Monday, January 16, 2017

Death by Nutella

There is a headline in the local paper about Nutella causing cancer, because it contains Palm oil.  which is really ironic, because only the rich and upper middle class can afford the spread (while the poor tend to use palm oil for cooking here because it is cheap and tasty).

So Nutella bad, palm oil used by the poor? Who cares?

Hm. The last palm oil scare was about popcorn in theatres that were cooked in palm oil. NYTiimes 2009 article from the wayback machine.

 The study, from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, looked at popcorn from three movie theater chains and detailed the contents of all portions offered.
A large tub of popcorn at Regal Cinemas, for example, holds 20 cups of popcorn and has 1,200 calories, 980 milligrams of sodium and 60 grams of saturated fat. Adding just a tablespoon of butter adds 130 calories. And do not forget that it comes with free refills.

They recommend you eat plain popcorn without any oil, which of course tastes like cardboard.

What is the problem with palm oil? it has saturated fatty acids, so was linked to heart disease.

Then they changed their mind and decided it was a health food.

Now again they are screaming: Cancer.

Yes, but only if you are a mouse who was injected with human cancer cells mixed with a certain compound that is supposed to be associated with palm oil.

To confirm the essential role of CD36 in cancer spread, they added it to non-metastatic cancer cells which then caused the cells to become metastatic.
so did they feed the mice palm oil? no. And no, CD36 is not present in palm oil

CD36 sits in the cell membrane where its job is to move fatty acids from outside of the cell into the middle.  The researchers therefore wondered how a high fat diet would impact on cancer spread, given the key role of CD36.
Interestingly, a high-fat diet, or direct stimulation of these cells with a saturated fatty acid called palmitic acid (the main component of palm oil) increased their ability to spread.
But they didn't cite where that last part, but I googled this article via Scidaily:

The researchers next looked at the role of fat intake on cancer spread. They provided mice with a high fat diet then injected them with a type of human oral cancer. The high fat diet caused 50% more mice to have larger and more frequent metastases.

so if you are a mouse who a scientist injected with human cancer don't eat nutella.

Ironically, the really important part of the research is hidden deep within the article:

Using mice with human oral cancer, the researchers were next able to show that blocking CD36 completely prevented metastasis. 

 Did I read this right?There is a drug that blocks CD36 and prevents metastases?

 LATimes article about this. 

The work of identifying those human antibodies, and of beginning to test them in humans, is expected to take up to 10 years, Benitah said. However, with a few lucky breaks, antibodies capable of knocking out CD36 in human cells could be found in just three or four years, he said.
a monoconal antibody to stop metatases. Faster, please.

It has long been known that obesity is associated with Cancer, but then you have a problem: Is it because chubby women have more estrogen, which causes breast/uterine cancer? Is it because the chronically ill are skinny? Is it genetic? Or is obesity a marker for poverty, and lead and chemical pollution is more common in poor areas (e.g.Flint Michigan)?

Is it palm oil, or is it only when you use it to fry foods, causing high temperature chemical changes? But nutella doesn't fry the oil. So why point fingers at Nutella?

maybe it's because the SJW types hate the Nutella company: lot of articles on the company websites defending their labor practices which suggest the activists have been after them.

This german paper gasps: It's sweetness is addictive!

well, duh. everything is addictive today: Anthony Weiner call your office.

So why are they after palm oil (again)? maybe because the real aim is to demonize Palm oil, to save the orangutans.
or maybe the rain forest.

Yup. Keep the environment pristine, the orangutans happy, and the local farmers dirt poor.

This article in the UKIndependent is a good debunker of all the scare stories you are reading.

What makes a good health scare?
Three essential ingredients. 
 First, there has to be something mundane that lots of ordinary people do, and preferably enjoy doing.
 Second, there has to be a nasty disease, or a frightening health condition.
Third, the word “causes” must appear.
A big scare last week concerned Nutella, with reports that the processed palm oil used in the production of the hazelnut spread might be carcinogenic. ...

 The problem with such stories is not the underlying science, but that the fact that they generally do a terrible job of conveying a clear sense of the scale of the risk to the typical reader.
The palm oil research is at too early a stage for any kind of quantitative headline about risks to health.
 they then go on to parse statistics: A huge number might only mean a slight increase in actual personal risk.

This was apparent during the 2015 bacon scare, when reports of an 18 per cent increase in the risk of contracting bowel cancer from consuming two rashers of bacon a day were widely interpreted as suggesting an almost one in five chance of getting it.
In fact, the lifetime risk for regular bacon eaters of developing bowel cancer is 7 per cent, up from 6 per cent for those who don’t eat it.

ah Bacon!

so enjoy:

cross posted from my main blog.

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