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

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Women eating a low fat, low cholesterol diet have a greater risk of having a baby with a birth defect

This post includes a synopsis of a paper published in Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology 2011 Jun 12 and a recipe for pot-cooked chicken.

Study title and author:
The supply of choline is important for fetal progenitor cells.
Zeisel SH.
Real Food for Mother and Baby: The Fertility Diet, Eating for Two, and Baby's First Foods
Nutrition and Pediatrics, Nutrition Research Institute, School of Public Health and School of Medicine, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Kannapolis, NC 28081, United States.

This paper can be accessed at:

Zeisel notes that dietary choline is essential for the proper development of a fetus. For instance, choline is needed for cell membranes and brain development.

Zeisel found that:
(a) Choline is mainly found in foods that contain fat and cholesterol.
(b) Women eating diets low in choline have a greater risk of having a baby with a birth defect.
(c) Forty years ago, diets commonly contained choline-rich foods but now women in the USA tend to eat diets low in choline content because of dietary advice from nutritionists and physicians.

To conclude: Women eating a low fat, low cholesterol diet have a greater risk of having a baby with a birth defect.

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

Recipe of the day

Pot-Cooked chicken

1 medium chicken, weighing about 1.5-1.6kg
3 - Organic Whole Chicken 3-3.5# each
Food Mall: Chicken
225g unsmoked streaky bacon in one piece, cut into chunks
3 tbsp butter
12 shallots or button onions, peeled (or 6-8 small onions peeled and halved)
4-6 medium carrots, cut into 1 inch chunks (or 4 carrots and 4 small turnips)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
275ml apple cider
425ml chicken stock
1 small bunch of parsley stalks (or 2 tsp dried parsley)
2 sprigs fresh thyme or oregano (or ¾ tsp dried thyme)
1 bay leaf
8 medium mushrooms, sliced

1.Preheat the oven to 200C.

2.Heat the butter in a large flameproof casserole dish until quite hot. Add the chicken, whole, and fry it while turning it regularly so that it is browned evenly all over. Once browned, remove from the pot and set aside on a plate.

3.Put the crushed garlic, bacon, onion and carrots into the pot and fry for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until they have coloured a little.

4.Remove the vegetables from the pot, place the chicken in the centre of the pot and then arrange the vegetables around the chicken.

5.Add the cider, stock, parsley, thyme and bay leaf to the pot. Bring to simmering point, then transfer the pot to the oven without the lid but with a piece of foil over the chicken breast.

6.Cook for 30 minutes, uncovering and basting the chicken breast every so often with the stock (note that if you have doubled the stock then you probably won’t need to rebaste).

7.Remove the foil, add the mushrooms and bake for a further 30 minutes, basting frequently with the juices in the pot.

8.Once cooked, remove the chicken and vegetables from the pot and place on a plate in a warming oven (if you don’t have a warming over, turn the oven off – it should soon cool to a temperature ethat will keep the chicken warm without cracking the plate – I tend to leave it on 50C to act as a warming oven). Take care to pick out the bay leaf and any herb stalks from the thyme and parsley and discard these.

9.Place the pot with the sauce over a high heat and boil rapidly to reduce the sauce until it thickens a little.

Pot-Cooked Chicken