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Does Carnitine from Red Meat Cause Heart Disease? (diagnosisdiet.com)
60 points by sridca 27 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 77 comments



This person clearly has strong believe in "meat is healthy" and tries to find proof of that, and provides multiple links to healthy meat blog posts. I mean, with such attitude one can confirm anything.

But for some reason overwhelming majority of scientists claim that consuming meat in quantities we do in North America is not good for health and environment on multiple dimensions: cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, infections, kidney disease, liver disease, cattle waste, deforestation and many others.

HH & authors attitude towards this article really reminds me some cringe movements like anti-vaxers or some other shit, where people choose what they want first and then find confirmation for it.


I appreciate the skepticism. But you might want to look at the foundational evidence for meat-causes-(bad thing) health claims. It's all incredibly weak and confounded, and would never be considered evidence in other fields.


The World Health Organization found processed meats to be carcinogens.


Processed meats are unequivocally bad for you, but when you compare the data on that to unprocessed meat the link to harm vanishes. Conflating the two is deeply dishonest.


Trumpeting to the world that meat causes cancer on the basis of these studies is ridiculously irresponsible and makes a mockery of the WHO. There is ample information to suggest that the WHO’s report is biased, incomplete, and scientifically dishonest.

Ref http://www.diagnosisdiet.com/meat-and-cancer/


I wouldn't call an additional reference from the same psychiatrist as the original article as a "ample" information. Here's one of the expert reference she cites:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24769880

It acknowledges the research connecting red and processed meat with cancer and suggests further study be performed to understand the exact mechanisms involved.

If you have any references from a second source that appears to discredit the WHO report, that would be more interesting.


So not meat, but as a result of chemicals added in the processing of meat.


Please provide any evidence for your claim.


Nutrition epidemiology studies are not scientific experiments; they are wildly inaccurate, questionnaire-based guesses (hypotheses) about the possible connections between foods and diseases. This approach has been widely criticized as scientifically invalid [see here(1) and here(2)], yet continues to be used by influential researchers at prestigious institutions. Even if you think epidemiological methods are sound, at best they can only generate hypotheses that then need to be tested in clinical trials. Instead, these hypotheses are often prematurely trumpeted to the public as implicit fact in the form of media headlines, dietary guidelines, and well-placed commission reports like this one.

Tragically, more than 80%(3) of these guesses are later proved wrong in clinical trials. With a failure rate this high, nutrition epidemiologists would be better off flipping a coin to decide which foods cause human disease.

(1) https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2018.00105...

(2) https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2698337

(3) https://rss.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1740-...

Ref: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/diagnosis-diet/20190...


It's true it's not feasible to feed people in a clinic for 10 years to see if they eventually get cancer. What scientifically valid method would you recommend instead?


I have provided the evidence you requested for.

As there is no scientific evidence to prove that meat-causes-(bad thing), and as I share no such belief, theory or hypothesis why would I deliberatly want to set out to create an experiment to prove or disprove such a thing?

I like eating meat. I'm healthy eating meat. No scientific evidence exists to suggest the contrary. I would have to be pretty silly to waste my time trying to prove otherwise.


> overwhelming majority of scientists claim that consuming meat in quantities we do in North America is not good for health

Does your skepticism (which by the way does not really disprove anything what the scientist who wrote this article says, and rather simply tries to discredit it) also extend to these "overwhelming majority of scientists"? Because if it did you will understand that nutrition epidemiology studies are not scientific experiments; they are wildly inaccurate, questionnaire-based guesses (hypotheses) about the possible connections between foods and diseases. This approach has been widely criticized as scientifically invalid [see here(1) and here(2)], yet continues to be used by influential researchers at prestigious institutions. Even if you think epidemiological methods are sound, at best they can only generate hypotheses that then need to be tested in clinical trials. Instead, these hypotheses are often prematurely trumpeted to the public as implicit fact in the form of media headlines, dietary guidelines, and well-placed commission reports like this one.

Tragically, more than 80%(3) of these guesses are later proved wrong in clinical trials. With a failure rate this high, nutrition epidemiologists would be better off flipping a coin to decide which foods cause human disease.

(1) https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2018.00105...

(2) https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2698337

(3) https://rss.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1740-...

Ref: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/diagnosis-diet/20190...


Scientists/researchers in the past were paid by to say that sugar wasn't bad for you, and that fat was the culprit - we know this now to not be true.

There's research that emerging that is it's what you don't eat that - it's people who are eating meat + other bad things that causes problems and then allows the connection to meat as possibly being linked as the cause; there's barely any research of people just consuming meats and animal products.

Two videos I recommend everyone watch:

Dr. Georgia Ede - 'Our Descent into Madness: Modern Diets and the Global Mental Health Crisis' - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXlVfwJ6RQU

Dr. Jason Fung - 'Therapeutic Fasting - Solving the Two-Compartment Problem' - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIuj-oMN-Fk

Imaging meat is fine and it's when you hurt the body with other harmful foods that then causes your body to not function as well to process meat and other foods properly - and where other systems to clear/clean the body aren't or can't function optimally (think inflammation, insulin, excess of food/availability of calories, etc) - and not specifically because of the meat?

It's hard to know if oneself is ideology or propaganda, we've all been bombarded by things like government sponsored (influenced by food industrial complex) Food Pyramids, etc. our whole lives - or by fad diets looking to make money and marketing their own flavour of diet. The list goes on. Real research will happen that cuts through the confusion, people are waking up.


Recent Harvard research found that we need to replace beef and dairy to avoid climate catastrophe.

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14693062.2018.1...

Harvard's finding is consistent with the drawdown.org research that found plant-rich diets are a top solution to climate change. (4th of 80).

https://www.drawdown.org/solutions-summary-by-rank


Interesting article, I was under the impression that the link between heart disease meat consumption was more strongly established. It's important to note that this article is from 2013, so I wonder how much has changed since.

Joe Rogan hosted a nice debate between two scientists in the field, one of whom was a strict vegan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULtqCBimr6U.


How is a layman supposed to differentiate between the author of this article and the authors of the studies done? I take it for granted that both sides consist of experts in the field, and yet the positions taken are radically different from one another.

I would assume a priori that the vegan side would be more widely supported amongst the experts (to say nothing of its merit), only on the basis of veganism being more congruent with the standard compassion of postmodernism.


The best way I found to acquire information is to see what passed the test of time. For example, if humans have been eating red meat for 200,000 years, it's very unlikely it is net harmful. It's still possible, but the burden of proof is on who thinks it's harmful. (And it better be very strong evidence.) Mother nature has a very good filter for harmful things.


Humans didn't wash hands for 200,000 years and suffered from horrible diseases. Test of time is hardly conclusive.


Not doing something can't be tested against the test of time. Hygiene and antibiotics obviously improved our lives. So did cooking food and building civilizations. But if red meat was eaten for 200K years, we've very likely adapted ourselves to benefit from it... not only not get harmed by it. (Obviously in the right quantities.)


Interestingly, the overuse of antibiotics has the likelyhood of causing them to create superbugs that make the antibiotics completely useless.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antibiotic_misuse

Also, while cleanliness is absolutely important, over cleanliness appears to be a potential cause of asthma and allergies in general.

https://www.webmd.com/allergies/news/20140606/too-clean-home...


Humans descended from primates, which have been eating a mostly vegetarian diet for about 55 million years or so. Why not got with the diet that stood the the test of time for much longer?

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/human-ancest...

Drawdown.org found that plant-based diets are a top solution for climate change-- something that wasn't a concern 200k years ago.

https://www.drawdown.org/solutions-summary-by-rank

Harvard research also found that we need to eliminate beef and dairy to avoid climate catastrophe.

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14693062.2018.1...

Mother nature does have a good filter for harmful things: If humans don't address our contributions to climate change, we may be the thing that's filtered!


People only lived into their 50s (assuming they survived infancy). (Figures from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_expectancy#Variation_over... )


A life expectancy of 50 doesn’t mean “people only lived into their 50s”. We definitely didn’t just gain the ability to live until 90 in the last 50 years. We’ve been designed that way (by Mother Nature).


It's the average age of mortality, clearly you're dealing with the mean or mode here. People lived to be 80, 90,100 but that's only part of average lifespan.

Once you take out infant and childhood mortality you can see that rising over time.


I’d like to live to be a little older than prehistoric man.


Humans have been murdering and raping each other for centuries.


Vegan/Vegetarianism is the driving differentiation in terms of opinion. Common sense sides more with the omnivore pov imho, but I don't hold it against individuals for choosing a vegetarian/vegan path.


You should hold it against them because veganism ( and to a lesser degree vegetarianism ) is morally wrong as it the most environmentally destructive and the most unnatural healthy diet. Veganism is the worst diet you can choose for your health, the health of the environment and causes the harm to animals ( mostly small mammals, insects and worms ).

You can see the absurdity of veganism as they proudly support locally sourced organic food but their diet makes "locally sourced organic food" an impossibility. A vegan anywhere on earth will die without importing avocados, all kinds of seeds, vegetation, etc from all over the world and still be lacking nutrients and have to resort to lab processed supplements. Real "natural" and "organic".

And omnivore ( a diet of every human society ) can have diet from locally sources. You can have a homestead almost anywhere and as an omnivore survive just from your own homestead. A vegan homestead can't exist anywhere because you can't grow all the necessary vegetation and supplements to survive.

Veganism is one of these great lies that seem "good" on surface but dig a little deeper and people will see what an absurd notion it is.


1) Since we already grow enough plants to feed the entire human population, we will only reduce animal suffering and land use by eating a vegan diet. It’s just that at the moment we feed grain to animals that we then slaughter instead of growing it to eat ourselves.

An overview: https://youtu.be/Hvdgz536ZLE

2) A vegan diet is very healthy.

An overview: https://youtu.be/iBs7TcBqeIc

Both these videos have references in their notes.


>1) Since we already grow enough plants to feed the entire human population, we will only reduce animal suffering and land use by eating a vegan diet. It’s just that at the moment we feed grain to animals that we then slaughter instead of growing it to eat ourselves

But do we grow enough plants to eat a vegan diet? A vegan diet requires a rather narrow set of plants in much higher quantities than we normally consume, eg beans, soy etc. You can't just look at the calories we get from corn or grain and say that we have enough.

>2) A vegan diet is very healthy.

As long as you supplement B12, maybe.


Feed conversion for beef is around 6:1, so you have 6 pounds of plants for every pound of beef. Lots of those plants are grass and other stuff humans don't really want to feed on though. Still, the large number of calories cattle need to make gains leave some room to adjust the crop mix.


Of course grazing animal migration patterns and grassland effects (desertification/deforestation) not withstanding. I would love to see an increase in variety and number of grassland mammals in general in order to preserve/expand grasslands.


Corn, wheat, rye, oats, beans and soy are staple foods for humans and are what is often fed to the animals we intensively farm. For the non human-edible crops like alfalfa, canola, etc there is some wriggle room to change to other crops. My main point is that it is a realistic change not an environmental and moral disaster as it was framed.

As far as supplementing B12, I say better safe than sorry, but even that is not straight forward when you look into it.


I don't advocate supplementing, but a ton of people already do it, so would that part really be much of an issue?


A lot of health study regarding food is junk "science" because a lot of them are funded by companies, industry, special interest groups or charlatans trying make money by selling you a diet plan.

Everything from "fat is bad" or "cholesterol is bad" for you has been pretty much walked back.

And nonsense like "cereal or orange juice is part of a healthy breakfast" are "science" funded by the cereal and orange industries. It's marketing pretending to be a science.

Now the vegan charlatans selling their eating disorder to young and impressionable kids. The saddest part is that it is mostly young females falling for when they are at a critical stage of development. Almost all of them will leave veganism eventually but the curse of veganism will stay with them for the rest of their lives. In 30 years, we are going to have an epidemic of medical issues like osteoporosis, especially among women.

Balanced diet. It's simple. An omnivore diet that was part of ever human society.


Too bad sensible comments like these are getting downvoted at HN, which clearly indicates where this community's biases lie.

You may be interested in https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/diagnosis-diet/20190...


Do you realize that has the same author as the primary article? It's not exactly a second perspective.


Do you have anything worthwhile to say directly addressing the content of the article instead of trying to discredit its author?


So are there any foods that are uncontroversially known to predispose people to heart attacks? It seems that just about everything is contentious in nutrition science these days.


Refined sugars and other highly inflammatory foods in general increase risk over time. Metabolic syndrome seems to be the biggest correlation to most disease. Most refined sugars are half or more Fructose and we get in general 30 times the amount of sugar on average today compared to 120 years ago. We also get far more refined grains, and refined vegetable (seed) oils.

High fructose intake in particular leads to a lot of disruption, although increased and continuous carbohydrate and intake of refined oils is seeing more evidence of being a large impact as well. Most of my reading the past couple years seems to indicate that minimizing overly refined foods in general and reducing snacking and increasing fasting cycles (intermittent and extended) are some of the better changes we (as a people) could make beyond sugar specifically and refined foods in general.

edit: note: the only organ that can really process fructose is the liver, and in quantities often consumed, the effect is worse than alcoholism.


Yes, I agree with you personally that refined foods are terrible for you long term, but is there an expert consensus on the issue? And I do not think there is a consensus on sugars in particular.

Regarding refined grains, do you have a take on house-hold breads? I mean, the breads are highly processed, and yet I do not know of an alternative for sandwiches and the like.


Aside from paid shills of the sugar/soda industry and a bunch of junk research from the 60's, there's a pretty solid concensus that refined sugars (especially at modern diet levels) and in particular fructose is pretty damned bad for you.


Unfortunately, commercial breads are all very processed and far more bioavailable with less fiber than would be present pre industrial economy. I try to simply avoid it most of the time.

Personally I stick to mostly greens, eggs, fish, meat M-W-F, fast Su-Tu-Th and more flexible in terms of what I eat (bread/pasta, fruit, etc) on Saturdays.

M-W-F, fat coffee with protein in the AM, lunch, dinner keto macros. Tu-Th, fat coffee in the AM, only tea and water/saltwater the reset of the day. Saturday, eat 2 meals of whatever (within calories, usually under 150-200g carbs) Sunday, dry or water fast.


Yes. Refined carbs, especially fructose. Unlike red meat which we've been eating for 200,000 years, we've only started eating refined carbs in large quantities for the last ~50 years.


Simple carbs are universally implicated in a lot of different problems, but I'm not sure about heart disease.


This is what’s so wonderful about nutrition.

There’s something for everyone! Just decide what you want to eat, search until you find evidence in favor of that diet, and then stop looking.


This article is written in a very biased unscientific way and I wonder why it got so many upvotes. I get that people like meat here but.


What's one example where it is unscientific?


[flagged]


>It's really amazing how much effort the religion of vegetarianism flows in a lot of sources and research that follows.

It's totally unclear to me what that sentence is supposed to mean.

>I'm not opposed to a mostly vegetable sourced diet. A lot of people do it for moral/ethical reasons, but hard science it isn't and has never been.

(That sounds to me (an 'ethical vegan') akin to "I'm not opposed to a mostly non-slave workforce. A lot of people have renounced slavery for moral/ethical reasons, but hard science it isn't and has never been.")

Maybe the "it" of the "hard science it isn't" half of the sentence refers the 'mostly vegetable sourced diet' of people who are vegetarian for reasons of their own health, which the rest of your comment seems to talk about exclusively , but you didn't make that clear. It seems probable that you meant to claim that "there's no scientific consensus that a vegetarian diet is healthier" (i.e. for humans). I won't comment on whether that's true or not, but just note that what you actually said was rather different. I think. It was confusing.


The first mentioned sentence is really stating that a lot of people (specifically vegetarians/vegans) have a bias much like religion in which they seek out to prove themselves right instead of finding out what really is, and when presented with evidence they are wrong, will further assert their being "correct" all the same.

"IT" is vegetarian/vegan diet as being healthier. It started off as a religious PoV and mostly still is. There's never been a closed clinical trial that showed that a vegetarian diet is any better than an omnivore or carnivore diet. Most studies already have a lot of factors and bias.

The "ethical vegan" is one who chooses to do so, because they don't want to be involved in the taking of animal life. This is generally a personal and moral reason. I don't have anything bad to say about someone that chooses this so long as they aren't trying to sway others out of a religious-like zealotry.


OK, thank you!


[flagged]


I’m not a vegan or vegetarian, but your posts on this topic range from persecutorial to bizarre. I can’t believe that you expect anyone reading your posts to be convinced by lists of accusations of evil, equivocation between cockroach bits and cows, or what diet leads to survival stuck “in the middle of any jungle, prairie etc.” there are better ways to make a point that seem less like self-gratification to the exclusion of making a real point.


[flagged]


The B12 argument I have to admit is not what it used to be if they're supplementing the animals eaten for meat in their feed too.


How is "gmo corn" worse than "just corn"?


If the genetic modification is to make it glyphosate resistant, there’s a higher likelihood that the corn will have glyphosate in it.


I don't think that's true. There are three broad categories of produce: Organic, non-Organic/GMO, non-Organic/non-GMO.

Organic is grown without pesticides at all, but given higher prices it does not compete with gmo-non-organic or non-gmo-non-organic.

For non-organic food, both GMO and non-GMO plants are treated with various pesticides because those pests aren't removing themselves. The GMOs are treated with a smaller number of higher doses of glyphosate earlier in the plant's life, and no other pesticides. Non-GMO plants are treated with lower doses of many varieties of pesticides across a longer period of time. If anything, non-GMO products should have more pesticide residue on them, and those pesticides are less studied.


>...Organic is grown without pesticides at all,

I don't think that is true:

>...Organic farming, just like other forms of agriculture, still uses pesticides and fungicides to prevent critters from destroying their crops.

>...According to the National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy, the top two organic fungicides, copper and sulfur, were used at a rate of 4 and 34 pounds per acre in 1971 1. In contrast, the synthetic fungicides only required a rate of 1.6 lbs per acre, less than half the amount of the organic alternatives.

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/science-sushi/httpblogs...


Most commercial corn is modified (by gmo or breeding) at this point... Corn and Soy are more inflammatory than other grains and it's fairly common to see more allergen response from GMO corn, soy and even wheat over more traditional strains (5-10 times more likely iirc).


> Corn and Soy are more inflammatory than other grains

I'm sorry, but what do you mean by this?


> fairly common to see more allergen response from GMO corn, soy and even wheat over more traditional strains

Citation please?


Look at a couple of the books/articles/interviews by JJ Virgin to start... there's many more references that will spread out from there. I'm sorry but I've done a lot of reading over the past couple years mostly to expand personal knowledge, I'm bad about remembering all the individual articles to cite and mostly rely on google for what I can remember.

Tom Bilyeu and HVMN channels on youtube also have some great content. DietDoctor.com is another good resource.

- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnYMOamNKLGVlJgRUbamveA

- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLHIpELaHyVsSaQPJnL0n3w

- https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/modern-wheat-health-nig...

edit: if someone could explain the downvotes?

edit2: you know, I didn't have a lot of time to look up a bunch of stuff... I provided what I could... I didn't mean to link to the image, but an article with it, and in the end, whatever... the vegetarians have spoken and down modded anything disagreeing into oblivion without any counter argument with citation, or any actual experiments confirming their own bias.


Did you just link to a PNG file [1] titled "7 foods to avoid on a virgin diet" as a proof of some sort?

I mean this file has literally no informational value - it's an opinion of unidentified persons based on unidentified research data. What does this have to do with your earlier assertion about GMO corn being allergenic?

[1] http://jjvirgin.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2...


You are getting downvoted because HN has a vegan bias. Welcome to modern religion.


Well you posted YouTube videos...


"or breeding"? Corn was created by breeding from a native plant that doesn't really resemble corn at all, thousands of years ago. So 100% of corn was created "by breeding".


Corn isn't even a natural plant to begin with. It used to be a grass. Humans created corn with artificial selection, same with dogs.


Homo sapiens has been eating red meat for 200,000 years. It is very unlikely it is net harmful to us.


From an evolutionary perspective, all you can conclude from that is that it was unlikely to be a net detriment in the prevailing conditions of the vast majority of that time.

Heart disease in later life was unlikely to be a substantial downside compared with the nutrient and caloric density of the meal throughout most of human history. Now, with much easier access to a wide range of foods, and a much higher chance of surviving to be killed by heart disease, that may no longer be the case.


This is a very good point that I see people miss quite often. Evolutionary pressure doesn't mean we adapt to optimize lifespan and health in our environment. The primary driver is the survivability of subsequent generations, not to reduce suffering.


In general, if most people simply avoided refined sugar, refined vegetable (seed) oils and minimized corn, soy and refined grains, they'd be much better off.

Combined with reducing snacking in general (2-3 meals a day) and a longer 3-5 day fast once a quarter, we'd all be better off regardless of the macro profiles.

I do feel that a lot of people getting more calories from protein than fat is a bit lopsided though. A lot of natural sources of highly available protein are accompanied with 0.5-3g of fat per g of protein. Meaning calories from fat should be higher than protein (9c:g vs 4c:g).


Alive ancestors help the subsequent generations.


But they've already done that, so it seems late to optimize for having reproductively successful ancestors


People with living parents and grandparents would have likely had a better chance of survival than those without living family members. Thus, those with genes that have adapted to live longer and healthier would still have had an evolutionary benefit, despite no reproductive benefits.

It might be true even today, let alone in the caveman era.


While I personally think your idea is likely, you really only need people to live to be about 50 or 60 to accomplish this, I think. If every generation has kids from around 15-20 years old, which seems very likely in our distant past, then you only need to be about 60 to have three generations of descendants (children, grand-children, great-grand-children), in which case by this argument perhaps you've done enough already and are free to die by whatever means you prefer after that point.

Maybe our advantage was that we, unlike other primates, had a lot of individuals even only making it to 40 years old in the distant past before they got eaten by tigers or succumbed to all manner of mosquito-borne diseases et cetera.


It's not the earliest age of reproduction that matters, but the latest age. If a woman can give birth at age 40, and descendants with living parents and grand-parents have a significant survival advantage, then it makes sense that we've adapted to live to over 80.


Heart disease is happening in ages today that many people thousands of years ago were reaching. Excluding infant deaths, the biggest killer was infection. The correlation of most human illness is more strongly tied to metabolic syndrome than anything else. The driver for most inflammation is refined sugars, not red meat. Glycation of LDL cholesterol is what's happening as a result of ever increased blood glucose, this leads to not just repair of inflammation but plaquing.


note: I say this as someone sitting eating easter hershey's candy coated easter eggs (thankfully they are only around this time a year, and I limit myself to only a few).

I'm not saying never have certain things... but there's a huge difference to one snack/dessert with refined sugar once or twice a month, and several times a day. We're also consuming FAR more available simple carbohydrates in general from strains selected for flavor preferences that coincide to higher absorption as well, and more significantly higher yields. We couldn't feed the world without GMO corn, soy and wheat. That doesn't mean they should be preferred when you can make better choices and have a more rounded diet.




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