5 Life-Changing Lectures (Advanced Study Weekend Review) by Frederic Patenaude

This was such great “eye opening” information I received in an email from Frederic that I am reposting it here to share with all of you.

Also, there are some great deals on Frederic’s health products, not to be missed and prices may change at any time, so check them out below.
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I attended the “Advanced Study Weekend” organized by Dr. John McDougall. He organizes this event twice a year and I have attended many times in the past. In my opinion, this is the best event organized anywhere in the world about health. The information is cutting-edge, free of hype and non-commercial in nature.

Here are my notes from this year’s event. I’m not going to review every single lecture, but instead focus on the ones that stood out for me.

Dr. McDougall on the New Dietary Guidelines

Dr. McDougall spent some time reviewing the latest USD guidelines for nutrition. He said that there were some wins but overall they obscure their recommendation using complicated language.
The guidelines are “guided” by industry. However, they are still a step forward if you read them carefully.

Even though they now removed the limit on cholesterol, they also write that one should make efforts to limit cholesterol. Go figure…

The reason many studies show that eating cholesterol has no effect on blood cholesterol is because of the design of the studies. When someone already eats a diet with over 400 mg of cholesterol, absorption is blocked for more. That’s why eggs show no effect on cholesterol in a diet that is already rich in animal products.

However, eggs will raise cholesterol levels in vegetarians.

T. Colin Campbell, PhD

Colin Campbell is the co-author of the China Study but also a relentless researcher. He was sitting just in front of me during the weekend, and I was amazed at his vitality at age 82. His conference was one of the most enlightening ones from the weekend.

The Supremacy of Protein – 200 Years – Has Anything Changed?
Dr. Campbell went through the history of protein from its discovery in the 1840s. Here are some highlights:

Studies were done in the 1870s established protein requirements to 52 grams a day but 120g/day was recommended instead.

As early as 1908 the overconsumption of protein was associated with cancer
Chittenden in 1905 discovered that physical endurance and strength increased on a low-protein, plant-based diet.

It’s the animal protein in the diet that causes heart disease, not just the saturated fat or cholesterol itself.

In the China Study, there was a 200X variation in rates of different cancers between the counties. It related to blood cholesterol levels. In China, the range was as low as 90 up to 170.
They thought that cholesterol was low enough in China, so why the increase in cancer at higher levels?

Because blood cholesterol levels was a result of animal protein consumption. It wasn’t the cholesterol itself, but the protein. Because animal protein raised cholesterol level, they could make the connection.

In animal studies, more animal protein promotes cancer growth. But you can consume as much plant protein as you want, doesn’t matter, because it’s different protein. It’s a whole food — it’s the full package.

Epidemiological studies done on different low-fat vs. high fat diets today are a mirage. They consider things like fiber, fat, etc. But NO large-scale study has ever been done on the type of diet we recommend, like the Ornish diet. A whole foods plant-based diet works not for one disease but every disease.

All the studies done compare 30% fat to 60% fat. Even from 20% to 60% there’s not much difference. It’s like comparing smokers with two packs or three packs a day. There are no studies done on the food that we recommend: whole foods, 100% plant-based, no oil.

Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn: Treating the Cause to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease

Another superstar speaker. He’s also 82 years old. He gave his usual lecture on becoming “heart attack-proof” with a few new twists. Here are a few highlights:

How do we get heart disease? It starts with inflammation of the endothelial cells lining the walls of our arteries. Cholesterol gets stuck there and goes under the lining. It gets oxidized, and the body tries to get rid of it. Progressively, plaque forms, and its content oozes out. This activates a clotting factor… we get a clot, and BOOM, a heart attack.

You can get heart-attack-proof for life in just three weeks. You have to change your chemistry and make sure nothing in your blood gets sticky.

Nitric oxide, discovered in 1980-1998 (and for which a Nobel Prize was awarded), is key. It’s a strong vessel dilator and prevents arteries from becoming thick.

A single meal at McDonalds can injure your endothelial cells and prevent artery dilation for several hours.

Caffeine in coffee injures the endothelial cells (but not in tea), as do olive, soybean and palm oils.

To improve nitric oxide function, cardiac patients should eat greens SIX TIMES a day! About fist-sized (once cooked), with balsamic vinegar, cooked for 4-5 minutes. For optimal results, no smoothies. Eat and chew your greens.

Never before in Medicine have we had something as powerful as a toolbox as we have with plant-based diet

Why Lunch Matters: Promotion and Prescribing – Adriane Fugh-Berman, MD

This lecture was not about lunch! It was about the marketing techniques used by pharmaceutical companies to promote their products. It was super enlightening! It focused on the pharmaceutical reps marketing to doctors directly.

(The “lunch” part of it comes from the fact that often these reps pay lunch or other small gifts to doctors. Doctors don’t feel it’s a gift, but they feel obligated to reciprocate. They discovered that small gifts work better than big ones!).

It will be tough to summarize the lecture, but I’ll give you a few highlights:

Pharmaceutical reps make 150-300K a year and provide a 13X return on investments to the company. They only work on three doctors!

Physicians are smart and naive, and more more susceptible to financial scams and manipulation from marketing techniques. Doctors believe that they haven’t been bought off, even when they have.

One fourth of doctors in the US doesn’t see reps from pharmaceutical company. Find a doctor who doesn’t.

Marketing of drugs starts seven years before they are on the marketing. It’s illegal to promote a drug before it’s approved but instead, they market a disease with a “disease awareness campaign.”
Many diseases have changed names or benign conditions have been redefined by pharmaceutical companies in preparation for a new drug, or a rebranding of an old drug.

Examples:

Pfizer renamed “impotence” “erectile dysfunction” to remove the stigma associated with the condition and prepare for the release of their drug.

Heartburn used to be a simple condition, and the advice was “don’t eat so much, don’t drink and take TUMS.” It’s been rebranded as “GERD” with drugs you need to take every day for the rest of your life.
Drugs are often renamed. When the Prozac patent came close to expiration, the same drug was rebranded as Sarafem.

Menopause has been turned from a normal life event to a medical condition. We promote hormone therapy even when menopause is not a disease.

For men, “Low testosterone” is the latest of those “new conditions.”

More info at http://www.PharmedOut.org

Dr. Milton Mills: Are Humans Designed to Eat Meat?

This was a fascinating lectures. When we hear that humans are “natural carnivores,” or even “omnivores,” we wonder what part of it is true.

Dr. Mills went through a detailed analysis of exactly what the differences are between true carnivores and plant eaters and proved that humans can’t be even part-time carnivores.

Here are a few highlights:

Carnivores are animals optimized for predation. They expend little effort to catch their food. They seek weak, diseased and defective animals because they are easier to catch.

Herbivores seek lush, verdant and beautiful food. Humans are trying to be carnivores with a herbivore mentality (we seek healthy meat). This beauty paradigm creates species destruction.

Hunting doesn’t add up regarding energy deficit for humans. We expend more energy hunting for meat than we get in calories. True carnivores only need to eat every 7-10 days and can eat up to 20-30% of their body weight in one meal.

Humans are designed for foraging and walking very long distances at a low energy cost. We’re the only animal efficiently designed for walking.

We’re not designed to run fast. We can run fast enough to escape insects and bees. We’re not fast enough to outrun any animal.

Hunter-Gatherers who outrun their prey expend more energy hunting than they get from the meat. they obtain most of their calories from plant foods. We can’t even eat enough in one meal to replace the energy expanded from just ONE hunt. Carnivores get enough to eat for a week.

Richard Oppenlander: Food Choices and Sustainability

Normally the lectures focus on human health, but this time Dr. McDougall had two lectures on environmental issues as they relate to food. Richard Oppenlander’s lecture was very enlightening about this very important topic that’s so misunderstood and abused.

We are 7.4 billion people on the planet but over 70 billion farm animals. This is unsustainable. Global warming is just one component of global depletion.

We can’t eliminate fossil fuels now, but we can change the food we eat. All animal food production systems are unsustainable.

It’s close to 51% of all greenhouse gas emissions that come from animal agriculture.

Climate change could be irreversible by 2017.

We need to change the words we use. Words like CSA, farm to table, traceable, local, organic, grass-fed, cage-free, Paleo, “humane”, real food, sustainable seafood… are all terribly misleading.

The “real food” movement is flawed. A vegan bar is considered processed and not “real” food, but fish and meat is considered “real food.

The movement to eat “less meat” is also flawed. It shifts the focus to seafood, which causes huge problems.

Every country in the world lacking fresh water is struggling but giving water to livestock.

In California, 60-70% of all the water goes to livestock. We’re told to watch our water consumption in the shower which might save 2-3 gallons of water, when not eating meat saves 2000 gallons of water a day.

If you love fish don’t eat it. The most important cause of coral death is overfishing.

The problem is not overfishing. The problem is fishing. We catch fish to feed farm fish, so even farmed salmon is not sustainable.

None of the environmental organizations say anything about eating meat, yet they keep throwing the word “sustainable” without defining what it means.

Michael Greger, M.D.

Dr. Michael Greger gave one of the best lectures of the weekend, but I’m not going to summarize it because you can download many of the lectures on his website for free.

Frederic Patenaude

Frederic Patenaude has been an important influence in the raw food and natural health movement since he started writing and publishing in 1998, first by being the editor of Just Eat an Apple magazine. He is the author of over 20 books, including The Raw Secrets, the Sunfood Cuisine and Raw Food Controversies. Since 2013 he’s been the Editor-in-Chief of Renegade Health.

Frederic loves to relentlessly debunk nutritional myths. He advocates a low-fat, plant-based diet and has had over 10 years of experience with raw vegan diets. He lives in Montreal, Canada.
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