Related Science articles people might be interested to read

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  • Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, and the prevalence of obesity has more than doubled over the past 40 years

    Numerous meta-analyses support the link between excess body weight and increased risk of developing and dying from several types of cancer

    The reported associations may be causal for some malignancies, but they may be flawed owing to inherent biases that exaggerate the effect of obesity on cancer incidence and mortality

    What this study adds

    Strong evidence supported the association between obesity and only 11 of 36 cancer sites and subtypes, predominantly comprising cancers of digestive organs and hormone related malignancies in women

    Other associations could be genuine, but substantial uncertainty remains

    I recently posted about research done by Valter Longo and a trade mark product called L-Nutra which I believe was used as part of a research project into weight loss and internal medical benefits by Valter Longo and his associates.
    In todays “The Times” (UK) there is a 2 page article on the research which is about to be marketed. Valter Longo has developed what he calls a “Fast Mimicking Diet” which will be marketed under the brand name “ProLon”. It is a 5 day meal plan consisting of a “combination of soups,crackers,health bars,supliments and energy drinks formulated……to be low in sugar but relatively high in complex carbs and healthy fats”. This means “10% protein, 56% fat and 34% carbs on day one, then on days two to five the mix is 9% protein, 44% fat and 47% carbs coming in at about 750 cals”.
    The idea is to repeat the diet every 3 or 4 months to obtain maximum benefits which will include weight loss and medical improvements in certain areas.
    I could go on quoting the article but either get The Times or wait for further info in the newspapers.
    Oh, one last point. According to “The Times” the cost of this box of supplies for the Fast Mimicking Diet plan is around……………£225.00.
    Good luck to you all out there.

    CSIRO low carb diet. Impressed that the study is over 2 years. 10% weight drop on a diet with 60% healthy fats and only 70 grams of carbs. These results may align with the belief that fats and proteins make us feel fuller for longer, whilst processed carbs (ie those stripped of fibre and fats, with additives and industrial processing) work to increase hunger.

    Unfortunately this research is being used to promote a commercial (carb-based) product. A profit motive in research raises questions in my mind about possible bias. And surprised that they are suggesting skim milk and low fat yoghurt in their diet plan given other research I’ve read on the health effects of these products in comparison to the full fat equivalents.

    But overall, very interesting research.

    Hi onel,

    CSIRO is under pressure to “make money” so they are pushing hard in the diet arena. They are obviously sponsored by that particular barley producing company. Soon as that happens you have to question the results. Massive conflict of interest.

    The results “may” align with the belief that fats and protein make us feel fuller for longer? REALLY??? I thought that debate was already put to bed. Fats and proteins DO make us feel fuller for longer. The satiation hormones GLP1 GLP2 (and two others that escape me) are strongly influenced by fat and protein intake as soon as that payload enters the small intestines. Glucose and simple carbohydrates actually supress the release of these hormones. Additionally fructose intake then blocks the satiation hormones from actually being received.

    Hi bigbooty,

    Do you have any resources on this that you can point me to, and that you’d recommend? I’m interested in learning more.

    If we allow special interests to fund or provide benefits to our leaders, our advisors, our researchers, etc then we should never be surprised when the outcome is corruption.

    The widely accepted and officially endorsed Western way of looking at food is IMO a BIG part of the Western obesity and diabetes explosion. Nutritionists and dietitians and health and weight loss ‘experts’ have a lot to answer for.

    If you look at food and weight loss dominantly through the eyes of the calories-in-calories-out model, then you will never touch an avocado, or nuts and seeds, or oily fish. And you will never go near a Mediterranian diet. Yet in the long term Mediterranean diets, combined with eating less (let alone with fasting) has a much better success rate in weight loss than the typical, officially-promoted calorie restricted low fat diet. And that is before considering the clearly superior health outcomes associated with Mediterranian diets.

    Here is a link to a typical article, based on ‘expert’ advice and research, which claims to ‘prove’ that eating a burger is better than eating a salad. It is even acknowledged that the salad has superior nutrients. But that is totally dismissed as being important because the burger has less calories. OMG. And then the expert advises we should drink a diet soda with the meal. Why don’t we ever hear these health experts recommending, say, a glass of water if you’re thirsty?

    On this ‘logic’ a bowl of table sugar would be ‘proven’ to be a better meal and weight control plan than a mediterranian salad so long as we ensure the number of ‘calories in’ is less than the salad. The mind boggles.

    The calories-in-calories-out model is the widely accepted Western way of looking at food when looking to respond to obesity. It is officially endorsed as being an unchallengeable truth. Eat less, move more, and you are guaranteed to lose weight. Simple. Great in theory. So why does it continually fail? And why IMO is it part of the problem of Western obesity?

    Why? Because thinking in terms of calories, the average person would never touch the high fat Mediterranean diet-style foods, with all their fatty (and therefore high calorie) avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oils, oily fish, etc. Yet in practice the Mediterranean diet outperforms the Western recommended low fat diet, long term, in not just health outcomes but also in obesity control.

    Here is reported research promulgated by an ‘expert’, ‘proving’ that a burger (go Maccas) is better than a mediterranian style salad with fish, olive oil, nuts and seeds. He even acknowledges that the salad has better nutrition. So why does the expert say the burger is ‘better’ for us than the salad? Solely because it has less calories. OMG. How inane is that? It’s like saying that eating sugar is better for us than eating a salad, and will better help us lose weight, as long as the quantity of sugar has less calories than the salad. Good luck with that thinking.

    Then this ‘expert’ advises us to have a diet soda with the meal. Whatever happened to drinking water when thirsty, and why do these health ‘experts’ never seem to recommend that?

    Hi Onel,

    Robert Lustig’s book Fat chance is a good resource.

    Gary Fettke an Australian surgeon is real good. The AMA have shut him down and he is no longer able to talk about diet related issues. he is on you tube but the material is a few years old as they have silenced him.

    This guy is good and is on you tube.

    You only need to go to any official website to know the information they are giving is corrupted by big food. I sound like one of those conspiracy nut cases. I eat nuts and fats all the time. Anything that is grain based is a no go zone. Ive been 70 kgs now for 18 months. Still fast every Monday. Still ride my bike on Mondays. Not a problem.

    Thanks bigbooty,

    Leaders progressively lose ability to influence me when they don’t respect our intelligence, or capability for independent thought, and expect us to blindly believe what they say is true simply because it is said by them.

    Situations of health and weight loss, at least seen from where I sit, are full of situations of uncertainty. Where there is uncertainty, it seems respectful of everyone’s intelligence to present a theory alongside the evidence which is consistent and inconsistent with that theory. Even more respectful is to do this in situations of apparent certainty.

    This balanced and respectful stance is not what I am generally seeing from our authorities.

    When we are willing to challenge dominant paradigms, including our own, and prefer evidence-based enquiry to blind belief, then that seems to be evidence of healthy, active and critical thought. When a strong, critical stance is seen as evidence of a nut case conspiracy, then maybe it’s timely to challenge the interpretation, instead of the stance?

    How diets high in sugar and saturated fat could be harming your brain

    Thanks Cinque,

    The research design doesn’t seem so well suited to assessing the impact of nutrient type (sugars, saturated fats). Although a diet high in sugar, presumably, is a nutrient wasteland.

    Rather this research seemed more focused on seeking to assess the detimental impact of high energy eating on memory and learning. The results seem to align with research showing that low energy intake (eg fasting) boosts neural regeneration and improves memory and learning. Eg

    Eating potassium-rich foods like sweet potatoes, avocados, spinach, beans, bananas — and even coffee — could be key to lowering blood pressure, according to Alicia McDonough, PhD, professor of cell and neurobiology at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC).

    Dr. Helena Popovic has written the book ‘Neuroslimming’ which I happened to come across in the library and found quite interesting. Here is a link to a podcast interview with Dr. Popovic, featured on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Radio National program ‘All in the Mind’

    An excerpt: “Only a 5 day junk food bender revealed impaired memory effect in studies on rats… creates an inflammatory state in the brain…reduction in nootropic factors and cognition since less able to form new neural connections.”

    Here’s a link to the ‘Neuroslimming’ book:

    Loved listening to that Minka, especially the last part!

    Fructose: friend or foe?
    Depending on your activity levels, fructose might be doing you a disservice or giving you a leg up.

    Here’s another article related to fructose entitled ‘Is Fructose the New Booze?’ about how fructose causes the same effects of alcoholic liver disease except that fructose overload doesn’t cause us to fall down and go to sleep (well, not most anyway, though I can kind of relate to that sensation in relation to overcomsumption of it!)

    Hi 5,

    I doubt that anyone frequenting this site would fall into the category of elite athlete (I could be wrong). Hence I think fructose falls firmly into the category of foe. The problem with most that are attempting to lose weight is that their glycogen levels are NEVER depleted, hence the need to rapidly top them up is counter productive. You want them to be depleted and then topped up by conversion of fat stores into glycogen.

    Below is a link to a randomized controlled trial studying the effects of inulin on weight loss and visceral fat. One interesting point is that though both groups (one ingested cellulose and the other ingested inulin) shed roughly same amounts of weight during the weight loss phas, those who ingested inulin continued to shed a considerable amount of weight during the ‘maintenance’ phase and the cellulose group did not. The study also indicates that what is found in animal studies is also applicable to humans, which is that inulin serves to reduce visceral fat.

    Food for thought, or not in this case. Have read articles that support this.

    Early days, but soft drinks linked to dementia & stroke.
    The researchers point out that both sugar and artificially-sweetened drink consumption has been linked, in previous research, to “cardiometabolic risk factors,” such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and abnormal cholesterol – all of which increase the risk of stroke and dementia.

    Exposure to morning light is shown to be a supportive measure for in the equation of healthy lean body mass, regardless of activity level, age and caloric intake:

    ‘Science or Snake Oil: can turmeric really shrink tumours, reduce pain and kill bacteria?’ (includes obesity related inflammation)

    Hi Cinque, thanks for the link to “” site. It has lots of interesting health links. I am interested in food liquidisation as part of a healthy diet. Do you or any posters have science related research on the benefits or otherwise of such liquid based meals. Does liquidising many foods such as broccoli, avocado etc remove any nutrient benefits?. I am thinking of products like the Nutra-Bullet machine and other similar machines but don’t want to commit without some hard evidence on these products.
    Good luck out there.

    “Liquidized” foods are more easily digested by the body (cell walls, etc, already broken down/enzymes more efficient) & your body doesn’t need to expend as much energy to digest them since (less chewing, etc). All that results in a greater caloric uptake for liquidized food vice the basic ingredients.
    Unfortunely, don’t have a good reference to back that up, just studies comparing raw to cooked food, & comparing energy extracted for some foods vice available calories.
    “Discrepancy between the Atwater Factor predicted & empirically measured energy value of almonds in human diets”. American journal of clinical nutrition 96(2) 2012 296-301

    Trust me I’m a doctor did a segment on Tumeric. They were using a new type of blood test that looked at inflammatory markers in the blood (IIRC). Placebo pill, tumeric pill & tumeric added to food (cooked in). Only the tumeric that was cooked showed any benefits in their “trial”. They theorized that tumeric may not absorb well unless heated up, which may make it more easily absorbed. I.e. Heated with oil it dissolves & becomes more readily digested in your gut.
    Their recommendation – skip the supplements & use the actual spice more often.

    Couscous, looking around I can’t find any robust research. The consensus seems to be that it can be a good way to easily and quickly get fresh food into you, but that teeth and digestion do a fine job of breaking down cells and you need to watch out you don’t overeat because you aren’t doing the slower activity of chewing. With the nutribullet type machines the fibre isn’t removed, and that was the main concern for blended food. Good luck with it!


    Save your money and don’t buy a nutribullet. Eat whole foods as your maker intended you to eat them. Do you think you could easily eat 6 carrots, 4 apples, 3 plums and a punnet of strawberries in one go? No? Easy put all those ingredients into a nutribullet. It will destroy your sense of portion control. Its not healthy. Have a close look at the people that drink those boost juice smoothies. Are they a healthy weight? You want healthy then just eat whole foods.

    Good morning Cinque and bigbooty and thank you for your replies. I note both of you mention portion control or over eating with these machines, some thing that I had not considered.
    I am still not yet convinced but one of the reasons I posed the question was that my daughter recently bought one. I will chew over !!! your replies but again thanks for your comments and research.
    Good luck out there.

    Hi bcjmmac, I saw the programme about Turmeric also and it was certainly interesting. Some time ago I came across the suggestion that this spice had some excellent health benefits and did some research on Google Scholar. Search Turmeric and Health Benefits on the site and lots of well researched results come up. Of course I do not know if the new type of tests and equipment were used but the results were very positive in many cases. It made me make my own Turmeric capsules and I have taken supplements for 3 yrs now but this research has made me re think. However as always people get on the band wagon and sell “Turmeric suppliments” almost as a snake oil supplement that will save lives, live longer , prevent Dementia, Cancer etc and sell tablets at an eye watering price. I know several people who take turmeric in food or as suppliments, it may turn out to only have a placebo effect and clearly more research needs to be done but Michaels small testing shows promise.
    Good luck out there.

    The study cited below relates to rats who were genetically modified to be obese and how the effect of altering the gut biome through prebiotics lead to reductions obesity levels, reduced plasma triglyceride levels, muscle lipid infiltration, adipose tissue mass, and oxidative stress and lead to higher leptin sensitivity (Everard et al 2011 p. 10).

    Also interesting is that this study notes previous studies revealed that diet induced obesity caused a bloom in gram negative baceria Desulfovibrionaceae; a bacteria that was found to be less prevalent in the prebiotic treated mice in the study cited below.

    Basics: Food as medicine: why do we need to eat so many vegetables and what does a serve actually look like?

    Food as medicine: your brain really does want you to eat more veggies

    (also contains excellent little video about the human microbiome)

    Food as medicine: how what you eat shapes the health of your lungs

    Looks like there may be a genetic/enzyme reason why people gain weight in their middle age. Inhibiting the enzyme may prevent weight gain:

    It’s the day for finding info on the human microbiome!

    “Do YOU have the bug in your tum that makes you thin? Bacteria in your gut reveal astonishing secrets about your health

    The make up of bacteria in our guts is unique to all of us, like a fingerprint
    They can influence the risk of problems, from heart disease to diabetes
    Seven volunteers agreed to have their guts tested in the name of science”

    Junk food packaging hijacks the same brain processes as drug and alcohol addiction

    Gee I wonder if Big Food knows that theyre doing that? ha ha ha. Answer, of course they know. Why would you put 50% sugar into a bottle of vinegar? Crazy but that’s the worst example Ive come across of added sugar into a product that shouldn’t have any sugar content.

    Science Has Begun Taking Gluten Seriously

    New research from Harvard and Columbia says gluten does not cause heart disease. Why is that even a question?

    Binge-eating made blue whales big: study

    (Yep, just put this here to make you smile)

    There are many comments on this site about the inaccuracy of fitness trackers. Here is another one:

    The science of taste, or why you choose fries over broccoli

    Thanks Cinque, that’s interesting. I’ve always found the taste of pork unpleasant, now I know why – it’s my genes.

    Thanks for posting the that, Cinque. I’ve often read that some people don’t like the taste of broccoli because it’s bitter. I could never figure that out because I detect no bitterness at all. Now I understand why. I love broccoli.

    Article in “The Scientist” – on the cover! Broad review of some of the latest research on IF, fasting & restricted eating windows. Good read.

    Choosing healthy food: your surroundings can help or hinder your dining choices

    One-third of world now overweight, with US leading the way

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