Thursday, May 17, 2007

Save the Tallywhackers!!

Jolene! Jolene! Answer me woman! Don't be givin' Junior no more of them
there flintsone vitamins, cuz it says right here that vitamins cause the
prostate cancer. Thats right woman, ifn' you want grand kids don't be
gving him no more vitamins. Its bad enough that my Momma gave them to me,
but you aint gonna ruin our son. Great googley moogley, is that why you
is always trying to get me to eat right and take the centrum? Thats just
plain mean. I told you that that waitress was an accident, but you aint
gotta go so far as to try and kill my tallywhacker. Why you lookin' at me
the way, It says right here in black and white that vitamins cause cancer
of the prostate, and when that happens your tallywhacker stops workin. It
happend to Bobby Jon down the road, and now his wife is seein a trucker,
ain't that just a shame.

I love reading the headlines of the latest scare research. Today it was
multivitamins increase your risk of advanced prostate cancer. Men taking
multivitamins showed a 32 percent increased risk of advanced prostate
cancer and a 98 percent increased risk of fatal prostate cancer. oooo,
scary stuff. Lets look at the actual numbers behind the percentages.
There were 295,344 men in the survey, only 1,476 developed advanced
prostate cancer, 179 developed fatal prostate cancer. So the absolute
risk of developing advanced prostate cancer is .49%, and 0.06% for fatal.
Worst case scenario, you still have less than 1% chance of developing
advanced or fatal prostate cancer. Not very scary is it.

In other news, the Mediterranean Diet reduces the risk Of COPD. Glad to
hear it. Really, I think a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is a good
thing. 111 people out of 43000 developed COPD, giving us an absolute risk
of 0.258%. Is a 50% reduction of 0.258% really meaningful? I think not.

With all of the problems in the world today why can't scientist focus on
sovling real problems instead of producing meaningless statistics that
serve no purpose. Furthermore, when does correlation imply causation?
NEVER! While we keep hearing about this is associated with that, all these
associations don't add up to diddley squat. There is an old joke that
goes, What do you call a bus load of lawyers at the bottom of the Ocean?
"A Good Start", I think a bus load of epidemiologist would be a fine
follow up.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Dr Ken Podcast

If you don't know who "Dr Ken" is, then its about time you found out.

Monday, May 07, 2007

On the Road to Damascus

Mrs D. and I belong to a local Natural Foods Co-op that supports many philosophies of healthy eating. Most of the members are of one vegetarian flavor or another, but a large contingent, including myself, is interested in organic, local and sustainable agriculture. A large number of people are both, they are generally lacto-ovo ,L-O, vegetarians. Many of the L-O's when pushed will admit to being flexitarian, but just choose meat very infrequently, often for economic reasons. I enjoy talking with these folks as they walk the talk, are generally among the best informed, and don't have the same attitude as the vegans. During our visit to the co-op this past weekend, Paul, (a L-O who is over 80, looks 60 and acts 40), and I were engaged in casual conversation. The subjects ranged from the weather, to the availability of local produce , and our wives shopping habits. Our chatting was sprinkled with the occasional "yes dear' and "That looks fine dear", whilst tagging along behind our wives. As per usual there were a few members handing out samples of things they had prepared. The items of the day were a cookie, and a vegetable-bean casserole. The casserole smelled wonderful. It was made with beans, root vegetables, real raw cream, cheese made from raw milk, and a fragrant blend of seasonings. I took a sample with out hesitation. Paul took one too. It was really quite good, and I remarked as such to Paul. While we were standing there guessing the seasonings, a young, pale, and skinny, couple walked up to inquire about the contents of the casserole. Their look of interest turned to disgust, as they heard the description. They demurred the sample in faux politeness, and strode away horrified at the fat and animal content of this most tasty dish. Paul snorted and said "Kids, they'll never last with a diet of the crap they eat". I inquired as to what he meant. He told me to look in their basket, and see how much was shrink wrapped, low fat, and imported. They were not only damaging themselves but the planet from all the resources it took to process and transport that stuff. He went on to compare that to the sample we had just finished. Everything in the casserole was grown with in 100 miles of the co-op by people who cared about the land and what they produced. Next stop was the cookie sample. It was an oatmeal-honey-blueberry thing and I attempted to take a pass. Paul asked why. I mentioned that in general I tried to control my carbs. Cocking one eye brow, He asked if I ate meat. I said yes. Did I ever buy meat at a grocery store? Again, I say yes. "So you mean to tell me, that you think this cookie made from oats grown right up the road, real honey, berries and butter is gonna do you more harm than meat from a cow shot full of anti-biotics, hormones and god know what else?" He asks. I didn't have an answer. "Kids!" snorted Paul.