David L. Katz, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP, FACLM, is the Founding Director (1998) of Yale University’s Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, and former President of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. He has published roughly 200 scientific articles and textbook chapters, and 15 books to date, including multiple editions of leading textbooks in both preventive medicine, and nutrition. He has made important contributions in the areas of lifestyle interventions for health promotion; nutrient profiling; behavior modification; holistic care; and evidence-based medicine. David earned his BA degree from Dartmouth College (1984); his MD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (1988); and his MPH from the Yale University School of Public Health (1993). He completed sequential residency training in Internal Medicine, and Preventive Medicine/Public Health. He is a two-time diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine, and a board-certified specialist in Preventive Medicine/Public Health. He has received two Honorary Doctorates.
Personalizing medicine is among the salient themes of modern advance, and clearly among the more widely captivating. President Obama emphasized “precision medicine,” effectively the same thing, as a priority for the nation in the context of the cancer moonshot he endorsed in his State of the Union Address in 2016. In the past year, two radical cancer treatment advances have been announced, one for leukemia, one for lymphoma, both involving the genetic re-engineering of a patient’s own cells into customized chemotherapy.
A study recently published in the International Journal of Epidemiology by researchers at Loma Linda University in California, and the Université Paris-Saclay, in Paris, France reports noteworthy health benefit from plant protein, and significant harms from animal protein. Just such diverging effects of this one nutrient class based on its delivery sources has a rather storied history, figuring prominently, for example, in The China Study. Among others, T. Colin Campbell contends in that book that much of the harm attributed to the saturated fat in animal foods is, in fact, due to the protein instead.
I have long harbored the dream, and cling to it still, that we might embrace the fundamental truths of good nutrition, and thereby add years to our lives and life to our years, and nurture the well-being of this (heretofore) beautiful planet into the bargain.
This past week I was privileged to publish a column in New York Magazine that Mark Bittman and I wrote together over a span of weeks. The editors, who did a great job with it, told readers that it answered every last question about diet and health. Extensive though it is, that obviously can’t quite be true, and isn’t.
We have long known, and right we have been, that elevated blood cholesterol levels, notably LDL levels, are bad for hearts and arteries, and the bodies and minds those suffuse and serve. What then accounts for headlines like “High Cholesterol Linked to Better Brain Health in People Over 85” issuing from a study just published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia?