HuffPo article on ApoE? Who’d a thunk it?

Was surprised to get a Google alert last week to this article in the Huffington Post where a cardiologist discusses at length the importance of knowing your ApoE status — not just to understand your risk for Alzheimer’s, but heart disease as well. She basically confirms my working hypothesis — that high-fat diets like Paleo just don’t cut it for everyone, even if there’s just so much evidence that it’s the bestest way to eat ever — but it sounds like she might not be too keen on my little project:

So the next time you read a best-selling book touting saturated fats as the key to health, for example, keep this in mind, or ask your doctor whether that kind of diet really is good for your heart and your brain. Everybody tends to listen to what they want to hear, but it is important for your health not to experiment. Base your lifestyle choices on what science knows.

Read the whole article here:

On the Trail

A decent trail?I happened to be going back through my newsreader (sorry Google, you can kill Reader, but you can’t stop my reading) and came across an article on KevinMD (a great site if you have any sort of passing interest in the current state of the medical… industry) called Don’t Waste Your Time Finding the Perfect Diet. Perfect. The post was written earlier this month by Dr. Barbara Berkeley, who is essentially an expert in metabolic disfunction, and her website is a great resource for anyone who wants to understand more about why so often our bodies don’t respond the way we expect to a certain diet or exercise framework (or more accurately, how we’re told they should). And this common (and I would say, to be expected) mismatch between how a diet should work and how it may or may not work for you is the point of her post:

While we can safely say that diet is important and a strong determinant of health, there is no one diet that has the corner on perfection. In fact, history shows that strict adherence to specific diets does not guarantee the avoidance of medical disaster, no matter how much one believes. Since this is so obviously true, we all need to be careful about those who claim to represent the one true path. Here’s my message: If you are looking for the one true diet, caveat emptor.

Read the article to see all sorts of examples of people who thought they had found or created the One True Diet: The cure for Disease [X] or the ultimate prevention against Disease [Y], only to eventually get sicker with X or succumb to Y.

What if the irony here is that these various diet founders and gurus did stumble across a fantastic dietary framework — one that was right for so many people — returning them to health and making them feel fantastic, but fatally missed the irony that it was the wrong one for them?

I harbor no illusion that at the end of my experiment that I’ll be any closer to finding something perfect for people with a given genetic variant. I harbor no illusion that I’ll be any closer to finding something perfect, diet-wise, even for just myself. But by the time I’m done, even if I find myself walking a well-worn path, it won’t be while nipping on the heels of a guru, and its truth will only be as self-evident as the extent to which it takes me where I need to go. And keeps my LDL particles low. And generally unfat. And maybe reveals an ab.

One step at a time.

Today show does 23andMe segment

I’m usually not a big fan of Nancy Snyderman; like most resident television docs, she sometimes easily glosses over key facts, or bends just far enough from reality to stay truthful but let the story fall into an easy box. But her job isn’t to be a neutral source of the facts, it’s to even out the nations health anxiety. That being said, this piece on was pretty straightforward. No mention of APOE, but Nancy did specifically mention how her test alerted her to a treatment sensitivity.

This time around the only bending of the truth was by Anne Wojcicki, 23andMe’s CEO, who looked Nancy in the eye and told her that results were available in “two to three weeks”, when on the website it clearly states 6-8 weeks (and in my personal experience, is more like ten.)

UPDATE: The video won’t stay embedded correctly, so leave my site if you must, and go watch it here.