Category Archives: Uncategorized

Mediterranean Diet May Prevent Multiple Sclerosis

MRI scan of brain, commonly done to evaluate for MS and demyelination

Multiple sclerosis is a disease of unknown cause characterized by demyelination (loss of the protective coating around nerves) in the brain.

From The Journal of Nutrition:

A Mediterranean diet, including unprocessed red meat, was associated with reduced risk of [first clinical diagnosis of brain demyelination] in this Australian adult population. The addition of unprocessed red meat to a Mediterranean diet may be beneficial for those at high risk of [multiple sclerosis].

Source: Higher Mediterranean Diet Score, Including Unprocessed Red Meat, Is Associated with Reduced Risk of Central Nervous System Demyelination in a Case-Control Study of Australian Adults | The Journal of Nutrition | Oxford Academic

Steve Parker MD, Advanced Mediterranean Diet

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Which Is Better at Reducing Insulin Resistance: Alternate-Day Fasting or Daily Calorie Restriction?

Horses, like Java, also get Metabolic Syndrome but it’s not quite the same as in humans. Java had to lose weight and change his diet.

Body tissue resistance to the effect of insulin is considered harmful by many experts. For instance, it may contribute to obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. BTW, if you have Metabolic Syndrome, you probably have insulin resistance. Regular exercise and loss of excess body fat are two ways  to reduce insulin resistance. Fasting also has an effect, but is it better than daily calorie restriction?

From the journal Obesity:

Abstract

Objective

This study compared the effects of alternate‐day fasting (ADF) with those of daily calorie restriction (CR) on body weight and glucoregulatory factors in adults with overweight or obesity and insulin resistance.

Methods

This secondary analysis examined the data of insulin‐resistant individuals (n = 43) who participated in a 12‐month study that compared ADF (25% energy needs on “fast days”; 125% energy needs on alternating “feast days”) with CR (75% energy needs every day) and a control group regimen.

Results

In insulin‐resistant participants, weight loss was not different between ADF (−8% ± 2%) and CR (−6% ± 1%) by month 12, relative to controls (P < 0.0001). Fat mass and BMI decreased (P < 0.05) similarly from ADF and CR. ADF produced greater decreases (P < 0.05) in fasting insulin (−52% ± 9%) and insulin resistance (−53% ± 9%) compared with CR (−14% ± 9%; −17% ± 11%) and the control regimen by month 12. Lean mass, visceral fat mass, low‐density lipoprotein cholesterol, high‐density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, C‐reactive protein, tumor necrosis factor α, and interleukin 6 values remained unchanged.

Conclusions

These findings suggest that ADF may produce greater reductions in fasting insulin and insulin resistance compared with CR in insulin‐resistant participants despite similar decreases in body weight.

Source: Differential Effects of Alternate‐Day Fasting Versus Daily Calorie Restriction on Insulin Resistance – Gabel – – Obesity – Wiley Online Library

It would be interesting to compare the compliance and drop-out rates between the two groups studied. Is a daily 24% calorie deficit easier to stomach than a 75% reduction every other day?

Steve Parker, M.D.

Steve Parker MD, Advanced Mediterranean Diet

Click the pic to purchase at Amazon.com

Is olive oil good for you? A systematic review of the evidence

I like this Newman’s Own dressing. First ingredient is olive oil blend, unlike most commercial vinaigrettes that first list water or canola oil. In 2019 they changed the formula and I don’t like it as much.

C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 are measurable blood markers of inflammation in our bodies. Inflammation may be the cause of diseases like hypertension, strokes, hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), and heart attacks. One theory holds that if you can reduce the level of the inflammatory markers, your risk of the aforementioned illnesses will be lower.

Olive oil is a key component of the healthy Mediterranean diet. Could that healthfulness be mediated by anti-inflammatory effects of olive oil?

Fr0m the journal Nutrition:

[Randomized controlled trials] reveal beneficial effects of olive oil by reducing levels of inflammation markers. Olive oil taken on a regular basis can be a good dietary fat alternative, especially to manage IL-6 [interleukin-6]. However, further research is required to clarify the effects of olive oil consumption on inflammation comparing to other fats. Moreover, olive oil daily dosage, different time-length intervention and follow-up periods should be taken into consideration.

Source: Is olive oil good for you? A systematic review and meta-analysis on anti-inflammatory benefits from regular dietary intake – ScienceDirect

These researchers found no consistent effect of olive oil on C-reactive protein (CRP).

Steve Parker, M.D.

Steve Parker MD, Advanced Mediterranean Diet

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Are Proton Pump Inhibitors Safe?

Previous studies suggest proton pump inhibitors, which dramatically reduce stomach acid, have many adverse effects. A recent report in the journal Gastroenterology indicate otherwise:

In a large placebo-controlled randomized trial, we found that pantoprazole is not associated with any adverse event when used for 3 years, with the possible exception of an increased risk of enteric [intestinal] infections.

Source: Safety of Proton Pump Inhibitors Based on a Large, Multi-year, Randomized Trial of Patients Receiving Rivaroxaban or Aspirin. – PubMed – NCBI

I still suspect there are good reasons our stomachs produce lots of acid, like killing bacteria in our food and water.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: I wonder who funded this study. PPI manufacturers?

Steve Parker MD, Advanced Mediterranean Diet

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Wealth Inequality In the U.S.: It’s a Problem

From The Big Picture (emphasis added):

Yes, America is wealthier than ever, especially if you are in the top 10% of households. The Fed [Federal Reserve] found that the top 1% of American households held wealth of $32.5 trillion. That works out to be an average household asset value of about $25 million each. The rest of the top 10% (90th to 99th wealth percentiles) held total wealth of $42.8 trillion. Add the top 1% to this group and we get a total of $75.3 trillion, with an average household wealth of $5.8 million. To be sure, this is an average and is skewed by the enormous wealth of those at the very top; the median, or midpoint, would be lower.

The next 40% (50th to 90th percentiles) has total assets of $35.3 trillion. The 63.8 million households in the top half of America have average household total wealth of $1.72 million apiece. Note this does not include liabilities such as mortgages, student loans, consumer credit, which offsets some of this.

Where things get interesting is when we look at the bottom 50% of households in America by wealth. They own total assets of $6.86 trillion. That reflects wealth (before liabilities) of a mere $107,523 per household.Let’s dig a bit deeper: The top decile of America holds almost about 70% of the national wealth — 31% is held by the top 1%, while the rest of the top 10% holds about 39%.

Source: Wealth Distribution Analysis – The Big Picture

Is Subclinical Hypothyroidism Real and Should It Be Treated?

From JAMA Network:

Subclinical hypothyroidism is common [up to 10% of adults] and most individuals can be observed without treatment. Treatment might be indicated for patients with subclinical hypothyroidism and serum thyrotropin [TSH]  levels of 10 mU/L or higher or for young and middle-aged individuals with subclinical hypothyroidism and symptoms consistent with mild hypothyroidism.

Source: Subclinical Hypothyroidism: A Review | Cardiology | JAMA | JAMA Network

Steve Parker MD, Advanced Mediterranean Diet

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Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet Improves Metabolic Syndrome Even Without Weight Loss

My monitor works well

“Metabolic syndrome” may be a new term for you. It’s a collection of clinical features that are associated with increased future risk of type 2 diabetes and atherosclerotic complications such as heart attack and stroke. One in six Americans has metabolic syndrome. Diagnosis requires at least three of the following five conditions:

  • high blood pressure (130/85 or higher, or using a high blood pressure medication)
  • low HDL cholesterol:  under 40 mg/dl (1.03 mmol/l) in a man, under 50 mg/dl (1.28 mmol/l) in a women (or either sex taking a cholesterol-lowering drug)
  • triglycerides over 150 mg/dl (1.70 mmol/l) (or taking a cholesterol-lowering drug)
  • abdominal fat:  waist circumference 40 inches (102 cm) or greater in a man, 35 inches (89 cm) or greater in a woman
  • fasting blood glucose over 100 mg/dl (5.55 mmol/l)

One approach to improving the numbers is a LCHF diet. Here’s a journal article abstract from JCI Insight:

BACKGROUND. Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is highly correlated with obesity and cardiovascular risk, but the importance of dietary carbohydrate independent of weight loss in MetS treatment remains controversial. Here, we test the theory that dietary carbohydrate intolerance (i.e., the inability to process carbohydrate in a healthy manner) rather than obesity per se is a fundamental feature of MetS.

METHODS. Individuals who were obese with a diagnosis of MetS were fed three 4-week weight-maintenance diets that were low, moderate, and high in carbohydrate. Protein was constant and fat was exchanged isocalorically for carbohydrate across all diets.

RESULTS. Despite maintaining body mass, low-carbohydrate (LC) intake enhanced fat oxidation and was more effective in reversing MetS, especially high triglycerides, low HDL-C, and the small LDL subclass phenotype. Carbohydrate restriction also improved abnormal fatty acid composition, an emerging MetS feature. Despite containing 2.5 times more saturated fat than the high-carbohydrate diet, an LC diet decreased plasma total saturated fat and palmitoleate and increased arachidonate.

CONCLUSION. Consistent with the perspective that MetS is a pathologic state that manifests as dietary carbohydrate intolerance, these results show that compared with eucaloric high-carbohydrate intake, LC/high-fat diets benefit MetS independent of whole-body or fat mass.

TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02918422.

FUNDING. Dairy Management Inc. and the Dutch Dairy Association.

Source: JCI Insight – Dietary carbohydrate restriction improves metabolic syndrome independent of weight loss

Steve Parker, M.D.

Steve Parker MD, Advanced Mediterranean Diet

Click the pic to purchase at Amazon.com