I decided that the recent comments from "Checking Stuff Out" deserved the spotlight. The comments are broken into individual quotes, followed by my responses. Enjoy!
His "paper" is a 20 year long study that remains to this day the only scientifically proven study on heart disease and diet/lifestyle.
I would suggest going to PubMed and doing a search on this very topic. You will find more "scientific studies" than you know what to do with.
Its all peer reviewed so he cannot get away with "losing" anyone. Post the proof on that claim please.
First, I understand that peer review is the "gold standard", but that doesn't mean it is flawless. Richard Smith wrote an article on this very topic. In it, he states, "So we have little evidence on the effectiveness of peer review, but we have considerable evidence on its defects. In addition to being poor at detecting gross defects and almost useless for detecting fraud it is slow, expensive, profligate of academic time, highly subjective, something of a lottery, prone to bias, and easily abused." They actually did a study where they submitted scientific work containing gross errors for peer review and they found several instances where their "peers" didn't find a single mistake! Putting complete faith in something simply because it passed peer review is quite fallacious.
Second, here is your proof, straight from the text: "Of the 94 eligible patients, 53 were randomly assigned to the experimental group and 43 to the control group; 28 (53%) and 20 (42%), respectively, agreed to take part. All patients who were eligible and volunteered were accepted into the study."
Still with me? The text goes on to say, "Follow-up angiographic data were not available for 7 patients: 1 control-group patient underwent emergency, non-quantitative angiography in another hospital; and of the 6 experimental-group patients, 1 died while greatly exceeding exercise recommendations in an unsupervised gym, 1 could not be tested owing to a large unpaid hospital bill, 1 was a previously undiagnosed alcoholic who dropped out, 1 patient’s preintervention angiogram was lost in transit to Houston for quantitative analysis, and 2 patients’ angiographic views before and after intervention did not match adequately owing to technical difficulties." When all was said and done, 7 of 48 participants were "lost" for one reason or another.
Quick note, if any of you CrossForters would like to read the complete text, just let me know.
Also not every participant smoked nor was everyone sedentary prior to starting, although some did/were. That's the point of a scientific study is to take people in at random.
You are correct, not everyone smoked, but they were all classified as "unhealthy". The random group of participants needs to be larger though so that it can be determined which component(s) of the trial was effective. Was it the exercise, stress reduction, cessation of smoking, or diet?
BTW, arteries don't un narrow by any great measure, however blood flow can increase and there may be slight reduction in the plaque area, but basically its damage done. His primary claim is increased blood flow..
It is abundantly clear that you have never read the study. Under the results heading all Dr. Ornish refers to is the increase or decrease of "stenosis" (an abnormal narrowing in a blood vessel or other tubular organ or structure) and lesion scores. There is not a single mention of blood flow anywhere in the text.
Yes HDL went down but so did LDL and the total, the ratio of HDL to LDL and total to LDL went up. Also, BTW no one ever proved TG as a standalone factor contribute to anything, but I would suggest you read the book and studies the TGs did not go up but rather down on average.
None of this is debatable. The data clearly shows that total cholesterol, HDL, and LDL levels decreased for both groups. Total/HDL ratio as well as LDL/HDL ratio also decreased for both groups. As for the triglycerides, you are almost right. The levels for the control group did go down, but the triglyceride levels of the experimental (read, low-fat vegetarian) group went up to over 250! It is also important to note that the Triglyceride/HDL ratio increased to 6.85 for the experimental group while it decreased to 3.90 for the control group. Current scientific knowledge states:
- Triglyceride/HDL ratio less than 2 is ideal
- Triglyceride/HDL ratio of 4 is high
- Triglyceride/HDL ratio of 6 is much too high
This means that the control group wasn't doing so well, but the low-fat, experimental group was faring much, much worse.
Do yourself a favor and read some of the work written by Uffe Ravnskov. You will probably find it enlightening to say the least. Simply following what the AMA, AHA, or US government says because they are an authoritative body is another logical fallacy. Steering clear of corrupted, biased, unscientific studies will prove to be quite fruitful.
Btw, you guys have the insulin and carb relationship correct, however the caveat is that is true only when you combine high carb with high fat, in which case fat is an insulin receptor blocker so you're body thinks it needs more insulin and gets jacked to dangerous levels.
I will agree, high carbs combined with high fat can be problematic. However, I have never said that a low-carb, or carnivorous diet is the only healthy option. An example would be the Kitavans who survive on lots of coconut, starchy tubers, and a little fish. I will say it again, there is no singular path to optimal health, but eating low-fat will most definitely take you in the wrong direction.
If you're eating paleo, the deadliest combination is for you guys to break down and eat a bunch of carbs. Even low fat guys will admit that. That guy eating the bun is right to regret it.
It would only truly matter if the carb splurges were a consistent habit, but then you wouldn't be low-carb Paleo, now would you? Carb-ups here and there, even from unfavorable sources, may be of benefit depending on your goals and current lifestyle, but that is an entirely separate post for another day (i.e. cyclic low-carb).
And the bun was a complete joke. Again, pay closer attention to the details and you would have read that "No grains were consumed during the taking of this photo."
You can pick and choose the studies you want to justify your lifestyles.
In science, the burden of proof falls on the one making the hypothesis. If a single instance is found, refuting said hypothesis, it is time to scrap it and develop a new one. It isn't about scoring the most points.
I am in no way cherry picking studies. We examined the study that you are basing your actions on and thoroughly analyzed it, finding several flaws. If I wanted to take the easy way out I would have simply asked you to explain the Inuit or Masai and left it at that because you wouldn't have been able to.
For every cardiologist you find, low fat guys can find 100.
Quantity does not equal quality. The majority can be wrong you know. This is your third logical fallacy (argumentum ad populum this time). However, the current situation is due to the establishment in Westernized societies being quite strong. It is only a matter of time until things are corrected though because people will continue to see a decline in their health until they return to an animal based diet. I have already seen an enormous surge in the right direction. I'll take quality over quantity any day though and soon we will have both!
The pics of you guys all look young and fit so you're probably OK no matter what you do. But I would suggest you check your family history and if you're over 30 do more objective research. esp as it relates to heart disease.
We look young and fit because of our nutritionally superior way of eating. Some of our most disciplined members are around 40 years of age and have stellar lipid profiles. I'll take real world results like the ones we have been seeing over any "scientific" study.
If carb loading is so bad, they all should have gotten worse despite the wonderful effects of exercise/meditation/nonsmoking.
3 steps forward and 1 step back. Any improvement in health was in spite of the diet, not because of it. The experimental group exercised for over 3 hours per week and practiced stress reduction techniques for over 9.5 hours per week compared to less than 1 hour per week of exercise and only 13 minutes per week of stress reduction for the control group. I strongly believe that if this study would have been conducted with a high fat, animal based diet, the results would have been astonishing due to taking 4 giant leaps forward.
There's many reasons to eat the way you want to eat and there's no catchall given the genetic variety out there, but to claim eating carbs (specicially fruits and veggies) is not heart healthy is what prompted to me to be a buttinski.
In my previous post, I did not claim that eating fruits and veggies were unhealthy. Instead, I claimed that eating saturated animal fats is very heart healthy and avoiding them, even if eating fruits and veggies still, will be unhealthy for your heart.
I would like to end by pointing out that it would be an understatement to say that I thoroughly enjoy debating topics concerning health and nutrition. By doing so, one develops a better understanding of the subject at hand and is exposed to counter viewpoints which may lead to a change in opinion. However, this cannot happen if facts are distorted or avoided altogether. Believe me, I have absolutely zero qualms with changing what I preach if I were to find a better way of eating. I guess what I am trying to say is that meat may make me angry, but avoiding animal products makes you stupid.