Just Cause It’s "Peer-Reviewed" Don’t Mean It’s Legit…

…after all, how could they let this one slip by?

Atkins Dieter Develops Life-Threatening Complications.

Bottom line summary: Two in-training physicians treat a 40 year-old obese woman for what they believe to be signs of severe ketoacidosis (a potentially fatal condition where acidic ketone bodies build up in the bloodstream). They suspect ketoacidosis (partially) due to the woman’s having been on the Atkins diet for the previous month.

(Ketone bodies do build up in the bloodstream when one is on a low-carb diet, but unless the person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, ketoacidosis will not be achieved; presence of insulin “turns off” ketone body production. In other words, ketoacidosis may be a concern for Type 1 diabetics, but otherwise “normal” people on a low-carb diet? Probably not.)

Here’s a quote from a biochemistry text that condenses the previous paragraph into two neat little sentences:

However, even under starvation conditions,
ketone body levels do not accumulate in sufficient levels to cause such problems. Acidosis (or keto-acidosis) can however occur in untreated diabetics.

Either way, the article doesn’t sound too promising for the low-carb crowd.

Well, Dr. Michael Eades debunks this one for us on his blog:

Low-carb diet takes one below the belt.

Bottom line summary of Dr. Eades’ defense: The woman had gastroenteritis (intestinal virus), which could easily have accounted for the symptoms she exhibited (vomiting, low blood pressure, rapid heart rate). Had the residents checked the patient’s bloodwork more thoroughly, they would have discovered her not to have been in ketoacidosis. Conclusion: Medical orthodoxy is biased against low-carb diets.

Or, as Dr. Eades so succinctly puts it,

“Buffoons misdiagnose mild gastroenteritis, costs patient thousands.”

Sigh. Well, I’m not about to go on a crazy, paranoid, Kevin Trudeau-like rant about the giant military-industrial complex holding us down and brainwashing us – but I would like to state:

We are all primarily responsible for our own health. One’s best line of defense against disease is a penetrating, logical mind and a healthy sense of optimism. It’s a sad joke that our health care system is the #3 cause of death in this country.

Just because it’s in print doesn’t mean it’s true. We must weigh the facts, examine the evidence, and determine the relevance of a so-called peer-reviewed study before accepting it as gospel. That is all. Thank you. *end rant*

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