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Dean Pomerleau

Discover Magazine Negative Blurb on CR

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Saul,

 

Sigh...

 

But Dr. Gregors' [sic] statements about farm raised salmon are rubbish.

 

Did you even watch the Dr. Greger (NOTE CORRECT SPELLING!!!) video on fish and diabetes? The reason I doubt it is this rather ludicrous statement you made:

 

Even more outrageous is his rants about possible pollution of Vietnamese fish by Agent Orange used during the Vietnam War -- certainly, since the chemical was dumped on land, Vietnamese vegetables, if anything, would be more affected.

 

I let your similar statement about his alleged reference to Vietnamese fish slide last time you made it, but since you brought it up again...

 

His mention of Agent Orange in Vietnam clearly has nothing to do with fish in Vietnam. It was to show that the dioxins in Agent Orange sprayed directly on local citizens and US soldiers, not eating Vietnamese fish, has been linked to elevated risk of diabetes,  Here is his exact quote:

 

It all started with Agent Orange. We sprayed 20 million gallons of the stuff on Vietnam, and some of it was contaminated with trace amounts of dioxins. Though the Red Cross there estimates a million Vietnamese were adversely affected, what about all the servicemen who were exposed spraying it across the countryside? Reports started showing up that veterans exposed to Agent Orange appeared to have higher diabetes rates than unexposed veterans, a link that’s now officially recognized.

 

For the last point he cites evidence (yes evidence, heard of it?) from this study [1] that direct exposure to Agent Orange is linked to elevated rates of diabetes in US servicemen.

 

It would behoove you to get your facts straight before making strong statements about someone else's allegedly "outrageous rant", especially since you appear particularly prone to misquotes and outright hallucinations when it comes to Dr. Greger videos. Just sayin...

 

Here's another good one:

 

Dr. Gregors' [sic] statements about farm raised salmon are rubbish.

 

True, it IS possible to find badly raised farm raised salmon -- and any reputable supermarket will not carry these (any more than carrying raw or canned vegetables that are infected with botulism).

 

OK - I'll bite. Do you actually have EVIDENCE that "reputable supermarkets" (whatever that means) only carry "well-raised" farm-raised salmon? And how do you, or your favorite supermarket fishmonger, know which of the many varieties of feed your farmed salmon were fed? And how do you know which ones do and do not contain these toxic compounds, when according to [3], "there was no clear low contaminant brand of salmon feed [out of the 5 varieties tested]" and since [2] found that farmed salmon purchased from supermarkets in 16 cities in the US and Europe "contain high concentrations of organochlorine compounds such as PCBs, dioxins, and chlorinated pesticides."

 

Unlike the cacao-cadmium controversy, where Consumer Reports could point to brands of cocoa powder with relatively low levels of cadmium, based on evidence like the above, they have no good advice for avoiding toxins in farm-raised salmon, other than "If you buy farmed salmon, eat it in moderation; grill, bake, or broil it so that the fat drips off while cooking; and remove any skin to help cut your exposure to contaminants."  Doesn't sound to me like a glowing endorsement, and there is no mention of "buy your farmed salmon at reputable supermarkets" as a viable strategy. Oh and by the way, "buying organic" isn't a good option either, since according to the same Consumer Report article, "Don’t pay more for 'organic' salmon. There are no standards for that label on fish in the U.S."

 

I'd say, on the basis of the video that you sent us, that Dr. Gregor [sic] has about the same level of objectivity as a religious zealot.

 

Funny, I've always considered a zealot (religious or otherwise) to be someone who made outrageous rants and accusations without evidence to back them up, instead of well-reasoned arguments backed by science. On this one, it seems to me Dr. Greger scores a point. Got any real arguments to refute his science?

 

--Dean

 

-----------------

[1] GL Henriksen, NS Ketchum, JE Micalek, JA Swaby. Serum dioxin and diabetes mellitus in veterans of operation ranch hand. Epidemiology. 1997 (3):252-258.

 

----------------

[2] Environ Sci Technol. 2005 Nov 15;39(22):8622-9.

Lipid composition and contaminants in farmed and wild salmon.

Hamilton MC(1), Hites RA, Schwager SJ, Foran JA, Knuth BA, Carpenter DO.

Author information:
(1)AXYS Analytical Services, Sidney, British Columbia, Canada, School of Public
and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405, USA.

Levels of omega-3 (n-3) and omega-6 (n-6) fatty acids and lipid-adjusted
concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins, toxaphene, and
dieldrin were determined in 459 farmed Atlantic salmon, 135 wild Pacific salmon,
and 144 supermarket farmed Atlantic salmon fillets purchased in 16 cities in
North America and Europe. These were the same fish previously used for
measurement of organohalogen contaminants. Farmed salmon had greater levels of
total lipid (average 16.6%) than wild salmon (average 6.4%). The n-3 to n-6 ratio
was about 10 in wild salmon and 3-4 in farmed salmon. The supermarket samples
were similar to the farmed salmon from the same region. Lipid-adjusted
contaminant levels were significantly higher in farmed Atlantic salmon than those
in wild Pacific salmon (F = 7.27, P = 0.0089 for toxaphene; F = 15.39, P = 0.0002
for dioxin; F > or = 21.31, P < 0.0001 for dieldrin and PCBs, with df = (1.64)
for all). Levels of total lipid were in the range of 30-40% in the fish oil/fish
meal that is fed to farmed salmon. Salmon, especially farmed salmon, are a good
source of healthy n-3 fatty acids, but they also contain high concentrations of
organochlorine compounds such as PCBs, dioxins, and chlorinated pesticides. The
presence of these contaminants may reduce the net health benefits derived from
the consumption of farmed salmon, despite the presence of the high level of n-3
fatty acids in these fish.

PMID: 16323755

 

------------------------

[3] Chemosphere. 2002 Feb;46(7):1053-74.

Preliminary examination of contaminant loadings in farmed salmon, wild salmon and commercial salmon feed.

Abstract

This pilot study examined five commercial salmon feeds, four farmed salmon (one Atlantic, three chinooks) and four wild salmon (one chinook, one chum, two sockeyes) from the Pacific Coast for PCBs (112 congeners), polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs - 41 congeners), 25 organochlorine pesticides (OPs), 20 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and methyl and inorganic mercury. The farmed salmon showed consistently higher levels of PCBs, PBDEs, OPs (except toxaphene) than the wild salmon. The mean concentrations in pg/g were 51,216 vs 5302 for total PCBs; 2668 vs 178 for total PBDEs; 41,796 vs 12,164 for total OPs (except toxaphene). The farmed salmon levels are likely a consequence of the elevated level of contamination found in the commercial salmon feed (mean concentrations in pg/g were 65,535 for total PCBs; 1889 for total BPDEs; 48,124 for total OPs except toxaphene). Except for a single high wild chinook value, PAHs were highest in the feed samples followed by the farmed fish and the three other wild fish. The Bio-Oregon-1996 feed of hatchery origin showed a level of PAHs ten times higher than any other feed. The genotoxic implications of such a high PAH level are considered for juvenile chinook salmon. Toxaphene and methyl mercury concentrations were not notably different between the wild and farmed salmon. There was no clear low contaminant brand of salmon feed. The human health implications of eating farmed salmon are considered from the perspective of the current WHO and Health Canada (2000) tolerable daily intake (TDI) values for PCBs. Based on a TDI of 1 pg TEQ/kg bw/day, this analysis indicated a safety concern for individuals who on a regular weekly basis consume farmedsalmon produced from contaminated feed.

PMID:   11999769
Edited by Dean Pomerleau

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Hi Dean!

 

Not being semi-retired like you, I don't have the time to dig up all the relevant material on farmed salmon -- but here's a summary:  True, farmed salmon is generally higher in omega 3's, and other fats.

 

Farmed salmon vary greatly, according to what they are fed.  When I buy farmed salmon, I buy from one of several supermarkets, that supply information on calories, nutritional information, contaminants, etc.  Same for wild salmon -- or any other fish.

 

There are areas in the US, where unacceptably contaminated fish (and/or vegetables) are sold.

 Whenever you buy food, you obviously should get such information.  Fortunately, that's easy to do, where I live -- and none of my local supermarkets (Wegman's and Tops) sell bad food.

 

I also buy fish directly from a major local supplier (to the local restaurants): Palmer's.

 

All of these places have a good reputation, including on the Internet -- the flagship Wegman's is my nearest supermarket.

 

(I'm not sure about the quality of the fresh fish -- farmed salmon, wild haddock, and wild cod) sold by Trader Joe's.)

 

BTW, off the NorthEast coast of North America, most of the farmed salmon comes from Norway.

 

I researched the topic of "farmed salmon" a few years ago -- at least on the Atlantic coast, most -- but not all -- of it is good.

There are unscrupulously run fish farms, particularly in the South, that are contaminated in the way Dr Greger (see, I spelled it as you like  :rolleyes:) indicates.  

 

  -- Saul

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[it] seems to me to be important to continue to stress the importance of nutrition when describing the diet. And it would be very helpful to have a short, memorable way to refer to the diet and to those who practice it.

 

How do you balance these issues when talking to others and especially the media?

 

--Dean

 

Basically, all interviews will provide the opportunity to say more than what's said in the acronym, so it isn't a problem when dealing with the media. BUT, I do think we need a better acronym. While I really don't like "CRON", "CR" isn't much better. The advantage with "CR" is that it's what's used by most scientists, which creates a connection to the research world in the name of the diet itself. Still, "CR" isn't a very exciting name.

 

- Brian

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Maybe CRAN? ("Calorie Restriction, Adequate Nutrition").

 

I feel that the "ON" part of CRON may be presumptuous: even though we know a lot more about human nutrition than we have at any time in the past, we don't know what constitutes OPTIMAL nutrition.  So perhaps CRAN might be more appropriate?  (And I don't think that "CRAN" sounds too much like anything else).

 

BTW, I don't think this is a very important detail.

 

<_<

 

  -- Saul

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So perhaps CRAN might be more appropriate?  (And I don't think that "CRAN" sounds too much like anything else).

 

CRAN doesn't sound like much, but CRANie sounds like "Granny", which isn't so good.

 

 

BTW, I don't think this is a very important detail.

 

I agree. Emphasizing nutrition one way or another is the important thing.

 

--Dean

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I also dislike CRON for it's nebulous nature.  Maybe Caloric Restricion Eating Essentials (CREE) if we do not hear protests from the First Nations ot CREH for Healthy istead?  Or CR+* with an explanation for the nutrition required?

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For a naming standpoint, I'd like to focus on rational evidence-based analyzed diet and optimized nutrition. READON

I think there's no requirement to include caloric reduction in the name -- it's included in the ON because energy intake must be optimized for the individual.

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Don't knock "cereal grains".  The following (epidemiological) study appears to have found grains to be the food having the greatest benefit for avoiding the *most frequently diagnosed* non-cutaneous cancer in North America (prostate cancer, of course):

 

Urol Oncol. 2006 May-Jun;24(3):184-94.
International comparisons of prostate cancer mortality rates with dietary practices and sunlight levels.
Abstract

Prostate cancer mortality rates vary widely across the world. The purpose of this study is to identify environmental factors associated with prostate cancer mortality risk. Prostate cancer mortality rates in 71 countries were compared to per capita food intake rates using age-adjusted cancer rates (year 2000) from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and food consumption data (1990-1992) provided by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. Simple regression models were applied to prostate cancer mortality rates and consumption rates for 38 foods (or food categories), and sunlight levels (latitude from the equator and ultraviolet indexes). The analysis found a correlation between increased prostate cancer mortality rates and the consumption of total animal calories, total animal fat calories, meat, animal fat, milk, sugar, alcoholic beverages, and stimulants. The consumption of cereal grains and rice, in particular, correlated strongly with decreasing prostate cancer mortality. The analysis found that increased sunlight levels and consumption of oilseeds, soybeans, and onions also correlate with decreased prostate cancer mortality risk. Stepwise multiple regression analysis was used to build a regression model with minimum colinearity between the variables. Cereals, total animal fat calories, sugar, and onions are the foods that resulted in a model with the best fit. Cereals, ultraviolet index, sugar, and onions were the variables found to provide the best fit in a model when ambient sunlight exposure was included as a factor.

 

PMID: 16678047

 

Rodney.

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Incidentally (my intuition is not reliable of course, and don't ask me for serious evidence for this, because I don't have any) given the absolutely huge variations in the mortality rates for prostate cancer in different countries, my intuition tells me that it just might turn out to be a nutrient deficiency disease, so the grains issue may be relevant.  Were it to happen that my intuition is right, it is possible the nutrient has been already identified but its significance not yet understood; or perhaps it is an unknown nutrient, a new vitamin - 'Vitamin P' perhaps - present maybe only in traces in a few specific foods? 

 

Whatever, were it to turn out that way, then it would follow that the incidence of prostate cancer in developed countries might be reduced to a rate similar to the current rate of Beriberi.  It wasn't *very* long ago that B12 deficiency was an incurable terminal disease of unknown origin.

 

If I come across evidence people here might take seriously, I will of course post it.  In the meantime imo, fwiw, don't give up totally on whole grains.  And if grains are important, most likely it would be in the bran.

 

Rodney.

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Regarding the name CRON, there was just a survey (not by me!) on the CRS Facebook group that asked people :

 

Some would like to update the name of our group to "Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition" (CRON) Society.

 

Should the group title be changed? Please vote!

 

The results were 46 to 4 in favor of changing the name to CRON. See the results and comments here:

 

https://m.facebook.com/questions.php?question_id=10154385846413438&qa_ref=qd

 

Brian, I wonder if you'd like to respond?

 

Dean

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Regarding the name CRON, there was just a survey (not by me!) on the CRS Facebook group that asked people :

 

Some would like to update the name of our group to "Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition" (CRON) Society.

 

Should the group title be changed? Please vote!

 

The results were 46 to 4 in favor of changing the name to CRON. See the results and comments here:

 

https://m.facebook.com/questions.php?question_id=10154385846413438&qa_ref=qd

 

<snip>

Dean

 

 

Dean,

 

I've taken your surveys, but this survey takes me to a Facebook page that requires me to create an account.

 

I have no interest in Facebook, so this appears to be an annoying hurdle to someone with no desire to enter the Facebook world.

 

-- 

greg

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Greg, yes, a Facebook survey would require you to join Facebook. I applaud your desire not to! I have to be part of FB because of work; otherwise I probably wouldn't have joined.

 

Dean, I just posted a link back to my thoughts here about CRON. Might say more later when I'm more settled. (Currently shuttling between various family members before settling in here in the US for a couple months. Should be more available as of Monday.)

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Greg, yes, a Facebook survey would require you to join Facebook. I applaud your desire not to! I have to be part of FB because of work; otherwise I probably wouldn't have joined.

 

<snip>

 

Brian,

 

Thanks for your reply. My post that you are responding to doesn't show up (yet), so it might puzzle others what you are responding to ;)

 

EDIT 27 Sept 2015: my original post finally showed up, making Brian's response clear, so all is well.

--

greg

Edited by xophist

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On this thread, I would suggest that the best guru (?) to mention as a symbol of the CR Society might be Luigi -- together to some links to his excellent papers on the tests that he's made on some of us.

 

(There's good evidence in his studies and papers of the health-benefits, and healthspan extension, of CR (maybe, much in the future, in the lifespan extension of human CR?)

 

  -- Saul

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Regarding:  "Rule No. 20: “It’s not food if it arrived through the window of your car.” "

 

Maybe.  But, while an entertaining thought, that is far from proven, imo. 

 

In an earler post on a different thread I suggested it might be a good idea to add to the available Forums a read-only Forum to which management-approved posts would be added for suggestions about important studies which, in our collective opinion, NEED to be done to further health science.

 

One such study I would certainly wish to have added to such a list would be one to determine - probably in mice first and in volunteer humans later - the relative benefits of restriction of calories and quality of foods. 

 

It is certainly possible that the benefit of restriction of calories is so great that food quality is of minor importance.   If so then it is information that needs to be known. 

 

Of course we all wish to consume what we each regard as quality foods as well as appreciably restricted quantity.  But I raise the point because of a paper posted to the email lists a couple of years ago which found only a rather minor increase in mortality hazard ratio associated with eating substantial quantities of meat.  

 

As we all know, the current conventional wisdom* being broadcast daily all over the place is that 'food quality' is of paramount importance while restriction of intake is near irrelevant, if only because no one has the fortitude to implement it.  (And yes, my BMI is 22 not the 20.0 I have been aiming at for years!)  But if restriction is enormously more important than food quality - and I believe it is - then it needs to be screamed from the rooftops, imo.

 

There is good reason to suppose that CR may be vastly more important than food quality.  If the animal experiments which suggest 40% CR results in a 40% extension of lifespan do translate to humans, then it follows that CR is multiple times more significant than preventing/curing all CVD and cancer combined.  Here are the data:

 

Actuaries have calculated that were all CVD and cancer prevented or cured human lifespan would increase by only about five years.  The reason for this small difference is that by the time people start getting cancer and CVDs those are not their only problems.  Not only are their arteries finally getting clogged after multiple decades of abuse, and their immune systems starting to ignore cancer cells as they arise, but all organ systems are beginning the process of shutting down (as a school phys ed teacher put it to me when I turned up asking if I could use their grip strength testing equipment).  The point is that by age 70 if someone somehow manages to avoid CVD or cancer then all their other organ systems are in the process of shutting down also, and are likely to, just a year or two down the road.

 

Now if CR raises lifespan by 40% in humans - and the male life expectancy on Canada is currently 80 (84 in females) - then a 40% increase would extend male life expectancy by 32 years to 112 - even with the present ugly food quality habits of the majority of the population.  But 32 years extra is 6.4 TIMES the mere five year life extension that would be afforded by curing all CVD and cancer.

 

So, how many years do we imagine we might gain from optimal food quality?  More than five years?  I doubt it. 

 

A study which established the relative importance of CR versus food quality would provide very important information, I think.  For a start people with half a brain, or more, would realize that paying atention to food quality while at the same time paying little or no attention to CR makes not a lot of sense. 

 

So, please, let's have a 'Study Suggestions' forum.

 

Rodney.

 

* "The unverified conventional wisdom is almost invariably mistaken."  (And especially so when it comes to melting glaciers.)

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Rodney wrote:

 

Now if CR raises lifespan by 40% in humans - and the male life expectancy on Canada is currently 80 (84 in females) - then a 40% increase would extend male life expectancy by 32 years to 112 - even with the present ugly food quality habits of the majority of the population.  But 32 years extra is 6.4 TIMES the mere five year life extension that would be afforded by curing all CVD and cancer.

 

So, how many years do we imagine we might gain from optimal food quality?  More than five years?  I doubt it. 

A study which established the relative importance of CR versus food quality would provide very important information, I think. 

 

I agree with your last point - more data about the relative importance of CR vs. diet quality would be extremely helpful.

 

But I'm afraid there are very few scientists these days who continue to contend that CR can add anywhere near 40% to human lifespan. And as Michael Rae pointed out in his super-thorough critique of the CR Primate studies, one of the few plausible explanations for the failure of CR to extend primate lifespan, and for the discrepancy between the Wisconsin and NIA results, was the obesity avoidance and better food quality in both the NIA CR and control monkeys relative to the Wisconsin monkeys.

 

So it seems that the most relevant evidence we have, and are likely to have for a long time, suggests that food quality and obesity avoidance may in fact be bigger factors than true CR for extending human (or at least primate) longevity.

 

The best reason for hope that the "CR magic" for lifespan extension observed in rodents will extend to humans, despite the disappointing primate results, is the fact that many of us long-term human CR practitioners exhibit health biomarker and gene expression changes that resemble CR rodents (see [1]), some of which were missing from the CR primates.

 

--Dean

 

-----------

[1] Aging Cell. 2013 Aug;12(4):645-51. doi: 10.1111/acel.12088. Epub 2013 Jun 5.

Calorie restriction in humans inhibits the PI3K/AKT pathway and induces a younger
transcription profile.

Mercken EM(1), Crosby SD, Lamming DW, JeBailey L, Krzysik-Walker S, Villareal DT,
Capri M, Franceschi C, Zhang Y, Becker K, Sabatini DM, de Cabo R, Fontana L.

Author information:
(1)Laboratory of Experimental Gerontology, National Institute on Aging, National
Institutes of Health, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.

Caloric restriction (CR) and down-regulation of the insulin/IGF pathway are the
most robust interventions known to increase longevity in lower organisms.
However, little is known about the molecular adaptations induced by CR in humans.
Here, we report that long-term CR in humans inhibits the IGF-1/insulin pathway in
skeletal muscle, a key metabolic tissue. We also demonstrate that CR induces
dramatic changes of the skeletal muscle transcriptional profile that resemble
those of younger individuals. Finally, in both rats and humans, CR evoked similar
responses in the transcriptional profiles of skeletal muscle. This common
signature consisted of three key pathways typically associated with longevity:
IGF-1/insulin signaling, mitochondrial biogenesis, and inflammation. Furthermore,
our data identify promising pathways for therapeutic targets to combat
age-related diseases and promote health in humans.

© 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and the Anatomical Society.

PMCID: PMC3714316
PMID: 23601134

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But I'm afraid there are very few scientists these days who continue to contend that CR can add anywhere near 40% to human lifespan.

 

Agreed. But for some of us, like me, with some bad genes, CR might end up increasing my own lifespan from 40 or so (let's say) to, well, who knows? Maybe at least 80 or 90. Some of the diet-related death avoidance I've so far been blessed with might be a result of dietary quality, but it's hard to say.

 

- Zeta

 

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Zeta (and Rodney),

 

Perhaps for most health conscious people a high quality diet is like a bird in the hand, while CR is more like a bird in the bush. The former may provide only modest benefit, but is a relatively sure thing, while the latter may offer the possibility of a bigger payoff, but it is less certain and requires more effort / discipline (some would say sacrifice) to bring about.

 

Obviously some us hope we can have the the best of both!

 

Dean

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