Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Soft-drink makers pledge to lift game

Soft-drink makers will remove sugared drinks from school canteens and stop advertising directly to children.

The Australian Beverage Council yesterday unveiled tough guidelines in response to pressure to alleviate childhood obesity. Signed by almost all major bottlers of carbonated, non-carbonated, juice and water-based drinks, they will be introduced over two years.

The measures include the removal of all sugar-sweetened drinks from primary school canteens and the supply of them to high schools only on request.

The companies also propose that they will not advertise any such drinks directly to primary school-age children or in children's TV programs. So-called diet drinks would not be included in the bans.

The companies will also declare kilojoule content and additional nutritional information on labels.

Australian Beverages Council chief executive Tony Gentile said the changes would help consumers make informed choices.

Nine other initiatives include increasing the range of low-calorie products, encouraging smaller portions and boosting educational programs.

Disease on the march

More Australians are being admitted to hospital for diabetes, statistics show.

Hospital admissions rose by up to 20 per cent between 2000-01 and 2003-04, an Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report reveals.
Data for 2003-04 shows more than 473,000 Australians with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes were admitted to hospital.

Of those, 86 per cent were admitted for conditions associated with diabetes, such as strokes.

More than a million Australians have diabetes.

Most have type 2 or lifestyle diabetes caused by poor nutrition and lack of exercise, the report, Diabetes Hospitalisations in Australia 2003-04(PDF), says.

Doctors have blamed the nation's obesity crisis for the worsening problem.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A big night out ......

Well it's two days after, and I'm virtually fully recovered from my buck's night. I was right about the "bad" nutrition. Too many beers and bourbons but it was only one night I suppose.

We started off at the Sandy hotel where surprisingly everyone turned up. I was expecting only a few and for everyone to be at the cricket club. We had a few beers, played some pool and watched the Melbourne / Geelong draw on the footy, then headed back to the club.

My brother cooked up an excellent BBQ with prawns, snags, burgers and lamb chops. All LC, HP foods. Wonderful stuff. Thanks mate for doing that. When we arrived there was a barmaid in action already so we got our share of the beers.

An hour or so later the police turned up. The best man's cousin is a cop and he set me up with them. Good laugh all around, but I have to admit my pulse was up a bit for a while!

The first act started and she was a very friendly girl! A great show and I wish I had a buck's night every Saturday night.

About an hour later, the second act started and this girl could virtually tie herself into pretzels! Extremely flexible and a very "full on", fast paced show. Craig, did you ever get your belt back?

After the second show a few guys (that were driving and had commitments the following day) started to leave. I ended up getting home about 05:45. A long night but well worth it.

Thanks to Millsy, Ando, Donno and Glenn. You know who you are.


P.S. My ass is still sore from that second show !!!!!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Caveman Cuisine

This is a copy of an article posted in 1999 on the Weston A. Price Foundation website. It was written by Sally Fallon, President of the foundation, and Mary G. Enig, author of Know Your Fats: The Complete Primer for Understanding the Nutrition of Fats, Oils, and Cholesterol.

Sally Fallon
Sally Fallon

Mary G. Enig Ph. D.
Mary G. Enig Ph. D.

It is an older article but still very relevant. It mentions the high fat content of the food our Paleolithic bretheren ate and they also mention the domestication of our meat product via animal husbandry, farming and selective breeding.

Lowfat diets, claim the pundits of medical orthodoxy, have been associated with good health and longevity throughout the globe and since the dawn of time. The research of Weston Price proves otherwise. From the Eskimo of Alaska to the hardy Alpiner, from Gaelic villager to African tribesman, Price discovered that all healthy indigenous people had a plentiful source of animal fat in the diet. Such Neolithic groups could still be found when Price embarked on his eventful travels back in the 1930s. But no one, of course, not even the indefatigable Dr. Price, could visit our Paleolithic forbearers, the so-called cave men. The lack of direct evidence about our hunter-gatherer ancestors—who by definition neither cultivated crops nor domesticated farm animals—allows limitless conjecture about the content of their diets. The low fat school claims that the cave man ate lean meat, supplemented by copious amounts of plant foods in the form of sprouts, roots, fruits, berries and leaves; dissenting investigators assert that the cave man imbibed animal fat first and foremost, along with the meat to which it was attached, and very little in the way of foods from the vegetable kingdom. Both schools of thought are in agreement that the cave man diet was otherwise Spartan, lacking foodstuffs that were either salty or sweet.

Dr. Walter L Voegtlin argues for the high fat model in his book The Stone Age Diet, published in 1975. Humans are carnivorous animals he asserts, and the Stone Age diet was that of a carnivore—chiefly fats and protein, with only small amounts of carbohydrates. He notes that like the carnivorous dog, man has canine teeth, ridged molars and incisors in both jaws. His jaw is designed for crushing and tearing, and moves in vertical motions. Mastication of his food is unnecessary and he does not ruminate. His stomach holds two quarts, empties in three hours, rests between meals, lacks bacteria and protozoa, secretes large quantities of hydrochloric acid and does not digest cellulose. His digestive tract is short relative to body length, his cecum is nonfunctional and his appendix vestigial. His rectum is small, contains putrefactive bacterial flora and does not contribute to the digestive process. The volume of feces is small; digestive efficiency borders on 100%; his gall bladder is active and well developed. Both the dog and man feed intermittently and can survive without a stomach or colon. The herbivorous sheep, by contrast, lacks canines, has flat molars and incisors only in the lower jaw. His jaw is designed for grinding and rotary movments. Mastication and rumination are vital functions. His stomach holds eight and one-half gallons, contains bacteria and protozoa, never empties and has but weak production of hydrochloric acid. His colon and cecum are long and capacious; the cecum performs a vital function; the bacterial flora of his rectum is fermentative rather than putrefactive; feces are voluminous; gall bladder function is weak or absent; and total digestive efficiency is 50% or less. The sheep feeds continuously. He cannot live without his stomach or colon. His entire digestive tract is about five times longer, as a ratio of body length, than that of man and his dog.

Voegtlin argues that gross differences in the anatomy of man and the herbivorous animals make him unable to successfully adapt to a diet based on plant foods, particularly carbohydrate-rich grains, as well as to a diet in which milk products, rich in lactose, predominate; and that the whole range of modern diseases stems from his abandonment of the food choices of his primitive ancestors, based largely on meat and rich in fat. He notes that, with the exception of vitamins C and K, all essential nutrients can be derived from animal foods, and that the cave man diet was certainly much richer in vitamins and minerals than our own. Modern devitalized plant foods—such as sugar and white flour—only hasten our decline.

A decade later, in 1988, Dr. Boyd Eaton published the Paleolithic Prescription in which he argues that the cave man diet was low in fat, particularly saturated fat, low in salt and rich in dietary fiber from plant foods. His Paleolithic prescription for optimum health is, in fact, very much akin to the so-called prudent diet of the American Heart Association. The typical Paleolithic macronutrient profile, he asserts, contained 33% of total energy from protein, principally but not entirely animal protein, 46% from carbohydrates and a mere 21% from fat. Journalist Joe Friel translates these suppositions about Paleolithic eating habits into the following dietary recommendations: Select the leanest cuts of meat (wild game, if possible), trim away all visible fat from meat, include fish and fowl, eat low- or non-fat dairy products and include moderate amounts of monounsaturated fat in the diet in the form of oils and spreads of almonds, avocado, hazelnut, macadamia nut, olive and walnut. He lumps natural saturated fats in with newfangled hydrogenated oils as fats to be avoided. The cave man, it seems, thriving on a diet of lean venison along with roots, shoots and fruits, was altogether politically correct in his low-fat dietary habits.

Or was he? In a recently published collection of essays, Ice Age Hunters of the Rocky Mountains, we learn that the hunter-gatherers of the North American continent ate the following animals: mammoth, camel, sloth, bison, mountain sheep, small mammals including beaver, pronghorn antelope, elk, mule deer, horse, llama and large members of the dog family. Mammoth, sloth, mountain sheep, bison and beaver are fatty animals in the modern sense in that they have a thick layer of subcutaneous fat, as do the many species of bear and wild pig whose remains have been found at Paleolithic sites throughout the world. The bison and camel have humps composed largely of tallow. Furthermore, if the dietary patterns of present day African hunter-gatherers can serve as a guide, the Paleolithic hunter preferred the fatty portions of the carcass including organs, brains, tongue, feet and marrow. Archeological remains indicate that whereas meat from game carcasses was often left uneaten, the long bones were carried back into camps and chopped into pieces so that the marrow could be extracted. Organ meats were eaten immediately—and often raw—but muscle meat was preserved by drying, or by mixing it with tallow to make pemmican. Some investigators believe that the cave mans's preference for the fatty portions of his kill led to profligate practices—wasteful killing of mammoths simply to extract their fatty tongues, for example—and that selective hunting of the fattier animals was a prime factor leading to the extinction of large mammals such as mammoths, sloths and rhinoceros.

Bones of the bear predominate in many European sites. Archeologist Myra Shakley reports on an important Neanderthal site in Hungary where 90 percent of the remains were those of bear. Whole carcasses were brought to the site—not just portions as was the case for other animals—and the manner in which the carcasses were cut up suggests that the skins were removed. Obviously the pelts were used to protect the hunter-gatherer from the severe climate. The subcutaneous fat would not have been wasted; in fact, it could have been used for preserving other foods. Altars containing bear skulls found in caves in the Swiss Alps, and dated back as far as 75,000 years, indicated that the bear was worshiped as a sacred animal.

Present-day hunter-gatherers, as well as those of the ancient past, possess greater dietary wisdom than the majority of our modern Ph.D.'s. They understood that a diet of lean meat, lacking in fat, was the surest route to weakness, disease and death. Steffanson, who studied the Eskimos and Indians of the far north, reports that when lean caribou was the only meat available, anxiety set in. These natives knew that a month or more on such meat, without the addition of marine animals or fatty fish, would make them sick and prone to disease. The ancient tribes of the American West would not eat female bison in the Spring because nursing and pregnant bison cows burned off their fat reserves during the winter months. In fact, most bison hunts occurred in the late Summer and Fall when the bison were naturally fattened on the ripe grain of prairie grasses. Anthropologist Leon Abrams reports that the Aborigine will throw away a kangaroo he has killed if he discovers that its carcass does not contain sufficient fat. Members of Randolph Marcy's 1856 expedition to Wyoming grew weak and sick consuming a politically correct low-fat regime of six pounds of lean horse and mule meat per day; Dr. Wolfgang Lutz reports that a very efficient way of eliminating jailed political prisoners in South and Central America is to feed them a diet composed exclusively of lean meat. They soon develop severe diarrhea and succumb. The explanation is that fats contain nutrients like vitamin A that the body needs to utilize the amino acids and minerals in flesh foods; without fat in the diet, the body rapidly uses up its own stores of fat soluble vitamins. When these vital nutrients are depleted, the human organism can no longer fight off disease.

Was the cave man diet simply rich in unsaturated fats, but low in saturated fats? Antelope and caribou fat is over 50% saturated—about the same as beef—and mountain sheep fat would be the similar. Buffalo fat is 56% saturated—more saturated than beef! All ruminant animals contain lots of saturated fat because the protozoa in their capacious guts do an efficient job of saturating the oils found in plant foods—whether these oils come from dried hay or green grass, from feedlot corn or the ripe grains of prairie grasses. (Of course naturally-fed meat is richer in vitamins and minerals.) The bison were hunted in the late Summer and Fall when their fat stores would have been highest. Grazing animals spend several months eating the carbohydrate-rich seeds of wild grasses, which begin to ripen as early as the month of May—grain fattening in feedlots merely mimics this natural process.

Camel fat, from the kind of animal the Neanderthals apparently hunted to extinction, is a whooping 63% saturated! Wild boar fat is about 41% saturated, exactly the same as lard from a domestic pig. Kidney fat—which modern man avoids but which the cave man would have eaten—is highly saturated. Buffalo kidney fat is 58% saturated, antelope kidney fat is 65% saturated, elk kidney fat is 62% saturated and mountain goat kidney fat is 66 % saturated. Caribou marrow has a preponderance of monounsaturated fat, and a small amount of polyunsaturated, but still contains more than 27% saturated fat. Figures for elephant tongue are unavailable but beef tongue is 45% saturated. Bears, which yield 48% of their kilocalories as fat, have a preponderance of monounsaturated fat, the same kind found in olives, almonds and other nuts.

Seafood in coastal regions would also have provided fat for primitive man, particularly the valuable omega-3 fatty acids; insects, grubs and worms are a source of additional fat in all regions except the arctic.

So the high-fat proponents are the most likely winners of the great Paleolithic fat debate; but they are probably wrong in their assertions that plant foods, particularly grains, are new to the human diet. Remains of plant foods at Paleolithic sites include seeds, berries, roots, leaves and bulbs. Sunflower seeds, prickly pear seeds, amaranth seeds and limber pine seeds have been found at Rocky Mountain sites. Various types of nuts were consumed by primitives in the Americas and on the European continent. The amount of plant food in the cave man diet varied according to the climate and locality. Obviously plant foods were minimal in the diets of those in arctic climates, but played a large role in tropical regions. Nuts, of course, provided additional fat. The pecan, consumed in large quantities by the Indians of the Southeast, contains 85% of calories as fat. In tropical regions, palm nuts and coconuts provide large quantities of saturated fats.

Present day hunter-gatherers employ special preparation methods for carbohydrate-rich foods. Acorns, for example, are soaked in water and lye to remove tannins; tubers are buried in the ground, pounded or cooked in hearth ashes; seeds are soaked, pounded and allowed to ferment in various ways. It is safe to assume that the ancient hunter-gatherers employed similar techniques to neutralize the many enzyme inhibitors, irritants and mineral blocking substances found in tubers and seeds. In fact, a large portion of the primitive woman's day was spent in just such preparations—pounding, soaking, sieving, souring and putting the finishing touches on various types of root and seed foods. The men, on the other hand, divided their time between dangerous hunting forays, in which physical stamina and strength was at a premium, and periods of idleness when they would work on their weapons—and gossip.

So the comparison of the human digestive tract with that of the dog, while interesting, does not tell the whole story. Man can benefit from the many nutrients in plant foods as long as he takes care in their preparation. Primitive plant preparation methods—pounding, soaking, and fermenting—imitate the time-consuming processes that take place in the sheep's digestive tract, beginning with his flat grinding molars and ending with the fermentative bacteria in his lower bowel. The Paleolithic hunter-gatherer had the good sense not only to eat the fattier portions of meat, but to prepare his plant foods correctly. Modern man, particularly the modern professor of nutrition, does not.

Dogs, apparently, were the first animal to be domesticated by man—or, as the current theory holds, the dogs adopted man and went to work for him. A man with five or six dogs can track down and kill the largest of wild animals. Dogs made hunting less dangerous, and allowed our intrepid cave man to stand back and kill his prey with something he threw—an arrow or light spear—rather than with a lance that he physically had to thrust in. Almost certainly, the advent of the dog at man's side hastened the extinction of the large fatty animals that had given the cave man his physical prowess and resistance to disease. But the dog would also have helped the hunter move into his Neolithic phase, by rounding up wild sheep, cattle and goats and helping to keep them in flocks, so that their fatty meat and milk would be available throughout the year. Such milk was much richer than milk from today's Holsteins which have been bred to produce low-fat milk The neo-agriculturist would have been ruled by his tastebuds, rather than modern advertising, and consumed his milk products whole.

Assuming that man's tastebuds are not superfluous, but nature's way of guiding him to the food he needs, let us examine the notion that the cave man diet satisfied only the bitter, sour or pungent portion of his tasting apparatus, and not the salty or sweet. A number of studies report that honey, far from being a rare delicacy, contributed a substantial portion of the calories in many primitive diets. The Hazda of Tanzania, the Mbuti pygmies of the Congo, the Veddas or Wild Men of Sri Lanka, the Guayaka Indians of Paraguay, the Bushmen of South Africa and the Aborigines of Australia, all put a high value on honey and consumed it in large amounts. East coast American Indians consumed plentiful portions of maple syrup, and used it in the production of pemmican. Wild fruits and berries are incredibly sweet at the peak of ripeness, and can be preserved in various ways for consumption throughout the year. Fermented foods of the Eskimo are described as tasting as sweet as candy. Primitive man did not consume refined sweeteners, as we do, but neither did he neglect his sweet tooth.

It is hard to imagine that he would have neglected his taste for salt. It occurs naturally in meat and blood and, as animals seek out natural salt licks, so our sensible cave man would have done the same. The manufacture of salt can be accomplished simply by filling a hollowed out log with sea water and letting the brine evaporate. The evidence of place names in England indicates that salt was the earliest commodity to be traded from the seacoast, or from salt pits, to other areas. In extremely remote locations, such as the Himalayas or the interior of Africa, the ashes of sodium-rich marsh grasses are added to food. It is reported that the members of the Yanomami tribe in the Amazon basin do not take in any added salt. In an apparant adoptive measure, they also excrete almost no salt in the urine.

Milk is salty because mammals need salt for the production of hydrochloric acid and for the development of the brain and nervous system. Without dietary salt, the human mind does not fully develop and man must live, not by his wits like the ingenious cave man from the dawn of time, but as a brute, even if he happens to be born in this modern age.

Fat obscures scans

Doctors are facing a new challenge in the war against obesity.

More and more obese patients are unable to be scanned in X-ray and MRI machines because they are too big.

Traditional MRI machine
Traditional MRI machine

Even if big patients can fit into scanners, the machinery will not work because X-ray beams and soundwaves cannot penetrate deep fat.

With 60 per cent of Australians either overweight or obese, radiologists say the problem is becoming more common in hospital patients.

Royal Melbourne Hospital head of radiology Prof Brian Tress said standard X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans and ultrasounds were sometimes ineffective when used on obese people, making diagnosis extremely difficult.

"The more flesh there is, the more the X-ray beam gets attenuated or scattered and produces grey results," Prof Tress said. This is one of many methods doctors and clinicians use to measure adipose tissue (fat).

"This is just another indication of the extent of the obesity problem."

Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists spokeswoman Dr Liz Carter said X-ray images became blurry when used on a patient weighing 100kg (220lb) or more.

Ultrasounds were virtually impossible on these patients, but Dr Carter said CT scans and MRI scans could often be used as a last resort.

As well as the personal health risks of obesity, large patients also posed risks to medical staff. "There is the risk to the equipment, of it being broken, and to the staff if they have to move the patients," Dr Carter said.

X-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds and MRI scans are used to look for broken bones, fetuses, blood clots, tumours, diseased organs and other internal abnormalities.

Most scanning equipment can hold patients up to 250kg (550lb).

But those who cannot fit into a scanner must be referred to hospitals with open-sided MRI equipment, such as Sunshine and Goulburn Valley.

Open MRI machine
Open MRI machine


Monday, August 21, 2006

Monday mixed Grill - August 21st 2006

Here's a quick summary of events and blogs for the last week.

  • The Age newspaper are conducting a poll on Diabesity. View the current results here.

  • I've managed to finish Anthony Colpo's book The Great Cholesterol Con. Stay tuned for my review coming in the next few days.

  • Jimmy Moore is going to be coming out of your speakers now too!! He is involved in a podcast with three other guys. Find out about it here. The podcast service is going to start up next week.

  • Speaking of next week, I anticipate a bad night (nutrition wise) on Saturday night (26th August). My mates are throwing me a bucks night. That's right, this cave man has clubbed himself a cave woman and is tying the knot! I'll let you know how Saturday night pans out in a future blog post.

  • Thigs seem to be very quiet at the moment over at the Low Carb Dave site. It looks like he's a very busy man.

  • Pre Paleo medical checkup.

  • *********************************
    The monday funny.......

    In honour of my Cavewoman


    Crackdown on danger food

    PACKAGED food, margarines and even Chiko Rolls may soon carry warnings about their trans fat content, which recent research has revealed can increase the chance of developing coronary heart disease by more than 20 per cent.

    But Rosemary Stanton and other nutritionists say food regulators should go further and adopt the Danish standard, banning all products with more than 2 per cent trans fat. "Manufacturers don't have to have this stuff. They can process their fats by other methods, it's just a bit more expensive," Ms Stanton said.

    Rosemary Stanton

    Clinical trials conducted by Oxford University recently published in the British Medical Journal found that a 2 per cent increase in the consumption of trans fatty acids can lead to a 23 per cent increase in coronary heart disease. Trans fats are added to most fast foods and to a range of baked supermarket goods, confectionary and sandwich spreads, to improve taste, texture and shelf life.

    Food Standards Australia New Zealand said it was examining the level of trans fat in the Australian diet and may change food labelling laws so consumers would know how much of the fat was used in particular products. "We have formally started the review process and been working on it since the beginning of this year," said FSANZ spokeswoman Lydia Buchtmann, adding that the process should be complete by the beginning of next year.

    FSANZ last examined the use of trans fats in 2000. Ms Buchtmann said at that time there was not evidence to show that sufficient quantities of trans fats were consumed in Australia to become a health threat.

    However, Ms Stanton said consumers had been lulled into a false sense of security. She said while two major margarine manufacturers had stopped using trans fat, most house brand and cheaper brands still had high trans fat content.

    "We are also totally ignoring it in things like chicken nuggets, fast foods and pastries and things like Nutella," she said.

    Professor Paul Nestel, senior principal research fellow in cardiovascular nutrition at the Baker Heart Research Institute, who started studying trans fats more than a decade ago, said most locally produced food stuffs have much lower levels than that produced in the United States or Europe.

    Currently manufacturers must only reveal saturated fat content and total fat content that includes trans fat. Still, he expects that food labelling laws will be changed following the review.

    Footnote: Rosemary Stanton runs a consulting business, whos clients include State and Commonwealth government departments, sports associations and teams, primary industry groups, selected sections of the food industry and a major retailer. Her major role within these groups is to further the aims of educating the public about food and nutrition. I see a conflict of interest here. Does any one else? If she is being paid by "selected sections of the food industry" and a "major retailer", whos interests do you think she has in mind? Ours, or the people that pay her?


    Wednesday, August 16, 2006

    Obesity experts call for cheaper fruit and vegetables

    Fruit and vegetables should be subsidised to cut fresh food prices and help overcome "tragic" new obesity rates in Australian kids, experts say.

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released research showing Australia is the only country in the world where childhood obesity rates have overtaken adult rates.

    The number of overweight and obese children has doubled since 1985, with 23 per cent of all Australians under 16 now fitting into the two categories.

    Obesity experts Professor Ian Caterson from Sydney University and Paul Zimmet from Monash University have labelled the figures a tragedy for Australia.

    Prof Caterson, who will address the Chronic Diseases Summit in Canberra tomorrow, said he was particularly concerned by statistics showing people aged 20 to 35 were gaining weight the fastest.

    "Our worry is that if our kids are getting fat quicker and people in their 20s to 30s are getting fat faster (than the previous generation), when they're middle aged we're going to have a real problem," he told AAP.

    The academics support calls by US-based WHO researcher Professor Barry Popkin to institute a so-called calorie tax on manufacturers to lift the price of unhealthy food.

    But they said it may be even more effective to subsidise fresh food to make fruit and vegetables cheaper.

    "Over the last few years, the things we want people to eat have gone up in price more than processed food," Prof Caterson said.

    "So if we make them cheaper, we're rewarding people for eating the right things rather than punishing them for eating the wrong things."

    He said while eating habits were largely ingrained, (no pun intended) research had proved that price affects what people buy.

    One study showed that halving the price of apples boosted sales three fold.

    Prices would need to come down substantially through subsidies offered either to growers, transporters or supermarkets by both state and federal governments, Prof Caterson said.

    The move would bring the price of fresh produce back into line with processed foods and get fruit and vegetables to people quicker and fresher.

    The experts will tackle Australia's childhood obesity epidemic at the International Congress on Obesity in Sydney next month.

    "We live in an affluent society and Australian children are now suffering from 'affluenza'," Prof Caterson said.

    "Preventing obesity is a better way of reducing chronic disease and simpler because you can do it with eating and lifestyle intervention."

    Curry's qualities are food for thought

    Compounds found in curry and onions may help prevent colon cancer in those at risk, according to findings from a small US study.

    In the research, patients with pre-cancerous polyps in the colon who took a pill containing a combination of curcumin, which is found in the curry spice turmeric, and quercetin, an antioxidant found in onions, experienced a marked reduction in both the size and number of polyps.

    Image of familial adenomatous polyposis as seen on sigmoidoscopy. Released into public domain on permission of patient.

    "We believe this is the first proof of principle that these substances have significant effects in patients with FAP [familial adenomatous polyposis]," said Dr Francis M. Giardiello, of The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore.

    The condition is an inherited disorder characterised by the development of colorectal polyps and, eventually, colon cancer.

    In their study, Giardiello's team gave five patients with the disorder, who had five or more polyps in their lower-intestinal tract, 480 milligrams of curcumin and 20 mgs of quercetin three times daily.

    The average number of polyps dropped by 60 per cent, and the average size dropped by 51 per cent during an average time of six months, the team reports in the medical journal, Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Side effects among the patients were reported as "minimal", but I for one would like to know what they were.


    Tuesday, August 15, 2006

    Professor pushes for fat tax

    Governments should tax junk food to help people fight the fat, a US nutritionist says.

    World Health Organisation figures show there are more than a billion overweight adults worldwide, Prof Barry Popkin of the University of North Carolina said.

    Make some low-nutrition, high-energy foods such as soft drinks dearer, and subsidise fruit and vegetables, Prof Popkin told ABC radio.


    This is a great idea, and I mention something along these lines in this post. Basically I say:

    "If both Government legislation and parents contribute to this epidemic it would be quite easy to defeat it.

    1- Remove ALL vending machines from schools and shopping centres.
    2- Make sporting activities MANDATORY for all children between 5 and 17. 1 hour per week (including dressing and showering etc) at school is not enough. It should be government policy (enforcable by fines) that all kids participate in a weekly sporting activity.
    3- No "junk food" advertisments for or by fast food vendors until after 8pm.
    4- A ban on "junk food" sponsorship for sporting events (at any level).
    5- MASSIVE taxes on takeaway type foods that will undoubtedly get passed on to the consumer.

    1- Prepare more meals (including school lunches) at home.
    2- Eat more at home. The more you "eat out", the more ingredients you don't know what you are eating.
    3- Follow the "Zone pyramid" (or similar) as best as you can."


    Monday, August 14, 2006

    What kind -vore am I?

    The suffix vore comes from the Latin word vorare, meaning to devour, and is used to form nouns indicating what kind of a diet an animal has. Equivalent adjectives can be formed through use of the suffix vorous.

    Chances are, if you're reading this, you'll fit into the first category. The following is a list of words ending in vore, as well what kind of diet the word indicates.

    Omnivore - Plants and meat. Some fish, some birds and many mammals including pigs, bears, humans and foxes.
    Carnivore - Meat. Felines, Polar bears (probably not through choice), birds of prey, snakes and sharks.
    Herbivore - Plants. Horses, deer, rhinos, giraffes, some primates some birds and rabbits.
    Detritivore - Decomposing material. Worms and dung beetles.
    Folivore - Leaves. Sloths, koalas and Iguanas
    Frugivore - Fruit. Some birds, some bats and lemurs.
    Granivore - Seeds. Some insects and some birds.
    Insectivore - Insects. Frogs, lizards, some bats and some spiders.
    Limnivore - Mud. Some fish mainly catfish.
    Nectarivore - Nectar. Some insects, some birds, some bats and the Australian Honey Possum.
    Mucivore - Plant juices. Some insects.
    Mycovore - Fungi. Mainly (micro)organisms.
    Palynivore - Pollen. Bees, wasps butterflies, and moths.
    Piscivore - Fish. Some fish.
    Sanguinivore - Blood. Vampirte bats, leeches, mosquitoes and allegedley Count Vlad the impaler.

    Personally, I fit into the first category with strong leanings toward the second one. How about you?


    UPDATE: I just thought of one that I think should be included in the list..

    Technovore Unnatural food/chemicals. Humans that eat anything that contains Trans fatty acids, Highly refined flour, processed white sugar or juice squeezed out of a cow.

    $2 worth of mixed Veg please...

    The fact that vegetables are good for you isn't news. But scientists are trying to pin down exactly why they are good for you. A study has shown that eating a mix of five vegetables can reduce the formation of plaques in arteries, and so the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

    The research was on mice, though the team thinks the results should be applicable to humans, and so do I. There is no point whatsoever in testing human metabolic changes in mice. The team fed one group of mice a mixture of broccoli, green beans, corn, peas and carrots, while another group went on a vegetable-free diet. Those eating vegetables developed plaques that were about 38 per cent smaller than those in the second group of mice.

    The researchers, at Wake Forest University, also found that a marker of inflammation was lower in the vegetable-eating mice - they think anti-inflammatories in the vegetables might explain the results.

    Footnote: Mice generally live on a herbivore diet, but are actually omnivores: they will eat meat, the dead bodies of other mice, and have been observed to self-cannibalise their tails during starvation. Grasshopper mice are an exception to the rule, being the only fully carnivorous mice. Mice eat grains and fruits for a regular diet, which is the main reason they damage crops.

    Monday mixed Grill - August 14th 2006

    Monday mixed Grill - August 14th 2006

    Here's a quick summary of events and blogs for the last week.

  • You should get some tests done before you start your new Paleo way of life. Check out this post for a sample of what you should do both at home and at Pathology.

  • Crazy John Ilhan takes up the good fight.

  • I received an email from Matt at the Obesity Discussion forum. Check his forum out - lots of good info there.

  • The Brits are following in the footsteps of the Japanese and are going to be selling square watermellons to their "round" citizens.

  • Jimmy Moore interviews Dr. Jonny Bowden, and also asks if you think this is the body of an obese man.

  • Low Carb Dave blogs about a new group for meat and eggs followers on his Auslowcarb forum, and also tells us a bit about the Kimkins diet.

  • *********************************
    The monday funny.......


    Saturday, August 12, 2006

    The new square meal.

    From Sky news UK comes this story.

    Square watermelons - created for easy storage - are to be introduced to Britain.

    The bizarre-looking cuboid fruit caused a sensation in Japan when they went on sale there five years ago.

    Now UK shoppers will get their first taste of the Brazilian-grown melons from October as a supermarket starts selling them.

    Farmers create the fruit's unusual shape by putting them in transparent boxes while they grow.

    The melons take around 60 days to reach maturity.

    Tesco's exotic fruit buyer, Damien Sutherland, said the cuboid melons would be easier to store and eat.

    He said: "We've seen samples of these watermelons and they literally stop you in your tracks because they are so eye-catching.

    "These square melons will make it easier than ever to eat because they can be served in long strips rather than in the crescent shape."

    The cuboid watermelons cost around £46 each in Japan ($113AUD) but will be more reasonably priced at less than £5 ($12 AUD) each when they go on sale in Tesco this autumn.


    Not exactly what I'd call natural fruit, but I guess if all the grower does is grow it in a box to influence the shape, then fruit is fruit I s'pose.


    Wednesday, August 09, 2006

    "Crazy" John takes up the fight.

    Most Aussies would recognise this bloke.

    That's right, he's the mascot for "Crazy John's", Australia's self proclaimed leading mobile phone retailer. The owner, John Ilhan, has made the paper again today, calling on the food industry to improve labelling standards.

    Apparently, his daughter, Jaida, 5, has a severe allergy to nuts. That is very unfortunate and my best wishes go to Jaida and her family.

    Mr. Ilhan has in the past donated $1 million for a new allergy research foundation at the Royal Children's Hospital. Good on you John!

    I ask my reader to support him because of his efforts in helping find out what causes these food allergys.

    Mr Ilhan said he and his wife Patricia have to closely monitor the food Jaida eats as her allergy is life-threatening.

    "There are thousands and thousands of children at risk and we need to do something about it," he said.

    An overhaul of the food industry's labelling practices could cost millions, but Mr Ilhan said it would be worth it.

    "If it's good enough to ban smoking in restaurants, it's good enough to protect our kids," he said.

    AMA federal president Mukesh Haikerwal said too many producers are stamping their products with vague, meaningless warnings such as: "This product may contain traces of nuts".

    "It's a cop-out and it's only being done as a means of protection," Dr Haikerwal said.

    Health Minister Bronwyn Pike has called on peak food control body Food Standards Australia New Zealand to investigate tougher labelling rules.

    Australian Food and Grocery Council chief executive Dick Wells said it had been working with manufacturers to minimise "may contain" warnings.

    One in three Australian children has food allergies.

    'Crazy' John Ilhan

    Good luck with your quest, John.....


    School fast food ban...

    Appearing in yesterday's paper was this story about Dandenong P.S. banning parents coming to school at lunchtime and delivering KFC, Hungry Jacks (Burger King) and McDonalds to their kids.

    The excuse is that they don't have enough time in the morning to make their lunches.

    Surely if you can spare the time at lunchtime, you can spare the time to make something wholesome at home? These people are killing their kids with this ridiculous practice and I can only give top marks to Leonie Fitzgerald, Principal, for introducing this scheme.

    Apparently the parents are supportive of it too. Ms Fitzgerald said that "the ban had drawn a positive response from parents who were taking the school's advice to prepare healthier lunches for their children".

    Well, that is good news. Even though the parents were "guilted" in to it, I say - whatever works.

    In other, related news, Ms Fitzgerald said "the school had also employed a fitness instructor to help teachers get fit and was reviewing the canteen menu".

    A nutritionist would also speak to students, staff and parents next week.

    All good news from what I can tell from here. I wonder what the "revised" canteen menu will offer? No doubt, the Australian Heart Foundation food pyramid will be a big factor in deciding the new menu. Pity.

    In today's paper, Premier of Victoria Steve Bracks has supported Dandenong Primary School in their descision, saying "good on them for working with parents. This is really parent power in action".

    He fails to take it to the next level and ban this sort of food state wide in public schools though.

    Addmittedly, the government has already announced a ban on soft drink at schools and is considering restricting lollies and chips. I guess we have to take it in baby steps.


    Tuesday, August 08, 2006

    Bigger and beefier

    Remember 2004? Jet was the biggest band in the nation, Princess Mary won our hearts and a film by the name of Super Size Me was released.

    In it, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock became very unhealthy when he ate only McDonald's for a month. The film helped spur McDonald's into adding healthier options to its menus and focused both the US and Australia on our expanding obesity problems.

    Well, the Yanks seem to have forgotten about all of that.

    How else to explain Burger King's latest product - the Quad Stacker. That's four patties of beef, cheese and bacon (no vegetables or salad) squeezed into a bun. At first I thought the story was a joke (once again something The Onion wrote comes true) but, no, there it is on the Burger King's US website, exploding out of the screen (oh, and there are toys to go with it - c'mon kids, eat a burger that's larger than your head!).

    The Quad Stacker is perhaps a challenger to KFC's Famous Bowls - named by the Los Angeles Times as the worst fast food in the nation. The Famous Bowls (famous for what, exactly?) consist of a tub of mashed potatoes or rice, with yellow corn, fried chicken nuggets, gravy and three types of cheese. This is not a boxed meal with various separate parts - it's one big bowl of stuff all mixed in together.

    Now if only KFC would add four beef patties to the bowl, we could have ourselves an outright winner.

    So, if you were forced to eat one of these items, which one would you choose? (For those who care about calories, the bowls have 710, but the burger gets up to 1000. Whopper indeed.)

    Monday, August 07, 2006

    Monday mixed Grill - August 7th 2006

    Monday mixed Grill - August 7th 2006

    Here's a quick summary of events and blogs for the last week.

  • Tomorrow night, Tuesday August 8th, is Census night in Australia. Don't forget to mark your religion down as Jedi.

  • Jimmy Moore celebrates 11 years of Marrige.

  • Low Carb Dave asks if you are Fat phobic.

  • Here's how to calculate you BMI (Body Mass Index).

  • *********************************
    The monday funny.......


    Sunday, August 06, 2006

    Pre Paleo checkup

    In this post I'll talk about some of the medical tests you should get done before starting to follow a Palaeolithic Nutrition Plan for the rest of your life.

    The tests you do are important for several reasons.
  • They will give you a baseline to work from.
  • They will point out any problem areas that you may specifically need to target.
  • They will (hopefully) be some sort of proof to your doctor that natural food and vitamin supplementation is a better cure for modern diseases than prescription drugs.

  • We'll start with easy tests you can do at home.

    Test 1. Weight.
    Weigh yourself. Although you are not interested in weight loss, you are interested in fat loss, knowing your weigh helps in calculating your BMI and it also provides a motivational tool later in your new way of life as you see kilos (or pounds) come off.

    Test 2. Height.
    This is mainly needed to assist in calculating your BMI.

    Test 3. BMI.
    The Body Mass Index test is the simplest to do and it can be done at home if you like. I use this online one. Choose Metric or "standard".

    Test 4.
    Take measurements (as accurately as possible) of the following areas on your body:
  • Around your chest
  • Around your waist
  • Around your hips
  • Around a thigh
  • Around a humerous (upper arm)

  • That's about the extent of the "home" tests you can do (without spending money on various home test kits). In Australia, you can go to your GP (preferably a "bulk billing" one so it's free) and get a referral for pathology work. The following pathology tests should be done.

    Test 5.
    Body fat percentage. This is basically a "skin fold test" done with a pair of callipers at selected points on the body. These are done on the tricep, (midway between the shoulder and the tip of the elbow on the back of the upper arm) sub scapula, (diagonal fold across the back, just below the shoulder blade) bicep (halfway between the elbow and top of the shoulder on the front of the upper arm) and suprailiac (diagonal fold following the natural line of the iliac crest, just above the hip bone). An alternative is the Yuhasz Skin fold Test which uses six points. The four results are taken in millimetres then averaged. The result is put into a calculator like this one.

    Alternatively, you can visit a practitioner that uses Bioimpedance technology in their clinic. This is the most accurate and quickest test available to patients. It takes about 30 seconds to do the test. This will not only accurately measure your fat mass and percentage, it will also measure your muscle mass and other important biological markers.

    Test 6.
    A Blood Lipid profile. This will include HDL, LDL and Serum (total) cholesterol levels. Make sure you let your Doctor know that you want all three readings.

    Test 7.
    Triglycerides. This substance is a fat that is carried in your blood stream. This test will be done at the same time as your Cholesterol test.

    Test 8.
    Blood Pressure. Your GP should be able to do this test him/her self.

    Test 9.
    Fasting glucose. Performed first thing in the morning is easiest as you have to do with out food or drink for eight to ten hours before the test.

    Test 10.
    OGTT (Oral Glucose Tolerance Test) An OGTT is a series of blood glucose tests. A fasting glucose and insulin level is measured, (Test 9) then you drink a standard amount of a glucose solution to "challenge" your system. This is followed by one or more additional glucose and insulin tests performed at specific intervals to track their levels over time.

    Test 11.
    Homocysteine. This is one of the primary clinical indicators of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). Again, this will be done at the same time as your cholesterol and triglyceride tests.

    Test 12.
    TSH. (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) This test will check for hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism symptoms can include fatigue and low energy levels, depression, unexplained weight gain and intolerance to cold temperatures amongst others. Make sure you are very clear to your GP that you also want "free" T3 (tri-iodothyronine) and "free" T4 (thyroxine) levels checked. This has nothing to do with the price! The "free" T3 and T4 levels will indicate how "active" they are. Just a serum or total level will not be the accurate reading you require.

    Finally, record your age, sex, any prescription drugs you take, any supplements you take, the date of these tests and the date you started eating like a caveman (or woman). As you progress through the next few months, keep a diary about any problems you come across or how you feel. The information that you collect can be very important to your Health care professional so the more you collect the better.

    For the pathology tests, you should schedule a series of follow up tests at the six month and twelve month mark. After that once per year is fine to make sure you keep all your results in the "good" range. The home tests mentioned above can be done on a weekly basis. Make sure you record all results.


    Folic acid and DNA?

    Folic acid taken before and during pregnancy can prevent some brain and spinal cord birth defects, such as spina bifida. That much is well known.


    But new research, published in the British Journal of Cancer, has found that daily supplements of 200 micrograms of folic acid seem to improve the stability of DNA in adults - and the team thinks this could reduce the risk of various cancers.

    Brussel Sprouts

    Earlier work has suggested that people with a folate deficiency are more likely to develop precancerous lesions that, in some cases, will develop into tumours.


    Meanwhile, a recent report from the American Cancer Society concluded that folic acid could lessen the severity of prostate cancer. Folate, the natural form of the B vitamin, is found in green, leafy vegetables, eggs and beans.

    Omega-3 enriched chicken's eggsGreen beans

    Beans are not strictly part of the Paleolithic way of life, so I would only eat them if I weren't taking a 5mg supplement of folate per day.



    Saturday, August 05, 2006

    The secret of a successful diet?

    Smaller bowls and smaller utensils may be a key to a successful diet, according to a small experiment that used nutrition professionals as subjects.

    At a social gathering of 85 faculty members, graduate students and staff at the department of food science at the University of Illinois, the partygoers served themselves ice-cream.

    They did not know they were also the subjects of an experiment. Half the participants were given bowls with a half-litre capacity, and half were given litre-capacity bowls.

    In addition, half were given 60ml spoons to scoop their ice cream and half were given 90ml serving spoons. With larger spoons, people served themselves 14.5 per cent more, and with a larger bowl, they heaped on 31 per cent more.

    With both a large spoon and a large bowl, the nutrition experts helped themselves to 56.8 per cent more ice cream than those who used the smaller utensils. And almost all of them ate all the ice-cream they took.

    The findings will appear in the The American Journal of Preventive Medicine; reported by The New York Times.

    Can anyone tell me why nutritionists are eating Ice cream? It annoys me that we are supposed to be taking their advice, while they can't follow it themselves! And if they are advising eating ice cream, then as nutritionists, they aren't worth a damn.

    Healthy food - according to the University of Illinois.


    Body Dysmorphic Disorder (or when the mirror lies)

    People with "body dysmorphic disorder" are 45 times more likely to commit suicide than people in the general population, a new US study shows.

    The findings underscore the importance of recognising and treating this "often secretive" psychiatric disorder, Dr Katherine Phillips, the study's co-author, said.

    Individuals with body dysmorphic disorder, or BDD, have a distorted body image and think obsessively about their appearance, often for hours a day, explained Phillips, who is at Butler Hospital and Brown Medical School in Providence, Rhode Island.

    The disorder frequently leads to self-loathing and social isolation, she added. It is not uncommon for people with BDD to tell no one about their condition, even a spouse or very close friends.

    "I've worked with these patients for about 15 years now," Phillips added. "In my clinical experience they're often thinking about suicide. They're an unusually distressed group of people."

    Philips and her colleague William Menard conducted the first investigation in which a group of patients with BDD were followed over a period of time, and report the findings in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

    During each year of the study, 58 per cent of the 185 study participants reported thinking about suicide, and 2.6 per cent tried to kill themselves. Two people completed suicide attempts, making the suicide rate among the patients roughly 45 times greater than for people in the general population.

    Studies have suggested that up to 2.4 per cent of people have BDD, Phillips said. While most of us have concerns about appearance, she added, a person with BDD obsesses about these concerns and is virtually crippled by them.

    "It's easy to trivialise BDD, it's easy to confuse it with vanity," she added.

    Most people with BDD can be helped by treatment with antidepressant drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which include Prozac and Zoloft, or a type of counselling known as cognitive behavioural therapy, Phillips said.

    "The good news is that there are two forms of treatment that seem to be helpful for most people with this disorder," she added. "This just underscores the importance of recognising this illness and recognising that it's a severe illness that can potentially respond very well to mental health treatment."

    (Dr Katherine Phillips is the author of The Broken Mirror: Understanding and Treating Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and for more information on BDD you can purchase her book from Amazon.

    The Broken Mirror: Understanding and Treating Body Dysmorphic Disorder