The longest journey

Whilst on a short break I picked up the Times Newspaper on Friday the ninth of October. There were two headlines. The main one was ‘Fizzy drinks giant pays millions to diet experts.’ On the other side of the page was ‘Revolution for FIfa after Blatter gets red card.’

The fizzy drinks company was, of course, Coca Cola. I wondered why the headline did not say ‘Coca Cola pays millions to diet experts.’ Perhaps that was just a step too far to upsetting a major advertiser. Although I note that the picture of Sepp Blatter had a large Coca -Cola sign above his head. So, somebody at the Times clearly has a sense of humour.

Now I looked at these headlines and I thought, as I find myself doing most of the time nowadays. Corruption, corruption, corruption everywhere. Sepp Blatter is almost heroic in his ability to brush aside allegations against him and his organisation. ‘I knew nothing about anything.’ Seems to be his defence. Well, if he didn’t know anything he’s incompetent, if he did, he is corrupt. I suspect both.

As for Coca Cola. They just pay ‘experts’ large sums of money, and the expected messages flow forth. According to the Times article they set up the European Hydration Institute to promote… hydration. Which sounds quite innocuous and nothing to do with Coca-Cola at all.

However, guess which drinks people should hydrate themselves with. Why…. Let me think. They get a Professor Ron Maughan to state the dehydration was an ‘unrecognised danger’ for drivers. Drivers should regularly stop and buy drinks to ensure they are properly hydrated with drinks such as… Why… let me think.

Of course, by pretending the European Hydration Institute is some sort of independent academic body, such messages are not simply seen as adverts for Coca Cola, Oasis, and suchlike. This arm’s length marketing is a very old trick now. Heart UK is a charity which is dedicated to warning of the dangers of cholesterol. Heart UK ruthlessly promotes cholesterol lowering as the most important function of the medical profession. Of course it is almost entirely funded by pharmaceutical companies who make cholesterol lowering drugs. [I would say entirely funded, but I am not absolutely sure about this].

Various experts give talks on behalf of Heart UK, paid for by Heart UK, then claim they receive no money from the pharmaceutical industry. Which is, of course, technically correct. They do not receive money from the pharmaceutical industry. Heart UK receives money from the pharmaceutical industry, they then pay the expert, and the expert need not even declare a conflict of interest. ‘How dare you say that I take money from the pharmaceutical industry, you dirty knave…. I did this work for a charity. A charity I say.’

This is also how Sir Rory Collins works. He runs the Clinical Trial Service Unit (CTSU) in Oxford. It runs trials that are almost entirely funded by the pharmaceutical industry. Nearly three hundred million pounds sterling ($500m) over the last ten years or so. He states he receives no money from the pharmaceutical industry, and therefore is not biased in any way. Once again…Industry pays CTSU, CTSU pays Sir Rory Collins = no payment from industry and no conflicts of interest. And if you believe that.

Wherever you look. Wherever I look it is the same old story. Experts are inevitably bought and paid for by one company or another. The messages that come out are universally supportive of the company’s products. If you are not sufficiently supportive the companies will go find something else to turn into an ‘expert.’

As the Times reports ‘In 2013 Spanish researchers found that scientific papers on sugary drinks that were sponsored by or had potential conflicts of interest with the food and drink industry, including Coca-Cola were five times more likely to find no link with obesity than similar papers that were independently funded. They recommend “special efforts to preclude funding by parties with vested interests at all levels.’

In truth, I don’t care that much about Fifa and the endemic corruption thereof. If people can be bribed sufficiently to hold a World Cup in Qatar, average summer temperature 50c, the world is not going to come to an end. Although a few footballers might. Obviously, it would be better if the countries with the best bid actually won, but no-one is going to die. Probably.

However, if companies such as Coca-Cola can fund research that distorts science and promotes the consumption of sugary drink, and helps to create millions upon millions of people with type II diabetes then this is very serious stuff indeed. The increase in morbidly and mortality could end up bankrupting health services around the world.

I know that all organisations and companies, if they are not properly policed, will end up travelling the road to corruption. It seems an immutable law of commerce. In a way I don’t blame the companies. They are, by their nature wolves. If I have a thousand sheep in a field and find the wolves circling, I do not say the wolves, ‘now, really, I do not want you to eat the sheep. Do you promise?’

Wolves: ‘Yes, we promise.

Shepherd: ‘Good.’

Next day, shepherd arrives, sheep mostly eaten, wolves fat. Well, what do you expect? Wolves eat sheep. It is what they do. If you want to stop this happening, build a bloody great fence, or buy some guns, or both. Don’t rely on wolves to suddenly start acting like sheepdogs.

No, I don’t blame the companies for being companies. I blame our politicians. It is only they who can create a system of policing and punishment that will stop companies corrupting researchers, or corrupt researchers demanding money from companies. Yes, this is not a one way street. You can’t have corruption if researchers don’t take bribes.

Unfortunately politicians seem perfectly uninterested in corruption in the medical field. Is it because they themselves are being bribed. I am certain that this is part of it. In the UK large numbers of MPs are non-exec directors of private health companies, and the corporate world swirls around and within the political arena far, far, too closely. Before the last election David Cameron stated that lobbying would be next great scandal.

He says nothing of the sort now, yet lobbying and manipulating on behalf of large corporations has become worse and worse. The UK has not yet reached the situation in the US where lobbyists outnumber politicians by about a hundred to one…. Or thereabouts. And when politicians stop being politicians they immediately become lobbyists. But we heading in that direction.

So where are we? A long, long way down the longest road. The road that ends with everyone in any position of power becoming, essentially, a spokesman for large corporations, where there is no-one left who can or will do anything to stop it. Because, sadly, they are all in it together. I write that last sentence and think, oops, have I just become a conspiracy theorist. Then I think. No, I am not a conspiracy theorist, I am simply Winston Smith.

234 thoughts on “The longest journey

  1. Margaret O'Doherty

    It isn’t true to say that nobody will die because of the corruption involved in holding the World Cup in Qatar. Hundreds of migrant workers have already died in the construction of the stadiums and thousands more are working in slave-like conditions. FIFA and their sponsors are well aware of this and do nothing.

    Reply
      1. David

        From that article:

        “Nepalese migrants building the infrastructure to host the 2022 World Cup have died at a rate of one every two days in 2014”

        The point being that the numbers have been exaggerated by including all deaths of migrant workers. Not so different from medical journals and newspaper reports of medical journals.

  2. Graham Stephens

    I am 40 years down the road with this “stuff” and short of a world based catastrophic event with a few good guys and gals left… what do we do? Now that’s a question and a half. Parliament is again debating cannabis which is unquestionably far safer than both the use of alcohol and cigarettes whilst the medical health benefits of cannabis (MMJ) linked to the human endo-cannabinoid system is, positively speaking, through the roof. Great writing MK 🙂

    Reply
  3. celia

    No, you’re not a conspiracy theorist. You’re an accurate observer of the world that we currently live in. Unfortunately, I think many people would prefer to think the former. It makes the world appear a more comfortable place for them to live in.

    Reply
    1. MindBody

      The slander “conspiracy theorist” is just today’s fashionable way of “begging the question”. Calling anyone a conspiracy theorist usually implies that the speaker of the slander “conspiracy theorist” is afraid of openly debating an argument that s/he cannot win.

      In fact, anyone who uses the term “conspiracy theory/theorist” in any argument should be regarded as a scoundrel until proven otherwise.

      Reply
  4. wilf keeley

    i saw the article in the Times and knowing you have picked it up and responded helps me feel a little less angry and powerless. The response from Coca Cola was bland to the point of smugness. But then they can afford to be smug as they’ve paid off all their potentially authoritative and influential critics.

    Reply
  5. wdmeans

    I absolutely love reading your blogs! I wish you had them a bit more often, but I will enjoy what I get. I don’t think we are conspiracy theorists, I think we are conspiracy ‘knowists’!!!

    Reply
    1. ucelli

      “wdmeans”:
      “I don’t think we are conspiracy theorists, I think we are conspiracy ‘knowists’!!! ”
      Nice !
      I’ll use this with your name as
      ” I don’t think we are conspiracy theorists, I think we are conspiracy ‘knowists’”
      wdmeans, blogmite

      If you don’t mind of course

      Reply
  6. SJ

    Presumably you’re aware that we’re 13 days into Heart UK’s ‘Cholesterol Awareness Month’…? My mother gets Waitrose’s Kitchen mag, and it’s been running a series of ‘heart healthy’ recipes, and offering discounts on Benecol, Flora Pro-Activ, and the like. My dad’s just had his whatever statin upped again, because his cholesterol had skyrocketed (I think he’s still on simvastatin (sp?), but don’t quote me). He’s also now been told he’s diabetic (I had thought he already was, because he’s been popping metformin for the past 3 or 4 years). As I’ve said before, his best mate died of diabetic liver failure (M’s pancreas has failed 2 years prior to his death so he was injecting). Dad’s also beginning to get forgetful.

    And this is supposed to be ‘normal’…?! It might be the status quo, but normal…?! Fuck off! Dad and I aren’t exactly on speaking terms these days (awkward living under the same roof), but I don’t want him dropping dead from an STD (Statin Triggered Disease).

    I am in no doubt that statins kill and, if 99.5% of the country wasn’t so brainwashed, it’d be a national scandal – it OUGHT to be a national scandal, so why the fuck ain’t it…?!

    Sick of this ‘Save Our NHS’ bollocks – it’s mass Stockholm Syndrome!

    Okay, rant over. Sorry, Dr. K. Sort of. I can only say things as they are in my head.

    Peace, dude!

    SJ

    Reply
      1. Sue Richardson

        I agree. SJ has valid points there, but the bad language isn’t necessary to get them across, and at some of us at least may tend to ‘skim over’ what he says in future because of them. Consider yourself told off kindly SJ!

      2. Doug Bonnar

        Not by me SJ – they killed my mum with statins so outrage and very strong language necessary!

  7. Gilles Mongeau

    The documentary “Merchants of doubts” which can be watched for free on the Internet does a superb job at exposing how media manipulation is done. Although primarily made in relation to climate change, it addresses the very fundamental problem of the dishonesty of corporations when it comes to protecting their interests. While I agree that politicians are particularly guilty for letting the public down, I don’t agree that corporations are blameless. I response to your last post, I included a link to the off-label use of the drug Risperdal by Johnson & Johnson in the US. How on earth can anyone feel it is acceptable to give breasts to a young autistic boy in the name of profit? (and that’s just the attention getting part of the story). The fact is that corporations are led by peoples who presumably can choose. Wolves cannot. In any event, anyone interested in the issue of this post should watch the documentary – it is applicable to a whole lot more than climate change and everyone interested in your cause, Dr Kendrick, will see how it is applicable to it, and so many other. While you reasonably make a distinction between the situation in the UK vs US I think we all know the difference is more a matter of degree, not of substance.

    Reply
    1. Anna

      Maybe you misunderstood something. The corporations are the ones offering the bribes to the politicians. They are all in it together. And I agree that the problem here in the US is very similar to Europe, it’s all the same stuff.
      With a film like Merchants of Doubt (which I have not seen) I think we have to be careful regardless of which side we are on that we do not promote a lack of debate and create fear of speaking one’s opinion as an antidote to biased media.

      Reply
  8. gs666

    Corruption is no longer corruption. It is the norm. Large corporations, oil corporations, pharmaceutical corporations, oil countries, dictatorships, lobbyists, public interest groups, charities – all people, all after money. The corporations drive the countries as long as the monetary interest i.e. flow of capital, cash, whatever is good enough to keep people in the good life. Some are so wealthy that wealth per se no longer matters to them. Manipulation of governments, paying the pipers to change their tunes…Practically ALL soft drink manufacturers, have similar game plans and so do alcohol / alcohol-based drinks manufacturers and brewers. Alcohol is a substitute for sweets. Sweet manufacturers essentially all have similar plans to promote their brands. All driven by the stock market. The share price dominates all. And who are the major stock holders? It isn’t your average person who may hold some blue chip shares but the big fund managers, pension funds, insurance, banks etc etc who demand that companies dance to their tunes. It’s a circus isn’t it?

    Reply
  9. Tom Welsh

    Another very good article, Dr Kendrick. These things need to be said, repeated, and then continually repeated over and over. It’s the only way to make them widely accepted.
    Sadly, our vaunted liberal democratic free-market Western society is almost entirely run on money. When you lamented the corruptibility of experts, I asked myself how many people one knows who are entirely indifferent to wealth or the prospect of its possession. Damn few. There are some (I hope like ourselves) who would resist the temptation to enrich themselves by doing things that harm others… but maybe not so many any more.

    Reply
  10. Old fogey

    Yes, the situation is abysmal, yet I would not put any hope in the political process to make things better – the more governments stick their necks into things the worse they become, it seems. I think the main blame should be placed on the Fourth Estate which is supposed to be on our side, though it prints and discusses nothing but the propaganda put forth by the medical industry and its shills.

    What must happen is that well-written and concise sources of knowledge, such as your blog, Dr. Kendrick, must be shared by all of us with all of our friends and families, so that the population as a whole will be made aware of these facts. I have learned an incredible amount from the web, and will be eternally grateful, for example, for being able to cure my oral lichen planus with xylitol, simply by reading the research results available about xylitol on the web.

    I am sure that your blog has been of enormous benefit to people who have never commented, but have spread word through private conversations with friends and family.

    Reply
    1. Stephen Rhodes

      Re the Fourth Estate – t’was ever thus

      You cannot hope
      to bribe or twist,
      thank God! the
      British journalist.

      But, seeing what
      the man will do
      unbribed, there’s
      no occasion to.

      Humbert Wolfe

      Reply
    2. Stephen

      The media could be better, but let’s remember that Coca Cola’s behaviour was front page news in ‘The Times’ and fully exposed in two further inside pages. There’s also been an editorial supporting a sugar tax.

      The Government, on the other hand, doesn’t want to release research on a sugar tax until after it’s published its policy. They obviously don’t want inconvenient advice to influence the process. The GP and MP Sarah Wollaston, a politician I respect, heads the health select committee and is asking to see the report. The committee is looking into childhood obesity, something virtually unknown when I was a child in the 1960s.

      I hope the committee comes up with something better than eat less, move more. Hasn’t that advice been a wonderful success in the last thirty years?

      Reply
  11. Herb Dreyer

    These corporate-charity-academic links are blocking the true progress of humanity, are fundamentally deceptive, exhibit a disintegrating influence on society, have refused to answer the expectation of truthfulness and are consequently contributing to chaos and decline as they try, ultimately unsuccessfully, to prop up their fruitless expectations of the true nature of profit.

    Reply
  12. HotScot

    If you’re not, you ought to be getting George Monbiot’s regular emails. Like you, he’s not a conspiracy theorist but delights in exposing the truth for what it really is.

    Personally, I have long maintained that no one remotely involved with politics should be allowed to be on the board of a company of any description. If they need extra cash they can take a paper round. Mind you, even that’s risky, god knows what they would deliver with the local rag.

    Reply
  13. Joanne McCormack

    Just by not so amazing coincidence I photographed Friday’s Times editorial on Coca Cola and the fake research and posted it on Twitter earlier this afternoon. This stuff harms us all.
    @JoanneReynold14

    Reply
  14. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

    “So where are we? A long, long way down the longest road. ”

    Now, during the 70-th we who were young then already saw this happen and that was why we took to the streets in our millions and ‘Made a change!” for sure. However that change didn’t last for long and now it seems worse than ever to my opinion.

    Though, what happened in the streets of Berlin last Saturday against the corporate TTIP gives me some hope for the future.

    Reply
  15. mikecawdery

    Dr Kendrick

    May I once again congratulate you on an excellent that presents the case of universal corruption in such a compelling way. I too have been railing at this corruption for years. It is to be found in research where data is presented in such a way to serve the requirements of the sellers. Sir Rory’s claim that 10,000 lives “saved” if 3 million treated (ie NNT 300) is an example of this disinformation while it extends to the huge costs of corruption where Big Pharma can set the drug prices for Medicare and Medicaid (no negotiation) to corporate lobbying (TTIP, TTP, military et al, ).. It just goes on and on, lies and corruption. In the medical field the following is relevant:

    http://ethics.harvard.edu/blog/new-prescription-drugs-major-health-risk-few-offsetting-advantages
    New Prescription Drugs: A Major Health Risk With Few Offsetting Advantages

    Table of New Drugs 2002-2011
    No %age Result
    2 0.20 Breakthru’
    13 1.30 real advance
    61 6.14 Some advantage
    918 92.35 Little or no benefit

    994 total new drugs

    92.4% near useless and 27 (~3%) removed from sale because they KILLED

    Dr Diamond equated cholesterol lowering with blood letting

    Salesmen tactics akin to the tactics used by snake oil salesmen in the 18-19th centuries

    Repeat for all major industries

    WHERE IS THE ANGER AND OUTRAGE

    Reply
    1. gillpurple

      Mike,

      Shocking. Great article, thanks for that. Dr Diamond is right. I would love to see an independent review of all the statins, similar to the one just published on Study 329. Make the Pharma’s hand over all the data, including all those appendices they don’t really want anyone to see. Whenever I hear it spouted that something is saving lives in anything to do with medicine now I assume the wool is being pulled over our eyes. But it’s also a great way, unfortunately, to frighten people into compliance with what their GP might be telling them. And if a sentence with “saving lives” is used by Sir Rory I would be inclined now to see who that’s directed at, since they might have something illuminating and useful to say.

      My friend who packed in the statins about 6 weeks ago, after 17 years, is now getting better. Leg muscle pain mostly gone. Which GP took no notice of 5 years ago when he complained about it, apart from arranging a blood test to check something that wasn’t explained to him at all, the results of which were explained over the phone as “everythings alright”. No, everything wasn’t alright at all. Hip joint pain, which GP said was age related arthritis, is now getting better as well and he can now walk 5 times further before he starts to feel discomfort. Next goal for him is coming off his co-codamol which he’s also been taking daily, five times a day, for years on end to try and deal with all that pain. Meanwhile, GP’s surgery have phoned to ask him to make an appointment to explain why he’s come off statins, since the pharmacy notified the GP he didn’t renew his prescription. He has told them he’ll be going in his own good time, he’s got enough on his plate at the moment.

      Reply
      1. Stephen

        Gill, well done to your friend. I asked my doctor what the NNT was for statins? Answer there was one.

  16. Roger & Anne Warner

    You are really sticking your head above the parapet! We applaud and support you for saying it as it is. Please keep it coming.

    Reply
  17. Frederica Huxley

    I have been reading lately that one of the ‘experts’ taking the Coca Cola $/£ is Sense about Science. By pure coincidence, the charity (?) has been decrying the evidence that sugar is a cause of obesity. I have had issues with them with regard to homeopathy, but Sense about Science has been making fantastic progress in conjunction with AllTrials in getting drug trials registered. Shame.

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Registration is good but until ALL Big Pharma studies are reviewed by independent, unconflicted researchers the machinations will go on.

      Reply
      1. Frederica Huxley

        Baby steps, I agree, but at least some forward motion. I was also interested to read that All Trials had meetings with some influential Wall Street Hedge Funds and investors – by pointing out the flagrantly fraudulent research practices of the pharmaceutical industry, All Trials convinced the managers that this could have serious bearing on their future share values! Hit them where it hurts.

  18. Cadmonkey

    Winston Seagoon?

    All the dystopian sci-fi I read in my formative years has left me somewhat unsurprised by the exertion of influence by the corporates on our lives, but I never fail to feel down after reading something like this.

    Keep going, Dr. K. I have started forwarding your and others’ blogs to family and certain friends in the hope of stirring some kind of wider debate. I suspect that they think I’m losing the plot…

    Reply
  19. David unwin

    So well put !
    I also feel I’m going a bit mad by suspecting corruption everywhere For me the wolves of bigpharma are circling in the area of diabetes when so often diet will do a cleaner cheaper job
    Or am I just mad after all ?

    Reply
    1. Janet B

      No, David Unwin, I don’t think you are. Yesterday I had my diabetic check. Because I am super careful about my blood glucose levels and keep a record, mainly for my own information, because I don’t care a fig about total cholesterol levels, concerning myself more with triglyceride and hdl ratios, because I don’t eat pasta, rice, bread etc., (I should eat those as they are part of a healthy diet) I was told I am OCD. OCD???? After that my blood pressure was tested, which, needless to say, was horribly high. I should have expressed my indignation instead of repressing it. I suppose that now I shall be pursued with prescriptions for blood pressure meds. Grrrrr.
      So there we are – if one goes against the current ‘healthy’ advice one risks being labelled as unhinged in some way. But wonderful it is that we can educate ourselves via the web and with the help of the excellent Dr. Kendrick so we don’t have to simply accept the silly advice that’s dished out to us en masse.

      Reply
      1. Hugh Mannity

        How high is “horribly” high?

        Back before they had so many drugs to lower BP, 100+your age was considered normal systolic for adult males and 100 =(your age-10) with a diastolic of between 80 and 100 (give or take). So for me, a 65 yo man, 165/100 could well be considered normal.

        After 25+ years on assorted medications, which either didn’t do much to change my BP or else had unacceptable side effects (vertigo, headache, everything tasting like rancid yak butter, cough, etc., etc., ad nauseam), I’ve decided I’m done. I just hope that I haven’t messed up my system beyond the point where it can regulate my BP to the level it needs.

        I eat minimally processed, mostly organic food. I get a decent amount of sleep most nights, I get fresh air and exercise, and I supplement with Vitamin D. And that will have to be enough.

        Depending on which side of the family I take after, I’ll either live to my 90s in robust good health, or drop dead of a huge heart attack in my early 50s. Oh… wait… I seem to have missed that “deadline”…. Guess I’m doomed. I don’t really care at this point. Death is inevitable, I’ve had a good run so far, so I’ve got no complaints.

    2. Stephen

      Don’t doubt yourself for a moment!

      Didn’t we treat type 2 diabetes with a low carb diet, and considerable success, from the 1850s? I’m assuming things changed when fat became demonised. Public Health England openly state that their dietary recommendations have nothing to do with obesity or diabetes. They’re just about heart disease and if that makes us fat and diabetic, well, that’s unfortunate.

      Telling carbohydrate intolerant people to eat carbs is dumb beyond belief. The only people who gain are drug companies and manufacturers of artificial limbs.

      Reply
      1. Janet B

        Yes. I was given a very stringent low carb diet when I was diagnosed in the 50s aged 15. ‘Mild diabetes’ it was called then. I was given a booklet and a set of diet scales and almost EVERYTHING except meat, fish, cheese, butter, cream, some vegetables had to be weighed. I can remember to this day the opening paragraph of the booklet. “No cakes, sweets, puddings, pies, thickened soups etc. etc. Shock horror. Mind you, people didn’t stuff themselves with junk food then. Fizzy drinks called ‘pop’ were an occasional treat as were sweets and other naughty stuff.
        To this day, I still like to drink cream.
        Thanks Doctor K for all your good works.

    3. gillpurple

      David,

      No, you’re not going mad at all, you’re one of the sane voices. Nowadays I find it absolutely criminal that most people with diabetes are getting advice which is, in effect, the long road to serious complications no matter how well they stick to the advice. Yes, the wolves of Big Pharma will be looking to see what other money making opportunities there are in diabetes. I don’t doubt that. I am so mad about what’s going on I’ve now made a three page resource list to hand out to anyone who might be able to make use of it if they have diabetes, which includes your website as well as utube lectures, references for articles and books. Thank goodness for people like yourself, Dr K and all the other good folks on here.

      Reply
      1. Janet B

        Oy! Stop slandering wolves, people. They are beautiful, persecuted creatures and not given to corruption. Let’s here it for wolves.

      1. Sue Richardson

        My previous comment was in answer to David Unwin. In case anyone’s wondering who is supposed to be not mad.

  20. DBM

    Excellent as always.

    I agree with you that you can’t blame the companies for doing what companies do but if you apply that same line of reasoning you can’t really blame the politicians either. Self interest and thirst for power is all the’re really interested in, so why are we suprised to find that they are so conflicted and ready to be bought by the highest bidder.

    At its core, economics all all about supply and demand. Unfortunately, we can’t really do anything about the supply part as the oligarchy we live in will always manipulate the rules to suit their aims. The only control we have is over the demand side of the equation, vote with our feet and refuse to buy from or engage with these organisations and eventually they may see the light and change their practices and products if they fear their profits will suffer. Hell, even the politicians may take note if they fear their votes are at risk.

    The only way to change the demand is through education and highlighting the hypocrisy which engulfs us everywhere. If that means enlightening one person at a time then so be it. This why your blog and others like are so important.

    Keep walking the long walk, long live Winston Smith.

    Reply
  21. Soul

    I’m getting pariously close to thinking everything is corrupt! Never would have suspected it would come to this as a child. By the way, what the best way to anger the media? Say statins do not works and even cause health problems. I’ve seen some writings with mention that possibly up to 90% of what is practiced in medicine today is wrong. How that conclusion was reached I don’t know, but with the mentions of the prominent former editors at medical journals I have to wonder if that is true.

    it seems our economic model has little do with with free markets, and is more about crony capitalism, finding once niche and then use all tools available to defend it, with experts, universities, politicians, regulatory agencies, etc. For someone with a devastating illness such as myself, that has not been able to work or even interact in society much due to it, it has been a fight to claw myself to any kind of health. I can’t help but believe this wouldn’t be the case for myself if the current system wasn’t in place.

    Reply
  22. Dr Liz Stansbridge

    Dr K
    I ask again. How do you function in this corrupt world?
    You are between a rock and a hard place. How do you manage?

    Reply
  23. beatrixwillius

    Corporations are made of humans. Why and when do those humans become so dehumanized so that only the money counts? I don’t get this and couldn’t live that way. But some seem to love this way of life.

    Reply
  24. Tim H

    Deep Throat said, “Follow the money”.

    Upton Sinclair adds, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

    And finally the father of Management, Peter Drucker, “People manage, not ‘forces’ or ‘facts’. It is the vision, dedication and integrity of the manager that determines whether you have management or mis-management.”

    A CEO’s job is on the line at least once a year when he faces shareholders at the Annual General Meeting. The past year’s financial results determine his future, Peter Drucker be damned. Whether corporate decisions or governance decisions, people make them and usually for the reason that Deep Throat pointed out. The problem, then, is the social respect that money earns.

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      May I add the following quote by Albert Einstein:

      Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.

      So much for the snake oil salespersons!

      Reply
  25. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

    Malcolm,

    Indeed it is a long journey to arrive at your statement:

    “Now I looked at these headlines and I thought, as I find myself doing most of the time nowadays. Corruption, corruption, corruption everywhere.”

    I have made that long journey myself although I thought earlier in my life that the medical field was devoid of the general corruption of uncontrolled business activities. Today I realise that the corruption in medicine is so disgustingly and elaborately and intricately interwoven with the health care system is of an almost unbelievable magnitude.

    (A friend of mine which I have successfully been able to keep of the statins for five years now has sadly under the pressure of his GP fallen back in the ‘trap’. What can I now do but cry?)

    So where is the hope for ‘a change’ today?

    I myself find such a hope in the grass root movements of different kinds opposing the overwhelming corporate power of today. Actions like that of a quarter of a million people on the streets in Berlin gives me hope back.

    And, of course, medical doctors who turn ‘heretics’, like yourself, are nursing my reborn hope for at better world.

    Another favourite of mine is Dr Mercola who is constantly (almost everyday) disclosing the frauds in the medical establishment and do this in a well documented way. His latest blog today (Oct 14) is convincingly disclosing the fraud and corruption involved in the breast cancer diagnostic and treatments.

    At the same time Dr Mercola has a thriving business in the US and is living well on health advise activities and on selling supplements but I really don’t have any great problem even if you are making a lot of money on a business which is to the benefit your fellow citizens. But as you point out the corruption is around the corner in his as in all business – wolfs are wolfs – when it is not properly controlled.

    In the case of Dr. Mercola he has the whole of Big Pharma together with the FDA as his very powerful and vigilant supervisors and here these ‘guys’ are probably doing a great scrutinising job which increases my trust in most of what Mercola is advocating.

    Reply
    1. Soul

      That was an interesting and good read on Dr. Mercola’s sight today about breast cancer detection and treatment. I’ve seen esteemed Dr. Kendrick also write a few informative pieces on the breast cancer detection industry. it hardly seems a year goes by anymore in America without a new study saying breast scans for cancer are not terribly helpful, and likely lead to more harm than good. That doesn’t stop hospitals from advertising there use though. When the studies come out on breast scans not being helpful, I’ve noticed splashed on the airwaves are ads for come in and have your mammogram done soon. Such is business.

      If looking for a good read I might recommend Professor Richard Ablin’s book on the prostate cancer screening industry. Professor Ablin discovered what is widely used in America for detecting prostate cancer, the PSA test, yet the test is not cancer specific. As can be imagined the Professor has been horrified about this, and for a couple decades has been doing what he can to inform the public about the PSA and cancer industry as a whole. As the Professor mentions though, it is hard to imagine Urologist’s giving up on the PSA or similar tests as likely half would be out of work.

      What interesting times we live in.

      “The Great Prostate Hoax: How Big Medicine Hijacked the PSA Test and Caused a Public Health Disaster”

      http://www.amazon.com/Great-Prostate-Hoax-Medicine-Hijacked-ebook/dp/B00HBQ6NY8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1444852799&sr=8-1&keywords=prostate+richard

      “Every year, more than a million men undergo painful needle biopsies for prostate cancer, and upward of 100,000 have radical prostatectomies, resulting in incontinence and impotence. But the shocking fact is that most of these men would never have died from this common form of cancer, which frequently grows so slowly that it never even leaves the prostate. How did we get to a point where so many unnecessary tests and surgeries are being done? In The Great Prostate Hoax, Richard J. Ablin exposes how a discovery he made in 1970, the prostate-specific antigen (PSA), was co-opted by the pharmaceutical industry into a multibillion-dollar business. He shows how his discovery of PSA was never meant to be used for screening prostate cancer, and yet nonetheless the test was patented and eventurally approved by the FDA in 1994. Now, doctors and victims are beginning to speak out about the harm of the test, and beginning to search for a true prostate cancer-specific marker.”

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        You might be interested in Gigerenzer, Gerd (2014-04-17). Risk Savvy: How To Make Good Decisions Kindle Deals with prostate cancer among other “RISKS”
        Wort reading

  26. scazzer

    What does this situation say about our democracy? That we little people are truly powerless. I have often thought that Parliament is the barrier between the Rich and Ordinary. We feel better by voting but it doesn’t make a huge amount of difference any more to mega corporations, because they are allowed to do what they want. I do vote, but am becoming cynical about where it gets us.

    Reply
    1. Barry

      Scazzer, nowhere – makes no more difference, in the long run, than changing the colour of the icing on a cake. Our democracy is a sham – nothing more than a name to a system that is very biased.
      Proportional representation would be a start (If I remember correctly only 24% of the public voted for the tories) but with the same commercial forces that are the root of corruption elsewhere applying just as much to senior government officials (see where they go when they eave parliament) there really is little reason to think that anything will change in the foreseeable future.

      Reply
    2. Tony

      We do not live in a democracy in the UK: We live in a dictatorship, where we elect the dictator of our choice, and they tell us what to do and how to live our lives. The ‘Nanny’ state is in fact a big brother dictatorship run by politicians on behalf of a capitalist system, so by nature corruption and media mind bending of us ‘subdominants’ is how we are controlled. Except maybe for the readers of this blog who can see through it all……………..

      Reply
    3. Flyinthesky

      Democracy! There’s an idea. Health care being a service not an authority, there’s another idea.
      Hey ho, I can dream.

      Reply
  27. Catherine Nile

    Absolutely agree. And there is a whole cancer industry too. It stinks. It works like this – chronic lifelong illness is caused with vaccinations, crap diet and other unnecessary pharmaceutical drugs. This then increases the market for increasing numbers of pharmaceutical drugs and treatments. I mention cancer in particular because this is the Holy Cow and practitioners are not allowed to offer alternative cures – of which there are many. I invite you to explore an American series on-line The Truth About Cancer made by Ty Bollinger.

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Since you raise cancer you might like the following.

      Please note in one graph ROS (reactive oxygen species) is involved in mitochondrial damage, cancer and incidentally caused by statin depletion of COQ10 a natural intra cell antioxidant designed to control ROS from the metabolic energy process

      Thomas Seyfried- Cancer – A Metabolic Disease With Metabolic Solutions

      Books:
      Christofferson, Travis (2014-10-26). Tripping Over the Truth: The Metabolic Theory of Cancer
      A book for lay readers

      Seyfried, T, “Cancer as a Metabolic Disease” A highly technical and expensive book

      Reply
      1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        Thank you!

        A really great and convincing talk from a seasoned researcher who knows what he is talking about!

        Between the lines he is actually telling about the total corruption of present day cancer research in the hands of Big Pharma although he seems to avoid the word corruption but without the shadow of a doubt that is what he clearly means.

        His book was also great reading to me although a little bit tough – we had a rather interesting discussion around this book a while ago here at Kendrick’s blog.

    2. Flyinthesky

      I’m tending to think that the cancer industry is possibly the biggest business on the planet and woe betide anyone who discovers an unpatentable cure.

      Reply
  28. Leigh

    I’ve got a Skoda diesel. It has a VW engine. The CEO of VW was ‘relieved’ of his duties (but not from his continuing role in other areas of the company). He received fullsome thanks and a golden handshake for his services to VW. The UK chief of VW operations told a Commons select committee that there was no chance his company would financially compensate UK drivers, because there were no inherent safety issues with the mechanics of the car other than faulty emissions. ENRON, FIFA, VW, BP, Statins, Coca Cola, Flora, Bernard Madoff, Charles Ponzi, Richard Nixon etc etc etc. The World is full of ’em. Unfortunately the prisons aren’t.

    Reply
  29. António Heitor Reis

    Nice post, Dr Kendrick.
    Here we have a similar case that can be found in http://www.medscape.com/cardiology
    Absence of Coronary Calcium Reclassifies Nearly 50% of Statin-Eligible Patients: MESA Analysis
    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/852180
    and
    Impact of Statins on Serial Coronary Calcification During Atheroma Progression and Regression
    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/842712
    So, we understand that:
    a) In the absence of coronary calcification statins shall not be prescribed;
    b) In case of coronary calcification statins shall be prescribed, and then patients get their arteries even more calcified;
    Ok do not worry, because:
    Do Statins Promote Coronary Calcification? Study Says Yes, and It Might Be a Good Thing
    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/842499
    Confused?

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      The confusion seems to be caused by the obfuscation of attempts to justify statin use but does absolutely nothing to alter the basic facts, namely the pathetic efficacy of the drugs. The NNTs involved in more and more reports seems to be clustering around the 300 per annum. Since studies have shown that many patients (if not a significant majority) have stopped taking statins within a year, it leaves a huge majority that do not benefit while some 20% will have adverse reactions(ARs)
      From the MHRA DAPs for simvastatin and atorvastatin nearly 30% of reported patient ARs include neurological ARs neatly broken down to many categories to confuse and distract attention from the 30%. As only 1% (or probably less) ARs are reported this worrying.

      Reply
      1. António Heitor Reis

        Yes, you are right about NNT. The results presented on the paper “The effect of statins on average survival in randomised trials, an analysis of end point postponement” (BMJ, 25 September 2015) are quite conclusive:
        “6 studies for primary prevention and 5 forsecondary prevention with a follow-up between 2.0 and 6.1 years were identified. Death was postponed between −5 and 19 days in primary prevention trials and between −10 and 27 days in secondary preventiontrials. The median postponement of death for primary and secondary prevention trials were 3.2 and 4.1 days,
        respectively”

      2. mikecawdery

        Antonio

        Thanks for the reference – most useful.

        Agreed! But the author continues to support the use of statins despite the NNTs or the probability of non-benefit for the individual patient except in apparently the case of muscular adverse reactions. There is no mention of the known and acknowledged neurological adverse reactions such as neuropathy, cognitive effects, behavioural effects and other associated conditions such as Parkinson, ALS, Alzheimer’s (Sennef, Graveline – Solomon, A. Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord 2009;28:75–80.Tables 2-4 change row titles to US therapy from TC levels.)

        Until there is a far more efficient diagnostic system that can identify patients who have a reasonable chance of benefiting from treatment, statin therapy will remain a shotgun therapy!

  30. Nigella P

    As ever, well said Dr Kendrick. I thought that maybe it was capitalism lending itself to corruption, but communist states were/are equally corrupt, if not more so! I think it is power that corrupts. The boss of Coca-Cola wants to remain in power, so he & his team will do anything to ensure that he remains the boss, which means making a tonne of money for his shareholders, which is done by increasing sales & market share, which is done by ensuring that the “sugar is really, really bad for you” message is buried, blurred, confused & not associated with a fun, sporty, refreshing drink like Coke! I guess the same could be said of anyone who holds a position of power – they want to stay where they are, wield even more perhaps & will do what it takes to retain & improve their position. Powerful people always make dangerous bedfellows, because their own agenda will ALWAYS be their number one priority.

    Reply
    1. Hugh Mannity

      All power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

      I think though, that power attracts those who are more easily corruptible.

      Reply
  31. HotScot

    Will we have a Statin scandal in twenty years when we all get calls from converted PPI recovery agents telling us that we can reclaim shedloads of money from the pharmaceutical companies that produced them?

    Of course they will completely ignore the responsible politicians whose testing and regulatory regimes were woefully inadequate and merely in place to tick a box. Cue VW, no one will ever convince me that many blind eyes were’nt turned, in every country, by scientists, engineers and politicians to the crude, ineffective and blatantly flawed testing methods employed to check manufacturers claims, in the full knowledge they were distorted. Someone is culpable. No doubt someone will make an apology and vow to improve the system.

    I bought a diesel recently (not a VW, not that it makes a bit of difference) understanding they are 25% more efficient than petrol and that diesel is cheaper and less energy reliant to refine than petrol. Stupidly I believed the sales hype that they were cleaner as well with filters and exhaust recirculation etc. What a mug!

    So how long can the the authoroties continue to apologise for, and regret incidents like this, and tragic events like Baby P and the current Georgina Williams murder. The fault is persistently blamed on communications failures between organisations, rather than the efforts made to ensure those failures don’t occur in the first place.

    These events along with the banking crisis, the PPI scandal, the Iraq war and innumerable other monumental cock ups of late are singularly lacking in any meaningful finger pointing. I know, it’s rude to point, but it’s even ruder to kill people with medication like statins subject to such corrupt manipulation.

    As for politicians?………A rich one is a corrupt one, and I have nothing at all against honestly acquired wealth. But politicians are servants of the community (a fact all too often forgotten by them) and ought to be paid as such. If they don’t like the pay and conditions, let them bugger off to jobs in commerce. Whilst their replacements may not have their education and PR skills they just might be noble enough to do an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay.

    In my opinion, politicians shouldn’t be eligible for election into any public role until they are 40 years old with a background of at least modest achievement and a history of integrity and sound judgement. Yes, that means some will be successful, and wealthy, businessmen rather than graduates with political degrees, but if they are paid a reasonable salary and forbidden further business activities as non-execs etc. (I just can’t believe we allow that!) they might just find the time to work for the benefit of the community rather than their cronies in big business.

    The only way to eliminate corruption amongst them is to reduce the opportunities and motivation for it. The upshot just might be the desire and ability to expose and deal with commercial corruption without the risk of exposing their own dubious activities.

    And whilst there are many perfectly honest and honourable politicians out there, they barely have a voice as the PR funding machines have their own interests at heart, including the Unions!……Another corrupt bunch masquerading as champions of the oppressed.

    And just a little personal crusade here. The Rugby world cup has shon the stark light of reality on the issue of concussion in the game, something long ignored to the future detriment of many players of the professional era.

    Quite unbelievably, when interviewed on Panorama, Bill Beaumont, a former England international, captain and now RFU official almost dismissed it by saying, and I paraphrase, “players are lighter and more mobile than when the game first went professional so it’s not the problem it was”.

    Numerous former players and medics (some are both) have been campaigning for years on the subject but making painfully slow progress. There is a simple means of dramatically reducing the problem, no tackles above the waist, amongst some other technical alterations to reduce serious injuries in the scrum which I won’t bore everyone with, assuming you haven’t all dropped off by now!

    Ran’t over, err……………except:

    Come on Scotland!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
      1. Sue Richardson

        Should that not be a capital ‘T’ there? Most of us think you are The Doctor anyway. Stop blushing it’s absolutely true.

  32. gillpurple

    Brilliant as usual, Dr K. I’ve learned more about what’s really going on in medicine in the last three months since I started reading your blogs and then building up my own little medical library of books and articles. I knew, or at least had a good idea, of what’s going on in some areas e.g.the banking system (another crisis heading our way very soon) and how the supermarkets are treating farmers.

    Lack of ethics has now become normalised, and our perception of reality is being constantly manipulated and managed by big business, and politicians are colluding. It makes me very angry indeed. What hope have we got when politicians fought in court to try and prevent the expenses scandal coming to light.

    Recently found out my 86 year old mother has been on beta blockers for the last 3 or 4 years for so called high blood pressure. Explained to her what I’ve gleaned from here. She wasn’t happy to say the least, because she then realised her blood pressure wasn’t high at all and never has been. Common sense woman, smallholder all her adult life until she retired at 80, and didn’t take any antibiotics till she was 70. She decided to throw the beta blockers in the bin. 10 days later she went to the chemist to have her blood pressure taken without letting them know she’d stopped taking the tablets. Reading was 112 over 60. Pharmacist commented that it was on the low side but told her she must continue to take the beta blockers for life! Outrageous. She feels fine although frailer, enjoys her life, and has some age related health issues for which she takes one other medication. Another person who’s going to be having a very frank talk with her GP shortly. So even my mother, who is one the smartest people I know and believes in only taking medicine sparingly when absolutely necessary, has been caught out in the trickle down of corruption at the top in the NHS.

    Reply
    1. Old fogey

      Why take her to see the GP at all? Chances are that the office itself is not an overly clean atmosphere and you already know that his/her advice is useless. I think we should run, not walk, to the medical profession when confronted with a medical emergency – but stay away otherwise. Let the physicians treat sick people, not diagnose illness in healthy ones.

      Reply
      1. gillpurple

        Old Fogey,

        I’m not taking her, she’s choosing to go because she wants to say what she thinks and hear what he has to say about her taking a medication for a non illness. She’s physically frailer but her mind is as sharp as a tack, she’s articulate and assertive. She would agree with you – but she’s not best pleased about having the wool pulled over her eyes.

    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      A nice article. The problem we have, of course, is that whilst humans are kind and caring (generally), those in power are very often not. Also organisations tend to act like psychopaths, and the people who populate seem powerless to prevent this happening. The chief exec, or whoever holds power, says that the primary function of a commercial organisation is to make money so we cannot afford to be nice, or generous, or caring – or even honest. This drives the behaviour of/within companies.

      Reply
      1. Anna

        While we are at it, this has been on my mind for some time. I am tired of hearing people make excuses for the profit motive. Sometimes they even say that a corporation is, after all, ETHICALLY obligated to make money, with no other obligations! What nonsense. What sort of society condones such a thing? Of course the profit motive must come after other considerations of society, its children and so forth. If you can make money while also not doing harm and engaging in deceit, go for it.

    2. amie

      My 92 year old mother actually heeded my son’s advice to stop taking statins as she complained of severe muscle pain. When she had a fall at her home, the ambulance man was questioning her in the presence of me and my son about her medication, asking amongst other things, whether she was taking statins. No, she told him firmly, to which the ambulance men all nodded approvingly and the questioner said, to my son’s surprise,: “quite right too”.

      Reply
  33. HotScot

    Individually I think we are mostly caring, or at least would like to believe we are. Collectively, however, and particularly when driven by our bean counting leaders (commercial or political) who often have little experience in the real world, we are driven to acts of passive dishonesty and accepting social negligence hoping we will never be found out.

    It’s a particular characteristic of the Police who are paid to be honourable, honest, caring and hard working, however, the ambitions of a few self serving individuals drive officers to extraordinary acts of dishonesty and cowardice.

    I speak from experience leaving the job in 1978 after 11 years in Glasgow. I decided some years before leaving not to engage in routine unsavoury practises. I was targeted by senior management for that decision, which sounds a bit ‘woe is me’, but it’s not, I was happy to leave behind some truly appalling activities. No such things as whistle blowere then.

    In defence of most Cops, they become conditioned from very early in their career i.e. day one and are not encouraged to question decisions, no matter how bizarre they may seem. A quote from one of my colleagues goes “It’s a Victorian organisation operating in the late 20th Century”, he also left around the time I did.

    That’s why I believe the Police and politicians should have a life before settling into civil service.

    Reply
  34. David Bailey

    Malcolm,

    I agree with everything you have written, but I think the malaise within science runs even deeper, because academic careers are structured around papers claiming positive results. This has lead people to cut corners more and more to produce those results. The result is that people take data that is little more than noise, and extract supposedly significant results from it. I have come to doubt more and more ‘science’ that is obtained that way.

    Scientific mistakes have a tendency to pile up – once you demonise cholesterol, all sorts of other mistakes follow from that – you end up with a heap of junk! That same pattern repeats itself over and over. I imagine museums of the future where people will simply laugh at much of our science.

    Reply
  35. jaxthefirst

    The whole charity system generally needs a complete shake-up, primarily for the very reasons you outline in your excellent piece, Doctor. It would be interesting indeed to look at the detailed accounts of all number of charities to see where their funding comes from (the Charity Commission site, last time I looked, only listed “donations,” without differentiating between those given by corporate entities and those given by “yer ordinary man in the street.”) I’d imagine that, if made available, the results would prove illuminating – and would certainly offer an “expenses-scandal” type opportunity for any eagle-eyed journalist wanting to shake things up a little (if such journalists still exist). I believe that the public would be horrified to discover exactly how much money is funnelled towards these “once-removed salesmen” to further the interests of big companies, or indeed how much public money is pumped into them by Governments of all persuasions in order to make a longed-for policy appear as if it has sufficient public support for politicians to vote for it, when in fact the public either actively doesn’t want it or is totally apathetic about it. Which is just as dishonest and just as corrupt, if not worse.

    Reply
    1. HotScot

      jaxthefirst

      I believe, following the ‘bonfire of the quango’s’ (as pathetic as that was) our current government supports numerous ‘charities’ that would otherwise fail from public disinterest, because they promote many of their policies.

      Quango’s, masquerading as charities.

      I only donate to the Earl Haig fund and the RNLI now.

      Reply
  36. Roderick

    In the old times of imperial China, an emperor would have many concubines and wives, and many children, brothers, nephews, etc. Every one of whom was followed by a cohort of “lobbyists”: functionaries, diplomats, lawyers and very succesful merchants or their representatives, who where trying to gain political power or to have the law biased in their favor. In “democracy”, there is no emperor or nobility, but we still have the lobbyists.

    It is impossible to corrupt power. Power is the origin of all corruption.

    ______________________________________

    Malcolm, have you heard of this? Automatic scientifi paper generator: https://pdos.csail.mit.edu/archive/scigen/

    Computers are not conscious (yet). They have no free will and no responsibility. Their productions do not have bad intentions behind, cannot be created corrupted, and cannot be designed to cause corruption. On the other hand, man made papers…

    I wonder what would happen if computers were programmed to create legislation, to assume the functions of governments, judges, prosecutors and lawyers. For one, costs should go down. Could computers be capable of reprogramming themselves to accept bribes?

    If computers were like angels, then the police and the military would cease their operations.

    What about psychiatry? If psychiatrists were computers perhaps they would stop all medications and train people in solving logical puzzles. The reason why doctors prescribe drugs is that doctors are chemically-based. A computerized doctor will prescribe logic and electricity.

    ______________________________________

    Ten years from now, perhaps there are no more cholesterol drugs. What scam will replace them?

    Reply
    1. Hugh Mannity

      You’ve forgotten the basic rule of computing: Garbage In: Garbage Out.

      Who would program these legislative computers? How would you ensure that the programming was completely unbiased, error-free, and accurate?

      It’s a nice idea, but not practical.

      Reply
    2. David Bailey

      Roderick,

      I think you will find that the software to which you linked is not meant to represent nascent artificial intelligence, but to demonstrate that garbage papers can be accepted for publication, even when they have no meaning at all!

      I don’t think computers can solve the mess that science has created – indeed they are partially responsible for what has happened.

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        Nice comment David,

        Could account for the huge number of publications achieved by some “experts” and their ghost-writers

    3. Dr Liz Stansbridge

      The trouble is.. psychiatrists think that their ‘science’ is chemically based. The serotonin hypothesis has never been proved. Their theories are based upon sand. The human psyche is not a computer, nor will ever be.
      Theories of ‘soul’ have troubled humans for thousands of years. We are no nearer conclusions than our forebears ever were,
      The only thing that matters is compassion.

      Reply
      1. Roderick

        The mistake was to reduce everything to chemistry in order to remove the idea of soul. It is wrong to start with an axiom and then waste time trying to prove that axiom. If you assume everything is material then all your subsequent results will show that everything is material, and if you find something that is not material you will be accused of violating logic reasoning. Under dogmatic domination, only reinforcement to the original truth is allowed.

        But if the axiom is wrong, then all the reasonings based on it could be wrong too. It’s as if scientists were all in an airplane and thought that if they stopped believing in the plane then it would crash. Even if it is true, science is based too on beliefs and feelings, and that is problematic for everyone.

  37. Aitch 290

    Dr Kendrick – once again you are spot on. And the comments on here demonstrate that there is plenty of public interest & support, indeed there is also some media interest in uncovering some of this. Have you considered whether an organisation such as Which?, or MoneySavingExpert.com might be interested in working with you in some way??? It’s just a thought, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to establish a truly independent medical research facility? I know there are dangers in being seen to speak out, but it seems to me that you are halfway there & there are numerous other professionals who agree with you & have already spoken out in their own way.
    Thanks for all you do!
    Aitch

    Reply
  38. Stephen

    The Flat Earth Society is alive and well.

    There was some optimism earlier this year that the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans were finally moving away from the Ancel Keys’ paradigm. Dr Kendrick wrote about this subject in May under the title ‘Sorry seems to be the hardest word’.

    Last month Nina Teicholz wrote of her concerns in the BMJ that the committee behind the guidelines were now ignoring inconvenient evidence that contradicted the low-fat advice of the last 35 years. The committee has relied heavily on reviews by organisations such as the American Heart Association, who, along with their sponsors, have long been dedicated to the diet-heart hypothesis.

    Here’s what Nina Teicholz says about the committee’s view on saturated fat: “Despite this conflicting evidence, however, the committee’s report concludes that the evidence linking consumption of saturated fats to cardiovascular disease is ‘strong.’ ”

    Indeed, saturated fat is placed in the same category as sugar and empty calories. Despite the lack of evidence, there is increased emphasis on a plant-based ‘sustainable’ diet and away from meat. Salt should still be reduced, despite evidence to the contrary.

    In short, the committee is biased in favour of the status quo and ignores a wealth of evidence, particularly on low-carb diets.

    If the committee has its way, the abject failure of the last 35 years will continue.

    http://www.bmj.com/content/351/bmj.h4962

    Reply
  39. Anna

    Dr. Kendrick,

    I feel your despair. It is surreal sometimes, isn’t it? The corruption is everywhere, everywhere. Yeah, we’re a long way down that road and there’s no turning back. How will all this end up? I wonder if this forcing of yearly flu vaccines, starting in utero, might blow up. I suspect that the forcing of health care workers is just the start. Next will be schools and medicare and medicaid recipients, and finally it will be universally mandated. But at the same time, there will be growing awareness of the harm, and growing rage.
    Well, yesterday I took care of an old man who had gotten the flu shot the day before. His arm was swollen and red. Gave him an antihistamine.

    Reply
    1. Dr Liz Stansbridge

      Dr K.
      I have asked you twice.
      The NHS is a corrupt place of conflicting economic interests.
      I could not function in it. How do you?
      Do you take your elderly patients off all the crappy drugs? Do you let them find health without drugs. Do you have anything else to offer? Do you let them die in peace? Do you do what the guidelines say? Do you treat them according to the evidence you believe in?
      These are hard questions.
      Do you have the courage of your convictions?
      Courage enough to say how a real doctor would/should treat people in today’s NHS?
      This is the most important thing you have to answer.
      State your opinions loud and clear.

      Reply
      1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        Liz. If a patient is terrified of coming of a medication, is it my place to take them off that medication. I try to point everyone to the evidence, as far as I know it to be true. I try to let people make their own minds up about what they will and will not take. What they will, and will not do. I think of myself as a guide. Doctor as educator, as supporter.

      2. Sue Richardson

        I think we can safely say Dr K has the courage of his convictions, Anna, otherwise this blog wouldn’t exist. He already has his head on the block, and risks his career by saying what he does. We need doctors like him in the NHS otherwise we would truly be left to the wolves. Nothing against wolves I hastily add. Lovely creatures – at a distance.

      3. Dr Liz Stansbridge

        Mmmmm I get a thumbs down for asking a real question,
        Is that what this is all about? If you don’t agree, if you think for yourself , you are not acceptable?
        Dr K. shows we all have to think for ourselves.
        Is that not enough?
        I continue my search for truth..

    2. Sue Richardson

      I have always wondered — I knew a dear old a few years ago. . He went dutifully for the jab he was told he should have. Two weeks later he was dead – of flu.

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        I worked for an institution that introduced flu vaccination to reduce sick days from flu. After some years it stopped; flu vaccination did nothing and was found to be an unnecessary cost. As a research organization it had a large and competent statistics dept. My personal experience has been that the flu jab was followed by 2-3 viral flu-like infections every year until I took large vit C doses and 5,000 IU of vit d3 daily. Haven’t any viral flu-like infections since. I still get the flu jab to help keep my GP’s QoF records up.

    3. Barry

      Anna, flu shots are a waste of time and money. Each year the drug companies have to decide which virus variant is going to be the dominant strain – they, at best, take an educated guess as they are chasing a mutating virus. Last year, or the year before (doesn’t really matter) even the CDC declared that the flu shot had failed. The fact is that people having the “jab” experience more flu (or what is classified as flu) than whose that don’t. There are better and more effective natural ways to reduce your chances of suffering flu than the flu shot – and you won’t risk the adverse effects that many people experience. How do you get people to see the truth about anything when they are all too willing to believe whatever rubbish is spouted by drug companies and medical authorities that really should know better? They want to believe the lie – facing reality shatters illusions.
      What really concerns me is that the Big Pharma and its bought politicians clearly want to force vaccinations on us irrespective of value or harm done and, what is worse, they are succeeding – witness current US policy. Plus there is this http://www.naturalnews.com/047571_vaccines_sterilization_genocide.html . Don’t tell me this happens by accident. This leads us down a very deep rabbit hole.
      Latest info from Dr Mercola http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/10/06/flu-vaccine-major-failure.aspx and a more in-depth coverage of vaccines from the International Medical Council on Vaccination http://www.vaccinationcouncil.org/2013/10/15/the-flu-vaccine-something-to-sneeze-at-by-roman-bystrianyk/ . Good quote at the beginning of the article:
      The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie—
      deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent,
      persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the
      comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.
      – John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917–1963)
      I’ve mentioned this book before but it really is worth reading to separate the hype from the truth regarding vaccines. Dissolving Illusions by Suzanne Humphries, MD and Roman Bystrianyk, ISBN 9781480216891.

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        Barry

        Thanks for the flu vaccine link. It tallies with a paper sent to me by the UK DoH.
        Effectiveness of seasonal 2010/11 and pandemic influenza A(H1N1)2009 vaccines in preventing influenza infection in the United Kingdom: mid-season analysis
        2010/11 . Euro Surveill. 2011;16(6):pii=19791. Available online: http://www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=19791

        The interesting Table is 3 that out lines the efficacy with their CIs. Frankly I was Not impressed and told them so. Result end of discussion.

  40. Dr Liz Stansbridge

    Malcolm
    That is an excellent reply. Listening to your patients. What a rare thing that is, and educating them. I did find, in old age psychiatry, that the elderly just wanted to be told what to do by the doctor, though.
    I admire you.
    Today I have spent a day among willow crafters, They have never heard of low carbing, yet they think they eat healthily. They have no idea that lentils or split pea soup contains carbs. Lunch was lentil/veg soup and home made bread, followed by cake and flapjacks. Carb, carb, carb with added sugar!. Searchez le protein! They think that is healthy. I took a packed lunch of crustless quiche, chicken salad, pistachios and low carb blueberry muffins. They looked at me with amazement that carrots could be forbidden.
    What a long way there is to go.
    I used to be irritated by people with dietary fads. Now I am one of them, oh dear.
    Can’t argue with an HbA1c of 31 and 9.5 stone weight loss however.
    Ahem! Showing off again! Sorry! (but not very sorry really!)

    Reply
    1. Sue Richardson

      That sounds like a delicious lunch, Liz. How can you have a crustless quiche though? Isn’t that a condradiction in terms? One thing I do miss on a low carb diet is pastry.

      Reply
      1. Frederica Huxley

        Lots of delicious recipes for crustless quiches online! We finished off an excellent one last night for supper.

      2. Sue Richardson

        Ah, Hugh – Frittata I’ve actually made that. Yes it would be more or less the same basis as quiche.

      3. Dr Liz Stansbridge

        You just bake it without the pastry! I suppose it is a tortilla really. There are online recipes for cauli pastry, The cauli pizza didn’t do much for me so I haven’t ventured!

    2. Dr Liz Stansbridge

      I have a thumb down I see. I would love to know what they disagree with.
      Weight loss, low carbing, sorting your diabetes, making willow chairs?
      Woodland crafts are highly eco friendly they say.
      Most discussion derived from the crustless quiche. Well frying a few veg, adding cheese and eggs and putting them in the oven couldn’t be less controversial.
      What on earth did I say????

      Reply
      1. Sue Richardson

        It wasn’t me Liz, but I have sometimes accidentally touched the wrong thing on my iPad mini as the icons are so small. Perhaps that’s what happened. People do sometimes disagree here, but pleasantly!

      2. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        Yes. One of the things that makes me most happy is that almost everyone here can understand the difference between disagreeing and being disagreeable. I welcome debate and those who criticize different ideas. But I hope we can all walk off the pitch at the end and shake hands.

      3. Hugh Mannity

        Wasn’t me! Perhaps someone was giving a thumbs-down to the willow crafters’ lunch menu.

        This is one of the few sites where I read and respond to comments, because the discussion is civilised and enlightening.

      4. mikecawdery

        Dr Kendrick
        everyone here can understand the difference between disagreeing and being disagreeable

        Indeed that is great but if one tries to debate with “experts” one gets a very different and usually disagreeable response, particularly if you raise a point that they cannot answer.

        It is both a pleasure to comment on your blog and honour to do so.

        Thanks very much for giving all of us who comment/debate/discuss thereon. (arguement is usually an exchange of ignorance – can’t remember the source)

      5. mikecawdery

        Dr Kendrick

        The last sentence should end ………….discuss thereon for the privilege of doing so

    3. HotScot

      Drivers in the UK believe they are good because they are told they are good when they pass an over simplistic driving test and are awarded a licence to drive a Ferrari (assuming they can afford the insurance) from day one. Indeed, there is nothing to stop them taking their driving test in a Ferrari. How barmy is that?

      What they are not told is they are at the very beginning of learning to drive. Quite unbelievably, and obscenely, the UK government, and driving organisations expect them to undertake that task completely independently. When I inquired about enrolling my daughter on a RoSPA driving course immediately following her test, I was advised she needed six months on the road herself to gain some confidence…….£$%^&*!!!!!!!!!!!!!…….or crash and die!

      Like many activities in life, most people operate from a position of unwitting ignorance simply because they have passed a test, including Doctors, Engineers, Builders, Lawyers, Politicians etc. And whilst I initially questioned the value of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) it quickly became apparent that the people who embrace it are better at their jobs, more confident, more approachable, and appropriately humble about their achievements because they recognise the length of the journey rather than their their modest achievements.

      I’m a trained driver with a variety of ‘advanced’ qualifications (God I hate that elitist term, we should all be participating in secondary or ongoing training) apparently amongst the top 1% in the country, but daily I find myself exasperated at my own stupid mistakes. The difference between me and conventionally trained drivers is that I know I am making mistakes and have a very clear understanding of the potential consequences. I also challenge myself daily with small driving routines, or practises to ensure I’m always trying to improve, or at least, not become complacent.

      Car crashes are invariably the result of ignorance, not carelessness or speed. The Highway Code is reviewed annually but when was the last time any of us looked at it. I would hazard a pretty accurate guess at “the day I passed my driving test”.

      Similarly, medical, political, legal and building catastrophes are invariably derived from ignorance, frequently obscured by smoke and mirrors when the inquiries begin. But by the time the runaway train is recognised, no one wants to put their foot on the brake lest they be identified as the one in control. So everyone hopes they’ll be thrown clear of the wreckage with injuries minor enough to identify them as victims rather than participants. Politicians are not unique in this respect; they just get involved in bigger crashes.

      Quite how we got here from basket weaving and quiche recipes completely baffles me. And I’m sorry if it’s all a bit cryptic.

      Reply
      1. Graham Stephens

        One word… Awesome. Ok a few more, from an ex International and National Rally Driver 🙂

    1. Frederica Huxley

      I gather the medical fraternity in the US wishes to only allow doctors of medicine to be to be addressed as ‘doctor’. Their arrogance and ignorance astounds.

      Reply
  41. Stephen

    Sue, this is the first time I’ve ever offered a woman advice on food preparation!

    I buy my quiche from my excellent local butcher and then cut the outer pastry off from around the side. It takes seconds and comes away easily. I’ve noticed that when I eat wheat it’s bloating. No doubt that’s why there’s a book on the subject called ‘Wheat belly’.

    Reply
    1. Sue Richardson

      There’s a first time for everything Stephen. What a good idea, never thought of doing that. I’ll look up the crustless recipes too.

      Reply
    2. HotScot

      You ‘buy’ your Quiche from a butcher?…….Please, I’m sorry but there is hardly an easier dish to cook, especially if you don’t bother with the pastry.

      Reply
    3. Dr Liz Stansbridge

      They charge you for the crust. You cut it off and chuck it.
      Just make your own, will cost you a third of the price!

      Reply
  42. Frederica Huxley

    I came across this article on the rank corruption in the pharmaceutical industry, and the appalling lack of oversight by the FDA: http://www.nutritionjrnl.com/article/S0899-9007%2814%2900332-3/fulltext It is patent that nobody cares enough to stem this egregious state of affairs, and fines to the industry perpetrators is picayune. The fact that patients lives are put at risk is immaterial to the rush to get drugs approved and on the market.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      The article you linked to is a good overview for what must be evident for any person who begins to reflect the least about what could be proper eating for a diabetic person.

      “Dietary carbohydrate restriction as the first approach in diabetes management: Critical review and evidence base”

      I read recently that at the latest diabetic conference, which gathered thousands and thousands from the medical establishment, there was not a single talk addressing the topic of nutrition.

      Reply
      1. Hugh Mannity

        What was the conference food? Baked goods, soda, sandwiches and chips/crisps?

        I work for a hospital, the food is quite tasty and they put a lot of effort into preparing good “nutritious” food for both patients and staff. To the point where the local elderly population will come to the hospital to eat lunch or dinner, because it’s cheaper and better than some restaurants. But they’re all over the low-fat thing. However, you can find some decent low-carb choices, you just have to know where to find them.

        But they also have candy, soda, and ice cream vending machines in the emergency department and the diabetic advice they hand out is the same old same old.

  43. amie

    Just read today’s report in the Express, quoting you. Baby steps, baby steps, but the message may be filtering through. Last week I was in the woman’s section awaiting investigations in a North London hospital, and a wiry, weatherbeaten woman who told us she was 80 (didn’t look over 70) sighed that she used to be such a strong woman, tending her allotment of broccoli etc, until she succumbed to muscle pain owing to the statins she had been taking. Since she stopped them she had recovered somewhat. (I cheered silently.) So now she was keeping her cholestrol down with Benecol (I groaned inwardly.) Another woman of around 60, in a wheel chair pricked up her ears. I also suffer (sic) from cholestrol, she exclaimed.” Maybe its the statins that have made it too painful for me to walk? What is the other medicine you take, this Benecol, is it better?” I felt helpless to even begin unpicking all this with these women in this limited encounter.
    Why are elderly women still having statins inflicted on them, when that at least is surely universally clear: that it is useless for elderly women???
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/612801/Statins-drugs-ineffective-heart-drug

    Reply
      1. Frederica Huxley

        Alas, fear is an effective tactic in getting patients to immediately accede without question to mainstream protocols for cancer.

      2. Flyinthesky

        I’m tending to think that this is the start of the demise of statins, not for any good reasons but to clear the way for pcsk9. The fundamental reality that in the vast majority the population it doesn’t need lowering and in some cases it’s downright dangerous won’t be considered.

      3. Flyinthesky

        There’s another, though not as powerful, co runner with fear, not wanting to change or put any effort into changing lifestyle.
        Doctor I get indigestion when I eat pies, the right response to me would be don’t eat pies. The common response is a prescription for Omeprazole.
        If big pharma invented a pill to negate the effects of smoking they’d sell millions!

      4. Dr Liz Stansbridge

        Unless it is driving fast across a level crossing! People cannot make accurate risk assessments, They all think they are superb drivers, underestimate the risk.
        Why do people freak out about dietary risk but not road risk? There is a question.

    1. Barry

      Amie, I know how you feel – you just have to bite your lip – as you are facing an impossible task with most people. My father in law is taking statins and they are destroying him slowly but surely. He was bright and alert for his age but now he’s a shadow of his former self and has the ‘thousand-yard stare’ (Don McCullin’s Vietnam picture of a shell-shocked US marine 1968) most of the time. He also consumes cholesterol lowering margarines because they are’ healthier’. I have tried many times to educate him on statins, including showing him what happened to Duane Graveline, but it’s a waste of time. Mother-in-law is no better, health in tatters and on more medication than you can shake a stick at. Both are utterly convinced that doctor knows best. I think if they were told a cyanide pill was good for them they’d take it.
      Where’s the evidence that statins are good for women of any age?
      I suspect that the message filtering through is not so much about statins not being as effective as some claim but more preparing the ground for a switch to PCSK9 inhibitors. Big Pharma still sees plenty of opportunity for profit in the cholesterol myth and there are too many senior people who have nailed their flag to the cholesterol pole.

      Reply
      1. amie

        I am not anti vax, or against conventional effective medicine, but don’t get me started on the ignorance among even consultants about Omeprazole. When I was first diagnosed with osteoporosis, I was dished out Omeprazole as an antidote to the osteoporosis medication, bisphosphonates. I read up about how PPIs like Omeprazole suppress stomach acid which is essential for calcium absorption, which is kind of key in bone health, so I ditched them at once. talk about giving with one hand and taking away with the other. Years later, recently, with my osteoporosis reversed to osteopoenia (off the meds and through supplementation, diet and excercise- on the meds I just got steadily worse) – I was referred to ENT at my local hospital for chronic hoarseness and they find residual reflux damage. (Although I no longer have frequent, or severe, reflux after cutting out all bread.) Again, the consultant offers me ” a little pill” which will deal with the reflux. That would be? Omeprazole! I gave him a lecture about offering it to a person with osteopenia. He had no idea. And at the final discharge consultation with another consultant, this second consultant again offered it to me!

      2. Flyinthesky

        amie, A curiosity for your consideration:
        I have long ago figured out that me and bread, to a lesser degree any wheat flour product, don’t get on together, acid, bloating and going through me like a Porsche. I do give in to a bacon sandwich occasionally but for me there is no net nutritional gain, I don’t keep it long enough.
        I have just spent two weeks in Spain and succumbed to buying a packet of BIMBO barmcakes to make cheeseburgers with. No such problems arising !!!
        Anyone who is familiar with the Brand knows that it is an evil product, more E,s than you can shake a stick at!, so long as it doesn’t dry out it keeps for weeks, what on earth is in them to preserve them. When in Spain I disregard one of my basic rules: If mould won’t grow on I shouldn’t be eating it.
        If I made a burger with a Warburtons barmcake at home all hell would break loose.
        What’s in them or not in them that makes the difference?
        N.B. no offence Mr Warburton, I like your barmcakes.

  44. Barry

    Flyinthesky, nothing to apologise for. For those of us that understand what is happening it’s very sad to see innocent people being led astray and damaging their health following the advice of doctors and official organizations. I accept that doctors cannot be expected to keep fully up-to-date with every twist and turn in medical knowledge – just haven’t got the time. What I can’t accept is that the overwhelming amount of evidence against statins over many years is glossed over. There is no plausible excuse for it – they (doctors) know about it but actively choose to ignore it. In denial doesn’t come close.

    Reply
    1. Flyinthesky

      It isn’t every twist and turn is it, statins and PPIs are everyday prescribings, basics.
      In the main it isn’t the doctors fault, he/she has a hymn sheet to sing from and posing a different opinion can lead to serious trouble.
      The problem I have with doctors is they don’t guide and advise they direct, it’s that hymn sheet thing again.
      I’m well into my 6th year without a GP, until I can find one that accepts my terms of patronage, don’t call me I’ll call you, so it will remain.

      Reply
  45. Stephen

    Barry, I do think people’s faith in doctors is understandable and natural. We should be able to trust them to advise in our best interests, and I’m sure most want to, but what a background they have to operate under! NICE guidelines, targets and other pressures, including patients who have come to expect a pill for every ill.

    I’ve tried to persuade my brother to stop taking statins and I might be making some progress, but his point that surely his doctor knows better than his brother? That’s a perfectly reasonable attitude from an intelligent and busy man. It just happens to be wrong.

    Reply
    1. HotScot

      Stephen,
      withut wanting to state the obvious, wouldn’t it be reasonable to give your brother a copy of Dr Kendricks book on the subject, hope he reads it and draws his own conclusions.

      It’s a sensitive subject and one I’ll be broaching it with three friends of mine over the coming few months but the time and opportunity has to be waited for.

      Advice is rarely welcome unless requested (he says, handing out advice).

      Reply
      1. Stephen

        HotScot, my brother isn’t a big reader and wouldn’t read a book on this subject. I’ve sent him talks from YouTube but I doubt he’s watched any. I can’t press too hard or he’ll tell me where to go in Anglo-Saxon language that includes “off.” His daughter is training to be a nurse and she’s interested, so I bought her ‘The Big Fat Surprise’ by Nina Teicholz. If I can convince his daughter that fat and cholesterol aren’t wicked and terrible, I’ll probably get there in the end.

        My brother’s point is entirely logical: if we want engineering advice, we get an engineer. If we want medical advice, don’t we see a doctor? It’s a very fair point, or would be in a sane world. And like everyone else, his life has been filled by “Cholesterol is bad” messages and he assumes the NHS knows what it’s talking about. The system is letting him, and millions of others, down badly.

      2. HotScot

        Stephen,

        my son is a type 1 diabetic with dreadful dietary habits but won’t listen to anyone, other than perhaps his wife, and mine (stepmother) who is a health professional and senior academic.

        But he’ll still ignore anything he thinks will interfere with his lifestyle. Other than he and his wife have had their first child recently and he’s predictably become very responsible. So being that my wife has a specialist diabetes lecturer on her staff, she told him she’s had a good book on the subject recommended to her. Because it comes from a ‘credible’ source he showed some interest. But we’ll still send it to his wife so as to almost drip feed him and stimulate some curiosity.

        There was an interesting article on the BBC’s Radio 2 Jeremy Vine show yesterday (19th October) where the resident doctor seemed to be shifting emphasis on Statins, just slightly, saying that if Cholesterol can be controlled by diet it’s better than taking them. I believe the show can be downloaded as a podcast with a number of contributors complaining of the side effects. Very credible and articulate doctor as well.

        It’s easy to write off ‘crackpot amateur guru’s’ but Dr. Kendrick is a practising GP, trained by the NHS (presumably) so has the inside track on current practises and, as importantly, ignorance within the profession. And to be fair, much like every job, doctors can’t all be expected to read everything ever published on all health issues so they, like the rest of us, trust the guidelines they are given on lots of subjects.

        Perhaps the tactic to adopt is one of a breadcrumb trail rather than a frontal assault. However at the end of the day the least you can do is let him know of your concerns then shut up, better to maintain a relationship with him on statins than fall out with him over the subject. It’s his health and he has to take responsibility for it, not you.

    2. Barry

      Stephan, Faith in doctors is understandable but faith is the belief in something for which you have no concrete evidence. I recognise the many conflicts at work here (such as you describe) and wonder, as many on this blog, just how the more aware doctors deal with them as talking and listening alone will not resolve the fundamental flaws in the system. However, when it comes to statins, if the truth is so obvious to non-professionals who bother to research the subject why isn’t it so to trained professionals? It is not as if you need to look very far for evidence. If I was on statins and somebody showed me just a minute fraction of the evidence against them and the whole ridiculous cholesterol hypothesis (How many books have doctors written about this?) I would be searching out answers for myself and I can’t understand, given it’s your health at stake, why any person would not do the same.
      The sad truth is that doctors such as Dr Kendrick are in the minority and his patients are quite likely blissfully unaware of just how lucky they are. There appears to be a belief, by many, that all doctors are good but, in reality, they are no different from any other group of professionals in that their competence varies from excellent to poor.
      Good luck with your brother and, as Hotscot says, give him Dr Kendrick’s book and back it up with Duane Graveline’s personal experience (see Spacedoc.com). He was a believer in statins until they destroyed his health. If that doesn’t convince your brother I don’t know what will.

      Reply
    3. mikecawdery

      Stephen

      I do trust my doctor – most important. The bedside manner is probably more effective than most of the unnatural but patentable molecules Big Pharma tries to sell, ably supported by their snake oil salesperons. But he does listen to what I have to say (he follows this blog) but he is bound by the guidelines as all doctors working with patients have to be or risk legal suit or GMC negligence charges. It is a disgrace that doctors are dictated to in this fashion. The solution lies within the profession itself and it seems to me that there is a movement to criticize some of the more outlandish stupidities of the medical establishment.

      This is very reminiscent of the Helicobacter pylori shambles, Polderman, Study 329 et al which all seem to have been pushed under the table as far as possible

      Reply
  46. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

    My old diabetic friend whom I was able to keep off the statins for some years has recently succumbed to the pressure of his immediate family together with his GP and is now taking the “pill” again. His surrounding has also forbidden him to discuss medical issues with me – I am the ‘bad guy’ in that family.

    Anyway he visited me today and when I asked him how he was doing nowadays he complained about not being able to exercise as before due to oncoming muscle weakness. Well, I couldn’t refrain from stressing that muscle weakness is the most common adverse effect of the statins and encouraged him to read the warning text in the box.

    I find the whole situation surreal.

    Reply
    1. Sue Richardson

      Yes, it is surreal. I have spoken to a friend numerous times about the non-danger of high cholesterol and the danger of statins. I thought I had got it across reasonably well, until she came back from the doctors and was thrilled to bits that her cholesterol was ‘good’ – as if it mattered a jot. She’s convinced that the yoghurt beginning wi ‘B’ is keeping her cholesterol down and therefore she won’t need a statin. As my father would have said “oh for goodness sake – get a mallet” (not sure where the expression comes from but it is used when someone doesn’t get the point, and it needs hammering into their thick heads). Sounds as though the mallet is needed on your friend.

      Reply
      1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        Sue,

        I think we are up against giant windmills.

        I have had a number of well attended public lectures in Sweden about the stupidness involved in the official nutrition and especially about the cholesterol, fat and of course about the greatest medical scam ever around the statins. My friend attended some of those and was adequately impressed and convinced to go on low carb and then managed his diabetes excellently to the astonishment of his diabetes dietitian. He also kept away from the “pills”.

        Anyway I feel that I must do what i can to undermine the effect of these windmills and have decided to start a new series of serious public lectures about the LCHF nutrition from different perspectives. It will be interesting to see how many people I can attract once a month until the beginning of next summer.

    2. David Bailey

      Goran,

      When I was thinking about whether to abandon statins and be able to walk properly again, or simply ask my doctor if he would try a different type, I read some words of Dr Kendrick that rang very true.

      We none of us live for ever, and as we get older we need to think about quality of life – not just quantity. There is no point in taking medicines that make us feel rotten, just so as to exist feeling rotten for that bit longer (my formulation).

      I think if possible, this is what you should say to your friend.

      Reply
  47. Lucy

    You have changed my life Dr. Kendrick, and I thank you for it.. I don’t believe any of the information coming out on dietary advice anymore. I just eat real unprocessed foods and cut back on sugar and I am the better for it. I have become a great skeptic esp. on Medical issues. Instead of dumping the lipid hypothesis, for example, now they are measuring ap0 and other nonsense. They just can’t admit they are wrong. I looked at the data that says that bypass and angioplasty really don’t help for most people with heart disease. People look at me like I have two heads. The ADA put it’s logo on sugary, flavored oatmeal. I am the “crazy” one for not believing.

    Reply
  48. Soul

    I began reading George Orwells book 1984 the other day. It’s been a nice read, much better than the drab movie I remember watching many years ago. I did enjoy the actor that played Winston Smith in the movie though, as he was also the actor in the movie Alien’s in which an alien creature burst out of his stomach. I have an IBD condition and could relate. I hate when that happens. Nice book, enjoyable reading and in some respects reminds me of our all to often strange “health care” system.

    Reply
    1. Cadmonkey

      John Hurt was the actor.

      One of the most recent comments made about the trailer on Youtube is:
      “I feel like I’m living in a bizarre, genetic, inbred mix of this movie and Idiocracy”.

      Yep, increasingly so…

      Reply
  49. mikecawdery

    I have just been Browsing through a book by Feldman and Marks Panic Nation published in 2005 Incidentally Dr Kendrick was a contributor.
    The same criticisms leveled ten years ago are virtually the same that are presented now. There is NO CHANGE. One would expect that corrections would have been made in a scientific discipline that claims to be evidence based. But no! “Black Swans” abound but they are simply ignored. What science can exist when it does not consider negative data? and just for money and status,

    Reply
  50. Soul

    I don’t remember seeing this posted here, probably was and I missed it, but in case not – seemed to be big news, at least from the standpoint of statin drugs not being helpful at improving health outcomes and that being said so in a news paper the Sunday Express. (I don’t know if that is a widely read paper in the UK or not. Dr. Kendrick’s name is also mentioned). Viewers beware, the word statin is in large bold print!. Let the 2 minutes of hate begin. I say that jokingly of course.

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/612801/Statins-drugs-ineffective-heart-drug

    As funny as this may sound, I wish that statins, and for that matter most prescription medications, could be sold over the counter to anyone willing to pay. Statins are said to be safe enough to add to our water supply after all, it should be good enough to be sold at the local gas station next to the candy bars and soda pop. I think doing that would demystify many drugs, and possibly make them less desirable in the public’s mind. It’s kind of strange in a way how successful in person sales can be.

    Reply
    1. Barry

      Soul, the reason prescription medicines are prescription medicines is because they may involve significant risks (including death) if not used correctly. Joe Public, in general, does not possess the knowledge to understand the risks either directly or indirectly (interaction with other drugs/substances/your particular body chemistry). You only need to look as what has resulted due to the indiscriminate use of antibiotics that are available OTC in, for example, Spain (frequently taken in ignorance to fight viral infections). We now have a situation where very few antibiotics work and of those that do some have significant adverse effects. Yes, some people think statins should be added to the water supply just as some people support that other poison fluoride being added to the water supply. Wrong in both cases.
      I don’t think it’s a case of any drug appearing “desirable” rather than the status quo determining that it is the treatment of choice – rightly or wrongly. The powers that be are wrong about statins just as they are wrong about diabetic dietary advice. One only needs to look at the comments section in any of the MSM rags (of which the Express is one) when there is a medical/diet article to see that ignorance rules. The general public has swallowed the Big Pharma propaganda completely. I don’t blame them for it because it is the corrupt people who hold senior positions in the medical world and peddle the lies of the vested interests that have produced these false beliefs.
      The best advice is to avoid any drug unless absolutely essential.

      Reply
  51. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

    As this post well emphasises you tend to see the corruption in our society everywhere when you have had your ‘eyes opened’.

    As I told in one of my above comments I have decided to give public talks again on the corruption involved in our official dietary advices and for that purpose I yesterday visited the cultural ‘town hall’ in our small, 60 000 people, town to arrange for a proper meeting place where I presumably may attract around a 100 people as at earlier occasions.

    Passing through the building to my appointment in the late afternoon I was though overwhelmed by all the ‘glamourous’ public events by which this building was ‘steaming’ at this time of the day and was thus disheartened in my serious ambition to ‘change the world’. What came to my mind was how the Roman rulers offered ‘bread and public shows’ to keep people from trying to change the corrupt order of that time.

    However, the women responsible for booking the rooms was very encouraging about my subject and offered my special rates for non-profit activities so it seems to become at least one public lecture on the subject and now scheduled for the next month.

    With my now ‘opened eyes’ on the way back to the car I was though again disheartened when I passed the building where the local chapter of the “Diabetes Association of Sweden” has their meeting place.

    I know the nice people who are in charge of this local chapter and has been invited by them to give talks in front of their members. What disheartened me on this occasion was however to once more look into the unproportionally large space this ‘charity’ organisation occupies at the street level in a building in the centre of the town.

    As before I wondered how it can be possible that such an association can afford such a ‘luxurious’ meeting place, which they really don’t need to my experience (usually I never see any people at that place when passing now and then looking in through the large windows facing the street), and knowing what I know today about similar patient associations around the world, I was again looking into the ugly face of precent day corruption in medicine.

    I may now turn depressed and as dystopic as Malcolm seems to be so please cheer my up and give me my hope back!

    You must believe in what you are up to if your ambition is to make any impact and change the world.

    I still remember the ‘feeling good’ by being young among millions of other young people in the streets fifty years ago and with the possibility of a better world clearly present – anyway it felt good to participate in that move ‘for a change’.

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Goran

      Congratulations and I wish you the best for your upcoming lecture. It will be interesting to learn how it is accepted, I wonder whether members of the SDA will turn up.

      Reply
    2. Hugh Mannity

      You, Dr Kendrick, Zoe Harcombe, and others — both medical and scientific professionals and self-educated “lay” people — are slowly changing things. I’m a type 2 diabetic who’s doing very nicely on a low carb diet. My HbA1c has been below 5.7% (US) for the past 4 or 5 years with no medications and (so far) none of the “inevitable” complications of diabetes. It’s been about 11 years since my diagnosis, but it took me several years to do the research. My doctor doesn’t understand how I’m doing it, but he’s more than happy to record the results and get credit for it from my HMO. In an ideal world, he’d be asking me what I’m doing and why, then telling his other patients to do the same thing.

      Yesterday I was at a cheer-leading session for the hospital I work for’s Quality Week. (I’m in IT – I do data analysis for the hospital.) Where they were talking about all the things they can do to help people in the community with chronic conditions stay out of hospital, or avoid readmission after they’ve been admitted. The topic of diet and nutrition wasn’t mentioned once. And the lunch they provided was pizza, salad, cupcakes, cookies, and soda. I had a bottle of water and considered rocking the boat by suggesting that they start looking at the nutritional habits of some of their chronically ill patients. But nutrition just doesn’t ping their radar.

      It is discouraging a lot of the time. However — word is getting out, people are making changes. Those of us who successfully put our diabetes into remission get asked how we did it, and some of those who ask make the same changes. We will achieve critical mass and official policies will have to change as a result. It’s just very slow going.

      Reply
      1. Stephen

        Well said, Hugh, but why not tell your doctor your secret? There’s just a chance that it might open his mind. There’s Dr Unwin and Dr Cavan to name in support. I don’t look for an argument with my doctor but I told her my opinion of statins and blood pressure medication. I got the feeling she agreed. If I get the chance, I’ll do the same about diet, particularly in relation to diabetes.

      2. mikecawdery

        Hugh

        I’m in IT – I do data analysis for the hospital.

        Does this give you access to patient data and/or the ability to analyse statistically? I would love the opportunity to analyse such data.

        As to your diabetes data – great – but not what Big Pharma wants to know about – you are a lost customer for their ameliorating drugs!

      3. Tony

        Hugh, like you, type 2, HbA1c 4.9 for some years, LCHF diet has done this consistently, and improved my overall health etc… My one man family doctor has just retired, and I am now part of a very large ‘Family practise’ which is seemingly more a business than a health care orientated, I feel I am now just a number. However, to retain a GP, I have to play the game and choose a GP, or take pot luck who turns up on the day……….So I had my first appointment with my Doctor, and like so many here on this blog, we have had to deal with our medicals problems by time consuming research and as laymen we can be confident advocates of our own treatment.

        After looking through all my computerised notes , he commentated that I was definitely not type 2 diabetic! He even read me my blood figures for the past years, ‘no, definitely not type 2 diabetic’ ‘Wow’ I replied, ‘does this mean that I am cured?’ He almost said yes…..but sort of bit his tongue..’Mmmm, I think possibly you may have been mis-diagnosed 8 years ago, you can’t cure type 2 diabetes’ he replied.

        I tried explaining, but his mind was made up, so at his request more blood tests, came back HbA1c 4.8……….which he tells me is non-diabetic………….happy days!

        Footnote; My Doctor was prepared to put non-diabetic in my records, but as we LCHF people know, it is our diet that has improved our health, revert to high card and we are truly Knackered (a scouse medical term!)

        Tony

    3. Sue Richardson

      Winston Churchill said in a speech delivered to the boys at Harrow School. ” Never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” Keep on Goran, in the face of every discouragement. You know for a fact you are doing the right thing and what you say to people is true.

      Reply
    4. gillpurple

      Goran,

      I’m encouraging you to keep going. If 100 people choose to attend your lecture then you’re working with people who are willing to listen. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

      Reply
    5. David Bailey

      Goran,

      If you start to feel depressed, just think how you would feel if your livelihood depended on keeping the diabetes bubble going! Even if you didn’t feel guilty, you would know that the bubble could burst uncontrollably at any moment, and then you might be dragged into public view and asked to explain yourself!

      This WILL be publicly exposed before long, because the knowledge is spreading rapidly on the internet.

      Reply
    6. Soul

      Good luck Goran with your up and coming talks! I guess coming from a marketing back ground, or maybe better said working with my father who was a successful salesman and marketer, I don’t believe it terribly difficult to “change the world” with these diet ideas. Everyone wants to look healthy and sexy along with feel good. Show them the many different products you have and how it will improve their lives. Make it easy on the audience, as the old sales saying goes, people are lazy. It’s a marketing principle the current medical system works on successfully.

      And if I may suggest, cheering Swedish dancing girls that eat low carb or paleo in the background would not hurt your cause either. : )

      I had to chuckle at this article, even though it isn’t all that funny. It is a sign of the times though. In America this entire month our sports athletes and cheerleaders are dressed in bright pink on some portion of their outfits, as that symbolizes breast cancer awareness and to raise funds for research… supposedly Along with sports athletes we see on TV, in the general public some go to extreme this month wearing all pink cloths, glasses, and even turning their hair bright pink. It’s quite the sight. The bright pink being worn has been said to be one of the most successful marketing charity evets created in my country. I’ve seen this before, but it is repeated in this article, and a tiny portion of the funds generated from the pinkout goes toward researching cancer. Ugh. People want to feel they are helping others. Looking into the details though of that help, and making a difference to lower cancer rates is I imagine uncommon. And after all this time with the “war on cancer” as if more money is needed to fund the current establishment.

      “Opinion: The NFL’s Pink October is a publicity stunt”

      http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-nfls-pink-october-is-a-publicity-stunt-2015-10-21?dist=tbeforebell

      Reply
    7. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      Thank you for all encouragements!

      I really needed that!

      So, now my talk is firmly scheduled for December 15 with my first slide featuring a typical Swedish Smorgasbord Christmas plate loaded with all what is the most forbidden fatty food according to the official nutritional guidelines, with no carbs in sight but with the bold title WHOLESOME on top and with my self standing in front with a huge smile on my lips.

      I am basically a researcher in the natural science and not very much for ‘glamourous marketing’ but though not immune. Dancing slim Swedish girls on Low Carb in the background is thus a little questionable in my present world but I see the point.

      Reply
      1. Graham Stephens

        As we say in England… up North. “Go on Lad” – (Gew-on-lliadd), shame you can not here them English Tones 🙂 Good Luck and ‘knock em dead’ not literally.

  52. mikecawdery

    Going back to my records I found this veterinary EMEA directive.

    The EMEA has since become the EMA
    The European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products Veterinary Medicines and Inspections
    EMEA/CVMP/1 83/96- Rev. 1 -CONSULTATION
    COMMITTEE FOR VETERINARY MEDICINAL PRODUCTS GUIDELINE ON
    PHARNIACOVIGILANCE FOR VETERINARY MEDICINAL PRODUCTS — GUIDANCE ON PROCEDURES FOR MARKETING AUTHORISATION HOLDERS

    Comment: While this is veterinary Directive I cannot imagine that the equivalent medical Directive is less specific because the veterinary Directives tend to follow the medical Directives very closely

    Under Para 2 SCOPE the following is defined as an adverse reaction/

    lack of expected efficacy of a veterinary medicinal products

    Now the claim is that “statins” ( and indeed many other drugs with very latge NNTs) save lives! Does that mean that when someone dies of MI when taking a statin that this should be reported as an Adverse Reaction?

    I suspect that Big Pharma does not officially make such a claim; it simply leaves it to its salespersons to do so. CUTE is it not?

    Reply
  53. Stephen

    Some of the report into childhood obesity was leaked in today’s papers. Public Health England says evidence shows a sugar tax will work. Maybe they’ll get on and devise a ‘Eatwell’ plate that doesn’t show coke, cake and eat as many carbs as you like.

    One in five children who leave primary school is obese. That is, or should be, truly shocking.

    Reply
    1. DBM

      Not wanting to disturb the low carb echo chamber that has developed here but I would like to point out that carbs, even sugar, by themselves do not cause diabetes or obesity no matter how much we would like to blame them. It’s the combination of carbs with polyunsaturated fat that is the main culprit.

      If anyone fancies challenging their assumptions about this check out Denise Mingers latest mammoth blog post at her raw food sos site. In it she details the quite profound success of ultra low fat <10% diets. For example the Kemper rice diet reversed diabetes and resulted in fantastic weight loss on a diet of rice sugar and orange juice.

      Bland tasteless and low tech but extremely effective. Essentially this high carb approach works by the elimination of polyunsaturated fat. Forget the sugar tax and tax vegetable oils instead

      Reply
      1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        DBM,

        I appreciate your echoing in ‘our chamber’ since this opens for a constructive debate. Going ‘one-line’ is against my present inclinations. Still people tend to ‘require’ simple statements so everything I am to state in my talk will be an act of balance.

        I am quite aware of the contradictions involved here, and all the ‘Popperian refutations’, although a low carb version seems to work once you have hit the metabolic syndrome. Denise Mingers is by the way one of my favourites and especially since she blow the ‘famous’ China Study into pieces as a ‘mere’ student interested in statistic and crunching numbers and by that ‘nailing’ the professor behind that study firmly and silent on the wall – impressive!

        Very quickly we enter into the issues of insulin resistance and the hyperinsulinemia which is almost synonymous with diabetes type 2 as far as I have understood this. For me there is a logic in not stressing the exhausted pancreatic system further by continuing high carb. As you point out large amounts of PUFA omega 6 as an inflammatory agent in most vegetable oils and thus in all processed food today may here contribute. Probably the physiology is as usual overwhelmingly complex.

        Numerous diabetics type II reports that they can skip all medication, including my wife, going on LCHF and those type I can reduce the amount of insulin needed to be injected.

      2. mikecawdery

        I presume you mean this:

        http://rawfoodsos.com/
        I do want to make one thing abundantly clear before we continue, though. The title “In Defense of Low Fat” doesn’t imply its inverse, “In Attack of High Fat.” Quite the opposite!

      3. David Bailey

        DBM,

        The fact that some people/societies do well on high carb diets – typically rice – does seem to complicate the picture as you suggest, but it seems to me that by now nutritional science is so weak that it is utterly impossible to make scientific assertions about particular combinations of nutriments.

        If after 50+ years, researchers are still not convinced that saturated fats are harmless, can there really be reliable empirical evidence that carbs+PUFA’s are particularly dangerous in combination?

        Indeed, plenty of people have eaten a diet high in carbs and PUFA’s for years without becoming overweight or diabetic – those who successfully followed the standard advice – it doesn’t sicken everybody! Some people seem to stay well on the most amazing faddish diets.

        I must admit, I wonder if diets that don’t digest into much fructose (e.g. starch based foods) are better than those that do (e.g. sucrose and/or high fructose corn syrup).

        Maybe the real truth is that if people eat reasonably natural foods, their bodies find the right balance of nutriments unless fooled by synthetic foods, or by misleading medical campaigns.

      4. Soul

        Just to throw this out there, Dr. Kendrick mentioned too in a recent post about the connection between type 2 diabetes and insulin not being clear.

        Along with Denise Minger’s article, one of the more famous obesity researchers Dr. Stephen Guyenet that has been know to take issue with the carbohydrate insulin theory for obesity and diabetes. He has written several articles on that, one of which can be seen at:

        Is Sugar Fattening?

        http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2012/02/is-sugar-fattening.html

        Being provocative, but since the diet mentioned to help is lower carb I thought this an interesting theory for diabetes, with mycotoxin streptozotocin and also brewers yeast used to create diabetes in mice.

        “Diabetes And The Fungus Link”

        http://www.knowthecause.com/index.php/diabetes

      5. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        David,

        “The fact that some people/societies do well on high carb diets – typically rice – does seem to complicate the picture as you suggest, but it seems to me that by now nutritional science is so weak that it is utterly impossible to make scientific assertions about particular combinations of nutriments.”

        So well put!

        The main reason for myself being heavily engaged as an advocate of LCHF is that this way of living, for it is truly a way of living, has worked so amazingly well to restore the health not only for my own wife and myself but also on close friends who have ventured into this way of living.

        Interesting is that the present day ardent opponents to LCHF, and you might now perhaps even include Denis Mingers here, admits that it works but it is as with the inquisition at the time of Galileo the actual explanation of the ‘phenomenon’ which is at stake to ‘stay in control’ of that explanation (mainly the “calorie in – calorie out” stupidness) an thus at the end the established authority and at the very bitter end ‘the money’ behind all this.

        My own personal turning point reading on this issue of alternative eating habits (being already very successfully on strict LCHF at that time) was when I read the book Weston Price had written to summarise his interrogations of all possible groups of world populations which still at the turn of the 1930’th still remained unaffected by the European ‘life style’ with all the sugary sweets and refined flour. He very convincingly exemplifies with his excellent photographic documentation the dramatic deterioration of the health of these ‘innocent’ people all around the world when they finally succumbed to the temptations of our palatable food.

        http://www.amazon.com/Nutrition-Physical-Degeneration-Weston-Price/dp/0916764206

        The titel of that book “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” reflect the ‘spirit’ which so unfortunately reigned in that time when racism flourished and although Weston Price was far from being any racist – quite to the contrary to my opinion – he still uses a terminology affected by that time which makes the book a ‘weird’ reading for most present day readers. This is a pity because the book reflects an approach which is as close as I can imagine any science in nutrition to be.

        Though Weston Price research has been neglected and still is since too much is at stake today to my opinion.

        To me his book is a ‘must’ reading if you are seriously interested in nutrition and health.

      6. mikecawdery

        Barry,

        Good point but others do know the names of the CEOs of the Banks but do not their close associations

        Thanks for the link, I know that there has been a massive opposition to both TTIP and TTP. but not that the EU had actually started implementing. Disgraceful. and no doubt Big Pharma will make great use of it. You might be interested in the following :

        This is backed by a book with an extensive bibliography.

      7. mikecawdery

        Goran

        First Thanks for the link. Most useful.

        So, this is taken as evidence that this extremely low fat diet works because it is extremely low in fat. That’s not accurate. We can say that the Rice Diet works, but we cannot infer that it works because it is low in fat. That is like saying that both antibiotics Amoxil and Azithromycin work for pneumonia because both start with the letter ‘A’. No, we can only say that it does work, but not why

        Incidentally I found the Minger blog and an her internet interview to be open-minded, an essential scientific requirement.

        A very insightful and appropriate comment and it highlights a common fault in data analysis, namely the absence of a factor in a multifactorial condition cannot necessarily be classed as a causal factor. The author goes on to present a case that there was no metabolic reason for a largely fat free diet. He goes on to show that it was more likely to be due to the absence of wheat and dairy products – quite different from low fat or high carbohydrates. Gluten intolerance, for example, is currently a condition that is extending far beyond coeliac disease. In short, gluten intolerance is not a step function (you have it or not) but the extreme end of a distribution of the degree of intolerance.

      8. DBM

        Goran,

        Your welcome, I always enjoy your posts and your courtesy. I’m not really here to bash low carb at all, I just get a little concerned when people start vilifying a whole food group. We been there and done that with attacking fat for years and look where that has got us. The whole nutrition debate is far more nuanced than concentrating on one particular macronutrient and that’s what makes it so fascinating. However, I do agree most people don’t have the time or inclination to dive deeply into this.

        I read Dr Fungs post with interest but I felt his arguments against Denise’s blog were just too contrived and soaked with his own cognitive dissonance. I’m not really advocating low fat diets at all but I am compelled to see that they can work and I want know how they do.

        If you want to look at a completely different and counter intuitive perspective on nutrition and physiology I highly recommend looking a Rat Peats site. He’s a PHD in endocrinology well into 70s and has been writing on nutrition for years. His articles are very academic but also quite enigmatic. At his core he is very anti authoritarian and has talked about the corruption in modern medicine for years.

        He doesn’t recommend a particular diet as such but he’s pro sugar (but not starch)pro saturated fat pro fruit and pro dairy and very much anti polyunsaturated fats. He has an interesting take on diabetes in as much as he argues that it is driven by prolonged levels of high cortisol. Common to the modern diseases of diabetes, hypertension and ischemic heart disease is high levels of cortisol ie stress (as outlined in the Great Choleterol Con).

        Nothing controversial here but what causes a rise in cortisol? In part, persistently raised levels of circulating fatty acids. What causes insulin resistance? In part, excess polyunsaturated fat that inhibits the Randel cycle and inhibits the oxidation of glucose and forces excess glycolysis (a pre-requisit for cancer) and hyperglycaemia. How do you reduce cortisol? By driving down excess fatty acid circulation through activating insulin by eating sugar. How do you improve insulin resistance ? By avoiding poly unsaturated fats leading to improved glucose oxidation and improved insulin sensitivity. How do you improve insulin sensitivity? Eat more sugar and eventually you will use it more efficiently and effectively and you won’t be so reliant on high levels of insulin to deal with this.

        What they found fascinating in the people who responded to kempners diet, is that in the diabetic patients the glucose levels dropped and insulin requirements dropped despite eating huge amounts of carbs. I think the above mechanisms explain this in part.

        I think this also explains why some high carb especially fruitarians can get away with being lean and healthy by eating as much as 5000 calories a day 80% of which come from carbs.

        David

        I would have to disagree with you that people have been eating carbs and polyunsaturated fat for years and have been healthy. Polyunsaturated fats have only been in the food supply at any significant level for he last 100 years and more so in the last 50. The association of the increase of dietary polyunsaturated fats and the increase of modern disease is difficult to deny.

      9. David Bailey

        DBM,

        You wrote: “I would have to disagree with you that people have been eating carbs and polyunsaturated fat for years and have been healthy. Polyunsaturated fats have only been in the food supply at any significant level for he last 100 years and more so in the last 50. The association of the increase of dietary polyunsaturated fats and the increase of modern disease is difficult to deny.”

        My point was (and is), that a lot of people, myself included, ate what we thought was a ‘healthy’ diet. A typical meal might have been pasta or rice with fish fried in PUFA’s, together with some vegetables. I have been (effortlessly) slim all my life (age 66), and don’t have diabetes (though my blood sugar was briefly raised because of statins) – I came to this blog because of my nasty experience with Simvastatin, and my interest in the degeneration of modern science in general. I am sure many people must have eaten a similar ‘healthy’ diet, as recommended for so many years, without ill effect – otherwise the problems would have been exposed much sooner. This is not to argue that such people may have exposed themselves to a statistically at greater risk of ill health.

        Part of the problem (as I see it) with modern science, is that it tends to jump to definite conclusions far too rapidly, and then turn its back on contrary evidence. This was the problem with the saturated fat/cholesterol/heart disease hypothesis. It seems to me that the evidence regarding the ideal diet is extremely confusing and contradictory, and maybe in truth the ideal diet varies from person to person.

  54. Anna

    The really odd thing is that I see the same nonsense is infecting many, many different countries. Along with that, the parallels in the political situations in America, Australia and England are uncanny. So the purveyors are multinational, sitting like an octopus with its tentacles spread over all.

    Reply
    1. Barry

      Anna,
      Not so much odd as a reflection of the influence of the mega international corporations over everything. It really is a case of follow the money every time. All the way from the unseen and unknown (by most) who control the central banks and the money flow through the conduits of Wall Street and the like all over the world a relatively few mega corporations control our lives. They buy the politicians (who are in a vast majority of cases willing puppets) and influence the major organizations, that should be unbiased, to promote their interests. They control the news and entertainment media and so, to a great extent, what many think and believe. Their influence is insidious and corruption is so pervasive that it is the accepted way to do business.

      You mention an octopus but the image that many (especially in the financial world) may be more familiar with is that of a giant squid. Take a look at the career history of the current heads of the central banks in Europe (including the UK) and you’ll find that they have a common theme. Control is the name of the game.

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        Barry,

        Good point but others do know the names of the CEOs of the Banks but do not their close associations

        Thanks for the link, I know that there has been a massive opposition to both TTIP and TTP. but not that the EU had actually started implementing. Disgraceful. and no doubt Big Pharma will make great use of it. You might be interested in the following :

        This is backed by a book with an extensive bibliography.

    2. mikecawdery

      It is called the New World Order (NWO) with TTIP and TTP being attempts by the US Corporates
      to take over all governments as they have done with the US Govt.

      Reply
      1. Barry.

        Mike, give a name and those that don’t know may just read the name and move on. If they do a little research they will learn and understand a lot more. The US Fed is just one of the many Central Banks – need to look behind the smokescreen that is the BIS.
        I think we are past the point of TTIP being an attempt. The useful idiots in the EU are already implementing it: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-10-20/europe-secretly-starts-imposing-ttip-despite-public%E2%80%99s-overwhelming-opposition. When the US says jump they only ask how high.

  55. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

    mikecawdery

    I am getting a little confused!

    I browsed through the film you linked to, “Death By Medicine”, and it looked very interesting and well done and I basically agreed with what saw in my browsing since my confidence in our health care system dominated by Big Pharma is very close to the bottomline and then I am open for alternatives but though not inclined to buy everything offered just because it is against Big Pharma.

    So, I couldn’t refrain from wondering who had produced this good looking film and thus Googled on Gary Null and arrived at QuackWatch which disclosed his dubitable credentials.

    http://www.quackwatch.org/04ConsumerEducation/null.html

    Reading this, being a Ph.D. myself though I would say traditionally hard earned during some years of fundamental research, I wonder why promoters of alternative medicine like this Gary Null makes himself such an easy pick and to me seriously harming the alternative medicine in which I myself today am a strong adherent.

    So we are back at the essence of Malcolm’s post – corruption everywhere – sad but true.

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Quackwatch Wow This is run by an de-registered, self-proclaimed psychiatrist Dr Stephen Barret, who never passed his psychiatric examinations. He has been in court prosecuting alternative medicine practitioners some 40+ times and has lost every time. A federal judge has even called him a cheat and a liar.

      The whole story of Sephen Barret and Quckwatch can be found at:
      http://www.bolenreport.com/feature_articles/Doctor%27s-Data-v-Barrett/barrettalterego.htm
      where he is being sued for $20 million+

      Reply
    2. mikecawdery

      You should read Dr Barbara Starfield’s paper:
      http://alternative-doctor.com/specials/Dr_%20Barbara_Starfield.htm
      and
      Is US Health Really the Best in the World?
      JAMA, July 26, 2000—Vol 284, No. 4 483 http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=192908

      I suspect this 200,000+ deaths a year in the US is an underestimate as it has never been challenged. Properly prescribed and properly used drugs account for over 100,000 of these deaths while medical mistakes and medical accidents account for another 100,000 deaths.

      There are other estimates above this and many of these are published in top flight medical journals. One suspects that Gary Null’s estimates may include double counting and medical mistakes and accidents but the truth is that Big Pharma drugs, even prescribed and used properly, do kill but are not reported. What doc is going to report a death due to a drug that he has prescribed and is convinced is a life saver?

      as examples
      Ann Intern Med. 2003 Feb 4;138( 3): 161-7.
      CONCLUSION:
      From 400 patients seventy-six patients had adverse events after discharge Adverse events occurred frequently in the peridischarge period, and many could potentially have been prevented or ameliorated with simple strategies. (approx 1 in 5)
      Error in medicine. JAMA. 1994 Dec 21;272( 23): 1851-7.
      In 1964 Schimmel2 reported that 20% of patients admitted to a university hospital medical service suffered iatrogenic injury and that 20% of those injuries were serious or fatal. Steel et al3 found that 36% of patients admitted to a university medical service in a teaching hospital suffered an iatrogenic event, of which 25% were serious or life threatening.

      The interesting thing is that there is a medical myth that suggests that vitamins are dangerous but the US have a directory that lists adverse reactions/hospitalizations to
      foodstuffs/supplements/vitamins etc but over decades has recorded no deaths to vitamins

      http://www.laleva.cc/petizione/ronlaw/relative_risks_bubbles3.pdf
      The death risk from natural healthcare and therapeutic products are infinitesimal compared to those from hospital care (1000/10,000) and pharmaceutical drugs(100/10,000)

      Reply
      1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        Mike,

        Your view is actually my own view on the whole medical business.

        No interest in science if there is no money to make on it and that is why there is so little real science backing the alternative medicine. The “biggest quack” ever nominated was the nobel prize winner Linus Pauling which is a person which I myself trust much more than any Big Pharma advocate. Since two years I manage my angina excellently on 1600 IU natural E-vitamine after having read his books and digging deep into the issue of angina. Big Pharma doesn’t earn a dollar on those excellent vitamines and finally managed to close the Shute institute which was pursuing this line of treatment for CVD.

  56. Barry

    Mike, thank you for the link. Just reinforces what we know.

    Göran, like everything else you need to sieve through information to sort out fact from propaganda and however dubious his credentials it doesn’t mean he is wrong.

    On a side note – yes, it very annoying that those who have worked hard for qualifications are undermined by so many mickey mouse qualifications that abound these days. I understand that one “university” even runs a degree course in benefit claiming! And let’s not forget all those ridiculous courses involving the media airheads.

    Quackwatch itself has come in for some adverse comment over the years – see this http://www.naturalnews.com/041832_quackwatch_Stephen_Barrett_defamation_lawsuit.html as one of many articles.

    My approach is to question everything – some things more than others – always asking cuo bono and especially so when it involves anything political, pharmaceutical and financial.
    On a brighter note at least one country is making an effort to deal with the parasitical banksters. http://icelandmag.visir.is/article/26-bankers-already-sentenced-a-combined-74-years-prison. Shame there isn’t a zero added to the jail terms. Bankers make the pharmaceutical crowd look like amateurs.

    If Dr Kendrick will allow me here are a few quotes to bear in mind next time you hear Mario Draghi et al spout off.

    “Watch money. Money is a barometer of a society’s virtue. When you see that trade is done not by consent but by compulsion, when you see that in order to produce you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing, when you see that money is flowing to those who deal not in goods but in favours, when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work and your laws do not protect you against them but protect them against you, when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice, you may know that your society is doomed.” – Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged.

    plus

    “The few who understand the system will either be so interested in its profits or be so dependent upon its favours that there will be no opposition from that class, while on the other hand, the great body of people, mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous advantage that capital derives from the system, will bear its burdens without complaint, and perhaps without even suspecting that the system is inimical to their interests.”
    —– The Rothschild brothers of London writing to associates in New York, 1863.

    Reply
    1. amie

      Barry: That quote you attribute to the Rothschilds is a fake quote from a forged document. It would be ironic on a site such as this dedicated to myth busting by means of rigorous research, to post unverified quotes which even on the face of it should set alarm bells ringing. Anything so self incriminating attributed to the Rothschilds should be approached with great caution as these are invariably derived from antisemitic conspiracy tainted sources, as is this quote.
      The quote you reproduce is
      ” Attributed to Senator John Sherman in a letter supposedly sent from the Rothschild Bros. of London to New York bankers Ikleheimer, Morton, and Vandergould, on 25 June 1863. The letters are forgeries that could not have been written before 1876. Further, no evidence of a firm with the name “Ikleheimer, Morton, and Vandergould” has been found.”
      https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Conspiracy

      Reply
      1. Barry

        Amie, it’s a quote that appears on many websites and be it genuine or not it certainly encompasses the view of the people who control the fiat money system. Personally I don’t trust wiki anything as this is a site where anyone can and does edit to suit their particular objective. Not saying you are wrong in saying it’s a fake quote – I really don’t know. However it doesn’t set alarm bells ringing for me. What does set alarm bells ringing for me are the current antics of the ECB and US Fed to delay the collapse of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency and perpetuate failing systems. The parasites – and they really are parasites – that control our financial systems will do and say whatever it takes to perpetuate a system to benefit the few at the expense of the many for as long as they can get away with it. Rather than question the validity of the quote please consider the validity of what it implies – which is much more important.
        There are a few exceptions but overall almost every country in the world is swimming in unpayable debt. Governments typically refer to balancing the budget but, quite deliberately, overlook the the total debt that they have incurred. No fiat currency has lasted for a significant period of time – all collapse at the expense of Joe Public. This is by design and not by accident. Equally no currency has survived as the reserve currency. The US dollar is well overdue for replacement as the Reserve Currency but the Deep State within the USA is very powerful and will not go peacefully into the good night. If you look at the the US dollar since 1913 (when the US Fed was created) the dollar has effectively reduced in value by 97% (give or take a % or so). To whose benefit is this? Certainly not people who were paid in more valuable dollars and have seen the value of their savings decline.
        I ask you to consider what would happen if we had historical interest rates and they were applied to current governement debt – especially the US and Japan. The prime reason for the current ZIRP and/or NIRP is that with the current recession/depression (there is no recovery) anything approaching a normal interest rate policy would immediately become unpayable. Secondly it enables money to be fed into the system at very low cost to the benefit of the few via HFT (High Frequency Trading). Joe Public is being royally screwed every day by the bought self serving puppets that we elect to government.
        I also ask you to look at, and consider why, who doesn’t appear on the “Rich List” which periodically appears. Those in control like to keep in the shadows – and they are not all Jews. Also remember that only currency, and why it is so ridiculed and despised by the fiat money creators, that has stood the test of time is gold – everything else is credit. Look who is buying gold at the suppressed prices as a result of the manipulation of the paper markets (well over 100 paper claims per real ounce of gold). We are heading into the greatest market collapse ever and who is behind it all – the banksters.

      1. Barry

        Mike, actually he is. From memory I believe he was vice chairman and managing director of GS International and a member of GS Management Committee a few years back. This is out-of-date now but serves the purpose of demonstrating the influence of GS http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/what-price-the-new-democracy-goldman-sachs-conquers-europe-6264091.html.
        As an aside – thank you for the links and book references you provide. I’ve just ordered Tripping Over the Truth.

      2. Barry

        Mike, I just replied (not showing yet) as if you said MD was not a GS guy. Misread your reply (I tend to speed read). My apologies!

  57. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

    DBM

    “If you want to look at a completely different and counter intuitive perspective on nutrition and physiology I highly recommend looking a Ray Peats site.”

    I had a look there and found the site interesting although I couldn’t find if he was advocating any special diet. His credentials, by the way, seem to be very solid.

    What I found most interesting was his ‘condemnation’ of the PUFA vegetable oils which I fully agree with. And of special interest I read about the effect of large amounts of natural E-vitamines as an alternative ‘remedy’ for CVD since I administer 1600 IU per day myself during the last two years and my angina just seems to have ‘evaporated’. So I tend to be a strong believe in alternative medicine corrupt or not 🙂

    Reply
  58. mikecawdery

    I have just heard that Dr Graveline’s ALS (due to statins) has worsened. I have the greatest respect for him; he has done an immense of work to bring out the truth of the extensive range of adverse reactions caused by statins but has been totally ignored by the medical establishments around the world in their pursuit of money and status.
    .

    Reply
  59. Lucy

    I don’t know what to do. I have become terrified of doctors. Just a few weeks ago, an old friend of mine died. He had liver problems and went into the hospital for liver issue. The doctors happened to do heart tests found four blockages and gave him open heart surgery. He died a month later. Why did a man with no heart symptoms have heart bypass? He was already ill from the liver problem. They should have just medically managed him as he was sick already. Just recently another woman I know went in for “routine” mammogram. She’s 68 people. They found two tiny spots and diagnosed her with cancer. They gave her treatments with radiation which landed her in the hospital with severe lung problems. She’s not been well in the last 2 months. I don’t think those two spots should have ever been found. If she lives until 85, at 68 was that little spot going to actually kill her? Would that spot disappear on it’s own or grow so slowly it would not kill her until age 85? In my mind, they did nothing to “save” her life and just made her miserable. I know that surgeon and that woman has 2 homes and luxury automobiles Doctors should not make that much money They are doing procedures that in my mind only benefit themselves.

    Reply
  60. Stephen

    Lucy, I agree, although I suspect the doctors think they’re doing the right thing. Patients need to be much better at asking, “What if I do nothing?” and “What are the risks of the operation?” Sometimes leaving things alone might be the best option for someone in their sixties who isn’t experiencing problems. My stepmother smoked like a chimney and had an operation for cancer that the surgeons judged a success, but the remaining months of her life were a misery. She never had another good day, yet she’d gone into hospital with a good quality of life. It made me wonder what surgeons define as “success.”

    Reply
  61. amie

    Barry: It is ironic that you say you don’t trust wikipedia, yet you are happy to paste a quote apparently without checking the provenance of site you pasted it from. Could you cite the site you pasted it from? I have not found a single reputable site that uses this. You are right that several sites do, but the ones I found were mainly antisemitic and white supremacist sites.

    Reply

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