Sunday, April 09, 2006

'Dr. David' Lets Loose On Low-Carb

I'm going to do something today that I rarely do. I would like to post a response I received from someone about one of my blog posts without making any comments about it at all. Once you read this very long essay from a fan of Dr. Joel Fuhrman, the man who made several personal comments regarding the death of the late Dr. Robert C. Atkins the other day, I think it will become abundantly clear why I don't need to say a word in reaction to this. However, YOUR comments are certainly welcomed and encouraged if you feel so compelled.

Are you ready? This is from "Dr. David" who is a member of the forum message board at Dr. Fuhrman's web site. He has quite a bit to say here, so prepare to get your fill of this one. Here goes:

Mr. Moore:

I expect my comments to mean little to you, as I feel you fall into the category of "believers" and nothing I say however scientific or accurate will change your mind, but I remain the eternal optimist, so I will give it a try anyway! (And in the meantime, maybe I'll save the lives of some others who may read this.)

By the way, I am a Physician, one of those rare ones who treats patients with respect and as equals (though not necessarily equal in knowledge). That is why I address you as Mr., rather than by your first name, which I always thought was a demeaning way for physicians to act. (That is, to expect to be called "Dr.", but at the same time, call their patients "Sue" or "George", like they are children next to them.)

To get to the points:

1) To say that Dr. Fuhrman was having a "heated subject of discussion" because he was answering someone else's comments on another weblog and trying to correct some facts is inaccurate.

2) Dr. Fuhrman is incorrect in one way (at least) that I am aware of. He does not mention the obvious. He did not even need to know the now publicly available info (no matter how regretably it was released) that Dr. Atkins was fat, out of shape, and had had an MI (a heart attack), and had atherosclerosis (clogging of the arteries due to too much fat and cholesterol in his own Atkins diet) to figure out what Dr. Atkins died of. I am a Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Physician who before that training had two years of training in Internal Medicine, so I am well versed in a wide range of medicine. I’ve also had advanced training in Traumatic Brain Injury and its causes, consequences and Rehabilitation, which is relevant to this topic.

So, let’s consider how Dr. Atkins died:

He fell down on an icy street, and hit his head with such a hugh degree of violence that he cracked his skull, had a Traumatic Brain Injury, bled into his brain, and eventually had swelling of the brain which killed him.

What does this say about his physical health before his fall? Quite a lot! I have never met anyone who fell and hit their head violently unless one of three conditions were true. Either a) they were drunk as hell, or b) they were severely debilitated (could barely walk), or c) were unconscious BEFORE they hit the ground. Now, I vote for number 3 (or c) for Dr. Atkins, as I have never heard anything about him being a lush (a), nor about him being very debilitated (b).

If the answer were b, that would mean that his diet had ruined his health at the relatively young age of 72 years old (and I doubt you’d want to concede that). So, c it is.

This means most likely one of two things. Either he had a heart attack which slowed/stopped the flow of blood to the brain or pacemaker in the heart long enough to cause unconsciousness and make him fall to the ground unable to protect his head; or he had a seizure. It is very unlikely he had a seizure, as, if he had, it would have continued or worsened after he hit his head, and there were witnesses, including his wife who would have gladly testified/stated he had a seizure to distract people from considering his having had a heart attack.

Therefore my medical opinion is he had a heart attack, became unconscious and violently hit his head. Think about it, have you ever fallen and hit your head? If so, it was because you were in a room and you hit the wall. But did you ever fall in the open (a street like Atkins did) and not have your hands or elbows catch the fall for you? And if he tried to stop his fall, but couldn’t, why didn’t he have fractures of his hands, fingers, &/or arms from attempting to? from the instinctive level reaction which we all have to falling?

3) Newsflash (to quote you) -- it doesn’t matter if Dr. Atkins has passed on, if his erroneous theories left un-opposed will lead to thousands of people without adequate training believing them, and resulting in their early deaths due to heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure etc. (Would you stop fighting Hitler’s or Stalin’s lies just because they were dead, if they still had a big influence that was hurting people? After all, they’re not here to defend themselves!)

It’s understandable that his wife may genuinely miss him, but if we must cause her some pain to save hundreds of thousands of lives, then we should keep talking about his wrong ideas. Also, she has a severe conflict of interest in this case, since the Atkins foundation sold for about 1/2 a BILLION DOLLARS, of course she, as a major shareholder wanted to keep the value of the foundation up, at least until it sold, earning money off of his misinformation campaign (which he fooled himself with also) (and to give her the benefit of the doubt, she may very well believe his misguided ideas herself, and not just be cynically getting rich off the misfortune of others).

4) His misinformation: He invented his diet during his internship -- (when he knew little to nothing about nutrition by his own admission - after that he was invested into his own idea, and sought only to prove himself right, not to find out the truth, and there has never been a reputable study showing his diet was a HEALTHY way to lose weight) - as a way to lose weight without having to do anything fancy or comprehensive in the way of coming up with a plan. Some of his ideas are true. That is the danger of the Atkins Diet, it, is based on a half truth.

The half truth part is in two sections: a) you CAN lose weight by forcing your body into the VERY UNHEALTHY situation of living in ketoacidosis (although it will Kill your Kidneys eventually - after 20, 30 or 40 yrs, and it won’t show up on your lab values WHILE the damage is being done, because the creatinine doesn’t start to go up until your kidney functions have been 90% destroyed!) and b) he’s right about the white flour, pasta, bread, bagels, pizza crusts, candy snacks etc. all are bad for you, cause diabetes, rot your teeth, and probably cause/contribute to mood disorders, but he’s literally Dead Wrong about the other half of the truth. He has amended his ways some by admitting that you’d all die on his diet alone, but he turned that into another way to earn money off the nutritionally undereducated American populace by selling them vitamins they wouldn’t need, if they weren’t on his toxic diet!

Here’s the other half of the TRUTH: c) except for protein, meat has no nutrients in it!!!!! Then why, you ask do they always say vegetarians need supplements because they don’t get enough Vitamin B12 if they don’t eat meat? Well, actually, the Vitamin B12 found in meat is there due to fecal bacterial contamination of the meat with bacteria during the slaughter process. That’s right, meat has no important nutrients, and B12 is a contaminant! The reason we like it is it is a very concentrated source of protein, and MORE IMPORTANTLY, of FAT.

When cavemen were starving, they needed to have their taste buds tuned in to fat sources, just so they’d get adequate calories. We no longer have that problem (at least not most places in America - and definitely not those where we are worried about losing weight.) The other part of the truth he didn’t know, or didn’t let out was d) you CAN get everything you need from a vegetarian diet, but most vegetarians are also part of the nutritionally undereducated American populace! For example, people can claim to be vegan (pure vegetarian without even milk or honey), simply by eating potato chips and drinking coke. Obviously they will die soon also on such an unhealthy diet.

On the other hand, when REAL vegetarians are scientifically studied as happened in a major study in California some years back, they are found to live an AVERAGE of 13 yrs longer than the rest of us. And this isn’t just 13 yrs of being old, but of being healthy, not in a nursing home, and not recovering from a stroke or MI (heart attack).

5) So what is a healthy diet? There is a physician whom I thought was full of shit when I first heard about him from my wife, because he said that you shouldn’t take beta-carotine as a supplement. I had done 30 yrs of research into nutrition, and everything I knew about it said it was good for you. It is basically 2 Vitamin A’s stuck together, and the body doesn’t break it down into Vitamin A unless the body needs more Vitamin A, so it could not overdose you. It also is an antioxidant and thus helps scavenge up free radicals which are what cause cholesterol to be changed into oxidized LDL and make it stick to the walls of arteries, so it is fighting heart disease.

How could it be bad for you? Well, I read his book, then looked up some of the original sources to verify what he said, and he was right, it is bad for you, in excess! (which is the way it comes in supplement pills) How can that be? Well, it turns out that the human body has something like 200 caratinoid receptors, each of which has its own slightly different job. So what happens when you take a lot of beta caratine is all these DIFFERENT receptors are all FLOODED by this ONE substance, and thus they can’t do their slightly different functions in the cellular mechanisms. Let me use an analogy, imagine taking the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra with 200 different musicians and 200 different musical instruments, and replacing them all with 200 guys playing the guitar. Can you see how the Orchestra wouldn’t be able to play Beethoven, because of the lack of Cello, Bass, Tympany Drum, Organ etc?

Similarly, I was not slowly ruining my health, like the Atkins diet does, but at least degrading it some (or not optimizing it) by depriving those receptors of the multiple different subtle influences they need to make my cells play their symphonies at their best.

There is also a doctor that my wife told me about (she used to tell me a lot about different doctors and their theories, to try to find some way to get me to stop making her take vitamin pills!), anyway, this doctor said that there is a formula by which you can calculate a health index or level. This obviously had to be based on you getting ALL the right nutrients in the right amounts, and getting them with adequate calories to maintain health.

The formula is: H = N/c

When you know what this means, it is like E = MC squared, in that it is compact, and Brilliant! The H stands for health, the N for nutrients, and the c for calories. In other words, as long as you are getting the minimum calories you need, the more naturally occuring (in food) nutrients you can get crammed into that number of calories, the healthier you are.

So, who are these two brilliant doctors, one of whom came up with the first really good formula for nutritional health, and the other of whom knows thousands of facts and figures and information about the workings of the body and interactions among the cellular level nutrients? They are the same doctor who was a World Class Athlete before he went to medical school and who has studied nutrition all his life, and who has never been overweight like Dr. Atkins was (on his own weight loss diet): one and the same, Dr. Fuhrman, the author of Eat to Live, which book, by the way, is NOT A RADICAL VEGAN diet. In fact, if you look in the back of the book, he has multiple RECIPES that INCLUDE MEAT. So that destroys the argument that he is a radical.

Also, he recently gave a speech I heard, where someone asked him if cutting out all meat would be better for you than just cutting down to 5% or 10% of your diet. He stated that he did not know, as there is NO scientific evidence for that at the present time. He said that there is evidence that for populations of people, for every time you reduce their diets by 5% or 10% less meat, they are healthier, have fewer heart attacks, fewer strokes etc. BUT HE SAID that just because that is true, DOES NOT MEAN we can extrapolate downwards to where no data exists, and assume that this pattern holds true all the way to zero! So he is COMPLETELY INVESTED IN THE SCIENCE, NOT in his own “radical agenda” nor in his prejudiced opinion about where the data “should” lead to!

6) So, Mr. Moore, let’s get to your condition as an excellent example. I congratulate you on losing 200 lbs., (and I mean this sincerely, and I also understand your loyalty to Dr. Atkins and his diet that did do you a lot of good - temporarily), however if you were 500 lbs, you still have a long way to go to get healthy, unless you are about 9 ft tall. And the lab tests you published show you are in very bad shape.

First of all, most Dr’s are full of shit, with no training in nutrition. I studied nutrition for 30 yrs BEFORE I even went to med school (I went later than most) and knew more about it with only a Bachelor’s degree in a Social Science than did others I knew who had graduate degrees in the biological and physiological sciences. The ONLY SAFE LEVEL OF TOTAL CHOLESTEROL is LESS than 150, not 200 as most lab results show, and as most doctors believe. How do I know this?

Not from Dr. Fuhrman, but from the doctor who headed up the biggest Cardiac Study in American history, the man/doctor/scientist who ran the Framingham Heart Study for 30 years. He stated that 1/3rd or almost 35% of heart attacks occur in people with TOTAL (not LDL) Cholesterol of between 150 and 200, and that the only group of people who had a ZERO heart attack rate were those whose TOTAL Cholesterol was BELOW 150!!!! This is a fact, not my opinion!

This means you are in grave danger with a total cholesterol of 252! And it also means that the LDL of 172 is horrible, even if some of it is what you at one point called “good LDL”.

Next, your BUN/creatinine ratio of 20 shows you are dehydrated. This is probably due to your acidic condition. I think this is one other place where Dr. Atkins was actually right (so far my score for him is 3/5 - 3 out of 5 ain’t bad except that missing the other two (listed above as c and d under #4) can kill you.

This other part I’m referring to is the fact that Dr. Atkins did recommend that everyone drink 8 (or was it 10) glasses of water a day. This is necessary to try to minimize the damage you are doing to your kidneys by constantly excreting acids through them. By the way (again) you are much more likely to get kidney stones on the Atkins diet also, because your kidneys in self defense, have to try to neutralize all the acid you’re throwing at them, so they have to work overtime to produce base in the form of bicarbonate. When the acid and base get together, they cause the precipitation (falling out of) calcium, thus causing kidney stones.

7) Then there’s another problem caused by the Atkins diet. That is, when you keep your body in a state of acidity, your body tries to balance this off by neutralizing the acid by manufacturing a base. The base is manufactured from phosphate. Where do you think you get the phosphate? Your body leaches it out of your bones! How is phosphate stored in your bones? As calcium phosphate. So as your body is constantly fighting the acidity, it is pulling the calcium out of your bones as an incidental negative side effect (friendly fire) of pulling out the phosphate. Your body cannot just stick the calcium back in, so what happens is you pee it out. So, on the Atkins diet, you are peeing your bones away, and you are causing yourself to have premature osteoporosis (thinning of bones which leads to fractures and debilitation).

8) Atkins’ misguided diet also does major damage to your gall bladder, but I don’t have time to go into all that now! (I heard that sigh of relief!) I hope you appreciate the time I’ve given you, because at about $200/hr I’ve just given you about $500 or $600 worth of advice, and spent 2 and 1/2 to 3 hrs thinking about your problems and trying to help you with them, far more than your actual doctor has at any one time, I’m sure! Also, I’ve known at least 2 people who’ve had to have their gall bladders removed not too long after they started on the Atkins diet.

9) I agree with you, that you shouldn’t start on a statin drug (like Lipitor or Crestor which can cause severe side effects in muscle tissue (myositis &/or rhabdomyolysis), unless there’s no other way for you to get your cholesterol down. But there is such a way. Dr. Fuhrman has written a book about how to bring down cholesterol (entitled Cholesterol Protection for Life), but more importantly, he has had HIS METHODS SCIENTIFICALLY INVESTIGATED and directly compared with Lipitor, and his diet reduced cholesterol MORE than did the statin drug! (and remember, he’s not a radical, he does have recipes with meat in them, and has stated that science does not support the assumption that eliminating ALL meat is necessarily healthier than just reducing it a lot.)

Whew! That was a mouthful.

Best Wishes with your health, and please try to evaluate the facts, not just jump to conclusions that people who disagree with your hero, Dr. Atkins, must be wrong.

“Dr. David”

Any thoughts? There's a lot to consider here from "Dr. David" I know, but what do you think about any part of what he wrote? I'll be quite interested in what my readers think about this doctor's comments. "Dr. David," are you ready for what the readers of "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" think about your advice? Brace yourself, sir!

4-11-06 UPDATE: THANK YOU for your excellent feedback to what "Dr. David" had to say about the Atkins diet. You all have done an excellent job rebutting what is essentially a whole lotta BS to put it lightly.

Here's what one of my regular readers wrote about this post:

Had a chance to read Dr. David's letter this morning. Sheesh. My opinion? Well, to borrow his own words: "First of all, most Dr’s are full of shit..." I don't know about all doctors, but I'd certainly say he falls under that category. So what if he has studied conventional nutrition! That doesn't mean squat to me as nutrition as it is taught today is as full of holes as the Swiss cheese that it counsels you not to eat because of its high fat content. Furthermore, what sort of doctor uses such language? The minute he resorts to potty mouth, he loses all credibility with me. A rational, coherent outline of his position would command my attention even if I were still to disagree with him in the end.

By the way, I really salute your taking on the vegetarians and vegans! I don't think there's anyone better suited to the task. Needless to say, they really irritate me no end.


Blogger Newbirth said...

Wow. I got off easy. They must really view you as a threat to write a book length e-mail! Yike.

Here's what *I* received by e-mail, reposted from my comments to your earlier Fuhrman post.



I help run a blog for Joel Fuhrman M.D. an expert on using nutrition to prevent and reverse disease; he has been on Good Morning America, CNN, etc. Recently Dr. Fuhrman published a post discussing the increased risk of cancer associated with the Atkins Diet, click here or use the hyperlink below. Dr. Fuhrman contends that hundreds of scientific studies have documented the link between animal products and various cancers. It is irresponsible for the Atkins Corporation to convince followers that they know better than leading nutritional research scientists who proclaim that meat consumption is an important factor in the etiology of human cancer.

I was curious to know if you would consider using this information on your site?


Gerry Pugliese


Sorry it killed the hyperlinks.

Here is my reply to him:


My blog is pro-Atkins. If you want to bash it you can start your own blog. I have better things to do then spend my time picking apart somebody's Internet site.

I'll take the words of most all medical doctors that meat is fine over one vegan doctor anyday. I feel great and have stable blood sugar for the first time ever.

If veganism works for you - fine, go for it! But don't tell me how to eat. I'm eating like God intended for us to eat.

Come to think of it, make that three medical doctors who say meat is good - count in Dr. Eades of "Protein Power" and Dr. Agaston of the South Beach Diet as well.

I'd ask you to e-mail Jimmy at Livin' La Vida Low-Carb, but I see he already critiqued the article. What can I say, if Dr. Furhman lies about Dr. Atkins' death (and telling only half the story IS lying), why should I trust *anything* he says?

It's already been fully debunked there, and Jimmy includes a link to Dr. Furhman's article, as well as excerpts. If I didn't have a billion other things to blog about at the moment (the most hectic week of the year started a week early this year and
I'm smack in the middle of it now), I might link to his article. You'd still get the exposure because he links to your article, but somehow I don't think you'd like that...

Stumbling to Bethlehem,


And by the way, everybody recommends 8 glasses of water a day. I've been hearing it from teachers and government guildlines since I was a little kid. It is not new to Atkins. He's merely repeating very old advice.

4/09/2006 11:02 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

I think it is most important for the critics of low-carb to consider that for reasons that are not completely clear, low-carb diets have been the only diets on which many of us have successfully lost large amounts of weight (fat). There is something about carbohydrate restriction that works with our brains to make it possible to stick to the diet long enough for us to be successful without feeling deprived.

I am not following the Atkins diet, rather follow the Zone diet (which I consider low-carb, though it is classified as moderate carb – depends what you mean by carb, there are no refined carbs on the diet whatsoever). I wonder how the critics would respond to this diet because it seems like the one of the most well-balanced ways of invoking weight loss (losing fat, not water or muscle) than any other diet I've followed. There remains much controversy about the consumption of animal products, including fish, but until the evidence is clearly in, I'm not going to give these foods up.

4/09/2006 11:19 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

p.s. I would dispute the gentleman's description of Dr. Atkins' fall. Ice on a sidewalk can be treacherous, especially when you are 72 years old... I would compare his theory about Dr. Atkins' heart attack speculation comparable to that of the pundits who claimed from afar that Terry Schiavo was smiling and could track a balloon (when the poor woman was essential braindead – only her autonomic nervous system was keeping her alive)... Let this guy dispute the diet theory, fine, but to speculate on Dr. Atkins' cause of death is ridiculous.

4/09/2006 11:27 PM  
Blogger Newbirth said...

>Also, I’ve known at least 2 people who’ve had to have their gall bladders removed not too long after they started on the Atkins diet.<

Yeah, I know someone who had to have hers out. Atkins merely showed her a pre-existing condition of gall stones that didn't show up on a low fat diet where her gall bladder sat around doing nothing because her fat was so low.

It's actually a good thing because she can get this fixed now and go on to live a normal life. She hopes to go back on Atkins after her surgery.

At any rate, the gallstones weren't caused by Atkins. Atkins showed them because the gall bladder finally had something to do after sitting around doing nothing but forming stones.

His point #9 about cholesterol: mine has improved on Atkins. 'Nuf said. I get retested this summer. Those results will be posted online just as my last two test results were.

Point 7 about calcium - I get plenty of calcium from my diet (I can track it quite easily), plus I take a calcium supplement on top of it all. As a woman the minimum I shoot for is 1500mg a day. Men can get away with 10-1200.

I'd like to have a bone desity test at some point (I am a woman in my mid-30s and God knows how horrible I used to eat), but it's not a top priority at the moment. Maybe when I ask the doctor for a cholesterol test I can ask for this, too.

His assertion that meat has no nutrients other than protein is dead wrong. It has fat and we NEED fat to survive. Additionally, meat and other animal products are completel proteins, so there's no food combining to make sure you get all of the essential amino acids.

As for Dr. Atkins slipping, methinks he's never walked in really cold weather. At the time of his slip and fall the ground was icy and there was a snowstorm.

Personally, I think Dr. Atkins was walking a little too fast for the weather. When I've walk to fast for the conditions I will slip and fall. Sprained my ankle real good one day that way. And no, I wasn't on Atkins at that time.

His heart problems were caused by a virus. Period.

I think that's enough for now.

Couldn't these people hold off until Holy Week's over? This is the worst time of the year to bombard me with this stuff. I'm too busy blogging about my diet trials and travails and tax season and my cats and Holy Week stuff that I don't have time to deal with this.


Sorry, I'm just tired. My morning started before dawn at 5:30 a.m. and will end about 1:30 a.m. tomorrow. Plus, I'm so excited about Holy Week that I couldn't get to sleep last night.

I just have no patience with people when my nights go late and my day starts before dawn.

4/09/2006 11:28 PM  
Blogger Lowcarb_dave said...

He's very emotional for a so-called dispationate science lover.

Oh, anyone who thinks Low carb is strictly meat, I refer them to Jimmy's blog

The crux of his problem (Dr. David) with the Atkins diet seems to be meat. He mainly talks about acidity and protein levels. I guess he's not worried about fat so much.

Perhaps, instead of just arguing thinks emotionally he could point us to a number of actual clincial studies (scientific proof) that the Atkins Diet plan in particular causes the results he states.

4/10/2006 12:55 AM  
Blogger Science4u1959 said...

Is this supposed to be the writings of a doctor, a medical professional? It is highly emotional, subjective, full of grammatical and factual errors and omissions, and not very to the point either. His "proof" for the causation of dr. Atkins fall is totally ludicrous and absolutely unscientific. Uh-oh, I am feeling so wobbly, it must be the lack of carbs! What total and utter nonsense.

As for the rest: I am afraid it is nothing else than the usual dietary delusions, pseudo-scientific ramblings, hear-say, the "standard" lies as well as the "normal" yet totally unsubstantiated extremist vegan blah-blah.

Ergo conclusio: less than worthless and a total waste of time. Probably the work of an imposter and not a medical doctor or health care professional.

4/10/2006 6:51 AM  
Blogger Shayne said...

"Dr. David" just wasted about an hour of my life, between reading his letter and thinking of a good response. You know what, I can't even justify the CRAP in his letter with a response. From the tone and content of the letter, I doubt he's even a real doctor.

Oh, and what GP is able to charge $200/hour these days? My insurance won't pay that!

4/10/2006 11:38 AM  
Blogger Jeff Hamlin said...

"a) you CAN lose weight by forcing your body into the VERY UNHEALTHY situation of living in ketoacidosis (although it will Kill your Kidneys eventually - after 20, 30 or 40 yrs, and it won’t show up on your lab values WHILE the damage is being done, because the creatinine doesn’t start to go up until your kidney functions have been 90% destroyed!)"

What a moron. I wonder if he meant to say "ketosis".

4/10/2006 12:00 PM  
Blogger Barb said...

You GO, Dr. David!

4/10/2006 12:27 PM  
Blogger Mark F said...

I had two kidney stone attacks. Pre-low-carb! So far so good.

Where are these meat only freaks coming from? Have they actually looked at menus for low-carb dieting or listened to their lard butt brother in law who wants to do low carb so he can eat steak every day without reading any diet plan or advice?

4/10/2006 7:57 PM  
Blogger Newbirth said...


I saw a post on the Atkins forum today about a person wanting to start Atkins (i.e. they are not on it at the moment). Her doctor thinks she may have kidney stones and she needs to get it checked out and all that.

But once again - kidney stones PRE-Atkins!

4/11/2006 1:01 AM  
Blogger Science4u1959 said...

A diet, relatively high (rather: generous) in healthy fats has been scientifically shown to prevent kidney stones and gall stones from forming.

I can't repeat it often enough: controlled carb diets including the Atkins diet are preventive of many illnesses and conditions and completely safe.

This "dr. David" is most likely not a doctor, nor does he have any clue whatsoever of nutritional science or even proper dietary advice.

In fact, the opposite of what he claims as "dangerous" is true: recent studies have shown that even patients suffering from EXISTING kidney damage (as diabetics, for example) may dramatically BENEFIT from a low-carb or controlled-carb dietary regimen.

Until recently, it appeared that individuals with kidney damage were stuck between a rock and a hard place, but that could all be about to change. Progressive researchers have begun examining the effect of varying the type, rather than the amount, of protein consumed by kidney patients. Recently, Californian researchers hypothesized that a diet with unrestricted protein intake, but low in carbohydrates and iron might reduce free radical and glycative damage in compromised kidneys. It's no secret that carbohydrates are the most effective dietrary agent for inducing elevated blood sugar levels, which in turn increases glycative activity in the body, and excess iron has been implicated as a potent free-radical promoter.

The researchers proceeded to place patients with diabetic kidney damage on a diet in which chicken and fish were substituted for red meat, the former being lower in iron than the latter. The patients were also advised to increase their intake of iron-binding foods, such as dairy and eggs, and polyphenol-rich items such as olive oil, tea, red wine (a maximum of 300ml daily, with meals). The only other beverage permitted besides red wine and tea was water. Finally, the patients were instructed to halve their total carbohydrate intake. The composition of the white meat-based diet was 25-30% protein, 30% fat, 35% carbohydrate, and 5-10% alcohol. A control group of kidney-impaired diabetics consumed a low-protein diet comprised of 10% protein, 25% fat, and 65% carbohydrate - a similar macronutrient profile to that recommended to kidney patients - and to the general population by mainstream health authorities.

After an average follow-up period of 3.9 years, 39% of the control group patients either died or deteriorated to a point necessitating kidney replacement; in the unrestricted white meat-protein group, the corresponding figure was only 20%. Serum creatinine, a measure of kidney function, doubled in 39% of the low-protein controls, but only 21% of the high-protein controls. The results confirmed the findings of previous short-term studies showing improvements in kidney function on white-meat based diets; in one of these, diabetics spent four weeks in random order on a low protein diet, a red-meat-containing diet, and a chicken-based diet. The chicken regimen produced superior improvements in clinical tests of kidney function than either the low protein or normal diets. Interestingly, Swedish researchers recently found, in an epidemiological study, that diabetics consuming high amounts of fish protein suffered a lower incidence of microalbuminuria.

In addition to eating more white meat, results of a recent clinical trial indicate that kidney patients may greatly benefit from co-enzyme Q10 supplementation.


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2. Poortmans JR, Dellalieux O. Do regular high protein diets have potential health risks on kidney function in athletes? International Journal Sport Nutr Exercise Metabolism, 2000; 10: 28-38.

3. Blum M, et al. Protein Intake and Kidney Function in Humans: Its Effect on Normal Aging. Archives of Internal Medicine, 1989; 149 (1): 211-212.

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6. Wrone EM, et al. Association of dietary protein intake and microalbuminuria in healthy adults: Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. American Journal of Kidney Diseases, Mar. 2003; 41 (3): 580-587.

7. Facchini FS, Saylor KL. A Low-Iron-Available, Polyphenol-Enriched, Carbohydrate-Restricted Diet to Slow Progression of Diabetic Nephropathy. Diabetes, 52 (5), 2003: 1204-1209.

8. Gross JL, et al. Effect of a chicken-based diet on renal function and lipid profile in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized crossover trial. Diabetes Care, 2002 Apr; 25 (4): 645-51.

9. Pecis M, et al. Chicken and fish diet reduces glomerular hyperfiltration in IDDM patients. Diabetes Care, 1994; 17: 665-672.

10. Möllsten AV, et al. Higher Intakes of Fish Protein Are Related to a Lower Risk of Microalbuminuria in Young Swedish Type 1 Diabetic Patients. Diabetes Care, 2001; 24: 805-810.

11. Singh RB, et al. Randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial of coenzyme Q10 in chronic renal failure: discovery of a new role. Journal of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine, Dec 1, 2000; 10 (4): 281 - 288

4/11/2006 9:05 AM  
Blogger Ab Normal said...

I could not make it past point #2.

LOTS of people fall/slip on ice causing varying degrees of injury.

Hitting your head with full falling force can certainly cause death.

This so-called doctor has NO credibility with me.


3/24/2008 9:54 AM  

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