Related Science articles people might be interested to read

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Related Science articles people might be interested to read

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

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  • There are a couple of these papers doing the rounds, I have also seen one that came out of New Zealand. They seem to have attracted a lot of interest. Not just the Guardian, they have been picked up and commented on by national TV and other newspapers. Interesting twist – it isn’t the bad stuff that kills you, it is the lack of the good, quite philosophical really.

    I always take these studies with a grain of salt, or don’t give them much credence when they lump in red meat with processed meat – big difference. I also note that both studies prefer low fat high carb diets – very questionable IMO

    Agreed, too much poor science gets published and you have to look at it very critically. if you are as old as I am you see the theories go round in circles. What struck me this time is the confirmation in one of the papers that you can’t trust statements like “contains whole grain” when the whole grain has been so thoroughly processed that it retains none of the qualities of wholegrain. They have summarised what I would have thought was blindingly obvious, you will probably live longer if you avoid processed foods and eat whole foods. Which is why most of what I eat is cooked from scratch by me. I do eat unhealthily on occasion, but I know that because I cooked it.

    Penguin, such a good point “it isn’t the bad stuff that kills you, it is the lack of the good”. That does seem to be the message more and more.

    No such thing as ‘sugar rush’!

    (Not my working-with-children experience)

    Someone should tell my grand children.

    Wow there isn’t anything like a sugar rush? News to me because now that I generally avoid sugar I have felt the rush. For example when my daughter and I got a scope of ice cream and they doubled it because it was girls day. I ate a little too much. I started feeling a bit giddy, slightly dizzy and my head was buzzing.

    If that wasn’t a sugar rush what was it? Still I enjoyed the treat, but I don’t do that every day or even week!

    What diet change should you make today to improve your health?
    Not exactly science, but a question posed to a variety of doctors who also present science/medical doccos on the BBC.
    A lot of overlap between the advice:
    – cook more of your own meals (which reduces processed and takeaway foods)
    – eat more fruit and veg
    – eat more plant fibre
    – eat slowly

    Hi LJ. I wouldn’t argue with any of that. It just seems to have missed an entire generation, and to be honest even though I know all that, I don’t do it as well as I should..

    Eating healthy foods may be more important than not eating junk foods according to new research which has, for the first time, calculated the global effect of poor diet on our health.

    Interestingly, researchers found three diet choices – an excess of salt, a lack of fruit and a lack of wholegrains – were the biggest culprits for diet-related death and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs).

    Together, they accounted for more than 50 per cent of the deaths and 66 per cent of DALYs attributable to diet. This finding led researchers to say a focus on improving diet “might have a greater effect” than a focus on reducing junk or “policies only targeting sugar and fat”.

    This is from an article titled: The 5 stages of Intermittent Fasting by Paige Jarreau

    The article is pretty cool if you want to read more details on each stage. I’ve summarized them below.

    12 hours – metabolic state called Ketosis
    18 hours – fat burning mode and generating significant ketones
    24 hours – recycling old components & breaking down misfolded proteins linked to Alzheimers’
    48 hours – growth hormone level is up to five times as high from when you began (this helps lean muscle mass) and reduces fat tissue accumulation.
    58 hours – insulin has dropped to its lowest level (increasing insulin-sensitivity)
    *Increased insulin-sensitivity is actually a good thing I’ll give more details below
    72 hours – body breaks down old immune cells and is generating new ones!

    *Increased insulin-sensitivity is what happens when we lower our insulin levels (which reduces inflammation and/or less insulin resistant, which is especially a good thing if you have a high risk of developing diabetes) and protects you from chronic diseases of again including cancer. (Wow)

    Rabette, I saved your post for future reference. It was a good site and handy.

    Interesting stuff Rabette, some of it new to me. Can I add that fasting has an impact on the gut biome as well. In us we have bugs that eat our food when it is there, A second bug type doesn’t. After about 12-18 hours of no food they eat our gut lining, cleaning off the damaged cells and stimulating healthy ones. This is the argument for restricted time eating and is the reason I no longer eat breakfast and about once a month have a 2-3 day total fast, fluids only. What happens inside me became an area of serious interest a few years ago when I had colon cancer!

    The timeline presented int the 5 stages of fasting is on the optimistic side. It probably varies a lot from person to person, fast to fast.

    For example when I did a 7 day fast, my blood glucose was low on the third day, but it was much lower on the 4th day. This was by a large amount like more than a 25% drop. By the numbers I shouldn’t have been standing but I felt fine. My glucose then around around 3.5 mmol/l until the end of the fast. 54 hours in my blood glucose was running closer to 4.5 mmol/l.

    I don’t actually do any measuring when I am fasting so I have no idea about ketone or blood sugar levels. After perhaps the morning of day 2 I feel no hunger, although at normal meal times I may have the vague feeling that there is something I should be doing. Generally the feeling of well-being grows as I get deeper into the fast. There are no energy issues.

    Not sure if this study has already been posted, since it concluded last year? It is the world’s first study which shows the benefit of 5:2 specifically, for those with diabetics. And, it was conducted by the University of South Australia!

    The above link to the article about ketogenic diet studies is interesting because it appears that the scientists were providing calorie restricted low energy methods as part of the strategy to promote ketone production in the body. I’m aware that a lot of ketogenic diets do recommend calorie control, however, the way I’ve been exploring and looking into recommends no caloric restriction and allows for as many fat grams as desired! The only protocol with regard to fat is to consume a minimum number of grams, which for my height of 170 cm is 176 per day!

    As they say not new, at least to someone who has had bowel cancer, but useful reinforcement. Whilst the thrust was on eating fibre and avoiding processed meats, the almost afterthought comment “eating meat two or three times a week won’t do too much harm” was instructive of how attitudes to meat have changed. The Vegan movement is growing in strength here and, whilst not personally a follower, if I have to eat in a shopping Mall I have discovered that the Vegan options seem to be prepared to a higher standard with fewer anonymous ingredients. That is not enough to change the way I cook at home, where there are no anonymous ingredients, but I am coming to enjoy more vegetable based food, as long as I don’t think of it as vegetarian!

    True Penguin. I did find it a new thought that the fibre whole grain is significant, compared to the fibre in vegetables.

    I suppose that shows how much we have adapted from our primitive ancestors who cannot have eaten a lot of grain – as some societies have adapted to process milk and butter and others have not. The really, to our eyes, primitive hunter gatherers who still exist and have very few western type degenerative diseases seem to consume enormous amounts of plant fibre from leaves and roots and relatively small amounts of meat.

    Yes, the grains our ancestors ate would have been wholegrain though! It is a good part of the traditional indigenous diet here. When I worked as a teacher with Yanyuwa people in Northern Australia, I was given a stone used to grind grains that were made into cakes and cooked on the ashes. Much prized. But nothing like the copious amount of processed grains in the modern western diet.

    Common food additive found to affect gut microbiota

    A nasty whitener.

    Ultra-processed foods lead people to eat more and put on weight, the first trial to assess their impact suggests.

    The SBS documentary Medicine or Myth did trials of a simple finger tapping technique for stress and anxiety. They found it was effective for the majority of subjects. The lady who brought this treatment forward to be tested used it for her own chronic fatigue symptoms.
    This an article about it:
    There is a film clip at the bottom of the article which you may or may not be able to view outside of Australia.

    It did occur to me that for those that stress eat, it might be worth consideration.

    Ultra-processed food and adverse health outcomes

    “These findings add to growing evidence of an association between ultra-processed food and adverse health outcomes that has important implications for dietary advice and food policies. The dietary advice is relatively straightforward: eat less ultra-processed food and more unprocessed or minimally processed food.”

    High blood pressure is one of Australia’s biggest killers, but you can take control

    Two European studies link ultra-processed food consumption with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and death from any cause.

    Evidence is mounting that it’s the processing, not just the nutrient content, that makes these foods bad for our health.

    On the very few occasions that I buy processed foods I try to read the labels. Ours are the same as the example given. The problem is that the printing is so small as to be useless without a magnifying glass – probably not a plot, just too much info to get on a small pack. Not that I understand all of the info. I know that an additive with an E number has the approval of the European Union, who are much more cautious than the US equivalent (don’t know about SH) but I still won’t know what the E number means. When I understand the word it may not convey much – I know what an emulsifier does, but which one? The degrees of processing are interesting. I had not thought of butter and olive oil as processed, so I do eat some processed items. For us it was generally reassuring, we very seldom eat anything in the highly processed groups, but worrying for our kids who do..

    Focused on women, but may be interesting to everyone. Includes diet info.

    A study revealing the nut-eating habits of almost 5,000 Chinese adults over 15 years may hold the secret to keeping our brains healthier for longer and preventing neurocognitive disorders like dementia.

    An short piece about whether we gain benefits from consuming the microbes in fermented foods – based on Tim Spector’s work.

    A University of Washington study which followed 32,000 men and 55,000 women for 25 years has concluded that eating two portions of live yoghurt each week reduces the incidence of bowel cancer by 20%. The good guys are Lactobacillus Bulgaris and streptococcus thermophilus.

    The study was on yoghurt, but those active elements also occur in kefir, so I am assuming (hoping) it is equally effective.

    Is Dr Michael Mosley’s new fast diet the ultimate crash diet?

    local article – Australia, as new recipe book is coming out.

    What I’d like to know about this study is if they did before and after DEXA and RMR tests to show how much of the weigh loss was fat and how much was muscle and how this affected Resting Metabolic Rate.

    I’ve read the book and looked at the study info I could access and no mention of this data.

    Most people these days can’t afford to lose any muscle and from what I’ve seen in other references severe consistent calorie restriction for weeks and months can cause a lot of muscle loss.

    I think there’s already been some. And some of the research he cites in his books has already pointed him towards the work he’s done, eg the large blood test study that showed the massive rise in coeliac disease over 50 years.

    such a great info. keep it up.

    Dietary quality and the colonic mucosa–associated gut microbiome in humans

    Ouch. Pick your study, but with care. I have just been reading about gout. According to one article, which offers no evidence for the conclusions, any kind of alcohol is taboo. It was written by the group trying to reduce alcohol use. Another, again without any supporting evidence, says all alcohol is OK except for beer, because of the brewer’s yeast. A third, with a very small sample group, says all alcohol is bad except for whiskey, which reduces the gout. (I liked that one). The National Health Service says lose weight, take more exercise, eat a varied healthy diet, try to have two alcohol free days each week and avoid crash diets. That would make sense, but it is their standard advice for anything,

    I bought some kefir today. Six months ago it was a health food. Today it comes pasteurised, organic, fruit flavoured, reduced fat, reduced sugar and artificial sweeteners.

    I am beginning to suspect everything I read and anything I didn’t grow.

    I read another paper last night – coffee was listed as one of the causes of gout. I think lettuce may be OK, but then I haven’t read all of the papers yet. I don’t intend to suffer from it myself, but I know enough people who do to have triggered my curiosity. I haven’t decided on next week’s topic. I had thought diabetes, but I did that last year. I need another thought from Cinque.

    Ooh Penguin, what enjoyable posts. You did send me off to read up and I have one horror: the list of foods containing purine, which breaks down into uric acid. Oh no!:

    organ meats
    fish and shellfish
    green peas
    dried beans

    But also fructose seems to be a culprit, much more comfortable for me, having cut out any high sugar foods

    Fun fact: It is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis in men, and although it is more likely to affect men, women become more susceptible to it after the menopause.

    Huh? There are many purines and uric acid and caffeine are purines. Just because something contains purines doesn’t mean it will result in uric acid being dumped into the blood stream. This study concluded that “Higher levels of meat and seafood consumption are associated with an increased risk of gout, whereas a higher level of consumption of dairy products is associated with a decreased risk. Moderate intake of purine-rich vegetables or protein is not associated with an increased risk of gout.”

    Also see:

    So a more appropriate list might be something like don’t stuff yourself on meat or seafood.

    Fructose is something different since when plenty of glucose is present and absent fiber and possibly other compounds it is quickly absorbed by the small intestine and must be processed by the liver. This does produce uric acid as well as have other undesirable impacts. The actual mechanics of fructose absorption isn’t well understood but experimentally it has been shown the fructose from HFCS does easily get absorbed and dumped in to the bloodstream.
    (There are also many studies available on the absorption of fructose from various sources. See:

    Often fructose from fruit doesn’t get absorbed well or quickly and much of it can actually be digested by various bacteria in the gut. This can lead to a surplus of gas which can be an healthy if somewhat embarrassing indicator that the fructose isn’t passing on to the liver.

    As for coffee, it seems only in extremely high amounts it can be a risk factor for gout. I suppose it is possible for metabolism of caffeine to result in uric acid, but my knowledge of organic chemistry is too limited to understand it at this point. Suffice to say studies in this area are conflicting and confusing. So probably one should avoid drinking coffee by the bucket. 😉

    Well said Dysark.
    I followed on from Penguin’s dodgy science examples, but then muddied the water by adding in some real science. You did a good job of putting it straight.

    An article that is based on an Australian ABC docco on aging well. It discusses diet and exercise that may aid better health as we age.
    It mentions and recommends 5:2. The tv docco also specified that what you eat on FDs should be almost entirely non-starchy veg.
    This article contains a further link about intermittent fasting:

    Cinque. My neighbour is a long term gout sufferer. He asked his doctor what causes it and the doc replied, “Nobody really knows”.

    LJ. Interesting, and interesting links. I have several old injuries that occasionally trouble me, but not as much as they used to. I had assumed the improvement was because of the weight I have lost on 5:2. The thought that fasting itself may have been the cause is encouraging. The broken bone in OH’s foot is still painfully arthritic but, for a number of reasons, we have not been fasting seriously for some time. That will have to change (says the man who is waiting for OH to complete her make-up before we go out for a pub meal at our favourite place).

    Penguin, sigh, it seems to be the way with all chronic things…

    Hoping 5:2 can do its magic.


    Sweet discovery in leafy greens holds key to gut health

    Cinque, thanks for that article.
    It’s the first time I’ve heard that there are strains of E Coli that are helpful to us. I am so used to thinking of it as one of the harmful group of bacteria.

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