In this post, I teach Kaharz that reading is fundamental!
First of all, let's ignore the fact that when I quoted you about sources, I was specifically quoting a section of your post claiming that elite runners are underfat, because what you've given me is actually gold.
This installment of "reading is fundamental" goes back to my first post in this thread:
ReasonablyDoubtful wrote:Observational studies, which can't account for the effects of health consciousness, once again "prove" that vegetarianism is healthier.
And, if you still don't understand why observational studies are bad, there is a lecture by Tom Naughton dealing largely with this issue
(though he also touches on some other aspects of bad science).
But wait... didn't you link another observational study in regards to vegetarianism?
Why yes, you did!
There are other studies that may indicate the effect is not due to the meatless diet, but due to the intake of healthier foods in general. Such as this one:
Had you perused the study, you might have found this table
, which actually shows an increased
risk (albeit not statistically significant) when the researchers control for age, sex, and smoking. They didn't, however, control for alcohol intake or exercise, which is substantially different in vegetarian populations
than in non-vegetarians. Keep in mind that those are not the only health-conscious choices that vegetarians make over non-vegetarians, those are just the ones studied in that study. Denise Minger discusses these differences in a lecture she did
. This doesn't count other factors in health-consciousness, such as using dietary supplements
, which, in spite of certain news stories and "scientists" insisting otherwise, probably do make a difference
Kaharz wrote:What I can't find is anything that indicates that a proper vegetarian diet is actually less healthy than a non-vegetarian diet.
Well, thank goodness I'm here, as I have quite a few that do! In fact, I even have , something you don't have.
By the way, it should come as no surprise to anyone that's aware of the link between nitrates and cancer that the omnivore group had a higher rate of cancer, given that processed meats (the primary source of nitrates for most people) are only allowed on typical omnivorous diets (though I should note that certain omnivorous diets disallow it).
You'll note, by the way, that the vegetarian group had a higher incidence of deaths due to "violence." But what does that mean? Well, there are a number of types of death that fit this group, including things like murder or suicide. That [url=http://www.jahonline.org/article/S1054-139X(01)00258-0/abstract]vegetarians suffer higher rates of suicidal depression
(as well as other mental disorders
) isn't really big news to anyone that's studied the effects of vegetarian diets. To understand why, however, I want to take a side journey from the mind to a place a little lower.
Not that low, you pervert.
I'm talking about the heart. You'll note that there are a hell
of a lot of cardiac deaths in the vegetarian group when compared with the control group. Why? Well, what's interesting is that the same lack of nutrients that are causing vegetarians issues with the mind are causing issues with the heart as well. You see, there is no non-animal source of B12, EPA, or DHA, and the vegetarian animal sources of these nutrients are minimal at best. This is why vegetarians have incredibly low holoTC, high MMA, and high homocysteine levels
, even among vitamin users
. By the way, holoTC is far more important of a measure than total serum B12
. Sadly, finding a causal link for high tHCY levels is difficult, if not impossible, to actually achieve. I suppose to do so, you'd have to inject people with homocysteine and see if that led to increased rates of heart attacks. That... seems a little
unethical, however. A common theme in studies about B12 and neurology is that B12 is an important nutrient for brain function, and low levels can cause problems (including depression)
I mentioned EPA and DHA, too. A lot of vegetarians like to insist about how ALA can be converted into EPA and DHA by the body and so flax oil makes up the dietary difference. The problem with this argument is that vegetarians have extremely low levels of each
. This is due to the fact that, while the body can
convert ALA to EPA and DHA, it doesn't do so very well
. And again, EPA deficiency may have an effect on depression
(along with other mental disorders
[PDF file] and cognitive function
, though it's interesting how they call that "marine ω-3," in spite of the fact that grass-fed ground beef, as an example, has quite a bit of the stuff
A few side notes: One of the studies I linked found vegetarians as having a higher incidence of eating disorders. I found an interesting hypothesis on that by an ex-vegan. From her experiences, she thinks that veganism appeals to annorexics
. I would wonder if maybe that doesn't extend to vegetarianism as well. In other words, the eating disorders aren't caused by the vegetarianism, but people with eating disorders are more likely to choose a vegetarian diet than those without.
side note comes in the serum cholesterol findings of the study I linked about vegetarian EPA and DHA levels. This is as a side-note that is also relevant on its own to this thread. Gary Taubes explains about the issues of TC and how it doesn't predict heart disease, but low HDL does... a lot
. But he only addressed heart disease vs. total cholesterol. Low total cholesterol is actually a predictor of all-cause mortality
(again, we're delving into things where a clinical trial is unviable). Not only that, but TG and TG/HDL are also significant predictors
. Now look at that study (the one I linked a couple of paragraphs back) again with that in mind and tell me this: Who really has the better heart numbers?
One final side note before I draw this to a close: Vegetarian diets have been shown to have a negative effect on the reproductive health of women
and there is a smattering of evidence
that the same holds true for men. I know that quite a few denizens of the internet would consider that a good
thing, but that's a little short-sighted, in my view, both from a stance of knowing that people's views about having children tends to change as they age and from considering the implications of evolution and being unable to reproduce (in other words, reproductive health as a predictor of overall health).
I'm going to go ahead and hold off on replying to the part about running (I'm assuming that you still
won't take me at my word), as this post has taken me several hours and I have things to do today. I will however, comment on this:
It's more than that. The US Government doesn't fund studies from people whose studies go against their official stance. One researcher was even blackballed after he published a book detailing the issues with the official stance not long after the official stance became official.
This does happen of course, but there are a lot of other governments, non profits and organizations that fund studies. And the government does not always defund studies that go against their stance. But I guess you are right and anything that goes against what you say is part of the conspiracy.
Uh-huh. Uh-huh. We could
dismiss it out of hand as a conspiracy theory. The problem with that is that conspiracy theories have a distinct lack of a paper trail (which is something that, for some reason, conspiracy theorists seem to think proves the conspiracy). On the other hand, remember what I mentioned about homocysteine levels and heart disease? This is something we should have known 30 years ago
. Why didn't we? Because Kilmer McCully's theory ran counter to the NIH's official policy. He could receive no government funding. Sure, government funding doesn't account for all of the funding scientists receive
, but keep in mind that a good chunk of the "industry" funding goes to "prove" that BPA is safe or cigarettes don't cause cancer or... well, see the study Tom Naughton referenced in that video I linked.
But it's not just Kilmer McCully that suffered from this. Once again, Gary Taubes wrote an article where he talks about what happened to the NAS's Food and Nutrition board after they went against USDA's official policy
. He goes into it more in-depth in Good Calories, Bad Calories
, which is not an internet source, but a book. I'll go ahead and quote the significant part:
Gary Taubes wrote:Though the conflict-of-interest accusations served to discredit the advice proffered in Toward Healthful Diets, the issue was not nearly as simple as the media made it out to be and often still do. Since the 1940s, nutritionists in academia had been encouraged to work closely with industry. In the 1960s, this collaborative relationship deteriorated, at least in public perception, into what Ralph Nader and other advocacy groups would consider an “unholy alliance.” It wasn’t always.
As Robert Olson explained at the time, he had received over the course of his career perhaps $10 million in grants from the USDA and NIH, and $250,000 from industry. He had also been on the American Heart Association Research Committee for two decades. But when he now disagreed with the AHA recommendations publicly, he was accused of being bought. “If people are going to say Olson’s corrupted by industry, they’d have far more reason to call me a tool of government,” he said. “I think university professors should be talking to people beyond the university. I believe, also, that money is contaminated by the user rather than the source. All scientists need funds.”
Scientists were believed to be free of conflicts if their only source of funding was a federal agency, but all nutritionists knew that if their research failed to support the government position on a particular subject, the funding would go instead to someone whose research did. “To be a dissenter was to be unfunded because the peer-review system rewards conformity and excludes criticism,” George Mann had written in The New England Journal of Medicine in 1977. The NIH expert panels that decide funding represent the orthodoxy and will tend to perceive research interpreted in a contrarian manner as unworthy of funding. David Kritchevsky, a member of the Food and Nutrition Board when it released Toward Healthful Diets, put it this way: “The U.S. government is as big a pusher as industry. If you say what the government says, then it’s okay. If you say something that isn’t what the government says, or that may be parallel to what industry says, that makes you suspect.”
Gary Taubes, in case you didn't know, wrote Bad Science: The Short Life and Weird Times of Cold Fusion
and Nobel Dreams: Power, Deceit and the Ultimate Experiment
. He's made a career out of informing the public about the politics of science, but since Good Calories, Bad Calories
(6 1/2 years ago), he's focused his work on nutrition. Funding, though, is always
in the politics of science. Oh, and Robert Olson was a major dissenter when the McGovern Committee was formed to tell the public about how terrible fat and cholesterol are.