Here is The Roundup, Edition 8, bringing you the best from around the web from the past two weeks!
Blast from the Past
A press release at the Wall Street Journal recently reported that three new studies have shown raw milk to be a low-risk food. These papers, along with dozens of others, were presented at the Canadian Centre for Disease Control in Vancouver. The presentation demonstrated how inappropriate evidence has been mistakenly used to support the “myth” that unpasteurized milk is a high-risk food. The scientific papers used quantitative microbial risk assessment (the gold-standard in food safety evidence) and demonstrated a low risk of illness from raw milk consumption for each of the following pathogens: Campylobacter, Shiga-toxin inducing E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes and Staphylococcus aureus. This low risk profile applied to healthy adults as well as members of more susceptible groups such as pregnant women, children and the elderly.
This report adds to the bulk of evidence suggesting that raw milk is a safe food, as I explained in my series, Raw Milk Reality. While many people believe that raw dairy is a healing superfood, others feel it is a dangerous and unnecessary risk to take. Normally, the government and the media dramatically overstate these risks, calling unpasteurized milk dangerous and unsafe for human consumption. However, as this report clearly shows, the fear over raw milk is largely unfounded. I strongly recommend checking out my series on raw milk if you’re still unconvinced about its relative safety.
- The American Medical Association adopted a policy that officially labels obesity as a disease “requiring a range of medical interventions to advance obesity treatment and prevention.”
- Another study using more advanced diagnostic methods finds that among vegetarians, up to 62% of pregnant women, 86% of children and 90% of elderly are B12 deficient. Not surprisingly, the highest rates of deficiency were observed among vegans and lifelong vegetarians.
- New research demonstrates that pregnant mothers with diesel and/or mercury air pollution exposure are more likely to have autistic children.
- Trends in cholesterol-lowering medication use show that the percentage of adults using cholesterol-lowering medication increased from 5% to 23% from the late 1980s through 2010, while the number of adults eating diets low in saturated fat increased from 25% to 41%. This is unfortunate given that statin drugs don’t extend lifespan in women, the elderly (>80 years of age), or men without pre-existing heart disease. See my recent “Diet-Heart Myth” series for more about cholesterol and heart disease.
- Researchers found that short, moderately strenuous walks in the morning and after meals can improve 24-hour glycemic control in older and otherwise inactive adults.
Worth a Look
- Robb Wolf takes on “Paleo Fantasy” – science says the Paleo diet is bunk, right? Think again.
- Dr. Briffa discusses a study that found dessicated thyroid to be a viable alternative to synthetic thyroid meds. (Something patients/clinicians have known for years…)
- Dr. Peter Attia presents his TED talk: “What if we’re wrong about diabetes?”
- The FDA decides to regulate fecal transplants, then changes its mind. (Mostly good news, I think.)
- Men’s Journal discusses how endurance athletes are finding success with paleo nutrition.
For the Foodies
- Balanced Bites: Hot & Sweet Ginger-Garlic Chicken
- PaleOMG: Summer Squash Pancakes
- The Food Lovers: Asparagus Soup
- Health-Bent: Grilled Prosciutto Wrapped Peaches
- NomNomPaleo: Surf and Turf Lettuce Tacos
- Civilized Caveman: Macadamia Nut Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Taste for Life: Grilled Salmon with Strawberry Avocado Salsa