Sugar Blames Fat: Egregious science revealed

The sugar industry blamed fat for heart disease in order to absolve itself for health problems back in the 1960s. The revelations about the sugar industry exposed in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) “takes the cake” for “the pot calling the kettle black” or just plain egregious science. JAMA published documents in their current edition pertaining to sums of money paid and correspondences with up to 5 scientists in the late 1960s who wrote articles at the behest of the Sugar industry claiming sugar consumption had no effect on heart disease.

(The article was also brought to the public’s attention by a New York Times article this week entitled “How the Sugar Industry Shifted Blame to Fat.” )

The scientists that wrote the original articles in 1967 for the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine did not disclose they were given money to write the articles. With no disclosure, the sugar industry succeeded along with the faulty science of the time to derail the debate on health and diet for 50 years and sideline those like John Yudkin author of “Pure, White and Deadly” in 1972 One of these scientists who wrote a paper asked for by the sugar industry and received payment went on to be the chief nutritionist at the Department of Agriculture.

The topic is a sensitive one for me as a scientist who cares about nutrition since so many decisions that affect so many people are made based on research with very low standards ethical and other.

Scientific research is unfortunately subject to certain types of flaws which range from lack of proper training of the scientists to egregiously trying to mislead the public. Here I  explain 4 reasons why nutritional research is so problematic:

Sugar blames fat: Egregious science revealed

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Migraines linked to vitamin D deficiency and coenzyme Q10

migraines linked to vitamin D and coenzyme Q10 deficiencies

Vitamin D deficiencies in boys and young men were linked to migraines and low baseline levels of Coenzyme Q10 are linked to migraines in girls and young women, according to a press release from Cincinnati Children’s hospital.

migraines linked to vitamin D and coenzyme Q10 deficiences

What are migraines?

Migraines are intense headaches usually concentrated on one side of the head or in one area. They are usually very painful and maybe accompanied by an aura such as visual stimulus or a smell. They may also be accompanied by nausea. Changes in pressure in veins or inflammation in vasculature are often implicated in migraines. Many people have migraine trigger which may include certain foods or even changes in hormone levels.

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Reheated carbs prevent blood sugar spikes

Reheated carbs prevent  blood sugar spikes as opposed to freshly cooked carbohydrates.

 

reheated carbs prevent blood sugar spike

 

Starchy carbohydrates such as potatoes and pasta are notorious for spiking blood sugar levels in many people. After cooking, cooling, and reheating a pasta dish, researchers Dr Chris van Tulleken and Dr Denise Robertson of the University of Surrey found that blood sugar levels had a lower spike than if the food was eaten fresh. This was due to changes in composition in the pasta resulting in more resistant starch per serving.

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Father’s health history effects child brain health

It isn’t only the mother to blame. A father’s life history of bad eating habits, obesity, alcohol consumption and a stressful lifestyle alters the genes in the offspring carried by the mother.

So father’s beware: A father’s health history effects child brain health. You matter too. If you plan on having being a dad, then:

Eat right to avoid obesity, don’t stress and alcohol in moderation.

father's health history affects child's brain

Source: Fathers’ age, lifestyle associated with birth defects

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5 Startling facts about women’s traumatic brain injury

In honor of national women’s health week:

Women’s traumatic brain injury can be more severe than in men despite less overall incidence. 

Traumatic brain injury is more common in men since men are more likely to engage in riskier behaviors like not wearing seat belts, playing contact sports and engage in combat. However, in a woman with a traumatic brain injury,  the prognosis and severity of injury in women is worse than in men. These include a higher mortality rate as well as increased likelihood of  a severe disability or permanent vegetative state.

Here are a few reasons why…

Women's traumatic brain injury

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Hunger hormones cause impulsivity

 

Hormones that are released during hunger affect decision making

hunger hormones cause impulsivity

The hormone ghrelin is released by the stomach in anticipation of food. Just like the saying goes ” do not go to the supermarket when hungry,” the same goes for many rational decisions. This study was performed in rats, but has far reaching implications intuitive applications for the rest of us. Being hungry effects our behavior for the worse!

In summary: Rats were trained that they get sugar when pressing a lever or in another case they get sugar if they do not press the lever.  They have a cue like a light or a sound to inform they which action is requested.

Rats injected with ghrelin continuously pressed the lever even if the cue informed them that it was not time to press the lever. This resulted in the rat also not receiving the reward. They push and push even though the instructions were that not pushing the lever rewards them with the sugar prize. Their delayed gratification was affected! They could have gotten sugar if they were less impulsive.

This same effect can be seen if you are so hungry that you fill yourself up before going out to a restaurant even though the assumption is that the restaurant food will be tastier then whatever snack you find when hungry and impulsive. If you had only waited….

What about kids with impulsivity issues? Also important to make sure they are not hungry and eating well-balanced meals and snacks, rather then getting to low sugar levels and prevent getting in trouble.

Keeping blood sugar levels in check and staying statisfied with higher fat meals should help from getting to the impulsive (usually carbohydrate-rich) eating stage.

Journal Reference:

  1. Rozita H Anderberg, Caroline Hansson, Maya Fenander, Jennifer E Richard, Suzanne L Dickson, Hans Nissbrandt, Filip Bergquist, Karolina P Skibicka. The Stomach-Derived Hormone Ghrelin Increases Impulsive BehaviorNeuropsychopharmacology, 2015; 41 (5): 1199 DOI: 10.1038/npp.2015.297

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Candida (yeast infections) linked to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

Candida linked to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder coverA study from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the journal Schizophrenia showed a link between a history of candida infections in those with mental illness. A history of candida infections were more prevalent in men with mental illnesses while women with current infections and mental illness showed deficients in cognitive performance.

A candida infection sometimes called Candidiasis can occur as in the mouth, gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract and genitalia. The presence of candida is normal and growth is restricted by the immune system. However shifts in the gut micro biome and immune challenges such as stress can cause overgrowth of candida.

Imbalances in gut bacteria are already linked to many psychiatric disorders such as Autism and Alzheimer’s disease. However, this study shows that repeated overgrowth of yeast are linked with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Let’s first go over the study then understand possible biological reasons for the link:

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Are sesame seeds a super secret memory super food?

Are sesame seeds a super secret memory super food?

Sesame seeds are a memory super food? How can one little seed contain so much?

Minerals in sesame seeds benefit memory formation, memory enhancement, memory maintenance and prevention of free radicals and amyloid plaques like those present in Alzheimer’s. For centuries middle eastern cultures have taken sesame seeds and ground up them up, added some water, lemon and garlic and eaten this mineral dense food as a sauce. While “open sesame” is a key fabled phrase for treasures beyond imagination, opening a bottle of tahini paste, techina or sesame paste is the key for the densest concentration of minerals important for brain processes related to memory.

In this article, we will focus on 7 of these minerals: calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, manganese, and potassium and their memory related functions in the brain and explain how sesame seeds are a memory super food.

 

are sesame seeds a super secret memory super food?

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