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Chronic health is achievable for almost everyone. It's the opposite of the epidemic of chronic diseases which plagues us today. This blog is all about how we can turn the tide into an epidemic of chronic health. With the tools and the knowledge of health sciences.
A 95 years old psychology article holds the key to solving the obesity epidemic. It's not about a long forgotten medicine or an ancient psycho-trick. It's a simple observation about the dynamics of feeding. Vindicated by neurohormonal research, here is what it means to your struggle with extra pounds.... Read more »
Craig W. (1917) Appetites and Aversions as Constituents of Instincts. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 3(12), 685-8. PMID: 16586767
Seeley RJ, Payne CJ, & Woods SC. (1995) Neuropeptide Y fails to increase intraoral intake in rats. The American journal of physiology, 268(2 Pt 2). PMID: 7864237
Ammar AA, Sederholm F, Saito TR, Scheurink AJ, Johnson AE, & Södersten P. (2000) NPY-leptin: opposing effects on appetitive and consummatory ingestive behavior and sexual behavior. American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology, 278(6). PMID: 10848532
Evolutionary selection favored those who became fat easily. That's the essence of the "thrifty gene hypothesis". It's like Madonna. On the wrong side of 50, and ripe to be dethroned by something with greater sex appeal. In this case the contender's name is the "drifty gene hypothesis". Here is why you shouldn't be too dazzled about it.... Read more »
NEEL JV. (1962) Diabetes mellitus: a "thrifty" genotype rendered detrimental by "progress"?. American journal of human genetics, 353-62. PMID: 13937884
Speakman JR, & Westerterp KR. (2012) A mathematical model of weight loss under total starvation and implications of the genetic architecture of the modern obesity epidemic for the thrifty-gene hypothesis. Disease models . PMID: 22864023
Segal NL, & Allison DB. (2002) Twins and virtual twins: bases of relative body weight revisited. International journal of obesity and related metabolic disorders : journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, 26(4), 437-41. PMID: 12075568
Speakman JR. (2006) Thrifty genes for obesity and the metabolic syndrome--time to call off the search?. Diabetes , 3(1), 7-11. PMID: 16784175
Xue Y, Wang Q, Long Q, Ng BL, Swerdlow H, Burton J, Skuce C, Taylor R, Abdellah Z, Zhao Y.... (2009) Human Y chromosome base-substitution mutation rate measured by direct sequencing in a deep-rooting pedigree. Current biology : CB, 19(17), 1453-7. PMID: 19716302
Public health has been telling you for years: you are fat because you move too little and eat too much. And yes, it's your fault if you don't break a sweat every day to keep our waist line in check. But research says, that's not the entire truth. In fact, public health might have taken the easy way out, and here is how it could finally make amends...... Read more »
Eriksson B, Henriksson H, Löf M, Hannestad U, & Forsum E. (2012) Body-composition development during early childhood and energy expenditure in response to physical activity in 1.5-y-old children. The American journal of clinical nutrition. PMID: 22836033
Levine JA, Eberhardt NL, & Jensen MD. (1999) Role of nonexercise activity thermogenesis in resistance to fat gain in humans. Science (New York, N.Y.), 283(5399), 212-4. PMID: 9880251
Salt and fat kill you early, and your BMI tells you how early. That has been the wisdom for years, but wisdoms have an expiry date, too. Particularly medical wisdoms. Recent research says those three are probably well beyond their use-by date.... Read more »
Routh CH. (1849) On the Causes of the Endemic Puerperal Fever of Vienna. Medico-chirurgical transactions, 27-40. PMID: 20895917
Alderman MH, & Cohen HW. (2012) Dietary sodium intake and cardiovascular mortality: controversy resolved?. American journal of hypertension, 25(7), 727-34. PMID: 22627176
Khaw KT, Friesen MD, Riboli E, Luben R, & Wareham N. (2012) Plasma Phospholipid Fatty Acid Concentration and Incident Coronary Heart Disease in Men and Women: The EPIC-Norfolk Prospective Study. PLoS medicine, 9(7). PMID: 22802735
Siri-Tarino PW, Sun Q, Hu FB, & Krauss RM. (2010) Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 91(3), 535-46. PMID: 20071648
From "man is made to move" to "man is not made to sit" is a very recent transition of scientific insight. Let's get our readers panicked over more than not doing exercise, is the response of the media. Here is why you should sit down and get the facts straight before jumping up in fear.... Read more »
Katzmarzyk PT, & Lee IM. (2012) Sedentary behaviour and life expectancy in the USA: a cause-deleted life table analysis. BMJ open, 2(4). PMID: 22777603
Katzmarzyk PT, Church TS, Craig CL, & Bouchard C. (2009) Sitting time and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 41(5), 998-1005. PMID: 19346988
Patel AV, Bernstein L, Deka A, Feigelson HS, Campbell PT, Gapstur SM, Colditz GA, & Thun MJ. (2010) Leisure time spent sitting in relation to total mortality in a prospective cohort of US adults. American journal of epidemiology, 172(4), 419-29. PMID: 20650954
Brown WJ, Trost SG, Bauman A, Mummery K, & Owen N. (2004) Test-retest reliability of four physical activity measures used in population surveys. Journal of science and medicine in sport / Sports Medicine Australia, 7(2), 205-15. PMID: 15362316
Nutritionists claim they are doing science, consumers buy it, and the supplements industry makes a healthy living from it. Only you probably won't. Here is why: ... Read more »
Peto R, Doll R, Buckley JD, & Sporn MB. (1981) Can dietary beta-carotene materially reduce human cancer rates?. Nature, 290(5803), 201-8. PMID: 7010181
The Alpha-Tocopherol Beta Carotene Cancer Prevention Study Group. (1994) The effect of vitamin E and beta carotene on the incidence of lung cancer and other cancers in male smokers. The Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta Carotene Cancer Prevention Study Group. The New England journal of medicine, 330(15), 1029-35. PMID: 8127329
Goodman GE, Thornquist MD, Balmes J, Cullen MR, Meyskens FL Jr, Omenn GS, Valanis B, & Williams JH Jr. (2004) The Beta-Carotene and Retinol Efficacy Trial: incidence of lung cancer and cardiovascular disease mortality during 6-year follow-up after stopping beta-carotene and retinol supplements. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 96(23), 1743-50. PMID: 15572756
Gonzalez CA, & Riboli E. (2010) Diet and cancer prevention: Contributions from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. European journal of cancer (Oxford, England : 1990), 46(14), 2555-62. PMID: 20843485
Li K, Kaaks R, Linseisen J, & Rohrmann S. (2012) Associations of dietary calcium intake and calcium supplementation with myocardial infarction and stroke risk and overall cardiovascular mortality in the Heidelberg cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study (EPIC-Hei. Heart (British Cardiac Society), 98(12), 920-5. PMID: 22626900
Galan P, Kesse-Guyot E, Czernichow S, Briancon S, Blacher J, Hercberg S, & SU.FOL.OM3 Collaborative Group. (2010) Effects of B vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids on cardiovascular diseases: a randomised placebo controlled trial. BMJ (Clinical research ed.). PMID: 21115589
Giving the polypill to everybody above the age of 55 kills two birds with one stone: cardiovascular risk and preventive medicine. That's what the proponents of the polypill say. The medical establishment is in uproar. Here is why you should be, too. But for a different reason. ... Read more »
Wald NJ, Simmonds M, & Morris JK. (2011) Screening for future cardiovascular disease using age alone compared with multiple risk factors and age. PloS one, 6(5). PMID: 21573224
If weather forecasts were as reliable as cardiovascular risk prediction tools, meteorologists would miss two thirds of all hurricanes, expect rain for 8 out of 10 sunny days, and fail to see the parallels to fortune telling. ... Read more »
Collins GS, & Altman DG. (2012) Predicting the 10 year risk of cardiovascular disease in the United Kingdom: independent and external validation of an updated version of QRISK2. BMJ (Clinical research ed.). PMID: 22723603
Research says yes, public health doesn't listen, and you suffer the consequences: too little benefits from generic interventions. And it could be so simple. ... Read more »
King NA, Hopkins M, Caudwell P, Stubbs RJ, & Blundell JE. (2008) Individual variability following 12 weeks of supervised exercise: identification and characterization of compensation for exercise-induced weight loss. International journal of obesity (2005), 32(1), 177-84. PMID: 17848941
Yang, Q., Cogswell, M. E., Flanders, W. D., Hong, Y., Zhang, Z., Loustalot, F., Gillespie, C., Merritt, R., & Hu, F. B. (2012) Trends in Cardiovascular Health Metrics and Associations With All-Cause and CVD Mortality Among US Adults. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2012.339
Dong C, Rundek T, Wright CB, Anwar Z, Elkind MS, & Sacco RL. (2012) Ideal cardiovascular health predicts lower risks of myocardial infarction, stroke, and vascular death across whites, blacks, and hispanics: the northern Manhattan study. Circulation, 125(24), 2975-84. PMID: 22619283
Exercise may actually be bad for you! A professor says he stumbled upon this "potentially explosive" insight. The New York Times has been quick to peddle it. And couch potatoes descend on it like vultures on road kill. But professors can get it wrong, too.
Before we judge the verity of the "exercise may be bad" claim, let's first look at how the media present it to us. We shall use the recent article in The New York Times, headlined "For Some, Exercise May Increase Heart Risk". The ........ Read more »
Bouchard C, Blair SN, Church TS, Earnest CP, Hagberg JM, Häkkinen K, Jenkins NT, Karavirta L, Kraus WE, Leon AS.... (2012) Adverse metabolic response to regular exercise: is it a rare or common occurrence?. PloS one, 7(5). PMID: 22666405
Wilmore, J. H., Stanforth, P. R., Gagnon, J., Rice, T., Mandel, S., Leon, A. S., Rao, D. C., Skinner, J. S., & Bouchard, C. (2001) Heart rate and blood pressure changes with endurance training: the HERITAGE family study. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. DOI: 10.1097/00005768-200101000-00017
Bouchard, C., & Rankinen, T. (2001) Individual differences in response to regular physical activity. Med Sci Sports Exerc. DOI: 10.1097/00005768-200106001-00013
In the fight over best diet for health and weight loss, it's protein lovers vs. vegetarian zealots. So far, a clear winner has not emerged. Only one loser: you, the victim of biased research. Here is an example of why you should keep your bullshit alarm on high alert when reading about weight loss diets.
Ellen M. Evans and colleagues wanted to know whether overweight men and women differ in their body composition responses to different weight loss diets . So t........ Read more »
Evans, Ellen, Mojtahedi, Mina, Thorpe, Matthew, Valentine, Rudy, Kris-Etherton, Penny, & Layman, Donald. (2012) Effects of protein intake and gender on body composition changes: a randomized clinical weight loss trial. Nutrition and Metabolism. info:/doi:10.1186/1743-7075-9-55
Hession, M., Rolland, C., Kulkarni, U., Wise, A., & Broom, J. (2009) Systematic review of randomized controlled trials of low-carbohydrate vs. low-fat/low-calorie diets in the management of obesity and its comorbidities. Obesity Reviews, 10(1), 36-50. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2008.00518.x
The media says yes. Science says maybe. In the end, you decide. Here are the facts:
A truffle treatment for heart disease is imminent. That's what a recent article suggests, headlined in the New York Daily News as: "Dark chocolate cuts heart deaths; Study shows benefits for high risk cardiac patients."
The funny thing is, the cited study does not show what the media geniuses claim it does. So, let's look at this master piece of research journalism and do a little fact check.
........ Read more »
Zomer, E., Owen, A., Magliano, D., Liew, D., & Reid, C. (2012) The effectiveness and cost effectiveness of dark chocolate consumption as prevention therapy in people at high risk of cardiovascular disease: best case scenario analysis using a Markov model. BMJ, 344(may30 3). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.e3657
With the decoding of the human genome came the hope of getting a lever on the chronic diseases, which kill most of us today: heart disease, stroke, diabetes and many cancers. And since overweight and obesity are a common cause of those diseases, many obese people were, and still are, yearning for that exculpatory headline: "It's all in your genes!" Why and how this headline is unlikely to ever appear in any serious media, was a subject of my earlier post "It's not your genes, stupid!".
Now,........ Read more »
Belsky DW, Moffitt TE, Houts R, Bennett GG, Biddle AK, Blumenthal JA, Evans JP, Harrington H, Sugden K, Williams B.... (2012) Polygenic Risk, Rapid Childhood Growth, and the Development of Obesity: Evidence From a 4-Decade Longitudinal StudyPolygenic Risk for Adult Obesity. Archives of pediatrics , 166(6), 515-21. PMID: 22665028
Lack of time is the most often cited excuse for not exercising. I deliberately chose the word "excuse" over its less judgmental alternative "obstacle". Simply because I cannot see an "obstacle" when I compare two simple metrics: the hours people spend watching TV and the minutes needed to maintain one's health with exercise. With high intensity interval training, or HIT, health enhancing exercise can be compressed into an amazingly short amount of time. When done right.
According to the Ni........ Read more »
Garber, C., Blissmer, B., Deschenes, M., Franklin, B., Lamonte, M., Lee, I., Nieman, D., & Swain, D. (2011) Quantity and Quality of Exercise for Developing and Maintaining Cardiorespiratory, Musculoskeletal, and Neuromotor Fitness in Apparently Healthy Adults. Medicine , 43(7), 1334-1359. DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e318213fefb
Currie KD, McKelvie RS, & Macdonald MJ. (2012) Flow-Mediated Dilation Is Acutely Improved following High-Intensity Interval Exercise. Medicine and science in sports and exercise. PMID: 22648341
Hood MS, Little JP, Tarnopolsky MA, Myslik F, & Gibala MJ. (2011) Low-volume interval training improves muscle oxidative capacity in sedentary adults. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 43(10), 1849-56. PMID: 21448086
Let's face it, if exercise was really that much fun, everybody would do it and we wouldn't be fat, diabetic or die of heart disease. So when your doctor tells you that you better start exercising, your immediate question might be: how much do I have to do? The answer is, it depends. It depends on whether you want to hear the polite version or the truth.
The polite version goes something like this: As long as you do some exercise, you will see some health benefits. When your doctor gi........ Read more »
Hamer, M., & Stamatakis, E. (2012) Low-Dose Physical Activity Attenuates Cardiovascular Disease Mortality in Men and Women With Clustered Metabolic Risk Factors. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.112.965434
Kent, W. (2011) The effects of sprint interval training on aerobic fitness in untrained individuals: a systematic review. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 45(15). DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2011-090606.26
Wisloff, U., Stoylen, A., Loennechen, J., Bruvold, M., Rognmo, O., Haram, P., Tjonna, A., Helgerud, J., Slordahl, S., Lee, S.... (2007) Superior Cardiovascular Effect of Aerobic Interval Training Versus Moderate Continuous Training in Heart Failure Patients: A Randomized Study. Circulation, 115(24), 3086-3094. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.106.675041
Little, J., Gillen, J., Percival, M., Safdar, A., Tarnopolsky, M., Punthakee, Z., Jung, M., & Gibala, M. (2011) Low-volume high-intensity interval training reduces hyperglycemia and increases muscle mitochondrial capacity in patients with type 2 diabetes. Journal of Applied Physiology, 111(6), 1554-1560. DOI: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00921.2011
Briefly: If I had to name the one word, that is most often used to
label something as what it is not, my vote would go to "healthy". Whether it's the issue of sugar vs. honey, of butter vs. oil or of calories vs. nutrients, science and evidence are clearly not playing the lead role in the culinary theater of the world wide web. Judging by its popularity, that's a missed opportunity.
I recently gave a talk on the lies and deceptions the food
industry uses in labeling and marketing........ Read more »
Kuipers RS, de Graaf DJ, Luxwolda MF, Muskiet MH, Dijck-Brouwer DA, & Muskiet FA. (2011) Saturated fat, carbohydrates and cardiovascular disease. The Netherlands journal of medicine, 69(9), 372-8. PMID: 21978979
Simopoulos, A. (2008) The Importance of the Omega-6/Omega-3 Fatty Acid Ratio in Cardiovascular Disease and Other Chronic Diseases. Experimental Biology and Medicine, 233(6), 674-688. DOI: 10.3181/0711-MR-311
Hooper L, Summerbell CD, Thompson R, Sills D, Roberts FG, Moore HJ, & Davey Smith G. (2012) Reduced or modified dietary fat for preventing cardiovascular disease. Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online). PMID: 22592684
There were always two types of cholesterol, the good and the
bad. Until now. A large new study tells us that good cholesterol might have
been an impostor. That's food for the media types. For those who think before
they type, the real news is that we are finally getting closer to uncovering
the impostors. Thanks to the genetics revolution which seems to be paying off
in an unexpected area.
HDL - The Knight in Shining Armor
In the cholesterol u........ Read more »
Voight, B., Peloso, G., Orho-Melander, M., Frikke-Schmidt, R., Barbalic, M., Jensen, M., Hindy, G., Hólm, H., Ding, E., Johnson, T.... (2012) Plasma HDL cholesterol and risk of myocardial infarction: a mendelian randomisation study. The Lancet. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60312-2
Why individualized medicine will not be a reality anytime soon, how physicians often misinterpret published studies, and how individualized prevention is a clear and present benefit.
In my previous post I promised to talk about your
individualized way to achieving optimal health. If that made you think
about personalized medicine, you were right. Almost. Because personalized
medicine is still light-years away from us. That's the bad news. The good news,
personalized prev........ Read more »
Nicholson, J. (2006) Global systems biology, personalized medicine and molecular epidemiology. Molecular Systems Biology. DOI: 10.1038/msb4100095
Wegwarth O, Schwartz LM, Woloshin S, Gaissmaier W, & Gigerenzer G. (2012) Do physicians understand cancer screening statistics? A national survey of primary care physicians in the United States. Annals of internal medicine, 156(5), 340-9. PMID: 22393129
Loscalzo, J. (2012) Personalized Cardiovascular Medicine and Drug Development: Time for a New Paradigm. Circulation, 125(4), 638-645. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.111.089243
Yang, Q. (2012) Trends in Cardiovascular Health Metrics and Associations With All-Cause and CVD Mortality Among US Adults. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 307(12), 1273. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2012.339
Yang Q, Cogswell ME, Flanders WD, Hong Y, Zhang Z, Loustalot F, Gillespie C, Merritt R, & Hu FB. (2012) Trends in cardiovascular health metrics and associations with all-cause and CVD mortality among US adults. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 307(12), 1273-83. PMID: 22427615
You have heard about good and bad cholesterol. You have
heard that increasing the former and reducing the latter will cut your risk of
heart disease. You will now hear what's principally wrong with this strategy of
attacking risk factors. And how it prevents us from eradicating the heart
disease epidemic sweeping the globe.
On 30th November 2006, Jeff Kindler, the CEO of Pfizer,
praised their about-to-be released drug for increasing good cholesterol as
"...one of the m........ Read more »
Barter, P., Caulfield, M., Eriksson, M., Grundy, S., Kastelein, J., Komajda, M., Lopez-Sendon, J., Mosca, L., Tardif, J., Waters, D.... (2007) Effects of Torcetrapib in Patients at High Risk for Coronary Events. New England Journal of Medicine, 357(21), 2109-2122. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa0706628
Kaiser, L. (2003) Impact of Oseltamivir Treatment on Influenza-Related Lower Respiratory Tract Complications and Hospitalizations. Archives of Internal Medicine, 163(14), 1667-1672. DOI: 10.1001/archinte.163.14.1667
Doshi P, Jefferson T, & Del Mar C. (2012) The imperative to share clinical study reports: recommendations from the tamiflu experience. PLoS medicine, 9(4). PMID: 22505850
Wannamethee, S. (2005) Metabolic Syndrome vs Framingham Risk Score for Prediction of Coronary Heart Disease, Stroke, and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Archives of Internal Medicine, 165(22), 2644-2650. DOI: 10.1001/archinte.165.22.2644
Ioannidis, J., & Tzoulaki, I. (2012) Minimal and Null Predictive Effects for the Most Popular Blood Biomarkers of Cardiovascular Disease. Circulation Research, 110(5), 658-662. DOI: 10.1161/RES.0b013e31824da8ad
Ioannidis JP, & Tzoulaki I. (2012) Minimal and null predictive effects for the most popular blood biomarkers of cardiovascular disease. Circulation research, 110(5), 658-62. PMID: 22383708
When a pharmaceutical company tells you that its drug is
safer than it really is, it probably plays with your health. And possibly with
your life. That's not a very nice thing to do. But it's also very profitable. Which
is why it happens more often that you care to know.
These days Takeda Pharmaceuticals has gotten some bad press
from a whistle blower suit which claims that TP deliberately withheld trial
data for Actos, a drug which t........ Read more »
Nissen, S.E. (2007) Effect of Rosiglitazone on the Risk of Myocardial Infarction and Death from Cardiovascular Causes. New England Journal of Medicine, 357(1), 100-100. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMx070038
Home, P., Pocock, S., Beck-Nielsen, H., Gomis, R., Hanefeld, M., Jones, N., Komajda, M., & McMurray, J. (2007) Rosiglitazone Evaluated for Cardiovascular Outcomes — An Interim Analysis. New England Journal of Medicine, 357(1), 28-38. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa073394
Home, P., Pocock, S., Beck-Nielsen, H., Curtis, P., Gomis, R., Hanefeld, M., Jones, N., Komajda, M., & McMurray, J. (2009) Rosiglitazone evaluated for cardiovascular outcomes in oral agent combination therapy for type 2 diabetes (RECORD): a multicentre, randomised, open-label trial. The Lancet, 373(9681), 2125-2135. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(09)60953-3
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