Friday, November 30, 2012

Abbie's Cop-Out

Can someone be a critical, anti-authoritarian and helpful* source for valuable and scientifically sound information in one area, and an utter complete daft idiot and uncritical anti-humanistic authoritarian anti-scientific hack in another area?

Well, it sure looks like.

* As long as Abbie Smith ("ERV") is not trying to start bitch-fights with Judy Mikovits, that is.

"It's all just in your mind" – Cereal Grains edition

Dr. Briffa on Gluten Sensitivity:
… The authors of the piece refer to a study (due to be published) in which 920 patients with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (e.g. abdominal discomfort and bloating) have wheat (as well as other foods including cow’s milk) removed from the diet [2]. On blind challenging with food (participants did not know what food they were being challenged with), a full third of patients responded adversely to wheat and not with placebo. As the authors say:
The evidence therefore suggests that, even in the absence of coeliac disease, gluten based products can induce abdominal symptoms which may present as irritable bowel syndrome.
As a result of this and other evidence, non-coeliac gluten sensitivity was recognised earlier this year by a group of 15 international experts [3]. Common symptoms that are attributed to this condition include “intestinal symptoms such as abdominal discomfort, bloating, pain, and diarrhoea (also consistent with irritable bowel syndrome) or with a variety of extra-intestinal symptoms such as headaches, “foggy mind,” depression, fatigue, musculoskeletal pains, and skin rash.”

The authors conclude:
For patients who report wheat intolerance or gluten sensitivity, exclude coeliac disease… and wheat allergy…. Those patients with negative results should be diagnosed with non-coeliac gluten sensitivity. These patients benefit symptomatically from a gluten-free diet. They should be told that non-coeliac gluten sensitivity is a newly recognised clinical entity for which we do not yet fully understand the natural course or pathophysiology.
I am almost speechless at the balanced and honest nature of this account of gluten sensitivity: it recognises the limitations of medical testing and admits there’s things we simply don’t know or understand. I have a feeling there’s going to be plenty of people reading this who will feel inclined to shove these findings in the face of a practitioner who told them their tests were negative and that their wheat sensitivity is imagined and ‘all in their mind’.


1. Aziz I, et al. Does gluten sensitivity in the absence of coeliac disease exist? BMJ published 30 November 2012

2. Carroccio A, et al. Non-celiac wheat sensitivity diagnosed by double-blind placebo-controlled challenge: exploring a new clinical entity. Am J Gastroenterol (forthcoming).

3. Sapone A, et al. Spectrum of gluten-related disorders: consensus on new nomenclature and classification. BMC Med2012;10:13

Thursday, November 29, 2012

John Maddox was an AIDS-Denier in 1983

The AIDS Editorial 1983

Maddox penned an editorial in April 1983 entitled "No Need for Panic about AIDS", stating that "male homosexuals should be persuaded to change their ways" of "pathetic promiscuity" and describing AIDS as a "perhaps non-existent condition".
So John Maddox denied the reality of AIDS when information was spares? Figures that a prize in his name is given to Simon Wessely, who denies the reality of ME/CFS…

[Update] Please note two common themes in disease-denial:
  1. "It's their ways" (aka, their lifestyle, they bring it onto themselves, blame the patient, yada yada)
  2. "It's perhaps a non-existent condition." (aka probably not a "proper" disease anyway, hypochondriac psychosomatic somatoform imagination run wild)
Please remember: "If scientists are silent, loony ideas will win." So please dear scientists show courage, and stand up against loons like John Maddox and Simon Wessely. So by giving the "John Maddox prize for disease-denial" to Simon Wessely, it is clearly shown what a anti-humanistic and anti-scientific hack Simon Wessely is.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Kentucky Fried Cardiovascular Research

The Scientist: A Decade of Misconduct

A senior cardiovascular disease and diabetes researcher at the University of Kentucky has been found guilty of falsifying data over the past 10 years.

Federal investigators have censured a former University of Kentucky (UK) senior biomedical researcher for serial scientific misconduct over a 10-year period, including the falsification of data in grant applications, progress reports, and published papers. The US Office of Research Integrity (ORI) announced the findings last week (November 20) with a notice in the Federal Register.

A joint investigation carried out over the course of 2 years by the ORI and the UK found that Eric Smart, who studied the molecular mechanisms behind cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, had falsified or fabricated a total of 45 figures—mostly images of Western blots, a technique used to identify proteins—in seven grant applications, three progress reports, and 10 published papers, some of which were cited more than 100 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. The notice says that Smart also reported experimental data from knockout mice that did not exist.

“This is surprising and disappointing news to me,” said Philippe Frank of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. “Dr. Smart's papers were highly cited in the specific caveolae/cardiovascular research field.” William Sessa of the Yale University School of Medicine told The Scientist by email that he was “shocked at the extent of misconduct,” and that the reporting of data for knockout mice that did not exist in grant applications “is very problematic indeed.” But, he added, “since I do not know what aspects of the figures were incorrect or misrepresented, it is difficult to assess the impact on the field.”
Retration Watch has this to report:
Specifically, ORI finds that Respondent:

Falsely reported in Figure 14 and associated text in NIH grant applications R01 HL07897601 and -01A1 that experiments were performed to determine if endothelial-specific caveolin-1 null mice were protected from saturated fatty acid-induced atherosclerosis, when these mutant mice did not exist in the laboratory at the time; Dr. Smart also falsely reported the use of these mice in related progress reports R01 HL078976-02, -03, and -04 and in three (3) additional NIH grant applications: Figure 11 in R01 HL088150-01, Figure 11 in U54 CA116853, and Figure 9 in DK063025-01A2
So nothing to see here.

Continue to avoid saturated fat, and take your statins – as the good doctor said.

And while some people may actually and genuinely be surprised (and may actually and genuinely believe that saturated fat is the nutritional anti-christ), I am not the the slightest bit surprised that one needs to fake studies to come to the faulty paradigm which is en vogue now for decades in cardiovascular research. I guess if you work with a faulty paradigm, there is no other way but to fake results to uphold that faulty paradigm.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Ketogenic diet slows the progression of cancer

Ketogenic diet slows the progression of cancer:
"Targeting insulin inhibition as a metabolic therapy in advanced cancer: A pilot safety and feasibility dietary trial in 10 patients", Eugene J. Fine et al., Nutrition, 1028-1035,2012

The Heretic has this comment:
It is interesting to note that, contrary to a myth about keto diets being supposedly harmful for kidneys,  not only it did not worsen the markers, but improved kidney filtration of one of the patients!

It is important to keep in mind that stopping of a disease progression is not the same as curing it. Ketogenic diet seems to help but I do not consider it to be a universal cure for cancer (it does however cure t2 diabetes!).
Caveat: It was only 9 patients, and it helped only 5 of them.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Anecdotes: Paleo helps for Rosacea and Restless Leg Syndrome

Paul Jaminet has the details (and more on other health issues).

Wessely's Prize

So Simon Wessely got a prize for his impeccable scientific incorruptibility, high-principality and courage (or something) while bravely facing CFS patients (which were wielding WMDs, I take it).

And it seems he was involved in creating the prize in the first place – truly a hero of our time!

I would put him in line with laureates of other prestigious prizes like Kissinger (Peace Nobel), Al Gore (Peace Nobel), the European Union (Peace Nobel), or any* of the Medical Nobel Prize Laureates of the last decades. Just like Alfred Nobel wished, these distinguished people all did something which had undeniably the "greatest benefit on mankind", just like Simon Wessely.

And just like the countless molecular-biology-breakthroughs have yielded an improved life for us all (as we all can recite what these people did for us), so did Wessely's, the psycho* with an brain the size of a plant, show us the way how to imagine ourselves healthy in the face of our misguided bodily disease – it is The (Simon Wessely) Secret! Wishing Makes It So!

And if you doubt that (and try to look for a bodily reason to your malaise) you will not get better, that Simon will make sure!

He should enjoy his prize, a prize that shows to everybody that Simon Wessely is surrounded by uncritical lickspittles likeminded scientists, who have captured the wellbeing of a large part of our population.

So congrats, my dear Simon!

* Maybe with the exception of the inventors of the CT scanner, the MRI scanner, the people receiving a prize for their work on prostaglandins, and the discoverers of  HIV – with the discoverers of HIV being a sad story. Furthermore, some of the molecular-biological work seems very important, but has not had any noticeable positive effect on health care so far.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Daft Idiots

Ohio State University press release.

Discovery Could Lead to Faster Diagnosis For Some Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Cases

COLUMBUS, Ohio - For the first time, researchers have landed on a potential diagnostic method to identify at least a subset of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a complex disorder with no known definitive cause or cure.

In a pilot study of six patients, scientists detected specific antibodies linked to latent Epstein-Barr virus reactivation in blood samples from people who had experienced classic CFS symptoms and responded to antiviral treatment. Control blood samples from 20 healthy people showed no such antibodies.

So they tested six(!) patients, and on that basis the claim to have identified "at least a subset of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)". One does not need to read any further.


And no only that, but "for the first time", none the less.

If anybody has identified subsets in CFS, it was Kathleen and Alan Light – long ago, with a much larger base of patients.

So who are these daft idiots, which lend their names to such BS?
Antibody to Epstein-Barr Virus Deoxyuridine Triphosphate Nucleotidohydrolase and Deoxyribonucleotide Polymerase in a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Subset

A. Martin Lerner, Maria E. Ariza, Marshall Williams, Leonard Jason, Safedin Beqaj, James T. Fitzgerald, Stanley Lemeshow, Ronald Glaser
Martin Lerner and Leonard Jason – guess my moderately elevated opinion of these two jokers just evaporated. While Lerner seemed a bit suspicious to me, Jason did not appear like someone who would participate in such publicity stunts – oh well.

Maybe, just maybe, these results will hold up in a larger study – or maybe it goes the way of all Herpesviridae results in ME/CFS (I'm looking at you Jose Montoya).

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Gary Taub on Big Sugar

Gary Taub on Big Sugar:
… Following the Montreal conference, the ISRF disseminated a memo quoting Errol Marliss, a University of Toronto diabetes specialist, recommending that the industry pursue "well-designed research programs" to establish sugar's role in the course of diabetes and other diseases. "Such research programs might produce an answer that sucrose is bad in certain individuals," he warned. But the studies "should be undertaken in a sufficiently comprehensive way as to produce results. A gesture rather than full support is unlikely to produce the sought-after answers."

A gesture, however, is what the industry would offer. Rather than approve a serious investigation of the purported links between sucrose and disease, American sugar companies quit supporting the ISRF's research projects. Instead, via the Sugar Association proper, they would spend roughly $655,000 between 1975 and 1980 on 17 studies designed, as internal documents put it, "to maintain research as a main prop of the industry's defense." Each proposal was vetted by a panel of industry-friendly scientists and a second committee staffed by representatives from sugar companies and "contributing research members" such as Coca-Cola, Hershey's, General Mills, and Nabisco. Most of the cash was awarded to researchers whose studies seemed explicitly designed to exonerate sugar. One even proposed to explore whether sugar could be shown to boost serotonin levels in rats' brains, and thus "prove of therapeutic value, as in the relief of depression," an internal document noted. …
Warning: Article is spread over three "pages".

Friday, November 9, 2012

Mikovits: It's a retrovirus!!!! No, it's a genetic mutation!!!

So the very excellent Dr. Mikovits ("It's a retrovirus and it's gonna get everyone and your dog unless you test yourself and your loved ones!!!!") has stopped pushing worthless yet expensive XMRV tests with FUD on gullible (and desperate for answers) ME/CFS patients.

Instead, the fine Dr. Mikovits is now pushing genetic tests (for MTHFR, I take it) on gullible (and desperate for answers) ME/CFS patients – though thankfully the fear factor is much lower than it was with "HGRV is gonna get you and your loved ones!!!".

So the good Dr. Mikovits, who claimed until this very year that there is some huge government conspiracy – which included almost all known (retro)virologists – to hide the existence of extraterestrial life an retrovirus ("HGRV") that would torment all, all, all ME/CFS sufferers, so that very same Dr. Mikovits has made an 180 degree turn and seems to be claiming it is all in the genes, no virus needed – huh.

The words "lying", "fear-mongering" and "cunt" come to my mind – which is highly unfair to the excellent Dr. Mikovits, as I must admitt.

Skin, Nails, Tongue – Health Surrogate Markers

So I noticed today that the appearance of my tongue has improved. My tongue used to be covered with some (very slight) white patches, and it looked a bit like it would rot away and fall apart in some time – gross, I know, so I did look to often at my tongue… :-) But now my tongue looks pale red and uniformly so, with a little bit more white in the back.

Hmm, it is only a optical improvement, yet I take that as a positive health thing.

Again, I blame it on my paleo diet.

While we are at the topic of "skin" in the mouth, what has gone for good are aphthous ulcers / canker sores in the mouth (which I had from time to time).

And this in addition that my skin no longer suffers acne. From the various skin improvements, acne is the only one I have clearly linked to (pasteurized) milk and dairy as a cause.

And two years ago I noticed for the first time something my skin doctor called "hemangiomas" (might as well be "vascular lesions"), very small, about 1 to 2 mm, give or take (about 1/20 to 1/10 of an inch), red dots on the skin, from blood vessels. She said they would get slowly worse over the years, but they improved a tad bit over the last two years – but it is too early to call.

And the skin around the "front corners" of fingernails used to peel off easily, so the top layers of skin around my finger nails had a tendency to be missing in action – and that has improved much as well with a paleo diet.

And while we are at nails, the appearance of my nails has improved a little bit over the last two years – almost no more "mountain ridges" across from side to side (beau's lines?) – but the grooves on the length of the nail plates (in growth direction) are still here, but maybe a tad bit weaker. And the problems with hangnails have improved much as well. Cuticles and white spots are no longer noticable, but were not a huge problem in the first place.

Then, I had about once or twice a year an armpit rush, which seems to have gone by eliminating dairy and eggs from my nutrition.

So related to only skin there are more than half a dozen surrogate health markers for me, some moving slowly (e.g. hemangiomas), some moving fast (mainly acne), some were seldom (e.g. canker sores), some a constant bane (again mainly acne).

While I traced down only one skin problem clearly to an identified cause (with acne and dairy), I suspect that the other skin problems might have been caused by dairy too (maybe with cereal grains being a problem in one or the other instead of dairy, or maybe in addition to dairy).

So if you have health problems and want to start a paleo diet, you should make an inventory of your little health problems, and then you can see if they improve – things like improvement in areas such as mood are important to notice too, but acne and canker sores are so much more objective. Then you can do a challenge with dairy, or with cereal grains, or whatever you removed from your diet, to see if the things get worse again.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Case-Studies: Ketogenic Diet cures Bipolar Disorder

Ketogenic Diets and Bipolar Disorder: New Case Studies
One woman described her irritability going away and a sense of calm. Also "having my head screwed on straight--well, it's definitely worth giving up pie." She said her symptoms seemed better with a ketone level of 15mg/dl vs 5 mg/dl in the urine. The other woman noted that if she remained gluten-free, she felt much better, even though she had never been diagnosed with celiac disease.

Neither woman had any adverse consequences and they remained stable on the diet for 2-3 years at the time the paper was published.
So Bipolar "Disorder" seems to have nutritional causes (and mainly cereal grains and/or gluten, it seems). Hmmm, I wonder whether the psych* business will will take notice of that – it would kind of undermine their biases and their business after all, now wouldn't it?

Nice to see Emily Deans having a go at that:
Final note as I was in a bit of a hurry when I wrote the post at first… I did want to say there is a *lot* about these case study diets that could be therapeutic. No processed food, no sugar, lots of nutrients, lots of omega 3, low in gluten or gluten-free, likely low in histamine. The tracking of the ketones and one women's experience that the 15mg/dl ketone level felt more calming to her along with the sensible biologic mechanism makes the ketosis part plausible, but it is important to note these other possible factors.

Anecdote: Successful treat CFS with Paleo/Primal

Mark's Daily Apple: How the Primal Blueprint Helped Me End My Struggle with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

(I have no doubt that Paleo/Primal helped her, but I call BS on the "inflammation weight" explanation of her doctor and pretty much everything else her quackish doctor said – and furthermore I would not be surprised if the doctor with the "detailed supplement plan" would have some more than passing resemblance if not identity with my good Milady Myhill. I would venture that the the two good things Myhill does is recommending the "Cavemen Diet" or "Stone-Age Diet", and discontinuing no longer needed medication after the change of diet – everything else she recommends seems like complete bunk to me.)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

(Health) Research Expenditures

Labrigger on (health) research expenditures.

Cervantes on the Medical-Pharmaceutical-Industry

Cervantes on the Medical-Pharmaceutical-Industry:
The Senate finance committee has found that [the Medtronic corporation] paid -- get this, it's not a typo or an extra zero -- hundreds of millions of dollars to doctors to pretend to be the authors of articles they drafted, edited and approved praising its product InFuse. Senator Max Baucus says, "Medical journal articles should convey an accurate picture of the risks and benefits of drugs and medical devices, but patients are at serious risk when companies distort the facts the way Medtronic has." Indeed. The editors of Spine Journal weigh in: "If surgeons had known that the lead authors of the 13 original studies on InFuse had received payments ranging from $1.7 million to $64 million [sic!] from Medtronic and that its marketing employees were co-authors and co-editors, would they have been as eager to use InFuse on their patients?"

That's all well and good but BMJ fails to name the names of those "physicians." They are all cruising along with high powered appointments and continuing to publish.


5-AZA A. Melvin Ramsay Acne Advocacy Alan Light Alternative medicine is an untested danger Ampligen Andrew Wakefield Anecdote Anthony Komaroff Antibiotics Antibodies Anxiety Aphthous Ulcers Apnea Asthma Autism Autoimmune Disease Behçet’s Ben Katz Bertrand Russell Biology Blood sugar Bruce Carruthers Caffeine Calcium Cancer Capitalism Cardiology Carmen Scheibenbogen CBT/GET CDC Celiac Disease Cereal Grains CFIDS Chagas Charité Charles Lapp Christopher Snell Chronix Clinician Coconut Milk Cognition Common Sense and Confirmation Bias Conversion Disorder Coxiella Burnetii Coxsackie Criteria Crohn's Cushing's Syndrome Cytokine Daniel Peterson Darwinism David Bell Depression Diabetes Diagnostic Differential Disease Diseases of Affluence DNA DNA Sequencing Dog DSM5 EBV EEG Eggs Elaine DeFreitas Elimination Diet Enterovirus Epstein-Barr ERV Etiology Evolution Exercise Challenge Faecal Transplant Fame and Fraud and Medical Science Fatigue Fatty Acids Fibromyalgia Francis Ruscetti Fructose Gene Expression Genetics Giardia Gordon Broderick Gulf War Illness Gut Microbiome Harvey Alter Health Care System Hemispherx Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome Herpesviridae High Blood Pressure Historic Outbreaks HIV HPV Hyperlipid Ian Hickie Ian Lipkin Immune System Infection Intermittent Fasting It's the environment stupid Jacob Teitelbaum Jamie Deckoff-Jones Jo Nijs John Chia John Coffin John Maddox José Montoya Judy Mikovits Karl Popper Kathleen Light Kenny De Meirleir Lactose Lamb Laszlo Mechtler LCMV Lecture Leonard Jason Leukemia Life Liver Loren Cordain Low Carb Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN) Luc Montagnier Lucinda Bateman Ludicrous Notions Lumpers and Splitters Lyme Mady Hornig Mark Hasslett Martin Lerner Mary Schweitzer MCS ME/CFS Medical Industry Medicine is not based on anecdotes Michael Maes Migraine Milk and Dairy Mitochondria MMR Money and Fame and Fraud MRI Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Multiple Sclerosis Mutton My Symptoms n-1 Nancy Klimas Narcolepsy Neurodermitis Neuroscience NK-Cell Nocebo NSAID Nutrition Obesity On Nutrition Pain Paleo Parathyroid Pathogen Paul Cheney PCR Pharmaceutical Industry Picornavirus Placebo Polio Post Exertional Malaise POTS/OI/NMH PTSD PUFA Q Fever Quote Rare Disease Research Retrovirus Rheumatoid Arthritis Rituximab RNA Robert Gallo Robert Lustig Robert Silverman Robert Suhadolnik Rosario Trifiletti Sarah Myhill Sarcasm Science Sequencing Seth Roberts Shrinks vs. Medicine Shyh-Ching Lo Simon Wessely Sinusitis Sjögren's Somnolence Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik Speculation Stanislaw Burzynski Statins Stefan Duschek Study Sucrose Sugar Supplements Symptoms T1DM T2DM There is no such thing as Chronic Lyme There is no such thing as HGRV Thyroid Tinitus To Do Toni Bernhard Tourette's Treatment Tuberculosis Vaccine Video Vincent Lombardi Vincent Racaniello Virus Vitamin B Vitamin D VP62 When Evidence Based Medicine Isn't Whooping Cough Wolfgang Lutz WPI XMRV You fail science forever