This week, we summarize the top five news articles and studies in the real food realm. Plus, a few diversions...
News and Emerging Science
- A new Cochrane systematic review shows that fish oil (Omega 3) supplements do NOT improve health or longevity. The review encompassed 79 randomized trials and included over 112,000 subjects. Lead author Dr. Lee Hooper states, “The review provides good evidence that taking long-chain omega 3 (fish oil, EPA or DHA) supplements does not benefit heart health or reduce our risk of stroke or death from any cause. The most trustworthy studies consistently showed little or no effect of long-chain omega 3 fats on cardiovascular health."
- Fiona Godlee, editor in chief of The BMJ, pens an op-ed entitled "Pills are not the answer to unhealthy lifestyles." In it, she writes, "... Pills can’t be the answer to diseases caused by unhealthy living. As well as unsustainable cost for often marginal benefit, they always cause harm. Rather than medicating almost the entire adult population, let’s invest our precious resources in societal and lifestyle change, public health, and prevention." Amen.
- Stanford scientists John Ioannidis and John Trepanowski write a prescription for improved nutrition research in review journal Advances in Nutrition. A key recommendation is pooling resources for larger randomized trials. "Pivotal megatrials with tens of thousands of participants and lifelong follow-up are possible in nutrition science with proper streamlining of operational costs."
- The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada changes its tune on avoiding dietary saturated fat. Instead, it suggests avoiding processed food. Globe and Mail headline reads: "Saturated fats no longer the true enemy, experts say." A more accurate headline would read: "Experts wrong for decades about saturated fat, was never enemy" (as Tucker Goodrich wryly points out on Twitter). Director of health policy for the organization, Manuel Arango, adds, "Maybe butter is not as bad as we thought it was before... At the end of the day, our bottom line is we need this balanced diet and you don't have to worry as much about intake of saturated fat."
- Update: The Atlantic Monthly, Newsweek, and TuftsNow all cover the new study, published in AJCN, that we reported on last week, demonstrating no association between dairy fat consumption (measured by blood levels of dairy-specific fatty acids) and cardiovascular disease. The lead researcher believes this evidence "could encourage people to give priority to whole-fat dairy products over those that may be lower in fat but higher in sugar." Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of Tufts’ Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, reflects on whole food, stating, “There is growing evidence on the complexity of foods, so health effects cannot be judged based on simplistic metrics such as total fat.” So how about putting whole milk back in school cafeterias???
- Matt loses 43 pounds in just a few months with Virta Health's virtual clinic program. Even better, he eliminated 80 units of daily insulin, 5 mg Farxiga, and a weekly Bydureon injection. Diabetes meds CAN be rolled back with Virta and a ketogenic diet.
- Texas newcomer loses 94 pounds with keto diet and strength training. “My sleep improved, my skin improved, my mood improved, and weight just started falling off.”
- A young primary care doc—with hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, sleep apnea, plantar fasciitis and fatty liver disease—loses 125 pounds with a restricted real food diet and intermittent fasting.
- Mississippi insurance agent loses 90 pounds with a ketogenic diet.
- South Dakota steakhouse owner, Jerad Higman, loses 55 pounds in 6 months with a ketogenic diet. "You can exercise all you want, but at the end of the day, it's all about what you put in your mouth," he said.