I've relocated my active blogs to a new dedicated site:
- Personal Genomics (n=1)
- Ask Dr. D'Adamo
- Blood Type and Nutrition
- Science and Culture
- Disco Hospital
- A Furious Kind of Calm
- History of Brooklyn
This blog will stay active as an archive of my earlier postings. All the other active bloggers will continue to work from this site. My thanks to them and to all the readers who have been so dedicated, helpful and supportive over the years
I'm a believer in 'Fat Tony Science.'
I imagine that Fat Tony is some sort of quasi-questionable figure, or maybe just a street-wise person, like so many of the people I could observe growing up in Brooklyn. Fat Tony Science attempts to inject a healthy dose of street smarts into the decision tree by looking beyond simple facts and assumptions to things like ulterior motives and inter-personal realpolitik. Fat Tony Science becomes especially handy when parsing patient histories.
Here's an example:
You flip a coin 99 times and every toss comes up heads. What are the odds of it coming up tails on the next toss?
Little old lady at the slots:
It will come up tails, it's bound to after so many heads.
The same odds as always, 50-50.
It will come up heads, since only a rigged coin will produce 99 consecutive heads.
An interesting lecture on biomimicry got me thinking: With these new ways of analyzing intent by the study of naturally occurring shapes, functions and forms, we may be witnessing the 'naturopathization' of imagination in other arts and sciences.
"Now how does one know what is best? There needs to be a decent, well-developed, and endlessly exercised sense of taste for quality, of making strong choices between the excellent and the rest. An open mind but not an empty head: an intense willingness to see things and an intense willingness to make judgements about quality. "
-Edward Tufte ('Beautiful Evidence')
We need more of this 'comparative-reflective' thinking.
Someplace in the Talmud (a Jewish holy book) there is a commentary to the effect that God does not allow illness to exist until the solution or cure has first been created. What a marvelous take on time-space.
But how would we find that cure? We'd look to nature. To my way of thinking, over the course of his or her career, the good physician becomes increasingly comfortable visiting this invisible world, but only if fortified with a deep knowledge of the natural workings of things.
These excursions (really thought experiments) cannot but produce the most creative solutions to suffering, especially when guided by principles similar to those such as Tufte's (a statistician and sculptor-- not a physician-- again testifying to a certain conceptual universality.)
I'd paraphrase it as all knowing and all trusting, but also realizing that when we know very little, we should probably trust very little as well. Just contrast human intuition (usually a leap of faith) with animal intuition (genomic knowingness).
A new book by Dr. Walter Crinnion entitled Clean, Green, & Lean is about to hit the bookshelves. I think Walter's work with detoxification is tremendously important, which is why I asked him lecture at IFHI 2005 and 2007. Last week I gave out advance copies to all my students and they just devoured it. This book is a great addition to any bookshelf and I was proud to have been asked to contribute the book's Foreword:
“Woe to the book you can read without constantly wondering about the author!” Romanian philosopher and essayist EM Cioran.
I think Ciroan makes a rarely recognized and unguarded point. People write books, and it is often the personality and skills of the author that make the difference between a series of accumulated platitudes and a cogent and effective call to action.
While most of the current popular books on cleansing and detoxification approach the subject from the perspective of fantasy and folklore, this book grounds itself in evidence and positions itself firmly on the side of science. Be assured that the valuable advice you’ll receive here is proven, factual and safe. You will be reading the book finally written by the man ‘who wrote the book’ on the subject.
Having known Dr. Walter Crinnion for over three decades, I can assure you that there is no better authority in nutritional medicine on the subjects of detoxification and cleansing. Better yet I can report that the guidance you are about to receive in this book is given in that friendly, informal style that characterizes Walter’s genuine personality and temperament and which serves to make him such as popular instructor and much sought-after lecturer.
A quick study of the book’s beginning, middle and end can best allow us to appreciate the sheer conceptual scale of this work.
Walter begins by taking the reader on a trip to the invisible world of the hidden toxins that permeate our everyday life, uncovering the hidden threats behind pesticides, PCBs and DDT and describes the nine classes of toxic compounds. In short order, you’ll find out how to detoxify non-organic produce and cleanse you home environment. His advice is sound and practicable and ranges from the latest biochemistry and genomics to something as simple as taking your shoes off before you enter your home.
After identifying the problem, the second part of the book launches into the basics of naturopathic detoxification. There is an extensive discussion of the importance of cleansing the bowels --advice as valid now as when it was first offered by Hippocrates, the father of medicine, over two thousand years ago. How to block fat absorption using safe and commonly available herbal remedies, enhancing the detoxification mechanisms of the liver and kidneys, balancing the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ estrogens in the body and some terrific supplement advice round out the second part of the book.
The final third of the book is where your ‘Clean Green and Lean’ program is developed. It allows you to work towards a cleaner, greener life through a guided step-by-step approach. You’ll begin by purging and reorganizing your food pantry. Then, by using a daily journal, you’ll learn how to use an elimination process to help identify problematic foods. This section is capped off by a terrific recipe collection and an extensive and helpful collection of outside resources.
Over the years I’ve seen Dr. Walter Crinnion literally give patients back their own lives; often as the happy ending to an otherwise sorry tale of missed diagnoses, therapeutic dead-ends and thousands of wasted dollars. It is my great honor and pleasure to introduce you to his first book.
Finally I would like to single out the one characteristic of Walter’s that I treasure above all others: the tremendous enthusiasm he has for this work and his mission.
The word enthusiasm comes from Greek en theos signifying ‘the God within’. That is why I’m sure that you will soon be wondering about this special person, whose first book is truly the result of being blessed with the ways and means to say those essential things that are inside him.
I am aware that you may not answer this question, but I will attempt because I am very confused. I understand the concept of eating for your blood type. But, as a cancer survivor and a Type A - I'm having trouble connecting the soy issue. I read an answer you wrote on your web site, but it was so medically scientific I couldn't understand.
Do you believe that soy is linked to cancer? If so, do you believe it is linked to Type A's? How do you justify putting someone on a high soy diet and not be concerned about cancer?
Thank you for your time.
Soy is not linked to cancer. Some cancers are estrogen sensitive and the theory is that since soy contains a form of plant estrogen, these plant estrogens might work to stimulate cancer, just as the biological forms of estrogen do.
However, soy estrogens are very weak estrogens (tamoxifen, by the way, is also a weak estrogen) so in most situations they block the estrogen receptor, more than stimulate it. Soy also has two other functions which make it desirable in cancer patients, particularly those who are type A. It contains a protein, soy bean agglutinin, which can target cancer cells directly and help to kill them.
The flavones in soy, in particular genistein help keep genes methylated, which tends to suppress any cancer tendencies. Finally soy is rich in saponin molecules which has independent ant-cancer mechanisms of their own. A 2008 Japanese study was published on soy consumption and rates of breast cancer. This study looked at 24,226 Japanese women aged 40 to 69. Women who had the most consistently high levels of genistein had the lowest rates of breast cancer.Historically, breast cancer rates in the United States have been 4-7 times those in Asia, whereas isoflavone intake in the United States is less than 1% that in Asian populations.
You will hear and read a lot of garbage about soy on the internet. If you were to take the advice of some of these sites and authorities, you might as well give up most nuts, fruits and vegetables since they contribute more phytoestrogens into the average American diet than do soy products. Yet Americans have higher breast cancer rates than cultures where soy is a bigger part of the diet. Finally, many of the anti-soy crusaders point to a potential for soy to block mineral absorption, as it contains chemicals phytates. This might be true if soy were consumed in astronomical doses, but better evidence suggests that phytate containing foods also appear to block the development of colon cancer as well.
Bear in mind it is not a perfect food in everyone. However if you look at the dynamics of the type A immune system, it would appear to be a very useful food in these people.