A recent exposé in the New York Times revealed massive and pervasive fraud and collusion between the sugar industry and certain medical authorities in the 1960’s designed to erroneously promote saturated fat as the culprit behind heart disease. Effectively diverting attention from the real source of the problem (the increasing consumption of dietary sugar), the food industry conspired with key authorities within the medical establishment to serve their own best interests at the expense of public health. Historic documents showed that they were intentionally concealing the fact that sugar, instead of fat, was knowingly to blame. These historic documents were discovered by a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco and were recently published in the journal, JAMA Internal Medicine this year. The researchers who evaluated the data concluded that, “Together with other recent analyses of sugar industry documents, our findings suggest the industry sponsored a research program in the 1960’s and 1970’s that successfully cast doubt about the hazards of sucrose while promoting fat as the dietary culprit in CHD [coronary heart disease].” In the NY Times piece, one of the study’s authors, Stanton Glantz, professor of medicine at The University of California San Francisco was quoted as saying, “They were able to derail the discussion about sugar for decades.” The fact is that government dietary policies throughout the industrialized world are still being influenced by this fraud. It is far from over.
By the way…am I the only one who thinks this should qualify as a prosecutable offense?
The fact that the criminal behavior of the sugar industry executives concealing the even then known dangers of their own products, which have resulted in the deaths of countless millions since, has now finally been exposed in no way implies that the global mainstream medical or dietetic establishment is any wiser or even inclined to alter their stale and disproven dietary recommendations. The fact that this is all coming out now leads many to complacently believe that such nefarious scandals and clandestine activities are somehow a thing of the past. A mere historic footnote, as it were.
The New York Times article went on to say that, “Even though the influence-peddling revealed in the documents dates back nearly 50 years, more recent reports show that the food industry has continued to influence nutrition science.” Indeed… and not only at the expense of public health, but also at the expense of certain conscientious medical and nutritional practitioners, as well. Those still wed to an antiquated nutritional paradigm or to multinational corporate profiteering are pulling out the stops these days to make an example of anyone daring to question the old, shaky, crooked (and still profitable) status quo.
In fact, any medical practitioner deviating from the traditional (low-fat, ‘carbophilic’ dietary recommendation-based) party line on this matter may still— to this very day– be subject to extreme harassment, ridicule, investigation, intimidation, discipline, loss of employment, and even loss of licensure. We all-too often forget that medicine basically ceased to be an altruistic profession it once was (then inspired by the honorable dictates of the Hippocratic oath and with the best interests of patients in mind) close to a century ago, and particularly after World War II. It has since burgeoned into a predominantly profit-based, full-fledged Industry, driven by the interests of mainly pharmaceutical cartels motivated by one primary equation:
Sickness (and fabricated sickness) = BIG profits.
The long-term reciprocal economic relationship between multinational industry interests of all kinds (including the food industry, of course) and the medical industry are well known and well documented. The pharmacologically based hegemony of mainstream medicine dominates and controls the nation’s definitions of so-called “healthcare” while handsomely profiting from disease management instead. After all, a patient cured (or prevented from getting disease in the first place) is a customer lost. Does it really matter WHO pays for our so-called healthcare today (government programs or insurance companies) in a corrupt and broken system where illness = profitability? Mind you, emergency medicine is a genuinely lifesaving and often-heroic branch of western medicine. But when it comes to chronic or even terminal conditions, much less psychiatric care, where is the institutional incentive to truly heal anything? And even among caring physicians with a genuine passion for helping their patients, having both a conscience and a clear awareness of the problem (a number of whom I consider friends and greatly admire), their caring hands are repeatedly tied by so-called established “standards of care” and the profit-based dictates of the institutions through which they may be employed. They are forever under threat of investigation or worse should they deviate from the party line. I even know those who ultimately elected to leave the mainstream medical profession in futility and disgust.
Even peer-reviewed research these days is becoming a hall of mirrors. If there is major pharmacologic profit to be made, then the questionability of published research results begins to correspondingly mushroom. The all-too common phenomenon of industry-sourced, ghost-written “scientific” articles supporting various profit-driven motives within peer-reviewed journals has been a well exposed scandal in recent years, and has not remotely gone away simply because such growing and obvious improprieties were exposed to the light of day.
WHAT WE NOW KNOW, BASED ON NON-INDUSTRY DRIVEN SCIENCE
The fact is that metabolic diseases, in general, have literally skyrocketed over the last century with the promotion of carbohydrate-based foods/diets and government dietary guidelines promoting low-fat diets. The first comprehensive analysis of the NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) data documented how macronutrient consumption patterns and the weight and body mass index in the US adult population have shifted since the 1960’s. Here’s what the analysis of NHANES data had to say in the resulting peer reviewed journal analysis: “Americans in general have been following the nutrition advice that the American Heart Association and the US Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services have been issuing for more than 40 years: Consumption of fats has dropped from 45% to 34% with a corresponding increase in carbohydrate consumption from 39% to 51% of total caloric intake. In addition, from 1971 to 2011, average weight and body mass index have increased dramatically, with the percentage of overweight or obese Americans increasing from 42% in 1971 to 66% in 2011.” And their conclusions based on all the available data? “Since 1971, the shift in macronutrient share from fat to carbohydrate is primarily due to an increase in absolute consumption of carbohydrate as opposed to a change in total fat consumption. General adherence to recommendations to reduce fat consumption has coincided with a substantial increase in obesity.”  I write about some of this in my upcoming new book, Primal Fat Burner.
Heart disease is but one metabolic disease on the long list of high carbohydrate-based dietary casualties. When it comes to type II diabetes, it is abundantly clear that this is a disease caused primarily by diet and evidence has repeatedly shown that diet is, in fact, the best and only true means of successfully managing and even reversing it. In fact, many of the most common medications used to treat diabetic conditions (including insulin and other medications used to enhance its activity) have demonstrated an overwhelming tendency to only deepen the problem over time and shorten lives. Erroneously treated as a “disease of blood sugar” (supposedly brought on by genetic factors), diabetes is instead clearly a disease of insulin resistance brought on by chronic excess carbohydrate (sugar/starch) consumption. Fructose, in particular, and the overwhelming prevalence of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) added to most processed foods has proven to be an especially lethal potentiator of all forms of metabolic disease (clearly including diabetes and obesity).
LOW CARB ON TRIAL (IN A KANGAROO COURT)
Evidence for the considerable safety and long-range benefit of low-carbohydrate dietary approaches is replete in a large number of published, objectively written peer reviewed research studies in medical journals over the last few decades; yet in Australia one medical doctor—Dr. Gary Fettke, is facing the wrath of those threatened by this much needed paradigm shift. Using the available valid evidence provided in medical journals designed to educate doctors in order to help his patients has resulted in both an indictment and now literally a “permanent silencing” by the Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Authority from ever so much as mentioning nutritional approaches to diabetes ever again to anyone, in any format. Never mind the fact that many of Dr. Fettke’s patients flourished as a result of his advice, which essentially promoted a low carbohydrate and higher fat approach to eating. By even so much as admonishing his patients to eat less sugar (in alignment, by the way, with current NIH standards) Dr. Fettke incurred the relentlessly destructive wrath of his establishment peers.
Mind you, these allegations were not a result of so much as a single complaint from any of his patients. The allegations emerged entirely from industry-based interests (and were mercilessly pursued by their well paid political minions), which currently dominate the whole of Australia’s mainstream health and medical system to an embarrassing— and one could even argue, criminal degree.
Gary Fettke, MD was recently at last called before Australia’s Senate and asked to testify on his own behalf (after 2 1/2 years of extreme harassment by colleagues and officials, and hostile investigation by medical authorities). Within a mere 3 1/2 hours of delivering his testimony, the Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Authority (AHPRA) offered their dismissive, ill-considered (read: pre-determined) and final ruling on the matter. As of November 1st of 2016, Dr. Fettke has been permanently forbidden from openly discussing the role of diet in the prevention or management of any disease for the remainder of his entire medical career, under any and all circumstances. No chance for appeal.
It begs the question of “who’s next?” and “where is all this going?”
Mind you, had Dr. Fettke been promoting the standard (read: failed) government dietary guidelines–all a by-product of industry-driven interests, not science– he would never have been given a second glance by the establishment for doing so. Ironically, in their prosecution of Fettke, the Australian Medical Board insisted that there is “nothing associated with medical training or education that makes a doctor an expert or authority in the field of nutrition.” I can’t exactly argue with that given the deplorable state of nutrition education in medical schools. But the official statement in this regard seems only to apply to those medical providers exercising deviation from the antiquated “low fat” party line. Nonetheless, the evidence for the advice Dr. Fettke was offering his patients WAS, in fact, based upon solid peer-reviewed evidence found in medical journals, not to mention widespread clinical evidence.
The following represents a minute, cursory handful of research studies (a mere sampling of what is actually out there) for purposes of illustrating the medically researched evidence in support of the low carbohydrate (and higher fat) dietary approaches to addressing diabetes, as promoted by Dr. Gary Fettke (and as denied by the DAA and Australian, UK and many US medical authorities):
Allick G, Bisschop PH, Ackermans MT, Endert E, Meijer AJ, Kuipers F, Sauerwein HP, Romijn JA. “A low-carbohydrate/high-fat diet improves glucoregulation in type 2 diabetes mellitus by reducing postabsorptive glycogenolysis.” J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2004, 89(12):6193-6197.
Boden G, Sargrad K, Homko C, Mozzoli M, Stein TP. “Effect of a low carbohydrate diet on appetite, blood glucose levels, and insulin resistance in obese patients with type 2 diabetes.” Ann Intern Med 2005, 142(6):403-411.
Dashti HM, Mathew TC, Khadada M, Al-Mousawi M, Talib H, Asfar SK, Behbahani AI, Al-Zaid NS. “Beneficial effects of ketogenic diet in obese diabetic subjects.” Mol Cell Biochem 2007.
Daly ME, Paisey R, Paisey R, Millward BA, Eccles C, Williams K, Hammersley S, MacLeod KM, Gale TJ. “Short-term effects of severe dietary carbohydrate restriction advice in Type 2 diabetes–a randomized controlled trial.” Diabet Med 2006, 23(1):15-20.
Gannon MC, Nutgall FQ. “Control of blood glucose in type 2 diabetes without weight loss by modification of diet composition. Nutr Metab (Lond) 2006, 3:16.
Vernon M, Mavropoulos J, Transue M, Yancy W, Jr, Westman E. “Clinical Experience of a Carbohydrate-Restricted Diet: Effect on Diabetes Mellitus.” Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders 2003, 1:233-237.
Yancy WS, Jr., Vernon MC, Westman EC. “A Pilot trial of a Low-Carbohydrate, Ketogenic Diet in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes.” Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders 2003, 1(3):239-243.
Reaven GM. “Effect of dietary carbohydrate on the metabolism of patients with non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus.” Nutr Rev 1986, 44(2):65-73.
Garg A, Bantle JP, Henry RR, Coulston AM, Griver KA, Raatz SK, Brinkley L, Chen YD, Grundy SM, Huet BA et al. “Effects of varying carbohydrate content of diet in patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.” JAMA 1994, 271(18):1421-1428.
Westman EC, Yancy Jr. WS, Haub MD, Volek JS. “Insulin Resistance from a Low-Carbohydrate, High Fat Diet Perspective.” Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders 2005, 3:3-7.
Nielsen JV, Jonsson E, Nilsson AK. “Lasting improvement of hyperglycaemia and bodyweight: low-carbohydrate diet in type 2 diabetes–a brief report.” Ups J Med Sci 2005, 110(1):69-73.
Feinman RD, Fine EJ. “Thermodynamics and Metabolic Advantage of Weight Loss Diets.” Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders 2003, 1:209-219.
Volek JS, Feinman RD. “Carbohydrate restriction improves the features of Metabolic Syndrome. Metabolic Syndrome may be defined by the response to carbohydrate restriction.” Nutr Metab (Lond) 2005, 2:31.
Yancy WS, Jr., Foy M, Chalecki AM, Vernon MC, Westman EC. “A low carbohydrate, ketogenic diet to treat type 2 diabetes.” Nutr Metab (Lond) 2005, 2:34.
Westman EC, Feinman RD, Mavropoulos JC, Vernon MC, Volek JS, Wortman JA, Yancy WS, Phinney SD. “Low-carbohydrate nutrition and metabolism.” Am J Clin Nutr 2007, 86(2):276-284.
Foster GD, Wyatt HR, Hill JO, McGuckin BG, Brill C, Mohammed BS, Szapary PO, Rader DJ, Edman JS, Klein S. “A randomized trial of a low-carbohydrate diet for obesity.” N Engl J Med 2003, 348(21):2082-2090.
Samaha FF, Iqbal N, Seshadri P, Chicano KL, Daily DA, McGrory J, Williams T, Williams M, Gracely EJ, Stern L. “A low-carbohydrate as compared with a lowfat diet in severe obesity.” N Engl J Med 2003, 348(21):2074-2081.
Volek JS, Forsythe CE. “The case for not restricting saturated fat on a low carbohydrate diet.” Nutr Metab (Lond) 2005, 2:21.
Forsythe CE, Phinney SD, Fernandez ML, Quann EE, Wood RJ, Bibus DM, Kraemer WJ, Feinman RD, Volek JS. “Comparison of low fat and low carbohydrate diets on circulating Fatty Acid composition and markers of inflammation.” Lipids 2008, 43(1):65-77.
Volek JS, Sharman MJ, Gomez AL, Judelson DA, Rubin MR, Watson G, Sokmen B, Silvestre R, French DN, Kraemer WJ. “Comparison of energy-restricted very low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets on weight loss and body composition in overweight men and women.” Nutr Metab (Lond) 2004, 1(1):13.
Le KA, Tappy L. “Metabolic effects of fructose.” Curr Opin Nutr Metab Care 2006, 9:469-475.
Rutledge AC, Adeli K. “Fructose and the metabolic syndrome: pathophysiology and molecular mechanisms.” Nutr Rev 2007, 65(6):S13-S23.
WHO SHOULD REALLY BE ON TRIAL HERE?
Australia’s DAA (Dietitians Association of Australia)—long known to have a questionable relationship with the processed food industry (corporate representatives of which actually provide portions of DAA “education”), have also been persecuting and ousting low-carb proponents within their ranks in recent years. Apparently dietitians seem additionally to be ‘unqualified’ to provide nutritional advice to the public based on updated clinical and peer reviewed evidence and stand to face similar consequences for following more up-to-date, clinically proven and non-industry driven science. Conventionally trained nutritionists and dietitians in the US are likewise subject to pressures from the same profit driven market forces and receive much of their so-called “education” from these interests.
In December of 2013, the Public Library of Science Medicine published a research article titled “Financial Conflicts of Interest and Reporting Bias Regarding the Association between Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Weight Gain: A Systematic Review of Systematic Reviews.” The findings included (among other things) that, “The researchers identified 18 conclusions from 17 systematic reviews that had investigated the association between SSB [sugar-sweetened beverages] consumption and weight gain or obesity. In six of these reviews, a financial conflict of interest with food industry was disclosed. Among the reviews that reported having no conflict of interest, 83.3% of the conclusions were that SSB consumption could be a potential risk factor for weight gain. By contrast, the same percentage of reviews in which a potential financial conflict of interest was disclosed concluded that the scientific evidence was insufficient to support a positive association between SSP consumption and weight gain, or reported contradictory results and did not state any definitive conclusion about the association between SSP consumption and weight gain.” The big bottom line? “[…] systematic reviews with financial conflicts of interest were five times more likely to present a conclusion of no positive association between SSB consumption and obesity than those without them.” In other words, hidden interests, profit and not wellness has reigned supreme in the realm of (quasi) science and resulting official nutritional policy.
Dr. Marcia Angell, the former editor of The New England Journal of Medicine had the following to say:
Many supposedly independent medical “experts” and even some state officials publicly supporting certain mainstream treatment approaches are actually very much on Big Pharma’s payroll. As reported by The American Scholar back in 2011, “Today, medical-journal editors estimate that 95 percent of the academic-medicine specialists who assess patented treatments have financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies, and even the prestigious NEJM [New England Journal of Medicine] gave up its search for objective reviewers in June 1992, announcing that it could find no reviewers that did not accept industry funds.”
Overwhelming peer reviewed and clinical evidence points to the fact that diabetes is at its core a disease of insulin resistance driven by diets that are dominated by carbohydrate-based foods—particularly refined carbohydrates. Anyone saying different either has no idea what they’re talking about or they are taking money under the table from some corporate interest. Period. Or both. And anyone who insists upon recommending a carbohydrate-based diet to anyone having a diabetic diagnosis should be automatically culpable to charges of medical fraud.
Dr. Gary Fettke is far from alone in his unjust persecution, however. Dr. Timothy Noakes in Cape Town, South Africa has also been standing trial this year for similar allegations that involved offering scientifically validated dietary advice, in which he was amply versed, to those that needed it. In this case the uproar was related to advice given by Noakes to a nursing mother over Twitter, where he suggested she eventually “wean [her] baby onto a low carb, high fat diet”. South Africa’s regulatory body for health professionals has been holding a series of tribunal-type hearings against Noakes and threatening to revoke his medical license over his support of a more high-fat and low carbohydrate dietary approach. Much as with the case of Dr. Gary Fettke, the allegations are being leveled by mainstream authorities’ objection to non-mainstream dietary recommendations— but not as any result of so much as even one single patient complaint or any claimed harm.
His trial can be virtually likened to the trial of Galileo by the Catholic Church during the Inquisition in 1633 (for promoting the evidence for a heliocentric vs. earth-centric solar system). As we know, things didn’t work out so well back then for Galileo… But hey, close to 500 years later the Catholic Church has finally come around to officially conceding to the inconvenient notion that the earth does, indeed revolve around the sun after all (and not vice versa), and they have at last issued a conciliatory (albeit tardy) posthumous apology to poor Galileo.
Similarly antiquated notions of a “carbo-centric” dietary model drive these modern day witch-hunts. Only this time, instead of the Catholic Church preserving its own vested interests at the expense of honest science, humanity faces a cataclysmic deterioration in health and burgeoning metabolic diseases due to the vested interests of Monsanto and other facets of Big Agribusiness (Big Oil’s #1 customers), the Food Industry (which still includes the nefarious sugar and HFCS industry), various chemical industries (supplying herbicides and pesticides), phosphate strip-mining industries (through which synthetic fertilizers…and unconscionably profitable, “fluoride” (hydrofluorosilicate) are also produced as a toxic waste product of the industry and forcibly sold to municipalities the world over for “water treatment” purposes), Big Pharma, the profit driven mainstream Medical Industry as a whole, and more. Every one of these multinational corporate interests (and others) would have every profit-based reason to want to see every man woman and child on planet Earth dependent on a carbohydrate-based diet and metabolism. Sugary and starchy foods are, after all, dirt cheap to produce, highly profitable and basically keep the population perpetually hungry. What’s not for the food industry, et al to love? And the health-related problems generated by a world-wide, modern day unnatural dependence on carbohydrates as a primary source of food/fuel (a unique dietary deviation in human evolutionary history) are only going from bad to worse: Over 95% of the world population currently suffers health-related issues, with more than a third struggling with more than five ailments, according to the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) 2013, published in The Lancet. One can reasonably surmise things have not been improving since 2013. Currently, the #1 source of bankruptcy in the US is due to a bad health diagnosis.
The truth only stands a chance against these bullying, misanthropic behemoths if we are willing to recognize the truth for ourselves, and then actually stand up for it. Don’t expect meaningful changes in official policy, much less any effort to put any ‘official’ stop to the ongoing misinformation and disinformation coming from the “top-down”. Our government officials mostly no longer work for us. When it comes to taking charge of our health, we are all very much on our own. We must maintain our vigilance against insidious laws and practices, while questioning questionable authority. We must also become educated on these matters and take charge of our own health and severely compromised food supply. WE are the ones we’ve been waiting for! Always remember that the price for health in today’s world is vigilance (if not hyper vigilance).
And courageous physicians such as Dr. Gary Fettke and Dr. Timothy Noakes (and others similarly being harassed and destroyed by establishment cronies) deserve our outspoken support, from around the world. It is time to bring this modern day, profit-driven and insidious, draconian Medical Inquisition to an end, once and for all.
~ Nora Gedgaudas, CNS, NTP, BCHN
 O’Connor, Anahad. “How the Sugar Industry Shifted Blame to Fat.” New York Times, Sept. 12, 2016
 Kearns CE, Schmidt LA, Glantz SA. “Sugar Industry and Coronary Heart Disease Research: A Historical Analysis of Internal Industry Documents.” JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(11):1680-1685
 Wislar JS, Flanagin A, Fontanarosa PB, DeAngelis CD. “Honorary and ghost authorship in high impact biomedical journals: a cross-sectional survey.” BMJ 2011; 343: d6128
 Cohen E, Cragg M, deFonseka, J, et al. “Statistical review of US macronutrient consumption data, 1965–2011: Americans have been following dietary guidelines, coincident with the rise in obesity.” Nutrition. May 2015, Volume 31, Issue 5, Pages 727–732.
 Bes-Rastrollo M, Schulz MB, Ruiz-Canela M and Martinez-Gonzalez MA. “Financial Conflicts of Interest and Reporting Bias Regarding the Association between Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Weight Gain: A Systematic Review of Systematic Reviews.” PLoS Medicine. December 31, 2013.
 Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 Collaborators. “Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 301 acute and chronic diseases and injuries in 188 countries, 1990–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013.” The Lancet, 2015