April News Round-Up

In_the_News_AprilCheese and Heart Disease

The Daily Mail reported that cheese in the French diet may explain their very low levels of heart attack despite eating high levels of saturated fat – the so called ‘French Paradox’.

This will come as no ‘Quelle surprise!’ to anyone who attended our Malcolm Kendrick talk where he showed that for just about every country in Europe that deaths from heart disease is inversely associated with saturated fat intake! See the graphs yourself on our video here (forward to 21 minutes).

Eggs and Diabetes

Meanwhile, the Telegraph was one of many papers reporting on a study showing that eating four eggs per week ‘can reduce risk of diabetes’. Only four per week? I eat two per day!

Vitamin-D and Sunlight

Many papers, including The Independent, reported that NICE is considering a proposal that all children under 4 should be given free vitamin D supplements “as lack of direct sunlight causes rise in rickets cases”.

In response to these proposals, Alastair Sutcliffe, one of Britain’s leading experts on vitamin D deficiency and a consultant paediatrician at University College London Hospitals, is quoted in the Huffington Post as saying:

“Sunblock is so powerful, it does work but you end up with no exposure to the sun. People are perhaps overdoing it. They are putting all of this stuff on in our climate. The outcome is that you are blocking out sunshine and you have a secondary effect of reduced exposure to sunshine which the human race needs.”

[I will write a post on sunblocks shortly as there is growing evidence that they do far more harm than simply reducing vitamin D production.]

Exercise, Diet and Obesity

For editorial variety, lets turn to Medpage Today for their take on the report that “Obesity epidemic can’t be stemmed by exercise alone”. Which came from an editorial opinion piece in the British Journal of Sports Medicine which slammed the idea that you can get away with eating high-carb junk food and sweetened drinks as long as you are physically active. It is interesting to see how the contributors to the Medpage piece react to the ‘low carb’ message inherent in the original editorial.

Iodine deficiency widespread

Next up, Iodine – a trace mineral essential for infant brain development and IQ – is increasing in public awareness, making the news three times this month:

  • In the UK there are warnings that organic and UHT milk contains less iodine than regular milk which may affect infant IQ. (Daily Mail)
  • Whilst in India iodine impregnated bindis are helping fight deficiencies (The Times of India)
  • In the USA iodine status has fallen 20% due to use of non-iodised salt – according to the Houston Chronicle.

Livestock and carbon sequestration

Finally, “Organic farming can reverse agriculture from a carbon source to sink” – the use of livestock and manure on crops instead of artificial fertilisers has been shown to sequester large amounts of carbon – just as we have been saying in our posts on food and the environment!

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