Since late 2016 we have entered the age of disclosures! Fasten your mental safety belt and enjoy the ride! Heretic

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Does vegan diet weaken bones?

A recently published pre-anounced study report postulated that vegans have somewhat (marginally) lower bone density than non-vegans.

I just noticed Dr. McDougall's response to it that totally cracked me up! Basically he is saying that a paper by the same author that he previously quoted, has shown no difference in bone density among vegan nuns vs non-vegans (which Dr.McDougall calls "favorable"!!!) therefore it has to be right whereas the present pre-announced paper by the same author now does show some differences unfavorable to the vegans, therefore the author must have been corrupted by some Malaysian dairy corporation. I am not making that up, you can read his response yourself here.

If a plant based nutrition is supposed to be good for the bones, according to Dr.McDougall, how come that his own staff lecturer should wear a weighted vest or backpack to maintain his bone mass?

A digression: that study states as a side note that 5% of the Western population are vegetarian, which makes me wonder how come that there is no mention of vegetarians among centenarians here or mention only a tiny 0.35% fraction in that study - perhaps they don't live very long?

--- updated 23/09/2009 ---
Another interesting study (thanks JC):
"Effect of vegetarian diets on bone mineral density: a Bayesian meta-analysis"

16 comments :

g-hog said...

Heretic,

I first saw you on the McDougall Board, and I have found your thoughts interesting, although to be honest I don't know what to believe about diet and health anymore... even sometimes wonder if they are in fact related at all.

I was a McDougaller for over 10 years and now my health is messed up... lots of food intolerances, etc. I got away from his program, because without gluten grains or legumes I got too hungry... finally planned on getting back, or trying it, and the zealots on his board hurt my feelings really bad by blaming me for all my problems, when in fact I had actually McDougalled longer than they have been. They accused me of being sarcastic and trolling when I expressed my obstacles and really was seeking some sort of camaraderie or somebody who might have some special answers... This last time visiting the board was just too much... being accused of causing my own problems and trying to start trouble, plus, I was pretty stressed by watching my mother die a horrible death and dealing with all of that... so I'm gonna forget about trying to get back to that diet, as it seems to cause some sort of defensive, cruel and blaming mental disorder...the need to band together and punish outsiders. I'm still trying to figure out what on earth it is we humans should eat, and find your thoughts interesting. Thanks for going through the trouble of posting them.

Stan (Heretic) said...

Hi g-hog,

Thank you for posting your comments - you are very welcome! Real story, real experience - I always suspected that there is a connection between the mood or character disorder and a diet. Now I _know_ there is one since I experience that myself, when I switched. I am so glad there are more people like us; if you look through some other blog links on the left margin of my home page, you may find a lot of interesting and useful reading.
Best regards,
Stan

g-hog said...

I'd like to add that after I finally began questioning whether McDougalling is healthy or not (when my health, good before McDougalling, began to collapse on me), I read Taubes' book, Good Calories, Bad Calories. One point he made over and over again that nutritional science and everyone who reads it seems to forget: Real science sets out to disprove hypotheses in order to ultimately provide proof, not the other way around. This requires open-mindedness, not the religious fervor I'm seeing among the vegans.

Thanks again, I'll be reading!

Stan (Heretic) said...

That's exactly right! The way science works is by forming hypotheses and then actively seek to disproving them through experiments.

Quitting McDougall's forum is I believe the correct thing to do.

You may research & choose any diet you like but it has to be your decision and your research rather than the result of being bullied into submission or being misled by an incomplete information.

I think you will find better and real camaraderie in the real life not over there. As you probably noticed most of them are generally hostile to each other (covertly) and hostile to the outsiders (openly). I study their behavior as a research project and learn more on the health impact of vegan nutrition on humans, but for everyone who needs medical assistance or just to talk, I would recommend to run like hell from them.

Regards,
Stan

g-hog said...

The McDougallers are getting worse... besides having heard Dr. McDougall say himself that he thinks people who don't wish to follow his diet can just die (podcast interview), it has progressed to the point where he has now assigned F1Jim as board moderator/censor... and now the board conversations have turned into fill-in-the-blanks type puzzles, where only the praise for McDougall and damnation to the doubters exists for readers to enjoy, as is obvious in this ridiculous thread:
http://www.drmcdougall.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=10829

F1Jim was one of the ones who I got into it with... my account of my struggles and plea for help from anyone else with such issues, according to him, was nasty and insulting and showed I had hidden agendas and deeply rooted psychological issues. This man is scary... that board has become living a reminder of the how the old Soviet publications used to read.

Stan (Heretic) said...

Hi g-hog,

I am sorry to hear of your mother story and your health troubles. I find it sad. I sympathize with you and with people like Carroll who have very serious health conditions (especially her daughter). I did try to help her through private mail (PM) before got banned. At the same time I can't help laughing at the extreme cartoon-like control-freakism and micromanagement exhibited by some of them.

You are absolutely right, as you mentioned the style of old Soviet publications, - the control-freakism and censorship of everything was the first most prominent feature of the Soviet style communists from Russia (the second one was ubiquitous incompetence in all areas except use of firearms).

I was born in the communist Poland and lived there until age 27; - it brings some fond memories. Fond - because in Poland it was more farsical than fearful. So is their forum. 8-:)

g-hog said...

I had no idea you lived in Communism... wow... I admire your patience with this attitude on the McD board. I always noticed that no matter what was thrown at you, your response was tempered and polite and to the point... never defensive or attacking like they were.

Yes I really feel for Carroll and especially her young daughter... I think it might be time for her whole family to give up on veganism and try to get their health back. I'd found some info on tomato, wheat, and lentil lectins related to RA and shared it with her but since it was researched by paleo-type people, it wasn't considered legit on that board.

Stan (Heretic) said...

Absolutely! There seems to be a connection between lectins, agglutins, gluten and other low molecular mass plant proteins - and RA and other autoimmune conditions. Peter (Hyperlipid) has some fascinationg articles on his blog about connections between wheat and ankylosis spondilitis (a form of autoimmune disease similar to RA but in the spine).

Carroll did acknowledge my posts but she said that I did not say what she wanted to hear. I did not really advocate any diet, I was just advising her to add those vitamins (A,D3,K2) that she must be surely lacking, that cannot be obtain from plants. Yet even that was deemed too dangerous to Dr. McDougall. They surely must have something to fear .... 8-:)

g-hog said...

YEs, Carroll was very polite about reading my links, etc., also, but they are all freaked out if they see the word "paleo" connected in any way, to any research. It basically turns them off instantly so they won't listen anymore.

Thanks again for all of your helpful references. I've got a lot of reading to do. All of this narrow-mindedness is definitely the most UNHEALTHY thing!!!

ONe thing I've discovered for sure, I still love liver!!!

EngineerGuy said...

Hi G-Hog,

Re: honest I don't know what to believe about diet and health anymore... even sometimes wonder if they are in fact related at all.

I followed McDougall for 30 years (actually Pritikin, but it's the same) Only the last 2 years were strict. Now I have followed Dr. Fuhrman (Eat To Live, etc) for 2 years, strictly. The results are MUCH better, for many reasons.

I had become lactose intolerant while on Pritikin. I was the most sensitive lactose intolerant I had ever met, for nearly 30 years. Now I am no longer lactose intolerant, at all. I think the switch was due to eating 6+ meals daily on Pritikin, and 2-3 meals on Fuhrman.

I realize that we are all individuals, with individual needs. Fuhrman has made the most progress in understanding individual needs, and modifying the diet for each person. Join his website, and ask him detailed specific questions. Follow the standard program first, of course. Eat To Live will cost 'ya $12.

Best regards, EngineerGuy

EngineerGuy said...

Hi G-Hog,

Re: honest I don't know what to believe about diet and health anymore... even sometimes wonder if they are in fact related at all.

I followed McDougall for 30 years (actually Pritikin, but it's the same) Only the last 2 years were strict. Now I have followed Dr. Fuhrman (Eat To Live, etc) for 2 years, strictly. The results are MUCH better, for many reasons.

I had become lactose intolerant while on Pritikin. I was the most sensitive lactose intolerant I had ever met, for nearly 30 years. Now I am no longer lactose intolerant, at all. I think the switch was due to eating 6+ meals daily on Pritikin, and 2-3 meals on Fuhrman.

I realize that we are all individuals, with individual needs. Fuhrman has made the most progress in understanding individual needs, and modifying the diet for each person. Join his website, and ask him detailed specific questions. Follow the standard program first, of course. Eat To Live will cost 'ya $12.

Best regards, EngineerGuy

EngineerGuy said...

Hi Heretic,

I just wanted to say "Hi" and hope all is well for you and your family.

As I've mentioned before, I have light bones, based on my age. However, the charts are not adjusted for weight. If a person is lighter, then the bones get less stress, and are naturally lighter. Anyway, for 28 of the 30 years on Pritikin, I ate 1/2 pound of meat daily. But I also ate 1 pound of sourdough bread daily, which unfortunately made it a high salt diet, which contributed to my light bones. Also, I did not exercise most years. Increasing bone density is very difficult. The best to hope for, at the age of 62, is to maintain bone density, or possibly increase it a bit. It is not possible to make the bone density increase dramatically. That's why I also wear a weight vest. I am hoping to increase my bone density.

Re: If a plant based nutrition is supposed to be good for the bones, according to Dr.McDougall, how come that his own staff lecturer should wear a weighted vest or backpack to maintain his bone mass?

Your observation of the McDougall staffers wearing weight vests, would be applicable if they were lifetime on the McDougall diet. However, generally they have been on the diet a few months or a couple years. At first, the comment sounds good as a criticism of McDougall, but is actually completely thoughtless and silly. You should watch things like this, if you wish to have any credibility.

Best regards, EngineerGuy

Stan (Heretic) said...

Hi EG,

I am glad that you decided to drop by to say hello! You are very welcome!

That "staffer" who wears weighing vest for his bones is Registered Dietetician Jeff Novick. No it is not just a few years, he wrote somewhere that he has been vegan for 30-ty years.

Stan (Heretic)

EngineerGuy said...

Hi Stan,

Re: That "staffer" who wears weighing vest for his bones is Registered Dietetician Jeff Novick. No it is not just a few years, he wrote somewhere that he has been vegan for 30-ty years.

Jeff is also very very skinny. If the bone density charts listed both age AND weight, he would probably have fine bone density. But instead, Jeff's (and my) bone density is charted on the same chart as someone of the same age who weighs 220 pounds. Of course, the heavier person will have more bone density. So, there is nothing wrong with Jeff (and I) wearing a weight vest. It does not indicate a bad program. Just FYI.

Interesting info: A healthy young astronaut can lose up to 2% of their bone density in one month, while in space. This is due to high sodium diet, and weightlessness. How many elderly are totally sedentary, and on a high sodium diet? (most all of them. Old people frequently demand a high sodium diet, because they lose their sense of taste. My wife visited a friend in a nursing home, and she could hardly eat the food, it was so salty.)

By the way, what's your bone density?

Best regards, EngineerGuy

Stan (Heretic) said...

I don't know, I live in Canada so I cannot just request a test to be done, even if I pay, unless I go to a vet.

Jeff is indeed quite thin, I would even be tempted to say that looks "malnourished". Why do you think is he thin? Is he really healthy?

Ellen Marsh said...
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