152. You Must Be Nuts!

I have just been watching the video entitled “You must be nuts!” which has been made by Obhi Chatterjee and colleagues. It can be viewed on You Tube here:

The stimulus for this video was to try to understand why Obhi’s father had developed dementia and to identify ways in which the condition could be alleviated. It is absolutely staggering to learn that that the incidence of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) has increased from about 2% in those over 85 years old about 40 years ago to over 50% to-day. So it cannot be shrugged off on the grounds that it is just because people are getting older. In any case much of the increased life expectancy is the result of reduced infant mortality. In addition, AD is now being detected in young people, which is a new phenomenon.
This is an excellent compilation of information which conveys a prime facie case that changes to our diet, food production methods and medical treatments have combined to produce what is in effect a toxic environment. A number of individuals who can speak with authority on the different aspects have been interviewed and some of the relevant research has been cited. For anyone who is unaware of how bad things have become, the conclusions will come as a great shock. The big advantage of this form of presentation is that the messages come across very clearly and therefore should have a big impact on those who actually take the time to sit down and watch it.
The so-called “Lipid hypothesis”, which is based on the level of cholesterol in the blood (TC) as a risk factor for heart disease, underpins the conventional advice on healthy eating and is the justification for the use of statins. This leads to the conclusion that if we can lower our TC, then we will reduce the risk of heart disease. It is argued that because saturated fat (SFA) in the diet increases TC, it should be reduced and by the same reasoning the polyunsaturates (PUFA) should be increased. As statins lower TC so the story goes, they should be prescribed for virtually all men and women when they reach their 60s. The original work by Ancel Keys which led directly to the Lipid hypothesis has now been totally discredited.
Unfortunately those who have been diligent in following the advice, like the Chatterjee family, are now probably suffering the consequences. There is very convincing evidence that many of the individual fatty acids are actually important nutrients in their own right and play a critical role in supplying energy to the vital organs like the heart and brain. On the other hand, the PUFAs are highly reactive and can be converted to trans fats by various processes including heat, which are damaging to health. As the PUFAs in in “cholesterol lowering” foods such as margarine/spreads are mainly omega-6s the effect has been to increase the omega-6:omega-3 ratio from about 1-4 to 15 or even as much as 50, which is bad news!
But it gets worse. As shoppers try to avoid the fat, they invariably opt for the “low fat” variants. This is absolutely disastrous because not only are they missing out on the fat but also increasing their intake of sugar and/or sweeteners. In fact anyone who chooses processed foods will inevitably increase their intake of sugar because it is added to many of them. There can be no doubt that the increased consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates is the prime reason why Type 2 diabetes (T2D) has doubled in the last 15 years. Those with T2D have a much increased risk of developing AD, not to mention heart disease, obesity and cancer. AD is often referred to as Type 3 Diabetes.
On top of all this we have the drugs which are being prescribed more and more. The video explains how crucial cholesterol is for brain function and why restricting the supply may have disastrous consequences. This of course is exactly what the statins would do. Despite all the hype, any benefits resulting from the use of statins is very small and is restricted to men who have suffered from heart disease in the past. Then there are other drugs which are also widely prescribed such as aspirin and omeprazole, which is supposed to protect the stomach from the damaging effect of the aspirin. Last May the FDA in the USA, warned against the general use of aspirin for the primary prevention of a heart attack or stroke.
Another concern is the widespread and extensive use of pesticides which may reduce the availability of the minerals in the foods which are being produced. A specific example is Vitamin B12 which is depleted by glyphosate or “Round up”.
To sum up, the case is made that the following factors have combined to cause this serious deterioration in our health as shown by the increased incidence of AD and T2D:
• The unscientific advice, especially to reduce SFA
• Routine use of drugs for the elderly
• High carbohydrate diet/processed foods
• Use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides in horticulture and agriculture.
I strongly recommend that everyone watch this video. It presents a very powerful series of arguments that things have gone badly wrong in the past 40-50 years. The case presented may not be correct in every aspect, but that is not the point. It is vital that these issues are addressed and that the resources are made available to get to the fundamental causes. Despite the comments at the end from Paul Burstow MP, I believe that politicians are reluctant to face up to what is undoubtedly a systemic failure with respect to policy formulation and regulatory controls. This will only change with pressure from the grassroots. Viewing this video should help to generate this pressure.

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