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Author: VWheelock

258. Brexit: the Food Dimension

This topic may seem a long way from the usual issues that I deal with in my blogs. However there are convincing reasons to believe that the approach adopted by Theresa May and the UK Government will be a disaster of mammoth proportions. Although it is impossible to predict exactly how things will work out at this stage, there will certainly be massive changes in trading arrangements, which disrupt many sectors of the economy. In this blog I am indebted to Richard North. He is one of the few individuals in this country, who has an intimate knowledge of global regulations for trade including those of the EU detailed workings of the EU. Consequently he is able to make accurate assessments of the impact of Brexit based on the current government strategy. He posts a blog every day on (1). Richard has spelled out that the obvious option for the UK is to apply to join EFTA so that the country can remain in the Single Market indefinitely. This would be in compliance with the result of the referendum but enable the current trading arrangements to be maintained. Because the politicians have decided that the EFTA option should be ruled out the consequences for the UK economy will be disastrous. This is because once the UK is no longer in the EU (or the Single Market) it automatically...

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257. Evidence Based Medicine

Background Most people would assume that when a treatment or procedure is recommended that these are based on very sound research, which has demonstrated that they will be effective and that any risks of damage to health will be kept to a minimum. Regrettably, the reality is very different. Physicians invariably claim that their knowledge and experience is all that is needed to justify their advice. In an attempt to introduce a rigorous approach to medical practice, a few individuals have campaigned for what has become known as “Evidence Based Medicine” (EBM). EBM was originally defined as the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients. The practice of EBM means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research (1). The contribution of John Ioannidis One of the most important contributors to the discussions and debate about EBM is Professor John Ioannidis of Stanford University in California. He has recently written an article in which he reflects on what has happened over the past 12 years (2). The title of the article implies that EBM has been hijacked, which gives the game away. It is fascinating to read his account of recent developments. Here are some of the key points he makes: He begins by stressing that EBM met with substantial resistance in...

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256. Low Carb and Diabetes. The Virta Health Clinic Initiative

The protocol The evidence that a diet which is low in carbohydrates and high in fat (LCHF) continues to pile up. The latest report is a study from a team based at the Virta Health Clinic in San Francisco (1). A total of 262 people with type 2 Diabetes (T2D) were recruited. The mean age was 54 years and 66.8% (175/262) were female. The participants were supported by healthcare professionals who had all been trained in the basic principles of achieving and maintaining nutritional ketosis (“fat burning”/capability of utilising fat). They could choose to have access to the educational programme by means of 90-minute group-based classes or by access through the internet. There was an opportunity to understand the background to diabetes and how it can be overcome by switching to a diet, which has a restricted intake of carbohydrates, moderate protein content and relatively high amounts of healthy fats. Very low carbohydrate intake In particular, the participants were encouraged to consume <30g per day of carbohydrates, 1.5gm/kg body weight. Fats should eaten to reach satiety. No modifications to participants’ physical activity were encouraged in the first 10 weeks of the intervention. After 11 weeks, there were some drop-outs but just over 90% remained. Results Glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) is a measure of the average blood glucose (BG) levels over a period of 3 months. At the start of the...

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255. If I had Cancer Diagnosed

To the best of my knowledge I do not suffer from any kind of cancer but sadly it is very common and I know many people who have this disease. Several are no longer with us. The reality is that despite the huge efforts devoted to research and treatment, the incidence continues to increase. Cancer can be defeated Although the success rate with conventional treatments is not particularly good, over the past few years I have encountered a number of examples of individuals who have conquered their cancer successfully by altering their diet. These include: Archie Robertson who had cancer of the oesophagus that was successfully cured by switching to a ketogenic diet (one that that is low in sugar/carbohydrates and high in healthy fats) (1). Paul Kelly, aged 27 years, who was diagnosed with a tumour in his brain two years ago and told he just had months to live. An operation was not possible and he was advised that chemotherapy was the only option. He researched the subject and decided that consuming a diet which was low in carbs and high in fat would be preferable to the conventional treatment with drugs. He does not eat any processed foods, refined sugars, root vegetables, starch, breads, or grains. The only carbs in his diet are from green vegetables. He also fasts regularly and monitors his blood sugar twice...

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254. More Bad News about Statins

Readers of these blogs will be aware that there is very little reliable evidence to demonstrate that using statins to lower total cholesterol (TC) and LDL-Cholesterol (LDL-C) has substantial benefits. As a general rule, the advantages of using statins have been exaggerated. At the same time, the adverse side effects (ADEs) have invariably been downplayed. Over the last few years I have encountered numerous individuals who have had statins prescribed. It has been fascinating to discover that the vast majority have ceased to use them. However some have not been so lucky and suffered permanent damage, which can be absolutely debilitating. Some case histories Phil Dellin has developed his own website (1), which explains what happened to him and has lots of other useful information about the adverse side effects of statins. Here is his story: “I am a 60 year old retired engineer. When I was in my early 40s my primary care physician put me on a low dose of a statin drug because of my slightly above normal LDL cholesterol level.  I had no heart problems nor any family history of heart issues. I was a very active person; running, swimming, biking and going to the local gym often. Some years into this treatment, I experienced muscle aches and pains that affected different areas of my body.  I initially attributed these changes to middle age, but the pains...

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