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  1. BillsFanNC

    Vaccines and Trump: Your stance?

    The typical warning for adverse reactions to flu vaccine has historically been for those with egg allergies as the common practice used to be propagating the virus strains selected for the seasonal vaccine in chicken eggs. I know there was a push in recent years to move to a mammalian cell line to grow the virus, but I'm not certain if all manufacturers have moved in that direction or not. There are also excipients and adjuvants (the adjuvants are in there to enhance the immune response) that a small number of people might have trouble with. There's risk of adverse reactions when we put anything into our bodies, including the off the shelf supplements that people in general have no problem popping after some internet snake oil salesman wearing a white coat tells them all about the wonderful effects that will result. It's all about risk benefit analysis and IMO the potential benefits far outweigh the minuscule risk for the vast majority of people when it comes to the flu vaccine. As Tom said above, an adverse reaction to the shot is a walk in the park compared to a bad case of influenza.
  2. BillsFanNC

    Vaccines and Trump: Your stance?

    I spent a good bulk of my career thus far working on influenza on the diagnostic side. Therefore I know a little bit about the influenza virus even though vaccine formulation and development isn't necessarily in my wheelhouse. Still, I learned long ago that trying to convince someone that getting the flu shot is a good idea is most often an exercise in futility. I'd have better luck convincing an Obama or Trump lackey to switch parties. I'll just say this, if you've ever had a full blown case of influenza then you'll know and understand how it can kill people because you yourself will likely feel like you want to die. RSV doesn't do this, nor does the common cold, yet most people think a case of the sniffles during flu season means they had flu. Influenza kills tens of thousands of Americans each and every year... mostly the very young, elderly and immunocompromised with a few vibrant and otherwise healthy people sprinkled in for good measure.
  3. BillsFanNC

    Nearly a year into it

    Really? Before I changed my way of eating I'm pretty certain that I couldn't tell the difference since I never ate any of that type of stuff one way or the other. I'm sure both would have just tasted bland and uninteresting to me. The added fiber though very well could have given it away on the way out, but maybe not. I've seen estimates that >90% of americans are deficient in RDA for fiber so one dose of flax per day may not have been enough to get most folks to minimum desired levels. I get my daily flax either in a smoothie or breakfast grain bowl now, can't tell it's there.
  4. BillsFanNC

    Nearly a year into it

    It is indeed difficult if not impossible to perform a double blind placebo controlled trial for overall diet, but there are examples of these studies testing a particular dietary component in treatment of chronic diseases. In response to the celery test and for @Hapless Bills Fan here is an example of a double blind placebo controlled trial where they used flaxseed to treat hypertension. Their results are on par with anti-hypertensive drugs, without troubling side effects. The full text of this paper is free at the link below. I'll have to find it again but I also recall reading a randomized DBPC study showing showing improved markers in breast cancer patients when consuming daily flaxseed. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24126178 Here is a rather striking study that showed what an intensive dietary intervention could do with patients with moderate to severe heart disease published in JAMA. What they hoped to show with the intervention group was a slowing of the disease progression vs patients under standard care protocols. What they ended up observing at one year and ultimately 5 years was a reversal of disease in the intervention group. No drugs or surgery, just intensive lifestyle changes. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9863851
  5. BillsFanNC

    Nearly a year into it

    Rather than get into citing intervention and randomized, double blind placebo controlled studies, I'll just focus on this part of your post otherwise we can go back and forth until the cows come home. No pun intended. You'll find that nearly all the plant based luminaries agree with this quote, Esselstyn, Campbell and Greger included. Anything people can do to move themselves towards this end of the spectrum and away from what most people on the standard western diet do: "Eat food. Mostly meat, dairy and processed foods. Overindulge." This is why I hate the term vegan and all the baggage that comes with it. It's called a whole food plant based diet on purpose to distinguish itself from some of the radical fervent vegans. WFPB is meant to encourage people to move towards a diet that has it's foundation in whole, plant foods. A very simple way for someone who is apprehensive and unwilling to give up meat like I was would be to just reverse your plate; keep eating meat and dairy if you wish, but make it 25% of your plate instead of the usual 75%. I still eat meat and fish, but I can count the times I did so over the past year on my fingers. It's what we eat day in and day out that matters. Don't let perfect be the enemy of good. Also @Hapless Bills FanI wasn't able to gain access to the full text of the Indian group studies, just the abstract on pubmed that you linked to, which is probably why I didn't read them in the first place when I was systematically reviewing things last year.
  6. BillsFanNC

    Nearly a year into it

    I'd argue that relying on a nutrition news story or article that starts with "a new study says..." very often is more problematic in relation to the highlighted. I have read some of Campbell's papers on casein/aflatoxin but I admit I've never read the original paper from the Indian group. I'll find it and go back and read it. One thing I've learned in diving into nutrition research over the past year or so is that nearly all of nutrition bloggers / journalists , no matter what camp they may lie in, are on some level scientifically and intellectually dishonest. They all have an axe to grind. Still they are journalists and some of it is to be expected I suppose, however some of the worst examples of scientific dishonesty are in the literature in the form of industry sponsored studies that are often purposely designed to obfuscate and confuse the general public. Despite some potentially valid criticisms about how they represented or left out data from individual studies in the film, they are still standing on the shoulders of an overwhelming body of peer reviewed research to bolster their claims. I haven't read all the papers cited in the film, but I'm now going to go back and read the Indian study, and that's what everyone should do to the extent that they can. Nobody should outsource their health to a film, a journalist or self appointed expert, go read the actual studies on your own and make up your own mind based on your own understanding of the data.
  7. BillsFanNC

    Nearly a year into it

    The correlation is not causation mantra is brought up a lot in response to this film, but you have to remember that it's a film aimed at mostly people with non-scientific backgrounds, not something to be presented at a scientific conference. They can't get into the weeds of the data in a 90 minute documentary, and even if they tried the message would almost certainly be lost. Of course Campbell and Esselstyn know that correlation does not equal causation. I went back and watched the clip of Esselstyn that you highlighted and it was the narrator that suggested causal link, not Esselstyn. Also, if you google for it you can find Campbell's response to many of his critics on this point. The best we can do with science as it moves forward is go with whatever the preponderance of the data supports. This is especially true in nutrition research since you can find published papers to support pretty much any diet out there. The key for me was always to go with whatever the literature pointed to on balance as the healthiest. Like I said before, I wish that eating a paleo diet was what the preponderance of the data pointed to so I could keep eating more BBQ while still finding improved health! My advice to friends and family is always in lieu of taking the time and effort to use pubmed over google to research all of this on their own, instead perform the very unscientific n=1 experiment on themselves for two weeks and see what happens.
  8. I guess this can go here just as well as in any of the other threads on the fake news du juor. Why Do People Fall For Fake News The main camps are divided between motivated reasoning vs. intellectual laziness. This cited study seems to highlight what might be going on here (and with buzzfeed).
  9. Amen to this, but of course I have zero expectation that this trend will change for the better anytime soon.
  10. BillsFanNC

    Nearly a year into it

    I have a few cookbooks that I take from, but mostly I look on google or youtube for videos around whole food plant based recipes. Some cookbooks I'd recommend.. How Not To Die Cookbook Thug Kitchen : Eat Like you Give a F&*k The Instant Pot is awesome. I have this cookbook.. Vegan Under Pressure If you're on Facebook the Forks over Knives and Dr. Michael Greger Fans (How Not To Die) groups have a lot of people posting and sharing great recipes. For anyone with Netflix I'd highly recommend watching the Forks Over Knives documentary. I didn't watch it until after I had already started down this path, but many people claim that they cleaned out their refrigerators and pantries immediately after watching it. Powerful stuff.
  11. BillsFanNC

    Nearly a year into it

    Ground flaxseed daily has been shown to markedly reduce blood pressure. This video covers that and some other foods that help, along with showing how the DASH diet came about and was modified, even in the face of the best available data, to include foods known to increase blood pressure.
  12. Sharyl Attkisson's list is at 67... https://sharylattkisson.com/2019/01/18/50-media-mistakes-in-the-trump-era-the-definitive-list/
  13. BillsFanNC

    RIP John Bogle

  14. BillsFanNC

    RIP John Bogle

    RIP “My ideas are very simple,” he told the financial columnist Jeff Sommer of The New York Times in 2012. “In investing, you get what you don’t pay for. Costs matter. So intelligent investors will use low-cost index funds to build a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds, and they will stay the course. And they won’t be foolish enough to think that they can consistently outsmart the market.”