matters. Rather, I focus on the dietary sugar contents. In my table, the Standard American (and European) Diet would be in the medium-high fat (35-45% calories) high sugar (>10% calories) column. I follow a convention where "very low fat" means about 10%, "low fat" 20% and "medium fat " 30%, High cholesterol is about 250mg/dl or higher, low cholesterol is about 150mg/dl or lower.

I think that rather than asking ourselves "How much fat?", "What fat?", or "what cholesterol?" we should be asking ourselves how much sugar is still safe to eat?.