Is this the explanation of the recent increase inflammatory bowel disease?

Here the abstract of the article:

Am J Gastroenterol. 2010 Oct;105(10):2195-201. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2010.192. Epub 2010 May 11. Animal protein intake and risk of inflammatory bowel disease: The E3N prospective study. Jantchou P1, Morois S, Clavel-Chapelon F, Boutron-Ruault MC, Carbonnel F.

Author information

INSERM, UMRS, Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, Institut Gustave Roussy, Université Paris Sud, Villejuif, France.



Diet composition has long been suspected to contribute to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), but has not been thoroughly assessed, and has been assessed only in retrospective studies that are prone to recall bias. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the role of dietary macronutrients in the etiology of IBD in a large prospective cohort.


The Etude Épidémiologique des femmes de la Mutuelle Générale de l’Education Nationale cohort consists of women living in France, aged 40-65 years, and free of major diseases at inclusion. A self-administered questionnaire was used to record dietary habits at baseline. Questionnaires on disease occurrence and lifestyle factors were completed every 24 months. IBDs were assessed in each questionnaire until June 2005, and subsequently validated using clinical and pathological criteria. We estimated the association between nutrients or foods and IBD using Cox proportional hazards models adjusted for energy intake.


Among 67,581 participants (705,445 person-years, mean follow-up since completion of the baseline dietary questionnaire 10.4 years), we validated 77 incident IBD cases. High total protein intake, specifically animal protein, was associated with a significantly increased risk of IBD, (hazards ratio for the third vs. first tertile and 95% confidence interval being 3.31 and 1.41-7.77 (P trend=0.007), and 3.03 and 1.45-6.34 (P trend=0.005) for total and animal protein, respectively). Among sources of animal protein, high consumption of meat or fish but not of eggs or dairy products was associated with IBD risk.


High protein intake is associated with an increased risk of incident IBD in French middle-aged women.

PMID: 20461067 DOI: 10.1038/ajg.2010.192
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Re this article:

1.Has meat and fish consumption increased dramatically in the last 50 or so years among this cohort of middle aged French women? Not likely, and so while ingestion of more protein than they can digest may be a factor in development of IBD, then how could this be the underlying problem?

2a. How well are the members of this cohort digesting the protein in meat, given the widespread consumption of antacids (including H2 blockers and acid blockers), and the lack of consumption of raw foods (containing enzymes), whole foods, and digestive enzyme supplements? What role does overall under-nutrition play? Also, if undigested protein is a problem, what are the putrefactive bacteria in the bowel doing to undigested proteins? Could bacterial overgrowth of the small bowel -a side effect of acid blockers- be producing a lot of the hydrogen sulfide from sulfur amino acids?

2b. The dairy and egg protein comment is interesting re: digestibility. Meat contains connective tissue, which must be digested away to continue the digestion of the remaining protein in meat, and which itself is tougher to digest than other proteins. While rich in protein, eggs and dairy do not have connective tissue. Undigested meat stimulates the growth of putrefactive (protein-digesting) bacteria, (competitors of beneficial bacteria), and the putrefactive bacteria produce obnoxious compounds like hydrogen sulfide from these amino acids.

3. If the odds ratios are essentially the same for meat protein consumption and total protein consumption, is not the observed correlation related to total protein consumption (and likely under-digestion of protein), and not meat consumption per se? Notice that they reveal their bias, how they use meat consumption as a popular whipping boy in the abstract (essentially throwing red meat at their vegetarian colleagues) and then backtrack to the more relevant “total protein” in their conclusion.

4. In his book, Textbook of Medical Physiology, Guyton notes that the human digestive tract can absorb up to 700 grams of protein per day. But that is only if we eat all day and successfully digest all that protein. To do the latter, we must not interfere with the operations of nature by interfering with digestion; rather, we must assist nature in the digestive phase.

5. The number of IBC cases is so small in this study, just 77, they could all be eating more protein than they can digest – in essence, interfering with their digestion of protein by various means, including taking antacids, H2 blockers, or acid blockers, not eating enough raw foods containing enzymes, not taking digestive enzyme supplements, and under-nourishing their bodies with copious quantities of processed foods, making them less able to cope with the folly of under-digesting proteins.

6. If this result is general, it would be reproduced in other studies, including studies done on other populations (compare Bradford Hill’s criteria) and with similar diseases. It has not been. See:

Clin Nutr. 2017 Oct;36(5):1259-1265. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2016.10.009. Epub 2016 Oct 15.

Nutrients. 2017 May 15;9(5). pii: E500. doi: 10.3390/nu9050500.

Both reviews estimate the intake of macronutrients, when what is more relevant – and much harder to measure – is the digestion and absorption of macronutrients, which will only roughly correlate to total intake, a value no one knows with any certainty because people are notoriously bad at quantitative tasks like estimating how much of any particular food they consume each day and computing weekly/monthly averages.

Both reviews are on Crohn’s, one of the two most common forms of the IBDs. If high protein intake drove IBD, we would see an association in Crohn’s, and it would likely be a stronger correlation, the more severe the form of the IBD. They do not.

This irreproducibility in biological correlations is so typical, it is a rule. Guess which study/studies those with a bias against meat consumption cite?

7. Finally, notice the dietary questionnaire. Talk about recall bias! Talk about guaranteed inaccuracy! Not to mention that some people will simply put what they think they should be doing! People are reasonably good at qualitative tasks and poor at best at quantitative tasks. A person who eats very little meat relative to the average may think himself a major consumer and vice versa.


Statistical question: Re checking data for believability

If the data without outliers are normally distributed as viewed on a histogram and have an associated Normal Probability Plot with r > r_critical, we expect that when we analyze the entire data set, outliers included:

1. Roughly equal numbers of data points above the upper fence (Q3+1.5*(Q3-Q1)) and below the lower fence (Q1-1.5*(Q3-Q1)).
2. Is it more accurate to weight the outliers by how far they are outside the fences?

Possibility #2 may be more accurate – I will develop SAS algorithms to test it with real data and messaged data.

The importance of this is in detecting phony, heavily messaged data – when the scientists have an agenda, obvious or not, messaged data is expected, and we expect to see asymmetries if not outright made-up data, and we expect to see messaged data passed off as raw data.

For example, the British scientists in the field of climate change/global warming who sent emails basically confessing their extreme political views and their willingness to make up data to get the rest of the world to follow them: would it be at all surprising to statistically analyze their so called ‘raw data’ and find that it is heavily messaged toward eliminating low temperature readings below the lower fences? or that it is just plain made-up? I will use the Newcomb-Benford Law to statistically analyze data first to detect the highest level fraud, made-up data.

Question: How did Benford know that the data he was analyzing to develop his law did not in fact already contain made-up data, thus skewing the numbers?

Is it possible that all animals are our equals? Are our betters?

I have outlined a mathematical proof that all people are more or less equal. Not created equal, but people are born equal and no matter how hard we try to separate ourselves from the mass of people, people die more or less equal.

The proof needs work and the importance of this topic cannot be overestimated. If the elitists are right, what foundation is there for moral behavior? Theirs? Give me a break. They would kill or enslave the rest of us if they could.

Is the same basic equality true for all animals? Are they our equals? And, more objectively, are they our betters? Are at least some of them our betters?

Are we objective enough to even give such questions a fair trial? The best of judges may be, but the rest of us show poor judgment throughout our lives. Poor judgment is another defining characteristic of man.

Could Simpson’s Paradox be the rule?

If it is, then even science is riddled with errors. Philosophy, psychology, sociology, and economics are riddled with errors, and anyone with a half a brain can see that. But science may be also — that not many would suspect.

I hope Simpson’s paradox is not the rule in scientific correlation, but just a rare exception, as the world believes.

If science is almost PB (pure baloney), then we are left with math and logic, which I believe are true by definition only (tautologically true). And if…no that’s not thinkable, at least by me right now.


Is Simpson’s Paradox the rule?

Is it a rule or an exception that studies have hidden variables? Surely, it is the rule.

Is it the rule or the exception that hidden variables, if uncovered, would change

the interpretation?

This is the key question – if Simpson’s paradox is the rule, then by definition the rule is that the hidden variables, if uncovered, would change the interpretation.

Revisiting Ovid’s story of Baucis and Philemon

Visiting a town in Phrygia, during a fierce rain storm, Mercury and Zeus, disguised as beggars or travelers, knocked on people’s doors, asking for shelter. They visited one hundred homes and were treated rudely by all – exactly what they expected, based on the rumors of inhospitality they had heard about this town.

Though they were very poor and lived in a rustic cottage, only Baucis and Philemon admitted the gods-dressed-as-beggars and feasted them.

Because of their kindness and hospitality, they were spared the gods’ wrath, and they watched from a distance as the town was destroyed by a flood at Zeus’ bidding.

Why was the whole town (save Baucis and Philemon) destroyed? Zeus was angry because all the people who turned them away were “wicked.”

Let’s look at this logic.

Rule according to Zeus: every man in this town is wicked. Perhaps allegorically every man in the world is wicked – consider the story of Prometheus as evidence of the generality of this rule in Zeus’ mind.

Exception: people like Baucis and Philemon.

If every man in this town is likely wicked, then the rude and inhospitable people of the town were prudent in not admitting the beggars, because in all likelihood the beggars are wicked too, and the beggars might have robbed them, maybe even raped the women, and/or killed both the men and the women.

Baucis and Philemon were kind but imprudent.

Is kind and imprudent really admirable? Is goodness reducible to kindness and imprudence? And is wickedness reducible to rudeness (or just unkindness or inhospitality) plus prudence?

I would rather be prudent and kind, and if I accept Zeus’ rule, I too would fail to admit the beggars, but I would certainly not be rude, and would feel comfortable giving them money to ease their pain in lieu of food and shelter, and of course directions to the nearest shelter. Does that make me wicked and worthy of death?

The emotional overreaction, the unkindness and injustice of the gods deserve special mention, but it is just not done. Death is way too harsh a punishment for people’s rudeness, when they were being prudent and fearful of strangers. Were there not also some other kind people like Baucis and Philemon who should have been spared? If there is a shelter in the town, are not those who run the shelter, and those who contribute resources to run it, also kind people?

Zeus and Mercury visited one hundred homes. They sampled the townspeople, and stopped when Baucis and Philemon showed them great kindness, and they probably sampled the town wrongly – it is likely that their sample would have been a lazy, statistically invalid convenience sample, a simple convenient cluster sample, of door-to-door in just one neighborhood, not a random sample of the entire town, or a random sample of clusters within the town.

However, let us assume that the sampling was done randomly. A sample of 101 houses of the town’s people by Zeus and Mercury that turned up one house with two kind people suggests that the town probably contained some other kind people. A crude first estimate, based on random sampling: if the town had a population of P houses, on average there may be P/101 houses with people roughly as kind as Baucis and Philemon. There may even be some kinder people (depends on where Baucis and Philemon were on the normal distribution curve). Let’s ignore the statistical complication that the gods’ sampling was probably clustered and convenient rather than simple random or random clustering and realize the take home lesson that in all likelihood the town contained other kind and imprudent people.

If this story sounds familiar, yes, it is like the story of Lot and his wife, only Yahweh is even crueler than Zeus – he turns Lot’s wife into a pillar of salt for looking on the destruction of their city, while Zeus and Mercury spare Baucis and Philemon, despite their looking at the terrible destruction of their town by a flood.

Taurine and cholesterol

Could chronic taurine deficiency be driving more efficient absorption of dietary cholesterol, and in part be responsible for increased serum cholesterol in those with demonstrable local deficiency of taurine in bile producing liver cells?

Perhaps not – the body has too many other uses for cholesterol (including the synthesis of cholesterol sulfate), even though no single use is more important by mass, because about 70% of absorbed cholesterol is turned into bile acid salts.

Would restoration of taurine sufficiency in this subpopulation reduce dietary absorption of cholesterol and serum cholesterol, and in part be responsible for a measurable improvement in cardiac sufficiency and overall neural health (including retinal health)? Because the heart, brain, and the retina have priority over the liver with respect to taurine, they suffer less from deficiency of taurine and the benefit to them may perhaps be a bit harder to measure.