Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mercola On Sleep
If I wouldn't agree with all of these, I don't think any are dead wrong.  What's it worth to maximize your sleep?  Knowing what we know about health and the hormonal disruption that accompanies lack of sleep, isn't it worth some work to find out how to sleep to maximal effect?
I think you could boil health down to three essential factors - glycemic control  (sustaining moderate to low blood sugars), adequate fat soluble vitamins, and getting enough quality sleep.  These factors impact everything else about health, even each other.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sleep Is For the Dark

"Keeping a light on at night could change your eating schedule, and the result could be extra pounds. Mice exposed to a dim light at night gained 50 percent more weight over an eight-week period than mice that slept in total darkness.
"The findings held up even when the amount of food and the physical activity of the mice were held constant, and the results could apply to people who eat meals late at night."

One of the tests reported in "Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar and Survival" noted that all it took to interrupt the sleep hormone cycle was to shine a dim light on the back of a sleeper's leg.  Sleeping in complete darkness is cheap and worth the experiment to see if you notice a difference.
I also think it's worth noting that sleeping in anything other than darkness wasn't frequently an option before about 100 years ago.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Dr. Davis Cures Heart Disease, No Meds
"At the start, Freddie has disastrous lipid values:
LDL cholesterol 263 mg/dl
HDL 26 mg/dl
Triglycerides 323 mg/dl
Total cholesterol 354 mg/dl
Lipoproteins (NMR) were worse:
LDL particle number 3360 nmol/L
Small LDL 2677 nmol/L
Heart scan score: 732
Interestingly, Freddie had virtually no vitamin D in his body, with a 25-hydroxy vitamin D level that was unmeasurable.
Freddie was miserably intolerant to statin drugs, with even the smallest dose resulting in intolerable muscle aches. That's when his doctor sent him to me.
Because I felt that the dominant abnormality in Freddie's lipids and lipoproteins was small LDL particles, representing 80% of total LDL particle number, we focused his program on correcting this parameter. Freddie's program was therefore focused elimination of wheat, cornstarch, oats, and sugars, along with an eventual vitamin D dose of 20,000 units to finally achieve a 25-hydroxy vitamin D level of 66 ng/ml. No statin drug in sight.
43 lbs of weight loss and 18 months later, a second heart scan score: 183--a 75% reduction.
While the rest of the world continues to insist that coronary calcium (heart scan) scores cannot be reduced, I am seeing records being broken. I add Freddie's experience to the rapidly growing list of people who have not just stopped coronary plaque from growing, but are seizing control and reducing it, sometimes to dramatic degrees."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Model for Sugar/Carb Addiction, Part 2

The normal paleolithic metabolism was most likely based on running most of your body's cells via fat oxidation, thus sparing glucose for the brain/CNS/hemoglobin cells (and for emergency action when glycolysis would be needed to sustain high physical outputs).  How would I know this?  Mainly because before the advent of agriculture, there was no means to eat high carb foods all day every day.  Glucose rich foods would have been in short supply for much of the year, which is why humans are perfectly capable of making all the glucose we need from protein we ingest, via gluco-neogenisis.  Not only that, we have an additional back up system which allows us to convert stored fat into a glucose substitute, ketones.  Take note - glucose is a critical piece of your metabolism, perhaps second only to respiration, and the body has two systems which will allow us to function quite well without eating any glucose (sugars) at all.
How then, do we become sugar addicts?  First, we habitually eat a lot of high sugar foods (which includes most so called complex carbohydrates such as potatoes, corn, rice, and wheat/grains).  This sets us up for 'reactive hypo glycemia.'  Sugar is a very potent fuel, which is why the body uses it for the CNS and for very high output physical activity, but it is also toxic when it exceeds the 'design specifications' for the human body.  Your body is a capacity to use and store at any one time about 5 grams of sugar.  When you eat a potato or banana, with 15-30 grams of carbohydrate (all of which is converted to glucuse in the gut before transport to the blood stream), you put your body into an emergency glucose disposal scenario. 
Insulin is the body's emergency tool for dealing with excess blood glucose. However, since this is an emergency system, vice a standard operating procedure, and there's no room for the body to under-respond, the body will frequently over-produce insulin.  Insulin in high levels both signals the body to store glucose (and almost everything else, too) in the cells, and shuts down the process by which we can metabolize fat as fuel.  This makes sense - if you have too much glucose, it will help solve this crisis if your body switches to sugar burning vice fat burning.  This brings us to the problem - if you are consuming sugar/carbs in quantities that are very normal for the SAD, you are rourtinely, several times per day, giving your body a sugar disposal emergency, which will result in:
1.  Plummeting glucose levels
2.  No access to stored fat for a fuel source
3.  Very low levels of fat metabolizing enzymes at the cellular level (these enzymes are a use or lose proposition like almost every bodily system)
4.  Increasing insulin resistance, which accelerates the whole process. 
You end up only being able to support adequate glucose levels by eating glucose containing or generating foods, regularly, in either very small amounts (uncommon), or to excess.  Ultimately, this cycle results in metabolic syndrome, and skyrocketing risks for all the illnesses you don't want
OK, back to the addiction model.  Supposing you are at the stage in this cycle in which your body disposed of its overdose of glucose, leaving you with low blood glucose.  Ironically, this is an emergency too.  If your glucose gets too low, you fall over, and if glucose goes lower still, you die.  Suffice to say, low glucose leaves you feeling bad - hungry, irritable, low energy, difficulty concentrating - and relief of low glucose comes most rapidly when you eat a very digestible carb source.  Like the smoker who takes a puff of smoke and finds immediate relief from nicotine withdrawal, the carb addict learns which foods provide quick relief from their hypo-glycemia and keeps them handy!  Then, after repeating the glucose binge/crash cycle a hundred times, the addict powerfully associates sugar with relief of physiological pain.  At that point, the sugary foods equal "PLEASURE" in the addict's unconscious mind, and no amount of conscious mind rationalizing will help to reprogram that association.  No amount of shame resulting from one's lack of control will help to change the sugar addict's behavior.  No amount of fear from one's growing waistline will help one to stop eating the 'nasty' stuff.  When it comes down to you versus your unconscious mind, you will lose every time.
So, lose the shame, put the frustration behind you, and let's dig into how you might be able to enlist your unconscious mind's aid in putting you on the path to health and wellness. 
But we'll do that next time.

A Deal with the Devil

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Model for Sugar/Carb Addiction

Smoking seems to have had a severe negative effect on two my grandparents - I grew up believing smoking wrecked their health, depriving them of their ability to live and love.  Both lived into their 80s, but their last 20 years of life were vastly diminished by their illness and pain - heart disease, stroke, depression, the works.  In addition to the damage from smoking, they ate a pretty typical SAD for much of their adult lives.  

Due to their smoking illnesses, I become interested in anything I could find about smoking.  The addiction cycle I found to be particularly interesting.  First of all, the smoker's nicotine levels rise with each puff, then they begin to fall as the nicotine is processed through the urine and out of the body.  For the addict, as the blood nicotine levels fall, physiological distress increases.  As physiological distress increases, the body produces urine faster (you know what it's like when you are really nervous and have to 'go' more often, right?), which increases the speed at which blood nicotine levels fall.  In other words, there are reinforcing loops built into the post smoking nicotine drop, all of which makes it feel more and more urgent for the addict.  Imagine the distress if the smoker has to go past their schedule - and the subsequent relief of distress with the first puff ... finally!

Repeat that cycle thousands of times - pain, pain, pain, then "puff"= pain relief.  Smokers will tell you that smoking relaxes them - and it's clearly true.  First, though, it creates significant physiological distress, leading to anxiety and emotional distress.  In other words, it has to make you feel bad first, then it feels good when the pain goes away.  Damned right smoking relaxes you!  But it has to make you feel like crap first!

There's a similar model for sugar addiction, which we can go through tomorrow.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Heart Attack in Neon

I title my basic nutrition lecture "That Stuff Will Kill You", and considering the fare at this establishment (frozen yogurt, toasted bagels, smoothies, etc), I don't think there's anything that won't kill you on their menu.  Can't tell you how many of these I ate back in my low fat eating days - that was right about the time I blimped up two pants sizes and decided I had to figure the nutrition situation out.  I've maintained my college pants size ever since I discovered "The Zone" in 1996.
I've been able to spend the last three days hunting in northern Utah, and shot a nice buck this morning.  Wild game is the ultimate in quality food.  I can't wait to get it back home, add in some grass fed beef and/or pork suet, and grind this into sausage.  It'll keep us in breakfast meals for many months!
CrossFit is the perfect preparation for hunting.  Walking around the mountains at 6,000 feel MSL, hauling a downed animal, dressing the animal, hauling the cooler, suitcase and rifle through the airport ... one must have a balanced fitness, with competence in all energy pathways, strength and stamina, balance, coordination, agility, and the skill to apply those attributes in lifting/moving irregular objects in unpredictable terrain.
This is the point of fitness - to be able to enjoy doing what one enjoys doing.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Cancer - "Caused" By Modernity?
Very interesting examination of the issue of whether cancer is a disease of civilization or a natural part of being human.

Taubes' examination of the topic in "Good Calories Bad Calories" is my favorite context for considering what might cause cancers to become a fatal disease.

A model for consideration:  mutated cells are inevitable.  Certain mutations may make a cell more likely to survive than that cell's neighbor cells.  One such mutation is one which interrupts the natural cell death signals which prevent cells from lasting forever.  Another such mutation is one which allows the mutated cell to use more sugar to reproduce faster, which can be caused by increasing sensitivity to insulin, and insulin like growth factors.  Many cancers do have these qualities.  So, perhaps cancerous mutations are inevitable, and the cancers survive and grow and metastacize at a higher rate when in a high sugar environment.  Diabetics, for example, and those with metabolic syndrome (aka metabolic derrangement) have higher average blood sugars than the healthy population.  Diabetics also have more cancers than the healthy population (as well as more of all of the diseases of civilization).  Generally, those eating the SAD but not yet diabetic also have higher blood sugar levels than a healthy population.  By contrast, there are several lines of evidence to show that paleo lithic peoples did not have cancer, or other diseases of civilization, but developed them shortly after they began to consume westerners food (sugar and flour). 

Hypothesis - there are many causes of cell mutations, but the primary means by which mutated cells gain competitive advantage is by their ability to utilize sugar and support an increased reproductive rate.  I think this hypothesis squares with what I know about cancer in populations.  The primary action needed to prevent a cancer from accomplishing this goal, then, would be to eat in a way that sustains low blood sugars, with periods of fasting probably being an additional benefit. 

In other words, eat meat, vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar or wheat.  The benefit of this approach is that, whether or not it prevents cancer, it results in you looking, feeling and performing your best.  That is may also be a cancer defense is not provable at this point, and may not even be probable, but it beats crossing your fingers while you eat bagels.

I recommend GCBC for further reading on the topic, as well as "The Paleolithic Solution."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What's Wrong With Our Food System?

What is wrong with our food system?  Mostly, the fact that we demand crappy cheap food that isn't good for us!  This video is based on good information with a bad interpretation.  If we're ever going to be able to get high quality, nutritous food for rich and poor, we'll need the same greed and capitalism that drives the industrial food system to bring us what we're asking for now.

Watch the vid, this kid nails his speech!  Even though I don't take the editorializing too seriously, I agree that the  industrial food chain we currently feed a nation with is sub-optimal for health and/or environmental sustainability.  I hope that Joel Salatin's model may be reproduced many times over.

I don't think any of the needed changes will happen any time soon.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fructose Part of BP Drivers

It has long been known that by controlling carbs, one can also reduce high blood pressure AND the other markers of metabolic syndrome - hyperinsulinemia, high triglicerides, low HDL, and a high A1c reading.  In other words, high blood pressure is a correlate of metabolic syndrome.  This piece from Dr. Mercola's blog highlights how fructose exacerbates the processes that result in high blood pressure.  Short version - don't eat or drink too much fructose or other carbohydrates.  Sure, fructose and other sugars are 'natural', but so is water and too much of that will kill you too.  It appears that the purpose of fructose in the ancestral diet was to help paleolithic peoples fatten up for the winter, and perhaps to work in conjunction with other signals, like daylight length, to drive reproductive hormones to a peak in the late summer.  Thus, eating fructose in large quantities, and year around, is a contributor to the diseases of civilization.
"As explained by Dr. Rosedale, insulin stores magnesium, but if your insulin receptors are blunted and your cells grow resistant to insulin, you can’t store magnesium so it passes out of your body through urination. Magnesium stored in your cells relaxes muscles.
If your magnesium level is too low, your blood vessels will constrict rather than relax, which will raise your blood pressure and decrease your energy level.
"Insulin also affects your blood pressure by causing your body to retain sodium. Sodium retention causes fluid retention. Fluid retention in turn causes high blood pressure, and can ultimately lead to congestive heart failure.
"If your hypertension is the direct result of an out-of-control blood sugar level, then normalizing your blood sugar levels will also bring your blood pressure readings into the healthy range."
"...the average American now consumes 70 grams of fructose EVERY day!
Fructose breaks down into a variety of waste products that are bad for your body, one of which is uric acid. Uric acid drives up your blood pressure by inhibiting the nitric oxide in your blood vessels. Nitric oxide helps your vessels maintain their elasticity, so nitric oxide suppression leads to increases in blood pressure.
"In fact, 17 out of 17 studies demonstrate that elevated uric acid levels lead to hypertension."
Dr. Mercola's Recommendation:
"As a standard recommendation, I strongly advise keeping your TOTAL fructose consumption below 25 grams per day. Since the average 12-ounce can of soda contains 40 grams of sugar, at least half of which is fructose, this can of soda ALONE would exceed your daily allotment.
"In addition, most people would be wise to also limit the amount of fructose you get from fruit to 15 grams or less, because you’re virtually guaranteed to consume “hidden” sources of fructose (typically in the form of high fructose corn syrup) from most beverages and just about any processed food you eat.
"Fifteen grams of fructose is not much -- it represents two bananas, one-third cup of raisins, or just two Medjool dates. In his book,The Sugar Fix, Dr. Johnson includes detailed tables showing the content of fructose in different foods, but for a sampling of the fructose content of several common fruits, please see this link."

See also:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Suspension Training

All the same whether bucket circles, TRX or rings. One tool, many uses.

The plus of these tools - they are light, portable, may be hung from a variety of objects, they can be used to create powerful strength and neurological adaptations, and they can be a lot of fun to work with!  However, I don't see this as a 'be all end all' tool.  Many of these movements are not as potent as barbell variants.

Sleep and Weight Loss Ties

I've always noticed that my body fat rose and fell as my sleep went from poor to good - IOW, poor sleep, not enough sleep, more fat accumulation.  Only recently have I sorted out how much darkness adds to sleep quality.

"Researchers from Israel and the USA believe they have found evidence that demonstrates a link between obesity and metabolic disorders and exposure to LAN (light at night) in animal studies. In an article published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences they found that mice exposed to dim light during their sleeping hours for a period of eight weeks had a 50% higher weight gain compared to mice that slept in the dark. Even reducing their food intake and making them do more exercise did not bring their weight down to that of the other mice that slept in the dark, unless they made sure the availability of food matched a mouse's natural eating times.

"The 24-hour rhythm that regulates the state of our internal energy levels and metabolism is controlled by an internal biological clock that works in parallel with and responds to light information, the authors wrote. Our internal body clock("circadian clock") prepares us for predictable events, such as the availability of food and sleep. When the function of this clock is disturbed, our bodies experience a disruption in our metabolism and body-rhythms (circadian cycle).

"The investigators assessed the effects of LAN on the BMI (body mass index) of male mice to see whether there might be a casual relationship between exposure to light during the night and obesity."

"They found that mice exposed to light at night had considerably higher BMIs and lower glucose tolerance compared to mice kept in a normal day/night cycle (dark at night). The difference in BMI persisted even after their calorie intakes and total daily physical activity were altered."

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Book Reviews (I Wish); Westman, Wolf, Atkins, Taubes and Ferriss

I'm reading the new Atkins book - but it is boring.  I was expecting more interesting science, links to updated studies, and a way to better support through the science the case for low carb - so far, that's not necessarily there.  Even worse, the authors talk about whole grains as if they were better for a human than refined grains - to which I say, "How?"  They have a worse glycemic impact, and no nutrition worth consuming.  But I digress ... and in truth, these are relatively small complaints.  The book was not written to be interesting for someone that's been digging around the nutrition world for years.

As I plod along looking for a gold nugget in the new Atkins book, I've finally ordered Robb Wolf's book, "The Paleolithic Solution."  I also pre-ordered Gary Taubes' "Why We Get Fat" and look forward to reading that.  I hope that both of these books are the kind I could send to a friend or family member who's inquiring about diet and health - most of what's out there is not good for this purpose.

Lastly, I'm going to be very interested to read Tim Ferriss' book.  The guy's a brilliant thinking, and detailed researcher.  I expect this book to be of limited utility, but I bet it will have some very interesting stuff we've not seen elsewhere.

One day I'll read Sisson's Primal book - I don't expect to learn anything new in that book, but I'll bet it's worth the read anyway.

Confounding Variables in A Study

I like this post from Dr. Mike.  He examines a study done by Dr. Ornish in 1990.  The study provided a generally (but not perfect) good outcome for the study group.  However, as Dr. Mike explains, you cannot determine causality in a study with four different interventions.  We can ask if the smoking cessation, the meditation, the diet, or the exercise help the study group, but without follow on studies, we'll never know.

Strangely, Dr. Ornish wants to claim otherwise.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Heart Scan on Male Breast Issues

Bosom buddies
Just the term is an issue for me.

"While male breast enlargement--"gynecomastia"--can occasionally occur due to rare endocrinologic problems, such as high prolactin hormone levels (hyperprolactinemia) or somewhat more commonly as failed testosterone production (hypogonadism), the vast majority of men who suffer with this problem simply have high estrogen levels.

Makes sense: Women develop larger breasts during development mostly due to increased levels of estrogen. A parallel situation in men likewise stimulates breast tissue."

"So where does the excess estrogen come from?   Visceral fat converts testosterone to estrogen. Men with excess visceral fat therefore develop low levels of testosterone and high levels of estrogen. Estrogen levels can, in fact, be substantially higher compared to slender males.
Gluten-free foods (dried, pulverized cornstarch, rice starch, potato starch, tapioca starch)
Whole wheat bread
Milky Way bars
Snickers bars

"So the whole wheat sandwiches you've been eating increase blood sugar and insulin, leading to visceral fat. (And, yes, whole wheat bread increases blood sugar higher than Milky Way bars and Snickers bars.) The more visceral fat grows, the more resistant to the effects of insulin you become, further escalating blood sugar. Estrogen increases, testosterone drops, mammary gland tissue grows, normal male breasts grow to B- or C-cup size. "

So what's a guy to do?  Eat meat, vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar/wheat.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Berkhan's Lean Gains Getting a Wider Audience
"IF [intermittent fasting] challenges the ubiquitous fitness rule that in order to stay lean, muscular, and healthy, one must eat small, protein-containing meals every two to three hours. I bring this up because to understand why IF works, we need to understand why the ‘eat every two to three hours’ maxim does not work.
"Food costs the body energy to process with different foods costing the body different amounts of energy. This cost, known as the thermic effect of food, or TEF, negates roughly 10% of the calories of a mixed diet. That means in order for the body to process and utilize 2,000 calories across a given day, it will burn about 200 calories.
"Researchers exploring the topic of meal frequency discovered that the consumption of a given meal raises the body’s metabolic rate for a short period of time. Part of the research community then wondered if human subjects could raise their total daily caloric burn by eating more frequently.
"In the tight confines of theory, this sounds swell, but alas, the body’s physiological processes are working along a much lengthier timeline than such theorizing accounts for. What’s missing here is the fact that a given meal’s thermic effect is directly proportional to the size of said meal. In layspeak, a bigger meal merits a bigger thermic effect."

I've enjoyed Martin's blog.  I don't know why he has gone so hard over about low carb - from what I can tell, he's wedded to the 'calorie is a calorie' idea.  No matter.  What he does obviously works regardless of why he recommends it.  His blog posts are rich with information, worth scanning when you are in the mood for more education.  More excerpts:

"Back to IF, which it turns out does more than just help you lose weight (warning:  IF does not work for everyone, and in particular seems to cause more problems with ladies):
"The use of caloric restriction (or CR) as a means toward life extension continues to grow in popularity. CR provides a host of benefits, including improvements in cognition, respiratory health, and inflammation biomarkers. Researchers have also observed increases in insulin sensitivity in CR subjects, meaning that participants showed improved tolerance and usage of dietary carbohydrates. For an athlete, this is ideal because the better an athlete can tolerate dietary carbohydrates, the more likely he or she is to maintain a leaner, more muscular physique.
"The contribution of IF lies in its ability to replicate the bonuses offered with caloric restriction sans the starvation and compromise of athletic prowess. IF studies typically utilize a fasting period of anywhere from 20 to 48 hours and have been shown to provide greater improvement in exototic stress reduction, basal serum glucose levels, and lifespan when compared with CR interventions.
"IF has also has promise when it comes to improving biomarkers in obese individuals.  Decreases in oxidative stress and inflammation were observed in intermittent fasting studies that tested asthmatic patients, and IF appears to also enhance the neuroplasticity of the brain, allowing new neuronal connections to form more readily than might otherwise.
"The most prescient piece of literature for the bodybuilding enthusiast would have to be the IF study performed by Stote, et. al. titled “A controlled trial of reduced meal frequency without caloric restriction in healthy, normal-weight, middle-aged adults.” This was the first study to look at IF from a body composition perspective.
"I co-authored a review that looked at this piece of research back in 2007. The study was a breakthrough in the sense that (1) it focused primarily on body composition, and (2) it was the first to control calories between groups. In the article, one study group ate one meal a day while another study group ate three regularly spaced meals a day. Without exercise, the first group lost more bodyweight and body fat and gained more lean muscle tissue than the three-meals–a-day group despite identical caloric intakes.
"Crazy, right? Just by dropping meal frequency, one group magically lost body fat and gained muscle. No special pills, no exercise, no diet even…just fewer meals."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Colpo on Low Carb and Performance

"These fad-type diets are usually less-than-optimal for sedentary folks and are a complete disaster for athletic folks. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: aside from amputation of your limbs, ketogenic dieting is quite possibly the quickest and most effective way to destroy your performance in any glycogen-depleting athletic endeavour. As for muscle, there is an ever-increasing body of evidence showing that both the low-insulin and glycogen-depleted conditions often induced by very low-carbohydrate dieting are anathema to muscle preservation and growth."

Atkins has been around for over 150 years - wouldn't qualify as a fad diet in my book.  The fad was putting it in a book and making it available to the masses ... but that too was done by Banting in the 1800s.

That said, based on this case, I don't think AC's assertions about severe carb restriction and athletic performance stack up to what I've seen.  It takes a long time, relatively speaking, to become a fat burning glycolytic machine - but here's a case of spectacular success:

AC is right more than he's wrong, he offers advice that will work for most folks - and he writes well.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

WAPF Myths Page Rocks

"Myth: Heart disease in America is caused by consumption of cholesterol and saturated fat from animal products.
Truth: During the period of rapid increase in heart disease (1920-1960), American consumption of animal fats declined but consumption of hydrogenated and industrially processed vegetable fats increased dramatically. (USDA-HNI)
Myth: Saturated fat clogs arteries.
Truth: The fatty acids found in artery clogs are mostly unsaturated (74%) of which 41% are polyunsaturated. (Lancet 1994 344:1195)
Myth: Vegetarianism is healthy.
Truth: The annual all-cause death rate of vegetarian men is slightly more than that of non-vegetarian men (.93% vs .89%); the annual death rate of vegetarian women is significantly more than that of non-vegetarian women (.86% vs .54%) (Am J Clin Nutr 1982 36:873)
Myth: Vitamin B12 can be obtained from certain plant sources such as blue-green algae and soy products.
Truth: Vitamin B12 is not absorbed from plant sources. Modern soy products increase the body's need for B12. (Soybeans: Chemistry & Technology Vol 1 1972)
Myth: For good health, serum cholesterol should be less than 180 mg/dl.
Truth: The all-cause death rate is higher in individuals with cholesterol levels lower than 180 mg/dl. (Circulation 1992 86:3:1026-1029)
Myth: Animal fats cause cancer and heart disease.
Truth: Animal fats contain many nutrients that protect against cancer and heart disease; elevated rates of cancer and heart disease are associated with consumption of large amounts of vegetable oils. (Fed Proc July 1978 37:2215)
Myth: Children benefit from a low-fat diet.
Truth: Children on low-fat diets suffer from growth problems, failure to thrive & learning disabilities. (Food Chem News 10/3/94)
Myth: A low-fat diet will make you "feel better . . . and increase your joy of living."
Truth: Low-fat diets are associated with increased rates of depression, psychological problems, fatigue, violence and suicide. (Lancet 3/21/92 v339)
Myth: To avoid heart disease, we should use margarine instead of butter.
Truth: Margarine eaters have twice the rate of heart disease as butter eaters. (Nutrition Week 3/22/91 21:12)
Myth: Americans do not consume enough essential fatty acids.
Truth: Americans consume far too much of one kind of EFA (omega-6 EFAs found in most polyunsaturated vegetable oils) but not enough of another kind of EFA (omega-3 EFAs found in fish, fish oils, eggs from properly fed chickens, dark green vegetables and herbs, and oils from certain seeds such as flax and chia, nuts such as walnuts and in small amounts in all whole grains.) (Am J Clin Nutr 1991 54:438-63)
Myth: A vegetarian diet will protect you against atherosclerosis.
Truth: The International Atherosclerosis Project found that vegetarians had just as much atherosclerosis as meat eaters. (Lab Invest 1968 18:498)
Myth: Low-fat diets prevent breast cancer.
Truth: A recent study found that women on very low-fat diets (less than 20%) had the same rate of breast cancer as women who consumed large amounts of fat. (NEJM 2/8/96)
Myth: The "cave man diet" was low in fat.
Truth: Throughout the world, primitive peoples sought out and consumed fat from fish and shellfish, water fowl, sea mammals, land birds, insects, reptiles, rodents, bears, dogs, pigs, cattle, sheep, goats, game, eggs, nuts and milk products. (Abrams, Food & Evolution 1987)
Myth: Coconut oil causes heart disease.
Truth: When coconut oil was fed as 7% of energy to patients recovering from heart attacks, the patients had greater improvement compared to untreated controls, and no difference compared to patents treated with corn or safflower oils. Populations that consume coconut oil have low rates of heart disease. Coconut oil may also be one of the most useful oils to prevent heart disease because of its antiviral and antimicrobial characteristics. (JAMA 1967 202:1119-1123; Am J Clin Nutr 1981 34:1552)
Myth: Saturated fats inhibit production of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins.
Truth: Saturated fats actually improve the production of all prostaglandins by facilitating the conversion of essential fatty acids. (Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation Journal 20:3)
Myth: Arachidonic acid in foods like liver, butter and egg yolks causes production of "bad" inflammatory prostaglandins.
Truth: Series 2 prostaglandins that the body makes from arachidonic acid both encourage and inhibit inflammation under appropriate circumstances. Arachidonic acid is vital for the function of the brain and nervous system. (Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation Journal 20:3)
Myth: Beef causes colon cancer
Truth: Argentina, with higher beef consumption, has lower rates of colon cancer than the US. Mormons have lower rates of colon cancer than vegetarian Seventh Day Adventists (Cancer Res 35:3513 1975)"

Unhealthy Grain, Whole or Otherwise

"The carbs that predominate in the American diet...deserve much of [their] unsavory reputation," Brody writes.  Unfortunately, the carbs that most people eat are the wrong kind. Sugars and refined starches, such as white flour and white rice, make up the lion’s share of America’s carbohydrate consumption. The far more wholesome whole grains are only 5%, Jane Brody reports."

Mr. Bass is a fitness industry legend, and one hell of a specimen.  He's far leaner looking in his photos at 70 than I am even at under 50.  His brilliance notwithstanding, he's totally off the charts with this nonsense about whole grains. 
Every time I hear the term "whole grains" or "healthy whole grains" I feel the urge to barf.  I suggest you join me in that urge.
First off, here's a rebuttal to the HWG ("barf") mantra (it is Robb Wolf's rebuttal):
Here's another:
There are other similar posts on this blog, click the 'Wheat/Gluten Issues' archive, lower right of blog.
Mr. Bass refers to whole grains ("barf") as being unrefined - but you cannot consume grains at all without significant refining, and in particular baking.  Grains can be made palatable through a relatively long process of soaking/sprouting/fermenting, but no commercial bakery that I know of follows that process.
Mr. Bass discusses HWG ("barf") in the context of a blunted insulin response of whole food versus processed or refined foods, apparently not realizing that he could easily debunk that myth as regards HWG ("barf") by measuring the massive, long term blood sugar spike that HWG ("barf") cause; see Dr. Davis' index of scathing anti-wheat posts from his magnificent Heartscanblog:
It is stupefying that so many brilliant and otherwise informed people fall for the HWG ("barf") mantra.  There is simply no nutritional reason to ever eat grain.  A life without grain is a life without a bunch of things you don't need (gluten, lectins, starch) and a life with everything you do need (food you were designed to consume).
The only possible reason I can understand as the driver for all of the nearly criminally uninformed blather about whole grains is that if you are a dietitian, and believe the criminally uninformed blather about saturated fat and red meat etcetera, you have a problem:  it is hard to build enough calories into a diet plan without fat, meat and grain (or other high density starches like potatoes, corn or rice).  These high starch foods are essential, from the dietitian's concept of a 'healthy diet', because eating veggies and lean meat makes it hard to knock back the minimum calories the dietitians think you need.  At this point, you have think "Does it really appear that the average American needs to be advised to eat more calories?"  In spite of that, the nutrition "authorities" continue to recommend that we pack ourselves full of these starchy, low nutrition, high in side effect, neolithic foods.  It's nearly beyond belief that anyone still falls for it.
If you want bread and other grain products, by all means dig in!  "That does not confront me" as the song goes.  But for those of you who want to be healthy, pain free, lean and fit, I would eat as little grain as 'humanly possible.' 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Don't Worry About Calorie Burning. But If You Do ...

" ... the total energy cost of the ET program was substantially greater than the HIIT program. The researchers calculated that the ET group burned more than twice as many calories while exercising than the HIIT program. But (surprise, surprise) skinfold measurements showed that the HIIT group lost more subcutaneous fat. "Moreover," reported the researchers, "when the difference in the total energy cost of the program was taken into account..., the subcutaneous fat loss was ninefold greater in the HIIT program than in the ET program." In short, the HIIT group got 9 times more fat-loss benefit for every calorie burned exercising.
How can that be?
Dr. Tremblay's group took muscle biopsies and measured muscle enzyme activity to determine why high-intensity exercise produced so much more fat loss. I'll spare you the details (they are technical and hard to decipher), but this is their bottom line: "[Metabolic adaptations resulting from HIIT] may lead to a better lipid utilization in the postexercise state and thus contribute to a greater energy and lipid deficit." In other words, compared to moderate-intensity endurance exercise, high- intensity intermittent exercise causes more calories and fat to be burned following the workout. Citing animal studies, they also said it may be that appetite is suppressed more following intense intervals. (Neither group was placed on a diet.)"

As I've posted before, it makes no sense to overeat and then work out to burn the excess calories.  Eat good food, and exercise for desirable physical adaptations like strength, speed, power, endurance, and the ability to apply those adaptations to life, sport and combat.  But if you still just have to get out there for calorie burning, the evidence is pretty clear - anaerobics wins the day.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sprint Post
This is a must read for the data discussed.  It would be no surprise to CrossFitters, but for those not yet exposed to the idea, it's a remarkable paradigm shift to show that sprint training is beneficial for both short and long duration performance. 

Or, as Coach Glassman puts it, "Favoring one or two [of the three primary energy pathways] to the exclusion of the others and not recognizing the impact of excessive training in the oxidative pathway are arguably the two most common faults in fitness training."

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Anaerobic activity is, however, unique in its capacity to dramatically improve power, speed, strength, and muscle mass. Anaerobic conditioning allows us to exert tremendous forces over brief time intervals. One
aspect of anaerobic conditioning that bears great consideration is that anaerobic conditioning will not adversely affect aerobic capacity. In fact, properly structured, anaerobic activity can be used to develop a very high level of aerobic fitness without the muscle wasting consistent with high volumes of aerobic exercise!! The method by which we use anaerobic efforts to develop aerobic conditioning is “interval training.”

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Beer Tumor
"When is fat not just fat? When it's visceral fat. Visceral fat is the fat that infiltrates the intestinal lining, the liver, kidneys, even your heart. It's the stuff of love handles, the flabby fat that hangs over your belt, or what I call "wheat belly."  (editor's note:  also called the "beer tumor")
"Unlike visceral fat, the fat in your thighs or bottom is metabolically quiescent. Thigh and bottom fat may prevent you from fitting into your "skinny jeans," but its mainly a passive repository for excess calories.
"Visceral fat, on the other hand, is metabolically active. It produces large quantities of inflammatory signals ("cytokines"), such as various interleukins, leptin, and tumor necrosis factor, that can trigger inflammatory responses in other parts of the body. Visceral fat also oddly fails to produce the protective cytokine, adiponectin, that protects us from diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Visceral fat also allows free fatty acids to leave and enter fat cells, resulting in a flood of fatty acids and triglycerides (= 3 fatty acids on a
glycerol "backbone") in the bloodstream. This worsens insulin responses ("insulin resistance") and contributes to fatty liver. The situation is worsened when the very powerful process of de novo lipogenesis is triggered, the liver's conversion of sugar to triglycerides. Visceral fat is also itself inflamed. Biopsies of visceral fat show plenty of inflammatory white blood cells (macrophages) infiltrating its structure.
"So what causes visceral fat? Anything that triggers abnormal increases in blood glucose, followed by insulin, will cause visceral fat to grow. It follows logically that foods that increase blood glucose the most will thereby trigger the greatest increase in visceral fat. Eggs don't lead to visceral fat, nor do salmon, olive oil, beef, broccoli, or almonds.
"But wheat, cornstarch, potato starch, rice starch, tapioca starch, and sugars will all trigger glucose-insulin that leads to visceral fat accumulation. Fructose is also an extravagant trigger of visceral fat. Fructose is found in sucrose (50% fructose), high-fructose corn syrup, agave syrup, maple syrup, and honey."
"Increased visceral fat can be suggested by increased waist circumference. The inflammatory hotbed created by excess visceral fat has therefore been associated with increased likelihood of heart attack, cardiovascular mortality, diabetes, cancer, and total mortality.
"So I'm not so worried that you can't squeeze your bottom into your size 8 jeans. I am worried, however, when you need to let your belt out a notch . . . or two or three."

Friday, October 8, 2010

Hollywood star Angelina Jolie has revealed that her major beauty secret is a "juicy steak."
Jolie's remarks were reported in the gathercom website, which can be read at
Jolie made the switch-over from Vegan ism back to meat-eating when she concluded that her non-meat diet was leaving her deficient in nutrition."
Hmmm  ... a creature from the Hollywood Lagoon who eats meat and isn't a stark raving progressive; connection? 

You Vegetable Murdering Fiend, Take This!

This band is good.  Get ready for a laugh ...

"The clean portion of the lift refers to the lifter explosively pulling the weight from the floor to a racked position across deltoids and clavicles. In early twentieth century weightlifting competitions, a variant movement called the "Continental" (because it was practiced by Germans rather than the British) allowed the lifter to pull the barbell up to his belt, where it could rest. Then with several successive flips, the bar would be moved up the torso until it reached the position for the overhead jerk. The Continental gained a reputation as clumsy, slow, and nonathletic compared to the swift coordinated movement required to lift the bar "clean." Hence, the clean movement was adopted by the early weightlifting federations as the official movement."

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Congrats JK!

I have an athlete who is restricted in his dietary changes somewhat by his desire to accomodate his spouse - and who could blame him.  But as a result, his weight loss has lagged what I would have hoped.  Still, I got this note today:

"I made weight this morning, no taping!  My PRT run is at 0700 tomorrow." 

In other words, his body weight was low enough that he did not require a tape measurement to determine whether or not he was within body composition standards.  That a big deal for any professional. 

That said, I hope his bride is willing to work with him on a slightly different approach to nutrition, because we could easily drop another 20 pounds off of JK, with a big boost to other quality of life benefits.  Bottom line, you cannot out train a bad diet.

Cardio or Strength Training? Yes!

"...strive to blur distinctions between “cardio” and strength training. Nature has no regard for this distinction or any other, including our ten physical adaptations."

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Adult Onset Celiac

"Celiac disease is triggered by eating foods that contain gluten, an essential protein found in grains like wheat, barley and rye. Gluten prompts the immune system to destroy the lining of the small intestine, which prevents people from absorbing the nutrients in food and leaves them at risk of malnourishment. Symptoms include diarrhea, weight loss, constipation, anemia and fatigue. An estimated one in 133 people in the U.S. have the disease.

Researchers had thought celiac disease could develop only during childhood, in response to initial exposure to gluten. It didn't seem possible that people could eat gluten with no problems for decades and then suddenly lose their ability to tolerate it.

But that's exactly what researchers from the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and their colleagues found.

They piggybacked on a study designed to identify risk factors for cancer and heart disease. Participants provided health information and blood samples in 1974 and again in 1989.

The researchers tested those blood samples for biomarkers related to celiac disease. They found that seven had the condition in 1974, none of whom had been diagnosed. By 1989, the number of cases had risen to 16, though only one had been diagnosed.
Overall, the prevalence of the disease more than doubled from 0.21% to 0.45%, the researchers reported. At least two people developed the disorder after they turned 50."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Living La Vida Low Carb

I noticed an sudden burst of traffic from Jimmy Moore's site over the past month, and was thrilled to notice Jimmy listed me on the "36 Superb New Low-Carb & Health Blogs For September 2010" post from his blog.

Thank you Jimmy!  Welcome to any LLVLC readers that are still with me!

A Strength Becomes Weakness

"Basketball, football, gymnastics, boxing, track events under one mile, soccer, swimming events under 400 meters, volleyball, wrestling, and weightlifting are all sports that require the vast majority of training time spent in anaerobic activity. Long distance and ultra endurance running, cross country skiing, and 1500+ meter swimming are all sports that require aerobic training at levels that produce results unacceptable to other athletes or the individual concerned with total conditioning and optimal health."

In other words, it's important to be able to run 1500 meters, if one aspires to being fit.  But it's just as important not to become TOO good at running 1500+ meters, if one aspires to be fit. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Wheat, Fake Wheat, Snickers and Blood Sugar

From the Heart Scan blog:
"Take a look at these glycemic indexes (GI):
hite bread 69
Whole wheat bread 72
Sucrose 59
Mars bar 68
White rice 72
Brown rice 66
"I've made issue in past of whole wheat's high GI--higher than white bread. Roughly in the same glycemic league as bread are shredded wheat cereal, brown rice, and a Mars candy bar.
"With few exceptions, wheat products have among the highest GIs compared to the majority of other foods. For instance:
idney beans 29
Chick peas 36
Apple 39
Ice cream 36
Snickers Bar 40

"Yes, by the crazy logic of glycemic index, Snickers is a low-glycemic index food.
"While I do not believe that low GI makes a food good or desirable, since low GI foods still provoke high blood sugars, small LDL particles, trigger glycation, and other abnormal phenomena, they are clearly less obnoxious than the items in the first list.
"Take a look at this list:
ornflakes 80
Rice cakes 80
Rice Krispies 82
Rice pasta, 92
Instant potatoes 83
Tapioca 81

"Starches that are dried and/or pulverized, such as cornstarch, potato starch, rice starch, and tapioca starch (cassava root) will increase blood sugar even more than wheat. Foods with these starches have GI's of 80-100.
"Cornstarch, potato starch, rice starch, and tapioca starch: Sound familiar? These are the main starches used in "g
luten-free" foods. A hint of the high GI behavior of these dried starches is seen in the GI for cornflakes of 80.
"So remember: Wheat-free is not the same as gluten-free. Gluten-free identifies junk carbohydrates masquerading as healthy because they don't contain one unhealthy ingredient, i.e. wheat."

Sunday, October 3, 2010

What's a PPT? Part 2

Continued - and again, not an easy read - but a funny guy!  BLUF: skip the fiber, unless you just like to be flatulent.

"I now want to look at what happened in the intervention arm. We can tease out a sub group, the folks who really complied with the intervention, and compare them with the people in the intervention arm who complied poorly.  That's this subgroup analysis.
"A total of 210 "super compliers" were noted and compared to controls. I can't really tell if the controls were on the SAD or were those less compliant members of the intervention arm, probably the latter. The odds ratio for adenoma recurrence of supercompliance was 0.65 and statistically significant.
"So 210 people out of the 1,905 in the intervention arm benefited. That means that 1,695 people didn't benefit from four years of advice.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------"Counter intuitive isn't it? But science does that sometimes. Just look at the money spent on supporting the long dead hypothesis that eating leaves is in some way beneficial for humans. There's a powerful need for self justification of the pig's-ear that PPT turned out to be. Depending on your point of view of course!"
"But hold on a minute. When the initial study compared intervention with non intervention there was no benefit from intervention compared to the SAD. So if 210 people did better than average, then 1,695 people MUST HAVE DONE WORSE than average. That is, they did worse than those on the SAD. You would have expected a 50:50 split, obviously half should do better and half should do worse than average!
EDIT: Of course if they compared 210 super compliers to the 1,695 injured people they possibly got p= 0.05 because these 1,695 did particularly badly. I wonder if p would have been =0.05 if they had compared the 210 to the whole SAD group? Probably not would be my guess. Or they would have done it! Me, cynical? Surely not... END EDIT.  We can summarise: 1,695 people were injured by being in the intervention arm of the PPT. I would also point out that "super compliers" are super compliers. These are the sort of people who meticulously take their placebo tablets in clinical trials and consistently do better than those who are lackadaisical with consuming their placebo tablets. Mike Eades has blogged about it nicely here. So did the 210 super compliers benefit from the diet or were they just the sort of people who comply with authority and automatically do well despite their doctor's best efforts? There was no scope for an adherer effect in the SAD non-intervention arm because they were left alone with no religious group therapy support. Oops, I mean dietary advice... So was everyone injured in the intervention group but a few had their injury offset by the warm glow of study compliance? Don't hold your breath waiting to see THAT get discussed in an NIH funded paper. We're looking to justify the cash spent on a superb study which has made no friends among people with control over the purse strings... Anyhow, back to HCy. We all know from nauseous observational stuff that PPT intervention should have dropped HCy (I've not seen this analysis anywhere yet but I guess it did) but it still didn't drop adenoma recurrence and it probably worsened it in that vast majority of the participants who weren't super compliers. What sort of HCy levels are present in the SAD arm of PPT and how do they stratify against adenoma recurrence risk? This is from the sub analysis of the control arm I wrote about earlier: To summarise the right hand column, folks with no relapse had median HCy around 12.5micromol/l. Those groups with the worst recurrences generally had median HCy over 14micromol/l. Low HCy is "associated", observationally, with lower adenoma relapses. Of course those who ate the most plants, fibre and general pre-poop had the lowest HCy... Really begs why the trial totally flopped. Something to do with the difference between observational studies and intervention studies I think! There may be no funding for basic science (ask my wife!) but there seems to be plenty for this sort of dogma support BS! However, within the dogma that HCy is controlled by eating leaves, how bad must it get if you eat almost no plants, with the emphasis on peeled potatoes when you do indulge in vegi-cide, as little fibre as possible and as much animal fat as practical, say 70% of calories?
Well the HCy comes out, when eating to the Optimal Diet, with a median of about 10.7micromol/l. And relatively few plants were murdered (blame Elizabeth) in the process.
No leaves, no fibre, lots of saturated fat. The occasional spud. Please remember that the data from the OD is observational in nature too. You have to guess what the HCy level was pre OD.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Ice Bath for Fun (not so much) and Performance
The 'why' of ice baths

"The real key, as Allen pointed out in the ESPN show, was getting an athlete's temperature down to normal levels quickly. Rather than diverting energy to cooling down, the athlete's body can get to work on repair that much faster. Moreover, Casa said, they can better do the things necessary to recovery.
"When you are talking about a large individual like a lineman, it could take an hour or two for their body temperature to return to normal," Casa said. "He’s going to drink better, eat better and rest better the sooner he can get cooler."
"And while the experience of dropping your body temperature from 100 plus to something more in the ballpark of normal might feel downright agonizing, it isn’t particularly dangerous for a healthy athlete, Casa said. "The real danger is if he's overheating."
"In the ESPN special, quarterback Greg McElroy commented that Alabama had only started doing post practice ice baths "over the past couple years." That dovetails with Casa's observation that the poiularity of the procedure had grown substantially nationwide over the past few years.
"Other college teams that regularly use post-practice ice baths include TCU, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Ohio State. And since the Crimson Tide has resorted to using them, the number of injuries during fall practice seems too have ebbed somewhat.
"While there are the usual litany of lingering, nagging ailments there has been a paucity of those dreaded long-term injuries that we live in fear of during this part of the year. This, as our own OTS points out, is also due to Coach Saban’s emphasis on thud drills that avoid actual to-the-ground tackling outside of scrimmages.
"Yet that aside, there's another reason to use the ice baths that does have the science behind it -- to increase performance. And the improvement in that department is evident every Saturday the Crimson Tide takes to the field.
"Obviously, the key to Alabama’s conditioning and strength advances lay in Coach Cochran’s distinctive approach to his personal fiefdom. Yet ice baths are a key part of that for exactly the reason Allen pointed out -- they shorten recovery allowing athletes to get additional quality workouts in over the same amount of time."

What's a PPT? Part 1

This gent is funny but a bit of a tough read.  BLUF:  The fiber myth is proved mythical.

"The Polyp Prevention Trial, PPT. For those of us who have forgotten, this quote from the abstract sums up PPT:
"This study failed to show any effect of a low-fat, high-fiber, high-fruit and -vegetable eating pattern on adenoma recurrence even with 8 years of follow-up."
"Now, would anyone like to guess how much the PPT cost? I've no idea, but I guess it cost enough that you are not going to accept a result like that after spending all of those tax dollars (thank goodness it wasn't pounds sterling, it's bad enough funding the FSA on this side of the Pond). So there is now an on-going avalanche of subgroup analysis papers flooding out from PPT, many of which are utterly hysterical. Some actually show, by accident, the injury done to many of the people in the intervention arm of the study. From these new papers you would NEVER guess the main trial primary end point was an utter destruction of the hypothesis that flatulence is good for you.
"Let's start with that lovely sub group who ate all the dry beans. Upping your beans by 370% appeared to drop your risk for adenoma recurrence to an OR of 0.35 in the intervention arm. This is music to the fibre-ophile ear. The effect is massive. It really should show in observational studies if it is real. It doesn't.
"That last sub group analysis is particularly interesting once you get hold of the full text (many thanks Anna). It only looks at the control arm, so it's observational in nature. They blood sampled folks at the start of the study then counted polyps after four years on whatever shade of the SAD happened to be chosen by people who have had a polyp removed but no diet advice given (ie the lucky ones).
"What is topical to me at the moment is that homocysteine (HCy) correlation with polyp recurrence. HCy at enrolment is a very good predictor of polyp recurrence in this group of untutored polyp formers over the next 4 years.
"The suggestion, by the authors, is that reducing HCy will reduce adenoma recurrence. Really, someone should test this hypothesis. Maybe a trial increasing fruit, vegetables and fibre should be done to see if these miracle foods will reduce adenoma formation over a four or even eight year period?
"Oh, it's been done has it? Ah yes, that's where this data trawl has come from! I remember, yes, that's it, eight years of fruit and fibre does bugger all to prevent polyp recurrence. Silly of me to forget. There was an intervention arm to PPT!"

Friday, October 1, 2010


"I've lost a study. It's really annoying when that happens, you flick through a patient characteristics table and think, hmmmm, I'll keep that. Then you don't. This was another colorectal cancer and/or polyp study. Probably looking at fiber. It was another of those splits, people who got cancer vs those who didn't. I was reading the baseline patient characteristics. The eye catching parameter was financial income. Below so many thousand dollars (possibly Aussie dollars) of income per year was bad news for colorectal cancer. "Higher income improved prognosis. Sorry, higher income was "associated" with a better prognosis.
"Another of those missed opportunities to try throwing money at a problem.
"While I was hunting said paper I hit on the PPT (Polyp Prevention Trial). This was another mega intervention trial along the lines of WHEL in breast cancer. I had the temerity to click on the "related articles" link and all of the papers poured out. Significant increases in all of the politically correct stuff, sustained with INCREASING compliance over 4 years. Fat was down at close to 20% of calories with at least 7 servings of plants a day.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------"Enough fiber you wouldn't want to share an enclosed space with an intervention participant for too long. Obviously produced diddly squat improvement compared to no intervention by four years, so they followed for eight years. You can't say that this belief structure doesn't engender persistance! More diddly squat at eight years.
"Overall, not a lot to show for eight years of work. But of course it needed doing to disprove the hypothesis that fruit 'n' fiber is good for you, which it did, nicely. No one seems to have been overjoyed. Or noticed for that matter. Somewhat hysterically they did a data trawl and came up with this gem. Again, please be cautious about getting in to a lift with someone eating enough dry beans to make a difference. If it really was beans which made the difference, which I doubt."

The 'gem' referred to was some unbelievable amount of beans one had to eat to show a reduction in association to cancer risk.  There's a point, with regards to bean consumption, that it might be better to get cancer ...