From The News …

      93 Comments on From The News …

Interesting items from my inbox and elsewhere …

McDonald’s going more McNatural

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it at least twice:  people who blame the country’s health problems on evil corporations who sell us processed foods (Morgan Spurlock comes to mind) have the economic equation backwards.  We don’t buy what corporations produce.  They produce what we’re willing to buy.  Unlike governments, corporations can’t force you to buy a product or service you don’t want (unless they bribe government to apply the force).  The key to getting big producers to sell higher quality food is to 1) demand it, and 2) refuse to buy processed junk.

In earlier posts, I noted that grocery stores like Kroger are selling more local and minimally-processed foods.  Now McDonald’s is responding to slumping sales by going more McNatural, according to an article in The New York Times:

At an event Monday at its headquarters here, McDonald’s announced several changes to its ingredients, including eliminating artificial preservatives from some breakfast foods and Chicken McNuggets, its most popular food item, and removing high-fructose corn syrup from its buns.

Such changes, together with its decision in 2015 to buy only chicken raised without antibiotics used to treat humans, affect almost half of the food on McDonald’s menu, the company said.

The moves are the latest in a series by the company to address changing demands by consumers, who have pushed food companies and restaurants to provide more healthy options and fewer artificial ingredients. It is also an effort to play defense against numerous competitors who promote the quality and freshness of their foods.

Mike Andres, president of McDonald’s U.S.A., said that over the last few years, the company took a hard look at its foods and how they were prepared. The ingredients it was using, like artificial preservatives and high-fructose corn syrup, had good reasoning behind them — but consumers disliked them.

“Why take a position to defend them if consumers are saying they don’t want them?” Mr. Andres said on Monday.

Bingo.  Despite what economic nincompoops think, corporations don’t control the market.  Consumers do.  Doesn’t matter how cleverly McDonald’s advertises foods full of preservatives if consumers don’t want preservatives in their food.

Jessica Foust, director of culinary innovation at McDonald’s, hosted a group of reporters in a test kitchen to show how some of the changes will work in practice.

On the table in front of her were the five ingredients that go into an Egg McMuffin: an English muffin, a large egg, a slice of Canadian bacon, McDonald’s proprietary American cheese and butter — no longer liquid margarine.

Real butter.  In an Egg McMuffin.  The Guy From CSPI is no doubt preparing his “heart attack on a muffin!” routine, but I think most people have wised up to his nonsense.  They want butter, so they’re getting it.

By the way, I bought grass-fed burger patties at Costco this week.  Here’s the ingredients list:

Grass-fed beef, organic onions, sea salt, organic garlic.

Notice that none of these positive developments required new laws or regulations from our overlords in the federal government … who are, of course, busy subsidizing corn to make sure corn-fed beef is still artificially cheap.

Why real food costs more

During my programming marathon, I attended an IT-department event at a local farm.  This is a real farm, you understand, not a mini-farm like ours.  These people have 350 acres and grow everything without pesticides or other chemicals.  They also have a store and event venue on the premises.

I took the farm tour (one of several optional activities for the day) to get a sense of the operation.  After showing us some of what they grow, the co-owner explained why farm-fresh produce tastes so much better:  the produce you buy in grocery stores isn’t bred for flavor.  It’s bred for color and resistance to bruising during shipping.  Grocery-store tomatoes, for example, have skin that’s three times as thick as what these people grow on their farm.  Real food often has blemishes.  Their customers understand that and don’t care if a tomato is uniformly red and pristine.

Here are some shots from the store.

Some of the farm’s best customers are restaurants who cater to the real-food crowd, she explained.  But the feds are making that more difficult.  To protect the public, doncha know, the USDA is requiring producers to keep paperwork that can trace, say, a single tomato served in a restaurant to a single field on a single farm.  If someone gets sick from that tomato, ya see, the USDA needs to run out and inspect that specific field.

All that record-keeping requires staff time, which costs money, which means higher prices.  If you think this regulation is anything other than a behind-the-scenes move by large producers to place a huge financial burden on their smaller, real-food competitors, you have no idea how our political system works.

Here’s the co-owner of the farm showing one of the charts they keep to track what’s grown where.  But that’s just the chart.  The USDA-mandated paperwork itself runs to about 700 pages.  Just how we want our local farmers to spend their time and resources: filling out government forms.

Yes, wheat sensitivity is real

As part of what I call the Save The Grains Campaign, we’ve seen several media articles claiming that negative reactions to wheat are all in people’s heads.  It’s the nocebo effect from books like Wheat Belly, ya see.  People expect to feel bad after eating wheat and so they do, celiac disease is actually rare, blah-blah-blah.

I first gave up bread and other wheat foods because I was cutting carbs to lose weight. That was before Wheat Belly, and I didn’t expect my gastric reflux, psoriasis, arthritis and mild asthma to go away, so there was no placebo effect.  And yet they did go away.  When re-introduced wheat as an N=1 experiment, the ailments came back.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  The connection was clear in my case.  I had a celiac test, which came back negative.  I later read in Wheat Belly that it’s not necessary to have full-blown celiac disease to experience negative reactions to modern wheat.

A study published in the journal Gut says likewise. Here’s part of the abstract:

Wheat gluten and related proteins can trigger an autoimmune enteropathy, known as coeliac disease, in people with genetic susceptibility. However, some individuals experience a range of symptoms in response to wheat ingestion, without the characteristic serological or histological evidence of coeliac disease. The aetiology and mechanism of these symptoms are unknown, and no biomarkers have been identified. We aimed to determine if sensitivity to wheat in the absence of coeliac disease is associated with systemic immune activation that may be linked to an enteropathy.

The researchers gathered people without celiac disease or a known wheat allergy, but who nonetheless said wheat gives them problems, as well as people with celiac and people with no complaints about wheat.  Then the researchers ran various diagnostic tests.  The results and conclusions are described in a Medline article online:

Gluten sensitivity appears to be a real medical problem, and not a figment of the popular imagination conjured up by the gluten-free craze, a new study contends.

Some people suffer changes within their bodies after eating gluten that are separate and distinct from those that accompany either celiac disease or wheat allergy, researchers report.

“We don’t know what is triggering this response, but this study is the first to show that there are clear biological changes in these individuals,” said senior researcher Armin Alaedini. He is an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University in New York City.

Not a figment of your gluten-free imagination.  The effects are real.

The analysis of 80 patients with non-celiac wheat sensitivity found that these people experience an immune response to gluten that’s less focused and more wide-ranging than that found in celiac disease, Alaedini said. These patients were studied alongside 40 people with celiac disease and 40 healthy people in a “control” group.

People with non-celiac wheat sensitivity did not experience an autoimmune reaction. And, they didn’t have T-cells — a specific form of white blood cell — attacking living cells in the body, as occurs in celiac disease, Alaedini explained.

But people with non-celiac wheat sensitivity did show evidence of an acute and systemic immune activation that did not occur in celiac disease, accompanied by signs of cellular intestinal damage.

The results suggest that people with non-celiac wheat sensitivity suffer from a severe immune reaction because microbes and food particles can seep through their weakened intestinal barrier and into their bloodstream, the researchers explained.

Which is why I’ll still toss the muffin from my Egg McMuffin, even if the muffin is slathered with real butter.  My issues with wheat are not in my head.  They’re in my gut.

Former top doc in England stops taking statins … can we call it “stexit”?

Here are some quotes from an article in the U.K. Daily Mail:

The former head of NHS England has revealed he no longer takes statins over concerns about their ‘debilitating’ side effects.

Sir David Nicholson, who retired from his £210,000 a year role two years ago said he had stopped taking the anti-cholesterol drugs because of muscle pain.

Around 7 million Britons take the drugs – and around 7,000 lives a year are thought to be saved by the drugs.

And around a billion colorful eggs are thought to be delivered every spring by a magical bunny.  I have more faith in the bunny at this point.

Sir David, who also has type 2 diabetes, said: ‘I was getting muscle and joint pain. It was getting worse and worse. It was mild to begin with and I kind of thought it was because I was getting old. I stopped taking them for a week and I got better.’

There has, however, been a fierce controversy over the side effects, with some doctors believing they have been under-reported.

Gee, do ya think?  According to studies conducted by statin-makers, side effects are rare.  Meanwhile, nearly everyone I know who’s tried statins has experienced muscle and joint pain.  As I recounted in a 2011 post, most professional athletes prescribed statins quit taking them – because they notice right away if their muscles are affected.  They depend on those muscles for a living.

Instead of dishing out pills, Sir David said GPs should perhaps attempt to change a patient’s lifestyle – particularly diet and exercise.

Dern tootin’ they should.  Now if only we could get doctors and government health agencies to stop thinking a healthy lifestyle means giving up meat and eggs and eating more hearthealthywholegrains!

Keto diet  vs. cancer

Here are some quotes from another article in the U.K. Daily Mail:

A cancer patient told he had just months to live claims giving up carbohydrates has given him nearly two extra years of life.

Pablo Kelly, 27, was told the tumour in his brain was inoperable and chemotherapy was his only chance at survival.

But he decided to reject traditional treatments in favour of a specialist fat-heavy, carb-free diet.

Mr Kelly says he restricts his calories and fasts regularly – while his only source of carbohydrates comes from green vegetables. He does not eat processed foods, refined sugars, root vegetables, starch, breads, or grains. Two years later, he claims this is the reason he has outlived expectations.

Well, I don’t know if it’s necessary to give up root vegetables, but dumping processed foods, sugars and refined grains is the prescription I’d recommend for anyone, cancer or no cancer.  After reading Dr. Jason Fung’s book The Obesity Code, I’m also on board with the fasting.

Now look at how the Wisdom of Crowds effect helped:

Mr Kelly, whose symptoms started with migraines which he chalked down to the summer heat, was eventually diagnosed with cancer in August 2014 at the age of 25. Due to the tumour’s position in Mr Kelly’s brain, he was told it is inoperable.

When doctors offered him radiotherapy and chemotherapy, he decided he didn’t like the idea of a diminished quality of life and opted for the ketogenic diet – which is not recommended by the NHS.

Of course not.  A diet isn’t a drug.

‘The doctors said the only option they could give me was chemotherapy,’ he said.  ‘I did research and I knew there were other options for me that could help.  I was awake til 4am every night trying to find something that could cure it.’

He says it makes ‘total sense’ to him to cut the source of fuel to his brain tumour. ‘It works for epilepsy and diabetes so why should it not work with cancer,’ he said.

And that’s why I’m happy to be living in an age where we can do our own research on the internet and benefit from the Wisdom of Crowds instead of relying solely on what the doctor tells us.

Just a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down …

Remember that song from Mary Poppins?  Apparently, our FDA considers it sound medical advice.  Here are some quotes from an article in Natural News:

The serious issue of overmedicating kids could be about to take on a whole new dimension with the emergence of a new medication known as Adzenys. While kids are generally averse to taking medications, few will turn their noses up at a piece of candy. That is exactly what Adzenys is banking on with its underhanded and potentially dangerous new fruit-flavored amphetamine.

As you can see from the picture atop the article, the new drug looks like gummy bears.  Well, why not?  We’re now selling gummy-bear vitamins to adults.  Because if there’s one message we need to get across to all Americans, it’s this:  everything good for you should taste like candy!

Not that I’m saying ADHD drugs are good for you, of course.  After reading the book Anatomy of an Epidemic a couple of years ago, I’d say the opposite is true of most psychiatric drugs.

The drug recently hit the market, and psychiatrists are voicing concerns that it could serve as another gateway to ADHD drug abuse. Perhaps not surprisingly, the extended-release amphetamine gained FDA approval in January for patients as young as six years old.

University of California San Diego Psychiatrist Dr. Alexander Papp is horrified by the concept, saying that prescribing the drug sanctions “an orally disintegrating amphetamine for kids by the morally disintegrating FDA.”

Oh, come on now.  The FDA morally disintegrated a long time ago.  So did the USDA.  And the NIH.  And the National Cholesterol Education Program.

But man, I’m looking forward to the day we put the feds in charge of our entire health system.  Then they’ll suddenly all become altruists who only want to keep us healthy, and everything will be wunnerful, wunnerful.  I can hear the press conferences already:  “If you like your food, you can keep your food.”

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93 thoughts on “From The News …

  1. DebbieC.

    LOL, yeah companies sell things that consumers want. it’s just not a fast process. Some of them are only now starting to sell things that I’ve wanted them to sell for about 20 years now. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I want them to sell me a flying car. I just don’t want everyone else in morning rush hour to have one.

      Reply
      1. Walter Bushell

        When cars were first introduced it was said that only a small minority could operate them safely.

        My observation convinces me that this is correct. People eating, drinking, putting on makeup, shaving, texting and in general not
        paying attention and driving too fast for even an expert driver.

        Maybe they could drive safely if they wanted to.

        Now try that in 3 dimensions with no marked routes.

        Reply
        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          I once saw a guy on the highway reading a newspaper folded over his steering wheel. Now that was scary.

          Reply
    2. Brandon

      Probably because there wasn’t enough people beforehand to require the change. The shift in eating habits seems to have reached critical mass recently.

      Reply
  2. Jack

    I also get reflux, skin problems and joint pain from eating wheat. More that twenty years ago I got allergy tests (skin prick/scratch test) that indicated a wheat allergy among others. I confirmed these with an elimination diet so there was no doubt.

    My Doc gave me some literature that said that only about 20% showed a response on the scratch test and even he had a patient with peanut anaphalaxis whose allergy didn’t show up on it.

    I am sure that blood tests have there use but for me nothing tops cutting something out and then adding it back in for figuring out what is causing a reaction. It is interesting (and sad) how resistant people can be to the suggestion of cutting something out briefly.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Some of that resistance comes from the wheat industry fighting a rear-guard action, making sure we see media stories about how problems with wheat are all in our heads.

      Reply
    2. JillOz

      I’ve had skin-prick tests that register the effects of some substances but nor wheat, the elimination of which has been entirely beneficial for me.

      Why does the skin-prick test not show anything, does anyone know?

      Reply
      1. Bob Niland

        re: I’ve had skin-prick tests…

        What test was that?

        What may be the gold standard for food allergy tests are the Cyrex Arrays:
        https://www.cyrexlabs.com/CyrexTestsArrays/tabid/136/Default.aspx
        with Array 3 appearing to be the wheat-focused test; and it’s a blood draw.

        If we conjecture that skin reactions to wheat consumption are merely the skin reflecting what is in fact a systemic problem, I’m wondering if a skin prick test would necessarily pick it up (particularly for anyone who hadn’t been off wheat for a while already, which may or may not have been your case).

        Reply
  3. Tom

    Most people are unaware of the effects of what they eat and are regularly bombarded with the same sort of misinformation that you exposed in Fat Head.

    So all they want is cheap food that tastes good. Fat and salt were bad guys, so McD’s sold a big bun, a pile of french fries and a big cup of soda. What’s always cracked me up is that most people have long thought that the meat and cheese were the bad guys in that meal, but it was the cheap carbohydrates that taste good that were the problem.

    Most of what McD’s does is to reduce prices and simplify execution of product preparation. Liquid margarine was easy to apply to an english muffin, it doesn’t separate like butter, it was cheaper than butter, and it was supposed to be ‘good fat’ or at least not saturated animal fat. You know, the antichrist.

    Unfortunately, people will always want cheap tasty food and they’re unlikely to ever get the message that meat and fat aren’t bad, or that carbs should be minimized. Its taken decades for dietary cholesterol to get taken off the evil list.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      I think more and more people are getting the message. That’s why McDonald’s had to rethink their menu.

      Reply
      1. j

        I’m assuming their food was more natural 50 years ago..? Maybe they could go back to those days. Anyway if they could have buns made out of just flour, yeast, water, salt (the basics), fries that are only potato (cooked in lard), I might eat there more often. Their current buns don’t really taste like bread.

        Reply
        1. Tom Naughton

          I’m waiting for the day when they 1) switch to or at least offer gluten-free buns, and 2) start cooking fries in beef tallow again. Won’t surprise me if that day comes.

          Reply
          1. Galina L.

            The worst thing about McD is that their burgers taste like cardboard without bread, that is why I go to Hardis or BK on rare occasions when I fancy a fast food.

            Reply
  4. Firebird

    Have you checked out The Big Fat Fix?

    I rented it over the weekend. Looked really good, especially all the food they were consuming.

    Reply
  5. Tom

    Most people are unaware of the effects of what they eat and are regularly bombarded with the same sort of misinformation that you exposed in Fat Head.

    So all they want is cheap food that tastes good. Fat and salt were bad guys, so McD’s sold a big bun, a pile of french fries and a big cup of soda. What’s always cracked me up is that most people have long thought that the meat and cheese were the bad guys in that meal, but it was the cheap carbohydrates that taste good that were the problem.

    Most of what McD’s does is to reduce prices and simplify execution of product preparation. Liquid margarine was easy to apply to an english muffin, it doesn’t separate like butter, it was cheaper than butter, and it was supposed to be ‘good fat’ or at least not saturated animal fat. You know, the antichrist.

    Unfortunately, people will always want cheap tasty food and they’re unlikely to ever get the message that meat and fat aren’t bad, or that carbs should be minimized. Its taken decades for dietary cholesterol to get taken off the evil list.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I think more and more people are getting the message. That’s why McDonald’s had to rethink their menu.

      Reply
      1. j

        I’m assuming their food was more natural 50 years ago..? Maybe they could go back to those days. Anyway if they could have buns made out of just flour, yeast, water, salt (the basics), fries that are only potato (cooked in lard), I might eat there more often. Their current buns don’t really taste like bread.

        Reply
        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          I’m waiting for the day when they 1) switch to or at least offer gluten-free buns, and 2) start cooking fries in beef tallow again. Won’t surprise me if that day comes.

          Reply
          1. Galina L.

            The worst thing about McD is that their burgers taste like cardboard without bread, that is why I go to Hardis or BK on rare occasions when I fancy a fast food.

            Reply
  6. Walter Bushell

    It could be worse they could add statins to the speed pill.

    Back in the “Laugh In” daze it was know that speed kills.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      Yup, and I’ve seen the same conclusion in other studies. I love this quote:

      The new findings challenge the “food desert” hypothesis, which posits that a lack of access to supermarkets and grocery stores in some communities worsens the obesity crisis by restricting people’s access to healthy foods.

      Apparently, the “food desert” promoters believe those evil grocery-store owners are conspiring to restrict access to healthy foods. Talk about economic illiterates. If people in those “deserts” wanted to buy fruits and vegetables, some greedy capitalist would be only too happy to move in and sell them. The supply isn’t there because the demand isn’t there.

      Reply
      1. j

        Junk food and fast carbs (rice, potatoes, bread, pasta) are pretty cheap though, calorie for calorie, compared to healthier veggies and fruits, quality meat.. sucks. Not that everyone would eat healthier if it was cheaper… maybe some?

        Reply
        1. Tom Naughton

          Very few. I ran a post some time back about a store in one of those “food deserts” that got all on board with the idea of making healthy food available at a low cost. They ended up throwing out the food. Nobody was buying.

          Reply
          1. Lori Miller

            Practically every bit of plant matter I ate when my teeth were injured a few years ago came out of a can or a bottle. I couldn’t chew fresh vegetables for a few months and I didn’t eat fruit (still don’t). I did eat guacamole. I didn’t feel any the worse for the lack of crunchy vegetation. Our ancestors from not that long ago went much of the year without fresh produce.

            In 2016, there may be some unmet demand for good-quality groceries, including fresh produce. Here on the east side of Indianapolis is a little co-op that sells pasture-raised animal products and a little produce, among other things. Customers walk past what looks like hookers and drug deals to get in the front door. Nevertheless, the store is trying to raise enough money to fix the roof.

            Reply
  7. Firebird

    Have you checked out The Big Fat Fix?

    I rented it over the weekend. Looked really good, especially all the food they were consuming.

    Reply
      1. clacina74

        It’s a semi documentary with Dr Aseem Molhtra and Donal O’Neill, they have a website with the same name

        Reply
        1. Stephen T

          Tom, Aseem Malhotra is a cardiologist and leading member of the Public Health Collaboration, a group of dedicated NHS doctors and practitioners who reject the current dietary advice and advocate the low-carb way. They’re becoming a real thorn in the side of the NHS’s low-fat nonsense and have published a number of papers attacking current guidance on diet and diabetes. They’re difficult people for the system to discredit because they are clearly capable and qualified medical people. I think they’re now leading the fightback in the UK.

          https://phcuk.org/

          Reply
          1. Mike

            I bought a WiDi dongle for my TV, so I sent the film to my TV from my laptop. You can also download the files to a stick, which I am able to play on my TV.

            The Big Fat Fix has the same maker as Cereal Killers and Cereal Killers 2: Running on Fat.

            I recommend all three. I thought the 2nd was probably the coolest.

            I was left wondering about a couple of aspects of their recommendations. It seemed to me that they were recommending oily fish over other animals. They also said olive oil is a medicine and coconut oil is a super food. I was unclear if they were recommending both and which to prefer. Also, they did acknowledge the problem of obtaining olive oil that hasn’t been cut with vegetable oil.

            Reply
            1. Tom Naughton Post author

              I think oily fish and olive oil are great. But yeah, you have to make sure the olive oil isn’t canola oil in disguise.

  8. Josh

    Tom, I am interested if, when you did your N=1 test on wheat’s effects on you, did you try more ancient kinds of wheat such as Einkorn? Einkorn, supposedly, is the same stuff people ate a few hundred years ago, not the modern wheat we started getting after WW2.

    Of course, if doing such a test is going to cause you to get sick, please don’t do that. But, if you did, I am wondering if there was any difference between an ancient wheat modern wheat.

    Note: I really mean ANCIENT wheat. Not a modern variety of another type of wheat. There are plenty of different wheats around that are still modern, hybridized wheat. I mean very similar to the wheat our great-great-great grandparents ate.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      I was running my little self-experiments before I read Wheat Belly, so I didn’t know there was such a species as Einkorn. So I was eating and then skipping modern wheat products. For some reason, pasta seemed to bring on the symptoms more quickly than bread. Perhaps it’s just more concentrated.

      Reply
    2. Jesrad

      I did experiment with einkorn flour after reading Wheat Belly, and replicated the results from the book. I had a week of conventional modern wheat products in the form of bread and pizza, then let 2 ‘clear’ weeks in between, then another week of einkorn flour products (bread and pizza too). In the second week I didn’t get the vivid dreams, joint pain and sugar highs and lows.

      Reply
      1. Jesrad

        … but I still got gastric reflux – which also happens with most concentrated carbs, in my experience.

        Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Yup, and I’ve seen the same conclusion in other studies. I love this quote:

      The new findings challenge the “food desert” hypothesis, which posits that a lack of access to supermarkets and grocery stores in some communities worsens the obesity crisis by restricting people’s access to healthy foods.

      Apparently, the “food desert” promoters believe those evil grocery-store owners are conspiring to restrict access to healthy foods. Talk about economic illiterates. If people in those “deserts” wanted to buy fruits and vegetables, some greedy capitalist would be only too happy to move in and sell them. The supply isn’t there because the demand isn’t there.

      Reply
      1. j

        Junk food and fast carbs (rice, potatoes, bread, pasta) are pretty cheap though, calorie for calorie, compared to healthier veggies and fruits, quality meat.. sucks. Not that everyone would eat healthier if it was cheaper… maybe some?

        Reply
        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          Very few. I ran a post some time back about a store in one of those “food deserts” that got all on board with the idea of making healthy food available at a low cost. They ended up throwing out the food. Nobody was buying.

          Reply
          1. Lori Miller

            Practically every bit of plant matter I ate when my teeth were injured a few years ago came out of a can or a bottle. I couldn’t chew fresh vegetables for a few months and I didn’t eat fruit (still don’t). I did eat guacamole. I didn’t feel any the worse for the lack of crunchy vegetation. Our ancestors from not that long ago went much of the year without fresh produce.

            In 2016, there may be some unmet demand for good-quality groceries, including fresh produce. Here on the east side of Indianapolis is a little co-op that sells pasture-raised animal products and a little produce, among other things. Customers walk past what looks like hookers and drug deals to get in the front door. Nevertheless, the store is trying to raise enough money to fix the roof.

            Reply
            1. Galina L.

              Eating fresh produce whole year round is a part of a very expensive life-style. It is almost cruel to make poor people feeling guilty for not wasting money on such food. It can’t be considered a priority on a tight budget.

  9. Bob Niland

    re: …so I didn’t know there was such a species as Einkorn.

    That’s what Ötzi the Iceman was eating (~5300 yrs BP). His bad teeth were likely a consequence of his diet. The heart disease and possible arthritis might have been due to that, or the suspected Lyme, or being GG for rs10757274, or some combination thereof.

    Eat authentic neolithic grains – get authentic neolithic ailments, I suppose (but mind the arrows, too, as that was the proximate cause of death.

    re: Perhaps it’s just more concentrated.

    What’s doing what with wheat, and food-like substances that contain it, includes bushels of confounding factors. I’ve been keeping a rap sheet on this weed:
    https://www.cureality.com/forum/topics.aspx?ID=19033

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      Yeah, I’m in no hurry to find an “ancient” wheat I can eat. I’ve been doing fine without the stuff.

      Reply
  10. Josh

    Tom, I am interested if, when you did your N=1 test on wheat’s effects on you, did you try more ancient kinds of wheat such as Einkorn? Einkorn, supposedly, is the same stuff people ate a few hundred years ago, not the modern wheat we started getting after WW2.

    Of course, if doing such a test is going to cause you to get sick, please don’t do that. But, if you did, I am wondering if there was any difference between an ancient wheat modern wheat.

    Note: I really mean ANCIENT wheat. Not a modern variety of another type of wheat. There are plenty of different wheats around that are still modern, hybridized wheat. I mean very similar to the wheat our great-great-great grandparents ate.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I was running my little self-experiments before I read Wheat Belly, so I didn’t know there was such a species as Einkorn. So I was eating and then skipping modern wheat products. For some reason, pasta seemed to bring on the symptoms more quickly than bread. Perhaps it’s just more concentrated.

      Reply
    2. Jesrad

      I did experiment with einkorn flour after reading Wheat Belly, and replicated the results from the book. I had a week of conventional modern wheat products in the form of bread and pizza, then let 2 ‘clear’ weeks in between, then another week of einkorn flour products (bread and pizza too). In the second week I didn’t get the vivid dreams, joint pain and sugar highs and lows.

      Reply
  11. Bob Niland

    re: …so I didn’t know there was such a species as Einkorn.

    That’s what Ötzi the Iceman was eating (~5300 yrs BP). His bad teeth were likely a consequence of his diet. The heart disease and possible arthritis might have been due to that, or the suspected Lyme, or being GG for rs10757274, or some combination thereof.

    Eat authentic neolithic grains – get authentic neolithic ailments, I suppose (but mind the arrows, too, as that was the proximate cause of death.

    re: Perhaps it’s just more concentrated.

    What’s doing what with wheat, and food-like substances that contain it, includes bushels of confounding factors. I’ve been keeping a rap sheet on this weed:
    https://www.cureality.com/forum/topics.aspx?ID=19033

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Yeah, I’m in no hurry to find an “ancient” wheat I can eat. I’ve been doing fine without the stuff.

      Reply
  12. June

    I need to thank you again. Several years ago I had just been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and had been on statins for about a year and a half. I had been getting excruciating legs cramps nearly every morning. I came to your site after reading about you and your movie on the Blood Sugar 101 site. I watched the movie,was very impressed, and decided to check out your blog. As luck would have it, that day your post was about statins and how they cause muscle pain. I literally shrieked “WHAT?!”. I asked my doctor about it and he brushed off my concerns and suggested I stretch before going to bed. After doing more research I stopped statins and, like Sir Nicholson, started getting relief within a week. I don’t know what my life would be like if I was still taking statins. Thanks again.

    Reply
  13. June

    I need to thank you again. Several years ago I had just been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and had been on statins for about a year and a half. I had been getting excruciating legs cramps nearly every morning. I came to your site after reading about you and your movie on the Blood Sugar 101 site. I watched the movie,was very impressed, and decided to check out your blog. As luck would have it, that day your post was about statins and how they cause muscle pain. I literally shrieked “WHAT?!”. I asked my doctor about it and he brushed off my concerns and suggested I stretch before going to bed. After doing more research I stopped statins and, like Sir Nicholson, started getting relief within a week. I don’t know what my life would be like if I was still taking statins. Thanks again.

    Reply
  14. Dianne

    Wow — a load of great information in one post! Your lengthy absence is forgiven. The item about non-celiac wheat sensitivity was especially interesting and sort of comforting. (Nobody wants to be a hypochondriac.) I have the blood markers for gluten sensitivity, but the biopsy was negative. Therefore my physician seems to consider wheat a non-issue in my case. My chiropractor says it’s very much an issue. My bones, muscles, joints, and gut agree with my chiropractor, so the doc, who really does mean well, is outnumbered. But it’s nice to have a little backup from science.

    Reply
  15. Dianne

    Wow — a load of great information in one post! Your lengthy absence is forgiven. The item about non-celiac wheat sensitivity was especially interesting and sort of comforting. (Nobody wants to be a hypochondriac.) I have the blood markers for gluten sensitivity, but the biopsy was negative. Therefore my physician seems to consider wheat a non-issue in my case. My chiropractor says it’s very much an issue. My bones, muscles, joints, and gut agree with my chiropractor, so the doc, who really does mean well, is outnumbered. But it’s nice to have a little backup from science.

    Reply
  16. Mike

    Suppose the National Health Service is right and 7,000 out of 7,000,000 Britons are saved every year. It’s unclear exactly how many years of extra life a “saved” person gets, so I’m not sure how to quantify the benefit for a particular individual, but it doesn’t sound too promising. Suppose a doctor says “take this, it’s make you feel like crap but it has a 1 in 1000 chance of saving you”; yay?

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      Even according to the most positive statin studies (i.e., the ones the statin makers reported), we’re talking about preventing one heart attack for every 100 high-risk men who take the drug. But those same studies don’t report overall mortality, which almost certainly means no lives saved.

      Reply
      1. j

        I thought the only stated purpose of statins was to lower cholesterol.. Not save lives or even prevent heart attacks.

        Reply
  17. Mike

    Suppose the National Health Service is right and 7,000 out of 7,000,000 Britons are saved every year. It’s unclear exactly how many years of extra life a “saved” person gets, so I’m not sure how to quantify the benefit for a particular individual, but it doesn’t sound too promising. Suppose a doctor says “take this, it’s make you feel like crap but it has a 1 in 1000 chance of saving you”; yay?

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Even according to the most positive statin studies (i.e., the ones the statin makers reported), we’re talking about preventing one heart attack for every 100 high-risk men who take the drug. But those same studies don’t report overall mortality, which almost certainly means no lives saved.

      Reply
  18. Bob Niland

    re: …we’re talking about preventing one heart attack for every 100 high-risk men…

    What really matters, of course, is all-cause mortality. It’s hardly attractive if you’re less likely to die of an MI, but more likely to die of a stroke (or wish you had because you feel so bad, and you literally can’t remember feeling well).

    The most recent long-term statin trial (HOPE-3) showed a “whopping” ¼% reduction in mortality over 7 years. Being well within the error bars, that’s no real advantage at all. I have more comments on it at: https://www.cureality.com/forum/topics.aspx?ID=18828

    Reply
      1. Daci

        I agree.
        I took um for several years and started having more side effects than you can shake a stick at..It started off slowly and got worse and worse. She blamed my side effects one everything but the real culprit.

        Naturally I stopped taking it, and my Dr. decided.in her infinite wisdom, to chunk another one at me. I said no and I meant no.
        What’s funny is my levels had improved and she said I must not have been off the med long.
        In reality, I had been off it three months!

        The last time she says my cholesterol. levels are really good and asked me what I
        was doing. I simply said:”Eating more fish.”
        Anyway,every time I go in,she still drags out the statin dead horse and beats
        it soundly with a stick.

        Once she said if i develop diabetes,she will prescribe statins.
        Do you have any idea how hard it can be to suppress an eye roll?
        I managed with great difficulty!

        Reply
        1. Tom Naughton

          So if you develop diabetes, she wants to prescribe a medication shown to make diabetes worse. Brilliant.

          Reply
  19. Bob Niland

    re: …we’re talking about preventing one heart attack for every 100 high-risk men…

    What really matters, of course, is all-cause mortality. It’s hardly attractive if you’re less likely to die of an MI, but more likely to die of a stroke (or wish you had because you feel so bad, and you literally can’t remember feeling well).

    The most recent long-term statin trial (HOPE-3) showed a “whopping” ¼% reduction in mortality over 7 years. Being well within the error bars, that’s no real advantage at all. I have more comments on it at: https://www.cureality.com/forum/topics.aspx?ID=18828

    Reply
      1. Daci

        I agree.
        I took um for several years and started having more side effects than you can shake a stick at..It started off slowly and got worse and worse. She blamed my side effects one everything but the real culprit.

        Naturally I stopped taking it, and my Dr. decided.in her infinite wisdom, to chunk another one at me. I said no and I meant no.
        What’s funny is my levels had improved and she said I must not have been off the med long.
        In reality, I had been off it three months!

        The last time she says my cholesterol. levels are really good and asked me what I
        was doing. I simply said:”Eating more fish.”
        Anyway,every time I go in,she still drags out the statin dead horse and beats
        it soundly with a stick.

        Once she said if i develop diabetes,she will prescribe statins.
        Do you have any idea how hard it can be to suppress an eye roll?
        I managed with great difficulty!

        Reply
        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          So if you develop diabetes, she wants to prescribe a medication shown to make diabetes worse. Brilliant.

          Reply
  20. Walter Bushell

    Those candy speedballs in the unlikely event they are the best possible intervention need to be kept locked up. Candy vitamin pills are enough of an attractive nuisance. Six year olds may not be smart, but they are clever and persistent.

    Given speedballs that taste like candy and children’s attraction to sugar, they are an “accident” waiting to happen. Scare quotes because the idea is frightening and no parent can be careless with the keys. I think there are few if any parents who could possibly handle the situation given the toxicity involved.

    What kinda drugs are those proponents on anyway? Belike statins, bird seed oils including soy “foods” and high carbs.

    Reply
  21. Walter Bushell

    Those candy speedballs in the unlikely event they are the best possible intervention need to be kept locked up. Candy vitamin pills are enough of an attractive nuisance. Six year olds may not be smart, but they are clever and persistent.

    Given speedballs that taste like candy and children’s attraction to sugar, they are an “accident” waiting to happen. Scare quotes because the idea is frightening and no parent can be careless with the keys. I think there are few if any parents who could possibly handle the situation given the toxicity involved.

    What kinda drugs are those proponents on anyway? Belike statins, bird seed oils including soy “foods” and high carbs.

    Reply
  22. Marion

    True, corporations sell people the food people want to buy, but corporations will also invest huge globs of money in political lobbying, ‘science’ and (false) advertising to get people to want to buy their products, even if they (the corporations) KNOW their product to be harmful. Soda pop producers WILL fund ‘scientific papers’ to proof that sugar and HFCS are harmless or even good for you. Pharmaceutical companies WILL ‘sponsor’ government policies which promote low fat high carb dogma and they WILL demonize everyone who dares speak against it, because diabetes is profitable and statins are the biggest selling pill on the market. Big Agriculture and Big Oil WILL invest billions in ‘sponsoring’, in a hundred little ways, the idea of Global Warning and that this is caused by the big bad meat industry, because they can earn far more money in far shorter time with soybeans and cornoil and pumping up fossil fuels to make chemical fertilizer for these soy beans and cottonseed and rapeseed and corn, than by raising pastured beef and milk.

    Because this is ALSO Economics 101: if you can have a profit of one million dollars a year by selling pasture raised butter or you can have a profit of fifty BILLION dollars a year by selling margerine, guess what you choose to sell. And guess what you will do if pesky scientists and a handful of pesky consumers insist that margerine is bad for you. Exactly.

    Corporations will sell people what people want to buy, but corporations will also go huge lenghts to persuade you that you want their product, and food and medicine are notoriously vulnerable. Because frankly, wether you wear Reeboks or Adidas, wether you read this on a Windows or an Apple machine, hardly matters where you health and wellbeing, but wether you take statins (which might kill you) because doctors have a contract with the pharmaceutical company that if they have 60 percent of their patients on a prescription they get a free trip to the Bahamas or you don’t DOES matter a great deal. Ask me sometimes how I know (I found out after my mum died that her doctor had prescribed her statins for years and years and when my mum complained of muscle and joint pain he claimed that this was ‘age’ and when my mum couldn’t walk anymore this was also ‘age’ and when she got tumors in her liver this was merely ‘unfortunate’, but when I researched statins I found out that all these things were possible ‘side effects’ of statins, and that scientists and consumers had been warning against these ‘side effects’ for decades and how the whole ‘high cholesterol thing’ which statins supposedly helped against was a myth which was kept alive solely because statins were cash cow of the pharma industry. It slowly kill you but as long as you are barely alive, you will be milked for every penny. Just like sugar. Or HFCS. Or canola oil/margerine. Please don’t tell me evil corporations don’t exist)

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      Well, here’s the difference: a corporation can spend millions convincing you to buy a product, but you can still refuse to buy it. Ever hear of the McLean burger? Taco Bell’s “Border Lites”? Big fat flops, despite huge advertising budgets.

      Usually when people talk about evil corporations and I ask them to identify the evil behavior, it comes down to bribing government. Yes, that’s wrong. But it only happens because government has made itself big enough to be worth bribing. When a small group of people have the power to rig the game, bribing them is the rational thing to do.

      Statins never would have become the biggest-selling drugs if the National Cholesterol Education Program (government) didn’t decide that everyone’s cholesterol should be below 200.

      Reply
  23. Marion

    True, corporations sell people the food people want to buy, but corporations will also invest huge globs of money in political lobbying, ‘science’ and (false) advertising to get people to want to buy their products, even if they (the corporations) KNOW their product to be harmful. Soda pop producers WILL fund ‘scientific papers’ to proof that sugar and HFCS are harmless or even good for you. Pharmaceutical companies WILL ‘sponsor’ government policies which promote low fat high carb dogma and they WILL demonize everyone who dares speak against it, because diabetes is profitable and statins are the biggest selling pill on the market. Big Agriculture and Big Oil WILL invest billions in ‘sponsoring’, in a hundred little ways, the idea of Global Warning and that this is caused by the big bad meat industry, because they can earn far more money in far shorter time with soybeans and cornoil and pumping up fossil fuels to make chemical fertilizer for these soy beans and cottonseed and rapeseed and corn, than by raising pastured beef and milk.

    Because this is ALSO Economics 101: if you can have a profit of one million dollars a year by selling pasture raised butter or you can have a profit of fifty BILLION dollars a year by selling margerine, guess what you choose to sell. And guess what you will do if pesky scientists and a handful of pesky consumers insist that margerine is bad for you. Exactly.

    Corporations will sell people what people want to buy, but corporations will also go huge lenghts to persuade you that you want their product, and food and medicine are notoriously vulnerable. Because frankly, wether you wear Reeboks or Adidas, wether you read this on a Windows or an Apple machine, hardly matters where you health and wellbeing, but wether you take statins (which might kill you) because doctors have a contract with the pharmaceutical company that if they have 60 percent of their patients on a prescription they get a free trip to the Bahamas or you don’t DOES matter a great deal. Ask me sometimes how I know (I found out after my mum died that her doctor had prescribed her statins for years and years and when my mum complained of muscle and joint pain he claimed that this was ‘age’ and when my mum couldn’t walk anymore this was also ‘age’ and when she got tumors in her liver this was merely ‘unfortunate’, but when I researched statins I found out that all these things were possible ‘side effects’ of statins, and that scientists and consumers had been warning against these ‘side effects’ for decades and how the whole ‘high cholesterol thing’ which statins supposedly helped against was a myth which was kept alive solely because statins were cash cow of the pharma industry. It slowly kill you but as long as you are barely alive, you will be milked for every penny. Just like sugar. Or HFCS. Or canola oil/margerine. Please don’t tell me evil corporations don’t exist)

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Well, here’s the difference: a corporation can spend millions convincing you to buy a product, but you can still refuse to buy it. Ever hear of the McLean burger? Taco Bell’s “Border Lites”? Big fat flops, despite huge advertising budgets.

      Usually when people talk about evil corporations and I ask them to identify the evil behavior, it comes down to bribing government. Yes, that’s wrong. But it only happens because government has made itself big enough to be worth bribing. When a small group of people have the power to rig the game, bribing them is the rational thing to do.

      Statins never would have become the biggest-selling drugs if the National Cholesterol Education Program (government) didn’t decide that everyone’s cholesterol should be below 200.

      Reply

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