Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fruit and vegetables (12) WHEL and CVD

I just thought I'd have a quick look (after viewing the PPT trawls) at the data trawls from WHEL in case they'd looked at the effect of a diet high in fruit 'n' fibre and low in fat on CVD. Of course they did. It gets kind of boring trotting out these bias confirming studies, but here's the punchline anyway:

"Over a mean of 8.1 years, a dietary intervention that reduced total fat intake and increased intakes of vegetables, fruits, and grains did not significantly reduce the risk of CHD, stroke, or CVD in postmenopausal women..."

Maybe they need more cream on the fruit? I'm just so grateful that they didn't get anything correct by accident. WHEL and PPT are such great sorces of hard data on crap diets.

Peter

43 comments:

Gary J said...

Kinda off-topic, but still fruits and veggies: Do you have an opinion on the current meme that we have to eat lots of fruits and vegetables for antioxidant protection?

This sounds like marketing bs to me, but it's all the rage over here in the states lately. My very limited understanding is that the body produces its own antioxidants — that this meme is just an adjunct of low-fat-high-carb.

Seems like "a low-cholesterol food" is slowly giving way to "with antioxidant protection". Here are just a few that came up with a Google search now:

. Drink Welch's Grape Juice to Add Natural Antioxidants to Your Diet.

. Watermelon: Packed with Antioxidants and Phytonutrients

. Antioxidants in Green and Black Tea

Peter said...

Gary, I avoid antioxidants like the plague. I'm considering cutting back on cocoa/chocolate (gasp) for that very reason. Glutathione is good enough for me and I'm not gettin' that from any dead plant!

The next post might be the adverse effect of ascorbate supplementation of glutathione production after exercise training. Nice graphs.

Peter

Neonomide said...

Thanks, Peter. Can't wait your next post!

I personally have tried some glutathione boosting stuff like NAC and think it might be cool , esp in combination with beta-alanine and R-ALA. Works great at least in short term in gym & HIIT stuff.

A think a few studies have shown how Vit E (as d-alfa) and Vit C suck as sports supplements and/or further improving heahlt markers by exercise.

Aaron said...

My "big think" question is whether we should lump green tea with the antioxidants in fruits and veggies.

http://mct.aacrjournals.org/content/3/9/1091.full

just one of many studies showing benefits at gene level.

I see to remember that in some studies -- certain "antioxidants" actually act pro-oxidant and increase H202 in the body. Now if this were partially the case with green tea -- it is possible green tea would also be beneficial by hormetic means. Many pro-oxidants seem to induce gene changes that causes humans to up-regulate glutathione (good thing)

It is also possible that green tea is just one of those crazy substances that just works extremely well with the human body. Even though it is from a plant.

gunther gatherer said...

Peter, no antioxidants means no more red wine either! Oh noes!

perots said...

think maybe it is the fruit and high glycemic veggies that make the diet show no benefit?

blogblog said...

A recent paper has shown that high dose resveratrol is carcinogenic.

Humans already have an extremely effective endogenous antoxidant system. Cats and dogs do perfectly well without eating their greens.

gunther gatherer said...

Gotta give up the decaf too, no?

Peter said...

Gunther, hee hee moderation! I think I can handle some plant xenobiotics, but the amount of cocoa I consume would probably make a WHEL researcher approve. I don't want to risk appearing to do anything too healthy with my eating. It's bad enough that eggs have been rehabilitated and are full of lutein and zeaxanthin (both plant derived and possibly useful).

Blogblog, I had a quick pubmed on that and couldn't find anything but glowing reports and stupidity about the French "paradox". But if you could locate it that would be soooooo funny. I want to try and get a video clip up about why the secret of eternal youth is hidden in grape skins...

Hi Perots, hard to say. Humans do eat plants with relative impunity until we select them to be full of sugar, so maybe. Perhaps cocoa is OK, that would be nice. Most of the successful diet trials seem to involve eating Food rather than the NCEP step one junkfood diet or it's equally lethal derivatives plus they all seem to have some omega 3s in there, at low levels. I really worry that the next WHEL or PPT will include a little fish oil AND use Food, and be low fat. Then we'd be reinforcing the paradigm. The Oslo Heart Study was quite successful and when you dissect it out it's obvious why and it has nothing to do with the saturated fat restriction which it is touted to support. Another potential post. You realise there is never enough time!

Peter

Peter said...

Aaron, well even I have to admit some plant substances are useful, even if we can get them via eating herbivores/omnivores. Whether green tea is useful as a pharmaceutical in the same way as cannabis is one of the most effective neuroprotective agents available is interesting to think about...

Neo, C is interesting as it is clearly essential. I assume we regulate it's recycling but can do relatively little about a megadose other than down regulate it's recycling system (which I think involves glutathione if I remember correctly!).

Must dig the paper out.

Peter

Susan said...

Peter, May I ask, what is your current supplement regimen and your stance on supplementing for specific conditions?

I usually just take Salmon oil, D3, K2 and my Rx armour thyroid. I'm not even sure about those, and now my alcohol rehab program is insisting I need a whole list of stuff emphasizing multi-vitamins, l-glutamine, b-complex, tons of C, and (gasp) GLA! I know my chemistry needs repair and a lot of addicts see results on this regimen, but it scares the crap out of me!

Any advice welcome. Thanks, S.

Peter said...

Hi Susan,

You have to think through what is being recommended. If you are going to base your diet around carbohydrate, even good carbohydrate, you are going to need a ton of supplements. I have the greatest respect for Andrew Saul. But he's from the good carbs camp and, if you live on good carbs, this is the sort of supplement protocol you might benefit from:

http://www.doctoryourself.com/saulslurry.html

I don't live on sugar, I live on fat. On a water fast my vitamin and mineral intake is zero while I live on my fat. On the OD I expect to get enough vitamins from my meat intake to process my protein requirements. I'm on grass fed butter at the moment and so have dropped my fish oil. I get out in the sun. I eat stuff with germs in it. I think I should be more meticulous with offal and bone broths than I am. That's about it.

So we may be comparing chalk and cheese in terms of supplements. My current alcohol intake is near zero at the moment, well down on high carb days, but I never had issues with alcohol. I think Tom Naughton has written about his experiences with alcohol and high carb vs low carb diets. I don't think he does supplements either......

http://www.fathead-movie.com/index.php/2009/04/30/primal-body-primal-mind-primal-tools/

If you are doing well at the moment you have to ask what needs fixing....

Peter

Oh, thyroid is thyroid and if you need it you need it. Mostly. I don't know of anyone, off hand, who has reversed thyroid failure with LC eating.

Susan said...

Thanks Peter, my typical diet is 1800 cal. 70% fat, 15% each carb, protein. If I go under 70gm carbs I everyday fatigue. My carbs are root veg, a few cherries, a sprouted corn tortilla. I also eat grass fed butter (Kerrygold) and meat but I'm not good with the bone broth/offal stuff. I wish there was an 'organ meat' supplement. I eat low PUFA. Am trying to eliminate booze as that has been a lifelong dragon.

So, at 70gm carb am I chalk or cheese? Is that enough carb to require counter measure supplementation?

Anyway, my docs says the supplements are necessary for me to correct my messed up alcoholic chemistry. Do you think this is true and large quantities of nutrients are sometimes prudent to treat a condition, or does the body do best just correcting itself once one stops poisoning it.

I will check out all your links and thank you so much for taking the time. -susan

blogblog said...

I watched Supersizers Go Elizabethan last night. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00c4y5m

Despite eating a massive 6000 KCal/day of fatty meat and zero vegetables Giles and Sue manage to lose a staggering 3kg and 4kg rsepectively in a week. Brain dead Dr Diet Expert states that all the weight loss is due to *ahem* lost water, all that protein (300g/day) is very bad and Elizabethans all died young because of their diet.

blogblog said...

Hi Peter,
here is the link on carcinogenic resveratrol

Mol Carcinog. 2010 Aug;49(8):750-9.
Growth-stimulatory effect of resveratrol in human cancer cells.

Abstract

...Here we report our observation that resveratrol can also promote the growth of certain human cancer cells when they are grown either in culture or in athymic nude mice as xenografts. At relatively low concentrations (</=5 microM), resveratrol exerted a significant growth-stimulatory effect in the MDA-MB-435s human cancer cells...

Fukui M, Yamabe N, Kang KS, Zhu BT.

Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutics, School of Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS 66160, USA.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20572158

blogblog said...

I was just thinking that some phytochemicals such as resveratrol may promote cancers in low concentrations but act as natural chemotherapy in high doses when eaten in the form of wild plants. Wild plants often have vastly higher (10-100x) concentrations of these chemicals than their domesticated cousins. Our ape-like ancestors were largely vegetarian only 5 million years ago so we should be quite tolerant of many plant toxins.

chris said...

Uh...maybe it is the increased grain (and assuming calories aren't increased, reduced fat) causing a problem here?

Jim said...

@Susan

Chris over at Healthy Skeptic has been doing a very thorough series on thyroid, Hasimoto's, etc.

http://thehealthyskeptic.org/

antispirit said...

"Our ape-like ancestors were largely vegetarian only 5 million years ago so we should be quite tolerant of many plant toxins"

I would be cautious about drawing conclusions to this effect. For example, we are tolerant of arsenic to some extent.
With regard to evolutionary time frame, a lot has changed in 5 million years. We would have retained exceptional tolerance to plant toxins only if it was advantageous to do so (given our ancestor's novel lifestyle). While it is true that we have adapted to *some* plant toxins, that does not mean that we have a wide spectrum tolerance. I still can't eat those funny looking berries in my back yard.

antispirit said...

Oh. I should've read your post more carefully. It looks to me now like the last bit was an incidental comment.

I am still unsure as to whether I lean toward your hypothesis, though. There are natural chemotherapy agents in mistletoe. Unfortunately, mistletoe is another example of berries that I'll never be able to enjoy. If the agents are isolated, then perhaps. But we ingest the whole leaf.

John said...

Regarding what Aaron said about "anti-oxidants" actually acting as pro-oxidants (and showing benefits), pectin seems to do so although I can't find the ref this moment...

blogblog said...

There is plenty of evidence of HGs in warm climates eating a great deal of low carb plant materials such as fruits and herbs. The Khoi San ate around over different 100 plants on a regular basisEven the traditional Masai consumed many plant products including bark and tree gums.

pablo DLS said...
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pablo DLS said...
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pablo DLS said...
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antispirit said...

BlogBlog-

That's very true. I tend to forget about cultures like that. Isn't there one culture that lives on sweet potatoes for the majority of their diet? They get pork like....every now and then.

But what we are discussing is the role of phytochemicals in maintaining health. There is no doubt in my mind that these cultures enjoyed a wide array of plant foods. Given studies like the one in this blog entry, I am unsure as to whether there was any extra benefit to this behavior. Unfortunately, there's no way to know anymore. It would take a logistical genius to set up a controlled observational study in a (relatively untouched) tribal setting. That is, if there is such a creature anymore...

I would think that their highly nutritive whole foods diet would take care of the lion's share of health problems. Cancer included. Anything extra would be icing on a big ol diminishing returns cake.

pablo DLS said...

gfh

Peter said...

Hi Susan, you're cheese.

Blogblog, thanks for the link, a post based on it is up now. Four kilos of water loss, wow. Brain dead, yes.

Chris, It's a multiple intervention trial, we'll never tease up quite how the bombed so well. I'm just grateful they did.

Nice link Jim.

Hi Antispirit, I've seen speculation that the tarsiers are representative of the more primitive haplorrhini, ie us lot. Of course they are pure carnivores today. Perhaps the drift to vegetarianism was a mistake we have tried to reverse?

John, I agree, this is the most likely way there is to achieve benefit (if there is any) as far as I can see.

Peter

blogblog said...

My feeling is that adding a few bananas and potatoes to a typical western lifestyle will do bugger all godo. However I also think that adding some greens and wild fruits to a low carb meat-based diet is probably quite beneficial. Weston Price noted that the omnivorous societies he studied were noticebly healthier than either carnivores or vegetarians. Steffansson also noted that traditional Inuits aged very prematurely.

pablo DLS said...

peter, what do you eat "on high carb days" ? dont say op "ice cream / chocolate"... rice, potatoes, milk, tomatoes? what?

Peter said...

Hi Pablo,

I don't really have high carb days. I always eat some carbs, usually just part of recipes, with the occasional vegetable. Which one depends on what we fancy with the meal. When I carb loaded to 150g/d for three days before OGTT I used sweet potatoes, yams and bananas. The yams are loaded with phytoestrogens so I wouldn't fancy that long term. It's rare for me to go over 60g/d of carbs and most days are more like 40g/d. But then I'm not particularly interested in building large amounts of muscle....

I almost never drink fresh milk (it tastes too sweet nowadays!). Rice is very very occasional. Parsnips are common.

If you have real glucose insulin rollercoaster rides I'd suggest that taking Dr Bernstein's approach for diabetics might help. He does three fairly evenly divided green leaf vegetable doses of carbs, each one 10g. What doesn't go up doesn't come down. He also limits protein to 60g/d in three divided doses. His whole protocol is for diabetics and aimed at normoglycaemia under the most difficult conditions.

Peter

antispirit said...

Peter- I sure hope so (re: reversing vegetarian behaviors). I am doing my part to put the necessary evolutionary pressure on our species.

BlogBlog- I am open to the idea of it. But think about it from this perspective. Say you saw an article in the Journal of Unnecessary Dermatology Studies. The doctor (and only researcher) of the team concludes that the people age faster because "they look older at a younger age". The conclusion is made without regard to all the other mythically wonderful things that are said about the Inuit (and other unsullied cultures). Would you be skeptical?
The same goes for Dr. Price. While I respect both men immensely, I also recognize the limits of their research. And with most cultures, the difference was "inhumanly optimal, godlike health" and "supremely fantastic health".
I would take the lesser of the two as long as I didn't have to gnosh another leaf.
I think that the near ubiquitousness of omnivorous peoples is due to specialization being the bane of survival. When an ecosystem is stressed, the most specialized animals are the ones to go first. The ones that eat anything and everything tend to persist much longer.

Brad Reid said...

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128849908

Peter/All,

A nice piece on eating meat made our ancestors smarter, re-tailored our bodies, then finally some thoughts on cooking, the teeth we have and so forth.

Brad

pablo DLS said...

Peter, Im no diabetic (i mean, not yet) the probs is that i really dont like veggies (xept potatoes and maybe red peppers) so that does not give much choice (rice, potatoes, milk > slippery slope) Im lean / muscular but think i have a lil problem with the middle ground... (like a switch, on and off) so i find that eating one good fatty meal
(animal products) per day works really good for me. on the short term, but then i always end up "indulging" so then, lots of red peeper with my steak ? thanks

Peter said...

Nice article Brad.

Pablo, a few potatoes a day is fine if you work that way. If you can't then your best friend is a glucometer. What goes up usually comes down. Chronic normoglycaemia has a lot of benefits....

Peter

pablo DLS said...

Thanks Peter, i might toy around with the idea of adding 1 smallish potato on my workout days, doing OP: meat, cheese, butter,eggs - i feel, good and satiated, BUT (big but,) eventually i find that, my weight drops (from 67kg to 64kg, im 175kg) My face gets sucked dry, (skinny) mood changes (become cranky, and " I want to join the party"> people living with me eat super bad, like chocolate cake bad, cookies bad, ice cream bad, and this i NON STOP) Im there, im super lean so why not, i have a life to live, and boom, now im 70kg >< (im still muscular, my abs are still there, just a lot more fat... fat and sugar dst mix well i guess, ok just 40g of carbs a day, im going to try that. btw, ill stop now. to much venting i sound like a frkn woman.

rick said...

What do you make of this Ornish study and 'oxidized cholesterol' on high fat, high protein diets vs. high carb, low fat, moderate protein (he also says they are protective against prostate cancer -something I am very interested in). What is the confounder in these two studies? What do you think of the mice used?

--

Found it on Ornish 'facebook':
http://is.gd/e1aut (click to see prostate warnings)

A look at the low-carbohydrate diet. The New England Journal of Medicine, 361(23), 2286-8.
http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMcibr0908756
--
Was not able to get a fulltext.

"The interesting thing here is that despite the significant difference in the progression of vascular disease in the mice on the low-carb diet – their metabolic profile (levels of blood cholesterol, for example) was indistinguishable from that of the mice on the Western diet. This suggests that factors other than those commonly measured in clinic may explain how a low-carb diet may be so atherogenic (plaque forming)." -http://www.obesitypanacea.com/2009/12/low-carb-diets-doing-more-harm-than.html

antispirit said...

I know that the question wasn't for me, but...

There are two things that I noticed:

One is that it appears that the study hasn't been published yet. That may be why you can't get access to the full article. It's unfortunate, because -and this brings me to my other bone of contention- we can't see what they mean by "high protein, low carb" diet. My guess is that they weren't getting real food. Lab block food is the most processed, disgusting, depressing food-like substance you can imagine. I would will myself to get early heart disease just so I could escape it.

blogblog said...

Mice naturally eat ultra-low fat diets (2-6% fat). So they will probably always develop diseases on high-fat diets.

Peter said...

Rick and Antispirit,

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19706393

Foo et al 2009:

"Male pups were placed on one of the three study diets 1 week after weaning: standard chow diet (Harlan Teklad #2018 rodent chow), high-fat ‘Western’ diet (Harlan Teklad # 88137) and a custom-ordered low-carbohydrate diet manufactured to our specifications (Harlan Teklad)"

http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/meeting_abstract/116/16_MeetingAbstracts/II_77-b

Foo et al 2007:

"Male pups were placed on one of the three study diets 1 week after weaning: standard chow diet (Harlan Teklad #2018 rodent chow), high-fat ‘Western’ diet (Harlan Teklad # 88137) and a custom-ordered low-carbohydrate diet manufactured to our specifications (Harlan Teklad)"

You will never find out how they did it, the studies cannot be replicated from the methods sections including the tables in the supplementary information section:

http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2009/08/low-carbohydrate-high-protein-and-apoe.html

http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2009/08/low-carbohydrate-high-protein-and-apoe_28.html

Foo will go far. He (she?) has blood on their hands already.

Bloblog, not always:

http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2008/09/physiological-insulin-resistance-wild.html

Peter

Peter said...

Rick,

http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2010/02/lipoproteina-7-ketocholesterol-and.html

might interest you. I became too nauseated pretty rapidly on looking at Ornish's web page (who are these idiots?). Some things I just can't take so I'm not sure which studies on oxy cholesterols you mean...

Peter

antispirit said...

http://www.harlan.com/research_models_and_services/laboratory_animal_diets/teklad_global_diets/global_rodent_diets

All of the "special" lab blocks that I see use soybean oil as their source of fat. Aside from that, the ingredient list isn't too terribly disheartening. You could certainly do a lot worse.

Peter: Thanks for those. I remembered reading something about those in the past. Studies like that are what initially got me interested in altering my rats' diets. I'm glad I did.

murray.skeaff said...

You quote from the Women's Health Initiative not the Women's Healthy Eating and Living study.