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artificial sweeteners obesity

Artificial sweeteners linked to obesity – poor evidence

This article about artificial sweeteners and obesity was written by Linda Tock, an American living in Denmark, who has an extensive research background in the biomedical sciences. She has a Master’s Degree in Environmental Chemistry and Health and will be pursuing a Ph.D. Ms. Tock has a fascination for Daphnia, an interesting planktonic crustacean, that is an important organism in studying pollution and environmental stresses. 

So I received a message from a friend of mine, wanting my opinion on this news article, which loudly proclaims that artificial sweeteners are linked to obesity. Because it was a genuine question regarding the science behind the study, and not a ‘concern troll’ about my preference for diet cola, I went and looked at the study itself to see what the fuss was about.

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high fructose corn syrup

High fructose corn syrup — debunking the myths with science

People demonize food “chemicals,” like high fructose corn syrup, all of the time — see monosodium glutamate, as just one example. And there’s high fructose corn syrup, a sugar that is blamed for everything from cancer to diabetes to climate change. OK, maybe not climate change.

High fructose corn syrup is just sugar, but because it has a complicated name, it must be bad. It’s part of the “chemophobia,” the fear of anything that sounds like a chemical.

The so-called Food Babe has made a lot of money endorsing a belief that all chemicals are evil. Of course, such claims ignore the simple fact that all life, the air, and water are made of chemicals.

They want us to believe that man-made chemicals are more dangerous than “natural” chemicals, but that betrays several things about science:

  1. Many “natural” chemicals are dangerous.
  2. Those “natural” chemicals didn’t evolve for the benefit of humans, so they are not inherently better for humans.
  3. Nature isn’t always better.

And high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is considered one of the evil “chemicals” that are destroying humanity. But is it? Let’s answer that question.

Read More »High fructose corn syrup — debunking the myths with science
COVID-19 type 2 diabetes

Mild COVID-19 cases are linked to type 2 diabetes

A recent study suggests that even mild COVID-19 cases are linked to an increased risk of subsequent new-onset type 2 diabetes. The research analyzed 35,865 patients and showed a 28% greater risk in those who had COVID-19 compared to controls. Continuous diabetes screening in anyone recovered from mild COVID-19 is recommended. Further research is needed to determine long-term implications.

person putting a drop on test tube

Vaccine science — why I do research better than anti-vaxxers

How many times have you read a comment from an anti-vaxxer that states, “I’ve done my vaccine science research, and it says vaccines are bad.” That comment seems to imply two things – that the anti-vaxxer believes they have done real vaccine science research, and those on the science/medicine side have not done real vaccine research.

What I’ve found is that the anti-vaxxer research into vaccine science is based on their Google University education rather than actual scientific education. Vaccine science is hard, and it cannot be done in a few hours searching for unimpressive memes.

The typical anti-vaxxer understates how hard vaccine research is while overstating their actual skills and experience in comprehending real scientific research. I suppose this is a perfect example of the Dunning-Kruger effect – a cognitive bias wherein people without a strong scientific background fail to recognize their actual ineptitude in the field and mistakenly overrate their knowledge and abilities as greater than it is.

On the other hand, I’ve done real scientific research that gives me a relatively decent background in vaccine science. And I’m going to state, without any remorse, that I am no Dr. Paul Offit, Dr. Peter Hotez, or any of the hundreds of researchers at the CDC and WHO. My background in vaccines is a result of my education, which is a lot more than a few hours on Google.

Read More »Vaccine science — why I do research better than anti-vaxxers
children diabetes covid

Increased risk of diabetes in children who have recovered from COVID

A new study from the CDC shows that children who have recovered from COVID-19 are at a significantly higher risk of type 1 or type 2 diabetes. I have written previously that COVID-19 might be linked to diabetes, but those studies were in adults. But this study shows that the risk of diabetes might be greater for children who had COVID-19.

This should be more reason for parents to make certain that their children are fully vaccinated against the disease. Diabetes is a lifetime disease that must be closely managed with insulin and, in the case of type 2 diabetes, various medications.

This post will review the research on children who have had COVID-19 and the risk of type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

Read More »Increased risk of diabetes in children who have recovered from COVID
blood sugar meter and medication on the blue background

COVID-19 may be linked to diabetes — more reasons for the vaccine

A new clinical study has shown that over half of COVID-19 patients developed diabetes in individuals who were not previously diagnosed with diabetes. In addition, the majority of intubated COVID-19 patients and those who died of the disease had high blood sugar.

To be clear, pre-existing diabetes is a significant risk factor for individuals who contract COVID-19, but this study provides evidence that COVID-19 itself can cause hyperglycemia. Of course, increased blood sugar caused by COVID-19 will put the patient at even higher risk of hospitalization and death, so it becomes a positive feedback loop.

I’ve written about this before — there is solid evidence that COVID-19 is linked to diabetes, but this study not only reinforces that claim but also researchers have proposed a biologically plausible mechanism for causing it.

Let’s take a look at this new research and the proposed mechanism.

Read More »COVID-19 may be linked to diabetes — more reasons for the vaccine
vaccines diabetes

The childhood vaccines schedule is not linked to type 1 diabetes

I have debunked a lot of anti-vax claims that childhood vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccines, are linked to type 1 diabetes. Of course, there is no evidence of a link between vaccines and diabetes — in fact, there is lots of evidence that some vaccines can actually reduce the risk of diabetes.

Of course, there is a continuing effort to stop this particular anti-vax myth (as if anti-vaxxers actually care about science and evidence), so another peer-reviewed study has been published that once again discredits these claims. And once again, for those who just want the tl;dr version, this research team found no link between vaccines and diabetes.

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aluminum vaccines diabetes

Aluminum in vaccines does not cause type 1 diabetes

We know that there are no links between vaccines and type 1 diabetes mellitus, and now a new study shows that the aluminum in vaccines also isn’t linked to the disease. I’m sure that Christopher Aluminum Exley and James Lyons-Weiler are crying. Or they will just claim that all other scientists are wrong and they are right.

A lot of the vaccine deniers believe that vaccines cause Type 1 diabetes (or here), based on little evidence. As far as I can tell, this myth is based on the “research” from  J. Barthelow Classen, M.D., who has pushed the idea that vaccines cause type 1 diabetes, through some magical process that has never been supported by other independent evidence.

In another example of the anti-vaccine zealot’s cherry-picking evidence to support their a priori conclusions, they ignore the utter lack of plausibility supporting any link between vaccines and Type 1 diabetes. But once again, real scientific research has found no link between vaccines and diabetes.

And new research has provided robust evidence that there is no link between the aluminum in vaccines and type 1 diabetes mellitus.

Read More »Aluminum in vaccines does not cause type 1 diabetes
COVID-19 diabetes

COVID-19 linked to type 1 diabetes – another reason for the vaccine

Well, if you need another reason to get the COVID-19 vaccine, then it should be that the disease itself may increase the risk of type 1 diabetes. Along with many other long-term health issues, some people may develop type 1 diabetes after an acute COVID-19 infection.

I want to briefly discuss this consequence of the disease because the long-term healthcare issues resulting from a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes are deeply concerning.

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