Perspectives on “Cutting Weight”

I was on local ESPN radio a couple of weeks ago (22 June) with my friend and trainer Chris Leben, discussing the medical implications of rapid weight loss — intentional dehydration — to reach a specific weight goal by a specific time. http://www.unfilteredmma.com/shows.htm

Although this is not a popular topic among the general public, it does dovetail with the science of nutrition and athletic performance in the sense that following a restricted carbohydrate diet, as I reference about halfway through the video, reduces the body’s free water retention at all times and therefore probably takes some of the pressure off the athlete in terms of shedding that water to achieve a weigh-in goal.

Not only that, but multiple endurance records are being set by the use of a restricted carbohydrate diet, including the US record of the longest distance run in a 24 hour period (172 miles,  by Mike Morton, a Special Forces soldier). Carb-loading is just about dead.

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Mike Morton

Although cutting weight is very dangerous if not done properly, I can definitely attest to the benefits of fighting at a higher weight than one’s opponent.  Being on the ground with Chris Leben (who outweighs me by about 40 pounds), is an extremely tiring experience. For example, once he has side control with a “thoracic wedge” in place to increase the pressure even further than his body weight, it almost impossible to breathe which obviously has implications for having the strength to have an effective ground game. Of course, fighting skill can overcome these challenges to some extent.

Generally, starting from a well-hydrated state, most well-conditioned athletes can safely lose about 5% of their weight by a controlled, slow dehydration, and this should be done under competent medical supervision. No, a lawyer didn’t tell me to say that… Also, Christina Marks won her fight.

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“Love Life”

I saw a very gracious, pleasant woman recently who was in her late sixties and appeared essentially healthy except for hearing loss. When I mentioned to her that the implant that would allow her to hear well again would most likely last her a good 30 years, she smiled and told me she didn’t want to live that long.

It took me by surprise because her mood appeared completely normal. She explained that she didn’t want to live much beyond her mid 70s because she was basically tired of life, and it was her time to go, and she feared disability and illness, particularly dementia.

I hear this type of remark not uncommonly, and although it certainly often is a manifestation of underlying depression, I think it also can be reflective of a widespread “give-up” mentality which I struggle with on a day-to-day basis in my practice — not because I judge it, but because I have trouble relating to it.

Is it me? Or is a passion for life and for health less common in America than it should be these days?

A limiting outlook can be a major problem when it comes to physicians’ efforts to get patients to adopt healthier lifestyles. The vast majority of people who are tired, overweight, struggle with chronic pain, or have ”brain fog” or other psychiatric issues can definitely be helped by adopting healthier lifestyles, most particularly by a healthier diet (incidentally NOT the same one recommended by the US government). But a defeated attitude can stand in the way of these gains.

My impression after practicing medicine now for over 20 years is that physical debility, depressed mood, and cognitive decline in the middle aged and elderly is rampant in America and this situation is getting worse every year.

What is even more concerning is the epidemic of psychiatric disease such as depression, anxiety, and ADHD in young people. Why is this happening? I think in large part it is caused by very poor eating habits which deprive the brain of the essential nutrition it needs to function properly.

Many people have given up on the idea of truly feeling well, or living well into their old age, and from my perspective, this is not a justified belief. With the proper diet, exercise, sleep, and targeted nutritional/hormonal supplementation, your body and brain can easily last 90+ years and allow you to live independently, and happily, into your advanced years.

These goals are attainable, but one must fundamentally care about them now, and plan ahead by taking the time and effort necessary to change habits. I’m particularly referring to a proper diet and the right types of exercise. That diet includes a restriction on processed food and carbohydrates, and an abundance of healthy fats.

If you are starting to have physical or mental health issues, such as type II diabetes, weight issues, hypertension, depression, or other problems, you should not expect that drugs are the best way to deal with these problems. You must fix your lifestyle.

Life is a precious gift we can take for granted. Steve Fugate suffered tragedy and despair, and an effort to deal with his loss, he walked all over the United States encouraging everyone he met to “love life” and to be grateful for its gifts. The video below lasts six minutes. I found his story inspiring and I think his message is one that any thoughtful person can reflect on and benefit from.

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Strength and Health

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Mark and Mark Rippetoe

I’ve never been a “gym rat” and, like most people, until a few years ago I had no clear idea of exactly of what I was trying to achieve in the gym or how to most effectively go about it. That all changed about four years ago when I read the book Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe.

Just a couple of weeks ago I attended a three day advanced workshop with “Rip” at his gym in Wichita Falls, Texas, and learned some of the finer points of coaching the the four essential movements — the squat, deadlift, overhead press, and bench press. They were very intense 12 hour days but very much worth it, and I was able to get extra instruction on how to coach older, debilitated people who are currently being helped by Mark and his staff.

Rippetoe argues that strength is the most important thing in life, and although on a philosophical level I would disagree about that (I would argue that cognitive integrity is probably more important), he makes a very valid point. We also differ a little about how important it is to be lean and how that affects metabolic strength/resiliency.

I see patients coming in to my clinic every day suffering from pretty severe frailty, meaning they have issues with balance, strength, or both, and many are so weak that they are using a cane or pushing a walker. Bone loss leading to osteoporosis and fractures is also rampant among the late middle age/elderly population. If you are elderly and break a hip, your chances of death within the following year approaches 20%.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Proper care of your body including the maintenance of good muscle mass and bone mass is achievable with proper resistance training (with free weight lifting being the best form of this), along with a proper diet, and maintenance of a favorable hormone status. This can keep you strong, balanced, and appropriately lean as you age, and markedly reduce your risk of fractures. This is what I call movement health, for lack of a better term, because your ability to move through your environment is critical to maintaining your happiness and your independence as you age. It is virtually never too late to start a program of strength training.  

I very strongly encourage, almost to the point of insistence, that my preventive medicine patients commit to a program of weight training for the above reasons, and I train them to do it correctly. It is truly amazing to see the changes that occur and once an individual sees and feels that strength and balance are increasing, he or she becomes a believer.

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Full Speed Ahead on Cholesterol — You Can Have Your Lobster Now

Imagine that there was a trusted judge in your town who had been making important decisions for many decades. Let’s say for the sake of argument that he had sent a person to prison many decades ago, but just recently decided to review the case and realized that he had made his decision for conviction without any evidence of guilt. Therefore, he was changing his mind and releasing that person from prison. Gee, sorry….

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Guilt-Free Lobster For Dinner

What would you think about that judge? Would you have faith in his decisions going forward? It’s not a rhetorical question.

The Federal Government has been making dietary recommendations to the American people for many decades, mainly through two agencies: the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture. Every five years, bureaucrats appoint scientists to a panel called the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which then makes detailed recommendations to those bureaucrats about what constitutes a healthy diet, and then the guidelines are made official by the agencies.

For almost 40 years, the committee has recommended a limit on dietary cholesterol. Currently, the published recommendation is no more than 300 milligrams per day. A single egg or a small lobster contains a little over 200 milligrams, which pretty much blows your allowance, since there’s smaller amounts of cholesterol in many other foods you’ll consume.

Earlier this year, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee decided that there never was any basis for the recommendation to limit cholesterol, so they removed the 300 milligram limit. Now there is no limit. Basically, cholesterol was sent to jail about 40 years ago, and it was just released because the appointed scientists finally decided to wake up to the fact that there was never any evidence to convict it in the first place.

In the words of Robert Eckel, a professor at the University of Colorado and co-chair of the panel, “Looking back at the literature, we just couldn’t see the kind of science that would support (cholesterol) dietary restrictions.” The previously recommended figure of 300 milligrams, Eckel said, is “just one of those things that gets carried forward and carried forward even though the evidence is minimal.”

What does this say about the credibility of every other recommendation they’ve made, are making now, or will make in the future?

Besides lobster, there are high amounts of cholesterol in other tasty foods such as shrimp, red meat, butter, and bacon. What a coincidence, I eat most of those things almost every day!

So go ahead and enjoy your lobster, and take “official” dietary advice with a grain of salt.

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The Truth About Getting A Firm Butt

It’s the Holy Grail — a firm, toned butt. And the amount of misinformation out there with regard to how to get one is pretty amazing! The desire to optimize this area of the body seems to be particularly strong among women. I don’t think there is a man out there who hasn’t at some point been asked the question, “How does my butt look in these jeans?” (and probably stumbled over figuring out the correct answer!!)

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Alessandra Ambrosio

A few years ago, this model (Alessandra Ambrosio) was featured in a program which taught that high repetition dance-type exercises was the way to get a shapely behind. She’s obviously young and very lean, but not because of the dance moves she advocated. Millions of dollars were spent on DVDs teaching these exercises, but I very strongly doubt anyone got anything of value out of them. The reason why is pretty simple….

The shape of your backside is dictated by paired muscles, the gluteus maximus (the largest muscle in the body) and the gluteus medius, along with an overlay of subcutaneous fat. These muscles serve to extend the leg away from the body as well as to move the leg laterally away from the midline. These muscles must be strong and toned (which go together), and even more importantly, the subcutaneous fat reduced, to have a firm, shapely behind.

The only way to really tone and strengthen any muscle is to make it work against resistance, because that is what muscles are designed to do. Muscles move things that resist that movement — the most important “thing” being our own bodies. But even more than that, we want to be able to move objects in our environment around — whether that means pushing something along the ground or picking something up and carrying it somewhere else. Moving heavy things is what gives muscles their strength, bulk and tone. The bottom line is that you can’t get there with a pill, surgery, a specific dance move, or a powered vibrating machine. One must move heavy things.

Moving heavy things is called resistance training.The best form of resistance training uses free weights (preferably barbells) which by definition are not attached to anything. Why free weights? Because moving weights in this way not only strengthens and tones the muscles but also entrains the nervous system’s coordinated innervation of the muscles, as well as one’s sense of balance. You can’t do these things when you’re pushing a weight that will only go in one specific direction because it is hooked up on the rail of a machine. It’s no coincidence that free weight training mirrors the tasks we are confronted with in real life — if you want to pick up an object in real life, it probably won’t be attached to a rail or pulley like you would find on a Nautilus machine.

The best exercise for strengthening and toning the gluteal (butt) muscles — by far — is the squat. It is done with a loaded barbell, preferably across the back of the shoulders (advanced trainees can also place the bar on the chest). The squat also happens to be the centerpiece of any well-rounded weight training program for generalized strength, and unfortunately, it is rarely done correctly. One must learn to squat properly to get the best tone in your butt muscles, period. Very few people know how to teach or perform a proper squat. Form is critical to maximize gains and avoid injury.

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Minimum Depth at Bottom of Squat (Depending on Bar Position)

Then there is the issue of the subcutaneous fat. Some people store more fat around the buttocks than others, but the fact is, you cannot “spot reduce” fat anywhere in the body. It generally comes off in the order it came on, and in most people, that means more or less symmetrically. A lean (low-percentage body fat) body comes from two things — mainly a proper diet, and secondarily an optimal hormone environment. For example, most women don’t realize that to have optimal muscle tone and leanness, they must also have optimal levels of testosterone, which declines with age just as progesterone and the estrogens do. Women  worry about getting too bulky, and this is totally unnecessary. Instead, women should worry about muscle atrophy.

A woman will never bulk up like a male bodybuilder, or even remotely close, unless she takes testosterone or its synthetic derivatives in high amounts. This is what is going on when you see a woman who looks like a man on the cover of a muscle magazine. They don’t tell you that, but it’s true.

An integral part of my preventive practice is teaching patients how to lift weights with barbells for the above reasons. It might sound crazy for a doctor to be taking his patients to the gym to lift weights, but I do it because it is so important. Resistance training maintains muscle mass which leads to good bone mass and the avoidance of frailty in old age. The earlier you start a well-formulated resistance training program, the better off you will be. Having a firm butt is a very nice dividend but it’s just a small part of the overall picture!

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Processed “Food”

A few months ago, after advising a patient to stop eating processed food, he stopped me and asked me to define what processed food is. It’s such a simple question and is one that isn’t asked often enough.

Processed “food” (I use quotations marks to distinguish it from actual food) has to go through a process to make it edible. Hence processed food.junk-food

These processes require factories with complex machines and usually a host of chemicals. This is in distinction to unprocessed “whole” foods such as an orange, a Halibut, or a piece of Broccoli. You don’t have to do anything complicated to these foods to eat them. Thousands of years ago, when there was no Kraft-Nabisco or General Mills corporations with giant factories to produce the “food” we’ve been eating and getting sick on, all we ate was whole foods. Our bodies became adapted to digest these whole foods and live off them in a healthy manner. Our bodies have no idea what to do with a Twinkie — except get sick.

Good examples of processed foods are all the seed oils (Canola, Cottonseed, Safflower, etc.) which then are used to make other processed foods like Doritos and Oreos. We were never meant to digest the seeds from which these oils come.

Over the millennia in which we evolved, plants also evolved in the struggle to survive. One of the ways plants did this was by making seeds as part of a fruit or flower which would not be broken down after being eaten by an animal, but instead would pass through animal’s digestive tract unscathed.  Whichever animal ate the seed would then egest (fancy word for poop) the seed along with some bonus fertilizer some distance away from the plant. That was the deal that evolved — the animal gets food, the plant gets its seeds spread around.

One of the processed seed oils we consume in the MAD (Modern American Diet) is Canola oil. The Canola plant is almost brand-new. It came about through the breeding of the Rape plant. Canola is a made-up name — an acronym for Canadian Oil Low-Acid. Coming up with a new name was an advantage for the seed oil manufacturers since many people probably wouldn’t be inclined to buy “Rape Plant Oil,” but “Canola” sounds pretty benign.

The 5 minute YouTube video above is a fascinating look at how this particular processed “food” is made. I love the upbeat music throughout the video which suggests the scientific advancement of it all!

There are multiple parts to the video which I find particularly interesting — first, the fact that the seeds only produce some oil after they’ve been crushed under hundreds of tons of force between steel rollers. Second, the fact that much of the oil is extracted through washing seed remnants with an organic solvent —  they don’t name the solvent but it is actually hexane (very similar to octane), a hydrocarbon that your car would run really well on if you put it in you gas tank. Third, the fact that the smell of the oil is eliminated by washing it with sodium hydroxide, an extremely caustic chemical which is the main ingredient in Drano. Lastly, another charming feature of this process is seen at about 3:15 where they show the removal of the waxy residues of the oil but reassure us that we can still buy those residues as vegetable shortening. Sign me up!!

Health-wise, canola oil is high in omega-6 fatty acid which we consume way too much of, contains trans fats as a result of the extensive processing, and may contain some of the solvents and other chemicals used in its extraction.

Wouldn’t you rather consume an oil such as avocado, olive, or coconut that doesn’t require any chemical processing at all and which humans have been consuming for millions of years?

As I mentioned in an earlier post, any time one tries to “beat” nature and do an end-run around the natural forces under which we evolved into who we are physiologically, bad stuff happens.

Eating processed foods is a good example of that. We are not adapted to eat processed foods! So I don’t recommend you eat them, and I certainly don’t recommend them for children either.

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Some Nutrition Basics

Many people have had minimal exposure to the basics of nutrition — so I’m going to try to provide some essential information about it here and expand upon other areas in future posts.

Nutrition can broadly be broken up into macro and micro categories. Your body needs calories in pretty large amounts, on average 1500-2000 per day for just the basics of life, which implies a macro or large intake. How you get those calories is classified as macronutrition.

Your body also requires specific micronutrients (much smaller amounts) such as vitamins and minerals which are used mainly to make enzymes run. Enzymes are special proteins which accelerate and direct the production of molecules which are critical for life, or help the body tear molecules down so they can be burned or excreted.

Focusing on macronutrition for the moment, there are only three broad classes of substances which your body can use for energy: carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

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Glucose, a simple sugar

Carbohydrates are comprised of sugars and starches. Starches are nothing more than polymers (long chains of repeating elements) of sugar and are all broken down to simple sugars in the gut. This is why a couple pieces of bread (whole wheat or otherwise) will give you roughly the same blood sugar spike as a Snickers bar – all that starch in the wheat is broken down to simple sugar and the only real difference between the bread and candy is the amount of fructose involved (which is a very complicated and interesting form of sugar I’ll explore in another post).

Fats are molecules made up of long chains of carbon atoms linked together. If there are no double bonds between the carbon atoms, the fat is called “saturated” (with hydrogen atoms) because there is no way to attach more hydrogen atoms to that particular fat. If a fat is monounsaturated, there is one double bond between two of the chain of carbon atoms, and polyunsaturated fats have more than one double bond. A very important characteristic of the double bonds in unsaturated fats is whether the hydrogen atoms on either side of the double bond are close to each other or further apart – either situation is Trans-cis-fatty-acidpossible. If the hydrogen atoms are close together this is called a cis-configuration and if they are far apart this is called a trans-configuration. If the hydrogen atoms are in the trans-configuration then the fat is a trans-fat. Trans-fats are only found in minute amounts in nature, but are found in large amounts when fats undergo factory chemical processing called hydrogenation in which the fat is bombarded with protons. This factory processing is what is referred to when you see the words “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” on a food label. Your body doesn’t know what to do with trans-fats – they “gum up” the biochemical machinery your body uses for fat metabolism and cause a marked inflammatory response. It only took the FDA about 50 years to figure this out. Trans-fats are a good example of the recurring theme that when you try to “beat nature” and eat something you’re not adapted to, you will get sick.

Proteins are long chains of amino acids. There are about 20 different amino acids. They are called amino acids because they all have an amine group and an acid group (a carboxylic acid group to be specific) that are used as linkage points to one another. amino acidMost proteins are easily broken down into their component amino acids in the gut, and these amino acids are then either burned for energy or used to create new proteins. Think of this latter process as similar to tearing down a Lego creation and then building a new, different Lego structure out of the individual Lego bricks.

Your body has requirements for protein and fat intake because it does not have the capability of making some amino acids and fats which are essential for life.

Conversely, there is no requirement to consume any carbohydrate whatever! Your body can manufacture all the carbohydrate (sugars and starches) it needs. Isn’t that amazing!! This is important for reasons I will go into in subsequent posts.

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Soccer Snack Autopsy

Anyone who has had kids is familiar with the goody bag that is often distributed to children after soccer games. I’ve decided to do a nutritional analysis on a snack handout that one of my kids was given recently.

These pictures are actual items from a recent bag given out to each child. Let’s look at the apples first — nothing wrong with the apples themselves but the caramel is high fructose corn syrup, the same thing essentially as table sugar, along with hydrog20150321_204859enated (chemically processed) coconut oil. Hydrogenation is a process whereby the oil is bombarded with protons and virtually always results in trans fats which have been proven to cause inflammation and other harmful effects such as atherosclerosis. If a product such as this contains less than 500 mg of trans fat (still a large amount, especially for a child), it can be labeled having none. There are numerous preservatives listed, such as potassium sorbate, which have been shown to alter a healthy gut flora and may have toxic effects on the immune system. Carageenan, a sludge which is industrially concentrated from seaweed, has also been added. It is used to thicken the consistency of processed foods, and also has negative effects on the gut. Annie’s “homegrown” cheddar bunnies with the cute “rabbit of approval”  are basically just wheat starch, sunflower oil, and a little bit of cheese, with virtually no vitamins, minerals, fiber, or other nutritional value whatever. Sunflower oil is extremely high in omega 6 fatty acids which have been shown to strongly promote inflammation in humans and is suspected as a cause of numerous degenerative diseases. Starch is simply a polymer (individual molecules linked together) of glucose, which means that the large amount of starch in this food (18 grams) is really the same as just asking the child to eat about 4 teaspoons of sugar. Wheat starch is broken down to sugar very quickly in the gut, leading to a sugar high and then a crash which usually causes a variety of adverse mental health reactions in children such as anxiety, hyperactivity, brain fog, and irritability. 

Lastly, the Capri Sun fruit punch doesn’t have a label but I looked it up online and it is simply flavored water with high fructose corn syrup added. More sugar.20150321_204937

There was a lollipop in the bag as well, intended as dessert, but I’m not sure what happened to it.

These “snacks” in summary are essentially nothing but starch, sugar, processed seed oil, and chemicals. Taken as a whole, they will do nothing to provide any actual nutrition for a child and in fact will make him or her sick. These snacks are poison. It is really a testament to the physical resiliency of children that they do not suffer more obviously than they do while consuming foods like this.

People wonder why we have an obesity epidemic in America, and why some young children are even having gastric bypass surgery now because their weight is so out of control. These foods are the reason. A child’s health starts with his or her diet which should ideally include no processed foods whatever.

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Self Defense

Last Summer I was walking out of a Starbucks and almost bumped in to a young man who stepped in front of me on the sidewalk. I never touched him but he became very agitated, and it was obvious by his manner that he was impaired in some way. In other words, he appeared to be high on something.

I apologized and tried to go on my way but he seemed intent on a confrontation and physically threatened me. Fortunately, I was able to get away from him before an attack but there was no question that he was far younger and quicker than me, and probably a lot more familiar with fighting.

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Chris Leben

Getting away from a situation like that is far preferable than becoming physically engaged with someone. However, there may be times when escape is not possible. This incident really bothered me for several days after it happened and it took me a little while to figure out why. I came to realize the reason was that I would have had almost no chance to avoid serious injury or even death if this were to happen again and I was forced into a physical altercation. I didn’t grow up fighting. I had no training, no experience, and no tools to defend myself. I was completely unprepared.

I decided to do something about that. After some research, I ended up getting quite a bit of training in UFC-style fighting (a combination of Muay Thai, kickboxing, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu). My instructor was Chris Leben, a fighter who recently retired from the UFC and is now an instructor and coach at Victory MMA in Point Loma. I worked one-on-one with Chris over a three month period. It was a fantastic experience. Chris is not only extremely knowledgeable but also is able to explain techniques and strategies clearly so that a complete novice like myself can understand them. Not to mention he is a very funny and an incredibly nice guy.

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Chris and Mark

Chris was able to simulate all kinds of different attacks and how to counter them, and I was able to learn numerous ways of disabling an attacker, for example by occluding the airway, interrupting the flow of blood to the brain, or by maneuvering an opponent on the ground into positions whereby ligaments in the extremities can be torn with appropriately leveraged force. Needless to say, at the end of each hour’s lesson, I also had gotten a great workout.

To reiterate, there is absolutely no question that getting away from a threatening person before a fight happens is the best option by far. But in cases when that may not be possible, it is best to be prepared. That means having some degree of training and maintaining the physical conditioning that will at least give you a chance. It’s something to think about.

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Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics

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Mark Twain

“Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics” is frequently attributed to Mark Twain but no one is completely sure where the phrase comes from. But the basic idea is this: that lying is one thing, telling a bad lie is another thing, but manipulating statistics to lie may be even worse than the first two. I hope to feature many blog posts regarding various medical studies, because these reports from medical journals are considered so important when it comes to guiding public opinion about what we should try to do to be healthy.

However, as I and many other physicians have noted, there’s a big problem — a huge number of these studies are severely flawed for any number of reasons. One of which is that obscure methods of statistical analysis are sometimes used to manipulate the study results such that those results can be steered in virtually any way the authors of the study want them to come out. No one really reads the studies or can understand the complex analysis, so the public (and the vast majority of physicians) takes the authors’/journal editors’ word for it that the study has the meaning they say it has.

So as a glaring example let’s look at one recent study on testosterone supplementation in men which has scared the living daylights out of a lot of people. The study can be found here. This study appeared in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association, an “elite” journal). Before we continue, please read the basic abstract. Pretty scary, huh? Makes one not want to take testosterone supplementation!

Now let’s look at the basic study. It’s not a complicated study. The authors looked at about 9,000 male veterans who had both low testosterone levels and had undergone a coronary angiogram over a six year period, and compared the outcomes of these low testosterone men who had been placed on testosterone supplementation vs. those who had not had any supplementation. The outcomes or “end points” were death, heart attack (“MI”), and stroke.

The authors concluded that the “Kaplan-Meier estimated cumulative percentages with events were 19.9% in the no testosterone therapy group vs 25.7% in the testosterone therapy group, with an absolute risk difference of 5.8%.” In other words, the statistical analysis revealed that taking testosterone increased one’s chances of having one of these bad events by a significant amount.

OK, lets look at the actual numbers of the patients in the study (this is in the abstract, I’m not about to make anything up here — go ahead and check my figures if you want).

There were 8,709 men total. 1,223 were on testosterone. 7,486 men were not on testosterone. Of the 1,223 men on testosterone, 67 died (5.5%); 23 had a heart attack (1.9%); and 33 had a stroke (2.7%). Of the 7,486 men who didn’t take testosterone, 681 died (9%); 420 had a heart attack (6.6%); and 486 had a stroke (6.5%). Yes, look at those percentage differences again, there’s no mistake. Testosterone/No testosterone: death 5.5% vs 9%; heart attack 1.9% vs. 6.6%; stroke 2.7% vs. 6.6%.

The men who took testosterone had approximately half the risk of the adverse events as the men who did not, but the authors of the study were able to completely flip these numbers to reach the opposite conclusions based on their absurdly complex “statistical analysis.”

It is very hard for a layperson to understand what is real and what isn’t in medicine. The unfortunate truth is that there are many hidden agendas out there and it is often difficult to see the truth without a lot of training and experience, and that is really, really unfortunate.

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