The raison d'etre of this website is to provide you with hard scientific information which may help you make informed decisions in your quest for health (so far I have blogged concise summaries of over 1,500 scientific studies and have had three books published).

My research is mainly focused on the effects of cholesterol, saturated fat and statin drugs on health. If you know anyone who is worried about their cholesterol levels and heart disease, or has been told to take statin drugs you could send them a link to this website, and to my statin or cholesterol or heart disease books.

David Evans

Independent Health Researcher

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Vegetarians at increased risk of stroke, myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism and the blockage of blood vessels to other parts of the body

This post includes a summary of a study published in Thrombosis and Haemostasis 1999 Jun;81(6):913-7 and a recipe for simple roast duck.

Study title and authors:
Vegetarians and cardiovascular risk factors: hemostasis, inflammatory markers and plasma homocysteine.
Mezzano D, Muñoz X, Martínez C, Cuevas A, Panes O, Aranda E, Guasch V, Strobel P, Muñoz B, Rodríguez S, Pereira J, Leighton F.
Department of Hematology-Oncology and Nutrition, School of Medicine, Catholic University of Chile, Santiago de Chile.

This study can be accessed at:

Trick And Treat - how 'healthy eating' is making us ill
Vegetarians were found to have increased platelet function and increased homocysteine levels.

Increased platelet function is where the number of platelets is too high, blood clots can form (thrombosis), which may obstruct blood vessels and result in such events as a stroke, myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism or the blockage of blood vessels to other parts of the body, such as the extremities of the arms or legs.

Increased homocysteine can cause kidney disease and macroangiopathy which is where fat and blood clots build up in the large blood vessels, stick to the vessel walls, and block the flow of blood. There are 3 types of macroangiopathy: coronary artery disease (in the heart), cerebrovascular disease (in the brain), and peripheral vascular disease (affecting, for example, vessels in the legs).

More information on this subject: Books : Scientific Studies : Other Websites : Videos : Food Mall 

Recipe of the day

Simple Roast Duck

5lb duck
Whole Smoked Duck
Food Mall: Whole Duck
1.You want the skin of the duck to be dry when you start, so the day before roasting the duck, remove it from any packaging so that the skin can air-dry.

2.You also need to remove the innards from the duck if it still has them – often whole ducks are sold with the duck offal bagged up and pushed back into the cavity. Remove the offal and rinse out the cavity.

3.Preheat the oven to 150C (300F).

4.To prepare your duck start by pulling out any quills that have been left behind.

5.Next, score the skin of the breast with a diamond pattern, using a sharp knife and cutting through the skin and fat but not the meat. See the Hungry Mouse website for images of this.

6.The next step is to pierce the skin in between the slits with the point of a sharp knife, piercing through the skin but not hitting the meat. This is not easy and I took a fairly wild approach in the end, randomly stabbing several times in each little diamond of skin. Focus particular effort in the join round the legs where the skin is fattier and the fat will collect and also over the drumstick which has had very little attention at this point.

7.Stand a rack into a deep roasting tray and stand the duck on top. Using a piece of kitchen paper wipe any excess moisture off the skin and rub some salt over the skin.

8.Place the duck into the oven and leave for an hour.

9.After 1 hour remove the duck from the oven briefly. Take a sharp knife and re-pierce the skin round the leg join and also anywhere else where you can see that liquid fat is building up under the skin. If in doubt, give the duck a good gentle piercing all over the skin again – it will be easier to do now that the skin surface has had some hot air on it for a while. If the skin looks particularly soft anywhere this will also be a sign that there is some fat collecting under the skin.

10.If you are roasting a whole duck, flip it over onto its breast/back (whichever it wasn’t resting on before) so that the meat juices keep the meat moist under the skin by moving around. If you are only roasting a half duck then there’s no need to flip the duck and expose the centre of the carcass.

11.Return the duck to the oven for another hour.

12.After the second hour, remove the duck from the oven and repeat steps 9-11.

13.Continue this process up to 4 times. 2 hours was sufficient for my 1kg half duck, 4 hours is OK for a larger duck (say, about 2.5kg). I would suggest that you cook a duck that is over 1kg but less than 1.5kg for 2.5 hours, 1.5-2kg ducks for 3-3.5 hours and 2-2.5kg ducks for 3.5-4 hours. The reality is that you don’t need to be precise here, as long as your duck meat is cooked through. If you want to be certain about that then, when you think you’re near the end of this cooking time, stick a sharp knife through to deeply pierce the meat at a thick point (eg. middle of the breast and/or fattest bit of the drumstick), press the meat beside the cut using the flat side of the knife. If clear fluids come out the bird is cooked. If any blood comes out then you need to cook it a little longer.

14.To finish off, ensure the bird is breast side up again (that’s the usual way up that you expect to see a roast chicken or turkey), place back in the oven, increase the temperature to 225C (450F) and blast the bird for a final 15 mins. This should ensure you get any final non-crispy spots on the skin and achieve some crunch.

15.Place the bird on a plate and leave in a warm place for 10 mins to rest before you carve it. This helps the meat stay more moist.

Simple Roast Duck