Fat is not Bad part ..uhhh a lot

Fat is not Bad part ..uhhh a lot

Little to no association between butter consumption and chronic disease or total mortality

BOSTON (Embargoed until 2 PM EDT, June 29, 2016)–Butter consumption was only weakly associated with total mortality, not associated with cardiovascular disease, and slightly inversely associated (protective) with diabetes, according to a new epidemiological study which analyzed the association of butter consumption with chronic disease and all-cause mortality. This systematic review and meta-analysis, published in PLOS ONE, was led by Tufts scientists including Laura Pimpin, Ph.D., former postdoctoral fellow at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts in Boston, and senior author Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., Dr.P.H., dean of the School.

Based on a systematic review and search of multiple online academic and medical databases, the researchers identified nine eligible research studies including 15 country-specific cohorts representing 636,151 unique individuals with a total of 6.5 million person-years of follow-up. Over the total follow-up period, the combined group of studies included 28,271 deaths, 9,783 cases of cardiovascular disease, and 23,954 cases of new-onset type 2 diabetes. The researchers combined the nine studies into a meta-analysis of relative risk.

Butter consumption was standardized across all nine studies to 14 grams/day, which corresponds to one U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated serving of butter (or roughly one tablespoon). Overall, the average butter consumption across the nine studies ranged from roughly one-third of a serving per day to 3.2 servings per day. The study found mostly small or insignificant associations of each daily serving of butter with total mortality, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

“Even though people who eat more butter generally have worse diets and lifestyles, it seemed to be pretty neutral overall,” said Pimpin, now a data analyst in public health modelling for the UK Health Forum. “This suggests that butter may be a “middle-of-the-road” food: a more healthful choice than sugar or starch, such as the white bread or potato on which butter is commonly spread and which have been linked to higher risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease; and a worse choice than many margarines and cooking oils – those rich in healthy fats such as soybean, canola, flaxseed, and extra virgin olive oils – which would likely lower risk compared with either butter or refined grains, starches, and sugars.”

“Overall, our results suggest that butter should neither be demonized nor considered “back” as a route to good health,” said Mozaffarian. “More research is needed to better understand the observed potential lower risk of diabetes, which has also been suggested in some other studies of dairy fat. This could be real, or due to other factors linked to eating butter – our study does not prove cause-and-effect.”


Additional authors of this study are Jason HY Wu, M.Sc., Ph.D., and Hila Haskelberg, Ph.D., both of The George Institute for Global Health, University of Sydney, Australia; and Liana Del Gobbo, Ph.D., formerly a postdoctoral fellow at the Friedman School and currently a research fellow in cardiovascular medicine at Stanford School of Medicine.

This work was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, under award number 5R01HL085710. For conflicts of interest disclosure, please see the study.

Pimpin L, Wu JHY, Haskelberg H, Del Gobbo L, Mozaffarian D (2016) Is Butter Back? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Butter Consumption and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, and Total Mortality. PLoS ONE 11(6): e0158118. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0158118

another scientist bites the agenda …

another scientist bites the agenda …


Coming out

“It is therefore correct, indeed verging on compulsory in the scientific tradition, to be skeptical of those who express certainty.” – Patrick Draper, PhD (Ecology)

I’m going to come out of the closet – no I’m not gay but even more controversial – I’m a climate change skeptic! Worse yet, I guess I’m almost a climate change denier even though I try my best to keep an open mind on the subject. […]

Every week, more and more scientists have been ‘coming out’, many reluctantly because of the inevitable bullying from the scaremonger institutions of little learning. Ecologist, Dr Draper is just the latest, according to former Canadian MLA, Ken Allred, writing at the St Albert Gazette:

View original post 478 more words

Fukushima and the Art of Knowing

Fukushima and the Art of Knowing

What prompts someone to move halfway across the world, to work in a hospital near Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant? I can tell you.

It was first, because I didn’t know enough, and secondly, because I wanted to know more.

On March 11, 2011, Japan was struck by an earthquake and tsunami, which triggered a nuclear accident. Four years later and 9,000 kilometers away, it was February 2015, I was a master’s student at the University of Edinburgh, and a guest lecture was about to begin by Japanese researchers on their work in Fukushima.

I knew there had been a nuclear accident in Fukushima. I assumed this had led to dangerous radiation levels and increases in cancers. I had never entertained the thought of visiting.

What happens next could be described as a clash between what I thought I knew and reality.

The researchers gave a series of presentations. They showed us what they had found in Fukushima; there were overwhelmingly low levels of internal and external radiation in residents,1,2 and a mass screening of babies and children revealed that none had detectable levels of internal radiation contamination.3 Yet, other health problems were emerging; in contrast to low levels of radiation, an increased burden of diseases unrelated to radiation, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and more, was being found.4,5 Particular health risks associated with evacuation were highlighted,5 including evidence that immediate evacuation of the elderly from nursing homes was associated with three times higher mortality risk that non-evacuation.6 It was presented to us that radiation may not be the biggest problem for Fukushima.

I was surprised. This appeared to be, in fact, the exact opposite of what one may think about Fukushima. This surely was not the Fukushima I had heard of or visualized, and my curiosity was piqued. I talked to the researchers and proposed an idea for further research. They, in turn, invited me to come to Fukushima to write my Master’s dissertation. I agreed.

In May 2015, I first arrived in Fukushima, and began research at Minamisoma Municipal General Hospital. I wrote my master’s dissertation, graduated, and then was offered a full-time job at the hospital, which is where I am today.

There are a lot of things I could write about, that I have learned from Fukushima. Yet one of the most unexpected parts of this experience has been the confrontation between what I thought I knew, and the reality which I found. There were few things in front of me in Fukushima that matched my original expectations, and I was struck by the feeling that I had been unaware of so much. Yet I also realized that the inaccurate ideas I previously held were surprisingly common. This has led me to think more than ever about what it means to ‘know’ something, in terms of both myself and others.

Because really, how do we know things? There’s not one answer.

Full Article

Well there is one good answer. The abundance of fauna and flora around the exploded Chernobyl reactor. Teaming with wildlife, reproducing at an alarming rate, evidently no lasting harm caused by radiation.

 Long-term census data reveal abundant wildlife populations at Chernobyl



Smart Grid technology absolutely not needed

Smart Grid technology absolutely not needed

The actual benefits of smart meters were also questioned at the conference, as several member states have done previously. Germany, for instance, has decided not to have a national roll-out plan at all, running counter to requirements laid out in EU legislation.

EU member states are required to implement smart meters under the 2009 Third Energy Package wherever it is cost-effective to do so, with the goal to replace 80% of electricity meters with smart meters by 2020.

The 80% target applies to both households and commercial buildings, a Commission spokesperson confirmed. The EU executive will publish in the next one to two years a report on smart meters “in the context of our regular monitoring exercise of the progress of members states,” the spokesperson said.

Progress had been sluggish across the bloc in installation of the equipment. And the countries that do have a commitment to smart meters, such as the UK, have run into hurdles in completing its roll-out because some meters would cease to work if a consumer decided to change energy supplier.

Markus Merkel, a senior advisor to the management board of German distribution system operator (DSO) EWE, told the Eurelectric conference that “there isn’t a positive business case” for smart meters in Germany.

PEI journal

If in the neat and tidy Germany it’s already not “a positive business case” for smart meters how about the rest of EU nations where most installations are so old and/or decrepit that it would be a total folly to waste money on those things rather than improving the infrastructure?


High cholesterol ‘does not cause heart disease’ new research find

High cholesterol ‘does not cause heart disease’ new research find

Cholesterol does not cause heart disease in the elderly and trying to reduce it with drugs like statins is a waste of time, an international group of experts has claimed.

A review of research involving nearly 70,000 people found there was no link between what has traditionally been considered “bad” cholesterol and the premature deaths of over 60-year-olds from cardiovascular disease.

Published in the BMJ Open journal, the new study found that 92 percent of people with a high cholesterol level lived longer.

Lowering cholesterol with medications is a total waste of timeProfessor Sherif Sultan, University of Ireland

The authors have called for a re-evaluation of the guidelines for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis, a hardening and narrowing of the arteries, because “the benefits from statin treatment have been exaggerated”.


Fat is not Bad

The disease FAT does not exist

Reconsidering the evolution of brain, cognition, and behavior

Reconsidering the evolution of brain, cognition, and behavior

Concluding Remarks

Beside all the methodological and conceptual problems reported here, a significant bias in evolutionary neuroscience is the particular place given to human brain and cognition. As stated by Deacon; “we are, after all, the ‘sapient’ ape, distinguished from all other species by our unusual mental powers. But this has also motivated the many preconceptions that we bring to the topic that affect both the selection of scientific evidence and our interpretations of it. The single most pervasive issue behind most of these preconceptions is the notion of human intellectual superiority” (Deacon, 1990a, original quotation marks). Under this view, it is the fact that the human brain is not at the top of a criterion that makes this criterion inadequate for determining intelligence, and conversely. The misconceptions that this approach has lead, even at the brain size level (see above), have a heuristic value and warn against considering this approach for more complex variables. This comment echoes Chittka et al. (2012) who, referring to an analysis that found human species to be the slowest in a color learning task, warned that although “there may be good reasons not to equate learning speed with intelligence […] the fact that humans do not top the chart should not be one of them.”

The importance of such fallacies can be broadened to the mammalian brain in general. For instance, spontaneous mirror self-recognition occurs with the 350 g chimpanzee’s brain (Gallup, 1970), the 2000 g dolphin brain Tursiops truncatus (Reiss and Marino, 2001) and the 4000 g elephant brain Elephas maximus (Plotnik et al., 2006) but also with the small 5 g magpie brain Pica pica (Prior et al., 2008). More generally, the complex cognitive abilities of several bird species (Emery and Clayton, 2004; Emery, 2006; Kirsch et al., 2008), suggest that the brain architecture of birds is particularly efficient. This is interesting, given the relatively recent misconception that bird intelligence was limited and their behaviors only stereotyped (Emery, 2006) and the still widely accepted postulate that the mammalian brain is the most complex and efficient structure in term of cognitive abilities. In fact, the highest ratio of cognitive abilities to neuron number could possibly be found in non-vertebrate taxa such as cephalopods (e.g., Hochner et al., 2006; Grasso and Basil, 2009; Ikeda, 2009) and insects (e.g., Menzel and Giurfa, 2001; Chittka and Skorupski, 2011).

Finally, it is particularly striking to note [as Griffin (1976) did more than twenty-five years ago] that the subjective part of behavior, that is, the way animals experience the world, has been systematically put aside in comparative studies of animal behavior. As stated byShettleworth (2001): “it is possible, indeed usual, to study the ways in which animals acquire information about the world through their senses, process, retain and respond to it without making any commitment about the nature of their subjective experience or awareness.” Yet, what makes a bird or mammal flee danger is fear or pain, to search for food is hunger, what makes it look for mates is sexual arousal and for a place to sleep is fatigue, so that the subjective dimension of animal mind; consciousness, is the fundamental link between brain, cognition, and behavior. Studying animal brain and behavior without raising the question of how animals experience the world is likely to be as incomplete as was studying biology without evolution. In fact, this is one of evolutionary neuroscience’s principal challenges.

Full Study

Fat is not Bad part: (lost count)

Fat is not Bad part: (lost count)

Revised UK ‘Eatwell Guide’ promotes industry wealth not public health, argues expert

“The emphasis on carbs is the result of dietary advice to restrict fat, but this was not based on the evidence, while the advice on carbs has never been tested.”

The media release is below.


Revised UK ‘Eatwell Guide’ promotes industry wealth not public health, argues expert
It lacks evidence base; high carb-low fat approach has parallelled rises in obesity and diabetes


The revised UK ‘Eatwell Guide,’ which visually represents the government’s recommendations on food groups for a ‘healthy, balanced diet,’ is not evidence based, and has been formulated by too many people with industry ties, insists a dietary expert in an editorial published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

And the continuation of the high carb-low fat approach it purveys has been accompanied by continuing rises in obesity and diabetes, points out Dr Zoe Harcombe of the Institute of Clinical Exercise and Health Science, University of West of Scotland.

The Eatwell Guide started out in 1994 as The Balance of Good Health — a segmented plate of the daily proportions of food groups needed for a healthy diet — issued by the Department of Health.

The Food Standards Agency relaunched it with “cosmetic changes” as the Eatwell Plate in 2007, until its current reincarnation in March of this year as The Eatwell Guide, under the stewardship of Public Health England — again with many of the changes purely cosmetic, says Dr Harcombe.

In its latest guise, the segment proportions have changed, with starchy foods rising from 33% to 38% and fruit and veg up from 33% to 40%, while milk and dairy have almost halved from 15% to 8%, for example.

The previous segment of foods high in fat and sugars has morphed into unsaturated oils and spreads, which prompted one of the UK’s largest food manufacturers to take out ads in national newspapers celebrating their “dedicated section,” Dr Harcombe points out.

And she insists: “The Eatwell Guide was formulated by a group appointed by Public Health England, consisting primarily of members of the food and drink industry rather than independent experts.”

But the primary flaw of the Eatwell Guide “as with its predecessors, is that it is not evidence based,” she says. “There has been no randomised controlled trial of a diet based on the Eatwell Plate or Guide, let alone one large enough, long enough, with whole population generalisability,” she writes.

The emphasis on carbs is the result of dietary advice to restrict fat, but this was not based on the evidence, while the advice on carbs has never been tested, she says. “Not even the hydration message [to drink 6-8 glasses of sugar-free fluid] holds water,” she suggests.

Furthermore, in private correspondence with the Food Standards Agency in 2009, the Agency confirmed that the food group percentages for the Eatwell Plate were based on weight.

But food weight doesn’t matter to the human body; what counts are calories, macro and micronutrients, she says.

“Given the vastly different calorie content of 100 g of fruit and vegetables vs 100 g of oils, the plate proportions change substantially when calories are counted,” she writes.

It could be said that the high carb-low fat diet has been tested on the UK population, but with negative impact, as the rates of obesity and diabetes have soared since the 70s and 80s, she says.

“The association between the introduction of the dietary guidelines, and concomitant increases in obesity and diabetes, deserves examination,” particularly as several recent reviews have suggested a causal relationship between the two, she suggests.

“The greatest flaw of the latest public health dietary advice might be the missed opportunity to deliver a simple and powerful message to return people to the diets we enjoyed before carbohydrate conditions convened. But when the who’s who of the food industry were represented on the group, ‘Eat Real Food!’ was never a likely outcome,” she concludes.