Monday, April 25, 2011

Dr Annika Dahlqvist Lectures in Prague

Note to self: suck in the gut when posing with famous people
Dr Annika Dahlqvist is quite an illustrious low-carb high-fat (LCHF) pioneer in Scandinavia, especially Sweden and Norway. Sweden has the highest percentage of LCHF adherants in the world, as Jimmy Moore recently wrote about.

Dr Dahlqvist started helping diabetics in 2005 by prescribing an LCHF diet, which resulted in two nutritionists reporting her to the National Board of Health in an attempt to get her medical license revoked. After a three year battle, she managed to vindicate herself with more recent studies that showed reducing a diabetic's starches and sugars wasn't a homicidal act. Still, she was essentially blacklisted and forced to leave the clinic where she was working.

Since then, Dr Dahlqvist has been lecturing and writing books (currently only in Swedish but an English edition is in the works). She was interviewed a couple years back by Jimmy Moore. The original shownotes are  only available on his old blog. Jimmy wrote:
Although it is written in Swedish, I encourage you to check out Dr. Annika Dahlqvist's blog to get to know her even better. She's a hero in my book and I am very proud to know there are people like her willing to put it all on the line for what she knows is right.
I totally agree.

I didn't attend her lecture which was arranged by the international medical students studying here in Prague. This turned out to be somewhat fortunate because she gave it in Swedish since only Swedes and Norwegians showed up. The lecture was originally going to be in Swedish and Czech, and while my Czech is passable on a good day, I don't think I could comprehend much about the science of nutrition in it.

After the lecture, my Swedish friend brought her to a restaurant near my flat to wait for her plane and I was lucky enough to spend a couple of hours hanging out with the esteemed doctor.

I didn't take any notes or conduct an actual interview or anything, so I'll just throw out some general impressions and thoughts about Dr Dahlqvist.

-She's in the middle of reading was Taube's Why We Get Fat: And What To Do About It. Not surprisingly, she's a big fan.

-She's quite optimistic about the future of LCHF. When we jokingly bet on how long it would take the US FDA to stop demonizing fat, she said two years (!!!), I said fifteen to twenty. And I think I was being overly optimistic. It sure would be nice if Annika is right but I'm not holding my breath. (Her prediction for Sweden was even more optimistic--one year!)

-She mentioned new randomized studies on LCHF and I said "double-blind?". She pointed out that double-blind studies are not possible, which of course they aren't. In an attempt to save face I said that meat could be cut up into little pieces and put into gel capsules.

-Dr Dahlqvist has never bothered to have her blood cholesterol checked.

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