533 episodes

Discussions about the science of nutrition, dietetics and health. The podcast that educates through nuanced conversations, exploring evidence and cultivating critical thinking. Hosted by Danny Lennon.

Sigma Nutrition Radio Danny Lennon

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.9 • 120 Ratings

Discussions about the science of nutrition, dietetics and health. The podcast that educates through nuanced conversations, exploring evidence and cultivating critical thinking. Hosted by Danny Lennon.

    #530: Evidence-based Strategies for Learning & Skill Acquisition – Scott Young

    #530: Evidence-based Strategies for Learning & Skill Acquisition – Scott Young

    The concept of “learning how to learn” focuses on meta-learning, which involves improving one’s own learning strategies. Instead of just absorbing information, meta-learners refine the skills that make learning itself more effective.

    Cognitive science supports various learning strategies by exploring how the brain processes information. Techniques such as spaced repetition, active recall, and interleaving can improve long-term retention and understanding.

    Improving abilities in specialized areas, like reading and interpreting research, involves strategic approaches. Similarly, becoming more knowledgeable about nutrition requires staying updated with the latest research and critically evaluating findings to boost proficiency and confidence in the field.

    In this podcast episode, Scott Young discusses these themes, offering insights from his work on learning optimization. He shares practical methods for improving learning efficiency, particularly in reading research and expanding knowledge in nutrition. Scott’s expertise provides a valuable framework for enhancing cognitive abilities and achieving more effective learning outcomes.
    Links:  Subscribe to Sigma Nutrition PREMIUM Scott Young’s Website  SigmaNutrition.com Receive our free weekly email: the Sigma Synopsis Related Episode: #188: Barbara Oakley, PhD – How to Learn, Study & Get Better With Science Timestamps 02:13 Introduction to Topic 04:41 Conversation with Scott Young Begins 06:56 Insights on Learning and Cognitive Science 12:42 Effective Learning Strategies 20:27 Overcoming Mental Barriers 31:14 Effective Teaching Strategies 35:14 The Importance of Feedback in Learning 38:52 Optimizing Your Learning Environment 44:29 Translating Complex Information for a General Audience 52:32 Key Ideas (Premium-Only) Subscribe to Sigma Nutrition PREMIUM

    • 55 min
    #529: Addressing Popular Claims About Cholesterol, Dietary Fat and Heart Disease

    #529: Addressing Popular Claims About Cholesterol, Dietary Fat and Heart Disease

    In episode 529 of Sigma Nutrition Radio, we discuss all things related to cholesterol, atherosclerosis, heart disease, and dietary fat. The discussion extensively covers the impact of LDL cholesterol and ApoB on atherosclerotic plaque progression, cardiovascular events, and the benefits of early LDL lowering interventions, particularly through the use of PCSK9 inhibitors alongside statins.
    We address misconceptions prevalent in the low-carb and carnivore communities, dissect claims regarding saturated fats, and elucidate why atherosclerosis predominantly affects arteries and not veins. The episode sheds light on the nuanced mechanisms of cholesterol metabolism, the significance of different lipid particles, and the limited dietary impact on LP(a) levels.
    Comprehensive evidence-based insights and practical recommendations for dietary patterns and cardiovascular health interventions are provided, offering clarity on these complex topics.
    Note: This discussion is hosted by Simon Hill, and originally appeared as an episode of The Proof podcast.
    Subscribe to Sigma Nutrition Premium Receive our free weekly email: the Sigma Synopsis Episode with Professor Chris Packard Timestamps:
    07:19 Understanding Cholesterol and Lipoproteins 14:35 The Role of ApoB in Cardiovascular Risk 25:10 Atherogenic Lipoproteins and Their Impact 37:42 Causal Pathways and Biomarkers in Heart Disease 47:02 Understanding Residual Risk and Triglycerides 49:46 Paul Saladino’s Claims on LDL and Metabolic Health 01:03:01 Addressing Concerns About Lowering Cholesterol 01:16:16 The Importance of Early Intervention in Cholesterol Management 01:23:36 The Future of Cholesterol Management and Gene Editing 01:28:24 Atherosclerosis in Arteries vs. Veins 01:36:08 Dietary Interventions to Lower ApoB Levels 01:47:55 Modifying Keto Diet for Better Health Outcomes 01:56:33 Plant-Based Diets and Fat Consumption 02:05:10 Understanding Lp(a) and Its Impact on Health Subscribe to Sigma Nutrition Premium

    • 2 hrs 13 min
    #528: Is Unprocessed Red Meat Problematic for Our Health?

    #528: Is Unprocessed Red Meat Problematic for Our Health?

    The consumption of red meat, specifically the distinction between unprocessed and processed varieties, has been a subject of considerable debate in nutritional science and public health. There is a fair amount of confusion and lack of clarity surrounding this issue.
    While the harmful effects of processed meat are well-documented and less controversial, the evidence concerning unprocessed red meat is less consistent. This inconsistency often leads to a gray area in scientific discussions and public perception. In examining unprocessed red meat, we encounter a spectrum of claims, including minimal evidence of harm, context of overall diet and mechanistic concerns.
    Epidemiological evidence shows varied health outcomes related to red meat consumption across different populations. These variations underline the importance of defining and measuring “high” and “low” intake levels accurately in research.
    The challenges in nutrition research, including methodological flaws in meta-analyses and the rapid dissemination of simplified study results, can impact public health recommendations. Misinterpretations can arise from comparisons within narrow intake ranges or from studies failing to specify absolute intake levels.
    This podcast episode’s goal is to clarify existing evidence, acknowledge areas needing further research, and explore why this topic is significant in the broader context of nutrition science, aiming to equip healthcare professionals with the knowledge needed to make nuanced and effective dietary recommendations.
    Receive our free weekly email: the Sigma Synopsis Want to advance your understanding of nutrition science? Check out our course. Go to episode page for this episode Subscribe to Sigma Nutrition PREMIUM Timestamps 01:00 Introduction to the issue 03:16 Processed vs. unprocessed red meat 05:54 Health guidelines and recommendations 06:56 Epidemiological evidence and dose thresholds 09:55 Biological mechanisms and plausibility 21:00 Criticisms and misinterpretations in research 40:42 Substitution analyses and dietary patterns 46:37 Mendelian randomization and genetic studies 56:31 Effect modifiers and confounders 01:13:18 Key Ideas Segment (Premium-only)

    • 1 hr 17 min
    #527: How to Prevent & Treat Hypertension – Dr. Mohammed Alo, DO

    #527: How to Prevent & Treat Hypertension – Dr. Mohammed Alo, DO

    Hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, is a silent yet prevalent health issue that affects millions of people worldwide. Often going unnoticed until significant damage has been done, hypertension can lead to severe cardiovascular complications if not properly managed.
    Mechanistically, the causes of hypertension are complex, involving both genetic and lifestyle factors. The management of hypertension presents multifaceted challenges, encompassing both pharmaceutical treatments and lifestyle modifications.
    From a prevention and management standpoint, understanding the interplay between genetics and lifestyle is crucial. This raises several important questions…
    To what extent do genetic factors contribute to hypertension risk compared to lifestyle choices, and how does this interaction influence disease progression? What role does lifestyle play in managing hypertension, and is there evidence supporting the influence of specific dietary patterns and nutrients, particularly sodium and potassium, on blood pressure control? How do exercise and physical activity impact blood pressure, and what types of exercise are most beneficial for individuals with or at risk of hypertension? What are the main categories of antihypertensive medications, and how do these drugs work to lower blood pressure? What are the potential side effects, and how should clinicians decide on the best treatment approach for individual patients? In this episode, we are joined by Dr. Mohammed Alo, a board-certified cardiologist and internal medicine specialist, who will help us understand the intricacies of hypertension and how it can be effectively controlled.
    Go to episode page dralo.net/ Receive our free weekly email: the Sigma Synopsis Subscribe to Sigma Nutrition Premium Timestamps:
    03:28 Dr. Alo’s Background and Expertise 08:40 Understanding Blood Pressure and Its Implications 10:26 Causes and Diagnosis of High Blood Pressure 12:42 Lifestyle Modifications and Treatment Options 30:26 Medications for Blood Pressure Management 38:34 Combination Therapy and Patient Variability 43:11 Debunking Myths About Sodium and Blood Pressure 57:29 Exercise and Lifestyle Interventions

    • 1 hr 9 min
    #526: Eating Rate, Food Texture & Satiation – Marlou Lasschuijt, PhD

    #526: Eating Rate, Food Texture & Satiation – Marlou Lasschuijt, PhD

    Food science and behavior are intimately connected. One critical but often overlooked facet of this connection is food texture and its substantial impact on eating behavior and energy intake.
    Food texture encompasses characteristics such as hardness and structure. It categorizes food into liquids, semi-solids, and solids, each with a wide range of textures—from dry and crispy to elastic and more substantial. This classification deeply affects how we consume food. The time it takes to chew and swallow a food item can vary greatly based on its texture.
    Different textures can also influence the speed at which satiety signals are triggered. Eating rate is a highly individual trait, stable over time, and consistent across different contexts. Some people are naturally slower eaters, while others consume food quickly. This variance can have significant implications for energy intake and body weight.
    In this episode, Dr. Marlou Lasschuijt, an assistant professor in the Sensory Science and Eating Behaviour group at Wageningen University, discusses the above topics and their implications.
    Subscribe to Sigma Nutrition Premium (for study notes and transcripts) Go to episode page The Restructure Project Receive our free weekly email: the Sigma Synopsis Timestamps: 00:14 Introduction 00:47 Dr. Lasschuijt’s Research Focus 04:23 Understanding Food Texture and Eating Behavior 06:37 Impact of Food Texture on Satiation and Eating Rate 16:55 Applications and Innovations in Food Science 18:31 Unanswered Questions 25:34 Practical Recommendations  27:00 Current and Upcoming Research Projects

    • 31 min
    #525: Cholesterol-Lowering Medication – Dr. Paddy Barrett

    #525: Cholesterol-Lowering Medication – Dr. Paddy Barrett

    Cholesterol-lowering medications, particularly statins, play a pivotal role in reducing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and apolipoprotein B (apoB) concentrations, which are causal markers in atherosclerosis development. The efficacy of these medications is well-documented, with numerous clinical trials demonstrating substantial benefits in reducing cardiovascular events and improving overall mortality rates.
    Despite the robust evidence supporting the benefits of cholesterol-lowering medications, there are various misconceptions and misunderstandings regarding their use. One common myth is that these drugs are unnecessary for those without overt cardiovascular symptoms, ignoring the preventative benefits for at-risk individuals.
    Concerns about side effects, such as muscle pain, liver damage, and cognitive impairment, are often exaggerated. While side effects are possible, they are typically mild and manageable. Regular monitoring and adjustments by healthcare providers can help mitigate any adverse effects, ensuring that the benefits of reducing LDL-C and apoB far outweigh the risks.
    In this episode, preventative cardiologist Dr. Paddy Barrett discusses the different types of lipid-lowering medications, their mechanisms of action, the side effects that may occur, and the misconceptions about the drugs that are unfortunately widespread.
    00:14 Introduction 03:26 Dr. Barrett’s Background 04:50 What is “Lipid Lowering”? 05:30 Overview of Lipids and Atherosclerosis 09:58 Setting Targets for Lipid Levels 15:52 Medications for Lowering LDL and ApoB 20:12 Statins: Types, Effects, and Side Effects 35:38 Addressing Concerns and Misconceptions 42:47 Future of Lipid Lowering Therapies Links:
    Go to episode page Subscribe to Sigma Nutrition PREMIUM drpaddybarrett.com Dr. Barrett’s Substack Book: Heart. An Owner’s Guide Receive our free weekly email: the Sigma Synopsis

    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
120 Ratings

120 Ratings

Ni Riain Photography ,

highly informative podcasts

Well done Danny on highly informative podcasts
Your podcast #331 on diabetes with Prof Roy Taylor was SO informative

Radamist0 ,

The illusion of knowledge

Dubious science. Weak epidemiology. Same old mainstream dietary guidelines. Sad!

Realshifty ,


If my mind had the mental capacity to understand what Danny has probably forgotten I’d be happy. It’s amazing the amount of free knowledge and science based education you can learn from this. Top marks

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