You’re killing my patients (again)

Some of you may remember that the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) ran two programs in 2013 about saturated fat and statins. The messages were that saturated fat does not cause heart disease, and statins have more side effects than were reported in the trials, and could do more harm than good in patients at low risk of heart disease.

Massive outrage ensued, at least in Australia, a faraway country of which we know little. However, the battle is important for us all. For it is about crushing free speech and stomping on any criticism of medical ‘experts.’ Which is a very dangerous thing indeed.

After internal investigation, ABC pulled both programs and apologized profusely. Even though they could find nothing wrong with the programme on saturated fat, and only one of seventeen objections was upheld. And this objection was, in my opinion, a relatively minor issue (see a previous blog on the matter).

Just to refresh your memory. Here is the only point in which the programs were felt to have misrepresented the facts, followed by my comment at the time.

‘The program’s treatment of use of statins in secondary prevention focused solely on mortality benefits in a way that reinforced the view that statins were overprescribed and their benefits exaggerated. The principal relevant perspective that statins have wider benefits for this group was not properly presented. This perspective was necessary to a fair understanding of the pros and cons of statin use in this group.’

My Comment: [Turning this into English. What the committee believe they found was that the second Catalyst program ‘Cholesterol drug war’ did not mention that statins have benefits on non-fatal outcomes e.g. non-fatal heart attack, and non-fatal stroke. By failing to emphasize this point it was judged that the program gave a misleading perspective on the overall benefits of statins (in secondary prevention).]

However, all of this was represented as follows:

ABC takes down Catalyst heart disease episodes after review criticism Controversial TV program on cholesterol-lowering statins found to have breached editorial standards.

‘Two episodes of the TV science program Catalyst will be removed from the ABC’s website after an internal review found the program had breached editorial standards on impartiality.

The controversial Catalyst program on statins and heart disease, The Heart of the Matter, was attacked by health experts even before it aired last year.

The presenter of ABC radio’s Health Report, Norman Swan, warned “people will die” as a result of the TV program’s messages about heart medications.

Swan, whose criticism of the program has been vindicated by the independent Audience and Consumer Affairs Unit report, had said the program made him “really angry” because it might affect Indigenous Australians, who are especially likely to suffer from high cholesterol.’ {P.S. Norman, indigenous Australians have lower cholesterol levels than the surrounding population}.

If this was all you had heard about the matter you would assume that ABC had done a very shoddy job, with sloppy and potentially dangerous reporting. Yet all of this ‘howling villagers with pitchforks’ attack was based on a single issue. It should be emphasised that, at no point did the programs suggest that anyone should stop taking a statin, or that statins should not be used in high risk patients.

But the vicious attacks did not stop here, oh no. Now we have a paper in the Medical Journal of Australia, reported yesterday, as follows:

Today, researchers from the University of Sydney and the Australian National University report on the impact of another Catalyst program. In October 2013, Catalyst broadcast a segment highly critical of statins, a class of drug used for lowering cholesterol.

The program questioned the link between cholesterol and heart disease, and suggested the benefit of statins in preventing cardiovascular disease was exaggerated.

There was extensive criticism of the program, including from the ABC’s own Norman Swan and the ABC later removed the episodes from the Catalyst website after an internal review found that the episodes had breached its impartiality standards.

The new report in the Medical Journal of Australia used Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme data of 191,000 people and found an immediate fall of some half a million fewer statins dispensed to patients in the eight months following the Catalyst broadcasts.

The authors wrote:

This translated to an estimated 60,897 fewer people taking statins over the eight months examined. If patients continue to avoid statins over the next five years, this could result in between 1,522 and 2,900 preventable, and potentially fatal, heart attacks and strokes.

One of the study authors, Associate Professor Sallie Pearson, Scientific Director of the Centre of Research Excellence in Medicines and Ageing at the University of Sydney, said:

What is particularly concerning is that this drop in use was seen in people who were at high risk of cardiovascular disease – for example, those who were also taking medications for diabetes. Heart attacks and strokes are the main killers of people with diabetes.

Statins are recommended for people at high risk of cardiovascular disease because they have been shown to be effective. Like all medications, they have risks and benefits and should only be used as recommended.

The study authors wrote:

Even though the observed effect was relatively small, the prevalence of statin use in Australia and their established efficacy means that a large number of people are affected, and may suffer unnecessary consequences.

Why would anyone have done such a study? The only possible reason is that it was a deliberate effort to destroy any possibility of anyone ever criticising statins again? The whole thing is appalling and disgraceful.

At no point (to restate this yet again,) did the programs suggest people at high risk (secondary prevention) of heart disease stop taking statins. Yet, as you can see, the main attacked focussed on the fact that there was a reduction in people taking statin, in those at high risk of heart disease. What nonsense. Yesterday I wrote the following in a comment on an Australian website ‘The Conversation.’1

Here is the kind of delicious irony we should all enjoy. To quote Sallie Pearson, one of the study authors. ‘What is particularly concerning is that this drop in use was seen in people who were at high risk of cardiovascular disease – for example, those who were also taking medications for diabetes.’

Oh my God, people with diabetes are giving up statins. Well, as statins increase the risk of diabetes by 46%* then it would not be surprising to find a significant number of people with diabetes giving up statins. After all, it would have been, in many cases, the statins that gave them the diabetes in the first place. So, giving up the statins would probably have ‘cured’ their diabetes. And as we all know, to quote Sallie Pearson again…’Heart attacks and strokes are the main killers of people with diabetes.’ Yes, indeed.

Pursue this line of argument for too long and madness shall surely follow.

*The use of statin treatment could increase risk of type 2 diabetes by 46%, as a result of decreases in insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion, according to researchers from the Institute of Clinical Medicine in University of Eastern Finland.

P.S. When it comes to statins, 75% stop taking them in the first year anyway. So the Catalyst programme would have been but a drop in a very large ocean.

P.P.S. As you will see, most people stop taking statins due to adverse drug effects which, according to the programmes critics, do not really exist.


106 thoughts on “You’re killing my patients (again)

  1. Jennifer

    Send ’em round my ‘ouse! I will put them straight….
    I will show them the absolutely brilliant results of eliminating statins, (and other toxins), with the consequential reversal of Type 2 diabetes.
    But that would be too easy for them, wouldn’t it?
    Don ‘t let the real facts get in the way of a lucrative living.

      1. Jennifer

        2 years ago, at 65 years of age and with a ‘commendable cholesterol’ reading of 3.4 (after many years of high doses of statins), believe me, I really did feel almost dead!
        Stopped the lot against advice, and have lived life to the full ever since.

    1. Jennifer

      Someone has down-thumbed me.
      Obviously another non-believer in the ‘facts before their very eyes’ brigade.
      Just as ‘researchers’ who deign my story as purely anecdotal and of no value to the discussion; but hopefully in the minority on this blog, because such poo-pooing of true stories has landed us where we are i.e.facing an up hill struggle against the statinators.

  2. 005lesfrenes

    Dear Dr. Kendrick
    I admire your persistence in the search for truth. Thank you.
    I am very puzzled by the stubborn insistence by researchers, academics, doctor “specialists” and general practitioners on supporting false research results and harmful treatment options, not just regarding the use of statins but also the use of Proton Pump Inhibitors and Thryroxine (T4) to name two other controversial medicines. What is it about these professionals’ integrity when the evidence points in the opposite direction to what they claim these medicines do. How is it that they do not care about the side effects and long term outcomes of their use? How is it that they narrowly follow “accepted” protocols without listening to the patient’s description of her or his symptoms, and looking for a systemic approach that takes account of digestion, for example. How is it that they really understand so little about the whole body as an integrated system? How is it that they close their mind to so much research, from the past twenty years in particular, that points to a different understanding of how and why these illnesses occur, and the new ways of treating them, e.g. with Functional Medicine, which includes meditation and addressing emotional factors. In the case of Hypothyroidism, the evidence for the efficacy of glandular extracts has been known for 170 years (or thereabouts), but is this too much of an “old world” solution, whereas the “new world” is all about manufactured drugs? Can it really be all about big pharma ruling the roost? Are so many doctors and researchers really being persuaded by the pharmaceutical companies, by being given free coffee mugs, free pens, nice free days off work at conferences in posh hotels? The psychiatrists where I worked were always going off to such events, coming back with pens with names of drug manufacturers on them, and then prescribing those meds to those unfortunate young people with ADHD, for example, instead of giving those youngsters the space to talk about what was really ailing them (very often a lack of space to be heard, mainly within the family, but that’s another story, the overmedication of children and young people).
    My own GP treats me as if I am an enemy when I dare to tackle the issue of TSH as being the gold standard for understanding the thyroid. Her student assistant told me they had a one hour lecture at university on the thyroid. One hour! She and the GP had never heard of Reverse T3. This 23 year old student asked me if maybe I needed antidepressants. Hopeless. Being taught rubbish. Why?

    1. David Bailey

      Just concentrating on the research level, I feel that similar problems have invaded a whole swathe of scientific endeavours – making science part of the problem, rather than part of the solution!

      Politicians have turned science into something more like an industry – supposedly to make it more efficient and responsive to public needs – but this is pushing it to destruction. People are encouraged to come up with sweeping generalisations – such as saturated fat is bad for you, or that CO2 is producing dangerous warming of the earth, or that high blood cholesterol is dangerous – based on clearly ambiguous evidence simply for career advancement. Once an idea is in place, there is enormous reluctance to reverse it, whatever the evidence, not least because by then someone will have made an industry (and a lot of money) out of the idea – not even caring if the idea is really true!

      Even though I am a software developer, I think science has also become too dependant on computers. Researchers who handle data they have not personally collected, may not be that aware of shortcomings of the raw data itself (for example, that most of the thermometers used to collect global warming data are not sufficiently accurate to resolve the supposed changes observed). The researcher may then use a program that he hasn’t written or fully understood to process the data he didn’t collect!

      Computers have also made it much easier to detect supposed small effects (I say supposed because they may be pure artefacts). No sensible person wants to take a drug for the rest of their lives, that will only benefit 1% of the people who take it. But drugs such as statins get used in exactly that way. Before computers, when processing large amounts of data required too much effort, I imagine a 1% gain was just not worth bothering about – now the calculation is done at the flick of one finger!

      After all this, some researchers seem to have become accustomed to inventing all sorts of adjustments to their data/results to force them to agree with prior assumptions! You should read Dr Kendrick’s “Doctoring Data” for examples of that. I think it would help a lot if all such studies started with a statement of what adjustments were intended to be applied to the data – before it is collected. That might concentrate minds as to whether the study is even worth doing, or whether its results can be so manipulated that it can’t tell us anything useful.

    2. Tom Welsh

      “Hopeless. Being taught rubbish. Why?”

      As Tom Naughton reiterates in his excellent video “Fat Head”…

  3. Professor Göran Sjöberg

    What a sad corrupt world we are living in!

    Why couldn’t I stay in sunday school all my life instead of turning dystopic like this?

    And do anyone believe that there finally be a turnaround at the edge of the cliff?

    1. Flyinthesky

      Goran, I have the same problem. Why could I not be one of those who accepted the wisdoms and doctrines of experts, it’s easier by far.
      The thing is once you learn, you cannot unlearn and the more you look the more you find, it becomes exponential.
      The ideal situation would be that the corporates, big pharma’ being only one, should serve the world, the reality is they run it. It all works the same.

      On the cliff analogy, it will be safely fenced off and you’ll be pointed at another. No cliff, no fear, no fear, no power. They find or invent a tall step downwards and present it as a precipice.

      1. mikecawdery

        Why could I not be one of those who accepted the wisdoms and doctrines of experts, it’s easier by far.
        That, unfortunately, is why the errors in medicine (and in other disciplines) occur; and the “errors” are then upheld by the “experts”, vide.Helicobacter pylori, 6 weeks strict bedrest, bleeding, etc, etc. It has and will continue because their status is more important to them than lives!

    2. dan jensen

      Maybe I don’t quite understand your comparison. Sunday school? You wished you could have stayed there? That’s where children are taught to believe wholeheartedly in nonsense and to forego the application of critical thinking skills. Perhaps that was your point and your comment was intended to be taken as sarcasm.

      1. Sue Richardson

        Unfortunately, the Sunday School comparison falls into the trap of tarring all SS teachers with the same brush. I was one once, and I’m still in possession of my critical thinking skills. I wouldn’t be following this blog if I wasn’t. There is nonsense and nonsense.

  4. David Salter

    The study has predicted an increase in fatality from heart attacks and strokes due to less people taking statins, and those of us who posses a functioning brain know that is not going to happen, so, we plot the data over the next few years to show that it did not happen. Maybe heart attack and stroke fatalities will actually start to decrease as more people realise what a load of baloney they have been fed by the entire medical establishment, and start making healthier life choices under their own initiative.

    1. David Bailey

      Ah but will they manage to adjust the data to allow for:

      1) Some of the people who came off statins, felt so guilty that they exercised and ate a more healthy diet!

      2) Some arbitrary adjustment to allow for the fact that heart disease is decreasing overall – so no change would become a small increase!

      3) An adjustment based on the arbitrary hypothesis that those who stopped taking statins were likely to have side effects, and maybe those with side effects were likely to be the ones that didn’t need the statins in the first place! (I have read a suggestion that statins create more muscle trouble in those who exercise).

      4) Another arbitrary hypothesis suggesting that what has really happened is that people who were getting their statin prescriptions, but never using them, are the ones that have since renounced their statins publicly – so statins are doing almost as much ‘useful’ work as before.

      5) An adjustment for the fact that we are all eating more garlic!

      Alternatively, maybe they will just present the data in an obscure format in a paper entitled, “Evidence of many lives lost due to statin panic”

      They have managed to fool most people that global warming is happening, when in fact there has been none for about 18 years – even telling everyone what damage it has done over that time!

      I have become utterly cynical about the ‘scientific’ process.

      1. chris c

        Along the same lines, I wonder if the increasing numbers of people lowcarbing and otherwise rejecting current dietary dogma will lead to decreases in the current “epidemics” of obesity, diabetes and CVD – which will then be taken as “proof” that low fat diets are finally succeeding . . .

  5. Sue Waddle

    Thank you for your insights once more. I am trying to spread the word on statins and recommending your book and blog wherever I can. We need more critical thinkers – especially amongst doctors!!

  6. Doug Allitt

    I have watched a family member fall into the evil arms of dementia through the taking of statins. Why would any doctor bother prescribing a man in his 80’s statin drugs to lower cholesterol? It boggles the mind!

    1. Angela Staniford

      Or my 92 year old Aunty who had a minor stroke which had no lasting negative affect. She had resisted medication all her life but her doctor said she HAD to take statins now.

      1. Doug Allitt

        Hi Angela – perhaps the doc had a car payment due? No! did I say that. They are rumoured to get a kickback for prescribing the product. Done on a points or volume scale.

      2. Dr Paul Travis

        OMG! That’s appalling, and malpractice in my opinion. As a GP, the local hospital doctors used to write letters to me having seen my patients for follow up in the outpatient clinic following their mild stroke or TIA, “We were disappointed that you declined to prescribe a statin for this 95 year old stroke victim. We have issued a prescription for *****statin today and strongly recommend this be continued indefinitely.” That was me told then. Bollocks!

  7. SJ

    What a coincidence! I was only just this second reading the report – and then you pop up in my inbox!

    I’ve always had this, probably very cynical, perspective that the reasons Big Pharma is shit-scared of the Truth emerging is because, not only would it lose the revenue from the statins themselves, but from all the ‘bonuses’ (to BP obviously) – metformin, PPIs, drugs for GORD, anti-inflammatories, dementia, etc. – it’d be killing the whole cash cow herd!

    How soon before statins become mandatory…? That thought terrifies me; you’ll say there’s no way of it being enforced, but it’ll happen – The Ischaemic Heart Disease Prevention Act, or perhaps they won’t be so blatant – The Geriatric Longevity Act…?

    I’m trying desperately hard not to allow this to become a rant, but it’s awfully difficult – I don’t just see this as the public being lied to, it’s more a case of (and yeah you may very well say I’m a tinfoil-hatted nutter) deliberately poisoning – or even killing – people for profit, because I don’t see how Big Pharma can’t know it’s making money peddling a lie. This should be the biggest scandal in the history of modern medicine, and the fact that it isn’t should be a scandal in itself. It’s the perfect crime; side-effects (sorry, ‘serious adverse health events’) can be played down, and any patient presenting with any can be simply waved away with “That’s just what happens when you get older…”. It’s the perfect crime, because surely it’s impossible to tell whether the fact that someone died from ‘diabetic liver failure’, as my dad’s best mate did, was due to statins, or just coincidence…? He’d have dismissed all the SAHEs as old age.

    People have been brainwashed into accepting a nutritionally-poor diet as healthy from birth so by the time you’re fifty, of course you’re showing signs of IHD.

    The big question is, of course, what is to be done about it…? Why’s it taking so long for the truth to be heard…? Perhaps those who know the truth aren’t yelling loud enough – and/or for long enough…?

    I’m too tired – and too miserable – to write any more – my own situation is in no danger of improving.

    1. Dr Paul Travis

      Big Pharma, Monsanto, tobacco and food manufacturers…. Powerful organisations backed by powerful lawyers.

    2. Sue Richardson

      SJ. It certainly is enough to make you miserable. Carry on reading this blog – it will cheer you up because Dr K and people here not only care but are doing what they can by telling others about what is said. I’ve just given my Doctoring Data to my son who is going to pass it on to a work friend. Stand firm when you go to the docs and give him a copy of The Great Cholesterol Con. sometimes change can come not by shouting loud but by sheer perseverance – and Dr K et al have shed loads of that. It may well take a while, but a bucket can be filled by just a drop of water a day, and stones can be worn smooth by the gentle lapping of the sea.

  8. John

    Quote “The use of statin treatment could increase risk of type 2 diabetes by 46%,”
    This was an observational study and quoting their totally misleading 46% is somewhat misleading if not a little self serving ??

    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      And how do you think we are ever going to establish the true prevalence of adverse effects from statins other than through observational studies? No-one is ever going to do a double blind placebo controlled study on statins, ever again? Of course the study in the AMJ was tightly controlled and not only that, went on to measure outcomes…..(oh, maybe not). Perhaps you think statins don’t cause diabetes. A fact which was, in fact, established in several controlled clinical studies. As to the exact increase in risk. This can be debated, but the real life use of statins is always going to cause more adverse effects than picked in the trials. Maybe smoking doesn’t cause lung cancer either? A fact that was only established through observational studies.

      1. BobM

        Normally, I agree with everything you say. In terms of epidemiological (epi) studies, though, these types of studies I find are of limited use. As you know, HRT (hormone replacement therapy) was initially “proven” via epi evidence, then later completely debunked via RCTs (randomized, controlled trials). I always consider epi evidence to be of questionable and even no value. (Anything from the Harvard School of Epi is basically wrong, for instance.)

        Smoking was a special case, as the evidence was fairly overwhelming. Your chance of getting lung cancer if you don’t smoke is near zero; if you do smoke, it’s hundreds (thousands?) of times higher.

        On the other hand, sometimes epi evidence is all we have. I’ve reached the conclusion that insulin resistance basically causes people to gain weight, causes heart failure, and causes heart disease. But the vast majority of evidence indicating this is true is epi evidence, so I can’t prove these are true. Regardless, it’s probably not possible to do RCTs to prove or disprove these theories.

        In my mind, epi evidence has some relevance; I’m just not sure of the weight to attach to it. If it supports my theories, I attach a lot of weight to it; and if it does not, it’s worthless. 😉

      2. vjadams2014

        I understand your argument, and certainly my blood sugar level rose after I took statins – I don’t know how high it is since I stopped, but there was certainly no concern on the part of the hospital recently when it was checked prior to an orthopaedic operation (anecdotal, I know and not evidence!) – but I thought that we weren’t meant to be over-persuaded by observational studies or relative risk…you see, I have been paying attention!

        Yesterday’s paper announced an independent enquiry into the effectiveness of various drugs – i wonder how independent it will be. I hope you get the opportunity to present your arguments – and that you are listened to.

    2. mikecawdery

      An awful lot of the pro-statin studies are observational too! And what about studies like the HPS selected statin tolerant patients and excluded those that were intolerant (numbers never given) and “non-compliant” (why?) amounting to about two thirds of the original set.

      When the study was complete there were very few adverse reactions (the selection process was proven to be VERY effective; but this level of adverse reactions was then extrapolated to ALL, even the those who were excluded on the grounds of intolerance, Now that really takes some beating for fudge and disinformation…

  9. drtombaldwin

    Great column, Dr. Kendrick!! As a Biological Dentist and Nutritionist, I sense your frustration! Let’s keep fighting the battle together! Dr. Tom Baldwin 31028 Waterthrush Lane Ocean View, DE 4103266690

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID

    “Dr. Malcolm Kendrick” wrote:

    > a:hover { color: red; } a { text-decoration: none; color: #0088cc; } a.primaryactionlink:link, a.primaryactionlink:visited { background-color: #2585B2; color: #fff; } a.primaryactionlink:hover, a.primaryactionlink:active { background-color: #11729E !important; color: #fff !important; } /* @media only screen and (max-device-width: 480px) { .post { min-width: 700px !important; } } */ Dr. Malcolm Kendrick posted: “Some of you may remember that the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) ran two programs in 2013 about saturated fat and statins. The messages were that saturated fat does not cause heart disease, and statins have more side effects than were reported “

  10. Jeff

    Living in Australia I have found it pretty incredible the massive mainstream media backlash against the Catalyst episode.
    Hard to avoid the conclusion the program upset some powerful commercial interests.
    It seems like once a week the news bulletins have a story about how a new drug (costing hundreds of thousands per treatment) should be approved and funded by the government.
    They just present one case history demonstrating how life saving the drug is, with virtually no other scientific trial data.
    A totally one sided view in my opinion.
    I think the media companies have a commercial interest in these drug issues.

    1. paulineleatham

      Yes I live in Australia,and I watched the news last night and all I can say is all the dr’s are brainwashed with all the drug companies.The local GP’s give you a blood test and if your lipids are a little high sure enough they write out a script immediatly with Statins.But I guess with all the other drugs for diabetes and high blood pressure it’s the same.Why don’t they study as to why we get these problems.I’m so glad I am going out of this world and not just arriving.In todays world they have used so many chemicals in our chain of foods it’s quite frightening.Why can’t they leave our food alone ,all our bodies have toxins from as to what we eat.WAKE UP EVERYONE,especially for our children’s future.

    2. maryl@2015

      Jeff, may be it is just the pressure put upon them. Just think if someone threatened your livelihood by trying to out you as a liar!! Catalyst actually took a lot of information from Statin Nation I. It is not like they were the first to make these bold assertions. “Overfed and Undernourished” presented some very sobering statistics on childhood and adult obesity and related illnesses. How could you say that statins were doing what they are purported to do when these life threatening illnesses are still on the rise after more than 20 years of cholesterol lowering that has not made an impact! To the precise contrary, it has appeared to exacerbate the very illnesses it is supposed to eradicate. The proof is evident worldwide!! By the way, my son just graduated from college. He has moved to another state and taken a job as a software engineer for General Motors. He is very bright, is a computer programmer and minored in math. As a young man, he was on his way to diabetes, heart problems, and the like since his own father had a first heart attack at 31. I could not get him to eat properly (my fault too as he dad and he were so close, he allowed him to eat whatever he wanted) and gave up. One day when he was about 12, I looked at him and thought…I am going to lose this child. He will be bullied more than he is now, will have no self esteem, and the list of horrors I saw in his future went on. I enrolled him in a health and nutrition camp. I felt awful about leaving him there, but he was overweight, did not like all the sports we tried to involve him in and loved computers and carbs way too much. Actually he was just about one of the least heavy of all the kids I saw at registration. When that young man stepped off that airplane, he had lost 30 lbs., was so handsome, held his head up high and completely changed his mentality about food, exercise, reading labels, and cooking. He kind of had a swagger, too! He actually learned how to cook! For the first time, he ate vegetables and fruits. As he has grown, he has understood low fat is not all it is cracked up to be, but the point is that he has always kept that weight down and continues to learn what healthy really is. You see, only one short year later, his dad died of a heart attack. Parents have to intervene for our children. They are the future, so it starts with each of us and the world around!!! I guess it does take a village!!! I have to say though that although I am going to miss him so much, the task of motherhood is to work yourself out of a job. He is going to do great things, I am sure of it!!!

      1. Sue Richardson

        You are a good Mum. If you had left it until he was a tiny bit older you would have lost that opportunity – a fully fledged teenager knows better than mum, of course. You were just in time. Having three sons of my own I can just imagine how you must have felt when he returned.

        1. maryl@2015

          Sue thanks, I just saw this. So busy with mom these days. He started his first real job. A friend who also works with GM peeked in on him and he showed early, suit and tie on, and was ready to get to work. He is far away now and my heart grieves. I always knew the task of motherhood was too work yourself out of a job…but it sure is difficult to let go. Thanks for your kind remarks. He is to be sure, a wonderful man who will be a great parent.

  11. sweetheart61

    Sad to say, there is generally a HUGE backlash in Oz against anyone who does not toe the line with respect to big pharma and medical establishment orthodoxy. You should see what comes out of the woodwork if you voice any negativity about vaccination. It is aggressive in the extreme.

    Their blind, unthinking belief in the Great God Science is shocking. Especially with folks in the 20s – 40s age group, for some reason. There is no realisation at all that, whether or not the principle may be valid, the practice oftentimes is not – because of lies and greed and suppression of research. They seem to think that if it is ‘science’, then it is right and true. ’Scientism’ is like a new, feral religion – complete with violently aggressive fanatics. I find it both frightening and very sad.

    This is not the Australia that I grew up in and, quite honestly, I am horrified by the level of aggression. Very glad I don’t live there anymore.


    1. Sue Richardson

      Do you happen to know if it’s the same there? I’m not making the mistake I once did of assuming NZ was just a hop away from OZ, but you are both in the vicinity as it were. My interest is because One of my sons lives there.

      1. Sue Richardson

        Sorry, I just realised I edited my comment before I posted it and it isn’t clear now. I can’t work out if it’s possible to edit once posted. I meant to say is it the same in New Zealand.

  12. Stephen Town

    It’s interesting and encouraging that 25% of people prescribed statins stop taking them after a month and 75% stop in the first year. Side effects being by far the biggest reason for stopping. The wisdom of crowds in action. The drug companies must find it very frustrating and perhaps this explains their over reaction to Catalyst’s excellent documentaries. ABC’s behaviour is spineless.

    I can’t help wondering why the statin manufacturers haven’t been sued in the U.S.? Maybe they settle before it gets to court to avoid a verdict against them.

  13. Janet Beach

    The best thing, healthwise, that I ever did was to stop taking the statins. They were prescribed by a locum GP along with low dose aspirin even though I hadn’t had a blood test so he couldn’t have known what my lipid profile was. I took them for years like a good girl (Aah) even though after a few weeks my tennis racquet would spin in my hand because my hands had become so weak. Fortunately for me I happened to read Dr. john Briffa’s comments in the Observer about the importance of coenzyme Q10 and after a while that problem was resolved – sadly it didn’t improve my tennis.
    Almost a couple of years ago I completely forgot to take the beastly things for about a week. It occurred to me that I was sleeping better. Why? Because I wasn’t leaping out of bed six times a night with cramp in my feet and ankles. I started it again. The cramp came back. I stopped again. The cramp disappeared. I did that three times in all and then decided to wean myself off them. After a while the depression I didn’t realise I had lifted and I felt so cheerful. I felt stronger, better in every way. I cut out most carbs, replaced porridge with eggs for breakfast, pigged out on walnuts, cheese, berries and lost quite a bit of weight – not that I was overweight at all. Now I’m lean and fit and almost 73 years old. Perhaps the best news of all was that my HBa1c had plummeted.
    My diabetic nurse still has the horrors about my diet and my lipids, but with an HDL of 3.4 and Triglicerides of
    0.6 I reckon I’m fine.
    Thank you, Dr. Kendrick, Dr. Briffa, Stephen Sinatra and all the others whose guidance has helped me so much. Long may you all flourish.

    1. Stephen Town

      I wonder how long it will be before someone can walk into a surgery and get sensible advice from a nutritionist or diabetes nurse. The ‘advice’ doled out to diabetics is particularly egregious. “Your body can’t deal with carbohydrates? Well, eat plenty of carbohydrates and take insulin.” It’s breathtakingly dumb.

      I heard a talk last night by Tom Naughton who said he’d been talking to a nutritionist who admitted that the low fat diet was nonsense but the ‘profession’ were too scared to admit that they’d been giving the wrong advice for thirty years and feared being sued en-masse. I think many of them simply don’t think beyond the official advice but some must know.

      Janet, see if you can persuade your diabetic nurse to read the article I’ve attached. It’s exactly what people in her job should be reading. The paper is called ‘Dietary carbohydrate restriction as the first approach in diabetes management: Critical review and evidence base’. If she’s unwilling to read an article there’s a short (15 minutes) but excellent talk by Wendy Pogozelski on YouTube. She’s a professor of Biochemistry and a Type 1 diabetic. She was successfully managing her condition with a low carb diet until she was forced to see the dietician. I think the talk’s significant because I don’t see how a dietician or nurse with a brain can dismiss a professor of Biochemistry who’s clearly knows her stuff.

  14. mikecawdery

    Dr Kendrick,

    Once again we are all in debt to you for drawing our attention to the BS that the “medical establishment” is prone to promote to help sale of Big Pharma drugs.

    The report itself seems more concerned about proving the the TV programme resulted in a drop in prescriptions and use of statins. Given the context and content of the programme it would be disastrous had it not done so. Anyone with two little grey cells to apply to the subject would probably have stopped.

    I always find that the references used give a good indication of the value and bias of a study. There is clear bias in the list – numbers are approximately as. follows:

    1. Official “guidelines” and similar 4-5
    2. Official statistics on drug SALES 4-5
    3. Technical from CTT. 3-4 always biased!
    4. Other technical 2-3
    5. Alternate studies and reviews ZERO

    The studies that show that there are serious problems with adverse reactions, diabetes, neurological problems muscle problems are conspicuous by their absence.

    I pity the poor Australians and I have relatives and friends out there.

  15. dearieme

    Given the many horrors of the American legal system, its ambulance-chasing lawyers, its absurdly overblown penalties, and its often laughable judges, it’s a great mystery to me that medical and pharmaceutical people aren’t paying out huge damages for prescribing and pushing statins, embellished by a few jail sentences. What can the explanation be?

    1. Stephen Town

      I find that difficult to understand too. Why haven’t they been sued or do they settle before it gets to court?

      1. mikecawdery

        They settle out of court. I understand that there is a law in the US that prevents companies selling to Medicare and Medicaid for a period if they have been convicted of a crime. Imagine the mayhem that would follow if a major company was actually convicted.

        The result is effectively that Big Pharma is above the law. There is even a law that protects vaccine companies from being sued – instead there is a Government setup that pays for vaccine injuries using tax-payer money – not companies!

  16. Tom Welsh

    There is a slight contradiction here. On the one hand, the programmes were pulled because, supposedly, “…statins have benefits on non-fatal outcomes e.g. non-fatal heart attack, and non-fatal stroke”. That was the ONLY fault that was found with either programme.

    On the other hand, ‘The presenter of ABC radio’s Health Report, Norman Swan, warned “people will die” as a result of the TV program’s messages about heart medications’.

    How can people die as a result of a (supposed) slight omission relating to non-fatal outcomes?

  17. Merrilie Cameron

    Those two Australian Catalyst programmes were extremely interesting and they can still be viewed on Youtube. Well done Dr. Kendrick for your persistance. It must feel like one step forward and two back at times! I am amazed at the way so many intelligent people and Doctors are totally hooked by the drug company’s propaganda and just don’t want to know when sent information to read about the truth! I frequently have a battle with my GPs about statins, which I just refuse to take. Lets hope that one day soon the world will come to its senses. The sooner the better.

  18. Joan

    I accidentally clicked thumbs down on Jennifer (first comment) . Sorry, obviously the opposite of what I meant. Could not reverse like on Facebook??

    1. Jennifer

      Joan, I am so pleased about that! I am glad that you meant to agree with my comment, and thankyou.
      But, you know, I have come up against folks who do not acknowledge how my transformation has occured, and look for other reasons to account for my wellbeing; my GP, the diabetic nurse, and even the endocrinologist have just said….just get on with it then, whatever you are doing…..but never admitting that the numerous medications, combined with their bonkers nutritional advice, could possibly have been the cause of my growing health problems.
      Dr Kendrick’s books and blogs are to be commended for the straight thinking and excellent messages which are helping us to achieve improvements in our health, with the understandable ‘ how and why’.
      Shame that more professionals won’t admit the truth.

  19. Leigh Gold

    To change the subject (slightly), and to coin new medical terminology, do you ever suffer from Dextral Auricular Inflammans Dr. Kendrick? If other bloggers spread the word as often as I do, your right ear must be burning something awful. Hopefully your ‘army’ of followers will help turn the tide of Stalinist statinists. Unless, of course, Big Pharma gets wind of Dextral Auricular Inflammans, and produces another ‘wonder’ cure……

  20. Tom Welsh

    Hi Dr Kendrick – I am slightly surprised to see that my comment, submitted 10 hours ago, is still awaiting moderation while 12 other comments are posted. I can’t see anything objectionable in my comment – unless maybe I wrote something bad in a previous comment and I’m now a marked man. Please let me know if I have infringed any standards, as I don’t wish to cause offence.

      1. Stephen Town

        I’m sure I speak for all the group on here when I offer my condolences to your family and best wishes to your son. I think we can sort ourselves out for a while until you have more time.

  21. angelcove

    Now I have my own blog, I can follow you more readily, and even comment at last! Yay!

    First off, you are brilliant. I really enjoy reading your blog, because I get to learn medical and biological topics from someone who has clearly been doing the studying, and the analysis. Please keep it going, because I am certain there are a great many of us in the same position.

    I remember when the programmes came out, and this whole curfuffle that engulfed them. And your efforts to support the lady who had been making the programmes. And now, it is back again…

    But this is what I like most about their paper:

    This translated to an estimated 60,897 fewer people taking statins over the eight months examined. If patients continue to avoid statins over the next five years, this could result in between 1,522 and 2,900 preventable, and potentially fatal, heart attacks and strokes.

    The important part is “could.” In other words, they are theorising, but there is no clear or absolute certainty that there will be that number of deaths. Not only that, but they are associating Statins with stroke prevention. How, pray tell, can that happen? Cholesterol doesn’t cause strokes.

    When people go and deride me for my diet, and speak to me about lowering my cholesterol, I respond with one simple question: ‘what is cholesterol?’ Oh, you’ll get answers like ‘it’s a killer,’ and all of that, but people just cannot tell you what it is. I then tell them it is a transport molecule, helps to line the nerves, and is converted when the skin encounters sunlight into vitamin D. (D3 if I recall correctly.)

    Again, if people say saturated fat will clog up my arteries, I just ask them what happens when I put a piece of butter in my mouth. They tell me – correctly – that it will melt. I then point out that it will then go into my stomach, and then my digestive tract. So… if it is going to clog up anything, it would be my stomach and digestion. Because it is there well before it arrives at my arteries… That one is fun, because I’ve seen people think about what I’ve said, and agreed, because it is common sense.

    But this paper… it is desperately trying to link Statins to prevention of Diabetes? That is the clear intent! My, how desperate Big Pharma has become!

    And the million pound question… who funded the paper and research? And for the bonus round… are there any conflicts of interests with the authors?

    Doctor Kendrick, please keep up the excellent work!

  22. maryl@2015

    I just rented a fascinating documentary made in Australia, called “Overfed and Undernourished”. It actually chronicles the life of a young over weight lad who goes to live with his Aunt and Uncle for 90 days. They help him understand the value of real food (including how to grow and cook it), exercise, and outdoor activity. It is remarkable to see the child’s transformation and the struggle he has to learn a whole new way of looking at nutrition and life. Hats off to the Australians for helping the future adults to change their thinking and behavior. It is things we all have talked about on this blog and others, but to see this young man struggle tells a lot about how parents and children have been indoctrinated by the world we live in today.
    Loved it!!!

  23. echonads

    Another Australian here. Regarding indigenous cholesterol levels, on our cholesterol results readout there is a special recommended level for indigenous people that is lower than non indigenous. I am guessing this is so statins can be prescribed at lower levels of total and LDL. Breaks your heart. As if they don’t face enough health problems.

  24. Susanna

    Thank you for this. I live in Australia and work in the health industry. The pressure brought to bear on any dissenting voices here is unrelenting e.g. daring to question the ethics of the War on Obesity is akin to heresy (my research). Too any ivory towers and lauded institutions rule – looking at you Heart Foundation with your ridiculous tucks and dogma. Pity that true science isn’t deemed portent anymore.

    1. 005lesfrenes

      Your post reminds me of working in the NHS in the 80’s and 90’s, and trying to get “obesity clinics” set up to address weight issues from an emotional perspective. I was usually met with disdainful responses by colleagues and managers who thought it was “politically not correct” to intervene, as weight was a “personal choice”. Hah! Thankfully I am retired now, and not having to deal with the madness in the system.

    2. mikecawdery

      Three attempts by the CDC to show that overweight was bad. All showed the reverse.
      There was an Australian report that found the same!
      JAMA. 2005 Apr 20;293(15):1861-7.
      Excess deaths associated with underweight, overweight, and obesity.
      Flegal KM, Graubard BI, Williamson DF, Gail MH.
      Overweights lived longer than normal weights

      JAMA. 2007 Nov 7;298(17):2028-37.
      Cause-specific excess deaths associated with underweight, overweight, and obesity.
      Flegal KM, Graubard BI, Williamson DF, Gail MH
      Overweights lived longer than normal weights

      Flegal KM, et al. Association of All-Cause Mortality With Overweight and Obesity Using Standard Body Mass Index CategoriesA Systematic Review and Meta-analysis JAMA 2013;309(1)
      Overweights lived longer than normal weights

      The Obesity Paradox
      Obesity Paradox #1
      Obesity Paradox #2 — How can it be a disease if it has health benefits?
      Obesity Paradox #3
      Obesity Paradox #4
      Obesity Paradox #9 — Fat on the brain
      Obesity Paradox #13—Take heart
      Obesity Paradox #14-Critical Illness
      Obesity Paradox #15 — No need to stroke out
      Obesity Paradox #16 – Two for One
      Obesity Paradox #17 — Fat and risks for premature babies

  25. Soul

    Interesting times we live in. I’ve been following the debt problems in the EU for awhile. hard to say for sure, but seems Greece is reaching the end of the line in the EU. Possibly, possibly not, other high debt countries in Europe will find similar outcomes eventually. In America the problem while not as serious, can be found in high debt states. Funding seems to be causing frictions between different agencies. I’ve seen a few of articles on how the US military, due to high health care costs, is on its way to becoming a health care department for retires. Less reported but have seen write ups on direct and indirect funds the media receives from the health care industry. I guess a number of media firms have family members working on boards of health companies. When the Andrew Wakefield controversy came up there was a good deal of talk on that.

    There is always that give and take, but it seems with world events more groups have greater interests in improved health for citizens at lower costs. It will be interesting to see how it work out in the end, and how heart health care is approached in the future.

  26. Brian

    Not only do the mainstream media attack people who don’t take statins, Insurance companies are caught up in the scam. My cholesterol is a little too ” high” according to the powers that be in Australia.

    So I have a choice no cover or pay an increased premium that excludes the possibility of coronary problems. When I presented information from this and other websites about high and low cholesterol outcomes, I was laughed at. So not only is medicine and the pharmaceutical industry caught up in this scandal, so is the insurance industry.

    1. Leigh Gold

      Keep getting the prescribed tablets to prove to the insurance companies (via your medical records) that you’re taking the tablets to keep premiums at a reasonable price. Then bin ’em. Gosh, how cynical am I? (Well they started it ! 🙂 )

  27. MaikeC

    Hi Dr. Kendrick, I’ve been lurking around your blog for several months and have also bought and read both of your books. My special thanks for writing “Doctoring Data”. It has confirmed my suspicions over the years – and you did it with such aplomb and humor!

    Now to my reason for writing. With each of your new postings debunking conventional guidelines, I hope to see the same with blood sugar readings. That’s because our US guidelines are all over the place and as with cholesterol they are getting lower and lower. Plus, most studies are based on overweight people with “metabolic syndrome” and visceral fat around the middle. I don’t fit that model .

    I have been slender all my life. Still very active. No physical problems. Eyes ok. Blood pressure around 60/100 w/o meds. However (for at least 20 years or so) my Fasting BS is never under 100 . BS will rise to 160-180 depending on the amount of carbs I consume at the time, but settle down to around 120 usually two hours after a meal. A1C 6-6.2 %. No family history of diabetes. (I’m now 72).

    And remember the cutoff number for diabetes used to be 140 then 126 and now 100. I realize lower/normal blood sugar is better for everyone.

    BTW, when I asked my GP recently he told me to “stop worrying, Metformin wouldn’t help you. You’ve probably been this way most of your life” – a response I found surprising coming from an MD.

    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      The whole blood sugar thing is yet another area of concern to me. As you may be unsurprised to know. As with most areas of ‘preventative’ medicine. Just because a high level of something is associated with an increased risk of, say, CVD. This does not mean the high level is causal, nor that lowering it will do any good – and may do more harm than good. The model of medicine in these areas has gone horribly, catastrophically, wrong.

      1. Dr Liz Stansbridge

        Dr K.,
        I had runaway T2DM. Now I am (may I say heroically), keeping my BG under 7.8 by low carbing.. There is evidence that organ damage occurs above these levels.
        Are you saying I am wasting my time? Shall I eat cake?

        1. Jennifer

          Dr Liz. I have so enjoyed reading the incredible progress you have achieved regarding your health, and I am with you all the way regarding lowcarbing.
          BUT I do eat cake….just a slice a day, and I have adapted recipes to match my needs. Everyone laughs at my chocolate cake, but find it scrumptious.
          Some changes are…..
          1)substitute wheat flour with nut flours.
          2) use 50:50 butter and coconut oil for the fat content.
          3) use 100% raw cacao combined with cocoa powder, rather than cooking chocolate, flavouring it with pure vanilla paste.
          4) and then the magic ingredient……all the raw beetroot fibre left over from when I juice a nice bunch of fresh beetroot.( to which I add fresh ginger and fizzy water)
          5) I do not use any sweeteners other than a small amount of raw honey, if needed ( my indulgence).
          6) and lots of lovely chucky eggs.
          7) a slice served with fresh mandarin segments is very special….full of nutrients, minerals and fibre.
          Now for the downside!(just, maybe)
          I have no way of knowing what it does to my blood glucose levels, because I no longer test …but I have no side effects suggesting raging high glucose levels, no sweating, no blurred vision, no excess urination, no tingly toes….just feeling brilliant in myself.
          As far as I am concerned, I am doing all I can to minimise any risks associated with poor and inappropriate dietary advice dished out over the previous 30-40 years, and steering clear of all medications and health professionals ( except Dr Kendrick and others on this blog).
          I say…no symptoms…no need to bother the GP!
          I must end by saying…..this suits me….it is not for everyone….we all have to find our own solutions.

      2. BobM

        Dr. Stansbridge, I think what he’s saying is true, particularly when it comes to drugs. Just because a drug reduces blood sugar level, does not mean it saves lives (similar to blood pressure medication — they reduce blood pressure, but do they save lives?).

        Personally, I’m of the opinion that insulin resistance is worse than blood sugar level. I’m also of the opinion that insulin resistance causes obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, heart failure, etc. However, all of that is an association (although there are some theories how insulin resistance would actually cause some or all of those maladies).

        I’m insulin resistant and started out with a low carb diet, which helped me lose weight. Because I’m insulin resistant, I lost about 20 pounds (US weight) and got stuck there. To reduce my insulin resistance further, I started eating less protein and started intermittent fasting. I highly recommend this blog and all of his lectures:

        I think he’s correct, although he does tend to use epidemiological evidence to prove his points at times.

        I also believe that lowering blood sugar and insulin level through diet is worthwhile, even if there’s no direct evidence I’ll live longer. I’ve lost over 30 pounds now and feel much better.

      3. OldTech

        I see a big difference between forcibly lowing something that is associated with a disease and ‘naturally’ lowing it. I also think that there are times when it should be forcibly lower if that something is causing direct harm.

        For my blood glucose I am on a ketogenic diet with metformin and that has got me an A1c of 4.5%. For my blood pressure I am taking a low dose ACE Inhibitor to take the edge off of my highs even though I know of no studies that show better outcomes by forcibly lowing blood pressure. Now I generally wake up with BP less that 120/80 (sometimes below 100/70) but during the day I still see reading as high as 150/90. I would really like a natural way, but I have tried all the ones that I know of (weight loss: now 22 BMI, exercise:1 hour cardio daily, keto diet).

        1. Angela Staniford

          Beet root or beet root juice lowers mine by about 20 points and it lasts for a couple of hours. I believe bilberries do as well but I haven’t tried that.

      4. chris c

        Sorry I don’t altogether agree. I now have no doubt that my alternating high and low BG and the associated low and high insulin levels/insulin resistance were responsible for many of my SYMPTOMS and have done long term damage. IF people are diagnosed as soon as BG starts to go out of range, the “diabetic progression” can be controlled and many symptoms and much damage can be reversed. However to do this requires reducing, not increasing, dietary carbohydrate
        I agree with you though that what does NOT work is using medication to reduce the BG number without addressing the metabolic factors that cause it, like throwing insulin or insulin-stimulating drugs at someone who is already hyperinsulinemic.

  28. Stephen Town

    Jennifer, bake me a cake!

    My treat is chocolate and it’s interesting to see how much the sugar content varies. I buy a 90% Cocoa 100 gram bar that contains just 7 grams of sugar. The next bar on the shelf made by the same manufacturer has 49 grams of sugar. It pays to read the labels. 4 grams of sugar is one teaspoon, which I think is the limit our bloodstream will take before sending insulin to get it out. A rare event for most of our history before refined sugar and most modern carbs. Robert Lustig says that 80% of supermarket products have added sugar, even when it seems wholly inappropriate. We like the taste so they add it.

    1. Helen

      Stephen, I think I know which 90% choc you’re talking about. An occasional, delicious LCHF snack is to take one square and place on top of it a thin slice of cold, unsalted butter. It doesn’t work well with all brands of high-cocoa chocolate though.

      I’ve also been following Dr Liz’s reports here about her weight loss: very impressive indeed. I wish I could emulate her, as I have about 3 stones to lose. LCHF has not worked for me in that respect, but it has brought my appetite under control by controlling the blood sugar. I have found out recently that my low cortisol is now very low indeed, despite years of physiologic, non-suppressant replacement, and T3 cell uptake may have been affected as a consequence. (No wonder my health has declined so steeply – and I thought I was doing everything right.) There’ll be no weight loss until I sort this out, assisted and supervised by the estimable Dr Barry Peatfield, one of the last practitioners who still has expertise in these matters and who does not treat his patients like children.

      1. 005lesfrenes

        Helen, Thanks for mentioning about the T3 cell uptake, I didn’t know about this connection with low cortisol. I’ve been listening to a thyroid summit on-line from the US with some experts suggesting a very low-carb intake is not good for hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue. Obviously, you want low glycemic carbs, but you need lots of fibre to keep the gut healthy, which means lots of veggies, including sweet potatoes and squash in moderation, for example (I wonder if this includes pumpkin?). Keeping off gluten is advised, but eating quinoa, for example, is very nutritious despite its rather high carbohydrate content.
        My own blood test shows lots of T4 and T3 coarssing through my veins and a low TSH, but I am feeling completely washed out and hypothyroid. GP says to reduce the thyroxine (Euthirox – anyone familiar with it?) but my immune system reacts badly, I trip up easily, I get brain fog and lots of CFS symptoms. I was planning to come to the UK to see Dr. Peatfield (discovered him on TPAUK), but Genova were quite awkward about sending the tests, so luckily I found a naturopath in my country who practices Functional Medicine and can do all the labs from here. First off is the Adrenal Function Index, and if I am low in cortisol, which is what it feels like, that may well explain why my T3 is not getting into the cells. I am not sure I know how the Adrenals link to the mitochondria. Can anyone help on this?

        1. Helen

          Lesfrenes, you could have a look at Dr Sarah Myhill’s website for an in-depth explanation of what can go wrong with mitochondrial function.

          I’ve been consulting her for some time in relation to mitochondrial function and have also done follow-up tests for translocator protein function – my results are too detailed and complex to go into here, but a number of different problems were revealed. She does do the Mito Function Profile for overseas patients, but she has closed her list temporarily due to a very heavy workload. Keep checking the notice on her home page and dive in when that test becomes available again. It’s really worth doing, in my experience.

          However, with Dr Peatfield I concentrate on the adrenal and thyroid problems, as those are his fields of expertise. (I take T3 only; can’t tolerate T4 at all.) Dr Myhill’s approach to those issues is a little different, but they are each aware that I am consulting the other. Added to that, I have Pernicious Anaemia (auto-immune B12 deficiency), which affects everything else!

          I’m sure the LCHF diet won’t suit all patients with hypothyroidism and hypocortisolism, but it has really helped to stabilise my blood sugar. I feel much better nourished now. I eat plenty of green veg with the meat and fat, but I’ve learned to avoid root veg and all grains, which disrupt my digestion and blood sugar.

    2. Jennifer

      Stephen, I think it is so important to read food labels, but quite time consuming.
      I am at the next level of scrutiny….checking the macronutrients of the actual food stuffs I use….and believe me, they can vary quite considerably from grower to grower. In my innocence I thought an apple was an apple….but that is not the case, I am afraid.
      As to consuming beetroots…I am not going to be frightened off by those who say they are loaded with carbs….in the context of my choccy cake, there is very little in each slice…moderation being the word…and by minimal carbs, the revolving door of needing to eat more and more, does not exist with me as I have broken the cycle.

      1. Stephen Town

        Jennifer, I like beetroot too and eat it regularly.

        There’s something about food that attracts the fanatical side of human nature. Some vegetarians will twist and torture the evidence in an attempt to persuade non-believers that they’re going to die if they don’t quickly abandon meat. The admirable Nina Teicholz has been on the receiving end of their Taliban-like backlash. After more than thirty years of the low fat diet, the best they can do is to mouse studies or association study rubbish. I respect vegetarians but I think the fanatics harm their cause. Good luck to people who want to be vegetarians for moral reasons, but they lose the plot when they try to say that eating meat is wrong and unhealthy. It’s one of the things that corrupts the nutrition debate because veggies cling on to and continue to promote Ancel Keys. There health argument relies on Keys nonsense. They will be bereft when this crumbling edifice finally collapses.

        Helen, the chocolate is Lindt 90% Cocoa sold by Sainsbury’s. Only 7% sugar.

  29. Maureen H

    Recently I was at a gathering which included two moms of teens with Type 1 Diabetes. The conversation turned to diet, and the two moms were saying how much easier it is for kids with diabetes these days, that they can eat whatever they like….cakes, cookies, ice cream etc because all they have to do is then give themselves the correct dose of insulin. How wonderful that they don’t have to feel different and deprived. My opinion wasn’t asked for, but I did say that I’ve read that many diabetics do well on a low carbohydrate diet. Even that comment earned me very dirty looks, and the comment “well, you’re not a dietitian are you, they know what they’re doing.” So I left it alone, hard as it was. But my heart goes out to these children whose health is being seriously and dangerously affected by such nonsense. And how the parents will likely be horrified in later years when they learn the truth.

    1. Bil

      They may well die young I’m afraid; if the current ‘thinking’ continues.

      I have a colleague and a son in law with T1 diabetes. They have all been ‘treated’ by dieticians and doctors using the idea that you can eat what you like and ‘cover’ it with insulin. It usually involves them ‘shooting up’ about 20 minutes or less before eating. My son in law has eye issues at 30. My colleague who is 40 has 25% kidney function, vision and peripheral circulation problems.

      It is hard to express what a monumental tragedy this is turning out to be. The consequences of the truth being revealed about how to control diabetes through low carbohydrate diet ( btw diet was the default method to that diabetes using carbohydrate restriction up until the early eighties, the ‘new’ low carbohydrate diet treatments are nothing new) will have far reaching effects for society now which is probably why there is, and will not be, any real effort to change things. My only hope is that people will start to look into helping themselves via the internet.

      1. Professor Göran Sjöberg


        “My only hope is that people will start to look into helping themselves via the internet.”

        As it looks this view seems to be my only hope as well. Nevertheless this LCHF grass root movement relating to health is gaining momentum today which is encouraging.

      2. Jennifer

        Bil, I believe the introduction of the sub-cut insulin pump back in the ’80s has considerably lead to the problems of type 1 management. Rather than improve the situation, it has allowed patients and medics alike, to consider it as a magic bullet to keep blood glucose levels acceptable. It has produced a chicken and egg scenario, allowing excess carb intake to be easily managed in the short term….and to hell with the long term. The psychology associated with carb-deprivation as an essential requirement for the safe management of type 1 diabetics has been pandered to, and the outlook is not nice. Little Jimmy must be allowed to have all the goodies his mates have….well no….sorry…he can’t, and that must be made clear to everyone.
        In fact…how about the non-diabetics being encouraged to cut out the damaging carbs, and then Little Jimmy would not have such an awful struggle to keep up with his peer group?

      3. Bil

        I wrote an essay on this but then decided that probably the best way to describe all of this is; “a lie told often enough becomes the truth”. My wife runs a b and b, we have a continuous stream of people taking all sorts of ‘stuff’ to treat their allergies, IBS intolerances to this and that and their ‘health problems’ due to ‘high cholesterol’. I keep out of it now, the punters don’t like to be contradicted. People are, I’m afraid brainwashed. Maybe it’s a case of ‘everyman for himself but I would like it to be so much different.

      4. chris c

        I know a number of Type 1 diabetics who are actually better controlled than most Type 2s (and many nondiabetics), like A1c BELOW 5% and normal BP and lipids etc. Without fail they low carb and use minimal amounts of insulin. Some are pumpers and some use multiple injections. Another factor is that several of them have turned, or returned, to beef lente from the synthetic basals lantus or levemir, yet most GPs and many endos claim this insulin is no longer available

        1. Angela Staniford

          Type 1s are not insulin resistant Chis and that makes a huge difference. They don’t have the carb addiction in general. My husband who is type 2 is on 55 units (down from 110 units of insulin). His sister who is type 1 uses just 18.

  30. Stephen Town

    Maureen, it is deeply sad. But this is what the diabetes organisations here and in America promote, so parents and patients take comfort in that. I tell people that if they care about their health to go to YouTube and look at Professor Wendy Pogozelski and Dr Sarah Hallberg. “Do you want to get better or just get steadily worse?” I ask with Yorkshire tact. Every diabetic I’ve known has been taken aback by these two experts.

  31. chris c

    Partly true Angela – Type 1s CAN develop insulin resistance if they adhere to the high carb and cover it with insulin dogma. I suspect this is one reason for the dire NHS results, something less than 10% of Type 1s and a quarter of Type 2s achieve HbA1c below 6.5%, and this has been much the same for a decade, except of course that far more diabetics have been diagnosed in that time. But hey, it sells more insulin. . .

    1. Angela Staniford

      Yes granted – I suppose I wasn’t specific enough. My sister in law is 75 and has been type 1 since she was 15. She was diagnosed when it was still carb restriction and she has never moved away from that. She mainly eats the same meals day after day so that she knows what the count will be. However, she would consider an HbA1c of 6.5 a miracle because the insulin you inject is coming in in a totally different way. Have you seen the Roger Unger’s talk on Youtube which he gave last year? Mr Kendrick highlighted it a little while ago. Well worth watching as he brings a new understanding to the subject.

  32. chris c

    Heard about it but didn’t watch it yet. It would be interesting to see what dietary principles the Joslin Medalists followed. There’s some evidence that Type 1s living a long time complication-free still produce some insulin, albeit a very low level. This guy has a fascinating story
    unlikely this would have happened if he’d followed the information leaflet many GPs and nurses hand out, sponsored by Takeda, who obviously have a vested interest in rapid progression and increased sales of their products.
    One of my father’s brothers was Type 1 and despite the crap insulins in his day he succeeded in living into his seventies with minimal damage. Your SOL is also doing well, unlike some of the clueless carb-toting diabetics you will find on many forums, one of whom died in his forties with bits missing, while remaining immune to all relevent information.

  33. Nate

    What is in the water of the Nordic countries that allows them to often defy out corporate monarchs. What other country would allow the following study to be conducted let alone be published: “The use of statin treatment could increase risk of type 2 diabetes by 46%, as a result of decreases in insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion, according to researchers from the Institute of Clinical Medicine in University of Eastern Finland.”

    Then, there is Sweden acknowledging that a low carb diet would be a possible treatment for diabetes???


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