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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tragic Figure: Dr. Herman Taller

Dr. Herman Taller wrote "Calories Don't Count", published in 1961, about his experience as an overweight physician, explaining the mode of eating he used to reduce his weight considerably. The book included instructions on using the diet principle oneself.

With his patients, he recommended a low-carbohydrate diet, one of the aspects of which was to drink poly-unsaturated oil every day. When his patients complained that it was difficult to drink oil, even stirred into water, he had capsules of oil made up for them. That was a mistake; the FDA said his safflower oil doses were not helpful in dieting and he went to jail for fraud.

It was the fatty acids in the oil, as well as in fish (which he recommended patients eat daily), that he was recommending for his patients. Now great numbers of people buy fish oil capsules and other fatty acid capsules to help their health. Of course, Dr. Taller did not separate the fatty acids out of oils. Sadly, he was not even quoted in Dr. Atkins' book, in spite of the fact that he pioneered the modern form of low-carbohydrate diet.

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