‘You are killing my patients’ – again

[Bring it on]

A few months ago I was part of a group that wrote a letter to the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) criticising their proposed guidance on the use of statins in primary prevention. I drafted the letter and it was signed by such people as the President of the Royal College of Physicians, past president of the Royal College of Physicians etc. This was not, in short, a group of fringe lunatics.

It caused a bit of a stir, and generated a considerable amount of air time. After receiving the letter, NICE reviewed their guidance and decided that they had been perfectly correct to promote the use of statins in primary prevention in the UK after all. NICE, in effect, judged NICE, and found itself not guilty of anything. Well, that’s one of the benefits of being judge, jury and executioner all wrapped up together in one body.

This letter, and the dismissal of all its points, followed a nasty outbreak of hostilities in which Professor Abramson and Dr Malhotra had been attacked by Rory Collins for publishing separate, but related, papers in the BMJ. These papers suggested that adverse effects from statins were quite common. Professor Rory Collins demanded retraction of the articles and also attacked the editor of the BMJ very publically. Generating articles such as this one:

‘Professor Sir Rory Collins, from Oxford University, said he believes GPs and the public are being made unjustifiably suspicious of the drug, creating a situation that has echoes of the MMR vaccine controversy.

The academic, one of the country’s leading experts on the drug, is particularly unhappy with the British Medical Journal (BMJ), which has run well-publicised articles by two critics of statins that he argues are flawed and misleading.

“It is a serious disservice to British and international medicine,” he said, claiming that it was probably killing more people than had been harmed as a result of the paper on the MMR vaccine by Andrew Wakefield. “I would think the papers on statins are far worse in terms of the harm they have done.”’ 1

Stung by this attack, the BMJ brought together an independent panel in response to Rory Collins criticism. The result, as reported by Forbes, was as follows:

“As previously reported, Rory Collins, a prominent researcher and head of the Cholesterol Treatment Trialists’ (CTT) Collaboration, had demanded that The BMJ retract two articles that were highly critical of statins. Although The BMJ issued a correction for both papers for inaccurately citing an earlier publication and therefore overstating the incidence of adverse effects of statins, this response did not satisfy Collins. He repeatedly demanded that the journal issue a full retraction of the articles, prompting The BMJ’s editor-in-chief, Fiona Godlee, to convene an outside panel of experts to review the problem.

The report of the independent statins review panel exonerates The BMJ from wrong doing and said the controversial articles should not be retracted:

“The panel were unanimous in their decision that the two papers do not meet any of the criteria for retraction. The error did not compromise the principal arguments being made in either of the papers. These arguments involve interpretations of available evidence and were deemed to be within the range of reasonable opinion among those who are debating the appropriate use of statins.”

In fact, the panel was critical of Collins for refusing to submit a published response to the articles:

“The panel noted with concern that despite the Editor’s repeated requests that Rory Collins should put his criticisms in writing as a rapid response, a letter to the editor or as a stand-alone article, all his submissions were clearly marked ‘Not for Publication’. The panel considered this unlikely to promote open scientific dialogue in the tradition of the BMJ.””2

In short, Professor Sir Rory Collins was told that he was utterly wrong to demand retraction of the papers, and that by refusing to take part in an open discussion was trying to strangle scientific debate.

That, if you like sets the scene. A scene whereby anyone who dares to criticise statins, even a prestigious journal such as the BMJ itself, is subjected to vitriolic attacks and a demand for silence. Rory Collins tried to keep all correspondence with Fiona Godlee secret, which kind of backfired on him. Hoorah. Type ‘Rory Collins and Fiona Godlee e-mails’ into Google, and you can see for yourself.

Of course, things have not stopped here. The ‘statinators’ although briefly thwarted in their initial attack on Abramson, Malhotra and the BMJ – and less directly me – have switched track. The British Cardiovascular Society (which you will not have heard of), have decided to run a survey of their members. They are trying to gather information about the damaging impact of the articles, and the letter to NICE:

Here is an e-mail which was sent to all members:

The British Cardiovascular Society is keen to know of any potential adverse effect on cardiovascular disease prevention which may have resulted from recent media stories and articles such as those published in the BMJ (1,2) and in an open letter to NICE (3). 
We would be grateful if members would complete this short survey. Your response will be anonymous and the link below is unique to you allowing you to complete the survey once only. 
The survey closes on 30th September and results will be made available subsequently on the BCS Website and in the BCS newswire.


(1) Abramson JD, Rosenberg HG, Jewell N, Wright JM. Should people at low risk of cardiovascular disease take a statin? BMJ 2013; DOI:10.1136/bmj.f6123.
(2) Malhotra A. Saturated fat is not the major issue. BMJ 2013; DOI:10.1136/bmj.f6340
(3) http://www.nice.org.uk/News/Press-and-Media/nice-responds-to-criticisms-of-its-draft-guidance-on-statins

Now, why would they be doing this? I do not think it is that difficult to work it out. The BCS is trying to gather evidence that the articles by Abramson, Malhotra and the open letter to NICE have caused harm to patients. They will be asking their members if they know of people who have stopped taking statins, or who will not go on statins, because of what they have read in the BMJ and suchlike.

Once they have done this, they will then extrapolate the raw figures to the entire population of the UK, in order to claim that ‘Thousands have died.’ Abramson will be attacked, along with Malhotra and the BMJ. I will get a few attacks as well for drafting the letter to NICE. This is a very unsubtle variation of the ‘You’re killing my patients’ tactic which is regularly used to silence any who dares criticise currently medical opinion.

At this point you may be wondering what the British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) may be, and could it possibly have any conflicts of interest with the pharmaceutical industry? Well, of course it does. The BCS is heavily reliant on the industry for its very existence. I would say totally reliant, but such bodies do not reveal detailed financial information.

However, you can start looking at what they charge for sponsorship at their conference, and begin to multiply. For example, if you want an exhibition stand at said conference, here is what you pay for an Option 1 stand3.

Option 1 – £33,500 + VAT
To include:

  • Stand – 8mx8m (64msq) island site
  • Full Page Colour advert in Heart Journal
  • Table (10 guests) at BCS Annual Dinner (Tuesday 3 June)
  • 4 x Conference Badges (company name only so transferable)
  • 20 x Stand/Exhibition Badges
  • 50 word entry in the Conference Programme and on the website
  • Opportunity to purchase additional adverts in Heart Journal

with up to a 50% discount of card rate

The BCS helpfully explains the benefits of exhibiting:

Why Exhibit?

The BCS Annual Conference is the most highly attended and respected cardiovascular event in the UK. The Exhibition is a crucial component to the success of BCS event, enabling cardiologists, physicians, scientists, physiologists and nurses to keep up to date with innovative and developing technologies, pharmacology, diagnostic equipment, educational materials and more.

Access over 2,300 cardiovascular healthcare professionals face to face – including top cardiologists, physicians, scientists, physiologists and nurses

Promote and demonstrate products and services directly to key cardiovascular healthcare professionals and gain first-hand feedback

Associate your brand/company with the Society for Cardiovascular Care – the British Cardiovascular Society

Introduce new products/services and test the market

Opportunity to network with industry peers

Of course there are other sponsorship opportunities, such as Advertising in the BCS Conference Programme, which will set you back another £10K:

Advertising in BCS Conference Programme

A copy of the Conference Programme is given to each delegate upon arrival to the event. This is the perfect opportunity to reinforce your presence and support of the BCS Annual Conference 2014.

Inside Front Cover: £2,000 + vat (exclusive)

Inside Back Cover: £2,000 + vat (exclusive)

Outside Back Cover: £2,000 + vat (exclusive)

Double Page: £2,000 + vat

Single Page: £1,200 + vat

There are limited opportunities available

I could go on, but I think you get the general drift. The BCS are funded and supported by the pharmaceutical industry. An industry that is not, currently, that bothered about statins – as the patents have run out. But it is an industry that remains extremely interested in the whole idea of lowering cholesterol. Which remains THE multi-multi-billion dollar market.

Any attack on statins threatens the foundations of this market, one that has been painstakingly constructed over the last thirty years. Keeping the cholesterol lowering idea alive, vibrant, and expanding, will make it far simpler to sell the next generation of cholesterol lowering agents that are currently lurking in the wings, engines purring.

To cut a long story short, the forthcoming attack by the BCS can be considered, to all intents and purposes, an attack by the pharmaceutical industry on anyone who dares to suggest that drugs lowering cholesterol may not be such a brilliant idea. So when you see the headlines in the newspapers damning and rubbishing Aseem Malhotra, John Abramson, and me (and a few others), you now know exactly where this attack originated, and why. Knowledge is, as they say, power.


1: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/mar/21/-sp-doctors-fears-over-statins-may-cost-lives-says-top-medical-researcher

2: http://www.forbes.com/sites/larryhusten/2014/08/02/no-retraction-for-you-review-panel-exonerates-medical-journal-in-statin-kerfuffle/

3: http://www.bcs.com/pages/exhibition_09.asp?PageID=497&NavCatID=86

37 thoughts on “‘You are killing my patients’ – again

  1. Lilypink (@Pickywitch)

    Another great post. A few things come to mind as a result of it (but at a tangent to your work): i) you’ll know of course about the CDC Whistle-blower Thompson whose scandalous admission of fraud associated with their MMR research puts Wakefield’s work in a whole new light and ii) this echoes what has been going on in terms of the disease Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) for donkey’s years: NICE refusing to take heed of the real biomedical research when they first produced the guideline and saying last year that nothing more had been understood about the disease in the intervening period and therefore the Guideline would stay as it is. Nothing could be further from the truth. NICE is an oxymoron..emphasis on the ‘moron’.

  2. mikecawdery

    Found on the web:

    So far as I am concerned this information confirms my opinion that Big Pharma sponsored research and advertising is corrupt in that it is selective, biased and manipulated towards grossly over estimating the medicinal value of their products. Incidentally, I understand that GSK improved sales in China by using, among other means, “sexual favours”.

    “In this article is the numbers of doctors paid and how much by pharmaceutical companies.

    The law mandates disclosure of payments to doctors, dentists, chiropractors, podiatrists and optometrists for things like promotional speaking, consulting, meals, educational items and research.

    We can hope that it will make a positive difference.

    “Payments from pharmaceutical companies touch hundreds of thousands of doctors.
    The 17 companies we’ve tracked spent $1.4 billion in 2013 alone.
    Here are our top five takeaways from following all that money.”

    Dollars for Docs now includes 3.4 million payments since 2009,
    totaling more than $4 billion, of which $2.5 billion was for research.
    For 2013 alone, there were 1.2 million payments valued at nearly $1.4 billion.


  3. raphaels7

    Thank you for making this public information.

    Dr.Kendrick, maybe you would be interested in Stephanie Seneff’s (MIT) clear indictment of statins. She published & put forth mechanisms regarding how (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21402242):

    – “[…] AD (Alzheimer’s Disease) may also be caused by a deficiency in the supply chain of cholesterol, fats, and antioxidants to the brain.”
    – “Significantly, the cerebrospinal fluid of AD patients is substantially depleted in lipoproteins, cholesterol, triglycerides, and free fatty acids, compared to matched controls. Along with depletion of cholesterol and triglycerides, the fatty acid content of cerebrospinal fluid is reduced by an alarming factor of 6 ”
    – “We hypothesize that AGE damage to LDL leads to defects in receptor-based uptake of LDL by astrocytes in the brain, causing them to become cholesterol and fat depleted, and therefore stressed”

    She comes from the field of artificial intelligence & is a welcome breath of fresh intellectual integrity to the field of medicine & nutrition. She has fascinating views on vaccines that cannot (thankfully) be resumed to a simple pro or con assertion.

    1. Tom Welsh

      Many thanks for that link! It’s potential dynamite, suggesting that too much carbohydrate and not enough fat could be a cause of Alzheimer’s. Naturally I never saw any mention of it in our glorious free media.

      1. Catherine Reynolds

        It would explain the steep rise in cases of Alzheimer’s, I think, Tom. My mother has AD, so I am always very interested in any articles/research on the subject.

        1. mikecawdery

          You may be interested in this paper[ it can be downloaded in full.
          Midlife Serum Cholesterol and Increased
          Risk of Alzheimer’s and Vascular
          Dementia Three Decades Later
          Alina Solomon a, b
          Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord 2009;28:75–80
          DOI: 10.1159/000231980

          In tables 2-4 change row titles from TC levels to guideline recommendations for treatment. This does nor affect the numbers or stats but certainly provides an alternative interpretation.
          This study failed to give any treatment details; when personal medical records have treatment details redacted, there is a good reason for doing so. Big Pharma would not like their golden goose to be slaughtered

    1. Mary Richard

      Right you are, Mr. Gibbs. The most tragic effect of all this waste of time, money and intellect is that it distracts the medical and related industries from researching and DOING something about the real causes of arterial disease in general. We have only begun to scratch the surface of the true origins of vascular diseases which will (if these Einsteins get out of their own way) help more people find answers rather than capitulate to some one size fits all remedy for a disease that is killing people who have it as well as those who NEVER WILL. Just think how many lives will be lost and have been because people refuse to give up on an idea that is way past its expiration date!!! Why is it not okay to have honest disagreements that create and challenge us to think and consider other alternatives and new ideas not in line with the dusty old diet-heart hypothesis? It is okay to be wrong sometime. It is okay to say…I thought I had the answer but now want to explore other ideas in light of new information and historical reference. That is what men or women of character really do because they know that humility never goes out of fashion and neither does swallowing your pride.

      1. celia

        Maybe the answer is as simple as a genuinely healthy diet, appropriate exercise, staying away from stress and smoking etc. But as that doesn’t make any money, I guess that’s not an answer they’d want to find…

  4. Flyinthesky

    You’re not going away any time soon are you, despite their best efforts. I salute your tenacity.
    I just wish we had simmilar tempering forces in every area of expertise.

  5. Gary

    Fight ’em to the death, or at least until they (pharmaceutical executives) are in prison where they belong. Here in the good ole U. S. of A. there is a deafening silence about any such issues, as the “free press” is afraid of printing anything not politically correct (we’ve become an oligarchy), and are rapidly sinking into irrelevance. The “medical” industry is little better, as they are rewarded handsomely for destroying the health of the nation, although we have, for the most part, excellent doctors.

    1. Tom Welsh

      The “free press” has always been somewhat illusory; some 85 years ago the British journalist Hannon Swaffer observed that, “freedom of the press … is freedom to print such of the proprietor’s prejudices as the advertisers don’t object to”. It has also been pointed out that newspaper proprietors tend to be very rich, and instinctively support their fellow plutocrats – such as the bosses and shareholders of Big Pharma.

      Moreover, as the income of the traditional print media, radio and TV shrink, corporations react by laying off journalists and editors – starting with the honest, sceptical and investigative – and publishing more and more virtually unchanged government and corporate output. Recently it has become public knowledge that the CIA has spent huge amounts of money bribing the media to publish its carefully fashioned selection of facts, lies, and opinions. It’s a double win for the media, as they don’t need to employ journalists to write all that material!

  6. Spokey

    I’m glad to hear you and your colleagues are getting under the statinator’s skin. These seem like desperate and shrill tactics they’re resorting too. Tactics that make it obvious they lack solid evidence to back their complaints and that those complaints were rejected by an independent panel is simply music.

  7. Mary Richard

    I see progress, Dr. Kendrick, as small as it may seem to those of you who have fought so hard for so long. The fact they BMJ did not retract the articles is, in itself, amazing…at least to me. God speed. They really cannot take your freedom now can they? Good for you!!! God, how I hate those statins!

    1. Sargrith

      I’ve had enough of taking statins but with a 70%blockage to my my right carotid artery, up 10% in a year, what’s the answer from those not in this predicament. It’s alright talking about the lack of proof that this drug is not only ineffective, but downright dangerous, but who has the alternative for those like me?Exactly!

      1. Stephen Rhodes

        I must hasten to add that I am neither a GP or a cardiologist, but e.g. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002951.htm suggests that the proper approach to such a blockage is surgery and names two different procedures, describing one.
        From everything I read, but without knowing if you have previously suffered heart attack or stroke there is no justification for your taking statins rather than solving this particular medical problem with surgery.
        Maybe you should, if you haven’t already, ask your GP whether your condition is amenable to surgery.

      2. Mary Richard

        Go online and see Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride talk about heart health and diet. She thinks statins are scandalous and believes you can actually reverse many diseases including arterial disease. You can see a more detailed interview of her, Dr. Kendrick, and many others who have great advice by purchasing Statin Nation. If your only option is surgery, then so be it, but in the aftermath, you are going to need some good advice. What do you have to lose? I know what it did for me and many of those I love and care about.

  8. Ursa

    I sincerely hope that the ‘statins debate’ will result in law suits against those that are basically ‘forcing’ healthy individuals to succumb to taking statins, as recommended by the UK organisation NICE. Whether the drug company barons are behind this is irrelevant, NICE is supposed to be impartial.

  9. Jennifer

    Mary, I hate statins too.
    No one in my immediate medical world wanted to acknowledge my fears that statins were the cause of my deteriorating health status. I was on my own, or so I thought, until I found blogs such as Dr Kendrick’s. I now have a much improved health status, but where is the questionaire asking for my details?
    We know the pharmaceutical companies read these blogs, in the same way as the sugar lords keep abreast of anti-sugar bloggers….ready at the drop of a full stop to counter any criticism of their product.
    So come on you researchers…..get the true facts from those of us who are in blooming health without those toxic statins. You know we exist, and you know we existed long before NICE decided to follow daft guidelines regarding advising very low risk patients to be prescribed them……good gracious me…..I belong to the group classed as HIGH RISK, and am infinitely healthier without the darned things than I ever was taking them……and no thanks to the GPs, who for whatever reason, failed to accept my explanation long before this debacle hit the medical press.
    Many years ago I attended a meeting of NICE, and learned then that so long as stuff is cheap, the ‘great unwashed’ can have it….so that could be one explanation as to why we are being pushed towards these drugs. It makes the GPs look as though they are doing something for us, a bit like prescribing the proverbial ‘cough bottle’ used to be.
    (As an aside, I took great exception to the tax payers of this country, who fund NHS, being described in that manner, and requested a retraction. It just about summed up how folks at the pinnacle of their profession become self-obsessed with their own importance).

  10. Steve Gold

    Sargrith wrote: I’ve had enough of taking statins but with a 70%blockage to my my right carotid artery, up 10% in a year, what’s the answer from those not in this predicament. It’s alright talking about the lack of proof that this drug is not only ineffective, but downright dangerous, but who has the alternative for those like me?Exactly!

    Investigate various enzyme therapies such as nattokinase & serrapeptase. There’s quite a bit of good evidence as well as plenty of anecdotal reports.

    Also investigate vitamin K2 (not vitamin K / K1).

    From what little I know, I’m not quite sure what good you expect a statin to do for your medical condition.

  11. Jean Humphreys

    Slightly off topic: I was saddened to see a photo in a weekend paper of our current Home Secretary on an exercise bike, publicising the BHF “bust the cholesterol” campaign.
    They just don’t get it/never give up do they?

      1. Jean Humphreys

        Well that is such a wonderful bandwagon to ride on – they have spent so much time and money with their whizzy drugs which may raise blood glucose that they have created a huge clientele.
        Been there, done that, sat in the surgery and been told I had diabetes, and then had a renewal prescription for the thiazide which was causing the raised glucose. And which wasn’t lowering my blood pressure.
        Best things for lowering blood pressure I have found were
        1. finding a GP who was prepared to believe that the usual medications were poison to my body.
        2. getting a dog.No it is not the exercise, since I can’t do that, but I do get to hug her a lot.

  12. howfussiner

    Your outstanding article ends by stating that “Knowledge is power.”
    As someone who suffered permanent myopathy of all my leg muscles and can no longer walk, I wonder if there is any knowledge about treatment for statin-damaged patients.
    The prescribing cardiologist categorically denies that his statin caused my disease, though from being extremely fit and athletic I went to crippled in 6 months of 20 mg simvastatin. He has no idea what caused my “serious disease”.
    How crazy is this: I ask a physician to report a “side” effect. He hems, haws, evades. Finally, when pressed, he says, “I don’t think that the sales rep from that company comes to our office any more.” Um, doctor, why in the world would you report it to the sales rep? Don’t you know how to report adverse effects and to whom? Madness!

    1. David Bailey

      I don’t know if this is any help, but once I knew that Simvastatin was the problem, I found that taking diclofenac let me exercise reasonably, and over a period of 9 months I was able to tail off the use of diclofenac and get back to normal. So I wonder if you could take something – maybe diclofenac – to mute the pain and cramping, it might be possible for you too to take some form of exercise and get your muscles working better – hopefully getting you back on your feet.

      I had the feeling at the time that it was exercise that made the difference.

      I know diclofenac is under something of a cloud nowadays, but it seemed particularly effective, and has been used for many years as an anti-inflammatory drug.

      From my experience, the side effects of Simvastatin take months to disappear completely, and I wonder if in a slightly worse case than mine people end up taking little or no exercise – waiting for their limbs to recover – so they deteriorate from lack of use.

      This may be totally off the mark (in which case I am happy if Malcolm Kendrick simply removes it).

      It is utterly crazy that after being poisoned by the medical profession, people have no help dealing with the consequences!

      1. Christine Whitehead

        David “It is utterly crazy that after being poisoned by the medical profession, people have no help dealing with the consequences!”

        I think that is because the people who have done the damage are in total denial.


        1. mikecawdery

          Just found this:

          “Fleming did not take the matter further because he did not think it worth pursuing, further because he did not think it worth pursuing; ‘a good example of how preconceived ideas in medicine can stifle the imagination and impede progress’. (E. Chain, ‘Thirty Years of Penicillin Therapy’, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: Series B, 1971, Vol. 179, pp. 293– 319. In Le Fanu, James (2011-11-03). The Rise And Fall Of Modern Medicine (p. 537).

          “a good example of how preconceived ideas in medicine can stifle the imagination and impede progress”; sums up Medical Correctness (MC)” and all its flaws.

    2. Catherine Reynolds

      My husband was told that he could have yet another drug to counteract the effects of Simvastatin!!! Fortunately, he read the information I gave him (Dr M’s amongst it) regarding statins and their side effects, and decided to stop taking it altogether. He’d barely been able to climb our stairs, ached constantly, had no energy, and was convinced he was losing his mind, as his memory was so bad, suddenly. A new GP (taking over from our previous one at the surgery, who was not the person who prescribed Simvastatin in the first place) wanted him to start taking Pravastatin, despite the fact that my husband’s blood test showed that his cholesterol level was below 4 (it had been below 4 prior to the heart attack that prompted the hospital to prescribe him Simvastatin). He has never taken them, and his blood tests continue to show a constant level of cholesterol. He said that the thought of potentially repeating the side effects he had was just too horrible. My question would be why on earth ANY doctor, at the hospital or at our surgery, would consider that he “needed” statins at all, with the readings shown on the blood tests? With the knowledge I now have of cholesterol, I would say that his level was rather low, and I’ve recently been told that my own is below 5 – “fantastic!” was the response to that! I’m not convinced……!

      1. Ursa

        I think that doctors in general are very strongly urged by the NHS overlord – NICE – to prescribe statins. Most doctors, I think, do really not know enough about the side effects of the drug, and NICE keep on burying their heads in the sand. Their -NICE – insistence to push statins down the throat of as many people as possible, and then proclaiming that there are very few side effects, borders on the criminal, in my opinion.

      2. Jennifer

        I became suspicious when I was “congratulated” that, at last, the increased statin dosage had reduced my cholesterol to under 4mmol. Who says that is a worthwhile achievement? No research given to back up the figure.
        I had already queried the prescribed thiazide being the instigator of my diabetes some years previously, but the suggestion was dismissed as maybe “possible’, but most likely “improbable”. No research given to me
        to subdue my fears.
        And as for 2 of the oral anti-glycaemics I was prescribed being a risk for rare-ish cancers…..I was promptly relegated into the “paranoid old dodderer” class, at least that is how I felt as I slumped out of the surgery.

        so….”elevated” cholesterol
        ……..”elevated” B/P
        …..”elevated” blood glucose

        ALL requiring continuous, lifelong medications, and a nice steady income for the drug companies……But who decides what is actually “elevated”?
        well bless my soul…..I reckon it must be the very same companies who persuade NICE to advise our GPs etc to treat so many of us quite unnecessarily.
        It is an absolute disgrace.

      3. Catherine Reynolds

        Jennifer – you are quite right about this “normal” and “elevated” thing. Having read numerous articles/blogs etc regarding cholesterol, I’ve noted several times that a reading of 7 appears to be one shared by a large proportion of the population in the UK, yet we are told that 5 or below is what is “ideal”, and it is implied that anything above this means that we are likely to drop dead from heart disease at any moment. The same goes for blood pressure readings – what is “normal” actually covers a fair range, as opposed to what really is dangerously high, yet people seem to be likely to be prescribed drugs if their blood pressure is heading towards the upper part of the “normal” range.

      4. mikecawdery

        Int J Clin Pract. 2002 Jan-Feb;56(1):53-6

        “Among high-risk patients in this western population (with a minimum total cholesterol [TC] > or = 3.5 mmol/l at entry) there appears to be no threshold cholesterol value below which statin therapy is not associated with benefit; even among those with pre-treatment cholesterol levels below current national recommended targets”.

        In short from the mouths of experts TC level is irrelevant

  13. Steve Gold

    @ howfussiner

    I have no idea whether this will work to help your myopathy, but there seems no logical reason not to try and it’s a totally safe, natural approach. I know from a sporting angle, supplementing does work and if it’s going to help your myopathy you should see results within a few weeks.

    What I suggest you investigate doing is taking about 4-6 grams of beta-alanine (amino acid) split into 4 doses per day. It’s not expensive, a 1Kg bag is only about £35 so it’ll last a good while!

    If you search on the general internet or in PubMed you’ll see where I’m coming from in my suggestion. The only side effect you may feel is paresthesia (a tingling on the skin) but I actually like the feeling! If you do get the tingling it generally only lasts about 10 – 20 minutes. When I last supplemented I took about 4 grams, four times a day without any problems.

    If you do try it, buy a bag from somewhere like my “protein dot com” for the cheapest price. (I have no interest in this company – other sources are available!)

    I’d also suggest you don’t skimp on salt and add some potassium (eg potassium chloride) to your diet.

    The above is not to be construed as medical advice but only as an area of potential investigation. Hope it’s of some help.

  14. Steve Gold

    And since you’re likely to be deficient (because most people are) I’d also suggest you take 5000 IU of vitamin D per day. A tub of these on Amazon costs about £20-£30 for a whole year’s supply so again, not very much. With the vitamin D, I’d encourage you to take a vitamin K2 supplement as well.

    Ignore the government’s advice to take 400 or 700 IU a day. That amount will hardly touch the sides…!

    Again, good evidence on the internet and PubMed for the above suggestions.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s