I will admit (upfront and personal) that people who want to live a long, happy life suffer from advanced dementia praecox. Still, they are out there in enormous numbers and a common regard for the diversity of opinions and preferences of others requires us not to laugh openly at them. [I learned about this "common regard" from reading the works of the husband of the ice cream manufacturer - Dolly Madison. Dolly was drop dead gorgeous as you know and was somebody whose ice cream you would gladly lick off from between her toes. Dolly's husband had a laminated certificate attesting to the fact that he was a genius of uncommonly high order. But I never licked ice cream from his toes.]
Okay, where was I? A digression, I presume but, like all digressions, better than the main subject. We now know that dark chocolate is almost as good for you as canned beets. I’m old fashioned and will stick to a diet exclusively of beets. Beets are grown inside cans and the dark juices they float in are the proof they are not loaded with camel hair. Every food you eat other than beets contains more carcinogens per square millimeter than a carton of nonfiltered Camel cigarettes. This is no joke. Bruce Ames, the only biochemist in the world who can even spell “biochemistry” has proved beets are inert. Beets alone, of all foods, will keep you alive and happy in your idle dream of trying to outlive Professor Theodore Drange.
Now, enter a new pretender to the throne – omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. I don’t have to persuade you how bizarre this is. The BIBLE says PUFA does not seem to work. By the Bible, I mean, of course, the Cochrane Reviews.
Here is what Cochrane says: “increased consumption of fish oils rich in omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 PUFA) may reduce the chance of developing dementia.” If you can understand that mumbo jumbo, try this: “The authors of a recent Cochrane Review identified three relevant randomised controlled trials involving 3536 participants over the age of 60 years who were cognitively healthy at the start of the study. The participants were randomly assigned to receive either extra omega-3 PUFA in their diet or a placebo (such as olive oil). The main outcomes of interest were new cases of dementia, cognitive decline, side-effects, and adherence to the intervention.
All three studies included in the review are of high methodological quality, and so the findings are unlikely to be due to chance or bias. So what did they learn? The junk doesn’t work. In brief, stick to beets!
But what about statins? 26,340 human guinea pigs can’t all be wrong, either. They don’t work (at least, not for late life reduction in stupidity – commonly known as Al Zheimer’s disease. Al should mind his own praecox and quit trying to pedal the stuff off on the rest of us. [I myself take a good gulp of simvastatin every night but I won't tell you why because you are too stupid to understand.] Meanwhile, a bunch of other money-grubbing capitalists investigated blood pressure lowering medications for their effects on stupidity. Gee, wha? Didja expect other grubbers would not take a turn? What did they learn?
15,936 hypertensive subjects were identified. Average age was 75.4 years. Mean blood pressure at entry across the studies was 171/86 mmHg. The combined result of the four trials reporting incidence of dementia indicated no significant difference between treatment and placebo (236/7767 versus 259/7660, Odds Ratio (OR) = 0.89, 95% CI 0.74, 1.07) and there was considerable heterogeneity between the trials. The combined results from the three trials reporting change in Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) did not indicate a benefit from treatment (Weighted Mean Difference (WMD) = 0.42, 95% CI 0.30, 0.53). Both systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels were reduced significantly in the three trials assessing this outcome (WMD = -10.22, 95% CI -10.78, -9.66 for systolic blood pressure, WMD = -4.28, 95% CI -4.58, -3.98 for diastolic blood pressure). Get it?
Three trials reported adverse effects requiring discontinuation of treatment and the combined results indicated no significant difference (OR = 1.01, 95% CI 0.92, 1.11). When analysed separately, however, more patients on placebo in Syst Eur 1997 were likely to discontinue treatment due to side effects; the converse was true in SHEP 1991.
You need a little help with this? Okay. The garbage doesn’t work. Duh! Whoda’ thunk? Hey! Just because the stuff doesn’t turn dimwits into halfwits (or vice versa) is no reason why you should stop using them. Now that you know your ramipril, like your simvastatin and your omega-3 oils are of no use to you, what are you supposed to do? I could tell you, of course, but I won’t because I remain faithful to the one principle that guided me throughout my 35 year career as a whiz of a college professor:
YOU ARE TOO STUPID TO UNDERSTAND.
I am not being a sourpuss and I don’t eat sour grapes. I am strictly a beets man. Check with the woman whose name i dare not mention or wait for comments from several former students of mine who read this blog – They know I am smart, you are not. That’s all there is to that.