Study on a healthy Nordic diet

Well again do we have a study that according to the Swedish newspaper  DN.  Proves we should ditch the butter and go for the margarine. So it  is time to try to find the study and see what it says, and how it was done.

A much better article about the study, and in English is at New study on a healthy Nordic diet.

Unfortunately when it came to the study itself. Does it cost to read it at Journal of Internal Medicine. But the abstract has some information.

To begin with, is it an observational or intervention study? It was an intervention, that is good. Did they check for compliance? As much as one can expect when they not inhouse. They used ”4-day food diaries and fatty acid composition of serum phospholipids”. Last thing, means as I understand taking blood samples to verify what they eat.

How about drop outs? ”Altogether 309 individuals were screened, 200 started the intervention after 4-week run-in period, and 96 (proportion of drop outs 7.9%) and 70 individuals (drop outs 27%) completed the study, in the Healthy diet and Control diet groups, respectively”. So it says that they only had 7.9 % drop out in the intervention group. While in the control group did they lose nearly 30 %. Why? Did they die? Then what about the 109 (309-200) that did not continue the study. Why where they excluded? Hopefully is it possible to read that in the full paper.

Who where the subjects? ”individuals with features of metabolic syndrome…..BMI 31.6”. And even though BMI is not a best way to measure health. Do I guess that these where not the average health club visitor.

So did they change one variable for the intervention group. Of course not. The intervention group where to eat following ”A healthy Nordic diet can also be composed according to the principle of locally-sourced foods. Hard animal fat and milk fat are replaced by rapeseed oil and plant oil based margarine, fat-free or low fat dairy products are recommended, eat plenty of domestic seasonal fruits, which in the Nordic countries means apples, pears or plumbs, berries, vegetables, root vegetables, legumes and cabbage, plus wholegrain products made from rye, barley or oats every day. Nuts can also be part of the diet. Eat fish and fatty fish 2–3 times a week, plus game and poultry. Red meat and sausages should be eaten in moderation.”. I used the text from the english article mention above as it was more complete. And it seemed to be written in collaboration  with 2 of those involved in the study.(some of it would any one on low carb agree that it is good for you)

From the abstract: ”An average Nordic diet served as a Control diet” What does that mean? To me does it sound as they asked the control group to change their diet according to the scientist request. If so, not only did they not only change more than one parameter on the intervention group. They actually changed the control group. But to what? Maybe this was the reason of the high drop out with the ”control” group. They could not stomach the diet.

So here we have a group of people who very likely was eating white bread, pasta, french fries, sausages and maybe whatever junk you can imagine. And then changed to eat more vegetables, nuts, fish (even fatty) and so on.

Their weight did not change (if I understand right from other articles, this was on purpose), and ”no significant changes were observed in insulin sensitivity or blood pressure”.

Well! I find it significant that many who starts with LCHF, reports that they can stop, or reduce the insulin and blood pressure lowering drugs. And here nothing happened.

It all boils down to this: An example of a study, that is as you would ask a bunch of smokers who are smoking unfiltered cigarettes to  change to filtered. Also ask them to take up exercising and other changes. Then observe how many get lung cancer. Would you say the filtered protects you from lung cancer? And everybody should start to smoke them.

By the way, noticed the bold text. It is my way of pointing out that the scientists who did this already had an opinion on what is healthy. It makes at least me wondering if they are objective.

Update: diabetes.dochas written in Swedish his findings of reading the full article.



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