Post-PREDIMED, midlife inflammation, and ‘Ay, chihuahua!’

diet doctor news summary Feb week 2

This week, we summarize the top five news articles and studies in the low-carb realm, plus some success stories.

  1. A post-PREDIMED world… Agarwal and Ioannidis weigh in (via this analysis in the journal BMJ) on lessons learned from the retraction of a landmark Mediterranean diet study, and the repercussions and way forward. Also, Vox asks how researchers will reassess the revised and reissued study, and raises questions about how other medical journals will deal with their newer studies that cite and rely on the old PREDIMED.
  2. MedPage reports on a new observational study, just published in Neurology, that finds elevated inflammation in midlife is associated with steeper cognitive decline, particularly memory decline. The subjects with the highest quartile of blood levels of a systemic inflammation marker experienced 11.6% steeper decline in memory than the subjects in the lowest quartile. This data comes out of Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities cohort study, and suggests that midlife inflammation may pose a greater cognitive risk than midlife hypertension.
  3. A new, National Institutes of Health funded and American Heart Association sanctioned analysis of old, observational data finds subjects with type 2 diabetes who ate at least five servings of nuts each week experienced 20% less heart disease and about a third less premature death than those who ate almost no nuts. This sort of weak, observational finding doesn’t mean much, but regardless, the popular press is scrambling to cast nuts as a “better for you” substitute for foods high in saturated fat rather than a replacement for refined carbohydrates. 🙄
  4. An observational study of older Chinese adults, published in the journal Clinical Interventions in Aging, found that overweight (defined as BMI of 24.0-27.9) was associated with lower levels of cognitive decline — in other words, overweight was protective relative to normal weight subjects — even after adjusting for age, gender, smoking, drinking, education level, hypocholesterolemia, hypertension, and diabetes status. The odds ratio was 0.46. Obesity (BMI of 28.0 or higher) showed no significant association with cognitive decline. However, the same analysis found abdominal obesity — defined as a hip to waist ratio of greater than 0.90 for males and 0.85 for females — was associated with higher risk of cognitive decline after the same adjustments. The odds ratio was 1.5. These results are a little confusing, but may speak to the weakness of BMI as a measure of health. Furthermore, belly fat (also called visceral fat) is metabolically disruptive, which is more likely to contribute to cognitive issues.
  5. A small observational study of older Japanese adults, just published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging, concludes “increased consumption of meat and dairy products may provide sufficient protein and fat necessary for achieving higher energy intake, thereby effectively preventing physical frailty among older Japanese individuals.” (So more meat and dairy was associated with less frailty.)

Want more?

Can keto help patients with type 1 diabetes? What do Drs. Phinney and Volek have to say about keto-induced “adrenal fatigue”? Does exercise help your fat cells perform better? Is chocolate really good for us, or did the candy industry pay for that research? What group will win (from a CVD risk factor standpoint) in this small, randomized, eight-week face-off: grass-fed waygu vs. grain-fed beef vs. soy-based meat replacement?

  • Bertha, an aging, morbidly obese chihuahua loses more than half her body weight over the course of a year, going from 13 pounds to just 5. How did she do it? Her owner put her on low-carb dog food and paid attention to portion size.
  • Meet the Millers… a family transformed by low-carb. Dad is down 80 pounds (36 kilos) and his A1c fell from 8.3% to 5.0% while eliminating diabetes meds! Mom is down 40 pounds (18 kilos), a son down 60 (27 kilos) pounds, a daughter down 45 pounds (20 kilos)… another son with improved asthma. Wow.
  • Tyler wanted to lose 100 pounds in a year to win a $2,000 bet. He almost gave up, but found keto, intermittent fasting, and the gym (plus no alcohol). He is now down 141 pounds (64 kilos)!
  • A life coach turns her own life around when she finds that keto tames difficult epilepsy and eliminates the need for meds that were making her waste away.
  • After a type 2 diabetes diagnosis, Alan happened to find keto and everything got better. In nine months, he went from a 46″ waist to 36″, and lost 70-84 pounds (32-38 kilos). At 65, he is working more, getting fitter, and enjoys normal blood sugars with no medication.
  • Graham battles his type 2 diabetes with a new low-carb, high-fat diet. The results? A leaner, fitter version of himself, minus the night sweats, hypos, lethargy, and mental fog.
  • A Virta Health patient who reversed her type 2 diabetes explains her keto motivation: “Diabetes will rob you of your feet, your kidneys, your eyes. I’d choose keeping my body intact and healthy over eating a sugary dessert any day of the week.”

Tune in next week!


This news gathering is from our collaborator Jennifer Calihan, who also blogs at Eat the Butter. Feel free to check out the keto meal-idea-generator on her site.

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