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Friday, 9 April 2010

5 A Day - Not So Good After All?

Details of the EPIC study of the relationship with Cancer and the consumption of fruit and vegetables, has at last given its findings, to the World. And what do you know; there is little to no evidence, that consumption of these vaunted dietry components, has any effect on the rates of Cancer of all types.

Developed in 1991 by the World Health Organisation and adopted in the UK, with the usual mindless vigour associated with Government dictats since the beginning of time, we were told to get our 'five a day', on pain of every possible disease in the Medical Dictionary, especially Cancers. As overall we have all adopted this, to some extent or other, it is alarming, to say the least, that overall rates of all Cancers have increased by 21% in men and 45% in women between 1971 and 2007 (Office of National Statistics). Now after some nine years study of 400,000 people (not half a million as reported by the BBC) the relative risk is reduced overall by 4% or 2.5%, depending on the interpretation. That was across the board, men and women, and relative risk is not a valuable guide. Absolute risk, is the true arbiter of whether or not you are likely to fall prey to a particular ailment. If one takes behavioural variables into account, the protection afforded, is only shown to have any significance in women, drinkers and smokers. In addition, it seems that intake of fruits showed a much weaker association, with protection, than did vegetables alone. There is some possibility, as well that tomatoes confer some benefits, associated with their Lycopene content, which is a powerful anti-oxidant.

So everything changes again, much like the association of eggs, with high levels of cholesterol some years ago, now rescinded to the advice to eat as many as you like. Continual intervention by Governemnt, with 'bad science' based on unproven hypotheses, that later prove to be false, pervades all of our lives. True science is continually ignored for the sake of convenience, or political dogma. After all, it sounds good to tell everyone they are killing themselves with unhealthy lifestyles and advising them to moderate this behaviour, rather than looking to the true components of illness and disease. That might upset the food lobby, which is almost as bad as 'Big Pharma'. Why? Because food and diet are as important to our everyday health as is any drug or medicine and thus we need to choose with knowledge, not dogma.

I and many others, especially scientists, believe that high intakes of fruit, are as bad as high intakes of carbohydrates, because fructose in isolation (without glucose) elicits litle or no insulin reaction. Therefore it is highly likely that most will go to adipose tissue for storage. So yes, simply put, too much fruit, especially the highly cultivated, high fructose varieties grown today, or concentrated fruit juice (smoothies), can make you fat!. Vegetables conversely, of the green leafy type, are good for you, provided they are consumed in moderate quantities, and can confer considerable benefits.

It's going to take some time for any advice to change, if at all.. Most doctors and scientists in the employ of Government or Business do not want to relinquish their prejudices without a battle, even in the face of incontravertible evidence, that they are wrong. A lot of people died, as a result of giving heart attack patients bedrest, not so many years ago, but it was the accepted view, based again, on a faulty and unproven hypothesis. The truly brave scientists, are assiduously ignored for much of the time, despite a wealth of evidence in many areas of diet, nutrition and healthcare that what we are doing is simply wrong, even dangerous. As Mencken said, "for every complicated problem there is a solution that is simple, direct, understandable and wrong", (my italics).

Government and it's many agencies, live in a la-la land of myth, legend and poorly thought out theory. But when they propound those views in slick, expensive campaigns they go a step too far. No discernable improvement in the lot of the Western citizen has been achieved by promotion of 'healthy eating', in fact the converse is true. Diabetes, Cancer and some Vascular disorders, including hypertension have been steadily rising over the years, that this rubbish advice has been propounded. None of the interventions, which cost many billions in resources, that we can ill afford, are based on any sound principle. Protocols to lower cholesterol, blood pressure and cancer are defeated by the very measures invoked to reduce them. Yes, lifestyle measures can make a difference to all our lives and they are cheap; they could save billions and many lives as well. But they have to be the right one's, not the rubbish propoganda of the Dept. of Health (sic) or the Food Standards Agency.

Read this report yourself at;  http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/djq072

2 comments:

  1. Wait till next week, five a day will be "good" for you again.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You could well be right Angus, but that will not make it right, defensible or true. In the face of evidence that is incontrovertible, nothing will be done and we will continue to spend billions on pointless, futile and stupid protocols.

    ReplyDelete