The skeptical cardiologist has finally prepared Dr. P’s Heart Nuts for distribution. The major stumbling block in preparing them was finding almonds which were raw (see here), but not gassed with proplyene oxide (see here), and which did not contain potentially toxic levels of cyanide (see here).
During this search I learned a lot about almonds and cyanide toxicity, and ended up using raw organic almonds from nuts.com, which come from Spain.
I’ll be giving out these packets (containing 15 grams of almonds, 15 grams of hazelnuts and 30 grams of walnuts) to my patients because there is really good scientific evidence that consuming 1/2 packet of these per day will reduce their risk of dying from heart attacks, strokes, and cancer.
The exact components are based on the landmark randomized trial of the Mediterranean diet, enhanced by either extra-virgin olive oil or nuts (PREDIMED, in which participants in the two Mediterranean-diet groups received either extra-virgin olive oil (approximately 1 liter per week) or 30g of mixed nuts per day (15g of walnuts, 7.5g of hazelnuts, and 7.5g of almonds) at no cost, and those in the control group received small nonfood gifts).
After 5 years, those on the Mediterranean diet had about a 30% lower rate of heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular death than the control group.
It’s fantastic to have a randomized trial (the strongest form of scientific evidence) supporting nuts, as it buttresses consistent (weaker, but easier to obtain), observational data.
I applied for a trademark for my Heart Nuts, not because I plan to market them, but because I thought it would be interesting to possess a trademark of some kind.
The response from a lawyer at the federal trademark and patent office is hilariously full of mind-numbing and needlessly complicated legalese.
Heres one example:
Applicant must disclaim the wording “NUTS” because it merely describes an ingredient of applicant’s goods, and thus is an unregistrable component of the mark. See 15 U.S.C. §§1052(e)(1), 1056(a); DuoProSS Meditech Corp. v. Inviro Med. Devices, Ltd., 695 F.3d 1247, 1251, 103 USPQ2d 1753, 1755 (Fed. Cir. 2012) (quoting In re Oppedahl & Larson LLP, 373 F.3d 1171, 1173, 71 USPQ2d 1370, 1371 (Fed. Cir. 2004)); TMEP §§1213, 1213.03(a). The attached evidence from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language shows this wording means “[a]n indehiscent fruit having a single seed enclosed in a hard shell, such as an acorn or hazelnut”, or “[a]ny of various other usually edible seeds enclosed in a hard covering such as a seed coat or the stone of a drupe, as in a pine nut, peanut, almond, or walnut.” Therefore, the wording merely describes applicant’s goods, in that they consist exclusively of nuts identified as hazelnuts, almonds, and walnuts. An applicant may not claim exclusive rights to terms that others may need to use to describe their goods and/or services in the marketplace. See Dena Corp. v. Belvedere Int’l, Inc., 950 F.2d 1555, 1560, 21 USPQ2d 1047, 1051 (Fed. Cir. 1991); In re Aug. Storck KG, 218 USPQ 823, 825 (TTAB 1983). A disclaimer of unregistrable matter does not affect the appearance of the mark; that is, a disclaimer does not physically remove the disclaimed matter from the mark. See Schwarzkopf v. John H. Breck, Inc., 340 F.2d 978, 978, 144 USPQ 433, 433 (C.C.P.A. 1965); TMEP §1213. If applicant does not provide the required disclaimer, the USPTO may refuse to register the entire mark. SeeIn re Stereotaxis Inc., 429 F.3d 1039, 1040-41, 77 USPQ2d 1087, 1088-89 (Fed. Cir. 2005); TMEP §1213.01(b). Applicant should submit a disclaimer in the following standardized format: No claim is made to the exclusive right to use “NUTS” apart from the mark as shown."
I’ve gotten dozens of emails from trademark attorneys offering to help me respond to the denial of my trademark request. Is this a conspiracy amongst lawyers to gin up business?
Nuts Reduce Mortality From Lots of Different Diseases
The most recent examination of observational data performed a meta-analysis of 20 prospective studies of nut consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer, and all-cause and cause-specific mortality in adult populations published up to July 19, 2016.
It found that for every 28 grams/day increase in nut intake, risk was reduced by:
29% for coronary heart disease
7% for stroke (not significant)
21% for cardiovascular disease
15% for cancer
22% for all-cause mortality
Surprisingly, death from diseases, other than heart disease or cancer, were also significantly reduced:
52% for respiratory disease
35% for neurodenerative disease
75% for infectious disease
74% for kidney disease
The authors concluded:
If the associations are causal, an estimated 4.4 million premature deaths in the America, Europe, Southeast Asia, and Western Pacific would be attributable to a nut intake below 20 grams per day in 2013.
If everybody consumed Dr. P’s Heart Nuts, we could save 4.4 million lives!
If you’re curious about why nuts are so healthy, check out this recent meta-analysis, a discussion of possible mechanisms of the health benefits of nuts complete with references:
Nuts are good sources of unsaturated fatty acids, protein, fiber, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, and phytochemicals. Intervention studies have shown that nut consumption reduces total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and the ratio of low- to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and ratio of total to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, apolipoprotein B, and triglyceride levels in a dose–response manner [4, 65]. In addition, studies have shown reduced endothelial dysfunction , lipid peroxidation , and insulin resistance [6, 66] with a higher intake of nuts. Oxidative damage and insulin resistance are important pathogenic drivers of cancer [67, 68] and a number of specific causes of death . Nuts and seeds and particularly walnuts, pecans, and sunflower seeds have a high antioxidant content , and could prevent cancer by reducing oxidative DNA damage , cell proliferation [71, 72], inflammation [73, 74], and circulating insulin-like growth factor 1 concentrations  and by inducing apoptosis , suppressing angiogenesis , and altering the gut microbiota . Although nuts are high in total fat, they have been associated with lower weight gain [78, 79, 80] and lower risk of overweight and obesity  in observational studies and some randomized controlled trials .
6 thoughts on “Dr. P's Heart Nuts: Preventing Death In Multiple Ways”
You are “skeptical” of so many things that when you endorse something, it’s a very high hurdle.
What are your thoughts on eating sprouted nuts and seeds vs non-sprouted?
I’m aware that some health nuts prefer the sprouted but I am unaware of any solid reasons for doing so. In the past, when I purchased loaves of bread I would sometimes choose one that was somehow sprouted in the vague hope that it was healthier.
What do you think?
You mentioned that you recommend that your patients consume 1/2 of a 30-gram a packet per day. I’m just curious: why weren’t the nuts simply packaged in 15-gram units?
Well, I think I thought that if I was going through all the trouble of creating this packet it made sense to provide more than 30 grams of nuts. (30 grams is not much.) Too much more than 30 grams had the potential of bankrupting the skeptical cardiologist. So 60 grams was the happy medium I came up with.
Thanks. I think I mis-read your blog the first time around. Now I see that the packets contain 60 grams, and that you recommend that patients consume 30 grams per day. You’re right: 30 grams would make for an itty-bitty package!