Dec. 2, 2013 — A new study led by University of Kentucky researchers suggests that a diet low in vitamin D causes damage to the brain.
In addition to being essential for maintaining bone health, newer evidence shows that vitamin D serves important roles in other organs and tissue, including the brain. Published in Free Radical Biology and Medicine, the UK study showed that middle-aged rats that were fed a diet low in vitamin D for several months developed free radical damage to the brain, and many different brain proteins were damaged as identified by redox proteomics. These rats also showed a significant decrease in cognitive performance on tests of learning and memory.
Dec. 2, 2013 — A new study led by University of Kentucky researchers suggests that a diet low in vitamin D causes damage to the brain.
Nut Consumption Linked to Reduced Death Rate, Study Suggests
Nov. 20, 2013 — In the largest study of its kind, people who ate a daily handful of nuts were 20 percent less likely to die from any cause over a 30-year period than were those who didn’t consume nuts, say scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Harvard School of Public Health.
“The most obvious benefit was a reduction of 29 percent in deaths from heart disease — the major killer of people in America,” said Charles S. Fuchs, MD, MPH, director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Center at Dana-Farber, who is the senior author of the report. “But we also saw a significant reduction — 11 percent — in the risk of dying from cancer,” added Fuchs, who is also affiliated with the Channing Division of Network Medicine at Brigham and Women’s.
When it comes to nutrition many people will favor studies or books that support their personal ideologies on diet and nutrition. I on the other hand came from one side of the spectrum and ended up on the other end based on my research not because people friends, culture or specific individuals tried to influence me to make a change.
I ate the Western diet for 29 years of my life. I began researching nutrition because one day at work after a large meal I became tired and was curious to know why the food I ate was causing my body to become fatigued. You name it I pretty much ate it other than strange exotic foods other than a pig ear once at a happy hour when I lived in Spain. I rarely ate any fruit and vegetables. I pretty much hated them all other than Iceberg lettuce, bananas, and onions.
In the last seven years the scientific evidence has led me to remove many of these unhealthy foods from my diet and my health soon improved. I then went on a high protein diet because that is what muscle magazines had recommended and got terrible heart burn and broke out in terrible hives. I then switched a lean organic meat Mediterranean low processed food diet. Yet still did not feel that it I was feeling all that healthy. I then took it a step further and switched to a high carb plant based diet. This has created amazing results. I had lost the extra fat that was sitting around my belly, my pollen allergies which had bothered me since fourth grade for many years had gone away. My hives on a high protein diet stopped appearing and my chronic heart burn had gone away. I had full reconstructive knee surgery at age 25 on one of my knees and had terrible arthritic pain for many years and had to take glucosamine and Advil to reduce the pain which subside once I had made the switch to plant nutrition. Today I have endless amounts of energy which has allowed me to become even more fit and keep up with people ten years younger than me. I hit my own running record of 6:34 minute mile and I don’t often run. I got more cut and built muscle without protein powders or special supplements.
So my lifestyle change was built off of the scientific research and medical lectures that brought me to this path, even when I myself would have never imagined eating this way. I think most people think I ate like this most of my life but the truth is I did not it has only been about 5.5 years. I can totally understand why the foods I use to eat appeal to people because I ate this way for decades. Switching to a plant based diet was the best thing I have ever did for my health.
Why should we respect science?
Most of the scientific evidence shows a correlation, rather than being able to prove without reasonable doubt that certain things occur. Situations and not always can give a definite causation since there are so many variables that need to be accounted for. In my years of research I spent time reading each study as a skeptic to see what the large body of evidence was saying. Some of these studies were industry funded, some were conducted because of personal bias, some government funded, and others were independently done. When it comes to diet and lifestyle we observe what the general population does in their lives. Many of these population observations can come to a conclusion because many countries follow the same customary lifestyle habits. There will always be outlying variables when it comes to research but as a whole you will begin to notice similar patterns that raise red flags that can lead us to a larger body of evidence in helping us identify causes of disease.
Dismissal of Science all together
I have noticed that those who are fad diet followers or foodies will make the claim that the unhealthy food they eat is healthful and that those foods cause no harm. The will often claim as well that there is no evidence proving that these foods cause any harm. They do this by quickly pointing out an individual or a small population of people where those foods did not harm them, sometimes even looking back millions of years ago for scientific proof of how humans were designed to eat and live. This becomes the foundation of their argument.
When scientific studies criticize those foods as harmful to their health, the foodies will resort to defending their habits by make a bold statement that says “Correlation is Not Causation.” They will repeat this like a broken record refusing to look at the large body of evidence and research and listen to others who nitpick the science to favor their results. Then this becomes the gospel of the movement and others follow along claiming foods like bacon are healthful. I say show me the large body of evidence where bacon diet reversed heart disease where caloric restriction was not part of the picture.
I agree that we may not be able to prove most things as empirical evidence because so many variables can be manipulated to prove a particular outcome and result or we can dismiss a study easily if by pointing out a few minor flaws in the collection or handling of data. This even after the most important portions of the study were well controlled. These critics will dismiss the entire study as a flawed study. Although correlates can lead us to see more conclusive patterns we begin to see a larger body of evidence pointing science to reach a more accurate conclusion.
We also can see now with the powerful microscopes and other micro-technology how cells are directly being damaged by specific substances in vitro and in vivo. Yet with all this large body of evidence many still don’t want to accept these obvious patterns. They fall back on making statements like “I don’t believe in the scientific evidence” as if it were a religious belief or personal belief. This belittles the hours of lab work, scientific credentials and field work done in attempts to prove and make a direct and larger connection between diet, lifestyle and disease.
We all have biases. To truly be neutral is impossible since our environment forms us and makes us lean towards specific body of evidence but even so there are enough scientists out there who conduct these studies from different countries, cultures, and backgrounds who are interpreting the data as best they can which should create a neutral playing field for many of the same cultural biases. For example: Japan doing research on fish and its health effects. Since Japan has a huge fishing industry then they are more likely to promote fish as healthy but other countries scientist that do not may have a more objective perspective. We can look at all these studies as a whole and attempt to reach some sort of conclusion. So in the end in the large body of evidence starts to push certain patterns out there that start to make sense both scientifically and logically. This may not convince us 100 percent but it should raise enough flags to make a more accurate decision than just plain belief or speculation.
“Correlation is not Causation”
“For example, the tobacco industry abused this fallacy to argue that simply because smoking correlates with lung cancer that does not mean that smoking causes lung cancer. The simple correlation is not enough to arrive at a conclusion of causation, but multiple correlations all triangulating on the conclusion that smoking causes lung cancer, combined with biological plausibility, does.” (Science Based Medicine)
This is what has been taken by some low carb anti grain people in the movement. They believe saturated fat is good for you. They claim that saturated fat is good for your health. They also claim that when they gave up the Western diet and went low carb now they had a improvement in health. Never mind that the amount of vegetables and some fruits they eat has largely increase in their diet and the fact that they have given up many of the processed and junk foods in the process. Then they will make the claim that bacon and processed like beef jerky are healthful, when in opposition the body of scientific research points otherwise.
So these people are making their statements based on the trend and diet they want to follow and base their decisions on faith, not well supported studies and low carb books. These books are based off of pseudo-science or short term studies with very little data and it seems to be a common pattern that when these individuals when they argue on the subject sound quite the same in the forms of evidence they use. This is primarily regurgitated evidence from these low carb books.
In connecting with people in the low carb movement I have found that many not only have never looked at the large body of evidence out there but prefer to not think critically in the process. These individuals settle on any evidence written or spoken by low carb gurus who write books on the subject and claim their information out-weighs the years of large scientific evidence published in peer reviewed journals and largely accepted by most of the scientific community.
I am sure that many cigarette smokers had easily dismissed the large scientific evidence that was being published about the dangers of smoking and smokers personally claimed that it did not cause lung disease. I am not being critical on the goodness of individuals but merely on the stance that they take on their claims of what is good eating and lifestyle habits. I have a pretty common sense approach to nutrition to identify if something is healthy or not. Donuts plant based or non-plant based are not healthful foods.
I don’t think we can look at science from a belief stand point. We need to look at the big picture. Isolated cases are not enough evidence to prove or relate an illness to a particular food but when patterns in the scientific community starts to raise red flags to dismiss this seems to a bad decision and a risk that I am not willing to take. Some individuals will never be affected by these unhealthy foods or get the illnesses that most of the average population will get, but it does not dismiss that these foods for the majority of people will cause illness.
Are you the one who will be affected or will you be unaffected? I will lean towards avoiding the risk all together if I can which is why I am looking out for what the large body of the scientist in the world seems to be looking out for. I will continue to follow the science and not just favor those foods because they taste good or because they are accepted by the general public as normal. I continue look at things critically as I have been doing this from the start of this journey into an improved lifestyle for better health and nutrition.
*I do not represent any group or organization that would lead me to any of these conclusions. This is purely observational. This post also in no way is to demean or criticize any individual but to create awareness to think critically and too look at the large body of evidence and not just play the skeptic and dismiss the evidence because it does not agree with your taste buds or culture.
This article helped me write on the subject.
As we all know proteins are responsible for building muscles. Sleep and rest allows the body to repair and rebuild muscles to make them stronger.
The misinformation people have is they believe that the only way to build muscle is with whey protein, eggs and foods like meat. Plants have plenty of protein, and with enough calories one can consume adequate protein to build muscle. Many muscle building athletes are unaware of this.
In addition, the protein you eat is never directly assimilated as the protein structure it came in. The body breaks the proteins down into amino acids and makes new proteins. The body also uses discarded protein that may be come from the body itself and breaks it down to other amino acids that it uses. So as long as your body has all the amino acids it needs to create the proteins then the muscles will continue to rebuild correctly. Protein deficiency usually comes from a low caloric intake or not eating enough whole foods but packaged or refined foods.
Protein is a package deal. I was sucked into all the big tubs of protein marketing out there. I thought that if I ate more protein my muscles would get bigger. All I got was a bigger gut and terrible stomach acidosis (heart burn). I was lifting once to twice a day consistently. Did I get more muscle yes but it came with a few unwanted side effects.
In the world of bodybuilding people become so macronutrient focused that they neglect some of the most important nutrients that the body needs. These are micronutrients. These are your cancer fighters, damage control mitigators such as phytochemicals, phytonutrients, antioxidants, minerals and so on.
So when one eats these protein shakes many of the micro nutrients that are in those are small in number and isolated forms which do not reflect the same compounds in a whole food form which is easier for the body to control its absorption rate. As with steaks, chicken and eggs they are quite low in these micronutrients compared to foods from the plant kingdom.
So the question then is how do veg bodybuilders get enough protein from plant foods? The simple answer is eating enough calories from whole plant foods. The most obvious protein driven plant foods are nuts, seeds, grains and beans but greens like spinach or broccoli hold a powerful protein punch per calorie. The issue most people have though is how much broccoli would one have to eat to meet those protein requirements. So adding in a variety of different sources allows one to get enough calories and eat enough protein.
How does the bodybuilding general community get such quick turn around? Well first off when we see a mucle mag many of those famed or average bodybuilders are on steroids or growth hormones and want you to believe the product their selling is what made them that big (refer to the documentary “Bigger, Faster, Stronger). Others who eat Dairy based protein will get, and IGF-1 response which promotes growth but in addition to muscle growth it increase malignant cell growth or as we know it cancer growth.
Often people confuse a six pack with good health. Your muscles being stressed and growing does not equate to good artery health or cancer prevention. Many bodybuilders build muscle through what is known as “Dirty Bulking” where they eat all the junk food they want to build muscle. There is a reason it is called junk food, but yet they hold a lean physique and have large muscles.
I will admit that if you don’t eat whey, creatine, hgh, steroids and try to build muscle via whole plant foods it will take much longer to get results but it does not mean it won’t happen. We as a global society are so obsessed with urgency with quick results that we often neglect our health in the process. I think part of exercising enjoying the journey and the sense of well being not just how large your muscles are.
For further understanding on how plant based eaters build muscle please visit http://www.veganbodybuilding.com
Note: This is not an expert opinion on the subject Just my opinion and research on the matter. My own research covers intensive nutritional research over seven years.
This Podcast has been quite insightful. I found it to have some fair critisism but I think a lot has changed since CrossFit first began. I will explain…
I have been doing CrossFit for several months now. I am a breakdancer for 14 years and use to break for the Washington Wizards. I have been doing extreme calisthenics for about two years now off and on and Parkour for about 3 years off and on as well. I had seen the movie 300 years back and saw them training with a box gym called Gym Jones and saw the amazing results that they got from cross training.
After had discovered CrossFit years back, I realized that it did have seem an intriguing methodology of working out and because of this I went to the CrossFit main site and downloaded some of the workout videos. These workouts to me seemed quite amazing and fun. Specially when you would see people pulling crazy amounts of pushups, sit-up’s and burpees. As months passed I gave up the idea all together. I just got carried away by other activities. It was not into I started seeing clips on Youtube about the CrossFit games did my interest return. I was again quickly impressed with these athletes unbelievable ability to do amazing endurance feats of strength with very little rest. I knew it would require lots of training and understanding of fundamental exercise movement. Unlike many who saw CrossFit as a dangerous sport I saw it as training multiple disciplines with proper form. I assumed that all people thought like this. But ran across a few sport websites trying to discredit it.
As I soon learned there were lots of CrossFit haters, many who were jealous with the fitness capability, some of it was ignorance of what it was like to train in a good CrossFit gym, some who had heard the dangers of the sport by articles and sites they read, and others might have been by the myriad of CrossFit clips of people doing just dumb movements that had nothing to do with the actual workouts and what most CrossFit gyms did during the class times.
There are vast good form videos now appearing all over the internet about how to train the movement properly. What was once just a the Wild Wild West of CrossFit is now become more tame and more certified trainers, not just in CrossFit certs but other respected sports certifications like NASM and ACE trainers are joining the mix. Many of the instructors and boxes because of the large amount of criticism of improper form have brought in experts in other Professional disciplines to teach the proper and corrected form; some of which have been Olympic athletes. I have not been in a CrossFit class yet in my area where form was not introduced even during workout sessions. I constantly have instructors trying to correct my form even during the WOD sections (Workout of the Day).
As mentioned in this Podcast (link above) that there are good and bad of any sport. You can see and incredible injury rate in runners, soccer players, basketball players and so on. Does this mean we should discount its value of these sports? No of course not but when a sport is new it will quickly take heat by those who find it too different. Take CrossFit for what it is and not more. Try a class and see if their community is for you. Many fitness businesses can benefit from CrossFit by adding their value into it by showing CrossFittters better ways of correcting form, and giving seminars to CrossFit affiliates to be part of this fast growing movement. I will say I do not follow or agree with their diet plans for one but that does not mean I can’t still walk away with some value from great community and workouts.
All I can say as for the many Cross Fit gyms that I have visited I can only say my experience has been a good one. I will still sign up for classes for now and will continue to grow as an all-around athlete. Let your own experience dictate your view on the matter, just sharing mine.
Note:None of my views reflects CrossFit or CrossFit affiliates opinion.
Since I have been doing CrossFit I have completed an up hill and down hill non flat single mile run in 6min. 22 sec. and a 2 mile run in 7min. which I was unable to reach before doing CrossFit.
Oct. 9, 2013 — It is the first time that a scientific study associates high polyphenols intake with a 30% reduction in mortality in older adults. The research, published on Journal of Nutrition, is the first to evaluate the total dietary polyphenol intake by using a nutritional biomarker and not only a food frequency questionnaire. Research is signed by Cristina Andrés Lacueva, Montserrat Rabassa and Mireia Urpí Sardà, from the Department of Nutrition and Bromatology of the UB; Raúl Zamora Ros (ICO-IDIBELL), and experts Antonio Cherubini (Italian National Research Centre on Aging), Stefania Bandinelli (Azienda Sanitaria di Firenze, Italy) and Luigi Ferrucci (National Institute on Ageing, United States).
There have been some serious back and forth of low fat vs low carb diets causing lower testosterone. One must observe their blood profiles to truly see their risks for heart disease.
So cutting out fat from the diet is hard to do and not recommended by many health care practitioners. With that said, eating high saturated fat does not resolve low testosterone issues as many would think. Plus higher intake of animal products increases IGF-1 (Insulin like growth factor 1) which often comes with an increase of animal protein which can add to cancer growth factors as seen in this study. As see in this study one will observe that plant eating subjects had higher roaming testosterone that lowered risk for cancer .
So what a second study found was that those consuming high amounts of fatty foods endedup with lower testosterone post meal as seen in this study.
Arguements against these studies. seem to be that high fat has show to increase testosterone which leaves people confused vs low fat. This leaves people confused. Well usually people on low fat diets tend to consume less calories and sometimes to quite low levels. Which calorie deficit decreases testosterone as seen in this Army Ranger study.
The key in the body as always is having a good balance. Not too much or too little of any kind of hormone or nutrient. This is where supplementation leads to problems as seen in these studies below. So when we add supplements to our diet and think that more is better it may not be the case.
So as to truly understanding the hormone system in the body many blogs, health gurus, articles and marketers would like you to believe it is as simple as knowing increasing fat intake or popping in testosterone pills to resolve your health issues. This is an oversimplification of hormone function and the endocrine system. As you might observe many men on low fat diets such as those following Engine 2 diet, Ornish diet, and many other low fat diets you will see men with not only good energy, total overall health and muscle growth, but having no issues with their sex hormones. Many will even brag about how things work better all together when it comes to circulation to be blunt.
When it comes to health things are multifactorial and not something as simple as just increasing fat intake because with more saturated fat and cholesterol comes more clogged arteries.