Growth Hormone, Aging, and Disease

The following post will be fairly speculative, so view it as a researched opinion piece. This post may have its inaccuracies and will evolve as I continue to research this topic. Herein I will be proposing some of my views on growth hormone and its downstream protein IGF-1 with particular respect to its role in aging and longevity. Continue reading

Why Whole Grains are Not a Healthier Alternative to Refined Grains

“Eat your damn whole grains!” If you’ve ever known a nutritionist, there’s a pretty good chance they might utter some variation of this advice. Whole grains, they say, are so much better than those nutrient depleted refined grains because the whole grain is full of vitamins and minerals which are removed during the refining process. Continue reading

Why Consumption of Omega-6 Polyunsaturated Fat Should Not Be Recommended as a Dietary Strategy to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

Vegetable oils are often recommended as a heart healthy replacement for saturated fat in the diet. A 2011 a report by the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion concluded: “The evidence shows that a decrease in (saturated fat) equivalent to 5 percent of calories, replaced by (polyunsaturated fat)…decreases risk of CVD”. This view, based on epidemiological evidence, is particularly perplexing given the existence of a superior form of evidence, randomized controlled trials, which have not only evaluated this very subject but also frequently contradicted the quote above. Continue reading

Why Vitamin C Intake Should Not Be a Primary Focus of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention

A popular theory exists, proposed by respected scientists like Linus Pauling and Matthias Rath, that insufficient vitamin C intake is one of the main factors driving cardiovascular disease. But if low vitamin C intake is a significant driver of atherosclerosis and heart disease, where is the supportive evidence? Continue reading

Does Meat Increase Homocysteine?

Meat, especially red meat, is often the target of criticism in some nutrition circles. Not always for the same reasons–most seem to appreciate its protein but lambast its fat as “artery clogging”. However, there also exists a number of noted nutritionists, particularly those recommending a “plant based diet”, who claim meat protein itself is unhealthy for a various reasons. One of their claims is that animal protein is acidic and causes bone loss as a result. I already this claim in a previous posts, concluding that it was completely untrue. But what about some of the other claims leveed against meat protein, do they have merit?

One claim I sometimes hear relates to homocysteine. Homocysteine is a compound found in the blood that appears to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (1,2). Homocysteine is derived primarily from the amino acid methionine, which meat protein is particularly rich in. This generally serves as the bases for the argument that meat should increase homocysteine levels. This makes some sense in theory, but do studies actually support it? Let’s find out. Continue reading

Monounsaturated Fat Versus Saturated Fat: Nutrition Cage Match

To my knowledge there exist no controlled dietary trials lasting long enough for us to know how swapping monounsaturated fats (e.g. olive oil) and saturated fats (e.g. butter) affects death from and incidence of various diseases. So once again let’s scope some suggestive short term findings: Continue reading

Blood Viscosity and Health

Viscosity is the resistance of a liquid to movement. Think water versus honey, honey being very viscous. Turns out a number of things can make the blood flowing through our bodies more or less viscous.

Some possible causes of increased blood viscosity are dehydration [1], psychological stress [2], cold temperatures [3][4], heat stroke [5], increased hematocrit (serum red blood cell) levels [6], hyperglycemia [7], increased triglycerides and chylomicrons in the blood [8], and perhaps exposure to air pollution [9] and tobacco smoke [10]. Continue reading