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Health Quackery Roundup


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#1 Ivanhoe

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Posted 09 August 2015 - 1113 AM

I stumbled into a nest of interesting articles on the Spectator's online fishwrapper. First up;

 

https://health.spect...ont-swallow-it/

 

Let’s drop the eight glasses of water thing, then. It’s a misunderstood solution to a made-up problem. Instead, let’s get back to Mrs Obama’s claim in the first paragraph. Would we all really be better if we drank an extra glass of water a day? Probably not, unless you’re feeling thirsty all the time, in which case you ought to have worked it out on your own. Perhaps she means we ought to replace a glass of Coke with a glass of water, and that would be a good thing if you’re struggling with your weight and want to get your calorie intake down. But simply drinking a glass of water on top of your daily routine will do no good at all — and if you end up buying bottled water, you’re just adding to an environmental problem and costing yourself money. The most important message to take away here is that your body is actually quite good at knowing how much water it needs, which shouldn’t be a surprise. None of your ancestors died of dehydration before they managed to have children. Evolution is a marvellous thing.

 

https://health.spect...than-you-think/

 

But what about five a day, probably the best-known nutrition message in history? Has that changed? The mantra itself was not the creation of some group of learned nutrition experts and public health officials who examined evidence and considered modern lifestyles before arriving at a simple saying. It actually began life in 1991 as a marketing slogan put together in a collaboration between the US National Cancer Institute and a commercially funded group of growers and farmers in California known as the Produce for Better Health Foundation. While the message does of course have huge merit, it wasn’t based on any definitive research.

 

Note to Albion-centric Brits; by sheer population, probably not the best-known nutrition message in history. Here in Merricastan, we have a whole different set of pseudoscientific slogans to ignore. What we do have is the USDA's Food Pyramid, which in retrospect has the same scientific foundation as pyramid power.

 

Also note that a lot of pseudoscience is driven by the cabals of governmental bureaucracies and Big Ag. And as seen in the hypertension/sodium debacle, once Big Govt gets involved, research universities demonstrate their subservience, and folks who know what's good for them do what is required rather than what is right.


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#2 Panzermann

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Posted 09 August 2015 - 1338 PM

I always thought Tolkien's Hobbits had the number of meals per day worked out perfectly: breakfast, brunch, lunch, tea time, supper, night meal. :D


But so many "good advice" for eating are repeated again and again without any proof whatsoever.

Edited by Panzermann, 09 August 2015 - 1344 PM.

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#3 Skywalkre

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Posted 09 August 2015 - 1350 PM

I stumbled into a nest of interesting articles on the Spectator's online fishwrapper. First up;

 

https://health.spect...than-you-think/

 

But what about five a day, probably the best-known nutrition message in history? Has that changed? The mantra itself was not the creation of some group of learned nutrition experts and public health officials who examined evidence and considered modern lifestyles before arriving at a simple saying. It actually began life in 1991 as a marketing slogan put together in a collaboration between the US National Cancer Institute and a commercially funded group of growers and farmers in California known as the Produce for Better Health Foundation. While the message does of course have huge merit, it wasn’t based on any definitive research.

 

They got it wrong but as the article points out later they undershot by quite a bit.

 

I try to keep up with docs who aren't as beholden to the special interests (Dr. Weil has been a favorite of mine for years, though I'm starting to think that since he's launched a lot of his own products that may be subconsciously influencing his commentary) and the one thing I've started to read lately is that fruit may be overblown.  In the past it was always about getting 'x number of fruit OR vegetables a day'.  Now it seems to be 'you can't get enough vegetables, hell, make them the staple of your diet... fruit?  some is fine... I suppose.'


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#4 Stargrunt6

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Posted 09 August 2015 - 1351 PM

I spoke with an attending about the x glasses of water a day. He told me the problem is 1) food, especially fruits and vegetables, already have plenty of water and 2) too much water and you are washing out glucose and electrolytes, which could affect your metabolism and make you more hungry.

 

I worked with one of NYC's top cardiologist. He tells patients "if you have to eat a pizza, eat the toppings and cheese and throw away the bread." I told him I used to eat a couple of bananas for breakfast and he told me "that can be fattening." I've blown up on drinking pineapple smoothies.

 

Regarding heart disease, the whole medical community used to say "it's the cholesterol, dammit." Now, what research is finding is that it's actually the inflammation.  30% of first time MI patients have normal cholesterol. At the same time, statins have been shown to be antiinflammatory and effective in post-MI patients with normal cholesterol.


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#5 DB

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Posted 09 August 2015 - 1715 PM

The current message here seems to be that sugars are now the enemy, and not simply sucrose, but all sugars. the nuanced message that too much of anything is bad for you seems to be impossible to express, so instead we get "if you consume too much sugar, you'll get type 2 diabetes and your feet will fall off".

 

As noted by Stargrunt6 above, for the last 20 decades it was cholesterol, driven by saturated fats that was going to kill us all.

 

And now, that's apparently not true... What else is going to turn out to be not true? That gluten intolerance is as real as fibromyalgia?

 

 

The numbers are inescapable, however - if you eat x calories and use y where x > y, you'll get fat. You can't beat the first law of thermodynamics.

 

Of course, "use" is complicated, and the usable calories in a foodstuff are also.


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#6 Stargrunt6

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Posted 09 August 2015 - 1736 PM

The current message here seems to be that sugars are now the enemy, and not simply sucrose, but all sugars. the nuanced message that too much of anything is bad for you seems to be impossible to express, so instead we get "if you consume too much sugar, you'll get type 2 diabetes and your feet will fall off".

 

As noted by Stargrunt6 above, for the last 20 decades it was cholesterol, driven by saturated fats that was going to kill us all.

 

And now, that's apparently not true... What else is going to turn out to be not true? That gluten intolerance is as real as fibromyalgia?

 

 

The numbers are inescapable, however - if you eat x calories and use y where x > y, you'll get fat. You can't beat the first law of thermodynamics.

 

Of course, "use" is complicated, and the usable calories in a foodstuff are also.

 

Yeah, we aren't bomb calorimeters, but counting calories does work.  However, yeah, dodge sugar and simple carbs (hi, enriched flour) like the plague:

I'm making a shrine of this dude.


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#7 Stargrunt6

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Posted 09 August 2015 - 1737 PM

 

I stumbled into a nest of interesting articles on the Spectator's online fishwrapper. First up;

 

 

https://health.spect...than-you-think/

 

But what about five a day, probably the best-known nutrition message in history? Has that changed? The mantra itself was not the creation of some group of learned nutrition experts and public health officials who examined evidence and considered modern lifestyles before arriving at a simple saying. It actually began life in 1991 as a marketing slogan put together in a collaboration between the US National Cancer Institute and a commercially funded group of growers and farmers in California known as the Produce for Better Health Foundation. While the message does of course have huge merit, it wasn’t based on any definitive research.

 

They got it wrong but as the article points out later they undershot by quite a bit.

 

I try to keep up with docs who aren't as beholden to the special interests (Dr. Weil has been a favorite of mine for years, though I'm starting to think that since he's launched a lot of his own products that may be subconsciously influencing his commentary) and the one thing I've started to read lately is that fruit may be overblown.  In the past it was always about getting 'x number of fruit OR vegetables a day'.  Now it seems to be 'you can't get enough vegetables, hell, make them the staple of your diet... fruit?  some is fine... I suppose.'

 

 

Pineapple and bananas are natures candy.  Only difference is fiber, but you'll be tickling your pancreas long before that turns on the satiety signals.


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#8 Ivanhoe

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Posted 09 August 2015 - 1858 PM

Somewhere I read that in today's infographic bombardment society, folks are drinking fruit juice vice eating fruit due to convenience. Problem is that in each glass of OJ, they are consuming the fructose of like 5 oranges, and none of the fiber.


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#9 Skywalkre

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Posted 09 August 2015 - 1915 PM

Somewhere I read that in today's infographic bombardment society, folks are drinking fruit juice vice eating fruit due to convenience. Problem is that in each glass of OJ, they are consuming the fructose of like 5 oranges, and none of the fiber.

Even healthy grocery stores like Sprouts fall for this as well (or rather, succumb to the pressure of their customers).  In the one I go to, which is a rather small store, only about 1/4 of it is groceries (including coolers and freezers) plus supplements.  In that one small grocery area they still have an aisle that's nothing but fruit juices.  Who cares if it's cold pressed, organic, no sugar added... the harm they do still far outweighs any good that might come from them.


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#10 FlyingCanOpener

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Posted 09 August 2015 - 2055 PM

And now, that's apparently not true... What else is going to turn out to be not true? That gluten intolerance is as real as fibromyalgia?

 

Related: I was diagnosed with a raft of allergies a couple of weeks ago (Carry an EpiPen now at all times because the doctor is a little spooked that I might be a walking case of anaphylaxis waiting to happen), and gluten popped up on the report. Very minor food allergy, but the allergist suggested that I go gluten free for a week to see if there was anything to it. No real change like the quackery claims about gluten's evils, but my persistent (Literally since I was a kid) stomach pains vanished instantly, which makes since a common allergic reaction to gluten is stomach pain.


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#11 Stefan Fredriksson

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 0414 AM

...
 
Regarding heart disease, the whole medical community used to say "it's the cholesterol, dammit." Now, what research is finding is that it's actually the inflammation.  30% of first time MI patients have normal cholesterol. At the same time, statins have been shown to be antiinflammatory and effective in post-MI patients with normal cholesterol.


This was interesting. Any tips on where I can read more about.
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#12 shep854

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 0832 AM

 

...
 
Regarding heart disease, the whole medical community used to say "it's the cholesterol, dammit." Now, what research is finding is that it's actually the inflammation.  30% of first time MI patients have normal cholesterol. At the same time, statins have been shown to be antiinflammatory and effective in post-MI patients with normal cholesterol.


This was interesting. Any tips on where I can read more about.

 

Facebook! A wealth of wisdom--all those health institutes nobody's ever heard of!! 


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#13 Guest_Jason L_*

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 1024 AM

How are two bananas a day going to make you get fat? They are 80-100 kcals a pop!? 10% of your daily requirement for bfast seems under-eating if anything.

 

The thing that screws me over royally are the nighttime assaults on fort fridge when I'm half asleep but can't fall back asleep.

 

I've also never been good at eating breakfast, and so I tend to load on food at night - and I usually eat supper at like 10-11 pm.


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#14 Skywalkre

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 1419 PM

 

And now, that's apparently not true... What else is going to turn out to be not true? That gluten intolerance is as real as fibromyalgia?

 

Related: I was diagnosed with a raft of allergies a couple of weeks ago (Carry an EpiPen now at all times because the doctor is a little spooked that I might be a walking case of anaphylaxis waiting to happen), and gluten popped up on the report. Very minor food allergy, but the allergist suggested that I go gluten free for a week to see if there was anything to it. No real change like the quackery claims about gluten's evils, but my persistent (Literally since I was a kid) stomach pains vanished instantly, which makes since a common allergic reaction to gluten is stomach pain.

 

Glad to hear that worked out for you.  The nutritionist at my doc's office suggested I look into trying the GAPS diet given some of the lingering symptoms that I have.  Unfortunately it's rather... involved and not practical right now for me but hopefully in a couple months.  I guess it's a little controversial still as it's budding research but I'll never forget her line when she was describing it to me.  "Just you watch, intestinal flora will be the new Kale."  :lol:


Edited by Skywalkre, 10 August 2015 - 1444 PM.

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#15 Stargrunt6

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 1628 PM

How are two bananas a day going to make you get fat? They are 80-100 kcals a pop!? 10% of your daily requirement for bfast seems under-eating if anything.

 

The thing that screws me over royally are the nighttime assaults on fort fridge when I'm half asleep but can't fall back asleep.

 

I've also never been good at eating breakfast, and so I tend to load on food at night - and I usually eat supper at like 10-11 pm.

 

How are two bananas a day going to make you get fat? They are 80-100 kcals a pop!? 10% of your daily requirement for bfast seems under-eating if anything.

 

The thing that screws me over royally are the nighttime assaults on fort fridge when I'm half asleep but can't fall back asleep.

 

I've also never been good at eating breakfast, and so I tend to load on food at night - and I usually eat supper at like 10-11 pm.

 

Must admit, original convo details fuzzy, but I do remember bananas = fattening.  The calories aren't crazy, true, but four of them would make a candy bar (or smoothie) and they are loaded with simple sugars.And much of the sugars is fructose. Unlike glucose, fructose doesn't care if you're working out, watching tv, or whaterver because it goes straight to the liver to be turned into fats.  Dr. Lustig says fructose is just like alcohol, but without the buzz. \

 

During my peds endocrinology rotation, kids were advised "eat the fruit, don't drink the juice." It really pisses me off to see "no pulp" oj for sale because America really needs all the fiber it can get.

 

White blood cells (read: inflammation) are the key operators in the pathogenesis of coronary artery disease.  On top of that, the plaques that form are filled with pro-coagulant and inflammatory substances that bring more WBC's to the party, making things worse.  Some of these substances are prostaglandins, whose creation are stopped by aspirin.

I have a friend who's working with a cardiologist in seeing if methotrexate (which kills cells, especially wbc's) can be used to treat heart disease.

 

Here's a link regarding inflammation and heart disease:

 

Click here for research on this. 
 


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#16 Stargrunt6

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 1631 PM

 

 

And now, that's apparently not true... What else is going to turn out to be not true? That gluten intolerance is as real as fibromyalgia?

 

Related: I was diagnosed with a raft of allergies a couple of weeks ago (Carry an EpiPen now at all times because the doctor is a little spooked that I might be a walking case of anaphylaxis waiting to happen), and gluten popped up on the report. Very minor food allergy, but the allergist suggested that I go gluten free for a week to see if there was anything to it. No real change like the quackery claims about gluten's evils, but my persistent (Literally since I was a kid) stomach pains vanished instantly, which makes since a common allergic reaction to gluten is stomach pain.

 

Glad to hear that worked out for you.  The nutritionist at my doc's office suggested I look into trying the GAPS diet given some of the lingering symptoms that I have.  Unfortunately it's rather... involved and not practical right now for me but hopefully in a couple months.  I guess it's a little controversial still as it's budding research but I'll never forget her line when she was describing it to me.  "Just you watch, intestinal flora will be the new Kale."  :lol:

 

 

 

LOL might not be far off.  We're discovering that gut flora are involved in a lot, even in making serotonin (which SSRI antidepressants try to increase).  A colitis patient was getting a fecal transplant for gut flora.  That patient ended up being obese, just like the original donor.  Although the research regarding probiotics and increasing outcomes are equivocal at best, docs are still prescribing them for any patient that needs antibiotics.


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#17 Tim the Tank Nut

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 1633 PM

words I never thought to see on TankNet:

"fecal transplant"


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#18 Guest_Jason L_*

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 1646 PM

 

How are two bananas a day going to make you get fat? They are 80-100 kcals a pop!? 10% of your daily requirement for bfast seems under-eating if anything.

 

The thing that screws me over royally are the nighttime assaults on fort fridge when I'm half asleep but can't fall back asleep.

 

I've also never been good at eating breakfast, and so I tend to load on food at night - and I usually eat supper at like 10-11 pm.

 

How are two bananas a day going to make you get fat? They are 80-100 kcals a pop!? 10% of your daily requirement for bfast seems under-eating if anything.

 

The thing that screws me over royally are the nighttime assaults on fort fridge when I'm half asleep but can't fall back asleep.

 

I've also never been good at eating breakfast, and so I tend to load on food at night - and I usually eat supper at like 10-11 pm.

 

Must admit, original convo details fuzzy, but I do remember bananas = fattening.  The calories aren't crazy, true, but four of them would make a candy bar (or smoothie) and they are loaded with simple sugars.And much of the sugars is fructose. Unlike glucose, fructose doesn't care if you're working out, watching tv, or whaterver because it goes straight to the liver to be turned into fats.  Dr. Lustig says fructose is just like alcohol, but without the buzz. \

 

During my peds endocrinology rotation, kids were advised "eat the fruit, don't drink the juice." It really pisses me off to see "no pulp" oj for sale because America really needs all the fiber it can get.

 

White blood cells (read: inflammation) are the key operators in the pathogenesis of coronary artery disease.  On top of that, the plaques that form are filled with pro-coagulant and inflammatory substances that bring more WBC's to the party, making things worse.  Some of these substances are prostaglandins, whose creation are stopped by aspirin.

I have a friend who's working with a cardiologist in seeing if methotrexate (which kills cells, especially wbc's) can be used to treat heart disease.

 

Here's a link regarding inflammation and heart disease:

 

Click here for research on this. 
 

 

 

The problem with juice is that it's got tremendous caloric density in a package that doesn't really fill you up or satisfy you. Liquid sugar is a recovery substance after a physical activity and we treat it like an important part of a balanced diet for mostly sedentary people.

 

None of the pathway issues (how energy input X finds itself into fat or burned for activities) really matter if you aren't ingesting a surplus of energy for your given activity levels and particular metabolic efficiency.

 

At a fundamental level the human body is a heat engine and must obey the laws of thermodynamics. The only variables involved are the amount of work your body needs to do and the efficiency with which you convert energy.

 

The real problem is very simple: calories are plentiful, inexpensive and readily available. The time and motivation to get physical activity are very scarce resources, as is the discipline required to moderate consumption. All of these finer technical points, while they certainly have merit, are basically whitewashing the "thermodynamic" reality. Even dramatic changes in what you are consuming and the schedule you are consuming will not correct this imbalance between energy input vs work to be done.

 

Diets generate the expectation of dramatic results without addressing the input vs output problem and that's a serious problem.


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#19 Stargrunt6

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 1717 PM

There's no denying the caloric model, there was THIS biochemist who ate nothing but junk food under 1200 calories a day.  He lost a ton of weight and his biochem health markers (LDL etc) all improved.  But  some nutrients are more lipogenic than others and need to be ducked.  Even  the cardiologist I worked with said  if you have to eat a pizza, just eat the toppings, leave the bread alone.  The sooner we get rid of high fructos corn syrup, the better.

 

One problem with dieting is that after a certain point in body fat, you end up metabolically upside down.  This means fat cells still get first dibs on nutrients and you're still hungry.  At that point you need an intervention.  I've been at 30% body fat and have been using Contrave, an appetite suppressant, to lose weight.  I think after 20-25% is when this phenomenon takes a toll, but I'm guessing.

 

Fruit juice also lacks the fiber of fruit, which would normally fill you up and turn on satiety signals.


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#20 Stargrunt6

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 1725 PM

Also, fun-fact: only one group of people can benefit from fructose and that's marathon runners. Probably because no fat cell is safe at the 10 mile mark.


Edited by Stargrunt6, 10 August 2015 - 1726 PM.

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