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ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,790
2/7/14 3:17 P

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Jim Fixx did have heart disease in his family (as did Atkins).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Fixx

The Wiki entry does not describe Jim Fixx' diet. The blockage of his arteries was much worse than that of Atkins'.

What does that say about exercise? There's a tremendous amount of published research about the benefits (and any dangers) of exercise, every kind of exercise. From how it affects this or that part of the body, how that was measured, what was the age and disability of the participants in a study, etc. It's a huge and very active field of research. I'd like to know where the controversy - from studies - comes from when the subject is exercise and its healthful effects. I don't think there is that controversy.


Jim Fixx was not a moderate runner, however. Anytime you veer from moderation, I think you've got a problem - long term. Short-term, there are dangers but I don't think anyone drops dead chowing down on plain roasted ribs for 6 days in a row! I wouldn't recommend it, but I have read some pretty weird recommendations for losing weight. Caveat emptor.

Was the diet world astounded that someone could live on McDonald's food for 6 days in a row (actually, longer) and not drop dead? No. And lose weight? There were some people who may have been mildly surprised. But not if they looked at the calories. Anyone who's ever been on a diet knows that you can do a lot of things short-term that work and then the bad effects come much later. Researchers live by that.

Jim Fixx was not a scientist, he was a runner. Talking about longevity and physical activity on the Tonight Show, he was an author who'd been asked to discuss his book. Atkins got the same invitation to speak as an author talking about his book. He was a doctor but his fame came from the diet books that he wrote. Without his books, Jim Fixx would have just been a very, very zealous runner. I say that without having been a runner.

'Many, many articles from drug therapies to medical diagnoses have eventually been disavowed or the research was factually incorrect. '
I'm just reproducing your sentence because it is what scientific research is all about. 'Many' is an understatement because the history of therapies and diagnoses is long and the studies no doubt number in the hundreds of thousands. NCBI's database often has studies going back to the 1800s.

That's not an indication that scientific research is unreliable. You make decisions based on the best information available, and that does change - because it gets tested. Call it one part of the definition of scientific research.

(Sidebar: my husband was bitten by our vaccinated healthy cat. My doctor now tells us that if you are bitten by ANY animal (or punctured by anything), you have to have a tetanus booster. I remember when all you had to do was ask if the animal had a rabies shot. Now, what 'erroneous science' were we living with, previous to this? None - we now live in a world where data mining gives new information, medical and scientific studies are widely disseminated via the Internet and this is frickin' fantastic. Double underscore! Did my husband have the tetanus booster? At the time, he didn't know about it so he couldn't have the shot within the time frame required - a day or two. Did he survive the bite? Yes. What does that mean about anyone else's chances, having been bitten? Nothing.)

Vaccinations for various diseases was a change. Getting a flu shot is still controversial to some people. Having your children inoculated is controversial to some people.

The question about whether a diet can be detrimental to your health, short-term (most diets aren't, but they can be - I vaguely remember Weight Watchers requiring a note from your doctor in the early days! Or maybe it was just joining a gym...)

My elderly friend whose mother dropped dead of a heart attack in her early 40s - lived on into her 80s with bypass operations and medications but she did develop Alzheimer's in her late 70s. Everyone dies of something! The innovations in heart medicine that allowed her to see the birth of great-grandchildren are awesome. She ate whatever she wanted - and had the appetite of a person twice her size. I consider her a success story and modern medicine a miracle.

Atkins has incorporated more veggies. They have been responsive by having a vegetarian Atkins. The benefits will be different and considering the paucity of any kind of data, I'd have to wonder:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19942022
The PDF is free to download. The Atkins plan measured is maintenance (not Eco-Atkins... there is no data for that.).

' The total phytosterol content of the experimental phytosterol-deficient diet was 64 mg/2,000 kcal, with progressively larger quantities in Atkins, American Heart Association, vegan, and the high-phytosterol Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet (163, 340, 445, and 500 mg/2,000 kcal, respectively)' .

Dr. Eric Westman has publicly stated that weight loss comes from cutting calories and the Atkins Nutritional website states that if you are having a problem with weight gain on Atkins, look at whether you are staying in the calorie limits.

From their FAQ:
'The Atkins Nutritional Approach counts grams of carbohydrates instead of calories. In Induction, you are allowed 20 grams of Net Carbs. When you progress to Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL), you gradually add carbohydrates in 5-gram increments as you move toward Pre-Maintenance, and finally, in 10-gram increments as you approach the Lifetime Maintenance phase. On the Atkins Nutritional Approach we don’t make you count calories. However for weight loss purposes we suggest you shoot for a healthy range. For women that range is approximately 1500 to 1800 calories. For men that range is approximately 1800 to 2000 calories per day. Be sure to limit empty calories and follow the acceptable foods list for whichever phase you are currently in.'

The latest innovation is to increase fiber. 'Net carbs' was a marketing tool to make foods look to be lower in carbohydrate.
From Diabetes Forecast magazine:
' The term "net carbs" came about when the "low-carb" food fad began a decade ago and companies were seeking a way to market their products as being low in carbohydrates. A food's total carbohydrate count (in grams) is arrived at by subtracting the grams of protein, fat, moisture, and ash from the food's total weight. What's left is the total carbs. On a nutrition label, the total carb count is required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to include the full amount of grams from sugar alcohols and fiber.
'The term "net carbs" does not have a legal definition, and it's not used by the FDA or the American Diabetes Association. When you see it on a label, you should read the nutrition facts and ingredients list for more information.'
http://www.diabetesforecast.org/2010/aug/what-are-net-carbs.html

Walking away from refined/sugary carbohydrates forever is not a natural outcome of any diet. I don't believe it is an outcome of the Atkins diet - it's part of the definition of staying on the Atkins diet forever. Because the key word here is 'forever.' 100 calories is 100 calories, whether it's sugary carbohydrate or non-sugary 'good' whole grains.

The bottom line is: you have to limit calories forever. This is dieting, pure and simple. Life is a diet - you have to eat every day, because even fasting has its limit.

More fiber, whole grains, etc. will be a healthful prescription for a life-long diet. Vegetarians certainly think so! Weight Watchers incorporated fiber in their Points and Points Plus systems. They cite research for every change, but it was years ago that WW started making every WW count fiber grams to use the diet.

The bottom line there is: you have to limit calories but you have to have fiber. A meat-heavy diet really gets into some serious controversy regarding cancer risk. At this point, the question is whether it's only processed red meat that contributes to colorectal cancer. The studies are ongoing, as every area of nutrition has continued to produce studies!

'Whether Dr. Atkins had a study or not rubber stamped by the AMA is probably neither here nor there? '
Here, Atkins and Jim Fixx had a lot in common. They wrote books that were very successful. Can people run marathons today and be healthy well into old age? Here, Jim Fixx has the edge because running marathons (running in general) has a long history. Over centuries of marathon competitions, has the cost been that runners were unhealthy because they ran? It'd be interesting to find where the smart money goes in that argument.

The world of professional medical and scientific organizations is much bigger than just the AMA. The AMA is fairly conservative and it's not the the American Heart Association. Exercise and Physical activity have their own organizations, too. Check out the credentials, degrees, and licenses of the next physical therapist you consult - because your doctor sent you and your insurance covers it.....

'Atkins has come a long way'
No doubt about it. Eco-Atkins is Atkins for vegetarians and vegans. There are all of two studies published about Eco-Atkins and that's what I call underwhelming!
(Correction: there's another study that was published just this month.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24500611
free pdf to download
Biggest problem? It was a small study and half the eco-Atkins dieters dropped out. This was after all of their foods were prepared for them for a month at the beginning of the study....




(footnote: I just got a break from my insurance company because I belong to the Y! It's not even a diet - it's exercise. There may even be some running involved...)

Good reading (free PDFs):
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2911268/
' It is the runner's failure to engage with, and heed the advice of, the medical profession which puts him at risk. '
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2327592/
'Are criticisms of exercise well-founded?'
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3116747/
'Exercise and the heart; risks, benefits and recommendations...'
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1306728/
'Physical activity and coronary artery disease'

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24408890
'Fortunately, recent studies demonstrated a normalization of the cardiac biomarkers and the functional alterations within a short time frame. Therefore, these alterations may be perceived as physiological myocardial reactions to the strenuous exercise and the term 'cardiac fatigue' has been coined. This interpretation is supported by a recent analysis of 10.9 million marathon runners demonstrating that there was no significantly increased overall risk of cardiac arrest during long-distance running races.'

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24477570
'Influence of the world's most challenging mountain ultra-marathon on energy cost and running mechanics.'




Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 2/8/2014 (10:08)
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2/7/14 2:00 P

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My other half is a doctor and has been for 30+ years. He also did a stint at the FDA & CDC. As far as published works in JAMA(the magazine through the AMA) he has always been underwhelmed by the research. Many, many articles from drug therapies to medical diagnoses have eventually been disavowed or the research was factually incorrect. Whether Dr. Atkins had a study or not rubber stamped by the AMA is probably neither here nor there?

Having developed a gluten intolerance and having a child with a gluten/soy intolerance I can definitely say low carb diets are GREAT for SOME people! Myself included. Are they a one size fits all diet, no way. I'm not sure there is a one size fits all anything? Some people seem to thrive on grains, veggies and fruit and limited or no animal protein. Others do better on Paleo or grain free diets. Some people can have a mix of everything and seem to thrive.

Body chemistry is different for everyone so I think it's reasonable to assume that different people have different successes based on what they eat. The original Atkins said ANY protein, any fat and yes some folks probably ate their weight in bacon, which seems insane and probably not good for your long term health?

Jim Fixx, who advocated running in the 70's as a cure all for weight associated disease dropped dead of a heart attack in his mid-50's, while running? Maybe he would have been genetically predisposed to die at 35? We have friends where no male has made it past 40. Our friend, another doc, did EVERYTHING right but still had a massive heart attack at 42 . His wife was ready and well versed in the pre-heart attack symptoms so she had him in the ED when he arrested, he was re-animated quickly(he effectively "died") and has made it another 20 years, a huge milestone in his family....

Atkins has come a long way, they now include a lot of veggies even in their "strict induction" phase.You add back your carbs to maintain but generally walk away from refined grains/sugary carbs forever. With more people developing allergies to all our GMO food Atkins type diets will most likely make a comeback, these things seem cyclical?

"Hope lives when people remember."


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2/5/14 7:40 P

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Russell, Atkins talked about his heart problems publicly. He had heart disease in his family, too.

The issue of Atkins being overweight is crazy. It was repeated publicly time and again that his weight when he died was up because of the treatment in the hospital. It was water weight. That has been stressed, not just by his widow, but by objective reporting. The cardiac issues he had are fact - again, his widow repeated this when issuing a statement after his death.

He wasn't in perfect health but he talked publicly about it and didn't try to hide that. They did say that yes, he had heart issues but he died from a fall - all of this was reported publicly. I don't think there was any attempt at a cover up.

His widow should not have had to issue her statement about her deceased husband's health. But he was a public figure, he was someone whose diet did cause cholesterol to rise for some people and what that means is still a subject of research.

Pritikin (who was his nutritional nemesis) had specifically stated that an autopsy be done if he (Pritikin) died and the records be made public.

Atkins' wife said that when he had a procedure at 69, he had the heart of a typical 69 year old. That's good (he had 30% blockage of his arteries, was the figure I read) because everyone expected worse. That's bad because he was a faithful follower of his own diet and it gave him no discernible advantage in that aspect of his own health. He took heart medication. Everyone has to die of something.

'What's sad is that we can't just say he made it to 72 years old, supposedly eating a diet everyone said was dangerous. Isn't that good enough?'
No diet protects you from everything! That's why, with heart disease declining - for various reasons that don't really have to do with diet at all... statin use, improved surgical procedures, for example- cancer will be the next focus.

An elderly friend of mine had her heart disease controlled well into her 90s and died of cancer. Another had cancer and while that was being managed, died of a heart attack in the emergency room. Another was recovering from cancer surgery and died of pneumonia. Another died of cancer while she dreaded the thought of a stroke taking her life. You go with the best information you have and hope for the best.

Oh, and two elderly people (one a relative) lived and were strong and healthy, with Alzheimers. One had already had several bypass surgeries and heart disease was not going to kill her, although her mother had dropped dead of a heart attack at 40!

So, what would it mean if Atkins was superhealthy at 72? Pritikin was much younger when he died and yet his leukemia had been in remission for 27 years. When it came back, he killed himself. Stating that his autopsy report be public was one way of displaying what his own diet had accomplished with his own heart disease. What did that mean? Just that he felt confident about that aspect of his health. But he's dead. Everyone dies of something.


Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 2/5/2014 (19:42)
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2/5/14 6:54 P

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www.nytimes.com/2004/02/11/nyregion/just-w
hat-killed-the-diet-doctor-and-what-ke
eps-the-issue-alive.html?pagewanted=2&src=pm


Here is a story I found a link to, and some of it seems to be opinion, Dr. Mcdougall thinking Atkins was overweight, when others thought he was 195. for example. No one was weighing him in to know the truth 10 years later. Some of the items, like the fact that he had cardiac issues, seem to have merit, and are accepted as fact. There are records.

The problem comes about when low carbers try to make Atkins out to be of perfect health, as if the fact that a 72 year old man couldn't possibly have any heart problems if they follow Atkins, or low carb. We don't point out all the people who are having heart issues on the AHA diet, because 72 year olds tend to have heart issues.

If they had just said, yes, he had heart issues, because he is 72 years old, but he died from the fall, I don't think anyone would have cared. Personally, I saw him do interviews, and though he looked pretty fit, but that is all subjective.

I know that personally when I was diagnosed with CHF in 2001, that I gained dozens of pounds, and I lost 35 lbs of water weight in the 6 days I was in the hospital. I gained back most of the water weight after getting out, but at a slower rate, before starting to focus on diet more a year after finding out about the CHF, when I was diagnosed with diabetes. So yes, large quantities of water weight are possible, but 63 lbs? I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Atkins did have some heart problems, just like other 72 year olds on any diet, he probably did gain weight in the hospital, but was most likely heavier than his 195-200 that was quoted. Once again the idea that he had to be perfect as a symbol of the Atkins diet gets in the way. If he was 220, instead of 195, who cares? He was 25 lbs overweight, and gained water weight from swelling. A lot of old people gain weight, even those on Atkins, and for all we know, he let go, and was enjoying more carbohydrates in his old age. By trying to make up this story that everything was perfect in his life, it makes people stop and say " I can see gaining weight from edema, and swelling, especially with heart issues, but 63 lbs!! ".

People sense a cover-up, and even if it was to try to avoid people saying the diet caused his heart issues, which have never been proven, once people think you are lying, they doubt everything else you say.

The truth is that Atkins lived to 72 years old , and was supposedly active ( ? ), but had some heart problems, just like other 72 year olds. That should have just been reported, and no one would care nowadays. The controversy lies in the idea that there was an attempt to cover it up, so that Atkins could be used as an example of how his diet could prevent us from getting old, and getting diseases.

Would it be great if Atkins had been super-healthy at 72? As a heart patient, I would love to think that low carb could prevent further damage to my heart, but that just isn't reality. It has helped, but as we age, the body deteriorates no matter how good your diet is.

What's sad is that we can't just say he made it to 72 years old, supposedly eating a diet everyone said was dangerous. Isn't that good enough? Obviously not, both for opponents of his diet, and also his supporters. His supporters think he needed to be healthier than average to prove his diet superior, and his opponents think that if he had negative health effects that mirror other 72 year olds, it proves his diet doesn't work.

Edited by: RUSSELL_40 at: 2/5/2014 (19:15)
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2/5/14 4:41 P

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exotec,


First of all, you are incorrect in your statement “… the year before he Atkins died -ironically, the year he suffered a cardiac arrest…”
Atkins DID NOT DIE OF HEART DISEASE! He died as a result of head trauma from a fall walking on an icy street.

Actually, I did not say he died of heart disease. And the year before he died, he did suffer a cardiac arrest. I was referring to the year before he died. I have said that he died in a fall. He did suffer from heart disease.

The article in New York magazine that I reference a lot (a journalist did the work, saving a lot of people from having to dig) has made that very clear. So did I.

'The cardiac arrest myth is a popular one to bandy about, but it’s not true. At least research a bit to be sure your information is correct before you broadcast the erroneous parts.'

I didn't bandy about any myth. I did read the articles referenced in Wikipedia about Atkiins, and I did spend a lot of time looking for any work done by him that survives beyond diet books and bears scrutiny in the scientific community.

In fact, I think I may have said that his widow probably felt pressured to (reluctantly) speak about his heart disease because the medical examiner's report had already been leaked.

As to the AHA vs the AMA, what I said was (I copy and paste this):

'Atkins Nutritionals offered, the year before he Atkins died -ironically, the year he suffered a cardiac arrest, results of a study I'm sure they felt forced to produce, except I think they only paid for it. The American Heart Association issued this response:

'Media reports about a small study funded by the Robert C. Atkins Foundation may have created the erroneous impression that the American Heart Association has revised its dietary guidelines. This is not the case. This study was released as one of over 3,600 abstracts presented at the American Heart Association’s annual Scientific Sessions, a forum for the presentation of research pertaining to heart disease and stroke for scientists and physicians. These scientific abstracts do not represent official positions or statements of the American Heart Association.
Here are the American Heart Association’s concerns with the study:


* The study is very small, with only 120 total participants and just 60 on the high-fat, low carbohydrate diet.
* This is a short-term study, following participants for just 6 months. There is no evidence provided by this study that the weight loss produced could be maintained long term.
* There is no evidence provided by the study that the diet is effective long term in improving health.
* A high intake of saturated fats over time raises great concern about increased cardiovascular risk ? the study did not follow participants long enough to evaluate this.
* This study did not actually compare the Atkins diet with the current AHA dietary recommendations.
“The American Heart Association has dietary guidelines, rather than a rigid diet. These guidelines, revised in 2000, replaced the Step I and Step II diet, which emphasized fat restriction. The current guidelines, based on the best available evidence, emphasize a healthy dietary pattern rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, fish and poultry, as well as low-fat dairy products,” says Robert O. Bonow, M.D., the president of the American Heart Association. “It is important to note that there is no single ‘American Heart Association Diet.’ Rather there is a set of guidelines designed to be broad enough to accommodate many different food preferences, as well as to provide specific guidance for individuals with specific conditions.”

Read more at http://scienceblog.com/402/american-heart-association-questions-atkins-study-results/#d8PZRR0AZ6mPQ3lT.99'

Maybe you think I wrote that statement? The American Heart Association released that statement.

' The published article was, I have to presume, one which was, indeed, peer-reviewed in the practice of the time, from recognized “authorities” in the broad field of medicine. Atkins was, after all, in his own words, thoroughly on board with medical thought of the time.'

I did say that Atkins Nutritionals paid for the study. Atkins never did the study. There are no studies done by Atkins ever published that have to do with heart health or any kind of health. So maybe we're not even talking about the same thing. Atkins didn't produce any science.

'So your subsequent statement, “The procedure you speak of can't possibly be the Atkins diet…” also constitutes calling Atkins a liar. His words say something entirely different.'

Your statement that I am calling Atkins a liar is strange, because what I said was that he didn't produce any science, the AHA released a statement saying they were not on board with the conclusions of a study that was not even produced by Atkins, it was only paid for by Atkins Nutritionals. He didn't claim to have hidden studies that the world can never know about. There was no rigorous scientific research. He didn't lie about that, not that I know of.

BTW, I can tell you that I've conducted diet surveys in my neighborhood and - even that kind of weak research - I won't show to the world. I hold the key to permanent weight loss and you'll just have to trust me on that! BTW, 2% of my neighbors lost weight last month. Are you going to challenge me - I STILL won't show you the data. Take that.

The statements about science not being purely factual (some of it is pure hypotheses, but we're talking about producing something that can be tested and then is tested)... see the preceding paragraph. And by the way, I have some magic elixir that my neighbors like, too. Some of that two percent bought my food product and they did lose weight.

'And if every doctor who was brought up on the board for questionable practices lost their right to practice, I think we wouldn’t have too many doctors.'
Surely, you aren't trying to say that when Atkins was injecting ozone into a cancer patient and had his license suspended, it's kind of par for the course.... All doctors get sued, I'm willing to believe that (jeez, if you're a house inspector, just assume you're going to get sued), but this goes beyond the lawsuit stage. Of course, I'm not talking about the lawsuits Atkins had brought against him, just because he had some, he won some and he lost some.

A highly publicized lawsuit against Atkins was one in which the plaintiff lost.

'The judge wrote that Mr. Gorran's claims were without merit because the company's books and food products are not defective or dangerous within the meaning of products liability law and the Atkins diet merely consisted of advice and ideas.'...
The concepts may be controversial and the subject of criticism, but they are protected by the First Amendment," he said.'

'Before ruling, the judge said, he read passages of "Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution," which explains the diet Atkins conceived of in the 1970s and the belief that it is safe for everyone, regardless of the amount of high-fat food the dieter consumes.

He said Dr. Atkins acknowledged in his book that risk factors for heart disease can worsen for some "fat-sensitive" people who follow the diet but that medical reports suggest that fewer than one person in three falls into that category.

The judge went on to say that his own diet was pretty simple: I'll paraphrase - eat less, move more.

http://www.nysun.com/business/new-york-judge-finds-first-amendment-protects/45027/

If you want to find the history of lawsuits against Atkins, I think you have to look beyond the internet, but this was one case that received attention - mainly because the it raised the plaintiff's cholesterol but he chose to ignore that and believed instead in the diet. I don't know about First Amendment considerations - just plain 'Caveat Emptor' with a sidebar explaining that if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then it is a duck.

'[this is a blog report of an article from the AHA, and from 2002, no less. You've been critical of any blog posts in past forum posts. I'm surprised you'd use one now.]'

2002 because that is when the AHA released the statement, right?
And I didn't reproduce the blog entry - I copied just what the AHA released as regards the claims of the Atkins-paid study.

Atkins died in 2003. He had his cardiac arrest in 2002.

I read blogs. Blogs can be a good source of information. Maybe you're thinking of the time someone said that a Scandinavian government was championing the low-carb diet (I'm paraphrasing, but the headline on the blog was WOWOWOWOW Woo Hoo important stuff) and I actually looked at what was actually said (pretty much nothing) and thought it was BS - yeah, I probably did make some sort of comment to the effect that you have to look closely at this stuff and there are many blogs that don't encourage that.

'this study was conducted by questionnaire by the U of Athens/Greece, and was based upon a low-carb and high-protein diet, and its focus was heart disease, not overall health. As reported by the respondees. Atkins, and most LC "diets", is not "high protein." It's NORMAL protein... high fat - in most cases. At least it's a recent offering.]'
The link that you are using for this statement is to the long-term study that showed mortality rates increased ----- your link here is a mistake. It's the long-term study from Sweden.

From the text of that Swedish study:
'At least four cohort studies have examined the association of low carbohydrate-high protein diets and mortality from or incidence of cardiovascular diseases overall or ischaemic heart disease as the most common among categories of cardiovascular disease. Halton and colleagues,12 reporting from the Nurses’ Health Study in the United States, found that diets lower in carbohydrate and higher in protein and fat were not associated with increased incidence of ischaemic heart disease in women. In three other population based cohort studies, however, including one based on the same cohort as the study reported here,13 low carbohydrate-high protein diets were statistically significantly positively associated with cardiovascular mortality among young women,13 in the general population in Greece,14 or among elderly men in Sweden.15 The results of this investigation, which focuses on incidence of cardiovascular outcomes, are compatible with this last set of studies.'

So maybe you are looking at another study. That's the only pertinent mention of Greece within the text (free PDF) of this study.

'[this also is recent. It still focuses on CVD, however, not the greater concept of health. One of its measuring criteria is, again, serum cholesterol, which hasn't been shown to be causative - and only mildly correlative, if at all - with heart disease. A statement in the article refers to "saturated fats" and "spreadable" things, such as margarine, etc. It doesn't say what they included in those "saturated fats" - but past studies have failed to separate trans fats from animal fats... and when the trans were removed, any correlations at all vanished. And margarines, spreads, and seed oils (such as the rapeseed oil mentioned in this study) are all contributors to CVD.]'

I wonder at the use of the word 'causative.' If you read studies, that's not a word that is used - I can't remember seeing it in any study, offhand, and 'correlative' is what it is all about. Whether a high cholesterol result is correlative of anything is what is still being studied. If you remove transfats from saturated fats in a study with data from self-reported questionnaires,one of the first things you would have to do is measure the transfats in every single food item. That wasn't done then but it's not even done now. Transfats naturally occur in beef, lamb, and butterfat. Since those food items are sources of contention in other areas (red meat as a factor in colorectal cancer, for example), and in addition, don't consistently contain the same amounts of transfats, you'd have to bring the onus of heart disease back into the Atkins wheelhouse - and you don't want to do that, I'm guessing.

However, the jury is still out on choices of fats. I don't embrace lard as the better choice over my canola oil/butter homemade spread. When the professional organizations who are concerned about heart health (AHA, for example) revise their recommendations, it will be because the review process has shaken out the old and brought in the new. Then I'm fine with it.

'I’m also mildly amused by the fact that you quote a source of a media journal (New York Magazine) on the heels of dismissing data gathered in the course of medical treatments. Is NYM conducting peer-reviewed, scientifically controlled feeding studies in humans these days? I think NYM is a respectable source. But by your criteria, it cannot be.'

I'm LOL amused that you're mildly amused. I said that New York magazine produced that article the year after Atkins died. Their legal department had to bear the brunt of any discrepancies, a journalist did all the hard work (I did not KNOW that Atkins was popping 50 pills a day and I had no idea he was injecting cancer patients with ozone), which is lots easier than me having to do that kind of digging.

' on the heels of dismissing data gathered in the course of medical treatments.'
Huh? As far as I can tell, there's no data produced by Atkins. What am I missing (or dis-missing?)

http://www.lifetime-weightloss.com/
Try Lifetime Weightloss only $35 a month. I call even referring to this website spam but it's supposed to turn the diet world on its ear with the chart you posted, showing how LC is 'winning'? This is why I read blogs and actually click on what they are and the links behind them. Jeez, louise. You've got to be kidding me.

'nice compilation of reports from a wide variety of respectable "peer reviewed" journals. From these studies, it appears that LC has the edge on LF. That seems to bear out in terms of what LCers report, and what Atkins (and other LC lifestyles) has been saying.'

From what you've shown, someone on a website I'd call spam has constructed a chart you think has 'peer-reviewed journals' backing it (and it includes everything there is, trust me - I have a chart like that for selling annuities to the elderly, except it's dollars, not carbs...)

This is a new kind of scientific evaluation. Go to a website, look for a chart, post it elsewhere and think that delivers a verdict on something - anything. This is the world of blog-scientific-thought that I really do have a problem with.



Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 2/5/2014 (18:50)
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A few corrections:

From ALGEBRAGIRL…
First of all, you are incorrect in your statement “… the year before he Atkins died -ironically, the year he suffered a cardiac arrest…”
Atkins DID NOT DIE OF HEART DISEASE! He died as a result of head trauma from a fall walking on an icy street. The cardiac arrest myth is a popular one to bandy about, but it’s not true. At least research a bit to be sure your information is correct before you broadcast the erroneous parts.
Also, if you’ll read the original statement, the American Heart Association was never the one quoted in his trials of the diet. It was the AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION. Read the quote. I think they may have an even greater following among medical professionals than the AHA. The published article was, I have to presume, one which was, indeed, peer-reviewed in the practice of the time, from recognized “authorities” in the broad field of medicine. Atkins was, after all, in his own words, thoroughly on board with medical thought of the time. It was only when things changed for him and his peer guides backpedaled from his success that he began to question.
So your subsequent statement, “The procedure you speak of can't possibly be the Atkins diet…” also constitutes calling Atkins a liar. His words say something entirely different.

I disagree about science being purely factual. Much science is based upon questioning and searching for facts. Peer review can be detrimental to those healthy pursuits, because if a thing doesn’t begin with automatic affirmation of already-accepted “facts”, it’s rejected. It’s never even considered. It’s preaching to the choir. No new ideas will ever emerge from that sort of “reasoning”. It’s a lot easier (mentally unchallenging) to just trudge along in the ruts, but you’re never going to get anywhere you haven’t already been unless you step out of those ingrained paths to have a look around now and then.

And if every doctor who was brought up on the board for questionable practices lost their right to practice, I think we wouldn’t have too many doctors. Coming from inside the medical community, I can tell you that such things are not nearly so uncommon as the lay public seems to think. It might just be a patient complaint – and patients complain about a lot of things and for a lot of reasons.

Your corrected links:
scienceblog.com/402/american-heart-associa
tion-questions-atkins-study-results/#d
8PZRR0AZ6mPQ3lT.99

[this is a blog report of an article from the AHA, and from 2002, no less. You've been critical of any blog posts in past forum posts. I'm surprised you'd use one now.]

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22735105
[this study was conducted by questionnaire by the U of Athens/Greece, and was based upon a low-carb and high-protein diet, and its focus was heart disease, not overall health. As reported by the respondees. Atkins, and most LC "diets", is not "high protein." It's NORMAL protein... high fat - in most cases. At least it's a recent offering.]

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22686621
[this also is recent. It still focuses on CVD, however, not the greater concept of health. One of its measuring criteria is, again, serum cholesterol, which hasn't been shown to be causative - and only mildly correlative, if at all - with heart disease. A statement in the article refers to "saturated fats" and "spreadable" things, such as margarine, etc. It doesn't say what they included in those "saturated fats" - but past studies have failed to separate trans fats from animal fats... and when the trans were removed, any correlations at all vanished. And margarines, spreads, and seed oils (such as the rapeseed oil mentioned in this study) are all contributors to CVD.]

I’m also mildly amused by the fact that you quote a source of a media journal (New York Magazine) on the heels of dismissing data gathered in the course of medical treatments. Is NYM conducting peer-reviewed, scientifically controlled feeding studies in humans these days? I think NYM is a respectable source. But by your criteria, it cannot be.

Other “fixed” links in the thread…

www.lifetime-weightloss.com/storage/Low-Ca
rb%20vs%20Low-Fat%20Study%20Comparison
s.pdf

[nice compilation of reports from a wide variety of respectable "peer reviewed" journals. From these studies, it appears that LC has the edge on LF. That seems to bear out in terms of what LCers report, and what Atkins (and other LC lifestyles) has been saying. We need more formal research, but the vast array of data already building up should at least be enough to offer credence and consideration for those looking for a method which might be a good fit for their metabolic needs.]




Edited by: EXOTEC at: 2/5/2014 (16:38)
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Russell, you wrote:
' He didn't put his heart patients on it so they could lose weight, and look good in smaller pants. He did so because he believed there were benefits that would help his heart patients. Most of his books are about health improvements, and the fact that they also lost weight is secondary. His goal wasn't to make them look slimmer when they died, it was to improve their health.'

If you read the article about Atkins from New York magazine, he is quoted as having said he didn't want to be remembered as a diet doctor. His emphasis was weight loss - even I know that from having tried the Atkins Diet (several times, losing weight, going back to eating the foods I like, gaining weight back, going on Atkins again - wait, haven't we all been on diets, which is just what this calorie-reduced diet is?) and although he was a cardiologist, his practice treated all conditions. I'm sure he didn't think he would be remembered as a 'heart doctor.' If he had any hopes of that, he would have conducted his career differently.

What's interesting about the New York magazine article is that it showed Atkins treated everything, including MS, in his practice.He did treat people in a very experimental way (experimental, meaning he tried things,with all the risk involved. Which is why he did have his license suspended at one time). I can tell you that MS is not treated with a low-carb diet. It's not a useful therapy for a person with that progressive disease. I'm going to go out on a limb here not being a doctor and tell you that he had to use conventional therapy to treat a person with MS. Else the treatment options for MS would have been radically transformed and they were not.


In other words, his diet reduced calories and people lost weight. If he used it to do anything else without the addition of conventional drugs and conventional procedures, then he risked more than just having his license suspended.

Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 2/5/2014 (18:42)
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This is so typical of this message board. I never claimed that low carb is the only way to eat but just advocate it and get informed that you can't read science.

OK here is a pdf link that lists many studies for low carb diets. you may noticed that the publications are not atkins.com. They are scientific journals such as JAMAetc.

http://www.lifetime-weightloss.com/storage/Low-Carb%20vs%20Low-Fat%20Study%20Comparisons.pdf

For the record I have no stake in defending atkins as I don't follow it,but I have had success on high fat low carb diet principles.

As I always note in these posts if you have success following the government calories in calories out diet great and congratulations. Results may not be typical and others may not experience the same results.



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'But then, reducing diets overall aren't for everyone. Some just can't comply with any plan that prevents them from eating as they've always done.'

Any plan that prevents them from eating as they've always done: the definition of 'diet.'

' I think most people are more excited about the health improvements than the actual weight loss. although that is nice too.

If you don't think Atkins works, then not only are you saying he is a liar, but also the millions of people who have done the diet, and seen the health improvements, and are sharing their stories. That would be quite a conspiracy.'

I think this is the first I've heard of a conspiracy. And no one is denying that Atkins works - short-term - because it reduces calories. Which reduces weight. Can it be harmful longer-term? The jury is still out on that.


Atkins Nutritionals offered, the year before he Atkins died -ironically, the year he suffered a cardiac arrest, results of a study I'm sure they felt forced to produce, except I think they only paid for it. The American Heart Association issued this response:

'Media reports about a small study funded by the Robert C. Atkins Foundation may have created the erroneous impression that the American Heart Association has revised its dietary guidelines. This is not the case. This study was released as one of over 3,600 abstracts presented at the American Heart Association’s annual Scientific Sessions, a forum for the presentation of research pertaining to heart disease and stroke for scientists and physicians. These scientific abstracts do not represent official positions or statements of the American Heart Association.
Here are the American Heart Association’s concerns with the study:


* The study is very small, with only 120 total participants and just 60 on the high-fat, low carbohydrate diet.
* This is a short-term study, following participants for just 6 months. There is no evidence provided by this study that the weight loss produced could be maintained long term.
* There is no evidence provided by the study that the diet is effective long term in improving health.
* A high intake of saturated fats over time raises great concern about increased cardiovascular risk ? the study did not follow participants long enough to evaluate this.
* This study did not actually compare the Atkins diet with the current AHA dietary recommendations.
“The American Heart Association has dietary guidelines, rather than a rigid diet. These guidelines, revised in 2000, replaced the Step I and Step II diet, which emphasized fat restriction. The current guidelines, based on the best available evidence, emphasize a healthy dietary pattern rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, fish and poultry, as well as low-fat dairy products,” says Robert O. Bonow, M.D., the president of the American Heart Association. “It is important to note that there is no single ‘American Heart Association Diet.’ Rather there is a set of guidelines designed to be broad enough to accommodate many different food preferences, as well as to provide specific guidance for individuals with specific conditions.”

Read more at http://scienceblog.com/402/american-heart-association-questions-atkins-study-results/#d8PZRR0AZ6mPQ3lT.99'




Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 2/5/2014 (16:53)
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Brianlieberth,
'The fact is there is a wealth of scientific peer reviewed science that shows that the diets based on high fat low carb are not only safe but preferable for many people'

I don't know why you think there's not a 'wealth' of scientific peer reviewed science that shows the detrimental effects that are the concern. If you are talking about evaluating the safety the high-fat (particularly saturated fat) diet beyond the very short-term, I think you can spend some time in the published studies database (not to mention published articles in medical journals, which are not studies) and see the reasons why the medical organizations have not substantially changed their recommendations.


When it comes to low-carb, studies showing the long-term effects aren't there -yet. (I'm guessing it's because few people use it for anything except losing weight, gaining weight back by eating the foods they missed, going low-carb again, losing, gaining back the weight they lost by losing the foods they missed - you get the picture.

There aren't long-term studies in this country, but in Sweden, they do that sort of thing.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22735105

You can download the PDF - free - and see that one advantage to this long-term study was that all the medical records in Sweden are linked. This was a recent study (2012) but I think the strength comes from the data being electronically tracked across Sweden's medical databases.

'Our study has several strengths: the cohort was population based, the dietary questionnaire was validated, several potential confounding variables were ascertained in detail, and nationwide data linkage in Sweden allowed virtually complete follow-up and objective ascertainment of cardiovascular outcomes. The healthcare system in Sweden is publicly financed, and referral to hospital does not depend on insurance status or the financial background of the patient.'

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22686621
' Today, these data make up one of the largest databases in the world on diet intake in a population-based sample, both in terms of sample size and follow-up period. The study examines trends in food and nutrient intake, serum cholesterol and body mass index (BMI) from 1986 to 2010 in northern Sweden.'
You can download that pdf (free) too.

As to US government guidelines:
'At the same time the guidelines that were created by the government were not made by doctors but by politicians as a compromise to get all the stake holders involved to sign on to them.'
Doctors didn't create the guidelines? If you're talking about the food pyramid, have you looked at the people who were on the panel that came up with those guidelines? They are not doctors, but instead, on CNPP, the agency who created the guidelines for Myplate: 'The staff at CNPP is composed primarily of nutritionists, nutrition scientists, dietitians, economists, and policy experts.' Even the policy experts are not politicians. They are policy experts.

Maybe you are thinking of food lobbyists.

Harvard came up with a variation on Myplate, which they named the 'Healthy Eating Plate.' It differs not that much at all from Myplate. Wikipedia says of the Healthy Eating Plate:
'Harvard's plate features a higher ratio of vegetables to fruit, adds healthy oils to the recommendation, and balances healthy protein and whole grains as equal quarters of the plate, along with recommending water and suggesting sparing dairy consumption. HSPH Chair of the Department of Nutrition, Walter Willett criticized MyPlate, saying, "unfortunately, like the earlier U.S. Department of Agriculture pyramids, MyPlate mixes science with the influence of powerful agricultural interests, which is not the recipe for healthy eating.'

What's interesting about the improvement is that 3/4 of the plate is carbohydrates and 1/4 of the plate is protein. Half of the plate is vegetables and fruits, 1/4 is whole grains.



Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 2/5/2014 (14:42)
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2/5/14 12:55 P

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'What you have now is a bunch of people who know it works, but can't prove that it does....lol. '

Russell, they do prove that LC works for weight loss. It does this by reducing calories. This has been shown so many times that today, it is accepted in science. The claims about it doing anything else - especially anything detrimental to health - are all that is tested and disputed. The case that you lose weight on low-carb by consuming fewer calories has been shown over and over again.

Weight loss, as in most (I'd say 'all') diets, is short-term. That's also the problem with getting long-term effects of a diet.

'but I think the people who have succeeded on low carb, are not that concerned with convincing others to do the diet. If someone wants to know what low carb will do for them, they can try it for 2-4 weeks,'

If you read this message board at all, you know that people who low carb do want to convince others to do the diet or at least convince them that they don't really understand how you lose weight (it's calories. Thud.)

Remember the vegan who posted reasons for being a vegan and it became a low-carb discussion?

But the 2-4 week diet? I can do that. I've done that, oh, hundreds of times. I think it was fruitarian. I lost weight. No, it was the cabbage soup diet. I lost weight. No. It was the apple cider vinegar diet. I lost weight. No, it was the.... LOL!





Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 2/5/2014 (14:14)
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The fact is there is a wealth of scientific peer reviewed science that shows that the diets based on high fat low carb are not only safe but preferable for many people

At the same time the guidelines that were created by the government were not made by doctors but by politicians as a compromise to get all the stake holders involved to sign on to them.

My personal thought is that you do two simple things any diet you follow can be healthy, and those two things are reduce (preferably eliminate) added sugar and reduce (preferably eliminate) processed foods.

Since the government guidelines were first agreed upon we have dutifully reduced fat and obesity and type 2 diabetes has exploded because we drastically increased consumption of sugar and trans fats.

Today's quote:
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I think that the Atkins diet was about weight loss, and it was not about heart health. It did not purport to be a diet for people with heart disease. Dr. Atkins wanted to lose weight, read about a low-carb diet in a medical journal, lost weight using that diet, and decided to pick up that ball and run with it. But I repeat myself....

The fact that Atkins was a member of the American Heart Association means very little except that he could not claim ignorance of the requirements for medical research and evaluation in the field of heart disease.

'he was a member of the medical community who was having good results with a procedure which he first adopted based upon his professional association's recommendations, which proved to work for him personally, and also worked for his patients.'

The procedure you speak of can't possibly be the Atkins diet, not if it's 'based upon his professional association's recommendations' because the American Heart Association asks for something - anything, to start with, would be nice - that smacks of science to be able to evaluate the dangers of a procedure. Atkins Nutritionals offered, the year before he Atkins died -ironically, the year he suffered a cardiac arrest, results of a study I'm sure they felt forced to produce, except I think they only paid for it. The American Heart Association issued this response:

'Media reports about a small study funded by the Robert C. Atkins Foundation may have created the erroneous impression that the American Heart Association has revised its dietary guidelines. This is not the case. This study was released as one of over 3,600 abstracts presented at the American Heart Association’s annual Scientific Sessions, a forum for the presentation of research pertaining to heart disease and stroke for scientists and physicians. These scientific abstracts do not represent official positions or statements of the American Heart Association.
Here are the American Heart Association’s concerns with the study:


* The study is very small, with only 120 total participants and just 60 on the high-fat, low carbohydrate diet.
* This is a short-term study, following participants for just 6 months. There is no evidence provided by this study that the weight loss produced could be maintained long term.
* There is no evidence provided by the study that the diet is effective long term in improving health.
* A high intake of saturated fats over time raises great concern about increased cardiovascular risk ? the study did not follow participants long enough to evaluate this.
* This study did not actually compare the Atkins diet with the current AHA dietary recommendations.
“The American Heart Association has dietary guidelines, rather than a rigid diet. These guidelines, revised in 2000, replaced the Step I and Step II diet, which emphasized fat restriction. The current guidelines, based on the best available evidence, emphasize a healthy dietary pattern rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, fish and poultry, as well as low-fat dairy products,” says Robert O. Bonow, M.D., the president of the American Heart Association. “It is important to note that there is no single ‘American Heart Association Diet.’ Rather there is a set of guidelines designed to be broad enough to accommodate many different food preferences, as well as to provide specific guidance for individuals with specific conditions.”

Read more at http://scienceblog.com/402/american-heart-association-questions-atkins-study-results/#d8PZRR0AZ6mPQ3lT.99


Dr. Atkins may have been a diet doctor but he was not a scientist. By not attempting to persuade the medical community with studies to show those benefits, he did not have to engage in exchanges that would have shown the weaknesses - or dangers - of that diet. The strength, if you could call it that, of the diet was that there were no studies to show that the diet would cause you to die earlier of heart disease. With that omission, there are no studies that show you will live longer without heart disease. The evidence is not there today, either way.

His Atkins Nutritionals actually funded the study that he finally produced after years of resisting - his company actually funded the study! I don't know how many times a study is dissed because someone paid for it, or one of the researchers got money from a corporation that produces a product that gains some benefit from the results of the study. And this was one single study.


'I don't think that's a "wrong" thing, to try to improve the health of those placing their trust in you. '
No one said it was a 'wrong thing.' But in science, it's not about wrong - it's about reasoning, testing, and results. Scientists' careers are built on those. Atkins career was his medical practice, which was dwarfed by his businesses - the Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine and Atkins Nutritionals (with its food products).

'So I do feel that Atkins was doing his best to flesh out the good information he'd gotten through his standard medical education, plus following his professional association's recommendations, backed up by personal experience... I find nothing to vilify in any of those methods. '

I don't see that Atkins followed his professional association's recommendations. If you are referring to the AHA, they disavowed approval of his diet's restrictions. Perhaps what you mean is that Atkins realized what the AHA clearly says, '“It is important to note that there is no single ‘American Heart Association Diet.’ Rather there is a set of guidelines designed to be broad enough to accommodate many different food preferences, as well as to provide specific guidance for individuals with specific conditions.” However, you can see that from what the AHA says, you'd be leaving out the meat of the message if you didn't acknowledge that they didn't endorse the diet for heart health.

' The additional "reports" - which are epidemiologic, experiential, and observational "studies" (as so much research tends to be - even now) which back it up give it credence, at least for me.'

There is so much research that is being done now that pertains to diet and heart health and is extremely rigorous, peer-reviewed, criticized, refined and replicated. If you are swayed by epidemiological evidence and never looked at anything else, you'd be a vegetarian! Not to mention, you'd be giving more thought to cancer, now that contributions to treatment and prevention of heart disease bring cancer to the forefront. We live in great times: if you ignore the valuable contributions of the research to heart disease, you'll at least die relatively quickly and it will come, seemingly out of nowhere. If you are under the care of a doctor who treats your heart disease, you have a chance to live much longer than your ancestors who suffered the same health problem So, up next, cancer. Much trickier!

'Do they recognize the basic health aspects of it, or are they looking at it purely from a weight-loss perspective? There are an awful lot of people, even here, still asking forum questions about this or that supplement, or a quick-n-dirty "fat pill", or ways to "target" fat reduction in some particular spot with the latest thing in the media stream... so you also have to wonder whether those same people dismissing LC are using similar criteria to evaluate it.'


The health benefits of weight loss are pretty clear. The health benefits of LC are not so clear. But if you want supplements, Atkins was your man. I have already pointed out that he was taking 50 pills a day when he died. This was stated in the beginning of the article 'Diet Martyr' which is in the list of references for Atkins in his Wikipedia entry. The man was heavily into trying something new - and trying to cover all his bases, IMO - at one point, he lost his medical license using an experimental therapy on a patient who had cancer. It wasn't even his therapy, it was injecting ozone, which had been tried on an experiment basis in Germany.

There's little chance of being able to prove this, short of a photograph of the 50 pills that Atkins downed daily - but I'd bet money that there was a pill in that array that could be called a 'fat pill' by someone, and given to someone to help them get rid of fat, perhaps at the Atkins Complementary Medicine Center. Garcinia Cambogia?

Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 2/5/2014 (14:17)
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No, I don't think he ever published controlled studies - but then, he wasn't a researcher: he was a member of the medical community who was having good results with a procedure which he first adopted based upon his professional association's recommendations, which proved to work for him personally, and also worked for his patients. He wanted to bring this information to others of the same ilk who might benefit from it. It certainly seemed to be working with his current patient base. I don't think that's a "wrong" thing, to try to improve the health of those placing their trust in you.
My father, a long-time GP, frequently said that good medicine is 40% science and 60% art. Without that intuition, and the courage to act -responsibly- upon it, all you have is a dried-out old bone. No substance to it.
So I do feel that Atkins was doing his best to flesh out the good information he'd gotten through his standard medical education, plus following his professional association's recommendations, backed up by personal experience... I find nothing to vilify in any of those methods. The additional "reports" - which are epidemiologic, experiential, and observational "studies" (as so much research tends to be - even now) which back it up give it credence, at least for me.

I also don't believe that "his" diet, nor any LC diet, nor ANY specific diet, is likely to benefit everyone in the same way. Some may see no benefit to it at all.... but I also wonder about their criteria of "benefit". Do they recognize the basic health aspects of it, or are they looking at it purely from a weight-loss perspective? There are an awful lot of people, even here, still asking forum questions about this or that supplement, or a quick-n-dirty "fat pill", or ways to "target" fat reduction in some particular spot with the latest thing in the media stream... so you also have to wonder whether those same people dismissing LC are using similar criteria to evaluate it. You must admit - critical thinking skills seem to be at an all-time low in this country, and still declining, unfortunately.

So I agree. I can't find anything either. I don't think it's likely to be found, since I don't think it was his objective to do formal research.
I agree with RUSSELL - I would *LOVE* it if someone would obtain those records and do at least some sort of post facto ~ meta-analysis ~ but I doubt there would be any likelihood of such a thing actually happening. The obstacles would be infinite. I wonder whether there would be any relaxing of the privacy guidelines in such old data? Modern legal issues may not have applied in the days that information was gathered (issues, but not the same ones we have currently). And there may be some version of the legal "statute of limitations" which might apply... who knows. Even so, it would never be misconstrued to be a proper study. It would still be an observational note. These are still valid reports, but it's not like a controlled feeding study. Heck, even those are flawed - both the ones currently in progress AND the ones we're still basing a lot of nutritional (and health) information upon.

I just thought it was an interesting quote, since I've often wondered how it came about to begin with.


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We don't have souls. We ARE souls. We have bodies.
~C.S. Lewis


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As a practicing cardiologist though, would his cases be worth anything? Even if he improved the health of a million patients, and got them to drop all their excess weight, get off medications, and took meticulous notes, of how he treated each patient, it would not be a controlled study. I don't think anyone could use that as proof. So all he had was enough to prove to him that it worked, same as his patients. Maybe telling people about it in books was the best he could do, if his data was useless as proof. In his books he references a lot of studies, which sound reputable, like the Harvard Nurses study, but I doubt he could afford to actually do a study.

If you had all his notes, and names of his patients, with results, and diet followed, would that be enough? Probably not, so the idea that he never published anything isn't really that surprising. My cardiologist no doubt has opinions, backed by 30 years of data, and experience, but not only would she most likely not be able to publish my data ( privacy ), she probably would not have the time, since she is working.

I do have to agree though that it would be interesting to see his data, even if it wasn't enough to prove low carb has benefits for some people. Hopefully with all the people getting such good results more studies are done on low carb, in a way that will be accepted by everyone.

What you have now is a bunch of people who know it works, but can't prove that it does....lol. I guess one could try looking up all the studies he references in his books, and seeing if that is enough proof, but I think the people who have succeeded on low carb, are not that concerned with convincing others to do the diet. If someone wants to know what low carb will do for them, they can try it for 2-4 weeks, and see if they get results. No one discusses all the hundreds of other diets they try, they just do them and see if they work. If low carb doesn't work for you, then move on.





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But did he ever conduct controlled studies on his approach or even publish the data he was seeing from his environmental data collection. (either weight loss or heart health or overall health)????

What was he providing to the nutrition/health community so that nutrition recommendations could be made based on published research.

Like I said---I can't find anything.

You can't just say "look at what I discovered"; rather you have to be able to say, "I did this specific thing to this group of people and this is exactly how they responded".

Did he every publish anything to support "his" cause???

Becky

Edited by: DIETITIANBECKY at: 2/5/2014 (07:31)
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Yeah, I agree RUSSELL -- he promoted it, because it worked for him and his clientele... and I gather from his "tone" in most of his books that he had a pretty healthy ego! LOL Perhaps he modified it a bit, or refined it in some ways... but it doesn't appear to ever have been his own creation. As you noted, versions of LC have been around since Banting's day in the 1800s. Maybe earlier. There are truly many versions of LC around today. All of them appear to work equally well for improving health. Weight loss is simply one aspect of improved health. It's pretty difficult to obstinately refuse to acknowledge the great numbers of people who have had success with it. It's true, it's not for everyone. But then, reducing diets overall aren't for everyone. Some just can't comply with any plan that prevents them from eating as they've always done.

...the problem with people these days is
they've forgotten we're really just animals ...
(attributation forgotten)

We did not create the web of life; we are but a strand in it.
~attributed to Chief Seattle

We don't have souls. We ARE souls. We have bodies.
~C.S. Lewis


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RUSSELL_40's Photo RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
2/5/14 2:04 A

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There is a difference in who Atkins was discussing.

Personally he talks of doing the diet because it helped him lose weight, and it worked according to him, but he noticed health improvements, which he then applied to his patients. He didn't put his heart patients on it so they could lose weight, and look good in smaller pants. He did so because he believed there were benefits that would help his heart patients. Most of his books are about health improvements, and the fact that they also lost weight is secondary. His goal wasn't to make them look slimmer when they died, it was to improve their health.

Maybe he just made all of it up, and millions of people started a diet for either better health, or weight loss, because they thought he knew what he was talking about. If so, he was incredibly lucky, because millions of people today are having results identical to the ones he discusses in his books, and I think most people are more excited about the health improvements than the actual weight loss. although that is nice too.

If you don't think Atkins works, then not only are you saying he is a liar, but also the millions of people who have done the diet, and seen the health improvements, and are sharing their stories. That would be quite a conspiracy.

I lost weight eating the diabetic diet, and was getting sicker, not healthier, year after year. So weight loss isn't necessarily a reason to put heart patients on a diet. If all he wanted was weight loss, he could have put them on any diet, and if they stuck to it, they might get healthier. Instead he picked this one type of diet to give to his heart patients, and for them, the purpose was the heart benefits he thought they would get from the diet.

I do have to say that he kind of hijacked the diet. Everyone is running around acting like he started it, because it is called Atkins..lol. Low carb, in general has been around for over a century, and was used as far back as the 1860's. Atkins is just one version of low carb.

So unless Atkins has a twist that makes it a unique form of low carb, then he didn't actually start the diet. I can't really see much difference in the different versions of low carb today, so I tend to think of it as one diet, which was around way before Dr. Atkins was born. I am sure that someone can claim that Atkins is totally different, but I think that is just so the different authors can sell books, and products. the differences are minute, and just a personal preference.

Exotec - The Atkins diet started when he decided he liked it, and started calling it " Atkins ".






Edited by: RUSSELL_40 at: 2/5/2014 (02:25)
"We can't solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them "

- Albert Einstein

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”

- Henry Ford


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DIETITIANBECKY's Photo DIETITIANBECKY Posts: 26,695
2/4/14 6:45 P

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I have never been able to find published research (or data) from Atkins from the 1960-1970's.
So what could those preparing nutrition guidelines comment on?

Dr. Stephan Barrett has a good overview. Definitely check out the 2nd to last paragraph.

www.quackwatch.com/06ResearchProjects/lcd.
html


One can find a greater amount of research today on the topic. Basically, at 1 year, weight loss is the same as a more traditional wt loss program. Bottom line: Find a program that you enjoy and can stick to the eating plan for the rest of your life.

Becky
Your SP Registered Dietitian

EELPIE's Photo EELPIE Posts: 2,669
2/4/14 3:03 P

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Well, I don't do Atkins, but I credit my weight loss to a form of low carb.

The best exercise in the world is to bend down and help someone up.


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ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,790
2/4/14 3:02 P

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I think on the heels of Russell's statement that Atkins' diet started as a diet for heart health, and the discussion there, you probably know the answer!

But this article would be enjoyable reading. Let someone else do the research, as in a journalist for a magazine in New York City, where Atkins had died the year prior to the article's publication.
Enjoy!

Fishman, Steve (March 15, 2004). "The Diet Martyr". New York Magazine.

BTW, I actually wasted time in NCBI, looking for anything scientific produced by Robert C Atkins. Nada. But there is a nephrologist who's produced an abundance of material and studies, and spot checks show this guy does his renal studies on people in New Zealand and Australia. That's why a journalist who does this for a living is easier reading.

I hesitate to challenge a dead man in this case, but if there are no studies that have been published by Atkins, then his statement about the AMA essentially calling him a liar is kind of disingenuous, don't you think? If the methods for anything he learned can't be read and evaluated in a journal publicly, he's safe from having to respond. This doesn't fly in any kind of medical research.

The 'Vitanutrient Solution' book was about minerals, vitamins, etc. If the article in New York magazine is to be believed (the legal department for that magazine will tell you it has to be), Dr. Atkins took 50 supplement pills every day. So he knew whereof he spoke. Whether that was scientific reasearch, though... nah.

I agree with you: I didn't know this stuff about Atkins before and I'm glad I know it now.

Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 2/4/2014 (15:19)
EXOTEC's Photo EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
2/4/14 2:51 P

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This particular statement, which I've never heard or seen anywhere else, is how his dietary plan came about. I've often wondered -?- Was it just random research? trial-and-error? How did he come to be one of the first, and certainly best-known (and most vilified), proponents of the low-carb lifestyle?

In his own words...
"My story starts in 1963. After completing my study of internal medicine and cardiology at Cornell, Columbia, and Rochester Universities, I totally accepted mainstream medicine. Because I was overweight, I decided to embark on a diet that I had read in *The Journal of the American Medical Association*. This diet (which many of you now know as the Atkins diet)...

In 1973 the American Medical Association called for a special nutrition consensus panel to issue a press release and position paper critical of the low-carbohydrate diet. Though consensus panels customarily review the work in question and acknowledge all scientific studies pertinent to the subject being critiqued, this one did neither. It said, in essence, that what I had been observing and documenting for nine years could not have happened. In other words, the panel proclaimed that Dr. Atkins could not be telling the truth. And because it was made up of AMA appointees, its opinion was unchallenged in the world of mainstream medicine.

That event turned out to be my career-changing turning point." *

So now, when we see all the hype and hyperbole about the "dangers" of the Atkins (and most) low-carb nutrition, and how it's a fad diet, or found in some other way to be erroneous, we can point back to the fact that it was the direct adoption of a diet recommended by the AMA in their professional journal, which they subsequently disavowed. The reasons for that weren't stipulated, although I'd love to know them.
So much for "peer review"! It was established in its peerage by the premier medical authority of the time - and that entity probably still holds that status in most peoples' minds - laypeople, medical professionals, and dietitians.

I've never heard this before. I'm glad to know it now.
I thought others might be interested to know, too.
~vicki~


* Atkins, C. A., MD. (1998). Dr Atkins' Vita-Nutrient Solution. NY, NY: Fireside (Simon & Schuster), (p. 32).

...the problem with people these days is
they've forgotten we're really just animals ...
(attributation forgotten)

We did not create the web of life; we are but a strand in it.
~attributed to Chief Seattle

We don't have souls. We ARE souls. We have bodies.
~C.S. Lewis


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