Annika Dahlqvist – Enemy of logic and science?

Annika Dahlqvist, the doctor behind the LCHF diet (translation from Swedish Wikipedia), once again makes the front page of a Swedish tabloid (article in Swedish). This time, she has decided to battle the vaccination program for the Swine flu. However, the method she pleads for is so unbelievably stupid that one becomes scared.

In the Aftonbladet article, and repeated at her blog, Dahlqvist calls for cancellation of the vaccination program. The reasoning of this can be divided into three arguments:

  1. We know nothing about the side effects of the vaccine.
  2. It is a waste of money.
  3. If you eat according to the LCHF (Low carbohydrates, High fat) diet, your immune defense is so superior that the flu will be no problem.

Side effects?
The first statement is, at least partially, true. We do know very little about the side effects of a new vaccine. However, most often there are no to very small side effects of a vaccine. The rare reported serious side effects connected to earlier vaccines, such as paralysis, have been found to be caused by contaminated vaccine material. Since this happened, vaccine production methods have been greatly improved, and thus such cases no longer occurs.

Serious side effects aside, vaccines can have other side effects, just like all other medicines. Normal side effects are tiredness, stomach illness, dizziness etc. However, such conditions are much less serious than the flu itself, so they are not reason enough to turn down the vaccine. Like any other vaccine, the effectiveness of it will not be 100%. However, vaccines have proven to be a great way to deal with a variety of diseases which are now extinct, on the edge of extinction, or at least under control. Vaccines have proven to be much more effective than antibiotics in battling various diseases,as antibiotics many times causes bacterial resistance. Thus, it seems very arrogant to deny the effectiveness of vaccines against the swine flu.

Waste of money?
Given that you accept Annika Dahlqvist’s argument about diseases in general, it is of course a waste of money. Just like the vaccination programs against Poliomyelitis and Measles would be a waste of money, as they could have been cured by eating the right stuff. Personally, I am really happy to have these diseases out of the way. But if Dahlqvist really believes that we should not battle virus-related diseases, but rather try to live side-by-side with them, that’s up to her. Government paid vaccination programs can always be regarded a waste of money. That is more a matter of political views, not a rational argument against a vaccine.

Diet against flu?!
And now for the most ridiculous part of Dahlqvist argument. I mentioned in the previous paragraph how she thinks that eating “correctly” will give you a fantastic immune defense, capable of protecting from almost anything. This is so unbelievably stupid it seems like a joke. Sadly, it is not. She says exactly this in the article (my translation): “If you eat well, vitamin D and omega-3 you should have such a good infection defense you do not need to vaccinate yourself. We know that we get a much better infection defense by eating LCHF, low carb – high fat. We more seldom catch a cold and think we have a better defense in general. Many agree with me and others feel it is irresponsible to say something like this.”

The only rational part of this is the last sentence. Yes, it is irresponsible to say something like this. And a such statement makes it clear that you did not take the classes on virology during your education. And no scientist would believe this piece of crap. The sad part about it is that most people are not scientists or doctors, and have no way of knowing if she is right or not.

Let me explain something for you Annika: vitamin D and omega-3 does not protect you from viruses. Actually, no specific diet would. What protects you from viruses is hygiene, staying away from infected people (or rather, staying away from other people while you are infected and the first few days after the infection), and vaccines. This might sound unbelievable to you, but is common knowledge for anyone who has taken a course in microbiology or virology. When you say that you think that you have a better infection defense in general, that is exactly what you do. You think so. In reality, the only thing about LCHF that would give you a better immune defense system is placebo. Placebo is great, but advising people to rely on it is not only irresponsible – it is plain gambling with people’s lives without their knowledge. Any doctor would be cautious about such games, anyone except you. Shame on you, Annika Dahlqvist.

The hidden agenda
This leaves us with the following question; why does Dahlqvist want to gamble with people’s lives? This could be explained simply with stupidity, but as she as been proven to present a diet that apparently works (at least for many people) for weight loss, it is hard to put it off that easily. Instead, it seems that Dahlqvist wants to use the fear of the swine flu to agitate for a diet that was designed for diabetic patients. From being a decent doctor just a few years ago, Dahlqvist is now the leader of a group that looks increasingly like a sect. And this position makes her dangerous. She now has so many followers that would blindly do whatever she tells them. Like skipping the vaccination program to eat LCHF food instead. This battles the very core of the vaccination program.

Such battling places Dahlqvist, and the LCHF diet, in the same boat as other groups opposing the vaccination, such as Leonard Horowitz (that argues for silver ions, one of the most dangerous threats against antibiotics as they cause bacterial resistance) and Keith Scott Mumby (who argues that cancer can be cured by changing diet, don’t be surprised if Dahlqvist claims this next), making politics of a diet that should be regarded as… a diet. Both these “alternative doctors” have clear tendencies to defy science and common sense, using fear and unawareness to sell their own agendas.

Dahlqvist has previously shown to be sceptic against science in general, quoting from a recent Newsmill article (my tranlation): “At last, only the professors and the dietitians will remain to eat low fat – high carbohydrate diet. Then, maybe they will give in and admit the benefits of LCHF on health.” Beside attacking every scientist (!) and dietitian, Annika also forgets that science have infect given her diet some support, while it is rather society in general that has remained sceptical. However, it suits her role fighting the traditional sources of knowledge to turn against her previous allies. Probably she count on being accepted as a woman of the people, that got sacked for telling the truth. However, she is not telling the truth – and she was not sacked. She resigned herself.

It is rational to argue that vaccination should not be mandatory, but decisions should be based on facts, not on an agenda to sell cooking books. Yes – she writes cooking books about LCHF. And as she no longer is employed as a doctor, Dahlqvist has to sell books and lectures for her living. Of course she sees the opportunity. Let’s hope most people are clever enough to call the liar’s bluff.

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4 responses to “Annika Dahlqvist – Enemy of logic and science?

  1. I just realised that in a new post on her blog, Dahlqvist claims that (my translation): “In Australia, which has had the flu, only about 100 people out of 21 millions died.” Anyone who’s into statistics can call her bluff. 21 millions – that is the entire population of Australia. It is not the number of actual cases. She makes no mention about the number of infected people, so we can’t do any deeper investigation at the moment, but it underscores that she is either pushing her own agenda, or just unbelievably stupid.

  2. “In Australia, which has had the flu, only about 100 people out of 21 millions died.” Anyone who’s into statistics can call her bluff. 21 millions – that is the entire population of Australia. It is not the number of actual cases. She makes no mention about the number of infected people, so we can’t do any deeper investigation at the moment, but it underscores that she is either pushing her own agenda, or just unbelievably stupid.”~ Johan (2009/08/23)

    Excuse me but I believe this is the pot calling the kettle black when the kettle has not even said it is any other color. i have read the post you refer to and no where does she explicitly or implicitly imply that the 21 million figure represents who got infected, only that of the 21 million in Austrailia, only about 100 have died. This si neither mis-leading or a bluff.

    perhaps you simply mis-understood her statement about this however I’m more inclined to believe you were either deliberately biased and therefore looked for some way to knock down her statement and make it sound like a lie or you are deliberately trying to counter any anti-flu vaccine comments.

    Instead of being critcal of the stats she gives, perhaps you should be asking why the Governments are pushing this so hard when there has been no real world proof this thing is going to be any more of an issue then the regular flu.

    As for this blogs owner/author, you too are being somewhat disingenuous by leading the debate away from the fact that this flu is no epidemic as the various governments are treating it and to some debate on whether a good diet can help with regards to getting sick.

    • Thank you for your opinion. I have just returned from an intense debate on sustainable farming, so if this answer becomes short or unclear, it is because I am a bit tired of expressing my opinions at the moment.

      When it comes to my previous comment (and that goes for the article too), I realise that my choice of words were not the best. This, of course, has to do with being upset at Annika for her false claims on LCHF being good for treating flu (a few days later she also claimed in a newspaper that LCHF can cure cancer – yes, she really did that too). Her claim about Australia inclines that the full 21 million people already have had the flu, and that the “epidemic” has passed out. That’s why I think the claim in misleading. Taken out of it context it would have been a fair claim, but I think that in this specific case the wording should have been chosen much more carefully. In an update to her post, she adds that the risk of dying in the flu is 0,013%. That number is significantly higher than 100 divided by 21 millions. Still it is good that she clarified that.

      As things have turned out so far, the swine flu has not become a very big threat to society. The infection rate is acceptable, and would for the time being not call for a huge vaccination program. Still, there is a point in the vaccinations, just as there would be a point for this related to a regular flu. The point is that key functions of society can be taken out temporarily, and that’s why key persons should vaccinate themselves.

      Still, this does not call for the government to spend millions on a prevention program for the whole population. On the other hand, people being sick at home doesn’t exactly benefit the economy either, so the choice here is tough call. I was actually thinking on writing an article on this subject (the waste of money compared to the impact of the flu), when Annika came along with her ridiculous claims.

      I agree, that I kind of lead the debate from the main issue, but this was big news stuff in Sweden in August, so I chose to comment to it. Then I did not have the time to go further into it during September, and I had almost forgotten the issue when you commented on this article.

      Now, I have a question for you: I guess that you live in the US, how does the vaccination program look in your country? Sweden is a rather small country, so here a vaccination of the whole population is expensive, but doable. But how does that compare to the US? Will you have a mandatory vaccination program? I hope to be writing something on this in the near future, and your input would be appreciated.

  3. I do live in the states and our government is pushing this down our throats whether we want it or not just like in other countries. It amazes me how this is being done and the level of arrogance on the part of many officials.

    Regardless of whether you believe the vaccination is a good thing or not, there is the question of what is legal for the government to push onto the populous against their will. Stories are now beginning to surface that raise many questions as to how disingenuous the governments are being about this. I’ve seen pieces (and not on small conspiracy sites but actual news sites) stories on how military & governments are getting a variation of the vaccination without all the crap that makes it dangerous like the mercury and several other ingredients that I can’t recall at this time.

    There also is the question of the increasing number of medical industry folks from nurses to doctors who are saying NO to this vaccination push. If it were just a handful of doctors who were know to be anti-drug in its entirety or something else considered fringe that would be one thing but that’s not what’s happening. Back in the late 70s, around 1977 I think, there was similar push for mass vaccinations here in the states (not sure about abroad) and they had a big back lash back then after several people get sick and dies from the thing. Many began refusing to take it. Interestingly enough the government admitted later on that the vaccination itself actually caused the deaths.

    I can’t speak to other countries but as for America our government, especially here recently has just done too many highly questionable things and been caught too many times making wild claims to simple be believed at face value when they tell us you must take this for your own good, even if we have to threaten you for your own good. What good is a country if its own government must force itself upon its citizens?

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