Dr James Muecke is the Australian of the Year in 2020 which was awarded for his work as an eye-surgeon and his work in preventing blindness.
Muecke believes that we should be eating more eggs, cheese, meat and dark chocolate to minimise diabetes, its associated blindness (diabetic retinopathy) and diabetic neuropathy. Peripheral diabetic neuropathy is nerve damage of the limbs that is caused by diabetes. 50% of adults with type 2 diabetes have peripheral neuropathy. It can result in pain, numbness and an increase in sensitivity. Diabetes account for more than 80% of amputations.
Mueke cites the PURE Study to justify his low-carbohydrate, high-fat, animal-based diet.
The PURE Study is an observational study in 27 countries that examined 225,000 people. The study period is 20 years.
A letter was sent to the South Australian Department of Health on the 11th January 2021 after they declined to investigate the claims of Dr James Muecke, the Australian of the Year in 2020.
He is trying to convince Australians to eat more meat, eggs and dairy to prevent diabetes, diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy.Australia is ranked number 2 in meat consumption, just behind United States but in front of Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and New Zealand.
The response stated that they can only address specific cases. The unsubstantiated claims of Muecke can continue to be disseminated to the detriment of our health.
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 which is why vegans often resort to supplementation which can have unintended consquences.
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?.
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.
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.
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.
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 “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.