Ancel Keys, Seven Countries Study, China connections, and K rations

Ancel Keys, Seven Countries Study, China connections, and K rations

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR gluten contamination in naturally gluten-free products is often higher than in industrially-purified, glutenfree flours. Soybean...

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR gluten contamination in naturally gluten-free products is often higher than in industrially-purified, glutenfree flours. Soybean, rice, buckwheat, corn, and millet may be even severely contaminated (3). By comparison, the majority of wheat-starch– based, gluten-free products, meeting the current Codex Alimentarius standard, contained trace amounts of gluten, from 20 ppm to 200 ppm. Despite that, they have been safe and well tolerated in the treatment of celiac disease for over 40 years; the intestinal mucosal heals, symptoms disappear, and the patients are free of complications. It appears, therefore, that the threshold for gluten contamination could be set higher than 20 ppm. Markku Peräaho, MD Senior consultant Tampere University Hospital and University of Tampere, Finland Pekka Collin, MD Senior consultant Tampere University Hospital and University of Tampere, Finland Katri Kaukinen, MD Senior consultant Tampere University Hospital and University of Tampere, Finland Markku Mäki, MD Professor Tampere University Hospital and University of Tampere, Finland References 1. Storsrud S, Malmheden Yman I, Lenner RA. Gluten contamination in oat products and products naturally free from gluten. Eur Food Res Technol. 2003;217:481-485. 2. Collin P, Thorell L, Kaukinen K, Mäki M. The safe threshold for gluten contamination in gluten free products. Can trace amounts be accepted in the treatment of coeliac disease? Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2004;19:1277-1283. 3. Deutch H. Food legislation and contamination. In: Lohiniemi S, Collin P, Mäki M, eds. Changing Features of Coeliac Disease. Tampere, Finland: The Finnish Coeliac Society; 1998 doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2005.01.025

Ancel Keys, Seven Countries Study, China Connections, and K Rations To the Editor: On the occasion of the passing away of Ancel Keys on November 20, 2004, at a ripe old age of 100 (1), I wish to pay tribute to this great man. Keys was known worldwide for his landmark epidemiological study, the Seven Countries Study, which he began in 1958. The seven countries were Finland, Greece, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, the United States, and Yugoslavia. Keys remarked to me several times that he wished he had included China to make the number of countries studied eight. The Seven Countries Study provided evidence that a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and pasta and sparing in meat, eggs, and dairy products reduces the occurrence of coronary heart disease. Keys told me that this was a typical Chinese diet, which was responsible for the very low incidence of coronary heart disease in old China. Before he was out of his teens, Keys sailed to China as a crewman on an ocean liner (1), so he was familiar with the Chinese diet. Although everybody knew what the K ration was—the food ration consumed by millions of American soldiers in World War II—very few knew that it was named after its inventor, Keys (1). I had tasted it myself when it was given to me by a US Marine who visited my medical school in Shanghai at the end of World War II. It did not taste too bad if you left out the lemonade powder, and at least it was nutritious. However, I did not realize that it was named after Keys (1). Tsung O. Cheng, MD Professor of Medicine George Washington University Medical Center Washington, DC Reference 1. Sullivan P. Heart disease researcher, inventor of K rations. Washington Post. November 24, 2004:A1, A6. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2005.01.026

March 2005 ● Journal of the AMERICAN DIETETIC ASSOCIATION

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