Brewer diet

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Re : Brewer diet

Post by laura » Tue Feb 19, 2008 08:21 pm

Ok, sooo-Joy brought up a good point-- what if someone resurrects this thread and starts swinging again? Do we start back up?

Naah. I think we've used this one up thorougly. I'm going to lock it, and when we get new info, we'll just start a new thread.

As usual, if you have questions or concerns, email me! Thanks, guys.

Re : Brewer diet

Post by djsnjones » Tue Feb 19, 2008 04:44 pm

Thanks. I will email you.

Re : Brewer diet

Post by laura » Tue Feb 19, 2008 04:38 pm

Joy, I don't wish to cut you off, but is there really anything new to say? I think we're getting into semantics at this point.

I think we've all got a good idea of what your stance is, what Caryn's stance is, but if you feel that there is something material that needs to be said, please, by all means say it.

Re : Brewer diet

Post by djsnjones » Tue Feb 19, 2008 04:25 pm

I will respect your wishes.

So do you prefer that I not respond if someone misquotes me or misrepresents something that I've said? If so, I can respect that request as well, but I just want to be clear on what you are requesting.

Re : Brewer diet

Post by annegarrett » Tue Feb 19, 2008 04:00 pm

Just to back Laura up--there is no where for this discussion to go. In addition to thanking everyone for keeping it civil, I also want to thank Joy for reminding the PF Forum (readers and posters) that this is a strongly held viewpoint by women throughout the world and whether we agree or not--one we need to be aware of, be prepared to respond to, and one our women will have recommended to them more often than not. By debating this civilly, we educate our readers so that should this diet be recommended to them, they can make careful, educated decisions.

While I am sure there's been a fair amount (on both sides) of head banging on your desks at home--thank you for presenting both sides for just this reason. [;)]

The Preeclampsia Foundation endorses no theory, treatment or cure--to date. I'm sure I speak for all us here when I say, we pray that that will one day change and we can all say--THIS (whatever "this" may be) is the cure.

I wish to also remind our readers out there that preeclampsia is most common in first pregnancies, so do not assume that something you did or did not do in a second or subsequent pregnancy had any impact on getting it or NOT a second time. Until current research shows otherwise, I'm sorry to say, it's not likely true.

To those who have lost their baby or the mother of your children--we are deeply sorry--but please know that there is no miracle cure, not yet, and you did nothing to cause the loss of your baby or your adult daughter did nothing to cause her death.

Re : Brewer diet

Post by laura » Tue Feb 19, 2008 03:44 pm

I do think Wendy is on to something- it does seem like we're beating a dead horse. The main thrust and parry of the last three pages do appear to take the same arguments and just repeat them ad nauseum.

If we continue to do that, this thread ceases to be of use to anyone.

Let's agree that unless there is new material to discuss (ie recent peer reviewed studies that substantiate protein based 'cures') OR a new or novel argument to consider- we're going to leave this alone.

Really, all that is left is cheerleading at this point. Please, let's not do that- we all have better things to do than lobby a particular viewpoint.

Joy, if you come across new stuff that supports your standpoint, please bring it to us to discuss. I do have to say that the old Brewer Bibliography is probably familiar to most folks that have seen this discussion, so we welcome new info.

Thanks, guys, for keeping this one civil!

Re : Brewer diet

Post by caryn » Tue Feb 19, 2008 03:10 pm

I disagree with this opinion.

Then show us the evidence.

We disagree with your claim that properly done science has resulted in evidence that should convince us to accept the Brewer diet.

We have provided studies showing that dietary changes do not affect preeclampsia rates. And we have asked you how Brewer's theories would explain some data that seems anamolous on his view -- his explanation cannot handle the shallow implantation data, the untreated HIV-positive data, the KIR AA + HLA-C data -- and you have been unable to provide a response.

I personally don't see a need to be continually re-proving something that seems to me to be already proved

It is not already proved, even if it seems that way to you. That is why we don't use "seeming" as the standard of proof. Modern work has not confirmed any positive role for pregnancy diet in preeclampsia, despite ongoing work into folic acid, antioxidants, vitamin D, etc. If you think this is false, I invite you to provide us with a study.

The soluble FLT study I provided you with in my first post elucidates the mechanism operating here. Once you know that mechanism, you can rule out certain hypotheses, and Brewer's is one of them. Preeclampsia doesn't work the way he says it does. If it did, some of the data that we've collected since he was working would be vastly different.

Re : Brewer diet

Post by djsnjones » Tue Feb 19, 2008 02:49 pm

The reason there are no more recent studies available that confirm these findings is that all modern studies have disagreed or disproved these poor theories.

I disagree with this opinion.

1) I don't know that there are no more recent studies available. These were just the ones at-hand for me. I also wanted to show that Dr. B was not just a pop-author, but a serious researcher who wrote many articles in many professional journals, in his time. I also wanted to show that he didn't just cook up his recommendations out of the air, but that he was following in the footsteps of several other doctors who came before him, including one of his professors in medical school; and that other doctors of his time were independently coming to the same conclusions.

2) I don't agree that all modern studies have disproved these theories. It seems to me that most of the modern studies, or possibly all of those approved of by mainstream medicine, are tainted by a wrong fork in the road taken by mainstream medicine in the late 50s. All the other research on this subject was suppressed by those in power in mainstream medicine, just as much other research in childbirth has been. (See Dr. Marsden Wagner's website, and the new book Pushed, by Jennifer Block, and the website for the new documentary "The Business of Being Born"). Some time soon I will be contacting some other professionals in the BD field for more info on more recent research/papers.

I have also noticed that some of the more recent research that would seem to disagree with B actually confirm some aspect of what he was saying, but when people don't fully understand B, what they are seeing seems to disagree with B.

3) I personally don't see a need to be continually re-proving something that seems to me to be already proved--just as I don't need to see updated proof that there is gravity, or that the world is round, or that hand-washing helps to prevent the spread of disease. So it seems to me that old information is often significant enough and able to stand on its own.

The idea that people can't be said to have been following the Brewer diet because it is "hard to understand" is just ridiculous to me

I did not say that. I said that in some cases this diet is being taught incorrectly. Once it is taught correctly, it is easy to understand and follow. I have recently been teaching this diet to student midwives, and my impression has been that they have been amazed to now fully understand it correctly for the first time.

Re : Brewer diet

Post by onesock » Tue Feb 19, 2008 01:23 pm

I think that we all know how we collectively feel as a group, and the evidence is just not there to support what is being said, to satisfy our thirst for any answers. I feel like this topic is like beating a dead horse and just frustrates and gets everyone worked up...which we don't need :) We like good solid evidence that has been studied and researched and there is just not any...I thought we decided that back in November. There is no convincing to do...the theory is just not going to fly until there is research to back it up. I will also accept to agree to disagree, but I also don't want women who happen upon this board to think it is a supported means of *curing* PE, and ending up in a dangerous situation.

Re : Brewer diet

Post by kelly w » Tue Feb 19, 2008 09:47 am

This is such a frustrating thread. [:)]

Joy, the studies you are providing are all listed in Dr. Brewer's book "Toxemia of Late Pregnancy" [which I imagine is where you found them], and, as noted, are all terribly outdated. The reason there are no more recent studies available that confirm these findings is that all modern studies have disagreed or disproved these poor theories.

The idea that people can't be said to have been following the Brewer diet because it is "hard to understand" is just ridiculous to me - I am a college educated [Master's level], perfectly intelligent woman. I followed Dr. Brewer's plan with my second pregnancy, with the added assistance of my friend who is a Bradley Childbirth instructor [also a highly educated, intelligent woman]. If this diet is SO HARD to follow that two intelligent, well read women can't figure it out together, then the diet is useless. Not to sound arrogant, but if my friend and I couldn't "figure it out", nobody is going too. [Honestly I think that is kind of silly though, because the diet is very straightforward with a list of exactly what to eat and how much each day].

I also read the "Toxemia of Late Pregnancy" book by Dr. Brewer when I was pregnant with my second child - my Bradley instructor friend gave it to me insisting I read it. What I found was a very sensational and very scary book [LOTS of stories about women and babies dying because they "didn't eat right" and got "toxemia"], but NOTHING of substance - nothing backed up by any study less than 25 years old - much of the "research" he was quoting was more than 50 years old.

Normally I am a "live and let live" sort of person - if someone wants to believe this "theory" of Dr. Brewer's, despite *overwhelming* evidence to the contrary, then let them.

BUT, in this situation, so many women are being led into a *dangerous situation* - because, like me when I researched Dr. Brewer before I conceived my second child, they base their decisions to pursue another pregnancy on the dangerous fallacies in this book. I was lucky in that in my first 3 pregnancies, my PIH did not progress to a very dangerous level - many women are NOT that lucky.

Women who are mislead by Dr. Brewer and his "followers" are being, quite literally, led to their deaths [or the deaths of their babies] in some instances. That is unconscionable to me.

Also, just one more thing, totally unrelated to Joy's comments. As a "strong Christian", I don't really enjoy being compared to "Brewer" followers - the two beliefs are VERY different and that analogy isn't really very fair or kind.