I spend far too much of my life reading about heart disease and heart disease research and suchlike. As a consequence of this I also consider myself something a ‘Kremlin watcher’. I am always on the lookout for the subtle, carefully crafted and coded messages that are allowed to escape into the outside world from the inner enclaves of power in the medical establishment.
Once something interesting appears, I then try to work out what game is afoot. What you have to recognise is that even the most apparently innocent announcement is crammed with hidden meaning:
Statement: ‘Comrade Yushkin has been promoted to the Department of Internal Affairs.’
Interpretation: ‘Comrade Yushkin has made too many enemies and he has been stabbed in the back by those he thought were friends and kicked out of the Politburo. He is now going to languish in a backwater for the rest of his miserable, pointless, political career. So, for those who thought Yushkin was a rising star…tough.’
Try this one for size:
‘Some prominent cardiologists have questioned the 2013 guidelines, but the ACC and AHA have shown little appetite to return to LDL targets. “LDL may or may not correlate to cardiovascular outcomes,” Dr. Kim Allan Williams, president of the ACC, told Reuters last week1.’
This little nugget was part of a news story about the dreaded PCSK-9 inhibitors, carried by the Reuters news agency. These are blockbuster cholesterol lowering drugs that are descending upon humanity.
However, that is a side issue for the moment. I think we need to return to the comment. ‘LDL may or may not correlate to cardiovascular outcomes.’ Nine little words that you could pass over without really noticing they were there. I would, however, suggest you paid them a little more heed.
The American College of Cardiology (ACC) is at the very epicentre of conventional thinking about heart disease. Now the president…. Kim Williams, el Presidenté himself, has made this statement. “LDL may or may not correlate to cardiovascular outcomes,”
You may think, oh well, little slip of the tongue, nothing to see here, move along. Oh no, absolutely not. Whilst I would be amongst the first to criticise and castigate the ‘experts’ in charge of cardiovascular disease research. There is one thing I would never accuse them of, and that is of being careless.
There is no way on earth that this comment would have been made by mistake. It would have been thought about very carefully indeed. Equally, if Kim Allan Williams had thought he was being quoted in error, he would have asked the journalist to obliterate that statement. Before any interview he would almost certainly demand editorial control over copy. I know I always do.
So, what are we looking at here? I believe that what we are looking at here, ladies and gentlemen, is a major repositioning manoeuvre. For year after year we have been told that a raised LDL is the most important causal risk factor for heart disease.
However, when the latest ACC/AHA (American Heart Association) guidelines came out in 2013 there were no longer any targets for LDL lowering. If someone was at high risk for cardiovascular disease suddenly, lo and behold, you just gave a high dose statin. You did not need to measure what happened to the LDL level, you just prescribed the statin and that was that.
In one way this changed nothing at all, in another way it changed everything. What we had here was an admission, though no-one will admit it, that statins reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease through mechanisms other than LDL lowering. This was shortly followed by the AHA admitting that cholesterol in the diet has nothing to do with raising cholesterol and/or causing heart disease.
More recently several papers have come out clearly demonstrating that saturated fat in the diet has nothing to do with cardiovascular disease. In case you missed it, this paper was in the BMJ last week….
‘Russell J. De Souza, ScD, RD, from McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and colleagues published their synthesis of observational evidence online August 11 in the BMJ.
Consumption of saturated fats is not associated with all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease (CHD), ischemic stroke, or diabetes2.’
Now the president of the ACC is telling us that LDL may or may not correlate to cardiovascular outcomes. You would have to say that the diet-heart/cholesterol hypothesis is beginning to look a little threadbare right now. One might even say it is dead. However, like the biggest, stupidest dinosaurs, it will stumble about crushing people underfoot for several years before it finally crashes to the ground.
When it does, finally, expire we will have found something very interesting has happened. The ‘experts’ who ruthlessly promoted the diet/heart cholesterol hypothesis a.k.a ‘absolute bollocks’ for the last ‘few decades will have moved their position completely. They will no longer be coaching us all to chant ‘four legs good, two legs bad’. We shall have a new slogan:
‘Four legs good, two legs better.’
Those in power will remain in power. Thus endeth today’s lesson.
Brilliant as usual !
Now, if the “LDL is causal for atherosclerosis of blood vessels” hypothesis is finally put ad acta, what is the remaining motivation for PCSK9 all about?
As far as I’ve had to read about this class of drugs, its main feature is primarily massively lowering blood LDL levels by keeping LDL receptors jammed wide open. So far I haven’t heard about any positive “side effects” on e.g. “inflammation” etc.
To me it would seem that a brutal lowering of LDL would have to be regarded as rather useless in terms of the target of mass medication and even detrimental in some cases (e.g. hep-C).
Something does not compute.
I saw that, too, and I was stunned. They’ve been saying for years that LDL was “bad”. Now, what is it? It’s not bad or good. Is HDL still “good”? Do we care about cholesterol levels anymore?
Exactly my view!
People at the top are no stupids!
This all seems to be leading to Seyfried’s restricted ketogenic diet (R-KD). This goes back to Warburg, Pedersion, Ko and now Seyfried.
Obesity is associated with cancer associated with mitochondrial damage; obesity also associated with CHD, stroke, statin use, reduced CoQ10, ROS, mitochondrial damage, diabetes, “Type 3 diabetes”, neurolgical damage, dementias etc.
May be we should all be on a R_KD.
Is that pesky9 being stabbed in the back? Oh dear.
Anyway, anyway, when does the jailing begin?
I mean, even the occasional banker gets jailed. But these bogus dietary advice wallahs, who have shortened God knows how many lives, will presumably never be held responsible for the harm they have caused. Ain’t it all a cryin’ shame?
I guess it’s nice to see the ACC admit they don’t know anything about LDL, but haven’t we been spending billions of dollars on statin drugs to lower evil LDL before it kills everybody? I wonder why they start softening their position just as these blockbuster drugs are coming off patent.
Do you have figures for how many people are accessing your blog, because it may be you can shoot these foxes before they have a chance to run!
Could it be that PCSK-9 inhibitors decrease cholesterol in the blood but don’t decrease LDL/HDL – or even make it ‘worse’?
I am very grateful your blog, otherwise I might have been thinking that I had lived dangerously with no cholesterol medicine for 2 years, and I really must enjoy the protection of PCSK-9 inhibitors!
As I have stated in the past, contrary opinions rarely get the stage. What the mainstream are doing is slip quietly off the stage only to be replaced with a graduated replacement.
They will never allow themselves to be perceived as being wrong.
Sometimes I fear for your life, Dr Kendrick. How those in power, who remain in power, must wish that you didn’t exist. But we are so glad that you do… Your blogs and the replies and conversations that they induce are the most interesting things I read, week in, week out. Please keep going!
They dare not enter this battlefield, they can only cower behind their high stone walls. They know that if can ever entice them out – they will lose. Their silence speaks far more loudly than mere words ever could.
Wish you were my GP.
Very true, and since writing to Sir Rory Collins about my experiences with Simvastatin – a letter which you kindly publicised in a post right here – I have not received any reply at all, not even something along the lines of, “Sir Rory has asked me to thank you for……….unfortunately he cannot correspond with you in detail.”
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
Thank you, again and again and again. What a fascinating turn of events. Commenters before me have already asked my question: What now of PCSK-9? I’m left wondering if there’s a battle here somewhere between these folks who are saying LDL doesn’t matter (any more) and those who are positioning themselves to make billions beating down LDL. Any thoughts?
What we have here is the golden rule. Those who have the gold make the rules. Although, personally I think PCSK-9 inhibitors are doomed because, quite frankly, they are just too damned expensive. They will have to prove they provide massive incremental benefits over statins which they cannot possibly do. The cost per QALY will be in the hundreds of thousands (assuming they actually do demonstrate any benefits on hard end-points) – which, I believe, they cannot. No payor is going to support their use.
I sincerely hope you’re right that they’re doomed.
Do you think they may also prove too disruptive to the body? I mean, if they lower cholesterol levels as much as is claimed, won’t they push a lot of (mainly wealthy) people into suffering the consequences of low cholesterol?
Most assuredly you are correct. I love forwarding your comments to our cardiologists and this one in particular.
“In one way this changed nothing at all, in another way it changed everything. What we had here was an admission, though no-one will admit it, that statins reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease through mechanisms other than LDL lowering. This was shortly followed by the AHA admitting that cholesterol in the diet has nothing to do with raising cholesterol and/or causing heart disease.”
Does this mean that the statins I have been taking for many years, after being diagnosed with blocked arteries, have actually helped reduce my risk of a heart attack? If so, when will researchers learn what statins are really doing (besides lowering LDL which is not beneficial to outcomes) that does reduce the risk of CAD and heart attacks?
Unless you’ve already had a heart attack, there is no study that shows that statins help prevent another one, no matter how much “blockage” you may have. So essentially you are taking a drug (with many side-effects) for no good reason.
Have you ever had a coronary calcium scan?
Oh god you’re right aren’t you? People are still going to be listening to these jokers. Grrrrr.
Like an obituary euphemism.
A tireless advocate of preventative medicine.
Made a fortune promoting drugs that had little or no benefit.
The problem is it’s not just drugs is it, it’s maintaining a whole sphere of influence. If you cannot be made afraid you cannot be monetised.
Keep up the good work Dr. Kendrick. I am retired RN and have been fighting this fight for a long time – giving talks, speaking to anyone who will listen while enjoying a high fat, low carb diet (while taking no meds!) Now I have an excellent resource to send to the doubters, including physicians.
Me too Mary..been on a Dr Lutz Diet with my wife for last 19 years or so…Well spotted Dr K.
Wonderful, absolutely wonderful. Doctors are amazingly similar to politicians, aren’t they. Neither can admit when they were wrong. However, it will take at least 10 years until this makes it over the pond to good old Europe and at least 10 more for primary care doctors.
Cholesterol is out, LDL is out, too. What is remaining as villain for the normal doctor?
Normal doctors have, unfortunately, become algorithm following drones. They dare not look up from the computer screen lest the patient contradicts what they now ‘know’ to be true, for it is based upon the holy scripture aka evidence based medicine.
When I went off my prescription drugs given for my heart condition my cardiologist, who is highly educated, said, ” you think you know better than me!”, ( it was not a question). I said, ” no, I know different than you “. He wanted to fire me immediately as a patient. Even though this was the first time I was addressed personally, I fired him first.
It’s shocking how easily the endorsement of a computer will validate any old nonsense in the minds of the incurious. But the pharmaceutical world should know, we software engineers have a saying about that: “garbage in, garbage out.”
And if they do disagree, they are easily penalised – St Luke’s Medical Centre in Stroud is having to close down, apparently because it can’t get enough funding to make the income attractive enough to recruit new GPs.. Being advocates for anthroposophic and holistic medicine, they don’t prescribe enough drugs or refer enough patients for further treatments/immunisations etc to draw down the kind of funding that is obtained by those who follow all the guidelines, bullying reluctant patients to do as they’re told.
Click to access A%20personal%20message%20from%20the%20partners.pdf
“Cholesterol is out, LDL is out, too. What is remaining as villain for the normal doctor?”
I was wondering that, too, Beatrix. Where now? A lot of people have been making a lot of money off this cholesterol thing for a very long time. Surely someone is going to come up with the next latest and greatest new threat to our health — something that needs ginormous amounts of money for research and drugs.
As I was reading the first of Dr. K’s two references for this blog, I noticed that a point was made that the PCSK-9 drugs would be best for people with very high risk. One approach would be to declare lower and lower risk people to be “very high risk,” until a pre-diabetic is somehow “high risk.”
But, judging from Leigh’s comment on the diabetes thread: “The BBC today reports that Diabetes UK have issued warnings of a 60% increase in diabetes in the past decade. They say it has ‘soared’, and their ‘expert’ claims 90% of the increase is due to obesity.” I’m betting that the next threat to humanity will be “obesity.” I shudder to think.
The same Diabetes UK that tells diabetics that it’s okay to eat carbs?
so has no one questioned whether the increase is down to statins?
Question all you like, the reply will always be. The benefits of statins in preventing heart disease are unquestioned and outweigh any possible adverse effects.
My Mother at the age of 70 was diagnosed with diabetes…went on the standard diabetes UK guidelines and within 2 years she died of cancer…..My Father followed the same dietary regimen and died of a hart attack 8 weeks later….Both became obese…under this diet….Thank you Stephen and Dr K for this post …may be it is eating too many carbohydrates and not enough fat which is one of the problems?
Thank you, thank you from someone who has worked in and been constrained by the NHS for 40years! Now retired I have the time and energy to read and have seen the light! You are breath of fresh air and common sense!
I qualified in 1961. I recall clearly standing in the post mortem room as a student and hearing the pathologist quoting a recent paper and saying “so you can tell the Professor of Medicine he can start eating butter again”. Sadly I listened to the Professor of Medicine”!
What a sad world we are living in!
My diabetic friend, I told about in the previous post, and who was recently ‘released’ from the hospital after a ‘suspect’ stroke with a bottle of statins for ‘preventive purposes’ in his hand is now under close surveillance. The tough part is though not the surveillance from the health care system but from his two daughters, one a vegetarian and the other a nurse who strongly ‘believes’ in the system. I am not popular with either of them, as a LCHF proponent with one of them and as a severe statin sceptic with the other.
I am now to give my friend some comfort in his distress. Presently his is not allowed to drive his car so I will join him to his summer house in my car to see how his tomato plants are doing but has promised him not to bring the subject of statins up again, to avoid serious ‘friction’ within his family since the nurse would then probably go completely ‘mad’ with him and foremost me if I dare do that again.
I do though think my closely surveilled friend is still basically on my side on the statin issue as he has successfully been for the last ten years, when I first ‘stole’ his statin medicine bottle and he may now be hiding the statin pills under his tongue if his nurse daughter is watching.
A sad world indeed:
“We now live in a nation where doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy
justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the
press destroys information, religion destroys morals, and our banks destroy
— Chris Hedges. Columnist.
The commonality is power, money and influence.
That Chris Hedges sounds like one right smart feller.
And I think to myself….what a wonderful world.
Interesting quote. I sold my house last year. I was a simple sale with no complications and no chain at either end. Thanks to the solicitors it turned into a stressful process that dragged on for 8 months. I can’t help thinking that if we had done without the lawyers it would have been done and dusted in a couple of weeks. Normally I would have got in touch with the owner afterwards to welcome them, but I was so cross that I didn’t bother. This was all due to the actions of the solicitor. As a people we need to use some initiative and take back some common sense instead of relying on experts, or at least use them sparingly.
Seeing the headlines in my paper this morning about the 60% rise in the cases of type 2 Diabetes in the last ten years makes me wonder when they are going to link it with the over perscribing of statins? All rather frightening!
Or sugar and carb consumption!
I take this statement by the ACC/AHA to be the final acceptance that the cholesterol/heart hypothesis is and has been hogwash for the last five decades
Dr Kendrick, we must all thank you for routing out this admission that the medical establishment has been wrong and the important part that you have played in getting this admission.
Science must be skeptical; if it isn’t progress ends with the status quo. (sceptical or skeptical???)
The quotation (from http://www.bmj.com/content/bmj/351/bmj.h3978.full.pdf)
Consumption of saturated fats is not associated with all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease (CHD), ischemic stroke, or diabetes.’
Is followed by the somewhat contradictory sentence with respect to saturated fat
Dietary guidelines must carefully consider the health effects of recommendations for alternative macronutrients to replace trans fats and saturated fats.
Saturated fats are still dangerous though they are “not associated with all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease (CHD), ischemic stroke, or diabetes”
You have to wonder how saturated fats are still ‘dangerous’. Maybe if you drop some butter on the floor & slip on it?
When is the word gong to get out to the mainstream doctors? I have a friend who just had his second heart attack in 6 years. His doctor told him that his problem was cholesterol, so he has been put on a high dose statin. (BTW, he has been on statins since the first heart attack. The message seems to be that it wasn’t enough….) Arrggg!
I am reminded of how in 2003 I suddenly noted within a two week period that a major women’s magazine, which I found lying on a table at work, a major news program on TV (also at work as I don’t own one of the things) and a local newspaper article quietly and without much fanfare said that the recommended daily amount of hydrogenated fats is zero. Zero! For me, it was like fireworks in January. I kept telling everyone, this is huge. HUGE.
I said it translates into “Holy cow, we were totally, completely wrong and the stuff is utterly toxic and we are covering our hind ends.” But really, most people did not get it, and that is no doubt what they wanted. They suffered hardly any embarrassment. More than 10 years later, the hospital I work in does not even offer butter as an option in the employee cafeteria, much less the patient trays.
I wonder if similar machinations will play out about CO2 and global warming and its experts, but perhaps that is a very impolite thing to even mention.
Don’t mention Global warming, It is a curiosity to me that people can recognise bogus science in one area but completely accept it in another. The absolute to me is “any” science that declares itself as settled should be investigated. The term settled roughly translates to “nothing to see here, move along” The prime reason for discouragement is it’s bogus.
I am with you on that one. I often come across the use of the word “deniers” to describe those of us who dare question the science. Very curious and revealing choice of word.
I’m not even sure what to say:
“Dr. Kim A. Williams, the president-elect of the American College of Cardiology, often sees patients who are overweight and struggling with hypertension, Type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol. One of the things he advises them to do is to change their diets.
Specifically, he tells them to go vegan.
Dr. Williams became a vegan in 2003 because he was concerned that his LDL cholesterol — the kind associated with an increased risk of heart disease — was too high.”
So, he became a vegan to lower his LDL…which he does not know now whether correlates with cardiovascular outcomes.
Why was his LDL high? (The following quote from the article linked above)
“I was basically eating chicken and fish, no skin, no fried food and no red meat,” he said. “I thought it was healthy. But it was low fat instead of low cholesterol, which is what I needed.”
Again, see: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/08/06/advice-from-a-vegan-cardiologist/
Dr. Williams realizes that the USDA no longer considers cholesterol a nutrient of concern right?
One would hope so, but with these guys….who knows.
Excellent once again Dr K.
‘LDL May or May not be associated with heart disease’ it’s the sort of double speak one would expect to come from the lips of Sir Humphrey in Yes Minister. Just goes to show that these folk are more malchiovelian politicians than the honest scientists they should aspire to be.
This admission about the irrelevance of LDL won’t stop the selling of statins though. The multiple pleiotrophic effects of statins will be the selling point instead. Then it will be statins work not because they lower LDL but that they work despite lowering LDL.
However it seems they are shooting themselves in the foot as far as the PCSK-9 inhibitors are concerned because if LDL is not that important how can they be justified
You are probably right about the LDL. As I understand it the PCKS-9 inhibitors are designed to reduce LDL but too much money has gone into their research, design and promotion so that the FDA, EMA and MHRA will approve their use irrespective of the value or non-value of reducing LDL.
The only thing that might stop their general use is the annual price – some say in the region of $10,000 per annum. I wonder how NICE’s algorithm on quality of life (QUoL) will handle that one
LDL may or may not be correlated with anything much, and here’s why
You can take or leave this stuff in terms of causation, but if you’re a believer in the lipid hypothesis and you still base your arguments on a calculated LDL count, you’re basically in the position of some medieval monk who refuses to look through a telescope before describing the heavens.
Here are the rapid responses (electronic letters) to the BMJ after the latest “saturated fat doesn’t cause heart disease” meta-analysis.
You’ll see that every single person defending the diet-heart hypothesis uses an argument based on calculated LDL (the Holy ghost) or total cholesterol (the divine trinity) and does not refer to real, measurable apolipoproteins or types of particle.
We cannot reason with these people, because they are mystics.
“I did not have sex with that woman”……that’s what I thought and you are right….stepping away and hoping being wrong will blow over so they remain in power….politically smart and savvy yes, but, come on, when it comes to basic physiology and metabolism of lipids not so much…..
I joke to myself that I spend to much time reading health books. It makes sense for me though! I’ve had poor health since a teen, and wanting better health is a goal to aim for. It’s obviously different than traditional goals, not by choice though. I was reading Richard Albin’s book on prostate cancer last week. It’s about how he invented the PSA, and yet feels its use as a cancer screening tool has led to a public health disaster for men.
I thought Dr. Albin asked a good question about what has happened, why isn’t there outrage? If car companies produced unsafe cars, that didn’t produce results, people would be up in arms. Heads would roll. Yet with health care we tend to take a different view on these things. About the best answer I could come up with myself, is well fear, health care involves lots of that. I can imagine though age plays a good part in it. When young people become ill its a tragedy, that gets a good amount of attention. When older people have health issues, sometimes by the current medical set up, it’s expected. The simple explanation being it’s part of aging.
I can imagine we won’t be seeing any Flintstone chewable statin medications soon! Then again if a chewable statin marketing idea came into being, if kids began developing muscle aches, and memory problems from taking it, I’m guessing a new virus will be discovered, parroted away by news outlets to explain the problem.
Hi Malclom – So appreciate your work in this area. I refer so many people to your website and You Tube videos we can find. I just wondered – have you done a post or article or video which goes over the cholesterol con (summary) and then also introduces these new drugs. That is what is the best concise info I can link to on my blog for people to get a good understanding? Thanks so very much! Claire
I am thinking about a series of podcasts on this
Can’t wait for these!
As part of your presentation, I’d love you to put up various quotes from the NHS side by side with those that contradict the advice! For example:
Eating too much salt may raise your blood pressure, and having
high blood pressure increases your risk of developing coronary
So to keep your heart healthy it’s important that you don’t eat too much salt each day.
This week a meta-analysis of seven studies involving a total of
6,250 subjects in the American Journal of Hypertension found no
strong evidence that cutting salt intake reduces the risk for
heart attacks, strokes or death in people with normal or high
Etc for fat, cholesterol, etc.
I mean a lot of people in medical research should be uncomfortable already, but I think you really need to make them squirm!
It amazes me that the health establishment seems to be able to just carry on as usual!
The medical establishment are perfectly unaffected by evidence.
You could also do vlogs.
Hi Dr. McKendrick, thank you for the enlightening blogs you post. I came across this study on the negatives of Statins, THought it may be interesting………if you havent seen it.
Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol. 2015 Mar;8(2):189-99. doi: 10.1586/17512433.2015.1011125. Epub 2015 Feb 6.
Statins stimulate atherosclerosis and heart failure: pharmacological mechanisms.
Okuyama H1, Langsjoen PH, Hamazaki T, Ogushi Y, Hama R, Kobayashi T, Uchino H.
In contrast to the current belief that cholesterol reduction with statins decreases atherosclerosis, we present a perspective that statins may be causative in coronary artery calcification and can function as mitochondrial toxins that impair muscle function in the heart and blood vessels through the depletion of coenzyme Q10 and ‘heme A’, and thereby ATP generation. Statins inhibit the synthesis of vitamin K2, the cofactor for matrix Gla-protein activation, which in turn protects arteries from calcification. Statins inhibit the biosynthesis of selenium containing proteins, one of which is glutathione peroxidase serving to suppress peroxidative stress. An impairment of selenoprotein biosynthesis may be a factor in congestive heart failure, reminiscent of the dilated cardiomyopathies seen with selenium deficiency. Thus, the epidemic of heart failure and atherosclerosis that plagues the modern world may paradoxically be aggravated by the pervasive use of statin drugs. We propose that current statin treatment guidelines be critically reevaluated.
ATP generation; atherosclerosis; coenzyme Q10; heart failure; mitochondrial toxin; selenoprotein; statin; statin cardiomyopathy; vitamin K2
Thank you for this. I know these guys quite well.
P.S. It is Kendrick
An anecdote re the “algorithm following drones” you mention, as told to me by the patient, a type 1 diabetic for 50+years, lower HbA1c than probably 90+% of type-1s but always very high “bad cholesterol” and also always very low body fat, having a new care plan drawn up by nurse. Computerrr… trained health professional tailoring plan to individual patient produces plan including losing 5kg, hyperlipidemia also heavily circled, presumably nurse ran out of disapproving frowny face stickers for naughty cheese and butter eating patients (he actually did say she talked to him like he was 7 when not looking at screen). He may actually be in group that could benefit from statins but the memory problems led to having insulin injections and then forgetting to eat and quite a few ambulance calls.He is 66kg at 177cm so BMI 21 and his neurologist had remarked weeks previously he looked scrawny, 61kg @177cm = BMI 19 so the doctor very nearly signed off on the extremely heterodox advice of attempting to enter the “underweight” category!
The main theme of this post is to me very thrilling.
“How does a fundamental paradigm shift occur in medical science?”
In fact, this question has haunted me since I six years ago realised, with the help of reading Gary Taubes, that the medical establishment went wrong about cholesterol, saturated fats and health about fifty years ago and that an incredibly huge and dangerous statin business has been built on this ‘misunderstanding’.
What now really has sustained my continuos theoretical interest in the search for the Holy Graal of ‘what is science’ was though our personal incredible health benefits in my family by doing just the opposite to what has been recommended by our medical authorities about nutrition.
This search has led me to the fundamentals of the philosophy of science where names as Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn were key acquaintances to me. Kuhn here referred to a work of the ‘unknown’ German physician Ludwik Fleck , “Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact”, which he admits had a fundamental impact on his own theory of paradigm shifts in science.
Presently, I am now thoroughly reading the book for the second time, after it has been resting in my book shelf for a few years and realise that I am today much more prepared for understanding the reading of the book than when I first set off in my search for the scientific ‘truth’ in medicine. And I must say that I am just now completely overwhelmed by the most fundamental, and I don’t hesitate to use the word genius, approaches to the question of what possible science may be hidden when we talk about a disease or a diagnosis. Basically I here read Malcolm’s own concerns about the paradigm shifts in his profession.
How can such a book have been ignored within the medical community for so long time until Kuhn made it appear again?
To me the reading of this book must be a ‘must’ for any physician with a deep interest in the ‘true’ science of his profession.
Has any reader on this blog with a medical background read it already and has an opinion?
I well remember the horrified look from my GP when I said I’d stopped taking my prescribed Simvastatin for two reasons, persistent joint pain and through reading your book, Dr K. ‘The Great Colesterol Con’. Regretfully, he was dismissive of both and said ”more and more cardiologists take statins, so statins must be beneficial”. Huh? Say again? I’ll take bucket fulls then…. Not.
Albert Einstein summed it up perfectly when he said ”Only two things are infinite; the Universe and human stupidity……and I’m not sure about the former”
What a superb quote from Einstein. As to the Big Pharma conflicted medical establishment – Well! there does seem to be no bounds to their stupidity
Forgive me for being stupid. How do we know that the new drug actually lowers LDL cholesterol? I saw an article the other day that CVS wants the ACC to put in LDL targets again. In the article, it says the new drug works by keeping cholesterol in the blood from depositing on the the artery. So wouldn’t that mean that the drug is doing something to the artery but not something to the cholesterol at all. Maybe that’s why they won’t give an LDL target because they are afraid to say that the drug doesn’t do anything to LDL. I read the comments on Medscape and all the doctors on there wanted the LDL targets. I asked my mom’s cardiologist, okay how much statin should you give her if you don’t know what the LDL target should be. He never gave me an answer. I am still waiting 3 months later. I just told her doctor to cut statin in half. She’s having side effects. I have no idea if I did the right thing or not. Her side effects are better. Maybe there’s no studies on dose independent of LDL.
I do wish it was possible to find an index of all Malcolm’s postings here (is there a way?) because somewhere there is a graph that I think you would find helpful in dealing with your mother’s doctors. It shows the comparison between two groups (with and without statin treatment) as a function of time. The difference between the people in the two groups is absolutely minute. One glance at that graph would make most people (especially if they were suffering side effects) drop statins immediately – not just halve them!
After bad side effects with Simvastatin, I don’t even have my cholesterol levels measured – because as my doctor pointed out, there is no point because you won’t be taking a statin anyway!
Like everyone, there are a very large number of other natural chemicals in my body whose concentration I also don’t have measured – many are probably far more significant that LDL levels!
I will try to find out if there is a way. Not sure. My technical skills are pretty rubbish.
Google indexes the site for you. Just Google for ‘kendrick statin graph’ and the article is called ‘What is T’. Good job that Kendrick is not that common a surname.
Well it does to an extent, but for example there is one version of the graph which plots the complete Y axis (people still alive as a function of number of years). Many of the graphs use an exploded Y axis which doesn’t give a casual reader the full sense of the absurdity of staking statins.
Furthermore, it seems unfortunate that people who find this blog, can’t easily access the complete set of material.
If you enter into the Google the following “site:.drmalcolmkendrick.org ” and then your search term only this site is searched.
Thanks for that. I will try it
Sorry, but I don’t think GOOGLE can replace a proper list of topics going back to the beginning – which seems to be in 2012. Even a site directed search isn’t ideal:
The top item on this search is http://www.heartuk.org.uk/Statins&Cholesterol – which isn’t the ideal place to discover Dr Kendrick’s views on cholesterol or statins!
You can get some more information by using an internet archive service, e.g.
However, since this archives the internet in general, it has to be a bit selective as to what it includes. Videos and discussion seem to be eliminated.
Here is a medical site that contains a way to get at all the material by accessing past material by the year it was posted:
You can go right back to Verner’s first post if you wish!
I think that people coming to this site with personal health concerns would find the complete list of Malcolm’s blogs extremely interesting. It gives a newcomer some idea of the fact that these criticisms of official health policies have been going on for quite some time (actually a lot longer, of course) and that the criticisms have not been dealt with in any way other than turning a blind eye. They can also read about the censorship inflicted on the Catalyst program, and much more.
I think it is a real shame that so much material becomes less and less accessible as time goes by.
Huh I wonder, how much money does CVS makes on cholesterol tests? You know home much do they make on those home testing kits? Why does this article say that the new drug keeps LDL in the blood? IS that a mistake? If LDL stays in the blood, then the blood test will not show any change in LDL. IF the new drug is keeping the LDL from going out onto the artery, the drug has done something to the vessel. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/10/us-health-cholesterol-cvs-idUSKCN0QF1RY20150810
Joy in my family!
The GP’s supervising an old relative of ours has finally after many years cut out the statins from his long medical list. His mental status has steadily deteriorated during these years and he finally ended up in a wheel chair with his waste muscles. With the removal of this stuff he seems to recover to some extent.
The problem, as with another friend of mine, is his immediate surroundings who have trusted the health care system and have almost been infuriated by our serious concerns and involvement.
Bottom line, I guess, is that there is a lot that goes down the drain when you lose your confidence with the medical system. Among that ‘lot’ I suspect that also the hope of a better society comes along.
Grief is a phase. The important part is to not get stuck with anger. The good thing is that it improves one’s self-knowledge, so people will become more intelligent after the process. Sort of.
This blog appears to be hosted by wordpress.com
You can easily add an “Archive” section to the sidebar via ‘look and feel’: themes, customize, widgets, sidebar, add a widget.
I will look into it.
Thanks to you both – this will clear up my one and only complaint about this site!
Take a few minutes to watch this sneak peak video as I think it will be of great interest to you. Regards Tom
Dr. Malcolm Kendrick posted: “I spend far too much of my life reading about heart disease and heart disease research and suchlike. As a consequence of this I also consider myself something a ‘Kremlin watcher’. I am always on the lookout for the subtle, carefully crafted and coded mess”
I enjoy, and learn, each time I read your blog. It is tough to change the no-fat dictum, which the all knowing Gov in the 1960’s declared to it’s people, in a new direction. Keep up the good work, and I will continue to recommend your blog and talk to anyone who will listen.
Dr. Kendrick, have you ever blogged about the VAP Cholesterol test, (or others)? VAP shows the components of LDL which is very enlightening. One of the two profiles makes the LDL safe and the other one can be problematic. Helps encourage one to say “no” to the statins that our docs are forcing upon us.
No, I have not. Mainly because I consider any and all cholesterol tests to be completely useless – other than as vague markers.