Thursday, February 09, 2006

Don't Ignore why Low-Fat Diets Failed to Reduce Risk

The Globe & Mail today published Dr. Jay Wortman's response to the findings from the Women's Health Initiative Dietary Modification Trial published in JAMA this week. Dr. Wortman traveled from British Columbia, Canada, to attend the 2006 NMS Scientific Sessions: Nutritional & Metabolic Aspects of Carbohydrate Restriction last month and in our discussions I learned about his work with the Canadian Inuit population.

For you to understand his clinical experience, the aboriginal populations of Canada are within an explosive epidemic of diabetes. It is that communities most serious health issue today with rates of diabetes three to five times as high as the general population in Canada. To put this into perspective, before 1945 the aboriginal population had virtually no diabetes - they ate caribou, fish, seal and shellfish with some berries when they were in season. But, as their diet changed with the introduction of carbohydrate, their incidence of diabetes exploded within the population.

In his work, he uses diet as the first line of defense against the disease - and the diet of choice is a low-carbohydrate diet, the traditional diet! Wortman himself practices what he preaches and also eats a low-carb diet himself.

So with that, here is what Dr. Wortman had to say about the WHI study:

On the fat track

Vancouver -- Re Ignore The Latest Study, Stay On Low-Fat Track (Feb 8): The huge Women's Health Initiative study was designed to determine whether reducing dietary fat would lead to less heart disease and breast and colorectal cancer, and to weight loss. This study involved thousands of women, ran for eight years and cost more than $400-million. It was a randomized prospective intervention trial, the gold standard in terms of quality research. This was the best effort in terms of proving once and for all the benefits of a low-fat diet.

And, for each of the diseases studied, there was no benefit for the women who reduced fat compared with those who ate what they pleased.

Now that these results are published, people who support the dogma of a low-fat diet are insisting that these results should be ignored. All kinds of contorted arguments are being put forward to try to extract some shred of credibility for what is now a debunked theory.

Meantime, the accumulating scientific evidence that it is the carbohydrate component of diet that needs to be examined as a major disease promoter is ignored.

Isn't that a little bit like having your cake and eating it, too?

No comments:

Post a Comment