More Mainstream Madness | Chris Kresser
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More Mainstream Madness

by Chris Kresser

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This week I’d like to bring your attention to three articles I came across on the web which illustrate the utter madness of mainstream medicine and nutrition.

The first article, “Beware of New Media Brainwashing About High Fructose Corn Syrup“, appeared on Mercola.com, a health advocacy site run by Dr. Joseph Mercola which I recommend. I agree with Dr. Mercola on most things, and even when we don’t agree the differences are relatively minor.

In his article Mercola warns consumers that The Corn Refiners Association is spending $20 to $30 million dollars on an advertising campaign to “rehabilitate” the reputation of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), claiming that the product is “no worse for you than sugar.”

HFCS is now the #1 source of calories for children in the U.S., a staggering fact when research has clearly linked HFCS to obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, high triglycerides, liver disease and more.

On top of that, HFCS is almost always made with genetically modified corn.

Head on over to Mercola.com to read the rest of the article and learn why you and your children should be avoiding HFCS as much as possible. HFCS is found primarily in processed foods (in everything from hamburger buns to soda), so if you follow my general recommendation of eating a whole-foods diet you should have no trouble avoiding it.

The second article, “8-Year-Olds on Statins? A New Plan Quickly Bites Back“, was published in the New York Times on July 8. It describes new guidelines issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics recommending that statin drugs be prescribed to kids as young as 8 years old!

While some doctors applauded the idea (which is incomprehensible to me), others were “incredulous”. Why are they incredulous? Because there is absolutely no evidence suggesting that treating children with statins will prevent heart attacks or reduce mortality from heart disease. Furthermore, there are no data on the possible side effects from taking statins for 40 or 50 years. Since statins have caused cancer in several animal studies, there is no reason to assume that this is not a risk in humans – especially with such long-term use of the drugs.

If you’re not familiar with the dangers of statin drugs, I suggest you read my recent article “The Truth About Statin Drugs“. Not only are statins nowhere near as effective as claimed, they have serious adverse effects and risks – including death.

What’s more, statins have been neither studied nor approved for use with children. In other words, the American Pediatric Association wants to perform an uncontrolled experiment with statin drugs and our children.

This is completely unacceptable in light of what we already know about these drugs.

This is yet another obvious example of how the massive conflicts of interest in the medical field, which I described in a previous article, cloud the judgment of otherwise well-meaning physicians and health organizations.

Head over to the New York Times to read the rest of the article.

The third article, “Popular Fish, Tilapia, Contains Potentially Dangerous Fatty Acid Combination” which appeared on ScienceDaily.com, revealed that farm-raised tilapia has very low levels of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids and, even worse, very high levels of omega-6 fatty acids.

This is particularly troublesome because tilapia has become one of the most highly consumed fish in the U.S. (mostly due to its low price), and that trend is expected to continue through 2010.

Researchers have found that tilapia has higher levels of omega-6 fatty acids than doughnuts. That’s scary.

The health risks of excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids in the diet are well established. In short, they are significant contributors to both inflammation and oxidative damage in the body.

Inflammation and oxidative damage are major risk factors for heart disease, diabetes, cancer and many other diseases.

Wild-caught oily fish, on the other hand, contain a favorable ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids and may actually protect against inflammation and oxidative damage?

So what’s the problem with tilapia, you ask? The problem is that they are raised on a “fish farm” where they are fed inexpensive corn-based feeds which contain short chain omega-6 fatty acids that the fish convert and store in their tissues. While this practice has kept the price of tilapia low, it has also transformed it into a toxic food.

Repeat after me: fish don’t eat corn. Fish don’t eat corn. Fish don’t eat corn.

(Cows don’t normally eat chicken parts, gummi bears and garbage, either; but they do in commercial feedlots where most of the meat in the U.S. is produced. I’ll save that for another day, though.)

What all of these articles share in common is 1) further evidence of the rampant conflicts of interest in our medical care system, 2) the complete lack of an objective, independent regulatory body that can protect consumers from the malfeasance of Big Pharma and Big Agrobusiness, 3) the general departure from common sense and traditional wisdom when it comes to health care and nutrition.

It’s absolute madness.

  1. One Size Fits ALL HERE In North Eastern Texas, By The CLUELESS Mainstream Medical Doctors, Here In Greenville, Texas, ONCE AGAIN, For Yet ANOTHER Month, Yippy! (my family Doesn’t GET IT Either, bless their little caring concerns, but my family Has Bought Into The Whole Mainstream Medicine’s One Size Fits ALL Garbage Too, And It’s Really Become POINTLESS Now, IF IT Wasn’t Before, To DISCUSS Much Of Anything With Any Of My Family, I AM TRULY On MY OWN With MY Own Health I Guess…..) (It’s NOT Just MY Thyroid, I Have Muscular PROBLEMS In MY Upper Body Since Like More Than Three Years Ago In MY Neck Area, And Nobody And No One GETS IT, Or Is Really LISTENING To ME Anyways, So WHY Bother DISCUSSING MY Health At All?!?!) FRUSTRATING!

  2. The article on Science Daily said farmed tilapia has more “long chain omega-6 fats” (Arachidonic Acid) than 80% lean hamburger, doughnuts, and bacon. It didn’t say they have more omega-6 fats total. Beef is very low in PUFAs, with like 2-3% of total fat. Most foods have more PUFAs than beef. Doughnuts are very high in trans fat, rancid MUFAs and PUFAs, refined sugar and white flour. Obviously a diet high in food like doughnuts would cause more inflammation than a low-carb diet with unprocessed fats.

    I usually get wild seafood, often frozen because that’s the only way to find it here. I also focus on seafood that is very lean, like 1-2% fat by weight (1-2g in a 3.5-4.0 oz / 100-113 g serving). If I can’t determine that seafood is wild, or low in fat/PUFAs, I don’t get it. I like scallops and they’re absurdly lean like 0.3-0.5% PUFAs by weight. Lobster and crab are even lower in the PUFAs, like 0.1% PUFAs. Limiting PUFAs is more effective and cheaper than trying to balance them. Eat mainly foods that are extremely low in PUFAs, and you won’t have to worry about your ratios, because your body will shift over to Mead Acid instead of n-6 and n-3 “EFAs.”

  3. Chris,

    I’ll look forward to that article. I’m also a big proponent of grass-fed meat and dairy for all the reasons you mention in your articles and all the ones we’re still finding out about (higher vitamin K2, lower dioxin, etc).

    Best,
    Debs

    Food Is Love

  4. Hi Deb,

    Welcome to THS and thanks for your comment!

    Shocking and shameful indeed. I loved reading your “Ruse By Any Other Name” article – hilarious and tragically sad at the same time, because of course your prediction is entirely possible.

    As for the gummi bears, I’ll be writing a future article about commercial meat production soon. I’ve written two articles about the benefits of grassfed animal products here and here.

    Warmly,
    Chris

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