How much longer will you live if you take a statin?

How much longer will you live if you take a statin?

About a year ago I submitted a paper to the BMJ entitled ‘Statins in secondary prevention, lives saved or lives extended.’ To be more accurate, I was the lead author of the paper. So I should say ‘we’ submitted a paper. I have to report that the paper was rejected, re-written and rejected again. In the end I couldn’t get it published.

The main aim of the paper was to point out that the most important reason why someone would take a ‘preventative medicine’ of any sort, was to increase their life expectancy. The question ‘how much longer will I live if I take this tablet for, say, five years?’ Seems a reasonable question to ask and, in turn, have answered. Interestingly no patient has ever asked me this question, so I have never had to answer it.

What we have instead is the repeated use of relative risk. Which is often framed in the following type of way: ‘Atorvastatin/Lipitor will reduce the risk of dying of a heart attack by 36%’… and suchlike. Whilst that figure is true, or at least it was true in one study funded and run by Pfizer… who sell atorvastatin, I knew that a figure like that was horribly misleading. It gave the impression of a gigantic reduction in risk. ‘Your risk of dying of heart disease will be reduced by more than a third!’ Surely you would be mad not to take it, wouldn’t you?

However, how does a figure like that pan out in the most important outcome of all. Namely, increase in life expectancy? I had done a few ‘back of a cigarette packet calculations’ on this, and I was getting some pretty unimpressive figures. But to get it absolutely right I contacted a professor of statistics at the Medical Research Council and asked him if he could work out an exact figure, using real mathematics.

We chose the two most positive studies on statins ever done. The Scandinavian Simvastatin Survival Study (4S) and the Heart Protection Study (HPS). These were secondary prevention studies. By which I mean studies done on people who had already had a heart attack or stroke, or suchlike and were at great risk of having a ‘second’ event. So these were very high risk people, where the benefits of statins would be at their greatest.

Looking at the Heart Protection Study (HPS) done in the UK, we used a technique for analysing survival time called RMST (restricted mean survival time). I won’t go into the details. The HPS study lasted for five years, and we calculated that the average increase in survival time was 15.6 days. This was at the end of five years of treatment (with a confidence interval of 5 days either side). For 4S, the figure was 17 days.

Framing this slightly differently, what this meant was that taking a statin for one year, in the highest risk group possible, would increase your life expectancy by around three days. We thought that people should know this. Unfortunately, the BMJ thought otherwise. Such is life.

However, more recently the BMJ did decided to publish another paper entitled: ‘The effect of statins on average survival in randomised trials, an analysis of end point postponement1.’ They used slightly different mathematical techniques, including the ‘quick method.’ To quote:

‘We also calculated all areas in a less technical manner, that is, by drawing one or more triangles by hand on magnified paper prints of the survival curve for each study and then calculating the areas of these triangles by standard arithmetic. This is referred to as the quick method.

I have to admit that’s my kind of maths. Get out the pencils and draw it all out by hand. They also looked at more studies than we did, and aggregated them. Which has benefits and disadvantages. Sometimes you are not comparing like with like. However, the main results of their study, and their conclusions, were as follows:

Results: 6 studies for primary prevention and 5 for secondary 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 prevention trials. The median postponement of death for primary and secondary prevention trials were 3.2 and 4.1 days, respectively.

Conclusions: Statin treatment results in a surprisingly small average gain in overall survival within the trials’ running time. For patients whose life expectancy is limited or who have adverse effects of treatment, withholding statin therapy should be considered

Overall their findings were far less impressive, even, than ours. They calculated, approximately, a single day of increase in life expectancy for each year of taking a statin. Slightly more in secondary prevention, slightly less in primary (people who have not previously had a heart attack or a stroke).

The main take away message I believe, is the following. Statins do not prevent fatal heart attacks and strokes. They can only delay them. They delay them by about one or two days per year of treatment. For those who have read my books you will know that I have regularly suggested we get rid of the concept of ‘preventative medicine’. We need to replace it with the concept of ‘delayative medicine’.

You cannot stop people dying. You can only make them live longer. How much longer is the key question. With statins this question has been answered. You can, to be generous, add a maximum of two days per year to life expectancy.

Which means that if you were to take a statin for thirty years you could expect to live about two months longer. (Possibly three, more likely one). Assuming, and this is a big assumption, that none of the trials done have been in any way biased towards statins. Even though every single one was funded by the pharmaceutical industry. Further assuming that any benefits seen in the trials will continue for the next twenty-five years.

Why, you may ask, has the pharmaceutical industry never chosen to present the results of the statin trials in this way? In truth that is a bit of a silly question. I think anyone with a half functioning brain knows why the pharmaceutical industry has never chosen to present the result of the statin trials in this way. A 36% reduction in fatal heart attacks does sound rather better than, one extra day of life for every year you take a statin – best case scenario in primary prevention… Does it not?

Ref:
1: Kristensen ML, et al. BMJ Open 2015;5:e007118. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-007118

387 thoughts on “How much longer will you live if you take a statin?

    1. marjolyn de raadt

      Yes it is more than time that individuals become responsible with regard to their health treatments and more informed about the the facts of life, instead of accepting the indoctrination (which in itself is not really affecting the health of patients) but should remain an informed choice.

      Reply
      1. Jennifer.

        Marjolyn. In principle I fully agree with you. However….. patients are generally unaware that they are being indoctrinated….they are merely taking on board what their GPs tell (advise) them…and why not? Surely, it is a bit much if we can’t trust the experts about such serious matters, and a 10 minute consultation hardly allows for an indepth discussion.
        I started to question the standard pharmacolgical approach to my bunch of conditions….’high’ cholesterol, ‘high’ blood pressure, ‘high’ blood glucose levels, and left the surgery with a flea in my ear.
        That set alarm bells ringing……it seemed that there was a rabbit away, as the response was somewhat extreme, when all I wanted was an explanation as to why I was on such enormous quantities of drugs.
        I set myself the task of studying my own health, almost to the n’th degree. This led me to realise that my ill health was actually deteriorating due to the excess medications! I then discovered that the steady increases of all my medications were not because my conditions were getting worse….no…but the thresholds of acceptable blood results were going down and down, and the computer was saying I needed more, and more meds.
        This was time well spent, and time that I had, being a retired Nurse. But, such a lot of those being prescribed such meds are saddled with spending many hours earning their living. They maybe don’t see why they should even question the expert ( i.e. GP), or, indeed, where or how to start questioning if they are starting to have doubts.
        The fact that reasonably healthy individuals are being prescribed buckets-full of tablets may well be due to the fact that they respond to requests to attend “well man/women” clinics, because they want to be responsible for their health.
        Preventative medicine , causing fear and alarm in the worried well, ….and driven by Big Pharma…..has a lot to answer for.

      2. mikecawdery

        Jennifer

        Preventative medicine , causing fear and alarm in the worried well, ….and driven by Big Pharma…..has a lot to answer for.

        How right you are! But you must include the medical establishment for their slavish repetition of grossly inflated risks and benefits. As an example I cite the recent claim of 18% increased risk of eating meat etc. When one gets down to hard facts, 18% is inflated by a factor of 18,000! Can anyone trust the Lancet again if they publish this sort of information. They also published the HPS study.

      3. Jennifer

        Mike, I turned the telly on during the night…big mistake….and there were 3 doctors, a nutritionist and a medical psychologist attempting to help us understand what a good diet is…….use skimmed/semi skimmed milk….use marge or other spreads instead of butter……etc etc….you know the rubbish spouted repeatedly. How on earth are the public supposed to understand what good nutrition is when popularist garbage like this fills the airwaves. It was the stuff of nightmares, and did nothing to help my insomnia.

    2. Richard Craven

      Perhaps a better option would be if the UK prioritised a reduction in energy prices. Our country is one of the wettest and coldest in Europe and yet we have among the highest energy prices (+VAT). Reducing them might help to make some inroads into the estimated 40,000 (Telegraph) annual excess winter deaths among the elderly. Statins appear to be very marginal at best.

      Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      It may, and that is worth having. But that would not be, by definition, preventative medicine. It is something else. That becomes a Quality Adjusted Life Year discussion (QALY). A shorter, pain-free, less disabled, existence may well be preferable to a longer painful, immobile existence. If you can extend life, and improve quality of life, that is best. But I have yet to see any evidence that statins improve the quality of anyone’s life. On the other hand, I have met many people who’s lives have been ruined by taking statins.

      Reply
      1. Steve Crook

        My mum was put on statins when she was in her late 50s early 60s (Simvastatin) and they pretty much wrecked her health over a number of years until she decided to take herself off them in the face of staunch opposition from her GP.

        Prior to starting with statins she was able to walk several miles without trouble. On statins the best she could manage was four or five hundred yards before fatigue stopped her.

        Unsurprisingly at that age, she never recovered her fitness or muscle lost and remained a semi invalid until her death at 84. Quality of life can work both ways.

        It will take a lot to convince me to ever take a statin…

      2. Julie Dadswell

        When I was on statins I experienced the most awful pounding palpitations which came every 2/3 days and lasted for 3/4 hrs. Horrible I also couldn’t feel my feet and developed cataracts. I also couldn’t go upstairs without holding on. I stopped and nothing has happened since. Thank God.

      3. celia

        Personally, I would be quite happy to die 3 days sooner if I could have my muscles back. Doctors and patients have been conned, and that is unacceptable to say the least.

      4. Anna

        Reminds me of a notice I got from a healthcare outlet that I had not had my “preventive” mammogram. As if a mammogram prevents cancer!

      5. Angela McCallum

        Statins made my husband so ill, of course it took about 4 years to realise it was the statins! The leg cramps, the weight gain being able to walk more than 10 steps because of the burning & pain in his legs. He had a good job with a good pension as part of the salary package. He had to stop work & lost the salary & part of the pension because he couldn’t walk from the car park to the office! Within weeks of stopping the statins he was back to his old self, walking miles, no leg cramps & back to his pre statin weight, basically he is now a very fit & healthy man. What is the point of an extra few days on this earth if every day is spent in bed in lots of pain? Of course he didn’t get his old job back so it was my salary that had to provide for us because at 62 it was difficult for him to get another job.

      6. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        And yet those such as Professor Sir Rory Collins assure us that statins basically have no adverse effects, perhpas one in ten thousand may have a problem. And if you think you are having an adverse effects, you aren’t, you are just making it up.

      7. Todd

        Where is the evidence that statins ruin lives? I’m only asking, not challenging, as there is so much conflicting info/research/anecdotes out there.

      8. mikecawdery

        Todd,

        David Evans has recently published a book based on 500 references. As it only cost £1 on Kindle this would seem to a starting point to answering your question. Stopped_OUR_Statins website has a lot of very injured people

    2. Jean Humphreys

      The point of every preventative medicine that I have ever taken is that it effectively wrecks any quality of life that I might have had. Anecdotally, I think that is true for a large proportion of the people being treated.

      Reply
  1. Jean Humphreys

    I took a statin for two years, stopping fifteen years ago. Please will someone tell me when I reach my extra two days – I want to really savour them.

    Reply
  2. Dr Simon Thompson

    And that is not even considering the liver damage, heart failure, brain damage, muscle damage those that are astatinated suffer…..

    Reply
  3. Kathy A

    After having my now second and third stent installed last month because of a restenosis of the first one just under a year ago, needless to say, I have been very frustrated. But, thankfully, your books plus all the other similar opinions and information that is out there keeps me focused on not only the possible causes but what to do in the future. I have had to apologize to yet another brilliant cardiologist who has been a doctor for 40 years (as he reminded me) that as much as I hate to be that pain in the A patient, as far as the whole cholesterol hypothesis, I just don’t buy it and thanks but no thanks, I will not be taking that statin. During my follow up visit with my regular cardiologist, I gave him a copy of your book and was delighted that he seemed genuinely pleased to get it and said he was looking forward to reading it. I told him that since my first stent a year ago, I have been doing nothing but reading, researching and reading some more trying to figure all this out as I am the type of person that stuff has to make sense and quite frankly, none of this has been making much sense. I also told him that I have found a world of information and opinions that were completely opposite to what is front and foremost in the news and that what I have discovered actually makes a lot of sense. That the reason we are not hearing more about this other side of the story is because we can’t get past the massive wall of money that the drug companies have. I told him that I hope if he reads your book he will better understand why I think the way I do about this subject. I’ll let you know what he says. In the mean time, somehow, this information MUST get out in front of people if only so they can make their own decision about their health and health care. I consider this huge conflict of interest with these drug companies and the marketing their products to the general public, plus the total misinformation that they are putting out, a crime.

    Reply
    1. Andrew Ward

      Kathy, I am in the same boat. I had angioplasty and a stent put in after suffering angina. Three years later, heart attack at Christmas. Three new stents; two to go around the original one and a new one lower down the artery. Next Christmas; heart attack after hearing that my Mum had terminal liver cancer. Another stent. So now I have five stents. I was taking high dose D to lower BP and then recently have realized that without K2 the D was causing more problems than I thought. So, I take 6,000 IU D (tested to get into the right range) 15mg K2 Mk4 and 180 mcg K2 Mk7. This is to get the calcium out of the plaque in my arteries. Recently, and the thing that has made a significant difference is starting IV phosphatidylcholine through my naturopath. The first session made an incredible improvement in my exercise tolerance and continues to do so. For example, I went from being barely able to do 10 push-ups in the morning to 20 in the space of a week. I hope that this will give you some ideas to research. Andrew.

      Reply
      1. Andrew Ward

        Hi Bob, there is lots of good info available now about K2. Try Weston Price, Dr Mercola, Life Extension, AOR.ca. I did a lot of research before I decided what were the optimum doses. I may even go up to 45 mg of K2 Mk 4.

      2. Kathy S

        Andrew, Thanks for the heads up on K2. I just looked it up and although I think I do get K2 from some of the foods I eat, I have been taking 3-4000 units of Vitamin D for some years now. Makes me wonder if this might have helped to cause my CVD. I am going to reduce my D and increase the K2. Worried a bit because I’m taking a blood thinner but from what I am reading it is K1 that is the one to avoid. Not sure about the phosphatidylcholine though. Ks

      3. Andrew Ward

        Hi Kathy, you are most welcome. I wouldn’t give up on your 4-6,000 iu of D until you have been tested to make sure that you are in the 50-60 ng/ml range, which now seems to be the universally accepted optimum range. As far as the K2 deficiency causing continued problems, that is the conclusion that I came to. The studies seem to indicate that it will take a year of continuous supplementation to see major changes, but then, it took me 50 odd years to create the mess that I found myself in. If you want to know more about phosphatidylcholine, look it up under Plaquex or Lipostabil. It is used in Europe primarily in treating liver issues, but it is also used extensively for cardio-vascular relief. Cheers, Andrew.

      4. Barry

        Andrew Ward, BobM & KathyS (plus anybody else who is interested in vitamin D, vitamin K and calcium).
        There’s an excellent book Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox : How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life by Dr. Kate Rheaume-Bleue ISBN13 9780062320049.
        In addition to supplements Brie and Gouda cheese (get decent ones see Brie http://www.cheese.com/brie/ and Gouda http://www.cheese.com/gouda/) contain significant amounts (75mcg/30 grams) of K2.

      5. Andrew Ward

        Hi Barry, yes, I am aware of Kate’s book. She is somewhat of a pioneer in K2 promotion, but the bulk of the research has been done in the Netherlands and Japan (for osteoporosis). There is a lot of conflicting opinion on whether to use K2 Mk4 or 7 and my solution, having read everything available, is to supplement with both. AOR in Calgary came to the same conclusion and I value their research greatly. Cheers, Andrew.

      6. Kathy S

        So, Barry, Bob and Andrew – I ordered the K2 mk7 as I think I probably get enough of the mk4 thru my diet but I’m concerned about taking the K2 along with my blood thinner. Won’t they cancel each other out? My vitamin D level has remained at 63 in these past few years that I was taking 3-4000 units a day but after more research that explains why Vit D taken orally can be harmful if K is not in with it, I have stopped taking the D. At least until I can be more comfortable with the K along with the blood thinner. Any thoughts or experience on this?

      7. Andrew Ward

        Hi Kathy, it is the K1 that is an antagonist to warfarin, as far as I understand. K2 is not involved in platelet aggregation, its job is to carboxylate Matrix GLA, which is an enzyme released in the walls of the arteries to prevent calcium from building up. If you are taking warfarin then you are fighting a losing battle with calcification. When the Dutch study on K2 was conducted on rats, they used warfarin to create atherosclerosis. Imagine that, using a heart disease medicine to create heart disease! I can only offer that with my D, K2 regimen and the IV phosphatidylcholine, I haven’t had a hint of angina recently, which makes me very happy. I wouldn’t stop the D if I were you, I can’t see a reason to do so. You must always be your own advocate in health matters, and my understanding of the problems stems from reading everything possible on atherosclerosis for the last 8 years. In good health, Andrew.

      8. Kathy S

        I’m taking Plavix, not Warfarin so maybe I’m ok. Just got my K2 in the mail today and have a stress echo test scheduled for the 10th so might discuss this with the heart doc. You are so right and I get on my soap box preaching about how we all have to be our own advocates and stop following the herd – especially if they are all running off the cliff. I had never heard of the K2 plus D issue but seems pretty important and wonder why when reading about D that this isn’t mentioned more. Now just have to make it through a full year without any issues before I even start to be comfortable with this whole mess. Christmas must be a bit unnerving for you, I would imagine. Hope you continue with good health.
        Kathy S

    2. Ian munro

      Correct but they can make their own decision now and have been legally entitled to for some years. It is called the Patients Charter a Legal document which provides for people to be advised and have their questions answered and give them the choice of taking the medication offered. The public are not generally aware of their rights because of the pressure they are put under by bombastic doctors who in the main are no better informed than they are.and are living in the past. I made the decision to stop statins and informed all my medical contacts of it but am still being pressured and issued with prescriptions I have refused to take. Perhaps one should look into the inducement GPs are put under to prescribe them under their NHS contracts and for which they get paid a bonus for every patient they sign up to statins. Look at the NHS report on the side effects of simvastatin and you will see the recently updated version giving a long list of destructive benefits not told to patients. One GP and one consultant did not believe that this document could have come from the NHS nor where they aware of what action to take which is clearly listed if a patient suffers from any of these these side effects includingbeing unable to walk and excruciating pain

      Reply
      1. Kathy S

        Ian, thanks for your reply. I am fortunate that I have good doctors that don’t fight me on not taking the statins or the beta blockers either. My GP told me he respects my decision. I actually gave my heart doc Dr. Kendrick’s book and will ask him his thoughts at my next appt in January. Had a stress echo the other day and passed with flying colors. I did get some very good and very interesting information from this Blog last week pertaining to vitamin K2 and I strongly suggest that everyone look into this. I am reading a book now called Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox which has been quite enlightening. I have been taking K2 now for 2 weeks and suspect it may be what keeps me out of the hospital, at least in regards to my arteries. Check it out.

  4. Don MacG

    In your last book you spoke of death from all causes in statin trials, versus from specific types of heart attack, and if memory serves said that death from all causes is higher with statins thus negating any slight positive impact for cherry picked specific causes. I think you said that statins’ impact on other organs was suspected in increasing death from all causes, or something like that. If you apply the same logic to this article, does that 1 or 2 days extra survival per year of statin use melt away ?

    Also, different question, in theory you could have a drug or behaviour which extends life a lot for a small percentage of users, but very little or not at all for most people. In that case, the averages and medians don’t show the potential benefits possible for some people, and show non-existent benefits for most people. (e.g. on average birth control pills would help prevent pregnancies ~50% of the time, with further research showing that figure is 0% for men and ~100% for women) In such a case the research then would be to figure out how to identify who it would actually benefit. Is this type of analysis valid for trials, and if so is this a pattern that applies to statins ?

    Reply
  5. Fergus

    Did the BMJ give you reasons for rejecting your paper?
    I am guessing it was along the lines of ” OK on average people on statins live an extra day per year while taking statins which we acknowledge is not great. However we think some people will benefit a lot more than this and some a lot less due to Gaussian distribution. Therefore it is well worth taking statins for those who benefit more.” Flawed logic if they did.

    Reply
  6. Joanne McCormack

    Hi Malcolm
    The longest number of extra days I’ve seen quoted are 3 months after 20 years of taking a statin in the highest risk groups. So unimpressive. That was in the Week so it may have been made up.
    You’re referenced on my cholesterol page now, as is Zoe Harcombe, the Fat Emperor, David Diamond and our esteemed colleagues in Oxford- lack of balance? Not me. I give out the webpage to all my patients on statins and suggest they decide for themselves. The truth is shocking.
    http://www.healthylivingsite.me/#!cholesterol-references/c1o2p

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Many thanks for the link

      The CTSU one I have marked as totally discredited. Hidden data, selected patients, extrapolation of data to excluded data; the list is never ending and ends on the claim of “evidence-based”.

      Reply
  7. Joy

    Yet another challenging and thought provoking article. It never ceases to amaze me that people still have blind faith and trust when it comes to their own health and I wish that more people would question what they are being prescribed – after all, it is your body!

    Reply
  8. Gay Corran

    I became diabetic while on simvastatin, and had other horrible side effects. My husband had a minor stroke while on simvastatin. So taking a statin did not prevent either iatrogenic disaster. No doctor has made a note of this, of course. My HbA1c has been in the non- diabetic range ever since I ignored my doctor’s official dietary advice and went LCHF; about eight years now. The official advice, which I had been following in the lead up to the diagnosis of pre- and then actual- diabetes T2, was to eat 60% starchy carbs at each meal, using plenty of “healthy whole grains”. I am coeliac, so most of the common grains were off the menu anyway. I believe I would not have become diabetic had I not followed medical advice on diet and statins. My case history does not figure in the statistics, I suspect, along with most ordinary people’s experiences. Keep going, Dr Kendrick!

    Reply
    1. Jennifer

      Sorry Gay…tried to “thumbs up” but hit the “thumbs down” and can’t reverse it!
      Your story is being replicated across the globe on blogs such as this….but we never see our stories mentioned in published statistics. Please keep telling your tale, as we need to realise that we refuseniks are not alone.

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        Jennifer
        Try changing by repeatedly hitting thumbs up. Soometimes works for me – “essential” benign tremor.

  9. Bob Niland

    Another revealing question that can be asked about gaining these few extra days by taking a statin is: compared to doing what?

    Presumably the data is vs. not taking a statin (but not changing anything else, in particular diet). And the diet in both cases is apt to be the non-ancestral low fat, high carb, grain-heavy, inflammatory oil, micronutrient-deficient mess recommended by consensus medicine, which has no scientific foundation, and is likely causing the heart disease in the first place,

    How do statin outcomes compare to, say: no statin, but a grain-free, low net carb, high specific fat (esp. DHA&EPA), low inflammatory diet that attends to gut microbiome, modern deficiencies like CoQ10, Mg and Vitamin D? Well, by the time some authority has the motivation and funding to run a trial, it probably won’t be ethically possible to do so. It might be possible to do a survey of outcomes from those self-reporting to have been on such a diet.

    Anecdotally, people are using a dietary approach to prevent, retard, arrest and and for some measures (like calcium scores) reverse heart disease … without statins. Personally, I’m doing it just as a whole health preventative measure.

    Reply
    1. PeggySue

      Wouldn’t that be wonderful Carol – we could bin the damn things.

      I’m so thankful I discovered the wise words of Dr Kendrick as I no longer worry about my “high” cholesterol level or whether I’ll need statins. How I long to find similar evidence about BP meds.

      I’m no longer concerned if I don’t reach the 120/80 that nurses always bang on about, but having seen the effects of vascular dementia on my dear Mum, I’m too scared not to take my pills.

      Dr Kendrick, can you point us in the direction of similar types of data regarding blood pressure so that we can make more informed decisions about our medications?

      Reply
      1. Mike Bedford-Stradling

        Just for you to think about with regard to BP: I have “white coat” syndrome and as soon as the BP cuff goes on in the surgery my BP goes up. If I take it at home (which i do regularly) I get a different result that falls into acceptable parameters. My GP wasn’t having it,and insisted on prescribing BP meds. “Surely there’s a non- drug way of doing it ?” I asked. ” No,there isn’t ” I was told. Feeling patronised, I never took a tablet,resolving instead to find a non-drug alternative as a preventative approach for a problem I felt I didn’t have. I found something called “Resperate”,a device which one uses on a regular basis to promote correct,relaxed breathing. Take a look,form your own opinions.
        I was delighted to find Dr Kendrick’s book as it spoke my language. I had my own pharmaceutical company for 17 years (we were very ethical),and I now avoid medication and my local practice and hospitals and take responsibility for my own health ( and yes,I politely told another GP at the practice where to put his statins as he felt I would benefit from them as I was in the “at risk” group).
        I could entertain you with approaches to prostate cancer treatment I’ve experienced, which mirror many of those taken with statin treatment,but that’s another hard-to-believe story.

      2. Sue

        Yes, there are other ways to reduce BP. My husband was told by a GP that he would definitely have to take at least two, and possibly three, BP lowering drugs for the rest of his life. He started using the Resperate regularly, does weekly yoga and went back to the gym (had been off due to injury). He currently takes no meds, and has a normal BP which keeps the Dr. happy.

    2. Stephen

      Carol, haven’t you asked that question several times before? I tried to answer it fully and provide you with evidence and the link to Dr Kendrick’s article on the subject. Still in doubt?

      Reply
      1. carol

        Thanks Stephen I did read that. The problem I have is what to do when I stop taking them and my blood pressure goes upto 165/90. Tried everything suggested.

      2. Hugh Mannity

        Carol — It used to be that normal systolic BP for an adult was 100+your age in years (with an additional -10 for women) so a 40 yo man could happily have a systolic BP of 140, while a 40 yo woman would be at around 130. Diastolic ranges between 80 and 100;

        If you’ve been on BP meds for a while, expect a rebound if you stop taking them. After all, your body has been working against the medication to keep your BP where it wants it, so it’s going to take it a few weeks to get used to the change,

      3. Carol

        Thanks. Will try again to stop. I have been on them for about 3 years. When I stop it creeps up to 160/90 sometimes a little higher within a couple of days. Before I went on them I had an ecg that the doc said it showed some irregularity and was sent off to the hospital. Had one at the hopsital and the cardiologist said the ecg was fine but he could see some signs of high blood pressure. Blood pressure was more or less normal when taken at the hospital. cardiologist said I would probably need to take meds at some point. So all a bit worrying when I know the meds cause problems but then I remember what the cardiologist said.

    3. gillpurple

      Might be. Take your own blood pressure at home, that might be more reliable especially if you have white coat syndrome. My 86 year old mother recently stopped taking her blood pressure meds after realising she never had high blood pressure in the first place. Then she realised that her light headedness and dizzyness, which meant she had to get off her chair slowly, has disappeared completely. She didn’t realise those meds were causing it. She just hadn’t put two and two together, she thought it was old age. Being dizzy and light headed on a daily basis is no joke when you’re 86 and want to avoid a nasty fall. There’s a blog on here about blood pressure, helpful to take a look.

      Reply
    4. Stephen

      Carol, you ask what you do when your blood pressure goes up to 160/90? Do nothing and try to get on with your life without worrying. It’s pointless. That’s what I do and my BP isn’t much different to you. Large scale trials can’t find any significant benefit to this medication. I come from the position that the benefit should be clear to outweigh the undoubted harm (1 in 12 patients).

      You are currently accepting the risks of taking the medication and I prefer to accept the benefits of having my body free of powerful drugs that no one can clearly say help.

      Here’s part of what the NNT website says:

      “The lack of statistical benefit, the high rate of drug discontinuation, and the low cardiovascular event rates, are un-disputed. In addition, it is well known that occasional serious, potentially life threatening adverse events occur with antihypertensives (angioedema with ACE inhibitors, toxicity and bradycardia with beta blockers and calcium channel blockers, electrolyte disturbances with diuretics). These risks are tolerable only when there is a proven potential for benefit. In the single study that represents nearly 80% of the data included, for instance, women suffered higher mortality in the treatment group than women in the placebo group4. Indeed this low risk population may be a perfect example of a group in whom small reductions in already rare outcomes are trumped by the harms of treatment.”

      http://www.thennt.com/nnt/treatment-of-mild-hypertension-for-cardiac-prevention/

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        Stephen

        I do reluctantly take BP meds but recently I checked my BP serially over 100+ times. Surprisingly as pulse and SBP went down I got rhythmic fibrillation (trend significant) Indeed as pulse dropped below 57 the HR (hazard ration) suggests that I am three times (as that low CI) more likely to have fibrillation (average 11 times) p< 0.0001.

        One is left wondering if BP lowering drugs by reducing pulse rate and SBP are in fact contributing to the increasing incidence of AF. I must say I would like to know the proportion of people with AF that were taking BP meds before getting AF. I suspect that all with AF are getting such drugs (QoF directions??)

  10. Sue Richardson

    We are at least partially responsible for ensuring we have the best quality of life we can, by being sensible in what we do and what we put into our bodies. There is no possible way that talking a statin falls into either category. On balance 3 or 4 days less of life without statin-induced side effects seems to be a very sensible choice. As Dr K says, albeit not in the same words: “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die”(Ecclesiastes 3:1 – 3:2 NKJV)

    Reply
    1. Sue Richardson

      Actually that’s not very good English, but I can’t find a way to edit once I post a comment. I meant that taking a statin is not sensible at all! No way Pedro, as Del Boy would say.

      Reply
  11. mikecawdery

    Again going back through my records
    Going back through my records

    Correspondence between David Evans (author of “Cholesterol and Saturated Fat Prevent Heart Disease” and “Low cholesterol leads to early death” (101 refs in each book) and self

    Hi Michael

    Thank you for the information about Henry Lorin’s book and for your personal observations.

    A couple of years ago I had an exchange of emails with the British Heart Foundation regarding the “association” of saturated fat and cholesterol with heart disease. I presented them with dozens of papers that showed that, in fact, that high consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol were correlated with lower levels of heart disease.

    They had no interest in engaging in a conversation about the subject and just trotted out the official party line about high saturated fat = high cholesterol = heart disease. After I had presented them with links to all the papers that refuted this claim they simply ignored my emails.

    It seems that any knowledge that may actually prevent heart disease is a threat to their livelihood!

    Along with
    I submitted a paper to the BMJ entitled ‘Statins in secondary prevention, lives saved or lives extended.

    Sums up The Medical Establishment’s view pretty well. Disgraceful

    David Evans

    Reply
  12. mikecawdery

    Another example of hiding behind relative rates

    Comment to the Lancet re- Recent World Health Organisation, meat & cancer

    A meta-analysis of colorectal cancer in ten cohort studies reported a statistically significant dose–response relationship, with a 17% increased risk (95% CI 105–131) per 100 g per day of red meat and an 18% increase (95% CI 110–128) per 50 g per day of processed meat.

    17 and 18% of WHAT? This is an answer that tells nothing – is merely an attempt to frighten!

    May I point out that a reduction from a “risk” of 5 in 10 million to 4 in 10 million is a 20% reduction, i.e 1 is 20% of 5. Unless the actual probability to the individual in both cases is presented it is a simple, stupid con.

    May be you should read
    Author Affiliation: Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins
    School of Hygiene and Public Health, Baltimore, Md.
    Corresponding Author and Reprints: Barbara Starfield, MD, MPH, Department
    of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public
    Health, 624 N Broadway, Room 452, Baltimore, MD 21205-1996 (e-mail:
    bstarfie@jhsph.edu).
    ©2000 American Medical Association. All rights reserved. (Reprinted) JAMA, July 26, 2000—Vol 284, No. 4 483
    Ann Intern Med. 2003 Feb 4;138( 3): 161-7
    Error in medicine. JAMA. 1994 Dec 21;272( 23): 1851-7.
    And
    http://www.laleva.cc/petizione/ronlaw/relative_risks_bubbles3.pdf
    as a start and deal with the major cause of death risk or may be the Lancet is more concerned about Big Pharma profits than patient lives.
    For example
    Preventable Medical Misadventure 2,40%
    Properly Prescribed Drugs 5,18%

    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)
    and
    Dietary Supplements 0,0001%
    Honey Bee Stings 0,0008%
    Insect Stings (All) 0,0020%
    Sports injuries 0,0020%
    Lightning 0,0041%
    Animal Bites (dogs, etc) 0,0048%
    Horse/ animal riding 0,0052%
    Penicillin Allergy 0,0144%
    Slips/ Falls Whilst Walking 0,019%
    Electrical Accidents 0,038%
    Freezing 0,048%
    Firearms Accidents 0,079%
    Poisonings 0,17%
    Asthma 0,19%
    Home Fires 0,19%
    Drowning 0,21%
    Food 0,24%
    Pedestrians-vehicle 0,37%
    Radon Gas 0,62%
    Murder 0,94%
    Suicide 1,41% How much of this is drug induced? Statins, antidepressants?
    Motor Vehicle Accidents 2,20%
    Preventable Medical Misadventure 2,40%
    Alcohol 4,49%
    Properly Prescribed Drugs 5,18%

    Reply
  13. robert lipp

    Thanks Dr K
    These studies did not look at all cause mortality. The evidence here appears to be Statins may prevent CVD death, however you have an increased risk of dying from something else. Swings and roundabouts.

    Reply
  14. Dave Nockels

    A great article.

    Before I retired, I was a risk engineer very used to dealing with numerical risk figures. Despite such familiarity, it is pretty much impossible to twist out of the normal risk presentation (i.e. relative risk) a meaningful risk measure that enables anyone to make a rational decision.

    It is not easy to dig into the actual research papers: almost everyone gets their risk information via the media which is quite simply a disaster. They are completely clueless (in general). You only have to look at the latest presentation in the national newspapers view of the WHO recommendations concerning meat. Fat too many papersare not available without a charge.

    My best suggestions (in the absence of a lot of personal effort):

    – read Dr Kendrick’s recent book, Doctoring Data. The examples he investigates are very illuminating
    – there are some other authors/investigators who also do a similarly thorough job. Zoe Harcombe and Nina Techolz are 2 that immediately spring to mind
    – There is a wonderful book about risk that was produced by the BMA/BMJ a long while ago. Sadly out of print now, it gave a great context to risk in a practical way. It was entiled “RISK”, if I recall correctly.

    Aside from a questioning attitude (surely the most basic of requirements for ascience, the most important thing to do is ask whether any quantitative risk makes sense. Is there a decent reason why something might be true.

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      There is an excellent book by Gigerenzer, Gerd (2014-04-17). Risk Savvy: How To Make Good Decisions

      Zoe Harcombe in a recent comment has found that in 2011 was 47 per 100,000 people had coleo-rectal in the UK. Based on this the “NNT = 2128 or a probability for the individual = 0.00047! An 18% reduction to this would be 39/100,000 or a reduction of 8-9 per 100,000.

      Compare this with the 20,000 per 100,000 who suffer adverse reactions to statins. Which is more important? Clearly in the minds of the conflicted experts of WHO, Big Pharma profits are the more important.

      I despair. Please DR Kendrick keep up the good work. Your voice is vital for rational and intelligent solution to the problem.

      Reply
  15. Lauren Romeo, MD

    Thanks for this article it is exactly what I asked when I was in residency. We attended drug rep lunches and they were pushing atorvastatin, I asked about longevity and also, why would I take a drug that blocked a normal pathway? It’s not as though it was an anomaly from some genetic mutation…just normal physiology . I never got the answer. I figured that they knew about all the problems and were just looking to make some $.

    Reply
  16. thetinfoilhatsociety

    Reblogged this on The Tin Foil Hat Society and commented:
    Reblogging this, posting it to my FB account, and printing out a copy for the doctor I work with who is convinced that statins are the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    Reply
  17. Michael W. Perry

    You might want to extend your additional days of life study to include lifestyle changes that don’t involve preventive drugs. That’d include daily exercise, moderate use of wine, and so forth. That would put the limited impact of statins in perspective.
    Sadly, for many people having that pill to take may mean they don’t going for a more helpful daily walk.

    Reply
  18. Dr John Patchett

    Excellent stuff and very enlightening as usual Malcolm, and in the mean time thousands still die of heart disease and stroke because the real culprit/culprits escape unoticed whilst this false dogma persists. That is what really makes me mad.

    Reply
      1. John U

        Perhaps we should all email the Lancet and a few other journals to boot. This could be a good tactic to make a point on a variety of subjects. Governemantal agencies would be fair game as well. I am willing to do it. It would be good for someone to suggest the email addresses that should be targeted.

      2. John U

        I think that lots of emails sent to inboxes would have more impact that standard letters. The idea would be to flood the inbox. I don’t know if we have enough interested parties to do this, but it is easy and harmless. It just might do some good.

  19. Peter Williams

    Many thanks for this article. Just discovered your blog and am about (next monday) to tell my GP I have stopped taking statins indefinitely. This follows a ‘Statin Holiday’ of 6 weeks, after which my aches and pains have gone! More importantly this action motivated me to do my due dilegence on statins and make an informed choice. Reading your article and blog has helped enormously.

    Thank you! I am now a signed up ‘follower’!

    Reply
    1. David Bailey

      Peter,

      I too came to this blog after taking Simvastatin. Nothing much happened for 3 years, when I got severe cramps, weakness and pain in my right leg which was weakened by polio. Fortunately I stopped taking statins in time, and have recovered completely. Some people who post here have not been so lucky.

      If you ask a few friends of about the same age, you will probably discover – as I did – that many have been prescribed statins, and just thrown them away because of the side effects! I know a man who had muscle pains and serious memory problems (another statin side effect).

      Reply
      1. diane

        Statin destroyed a part of my brain, I now have memory issues and have trouble comprehending written data, such as paperwork to complete, puzzles, books and some movies.

      2. Andrew Ward

        Diane, that is very sad to hear. Stories like yours make me glad that I ignored the cardiologist telling me that I would die if I didn’t take Lipitor, Plavix and Metoprol. Andrew

    2. David Bailey

      Peter,

      I too joined this blog after my experience with Simvastatin. All went well for 3 years, and then I got severe cramps, weakness and other pains in my right leg, which was weakened by polio. I stopped the statins and recovered completely, but unfortunately, some of those who post here waited too long, and have not been so lucky.

      Reply
  20. Jerome Burne

    Great post and presumably journals don’t give any reasons – infuriating.

    Question to which there will be no answers for a long time is how many days from PCsk9 inhibitors? Maybe even a reduction of days.

    Best wishes

    Jerome

    40 Warrington Crescent

    London W9 1EL

    W9 1EL

    0207 286 9294

    07940 393 094

    Blog. Body of Evidence: jeromeburne.com

    Also: HealthInsightUK.org

    Reply
  21. wdmeans

    Of course, if you calculate in all the additional risks BECAUSE you are taking a statin, you will probably have to take that extra day per year away along with a few extra days!

    Reply
  22. gillpurple

    Dr K, excellent as usual. So even the BMJ, who seem to have a fair bit of independence, have backed off from this one. So much for their Too Much Medicine campaign. I wonder if last years’ fiasco with Sir Rory about the two articles with minor statistical errors has put them off.

    I can’t help thinking this statin con has got to blow up soon. Maybe I’m being over-optimistic. It makes me very angry that so many are having their health seriously compromised and their quality of life impaired.

    Reply
    1. Jennifer

      Gill….my personal sadness is being unable to convince my close relatives that, by continuing to take statins, their health is being compromised. Strange, because on most other matters, they think I am quite intelligent, and trustworthy.
      So, why the doubt about my stance on statins?

      Reply
      1. gillpurple

        Jennifer. Sadly, the thought that a GP might be prescribing something which could cause terrible harm is just a step too far for some people, too frightening to contemplate.

      2. Jennifer

        Thankyou Gill, I think you have hit the nail on the head. The power and influence of the GP has been passed down the generations. The pre-NHS generation impressed on us to be grateful for access to a wonderful health service, free at the point of need. To question the professionals was unthinkable for most users then, and it continues today.

      3. Barry

        Jennifer & Gill,
        That’s the problem – many people just cannot even begin to consider that a drug prescribed by a doctor and receiving support from professional institutions is not helping them but doing harm. They prefer to live with the illusion rather than consider the reality. I have this problem with my father-in-law who turns to me for advice about anything other than health or diet (obviously related but seen as unrelated by him) and considers his doctor’s advice as unquestionable. The fact that myself and my wife are healthy (no medication) and he and his wife are medication filled health train wrecks doesn’t raise a question mark as to whether their poor health is medication related.

  23. David Bailey

    Malcolm,

    If we focus on secondary prevention, I presume a fairly high proportion of such patients will die over a 5 year period – 50% as a wild guess. This means that the relative risk reduction of 36% should – seemingly – still represent a fairly large absolute figure.

    I know you have covered this calculation before, but can you remind me how this reduces to such a trivial absolute gain. Alternatively, is there any way to get hold of the published paper, or at least the abstract.

    I know someone who might benefit a lot from seeing the details.

    Reply
      1. David Bailey

        Thanks Malcolm,

        LOL – it is amazing how poor my guess was – I guess non-medical people (such as me) still think about recovery from a heart attack in a very pessimistic way!

        I will pass that information on!

      2. mikecawdery

        Dr Kendrick,

        It seems that “5 year survival” is a widely used medical standard. Is there any technical/medical reason for this? I ask because recently a celebrity who had survived from cancer for 5 years but died from cancer!

        I also note that cancer survival rates (5 years) are increasing (much publicized) but cancer death rate is also increasing (but rarely publicized). How come they both co-exist? Or is this a case of hyperinflation of survival as a “cure”?

      3. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        Not sure where it came from. Lost in the mists of time I suppose. It is probably pragmatic, in that you have to decide when someone is ‘cured’ from cancer, or not. You cannot follow everyone for ever.

      4. Susan

        Mike,
        Not sure where the 5 year survival landmark came from but you may find some answers to your other questions in the work of Gilbert Welch, MD, and his group at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Research. They argue that the increased use of screening tests does not necessarily save lives; it simply moves the date of diagnosis forward, thus prolonging the period of time that the patient lives with a diagnosis of cancer, without necessarily postponing the date of his eventual death. You can see how this could affect the number of patients who might live beyond that magical 5 year mark without changing the number who eventually died with a diagnosis of cancer.

        I recommend a couple of books these guys have written: SHOULD I BE TESTED FOR CANCER? Maybe not and here’s why (UC Press 2004), and OVERDIAGNOSED: Making people sick in the pursuit of health (Beacon Press 2011)

      5. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        Susan. Good points. Also, of course, any ‘lump’ may be considered cancer – even if it would have sat there doing nothing for the rest of your life. You find it on screening, you remove it, the patient is ‘saved’ from something that was never going to do anything in the first place. Hoorah…or maybe not. See under: Ductal Carcinoma in Situ.

      6. Robin P Clarke

        “In the UK NHS most ‘mass medication’ directives come from Government.”

        This is an important claim, but is there any evidence of it? I would have thought that if there were any such directives I would have heard about their publication long ago. Any evidence? Unless they are secret, but again any evidence?

        “choose your doctor carefully”

        That sounds all very clever but my own experience is
        1) anyone practice than a mile from here tells you you can’t be registered with them because they don’t accept anyone who doesn’t have a home in their posh cachement area; and
        2) of those you can register with, the only thing they’re interested in doing is testing your cholesterol and so-on and then giving you statins prescriptions.

        You could of course go to a private GP but that might not be what you meant.

      7. Robin P Clarke

        “You can see how this could affect the number of patients who might live beyond that magical 5 year mark without changing the number who eventually died with a diagnosis of cancer.” ….
        “I recommend a couple of books these guys have written:”

        Dr Kendrick made that same point in his own book, memorably enough for me to remember it anyway (zzzz……

      8. Susan

        Thanks, Dr. Kendrick.
        And then, of course, adding insult to injury, the toxic treatments they insist on giving for that lump they found may be life threatening in and of themselves.

      9. mikecawdery

        Robin P Clarke
        In the UK NHS most ‘mass medication’ directives come from Government.”

        I was under the impression that directives (ie Guidelines) were written under the auspices of NICE or the EMA on the basis of advice/guidance/beliefs of the appropriate medical societies/associations (eg Poldermans, {800,000 dead}, the ESC and the EMA)

        I would suggest that the medical establishment should look carefully and with an open mind at the dangers of pharmaceutical drugs – after all they claim to follow the Hippocratic oath; first do no harm. Starbridge (JAMA. 2000;284:483-485) and many other have highlighted the serious problems of pharmaceutical drugs.

      10. mikecawdery

        Dr Kendrick

        You say that “you cannot follow anyone for ever”

        In this age, the NHS has the medical records of everyone from first registration to death (or leaving the system).
        Technically therefore it is possible to follow individuals to final cause of death, as recorded at least. But of course if they sell such data it will no longer be available to independent researchers, Big Pharma will make sure of that!

        This leads into the reason for a five year survival. In the case of cancer I suspect that this time is the best for demonstrating a benefit which may be largely provided by early diagnosis. After 5 years the contribution by early diagnosis and surgery wanes and the real benefits of chemotherapy and radiation become evident. Following progress for 10 years or more may well demonstrate no benefit, something of course which is not wanted by the medical establishment. One is reminded of the Poldermans affair and 800,000 deaths by following official guidelines and the sweeping of the deaths into oblivion.

        Unfortunately, I am somewhat cynical of the association of Big Pharma and the medical establishment and truth.

        Risk – This is something I have worked on for decades in the veterinary field.

        If one examines the UK(England) life tables there is an interesting column entitled “QX” (is the mortality rate between age x and (x +1), that is the probability that a person aged x exact will die before reaching age (x +1).

        Now at the age of 60 the probability of dying before reaching the age of 61 is 0.008720 and this is increased by
        0.000566 to 009286 for the probability of dying between 61 and 62. Extending this for 10 years from 60 to 70
        the probability of dying (70-71) is 0.022107 giving a 10 year all cause mortality risk of 0.013387 or 13.4 per 1000 per 10 years for a 60-year-old at start. Now the risk of dying from a heart attack is what? The Statistics Office when I asked them said they did not have such data. Therefore let us 30% for this discussion.

        30% of 13 = 3.9 say 4 for simplicity.

        Now the HPS claims the reduction of deaths by heart disease over 5 years is 156/(781+156)*100 = 16.6% compared to the placebo. Say 33% over 10 years

        In other word the 4/1000 is reduced by 1/3 (1.3/1000) over 10 years to 2.67/1000 or a probability = 0.00267

        or a all cause mortality reduction from 13.4/1000 (~0.013) to 11.7/1000(~0.012) or ~1/1000 or 1/10000 per annum.

        In short, to all intents irrelevant to the individual.
        If drug benefits were related to effect on life tables estimates it would demonstrate the true benefits of therapy- something Big Pharma and the medical establishment would abhor.

    1. Stephen

      David, if two patients (out of hundreds or thousands) in the statin arm of a study have a heart attack and three do so in the placebo arm, they say that’s a 33% reduction! It’s nonsense and statistically insignificant, particularly when they washed out all the vulnerable people at the start of the trial. I suspect it could easily have gone the other way but then it wouldn’t be published, and if the patients died of something else, that doesn’t count. Absolute risk reduced by 1. You can’t make a headline out of that, but you can from 33%.

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        Specific Numbers
        Treatment (simvastatin + simvastatin with Anti-oxidant Vit Cocktail 10 269
        Placebo + placebo with Anti-oxidant Vit Cocktail 10 267
        CVD Deaths in Pacebo + group 937
        CVD Deaths in Simvastatin+ group 781
        “Saved”????? 156 over 5 years
        per Annum “saved” / 1000 156/(10269)* (1000/5) = 3.04 per year per 1000 patients

        Which tallies with a recent Sir Rory claim “Treat 3 million and 10,000 lives (3 million divided by 10,000) will be saved. Again inflation because the HPS was treating seriously at risk and post MI patients not the general public of which 2/3rds had been excluded from the study on the grounds of intolerance, potential intolerance and other reasons!

        Sorry for the horrid detail and simple maths but these were missed in report dominated by fancy hazard ratios and other sophisticated statistics to distract from the simple facts.

    2. mikecawdery

      The HPS was a travesty. First it compared two treatments; a) simvastatin and b) an anti-oxidant vitamin complex that EXCLUDED CoQ10 a molecule for which Merck holds a patent combining it with, YES, simvastatin. So far as I can find, like Dr Michel de Lorgeril, the full 2×2 analysis was never published.

      The next important failure of this study was that anyone intolerant, or potentially intolerant plus other criteria were excluded from the study. The original potential number of patient candidates was ~ 64,000 while the final group was some 20,500+ that met the full inclusion/exclusion criteria. In short the study itself only reflects results from one third of original “population” sample. Yet it was claimed that the drug was well tolerated despite the unknown number of KNOWN intolerant patients that were excluded.

      I suggested to NICE that if they wanted to reduce the numbers of adverse reactions to statins in the general population they should require doctors to prescribe statins only to those patients that met the stringent HPS inclusion/exclusion criteria. Of course, as is their want, they totally ignored this point.

      Reply
    3. mikecawdery

      I have just been checking on the Poldermans affair. You may find the following of interest:

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/larryhusten/2014/01/15/medicine-or-mass-murder-guideline-based-on-discredited-research-may-have-caused-800000-deaths-in-europe-over-the-last-5-years/

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/larryhusten/2013/07/31/european-heart-guidelines-based-on-disgraced-research-may-have-caused-thousands-of-deaths/

      Bouri S, et al. Heart 2014;100:456–464. doi:10.1136/heartjnl-2013-304262

      Eur Heart J. 2014 Sep 21;35(36):2435-40.
      The challenge of delivering reliable science and guidelines: opportunities for all to participate.
      Cole GD, Francis DP.

      PMID: 25371927 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] Free full text
      PLEASE NOTE: On searching for this paper in the OXFORD JOURNALS the following resulted:
      European Heart Journal
      European Heart Journal: 36 (40)
      Editor-In-Chief
      Thomas F. Lüscher

      Page Not Found

      The requested page “lookup/pmidlookup” could not be found.

      OXFORD CTSU Prof Sir Rory Collins is closely associated”!

      Comment: Another case of the medical establishment deleting/hiding evidence-based science highlighting dangerous approved medical practices? Like Helicobacter pylori, Six weeks strict bedrest post MI, Blood-letting and so on and on and on…………………………………………… How many disasters, like statins still hidden by these practices.

      The search took all afternoon and resulted in a massive and illuminating document on medical establishment disinformation

      Reply
  24. PeggySue

    Dr Kendrick, could you please write an article (or point us to a resource) that would allow us to put blood pressure medications into a similar kind of perspective?

    They also seem to be prescribed liberally and I just cannot get to grips with it in the same way as I can with statins and cholesterol.

    Reply
      1. PeggySue

        So sorry – I posted a reply to Carol this afternoon and as it vanished I assumed I had done something wrong. I therefore tried again with this message (kind of asking the same thing) and that vanished too!
        Now they have both appeared – embarrassing enough, but also showing I’ve not read your book (the shame)! I think I assumed I wouldn’t understand it but I owe it to myself to give it a go.
        Thank you so much.

    1. gillpurple

      PeggySue,

      Treat yourself to ‘Doctoring Data’, you won’t regret it. My copy arrived on a rare day off so I sat down and read it all in one go – apart from going out for lunch and walking the dog. It’s gripping, eye opening and very informative. And funny. I love reading and my favourites at the moment are Scandinavian murders. There’s been a lot more murders (and serious injuries) in medicine but a notable lack of police officers charging about arresting the suspects.

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        And to get yourself REALLY, REALLY angry (after reading Doctoring Data) Try Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime: How Big Pharma Has Corrupted Healthcare 28 Aug 2013
        by Peter Gotzsche

  25. Joyce

    Many thanks for the latest Statin Saga Info! After Cardiac Arrest 10 months ago, was put on usual assortment of meds, including 80mgs Atorvastatin. Within 10 weeks I was admitted to hospital after blood tests revealed LFT’s up from 45 to….1300! (Yes 1300). Statins stopped immediately. Have had a multitude of blood tests until 6 months later I was told my LFT’s were now “nearly” back to normal so I could go back on the Statins! Refused, and was was rewarded with an “offer” of a reduction from 80 to 10mgs! whoopee! Refused again, and was warned how important it was to my health. To be honest I feel between a rock and a hard place with so much conflicting information out there. I just cannot bring myself to take statins again with all the horror stories regarding horrendous side effects. Thanks for helping me feel I’ve made the right decision. The choice is mine, and I can live with it.

    Reply
    1. David Bailey

      Joyce,

      Please read my reply to Peter (above) – I am incredibly grateful I stopped taking statins when I did, because not everyone recovers properly if they carry on too long.

      Perhaps you should ask your doctor to explain where Malcolm’s calculation is wrong – then when he can’t, just refuse to take the wretched statin!

      Reply
  26. Stephen

    According to the NNT website, for those without heart disease, here are the benefits of statins:

    None were helped (life saved)
    1 in 104 were helped (preventing heart attack)
    1 in 154 were helped (preventing stroke)

    Here are the harms:
    1 in 100 were harmed (develop diabetes*)
    1 in 10 were harmed (muscle damage)

    Dr David Newman comments: “In simple comparisons no benefit is found. We feel comfortable that either there is no true mortality benefit in patients without CAD, or that the benefit is too small to be universally agreed upon. . . . The harms of statins are less publicized than benefits, but are well documented. A recent narrative review of statin myopathy suggests that 10% is a relatively conservative estimate for this side effect . . . Finally, the source of the great majority of these data is industry, which has a spotty history of integrity in trial data reporting, suggesting these data to be a best-case scenario.”

    If these facts were properly explained to patients, how many would take them?

    http://www.thennt.com/nnt/statins-for-heart-disease-prevention-without-prior-heart-disease/

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      First, Thanks for the link

      Second, the NNTs that you quote refer to non-fatal events? Given that these so-called blinded studies are hardly likely to be blinded from the patient’s doctor. The treated patient would have a reduced cholesterol level. The non-fatal events may then well be recorded on a subjective basis, particularly with respect to severity.

      The only truly objective event is death though the cause may be subjective. Has been tested.

      Thus it is necessary to use “all cause” mortality rather than cause!

      Reply
  27. terry colon

    Seems to me, if 1 person in 104 had a heart attack prevented by a statin, that one person only got all the life extension from taking a statin. If you were that one in 104 that got the benefit, lucky you. The remaining 103 got no benefit at all.

    So, how much longer will you live on a statin? There’s a 99% chance of not one second longer.

    Reply
    1. Stephen

      Terry, that’s spot on. The Number Needed to Treat (NNT) for 1 patient to benefit. The other 103 patients just got the long list of side effects, which might be diabetes, reduced brain function and muscle pain. It should be compulsory to explain this to patients.

      Reply
      1. celia

        It should also be explained that some of the adverse side effects can be permanent. I wish doctors all understood this, but it seems they don’t.

  28. Anna

    I have some questions. First, I don’t know how they do these studies as I thought you said that the industry considers it unethical to have a control group not on statins but who have some cardiac risk. Especially, how do they compare those in the secondary prevention group, all of whom are very high risk?

    Second, is the assumption that if a statin prolongs life for a day a year translatable to the further assumption that in 30 years it will then elongate one’s life for one or two months?

    Third, if it is admitted that statins have at least a wee bit of adverse affects on health, doesn’t it stand to reason that a bad thing done for a year might not be too hard on one’s body, but continued for 30 years might be quite devastating? Heavy drinking, smoking come to mind…

    Reply
  29. JPA

    Preventative medicine has been co-opted by people who have something to sell, whether that is a drug, a supplement or a fancy device. The obsession with every more tests and every more drugs to treat “abnormalities” is a perversion of the idea of preventative medicine.

    However, the idea of preventing disease (not death) has been around for a long time and has nothing to do with being sold stuff. Advocating for clean water, clean food, and clean air is preventative medicine. Learning moderation in one’s tastes and habits, cultivating a tolerance for discomfort and an appreciation for simple pleasures, developing warm and respectful relationships with one’s community are all preventive medicine. These cost nothing and definitely do not require a visit to a medical office.

    Reply
  30. sammikr

    I think I’m more likely to die from CVD due to stress and raised cortisol levels brought on by the frustration that such ignorance permeates our first point of contact – GPs. As a lay person it is very difficult to argue this point to friends and family taking statins. They accept what their GP suggests and that’s final.

    Reply
  31. Bryan Hemming

    My own experience with statins – having taking them for almost a year after a heart attack – was that I felt much better once I stopped. A doctor advised me I’d probably be better off without after I consulted her about pains in my left leg here in Spain. She was about to prescribe another statin, when, in an attack of blatant honesty said that they might be bad for my liver, so it was probaby best for me not to take statins at all. I got the distinct feeling she didn’t like prescribing them, and only did so because they were part of the treatment prescribed by my cardiologist. When I told him on my annual check-up, he didn’t say anything, apart from telling me my heart had improved greatly and there was almost no sign of permanent damage considering my age.

    Due to the fact most people don’t walk on a regular basis, they might not connect the two if they suffer occasional pains on longer walks. Taking the same brisk walk each day, I found the leg started aching at almost exactly the spot I’d reached, something that had never happened before. Though not severe, it was uncomfortable enough for me to feel a need to stop to sit down and rest for a few minutes, but I felt it was getting worse. The fact I love walking was the deciding factor. A life without walking was not an option for me, certainly not if I could help it. The pains stopped very soon after and haven’t returned almost two years later.

    Reply
  32. Jack Williamsen

    I certainly agree that prolongation of life is the ultimate “bottom line” in drug studies such as these, and should be reported as one of the outcomes. But it is not the only outcome of importance here. It seems to me that the quality of the life extended is important. It makes a difference to me whether I live to “x” years in good health and active, or as the victim of a non-fatal stroke that left me incapacitated during my last years. As the cliche goes, “It’s not the years in your life, but the life in your years.” Like most folks, my ideal is to live an active and involved life right up to the end (whenever that is) and slip away in my sleep, abed at home.

    Reply
  33. mikecawdery

    This seemed worth posting
    From the September, 2015 Life Extension magazine, more good news about statins:

    “Anand Viswanathan, MD, PhD (Associate Director, Telestroke Program, Massachusetts General Hospital) has shown that ischemic stroke victims are twice as likely to have disruptive control of their cognitive processes (executive dysfunction) if they exhibited high levels of micro bleeds in the cerebral cortex of the brain. Cerebral micro bleeds are also associated with high blood pressure and statin use.
    __._,_.___
    Posted by: autoimmuneohio@yahoo.com

    Reply
  34. Kay

    “Delayative.” Love it. Have you ever wondered what would happen if all the “preventative” pills and potions and tests and procedures were lined up and subjected to the same kind of scrutiny — and people knew the real results?

    Reply
    1. Barry

      Kay,
      Drug sales would collapse, doctors and hospitals wouldn’t be so busy – or the morgues. Just think of the money that would be saved in running the NHS – no stupid diet advice for diabetics, no ridiculous cholesterol targets etc. People are scared into taking pills and undergoing investigative procedures because they fear illness. Most do not realize that drug companies are not really interested in curing you (A patient cured is a patient lost – no money in that.) but in treating the symptom so that you feel better as long as you take the drug. Their wet dream is a patient on as many drugs as possible without actually dying.

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        Barry

        If the whole truth of adverse reactions to drugs were known and publicized Big Pharma companies would be bankrupted by class actions in the US. In the UK the Govt. protects them by not including drug damage/injury in legal aid. While I understand that class actions are theoretically possible, no lawyers are currently prepared to take on Big Pharma and their huge legal support!

  35. Lucy

    Ah this would be true, if there were no down side to taking statins. I will give you an example, my mom has been on statins since the 1980’s, because her cholesterol was naturally 300. She still got heart disease. Although, now I am wondering if ANY of her heart surgeries were necessary. She never had a heart attack. She had stable angina. My mom is now 90 years old. Her short term memory is shot. I told doctor to stop the Statin. I think her memory is improving . I took her out and she recognized a landmark that she didn’t recognize before. BTW my mom had an eye stroke on the Statins so I guess they didn’t work. The doctors said she would be blind in that eye(CRAO), but oh wait, her sight came back, nevermind. I have been reading the book Doctoring Data. Thanks Dr. Kendrick. I wish I had a doctor like you. I stopped taking Blood sugar and cholesterol tests. Kaiser Health insurance is relentlessly spamming me with calls and letters to get a colonoscopy. They badgered me for 5 years because my blood sugar was 101 and not 99! I have been harassed for at least 10 years because my cholesterol keeps going up as I hit menopause. I have had enough. I just eat real fresh food, exercise and keep my weight normal. I am doing a spiritual practice to feel better about my mortality. I am not going for all these tests.

    Reply
    1. BobM

      Actually, if I had to recommend a test to take, it would be fasting blood sugar and insulin. Or better yet, take a glucose tolerance test where they also take insulin. This is an introduction:

      http://denversdietdoctor.com/diabetes-vascular-disease-joseph-r-kraft-md/

      I’m inclined to ignore all “cholesterol” tests; instead, what really matters in my opinion is insulin resistance and carbohydrate intake. For many (maybe most — but not all) people, these are way more important for heart disease, tinnitus, cancer, you name it, than “cholesterol”.

      Reply
      1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        Bob,

        I also believed that the fasting glucose told me a lot about my health until recently when I happened to watch an interview with the seasoned MD, Dr. Joseph Kraft who measured blood glucose and simultaneously the actual insulin levels in the blood and that on many thousands of patients remitted to his hospital. He made statistics on that which is impressive.

        This interview rocked my simple world view on the blood sugar measurements and I am now much more prone to accept the idea that it is probably the high levels of insulin, the hyperinsulinemia, the actual answer from our bodies to our insulin resistance, and an hyperinsulinemia which acts during decades in a deteriorating way all over our bodies, especially our finest capillaries get hurt, before any obvious signs of hyperglycemia and diabetes type 2 are manifest.

        By the way, me and my wife (serious CVD and DM II respectively) have today excellent fasting glucose levels on LCHF (latest measurements 4.1 and 3.9 respectively) but we can not afford to relax since any sidesteps with the tempting carbs show up immediately on our health markers. For sure, we are since a long time severely trapped in the famous metabolic syndrome which is synonymous with the insulin resistance, as far as I understand, and a state which probably is very hard to ‘escape’ from once trapped.

        Dr. Joseph Kraft has also written a small book with the telling title ”DIABETES EPIDEMIC & YOU – Should Everyone Be Tested? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Only those concerned about their future”. The book summarises his measurements over several decades in a condensed way. Well worth the reading to my opinion.

      2. mikecawdery

        Goran

        Many thanks for the link Most useful

        Some years ago in an attempt to get my glucose down, we (GP and !) agreed to try a sulphonurea (gliclazide). I wrote to the manufacturer to request information on the pharmacokinetics of glicalizide and the resultant kinetics of blood insulin. He kindly wrote back and told me that he was not aware of any studies dealing with the combined results. My faith in medical knowledge crashed again. The information seems to be solely related to information required to promoting drugs sales!

    1. David Bailey

      I totally agree, and I think the important thing is that Malcolm keeps going! I mean it would be so easy for him to feel he had said it all, and stop blogging. However, if he did that, new people coming to this site would be unsure whether to believe it – there is so much junk on the internet.

      The important thing is that ‘they’ can’t argue any case against him, and can only turn aside in embarrassed silence!

      Reply
  36. Dr. Ellen K. Rudolph

    Read this in case you are curious about the preventive aspects of Statins. Dr. Kendrick is a highly credible UK physician/researcher and this is his latest medical post about Statins.

    Ellen

    >

    Reply
  37. Sean Coyne

    Excellent article as always Malcom…which set me to thinking. I have to face both cardiologists and GPs with the fact that that I refuse to take statins. As my GPs keep moving, dying or retiring it’s getting a bit old (well mostly me). I have waved your book under the nose of one or two, but no luck in getting them to read it. My current cardiologist looked like a member of the Spanish Inquisition who had just found a heretic in his corn flakes (and nobody expects that).

    It would be great if you could produce an ePaper that I could load onto a thumb drive and hand around. What I mean is a condensed version of your findings (with appropriate references and links) that is tailored more for GPs and even cardiologists (well, maybe not that whore Prof Sir Rory Collins).

    Pretty please?

    Reply
    1. Barry

      Sean,
      What makes you think that any paper, be it long or short, is going to make any difference? The evidence is there for those that wish to see it. What you are dealing with are people who are in denial of the facts – probably because they have supported the cholesterol hypothesis for so long that to change now would be career/status/income damaging. Schopenhauer’s three stages of truth apply here but they are stuck in a loop between stage one & two.

      Reply
      1. Sean Coyne

        Meh, you are probably right. It’s so annoying though to hear yet another cardiologist say that “statins are the greatest thing to come along in my field ever and have saved countless lives” (pretty much a direct quote). They get even worse with my a-fib though (now cured by two ablations… hopefully). All refuse to believe sufferers, when they say attacks can be induced by lying on your left side. My cardio-electrophysiologist laughed and said “yeah they all refuse to believe that, even though they get told by patients time and time again” .
        It’s like trying to convince a creationist that evolution is true.

        Sigh.

  38. Leigh

    And now news today that researchers in the USA have announced that statins compromise the effectiveness of the ‘flu jab and that those of us over 60 are now more at risk due to lowering of the immune response. To quote Dr George V. Mann, professor of Medicine and Biochemistry at Vanderbilt University that the use of statins is ”the greatest scientific deception of this century, perhaps of any century”.

    Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        Dr Kendrick

        The following headline appeared in the TIMES

        Doctors withhold statins that would save 2,600 live Chris Smyth Health Editor

        I emailed a complaint to home.news@thetimes.co.uk

        May I suggest everyone on this blog emails their statin complaints, findings of flawed studies, corruption et al to the Times.

        This sort of BS makes me madder than a wet hen as the saying goes

      2. Robin P Clarke

        Indeed beyond parody considering it amounts to claiming that one claptrap pseudo-treatment doesn’t work if the other claptrap pseudo-treatment isn’t working either. But the news is also promising a wonderful prospect of big pharma starting a “civil war” against itself!

      3. Robin P Clarke

        “May I suggest everyone on this blog emails their statin complaints, findings of flawed studies, corruption et al to the Times.”

        Or may I suggest Everyone meet up at their local pub or mosque, board a coach to the Department of “Health”, and then on arrival at Richmond House….. ?
        Because it’s the only language which murderers understand.

  39. Jason S

    I’m aware of figures suggesting an increase T2 Diabetes as a result of taking statins, but wonder if there is a biochemical explanation for this? In my mind the increase in T2 is simply down to the those taking statins developing a feeling of invincibility. I have two relatives on them who now eat EVERYTHING in their path. Scoffing down second helpings of high sugar puddings because, and I quote “I’m on statins…hahaha….”

    Reply
    1. Barry

      Jason,
      You can see Dr Duane Graveline’s view here http://www.spacedoc.com/articles/statin-induced-diabetes and Dr Mercola’s here http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/11/28/are-statin-drugs-harmful-to-health.aspx with a link to Suzy Cohen http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/03/28/the-stealth-drug-cause-of-diabetes.aspx .

      Perhaps your relatives would like to explain to you how they link a cholesterol lowering drug to a justification to overeat “foods” that will cause a blood sugar level spike and the associated insulin surge (that is as long as their bodies are capable of producing adequate insulin). The day will come when they won’t be laughing – it will too late then.

      Reply
    2. Eric Thurston

      Jason,
      There is a biochemical basis for a link between statins and diabetes. I don’t have a good link handy but google will deliver much information based on a search of ‘link between statins and diabetes’ or similar.

      It has to do with a biochemical pathway, the mevalonate pathway which is inhibited by statins. This lowers LDL but also inhibits certain enzymes on the pathway that are important in glucose metabolism.

      I’m not versed in the details of this link, but there is much information out there. Perhaps Dr. Kendrick could expand on this issue.

      Reply
      1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        I have seen several hypotheses, not sure which one is correct. I lean towards the fact that beta-cells are highly ‘energetic’ and require a lot of ATP (the basic source of all energy in cells). By blocking co-enzyme Q10 production, ATP production is lost, the cells have less energy available to manufacture insulin and thus diabetes ensues.

  40. Sue Richardson

    Thanks for posting the interview with Dr Kraft Goran. Most enlightening. I recommend it. I especially appreciated the sub titles when Dr Kraft was speaking, as he is very gently spoken. Not sure whether you can get the test he recommends in the UK. I’ve never heard of it, but then I don’t suppose our doctors have either.

    Reply
  41. Frederica huxle

    Dissension in the ranks: headline in Rhe Times today “Millions denied life-saving statins despite guidance”. It would appear that GPs are not convincing their patients that taking statins is the holy grail, despite NICE guidelines.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      Frederica,

      It is one thing that we, the patients, distrust the medical system but what will happen when the GPs are doing this in high numbers? They probably need their salaries but can the live with the knowledge and at the same time be forced to follow the guidelines and without turning cynic?

      I heard recently that GPs generally don’t recommend their own children to enter the medical profession.

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        Apparently doctors in the US have been surveyed re cancer treatment for themselves and families. Result 80+% would not take treatment or advise it. But have to advise it to patients. Guidelines and threats of “damnation” if they don’t.

        The Poldermans affair – well the paper that set this alight was deleted within the hour; the AHA, AMA and ESC have still not modified the guidelines which caused the problem as far as I can find.

        Really, the medical establishment should take a long hard look at their practices and support for Big Pharma.

        As Max Planck has said “Science progresses funeral by funeral” which suggest to me that we patients are in dire need of many funerals.

    2. celia

      “Life-saving statins” my eye! I took mikecawdery’s advice and suggested to the Times that they do some proper research on the topic before printing this stuff.

      Reply
    3. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      Frederica,

      Could you imagine the future headline stating “Hundreds or even billions of diabetics are denied life-saving medication through the “Hippocratic” quack advice to go LCHF”

      What a “Hypocritical” medical world we are living in!

      I guess that is why I am “in love” with Malcolm’s blog – it is a relief for me – a hope for a change!

      Reply
    4. Stephen T

      Frederica, I think GPs deserve some credit here. I think many have real reservations about statins and are making that clear to patients. It’s important to remember that the GPs group voted unanimously against the wider use of statins. It’s evident from the article that the star statin advocate, Sir Rory Collins, blamed doctors, not patients. He claimed that they were exaggerating side effects and minimising benefits. Some doctors are blindly prescribing statins, but I think it’s clear that many aren’t. Perhaps more patients are asking questions and causing doctors to think. I hope so.

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        Stephen, I agree entirely with you. The GPs and consultants actually working with patients should be allowed to work as they were trained rather than being “directed” to follow dubious advice under threat of being sued or charged with negligence.

      2. Frederica Huxley

        Interestingly, after last week’s fear based headline in The Times regarding statins not being prescribed as per NICE recommendations, today Dr Mark Porter, The Times resident GP, has made it abundantly clear why he will not hand out statins like Smarties.

  42. munchkin47

    I was put on statins as soon as it was discovered I had diabetes at aged 60. I already suffered from fibromyalgia with having M.E. but the pain in my muscles and joints became excruciating after starting statins. In approx 6 years I tried 4 different versions (none of which improved matters) so I decided I couldn’t stand it anymore and stopped them altogether. Fortunately, my doctor didn’t object so no nagging from him to start them again. Within a week my badly swollen ankles and feet returned to normal and gradually the pain receded but not completely. Strangely, the pain on the left side of my neck practically disappeared. Oh, it was also discovered that I had osteoporosis which I believe can be a side effect of taking statins…..not that I knew it at the time.

    Thank God I found your two books, Dr. Kendrick, which stopped me from worrying about my cholesterol levels. Now I can enjoy, amongst other food, butter rather than eat all that chemical crap! It is amazing how liberating it can be forgetting about cholesterol levels and having to watch one’s diet, although, obviously, in my case, my diabetes has to be kept in check. Hmmmm….what if I had continued to take statins? Would my blood sugar levels have become much worse? At the moment I do not have to take any drugs, just watch my diet.

    Oooooh! These days I am a real cynic regarding the Big Pharma companies!

    Reply
    1. David Bailey

      I suggest you now read up on the LCHF diet, which is claimed to have reversed many cases of type 2 diabetes.

      Reply
      1. robert lipp

        Confirmed: my wife started LCHF (ref Prof Noakes) and rapidly reduced then dropped insulin. Glucose levels have not been so good for years – usually around 5.5 – losing many kg’s between us. Both of us have benefitted enormously – also stopped Statins.

  43. vjadams2014

    Another excellent and well argued article.

    I came across this quote on the website of a Dr Thomas Levy

    “we need to realize that humans are still very much in the business of fabricating flawed models of reality. Far too frequently theories are formed with little upporting evidence and touted as truth, while boatloads of evidence to the contrary are ignored and even altered. Oftentimes, fairytale realities are embraced as true because we want or need them to be true. It is all too common for scientists and lay people alike to risk their professional and personal reputations clinging to their foregone conclusions with a white-knuckled grip — even after their irrefutable “facts” are shown to be false.”

    http://blog.peakenergy.com/

    I don’t know how good Dr Levy’s science is, or whether he is right about calcium, but this quote immediately made me think of your war on misinformation.

    Reply
    1. Soul

      I enjoyed Dr. Levy’s book as I avoid dairy products myself! I know the argument he makes that avoiding dairy products will result in less disease, stronger bones, appear healthier, etc something I personally agree with. I have seen too another mention with study about eating more protein when taking calcium or eating foods high in calcium in order to avoid osteoporosis. Apparently there has been two write ups on this, an older study and a recent. From Dr. Heaney’s sight:

      “The Paradox of Osteoporosis Irreversibilit”

      http://blogs.creighton.edu/heaney/2014/07/25/the-paradox-of-osteoporosis-irreversibility-2/

      and from a couple weeks ago

      “Eating Protein Seems to be Good for Bones – Again Contradicting the Acid-Alkaline Myth”

      http://www.dietdoctor.com/eating-protein-seems-to-be-good-for-bones-again-contradicting-the-acid-alkaline-myth

      It made me wonder what is right, maybe both, partial right, hard to say. I’ll keep avoiding dairy personally as I feel better doing so.

      Reply
    2. Robin P Clarke

      The idea that milk/dairy are bad for you fails to note the important distinction between nutritional requirements of calves and humans. Namely therer isn’t enough magnesium in cows milk. I’ve been having a trivial-cost pinch of epsom salts with every milk/cream/cheese for the past 37 years and I only have 32 teeth left, let alone any bone problems. There are many other serious consequences of an excessive cal/mag ratio, hence those adverse findings. Unfortunately you need to be able to join more than one dot to make sensible sense of the world. Oh, and cow milk also has too much casein relative to whey. Again, this isn’t rocket science, especially as some people kindly sell you the whey separated out.

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        I like your solution. But you are right. Magnesium is an important micro-element for the heart. I would also point out that after centuries of agriculture soil may become deficient, plants become deficient and so on. Thus the claims that vegs and fruit may not be as good a source as claimed.

        Many years ago I grew raspberries. Miserable plants until I threw a pound of epsom salts on them. We had to use a step-stool to collect them

  44. mikecawdery

    More Evidence Statins Are Harming Millions

    http://www.statinnation.net/blog/2015/10/29/more-evidence-statins-are-harming-millions

    More Evidence Statins Are Harming Millions
    October 29, 2015

    Two new studies have shown that statins impair the immune system. One study (from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center) found that statins impair the immune response (1). And another study (from Emory University) found that statins can block the ‘effectiveness’ of the flu vaccine in the elderly (2).

    When is the medical establishment going to catch on?????

    Reply
  45. mikecawdery

    and yet more

    JAMA Intern Med. 2013 Jul 22;173(14):1-10
    CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE:
    Musculoskeletal conditions, arthropathies, injuries, and pain are more common among statin users than among similar nonusers. The full spectrum of statins’ musculoskeletal adverse events may not be fully explored, and further studies are warranted, especially in physically active individuals.
    Comment: Heart muscle is very physically active – never stops! CVD + statins ➔➔ CHF (congestive Heart Failure -??? NO WONDER THE CDC and NHBLI PULLED THE CHF from their websites!

    Reply
  46. Stephen T

    Concerning vitamin D and how essential is to take vitamin K2 with it. Without K2, vitamin D, which is said to have many benefits, might well be doing more harm than good. Indeed Vitamin D could be helping to narrow arteries if taken without vitamin K2, which enables it to be used productively and where it’s needed.

    In her book Dr Kate Rheaume-Bleue suggested that we need to take 120 mcg of K2 per 1,000 IU of vitamin D. In an interview with Dr Mercola, Dr Rheaume-Blue raised this recommendation to 150 – 200 mcg.

    Now a 1000 IU of vitamin D is five times the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) in the UK. I don’t think that’s a worry as the RDI is widely seen as ridiculously low. The RDIs seem to be kept so low as a result of drug company lobbying. But I’ve seen people talking about taking 5,000 – 10,000 IU of vitamin D a day. Would such people really be taking 200 mcg of vitamin K2 for each 1,000 units of vitamin D? If they did so, and took 5,000 units of vitamin D, they’d need to take ten 100 mcg tablets. Putting the expense to one side, I don’t see many people doing that. In short, can taking very high doses of vitamin D be safe without taking the corresponding amounts of K2?

    K2 comes in several varieties and in the interview Dr Kate recommends MK7. I’ve attached an edited 15 minute version of the interview. A full length version is also on YouTube.

    Reply
    1. Maureen H

      Stephen, I take a supplement which contains 5000iu of Vit D, 800mcg Vit K (Vit K 1 and K2) Magnesium 225mg, zinc 12mg and boron 3mg. That is fairly close to the ratio recommended by Dr. Rheaume-Bleue. I questioned the manufacturer why such a large amount of Vit K, and they told me this was the formulation advised by the Vit D Council. I’ve been taking this for two years and my Vit D level has come up from 23ng/ml to 52. In the good summer weather if I can get good sun exposure (recommended 30 mins around noon for this latitude, southern Canada), I don’t take the pills. I have my Vit D levels checked every six months. My understanding is that Vit K is essential if one is taking supplemental calcium, which I am, in order to ‘direct’ the calcium to bones instead of to soft tissue like arteries. I’m not worried about toxic levels, from what I have read the levels need to be well over 130ng/ml.

      Reply
      1. carol

        Hi, thats good that its all in one tablet. Can you tell me what it is and where you get it from please. thanks

      2. Barry

        Maureen,
        Vitamin K2 is essential if you are taking a high dose vitamin D supplement to avoid the risk of calcium depositing in soft tissue. In theory you can obtain adequate K2 from diet but I suspect many people will not obtain sufficient from their diet. K2 is not toxic so dosage should err on the high side rather than low.
        I recommend that you check the amount of K2 in your supplement and whether it is MK4 (synthetic) or MK7 (natural). MK4 is not really effective due to a very short half-life whereas MK7 has a half-life of around 3 days (if I remember correctly). Optimum level of vitamin D, unless treating illness, is in the range of 50 to 70ng/ml (much higher than the NHS recommend). 70 to 100ng/ml is the range for treating cancer and heart disease and above 100ng/ml is regarded as potentially toxic.
        I recommend The Vitamin D Solution by Michael F.Holick, Ph.D., M.D. ISBN 9780452296886 together with Dr Kate Rheaume-Bleue’s book Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life ISBN 9780062320049. For the lay person these two books will provide more than sufficient information.

      3. Maureen H

        Thanks Barry, I will ask the manufacturer about the kind of Vit K in the pills. I do have a copy of Dr. Hollick’s book, some very good information there, I especially like the tables which advise on the timings of sun exposure, and the best times for UVB rays for effective Vit D. production in the skin in different latitudes. I have also been thinking about a “Sperti” lamp for the winter, but they are quite expensive. http://www.sperti.com/The-Vitamin-D-Lamp-model-D-UV-F-by-KBD-Sperti-s/1825.htm

      4. Stephen T

        Thank you, Maureen. You’re right to be confident about the non-toxicity of K2. Dr Rheaume-Bleue was very clear about this. She did mention that a small minority of people experienced heart flutters or palpitations, but it seems to be rare. I’m taking 1,000 IU of vitamin D with 200 mcg of K2, a smaller amount than you take but in roughly the same proportion.

      5. Barry

        Maureen,
        The Sperti lamp is expensive (I think too expensive for what it is – perhaps a reflection of having FDA approval?) and the improvements in 25(OH)D3 resulting from the in vivo study are a very modest 10ng/ml – approx. the same as taking 1000 IU D3 per day according to the study. As you will know from Dr Holick’s book you can take far more than 1000 IU per day without risk of toxicity (assuming that you do not suffer from any condition that prevents your body from using it correctly).
        Living where you do obtaining adequate UVB from sunlight is a big problem, but as you are checking your 25(OH)D3 level on a regular basis (not many do that!) there is little risk of you overdosing on vitamin D supplements. I can’t advise you what to do (illegal) so I’ll just say that if I was in your position I’d carry on taking vitamin D supplements (it’s what I do October through March/April) and include foods known to contain K2 in your diet (I’ve previously mentioned good quality Brie and Gouda as good sources) plus if you are any doubt take a K2 supplement to be on the safe side. Personally I’d only look for a MK7 supplement as, to the best of my knowledge, the MK4 in supplements is synthetic, has very poor bio availability and, I suspect, cheaper than MK7. It’s probably added to make the supplement appear to have more useful K2 than it actually does. K2 is fat- soluble so ensure that you take any supplement with a meal containing fat.
        Here’s a link to Chris Kresser with more info http://chriskresser.com/vitamin-k2-the-missing-nutrient/.
        One final point – you mentioned taking a calcium supplement. If you are doing this as a measure to prevent osteoporosis please be aware that calcium supplements may cause problems. Calcium in diet isn’t normally a problem – it’s the lack of other essential vitamins and minerals that are more likely to result in bone issues. Please see: http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2012/8/potential-danger-of-calcium-supplements/page-01 and http://chriskresser.com/calcium-supplements-why-you-should-think-twice/ .
        Wishing you good health!

      6. Andrew Ward

        Barry, having read pretty much all that is available about K2 on the internet, there still seems to be confusion over K2 Mk4 and Mk7 and which is best. The “Mk4 is synthetic” gets repeated over and over, and my feeling on that is “so what?”. It is produce from tobacco as far as I can determine. The Japanese bone fracture studies have used 45 mg of Mk4 and have considered it safe. Weston Price’s X factor came from grass fed butter which is Mk4, so that gives it validity to me based on the amount of research that he did. Mk4 is not cheaper than Mk7 in my research, and as far as bioavailability goes, one of the suggestions is that the body needs Mk4 so much that it quickly gets used up by the cells and that is why it doesn’t appear to stay in the blood very long. Both K1 and K2 Mk7 convert to Mk4 in the body, so I find that quite a telling factor. Anyway, as I have said, I take both and I hoping to see my pulse pressure come down eventually. Even the research states that it would take a least a year for you to start seeing a major improvement. In good health, Andrew.

      7. Barry

        Andrew, I’ve nothing against MK4 per se. My preference for MK7 is based purely on how long it remains biologically active when taken as a supplement and the dosage required vs. MK4. This provides some information http://www.menaq7.com/index.php?page=overview (yes, it’s to support their product but it appears to be borne out by studies such as the Japanese one you mention where the dose was 45mg/day http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23702931.)
        Chris Masterjohn remarks that it is unclear whether the rapid uptake of MK4 vs MK7 is a benefit or drawback “There are no studies available, however, comparing the efficacy of MK-7 to that of the MK-4 found in animal products. MK-9, and presumably MK-7, stays in the blood for a longer period of time than does MK-4, but this appears to be because tissues take up MK-4 much more rapidly.30 Whether the rapid uptake of MK-4 or the longer time spent in the blood by bacterial menaquinones have particular benefits or drawbacks is unclear. Future research will have to clarify whether the vitamin K2 synthesized by animal tissues and by bacteria are interchangeable, whether one is superior to the other, or whether each presents its own unique value to our health.” He followed up the original article with another in 2009 (I’m sure you are aware of both) where he said “Any comparison between MK-7 and MK-4 would be confounded by the fact that MK-7 supplements are isolated from natural food sources while MK-4 supplements are synthetic. This brings us to the third possibility, that natural food sources of MK-4 are more powerful than synthetic MK-4 supplements. This is a possibility that cannot be ignored. Ultimately, we would like to see trials using K2-rich foods such as grass-fed liver, butter, cheese, egg yolks, and fermented foods such as natto, to increase the activation of osteocalcin or decrease the risk of prostate cancer.”
        For those that are interested here are the links to Chris Masterjohn:
        http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/abcs-of-nutrition/on-the-trail-of-the-elusive-x-factor-a-sixty-two-year-old-mystery-finally-solved/
        http://www.westonaprice.org/blogs/cmasterjohn/cure-for-cancer-activator-x-may-be-the-missing-link/
        Chris also states that synthetic MK4 is a lot cheaper than MK7 – which would fit with its use as a bulking addition to some supplements. For Maureen this is important because Canada does not permit the sale of high dose MK4 supplements (I think it is limited to 120mcg – Maureen please correct me if I’m wrong)) so she needs to get the most effective supplement.
        The main thing is that we all get sufficient K2 and taking a K2 supplement, be it MK4, 7 or both, cannot do harm.
        Wishing you good health, Barry.

      8. Andrew Ward

        Hi Barry, thank you for your comments. AOR in Calgary did sell a Mk4 supplement called Peak K2 which was 15mg, but it appears that the heavy hand of Health Canada (who ride on the coat tails of the dreaded FDA) have forced them to “behave”. Their latest version is 60mcg Mk4 and 60mcg of Mk7. The Japanese seem quite happy using 45 mg of Mk4 in their bone studies and report no adverse reactions to this. Unless they have a different method of obtaining Mk4, theirs must be synthetic too. I wish that there have been more studies involving the different types, but as always, no money to be made for big pharma. Taken with a grain of salt, there was a woman living in Japan on one of the blogs (Curezone?) who reported that the Japanese wouldn’t use high dose Mk7 because it was found to be unsafe (I haven’t been able to verify this). If Mk4 doesn’t stay in the blood for very long, where does it go, one asks? I have been trying to get a test for uncarboxylated Matrix GLA to see how effect my regime in, but so far, haven’t found one locally. They are even talking about this as a method of determining cardio vascular risk. For anyone who is interested, Relentless Improvement sell a 15mg Mk4 supplement. Cheers, Andrew.

  47. Jannice Mordue

    In the UK NHS most ‘mass medication’ directives come from Government. Politicians of all colours are both naive and lovers of the ‘quick fix’. Most are not medically qualified but wish strongly to believe everything they’re told by the Dept. of Health. They then go on to offer incentives to GPs to implement these directives. The chain reaction continues as pressure is put on patients by the GP to receive whatever is considered the latest saviour of health service finances. The moral: choose your doctor carefully and change him/her if you don’t like their philosophy. I have recently done this and it’s like being in a different health service – the difference is astonishing.

    Reply
  48. Dr Liz Stansbridge

    Today, I was summoned to have a 6 monthly HbA1c. My diabetic control is perfect. Frankly, I am probably the best controlled diabetic in Dumfries and Galloway. When my DM was out of control they wanted yearly HbA1c’s.
    How insane is this?
    My GP surgery had 3 GP’s. one retired, they could not recruit, so now the third incumbent is a ‘nurse practitioner’, who seems to be utterly cautious.
    They have no idea, no idea about diabetic control.
    I am still terrified they are going to withdraw my glucose monitor strips. 2 packs per month, about £20. Keeping my BG’s between 4 -6.5 always. It allows me a little, little leeway with carbs, which is the main pleasure with food. And avoiding all those expensive side effects…retinopathy, cardiac degeneration, peripheral limb arteriopathy.
    What a world!
    The NHS is something else!

    Reply
    1. Robin P Clarke

      “carbs, which is the main pleasure with food.”

      A very telling phrase there, which indicates that you have sugar addiction. I am serious there. I myself prefer non-carby things such as avocados, mushrooms, tuna with coconut oil lumps. I no longer find sweet things to be more pleasurable. As advised by many experts (not least Atkins “New diet revolution”), you need a strict no-carbs diet to change you from addictive carb-burning to healthy fat-burning (ketosis) and then you can recover from your diabetes and just enjoy being a healthy avocado-“addict” instead. Let’s have a guess that you’ll lose weight too. But you’ll only manage this if you can admit you have a sugar (/carbs) addiction problem and then actually DO something about it. Naturally the NHS will be completely useless at helping in this as in almost everything other than complete body transplants or broken arms.

      One slight problem is that just about all the food out there is high-carb junk, not least (mega-ironically!!!) in the cafeteria of the ultra-“posh” Wellcome Collection near Euston station. I only eat at home. Fasting is needed for good health anyway. If you can’t fast that is because of your sugar addiction causing the sugar equivalent of alc withdrawal.

      Reply
      1. Jennifer

        Robin. Your answer is perfection in a nutshell. A concise and honest explanation, and now I must find a way of following your guidelines. This blog is a great help with much encouragement, unlike the NHS mantra, which has put an awful lot of us in the hole we are constantly trying to dig ourselves out of i.e institutionalised addiction.
        Thankyou.

      2. Robin P Clarke

        Jennifer – I should just add that making a radical change in your diet is not without potential pitfalls, even if it is in principle a change to a better one. For instance more protein can need more vit b6. More milk/cheese/cream needs more Mg (epsom salts) to correct the Ca/Mg ratio. An increase of fat might challenge your fat digestion system. And so-on as I can’t seriously cover all adverse possibilities here.

      3. Dr Liz Stansbridge

        Malcolm finds the evidence for carbohydrate addiction is unconvincing. So do I.
        If I can stick to 10g carb per meal, day by day, month after month.How on earth can that be described as ‘sugar addiction’?
        Ah me! I love a tomato!
        I am addicted!

      4. Dr Liz Stansbridge

        Robin Clarke
        I have reread your comment.
        You are telling me how to control my diabetes! 18 mths ago, I was 21 stone with an HbA1c of over 8 in old units. Today I am 9.5 stone lighter with a HbA1c of 31.
        i rather think I have discovered for myself how to control my diabetes.
        I eat 10-15g carb per meal and allow time between for my BG to come down to fasting levels.
        I went through carb withdrawal 18 mths ago.Carbs no longer rule me.
        I have also found that daily totals of carbs don’t matter to me. I can’t put on weight if I try and my diabetic control is superb.
        Ketosis is overrated, so is exercise. All that matters is how much carbohydrate you present to your (very individual) pancreas. Mine is clapped out.
        I know what it can cope with.

      5. Dr Liz Stansbridge

        Robin
        Please tell us your story. Are you diabetic, have you lost weight?
        Please give us the benefit of your experience.

      6. mikecawdery

        Excellent down to the coconut oil. Dr Mary Newport had success with it in her husband who had Alzheimer’s.

      7. BobM

        Or wheat addiction. If you read Wheat Belly, he describes so called Xorphins that are caused by modern wheat. Apparently, they’ve done studies where they gave people a drug that blocks endorphins and fed them wheat products. The control group did not get the drug. The people on the drug did not eat nearly as much wheat as did the people in the control group.

        Since I’m on a low carb diet, and eat wheat infrequently, I have noticed that if I eat any wheat (such as in pizza and bread), I’m immediately hungry and will overeat not only then but for several days afterwards (and that’s even switching back to low carb). Wheat is addictive.

        I also note that eating any wheat causes me GERD, chest congestion, allergies, joint pain, etc. Just a day or so of eating wheat causes these to occur, and they resolve after a few days without wheat.

        I recommend that everyone read Wheat Belly and decide for yourself. (And I should note that I do not agree with all of his conclusions, but for me, his discussion of wheat and its effects is correct.)

      8. Kathy S

        It could also be that the addiction is not so much that it is wheat but that those carbs are basically sugar, which is addictive. I find that I too eat more when I fall off the wagon and eat carbs or something sweet and when I drink alcohol – I get the munchies for sure. The only way I have ever been able to loose weight, no matter how much or how hard I have exercised, is to cut out the sugar and carbs from my diet. The pendulum is slowly starting to swing back and the powers-that-be, starting to admit that low fat is NOT the way to go.

      9. Bob Niland

        BobM wrote: «I recommend that everyone read Wheat Belly and decide for yourself.»

        For a comprehensive discussion, the book to get today is Wheat Belly Total Health (2014; things have been learned since the original 2011 book). For those who just want to jump in, a new “10 Day” book is out next week that promises to be more of a step-by-step (I’ve not seen it yet, so that’s actually more than I know about it, but you can examine quite a bit of it using Amazon’s Look-Inside feature).

        Disclosure: I work for the Wheat Belly Blog

    2. Pat

      Liz
      I have just been quickly through the draft for the new NICE Guidelines on diabetes and this seems to be saying that self monitoring is generally a waste of time unless you are on insulin in the sense that it only means a small but insignificant reduction in BS. It also argues for HBA1cs being done more frequently than before as the method of the health service managing every ones diabetes. This applies to England. This of course is to justify their not wishing to pay for strips because the drug companies have the NHS by the throat. It also misses the point that self monitoring for people like ourselves is the only way for us to get a handle on what our own bodies are able to cope with. It also pooh poohs low carb diets as not having a significant reduction in BS just a slight reduction. This is certainly the case in my circumstances. However I have had added benefits from low carb diet because I do not seem to double over or end up on my knees with stomach cramps much these days and my nails seem to be very much better.

      Now Dumkirkwig (as I call Dumfries and Galloway) is south west Scotland so this will be covered by the Scottish equivalent of NICE which I think are still called SIGN (Scottish Intercollegiate Guideline Network). When I last looked not all of the SIGN Guidelines were word for word repeats of the English guidelines so may I suggest you check up on what SIGN are doing about revising their guidance on diabetes.

      Incidentally the SIGN Guideline which impressed me years ago was the original version of no 61 on PMB. It did not do much for my systolic BP (up to 157 after reading it) but it certainly gave me a handle on what my state of absolute risk was slightly over 20% for having cancer. I was told by my GP endometrial cancer was slow growing so I was not allowed to be treated for PMB where my natural absolute risk of cancer is double the normal risk but I was to go on statins which to me were a marginal drug with an absolute reduction in risk of around 5.5% at that time assuming that young men aged 30 to 50 could be considered representative of old ladies like me. (Anyone who has studied stats would tell you that this is BS, BFM, round objects or rubbish.) My GP had refused to refer me for PMB after three approaches because she obeyed the NICE guidlelines. Eventually I was picked up because I was in the ultrasound part of UKTOCS and was treated at fawlty towers hospital and told never to let this happen again. All I was told by my GP is that I have no right to read things like SIGN 61 or other things on the internet. Ho ho ho.

      I pay for my own strips because like you I want to keep an eye on what is going on but I use about half of what you use. Also I value my independence because my GP surgery is useless on diabetes. Every year I used to have silly arguments with both the doctor and nurse about having to go on benecol margarine when I did not eat margarine or butter. Given the research suggested that one had to replace butter or marg with benecol to get any dubious benefit my BP was up astronomically. I was on about 1200 cals a day and was also told to add 480 cals a day to my diet. Not only was I trying not to lose my temper and not be sarcastic I was defending myself against a long list of drugs none of which seemed to be necessary. Bear in mind at the time I had got my HBA1c down from 6.7 to about 5.8 by HCLF and exercise (exercise bike and I had body builders’ calf muscles but did not loose weight despite an hours slog every day).

      We no longer have personal medicine we have computer based medicine which does not allow for anybody’s body not to work properly or not follow the rules which must always be obeyed.

      On a point you mentioned in an earlier blog about alcohol you might like to look at Alcohol and Your Body by Brown University Health Education Student Services. The article What kind of substance is alcohol then How does alcohol move through the body etc is interesting. It looks to me if your body can take only one drink depending on your metabolism. This may not be a very good explanation – I am not competent to judge this.

      Reply
  49. Dr Liz Stansbridge

    I used to be fascinated by the ‘Systemic theory’ of nursing and thought ‘aha, that’s why they don’t think for themselves!’ ‘That’s why they call on the Doctor to make decisions for them!’
    I, smugly thought ‘Doctors don’t do that!’
    How wrong I was!
    We all operate within our man made systems. Medicine is no different. It is just a structure allowing it’s members to operate, badly or otherwise. It has no more relevance to the truth than a catechism
    We need real thinkers, critics, people who can see through the obvious.
    My local practice lost a GP, could not recruit and now has a ‘Nurse Practitioner’ as the third member, following protocols very conservatively.
    Is this the way forward?
    I think not.

    Reply
    1. Maureen H

      Oh my goodness Liz, I was mortified to learn of your opinion of nurses! I was a nurse for nearly 50 years, theories and models of nursing came and went, but the overwhelming difficulty for nurses was that the Medical Profession was (and is) so very powerful, overpowering and bullying where nursing was concerned. Every step to independent thought and action by nurses was fought by physicians and enforced by the legal profession, starting right from that wonderful indomitable heroine, Florence Nightingale. We didn’t ask doctors to “make decisions for us” because we didn’t know what to do, it was a legal requirement in many cases, we had to have that “doctors order.” When I started nurses training in the mid 1960s, we were informed by our Sister Tutors (that dates me, it sounds archaic now, doesn’t it) that it had only been 10 years since we were “allowed” to measure blood pressures, or do dressings, and other procedures which we were perfectly capable of doing, but still needed that order. It was a long hard struggle to get where the profession is at now. Not helped by the Medical Establishment.

      Reply
      1. PeggySue

        I think Liz has a point – a very difficult one to put tactfully.
        Our surgery wants to incorporate Clinical Pharmacists into the team and the range of duties they envisage them performing is quite an eye opener. But then our surgery is expected to take more and more patients on to their books and they have to cope with demand somehow.
        I feel extremely fortunate to be educated enough and bloody minded enough to play the system to my advantage (although I am not one to insist on always seeing a doctor). I shouldn’t have to game play but as a result, the level of care I have personally received from the NHS in the last 2-3 years has been very good.

      2. Dr Liz Stansbridge

        Sorry Maureen
        We doctors in our ignorance and arrogance thought we knew it all.
        Utterly deluded.
        None of us knows what is the truth no matter how we pretend.
        I was at a dinner party once with teachers and doctors. The teachers said how their profession was a performance. I said ‘so is medicine, we don’t know what we are talking about!’
        My consultant physically growled at me in warning!
        I have to say, though, I got sick of being asked to prescribe paracetamol. cough sweets and inspecting people that had fallen out of bed every night as if I had x-ray vision to ‘cover’ the nurses.
        I expect Malcolm, in his current role gets his fill of this stuff.

      3. Anna

        Liz and Maureen,

        Maureen, she did not say nurses, she said nurse practitioners. And the reason they cannot think and only follow protocol is that is what they are hired to do, as they practice under a physician’s license but are not licensed to practice medicine. They have to be kept within the box because they are doing doctor-type things but are not doctors. They can’t be doing anything surprising. It is not their role.

  50. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

    I invited my old diabetic friend for a traditional lamb (mutton?) steak cabbage stew (“Lamb in cabbage” as we call this in Swedish) afternoon dinner today – a great treat at Halloween time. His family does however, as I have already mentioned, not allow him to talk about his medicines with me since they now have made him return to the statin treatment and the diabetic medication not least by lately going slack on the LCHF way of living which he so successfully had followed for some years.

    When he left I couldn’t help notice his severe difficulties to descend my flat of stairs and then I couldn’t refrain from asking him about his muscle strength status which he admitted had deteriorated lately and then I could have cut my tongue but I couldn’t resist to comment that that was the first side effect mentioned for the statines but his GP had evidently assured him that the ‘new’ statin medicine he was given didn’t have that side effect.

    Well, accompanying him to his car in my court yard he couldn’t find his keys but arriving at his car he found them forgotten in the outside look of his car. Then my tongue went loose again to tell him that the loss of memory was perhaps the most frightening side effect of the statins. His health is now in a rather fragile state and I just wonder for how long time we will be able to meet and have our usually highly intellectual and stimulating talks.

    They say that crying could be a relief but I am unfortunately not accustomed to such habits.

    Reply
      1. David Bailey

        I wish Rory Collins had replied to my email. After my brush with statins, I would ask people of about my age if they had taken statins (trying not to lead the witnesses). It was amazing the stories I heard – these drugs are notorious among those old enough to have been offered them. I think that a lot of them get the side effects fairly soon (but they get ‘washed out’ of the drug trials) and they just give the things up. My impression was that maybe half the people who said they had taken statins had had problems, or knew someone else who had.

        Of course there is that study that shows that statins have about the same adverse side effects as placebos – I wonder how that could be!

        I’d also object to the side effects being described as “muscle pains” – this side effect would be better described as crippling.

      2. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        Well – to me it is a riddle that the people who finally understands the whole corruption involved just don’t go and create havoc all over but continue to whimper like myself.

        Two opposites in our powerlessness against Big Pharma?

      3. Robin P Clarke

        Maybe because this ‘professor’ has been taking them himself?
        Re Goran’s story, I suspect the fear about losing marbles is unnecessary. The statins do a wonderful job of inducing cholesterol deficiency with entirely predictable impact on brain cholesterol and hence memory, but you only have to stop the statins then build up your cholesterol again (eggs, lecithin etc) to regain the brain function. Many years ago I used to have “dementia” myself, I couldn’t even get to the end of an average sentence without forgetting its beginning, which does make communication rather difficult. This may of course explain why what I’ve written here doesn’t make sense.

      4. mikecawdery

        The MRHA Daps for statins show that nearly 30% of individual Adverse reports include neurological symptoms.. But then that gentleman??? Knows everything! – he does not need such trivia as actual data.

      5. mikecawdery

        The MHRA DAPs for atorvaststin and simvastatin both show that 30% of the individual AR reports include neurological symptoms.

        But the gentleman??? in question knows everything! He does not need any advice or information provided by such trivia as actual data. He just KNOWS

    1. Sue Richardson

      That’s really sad Goran. Why are people so blind they would rather see their loved ones suffer than listen to common sens.

      Reply
    2. Gay Corran

      There are so many sad, sad stories like this, Goran. The “experts” dismiss them as anecdotal. Millions of anecdotal histories must have an effect eventually. We need to keep telling our stories, and those of our suffering friends. It is another disaster like thalidomide, but affecting many millions more, and taking even longer for the world to realise what is happening.

      Reply
    3. celia

      Goran, I am so sorry that you are having to stand by and watch your friend’s family take over his decisions on his health, of course thinking they should trust the doctor. I too have watched well intentioned people do this. The sooner that doctors are properly educated and governments stop interfering in health matters the better off we will be.

      Reply
  51. Barry

    Jennifer (Oct 30),
    I agree with you. Fear and alarm in the worried well who will be morphed into the worried sick by Big Pharma. There is more than enough evidence of harm done by medication that is available to anyone who cares enough to do a little basic research (US stats for death, hospital admissions, adverse effects are readily available) to raise more than a few question marks. However, as may be seen by reading this blog, we all know of people who flat out refuse to question medical dogma. That their beliefs are supported by many public (TV and radio) celebrity doctors, dietitians, nutritionists and chefs makes it an almost impossible task for them to consider that they are wrong.
    As you discovered the only way is to search out the truth for yourself and have the courage of your convictions. Those of us that have done this and rejected the dogma are the healthy ones – or, if not completely free of illness, have it under better control than could be achieved by following official advice. That is not to say that all medication should be rejected – there are times when it is needed – but the continual moving of targets by Big Pharma, its bought KOLs and associated organizations/authorities to encompass anyone with a pulse needs to be stopped. Unfortunately I cannot see this happening as the propaganda is supported by very deep pockets.
    Perhaps we should have a blog entitled: How much longer will you live if you don’t take a statin, forget about cholesterol, and eat a LCHF diet?

    Reply
  52. Jennifer

    Barry. Exactly! I became a member of the worried sick brigade, having not even gone through the induction period of being a member of the worried well. I did not feel really ill until I had been medicalised for years, but had noticed a constant deterioration. I believed that I was needing the medications prescribed at a time when I had actually felt well. But, I had attended the ‘well woman’ clinic. How potty is that? And what a waste of NHS resources.
    The gist of my story is this:-
    Well people are being coerced into attending for monitoring of their vital signs.
    The threshold for ‘illness’ is artificially low, so they are deemed to need this that and the other.
    They take their meds on a continous, repeat prescription system, with periodical tests to confirm their need for the meds.
    Laboratory thresholds become more stringent, so more meds are prescribed, at a time that the body’s physiology has become totally confused and is now dependent on the said therapy ( the rebound, feed -back mechanism of the once healthy individual, becoming so very disrupted)
    So there we are….healthy bodies turned into ill bodies, by virtue of the fact that the individual made the error of attending a ‘well clinic’.
    Bonkers medicine, fueling massive profits for Big Pharma, at the expense of the tax payer.
    And what Governments ought to be promoting are the pleasures of enjoying the sunshine ( instead of scaring us witless about skin cancer), and ensuring that good food, clothing and shelter are available to all. So many politicians and professional anythings seem to be lacking the backbone to speak up, so raise a cheer to Dr Kendrick!

    Reply
  53. Soul

    Halloween went well here in S. Florida this year. I ended up not doing it, but was thinking of dressing up as a half zombie, half doctor handing out statin shaped candies. It is quite amazing how we have created this large expensive health care system, that in large measure has been created to build a belief that we will be able to extend our lives or even trick the grim reaper, creating magic latin pronouced potions to achieve that effect. I guess somethings don’t change though as the state I’m living in, Florida, was named by a Spanish explorer 500 years ago in search of magic waters that would restore youth.

    If there ever is a next addiction healthcare system, I vote for it to be more entertaining. It would be nice if doctors and nurses were more entertaining, maybe put on a song and dance, tell some jokes. Imagine that could more healing than all to often many of todays elixirs.

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      As a healthcare system, despite the money spent/wasted???, the US regularly ranks near the bottom of Western states. But then with Medicare and Medicaid legally (???) having to pay Big Pharma whatever the demand for drugs, I suppose we should not be surprised!

      Reply
  54. LeonRover

    Hi Doc,

    Thanks for providing estimated increase in average longevity from these two secondary prevention studies.
    I note that for Primary Prevention it is 3 days.

    I find it oxymoronic that both GPs and Specialists suggest that an extra 3 days of life at 75 years old (or later) is worth the disbenefits of 45 years of so called side effect.

    It seems that the main effect is the set of disbenefits
    while the side effect is extra 3 days. (ἐδάκρυσεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς).

    Sláinte

    LeonRover

    Reply
  55. Martin Kemp

    I first became aware of the “demon” cholesterol sometime in the 80’s. It was apparently the thing that would kill us all sooner or later. I was at the age when I considered myself to be immortal (the realisation of one’s inevitable mortality does become more obvious with age)
    My response to all the fuss was something along the lines of “I wonder what people died of before they invented cholesterol”. A flippant remark at the time but less flippant after reading Dr Kendrick’s books. Perhaps a more correct question would be “What did people die of before they invented hypercholesterolemia”. Needless to say, I paid little attention to this nonsense, I was after all “immortal”. Fast forward to the present, I am now 62, symptom free and take no prescription drugs. Apart from the usual childhood maladies and the occasional infection requiring antibiotics, I haven’t troubled the medical profession unduly. My way forward is that if I become ill I’ll go to the doctors. I will not take part in screening or be medicated on the basis of numbers, blood pressure, cholesterol etc .Is this the right approach? time will tell.

    Reply
    1. Dr Liz Stansbridge

      Martin,
      I was given some advice 10 years ago by eminent medical doctors in the NHS:
      ‘DON’T GET SICK’
      As a doctor, all I can say is:
      Avoid doctors. Take no medication, especially antibiotics unless you are dying.
      You need your gut flora.
      Nearly all screening is worthless.
      Keep to a healthy diet i.e. low carb, high fat, take high strength fish oils if you don’t eat fish.
      Ignore current medical guidelines, they all emanate from vested interests.
      Listen to Malcolm.
      That is your best chance.

      Reply
      1. Jennifer

        Dr Liz. I had similar conversations with great Consultants on the wards I worked on, and even more enlightened conversations with the surgeons whilst actually chopping bits off in the theatres. Makes me wonder how on earth the NHS functions, when the staff do not believe in the routines they carry out, day in and day out.
        Incidentally, I have always had in my memory, the discussion across an operating table, where surgeons discussed cholesterol medications….they were all in agreement that they would never touch them with a barge pole.

      2. Sue Richardson

        Now that’s straight talking Liz. Far better guidelines than the NHS or the medical articles that come out almost every day in our newspapers in the UK. Thank you for that common sense comment.

      3. Sue Richardson

        Sorry if this comment appears twice. My last two haven’t appeared at all so I’m posting again. Just to say thanks Liz for that straight forward sensible advice. Better than all the NHS guidelines and all the many many articles frightening is to death almost every day in our newspapers here in the UK.

      4. Maureen H

        Oh Liz that is so true! I just learned of an acquaintance who was diagnosed with IPF (Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis) in early Sept this year. She had gone to her doctor, feeling well overall but had some shortness of breath. She was treated for a couple of weeks with several antibiotics which didn’t clear up the problem, was referred to a lung specialist who then diagnosed IPF. She was started on prednisone, had a lung biopsy which resulted in collapsed lung and hemorrhage. She hadn’t been informed that this could happen. She was in ICU for a week and is now home, she is very disabled and her health is shot. She is on high flow oxygen around the clock. All this in a matter of weeks, going from fair health to a desperate state. A terrible example of misplaced medical treatment.
        Learning of this poor woman I realised how very very lucky I am; I was diagnosed with IPF four years ago, having had symptoms for a year before that. I was at that time still in “the zone” of believing in conventional medicine and would have agreed to whatever the respirologist suggested, because of fear. He talked about the possibility of steroids and a lung biopsy, but wanted to wait and see what the trend was going to be. How thankful I am now that he was so cautious. Four years later I have learned so much from my research, and how to manage my disease with diet (ketogenic), moderate exercise, yoga and meditation and a few supplements. I feel well, although I have some physical limitations….like digging the garden but my husband can do that so that’s no hardship! So, whether it is just good luck or good management, or both, that I am doing so well, it is certainly true that in my case, doing nothing (medically) was the best choice.

      5. Martin Kemp

        Liz,
        Thanks for taking the trouble to reply. I 100% agree with everything you say….this is my way forward

      6. gillpurple

        Good advice, Liz. A friend unwittingly had her cholesterol tested (i.e it wasn’t explained to her exactly what they were testing for) and was called by the surgery a few days later to say she needed to book an appointment to see the GP “urgently” to discuss what had come up in the test. Understandably, this immediately got her worried that something massively serious was going on. When she asked what it was it she was told her cholesterol was high and not being in the know she worried about it until she happened to mention it to another friend – who did put her in the know. Her cholesterol was 7. I have now given her a copy of Dr K’s book so she can read about it for herself. She is not best pleased about how this test result was relayed to her because she had a few days of needless worry. Doctoring at it’s worst – not even telling your patient what the test is for – so much for informed consent – and allowing receptionists to use words like “urgently” which frightens patients.

    2. David Bailey

      Martin,

      Although I still take my BP medication because it doesn’t seem to cause any side effects, otherwise I do exactly the same. Screening is upsetting unless you have nerves of steel, and it can even throw up false positives etc.

      I will never take statins or any other drug designed to lower my cholesterol.

      Reply
  56. Dr Liz Stansbridge

    Has anyone noticed. BBC 4’s Arne Dahl series, all the actors are saying ‘I know I eat too much carbohydrate’. Even the thin ones!
    All due to the Scandawegian new health guidelines. Carb is bad, fat is good.
    Hurray!

    Reply
    1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      Liz,

      What happened in Sweden was that a Swedish GP, Dr. Annika Dahlqvist, 2008 was accused by a dietician for medical misconduct since she recommended a LCHF diet to her diabetic and overweight patients and was about to loose her licence. The case was though thoroughly investigated for some (!) years and finally it was admitted that her advice was in accordance with established science so she was cleared and at the same time it was then inherently OK for medical professionals to recommend LCHF for this kind of patients.

      However the general dietary guidelines for the Swedish people have not changed from the “Nutritional Authority”. On the contrary LCHF is a real red flag for the ‘Commander in Chief’ of that authority.

      But still the case with Dr. Annika Dahlqvist ‘broke the wall’ to the dismay of most medical establishments around the world. Typical comment: “You Swedes are usually so reasonable!”

      Reply
      1. Jennifer

        David. We all die eventually, but by eliminating unhealthy carbs from our diet, I think we can agree that getting to the end-point of life is likely to be a more comfortable journey.
        If I am truly honest with myself, I have a pretty good idea of what is regarded as unhealthy food stuffs. Of course I can kid myself into thinking that rubbish ‘foods’ will only hurt other people, you know the sort….those weak souls ‘addicted’ to them,….whilst I can be magically immune to their bad effects. So I have created the perfect excuse to simply disregard that good knowledge of how to eat sensibly…..i.e. it won’t affect me quite as badly as the rest of them.( ho, ho, little old deluded me).
        In the mean time, I will strive to be moderate with the baddies, and just concentrate on enjoying my life, after all….there is a degree of pleasure in being a bit of a rebel, isn’t there?
        This type of armchair psychology just gets in the way of good science, such is the conundrum of life…but for sure…. none of us will avoid the grim reaper.

      2. Barry

        David,
        No, it’s just when and how (As Jennifer says, “…a more comfortable journey”.). The choice is to eat and drink with a clear understanding of what food is for (other than making you feel full) or eat and drink whatever junk you like, risk serious illness and all the associated medications that in all likelihood will not help much and may well cause further deterioration in health.
        When I go shopping I cannot help but notice what is in people’s shopping trolleys and how it typically mirrors the type of person and their apparent health. Overweight, often severely, goes with a trolley full of junk food, multipacks of rubbish soft drinks – often zero cal in the mistaken belief that they won’t put on even more weight (research shows otherwise). They are utterly clueless about nutrition.

  57. mikecawdery

    Recent news From Spacedoc.net

    CETP Cholesterol Drug Fails By Duane Graveline, MD, MPH

    Seems that cholesterol lowering is finally meeting its well deserved end.

    Hoffman – LaRoche’s CETP inhibitor, dalcetrapib – halted in 2012 “due to a lack of clinically meaningful efficacy.”
    Pfizer’s CETP inhibitor, torcetrapib, were halted. Not only was no clinical benefit observed, but patients taking torcetrapib along with atorvastatin (Lipitor) had a 60% higher rate of death compared to those taking atorvastatin alone
    Eli Lilly said it was halting a 12,000-patient study of its drug, evacetrapib, But the influence on cholesterol levels did not ultimately improve patients’ health, dashing hopes for this approach to treating heart disease.
    Merck’s anacetrapib is now the only drug in this novel class,

    Despite being “protected” by statins, FDA\’s MedWatch reported 35,042 heart attacks and 13,713 strokes during the time period 1997-2012

    Reply
  58. Stephen T

    Goran, clearly Dr Annika Dahlqvist is a hero, the Gustavus Adolphus of low carb! I’ve only found one 8 minute interview in English and I’ve attached a link.

    I hope you won’t mind me pointing out that you mean ‘lose’ her licence, not ‘loose’, which is for belts, bowels and morals.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      Thank you for the link; you must forgive me for my often inadequate English spelling or rather misspelling. i was not aware of this interview.

      I am a strong supporter of Annika on her Swedish blog which is almost at the same high level as Malcolm’s. Annika is a fighter and have had her fighting injuries but is still standing the ranks.

      Reply
    2. Dr Liz Stansbridge

      I would admire Dana Carpender, I have one of her cookbooks, but it is full of rubbish like soy flour, whey protein, wheat gluten, rice protein flour, liquid saccharine.
      i don’t want to eat that stuff. I am thinking I need to write a British low carb recipe book using real ingredients. It is needed.

      Reply
      1. Kathy S

        There are quite a few low carb cookbooks and of course the Atkins book but basically you eat like a diabetic should. Whole foods – stay away from the processed stuff, low fat junk and pay attention to what you are eating and how you are cooking it. When I go through the grocery store now, I realize that they could remove 90% of what is in there and be left with what should be eaten, everything else is in a bottle or a box. It’s really a low sugar way to eat.

      2. robert lipp

        For LCHF cook books try:
        1) The Real Revolution changing the world one meal at a time; Prof Tim Noakes, Sally-ann Creed, Jonno Proudfoot, David Grier; Quivertree Publications
        2) Its follow up Raising Superheroes
        3) Low Carb Living for Families; Monque le Roux Forslund; Struik Lifestyle 2013
        4) Low Carb is Lekker; Ine Reynierse; Struik Lifestyle 2015

      3. Jennifer

        Dr Liz. I am addicted to recipe/cookery books, and have a couple of shelves of them….and still adding. However, as I randomly open newly published ones from the heaving bookshop shelves…..I return them immediately if I see a recipe with added sugar or artificial sweeteners, or factory produced additives like you mention. I have a multitude of such silly recipes from the 1960s up to the present time, and can see how we have been encoured to add sugar to almost anything.
        I fancied trying a different method for pot roasting beef….out comes the old faithful Good Housekeeping…..only to tell me to cover the beef with 4 ounces of sugar before popping it in the oven! Oh yes, the chefs will no doubt tell us that glazing our home boiled ham with honey is necessary, that pork pies need sugar in the meat mixture, as well as the pastry. And don’t get me started on the Bake-off craze taking over the telly these days.
        Yes please, get cracking with a low carb recipe book, the sort that ordinary families can use for everyday meals. We don’t need to know how to barbecue spare ribs, with attendant sugar syrups, or prepare chicken parcels dipped into a bowl of sugar before wrapping in foil, (yes, I have such horrors on my bookshelf).
        Good luck in finding a publisher!

      4. PeggySue

        Last year I was given a subscription to a well known foodie magazine and was completely horrified to note the number of savoury meals that contained some form of sweetness. It’s almost as if they didn’t think people would cook for themselves unless it satisfied their sweet tooth at the end of all the hard work. Like we’re all children.
        Whether it was treacle, honey (health food) , dark sugar (all unrefined of course – makes it a health food) or dried fruit (one of your 5-a-day) they all end up “dinners cooked in puddings” as my old dad would say.
        And don’t get me started on some of the “dairy-free, wheat-free” recipes – some of the strange muck they add to those to make them palatable is beyond belief!
        We are always being told to “cook everything from scratch” so they can’t possibly be bad. No hidden sugars there!
        And then there’s Bake Off and the industry built around making flippin’ cupcakes …. Aargh!
        Personally I don’t have a sweet tooth at all (although I could eat my own body weight in cheese and crisps) which I find I’m very grateful for these days, but the world is totally sweetie-mad.

    3. Jennifer

      Stephen T. Thanks for that video in English. I note it was recorded 2 years ago, and wonder why on earth we are not endorsing its logic more powerfully?
      Big Pharma and food manufacturers were implicated back then in keeping us in poor health, but it would seem that we have progressed very little in the interim. I therefore wish to add to the list of culprits: that being, the incompetency of politicians for failing to progress this issue.
      There seems to be no way to penetrate the bad influence exerted by Big Finance, ( as money is at the root of the problem), and so it is as well we have access to the internet for accessing good, informative links such as yours. Thankyou.

      Reply
      1. Stephen T

        Jennifer, you’re welcome. I think things were worse before the internet when health authorities and drug companies controlled most of the information. Of course there’s loads of rubbish on the net, but it’s so much easier to check things and find people like Dr Kendrick. Our regulators should be protecting us but it seems we’ll have to do it for ourselves, with the help of brave and principled people in the medical world.

  59. Stephen T

    Mike, good news. Earlier you said something intriguing about 80% of American doctors not following the standard treatment for themselves or family. What do they do?

    Reply
      1. gillpurple

        Mike, interesting about the views of doctors in the US about cancer treatment. Reminds me of the husband of a colleague who was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He asked his GP to take off his doctors hat and give him an honest opinion about whether the treatment the oncologist was urging him to undergo was going to improve the quality of the life he had left. The answer was no, go and enjoy yourself while you’re still well enough. Rare honesty.

  60. Dr Robin Willcourt

    Here’s some cognitive dissonance. The RACGP has backed recommendations for T2D not to monitor blood glucose levels, as doing so hasn’t changed their outcomes. But, they go on to say, a little bit of monitoring might be helpful, as in this weird statement:
    “As an example, GPs can ask patients to test their blood glucose before and after breakfast for a certain period to determine if their hyperglycaemia is caused by the carbohydrates in their meal.”

    Can you imagine? Carbs might cause hyperglycemia! Who woudda thunk it?

    This sort of idiocy is so embedded in Australian medical guidelines for so many disorders. It is really discouraging to try to alter patients’ behavior because most of the population believes the official positions and is slavishly following swathes of destructive advice, as in these dietary guidelines recommended for everyone: the University of Sydney’s ‘Rodent Diet.’ It is deplorable.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      When your central hypothesis is wrong, and you are unwilling to admit this, you have to play amazing games inside your head to keep the evidence at bay. It must become exhausting.

      “I can’t believe that!” said Alice.

      “Can’t you?” the Queen said in a pitying tone. “Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.”

      Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”

      “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

      Reply
  61. Judy B

    I’m sure that someone has already said this but the real question should be, “How old will you feel after taking statins?”

    Reply
      1. Susan

        And thanks to the brain altering attributes of the statins, you may not even be able to tell the difference…

      1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        I just made that figure up. I say to patients that statins add fifteen years to your life…..pause. They don’t make you live fifteen years longer, they just make you feel fifteen years older. […] Insert your favoured number of years here.

  62. mikecawdery

    The WHO produced a graph that shows that compares cholesterol levels (BHF-HEARTSTATS) with WHO All cause mortality age standardized per 100,000 (source WHO Mortality ) for various conditions. This graph showed a series of J-curves. The cholesterol levels with the lowest mortality for three conditions are as follows:
    All Cause mortality 222 mg/dl 5.75 mmol/L
    Non-communicable disease 210 mg/dl 5.49 mmol/L
    Cardiac Disease 208 mg/dl 5.44 mmol/L
    These levels a way higher than the current medically approved target levels
    I can send a copy of this graph to an email address as a *.pdf
    http://www.heartstats.org/documents/download.asp?nodeib=6797 This URL no longer exists.

    I WONDER WHY?

    In David Evan’s “Low cholesterol leads to an early death (end of Chapter 1) he has collected data from around the world on national cholesterol levels and national life expectancy from 86 countries. He lists the details and graphs them. It is clear that national life expectancy increases with increased cholesterol levels. I repeated this and the regression analysis is highly significant!

    How can one trust the medical establishment when official bodies have such data and consistently promote the reverse?

    Reply
    1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      Funny!

      I was not aware of David Even but the name Even evoked something and all of a sudden I realised that I couple of years ago read a very solid book by another Even, Philippe Even, a retired French professor, who doesn’t spare his words in his condemnation of those corrupted individuals in the medical establishment who have been advocating the statines. He has evidently written a number of books which all seem to have exposed corruption in the health care system.

      http://www.amazon.fr/Philippe-Even/e/B001K7BXIU

      There is now a new book by professor Even about the statins of equal acidity as the one I happened to read though the reading might be an uphill endeavour if one is not very familiar with the French language.

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        Goran

        Dr Michel de Lorgeril (of the Lyons study fame – Mediterranean Diet) has also written several books. His English language book “Cholesterol and statins: Sham science and bad medicine is pretty damning.

        David Evans books are both available on Kindle

    2. Barry

      Mike,
      No surprise is it? When intelligent people continue to support a hypothesis that is clearly wrong then it must be a conscious decision to ignore the available data. In engineering people would be sacked for such failings but in the medical world as long as the people at the top sing from the same song sheet they keep the illusion going for their benefit. First do no harm fell by the wayside a long time ago.
      I often wonder where we would be today with public health if Edward (Pete) Ahrens had carried the day rather than the pig-headed Ancel Keys. I doubt if we would have many of the health issues we see today that are bankrupting health services.

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        Barry

        When intelligent people continue to support a hypothesis that is clearly wrong then it must be a conscious decision to ignore the available data

        This is common. For example Lancet. 2000 Jan 15;355(9199):175-80.
        Port S, Flawed Systolic blood pressure and mortality based on Framingham data..
        He actually showed that the Framingham data did support their results. Indeed it was statistically significantly WRONG. But it had no effect on the official DIRECTIVES (aka guidelines)

        Yudkin, John. Pure, White And Deadly: How sugar is killing us and what we can do to stop it based on his work in the 60s and 70s was also ignored in the UK though it seems that some youngster or other has come out with this great new finding. Undoubtedly an “expert” in the making!

      2. samhuff96

        Not at all. People can maintain beliefs contrary to abundant evidence unconsciously and I believe this is the normal case.

    3. David Evans

      Mike, I’ve just published a new book that you (and Malcolm’s other readers) may be interested in. It’s called “Statins Toxic Side Effects: Evidence From 500 Scientific Papers”

      It’s available on Amazon.

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        Thanks. I enjoyed your two previous books. Most informative 202 black swans now upped to 500. love it but the medical establishment is similar to religion. Beliefs are sacrosanct. Contrary facts do not exist.

  63. jillm

    I am 68. I have “very high” cholesterol. I feel great! I don’t intend to ever have my cholesterol tested in future. My number one interest is my blood glucose and insulin levels.

    Reply
    1. John Lewis

      jillm: Like you I’m 68 with “very high” cholesterol number – very active and feel great. I eat low carb (around 50 carbs per day) Test my blood glucose and select meals based on low numbers.
      Best regards: john

      Reply
  64. Stephen T

    Dr Mark Porter is a prominent British GP in the media. He has a column in ‘The Times’. In today’s column he stated that he now ‘qualifies’ for statins but has decided not to take them. He did take them for a while but suffered from memory lapses, which disappeared when he stopped taking the statins.

    Dr Porter seems to accept that statins help 1 person in 100 (much disputed, I know), but he says it’s impossible to identify that one person and more will suffer from side effects. In short, he says it’s hard to advocate statins when dealing with an individual patient because it’s overwhelmingly likely the patient won’t benefit. I suppose this is the sensible approach that is making Sir Rory froth and foam at the mouth.

    Progress of a sort, I think. A good one to quote if your GP wants you to take statins.

    Reply
  65. Dr Liz Stansbridge

    Have you noticed, Malcolm, that the low carbers are now creating their own dogma?
    i.e. ketosis is essential, minimum carb is needed for weight loss etc. Not my experience, nor Jenny Ruhl’s.
    Seems we humans just can’t stop making rules on limited evidence.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      It is in our nature to do this. What most humans want, above all, is to feel they can be in control over… life… death…health. Those who offer clear unequivocal solutions will always prosper. But this needs rules, it needs hard and fast, it needs reward and punishment. Uncertainty will never gain followers, or make any money either – come to that. I am very much of the view that ‘few things matter much, and most things don’t matter at all’, school of philosophy. [The secret is to know the few things that really matter].

      Reply
      1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        Malcolm,

        Your present comment is in my eyes one your most brilliant ever probably because the view you present coincides with what I have arrived at myself after having dug as deep as I am possibly capable of into the philosophical ‘mysteries’ involved 🙂

    2. mikecawdery

      May be you should read Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: On the Origin, Management, and Prevention of Cancer by Thomas Seyfried. It examines the metabolism of the ketogenic diet in great detail w.r.t. cancer but is useful for diabetics as well. It is expensive but could be bought by the practice. Useful in terms of nutrition as well.

      Reply
      1. Dr Liz Stansbridge

        Ketogenic diet may be useful in Cancer and Dementia.
        How does that apply to us ordinary, semi-healthy ordinary people?
        If my diabetes is very well controlled, without ketosis, is there any evidence that this is harmful? Or that a ketotic situation would be better?
        Please tell me, and I will immediately give up tomatoes, onions and milk!

    3. Barry

      Liz,
      Isn’t this just a reaction against the low fat dogma that has, against all evidence, persisted? When faced with approach to health that it clearly wrong, and pushed so hard, the tendency is to over react the other way (the pendulum swings – only too far). What is needed is a logical and balanced approach based on what we need to function in an optimal manner. In theory we do not need carbohydrate to survive but they are very hard to avoid completely and it is not necessary to do so. The correct approach, and especially for diabetics, is to reduce carbohydrates to a level where they do not create a problem. I don’t think the evidence is limited – we all know (on this blog at least) that excessive carbohydrates will result in undesirable outcomes. Ultimately what is better, excessive carbs or low carbs?

      Reply
      1. Stephen T

        Barry, when we’re eventually proved right we need to avoid veering into the next mistake. Let real evidence and research guide us, not personal agendas and half-baked ideas. There’s something about diet that creates zealots.

      2. Dr Liz Stansbridge

        Barry, I am not overreacting. I am just expressing my experience.
        I eat 10-15g carb per meal every 3 hours. I just ‘eat to my meter’
        It takes me over 100g carb per day.
        I have lost 9.5 stone in weight and my diabetic control is perfection.
        We don’t need carbohydrate to survive. It just adds a little bit of pleasure to our diets.
        The correct approach for T2 diabetics is to ‘eat to your meter’.
        T1’s can cheat, add some insulin to sop up the excess carbs. It doesn’t work well in the end.
        My local acquaintance, eats cake, programs her pump for extra insulin, then goes hypo. She should be low carbing. Can’t be told, the advice she has been given by the NHS is terrible.

    4. barry

      Liz,
      I’m not suggesting that you are over reacting – far from it. My apologies if my comment came across that way. I was just trying to point out that any extreme position tends to promote an extreme position in those that do not agree. The approach that you adopt “eat to my meter” fits to what I said -restrict carbs to a level where they don’t cause a problem. For T1’s who wish to cheat my upping insulin – well, that’s their choice. Not something I would do if in that position.

      Reply
  66. Soul

    Saw this article was in the Daily Mail on Statins. I didn’t read it, just skimmed it, so didn’t see all the details but got the gist of what was said. Outside of some blogs, I haven’t seen to many articles critical on cholesterol lowering medications over the years until recently.

    Been doing my best to imitate whats it feels like taking a statin by touching up with paint the outside of the house. Muscles ache, head hurts, memory seems to be fuzzy, I’m not overly energetic due to a colitis issue, so glad I only need to do this a few times a decade. I’m not planning on living longer from the work.

    “Crippled by Statins, Now a Competitive Weightlifter”

    http://www.dietdoctor.com/crippled-by-statins-now-a-competitive-weightlifter

    Reply
    1. David Bailey

      The Daily Mail article is particularly good, because it shows very clearly just how severe statin muscle side effects can be. We need a copy in every doctor’s surgery!

      Reply
      1. Jennifer

        David.I made time to read the Mail article. What an eye-opener for such a story to hit the British press….for once the Mail has met with my approval.
        Let us hope some GPs have time to read it too, especially those who keep on insisting that the physical problems are all in our heads.
        My husband and I have just discussed David’s description of his years of deterioration whilst using statins, and his subsequent incredible improvement once off them. We look back on my years of undiagnosed ill health and disability which interfered with both our lives…..and the awful reaction from the GP when I questioned that statins and other drugs could possibly be the cause. Fortunately, the young endocrinologist I saw was more open minded when I saw him, but even then, like the woman mentioned in the article, there was the proviso to not stop ALL the drugs….just in case, you know!
        As the years continue without any drugs, it becomes more emphatic to us both, as to how very poorly I actually was. I am so well now, and the previous symptoms associated with the proverbial ‘ageing process’, so beloved of medics when nothing else fits, have long since gone…..yet I am nearly 3 years older. Funny that, wouldn’t you say?

      2. David Bailey

        The Daily Mail is an interesting online paper. While there are a lot of rubbish articles, designed to titillate (and pull in advertising), you do find a lot of articles – such as this – which are hard to find elsewhere.

        They have also covered the saturated fat controversy and the evidence against Global Warming.

    2. Sue Richardson

      If this article in the Daily Mail doesn’t convince people, goodness knows what will. If I were on statins they would be straight in the bin after reading it. It does seem that the side effects problem is making headway, although the one dose every now and then suggestion sounds rather as though they just can’t bear to let them go.

      Reply
      1. Soul

        When I skimmed the Daily Mail article, and the others of late about the problem of not increasing life expectancy thought that is a step in the right direction.

        I was reminded of Dr. Kendrick’s earlier warning/ Nostradamus prediction though about the new injection medication making its way onto the market, PCSK9. It lowers cholesterol, doesn’t have the muscle pain side effects, is terribly expensive and is likely causes diabetes in the long run. Of course previously it has been widely reported that statins develop few if any side effects. Now, with PCSK9 here, we’re likely to be told differently about statins.

        “Here they come – take cover”

        https://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2015/07/26/here-they-come-take-cover/

        snippet:

        “…Statin hype

        Having spent billions convincing everyone that statins are uniquely effective, have no side effects, and also cure cancer, bacterial infections, HIV, the Ebola virus, bad breath, poor conversational ability, and other things too numerous to mention, your main competitor is the ‘wonder’ drug you created in the first place. Which is also now very cheap.

        So, dear pharmaceutical companies, you are going to have to attack statins to create some space in the cholesterol lowering world. We can already see this happening, with sad looking ‘experts’ confirming how terribly disappointing it is that some people just cannot tolerate statins…when I say some, I mean about 25%. ‘But I thought you said statins had no adverse effects.’

        Expert: ‘I know, that is what I once thought, but it seems…sob…that many patients have difficulties…sob. Sorry, I am very emotional about all this.’

        Pharmaceutical company executive whispers: ‘It’s OK, you can have your money now. There there, don’t get so worked up. You can have your swimming pool.’

        Cost

        Statins now cost about thirty pounds a year. PCSK9 inhibitors will be in the region of five to ten thousand – so I have been told. If so, health authorities are going to be very, very, unhappy. They will see budgets spiralling out of control. This could kill these products stone dead in many countries. However, the companies will be very careful to ensure that they will only be looking for them to be used in a very small sub-set of high risk, statin intolerant patients. [And if you believe that, you will surely believe anything]….

        &

        “A tale of mice and men”

        https://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2015/07/28/a-tale-of-mice-and-men/

      2. PeggySue

        I feel so sad for a friend of mine. His brother died suddenly in his late thirties of a massive “atherosclerotic” heart attack.
        My friend is now in his early sixties and has been taking statins for the last 15 years. He’s not given it a moments thought until recently, even though he does feel he may be suffering some bad effects, but is now often being told by well-meaning folk that he should stop.
        He now hates taking his little pill every day but as the spectre of his brother won’t leave him, he takes them.
        Rights or wrongs aside, he’s far more stressed about his health now than ever before which as we all know, is not good at all.

      3. barry

        Sue, I think the problem is that people – including far too many doctors who should know better – have been brainwashed into believing that the answer to reducing the risk of CVD/CHD is lowering cholesterol. They continue to take statins that do not agree with them because they believe that the second they stop their cholesterol will increase and so will their risk of a MI. If you suffer the TV adverts how many times are you informed that whatever will lower your cholesterol? You just can’t escape the pervasive nonsense.
        The only way this will stop is for people to understand that cholesterol is not the problem, lowering it is not the answer and they are, in fact, ruining their health by doing so. Unfortunately that is not in the current interests of either the pharmaceutical or food industries or those that support them.
        The homeostasis biochemistry of the body is too finely balanced for this bomb to move a pebble approach to health. Statins impact far more than just cholesterol and that alone makes them unacceptable. Even people who claim that they do not suffer adverse effects are doing so. They just don’t realize it – yet.

    3. Marie - Sweden

      My mother + message from EMA/Prac

      Thanks for your comment and link. The article in Daily Mail is interesting but not surpricing.
      I have heard many stories through the years.
      My mother was prescribed Zocor/simvastatin after a small heart attack when she was around 80.After a couple of years she had sleeping problems for which she was given sleeping pills months after months. She had pains in different parts of her body, cramps and muscle weakness in one of her legs. Eventually, she phoned her doctor and asked if the symptoms could have anything to do with her mediciations (Trombyl, Toprol and the statin). His immediate answer was – no – and the conversation ended.
      Then, I discovered that there were doctors/scientists,www.thincs.org, with different views on the whole cholesterol issue – one of them was Dr. Malcolm Kendrick. I read his first book and Uffe Ravnskov`s and found many statin-stories on the Internet for example at http://www.askapatient.com.

      I sent some of the stories to my mother`s doctor together together with a nice letter asking if she could taper out/stop the statin. He didn´t like the idea. To make a long story short – she stopped. This story took place in 2004 – she is still around and enjoying life at the age of 95. She was lucky that her muscle weakness did not progress and become permanent.
      At the beginning of 2015, EMA/Prac issued the following text..
      ——————————————————————————————————————–

      ” Thursday 22 January 2015 EMA/PRAC/62352/2015

      Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee PRAC recommendations on signals for update of the product information Adopted at the 6-9 January 2015 PRAC

      1. Atorvastatin, fluvastatin, lovastatin, pitavastatin, pravastatin, simvastatin – Immune-mediated necrotizing myopathy (IMNM) (EPITT no 18140) Having considered the available evidence from the literature, the PRAC has agreed that the MAHs for medicinal products containing atorvastatin, simvastatin, pravastatin, fluvastatin, pitavastatin or lovastatin should submit a variation within 2 months to amend the product informations as described below (new text underlined):

      Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC):

      Section 4.4 – Special warnings and precautions for use:
      There have been very rare reports of an immune-mediated necrotizing myopathy (IMNM) during or after treatment with some statins. IMNM is clinically characterized by persistent proximal muscle weakness and elevated serum creatine kinase, which persist despite discontinuation of statin treatment.

      Section 4.8 – Undesirable effects: Musculoskeletal disorders: Frequency not known: Immune-mediated necrotizing myopathy (see section 4.4)

      Package Leaflet:

      Section 2: Also tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have a muscle weakness that is constant. Additional tests and medicines may be needed to diagnose and treat this.

      Section 4: Side effects of unknown frequency: Muscle weakness that is constant.

      30 Churchill Place ● Canary Wharf ● London E14 5EU ● United Kingdom
      An agency of the European Union Telephone +44 (0)20 3660 6000 Facsimile +44 (0)20 3660 5525
      Send a question via our website http://www.ema.europa.eu/contact © European Medicines Agency, 2015. Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged.”

      Reply
  67. Alcon

    I have been on restrikted carb diet in 25 years + . I know from experience that go too low for too long time is not good, even dangerous. Carb needs depends on who you are and what you’re doing.
    It was a time where I was restricktet to much for too long a time after following the modern 0 -carb “Gurus” .
    I did pay a high price for that mistake .

    Reply
    1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      Alcon,

      Couldn’t you elaborate about the “high price” you did pay – sounds very intriguing.

      I have never heard anything substantial about any dangers associated with a ketogenic state but as always you learn much more from a single “experiment” that contradicts a ‘general rule’ than from all success stories told. The only ‘bad’ thing I have heard about the ketogenic way of living is that it is extremely difficult to keep away from all carb loaded food that surrounds us. My opinion is that you shouldn’t even try it if you really don’t benefit from it – it is not worth the effort if you don’t have to.

      In my December 10 public Low Carb lecture my basic approach will be that LCHF way of living seems to be a good way to steer out of the metabolic syndrome and to improve most health markers if you happen to belong to that half of the world population who are dwelling in that disputable syndrome.

      I am myself rather close to zero carbs which seems to be good for my serious heart conditions but my general advice to people who are willing to listen to my own ‘success story’ and my thought about it is to use the own body as the best instrument for monitoring your health and with Hippocrates “Let your food be your medicine and the medicine your food” whatever that means in your specific case.

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        Goran

        I hope that you will publish somewhere the basic information of the lecture.

        The following from Zoe Harcome may be of use.

    2. John U

      Tell us more. What was the problem? Please give details of your actual consumption of the foods you were actually eating.

      Reply
  68. Leigh

    The two recent USA research papers which claimed that the use of statins affected the immune response to the ‘flu jab for over 60’s must have adherents amongst even Big Pharma. Following the jab I developed a chest infection. It’s debatable whether it was directly or indirectly related to the jab. Strange then, that my GP warned me to stop taking statins while taking the newly prescribed anti-biotic. When I queried why, he said it might lower the immune response and, sure enough, the contraindications that came with the anti-biotic clearly stated ‘Do not take statins’. There, in a nutshell, Big Pharma have admitted their deceipt. I’ve been ‘binning’ my statins for 6 months, so the only question that remains is:- how long does it take to normalise your immune system after ‘poisoning’ it with statins?

    Reply
    1. David Bailey

      I am sure a lot of people bin their statins (assuming you meant that phrase literally) rather than confront their doctor. However, while it is better than taking the stuff, it doesn’t let the doctor know you don’t trust them and indeed it gives him the impression that you are a patient who is getting on well with statins!

      It also wastes money – yours or the NHS’s, and helps to grow the profits of the pharmaceutical companies!

      Reply
      1. Leigh

        ‘Binning’ as in ‘to stop taking them’. Scouse expression. Just because they’re prescribed doesn’t mean I have to ask for repeats. And as a retired NHS employee, I need no advice as to NHS wastefulness, nor Big Pharmas obscene profits. Confront my GP? I think not!

      2. Susan

        “Oh, what a tangled web we weave…”
        I agree, binning statins is better for the patient than actually taking them. But not only does the doctor think you get on well with them, but if your cholesterol improves for whatever reason, the improvement will be assigned to the statins. You become a statin success story. On the other hand, if you don’t improve your cholesterol, the doc may simply up the dose since, clearly, you tolerate them well.
        And then, too, if you’re admitted to hospital, your records will say, “this patient takes statins” and the doc will continue to order them, so you’d best be on alert to refuse them.
        All just too confusing. I just told my new doctor (an ND, rather than an MD) that they’d have to tie me down to make me take a statin. Luckily, she said she felt the same. And she’s on board with natural thyroid meds. Yayyy!

  69. Alcon

    Göran
    The cholesterol did increased to a total of 15 , 11 LDL .
    Ferritin increased to 500 .
    SHBG increased to 148 .
    This disturbed my whole hormone system .
    I felt alert , but this happens also if you produce much cortisone .
    If you have less effective carnetine- transportes your mitrocondia has less abillety to use fatty acids for energy.
    This can be very stressful for the heartmuscle and can make your heart become ” old ” in young age if you dont eat carbs. You will not feel the effect of this before it might be too late.
    There are others factors that make the 0 – carbs diet less healthy for some people.
    I do not have much time to write on the blog, but I am Swedish as you so if you like we can exchange some mails aboute my experience and research .

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      This makes little sense to me. Several populations have eaten zero carbs, including male Masai Villagers of Kenya decades agao (see George Mann’s work on this). They had low(ish) total cholesterol and LDL and no deaths from heart disease. So, not much evidence of hearts becoming ‘old’ in young age. The Inuit also had a virtualy zero carbohydrate diet, and no evidence of deaths from heart disease

      Reply
      1. Dr Liz Stansbridge

        A local population who eat zero carbs does not translate to our western population where at least 20% are carb intolerant.
        Extrapolating from flimsy evidence is not helpful. Stick to your own population who have known problems with carbs. They are vast and they need some solutions!

      2. mikecawdery

        Dr Stansbridge,

        our western population where at least 20% are carb intolerant.

        I find that most interesting! Is this due to gluten intolerance which seems to be a medical step function, ie coelaic or not, while in truth it is a distribution as most things are. I would be most grateful if you could provide the source of your statement. Such a reference is vital for researching the area.

    2. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      Alcon,

      What you tell us does however and unfortunately not tell me something very conclusive. I guess it is all about your ‘markers’ indicating that something is not ‘good’ in your homeostasis although I am not familiar with either the Ferritin or the SHBG markers (an acronym I am not at all familiar with). The high LDL might though in my eyes tell that your homeostatic defence system is working at high speed which might also indicate that something is seriously wrong in your ‘system’ but that you are still able to coop with it. Usually we are talking about high TG, high BP, severe overweight, DM and/or CVD or perhaps post prandial blood insulin levels, although not generally measures, as typical indicators of a metabolically poor state of health.

      What though strikes me is that you mention that ‘your body’ is telling you that you ‘feel alert’ but that sounds as something ‘good’ in my ears and alertness is roughly also what I myself experience in my LCHF way of living and many others with me.

      I assume that you are convinced that your low carb regime is the actual cause for those ‘high markers’ whatever they may mean. To me the causality chain, to those ‘high markers’ you are indicating, is still something very obscure which of course does not say that your hypothesis is wrong. You seem to have penetrated deep into this subject.

      So please, don’t hide your concerns privately but use Malcolm’s blog here to venture your concerns about LCHF – people are interested.

      I think we can learn together!

      Reply
      1. Alcon

        Göran
        I would like to share , but unfortunately no time to blog .
        But shortly SHBG is a glubamin binds your sex hormones especially testesteron .
        Low insulin , especially if you are active gets your SHBG to rise , this is NOT a good thing.
        Ferritin is a marker for iron load if it is high.
        It can also be a mark of inflammations in the body.
        There are several functions that need glucose , including the red blood cells.
        The body can konventere protein into glucose, this is a backup system and not something you necessarily abuse . This may be why some people´s LDL increase greatly over time if they get very little glucose.
        It’s actually quite a few people who have a very high LDL when they are on low carb diet . I am one of them and I know others with the same “problem” .
        You can google ” High LDL on low carb ” and read about other people’s experience .
        These people are not on LCHF blogging for the simple reason that they do not fit in.
        As I wrote , I have been on carb -restricted diet for 25 years + and counting.
        I have a deep interest in nutrition and evulotion and after many years of study I am convinced that there are people who apsolut can not afford to go on a very low carb diet.
        But I’m not trying to convince anyone I am still looking for a deeper understanding.
        For the record, I am not trying to hide something in private. I do not have time to discuss on the blog and offered just to share something with you if you were interested . Just a friendly gestuer .
        Good luck with your LCHF lectures.

  70. Sue Richardson

    I was admittedly speaking a bit flippantly about ‘binning’ statins, and agree it would be better to face the doctor so that they know that people are mistrusting them now – how else will they know? Those of us who read this blog and others feel confident to do that, but it is very difficult for others who are truly very frightened by the thought of not taking them, like your friend PeggySue. He has reason to be worried, and doesn’t really know what would happen if he stopped taking the statins. Neither do the friends who are advising him. He would have to be absolutely convinced in his own mind. I am very very glad I am absolutely convinced myself and at least won’t have the stress of ‘will I or won’t I take statins’ – I just won’t. The Statinators have even more to answer for, because they are responsible for causing such stress in folk who trust their doctors and have reason to fear for themselves and their health.

    Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        David

        Funny things happen. I tried the https link – it worked. Tried your link, it too worked

        Such things are beyond my ken, I am afraid

  71. Alcon

    Hi Malcolm
    Chekt CTD ( carnetine transport defeckt ) . People with CTD often die young , the heart wears out.
    This is a known condition, rare but real, now what is less known is that one does not necessarily have CTD but still have very low Carnetine Transporters.
    I know very well aboute the masai and their history , and the Eskimos for that matter.
    Now we are not all Masaj or Eskimos . In these populations the individuals having such effect are secreted through evolution, but they are not secreted in populations that have had a higher carb diet during evolution.

    Reply
      1. Alcon

        This is not something that “occurs” if is a genetic ” deficiency .”
        Those who have this gene can not Converters fat into energy in the mitochondria in the muscles thats the heart muscle to.
        You ‘re right in that it is the most found in people who eat carbs. Logic dictates that the gene is eliminated in people who have not eaten carbs.
        So if you have this gene and stop eating carbs you will be the person that gets eliminated.
        If the defect is discovered before suddenly die of cardiac arrest , it is easy to eliminate the danger.
        Supplementation with L- carnetine and frequent small meals with carbs and you ‘re doing fine.
        This is the treatment you use to prevent premature death for people with this defect .
        Vell if carbs are part of the cure, elimination of carb intake will be the opposite of kuren..or? in this case it will not be fortunate to convert that person to LCHF diet .
        I learn a lot from your blog and I will probably continue to learn from you.
        It did not mean to break in with something irellevant to this thread on statins. I just wanted to comment that very low- carb is not necessarily something for everyone.

      2. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        I am always happy for people to ‘break in’ if they have an interesting or different viewpoint. I was aware of carnetine transport deficiency, although it is very rare? There was a population in Iceland that had a very high number of people with this condition, if memory serves. A lot of deaths in youngish people that was finally tracked down to a specific gene. I think my point would be that you cannot really use a very small population with a specific genetic deficit and extrapolate this to the more general population. Of course, you cannot cut our carbs altogether. Triglycerides (fats) are, as you will know, three fatty acids linked to a glycerol molecule. When triglycerides are broken down, two glycerol molecules are stuck together in the liver to form glucose. So, for every six fatty acids you can use for energy, you get one glucose at the same time. Does this provide all the glucose that most people absolutely need? (probably not, as the brain uses a lot, but it must get quite close).

      3. Alcon

        Close, the concentration of this specific genes is on the Faroe Islands.
        Is rare but exists elsewhere.
        People who have a small muscle mass that is not used can do with very little glucose.
        Do you have a great muscle mass you use intensive you can get serious problems if you receive little glucose in a long time.
        An early marker is SHBG increase, free testosterone decreases, and the person’s fertility decreases
        If of curse the body do not procucerer further more testosterone. It does this for many but not for all.
        I belive in restriction of glucose to personal limit of need, but I do not think it is proper to rekomendere all ordinary Westerners to konventere for WLC without also telling them that it is not necessarily perfect for them.
        I have understood that it is not something your blog do.

      4. BobM

        I think you can survive, even thrive, on close to zero carbs. Most days, I eat very few carbs, mainly vegetables. Of course, carbs are hidden everywhere (cheese, cream, coffee, etc.), but I have very few grams of carbs per day, with no ill effects. Moreover, I’ve done many fasts of 3-5 days duration with basically no food (coffee, bone broth, tea, water). You can get carbs from gluconeogenesis, which can supply whatever little carbs your body needs. I had my blood sugar tested after 4 days without eating (gives a new definition to “fasting” blood sugar ;-), and it was 62 (US units), and I had no idea it was that low. I felt fine.

    1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      Alcon

      Now I have learnt something new, about CTD which according to Wiki evidently affects one in 100 000 who is genetically predisposed to develop this decease.

      It is interesting to note that the actual ‘healthy’ ATP energy production in our mitochondria which here again seems to be crucial. One of the most intriguing reading for me on this subject of the malfunction of these mitochondria was the truly fundamental book on cancer as a metabolic decease by Professor Thomas Seyfried – for me real food for a critical deep thinking.

      Genetic ‘defects’ are, as far as I understand it, rarely absolute in terms of a state of illness and more often than not only a predisposition of some varying degree, a relative predisposition so to speak, as for instance in the case of DM. However, the medical establishment, with Big Pharma at the head, seems to have an almost ‘absolute’ predisposition to make transitions to a more dogmatic stance on the genetic causes behind illnesses of all kinds where cancer is the epitome.

      The more I learn about the molecular biology of the cell (not least from my continuous, favourite reading of the “bible” on this subject, Albert et al.) the more allergic I turn towards all dogmatic genetic views and thus more prone to humbleness in my attitude to what is involved in what we tend to call our health or rather absence of serious illness i would say.

      Reply
      1. Alcon

        Hi Göran
        Yes the ATP system is another “box to open,” and lead us into another topic, I try to limit myself writing due to lack of time.
        But ATP system is also something to take into consideration when talking about menabolism. So what is simple at first glance becomes less simple in the big picture.
        By the way, the high cholesterol at 15 decreased to 9.3 after I increased glucose intake.
        I did not take statins, through my research, among other things through Kendricks and Ravn- skov’s work, I realized the importance of cholesterol to health.

      2. Jennifer

        Goran. The way this thread has flowed over the last few days shows me that many of us have agreed to be medicalised, in the hope that we will avoid contracting the most obscure conditions that we are unlikely to encounter in the first case.
        In simple terms….Big Pharma can latch onto these genetic malfunctions, then convince the medics that by prescribing preventative drugs, they will be saving their patients developing some awful condition. As a result, the delicate homeostatic balance of previously healthy bodies gets distrupted, thus causing a really awful illness……which by then, needs addressing by medications, ( or even more expensive nursing interventions)…a lucrative, revolving door for Big Pharma, and at great expense to the NHS.

  72. Dr Liz Stansbridge

    I want to know…. how much longer will you live if you keep your diabetic tests at non diabetic levels.

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Dr Stansbridge

      Interesting query! I did a Pubmed search on: “Diabetic test” “Non Diabetic levels” mortality rate.

      Result Nothing found. There is a research question for you (and anyone else) to follow up as nobody in the medical establishment seems interested (or may be the answer would not be to their liking????)

      Reply
  73. Angela S

    A year ago I was diagnosed with late onset T1 diabetes. At the first clinic visit post-diagnosis my BP was high and immediately the doctor I saw started talking about the need for me to take BP medication AND a statin. Despite feeling very scared by the whole situation (hence the high BP), I resisted both suggestions and a 24 hour ambulatory monitor revealed my BP to be well and truly in the “normal” range. I then received a letter saying there was no need for any further action.

    At clinic visits in April and just this week I was so pleased that my HbA1c was 40 each time and that I was keeping my diabetes well under control. The doctor I saw in April (Dr 2) saw no need for me to consider statins as I was “not at risk”. I left the clinic feeling good about myself.

    However the doctor (Dr 3) I saw earlier this week again brought up the subject of statins as he thought that while my HbA1C and weight were “perfect” and my high BP at clinic visits due to White Coat syndrome, my cholesterol was “too high”. As it wasn’t tested on this occasion, he was going by results from almost a year ago, when it was 6.2. Not all that high, I thought.

    By the time he had issued dire warnings of heart attack, stroke, lower limb amputation…… as if these were all about to happen to me any day (I’m 64) this time I left the clinic feeling so very stressed and depressed and just not knowing what to think.

    I did say that apart, from any other reason, I would be very reluctant to touch statins as I have fibromyalgia and what could be described as a “dodgy” liver. Of course these conditions are there in my notes! At this point the doctor actually suggested that the muscle pain in my legs could be due to my diabetes and that statins might make that better! Odd, I thought, given that I’ve experienced fibro, with all the pain and stiffness, fatigue, fibro fog, memory problems, restless legs and disturbed sleep for the past 9 years (starting after a very serious and lengthy illness) and T1 diabetes for not quite one year.

    Does diabetes in itself raise cholesterol levels? Dr 3 said that it did and that confused me further.

    I do apologise for this very long email but it’s felt so good to get this off my chest. 🙂

    Reply
      1. Angela S

        Thanks, that’s good to know. Despite the adverts you see for cholesterol lowering “foods” showing people wringing their hands with concern at their “high” numbers, I really hadn’t given my cholesterol levels a thought until after the diabetes diagnosis.

    1. David Bailey

      Angela,

      I’d strongly recommend that you get both of Dr. Kendrick’s books (see the links at the top of this blog), because only then will you appreciate the absurdity of the position modern medical science has arrived at – studies show that those with high cholesterol live on average a little longer! These studies are then explained away in tortuous ways because they bring into question treatments designed to lower cholesterol!

      I came to this website because I had a very unpleasant reaction to statins. I have since decided that I will never take these drugs whatever a doctor tells me.

      Reply
      1. Angela S

        I will do that – I feel instinctively that statins are a dreadful idea, as if my body is screaming “No!!!!!” – but it will be good to have a better understanding of why they are unnecessary and indeed bad for people.
        I have said that I won’t take them, but I’m sure the diabetes doctors will continue to bully me, giving me more vague and incomprehensible reasons why I should/must take them. It’s really time wasted that they could usefully spend talking about my diabetes and how I manage the condition, alongside managing my fibromyalgia.
        More information will make me more confident when I say “No!” yet again. Next time I intend to say the subject is closed.

      2. Angela S

        Ooops, I think I put my reply to your post as a reply To Dr Kendrick!
        Thanks for your support, David.

    2. Barry

      Angela S,
      Don’t apologise – on Dr Kendrick’s blog you are amongst friends. Many here have provided an overview of the issues they have faced and also of the unhelpful attitude of many doctors. By doing so it lets others, such as you, become aware that they are not the only ones facing such problems. How many people are in a situation similar to yours and surrounded by not only unhelpful doctors but also friends who, in ignorance, tell them that they should keep on taking a statin because it’s for their own good and doctor knows best?

      I would not worry about whether or not diabetes raises your cholesterol (I’m sure the doctors here can answer that based on experience) but rather do statins cause/contribute to diabetes? The evidence is that statins may cause diabetes so, in my opinion, it would be not be wise to take a statin and especially so as you have been diagnosed with late onset T1. I would view that as trying to put a fire out with petrol. Take a look at this for some information http://www.tuitnutrition.com/2015/04/statins-and-diabetes.html . It includes a very nice diagram of the mevalonate pathway which clearly shows the processes that are disrupted by statins. Dr Kendrick has also posted on diabetes in earlier blogs and you may find these of value.

      Think of cholesterol as your friend and not your enemy. Your cholesterol level just reflects part of your body’s homeostasis but it has been wrongly promoted as the most important thing with respect to CVD/CHD risk. You need to go back a few decades to the flawed and biased research of Ancel Keys and then follow what happened both within the medical profession plus the food and pharmaceutical industries. You will find that there are many others factors involved that clearly represent far more risk not only to CV health but health in general – and that is before you added in the risk imposed by added chemicals, pesticides and GE crops to name but a few.

      Reply
      1. Angela S

        Thanks, Barry. I don’t think doctor always does know best, but it’s stressful when you’re faced with a doctor who’s patronising, doesn’t listen to your concerns, and just talks over you. Especially so when it’s a doctor at the diabetes clinic where you have no choice regarding which doctor you will see, and when you do want to discuss your actual diabetes! And once you see quite clearly that they are using the computer to decide whether it considers you to be “high risk”, you realise that they don’t see you as an individual and it makes you lose faith in their advice on everything.
        However, though I’ve said I will not take statins, I haven’t said that I don’t think it matters what my cholesterol is and I haven’t discussed this at all with my GP.
        To feel more confident about that, I need to start reading up on the subject. This blog does seem a very useful place to start. 🙂

    3. gillpurple

      Angela. It makes me mad when I hear stories like yours about doctors frightening patients, causing needless stress and worry. Muscle pains might get better if you take statins?!!! That’s one of the biggest lies I’ve ever heard. Unbelievable, very dangerous nonsense. Doctoring at it’s worst. Hold firmly onto your reluctance to take statins because your instincts are right, right and right. If I were in your shoes I would be making it clear that’s the end of that conversation, ditto for blood pressure meds. Treat yourself to a copy of Dr K’s book, The Great Cholesterol Con, so you can arm yourself with some more facts and have a good laugh as well. That will do you a lot more good than any statin has for most folks on planet earth.

      Reply
      1. Angela S

        I must say it made no sense to me, but I had no opportunity to say so as the doctor continued to steamroller me. What he was saying seemed to become increasingly random, or maybe my brain just switched off. I’m sure he thought he could just wear me down by talking over me.

        I have just ordered a copy of the book – look forward to reading it and arming myself for my next encounter.

        I now realise I’m being naive in thinking that these consultations will be helpful, but they should be for the benefit of the patient, shouldn’t they?

  74. Stephen T

    Well done Angela for not being pushed into taking statins. Someone on here will evidence it better, but I’ve read repeatedly that statins are even less use to women. As the whole basis for statins is wrongheaded in wanting to reduce cholesterol, it’s hard to see how they could possibly help. I’d rather have my system free of them and their side effects.

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Stephen T

      I just used find in David Evans “women”(2015-10-15). Statins Toxic Side Effects: Evidence from 500 scientific papers (Cholesterol) (Kindle Location 518). and found 100 occasions with specific details. That’s for starters but it is certainly a starting point to confirm your view. Both Dr Graveline’s books and those of Dr Ravnskov and Dr Kendrick have similar references.

      My problem is that all these references seem to have been missed (ignored???) by the experts in the medical establishment in their haste to flog drugs.

      Reply
    2. Angela S

      Thanks, Stephen, I intend to keep on refusing them.

      Even this very annoying doctor didn’t deny their side effects, but referred more than once to the “silent killer” which would certainly damage if not my heart, then my brain, kidneys or the circulation in my legs if my cholesterol wasn’t lowered. He even pointed to these parts of his anatomy in case I was in any doubt of what he meant!

      I did say that there was no history in my family of any serious CV diseases – and I’ve researched my family history back to the 18th Century.

      I do come from a very long lived family, including a couple of centenarians. My aunt, who was also diagnosed with late onset T1 diabetes, lived to be 96 and never took statins!

      Sadly the doctor saw none of this as of any importance set alongside my “high” cholesterol. 😦

      Reply
  75. Marie - Sweden

    People on statins

    Barry (Nov. 6th – 2015) ,
    Thanks for your interesting comments.
    I quote a few sentences from one of them.
    “Statins impact far more than just cholesterol and that alone makes them unacceptable. Even people who claim that they do not suffer adverse effects are doing so. They just don’t realize it – yet.”

    Lady around 85 years (=A)

    I met A at a special Stroke-day at the local hospital. We were sitting on the same bench in the foajer. I asked if she had suffered from a stroke.
    She said – no, I had a heart attack.
    I continued – I suppose you are on statins such as simvastatin or Lipitor (=atorvastatin),.
    have you ever thought about side effects?
    She was taking simvastatin but had never thought about side effects.
    Then I started to tell her Dr. Duane Graveline`s statin-story (www.spacedoc.net), about his episodes of TGA (=Transient Global Amnesia) and suddenly she reacted.

    She used to drive. One day she was going to pick up a friend. She had done that many times and without problems, but that day it was different.
    To begin with everything went well, but suddenly she became confused and didn´t know which road to take. She had to stop, go home and start all over again. She arrived at her friend`s house, but late, and told a white lie. It had been a scary happening and so hard to understand. She hadn´t told anyone, but when I told her about Duane Graveline she remembered. I was the first person to hear her story.
    Please, tell your stories – and report them. They are so important.

    P.S.
    She was also suffering from pain but had been told it was arthritis.

    Reply
    1. Barry

      Marie, Thank you! Such episodes as you describe are far too common and yet too many (most?) doctors still refuse to accept that statins are causing problems. I think it is time that we stopped talking about side effects. Dr Kendrick said in his book Doctoring Data there are effects (from taking drugs). I don’t know where the term “side effects” came from but using such a term tends to relegate certain effects of taking a drug.

      Perhaps it would be more appropriate to talk of the desired dominant effect (DDE) of a drug, as quite often it appears that the so-called “side effects” have just as much effect, and perhaps more, upon the biological system and that such effects are far from beneficial.

      When a drug is introduced into a complex biological system it is not a simple mechanical interaction that takes place but a series of events, many of which are poorly understood. Pharmaceutical companies will be aware of some but they won’t go looking for issues – costs money and may yield answers they don’t want. If they don’t look they won’t find and that enables them to say “we are not aware of any issues”.

      I would like to see a copy of Duane Graveline’s story on every doctor’s desk. If they can ignore that they can ignore anything.

      Reply
  76. gillpurple

    Marie. My mother and myself recently had a chat about a close family friend of ours, who was on statins in the days before we knew anything useful about them. He had what we now think might have been an episode of TGA whilst driving his car with his wife and a friend as passengers. He lost it completely and crashed the car into a pole on the roadside. He was terribly confused and didn’t know where he was, what he was doing and wasn’t responding to them in a coherant way. His wife had to drive home. Luckily, it was out in the countryside, he was driving at low speed and no-one was injured. He was an excellent, safe driver. His GP was unable to come up with an explanation of what had happened. I dread to think how many GP’s do not know enough about the serious side effects of statins and think side efffects like muscle pain are just age related conditions – for which they get prescribed pain killers or other medications.

    Reply
  77. ucelli

    Dear and esteemated Colleague,
    As you mentionned in the Augean stables series you’re very generous to concede even these few days of increased survival since these “positive” figures were obtained in the studies that were published. Is it impossible thant negative studies were swept inder the carpet as with oseltamivir and antidepressants for instance ?

    Reply
      1. Kathy S

        Dr. Kendrick, any comment on the new ‘numbers’ that have come out for a lower blood pressure reading – from 140 to 120? I’m hearing that would include about 17 million people in the US. No mention of BP medication in the news report but that’s certainly what they are implying. We need to know who, what and how come from whatever report came to this conclusion. We’re going to be a nation of zombies if they keep passing out these medications to just about everyone – slower heart rates, muscle cramps, Oxycontin (for kids now!), and whatever else they are pushing in their marketing. My doctor’s at least know me well enough to stay away from me with their prescription pad.

      2. BobM

        In the US, 120 is considered to be “normal” and if you go above that you’re either “high” or “pre-hypertension”. It’s crazy.

  78. Andrés

    I am sorry but I have to play devil’s advocate, somewhat.

    Kristensen et alter say (my bolds):
    “First, this analysis only estimates the survival gain achieved within the trials’ running time. After termination of the trials, the treated would continue to accrue survival gain as long as there was a difference in cumulative mortality between the treatment arms.”

    To make it clearer: it only estimates the average survival gain achieved by everybody on the treatment arm (dead or alive) within the trial’s running time. Yes, that means all survivors to placebo are contributing with the value ZERO to that average bringing it down.

    I am supposing that you did more or less the same thing with your RMST approach. I am interested in the details.

    I have already replicated their method (actually using Xfig on Ubuntu) on their on-line appendix example. I have got 22.34 days instead of their 22.07 days for LIPID. Near enough. Then I have computed how much added average time would have lived those 11% dying first under placebo (same percentage than dead under statins within the trial 6.1 years) if they have taken the statin instead: 160.8 days. The difference between both questions is easily seen geometrically (blue area represents 2 years for the group of interest, average gain is obtained applying the rule of three): everyone’s average gain versus dead’s average gain.

    The real problem is in extrapolating toward the future. The conservative (supposing not further benefit nor harm) approach would be that both 1-0.11=89% survivors on placebo at 5.2 years and 89% survivors on statin at 6.1 years started dying exactly at the same rate. I have measured something like 0.8 years = 292 days between those two survival curves when they arrive at 11% (similar method as yours). That is the conservative estimation of death postponement for those still alive under treatment at 5.2 years. That way the conservative average gain for anyone under treatment would be 0.11 x 160.8 + (1-0.11) x 292 = 277.6 days.

    Of course it gets really interesting when focusing on the study not funded by Big Pharma (ALLHAT-LLT) though: something near 32.4 days (dirty, quick estimation) average gain for those 3.6% first dying under statins if they just have taken the placebo. It seems the placebo is healthier in independent trials.

    Reply
  79. Molly

    Finding this blog and reading through it has given me hope 🙂 I have rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis and a liver full of auto antibodies eek and already take enough medication! I felt very sad to be given the results of a lifestyle check and my cholesterol was 7.9 – I was devastated – and of course was prescribed Atorvastatin – my GP (who is also a Professor of Cardiology) telling me I had hypercholesterolaemia and the statin was needed. I voiced my concerns – already having massive problems with painful muscles and huge fatigue. He dismissed these concerns telling me I had been reading the Daily Mail far too much!! I have been feeling terribly guilty for not taking his treatment plan on board because the statins are still sat in my cupboard not taken!! Having read through all these comments I feel so much better and you have motivated me to re look at my eating plan, not take the statins and stop feeling bad for not listening to my GP. Thank you all so very much x

    Reply
    1. Angela Stillwell

      Molly, please don’t feel guilty. It’s your body and your life.
      I posted a few weeks ago after a very frustrating visit to the diabetes clinic, where a doctor who had never met me before told me that with cholesterol of 6.2 I should be taking a statin. He just steamrolled me when I mentioned my fibromyalgia. I didn’t get the chance to talk about my “dodgy” liver – some years ago I was in intensive care due to hospital acquired pneumonia following had liver failure. At the last scan a year ago, I still had an enlarged liver (and spleen).
      I am taking essential medication – insulin as well as other drugs which make my daily life bearable but I don’t want to put any more drugs into my system if at all possible.
      A week ago I received a letter from my GPs’s surgery saying that it had been suggested by the diabetes doctor that I have another cholesterol test (sigh) and to make an appointment with the nurse. Instead I made an appointment with my GP to discuss the diabetes clinic appointment I’d had, as well as the fact my fibromyalgia had got so much worse in the past few weeks. (I do wonder why – stress, maybe???)
      My GP printed off the letter she had been sent by the clinic doctor. It bore little resemblance to my perception of events, but did indeed mention statins and TOLD my GP that despite my being “not very keen” on taking statins (understatement there), if my cholesterol level was still “high” she was to “commence treatment”!!
      She suggested that I have the test done and said that we might not even need to have a conversation at all. If we did, it would be a discussion about what -if anything -I might want to do, and the decision would be mine, but as there was “a lot going on” with me, it would always be a matter of my overall wellbeing NOW. It certainly would not be a matter of “commencing treatment”. Whether she thinks statins are a good thing in general I don’t know, but her view is that any medication must have benefits that outweigh any risks of taking them.
      She has increased the dosage of amitriptyline I take, for the increased pain and sleeplessness I’ve been experiencing due to the stress of the statins issue!
      We shall see….
      Take good care of yourself.
      Angela

      Reply
      1. Molly

        Dear Angela,

        Thank you sooooo much for sharing your recent experience with your diabetes clinic doctor and subsequently with your surgery. Your feelings about how you cope with your ill health and medications mirror mine exactly. I also take only enough medication to help me get through a day and every day is a challenge as yours sounds like it is. I am quite sure I also have fibromyalgia aswell as the rheumatoid – very painful – and I empathise with you ❤ Your GP's sentiments about considering your overall wellbeing NOW sounds so sensible and caring. I have already had awful side effects from drugs and I can't risk more. I know I wouldn't cope with anymore pain on top of what I have. I wholeheartedly agree that your increased pain and sleeplessness will have been caused by the stain issue – not good for this to happen to you. My GP seemed so blasé about it all – take them and don't worry about any side effects basically. He told me he was taking them! I feel so much better now thank you having read your experience too – although I am so sorry you had to go through it. Not sure how long my surgery will take to click that I am not taking the statins but I will just keep quiet until they do. Then I will tell them no thank you hrmmmmmm – don't think they will make it easy for me. You really have helped a lot, Angela and I send heartfelt thanks .

        Love from Molly xx

    2. Sue Richardson

      Molly, get a copy of Dr K’s books – particularly the Great Cholesterol Con to start off with. It will make you feel even better – and more confident. Your Doctor is only another human being and doesn’t know everything! Also, read up on Low Carb High Fat eating. All the best with your future lifestyle.

      Reply
      1. Jennifer

        Sue, both you and I have been contributing to this blog for quite some time now, and are aware of the stories similar to Molly’s experience. I feel sad that there are GPs out there who are obviously not getting the message that we would like to be listened to, please. The days of just doing what the doctor orders, without question, ought to be a thing of the past, but it seems not.
        After nearly 3 years of going against my GP ( and with the benefit of much improved health, I might add), I still fear the need to attend the surgery for anything. Recently, I have spoken to the Senior Partner, and divulged my reasons for non-attendance at screenings etc, but there was little said to support or disagree with my stance, and anyway, I did not expect a professional to support criticism of a colleague. However, I got the point off my chest…..but left the surgery still feeling like a naughty, defiant child.
        I often wonder if patients using the private system have the same feelings as myself, or are they in a better position to expect consideration of their views and fears, because of the imminent invoice which needs to be paid?
        I must add that I was trained in the NHS, but have worked as a Registered Nurse in both the NHS and the private sector. I like to think my manner was consistent, but I must say, I did notice differences in the way some medics conducted themselves, ( in their demeanour, not their clinical expertise)……..just saying.

      2. Molly

        Dear Sue,

        I really appreciate you taking the time to reply ❤ Very, very kind of you. I will most definitely get the Great Cholesterol Con because I need to be strong and have all the answers when my GP eventually realises I am not taking the statins prescribed! I have certainly heard about Low Carb High Fat eating so will research that too – my problem is I was vegetarian for a long time so carb heavy – but I now eat fish so will make the LCHF a lot easier to do. Thank you for your good wishes and brilliant information. Take great care yourself xx

      3. Kathy S

        you might also want to read about Vitamin K2. I just finished Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox. Can’t remember the author but was very, very enlightening! And yes, get Dr. Kendrick’s books. I am concerned when I read about patients in the UK and Canada that seem to be bullied and given no choice as to their own health care. We struggle with health care here in the US and I can only hope we never get to the point that our doctors and insurance companies have more control over what we put into our bodies than we do. With 3 stents to my name now within a 12 month period, I too have chosen not to take statins or beta blockers and so far, non of my doctors have given me any grief over it. They just tell me it’s my body so my choice – you bet. I also gave my cardiologist Dr. Kendrick’s book, The Great Cholesterol Con. Will see him again in January and ask him his thoughts on it. Should be interesting.

      4. Molly

        Kathy S – hi – calcium and K2 is very interesting – I will look up the book – thank you for the tip. I take an algae calcium supplement for my osteoporosis which has K2/D3 and other helpful stuff in. I was prescribed from the doctor the normal ‘bog standard’ calcium and vitamin d which would be the meds to cause the heart problems I believe although I didn’t know this at the time. I was encouraged by the same doctor to stop taking the algae calcium supplement and take the one they were prescribing because it would be better financially for me – yikes – how about what would be better for me health wise. I think she was genuinely trying to be helpful though – surely. I have certainly had my eyes open since becoming poorly. I am stunned by it all. It is good to know that you are able to make your own choices – it must be good to be given all the information and make an informed choice without any ‘bully’ tactics. Sometimes, those tactics are also quite subtle and I don’t even realise until much later!! Sorry to hear about your health problems regarding your stents. That must have been quite a shock for you. I really do hope that your health will stabilise for you now. Warm wishes xx Molly

      5. Kathy S

        Thanks Molly. Hang in there and stay strong – it’s your life and your body so your choice and your decision. Period. I’m doing great and feel good. Glad I’m not taking anything other than what I think is right for me. I am not concerned or afraid of death, after all, none of us gets off this earth alive. It’s the dying that can be scary. Keep reading these blogs and if you haven’t yet read Dr. Kendrick’s books – start today.
        Kathy

      6. Molly

        Dear Jennifer – thank you so much also 🙂 I believe most of the doctors in my surgery would much prefer total compliance. I am sad to see that you have experienced the same situation as me regarding refusing meds. Well, to be honest I didn’t exactly refuse the meds but put my views forward why I didn’t want to take them but still walked out with the script. Fortunately, I have a stubborn streak at times which on this occasion helped me but it didn’t stop me from feeling fearful for not doing as I was recommended by the doctor! I haven’t stopped thinking about it all. Don’t think patients like us who have our own thinking minds and refuse the medications will be well liked oops!! Coming on here has helped enormously. I already feel more peaceful about it all – was getting myself a bit churned up about it. I do think that sometimes medical professional treat patients differently in private consultations/treatment. Awful really but i know this happens because a friend experienced it. Sending best wishes to you xx Molly

      1. Molly

        Thank you Jill! You have no idea how much I appreciate your words. I turned sixty this year – am very grateful to have reached this age and don’t want to put anything else into my body that will cause more pain and suffering than I already have. That you feel great with what is considered by some medical professionals a high cholesterol gives me hope and comfort. I am with you no statins for me ever either 🙂

  80. Jill Mitchell

    Molly, my husband has RA. I should say HAD RA. After I retired, I went with him to one of his specialist appointments. I asked about diet etc. He said my ideas were ridiculous. He said RA is a serious disease. That made me more determined. Since then we have eaten nutrient dense food, very low in carbs. My husband has been able to come off two medications and reduced another by 50%. He is now healthier than his younger doctor, who has a cigarette between every patient appointment.

    Reply
    1. Molly

      Oh my goodness Jill that is truly amazing! Thank you for letting me know. It is always good to hear from a ‘fellow ‘suffer – or their wife 🙂 – that their condition has improved so much. My rheumatologist also doesn’t believe diet helps one jot. He is a nice man but obviously believes in the conventional route re medication although he never pushes me to take anything and at least lets me put my views forward and I am grateful to him for that – he is a great listener – but still definitely doesn’t believe in the diet helping sadly. I however do think diet plays a massive role and have been researching over and over but getting myself confused with all the different variations eek. Do you and your husband eat paleo then? I have been on prednisolone (steroids) for FIVE years and still take these alongside morphine, an NSAID and daily antibiotic to keep my inflammation levels down. Even with all this my life is still a struggle. One thing I haven’t been able to get a ‘handle on’ is my diet so you really do lift my spirits when you tell me about your husband. I am so grateful to have found this site and all you supportive people. You have really made my day – thank you ❤ Unbelievable when you think a doctor is giving us advice – diet isn't any good to help with chronic illness – and yet that very doctor is smoking his head off yikes. Makes me even more determined to keep my stance regarding the statins too – as Sue so rightly said our doctors are only human beings and they get it wrong sometimes – we are all individuals and should be treated so.

      Much appreciation for kind reply xx

      Reply
      1. Jill Mitchell

        Hi Molly, I think diet is very important for health. I describe our diet as low carb, nutrient dense. We eat some dairy, but I would try cutting it out, if I had a serious health problem. We eat home made bone broth regularly. Our butcher gives us meaty bones at the right price. I render fat for dripping, like my grandmother did. Seed oils are a disaster. We don’t eat sugar. Our aim is to keep our blood glucose and insulin levels steady at the low end of the normal range. The last time I saw a doctor, I mentioned Google. She said don’t Google. Google is wrong. I refrained from saying, ok I will look on Facebook. Take care, Jill

  81. Molly

    Jennifer – thank you for your reply also – I thought I had written a reply to you yesterday but it doesn’t seem to have appeared – not very savvy at my end lol!

    I am so sorry that you are also experiencing fear (I am getting anxious about it all) when you have an appointment at your surgery. That you were strong enough to go and talk to the Senior Partner of the practice was very brave and I admire you for it. As you so rightly say surely we should also be able to put our point of view forward – our fears and anxieties about our own bodies – without being railroaded into doing something we really don’t want or want to take. Surely, the doctor can see that we are being reasonable – we have valid reasons for not wanting to go down the statin route. I am completely shocked at how many of us are being told to take them. Whilst I agree with my GP that my family history regarding CVD is not good surely if taking a statin doesn’t prolong life by that much and in the meantime can cause some awful side effects they should allow us to make the final decision by not making it difficult for us.

    I rather think going as a private patient may be more beneficial and that we may be listened to more. I have proof as a friend of mine went for a private consultation. Consultant was very sympathetic to her and took a long time explaining everything. When she went back to the NHS where he was the consultant she saw his registrar. The registrar was having to go in and out of the consultant’s office to query things about her treatment – no one else in his office with him and his door was open – but he didn’t give my friend the time of day which she was very sad about. She had paid her invoice and he wasn’t interested. Thankfully, she has now got a wonderful NHS consultant who is skilled AND caring.

    Take care and thank you again for your support xx Molly xx

    Reply
  82. mr Chris

    This is an interesting article. In fact in the november and december editions there were three comments that questioned the statistical basis for the study. In brief the cutoff was operated at six years which implies that everybody died 6.1 years after the beginning of the study. Putting the parameters out to 15 years changes the conclusions.
    http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/9/e007118#responses

    Reply
  83. mr Chris

    Dera Dr Kendrick,
    The BMJ published three comments on this article, wherein it was commented that the cutoff period of six years, very much falsified the results, and it was suggested that the cutoff was made after 15 years, which seems reasonable.
    What do you think?

    Reply
  84. Stan Calderwood

    Dignity plc has just announced it preliminary results. “We are the UK leader in funeral-related services”.
    I would like to highlight two excerpts from their report, that may be relevant – and scary:

    “From the Chairman
    Overview. This has been an extraordinary year, with the number of deaths changing in percentage terms by a greater amount than any year since 1952.” …and…..

    “Key points.
    Deaths were seven per cent higher than the comparative period, a rate of change not seen for over 60 years”

    Perhaps government, the medical profession and the population shouldbe asking why?

    Reply

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