Recently, a randomized trial that investigated the impact of a low-carbohydrate diet on plasma low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) in young and healthy adults was published. The study was done in Norway between 2011 and the end of 2012. A total of 30 participants completed the study, where they were either randomized to a low-carbohydrate group (<20 grams/d) or a control group. Basically, the investigators found a difference between the groups, Read More
Influential Errors | The Diet Heart Tale
Earlier this year, my colleagues and I were discussing the relationship between saturated fat and cardiovascular disease. One of us was writing an article on the topic and we were discussing an unusual trial often included in meta-analyses. That trial is the Finnish Mental Hospital Study, a crossover study that compared patients on a control diet with a certain amount of saturated fat to patients on an intervention diet that replaced the saturated fat with polyunsaturated fats. Read More
Is Moderate Carbohydrate Intake the Best?
Recently, a giant paper on carbohydrate consumption and mortality was published in The Lancet. The paper discussed the findings of a prospective cohort study and a meta-analysis of several cohort studies. Studies like this are often the ones that generate the most hype, which is always bizarre to me given that higher quality randomized studies almost never receive any attention. As a result of all the noise (see below), I had to discuss the study in question. Read More
Chocolate Milk Is Delicious, Not Magic
Chocolate milk is one of the few drinks in sports nutrition to have a pretty good reputation. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also rich in calcium, carbohydrates, flavonoids, and electrolytes. These are nutrients that seem to aid sports performance. The conclusions froma few studies over the years have supported its use for improving sports performance. However, there are also several contradictory findings that didn’t find it to be superior to other sports drinks that contain carbohydrates and electrolytes. Read More
Does Protein Increase the Risk of Heart Failure?
About three weeks ago, a cohort study was published in Circulation that claimed that protein consumption was associated with heart failure. The press reacted as I expected them to. If you read some of these articles, most of them seem to conclude that a high protein diet is probably not good for you and that Americans eat too much protein. Anyway, back to this study. Given the nature and limits of these types of studies (you can read more about that here) I was a bit skeptical, but also open to the idea that there might be a possible relationship between increased protein consumption and an increased rate of heart failure. Read More
How Useful Is Nutritional Epidemiology?
Nutritional epidemiological findings are often the studies that generate the most buzz, but they’re also the ones that get harshly criticized. Some folks will even go out of their way to say that the entire field produces findings that are mostly useless. Here’s what one of the leading meta researchers has to say about nutritional epidemiology: “Nutritional Epidemiology is a scandal. It should just go to the waste bin. Read More
Prescript Assist Is a Risky Supplement
What is Prescript Assist? Prescript Assist is a popular probiotic supplement in the ancestral health community because it is marketed as following ancestral principles. The claim is that this product contains microorganisms found in soil, which are “natural” and what our ancestors consumed with their unwashed produce. Some of the claims of this product are the following: It can survive the harsh conditions of the gastrointestinal tract It can colonize the gut Read More