Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health

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From Fact to Fiction: Diet Supplements?


So many times when a particular nutrient shows promise with disease prevention, the diet supplement industry goes into  full swing on hyping its benefits in the  form of a pill, aka a  diet supplement. The claims are often exaggerated and when put to the test (if ever) they fail to meet expectations.

What are the actual facts about these supplements?  Do they really meet the claims that are promised? That is why nutrition research becomes important in order to sort out the facts from the fiction.



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Essential Fatty Acids: A Second Look

I am republishing a previous post that helps to explain and remind us of how important diet can be in the prevention of many chronic diseases. In this case the post emphasizes the relationship of diet to inflammation, a common culprit in cancer and heart disease and many other diseases of civilization.  CLICK HERE.



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Fighting Back the Food Industry

It’s about time there are serious attempts to prevent the food industry from its persistent tactics to try to influence the Dietary Guidelines, the consumer and our children’s health. Read what Chile did to try to combat the advertising tactics that often are directed at children by company brands.

The article has many important implications on changing the toxic food environment – which in my opinion is at the heart of the obesity/diabetes crisis. If consumers do not demand positive changes,  we may never begin  to turn around this crisis  that decidedly affects our health and the resulting health care costs. It’s a long read but carries an important message. The Comments are also very supportive of these kinds of initiatives. Kudos to Chile.


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Alcohol and Longevity ???

NEWS: Drinking a Glass of Wine and Taking a Walk May Be Key to Longevity

Two Types Of Wine White Wine Glass Grapes

Centenarians from the “Blue Zones” regions of the world often drink up to two glasses of wine every day as a way to “downshift” from the stressors of daily life. Drinking a glass of wine with a plant-slant meal and a group of your closest friends can only enhance the experience and the benefits.  Read the link HERE.

Ever heard of the glymphatic system in the brain?  I never had even with about 20 years of  teaching Anatomy and Physiology. I first thought it was a misprint but after some searches found out it is very new concept (actually around for a hundred years, but apparently no one had the tools to study it. ) You can read about in more depth HERE.

So a new study found HERE caught my attention and may shed some light on why it may be beneficial – wine drinkers rejoice??? And it may have something to do with the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease since theories often describe that disease is associated with toxin -induced inflammation that builds up as amyloid plaques in certain parts of the brain involving cognition and memory functions. But this may be all conjecture?

There are many cautions about studies like this. Many people can read a headline and misinterpret its message. The title of the article is “Low levels of alcohol good for the brain, study shows.” The key here is “low levels” which is a moderate intake defined in the study as about 2 glasses a day. In other words, a higher intake did NOT curb inflammation but rather added to the problem. In addition this was an animal study (sorry, volunteers for the next study).  Of course, the results cannot be applied to humans as everyone should realize. There have been some studies, however, that modest amounts of alcohol have shown some cardiovascular health benefits, but again, these results always are accompanied by the common sense cautionary warnings.











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Why Don’t the Japanese Get Fat?

The Japanese are one of the longest living cultures in the world. For centuries the Japanese diet has been loaded with carbohydrates, low in protein and very low fat. The Japanese report death rates from heart disease that are half the of the U.S., as well as one of the lowest incidences of breast cancer in the world. Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is also less frequent than in Western countries and death rates from breast, prostate, and uterine cancers are comparatively low.

Why didn’t obesity and accompanying diabetes cripple their society as it does in the U.S. and/or parts of Europe, namely the UK?  Why did Americans gain so much weight and develop type 2 diabetes since the 1980’s after adapting a high carbohydrate, lower fat diet?   What happened? You cannot blame carbohydrates solely for the obesity problem.  This epidemic is more than likely multi factorial with conditions present in the food supply and/or the environment.

What are the Japanese guidelines compared to ours? Interesting!


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The “Magic” of Pseudoscience

I have been a student of pseudoscience and nutrition quackery for a number of decades now. After attending a couple of meetings of the National Council Against Health Fraud back in the day of my inquiries into this “magical” world, nothing much has changed. The definition of pseudoscience is: “a collection of beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method.” Unfortunately, pseudoscience is still very much alive despite all those years of fighting the “sense” and “nonsense” of it all. The following is an excellent essay on its allure and tactics on how many people (sometimes even myself) have been taken in by its often false promises and claims.