Since late 2016 we have entered the age of disclosures! Fasten your mental safety belt and enjoy the ride! Heretic

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.

Update (20/07/2018, thanks @Hokushinsai )

Updated 31/07/2018 (thanks @TuckerGoodrich)

This Giant X-Ray Generator Helped Set Safe Doses for Radiation,
Physicist Lauriston Taylor also found X-rays effective against athlete’s foot and bursitis. By By Evan Ackerman, 28-April-2017


“The only single documented whole body exposure that I know that I’ve had was in 1929, and it was measured to be 150 [Roentgen]…. I sat in an X-ray beam for 20 minutes or half an hour or something…. I was just sitting right smack in the beam…. [With that much radiation] you’re supposed to get nauseated, but we didn’t know that in 1929, so I wasn’t.”

For the record, 150 Roentgen is equivalent to 1.4 sievert, which according to this chart starts to put you in the realm of “severe radiation poisoning, in some cases fatal.” But since the chart wasn’t around in 1929, Taylor was just fine. Indeed, he told the interviewer in 1995, “I also used to treat [my] athlete’s foot.... I don’t remember what the dose was, but it was probably four or five hundred R [3.7 to 4.7 Sv].”

“That exposure in addition to medical radiation treatment for bursitis and other benign conditions and from radiation experiments resulted in an estimated whole-body dose-equivalent in excess of a thousand rem [10 Sv],” Taylor’s obituary for the Health Physics Society stated. “He experienced no discernible adverse effect.”

Taylor continued working until the age of 97, and having published over 160 scientific papers and writing or contributing to 24 books, he died in 2004 at the age of 102.

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?

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Did a psychiatric drug or did guns trigger mass shooting?

This is speculative but the question must be asked in public and then must be answered by the authorities entrusted in regulatory duties.  No it is not about guns!

Michael Moore - Reveals the real cause of Columbine. (watch minute 1:30)


... Eli Lilly for nearly 15 years covered up their own internal investigation that anyone on Prozac is 12 times more likely to commit suicide than on other anti-depressant.

See also this:

Oregon: Another Mass Shooting, Another Psychiatric Drug? 35 School Shootings/Mass Stabbings Tied to Psychiatric Drugs


According to an article posted in the Oregonian, “There are a number of indications that Mercer had mental health or behavioral issues. His screen name on some social media sites was ‘lithium love.’ Lithium is a psychiatric medication.

The question is what a particular drug or a class of drugs may be triggering it?

Thursday, September 24, 2015

It is the fettered capitalism that is the problem!


From Wiki

It is the "fettered" capitalism which sucks and taxes capital out of individuals and small businesses, taking from people who work and create wealth giving it to governments and corporate/banking oligarchs.

Pope calls unfettered capitalism 'the dung of the devil'

I disagree, I think the Pope is mistaken.   "Unfettered" capitalism, when it still existed, created the wealthiest country in the world by allowing the poor European peasant refugees who came here with nothing to keep the money they earned, to reinvest it to grow their own businesses.

No country in Europe including the part of Italy that was ruled by Vatican for long period of time,  allowed their poorest working class people to accumulate capital and become rich, they were always taxed out of their surplus income.   If that is the Pope's solution against poverty than no thanks.  I prefer the unfettered capitalism.  If I could only find one somewhere...


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Longevity genes, glucose and insulin sensitivity

Some of the most interesting longevity research concerns FOXO3A (homozygotic GG) and SIRT6 genes. In the case of FOXO3A, it seem to be associated also with the improved insulin sensitivity (thus allowing the body to maintain consistently LOW insulin level, reducing the risk of insulin resistance, metabolic factor and diabetes t2) throughout one's life. In the case of SIRT6 which plays a major role in DNA repair process, it appears to be upregulated with lower glucose consumption. Insulin and carbohydrates, carbohydrates and insulin...

Lots of unanswered questions: is the link accidental or not? Which is the primary and which is the secondary factor in the longevity?
Is (a) FOXO3A the primary cause of longevity while in addition improving also the insulin sensitivity? - Or, (b) is the improved insulin sensitivity and low glucose caused by the gene (or by whatever other factors...) - the primary longevity factor?

So far, the second answer (b) seems to be already demonstrated for the SIRT6 while there seems to be a growing suspicion that it is may be so for the FOXO3A as well!

This situation reminds me that the life forms may deals with any adverse environmental threat in the two-fold fashion: - either evolving a special resistance against a threat or simply avoiding the threat (in this case by not consuming the excessive carbohydrates...)

So, you either may already have the protective genes and in this case you can safely consume whatever high carbohydrate food is being marketed your way, or you minimize or avoid that stuff altogether. Everybody has a choice - and that's excellent news!

More links:

Bradley Willcox et al., "FOXO3A genotype is strongly associated with human longevity", PNAS, September 16, 2008, vol. 105 no. 37


Human longevity is a complex phenotype with a significant familial component, yet little is known about its genetic antecedents. Increasing evidence from animal models suggests that the insulin/IGF-1 signaling (IIS) pathway is an important, evolutionarily conserved biological pathway that influences aging and longevity.
Long-lived men also exhibited several biological markers indicative of greater insulin sensitivity and this was associated with homozygosity for the FOXO3A GG genotype.

I also posted on this subject in post. See the following quote from this article about the SIRT6 gene:


One explanation for this failure may relate to SIRT6’s critical role in DNA repair. Several studies have indicated that SIRT6 helps catalyze repair of the damage at numerous types of DNA lesions, including single- and double-strand breaks. A characteristic feature of aging cells is an increase in the amount of DNA damage.
While overexpression of SIRT6 may not be tractable in a therapeutic context, SIRT6 activity can be increased by caloric restriction, reducing glucose consumption, or increasing NAD+ bioavailability (**) - interventions that have already shown promise in increasing longevity in animal models. (Such interventions are also showing promise in slowing the progress of some age-related neurodegenerative disorders.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

'Cool' teenagers at higher risk of becoming losers or criminals



This is what the recent study has found:

"Whatever Happened to the Cool Kids?", published in the journal Child Development by researchers at the University of Virginia


Pseudomature behavior—ranging from minor delinquency to precocious romantic involvement—is widely viewed as a nearly normative feature of adolescence. When such behavior occurs early in adolescence, however, it was hypothesized to reflect a misguided overemphasis upon impressing peers and was considered likely to predict long-term adjustment problems. In a multimethod, multireporter study following a community sample of 184 adolescents from ages 13 to 23, early adolescent pseudomature behavior was linked cross-sectionally to a heightened desire for peer popularity and to short-term success with peers. Longitudinal results, however, supported the study's central hypothesis: Early adolescent pseudomature behavior predicted long-term difficulties in close relationships, as well as significant problems with alcohol and substance use, and elevated levels of criminal behavior.

The abstract seems to be slightly toned down, while the actual correlation figures (see Table 1) are quite high and significant! For example, some correlation factors (age range in brackets):

"1.Pseudomature behavior (13-15)" versus "12.Problems related to substance use (21–23)", Correlation=50%.

"4.Precocious romantic behavior (13–15)" versus "12.Problems related to substance use (21–23)", Correlation=33%.

"1.Pseudomature behavior (13-15)" versus "14.Criminal behavior (21–23)", Correlation=27%.

"4.Precocious romantic behavior (13–15)" versus "14.Criminal behavior (21–23)", Correlation=31%.

Interestingly, both substance abuse and criminality appear to be also correlated with early puberty!

More reading:

The Independent article: 'Cool kids' can go on to become losers in later life, study finds

My essays on social regression and anthropology.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Myth of increasing interest rates


A recent news headline "US Fed data leak shows staff expect interest rate to increase"


Data accidentally published on the US Federal Reserve website shows that staff economists at the central bank expect an about 25 basis point increase in interest rates in 2015.

I think they are probably lying!

1) It was not an accidental leak but an intentionally planted disinformation like many times before.

2) Interest rates will not significantly increase any time soon, under the present monetary system, because neither the government, central banks nor large corporations can afford the consequences of such a move! There is only one way the interest rates can go at the moment: down!

(see this graph)


Many times in the last couple of years I have witnessed various banking or governmental officials, here in Canada and elsewhere, talking of some imminent interest rate increases - which never seem to materialize!

 Why are they misleading the people? My guess is that they are trying to cool off the property market and preempt the speculative bubbles. If the investors would suddenly rush to buy bonds believing the yields (and interest rates) to go down, then the yields and interest rate would come down faster than anticipated prior to the actual announcement, which would deprive the central banks and the governments of an advantage of being the prime movers.

Interest rates cannot go up, under the current monetary system, because it would probably bankrupt all government (addicted to cheap financing at low interests), most large corporations (ditto) and would instantaneously devalue almost all banking collateral (note: bonds and property go down in value if interest rates go up!).

added 2/07/2015 - There is a better way of putting it:
Lowering of interest rates is inflationary (short term), while increasing them is deflationary (also short term).  Governments and banks cannot afford to initiate a deflationary move (of increasing the rates) under an already deflationary and stagnating economy, given a risk of recession!

I think that the authorities – governments, public sector institutions, large corporations and banks, cannot allow the capital market system to naturally correct towards the higher yields while at the same time obliterating the total value of their personal wealth, value of the entire banking collateral and devaluing most paper "assets"! This process (towards the higher yields) will certainly be opposed by the authorities as hard as they can, because it would render them poorer and less powerful!

The establishment have a very tight control over the system and will not allow that! Not unless they have an alternative. I don’t think they have an alternative at the moment - thus, the interest rates have only one way to go – down, asymptotically to zero!  [or become negative!]

This is the scenario similar to a classical deflationary spiral with decreasing yields (and profit margins), with diminishing velocity of money counteracted by an expansion of monetary mass. Deflationary trend caused by diminishing yields seems to be masked by an expansion of monetary mass (through credit and debt expansion i.e. "Quantitative Easing") that mitigates the deflationary effects and keeps the average prices more stable than they would have been otherwise.

The biggest drawback of this system, in my opinion, lies in the fact that the benefits of the monetary mass expansion apply to governments, large centralized institutions and large corporations, where as the recessionary hardship of the diminishing velocity of money is being felt on the lower and local market level. The current system is unbalanced and I think it will probably not improve much until an additional local multiple-currency system is introduced, that will balance that out and will reverse a recessionary pressure felt by the local markets.

I also suspect that the presence of the local currencies (at the township level, not countries!) may alter the entire dynamics of the central banks and the governments, but we won't know for sure until it is tried and tested.

Update 28-Oct-2015


The Federal Reserve is keeping its key short-term interest rate at a record low in light of a weak global economy, slower U.S. hiring and subpar inflation. But it signaled the possibility of a rate hike in December.

Yeah, right! They can't even lie intelligently! [singing the same old tune lalalalalalala...]

Update 22-Nov-2015

Is this the future of service based non-manufacturing type of economy?  Isn't there something fake about t?

Swiss bank breaks negative interest rates taboo


Friday, June 26, 2015

After 9 years on statins - 2.5 times more diabetes with complications!

Found and published in this recent study titled: Statins and New-Onset Diabetes Mellitus and Diabetic Complications: A Retrospective Cohort Study of US Healthy Adults..


A total of 25,970 patients (3982 statin users and 21,988 nonusers) were identified as healthy adults at baseline. Of these, 3351 statins users and 3351 nonusers were propensity score-matched. Statin users had higher odds of new-onset diabetes (odds ratio [OR] 1.87; 95 % confidence interval [95 % CI] 1.67-2.01), diabetes with complications (OR 2.50; 95 % CI 1.88-3.32), and overweight/obesity (OR 1.14; 95 % CI 1.04-1.25). Secondary and sensitivity analyses demonstrated similar findings.

From Wiki

A summary of the study is also published on the Daily Reckoning site under the title: New Concern About Cholesterol Drugs and Diabetes.  Unfortunately, at the end of the abstract, the authors are promoting another non-statin replacement toxins drugs that have not yet been found to kill patients.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Anti-Iodine conspiracy - Wolff-Chaikoff medical myth

"Sample of iodine" by LHcheM - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons 

Much of the following information, studies, links and inspiration is based on Jerzy Zięba's 2015 book "Ukryte Terapie" ("Hidden Cures"). Highly recommended!

Basically, Wolff and Chaikoff (Wolff J, Chaikoff IL "Plasma inorganic iodide as a homeostatic regulator of thyroid function", J.Biol Chem, 1948) destroyed the previously widespread and largely successful thyroid disease therapies based on iodine supplementation (*) by claiming that the excess iodine blocks thyroid hormone production. However, what their study did actually measure was the effect of stopped absorption of radioactive iodine in to iodine-saturated rat's thyroid tissue. They did not measure thyroid hormones production! Furtheromre, they used unrealistically high iodine tissue dosage, corresponding to an oral intake of 50 grams of Iodine a day (if it were done for humans)

This one study has became the basis of discontinuation of the time-proven previous iodine supplementation therapies in favor of treating thyroid disorders with thyroid hormonal supplements or with surgery.

*) Using Iodine in Potassium-Iodide (Lugol) solution, for both hypothyroid and hyperthyroid conditions. The claimed success rate was close to 90% of the cases!

A compilation/review study of prior thyroid therapies using inorganic iodine supplementation can be read here:
Kelly FC, "Iodine in medicine and pharmacy since its discovery - 1811-1961", Proc R Soc Med, 1961, 54:831-836

Interesting overview of the conspiratorial aspect of the story can be found here:

Guy E. Abraham "The History of Iodine in Medicine Part III; Thyroid Fixation and Medical Iodophobia", The Original Internist, June 2006


From Guy E. Abraham "The History of Iodine in Medicine Part III

Updated 26/07/2018


1) "Nutrition, evolution and thyroid hormone levels –
a link to iodine deficiency disorders?", Wolfgang Kopp*, Medical Hypotheses (2004) 62, 871–875


An increased iodine requirement as a result of significant changes in human nutrition rather than a decreased environmental iodine supply is suggested to represent the main cause of the iodine deficiency disorders (IDD). The pathomechanism proposed is based on the fact that serum concentrations of thyroid hormones, especially of trijodothyronine (T3), are dependent on the amount of dietary carbohydrate. High-carbohydrate diets are associated with significantly higher serum T3 concentrations, compared with very low- carbohydrate diets. While our Paleolithic ancestors subsisted on a very low carbohydrate/high protein diet, the agricultural revolution about 10,000 years ago brought about a significant increase in dietary carbohydrate. These nutritional changes have increased T3 levels significantly. Higher T3 levels are associated with an enhanced T3 production and an increased iodine requirement. The higher iodine requirement exceeds the availability of iodine from environmental sources in many regions of the world, resulting in the development of IDD.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Give us NOT our daily bread with gluten!

Unless you want to increase your risk of diabetes and probably many other diseases, according to this study (on mice):

Gluten-free diet reduces adiposity, inflammation and insulin resistance associated with the induction of PPAR-alpha and PPAR-gamma expression.


Our data support the beneficial effects of gluten-free diets in reducing adiposity gain, inflammation and insulin resistance. The data suggests that diet gluten exclusion should be tested as a new dietary approach to prevent the development of obesity and metabolic disorders.


More and more studies indicate deleterious effect of wheat consumption. The problem is not only in the very high concentration of carbohydrates, 60-80% by weight which is nearly as high as in pure sugar, but the presence of several other harmful compounds such as auto-immune triggering low molecular mass wheat proteins, nutrient-blocking lectins (agglutins), mood-altering addictive exorphins and other plant poisons.

 (Source: Wiki)

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Investigative panel to examine scientific data falsification by global warming scientists!


Top scientists start to examine fiddled global warming figures

From Christopher Booker's article

See also:

Global Warming Policy Foundation has invited a panel of experts to investigate and report on these controversies.

Update 28-Oct-2015:

It appears that the government's climate scientists want to hide some data. I wonder why?

The federal government’s chief climate research agency is refusing to give House Republicans the detailed information they want on a controversial study on climate change.

At the center of the controversy is a study that concluded there has not been a 15-year “pause” in global warming. Some NOAA scientists contributed to the report.

Update 11-Nov-2015:

Cold Sun Rising article


New studies flip climate-change notions upside down

The sun will go into "hibernation" mode around 2030, and it has already started to get sleepy. At the Royal Astronomical Society's annual meeting in July, Professor Valentina Zharkova of Northumbria University in the UK confirmed it - the sun will begin its Maunder Minimum (Grand Solar Minimum) in 15 years. Other scientists had suggested years ago that this change was imminent, but Zharkova's model is said to have near-perfect accuracy.
In the 2009 "climategate scandal", e-mails and documents from IPCC-affiliated scientists were leaked that indicated they had manipulated data and reports to jibe with the AGW[Anthropogenic Global Warming] theory. References were made to "hiding the decline" through the use of "tricks". Then in 2012 Anthony Watts, a meteorologist and self-described whistle-blower, caught the NOAA changing temperature data from the 1930s to make the decade appear colder than it had been. Another whistle-blower, blogger Tony Heller, although clearly aligned with conservative groups like the Heartland Institute, has amassed impressive data. He claims that, since 1997, the world has actually been getting colder and Goddard and the NOAA are committing "climate fraud". The NOAA has declined to respond.
Solar cycle 24 - two cycles prior the cycle that's expected to bottom out into a Maunder Minimum - was weak. In 2013-14 it reached its maximum far below average. Meanwhile extreme cold-weather anomalies have occurred around the world. Last year "polar vortices" slammed into the central US and Siberia as a third hovered over the Atlantic. All 50 US states, including Hawaii, had temperatures below freezing for the first time in recorded history. Snowfall records were broken in cities in the US, Canada, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and elsewhere. Southern American states and central Mexico, where snow is rare, got heavy snow, as did the Middle East.

This past summer the cold didn't let up, with more temperature records across the US and rare summer snows seen in Canada, the US and China. Birds have migrated early in the last two years. Antarctic sea ice set a new record in 2013 and it was broken again in 2014.

Not even Thailand was immune. In 2014 Bangkok hit its coldest low in 30 years, while 63 lives were lost in the North.
Other researchers and organisations are also predicting global cooling - the Russian Academy of Science, the Astronomical Institute of the Slovak Academy of Scientists, the Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism Russia, Victor Manuel Velesco Herrera at the National University of Mexico, the Bulgarian Institute of Astronomy, Dr Tim Patterson at Carleton University in Canada, Drs Lin Zhen at Nanjing University in China, just to name a few. ...

Another interesting link:

Antarctic Ice is Growing, Even Hit a 'Record,' But Evening News Shows Hype Melting Arctic Instead

Update 28/11/2015:

More previous winter snow patches left in Scottish mountains than in the previous 21 years.

Six times more since 2014 than the average.

Update 12/12/2015:

How I was vaporised by the BBC's Green Gestapo after daring to mock the Met Office and global warming

I was accused of having shown disrespect to climate change. Mr Lilley had cracked a joke: ‘They [the Met Office] come before the Select Committee on Energy and Climate Change . . . and tell us they need even more money for even bigger computers so they can be even more precisely wrong in future.’

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Diet not exercize the best way to lose weight

According to the recent editorial published in British Journal of Sports Medicine/BMJ:

A. Malhotra, T. Noakes, S. Phinney, "It is time to bust the myth of physical inactivity and obesity: you cannot outrun a bad diet", Br J Sports Med doi:10.1136/bjsports-2015-094911


According to the Lancet global burden of disease reports, poor diet now generates more disease than physical inactivity, alcohol and smoking combined.
Instead, members of the public are drowned by an unhelpful message about maintaining a ‘healthy weight’ through calorie counting, and many still wrongly believe that obesity is entirely due to lack of exercise. This false perception is rooted in the Food Industry's Public Relations machinery, which uses tactics chillingly similar to those of big tobacco. The tobacco industry successfully stalled government intervention for 50 years starting from when the first links between smoking and lung cancer were published. This sabotage was achieved using a ‘corporate playbook’ of denial, doubt, confusing the public and even buying the loyalty of bent scientists, at the cost of millions of lives. [4,5]

Coca Cola, who spent $3.3 billion on advertising in 2013, pushes a message that ‘all calories count’; they associate their products with sport, suggesting it is ok to consume their drinks as long as you exercise. However science tells us this is misleading and wrong. It is where the calories come from that is crucial. Sugar calories promote fat storage and hunger. Fat calories induce fullness or ‘satiation’.

A large econometric analysis of worldwide sugar availability, revealed that for every excess 150 calories of sugar (say, one can of cola), there was an 11-fold increase in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes, in comparison to an identical 150 calories obtained from fat or protein.

And this was independent of the person's weight and physical activity level; this study fulfils the Bradford Hill Criteria for causation.[6]

A recently published critical review in nutrition concluded that dietary carbohydrate restriction is the single most effective intervention for reducing all the features of the metabolic syndrome and should be the first approach in diabetes management, with benefits occurring even without weight loss.[7]


[4] Brownell KD, Warner KE . "The perils of ignoring history: big tobacco played dirty and millions died. How similar is big food?" Milbank Q 2009;87: 259–94. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0009.2009.00555.x

[5] Gornall J. "Sugar: spinning a web of influence." BMJ 2015;350:h231. doi:10.1136/bmj.h231

[6] Basu S, Yoffe P, Hills N, et al . "The relationship of sugar to population-level diabetes prevalence: an econometric analysis of repeated cross-sectional data." PLoS ONE 2013;8:e57873.

[7] Richard D. Feinman et al., "Dietary carbohydrate restriction as the first approach in diabetes
management: Critical review and evidence base", Nutrition 31 (2015) 1–13

See also:

"Exercise 'not key to obesity fight'" By Nick Triggle, BBC Health, 23 April 2015

(Note: highlights are mine)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Human brain size is shrinking!


From uncyclopedia.

Human brain (average 1100 to 1300cm^3) seem to have deteriorated at least in size, in the last couple of hundred thousands years.   How does that decline translate to intelligence?  Not sure but I would speculate that it probably does correlate!

As to the cause, anthropologists seem to be rather in agreement that nutrition may have had something to do with that.  Humankind seemed to have regressed from very healthy nomadic lifestyle based on hunting and fishing to a settled one based on farming and consuming starchy plant based food.  Which correlated with the deterioration of physical health, body size and brain size.  [add refs later]

According to this research.  Neanderthal did not have to use fire to cook their exclusively animal based meals.  My thought is that they must also have consumed plenty of DHA from animal brains and spinal cords, together with all the fats to grow and feed their very large brains of average volume 1600 cm^3 (some sources give bigger estimates) .   Ability to use fire gave Cro-Magnon (average brain volume 1500 or 1600 cm^3) an advantage when game became scarce and food versatility became useful, by the end of the last ice age.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Lariam medical drug scandal, manslaughter by authorities against their own own soldiers!

The title is not an exaggeration! - Manslaughter being defined as an action causing death. This is fully supported by many years of published data!

This is a very sad story that appears to explain the true cause behind the last couple of decades' "epidemics" of severe cases of PTSD (post-traumatic stress-disorder) among soldiers returning home from active duty. It appears that the US, British and probably other governments' officials were putting their own soldiers over many years, on anti-malaria drug Lariam (mefloquine, manufactured originally by Hoffmann–La Roche), ignoring the drug's known neurological side effects. The less severe neurological side effects seem to occur in about a quarter of the soldiers taking them, according to some unconfirmed reports, but in some smaller percentage cases the drug is known to induce what looks like a permanent brain damage triggering homicidal and suicidal psychotic episodes, lasting long after discontinuation of taking the drug, causing death or requiring patient's lock-up in a psychiatric azylum!

Published last week:

Lariam: Hundreds of British soldiers suffering from mental illness after being given anti-malarial drug


The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has been accused of knowingly risking the mental health of its own soldiers after new figures showed that nearly 1,000 British servicemen and women have required psychiatric treatment after taking a discredited anti-malarial drug.

Psychosis, suicidal thoughts, depression and hallucinations are among the mental-health problems associated with Lariam, also known as mefloquine.

But the MoD has rejected all appeals to stop giving the drug to troops posted overseas – to the mounting fury of relatives, politicians and retired military figures who fear it could be responsible for an epidemic of psychiatric illness in Britain’s Armed Forces.

The Independent can reveal that a retired major-general who was given Lariam prior to a deployment to Sierra Leone is among those struggling with the after-effects.

Maj-Gen Alastair Duncan, who commanded British forces in Bosnia, is currently in a secure psychiatric unit after a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) episode over Christmas.

His wife, Ellen, told The Independent: “Like others, I believe that this is a scandal. If 1,000 troops have reported the effects then you can be sure there are others who have not.

It makes me wonder since it does look to me as if some government officials of the countries involved appear to be above the law since almost nothing is being done in spite of the repetitive warnings. As if there were an intention to cover it up. For example, there is an article published on the same subject over a year ago (September 2013):

Exclusive: The Lariam scandal - MoD ‘ignored decades of warnings about dangers of suicide drug’


Amid mounting concerns about the dangers of the drug – which has been linked with a string of suicides and murders – the US military acted this month to ban its use among special forces. The decision came after it was linked to the massacre of 16 Afghan civilians by a US soldier.

Speaking to The Independent, a former senior medical officer accused the MoD of ignoring repeated warnings over the dangers of the drug. Lt-Col Ashley Croft, who served for more than 25 years in the Royal Army Medical Corps and is an expert on malaria, said: “For the past 12 years I was saying this is potentially a dangerous drug – most people can take it without problems but a few people will experience difficulties and of those a small number will become psychotic and because there are other alternatives that are safer and just as effective we should move to them but my words fell on deaf ears.”

Lt Col Ashcroft, who retired in April, accused the MoD of being in “denial mode”. He added: “The problem is that it can make people have psychotic thoughts and therefore act in an irrational manner and potentially a manner that is dangerous to themselves or their colleagues, or civilians.”

Doxycycline and malarone are safer drugs which are as effective in preventing malaria, according to the retired officer. “Really the only people that get it [Lariam] now are the poor old soldiers and they have no choice.”

An order issued earlier this month by the US Special Forces Command states: “medical personnel will immediately cease the prescribing and use of mefloquine for malaria prophylaxis”. It adds: “Hallucinations and psychotic behaviour can occur and continue for months or years after mefloquine use; cases of suicidal ideation and suicide have been reported.”

The neurotoxicity of Lariam has been known for years and written about in the media, yet nothing has been done to stop it! Going back in time, see for example this 2003 article: The dark side of Lariam

Last summer, four soldiers from Ft. Bragg were accused of killing their wives. Two of the men committed suicide, and the other two await trial. So many brutal crimes, so similar, so close in time – raised questions, and the army sent a team to investigate.

One possible suspect was mefloquine - brand name Lariam, an anti-malarial drug. It was invented by the U.S. Army and is routinely given to soldiers deployed overseas. In scientific terms, Lariam can cause neuropsychiatric adverse events. In plain language, it can make lose your mind.


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Alzheimer's and lack of arginine


Arginine is especially abundant in common food such as dairy products, meat, nuts and chickpeas!

(from Dairy Council of California)
Recent study described here:

Alzheimer's breakthrough: Scientists may have found potential cause of the disease in the behaviour of immune cells..


They observed that in Alzheimer’s, immune cells that normally protect the brain instead begin to consume a vital nutrient called arginine.

My comment:

Probably because arginine is an essential nutrient for all cells including immune cells. If there is not enough, immune cells will sequester what is available.

Arginine is an amino acid and an essential nutrient for several bodily processes, including cell division, healing and immune responses.

It is found in food, including dairy products, meat, nuts and chickpeas, but the team at Duke said that their study did not suggest eating more arginine would have an impact on Alzheimer’s risk. The blood-brain barrier regulates how much arginine can enter the brain, and the immune response that breaks down arginine would remain the same even if confronted with higher levels of the nutrient.
Really?  Dr. Pickett must be a very wise man knowing that upfront and thus excluding that therapeutic option by his statement, without doing any testing!

“The study suggests that low levels of arginine in the brain could contribute to the death of nerve cells in Alzheimer’s, but there is much more we still need to understand about how and why nerve cells die in the disease,” she added.


Friday, April 10, 2015

LDL cholesterol doesn't matter!

According to this study (Framingham data):

Increased Small Low-Density Lipoprotein Particle Number

Compared with participants without the MetSyn [Metabolic Syndrome], those with the MetSyn had a higher CVD [Cardio Vascular Disease] event rate. However, among participants with the MetSyn, CVD rates were similar for groups with an elevated versus a lower number of small LDL particles (defined by the sex-specific median).

Conclusions— Small LDL particle number is elevated in the MetSyn, increases with the number of MetSyn components, and most prominently is correlated with triglycerides and HDL-C. Whereas increased small LDL particle number identified the MetSyn with high sensitivity, a higher small LDL particle number was not associated with greater CVD event rates in people with the MetSyn.

Putting it in simple terms: the common misconception that LDL correlates with cardio-vascular disease was caused by bad math! LDL correlated with MetSyn and MetSyn correlates with CVD.  Medical establishment leaders with insufficient mathematical training  incorrectly believed that correlation supposedly follows the "The law of syllogism"  (i.e. if LDL → MetSyn and MetSyn → CVD then LDL → CVD) - BUT IT DOES NOT!

 That study simply proved it by finding that in the sub-population of people who already had MetSyn, the number of small LDL particles did not matter!    Cholesterol theory is very dead and thoroughly debunked, case closed!  Fire them all and move on, next myth please...

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Bose Einstein condensate and quantum physics in the living systems

This is a short memo triggered by this paper to alert us to some new ideas emerging in the boundary zone between biology and quantum physics. It could be the next big breakthrough in biology or it it could be off the mark! We shall see.

From Wiki 

See my write-up here:
"Bose Einstein condensate - cold fusion, cellular membranes and neurons."

I have to stress that the above text is a compilation of some speculative ideas and references, not a proof of anything!

For people with a sufficient scientific background, I strongly recommend to read the following references:

Michael A. Crawford, C. Leigh Broadhurst, Martin Guest, Atulya Nagar, Yiqun Wang, Kebreab Ghebremeskel, Walter F. Schmidt, “A quantum theory for the irreplaceable role of docosahexaenoic acid in neural cell signalling throughout evolution”; Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids 88 (2013) 5–13.

E. Del Giudice, S. Doglia, M. Milani, C. W. Smith, G. Vitiello, “Magnetic Flux Quantization and Josephson Behaviour in Living Systems”; Physica Scripta. Vol. 40, 786-791, 1989.

(P.S. thanks to Edward E. for the links!)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Ketogenic diet slows progression of 5 neuro degenerative diseases


Slowing down of neuro-degenerative disease by ketogenic diet was claimed in the recent paper:
Nourishing the Aging Brain, By Morten Scheibye-Knudsen,  The Scientist, March 2015

( in pdf format )

Quotes (see here ):

Increased basal metabolism
Caloric restriction exacerbates progression
Ketogenic diet slows progression

Normal or lowered basal metabolism
Caloric restriction slows progression
Ketogenic diet slows progression

Increased basal metabolism
Caloric restriction slows progression
Ketogenic diet slows progression

Increased basal metabolism
Caloric restriction may slow progression
Ketogenic diet slows progression

COCKAYNE SYNDROME [accelerated aging disease]:
Increased basal metabolism
Caloric restriction exacerbates progression
Ketogenic diet slows progression

[added on 6/03/2015, from the same source]

And the low carbohydrate (or low glucose) nutrition appears to contribute to longevity by increasing the SIRT6 activity (*), according to this paper, from the same issue of The Scientist magazine:

Wrangling Retrotransposons, by Michael Van Meter, Andrei Seluanov, and Vera Gorbunova | March 1, 2015


Perhaps the best evidence for the retrotransposon’s role in aging comes from the link between the activity of a longevity gene, SIRT6, and the repression of L1 in somatic tissues. SIRT6 encodes an enzyme critical to the forestallment of aging: it maintains telomere length, promotes DNA repair, regulates metabolism, opposes tumorigenesis, and attenuates inflammation—all processes associated with the prevention of age-related decline. Mice lacking SIRT6 suffer from a severe premature aging syndrome, while mice that overexpress SIRT6 enjoy extended life spans.


One explanation for this failure may relate to SIRT6’s critical role in DNA repair. Several studies have indicated that SIRT6 helps catalyze repair of the damage at numerous types of DNA lesions, including single- and double-strand breaks. A characteristic feature of aging cells is an increase in the amount of DNA damage.


While overexpression of SIRT6 may not be tractable in a therapeutic context, SIRT6 activity can be increased by caloric restriction, reducing glucose consumption, or increasing NAD+ bioavailability (**) - interventions that have already shown promise in increasing longevity in animal models. (Such interventions are also showing promise in slowing the progress of some age-related neurodegenerative disorders.


*) Underexpression or removal of SIRT6 gene is linked to accelerated aging disease, while overexpression of SIRT6 has been shown to extend the lifespan, in mice studies, see Wiki.

**) Niacin is one of the precursors of NAD+, another one is tryptophan.


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Bad science and politically motivated low fat dietary guidelines finally exposed and ditched!


Recent (20/02/2015) New York Times article by Nina Teicholz (**):

The Government’s Bad Diet Advice

First, last fall, experts on the committee that develops the country’s dietary guidelines acknowledged that they had ditched the low-fat diet. On Thursday, that committee’s report was released, with an even bigger change: It lifted the longstanding caps on dietary cholesterol, saying there was “no appreciable relationship” between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol.
Instead of accepting that this evidence was inadequate to give sound advice, strong-willed scientists overstated the significance of their studies.
Much of the epidemiological data underpinning the government’s dietary advice comes from studies run by Harvard’s school of public health. In 2011, directors of the National Institute of Statistical Sciences analyzed many of Harvard’s most important findings and found that they could not be reproduced in clinical trials.
In 2013, government advice to reduce salt intake (which remains in the current report) was contradicted by an authoritative Institute of Medicine study[*]. And several recent meta-analyses have cast serious doubt on whether saturated fats are linked to heart disease, as the dietary guidelines continue to assert.

Uncertain science should no longer guide our nutrition policy. Indeed, cutting fat and cholesterol, as Americans have conscientiously done, may have even worsened our health. In clearing our plates of meat, eggs and cheese (fat and protein), we ate more grains, pasta and starchy vegetables (carbohydrates). Over the past 50 years, we cut fat intake by 25 percent and increased carbohydrates by more than 30 percent, according to a new analysis of government data. Yet recent science has increasingly shown that a high-carb diet rich in sugar and refined grains increases the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease — much more so than a diet high in fat and cholesterol.

It’s not that health authorities weren’t warned. “They are not acting on the basis of scientific evidence, but on the basis of a plausible but untested idea,” Dr. Edward H. Ahrens Jr., a top specialist at Rockefeller University and prominent critic of the growing doctrine on dietary fats and cholesterol, cautioned back in the ’80s.
Since the very first nutritional guidelines to restrict saturated fat and cholesterol were released by the American Heart Association in 1961, Americans have been the subjects of a vast, uncontrolled diet experiment with disastrous consequences. We have to start looking more skeptically at epidemiological studies and rethinking nutrition policy from the ground up.
Until then, we would be wise to return to what worked better for previous generations: a diet that included fewer grains, less sugar and more animal foods like meat, full-fat dairy and eggs.

Other links:

*) She probably meant this report: Sodium Intake in Populations: Assessment of Evidence (14/05/2015)

**) Nina Teicholz, author of “The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet.”


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

US to drop anti-cholesterol food guidelines!

Cholesterol in food is "no longer a concern"!   It is now OK to eat bacon and eggs!

From Commons.Wiki 

U.S. may lower cholesterol's level of threat to health: report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. advisory panel reviewing national dietary guidelines has decided to drop its caution against eating cholesterol-laden food, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

At a December meeting, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee discussed its decision to no longer deem cholesterol a "nutrient of concern," according to the Washington Post.

What happened to those scientists and medical doctors who, for many decades have been signing and propagating the anti-cholesterol guidelines?  I wonder, what could be the overall health damage estimate, caused by those recommendations, to date?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Useless low fat dietary guidelines by governments, no scientific justification!

Open Heart/BMJ just published a meta-study:

Evidence from randomised controlled trials did not support the introduction of dietary fat guidelines in 1977 and 1983: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Objectives National dietary guidelines were introduced in 1977 and 1983, by the US and UK governments, respectively, with the ambition of reducing coronary heart disease (CHD) by reducing fat intake. ...


Dietary recommendations were introduced for 220 million US and 56 million UK citizens by 1983, in the absence of supporting evidence from RCTs.

The main findings of the present meta-analysis of the six RCTs [Randomized Controlled Trials] available at the time of issuing dietary guidelines in the US and UK indicate that all-cause mortality was identical at 370 in the intervention and control groups. There was no statistically significant difference in deaths from CHD. The reductions in mean serum cholesterol levels were significantly higher in the intervention groups; this did not result in significant differences in CHD or all-cause mortality.
It is a widely held view that reductions in cholesterol are healthful per se. The original RCTs did not find any relationship between dietary fat intake and deaths from CHD or all-causes, despite significant reductions in cholesterol levels in the intervention and control groups. This undermines the role of serum cholesterol levels as an intermediary to the development of CHD and contravenes the theory that reducing dietary fat generally and saturated fat particularly potentiates a reduction in CHD.
There was best practice, randomised controlled trial, evidence available to the dietary committees, which was not considered and should have been. The results of the present meta-analysis support the hypothesis that the available RCTs did not support the introduction of dietary fat recommendations in order to reduce CHD risk or related mortality. Two recent publications have questioned the alleged relationship between saturated fat and CHD and called for dietary guidelines to be reconsidered.31 ,32 The present review concludes that dietary advice not merely needs review; it should not have been introduced.
Actual data from the publication:

References and links:

Interestingly, the original studies at that time produced similar similar conclusions of non-supporting the reduction of dietary fat.  The following quotes are from Zoë Harcombe's blog (one of the main author of the above quoted study):

The studies’ own conclusions.  These are the verbatim conclusions from each of the studies:

1965 Rose Corn and olive oil: “It is concluded that under the circumstances of this trial corn oil cannot be recommended as a treatment of ischaemic heart disease. It is most unlikely to be beneficial, and it is possibly harmful.” (ref 9)

1965 Research Committee Low-fat diet: “A low-fat diet has no place in the treatment of myocardial infarction” (ref 10) [heart attack].

1968 MRC soya-bean oil: “There is no evidence from the London trial that the relapse-rate in myocardial infarction is materially affected by the unsaturated fat content of the diet used.” (ref 11)

1969 Dayton LA Veterans study: “Total longevity was not affected favorably in any measurable or significant degree… For this reason, and because of the unresolved question concerning toxicity, we consider our own trial, with or without the support of other published data, to have fallen short of providing a definitive and final answer concerning dietary prevention of heart disease.” (ref 12)

1970 Leren Oslo Diet Heart study: “Epidemiological studies have demonstrated several factors associated with the risk of developing first manifestations of coronary heart disease. Blood lipids, blood pressure and cigarette smoking are such risk variables… In spite of the small numbers this observation lends some support to the view that the multi-factorial approach is the best way to the solution of the coronary heart disease problem.”(ref 13)

1978 Woodhill Sydney Diet Heart Study: “Survival was significantly better in the P [control] Group.” “It must be concluded that the lipid hypothesis has gained little support from secondary intervention studies.” (ref 14)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Salt intake not correlated with mortality

New study and one more medical myth demolished:

Dietary Sodium Content, Mortality, and Risk for Cardiovascular Events in Older Adults


Results  The mean (SD) age of participants was 73.6 (2.9) years, 51.2% were female, 61.7% were of white race, and 38.3% were black. After 10 years, 881 participants had died, 572 had developed CVD, and 398 had developed HF. In adjusted Cox proportional hazards regression models, sodium intake was not associated with mortality (hazard ratio [HR] per 1 g, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.98-1.09; P = .27). 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Born during Solar minum - longer lifespan

by 5.2 years, on average!  Quite a strong effect and many of the results are statistically significant (p less than 0.05), according to a Norwegian study [1] that analyzed 202 years of data over a population of 8662 people.  See also this article.
A Solar cycle takes 11 years on average, thus the period of the study (1676-1878) spans about 18 cycles.  Interestingly, intensity of cosmic radiation goes down during solar maximum, due to the shielding effect of the active solar wind against Galactic cosmic rays.  Could the lower level of ionizing radiation background present during Solar Maxima [2] have had a detrimental effect, and the higher level during the Solar Minima - may have had a beneficial effect on the newborn babies?  This is my purely speculative interpretation of course - but see my other articles on ionizing radiation!

 Results are shown in the Figures 1,2 and 3, from the referenced paper:


1. "Solar activity at birth predicted infant survival and women's fertility in historical Norway",
Gine Roll Skjærvø, Frode Fossøy, Eivin Røskaft, 
DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.2032, Proceedings B of The Royal Society, Published 7 January 2015

2. Cosmic radiation background is strongly and inversely dependent on the Solar activity.  Cosmic radiation is the highest and the Sun is the least active, the Sunspot number is the lowest at Solar Minimum, for example, see the following graph:

The effect is stronger at high latitudes, like in Norway, where the magnetospheric shielding is lower.  Incidentally higher level of Cosmic Radiation during low Solar activity results in high global cloud cover due to cloud seeding, which in turn lowers the global temperature.  This is a stronger effect than due to CO2 variation, according to some studies [to be quoted]. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Are some diets "mass murder"?

Recently published paper in BMJ, of the title above:

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 15 December 2014)



Jean Mayer, one of the "greats" of nutrition science, said in 1965, in the colourful language that has characterised arguments over diet, that prescribing a diet restricted in carbohydrates to the public was "the equivalent of mass murder."1 Having ploughed my way through five books on diet and some of the key studies to write this article, I’m left with the impression that the same accusation of "mass murder" could be directed at many players in the great diet game. In short, bold policies have been based on fragile science, and the long term results may be terrible.


An analysis of the data from the Seven Countries Study in 1999 showed a higher correlation of deaths from heart disease with sugar products and pastries than with animal products.13 John Yudkin from London had since the late 1950s proposed that sugar might be more important than fat in causing heart disease,4 but Keys dismissed his hypothesis as a “mountain of nonsense” and a “discredited tune.” Many scientists were sceptical about the saturated fat hypothesis, but as the conviction that the hypothesis was true gripped the leading scientific bodies, policy makers, and the media in the US these critics were steadily silenced, not least through difficulty getting funding to challenge the hypothesis and test other hypotheses.


It might be expected that the powerful US meat and dairy lobbies would oppose these guidelines, and they did, but they couldn’t counter the big food manufacturers such as General Foods, Quaker Oats, Heinz, the National Biscuit Company, and the Corn Products Refining Corporation, which were both more powerful and more subtle. In 1941 they set up the Nutrition Foundation, which formed links with scientists and funded conferences and research before there was public funding for nutrition research.


Recognising that the fat hypothesis was falling apart, some scientists, particularly Walter Willett, professor of epidemiology at Harvard (whom I’ve also met), began to promote the Mediterranean diet, which comes in many forms but is essentially lots of fruit, vegetables, bread and grains (including pasta and couscous), little meat and milk, and plenty of olive oil. Such a diet is much easier to eat than a low fat diet, and a combination of vested interests, including the International Olive Oil Council and a public relations company Oldways, which promoted the diet, has—together with the natural seductiveness of the Mediterranean region—made the diet popular. But the science behind it is weak, as a Cochrane review found,20 and some of the evidence comes from R B Singh, whose research is suspect.21

Last but not least and somewhat related to the above topic,  some science fun stuff. Enjoy!

The Demise of Science? Hundreds of Computer Generated Studies Have Been Published in Respected Scientific Journals.