How do Your Genes Affect Obesity and Diabetes

A popular area of research is to determine genetic causes of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune disease, depression and any other illness or condition that is plaguing our society. Proposed genetic solutions will result in expensive and profit-driven procedures that do not solve the primary cause of the problem.

This area of research ignores the fact that often our genetic code does not determine health outcomes and it will not solve the problems of our society’s rapidly failing health.

Frequently the problem is not that complicated.

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Letter to Diggers – October 2018

In the Spring 2018 edition of Diggers, Bel P claims that What The Health has been “expertly torn to pieces”. No effort has been made to justify this claim. What The Health web site has listed approximately 300 references for the movie with the elapsed time that the information was presented.

In the absence of a valid critique of What The Health, I will present some evidence presented by the movie for the health benefits of a whole-food, plant-based diet. All references provided are from primary sources for which I have the paper or electronic copy.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibrin

Chronic inflammation is associated with many diseases and conditions. There are many inflammatory markers that can be measured. Researchers appear to be continually looking to add to the list of makers to use to identifying diseases. C-Reactive Protein is one common but non-specific maker. Fibrinogen is another that some researchers have added to their inflammatory marker list.

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Big Fat Myths by Ruben Meerman

Ruben Meerman and Professor Andrew Brown from the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, University of New South Wales published a paper in 2014 When somebody loses weight, where does the fat go? 

Meerman has a physics degree and is known as the surfing scientist and has appeared in a number of television shows including ABC’s Catalyst program. and he is the author of Big Fat Myths, a book that expands on the previous paper. The original paper and later book explains how every molecule of fat escapes the human body during weight loss.

He believes that his research shows that weight loss is best achieved by “eating less and moving more”.

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Ancel Keys and the High-Fat Diet “Experts”

Popular commentators frequently accuse Keys of manipulating data in his 1953 paper, Atherosclerosis, A Problem in Newer Public Health.1

This study is sometimes referred as the “Six Countries Study”. A number of popular commentators think this is the Seven Countries Study— they count England & Wales as two countries.

This paper was presented in Amsterdam in 1952 and in January 1953 in New York.

Far too much attention is paid to one page of a minor discussion paper written in the early 1950s. Keys writes, “The fact that the present high rate from degenerative heart disease in the United States is not inevitable is easily shown by the comparison with some other countries.” This was the purpose of the paper.

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Eye Cataracts and Diet

There are four eye disease in the US that accounts for 75% of the cases for blindness and 85% of cases of visual impairment for adults 40 years and older in the US.

  • age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
  • cataracts
  • diabetic retinopathy – blood vessels in the retina leak fluid or bleed caused by diabetic complications
  • glaucoma – slow clogging of the drainage canals which results in increased eye pressure

The effect of diet on eye health is much greater than expected given the amount of attention paid to the effect of sunlight on both our eyes and our skin.

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Multiple Sclerosis and Roy Swank

Roy Swank discovered a dietary connection with multiple sclerosis in the late 1940s following studies in Norway. He instigated a study that followed a group of multiple sclerosis patients for 34 years. He wrote a book, The Multiple Sclerosis Diet Book: A Low-Fat Diet for the Treatment of M.S.2

No other treatment plan has come close to achieving the results that Swank achieved.

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Wheat and the Distorted Views of William Davis

William Davis, a cardiologist, author of Wheat Belly, claims that “modern wheat is a perfect chronic poison”. He claims that modern wheat causes diabetes, inflammation, heart disease and high blood pressure and that eliminating wheat will cure these problems.

Davis recommends the avoidance of foods such as corn, rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, beans and potatoes, even though they do not contain wheat or gluten.

Davis’s inconsistencies would be amusing if they did not have such serious health consequences.

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Foundations of Naturopathic Nutrition by Fay Paxton – a text book

Fay Paxton (PhD) is an Australian-based naturopath and nutritionist. She has taught nutrition at the Southern School of Natural Therapies and has worked as a consultant for dietary and herbal supplement manufacturers.

She is an author of a popular text book, Foundations of Naturopathic Nutrition.

Unfortunately, she is an advocate for low-carbohydrate diets and paleo diets.

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William Roberts – The cause of heart disease – It is the cholesterol

William Roberts is a leading cardiovascular pathologist. He is the current editor (at 2018) of the American Journal of Cardiology— a position he has held since 1982. He has published over 1,500 articles. He has been located at Baylor Heart and Vascular Institute and Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas since 1993.

He believes that there is only one cause of atherosclerosis – “It’s the cholesterol, stupid!”

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