Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Late Clive McCay, Life Prolongation and Caloric Restriction

Honoring Clive McCay and 75 Years of Calorie Restriction Research” is the title of an interesting article summarizing research on prolongation of life through caloric restriction.  It summarizes the pioneering research conducted by Clive McCay, an American researcher that started investigating this area in the 1930’s!

McCay used ‘mature’ rats that were given the opportunity to grow and develop. He then restricted calories without restricting nutrients. This resulted in a significant prolongation of life. Since, this finding was replicated by many. Nowadays the fact that caloric restriction prolongs life does not need extra proof. Researchers are merely trying to to explain this phenomenon. As usual there is a focus on the physiology to try and develop drugs that will prolong life.  I think we should just take this caloric intake life extension relationship as a fact and focus our effort on finding ways of applying it. McCay did that by designing McCay’s loaf, a nutrient dense loaf.

I will leave with the link to the article. Yet, I would like to give you my own perspective:

Monday, July 30, 2012

Overlooked Facts about the Mediterranean Diet

I have been researching the Mediterranean diet for months. In this post I will present three of the frequently overlooked points about the Mediterranean diet: ratios of food types, fasting and food preparation.

The Mediterranean diet under focus is the 1950's and 60's diet of a Greek Island called Crete. The Seven Country 20 years cohort study of males over 45 is the study that put Cretan diet under focus. Accompanying figure shows the reason. The incidence of Coronary Heart Disease death was as follows: (10 per year per 10,000)
Crete                                      9
All Mediterranean cohorts    184
Zutphen in Netherlands         420
US                                          574

Follows is a typical description of the Mediterranean diet used in scientific papers. This quote is from a 2003 NEJM article by Trichopoulou, et al.:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Why Today’s Medicine Will Never Cure a Chronic Illness?

light microscopy of a paraffin embedded mouse ...

Image via Wikipedia

As I dive deeper into nutritional medicine, I never stop asking why we in main stream medicine are different when the starting points are the same and honest smart people are present in both schools. I think, I finally came to a plausible explanation. I cannot state that this explanation is fully addressed by either schools of medicine. The coming three paragraphs will take you through my new understanding. I beg you to halt passing judgments before finishing the three paragraphs. Once you’re done, pass what every judgment you want. However, please do that after giving yourself few minutes of imagining the picture that I am trying to draw.

Before I start with my first of the three paragraphs this is the wards that started it:

The main error of the biomedical approach (today’s medicine approach) is the confusion between disease process and disease origins. Instead of asking why an illness occurs, and try to remove the conditions that lead to it, medical researchers try to understand the biological mechanisms through which the disease operates, so that they can then interfere with them.

Fritjof Capra (1982)

Friday, September 17, 2010

What is a ‘Disease’

9780806977928In a book I am reading by Martin L. Budd: Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia) the 20th Century Epidemic?; he defines a disease entity as a condition producing symptoms. (page 23)

The book argues that hypoglycemia is a disease entity that exist in non-diabetics and that this disease has many detrimental effects on health. The main cause of this disease according to him, is a combination of  a genetic make up and the diet we eat.

I do not agree with the definition he has for ‘disease.’ I think that ‘disease’ should be defined based on the cause and not the manifestations of a condition. Having said that, defining a disease by the collection of symptoms produced is an excellent starting point. It is the definition I have been searching for to describe the symptoms produced by having excess amount of stool in the large bowel that is relived by passing it, when the symptoms do not fit with any agreed on description of constipation or IBS.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Best Explanation for the Trivial Effect of Hereditary Factors on Disease

World War I Russian infantry.
Image via Wikipedia
I just read the best explanation for the fruitlessness of the excessive focus on hereditary and genetic factors in disease. The book is the saccharine disease by T.L. Cleave (1975). You can download a copy of the book from here. The explanation I am pointing to is on pages 9 and 10 in this downloaded copy and pages 3 and 4 in the printed book.
Consider the infantry assault against enemy entrenchments in the First World War of 1914-1918. In that war it was found, as would be expected, that during these assaults tall men were shot down by machine gunners considerably more often than sort men were.
Being taller is a hereditary factor that has many advantages but not with infiltrating solders in First World War. More, we would not care if this tall solder's father died in a similar situation. We need to focus on the true causes of disease, the factors that interact with our make-up and results in disease. Focusing or hereditary factors distract us.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

We Must Consider all Perspectives to Propel Medical Science: Another Shot at Practiced Evidence Based Medicine

51C4XHWH81L._SL500_AA300_ I am reading a book by Richard D. Moore, M.D., Ph.D. called the high blood pressure solution: a scientifically proven program for preventing strokes and heart disease.
The theme of the book (which I will not discuss in detail here) is that the main cause of essential hypertension is an imbalance in the Potassium Sodium ratio in our cells that is caused by the disproportionately  high sodium to potassium ratio in our western diets.
In the chapter titled ‘Why Haven’t You Heard of These Developments?’ he reveals his explanation for the current prevailing medical practice philosophy. The main philosophical position he addresses is the under-play of the effect of diet and the overuse of drugs. He sees one of the main reasons for this erroneous philosophical position as being what he calls the 'golden triangle'; an unholy alliance between medical schools, drug companies, and politicians. He describes the history of the development of this alliance, as he has firsthand experience with the detrimental effects of this alliance.
He also has written a section titled: ‘The Confusion of Empiricism with Science’.  Here is a long quote:
Part of the problem is that many in academic medicine confuse empiricism-just collecting and analyzing facts- with science. But although empiricism is part of science, this alone isn't science. It is just taking measurements and doing statistical analysis of the results. Some think that is all there is to science. But as quantum physicist Roland Omnes says:
Statistical methods are a valuable tool to accelerate the discovery of empirical rules, but it would be a mistake to assume that they are sufficient to attain the consistency afforded by the full scientific methods.
The approach Dr. Moore used to come with a cure for hypertension is what is deficient in the medicine we are applying: the use of the largest possible perspectives and taking in all possible points of view and then testing them against nature. Yes, this would include empirical/evidence based testing. Dr. Moore used the following six points of view to come up with this treatment: anthropology, vegetarianism, animal studies, clinical studies, drug studies, and biophysical research. The second step is to ignore all authorities other than Mother Nature. He particularly warns against experts/authorities in minutiae that lack the perspective to see the big picture.
Needless to say that this is what is needed to propel medical practice. The only science is the one that considers all possible perspectives weather or not are hard to assess empirically.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Leonardo's Call for Holistic Reasoning

Leonardo used the term "abreviators" to describe the reductionists of his time:
The abbreviators of works do injury to knowledge and love ... of what value is he who, in order to abbreviate the parts of those things of which he professes to give complete knowledge, leaves out the greater part of things of which the whole is composed? .. oh human stupidity!... You don't see that you are falling into the same error as one who strips a tree of its adornment of branches full of leaves, intermingled with fragrant flowers or fruit, in order to demonstrate that the tree is good for making planks.
I read this quote in Fritjof Capra’s latest book: The Science of Leonardo.These are Capra's own comments:
Reducing the beauty of life to mechanical parts and valuing trees only for their lumbar is an eerily accurate characterization of the mind-set that dominates our world today.
As illustrated in my previous post, Leonardo relied on detailed observations of nature and of his many experiments. Yet, he kept the whole in his mind. In this era of medicine this is what we need. We need not learn more and more about less and less. Instead, we need to step back, and have a deeper look into how things are inter connected. Omeprazole effects on the incidence of pneumonia and Clostridium difficile collitis is a call to step back and connect things.
Enhanced by Zemanta