Lyon Diet Heart Study

The Lyon Diet-Heart Study was a “randomized, single-blind secondary prevention trial aimed at testing whether a Mediterranean-type diet, compared with a prudent Western-type diet, may reduce recurrence after a first myocardial infarction.”

The study consisted of 605 patients who had recovered from a myocardial infarction at a hospital in southern France. The experimental group emphasised “more bread, more root vegetables and green vegetables, more fish, less meat (beef, lamb and pork to be replaced with poultry), no day without fruit, and butter and cream to be replaced with margarine” which was high in alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid).

Read more ⇒

Ancel Keys and the Mediterranean Diet

In 1951, Keys was working at Oxford when the Food and Agriculture Organization asked him to chair their first conference on nutrition in Rome. He states, “The conferees talked only about nutritional deficiencies”. When he asked about the new epidemic of coronary heart disease, Gino Bergami, Professor of Physiology at the University of Naples, said “coronary heart disease was no problem in Naples”.

In 1952, Keys and his wife Margaret visited Naples. Margaret measured serum cholesterol concentrations and found them to be very low except among members of the Rotary Club. Heart attacks were rare except amongst the rich whose diet included daily servings of meat. He obtained similar results in studies in Madrid.

Ancel Keys and colleagues posed the hypothesis that differences among populations in the frequency of heart attacks and stroke would occur as a result of physical characteristics and lifestyle and diet. Surveys were carried out between 1958 – 1970 in populations of men aged 40-59, in sixteen areas of seven countries. Follow-up surveys were continued until the 1990s. Most of the areas were stable and rural and had wide contrasts in habitual diet.

Read more ⇒

Harvard Researchers Paid to Support Sugar

A recent story that has been appearing on the internet is that Harvard Researchers Paid to Support Sugar and this is the reason why sugar and carbohydrates have been exonerated in their role of causing heart disease. Fats and saturated fats have unfairly blamed for the obesity and heart disease epidemic.

The article states that, “Early warning signals of the coronary heart disease (CHD) risk of sugar (sucrose) emerged in the 1950s.”

“By the 1960s, 2 prominent physiologists were championing divergent causal hypotheses of CHD: John Yudkin identified added sugars as the primary agent, while Ancel Keys identified total fat, saturated fat, and dietary cholesterol. However, by the 1980s, few scientists believed that added sugars played a significant role in CHD, and the first 1980 Dietary Guidelines for Americans [4] focused on reducing total fat, saturated fat, and dietary cholesterol for CHD prevention.”

Read more ⇒

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.

Read more ⇒

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.

Read more ⇒

Ancel Keys did not manipulate his data

Popular commentators frequently accuse Keys of manipulating data in his 1953 paper, Atherosclerosis, A Problem in Newer Public Health.[2]

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.

Read more ⇒

Misconceptions of Denis Stewart

Denis Stewart is a herbalist from the Hunter Valley (NSW, Australia). He is an associate professor at University of Newcastle since 2002. He founded the Southern Cross Herbal School in the late 1970s.

He presents a weekly radio show on 2NUR FM, a Newcastle-based radio station, on health topics.

I am concerned about some of his material. I posted Denis a (real) letter and sent an email without receiving a response. I also sent an email to 2NUR FM listing some concerns.

Below is a list of some of the concerns that have not been addressed.

Read more ⇒

The Pioppi Diet

The Pioppi Diet is a book by the London cardiologist Aseem Malhotra and Donal O’Neill, an Irish film-maker.

Pioppi is a small village on the Tyrrhenian Sea which is located on the west coast of Italy. It is approximately 150 km (90 miles) south of Naples. Ancel and Margaret Keys resided here for over 25 years. Martii Karvonen of Finland and Jerimiah Stamler of the USA are other well-known medical researchers who resided in the village.

Malhotra is a keen high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet advocate and is desperately trying (unsuccessfully) to merge this opinion into a distorted view of the Mediterranean diet.

Read more ⇒

The Big Fat Surprise

An article relating to Nina Teicholz book, The Big Fat Surprise, was printed in the Australian on 29th December 2014. Unfortunately, it is largely a repeat of misinformation and misunderstanding of the history of diet and cardiovascular research that is found in popular books and websites.

Whilst the current western diet is appalling and contributes to our poor health, it is absurd to contend that we have been lied to by the government, nutritionists and researchers. The contention that saturated fat from animals is actually quite good for you and cholesterol isn’t really important is simply wrong and not supported by research.

Read more ⇒

TIME Magazine Article – Eat Butter – Part 2

TIME magazine published an article by Bryan Walsh that appeared in TIME magazine on 23 June 2014.

The cover of the magazine asserts “Eat Butter. Scientists labeled fat the enemy. Why they were wrong.” Unfortunately, much of the evidence that Walsh presents in the article “Don’t blame the fat” is simply wrong and misleading. Walsh states that between 1977-2012, egg consumption fell 9%, beef 37% and milk 72%.

For the period 1970 – 2000, total added fats (up 40%), dairy products (up 8%), cheese (up 107%), low fat milk (up 79%), all meat products (up 10%), poultry (up 89%) and fish (up 22%) increased. These significant increases were not included in Walsh’s report. All of these food products, even low fat milk, are high fat foods.

 

The total calories consumed also rose significantly by 24%.

Read more ⇒