Research Question


You wrote. “Have you watched the TED talk about the paleo diet and mitochondria, and the affect on the brain? If so, what are your thoughts?”
Yes we have and there’s a post on about minding the mitochondria
that links to the talk and the findings of their very small scale and short study.

How do you control for the placebo effect in such complex dietary regimes?

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  • Anonymous said…

    It's a very convincing talk. Prof George Jelinek is equally inspiring and convincing.

    He recommends a set of lifestyle measures including a diet based on the work of Prof Roy Swank. The problem is that his diet differs from that of Terry Wahls. He recommends cutting out red meat, saturated fats, dairy products. He does not recommend eliminating wheat.
    Extract- "… Must the evidence be absolutely conclusive though? If we are talking about a powerful drug with toxic side effects, we have a duty to be absolutely certain it works before offering it to our patients. But what about a therapy with positive side effects like reduced incidence of heart attack, high blood pressure, depression, and so on, especially if the disease is incurable, and the study results strongly suggest a massive benefit? Even if the therapy didn’t work for MS, surely doctors would be happy to see patients’ general health improving with better diet.

    It is ironic to think that the great strength of Swank’s study, that is its duration of 34 years, was also its great weakness. It is rare to find any clinical trials in the medical literature of such duration. The interferon trials in MS for example have typically been of around one to two years’ duration. When Swank started his study in 1949, the standard of proof in medicine was to test a new therapy out on patients and assess whether they got better or not. ….

    … But because of the duration of Swank’s study, by the time it was published in 1990, the standard of proof in medicine had changed dramatically. Randomised controlled trials had become the accepted level of evidence"

    Wednesday, December 14, 2011 5:37:00 AM

    MouseDoctor said…

    This is one of reasons why it is often not possible to work out if diets are good, bad or often indifferent.

    I am sure that there are many of you with your own version of diet, supplement but as in all cases you would like to see a weight of evidence.

    This is hard to get without a proper trial and one that lasted 34 years is not going to happen.

    Would you happy take a placebo for 34years when you think it is not doing you any good?

    Wednesday, December 14, 2011 10:36:00 AM

    DrMandM said…

    Why go for extreme diets rather than a "normal" healthy diet?

    Wednesday, December 14, 2011 1:32:00 PM

  • Inflammatory foods and MS I find interesting. Although this article does not mention MS.
    J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006 Aug 15;48(4):677-85. Epub 2006 Jul 24.
    The effects of diet on inflammation: emphasis on the metabolic syndrome.
    Giugliano D1, Ceriello A, Esposito K.

    Dietary patterns high in refined starches, sugar, and saturated and trans-fatty acids, poor in natural antioxidants and fiber from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and poor in omega-3 fatty acids may cause an activation of the innate immune system, most likely by an excessive production of proinflammatory cytokines associated with a reduced production of anti-inflammatory cytokines.
    Western dietary patterns warm up inflammation, while prudent dietary patterns cool it down.

  • Higher sodium intake is associated with increased clinical activity and MRI lesions. Each gram of estimated daily sodium intake above the average in a 52-patient sample was associated with an increase of 3.65 in MRI lesion counts, said Mauricio Farez, MD, PhD, of Fundación para la Lucha contra las Enfermedades Neurológicas de la Infancia in Buenos Aires.

By MouseDoctor



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