Related Science articles people might be interested to read

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This topic contains 991 replies, has 70 voices, and was last updated by  Cinque 1 year, 9 months ago.

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  • I recently stumbled upon an article stating that cardio may not the best way to lose eight. Your thoughts?

    It certainly isn’t the best way to lose weight, but it is useful as part of a weight control and healthy living package.

    Your gut is directly connected to your brain, by a newly discovered neuron circuit

    ‘The human gut is lined with more than 100 million nerve cells—it’s practically a brain unto itself. And indeed, the gut actually talks to the brain, releasing hormones into the bloodstream that, over the course of about 10 minutes, tell us how hungry it is, or that we shouldn’t have eaten an entire pizza. But a new study reveals the gut has a much more direct connection to the brain through a neural circuit that allows it to transmit signals in mere seconds. The findings could lead to new treatments for obesity, eating disorders, and even depression and autism—all of which have been linked to a malfunctioning gut.’

    Intermittent fasting and time-restricted feeding: What does science have to say on these diets?

    Cinque, I just read your article and it left confused as to what is the best thing to do, so I ate breakfast today! LOL I am thinking that perhaps a protein based breakfast most of the time might be the best way to go. Nevertheless, I at cereal today! LOL

    Ha Ccco. So much conflicting advice. (Good cereal has protein in it too, most whole grains are about 13% protein I think).

    Eating junk food raises risk of depression, says multi-country study

    Analysis of 41 studies leads to calls for GPs to give dietary advice as part of treatment

    Onel – 19th September re LDLs and VLDLs (Very Low Density Lipoproteins).

    Current thinking and advice from cardiologists is that LDLs and VLDLs contribute to atherosclerosis- artery disease. It is not just the heart that is affected when atherosclerosis is a problem; also brain, carotid arteries, and eyes are the first to be affected due to the small dimensions of blood vessels.

    It is not as simplistic as high LDLs are bad. What is even more important is the ratio of HDLs to LDLs. In the normalrange of ratio, LDLs a bit high aren’t as bad as the same LDL reading with a large ratio between HDLs and LDLs. Then the HDLs are too low.

    You can increase HDLs a bit with exercise over time.

    LDLs are made by the body and also come in the diet. Palm oil in manufactured products and coconut oil are the two worst oils to have in your diet. Yes, the paleo people will disagree with that, but the science on that is in after recent results of a large long term study. This corroborates the many studies done over many years. The advice from cardiologists is still that coconut oil contributes to atherosclerosis leading to painful angina, silent angina, heart attack, stroke, etc.

    There is a not insignificant proportion of people who have a genetic condition called Familial Hypercholesterolemia. About to losee phone service –

    Hi Merryme,

    Thanks for your reply, I appreciate your concern. Yes I am aware of the traditional view of cholesterol, and how it has evolved. I am interested in evidence, not opinion, not even from specialists or experts. And not content to have a cardiologist just say, ‘trust me’, and ‘take your statins’. As the article I referenced indicated, not all cardiologists agree with what you have relayed, which I appreciate is conventional medical dogma. I grew up in the era when conventional medical and expert dogma was that butter was the devil, transfat filled margarine was ultra healthy, and abundant sugar was sweet. And obesity, diabetes and heart disease skyrocketed following that advice.

    I had what my cardiologist described as a ‘stroke’, even though it went down my arm, not to my brain. No cause for the clots could be found despite seemingly endless tests. All known causes were ruled out by a variety of specialists. My cardiologist prescribed a cocktail of pills to take for the rest of my life, including statins and super heavy duty (and risky) blood thinners. No mention of weight loss or diet. I independently researched and decided weight loss was the single best change I could make, and cutting out ultraprocessed foods (i.e. most foods sold) was the second best change. So I dropped 18kg through fasting and diet – back to my healthy teenage football playing weight and size. My bloods and other measures normalised or better. After researching, I decided to come off all meds, statins, heavy duty blood thinners, etc. My cardiologist was stunned by the change, and supported my decision.

    I am interested in your statement that the ‘science is in’ on palm oil and coconut oil. Can you post the link or links you are referring to? Not that I currently eat them, but I am curious, and that is what this thread is all about.

    Here’s the url for an interesting recent New York Times article about the effect of different diets on weight.

    I’m not really sure, though, that there is a clear take-away from the experiment.

    Hi Onel,

    Sorry to hear you’ve had a challenging ‘stroke’, and subsequent journey.

    I didn’t get back to finish my post the other day, and no time atm to get those links but will get them for you.

    Briefly my OH had a heart attack in mid 30’s and now decades later is still going well. He has Familial Hypercholesterolemia, so we have been dealing with cholesterol/medications for decades on an intimate basis. My OH is very particular about research and will only work with very up to date and well balanced cardiologists.

    Must go right now, but will get back.

    Research showing a break when dieting can improve weight loss.

    Makes sense. People in trial were on a standard calorie restriction diet so the “break” helped keep their resting metabolic rate up.
    Not an issue with 5/2 or 6/1

    weight loss drinks with apple cider vinegar –
    Many people have a very busy life, which may leave them time to go to the gym or maintain a strict diet plan for weight loss. That’s why they decide to take homemade smoothies. However, it is not surprising that we wonder if it really works.
    According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it has been shown that people who wanted to lose weight and included fruit smoothies in their daily routine lost 12% of their weight.

    What a load of rubbish WeightLossDrinksHomemade.

    So this is timely:

    Obesity epidemic is fuelled by ‘truth decay’

    Hardly a quantitative study, perhaps a pilot study? Three diabetic men tried intermittent fasting with major apparent benefits. All 3 were able to stop insulin injections with a month. All lost 10% to 18% of their weight over 10 months. Significant improvements in health indicators:

    Diabetics up to 10 times more likely to die from alcoholism, study warns

    Psychological harm of condition underappreciated compared to its physical health risks, researchers say

    Why 500 calories? Is this just an arbitrary number? Is this something pulled out of thin air simply to make IF ‘doable’? Surprisingly, there is thought and research behind the consuming of 1/4 TDEE or 500 calories on a fasting day. Dr Krista Varaday explains how and why she developed this principle as part of the ‘Every Other Day Diet’ practice:

    The Magic Number

    “When I looked closely at the scientific literature on alternate day fasting for cancer and heart disease — studies conducted exclusively on animals in the laboratory — I found that many of the risk factors for the two diseases were lowered most effectively when the animals ate only 25% of their normal calories on Fast day. Not 75%. Not 50%. Not 0%, or total fast. Time and again, the healthiest percentage was 25% or what I call a ‘modified fast’.

    “And the 25% level of calories on fast day did more than prevent and reverse signs of disease. It also prevented the loss of muscle mass the animals otherwise had experienced at 0%, when they were given no food on fast day.

    “Why is this important? …Lose muscle during dieting and you’ll burn fewer calories after dieting and regain your weight – as fat! This is perhaps the key reason why 5 out of 6 people who lose weight gain it all back (and then some).”

    The above excerpt is from pages 17 and 18 from ‘The Every Other Day Diet’ by Dr. Krista Varaday and Bill Gottlieb.

    Vegan diets may help the management of diabetes, a review has suggested.

    Adults who sleep just six hours per night — as opposed to eight — may have a higher chance of being dehydrated, according to a study by Penn State.

    These findings suggest that those who don’t feel well after a night of poor sleep may want to consider dehydration — not simply poor sleep — as a cause, and drink more water.

    Hi Cinque, your posts interested me, especially that of poor sleep and dehydration. I do suffer from broken sleep, toilet trips during the night due to Prostate issues so I keep off fluids early evening. I will revisit the issue and try to adjust to improve my sleep patterns. Re the research on Vegan diets and health, a lot has already been done on how a diet high in fruit and vegetables and low in meat is known to improve our health. Recent press reports indicate that our NHS service will over the years move from treating illness to prevention, this will include diet, lifestyle, fitness etc. I do not believe that a totally Vegan or Vegetarian diet is the sole panacea to improving our health.

    I am interested in the Blue Zones research by Dan Buettner who identified 5 areas in the world where a significant number of the population enjoyed a long and healthier life than the rest of the worlds populations. There are commonalities amongst these areas which include life style, social contacts, levels of personal activity and a diet very high in plant based foods but which also include a small amount of meat and fish. These areas include Loma Linda in California, Ikaria in Greece and Okinawa in Japan. I urge you to have a look at the Blue Zones web site it has a lot of interesting information and shows that the answer to a long and healthier life style has been out there all along.
    Thanks again for your posts and good luck out there.

    Taking fish oil or vitamin D? Big studies give long-awaited answers on who does and does not benefit from these popular nutrients.

    Fish oil taken by healthy people, at a dose found in many supplements, showed no clear ability to lower heart or cancer risks. Same for vitamin D.
    But higher amounts of a purified, prescription fish oil slashed heart problems and heart-related deaths among people with high triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood, and other risks for heart disease.

    Results were published by the New England Journal of Medicine

    Norman Swan (science reporter) discussed this today on the ABC. His summary about the research on taking 1 gram of fish oil per day, was that there is only a benefit if you eat less than 1 1/2 serves of fish per week. Might be useful to know for those who aren’t keen on fish.

    Hold the Sauce: New report finds swapping your soy sauce can halve your salt intake

    LJ. Timely. I am just back from my travels in the sun and contemplating starting to take Vitamin D for the duration of our northern winter.

    Cinque. For the first time ever I have looked at the ingredients list on the back of the bottle – 23.5 gm of salt per 100 ml on the Chinese brand I favour compared with 14 gm per 100 ml on the watery British brand I got when I ran out of the real thing. Fortunately the real one has more flavour, so i use less!

    Research from UBC indicates that the hype around the currently available probiotic supplements is just that.
    “Scientists are sounding the alarm that the hype around probiotic health products — supplements, pills and food additives — is far ahead of the science. And new research is suggesting that probiotics often aren’t taken up by most people, and that in some circumstances probiotics might impede the recovery of normal gut bacteria.”

    Full interview

    Couscous I don’t know abut the other areas but Okinawa they eat a lot of seafood and have a rich varied seasonal diet with many small serves of different side dishes.

    Hi Matrika, thank you for your reply re the Okinawa diet. According to the National Geographic Blue Zones article and the Blue Zones book by Dan Buetner, by 1989 the daily percentage of fish, meat and eggs consumed in their diet was 15%. In Ikaria, Greece, the daily intake of meat averages 5%, fish 6%. In Loma Linda, California the daily meat consumption is 4% and fish 1%. In the Nicoya Peninsula Costa Rica meat, fish and poultry intake averages around 5%.
    “Blue Zone” areas have similar consumption of meat and fish. What they all have in common is a high intake of plant based foods resulting in greater longevity and better health than other western counties that eat high percentages of meat and fats.
    Interestingly our news channels in the UK have just started to report that farmers should cut down on animal production due mainly to the high methane gasses produced by cows and sheep. There is talk of imposing higher taxes on meat and processed foods that could result in over 5000 fewer deaths per year due to diet related illness. Our National Health Service is talking about moving to a process of prevention of illness rather than treatment. A daily diet of only 800 cals over a period of up to 12 weeks has been shown to have a significant impact in reversing T2 Diabetes. Diet and life style will naturally play a major part of the future approach taken by our NHS. I think it is now accepted that diet is the main factor of a healthy life and can play an important role in the prevention of many western illness such as cancer and heart disease.
    Good luck out there.

    Couscous – i too find the blue zones research very interesting. I follow a plant based diet but am keeping my options open to include a little meat or fish in future.

    I would like to see more work done on the Blue Zones. Firstly to see if there are more of them out there. And secondly to look at genetics. I read somewhere that genes are only thought to affect your lifespan by 7% and the rest is lifestyle, infection, accident, etc. Lifestyle is the biggest impact for most of us, as infection control has improved so much in recent years. But maybe genes play a more important role in a long and healthy life in the blue zones? Eg people marry others similar to themselves, such as hardier folk who like similar food.

    I still think lifestyle is the over-riding factor in the blue zones but it would be good to see the impact of genes one way or the other.

    US researchers seek to end carbs v fat ‘diet wars’

    Review seeks to find common ground, arguing that what matters for most people is quality

    A gut bacteria called Akkermansia helps prevent diabetes. See below.

    The good thing about this is that fasting encourages the growth of Akkermansia thereby suggesting that fasting may help to prevent or reverse diabetes in some people, independent of weight loss.

    Low-protein, high-carb diet may help ward off dementia

    Diet tested on mice proves more beneficial in some cases than restricting calories

    Apologies if this is posted already on here, Science have a Diet Health special issue.

    Most interestingly a short review on fasting

    Thanks JacqS. Not seen it before. Reminds me that 5:2 is not just about weight loss. I have been 5:2 fasting with my OH for 17 mths and we have seen radical improvements in the health markers mentioned – resting pulse, blood pressure, C- reactive protein, central obesity, etc.

    These studies and commentaries keep stating the need to translate the research from mice to humans but there are 1000s (maybe millions?)of people doing 5:2 for years. Its a shame we are not all part of a human trial. Thats why i fill in the tracker on this site as its the only monitoring we all participate it. The tracker should include other self reported measures such as pulse and blood pressure and the long term results from us would probably be amazing. I know its not randomised, controlled, etc but it still adds to the research.

    Hi Cornish-jane. Your reply to my post about your interest in the effects genetics has on a long and healthy lifestyle was quite timely (16th Nov). I recently came across an article in “The Times” newspaper (dated 21st Nov p4) regarding our nations child obesity crisis. The article looked at “the relationship between a childs genetic predisposition towards a higher or lower weight and their parents feeding practices”.
    If you Google the “PLOS Genetics journal” and type in “Child Obesity” in the search engine an abstract of the research will appear. There are many articles relating to genetics that may interest you.
    Good luck out there.


    World Health Organisation fact sheet on healthy diet

    Research suggesting intermittent fasting and conventional dieting give similar results over a 50 week period:

    A new study:

    What’s the most value for money way to tackle obesity? Increase taxes on alcohol

    Probably sponsored by the pro-hibition supporters.

    Cinque. I just got round to reading that WHO healthy diet paper. That is the first time I have seen a quantity against the Five fruit or veg requirement. More widely publicised it would stop the “how many grapes/strawberries/carrots to a serving” conversations.

    Scotland now has higher taxes on alcohol than the rest of UK in an attempt to reduce consumption. It isn’t popular and whether or not you think it is working apparently depends which side of the argument you were on when it was suggested.

    Weight loss through hunger reducing implants?

    @onel I wasn’t able to get to the full text of the IF vs CR study, but from the text I was able to read it seems to looking at two different forms of CR and not actual fasting. One would need the details to know for sure. Basically if one chooses to eat then one isn’t really fasting. While the there is debate about how many calories can be consumed while maintaining a fast, the number is quite low, much lower than 500 calories/day. The trick would be in the timing of the calories. If you have 3 different low calorie “meals” spread throughout the day then the is really just calorie restriction and not full on fasting past the normal 12 hours. Many people doing 5:2 push the calories to one meal or don’t eat at all and those methods will result longer periods of fasting.

    It is also complex as to what is considered a fasted state. This can range from anywhere from before eating in many forms of IF, to when the liver glycogen is depleted typically around 24 hours or even to some large amount of ketones are present that could take up to several days of not eating assuming one isn’t on a very low carb diet.

    So with out the details the summary information is difficult to understand. It is possible to get to the details but they want one to pay for that. Hmmmm …

    Hi @dykask,

    My quick scan found only this of relevance to your discussion:

    For calorie-restricted days, detailed personalized meal plans were created, in which possible choices for meal components arranged by food groups were given; participants had to select 4 food items out of the vegetable group, 2 out of the low-fat dairy product group, and 1 food item out of each of the meat/fish, carbohydrate, and fruits groups, in combination with a minimum intake of 2 L of low-energy drinks. Digital kitchen scales were provided to facilitate exact weighing of food quantities and participants were asked to mark the performed calorie-restricted days in a diary across the 12-wk intervention phase.

    Not sure that helps with your query.

    Email me – ybesqr at yahoo in Australia (so .au at the end) if you want more info.

    The Carbohydrate-Insulin Model of ObesityBeyond “Calories In, Calories Out”
    (Just the abstract)

    Thanks, cinque, for that information. Very interesting!

    I wonder if the results of this particular study were discussed at the First International Conference on Dietary Restriction and Longevity? This throws up the question as to whether or not the health benefits in the animal studies actually do cross over into benefits for humans practicing 5:2 and why this might be the case:

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