Tag Archives: mortality

Non-sequiter nutrition IV. in vino veritas

The French Paradox is neither a paradox nor French, really.  Red wine isn’t saving the French from a saturated-fat induced heart attack epidemic….  Not to take anything away from red wine, however, as the metabolic effects of red wine (and alcohol in general) are rather interesting.

Background info: alcohol (ethanol) metabolism produces NADH (stick with me here, this article doesn’t get all technical on you I promise).

NADH inhibits gluconeogenesis (Krebs et al., 1969); as such, alcohol lowers blood glucose, regardless of whether if it’s pinot, cabernet, or straight moonshine (Harold  R. Murdock, 1971).

Continue reading

Share

Coffee and cigarettes, the breakfast of champions

Or more specifically, caffeine and nicotine… or really just nicotine.  Today is about the lesser of two evils: nicotine, Mother Nature’s little helper (the other evil being cigarettes [not coffee]).  This curious little molecule is an anti-inflammatory memory boosting appetite suppressant.  If it didn’t screw with the reward mechanisms in your brain, it’d be a vitamin. Part 1.  Cigarettes, nicotine, and metabolic function Exhibit A: Activation of the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway ameliorates obesity-induced inflammation and insulin resistance  (Wang et al., 2011) translation: “nicotine is good for mice.” Continue reading

Share

Fish oil. Pills or directly from the source? Opus 118.

As a proponent of consuming fatty fish (sardines, salmon, etc.), I was interested to read the new fish oil study; as an opponent of meta-analyses, however, not so much.  A meta-analysis is a type of study whereby the researcher thinks of something they want to prove, then cherry picks studies that best support their point.  Or perhaps I’m just biased.  Nonetheless,

Association between fish consumption, long chain omega 3 fatty acids, and risk of cerebrovascular disease: systematic review and meta-analysis (Chowdhury et al., 2012)

In brief, regarding whole fish consumption, 3 servings per week reduced stroke risk by 6% and 5 servings by 12%.  Surprisingly, there was no effect of fish oil pills that contained ~1.8 grams of long chain omega 3 fatty acids.  What this study lacks is any information about the dose of EPA and DHA (the major bioactive fatty acids in fatty fish); and with 38 studies analyzed, I’m not about to try to figure it out (sorry team)…  a serving of fish can have anywhere from 0 to 1 gram of EPA and DHA; 1.8 grams of long chain omega 3 fatty acids can have anywhere from 0 to 1.8 grams of EPA and DHA.  Therefore, I’ll resort to reviewing two of my favorite fish studies of all time: DART and GISSI.  For a more detailed review of fish oils and these studies, check out The poor, misunderstood calorie (chapter 9).

divide and conquer

Continue reading

Share

Up in smoke

I’m not pro-big tobacco or cigarettes, but I am anti-scare tactics.  It is usually the news media or politicians, exaggerating and/or grossly misinterpreting some study findings in order to make a great headline or secure votes.  But in this case, it wasn’t. The predators who were preying on our fear were the scientists.  Smokers of the world, unite!

Myocardial infarction and sudden cardiac death in Olmsted County, Minnesota, before and after smoke-free workplace laws  (Hurt et al., 2012)

Continue reading

Share

skinny is the new fat, Op. 95

I’ve been known to rave about the phenomenon of metabolically obese normal weight (MONW), or fat skinny people.  In brief, this population exhibits insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, hypertension… all things usually associated with obesity… but they’re lean.   In fat skinny people, I wrote about two epidemiological studies on markedly different populations (Americans and Koreans); these two peoples have virtually nothing in common (culture, foods, genetics, etc.).  Despite these differences, there was a strong similarity in the macronutrients associated with metabolic dysregulation in otherwise lean individuals (aka fat skinny people): in the first study, high carb and low protein diets were the major culprits, with a smaller contribution of low fat.  In the second study, high carb and low fat were at fault (protein intake wasn’t analyzed).

A new study that is about to hit the presses didn’t intend to say anything about fat skinny people, but they weren’t counting on ME.

Body mass index, diabetes, hypertension, and short-term mortality: a population-based observational study, 2000-2006 (Jerant and Franks, 2012)

This study included over 50,000 people aged 18-90.  Between the years 2000 and 2005 about 3% died, which was statistically just enough to ask “why?”  In brief, they compared body weight, blood pressure, smoking, and diabetes with mortality risk.  

In each BMI category, the square is higher than the circle.  DM = diabetes (the squares).  Diabetes increases mortality risk independent of BMI.  Now just focusing on the squares; as you move from left to right, body weight is increasing but mortality risk in diabetics is decreasing.  A 150 pound diabetic has a higher mortality risk than a 200 pound diabetic, who has a higher mortality risk than a 250 pound diabetic.  Huh?

Perhaps the lean diabetics are fat skinny people, the elusive MONW?  If so, according to the research discussed HERE, their diet might have made them that way.  The lean diabetics (aka fat skinny people aka MONW aka NOD [non-obese diabetics]) eat less protein, more carbs, and less fat.  This might be a reach, but collectively (1 + 2 + 3) these data imply a poor diet might be worse than obesity for diabetics.

disclaimer: this is not true in most circumstances, i.e., skinny people can usually whatever they want.  There are skinny diabetics, but they are significantly rarer than obese diabetics.  In other words, most type II diabetics are obese, the lean ones just eat a crappier diet. You might be wondering: “how are they skinny if they eat so poorly?”  My guess is that they just haven’t eaten enough of it [yet]; it’s rare to stay lean on a “crappier diet.”

So is skinny the new fat?  Being lean with type II diabetes is an indicator of EMPTY CALORIES; it could be riskier for all-cause mortality than obesity in diabetics.

“Attention endocrinologists, diabetologists, and general practitioners: don’t assume diet is not a problem in your skinny diabetics because they are skinny.  Indeed, diet might be THE problem.”

And no, if you’re a skinny diabetic, this DOESN’T mean gaining weight will make you live longer.  it just doesn’t.

 

it just doesn’t.

calories proper

Share