Archive for the “News and Reviews” Category

Interesting items from my inbox and elsewhere …

Everything causes cancer. Or prevents cancer.

But we already knew that, right? You can hardly open a newspaper without being told this-or-that is “linked” to a higher or lower rate of cancer. Some researchers with a sense of humor decided to randomly select ingredients from a cookbook and see how many of them have been associated with cancer in observational studies. Here are the opening paragraphs from the study:

Background: Nutritional epidemiology is a highly prolific field. Debates on associations of nutrients with disease risk are common in the literature and attract attention in public media.

Objective: We aimed to examine the conclusions, statistical significance, and reproducibility in the literature on associations between specific foods and cancer risk.

Design: We selected 50 common ingredients from random recipes in a cookbook. PubMed queries identified recent studies that evaluated the relation of each ingredient to cancer risk.

A “highly prolific field” … yeah, that’s one way to phrase it. Anyway, here’s what the researchers found:

At least one study was identified for 80% (n = 40) of the ingredients selected from random recipes that investigated the relation to cancer risk: veal, salt, pepper spice, flour, egg, bread, pork, butter, tomato, lemon, duck, onion, celery, carrot, parsley, mace, sherry, olive, mushroom, tripe, milk, cheese, coffee, bacon, sugar, lobster, potato, beef, lamb, mustard, nuts, wine, peas, corn, cinnamon, cayenne, orange, tea, rum, and raisin.

We found that 80% of ingredients from randomly selected recipes had been studied in relation to malignancy and the large majority of these studies were interpreted by their authors as offering evidence for increased or decreased risk of cancer.

So darned near everything causes or prevents cancer.

However, the vast majority of these claims were based on weak statistical evidence.

No kidding.  But I’ll bet most of them also led to big headlines.

At least okra doesn’t give me the munchies.

This is an old CNN story, but only came to my attention recently when a reader warned me that Chareva’s okra might lead to a raid by cops.

The grower was alarmed when the police helicopter swooped low over his property.

Soon, Bartow County, Georgia, deputies — “strapped to the gills” and with a drug dog in tow — converged on his doorstep. They had the grower dead to rights.

Except the plant that the chopper cops had spotted from the air was … okra.

The helicopter was combing the area in search of cannabis plants when it came across the five-leaflet okra plant, the station reported. Marijuana plants can have anywhere between one and 13 leaflets per leaf, depending on maturity and health, but they generally have seven or nine.

“It did have quite a number of characteristics that were similar to a cannabis plant,” Georgia State Patrol Capt. Kermit Stokes told WSB.

If you haven’t already heard Kermit the Frog in your head, explaining how okra looks a lot like marijuana, something went very, very wrong in your childhood.

“Here I am, at home and retired and you know I do the right thing,” Perry told the station. “Then they come to my house strapped with weapons for no reason. It ain’t right.”

Upon realizing that it had dispatched officers to confiscate a popular gumbo ingredient, the Georgia State Patrol, which operates the task force, issued an apology, both to Perry and publicly.

I’ll bet Mr. Perry was so annoyed with the cops, he gave them each a bag of okra.

How nutritionists deal with contrary evidence.

Yet another study recently declared butter not guilty of the crimes it’s been accused of, as reported in HealthDay online:

Spread the news: Butter may not be the unhealthy food many Americans believe it to be, new research suggests.

“Overall, our results suggest that butter should neither be demonized nor considered ‘back’ as a route to good health,” study senior author Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Tufts University School of Nutrition Science and Policy in Boston, said in a university news release.

The new study was funded by the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Mozaffarian’s team reviewed data from nine studies that included more than 636,000 people living in 15 countries.

The findings showed that eating butter was only weakly associated with increased risk of premature death and not associated at all with heart disease. There was a slight association with protection against diabetes, the study found.

I’m sure those findings won’t surprise you. Unfortunately, this probably won’t surprise you either.

One nutritionist said her views on butter remain unchanged, however.

“Despite the findings of this study, I am not about to make a huge shift in the recommendations I make about consumption,” said Dana White. She is a dietitian and professor of sports medicine at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn.

“Butter remains a very high-calorie and high-fat food with little nutrient density to offer, and therefore still needs to be consumed in strict moderation,” White said.

In other words: I’ve been telling people to strictly limit their butter intake for years, and I’m going to keep on doing it, no matter what the evidence says.

Head. Bang. On. Desk.

The FDA plans to poops all over poop transplants.

If you’re a regular reader, you know I think our government’s regulations are often full of poop. So it seems rather appropriate that a branch of the government wants to regulate poop, as reported by BuzzFeed.

Gastroenterologist Colleen Kelly performed her first poop transplant eight years ago, on a young woman with a life-threatening gut infection who had run out of options. The bacterium Clostridium difficile had invaded the woman’s gut, bringing her constant diarrhea and pain, and antibiotics weren’t working.

Kelly’s patient persuaded her to try a fecal transplant, in which poop from a healthy person is put into a sick person’s colon in the hope of resetting the mix of microbes there. The patient’s boyfriend provided fresh stool, and Kelly introduced half a cup of it into her patient via a colonoscopy. To Kelly’s surprise, it worked — by the next day, the woman’s symptoms began to wane.

Kelly, an assistant professor of medicine at Brown University, has since performed some 300 fecal transplants for C. diff infections. These days, she usually buys healthy stool samples from OpenBiome, a nonprofit “stool bank” in Somerville, Massachusetts that launched in 2013. “It’s really unlike any therapy to date,” she told BuzzFeed News.

So this spring, when the FDA announced that it intended to tighten its rules on the procedure, known as fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), making it harder for doctors to buy stool from banks, Kelly was among the commenters who wrote back, opposing the proposal.

It’s the typical pattern. People working in a profession find something that works. Businesses spring up to provide that something at a reasonable price. Then the feds, seeing something successful happening that they don’t control, step in to regulate.

“If the FDA makes it prohibitively difficult for clinicians to work with stool banks, I believe this will actually make the procedure less safe, and of course, less accessible,” wrote Sarah McGill, a gastroenterologist at the University of North Carolina Medical School who has performed about 30 fecal transplants on C. diff patients in the last two years.

Yes, of course that’s how it will play out. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said at least twice: most of the “protect the public” regulations that come along are backed by businesses who want to leverage the coercive power of government to stifle their competition. Public safety is merely the excuse. The BuzzFeed writer, unlike most media writers, actually understands that.

But one company, at least, welcomes more government regulation of stool. Rebiotix, a startup based in Minnesota that is developing an enema treatment of bacteria extracted from poop, told the FDA to shut down the stool banks and adopt the strictest regulation possible in dictating how samples are procured. The company contends that this is for the patients’ own good, as stool banks may not be fully screening their samples for diseases.

And now for the real reason …

Rebiotix is also worried about its bottom line. If the company’s poop-like drug for C. diff makes it through the rigorous clinical trial process before anybody else, it would win the rights to be an exclusive seller of the product for seven years, gaining a huge lead in a market expected to be worth $1.5 billion by 2024.

Anyone who tells you the FDA is imposing this limit on patient choice to protect the public is full of unregulated poop.


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Dang, I love this time of year. The daytime high temperatures have dropped into the 70s. The leaves are just starting to wear their fall-fashion colors. There are plenty of good pro and college football games to record and watch at night. The ticks and chiggers are retiring to their winter quarters and won’t return until spring. Soon it will be Chareva’s birthday, then Halloween, then Sara’s birthday, then my birthday, then Thanksgiving.

I slept like a stone on Friday night, then woke up Saturday with an urge to go out and work myself into a state of Dog-Tired Satisfied. So I did.

When we moved to the farm and Chareva took up gardening, we created a fenced-in area in the front pasture. Here are some shots from that project in 2012:

Eventually, Chareva decided she wanted the big garden out back, behind the house. Then she decided she wanted the chickens behind the house. Then came the Big Spring Project of 2015, when we created a single fenced-in area for the chickens and the gardens.

Meanwhile, the abandoned garden in the front pasture became a jungle. We removed some of the fencing and t-posts earlier in the summer, then removed the rest a few weeks ago. But the jungle remained:

This would normally be a job for The Beast, which would tear right through all that mess. Unfortunately, after all my bragging about The Beast’s toughness and reliability, it decided to give me a headache. The headache looks like this:

Darned thing won’t start. When I pull the cord, it comes all the way out and stays all the way out. I can wind it back up – and did several times – but the same thing happens every time. The engine sputters for a second without starting, and the cord just sits there. I opened up the top and fussed with everything that looked fuss-worthy, but nothing made a difference. So I guess it’s time to take The Beast to a repair shop … despite the threat to my status as a Born-Again Tool Guy.

With The Beast out of commission, I whacked down the jungle in the former garden with the brush-cutter attachment on my Weed-Whacker. That certainly provided a better workout than pushing The Beast around. With that step completed, the former garden looked like this:

I didn’t want all those vines just sitting there rotting all winter, so for step two, I ran over the whole mess with the new Cub Cadet mower, a.k.a. The Bear. That reduced the mess to this:

Next on the agenda was the old chicken yard. We’ve tilled it and mowed it, but of course the jungle keeps trying to grow back. So I took the Weed-Whacker in there as well. (I neglected to take an “after” picture, but trust me, the jungle has been whacked.)

Before the Big Spring Project of 2015, we fenced in the new garden out back as a stand-alone project. Now that it’s enclosed within the Big Project, with chicken moats and all, Chareva decided the inner fence isn’t necessary. Any deer or other garden-munching critters that manage to breach the outer fence and nets won’t be deterred by the inner fence. So she took it down. Then she harvested the remaining bounty, which looked like this:

We’ll be eating a lot of peppers in the next few weeks.

The other garden out back is pretty well played out too. Even the okra has stopped growing. If I appear to smiling in the picture below, it’s only to mask the pain of knowing our dinners will longer feature fried okra, baked okra, roasted okra, okra stew or okra surprise.

With the inner fence gone, Chareva asked me to run the tiller over the entire garden to prepare it for cool-weather crops.

I manhandled the bucking-bronco contraption back and forth a few times and dug up plenty of large rocks, along with plenty of weeds.

The roots of those weeds would make good ropes. Chareva was on de-roping duty.

When we were done, the garden was ready for those cool-weather crops — which Chareva and Sara planted on Monday while I was sitting in an office writing software code.

There was one more Saturday chore to tackle. The area in the photo below has been home to goats in one year and hogs in another. Both species did us the favor of keeping the jungle trimmed.

We don’t have any plant-eating tenants living there now, so the jungle has been growing back. After tilling the garden, I took the Weed-Whacker in there and whacked the jungle. (And once again, I neglected to take an “after” picture.)

It was a long day of manual labor, the kind guaranteed to produce a state of Dog-Tired Satisfied. With the weekend work done, we took Alana to Red Lobster so could amaze us, as always, with her appetite for crab legs. (Sara was out of town on a class trip.)

Chareva’s parents joined us as well, since they had something to celebrate: after weeks of looking, they found a house in Franklin that’s perfect for their needs and bought it. They’ll be just a few miles down the road from us, with a view of a pasture. Quite a change from suburban Chicago.

Speaking of houses and such, you may have noticed Sara’s cabin has migrated to an area near the garden. During the long stretch when she doing extra chores to earn “cabin cash,” she had a vision of sitting on the porch, reading a book and drinking iced tea with the dogs curled up at her feet. It was a good vision.

Unfortunately, the dogs didn’t share the vision. They’d much rather bang around inside the cabin, jump on Sara as she’s walking to the cabin, etc. They’re Rottweilers, after all. So after discussing the matter with Chareva, Sara decided she’d enjoy the cabin more if was located near the garden – meaning where the dogs can’t get to it.

The same people who delivered the cabin came by last week to move it.

The view is certainly better from up there. Sara may yet sit on the porch, drinking iced tea and reading a book. Chareva plans to join her while taking a break from gardening and feeding the chickens.

And I’ve already been informed that the next project is to finish and decorate the inside of the cabin.


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I had another topic in mind for tonight’s post, but I would be remiss if I didn’t post a farewell to Dr. Duane Graveline, who I consider a modern medical hero.

I don’t remember exactly how I ended up coming across, a site he created to educate people about the side-effects of statins.  I know it was during the research phase for Fat Head.  I was pretty well convinced by then that cholesterol doesn’t cause heart disease, which of course means statins are nearly worthless.  It was only after reading articles by Dr. Graveline that I began to see that statins are worse than worthless.  They cause actual damage to millions of unsuspecting people who are merely following doctor’s orders.

For those of you who don’t know, Dr. Graveline was an M.D., a flight surgeon in the Air Force, and a researcher for NASA.  In other words, the man knew his medical science.  So when he began experiencing strange side-effects after being prescribed Lipitor for his “high” cholesterol, he approached it as science problem.  He went on and off Lipitor a few times and tracked his symptoms.

Those symptoms weren’t pretty.  On two different occasions, his spent entire days in a state of profound confusion, unable to remember, say, anything since before medical school.  Then his memory would return.  The condition is known as global transient amnesia, and as Dr. Graveline discovered when he began investigating, it’s hardly an unknown experience among people on high-dose statins.

It was while reading those accounts that I had a major head-slapping, if-only-I-had-a-time-machine moment.  When my dad was in his late 50s (in other words, around my current age), he had two similar experiences.  He became confused and babbled nonsense.  He couldn’t remember my sister’s name as she talked to him and tried to figure out what the hell was happening to him.  On both occasions he was taken to a hospital … and on both occasions, doctors ran tests and told my mom they couldn’t find anything actually wrong with him.  Then the confusion cleared and his memory came back – exactly what Dr. Graveline experienced.

Naturally, it didn’t occur to any of the doctors examining my dad to ask if he was on Lipitor … which he was, and a high dose at that.  Although I can’t prove it, I’m convinced the Lipitor either triggered or accelerated my dad’s Alzheimer’s.   So instead of spending his well-deserved retirement playing golf, he spent most of it in a home for Alzheimer’s patients.

When my mom was on statins, she experienced nasty muscle and joint pains – which of course her doctor didn’t attribute to the statins.  But I did, thanks to the work of people like Dr. Graveline and Dr. Malcolm Kendrick.  Dr. Graveline, in fact, ended up with permanently damaged muscles as a parting gift from the makers of Lipitor.

The SpaceDoc site is chock-full of research on statins in particular and heart health in general.  I doubt many people in the Fat Head audience need convincing about the dangers of statins, but it’s worth visiting the site anyway just to see how much information Dr. Graveline gathered over the years in his one-man battle to educate an unsuspecting public.

Many of you have emailed or left comments to thank me for sounding the alarm about statins.  Don’t thank me.  Thank Dr. Graveline, who continued fighting the good fight all the way to age 85.  It’s largely because of his fight that some of us respond to “Your cholesterol is high.  We should put you on a statin” with “Doctor, I wouldn’t take a statin unless you held a gun to my head and I was convinced you’d pull the trigger.”

Godspeed, SpaceDoc.


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I was the guest recently on the 2 Keto Dudes Podcast show.  You can listen to the episode here.  I enjoyed talking to the hosts, Carl Franklin and Richard Morris, very much.  They’re both fellow programmers and both have a great sense of humor.  Among other topics of conversation, they had me take an impromptu trivia quiz about McDonald’s.  Turns out there’s lots of McDonald’s trivia I don’t know.

I’ll get back to posting later this week.  We spent much of last week getting preparing to temporarily double the size of the Fat Head household.  Chareva’s parents finally sold their big ol’ property on the outskirts of Chicago and arrived here on Wednesday, along with her brother and sister-in-law.  They’re living with us while searching for their next home somewhere in Franklin.


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A reader sent an email to let me know Fat Head is now available on Amazon Prime.  So if you’re a Prime member (I am and enjoy the huge library of free movies and TV shows) and haven’t seen the film, time to grab that remote.

You may be wondering who Peter Paddon is and why he’s listed as a star.  Apparently the metadata picked up his name from the cast list I submitted to our distributor.  Peter was a co-worker back when I worked for Disney.  I needed someone for that “guy recognizes himself in a newscast about obesity” scene, so I kind of apologetically explained it to Peter.

He laughed and said (in his classy British accent), “Don’t worry about offending me.  I know I’m fat.”  He volunteered to come to work the next day wearing a very recognizable shirt.  We went outside and I videotaped him walking down the street.  Then we found an empty office with a sofa and a TV for the “Holy @#$%, that’s me on the news!” scene.  He made me laugh out loud with the first take, so that’s what ended up in the film.

Cheers, Peter, wherever you are.


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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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