Do high protein diets shorten lifespan?

I’ve written quite a lot on this blog about why a high protein diet is the most effective way to rapidly lose weight and achieve an optimal body composition. I’ve also written about how it’s been shown to prevent fractures and muscle loss in elderly people.

So it comes as a bit of a fly in the ointment when you hear that “ah yes, … Read more

Why we get fat, with David Raubenheimer and Stephen Simpson

David Raubenheimer and Stephen Simpson are biologists who have dedicated their careers to trying to understand how animals decide how much to eat and what to eat. They started with insects, and then moved on to small mammals, and ended up looking at humans, and they’ve chronicled their research in their book “Eat like the animals”.

What they’ve discovered is that most animals, including … Read more

The optimal diet for longevity and weight loss?

It started with an experiment on locusts in 1991. David Raubenheimer and Stephen Simpson, two zoologists who were at the time doing research at Oxford University, wanted to know what would happen to locusts if they varied the relative proportions of protein and carbohydrate in their diets. They therefore conducted an experiment in which they fed locusts pellets containing varying proportions of protein and carbohydrate, … Read more

Does omega-3 prevent heart disease?

I have a confession to make. For at least the last ten years, I’ve taken an omega-3 supplement every day. Religiously. Why? I literally have no idea. I don’t remember exactly when or why I started taking it. Presumably I read somewhere that it was a good idea. This was before I started studying medicine, and the decision certainly wasn’t based on any thorough evaluation … Read more

Are regular health checks good for you?

Regular health checks (a.k.a routine visits) are probably the bane of many a primary care physician’s existence. I can’t imagine many things more boring than running through a standardized list of questions with a patient who feels absolutely fine, then going through a list of lab values that are almost invariably within the normal reference range, and finally topping it off with a perfunctory physical … Read more

Can vitamin C prevent heart disease?

Funnily enough, considering its many purported benefits, vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is one of the vitamins that doctors are least likely to prescribe to patients. Vitamin A is given to all small children in many countries, as is vitamin D. Vitamin D is of course also frequently prescribed to patients with osteoporosis. Vitamin B1 (thiamin) is regularly given to alcoholics, to prevent Wernicke-Korsakoff disease. B3 … Read more