Saturday, July 18, 2009

Email to Dr Nancy Snyderman of MSNBC

MSNBC has recently started a new show, seen weekdays at 12 noon ET. The 1 hour show features Dr Nancy Snyderman talking about items in the news, health myths and other health-related topics.

In the "Health Myths" part of the show, "Dr Nancy" tackles various subjects that are felt to be "common knowledge", despite the fact that they may or may not be true.

Like many of the doctors featured on TV, Dr Nancy seems to follow the mainstream medical opinions, sometimes sounding like she's simply repeating press releasese and not actually looking into issues.

This past week Dr Nancy tackled the common myth that eggs increase our cholesterol levels and should therefore be avoided. In her response, Dr Nancy said to limit eggs to 1-2 per week! This is exactly what the AHA (American Heart Association) recommends, but there seems to be little or no real evidence that eggs and/or dietary cholesterol actually does cause or contribute to developing or worsening heart disease!

As eggs are often a big part of most low carb diets, I decided to write and email to Dr Nancy asking for her to take an indepth look at low carb plans and report on them. Here is the email I sent:

Dr Nancy.
Your comments today on eggs is prompting this request!

I wish you would to a GOOD report on low carb diets and how they relate to heart disease, controlling blood sugars, etc.
Despite the research that is out there, done by some notables (like Dr Eric Westman and Dr William Yancy at Duke) the diets are repeatedly bashed as being bad for us and bad for our hearts and useless with diabetes. This despite study after study showing dramatic improvements in blood lipids, blood insulin and glucose levels, lower BP and a host of other "side effects"! True, LDL sometimes "goes up", but this is: 1 a calculated value that is incorrect with low triglycerides and 2 deceiving as most of the time people with low triglycerides have large, fluffy LDL, not tight dense LDL[Lipoprotein (a)]. Check out the research!

I've been watching your show and would love to see a real evaluation of the studies and the diets! Not a crazy diet that restricts carbs to 20-30 grams per day indefinitely (this is NOT Atkins!), but a healthful diet consisting of lean meats, full fat dairy, and fresh fruits and vegetables! Not depending on low carb products, but avoiding processed foods and getting back to cooking our own meals!

I know the "common wisdom" is that saturated fats will kill us (read the original press articles from the Framingham Heart Study!), but there is no real evidence that this is true! (Check out Dr Malcolm Kendrick, Uffe Ravnskov, Dr Mary Enig) Almost all of the studies (the well designed ones) that "test" the sat fat theory contain either high levels of trans-fats or high levels of carbohydrates! Many even contain both!

I have been personally researching this for several years and have yet to find good evidence that sat fats are bad for us and/or that low carb diets are required for good health! (Feel free to email me, I'll give you lots of links to get you started!

Please don't just attack low carb diets out of hand! We've already seen too many commentaries on this!


Now, I have no idea if Dr Nancy actually even reads her email (I'm sure she get hundreds a day!), but I am curious if I get a response and/or if she will do a fair and well researched response.

Stay tuned! If I hear anything else, I'll be sure to post!

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