Thinking about diabetes once more

I suppose I should start this particular blog by stating that my interest in diabetes (type II) first came about as an extension of my interest in heart disease. This means that I approached diabetes in a different direction from most people. I was not looking at type II diabetes as an isolated condition; I was searching for the underlying links between heart disease and diabetes. This is probably why I have never thought about diabetes from the obesity, insulin resistance, perspective.

Instead, I was studying the impact of stress hormones, specifically cortisol, on various physiological systems. I knew that stress and cortisol levels were closely linked to cardiovascular disease. I also knew that type II diabetes increased the risk of cardiovascular disease – or perhaps vice-versa. Could both conditions be linked by abnormal cortisol levels?

Obviously I was aware that stress – however you define it – is a far more complex thing than simply raised blood cortisol levels. The stress response, or ‘flight or fight’ response or whatever you feel most comfortable with calling it is far more complex than that. It also involves a myriad of different mechanisms triggered by the sympathetic nervous system. Many other hormones are also involved, from glucagon to growth hormone, adrenaline and nor-adrenaline – and others too numerous to mention.

However, I decided to keep things simple and keep my attention focused on cortisol. I did this for two reasons. First, because I find that if you try to look at too many things at the same time you get dragged down into endless complexity. Second, I felt that cortisol may be the key hormone to study, because it is the primary ‘catabolic’ hormone. By which I mean that it triggers a whole series of ‘energy burning’ processes.

For example, a high cortisol level will convert glycogen in the liver into glucose – which is then released into the bloodstream, raising blood sugar levels. This is known as ‘glycogenolysis’. Cortisol also drives ketone synthesis in the liver. Furthermore, it breaks down fat and protein stores, releasing them for energy use. It also stimulates glucagon production in the alpha cells in the pancreas.

Looking at things from this perspective you could say that cortisol does the exact opposite of insulin. Insulin is the energy storage hormone; cortisol is the energy burning hormone. Therefore it seemed likely that people with high cortisol levels would develop insulin resistance and, in many cases, type II diabetes. I knew that stress raises cortisol levels and so here, perhaps, was an obvious link between stress, heart disease and type II diabetes.

This thought immediately led me to look at of people with Cushing’s disease (sometimes called Cushing’s syndrome). People with Cushing’s disease have a tumour on their adrenal glands which pumps out excess cortisol, in an uncontrolled fashion. This creates a whole series of metabolic problems:

‘Chronic cortisol hypersecretion causes central obesity, hypertension, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, protrombotic state, manifestations which form a metabolic syndrome in all patients with Cushing’s syndrome. These associated abnormalities determine an increased cardiovascular risk not only during the active phase of the disease but also long after the “biomedical remission”’ 1

It is not exactly a state secret to announce that people with Cushing’s disease suffer from a wide, wide, spectrum of abnormalities, from increased visceral obesity to type II diabetes, high triglyceride levels, low HDL, raised blood pressure and on and on. They also have a very, very, high rate of death from heart disease. In some studies a 600% relative increase in risk. [Stick that in your pipe and smoke it…cholesterol].

Some of you may have looked at that list of abnormalities and thought. Hey, isn’t that also called the ‘Metabolic Syndrome.’ Why, yes, indeed, it is. Just to make research extra confusing, it is also called, at least, four other things:

  • Syndrome X
  • Reaven’s syndrome
  • Insulin resistance syndrome
  • Pre-diabetes

Anyway, leaving behind the terminological inexactitude in this area, it is beyond the slightest shadow of doubt that a high cortisol level can causes enormous and widespread metabolic disruption. Possibly this is all modulated by severe insulin resistance. Here is Wikipedia on the effects of Cushing’s syndrome (sometime called Cushing’s disease, sometimes called Cushing’s syndrome) on insulin resistance:

…Other signs include polyuria (and accompanying polydipsia), persistent hypertension (due to cortisol’s enhancement of epinephrine’s vasoconstrictive effect) and insulin resistance (especially common in ectopic ACTH production), leading to high blood sugar and insulin resistance which can lead to diabetes mellitus.’2

But is it definitely the raised cortisol that causes these problems? Could other things be going on in Cushing’s disease? To be absolutely certain that it cortisol was the culprit, I felt the need to double check.

So, I looked for people who are given high doses of cortisol. You may think that this would be a very strange thing to do. However, as some of you may be aware, cortisol is also known as a ‘corticosteroid’. Corticosteroids are group of hormones synthesized in the adrenal glands (all made from cholesterol, by the way). Just in case you are wondering, anabolic steroids are an artificial form of testosterone (another corticosteroid hormone), but one that builds up muscle, rather than breaking it down.

Synthetic corticosteroids based on cortisol are usually referred to as just, plain old steroids. Steroids are used in a very wide variety of diseases from asthma, to rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, Systemic Lupus and Sarcoidosis. Essentially, they are used in any disease which has a significant ‘inflammatory’ component.

They are prescribed in these conditions because they are the most powerful anti-inflammatory agents known to man. There is no doubt that they are brilliant, and fantastic… however if used for too long… they can be deadly. I think of steroids as the bazooka of medical intervention. They blow up things ahead, but they also blow things up behind. So you need to be very careful what you point them at. And for how long… which is where my bazooka analogy rather fails.

Anyway, as you might expect, long-term use of steroids leads to exactly, and precisely, the same metabolic abnormalities that are seen with Cushing’s disease. Here is a short section of a paper looking at the impact of steroids on human metabolism:

‘Clinical-overt and experimental cortisol excess is associated with profound metabolic disturbances of intermediate metabolism resulting in abdominal obesity, insulin resistance, and low HDL-cholesterol levels, which can lead to diabetes.’3

None of this should be in the lease bit surprising, and I found that I was just confirming facts which, it seemed, had to be true. I knew that cortisol was a ‘stress’ hormone, and the key catabolic hormone (food burning/energy usage). I knew that Insulin was the key hormone directing energy storage. Frankly, I would have been amazed if raised cortisol did not cause insulin resistance and type II diabetes, and a whole serious of other problems from raised blood pressure to visceral obesity, low HDL levels, increased blood clotting etc. etc. All of the things associated with a high risk of heart disease.

In fact, when you look at heart disease and diabetes as two sides of the same coin, with stress/cortisol linking them together, things that may seem difficult, or impossible to connect, snap into place. Just to give one example here. Depression is known to be linked to a higher rate of death from heart disease. Here is a meta-analysis of nearly nine hundred thousand people

‘The results of our meta-analysis suggest that depression is independently associated with a significantly increased risk of CHD and MI, which may have implications for CHD etiological research and psychological medicine.’4

Depression can also increase the risk of insulin resistance and type II diabetes:

‘A positive association was found between depressive disorder and insulin resistance in this population-based sample of young adult men and women. The association seemed to be mediated partially by waist circumference.’ 5

What is the underlying factor linking depression and insulin resistance?

‘PMD (PMD is shorthand for depression – my words in bold) is associated with increased cortisol levels during the quiescent hours. Enhanced cortisol activity, particularly a higher nadir, was related to depression severity and the interaction of depressive and psychotic symptoms. This increase suggests a defect in the action of the circadian timing system and HPA axis, creating a hormonal milieu similarly seen in early Cushing’s syndrome and potentially an (im)balance of mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid receptor activity.’6

Sorry about the jargon, but I wanted to make clear that severe depression mimics early Cushing’s syndrome… Interesting? At this point I could go deeper and start discussing the Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal axis (HPA-axis) and how you can link post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, fibromyalgia, childhood abuse, smoking and a lack of exercise to HPA-axis dysfunction, abnormal cortisol levels, central obesity the metabolic syndrome diabetes and heart disease together. But maybe that is for another day.

What I wanted to make clear here is that, when you look at things from a different perspective, type II diabetes becomes a much more interesting condition. It is not, and never was, a simple case of: you eat too much > you get fat > you become insulin resistance > you get type II diabetes.

But it seems that we are stuck with this ‘energy-centric’ model forever. All facts must orbit round excess energy consumption, and the role of other hormones in the body shalt be ignored. Glucagon…what’s that got to do with diabetes. Cortisol – do not look through that telescope young man. Depression causing visceral obesity heart disease and diabetes… nonsense. Oh well, dogma, dogma, dogma. It seems indestructible.

More on this topic soon(ish).







160 thoughts on “Thinking about diabetes once more

      1. Mary Richard

        Dr. Kendrick. This Sunday morning was “hump day”. I am well beyond the middle of “Doctoring Data”! I am almost sorry to see it end!! It is rather like a great spy novel!! Actually…it is much better because it is a biographical splendid piece of work!! This new post, however, is as fascinating as the one before it.

        Things are becoming so clear. Not that I still do not have questions, however, I am now beginning to piece the puzzle for many of my clients who endured steroidal injections as relief for back pain and those who endure long and intense periods of stress, and the like. Could it be why doctors will not allow their patients to have more than three steroid injections per year as treatment for inflammation and pain associated with back injuries or other inflammatory abnormalities? I will pull it together later, I am sure, as this “saga” unfolds, but so far, Dr. Holmes…by George, I think you’ve got it or one of the many “its” there are to be gotten. I only read Professor Goran’s response so far. I want to give it my full attention.

        I agree with the Professor…you are pretty amazing. Thank you. I am obligated to take family to lunch today, but boy…how I want to stay home and read. Cheers, Dr. Kendrick

        Is the book out in paperback yet?

      2. BobM

        65 percent seems like a lot to me. I was assuming they took more like 35 %. I’ll likely buy the book now instead of waiting for Amazon US to get it. The only thing is that my credit card company will call me as soon as I place the order (to a non-US location), to ensure that no one has stolen my card.

  1. raphaels7

    When I had asthma attacks as a kids I was prescribed corticosteroids. Unsurprisingly, going to bed on time was a battle and so was getting up in the morning since I felt so groggy I may as well have been drunk. Temper tantrums (followed by what I’d now call mild depression) weren’t uncommon during that period too. I was given this treatment multiple times over several years and suspect it may have contributed to my bone/cartilage issues (see:–Schlatter_disease) from 13 to 16yrs of age.
    They’re incredible for acute use (wouldn’t want to live in a world without them) but terrible for anything longer (aka ‘treatment’).

    Cortisol activity is a decent reflection of the summed multiplicity of factors involved in metabolic syndrome. The same can be said for the other side of the coin, insulin. This is also why deconstructing the contribution of individual factors to either is so do damn messy (as you point out, endless complexity).

    I think the circadian mismatch research avenue championed by Dr.Lagakos ( is rife with explanatory power and compliments your link between CVD-Diabetes (TII) very well. Again, your systems thinking is crucial for making these connections.

    1. mec76

      I think you are superb – a rare being in the medical world, wish there were more like you. More power to your bowling arm.

  2. lorrainecleaver7

    Almost there Doctor 🙂 It’s all about the Adrenal glands. This recent paper is worth a read, showing the low cortisol/adrenal dysfunction of hypothyroidism can repair when sufficient thyroid hormones are given and euthyroid state is restored. The caveat is, so few patients are ever truly restored to euthyroidism as Free T3 levels are never measured and the useless TSH test is taken as god’s word.
    ” At the adrenal level, in long-standing hypothyroidism, a significant reduction in cortisol secretion after ACTH has been documented in primary adrenal cell culture [15]. This finding was also supported by Tohei et al. who suggest that hypothyroidism directly causes adrenal dysfunction and that hypersecretion of CRH and arginine vasopressin is due to a reduction in the negative feedback effect of glucocorticoids [23]. In our study, ACTH levels were mildly elevated in hypothyroid patients that had an inadequate cortisol response to cosyntropin before L-T4 therapy.”

    “UK guidelines for the use of thyroid function tests were based on a non systematic review of generally poor quality evidence from the American Association of Clinical Biochemists (now defunct). Page 2, Findings

    As you know, there is significant overlap between hypothyroidism and type2 diabetes. Great book by the way.

  3. Ali.

    I just love anyone who thinks ‘outside’ the box, especially those in the Medical field. Too many out there “toe the line’ without ever questioning it. I like the fact that you are prepared to question, Dr. Kendrick. Don’t ever stop doing that, even when you think you’ve found the answer. Ancel Keys did that and look at the bucket of stew THAT landed us in!

    My personal reasoning ALWAYS (sorry, I can’t do italics on the iPad!) comes back to nutrition. All these things are relatively modern diseases. Diseases of modern living – and diet. And what you don’t eat is just as important as what you do eat.

    That is not to say that less ‘sophisticated’ cultures don’t get, or have never got these diseases, but they are not nearly so prevalent.

    Thinking about it logically, we know certain things can deplete the body of different elements – statins deplete Q10 (and probably several elements we aren’t aware of), for instance, Metformin can deplete B vitamins, etc., but they are not alone in this. All drugs deplete the body in some way or other – that is why we get ‘side effects’. They are not side effects, they are symptoms resulting from nutritional depletion by the drug.

    But some foods can have a similar effect. Everything that goes in the mouth has to be processed. Once it has been swallowed it has reached the point of no return. The body has to deal with it as best it can. If the food provides enough of the right nutrition its job is easy. If it doesn’t, the body has to steal elements from other processes to complete the digestive process. If what we eat constantly supplies, or robs out less nutrition – vitamins, minerals, trace elements, phytonutrients than we need, then where is the body supposed to get it from?

    It is no coincidence that thousands of people who have adopted the current so-called ‘fad’ grain-free and low-carb lifestyle are reversing a whole raft of health problems – and are often losing weight into the bargain (or gaining where they need to). Why? Because the food they are now eating is no longer robbing their bodies of nutrition but is supplying it in abundance.

    Metabolic syndrome, diabetes, thyroid issues, migraines, depression, anxiety, digestive problems, arthritis, neurological issues, etc., etc., etc., are all resolving. Whether they are following a more animal product-based diet, or more plant-based one, ditching the grains, sugar, pasteurised dairy and other nutrient-robbing foods is having amazing results.

    We are made of the elements. Any shortage – whether through a lack of supply or nutritional burglary by something else has to impact somewhere.

      1. Malcolm

        “Follow the man who seeks the truth; run from the man who has found it”. – Vaclav Havel
        For me, Havel’s analysis doesn’t quite ring true. Semmelweiss really did find the truth after years of looking and when people ran from HIM they ran from the TRUTH. Here’s my modification of Havel’s aphorism:
        “Follow the man who seeks the truth; rejoice with him when after 20 years of effort he finds the truth; run from the man who knows the truth without seeking” – Malcolm Shepherd

      2. mikecawdery

        Today’s news that the 1992 Govt. guidelines that milk, butter, cheese etc were “BAD” have now been described as “based on no evidence” and was simply WRONG and was responsible for the current epidemic of obesity and diabetes is unfortunately too late.

        I wonder how many people were conned into believing this grossly flawed guideline and are suffering the consequence of diabetes?

        It is just another example of flawed guidelines, based on X-spurt but conflicted, unsubstantiated ad hoc hypotheses; something that Dr Kendrick dealt with in his DVD (Doctoring Data). I just wonder whether the geniuses that wrote this guideline are still benefiting from their efforts (professorships, honours, even knighthoods).

  4. Barry Turner-Newall

    Interesting. I have been involved in a particular severe personal set of crcumstances for a year now which still has some way to run. Most days are wrecked by depression and anxiety. Im sure cortisol levels are through the roof. How do you check this and treat symptoms. Please don’e mention my GP. Uhhelpful in the extreme…

    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      You don’t need to check your cortisol levels (although it is a relatively simple saliva test) you know what is going on. You need to relax, speak to friends and family, walk in the sun and try to regain control in your life… at which point, your cortisol levels will improve.

      1. Dr Liz Stansbridge

        Thank you Dr K., that is the most succinct summary of the treatment of depression. I speak from 20 years experience as a psychiatrist. How few psychiatrists have that kind of wisdom.

    2. Chris

      Our lives can throw some very unsettling events our way. Sometimes we’re not very good at discussing them, and often we don’t have a suitably interested or trusted person to hand to discuss them with. If you have anxieties then the courage to face their causes (providing you are ready to) is a better solution than avoiding ant attempts to lay them to rest.

      In addition to what Dr Kendrick proposes you might do I would also propose that the following may help:

      Reading of an evening is preferable to watching TV. The value of quality and length of sleep is underestimated. Nature has it we ought to be sleeping when its dark outside, and I am aware of authors that say evidence exists that even low levels of light in a bedroom degrade the quality of sleep and have consequences for cyclic levels of hormones that respond diurnally, cortisol being one such hormone, and cortisol being a hormone that has command over others. In other words if your bedroom is not truly dark try to make it thus.
      Nature also prefers we are up, active, and outdoors in hours of daylight. The amount of time we spend indoors, or night-working, in the modern age is a modern phenomenon. Our physiology has been engineered by evolution. If evolution prepared us to be intentionally nocturnal we’d have been given much improved night-vision. The contrasting division between light and night helps set our ‘systems’ and ensure they are ‘in snyc’.
      Also, proponents of earthing theory insist rubber-soled shoes and modern living have resulted in almost total isolation from an aspect of the Earths electrical field. They say this electrical field has command over some aspects of animal physiology, and if maintaining this connection normalises some physiological parameters then not maintaining it permits departure from normal values and cycles.
      Clint Ober is the grand-daddy of Earthing theory, and on hearing Obers presentation of his theory a chap named Ghaley insisted he would prove Ober wrong. When Ghaley set up a trial from his sceptical viewpoint the results confirmed there was merit in Obers theory.
      Use of an Earthing sheet while sleeping re-establishes a lost former connection that helps to normalise cortisol levels and cycles. Knowing that many a hormone ‘meshes’ with another suggests that benefits may steer other hormones to work in improved accord.
      A simple anti-static wrist-band slipped over the foot used in conjunction with a bonding plug and coily-cord is as good as an earthing sheet but at a fraction of the cost.
      [ ]
      [ ]

      Hormones are tasked, amongst other things, with responding to our environment. The environment we live in is now predominantly man-made and the way in which evolution prepared us did not see this eventuality coming. Hence our bodies are not fully prepared for all eventualities that come their way. This simple mismatch results in issues that take up a lot of doctors time.

      We wish you a speedy recovery from your circumstances and your anxieties, Barry.

    3. Mary Richard

      I so agree with EACH Dr. Kendrick’s recommendations. And…perhaps trying one of the new lifestyles some of our friends here feel have lifted their “moods” and given them more robust health might help you as well. Many swear by the HFLC diet. I do also, although not to the extreme many here have sworn by. I have been trying to eliminate grains as well to see if that helps with some of the leftover problems I encounter after being on statins for so long. If there is a source of your anxiety…dig it out and deal with it in the most healthy way possible. I feel a good counselor who can guide you might help in the short term. Again, try the high fat, low carb diet. I do believe it has a great deal of credibility. My heart goes out to you. Good Luck!

  5. Brenda Wyse

    Yes, Dr Kendrick, it’s high time more of us were writing to say a big thank you. Please may I add my sincere thanks – for the encouragement you give to think independently, research, evaluate, question……… “Doctoring Data” is funny, irreverent and full of incalculably important information. Such a great teaching strategy – to make your reader laugh out loud while learning.

    I’ve returned to yet another re-read of “The Great Cholesterol Con” and am advising friends and family to read them both if they want to be helped to take more responsibility for their own
    Sincerely, thank you.
    Brenda Wyse

  6. Olga

    Also a big thanks for this post! I’m curious, what is the effect of Wilson’s disease on the development of diabetes and CVD?
    My other question, is other than taking iodine, which I am, do you have any suggestions for someone trying to bounce back from an unnecessary hemithyroidectomy? Don’t feel well on synthroid or armour. Have been improving very slowly for about 5 years now. If I can ever sleep really well again, I will be a happy camper.
    My gut tells me that eating a little higher carb (about 100-150 g) per day, perhaps all in the morning may help by raising insulin, and then maybe other hormones to compensate. Currently I try to stick to about 70 g as per Dr. Wolfgang Lutz
    Either that, or perhaps I need to get really stressed for a while to raise cortisol levels 🙂 which I tested and therefore know are low.
    Keep up the fantastic work, and if you feel like writing a post on hypothyroidism, I’m all eyes!

  7. David Bailey

    I’d also like to add my thanks! without you, I’d have been forever wondering if I should go and ask the doctor for another kind of statin that might not have such awful side effects, but your demonstration of the worthlessness of statins for those who haven’t had a CV event has been very reassuring, and I just say NO! This has no doubt also lowered my cortisol levels!

    The problem with your theory of diabetes, is that it is so complicated! Perhaps if you could reduce it to a number of algebraic expressions involving the concentrations of the various hormones, it would be easier to think about, and for doctors to adopt.

    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      I don’t really have a theory of diabetes. In fact, one of my great bugbears is calling a high blood sugar level a disease. It is not. A high blood sugar level has many different causes, and is the underlying causes that we should be interested in, not the lab test. Forcing blood sugar levels down with drugs, then claiming we have cured a disease, is another of medicine’s idiot concepts. You have ‘cured’ nothing. There was no ‘disease’ to cure.

      1. Spokes

        I spend a lot of time trying to see just how high I can get my blood sugar levels. Bit of a sweet tooth you see. My wife does all the cortisol at all the sweets I eat. No diabetes yet. The experiment looks set to continue.

      2. Pat

        Thank you very much indeed for this blog and for all you have done to make us all better informed. I for one would be glad to know what the many other different causes might be.

  8. Maureen

    On the topic of taking control of one’s own health, I highly recommend Norman Cousins book “Anatomy of an Illness”. I think he had ankylosing spondylitis. It’s a very inspiring account of how he became very skeptical of the treatment he was initially given, so did his own research, made his plans and carried them out, and despite a dire prognosis, he did regain his health. He was fortunate in having a very supportive physician, who went along with his unorthodox treatments.

  9. George Henderson

    A very interesting post that finally puts the psycho-social correlates of CVD into a metabolic perspective.
    I read a pan paperback years ago that was the true story of a secret agent looking for the German atom scientists in post-war Europe before the Russians found them. She found one on a Greek island, and he had disguised himself with cortisol, deliberately giving himself Cushing’s syndrome to change his appearance. He was bald, fat, and moonfaced by the time she identified him.
    How long he lived after that, the book didn’t say.

  10. Beth

    Another connection is the one between obesity & (as the phrase goes) social-economic status. In other words, poor people tend to be fatter & sicker. I have thought for a while that an obvious connector between these is stress, so what you say suggests that might be so.

  11. Louise Bloxham

    Finding these type 2 diabetes posts extremely interesting. I feel increasingly infuriated with Diabetes UK and their lack of progress into the causes of the increase in this disease. I expect their pharmaceutical “partners” would be none to keen for them to explore this avenue!

    1. Jennie

      Today’s Daily Mail ‘ Could Stress give you Diabetes?’ And
      ‘Butter isn’t Bad for you after all’
      Is the tide finally turning?

        1. mikecawdery

          I do hope that they do come out of the woodwork but like “six weeks bed rest”, Helicobacter pylori and all the other disasters, I suspect thaat silence will reign supreme.

  12. Bill

    Makes we wonder if people with untreated or undertreated Addison’s disease are protected from Type II diabetes. Can they eat all the Little Debbie’s snack cakes they want?

    Also makes me wonder if, in the genesis of metabolic syndrome and Type II diabetes, a strong interaction exists between carbohydrate consumption and cortisol levels. Could that be one reason why, for example, laid back Kitavans can eat vast amounts of carbs and remain metabolically healthy? Could it be one reason why stressed out denizens of industrial societies seem to have much lower carbohydrate tolerance?

    The theory that overconsumption of carbs—particularly sugar, flour, and other industrial carbs—is the main cause of the diabetes epidemic has an awful lot going for it. But it has had to invent its own epicycles to explain away certain observations. Perhaps cortisol will shed more light?

    1. Agate Karevoll

      No, low cortisol levels stops you handling carbs well. You need the correct level of cortisol to get glucose into the cells, so you get all the symptoms of hypoglycaemia, while the body is pumping out insulin to try to remedy the situation, triglycerides are elevated too. I do better in mild ketosis. An article by Dr. James Wilson, author of Adrenal Fatigue, confirmed my suspicion.

  13. Christopher Palmer

    Dear Dr Kendrick,

    You probably know of Stephen Sinatra, MD. He was listed as a member of THINCS. Stephen is also a cardiologist who joined forces with Clint Ober and martin Zucker to co-author the Earthing book. The Earthing book is now in its second edition and in the period since the first editions was published the associated parties at the Earthing Institute have received plenty of feedback from patients and medical professionals who have read their book and put the theory to the test. The following link relates to discussion of TTDM (type 2 diabetes) and the seeming benefits of earthing on the symptoms and management of the condition. It is an essay written by Steve Sinatra that was added to the second edition of the book.
    [ ]
    There is even a chart. The chart plots both the rise in units of synthetic-soled shoes sold and the rising incidence of TTDM. Both plots show exponential rises in each over the 60 years from 1950 to 2010, and at the scale at which they are plotted they mimic each other almost to perfection.
    As a feature of the essay Steve Sinatra discusses blood sugar control and earthing. Basically research and many n=1 personal testimonies suggest the habit of earthing consistently reduces peoples need for synthetic insulin with some being to withdraw insulin altogether. Others achieve the same level of glucose control with medication but at much reduced dosage. In some the combination earthing and medication resulted in hypoglycaemia (blood sugar falling too low).
    All cells of the body have electrodynamic aspects. Red blood cells (RBCs) should have a measure of negative charge on their surface and this is termed zeta potential. If zeta potential of RBCs falls then blood thickens, apparently, and under the microscope RBCs in sample appear ‘clumped’. Eve ry cell has an electrical potential resident on its surface, so there is a potential difference between the membrane and the innards, and perhaps potential differences exist between cells and that which is extracellular. The electrical potential residing on the surface of cells in general is called ‘resting potential’. The act of Earthing restores the zeta potential to the surface of RBCs, and the result is a reduction in viscosity, and when samples are viewed on slide there is less clumping of RBCs to be observed.
    The paper to be found via this link looks at the effect of Earthing upon physiologic and metabolic processes. [ ]
    It seems to me that the electrodynamics of biochemistry have yet to be mined by curiosity to reveal their full potential. Biochemistry has always been electrodynamic, and biology has always been a quantum effect, yet human appreciation is just becoming alerted to that prospect.
    I like the section headed ‘The Australian Experience’. In this Sinatra quotes the experience Of Aussie doctor, David Richards:
    ““I have male patients who after sleeping grounded tell me they can pee with more force. Presumably their age-related prostate swelling is somewhat better. Most feel calmer, sleep better, and generally feel better overall. I also see better wound healing and a concept quite unusual in my career: blood pressure and thyroid conditions improving.”
    Those with TTDM may have found that they must pee frequently but only pass cup-fulls at a time, I know I did, and that they have to get up several times a night. The quote mirrors my experience, that weight loss coupled to earthing has resulted in thunder when I pee, less frequent urges, and fewer interruptions to sleep.
    Between the the two links is mention of thyroid issues that might interest you.

    My theory is that metabolism results in ion sacrifice; there is a net loss of negative ions via our exhausts and wastes. This leaves cationic biochemicals that are deficient of an electron or two lingering in our bodies. It is all to do with hydrogen because elemental hydrogen does not keep its one native electron on a tight leash. The movement and trade in free electrons, OH- ions and H+ ions is the exchange of energy going on relentlessly within us, and it results from countless chemical interactions. Ion sacrifice permits accumulation of positive ions in the body and it only became a serious issue for us as we began to walk less and spend less time outdoors, but as we did so we did so increasingly in synthetic soled footwear from circa 1950 onwards.All animals are meant to draw a tiny current of free electrons from ground to counter the ongoing losses. Ion sacrifice would be ubiquitous amongst animal species, but its only at the level of isolation to be witnessed in the human that it becomes a problem.

    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Christopher. You have contributed a lot to this blog, so thank you. At present I am having great difficulty in keeping up with everything: diabetes, CVD, stress, thyroid, vit B 12, sunlight, salt etc. etc. My lack of focus on this issue is not deliberate, just time limited. My general view on health is that, anything we do/did naturally is likely to be good for us. So, walking around barefoot fits in with my simplistic view on health. I am also very interested in people who are looking at ‘energy’ as part of the human condition. We are, in essence, creatures of energy. Yet, the medical profession seems particularly uninterested in measuring this parameter. As I stated in my book Doctoring Data, the next era of medicine will be the age of studying energy in the human body.

      1. Mary Richard

        Here here, Dr. Kendrick you are on target again. I do believe in energy medicine and that it is a paradigm for the future. Why else would medical companies create pain stimulators such as TINS units and implanted pain stimulators for our patients who have chronic pain. These “devices” claim to help alleviate pain by interrupting the pain signals to the brain through these subtle electrical impulses. There is a lot of truth to this for sure, but I am interested also in taking this conundrum of diabetes and heart and vascular disease apart bit by bit.

        I belonged to a support group of people who suffered with PAD (Peripheral Artery Disease). Many of these poor souls had multiple operations to by pass blockages to the lower extremities. Out of curiosity, I asked those most afflicted by this condition why they thought they had it and what other conditions they might have suffered from prior to onset. Most if not all of them had been long time smokers. No surprise there!! That carbon monoxide is a killer, Dr. Goran!!! What I did not expect to see is that many if not most of those afflicted actually suffered from pre-existing autoimmune diseases, primarily diabetes and hypothyroidism. Many had COPD. Some of these autoimmune diseases where those I had not encountered and had to research. I am by no means a scientist. I just found the results quite interesting because I was ever so curious. I was there for support as well as insight. Almost all were on statins. None of them dared abandon those statins, save for me. It is easy to understand why none of them who had COPD could abandon their inhalers. Many did not have Coronary Heart Disease…yet.
        So where were we, Dr. Kendrick? I am intensely interested in diabetes and heart disease.

        Dr. Kendrick, you can be assured that when the book comes out in paperback, I will give you a great and gushing review. I also plan to “gift” the book to a few people. I have an electronic “book”, but do not use it too frequently. I love the smell and feel of a book in my hands and it is great for helping to relax in the evening.

      2. Professor Göran Sjöberg


        The term energy makes me ‘so nervous’ since it contains such a high degree of ambiguity as the term energy tends to be used in everyday life. (Already Socrates or rather Platon dwells on this matter in his ‘Charmides’ dialog though he here opposes the term ‘quickness’ to ‘quietness’ but it is all about ‘energy’ in the common sense of the word.)

        “I feel so energetic today!”, “Here is a lot of energy!” versus the thermodynamic definition, or actually Newtonian definition, of energy as ‘force times distance’.

        In a metabolic sense it is quite clear that we are tapping the ‘potential energy’ coming from the sun through our ‘anabolic food’ in an incredible maze of interrelated energy tapping catabolic processes, intertwined with the energy consuming anabolic steps were the final steps of the catabolism end in water and carbon dioxide which was well understood already when the thermodynamic science was fully established by the end of the 19th century.

        I love the very humble attitude in reading my now favourite and very thermodynamically biased book “Molecular Biology of THE CELL” when it relates to the exhausting complexity involved in our metabolism.

        I.e. at the end of the chapter ‘Proteins’ I read the following.

        “Despite the enormous progress made in recent years, we cannot yet claim to understand even the simplest known cells, such as the small Mycoplasma bacterium formed from only about 500 gene products. How then can we hope to understand a human?”

        I think you made a very apt comment in an earlier post about not overestimating the explanatory power of these fundamentals were ‘energy’ to me is at the absolutely most fundamental level. I liked your comment very much.

      3. David Bailey

        I understand exactly why Professor Göran Sjöberg has a problem with the use of the word ‘energy’, but I think we should understand that people who use the word in this way, are really talking about something which is not measured in Joules,and should perhaps be called ‘psychic energy’ to avoid confusion.

        As I have become ever more disillusioned with conventional science, I have come to realise that science has misrepresented the evidence for what might be called psychic phenomena – and that is what I think Christopher is really discussing. The near complete destruction of real science, which Dr Kendrick discusses in his book (now available in Kindle format!) and which is also discussed in a broader context by Bruce G Charlton:

        leaves open the question as to what alternate medicine and other strange phenomena that don’t seem to fit with scientific orthodoxy, are telling us about reality.

      4. Professor Göran Sjöberg

        My greatest fear is though not how the word ‘energy’ is abused, or possibly misunderstood, but the inherent ‘hard wired’ neurophysiologal brain of us Homo Sapiens which harbours the ubiquitous bias towards ‘supernatural explanations’. It does actually not take much ‘deep’ thinking to realise that this bias has followed our human species from the beginning if we look into the caves of Lascaux with the 50 000 year old wall paintings – they were not ‘art exhibitions’!

        When we have had religious revelations of any possible kind we tend to turn as dogmatically blind as the well known St Paul or for that matter by Platon but by the latter disguised in the ‘sceptic’ cloak of Socrates.

        You may wonder if the same thing has happened with us adhering to the ‘dogmatic’ LCHF way of life. To me, we cannot just exclude this possibility since the propensity towards dogmatic (read religious) explanations seems to be just hard wired within us at least if you believe in the arguing of Professor David Lewis-Williams. Once struck by ‘the light’ you are then very reluctant to get ‘un-struck’ – well, you actually tend to ‘hate’ any sceptic ‘heretic’ ones – you have turned into a true believer.

        To the defence of LCHF I will say that it seems to work on people like us trapped in the ‘metabolic syndrome’ and just because something is dogmatic it must not necessarily be wrong. Contrary to e.g. a dogmatic belief in a possibility of us being able to walk on water (not frozen!) there seems to be ample experimental support that LCHF is working for us poor sick people and most of all there are reasonable explanations in physiologic terms – possibly energetic, mitochondria based.

        The sceptic position might be regarded as the very convenient one to take since it is you who are the one who are supposed to ask all the questions and also all the time which Socrates often stressed if someone started to ‘argue’ with him. And the best part of it all is that a sceptic can never be wrong! The price though to be paid for you as a sceptic, when you challenge an important dogma, is of course, as with Socrates, that you can be excluded (excommunicated) from the orthodox church to which you claim to belong (medicine ?) in one dramatic way or another.

        As a sceptic in the leash of the establishment your scepticism may though serve you well but perhaps not bring you eternal glory.

      5. mikecawdery

        With respect to the thyroid, selenium, as selenoproteins and as anti-oxidants, is very important in both thyroid conditions, diabetes and also cardiomyopathy.
        de Lorgeril M1, Salen P.- Heart Fail Rev. 2006 Mar;11(1):13-7.
        Köhrle J1.- Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2013 Oct;20(5):441-8
        and many others
        There seems to be a link associated with all three conditions and selenium.

        I remember the time when the mention of selenium in a vet medicine set alarm bells ringing in the VMD; it was “dangerous”!

      6. Peter Brown

        I really enjoy your Blogs and have come off Statins and changed my lifestyle . Your blog gave me confidence to do so. It works .
        Many years ago now (1978) I did a sports sciences degree. I loved the Sports Medicine section taught by Dr John Rimmer , who was Orthopaedic Consultant to many of the Liverpool football and rugby teams. I had a rugby injury to my wrist and asked him what could be done . He said ” I will give you one Steroid injection in it to help immediately but they completely bugger up the joints and mess with your other hormones ” “So thereafter ? “I enquired . He said ” if I was a younger man I would study acupuncture as I think it has great potential” So about10 years later I had the time opportunity to study acupuncture at the British College of Acupuncture. On our Graduation the Chinese Dr in charge of the clinic , Dr Lo said that Chinese studies had shown that acupuncture affects the Very Low Frequency energy the body uses. VLF Is used in the military to transmit lots of information around over long distances. Elephants use it to coordinate there movements around the vast plains of Africa.
        He also said that sometimes just holding someone’s hand when listening to them we can help someone who is ill.
        By exercise and maybe occasional tweak we raise our levels of energy and perhaps we assist our own great bio-pharmacy to a healthy status.
        Good luck with your studies on Energetics.

    2. Stephen Rhodes

      Dr Gerald Pollack, in his book ‘The Fourth Phase of Water’, discusses the behaviour of water when in thin films next to hydrophylic surfaces. He demonstrates how charge separation occurs when these films are exposed to infrared energy – as in animals plants etc for example – and how this newly revealed phenomena provides a source of free electrons and possible explanation of many biological processes.
      Lets hope these various researchers get together as – like in the tales on this blog – there is a fight going on against the eminence backed bad science, promulgated as established fact, that is holding back serious understanding.

  14. mikecawdery

    Dr Kendrick,

    A friend has had his DNA checked for ancestral reasons but he decided to get a medical check as well. It seems that genetically he is “programmed” for a high fat diet and he is also genetically “at risk” for myopathy if treated with statins. I have appended the relevant part of his report with references (including abstracts) for information.

    The report comes in two stages “DIET” and “Statin Intolerance”. The offending gene is for diet is rs1801282 (also known as the Pro12Ala variant in the PPARG gene) while SLCO1B1 rs4149056 *5 T to C CT (variant present) was associated with statin myopathy.

    I was not aware of this research though presumably the snakeoil manufacturers and their KOLs are aware of this work but are quite prepared to hide it along with all the other negative data pertaining to statins.

    Also a website pops up ( on yours that suggest that IGF (Insulin-like Growth Factor) can act like insulin, indeed replace it. Sounds nice but is it part of the problem/solution?

    May I add my congratulations on your book. Devastating to the snakeoil salesmen. I also commend your CD that accompanies the book. Most entertaining; and many very humorous comments. Pity one cannot get a certain expert to watch it; humour is an excellent way of teaching sense!

    And another Weird!

    1. Mary Richard

      Mike, where did you find that picture of me on the http://www.localmilfselfies? I was going to use that picture with my name on Dr. K’s blog. Now my surprise is ruined!!! Perhaps I can find one of my First Communion pictures to use instead. I would never have seen that one coming in a million years!!! You are naughty, Mr. Cawdry!! Oh well!!!

    1. mikecawdery

      Thanks for the link Unfortunately it is not open access and for the 11 pages the price would be $89 unless you wanted to spend 24 hours searching the journal!

      1. Mary Richard

        I so enjoy your posts and have saved a good deal of your research. Accidently hitting on the wrong button is sometimes surprising. Hope you don’t mind a little comic relief! I don’t so I had to kid you a bit. More importantly, I enjoyed your contribution to DNA testing for sensitivity to statins. Fascinating.

    2. David Bailey

      I wonder if this relates to the logical suggestion that statins may cause heart failure. If my heart muscles had misbehaved in the way my leg muscles did under the influence of statins, I know my carbon atoms would now be in the form of carbon dioxide helping to keep the planet warm – or not!

      1. Mary Richard

        David, I am also concerned about the future of my heart after being on statins for such a long time. I take Ubiquinal daily. My leg muscles still bother me. I have no doubt as to the cause. It just all happened too quickly. I believe drugs before statins, fibrates, are equally capable of causing immediate leg pain, spasms and misery. Statins are even worse.

      1. mikecawdery

        Spacedoc on Facebook – Dr Duane Graveline

        “The nation’s top nutrition advisory panel has decided to drop its caution about eating cholesterol-laden food, a move that could undo almost 40 years of government warnings about its consumption.
        The group’s finding that cholesterol in the diet need no longer be considered a “nutrient of concern” stands in contrast to the committee’s previous findings.” But the finding, which may offer a measure of relief to breakfast diners who prefer eggs, follows an revolution of thinking. Most nutritionists now believe that a healthy adult cholesterol intake may not significantly affect the level of cholesterol in the blood or increase the risk of heart disease. Our once mighty concept of cholesterol causation is shattering before our very eyes. Statin posters being ripped off waiting room walls in doctor offices everywhere. Red-faced office staff being briefed on what to say and the best way to talk to disgruntled patients looking for an explanation for this outrage, especially the crippled ones.

        I have been saying this now since 2000 when I discovered the inevitability of CoQ10 and dolichol and selenoprotein inhibition whenever statins are used to reduce cholesterol. Our present epidemic of congestive heart failure, especially over this last decade, has been a direct consequence of decreased CoQ10 with its resultant effect on mitochondrial ATP available to cardiac cells. That selenoprotein is also a contributory factor is thoroughly established, particularly from animal studies where heart failure often is associated with lack of selenium in the soils and grass of grazing animals.

        My Comment: Back in the early 2000s both the CDC and NHBLI announced, on their web sites, that the US was suffering an epidemic of Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) but this was removed from both web sites without trace thereon. Their graph mimicked the sales graph of cholesterol lowering drugs and obviously the statin manufacturers objected and required that the information and the epidemic be removed. The graph below may not copy/ This web site has since been archived

        It seems that the “authorities” wanted nothing to do with this “epidemic” which continues to rise. The following extract may explain why!

        The heart, as a muscle (a very active one), is not exempt from statin toxicity. May be this is why the incidence of congestive heart failure has steadily risen in step with the widespread adoption of cholesterol lowering therapy (statins from the late 1980s). This epidemic simply disappeared off two US government web sites, namely the CDC and the NHBLI. In my experience epidemics, rise, peak and decline; they certainly do not simply disappear without explanation. If I spotted this association, it is certain that others did and this information was certainly “not favourable” to commercial interests.

        The effects of dolichol deprivation is so broad, particularly when insufficient for glycohydrolase availability, that one can predict enhanced mitochondrial DNA mutation rates will result, predisposing to heart failure.
        Langsjoen and other have proposed that current statin treatment guidelines be critically reevaluated and I completely agree with their recommendation. I think our MDs have to look no further than their broad use of statins for heart disease control to explain our present heart failure epidemic.

        It seems firmly established that statin drugs be recommended for coronary artery disease. Our medical literature is replete with articles supporting the use of statins for this purpose. What then is one to do when faced with our growing demands for treatment of coronary arterosclerosis? Statins are appropriate for such treatment but the almost inevitable result of their use is increase in heart failure tendency. The reason is statin dose with our prevailing philosophy that more is better with respect to statin dosing. Most physicians are still using the cholesterol lowering doses that were in vogue 20 years ago when we thought of cholesterol as the cause of atherosclerosis.

  15. Serge

    “PMD is shorthand for depression”

    Dr. Kendrick–

    I think it is important to make the distinction between Major Depressive Disorder and Psychotic Major Depression (PMD). Not everyone has psychotic features (delusions or hallucinations) with their depression.

    I still appreciate your post. Put me in as another one interested in hearing you discuss the HPA axis further.

    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      True. But I would remind you that this is a blog, not a scientific paper. If I do not use broad brush strokes it would take my many, many, more pages to try and get my point across. Accuracy vs. General understanding, the constant compromise of science, and scientific writing in particular.

      1. Jennifer

        As a bit of light relief… I am celebrating the 2nd anniversary of my….wait for it…..
        ‘I Haven’t Dropped Down Dead Day”….yes, 2 years since I tried to discuss with my GP my request for help in reducing/coming off all my meds.
        The response was abysmal and threatening…….so I went it alone…off metformin 2g, off simvastatin 40mg, off amias, off pioglitazone, off sitagliptin !!!!! and off GPs.
        Today, as I sit contentedly on cloud 9, I must report that a relative of mine,( with the same medication load as I used to have) ….has spoken to their GP (from an entirely different practice), regarding the same ill health that I was experiencing back then. But this time, there has been a much better response than I received. They are going to wipe the slate clean, and start afresh with what really needs to be done…akin to a medication review, as I had requested. The first drug to be under scrutiny? Simvastatin 40mg. Whoopee…the message is getting through.

        1. mikecawdery

          I too have stopped metformin (diarrhoea -UK spelling), simvasratin and fluvastatin (muscle pain, weakness, eczema), rosigliazone (when deaths reported before removal from market), dapagliflozin, rivaroxoban (both diarrhoea). Currently sitagliptin offered but SPC not enticing. Have written to Merck for further pharmacokinetic information. Serious pancreatitis is worrying.

          I wonder too about ROS (reactive oxygen species); this seems to be involved in ill health due to many causes; which leads back to this whole blog and the many factors involved.

      2. Mary Richard

        Thanks Dr. K for this comment. Many of our bloggers are very bright and understand better than the average person,biochemistry as well as many other disciplines. I find using broad brush strokes help those laypersons to better understand the whole picture one step at a time. I am grateful though for the many posts which have helped me to grow. These subjects are not easy. I am glad Dr. Kendrick plays to a broader audience and I appreciate everyone’s contributions. 🙂

  16. vjadams2014

    Coming back to cortisol – I have severe arthritis and find that my three times a year corticosterioid injections are essential if I am to remain mobile – at least until my long awaited knee replacements take place. But I also struggle with weight issues. Once the steroid injections wear off (they last a maximum of three months) pain severely restricts my walking, although at least I regularly swim a kilometre or more. So, do I go for the fattening, diabetes inducing corticosteroid injections that allow me a degree of mobility, or do I settle for fattening, diabetes inducing immobility?

    1. Margaret

      The year before I had a double knee replacement I commenced a low carbohydrate high saturated fat diet. This not only reduced chronic inflammation of my joints, I was able to lose a lot of weight quite quickly which certainly assisted with post-operative rehabilitation. I am now completely arthritis free in all my joints, I have maintained my weight loss easily and have continued to enjoy lots of delicious foods containing saturated fat. I have just had to give up bread, pasta and rice – hard at first, but I’m now a complete convert. If you need guidance in this diet look at I’m sure Dr Kendrick knows Dr Andreas Eenfeldt who started this website.

    2. Don

      Have you looked into nutrition therapy for arthritis? B vitamins, particularly niacin, vitamin c, and also boron are extremely important for arthritis. Information can readily be found by googling.

  17. Ulfric Douglas

    It is time to make a huge new blog post in response to the great revelation : Fat ain’t bad for you!
    It’s been on the telly for two days exactly.

    1. mikecawdery

      I would be interested to know the identity of the “*******” in the “guidelines group” that proposed this hicarb/lofat diet in the first place. They should be identified to be ridiculed for the consequent epidemics of obesity and diabetes.

  18. Sue Richardson

    Sorry if this is the wrong post to put this in, but it’s the latest one and all things are connected – and anyway I was too excited to find the right one – but have you all seen today’s Daily Express headline “Fat is the key to living longer”. The article went on with the shocking revelation (unless you read this blog) that for three decades we have been following ‘flawed trials’. What is happening? Are we about to see an about turn of the establishment? Will cholesterol be restored to its rightful place? Will the statinators fight back? Their livelihoods are at stake, so I imagine we will see some pretty strong refutals in the media very soon. At least we might be able to say at last: ‘I told you Dr Kendrick was right all along’ without having eyebrows raised, and knowing looks which say “here she goes off again on her LCHF bandwagon”. Or am I just being naive?

      1. Professor Göran Sjöberg


        Then you are most probably aware that one of the more famous among us LCHF-converts/believers, Professor Noakes, is organising an international meeting on this subject i Cape Town now. Your friend Zoe will be one of the key-note speakers as I understand.

        Well – to be a believer in strict LCHF may induce a hard-wired (?) ‘feel good’ mental state, at least according to the experience of me and my wife. Is this about brain energy from fat or is it just about you BELIEVE that you ‘feel well’ – who knows?

        Well – our Swedish ‘Master of Memory’, Matias Ribbing, who is evidently doing well in the international competitions is very strict on LCHF and especially when he is about to seriously compete. And for myself I have not noticed any slowing down of my mental capacity with age.

      2. Professor Göran Sjöberg

        “… bumped off by Gary Taubes”

        That is very interesting but could you elaborate on the actual ‘bumping’?

  19. Peter Bellamy

    I was heartened to hear on the Today proramme on radio 4, that when the interviewer put the comment to the research scientist involved in the butter article that the establishment advice was still that eating a high fat diet raised cholesterol and is a risk factor for heart disease, she replied ” yes, I read that comment, but there is no evidence to support that position” ( or something along those lines ) at which the interviewer was clearly taken aback. Perhaps the tide is turning. However, I notice that Flora have stepped up the frequency of their nonsensical advert for their ghastly plastic margarine on Classic FM.
    My best wishes.

    1. David Bailey

      A big part of the problem is that science journalism is at such a low ebb. I mean, any journalist worth his salt (!!) would perk up at that remark and go and ask the establishment scientists to cite their best evidence that saturated fat was harmful – and even read the papers. My guess is that Zoë Harcombe’s article will just fade from people’s minds, and establishment science will reassert itself with yet another big drive to lower fat and salt in our diets…..

      I put more faith in what is going on in Sweden – T2 diabetics being cured by eating an HFLC diet. Stories about people recovering their health make dangerously attractive TV programs from the point of view of the establishment.


      1. Flyinthesky

        I’m tending to think that the journalists have and use the same source of information as the medical profession, the big pharmas. They won’t take a position until a definitive statement is issued by a pharma sponsored expert.
        This game has a long time to run yet.

  20. Sue Richardson

    I agree with Mary about the broad brush strokes. I struggle with some of the very technical medical data etc and some of it goes over my head completely. I catch enough of it as it goes over to understand what is being said though, and the broad brush strokes help me to understand the rest of it. So please carry on painting broadly, for the likes of me.

    1. Mary Richard

      This is what can and does make Dr. Kendrick’s book so fascinating. He, above all people, knows we must appeal to the masses. If we all relied on scientists to make our decisions and not try them ourselves by walking out on that limb, then we start not to think for ourselves. Things are not always what they appear to be. Thanks too Dr. Kendrick for reminding me of the “halo” effect. We do that a lot. We do it in science and in life. For instance, when someone we know and love dies, we almost automatically forget all their faults and canonize them. That is the problem with that hat angels wear. So, our plot thickens with the introduction of Cushing’s syndrome and perhaps many other syndromes.

  21. PR Lundy

    Dr. Kendrick, I hope you will tackle hypothyroidism soon, the inferior standard of treatment we are subjected to is a worldwide disgrace. The stories of personal tragedy are cause enough for concern, if someone was listening, but the cost to society in terms of lost productivity and increased costs of caring for inadequately treated hypo patients will soon become unaffordable.

    In regards to your book, this came out just recently.

    I fear much of so called medical science is little more than marketing for the drug companies. Even more appalling is their penetration into our academic research institutions.

      1. Professor Göran Sjöberg

        “I hope you will tackle hypothyroidism ”

        I fully agree!

        In my present steadily increasing (Socratic?) ignorance of everything involved in medicine I think that this subject is at the top of my ignorance list and I am sure such a post will be even greater than the present one and make me feel even more humble 🙂 than I imagine.

        Just now I am reading a Ph.D. thesis “Atrial Fibrillation in Cardiac Surgery” written by a very experienced Swedish heart surgeon which I, through the mediation of a friend of mine, will now meet on saturday. I have promised my friend that I will be ‘kind’ to him since it is evident that these guys are not very ‘scientific’ in their approaches to say the least in my opinion. Still I will not refrain from asking him if he thinks (as evidently Malcolm) that the parasympathetic part of the autonomous nerve system here must be of outmost importance not least since the activities in these nerves (always?) seem to be down to the zero level minutes prior to an ischemic heart attack which accordingly, the cause of which, then can have very little to do with the actual clogging of my arteries as the immediate cause, at least to my scientific (?) understanding. This thinking might though be very close to heresy for such an experienced surgeon. We’ll see.

        It would not surprise me the least if the hypothyroidism would also connect to the parasympathetic nerve system as well as to the the ‘energy’ conversions involved in my heart. Why shouldn’t it by the way?

      2. Professor Göran Sjöberg


        Yes I think I read something shocking somewhere about that myopathological theory a while ago and then it sounded pretty convincing to me as well. Otherwise, with the official simple clogging view on MI and reading my 15 year old chilling angiogram, it is definitely a dead man who now is sitting here and punching the letters on my computer.

        And as far as I remember now, although the myopathological theory was a little confusing to me, it is the disappearance of the parasympathetic nerve signals (zero) together with the adrenal/sympathetic nerve signal system working at high speed that turn the energy (again!) production into an anaerobic glucose burning (poor energy process! – should definitely not happen in the heart muscle) and producing lactic acid (as in all hard strained muscles) creating a local acidic environment and which is not at all a healthy milieu for the sensitive nerve signals in the heart and which might cause local fibrillation and oedema etc.

        Well this surgeon I am to meet now should to my understanding of his thesis be ‘kind of’ an expert on such nervous instabilities and thats why I am going to ask him about the influence of the balance between the two parts in the autonomous nervous system. I heard from my friend that, shockingly, a very ambitious younger sister of the surgeon had recently dropped dead at check-in at Heathrow and he might therefore have given the stress part involved in MI very deep thoughts.

        We’ll see – you are never to old to learn something new.

  22. Sula Maye

    Dear Dr I am confused – and maybe someone else has made this comment so… – if cortisol increases energy burning then why does high cortisol lead to weight gain and diabetes? You would think low cortisol, along with low thyroid take up would lead to that.

    I have low cortisol according to the several saliva stress tests – my cortisol is obviously bound up as my blood levels are high – I also have a long history of hypo thyroid and more recently the lovely diagnosis dumping pot of M.E which has lead to me gaining weight, experiencing very strange swings in blood sugars, reactive hypoglycemia sometimes, normal or high blood sugars at others , as well as being house/bed bound most of the time.

    You started the post by considering the relationship between heart disease and cortisol, but I am not sure what you have concluded.

    It’s nice to discover a dr who thinks though! Not many like you are there sadly?

  23. PR Lundy

    Professor Göran Sjöberg, I think there is great untapped potential in a greater understanding of thyroid hormones and the heart. One of my favorite comments that I’ve run across lately.

    “The link between low thyroid hormone (TH) function and heart failure (HF) is reviewed. The idea that TH dysfunction may contribute to diseases leading to HF has been discussed for over 60 years. A growing body of evidence from animal and human studies, particularly in recent years, suggests that TH treatment may improve clinical outcomes. Indeed, if a similar amount of positive information were available for a newly developed heart drug, there is little doubt that large scale clinical trials would be underway with considerable excitement.”

    Unfortunately much of the research is constrained by this line of thinking which is shared by many in the hierarchy of endocrinology.

    “At the present time, a sufficient number of both highly sensitive and specific measures of thyroid function exist to establish a diagnosis of either hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism
    with great precision.”

    Most in medicine seem to be unaware of the science behind the limitations of the Thyroid Function Tests. I would argue that they have never been capable of ‘great precision’. So I look forward to Dr. Kendrick’s investigation of hypothyroidism.

  24. David Bailey

    Ali’s link (above) is quite extraordinary, and everyone should read it:

    Whether it is correct or not (or maybe partially correct), it shows how damaging it is that medical science locks on to one theory of a particular problem, and makes it hard for people to publish evidence that just doesn’t fit.

    Could it really be that hearts don’t die from lack of blood, but it only looks that way at autopsy?

    1. mikecawdery

      This relates to strophanthin (from Strophanthus gratus and the bark of Acokanthera ouabaio.) and digoxin; digoxin is apparently better for oral administration.
      A recent study: Eur Heart J. 2013 May;34(20):1489-97. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/eht120. Epub 2013 Apr 16 a full download is available. Use in AF without increase in death rate but Am J Cardiol. 2015 Jan 14. pii: S0002-9149(15)00048-X. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2015.01.013. [Epub ahead of print]
      Meta-Analysis of Digoxin Use and Risk of Mortality in Patients With Atrial Fibrillation contradicts that view.

      The cynic in me just wonders

    2. Professor Göran Sjöberg


      Well – Weston Price foundation seems to be on this alternative MI-train.

      I found the paper from 2004 which I read (with some difficulties due to my lack of proper training in the medical terminology) and which I actually found full text. This German paper, translated to English, seemed to me very thorough and convincing, though I might have missed something important due to my general medical ignorance. There is a lot of Popperian refutations around.

      Here is an abstract anyway – I could not find the full text reference now.

      It was for sure as shocking a reading to me as listening to professor Unger’s view on diabetes and the insulin/glucagon connection. There is presently no doubt a turmoil in my growing ignorance about these both issues. The complexity knocks me down everywhere and all the time. Soon I will not know anything anymore but still be very suspicious about people who tell me that they know.

      I am a little shaky when thinking about my upcoming meeting with this experienced heart surgeon. I mean – he MUST believe in what he is doing for a good living.

      1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        I have spoken with, and met Carols Monteiro. I agree with much of what he says. MIs are clearly not just a case of blocked plumbing, and never have been. We differ on some areas, but it is clear that MI is a complex thing – just look up hibernating myocardium, for example. The main problem here, as always, has been grabbing hold of the simplest possible solution then twisting and bending everything to fit. The procrustean bed of medical thought.

        1. mikecawdery

          I have come to the conclusion that the experts that pontificate on the etiology of CVD are often merely bandwagon jumpers whose status and reputation is entirely dependent on the bandwagon. When it crashes, they simply cannot stop and accept any research, however good, that proves the bandwagon is flawed and scientifically wrong. They are not real researchers, just status driven parodies.

      2. David Bailey

        This discussion reminds me of a story passed down within our family, of a lady who suffered a devastating stroke. It is said that for about a day before the stroke, she couldn’t seem to keep warm and was sitting miserably next to the fire.

        I have no idea how common this is, but again it would suggest that the initiation of a stroke is more complex than blocked plumbing.

  25. Ali

    My husband had a heart attack nearly 3 years ago, and I couldn’t help wondering if magnesium or potassium might have helped. Apparently in some states in the US magnesium is carried on ambulances for that reason, but here in the UK it’s off the radar. You are fortunate if you get aspirin….

    I since learned that Cayenne pepper can possibly stop a heart attack. It seems that it relaxes arteries and permits blood flow. How true that is, and what elements are in it to make it do that, I haven’t a clue. Magnesium appears to be a relaxant among other things, so one if the main elements in cayenne could possibly be magnesium. I wish I’d known this then. Could have saved him hours of awful pain when he was convnced it was indigestion…..

    1. Jennifer

      Ali, I always seem to be quoting something from history…so here’s another little gem.
      30-odd years ago magnesium was not included in the drug trays held on the ‘crash’ trolley in the NHS hospital where I worked. A doctor was so convinced in the efficacy of its emergency use, that he held a phial of it in his pocket, ( no doubt against hospital policy) rather than waste valuable time while someone rummaged in the cupboard to find some.
      Now, I have not worked in the NHS for a number of years, and I would be interested if magnesium has been elevated to the emergency tray. Does anyone know, and if so, what changed?

    2. mikecawdery

      There was a recent paper on prehospitalization with Mg,
      N Engl J Med 2015; 372:528-536February 5, 2015DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1408827
      The Conclusions

      Prehospital initiation of magnesium sulfate therapy was safe and allowed the start of therapy within 2 hours after the onset of stroke symptoms, but it did not improve disability outcomes at 90 days. (Funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; FAST-MAG number, NCT00059332.)
      There are however other studies that show adequate Mg is very important for general health

    3. Mary Richard

      You are many things for sure…but not dull.
      It is the exercise for sure that gives one the longevity. The fact that you are slinging the chain saw is amazing. That is not easy work. But, it seems to help you a great deal as I have heard you mention taking care of your property yourself. My father, tho I wish he could have lived much longer actually lived and worked far beyond traditional “retirement” age. He loved those chain saws himself, growing, planting, pruning…He could work circles around any man I knew. When he got sick…he just gave up. He could not live without his outdoor work, his books, etc. He got sick…and like the gentleman he was, knew when it was time to take leave of this world. But Professor, he was quite older than yourself. You have many good years. So…whatever you are doing…keep it up. I cannot tell from your statements if your drink makes you fall asleep or interferes.
      You are still pretty amazing as your mind is sharp and your attitude is always direct but cheerful. Now, if there ever was a secret to the fountain of youth…it is that!!! Being positive!

    4. Mary Richard

      Here in the states, it has been suggested that Magnesium is great for muscle pain. I actually bought magnesium cream for my mom and give her leg rubs with it often. I use it on my husband too when he has any pain. It is in Epsom Salts here in the US. It is all over the place and does ease a sore back on legs in the bath. I use it often. I do not know about the Cayenne Pepper but it is in abundant supply here as well.

  26. Mary Richard

    Fascinating information Professor Goran. I had no idea that the exercises I had done along the way to relax when I had to testify in court could very well be that I was able to increase my “vagal tone”. Many times I had only few days advance notice and did not ever know how many times I might be called to testify in a given month. When I was much younger, the fear of the unknown was torture. I began to use what I knew about behavioral techniques to slowly ease my fear, while maintaining enough attention to detail such that I was able to answer questions with calm and accuracy. A great part of that quest was due to my dear grandmother who often had to perform public speaking engagements. She always told me “know your subject matter and you will do just fine”. That I would do until I had almost total recall. It helped with the fear. However, the fear of the unknown was agonizing still. Aerobic exercise, breathing techniques, positive self talk and support of family, friends and my like minded cohorts all played a huge part as I evolved into someone more capable and centered. As soon as I was sworn in…a calm would come over me. I believe this is why Yoga has proved to be so effective in dealing with stress and in promoting overall general good health.
    This whole mind-body approach to good health is yet another factor in this ever so complicated subject of heart attack and hormonal influences/and the nervous system.

    I am anxious to find out how you do when you see this new physician and show him your angiograms. You are becoming a more and more interesting specimen, I have to say. I so worry about my own dear husband and his health. Although there are no significant heart issues, he does have T2 Diabetes and I want to keep him around a while. Losing a spouse is one of the worst especially when young.

  27. Professor Göran Sjöberg

    Ali, Mary,

    Well, as an ‘interesting specimen’ I can tell that I did my early ‘research’ 15 years ago which turned me into the sceptic I am today since I lost my FAITH in medicine as something to do with natural science. Sometimes I wonder if there is a common denominator among us people who have turned into sceptics. The only thing I can come up with here is that the majority have personal experience of ‘failures’ due to the prevailing dogmatic attitude in the health service of one kind or the other – I think that Malcolm might have approached this issue from another end.

    Anyway, I read a lot not least about ‘alternative medicine’ and realised first that Big Pharma for obvious reasons wants to maximise profits and secondly i realised that the alternative medicine must be very innocent in comparison since our authorities, mostly in the pockets of Big Pharma one way or the other, would be more than quick stop anything with obvious ‘medical side effects’ which could threaten the profits of Big Pharma. I though didn’t know until very recently that, although not one single death can be attributed to vitamins, the EU has taken a decision about ten years ago to forbid selling vitamins in ‘overdose’ capsules. Difficult to implement without a public outcry.

    As the sceptic ‘specimen’ I have turned into I have tried many different things during the years knowing that there does not seem to be any real dangers involved and refused the ‘medicines’ prescribed by the ‘experts’ for exactly this same reason together my ‘no-thanks’ to the by-pass ‘cutting’ proposal.

    You can make a long Hippocratic list of ‘good food’ as preventive medicine and can work on that. I do that – making my own yogurt, sauerkraut and bone broth. Great stuff!

    Another side of the coin is the vitamin supplements as intervention medicine generally considered as the big ‘quack’ by the biggest ‘quackers’ of all to my ignorant opinion.

    When I after ten years again had real problems with my angina, which I by the way treated with a real large whisky when I was attacked which resolved the pain in about ten minute, and then consulted the ignorant, though he admitted the effect of the whisky, heart expert I realised that I again had to do my own ‘research’ on alternative remedies. In a month I arrived at a discredited Canadian cardiologist, Wilfred Shute, who claimed in his book, “Vitamin E for Ailing & Healthy Hearts”, that he in his clinic (now closed I think) successfully had treaded 50 000 angina sufferers by treating them with high doses (1500 IU) of E-vitamin (natural alfatokopherol).

    Well, after my clash with the ‘stupid’ ignorant cardiologist, who just ‘followed the guidelines’ I had nothing to lose, in trying alternatives. For whatever reason taking those 1500 IU I don’t get any more attacks, issue resolved rather immediately after starting this ‘quack’ treatment.

    Again I must admit my almost total medical ignorance since I don’t understand the ‘scientific logic’ about what this dose possibly do with my heart physiological metabolism.

    But really, I don’t really care as long as the ‘treatment’ seems to work although a sad fact is that when I enjoy more than one whisky ore one glass of wine my falling asleep in the evening evidently suffers. Could be that I am now turning into a very dull and ‘sober’ man – worrying thought!

    Exercise also seems to be a very good thing for me to do (here I for once agree with health care) so I am now going out with my two chain saws an a couple of axes to work on the real big trees fallen down on my property in order to strain my ‘effort angina’ as much as possible.

    1. mikecawdery

      Another side of the coin is the vitamin supplements as intervention medicine generally considered as the big ‘quack’ by the biggest ‘quackers’ of all to my ignorant opinion.

      Professor I entirely agree with you; the difference is that I call them Snakeoil manufacturers, KOLs, researchers and salesmen.
      There are many studies where vitamins/multis are rubbished but when one looks at the dose rates of the products tested they are so low that it would take a miracle to attain a benefit. This of course a standard method of the snakeoil manufacturers to discredit the competition. The HPS gave a classic example of this in their use of an anti-oxidant vitamin cocktail as the second treatment in the 2×2 factorial study design. The said cocktail EXCLUDED CoQ10 despite the fact that Merck holds a patent on combination of CoQ10/simvastatin, the other treatment used in the HPS.

      Quacks/snakeoil makers, they are half (if not all) the problem of rising cost of medicine and increasing ill-health in the world today.

      1. Professor Göran Sjöberg


        “There are many studies where vitamins/multis are rubbished but when one looks at the dose rates of the products tested they are so low that it would take a miracle to attain a benefit.”

        From what I understand of my reading the ‘biggest quack all times’ (according to the ‘Snakeoil’ advocates), Linus Pauling, this ‘low vitamin’ trick was exactly what they played at him at the Mayo Clinic to ‘replicate’ his own clinical trials with large doses of C-vitamin on terminal cancer patients.

        As a scientist Pauling was as profoundly disgusted by this charlatan ignorance (or evilness) of what is most basic in science and as earlier another physicist of almost similar eminence, John Gofman, (the first serious blood lipid researcher) but, contrary to Pauling, Gofman completely turned his back to the obvious ‘religious incompetent’ he encountered among the medicine researchers. So I really don’t feel alone in my distrust.

        By the way when they have done the same thing with E-vitamin they don’t even use the right type of E-vitamin. It is as if your are looking into an ‘agenda’ with a ‘purpose’: “Don’t look into the telescope!”

        Well. If you have turned into a sceptic it doesn’t seem to be any turning back as Malcolm points out.

        1. mikecawdery

          Dr Pauling was a double Nobel prizewinner. He was no quack. I met him once while working in Uganda many decades. A very nice man, unassuming and interested in the “ideas?” of a very young Vet RO.

      2. Professor Göran Sjöberg

        Well, after my post checking up agin on Gofman I realise that what I wrote in my previous post was what I remembered, on top of my head, from what I learnt some years ago is definitely biased. Gary Taubes put me on this track.

        Gofam used an ultracentrifuge to sort the different lipoproteins in the blood according to their different densities. To use the ultracentrifuge though took a skilled experimentalist and in the hands of the medicine researchers it was clear that they could not make any sense of the lipoprotein differentiation with this kind of equipment. Gofman realised the incompetents here but he actually did not turn his back to medicine and evidently also got recognition for his early work on blood.

        To be fair I have not dug very deeply into this but Gofman was for sure the first one to sort things out relating to all the xDL stuff and subsequently wrenched by medicine in the hands of Big Pharma.

  28. Dr Liz Stansbridge

    I was briefly a biochemist in my career history.
    I tried to replicate a study of lipoproteins using ultracentrifugation in the 1990’s while I was working in Newcastle. The previous experimenter had got a very nice paper out of the study, the supervisors were very pleased. However, I found the method did not work. No matter how I tried, it did not work. Another researcher found the same.
    I can only conclude he made it up. Did the supervisors care? Not a jot. They had their paper.
    THIS is how science is done.
    I left biochemistry in disgust. I turned to psychiatry, hoping it was more honest.
    Not a bit.
    Science is seriously flawed. The RCT is a sham, run by the pharmaceutical industry or testosterone driven men determined to out compete their fellows (e.g. Ancel Keys)
    Our NHS is run by guidelines generated by this crap.
    I have been summoned by my GP for my yearly diabetes review.
    Now my spectacular progress in my T2 has been all down to my own efforts. The NHS has done NOTHING for me. Do I submit to their tests and let them take the credit? Do I go it alone and not have access to their facilities if I need them?
    I think the yearly retinal photography is useful. The stick thin diabetic nurse waving a thin bit of plastic at my hard skin on my feet for neuropathy and telling me to take my dogs for a walk to lose weight insults my intelligence,
    What a conundrum, what a world.
    Who is there to believe in? Certainly not the people who are saying they know all about it!

    1. Ali.

      Oh I so, so agree!

      I finally gave up on the Medical Profession over 7 years ago after being told by an extremely rude and arrogant consultant that there was ‘nothing wrong’ with me when everything I ate was virtually going straight through me! The end had started 10 years earlier when I had lost 35lbs without trying before realising I was diabetic (I had grown up with a type 1 Mum). A short while after the ‘official’ diagnosis I was given a drug – Daonil, I think. Within 8 weeks I had piled all the weight back on. When I queried what was going on, the Doctor ‘couldn’t understand’ why he had given me those and not Metformin. It took inhuman strength not to strangle him……

      Then 7.5 years ago I was prescribed Byetta by a ‘diabetic specialist’. I said I would do some research and let him know if I wanted to change over from insulin. Alarm bells ought to have rung when he said that I would probably end up knowing more about it than he did!!! Unfortunately, at the time, the risks with it were unpublished, so I agreed to try it. Back then NICE would not fund Byetta and insulin together here in the UK so I was only given Byetta. I was not tested for insulin output, and as my sugar levels did not decrease, it became apparent to me that the Byetta had little to nothing to work with.

      Within 3 months I had developed constant diarrhoea and awful stomach pain. The ‘specialist’ took me off it because it wasn’t ‘worth the sacrifice’. But the diarrhoea didn’t abate and within the next three months I ended up in hospital, whence said experience with Mr. Arrogant ensued. Looking back, I am convinced that at the very least I had Pancreatitis.

      That sealed the Allopathic coffin. I went home, researched and researched, dumped gluten and most carbs as I very obviously couldn’t process them, and very, very slowly pulled myself back from the brink – going through several months of the most horrendous upper intestinal/stomach gas, so bad at one point it triggered a hernia and I would have to get out of bed every 10 minutes during the night and jump up and down to release it…..(upwards! :0)

      Then there was the time 18 months ago when I slipped and broke my leg badly and it wasn’t pinned and plated at the time because the Consultant wasn’t on duty in the Fracture Clinic and it was missed. So just having a cast slapped on it and then after being given a walking boot 6 weeks later, with no further scan or X-ray and being told to walk on it ‘as much as possible’, when my foot started to turn out towards Timbuctoo, a revisit to the clinic showed it hadn’t healed due to too much debris in the breaks. So back in, have it rebroken, pinned, plated and stitched over Xmas, missing a one-off special family holiday, and the Ultimate gutful of the Medical Profession.

      Nowadays I have as little to do with the Medical Profession as possible. Just collect my insulin and sit very quietly in the corner. No blood tests, no visits. The less I have to do with them, the healthier I get….

      I may be type 1.5/LADA – the ‘specialist’ said there is no way of testing, which both you and I know to be a great big porky, but I am still trying by personal experimentation to lower or rid myself of the insulin. Whether I will ever succeed remains to be seen, but I won’t stop trying….

      1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        Ali, there are too many stories like this. It makes me more determined to try to make people aware that much of what doctors do/prescribe, it driven by research that is purely focussed on profits – with all the dangers of bias and corruption that brings

      2. mikecawdery

        Pretty much the same for me. Luckily I have an excellent GP (he may well be reading this) with whom I have long discussions and he has kept me alive. I have no complaints against the working docs but the medical establishment, the groups of X-spurts who write the DIRECTIVES, and the snakeoil salesmen are the cause of multi deaths with their adamant support for the flawed, biased, manipulated and selective research that they produce as “evidence-based medicine”

    2. Jennifer

      Dr Liz, your situation sounds so like mine…(as I explained on 10th Feb above).
      I have not seen my GP for a full 2 years now. I, too, have been summonsed for tests, pestered by letter and phone ad infinitum.
      I show absolutely NO signs or symptoms of any form of ill-health whatsoever. And, indeed, in years gone past, had I presented to a GP saying…” Good morning Busy GP, I have come to see you this morning because I am as fit as a fiddle, I do not require, or want any form of medication, physio, nutritional advice or counselling for my perfect mental state” I would have been dismissed as bonkers.
      What I really want to do, but won’t, is present at the surgery with a large banner stating “all you WELL people…STAY AWAY, and leave time for those truly in need of health care”.
      Our NHS has been hijacked by Big Pharma….led like a donkey by politicians. The genuine medics, Nurses and all those Professions Allied to Medicine, are being drowned by dictat to monitor and cajole the WELL, whilst removing themselves from the very needy, because medicating the WELL is where the money is! ( and it is easier, too).
      No, I will not be wasting my GP’s time, although the temptation is to present myself with the declaration ” Look at me! 2 years ago you scared the wits out of me…threatening that my life expectancy would be close to zero should I reduce my medications; you had no thought for me having to make my lonely way home with such a burden on my shoulders. Well, I haven’t dropped down dead…but it is no thanks to anything you advised, and, in fact, I suppose I ought to thank you for letting me see the bogus state of affair in NHS, before it got too late… bye bye GP”
      By the way….if David Cameron really knows the answer to the obesity problem, other than starving the poor souls to death, then he is in the wrong job.

      1. Flyinthesky

        It is my considered opinion that catering for and monetising the well is leading to the destruction of the NHS. Surgeries bustling with people, most as fit as fiddles.
        It’s a very complex situation, Practices monetising patients, governments addicted to statistics, pharma companies promising to mitigate liabilities to governments by selling products in response to the statistics. It’s a big circle, if we generate more statistics we can save more money, round we go again. It’s insatiable.
        I’m in my fifth year of being GP less and have no regrets, it’s liberating. A consultant said to me “have you sorted out your GP situation yet” No I said, nobody has ever died because they don’t have a GP, fair comment he replied.
        My contractual arrangement with a GP would be, I’ll never waste your time don’t waste mine.
        Don’t call me I’ll call you.

      2. mikecawdery

        Our NHS has been hijacked by Big Pharma….led like a donkey by politicians. The genuine medics, Nurses and all those Professions Allied to Medicine, are being drowned by dictat to monitor and cajole the WELL, whilst removing themselves from the very needy, because medicating the WELL is where the money is! ( and it is easier, too).
        No, I will not be wasting my GP’s time, although the temptation is to present myself with the declaration ” Look at me! 2 years ago you scared the wits out of me………………

        How much I agree with you. It is a disgrace but it is all based on money and status (professor, honours, knighthoods, etc). Scientific integrity is long gone.

      3. Maureen

        Jennifer, I can so empathise with your lonely walk home after being told the news! I had gone to my physician at the time, three years ago, with symptoms of shortness of breath, he’d ordered a chest xray, and when I went to get the results, he sat there without looking at my chart, and asked, “what can I do for you”, I explained about the shortness of breath and he immediately said “you’re out of shape”. No I’m not, I said, you ordered a chest xray and I’ve come to hear the result. Well, his face was expressionless. He looked at my chart, and said “it looks like you have fibrosis, but don’t go around fretting about it, I’ll refer you to a specialist.” I knew what fibrosis was, I was a critical care R.N for most of my life. I had a lonely walk home too, I never did go back to that idiot.

      4. Ali

        I don’t think the people who go to the doctor are well. But many of them are just visiting the wrong people.

        Those they should be going to are the ones who realise that the Western Diet is behind a lot of modern ailments, and who also realise that a lot of what is considered ‘illness’ these days is just the body trying to detox the Western Diet, its plethora of nasty highly-processed ‘foodlike substances’, chemical additives, and yes, drugs.

        Doctors are not healers. They don’t get that zits, boils, rashes, coughs, colds, sweats, shivers, vomiting & diarrohea etc., are all purging outlets. They don’t get that symptoms are bodily messages. That pains are often due to accumulated toxins, and inflammation is the body’s way of destroying pathogenic invasion, that should be monitored and controlled but never suppressed. Whilst they recognise the body can heal itself, they believe it always has to be ‘helped’ by their intervention, and are more likely to prescribe things that would extend the toxic burden or suppress the inflammation rather than anything that actually supports the healing process.

        We are made of the elements. The body needs all those elements to heal and repair itself. It needs periods of rest and abstention in order to cleanse itself. Many people today are sick because their bodies are struggling to cope with the overwhelming barrage of pseudo-food and its toxic fall-out. In our indulgent society, the message is ‘go on, you’re worth it’. Unfortunately much of what we eat, drink or are prescribed is not worthy of us.

        What a weight the Medical Profession could shed if it were to teach people to fast when they are ‘detox’ sick to help the process, to recognise that lack of appetite is the body’s way of telling us it can’t heal and digest at the same time, and change their mountains of ’empty calorie’ garbage food for adequate amounts of the real McCoy.

    3. mikecawdery

      Oh Dear! Unfortunately what you say seems to be increasing as papers are retracted and researchers are sacked. A Dutch Prof, Poldermans was a recent example. The number of papers published in a year is a good guide of “ghost-writing”.

      Many, if not most, medical doctors have little or no research training; a Prof.R.L. Smith, who in books (Diet, blood cholesterol and coronary heart disease: a critical review of the literature and others) was highly critical of the work on cholesterol, to quote “It is virtually impossible not to recognize that many researchers routinely manipulate and/or interpret their data to fit preconceived hypotheses, rather than manipulate hypotheses to fit their data. Much of the literature, therefore, is nothing less than an affront to the discipline of science”.
      Now that in science is a pretty defamatory comment. John Iaonnidis (JAMA. 2005;294:218-228; PLoS Med 2(8): e 124; Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2011 Apr 4.; J Clin Epidemiol. 2011 Mar 29) has also been very critical of medical research as has Prof. Gotzsche of the Cochrane Collaboration.

    4. David Bailey


      I got to the post doctoral phase in my chemistry career and gave up for much the same reasons as you did. The head of our team knew that the equipment we were using contained some serious flaws, but stated that he didn’t want to do anything for about a year, until after his postgraduate students had finished collecting (basically useless) data!

      I spent the rest of my career in software development, but I had a fair bit of contact with academic science, and I have been amazed at what goes on. To give one example, I knew of a large experiment that used a Monte Carlo computer simulation that would sometimes generate an error message and not complete. A postgraduate student reported this, and was told not to bother, but simply re-run the simulation (which would pick up different random numbers) if this happened.

      When I left science, I thought that shoddy science simply clogged up the system and wasted some resources. It wasn’t until more recently that I realised how dangerous and ludicrously wasteful it had become.

  29. Ali.

    PS. Mr. Diabetic Specialist and I agreed to part company after the Byetta fiasco. On the next visit, I’d barely got in the door before he was trying to foist statins on me. I said I wouldn’t take them. Why, he said, you should do, you’re Diabetic. Because I think they are a load of rubbish, says I. And besides, what is my cholesterol level?

    3.8. 3.8!!!! Any lower and I’d have been a puddle on the floor!!!

    What was his incentive I wonder….?

  30. Marie - Sweden

    (Sorry – somewhat off topic)

    Thanks Dr. Kendrick,
    Your book Doctoring Data is very interesting and humorous. I hope it will get a lot of attention and be translated into many languages.

    Towards the end you discuss mitocondrial disease etc.
    I have just visited and listened to the latest podcast (No 9) about fluoroquinolones. Fluoroquinolones belong to a group of broad-spectrum antibiotics.with substance names such as ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, norfloxacin, moxifloxacin etc.

    In 2004 I discovered that there were people in the U.S. that felt that they had been harmed (adverse effects). and they called themselves “floxies”. I read Stepen Frieds interesting book – Bitter Pills – and a lot of patient stories on different websites.

    I have never taken this type of medication, as far as I know, but a friend of mine did and that`s why I started my googling.

    Below, I have copied some of Lisa Bloomqvist`s text about the podcast. Please visit her web site,, and listen to her interview with Rick Radciiff (and others).


    “…In Episode 9 of The Floxie Hope Podcast I had the opportunity to interview Rick Radcliff. Rick is a long-time flox survivor. He was hurt by Avelox/moxifloxacin ten years ago.

    In the ten years that Rick has been a floxie, he has learned a lot about fluoroquinolone toxicity. He reveals a lot of interesting information about the links between fluoroquinolone induced mitochondrial damage and thyroid health. Balancing his hormones has helped him to improve immensely.

    Please listen to Rick’s story and share it with your friends. Thank you!

  31. Professor Göran Sjöberg

    I have now finally met with my first heart surgeon and since the prospect of this meeting evoked certain interest at this post I might also now ‘report’.

    Contrary to my last (?) cardiologist this expert was now evidently not stubborn, that is to say that he in my eyes was somewhat openminded. To his experience the ‘worst’ patients were actually “engineers” who he considered very simpleminded – just plumbing. Hopefully I made him modify his ‘simple’ view on my kind of people.

    Anyway, he realised that I was ‘well read’ especially when I referred to my complete reading of Guyton Hall ” Medical Physiology” which he was acquainted with and which he had found out with time to give a simplified view on his own subject. Still, when I tried to have him explain, or comment on the the K. Sroka paper, which I showed him, on the apparent imbalance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nerve systems prior to an ischemic ‘event’ he didn’t seem very familiar with this line of thought, an ignorance which to me was a bit surprising taking the subject of his own theses into consideration. So you might ponder what he mean by simplemindedness among engineers in this perspective.

    He though realised the dangers of ‘one line’ explanations and thought that I instead of discussing with him might communicate well with the head of the cardiological department at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburgh who he considered also to be a sceptic.
    I though wonder if you can be a sceptic about your own discipline in that key position.

    Well professor Goetzsche is perhaps a good example of that this might be possible but although very rare.

    1. Mary Richard

      The imbalance between the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems prior to an ischemic event was probably news to many if not most of us on this blog (just guessing) but not the least surprising since there has to be more to it than blockages, conditions secondary to diabetes, etc. and of course, stress and the increase in cortisol levels which we have all heard of for some time. I do believe in the power of the collateral blood supply, however, I also wonder if in the case of heart attacks in general, that system can wear out or become overwhelmed over time. Doctors are much too quick to operate. I have had two stents. I am not like many of the poor souls out there who seem to end up in the hospital after only a few years of pain free walking. I don’t know why except that I changed my diet, ditched the cigarettes, and really cut back on the sugar and carbs. I knew this was the best thing even in the 80’s when I shopped at the hole in the wall “Whole Foods Market” owned and run by a bunch of people who looked like throwbacks to the 60’s. I often wondered…what did these hippies know that we did not? I have eaten brown rice since the 80’s. However, it was very hard to find until the late 90’s early 2000’s. Now we are seeing a huge increase in so called “whole foods” grocery stores. I saw where these new “Whole Foods Company” grocery stores are a very lucrative and popular chain growing across American. They made it to the New York Stock Exchange which is always worrisome. Let us hope Wall Street won’t ruin the original concept. But, the prices are steep. Since many people began to complain, they answered those complaints with lowering their prices to become more competitive. It is time to purchase that stock!!!

      Professor, every time I hear about one of your soups, my mouth waters. I had a friend whose grandfather was second generation Sicilian. I was frequently invited to their home for pasta and sucre’. Her grandfather made wonderful meatballs, put Italian Sausage and sometimes eggplant (if during Lent) in the sauce. But what made his sauce so incredible were the bones!!! He added “pork bones”. They are sold very cheaply even today in most grocery stores. It gave the sauce the most sweet and delicate flavor that even thinking of it today I can almost taste it. Now, I realize why it was so great when you mentioned the “marrow”. There is very little actual meat on a pork bone. They are rather fatty which tastes great too. It was the bone marrow that gave it the unique, rather “gourmet” flavor and actually sweetened it naturally. And how nutritious it must have been until we added the white flour pasta. But, your mention on more than one occasion of the soup you make with the bone in must be delicious. Bone marrow…a real delicacy.

      I hope you continue to enjoy good health, use those chain saws and cut wood using an axe. Stay active in your mind and body. I am still amazed by yours and Jennifer’s stories. But, my father in law did the same. He was told at the age of 55 after a heart attack that he had six months to live. He refused surgery of any kind. He had a cattle ranch and raised his own chickens, hogs, and vegetables. He also made his own wonderful sausage. He lived well into his 80’s and had no other health problems. When he began to take so many medications, his health went down quickly. He complained of constant leg pain after they put him on statins. Now I know why.

  32. Maureen

    Dr. K, your blog, books, and the community here are so inspirational and supportive for those of us who have become disenchanted with conventional medicine. It is very scary to ignore physicians advice, and do things which are so frowned upon, refuse to take some medications, or have routine scanning tests or procedures and eat a diet high in saturated fats and low in carbs for example.

    I have been subjected over the years to HRT, Vioxx, Levothyroxine, and Fosamax. I wasn’t informed that the half life of Fosamax was 10 years, I’d never have taken it. Or if I’d known about relative and absolute risks. I now refuse to have routine bone scans, no point if I won’t take the medication. I believe that Osteoporosis as it is now defined, is a “made up” problem. Made up by Merck. I also I refused an open lung biopsy to confirm the diagnosis of Ideopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, what’s the point of risking hemorrhage or lung collapse to confirm IPF, when according to my Respirologist the CT scans results were classic. And there was no treatment for IPF anyway. I think I am much better off without all that stuff. But I wouldn’t have had the knowledge, or the courage, to refuse them without blogs like this one.

    Just this week I had another decision to make. There is now an approved drug on the market, Perfenidone, for IPF. It has been shown to slow down or reduce the scarring process in the lungs. (I also learned recently that when researchers say such and such results are significant, they don’t mean what we the great unwashed would think, that there are lots of people benefitting, but that it’s just a statistal thing, meaning it’s not an error. Maybe I read that here….)When I looked up the trial that approval of Perfenidone was based on (Ascend), although I didn’t understand a fair bit I did get the gist. It has a lot of side effects, and is not well tolerated by many people, because the effect is systemic, not limited to the lungs only. I had a meeting with my Respirologist, and he agreed with me (Halleluyah!! No arguing!) that as I am doing well and have been stable for two and a half years…..against all expectation…we’ll leave well enough alone. I do realise that it is easy to be brave when you are feeling well, but I also have come to know that we are pressured into taking pharmaceuticals through fear. Reading books like yours Dr. K, and accounts from responders on your blog are a fabulous and positive encouragement. I look forward to reading each and every one.

    1. Professor Göran Sjöberg


      Interesting thoughts!

      And I agree! About the courage you need to ‘resist’ and the importance of ‘community support’ from a blog like this one.

      But how far reaching is the informed resistance to the present medical scam today? And could we count on a bottom up or a top down change in attitudes?

      This reminds me of a favourite philosopher of mine, the French 1600th century Michel de Montaign, who was a sceptic towards medicine and recounted many interesting human habits in this respect in his very influential Essays which I read some years ago and which I eagerly recommend to anyone interested in ‘deep easy reading’ on ‘everything’ in life.

      One of the tales in his Essays was about a Roman emperor (I don’t recall his name though, Caligula?) who got very tired of the medical scam of his one time and ordered the beheading of all physicians, an order which was promptly executed. The sad thing, if I now remember Montaigne right, was that it didn’t take very long before a new set of doctors appeared. I guess there is always a lot money to be made on sick people.

      I wonder if Hippocrates might have been an exception in the history of medicine since he advocated food instead of medicine and a non invasive attitude.

      1. Jennifer

        Like you and your wife I make plain yogurt, and have done so since the children were young, but then it was just an occasional treat. Today, I make it constantly, so we have 250g each per day, as a necessity for good gut health.
        I brine my own pork for bacon, and make sausages when we fancy them, but the only added chemical I permit is salt petre, and that is for cosmetic purposes as I don’t care for grey meats. I am salting beef as well, in an effort to turn the clock back to more normal foods, ( I am not fearful of sodium chloride). For an indulgence, I make ice-cream, using yogurt, double cream and some berries…..omitting the sweeteners that recipe books say are “essential” for frozen desserts!….well, they are not. I have always pickled veggies during times of glut, but my next adventure is sauerkraut, as my daughter tells me it is lovely. Again, I will be doing it at home, rather than purchasing it from a factory. I understand that fermented foods are good for our gut.
        I make my own soft cheeses, and am studying how to make a decent hard cheese.
        I no longer make bread, as I did for 45 years, as I cannot trust the wheat these days, after reading around the subject of modern grains.
        I rarely eat potatoes now, since I realise it is so easy to over indulge in starchy foods that really are not as healthy as we were led to believe. It goes without saying that sugar and flour have long since left my shopping list.
        So, any ideas as to what else I can make/prepare at home, which is healthful, please?
        p.s. and not a supplement or medication in sight for 2 years now……absolutely no need for them.
        What on earth has our health service and food industry been doing to us all?

        1. Maureen

          Jennifer, we also make our own yogurt, Greek style which we strain, a lot of the whey is drained off making the yogurt thicker and contains fewer carbs, if it’s strained long enough (or if I forget about it) it turns into a soft cheese to which we sometimes add crushed garlic and various herbs. Also bone broth is fabulous, lots of intstructions on google. We make all our soups and stews with it and as a hot drink also. Home made sauerkraut is a powerhouse of nutrients, apparently a cup of it contains something like 8 trillion probiotics, compared to 10 billion in the supplements….which can’t always be trusted. Plus fermenting cabbage results in a huge increase in bio-available Vit C, with red cabbage having five times more than green.

          Sorry Dr. K! I don’t want to go too far off topic (but I did, didn’t I)

      2. Professor Göran Sjöberg


        It seems as if you are following the same (downhill or uphill?) trajectory as me an my wife and after a similar (?) metabolic breakdown and now try to ‘save’ your life and with the same reasonable success rate as we have.

        While the complexity, when you start think about it, knocks you down constantly it feels safe to go ‘natural’ and avoid all industrial ‘optimistic’ additives and manipulations of our foods and where the transfats seem to be the all time ‘big hit’ for this industry.

        So keeping away from docs (except exceptional guys like Malcolm 🙂 ), Big Pharma and the agricultural industry does not seem to be any dangerous, though often arduous, path to trot.

        Homemade sauerkraut is here a great treat and surprisingly simple to make.

        Buy a large head of organically grown white cabbage to start with. Since it is about a fermentation process avoiding the ‘standard’ cabbage which is chemically heavily treated to kill any germs sounds like a good idea. Just slice i fine, massage work the cut on your kitchen table with your bare hand (no sterile gloves please!) to let all possible germs in and to make it a little bit juicy at the same time and then press it all into a big jar, preferably of a ‘traditional type’ which makes you feel cosy, and be sure to press all air out – it’s an anaerobic fermentation process we are talking about! You can put a little table water on top (with no germ killing stuff from the tap water!) to make sure all air is out. Top off with a fistful of sea salt (healthy stuff!) to make it hard for any fungus germ to compete and take a hold on the surface. Keep the jar on the table and watch the process take speed for a few days – a week – and you see how the kraut starts to rise, swell, then you press it down to see the wet surface again. You might then add a little more water if needed. Sniff and taste and when you feel comfortable with the smell and taste and the general appearance just put the jar in the fridge where it will keep ‘forever’.

        The hard cheese stuff is for sure a more messy business but the cheese that comes out of it is wondrous. Here is how I do it myself

        40 liter of milk still warm from the cows of a local farmer to which I at once add four tablespoons of rennet (from the drug store). My own trick, which I think makes a great difference, is that I at the same time add half a litre or so of my own home made yoghurt – the good germs go in again!

        Now the real messy part begins. You have to shuffle the stabilised stuff out of the can and then let the whey, with its lactose (we don’t like the sugars!), drip away from it through a cloth of some kind. Then we mess on and press, the harder the better, the moist cheese stuff into a large enough (it is about 4 -5 kg cheese we now are talking about) leaking wooden mould, of an old fashion cosy type! By the next day most of the whey has leaked out and we can tip the ‘hard cheese’ carefully out of the mould into a large enough piece of cloth. Sheets or big towels work. At the same time, be sure to be liberal with the sea salt on the surface and thus again holding the ‘bad’ fungus germs a bay which otherwise tend to be a problem turning the cheese green. Now the checking part starts. Replacing the wet towels with clean dry new ones every now and then will drag most of the whey out and for every turn make the cheese harder and harder. Watch for the green spots and take them away and keep the cheese at a cool place all the time. The problem we face is that during this maturing process of the hard cheese, which should take about a month, we are chopping too large delicious test pieces at every review and towel replacement and leaving very little to look at in the end of this process.

        Malcolm, I am sorry to have turned your present post into a recipe one but to my defence here is my now stating the ignorant belief that all this fermented stuff has a strong bearing on diabetes control through proper action on the gut flora. For a rigorously trained guy in natural science like myself all this makes me feel a little bit too ‘quacky’ although my eating is a feast nowadays.

        1. mikecawdery

          This is from Dr Graveline FB – any interest?

          There is no longer the slightest doubt. Dolichol supplement works – at least for me and I considered myself a tough case. I had give up walking. Some 2 months later (yesterday) I went surf fishing. Didn’t get any fish but I am keeping my sand fleas fresh for when I go again. You just cannot imagine how good it made me feel to be back on Cape Canaveral beach again, sitting on my beach chair, my eyes focused on my rod tip. The first 200 statin victims to apply for dolichol supplement will get the first 3 months worth free of charge. The only price you pay is filling out our health questionnaire before and after so we can write this study up later. Best deal you ever had but we want only the solid cases. By that I mean peripheral neuropathy cases, myopathy (muscle pain and weakness) and chronic neuromuscular degeneration (best definition is statin associated accelerated aging – if you have it you will know what I mean). Cognitive deficits and emotional and behavioral issues by themselves will not qualify not that statins do not cause them but because it is harder to measure them and we want our study to be as objective as possible. Apply to: .They will get your name and address and put you on the list.

      3. Ali

        Jennifer, my husband is very gluten intolerant, as am I (probably linked to Candida), but he can eat my ‘slow-rise’ bread without any problems. I can eat it too although I avoid most carbs due to the Diabetes.

        What I have learned is, yes, the modern wheat is far different to the ancient strains, but a lot of the issues lie in the preparation. Most modern grain foods are either proofed too fast, or are not proofed at all, and wherein lies the problem. Most commercial bread (and that made at home in breadmakers) is proofed within 3 hours or even less. Due to the ‘Chorleywood’ process, some is made within an hour!

        The interaction between the flour, water and yeast/s predigests the gluten proteins in the dough, and also generates in the region of 50% more nutritional elements, especially B vitamins. That takes time. The ancestral baker would prepare the dough the day or evening before, leave it to rise overnight, then bake it in the morning – a minimum of 6 hours or even more. The single yeast Saccharomyces Cerevisiae produces some nutrition, sourdough with its plethora of different microbes, even more, and more varied.

        The longer and slower the proving, the more digestible the bread. I make mine the evening before, clean the bowl to remove any stray unincorporated flour, cover it and refrigerate it overnight. I then remove it in the morning, knock it back and shape it (with olive oil on my hands, not loose flour), pop it in the cooking tin/dish/mould. Leave it to rise in a warmed oven for a couple of hours, then bake.

        Whilst I don’t make it that regularly, between hub and son who also prefers to eat GF, it doesn’t last very long! It isn’t gluten free of course, but it is very gluten digestible. The predigestion and much higher nutrition makes it a far different food to that found on your average supermarket shelf…. :0)

      4. mikecawdery

        Hi Prof

        Why not register as a BMJ patient reviewer. Great fun and you get a chance to comment on papers before publication or not as the case may be.

        As far ass I know anyone can register as a patient or carer.

    2. Mary Richard

      I, too was sent to a Pulmonologist when I smoked as I had so many upper respiratory infections during the winter months. He told me I had fibrous scarring which he stated was common as those scars of the lungs can be related to these lung infections. He also told me that the fibrous scarring was “protective” against lung cancer as it kept those cancer cells from growing. I don’t know how true it is, but I found it rather interesting. My pulmonary function tests were all normal. Smoking is terrible, I know but there is more to the causes of cancer than any of us can imagine, I am sure. We are learning more daily.

      I have to say that doctors are as afraid of not prescribing certain medications as we are when trying to weigh the pros and cons. They fear they could be sued for not following protocol. So, I try not to be too hard on them. Those who hide data, however, and who profit even in the face of evidence of harm of certain drugs engage in despicable behavior. I believe it is the poly pharmacy mentality that accounts for most of the overdose we hear about. We just do not know how many of these drug interactions can and do occur. Most doctors are good people. I still believe that.

      Glad you are making your own decisions about your health and hope you continue to thrive.

  33. David Bailey


    “But how far reaching is the informed resistance to the present medical scam today? And could we count on a bottom up or a top down change in attitudes?”

    I do think it is spreading through the general population – I have come across a number of people recently who ‘know’ that saturated fat is no longer bad for you. I put the word ‘know’ in quotes, because they don’t even realise that the issue is still contentious – the traditional view is losing because their protestations are so convoluted and obscure that they don’t register very well.

    The collapse of the saturated fat/cholesterol/statin idiocy could really weaken a lot of other bogus medical science (and maybe ‘Climate Science ‘ too, if we are really lucky!)

  34. amieres

    Attitudes are changing.

    Interesting articles on the Dietary guidelines:

    “Saturated Fat and CAD: It’s Complicated”
    “Dietary saturated fat increases blood levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and subsequent risk for CAD, or so goes the conventional wisdom. Indeed, there are studies showing such associations,[2,3] but other data challenge the hypothesis, including meta-analyses showing no link between saturated fat consumption and risk for CAD or cardiovascular disease (CVD).[4,5] The disparate findings have led to calls to stop demonizing saturated fat[6,7] and equally vocal cries to proceed with caution before we let lard back on the menu”

    “No Evidence to Support Dietary Fat Recommendations, Meta-Analysis Finds”

    “The U.S. government is poised to withdraw longstanding warnings about cholesterol”

  35. Mary Richard

    Dr. Kendrick,
    In thinking about diabetes again, I have to wonder how very many people go undiagnosed with Cushings by their GP s making this disease quite disturbing. Children and adults alike are often treated with various types and amounts of steroids as they are the master anti inflammatories as you have pointed out. They are used in so many medications from nasal sprays to inhalers and nebulizers as well as for chronic pain. The literature has only touched on that as one cause of Cushing’s. Of course, the leap from Cushings to diabetes and heart disease gives us many more possible causes apart from just eating, getting overweight and developing T2. A good GP has his hands full since diabetes, cancers, and heart disease have so many possible causes. Frankly, I have not seen too many with this diagnosis. So, we must get better at tackling alternate causes in an effort to fight one of the most devastating diseases of the past 50 years…actually two.

  36. Ali.

    Oh. my. Word.

    I was doing some research on something else and came across this…

    So many highly successful ancient healing modalities have been trampled on as pharmaceutical drugs have bullied their way to the forefront…..and this apoears to be one heck of a success.

    To think that I have spent well over 30 years trying to rid my body of Candida and fungus, whilst getting sicker and sicker and weaker and weaker when a few teaspoons of this could have got rid of it within weeks or even days!

    Let’s suppress the truth and keep the masses sick……!!!

    Angry? i’m fuming…….

    1. Jennifer

      Ali, my Mother (who would have reached 100 next year), dosed herself with medicinal liquid paraffin about 3 times a week to keep herself ‘regular’. I looked on in disgust as she first poured a measure of strong orange concentrate into a wine glass, then topped it up with the greasy liquid, ‘ downing it in one’. I dreaded the thought of having to wash that glass. We children were dosed with lovely syrup of figs after our spoonful of cod liver oil every Saturday night, supposedly to clear our bowels(!). What a blessing when cod liver oil capsules hit the market!

      1. Ali

        I’m not sure we can be grateful that cod liver oil capsules replaced a good old dose of syrup of figs Jennifer. Our ancestors would regularly dose themselves and their families with mixtures to keep their guts ‘flushed through’ and prevent nasties getting a foothold. A friend of ours in his 70s recalls his mother brewing a big pot of Senna tea every Sunday for the family.

        I find it incredible that people won’t bat an eyelid about getting their pets or livestock de-wormed, yet never think of de-worming themselves. I was never taught to do that. It’s like modern life moved in and common sense went out of the window! Have we developed some kind of immunity?? Parasites are considered a third-world issue. No. It’s just that they are far more aware of the problem than we are. If you go to a Doctor in India, one of the first things he would consider is parasites. Go to a Doctor here and it’s not even on his radar!

        Prof. Goran feels the subject has gone off topic, but I don’t think so. I firmly believe it is all related. Diet, parasites, yeasts, fungus, it’s all intertwined in the Diabetic module. The more diabetes progresses (and the body rots), the higher the fungal and microbial infestation. Changing the diet can make a difference, but sometimes the microbes are so embedded and adaptable, it is hard – as I am finding – to shift them.

        Whilst I have reversed or radically improved many issues through diet, the biggies, the diabetes, obesity and fatigue have not imoroved. Taking turpentine might seem like a radical thing to do, but sometimes only a radical answer will solve a problem. But of course it isn’t radical at all. It only seems it because the Public psyche has been brainwashed into thinking it is toxic. Most people use white spirit to clean their brushes and would never consider ingesting that, but turpentine is distilled pine resin.

        I didn’t have any turps – most places around here only sell substitute – but have managed to obtain some today. But around 4am, desperate to stop the darn worms partying, I grated about 2tsp orange zest into a mortar and pestle, added about the same amount of coconut oil and a little sugar (attracts the parasites) and mashed it together. I then downed it with plenty of water.

        Boy, did it go to work. I reckoned the terpenes in the zest (Limonene) had to help in some way. And it did. I need to carry on now with the turps for a few more days and monitor the outcome. Someone on a thread reckons he knows of at least three people who have reversed their diabetes quite rapidly through taking turps. He believes that the turpenes dissolve the biofilms and unwanted fats so that the body can get to the parasites/fungus and destroy it, and it also helps to clean the blood. That unclogs everything so it can start to work again properly.

        Watch this space…… :0)

        1. Jennifer

          hello Ali, I didn’t explain myself too well…the cod liver oil was for vitamin D, and the syrup of figs was to clear out the gut…..the oil was disgusting to taste, so the syrup was a blessing! The capsules were much better, and we took them with breakfast….with a bit of regurgitation in the course of the morning….but hey, ho….too much detail! Eventually we started on the very much smaller halibut liver oil capsules….I felt so superior to those still on the old fashioned cod oil! My elementary-educated Father certainly knew a thing or two.
          I certainly think our parents and grandparents had reasonable ways to maintain their health and comfort, but, for my generation, I think we have been brainwashed into thinking others knew better than our parents, when we started our own families. Maybe the Welfare State can be implicated? You know the sort of thing I mean…..the Welfare Clinic Nurse insisting on us feeding our priceless treasures with formula ‘milk’ and orange juice, and cod liver oil mixed with a spoonful of barley malt…..I ask you…..MALT….all those sticky spoonfuls waiting to attack tender little gums and newly emerged teeth. Maybe my generation were brainwashed into doing as we were told, rather than think things out for ourselves? Certainly big, incessant advertising of rubbish that we neither want nor need, can be blamed…..and the Baby Boomer Generation are ripe to adhere to the advertising of Statins, Stair-lifts and Toffee Malted boiled sweets. It breaks my heart that we have been/are so gullible.

        2. mikecawdery

          As a parasitologist and having tested many helminthicides in animals, the modern drugs are more effective (and much safer) than old ones that included nicotine sulphate, turpentine, carbon tetrachoride, et al. In my youth I have used them all.

          Senna is still available as a mild laxative; one ounce of castor oil is a very effective purgative (the large dose is essential, small doses result in repeated effects) as is croton oil but not to be recommended. In my day, pharmacology was called Materia medica! I would add that most of the new drugs were invented/discovered when Pharma were responsible and certainly did not dominate and manipulate research as they do now

    2. mikecawdery

      Angry? I too am raging. You are right. Big Pharma does not make its huge profits from the healthy. Ill-health means profits and more diseases increase those profits and the “medical establishment” consistently supports Big Pharma. Allopathic medicine is all about drugs; it is never about genuine health.

      1. PR Lundy

        Mike, you might enjoy this post on the Daily Beast titled, “Big Pharma Is America’s New Mafia”.
        There are some interesting links including this one comparing health care in the US to other countries.
        It ranks the UK at the top in many categories although other studies rate France or some of the Scandinavian countries at the top. PR

  37. Jennifer

    Prof Goran, how very kind of you to give me such a comprehensive answer, I really never considered an organic cabbage, and will certainly follow your advice. As to fresh raw milk, it would be marvellous to obtain it, but it is so difficult to source. I would certainly prefer raw milk, but accept pasteurised. I have never accepted the idea of milk being homogenised, as I believe it damages the fat molecules in a way that interferes with proper digestion, and neither is it best suited for cheese production.
    Thank you too to Maureen and Ali for your encouragement. I know we don’t want to change the tone of this wonderful site into a domestic science blog, but in some ways, we seem to be coming to the conclusion that the preparation of good food is of primary concern in maintaining health.
    I have been interested in The Slow Food Movement over the last few years, and agree with the idea of slowing down food preparation to bring out the best in staple foodstuffs. The Chorleywood Process has been a disaster for mankind, but a money spinner for the bakery industry, (back to profits, again). I know I will be tempted to make bread again in the future, but I will ensure that I adapt my method to a sourdough technique, and keep the quantities small.
    The advice on this blog is just wonderful, and I feel sure that Dr K. won’t mind us going off at a tangent from time to time.

    1. Jennifer

      Goran, I don’t quite know where to post my reply , but I hope this gets to you.
      Following your directions, I have successfully made a pot each of red and green sauerkraut, tasting great, and maturing nicely.
      I have 3 x 500g cheddar cheeses on the go, made with my own yogurt starter, as you suggested, plus a small amount of rennet. It will be 3 months before I know their outcome….but I am confident they will be nice. I am using the old technique of bandaging them, using my own produced tallow to protect and mature them.
      I specifically bought marrow bones to make broth, but they were quite expensive, so I will continue with my previous practice of using stock from any meat I happen to be cooking, e.g. the stock produced after very slow cooking of a brisket of beef, or the carcass from poultry.
      I believe these foods are essential for health maintenance.
      Many thanks, Jennifer.

      1. mikecawdery

        The following references on selenium may interest you.
        Mooseman B and Behl C. Selenoprotein synthesis and side effects of statins. Lancet 363:892-94, 2004
        Koller LD, Exon JH. Can J Vet Res. 1986 Jul;50(3):297-306. LinksThe two faces of selenium-deficiency and toxicity–are similar in animals and man.
        There are some 30+ selenoproteins, mostly involving the thyroid but at least one involved with the pancreas.

  38. Old fogey

    The inventor of Vaseline petroleum jelly told the world that he ate a spoonful of Vaseline a day. He lived to the ripe old age of 86.

  39. Professor Göran Sjöberg


    Since this thread is now trickeling on, slightly but not completely off topic, we might look into the ‘good ways of eating’.

    I have tried a lot since the distrust came on toward the traditional medicine 1999. For some years Idid experiment an finally developed and made my own “Professor Görans all sourdough rye bread”. Later I found out that this was exactly how they made the rye bread in Finland in the old days. It was great eating but the problem was that it didn’t go well along with my wifes intestines so we dropped that until we finelly arrived at the ‘through all carbs out’, when we realised that she was in a late stage of T2. This LCHF attitude seems logical since you, as a diabetic, can not handle the sugar in the food and this way of life has worked wonders for us and thus what we presently tend to believ in.

    What I guess now is that when your metabolismis is seriously damaged as in T2 or in CVD, and for whatever reason but probably from abuses of different kinds, you have turned into a state of extreme sensitive to further disturbancies of the same kinds. You might now talk in terms of allergic reactions which also to me, from my present physiological understanding and ignorance, makes some sens.

    As I often say: “Life is an interesting, continous, practical experiment and you don’t really know how this experiment is going to end.” But with Malcom I also urge everone to enjoy it as much as you are able. This might be a descion you have to deliberately make and which is clearly of parasympathetical magnitude.

    1. mikecawdery

      Thanks for the link. The pdf did not download but copied the html.
      The FDA is supposed to protect the public; its failure is a disgrace. One wonders what the EMA and MHRA are up to now!
      Rivaroxaban item was interesting – it is currently replacing warfarin in some hospitals. Not inspiring.

  40. Robert Cartwright

    Dear Dr Kendrick, seeing this article on the effects of cortisol on the homeostatic mechanisms you discuss is great as it is something I and my colleagues have been trying to get over to patients for many years. It links so many pathologies together and just makes physiological sense, where unfortunately in medical science everything is teased apart and thought to be unrelated.
    I know it is old but you may find reading Irvin Korr’s PhD 1982 paper called “raised sympatheticotonia as a factor in disease” an interesting read. Also Frank Willard’s work on this subject enlightening. Let me know if you do as I can email you both the articles.

    Raised sympathetic tone, appears over and over again as a causative mechanism when tracking through the physiologic changes that lead to pathology (also the cellular changes in acute illnesses even in colds and flu), it is a fascinating subject. Thank you for bringing this to the attention of a larger group of people.

  41. chris c

    There’s a link in the opposite direction too. Normally blood glucose is VERY tightly controlled by a balance between insulin and glucagon. When that fails the body will make a counterregulatory response including cortisol, epinephrine, norepinephrine etc. The light went on for me when I read that the body will attempt to pre-empt an actual hypo by producing a counterregulatory response BEFORE BG drops to a genuine hypo level, and one factor switching this on is a rapid drop in BG. This explains “false hypos” in diabetics (and “nondiabetics”) where they get hypo SYMPTOMS when BG is normal or even high. It certainly explains many of my “psychiatric” and “hypochondiac” symptoms. going back to early childhood, how they did not improve on a low fat diet and how they have now resolved on a low carb diet – since I no longer have postprandial BG spikes I no longer have post-postprandial insulin spikes followed by BG drops and the ensuing cortisol etc. spikes.
    Claiming as one paper does that reactive hypoglycemia does not exist and that patients who “claim” to suffer from it must be diagnosed with “a neurotic condition” completely misses the point, which is that physical (dietary) changes will control the symptoms. So there may be a feedback loop between diabetes and cortisol going in both directions, and controlling either may improve t’other.

  42. Glenny

    This really pisses me off because I’m very laid back guy, but overweight and diabetic. Wtf am i supposed to do now, join a zen monastery?! Actually, I started a calorie restricted ketogenic diet…. that’s helping quite a bit😜


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