Dr. Lipman’s Wellness News Roundup (Oct. 7)

Every day, we scour the Web looking for compelling wellness stories that provide the information — and inspiration — you need to make good choices. Here are this week’s must-read wellness articles.

FDA: Glyphosate Residues Found in Baby Food

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has found traces of glyphosate in many oat products — including baby cereal. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, the most heavily used herbicide in the world. Last year, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” “There is not a single example of IARC being wrong, showing something is a probable carcinogen and then later it is proven not to be,” says IARC chairman Aaron Bair. (EcoWatch)

This Is Your Brain on Sugar

Sugar may alter the control mechanisms in the brain. That’s the working theory of University of Michigan molecular biologist Monica Dus, who think sugar changes the brain in such a way that it no longer tracks how many calories the body is ingesting — which leads to both overeating and obesity. “Perhaps it has nothing to do with will, and a lot to do with biochemistry,” Dus says.  (NPR)

‘Breast Microbiome’ May Impact Cancer Risk

We’ve all heard about the gut microbiome, but it turns out that breast tissue has its own microbiome — and it may increase or decrease the risk of breast cancer, according to a new study in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Specifically, researchers found that women with breast cancer had higher levels of Enterobacteriaceae, Staphylococcus, and Bacillus bacteria, while women without cancer had higher levels of Lactococcus and Streptococcus bacteria. “What we’re not sure of yet is whether certain bacteria are found near breast tumors because they cause breast cancer or because they just thrive in the tumor environment,” says immunologist Delphine Lee, who was not involved in the study. (Scientific American)

‘Big Fat Fix’ Documentary

“Lifestyle changes do no harm and only do good. We don’t learn any of this in medical school.” So says cardiologist Aseem Malhotra in this wide-ranging interview about health and nutrition. Malhotra’s new film, “Big Fat Fix,” challenges the idea that fat is behind the rise in chronic disease, including cardiovascular disease. “We have been wrong in declaring saturated fat the most important dietary factor driving cardiovascular disease,” he says. “We have neglected sugar, and sugar is the major problem.”  (Medscape)

Most Health Studies Are Flawed, Says Stanford Researcher

Only 3 percent of meta-analyses and systemic reviews are “both correct and useful.” That’s the word from highly respected Stanford researcher John Ioannidis, who has made his name exposing the bad science of medical researchers. Ioannidis outlines many problems with the review system, including the vast number of studies that have industry funding. “We have a massive factory of industry-supported reviews…” he says. “These systematic reviews have become a marketing tool.” (Medscape)

The Problem With the USDA

“I spent a lot of years eating disgusting imitation “spreads” when I could have had butter,” writes Sandy Hingston in this entertaining takedown of the federal government’s ever-changing (and ever-flawed) dietary guidelines. Hingston points out the many mistakes the USDA has made over the years, including its hearty embrace of grains: “Did you know that less than one percent of those subsidies go toward vegetables and fruits, while 60 percent go to support production of grains? Yet the government’s own research shows that Americans with the highest consumption of federally subsidized foods are significantly more likely to be obese, have belly fat, and have abnormal levels of cholesterol and blood sugar.”  (Philadelphia Magazine)

All Calories Are Not Created Equal

In a commentary that also takes aim at the misguided dietary guidelines issued by the USDA, Harvard Medical School professor David Ludwig says low-fat diets don’t work and the government should fund more research that looks at alternate ideas, including low-carbohydrate diets. “The science of nutrition is complex,” Ludwig notes. “But we know that the low-fat diet of the last 40 years didn’t work. In view of the human and economic toll of diet-related disease, this failure warrants a rigorous examination, efforts to mitigate existing harms and robust government funding to test new ideas.”  (CNN)

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