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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Michael Mosley and Coconut Oil

Dr Michael Mosely (Trust Me, I’m a Doctor) instigated a trial to determine the impact of coconut oil on cardio-vascular health.

In a University of Cambridge study, 94 participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups. They were asked to consume an additional 50g of fat – either coconut oil, butter or olive oil, daily for a period of four weeks.

The main measure was the change in total cholesterol.

Based on this study, Michael Mosley now thinks that coconut oil may be good for you. The study showed nothing to suggest that this could be true.

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Iodine and Thyroid Function Tests

Iodine is a major component of the thyroid hormones, thyroxine (T4), and triiodothyronine (T3). They are based on the amino acid tyrosine. T4 contains four iodine atoms and T3 three iodine atoms. The only known function of iodine is for the production of the thyroid hormones. Excess iodine is secreted in the urine.

Thyroid hormones are required for normal growth and development of the brain and central nervous system. It is required for energy production and oxygen consumption in cells and the maintenance of the metabolic rate.

The regulation of thyroid hormone synthesis, release, and action is a complex process involving the thyroid, the pituitary, the brain, and peripheral tissues.

Sea foods and iodine added to table salt are the highest contributors of iodine to our diet.

Eggs and the Benefits of Choline

According to the Australian Eggs website, “choline is used by the body for metabolic processes such as liver function, normal brain development, nerve function and muscle movement. It’s particularly important during pregnancy to support foetal brain development.”

Egg consumption has consistently been shown to be associated with an increase in prostate cancer, so what is the story?.

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What are the Nutritional Benefits of Eggs?

The nutritional benefits of eggs is highlight in the Australian Eggs’ OK Everyday campaign. Just how accurate is the assertion that “eggs aren’t just delicious, they’re incredibly nutritious. There’s a good reason eggs are often referred to as nature’s multivitamin – they’re one of the healthiest foods you can eat”.

Let’s examine some of the claims that are being made.

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Eggs are Not OK

Australians’ usual egg consumption is a document prepared by researchers at the CSIRO. The CSIRO is the premier Australian government-funded research organisation.

The conclusion of this document states:

Eggs provide a low cost, convenient source of protein and other key nutrients. Our results [from the Healthy Diet Score survey] suggest their inclusion in the diet is associated with a higher diet quality, in particular higher consumption vegetables and lower consumption of discretionary foods.

This document is a marketing document. It needs a lot of imagination to make such a conclusion from the CSIRO’s published research papers. This conclusion also contradicts a number of other studies that show consuming eggs is detrimental.

I sent an email on 28th October 2017 to the lead author of this document, Dr Gilly Hendrie. Hendrie is also the lead author of a number of journal articles relating to the Healthy Diet Index. A copy of this email can be found at CSIRO Healthy Diet Score and Egg Consumption in Australia

The response will be published when it is received.

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CSIRO Healthy Diet Score and Egg Consumption in Australia

In May 2015, the CSIRO (Australia) Healthy Diet Score survey was launched. This survey describes Australian’s self-reported diets and their compliance with the Australian Dietary Guidelines. As at June 2016, more than 85,000 people have responded.

This survey was used to justify the “Eggs are OK every day” campaign. This is despite the fact that the only measurable health outcome was weight status and despite the fact that there is only a fair correlation between two different self-reported dietary surveys that were performed a week apart.

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Deception from The BMJ

On 24th September 2015, BMJ issued a press release titled “BMJ investigation questions expert advice underpinning new US dietary guidelines”. The press release stated:

The expert report underpinning the latest dietary guidelines for Americans fails to reflect much relevant scientific literature in its reviews of crucial topics and therefore risks giving a misleading picture, an investigation by The BMJ has found.

The “BMJ investigation” was an article written by Nina Teicholz in response to the above report. It was not a BMJ investigation. Why is The BMJ press release stating that they, The BMJ, performed an investigation when it is clear that this is not the case.

This article was fully funded with a grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (www.arnoldfoundation.org).

The Laura and John Arnold Foundation provided the seed funding for NuSI, the organisation founded by Gary Taubes and Peter Attia to promote low-carbohydrate nutritional science.


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What is the natural diet for humans?

What is the natural diet for humans?  This is a common question but — we evolve based on behaviour and our behaviour may have a number of consequences, some beneficial and others not so much.

Giraffes have long necks, not to enable them to reach leaves high in a tree, but because males fight using the necks.  Males with the longest, strongest neck wins. It does make life more awkward when eating grass or drinking from a water-hole in the evening.

Evolution is based on changes that enable us to pass on genes for future generations.  If a genetic change affects cholesterol metabolism and causes an increase in heart disease this may not be relevant in evolutionary terms because heart disease usually affects people later in life.

It still may have an impact on human society because of the important influence of grandparents involved in child-minding and their importance as a repository of knowledge.


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