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Dubai: In this era of TMI (Too Much Information), how should we stay dry in the face of the unstoppable flood of health studies that, in most cases, end up contradicting everyone's conclusions?
Have a coffee for example. Alternatively, it is villi (promotes heart attacks, hypertension and anxiety) and valued. Last month, a study by Queen Mary University London (QMUL), funded in part by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), found that even 25 cups of coffee a day is not harmful to health.
Choose any random food in your pantry and there is a good chance that he is sitting in the middle of a tussle that leads to studies. What should the consumer do?
"We must understand that we evolve every day. Some current health studies may reverse some of the health recommendations of the last decade, mainly because of the drastic change in our food preferences and lifestyle, "said Juliot Vinolia, Clinical Dietician, Medeor24 / 7 Hospital, Dubai.
Any information published on private sites must be examined beforehand by a committee of experienced medical specialists.
– Juliot Vinolia, medical dietitian, Medeor Hospital24 / 7
Dr. Zainab Suri, a specialist in internal medicine at Medcare Hospital in Sharjah, said, "There are important food items consumed by people of different ethnicities: coffee, soy, chocolate, clarified butter, wheat, coconut oil, salt, milk, egg and sugar. As science progressed, the facts about some food products changed as a result of new investigations. "
There are important food products consumed by people of different ethnic backgrounds, including coffee, soy, chocolate, clarified butter, wheat, coconut oil, salt , milk, eggs and sugar. As science progressed, the facts about some food products changed as a result of new investigations.
– Dr. Zainab Suri, specialist in internal medicine, Medcare hospital
In fact, today's contradictory studies complement each other by providing more clarity on the results for the scientific community, according to Vinolia.
For example, it was known that dark chocolate was an antioxidant and also improved mood, she says.
"This fact existed earlier but was not taken into account; Now, with advances in science and the importance of antioxidants in health and disease prevention and protection, scientists have asked them again to prove these benefits. In addition, they have a protective effect against CVD. "
Dr. Suri cites another example: "In 1917, the Diabetes Diaries advised against consuming sugar or carbohydrates. However, today, the latest international research and foundation on disease management, such as the American Diabetes Association, the British National Health Service and the US National Institute of Health (US National Institute of Health) ), revealed that healthy meal plans should contain carbohydrates, but complex carbohydrates.
In 1917, the Diabetes Diaries advised against consuming sugar or carbohydrates. However, today, the latest research and international fundamentals in disease management, such as the American Diabetes Association, the British National Health Service and the US National Institute of Health (US National Institute of Health) ), have shown that healthy meal plans should contain carbohydrates, but complex carbohydrates.
– Dr. Zainab Suri, specialist in internal medicine, Medcare hospital
The thing to understand, says Vinolia, is that these studies should not be interpreted by the individual. "It would be highly (deceptive for) the common man (if they were starting to) simply compare the findings of studies based on particular foods without understanding the sample population differences. or search method. "
Health studies are addressing science communities, offering them the opportunity to continue their research and improve their current health practices, she said.
So what should the unfortunate public do? Follow government guidelines for health or government-recognized websites for medical education and research. Any information published on private sites must have been previously reviewed by a committee of experienced medical specialists or persons affiliated with a government health department or with a license to practice, "advises Vinolia.
Another important point: a healthy food for one individual may not be suitable for another. Genetics, age, pre-existing medical conditions, stress, food processing are all factors that affect an individual's relationship to food and health. "The findings of the research should only be considered as a contribution of knowledge to the existing pool of scientific information; not for consumers to take away at the grocery store. "
Good egg vs bad egg
Let's take a look at the fate of eggs, for example, which has been a major favorite of the reviewed studies.
1996 A study published in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism concluded that 2 eggs a day for 3 weeks increased total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), which are indicators of the progress of the heart attack. This risk factor can accelerate the fouling of fats in the blood vessels in populations with high cholesterol intake.
2006: A study published in Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care found that egg consumption actually increased LDL cholesterol, but that it was a different version of LDL, which does not obstruct or stick to blood vessels. Therefore, dietary guidelines on limiting egg consumption should not be generalized to healthy populations.
2016: Study published in the Journal of American College of Nutrition. A meta-analysis of egg consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. He found that the consumption of 1 egg a day increased good HDL cholesterol and reduced risk of stroke and there was no clear evidence that eggs increased or decreased heart blockages.
2018 Study published in the Journal of the Brazilian Society of Cardiology. An observational study in a sample of more than 4,000 people showed that, while an individual has good eating habits as a whole, the consumption of whole eggs at a considerable weekly frequency seems to be safe. Above all, the prescription of eggs in clinical practice is a very individual factor, which depends mainly on adjustments of lipids and proteins. Taken together, dietary cholesterol primarily using the egg as a source can alter the lipid profile by increasing markers in general.
2019 Study published in Journal of American Medical Association. Concluded that once daily intake of cholesterol was fixed and that the frequency of eggs or the amount of eggs taken in this limit of dietary cholesterol showed no increase in cardiovascular risk factor. (Therefore, monitoring overall dietary intake of dietary cholesterol from eggs or any food source was more effective in preventing heart disease.)
Conflicting conclusions? Yes. But they are also complementary in offering more clarity on the effect of eggs on heart disease, says Vinolia.
What should the consumer conclude?
- Eggs increase cholesterol levels in the blood, non-harmful LDL and improve the function of HDL by eliminating fatty spots in the blood.
- Choline, a nutrient found in the egg, has also proven effective in preventing fatty liver and this overall effect prevents our body from producing its own cholesterol.
- The egg is a complete food and reduce its consumption or eliminate the yellow of the diet has no effect on health.
Having eggs at the rate of one or four a week is obviously known not to harm health.
caveat: According to the American Heart Association, chronic diabetic patients with a genetic risk of coronary artery disease and hypercholesterolemia should be aware of their overall intake of dietary fats, with a greater focus on alcohol. elimination of trans fatty acids and processed fats in their diet.
The egg is a whole food and reduce its consumption or eliminate the yellow of the diet does not have a negative impact on health. An egg a day or 4 a week is obviously known not to harm the health.
Juliot Vinolia's list of things to do for people blindly following the results of the study:
- Any clarification on health (lifestyle) modification or lifestyle practices should be clarified with registered or licensed health professionals who can evaluate and guide you.
- Follow online, several health forums, government-recognized and government-recognized medical organizations that offer health education about popular health myths. Enabling notifications from such sites may allow interested people to be updated.
- Isolated opinions on health issues that lack scientific evidence should not be applied directly to our way of life.
- Consumers interested in future research can look for the following studies: long-term studies of a large sample of more than 1,000 participants over a long period of time, at least 3-6 months or years. These give a more reliable conclusion, preferably human studies.
- The analysis of several long-term human trials provides more reliable insights into the application of these findings in our daily lives.
Someone help me decide!
Here's an overview of the contradictory studies on some of the best foods.
WRONG: 5-6 cups of coffee per day on weight gain and metabolic syndrome (2013), a study conducted by the Western Australian Medical Research Institute (WAIMR) and the School of Medicine and Pharmacology of Western Australia University of Western Australia.
In August 2013, the results of two coffee studies (one conducted by the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, the other by the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School) were published at about the same time – and while Mayo likened coffee consumption to premature death, a way of living longer.
WELL: 25 cups of coffee a day, it's good for you: study from Queen Mary University in London (QMUL). The research was funded in part by the British Heart Foundation (BHF).
1 to 3 cups of coffee a day were 29% less likely to develop liver cancer. Those who ate at least four cups a day were 42% less likely to develop liver cancer.
WELL: Those who had a diet rich in extra virgin olive oil were 30% less likely to have a heart attack or stroke. (Spanish researchers who spent five years studying the effects of olive oil.Their findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2013).
WRONG: Olive oil has reduced blood flow in the arteries by 31% after consumption (thus promoting heart disease). Research of Dr. Robert Vogel of the University of Maryland School of Medicine published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology in 2011.
WRONG: Eating the most tofu in your 40s was up to 2.4 times more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease later. Men who ate tofu at least twice a week were more cognitively impaired than those who rarely or never ate soy curd. (Study conducted by the Hawaii Center for Health Research on older Japanese-American men.)
Eating large amounts of soy can interfere with thyroid function. (Study of Loma Linda University in California).
WELL: Soy studies have positive aspects, too numerous to mention, that it is supposed to fight many things: prostate and colon cancers, high LDL cholesterol, menopausal symptoms of osteoporosis .
WELL: Drinking one cup or more of black tea a day reduced the risk of heart attack by 44% compared to non-tea drinkers (Harvard study of cardiac patients, men and women).
Drinking one to two cups of black tea a day had 46% less risk of atherosclerosis, an indicator of cardiovascular disease. Those who drank more than four cups of tea a day had a lower risk of 69%. (Dutch study)
Tea is said to help a lot: reduces cholesterol, provides antioxidants, protects against heart disease and cancer.
WRONG: Significant consumption of tea related to esophageal cancer, according to a study published in the British Medicine Journal.
Toxic Cuppa: 30 common varieties of black, green, white and oolong tea bags, soaked for 3 to 4 minutes and for 15 to 17 minutes, showed respectively 73% lead and 83% lead. (Study in the Journal of Toxicology in 2013.)
Conclusion? Toxic contamination with heavy metals was found in most of the teas sampled.
WRONG: Combined consumption of red meat and processed meat associated with all-cause mortality and cardiovascular mortality (Loma Linda School of Public Health, California, study of non-meat-eating populations).
Numerous studies have been conducted on increasing inflammatory and oxidative stress levels, as well as type 2 diabetes and CVD due to high consumption of red meat.
WELL: High consumption of red meat is linked to better neurological functioning! (Study in the European Journal of Epidemiology).
No link was found between moderate meat consumption (up to three ounces per day) and premature death (Japanese study involving more than 51,000 men and women for 16 years).
The Harvard School of Public Health also found no connection between the consumption of unprocessed red meat, heart disease and diabetes, although there is a close link between consumption of red meat processed.
Many studies claim that the link between red meat and heart disease is inconclusive.
According to experts, no study should make headlines
Dr. Zaineb Sabri, Internal Medicine Specialist, Medcare Hospital, Sharjah
"To accept any new fact, it should be well studied and the study conducted on a good number of populations with good results. When we prescribe a particular food or ask our patient to avoid a food, we, doctors, examine the facts, assemble the strength of the study and its relationship with other studies in the same field which resulted in the same result. In addition, we take into account the number of years required to complete the study. "
Dr. Murli Krishna Neelkantan, Specialist Interventional Cardiologist, Prime Hospital, Dubai
"I think all studies on food groups should be taken with a pinch of salt. As physicians, we know that only scientific studies in control groups are standardized. The results of these studies are reported in reputable international medical journals. Studies are subjective because they are based on people. In the coffee experience (see right), we would have people who drink coffee at different concentrations, different mixtures, their age groups may differ and there could be many more variables. "I usually tell my patients not to be too confused about food. Moderation is the key to food consumption. If a patient comes to me and asks me questions about virgin coconut oil, I encourage him to take a teaspoon every day. It is likely that foods fried in coconut oil more than two to three times a week will be at a disadvantage, but a person who has a teaspoon a day is not likely to be hurt. On the contrary, they might be able to reap the benefits. It's the same for soy, chocolate, eggs, milk or meat. Food groups are neither good nor bad in themselves. It's how we consume them, in what quantities and in what proportions. "
Dr. Brajesh Mittal, Assistant Medical Director and Consultant Intervention Cardiologist, Medcare Hospital, Dubai
"The results of a study should not do the trick. Studies are part of ongoing research … intended to provide knowledge to relevant professionals and regulators. The results depend on many factors: nature of the trial, size and quality of the subjects, inclusion and exclusion criteria, main objectives, secondary observations, etc. For an average person, it is not necessary to interpret the research or draw hasty conclusions. Although trade bias remains a concern, all standard research is well regulated by the appropriate agencies. (This) involves several centers and several researchers; completely blinded even by the researchers over and over while the third party is doing the evaluation and the interpretation. We have seen many studies whose results completely contradict the interest of the financing company.
"As a cardiologist, I continue to read new scientific data but I do not change my practice, even if the new study has a gap. I use all resources, arguments for and against conclusions, rebuttals and comments from world experts before drawing a conclusion. We base our practice on the latest national / international company guidelines that continually revise guidelines based on new research available. Even if we believe in a new emerging concept; we are still waiting for the last word from regulators before putting them into practice. "
- Do not change your practices based on media reports or broadcast search results.
- Follow the genuine "patient / public resources" for any information on the topic.
- Talk to your health professional and seek advice from them.
Residents reserve the right to be wary of the flood of health studies
Blessy Martin, Indian, 40 years old
"I will not blindly follow the conclusions of a health study. I decided to follow the Keto diet when I read information about it, but not before I went there and talked to a doctor. I implemented it and it worked for me. The authenticity of studies is what matters most. If the study comes from a reputable institution, I can think about what they say. There must also be a good reason why they decided to undertake a study to identify a real health problem. "
Tesnim Hatab, Lebanese-American, 21 years old
"I study public health, so I always read about health studies. Is the source credible? If so, I read it further. I am not all recommendations unless it is for something extremely important or serious. To be honest, it's hard to keep up with the pace of studies because some are so extreme, there's so much information and education. Some of these studies are contradictory even though even if you wanted to follow their recommendations, which one would you choose?
Basma Abu El Azm, Egypt, 32
"I am the Keto diet; it's the best thing I've done, I've lost a lot of weight and I feel good – and that's despite reading so many articles about its supposed state. There are so many studies and many contradict each other. So the best is to do your research and try what suits you. If you see positive results, stay there. Sometimes I can try what a health study just says to see if it is credible, but gradually, I resume my habits unless it affects my health. "
Maya El Debeiki, 31, French-Egyptian, online fitness trainer
"A lot of research is biased. You can not believe everything you read. So I'm looking for credible sources and credible websites, especially FDA-approved websites. I do not always check with my doctor but I check with a personal trainer, nutrition coaches. In the end, I believe in a well-balanced diet. For example, eggs have long been labeled as bad, but recently it has been proven that the yolk of their eggs does not cause bad cholesterol. Everything in moderation is logical. "
Cindy Bern Jagmis, 32, Filipino, Assistant Teacher
"I had a serious health problem early in the year, so I tried to read all the health studies. But (some) studies contradict each other and I get lost. The latest news I read was about coffee and the fact that it is good for us. I think that some of the studies may have biased results depending on who ordered the study or products that they sell. So, whenever I am concerned about my health, I do my research and my duties of vigilance, but I check my sources. "
Fadi Shamsi, 37, Syrian, Business Development Officer
"Most studies sent to the public are funded by large companies as part of their marketing campaigns. We must use common sense to evaluate the credibility of such studies. For example, coffee is full of antioxidants and stimulates metabolism, while eggs are rich in quality protein. But both, when consumed in large quantities, make them unhealthy. Personally, I think it's necessary to have a complete blood test every six months. "
– Compiled by Sami Zaatari, Senior Reporter