Fear and Fact on the Internet

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Fear and Fact on the Internet

There is no doubt that the internet has changed our life for the better. We can now access research instantly it formerly might have taken a sabbatical to collect. We can go for that Master’s degree online which will up our chances in the job market. Encyclopedias such as the EOL (Encyclopedia of Life are available to any and all who wish to learn more about all animal and plant life.) But there is a caveat. The World Wide Web has become an un-edited source of endless anecdotal information which may or may not be true. There are elements of fear driven propaganda within some of the source material provided, especially in the world of nutrition and health. This is where evidence based information comes up against anecdotal, unsubstantiated output.

Just recently, I received an article on the terrors of canola (rapeseed oil.) It was in a long advertorial form, telling the reader that canola oil was possibly dangerous (an intimation, a suggestion, carefully lobbed across the internet net.) – ‘Is it really a plant? Where on earth does it come from? It contains poisonous toxins – i.e. erucic acid which is poisonous and is problematic for cardiovascular health!’

I decided to send the article to my physician in New York City who has over 40 years of experience as an allopathic and open-minded practitioner who is among the top docs in the city. He devotes a major part of his practice to heart health as many of his patients are growing old (healthfully) under his care. Here’s what he replied:

“Response to Canola Oil Article (promoting Coconut Oil)

“This is not sound. The Lyon Diet Heart study published from Lyon in 1999 by the noted French nutritional physician Michel de Lorgeril showed that the addition of canola oil reduced the incidence of heart attacks by 70 to 90%. Erucic acid is toxic and that is the reason for processing. I mix the canola with olive oil to get the polyphenols which the olive oil has but which the canola oil does not. Coconut oil may well have anticancer benefits because of the tocopherols in it but there have been no important studies in humans showing benefits in heart attacks………”

Oh, did I forget to tell you? At the end of the article there was a link to where you could buy the coconut oil recommend by this ayurvedic physician. (PS I have nothing against Ayurvedic Medicine; there is much wisdom with it. However, Fear is being generated out there in the vast world of ‘webbers.’) Evidence based information, properly conducted studies and research from reliable sources is far better than grabbing at anecdotal, unsupported messages created in the interest of selling one product over another.

I am always passionate about YOUR health!