Wednesday, March 19, 2008

'Cancer chemical' in soy sauce

What utter nonsense! The Japanese drink gallons of the stuff (Go Kikkoman!) and are exceptionally long-lived

AUSTRALIANS should try to limit their exposure to a "probably" cancer-causing chemical found in many common foods including soy sauce, the food regulator has urged. Food Standards Australia New Zealand said ethyl carbamate (EC) can occur naturally in foods including breads, yoghurt and alcohol that undergo fermentation during processing or storage.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer last year upgraded the risk of EC from "possibly'' carcinogenic to humans to "probably'' carcinogenic. "This knowledge suggests that limiting the consumption of some foods and responsible drinking will reduce EC intake, which would appear advisable in the light of emerging international knowledge about the chemical,'' FSANZ said today.

But the regulator said its own studies on the chemical showed it was not as great problem in Australia as some other countries. The agency last year tested food and alcohol sourced from Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia to measure the EC levels, and thereby estimate dietary exposure and potential risk to Australians' health. Among the 225 food samples tested, the chemical was found only in soy sauce. "Very low levels'' were found in 13 of the 30 types of alcoholic beverages tested, with sake, sherry and port returning the highest readings.

"When compared to overseas studies, EC levels in Australia were lower than those reported in Danish and UK surveys,'' FSANZ said. "The risk to health and safety for Australians from exposure to EC through consumption of food is therefore considered to be negligible. "The risk to health and safety for Australians from exposure to EC through alcoholic drinks, other than sake, is negligible, even for high consumers.''

But the regulator urged drinkers to stick to government guidelines on recommended alcohol consumption to minimise their risk.


PESKY! Obese fare better after stroke

OBESE and overweight people are less likely to die in the five years after a stroke than are their normal weight peers, a new study shows. In the study, researchers analysed data from 21,884 stroke patients in Denmark who had their body mass index (BMI) determined. BMI is an accepted means of determining how fat or thin a person is.

The patients were placed into one of five BMI groups: underweight (BMI ( 18.5), normal weight (18.5 to 24.9), overweight (25.0 to 29.9), obese (30.0 to 34.9), and severely obese (35 and greater) and were followed for up to five years after their stroke. Compared with the normal weight individuals, the overweight, obese and severely obese subjects were 27 per cent, 16 per cent, and 16 per cent less likely, respectively, to die during follow-up, Tom Skyhoj Olsen, from Hvidovre University Hospital and colleagues found. Underweight patients, by contrast, were 63 per cent more likely to die, they report in the February 29th online issue of Neuroepidemiology.

According to the researchers, the link between obesity and poor disease outcomes, in general, is usually fuelled by the presence of other conditions. Obese people who are otherwise healthy may fare just as well as, or perhaps in the case of stroke, better than their lean counterparts, they conclude.



Just some problems with the "Obesity" war:

1). It tries to impose behavior change on everybody -- when most of those targeted are not obese and hence have no reason to change their behaviour. It is a form of punishing the innocent and the guilty alike. (It is also typical of Leftist thinking: Scorning the individual and capable of dealing with large groups only).

2). The longevity research all leads to the conclusion that it is people of MIDDLING weight who live longest -- not slim people. So the "epidemic" of obesity is in fact largely an "epidemic" of living longer.

3). It is total calorie intake that makes you fat -- not where you get your calories. Policies that attack only the source of the calories (e.g. "junk food") without addressing total calorie intake are hence pissing into the wind. People involuntarily deprived of their preferred calorie intake from one source are highly likely to seek and find their calories elsewhere.

4). So-called junk food is perfectly nutritious. A big Mac meal comprises meat, bread, salad and potatoes -- which is a mainstream Western diet. If that is bad then we are all in big trouble.

5). Food warriors demonize salt and fat. But we need a daily salt intake to counter salt-loss through perspiration and the research shows that people on salt-restricted diets die SOONER. And Eskimos eat huge amounts of fat with no apparent ill-effects. And the average home-cooked roast dinner has LOTS of fat. Will we ban roast dinners?

6). The foods restricted are often no more calorific than those permitted -- such as milk and fruit-juice drinks.

7). Tendency to weight is mostly genetic and is therefore not readily susceptible to voluntary behaviour change.

8). And when are we going to ban cheese? Cheese is a concentrated calorie bomb and has lots of that wicked animal fat in it too. Wouldn't we all be better off without it? And what about butter and margarine? They are just about pure fat. Surely they should be treated as contraband in kids' lunchboxes! [/sarcasm].

9). And how odd it is that we never hear of the huge American study which showed that women who eat lots of veggies have an INCREASED risk of stomach cancer? So the official recommendation to eat five lots of veggies every day might just be creating lots of cancer for the future! It's as plausible (i.e. not very) as all the other dietary "wisdom" we read about fat etc.

10). And will "this generation of Western children be the first in history to lead shorter lives than their parents did"? This is another anti-fat scare that emanates from a much-cited editorial in a prominent medical journal that said so. Yet this editorial offered no statistical basis for its opinion -- an opinion that flies directly in the face of the available evidence.

Even statistical correlations far stronger than anything found in medical research may disappear if more data is used. A remarkable example from Sociology:
"The modern literature on hate crimes began with a remarkable 1933 book by Arthur Raper titled The Tragedy of Lynching. Raper assembled data on the number of lynchings each year in the South and on the price of an acre's yield of cotton. He calculated the correlation coefficient between the two series at -0.532. In other words, when the economy was doing well, the number of lynchings was lower.... In 2001, Donald Green, Laurence McFalls, and Jennifer Smith published a paper that demolished the alleged connection between economic conditions and lynchings in Raper's data. Raper had the misfortune of stopping his analysis in 1929. After the Great Depression hit, the price of cotton plummeted and economic conditions deteriorated, yet lynchings continued to fall. The correlation disappeared altogether when more years of data were added."
So we must be sure to base our conclusions on ALL the data. But in medical research, data selectivity and the "overlooking" of discordant research findings is epidemic.

"What we should be doing is monitoring children from birth so we can detect any deviations from the norm at an early stage and action can be taken". Who said that? Joe Stalin? Adolf Hitler? Orwell's "Big Brother"? The Spanish Inquisition? Generalissimo Francisco Franco Bahamonde? None of those. It was Dr Colin Waine, chairman of Britain's National Obesity Forum. What a fine fellow!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"'Cancer chemical' in soy sauce."

Wrath alert. But I'm SICK of suffering fools. Have this cold dish of intellectual comeuppance.

WHAT ABOUT MORTALITY FIGURES, broken down into sex, race, age and geographic region? What is a "cancer chemical" anyway. Did you know that, truly, a little "poison" actually makes us healthier, since it triggers DNA repair mechanisms? A sort of non-placebo-based homeopathy if you will. Yeah, lots of babies born around Chernobyl were born with flippers, but a few miles way, they were HEALTHIER.

Oh this is a so very interesting, yet pathetic story of not junk-science, but small liberal arts college science. A small liberal arts college must buy a basic trio of equipment: (1) a very cheap instead of six million dollar NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) spectrometer, along with a dirt cheap trio of (like $3500 USD) infrared spectrometers, but also a somewhat expensive MASS SPECTROMETER, which unlike all the others, must be run by a staff of at least two people, usually very nice but older Russian women, at least at Columbia and Harvard.

And a MASS SPECTROMETER will pick up even UTTERLY TRACE quantities of ANY chemical, and thanks to computer databases, will identify it right on the print-out, the next day.

So, these liberal-arts-school science teachers, without a lot of smart colleagues to bounce ideas off of, start to send off every sample they can find to the MASS SPECTROMETER lab to detect TRACE chemicals in anything that a quick literature search says kills rats if you feed it to rats. Coffee. Soy. The local swimming pool. Blah blah blah, on-and-on they march, publishing papers about it, more funding being needed, since along with detecting a compound, they then apply for a grant to pump rats full of even MORE of the stuff by adding it to their food, and if that doesn't cause cancer, they literally inject the human equivalent of six hundred cans of soda into their veins. Boom. Cancer!!! Thus they publish instead of perish, and even get press attention and written up in Discover magazine and get a plug or two on the national news (!).

Yet DETECTION is not INJECTION. And white cloned rats are not even close to tough real NYC rats, or us New Yorkers, our rats being half as big as cats, and certainly not human, but ALSO, BY THE WAY, LAB VERSIONS OF THEM ARE ALSO STRESSED-OUT DUMB MAMMALS, KEPT IN CAGES IN WHITE ROOMS ALL DAY, WITH NO DAY/NIGHT SENSE. It's like basing medical science on escape-obsessed prisoners in solitary confinement cells. Rats are nocturnal. Guess when they turn the lights on? DURING THE DAY!!! How else can you take blood samples? As the other rats sit the cages, each tested rat is killed by a simple process. A lab technician whips it by the tail and hits its head on the hard laboratory bench. Then they cut it's head off if they are studying that, or they cut the heart out if they are studying that. Nice place to be a rat, eh?

How to kill any mammal in three weeks? Isolate it, deprive it of sleep, in a jail cell twice your body length, and randomly kill your cell mates in sight and smell of you, Stuart Little Rat.

God, it's fun to be so harsh. Why? Because I left science? No. Because I realized, that unlike hard science, other sciences were NOT rigorous, in the same sense that some sports or military posts are not worth a dither, since compared to them, I am the scientific equivalent to a Navy Seal.

HARVARD. Not Kalamazoo. So SHUT UP, you wimpy media-grubbing scare-monger idiots. Just SHUT UP. YOU ARE STUPID FAKERS, relying on SCARE-MONGERING to get pathetically small grant money. Liberal arts college hard-discipline scientists in general never learned the HARD *ACTUAL* *DISCIPLINE* of NEVER (EVER...EVER...EVER) BELIEVING ANYTHING without checking it SEVEN or TEN times over, even TWENTY TIMES, not only the point of your point, but the CONTEXT of it, the *ACTUAL* conclusion of your work, in the old world philosophical sense that natural philosophy is all about "right living."

My point, is that top scientific fields are one of the most COMPETITIVE fields on Earth. I'm still dating the ONLY women (Korean) who made it through our Ph.D. program, my year at Columbia. I was the top student. She was at the bottom, except for the fact that 2/3 of other students simply didn't make it, and she was the only female that year who got through. That my thesis was five times as thick as hers says something, it having had to be broken into two volumes. Yet she published more papers than I, since she worked for a coffee-guzzling genius/assh*le who had not had tenure yet, but sure got it indeed due to his crazy drive to get it. He's the sort of guy who will cure cancer, by now having tenure, being able to take HUGE risks in pie-in-the-sky research ideas, which he has now earned a right to carry out. Being at Columbia means he gets a ten million dollar grants instead of hundred thousand ones, from the NIH, NAS, and DARPA (military madmen).

The logical fallacy of "call to authority" be damned, for that is not what I am relying on for argumentation, but merely am adding icing to the cake I baked for you, you liars and hangers-on, who eventually marry your graduate students, or the fat Russian (but of firm bust) chick in the MASS SPECTROMETER lab, given your lack of other options, LOSERS and liberal arts college are DROP-OUTS from the true scientific community.

Guess what? Top scientists NEVER resort to fear-mongering. They appeal to positive results, inventive ones. That's why they get instead of three basic SPECTROMETERS, easily obtain sixteen of them. Atomic force and confocal microscopes (Leica brand, not sh*tty Olympus ones), and every variation on electron microscopes too, some costing a half BILLION dollars, not to mention VERY high power NMRs instead of little toys that don't need sixteen tons of shielding, lest every bit of metal on campus attach to the building as the city lights dim to power it up.

That's why we get on the cover of Science or Nature and YOU DON'T, icky-sickly pond-dwellers.

I studied while you partied. Guess what? I studied to Prince dance music. Very loud. All night. You DIDN'T. Now I have the free time to write long blog entries, of noble intention, yet not very nice since I hate half-enthusiasts as much as I hate church-going people who want to chat me up nicely, while their religious beliefs, taken in full, tell me that I will be tortured for eternity by burning hot knives, unless I believe there never were dinosaurs. Like them, you tell me if I drink coffee I'll die.

But guess what? I am not a caged rat, pushed over the edge by Soy sauce feeding my stress-induced cancers, because like any rat, I love New York City, where I am not caged or randomly killed in a room with no sky, but free.