Hard scientific evidence of the effects of diet, pharmaceutical drugs & lifestyle on health from over 1,300 studies from research centers, universities and peer reviewed scientific journals.

Research by David Evans

Friday, 18 April 2014

94% of physicians have a financial relationship with the pharmaceutical industry. Could this affect their judgement when prescribing drugs?

This study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine 2007 Apr 26;356(17):1742-50
 
Study title and authors:
A national survey of physician-industry relationships.
Campbell EG, Gruen RL, Mountford J, Miller LG, Cleary PD, Blumenthal D.
Institute for Health Policy, Massachusetts General Hospital-Partners Health Care System and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA. ecampbell@partners.org
 
This study can be accessed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17460228

This study investigated the financial associations of physicians with the pharmaceutical and other medically related industries. The study included 3,167 physicians.

The study found:
(a) 83% of physicians received gifts from the pharmaceutical industry (including food and beverages in the workplace and tickets to cultural and sporting events).
(b) 78% of physicians received drug samples from the pharmaceutical industry.
(c) 35% of physicians received reimbursement for costs associated with professional meetings or continuing medical education from the pharmaceutical industry.
(d) 28% of physicians received payments for consulting, giving lectures, or enrolling patients in trials from the pharmaceutical industry.
(e) Overall, 94% of physicians reported some type of relationship with the pharmaceutical industry.

Most physicians (94%) reported some type of relationship with the pharmaceutical industry.

Could this affect their judgement when they prescribe drugs or give advice?

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Vegetarians are less healthy (in terms of cancer, allergies, and mental health disorders), have a lower quality of life, and also require more medical treatment

This study was published in PLoS One 2014 Feb 7;9(2):e88278

Studytitle and authors:
Nutrition and health - the association between eating behavior and various health parameters: a matched sample study.
Burkert NT, Muckenhuber J, Großschädl F, Rásky E, Freidl W.
Institute of Social Medicine and Epidemiology, Medical University Graz, Graz, Austria.

This study can be accessed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24516625

The aim of the study was to analyse the health effects of different dietary habits. The study included 1,320 subjects who were put into four dietary groups (330 for each form of diet) that reflected the animal fat intake for each dietary habit (i) vegetarian diet, (ii) carnivorous diet rich in fruits and vegetables, (iii) carnivorous diet less rich in meat, (iv) carnivorous diet rich in meat).

The study found:
(a) The vegetarian group had a lower BMI and less frequent alcohol consumption than the carnivorous groups.
(b) Overall, vegetarians were in a poorer state of health compared to the carnivorous groups.
(c) Concerning self-reported health, vegetarians significantly reported poorer health compared to the carnivorous groups.
(d) Vegetarians had higher levels of impairment from disorders compared to the carnivorous groups.
(e) Vegetarians had higher levels of chronic diseases compared to the carnivorous groups.
(f)  Significantly more vegetarians suffered from allergies, cancer, and mental health ailments (anxiety, or depression) than the carnivorous groups.
(g) Vegetarians had a lower quality of life compared to the carnivorous groups. (Concerning physical health, environment, social relationships etc).

Burkert concluded: "Our study has shown that Austrian adults who consume a vegetarian diet are less healthy (in terms of cancer, allergies, and mental health disorders), have a lower quality of life, and also require more medical treatment".

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

High fat diets recommended for management of type 2 diabetes

This study was published in the British Journal of Nutrition 2014 Mar 25:1-12
 
Study title and authors:
Comparison of the long-term effects of high-fat v. low-fat diet consumption on cardiometabolic risk factors in subjects with abnormal glucose metabolism: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Schwingshackl L, Hoffmann G.
Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna, Althanstreet 14 UZA II, Vienna A-1090, Austria.
 
This study can be accessed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24666665

The aim of the review and meta-analysis was to examine the long-term (more than 12 months) effects of high-fat v low-fat diet consumption on specific markers of cardiovascular risk in pre-diabetic and diabetic individuals. The analysis included 14 trials and 1,753 subjects.

The study found:
(a) Those on high fat regimens had a significant decrease in triglyceride levels.
(b) Those on high fat regimens had a significant decrease in diastolic blood pressure.
(c) Those on high fat regimens had a significant decrease in fasting glucose levels levels.
(d) Those on high fat regimens had a significant increase in high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels.

The high fat diet improved specific markers of cardiovascular risk in pre-diabetic and diabetic individuals.

The lead researcher of the review, Lukas Schwingshackl from the University of Vienna, concluded: "High fat and low fat diets might not be of equal value in the management of either pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes, leading to emphasis being placed on the recommendations of high fat diets".

Friday, 28 March 2014

Men who die from cancer have lower cholesterol levels

This study was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology 1980 Sep;112(3):388-94
 
Study title and authors:
Total serum cholesterol and cancer mortality in a middle-aged male population.
Cambien F, Ducimetiere P, Richard J.
 
This study can be accessed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7424886

This study investigated the relationship between cholesterol levels and death from cancer. The study included 7,603 men, aged 43-52 years, who were followed for an average of 6.6 years.

The study found:
(a) Those who died from cancer had lower cholesterol levels than those who survived.
(b) Cholesterol levels increased steadily with survival time.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Mobile (cell) phones associated with a 70% increased risk of malignant brain tumours

This study was published in the International Journal of Oncology 2013 Dec;43(6):1833-45
 
Study title and authors:
Case-control study of the association between malignant brain tumours diagnosed between 2007 and 2009 and mobile and cordless phone use.
Hardell L, Carlberg M, Söderqvist F, Mild KH.
Department of Oncology, University Hospital, SE-701 85 Örebro, Sweden.
 
This study can be accessed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24064953

Hardell notes that when mobile (cell) and cordless phones are used they emit radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs) and the brain is the main target organ for the handheld phone. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified in May, 2011 RF-EMF as a group 2B, i.e. a 'possible' human carcinogen.

The aim of this study was to further explore the relationship between especially long-term use of wireless (mobile and cordless) phones and the development of malignant brain tumours. The study included 593 patients, aged 18-75 years, with a malignant brain tumour and 1,386 controls.

The study found:
(a) Use of a wireless phones (mobile or cordless) was associated with a 70% increased risk of malignant brain tumours.
(b) Use of a wireless phones (mobile or cordless) for more than 25 years was associated with a 200% increased risk of malignant brain tumours.

Hardell concluded: "This study confirmed previous results of an association between mobile and cordless phone use and malignant brain tumours. These findings provide support for the hypothesis that RF-EMFs play a role both in the initiation and promotion stages of carcinogenesis".

Monday, 24 March 2014

Animal protein intake is associated with higher-level functional capacity in elderly adults

This study was published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society 2014 Mar;62(3):426-34
 
Study title and authors:
Animal protein intake is associated with higher-level functional capacity in elderly adults: the ohasama study.
Imai E, Tsubota-Utsugi M, Kikuya M, Satoh M, Inoue R, Hosaka M, Metoki H, Fukushima N, Kurimoto A, Hirose T, Asayama K, Imai Y, Ohkubo T.
Section of the Dietary Reference Intakes, Department of Nutritional Epidemiology, National Institute of Health and Nutrition, Tokyo, Japan.
 
This study can be accessed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24576149

The objective of the study was to determine the association between protein intake and risk of higher-level functional decline in older adults. The study lasted for seven years and included 1,007 participants, average age 67.4 years, who were free of functional decline at the start of the study.

The study found:
(a) Men who consumed the most animal protein had a 59% reduced risk of higher-level functional decline compared to men who consumed the least animal protein.
(b) Women who consumed the most animal protein had a 24% reduced risk of higher-level functional decline compared to women who consumed the least animal protein.
(c) No consistent association was observed between plant protein intake and future higher-level functional decline in either sex.

Higher animal protein intake is associated with lower risk of decline in higher-level functional capacity in elderly adults.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Evidence from 72 studies shows that saturated fat does not cause heart disease

This study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine 2014;160(6):398-406-406

Study title and authors:
Association of Dietary, Circulating, and Supplement Fatty Acids With Coronary Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis                                                                    
Rajiv Chowdhury, MD, PhD; Samantha Warnakula, MPhil; Setor Kunutsor, MD, MSt; Francesca Crowe, PhD; Heather A. Ward, PhD; Laura Johnson, PhD; Oscar H. Franco, MD, PhD; Adam S. Butterworth, PhD; Nita G. Forouhi, MRCP, PhD; Simon G. Thompson, FMedSci; Kay-Tee Khaw, FMedSci; Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, DrPH; John Danesh, FRCP; and Emanuele Di Angelantonio, MD, PhD

This study can be accessed at: http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1846638

This review led by Dr Rajiv Chowdhury from the University of Cambridge, notes that current "official" dietary guidelines advocate that high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats are recommended to prevent heart disease.

The purpose of this review was to summarise evidence about associations between different fats and coronary heart disease. The review included 72 studies from 18 countries with a total of 659,298 participants.
 
The study found:
(a) Current evidence does not support guidelines which restrict the consumption of saturated fats in order to prevent heart disease.
(b) There is insufficient support for guidelines which advocate the high consumption of polyunsaturated fats (such as omega 3 and omega 6) to reduce the risk of coronary disease.
 
Dr Chowdhury states: "These are interesting results that potentially stimulate new lines of scientific inquiry and encourage careful reappraisal of our current nutritional guidelines".

For more detailed appraisals of the above study please see:
http://www.drbriffa.com/2014/03/21/yet-another-major-review-finds-no-reason-at-all-to-limit-saturated-fat-in-the-diet/

and also:
http://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2014/03/19/although-now-dead-the-cholesterolosaurus-will-march-on/