It's like it never happened. Despite the billions spent on low-fat foods and drinks and cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, researchers have confirmed that full-fat milk, yoghurt, cheese and butter won't do you any harm. In fact, the foods can help protect against a stroke.
The latest research conclusively establishes that dairy fat doesn't increase the risk of heart disease—and certainly doesn't clog up our arteries. Despite the growing evidence, the latest dietary guidelines for Americans still recommends eating fat-free or low-fat foods.
But the advice isn't just unscientific, it's also dangerous, say the researchers from the University of Texas Science Center. Low-fat foods and drinks often contain added sugars that actually are harmful, and paradoxically can cause poor heart health.
The researchers monitored the level of fatty acids in a group of around 3,000 volunteers aged 65 years and over for 22 years. They discovered that high levels of 'bad' fatty acids—such as LDL cholesterol, which has been blamed as a cause of heart disease—didn't affect health or increase the rate of heart disease. In fact, the people with high levels of 'bad' fatty acids were 42 per cent less likely to die from stroke, suggesting that a fatty diet is protective.
Whole-fat dairy foods are "rich sources of nutrients such as calcium and potassium, and these are essential for health, not only during childhood but throughout life," said Marcia Otto, one of the researchers.
She said the research was "robust" and it "significantly strengthens the growing body of evidence which suggests that dairy fat, contrary to popular belief, does not increase the risk of heart disease or overall mortality in older adults."
Apples are supposed to keep the doctor away—but oranges have their part to play, too. Eating an orange a day will help ward off macular disease, one of the most common eye problems that can lead to blindness as we get older.
Regular orange eaters are 60 per cent less likely to have developed the disease 15 years later, a new research study has discovered.
People who eat an orange a day are the least likely to suffer from macular degeneration when they're elderly, but even eating an orange once in a while also has some protective effect.
Although vitamins C, E and A are supposed to keep our eyes healthy, it was the flavonoids specifically found in oranges that seemed to have the greatest benefit, say researchers from the University of Sydney.
They tracked the eating habits of more than 2,000 people aged 50 and over for 15 years. The participants were eating other healthy foods and drinks, and especially those that contain anti-inflammatory flavonoids, such as tea, apples and red wine, but it was only those who regularly ate oranges that reduced their chances of macular degeneration and especially compared to those who never ate oranges.
"The data didn't show a relationship between other food sources protecting the eyes against the disease," said lead researcher Bamini Gopinath.
One in seven people over the age of 50 will be affected by macular degeneration to some extent.
Around 200,000 Americans die each year because of some mistake a medic makes—and those errors are most likely to happen when the doctor is suffering from burnout, a new study has discovered.
It's a failing of the entire medical system that is putting the lives of patients at risk, say researchers from the Stanford School of Medicine.
Doctors who are exhausted or suffering from burnout are twice as likely to make a mistake that could endanger the life of the patient. In a survey of 6,695 doctors, 55 per cent said they had recently suffered symptoms of exhaustion and burnout, and 10 per cent admitted they had made at least one major medical error in the previous three months.
A serious error was also four times more likely in clinics and medical units that had low safety grades, as ranked by the doctors. But other studies have found that the rate of errors triple in well-run and safe units if the doctor is exhausted, the researchers say, which suggests that burnout is the single biggest factor in patient safety.
Physician burnout has become a "national epidemic", the researchers say, that affects half of all doctors. It's characterised by symptoms of exhaustion and feelings of reduced effectiveness.
Doctors who experience burnout are also twice as likely to think about committing suicide.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which also warned about eating uncooked frozen products including spinach and green beans, said nine of those 47 cases resulted in death, two of them were in the UK last year.
Intermittent fasting also doesn't lead to eating disorders or slow down a person's metabolism, said Krista Varady, an associate professor of nutrition at the University of Illinois, Chicago, who has been studying fasting for 12 years. She's the co-author of a recent study that found obese people who followed the 16:8 fasting regimen for three months modestly lost weight and lowered their blood pressure without feeling hungry or deprived.
Varady dabbles with intermittent fasting herself, typically for a few weeks after the holidays to lose a few pounds. The 16:8 plan is less intense than the other plans, but if she wants a more rapid weight loss, she'll opt for alternate day fasting.
"The first five fast days are pretty tricky, but once your body gets adjusted to that kind of up-down pattern of eating, it actually gets really easy," Varady told TODAY.
So how do you boost your chances of intermittent fasting success?
First things, first:
Always check with your doctor before starting a diet.
Intermittent fasting is not for everyone, including people with type 1 diabetes, pregnant women and lactating women, Varady said. People with binge eating disorder will tend to overeat during their eating window, so this type of regimen won't work for them, she added.
Consider the intermittent fasting plan right for you:
Some of the popular regimens include:
The 16:8 diet, or time-restricted feeding, where you fast for 16 hours a day, but are free to eat whatever you want in the other eight hours. Experts advise picking an eating window that lets you finish your meals fairly early, such as 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or earlier, because your body is less efficient at putting sugar away as the day goes by.
Alternate day fasting, which means limiting yourself to 500 calories one day, then eating whatever you want the next, and then repeating that process.
The 5:2 plan, which means incorporating two non-consecutive fast days into your week, then eating normally during the other days.
Eat high-fiber foods, such as nuts, beans, fruits and vegetables, and high protein foods, including meat, fish, tofu, or nuts, during your eating window, Varady advised. Chewing high-fiber gummies can also help.
Drink lots of water. People tend to think they're hungry, when they are really just thirsty, she said.
Go for black coffee or tea, or cinnamon or licorice herbal teas. These beverages may have appetite-suppressing effects, Varady noted.
Watch less TV: "I know this sounds strange, but while you are watching TV, you are bombarded with dozens of ads for food. This can make you feel hungry, when in actuality, you are not hungry at all," she said.
Remember, being "a little hungry" is the best thing that can happen to you, wrote Madelyn Fernstrom, health and nutrition editor at NBC News, calling it a "true mind-body connection" that helps you recognize fullness.
2. When should I exercise?
When Varady and her colleagues conducted a study that combined alternate day fasting and exercise, they allowed the participants to pick whether they wanted to exercise on a feasting or fasting day, and found there was no strong preference one way or the other. But the researchers were surprised the dieters actually reported feeling more energetic on fasting days.
That being said, exercise before you eat because people get hungry about half an hour after they finish working out and may find it too hard to stick to their plan if they can't eat anything at all afterwards, Varady noted.
If you're on the 16:8 plan, exercise before or during your eating window. If you're doing alternate day fasting and are exercising on your 500-calorie day, save food for after your exercise session.
3. Is it OK to skip breakfast?
Yes, Varady said. The notion that omitting a morning meal is bad for your waistline likely began with studies sponsored by cereal companies, and most of that research looked at the effects of breakfast skipping on cognition in children, she noted: "I'm not sure how that all got translated to body weight."
Another analysis, by obesity and nutrition researcher David Allison, found there wasn't scientific data to definitively support a link between eating breakfast and weight loss, or skipping breakfast and weight gain.
4. How do I combat feelings of low energy or low focus during fasting?
1819: A mercury-based dental amalgam filling was invented by the English chemist, Bell.
1826: The dental amalgam mercury filling was first used in England and France.
1830: Amalgam fillings were first used in the United States. Numerous harmful effects were soon widely reported.
1840: The American Society of Dental Surgeons denounced the use of amalgams due to concerns about mercury poisoning. Member of the society was required to pledge to avoid mercury amalgam fillings. But many dentists continued using amalgams since they were cheaper, faster and easier to place than gold materials.
1859: Determined to continue, the pro-mercury amalgam factions in America formed its own dental society, first called the National Dental Association; it later became the American DentalAssociation (ADA).
1926: Prominent German chemist Alfred Stock discovered that mercury was the source of his own health problems, after having his own amalgams removed, Stock then studied the health problems of many of his friends and advised them to have their amalgams removed. He studied the release of mercury vapour from amalgams and published his findings in over thirty scientific papers. Stock led an international movement to halt the use of mercury amalgam filling.
The 1930’s: Stock laboratory and most of his records were destroyed in a World War II bombing raid, derailing the anti-amalgam mercury movement that he had led.
1957:Dr. Karl O. Frykholm of Sweden published a study wrongly claiming that when saliva covers an amalgam filling, the mercury is no longer released. Ever since then, The ADA has cited Frykholm’s paper as a proof that amalgam fillings are stable and safe.
1973: An American dentist suffering from MS, Hal Huggins, DDS, met a Brazilian dentist, Olympia Pinto, at a conference in Mexico City. Dr. Pinto shocked Huggins by telling him that amalgam fillings are unstable and mercury from amalgams can trigger illnesses like Hodgkin’s disease and sickle cell anaemia. Eventually Dr. Pinto sent Dr. Huggins many studies on amalgam research. After learning about the amalgam health issue, Huggins researched and wrote his first major book on the hazards of amalgams.
1979:Measurable Mercury coming from Amalgam. Gay and others at the University of Iowa reported a measurable release of mercury vapour from amalgam fillings; when the amalgams were stimulated by chewing, brushing or hot beverages the release was far greater. In 1981 Svare, at Ohio State, confirmed Gay’s findings.
1983: University of Calgary research dentist Murray Vimy, joined with Michael Ziff, an American dentist and author, to found the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) to educate dentist and other professionals about evidence-based dentistry. With his father, Sam Ziff, Michael Ziff went on to author books on such topics as mercury free dentist and dental mercury detox.
1987: Nylander of Sweden and Eggleston of California, did a similar autopsy study on victims of sudden unexpected death. They confirmed a strong correlation between brain levels of mercury and the number of amalgam filling surfaces in the teeth.
1988: DAMS groups formed in Albuquerque, Denver, Chicago and elsewhere, begin to educate the public.
1989: Dentists Poisoned. Nylander and Friberg published an autopsy study showing that mercury levels were much higher in the pituitary glands and the thyroid glands of dental staff as compared to a non- dentist control group. The mercury level in the pituitary glands of the dental group was about forty times higher than that of the controls. Other studies found dentists to have a higher rate of irritability, depression and mood disorders. Dentist have a much higher suicide rate than other white collar professionals.
1990: Lordscheider and Vimy at the University of Calgary School of Medicine placed amalgam fillings with radioactive mercury into pregnant sheep and monkeys. After just 29 days after the placement of the mercury amalgams, the mercury was traced and found in the kidneys, the liver, the gastrointestinal tract, the brain and many other parts of the body including the unborn fetus. For both the mother and the fetus, the highest mercury level was in the pituitary gland, explaining the clinical association between amalgams and depression and mood disorder.
1990 (December 16): The CBS television show Sixty Minutes, hosted by Morley Safer, and viewed by 30 million Americans, exposed the hazards of mercury amalgams; the host interviewed scientists Lars Friberg, Fritz Lord scheider, Murray Vimy and Boyd Haley. The program also exposed the biased attacks by state dental licensing boards on mercury free, holistic dentists. The ADA spokesman squirmed under cross-examination by the host. This sort of dental amalgam expose was never repeated again on any TV network.
1993 (December): The largest German manufacturer of amalgam, Degussa AG, stopped making amalgam.
1994: Sweden announced phase-out of amalgam fillings, starting with pregnant women and children.
1994: Lorscheiderr, Vimy Penergrass and Haley reported that elemental mercury vapor from amalgams fillings is toxic to brain neurons. Low dose mercury causes the neurofibrillary tangles in the brain regarded as a key marker of Alzheimer’s disease.
1994: A human autopsy study on babies who had died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) was published by G. Drasch and others at the University of Munich in Germany. They found a strong correlation between the mercury levels in the brains and kidneys of the babies and the number of amalgam fillings in the mother’s teeth. These findings were confirmed by another autopsy study conducted In 1996 by Lutz. These studies showed that mercury from a mother’s amalgam fillings is typically the major source of mercury for the unborn child. The German government then acted to curb the use of amalgams in children and women of childbearing age.
1995: G. Mark Richardson, Ph.D., released a report for Health Canada, Canada’s chief health regulatory body, on mercury exposure from dental amalgam fillings. He found that amalgams contribute about 50% or more of adult’s mercury exposure and present an unacceptable hazard. Dr. Richardson advised Health Canada to ban dental amalgams; although it was unwilling to go that far, in 1996 Health Canada established guidelines for dentist cautioning against the use of amalgams in children, pregnant women, people with kidney disorders and other vulnerable people.