The Truth Behind Industry-Funded Nutrition Research With Dr. Taylor Wallace
Doug Lotz 00:03
Hey everyone! This is Doug Lotz, active lifestyle enthusiastic armchair futurist and founder of CardioCast an audio guided fitness app where we help people get fit and stay fit by making studio quality fitness classes more accessible and affordable than ever, in delivering the best music and coaching possible. Anytime, anywhere. You’re listening to the CardioCast CoolDown Podcast, where we explore topics, the intersection of health, fitness and personal wellness, you’re ready? Let’s go. Welcome to the CardioCast CoolDown podcast where we explore topics of the intersection between health, fitness and personal wellness. Today we’re speaking with Dr. Taylor Wallace. Dr. Taylor is principal and CEO at the Think Healthy Group and a professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at George Mason University. He’s published in over 70 peer reviewed manuscripts and books, and is a fellow or editor of more scientific journals on diet and nutrition than I think I can mention here. He wrote the cookbook Sizzling Science operates the popular food nutrition blog, DrTaylorWallace.com is co host of the weekly radio show Risky Behavior, and a regular guest commentator in the mainstream media, regularly seen on NBC for Washington and The Dr. Oz Show. I think the Huffington Post summed it up well, calling him the Nation’s Premier Food and Nutrition Guru. So welcome, Dr. Taylor Wallace. It is so great to have you with us today.
Dr Taylor Wallace 01:27
Yeah, thanks for having me.
Doug Lotz 01:29
So I always like to start these conversations with why, you know, why do you do what you do? And inevitably, that kind of leads to, you know, what you’re doing and how you got there. So I’d love to hear a little bit about about you and your story.
Dr Taylor Wallace 01:42
Right? Well, I’m really all about practical solutions. I grew up in a small town in Western Kentucky, it’s very much a food desert. And it’s very visibly, not only a food desert, but has a lot of food insecurity, and a lot of resulting obesity from that food, desert and food insecurity atmosphere. So I’ve always been interested in science, I’ve been a chemistry, you know, kind of biology guru. And I went into college and learned about the field of food science. And for that reason, it was vert food science was really interesting to me, because you know, it’s practical. If I can’t get people to not eat potato chips, well, then how can I take science and make those potato chips more healthy for you? So while I’m doing a lot of research in the nutrition side of things, my training is actually in food science. And it’s a really neat intersection, that scientifically, the two groups don’t always talk, and they really should.
Doug Lotz 02:43
Yeah, that’s interesting. I’m always kind of trying to get to the bottom scientifically of things when it comes to, you know, you see all this stuff out there in the media now trying to sell you this or that when it comes to the health and you know, sort of helpfulness of various diets and sort of food fads and trends and whatnot. So, yeah, it’s, it’s great to see that that, you know, folks are out there trying to, you know, back things up with science, and I really appreciate that kind of work. So, yeah, so I actually, you know, figure we can jump right into some of those, there’s things that you see out there, I mean, starting with one of the biggest and longest standing sort of food, or diet, you know, sort of trends of vegetarian and veganism. I’m curious to get your your opinion as to the health and sort of, you know, how that how vegetarian how veganism, whether that’s a healthy diet, I know a lot of folks out there are very passionate about it. There’s there’s sort of ethical, you know, commitments that folks make that sort of thing, but I’m sort of more concerned about the the health and the nutritional aspect of it. And I’m curious to get your take in your your sort of studies over the years. You know, how do vegans and vegetarians fare? terms of health?
Dr Taylor Wallace 04:03
It’s really a multi pronged question, right? Because, you know, any diet can be healthy, and any diet can be really unhealthy. I served as a spokesperson for the Atkins diet for two years. And, you know, a lot of people, you know, have, you know, we’re real timid about the Atkins diet, because typically, in an American diet that equals, you know, high saturated fat, you know, you can do the Atkins diet where you go to a fast food place and order a triple cheeseburger without the bun. Or you can have a grilled chicken salad with lots of veggies on it. So there’s a right and a wrong way to do any kind of these diets. And I think that’s why in the long run, most of them fail. The same with vegans and vegetarians. You know, there are many benefits to a plant based diet that have been demonstrated. However, if you look at vegans and vegetarians in the US it’s a lot of processed food, a lot of french fries, a lot of potato chips, a lot of those more indulgent foods. And so, you know, again, there’s a right and wrong way to do any type of diet. Now from my background, and this is a little bit biased towards bone. Because I used to be the I was formerly the chief scientist at the National osteoporosis Foundation, I do a lot of research on bone. And one of the things about vegan and vegetarian diets that is very consistent in the scientific literature is that they are more prone to osteoporosis and or low bone mass later in life which predisposes you to fractures. And this is because a couple of things, one, because they vegans and vegetarians usually don’t consume dairy products, which are the top source of calcium in the US diet. Now, there are some exceptions, some vegetarians do consume dairy products. The other reason is that most vegetarian or vegan diets are very low in protein. And, you know, you get a lot of comments like I can get enough protein or calcium from plant foods if I choose my diet, right. And that’s really a common misconception. You know, the data strongly show that you really can’t do that unless maybe you’re drinking soy protein shakes, you know, five or six times a day, and you’re taking a calcium supplement. But there are many other nutrient gaps. Vitamin B 12 is a good example. Iron is another example, that you know, just fall short in the vegan and vegetarian diet. I work with a nutrient called Coleen, which 90% of Americans don’t get enough of and where you see lots of insufficiency at dangerously low levels of intake is in the vegetarian population. And so very important for neuronal transmissions were showing some great effects on prevention of Alzheimer’s, dementia later in life, but very under consumed in the US a primary sources eggs or egg yolks in the US diet and seafood. So again, it’s about the foods that you choose in the diet. I’m not a huge proponent of vegetarian and vegan diets, but I realized that other scientists differ in their opinion from mine.
Doug Lotz 07:37
Yeah, so a ton there and things we’re gonna we’re gonna touch on between supplementation for, you know, certain deficiencies, and I just wanted to pick up on dairy, though, because dairy is one of those sort of recent Well, maybe not recently, but it sort of villainized things. It seems like, you know, you see all over the place, like, you know, just avoid everybody should avoid dairy. And I don’t know, I’ve done my own kind of research on this. And it seems like I think there’s a review published recently that was saying that actually dairies, you know, it’s fine for most individuals, as long as you don’t have an allergy as long as you don’t have, you know, lactose intolerance, that it you know, it doesn’t increase inflammation or anything like that, that it’s actually quite healthy and provides, you know, a lot of good nutrients. So I don’t know if you had anything to weigh in on with that.
Dr Taylor Wallace 08:28
Well, yeah, I mean, again, from a bone health perspective, dairy has more bone building nutrients than any other food group. I mean, see, you know, there’s more than just calcium and dairy. And I think a lot of people have this very, you know, kind of marketing, mentality and marketing instilled mentality that they can just go out and have, you know, a plant based milk, like soy milk or almond milk, things like that. And really what that is, is just water and an ingredient called titanium dioxide, which makes it white, and then maybe they fortify it with a little bit of calcium, who knows whether it varies between products, so who knows whether it’s the same amount of calcium or not, but then what about those other 13 or so nutrients that dairy contains, they most likely aren’t fortified with any, any of those other nutrients nor the protein that you get from dairy products. And outside of bone health. You know, dairy consumption has been fairly strongly correlated with a reduced risk of colon cancer. So like you said, I’m not a huge proponent of saturated fat. I drink skim milk, my mother always, you know, push skim milk on me as a kid. So I yeah, so unless baking a cake or something like that, I actually drink skim milk. And I’m one of those people that that’s just what I’ve done all my life. So I like it. But there are other you know, if you’re looking for other products, there’s a ton of options as well. If you’re lactose intolerant, we’ve got lactose free milk snail yogurt products, I mean, yogurt with active cultures in it, the active cultures ferment up all the lactose. So it’s really unlikely that lactose intolerant individuals will have issues with with yogurt. Same goes with hard cheese, because it’s been fermented. So there’s a lot of options there,
Doug Lotz 10:24
I suppose on the other end of the extreme of veganism would be that the carnivore diet, which, you know, you’ve seen some folks in pop culture advocating right now and I just have a hard time believing that and, um, you know, that a human would be optimally healthy on just all meat and all meat, you know, animal products. I mean, it sounds great for me, by the way, I love meat and cheese and all things animal products for in terms of food, but I just have a hard time, you know, fathoming that, that there’s not something, you know, missing there somewhere.
Dr Taylor Wallace 10:58
Right. Well, there is something missing. And the uniqueness about the five different food groups, those being lean protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy is that they all contain a different set of nutrients. And so you really need a balance of all of those food groups to get all of your essential nutrients. And really where diets go bad is when you start eliminating one of those food groups, especially when you’re, you know, in young to middle adulthood because it kind of sets you up later in life for issues. People think, Okay, well, I lost weight really rapidly. So I’m healthy. That’s not necessarily true. bone is another great example, when you rapidly lose weight on a keto diet, you rapidly lose bone, and especially if you’re a woman that really predisposes you to osteoporosis and fractures later in life. So, you know, the fad diets, you know, one, they’re not usually sustainable, people end up gaining more weight back than what they lost. But secondly, you know, cutting food groups just isn’t the way to go. Because it just really, like kinda, you’re trying to jump up a staircase, but you’re trying to jump three or four steps up. And you haven’t got cheese on? So it’s just not a it’s not a good vehicle for losing weight.
Doug Lotz 12:24
Yeah, I mean, I’ve heard with with keto, you know, concerns about hormone, you know, hormones and just hormonal effects of going to keto. And, you know, that’s a, like, that’s an area that people don’t really, yeah, I think he said it when, when you’re, oh, I lost a ton of weight on this thing. Oh, that’s, you know, that’s not necessarily like, biologically a healthy thing to do to suddenly like shed a lot of weight. I don’t think your body is necessarily giving you the right signals then.
Dr Taylor Wallace 12:52
Right? Well, and you know, when it comes to look, your body needs carbohydrates. When it comes to lower carb diets, like I said, in the beginning, there’s a way to do them, right. Like you don’t have to eat meat all day and have, you know, a huge saturated fat intake to do a keto diet. It’s actually one of the reasons I really liked being the spokesperson for Adkins, because they had these very moderate carbohydrate diets that incorporated lots of, you know, fruits and vegetables, and even some low glycemic index grains like oats. And so I think that, you know, there again, there’s a way to do it, right. It’s just, if you’re on the vegan vegetarian side, you’re on the keto side, you’re on the Paleo, if you’re eating junk food, it’s gonna be bad for you in the long run either way.
Doug Lotz 13:38
And then there’s like the sparknotes version of all these diets, where you just kind of, like, selectively grab, like five different foods and don’t leave.
Dr Taylor Wallace 13:47
I think there’s no easy fix, and you know, your body is very interconnected. So even if you’re losing way, and maybe you lowered your cholesterol, or, you know, in such, that doesn’t mean that that’s good for long term cognition, or long term muscle mass or long term bone Hill. So you really have to think about your body as you know, as one, you know, kind of machine that all functions together, you know, just because like my inkjet printer still prints with, you know, a broken ink cartridge in it doesn’t mean that like, you know, I’ve got the best long term quality of a printer.
Doug Lotz 14:24
I’m, I’m curious. So I’ve always I’m a big fan of going to Whole Foods and purchasing organic food and sort of cutting out preservatives and pesticides and things is in that I feel like has maybe more scientific, you know, backing than GMOs but I’m curious to get your, your take on, you know, both these things from organic food and, you know, lack of preservatives and pesticides and things like that. And then genetically modified foods, if there’s any, you know, sort of consensus that’s forming I feel like a lot of us get subjected to marketing and sort of the lay people, you know, trying to absorb all this information. And I’m curious to what sciences behind behind organics and behind GMOs.
Dr Taylor Wallace 15:12
Right? Well, so I’ll start with organic organic is, you know, in my opinion, a huge marketing scheme. I mean, if you look at all the studies, you don’t see any real benefit from a nutritional perspective of consuming organic foods. There have been some small studies that they’re tiny amounts of increases in, you know, omega threes, but none that are significant to the diet. I mean, you’re talking about, you know, microgram amounts of things.
Doug Lotz 15:40
So from a nutritional perspective, you’re saying, like, what’s actually in the food?
Dr Taylor Wallace 15:43
Yeah, from a perspective, when you look at pesticides, you know, it’s kind of funny, because, you know, there are organic pesticides, just because something natural doesn’t mean that it are healthy for you. And actually, a lot of the organic quote, pesticides can be more harmful than just regular Roundup. And, in fact, a lot of people don’t realize that roundup is 5000 times less toxic, and table salt, it disintegrates, disintegrates really easily. It’s actually a very, very, very safe and very widely studied compound. And the issue, you know, with conventional foods or getting away from roundup is then companies are forced to use pesticides that we use back in the 70s and 80s, that are more, you know, more detriment. So the whole roundup issue is super interesting. And it plays right into the GMO issue, because, obviously, GMOs, we created roundup resistant crops, that were some of the first, you know, crops that we genetically modified. And I always use, you know, it’s funny, because, you know, it’s usually the more liberal crowd, you know, and I am a liberal, but, you know, it’s usually the more liberal crowd that’s very anti GMO. And I always say, Well, if you believe scientifically that climate change is happening, then you most certainly believe that GMO foods are safe. Because, yeah, there’s that there’s been times more research that showed GMO foods are safe for people in the long run, then there is the climate change is actually happening. And that throws people, you know, a real curveball. If you think about GMOs, we’ve done this for years. I mean, you know, hundreds of years, strawberries, for instance, are a complete product of genetic crossbreeding. I mean, if you remember back in middle school where you, you know, crossbred the little soy beans to get the pink flowers. I mean, humans have been doing that for hundreds of years. And it’s the same thing with GMO technology. It’s just in a test tube and more accurate versus, you know, with plants. So, I think the main issue is that, you know, people don’t have a good perception of GMOs, they maybe don’t understand GMOs. And you know, it didn’t help it. The company that came out with GMO technology, Monsanto was also the company that was responsible for creating Agent Orange decades ago, so they didn’t have a very good PR, like background anyway. So I think people got a real bad perception, but the science really, really supports that GMOs can save the planet, frankly.
Doug Lotz 18:34
Yeah, I just because, yeah, from a food security standpoint, I mean, there’s just no way we’re going to be able to feed the population without without GMOs. So, you know, I’ve kind of I guess, I’ve seen the right sort of scientific press coverage of that stuff. But when it comes to just kind of going back on the whole organic thing, you know, what about what about preservatives? Because pesticides? Okay, you got it, you know, you know, organic food in general? nutritionally? Okay, cool. Yeah, there’s not like GMOs. Yeah, okay. molecularly, we’re still getting all the same stuff that you’re talking about, you know, needing but like his, you know, sodium benzoate, or whatever, are these are these preservatives and things? Like, is there any, is there any credence, or should I give any to that concept that these, uh, you know, preservatives are causing issues with?
Dr Taylor Wallace 19:25
Yeah, so, you know, I have to spell it out to you on an individual basis, I will say, or, you know, just grouping things together, that preservatives are completely safe. And the benefit of having the preservative in the food, whether it’s to prevent microbial spoilage or other food safety concerns far outweighs the theoretical detriment that they could have. Now, I will say that the National Institutes of Health and the federal government have done a bad job at funding research around studying you know, the benefits and detriments of some of these commonly consumed food additives. But on the other hand, with most food additives, we have now, decades and when I say decades, I’m talking, you know, 60 to 100 years worth of safety data behind these food additives. So they’ve been traditionally consumed since you know, the 1930s, or 40s, we haven’t really detected, you know, any kind of adverse events of being associated from their widespread consumption. So you would think by then, we would have some type of indication, if a certain food additive was indeed, detrimental. The US Food and Drug Administration has what’s called generally recognized as safe. And so if it’s general scientific consensus, by a group of recognized experts in the field, that an ingredient is safe, the FDA will allow it into food products. So and you have to think, especially with big food brands, or what we call big food, they’re not going to risk their brand over a recall if their product starts killing people. And it gets on the news that nobody’s going to buy their food product anymore, and they go bankrupt. So they really know the safety of the ingredient and the amounts that they put in the product. Which brings me to the next point. Most of these food additives are all of these food additives that are generally recognized as safe are generally recognized, just say, for their intended use in the food. So for instance, a coke or a soda can only contain so much caffeine, caffeine and a soda is a flavor dispersant. But it only has effects to a certain point, which is somewhere around 80 milligrams for 12 ounce cans. So in the food supply, you can’t really see levels of caffeine any higher than that. And so, you know, you get some of these rat studies, they look you can go back with artificial sweeteners. I can talk about this all day, when splint was giving rats cancer and stuff like that, but it was the same, they used a dose that was like drinking 20,000 diet cokes a day for 15 years that gave the you know that the one little small tumor on the rat that was genetically modified to get tumors anyway, like so. I mean, it’s you know, science is, you know, ever evolving, but you always, you know, poisons in the dose. I mean, that’s what toxicology teaches us. I mean, you can die from drinking too much water. And you know, there are definitely natural substances that are just as detrimental, if not more detrimental than some of these food additives.
Doug Lotz 22:47
So in some things known to the state of California to cause cancer, what are we looking at? What, what are they reading that other people are not?
Dr Taylor Wallace 22:55
Yeah, California prop 65 is super interesting. And it is very much a dose issue and many aspects, and it’s very politically driven. And, you know, the food industry often stays in a huge frenzy, about prop 65, because of the lower levels than the federal requirements in foods for some different things that have been, you know, known to be carcinogenic and things like that. You can look at acrylamide, for instance, they just had a, you know, a lot of a big legal battle in acrylamide. And from a chromatin coffee, or other, you know, a few years ago, it was cooked asparagus and things like that. But when you take into account, you know, the amount of acrylamide that you have to consume, I mean, they dose these rats studies up to where they give them yummy, you know, if you’ve concentrated acrylamide, and you give it to a rat, you know, 80% of their diet, you know, of course, it’s going to do something in the rats, again, are genetically modified to, you know, develop cancer very quickly so that you can study cancer and, you know, they look at, you know, the placebo versus the treatment in which, you know, set of rats, you know, develop cancer Faster.
Doug Lotz 24:12
Faster. It’s not if they did, it’s which one got it faster.
Dr Taylor Wallace 24:15
Yeah, it’s not if they did, it’s which one got it faster, because they’re all genetically modified to get it. So I mean, it’s, yeah, well, and I will tell you, that even in rat studies, I mean, because we, you know, I, as a journal editor, get a lot of studies in rodents all the time. And only about 10% of the time do rat studies actually translate to what happens in humans. It’s a very different metabolism, very different metabolic process. So just because a rat gets cancer I mean, look at dogs dogs die from chocolate humans don’t. So that mean we need to ban chocolate and humans. I mean, it’s a there’s a lot that is different between a human and a rat and dose is the biggest reason that we reject Rat studies these days, because people just give these, you know, you can’t drink 20,000 diet cokes a day. I mean, I’m a diet coke fiend, I probably drink too many. But there’s no way I can drink 20,000 of them. And the sad part of it is, is I really want to know what two diet cokes a day do to me, because I probably drink two cans of diet coke a day. But, you know, instead, I know what 20,000 a day might might or might not do, but I had no clue what to do. And that’s where the research really needs to go. And that’s where government funding needs to go, because cokes not going to sponsor that. So somebody else has to step in to do that.
Doug Lotz 25:43
I mean, it’s really hard for anything, cuz you look at, you know, longevity treatments, and you know, new things coming out, that are pretty exciting when you look at like, extending lifespan of a mouse. But, you know, mouse is not a person and, you know, trying to get that, you know, connection to then go on and be successful in a human study is, you know, it’s dead. Like you say, it doesn’t doesn’t always happen that way, and often doesn’t happen that way so.
Dr Taylor Wallace 26:08
it’s really too bad on our minds, because we know how to keep mice alive. Long. LD we know so much about routing?
Doug Lotz 26:17
Yeah, I mean, like, so I’ve, you know, like intermittent fasting, for instance, useful for certain things, you know, in terms of blood sugar, and weight loss and weight maintenance and other things. But, you know, I mean, there’s, like, you know, caloric restriction and stuff is obviously very studied in rodent population, and then that seems to be a very strong, you know, helper towards life extension. But, you know, I don’t know how, I mean, other than time, right, and studying human population that does a certain practice or, you know, takes a certain medication, I don’t know how we ever get better or faster, and making those kinds of, you know, studies show us, you know, how do we, how do we study something faster, when, you know, we can’t just give it to humans, you know, I don’t know where the scientific community is going to improve that process, other than kind of just do studies that that last a little longer?
Dr Taylor Wallace 27:13
Well, I really think it’s technology that’s going to bring us you know, as some of these, you know, bumps in the road. And nutrition research is hard, right? There are some very well done validated rodent models in the bone health space, I’m very familiar with, that you can use that, you know, very likely will give you the same results as what you would see in humans. Now, you have to really do your homework to validate like the threat models, but they work. And so you know, it’s about looking at the totality of evidence, because I can do a 20 year randomized control trial, but I’m not going to be able to control what you ate. And when you look at some of these, you know, we look at, you know, calcium supplements versus dairy, for instance, in relation to bone health, it’s probably like feasible for me to like, do a one or two year study, and you’ll probably take a calcium pill once a day, there’ll be people that comply to that, you can take a pill in the morning, most people you know, take their medications, or take their, you know, dietary supplements in the morning like I do, it’s pretty easy to do. It’s not so easy to get somebody drink three measured out glasses of dairy a day. So what you end up seeing is you see the supplement studies showing effects, and they food interventions not so much. That’s not necessarily because the food interventions don’t work. It’s just because people have very diverse diets. I don’t eat the same thing every day. And so compliance is a real issue. I mean, I do a lot of work in the alcohol space, which is really, really interesting. But you all the cohort studies, all of the researches pretty much entire crap. I mean, because they measure alcohol intake once or twice. Well, you asked me what I drink on a Wednesday night, you know, after work, it’s probably nothing if he asked me what I drink on Saturday night. Well, who knows? You know? And then yeah, and then it’s one drink in the US is considered to be 14 grams of alcohol. Well, I mean, you could have a beer, for instance, a 12 ounce beer goes anywhere from 3% to 18% alcohol by volume. So does the consumer know that? Can they accurately report that? And then you know, everything else that’s it’s confounded in different cohorts. It’s very hard to measure alcohol intake and assess alcohol intake accurately. But again, we don’t know whether.
Doug Lotz 29:42
You’re asking somebody who’s literally impaired to try to counter.
Dr Taylor Wallace 29:49
All the recommendations that we’ve recently seen around alcohol, they’re based on this really weak science that we don’t know. And, you know, even if you put people in a randomized control trial Can you really control what they do at the bar on Saturday night, there’s no way to know that.
Doug Lotz 30:06
I’ve just started trying to track my drinks, just to be you know, more aware, I don’t know, the pandemic kind of like, got me, like a lot of people probably thinking about various aspects of their health that maybe they weren’t thinking about. And it’s just Harley, I’m using an app called Les, which is a pretty cool app, and I’m not affiliated at all, it’s just, it’s a cool app, it’s just easy to, you know, track, but I’m doing, you know, just number of drinks, right, whatever that is, you know, but you know, this gin and tonic is not going to have the same alcohol content is this like, you know, Coors Light, and it’s just, you know, it’s, it’s up and down and all over the place. So it’s just a very rough number. For me, it’s just a consumer to kind of get an idea. But I can’t imagine the difficulty and trying to make sure that’s done in an accurate way for an actual study.
Dr Taylor Wallace 30:52
Well, and then if you think the only people that we probably could control at least somewhat, their diet would be prisoners. And that’s unethical to do. I mean, so it, there’s a lot of caveats in nutrition research. So that’s why we use and kind of hodgepodge you know, rodent studies with epidemiology with human clinical trials, because there’s major flaws in human clinical trials where, you know, I don’t think a human clinical trial will ever give us an answer for how much alcohol is safe to consume on a daily basis. So epidemiology comes into play, you know, non human primate studies are very much needed in many of these, you know, different controversial, like topics, because non human primates are, you know, the closest to us. You know, it’s so it’s a, it’s an interesting thing.
Doug Lotz 31:43
They’re in a juicy new hypotheses about alcohol consumption that I should be aware of?
Dr Taylor Wallace 31:48
Actually, No, none at all. And it’s been a real hot topic that’s been in the news media. And this is, you know, very reflective of how nutrition zines is there’s, you know, a lot of tribes. So there’s a lot of anti alcohol scientists, there’s a lot of pro alcohol scientists, in 2010, a pro alcohol sign just got on the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, he was the only alcohol expert, and all of a sudden alcohol at low dose was heart healthy. And you can do almost exact same data, this go around in 2020, we had an anti alcohol scientist on the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee and using the same data now, alcohol was gonna cause cancer and heart disease and kill everybody.
Doug Lotz 32:32
What are we What are we supposed to do as a consumer? Because I’ve seen, you know, since you know, since I started, even, while more being told what to do in the, you know, 90s to now it’s just, you know, okay, fats evil, don’t eat fat, low fat, everything, you know, we both had skim milk growing up. Like, the, you know, today and no keto, this or veggie that or whatever, like, How the hell is an average consumer? What’s the best course of action? Is there? Like, you know, any any recommendation from you know, somebody who’s in it all day?
Dr Taylor Wallace 33:02
Yeah, well, I mean, you know, one of the things, it, one of the huge issues is how our federal government prioritizes research, so less than 5% of NIH budget goes actually towards prevention, research. And nutrition is just one component of prevention, right. And so we invest all this money in developing drug treatments. I mean, I really agree, you know, with a lot of the, you know, more liberal advocacy groups that we, you know, use public funds to develop, you know, a drug, and then we hand it off to the drug companies that, you know, end up marking it up, you know, these really high prices, and, you know, they get patents on it, and all that kind of stuff. But then we did develop, we don’t spend hardly any of our time and effort into, you know, prevention research and with the obesity epidemic, and the number of chronic diseases we have around, this is where it’s really at, and it starts earlier in life, going back to bone Hill, you get the largest, strongest bones that you have a period called peak bone mass. By the time you’re 30 years old, you can’t build any more bone after that you’re just taking away. So you know, who’s got the lowest calcium intakes, teenage girls, college kids, right before they get your pink bone mass, we’re not stressing it, and then they end up with osteoporosis later in life.
Doug Lotz 34:20
Yeah. And they’re thinking that’s like an old woman thing to worry about, right?
Dr Taylor Wallace 34:24
I mean, we’re finding that the first 1000 days of life, you know, really has a huge impact on long term cognition and brain function in humans. And so it’s one of those things where we have to invest in this type of research. We need a National Institute of nutrition within the National Institutes of Health, and it needs to start funding some of these practical research questions like diet, like, you know, food additives, like that people, you know, really want to know about now as far as a consumer, you know, work Did you get accurate information? I mean, hopefully, there’s more people you know, than myself that are in the nutrition field that are trying to relay good information. I always say, go to the professional societies like the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, or the American Society for nutrition. Obviously, you can get information from the government websites like USDA center for nutrition policy and promotion, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health, but, you know, those sites are, you know, it’s it, they have to have they give information based on consensus. And, you know, we’re tribal in New Jersey, and so there’s not a lot of consensus. So we get very, like, middle ground answers. And it’s hard.
Doug Lotz 35:47
I found, so lately, I’m always kind of watching YouTube channels using YouTube, like a podcast channel, which I’m sure some other people do. But there are some folks out there who communicate kind of, you know, look at what studies are out there. And then kind of cobble that together and communicate something which is, I think, Dr. Brad Stanfield is when I was looking at recently, he’s got a growing YouTube channel, and, and he’s a life extension scientist, but or he’s a doctor, he’s interested in life extension. But what I like about what he does, and this is where I was looking at something that he did about dairy the other day is he’s actually going, you know, doing the homework that people, you know, really don’t have time to do, right, going through and actually looking through what’s been published. And then you know, what sort of studies of, you know, pull, what do they call that when they pull a whole bunch of different studies review, kind of, you know, the past years, right, and then just given the information, here’s what it’s found, here’s what we have, you know, so that that’s kind of how I’ve navigated it a little bit, because I get overwhelmed by you know, all the all the frenzied media behind it, and just trying to find like minded individuals, you know, online, who are kind of into science and at least taking a little extra time to just listen to what the consensus is, has been my kind of approach.
Dr Taylor Wallace 37:06
Well, and, you know, there’s issues in research. I mean, if you look at the peer reviewed journals out there, there are some very, you know, credible journals, I edit a few of them, I mean, Journal of dietary supplements, annals of medicine, Journal of the American College of nutrition, some of the other professional society journals, like American Journal of Clinical Nutrition journal in nutrition, journal, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. But then there are these journals that, you know, are open access, kind of pay to publish, you know, not so great journals, and it’s, there’s a lot of stuff that is really kind of bottom of the barrel science that gets in there and gets placed in the policy. You know, and there’s advocacy groups, I mean, I find advocacy groups more dangerous than industry these days, because they claim to be nonprofit, they start their own journal, but they published like pseudo science, and then they go out with a, you know, million dollar PR campaigns, and it gets in the hands of consumers, and they have no, they have no knowledge of, you know, how to separate this advocacy group journal from, you know, a credible journal, just because like that it’s published, I mean, you can bind something to support your opinion anywhere. I got a media like inquiry about something that was published in the India of the Journal of Indian coconut science, and I’m just like, what it what, like, you know, and so, it’s a publishing is a lucrative thing right now. And there’s a lot of it. So I mean, you really have to go to your professional societies and look at, you know, credible research. And so just because you do a review of the literature, you know, doesn’t mean the quality of that literature is there.
Doug Lotz 38:55
Right. That’s just I mean, that’s tough because that, you know, garbage in garbage out, because all the way, pretty deep. I mean, you know, I guess NCBI stuff is what I’m generally looking at. Right. You know, which I don’t know who, I think that I think it’s the National Center for Biological Biotechnology Information, right. So,
Dr Taylor Wallace 39:15
Yeah, they weren’t even within PubMed. There are tons and tons of bad Journal.
Doug Lotz 39:21
Of bad stuff. Good to know. So keep fighting the good fight on the consumer side. But, you know, it sounds like say, it sounds like there’s work to be done, you know, in the field itself, too. I mean, what’s your, what’s your take? Do you think the trajectory is in the right direction? Because I mean, with a lot of things when it comes to, you know, the just the growing volume of data being kind of consumed and communicated and sort of, you know, just social media and everything else, just kind of saturating people with opinions rather than facts, are we going in the right direction in terms of nutrition and, you know, Food Science being kind of available to the to the public at large.
Dr Taylor Wallace 40:01
Once a yes and no, say, you know where we are going in the right direction is development of technology. So the olmecs technologies are really interesting, I think they’re going to provide us a lot of great information. I mean, in the bone health space, we have some new tracer technologies that are have got a lot of potential to show us the impact of certain foods and diets on bone Hill, I think you will see that come more and more in the weight loss field as we move along. And as technology gets better, I think artificial intelligence is something that is just beginning to creep up on nutrition science. And I don’t know, if you’ve watched on YouTube, where the little robots like all dance in sync and stuff, and I’m like, okay, we still can’t tell how much alcohol you drink or whether you know, what the actual like, you know, nutrient intakes there optimal are in the population, but we can make robots at all dance and Samba together. But you know, I think the bad side of nutrition is that it’s very, one, it’s very baby boomer dominated. It’s very, you know, I don’t know anybody in nutrition that retires. And I probably shouldn’t say that, because I probably won’t ever either.
Doug Lotz 41:22
That might be that that’s all over the place, as people kind of, you know, live longer healthier, and don’t want to retire. And actually a key to doing that is not retiring. Right?
Dr Taylor Wallace 41:32
Well, but there’s that there’s a select few that have been around for a while that control a lot of where the big government funds go in tuition research, and there’s not a there’s not a cycle of like new ideas that come in, you start out very disadvantaged as a younger, mid career professional to people who may be still have the same ideas and technology grasps as you know, they did maybe 3040 years ago, even. And you look at something like artificial intelligence, I think a lot of times, we jumped the ball on so many things, because it’s like, oh, visual intelligence, artificial intelligence, this and it’s like, Okay, well, I just showed everybody in here, how to work their iPhones. So I’m not really that like, you know, you can make robots dance, the samba and sang together. So we got to figure this out somehow, like, there’s not a lot of sharing with other fields. You know, and the technology piece, I think, in many instances gets blunted, because I think that there are a very select few of mostly baby boomers that I mean, if you look at the d-ri panels under the National Academy of Sciences, I mean, same dry panels in 2019, as was in 1998. I think there were two individuals that were different. And that I think that that really, it’s a it’s a very, you know, white male, white female dominated field. And I think for in many aspects that that’s really held us back. I mean, we don’t know anything about transgender nutrition. We don’t anything about the menopause transition. We don’t know anything about adolescence. And so it’s, it’s a really, you know, it’s an issue. So I think, in many ways, with, particularly with technology, we’re moving in the right direction. But I think in many ways, we’re still getting held up on this, like, Well, I think an egg is bad. Well, I think an egg is good, like kind of, you know, Bs, that doesn’t really matter. And it’s it, it detracts us from, you know, the main goal of, you know, getting people research and information that they can use to make healthy choices in their life.
Doug Lotz 43:49
Yeah, man, you almost need like a just a matter of you have where, you know, where are we know, things where we don’t know, things where things are studied and studied, where things have not been studied? And I don’t know how that all you know, there’s just so much stuff like a lot of bureaucracy. Things get funded.
Dr Taylor Wallace 44:08
Yeah, I mean, it’s very tribal. I mean, and hard to get studies funded. For instance, you ask about vegan and vegetarian diets? Well, it’s very hard to get that kind of stuff funded at NIH, because there’s pro plant based diets and they’re, like pro like, you know, omnivores diet scientist out there, and you better bet if you’re hypothesizing the pro plant, they said the dominador, you know, seller is going to ding you for a number of valid reasons and vice versa. I mean, you see the plant based scientist, you know, they don’t want anything to do with a proposal on on animal agriculture foods derived from animal eggs. So it’s a really interesting field. Very, very, very tribal.
Doug Lotz 44:53
So I kind of wanted to get a little bit into supplementation supplements. Real quick, I know we’re running up on time, but it’s tricky is so many hands, it’s kind of the same theme. It’s tricky as a consumer to figure out what one should take what should not take, and whether they’re actually gonna be absorbed into your body or whether they’re not. And whether it’s you eating with food, or whether the company that you’re ordering a supplement from has, you know, heavy metals in its, you know, in its preparation. So, I don’t know, what’s the best way to figure out, you know, a, what I’m deficient in, and what might benefit from being, you know, supplementation, and then, you know, be how the heck do I, as a consumer go out? And you know, and buy the right stuff?
Dr Taylor Wallace 45:37
Right? Well, I think, you know, to answer your question, how do you know what to buy, I think it’s always good to talk with a registered dietician, nutritionist. That’s always you know, a plus, because then you kind of get an idea about your diet, what to change where the gaps are, and then you can supplement appropriately. The other thing that’s really important is to always read the the supplement facts panel. So you know, make sure you’re not taking a supplement, you know, that contains 100% of your iron, another one that contains 50%, because some nutrients can add up and become very toxic very quickly. And that’s an issue and a lot of consumers, I’m very pro dietary supplement. I think that if anything, the pandemic taught us that died, dairy supplements can have some beneficial effects, particularly on immune function and prevention of infectious disease. I think you see some fairly strong data out there about vitamin D, I’ve done a lot of work in the magnesium space. And magnesium is one of those nutrients that regulates vitamin D in your body, among other things. And, you know, I think there are other compounds like lactoferrin. You know, I’ve taken a multivitamin every day for no telling how long I’m a big proponent, I think the clinical trials show that, you know, it decreases your risk of cancer. And then, you know, calcium and vitamin D if you’re not getting enough dairy, actually vitamin D, just for everybody, because, you know, nobody gets enough sun especially. Yeah, sitting inside all day, even though I don’t look like it. I just got back from the beach. So I can probably skip this week. But, you know, it’s a it’s a it’s a hard issue. And there needs to be more of a focus. You know, I think, again, it’s very tribal thing. I think, you know, the baby boomer generation, especially, is more timid about dietary supplements. Whereas, you know, the millennials and, you know, Gen X are a little more open, right? We grew up taking Flintstones about women every day, and so they’re not so like scary does has been doing it. So I think it’s just there’s a lot of, you know, again, tribal newness in nutrition. And I’m a huge proponent of supplementation, especially a multivitamin.
Doug Lotz 47:55
So kind of quick answer what, what supplements could almost all Americans benefit from at this point?
Dr Taylor Wallace 48:01
Well, I think we’ve got pretty strong data that say that most people can benefit from a multivitamin, if you’re not, if you’re not eating according to the Dietary Guidelines, which about 80% of us aren’t and 2% that said, they are probably lying. And so I think, you know, most people can benefit from a multivitamin. Now, I don’t think the whole a to zinc thing is necessarily appropriate. I actually break a multivitamin in half because I have a fairly good diet. And so I just to fill gaps. I think that multivitamins have a lot of good data. I think particularly in women who, you know, maybe haven’t entered the menopause transition yet, starting to take a calcium supplement has a lot of benefits of calcium with vitamin D supplement as a lot of benefit. I think with the amount of vitamin D deficiency we see in the US that taking a taking a vitamin D supplement, at least you know, 800,000 iu per day has no detriment and they can only provide benefit. You know, so I think again, magnesium is another good one, you know, 45 50% of the the population falls short. A lot of people when you look at their blood, whole blood ionized magnesium levels, they’re low. So for a lot of people, I think magnesium, it can be a good thing. And then I think it goes, you know, conditions specific, I’m healthy, you know, 37 year old male with no health conditions, but I think there are certain supplement regimens that have effects when you maybe have type two diabetes or you know, pre diabetes. If you’re overweight or obese, there are certain fat soluble vitamins that I think you need more of than a normal white person. If you got heart disease, I think there are things like niacin that can be help with, you know, blood cholesterol, I think there’s things like magnesium that have the potential to help with, you know, blood pressure. So there’s there’s a lot out there and there’s a lot of research to to be done in the field. But I think it’s a very personalized question.
Doug Lotz 50:17
And a dietician or nutrition nutritionist would probably help folks to identify these things. Right.
Dr Taylor Wallace 50:22
Yeah. I mean, I think, you know, that’s the best way to go from a health professional, right? Because, you know, medical doctors, physician’s assistants, nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, I mean, you know, people end up going to them for information, because there’s so much getting thrown at them. But they don’t even take a nutrition 101 course. So they’re very, they’re not knowledgeable in the nutrition space, whereas dietitians are, are trained in the space to communicate and to interact with consumers, I think that’s a positive step in the right direction that most people can take.
Doug Lotz 51:03
Well, I think, I think we’re going to kind of end it there. But just as kind of a final question. You know, where, where can more? Where can folks find out more about you and, you know, connect with you and what you’re working on? Yeah.
Dr Taylor Wallace 51:18
So actually, my website, like you said, Dr. Taylor, Wallace comm we actually just yesterday are starting educational modules for health professionals that are outside of the nutrition fields that we can begin to help provide resources to the people that are giving to the clinicians that are giving advice to consumers. on that website. Also, I have a consumer focus blog, where I give information on different hot topics about twice a month. And we actually have a recipe section. But I kind of tied that in with some of my Southern Cooking, so it’s not necessarily the healthiest thing you could have.
Doug Lotz 51:56
Nice, very cool. Well, thank you very much again, for joining us today. I feel like I could talk about this stuff for good information that you know, you’ve provided and really interesting glimpse into, you know, some of the science and some of the politics Behind the Science and things like that, that are going on. So, so thank you so much again. And, and yeah, and for those that are listening, remember, you can follow us on Instagram, at cardio cast app. And don’t forget to like and subscribe and leave a review for this podcast on whatever podcast listening platform you’re on. That really helps us out. And again, you know, Dr. Taylor, thank you very much.
Dr Taylor Wallace 52:40
Yeah. Thanks for having me.
Doug Lotz 52:42
Thanks a lot. Take care of everyone. Hey everyone, if you like the CardioCast CoolDown, please don’t forget to leave us a review wherever you’re listening. You can also connect with us on Instagram at CardioCast App, and check out our website, CardioCast.app and check out our app on the App Store or Play Store. See you next week.