There is no bullshit in the world so self-evidently fatuous that someone won’t assert it. Non-existent “wheat intolerance” caused by bread that has gone through some nebulously-defined “processing”? Sure, why not? Continue reading Wheat intolerance? Processed breads are the real culprit, says researcher
One of the more consistent pieces of advice in WDDTY is to follow a “mediterranean dietW”; it’s recommended over 30 times. Wikipedia describes this as “a modern nutritional recommendation inspired by the traditional dietary patterns of Greece, Spain and Southern Italy” – in other words an idealised caricature of the actual Mediterranean diet, which varies around the region.
[I]t appears that currently there is insufficient material to give a proper definition of what the Mediterranean diet is or was in terms of well-defined chemical compounds or even in terms of foods…. The all-embracing term ‘Mediterranean diet’ should not be used in scientific literature….”
A. Ferro-Luzzi, “The Mediterranean Diet: an attempt to define its present and past composition”, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 43:13-29 (1989)
Needless to say, WDDTY is not scientific literature, and neither are the books, websites and journals beloved of “nutritionists”. These seem to broadly agree that a Mediterranean diet consists of:
- Fruit, especially tomatoes
- Olive oil as the principal source of fat
- Dairy products
- Fish and poultry
- Some red meat
- Some wine
Fat forms 25%-35% of the calorific value, with saturated fats below 8%.
However, WDDTY has a problem with some of these.
- It recommends against tomatoes (they are “nightshades”, or solanacaeW), a dozen or so separate mentions of this stricture going right back to the early days and continuing in recent issues.
- It recommends against wheat, and columnists routinely finger wheat as the first thing to cut out of your diet, well over a hundred times; WDDTY goes way beyond the real incidence of wheat intolerance.
- It identifies dairy as “cancer food”.
- It recommends saturated fats, even going so far as to advise “don’t limit saturated fats”.
- It recommends caution when eating fish, because mercury.
- Eggs are correctly identified as a common source of food intolerance (one of the three of WDDTY’s “big 7” food allergens that actually appears in the top 8 as defined by the reality-based medical community).
- It recommends against red meat.
So if you try to follow all of WDDTY’s advice simultaneously, you’ll be left eating mainly spinach.
Part of a series on WDDTY’s “free” advertorial report “100 ways to live to 100”
Your healthy digestion
11 Cut down or avoid eating wheat
Lots of people can’t tolerate this relatively new food in the human diet, particularly as it’s been so genetically tampered with. Each grain contains wheat-germ agglutinin (WGA); in small quantities it can inhibit nerve growth factor, which is vital for healthy neurons.8 WGA can disrupt endocrine function,
causing rheumatoid arthritis, ulcers, insulin resistance, and kidney and digestive problems;9 it can also bring about cell death10 and chronic inflammatory conditions. Switch to carbs like millet, buckwheat, quinoa, rice and corn.
Reference 8: Scand J Gastroenterol, 2010; 45: 1197–202; Positive serum antigliadin antibodies without celiac disease in the elderly population: does it matter? Ruuskanen A, Kaukinen K, Collin P, Huhtala H, Valve R, Mäki M, Luostarinen L.
Reference 9: BMJ, 1999; 318: 1023–4 Do dietary lectins cause disease? David L J Freed
Reference 10: Toxicol In Vitro, 2004; 18: 821–7 Studies on the joint cytotoxicity of Wheat Germ Agglutinin and monensin. Dalla Pellegrina C, et. al.
Those references don’t support the overall claims, of course. The first finds that “Although AGA positivity is of clinical relevance only in a subset of elderly people, it seems to be related to rheumatoid arthritis and depression, both conditions linked to celiac disease”. This is testable using tTG antibody testing. Valid, worth pursuing, narrowly applicable as the summary suggests. The second says “The evidence is suggestive—and raises interesting possibilities for treatment”, again valid but speculative, and if we don’t have something firmer than speculative nearly 15 years later, perhaps it’s not that significant.
The third reference is a corker. It suggests that eating wheat could treat cancer – the self-same apoptosis that is promoted by some of their quack advertisers. But of course that would never do, wheat is a baddie not a goodie, so it’s spun as “causing cell death”.
There are at least a couple of other problems with the section itself, in addition to the sources not saying what WDDTY claims for them.
First, wheat is an excellent source of essential dietary fibre, while quinoa is ethically and environmentally dubious. Second, wheat intolerance is massively less common than rancid quack tomes such as Wheat Belly would have you believe. Coeliac is the best known and is relatively common – up to 1% of the UK population – but that can be objectively tested, and those with genuine wheat intolerance do not have coeliac.
It’s unlikely that as many as 5% of people have wheat intolerance.
Wheat is the bête noire of many a quack nutritionist, but solid evidence to support this status is lacking. Intolerance and allergy is more common in children than in adults (children often outgrow it), and it introduces non-trivial restrictions on diet.
Bottom line: do not self-diagnose as allergic or sensitive to anything, and don’t allow anyone else to diagnose you either unless they are a fully trained and qualified dietician or doctor. Remember, even prominent TV “nutritionists” can turn out to have bought their worthless degrees off the internet.
12 Dump homogenized or pasteurized lowfat dairy
People who consume large quantities of dairy products have higher levels of circulating insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), linked to an increased risk of numerous cancers.11 Men with the highest IGF-1 levels quadruple their chances of getting prostate cancer with low-fat milk, which strips away the anticancer protective effects of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).12
Reference 11: Recent Pat Anticancer Drug Discov, 2012; 7: 14–30 Insulin-like growth factor: current concepts and new developments in cancer therapy. King ER, Wong KK.
Reference 12a: Science, 1998; 279: 563–6 Plasma insulin-like growth factor-I and prostate cancer risk: a prospective study. Chan JM, Stampfer MJ, Giovannucci E, Gann PH, Ma J, Wilkinson P, Hennekens CH, Pollak M.
Reference 12b: Am J Clin Nutr, 2005; 81: 1147–54 Dairy, calcium, and vitamin D intakes and prostate cancer risk in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Epidemiologic Follow-up Study cohort. Tseng M, Breslow RA, Graubard BI, Ziegler RG.
This is a rehash of WDDTY’s “is dairy cancer food”. We checked that question and found that the answer is probably “no”, and the sources WDDTY use to support it, generally don’t support it and occasionally say pretty much the opposite.
13 Root out any allergies or food intolerances
Besides wheat, suspect the other big seven: corn, soya, sugar, nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, aubergines, sweet and chilli peppers), yeast, egg and dairy. Find out if you’re intolerant by following an elimination diet (see WDDTY November 2012).
This is also a rehash of old material including the silly article on arthritis. WDDTY seem to have a particularly schizophrenic view of tomatoes. They contain lycopene (which apparently makes you immortal), are part of the immortality-conferring mediterranean diet, but it turns out they also cause all manner of illnesses.
According to the Mayo Clinic the eight most common food allergies are:
- Tree nuts (such as almonds, cashews, walnuts)
- Fish (such as bass, cod, flounder)
- Shellfish (such as crab, lobster, shrimp)
Corn, Solanaceae, yeast and sugar do not figure at all. The FDA has the same list, the NHS has a longer and more specific list split into allergies common in children versus adults, again: corn, Solanaceae, yeast and sugar do not figure at all.
It’s so confusing! Unless you look at the actual evidence rather than a filtered, cherry-picked version in an anti-medicine rag promoting the quackery of so-called nutritionists, of course.
14 Eat your greens for calcium
Dairy products actually accelerate the rate at which calcium is lost from the body, and calcium supplements as a rule are not properly absorbed; in one large study, an increased consumption of pasteurized milk did not protect against bone fractures. Just one serving of green, leafy vegetables a day, rather than once a week, can cut the risk of hip fracture in half.13
Reference 13: Am J Clin Nutr, 1999; 69: 74–9 Vitamin K intake and hip fractures in women: a prospective study. Feskanich D, Weber P, Willett WC, Rockett H, Booth SL, Colditz GA.
Another rehash of the arthritis article’s claims, and continuing the WDDTY agenda against dairy. Needless to say the source does not support the claim: it finds that “Low intakes of vitamin K may increase the risk of hip fracture in women. The data support the suggestion for a reassessment of the vitamin K requirements that are based on bone health and blood coagulation.”
15 Check out your stomach acid
If you suffer from acid reflux or poor elimination, get your stomach acid levels tested by Biolab Medical Unit (9 Weymouth Street, London W1W 6DB; www.biolab.co.uk; tel: 0207 636 5959) or Genova Diagnostics (63 Zillicoa St, Asheville, North Carolina 28801, USA; tel: (828) 253 0621).
This message was brought to you by our sponsors. Biolab is a respectable lab but it also runs some distinctly dubious tests. It refers patients to a number of the WDDTY editorial panel (can you say “undeclared conflict of interest”? I thought you could) for treatment of medically unrecognised conditions based on questionable tests.
16 Find out if your gut is ‘leaky’
If the walls of the large intestine are excessively permeable, allowing larger food molecules through, this will reduce food absorption and lead to allergic symptoms. Confirm the diagnosis through Biolab or Genova (see the infobox) and repair the gut wall with probiotics, plus the amino acid glutamine and glutathione, an important antioxidant. If you have digestive difficulties, get checked for Candida overgrowth and parasites by doing a stool test (Contact Genova Diagnostics Europe, Parkgate House, 356 West Barnes Lane, New Malden, Surrey KT3 6NB; tel: 0208 336 7750; www.gdx.net/uk).
This message was brought to you by our sponsors.
Leaky gut syndrome is a quack diagnosis.Candida overgrowth is a quack diagnosis. If WDDTY were a responsible publication they would tell you this, rather than feeding you to labs which will diagnose non-existent or unrecognised conditions and refer you to quacks who will “treat” them.
17 Give up the white stuff
Besides causing tooth decay and diabetes, just 10g of any simple sugars, brown white, will temporarily suppress immune system white cells by a whopping 40 per cent.14 Consuming sugar is linked to inflammatory bowel disease, gallstones and kidney stones, high blood pressure, stomach and endometrial cancer, and even shortsightedness. It’s just plain bad for you, full stop.
Reference 14: Dent Surv, 1976; 52: 46–8, Sucrose, neutrophilic phagocytosis and resistance to disease. Ringsdorf WM Jr, Cheraskin E, Ramsay RR Jr.
This study is rapidly approaching its 40th birthday. NHS Choices offers much more moderate advice, that is also (obviously) more practical.
18 Periodically detox
Virtually all of us are walking around with a cocktail of some 100,000 ubiquitous environmental chemicals in our blood, some of which are now known to be ‘bioaccumulating’ in human fat and causing a variety of health problems.15 Take regular saunas, exercise and extra fibre plus Chlorella, Spirulina and coriander (cilantro), as they all show evidence of clearing heavy metals from the body (see pages 80–81 for more detox tips).
Reference 15a: Altern Med Rev, 2000; 5: 52–63;
Reference 15b: Environ Health, 2011; 10: 9 Knowns and unknowns on burden of disease due to chemicals: a systematic review Annette Prüss-Ustün1, Carolyn Vickers, Pascal Haefliger and Roberto Bertollini
If there’s one thing that marks out a quack, it’s “detox”. Hysterical references to unidentified “toxins” building up in our bodies, are used to sell expensive treatments that vary between worthless and downright dangerous. Exactly what you’d expect, in fact, given that the first reference is to Alternative Medicine Review, a junk journal devoted to promoting quackery.
The second source is reputable, but does not support detox. It is instead discussing the human effects of dioxins and other known toxins (real ones, identified by name) and recommending means to reduce exposures to these. It does not mention detox even once.
And the reason the reputable source doesn’t mention detox? Detox is what your liver does.
The only known value of detox is as a red flag to avoid a quack.
19 Steer clear of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
Found in virtually every processed food and soft drink (a standard cola has about 17 teaspoons’ worth), HFCS picks up deadly mercury during processing. Also avoid chemical sweeteners like aspartame, now characterized by many as an excitotoxin, shown to cause seizures and brain neuronal damage in animals.16 Aspartame also been linked to cancer in animal studies.17
Reference 16a: J Neuropathol Exp Neurol, 1972; 31: 464–88 Glutamate-induced brain damage in infant primates. Olney JW, Sharpe LG, Feigin RD.
Reference 16b: Eur J Clin Nutr, 2008; 62: 451–62 Direct and indirect cellular effects of aspartame on the brain P Humphries, E Pretorius and H Naudé
Reference 17: Am J Ind Med, 2010; 53: 1197–206 Aspartame administered in feed, beginning prenatally through life span, induces cancers of the liver and lung in male Swiss mice. Soffritti M, Belpoggi F, Manservigi M, Tibaldi E, Lauriola M, Falcioni L, Bua L.
Aspartame is another of WDDTY’s bogeymen. It’s also, according to the best available evidence, safe (and the unreliable evidence is equally unreliable, with mercola.com describing it as “by far the most dangerous substance on the market that is added to foods”. 1972 is the oldest source used anywhere in the entire article. Wikipedia has a nice discussion of aspartame controversyW. It’s one of the most heavily studied additives in use, and there is a vast amount of evidence indicating its safety.
20 Drink a bit of alcohol
Drinking lightly (a glass every few days) rather than heavily or abstaining seems to be the safest and healthiest overall drinking for preventing heart disease.18But make it red wine, which contains health-giving resveratrol, and also helps prevent inflammation.19
Reference 18: Eur J Clin Nutr, 2010; 64: 561–8 Relationship between alcohol intake, health and social status and cardiovascular risk factors in the Urban Paris-Ile-de-France Cohort: is the cardioprotective action of alcohol a myth? Hansel B, Thomas F, Pannier B, Bean K, Kontush A, Chapman MJ, Guize L, Bruckert E.
Reference 19: FASEB J, 2009; 23: 2412–24 Resveratrol attenuates C5a-induced inflammatory responses in vitro and in vivo by inhibiting phospholipase D and sphingosine kinase activities. Issuree PD, Pushparaj PN, Pervaiz S, Melendez AJ.
Red wine may indeed be good for you in moderation, but these sources don’t prove it. The first is vulnerable to multiple confounders, the second does not discuss red wine, because the amount of bioavailable resveratrol in wine is unpredictable. It is possible that resveratrol is clinically useful, but the studies don’t compare it with other substances and don’t support its use along with the well-known and potent toxin: ethanol.
It offers a number of folk remedies for ear infections of varying advisability, misrepresents the only source cited, sows fear, uncertainty and doubt against antibiotics and includes nonsensical concepts drawn from pre-scientific superstitious medical systems. The author recommends allowing the eardrum to rupture rather than taking antibiotics.
Otitis mediaW is a very common childhood ailment. 80% of cases resolve spontaneously. Complications can include perforated eardrum, acute pain and occasionally permanent hearing loss. The advice in this article is a little worse than useless.
The only therapies which get a rough ride, are those supported by reliable evidence. And here Hubbard turns the conspiracy dial up to eleven.
For example, Hubbard states: “Chemotherapy’s true success rate hovers around the 2 per cent mark—the cancer patient has a 2 per cent chance of living a further five years or longer if he has chemotherapy”. This is complete nonsense. Not only is it grotesquely inaccurate in the case of, say, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, where five-year survival with chemo as primary therapy is in excess of 80% and some patients are 40 years and more post chemo, it’s also grotesquely untrue in the aggregate.
We took Edie for treatment twice a week and, within a month, her breast had started to heal. Several months later, Edie’s GP, the one who’d delivered the death sentence, came to examine her and was astonished to see her walking around at all
About 20 years ago, we had our own experience of looking for answers to cancer when Edie, Bryan’s mother, then 78, was suddenly diagnosed with end-stage breast cancer. She’d privately nursed the cancer for several years without telling anyone, let alone seeing a medical professional. When we finally learned of it and insisted she see her GP, he was shocked when examining her—her breast looked, as he put it, “like raw meat”. So advanced was the cancer that it was too late to try chemotherapy or any other intervention other than powerful painkillers. Edie had three months to live at the very outside, the GP said to us privately. “And if I were you, I’d get her affairs in order.”
To be honest, we were frightened and far from certain we had any answers. Fortunately, because of our work, we were able to contact WDDTY columnist Dr Patrick Kingsley, a medical pioneer in Leicestershire who has helped people with a variety of conditions, including cancer. We didn’t know how successful he’d be with a case of terminal cancer, but we were encouraged to hear that he ran a local cancer group consisting of many other nohopers who were apparently outliving the odds.
His therapy included high-dose intravenous vitamin C and hydrogen peroxide administered twice a week, and a modified healthy diet free of foods like dairy, wheat and sugar, plus a vitamin supplement programme tailored to the purse and tastes of someone reared on standard British fare.
We took Edie for treatment twice a week and, within a month, her breast started to heal. Several months later, Edie’s GP, the one who’d delivered the death sentence on her in the first place, came to examine her and was astonished to see her walking around at all.
He took several tests and was rendered speechless. The cancer which had ravaged her breast, which he’d been so sure was beyond hope or treatment, had completely disappeared. Edie lived on for many more years until her husband died and she, divested of any further purpose, died six months after him.
A few things about this do not ring true, according to emails sent to us.
- A GP typically does not diagnose cancer and apparently typically does not have the conversation about prognosis; this is usually the preserve of an oncologist.
- End-stage cancer means metastasis. Nonetheless, the 5-year survival rate for stage IV breast cancer is still 22% – better than one in five patients will still be alive five years past diagnosis.
- No details are given of other treatments.
- The description sounds like cancer en cuirasse, a rare but terrifying progression of breast cancer that was almost extinct in the West until people started substituting quackery for proven medicines, but there are other potential explanations of the symptoms and McTaggart (characteristically) fails to provide the detail that would establish what was actually going on.
As oncologist Orac notes, this kind of testimonial is typically misleading.
Was Lynne McTaggart’s mother given additional years of life by therapies long debunked as quackery? It seems unlikely, and she has failed to provide sufficient detail to make any objective assessment.
There is a small irony in McTaggart promoting a “cure” that was actually not a cure, in the context of demanding examples of cures other than antibiotics in medicine. A demand which, as it turns out, demonstrates her ignorance rather than a point against medicine.
Why don’t doctors tell you that stage IV cancer can be treated effectively with intravenous vitamin C, hydrogen peroxide and supplements?
Because the evidence says it isn’t true.