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Monday, October 01, 2007

Dietary Matters 

I know it seems like all I do these days is harp on diet and nutrition, but that's much of what's in the news and I don't understand quantum cryptography, and the continuing Iraq and SCHIP* travesties just make me to angry to say anything coherent (or publishable).

First, the good news. A UVA professor has published a review of the literature on carb-based diets, and found that the whole good-versus-bad carb thing is pretty much crap. It seems that there is no real evidence that a low-glycemic index diet is better for you, or will even help you lose weight in the long term. Also, low-carbers may not be as quick-thinking. Heh.

As much as I like that news, this could be even better: a pilot study of chronic fatigue syndrome patients may have had significant symptom reduction from eating dark chocolate. Except, of course, that I don't buy the findings one bit. Even though chocolate's health and cognitive benefits are pretty safely established, I can't help but be really concerned that this study doesn't appear to have controlled for caffeine. Or sugar. Or much of anything, really. Oh well.

Now, the bad-but-still-kinda-funny news: One of the big things in modern medicine is people going on endlessly about lowering their cholesterol. As usual, it has become clear that too much of a good thing is in fact a bad thing...pregnant women with very low cholesterol are at higher risk for premature and other poor birth outcomes. So pregnant ladies? Have another plate of steak.

* If anyone still needs convincing that dubya and co. are actually evil, as opposed to just incompetent, this really should do it.

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