Dr Dingle's Blog / margarine

Creating Medical Myths

Creating Medical Myths

Creating myths

History tells us that when money is involved the medical establishments will do anything to keep profits and power. Good examples of this include tobacco and alcohol. Most people may not remember but the various medical associations around the world have been prominent supporters of these deadly products in the pursuit of profit. All too often our memories are too short or we think the basic behaviours of people will change.

While evidence of the toxic effects of tobacco smoke has been around for hundreds of years, the correlation between tobacco and cancer was first officially reported in 1939 in a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It took until 1962 before any action was taken. However, even after being exposed, the tobacco industry has continued to survive and even thrive in some places. They even continue to produce evidence to show that tobacco smoke is not bad for you and fund medical and health journals to print these studies.

Prior to 1962, the American Cancer Society would admit only a possible link between smoking and lung cancer and was associated with many aspects of the tobacco industry including marketing products and trying to make a “safer cigarette.” The medical establishments including the AMA continued to back the tobacco industry even under an avalanche of evidence and ran prominent ads in their medical journals. The ACS, like governments around the world today, including state and federal here in Australia, have delayed tobacco controls that could have helped and could still help a lot of people. A prominent Australian premier repeatedly blocked tobacco control legislation in the early 2000s only to take a lucrative position as a director in a major tobacco company when he retired from politics. This political corruption was and still is rampant in all Western nations. I saw firsthand the delaying tactics of governments to introduce tobacco control legislation despite more than 50 years of good science and thousands of studies—even a couple of studies I did with my students.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture to this day continues to support tobacco growing and export to third world nations. This is the same organisation that gave us the food pyramid, which was created for the sole purpose of selling more grain products (at any expense) and classified pizza as a vegetable in 2012 so it could be sold to American schools.

We learnt from smoking. Stop smoking and you reduce mortality and morbidity. It was hard but we educated the public against the vested interests of the tobacco lobby and we started to really win the war on cancer.

Along with the forebears of modern medicine like Hippocrates and Galen, in 1676 Richard Wiseman, a prominent English surgeon, wrote that diet could promote cancer especially the consumption of alcohol and meat. Despite this knowledge hundreds and even thousands of years earlier, for the past three decades health and medical professionals have been promoting wine as a healthful drink based on no science whatsoever and going against more than 50 years of good science.

This myth was started when early studies showed that the highest consumer of saturated fat in Europe was the French but they also has the lowest death rate from cardiovascular disease with four per 100,000 for women and 22 per 100,000 for men. For years this was called the “French paradox,” which I’ll write more about in the chapter on saturated fats. In fact what it showed was that most of the countries in that region had high fat and low CVD so maybe fat was not linked with CVD. This did not fit the current medical myth, as fat and cholesterol were the number one enemies. So they made up a myth and said wine was good for you because the French drink more wine, despite 50 years of good science linking all forms of alcohol with mortality and morbidity. The myth also failed to mention the low-key and relaxed, low-stress lifestyle of the French, the long lunches and sipping on wine over a long meal talking with friends. There are so many factors to consider but wine was the simplest and most easily understood by the public and the most profitable. Very wrong but easily understood. Now, 30 years later the ads tell people that any alcohol is bad for you and we are supposed to ignore the 30 years of poor advice that spawned a generation of people justifying drinking more alcohol.

Similarly the Japanese are one of the longest-lived populations in the world despite their high rates of smoking and stress. They also eat a little bit of fermented soya bean in the form of tempeh and soya sauce. So in the manufacturing of another health myth, the food industry, which was already feeding vast amounts of soya to cattle, along with the medical industry, saw an opportunity to tell everyone to eat more soya products because they contain some “phyto estrogens” and because women in Asia have very low levels of breast cancer. Asian culture has a little bit of fermented soya along with lots of green vegetables and a large amount of fish and seafood including seaweed. Only now we are starting to wake up to the fact that soya milk and soya products are toxic to the body if they are not fermented. Not to mention all the chemicals in our Western lifestyle that mimic oestrogen and that are linked to breast and prostate cancers.

Once started, a myth is hard to break down especially with billions of dollars of funding behind it. But even people with the best intentions can get caught up in it. At one point everyone thought the world was flat and the sun rotated around it. If it were not for science and some very courageous people, some who lost their lives because of their convictions, we would still be thinking the same.

We continually hear about the miracle cure that is just around the corner. Every month a current affairs program introduces the next one. Ninety-nine percent go no further than an initial media blitz and at best one percent have a minimal, if any, effect. But it is an attempt by the drug industry and media to convince the public they need to put more money into research to find a cure—even when we already know how to prevent the illness and in many cases reverse the condition. Unfortunately none of these miracle drugs have ever come to fruition and billions of dollars are wasted, but even more unfortunate is that people don’t hear the real solutions such as healthy nutritious lifestyles.

The drug companies spend billions of dollars trying to convince people that they are sicker than they actually are and are very ill or have an illness that has only just been made up. They seem to be able to turn almost anything into a disease as long as there is a drug to treat it. Suddenly all the normal conditions we suffer and learn to get over are life-threatening illnesses that need to be medicated. We are literally creating diseases that we need to treat with drugs. In psychiatry the new manual, the “DSM-5,” labels practically every human emotion a mental disorder and all those modern disorders require treatment with high-profit pharmaceuticals. Recently they classified caffeine withdrawal, restless leg, and too much online activity each as a disease but not self-harm?

We have created illnesses out of normal conditions and require specialists to manipulate and control some of the most natural aspects of life, such as giving birth, ageing and menopause. Accepting them would be too simple. Better still, we can approach them by making healthy lifestyle and nutrition choices.  

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The Good Oil: Olive oil

The Good Oil: Olive oil

A liberal sprinkle of olive oil on your food may be good for your health and even slow down ageing. Many of the beneficial effects of olive oil on human health were originally thought to be the high concentrations of monounsaturated (omega 9) fatty acids, in particular oleic acid, was considered as the major healthful characteristic of virgin olive oil. Unlike saturated and omega 6 (vegetable oil) fats these don’t compete with the beneficial omega 3 fatty acids. However, more recent research has shone light on some of the minor ingredients particularly oleuropein (OL) and hydroxytyrosol (HT). There are more than 200 ‘minor components’ in the olive oil, which represent about 2% of the total weight. However, “extra virgin” olive oil, contains among the others, some peculiar antioxidant compounds which are not present in other oils and in other foods. These antioxidant compounds also contribute to the long oil shelf-life and influence characteristics including smell and taste (e.g. bitter, astringent, pungent, throat-catching) and color. Numerous benefits of these olive oil compounds have been shown with cardiovascular, metabolic and neurological diseases, cancer, weight loss and much more. Truly a health product to add to your daily meals.

When used with vegetables the oils increase the absorption of important antioxidants such as lycopene, the red colour found in tomatoes. When cooking tomato sauce the traditional way in olive oil the lycopene's leaches out from the tomatoes into the oil because it's very fat soluble. Lycopene has many health benefits but is well know for its protection from prostate cancer.

Olive oils have been found to have particularly high levels of anti-oxidants and anti inflammatory compounds and regular consumption of extra virgin olive oils. The studies also show the more you consume the lower the oxidative stress and inflammation, the 2 leading causes of chronic illness. The most bioactive of these compounds are OL and HT. In particular, OL is abundant in high amounts in unprocessed olive leaves and fruit, while higher concentration of HT may be found in the fruit and in olive oil. You can also get olive leaf extract from the local health food shop.

OL and HT are particularly effective as they show many different types of antioxidant activity including stimulating a process called Nrf2 (pronounced Nerf 2) which increase our body’s own production of antioxidants right in the cells where they are really needed. This is one of the major reasons they are so beneficial for people with diabetes type 2.

One of the more critical properties of these compounds is that they help prevent the formation of plaque in the arteries, known to cause heart disease or atherosclerosis. In particular, OL, in the average daily intake of olive oil or olive pieces of the Mediterranean diet, remarkably reduced (50% in average) LDL-cholesterol oxidation in fat rich meals (i.e. French fries) and increased the production of certain anti-oxidative enzymes (glutathione-related enzymes), preventing oxidation of LDL’s before plaque formation could occur in the artery. Studies in both rabbits and rats have also shown OL has multiple other cardio-protective effects to do with deterioration of the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy).

Numerous studies have now found a strong link of the anti-diabetic action with the antioxidant effects of OL particularly lowering of blood sugar (hypoglycemic). In human studies OL and HT have also been shown to improve insulin action and production in overweight middle-aged men at risk of developing metabolic syndrome a precursor to diabetes. This effect was comparable to that seen with drugs used to treat diabetes and much more platable.

Large population based studies have reported that uptake of olive oil is associated with a reduced risk of cancer in different organs. In a study of 13,800 people high olive oil consumption was associated with a 36% lower risk of developing breast cancer and a 30% lower risk of developing cancer of the digestive system. Among other studies, OL has been shown to inhibit tumor growth and spreading human breast cancer in mice studies.

HT, OL and some of the other derivatives have also been shown to be effective in age-related disorders such as neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease. Supplementation with an olive extract decreased pain and inflammation, and improved the quality of life of people suffering from arthritis. In addition, other studies have shown to lower inflammation-induced bone loss (osteopenia) in rats and found that bone loss was reduced as a result of supplementation. HT has also been shown to protect against age-associated macular degeneration (AMD) which is the leading cause of legal blindness for people over 55 years of age in the Western world.

So it is time we changed our main oils over to olive oil and consumed more of it every day. Unfortunately, much of the so-called olive oil sold in stores today is not actually olive oil, but rather a deceptive blend of inferior oils that may or may not include traces of actual olive oil. Both overseas consumer reports and studies have shown as much as 50 percent or more of all the olive oil sold commercially does not pass the stringent testing standards used to qualify the authenticity of real olive oil. A good reason to buy local extra virgin olive oil.

Some olive oil hints

  • Only buy oils in a dark glass bottles.
  • Only buy local extra virgin olive oil
  • Store oils in the fridge or dark, cool places. If heat and sunlight break them down, they’ll form free radicals that damage your body.
  • Heating oil makes even the best oil toxic. Cooking with oil destroys some of its nutritional components and causes other toxic components to form. So add oils at the last minute to avoid heating them for too long.
  • Cold pressed oils have higher levels of nutrients and toxins are not added or formed during the extraction process.
  • Don't worry about colour. Good oils come in all shades, from green to gold to pale straw.
  • Ensure that your oil is labelled "extra virgin," since other categories—"pure" or "light" oil, "olive oil" and "olive pomace oil" – have undergone chemical refinement.
  • Don’t buy olive oil in a spray can and
  • To get extra benefit mix it with a good quality vinegar to add to every salad (I will explain that later).

 

Read more →

The Good Oil: Olive oil

The Good Oil: Olive oil

A liberal sprinkle of olive oil on your food may be good for your health and even slow down ageing. Many of the beneficial effects of olive oil on human health were originally thought to be the high concentrations of monounsaturated (omega 9) fatty acids, in particular oleic acid, was considered as the major healthful characteristic of virgin olive oil. Unlike saturated and omega 6 (vegetable oil) fats these don’t compete with the beneficial omega 3 fatty acids. However, more recent research has shone light on some of the minor ingredients particularly oleuropein (OL) and hydroxytyrosol (HT). There are more than 200 ‘minor components’ in the olive oil, which represent about 2% of the total weight. However, “extra virgin” olive oil, contains among the others, some peculiar antioxidant compounds which are not present in other oils and in other foods. These antioxidant compounds also contribute to the long oil shelf-life and influence characteristics including smell and taste (e.g. bitter, astringent, pungent, throat-catching) and color. Numerous benefits of these olive oil compounds have been shown with cardiovascular, metabolic and neurological diseases, cancer, weight loss and much more. Truly a health product to add to your daily meals.

When used with vegetables the oils increase the absorption of important antioxidants such as lycopene, the red colour found in tomatoes. When cooking tomato sauce the traditional way in olive oil the lycopene's leaches out from the tomatoes into the oil because it's very fat soluble. Lycopene has many health benefits but is well know for its protection from prostate cancer.

Olive oils have been found to have particularly high levels of anti-oxidants and anti inflammatory compounds and regular consumption of extra virgin olive oils. The studies also show the more you consume the lower the oxidative stress and inflammation, the 2 leading causes of chronic illness. The most bioactive of these compounds are OL and HT. In particular, OL is abundant in high amounts in unprocessed olive leaves and fruit, while higher concentration of HT may be found in the fruit and in olive oil. You can also get olive leaf extract from the local health food shop.

OL and HT are particularly effective as they show many different types of antioxidant activity including stimulating a process called Nrf2 (pronounced Nerf 2) which increase our body’s own production of antioxidants right in the cells where they are really needed. This is one of the major reasons they are so beneficial for people with diabetes type 2.

One of the more critical properties of these compounds is that they help prevent the formation of plaque in the arteries, known to cause heart disease or atherosclerosis. In particular, OL, in the average daily intake of olive oil or olive pieces of the Mediterranean diet, remarkably reduced (50% in average) LDL-cholesterol oxidation in fat rich meals (i.e. French fries) and increased the production of certain anti-oxidative enzymes (glutathione-related enzymes), preventing oxidation of LDL’s before plaque formation could occur in the artery. Studies in both rabbits and rats have also shown OL has multiple other cardio-protective effects to do with deterioration of the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy).

Numerous studies have now found a strong link of the anti-diabetic action with the antioxidant effects of OL particularly lowering of blood sugar (hypoglycemic). In human studies OL and HT have also been shown to improve insulin action and production in overweight middle-aged men at risk of developing metabolic syndrome a precursor to diabetes. This effect was comparable to that seen with drugs used to treat diabetes and much more platable.

Large population based studies have reported that uptake of olive oil is associated with a reduced risk of cancer in different organs. In a study of 13,800 people high olive oil consumption was associated with a 36% lower risk of developing breast cancer and a 30% lower risk of developing cancer of the digestive system. Among other studies, OL has been shown to inhibit tumor growth and spreading human breast cancer in mice studies.

HT, OL and some of the other derivatives have also been shown to be effective in age-related disorders such as neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease. Supplementation with an olive extract decreased pain and inflammation, and improved the quality of life of people suffering from arthritis. In addition, other studies have shown to lower inflammation-induced bone loss (osteopenia) in rats and found that bone loss was reduced as a result of supplementation. HT has also been shown to protect against age-associated macular degeneration (AMD) which is the leading cause of legal blindness for people over 55 years of age in the Western world.

So it is time we changed our main oils over to olive oil and consumed more of it every day. Unfortunately, much of the so-called olive oil sold in stores today is not actually olive oil, but rather a deceptive blend of inferior oils that may or may not include traces of actual olive oil. Both overseas consumer reports and studies have shown as much as 50 percent or more of all the olive oil sold commercially does not pass the stringent testing standards used to qualify the authenticity of real olive oil. A good reason to buy local extra virgin olive oil.

Some olive oil hints

  • Only buy oils in a dark glass bottles.
  • Only buy local extra virgin olive oil
  • Store oils in the fridge or dark, cool places. If heat and sunlight break them down, they’ll form free radicals that damage your body.
  • Heating oil makes even the best oil toxic. Cooking with oil destroys some of its nutritional components and causes other toxic components to form. So add oils at the last minute to avoid heating them for too long.
  • Cold pressed oils have higher levels of nutrients and toxins are not added or formed during the extraction process.
  • Don't worry about colour. Good oils come in all shades, from green to gold to pale straw.
  • Ensure that your oil is labelled "extra virgin," since other categories—"pure" or "light" oil, "olive oil" and "olive pomace oil" – have undergone chemical refinement.
  • Don’t buy olive oil in a spray can and
  • To get extra benefit mix it with a good quality vinegar to add to every salad (I will explain that later).

 

Read more →