New Interview and More Sucky Science

1 11 2010

I’m back from a blogging hiatus that you probably didn’t know about because I never told anyone. Sorry! But what better time to return than on World Vegan Day?

First of all: I recently had the pleasure of doing an interview at “Let Them Eat Meat” about my experience with veganism, thoughts on its healthfulness, my overwhelming adoration for the American Dietetic Association, and—because I’m forever branded as That China Study Girl—some final thoughts on a certain book we all know and love.

In case you haven’t heard, Let Them Eat Meat is the brainchild of Rhys Southan, a non-disgruntled ex-vegan who applies his stellar writing skills to the subject of veganism. If you haven’t already stumbled across this site, please stumble there now—you’ll find some fantastic interviews with former (and current) vegans, discussions of related health and moral topics, and a critical look at the arguments for avoiding animal products—including a recent deconstruction of vegan ethical tenets. Even if you don’t have personal experience with an all-plant diet, you might find the material there fascinating from a psychological perspective. So go peruse.

In other news, it looks like bad science—or at least bad reporting—is still alive and well. Case in point:

Fellas: is saturated fat lowering your sperm count? If you believe the flurry of recent articles, it sure sounds like men who eat more saturated fat have fewer—and less virile—swimmers. A Harvard study presented at a reproductive conference last week spawned some gems like these:

High saturated fat intake ‘damages’ sperm

Diets High in Saturated Fats Can Lower Sperm Count, Researchers Say

Eating saturated fat can damage your sperm

Are the meat and dairy industries actually massive government-funded schemes for population control? Is humankind’s history of meat consumption the reason we’re verging on extinction?

Interestingly, when you actually read the articles above, you’ll see that saturated fat wasn’t the only type of fat the researchers linked with sperm problems. From here:

According to the study, an increased intake of saturated fats and monounsaturated fats—which are commonly found in meats, butter, and dairy products—may result in a lower sperm concentration.

(Isn’t it cute how they don’t list the common sources of monounsaturated fat? No one wants to diss olive oil. That’s what the Mediterraneans eat!)

And from here:

The researchers found that men with the highest intake of saturated fat had 41% fewer sperm than men who ate the lowest amount of saturated fat. And men with the highest intake of monounsaturated fat had 46% fewer sperm compared with men with the lowest intake of monounsaturated fat.

I’d give the ol’ “correlation isn’t causation” reminder, but in this case, it might not even be necessary. It looks like the figures cited are the unadjusted ones, because according to this Medscape article (which has more details about the study than the others):

The association between fat intake and semen quality parameters was made with linear regression while adjusting for total energy intake, age, abstinence time, body mass index, smoking status, and intakes of caffeine and alcohol. The results showed that saturated fatty acid levels in sperm were inversely related to sperm concentration (r = −0.53); however, saturated fat intake was unrelated to sperm levels.

D’oh.

So basically, men with higher levels of saturated fat in their sperm tended to have poorer semen quality—but actual dietary intake of saturated fat wasn’t implicated after adjusting for confounders. At least that’s what I’ve pieced together from the available articles, since a quest for the original study yielded nada. Regardless, this is a prime example of the media skewing headlines to fit conventional nutrition wisdom and assuming an association between variables proves cause-and-effect.

And in case anyone’s wondering what’s going on with “The China Study” Suckypedia Wikipedia article that’s now moderated by a vegan editor: Along with pruning out all mention of my critique, gone also are the criticisms from Science Based Medicine’s Dr. Harriet Hall (here and here) as well as the fabulous critiques from Chris Masterjohn (here and here). The only one still up is a brief mention of Loren Cordain. And in case that’s not enough, the “Criticism” section has now been changed to “Reception and criticism,” so half of it is dedicated to praise.

Go figure.

And at the risk of sounding like The Girl Who Cried Wheat Entry, the wheat entry really is coming next! I promise. In the meantime, here’s a new study that shows we have microorganisms in our mouth that can actually degrade gluten. Might this play a role in how folks at risk for celiac respond to wheat? Seems possible.

Lastly, I’d like to thank everyone who’s contributed to the (oft-informative) discussions unfurling on previous entries. I haven’t had time to jump in myself, but I’m grateful to all of you who’ve taken the time to share your thoughts here and engage in what has generally been civil discourse. You people are awesome.

About these ads

Actions

Information

59 responses

2 11 2010
moksha

oh yea – anxious for your next bowl of wheaties –

and actually – thanks to you for your ongoing dedication to this fun and convoluted can o’worms–

… and wanted to note that i found/was alerted to the whole (rather massive) publication available online of “A story of nutritional research : the effect of some dietary factors on the bones and nervous system” from 1950 by Sir Edward Mellanby – a treasure trove of grain research and observations that, even though published in a major peer journal, faded into oblivion before i was born (a while ago). pages and pages of cool stuff and i just skimmed! it’s here:

http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015065978572;page=root;view=image;size=100;seq=5

looking forward to more–

2 11 2010
Eva

I just come here to enjoy your whimsical wit, wheat or no wheat. The actual science is just frosting on the cake.. or maybe I should say cream on the strawberry!

2 11 2010
Monte Diaz

“””I suggest we delete ANY criticism of this work immediately. Wikipedia has a duty to protect this important book/study. Conflicting studies should be expunged. Articles or quotes from conflicting Doctors need to be deleted or at least make sure you remove ‘Dr.’ from their name as to discredit.
Excellent work everyone! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.173.223.44 (talk) 19:25, 12 October 2010 (UTC)”””

Please tell me this is sarcasm. >:)

By the way, thank you for the links Denise.

2 11 2010
kat

Ridiculous and sad.

2 11 2010
Sean

“The New York Times praised the study itself, calling it “the Grand Prix of epidemiology.” [23]”

Jane Brody really ought to be prosecuted for Crimes Against Humanity.

3 11 2010
Tony

Jane Brody will get her just deserts from taking statins for her low fat diet-induced cholesterolemia.

2 11 2010
labrat

Too tired to look it up – but my recollection on the sperm study was that it was on 90 men seeking fertility treatment. Not exactly data generalizable to the population as a whole.

Missed you – glad you’re back.

2 11 2010
Peter Silverman

Refreshing to see thoughtful analysis of health research by someone who’s not out to show that what they already thought was right.

2 11 2010
R. Goodfellow

I enjoyed reading that interview and found myself smiling at your salmon sushi experience. I had a similar revelatory thing happen with a small amount of turkey breast eaten after 6+ years of vegetarianism. I didn’t rush out to McDonalds after that and radically change my life, but I did sit down with a fresh perspective to see why, exactly and beyond the tryptophan flood, I suddenly felt so much better.

For me, it came down to finally dropping the idea that there was a Perfect Diet for All Humans. People are too diverse and obviously thrive on very, very different eating patterns. What makes one thrive may make another dive into disease. I found out that this particular body I inhabit simply will not absorb some things from an all-plant-based diet. No matter how “perfectly” I ate that way, this body simply wasn’t going to digest it in ways that give me good health. So instead of trying to wrap myself around any particular Food Ideology, I eat what makes me happy to eat and brings health.

The fact of very different body types has been recognized in Ayurveda and Chinese medicines for a very long time. Perhaps one day modern medicine will start to notice this, how one person’s elixir is another’s poison. Doctors already note, at least in their practices, that patients react quite differently to the same prescription medicines, so maybe it’s not that long before they notice that they also react very differently to things like garlic, chicken and whether or not they are eating their tomatoes raw or stewed. One can hope, anyway!

2 11 2010
A

R. Goodfellow,

In support of your ideas. Here is an article that brings out some points about our individuallity as it relates to diet.

http://www.pinniped.net/gibbonsscience.pdf

4 11 2010
Alex

Thanks for posting that. It makes sense to me that different populations would be better adapted to different diets. In my own case, being adopted and of mixed ancestry and having little info about my biological parents (mother English/German Haplogroup H, father unknown ancestry Haplogroup G2c1), I don’t know what my ancestry tells me to eat. But, my body, with its wonky carb metabolism, tells me to eat high fat, low-ish carb, very low starch.

2 11 2010
Monte Diaz

If heredity plays a role in what your adapted to eat then is someone like Tiger Woods more omnivorous than say…Ozzy Osborne?

3 11 2010
moksha

ozzie’s an ornitholog*en and tiger a vagiterian?
(ok, sorry really, bad taste…)

3 11 2010
Monte Diaz

Actually either one taste quite nice.

3 11 2010
Norman Yarvin

Oral bacteria usually get killed pretty quickly once they hit the stomach; and chewing doesn’t leave much time for fermentation. So I doubt that those oral gluten-digesting bacteria have a significant impact. The study mentions exposing gluten to the bacteria for five hours, and finding that they digested most of it. Well, okay, if you chew each mouthful of food for five hours, that might do it.

3 11 2010
js290

“I shoved a bunch of salmon into my mouth. It was amazing. I was buzzing afterward and was physically satisfied in I way I hadn’t felt for many years.”

Damn, talk about some sexy sake. :-P

3 11 2010
mrfreddy (www.beefandwhisky.com)

you know, I tried the Ornish diet way back in the 90s , and I did try to go meatless.. but about once a week – ok, maybe twice, or more – I felt compelled to add some chopped up chicken breasts to my rice and beans, and man, was it ever so satisfying… Deep down to your bones satisfying. I remember thinking there must be something to this…

3 11 2010
Ned Kock

The connection between sat fat and sperm is interesting. A couple of things that come to mind:

– The study focused on men seeking fertility treatment. This means that there could have been underlying conditions that had nothing to do with sat fat intake or metabolism.

– Generalized fat spillover to cells other than adipocytes (e.g., sperm cells) is what the theory of lipotoxicity predicts as part of the mechanisms that lead to diabetes type 2:

http://healthcorrelator.blogspot.com/2010/08/lipotoxicity-or-tired-pancreas-abnormal.html

– Untreated type 2 diabetes in older adults (but not young adults) is associated with lower fertility.

4 11 2010
Chris Masterjohn

Ned, the point about insulin resistance is a good one, because hepatic insulin resistance is selective so that glucose output continues but de novo lipogenesis is not suppressed. De novo lipogenesis produces saturated and monounsaturated fats but not PUFA, consistent with what the study apparently reported.

The Medscape article seems to conflict itself. It first says that those with the highest intake of saturated fat had fewer sperm, and then goes on to say that saturated fat intake was not related to sperm concentration.

That said, the article goes on to say that fatty acids in sperm are markers of maturation, and that when sperm mature, DHA increases at the expense of other fatty acids. Uh, what on earth does this study show? That people who have lower levels of sperm have sperm that have not matured? Wow, how novel and exciting!

This was presented at a conference, and usually that means it is not published yet, so we will probably see the study in the next few months.

Chris

3 11 2010
Jacob

Could you elaborate on your opinion on olive oil, and vegetable oil in general? What is the best fat to use for cooking? Thanks

4 11 2010
Tony

Vegetable oil is an industrially-produced oil composed of polyunsaturated fatty acids rich in omega 6 fatty acids, which are converted into substances involved in inflammatory reactions like arachidonic acid, prostaglandins, leukotrienes and thromboxanes. The standard American diet has a ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fats of up to 30:1 when it should be 1:1 to 4:1. One can produce cirrhotic livers in mice by just feeding them fructose and vegetable oil. Olive oil is a monosaturated fat, which is better than vegetable oil for cooking. Trans fats are polyunsaturated and monosaturated fat used for cooking that have been partially hydrogenated. Everyone now agrees that that will damage your coronary arteries. Coconut oil is the best cooking oil to use. It is composed of medium-chain triglycerides or short chain saturated fatty acids, which are rapidly converted to ketones and burned for fuel by the body and brain rather than stored in fat cells. Half of coconut oil is made up of lauric acid, which is also a potent antimicrobial agent used inside the body.

4 11 2010
Jacob

Thanks Tony. I understand how the new, industrial vegetable oils are bad, but olive oil does have a longer history. I use it a lot but will now mix in coconut oil as well. How does grass-fed butter compare?

4 11 2010
rebecca

I consider grass-fed butter an excellent choice, unless you experience problems with dairy. It may not be quite as beneficial to health as coconut oil, but it is not harmful (and it is delicious). Butter works best with low-heat cooking methods. You can also clarify the butter to make ghee, which removes most of the lactose and has a much higher smoke point.

Generally, I use butter or olive oil for low heat, and ghee or coconut oil for high heat.

8 11 2010
anand srivastava

I would think that pastured butter/ghee would be more healthy on account of it being an excellent source of fat soluble vitamins, particularly K2.

8 11 2010
rebecca

You gave a good point that pastured butter/ghee is a source of fat-soluble vitamins, as well as conjugated linoleic acidl. Coconut oil lacks vitamins, but is almost 50% lauric acid, which has its own benefits.

I’m not sure which fat is healthier, but they’re definitely both delicious!

4 11 2010
Cindy

Ghee and palm oil are good cooking fats also. You can make your own ghee, and I buy red palm oil online. (I don’t want everything I cook to taste like coconut.)

5 11 2010
Rädda planeten – ät kött « Paleofriend

[...] ex-veganen som omnämndes i en tidigare postning för sin kritik av veganbibeln The China Study, kan nu berätta att Wikipedias artikel om densamma, editerad av en vegan, nu plötsligt saknar omnämnande av [...]

7 11 2010
Stuart

A link between higher concentrations of saturated (and monounsaturated) fatty acids in sperm and lower measures of fertility is nothing new:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1439-0272.2006.00735.x/abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16893631

Of course, the most effective way of increasing the concentrations of palmitic and oleic acid at the expense of arachidonic and docosahexaenoic acid in various bodily regions (VLDL triglycerides, red cells, phospholipids, cholesterol esters and probably sperm cells as well) is by eating … er, a very-low-fat, very-high-carbohydrate diet (especially one that has lots of sugars):

http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/87/4/817
http://www.jlr.org/content/41/4/595.full
http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/83/2/227

Oxidative stress can also reduce the concentrations of arachidonic and docosahexaenoic acid in sperm. Human sperm cells subjected to spontaneous lipid peroxidation lose far more ARA and DHA than saturated fatty acids:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8579848

Most fatty acids in the body are “esterified” in things such as triglycerides or phospholipids. Some, however, are “free fatty acids” or “non-esterified fatty acids”. Some free fatty acids (i.e. unsaturated ones) are toxic to extracted human semen samples when added in concentrations less than or similar to the usual plasma levels. Linoleic acid is more toxic than oleic acid, and alpha-linolenic acid is more toxic than linoleic acid. Palmitic and stearic acid have minimal toxicity even at concentrations far higher than the usual plasma levels(!):

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2868925

Human sperm exposed to various concentrations of arachidonic acid generate increasing amounts of reactive oxygen species and have impaired sperm motility, although sperm viability is maintained. Palmitic and stearic acid have no effect whatsoever, but linoleic acid and particularly DHA even manage to impair sperm viability at the highest concentrations(!):

http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/content/full/91/10/4154

See also: http://www.heretical-health.info/raisetestosteronenaturally.html#cultured-sperm

9 11 2010
Roberto

Denise,

First, sorry for addressing this in this thread.

Basically, I would like to know why you didn’t include the Tuoli county in your last post focussing on the association between wheat and heart disease in the china study data?

In your previous post on Tuoli, you reveal that they have low heart disease rates despite a heavy intake of dairy, saturated fat, and cholesterol. That is interesting. It is also interesting that they were consuming 371.6 grams of wheat flour daily as well. That intake is comparable to the artery clogged wheat-gobblers in your ‘wheat = heart disease’ post. Yet, to quote you:

“Despite a massive intake of cholesterol, saturated fat, calories, animal protein, and all those other horrors ascribed to declining heart health, the Tuoli have relatively low levels of coronary heart disease and heart attacks.”
and..
“From this data alone, we’d have no basis for claiming that eating two pounds of dairy per day (and minimal vegetation, aside from wheat flour) is less healthful than consuming a mostly vegetarian diet.”

So once again, why wasn’t Tuoli included in your ‘wheat = heart disease’ graphs? According to you they have low heart disease mortality despite a heavy wheat intake. That is a glaring contradiction.

You made this criticism against Campbell:

“The Tuoli diet is so abnormal for China, in fact, that T. Colin Campbell et al omitted this county from analysis in several China Study papers.”

If that is true, Campbell did so to sustain his claim that animal products cause disease. For that he should be criticized. But you seem to have done the same in your ‘wheat = heart disease’ graphs.

That is my basic concern. However, the more I compare those two posts, the more scattered and suspicious your arguments and numbers appear. I will address that more specifically in a separate comment.

9 11 2010
neisy

Hi Roberto,

A couple things:

My wheat/heart disease posts use China Study II data, not the China Study I data that Campbell cited in his book and I employed in my critique. (I used the China Study II data because it documented a lot more variables that were relevant to a discussion on heart disease.) The Tuoli data differs significantly between China Study I and China Study II, and most counties have at least slight differences, so the numbers aren’t going to match up if you’re trying to compare the wheat posts against the China Study critiques (including that Tuoli post).

In the latest heart disease post that you mention, Tuoli wasn’t included because it was neither a “top five highest” or “top five lowest” county for heart disease. The counties used in the graphs weren’t based on wheat consumption but on heart disease mortality. It wasn’t a post specifically on wheat, and only one of the graphs even included wheat at all.

Also, in case you missed it in previous entries: In his responses to me, Campbell stated that the Tuoli data from China Study I was unreliable because they were “feasting” on the days the survey team came rather than eating like normal. Neither Campbell nor anyone else on the China Study team noticed this until after “Diet, Life-Style, and Mortality in China” was already published (the book I was working from). I discussed this in previous posts, if you’re interested — try doing a word search in them for “Tuoli” to find the relevant sections. I’ll add a disclaimer and link to these posts from the Tuoli page as well. In light of this, the Tuoli post should be taken with a grain of salt because we can’t be 100% sure how they were really eating.

http://rawfoodsos.com/2010/08/03/the-china-study-a-formal-analysis-and-response/

http://rawfoodsos.com/2010/07/16/the-china-study-my-response-to-campbell/

9 11 2010
Roberto

Fair Enough.

I withdraw this statement: “However, the more I compare those two posts, the more scattered and suspicious your arguments and numbers appear. I will address that more specifically in a separate comment.”

I tried, and I found I had misinterpreted your numbers, and was generally just confusing myself. More than I could chew.

Also, I was wondering something, if you don’t mind me asking. You’ve mentioned that you are allergic to wheat, are you also allergic to any other gluten grain? And how do you react to sour dough, artisan wheat/gluten products?

9 11 2010
neisy

No worries Roberto — I’m glad you brought this up, because I’ve been meaning to update the Tuoli page with a disclaimer for a while now, and kept forgetting to do so. Done now!

My wheat allergy is a funny thing. It’s not the gluten, and I don’t qualify as “celiac” — I never had a problem with other gluten-containing grains. Sourdough was a no-go for me and still produced a reaction, although the type I tried (this is when I was 12 or 13 or so) may not have been the super-long fermented kind. I’m not sure that whatever I’m allergic to in wheat is something that can be reduced through fermentation.

If you’re interested in the wheat/disease/mortality links, Mark Hyman recently wrote a very good article on gluten:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/gluten-what-you-dont-know_b_379089.html

I don’t always agree with him (he’s pro-soy) but I think that article is pretty solid. From it:

“A recent large study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people with diagnosed, undiagnosed, and “latent” celiac disease or gluten sensitivity had a higher risk of death, mostly from heart disease and cancer.

This study looked at almost 30,00 patients from 1969 to 2008 and examined deaths in three groups: Those with full-blown celiac disease, those with inflammation of their intestine but not full-blown celiac disease, and those with latent celiac disease or gluten sensitivity (elevated gluten antibodies but negative intestinal biopsy).

The findings were dramatic. There was a 39 percent increased risk of death in those with celiac disease, 72 percent increased risk in those with gut inflammation related to gluten, and 35 percent increased risk in those with gluten sensitivity but no celiac disease.

This is ground-breaking research that proves you don’t have to have full-blown celiac disease with a positive intestinal biopsy (which is what conventional thinking tells us) to have serious health problems and complications–even death–from eating gluten.”

9 11 2010
anand srivastava

Hi Denise,

I somehow think that the worst part of wheat is not gluten. It is the WGA (Wheat Germ Agglutinin). Read the following post from Peter.

http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2008/01/wheat-and-lactose.html

It seems that WGA will damage the intestines so that it is unable to secrete digestive enzymes, causing lactose intolerance and other food intolerances. It can also increase gut permeability which causes gluten and other proteins to get inside the blood undigested. This sets the stage for autoimmune diseases.

I think your problem is caused by WGA, which is why you also have lactose intolerance.

13 11 2010
David I

I’m also suspicious about the charges leveled at gluten per se. I’ve known people who claimed to be highly allergic to wheat who frequently eat seitan in Chinese restaurants with no ill effects. These people have invariably been shocked and disbelieving when I’ve pointed out that they’ve been eating the highest-gluten food on the planet.

Seitan is pure wheat gluten–just high-gluten flour washed until it is mostly protein. There may be people who react negatively to it, but a lot of people who have been labeled as gluten-intolerant seem to be able to eat seitan with no problem.

Odd, huh?

21 11 2010
neisy

Hi Anand,

Thanks for the link — VERY interesting! I agree that WGA is probably one of the biggest health offenders in wheat, maybe more so than gluten. For me, my reaction to dairy usually involves respiratory/upper respiratory problems (trouble breathing, chronic congestion, sinus infections, etc.) rather than digestive trouble, so I don’t think I have lactose intolerance, per se. But many of the celiacs I’ve met also report having problems with dairy, and it does seem there’s a link there.

9 11 2010
Roberto

Hi Denise,

Thanks for sending me that link, it was very interesting.

I don’t know how to approach the gluten/wheat sensitivity issue. It’s very troubling. I’m fairly certain there are numerous types of gluten – I hadn’t known that until just a little while ago. Perhaps the hybridization of wheat, and it’s growth on nutrient poor soils, has left industrial wheat products with altered forms of gluten that are triggering these reactions. I would like to believe that the organic, sourdough rye bread I eat is worlds apart from Wonder Bread.
Nonetheless, I often feel strange if I eat too much of it. Drained, foggy, moody, achey. Multiply those feelings by 100 if I eat white flour as well. I’m going to eliminate it from my diet and see what happens.

Once again, if you don’t mind me asking: If you allow cooked foods like potatoes, yams, rice, meat and eggs to your diet, does it completely destroy the benefits of your strictly raw diet? Or do you just feel less than optimal? And do you have trouble maintaining body weight on a raw diet? That was the experience for me when I dabbled in it as a vegan.

21 11 2010
neisy

Hi Roberto,

Sorry for taking so long to get back to you on this!

“Perhaps the hybridization of wheat, and it’s growth on nutrient poor soils, has left industrial wheat products with altered forms of gluten that are triggering these reactions. I would like to believe that the organic, sourdough rye bread I eat is worlds apart from Wonder Bread.”

There’s definitely something funky about modern wheat. It’s been bred so much for greater crop yield that it really doesn’t resemble its earlier forms anymore. If you haven’t seen this yet, Dr. William Davis did a self-experiment with eating regular wheat bread vs. bread made with an ancient strain, and the difference was striking:

http://heartscanblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/in-search-of-wheat-einkorn-and-blood.html

Nonetheless, I often feel strange if I eat too much of it. Drained, foggy, moody, achey. Multiply those feelings by 100 if I eat white flour as well. I’m going to eliminate it from my diet and see what happens.

I’d be curious to hear if/how things improve from eliminating it — keep me updated!

Once again, if you don’t mind me asking: If you allow cooked foods like potatoes, yams, rice, meat and eggs to your diet, does it completely destroy the benefits of your strictly raw diet? Or do you just feel less than optimal?

It’s mostly a matter of feeling less than optimal — needing more sleep, not feeling as zippy and energetic after meals, getting congested, etc. For whatever reason, I also get skin breakouts after eating cooked animal products (especially eggs), but not when I eat them raw.

And do you have trouble maintaining body weight on a raw diet? That was the experience for me when I dabbled in it as a vegan.

As long I’m not a vegan, my weight stays pretty steady. But when I wasn’t eating any animal products, I whittled away to 95 pounds while eating upwards of 3000 – 3500 calories a day. It was bad!

10 11 2010
Z

Hi Denise, thank you for this article.

My boyfriend and I went at each other’s throats with him waving the above articles in my face saying “I told you so, eating meat and fat is bad” (he is pro-veg & low fat and I’m pro-healthy balance of everything unprocessed except wheat & sugar). I’ll be waving this article in his face when I get home tonight.

He also keeps referring to this study about how if I keep eating meat (even though it’s free range pasture) I can get breast cancer: http://www.nature.com/bjc/journal/v89/n9/full/6601314a.html

Is there any truth to that study? “Significant summary relative risks were also found for saturated fat (RR, 1.19; 95% CI: 1.06–1.35) and meat intake (RR, 1.17; 95% CI 1.06–1.29).”

15 11 2010
Tony

I don’t consider those relative risks to be significant if they are less than 2.0

20 11 2010
David I

That’s a pretty useless study–low levels of risk increase and no real monitoring or important confounding factors.

As a matter of fact, I DO think that eating meat in America, if you eat like most Americans, probably increases your risk of cancer–because of all the hormones animals are typically fed.

In addition, high fat intake together with high carb intake seems to present any number of problems. What isn’t clear is why the fat is always blamed.

Mike Eades had a hilarious post a while back where a study claimed that inflammatory markers were slightly higher after a meal that included saturated fat versus one that included polyunsaturated fat. He dug deeper to find out what else was eaten with the fat, and the answer turned out to be a milkshake and carrot cake. His conclusion was that saturated fat causes a slightly more inflammatory response to the ingestion of massive quantities of sugar.

10 11 2010
A

Roberto,

You might find this lecture on MS by Loren Cordain interesting, because he describes his theory on why the lectins in wheat can be bad.

10 11 2010
A

Z,

I am sure Denise can get in to much more detail than me, but I just noticed one thing reading the abstract.

“The summary relative risk, comparing the highest and lowest levels of intake of total fat, was 1.13 (95% CI: 1.03–1.25). ”

Wow only 13% more risk comparing very high fat diet to very low fat. Is 13% extra risk really something to even think about? It’s so small, I question if this is even a real effect. It sure isn’t like smoking cigarettes were your chances are abou 800% higher of getting lung cancer.

10 11 2010
Monte Diaz

I know this is off topic but…

Denise I know you have a highly tailored diet that is specific to your personal ethical, spiritual, mental, whimsical, and physical needs and specifics aren’t likely to apply to a great majority of people…..but I’ve been wondering how much protein do you consume on average and what percentage of that comes from meat? Also, is all of your meat raw? Just wondering. Judging by your stature and the common .5g of protein per pound of lean body mass figure, I’d say you aim for 30 to 40 grams a day. Close?

22 11 2010
neisy

Hi Monte,

I don’t keep track these days, but I think I get about 70 grams of protein on average — maybe half that from animal products. I eat the animal foods raw when I’m at home/prepping meals for myself, but I’m not opposed to cooked when I’m eating out (if only to avoid grossing people out ;)).

22 11 2010
neisy

I also just updated my “current diet” section to describe what I eat a little better, for those who’ve asked.

http://rawfoodsos.com/2010/01/20/my-current-diet/

23 11 2010
Monte Diaz

Thankies! I missed that post, exactly what I was looking for. Kudos for being able to stomach raw organ meats. I got plenty of stares at a restaurant when eating a fresh ground burger. I don’t know if it was because it was rare or that I was eating it with a fork (no bun). =)

12 11 2010
Amanda Tuttee

Mrs. Minger while I admire your intellect I think there are many confrownding variables you have overlooked. For example, the china study was conducted in china and I would be so bold as to presume most of the residents their are chinese and ate almost entirely chinese food. First of all, maybe the human body reacts differently when chinese people eat chinese food than when normal people eat it. Second of all, what about fortune cookies and msg? Dr. Cambell never investigated the effects but we all know chinese food is loaded with msg and that fortune cookies can alter your mood a lot depending on what it says. Maybe some parts of the country used more msg than others and maybe the fortunes were sadder in some places and people got sick because they were depressed. Something to think about, no? Food for thought if I say so myself and I do.

12 11 2010
fortune cookies

lmfao

12 11 2010
Greg

Amanda, my friend Chap Gmunderson may be your soulmate:

http://www.facebook.com/ChapReviews

13 11 2010
Amanda Tuttee

Thanks for the props bro. Another thing we should consider is if chop sticks were used or utensils. When ever I’m at General Chow’s I use chop sticks because it cuts way down on the amount of rice I eat. I like rice a lot but its fattening and it takes so long to eat a lot of rice using chop sticks and I havent got all day you know.

15 11 2010
mark

Not much action here these days. Where is statistician girl? Looks like meat/dairy/ saturated fat is not part of the problem is not holding much traction.

15 11 2010
Greg

What does your second sentence mean?

16 11 2010
Greg

Oops, I mean third…the one about problem/traction. I was confused reading it.

28 11 2010
Anna

Pretty sure it means that since Denise hasn’t posted recently, her analyses are therefore wrong. Which I have to admit, is a logical fallacy I haven’t seen anyone try before!

24 11 2010
Chuck Bluestein

I found out about this site from the Steve Pavlina forum. I like learning about people that are extremely intelligent. To me it is like discovering a treasure. I have not heard of anyone that thins that it is better for breast cancer to exist than for it to be cured and done with.

You should put your intelligence to the virtual cure for breast cancer and check it out. That way for $5 you can go to a health food store or drug store and buy a supplement and never get breast cancer. All this research came about from epidemioligists.

Wikipedia says “Epidemiology is the study of patterns of health and illness and associated factors at the population level. It is the cornerstone method of public health research, and helps inform evidence-based medicine for identifying risk factors for disease and determining optimal treatment approaches to clinical practice and for preventative medicine.”

5 12 2010
Chuck, please...

…what would Wikipedia know about anything “evidence-based?”

28 03 2011
Richard P

I find it worrying that entries in Wikipedia such as these are tolerated – does one’s background and educational relevance trump accuracy of statistical analysis and comment?

On your behalf I am scandalised at the “Removed the minger scam”!!!!!!

# cur | prev) 06:55, 8 October 2010 Brad Mosely (talk | contribs) m (39,524 bytes) (Deleted vandalism. Minger’s relevance is inarguable, if only because Campbell has responded to her so often and at such length.) (undo)
# (cur | prev) 00:02, 8 October 2010 92.231.86.66 (talk) (29,283 bytes)

(Removed the Minger scam. A “private foodie fun blogger” without any scientific education or background is not a credible “source” and by no means any type of peer-reviewed scientific data.) (undo) (Tag: section blanking)

7 02 2012
David H.

I found my way here, stumbling around the internet, looking for enlightenment on the subject of wheat. I have a diagnosed gluten intolerance, and have been gluten free for about four months now.

I’m not ready to sign-up for the raw foods thing, but I want to tell you how pleased and astonished I am to find a 23 year old blogger with your intellectual honesty, curiosity and good humor. You remind me of Dr. Richard Feynman (physicist and Nobel laureate). His address to the 1974 graduating class at Cal Tech is the best thing I’ve ever read. It’s titled “Cargo Cult Science.” I suspect you are already familiar with it, but some of your readers may not be. It’s easy to find it with a simple Google search. It has nothing to do with food or nutrition. It’s about intellectual honesty, and it’s very funny.

Keep up the good work!

15 01 2014
David Mitchell

Seems like I’ve come a little late to the party, since this it is now 2014, and I’ve just now discovered your site, Ms. Minger. Actually, I discovered it a few months ago but was busy with other things, other sites that I monitor.

In any case, I read the interview at “Let Them Eat Meat.” Have vegans or vegetarians ever watched a documentary of a pride of lions killing, say, a wildebeest? I remember seeing one years ago. Once they had the animal down, one lion clamped its jaws on the poor animal’s neck, choking it. It wasn’t dead yet (Monty Python anyone?) but other lions were beginning to eat the animal. Now that’s cruelty. Even confined feeding operations and modern slaughterhouse conditions can’t compare.

I also saw a documentary about the discovery that chimps hunt and eat meat (monkeys). When the hunted monkey was caught the chimps literally began tearing it apart while it was alive. Yeah, I do that all the time to the chickens I eat.

Finally, regarding Wikipedia and the China Study: Perhaps we should just bring back good ol’ book/blog article burning. We don’t need our opinions all messed up with facts.

Thanks, Ms. Minger. I like what you write and I love your writing style.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,721 other followers

%d bloggers like this: