JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Hypothesis contradicted? Fatter people get *less* dementia

Researchers were sure fatter people would get more dementia, so they studied two million middle-aged people for nearly a decade but were “baffled to find the exact opposite. Their sample included 45,000 cases of dementia and the obese were 30 per cent less likely to be diagnosed with it.

This contradicts previous studies and was not at all what the researchers expected, so they analyzed the data every which way they could think of but can’t explain the results. Need I say “experts” and “consensuses”?

Scientists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said they were baffled by the results as previous studies have shown that being overweight raises the risk. –Telegraph

Risk factors such as alcohol and smoking made little difference to the results, published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.  — Mirror

Dr Qizilbash said the findings held despite attempts to adjust for other causes of dementia and the tendency of obese people to die earlier. “We did a lot of analysis to see if we could explain it but just seems to persist. We couldn’t get rid of it so we’re left with this apparent protective effect,” he said. — The Australian

It’s in the Lancet (and press everywhere– like the BBC, live science, The Australian). I’m posting it for the curiosity, discussion factor, and the sheer thrill of watching the scientific method at work. (Did your government want to add food labels to tell you what to eat?)

There are a lot of possibilities:

1. Being obese prevents dementia.

2. Obese people don’t get diagnosed as easily with dementia.

3. Obese people eat more of some key nutrient and skinny people miss out. (Like perhaps they don’t eat enough chocolate, see this story in The Australian.* I won’t make that mistake :-) )

4. The follow up might be too short.

5. Dementia might cause low-BMI (years in advance?) or some factor that causes skinniness goes on to also cause dementia.

6. Some other factor entirely causes dementia, and skinny people are more likely to do it.

The leading author suggests some further avenues to explore:

Qizilbash said some next steps in this research include understanding the influence of weight changes, such as recent weight loss in a person who may not have previously been underweight, on the risk of dementia.

He also wants to look into whether being overweight or obese has an overall positive effect on dementia because someone who weighs more may not live long enough to reap its possible brain-protective effects.

More research is also needed to determine how weight influences the risk of different types of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, vascular disease and Lewy body disease, Qizilbash said.

live science

REFERENCE

Qizilbash et al (2015) BMI and risk of dementia in two million people over two decades: a retrospective cohort study Lancet, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-8587(15)00033-9

*Chocolate pills? “Scientists say eating dark chocolate could help to ward off Alzheimer’s and heart disease but it needs to have such intensity that a tablet is being developed for those who cannot stomach the sharp taste.”

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106 comments to Hypothesis contradicted? Fatter people get *less* dementia

  • #
    Peter Miller

    Just goes to show when a supposed “97%” of ‘experts’ say something, the observations have a nasty habit of demonstrating the exact opposite.

    “The science is settled,” is only a comment spewed out by individuals intent on deceit – lots of candidates here, even Wikipedia lists them.

    Jo, While this article on dementia causes was interesting, it is not really what we expect to find here; not criticising, just saying.

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    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      I agree, Peter.

      This is a science blog.

      Epidemiology is to science, what Painting by Numbers is to art.

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      • #
        Manfred

        There is a point that appears well made by Jo. The purveyors of consensus kick up such a fuss (I’ll avoid the term ‘hiatus’ just now) exhibiting a flustered behaviour akin to bewildered chickens when their preconceived view of the world, the foundation upon which they guide political policy is pushed back by the scientific method. It’s interesting and it provides a certain evidence of failure in reasoning.

        Laws and theories are induced from facts acquired through observation. Predictions and explanations are deduced from laws and theories. The epidemiologists and their conjoined twins across the aisle in the Church of Policy, the klimate skientists, all too readily jump from observations directly to predictions and explanations without the inconvenience of the expensive, uncertain hard work in between…why the the truth get in the way of a great policy?

        Doesn’t it rather highlight that they were wedded to a preconceived outcome to begin with, only to have their fragile egos shattered when it failed to materialise according to policy?

        In the instance of this obesity – dementia study then, it appears the purveyors retain a measure of intellectual malleability, that is, they appear marginally responsive to the possibility of their results and as much as it may rankle. They are compelled to accept their null hypothesis – (paraphrased) obesity is not linked to dememtia…don’t hold your breath waiting for policy or ‘view’ to adjust to uncertain anytime soon.

        In klimate skience as we so often recognise, the converse applies. Wedded to ideology, policy and the meme, science that turns out to challenge or falsify the ‘skience’ of the purveyors is either ignored or slaughtered or both in the arena of public opinion by the eco-marxist progressive drones of the press, the societies, the universities and the policy based institutions like NGO’s or the UN. After all, the attribution teat of carbon dioxide has the addictive properties of heroin and crack cocaine married to the ideological appeal of heaven on earth. The opportunities for taxation and policy are quite literally limitless.

        The undeniable evidence for this fashionable short-cut bereft of inductive and deductive reasoning justified by the precautionary principle and permitted by post-modern science lies in the latest klimate meanderings of the lame duck POTUS prattling that ‘Climate Change Is a Primary National Security Threat’ in his remarks after a roundtable on the Impacts of Climate Change on Public Health‘, paraphrased below.

        Entrenching the meme in public health guarantees its inclusion in daily prayers and its exclusion from the rigorous requirement of scientific method, the test of falsification. The statement by POTUS is pure, unadulterated associational nonsense in context or simply wrong. Like the epidemiologists, it struggles mightily with causation, a subject best avoided in the frappé coffee lounges of the Green eco-marxist elite, while it comfortably guarantees almost any association one cares to dream up.

        And what we know is that the temperature of the planet is rising. And we know that in addition to the adverse impacts that may have when it comes to more frequent hurricanes, or more powerful storms, or increased flooding, we also know that it has an impact on public health.

        We know that if there are more wildfires, a consequence of rising temperatures, that there are going to be more particulates in the air. We know that potentially it extends the allergy season, and can induce greater incidents of asthma or more severe incidents of asthma. We know that, potentially, as temperatures rise, that we’re going to start seeing insect-borne diseases that are not traditional to North America start moving up from the south.

        The Pentagon has already said that climate change is a primary national security threat that we’re going to face, and we are working with the Department of Defense to start preparing for that and mitigating for that. And a lot of our international policy and national security policy is centered around the very real concerns that that’s going to raise.

        But we also know that it’s going to have an impact on our public health. And through the efforts of these individuals and organizations around the country, I think we’re going to be able to start having an impact.

        And that’s why, today, we’re making more than 150 data sets on climate change in public health from agencies like the CDC open to the public. Companies across the country like Google and Microsoft plan to use the data to generate apps and tools that can help communities educate and protect themselves.

        We have medical schools, including Howard, and public health schools pledging to train their students in the health impacts of climate change. And later this week, some of those educators will come to the White House to talk about how they’re incorporating climate change into their teachings, into their curriculum. And this spring, we’ll have a climate change and health summit at the White House.

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        • #
          PeterPetrum

          Gee, Manfred, I wish I’d written that. Or more correctly, I wish I COULD have written that. Beautifully put. Oh, and POTUS is TRUELY scary. And to think that he is meant to be the most powerful world leader! I weep.

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          • #
            Manfred

            Thanks for your more than generous comment PP. I regret the abysmal proof-reading.

            As for POTUS, it is so far beyond belief that the office appears to regurgitate climate porn without pause (no pun intended), to install the weather and climate as a ‘national security threat’, to ensure that the meme is inculcated into education, into public health, into Google and Microsoft, to guarantee it is rammed into accepted ‘wisdom’.

            Haven’t these global deep throats of climate porn got something else better to do than to try and shove their vision of crushing ideological mediocrity upon us all ? /rhet

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      • #

        Epidemiology is to science, what Painting by Numbers is to art.

        … for the colour-blind.

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        • #
          Peter C

          I am surprised that Rereke wrote that. He seems to imply that Epidemiology is some sort of kindergarten variety of science.

          In Medicine, epidemiology has helped to unravel some great mysteries. A good example is that of Dr John Snow, who mapped the distribution of Cholera cases in his area of London and concluded not only that Cholera was borne in drinking water but also identified the contaminated water pump.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Snow_(physician)

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          • #
            Peter C

            “Snow was a sceptic of the then-dominant miasma theory that stated that diseases such as cholera and bubonic plague were caused by pollution or a noxious form of “bad air”. The germ theory of disease had not yet been developed, so Snow did not understand the mechanism by which the disease was transmitted. His observation of the evidence led him to discount the theory of foul air. He first publicised his theory in an 1849 essay, On the Mode of Communication of Cholera, followed by a more detailed treatise in 1855 incorporating the results of his investigation of the role of the water supply in the Soho epidemic of 1854.[12]

            By talking to local residents (with the help of Reverend Henry Whitehead), he identified the source of the outbreak as the public water pump on Broad Street (now Broadwick Street). Although Snow’s chemical and microscope examination of a water sample from the Broad Street pump did not conclusively prove its danger, his studies of the pattern of the disease were convincing enough to persuade the local council to disable the well pump by removing its handle. This action has been commonly credited as ending the outbreak,….”

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            • #
              ATheoK

              One person, who rigorously followed the scientific method.

              That is not the process for all too many pseudo scientists today, whether in epidemiology, nutrion or climastrology.

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          • #
            Rereke Whakaaro

            I am sorry if I offended.

            My point is, that much of epidemiology is influenced by the expected (or desired) outcome.

            In the case of Dr John Snow, from the little I have read, I understand that he suspected an environmental cause for Cholera, and found a correlation that indicated the causation. He then went on to prove that causation by empirical means. Far be it, for me to criticise that methodology.

            But when it comes to drug trials, or canvassing the opinion of experts, the tools of epidemiology can be misused, as is well documented (in my humble opinion) by Barry Brignell.

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          • #
            sophocles

            Epidemiologists can also uncover unpopular (with government) information. Dr. George J Miller was a Professor of Epidemiology
            at London University and a member of the Medical Research Council’s Senior Clinical Scientific Staff when he wrote Dying for Justice (2003). Human life expectancy is supposed to be increasing. It depends on where in your society you were born. At the top, yes, at the bottom it is heading towards what Hobbes called “nasty brutish and short” in Leviathan. There is about 14 years difference in average life expectancy at the time.

            Miller estimated the number of deaths which could be avoided if the country’s finances were inspired by fair and efficient policies. He concluded that 40% of the premature deaths “ would not occur if unfairness and injustices built into the way that government collects and spends its income were removed.

            Miller traced the causes through the last thousand years in his book On Fairness and Efficiency, the Privatisation of the Public Income Over the Past Millennium (2000).

            In a nutshell, Income Taxes and VATs are bad for your health by shortening your life expectancy and bad for the environment. They create the apparent necessity for subsidies to bring new projects to fruition. We see this for the conctruction of outdoor avian slaughter farms (windmills) and modernisation of power stations (introduction of wood chip firing).

            While Miller’s research and writing is focused on the UK, the results and conclusions are relevant to all countries with similar fiscal systems and policies.

            Of course, we can see a massive global divestment of such murderous fiscal policies around the world. His message has proven to be so popular with the UK government that they are rushing at full speed to fix the problems he identified by installing ever more wind farms and raising power prices ever higher, thus adding another 10,000 Old Age Pensioners every winter to the toll. (/sarc)

            (I’ve read the book. It’s a very interesting and very good read. I strongly recommend it.)

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    • #
      Peter Turner

      I don’t know what Peter Miller expects in an article on this page but this is exactly what I would like to se more of. The Science of “consensus” is the problem. Making something up and calling it a “scientific theory” while ignoring the actual factual data or trying to get the data to fit the fantasy theory is the problem. It doesn’t matter if it is global warming, dementia or the existence of God the Sheldon Coopers of the world will always get it wrong as long as they ignore the facts. And as long as there is money in making crap up they will do it. Good on you Jo. Love your stuff.

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      • #
        Annie

        Apart from the intrinsic interest of the research into Alzheimers, I think Jo’s point about science is highly relevant. One of our big “gripes” here is the fact that “consensus science” twists or ignores the empirical observations. The point Jo makes is that these researchers were forced to concede the unexpected results.

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    • #
      Formerly

      Two words – Peptic Ulcers.

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    • #
      Geoffrey Williams

      Peter,
      I think that what Jo is getting at here is the idea that people can make judgements on issues without really knowing and/or analysing the proper facts. Because of their ‘political correctness’ these people would like to believe that fat or overweight people are somehow inferior; ie of less intellect with poorer memories. This study show that the latter is not so!
      Regards Geoff Williams – Sydney

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    • #

      Jo, While this article on dementia causes was interesting, it is not really what we expect to find here; not criticising, just saying.

      I disagree. Climatology is its own little world, with its own unique methods of data evaluation and dealing with uncertainty, along with its own language, morals and political priorities. It is worth comparing this with real science that produces results. An example is correcting for biases. In the study Dr Qizilbash found data results that contradicted what was “known“, so they did loads of control tests to see if it held. When the result still held, they had to accept that what was “known” was incorrect.
      Jo often discusses temperature homogenisations. Here is blogger …and Then There’s Physics taking a stab at explaining adjustments.

      What if there isn’t a full record, or you can’t find any reason why the data may have been influenced by something non-climatic? Do you just leave it as is? Well, no, that would be silly. We don’t know of any climatic influence that can suddenly cause typical temperatures at a given location to suddenly increase or decrease. It’s much more likely that something non-climatic has influenced the data and, hence, the sensible thing to do is to adjust it to make the data continuous.

      In climatology when the data contradicts is “known” it must be wrong, so is adjusted to the theory. The data is thus, to some extent, biased towards confirming the theory.

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  • #

    Well, this is going to be pretty much be ignored by the media and science establishment.

    Kind of like that detailed / extensive study that came out linking milk consumption with osteoporosis. People say, what? No, “milk is good, milk strengthens bones,” and it’s like our brains are teflon and the contrary information never sticks. Could it be that the excess protein in milk is bad? Whatever, it’s ignored.

    A similar thing happens with the avergage Joe’s view on climate change. The leftist scientific establishment in cahoots with the MSM has drummed it into us that anyone that questions AGW is a wacky denier of reality. Contrary evidence, that suggests that reality is actually not what is purported to be.. is dismissed out of hand. Not for any rational reason, but.. just because.

    On global warming, from unbiased satellite date we’ve had 18 years of no warming. People just can’t or don’t want to hear it. It’s teflon brains. And the very foundation of the AGW theory, that there is demonstrated proof (from ice core data) that CO2 causes temperature change … … has been refuted. It’s the CO2 lag. CO2 rises, temperatures follow. It’s NOT the reverse. But the vast majority of people (like 90%+) don’t know this critical point about CO2. But for most, even if they did hear it, especially if they lean left, the contrary point is just not going to stick. Regardless, the key point does stick with many centrists and most conservatives (and even some leftists that strive for impartiality). So, doing what we can to help the masses to learn about the CO2 lag is very very important. Because that small contrary piece of information changes a lot of mind, or at least injects substantial doubt. But again, maybe 90% of the people don’t even know about the CO2 lag. One way to help get the word out is to promote this short video which does an *outstanding* job in exposing Al Gore’s deceptions on CO2, and in just 4 minutes persuasively showing that there is zero evidence that CO2 causes any changes, at all, in temperatures: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WK_WyvfcJyg&info=GGWarmingSwindle_CO2Lag

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    • #
      PeterPetrum

      ” It’s the CO2 lag. CO2 rises, temperatures follow. It’s NOT the reverse. ”

      Eric, maybe I am misreading you, but isn’t it the the other way around. CO2 concentration increases follow temperature rises?

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    • #
      Greg Goodman

      CO2 being proportional to integral of temp or rate of change of CO2 being proportional temp is the same thing.

      https://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=223

      or look at higher derivatives:
      https://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=233

      Salby’s lecture looked interesting but hand waving in front of a slide presentation does not cut it.

      On the inter-annual scale I’d say he’s correct and they are orthogonal. This will change as the time scale gets longer. The point at which the relationship is essentially in-phase, ie what the dominant time-constant is is what matters.

      He was making some very dubious claims in that lecture, that would not pass peer-review without some solid evidence.

      His paper was “imminent” about 3 years ago, Still no sign.

      I found 8ppm/year/kelvin for inter-annual variation and 4 ppm/year/kelvin , as the inter-decadal ratio

      Now assuming a single sink with an exponential response and taking those two data and crudely estimating to inter-centennial scales that would be about 2ppm/year/kelvin or 200ppm/century/kelvin.

      0.7K over last century would produce about 140 ppm rise.

      280 + 140 ppm = 420 ppm .

      Interesting.

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      • #
        Tom O

        I find your comment on Salby’s lecture interesting. “hand waving in front a slide presentation doesn’t cut it.” I find that interesting because would you care to tell me where you find lectures that aren’t basically exactly that? I did find his pauses puzzling at times, but as for why his “imminent paper” has not been released, well, are you sure you actually WATCHED the lecture, or did you just, as in the days of the Watergate scandal, “read a version of the tapes(lecture) that you agree with?” His response to Lord Monckton was very, very clear on that point – until he has his research work which the University has retained, he won’t release a paper since he doesn’t have the research to archive, if you will. Yes, the slide presentation and lecture are sadly out of date, data wise, but that reasonably is because he doesn’t have access to his research work. Personally, although he tried to appear casual, I thought I was watching a very angry man on the lectern, and I might add, it would appear rightfully so.

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  • #
    Arsten

    I wonder what the rates of the obese seeing a doctor are? If it’s higher than skinny people, I wonder if it’s an early-stage intervention that no one really thinks about?

    A scenario would be an overweight person goes to the doctor more frequently and gets a blood test. That blood test shows something out of what is considered normal (potassium imbalance? Early thyroid problems? etc) and the doctor corrects for it. You get medication or a slap to the face or whatever is needed and your issue that would lead to dementia gets better.

    Meanwhile, the skinny person goes to the doctor less often and by the time the blood test is run, it’s too late to alter the onset.

    Disclaimer: This is just a musing, I’m not saying this is true.

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    • #
      Diogenes

      If my staff room is typical it is actually the skinny that are seeing the medicos more often. True this more for injuries (we have had more time lost to sporting injuries and the results of “excessive” sport in younger years ie name a joint and somebody has had it rebuilt, arthritis etc, than all other causes put together (and that includes the lass who had many days off trying to get pregnant through IVF, and her resulting maternity leave) , but as one cannot go into in a Drs without getting blood drawn and a BP cuff whacked on your arm ….

      We have also noticed the “normal” & “underweight” tend to catch more colds than we overweightorobese (I am what I consider a healthy 27) . Don’t you just love it when the nes stories say something like “scientists have discovered that being obese increases your chances of x – over 52% of Australians are overweightorobese (one word) as if the 2 are the same thing.

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    • #
      ian hilliar

      The study does seem to have counterintuitive results. If you are obese, your risk of developing diabetes goes up by a factor of 30x, and development of ischaemic heart disease goes up by a factor of 10 to 15x. My own experience of 30+ years looking after my older patients, some of whom spend many years in nursing homes, [God’s waiting rooms} would suggest that obese people die at a younger age, so do not live long eneough to develop dementia. The studies author, Dr Qisilbasch?, states that they have attempted to correct for earlier death in obesity. The most obvious problem would be that their ‘correction” was not big eneough.

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    • #
      Tom O

      Nice to see a comment about the article. Actually, the most obvious reason that they might be less likely to get dementia to me would be contentment with life. Generally, you don’t get to be obese unless you have pretty much everything you want. If you are contented, there would be no reason for your mind to crawl into a corner and die. If you spent your entire life struggling, then perhaps it would be more comforting to have your mind withdraw into a fantasy world. Quality of life and level of contentment versus struggle may not have been factors they were looking at when they were trying to find an answer.

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  • #
    matthu

    This should not have been entirely unexpected, although governments would have been loathe to admit it. There is a known link between low cholesterol levels and brain function:

    The Great Cholesterol Con by Dr Malcolm Kendrick [2007]

    “… even five years ago no one knew that cholesterol had anything to do with brain function. This despite the fact that the brain contains over 25 per cent of the total amount of cholesterol in the body, and over 2 per cent of the total weight of the brain is cholesterol.
    “A group of researchers, led by Dr Frank Pfreiger, was looking into the function of glial cells in the brain. It was known that these ‘support’ cells had a critical role in the function of synapses (the connections between neurons). Glial cells, it was also known, released a substance that allowed the synapses to form, and function. Without this substance your brain would be almost entirely useless. And what was this fantastic, miracle substance?
    “… The identity of the glial ingredient which triggered synapse formation has remained a mystery until now. But research published in Science suggests that cholesterol is the magic ingredient.
    “… Without cholesterol, the chemical scourge of mankind, your brain cannot form synapses, and you cannot think properly, or remember anything.

    Later he also adds:

    “But what about the link between cholesterol lowering, violence, and suicide? Well, in addition to cholesterol’s critical function in synapse formation, it has now been found that a low cholesterol level leads to reduced serotonin levels in the brain. A low serotonin level is one of the key brain abnormalities involved in depression…
    “Low serotonin has also been linked to violence and aggression.”

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    • #
      Peter C

      Yes,

      Interesting idea. Not sure where cholesterol is needed in the brian. I would have thought it was in the myelin sheaths which surround the nerve fibres and therefore help to transmit messages. It may also be involved in the production of neurotransmitter substances at the synapses.

      Hypothesis: Those who take Cholesterol lowering drugs are starving their brain!

      Outcomes: depression/suicide or earlier onset Alzheimers! Anyone else want to take consensus health advice?

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      • #
        Annie

        With great misgiving I agreed to try a statin…in the wake of some coronary artery trouble. I have had to stop it as I was becoming depressed and having panic feelings and also increased chest pain. After some days without it I already feel a lot better. I suppose I’d better have another chat with my GP.

        I have read the above re effects of low cholesterol with great interest. I had already heard about low cholesterol being bad for older people.

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        • #
          Richard111

          My GP put me on statins a couple of years ago. I could barely get out of bed by the third day I felt so bad. It was a week before I felt normal again. Told the GP I would never ever take statins.

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        • #
          matthu

          Hi Annie

          The same book I quoted earlier adds that the protection provided by statins is so small as to be not worth bothering about for most people (and all women): the benefits have been hyped beyond belief and there are many more side-effects than have been admitted to.

          He is also very clear on these two points:
          1. Statins do not reduce overall mortality in women.
          2. Statins do not reduce overall mortality in men without heart disease.

          Yet there is great pressure by pharma companies to get statins recommended to all as a preventative medicine …

          I recommend that book as a good read to anybody interested in finding out more about the beneficial or harmful effects of statins.

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        • #
          ian hilliar

          Statins are reputed to be very useful as secondary prevention, but not so useful as primary prevention. That means, if you have developed ischaemic heart disease, manifested as angina or coronary heart disease, they are very beneficial in stopping future heart attacks. Also, if you are at high risk of developing ischaemic heart disease, through having developed diabetes, they may be able to prevent your heart attack and so make you live longer. If you then go on to live well for another 15 or 20 years longer than you were so destined, it is a bit rough to then blame the statin for your developing dementia in your [skinny] old age!

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      • #
        Tel

        Actually, there’s been a long argument about whether statins (cholesterol lowering drugs) dissolve your brain (just doing their job, removing cholesterol).

        My personal reaction is to wonder why people are so enthusiastic about measuring cholesterol but never bother to measure bile acid. Doesn’t make sense. What about the ever increasing number of gallstone operations? Solved problem they say, just use a knife, cut it out and stop worrying about it, after all we took away the immediate symptom!

        Science advances one funeral at a time, but medicine advances only after a statistically significant number of funerals.

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    • #

      The Great Cholesterol Con

      Great shout. I’ve also noticed that the US Gov’t is withdrawing warnings about Cholesterol

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  • #
    Oksanna

    Reminds me of a scene in a sci-fi comedy called Sleeper (1973) about a health food store owner cryogenically frozen who awakens 200 years later in a future dystopia:

    “Dr. Melik: This morning for breakfast he requested something called “wheat germ, organic honey and tiger’s milk.”

    Dr. Aragon: [chuckling] Oh, yes. Those are the charmed substances that some years ago were thought to contain life-preserving properties.

    Dr. Melik: You mean there was no deep fat? No steak or cream pies or… hot fudge?

    Dr. Aragon: Those were thought to be unhealthy… precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true.”

    Dr. Melik: Incredible.”

    Only thing is, our own journey through some of the dietary dominant paradigms of the past half century are as bad. Remember how margarine was supposed to be healthy and butter not? Now we know the opposite is true. What about the fifties medical consensus that bottled baby formula was better than breast milk? And how about that useless fibre in fruit and veges that we now know functions to scrape our gut clean of precancerous growths?

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    • #

      Fat bad, now good
      Sugar good, now bad
      Chocolate bad, now good.
      Bread good, now bad
      Salt bad, now good,

      the next step will be: “You must smoke at least 20 B&H a day for healthy lungs“. Probably. You read it here first.

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      • #
        Roy Hogue

        David,

        With a record of backtracking like that about food, how much backtracking do you think the government could do about climate change if only they were honest about it?

        Climate change abnormal, now normal

        CO2 bad, now good

        But of course, that would put nearly the whole of NOAA, NASA, GISS, etc., etc., right out of business.

        And why would they want to do that? No good reason I can think of.

        Or might I invent a few just for fun? :-(

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  • #
    diogenese2

    Jo- Don’t get carried away with what, for most commentators, no more than comment and speculation on a press release. The whole article is paywalled ($(US)31.50 for those a bit flush).
    “They studied nearly 2m people for a decade” – they did not, it was not a cohort study but data mining exercise of the Clinical Practice Research Database, which was established in 2012 and incorporated data from General Medical Practice whose collection started in 1987. This is not to criticize the methodology (I can’t because it costs $31.50 which I am not funded for!),but to point out there is little information to back up the inverse linkage between Incidence of dementia and BMI. To put it in perspective, the 10 year risk of dementia in the sample was 2.3%. Distributed over three groups defined by BMI the spread was 1.63% to 3.08%. No big deal really and certainly not worth bloating yourself into diabetes simply to improve odds of retaining sanity in age(not necessarily a good idea in itself).
    Perhaps the significant thing was the overturning (apparently) of a previous concensus which was probably based on sloppy evidence and wish fulfilment.
    Now where have we encountered that before?
    You have listed out several possible “causes” of this apparent correlation but, in the long run, does it really matter to ascribe a “cause”.
    Is the choice between being obese and sick, and knowing you are sick or being thin and sick but not knowing? I have practiced on dementia wards and pain is felt most by those still cognative.

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    Pat Frank

    Maybe there’s an anti-dementia gene that also causes obesity. :-)

    The wonderful thing about epidemiology is the invitation to suppose correlation = causation. That supposition is a common mistake, especially among MDs.

    Sorry to say, but epidemiology isn’t science. It is, at best, suggestive of a place to look for interesting study subjects.

    By the way, chocolate flavanols are also found in tea. Not as much fun, but perhaps less stimulating of unwanted chubbies fall-out from the anti-dementia gene. :-)

    71

  • #
    ossqss

    I object!

    I just don’t remember why ;-)

    191

    • #
      Leonard Lane

      ossqss. I have one for you to consider.
      I have OCD and ADD. Everything has to be perfect, but not for very long.

      20

  • #
    Sean

    It never ceases to amaze me how commonly held advice about nutrition gets turned on its head. The first big reversal was iron in the diet of older people. Turns out high iron content in the blood of older people was associated with heart disease and cardiovascular problems. Geritol and its “iron poor blood” message were removed from the market. The next fiasco was the war on fat which turned into sugar substitution for fat based calories. People got fatter eating more sugar and the incidence of type II diabetes almost doubled within five years of the US government’s get the fat out message. Recently the salt people are getting in a tizzy because it turns out the problems with too little salt are likely worse and broader than too much salt. It will be interesting to see how the dementia issue and weight plays out in the long term. One thing I’m sure we can all count on however, is that even though the government seem to get burned regularly when its been found to give very bad advice, I doubt that will stop it or slow it down.

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    • #
      Roy Hogue

      Salt and cholesterol are the two biggest bogeymen with fat coming next.

      The guidelines for eating are about to be supplemented with Obama’s guidelines for breathing. Got to get rid of that CO2, the coal dust, the smoke, etc. He knows best what we should do. Just ask him.

      The real problem is that there are real problems for some people buried down inside the simple one size fits all recommendations and they need to be identified and those who really shouldn’t eat this or that or be exposed to some air pollutant warned what to avoid and why. And the rest of us should be left alone.

      The biggest problem of all with government advice about anything is that it’s all too easily influenced by politics and pressure groups. The science is many times just a survey of literature or worse.

      I don’t know how I ever managed to grow up eating the lunch my mother sent to school with me every day — there were a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in those lunch sacks. And horror of horrors, I rode a bicycle without a helmet for all those years. I never had a seat belt until I was 25 years old. And funny thing about that seat belt — the only time I’ve ever been injured in an automobile is when someone rear ended me and the seat belt didn’t prevent the whiplash. Neither did the headrest that was supposed to save me from whiplash but does more to block my view to the rear than anything else. I still wear the seat belt but I don’t fool myself about what it can do.

      I’m tired of having my hand held. Dementia, I fear thee not! If I live long enough something will go wrong, something will kill me. In the meantime I don’t look constantly over my shoulder to see what might be creeping up on me. Hank Williams sang it so well, “No matter how I struggle and strive, I’ll never get out of this world alive.”

      40

  • #
    Richard

    I heard about this on YouTube a year ago from a guy called Dr Glidden – a naturopath – would recommend checking out. Apparently coconut oil is also very effective, something about triglyercides in coconut oil providing brain-cells with an alternative source of energy when they can no longer access glucose, and switching to a plant-based paleolithic diet high in ORAC I hear is also effective.

    42

  • #
    John F. Hultquist

    Jo, thanks for posting this. It is interesting and is wonderfully similar to the climate issue.
    The USA government and its hoards of unelected bureaucrats do try to dictate what the citizens can eat and drive. Schools must have menus that meet guidelines and we get ethanol in our cars whether we think that is a good idea or a bad one.
    In many situations the bureaucrats are wrong. When I was little they told us not to eat butter. We were sold plastic pouches with a whitish goo and a little yellow pill. We could crush the pill and massage the package until the coloring made the entire mass look a bit like butter. I think it might have still had beef tallow but by then was mostly, or entirely, hydrogenated plant oils. We did call it oleomargarine, later just margarine. This is just one of several issues I could mention. Another is would be about Helicobacter pylori.
    Now they tell us CO2 is bad.
    With no proof.
    And they wonder why we don’t believe!

    222

  • #
    tom0mason

    Now this skinny old guy is on the bench scratching wildly away with pencil at paper, all the while maddly muttering angry words …

    Yes, more demented doggerel from a mad old codger –

    What was I saying…
    ¯

    Misty instance, time is fleeting,
    What’s this hour you are keeping?
    And as moments slip away,
    Recollections go or stay?
    Can these memories sink so deep,
    That wisdom from them slowly seep?
    Obliterated character, you old timer.
    Soon subjugated by a thief, Alzheimer.

    101

  • #
    jorgekafkazar

    I’m 75, but I still have a memory just like one of those big grey animals.

    241

  • #
    Binny

    My mum’s 95 and still living independently. She can tell me what I did when I was 5, but needs reminding that I visited last week. Skinny (and hyperactive) all her life, rarely drinks and never smoked.

    81

  • #
    tom0mason

    Medically we are years away from knowing, and fully understanding, how to use nutrition for optimal functional betterment.
    Why?
    Because there are too many myths, both old and modern. Myths that are maintained by medicine — because of close minded group-thinking; enforced by government regulations — because of dumb bureaucratic regulators enacting stupid rules, and the the diet and nutrition industries enjoying fat profits selling dross dress as a gold standard health-food.
    Is it the environment that makes slim people susceptible to dementia, or is it a very slow genetic decline, or a slow acting virus, or other unknown conditions, or indeed permutations of them?

    Does anyone understand how all the different oils and fats work in our bodies? How does the human body properly regulate and maintain the consumption, digestion, disposition, and disposal of fats and oils?
    Can science properly see how the environment, past infections, individual genetics and psychological traits all work together to keep us well or ill? We are not the simplistic machine that some would have us believe, holistically we are all different.

    I know it is not the best medical example but the 1992 film Lorenzo’s Oil (directed by George Miller) may indicate a direction to look. It was after all based on the true story of Augusto and Michaela Odone, parents who searched for a cure for their son Lorenzo’s adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorenzo%27s_Oil

    90

    • #
      tom0mason

      Oops typo

      Out with -
      “Medically we are years away from knowing, and fully understanding, how human nutrition for our overall functional betterment.”

      In with -
      “Medically we are years away from knowing, and fully understanding, how to use nutrition for optimal functional betterment.”

      [Fixed it for you. - AZ]

      40

    • #
      mark

      We are but a heartbeat way from our hunter/gatherer roots in the scale of time. Sure bet we will be long way away from the glop depicted in movies like “The Matrix” everything a growing body needs….yuk!. I like my meat fresh and bleeding my vegies crisp and my beer cold. Everything in moderation appears the bestest of advice.

      80

  • #
    handjive

    FYI, WSJ:
    The Questionable Link Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease

    Are butter, cheese and steak really bad for you? The dubious science behind the anti-fat crusade

    The new study’s conclusion shouldn’t surprise anyone familiar with modern nutritional science, however.
    The fact is, there has never been solid evidence for the idea that these fats cause disease.

    We only believe this to be the case because nutrition policy has been derailed over the past half-century by a mixture of personal ambition, bad science, politics and bias.

    60

  • #
    David, UK

    We couldn’t get rid of it so we’re left with this apparent protective effect.”

    Should’ve taken advice from the Hockey Stick Team, who successfully “got rid of” the mediaeval warm period and Nasa who successfully “got rid of” the 1940s warm blip. Qizilbash et al are amateurs.

    61

  • #
    bemused

    I wonder how many of those skinny people did significant exercise that wasn’t exactly essential, but they were of the view that they had to do it? Exercise is known to create chemicals that affect the brain, such as ones that cause withdrawal symptoms? Exercise affects the brain?

    60

  • #
    Ruairi

    The skeptics are science’s friend,
    When its method they stoutly defend,
    Or insisting to query,
    A law or a theory,
    Or on climate false findings suspend.

    141

  • #
    George McFly......I'm your density

    Good article Jo. I’m going to celebrate with another piece of toast!

    50

  • #
    tom0mason

    Jo
    I have a problem with you link –

    DOI Not Found
    ¯
    10.1016/S2213-8587(15)00033-9
    ¯

    This DOI cannot be found in the DOI System. Possible reasons are:

    The DOI is incorrect in your source. Search for the item by name, title, or other metadata using a search engine.
    ¯
    The DOI was copied incorrectly. Check to see that the string includes all the characters before and after the slash and no sentence punctuation marks.
    ¯
    The DOI has not been activated yet. Please try again later, and report the problem if the error continues.

    It says but your reference is the same as at The Lancet
    ( http://www.thelancet.com/journals/landia/article/PIIS2213-8587%2815%2900033-9/abstract )
    I presume that either it’s late to the DOI system or DOI is very busy.

    The Lancet has a good overview summary of Background, Methods, and Findings in the study.

    10

  • #
    Leonard Lane

    Talk about confused! I try to keep somewhat up on health-nutrition literature (not White House diets or the ‘see this miracle video” scams where you have to buy books, newsletters, etc.). The more I read and study the more confusing it is. I do know I feel better when I walk and use moderation in my diet and of course, when I am well rested after a good night’s sleep. Beyond my personal observations, much of the remainder of information seems confusing. I appreciate this post as the climate scam is very, very important. However there is more to life than crooks and power-lusting governments; there is health, joy in a family, friends, and most of all my religion.

    70

  • #
    Barry

    I suspect you’ll find here that the people doing the research had a subconscious bias against obesity because it is associated with so many ‘bad’ things, so they went looking for what they had already decided they would find.

    The parallels with climate ‘science’ speak for themselves. If some of the usual climate science suspects had been let loose on the problem they would have knocked up a model showing that in all likelihood by 2030 it is possible that obesity will lead to a catastrophic growth in dementia rates amongst the aged. And if that model didn’t work, they’d just knock up another. When you’ve already decided the outcome you want it’s the simplest thing in the world to write a computer program that will predict it. And then, of course, they’d all shuffle off to Paris and hold a conference on it.

    71

  • #
    mem

    Reminds me of something closer to home. My other half who suddenly put on weight was somehow registered as pre-diabetic by an enthusiastic young GP. Next thing we know we start getting glossy magazines from the Diabetes organization and promotions for equipment to measure blood glucose and requests for donations etc. Also letters addressed to the diabetes sufferer.
    As it turns out he had a heart condition and lots of fluid. I bet he now appears on the Diabetes statistics though. After all the more on their list the more government funding and more income!

    60

  • #
    handjive

    Saturday Night Fish Fry

    All this talk of food, but here is a bigger fish to fry, the CSIRO:

    The 97% failed doomsday (unless tax is payed):

    SMH, 27-1-2015: Ski seasons under threat: CSIRO climate report
    “The report also makes new predictions of temperature rises for Canberra, tipping dramatic drops in days of less than 2  degrees and a burst in the number of 35 to 40-degree days. 

    The report’s rain and temperature predictions contain a call for emission reductions.”
    ~ ~ ~
    (via iceagenow.com April 8, 2015)
    Of course the headline calls it a “cold snap.”

    It’s barely a week into April, and already snow has started falling in NSW (New South Wales).

    The heaviest falls have occurred around Oberon in the state’s Central Tablelands.

    Snow in this time of year is unusual in the area, on the western side of the Blue Mountains, with the falls brought on by a combination of a low pressure system off the coast and cold air in the upper atmosphere.

    While Oberon does receive snow in May and June, April is usually too warm for such icy conditions.

    The last recorded snowfall in early April was in 1995.

    via comments:
    That is the thing alarmists omit to state when they talk about decreasing snow cover in Australia – even though that trend has ceased lately.

    > “Australia is the lowest continent in the world with an average elevation of only 330 metres.

    The highest points on the other continents are all more than twice the height of Australia’s highest peak, Mount Kosciuszko which is 2228 metres above sea level.”

    More than half of the continent is tropical or sub-tropical.<
    ~ ~ ~
    SMH: Cold front brings early dump of snow to Brindabella Mountains
    April 8, 2015
    Snow follows burn-offs
    “But on Wednesday, with Ms Webster in shorts, they could not resist the 20cm deep snow over Mt Ginini, or the thicker blanket covering Mt Gingera to the south, and white-capped mountains beyond their windy vantage point.”

    SMH: Wet April weather brings snow falls around Canberra
    April 8, 2015
    Ski resorts further south awoke to fresh snow coverage on Wednesday morning – a promising sign for the coming season.

    The Bureau of Meteorology’s Sean Carson said snow had been falling throughout the night.
    ~ ~ ~
    Posted Thu 9 April, 2015 at 6:00am, ABC:
    El Nino event forecast for upcoming NSW Snowy Mountains ski season
    The weather bureau’s duty forecaster, Sean Carson, said it was still quite early to try to predict what was ahead for the ski season.

    The region came very close to seeing an El Nino event last ski season.
    . . .
    Quote: “The weather bureau’s duty forecaster, Sean Carson, said it was still quite early to try to predict what was ahead for the ski season.”

    If it is too early to try & predict a ski season, how is it possible to predict 100 years in the future?
    (and how does the CSIRO know a tax will work?)

    111

  • #
    tom0mason

    These human memories fade and lapse but electronic memories get ever larger and more reliable, with algorithms more capable, more subtle, and processing more powerful.
    Will future generations see the dawn of electronic augmentation of our critical faculties? A crutch for the mind, or a means of mass control? Is this the direction we should wish to go?

    Will there soon be a time for a human/machine upgrade, and who could we trust for such a thing?

    40

  • #
    macrobeak

    Over at Tallbloke . . .
    https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2015/04/06/el-nino-is-here-says-noaa-but-only-just/
    ‘ol ren typically cryptically forecasts “promises to be chilly winter in Australia”
    His N.Hemisphere predictions seem to have a reasonable track record, let us see how he does in the south . . .

    10

  • #
    Gary in Erko

    Shakespeare in Julius Caesar
        ”Let me have men about me that are fat,
        Sleek-headed men and such as sleep a-nights.”

    50

  • #
    Retired now

    This really made me smile. My past professor followed 404 old people for 40 years until they died – all the over 60s in his first medical practice. When we ran the figures through the various tests after they had all died we came up with some curious and some expected correlations. He had already discovered very early on that immune markers at a particular time were not correlated with early death. At the end we found that being a long term smoker cut 7 years off their lives. But obesity on entry into the study had no reduction of longevity. And high blood pressure while suggestive of being a problem was not definitive.

    The sad thing was that though this type of research hadn’t been published before as far as we could find the journals weren’t interested in it as the numbers weren’t large enough. We thought that a 40 year follow up with no losses of data due to study participant drop out came up with fascinating results.

    70

  • #
    Ursus Augustus

    It is clear that 97% of skinny, well educated, inner city, hipster research scientists were of the consensus view that overweight suburbanites, particularly those of a baby boomer age, were suffering from dementia anyway on account of their tendency to think that the theory of CAGW was a load of crap.

    Mea culpa for not being so skinny and flexible as to be able insert my head into my derriere upon command from an ‘expert’ in some matter or even with an excusable delay, so as to consider such matters from the politically correct perspective.

    71

  • #
    ROM

    As a biologically complex and sentient species we are probably less than some 600 generations, ie; 12000 years and for the bulk of humanity less than 200 generations ie 4000 years away from the small band, short lived, periodically physically highly active species to today’s mostly sedentary and increasingly “hive” orientated Homo sapien species.

    Some species of bacteria get that 200 generations of their species over and done with in a mere couple of days and do so without any large changes in their genetic traits.
    So as a species we still have nearly all the genetic attributes and traits of our most recent hunter- gatherer ancestors, traits and attributes that were developed and genetically selected over the couple of million years that it has taken mankind to evolve into our current biological and physical form and level of intelligence.

    In the developed world we are now living almost twice as long as our ancestors whose genetic longetivity was geared to their ability, like all living organisms, to reproduce at a level that enabled the sustaining of the species after which longetivity was of use as a means of looking after the grandkids while the parent hunted or foraged and the family and tribe consequently ate well and therefore prospered reinforcing the role of the longer lived individuals in the family group / clan / tribe

    So it is almost a non variable to now find an increasing incidence of various physical and mentality breakdowns as we live for far greater lengths of time well past the biological reproduction requirements and therefore into a period of our lives where such physical and mental failures become an expected phenomena of those whose internal physical and metal systems run on different time scales.

    A failure of the biological physical body but a mentality that is still very active as it runs on a different time scale of decay still means death.
    A failure of the mental processes in a physically healthy body allows the physical body to continue until it too runs it’s biological course as it’s systems start to fail.

    The maintenance of the physical body is what medicine practices today and we are seeing the consequences which Nature never intended for us as a species.

    The accumulation of food stores ie obesity was Natures way of providing for the lean times that invariably occurred sooner or later and which allowed those fat stores to be called upon when shortage of food and hunger again stalked the clan and tribal group.
    In fact the Saan Bushmen of southern Africa store a good part of their fat reserves in their buttocks.
    A genetic characteristic that is believed to be a very old genetic trait of humanity indeed.
    .

    Meanwhile on the very local level and looking at the obesity levels of the local population, there is going to be a heck of a lot of future oldsters with all their mental facilities who die of obesity related diseases long before any dementia can ever set in.
    If they do live long lives they will be smart and bright right through into the last stages of their lives in that research is right which I doubt.

    For my part coming from a fairly heavily boned and built north german stock who arrived in South Australia in the 1850′s I am on the point of supposed obesity.

    I have only somewhat part jokingly told my kids that if I get full blown dementia , if they visit me, just stand on my air hose for a few minutes and make sure they complete the job.
    After all I will by then only bear a physical resemblance to the real me but won’t ever again be the ROM they knew as their father.
    It will be better for all concerned by then for my physical presence to be departing this mortal coil forever.

    I will be remembered vaguely by my grand kids and then I will, like the countless generations who have gone before me, will for another couple of generations be nothing more than a name before being forgotten forever.

    Morbid? No!

    Merely the age old continuation and continual renewing of a biological species by the methods that Nature has ordained over the great aeons of Time since life evolved some 3.6 billion years ago.

    91

  • #
    Ted

    My two bobs worth, and its just a thought bubble to account for the findings.
    The majority of dementia they were finding would have been something in the range of 65% microvascular dementia. I have not read the paper just the extract at the Lancet, but it dose not seem they did not classified the types of dementia just the occurrence, so I may be wrong, but thats what we find in Oz.
    Fat as a tissue is oestrogen making and we know obese people have more of this floating around. Apart from its unpleasant tendency to increase thrombotic events in larger amounts, it is generally protective to the cardiovascular system. We see this as women have fewer CVS events than men and then after menopause they catch up because their oestrogen output has fallen.
    Maybe if they were able to measure the oestrogen levels in those patients they would find that relatively higher levels reduced microvascular dementia. Perhaps there were other metabolic output from the fat cells or due to the metabolic disorder causing the obesity that protected against microvascular disease. For instance most of those people would have had hyperinsulinaemia , hyperglycaemia, hypertension sleep apnoea just to think of a few erstwhile bogeymen that should have altered the results. And finally the medication they were given to counter these problems may be the protecting factor. Well worth more study.

    50

  • #
    Chuck Bradley

    The study provides further evidence that risk factors are hugely overrated.

    30

  • #
    ianl8888

    The initial error in the hypothesis is down to wishful thinking – it is wished by those doing the “research” that dementia is due to environmental factors that can be “nannied out” of peoples’ habits and lives. Overeating, smoking, drinking … all of these can be headlined (“Look at Me, Pay Attention to Me, then you will avoid dementia”). In short, headline hunting

    Real research ? A long, difficult and patient examination of the detailed genomes of people who contracted dementia and those who have lived long and not contracted it. This may result in headlines (“Genetic Disposition to dementia found”) but not for a long, tedious time. No short-term, flashy kudos here

    30

  • #
    Bobl

    Plenty of things in this world are counterintuitive, but having had some relatives with dementia I would be of the opinion that skinniness doesn’t cause dementia, but dementia causes skinniness. Dementia doesn’t just affect memory, all parts of the brain are affected including the autonmous parts that control bodily function. Digestion is one of those, and weight loss is pretty common. Not to mention that people with dimentia sometimes just forget to eat because the hunger signals don’t reach the brain.

    For the most part I am totally unsurprised.

    60

    • #
      PeterPetrum

      Yes, Bobl, my mother died in the final stages of dementia. She lived in Scotland and I here in Oz, but the last time I saw her, about a year before she died, she was a shadow of her former self. Never fat, but robust, Dad told me she had forgotten how to eat, despite his best efforts to make her, and she virtually starved to death. Methinks this “research” was starting at the wrong end and, clearly they were trying to make the facts match the theory. Now, where have we heard that before.

      50

      • #
        bobl

        Peter,

        My experience exactly, explained the same way to us, though I think it’s more likely that the signalling fails and they don’t feel hungry or want to eat; sorry about your mum, gotta be one of the worst ways to go especially for those caring for them.

        30

        • #
          PeterPetrum

          Dad refused to put her in a home and cared for her to the end. I don’t know where he got the strength from, but he must have loved her lots!

          20

  • #
    bemused

    It’s actually interesting that the researchers focussed solely on a weight/dementia relationship (effectively assuming one leads to the other – as already pointed out), rather than a assessing whole of life factors. Did they assess hereditary factors, lifestyle factors such as work/play etc, general mental acuity (did the participants engage, or not, in activities that involve mental gymnastics) etc?

    When did science devolve to such a state that things are assumed, rather than deduced, and researchers go looking for, or manufacturing, evidence to support their assumptions? Are we really descending into a second Dark Ages?

    40

  • #
    Geoff Sherrington

    Hi Jo,
    If I remember, I shall give this article to Colleen to read when she comes home from 91 consecutive days in hospital, next Friday.
    Her weight went down from 55 kg to 42 kg. Good study material.
    Geoff.

    80

  • #

    Did your government want to add food labels to tell you what to eat?

    So it should. Food labels exist not to tell me what to eat, but to let me make my choices.

    60

    • #
      bemused

      I’m not quite sure what you’re implying. Do you want labels to provide information regarding ingredients, which have been a requirement for some time, or do you want labels saying this is good for you and this is bad for you (based on some expert’s opinion)?

      20

  • #
    Aaron M

    Jolly good. Double rations of rum everyone, Huzzah!!

    20

  • #
    Another Ian

    Jo,

    O/T but another hypothesis contradicted

    http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/2015/04/y2kyoto-origin-.html#comments

    and link

    20

  • #

    Fat provides both an energy source and insulation around nerve cells, it is therefore not surprising that individuals with sufficient “fat” maintain their nervous system in reasonable working order. It does not mean that all other systems will work as well hence the propensity for heart disease in obese individuals

    It follows then that a healthy diet containing sufficient protein (amino acids), carbohydrates (variety of different sugars and fibres), fats (triglycerides), minerals (Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, and Sodium salts, and etc,….), vitamins and appropriate exercise, should provide substantial protection against most degenerative diseases. It is of course possible to perform research and narrow down precisely the requirements of any particular individual because their need will vary on the basis of their genetic makeup (ancestral history) and current condition.

    20

  • #
    Eliza

    Unless the sample >100,000 obese on same diet for 80 years and same weights Versus >100,000 on starving diet and normal controls > 80 years, this study means nothing as with all the cholesterol studies ect is not significant LOL

    10

  • #
    cedarhill

    Sometimes, just sometimes, the answer may be all too obvious.

    Dementia is mostly in the elderly. You don’t see many dementia patients in the nursing homes that are under 75.

    That aside, obesity seems be adverse to living a long and prosperous life depending on sex, actual state of obesity along with things like heart attacks, liver failing, etc., with the decrease in life expectancy by between 8 and 13 years.

    Just for example, suppose 80 years is the average, normal life expectancy of whatever passes today for a person following a “healthy” lifestyle. Further suppose most dementia patients are diagnosed with life altering dementia (as opposed to simple age-related brain shrinkage) three years before (age 77) they die at age 80. Being obese means you’re likely never going to get to age 77. Thus, being obese means you’ll never suffer dementia. Oh, and make that will before you hit 69 please.

    30

  • #

    The reason why most medicine is a failure (despite being science-based) is because it is fundamentally against our natural physiology.

    Now, modern climatology is science-based, just like industrialized medicine. And yet, despite being able to boast a basis in science, it’s a complete failure. Why? Because it is fundamentally ignorant of the workings of mother nature.

    The side-effects of medicine are actually the main effects. And the side-effects of ‘climate action’, even though there is nothing to take action against, are horrendous. I do not have to repeat them here, but suffice to say, we are not just talking about a slightly higher tax bill.

    Homosexual persons in the past would, often voluntarily, seek treatment, such as shock therapy, to reverse their nature. There was nothing wrong with them to begin with. Go against nature, misunderstand it, and you’ll get nowhere and cause much grief.

    20

    • #
      Greg Goodman

      So, if follow your logic, what you are saying is that if we don’t do something drastic about climate change soon we’ll all be buggered , but there’s nothing wrong with that in a PC world.

      10

  • #
    Bill

    Another case of correlation not being equal to (and confused with) causation.

    30

  • #

    I don’t think I have seen this mention but some artificial sweeteners like aspartame are considered excito-toxins. Excito-toxins cause neurons to fire until they die. Maybe thin people use more artificially sweetened drink to stay thin and we are starting to see the end game of their use.

    30

  • #
    RoHa

    I’m naturally skinny, despite my high consumption of fats and sugars, and my aversion to sport and exercise. Does this increase my chances of dementia? Should I eat more quinoa?

    10

    • #

      Good for you! It’s likely you have enough “fat-burning” bacteria in your gut, if you want to stay that way just lay off the flour. See my post #50.

      Also there was an interesting trial where they took a person like you (with healthy gut bacteria) and a fat person. They fed each the same diet. Fat person got fatter. Thin person stayed thin. Then they took a stool sample (gross alert) and via enema gave it to the fat person. The fat person’s bacterial balance changed and could burn fat effectively – they got thin.

      So you are a cure for obesity! [snip]

      [David, I've read about what you describe so I know it's legitimate science. But we don't need the last part.] AZ

      00

  • #
    Greg Goodman

    “3. Obese people eat more of some key nutrient and skinny people miss out. ”

    sounds the most likely option to me.

    Probably some essential fats or oils. Skinny people are probably so careful about what they eat that they are eliminating anything remotely fatty.

    Fat people have all bases covered.

    20

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    G Luck

    Forty years ago as a medical representative I called upon a psychiatrist in Basingstoke, UK. Sorry I can’t remember his name. At that time he had noticed a big increase in the number of cases of depression he was seeing. He felt that this increase was linked with the increasing use of vegetable oils in cooking. Frequently he would advise patients with depression to go and eat a good rump steak as an aid to recovery.
    I was previously a psychiatric nurse and in those times certainly it was believed that depression often presented with delusions and was classed as a psychosis. I wonder how much the obsession with reducing blood cholesterol levels since those times has helped the growth of out of proportion, depressive delusional ideas that humans are totally responsible for climate change.

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    Thanks for a great article.

    The reasons for this seem obvious to me. The brain is made of fat. Amino acids are made from protein. To fuel your brain you need to eat enough of both (and omega-3s).

    I’ve recently changed to a high-fat diet, eating well in excess of the “recommended” calories. Loads of butter, loads of meat, and plenty of vegetables, but just cutting out (ok limiting) two things; sugar and flour. I now have the same waist size as I did 25 years ago in school.

    The reasoning is simple: all food is processed chemically (by e.g. stomach acid) and biologically but the gut flora, of which there are two main types. The first changes glucose and carbs very quickly into glucose for energy. The second changes fat and protein into ketones, which can also be burned as fuel. If one uses mostly the first type, fat gets stored, as you are already getting energy from glucose, and you get fat. If you use mostly the second type you burn fat effectively, and you get thin.

    So to burn fat, you must eat more fat! You also get more mental energy as you have enough fat and proteins to create and feed grey matter.

    The government is lying to you: fat is good.

    Also, on a separate note, to create more grey matter supplement with a low dose of Lithium, and omega-3′s daily.

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