E-Mail Edition  Volume 13   Number 4

Published Summer, 2016

Published by Piccadilly Books, Ltd., www.piccadillybooks.com.

Bruce Fife, N.D., Publisher, www.coconutresearchcenter.org  


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  • Unpublished Studies Disproved Saturated Fat – Heart Disease Connection Long Ago

  • A Natural Remedy for Dry Eye, Cataracts, and Other Eye Disorders

  • The Coco Jack













Heart Frauds

by Charles T. McGee

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Unpublished Studies Disproved Saturated Fat—Heart Disease Connection Long Ago


An unpublished study conducted four decades ago, but recently discovered in a dusty basement, raises new questions about the longstanding dietary advice regarding saturated fats.

The research, known as the Minnesota Coronary Experiment, was a major double blind randomized controlled clinical trial conducted from 1968 to 1973. It studied the diets of more than 9,400 people at state mental hospitals and a nursing home. Although the study was conducted over 40 years ago it was not published until just recently.

This study is a good example of what happens when the results of an investigation do not coincide with the prevailing scientific dogma of the time—it doesn't get published. Numerous studies were conducted from the 1960s through the 1990s that were designed to demonstrate the dangers of eating cholesterol and saturated fat, but proved otherwise and consequently were never published.

In his book, Heart Frauds, Charles T. McGee, MD talks about this problem and shares the experience of a patient of his who participated in a feeding study.1  "John worked in a regional primate center, one of several research centers funded by the federal government. One old baboon, named George, was selected to participate in the study because he had a mean disposition and none of the animal keepers liked him.

"The staff dreamed up an experiment in which George was given the opportunity to give his life for science and not be around to bother them anymore. They fed the old baboon nothing but hardboiled eggs for one year, then put him down and performed an autopsy.

"Because of the propaganda about the cholesterol theory, the staff confidently expected to find massive obstructions in the old baboon's arteries. They dreamed of seeing their names in large print on the top of a published scientific paper supporting the widely accepted and popular cholesterol theory."

However, "…no evidence of atherosclerosis was found in George's arteries, no paper was written. The feeding study demonstrated once again … that studies that do not support an accepted theory usually don't get published."

Today, saturated fat is not considered the evil demon it was a few years ago. The medical community is now acknowledging that saturated fat may not be so bad after all. Fortunately the data from the Minnesota study has been found, analyzed, and published. 

The Minnesota Coronary Experiment, was paid for by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and led by Dr. Ivan Frantz, Jr. of the University of Minnesota Medical School. Many diet studies have relied on the participants' memory in recalling what they ate over previous days or weeks. Such studies are limited by the accuracy of the subjects' memories, and therefore, are not totally reliable. This study was significant because the researchers were able to tightly regulate the diets of the institutionalized study subjects so

Dr. Ivan D. Frantz, Jr.

Dr. Harriet L. Hardy First Chair of the Committee on the, Use of Humans as Experimental Subjects, with Dr. Ivan D. Frantz, Jr.

that they knew exactly what the subjects ate. Half of those subjects were fed meals rich in saturated fats from milk, cheese, and beef.  

The Minnesota Coronary Experiment, was paid for by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and led by Dr. Ivan Frantz, Jr. of the University of Minnesota Medical School. Many diet studies have relied on the participants' memory in recalling what they ate over previous days or weeks. Such studies are limited by the accuracy of the subjects' memories, and therefore, are not totally reliable. This study was significant because the researchers were able to tightly regulate the diets of the institutionalized study subjects so that they knew exactly what the subjects ate. Half of those subjects were fed meals rich in saturated fats from milk, cheese, and beef. The remaining group ate a diet in which much of the saturated fat was removed and replaced with corn oil, a polyunsaturated fat that is common in many processed foods. The study also had the benefit of detailed autopsies on 149 patients who had died during the study. The study was intended to show that removing saturated fat from people's diets and replacing it with polyunsaturated vegetable oil would protect them against heart disease and lower their risk of mortality.

So what was the result? Despite being one of the largest tightly controlled clinical dietary trials of its kind ever conducted, the data were never fully analyzed, and consequently never published. Why put so much effort and expense into a study and not publish it?

Several years ago, Christopher E. Ramsden, a medical investigator at the National

 Institutes of Health, learned about the long-overlooked study. Intrigued, he contacted the University of Minnesota in hopes of reviewing the unpublished data. Dr. Ivan Frantz, Jr who died in 2009, had been a prominent scientist at the university, where he studied the link between saturated fat and heart disease. One of his closest colleagues was Ancel Keys, an influential scientist whose flawed research in the

 Ancel Keys

 1960s helped establish the belief that saturated fat was a dietary monster, prompting the federal government to recommend low-fat diets to the entire nation.

"My father definitely believed in reducing saturated fats, and I grew up that way," said Dr. Robert Frantz, the lead researcher's son and a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic. "We followed a relatively low-fat diet at home, and on Sundays or special occasions, we'd have bacon and eggs."

The younger Dr. Frantz made three trips to the family home, finally discovering the dusty box marked "Minnesota Coronary Survey," in his father's basement. He turned it over to Dr. Ramsden for analysis.

The results were a surprise. Participants who ate a diet low in saturated fat and enriched with corn oil reduced their cholesterol by an average of 14 percent. But the low-saturated fat diet did not reduce mortality. In fact, the study found that the greater the drop in cholesterol, the higher the risk of death during the trial.

The fact that blood cholesterol levels decreased when corn oil replaced the saturated fat was expected, as this had been observed before. What wasn't expected was the drop in cholesterol was correlated with an increase in the number of deaths. The findings ran counter to the prevailing belief at the time that diets low in saturated fat reduces the risk of heart disease. This study indicated just the opposite.

Preliminary analysis of the data uncovered the apparent discrepancy with the prevailing belief at the time. While it is unclear exactly why the researchers did not complete the analysis and seek publication, but one possibility is that Dr. Frantz and his colleagues had a hard time getting it published. If they had sought publication they would have faced stiff resistance from medical journal editors who might have refused to publish the study because it questioned a popular and generally accepted belief that saturated fat promoted heart disease. Any study that did not support this position was simply out of step with established scientific belief and considered unreliable, and therefore, not worthy of publication. Many leading edge studies are not published simply because they suggest ideas that go contrary to accepted medical belief.

Another possibility, and the one that is most likely, is that Dr. Frantz and his colleagues were so convinced that saturated fat was the problem, that they couldn't believe their own data and decided not to seek publication. Maybe they thought the results were just a fluke or perhaps an undetected error had crept in that influenced the results. This reason is most likely because Dr. Frantz continued to strongly believe in the saturated fat heart disease connection even after this study was completed.

The younger Dr. Frantz said his father was probably startled by what seemed to be no benefit in replacing saturated fat with vegetable oil. "When it turned out that it didn't reduce risk, it was quite puzzling," he said. "And since it was effective in lowering cholesterol, it was weird."

The new analysis of the Minnesota Coronary data was published, in the April 2016 edition of the British Medical Journal.2 Based on the analysis, the authors concluded that although the replacement of polyunsaturated vegetable oils for saturated fat in the diet can lower blood cholesterol, it does not lower the risk of death from

British Medical Journal

Dr. Daisy Zamora
Dr. Daisy Zamora

coronary heart disease or any other cause. Also, the prejudice against saturated fats over the years has contributed to the overestimation of the perceived benefits of replacing saturated fat with vegetable oils rich in omega-6 fatty acids (primarily linoleic acid).

To investigate whether the new findings were a fluke, Dr. Daisy Zamora, a research scientist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and one of the main authors of the new study, and her colleagues analyzed four similar, rigorous trials that tested the effects of replacing saturated fat with vegetable oils rich in linoleic acid. Those, too, failed to show any reduction in mortality from heart disease.

"One would expect that the more you lowered cholesterol, the better the outcome," Dr. Ramsden said. "But in this case the opposite association was found. The greater degree of cholesterol-lowering was associated with a higher, rather than a lower, risk of death." We have been looking at cholesterol levels the wrong way. Higher cholesterol reduces the risk of death in comparison to low cholesterol.

One explanation for the surprise finding may be omega-6 fatty acids, which are found in high levels in corn, soybean, cottonseed, and sunflower oils. While cooking with these vegetable oils instead of butter lowers cholesterol, the high levels of omega-6 can simultaneously promote inflammation—a major contributing factor to heart disease.

In 2013, Dr. Ramsden and his colleagues published another controversial paper involving a large clinical trial that had been carried out in Australia in the 1960s which also had never been fully analyzed or published.3 Like the Minnesota study, the researchers never had their study published because the results were not what they had expected. The trial found that men who replaced saturated fat with omega-6-rich polyunsaturated fats lowered their cholesterol. But they were also more likely to die from a heart attack than a control group of men who ate more saturated fat.

The Australian study was conducted from 1966 to 1973. One group of men with heart disease increased omega-6-rich polyunsaturated fat intake to 15 percent of calories, while reducing saturated fat intake to less than 10 percent. Another group of men with heart disease continued their normal diets.

The men were followed for an average of 39 months, and those on the polyunsaturated-rich diet lowered their cholesterol levels by an average of 13 percent. But they also were more likely to die, and in particular to die of a heart attack, than those who stuck with their usual diet, which consisted of about 15 percent saturated fat.

This study — the results of which weren't fully analyzed when it was conducted in the early days of enthusiasm for polyunsaturated oils — adds to a growing body of data suggesting that consuming polyunsaturated oils, even though they reliably lower cholesterol, may nevertheless increase the risk of heart disease.

The science behind dietary fat may be more complex than nutrition recommendations suggest. Apparently we can get 15 percent or more of our daily calories from saturated fat without problem. However, we need to limit our omega-6 or polyunsaturated fat intake. Our bodies do require omega-6 fatty acids (linoleic acid) in small amounts, about 2 percent of calories. But emerging research suggests that excess linoleic acid may play a role in a variety of disorders including liver disease, chronic pain, diabetes, and heart disease.

A century ago, it was common for Americans to get about 2 percent of their daily calories from omega-6 fatty acids by eating whole, natural foods. Today, Americans on average consume more than triple that amount, much of it from processed foods like lunch meats, salad dressings, desserts, pizza, French fries, and packaged snacks like potato chips. Natural sources of fat such as olive oil, butter, and egg yolks contain omega-6 fatty acids as well, but in much smaller quantities. Eating whole, unprocessed foods is the best way to get all the omega-6 fatty acids your body needs, without getting too much.



1. McGee, CT. Heart Frauds: Uncovering the Biggest Health Scam in History. Piccadilly Books, Ltd. 2007.

2. Ramsden, CE, et al. Re-evaluation of the traditional diet-heart hypothesis: analysis of recovered data for Minnesota Coronary Experiment (1968-73). BMJ 2016;353:i1246.

3. Ramsden, CE., et al. Use of dietary linoleic acid for secondary prevention of coronary heart disease and death: evaluation of recovered data from the Sydney Diet Heart Study and updated meta-analysis. BMJ 2013;346:e8707.




Stop Vision Loss Now!
Stop Vision Loss Now!
by Dr. Bruce Fife
Available from Piccadilly Books, Ltd.
click here

A Natural Remedy for Dry Eye, Cataracts, and Other Eye Disorders

A Few Drops Are All You Need



If you have used coconut oil on your skin, you know how well it works to sooth and soften dry skin, fight fungal infections, prevent and ease sunburns, and speed the healing of minor wounds and insect bites. Coconut oil is not only great for healing the skin, but is also good for the mucous membranes. It can be used in the nose, ears, and eyes. Yes, you can apply coconut oil directly into the eyes. In fact, both coconut oil and coconut water have pronounced therapeutic effects when applied to the eyes.

In my book, Stop Vision Loss Now, I explain how to use coconut oil and coconut water in the eyes to treat various eye conditions such as dry eye syndrome, cataracts, and other conditions.


Dry Eye Syndrome

Do you suffer from dry eyes? Symptoms include eye irritation, burning, scratchiness, tearing, stinging, stringy mucus in or around the eyes, and blurred vision. Most of us experience dry eye on occasion, however, some people have it nearly constantly. Frequent or chronic dry eye is known as dry eye syndrome or dry eye disease and can lead to inflammation and scarring that can seriously affect vision. Dry eye syndrome affects both young and old, but becomes more prevalent with age. Because of the increasing prevalence in the general population, dry eye syndrome is now being viewed as an important public health problem.

Our eyes constantly produce tears to keep the eyes moist and lubricated. Tears are made of water, oil, and mucous. Any imbalance to any one of these three components can lead to dry eye. Dry eye syndrome can be caused by certain medications, contact lens wear, environmental factors, dehydration, or deficient diet. Simple treatment consists of over-the-counter eyedrops (artificial tears). Medicated eyedrops or surgery may be prescribed in more serious cases.

Lifestyle plays an important role in the development of this condition. Dry eye syndrome is far more prevalent among people who sit in front of computers for six to eight hours a day and others who get very little exercise.  One of the reasons is because when we focus our attention on display terminals, including laptops, tablets, readers, and Smartphones, we tend not to blink as often as we should to keep the eyes properly moist. When we are physically active, our eyes are also more physically active and we blink more often.

One way to get immediate relief from dry, irritated eyes is with the use of coconut oil eyedrops. Melt some coconut oil until liquid and let cool to room temperature. Use an eye dropper and place 1 to 2 drops of coconut oil in each eye, close your eyes and move them around to distribute the oil. Coconut oil will not sting, burn, or hurt the eyes in any way. As the oil coats the eyeball, your vision will be slightly blurry for a minute or so. But the oil will lubricate the eyes and make them feel better.

Coconut oil eye drops are only a temporary fix. If you have chronic dry eye you may need to make sure you are properly hydrated. Studies indicate that most adults are mildly dehydrated all the time. Dehydration reduces the amount of water available to make tears. Coconut water has shown to be effective in helping to keep the body properly hydrated and thus aid in easing symptoms of dry eye. Drinking coconut oil once or twice a day is a good way to help stay hydrated.

Another cause of dry eye syndrome is eating a low-fat diet. The lack of adequate fat in the diet reduces the amount of fat produced in tears. Adding a source of good fat, such as coconut oil, into the diet has proven to be effective in easing the discomfort of dry eye.


Cataract is the clouding of the lens of the eye leading to vision loss. Cataract is the number one cause of blindness worldwide. In developed countries cataract can be corrected with surgery, however, many people who live in underdeveloped countries do not have the money or access to the medical facilities to treat the disease. Ironically, many of those who suffer from cataracts live in areas of the world that have the perfect solution to the problem in their own back yards.

Diagram of the parts of the eyeball.
Episcleritis - by Asagan, Wikimedia Commons

In tropical areas of the world, the solution is growing all around them—the coconut. Coconut water has proven very effective in treating cataract. Using eyedrops or an eye cup, the eyes are bathed in fresh coconut water. Although results vary, many people report dramatic improvement within just a day.

Diana Little, MD, was one of those who saw immediate results. "I have practiced medicine starting with straight allopathic medicine in 1968 and gradually incorporating complementary and alternative medicine in the 1980s," says Dr. Little. "In spite of various interventions my vision was steadily worsening. After reading your book Stop Vision Loss Now. I tried coconut water for my cataracts.

"On a dark Michigan evening, I got my coconut opened and followed your protocol. The next day I went out to walk in partly cloudy conditions. Normally, my glasses darken so much that with the cataracts I cannot distinguish patterns on the sidewalk. Amazing! Now I could see—maybe not like when I was 60 or even 70, but much better. And the other day I saw a returning brown-headed cowbird on a cloudy Michigan day. No way could I have seen the shading and color difference of the bird without your ‘cure.' I shared your cure with the friend I was walking to visit. She tried it with the same results.

"Thank you for helping me see the amazing shades of brown in the little sparrows, the patterns on the sidewalk so I don't trip, and of course, the shadows of oncoming cars."

Dr. Little was so impressed with her results that she has now incorporated the information in my book in her medical practice. "Of course, I make sure to tell patients and friends they need to do some of the work—eliminating sugar and processed non-foods and eating healthy fats like coconut oil and red palm oil."



Coconut water eyedrops are not only good for cataracts but for other eye conditions as well. Episcleritis is an inflammatory disease that affects a part of the eye called the episclera. The episclera is a thin layer of tissue that lies between the conjunctiva and the connective tissue layer that forms the white of the eye (sclera).  Episcleritis is a common condition, and is characterized by the abrupt onset of inflammation and eye pain, sometimes with the development of nodules. The cause is unknown and there is no medical cure for the condition. Treatment focuses on decreasing the pain, which includes lubricating eyedrops, and with more severe cases topical corticosteroids or oral anti-inflammatory medications. Often the condition clears on its own.

"I have had for well over a year a serious case of episcleritis," says Maria Atwood, a Certified Natural Health Professional, and a Weston A. Price Foundation Chapter leader. "I've needed to wear glasses since my very early childhood, but I've never done anything for my eyes except obediently get my yearly exam and leave with a stronger prescription than the one before. That habit abruptly stopped last year when I was visited with a serious inflammation in my left eye. The sudden redness and severe pain in my eyeball sent me to a top specialist, and after the examination he prescribed steroid drops. He also suggested I'd need them for the rest of my life, as what I had was an incurable disorder—but since steroids are damaging in the long run [could lead to glaucoma], I'd need to use them cautiously.

"I used the steroids, but only until the excruciating pain and redness subsided. Not only was I baffled as to how this condition originated, but I also grew fearful of losing my eyesight. To this day I still haven't found the cause of this eye disorder. To further complicate matters, within two weeks I felt the severe aching and redness begin in my right eye. Once again I had to pay a handsome price to visit the specialist and go back to using the steroids. Talk about depressed and fearful."

Maria was now suffering from episcleritis in both eyes. She was told she had one of the more serious cases. Maria described the pain as extreme.

"The pain, although tolerable after the first two weeks of using the steroids still left me with extreme eye fatigue, a constant scratchy sense that I had something in my eyes, and working on the computer became virtually impossible except for short periods of time."

I gave Maria a copy of my book Stop Vision Loss Now and she began reading through it a few pages at a time. She learned things that she had never seen in any other eye health book. She saw that some of the foods and supplements I advocate in the book were absent in her diet and she immediately began to apply some of the recommendation, including the use of the coconut water eyewash.

 "Skeptical that treating my eyes with the suggestions/recommendations outlined in this book, I nevertheless began to do them," she says. "I have been virtually stunned that just after 2 weeks even the residual, although mild pain in both eyes is completely gone, the scratchy feelings, eye fatigue, and eye dryness are now much improved. Certainly I am no chemist and cannot explain this in medical terms. What I can say is that my recovery is real, and I have been able to return full time to using my computer."

 Consuming coconut oil and water can do a lot for the eyes as well, especially if they are combined with a proper diet and select dietary supplements. All of the major age-related eye disorders such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy can be prevented, stopped, and in many cases reversed with the use of coconut oil/water and a proper diet. The coconut is truly an amazing health product.

Coconut Water for Health and Healing
Coconut Water for Health and Healing
by Dr. Bruce Fife
Available from Piccadilly Books, Ltd.
click here





The Coco Jack

One of the programs I like to watch on TV is the reality series Shark Tank. Inventors with innovative new products try to convince the "Sharks"—multi-millionaire business men and women—to invest in their new businesses.

In 2015 musician turned inventor, David Goodman, demonstrated to the Sharks his new product—the Coco Jack.

The Coco Jack is a tool to help you open up a young coconut. I was immediately enthralled. Goodman set the Coco Jack on top of a young coconut and hit it a few times with a rubber mallet and popped off the top with no spilling or fuss. It took him all of about 5 seconds to access the water in the coconut. He then took another tool—a thin bladed scoop—and scooped out the coconut meat, nearly all of it, in just seconds. I was amazed. I had to try it myself.

I contacted the company and got the Deluxe Pack which includes the Coco Jack, rubber mallet, stainless steel scoop tool, shock-absorbing rubber mat, and rugged burlap sack to hold it all. During the show, Goodman was able to open the coconut and extract the meat almost effortlessly. I wanted to see if it was really that simple or if, like most products like this, it takes a fair amount of practice and trial and error before you get the knack of it.
Coco Jack Delux Pack
Deluxe Pack comes with Coco Jack tool, rubber mallet, scoop tool, rubber mat, and carrying case.

The shock-absorbing rubber mat was handy, you place the coconut in the center of the mat and hammer away on it without worrying about damaging your countertop. The Coco Jack is placed on the top of a young coconut and hit with the mallet.

Coco Jack and mallet

The sharp edges of the Coco Jack are driven into the coconut, making a perfect circular hole. It took me about six or seven good wallops with the rubber mallet to drive the Coco Jack into the top of the coconut.

Coco Jack and mallet striking coconut

The top popped off fairly easily and violà, . . .

Coco Jack tool opening young coconut.

. . . I was ready to enjoy the coconut water.

Coconut opened by Coco Jack tool.

My next task was to extract the coconut meat from the inside of the shell. This is always a chore, so I was curious how well the scoop tool would work. I was really expecting it to take me some time practicing on a few coconuts before I could take the meat out in one piece, as Goodman did on the program.

Extracting coconut meat with the Coco Jack scoop tool.

There was a little bit of a learning curve here, but to my surprise with my first try I was able to remove nearly all the meat. Now that was impressive.

Pulling the meat from a young coconut with Coco Jack scoop tool.

Another tool that he sells on his website but was not included in my package, was the coco noodler. When I was in the Philippines a few years back, I was served an all raw, wheat-free spaghetti dish. It tasted delicious. The noodles were made from thin strips of very young coconut meat. They looked and tasted just like pasta noodles. No cooking necessary. The coco noodler is a tool that you can use to make your own gluten-free coconut noodles. A great idea!

Coco Jack Noodler
Coco Noodler tool.

Mark Cuban, Shark Tank investor and owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, was impressed enough with the Coco Jack to invest in Goodman and his new business. If you want to learn more about the Coco Jack and its accessories, go to Goodman's website at www.coco-jack.com.




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Copyright © 2016, Bruce Fife. All rights reserved.