Ideal Protein Overview
So you get a kind of delayed VLDL rise after eating carbohydrates. Unfortunately, therefore, I can hardly claim that this idea is either new, or mine. Whatever normal may be. Ideal Protein is offered at my hospital and many people have joined it and lost dramatic amounts of weight. So now I have two papers making the same statement. One of the residues of fat and protein metabolism are ketone bodies, and these are acidic.
What to read next:
Any statements or claims, posted on this page, are not being made by the owner of this website or by Ideal Protein. The most recent post about Ideal Protein I found was a message board thread from late My doctor has strong opinions on Ideal Protein she said absolutely not but some doctors say it can be done safely. Ideal Protein is offered at my hospital and many people have joined it and lost dramatic amounts of weight.
Almost every person has gained it all back. The only person I know who lost weight on Ideal Protein and kept it off is a man who married a dietician right after he went off the diet. One full review on Pissed Consumer. But they needed to lose weight and decided to go for it. I started to lose some weight but was constantly sick and had no energy. Then I noticed I was losing my hair. I went to my doctor and was told that this Ideal Protein diet plan was dangerous and that it starves the body of much needed carbs and nutrients.
The main problem with such plans is in the theory itself — the idea that by starving your body of carbohydrates that you will then use fatty tissue for energy, and lose weight. Yes, you will lose weight, but it is not the way that you should want to lose it, and therein lies the problem. The issue is that not only does the fatty tissue get used, but so does the lean tissue.
You know…your heart, liver, kidneys! So, while you are losing weight temporarily you are not losing it properly and can be putting yourself at risk. In addition, you are not giving your body what it needs — your body need carbs to survive, and is very dependent on them. Without them your body will start using what are called ketone bodies instead, which can lead to additional problems due to the imbalances this creates by making your blood overly acidic.
Unfortunately, the Ideal Protein Diet falls right into this category, and thus really should be avoided. She says a lot about Ideal Protein and her experience with it. Also, since the low carb diet sends you into ketosis, you will have bad breath. Based on our research people frequently try to compare Ideal Protein to other weight loss solutions. Often the brands and their products are different in many ways which makes it hard to compare apples-to-oranges.
This is our attempt to compare below 6 and pick the winner. Please take this information with the grain of salt and do your own research. If making dietary changes we recommend consulting with your medical doctor. I first did Atkins before people got hip and realized that all the garbage and I mean super-bad-for-you junk in processed meats was a really bad idea.
Back in the day, you ate hot dogs and bacon by the pound. I lost a lot of weight doing Atkins because I cut carbs way way way back.
Years later, I found that a modified Atkins, a smart really-low bad carb diet was doable. What you need to know about Ideal Protein is you must be willing to go to a brick-and-mortar center.
It is similar to Atkins in theory because its a low-carb, high-protein ketogenic program but with meal replacements and supplements taken after going to a center, then doing the rest of it online and you pay a lot of money for the foods and supplements. Once on the diet, and after you reach your goal weight presuming you do , you must maintain that loss for a year, meaning you still pay them and still take supplements.
Next, lose all the weight you need to lose on their plan, become the new you and stay that way for life. Do I sound as if I am being a tad facetious?
But when we talk about comparing Ideal Protein versus Keto OS know that they have the same ketogenic idea of weight loss so in that way, Keto OS and Ideal Protein are similar, but that's about as far as it goes.
I suppose chugging down ketones in their flavored drinks is cheaper, but not by too much, than Ideal Protein. Plus, you don't have to go to a center, purchase foods and supplements, then be monitored online, and later stay on that diet far beyond reaching goal weight if that ever happens. You need to know that Ideal Shape has a secret ingredient called Slendesta, a so-called hunger blocker, in its meal replacement shakes within its proprietary blend of protein and fiber that they say works because you feel full longer than with regular meal replacement shakes.
Some of it is good nutrition, but not all and as we know, anything processed and packaged has some questionable ingredients. This is a self-guided program.
That said, I am just not a big supporter of any of these programs that have you eating their foods. The one redeeming quality about WonderSlim is they donate food for hungry kids when you buy their stuff. Long a fairly solid diet that focuses on low carbs, but includes good healthy carbs from starchy veggies, and high protein. Just like Ideal Protein. But while South Beach is from that trendy South Florida home, the so-called clinics that you must register with and visit located in the Sunshine State are often found located in, near, or within clinics for pain management.
A variety of forms of this diet exist, but basically, dieters eat how they like five days a week and fast or eat very few calories the other two days of the week. Because it does not ban any foods and the deprivation aspect of the diet is only in effect for two days of the week, it is easier for many people to stick with.
It may cause side effects during fasting days, and some people are prone to overeating on other days to make up for the loss of calories. There is not a lot of scientific evidence on this diet. The Paleo diet appeals to people who want to eat in a less processed, more natural way.
Again, there are a variety of forms, but this diet involves eating like cave dwellers were purported to have eaten. The only food that can be hunted or gathered can be eaten, which eliminates grains, dairy and processed foods. The South Beach diet is a good plan for people who want advice on how to eat a balanced, healthy diet that does not rely on severe restrictions. The first two weeks of the diet involve eating lean protein, unsaturated fat, and vegetables, but after that, it broadens into a diet plan that incorporates low glycemic-index carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and lean protein.
There is the potential for side effects during the initial phase of restricted eating, and it does not offer a simple list of prescribed and prohibited foods like some diets do, but it meets the criteria for healthy eating based on scientific evidence.
Slim-Fast makes a line of prepared foods and shakes that make it extremely simple for dieters who want this kind of structure. In the beginning, dieters are advised to eat only Slim-Fast products , which provide all essential nutrients. After a while, the plan broadens into eating a meal replacement shake, two Slim-Fast snacks and two healthy meals a day.
This kind of diet requires that the dieter enjoy the Slim-Fast products, or they are unlikely to be able to stick with it. In addition, careful planning is required to meet the recommended allowance of fruits and vegetables every day while on this plan.
Weight Watchers offers a support system for dieters as well as the diet plan itself, which can be appealing to some people. Meetings help keep dieters accountable and may increase motivation to stick with the diet. Weight Watchers revolves around a point system, where dieters are given a certain amount of points to spend each day, plus a safety net of a certain amount more points for the week.
Every food is given a point value based on calories, fat, fiber and protein content. Fruit and vegetables are unrestricted, and no foods are off limits. However, learning the points system can be tedious, and the program may not teach dieters very much about the principles behind healthy eating. Atkins 20 or Atkins 40 maintains many of the familiar features of the previous form of the diet. Dieters are started on an extremely low-carbohydrate allowance of grams per day.
Fat and protein are unrestricted, and dieters may eat any fat and protein that they like. In the meantime, until someone does something he said passing the buck , I find that when I want to know what the truth may be, or to get as close to the truth as is possible, the only solution is to go back, get the original paper used as a reference, and read it for myself. Which is an enormous time consuming pain. But I believe that references are now so badly corrupted that it is virtually impossible to trust them, or the papers based on them, anymore.
In effect this means that the entire medical research machine is close to meltdown. If it hasn't melted down already. In the meantime, remember that the truth is out there. It is just extremely difficult to know what it is any more.
More essays by Malcolm Kendrick. Please don't get me wrong. I am a great supporter of the Atkins diet. Anything that helps to demolish the myth that eating animal fat, or saturated fat, causes health problems gets my vote every time. And I do believe that many people who try the Atkins diet do lose weight — when no other diet has worked. But I want to tackle a myth about the Atkins diet which seems to have taken hold of people's minds, causing them to believe in magic.
Namely, that you can eat as much protein and fat as you like and still lose weight. It is those terrible carbohydrates that turn to fat and make you fat. Of course if you eat fat, it doesn't need to turn to fat, because it already is fat. And once you eat it, it is transported straight to the fat stores in your body, where it is stored as…. Quite how fat converted from carbohydrate is worse for you than fat that comes straight from fat escapes me. Equally, one gram of fat contains twice as much energy as energy as one gram of carbohydrate.
So if you eat more fat, by weight, than carbohydrate, you are taking in more energy and should get fatter. But somehow people seem to fervently believe that there are some processes going on when you eat the Atkins diet that somehow allow the body to dispose of excess energy gained from eating fat — in some way. However, if you eat carbohydrates these will…. Gather energy from another dimension and convert this excess energy to fat?
The reality is that, when it comes to energy, the body is like any other system. It loses energy by radiating energy to the surrounding environment, or doing work. And the only way that the human body can radiate energy is as heat. We don't produce light, electromagnetism, radioactivity, or very much in the way of sound.
For very good reasons we don't excrete excess energy either. It is true that some food passes straight through without being absorbed, but not much. If you are diabetic, you can lose some sugar through the kidneys, and a few ketones can escape here or there. But the body is a complete miser where energy is concerned. What comes in stays in. And the only way to increase energy output is to increase work. So to suggest that you can eat as many calories as you like — in the form of protein and fat — and still lose weight is quite frankly nuts.
If the Atkins diet can achieve this, then the single most important law of physics is wrong. If energy can just disappear from the body, then it is departing this Universe and going somewhere else. So, someone in a parallel universe must be getting mightily pissed off that they are eating nothing, and still putting on weight. I know how they feel. I like to think that I have an open mind. But even I draw the line somewhere, and in this is case it is here.
Atkins zealots have tried to explain this, the inexplicable, in a variety of increasingly desperate ways. It is claimed that it is much more complicated to turn fat into energy, so it takes more energy to do this than it does to convert sugar into energy.
It's true, converting fat into energy takes several more steps. Which probably does use up more energy. What's the point being made here? That burning fat takes up more energy than burning up sugar, so….. The body uses more energy burning fat. And what would happen to this excess energy? It would be used to heat the body.
Jolly good, that's mainly what we use energy for. Others have said that on the Atkins diet you start to excrete ketones, and as ketones are molecules that contain energy this is one way that the body sheds excess energy on the diet. I have never believed this, but it is possible I suppose.
However, I watched a programme on the Atkins diet a couple of nights ago. On this programme they got identical twins and put one on the Akins diet, and the other a low fat diet. They then stuck them both in sealed rooms where all energy expenditure could be monitored. Oxygen use, loss of ketones in urine and breath. They collected everything, which sounds a bit yucky, but there you go. The findings were that over a two week period the twin on the Atkins diet lost approximately one extra calorie in ketone bodies.
Equivalent to about one grain of sugar. Which is exactly what I expected. The reality about the Atkins diet is that, firstly, it works for many people. Secondly, it does not cause any health problems, as far as I'm concerned. Thirdly, it can only work because people cut back on their energy intake. Because, to quote Scotty of the Starship Enterprise. The first thing that I have to point out here is that, in primary prevention trials, statins have never been found to reduce the risk of death.
Does it really matter if someone is saved from dying of heart disease, only to die of something else? By primary prevention trials, I mean trials in people who, whilst they may have risk factors for heart disease, have not been found to have any clinical signs, or symptoms related to heart disease.
Secondary prevention trials are different. These are done on people who have already suffered a heart attack, or have angina, or some other clinical manifestation of CHD. By a small, but significant, amount. However, that is not relevant to this discussion.
Because, by definition, all children are in the primary prevention category. And this means that there is not one scrap of evidence to suggest that statins will do them any good. The best you might manage is to shift their cause of death from heart disease to something else — usually cancer — about sixty years in the future. How do I know this? Because the clinical trials tell me so. If we look at five major primary prevention trials: We can pull them apart to look at the figures.
Or, get the data from the trials themselves. These five trials had, between them, over forty thousand patients enrolled. Most of them lasted at least five years, and they have all been endlessly quoted in the medical literature.
In short they are big, important and influential. Morality in those on statins was 6. And what was the percentage of serious adverse events SAEs? A serious adverse event is something like developing cancer, or having a non-fatal MI, or a non-fatal stroke.
So, pretty damned serious. In fact, only two of trials reported this, as the majority of statins trials keep quiet about SAEs. Serious adverse events in the control population was I suppose you may be thinking, my goodness, there was a 0. This more than accounts for any difference in overall mortality.
I must point out that the difference is not large enough to discount the possibility that this was merely a chance finding. These figures do not get anywhere near statistical significance - the holy grail of clinical trials. In addition to this, the 0. Does this really represent powerful enough evidence to warrant starting a four-year-old child on statins, and keeping them on for the rest of their life?
Especially not in the case of this Washington Post reporter. For, in her article, she was using the example of a four-year-old girl.
And what do the statin trials tell us about the benefits of statins in primary prevention in girls, or women? According to The Therapeutics Initiative group: Only coronary events were reported for women, but when these were pooled they were not reduced by statin therapy. Thus the coronary benefit in primary prevention trials appears to be limited to men.
Has the world gone completely mad? Are we really suggesting that we should start a healthy four-year-old girl on a medicine, and continue this medicine for the rest of her life? Yes folks, the Atkins diet has crossed the pond to reach the United Kingdom. Although, in reality, all it is doing is returning. After all we invented it nearly one hundred and fifty years ago.
A man called Banting promoted a diet pretty much indistinguishable from that of Atkins in To find out more about the Banting diet now known as the Atkins diet go here. Anyway, reasonably balanced or not, on this programme there was still an unquestioned view that, even if the Atkins diet did help with weight loss, it was still damaging to health. It would cause kidney disease, and osteoporosis and heart disease.
Various professors of nutrition were wheeled out to condemn the Atkins diet as dangerous nonsense. Ignoring the kidney disease and the osteoporosis for now, the nutritional professors made the usual statements. As far as they were concerned it is just a known fact. Well, what is the evidence that a diet high in saturated fat raises your cholesterol level? Where does it come from? That world famous study that is quoted by medical experts around the world.
So the evidence obviously didn't come from Framingham. What about studies in children? These poor vulnerable imps, where the damage is first being done? Just to get a bit of genetic diversity into the equation, let's look at Chinese children first.
The duration of intervention was three months. Compared with the control group, serum cholesterol levels of children under intervention were not significantly changed. Then children in the UK: The reality is that, in many different studies, it has been shown that the more saturated fat you eat, the lower your cholesterol - although the difference is not that great.
Which is supposed to be very healthy indeed. Consider this extract from the University of Pennsylvania: Compared to a conventional, high-carbohydrate, low-calorie approach… at one year, the Atkins dieters had significantly greater increases in good cholesterol HDL and greater decreases in triglycerides VLDL.
I'm sorry that I can't present you with anything much from PubMed the bible of mainstream medical research about this. But as others may have discovered, any paper that supports the Atkins diet has no abstract attached in PubMed — you just get blanks.
Did someone use the word censorship? Not me your honour. I would never dream of saying such a thing. Now, anyone who has read my scribbles before will realise that I don't think the level of any lipid in your blood makes the slightest difference to the rate of CHD.
But most other people do, so I think it is worth explaining why a high fat diet will automatically raise HDL and lower triglycerides. A fact, by the way, that seems to have created stunned surprise amongst many researchers when results from the Atkins diet were published.
Which just shows that they need to go back and read their textbooks again. In order to understand why a high fat diet should, and does, raise HDL levels and lower VLDL levels and may also lower LDL levels , you need to understand a bit about fat and sugar metabolism and the role of lipoproteins in your blood. When you eat fat it is absorbed by the gut and stuffed into very large lipoprotein known as a chylomicron.
The fat in a chylomicron is almost all stored in the form of three fat molecules attached to a glycerol molecule, a structure known as a triglyceride. By the way, cholesterol also sits in chylomicrons as a co-passenger. Chylomicrons are then released into the bloodstream and travel through the body losing chunks of triglyceride all the while as they pass fat cells. In fact, the nomenclature in this area must be the most confusing in all of medicine.
It's little wonder that most people haven't the faintest idea what anyone is talking about in lipid metabolism. It really doesn't aid understanding. Apart from chylomicrons, the gut also sends out VLDLs de-novo, and the VLDLs do pretty much the same thing as chylomicrons, dropping off triglycerides here and there mainly into fat cells and shrinking. By the way, just in case you're wondering, VLDLs also contain cholesterol as a co-passenger.
All lipoproteins have cholesterol in them. Not all chylomicrons and VLDLs travel round dropping off triglycerides. Some go straight to the liver where they are absorbed, broken down, and unpacked. And their contents are used to make other things the body needs. So a few hours after a meal they are gone. Whatever normal may be. Thus, if you eat a high fat meal, almost all sign of it will have disappeared in a relatively short space of time.
And there will be no change in any lipid level. Or at least not any lipid level that anyone can be bothered measuring. However, if you eat a high carbohydrate meal, the metabolism acts in a very different way.
Carbohydrates are absorbed and transformed into sugars in the gut, from whence they go straight into the bloodstream, same as fat. But because sugars are soluble in water they don't need to be carried in a lipoprotein, so there is no immediate effect on lipid levels from a high carb meal. You just get a sharp rise in blood sugar level. A certain amount of the sugar will be absorbed into fat and muscle cells, and then stored as glycogen. But if you eat a big carbohydrate meal, the fat and muscle storage cannot cope, and the excess sugar has to be absorbed by the liver to prevent the sugar level getting too high.
However, the liver cannot store that much sugar, so it starts to convert it into fats, in the form of triglyceride. At which point, the liver then packs this excess triglyceride into a VLDL and sends it out into the bloodstream - along with some cholesterol. Unlike with sharks, the liver in humans is not an energy storage organ. So you get a kind of delayed VLDL rise after eating carbohydrates. The dreaded heart disease causing lipoprotein — the one they call co-lest-erol.
One of the proteins transferred is apolipoprotein B Now, if you are not already completely confused, I will explain what this means. So immediately after a high fat meal you will have a very high triglyceride level, made up of VLDL B, but this will fall relatively rapidly. And so if you measure the lipid levels in the fasting state which is when such things are measured you will find nothing at all after a high fat meal.
But some time later, the liver will start converting excess sugar into fat and sending this out in VLDL B molecules. And this process can go on for many hours after a meal. So the VLDL level may still be high when you measure it. Also, as you may have noted. And a high carbohydrate diet does the exact opposite. In short, the metabolism does exactly what you would expect it to.
Atkins was right all along. Even if he didn't appear to know why. Once you understand the science, the whole thing is patently ridiculous. Rob Stein Nov 5 th I'm writing a book at the moment called Cholesterolmania. That plus a job, plus children and home, an attempt at a social life and columns at redflagsdaily.
That's a tad busy, and I thought I'd take a short break from column writing, but…I couldn't let the above story from the Washington Post go without comment. Here is my immediate response. It's almost impossible to know where to start without ranting. It is a lipoprotein that is manufactured in the guts and the liver, and it contains a small amount of cholesterol.
HDL appears to have two basic functions in the body. Secondly, it removes cholesterol that is floating about and takes it back to the liver. When cells do break down in body, which is happening all the time, the cholesterol from cell walls is released into the surrounding extra cellular fluid. VLDLs contain two basic ingredients, fats in the form of triglyderides and cholesterol. VLDLs are then sent back out into the bloodstream. LDLs are then absorbed by cells that need cholesterol, and the cholesterol is unpacked and used to build various structures within the cell, including the cell wall.
Which means that HDLs are part of a re-cycling mechanism for cholesterol. At the risk of repeating myself, the liver manufactures cholesterol and sends it out within VLDLs. When a cell then dies, it releases cholesterol, which is mopped up by HDL and transferred back to the liver. This is not immensely complex, but for some reason, mainstream researchers have decided that HDL can, in some way, protect against the build up of atherosclerosis.
There are two reasons for this, I think. Secondly, because it has been noted that, as HDL does indeed transfer cholesterol from around cells and back to the liver, it is thought that this reverse cholesterol transport might, in some way, be able to suck cholesterol out of atherosclerotic plaques. In answer to the first piece of stupidity.
The raised VLDL itself is caused by underlying insulin resistance — one of the basic causes of heart disease. A low HDL by itself causes nothing and prevents nothing. With regard to the reverse cholesterol transport nonsense. HDL cannot, I repeat cannot, remove cholesterol from atherosclerotic plaques.
It is impossible for this to happen. It is trapped in a solid atherosclerotic lump. HDL is completely and utterly incapable of getting at it, and even if it could, it could not separate it out from the surrounding plaque structure. HDL is a passive inanimate chemical. It cannot carry out complex tasks. The concept that HDL could remove cholesterol from a plaque is such a stupid idea that I cannot believe it still exists.
If synthetic HDL can reduce the size of plaques then I will eat my hat. What these researchers are seeing, probably, is what all researchers see. Most plaques, if left alone, do gradually reduce in size — a bit. Alternatively, they have been looking at their findings with eyes of faith.
Let's just see if anyone else can verify these results. In the Heart Protection Study HPS , a major study in which the rate of deaths was reduced in patients taking a statin simvastatin , at post-mortem, the people who had been taking the statin had bigger and more complex plaques than those who had not.
In reality, the size of the plaque does not actually have anything to do with how dangerous it is. The first step in teleoanalysis, as demonstrated in a paper just published in the British Medical Journal , apparently, is to condemn all clinical trials that fail to show you what you want…. And it appears that this method of analysis provides the answers to questions that would be obtained from studies that have not been done or cannot be done…. This way you can always get the results you want….
When I read this I thought it must be a joke…. But it was not a joke…. Instead I thought I would write a column, so that you may share my sense that the world has finally gone completely bonkers.
The paper was called: Which sounds pretty unremarkable, and contains seemingly sensible remarks, such as: My, how reasonable this seems. Yes, of course, carry on — carry on. So, what comes next? The exercise is like putting together the pieces in a jigsaw puzzle.
I see, so A causes B, and B causes C. So it can be deduced that A causes C. Therefore, we can use the following reasoning. Ergo, we know that a high saturated fat intake causes heart disease A causes C. You may not think that there is anything much wrong with this. So, why is anyone bothering to write this article? Namely, that no interventional trial has ever shown that reduced saturated fat intake has any impact whatsoever on heart disease rates.
As admitted by the authors: So we have a problem. But no, this cannot be true, this is wrong! Therefore, any results contradicting this must be wrong.
It avoids all those tedious clinical trials that are sometimes needed for proof. Anyway, in order to prove that the interventional trials are wrong we use teleoanalysis. The first step in teleoanalysis, apparently, is to condemn all the trials that fail to show what you want, using statements such as: Then we use the second step in teleoanalysis, which is that we to look at the studies we want A causes B, and B causes C — carefully ignoring all studies that showed the complete opposite , and from that extrapolate the answer to studies that have not been done, but had they been done, would have shown exactly what we already know to be true.
You think I am joking? In this way you can always get the results that you want, and you never ever need to carry out any more studies that might contradict the things you already know to be true because for ethical and financial reasons these trials never can be done.
When I read this, I thought it must be a joke. But this was written by one of the authors of the infamous Polypill article, suggesting a one-trick multiple pill could prevent heart disease. Are there any limits to the double-speak that can be used to prop up the diet-heart hypothesis? Perhaps I will wake up and find this is all a dream, for right now I do feel as if I have fallen down the rabbit hole.
Atkins, may he rest in peace, is being attacked because his diet threatens the mainstream. He and his supporters are being subjected to the secular equivalent of the Spanish Inquisition….
I am a great fan of the science philosopher Karl Popper, that is whenever I can manage to understand what it is that he is saying. I get through one paragraph at a time, very slowly, then I have to go and lie down until my brain stops hurting.
Popper has much to say on the theme of science, scientific progress and the like. He was highly pro-science and the proper use of the scientific method. But he was also acutely aware of the danger that science, and scientists, could become so entranced by a hypothesis that it became the answer, the truth, a belief.
And those who dared to question such a fundamental belief were metaphorically burned at the stake. In fact, if you were to share my interest in the development of scientific thought, it is clear that the big breakthroughs, the things that we all now accept as true e.
And, in general, the famous scientists that you have heard of e. Darwin, usually followed a few others who were crushed so effectively that there names have vanished from the record. Darwin was far from the first to propose the theory of evolution.
However those, like Chambers, who promoted the idea before Darwin were cut down and humiliated by the leading scientists of the time who believed that a species could not change into another species — for some unfathomable reason or another. Darwin bided his time, and let a few others line his path to glory with their broken reputations. This happened about one hundred and fifty years ago. However, with regard to unquestioned dogma, things are much the same today.
As I write this, there are new hypotheses that cannot be questioned. For example, the hypothesis that mankind is causing global warming by burning fossil fuels. Or, that we are creating a massive hole in the Ozone layer by use of CFCs. The hole in the Ozone layer closed up last year by the way — but you probably never heard much about that. Anyway, dare to question those two orthodoxies and you will receive hysterical abuse. Everybody just knows that the world is warming up, and we are ripping a great hole in the Ozone layer.
This may or may not be true, but neither belief is based on rational thought. They are driven by rather deeper, emotional beliefs. However, over to Atkins. Current scientific orthodoxy has decreed that a high fat diet, especially saturated fat, is bad for health.
It raises cholesterol, kills us from heart disease, and causes breast cancer and all sorts of other nasty things. For many, and especially those at the heart of the medical community, this is a Truth that cannot be questioned. And a huge scientific and financial structure has grown up around this Truth. But in the last few years Dr Atkins and his diet have begun to make significant inroads. Now, I know that people generally use the Atkins diet for weight loss, and not any other health promoting reasons.
But the Atkins diet was virtually heresy. Here was a man saying that if you ate saturated fat you would lose weight and be healthier.
People taking the Atkins diet even had the cheek to find that their cholesterol levels dropped. At first the scientific community used the first of the immunizing tactics that scientists use to defend sacred beliefs, as defined by Popper: Ignore the refutation 2: Deny that the refutation is a refutation 3: Develop ad-hoc hypothesis to explain contradictory results.
So at first Atkins was ignored, but he would not go away. The mainstream medical church then said that the Atkins diet was not actually high in fat, or at least not the really damaging sort of fat.
They then said that there was a huge bulk of evidence to support the hypothesis that saturated fat raised cholesterol levels, and that Atkins was wrong.
People on the Atkins diet achieved a reduction in cholesterol levels not that I believe this matters a tin of beans. After failing to show terrible dangerous levels of raised blood cholesterol, or any other nasty things, came the personal attacks. Atkins is a dangerous man promoting a highly dangerous diet. Atkins is not a scientist, how can he know anything. Next came the terror tactics: This is all complete rubbish. Whilst it is true that a diet high in fat and protein will result in greater production of acidic residues, ketone bodies and the like, and your blood and urine will become slightly more acidic, there is not the slightest, remotest, teeny weeniest piece of evidence to support the claim that this is in any way damaging.
Not a single clinical end-point has ever been demonstrated to be affected. And if you read anything that does claim the Atkins diet is damaging, please take the time to read the small print — if you can find it.
What you will normally discover is that the level of some substance in the blood is found to be raised which may note the word may , lead to kidney damage. Perhaps those leading the Atkins attacks would care to raise their gaze up to the Innuit in Canada and the frozen north. In years gone by they rarely ate a vegetable, any fruit or a carbohydrate molecule.
They existed almost entirely on fat and protein. When they were studied before their lifestyle changed , they were found to be in exceptional health. Without, it must be added, any sign of heart disease or renal failure. But my point, the point of this column, is not to discuss whether or not the Atkins diet works. I wanted to make it clear that the attacks on Atkins are not scientific, not rational. He, and his supporters, are being subjected to the secular equivalent of the Spanish Inquisition.
The sort of attacks that Popper would have recognised for what they are. Atkins must be destroyed to protect the mighty diet-heart hypothesis. And all of the recent articles that just seem to be springing out of nowhere about the terrible dangers of the Atkins diet are designed to do just this.
One thing that has seriously hampered research in this area is the factor that I call "terminological inexactitude". When you have spent twenty years of your life studying something, you can become somewhat of a bore on the subject. A bold claim indeed, but I think I can sustain it. The first thing to state, however, is that there is no single cause, no one factor.
If there was, it would have been discovered by now. I sometimes think that the obsession with finding the cause of a disease has seriously hampered research into this, and many other areas. There is always a sense, within science, that the answer, when you find it, should be simple, and that therefore the simplest explanation is usually correct: Another thing that has seriously hampered heart disease research is the factor that I call "terminological inexactitude.
Equally, various papers talk about atherosclerosis. If you describe atherosclerosis as thickening and hardening of the arteries, then almost all populations throughout the world suffer from the same rate of atherosclerosis. Yet, the rate of CHD between populations can vary more than fifteen-fold. In order to understand CHD another horribly inexact term , you must be a bit more precise about what it is that you are actually talking about. And what I am talking about are discrete, or focal, areas of arterial damage.
Some people refer to them as plaques, and so that is the term I will use. Plaques are the little beauties that can narrow an artery, causing things like angina. You can have as much thickening, or hardening, or atherosclerosis of the arteries as you like.
So, what causes plaques to develop? There are two basic processes that do this. The two processes are highly interconnected. For example, damage to the endothelium stops it from acting as an anti-coagulant surface, making it more likely for a thrombus to form over the damaged area.
When a blood clot, or thrombus, forms over an area of artery wall, this is the start of plaque formation. Repeated thrombus formation over the same spot causes the plaque to grow, and eventually it can completely block the artery. Factors that have been shown to damage the endothelium include: