About Dr. Malcolm Kendrick

malcolm mckendrickI am a GP living in Macclesfield, having graduated from Aberdeen medical school many moons ago.

This blog is my best effort at providing some balance to the increasingly strident healthcare lobby that seems intent on scaring everyone about almost everything. Is there a foodstuff that is safe to eat anymore? Is there any activity that does not cause cancer or heart disease?

Sausages… get thee behind me Satan.

This constant haranguing about health has had an impact. It was first noticed by a US doctor called Clifton Meador.

‘Nothing has changed so much in the health-care system over the past twenty-five years as the public’s perception of its own health. The change amounts to a loss of confidence in the human form. The general belief these days seems to be that the body is fundamentally flawed, subject to disintegration at any moment, always on the verge of mortal disease, always in need of continual monitoring and support by health-care professionals. This is a new phenomenon in our society.’

Just as I was writing this introduction, a story about cervical cancer screening appeared on the BBC website.

‘Women diagnosed with cervical cancer as a result of a smear test have a far better chance of being cured than women who do not go for tests, a Swedish study suggests. The researchers found a 92% cure rate after a smear test diagnosis, compared with 66% for symptoms-based diagnoses.’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17221910

So, there you go. Women, you must get screened, or you are going to die of cervical cancer. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! YOU MUST BE REGULARLY CHECKED.

But what does those figures actually mean. One thing I can guarantee you is they do not mean what you first thought. It could mean that cervical screening is a good thing. It could mean that screening is a bad thing. Stay posted.

This is a common finding. Things that look like clear cut benefits turn out to be something else completely, as beautifully highlighted in a book on mammography screening by Dr Peter Gotzsche ‘Truth, lies and controversy.’

In a world where the truth can be, literally, turned upside down, how can you know what to believe, and who to believe? This blog will represent my attempt to dig down to find the meaning behind the headlines.

‘We must remember this, in spite of the blandishments, threats, warning and various campaigns by governments to make us eat this eat or that, to forgo a familiar habit or to exercise ourselves until we drop. It is a sobering though, first expressed by John Locke in 1689 in his treatise ‘A letter Concerning Toleration’: ‘No man can be forced to be healthful, whether he will or no.’ In a free society, individuals must judge for themselves what information they choose to heed, and what they ignore.’

Stanley Feldman, Vincent Marks Panic Nation

231 thoughts on “About Dr. Malcolm Kendrick

    1. smartersig

      HI
      I had a heart attack 7 months ago after returning from one of my regular 3 mile runs. The angiogram showed my main arteries to be OK but a slight narrowing of a minor artery which they suggested should be stented. I had to make a decision laying on the op table so I agreed. I was given the usual dose of 5 drugs to take which I took for a month but after careful research decided to follow a dietary regime (no dairy no sugar and no meat). I have lost 2 stone and I am now the weight I was 25 years ago. However I ran into problems with my Cardio. He did not like what I was doing as I had taken myself off all but aspirin and Tacigrela (spelling?). He did however think it useful to refer me to the lipid clinic for an MRI stress test to see where I was in condition. I thought this an excellent idea. On arrival the chief doctor at the clinic berated me for not taking statins and when I was unrelenting he discharged me from the clinic and the next day I received a letter stating that the stress test had been withdrawn and was no longer available. This has made me quite depressed and has caused great stress to me and my family. I wish I could find a doctor who at least has sympathy and knowledge of a dietary approach to heart health instead of being constantly as some sort of crazy Google obsessed person. Do I have to go to America to get the test and service I need ?.

      Reply
      1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        This is a depressing little tale, but I hear such things all the time. Doctors should not refuse treatment to people who refuse to follow their ‘orders’. Indeed it is against the Geneva Convention, and should result in action by the medical authorities – but it does not.

      2. Katie

        Smartersig would be hard pushed to find a doctor to support his need for knowledge of a dietary approach, to his health problems. One of the most destructive issues in doctor training, which has had a catastrophic effect on how doctors diagnose, is the ignorance of how the systems work, especially the digestive system. If GP’s had this information, they would know, for example, diabetes is a result of damage to the digestive system. With a proper assessment and subsequent treatment, this condition is entirely curable. Yet here in the UK it has reached epidemic proportion???! Are doctors not questioning issues such as this ? It would seem not.

      1. Maureen Berry

        Smartersig, thank you for your account. It is interesting and the response from your Cardiologist is disgraceful, I hope your MP is supporting you. I thought that we, as patients, had the right to ‘Choose and Book’. Isn’t it time that somewhere, somehow, there should be a database of Statin sceptical doctors – and especially Cardiologists, surely they can’t all ‘believe’. Even an open minded one would be good. What do you think, Dr Kendrick, does such a list exist?

  1. Susan Allen

    hello
    I have recently been told that I may have fh I am a woman of 55 not over weight or high blood pressure – the Dr at the Lipids dept wanted me to go onto Satins – I said I did not want to go on I mentioned your book – and of course she said all the negatives – my total cholesterol is 7.3 but when broken down the LD is 5.4 which i said to her is not that high – she nearly hit the roof – so i am now having a genetic blood test – but I have read so much about statins i do not what to go on these and other research i have read says that it is better to have high cholosterol if you are a women? Should I keep to my beliefs.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      As you probably know, it is difficult for me to give any individual advice, as much as I would wish to. Yes, your GP will think that an LDL of 5.4mol/l is very high. It is higher than average, and would generally be considered to be within the realms of familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH), so your doctor will put you under great pressure to take statins – as this is what the guidelines say. I did, however, write an article/debate in the BMJ where I make the case that in primary prevention (for women who have not have a stroke, heart attack or suchlike), that statins do not provide any benefit on heart disease reduction, or overall mortality. Therefore, clinically, there is no indication to take them. The data would support this position.

      Reply
    2. smartersig

      Hi

      It strikes me that when we are faced with he decision over drugs or not drugs we should first look at lifestyle and then perhaps resort to drugs if changes have not worked. Of course in chronic cases we may not have the time for this. My preference is to look at populations that have little or no heart disease and try to adopt their habits as much as possible. I am currently reading a book about a study done on the people of Okinawa. Their diet and lifestyle seem to be the obvious answers to their longevity and health. In a nutshell it revolves around little or no sugar, little or no dairy and little or no red meat. Lots of veg and some fruits. They also value exercise, such as Tai Chi (I would recommend Yoga). They also have strong social support networks. In other words, the usual suspects. Of all the above I personally think sugar is the big culprit. Hope this helps

      Reply
      1. Afifah

        Hi Smartersig, I think you have to be pretty careful when reading things like the Okinawa stuff. Turth is, you can not be Okinawan, however much you’d like to be, so any attempts to be like them are probably going to end in failure. However, you are right to check out their dietary norms and see if they stack up with evolutionarily probable food choices: sugar is a relatively recent phenomenon so has to be ditched, as new fangled and therefore not likely to have a plce. Dairy products, likewise, although these foods are not essentially alien to us as milk is part of every mammal species’ earliest experience. Red meat… well that was almost certainly part of our distant ancestros’ diet, as evidenced by the cave paintings in Lascaux and other palaeolithic sites, do don’t knock the red meat. It cannot possibly be ‘bad for us’ as we have always eaten it, obviously. However, what the Okinawans don’t appear to eat is processed and packaged foods, such as ‘ready meals’, biscuits, sauces in jars, packeted and tinned foods, or ‘the displaceing foods of commerce’ to quote Weston Price, that astounding researcher in the 1930s and author of ‘Nutrition and Physical Degeneration’ revealing the fruits of his phenomenal tour de force in actually visitin and examining tribes around the world before and after they were introduced to such commercial ‘food-like substances’. Current processed foods are so dead that if anyone ate them as they are, without being embellished with sythetic flavourings and preserveatives, they would simply spit out the cardboard that it is nearer to, but their tongues are tricked by these clever manufactured chemicals, and they even get addicted to them, eating more of them than they would proper foods, in an attempt to actually gain nutrients, which are so diluted with highly refined grains and industrially extracted vegetable oils (both of which are totally toxicand have no place in our evolution)so they ge tall the harms and none of the nutrients that they were seeking. )
        Ooh, the page is jumping around such that I can not continue this post. I wonder how it will come out. I hope people will be able to read it, but I can’t now, and have therefore lost my thread entirely.

  2. Susan Allen

    Thank you for your answer – they are also my thoughts I will try and get a copy of that article and take it along next time when I get my results of the Genetic Blood Test.

    Keep up the good work

    Sue Allen

    Reply
    1. Susan Allen

      Hello Malcolm

      I wrote to you in April and I have just had my appointment at a London Hospital Lipids Dept – I had a test for Familial Hypercholesterolaemia – and it came back that it was not confirmed. my TC of 7.5mmol/L and LDL-C of 5.3mmol/L. As you can immagion they wanted me to take statins – I told her about your book and other reserach that I had read regarding woman and Statins – she said that people jump on the bandwagon and they have no science background. I kept my ground and said No due to having nothing wrong with my heart and being well otherwise blood pressure and weight all fine. The Dr said she did not know what to do with me and suggested seeing me in a year. The Dr then said to me – why did you have the blood test in the first place? I said I did not know that this is the road that I was going to go down – I had the initial blood test in a Library!!! So I do understand what you must battle against in the world of medicine as from just my few appointments you feel very wrong if you have any information outside the usual box. Kind regards Sue Allen

      Reply
  3. David Morris

    Dear Dr. Kendrick,
    I am by profession what is called a Cardiac Physiologist, previously know as a Cardiac Technician. I am currently reading your book “The Great Cholesterol Con” which is at the very least fascinating. I don’t like taking drugs of any description myself and am being forcefully pursuaded to take Statins by my GP. I do in fact have a so called high TC at 6.9 with high LDL and low HDL so a ticking (no pun intended) time bomb apparently. My father died at the age of 63 from an anterior MI and my maternal grandfather at 67 also from an MI. My paternal grandfatherblived to a ripe old age. I have for many years had difficulty with current mainstream thought on what causes heart disease and so your book is a breath of fresh air to me. My reason for writing to you today is to ask, if I may, one question. Will you be producing a response to the news yesterday of a paper published in The Lancet that Statins are wonderful and should be given to everyone over the age of 50 (OMG, and I am 60 this year)? The news of this paper increased both my systolic and diastolic blood pressure to “real” unhealthy levels. If you will, and I do hope so, be publishing a response, would you be able to let me know when and where I might be able to read it?
    Thank you so very much for sticking your neck out.
    With very best wishes,

    David Morris

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      David,

      thanks for your message. I am looking through the Lancet paper at present. It is written by one of the usual suspects, Professor Colin Baigent, who works at the CTSU with Rory Collins and the rest of the crew who run major pharmaceutical trials – mainly on LDL lowering and/or HDL raising. This group receives tens of millions in pharmaceutical funding and thus, I suppose, I would consider them financially conflicted.

      The research grant from Merck/Schering for the Study of Heart and Renal Protection
      (SHARP) was about £35M, to be paid over the period 2001- 9.Since 1997, Merck has also provided
      grants for three other major independent CTSU trials, the Heart Protection Study (HPS, 1993 – 2007),
      the Study of the Effectiveness of Additional Reductions in Cholesterol and Homocysteine (SEARCH, 1997 – 2009)
      and Treatment of HDL to Reduce the Incidence of Vascular Events (THRIVE/HPS2,
      200513) plus genetic analyses of stored samples from those trials, which total about £70M. http://www.ctsu.ox.ac.uk/news/press-releases-archive/response-to-your-letters

      These people also hold the data for all statin studies, as part of the Cholesterol Triallists Collaboration, and will not let other see it. The Cochrane Collaboration reviewed statins in primary prevention, and were not allowed access to ‘confidential’ study data. Here are there words from their review:

      A limitation of our analysis is that we could not get total SAE data from all the included RCTs.’ http://www.ti.ubc.ca/letter77

      In short, we are all rather hamstrung in replying to such a study, because the authors have access to data that the critics cannot see.

      Reply
  4. David Morris

    Thanks for your reply Dr Kendrick, I hear what you are saying – the madness goes on. If we are not very careful we could end up with the ladies being advised to have mastectomies to prevent breast cancer and everyone being advised to have their appendix out to prevent problems there, where will it end? Perhaps what we need is a pill, or frontal lobotomies, to prevent this insane advice in the first place! But then, who am I?
    All my very best wishes with your endeavours.
    Kind regards
    David

    Reply
  5. Alex Carson

    Dear Dr Kendrick,

    I am a Personal Trainer from London and run my own website, part of my website is a blog on health topics. I am planning to theme weeks by certain topics and have scheduled to have “Fat awareness week” on the week beginning 9th July, where I have been writing about dietary fat and health and am inviting leading authorities and researchers on the subject of dietary fat to contribute a blog post or article that I can publish or republish on the site during that week. I was wondering if you would be interested in contributing something on fat and dietary cholesterol on serum cholesterol levels. I am hoping that having such themed weeks will spread the word of your work and those of others.

    I apologise I could not find a contact email.

    I look forward to hearing from you,

    Healthy regards,

    Alex Carson

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      If you let me know when you are thinking of doing it. I am writing another book at the moment, so I am a bit frazzled at all edges, but I am always interested in torpedoing medical dogma whenever possible.

      Reply
  6. idididididididid

    Hello Dr Kendrick,
    I am really glad to see you now have a blog. I am going to enjoy reading your entries when they occur. You have some good ones already.

    Currently I want to ask you to clarify one of the referances you made in The Great Cholesterol Con. On page 86 you mention the 15 yr Japanese study that was published in Stroke in 2004, but I have been unable to fish this off the internet to read in full. I need it for a presentation I am doing to GPs at my local hospital soon, so if you have a moment could you let me know the full ref details. I always prefer to go to the source materials, as otherwise it’s all a bit like hearsay.

    Could you email me back as soon as poss, and I will let you know when the meeting will be held, and give you a front seat! (And a huge acknowledgement of course).

    Looking forward to your response ~

    Afifah Hamilton (afifah.hamilton@gmail.com).

    Reply
  7. Alex Carson

    I had planned for it to be in about 2 weeks from now, but I think it would be best to postpone it to allow people more time to prepare something. I have two entries so far from myself and Zoe Harcombe and am still organising others. So I guess about a months time would be good? Let me know if that is ok. As I would prefer to be able to do it all properly and launch it as a big learning week for everyone.

    Reply
  8. Arie Brand

    Dear Dr.Kendrick,

    I am trying to post something in your “losing faith” thread – but it doesn’t come up and when I try again my computer keeps saying that this is a duplicate post.

    Reply
  9. Arie Brand

    Could it be that there is a length restriction on the posts? In that case the solution might be to send them as a series.

    Reply
  10. Sue Edney

    Hi Malcolm. Your bok “The great Colesterol Con” is wonderful. My husband had a heart attack over 7 years ago and with the help of Afifah came off the pills he was given and has only had her mixture since plus a very hot meal at least once a week. He recently had a Cornea transplant and according to one of the doctors (possibly the aneathatist) the results of his ECG were very pleasing. Keep up the good work. Sue

    Reply
  11. Arie Brand

    Dear Dr.Kendrick,

    I sent a letter with attachment (the blogpost(s) concerned) to malcolm@llp.org.uk, the email address attached to one of your online articles. It came back as undeliverable.

    Reply
  12. Ian Barrow

    I have just read your book and believe what you say.
    Both of my sisters and myself have the telltale signs of FH in our eyelids.
    Being ignorant I have taken a months supply of statins. I dont want to take any more and my stress levels have escalated by this news of having a TC reading of 8.
    You do not mention very high TC levels in your book.
    Should I worry about a reading this high?
    I dont expect an individual reply but thought it was a significant variation to a previous post and am sure others may have the same concern.
    I dont do any of the naughty things like smoking and am of average weight.
    Ian

    Reply
  13. Jane Stocker

    I have a friend whose husband suffered a heart attack a few years ago. He was prescribed statins. No surprises there, then. However, she recently told me that his cholesterol levels are now too low to be measured, yet his consultant wants him to keep taking the statins. What is your view? I am a retired pharmacist, and am currently in the process of reading ‘The Great Cholrsterol Con’ which has me completely captivated! At last, the voice of common sense. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Back on line again after a refreshing break. In my view….. if not having any side effects (unlikely) the benefits do exist. Whether or not they are worth taking…. I do not give direct clinical advice on-line. My medical defence union doesn’t like it, and there are lurkers out there, waiting for me to make a mistake.

      Reply
  14. Jason Shaw

    Dear Dr. Kendrick,

    This may be the longest post yet…

    I have recently been informed by my GP that I have a cholesterol rating of 9.5 (!). He told me there was nothing I could do about it – diet/exercise/stress levels not mentioned – and that I must take Statins (40mg Atorvastatin/Lipitor). This worried me, as you can imagine. I’d gone in about a chest infection and had anti-biotics, followed by some steriods (neither worked, more on that later) and came out with Statins. I’m not one for taking pills without good reason and wasn’t keen on the long term prospect of Statins, even though I’d heard somewhere that they were a ‘wonder’ drug. I quickly noticed side effects that I now know are associated with Statins; muscles aches (counter productive as I started running every day to raise my ‘good’ HDL levels!), pins and needles, a strange feeling that I was now a 10 stone weakling, feeling fatigued in the morning (despite plenty of sleep) and the strangest one – forgetting things a few seconds after I had thought of them.

    After I read the first chapter of your book I threw them in the bin. The next morning my chest felt much better (Could the 3 weeks on the Statins prolonged the infection?), my muscles don’t ache, the tiredness is gone and I’m starting to feel stronger. I’ve no background of ill health and my weight is healthy (having happily followed a lowish-carb diet for 10 years). My only real problem is neck/back muscles causing tension headaches, for which I’ve popped far to many painkillers over the years. I’ve now had physio that’s helped and do yoga allowing me to wean myself off the painkillers.

    However, there’s still the nagging doubt about the 9.5 reading and I wondered if you may be able to shed some light on this? This is a higher rating than I’ve seen reference to and I don’t know of anyone else who I would trust to advise me. I’m 41, don’t smoke, moderate drinker, in shape but minimal exercise at present… am I likely to see 42? I might need some big balls in the stand-off with my GP, who wants it down to under 6.

    I’m so thankfully for your writings (and others like you).

    All the very best, keep up the good work.

    Jason Shaw

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Jason,

      I think that if you are getting severe and debilitating side-effects you may feel that any benefit from statin is not worth the cost. In primary prevention the benefits are not great.

      Reply
  15. jo young

    hey doc, am reading your book about cholestral, fascinating and brilliant. I am a type 1 diabetic and have been for 15 years. I am not yet statinated and after reading your book won’t be, although it is standard procdure now to statinate diabetics. I was hoping you might be able to answer a question for me. Do you know how diabetes is related to heart disease, I don’t think it’s cholestral anymore, ha ha. but I can’t understand the mechanism of how diabetes makes you a higher risk to heart disease. obviously everyone bangs on about it and if there is anything I can do to help my condition I will. thanks for opening my eyes to the colestral con, it’s helped alot. I had started taking plant sterols for my cholestrol which is not that high anyway, well, 5.8. Any info would be a great help. thanx again jo

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Diabetes does increase the risk of heart disease. Most probably due to effects on blood clotting, endothelial damage/dysfunction (probably through high blood sugar levels) and a whole range of factors in the blood that are damaging. Nothing to do with LDL levels.

      Reply
  16. jo young

    hey again, just doing a bit of a nose around the net. this is funny.

    ‘There actually isn’t an official cause of diabetes, but studies have shown that obesity and lack of exercise are major contributing factors to it.’

    Read more: How is Diabetes Related to Heart Disease? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how-does_4577502_how-diabetes-related-heart-disease.html#ixzz24BLUNhaI

    i am fit and not overweight, ha ha, jo

    and theres more

    ‘So how are heart disease and diabetes linked? By controlling your weight, monitoring your nutrition and increasing realistic exercise, you can manage both diseases well. For example, foods that are high in fat and starches can also be high in sugar and LDL, or bad cholesterol. Too much bad cholesterol in diabetics makes it even harder for the cells to receive insulin. Constantly eating such foods can cause a plaque build-up of the “bad” cholesterol in your artery walls. At the same time, you may be taking in more glucose than your diabetic levels of insulin can handle. By cutting out most foods with high levels of those bad actors, you control both diseases.’

    ooh er!!

    anyway thanx for your time jo

    Reply
  17. Brian Kirman

    Dr Kendrick
    As a result of reading your book I stopped taking statins. I have resisted suggestions and maintained skepticism about high cholesterol wherever mentioned. I remain surprised at the level of acceptance of the theory you so vigorously question. This is even accepted as ‘given’ by media doctors.
    I corresponded with Dr mark Porter (Radio 4’s excellent ‘Inside Health’ programme) and even he – who regularly questions accepted ideas – responded with considerations of risk assessment of high LDL levels rather than the more fundamentl point of cholesterol being good/bad or irrelevant.
    In fact it is hard to find any balanced disussion of the ‘accepted opinion’. I think I, and probably many others, would feel more comfortable if doubts about statins were more widely published.
    Therefore I welcome your blog but only found it by chance and hope that you can publicise more effectively – then perhaps the debate can be more open.

    Thanks
    B Kirman

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      This research comes from the Clinical Trials Service Unit at Oxford who run the Cholesterol Triallists Collaboration, and who run clinical studies – mainly funded by the likes of Merck and Schering Plough. This unit is exceedingly pro-statin and do post-hoc analysis of all the cholesterol trials again, and again. They point blank refuse to release the data they have on adverse effects of statins, claiming it is commercially sensitive. Not perhaps as sensitive as the muscles of those who take these damned things. He states that only one in ten thousand people suffer serious side-effects. This must make me a most amazing doctor as I have seen two cases of rhabdomyelosis, three severe liver failures and umpteen problems with mood swings, depression, impotence, cognitive problems and one case of possible motor neurone disease. These drugs create a vast range of side-effects, some very serious. Yet, still, there is no evidence of any significant effect on overall mortality.

      Reply
      1. Roseanne Lannigan

        Thank god someones honest regarding these dangerous drugs I have had a very severe reaction almost walked in front of an ambulance ironic couldn’t remember anything ruined my legs and knees now bother in my hands have a strange rumble or pulse and every time it goes somewhere I have a reaction now having bother with breathing asthmatic they say at fifty four but research shows it can cause ongoing health problems and this is seven years later we need help and knowledge because they ruin lives and they are putting money before people.No doctors seem to know much about this.

  18. David Morris

    Hi Dr Kendrick,
    Me again, sorry! What about Prof. Sir Rory Collins latest? How can taking toxic poison be good for anyone and everyone over the age of 50 regardless? I would love to see your response to his statement, will you be publishing one?
    Best wishes
    David Morris

    Reply
  19. Brian Kirman

    The propaganda deluge continues. A professor this time. All quite scary to a layman, I also hope you can give a reasoned response to the latest.
    Thanks

    Reply
  20. Arie Brand

    Malcolm,

    My additional comment to my blog post on the discrediting of unwelcome research has been awaiting moderation on the “main line” since August 8.

    Arie Brand

    Reply
  21. Dunn

    Hi Dr Kendrick.

    On being diagnosed with DM2 almost three years ago I immediately started doing my research. I started by reading Dr Bernstein, Gary Taubes and your own Cholesterol Con.

    As a result of that reading I immediately started a VLCHF diet which has naturally resulted in normal blood sugar levels and HBA1C values not more than 5.4 all without the need for meds.

    More as a matter of interest than anything else, I am wondering why it is that, whereas all the literature would suggest that ones triglyceride levels should plummeted if one adopts a VLCHF diet, there are those of us for whom this does not seem to happen. Mine own has only dropped from 3.5 to the range of 1.9 to 2.1. I would be grateful if you could link me to any research of which you might be aware.

    Rgds

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Thanks for the e-mail. Yet more evidence that low carb dieting is the best way to control blood sugar levels. As to your question regarding VLDL/triglyceride levels. I don’t know. I know that you need a certain VLDL level as this is the lipoprotein needed to transport cholesterol from the liver to the rest of the body, so it could be a sign your body is using a lot of cholesterol to meet its needs. I will try and look into this area more closely.

      Reply
  22. Dunn

    .Yet more evidence that low carb dieting is the best way to control blood sugar levels.

    For others that may read this, perhaps I should add these additional benefits : reversal of background retinopathy, reversal of NAFLD, reversal of mild neuropathy and weight loss of (currently) 50lbs.

    ….. so it could be a sign your body is using a lot of cholesterol to meet its needs.

    I’m not a biochemist but a computer programmer. After becoming aware of just how important cholesterol is within the body, this was the same thought that I had and which seemed to me to be the most logical conclusion, especially if one factors in the aforementioned reversals. I just haven’t seen anything in writing specifically on point although I continue to search.

    Rgds

    Reply
  23. Maryanne Demasi

    Hi Dr Kendrick. I am a medical journalist doing a story on heart disease, cholesterol and statins. I have read your book. Please email me your contact so we can arrange a time to chat briefly. Many thanks, Maryanne

    Reply
      1. James Alexander

        Dr Kendrick, when you get to dealing with this interesting link from Paul, I hope you will move it to “recent posts”, where a separate dedicated discussion thread can form – there seems to me to be much that arises.

    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Paul. Thanks. I am in pretty regular contact with Stephanie. She is very bright, and I like most of what she has to say. She is a bit fixated on suplphate, but we all have our cross to bear

      Reply
      1. CJP

        I have just read Stephs essay on sulphur deficiency.

        Allied to the notion of methylation as a detox process. That’s to say when methylation is overworked – conditions under which homocysteine levels may rise – then more cholesterol molecules may converted to atherogenic oxycholesterols by the highly oxidising hcy.

        Look again at Stephs essay, she makes a pointed argument that sulphated oxycholesterols are not only rendered harmless by the addition of sulphate, but rendered healthful. This fair leapt of the page, it did, and had me go all peculiar, like.

        Basically homocysteine may convey oxidative stress the way of cholesterol, creating the stink that goes with cholestane triol, but then if present suplhur comes along like shake-n-vac and puts the freshness back. If right this is a BIG deal, one worthy of discussion.

  24. afifahhamilton

    I think Paul is talking about Stephanie Seneff. She is indeed brilliant. I love the way Mercola does his interviews, as it permits a kind of discussion, a dialogue an exploration of the subject, without interruption or argument, but two people endeavouring to get their heads round things. If you can, watch the long interview Mercola does with Dr Huber on glyphosate. He is a professor of soil science, and really knows his stuff, and although the interview is long (90 mins) it is due to this steady pace of unpacking the subject, in detail, that the listener ends up properly learning something of value, from a reliable source. Seneff is one of those gems who, without ego or vanity, but bags of brains, plugs away at things, essentially trying to find ‘what makes the nitty, gritty’.
    By the way, are you good people reading Petro Dobromylskyj’s superb blog Hyperlipid? It’s here at http://www.high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.co.uk
    Byee

    Reply
  25. Bernd

    Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in truth was once a amusement account it.
    Glance complex to far introduced agreeable from you! By the way,
    how can we keep up a correspondence?

    Reply
  26. Charles Fairweather

    Dear Dr Kendrick, my GP put me on simvastatin 4 months ago because my TC was tending towards 7 and my LDL count was about to become terminal. . About 10 days ago I suffered a severe bout of vertigo and went to see a specialist who declared my neurological responses normal. I then began a search to discover the cause and finally discovered that Adcock Ingram the drug company had a warning for vertigo and dizziness on their insert. I googled similar experiences and other people had experienced what I had and worse due to statins. I immediately stopped taking the stains and all symptoms have disappeared. Your book therefor was a godsend as I have been living in fear of the food police for 20 years and have fully expected sausages and fatty lamb chops to dispatch me to my maker. Now that the sentence has been commuted I intend to continue with my low carb high fat diet which suits me fine. I have also joined your crusade to expose the the groundless fears about cholesterol and I am going to try to get my doctors to report the side effects suffered by me and definitely recommend your book to all my friends. Thanks and regards Charles Fairweather

    Reply
  27. James Mitchell

    PLEASE HELP! on page 25 of his book The Great Cholesterol Con”, the doctor says “you do not actually have a cholesterol level in your bloodstream at all”. However this isn’t quite the case. Please correct me but aren’t blood plaques made up of cholesterol itself and blood plaques are in the blood vessels via which the blood stream passes? Therefore HDL removes the Cholesterol FROM these plaques and thus from the blood vessels? if not, then where does HDL remove Cholesterol from??? I know it carries it to Liver but where does HDL load up with Cholesterol?

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      HDL does indeed ‘mop up’ cholesterol. As cell die around the body the debris needs to be cleared up. HDL takes up cholesterol from within the interstitial (between the cells) spaces, transfers it to VLDL, or LDL using LCAT (an enzyme), this cholesterol then ends up back in the liver via LDL and VLDL receptors. It is then recycled. HDL does not remove cholesterol from the plaques as this is a highly active process requiring cells that are capable of moving around independently. These cells are called macrophages which are complex single celled ‘organisms’ whose role is to attack bacteria, and viruses, and remove debris from larger areas of damage. Macrophages evolve from monocytes. Monocytes circulate around and can evolve into different types of cells depending on the messages that they receive. Monocytes, in turn, evolve from Endothelial Progenitor Cells (EPCs). EPCs develop in the liver.

      Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      James. That statement assumes HDL picks up cholesterol found within arterial plaques. This is not true. Nor is it true that cholesterol picked up by HDL ends up in the bile. Some will, some will not. Some will be used to create new VLDL molecules. Also remember that most of the bile/cholesterol is re-absorbed, and used again. The body does not just throw cholesterol away. It is far too useful a molecule which is being constantly re-cycled and re-synthesized within the liver.

      Reply
  28. James Mitchell

    Thank you! And thank you for saving the lives of millions! Just make sure no one funded by the drug companies drop a uranium pill into your tea! You cost them a lot of money ;) It is said that when arteries become brittle Cholesterol is brought to “patch them up” and plaques are patches to help keep arteries going like glue where they’re damaged. is that not the case? and if HDL doesn’t “pick up” cholesterol from the arteries, where does it pick it up from and bring it to and are there any “studies or write up?

    Reply
  29. James Mitchell

    Dr. Thanks in advance for answering my questions! on page 87 you state that Fat intake went up from 5% to 20%, Protein from 11 to 18% in Japan from 1958-99, and Carbohydrates down from 84% to 62%, yet cholesterol went up 20%. I could have sworn in the earlier pages you stated that Fat does NOT cause cholesterol increase, and Carbohydrates do. can you help clarify this?

    Reply
  30. Afifah

    Can I answer this one Malcolm? Tell me if I get it right won’t you.
    When eating predominently a carb diet the LDL level and the triglyceride level will be proportionally higher, which is what you don’t want. When increasing fat and reducing carbs although total cholesterol levels might rise slightly the HDL will tend to be higher than the LDL, which is desirable, and the triglycerides will also be lower. Triglyceride level does indicate potential trouble, so a lower level is better.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      I think this is about right. I find this whole are a bit of a mess, with so many agendas being pursued. In general a high carb diet will tend to raise VLDL (triglycerice) levels and lower HDL levels. This can seem to push down the ‘measured’ LDL level (in some people), as it will be lower as a proportion of total lipoproteins in the blood. Eating fat tends to lower VLDL levels, and raise HDL levels, and may seem to increase LDL levels. Howver, also, as people get older the LDL levels, and total cholesterol levels, tend to rise. So some of the rise in total cholesterol rise in Japan will be due to an aging population.

      Reply
      1. James Mitchell

        Dr Thanks again. Why would it push down the measured LDL if it raises VLDL? I followed the Paleo Diet (carbs from fruits only, no grains) and high fat intake (non-processed) and my total Cholesterol and LDL dropped, while HDL rose. Why would that be? I also increased C and E intakes (1000mg & 200 UI respectively).

  31. n smith

    Dear Dr Kendrick

    No. I’m not being insulting..just my attempt at making a joke of something I did ask about.Sorry… but I know it was abit long winded, and I sent the question on here, and I saw my question then, on this thread. But when I checked again it had gone.. never mind I’ll try and ask again..

    Please could you say what causes furring up of the arteries that then causes myocardial infarction? I’m not really asking about the cholesterol question. Just that.

    It’s just that, 4 of my siblings,and my father all suffered from heart attacks ( 3 actually died from them ) and on their death certificates it said myocardial infarction caused by thickening and furring up af the arteries.

    Is there anything that I could do to avoid this. I have never smoked. I walk miles each day/week, I eat real food straight from the animal ( cooked first ) –sorry ! :-) and I avoid processed food.. Now and then I do like something of a treat though, ie cake, fruit, sandwich, ice cream, etc or something like that. I am fit, slim active, and 65 yrs of age.

    Can I avoid the fate of my family ?

    Thankyou.

    Reply
  32. James Mitchell

    Dr. By the way, does your father in law still take statins or did you convince him to do otherwise? :) and also is it a coincidence that there are two books exactly named the great cholesterol con, with one written by you and another by some American impostor? :)

    Reply
  33. James Mitchell

    Quick question again. in your book on page 21 there’s a reference to a comment that there’s no connection in cholesterol in our food vs. in our blood. For what reason would you guess the doctors request that we fast 12+ hours before our cholesterol blood test or our test will be incorrect or skewed?

    Reply
  34. Trish

    Hi Dr Kendrick

    My name is Trish and i live in NZ. One year ago I suffered a SCAD (coronary dissection of the OM1 artery). In NZ apparently there is only about 53 of us who have had these with there only being aprrox. 5-6 of us diagnosed a year. The majority of us a very fit, healthy and have good diets. Hormones, i believe play a huge part in this. They have standard procedures for treating us but as they say themselves they have no idea if they help. The standard procedure is beta blockers, aspirin, clopedogrel and of course statins. After 3 months you get taken off clopedogrel and in my case taken off beta blockers. I took myself off the statins. Now they want me back on beta blockers and statins to increase my chances of no further heart events. I have no bockages in my arteries, no heart disease and a cholesterol of 6.1. In the UK, Europe or other parts of the world how are SCAD’s treated. Is the use of statins and beta blockers encouraged or recommended? Many thanks.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Trish, I do not know enough on this specific issue to give you much help. Sounds like standard procedure for treating this is the same as standard procedure for treating all forms of CVD. Beta-blockers clopidogrel, aspirin and statins. As a wise man once said ‘If the only tool you have is a hammer, pretty soon everything starts looking like a nail.’ I suspect no-one has done a trial of SCAD, so you doctors are guessing as much as I would be in trying to give helpful advice.

      Reply
      1. Trish

        Thank you for your reply. One can only hope that the Mayo Clinic who are currently conducting some studies on SCAD’s might come up with useful information, but I won’t hold my breath that it will involve anything BUT medication.

  35. Eddie Mitchell

    Looks like Malcolm was ahead of the game, again !

    Fasting cholesterol tests ‘not needed’

    GPs do not need to ask patients to fast before taking a cholesterol test as it makes very little difference to the results, a large-scale study has suggested.
    Canadian researchers found that mean levels of total cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol varied by less than 2% among individuals with fasting times of between one and 16 hours.
    The researchers concluded fasting for routine lipid levels was ‘largely unnecessary’, contradicting best practice as recommended by NICE and the Joint British Societies.
    Their study looked at the laboratory results of blood samples from 111,048 women and 98,132 men in the community and cross-referenced this with the duration they had fasted before the sample was taken.
    The data was from a six-month period in 2011 and researchers controlled for the differing age of patients. They then estimated the mean levels of cholesterol subclasses recorded at different fasting times.
    The mean levels of total cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol differed little among individuals with various fasting times, with variations of less than 2%.

    http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/20000896.article?sp_rid=MjI4MDQ1Mzg1NjUS1&sp_mid=40557199&spMailingID=40557199&spUserID=MjI4MDQ1Mzg1NjUS1&spJobID=167558006&spReportId=MTY3NTU4MDA2S0#.UKzWdIe40mt

    Reply
  36. James Alexander

    Then factor in to your thinking the recognised margin of error in cholesterol measurement (14%!!!); the extent of variations in ‘level’ found in individuals throughout even a single day let alone a week; the difference made by posture in the minutes previous to or during the sample extraction; and the differences that arise from different sampling methods; the incidence of laboratory differences and errors in all such medical measuring procedures; and the absurdity of recording and reporting to two decimal places, given all these factors. Then do stop worrying, unless and until you’re getting results extreme and off-normal-range enough to be just possibly pointing to a just possible health concern. Numbers like 2, 3, 15? Then check the accuracy and consistency of the reading. Then consult a specialist physician, but essentially one of the Kendrick tendency, not a Autostatin Dalek.

    If it’s any help, I’ve just tried to pour some coolant over my own GP. He wanted to statinate me on the strength of 7. As a Kendrick student, I think 7 is perfectly OK myself, no cause for taking poison. But for my own interest, and to get him off my case, I said I’d prefer to try dieting it down. 3 months of no cheese. cream, and some of the other usual suspects, plus Benecol spread and a daily Benecol yoghurt (yes, I’m no fan of naturopathism, but Benecol claims to offer the correct dose of plant sterols, and something worked), and I was 5.4. But as said above, I don’t place any faith at all in either reading, or any.

    Reply
  37. Maria

    Thank you for your book. My husband suffered a heart attack in September. He is well on the road to recovery. In trying to understand how we could improve our lifestyle I came across your book. It was the first one I came across that explained things in logical terms and with clear arguments.

    I am still trying to understand why the heat attack occurred, he has no traditional risk factors, AND he is pretty laid back, so doesn’t suffer from emotional stress and is only 40. However, he was diagnosed, after about 10 years of symptoms, of having gluten intolerance. Could those years of suffering be considered a possible cause of physical stress? (I now wonder if the gluten intolerance is a symptom of something else) I’m not asking with the expectation of getting a confirmation of the cause, but if you could point me forward further information I’ll be very grateful.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Maria. I don’t know. I suspect gluten intolerance creates a wide range of processes that could, perhaps, accelerate unstable plaque development. I may try searching for some research into this area

      Reply
  38. Roseanne Lannigan

    so glad to read someone is agreeable statins are very dangerous i was on simivistatin reacted terribly immediately told to keep taking them took full cramps in legs thought i had bone cancer was forgetful delerious in agony fnally after one year nine months doc checked blood ck sky high now mobility problems memory loss muscl problems in bowel stomach now lungs low cholestrol dont know why i took it never had bloods done neurologist say i have muscle asting disease could be caused by statin i had no health issues before regarding muscles would love to speak to dr kendrick regarding this but cant find e mail

    Reply
  39. Wayne Bryant

    Hello Dr Kendrick,
    Many thanks for all the wonderful work you are doing. I bought your book about 4 years ago and have found it very interesting. My brother was put on statins for total cholesterol of about 5.2 and they nearly crippled him and he came off them and returned to normal quite quickly. They also caused great leg pain and difficulty in walking for my uncle (and he had to stop playing golf in his retirement) who whilst on them died from a stroke. I was offered them (cholesterol of 6.8) but forcefully declined. In fact my then Doctor admitted they kept lowering the acceptable limit to increase the market for them. It seems that serious side effects are very common. I think it is scandalous and immoral that in the name of huge profits these things are foisted on the unsuspecting public. The Daily Express seem obsessed with promoting them. Their front page headline this week was”Proof Statins Save Millions” -Wonder pill halves heart attack deaths”. This was endorsed by Professor Peter Weissberg of the British Heart Foundation- very worrying! I also think the whole notion of treating symptoms with a drug and not doing something about causes is bizarre. (although a nice little earner of course!).Of course the whole notion of high cholesterol being a problem is a red herring. In fact I’m sure eating red herring would be far more helpful,
    many thanks
    Wayne Bryant

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      It is quite amazing how many people, when you speak to them, know someone who has suffered extremely unpleasant (in some cases crippling) side-effects from statins. Yet, doctors still refuse to believe that side-effects are common. It is a kind of barrier that people put up to believing anything bad of something they think of as ‘good.’ I had vaguely planned to talk about the delusion surrounding Jimmy Savile. A man believed by millions to be a kind-hearted philanthropist. In reality, a manipulative paedophile. Yet, even when the evidence was staring people in the face, the idea that he may be a highly unpleasant person jarred too badly. Ideas that jar too much are dismissed. Too painful otherwise.

      Reply
  40. Afifah

    I would like to comment on Maria’s message above regarding her 40 year old husband and coeliac disease. Coeliac is very much on the rise and it does not only cause digestive tract disorders and symptoms. When I did my medical training, over 20 years ago coeliac disease was the only one mentioned as caused by gluten. Now there are 160 conditions known to be caused by gluten ingestion or inhalation! Very few doctors are looking into this, but the researchers are and if you read the papers they publish you find that the evidence is very strong. The cardiologist William Davis published a book in 2011 called ‘Wheat Belly’, but as he says he could have called it ‘Wheat Brain’ or ‘Wheat Skin’ or ‘Wheat Lungs’ or ‘Wheat Bones’ or even ‘Wheat Tumour’ because gluten (found in largest amounts and most commonly eaten in the form of wheat) causes trouble in all of these body parts/systems/conditions. In fact the physician Stanislas Tanchou in Paris back in 1843 was able to predict the cities of Europe that would have the most cases of cancer based on the amount of grain (wheat) that they bought in!! There is also a quote from him around the same time that goes “Cancer, like insanity, seems to increase with the progress of civilisation”, so he was aware of the mental health effects of grain use way back then. The earliest paper I have found on the matter was Singh et al in 1976 in a paper on schizophrenia, which was found to be entirely due to gluten eating. Yes, schizophrenia.

    So, books to read:
    1) ‘Wheat Belly’ by William Davis (fab read, if a bit American, but full of research)
    2) ‘Primal Body Primal Mind’ by Nora Gedguadas (Not a great writer as such but the information in the book is spot on and she knows lots about gluten).
    3) ‘The Vegetarian Myth’ by Lierre Keith. She’s an environmentalist who has realised that the growing of grains is devastating our earth, and our bodies.
    4) ‘Why We Get Fat – and what to do about it’ by Gary Taubes is also really fantastic, providing a whole new array of excellent studies to get your teeth into. I especially love his superb early chapters on the nonsense about excercise making you loose weight. It does the opposite!
    5) ‘Deep Nutrition – why your genes need traditional food’ by Dr Catherine Shanahan is an excellent in-depth walk through of the importance of real food (not grains, not sugars and not vegetable oils) for ones cells to rebuild tissue well. I highly recommend this book.
    6) ‘Put Your Heart In Your Mouth’ by the neurologist Dr Natasha Campbell McBride. She cites loads of great studies that confirm it all too.
    All these books in fact should be read by everyone. Then the world would be a better, healthier place, and the next generation would have a chance.

    Let me just add a warning: If you are gluten intolerant/allergic don’t be persuaded to eat all those ‘gluten free’ products. No one should be eating much from the grain department anyway, gluten containing or not. None of them have a place in our 8 million year evolution, being introduced only 10,000 years ago at the outside. Basically, leave the grass eaters to eat grasses, and birds, and be a top carnivore and eat meat. Look into the wonderful and highly intelligent Paleo Diet brigade, who are great fun too (people like Denise Minger and Chris Masterjohn and Free The Animal etc) and look at Dr Mercola’s site, he’s brilliant too, offering loads of great video interviews with superb people for free, and you will soon get the idea about what to eat.

    Just as our delightful Dr Kendrick has helped us all see our way through the statin and cholesterol nonsense in his fabulous book ‘The Great Cholesterol Con’ so these other people can enlighten you as to other areas of health truth and lies.

    Reply
  41. gwanwyn thomas

    Am reading book great cholesterol con. It has frightened me. My husband is writing to the welsh health minister to ask whether statins is another way to cull the ageing population as we are becoming too expensive !!! this book 5 years old has dr kendrick changed his views

    Reply
  42. Leon

    Dr. Hendrick,
    Perhaps you know one of the last article from the Oxford University:

    “Risk of hospitalization or death from ischemic heart disease among British vegetarians and non vegetarians: results from the EPIC-Oxford cohort study 1,2,3
    Francesca L Crowe, Paul N Appleby, Ruth C Travis, and Timothy J Key.”

    This study claims that vegetarians has 1/3 less risk to be hospitalized for heart disease than those who eat meat and fish.

    I would like to hear your opinion about this study.

    Regards,

    B. Leon

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Not Hendrick, but Kendrick…… thanks

      The best response to this load of rubbish from Oxford is the following blog by Tom Naughton in the US:

      http://www.fathead-movie.com/index.php/2013/01/31/the-latest-meat-kills-study/

      This was a highly biased study (those in the vegetarian arm were nearly ten years younger, on average, just for starters). It was observational, it was jam packed full of cofounders. It was nonsense. Read Tom’s blog

      Reply
      1. Leon

        Sorry Dr, Kendrick, my apologies. It was just a misprinting.
        By the way, I am finishing to read your book(The great Cholesterol Con:…).
        I have never read a so scientific document that combines so well the most strict high level logic with a so highly refined sense of humor.
        Thanks for have written this document!

  43. Andy Griffin

    Dr Kendrick
    As a devotee of your work… and a satins victim of deep depression and serious memory loss, tell me, is the following garbage?

    Headline in MailOnline 3-2-2013
    The two-minute workout works wonders: Short, sharp bursts of exercise are just as good as a 90 minute run
    (Testees) had their blood tested to see how quickly the levels of fat in their blood fell – as fat lingering in the blood after eating is known to trigger the first in a series of steps that can lead to clogging of the arteries and heart disease.
    Another group revealed that walking for half an hour on a treadmill cut fat by 11 per cent, compared with not doing any exercise.
    But the short sharp bursts of exercise cut it by 33 per cent – the sort of effect expected from a 90-minute run.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2198925/The-minute-workout-works-wonders-Short-sharp-bursts-exercise-just-good-90-minute-run.html

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Andy,

      I think it might be true – at least as far as improvements in metabolic parameters go. I have been vaguely following this research for some time.

      I think high intensity exercise can be key to stimulating muscles to start using glycogen stores, and short burst exercise can do this very effectively. Once glycogen stores are reduced, skeletal muscle metabolism alters quite dramatically and insulin resistance falls. This reduces VLDL/triglyderide levels and increases HDL. So, in theory, this could be a very good thing – I think. As with most things beware the bandwagon, but I am comfortable with this research thus far. I am hoping to start some research on this shortly

      Reply
  44. pjt13

    Love your blog and eminent good sense. I’m a Paleo afficionado and eschew medics as much as I can and, barring unforeseen accidents, and creeping old age, am fit and well. Also increasingly better informed by the likes of your good self and others who similarly think rather than blindly follow.

    Reply
  45. Az

    I just read your article “Why The Cholesterol-Heart Disease Theory Is Wrong” on CoconutOil.com. I’m a chemist and found you argumentation brave and undeniable… and laughed many times through it.

    Thank you, you’re making the world a better place…. “The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.” (Isaac Asimov)

    Reply
  46. gwanwyn thomas

    At 74 i am a bit confused about using these blog things…. in what order etc. This is what i want to say.I commented (found by accident ) on your book which i have just read and believe. My stubborn husband listened to me and has stopped taking statins. He was prescribed them when he was diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure, and his cholesterol was 4.9 at the time….reducing recently to 2.9 after use of statins. I could never understand why he was being treated for something he never had ie high cholesterol level. Your book does make it clear why he was. I still feel a bit scared as he says he has given them up because i am keeping on about them all the time. I told him to make his own decision and read the book, which he has not yet even started. I do believe what you have wriiten and would never take them. I hope this is in the right place. i am struggling a bit with all this blog stuff

    Reply
  47. Paul de Rose

    Paul de Rose :
    It sounds amazing but simply eating an apple a day might be able to lower LDL levels by 40% according to a small but serious academic study in the US. Perhaps the saying was right after all? Now, if GPs suggested to patients with high cholesterol that instead of taking statins they simply ate an apple a day, that might not only benefit them with little or no adverse risk but cut a sizable chunk out of the NHS drug bill! Check out…
    http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/appleaday.htm

    Dear Dr.M, I’d be very interested to hear your considered views on this. Personally I’d rather eat an apple than take a Statin despite being a diabetic, after all humans have been doing just this since the Garden of Eden without any unwanted consequences!

    If such a simple and cheap regime were capable of altering oxidized LDL to the extent the US study showed then surely it should be looked into with more urgency. But then of course the drug companies can’t patent apples so where is the bottom line in it for them? Given they seem to fund most research, this discovery might wither on the branch!

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      It sounds amazing… it is amazing. Apples are not lowering LDL levels. They are lowering oxidised LDL levels. Some people believe that it is the oxidised LDL that causes atherosclerosis, but they are wrong. LDL has nothing to do with CHD, oxidised, or otherwise. Oxidised LDL is very rapidly removed from the circulation by the liver. It is also the preferred form of LDL for endothelial cells (cells that line the arteries). Endothelial cells have specific LOX receptors designed to take up oxidised LDL. So why, exactly, would this be an unhealthy process? People have found, what they believe to be, oxidised LDL in atheroscerotic plaques. It is oxidised here because it is being attacked by macrophages which first oxidise ‘alien’ matter before endocytosis. And it is isn’t LDL in atherosclerotic plaques anyway. It is mainly LP(a). In short, this study is bollocks. However, I await the new, GM apples, specifically bred for its amazing CHD preventing anti-oxidant properties. I give it two years.

      Reply
  48. Paul de Rose

    Many thanks for shining your laser mind on this matter and the resulting direct and unequivocal debunking of this apparently bogus hypothesis. Bring on the GM apples!

    Reply
  49. Ian

    I need some help, I suspect I have rhabdomyolisis after years of statin use. I had it before due to Dermatomyositis 18 years ago and have very similar symptoms now, but minimal skin problems. I can’t exercise and become very ill if I do, I cannot get any Drs to take me seriously, can’t get a private consultation with a consultant and my GP has disowned me because I refuse to take cholesterol meds, even refusing me a private referral. Can you recommend a Dr near Hampshire that would see me, I am desperate and have no worries paying a private consultant.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Sorry, don’t know of anyone in the Hampshire area. However, I would speak to your GP again, tell them you think you have severe muscle problems due to statins. Ask for CK test (may not show anything), but would probably insist on a referral to a rheumatologist. It may be dermatomyositis – I think – not sure. Could be statin related. Not sure how you could prove it one way or another, but you certainly need to push very hard for further testing, and a definitive diagnosis.

      Reply
      1. Ian

        Thanks but my GP will not even refer me privately unless I resume cholesterol treatment – which I refuse to do.

        I suspect I have statin induced rhabdomyolisis and dermatomyositis as I have all the symptoms of a similar case I found on the internet.

  50. Afifah

    I just want to make a comment to Ian, above, needing help.

    In my experience autoimmune diseases respond well to removing all grains and sugars from the diet. Grains, i.e. grasses, are not the appropriate food for mankind and we didn’t evolve eating grass seeds. The use of them is relatively recent, and with their use came a great many of the diseases that fill the medical textbooks.

    Various researchers and academics (e.g. Jared Diamond who wrote ‘The World Until Yesterday’, and ‘Guns Germs and Steel’ and Loren Cordain in his 1999 paper ‘Cereal Grains – Humanity’s Double Edged Sword’) reveal some of the dire consequences of the adpotion of agriculture including the effects on health.

    So seek out a practitioner who is able to work with you shifting your metabolism from running on glucose (which is produced when any carbohydrates are eaten, inc grains, root veg, fruits and sugar) to running on fats, especially animal fats, which is where the majority of our energy/calories should come from according to our evolutionary development. This is also known as a ‘low carb high fat diet’, or even a ‘ketogentic diet’ (though it may not be necessary to take it quite that far). Look into the subject of GAPS also, a gut centred approach to restoration of health (you can read up on it on line). But grains, especially those that contain gluten, should probably be totally absent from the diet in people suffering from any auto-immune disorders. That is what I have clearly discerned anyway.

    I know nothing about rhabdomyolysis, and am not recommending you do any thing in particular, but I just wanted to give you some thoughts to follow up. I trust you regain your health soon.

    Reply
    1. Ian

      Thanks, you are so right. I did have serious problems with eating before it dawned on me that exercise was the root cause. I’ve had this aspect of my problems dealt with really well at a clinic in Twyford.

      However the root cause of all these problems and many others remain with me. They are all being caused by exercise, even sitting for too long causes chest cramps, massive palpitations, stomach paralysis, electric shocks all over my body, chronic pain, migraines, high blood sugar levels, etc., etc. As long as I lay down all day, I’m absolutely fine, which is rather difficult, but does work :(

      Any suggestions for some professional help for rhabdomyolisis/dermatomyositis would be very welcome!!

      Reply
  51. kimyo

    now that advanced blood lipid testing is available, please consider a post to help us break down the results.

    i just had a ‘traditional’ cholesterol test alongside an nmr lipid profile. the total cholesterol level as well as the ldl were both 10% higher on the traditional test, which suggests that many are being treated based on inaccurate results.

    specific to the nmr test, please consider giving us your take on the ‘passengers vs. vehicles’ debate, as well as the relative importance of the measured values (ie: is the best indicator of heart health ldl-size, ldl-p or hdl-p?).

    i am always lending out my copy of ‘the great cholesterol con’, thank you very much for your efforts.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      In my opinion, the entire lipid testing industry is complete nonsense. When a hypothesis undergoes constant change it is nonsense. We had total cholesterol, then LDL, then HDL/LDL ratio, then dyslipidaemia, then oxidised LDL, then..who knows, and in my opinion who cares. The entire hypothesis that lipids – of any sort – are causal agents in CHD is bunk. This always has been bunk, and always will. If you have high VLDL (triglcyerides) and low HDL, you are insulin resistant and this is a sign that your metabolism is knackered. However, neither factor is causal, it is a ‘sign’ that you are not in good shape. Association does not mean causation, association does not mean causation…rpt.

      Reply
      1. kimyo

        so, of paramount importance is to avoid stress? and, beyond that, inflammation? (ie: grains and soybean/canola oil)

        in terms of health/vitality/longevity, are there any medical tests you recommend? bone density (as an indicator of proper calcium deployment)? carotid intima media thickness?

        i find it most ironic that without grains, ‘civilization’ as we know it would not exist, yet, it is grains which lead to everything from diabetes to tooth decay to schizophrenia and beyond.

  52. Hatty

    am reading the book. it’s brilliant. even if I were not enormously interested in the content (which I am), I would continue reading for the entertainment. Bone-dry humour gets me every time! :)

    Reply
  53. Dr Peter Baxter

    Good morning Malcolm,
    You may remember me from Alness. I fully support your views on the con about the health care business frightening the public for its benefit! But at the same time care needs to ensure that the public is not only informed but is educated and can make both community as well as individual choice.
    Two obvious issues stand out for me. The concept of a blanket approach to the use of statins is unacceptable. Indeed the use of statins at all except where all else has failed (my total chol and LDL both fell dramatically with a carefully followed diet) is wrong. Similarly the poorly thought out regime of 5 fruit and veg per day is confusing and counterproductive (why can’t I eat 5 oranges; what constitues a portion of grapes etc etc?).
    Any way good to see you are still active. I’ve retired and am spending time sailing.
    Regards
    Peter Baxter
    PS Went to school in Macclesfield

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Peter…great to hear from you. Yes, still active, though frayed round the seams at times. I am currently writing another book that looks at a wider range of topics e.g. salt consumption, avoidance of sunshine, various dietary nonsense. The working title is ‘The dangerous book for grown-ups.’ It takes a long time to write a book when you are having to check everything you say about eighty times to make sure it is as true as possible.

      Reply
    2. Wayne Bryant

      Hello Dr Hendrick, Just noticed your reply to Dr Baxter and am very much looking forward to your new book. Yes the salt issue!. I have a very good book called “Water and Salt- your healers from within” by Dr F. Batmangheldidj. I’ve noticed that “scare stories” in newspapers by “experts” very rarely differentiate between processed, heat treated salt with “additives” rather than health promoting, traditionally harvested sea salt crystals. (At least that’s my understanding) Good luck with the book and look after yourself (and your frayed edges). I hope you’re getting support from other Doctors and health professionals, best wishes Wayne Bryant

      Reply
    3. Wayne Bryant

      Hello Dr Hendrick, Just realied that it was your seams that were frayed and not your edges, (look after them both!) best wishes Wayne Bryant

      Reply
  54. Theresa Danezis

    Dear Malcom,
    I am reading your fascinating book at the moment, thank you:) May I ask what your view on the paleo/primal diet is?
    I am a 39 year old, healthy, fit and free of heath conserns mummy of two (7 & 5). We have all been on a sort of primal lifestyle for years now, but in the last 3 months we are eating fully primally as well (no grains no legumes, no sugar, healthy protein, loads of veg & fruit, nuts, selective full fat dairy). I had a check up and results came back at TC 233, LDL 163, HDL 70 and slightly low calcium. My doctor is conserned, said no saturated fats etc.
    Please, I would love to know your thoughts on primal.
    Many Thanks in advance,
    Theresa

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      I am not a great believer in any particular diet. My basic rules on food are 1: enjoy eating it, don’t be frightened by it. 2: Avoid (too many) highly processed foods containing a bunch of added chemicals e.g. pot noodles. 3: Eat natural foods e.g. butter, not margarine. 4: Reduce carbohydrate consumption and increase dairy products and saturated fats. 5: Keep omega-6 consumption down – it is bad for you. 6: Make sure you are not becoming vitamin deficient.

      As for primal/paleo. Most certainly pretty healthy I would think. Everything you have mentioned is healthy (Including your TC and LDL level).

      Reply
      1. Theresa Danezis

        Thank you for your reply:) By the way I finished your book and I enjoyed it tremendously! It is very informative and a pleasure to read. It made me laugh out loud too:)) I plan to buy a few copies to give to friends and family, as they all consider me utterly insane for following such a diet and not listening to the advice of my doctor when it comes to cholesterol. Many thanks again! Theresa

  55. Andrew Langley

    In 1997 I had a Inferior MI and in 1998 a 2nd and possibly a 3rd that was undiagnosed (happened on a team building course), also in 1998 I underwent a triple bypass, during this period I was put on Simvastatin (Zocor) which I have been on till recently.
    During those years I have experienced some muscle pain and developed type 2 diabetes, in 2009 I was rushed to hospital suffering from Acute Necrotising Pancreatitis, diagnosed as probably caused by gall stones. my gall bladder was subsequently removed and I requested whatever stones it contained, interestingly it contained one large(2cm) Billirubin stone, my Bilirubin levels had slowly been rising year on year since the introduction of statins.
    I did a great deal of research into statins, bilirubin, MI’s etc. but failed to convince GP and Cardioligist that I was unhappy about statins however I did manage to keep on a low dose and not be put up to the standard 40mg tablet that GP’s prescribe.
    I then found your book via an article in a national newspaper and subsequently purchased it.
    I found it fascinating reading and have subsequently found others who are querying the use of statiins.
    The Pancreatitis left me an insulin dependant diabetic injecting 80units of Rapid insulin a day. I have recently weaned myself of statins (without GP approval) and subsequently my blood sugar levels seem to be dropping as well or maybe I am getting better control although i doubt that.
    I now feel that my Pancreatitis may be as a result of the long term use of statins.
    Many thanks for your book which has given me a far greater understanding of statins.
    Regards Andy

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      You can never say, for sure, that the statin causes your necrotising pancreatitis. But I guess it probably was. Statins do cause (increase the risk of) type II diabetes, and coming off the statin should help blood sugar control. I would also suggest a high fat, low carb diet, as this will improve blood sugar control as well. Thank you for reading my book, I continue to try and spread the truth, and I am writing another book at present.

      Reply
  56. Liz Roberts

    Hello Dr. Kendrick,
    I’m in the middle of reading your book, “The Great Cholesterol Con”. I’m 73 years old, had a TMA on Hogmanay – was duly taken to hospital by my son – and had scans and blood tests. I was, of course, prescribed statins and aspirin, which I have not taken – unbeknowst to my sons and daughter and their spouses. I don’t want to worry them as they are of the great cholesterol brigade So thanks for the book. I’m trying to finish it before I see the consultant on Thursday for the results of my tests, so that I can tell him why I’m not taking the medication, and hopefully be able to suggest other treatments.
    P.S. Thanks for telling me to drink alcohol – I do like a wee dram.
    Yours sincerely,
    Liz Roberts

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Thanks for your comment. Good luck with your consultant! I guess you mean a TIA? I am not sure what a TMA is. Did anyone say why you may have had a TIA? There are some causes e.g. atrial fibrillation, that have effective treatments e.g. warfarin.

      Reply
      1. Liz Roberts

        Thanks Doctor Kendrick,
        I did try to reply the other day but it got lost in space somewhere. Thanks for replying to me.
        I saw my connsultant yesterday and everything seems to be OK apart from some plaque in the carotids.
        My cholesterol level is at 4 which pleased the doctor but I think according to your book is on the low side.
        Wasn’t brave enough to tell him that I wasn’t taking the medication. He was such a nice man and I didn’t want to have a confrontation. Plus, my daughter was with me!!!
        Thank you so much. Looking forward to your salt book.
        Yours truly,
        Liz Roberts

  57. Leon

    Dear Dr Kendrick,
    The research for telomere behavior is gaining more and more relevance in these days, perhaps for the supposed link to life span. I would like your opinion about this study appeared recently in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition:

    “Leukocyte telomere length and its relation to food and nutrient intake in an elderly population.”
    Abstract
    BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES
    Shorter leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is associated with several chronic diseases, but only a few studies have assessed the association between dietary factors and LTL. Our objective was to study the association between fats, fruits, vegetables and LTL in a cross-sectional study design. We hypothesized that intakes of fruits and vegetables would be positively associated with LTL and that intakes of fats, and especially saturated fatty acids (SFAs), would be negatively associated with LTL.
    SUBJECTS/METHODS
    LTL was measured by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction in 1942 men and women aged 57-70 years from the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study. We assessed the whole diet by a validated semiquantitative 128-item food-frequency questionnaire.
    RESULTS
    In general, there were only a few significant results. However, total fat and SFA intake (P=0.04 and 0.01, respectively) were inversely associated with LTL in men adjusting for age and energy intake. In women, vegetable intake was positively associated with LTL (P=0.05). Men consuming the most butter and least fruits had significantly shorter telomeres than those consuming the lowest amounts of butter and highest amounts of fruits (P=0.05). We found no association between LTL and body mass index, waist-hip ratio, smoking, physical activity or educational attainment.
    CONCLUSIONS
    In this cross-sectional study of elderly men and women, there were only a few statistically significant effects of diet, but in general they support the hypothesis that fat and vegetable intakes were associated with LTL
    Source:”European journal of clinical nutrition 66:12 2012 Dec pg 1290-4″

    Reply
  58. Charles Fairweather

    I encouraged my wife to go off statins and as a result her LDL cholesterol went from 1,6 to 4,7 but HDL increased from 1,1 to 1,26. The ratio went from 4,9 t0 4,7 and lastly S-Cholesterol from3,5 to 6,5. Her GP prescribed Coratin , a red yeast, rice and plant sterol to lower the LDL component as he says her risk of coronary heart attack is increased by the fact that she is on hormone replacement pills. It seems very doctor has a favourite theory. HDL is key and LDL should only be measured if particle size is also measured. Or its the ratio that counts etc. What’s your view on her lipid profile. Isny this whole business of measuring cholesterol a giant waste of time and money?

    Reply
  59. Mark Edwards

    Hi Dr. Kendrick.
    I have read your book, The Great Cholesterol Con twice now.
    You mention in the book that ‘Social Dislocation’ can be a large contributor to heart disease, and i think you are right because of the effects it is having on me at the moment, and has in the past.
    I started with acute depression, anxiety and insomnia in 2003 and had to sell my business, and my house and I ended up homeless for 2 years. I don’t come from a close family.
    I tried Pharmaceutical drugs, but they made me feel suicidal, so for most of the next 6 years or so I drank alcohol at the end of the day to calm me.
    I had to stop this before it killed me, so now I follow a strict organic diet, and I go to the gym as much as possible to stay mentally and physically fit.
    This has helped me greatly over the last year, boosting my confidence, and improving my central nervous system and internal organ function.
    Recently though, my health has been suffering, and it all started when i received a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions after my Atos medical examination. They deemed from the interview that I am no longer ill, and have cut off my Employment and Support Allowance, which I am now appealing, because I still suffer from the mental illness mentioned above.
    This has also been compounded by the bedroom tax, because i live alone in a 2 bed multi-storey flat. It also seems that I will have to start paying a proportion of my council tax as well.
    These stresses are now taking their toll on me, and I am experiencing shortness of breath, while at the same time experiencing an achy pain where my heart is located. The ironic thing is that the last time I experienced this, was back in the 90’s when I was homeless the first time. One night my heart actually stopped, and I collapsed in a heap on the floor, just as I felt it kick back into life. When it stopped, I started to feel numb from the center of my chest spreading outward to my neck and arms until it started beating again.
    This same occurrence has also happened in a hospital after a friend drove me there because I was having the same feelings. So two of the times I have experienced problems with my heart, I have been homeless, and this, the third time it is happening, I am having similar problems, and could end up homeless with no money again. At no other time in my life other than the times mentioned have I ever had any problems with my heart.
    My biggest problem now, is going to my local GP to see what they diagnose. Your book will be in my bag just in case they bring cholesterol up. I was in the same practice last night with my friend who was dropping off a script, and concerned about my health she got me to do a blood pressure test on the portable machine they have. It was perfect.
    I woke up this morning at 4am stressing about my health and my benefits and housing situation. I had nothing, but a cat to calm me down, which worked a treat, but I need something to take that’s natural to calm me down. Any ideas would be appreciated. I’ve never been able to smoke but I was wondering whether I would benefit from medicinal cannabis used in a vaporizor?
    Regards, Mark

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Thanks for your very frank e-mail. For calming down I would suggest finding a local teacher on transcendental meditation, as they teach techniques that can be very effective. If not, exercise is good, as are simple methods to control breathing

      Reply
  60. Eddie Mitchell

    Challenge patients to persevere with statins, GPs urged !

    Patients who discontinue treatment with a statin because of mild side effects should be encouraged to try again, as most will find they can take one of the drugs in the longer term, suggest researchers.
    US researchers found most patients who stopped treatment because of a presumed statin-related event were then prescribed the same or a different statin – and nine out ten of these were still taking it a year later.
    Few patients experienced another statin-related event and rhabdomyolysis was rare, while patients who had creatine kinase (CK) elevations were also able to continue statin therapy long term.
    The authors said their findings suggested many statin-related events are either caused by something else, are in fact tolerable, or are related to a specific statin rather than the class of drugs as a whole.
    In the study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the researchers used specially designed software to analyse the text clinicians had entered in electronic medical records for 107,835 adults who received a statin prescription between January 2000 and the end of December 2008.
    They found 18,778 (17%) of the patients had a statin-related event documented, of which less than a third were clearly categorised as such. Most of these were myalgia or myopathy.
    Of all the patients with a statin-related event recorded, 11,124 (59%) discontinued the drug at least temporarily. Over half – 6,579 – of these patients then tried taking a statin again and 6,064 (90%) were still taking it 12 months after the original statin-related event.
    This included nearly half of the 2,721 patients who were given the same statin they were taking to begin with, of whom over one third were taking it at the same or a higher dose.
    In addition, of 122 patients who had a CK level three times or more greater than the ULN but were rechallenged with a statin, less than 10% discontinued statin treatment long term.
    The authors concluded: ‘Our findings indicate that patients who had statin-related clinical events may frequently be able to tolerate statins in the long term. Permanent cessation of statin therapy under these circumstances could lead to many preventable cardiovascular events and deaths.
    ‘Providers should consider rechallenging patients who report statin-related events to identify those who can continue taking them.’

    http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/20002545.article#.UWVoNKJJNWJ

    What’s the message here, if you don’t cripple your patients with useless statin drugs on the first attempt, please try again.

    Eddie

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      I presume patients, after being ‘forced’ to re-start another statin just say they are find and don’t bother taking it. that is the best way, I find, to reduce side-effects. I would like someone to explain to me how changing from one statin to another can make the slightest difference. The side-effect are a direct result of their known actions – and they all act the same way.

      Reply
      1. Eddie Mitchell

        The more you look into the murky world surrounding cholesterol numbers, and the $30 billion a year statin industry, the more you are amazed how a fraud of such gigantic proportions ever got off the ground. One reading of Dr. Malcolm Kendrick’s book The Cholesterol Con is enough to convince any straight thinking person, statins are the very last thing you need if you want to stay healthy. A few years ago after reading the book, my first thoughts were Malcolm is right, swiftly followed by how come he is still allowed to practice as a GP, how come he had not been struck off. The trouble is, especially in the world of medicine, if you go against the mainstream of medical opinion and especially against the monumental power of big pharma, you can rapidly become a marked man. Malcolm has not been struck off, could it be many others believe he is right, could it be the MONICA study proved he was right, could it be NICE knows he is right. Here is what NICE say about cholesterol levels in relation to clinical events.

        “The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) does not recommend the use of target levels of cholesterol for people taking statins for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. This is because it found no clinical trials in primary prevention that have evaluated the relative and absolute benefits of achieving different cholesterol targets in relation to clinical events”

        http://cks.nice.org.uk/lipid-modification-cvd-prevention#!scenariobasis:3

        The last word to Dr. John Briffa.

        “Sometimes when talking to someone about their cholesterol, I ask them to ask me what my cholesterol is. Then I answer: “I have no idea, because I never have it checked.” That’s not because I take an ostrich-like stance on matters that relate to my health – it’s because the great likelihood is that knowing my cholesterol numbers would not lead to me having a different view on my health or have any bearing on how I live my life. End of.”

  61. Wendy Drane

    My brother was prescribed statins two years ago as part of his treatment for atrial fibrillation. With two weeks he developed considerable muscle problems and was taken off statins. His muscle weakness continued but he was told it was a myopathy and would go eventually. It didn’t! He eventually paid to get the opinion of a top neurologist who organised tests. They have established that he has tubular aggregate myopathy but are unable to give a definitive diagnosis. Two years later he is now only able to walk a few metres and cannot stand up straight. He will probably be completely wheelchair bound soon. He is 63 and his prospects poor. Given that the doctors have said he is unfortunate in that he had a genetic disposition I am now wondering what to do. I started statins 5 years ago after a minor stroke . I already have considerable health problems as I have had rheumatoid arthritis for the last 20 years . I have been researching statins for some months now and have read as much as I can. A few days ago I discovered “The Great Cholesterol Con” and I am now part way through it. I am 66, female and my cholesterol was 5.2 when I had my stroke (blood clot) . It is now usually about 4.5 . I stopped statins a month ago but have not told my GP yet. I hope the argument about the genetic side will be enough to convince her. Any thoughts?

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      The genetic side will be ignored, you will be pressurized to take a statin. Doctors, in this area, are no longer interested in the evidence. They are now true ‘statinators.’ Zealots where doubt cannot be allowed.
      You may be interested to know that there is no association between cholesterol levels, and stroke.

      Reply
      1. Wendy Drane

        Many thanks for your reply to my email. I wonder if you can answer another question. Following my mini stroke in 2008 I was given simvastatin and blood thinners/anticoagulants. Two years later I was told I should have a vitamin d test . The results showed I had very low levels of under 10. I was given an injection and put on a course of Adcal-D. After two months my level was 65 and I was told that was ok and continue on the Adcal-D. Could the low vit d levels have been caused by statins ?

  62. Roger G. Perkins, Ph.D.

    Dr. Kendrick, I am currently facilitating a Life Long Learning Institute class at Bradley University in Peoria, ILL, USA on the book by Fred and Jean Kummerow, “Cholesterol Won’t Kil Youl, But Trans Fat Could.” Fred Kummerow, Ph.D. was my graduate school advisor at the University of Illinois and remains active in research in this subject area. I consider myself as redirected versus retired because after a career as a toxicologist, I am now “preaching Dr. Kummerow’s message” as well as your message on the cholesterol con. Thank you for your efforts. Best wishes, Roger G. Perkins, Ph.D.

    Reply
  63. Charles Fairweather

    Dear Dr Kendrick, in this weeks economist there is an article on red meat under “High Steaks” which states that a” big recent study” shows “no connection”between saturated fat and heart disease so something else must be involved. Dr Hazen who is organising the trial thinks he knows what. The blame actually lies with the microbiome and by a complicated manoeuvre a molecule called carnitine transforms the steak into a lethal killing device that results in atherosclerosis. We always knew that red meat kills now we know how. Brilliant isn’t it? Regards Charles Fairweather

    Reply
  64. Mike Brampton

    Hi, aside from giving him your book, how would you go about convincing my GP that whilst every other parameter including lipids are “normal”, there is nothing to worry about regarding my cholesterol of 12+. Help required here as I am coming under the collective conventional “wisdom” cosh from the hospital, no doubt backed by NICE.
    Is there a particular study that you are aware of other than the York study I can use to help persuade him?
    Weight 75kg, BP 105/60, still racing my bikes and beating kids younger than 30 and I can cycle for 9 hrs on half a cup of water if low enough intensity. I follow a “Primal” sytle diet, fats and protein, green veg and some fruit, nuts etc
    I am personally more worried about my reducing testosterone levels (Dad, prostate cancer) as I approach 54

    Reply
  65. Maureen Berry

    Good morning Dr Kendrick, I have just come across your blog when checking the title of your book to recommend to a friend. I have very high cholesterol (or I had last time I had it checked a couple of years ago). As I refuse to go on statins my doctor and I have jointly agreed that it’s a waste of NHS money to have my cholesterol checked again. Thank you for standing alone (or so it seems) against the weight of the lumbering medical profession. My doctor is quite young, seems up to date and totally knowledgeable on most things, but seems 100% committed to statin therapy, I have been on a low carb diet for 3 years, I have lost 40lbs, my blood pressure has gone down from very high to about 110/70 (I am still on Ramipril, 5mg but am planning to ask to go down to 2.5mg and hopefully stop it altogether after that). I know longer require GERD medication, my funny ‘heart flutters’ that my doctor thought was possibly atrial fibrillation – but I never got an ECG when it was actually happening, has disappeared totally and I feel fit and well. Your book, along with the New Atkins New You, Gary Taubes and ‘The Art and Science of Low Carb Eating’ have been a life saver for me, I am sure.
    Thank you for your work.

    Reply
  66. Wendy Drane

    I would be grateful for your opinion on whether someone with relatively normal cholesterol but raised CRP levels would benefit from taking statins.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Wendy. I would probably, as a GP, investigate why the CRP levels are high in the first place. CRP is a relatively non-specific market of inflammation (anywhere in the body). If it is very high I would suggest an investigation, or two. (any inflammatory disease e.g. rheumatoid, SLE, Chron’s will get it high, as will low grade infection, broken bones etc. etc.). if it is a bit high e.g. twice normal, I would not worry about it.

      Reply
  67. David Bailey

    I am fascinated by your discussion of statins and cholesterol in general. Very many years ago, I took Chemistry to PhD level, before moving into software development. That exposure to science made me aware that science wasn’t always as honest and careful as is often thought!

    Three years ago, at age 60, I was put on simvastatin (40 mg) and all went well for about 3 years, after which I suddenly got severe cramps, followed by extra weakness in my polio leg. I had lived with my polio leg since age 7, and generally managed pretty well, and I assumed I was getting Post Polio Syndrome(PPS). Fortunately, at the time this started, I decided to stop taking my statin as a precaution – and by the time I visited a polio specialist, the symptoms were diminishing, and she decided I didn’t have PPS. I discussed this with my GP, and we agreed that I should resume the simvastatin. Within a week, the same symptoms started to return, and you will not be surprised that no more statin tablets have crossed my lips! By now, about 5 months later, the problem has almost gone, except for a little residual pain. At its worst, this problem reduced me from someone who roams the pennine hills, to a state where walking from the car to the supermarket was an effort!

    Although I am, of course, only one data point, my experience suggests several things:

    1) Statins can bite some considerable time after starting them – contrary to what I was told.

    2) Polio muscles seem to be more susceptible to statin problems (my other leg, and the rest of my body was not affected).

    3) I wonder if some people with polio (or maybe other damage to parts of their bodies) are suffering from statin side effects without realising the source of their problems because the problem seems focused on a previous injury.

    Reply
    1. Karen M

      Very interesting. I have Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and when I came off statins the pain eventually diminished in the areas around the affected limb (my left leg) when I am resting. However, the fat and muscle atrophy in both limbs has not resolved nor has exertional and post-exertional muscle pain. The pain is high intensity burning and is stressful. Is this similar to your experience David?

      Reply
  68. Pat Watson

    I stopped taking statins about 3 weeks ago because of muscle pain and burning in my arms. Also a very painful elbow, Doctor said tennis elbow although I had done absolutely nothing that would cause tennis elbow and the other elbow was staring to hurt. I am now reading your book which is making me feel a lot better about stopping taking something a doctor has told me I must take. Muscle pain has eased off a lot. Elbow is feeling a lot better. Thankyou so much for writing that book. It’s so interesting

    Reply
  69. boobs

    Hi there I am so delighted I found your webpage, I really found you by error, while I was searching on Bing for something else,
    Nonetheless I am here now and would just like to say kudos
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    Reply
  70. Candice Ellisor

    Hi Dr. Kendrick,
    All I can say is thank you! I am so glad I found your blog as I will be following it. You are right on target with so many things so keep sharing please! You are a bright star in the medical world!

    Reply
  71. Dr AshMash

    Dr Kendrick…I am in awe of you and have been ever since I read your book. As a GP (but also a non traditional Nutritionist) and active follower and promoter of the Paleo or Primal lifestyle, I would love to pick your brain about one thing….

    How in Gods name do you change your colleagues perceptions about all this nonsense that has been fed to us throughout med school/ training and subsequent jobs…In the UK, I struggled a lot…With massively incorrect guidelines advocating all sort of ridiculous medications and flawed methodologies to help with the prevention of CHD as well as obesity.

    As a result of constantly tearing my hair out, I have now moved to Sydney where patients seem a lot happier to listen to my advice and there are no such ridiculous guidelines. I hope to have my own practice one day, but in the meantime—any suggestions on how to combat the walls being built by my own medical brothers and sisters…

    Yours respectfully

    Dr Ashvy Bhardwaj

    Reply
  72. Jane

    Hello Dr Kendrick,

    I first read your book a few years ago when my TC was about 7 and have enjoyed watching your lectures on youtube and now reading opinions on this forum …

    I notice that in April a cyclist called Mike wrote that his TC was over 12. I’m currently searching without success for more information on the function of cholesterol as my TC has been steadily creeping up and is now 9.2 – albeit with a high HDL to LDL/TG ratio.

    I’m a homeopath and therefore a charlatan and lunatic anyway so when I refuse statins doctors are irritated rather than surprised but I’m ashamed to admit that they’re almost wearing me down. Occasionally, though, and privately, I do wonder what the reason is for this steady increase in my cholesterol. My diet has always been low in animal fats but I don’t eat processed foods or a lot of carbs. I walk daily, play tennis.

    Is a high total cholesterol count, in your opinion, a symptom of some other condition and should we be vigilant for reasons other than CHD?

    Jane

    Reply
  73. Teresa

    Hi
    I’m really hoping you can help.
    I had a mini stroke this February and my cholesterol was 5.9 and was offered statins which I politely turned down.
    I had my cholesterol taken again in may which turned out to be 8.2 which I thought was a typo if I’m honest.
    I follow a high fat low carb diet (Harcombe) and this suits me really well and am losing weight.
    After another trip to the GP today he’s insisting I go on statins and at 8.2 its worrying that its so high or is this again just a number.He says I’m in the high percentage of stroking again because of the number but I feel fit and well.
    When I argue my case all I get are “are you a doctor” or where did you read that statins don’t work on women”
    Any advice would be welcome as I’m not sure where to turn next as it is an obvious worry unfortunately I don’t know the break down of the LDL etc

    Kind regards

    Teresa

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Teresa,

      I cannot give specific medical advice in this format. I can only make general points – as I hope you understand (because the GMC certainly does). Strokes have different causes. A high cholesterol level has never been associated with increased risk of stroke. Some strokes are crypotogenic (fancy name for, we don’t know why it happened). I would suggest that you find out exactly what caused your stroke – sometimes a small ‘hole in the heart’ can do this. If so, that is what needs treatment. essentially, you need to find out a bit more about why your stoke occurred, what your other risk factors may be e.g. high BP. A bit more discussion with GP would be good to start with.

      Reply
      1. Teresa

        Hi

        They have said that the level of one of my epilepsy tablets was too high in my bloods as its never checked for liver function etc.I have had all the test known to man for holes in heart etc and everything is normal and BP is perfect.
        The only test left which they are doing is thyroid which I’m led to believe if this is low or not functioning properly can elevate cholesterol that quickly.
        My first thought is not to give statins a try at all but when I broach this with my GP they just think I’m being silly and know nothing.

  74. j.catterson

    I am 50 year old male.5ft 9,12 stone.never smoked.Had an Nstemi MI one year ago.Been on Clopidigrel,losartan,bisoprolol,atorvastatin aspirin and lansaprazol ever since.Had more cramp than in my whole life.Some days I feel completely whacked out as soon as i get up.Other days I can cycle all day and still be full of beans..Cholesterol level down from 4.2 to 3.2.Im self employed,married and only 50.I want to spend my days working,cycle touring and dancing!.However,I am paranoid about stopping any pills,cardio rehab drummed into us about fat,cholesterol etc.

    Reply
    1. j.catterson

      I have just read your book.All in all a fascinating read.I think your humorous lines detract a little at times,but very illuminating. Thank-you.

      Reply
  75. Maureen Berry

    Teresa, he /she may be your doctor, but it is your body and you have the right to choose what drugs you put into it, remain polite but steadfast and if your doctor does not respect your opinion, change doctors. He is a doctor, not a God. I believe (though I am certainly not a doctor) that total cholesterol can rise when you go on the low carb high fat diet and lose weight, as cholesterol is released from the fat stores of the body and this should ‘rectify’ itself over time, (if it was ever a problem in the first place). I think I read this in Phinney and Voleck’s ‘Art and Science of Low Carb living’, though I’m not sure as I have lent that book to a friend.
    I am greatly saddened that most doctors do not take the time to read around subjects more widely – particularly the statin debate. I suppose that they have so much to read that is ‘approved’ by their masters that there is little time left for wider reading, particularly the opposing view.
    My doctor and I have jointly and amicably agreed that I will no longer have my cholesterol checked as I am so convinced (largely by Dr Kendrick’s book, a copy of which I provided for my GP practice) that it is, ‘simply a number’.
    1 year into a low carb high fat diet, my Total Cholesterol was 8.6, gone up from 5.9 pre diet and 3 stone weight loss. I have never had it measured since. I must confess that I am a little curious about whether it has gone back down, but to have it checked again would risk opening the debate again, so I don’t. On the rare occasions I consider it, I simply remind myself, it’s only a number.
    One last thought (I haven’t read extensively about this because I don’t suffer with the condition). But in my reading about hypertension / cholesterol / low carb / ketongenic diets I have frequently read about them being used successfully to treat epilepsy that does not respond to drugs. I am not familiar with the Harcourt diet, but if it is ketongenic, maybe your requirement for drugs for epilepsy is diminishing naturally.

    Reply
  76. boreal

    Hi Dr!
    Could you please make a comment on the following article?:
    Atherosclerosis. 2012 Oct;224(2):469-73. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2012.07.032. Epub 2012 Aug 1.
    Egg yolk consumption and carotid plaque.
    Spence JD, Jenkins DJ, Davignon J.
    Source
    Stroke Prevention & Atherosclerosis Research Centre, Robarts Research Institute, 1400 Western Road, London, ON N6G 2V2, Canada. dspence@robarts.ca
    Abstract
    BACKGROUND:
    Increasingly the potential harm from high cholesterol intake, and specifically from egg yolks, is considered insignificant. We therefore assessed total plaque area (TPA) in patients attending Canadian vascular prevention clinics to determine if the atherosclerosis burden, as a marker of arterial damage, was related to egg intake. To provide perspective on the magnitude of the effect, we also analysed the effect of smoking (pack-years).
    METHODS:
    Consecutive patients attending vascular prevention clinics at University Hospital had baseline measurement of TPA by duplex ultrasound, and filled out questionnaires regarding their lifestyle and medications, including pack-years of smoking, and the number of egg yolks consumed per week times the number of years consumed (egg-yolk years).
    RESULTS:
    Data were available in 1262 patients; mean (SD) age was 61.5 (14.8) years; 47% were women. Carotid plaque area increased linearly with age after age 40, but increased exponentially with pack-years of smoking and with egg-yolk years. Plaque area in patients consuming <2 eggs per week (n = 388) was 125 ± 129 mm(2), versus 132 ± 142 mm(2) in those consuming 3 or more eggs per week (n = 603); (p < 0.0001 after adjustment for age). In multiple regression, egg-yolk years remained significant after adjusting for coronary risk factors.
    INTERPRETATION:
    Our findings suggest that regular consumption of egg yolk should be avoided by persons at risk of cardiovascular disease. This hypothesis should be tested in a prospective study with more detailed information about diet, and other possible confounders such as exercise and waist circumference.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      this was discussed by those of us in The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics (THINKS) last year, and the full paper was circulated – most of the details escape me, but I would say few things. Firstly, it is an observational study, and these are incapable of proving anything – for sure. Association does not mean causation. Secondly, if memory serves, they could find no association between egg intake and cholesterol levels. So, what was their proposed mechanism of? Eggs contain cholesterol, your cholesterol levels don’t go up, but eggs caused CHD anyway? How, exactly. The evil power of eggness. In addition, plague volume has shown little, or no, correlation with CVD mortality/morbidity. It is a measure invented by Steven Nissen at the Cleveland Clinic as a way of rapidly assessing the effect of various CVD interventions. As far as I know, it has not been verified as having a close correlation with anything very much. I could go on. Personally, I dismiss these type of studies mostly without reading them.

      Reply
    2. CJP

      Cholesterol in eggs should not be cause for concern because the process of atherogenicity is invited when cholesterol is subjected to oxidative stress and is converted to oxycholesterol. Cholesterol in eggs is generally protected from oxidative stress subject to how they are prepared. The business of manufacturing powdered egg and powdered milk opens up scope for oxidation avoid these where you can.
      In the body an inadequate availability of B6 B12 and folic acid can open avenues via which cholesterol may become oxidised, and if you smoke or leave yourself working or living under stress you make matters worse.
      Under certain circumstances any cholesterol (good) that gets converted to oxycholesterol (bad) then be converted to sulphated oxycholeterol and here it gets interesting. Stephanie Seneff directs sulphated oxycholesterols may be involved in healthful process and eggs are a good source of sulphur.
      Eggs have been around for a long time, the basic design is much the same between species. They seem like a well-rounded meal to me.

      Reply
  77. Seán

    Dear Dr. Kendrick,
    My mother was prescribed statins for high cholesterol. She was in her late 70’s at the time. I tried hard to convince her that her cholesterol level was a sign of likely longevity to no avail for some time. The doctor asked where did i get my medical degree from?? In the end she became uneasy about statin side effects and the doctor then put her on Ezetrol (Ezetimibe).
    My question is whether this is also an undesirable and useless medication???

    Reply
      1. Afifah

        A patient of mine was put on Ezetimibe as her total cholesterol was about 12 and she had severe liver distention and pain when some years earlier she had followed her doctor’s orders and taken a statin (this was when I first started treating her, with herbs to get her liver back to normal, which worked beautifully). However, the doctor once again had impressed upon her his frears about her high total cholesterol (no breakedown of LDL: HDL or tryglycerides offered) and she succumbed to pressure and took the dratted fibrate, Ezetrol/Ezebimibe which resulted just a week or so into its use with her having a heart attack alongside extreme emotionality, which was very unlike her, as she was normally a pretty placid person. I sent in a yellow card to the MHRA, which they responded to by sending me a lot of sheets of paper about this drugs other reported side effects. So I agree totally that it is a very unwise thing to take, but I wouldn’t say it does nothing! It nearly killed here. Fortunately she came back to me and I put her right, again, which doesn’t mean that I got her cholesterol lower, I tried that years ago and it didn’t work. It means that I got her heart far happier and her emotions back on an even keel. I don’t fret at all about her cholesterol because the numbers are irrelevant to her health. I bumped into herthe other day and she is fine and dandy, drug free.

  78. David Morris

    Hi Dr Kendrick,
    Me again. Have you seen the news that “Pfizer bets big on PCSK9 with massive phase lll Study – Tantalised by various megablockbuster projections for the PCSK9 field of cholesterol drugs Pfizer has mapped out one of the most ambitious late stage programmes in the industry for RN-316. The pharma giant spelled out plans for a massive cardiovascular outcomes trial to prove to regulators and payers alike that the drug not only works as advertised, but delivers real value to patients”. And so it goes on the full article is on fiercebiotech.com
    I just hope that their study will be properly constructed and be peer reviewed before during and after. It would also be good to think that they would involve THINCS. I know, I know i’m in cloud cuckoo land.
    Not only that but some professor, who’s name escapes me was apparently on TV recently stating publicly that those who should be on statins and aren’t along with those who have stopped taking statins will die!! And also what about the trust me i’m a doctor series on TV currently. The presenter on such poor argument decided to start taking his statins again. Is there no hope? Please, please keep doing your all important work.
    Very best wishes
    David Morris

    Reply
  79. smartersig

    Hi Dr Kendrick

    I need a contact or list of contacts of doctors or cardio’s who are interested in the nutritional approach to heart disease and are not tunnel visioned by the dogma of big parma and their research. How can I get hold of such a list or even single contact.

    Hope you can help

    Reply
  80. smartersig

    Thanks Malcolm, I tend to agree with the meat opinion you express but I think todays meat is not the same as paleolithic meat unless you can source organic produce. My advice to anyone would be to give up red meat and if you can’t do without a bit of white meat make sure you buy organic. I sent you a private email asking about doctor lists and whether there are any seminars/conferences on the topics we are discussing. Hope you can help

    Reply
  81. Maureen Berry

    Dr Kendrick
    I am intrigued on your opinion of the other ‘Mavericks’. Do you regard yourself as a Maverick by the way? I started my reading with Dr Atkins, progressed to Vinney, Pholeck and Westerman, you, Dr Curtis, Taubes, then took a little sidestep to Carolyn Dean, Dr Bernstein, Dr Brownstein. I find that all of these people have a lot of interesting things to say, we currently low carb / high fat, with Magnesium, Iodine, Selenium etc supplementing. I have to say we are very well, my BP has reduced from 200/140 to perfectly normal and I am now totally drug free (I have lost 40lbs). I am intrigued to know what you (my favourite) think of these other doctors who are flying in the face of conventional medicine.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Where conventional medicine is wrong, I like people who fly in the face of it. The problem, of course, is correctly identifying where it is wrong. I am sure I am wrong about some things…many things. But I cannot know what they are – for sure. In general I am all in favour of anyone who stirs things up, because only be challenge can we truly establish which ideas are right, and which are wrong. My greatest problem is the current tyranny of conformity. Few dare to step out of line. Anyone that does, gets my vote.

      Reply
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  83. Roger G. Perkins, Ph.D.

    Dr. Kendrick,
    Recently I received the honor of being invited by Uffe Ravnskov, M.D., Ph.D. to join THINCS, The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics. I am not involved in research, but am attempting to tell my primary care physician and friends about the “Cholesterol Myth.” In the course of this effort, I discovered a Face Book forum with a title the same as Dr. Ravnskov’s book, “Cholesterol and Fat are Good for You.” I have noticed on the subject forum, that one participant’s post attempt to perpetuate the myth and that he is attempting to sell some sort of miraculous curative product(s) to lower cholesterol. I have challenged his posts within the forum. Another skirmish in the battle against the myth. Thanks for your work.

    Reply
  84. kimyo

    in case you haven’t seen it, this study may support your view that it’s stress that causes heart attacks:

    Stress reaction gene linked to death, heart attacks
    http://www.sciencecodex.com/stress_reaction_gene_linked_to_death_heart_attacks-125153

    “Using a large database of heart catheterization patients at Duke who were studied over several years, the researchers ran genetic analyses of more than 6,100 white participants, two-thirds of whom were men, and one-third women. About 13 percent of this group had the genetic variation for the overactive stress response.

    Patients who carried the genetic variation had the highest rates of heart attacks and deaths over the median follow-up time of six years. Even adjusting for age, obesity, smoking history, other illnesses and the severity of their heart disease, the genetic trait was associated with a 38 percent increased risk of heart attack and death.”

    Reply
      1. kimyo

        and another:
        http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/06/22/scientists-stress-may-trigger-over-production-of-white-blood-cells-leading-to-heart-attacks/

        (in mice)

        They found that excess white blood cells produced as a result of stress accumulated on the inside of arteries and boosted plaque growth.

        “Here, they (the cells) release enzymes that soften the connective tissue and lead to disruption of the plaque,” said Nahrendorf.

        “This is the typical cause of myocardial infarction (heart attack) and stroke.”

        and in humans:

        To find the link, Nahrendorf and a team studied 29 medical residents working in an intensive care unit.

        Their work environment is considered a model for chronic stress exposure given the fast pace and heavy responsibility they carry for life-and-death decisions.

        Comparing blood samples taken during work hours and off duty, as well as the results of stress perception questionnaires, the researchers found a link between stress and the immune system.

        Particularly, they noticed stress activate bone marrow stem cells, which in turn triggered overproduction of white blood cells, also called leukocytes.

        another write-up here:
        http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2014/06/how-stress-can-clog-your-arteries

  85. Maria

    I first read ‘The Great Cholesterol Con’ just over a year ago after my 40 year old husband (slightly overweight, no high blood pressure, ‘normal cholesterol’) had a heart attack (he’s fine now, thanks.) We went through the NZ health system and the immediate treatment he had was great. The follow up care consisted of going to group counseling and the usual rounds of drugs.

    I immediately began to take on all of the standard diet advice: low salt, low fat, increased vegetable intakes and funnily enough I became more and more ill with stomach complaints (diagnosed: possibly FODMAPS intolerances). I also needed to know the reason WHY cholesterol was so bad, and the only place that actually explained the role of cholesterol in the body was your book.

    Roll froward 18 months and a lot of reading and thinking…. we have all adopted a primal/paleo lifestyle of no processed food/sugar, lots of yummy fat and meat and low/moderate exercise. Our bodies are getting trim and we have more muscle, more energy. AND it feels very natural! We’ve never been ‘dieters’ but this lifestyle suits us.

    My husband has almost dropped off all of the drugs due to mild-side effects, and yesterday we worked all day in the yard, building and DIY-ing- the amount of activity was probably double what we could have achieved 2 years ago.

    Thanks Dr Malcolm Kendrick, without your book, your blog and your readers’ feedback, our family would not be where we are today. I hope I make your day.

    Reply
  86. Afifah

    Hi Mary, briefly I have to say that your sister should get herself off cereal grains asap. All grains contain glutens, which are the proteins (prolamines) that they need to grow and reproduce. These glutens can be very neurotoxic, as well as toxic to other tissues. Look into the work of the British neurologist Dr Marios Hajivassiliou at Sheffield Hallamshire Hospital. He is brilliant and takes people off glutens all the time. Don’t be tricked into thinking it’s just wheat though, or into eating ‘gluten free’ this that and the other. Get off cereal grains altogether. Eating these damaged humanity right from the earliest era of agriculture, and it is getting worse and worse, especially since the modern hybridised wheat has become the norm. Also read the new book by neurologist David Perlmutter called Grain Brain. He knows a thing or two.
    Good luck ~ Afifah

    Reply
  87. Paul Mather

    Hi Dr. Kendrick,

    I have found your website and book ‘The Great Cholesterol Con’ extremely useful in getting some perspective on my supposed ‘condition’. I have been diagnosed with suffering from familial combined hyperlipidaemia by my local lipid clinic. My total cholesterol is 6.6mmol/L (it was at 8.2), my triglycerides are 3.2mmol/L and my HDL is 1.09. I have been aware of my high cholesterol for around 10 years and am now aged 37. My weight is normal.

    I tried to take statins a few years ago but suffered from aching muscles so I am very reluctant to take them again. Before my diagnosis I felt in good shape; I felt healthy and strong. Since attending the lipid clinic, however, I have found it difficult to sleep. I have been suffering from anxiety attacks and am constantly worried about ill health and the impact that a heart attack could have on my whole family. Aches and pains that I would have otherwise dismissed seem to have taken on great significance. My stress levels have increased 10 fold to the point that I now wish I hadn’t bothered to get my blood lipid levels checked at all.

    So the question is how can a layperson possibly negotiate all of the information out there to make an informed decision? How can a person feel comfortable with a view on heart disease or statins with when so much of the information is false or misrepresented? Even though I know that statins provide little primary protection against heart disease it is very hard to ignore the incessant drum banging from my GP, lipid clinic and the media.

    I will continue to look at your site and wish to say a big thank you for all of your hard work in this area. Your voice stands out as being coherent, strong and informed and I am very much looking forward to reading your next book.

    Regards,

    Paul Mather

    Reply
  88. smartersig

    Hi I have mentioned elsewhere that I got a 25% drop in LDL readings through taking Krill oil tabs and of course eating a lipid friendly diet although I am sure it was the Krill that put the boot in. If you try it make sure you get a high quality one with good levels of DHA and EPA. Read everything you can on diet and your condition, I am convinced taking some control yourself is empowering and hence helps with the stress. Your Doc may not like it as in my experience they prefer you simply listen and do as you are told but I would strongly advise against this.

    Reply
  89. smartersig

    I would welcome such a list or at least one which points you in the direction of holistic GP’s who really understand nutrition as well as pharmacology. Thanks for the response regarding the blog, I may well add some more information now I know that there is at least one reader out there :)

    Reply
  90. David Morris

    I am confused (not difficult). I thought that the theme was that the cholesterol issue was a big con and that we need not worry about our so called cholesterol levels? I thought that in reality there is no evidence to show that there is any correlation between diet,cholesterol and heart disease. This being the case why are people still obsessed with lowering their cholesterol as seen in comments in this blog?

    Reply
    1. smartersig

      Would it be reasonable to say that if one has poor levels of inflamation due to a bad diet and lifestyle then Cholesterol levels may well be elevated, doing their best to cope with the problem. Cholesterol could therefore be looked upon as the canary in the mineshaft. I know that when I modified my diet to a lower carb and wholly non processed diet my cholesterol levels dropped although my HDL went up. If cholesterol are the ‘firemen fighting the fires’ then less fireman in the neighberhood has to be a good thing ?. Opinions ?

      Reply
      1. Maureen Berry

        We should not presume that, for everybody, following a blog is an ‘easy alternative’. For me, since the ‘anti-statin’ argument is like a life’s work, following the arguments is easy. For others, maybe new to this whole principal, it’s very difficult. Because of replies to comments, the blog is not in chronological order. We should not presume that everybody has the time, inclination or energy to read back hundreds and hundreds of posts. I don’t know what the solution is, but Dr Kendrick, I know that for me, statins, artificial foods (margarines, vegetable oils and even worse, benecol etc) are bad, real food is good, try to cut down processed foods, fresh is good, processed is bad. It’s very hard to get the message out in a clear, consistent manner.

  91. Afifah

    Hi Mary, I have only just seen this, months on. Hope things have not deteriorated too much. Antara is one of the ‘alternatives’ to statins, called Fibrates. They are, in my experience, dangerous, as a patient of mine promptly had a psychotic episode and a minor heart attack within weeks of taking it, with no evidence of either before or after. I sent in a Yellow Card to our English MHRA with these adverse effects, in response to which they sent me reams of other similar cases and other dreadful side effects that had been reported.

    So, not a wise choice, especially when cholesterol is, as Dr K knows, a red herring in virtually all cases. However, if anyone has any sort of neurological tremor such as you have described in your sister, the first and easiest thing to do is to GET ENTIRELY OFF ALL CEREAL GRAINS. There is very strong evidence that glutens, gliadins, albumins and globulins in all cereal grains, including those described as ‘gluten-free’ can seriously damage the nervous system. And since NOT eating cereal grains of any sort cannot do anyone any harm, this would be the first and most sensible measure to take. So, no wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn/maize, rice, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, quinoa or chia, or anything else that comes from a grass or grass like plant. Look into the superb work of Dr Marios Hajivassilliou from Sheffield Hallamshire Hospital to learn more about Gluten Ataxia. However not all specialists realise that it is ALL grains, not simply those containing classically described gluten that can have these horrendous effects. The excellent website http://www.glutenfreesociety.org run by Dr Peter Osbourne, is virtually the only place where you can learn about the many negative effects of all these substances, apart from a public presentation that I am giving on this vexed subject on Friday July 11th 2014 at 7.30pm at The Bassil Shippam Centre, Tozer Way, Chichester, PO19 7LG. Yup, just 2.5 weeks away. The whole subject in all its diabolical nastiness will be explained in a way that laymen and specialist medical consultants will appreciate, learn from and be able to run with. All welcome, but please give me a shout (afifah.hamilton@gmail.com) if you are going to be there so that I can get refreshments right for the numbers. There will also be a demonstration at the end of ways to make fabulous grain free, low carb genuinely nutritious food without having to be a chef.

    Reply
  92. Jayne Morrison

    PLEASE HELP
    my 80 yr old dear mum has been in Macclesfield DGH for 40 nights
    She’s been in health decline since being put on Statins when her cholesterol measured 4 in 2012
    Her symptoms are memory loss , high blood sugars, nausea , weight loss , nightmares
    Day 30 in hospital we managed to convince doctors of her side effects and her dose was halved , she started to show improvement after 5 days but then she was put back on them before discharge last Friday. Her side effects are returning especially the nightmares
    I feel shattered but determined to fight for her to have a chance without them Please help me with my next step
    Yours in hope
    Jayne Morrison 07962067732 mobile

    Reply
    1. smartersig

      Hi If you mean her total Cholesterol was 4 then even by the Cholesterol Zealots standards that pretty good. I presume therefore that you mean her LDL was 4. As I have mentioned before on here the one thing that made a dent in my Cholesterol readings was Krill Oil Tablets. A Canadian study showed that they can lower Cholesterol by 30% and that is pretty much what I experienced. Two or three other people I have suggested them to have also reported favourable results. My 87 year old mother was put on a 80mg full strength statin for no good reason. I have now persuaded her to reduce down to the point where she is biting a 20mg Statin in half once a day. She is also now on Krill oil. Best of luck.

      Reply
      1. smartersig

        Fish oil has a good research profile in connection with heart disease and I suspect that the Astaxathin in Krill coupled with its easier absorption makes Krill just if not more effective. Whether this has any connection with Cholesterol levels is debatable I agree, which is why I take greater notice of Triglycerides and LDL particle size. The trouble with these readings is in this country you have to spend serious money to get hold of them so it is not surprising to find the general public clinglng to Cholesterol readings. What do you consider to be essential parameters to monitor ?

      2. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        I am of the build it and they will come variety of doctor. If you do the right things, the measurements should head in the right directions. If you find ways to artificially ‘optimise’ the measurements, this is very unlikely to have any effect on the underlying abnormality. if you eat food that is as non-artificial as possible, relax, take exercise, build up a good circle of friends, have a good family life etc. etc. you don’t really need to measure anything. You are doing what you can to be healthy. The current obsession with measuring everything you can, and sub-dividing those measurements ever further is – in my opinion – the pathway to hell.

      3. smartersig

        I am afraid your suggestion is build it but don’t bother to see if they come. Good advice though it may be in the first part I see no problem with monitoring certain body measurements to see if things appear to be as they should. There is also the added psychological comfort of knowing that any measures you have taken have had some sort of positive effect eg lowered Tri’s

      4. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        Yes, of course, most people need the reassurance that they are doing the right thing. Few are bold enough to say – stuff it, I know I am doing the right things, I don’t need to measure it. I wish however, that more would be so bold. Yes, if my triglycerides were going down I would be happy. But do I really need to now this. I know if I cut down on carbs and eat fat, my trigs will drop. I know if I take exercise they will drop….. those are just facts.

    2. Maureen Berry

      You need to have the confidence to just do it. You don’t need anybody’s ‘permission’ to stop taking a drug. Doesn’t your mother trust you at least as much as the doctors – if her side effects reduced markedly when she was on reduced statins and have returned now that she is back on full dose, it’s a no-brainer – isn’t it? Have you actually read Dr Kendrick’s book, if you haven’t, go out and buy it today. Read it quickly, and if she still has the mental capacity after years on statins, give it to your mother. Then you’ll both have the confidence to ditch the statins.

      Reply
  93. Malcolm Lewis

    Dear Dr Kendrick,
    I found your book The Great Cholesleterol Con thought provoking and I am trying to put together your ideas with other equally alternative ideas on diet and lifestyle in order to improve my own health. I have two questions. The first is why is the atherosclerosis only produced in the arteries and not the veins and why only next to the heart. The second is my total cholesterol reading is 3.9 mmol/l which according to your book means the grim reaper is not far away. I have stopped having porridge for breakfast and now eat more meat and butter. Will this help to raise my cholesterol to a healthy level of 5.5 mmol/l even though your book indicated cholesterol and diet are not linked. You may have done further research on this subject since the book was written. I am male, 63 years old and slim.

    Malcolm Lewis

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      I wouldn’t worry about 3.9. I would worry below 3. The research on diet and cholesterol is so contradictory and impossible to follow that I have given up – frankly. I just stick to health outcomes. There is no evidence for, or against, any particular diet with regard to heart disease (regardless of what might happen to your LDL/cholesterol levels)

      Reply
      1. smartersig

        So are you saying Doctor that there is no evidence to support the Med’ diet or indeed the diet of say the Okinawas’s?

      2. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        The diet of the Okinawan islanders and the diet of the Seventh Day Adventists in California are very different. They both live a long time, as do Sardiniams, who eat something completely different again. I cannot see any consistent dietary pattern that is associate with longevity. I suspect highly processed foods are unhealthy, I avoid margarine (mainly because it tastes horrible), I drink alcohol, I take potassium and one or two other supplements. But you will struggle to convince me that there is any such thing as a Mediterranean diet (if so, what is it – exactly), or that it is uniquely healthy. Nutrition is an area of scientific endeavor that is so full of absolute junk science that I content myself with the thought that no-one has, as yet, disproved the null hypothesis.

      3. smartersig

        I do not see why there needs to be a consistency between diets that are good for you. It is perfectly possible that two diets with little in common could both be very healthy for your heart. On the other hand there is research that has isolated certain food substances eg tomatoes and shown that they have positive effects on blood circulation. Should we not take note of these tests and integrate foods such as tom’s into our diet. Your reply is in danger of giving the impression that beyond processed food we might as well take a ‘sod it’ approach and eat anything. Surely this is a dangerous path for many already with heart disease ?.

      4. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        Well if different diets are perfectly healthy, which ones are not? One of my central drivers is not to bombard people with advice to this, or do that, unless it is absolutely clear that there is good evidence. Medicine is littered with activities and advice that has turned out to do far more harm than good. Also, get tomatoes have positive effects on blood circulation. But what does this mean. That eating tomatoes is proven to increase life expectancy? Where is the evidence. I am sure they cannot do you any harm. Eat them if you want, but in general don’t base eating habits on surrogate end-points.

      5. kimyo

        >> I cannot see any consistent dietary pattern that is associate with longevity.

        one pattern that seems to matter is the consumption of fermented foods. okinawans: natto, french: brie, sardinians: casu marza (fermented once as a sheep’s milk pecorino, then again by larvae/maggots)

        ‘real’ brie and natto contain lots of vitamin k2.

        http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2009/03/latest-study-on-vitamin-k-and-coronary.html

        They found that each 10 microgram increase in daily vitamin K2 consumption was associated with a 9% lower incidence of heart attack. Participants consumed an average of 29 micrograms K2 per day, with a range of 0.9 to 128 micrograms. That means that participants with the highest intake had a very much reduced incidence of heart attack on average. Vitamin K2 comes from animal foods (especially organs and pastured dairy)and fermented foods such as cheese, sauerkraut, miso and natto.

        paleo man would have had limitless access to fermented foods. a favored food of the inuits was fermented fish.

      6. smartersig

        I agree that some dietary tests based on recollection can be dodgy but that does not change the fact that certain populations have remarkably low levels of heart disease. We have to examine and pull apart why that is and diet seems the obvious candidate.

      7. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        Diet is a possible candidate. One of many. diet has been studied again and again and again and again and still, no definitive conclusions. As Albert Einstein said (sic) ‘the definition of insanity is doing the same things again and again, and expecting different results.’

      8. smartersig

        I do not think it s impossible to draw out some evidence about certain food types. Lets take the example of tomatoes. If a group do not generally eat tomatoes and you then split them and ask one to eat generous doses whilst the other do not and you then find that the first group have significantly lowered CRP and/or Trig’s than the second group you can suggest that tom’s are producing this result. Now should we ignore this result because it might just be that the first group did not actually bother to eat the tom’s as much as they said they did and perhaps their lowered readings are due to some other chance intervention. These kinds of analysis are about suggesting the chance that in this case tom’s are the reason. As patients we then have to make our bets based on this element of chance. Knowing that I may just be boosting tom growers profits only but at least not incurring side effects makes it worth the bet. This is quite different from sending out questionnaires and asking people what they ate for the last 5 years.

      9. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        I am possibly not making myself clear. Altering blood test measurements is one thing. Knowing that those alterations result in less heart attacks, strokes etc. is another. For example. We know that a raised blood sugar level is associated with high rate of cardiovascular disease and premature death. If we give (type II diabetics) insulin, their blood sugar levels drops, their rate of death from heart attacks and strokes goes up.

  94. Maureen Berry

    I think that avoiding processed foods is indeed the biggest factor. Personally I follow the Atkins Diet, eating moderate protein, high natural fats (grass fed butter, olive oil, lard) and lots of green veggies, but very often the common factor in ‘healthy’ diets is the lack of processed foods. I don’t touch any wheat or grain products and no margarines or industrially manufactured oils. I buy my olive oil direct from the press in Southern Spain. Virtually all research on diet is by observational study, and it’s fatally flawed. People have poor recollection of what they have eaten, if they are supposed to be following a diet they don’t adhere to it. You can’t keep people incarcerated for years in a secure place, to ensure compliance. People lie, just like I tell my doctor I drink 14 units a week! I have far more heart healthy red wine than that! And the animal studies are worse. Denise Minger describes in great detail why all these studies aren’t worth the paper they are written on. http://www.rawfoodsos.com

    Reply
  95. Teresa

    I had a stroke early last year in feb and refused statins as my cholesterol was 8.2 I just eat real food absolutely nothing processed following the Harcombe diet and the dissident diet and managed without pharmaceutical help to get that down to 5.8!!
    Nobody needs statins to get their cholesterol down and if you think you do you need to read the good Drs book
    The cholesterol Conn
    I have had allot of GPs Rudely ask me what medical school I went to to come to this conclusion.
    Redonculous

    Reply
  96. David Ogden

    David Ogden :
    I’ve just read “The Great Cholesterol Con” having taken myself off statins 3 months ago. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but did I misunderstand you when you said that we only had plaque formation in arteries, not veins, unless they were used in heart bypasses. If so, what is a DVT.

    Reply
  97. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

    A DVT, or deep vein thrombosis is a large thrombus that forms within an intact vein. In veins blood flow is much more sluggish so if, for example, you cross your legs for a few hours, blood will stop flowing in the veins in your leg. This can cause a clot to form. Is has nothing to do with underlying atherosclerotic plaques. It is a function of prolonged blood statis. It can be made more likely by dehydration, and other factors.

    Reply
  98. Mary L. Adair

    Dr. K, within the last 4 months, my sister who suffers from some movement disorder (dystonia I think was the latest) agreed to get off the dreaded statins. They now want to put her on Antara. I am very concerned. Should I be as concerned as I was with her taking statin? She is very confident in her internal medicine doctor who has treated her (along with a bevy of residents and interns at our local teaching hospital) for many years. I recall in Statin Nation I, that Dr. Sinatra stated when you reduce cholesterol “by any means” you are putting your overall health at great risk. Afifah’s comments some time ago really got me to thinking and I am not quite sure how to approach my sister to steer clear of anything that lowers her cholesterol. Her all time high thus far has been 220 which is actually not high at all. So, should I be concerned and why?

    If anyone reading can jump in and help me, I would be most appreciative. I am already so concerned for her as she has a primary head tremor (I think I am saying it correctly) and now has a tremor in her left hand as well. Overall, she is quite healthy. She exercises quite regularly, eats very well and is the picture of health looking (like our dear mother) at least 15 years younger than her chronological age. Save for the aforementioned diagnoses by her Neurologist, she has been relatively healthy.

    What purpose does Antara serve? Thanks again all,
    Mary

    Reply

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