What’s Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander, Janet!

Janet Brill (left) in happier times. She evidently took extreme offense to my reply to her totally uncalled-for derision of yours truly. Sadly, her latest rant simply contains more of the same juvenile taunting and chest-beating that brought her to my attention in the first place.

Within hours of posting my recent reply to her unflattering comments about yours truly, Janet Brill writes, in what appears to be some kind of circular email:

Once again, I find that I must correct misinformation, this time provided by Anthony Colpo, author and purported health and fitness professional—in response to his alarmingly vitriolic post regarding my comments on his poorly selling book, The Cholesterol Con.

Mr. Colpo claims that “By the way, “Doctor” Janet Brill, it should be pointed out, is not a medical doctor but a certified personal trainer, a “wellness coach” (whatever the hell that is), and a dietician.”

In fact, Mr. Colpo, I have my doctoral degree in exercise physiology (my dissertation was in the area of diet and exercise and CVD prevention in the treatment of overweight pre-menopausal women.”  I am certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association as a certified personal trainer as well as a certified wellness coach by Wellcoaches, Inc., a national and highly prestigious coaching organization in conjunction with the American College of Sports Medicine (I am also certified by them and have been a member for 25 years). I am a registered dietitian (note correct spelling) and a certified specialist in sports dietetics.

“You know, if I wanted to take the Janet Brill Pissing Contest approach to scientific discussion, I could point out she has never published a peer reviewed paper, only a rubbish-filled popular format book that totally misleads people about the role of LDL cholesterol in CHD while trotting out the usual “miracle food” hyperbole.”

In fact Mr. Colpo, I have published two scientific papers (primary author) in two peer-reviewed scientific journals, The International Journal of Sports Nutrition and the International Journal of Obesity. I am also on the review board for scientific publications in Preventive Medicine and the International Journal of Obesity scientific (peer reviewed) journals.

As a scientific researcher, my book is based on evidence-based science and in no way misleads people about the role of LDL in the promotion of atherosclerosis. In fact, I have no agenda other than the desire to help Americans prevent heart disease—a disease that killed my grandmother, father and brother and has affected my husband and father-in-law. I personally support the American Heart Association (volunteering my time, funds and expertise) to do what I can to help others prevent the leading cause of death in our society and the world.

Apparently, Mr. Colpo considers extensive education and training in scientific research to be a poor basis for forming an opinion on the matter, or perhaps he is just so condescending that he cannot fathom that a woman who has spent a lifetime studying the topic can be capable of making informed conclusions that differ from his uneducated deductions.

As for Mr. Colpo’s other deprecating comments regarding the LDL theory of heart disease, they are so totally absurd that they merit neither serious consideration nor a response from me other than the fact that in 1985, Brown and Goldstein were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of the role of LDL in atherosclerosis.

Finally, Mr. Colpo states on his web site: Also, please note I am not a doctor and not licensed to give medical advice. The content on this website is for informational and educational purposes only.”

Mr. Colpo, I am a doctor, a licensed dietitian and legally qualified to disseminate nutrition information, particularly in the area of cardiovascular disease prevention (my area of expertise). I suggest that you stick to your own advice.

It is a pity that Mr. Colpo is unable or unwilling to find a more constructive outlet for his bitterness (most likely related to his poor book sales) than to make personal attacks against fellow health and fitness professionals who wish only to serve the community and help to prevent heart disease—the leading cause of death in this country.

Kind regards,

Janet Bond Brill, PhD, RD, LDN, CSSD

Bestselling and award-winning author, nationally recognized nutrition, health and fitness professional.

Anthony replies:

Janet, thank you so much for confirming pretty much everything I said in my article that I posted earlier today. Despite even more try-hard braggado about your academic 'achievements' and yet more ad hominem insults, the fact remains you are still disseminating scientifically untenable nonsense in your books and on the Internet. I addressed this nonsense at great length in my article.

While this article has clearly gotten under your skin, you offer absolutely no rebuttal to the numerous scientific points I raised. You only offer more of the same “I’ve got more initials after my name than yours” type garbage that initially awarded you my unflattering critique in the first place.

I guess some people never learn.

The rest of us learn something new about you from your email, however: You're a blatant hypocrite. You claim my article was “alarmingly vitriolic”. That’s rather precious, coming from someone who, without any justification nor prior provocation, felt compelled to denigrate me as a left-field looney who endangers other people’s lives!

Your reply confirms what I’ve witnessed in my online dealings with so many other academics and medical “professionals” – namely, when they can’t use science to refute my contentions, they simply insult me. They earnestly seem to believe their academic credentials give them the right to smugly belittle others. However, when I give them a taste of their own medicine, accompanied by a super-sized serving of scientific facts, suddenly in their eyes, I’m being “vitriolic”.

Sorry, but what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, Janet.

You even stoop to a desperate new low, insinuating I have misogynistic tendencies. Nice try, Janet. If you take even a cursory look through my work, you’ll see I’ve written positively of work performed by female researchers. Jennie Brand-Miller and her team from the University of Sydney, for example, have contributed some extremely valuable research on the glycemic index concept, which forms an important part of my nutritional recommendations. You see, when a researcher or author makes a claim about health or nutrition, I’m concerned with the scientific validity of what they’re saying, not whether they pee standing or sitting. Female researchers all around the world are making valuable contributions to science; unfortunately, after reading your scientifically untenable claims, I cannot hold you in the same esteem.

As for your impassioned claim that you have a family history of CHD, so do I. My father died at only 55 years of age, fatally struck down by the second of two heart attacks. Despite what you may choose to believe, I do not harbour some sort of deranged desire to follow in his footsteps.

I also have no desire to contribute or in any way support an organization like the American Heart Association, which along with the National Institute of Health’s NHLB and NCEP, has been a crucial force in perpetuating the fallacious cholesterol sham worldwide.  I have no desire to support in any way an organization that charges food manufacturers an annual fee so that they can place “Heart Check” labels on such questionable pap as popcorn, pancake mix, crackers, high-GI fruit juices, and processed meats. If you choose to support such an organization, then good for you, but it still does not change one iota the fact that you, the AHA, Brown and Goldstein, and whatever other supposed ‘authority’ you attempt to cite are totally wrong on cholesterol (by the way, readers who would like to know why Brown and Goldstein got it so wrong are recommended to retrieve a copy of "The great cholesterol myth; unfortunate consequences of Brown and Goldstein’s mistake" by Dr Duncan Adams, Faculty of Medicine, University of Otago, in New Zealand).

If you truly wish to save yourself, your husband, your brother, and Americans in general from heart disease, then you urgently need to review your beliefs on cholesterol, whole grains, and nutrition in general. If you’ve convinced them that eating whole-grains, soy protein, phytosterol-rich margarines and Metamucil is somehow going to save them from suffering a heart attack, then that is terribly sad, because it is simply not true. There exists absolutely no evidence to indicate these agents can extend life by a single day. In fact, as I explained in my post, whole-grains have been well documented to exert unfavourable effects.

Janet, this is the point where you have to decide whether scientific reality, and the health of your loved ones, is more important than the egotistic self-view you hold and the dogma you’ve been inculcated with. Think carefully, because the decision you make could have potentially catastrophic impacts on your personal life. How will you feel one day down the track when you finally realize that I was right, and that you could have done more to save a loved one if only you were prepared to set aside your sizable ego and open your eyes a little wider?

I’ll leave that for you to ponder. In the meantime, I’ll point out again that I discussed study after study in my post showing your claims on LDL cholesterol and whole-grains to be complete nonsense, and you have not been able to address a single one of them. I’ll take the fact that you cannot address the science I raise as evidence you have no coherent, fact-based rebuttal.

I’ll also take your continual chest-beating about your book sales and academic credentials as evidence of a deep-rooted insecurity and a driving need to impress others.

Oh, and here in Australia, we also spell “dietitian” as “dietician” (refer back to my earlier comments today about ignorant researchers making false assumptions about other cultures).



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 TheFatLossBible.net or TheGreatCholesterolCon.com

Copyright © Anthony Colpo.

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