February 13, 2012

HOW TYPE 2 DIABETES became an accepted lifestyle.

Hey you know, the surge in diabetes accompanied the government’s switch to the politically-inspired Food Pyramid. Just sayin’ . . . .

UPDATE: Reader John Larson writes:

Long-time reader, first-time writer.

Instapundit is my daily newspaper. I check it several times a day, and learn more from Instapundit than I do from newspapers and TV news combined. I am in Utah, and have learned about David Kirkham and Mia Love from Instapundit. My family lives in Saratoga Springs, where Mia is currently mayor, and we learned about her congressional candidacy from Instapundit.

Your link to the article on Type II Diabetes could not have been better timed. I went to the doctor this morning, and he informed me that I had successfuly cured myself of diabetes. After a year without medication, my blood sugar is normal.

Of course, I did not do this on my own. It was Gary Taube’s book “Good Calorie/Bad Calorie” that showed me the way. And although I did not learn about Gary Taubes from Instapundit, I have seen you link to his work several times. Now would be a good time to plug his books. “Why We Get Fat” and “Good Calories/Bad Calories” should be required reading for everyone, especially doctors.

I could go on and on, and talk about the dietitian that explained the Food Pyramid to me and told me I should be eating carbohydrates and not fat. I followed her plan for a while to no avail. A year of following Gary Taube’s advice, and I’m 60 pounds lighter, my blood pressure is normal, my cholesterol levels are good, and I am no longer diabetic.

Oh, yeah, and BACON!

I keep hearing stories like that.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Sarah Hoyt writes:

My husband has now been two years without medication. His blood sugar is normal. He can even have a small piece of candy, now and then. He lost 135 lbs. I’d say we followed Taubes, too, only he figured it out on his own, before we read him. Oh, yeah, and our always-overweight, very active, not overeating 19 year old FINALLY dropped 100 pounds. If anything he’s eating more and exercising less than he did before we cut the carbs. Yes, it really was “that easy.”

Okay, I ONLY lost 45 lbs, but I’m a woman of a certain age.

Impressive.

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Dr. Stanley Tillinghast writes:

I am a cardiologist, and my “specialty” within cardiology for almost 30 years has been preventive cardiology.
I fervently preached the gospel of 30% fat diet (no matter how many calories or how much sugar) as promulgated by the AHA, NHLBI and the heart disease experts.
I knew that no large-scale randomized controlled trial had been done to prove that this low-fat diet actually reduced heart disease events; but at the time (early 90′s) it still was not clear that lipid-lowering drugs would reduce events and improve morbidity and mortality.

Since then I’ve been convinced by the evidence that statins, specifically, have a dramatic benefit in reducing heart attacks and related events, and without any major drawbacks for most people. Is that because they reduce LDL cholesterol? That’s not clear. It may be that the more potent the statin (atorvastatin and rosuvastatin for example), the greater the reduction in events. We have no direct proof. I used to promote primarily (low-fat) diet, niacin, and earlier bile acid resins such as cholestyramine. But it wasn’t until the evidence of statin benefits piled up that it was clear they were superior not only to niacin, but to diet alone.

During the same period that we cardiologists and the health care community were promoting the low-fat/don’t count calories or sugar diet, the nation experienced its epidemic of obesity and diabetes. Cause and effect? We don’t know. But it’s starting to look as if the public health establishment may be responsible for the greatest episode of epidemiological malpractice ever committed.

My personal experience with low-carb diets (I don’t follow Atkins, more the South Beach diet with attention to fat) has been very positive, resulting in a 16 pound weight loss, saying good-bye to my paunch, and with higher HDL, lower LDL, and lower blood pressure. Yes, while eating (Canadian) bacon and eggs every morning.

However, when I protested in an e-mail to the group I work with in prevention guideline development that it’s a pity we don’t have the strength of evidence of benefit of diet for treatment of high cholesterol and high blood pressure that we have with drugs, I was met by a chorus of protests from those who want to regulate salt intake for the public at large.

It will take a major trial with total mortality as an endpoint to prove whether any diet can reduce heart disease events in primary prevention. Will that ever happen? It doesn’t look like it.

If these experts were held liable for unfounded advice the way drug companies are for bad drugs, they’d all be broke and in jail. And what about the dermatologists?