Low fat (but not full fat) dairy associated with increased risk of Parkinson’s disease

Read time: 4.5 minutes (850 words)


MedPage Today [full article here] drew my attention to a recent Harvard study published in the journal Neurology [abstract herewhich took a closer look at previously identified associations between dairy products and Parkinsons Disease. Their analyses were based on data from two large prospective cohort studies, the Nurses’ Health Study (n = 80,736) and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (n = 48,610), with a total of 26 and 24 years of follow-up, respectively. An previous study (see below) found an increased risk of Parkinson’s with higher levels of dairy protein consumption.

The latest study looked more carefully at the different types of dairy product. They found that among those who ate 3 or more portions of low fat dairy per day (skimmed milk, low fat cheese and yogurt etc) 4 in 1000 went on to develop Parkinson’s disease, whereas among those who ate no portions of low fat dairy only 3 in 1000 developed the disease.

Comparing the two groups that equates to a roughly 33% increased relative risk. Of course that is only a rather piffling 0.1% absolute risk increase – hardly anything to worry about in the grand scheme of things. What makes this study interesting, however, is that the association did not exist for full fat dairy products only low fat ones.

Uric acid and Parkinson’s disease

The study’s authors speculate that the increased risk seen in the low fat milk group may be due to the ability of milk protein (casein and lactalbumin) to reduce uric acid levels. Parkinson’s disease and uric acid? I wasn’t aware of this link, so started digging into the research…

A particularly helpful review in Practical Neurology [Uric Acid’s Relationship with Stroke and Parkinson’s Disease: A Review] filled me in on the background.

It turns out that there is a growing body of evidence demonstrating an association between low uric acid levels and incidence of Parkinson’s disease. Not only do Parkinson’s sufferers tend to have have low levels of uric acid, but those with higher levels have slower and less aggressive progression of the disease. Importantly, some studies have identified that low uric acid levels four years prior to the onset of Parkinson’s symptoms has a stronger association than levels at onset of symptoms, suggesting that uric acid is linked to the  pathogenesis of Parkinson’s.

Uric acid BTW is an intriguing endogenous antioxidant which although primarily synthesised by the body is also influenced by diet. Excess levels can lead to the formation of crystals which is the basis of the painful condition gout, but can also contribute to kidney stones and kidney damage. Foods containing purines, such as shellfish, offal, meat and beer, can raise uric acid levels, as can alcohol and fructose, so should be avoided if you suffer from gout or kidney stones. The idea that such foods may be protective against Parkinson’s is interesting (although clearly one would not want to go as far as to cause gout!) On the other hand, dairy, cherries and vitamin C are associated with lower risk of gout and are classed as hypouricemic foods as they reduce uric acid levels.

It is believed that uric acid may exert a neuro-protective effect through it’s antioxidant action:

It has been hypothesized that uric acid reduces oxidative stress on neurons. This may have a significant bearing on therapeutic management of disease, as many neurological disorders are believed to result from oxidative stress. As a potentially modifiable risk factor, the prospect for uric acid and its derivatives to play a role in disease modification or prevention has great potential. – Pello et al, 2009

Studies looking at dietary associations with Parkinson’s disease have identified that uric acid lowering foods (e.g. dairy) are always associated with an increased risk of Parkinson’s, except for one. Vitamin C is the only uric acid lowering nutrient associated with reduced Parkinson’s risk: possibly because it is a powerful anti-oxidant itself.

Results from an earlier analysis of the Health Professionals Follow-up Study found clear trends indicating reduced incidence of Parkinson’s disease with increasing consumption of fructose and alcohol (uric acid raising foods) and an increased risk with higher levels of dairy protein consumption (a uric acid lowering food) Adapted from Xiang Gao et al, 2008

Full fat dairy

In the new study the increased risk for Parkinson’s disease was only associated with low fat dairy, not full fat. Why wasn’t full fat dairy associated with an increased risk of Parkinson’s?

For now there is no clear answer, but according to MedPage Today the authors of the study say “The lack of association with full-fat dairy products could be due to a countervailing effect of saturated fats. I think more research is needed to better understand the mechanisms involved in this association,”

The benefits of dairy fats have come up time and again, yet I still know many people who avoid full fat milk, cream, cheese and butter. See our posts:

Bottom Line

The size of the increased absolute risk of Parkinson’s disease associated with consuming low fat dairy products (0.1%) is too small to make it a reason in and of itself to avoid low fat dairy – unless of course, you have a family history of the disease in which case every bit of risk reduction helps.

For all of us, however, this study adds to the evidence of the benefits of full fat over low-fat dairy.


  • Intake of dairy foods and risk of Parkinson diseaseKatherine C. Hughes et al, Neurology, June 2017 [Abstract]
  • Low-Fat Dairy Linked to Small Increased Risk for PDKate Kneisel, Contributing Writer, MedPage Today, June 2017 [Full article]
  • Uric Acid’s Relationship with Stroke and Parkinson’s Disease: A Review Scott Pello et al, Practical neurology, Jul/Aug 2009 [Full article]
  • Diet, Urate, and Parkinson’s Disease Risk in Men, Xiang Gao et al, American journal of epidemiology, 2008 [PMC full text]

In the News

  • Why you’re better off eating FULL fat dairy: Consuming three or more portions of the low fat variety of yoghurt, milk or cheese raises the risk of Parkinson’s disease, Daily Mail [Online Article]
  • Low-fat milk linked to Parkinson’s risk, The Times [Online Article]

April News Round-Up

In_the_News_AprilVitamin D

With the arrival of D-Day in the UK, we can all begin to manufacture this essential vitamin by getting outdoors and baring our skin to the sunshine close to mid-day.

The Telegraph (5th April 2016) reporting on the latest research tells us that a ‘Daily dose of vitamin D can improve function in damaged hearts’. On a similar theme, NHS choices (27th April 2016)  reports that ‘Vitamin D, fish oil and folates may enhance antidepressants’. Meanwhile Science Daily (6th April 2016) reports that ‘Higher levels of vitamin D correspond to lower cancer risk’. Medscape (8th April 2016) reports that ‘Low Vitamin D Levels [are] Linked to Macular Degeneration Risk’. Read our in-depth post to make sure you are doing it right and maximising your vitamin D synthesis.

The sun's angle above the horizon (zenith angle) needs to be above 50º before there is sufficient UVB to produce vitamin D in the skin. In the south of the UK this limits vitamin D production to between April 21st and August 21st, in a narrow window either side of mid day. Data source: Solar Topo

The sun’s angle above the horizon (zenith angle) needs to be above 50º before there is sufficient UVB to produce vitamin D in the skin. In the south of the UK this limits vitamin D production to between April 21st and August 21st, in a narrow window either side of mid day. Data source: Solar Topo

‘Paleo’ Diet May Help Older Women’s Hearts, Waistlines

U.S.News (4th April 2016) reports on a recent study where 35 obese postmenopausal women followed a Paleo diet for two years. Despite having no limit on calories these women lost weight and had improved metabolic markers. Medpage Today (7th April 2016) also covered the study.

Zonulin implicated in coeliac, gluten sensitivity and Inflammatory bowel disease

This is a bit technical, but important. Gastroenterology and Endoscopy News (19th April 2016) – not a news site you often read I imagine! – reports on a study that finds gut permeability molecule zonulin is raised in many GI diseases. This extends some of the research in our post Why no one should eat grains. Part 3: Ten more reasons to avoid wheat, where we report that gluten increases gut permeability in everyone.

High Fructose Diets

Much of the metabolic damage done by sugar is laid at the door of fructose which makes up 50% of normal table sugar (sucrose). High fructose corn syrup may have closer to 55% fructose, so has attracted even greater criticism. For more detail the Daily Mail (September 2015) had an excellent science piece on the metabolic effects of fructose compared to glucose. This month, however, two studies appeared in the press, but chances are you didn’t see them.

First, Science Daily (April 20th) reported on a study where female rats were fed water sweetened with 10% fructose throughout pregnancy. Their offspring were fed normally, but by rat middle age “both female and male offspring in the fructose group had higher peak glucose levels and higher blood pressure. Female offspring of the fructose group also were heavier and had higher percentages of abdominal fat tissue, liver fat and insulin resistance as well as lower concentrations of leptin compared with their water group counterparts.” The paper title says it all: High-fructose diet in pregnancy leads to fetal programming of hypertension, insulin resistance, and obesity in adult offspring. Put down those fizzy drinks ladies and step away from the cakes.

Second, a study from the University of California Los Angeles appeared on many news websites but has not yet made it into the mainstream UK press (UCLA press release 21st April 2016). It showed that fructose led to the switching on of genes in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD and other brain diseases. Remarkably, the addition of omega 3 fish oils (DHA in this report) completely reversed these epigenetic changes.

Mis-shapen fruit and veg are more healthy

In our post The chemical warfare on your plate we examined how the natural toxins in fruit and veg explain their health benefits through the process of hormesis. NPR’s The Salt (26th April 2016) has a nice article looking at the health benefits of eating mis-shapen or ‘ugly’ produce, as these ‘stressed’ veggies contain higher levels of these valuable secondary metabolites. Home grown or wild foods, of course, would be even better, but it is a reminder that simple shopping choices can make a real difference – don’t put back the blemished apple!

Bone broth in the news


Bones, meat offcuts and wonky veg going into my pressure cooker to make collagen-rich bone broth.

The Mail Online (27th April 2016) gives us the TOP FIVE PANTRY STAPLES, according to TV chef Scott Gooding, which includes some great culinary/medicinal herbs too:

  1. Bone broth
  2. Hemp seeds
  3. Chili
  4. Blueberries
  5. Tumeric

Gut microbe diversity increases with consumption of tea, coffee, wine and yoghurt

One of our first public talks focussed on fermented foods and gut health. In it we pointed out that gut health is improved by consuming probiotics (foods containing live gut bacteria such as live yoghurt), prebiotics (foods containing fibre or other nutrients that feed your good bacteria) but also non-live fermented foods as it seems many gut microbes feed off the fermentation products of other microbes.

Time magazine (29th April 2016) reports on a study published in Science that tea, coffee, wine and yoghurt consumption are associated with a higher bacterial diversity (generally an indication of good gut health), whilst sugar consumption and smoking were associated with a lower diversity.

Pasture fed beef and dairy in the news

The Guardian (17th April 2016) has a good article, explaining why pasture fed livestock is the ‘new organic’. Forbes (29th April 2016) has its own take if you want another angle. On a related note, I recently came across a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition (August 2014) which found that mice fed cream from pastured cows compared to standard cream, had lower inflammation, triglycerides and adipose fat, which they suggest may be due to the higher levels of omega-3 fats in pastured cream.

Quote of the Month

The Chancellor George Osborne, who apparently uses the 5:2 diet to help with weight control jokes in the Times (29th April 2016):

In two out of every five budgets I eat my words

Pedantic of me I know, but if George is skipping food two out of every five days he will get very hungry (The five:two diet is supposed to be fasting two out of every seven days!)


The Telegraph (1st May) has a barrow load of great salad recipes under the theme ‘the world’s best salads’ (if only the British sun can stay out long enough to make us want to eat cold food!). They are grain free, look delicious, but perhaps a little too fussy? Let me know if you try them!

September News Round-Up

In_the_News_SepFish consumption

A new analysis links higher levels of fish consumption with reduced rates of depression. This was reported by the BBC (September 11th).

Researchers suggest it is the omega 3 oils that are responsible for the observed benefits.

  • See our seafood talk videos for more on the brain-essential nutrients in fish and for clear information on omega 3 and 6 (which is in the last of these three videos).

Probiotics in pregnancy and childhood

One I missed last month: probiotics may cut chances of an early birth, reported in the Daily Mail (August 18th). Screening identified low levels of friendly lactobacillus bacteria in the reproductive tracts of women who had premature births.

Meanwhile, Time Magazine (September 30th) reports that children exposed to 4 key bacteria during the first 100 days of life are less likely to develop asthma. NHS Choices also covers this study.

(Here at Rosemary Cottage Clinic I stock some excellent probiotics which far exceed the efficacy of those available in health food shops – contact me to discuss your condition if you think you need medicinal strength products)

Apple skins prevent age related muscle loss


We are pleased to announce that no mice were harmed in the making of this month’s News Round Up!

Beyond the age of 35 most men and women gradually begin to lose muscle mass – a process that eventually leads to an increased risk of falls in old age.

This has led researchers to recommend increased protein consumption from middle age. Interestingly, new research has suggested that ursolic acid, found in apple skins, can reverse some of this age related decline.

The Daily Mail (September 10th) gives a brief overview, whilst a more in-depth report from the University that published the study can be found here.

The scientists found that [these] compounds increased muscle mass [of aged lab mice] by 10 percent, and more importantly, increased muscle quality, or strength, by 30 percent. The sizes of these effects suggest that the compounds largely restored muscle mass and strength to young adult levels.

Bumper Spanish almond harvest

Good news – according to SeeMallorca (October 1st) this year’s harvest of our favourite nut – almonds – is set to break all records. Bad news – prices are expected to rise. This is in line with the excellent spanish organic ground almonds I stock, which have risen in price every year for 5 years! Ground almonds are used in my recipe for the best grain-free-pancakes around and in a good few other recipes by yours truly on this blog (see under recipes). Meanwhile Bloomberg (September 23rd) reports that Australian almond growers are suffering a spate of bee-hive thefts – bees being essential in the pollination of large almond groves.

Gluten-free recipes with almonds in the news:

Baby food

The Guardian (August 30th) had an interesting article suggesting that commercial baby foods contain too narrow a range of flavours to encourage development of broad palate, with consequences for children’s future health. This chimes nicely with a couple of books I have recently read and would recommend: French Children Don’t Throw Food and The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth about Food and Flavor (click to see on Amazon)

The War on Sugar

MedPage Today (September 29th) reports on a study that claims fructose from sugar-sweetened drinks is the primary driver of the obesity epidemic. Meanwhile the politics of the sugar war is found in that esteemed journal of scientific balance, Nature (September 30th) – in the form of a book review, Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and Winning).

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal (September 28th) reports on one of the casualties of the sugar war – Coca-Cola are withdrawing from nutritional funding “after critics accused the beverage giant of trying to downplay the role of sugary drinks in obesity.”

Sugar industry tactics are revealed in the Daily Mail (October 1st) who report that the quantity of sugar in major brand fizzy drinks varies enormously in different parts of the world.

Harvard scientist flip-flop on saturated fat

After many reports claiming that saturated fat isn’t as bad as once thought, Harvard University comes out with a study claiming that margarine (vegetable oil) is better for heart health than butter. Most news papers went with the obvious “Saturated fat is bad for you after all” line. However, The Telegraph manages a much more nuanced approach – so read their article first!

Grass-fed beef – contains fewer super-bugs

A recent consumer report in the USA found that Grass-fed beef contains fewer harmful bacteria (September 29th – includes video report). Experts blame the explosion of drug-resistant bacteria on the overuse of antibiotics on cattle farms. We previously posted that MRSA is linked to anti-biotic use in farm animals. The bottom line: go for organic meat, or better still…

Knepp Re-Wilding Project

The Telegraph (September 26th) has a great article on our favourite rewilding project, at Knepp. (See our article Rewilding our Food)

One of the re-wilded Longhorn cattle at Knepp. These animals spend theiur whole life free living on the Knepp estate. They live outside all year round, and erceiving no additional food. They are almost wild and their meat has a fatty acid profile closer to that which our ancient ancestors would have eaten.

One of the re-wilded Longhorn cattle at Knepp. These animals spend their whole life free living on the Knepp estate. They live outside all year round, and receive no additional food. They are almost wild and their meat has a fatty acid profile closer to that which our ancient ancestors would have eaten.

Now is the time of year to get some Knepp re-wilded longhorn beef or venison. You can order a box from Garlic Wood Farm, or visit their butchers to select your cut. This is grass-fed meat of the highest order, having lived wild, eating naturally in the Sussex landscape. I recommend contacting them to ensure you are getting Knepp meat.

I have just visited them to collect several cuts of Knepp beef. The rump steak was absolutely delicious. I’ll finish with a gallery from my kitchen to whet your appetite!





June news roundup

In_the_News_JuneBody fat is more than just for calorie storage: it is a highly active metabolic tissue. This is highlighted in a Daily Mail (June 8th) article reporting that during a heart attack excess body fat can actually protect the heart by releasing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds.

Medpage Today (June 17th) reports on the US FDA’s decision to ban trans-fats from foods (Hurrah! The UK should follow suit) Then on June 24th they told us that the dietary guidelines for Americans would also lift the cap on Guideline Daily Amounts for total fat consumption. (Double hurrah!) – we were so excited about this news that we made a video about it here.

Giving mice a hard time in the name of nutrition science…

Carrying on the fat theme, the Daily Mail (June 21st) reported that mice on an obesogenic diet gained less weight if fed the equivalent of two to three portions of berries a day. Apparently, the berries turned some of their normal fat tissue turned into calorie-burning healthy beige fat. Lab_mouse_eating_fruitHowever, the quantities of fruit needed would mean ingesting a lot of fruit sugars – which in another study wasn’t so good for our whiskered friends…

Medical daily (June 4th) reports “High Fructose Corn Syrup Linked To Weight Gain And Inactivity In Mice” – researchers were surprised that the mice on fructose (fruit sugar) became spontaneously less active – a feature that may alone account for their weight gain.

SO… if you make mice fat, but give them berries they get less fat. And if you give them fruit sugar they get lethargic, and fat. Hey, what about if you give them autism, then feed them on low GI foods? We haven’t tried that yet have we?

Oh, yes we have… Scicasts (June 10th): “New research in a mouse model of autism showed that low glycemic index diets, similar to the plans that people with diabetes follow to keep their blood sugar in check, reduced symptoms of the disorder in mice.”

Seriously, these are all interesting, but should be taken with a pinch of salt. (Hmmm. Interesting idea… what happens if we give the mice extra salt and…). The real question is, how all this relates to humans. Which brings me to…

Quote of the month

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year, and should be eliminated from people’s diets, medical experts have warned. The Independent (June 29th)

(Well there’s a coincidence – this article was based on a paper by Dr Dariush Mozaffarian who is the guy narrating our latest video post!)

Local food stories

Knepp gets a nice little write up in The Times (June 20th) this month.

Mother, baby, and childhood: epigenetics, diet, antibiotics and the microbiome

The Guardian (June 11th) reports on a study by Britain’s Medical Research Council, which found that a mother’s diet before conception ‘can affect child’s lifelong risk of disease’. The research paper (full text here) identified significant epigenetic changes which were dependent on the mothers nutritional status during just a few days close to conception. (In the 1930’s Weston A Price reported that traditional peoples frequently had special foods reserved for conceiving couples, pregnant and lactating women – something, it seems, we are only just rediscovering the need for!)

The Telegraph (June 30th) reports that antibiotic use in childhood ‘may cause obesity and diabetes’. They explain that the researchers found that “antibiotic exposure during a critical window of early development disrupts the bacterial landscape of the gut and permanently reprogrammes the body’s metabolism, setting up a predisposition for obesity”

These two reports are, in my opinion, highly significant and should be taken seriously by health professionals and parents alike. When Price wrote about ‘Nutrition and Physical Degeneration’ in the 1930’s he was not using words loosely.

Exercise and weight loss

Daily Mail (June 21st): why exercise often doesn’t help with weight loss. This is an important concept and one that I need to write about in far more detail at some point.

Paleo recipes

The Mirror (June 9th) encourages us to add eggs to our salads, after researchers found that they help increase fat-soluble nutrient absorption.

But if you don’t fancy salad The Telegraph (May 27th) helpfully suggests 10 easy paleo recipes for summer. Lots of good ideas for grain-free, dairy-free meals here. Meanwhile, Time (June 16th) reports on 11 foods that people think are healthy, but aren’t.

Straw-man paleo-bashing finds its way into the headline in Forbes (June 17th): “The Real Paleo Diet Included Plants And Not Just Meat”. You don’t say! It’s a fascinating article about superb archaeological detective work that led to the identification of plant food remains on 200,000 year old teeth, indicating that our ancestors ate a diet similar to modern hunter gatherers. i.e. a paleo diet. Of course, these cave dwellers came from a sub-tropical location. Arctic hominids ate a diet much higher in meat. Which leads nicely to this…

Extreme Paleo (Again!)

In last month’s news round up I included a piece about a family eating a beef-only diet. It’s one of those rather extreme examples of a paleo diet I wouldn’t generally recommend – although I have had patients that only turned the corner with serious autoimmune disease after reducing their diet to just bone broth, sans vegetables, for a few days. However, a meat-only diet poses some interesting questions about human dietary adaptations. Certainly many arctic hunters (such as the Chukchi) traditionally eat a diet very high in meat and fish for most of the year yet are considered some of the healthiest people on the planet. So I was amazed to find in The Mirror (June 15th) a report of a woman with PCOS who lost weight and regained her fertility by eating a zero-carb, 98% beef diet! Despite eating 2500 Cal per day she went from 18 stone to 9 stone in less than two years:

“Even the specialist fertility doctor I was referred to, said that my menstrual cycle would probably never return and I would need help conceiving all future children. However, my periods returned and I was able to immediately get pregnant. My menstrual cycles have been regular ever since without any assistance. Finding out I was pregnant were the greatest moments of my life. I have always wanted to be a mother. It was amazing.”

The Mirror article includes a link to her blog if you want to read her story in full.

So that winds up this month’s news. Interesting wasn’t it? Here on the south coast of England we are basking in a heat wave, so next month we might have some stories on the necessity to drink plenty of water and not avoid salt…(hint hint).

Reducing sugary drinks improves kids’ livers in just ten days

Infographic: study of obese children showing improvements in liver function in ten days when sugary drinks were removed from their diets
Click to view infographic at full size – please feel free to share or reblog it

A new study by Jean-Marc Schwarz, PhD, of Touro University California in Vallejo, and colleagues has demonstrated that removing sugary drinks – including fruit juice – from obese children dramatically reduced their liver fat and fat synthesis in just ten days. Continue reading

New study vindicates Weston A Price

Scientists identify Price’s ‘Displacing Foods of Commerce’ as ideal for inducing full-blown metabolic syndrome in rats

white flour with fructose offers a better model of metabolic syndrome

In 1939 Weston Price, the leading dental surgeon in the United States, published his book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, in which he reported the sudden and dramatic decline in health of numerous native populations around the world as they came into contact with white man’s food. Price called these foods ‘the displacing foods of commerce’ – which primarily consisted of refined sugar and flour. These foods of commerce could be transported, stored and traded easily, so once a port or outpost shop became established traditional native diets began changing to western norms. Price saw a terrible decline in the health of natives that ate such food, and more seriously, a degeneration in the skeletal integrity of the next generation – skull, jaw and dental deformities, along with susceptibility to a host of western diseases – cancer, heart disease, infections, diabetes. Price’s work and the significance of his message, however, was lost for over half a century, and has only recently become widely discussed.

So it is somewhat ironic that in March this year, scientists reported a breakthrough in the study of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is the name given to the group of signs and symptoms (high LDL low HDL, raised triglycerides, abdominal obesity, fatty liver disease, hyperglycaemia, endothelial dysfunction) that frequently precede full-blown metabolic diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes: the diseases of civilisation. You don’t want metabolic syndrome. It means your metabolism is breaking or broken. It means you’re over the edge of a metabolic threshold, that you have pushed your metabolism to breaking point, and is probably the beginning of a descent into chronic ill-health unless you change your diet ASAP.

To study metabolic syndrome, researchers feed rats fructose or sucrose (sugar). Rats are in many ways similar to humans, but with a more rapid life cycle, so can, in a few weeks, exhibit disease progression that would take half a life time to manifest in humans.

“It is well documented that the administration of fructose to humans induces all of the features of metabolic syndrome.”
C Massimo,  Department of Anatomy, Pharmacology and Forensic Medicine, University of Turin, 2011

However, whilst fructose-fed rats display many aspects of the metabolic syndrome, they irritatingly often have raised HDL instead of the lowered HDL, seen in the human pathology. Also, they don’t have such clear-cut endothelial dysfunction*. So they are an imperfect model of the syndrome. Dratt em! So, scientists have been looking for ways to induce a more complete metabolic mess, and this year they found the answer: feed them fructose and refined white flour! Yes, the ‘displacing foods of commerce’ that Price warned us about seventy five years ago have just been rediscovered as the perfect cocktail for producing a metabolic disarray in rats just like that seen in sick ‘westerners’.

Just in case you missed it: white flour and sugar. Probably best avoided.

*It tuns out that the whole grain wheat in the fructose-fed rats’ chow was providing protection from the full blown metabolic syndrome. However, humans are unlikely to benefit to the same extent as, unlike rats, grains are not a natural part of our diet; possibly why the ‘Healthy Whole Grains’ meme has failed to live up to the hype.

Fiber-free white flour with fructose offers a better model of metabolic syndrome Faridah Amin and Anwar H Gilan, 2013, Lipids in Health and Disease