There’s No Such Thing As ‘Good Cholesterol’ Says Pivotal New Study

A surprising new genetic study shows that some people with naturally high levels of HDL cholesterol—the supposedly good kind of cholesterol—are at increased risk of a heart attack. Doctors are now further questioning the use of drugs to boost HDL levels while looking to new therapies to reduce heart risk.

Source: There’s No Such Thing As ‘Good Cholesterol’ Says Pivotal New Study

Sorry for the scare.

For the people with this genetic defect, HDL (“good”) cholesterol is not good because the defect destroys their liver’s ability to absorb fat brought to it by HDL.  In normal people, HDL still correlates with lower risk of heart disease.

Low-Carb Beats Low-Fat in a Meta-Study of 17 Clinical Trials

In a new study published in the Journal PLOS ONE, a meta-analysis of seventeen randomized clinical trials provides insight into the relative benefits of low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets in terms of weight lost, cholesterol and the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) events. The seventeen clinical trials used for meta-analysis included a total of 1,797 patients over the age of eighteen who all lacked co-morbidities other than dyslipidemia. Each trial randomly assigned patients to treatment groups and included at least eight weeks of follow-up.

Source: Low-carb beats low-fat in a meta-analysis of 17 clinical trials

This also fits well with our understanding of the GI system. When broken down fat progresses through your stomach and hits your duodenum, cholecystokinin (CCK) is released by duodenal enteroendocrine cells. This peptide hormone causes bile to be released, but it also slows the rate of stomach emptying and generally makes you feel more satiated. In other words, all things being being equal (size, calorie content, etc.) a fatty meal will make you feel more full than a meal high in carbohydrates. This is obviously just one component at play, but I think this does make a lot of sense.

The problem is that protein and fat are expensive, but carbs are cheap. It’s cheap because the government heavily subsidizes corn (carbohydrates), and subsequently corn is involved in almost every inexpensive food product (IE high fructose corn syrup is everywhere).

The study was funded by Atkins Nutritionals, a corporation founded by Dr. Robert Atkins for the promotion of low-carbohydrate diets.  The studies included in the meta analysis were not funded by Atkins however.  Which means the studies were cherry-picked…

Science Confirms That People Age at Dramatically Different Rates

Looking at your classmates in 20 years’ time, you might notice something odd about their appearances: Although you were probably all born within a year of one another, you also probably all look different ages. According to new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, internal markers show we really do age at different paces.

Source: Science Confirms That People Age at Dramatically Different Rates

Keith Richards has looked the way he is since he was 40… 😉

How Anabolic Steroids Make You Stronger – And How They Destroy You

The quick and dirty route to gaining strength is to take some kind of anabolic steroid. These drugs actually trick the body into building up muscle mass and endurance — but they can also age you far beyond your years.

Anabolic steroids work because they masquerade as one of the body’s basic hormones: testosterone.

Source: How Anabolic Steroids Make You Stronger – And How They Destroy You

Live fast, die young.

I remember a body builder visiting our school to speak about taking steroids.  He won a car at one point, but couldn’t drive it – he was too big to fit in it.  Most live long enough to regret the decision to use steroids.

Yogurt/Greek Yogurt: How Much Vitamin K?

If you’re reading this, you must not be lactose intolerant 😉

For 1 cup of yogurt (Greek or otherwise), there’s 0.5 mcg:

So, there is vitamin K.  If you regularly consume lots already while on blood thinners (warfarin, coumadin) then your dose should already take this into account.  A cup a day will not be a major impact.

  • Yogurt has recently been show to lower risk of type 2 diabetes in several large-scale human studies. While the greatest risk reduction has been shown in individuals who average about 6 ounces per day, even 3 ounces per day has been shown to decrease risk.
  • Probiotic yogurts (containing millions or tens of millions of live bacteria per gram of yogurt) have been found to decrease total blood cholesterol levels while increasing HDL (“good cholesterol”) levels when consuming 10 ounces a day.
  • 2 cups per week is associated with lowering hip fracture risk
  • Yogurt is known for decreased appetite (not surprising, given the protein-rich nature of this food), better immune system function, and better bone support.
  • Cancer: There’s only a decreased risk in bladder cancer when consuming yogurt.  2+ servings, but we don’t know what the size was…
  • Yogurt can be made from either animal or plant foods. Animal-based yogurts are often referred to as “dairy” yogurts and plant-based yogurts as “non-dairy” yogurts.

Not all Greek yogurt is made according to traditional fermentation and straining techniques. Due to the rapid growth in popularity of this yogurt type, some manufacturers are working to meet the marketplace need by taking tapioca or other thickeners and adding them to non-strained yogurt, together with supplemental protein in order to match the amount in traditionally strained Greek style yogurt. While these “no-strain” Greek style yogurts may match traditional Greek style yogurts in texture and protein content, these are considered to be a further step away from whole, natural food and recommend traditionally fermented and strained products when choosing Greek yogurt.

Are some diets “mass murder”?

From low fat to Atkins and beyond, diets that are based on poor nutrition science are a type of global, uncontrolled experiment that may lead to bad outcomes, concludes Richard Smith

Jean Mayer, one of the “greats” of nutrition science, said in 1965, in the colourful language that has characterised arguments over diet, that prescribing a diet restricted in carbohydrates to the public was “the equivalent of mass murder.” Having ploughed my way through five books on diet and some of the key studies to write this article, I’m left with the impression that the same accusation of “mass murder” could be directed at many players in the great diet game. In short, bold policies have been based on fragile science, and the long term results may be terrible.

Source: Are some diets “mass murder”?

A large part of the article is about the Keys “research” in the 1950’s about fat in our diet.  As recently posted – an increase saturated fat food does NOT show increase in fat in the blood.  To claim “mass murder” when there’s no change in heart disease outcomes is overly dramatic.  Science gets better as time goes on to reshape how and why we do things, and there will always be political machinations…