80 thoughts on “Doctoring Data Interview

      1. maryl@2015

        I noticed someone posted your interview on Facebook. I know you are not a Facebook kinda guy but it is there for many to appreciate!!

      2. Ola

        There is already a public figure page created for you automatically on Facebook. And it has some followers. If you wanted to, you could just go to it, and change it to an actual fan page. Then you could link your Twitter account to fb and/or share all of your blog posts there.

        Then again, that might lead to more people sharing and commenting on your content, which might draw you into more discussions, which might ultimately take away from your time writing your next book. And that would not be good. =)

  1. Jerome Burne

    Excellent – Sam is a really lovely guy

    Best wishes

    Jerome

    40 Warrington Crescent

    London W9 1EL

    W9 1EL

    0207 286 9294

    07940 393 094

    Blog. Body of Evidence: jeromeburne.com

    Also: HealthInsightUK.org

    Reply
  2. Ola

    Great interview, Dr Kendrick: you sound fantastic. Loved the joke about leaflets in Polish (my native tongue)! And the Too Much Medicine campaign sounds promising. You’ve been hinting at that next book you will be or are writing and can I just say: please write it as soon as possible. We need it.

    Reply
      1. maryl@2015

        As usual, this interview was quite enjoyable and straightforward. I would not expect anything less. I love the book, Doctoring Data as well as the Great Cholesterol Con. It sure changed my perspective on truth. I have no doubt that these books have changed the lives of many and have sort of given people permission to question the authority of so called “experts” and what that may or may not mean to the individual trying to navigate the world of modern medicine.

        Cheers to you Dr. Kendrick!! And, many thanks to you from your supporters across the pond!

  3. Anne

    Enjoyed your interview very much – as I did the book I should add. I particularly liked your remarks about sausages in the interview ! I hardly ever used to eat any but then a few years ago I discovered, at a farmers’ shop in a small town in France where we have a house, the most delicious sausages in the world. They are made from pure pork, that is both the lean and fat, with only fresh herbs and seasoning added, and bunged in skins – or rather in one long skin, you buy it by the length – NO preservatives and such like, NO rusk either. The pigs are reared outdoors and fed well. The sausages are so delicious that when we’re there I will eat some at least every other day, either for breakfast, lunch or supper ! I even bring some back to the UK, transported in a very well insulated bag with ice packs to keep them fresh on the journey 🙂

    Reply
      1. BobM

        Yes, you have to be careful with US sausages. They can have corn syrup and the like added to them. You can, however, find sausages that are just meat (and fat) and spices/herbs. You just have to read the labels.

      2. maryl@2015

        The U.S. sausages are made of rubbish. You have to buy them from a store that advertises what their sausages contain. It can be rather expensive, but as people begin to understand what is in the food supply, things will get cheaper. These changes don’t come overnight. We must be patient lest the whole economy is weakened. If you can’t afford the sausages but know someone who has a smokehouse (which I do) and know what they put in it, then you can indulge with no problem. There are still a lot of people who loved to hunt but they eat what they hunt. And many make homemade sausages from wild game. I think these are safe. Just shop…you will find what you like. I just can’t bring myself to eat Bambi!!!

    1. robert

      Why would you want to put any plant matter into a sausage? Is it supposed to have some “pipe-cleaner” effect? As you’ve said: nothing but meat & spices!

      Reply
  4. Sue Richardson

    That was a half hour well spent – great interview Dr K. Hope loads of people see it and thousands of them buy the book. Re sausages one of my boys saw a programme about what allegedly went into them when he was a child, and for years afterwards wouldn’t eat them because he said ‘they’ve got cows eyes in them ugh!’ Fortunately like Anne, I found some Super Sausage Suppliers in the form of a couple of amazing butchers on the Isle of Man. They make fantastic sausages of all sorts of delicious flavours as well as plain ordinary wholesome bangers. Definately no cows eyes in them, so they are back on the menu. Keep doing what you can, Dr K we need you, you give the rest of us courage.

    Reply
  5. Professor Göran Sjöberg

    By a pre-order I had an early copy of your great book and I actually, immediately wrote a chronicle (I do that now and then on a low carb blog i Sweden) about your book.

    http://annikadahlqvist.com/2015/01/18/lakemedelsfiffel/

    By pushing the button ÖVERSÄTT (talking ‘Polish’ 🙂 ) you may get an idea of my favourable feelings.

    Still I realise that a live interview like this is much more powerful than a Swedish chronicle to promote your book.

    Thank you for daring fighting the ‘wind-mills’ – and still survive.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Thank you Goran for doing what you have. The more the merrier in our little Band of Brothers. We shall win (maybe after we are all dead), for the truth is the truth, and that is all we are trying to tell people.

      Reply
  6. Flyinthesky

    Good interview, wish it was broadcast mainstream. Sausages, Booths Aberdeen angus and cracked black pepper. You are what you eat and most are oblivious of what they’re eating.

    Reply
  7. amieres

    What pushes scientists to lie?
    http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/feb/18/haruko-obokata-stap-cells-controversy-scientists-lie

    “…most experiments are never reproduced. There are simply too many of them. Besides which, researchers often don’t have much interest in repeating the work of others. Scientists may be truth-seekers, but they generally prefer new truths. They want to be the first to make a discovery. That’s where all the glory lies; that’s how to get a name for yourself, attract more funding and advance your career. Confirming – or failing to confirm – someone else’s discovery is unlikely to get you very far. It’s unlikely to even get you into print since science journals tend to favour novel research.

    Not only are most experiments not reproduced, most are probably not reproducible. This statement will shock only those who have never worked in a wet lab …”

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Yes, if I ruled the world, all PhD students should spend the first two years being given experiments to reproduce. Completely failing to do so would be considered a ‘success’ and would could highly towards their PhD and future research projects. Scientific research, if it about anything, is about falsification. Had Michelson and Morley not refuted the idea that space contained ‘Ether’ Einstein’s ideas would never had seen the light of day.

      Reply
      1. David Bailey

        One change I would like to see, is that whenever the government provided funds for research into a new threat – saturated fat, climate, obscure low-level pollutants – it would have to fund some research aiming to prove there was no problem.

      2. mikecawdery

        Dr Kendrick

        Regarding your comment NHS and its problems in a more detailed form in “Doctoring Data”, I would like to comment on polypharmacy and it “use” in QoF directions (Quality and Outcome Framework), which has been so roundly criticised by Dr Des Spence.

        There is an EMEA Directive (European Medicines Agency, London, 19 February 2009 Doc. Ref. CHMP/EWP/240/95 Rev. 1 – can be downloaded in full) that specifically defines how drugs can be combined in a single tablet and the required evidence to support the combination for example:

        6. GENERAL RULES

        As a general rule, the choice of each substance in the fixed combination as well as the whole concept on which the rational for the fixed combination is based have to be fully justified; this can be achieved by taking into account mode(s) of action, pharmacokinetics, and treatment recommendations for a given clinical setting.
        Combinations, in principle, may not be considered rational if the duration of action of the substances differs significantly.

        Under this section detailed rules are set out to achieve this safety objective and includes the requirement that not only efficacy of the combination must be demonstrated but adverse reactions must be considered.

        It seems to me that polypharmacy deliberately ignores these conditions and requirements by simply combining drugs by using prescriptions to achieve drug combinations without the need to do the necessary research to support the combination. In short, the evidence-base of these “combinations” are virtually non-existent. If QoF supports such therapy then it, like 6 weeks strict bed rest, it must be grossly flawed as claimed by Dr Spence in the BMJ.

        May be medical PhD, DPhil aspirants should look at these unauthenticated “combinations”?

  8. Janet Beach

    Great interview, Dr. Kendrick. I wish you were my GP.
    Re sausages – there are wonderful sausages available in the UK but I suppose I shouldn’t/mustn’t mention the brand name. What a shame. What the Heck.

    Reply
      1. Anne

        Except Tesco’s ‘Heck’ also contains: Milk Powder (from Milk), Spices, Sugar, Preservative (Sodium Sulphite), Antioxidant (Ascorbic Acid).

        Abel and Cole sell organic pork sausages but they also contain: Vegetable stock (contains sea salt, palm oil*, glucose syrup*, cane sugar*, yeast extract, onions*, maize starch*, celery*, carrots*, celery leaves*, caramelised sugar*, lovage*, parsley*, lovage leaves*, parsnip*, turmeric*, pepper*), Nutmeg*, Mace* (the * means they’re produced to organic standards).

        I wonder if it might be better just to make your own ? I found a recipe for French saucisson fraiche which seems typical (though makes a lot !):

        6 pounds boneless pork butt, preferably, or shoulder, with its fat, cut into small cubes
        2 pounds pork fatback, rind removed and fat cut into small cubes
        2 tablespoons salt if using salted pork fat back, 3 to 4 tablespoons if using unsalted pork fat
        2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
        About 25 feet hog casing

        • Grind the pork with a #10 plate (the size of your index finger).
        • Add salt and pepper to water; pour water over meat and mix with your hands
        • Stuff into casings.
        • Cook while fresh or freeze.

        Maybe one’s local butcher could mince the pork ? Why bother with the casings ? Why not just make a sausage shape and fry it ?

  9. Stephen Town

    The point about blood pressure medication is both bewildering and shocking. Doctor Kendrick attends a conference and discovers that a review, or several reviews, show that drugs to reduce blood pressure do no good. The drugs bring your blood pressure down but this results in no benefit. The huge amount of money spent on the drugs is wasted and the side effects are suffered for nothing. What is it about the medical world that allows such bad practice to continue in this way? The PSA test is another example mentioned. Isn’t this what NICE is for?

    I originally trained as an engineer and if someone had ignored vital new evidence, they would be regarded as thoroughly incompetent and sacked. It is one of the strange findings of my professional life that sound thinking and real professional behaviour in one role is suddenly completely absent in another.

    The money wasted on statins, blood pressure medication, the PSA test, and no doubt lots more, is money that can’t be used for things we really need. If all this money was spent on the Cinderella of social care I wonder how much good would be done for the elderly and how much pressure relieved from hospitals.

    I would be interested in the list of things Doctor Kendrick would stop spending money on and the list of things he’d spend more on?

    Reply
  10. Janet Beach

    The clue is in the very last word and I get them from the devil’s emporium (T****)
    I’m just feeling a little enigmatic today – must be the eggs and bacon I had for breakfast.
    Cheers

    Reply
  11. Margaret

    Enjoyed the interview and both your books. I gave TGCC to my GP to
    read as he confessed to me he did not believe that elevated cholesterol was a problem. However he did say that the NHMRC in Australia forced GP’s to follow their guidelines regarding the statination of their patients and most GP’s do without question. Where would we all be without mavericks like you Malcolm? As Leonard Cohen wrote:
    ‘There’s a gap in everything where the light gets in.’

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      You should really read Prof. Gotzsche’s book Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime. You will be horrified at the extent of the “issues” he raises.

      Reply
  12. Richard Mitchell

    Malcolm, if I may be so familiar, as a GP toiling in the southeast I thought I would share a recent experience.
    Having attended my annual diabetes update, we had a talk from a local dietitian. Here we go again, I thought!
    Imagine my surprise when she announced that saturated fat intake is NOT related to heart disease, showed the evidence and dismissed Ancel Keys!
    Not news to you obviously, but a small victory I think.
    Keep up the good work!

    Reply
    1. Stephen Town

      Good news, Dr Mitchell. Did anyone in the meeting point out that recommending carbohydrates to diabetics is perhaps the NHS’s most bewilderingly stupid pieces of advice? It’s the exact opposite of the advice given in the distant past to diabetics before Key’s fat phobia took hold.

      Reply
  13. David Bailey

    Malcolm,

    I would love to see you in an interview like that on Panorama! If only you could get the BBC journalists interested in your book – your message absolutely needs to get out there!

    You keep on mentioning sausages. I’d always understood that the nitrates used to preserve sausages, ham, and bacon react in the gut to produce carcinogens and that increased the risk of bowel cancer. I guess I would like to know two things:

    1) Is there evidence that this mechanism is likely to pose a serious risk?

    2) Is there any reliably evidence that people who eat those foods are more at at statistically greater risk of bowel cancer?

    I half expect the answer to (2), is that it is impossible to find people who don’t eat bacon and sausages who have the same lifestyle as those that do!

    David

    Reply
      1. Chmeee

        ‘As the Actress said to the Archbishop’………

        ( Sorry, it’s all this talk about sausage! 😀 )

        Thanks

    1. BobM

      The evidence is epidemiological. What these studies really do is compare people who eat a certain way with people who eat a different way. They’re comparing people who exercise, don’t smoke, make lots of money, drink occasionally, etc., with people who don’t exercise, smoke, are poor, drink a lot. It’s not a fair comparison. There are no randomized controlled trials.

      As for “sausages” there are fresh sausages and preserved sausages. Many types of fresh sausages do not need or nor should they have nitrates and nitrates. Preserved/smoked sausages usually do. I still eat the preserved sausages, though, at least at some times. My father’s family (Italians, dried sausages) and my mother’s family (Polish, kielbasa) ate these types of sausages, and they many of them lived to be old.

      Now, kielbasa is one of those sausages that are fresh (you have to cook it) but still generally contains nitrates. I’m not sure why.

      Reply
    2. Helen

      David, I remember reading an interesting discussion about this question on John Briffa’s blog. It’s still up (where is Briffa, though?), so you could try entering nitrates in the search box to find it. Seem to remember a conclusion that nitrates are perhaps not the problem people think they are…

      Reply
  14. Anne

    Dear Dr Kendrick,

    Getting away from sausages for a bit,

    I wondered if the northern French had more CHD than the southern French. I found this study: http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/31/6/1227.full which compared the rates of CHD in Belfast, Lille, Strasbourg and Toulouse. If I understand this study right, the highest rates of CHD were in Belfast, followed by Lille, then Strasbourg, with Toulouse being the lowest. Looking at the respective latitudes of those cities: Belfast is 54.597 N, Lille is 50.374 N, Strasbourg is 48.35 N and Toulouse 46.361 N I wonder if higher sunshine/vitamin D levels can explain the lower levels of CHD the further south ?

    Anne

    Reply
      1. Anne

        Have you read Dr David Grimes’ book: ‘ Vitamin D and Cholesterol, the Importance of the Sun’ ?
        Anne

    1. G. Mongeau

      Anne, at the risk of appearing to push Stephanie Seneff’s theories (I have already posted this link earlier regarding a more indirect relationship) you might find what is proposed in the interview an interesting possible explanation of sun exposure, vitamin D and hearth disease. The interview is a bit meandering but , IMO, worthwhile.

      Reply
      1. Anne

        Hi G. Mongeau – I see from Stephanie Seneff’s articles on the internet that she quotes papers by Dr David Grimes ! His book is well worth its quite high price tag. He’s a doctor in the north west of England. I had read in his book about the difference in CHD between Belfast and Toulouse, but not between the northern and mid French cities compared to the southern Toulouse. And that’s what’s interesting to me – the fact that the northern French don’t gain as much from the ‘French paradox’ as the southern, though they gain over the residents of more northerly Belfast. I would guess it surely must be due to vitamin D and the sun, but no one measured the vitamin D levels of the participants in the CHD study so neither Dr Grimes nor anyone else can categorically say it is that which makes the difference. I would lay bets on it though.

      2. BobM

        Here’s a discussion about a book with a similar hypothesis:

        http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/supplements/sunshine-superman/

        I read this book, though, and was unimpressed with certain points. For instance, he shows a chart blood pressure versus latitude for different cities. The point he was trying to make was that lower latitudes have higher sun exposure and therefore lower blood pressure. However, he shows Boston, Massachusetts (US) and New York City, and these (the people in them) have quite different blood pressures, but they’re basically the same latitude. Whatever is causing the blood pressure difference, it’s not sun exposure. Also, many of the studies he uses are epidemiological, which as we know proves correlation but not causation. Now, since there is much sun hysteria, he probably does not have access to randomized controlled trials, but it’s hard to agree with points that are supported primarily with epidemiological evidence.

        On the other hand, I don’t use sunscreen (unless I’m out a really long time) and try to get as much sun as I can.

  15. BobM

    I thought the interview was great. It succinctly described some of the major points made in Doctoring Data.

    Reply
  16. Sue Richardson

    A question for Dr K or anyone else who has the knowledge. I understand and appreciate what Dr K says regarding blood pressure lowering medication being pointless because there is an underlying cause for the blood pressure, and this should be treated, not the symptoms. But I have recently read something that sounds logical too ie that if the heart has to pump harder to get the blood round, this causing higher BP, the arteries will ultimately become damaged by the extra burden. If this is right, does that mean that lowering BP by medication does serve a purpose? I’d really appreciate some advice because my BP is higher than it probably should be and I’m not sure what to do if medication was suggested. I would think quite a few folk are in this position, especially as most GPs would rather just write out a prescription than go to the bother of finding the cause. A friend of mine is on BP lowering meds for quite high BP and whilst he totally sees the logic of treating the cause rather than the symptoms he says he will carry on taking BP lowering meds because he wants to live and “daren’t take the risk of not taking them”. I don’t think his GP has ever suggested finding out what causes his high BP. Plus I have an idea his meds are affecting his memory, although don’t know if that’s something BP lowering meds do or not.

    Reply
    1. robert

      [not a medical professional, just an informed patient]

      A few things that can mess with blood pressure:

      * lack of vitamin D3 / sunlight
      * crappy diet
      * insulin resistance & hyperinsulinemia
      * eating too much fructose –> uric acid too high (inhibits nitrous oxide)
      * not getting enough Magnesium / Potassium [spinach, nuts, avocado…]
      * obesity
      * disrupted sleep – sleep apnoea
      * not taking a walk once in a while
      * narrowed arteries going to the kidneys
      * unhappy thyroid (tricky business)
      * unhappy hypothalamus (brain)
      * “stress” of all sorts – too much adrenaline
      * annoying neighbours
      etc. etc.

      I your friend’s GP is up to the job, he could certainly check a few points mentioned here – mine did – at least the most obvious ones (kidney arteries via ultrasonic imaging, uric acid…).

      I’m afraid that as far as good & proper diet goes (that includes sufficient vitamin D3, maybe supplements…) your friend will most likely not find his GP very helpful.

      He will have to become his own expert on the matter.

      Reply
    2. maryl@2015

      Sue, I also recall specifically that Dr. Kendrick’s opinion is that high B/P is not a disease itself but rather an indication that something else is going wrong within the body so that the high B/P is a symptom. I looked at the side effects of B/P meds and they do have some pretty scary side effects. The scary part of getting off B/P meds is that for a while, you blood pressure will rise and it is frightening. Some say, within a week or so, it will go back to within the normal range. I would just use my common sense. For instance my sickly mother was on a B/P. Every time she arose from a seated position she would have syncope. So, I took her B/P three times a day for several days. When her B/P was normal, I did not give them to her. I stopped the B/P meds and she did just fine. Her blood pressure was so low when she stood up the poor wee thing could not handle the postural changes. Well, I told her doctor what I did and he agreed. It has worked well in terms of her syncope. But she is so sickly from years of B/P meds, statins, etc. there is not a whole lot I can do but to make her comfortable. I do that too. I just hold her hand a lot, kiss her fore head and thank her for always being there for me. She turns into a different person. Love can do what no pill in the world can!

      Reply
    3. Stephen Town

      Sue, I was in exactly the same position as you a few months ago and I don’t think you should worry.

      Last November I had an above average blood pressure (BP) reading and was advised by my doctor to take medication. I was prepared for this and quoted evidence from Dr Kendrick’s article on this subject (spacedoc.com). My doctor’s response was simply that I met NICE guidelines for BP medication. I told her the evidence seemed to be clear that I would not benefit from these drugs and that there was a 1 in 12 chance that I might be harmed. She didn’t argue and made no attempt to persuade me. I got the impression that she felt obliged to follow NICE guidelines, but was quite content for me to ignore them. We’re both happy because she’s covered by following NICE and I’m happy because I’m not taking strong medication that I think is useless.

      The definition of ‘high’ blood pressure gets lower and lower, as does the definition of ‘risk’ to prescribe statins. More and more people can then be prescribed drugs for the rest of their lives. This is very much in the interests of the drug companies who seem to have so much influence with NICE.

      The following extracts are from ‘Does Treating High Blood Pressure Do Any Good?’ by Dr Kendrick (on spacedoc.com):

      “Nine thousand people were treated for raised blood pressure for five years. At the end of the study five more people were alive in the treatment arm than the placebo arm. A result so deeply unimpressive that it fitted comfortably within the possibility of it being purely a chance finding. Or, to put it another way, this study failed completely to reach the holy grail of medical studies – statistical significance.

      It seemed from this very large, long-term study, that lowering mild/moderately raised blood pressure was of no benefit. Certainly not when you set it against billions of dollars it costs, and years of potential side-effects. I do remember thinking at the time. Well, that should cause a massive re-think in the whole area. But it did not. Not even slightly. This result was basically swept aside and ignored.

      They went on (in the European Heart Journal, 2000) to make the following statement: ‘No randomized trial has ever demonstrated any reduction of risk either overall, or cardiovascular death by reducing systolic blood pressure to below 140mmHg.’

      Now, nine years later, we have another analysis showing that: “A new review has found that lowering blood pressure below the ‘standard’ target of 140/90 mm Hg is not beneficial in terms of reducing mortality or morbidity (July 2009). During this nine year period the thresholds for ‘treating’ blood pressure have got lower and lower.” End of quote.

      Sue, you wonder whether your higher blood pressure will ultimately harm your arteries. I’m not qualified to say. However, I’d ask yourself whether taking drugs to artificially produce a lower BP reading makes sense in view of the evidence quoted? Is it just forcing down an arbitrary number? Is it acting against your body? I’d rather trust my body: if it feels the need to raise my blood pressure then I’m prepared to think it might be doing so for a useful reason.

      A while ago Dr Kendrick recommended this talk on YouTube by Dr David Newman https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCk_vTkS6bU

      The talk beautifully explains the concept of Number Needed to Treat (NNT) for one person to benefit. Go to his website (thennt.com) and look at the results for BP medication. I found the following, which included my BP reading. For mild/medium hypertension 140 – 159 (systolic) or 90 – 99 (diastolic) the NNT is nil. No benefit. But the NNH is 12, so one patient in 12 was harmed by side effects and stopped taking the drug.

      I wouldn’t take a statin if it came gift wrapped and with a £5 note. I feel pretty much the same way about BP medication.

      I hope that helps you.

      Best wishes.

      Reply
      1. Sue Richardson

        Thank you Stephen. Your answer was extremely helpful. I’ve been reading and watching the links you put in your reply, and feel sure of my ground now. I can sometimes be thrown by a logical argument elsewhere and I just needed to hear a sound voice. What a great blog this is. So many sensible, helpful and knowledgeable people writing in it. Thank you for taking the time. One thing I am sure about – I most definitely wouldn’t take a statin, if it came wrapped in £5 note and in a gold plated bottle – thanks to the wonderful Dr K et al.

      2. Carol

        I wish I had the courage to stop BP meds. My blood pressure flucates between 117/77 and 135/80. Its 135/80 just before I am due to take my meds. If I stop taking them how long does it take to get them out of your system. What is a health BP for a 55 year old female. Cholesterol is as follows but have refused a statin.
        Cholesterol 7.4 mmol/L
        HDL cholesterol 2.7 mmol/L
        Triglycerides 0.7 mmol/L
        Chol:HDL ratio 2.7
        LDL cholesterol 4.4 mmol/L

    4. Anne

      Hi Carol – I don’t know why you are on BP meds. My choelsterol profile is almost exactly like yours, sometimes my total is even higher (once around 8.4 but I’m not on a statin) but my HDL is always around 3.4 to 3.9, so nearly half the total and obviously very good, with triglycerides low around 0.5 to 0.7. My BP is sometimes a bit higher than yours, and sometimes lower. My cardiologist (I see one becasue I was born with a heart defect) wouldn’t put me on BP meds with it fluctuating like it does, and I wouldn’t take them anyway. I wonder if you should get a second opinion about taking them ?
      Anne

      Reply
  17. Professor Göran Sjöberg

    Malcolm,

    What I really enjoy with your blog is the open un-dogmatik attitude that prevails – democratic climate indeed!

    I am very much for ‘alternative’ medicine since it is not possible for me to trust the school medicine to be scientifically based but just being dogmatic. But when I claim that my angina is ‘under control’ with my 1500 IU E-vitamin daily, since two years now, I would never dream of turning categoric on this topic.

    “Try it if you have problem with angina! If it works for you – fine. If not – skip the E-vitamin. On top there are no serious side effects documented with vitamins. And the ‘treatment’ is really cheep.”

    Interesting here is that there is a strong pressure today from BigPharma to make it illegal to market vitamins at levels that seems to be therapeutic – wonder why 🙂

    I ‘love’ natural science, as I understand you do, and when I meet representatives for the ‘natural medicine’ I urge them to respect natural science, and not to abuse it, and above everything not turn dogmatic in their opinions. Unfortunately the human brain seems, as I recently have learnt, to be hard wired, neurologically, for such a dogmatic behaviour with your brain as a possible exception 🙂

    Reply
  18. Stephen Town

    Sue, thank you for your kind comments and I’m glad the e-mail helped you.

    Carol, I have no idea why you’re on blood pressure medication. Your higher reading of 135/80 doesn’t even qualify as ‘mild’ hypertension according to Dr Newman and it’s certainly lower than my reading. Dr Kendrick’s report quotes a ‘standard’ as 140/90 and points out that the threshold has moved ever downwards, which of course increases the number of people who ‘qualify’.

    What reason did your doctor give for prescribing you BP drugs? A wild guess would be your cholesterol figure and, if so, it’s based on the cholesterol means an increased risk of heart attack theory that I don’t think anyone on here believes, and with very good reason.

    It’s clearly a confidence thing. When a doctor says take this drug or tablet, most people do and assume it’s for the best. I wish that was the case, but sadly we need to be a bit more informed about our own treatment. I’d read Dr Kendrick’s report on spacedoc.com and look at Dr Newman’s conclusion that I quoted above.

    Perhaps you need to gather your facts, feel more confident and then see how your doctor deals with your questions. My doctor simply said that I fit the NICE criteria and made no attempt to defend them. I pointed out that the research said BP drugs produced no benefits and my doctor didn’t argue. I prefer large scale independent studies by people who aren’t selling me anything to NICE thresholds. It was NICE who ignored doctors and approved the lowering of the threshold for prescribing statins. After that awful decision I don’t take anything they say on face value.

    As for coming off BP drugs, your doctor should help with advice, even if he or she disagrees with your decision.

    Reply
  19. Stephen Town

    David Bailey, thank you for the articles on salt. Doesn’t this sum up the current dietary mess? There is so much conflicting advice that I think people have stopped listening.

    In Canada two studies criticise the orthodoxy on salt and this generates a reaction defending the traditional ‘harmful’ view on salt. Here’s the reaction:
    http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/experts-slam-studies-questioning-the-need-to-cut-sodium-intake-1.1958512

    My view on the importance of diet has changed significantly in the last three months. In February, as a result of reading this site and others, I abandoned the low-fat diet. I bought butter for the first time in twenty years and I eat plenty of eggs! There’s now much more fat in my diet and far fewer carbohydrates. I feel so much better, more energetic and mentally alert. I think I was previously denying my brain essential ‘fat’ and now that’s changed and I’m feeling the benefits. I feel full without effort. The downside for a real ale fan is that there doesn’t seem to be any room for more than one beer! A tragic side-effect that will no doubt please my doctor.

    The current dietary mess is so harmful to public health, but I think Zoe Harcombe and the other low carb advocates have truth on their side and will eventually win the argument. I just wonder how long it will take and how much harm will continue to be done in the meantime.

    Reply
    1. David Bailey

      Stephen,

      Indeed, my diet has changed in very much the same way as yours – I wouldn’t call it a low carb diet – but I do try to limit my sugar intake. It is awfully hard to attribute any changes in my health to my diet change, because I also gave up statins at about the same time.

      The crash in belief in orthodox medical ‘science’ in this area really amazes me – but medical science only has itself to blame. I have met people who seem to think that it is now official policy that saturated fat is good for you!

      My strong belief is that science generally has become severely corrupted in many areas – I just hope it can recover one day.

      Reply
    2. BobM

      Hi Stephen,

      In my opinion, you have to watch your beer intake. Beer is — unfortunately — very high in simple carbohydrates. Even though I used to love beer, I drink it very rarely now. Still tastes good, though, when I have my infrequent beer. I’ve since switched to hard liquor. 😉 I drink a select few mixed drinks (with no added syrups, sugars, sweet liquors or at least as low carb as I can find), or scotch, bourbon, tequila, etc. (all straight and “neat”). I like a gin and tonic with low calorie (not no calorie, which tastes strange) tonic, I think either 4 or 7 grams of carbs in half a small bottle, and I split the whole bottle with my wife. You have to search and find low carb tonic. I also like things like martinis, black/white russians (coffee liquor and vodka), red/white wine. I also drink very little, at most 1-1.5 drinks per night on weekends. So, at most three days per week.

      Reply
    3. David Bailey

      It is worth noting that the sodium alarmists in the article to which you linked, state:

      “The third study (the other two were not alarmist about sodium) published in the journal says more than 1.6 million cardiovascular-related deaths can be attributed to excess sodium per year.”

      I don’t know how many of the world’s population of 7 billion eat a low-sodium diet, but if they all ate the same diet that would correspond to 1 death per 4000 person-years – which is not a huge risk to an individual who may live 80 years (say).

      Reply
    4. Professor Göran Sjöberg

      Stephen

      To me this is all about the so called metabolic syndrome with high BP, overweight, diabetes, heart failure etc. which actually translates to one single figure – insulin resistance which reads high blood sugar together with high insulin levels in your blood.

      Here is where Low Carb makes wonder. My wife with serious diabetes T2, myself with severe heart problems are today ‘swell’ on a strict low carb regime for six years now. (Miss my sweet cakes of course but seek some comfort in good malt whisky from Scotland.) School book values on everything you may care to measure, weight just perfect, blood pressures at rest 110/60 constantly for both of us, blood sugar values around 5 etc. and on top no medication whatever.

      Might work for some other people as well.

      Reply
  20. Sue Richardson

    Thanks Mary and Robert – more helpful comments. Carol, I too can’t understand why you are on BP lowering meds if your BP is 135/80. Even the mad scientists at Big Pharma would accept that as below average wouldn’t they? I found Dr K’s articles on blood pressure in thincs.org very helpful. Add them to your reading list.

    Reply
    1. Carol

      Hi, its 135/80 before I take my meds in the morning. Goes down to 117/77 during the day. I have lost a lot of weight since going on them and do mostly low carbs now.

      Reply
  21. Stephen Town

    Hello David Bailey, it was easy to attribute my rapid health benefits to going low carb because it was the only change I made. It was quite a departure for me after being a disciplined follower of Government advice on the low fat diet. It wasn’t something I’d ever investigated and I made the mistake of thinking the Government had a sound basis for its advice.

    My diet changed quite radically overnight away from low fat. I now avoid any added sugar and most carbs. I suddenly began eating butter, cream, cheese, eggs and more fish. I’m a sceptic but I really am surprised by the positive changes in energy and general health. I’ve found quite strong links online between low fat and anxiety and depression. I can’t prove it but I do think long-term adherence to the low fat diet is denying the brain essential nutrients and causing serious problems. I now wonder how much anxiety and related problems are caused by the low-fat diet.

    When I look at the levels of obesity and diabetes I do think it’s a real pity that dietary advice is so conflicting and discredited. It’s something we need to get right. Advice should be free of dogma and vested interest. I won’t hold my breath waiting for that.

    It’s interesting that a century ago type 2 diabetes was called ‘Carbohydrate intolerance’ and successfully treated by a low carb diet. We’ve gone badly backwards. All carbohydrates quickly turn into glucose inside the body, so I was utterly baffled when a friend with type 2 showed me his diet sheet recommending a diet high in carbs. So, the NHS advice to someone who can’t deal with carbs is to eat carbs! Utterly mad. There are some very angry diabetics out there who have followed this advice and got worse and worse (see the diabetes warrior online). If I was type 2 I would eat an extremely low carb diet.

    There’s no doubt that the low carb advocates, including Tim Noakes, Zoe Harcombe, Aseem Malhotra and Nina Teicholtz, do think saturated fat is good for us. I tend to think they’re right and if you ditch carbs a higher fat diet is almost inevitable. It now holds no fears for me.

    Thank you Bob on the drinks advice. I don’t have to watch my beer intake any more because I really can’t drink more than one pint or bottle since I changed my diet. It’s a baffling change. I can only assume that I’m full. I’m in Ireland next week and my Irish friends won’t believe it. Guinness sales will plummet!

    Reply
  22. Stephen Town

    Goran, interesting thoughts. I’m glad the low carb way is working for you and your wife. Hasn’t Sweden abandoned the low-fat diet? I think the English speaking world adopted Keys’ theory more than some of European neighbours. The French, typically, seem to have taken no notice.

    The metabolic syndrome theory might explain why I think my blood pressure has dropped since I went low carb/higher fat. I haven’t got a new reading but I feel more relaxed and I’m confident my figure has gone down. If so, it will certainly justify my refusal to take BP drugs.

    I find it genuinely shocking that the NHS, and other country’s health-care systems, still recommend eating a high carb diet. It’s like telling an alcoholic to drink whisky. I’d love to ask them why they continue in this way? What’s the logic? Just fat phobia?

    Reply

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