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Rapid response to:


Mortality from different causes associated with meat, heme iron, nitrates, and nitrites in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study: population based cohort study

BMJ 2017; 357 doi: (Published 09 May 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;357:j1957

Rapid Response:

meat, iron, LOVE diet and “war and peace”

Dear Dr Mann,
Thank YOU for your reply. The topic of the main paper was to determine the association of different types of meat and associated compounds with mortality. The problem of this population based cohort study is the known confusion between association, correlation and causality. The mediation analysis remains unclear. The interdependent interaction between interactions between factors and co-factors doesn’t allow a subgroup analysis. I see the same critical points in your opinion about a possible addiction of Hitler.

I take the problems of addiction very serious. As a psychiatrist I try to treat every day many patients suffering from alcohol and /or drug dependency (DSM-5 criteria). I use the term “substance use disorder”, abuse and addiction are not the same. Until now, I cannot serious assess the personality, personality disorder, possible psychiatric disorders and the drug consumption of Hitler (Goldwater rule, American Psychiatric Association's code of ethics, which states that it's unethical for psychiatrists to make public statements about a public figure they have not evaluated). I have read literature and medical records of excellent, medium and poor quality. It´s evident that his physician, Dr Morell, treated Hitler with an uncommon, heavy polypharmacy, including methamphetamine (crystal methamphetamine is only a form of this drug that looks like glass fragments) and oxycodone, Hitler got local cocaine solution from his otorhinolaryngologist. There are no criteria for a dependency, but maybe an abuse. The book of Norman Ohler is a typical mixture of real facts, legends and incorrect interpretations. It`s well written but unserious with lurid headlines, sorry. I don’t think that Germany lost the war because of any abuse or a dependency of Hitler or the German army.

The problem of alcohol dependency cannot be solved by alcohol prohibition. People with love and peace movement ideas have not beaten Nazi Germany. The points were strong weapons against Krupp Stahl, men like Sir Winston Churchill, who liked Cuban cigars and Whiskey, not men like Chamberlain or the weak, ill President Roosevelt.

I´m afraid of intolerant, dogmatic, idealistic ideologists. Vegetarianism implicates no peace per se. It´s dangerous to believe this.

By the way, beer contains 1.828 mg niacin, 0.164 mg B6, 0.146 mg Pantothenic Acid, 0.018 mg thiamin, 0.07 micrograms B12, 21 micrograms folate /12-oz. glass (United States Department of Agriculture's national nutrient database).

Competing interests: No competing interests

17 May 2017
Detlef Degner
Department of Psychiatry, University hspital Göttingen, Germany
Von-Siebold-Str . D- 37085 Göttingen, Germany