The Soy-Induced Silliness of Don Matesz, and Why the Cholesterol Theory is as Big a Sham as Ever

This article is Rated PI (Politically Incorrect): It contains coarse language and sexual references. advises viewing by mature audiences only.

Will writes:


Don at "Primal Wisdom" is talking shit about you again--see this article:


Anthony replies:

You know, there are times when I’m confronted with a display of stupidity so astounding I’m almost left speechless, and this is definitely one of those occasions.

Folks, I wholeheartedly encourage you to click on the link Will supplied and witness the twitness that is Don Matesz.

The article starts off with Matesz getting his knickers in a knot because someone by the name of Miki Ben Dor evidently made some statements about Paleolithic nutrition that Matesz takes issue with. I have no idea who Ben Dor is, but Matesz nevertheless felt compelled to drag my name in to the discussion, along with that of Denise Minger and Gary Taubes.

Matesz snidely ridicules all three of us for having the temerity to comment on dietary and health issues despite our lack of formal medical qualifications. Of Denise, Matesz writes:

“Of course those internet experts know more about paleolithic diet than these anthropologists and archaeologists, right?

Just like Denise Minger, who admits having no formal training in statistics or medicine, knows more about statistics than Richard Peto, PhD, the Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology from Oxford University who was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London (for the introduction of meta-analyses) in 1989, and was knighted (for services to epidemiology and to cancer prevention) in 1999, and worked on the Cornell-Oxford-China Project, right?”

For those who aren’t familiar with Richard Peto, he’s the guy who, faced with the complete failure of cholesterol-lowering treatments to lower mortality in randomized clinical trials, claimed with a straight face at the NHLBI’s Consensus Development Conference in Bethesda, Maryland, in December of 1984 that that there had "already been fifteen or twenty trials, but in every one something ridiculous happened."

Yep, when your pet theories are repeatedly disproved in clinical trials, it's because "something ridiculous" happened in each and every one...


Peto then went on to claim that, although no single trial was convincing, the sum of the trial results was impressive when considered together.

As I ponder in The Great Cholesterol Con, how a string of complete failures could somehow appear successful when considered collectively is anyone's guess; after all, twenty zeros still add up to nothing.

As a person who places facts well above so-called 'credentials', I couldn’t give a flying act of fornication how many fellowships and knightships Richard Peto has been awarded; he was wrong on cholesterol and, if he supports the pseudoscientific nonsense his buddy T. Colin Campbell writes in his book The China Study, then he’s flat out wrong there too.

Denise Minger has repeatedly destroyed Campbell’s highly unscientific claims (here and here), and the best Campbell has been able to muster in response is to condescendingly call her work “cutesy” and to deride her for using crude, unadjusted data from the actual China Study monograph – even though Campbell referred to  this very same data in his book to make his misleading claims.

Furthermore, when Denise dug up studies citing adjusted data from the China Study, it still contradicted Campbell’s claims!

But never you mind that – according to The Don, Campbell must be right because he’s got initials after his name and Denise hasn’t.

As for Gary Taubes, I think pretty much everything the guy has written in the last decade or so is utter nonsense. But my belief is based on scientific grounds – I know for a fact Taubes has failed to discuss a mountain of evidence that contradicts his repeatedly disproved “carbs make you fat” thesis. Whether Taubes has a uni degree or not means nothing to me – it’s the validity of his argument, not the number of initials after his surname, I’m interested in.

If Don concurs that Taubes’ claims are without foundation, then he needs to outline on scientific grounds just why he thinks so. Wanking on about his lack of formal medical qualifications is just another pathetic display of the “Appeal to Authority” mentality.

Laughably, after blatantly appealing to authority, Matesz assures us he’s not making yet another lame appeal to authority!

Don, just what are you smoking, bro?

Of yours truly, Matesz writes:

“The same way that Anthony Colpo, who has no medical training and has never published any peer-reviewed cardiovascular disease research, knows more about atherosclerosis than WC Roberts, who has authored several books on cardiovascular disease, has spoken at more than 1,300 medical meetings, serves as editor-in-chief of The American Journal of Cardiology, and with colleagues published more than 1,150 peer-reviewed articles on cardiovascular disease in medical journals, right?”

First of all, Don needs to get his facts right. I have indeed had my research on cardiovascular disease published in a peer-reviewed medical journal, and it can be accessed for free right here:

It completely destroys the fallacious LDL = bad cholesterol theory, and if Don disagrees, he's more than welcome to provide a science-backed rebuttal of each and every point I raise in the article.

Again, I couldn’t give a flying act of booty-slamming how many medical meetings WC Roberts has attended, how many papers he’s published, or how many journals he serves in an editorial function for. If he earnestly believes that saturated fat and cholesterol cause heart disease, despite the mountain of contradictory evidence, then he’s as wrong as wrong can be.

Not letting the case rest with his piss-poor appeals to authority, Matesz further continues his incoherent ranting in the comments section of his post, where he writes:

“I have read Colpo's "Con" book. I have read Ravnskov's "Myths" book. I have read Kendrick's "Con" book. Talk about cherry picking. They take fail to take into consideration all of the evidence. For example, Ravskov thinks that dietary cholesterol doesn't raise blood cholesterol. He cites studies that feed additional cholesterol to people already eating cholesterol who already have elevated cholesterol. He ignores the studies that started with people eating zero or essentially zero cholesterol, which is the only rational way to test the effect of dietary cholesterol on blood cholesterol. He (and Colpo) ignore cross-cultural studies that don't agree with their agenda. I don't have space here to critique their books entirely.”

By lumping me in with Kendrick and Ravnskov, Matesz sneakily attempts to fool readers into believing we are saying the same thing. Let me state unequivocally that I have a low regard for Malcolm Kendrick, who appears to have developed an irreparably bruised ego after I called him out on some derisory and pseudoscientific nonsense he spouted about me on the THINCS email list last year, and has since taken to deriding me every chance he gets. I agree wholeheartedly with Kendrick's belief that the lipid hypothesis is hogwash, but I do not even begin to hold his beliefs about causation and nutrition in the same esteem.

As for Uffe Ravnskov, while I do think very highly of his writings on cholesterol and heart disease, I respectfully submit that his knowledge of nutrition is lacking (especially when it comes to low-carb diets) and I do not concur with his claim that cholesterol is unaffected by the type of dietary fat. In fact, in TGCC I discuss a meta-analysis that showed when other dietary factors are held constant, polyunsaturated fats tend to lower cholesterol, monounsaturates tend to have a neutral effect, and saturated fats tend to raise it.

While it’s not my job to defend Uffe Ravnskov, I do want to quickly address the following comment by Matesz:

“Colpo, Ravnskov, Masterjohn, and Kendrick have all already failed to produce any peer-reviewed evidence or arguments comparable to that supporting the lipid hypothesis.”

Again, this is false. Ravnskov, along with Kilmer McCully, has published a paper postulating that infectious agents are ‘the’ initial trigger of cardiovascular disease; I won’t discuss this possibility here in detail, except to say I find the contention that pathogenic microbes are harmful to arteries far more plausible than the absurd claim that an essential and life-giving substrate like cholesterol is the true cause of atherosclerosis. For those who would like to read Ravnskov and McCully’s paper, you can check out the full text here:

Anyway, back to Matesz’s unprovoked rant against yours truly. He claims:

“He (and Colpo) ignore cross-cultural studies that don't agree with their agenda. I don't have space here to critique their books entirely.”

How convenient. Matesz accuses me of cherry-picking but, despite having ample time and space to wank on about all manner of inane bollocks, he suddenly runs out of room to cite and discuss the studies I allegedly ignored.

Folks, I do believe that is the distinctive aroma of bullshit I detect, March 2012 vintage…

Let’s take a look at Matesz’s claim a little more closely. He’s claiming I cherry-picked my evidence in The Great Cholesterol Con. The truth is, as of 2006, when the book was published, there was no other review in existence that cited all the evidence as completely as I did. If Matesz is privy to such a review, then he’s more than welcome to share it with us.

If he can’t, then I’ll just go ahead and continue to assume he’s completely full of caca.

Who else, as of 2006, tabulated and discussed in such detail all the epidemiological studies that I included in Chapter 7? Of the 26 prospective studies published in the English language literature up to that point, only four managed to find even desperately weak associations between saturated fat and coronary heart disease.

Who else, as of 2006, tabulated and discussed in such detail all the randomized clinical trials involving dietary fat manipulation/reduction that I included in Chapter 8? All of which completely failed to show that lowering dietary fat or replacing saturates with unsaturated sources of fat lowers CHD or overall mortality, despite consistent reductions in serum cholesterol. What these studies instead showed is that weight loss, increased omega-3 intake, decreased processed food intake and increased fruit and vegetable intake, and decreased refined carbohydrate intake are far better interventions than tooling around with saturated fat restriction.

The only conclusion I can honestly come to after reviewing the evidence in its entirety is that the lipid hypothesis of heart disease is utter nonsense. If that makes me a cherry-picker, so be it. I should point out, though, I’m in the company of some pretty esteemed cherry-pickers. Researchers from Harvard University (is Harvard ‘authoritative’ enough for you, Don?) and the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute pooled the data from twenty-one prospective epidemiologic studies examining the association of dietary saturated fat with coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and overall cardiovascular disease risk.

And what did they find? Those “who ate the highest amounts of saturated fat had no greater risk of CVD than those who ate the lowest. Consideration of age, sex, and study quality did not change the results.”

Please feel free to check out the study for yourself:

Don, fair’s fair; if you’re going to call me a cherry-picker, then it’s only just that you apply the same label to Harvard researchers whom, I might add, have far more extensive formal qualifications in health research and statistics than what you do.

Folks, what we have in Don Matesz is a guy who derides others for their lack of credentials, and sycophantically cites a carefully selected (read: cherry-picked) handful of formally trained researchers who promote theories that gel with his own personal beliefs. All the while, he cites sweet FA evidence to support his criticisms of people like Denise Minger and yours truly; instead, he relies solely on scienceless appeals to authority and ad hominem attacks.

Don Matesz, ladies and gentlemen, is Janet Brill with a beard.

A Unified, Applied Theory of What Don Matesz’s Real Problem Is

There’s no question Don Matesz is about as scientific as a deck of tarot cards, but after reading his rant there was something I just couldn’t understand about him. Namely, what exactly did I do to this joker to attract such derision? What’s this guy’s problem?

Some of my readers who have been following me since TheOmnivore days will be familiar with Matesz’s name. He emailed me back in 2004, just after he and his then-wife Rachel Albert-Matesz released their book The Garden of Eating, asking if I would like a reviewer’s copy. I remembered Don’s name from an article he had authored in a US magazine about Neanderthin author Ray Audette. I sincerely complimented Don on the article and told him I’d love a copy of The Garden of Eating. When the book arrived, I read it and was truly impressed. I proceeded to post a glowing review on my website, and encouraged Don and his then-wife to make the book available on Amazon so that more people could buy it, and so they would be more justly rewarded for what I felt was a job well done (they proceeded to take my advice).

The correspondence between Don and myself was entirely cordial, and while I proceeded to lose track of his movements and writings over the years, I never had reason to believe there was any cause for animosity between us.

To this day, I still continue to consider The Garden of Eating a worthy read. While I’ve not read every Paleo diet book on the market (I have an extremely low tolerance for bullshit), TGOE trumps all over the ones I have read, including such best sellers as Neanderthin and The Paleo Diet.

As recently as 2010, I gave the book further praise, writing:

The Garden Of Eating: A Produce-dominated Diet & Cookbook by Rachel and Don Matesz. Human beings did not evolve on a diet of whole grains, low-fat cookies, and sterol-enhanced margarines. They evolved on a diet of fresh meats and non-grain, non-leguminous plant foods. I strongly recommend that you base your diet upon a Paleolithic approach to nutrition, but without becoming a fanatical dietary Luddite, as often happens to “Paleo” diet fanatics. The Matesz’s book strikes a good balance between eating in an evolutionary correct fashion whilst living in the 21st century. And unlike other books in the genre, the authors are not cholesterol-phobic revisionists who attempt to re-write human history by claiming humans evolved on only lean meats. You can get it Amazon or at the authors’ website.”

But after reading Matesz’s display of sheer irrationality in the post Will linked to, I was perplexed; I struggled to picture such a pseudoscientist as Don Matesz being capable of co-authoring a well-written book like TGOE. Then the flashbacks started coming; I remembered when the book was sent to me, the brief correspondence accompanying the book was from Rachel, not Don. The book was signed by Rachel, not Don. The Garden of Eating website seemed to revolve entirely around Rachel, not Don. So when I checked the front matter of my copy of The Garden of Eating, which I still have on my shelf after all these years, sure enough, the author is listed as "Albert-Matesz, Rachel, 1965-"

Clearly, Rachel was the true brains behind The Garden of Eating.

Then another flashback came through, this one wrapped in what appeared to be a Texan flag. Yep, it was a conversation I’d had with one of my most valued readers, an eminently likable lad by the name of Jay. I searched for Jay’s email in my inbox and here’s what I found (BTW, if you’re one of these grumpy feminist types who is appalled by the bizarre concept of men finding women physically attractive, please leave now. Also, in the interests of historical correctness, the conversation featured a bunch of non-Matesz-related material that I’ve edited out for the sake of brevity):

On 28/8/11, Jay wrote:


I didn't want to keep dominating so much of your time, but I can't let it go that you recommended Don Matesz.  He must be listening to you because he made a big deal leaving Paleo after 14 years and upping his carbs.  The guy is a total pussy that's been pussy-whipped by not 1 but 2 women!  In an interview on a podcast site which I suppose you don't click on because of the host, so I'll summarize.  He said he was having trouble on the Paleo low carb diet for several years now.  However, he wouldn't make changes because he was invested in the diet working because:

1) he wrote a book and
2) saving a failing marriage.

Well, I sure am glad I didn't follow his site and take his advice that wasn't working for himself, all the while he dishes it out to others because he's making money off it, and because he didn't want to hurt the feelings of his woman that has his balls in a vice grip. What's the word...oh yeah...integrity...or honesty with the readers.

Then, the rest of the interview, he has his new woman clamping down on his remaining tiny ball as she keeps trying to feed him answers during the interview.  Now, he posts a higher carb diet and mentions TOFU.  No self-respecting Texan would ever be caught dead eating that shit!  Notice how he gives her the credit every chance he gets.  Unbelievable!  What's the Aussie word...wanker!

"On the cooked burger, we had a sauce Tracy created from blended tofu and spices that made it look a lot like cheese."



Hi Jay,

I didn't recommend Don Matesz himself, just the book he co-authored several years back with his apparently ex-missus.

I had no idea Don Matesz has been banging on about how he quit low-carb Paleo when in his Paleo book from years back he was banging on against low-carb. Not sure why he quit a diet that he had previously told people never to go on in the first place...that is most weird.

And I had no idea he had surrendered his testicles to his female partner. Letting one's self become pussy-whipped is a heinous act of wussiness that in countries like Spain, Italy and Brazil has been known to attract the death penalty. Unfortunately, this is what happens when men enthusiastically consume soy products like tofu to the point where phytoestrogen-induced castration occurs.

Seriously...actually, I am being serious - recommending soy and being pussy-whipped really are terrible crimes. But extra seriously, I really am out of the loop with all these Internet commentators, and kind of proud to be that way. I'd much rather be reading actual studies than listening to all these jokers spout off their weird-assed theories. So I had no clue what Don Matesz has been doing and recommending. But Garden of Eating itself was a good book - if I recommend it in future to anyone it will have to be with the caveat that the [male co-author] has since taken a different path, one that no red-blooded, steak-munching, ass-spanking man with healthy testosterone levels would ever care to venture down.





Ah crap. With a response like that from you, I think I might have made the email reader article again this week. Alright!  I shouldn't have gone off on him not knowing all the details, but from the farewell article and the interview, it sounds like it was all handled real bad for his readers and a bombshell to them.

Oh, and if you use my email, make sure the readers know it's some "female" ass I'm spanking!



Hi Jay,

while I'd love to include this in the next Reader Mail segment, some might interpret it as insulting to Don Matesz - I have no idea why really - and as Don has done nothing to me personally (in fact, he was kind enough to write to me out of the blue all those years ago and offer me a reviewer's copy of The Garden of Eating), I don't want to start ripping on him. Heaven knows I've got enough enemies already LOL.

“Oh, and if you use my email, make sure the readers know it's some "female" ass I'm spanking!”

Definitely, definitely, definitely female ... 🙂




After re-reading the formerly private conversation between Jay and I, it’s all clear to me now! This is what I believe is going on, my Unified Theory of What's Irking The Don:

ABSTRACT: Thanks to years of soy overconsumption, we have a person who has become an estrogen-dominant beta male, causing him to act pathetically subservient to the women in his life. While he believes acting like a compliant doormat is the best way to avoid confrontation with his significant other and ensure a smooth relationship (despite one failed marriage already using this highly flawed and self-effacing approach), what it really does is ferment the seeds of resentment deep inside (no matter how hard he tries to pretend otherwise, no man like’s being anybody’s bitch). Because our hapless protagonist is scared of the wrath he might draw from his partner by acting like he actually had a set of cojones, he instead releases his frustration and anger at people more manly or intelligent, or both. Over the Internet of course, where the threat of physical retaliation and hence the possibility of incurring damage to his carefully applied mascara is absent.

Well, that’s my theory anyway 🙂 Whether it stands the test of time and peer-reviewed scrutiny remains to be seen, but here is what I do know for sure about Don Matesz:

The guy exhibits exceedingly poor form.

Folks, can we turn the music down a little while I speak directly to Don? Thanks.

Don, I don’t expect you to agree with everything I say just because I wrote some kind words about a book project you were once involved in. Heck, sometimes I have disagreements with my own Mum, the most precious person in the universe and the one person who has done more for me than anyone else on the planet. But we’re grown adults, not robots that were synchronized in the same factory.

What I do believe is that when someone has always been complimentary of you and has gone out of their way to help you promote your (then wife’s) work, you at least owe them the common courtesy of critiquing their work in a more civil and rational manner, instead of acting like a snivelling, ad hominem little dickwad.

Don’t you think?




Anthony Colpo is an independent researcher, physical conditioning specialist, and author of The Fat Loss Bible and The Great Cholesterol Con. For more information, visit or

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