Relationship between sugar and cancer is now clearer, scientists say


Belgian scientists say they’ve made a research breakthrough in the relationship between sugar and cancer.

Researchers found yeast with high levels of the sugar known as glucose overstimulated the same proteins often found mutated inside human tumors, making cells grow faster. The finding, published in Nature Communications on Friday, aims to shed light on how cancer develops.

Johan Thevelein, Wim Versées and Veerle Janssens started researching sugar’s link to cancer in 2008 to try and better understand what’s called the Warburg effect, when tumor cells make energy through a rapid breakdown of glucose not seen in normal cells. That energy fuels tumor growth.

The research “is able to explain the correlation between the strength of the Warburg effect and tumor aggressiveness,” Thevelein, from KU Leuven in Belgium, said in a release. “This link between sugar and cancer has sweeping consequences. Our results provide a foundation for future research in this domain, which can now be performed with a much more precise and relevant focus.”

While it’s a monumental finding for the research team, it’s not a medical breakthrough. It also doesn’t prove that eating a low-sugar diet could change a cancer diagnosis.

More: Myths about breast cancer debunked: Family history often has nothing to do with diagnosis

More: Obesity rates skyrocketing, and health experts say it’s time to change how we’re dealing with the problem

“The findings are not sufficient to identify the primary cause of the Warburg effect,” Thevelein said in a release. “Further research is needed to find out whether this primary cause is also conserved in yeast cells.”

Victoria Stevens, a cancer researcher with the American Cancer Society who was not involved in the study, said this research is great, but it comments only on “about one product made during the breakdown of glucose to produce energy.” In other words, it’s a small step in a long process.

“They are providing a potential way (the Warburg effect) could be a cause of cancer, but they are a long way away from saying this could actually happen,” Stevens said.

VIB, KU Leuven and Vrije Universiteit Brussel researchers conducted the study. VIB is a life sciences research institute that works with five universities, including KU Leuven, and is funded by the Flemish government.


First Islamic McDonalds Opens in Berlin

Behind the Anhalter Bahnhof lies Askanische Platz. Here, 69 per cent of the residents have a migration background, the highest share in the whole city.

(Blitz Kurrier)

For the operator Özgemir Gano (32) is not a problem. He likes his neighborhood: “I love the multicultural atmosphere,” he says. “My friends are Moroccans, Filipinos, Afghans and Germans. We understand each other well. This has made us tolerant of the inhabitants.”

“Of course we will take all pork products from the range in consultation with the parent company. Beef and poultry dishes are extended to 3-4 products. For example, for the” Salam Burger “with couscous and goat cheese or the” McDürüm “in kebab style.” Said Gano. “In addition, we slaughter ourselves in our own slaughterhouse, of course according to the Islamic tradition. All the food here is halal, that is what our customers expect and that is what we guarantee,” says the operator. More freshly it is no longer.

In the “McCüfü” we will also offer shishas and replace chairs and tables with seat cushions,” says Gano.

“Of course, all our operations are wearing a headscarf and two coworkers, and we also have a burqa together with the Berlin office, which is our religion and our target audience are Muslim men and women who are both the new Western world, with their old traditions, but of course we are hoping for many interested German visitors to bring them closer to our kind of eating culture,” said the franchisee.

There were already tough negotiations with the American corporation, which is known for its recognition value all over the world. But the marketing department quickly realized that Islam is now part of Germany and that this target group can not be underestimated.

“At the start, we will distribute 100,000 vouchers in Arabic / German in Berlin, either for a cheeseburger or a halal cocoa,” says Gano.

Bee-harming pesticides in 75 percent of honey worldwide: study


Traces of pesticides that act as nerve agents on bees have been found in 75 percent of honey worldwide, raising concern about the survival of these crucial crop pollinators, researchers said Thursday.


Human health is not likely at risk from the concentrations detected in a global sampling of 198 types of honey, which were below what the European Union authorizes for human consumption, said the report in the journal Science.

However, the study found that 34 percent of honey samples were contaminated with “concentrations of neonicotinoids that are known to be detrimental” to bees, and warned that chronic exposure is a threat to bee survival.

Bees help pollinate 90 percent of the world’s major crops, but in recent years have been dying off from “,” a mysterious scourge blamed on mites, pesticides, virus, fungus, or some combination of these factors.

“The findings are alarming,” said Chris Connolly, a neurobiology expert at the University of Dundee, who also wrote a Perspective article alongside the research in Science.

“The levels detected are sufficient to affect bee brain function and may hinder their ability to forage on, and pollinate, our crops and our native plants.”

Neonicotinoids have been declared a key factor in bee decline worldwide, and the European Union issued a partial ban on their use in 2013.

For the Science study, the European samples were collected largely before this ban took effect, Connolly said. Further research is needed to gauge the effectiveness of the EU steps.

Five common pesticides

Bees collect nectar as they pollinate plants, and over time this sugary liquid accumulates into the thick syrup of honey.

To test contamination levels, samples of honey were taken from local producers worldwide, and researchers tested for five commonly used neonicotinoids: acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloprid, thiacloprid, and thiamethoxam.

These pesticides, introduced in the mid 1990s, are based on the chemical structure of nicotine and attack the nervous systems of insect pests.

“Overall, 75 percent of all honey samples contained at least one neonicotinoid,” said the study, led by Edward Mitchell of the University of Neuchatel in Switzerland.

“Of these contaminated samples, 30 percent contained a single neonicotinoid, 45 percent contained two or more, and 10 percent contained four or five.”

The frequency of contamination was highest in the North American samples (86 percent), followed by Asia (80 percent) and Europe (79 percent).

The lowest concentrations were seen in South American samples (57 percent).

“These results suggest that a substantial proportion of world pollinators are probably affected by neonicotinoids,” said the study.

‘Serious concern ‘

Our planet is home to some 20,000 species of bees, which fertilize more than 90 percent of the world’s 107 major crops.

The United Nations warned in 2016 that 40 percent of invertebrate pollinators—particularly bees and butterflies—risk global extinction.

Experts said that while the findings are not exactly a surprise, the threat posed by neonicotinoids should be taken seriously.

“The levels recorded (up to 56 nanogram per gram) lie within the bioactive range that has been shown to affect bee behavior and colony health,” said plant ecologist Jonathan Storkey, who was not involved in the study.

“Scientists showed earlier this year that levels of less than 9 ng/g reduced wild bee reproductive success,” he added.

“I therefore agree with the authors that the accumulation of pesticides in the environment and the concentrations found in hives is a serious environmental concern and is likely contributing to pollinator declines.”

According to Lynn Dicks, natural environment research council fellow at the University of East Anglia, the findings are “sobering” but don’t offer a precise picture of the threat to bees.

“The severity of the global threat to all wild pollinators from neonicotinoids is not completely clear from this study, because we don’t know how the levels measured in honey relate to actual levels in nectar and pollen that wild pollinators are exposed to,” she said.

The levels of exposure to harmful pesticides may be far higher than what can be measured in honey, said Felix Wackers, a professor at Lancaster University who was not involved in the research.

“This shows that honeybees are commonly exposed to this group of  while collecting -contaminated nectar from treated crops or from flowers that have come into contact with spray drift or soil residues,” he said.

“The actual level of exposure can be substantially higher, as the  samples analyzed in this study represents an average of nectar collection over time and space.”

Read more at:

This Food Challenge Will Help You Determine Whether You’ve Outgrown Your Food Allergy

This test must be administered under medical supervision
A simple test can determine whether or not you have outgrown your food allergy. Referred to as a “food challenge,” the test is administered under medical supervision.

The purpose of the challenge is to identify how allergic you are to the food and how much of it has to be consumed to cause a physical reaction.

During the test, test-takers eat small quantities of the foods they have been historically allergic to and wait an amount of time to see if they suffer any reaction. If not, they eat a larger quantity of the food to see if it causes any sort of response. If the entire food substance is consumed without reaction, the allergy has passed.

This test has been especially beneficial to children growing out of their food allergies.

Bruce Lanser, a pediatric allergist at National Jewish Health in Denver, says allergy related blood and skin prick tests are not as revealing as the food challenge. “Both tests only measure sensitization,” he told NPR. “All they can tell us is how likely you are to react when you eat the food.”

Although this science is a great way to tell if you have outgrown your allergy, for those who do not know and don’t want to risk the chance of self-harm, Harvard Medical School has introduced a special tool that could simplify eating at restaurants.

According to Tech Crunch, the integrated exogenous antigen testing system, or iEAT, is a small antigen extraction device that analyzes food samples and lets diners know what allergens are present and how much the sample contains. The device will reportedly cost around $40, making safe-dining possible anywhere for people with severe food allergies.

Not sure if your food intolerance is actually a food allergy? Here are 5 foods you may be allergic to without realizing it.


In Argentina, Muslims and Jews make hummus not war

“Make Hummus, Not War.”

That was the message behind a recent event that brought local Jews, Muslims and other Arabs together in Argentina’s bustling capital city of Buenos Aires.

On Sunday, 20 amateur chefs participated in a hummus-making competition at the Tetuan Moroccan Grill restaurant in the trendy Palermo Soho neighborhood. About 300 people showed up to see judges award a winner of what was unofficially dubbed The First World Championship of Hummus.

The event was less about competition and more about bringing people of different cultures and religions together through the food they all love.

But there was a winner: Turkey native Beynazur Ors, whose colorful hummus contained beet and red cabbage.

“We all want to respect each other,” Ors said of her fellow contestants.

Her husband, Burak, agreed.

“We all want another event like this, more time to cook and eat together,” he said.

Though it may have been the first hummus competition of its kind in Buenos Aires, the evening germinated over the course of informal get-togethers with members of the Latin American Jewish Congress and local Muslim youths. The group started three years ago simply getting coffee or tea together, but soon they invited each other to Passover and Iftar dinners. The hummus contest was an offshoot of the group, but while members of the Latin American Jewish Congress attended, there was little institutional presence.

There has been a heated debate over the years as to whether hummus is an Arab or Israeli invention — or, maybe more accurately, an ancient Jewish creation, since Israel was officially founded in 1948, long after the chickpea dish had become a Middle Eastern staple. But such discussions were not on the table Sunday.

“Instead of importing conflicts, we are exporting coexistence,” Luciano Safdie, who like the event’s other organizers wore a “Make Hummus, Not War” T-shirt, said at the end of the night.

The judges were Matias Cedarbojm, a former Jewish contestant on Argentina’s version of “MasterChef”; Gustavo Massud, owner of an Arab restaurant in Buenos Aires called Al Shark; and Argentine chef Victor Manuel Garcia.

Joan Noejovich, a local Jewish man, made it to the the semifinals.

“I prepared a Druze recipe with ingredients all imported from Israel,” he said.

His version fared better than one prepared by an Israeli expat from Jerusalem named Adi, who didn’t want to give his last name.

Massud, who noted that his restaurant’s customers typically are half Arabs and half Jews, loved Noejovich’s hummus but said in the end he voted for Ors because it had “the flavor of food made by a mother.”

Myriam Kabbara, who runs an Islamic school in Buenos Aires, had a blast at the event.

“I enjoyed the spirit,” she said. “I never had a problem with Jewish people, and I think it is very good to show that we Jews and Muslims can be friends.”

In San Diego, hundreds line up for hepatitis A vaccinations after deadly outbreak may have hit restaurants

After news that San Diego’s deadly hepatitis A outbreak may have infiltrated the food service industry, more than 200 people this weekend lined up for vaccinations as restaurants reinforced their health safety measures.

“All eyes are on San Diego,” Steve Zolezzi, president of the Food & Beverage Assn. of San Diego, said of the outbreak, one of the nation’s largest in decades, which prompted county officials to declare a local public health emergency earlier this month.

Miguel Valle, a 65-year-old resident of East San Diego, was one of dozens who lined up early to get a free vaccination at the county’s North Central Public Health Center on Saturday, many of them fearful they may have been exposed at a Pacific Beach restaurant.

“I’ve got things to do this morning but I wanted to get this taken care of, get some peace of mind,” said Valle.

On Friday, San Diego County health officials advised the public that anyone who ate or drank at the oceanfront World Famous restaurant on seven specific dates and times may have been exposed to a person with the hepatitis A virus.

Valle and nine of his friends ate appetizers at the restaurant on Aug. 28, one of the dates on the list.

“I’m a little angry because I have to go through this, but I’m not faulting the restaurant,” said Valle. “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

Keith Knight, 52, of Pacific Beach agreed: “It’s easier to be vaccinated than to be treated.”

By the time the health center closed at 2 p.m., 225 people had received inoculations.

“We’re in the midst of an outbreak and anybody who comes here who wants to get the shot, even if they didn’t eat at the restaurant, we’re going ahead and giving them the shot,” said Dr. Eric McDonald, director of the county’s epidemiology and immunization services branch.

Erik Berkley, general manager at World Famous, said Saturday it has not been confirmed if the person connected to the restaurant does in fact have hepatitis A. He would not say if the person is an employee “because I want to protect that person as much as I can.”

“What we do know is, the individual in question, that person’s spouse was confirmed to have the virus,” Berkley said.

World Famous shut its doors Tuesday after being notified of possible exposure. Berkley said county health inspections found no evidence of hepatitis contamination, but the restaurant, in an abundance of caution, hired a private hazardous materials company to perform a deep cleaning.

World Famous reopened Wednesday and a slow but steady of stream of customers showed up Saturday.

Business “has been off a little bit, which is natural I think in this scenario, but the community’s been wonderful and there’s been a lot of support for us,” Berkley said.

The latest development added another level of anxiety in a health crisis that has put an increasing number of San Diego-area residents on edge.

The outbreak of hepatitis A, a liver infection caused by a virus that is highly contagious, has killed at least 16 people in the area and at least 421 cases have been detected, leading to 292 people being hospitalized.

What Happens To Your Lungs, Brain, Kidneys, Heart, Teeth, & Mood When You Drink Diet Soda
By Arjun Walia

Diet soda has come under intense scrutiny over the years, and for good reason. It has been found to leave people at risk for weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, among other serious consequences.

According to Susan E. Swithers, a professor of psychological sciences and a behavioural neuroscientist:

Public health officials are rightfully concerned about the consequences of consuming sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soft drinks, but these warnings may need to be expanded to advocate limiting the intake of all sweeteners, including no-calorie sweeteners and so-called diet soft drinks. Although it seems like common sense that diet sodas would not be problematic, that doesn’t appear to be the case. Findings from a variety of studies show that routine consumption of diet sodas, even one per day, can be connected to higher likelihood of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and high blood pressure, in addition to contributing to weight gain.

Not only that, research has shown that these ‘zero calorie’ beverages interfere with the body’s learning responses, and the truth is, fewer calories doesn’t always mean less weight gain. “Research, including studies from Swithers and colleagues, shows that frequent consumption of high-intensity sweeteners may have the opposite effect by confusing the body’s natural ability to manage calories based on tasting something sweet,” the Purdue release reveals. Swithers’ research is funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Swithers goes on to describe the public misconception about these sweeteners that is leaving us all at risk:

There is a lot of pressure from the public health sector to find solutions to counter the rise of obesity and chronic disease, and there is a lot of money and business at stake for the food industry as it develops and promotes these products. Beverages are becoming political issues as government leaders and politicians seek regulation and taxing to limit their availability and consumption, but most of these measures exclude diet soft drinks because they are perceived as healthy.

It’s great that she made the industry connection, because the corporatization of science has taken over multiple industries. Dr. Marcia Angell, a physician and longtime Editor-in-Chief of the New England Medical Journal (NEMJ), considered one of the most prestigious peer-reviewed medical journals in the world has saidthat “it is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.”  

Artificial sweeteners are a big problem. A recent study, titled “Sugar and Artificially Sweetened Beverages and the Risks of Incident Stroke and Dementia, A Prospective Cohort Study,” was published in the journal Stroke earlier this year.

Researchers gathered data from approximately 3,000 adults, and separated them into two categories. In people older than 45 years old, they looked at stroke risk, and for people older than 60, they focused on dementia. Their results showed that drinking diet soda nearly triples your risk of developing stroke or dementia. The study lasted for a decade, and the researchers “observed 97 cases of incident stroke (82) and 81 cases of incident dementia (63 consistent with Alzheimer’s disease).

This is just one of many studies to show such links. We’ve also written a number of articles regarding aspartame, so be sure to check those out if you’re interested.

Below is a a great infographic by Dr. Axe and his team that effectively summarizes the problem.

When you consume diet soda, not only is it addictive, but it can also cause damage to your body. If you’re drinking diet soda, it’s most likely because you want to lose weight and cut calories. But artificial sweeteners can be as addictive as recreational drugs, nicotine and alcohol… And it doesn’t help you lose weight. Artificial sweeteners seem to confuse the body’s natural ability to manage calories based on tasting something sweet. People tend to then overeat. And get this: People who consume artificial sweeteners are twice as likely to develop metabolic syndrome, too.”

Artificially Sweetened Drinks Found To Triple Your Risk of Stroke & Dementia
By Arjun Walia

Artificial sweeteners have been a controversial topic for a long time, and despite a harsh industry response, multiple studies have implicated them in a host of health issues, including diabetes and cancer. Now, a new study has emerged out of Boston University showing that drinking diet soda regularly nearly triples your risk of developing stroke or dementia.

The study, titled “Sugar and Artificially Sweetened Beverages and the Risks of Incident Stroke and Dementia, A Prospective Cohort Study,” was published in the journal Stroke earlier this year.

Researchers gathered data from approximately 3,000 adults, and separated them into two categories. In people older than 45 years old, they looked at stroke risk, and for people older than 60 they concentrated on dementia. After the study, their results showed that drinking diet soda nearly triples your risk of developing stroke or dementia. The study lasted for a decade, at the researchers “observed 97 cases of incident stroke (82) and 81 cases of incident dementia (63 consistent with Alzheimer’s disease).

This is truly eye-opening, but shouldn’t really come as a surprise, although it is a one of a kind study examining whether artificially sweetened beverage consumption is associated with risks of stroke or dementia.

It’s interesting, because the study also found that sugar-sweetened beverages were not associated with stroke or dementia like artificially sweetened beverages are.

Sudha Seshadri, MD, senior study author, neurology professor and faculty member at Boston University’s Alzheimer’s Disease Center told Science Daily:

These studies are not the be-all and end-all, but it’s strong data and a very strong suggestion. It looks like there is not very much of an upside to having sugary drinks, and substituting the sugar with artificial sweeteners doesn’t seem to help. Maybe good old-fashioned water is something we need to get used to.”

Dr. Josh Axe sums up the problem quite well in a statement on his website:

Whether it’s “real” sugar or we’re talking about high fructose corn syrup dangers related to soda, the science is clear. The sugar industryscandal of the 1950s and ’60s set a dietary disaster into motion. Faulty sugar industry-funded studies shifted public perception, tricking people into thinking fat, not sugar, was the nutritional villain.”

Keep in mind that there is a lot of controversy surrounding the difference between, let’s say, sugar from fruit and sugar in the form of artificial sweeteners of high fructose corn syrup.

Another author of this study, Mathew Pase, also published research in March of 2017 in Alzheimer’s & Dementia. For this study, researchers used data and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and cognitive testing results, from about 4,000 people. The focus here was on people who consumed more than two sugary drinks per day of any type, and more than three per week of soda.

Among the “high intake” group, researchers discovered several signs of accelerated brain aging that all correlated with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. They also found that at least one diet soda per day was associated with smaller brain volume.

Other Factors To Consider: The Example of Aspartame

Artificial sweeteners have been linked to a cascade of negative health effects by many researchers, but it still remains a controversy, especially because the industry itself thrives on making people feel stupid for even questioning these things.

But there are other factors to consider beyond the science, and that’s industry influence and scientific fraud, something that is, unfortunately, abundant in today’s world.

For example, when it comes to artificial sweeteners, did you know that aspartame failed to win FDA approval for 20 years? It was actually discovered by accident by chemist James M. Schlatter in 1965.

For 20 years, the FDA gave aspartame products the thumbs down mainly for the following safety issues and reasons:

  • Flawed data
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Fluid loss in your body

But pharmaceutical giant G.D. Searle – the makers of the NutraSweet and Equal brands – did not back down and knew that all it took was flexing political muscle. Read about how Donald Rumsfeld, the same powerful political figure in the Bush administration, proved instrumental in the FDA approval of aspartame in 1981 and the political appointments leading to it.

Here is a good summary of how aspartame became legalized in an article we published a few years ago. Dr. Joseph Mercola goes into more detail about it in his free E-BookHere is a publication from Harvard that also touches upon it, from what seems to be a neutral, but slight “pro-aspartame” side so you can get both sides of the debate.

We’ve (Collective-Evolution) have published numerous articles on aspartame; feel free to sift through them if interested.

The following is a very informative video about aspartame, and what many health practitioners believe to be the real truth behind this toxic sweetener, made by Dr. Joseph Mercola.

This article originally appeared on Collective Evolution.


IN THE EVER-MORE masochistic world of wellness-boosting, pound-shedding diets, the latest trend involves putting your body into a controlled state of starvation known as “ketogenesis,” by cutting out nearly all carbs. If that doesn’t sound like your particular brand of torture, guess what? You’re already on it. Well, at least while you’re sleeping.

Two independent studies published Tuesday in the journal Cell Metabolism raise hopes that ketogenic diets, if followed full-time, do more than just slim waists. They also appear to improve the odds of living longer and remembering better … if you’re a mouse. The same effects have yet to be proven in humans, and plans for that are in the works. But in the meantime, self-experimenting biohackers (i.e. dieters) are collecting anecdotal evidence all around the world.

Every time you wake up from a solid snooze and exhale out the fiery iron breath of a thousand rotting apple cores, that’s the taste of the “keto” lifestyle. That smell is acetone, and a little bit of it in the morning is a normal sign of a healthy metabolism. Over millennia, humans evolved a backup energy production system, for when glucose—your body’s main fuel source—gets depleted. Like during a famine, or just a good long nap. The goal of keto diets is to switch your body over to to this alternative metabolic pathway not just at night, but during your waking hours as well. By limiting carbs to just a few grams per day, your body begins to rely on its fat stores instead, and voila, epic weight loss.

That works pretty well for things like your heart and lungs and muscles. But your brain—that electrical power suck, which consumes about a quarter of your daily calories—can’t burn fats. So in the absence of glucose, it snacks on something called ketone bodies, which are a byproduct of fatty acid metabolism in the liver, hence “keto” diets. Now, you don’t have to run a clinical trial to start selling keto cookbooks, and you don’t have to present statistically sound results to buy out late-night infomercial slots for bulletproof coffee. But the popularity of keto lifestyles has so far outstripped the scientific evidence for not only how it works, but even whether or not it works at all.

(Unless you’re an epileptic; the altered metabolism reduces levels of glutamate in the brain, which has been proven to lower the risk for seizures. In fact, the first ketogenic diet was developed by the Mayo Clinic as an epilepsy treatment.)

There have been some clues though, over the years, that ketone metabolism might have some additional benefits. Back in 2010, molecular biologist Eric Verdin changed the way people thought about ketone bodies—in particular, one called beta hydroxybutyrate, or BHB. Scientists in his lab at the Buck Institute for Research and Aging observed that BHB wasn’t just a passive fuel floating around the brain. It was sending out signals and modifying molecular pathways in the brain to reduce inflammation and other damage caused by free radicals. That got researchers thinking that BHB could have anti-aging properties—and so would ketogenic diets.

So three years ago, Verdin and other scientists at the Buck and UC Davis began raising young mice, feeding them standard lab chow until they were a year old. For some of them, that was the last time a carb ever crossed their lips. About a third of the mice went on a ketogenic diet, spending the next few years consuming 90 percent of their calories from fats and the rest from protein supplements. In one of the studies, that steady supply of soybean oil and lard made them live longer by about four months. In the other, the sugar-starved mice performed better than their carbed cohort at a variety of maze problems designed to test their memory and ability to recognize new things.

“We’re very excited to see such a profound effect on brain function,” says Verdin. But he says it’s important to remember that mice studies are just the first step. “Our results don’t imply this is going to work in humans. For that, we’ll need extensive clinical trials.”

In some ways, the mouse brain is a very good model for what happens inside a human skull. After all, electric signals zipping around a mouse brain have to follow the same laws of physics that they do inside a person’s. But there are some key differences when it comes to ketones. For one thing, humans have more capacity to metabolize the molecules than almost any other animal. Thousands of years ago, as early humans were gathering tubers and greens and learning how to kill big game, mice were doing what they’d done since the demise of the dinosaurs—eat seeds and grains. With such different systems for digesting and breaking down proteins, fats, and sugars, it’s far from sure that human brains will respond identically to an all-ketone-all-the-time routine.

“It’s a harder question to ask in humans, one that hasn’t been studied very extensively,” says Emily Deans, an evolutionary psychologist who specializes in the connections between nutrition and mental health. “We don’t have a good way to get into the brain to see exactly what’s happening with metabolism. Healthy people aren’t exactly going to line up for elective brain biopsies.”

Deans says what scientists really need are some well-controlled clinical trials to see how ketogenic diets impact people over the long term. She has hopes they might one day help some of her patients, who suffer from things like bipolar disorder and PTSD. But getting people to participate in a trial that takes away things that help to cope with their diseases—like candy and other pleasure-center-hitting foods—is no small task. That’s something Verdin has thought about too. Which is why his lab is already moving forward to capture the protective effects of ketogenic diets in something more palatable: a pill.

They’ve begun synthesizing precursors to BHB and feeding them to mice. After following the rodents for a few years, they’ll look to see if the molecule on its own provides the same protective effects as an all-Crisco diet. If it works, clinical trials would be next. And unlike a diet, which can’t be patented or easily monetized, a supplement could be something pharma companies (and bread-lovers) can get behind.

Jewish Chicago-area deli owner apologizes for Nazi cartoon on High Holiday menu

High Holiday menu for Max's Deli restaurant in Chicago. (Facebook)


The Jewish owner of a kosher-style deli in suburban Chicago has come under fire for a cartoon of a Nazi on its High Holidays catering menu.

The menu was posted on the Max’s Deli Facebook page on August 23, but only began to gain attention on Thursday.

The doodled figure wears a military uniform, a Nazi swastika armband and a T-shirt that reads “I’m With Alt-Right.” The figure’s blonde hair is evocative of President Donald Trump.

A post accompanying the menu read: “It was never true, “Work Will Set You Free.” It was a lie, “Work Will Set You Free.” Do you think we believe the lie because we’re easily duped? Or because it’s easier to believe a sign than ask hard questions. And fight. Here’s a hard question: what do they really mean by Alt-Right? I’ll tell you what they really mean…Nazi.”

The post, which references the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, also reads: “It was never true, “Never Forget.” It was a lie, “Never Forget.” Look how easily we pretend nothing’s happening. Or the problem is Steve Bannon instead of Donald Trump.”

Deli owner Greg Morelli posted an apology on Friday, a day after several news stories by local media.

Under the heading “Atonement,” the post read in part: ”3 Little Words. I Was Wrong. To those of you who called, who reached out, who saw me against the ropes, who offered a hand instead of a fist, L’Chaim! To those of you who bashed, who reacted without thinking, who fed on the indignation of others, who threatened my business, L’Chaim!”

It also read: “We’re all in this. We’re all still here. Trump is still president. This might surprise you, but I don’t want Impeachment. I don’t want Censure. I don’t want President Pence. I want a robust conversation. Then in the next election, I want the vote to show us who we really are. I want us to own it!”

Morelli, 49, said that he does not regret speaking out, but added that being trashed on Facebook hurt.

Other menus posted on Facebook in recent days featured a Statue of Liberty wearing a T-shirt reading “I’m With Kaepernick,” referring to the free agent NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who in 2016 gained widespread attention when he began protesting by not standing while the United States national anthem was being performed before the start of games, as a member of the San Francisco 49ers, and Moses carrying the two tablets bearing the Ten Commandments wearing a t-shirt reading “I’m With Charlottesville.”

Morelli, who owns the diner located in Highland Park with his brother, told the Chicago Tribune that his business was flooded with calls after the image made the rounds on Facebook and in the media and that his family is “done with him.” He said he hopes the incident will not force them to close down.

He told the Chicago NBC affiliate that he was afraid not to speak up during this moment in history.

“I’m a Jew. I cannot pretend, in this movement, that I’m not afraid—but I’m also afraid of being afraid. I’m not going to go quietly on a train,” he said.