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Monday, 26 September 2016

Test to see if you’ll get statins side-effects – available 2020

Eight million people take statins in the UK, which help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart attack, but many suffer side effects. A major study of more than 100,000 people who’d been prescribed statins from 2000 to 2008 found that 17 percent of patients reported side effects such as muscle pain, nausea, and liver and nervous system problems, tiredness or shortness of breath.

Two-thirds of those who reported side effects stopped taking the drugs, and, the study found, half of those prescribed statins quit taking them at least temporarily, while 20 per cent quit for more than a year. However, the British Heart Foundation points out the vast majority of people who take them will not have a problem.

Now a team at Dundee University are developing a simple saliva and blood test that looks for particular compounds that predict whether someone will suffer adverse reactions when they take these pills. The scientists are hoping a commercially available test could become a reality by 2020.


When you are a blogger ...

... you can choose what you like to post and blog about !

It may be a lovely LCHF recipe idea, this one is tasty
Provençal Chicken

Serves Four
4.0g carbohydrate per serving
1 tbsp oil
100 g lean smoked bacon medallions, roughly chopped
1 red onion, cut into wedges
1 courgette, halved and cut into chunks
1 aubergine (eggplant), cut into small pieces
4 tomatoes, cut into large wedges
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 red chilli, chopped
500 g carton passata
half a chicken stock cube, crumbled
460 g chicken thigh fillets
14g of fresh flat leaf parsley, washed and roughly chopped
2 tsp mixed herbs
The cooking instructions are here

it could be a picture of some lovely Autumn Berries, I thought these were nice

or how about some (old) photo's of our five grand-children that made me smile

it could even be a 'Winnie The Pooh' giphy, that our grand-daughters like
... be careful when you're trying to race after the falling Autumn leaves!

or it could be I just want to wish you all a happy and enjoyable day

When you are a blogger ...
you can wish all your friends, and readers, a good day and a good week ahead
and thank them for taking time to read the low carb diabetic blog
All the best Jan

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Serious drug side effects are massively underreported in medical papers

An astonishing 64 per cent of drug or medical device side effects are left out of the published reports that clinicians so frequently base decisions on. This is the finding of a recent paper published in the journal PLOS Medicine by a team of UK researchers.

The paper looked at 28 studies dealing with the discrepancies present in hundreds of published trial results, versus their unpublished counterparts. Unpublished data was found in places such as pharmaceutical reports and clinical trial registries. This includes in the US, one of the first of its kind set up to bring greater transparency to the industry.

The authors found that harmful side effects would have been missed between 43 per cent and 100 per cent of the time if only the published findings were consulted, and 64 per cent on average.

“There is strong evidence that much of the information on adverse events remains unpublished and that the number and range of adverse events is higher in unpublished than in published versions of the same study,” the authors wrote.

It is incredibly difficult to accurately assess the depth of the problem. But the authors believe it is, nevertheless, vast in scope.

“Most people in the healthcare sector like to demonstrate improvements in peoples’ lives - people only read about treatments that make them better,” co-author Yoon K Loke, professor of Medicine and Pharmacology at the University of East Anglia, told WIRED.

“The main purpose of a paper is that there is good news and that something works. Most people consider side effects to be bad news so they present the minimum possible. The journals want to publish something that is exciting and interesting. I wouldn’t say it is anyone’s fault in particular. People like to think they have the new cure for cancer. I blame the culture.”

The 28 studies the team looked at each approached the problem differently, so various specific issues were highlighted in each. One study, in particular, found that although there were fewer unpublished data sources than published among the trials studied, the total number of serious side effects was higher in the unpublished set. For example, instances of “suicide ideations, attempts, or injury, homicidal ideations, and psychiatric symptoms” all higher in the unpublished set. The side effects being dealt with in these broad studies are clearly not all trivial.

The authors are now calling for full and transparent reporting of trial results so that medical professionals can base their decisions on the wider picture.

This is far from an unknown problem. Loke says we are so frequently getting only “a small, incomplete picture” of what actually happened in a trial. In many instances the authors behind the 28 studies had to submit Freedom of Information requests to get a fuller picture.

John Ioannidis, professor in disease prevention at Stanford Medicine and academic editor on the PLOS Medicine study, believes most editors and journals are in fact not actually aware of the extent of the problem. “Reporting of harms has always been suboptimal, even worse than reporting of effectiveness outcomes that has also had substantial deficiencies,” he told WIRED. “Many journals are starting to take more seriously the need for making detailed protocols and raw data routinely available. This will hopefully help remedy some of this bias or at a minimum it will help probe its depth. But there will still remain a lot of unpublished data and their non-availability may keep distorting the literature.”

He adds that although there is some academic guidance provided to authors reporting on harmful side effects, “most journals don’t follow this guidance routinely”. “This leaves a lot of subjectivity on what/how to report among the typically large and difficult to organise amount of information that may be collected - either by plan or haphazardly - on side effects during a trial.

There have been higher profile instances of side effects being omitted from published papers that demonstrate just how grave the problem can be.

A 2014 Newsweek story highlighted how a "significant amount of negative data" from trials of the drug Tamiflu were withheld from the public. Around 70 deaths were attributed to the drug, many of them suicides - but this potential side effect was not known to the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention or the doctors administering it.

Headway is being made to remedy the problem, but progress is slow. On September 14 the United Nations released a report from The High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines, which urged governments to “require that the unidentified data on all completed and discontinued clinical trials be made publicly available in an easily searchable public register”.

This was already being called for as far back as 2008, when the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors decided only to publish trials that had been publicly registered before they began.

"Registering trials means logging details of the trial in a publicly accessible online database so researchers can see that the trial has happened and its protocol," Sile Lane, director of campaigns and policy at independent charity Sense About Science, told WIRED.

"Anyone can look at the register entry to see what the trialists planned to do and then look at the published report to see if they have reported back honestly and completely. This helps us hold the trialists to account." ICMJE is also considering requiring every trial to submit and publish raw data.

GlaxoSmithKline has promised to make clinical study reports from all of its trials since 2000 public, while Bristol-Myers Squib andJohnson & Johnson have both agreed to make raw trial data open to researchers. However in general, says Lane, "big industry umbrella groups have not made this a priority and are not pushing to find remedies".

"History is only moving in one direction, and that's towards transparency...Some companies and some academics do this now. There's really no excuse for anyone running a trial not to do this."


Baked Mini Bell Peppers

"Wow – so delicious! Small bell peppers with a creamy and spicy cheese will be a success at the dinner table. Great as a low-carb side dish or as a snack.

4 servings ( 5 carbs per serving )

½ lb (225 g) mini bell peppers, about 8-10
½ lb (225 g) cream cheese
1 oz. (30 g) chorizo, in thin slices
½ – 1 tablespoon mild chipotle paste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme or cilantro
1 cup (240 ml) grated (shredded) cheese"

For cooking instructions, see Diet Doctor site, here

Mini Bell Peppers:
These small, thumb size peppers measure about three inches tall and have a crisp texture. Mini Sweet peppers are thinner-skinned than larger peppers and their texture withstands grilling and cooking.
Mini Sweet bell peppers are available year-round.
Current Facts
Mini Sweet peppers are grown specifically for their size, flavor and appearance. They are available in a trio of red, yellow and orange colors.
Mini Sweet peppers are great eaten fresh, out-of-hand or added to any number of dishes. Stuff peppers with cheese or ground meats; add raw peppers to salads or pasta dishes for added texture. Roasted Mini Sweet peppers make a nice addition to soups or stews. If refrigerated, the peppers will keep for up to two weeks, left at room temperature they will lose their crunchy texture within hours. Freeze roasted or grilled peppers for future use.
Details about mini bell peppers taken from here

All the best Jan

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Travis - Idlewild ft. Josephine Oniyama

New from Travis enjoy

Lauren Shera - Once I Was A Bird

Saturday night time to chill out

Emeli Sandé - Clown

OK last one from me tonight, the stunning looking and very talented Emeli Sandé. Eddie 


Another track from the Man and friends. It's so easy to make great music when you have this sort of talent. Eddie

Szakcsi Lakatos Béla Sachi Peace For Pastorius

Saturday night again and music night on this blog. I added this album to my collection back in 1988. It is the work of Szakcsi Lakatos Béla born Budapest in 1943. He worked with and admired the work of bass legend Jaco Pastorius. Many people regard Jaco as one of the worlds true musical innovators. Like so many gifted musicians, Jaco went into self destruct mode, alcohol, drugs and mental illness. He was killed in a fight with a night club bouncer, and died aged 35. This piece of sublime music is a tribute to his memory. Eddie

The USA is going to the dogs! and it's official.

"When the U.S. sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold" Who has not heard that quote. You don't need the brains of Einstein to understand what that quote means, when the US economy is going down, the rest of the world is in trouble. In many ways the UK is a much scaled down version of the US. How we got to be at fifth place is way beyond me. Our once envy of the world National Health Service is rapidly declining. Poverty is on the increase, over one million people depend on free food charities. Adults are living at home into their thirties because even a modest flat/apartment is totally unaffordable, and in real terms earnings have been going backwards for years.

As I said earlier "When the U.S. sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold" The question I am asking myself, is how bad is it going to get? and we still have the prospect of either Clinton or Trump as the next US President.  

As Bloomberg reports, Iceland and Sweden share the top slot with Singapore as world leaders when it comes to health goals set by the United Nations, according to a report published in the Lancet. Using the UN’s sustainable development goals as guideposts, which measure the obvious (poverty, clean water, education) and less obvious (societal inequality, industry innovation), more than 1,870 researchers in 124 countries compiled data on 33 different indicators of progress toward the UN goals related to health.

The massive study emerged from a decadelong collaboration focused on the worldwide distribution of disease.

About a year and a half ago, the researchers involved decided their data might help measure progress on what may be the single most ambitious undertaking humans have ever committed themselves to: survival. In doing so, they came up with some disturbing findings, including that the country with the biggest economy (not to mention, if we’re talking about health, multibillion-dollar health-food and fitness industries) ranks No. 28 overall, between Japan and Estonia.

A reader comments.

"The U.S. is Number 1 in plenty of categories. It's Number 1 in prescription drug ingestion.  The U.S. makes up only 6% of the world's population, but its citizens ingest 80% of the worlds prescription drugs.  The U.S. is also Number 1 in incarcerations.  Again, with only 6% of the world's population, the U.S. has 25% of the world's imprisoned.  And, although I can't prove it statistically, having gone to Walmart, I think it's safe to post that the U.S. is Number 1 in having the greatest percentage of the world's scooter people.  That's why when Walmart remodelled its stores, it made the isles wider.  See you at the Golden Corral, fellow Americans." 

More on this article here.

If the stats quoted for US pharma drugs use, is anywhere near accurate, the mind boggles. 

The full Lancet report can be read here. 

Have a cheerful weekend folks. 


Thyme and Roast Beef, with a Mustard Crust

image of thyme from wikipedia

Usually a favourite for Sunday dinners when it’s sprinkled on to roast meat or veg, you’ll find trusty thyme in most herb racks. But there’s so much more to this aromatic shrub. Here’s everything you need to know about thyme recipes.

What is thyme?

A modest-looking shrub with long thin sprigs of sprouting leaves. The sprigs and leaves can be used fresh, ground or dried. Just a teaspoon adds a pungent earthy flavour – but it’s not too overpowering, so it’s great for layering with other seasoning. Thyme is an aromatic herb, which means it’s used as much for its fragrant scent as its taste.

Where is thyme from?

Part of the mint family, thyme grows in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean. The ancient Greeks loved it for its fragrant aroma and used it as incense.

How do I use thyme?

If it’s fresh thyme, you can use just the leaves, whole sprigs or chop it up. Dried thyme can be used during cooking so the flavour has time to infuse – think pasta sauces, soups and even baking – or sprinkled on top of dishes to give an instant flavour boost. Generally, 1 tsp dried thyme is equal to 1 tbsp (3 tsp) snipped fresh thyme.

What can I make with thyme?

It’s great for meat marinades and cracking in veggie traybakes. Feeling more adventurous? Use it to liven up grilled fish, homemade pizza, creamy risottos or even cocktails. Plus, it pairs amazingly with lemon and goes great with other Mediterranean herbs like oregano, parsley and rosemary.

How long does thyme keep for?

Fresh thyme lasts for up to a couple of weeks in the fridge, while the dried stuff lasts for two to three years when stored in a cool, dark cupboard. Make sure you keep the lid tightly closed when you’re not using it.

Words above taken from here

If you are looking for something tasty for a great family Sunday meal, you've found it! This lovely recipe has a crisp mustard crust, and uses thyme, which just adds to the flavour. These ingredients serves four with leftovers, which are just perfect for use with some lovely swede rosti the next day!


1 large British beef roasting joint (approx 1.5kg)
1 tbsp plain flour
2 large red onions, cut into wedges
16 shallots, peeled
2 bulbs of garlic, cloves separated but unpeeled
15 g fresh thyme
200 g Chantenay carrots, trimmed
A little (sunflower) oil

1. Take the joint out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking to bring it up to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 230ºC, fan 210ºC, gas 8.
2. Weigh the beef to calculate the exact cooking time – for medium, cook for 15 minutes per 450g plus an extra 20 minutes; for well-done, cook for 20 minutes per 450g plus an extra 20 minutes.
3. Put the beef in a large roasting tin. Sift the flour and mustard together in a bowl, then use a tea-strainer or sieve to dust it over the fatty side of the joint. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
4. Roast the joint for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 200ºC, fan 180ºC, gas 6 and cook for the remaining calculated cooking time. Baste the joint every 30 minutes with the pan juices.
5. An hour before the end of cooking time, put the onions, shallots and garlic in the roasting tin around the meat. Scatter over the sprigs of thyme, reserving a few sprigs for garnish. Toss the vegetables in the pan juices to coat; drizzle them with a little (sunflower) oil if necessary.
6. When the beef is cooked to your liking, transfer it and the roasted vegetables to a serving platter and cover loosely with foil. Let the meat rest for 20 minutes. Carve and serve with the roasted onion, garlic and shallots, plus veggies and trimmings of your choice. Garnish with the reserved thyme.

Original recipe idea here

We bring a variety of articles and recipe ideas to this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Friday, 23 September 2016

Is Use of Diabetes Meds in Pregnancy Linked to ADHD?

MUNICH — Risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be increased in children of mothers who used medication for gestational diabetes or type 2 diabetes for more than 2 months during pregnancy, new research shows.

"Our data show that children exposed to their mothers' gestational diabetes or type 2 diabetes that required antidiabetic medication during pregnancy were found to be at greater risk of ADHD than children" who were not exposed to antidiabetic medications, reported Anny Xiang, PhD, Kaiser Permanente Southern California (KPSC), Pasadena, at the recent European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) 2016 Annual Meeting.

"The magnitude of association seems to increase with increasing duration of…use," she added. "In children whose mothers took antidiabetic medication for over 60 days, after multivariate adjustment, we found a 23% increased incidence of ADHD (hazard ratio [HR], 1.23; P = .06)."

Comoderator of the session, Alexandra Kautzky-Willer, MD, professor of gender medicine at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria, commented on the findings, bearing in mind that 85% of the pregnant women in the study were on insulin treatment.

"These results are interesting, but we cannot say that insulin has a negative effect on offspring. It would be good to know about the hyperglycemic states of patients, which were not actually discussed but might be related to the outcomes."

Dr Kautzky-Willer emphasized that it was an important study due to the lack of work in this field currently and because insulin treatment is very common in pregnant women with type 2 diabetes. However, she stressed, "We cannot conclude that medication is dangerous at the moment."

Fellow moderator Adam Tabak, MD, PhD, from University College, London, United Kingdom, agreed. These are "interesting hypothesis-generating data, but I wouldn't rush to any conclusions at this stage. We need more phenotypically defined details of the population and to catch the unmeasured confounders," he stated.

Knowledge Gap: Gestational Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, and ADHD

Maternal type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes are associated with increased risks of perinatal morbidities as well as obesity and metabolic disorders in the child, but the relationship between gestational diabetes and neurobehavioral disorders is not well studied, noted Dr Xiang.

This large, retrospective, population-based study aimed to assess the association of maternal type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes with the risk of ADHD in the offspring, she added.

Information was extracted from electronic medical records on singleton pregnancies from 1995 to 2009 held by KPSC where delivery occurred between 18 and 44 gestational weeks.

Children with a diagnosis of autism were excluded, as were mothers with type 1 diabetes or polycystic ovarian syndrome, to focus specifically on type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes, explained Dr Xiang.
Participant children were followed until the date of diagnosis of ADHD, last date of KPSC membership, death, or until December 31, 2014.

Children exposed to type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes were stratified according to maternal age and ethnicity, and they were matched with children not exposed to maternal diabetes.

Of those children eligible for inclusion, 20,481 were exposed to gestational diabetes, 3407 were exposed to type 2 diabetes, and 110,905 were not exposed to diabetes.

Duration of Antidiabetic Medication Use Associated With ADHD

Outcomes were the development of ADHD and the age at diagnosis, with adjustments made for maternal age at delivery, household income, education, mother's history of ADHD, and gender, as well as potential confounders including preeclampsia/eclampsia, gestational weeks at delivery, birth weight, and birth defects.

The incidence of ADHD was similar in all groups: 4.1% in those not exposed to maternal diabetes, 3.9% in children of mothers with type 2 diabetes, and 3.8% in those exposed to gestational diabetes.

But Dr Xiang went on to explain that in children whose mothers were treated with antidiabetic medication (n = 7479), there was a small but significant increased risk of ADHD (HR, 1.20, adjusted to 1.16; P = .03), compared with children from mothers with diabetes [gestational or type 2 diabetes] who did not take any medication at all during pregnancy.

Among women with type 2 diabetes, 47% used medication during pregnancy, while 29% of those with gestational diabetes received pharmacologic treatment.

Results were then further stratified by duration of antidiabetic medication use into 1 to 29 days, 30 to 59 days, and 60 days or more, and a duration-dependent relationship with ADHD incidence was identified.

"The trend was significant both with and without adjustment for covariates, with a 23% increased incidence of ADHD in children whose mothers took antidiabetic medication for over 60 days."

The associations of ADHD with antidiabetic medication use for less than 60 days did not reach significance.

Dr Xiang acknowledged, however, that the study has limitations and stressed that more research is needed.

"We wonder if the increased duration [of use] might be a surrogate for the severity of diabetes during pregnancy and that this might be the surrogate for the increasing risk of ADHD," she observed, noting that this might be an avenue for future work.

And moderator Dr Tabak stressed that the limitations of the study should be taken seriously. "Some unmeasured confounders could be behind these findings…because these women could be socioeconomically very different."

Drs Xiang, Kautzky-Willer, and Tabak have declared no relevant financial relationships.


Brussels Sprout and Cheddar Cheese Soup : Perfect For Autumn Days

If you should have spent time raking up any fallen Autumn leaves, or perhaps just been out enjoying a walk in some Autumn sunshine - then you may probably welcome a lovely bowl of this warming soup. 

This recipe suggestion is by Emma Franklin who is Assistant Food Editor at Sainsbury's magazine. Emma prefers to choose cheeseboard over the dessert trolley and perhaps her love for cheese shows in this recipe idea. I think the mature cheddar cheese goes so well with the Brussels sprouts and with cooler Autumn Days ahead why not keep this recipe in mind ...

Serves Four
a splash of olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
2 medium onions, chopped
300 g cooked Brussels sprouts*
2 garlic cloves, crushed
650 ml vegetable stock
4 tbsp single cream
100 g mature cheddar, grated, plus extra to serve

1. Heat the oil in a medium pan and fry the onions over a medium heat until soft, 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile, roughly chop half the cooked sprouts and cut the rest into halves or quarters, depending on size.
2. Add the garlic to the pan and stir-fry for 1 minute, then add the chopped sprouts and stock, cover with a lid and bring to the boil. Take the pan off the heat and leave to cool slightly.
3. Purée the soup. Stir the cream, remaining sprouts, cheese and some seasoning into the pan and simmer for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a scattering of extra cheese.

*Please note the Brussels Sprouts should be cooked first, approx 8-10 minutes, or until tender, in boiling salted water.

Each serving provides:
7.9g carbohydrate 5.7g fibre 4.2g protein 5.0g fat

Enjoy your Autumn Days ...

All the best Jan

The Low Carb Diabetic Blog !

Why The Low Carb Diabetic Blog ?

Well the blog has been going for some years now, and we have recently welcomed many new readers from all around the world.

From both emails and comments received some have asked about the blog when and why was it first introduced etc:

Our original profile states:

"We are a small band of diabetics all low carbers. Posting links to diabetes related articles and low carb food advice. In our spare time we like to lampoon the spreaders of fear and misinformation. Welcome to the crazy world of diabetes."

Our Interests: "Challenging the outdated dogma that believes diabetics should base their diet on blood glucose raising carbohydrates, and demolishing the myths that says saturated fat causes chronic disease."

Our Favourite books include "Dr.Richard Bernstein The Diabetes Solution, Gary Taubes The Diet Delusion, Dr. Malcolm Kendrick The Cholestrol Con. "

In more recent times the blog has taken on a more magazine type feel with a widening of articles, news, views, recipes, some personal stories, and our ever popular Saturday Night Is Music Night Spot.

The team's main concern is still with diabetes and the better control of it by following a LCHF lifestyle, but more and more people, who are not diabetic, have been discovering this lifestyle and seeing for themselves the improvement in health and well-being it can give.

None of the low carb team are medical professionals. The articles you read are personal views but often link to both medical and scientific studies.

I am the only one of the team who is not a diabetic, but being married to Eddie a Type 2 diabetic, and seeing how this LCHF lifestyle can and does help so many, it just made sense to live the lifestyle myself and join the small team.

We look forward to posting up many more articles, and many thanks for taking time to read.

You may also be interested to read this "Introduction to low-carb for beginners", you can find it here

All the best Jan

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Ricotta and almond courgette ravioli with a crushed-tomato salsa

Yes, a clever way with raw courgette/zucchini, wrapped around ricotta with a punchy relish! This is gluten-free and very low-carb. Yellow courgettes are ideal if you want your ravioli to resemble the real thing, but green ones work perfectly well. It is important to make the courgette strips as thin as possible so they stay in shape when folded. You can use ground almonds in the filling if you prefer, but it is worth going to the effort of blitzing toasted flaked almonds for the extra flavour they bring.

Serves Four
2 large courgettes/zucchini
25ml extra-virgin olive oil
100g toasted flaked almonds
250g ricotta
50g vegetarian hard cheese, finely grated
small handful of fresh basil leaves, finely sliced
75g wild rocket

For the salsa
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp red-wine vinegar
1 shallot, peeled
1 garlic clove, peeled
300g vine-ripened cherry tomatoes, quartered
large handful of fresh basil leaves, finely sliced

Slice the courgettes/zucchini into thin ribbons using a mandolin or peeler. You need 40, each at least 12½cm long.

Toss the ribbons in a bowl with the oil until evenly coated, and set aside to soften.

For the salsa, put the oil and vinegar in a medium-sized bowl. Finely chop the shallot and garlic, add them to the bowl and whisk everything together. Season, then toss through the tomatoes.

Using a potato masher, roughly mash them up a little so the juices come out, making a sauce but leaving lots of texture. Finally, stir in the basil. Set aside.

Blitz 75g of the flaked almonds in a mini-blender to create fine crumbs. Tip into a medium-sized bowl and add the ricotta, hard cheese and basil. Stir well and season.

Lay two pieces of courgette/zucchini criss-crossed on a clean board. Spoon a tablespoon of ricotta mixture in the centre.

Wrap the two ends of the bottom piece of courgette/zucchini over the filling, followed by the two ends of the top piece, to enclose. Turn the parcel seam-side down.

Repeat to make 20 parcels, arranging five on each serving plate as you go. These can be made up to two days ahead. If making in advance, place them on a large tray lined with non-stick baking paper.

When ready to serve, spoon the salsa over the ravioli. Pile some rocket leaves on top, scatter with the remaining almonds and finish with a twist of pepper.

Above photo credit - Cristian Barnett.
Original recipe idea/words by Sharon Hearne-Smith here

Read more about courgettes here

All the best Jan

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Ben Goldacre: Bad pharma and the canary in the coalmine for problems in modern medicine

Ben Goldacre is on the phone from London and he’s getting exercised about statins. “Statins are the canary in the cage for problems in modern medicine,” he says.

They are also the subjects of his next book – yet to be completed – and were addressed at some length in his last one,Bad Pharma (2012).

His continued focus is not surprising. For a host of reasons, research into statins and the prescribing patterns that research catalyses pretty much epitomise his concerns about medical academia.

They are concerns that, since he qualified as a medical doctor in 2000 after studies in Oxford, Milan and Los Angeles, have seen him move from GP, to author, to researcher, to, now, medical activist.

Goldacre, UK-born to Australian parents, fronts two long-term campaigns designed to bring about root and branch reform of the ways clinical trials are conducted and reported.

The first, AllTrials, has been running since 2013. It seeks to ensure that every trial is both registered with an appropriate authority and then published, regardless of result. At present, perhaps as much as 50% of trial write-ups never see the light of day.

The second campaign, CompareTrials (CT), kicked off late last year and aims to enforce procedural transparency in trials. At issue is the matter of switched priorities: trials that start by researching one outcome, but then change to another before the exercise is concluded.

Earlier this year, the CT team checked every trial published between October 2015 and January 2016 in five major publications, including the British Medical Journal and the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The results reported were compared to the outcomes specified when the trials were initially registered, or the founding protocols published. Out of 67, only nine did what they set out to do. In the rest, 354 stated outcomes were not completed, and 357 new ones were added.

Goldacre happily admits that CT is a “preposterously nerdy venture”. That said, however, it doesn’t diminish its importance.

“There’s a real problem in the way that clinical trials report their results. You can measure the outcome of your trial in hundreds of different ways,” he said.

He poses the hypothetical example a drug aimed at improving cardiovascular health. How baseline and improved health are assessed are matters of great complexity. Blood tests can measure perhaps 20 applicable lines of evidence, each set against potentially hundreds of cut-off points. Symptom questionnaires can be measured against a plethora of ratings scales. Hospital admissions can be recorded by treatment, code, doctors’ notes or length of stay. Patients can be monitored over days, weeks, years, decades.

“So you potentially have thousands and thousands of ways of measuring something like cardiovascular health,” he says, “And because there are so many ways of measuring it, that means the results are really vulnerable to cherry-picking.

“That’s why traditionally we ask people at the beginning of a clinical trial to specify exactly what they are going to measure as the success criteria, and exactly how they are going to measure it.”

Tradition, obligation, and principle, however, are not unbreakable bonds (as any subscriber to Retraction Watch can testify). Much of Goldacre’s Bad Pharma comprises a detailed and depressing catalogue of the many ways in which researchers – sometimes at the behest of the pharmaceutical companies sponsoring the work – recalibrate their initial intentions and generally fiddle with the data.

Sometimes this is merely a matter of spin – such as expressing a benefit as a relative rather than absolute risk reduction – but sometimes it is much more organic.

Outcome priorities are changed; negative results are omitted; trials are foreshortened or extended to better massage the data. In the book, Goldacre terms these tactics “a quiet and diffuse scandal”.

Perhaps this would not matter quite so much if it weren’t for the fact that published trial results feed into pharmaceutical marketing and doctor prescribing choices.

In Bad Pharma, Goldacre relates a trial featuring a new painkiller, celecoxib, that was tested against two other pills to assess side-effect gastrointestinal complications. The published study showed clearly that over a six-month period the new drug was way better than the old ones, leading many GPs to preference it in prescribing.

But it eventually came to light that the original intention of the trial was to test the three pills for a 12-month period – over which celecoxib performed no better than its rivals.

At the other end of scale, in the late 1990s pharmaceutical company GSK investigated anecdotal reports of deaths associated with its asthma inhaler drug Salmeterol. It set up a large clinical trial, with participants monitored intensively for 28 weeks.

It then asked participating doctors to keep an eye out for adverse events for another six months – but did not actively search for cases.

Not surprisingly, the period of intensive monitoring revealed a higher number of negative outcomes (measured against a placebo) than the follow-up period when no one was looking too hard. Changing its initial trial protocol, GSK reported the figure for the two periods combined, thus reducing the apparent severity of the problem.

Which brings us back to statins, the most commonly prescribed medication in the developed world, and Goldacre’s canaries.

In Bad Pharma, he points out that the two most popular prescribed statins, atorvastatin and simvastatin, both work well, but no one has ever tested them against each other to determine which one works better. This is an important point, because if one works only slightly better than the other it’s still a result that could convert into the prevention of thousands of strokes and heart attacks every year.

In the absence of this data, prescribing, Goldacre points out, is effectively a random act. But attempts to formally constitute that randomness as a countrywide trial in England met with a farcical level of bureaucratic complication. That makes statins “one of the most fascinating problems in medicine right now”.

“Over 100 million people take a statin every morning and yet there are huge gaps, firstly in our knowledge about which is best, and gaps in our knowledge about side effects,” he says.

“But also, we have failed, so badly, to communicate the modest benefits of these treatments to the public that there is huge widespread panic and anxiety among not just patients but also doctors, in many cases, about what the benefits of these treatments are.

“If we can’t get this stuff right for [statins] the single most commonly prescribed class of drug in the whole of the developed world – a tablet that is taken every day by 100 million people – then that’s a real window into our failures to do appropriate clinical trials throughout the whole of medicine.”

It’s a subject to which he will no doubt return, not only in his forthcoming book, but also in his upcoming speaking tour of Australian capital cities, kicking off in Brisbane on 22 September.


Novum Pharma's $240, semi-useless acne cream now costs $10,000/tube

The cost of Aloquin -- an acne cream based on iodoquinol and aloe, whose component ingredients cost virtually nothing -- was raised by 128% this week by manufacturer Novum Pharma, who now charge $9,561 for a 60g tube.

The FDA classes Aloquin as "possibly effective," meaning that "there is only limited clinical evidence suggesting it is safe and works as intended." Novum makes some other acne creams -- Alcortin A, which went up by 128% this week as well, and Novacort, which went from $4,186 to $7,142 per 29g tube.

As recently as May 2015, a tube of Aloquin cost $241.50, but shortly after acquiring the drug from its previous owner, Primus Pharmaceuticals, Novum raised its price overnight by 1,100 per cent. In January it again increased the price before raising it a third time last week, according to the figures seen by the FT.

Overall, the price of Aloquin has increased by nearly 3,900 per cent since May of last year.

The strategy of acquiring drugs and then implementing sharp price increases — known as “buy and raise” — has become so controversial that many pharmaceutical executives have pledged to abstain from the tactic.

Item from here.

Never forget, it's because Big Pharma loves you.


Warm Kale Salad : Even Popeye May Have Appreciated This !

The cartoon character Popeye loved spinach ... and  I think he may also have liked this ... those dark green leaves of kale are similar to spinach! Some will say kale is a little chewier than spinach and I wouldn't argue with them, but it is a great low carb vegetable and this recipe makes it into " a crispy and very low-carb salad, ( 5carbs per serving) with some chewiness that goes great as a side dish to most meals." Those last few words from Anne Aobadia who created this recipe idea.

4 servings
2 oz. (60 g) butter
½ lb (225 g) kale
salt and pepper
¾ cup (180 ml) heavy (double) cream
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ – 1 garlic clove, minced or finely chopped
3 oz. (100 g) blue cheese, feta cheese or other (flavourful) cheese of your liking

Instructions for this dish can be found here

read more about Popeye and spinach here

read more about Kale here
it "definitely is one of the healthiest and most nutritious foods on the planet"

Happy and Healthy Eating
All the best Jan

Don’t keep hitting yourself on the head with a bat !

A blast from the past - originally posted in March 2014 - but still relevant!

Imagine meeting a guy that is shovelling painkillers down his neck, while hitting himself on the head with a bat. You stop him and ask what are you up to, and he says if I hit my head with a bat it hurts, so I take the pain killers to stop the pain. The only sane option is throw away the bat and you don’t need the painkillers. This is exactly the same with diabetes medication for most type two diabetics.

All type two diabetics are insulin resistant, because of this insulin levels go up, the more insulin levels go up, the more insulin resistant you become, makes sense, yes. Don’t forget a heavily overweight diabetic (and 80% of type two’s are overweight at diagnosis) can have up to three times the plasma/blood insulin levels of a slim non diabetic. This is not good. Insulin in high levels is highly toxic.

How do you bring down plasma insulin levels ? by eating foods that do not raise insulin levels. Fat has very little if any insulin raising capability, protein raises insulin levels and highly refined carbohydrates take insulin levels through the roof. The remedy, high fat, moderate protein and low carb. This brings down insulin levels, over time (it can vary depending on time a diabetic and other factors) when insulin levels come down, your body becomes less insulin resistant, insulin resistance is what the disease is all about. No insulin resistance, no type two diabetes. It really is that simple.

If you have a weight problem or type two diabetes, stop hitting yourself on the head with a bat. The same goes for type one diabetics. Eat the foods that raise BG the least and reduce your medication. Most type one diabetics that have truly great control, follow Dr Richard Bernstein's power of small numbers regime. The less the carbs, the less the insulin, the less the insulin the less the margin of error, and very often the less the weight problems, and less chance for a type one diabetic becoming a ‘double diabetic’ The last thing you want as a type one, is to end up with the metabolic grief of a type two.


BTW Have you seen the introduction to low carb for beginners information it's free and it's here

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Pork and Plum casserole

Just right for a lovely Autumn meal, and using the plums just added a nice and slightly different taste. Plums have 11g carb per 100grams and using just two did not raise Eddie's blood sugar readings, he is Type 2 diabetic. I always say recipe ideas are only suggestions and most can be adapted to suit your individual needs. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

If you would like a nice gentle aroma of pork and plums wafting through your kitchen, here is what I did!

Serves 2
330g pork (I used leg) wipe clean and dice 
one red pepper, cleaned and diced
six shallots (skin/peel off)
three white mushrooms gently cleaned and quartered
four cherry tomatoes washed 
two red plums washed, halved and de-stoned
salt and pepper for seasoning
tsp mixed herbs
3/4 pint gravy stock of your choice

Heat oven to 180C / 350F / Gas Mark 4
In an oven proof casserole dish place the diced pork, pepper, shallots and mushrooms.
Season with some salt, pepper and mixed herbs
Make up your stock and pour over meat and vegetables to cover
Put lid on casserole dish, place in warmed oven, cook for 45 minutes.
Remove dish carefully from oven and add the cherry tomatoes and plums
Return to oven for another 45 minutes (approx)
Check meat and fruit is cooked/tender.

Tip - I usually gently stir all ingredients at least twice during cooking 

Whilst casserole is cooking prepare any accompanying vegetables

Serve on warmed plates and enjoy

All the best Jan

Monday, 19 September 2016

What do the studies really say about Type 2 diabetes drugs?

It's not the first time Type 2 diabetes dogma has been questioned

Cait O'Sullivan travelled all the way across the continent a few weeks ago to ask a question that's been haunting her for years.

It's her job to know how drugs work, and this was her chance to confront the regulators.

It was a public meeting at the FDA's Washington, D.C., headquarters, and Health Canada officials would be there.

The main item on the agenda? Drug approval for Type 2 diabetes.

O'Sullivan wanted them to state, on the public record, what scientific evidence they were using to support their approval of drugs for Type 2 diabetes.

Because O'Sullivan has read the literature and she can't find it.

After the meeting she flew back home to Vancouver Island empty handed.

"I stood up to ask my question, and they said no more questions." O'Sullivan said. "It was a disappointing experience."

But O'Sullivan is not the first to challenge the basis for tight blood sugar control in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes.

A Cochrane review in 2013, a BMJ paper in 2014, and most recently a literature review from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., have all investigated the evidence and found it lacking.

New study questions Type 2 diabetes treatment

It matters because millions of people are taking these drugs.

The theory is that using medication to tightly control blood sugar in type 2 diabetes will prevent the deterioration of tiny blood vessels which can lead to damage in kidneys, eyes and other parts of the body, a composite outcome called "microvascular complications."

But curiously, the studies failed to show a corresponding drop in the risk of blindness, nor a reduction in the rate of kidney failure.

And none of the studies have shown that tight glucose control reduces the risk of frightening complications like stroke, fatal heart attacks, or death from all causes .

One small positive finding persists: a slight reduction in the risk of a non-fatal heart attack. But the risk of death from heart attack doesn't change.

What some researchers are asking is whether the evidence justifies millions of people taking drugs for decades, and risking side effects, which can include weight gain and the possibility of serious hypoglycemia, which can cause coma and death.

Same data, different interpretations

In medical journalism, it's a major challenge trying to reflect the uncertainty that is inherent in biomedical research. There's a perception that science delivers straightforward, objective answers.

But interpretations can be surprisingly subjective, even though everyone is using the same data.

Witness the raging debate over the use of statins that has pitted two of the world's most prestigious medical journals in an increasingly heated argument over the evidence for some of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the world.

The debate over tight glucose control in type 2 diabetes has been less public, but it has been simmering in the professional community for years.

Calgary doctor disputes latest study on Type 2 diabetes treatment

No one is suggesting that the drugs be tossed out, or that attention to glucose control should be recklessly abandoned.
In his paper, Dr. Victor Montori called for a "careful and thoughtful recalibration," saying "a skeptical view may be necessary."

Decades ago, a patient would be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes based on symptoms of acute high blood sugar including excessive thirst, frequent urination, and blurred vision. Experts still agree that those symptoms should be immediately treated with glucose lowering drugs.

The evidence gap

But today, most patients have no symptoms. They find out they have Type 2 diabetes after a routine blood test. Should they also be given drugs to hit the tight glucose levels? This is where the evidence gap lies.

Back in her home on Vancouver Island, Cait O'Sullivan continues her work for the B.C. Ministry of Health, educating family doctors about the evidence behind the drugs they're prescribing.

When she tells them about the debate over type 2 diabetes drugs, they are often surprised.

"They look at me as though they've never heard of the inquiry into the science behind it," she said.

It's a debate that can only be resolved with more study and better data. That's why O'Sullivan's group is calling on Health Canada to demand better evidence when they approve type 2 diabetes drugs.

Right now Health Canada only requires evidence that the drugs lower blood sugar, and don't increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

"What we would need is evidence that the drugs improve the longevity of people's lives or reduce their risk of developing any disability associated with diabetes," O'Sullivan said.

But those questions are unlikely to be asked if the belief persists that they've already been answered.


Peanut Butter Cookie Biscuits : Nut Free and Low Carb

If you are, (or know someone who is), allergic to nuts - then this recipe suggestion - which is for nut free peanut butter cookie biscuits may be just right for you! It is also great if you have children (or grandchildren) that are not permitted to take anything with nuts into school. Many schools do now operate this policy for obvious reasons ... 

How is it nut free you may ask ... Libby at Ditch The Carbs site says.

" Many wheat free, or low carb recipes call for ground almonds (which isn’t permitted) or uses a large amount of coconut flour which has quite a strong flavour and an ‘odd’ texture. These nut free peanut butter cookies solve both these problems.

The tahini is a seed butter so is allowed at school, the coconut flour is overpowered by the tahini nutty taste and the texture is acceptable as there isn’t much in these cookies. Once they are drizzled with chocolate, they look pretty special.

Note On Nuts  “The FDA lists coconut as a tree nut but in fact, coconut is a seed of a drupaceous fruit. Most people allergic to tree nuts can safely eat coconut. Coconut allergy is reasonably rare. If you are allergic to tree nuts, talk to your allergist before adding coconut to or eliminating coconut from your diet.”
To make 12 of these cookie biscuits you will need: 
110g / 1 stick / 4 oz butter softened
⅓ cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
1 tbs granulated stevia, or sweetener of choice, to taste
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
¼ cup coconut flour
¼ tsp baking soda

These take about ten minutes to prepare and ten minutes to cook, and work out at just 2.7g carbs per cookie biscuit.

You can find the instructions here

If you should need help with weight/measurement conversion look here

Tahini is made from sesame seeds that are soaked in water and then crushed to separate the bran from the kernels. The crushed seeds are soaked in salt water, causing the bran to sink. The floating kernels are skimmed off the surface, toasted, and ground to produce an oily paste. The oldest mention of sesame is in a cuneiform document written 4,000 years ago that describes the custom of serving the gods sesame wine. The historian Herodotus writes about the cultivation of sesame 3,500 years ago in the region of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Ancient Iraq. It was mainly used as a source of oil, read more about Tahini here.

Hope you may try out one of these cookie biscuits soon ...

All the best Jan

Sunday, 18 September 2016

The Lancet Versus BMJ: Dispatch From The Statin Wars

–The editors of the two top UK medical journals are in a bitter fight over statins.
The editors of the two top medical journals in the UK are at war over statins.
The bitter fight has its origins in the 2014 publication in theBMJ of two articles that were highly critical of statins. Rory Collins (Oxford University), a leading statin trialist, demanded that the BMJ retract the article. After a lengthy investigation by an independent committee the BMJdeclined to retract the articles, though it did issue corrections.
Last week the Lancet became involved when it published a 30 page review article by Collins and colleagues seeking to demonstrate that the benefits of statins have been underappreciated and the adverse effects of statins have been overstated by both the medical community and the public. In a related comment Lancet editor Richard Hortonaligned himself with Collins and supported an effort by Collins and others to seek sanctions against the BMJ from COPE (the committee on publication ethics), decrying what he described as ” COPE’s refusal to investigate the growing concerns of senior UK scientists.”
The latest salvo in the battle comes from the BMJ in response to Horton’s comment. In a statement issued on Thursday the BMJ said Horton’s characterization of COPE’s response was “inaccurate” and it published for the first time COPE documents relating to the controversy.
The documents from COPE, published online by the BMJ, make clear that a COPE panel did investigate the issue but did not agree with Collins and his supporters. The COPE panel “found that neither paper met the COPE criteria for retraction.” COPE also rejected the idea that it was unethical or inappropriate to publish articles critical of statins: “Without having an opinion on one or other side of the debate on the use of statins and their side effects, it is clear that this is a topic on which there is a considerable range of opinion and no purpose is served by censoring either side of the debate.”
“We hope that publication of the documents relating to the complaint will serve to correct the public record,” said Fiona Godlee, editor-in-chief of BMJ. Godlee announced that she had also written to England’s chief medical officer, Sally Davies, “asking her to set up an inquiry into the statins saga and an independent review of the evidence on statins.”
The supporting documents released by the BMJ also clearly indicate that Collins refused invitations from Godlee to publish his concerns about the disputed papers in BMJ.
BMJ  also published an editorial comment by Harlan Krumholz (Yale University) on the statin controversy. (Krumholz was a member of the independent BMJcommittee that investigated whether the BMJ should retract the disputed 2014 articles.) Krumholz, though generally supportive of statins, points out limitations in the trials and calls for independent verification of the data. “In the end,” he writes, “the sharing of these data by the trialists may do more to advance their interpretation of the data and promote consensus than anything else they could do.”
Also appearing on the BMJ website is a blog post by Richard Lehman, who raises questions about the blithe dismissal of statin side effects. “Muscle pain and fatigability are not a figment of misattribution and public misinformation,” he writes. “They are too prevalent and recurrent in people who desperately want to stay on statins. Rather than discount a widely observed phenomenon, we should ask why there is such a mismatch with reporting in the trials.”
Lehman further observes: “The main adverse effect of statins is to induce arrogance in their proponents. The evidence for this class of drugs is massive and the areas of controversy are quite small. Most of the current debate consists of throwing blame at the BMJ for creating public doubt about statins in two short articles. So it has become an argument about communicating evidence to the public and to individuals, and this is something the Lancetauthors seem to think should be done by authoritative persuasion…”
I have invited Rory Collins and Richard Horton to respond to the BMJ statement and will update this story as necessary.

Health Conditions That May Benefit From a Ketogenic Diet

Below are some words by Franziska Spritzler RD CDE who writes:

"Ketogenic diets have become incredibly popular. Early research suggests this high-fat, very low-carb diet may benefit several health conditions.
Although some of the evidence is from case studies and animal research, results from human controlled studies are also promising.

Here are 15 health conditions that may benefit from a ketogenic diet.

1. Epilepsy
Epilepsy is a disease that causes seizures due to excessive brain activity.

Anti-seizure medications are effective for some people with epilepsy. However, others don’t respond to the drugs or can’t tolerate their side effects.

Of all the conditions that may benefit from a ketogenic diet, epilepsy has by far the most evidence supporting it. In fact, there are several dozen studies on the topic.

2. Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome, sometimes referred to as prediabetes, is characterized by insulin resistance.

You can be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome if you meet any 3 of these criteria:
Large waistline: 35 inches (89 cm) or higher in women and 40 inches (102 cm) or higher in men.
Elevated triglycerides: 150 mg/dl (1.7 mmol/L) or higher.
Low HDL cholesterol: Less than 40 mg/dL (1.04 mmol/L) in men and less than 50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L) in women.
High blood pressure: 130/85 mm Hg or higher.
Elevated fasting blood sugar: 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) or higher.

People with metabolic syndrome are at increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and other serious disorders related to insulin resistance.

3. Glycogen Storage Disease
People with glycogen storage disease (GSD) lack one of the enzymes involved in storing glucose (blood sugar) as glycogen or breaking glycogen down into glucose. There are several types of GSD, each based on the enzyme that is missing.

Typically, this disease is diagnosed in childhood. Symptoms vary depending on the type of GSD, and may include poor growth, fatigue, low blood sugar, muscle cramps and an enlarged liver.

4. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a disease marked by hormonal dysfunction that often results in irregular periods and infertility.

One of its hallmarks is insulin resistance, and many women with PCOS are obese and have a hard time losing weight. Women with PCOS are also at an increased risk for type 2 diabetes.

5. Diabetes
People with diabetes often experience impressive reductions in blood sugar levels on a ketogenic diet. This is true of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Indeed, dozens of controlled studies show that a very low-carb diet helps control blood sugar and may also provide other health benefits.

In a 16-week study, 17 of 21 people on a ketogenic diet were able to discontinue or decrease diabetes medication dosage. Study participants also lost an average of 19 pounds (8.7 kg) and reduced their waist size, triglycerides and blood pressure.

In a 3-month study comparing a ketogenic diet to a moderate-carb diet, people in the ketogenic group averaged a 0.6% decrease in HbA1c. 12% of participants achieved an HbA1c below 5.7%, which is considered normal.

Bottom Line: Ketogenic diets have been shown to reduce blood sugar in people with diabetes. In some cases, values return to a normal range, and medications can be discontinued or reduced.

6. Some Cancers
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide.

In recent years, scientific research has suggested that a ketogenic diet may help some types of cancer when used along with traditional treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.

Many researchers note that elevated blood sugar, obesity and type 2 diabetes are linked to breast and other cancers. They suggest that restricting carbs in order to lower blood sugar and insulin levels may help prevent tumor growth. 

7. Autism
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) refers to a condition characterized by problems with communication, social interaction and, in some cases, repetitive behaviors. Usually diagnosed in childhood, it is treated with speech therapy and other therapies.

Bottom Line: Early research suggests some people with autism spectrum disorders may experience improvements in behavior when ketogenic diets are used in combination with other therapies.

8. Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a nervous system disorder characterized by low levels of the signaling molecule dopamine.

The lack of dopamine causes several symptoms, including tremor, impaired posture, stiffness and difficulty walking and writing.

Because of the ketogenic diet’s protective effects on the brain and nervous system, it’s being explored as a potential complementary therapy for PD

9. Obesity
Many studies show that very low-carb, ketogenic diets are often more effective for weight loss than calorie-restricted or low-fat diets.

What’s more, they typically provide other health improvements as well.

10. GLUT1 Deficiency Syndrome
Glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) deficiency syndrome, a rare genetic disorder, involves deficiency of a special protein that helps move blood sugar into the brain.

Symptoms usually begin shortly after birth and include developmental delay, difficulty with movement and sometimes seizures.

11. Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) most commonly results from a blow to the head, a car accident or a fall in which the head strikes the ground.

It can have devastating effects on physical function, memory and personality. Unlike cells in most other organs, injured brain cells often recover very little, if at all.

Because the body’s ability to use sugar following head trauma is impaired, some researchers believe the ketogenic diet may benefit people with TBI

12. Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) damages the protective covering of nerves, which leads to communication problems between the brain and body. Symptoms include numbness and problems with balance, movement, vision and memory.

One study of MS in a mouse model found that a ketogenic diet suppressed inflammatory markers. The reduced inflammation led to improvements in memory, learning and physical function.

As with other nervous system disorders, MS appears to reduce the cells’ ability to use sugar as a fuel source. A 2015 review discussed ketogenic diets’ potential to assist with energy production and cell repair in MS patients.

Additionally, a recent controlled study of 48 people with MS found significant improvements in quality of life scores, cholesterol and triglycerides in the groups who followed a ketogenic diet or fasted for several days.

More studies are currently underway.

Bottom Line: Studies about the potential benefits of a ketogenic diet for treating MS are promising. However, more human studies are needed.

13. Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common liver disease in the Western world.

It is strongly linked to type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity, and there’s evidence that NAFLD also improves on a very low-carb, ketogenic diet

14. Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive form of dementia characterized by plaques and tangles in the brain that impair memory.

Interestingly, Alzheimer’s disease appears to share features of both epilepsy and type 2 diabetes: seizures, the inability of the brain to properly use glucose and inflammation linked to insulin resistance

15. Migraine Headaches
Migraine headaches typically involve severe pain, sensitivity to light and nausea.
Some studies suggest migraine headache symptoms often improve in people who follow ketogenic diets

Bottom Line: Some studies suggest that migraine headache frequency and severity may improve in people following a ketogenic diet.

Take Home Message
Ketogenic diets are being considered for use in several disorders due to their beneficial effects on metabolic health and the nervous system.

However, many of these impressive results come from case studies and need validation through higher-quality research, including randomized controlled trials.

With respect to cancer and several other serious diseases on this list, a ketogenic diet should be undertaken only in addition to standard therapies under the supervision of a doctor or qualified healthcare provider.

Also, no one should consider the ketogenic diet a cure for any disease or disorder on its own.

Nonetheless, the ketogenic diets’ potential to improve health is very promising."

Please note, the above is not Franziska's full article, it only gives 'snippets'.
To read her full article on 'Authority Nutrition' site, which contains all relevant links, please see here

All the best Jan