Ketogenic Diet Surging in Popularity

Low-Carb Mediterranean Diet, front cover

As of 0130 hrs August 2, these are the top five diet and/or weight-loss books at Amazon.com. (If you’re not in the U.S., your country may have its own separate URL.) In order of top sellers first:

  • The Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners (#5 on best-seller list)
  • Instant Loss Cookbook (#8)
  • The Ketogenic Diet (#40)
  • The Plant Paradoz Cookbook (#42)
  • The Easy 5-Ingredient Ketogenic Diet Cookbook (#50-something)

I was fully aware ketogenic diets are popular now, but I didn’t realize just how popular! Both of my books on this page feature a doctor-designed ketogenic diet based on the healthy traditional Mediterranean diet.

Sadly, none of my books are best-sellers. I may have to start begging for donations from my blog readers. Poor, poor, pitiful me.

Steve Parker, M.D.

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From 2012: Largest Healthcare Fraud Settlement in History Involves Diabetes Drug Avandia

Your friendly neighborhood drug supplier

Your friendly neighborhood drug supplier

“Global health care giant GlaxoSmithKline LLC (GSK) agreed to plead guilty and to pay $3 billion to resolve its criminal and civil liability arising from the company’s unlawful promotion of certain prescription drugs, its failure to report certain safety data, and its civil liability for alleged false price reporting practices, the Justice Department announced today. The resolution is the largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history and the largest payment ever by a drug company. GSK agreed to plead guilty to a three-count criminal information, including two counts of introducing misbranded drugs, Paxil and Wellbutrin, into interstate commerce and one count of failing to report safety data about the drug Avandia to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Under the terms of the plea agreement, GSK will pay a total of $1 billion, including a criminal fine of $956,814,400 and forfeiture in the amount of $43,185,600. The criminal plea agreement also includes certain non-monetary compliance commitments and certifications by GSK’s U.S. president and board of directors. GSK’s guilty plea and sentence is not final until accepted by the U.S. District Court. GSK will also pay $2 billion to resolve its civil liabilities with the federal government under the False Claims Act, as well as the states. The civil settlement resolves claims relating to Paxil, Wellbutrin and Avandia, as well as additional drugs, and also resolves pricing fraud allegations.”

Source: GlaxoSmithKline to Plead Guilty and Pay $3 Billion to Resolve Fraud Allegations and Failure to Report Safety Data | OPA | Department of Justice

Regarding Avandia:

“The United States alleges that, between 2001 and 2007, GSK failed to include certain safety data about Avandia, a diabetes drug, in reports to the FDA that are meant to allow the FDA to determine if a drug continues to be safe for its approved indications and to spot drug safety trends. The missing information included data regarding certain post-marketing studies, as well as data regarding two studies undertaken in response to European regulators’ concerns about the cardiovascular safety of Avandia. Since 2007, the FDA has added two black box warnings to the Avandia label to alert physicians about the potential increased risk of (1) congestive heart failure, and (2) myocardial infarction (heart attack). GSK has agreed to plead guilty to failing to report data to the FDA and has agreed to pay a criminal fine in the amount of $242,612,800 for its unlawful conduct concerning Avandia.”

And…

“In its civil settlement agreement, the United States alleges that GSK promoted Avandia to physicians and other health care providers with false and misleading representations about Avandia’s safety profile, causing false claims to be submitted to federal health care programs. Specifically, the United States alleges that GSK stated that Avandia had a positive cholesterol profile despite having no well-controlled studies to support that message. The United States also alleges that the company sponsored programs suggesting cardiovascular benefits from Avandia therapy despite warnings on the FDA-approved label regarding cardiovascular risks. GSK has agreed to pay $657 million relating to false claims arising from misrepresentations about Avandia. The federal share of this settlement is $508 million and the state share is $149 million.”

Does this help you understand why I favor diet modification over drug therapy for type 2 diabetes?

Steve Parker, M.D.

low-carb mediterranean diet

Front cover of book

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Mediterranean children stopped eating the Mediterranean diet, and it shows 

“A senior official at the World Health Organization pronounced the Mediterranean diet dead last week — a casualty of changing lifestyles in countries such as Greece, Spain and Italy.

New data from the organization shows that children in southern Europe have obesity rates higher than 40 percent. In a presentation Thursday to health officials at the European Congress on Obesity, João Breda, the program manager for nutrition, physical activity and obesity at the WHO Regional Office for Europe, blamed the incursion of sodas and snacks into the region’s traditionally low-sugar, produce-heavy diet.

“The Mediterranean diet for the children in these countries is gone,” Breda told the assembled officials. “There is no Mediterranean diet anymore. … The Mediterranean diet is gone, and we need to recover it.”

Source: Mediterranean children stopped eating the Mediterranean diet, and they now have the highest obesity rates in Europe – The Washington Post

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Indian LCHF Diet Has an Internet Following at dLife

Chennai Chettinaad Palace Indian restaurant in Phoenix, AZ

At my Paleo Diabetic blog, Santosh left a comment informing me that dLife has a forum dedicated to Indian LCHF (low-carb, high-fat) eating for diabetes and obesity!  (I hope that link works for you.) I don’t think Santosh would mind my reproducing the comment here:

Hi Steve,

I saw your reply on one of the Indian LCHF site (http://indianlchf.com/) and from their I could trace you here.

In that particular reply, you have mentioned that, “I am very interested in type 2 diabetes in folks of Indian ethnicity. I know that LCHF eating does wonders for Europeans and European-Americans in terms of weight and blood sugar management. I suspect that LCHF works equally well in Indians, and Tina and her husband’s experience supports that idea. But I’m looking for firmer evidence than anecdotal. I haven’t finished my scientific literature review yet. I spent 30 minutes on pubmed.gov last night and came up with nothing.” which caught my eye!

We have a dedicated forum for Indian Diabetics wherein we advocate and follow LCHF diet to maintain diabetes at bay and you can get testimonies from many folks there.

It would be nice, if you can join our forum dlife.in (http://www.forums.dlife.in/) and share your views as well.

Cheers,

Santosh

Just FYI, if you’re interested like I am.

Steve Parker, M.D.

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Do You Use a Pressure Cooker?

Vegetarian Fried Rice with bits of cabbage, carrot, celery, and (?) cilantro.

Definitely NOT low-carb: Vegetarian Fried Rice with bits of cabbage, carrot, celery, and (?) cilantro.

Judging from the bloggers I follow, pressure cookers started making a comeback within the last couple years. I remember my mother decades ago occasionally using one, for what, I don’t know. I’ve been thinking about a pressure cooker myself recently as I learn more about Indian cooking.

As you may know, many Indians are vegetarians. They eat lots of legumes, as do non-veg Indians, as an important source of protein. If you cook dried beans, it normally takes hours unless you get them from a can, pre-cooked. A pressure cooker reduces cooking time to 40 minutes.

Dr. Travis Saunders wrote about his pressure cooker, which was inspired by Dr. Stephan Guyenet. Travis wrote:

For those who are unfamiliar with pressure cookers, they’re a bit like slow cookers. The difference is that they seal in pressure (this is why the old fashioned ones sometimes exploded when left unattended), so they can cook food much faster than a regular stove or slow cooker. So things that would normally cook all day, can be cooked in under an hour.

Travis uses his to make yogurt and soup. It also cooks rice. 

I’m gonna get one someday.

Steve Parker, M.D.

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Can You Regain Muscle Mass If Over 60?

She'll lose muscle fibers if she gets too sedentary as she ages

She’ll lose muscle fibers if she gets too sedentary as she ages

“Our lab and others have shown repeatedly” that older muscles will grow and strengthen, says Marcas Bamman, a professor of integrative biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In his studies, men and women in their 60s and 70s who began supervised weight training developed muscles that were as large and strong as those of your average 40-year-old.”

Source: Can You Regain Muscle Mass After Age 60? – The New York Times

Dr. Bamman says older folks (over 60?) don’t add new muscle fibers like young’uns do. But an effective exercise program will cause hypertrophy (growth) of the existing muscle fibers. “Effectiveness” probably depend on exhausting muscle groups during weight training.

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Are Particular T2 Diabetes Drugs Better Than Others?

From MPT:

“The number of type 2 diabetes drugs that have a proven cardiovascular benefit jumped from one to three this year, highlighting the changing landscape for diabetes treatments.”

Source: Year in Review: Type 2 Diabetes | Medpage Today

The article notes that liraglutide (Victoza), a GLP-1 analogue, was associated with a 13% relative risk reduction in a composite of cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, and nonfatal stroke.

Semaglutide, an experimental GLP-1 analogue, also has evidence for cardiovascular death prevention.

Another diabetes drug, Jardiance or empagliflozin, also has evidence for cardiovascular death prevention. Jardiance is an SGLT2 inhibitor.

Read the full MPT article for more details. I find the cost of these drugs to be an interesting yet little discussed detail.

Let’s assume these drugs actually reduce cardiovascular disease risk in T2 diabetics. What if they increase death and disease rates from cancer and infection? You don’t hear much about that, do you?

We still don’t know much about the long-term adverse effects of most of our diabetes drugs. That’s one reason I tend to favor diet modification as a primary diabetes treatment.

Steve  Parker, M.D.

low-carb mediterranean diet

Front cover of book

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