By Claire McDonnell Liu, Nutritionist at Leafie.org
Low Carb Gold Coast is over for another year. Leaving us feeling motivated and inspired to continue to push forward new options for health.
The largest low-carb nutrition event in Australia yet again far exceeded expectations. Packed full of engaging speakers delivering the latest science, research, and clinical experiences on nutritional therapies for chronic disease and metabolic health.
The event, held over three days in the prestigious Gold Coast Convention Centre, provided us all an opportunity to learn, share and connect with experts and peers in the low carbohydrate nutrition field from across Australia, New Zealand, and internationally.
Low Carb Keynote
A stand-out highlight came from the keynote presentation by eminent professor, Dr Stephen Phinney, on “Inflammation: Its Role in Chronic Disease and Reversal by Nutritional Ketosis”. His in-depth talk on all aspects of applying low-carb and ketogenic diet nutritional therapy in clinic, covered diet modifications, monitoring, fasting, fat-adapted athletes, and much, much more. Dr Phinney also generously shared his wealth of knowledge with attendees in two unique master class sessions.
Dr Sarah Hallberg Tribute
Stephen Phinney paid a moving tribute to the incredible Dr Sarah Hallberg for her “connection, courage, and commitment” to reversing diabetes type 2. He spoke of Sarah’s passion and dedication to her work, despite her diagnosis. Sharing how her celebrated research and advocacy work around nutritional therapies for type 2 diabetes will have an impact throughout the world for years to come.
Low Carb Inspiration
Inspiring leadership came from Dr James Muecke as he presented on the systemic failures in our medical, political and social systems that have led to a tsunami of obesity and chronic illness. Dr Muecke spelled out how to move past the vested interests influencing our food environment and set out the next steps for a grassroots movement for systemic change.
Dr Paul Mason did not fail to deliver, as he provided a deep dive into the important topic of “Cholesterol and Heart Disease”. Dr Mason’s ability to translate complex and detailed science into digestible insights was apparent here as he debunked LDL [low-density lipoprotein] as a key indicator for cardiovascular risk. Instead, he argued that “particle number is a better predictor of coronary heart disease than LDL levels”.
A very powerful talk on “The Barriers to Healthcare” by Dr Pran Yoganathan exposed how our broken food and medical system is making us sick as a population. Dr Yoganathan set out the risks of a “Healthcare market greatly vulnerable to corruption” in a call to action for healthcare providers to shake up the system.
“Plants Are Trying to Kill You” Dr Chaffee’s thought-provoking presentation challenged the standard nutritional narrative that humans require plants to thrive. The American medical doctor and Neurosurgical Registrar, now practicing in Perth, Western Australia is an exponent of the carnivore lifestyle as a therapeutic option to treat and prevent chronic diseases.
Alzeimer’s and Cancer Clinical Research
Dr Matt Phillip shared his team’s exciting clinical research into treating cancers and neurodegenerative diseases with metabolic therapies, including ketogenic nutrition and fasting. Dr Matt’s talk “Metabolic Strategies in Healthcare: A New Era” detailed fascinating results from randomised control trials demonstrating the efficacy of Keto diet with Alzheimer’s and other conditions. He advised cautious optimism, as the results from metabolic strategies for cancer and neurodegeneration are promising, but further research is required.
Low Carb Nutritional Insights
Dietitian and Lecturer, Dr Caryn Zinn, delved into the topic of food quality and addressed why ultra-processed foods are detrimental to health. Dr Caryn presented dubious low-carb ‘food’ products, marketed as healthy but packed with artificial ingredients. Caryn also shared how Brazil’s dietary guidelines recommending reducing ultra-processed foods are a unique example of dietary guideline good practice.
Dr Sarah Hancock “Oral Health and Low Carb Nutrition”
Another unique and fascinating presentation came from another New Zealander, Dr Sarah Hancock on “Oral Health and Low Carb Nutrition”. Dr Hancock shared her studies into the underlying causes of “inside out” dental cavities, protective nutritional approaches and some fairly horrific images of rotten teeth highlighting her findings.
New to Low Carb Gold Coast this year was the addition of a second seminar room, that featured presentations and workshops on a wide variety of topics. Our highlights here included warm, engaging talks from low carbers, Jane MacDonald and Brendan Reid, as they shared their personal insights and research into weight loss, metabolic health, and type 1 diabetes management.
Exhibitors and Sponsor
In the exhibition hall conference sponsor, Qscan Radiology Clinics, displayed their state-of-the-art medical imaging and diagnostics testing, including coronary artery calcium tests available across Australia. Exhibitors displayed a wealth of health testing, coaching, Low-Carb medical practice information, books, and a variety of ketogenic real food products.
Informative poster abstracts presented articles and findings from clinical research. Highlights included a De-prescribing Medication for Type 2 Diabetes submission by Dr Liz Fraser, Dr RonSchweitzer and Dr Penny Figtree. As well as CSIRO and Diversa research team’s abstract on their clinical trial on Type 2 Diabetes remission.
That’s a Wrap
Dr Peter Brukner delivered his summary of “Low Carb and Chronic Disease”, reviewing the impact of low-carb nutritional therapy across metabolic and neurological disciplines. Dr Brukner posed the big question, why after 100 years of Keto Diet use for neurological conditions is the diet so significantly underused in clinical practice?
The Low Carb Down Under flagship event was closed with the much loved “5 minutes of Fame”, with selected attendees sharing their heartwarming low-carb nutrition experiences and successes.
The not-for-profit event may be over for another year, but the work for the Low Carb Down Under team continues. The team is already busy preparing the talks to release over the next months on our highly popular YouTube channel. The aim as always is to share information that provides options, and most importantly, hope.