Archive | October, 2019

Santa Fe Institute study: Private property, not productivity, precipitated Neolithic agricultural revolution

13 Oct

Benjamin Powell wrote in Private Property Rights, Economic Freedom, and Well Being:

The question of why some countries are rich, and others are poor, is a question
that has plagued economists at least since 1776, when Adam Smith wrote An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. Some countries that have a wealth of human and natural resources remain in poverty (in Sub-Saharan Africa for example) while other countries with few natural resources (like Hong Kong) flourish.
An understanding of how private property and economic freedom allow people to
coordinate their activities while engaging in trades that make them both people better off, gives us an indication of the institutional environment that is necessary for prosperity. Observation of the countries around the world also indicates that those countries with an institutional environment of secure property rights and high degrees of economic freedom have achieved higher levels of the various measures of human well being.

Property Rights and Voluntary Interaction

The freedom to exchange allows individuals to make trades that both parties
believe will make them better off. Private property provides the incentives for
individuals to economize on resource use because the user bears the costs of their actions. When private property is combined with market exchange, the price system that results provides the information and incentives for the many anonymous individuals in society to coordinate their activities to channel available resources to the people with the most urgent demand for them.

Private property forces individuals to bear the costs of their actions.

Without private ownership, when a person uses resources, they impose a cost on everyone else in society. Economists call this the “tragedy of the commons.” Communal property leads to over use, and depletion of resources. Once property is privatized and individually held, the owner may use the property for his own benefit but he also directly incurs the cost of using it. Private property provides an incentive to conserve resources and maintain capital for future production….
WORKING PAPER
https://www.mercatus.org/system/files/Private-Property-Rights-Economic-Freedom-and-Well-Being.pdf

Science Daily reported in Private property, not productivity, precipitated Neolithic agricultural revolution:

Humankind first started farming in Mesopotamia about 11,500 years ago. Subsequently, the practices of cultivating crops and raising livestock emerged independently at perhaps a dozen other places around the world, in what archaeologists call the Neolithic Agricultural Revolution. It’s one of the most thoroughly-studied episodes in prehistory — but a new paper in the Journal of Political Economy shows that most explanations for it don’t agree with the evidence, and offers a new interpretation.
With farming came a vast expansion of the realm over which private property governed access to valued goods, replacing the forager social norms around sharing food upon acquisition. A common explanation is that farming increased labor productivity, which then encouraged the adoption of private property by providing incentives for the long-term investments required in a farming economy.
“But it’s not what the data are telling us,” says Santa Fe Institute economist Samuel Bowles, a co-author of the paper. “It is very unlikely that the number of calories acquired from a day’s work at the advent of farming made it a better option than hunting and gathering and it could well have been quite a bit worse.”
Prior studies, including those of human and animal bones, suggest that farming actually took an extreme nutritional toll on early adopters and their livestock. So why farm in the first place?
Some have suggested an inferior technology could have been imposed by political elites as a strategy for extracting taxes, tribute, or rents. But farming was independently adopted millennia before the emergence of governments or political elites capable of imposing a new way of life on heavily-armed foraging communities.
Bowles and co-author Jung-Kyoo Choi, an economist at Kyungpook National University in South Korea, use both evolutionary game theory and archaeological evidence to propose a new interpretation of the Neolithic. Based on their model, a system of mutually recognized private property rights was both a precondition for farming and also a means of limiting costly conflicts among members of a population. While rare among foragers, private property did exist among a few groups of sedentary hunter-gatherers. Among them, farming could have benefited the first adopters because it would have been easier to establish the private possession of cultivated crops and domesticated animals than for the diffuse wild resources on which hunter-gatherers relied….
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191011131858.htm

Citation:

Private property, not productivity, precipitated Neolithic agricultural revolution
Date: October 11, 2019
Source: Santa Fe Institute
Summary:
The Neolithic Agricultural Revolution is one of the most thoroughly-studied episodes in prehistory. But a new article shows that most explanations for it don’t agree with the evidence, and offers a new interpretation.

Journal Reference:
Samuel Bowles, Jung-Kyoo Choi. The Neolithic Agricultural Revolution and the Origins of Private Property. Journal of Political Economy, 2019; 127 (5): 2186 DOI: 10.1086/701789

Here is the press release from the Santa Fe Institute:

OCTOBER 10, 2019
Humankind first started farming in Mesopotamia about 11,500 years ago. Subsequently, the practices of cultivating crops and raising livestock emerged independently at perhaps a dozen other places around the world, in what archaeologists call the Neolithic Agricultural Revolution. It’s one of the most thoroughly-studied episodes in prehistory — but a new paper in the Journal of Political Economy shows that most explanations for it don’t agree with the evidence, and offers a new interpretation.
With farming came a vast expansion of the realm over which private property governed access to valued goods, replacing the forager social norms around sharing food upon acquisition. A common explanation is that farming increased labor productivity, which then encouraged the adoption of private property by providing incentives for the long-term investments required in a farming economy.
“But it’s not what the data are telling us”, says Santa Fe Institute economist Samuel Bowles, a co-author of the paper. “It is very unlikely that the number of calories acquired from a day’s work at the advent of farming made it a better option than hunting and gathering and it could well have been quite a bit worse.”
Prior studies, including those of human and animal bones, suggest that farming actually took an extreme nutritional toll on early adopters and their livestock. So why farm in the first place?
Some have suggested an inferior technology could have been imposed by political elites as a strategy for extracting taxes, tribute, or rents. But farming was independently adopted millennia before the emergence of governments or political elites capable of imposing a new way of life on heavily-armed foraging communities.
Bowles and co-author Jung-Kyoo Choi, an economist at Kyungpook National University in South Korea, use both evolutionary game theory and archaeological evidence to propose a new interpretation of the Neolithic. Based on their model, a system of mutually recognized private property rights was both a precondition for farming and also a means of limiting costly conflicts among members of a population. While rare among foragers, private property did exist among a few groups of sedentary hunter-gatherers. Among them, farming could have benefited the first adopters because it would have been easier to establish the private possession of cultivated crops and domesticated animals than for the diffuse wild resources on which hunter-gatherers relied.
“It is a lot easier to define and defend property rights in a domesticated cow than in a wild kudu,” says Choi. “Farming initially succeeded because it facilitated a broader application of private property rights, not because it lightened the toil of making a living.”
Read the paper, “The Neolithic Agricultural Revolution and the Origins of Private Property,” in the Journal of Political Economy (October 2019) https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/10.1086/701789

Tom DeWeese wrote in Private Property Ownership Is the Only Way to Eradicate Poverty:

Poverty. It’s the excuse for nearly every government spending program. Help the poor. Tax the Rich. Get the One Percent. How dare they get so wealthy while everyone else suffers!

And what is the preferred way to eliminate poverty? Redistribution of wealth. It is the force behind the Occupy Wall Street movement, Agenda 21 and its Social Justice schemes, nearly every poverty program of the Federal government, and even most charitable poverty programs….
The Real Way to End Poverty

It is becoming increasingly clear that poverty will never be eradicated unless those working on the problem will allow themselves to look for a drastically new way to attack it. Simply put, rather than constantly applying band-aids to the effects of poverty, they must look for the cause and fix it.

One must first look at the world and see where wealth is created and why it is so. The greatest example of wealth creation is obviously the United States. It is the beacon of wealth and freedom for the entire world. Most people in the world envy America’s wealth and seek ways to share it, yet very few look at how the nation got its wealth, or attempt to copy its system for success.

Why did the United States become so wealthy? Was it the possession of vast natural resources? Africa has more. Was it the existence of greater industry? Japan has more. Was it the existence of a superior education system? The United States now ranks below the top ten nations in education.

The reason the United States has led the world in wealth, standard of living, and abundance is that the average resident of the United States has had the ability and the opportunity to invest and produce capital.

Why could ordinary citizens of the United States produce their own capital to create personal wealth, while most of the rest of the world failed at such an attempt? The answer is actually very simple. The United States created a very easy, immediate, complete system for recording and securing ownership of private property.

Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto explains the root of American wealth in his book, The Mystery of Capital. De Soto asks, “Why does Capitalism thrive only in the West, as if enclosed in a bell jar?”

Capital, he argues, “is the force that raises the productivity of labor and creates the wealth of nations, It is the lifeblood of the capitalist system, the foundation of progress, and the one thing that the poor countries of the world cannot seem to produce for themselves….”
https://www.thenewamerican.com/reviews/opinion/item/13821-private-property-ownership-is-the-only-way-to-eradicate-poverty

See, Reasons for Low Capital Formation in Under-Developed Countries http://www.economicsdiscussion.net/articles/reasons-for-low-capital-formation-in-under-developed-countries/1537

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University of California Davis study: A breath test for opioids

6 Oct

The National Institute on Drug Abuse provides information on opioids:

Brief Description
Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine, and many others.
• Summary
• All opioids are chemically related and interact with opioid receptors on nerve cells in the body and brain. Opioid pain relievers are generally safe when taken for a short time and as prescribed by a doctor, but because they produce euphoria in addition to pain relief, they can be misused (taken in a different way or in a larger quantity than prescribed, or taken without a doctor’s prescription). Regular use—even as prescribed by a doctor—can lead to dependence and, when misused, opioid pain relievers can lead to addiction, overdose incidents, and deaths.
• An opioid overdose can be reversed with the drug naloxone when given right away. Improvements have been seen in some regions of the country in the form of decreasing availability of prescription opioid pain relievers and decreasing misuse among the Nation’s teens. However, since 2007, overdose deaths related to heroin have been increasing. Fortunately, effective medications exist to treat opioid use disorders including methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone.
• A NIDA study found that once treatment is initiated, both a buprenorphine/naloxone combination and an extended release naltrexone formulation are similarly effective in treating opioid addiction. However, naltrexone requires full detoxification, so initiating treatment among active users was more difficult. These medications help many people recover from opioid addiction.
• NIDA’s Role in the NIH HEAL Initiative℠ https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids/nidas-role-in-nih-heal-initiative
• Prescription Opioids https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-opioids
• Heroin https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/heroin
• Fentanyl https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/fentanyl
• Opioid Research Findings Funded by NIDA
https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids

Opioids are powerful drugs and can be abused.

Resources:
What Is an Opioid? – Teens – Drug Information
https://teens.drugabuse.gov/blog/post/what-opioid

What are opioids and why are they dangerous? – Mayo Clinic
https://www.mayoclinic.org/…/expert-answers/what-are-opioids/faq-20381270

The American Society of Anesthesiologists has a concise description of opioid abuse at their site:

Opioid Abuse
Opioids are highly addictive, and opioid abuse has become a national crisis in the United States. Statistics highlight the severity of the epidemic, with the National Institute on Drug Abuse reporting that more than 2 million Americans abuse opioids and that more than 90 Americans die by opioid overdose every day, on average.
Why do people become addicted to opioids?
Opioids can make your brain and body believe the drug is necessary for survival. As you learn to tolerate the dose you’ve been prescribed, you may find that you need even more medication to relieve the pain or achieve well-being, which can lead to dependency. Addiction takes hold of our brains in several ways — and is far more complex and less forgiving than many people realize.
How can you avoid addiction to opioids?
If you or a loved one is considering taking opioids to manage pain, it is vital to talk to a physician anesthesiologist or other pain medicine specialist about using them safely and exploring alternative options if needed. Learn how to work with your physician anesthesiologist or another physician to use opioids more wisely and safely and explore what pain management alternatives might work for you.
What are the signs of an addiction?
People addicted to drugs may change their behavior. Possible signs include:
• Mixing with different groups of people or changing friends
• Spending time alone and avoiding time with family and friends
• Losing interest in activities
• Not bathing, changing clothes or brushing their teeth
• Being very tired and sad
• Eating more or less than usual
• Being overly energetic, talking fast and saying things that don’t make sense
• Being nervous or cranky
• Quickly changing moods
• Sleeping at odd hours
• Missing important appointments
• Getting into trouble with the law
• Attending work or school on an erratic schedule
• Experiencing financial hardship
https://www.asahq.org/whensecondscount/pain-management/opioid-treatment/opioid-abuse/

The University of California Davis has developed a breath test for opioids.

Science Daily reported in A breath test for opioids:

A test to detect opioid drugs in exhaled breath has been developed by engineers and physicians at the University of California, Davis. A breath test could be useful in caring for chronic pain patients as well as for checking for illegal drug use.
“There are a few ways we think this could impact society,” said Professor Cristina Davis, chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UC Davis, who led the research along with Professor Michael Schivo from the UC Davis Medical Center. The work is described in a paper published in the Journal of Breath Research Oct. 3.
Doctors and nurses treating chronic pain may need to monitor patients to make sure they are taking their drugs correctly, that their prescribed drugs are being metabolized properly and that they are not taking additional medications. Blood tests are the gold standard: a reliable, noninvasive test would be a useful alternative.
Collecting droplets from breath
For the test developed by postdoctoral researcher Eva Borras, Davis and colleagues, subjects breathe normally into a specialized collection device. Droplets in breath condense and are stored in a freezer until testing. Davis’ lab uses mass spectrometry to identify compounds in the samples.
The researchers tested the technique in a small group of patients receiving infusions of pain medications including morphine and hydromorphone, or oral doses of oxycodone, at the UC Davis Medical Center. They were therefore able to compare opioid metabolites in breath with both blood samples and the doses given to patients.
“We can see both the original drug and metabolites in exhaled breath,” Davis said.
Fully validating the breath test will require more data from larger groups of patients, she said. Davis’ laboratory is working toward real-time, bedside testing…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191004105645.htm

Citation:

A breath test for opioids
Date: October 4, 2019
Source: University of California – Davis
Summary:
A test to detect opioid drugs in exhaled breath has been developed by engineers and physicians. A breath test could be useful in caring for chronic pain patients as well as for checking for illegal drug use.

Journal Reference:
Eva Borras, Andy Cheng, Ted Wun, Kristen L Reese, Matthias Frank, Michael Schivo, Cristina E Davis. Detecting opioid metabolites in exhaled breath condensate (EBC). Journal of Breath Research, 2019; 13 (4): 046014 DOI: 10.1088/1752-7163/ab35fd

Here is the press release from University of California Davis:

A Breath Test for Opioids
By Andy Fell on October 3, 2019 in Human & Animal Health
UC Davis researchers have developed a method for detecting opioid drugs and drug metabolites in breath. The test could be useful for management of patients with chronic pain, as well as for detecting illegal opioid use. (Credit: Charles Wollertz/Getty Images)
A test to detect opioid drugs in exhaled breath has been developed by engineers and physicians at the University of California, Davis. A breath test could be useful in caring for chronic pain patients as well as for checking for illegal drug use.
“There are a few ways we think this could impact society,” said Professor Cristina Davis, chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UC Davis, who led the research along with Professor Michael Schivo from the UC Davis Medical Center. The work is described in a paper published in the Journal of Breath Research Oct. 3.
Doctors and nurses treating chronic pain may need to monitor patients to make sure they are taking their drugs correctly, that their prescribed drugs are being metabolized properly and that they are not taking additional medications. Blood tests are the gold standard: a reliable, noninvasive test would be a useful alternative.
Collecting droplets from breath
For the test developed by postdoctoral researcher Eva Borras, Davis and colleagues, subjects breathe normally into a specialized collection device. Droplets in breath condense and are stored in a freezer until testing. Davis’ lab uses mass spectrometry to identify compounds in the samples.
The researchers tested the technique in a small group of patients receiving infusions of pain medications including morphine and hydromorphone, or oral doses of oxycodone, at the UC Davis Medical Center. They were therefore able to compare opioid metabolites in breath with both blood samples and the doses given to patients.
“We can see both the original drug and metabolites in exhaled breath,” Davis said.
Fully validating the breath test will require more data from larger groups of patients, she said. Davis’ laboratory is working toward real-time, bedside testing.
Other authors on the paper include graduate student Andy Cheng, UC Davis forensic science program; Ted Wun, Department of Internal Medicine; Kristen Reese and Matthias Frank, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; and Michael Schivo, UC Davis School of Medicine and VA Northern California Health System.
Davis’ laboratory is working on a variety of applications for detecting small amounts of chemicals, especially in air and exhaled breath. Other projects include diagnosing influenza in people and citrus greening disease in fruit trees.
The work was supported by grants from the UC Davis Medical Center’s Collaborative for Diagnostic Innovation, the U.S. Department of Energy and the NIH.
Media contact(s)
Cristina Davis, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, 530-754-9004, cedavis@ucdavis.edu
Andy Fell, News and Media Relations, 530-752-4533, ahfell@ucdavis.edu
Media Resources
Read the paper (Journal of Breath Research) https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1752-7163/ab35fd

The National Institute on Drug Abuse defines the opioid crisis:

Revised January 2019
Every day, more than 130 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids.1 The misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.2
How did this happen?
In the late 1990s, pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to prescription opioid pain relievers, and healthcare providers began to prescribe them at greater rates. This subsequently led to widespread diversion and misuse of these medications before it became clear that these medications could indeed be highly addictive.3,4 Opioid overdose rates began to increase. In 2017, more than 47,000 Americans died as a result of an opioid overdose, including prescription opioids, heroin, and illicitly manufactured fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid.1 That same year, an estimated 1.7 million people in the United States suffered from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers, and 652,000 suffered from a heroin use disorder (not mutually exclusive).5
What do we know about the opioid crisis?
• Roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them.6
• Between 8 and 12 percent develop an opioid use disorder.6
• An estimated 4 to 6 percent who misuse prescription opioids transition to heroin.7–9
• About 80 percent of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids.7
• Opioid overdoses increased 30 percent from July 2016 through September 2017 in 52 areas in 45 states.10
• The Midwestern region saw opioid overdoses increase 70 percent from July 2016 through September 2017.10
• Opioid overdoses in large cities increase by 54 percent in 16 states.10

This issue has become a public health crisis with devastating consequences including increases in opioid misuse and related overdoses, as well as the rising incidence of neonatal abstinence syndrome due to opioid use and misuse during pregnancy. The increase in injection drug use has also contributed to the spread of infectious diseases including HIV and hepatitis C. As seen throughout the history of medicine, science can be an important part of the solution in resolving such a public health crisis.
https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids/opioid-overdose-crisis

 

“The mentality, thought system and relationships that got you into addiction will keep you there unless you disentangle yourself from them.”

Oche Otorkpa,
The Night Before I killed Addiction

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University of Nottingham study: You don’t have to go cold turkey on red meat to see health benefits

2 Oct

Joanne Marie wrote in the SF Gate article, Ways You Benefit by Eating Meat:

Meat refers to cuts of beef, pork, veal, lamb and poultry — and all but poultry are red meats. These foods provide you with protein, an important nutrient, along with some essential vitamins and minerals. Meat can be high in fat, a nutrient that you should consume in moderation. Choose low-fat meats and prepare them in the healthiest way to get the most benefit from these foods.
Protein
Protein is a nutrient that is critical to keep your body functioning normally. When you consume protein-containing food, your gastrointestinal tract digests it, breaking it down into its building blocks, amino acids. These molecules are absorbed into your blood and travel to all of your cells, which use them to construct many different new proteins. Examples include enzymes that fuel biochemical reactions, structural proteins in your muscles and proteins that control what molecules can enter your cells. Meat is a complete protein source that provides all the essential amino acids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which also says you should consume about 50 grams of protein daily. In general, a 3-ounce piece of red meat — the serving size recommended by the Mayo Clinic — contains about 21 grams of protein, and poultry has about 15 grams.
Iron
Meat is an excellent source of iron, a mineral required to support human life. When your bone marrow makes new red blood cells, it incorporates iron into hemoglobin, the compound that carries oxygen to all your cells. Your body also adds iron to myoglobin, a compound that allows your muscle cells to use oxygen; other iron-containing compounds support DNA production, immune function and the manufacture of some neurotransmitters. The recommended dietary allowance for iron is 8 milligrams per day for men and 18 milligrams for women under 50; after menopause, the RDA for women is the same as for men. A 3-ounce serving of beef, pork or lamb provides between 1 and 3 milligrams of iron; a similar serving of chicken or turkey contains about 1 milligram of iron.
Other Nutrients
Red meat and poultry contain a number of vitamins. These include vitamin A, which is important for healthy bones, teeth, skin and eyes, and vitamin D, which is critical for calcium metabolism and strong bones. Meat also provides B-complex vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid and vitamins B-5, B-6 and B-12. Your body uses these vitamins to help produce energy from your food to support your nervous system and keep your heart healthy. In addition to iron, red meat and poultry also provide several other minerals, including magnesium, potassium, selenium and zinc, all of which are needed to help keep your organs functioning well…. https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/ways-benefit-eating-meat-4357.html

A University of Nottingham study finds that meat can be included in a balanced diet.

Science Daily reported the University of Nottingham study: You don’t have to go cold turkey on red meat to see health:

A new study has found that halving the amount red and processed (RPM) meat in the diet can have a significant impact on health, reducing the amount of LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol in the blood which cuts the risk of developing heart disease.
Red and processed meat (RPM) include fresh pork, beef, lamb and veal and meats that have been smoked, cured or preserved (other than freezing) in some way. These meats are typically high in saturated fatty acids which cause an increase in LDL cholesterol. This is the “bad” cholesterol that collects in the walls of blood vessels, where it can cause blockages and raise the chance of a heart attack.
Increasing awareness of the risks associated with eating red and processed meat has led to a growing number of people adopting vegetarian and vegan diets, which cut out meat completely. Researchers at the University of Nottingham wanted to find out if reducing the amount of red meat eaten, rather than cutting it out completely, would have a positive effect on the health of the subjects taking part.
Reducing cholesterol
The results, published today in the journal Food & Function showed that the most significant change was a drop in the amount of LDL cholesterol in the blood, and those with the highest levels in the beginning had the biggest drop. Overall there was an average drop in LDL cholesterol of approximately 10% with men (who tended to have the highest starting values) seeing the biggest change.
For this intervention trial, 46 people agreed to reduce their red meat intake over a period of 12 weeks by substituting it for white meat, fish or a meat substitutes, or by reducing the portion size of their red meat. They kept a food diary during the study and were given blood tests at the beginning and intervals throughout.
Professor Andrew Salter, from the University of Nottingham’s School of Biosciences led the study and says: “With a high saturated fatty acid, content red and processed meat has been linked to heart disease, and other chronic diseases, particularly colon cancer. Studies have shown that in people who eat the most meat, there is a 40% increased risk of them dying due to heart disease. The results of the present study showed that, even in relatively young and healthy individuals, making relatively small changes to RPM intake induced significant changes in LDL cholesterol which, if maintained over a period of time could potentially reduce the risk of developing heart disease.”
As well as reducing levels of LDL cholesterol, reseachers were surprised to also see a drop in white and red cells in the blood.
Dr Liz Simpson from the University of Nottingham’s School of Life Sciences is co-author on the study, she explains: “Meat is a rich source of the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) required for the manufacture of blood cells, and although it is possible to obtain these nutrients in plant-based diets, our results suggest that those reducing their meat intake need to ensure that their new diet contains a wide variety of fruit, vegetables, pulses and whole grains to provide these nutrients…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190930101521.htm

Citation:

You don’t have to go cold turkey on red meat to see health benefits
Date: September 30, 2019
Source: University of Nottingham
Summary:
A new study has found that halving the amount red and processed (RPM) meat in the diet can have a significant impact on health, reducing the amount of LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol in the blood which cuts the risk of developing heart disease.

Here is the press release from University of Nottingham:

NEWS RELEASE 30-SEP-2019

You don’t have to go cold turkey on red meat to see health benefits

UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM

A new study has found that halving the amount red and processed (RPM) meat in the diet can have a significant impact on health, reducing the amount of LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol in the blood which cuts the risk of developing heart disease.
Red and processed meat (RPM) include fresh pork, beef, lamb and veal and meats that have been smoked, cured or preserved (other than freezing) in some way. These meats are typically high in saturated fatty acids which cause an increase in LDL cholesterol. This is the “bad” cholesterol that collects in the walls of blood vessels, where it can cause blockages and raise the chance of a heart attack.
Increasing awareness of the risks associated with eating red and processed meat has led to a growing number of people adopting vegetarian and vegan diets, which cut out meat completely. Researchers at the University of Nottingham wanted to find out if reducing the amount of red meat eaten, rather than cutting it out completely, would have a positive effect on the health of the subjects taking part.
Reducing cholesterol
The results, published today in the journal Food & Function showed that the most significant change was a drop in the amount of LDL cholestorol in the blood, and those with the highest levels in the beginning had the biggest drop. Overall there was an average drop in LDL cholesterol of approximately 10% with men (who tended to have the highest starting values) seeing the biggest change.
For this intervention trial, 46 people agreed to reduce their red meat intake over a period of 12 weeks by substituting it for white meat, fish or a meat substitutes, or by reducing the portion size of their red meat. They kept a food diary during the study and were given blood tests at the beginning and intervals throughout.
Professor Andrew Salter, from the University of Nottingham’s School of Biosciences led the study and says: “With a high saturated fatty acid, content red and processed meat has been linked to heart disease, and other chronic diseases, particularly colon cancer. Studies have shown that in people who eat the most meat, there is a 40% increased risk of them dying due to heart disease. The results of the present study showed that, even in relatively young and healthy individuals, making relatively small changes to RPM intake induced significant changes in LDL cholesterol which, if maintained over a period of time could potentially reduce the risk of developing heart disease.”
As well as reducing levels of LDL cholestoral, reseachers were surprised to also see a drop in white and red cells in the blood.
Dr Liz Simpson from the University of Nottingham’s School of Life Sciences is co-author on the study, she explains: “Meat is a rich source of the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) required for the manufacture of blood cells, and although it is possible to obtain these nutrients in plant-based diets, our results suggest that those reducing their meat intake need to ensure that their new diet contains a wide variety of fruit, vegetables, pulses and whole grains to provide these nutrients.
Professor Salter is also part of the Future Food Beacon at the University of Nottingham which is undertaking research to find more sustainable ways to feed a growing population in a changing climate. He explains: “As well as improving people’s health, reducing the amount of red meat we eat is also important from a food security and sustainability perspective, as livestock production utilizes a large proportion of our natural resources and is a major contributor to greenhouse gas production. Part of our research is centred on finding more sustainable, alternative sources of food that provide us with the protein and other nutrients supplied by meat, but without the negative health and environmental effects ”
###
This study was funded by BBSRC and MRC through the Innovate UK project.
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

Cathy Fenster, M.Sc, RD wrote in 9 Reasons Why Eating Meat Is Good For Health:

I eat meat daily. I’m not Jewish. I’m not Arabic. What’s the kind of person that doesn’t eat meat? That’s right – I’m not a vegetarian.
Chuck Berry

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

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