Fake Research on Heart Disease by Sugar Industry
by Jeffrey Dach MD
Fraudulent research comes in many flavors. Perhaps the most memorable scientific fraud was the 1974 case of Dr William Summerlin, a dermatologist at Sloan Kettering who claimed to solve transplant rejection by grafting black skin onto white mice. However, one day the elevator operator noticed him using a black magic marker to draw the “black fur” dots on the mice. The temptation to cheat is great, and there are many more examples. Above left image courtesy of second opinion.
The latest scientific fraud that has come to light is the 1967 case of the Sugar Industry paying scientists to publish fake research in the New England Journal of Medicine claiming that heart disease is caused by eating fat, and not by eating sugar.(1-2) Left Image courtesy of People Who Fooled the World.
As a result of this deceit and fraud by the Sugar Industry, we have had more than 50 years of incorrect dietary recommendations by the American Heart Association, and all cardiologists.
Dr Arthur Agatson Sees the Light
For example, Arthur Agatson’s best seller book, the South Beach Diet, makes a striking comment. Immediately after finishing his cardiology training and starting his own cardiology practice , Dr Agatson placed all of his patients on a low fat diet based on guidelines of the American Heart Association. He quickly discovered this diet did not work, and all his patients promptly died of heart disease. This spurred him to come up with a new diet recommendation closer to the Atkin’s low sugar, low carbohydrate diet used by Diabetics. Thus, the South Beach Diet book was born. Left image mouse with dark spots courtesy of Science Made Easy.
Dr WIlliam Davis Sees the Light
Another best seller book by a cardiologist, Wheat Belly by William Davis MD again tells a similar story of discovery that the low fat diet for prevention of heart disease doesn’t work . Instead, Dr Davis discovered eliminating sugar and wheat products produced beneficial changes in health and lipid profiles in his patient population.
The Tip of the Iceberg
Revelations of the Sugar Industry Medical Research Fraud have taken more than 50 years to come to light. Rest assured this is only the tip of the iceberg for corporate fraud in research science. For decades, “Big Tobacco” used fraudulent science to hide the unpleasant fact that smoking cigarettes causes cancer and heart disease.
The chemical industry used fraudulent science and hired goons to fight Rachel Carson’s 1962 Silent Spring book revealing the adverse environmental impact of DDT and other pesticides. DDT was finally banned in the US in 1972.
Monsanto and GMO FOOD Research
A more recent example of Industry sponsored fraud in science is Monsanto’s industry sponsored research claiming safety of GMO food and glyphosate herbicide. There is nothing farther from the truth, as non-industry funded research shows GMO food and glyphosate pose the largest threat to human health in the history of civilization.(19) This is all documented in Steven Druker’s book, Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public .(19)
Vogue Magazine Rings Alarm Over GMO Food
A turning point in the anti-GMO battle has occurred. Mothers across America are reading Vogue magazine’s article by Lauren Mechling raising alarms over adverse effects of GMO Food. (20) Lauren’s article was inspired by Caitlin Shetterly’ new book, Modified: GMOs and the Threat to Our Food, Our Land, Our Future .(21)
FED Up – Documentary about the Sugar Industry in America
Sugar…the truth. Mar 12, 2014 An American perspective on Sugar.
The Secrets of Sugar – The Fifth Estate – CBC News
Sugar: The Bitter Truth Dr Robert Lustig
Uploaded on Jul 30, 2009. Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology, explores the damage caused by sugary foods.
Morbid obesity is a risk factor for 6-12 fold increase in early mortality. This unpleasant fact was driven home recently when a friend passed away. He was morbidly obese, and hospitalized repeatedly for cellulitis, deep venous thrombosis, elevated blood sugar etc. Dr Robert Lustig makes the case that sugar intake in the form of high fructose corn syrup in soft drinks is the culprit. Left image: Individual with morbid obesity courtesy of DOVE MED. The original image courtesy of We Love Costa Rica
Conclusion: As physicians, it is our job to see through industry sponsored fraudulent research, and provide truthful advice to our patients. The latest outrage of Sugar Industry sponsored research fraud dating back to 1967 is only the tip of the iceberg. How many millions of patients have been harmed by these incorrect dietary recommendations perpetuated by the Sugar Industry ? How many millions of our people will be harmed by fraudulent science claiming safety of GMO Food? Your guess is as good as mine.
Articles with Related Interest:
Jeffrey Dach MD
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Links and references
1) Sugar Industry and Coronary Heart Disease Research A Historical Analysis of Internal Industry Documents JAMA Intern Med. 2016 Sep 12. Cristin E. Kearns, DDS, MBA1,2; Laura A. Schmidt, PhD, MSW, MPH1,3,4; Stanton A. Glantz, PhD1,5,6,7,8
1Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, San Francisco, California
By the 1960s, 2 prominent physiologists were championing divergent causal hypotheses of CHD2,3: John Yudkin identified added sugars as the primary agent, while Ancel Keys identified total fat, saturated fat, and dietary cholesterol. However, by the 1980s, few scientists believed that added sugars played a significant role in CHD, and the first 1980 Dietary Guidelines for Americans4 focused on reducing total fat, saturated fat, and dietary cholesterol for CHD prevention.
Link Between Sucrose and Elevated Serum Triglyceride Level
On July 1, 1965, the SRF’s Hickson visited D. Mark Hegsted, a faculty member of Stare’s department,24,25 after publication of articles in Annals of Internal Medicine in June 196526- 29 linking sucrose to CHD. The first 2 articles26,27 reported results from an epidemiological study suggesting that blood glucose levels were a better predictor of atherosclerosis than serum cholesterol level or hypertension. The third28(p210) demonstrated that sucrose, more than starches, aggravated carbohydrate-induced hypertriglyceridemia and hypothesized that “perhaps fructose, a constituent of sucrose but not of starch, [was] the agent mainly responsible.” An accompanying editorial29(p1330) argued that these findings corroborated Yudkin’s research and that if elevated serum triglyceride levels were a CHD risk factor, then “sucrose must be atherogenic.”
internal documents show that the SRF initiated CHD research in 1965 to protect market share and that its first project, a literature review, was published in NEJM in 1967 without disclosure of the sugar industry’s funding or role. our findings suggest the industry sponsored a research program in the 1960s and 1970s that successfully cast doubt about the hazards of sucrose while promoting fat as the dietary culprit in CHD.
This study suggests that the sugar industry sponsored its first CHD research project in 1965 to downplay early warning signals that sucrose consumption was a risk factor in CHD. As of 2016, sugar control policies are being promulgated in international,61 federal,62,63 state, and local venues.64 Yet CHD risk is inconsistently cited as a health consequence of added sugars consumption. Because CHD is the leading cause of death globally, the health community should ensure that CHD risk is evaluated in future risk assessments of added sugars. Policymaking committees should consider giving less weight to food industry–funded studies, and include mechanistic and animal studies as well as studies appraising the effect of added sugars on multiple CHD biomarkers and disease development.65
2) Food Industry Funding of Nutrition Research The Relevance of History for Current Debates ONLINE FIRST Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH1
1Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, New York University, New York
JAMA Intern Med. Published online September 12, 2016.
3) Research reveals role of sugar industry in heart disease studies
Harvard researchers were paid for writing a study suggesting sugar did not have a role in the development of heart disease, which the industry approved before publication. By Stephen Feller | Sept. 12, 2016 at 2:27 PM
4) Sugar and heart disease: The sour side of industry-funded research
Written by Honor Whiteman Published: Wednesday 21 September 2016
The problem? The SRF funding was not disclosed – mandatory conflict of interest disclosure was not introduced until the 1980s – and there is evidence that the researchers of the 50-year-old study were paid to shift the focus away from the harms sugar intake poses for heart health.
The study in question was published in The New England Journal of Medicine on July 27, 1967.
Conducted by three former nutritionists at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA – Dr. Frederick Stare, Dr. Mark Hegsted, and Dr. Robert B. McGandy, who are now deceased – the research claimed that consumption of dietary fats, rather than sugar, was the primary cause of coronary heart disease (CHD).
5) McGandy, Robert B., D. M. Hegsted, and F. J. Stare. “Dietary fats, carbohydrates and atherosclerotic vascular disease.” New England Journal of Medicine 277.4 (1967): 186-192.
6) How Sweet: Sugar Industry Made Fat the Villain September 13, 2016 by Larry Husten –Harvard researchers received sugar industry money to write a NEJM review.
7) Sugar Papers Reveal Industry Role in Shifting National Heart Disease Focus to Saturated Fat By Elizabeth Fernandez on September 12, 2016
8) How the Sugar Lobby Skewed Health Research Alexandra Sifferlin Sept. 12, 2016
9) How the sugar industry sweetened research in its favor
By Jacqueline Howard, CNN Updated 12:26 PM ET, Mon September 12, 2016
10) How the Sugar Industry Shifted Blame to Fat By ANAHAD O’CONNORSEPT. 12, 2016
11) Sugar and Heart Disease: The Sour Side of Industry-Funded Research
09/21/2016 02:51 pm ET | Updated 1 day ago
12) Sweet deal? Sugar industry blamed fat in fake studies – study
Published time: 13 Sep, 2016
13) The Sugar Industry Financed Cardiac Health Research to Influence Public and Scientific Attitudes Toward Sugar Wednesday, September 21, 2016
15) Sugar and hearts: how food industry still buys scientists
Posted in Heart Disease By Marika Sboros
16) McGandy, Robert B., D. M. Hegsted, and F. J. Stare. “Dietary fats, carbohydrates and atherosclerotic vascular disease.” New England Journal of Medicine 277.4 (1967): 186-192.
17) How Sweet: Sugar Industry Made Fat the Villain
September 13, 2016 by Larry Husten 3 Comments
–Harvard researchers received sugar industry money to write a NEJM review.
18) The Summerlin Mouse Affair
Starting in 1970 as a young teaching and training fellow at Stanford, the young doctor claimed to be able to take skin transplants from one individual and make them “stick” to another genetically unrelated individual. He did this by allegedly culturing the skin in a special medium for four to six weeks. Doing so, the samples appeared to lose their natural ability to provoke an immune response. The entire thing turned out to be a fraudulent hoax – Summerlin just painted the alleged transplants on the mice with a magic marker.
19) Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public 1st Edition by Steven Druker (Author)
20) Is GMO-Free the New Organic? Inside the Next Big Food Fight Vogue September 20, 2016 3:20 pm by Lauren Mechling
21) Modified: GMOs and the Threat to Our Food, Our Land, Our Future Hardcover – September 20, 2016 by Caitlin Shetterly (Author)
22) The Bitter Truth About Sugar by Robert Lustig (Full Transcript)
December 6, 2013 9:17 am | By TSP
Robert H. Lustig, a Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), here details and explores the real truths about sugar that you perhaps never heard about much before. We thought it might be useful for our readers. So we decided to do a full transcript on his about 90-minute YouTube video called “Sugar: The Bitter Truth”. Hope you find it useful and informative. Please use the “The Bitter Truth About Sugar” slides below while reading this transcript…
23) Robert Lustig: the man who believes sugar is poison
The maverick scientist has long argued that sugar is as harmful as cocaine or tobacco – and that the food industry has been adding too much of it to our meals for too long. A convert hears more about his theory
24) Is Sugar Toxic? By GARY TAUBES APRIL 13, 2011 New York Times
25) The Real Truth About Sugar: Dr. Robert Lustig’s “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” by Samantha Quinn (Author)
26) Sugar, Pure White and Deadly by John Yudkin (Author), Intro by Robert Lustig
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