Cholesterol goes up heart disease goes down

As readers of this blog will know well, I do not believe that cholesterol levels have anything to do with heart disease, which would more accurately called coronary artery disease (CAD) or coronary heart disease (CHD). This is not a view that is widely accepted in the medical community, nor in society as a whole. In fact, this view places me very firmly in the ‘nut job’ category. I have been told that my views mean that I feature on several quack watch sites. Hoorah, fame – of a kind – at last.

So when I come across information that supports my position, I am always keen to make as much noise about it as possible. Today, or at least today as I write this, someone sent me an article entitled ‘Continuous decline in mortality from coronary heart disease in Japan despite a continuous and marked rise in total cholesterol: Japanese experience after the Seven Countries Study.

Now, that’s the kind of thing that I like to see. Cholesterol levels go up; heart disease rates go down. Here is the abstract of the paper, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology:

The Seven Countries Study in the 1960s showed very low mortality from coronary heart disease (CHD) in Japan, which was attributed to very low levels of total cholesterol. Studies of migrant Japanese to the USA in the 1970s documented increase in CHD rates, thus CHD mortality in Japan was expected to increase as their lifestyle became Westernized, yet CHD mortality has continued to decline since 1970. This study describes trends in CHD mortality and its risk factors since 1980 in Japan, contrasting those in other selected developed countries.

We selected Australia, Canada, France, Japan, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the USA. CHD mortality between 1980 and 2007 was obtained from WHO Statistical Information System. National data on traditional risk factors during the same period were obtained from literature and national surveys.

Age-adjusted CHD mortality continuously declined between 1980 and 2007 in all these countries. The decline was accompanied by a constant fall in total cholesterol except Japan where total cholesterol continuously rose. In the birth cohort of individuals currently aged 50–69 years, levels of total cholesterol have been higher in Japan than in the USA, yet CHD mortality in Japan remained the lowest: >67% lower in men and >75% lower in women compared with the USA. The direction and magnitude of changes in other risk factors were generally similar between Japan and the other countries.

Conclusions: Decline in CHD mortality despite a continuous rise in total cholesterol is unique. The observation may suggest some protective factors unique to Japanese.’1

This paper was actually published in July, but I missed it until now. I have to say that I like everything about the abstract (and the entire paper) apart from the last ten words. ‘The observation may suggest some protective factors unique to Japanese.’ You may be thinking, what’s wrong with that suggestion. It seems completely reasonable.

I put it to you, members of the jury, that we have a situation whereby we see continuously rising cholesterol levels in a population, whilst the rate of heart disease in that population (already very low), falls even lower. This, despite the fact that their other risk factors are just as high, if not higher than in all the other countries studied. Just to compare and contrast Japan with the USA and the UK. These figures are from the latest year 2008 where all figures are available (figures for men).

COUNTRY JAPAN UK US
% WHO SMOKE 35.4% 23% 17.2%
AVERAGE BP (SYSTOLIC) 130.5mmHg 131.2mmHg 123.3mmHg
CHOLESTEROL LEVEL 5.2mmol/l 5.4mmol/l 5.1mmol/l
% OF POPULATION WITH DIABETES 7.2% 7.8% 12.6%
RATE OF CHD/100,000/year 45.8 143.7 150.7

Perhaps most important thing in this study is that the rate of CHD in men in Japan was 62.4 (per 100,000/year) in the years 1980 – 83, when their average total cholesterol level was 4.8. Since then cholesterol has risen 9% to 5.2mmol/l; meanwhile the CHD rate has fallen by 27%. In fact, this trend of rising cholesterol and falling CHD has been going on since the 1960 – which is also mentioned in this paper2.

More dramatically, the rate of stroke in Japan, which was once the highest in the industrialized world, has dropped by more than 80% over the last fifty years, or so. Most people bring together deaths from coronary heart disease, and stroke, under the overall banner of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Raised cholesterol is considered a major risk factor for both, and statins are prescribed for both. Yet, as cholesterol levels have steadily risen in Japan, deaths from both major forms of CVD have fallen massively.

Where was I. Oh yes, I was putting it to the jury that the evidence from Japan utterly and completely contradicts the cholesterol hypothesis. Utterly and completely. Facts like these should leave the hypothesis as a smoking ruin. But of course, this has not happened, as it never does.

Karl Popper, the famous scientific philosopher, would say that such a finding represents a black swan. If your hypothesis is that all swans are white, finding more and more white swans slightly strengthens the likelihood that your hypothesis is correct. However, if you find one single black swan, your hypothesis is wrong and must be discarded.

Unfortunately, a recurring theme in medical research is that, when someone does discover a black swan, the medical experts immediately come out and tell you that this black swan is not, in fact a black swan at all. It is a swan that may look black but it will, in time, turn out to be have been white all along. A more bullish tactic is to state that, as all swans are white, a black swan cannot be a swan at all. It is a member of a different class. ‘The black bird that looks exactly like a white swan.’

Both approaches come under the banner of ‘Our hypothesis is right, we absolutely know that it is right, so any evidence that contradicts our hypothesis must be wrong.’ Or can be explained away. Otherwise known as painting the black swan white.

Explaining away also comprises a few other, well established, techniques. Firstly, to denigrate the researchers, or their research. They didn’t measure this correctly, the ignored that, they can’t be trusted, this is rubbish work – please ignore. I call this technique ‘kill the unbeliever.’

The next form of explaining is to call your finding a paradox. i.e. we know that this looks just like a black swan, but an explanation will be found at some time for its apparent blackness. Let us simply ignore this finding until the correct explanation comes along to explain it. I call this technique ‘Hide the black swan away in a cupboard and hope everyone forgets it was ever there.’

Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on your position on the cholesterol hypothesis, these techniques won’t really work here. This study was funded by the National Institutes for Health, which makes it difficult to rubbish the results, or the researchers. Also, the data have been gathered by the WHO under the MONICA study. A massive and high quality data set which I have never seen anyone argue with. It was also published in the International Journal of Epidemiology. Generally considered a high quality medical journal.

Equally, it is rather difficult to call the Japanese data a paradox. We are not looking at a sudden, one-off finding. What we have in Japan is over sixty years of data, all pointing exactly the same way, year after year. The Japanese cholesterol levels have gone up, year on year, and there has been a steady (yet massive overall) reduction in the rate of heart disease and stroke. This data comes from a population of over one hundred million. Sorry guys, this Paradox hasn’t gone away.

It is also exceedingly difficult for mainstream researchers to attack this current data, as the Japanese were once held up as poster boys for the cholesterol hypothesis. ‘Look at the Japanese’ the researchers shouted loudly in the 1960s. ‘Very low cholesterol levels and very low rates of heart disease… case proven.’ In fact, the Japanese data were one of the strongest drivers of the cholesterol hypothesis. It is entirely possible that, without the Japanese data, the cholesterol hypothesis would never have been accepted in the first place.

Well, look at the Japanese today. Not shouting about them from the rooftops now, are we chaps? Sorry, what was that…couldn’t quite hear you. You may be thinking, at this point. Ah, so the Japanese must be genetically protected against heart disease. Well, this is not correct. To quote from the paper again:

‘Studies of migrant Japanese to the USA in the 1970s reported a dramatic increase in CHD rates within one generation of migration. It was thus expected that exposures to more a Westernized lifestyle among native Japanese after World War II (WWII), for example increase in dietary intake of saturated fat, would cause sizeable rise in blood total cholesterol, leading to a considerable increase in CHD rates in Japan. Between 1960 and 1990, dietary intake of fat and cholesterol in Japan more than doubled. The current levels of blood total cholesterol in Japan, especially among individuals born after WWII, are comparable to those in other developed countries, very different from the 2-mmol/l difference in total cholesterol at the time of the Seven Countries Study.

Moreover, age adjusted mortality from other diseases related to Westernized lifestyle, such as colon, breast and prostate cancers, more than doubled during this period. Very surprisingly, age-adjusted CHD mortality in Japan started to decline in 1970 as in Western countries, and has remained one of the lowest in developed countries: >67% lower in men and >75% lower in women compared with the USA, accounting partly for the greatest longevity in the world among Japanese.’

I liked the words ‘very surprisingly’ in that section. There is only one reason why you should be very surprised in science. That is, when everything you thought you knew about something proves to be wrong.

Just to summarize here. The data from Japan are robust, the researchers free from commercial bias. We are not looking at poor quality research, nor are we looking at a paradox, it is a pure black swan. Yes, of course, the researchers tried to find something, anything, that could explain away this finding. They looked at salt intake. Ooops, the Japanese have way higher salt intake than every other country they looked at. Sorry, ignore.

They did find that the Japanese ate more fish than in most other countries and that, my friends, was that. In fact, even they didn’t believe that this provided any explanation. For we are left with this statement at the end of the discussion section:

The lower CHD mortality in Japan compared with the USA is very unlikely to be due to the difference in trends in other CHD risk factors, cohort effects, misclassification of causes of death, competing risk with other diseases or genetics. The observation may suggest some protective factors unique to Japanese which merit further research.’

I shall give you a different conclusion from this study. One that actually fits the facts that these researchers round.

‘A raised cholesterol level is not a cause of CHD/CVD. ‘

There you are, nice and simple. There is no need for the creation of unknown and undiscovered ‘unique’ protective factors. It just fits. And when a hypothesis fits all the facts, without the need for any fancy adaptations, you know that it is right. That, my friends, is called science.

 

References
1:  Continuous decline in mortality from coronary heart disease in Japan despite a continuous and marked rise in total cholesterol: Japanese experience after the Seven Countries Study’ International Journal of Epidemiology, 2015, 1614–1624 due: 10.1093/ije/dyv143

2:   Ueshima H, Sekikawa A, Miura K et al. Cardiovascular disease and risk factors in Asia: a selected review. Circulation 2008;118:2702–09.

290 thoughts on “Cholesterol goes up heart disease goes down

  1. Debbie Hingley

    THank you Dr Kendrick, we need more open minded Drs like yourself and Dr John Briffa. Dr’s who think outside the box and who are not brainwashed by pharmaceutical companies. We should all take it upon ourselves to become informed and your information is crucial to spread the word. Ignore the naysayers on quackwatch , there is too much jealousy and fear out there.The information you provide makes so much sense when you look at the biochemistry ,which so many fail to do.

    Reply
      1. nmailer

        Dr Briffa does indeed have a young new family which he is delighted to confirm taking up all the time he used to have for blogging. 🙂 which is fair enough!

      2. Debbie Hingley

        No I was wondering that myself, I know he has become a father in the last year or so , so maybe he has other things on his mind. Shame though

      3. Soul

        i miss Dr. Briffa’s writings and know others do too. It still remains a great sight for information and hopefully some day he will find some time in his busy schedule to write again. I remember when Dr. Briffa was signing off his mention about how he obtained information for his blog from the BMJ sight. He seemed to think well of them. I tried going there myself for awhile but ran into some troubles, possibly due to being out of the UK. Figure those within the country might find it easier going.

      1. John U

        There is also a blog by Dr. Verner Wheelock, a PhD and ex-prof of Biochemisty I think which really merits more attention than it has been getting. He is a UK based professional who is very much in tune with everything that we all believe to be true. His blogs are first rate but unfortunately he gets little traffic judging by the number of comments. Check it out at
        https://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2015/12/21/cholesterol-goes-up-heart-disease-goes-down/#comments
        We do miss Dr. Briffa, but there are others. I have read all 198 blogs of Dr. Wheelock and I was impressed. Another irreverant soul who is trying to be a thorn in the side of the NHS.

      2. John U

        I provided the wrong link to the blog in my previous post on this matter. So here is a repeat.

        There is also a blog by Dr. Verner Wheelock, a PhD and ex-prof of Biochemisty I think which really merits more attention than it has been getting. He is a UK based professional who is very much in tune with everything that we all believe to be true. His blogs are first rate but unfortunately he gets little traffic judging by the number of comments. Check it out at
        http://vernerwheelock.com/

        We do miss Dr. Briffa, but there are others. I have read all 198 blogs of Dr. Wheelock and I was impressed. Another irreverant soul who is trying to be a thorn in the side of the NHS.

      3. mikecawdery

        Many thanks for the link – missed it first time round. I loved some of the comments. Unfortunately ADA, AMA, ACA, NHS, Diabetes UK et al are all seriously conflicted organizations advertising and promoting “sponsors” commercial products. Disgraceful but from Big Pharma’s point of view it is a cheap form of advertising with an “honest and creditable” backing.

    1. mikecawdery

      There is a Dr Stephen Barrett a cofounder of some of these quackwatch websites which seem to be funded by the major naysayers (guess who). His record is interesting; he is not a registered DR, he is a self-styled psychiatrist who failed his exams, he cites non-existent research (like Poldernan) and he has brought cases against some 40 people and lost the lot and is currently being sued for $20 million and he has been called a cheat and a liar by a Federal judge. He is typical of the quackwatch crowd.

      http://anhinternational.org/2008/01/18/quackbuster-stephen-barrett-md-loses-appeal-and-leaves-home-town/..

      http://www.bolenreport.com/feature_articles/Doctor's-Data-v-Barrett/Alter%20Ego3.htm

      One suspects his claimed supporters the AMA and FDA but who knows pays his bills

      Reply
  2. abamji

    Malcolm – as always your argument is irrefutable. Facts are facts; they cannot be wrong. But this latest evidence is not the only black swan; as I have pointed out previously, if you treat rheumatoid arthritis successfully the high CVD rate drops substantially (fact: the CVD risk from active RA is as high, if not higher, than that from diabetes). However the cholesterol level rises.. I have to the point of complete frustration asked for an explanation of this paradox and everyone either looks blank, or looks at me as if I am mad, or changes the subject. But it is only a paradox if you start from the wrong hypothesis, namely that CVD risk is related to cholesterol levels. If you begin by suggesting that all observations on cholesterol level changes are simply watching an epiphenomenon, and some other underlying risk factor (eg inflammation) as yet unidentified is the villain, then it is no longer a paradox.

    Moral: If a hypothesis fails to fit the facts, it is the hypothesis that is wrong, not the facts. We will get there in the end!

    Reply
      1. maryl@2015

        Let me try this again. I keep getting my password wrong so forgive me if this is a duplicate. I loved this blog, Dr. Kendrick. Fascinating information. I probably forgot that the Japanese smoke so much more than we in the “modern” Western world although I have seen Statin Nation I and II. I have given them as gifts. Could it be that higher rates of cholesterol and saturated fat intake actually have protected them (Japanese) from their own “vices?” I loved the barrister humor, by the way and you made some very boring statistical information fun to read once again (thank God for people like myself who are so easily distracted) by using those broad brush strokes. Also, I can’t help wonder as I have seen it batted about for years on end, what and when did the medical community come up with the term “familial hypercholesterolemia”? I never heard much about statins or cholesterol numbers until the late 90’s, so just how important was cholesterol number gathering in the last 60 years or so?

    1. Dr Robert Proietto

      I’m an Internist in St Petersburg, FL married to a Japanese American. One thing she turned me on to many years ago was the wonderful anti-inflammatory effects of ginger root. I have put many (open minded) patients on it and have had fantastic results i.e. elimination of migraines (with Mg2+), and significant improvement in other conditions such as menstrual cramps, and chronic joint pains in young athletes. I have also had success with fish oils and turmeric. Some patients have needed all three to break the “cycle of inflammation.” Perhaps, the answer to the Japanese lower rate of CVD has to do with a diet high in anti-inflammatory foods?
      PS I have hated statins for several years now and had started to feel like Don Quixote. That is until I found Dr Kendrick’s site! Thank you.

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        Dr Proietto

        I am interested to hear your observations as a working doctor on such things as ginger, Mg, fish oils and turmeric. But you will appreciate that these are not patentable and therefore are of no interest to the medical establishment or Big Pharma. This why these entities tend to support the “quack watchers”. Anything to support ignorance if it gets more sales for their largely ineffective drugs – like the 299/300 probability of no benefit (sorry 1/300 benefit of lives saved per year promoted by that guru of CHD)

  3. Kathy S

    Wow. Once again, good job, Dr. K. The Japanese smoke more, have higher BP yet look at the diabetes in the US and CVD. Wow. From reading your blogs, learned about Vitamin K2, which I understand the Japanese tend to get much more of than us, partly from eating something rather nasty called Nato (?). The K2 directs the calcium in our bodies away from our arteries and into our bones and teeth. Any chance you could peak into this information to see if this could possibly be a reason for this difference and one that we should all look at for ourselves. Since reading about this, I have been taking a supplement K2, mk7. Thanks again, Dr. K. keep up the good work. Can’t wait for the ‘I told you so’s’ from our side of the fence.

    Reply
    1. Emma

      Good point about the K2. Reminded me of this: ‘Dr. Leon Schurgers and Dr. Cees Vermeer of Maastricht University in Holland studied 4800 elderly Dutch men and women to ascertain whether Vitamin K2 could help prevent artery calcium deposits. They learned that persons with the highest dietary intake of K2 (primarily originating in low fat Dutch cheeses Gouda and Edam) had the least evidence of calcification of the aorta when compared to persons with low Vitamin K2 intakes. The higher the intake of these cheeses the lower the mortality from cardiovascular disease.’
      Another brilliant read Dr K, thank you! Hilarious and genius, made me laugh out loud 🙂

      Reply
      1. Marion Ros

        I’m sure that fullfat cheeses would’ve worked just as well, if not better. They either just didn’t want to give these elderly people fullfat cheese (because oooh! cholesterol!) or these people and/or their carers would’ve been so brainwashed to never eat fullfat cheeses themselves (because oooh! cholesterol!)

      2. Anne

        I read the studies by Dr Vermeer (even emailed him and got a reply) and I didn’t think that the Gouda or Edam were low fat, they’re regular full fat cheeses as far as I know. But there are other food sources of K2, other cheeses and fermented foods, plus Japanese natto. Cheaper to buy supplements of K2 – I take K2 as MK7.
        Anne

      3. Frederica Huxley

        Ah, I would rather get my K2 from foods (with the exception of natto) such as butter from grass fed cows, organic full fat cheeses, kefir made with organic full fat milk, homemade fermented foods such as sauerkraut. None of these foods are necessarily expensive, but they are delicious and raise the spirits – something a supplement could never achieve! Then there are all the green vegetables that are packed with K1.

      4. Anne

        In addition to supplements of k2 as MK7, I eat butter from organically reared grass fed cows, organic full fat cheeses, full fat milk from organically reared cows, sauerkraut and tons of leafy green veggies – though the K1 from the veggies won’t give any K2 as the bacteria in our gut keep it for themselves !
        Anne

    2. celia

      Kathy, I like your comments. I understand K2 also helps our bodies to absorb Vitamin D3, which we can also get from sunlight. I believe there’s a small amount of K2 in eggs, along with the lovely cholesterol, so I’m all for a boiled egg and a good long walk in the sun (or a D3 supplement when there is no sun).

      Reply
      1. Soul

        Just to throw this out there, Dr. Davis a cardiologist of Japanese ancestry, that would measure his patients calcium heart scores, would at one time recommend his patients take vitamin K2. He hoped it would help lower their calcium heart scores. What he found though was K2 was not helpful. He thought it was over marketed.

        I noticed on Dr. Davis’s last supplement recommendation blog post that he left vitamin K2 off the list. I’ve seen him mention that he now recommends followers obtain the nutrient through diet.

        “When to take Wheat Belly nutritional supplements”

        http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2015/12/when-to-take-wheat-belly-nutritional-supplements/

  4. SJ

    You’re a bit slow aren’t you…? That’s been common* knowledge for yonks! As has the theory that raised overall cholesterol actually LOWERS the risk of CHD/CVD, perhaps that’ll be a blog entry in a decade or so. I’ll have to dig up the research, but there’s data out there to suggest that not only does raised total cholesterol have zero causal link to CHD/CVD, it may actually protect you from developing it.

    I mean, why would our livers produce it if it had no benefits…? I’ve been trying to find data on statin prescription vs cases of CHD/CVD (not necessarily mortality rates, but that’d be useful). I’d fully expect the stats to show that one is directly proportional to the other, and that an increase in statin prescribing has led to an increase in CHD/CVD diagnoses.

    But what would I know…?! I’m not a quack, I’m an idiot. A logical-thinking idiot who thinks logically, fighting the NHS’s attempt to turn the nation vegan, and increase the obesity epidemic. Eat red meat! Eat butter! Eat lard! Tell the NHS to shove its low-fat bollocks up its anal sphincter!

    Do keep up at the back! 😉🤓

    *okay, ‘common’ is a bit hyperbolic, but common amongst those who like to know these things.

    Happy whatevers, Dr. K (ya sarcastic ol’ bawbag. 😜 Never change). 🎁🎄🎈

    Reply
    1. JanB

      Oh, stop it, Sj. It’s too early in the morning to be laughing out loud. Re ‘common’ – as the song says “I want to be like common people, I want to do what common people do”
      Happy Christmas to all on this blog, especially our hero, Dr. K., and let’s raise a glass to cholesterol while we’re about it.

      Reply
    2. maryl@2015

      SJ, my late husband was well over 6 foot tall, grew up on a farm/cattle ranch. He ate lots of saturated fat (beef, pork, chicken), fresh vegetables, eggs every morning and no processed foods typical at the time. He wanted corn flakes, but his parents would not allow that. He weighed 145 lbs dripping wet until he left the simplicity of the farm and country life to find a “better life” for himself in the big city. In just a few years, he developed high blood pressure, began putting on weight and was treated with b/p meds. By the time he was 31 he had his first “heart attack”. There were blockages, but no heart tissue death. Because he reported continued angina, he underwent his first bypass surgery and was placed on copious amounts of statins for a total cholesterol level of 384. From that time on his overall health went into a downward spiral. He had skin cancers, repeated infections, diabetes, sleep apnea, stents and bypass surgeries (including gastric bypass) and finally was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. He was told he had “no virgin veins left”. All this time he was on statins, but they did NOTHING to protect him. To the contrary, he got worse each year. Within 4 months of having been diagnosed with congestive heart failure, I found him dead. His heart just “stopped”. He barely made it to his 49th birthday. I believe he developed insulin resistance back at the age of 21, when he was placed on b/p meds as that was when his weight began to climb. But, at that time, I don’t think any doctors made the connection at all. I have only myself begun to put this mystery into perspective as it haunts me always. It did not have to be so. This is a perfect example of how copious amounts of statins do not work and, in fact, probably led to his early demise from what I have learned is “all cause mortality”. Recently, as our son finished college and began his first “real job”, he called to ask my opinion. His new doctor has strongly recommended our son go on statins for a total cholesterol level of 234. I have begged him not to do it and to watch his triglycerides and steer clear of too many sugary carbs. I think he is listening, but I can’t say for sure. I now want to attest to my personal experience with the love of my life. No one should be tortured with these poisons…no one. Thanks Dr. Kendrick, for helping me to understand this perplexing thing called CHD.

      Reply
      1. Kathy S

        A great Christmas gift might be to give him BOTH of Dr. K’s books. It’s a start. I even gave it to my own heart doc – can’t wait to here his thoughts when I see him next month. good luck.
        Kathy

      2. Socratic Dog

        Best treatment for an elevated serum cholesterol is to STOP BLOODY MEASURING IT! Finding a new doctor would be useful too.

  5. David Winter

    I made a decision last year based on your observations, to stop taking Statins. I had had some disturbing side effects [ extreme tiredness, loss of memory etc] and my GP was still trying to force my cholesterol levels down below 4.5. I have now rid myself of all the side effects,lost a stone in weight and feel great. Thank you for taking the brickbats that come your way and please continue you great work. Oh and a merry Christmas to you and your family. Hope your relative is progressing .

    Reply
  6. Gina Wrelton

    Thank you for sharing this vital information. Are we to conclude from this informative study that the Japanese are protected from heart disease to some extent from their high consumption of fish?

    Reply
  7. António Heitor Reis

    Dear Dr Kendrick
    Thanks for sharing and commenting on the study about cholesterol and CVD in Japan. On December 16 came out the American Heart Association’s 2016 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics Update (http://circ.ahajournals.org/lookup/doi/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000350). According tho this report: “The report also noted significant racial differences. The risk of first-stroke in blacks is nearly twice that of whites, according to the report. The research found that almost half of all black people have some form of heart or stroke-related disease.” If you go through the report you’ll see that in the USA Blacks have mean average Cholesterol level significantly lower than Whites.
    However the the report recommends continuing of lowering cholesterol levels of the Americans.
    Read also in WebMd: “Alarming Number of Americans Die of Heart Disease”
    http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20151216/heart-disease-now-kills-1-of-every-3-americans

    Reply
    1. Hugh Mannity

      Belief is not rational. It ignores evidence in favour of the dictats of authority figures. Especially those who say “the science is settled!” because most people don’t like to live with uncertainty.

      Reply
  8. tranwell2015

    You are not alone in debunking the Cholesterol/CHD story. I have just been reading two books by an American author Dr David Perlmutter “The Brain Maker” and “The Grain Brain”. He supports his message with lots of recent research (up to 2015) and although,as a neurologist, he is interested in the brain, it is clear that he thinks the Cholesterol nonsense is just that and gives references to support his views.

    Reply
  9. David Bailey

    That is a super blog – in a sane world the whole cholesterol lowering industry would quake in response to that piece of evidence on its own!

    “Conclusions: Decline in CHD mortality despite a continuous rise in total cholesterol is unique. The observation may suggest some protective factors unique to Japanese.”

    I guess you could say that that sentence from the paper is half right – it would be nice to know what does make their CVD rates lower – regardless of Cholesterol – particularly when you think that the Japanese must presumably have suffered a fair amount of stress during and immediately after WWII.

    The other curiosity is that that paper refers to total cholesterol, as opposed to LDL/HDL – is it that these two measures are simply swapped about as necessary to confuse the issue?

    Reply
      1. Gretchen

        I thought this was well known, and accepted, and I’m not familiar enough with the literature to find the studies showing it, plus a lot of them are behind paywalls, so I can’t read them. It makes sense to me that “high” total cholesterol levels of 300 or 400 wouldn’t be harmful but levels of 900 or 1000 might be.

      2. Gretchen

        Here’s a reference: “patients aged
        20-39 years with familial hypercholesterolaemia had
        about a 100-fold increase in mortality from coronary
        heart disease and a nearly 10-fold increase in total
        mortality.” This increased risk disappeared in patients over 60, perhaps because those sensitive to cholesterol were already dead.

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1671226/pdf/bmj00148-0031.pdf

        This was in pre-statin era. Numbers were small. And as always, it could have been some factor other than cholesterol.

        I have a hypothesis with absolutely no clinical data to support it, namely that we are born with “rough” or “smooth” arteries. If smooth, cholesterol doesn’t matter. If rough it does and we’re likely to die in our 50s. This means that those who survive beyond 50 have smooth arteries, and effect of various parameters will be different.

      3. Fratel

        I suppose you’re talking about the heterozygous FHC, because there are early deaths in the homozygous form. Wich is not a model for atherosclerosis. Lesions are completely different. In addition FHC is a misnomer. The disease is caused by hyperlipoproteinemia.

  10. mark french

    Wow.
    I think you write very well, Malcolm.

    And with respect to the study, I think it will not change anything. Pride is the worst stepping stone. To be precise, we should call it hubris. It’s what happens when science and politics get in bed. A very clear parallel is the terrible saga of psychiatric drugs. People in power will never change. They can’t afford it. People just have to put up with the damage and shut up. More

    It is comforting and heartening, but only for those who already know. Those who don’t, must feel itchy and grumpy. Which direction they go from there is something only Zeus knows.

    One thing is sure: it would be a very violent situation if authorities told people to stop taking statins altoghether, cold-turkey, right away. People will just go berserk. There would be demonstrations in the strets with people yelling: “It’s impossible that the nutjobs were right from the start! Give us back our peace of mind!”

    Personally, I believe that the real reason behind low CHD in japanese population is due to the lack of exposure to western media. All these lies we read every day take a toll on out hearts.

    Reply
  11. Agg

    Nuts are so tasty and good for you, so I don’t mind you being in the “nut job” category at all 🙂
    Keep going Dr K 🙂

    Reply
  12. Old fogey

    How many years will it take to recognize that smoking is also good for your health? Just look at the smoking levels in that data. My parents both smoked all their adult lives. They loved the pleasure that smoking gave them and appreciated the increased alertness and feeling of relaxation that came from smoking. Watching my mother, age 86, light up a cigarette, smile, and immediately relax was something I noted over and over again. As her overall health declined she insisted that smoking gave her the greatest pleasure in life. Because of the taxes that are used to keep people from smoking, my mother’s cigarettes cost much more than her prescription medication. And you would not believe the disdainful looks and the reams of medical advice I received from supermarket cashiers when I bought cartons of cigarettes for her.

    Reply
    1. maryl@2015

      Ditto for my mom Old fogey. I still believe it was the statins that made her end of life so miserable. She smoked until she went into a nursing home for skilled nursing care. The cigarettes actually made her so much more relaxed. I sneaked e-cigs into the nursing home to calm her down.

      Reply
    2. Stephen T

      Old Fogey, can you seriously be saying that smoking is good for people’s health. Some people do enjoy smoking, but that’s a very different thing.

      Reply
      1. Flyinthesky

        Stephen T, I don’t think anyone is suggesting smoking is good for peoples health but what must be borne in mind is statistical manipulation. If anyone who has CVD or pulmonary issues and smokes it’s deemed it’s the fags that done it. It aint necessarily so, as the song goes.

    3. Malcolm

      The data Dr.Kendrick presents (Japan has twice the USA level of smoking but one third the CHD) would also leave the “cigarette hypothesis” as a smoking ruin. Yet the epidemiological data has always been in plain sight if only we would see it! When the population is divided into two groups viz smokers v non-smokers then statistically the non-smokers always enjoy better CVD health. But if a further group is defined, those who have smoked but then quit, giving three groups: smokers v nevers v quitters, it is found that quitters have a better health record than the nevers. This fact was apparent to the Framingham statisticians but it was one of those ugly black swans quickly hidden in the cupboard!
      Meanwhile intervention studies where doctors have achieved significant success in getting people to quit smoking [MRFIT 1982, WHO European Trial 1982] have demonstrated there is ZERO health benefit in getting people to quit! Contradicted myself haven’t I? No, because the only way that the full panoply of health data can be explained is when psychosocial factors are taken into account concerning the propensity for stress, stress hormones and thus disease. People who choose to quit of their own volition and succeed in doing so demonstrate self-control and effectively gain from the placebo effort and statistically show a health premium. Those brow-beaten by doctors into quitting show no gain in self-esteem and so no health gain.
      The above are all from Hans Eysenck’s “Smoking, Personality and Stress: Psychosocial Factors in the Prevention of Cancer and CHD”, 1991 . Eysenck broadly concludes that when psychosocial factors are taken into account smoking does NOT cause CHD but smoking DOES cause lung cancer (only not to the degree that epidemiological risk factors would suggest).
      Meanwhile, Wilkinson & Pickett have shown in their “Spirit Level” 2009 that the only materialistic factor which is reliable in explaining population health data is the Gini index for financial inequality. Unequal societies (USA worst and UK second) where the rich use their power to inflict stress on the rest of us (zero hours contracts, poor housing etc etc etc) have an appalling health record. Bear in mind that when comparing say USA with Nigeria, doctors in rich countries now have a fantastic capacity to treat illness so crude mortality statistics are no longer useful and it is the INCIDENCE of CHD/cancer which must be used. Japan is an outlier in that it is a rich country with unusually high levels of equality (low levels of inequality) and thus a remarkably low incidence of illness. These advantages have nothing to do with genetics – when the Japanese migrate to USA their health deteriorates immediately and when Americans migrate to Japan their health improves as soon as they assimilate into the culture.
      Those who want to understand why stress hormones are so toxic to health should read Robert Sapolsky’s “Why Zebras don’t Get Ulcers” 1998.

      Reply
    4. Anna

      I wonder your location. Another travesty is the number of chemicals that are in almost all brands of American cigarettes. Those chemicals may render cigarettes much more harmful than plain tobacco. I have heard that in Europe they are all natural. Personally, I suspect that a very light smoking habit with tobacco-only cigarettes might be neutral in effect upon health, if only because it does relax people. Since they say that stress is the biggest killer, anything that mitigates that might be beneficial, such as alcohol. I find it interesting that moderate drinkers are supposed to last the longest, and yet alcohol itself is really pure poison. But it maketh the heart merry!

      Reply
      1. maryl@2015

        Anna, that is an astute observation re cigarettes manufactured in the U.S. We all know that they added toxic substances (all in an effort to enhance their addictive qualities) to American cigarettes and hid that fact from the public. That is part of the reason we had so many tobacco settlement monies given to each state. But, I have to wonder since I have heard tell of many in my own background who smoked well into their 90’s with no particular medical adverse effects. It is quite interesting. I still contend that smoking cigarettes manufactured in the U.S. have caused many deaths from cancers and COPD. The research is just too overwhelming on that issue.

    5. Helen

      I think people vary hugely in their long-term vulnerability to the negative effects of smoking. My maternal grandparents are a good example of this. Both smoked heavily from their twenties up until their seventies, when they decided to give up. Gran gave up easily, but Granddad struggled. He died at 79 after 10 years of suffering with emphysema/COPD. Gran never even had a smoker’s cough. She died at 96.

      Reply
  13. Anne

    I’m sure that study was mentioned by the Japanese doctor in the Statin Nation 2 video in which you were interviewed Dr Kendrick. I might be wrong, if so apologies.

    Anyway, how high do you think cholesterol levels can go without adversely affecting a person ?
    Mine is 9.1 and I’m not in the least bit concerned. My HDL is 3.7 and my trigs 0.4 !

    Anne

    Reply
  14. Nicki Thorn

    Is it possible that the drop in stroke rate in Japan is down to the way they treat B12 deficiency at less than 500 whereas the cutoff in the rest of the world is 200 or even lower. This would lower homocysteine which would in turn lower the stroke rate. I am with you on the cholesterol nonsense mind you as I have eaten a Paleo diet around 6 yrs, and my cholesterol ratio is excellent.

    Reply
    1. ellifeld

      Can’t comment on your question but it did make me look into the relationship between stroke and b12 (actually the combo b12 and folic acid looks better) and it seems like a good idea to take an extra b complex. Of course potassium is also crucial for stroke protection (sodium/potassium ratio)

      Reply
    2. Frederica Huxley

      Unfortunately, our GPs do not include homocysteine when ordering blood work. Mind you, they also look askance if you dare request a Vitamin D 25(OH)D test – no, that’s not even on the list of available blood tests!

      Reply
    3. Helen

      A very pertinent point, Nicki. B12 deficiency, of whatever origin, is severely under-diagnosed in the western world because of the weirdly high diagnostic threshold you mention, but also because of poor appreciation of the fact that measuring protein-bound cobalamin in the blood is pretty pointless: a large fraction of it is not bio-available. The ‘active B12’ test is only available in certain NHS London hospitals, and even that has its problems.

      If you have autoimmune malabsorption of cobalamin (as I do) then you are really scuppered. Your only option is to inject B12 in order to maintain the health of the heart, peripheral and central nervous systems, muscle function, etc. You will struggle to get this on the NHS and many people end up with the expense and bother of injecting themselves with pharmaceutical grade hydroxocobalamin or methylcobalamin from the EU and USA.

      Reply
  15. Hugh Mannity

    Excellent! I shall continue my tradition of going out for sushi on Christmas day, and while doing so will raise a glass of Sake to your continued good health and excellent blog.

    Reply
  16. Sylvia

    The Japanese diet, the Sardinian, the Greek and as you have mentioned before Dr K the French. But as you have also mentioned the lifestyle. It most certainly makes sense to eat whole foods, cooked from scratch then there is the fermented type foods, sauerkraut and such. What is one to do. Our soil is denuded, fish is farmed and diseased. Not to mention a low income will encourage cheaper filling foods. And people don’t always sit at the table to eat, front of tele position. Not being patronising, it happens with my grandchildren and I hate it.
    Keep blogging, you are an inspiration with a touch of Monty Python.
    So, seaweed, sushi,, have to say I prefer Italian.

    Reply
  17. robert lipp

    Dr Kendrick, thank you again.
    Do you have a comment on the following?
    I have read somewhere that; for those on LCHF (or an alternative) some 30% do not have lower LDL-P (and lower triglicerides) following the diet change. It seems that they have lots of cholesterol in lots of particles (measured by apoLiproprotein B) instead of lots of cholesterol in a few particles. Possibly the particle clearing process (assume in the liver) is not functioning efficiently. The argument is that lots of particles, with or without higher cholesterol, represents higher risk. Therefore, the trick is to find what natural foods /supplements can be taken to increase the clearing efficiency as an alternative to take Statins to reduce risk.
    What I found is the following: http://chriskresser.com/what-causes-elevated-ldl-particle-number/
    Regards Robert

    Reply
    1. David Bailey

      I have followed this blog for some time, and what amuses me, is that people still come up with complicated ways to measure/redistribute/reduce their cholesterol, rather than accept the most obvious conclusion – that cholesterol levels in the blood are not a problem, or that higher levels are actually mildly beneficial! That is clearly what this blog says, and it isn’t the only data that implies that:

      http://vernerwheelock.com/?p=838

      If the hypothesis that high levels of X are harmful turns out to be wrong, then there is no good reason to invent a more complicated hypotheses about the same molecule!

      Reply
      1. robert lipp

        Hi David
        Thanks for your response. What I said was not related to the level of cholesterol high or low but to the count (apoLipoprotein B) of the particles. It can easily happen, so I understand, that there may be too many particles (surplus / used) that should be Cleared by the liver (reprocessed eliminated whatever). The liver, I presume, does not just push out ever increasing numbers of particles. That is, job done they are cleared. I was hoping for a comment on making this clearing process more efficient without using Statins which is the standard recommendation.
        Way say you?
        Regards Robert

      2. robert lipp

        Hi David
        Re thinking this and my understanding – I now get the picture thank you. Please ignore my last message. Regards Robert

      3. David Bailey

        Reply to Robert Lipp

        My point is that those particles are deemed important only because they carry cholesterol! Once it is clear that extra cholesterol doesn’t cause harm, the logical response is not to look for a more complicated way of implicating cholesterol, but to forget about it! Accordingly I don’t have my cholesterol measured any more!

        The body makes zillions of different types of molecules, and focussing on scenarios involving one particular molecule – once thought to be toxic – seems fairly pointless.

      4. Socratic Dog

        Absolutely agree David. As I said in another comment, the best treatment for high cholesterol is to stop measuring it.
        I detect a strong strain of hypochondriasis in many of the posters here. Can’t really blame them, the goal of the modern state seems to be to have everyone living in a constant state of fear, and turning to the state for (illusionary) safety. Cholesterol, global warming, Islam, terrorism, there’s always something new to be terrified of. Turns us into good little sheep.

    2. BobM

      I’m not even sure what to say about that. To me, LDL-p is yet one more ad-hoc hypothesis to keep the “cholesterol causes heart disease” bandwagon going.
      LDL-p is yet another confusing statistic.

      Here is some data from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2720529/

      LDL-P
      Median, nmol/L 967 1279 1548 1931
      Number of events 55 109 101 166

      The LDL-p goes from 1270 to 1548 (a 21% increase), yet the number of CVD events goes DOWN. What? Granted, the number of events are lower in the first quartile (976) and higher in the last quartile (1931), but in between those, it doesn’t make sense.

      Are there any studies indicating that reducing LDL-p would reduce heart disease? I haven’t been able to find any. This says the following:

      “In summary, LDL-P as an adjunct to LDL-C is being evaluated for use in patients with CHD…who have already achieved LDL-C goals. Although LDL-P is associated with CHD risk, and may be a more discriminatory risk factor than LDL-C alone, there is currently no evidence that treatment of elevated LDL-particle number changes clinical outcomes.”

      https://www.anthem.com/ca/medicalpolicies/policies/mp_pw_c181182.htm

      Until there’s more information, LDL-p is simply another hypothesis awaiting testing.

      Reply
  18. tw

    The figures in your article seem to suggest that diabetes is more of a culprit in heart disease than cholesterol which leads me to a question: does it make sense to put diabetics on statins? (which seems to be common practice.)

    Reply
    1. maryl@2015

      Diabetics and those insulin resistant are more likely to develop heart disease. And, if you load them up with statins, their poor bodies can’t fight anything including cancers, auto-immune and various neurological diseases as well. Cholesterol and saturated fats are healers. They are what give longevity and quality to life. If your cholesterol is very high, perhaps your body is fighting something else it needs to fight. Why don’t doctors rule out other possible culprits if you have heart disease and by chance also have high cholesterol? It would appear to me that excessive levels of cholesterol prove your body is fighting some invader. It is time to look at the other metabolic and lipid panels information to see what is really out of whack! I am not a doctor, but that is my best guess based on information I have gleaned from this site and Dr. Kendrick’s books.

      Reply
    2. Hugh Mannity

      Type 2 Diabetes is essentially an inability to effectively metabolise carbohydrate. A low (50g/day or less) carbohydrate diet (meat, fish, eggs, leafy veggies, dairy in moderation if tolerated) puts this into remission and if maintained over a long period allows the pancreas to heal. Such a diet should also be high fat (think butter, coconut oil, avocado oil, heavy cream) as excess protein gets broken down into glucose.

      Combine with exercise (20 minute walk 3x week minimum) and intermittent fasting* for best results.

      *Intermittent fasting — either eating 2 meals at either end of an 8-hour “window (e.g. brunch @ noon, dinner @ 7pm) or alternating between “normal” food intake and a very low calorie (approx 500) day. Absolutely the opposite of what the diabetes “experts” recommend, this gives your pancreas time to rest between meals which a 3 meals + 3 snacks regimen doesn’t do. If you don’t load up with carbs, you don’t need to keep reloading every couple of hours to prevent blood sugar crashes. Instead you have a nice smooth level blood glucose.

      Reply
  19. Lisa

    One thing I wonder. When you say cholesterol levels are high – or going up – you are talking about total cholesterol. Doesn’t it matter about LDL vs HDL? My HDL is very high, so my total cholesterol is high. My LDL is normal. According to my cardiologist, it’s find to have high cholesterol if it’s the HDL driving it up. Not good if the LDL is high. Do these studies in Japan break down the data that way?

    Reply
    1. BobM

      There are many studies indicating low LDL or high HDL correlate with heart disease. That is, are bad from a heart disease perspective.

      Reply
    2. Kathy S

      Lisa, you apparently haven’t read Dr. K’s book – The Great Cholesterol Con. I highly recommend it – will answer all your questions and then some…

      Reply
      1. maryl@2015

        Kathy and Lisa, The Great Cholesterol Con was the second book I ever read about this oh so perplexing and controversial medical subject. I laid in bed at night reading. I laughed a lot, too. My husband would say “What are your reading that is so comical?” I would just say…you have to read it yourself to get the picture and to be entertained at the same time. Great book. Half the time I just read with my mouth open, overwhelmed and so relieved to finally begin to understand what all this meant. It was the start of a long journey, but I agree. Everyone needs to start there. That book was absolutely the best, bar none. If you are a layperson or a professional, it appeals to each. I still like to refer back to my copy!

    3. mikecawdery

      The more recent studies suggest that the trigs/HDL ratio should be <2. Furthermore LDL is now split into small dense VLDL (bad) and light "fluffy" LDL(good) which is essential for immune response to infections (viral/bacterial). Don't worry though – they are always changing the goal posts.

      Reply
  20. Trish

    Thanks for what you do via your blog and books and the way you do it via the truth of evidence.
    As I’ve said before on here, it always surprises me about the reactions I’ve often encountered when the truth about statins/cholesterol is shared with as much loving kindness as I can muster.
    But, even with gentle evidence, my family & close friends either glaze over, get defensive or even aggressive!
    So…. I’m going to put more padding around my common sense skull & keep hitting my head against the brick wall.
    Hopefully, if enough of us do it in unison, the vibrations will bring the wall down, just like troups marching in time over bridges?

    Wishing you & yours a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS Dr. K, and have an extra wee dram on me!
    Trish.

    Reply
  21. TS

    Dear Dr Kendrick
    Yes, good to read.
    I find your theory of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal axis disruption in heart disease totally believable (The Great Cholesterol Con). What surprised me in this study, then, is the 35.4% of Japanese smokers – smoking being an HPA disruptor. I’ve googled the matter and Wikipedia states:
    “Smoking in Japan, though historically less restricted by law than in many other nations, has significantly changed in recent years.[1] Tobacco use has been in constant decline since 1996 and the decline has been accelerating in recent years. Consumption of cigarettes in 2012 was 197.5 billion sticks, roughly 57% of the peak figure in 1996 and a number last seen in 1968.[2] In 2014, the adult smoking rate was 19.7%, 30.3% of Japanese men and 9.8% of Japanese women;[3] this is the lowest recorded figure since Japan Tobacco began surveying in 1965.[4] As of 2005, nearly 30 million people smoke in Japan, making the country one of the world’s larger tobacco markets[5]”

    Reply
  22. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

    I just bought another bottle of that excellent very smoky Scottish 10 year old Ardbeg malt whisky for Christmas and am considering if I shouldn’t celebrate your excellent cholesterol debunking post with a test shot. As a scientist I could, by the way, never be 100 % sure that, as Winnie-the-Pooh about the honey at the bottom of the jar, that there is not a black whisky swan hidden in my bottle.

    Reply
  23. Soul

    Very interesting and another surprising bit of information about Japan. My parents are going on a ship cruise around Japan in May. They are very much looking forward to it, and have been watching many different TV programs on how different Japanese culture is compared to what is seen in America and the west overall. I’ll pass the article on to them. They will enjoy learning that Japan is a land were higher cholesterol levels equals improved health.

    Reply
  24. Andrew Ward

    Yet another excellent blog entry Malcolm 🙂 I have just watched a documentary called The Widowmaker (blockage of the left coronary artery) narrated by Gillian Anderson. Basically it describes the fight between the use of stents and Electron Beam Tomography to identify coronary calcium. The study on stents that it portrayed proved that are an ineffective therapy and that EBT scanning should be used to identify potential heart attack risks. All well and good, however it doesn’t tell the audience anything about how to resolve a high calcium score, other than a vague reference to medicine (statins?). My naturopath has suggested that EBT scanning uses as very high amount of radiation and having had three angiograms I’m not willing to pour gas on the fire. An interesting and sobering film, particularly for me as one who has dodged the Grim Reaper twice!

    Reply
    1. ellifeld

      I’m wondering if vitamin K2 might be helpful in reducing calcium scores. K2 is supposed to direct calcium into the bones rather than ending up essentially anywhere.

      Reply
      1. Anne

        I take 300mcg of K2 as MK7 per day. Better safe than sorry and I have osteoporosis too so I’d rather the calcium – from my food, not supplements – goes to my bones and not to my arteries.
        Anne

  25. Sue Richardson

    Brilliant news. What on earth will all the Boffins do with that information I wonder? The next time I get told my cholesterol is “rather high” (probably this Wednesday) I’m going to say “Great, that’s fantastic, what a relief” etc. Whilst I’m here, may I just say, at the almost year-end, thank you for your posts this year Dr K. If it weren’t for them, some of us would be swimming in a sea of scientific hogwash and probably be frightened to death. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Have a good Christmas and an even better New Year. Enjoy your one or two drams!

    Reply
  26. Maggie

    Regarding the question about supposedly increased deaths from heart disease in people with FH, I want to offer this long-ish except from Peter D’s blog Hyperlipid. Note that this is about the heterozygous form of familial hypercholesterolemia. I was really happy to read this several years ago as I imagine (with my TC at 500+) that I am one of these and refuse statins.

    Peter writes:
    “Anyway, back to heterozygous FH. It’s another paper by Sijbrands on the mortality of patients with untreated FH.

    Here’s the first paragraph of the discussion:

    “In the present study, mortality was highest in families which were ascertained through cases with a premature onset of CAD. These families — in particular the male patients in middle age — had high excess mortality. This high excess mortality underscores that our results do not detract from the older finding of increased mortality in families in whom the disorder was clinically recognised. These old studies described a decreased life expectancy in families with familial hypercholesterolaemia that were investigated because the probands — or even multiple family members — had presented themselves with premature cardiovascular disease”

    This translates as: In families with FH and premature heart disease there is premature heart disease. Yes, that’s what it says.

    “Presumably these families — and our families with a premature onset of CAD — were characterised by clustering of risk factors. In the present study, a lot of families were not ascertained by clinical outcome but by routine measurement of cholesterol and they had a life expectancy similar to the Dutch population, suggesting the presence of protecting factors or the absence of additional risk factors”

    Translation: In families WITH heterozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia, but WITHOUT premature heart disease, life expectancy is NORMAL (rather, the phrase is “similar to the Dutch population”). There is no premature CVD. There are a lot of these families. I wonder if they are all on statins? If so, why?

    “Others also observed normal survival of some familial hypercholesterolaemic patients [3 and 4]. The factors involved in this reduced risk of mortality from the disorder are yet unknown and their identification is needed to enable prediction of longevity”

    Reply
  27. sylvia2036

    Dr K what would we do without you. Great blog and keep on being a nut job.
    Seasons greetings to you and a guid New Year.

    Reply
  28. Lee

    So Dr. K, what does cause hyperinsulinemia, diabetes and CHD/vascular disease?
    Is it excessive carbohydrate? Or is it excessive protein and/or fat from animal sources? Or is it excessive omega-6 Or is it excess calories? Or something else? Is it a deficiency of whole food vitamins/minerals/antioxidants/phytonutrients/etc? Lack of vitamin D?
    Or is it a combination of effects of the above oor others?
    I did LCHF for a couple of years. No problems with health as such but had no energy and needed stimulants to get through the day. So I packed it in 8 months ago and did a 180 degree reversal to a high carbohydrate, low fat, low protein diet. Again no problems with health and now have a lot more energy and now don’t need stimulants.
    So I think that both ends of the scale work in their own ways because both are based on whole foods and not refined garbage.
    Any thoughts?

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Its complicated. I have stripping CHD/CVD apart for over thirty years, then trying to put it back together again. A bit like with IKEA furniture, when you think you have got it into shape you find a few spare screws lying about, plus a couple of bits of wood that don’t seem to fit anywhere. To be honest, I have long since given up looking for causes of CHD and concentrated, instead, on trying to more fully understand processes underlying CHD.

      Reply
      1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        Well, I am an old guy now born in the IKEA-country and pretty used to this stuff.

        Being very familiar with CHD/CVD as well I am also trying to make the practical pieces fit together to create a coherent world furniture although some pieces are difficult to kick in where I want them to fit. In that world view, though, the 20 kg boar I just acquired today from a hunter fits perfectly together with the excellent Scottish malt whisky. As it is stated in my medical journal of 1999: “Doesn’t take the medicines prescribed by us. Uses alcohol as medicine.” 🙂

    2. celia

      Lee, my initial response to your LCHF experience is that I wonder what sorts of foods you included in it. My husband switched to LCHF last year. He soon noticed increased energy levels, and felt and looked great. Apart from grass fed butter, free range eggs etc., he included a lot of organic vegetables in variety, and we switched to cooking with coconut oil. I am really surprised at your experience.

      Reply
      1. Stephen T

        Celia, I had the same good experience with LCHF. However, I remember a talk by Dr Stephen Phinney where he said that a small percentage of people do fine on high carb. Perhaps Lee is one of them. Or perhaps his version of LCHF was different to yours and mine. We can be confident that most people do well on LCHF, but I don’t think it applies to everyone.

      2. John U

        I wonder if feeling fine saying your health is good is sufficient. I know of at least 2 people who look fit, are active (we play tennis together) and are slim, yet they have undergone by-pass surgery on the heart in the last year. If you asked them a few years ago, they would have told you that they are fine and do not need any change to their diet.
        Our doctors do not normally check our insulin levels after a meal nor do they look at glucose levels over time – just after a 12 hr. fast. For me, that might be too little, too late. So when people say that health is fine on high carbs, I would ask what their A1C is and what their area under the glucose – time curve is at the very least.

      3. Lee

        John, would you like to comment on your diet, height/weight, fitness markers/Vo2 max/cyvling power output/5k run time etc. and health related data?

      4. John U

        Lee, I am not suggesting that we need to be intrusive about health matters. I am only suggesting that when friends talk about their health and maybe look like they might not be in such good health, one might suggest other tests which they should investigate and why they should.

    3. maryl@2015

      Lee, that is a loaded load of questions. Were I you, if you are consuming a lot of carbohydrates, you best stay moving around a lot…a whole lot, and I would have my metabolic panels checked quite often, too. In time, if you eat that many carbs as many in the Western world do, eventually you will pay a huge price in terms of your health. At one time I went on a high or rather moderate saturated fat and low carb diet but ate carbs with low glycemic indices. Actually, I did quite well and lost weight. But, I had to exercise a lot daily and a lot to get that weight off and keep it off even eating those carbs that were considered the “good carbs”. If you were tired all the time, chances are there was something else going on with you. But, low fat diets just don’t work over the long haul my friend, I promise you that. So, it is your body, but I would think long and hard before I got rid of a high amount of saturated fats in my diet. Saturated fats (animal fats) are more consistent with your own physiology. There is nothing wrong with eating a lot of protein, but that protein needs to come with that saturated fat your body needs. All you need to do is look closely at the diseases in modern Western world that are using the vast majority of our healthcare dollars to get your answer about low fat, high carb diets. They do not work!!! How do you explain the increases in the above mentioned diseases despite our directions from healthcare providers to eat low fat, high carb diets? Those recommendations have been around a long time…possibly fifty or more years? How has it worked for the masses? And what do you meant by “whole foods” and “refined garbage”? I am just curious, because this subject has haunted me for many years. I would love to hear what you have to say as we are all open minded people here. Or, and least I am. Thanks for your input!

      Reply
      1. Lee

        Nothing loaded about the questions; they were an open invitation for Dr K to express an opinion.
        I don’t believe for one moment that Westerners follow a low fat whole foods diet; what I see is an overwhelming tendency to convenience eating, much of which is typically at or in excess of over 30% fat by weight.
        I’m exploring both sides of the diet spectrum.
        My LCHF was based on Volek/Phinney “Art & science of low carbohydrate performance”. It was based on eggs, oily fish, fatty red meats, high fat dairy and cheese, green vegetables and some low carbohydrate friuts. I was often in ketosis and took over 10g of salt every day. Macros were about 10/60/30 C/F/P by energy and was hypercaloric. I did this for over 2 years, so there was plenty of time to get “fat adapted”.
        My high carbohydrate is based on whole fruits, root vegetables, whole rolled oats, rice, maize and beans and the macros are about 80/10/10 C/F/P by energy.
        I avoid anything that has been formulated as a hyperpalatable product; that’s what I mean by “refined garbage”.

      2. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        Lee,

        Out of curiosity – why did you embark on LCHF first place?

        I mean it is a real challenge to carry through, not least socially. Money and industry (medical and agricultural) with all its power is against us and you easily turn out to be a nuisance in your own social environment so it is not bad to have a good reason to keep on. A research background like mine doesn’t hurt to resist pressures.

        Most of the people adhering (more or less) to LCHF try to solve some personal health problem typical of the metabolic syndrome. Long time struggle with serious overweight is one strong reason for many . Though I hear many success stories from seriously ill people like myself and my wife who basically didn’t care about the few extra kilos but irrespective of our great health improvements we still experience a constant uphill challenge.

      3. Lee

        I tend to bonk at about 70-80 miles during 100 mile bike rides because I can’t process enough food and water whilst riding, so I was attracted by the promise of the unlimited fuel tank i.e, body fay vs. using the limited glycogen stored within muscle and liver.
        I have never been diabetic, so had no necessity to use LCHF to reduce glucose influx.

      4. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        Lee,

        Then I do understand.

        You belonged to the minor group of LCHF-advocates among elite sportsmen. Professor Noakes is one promoter and there is a performer Jonas Colting with a nice record I know about. I though guess that they are still rare among the carb loaders.

      5. John U

        Lee, I think I misunderstood you question about talking about my diet. As it turns out, mine is likely identical to your. You said “My LCHF was based on Volek/Phinney “Art & science of low carbohydrate performance”. It was based on eggs, oily fish, fatty red meats, high fat dairy and cheese, green vegetables and some low carbohydrate friuts.” This pretty well covers mine also, and I also read both of Volek and Phinney’s books.

    4. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      Being a very strong LCHF-adherent (now for six years) I love hearing “black swan” tales like yours 🙂

      It gives a perspective to the complexity involved in our homeostasis and the fact that what we put in our mouth is just a part of that homeostasis as I have understood it although not an insignificant part if you have hit the metabolic syndrome hard as in the case of me and my wife. Otherwise I don’t think you should not care very much and as you just listen to your body – a great instrument for measuring your own state of health to my opinion.

      Since it has worked “wonders” for us we tend to be the strong believers of this “religion” as we happen to be. Although I find some Popperian ‘corroboration’ (I am always looking for that 🙂 ) when I reflect over the role and possible deleterious effects of the insulin in our bodies.

      Reply
      1. Emma

        I agree, there is individual variation, as one might expect in an omnivorous species which successfully colonised a wide range of habitats, and is host to trillions of separate species that affect our metabolism (e.g. mitochondria, gut flora). In my experience, a minority of people thrive on a very high fat diet. Most people aren’t active enough to justify the amount of carbohydrate they eat, and benefit from fewer grains and sugars, more protein, more fats, and longer periods without food. The presence at the other extreme, of those who fare best on a careful carbohydrate-based diet like Lee’s surely doesn’t invalidate the idea that too much carbohydrate is a problem, and a problem for millions of people. (I’m fine with there being people who need carbs, all the more butter and bacon fat for the rest of us 🙂

      2. mikecawdery

        Dr Goran

        I have just had my genetic code done. Most interesting results with some interesting familial relations poping up. This outfit (23and me.com) also lists potential drug reactions, diseases, traits. Unfortunately if one is US citizen they are banned from providing health, disease and drug information. AMA at work?

      3. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        Mike,

        “I have just had my genetic code done. Most interesting results with some interesting familial relations poping up. This outfit (23and me.com) also lists potential drug reactions, diseases, traits.”

        I, or rather my wife, is very familiar with this. She has been collecting samples from all relatives for years now and spent a fortune on this and for sure different interesting things pop up which seem to fit with personal experiences. Still it is all about strength of associations.

        Presently, now on my life time vacation, I have the luxury of being able to devour profoundly the “Molecular Biology of THE CELL” by Alberts et al. (2014 ed) in trying to understand what it is all about. Although I am obviously easily turned about I must say I am severely chocked about how admittedly little we know of what is going on.

        E.g., as just one minor example of what is constantly stunning me, on page 225 I read the following:

        “But it is uncertain how much of the conserved noncoding DNA can be accounted for in these ways, and the function of most of it remains a mystery. This enigma highlights how much more we need to learn about the fundamental biological mechanisms that operate in animals and other complex organisms, and its solution is certain to have profound consequences for medicine.”

        That is just one reason why I am 100 % against this GMO-stuff – ignorance!

      4. mikecawdery

        Dr Goran,

        You are absolutely right of course. The “medical” associations are of course “wobbly” to say the least but the “negatives” or “typicals” are nice to know about when known “nasties” are around.

        But it is more the familial associations which are interesting. For example, apparently way back, it seems that a very distant relative (several greats) was a slave owner in the West Indies and was a naughty boy. Result a connection in that area.

        Somehow I have a feeling that “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” and like you I am distinctly wary about GMOs.

    5. BobM

      My thoughts: High carb would kill me. My blood sugar would (actually, did) go through the roof, I’d develop insulin resistance and all its ill effects, etc. I’m on a very low carb diet and have tons of energy (since fat is coming out of my fat and not being locked in).

      It’d be interesting to hear what your low carb diet was like. What would a daily intake look like?

      Reply
    6. Anne

      Maybe you went low on sodium – that’s one of the things that can happen with LCHF. You need to increase your salt intake in that case.
      Anne

      Reply
    7. mikecawdery

      Which all goes to prove that humans differ in many ways and should be treated as individuals; not as a herd as the medical research establishment and Big Pharma would have us.

      Reply
  29. Ulfric Douglas

    Japanese in Japan : eating lots of fish and eating enough to NOT be malnourised = good for you.
    Japanese in USA : eating lots of sugar and wheat = bad for you.
    I’ll take a cheque, thanks.

    Reply
  30. ellifeld

    Thanks for another important cholesterol article Dr. K, even though you are a quack! I always post your articles on my facebook nutritional consulting page. Great information!

    Reply
  31. Jill Mitchell

    Thank you Dr Kendrick. Much appreciated. If high blood glucose can cause damage to feet, imagine what it is doing to every other cell in the body. I am more interested in my glucose level than cholesterol level. Merry Christmas everyone!

    Reply
  32. Dr Robin Willcourt

    Interesting that the recent WHO headline about ‘red meat causes cancer’ garnered attention in the Australia media: the missing headline from the same week was the BMJ paper, showing statins don’t work. This July announcement didn’t make the Aussie press either.

    I have polled over 200 people since the BMJ paper came out and asked, “What life extension do you think your doctor has in mind wne he/she says you need a statin to save your life?”
    The overwhelming response is 5-10 years. They are flabbergasted when I tell them it is, er, 3 to 4 days- and I explain that even is likely to be an exaggeration!

    Having over 2000 people switch to LCHF and following the blood work for up to 3 years (obviously I don’t have data on recent ‘switchers’) shows that cholesterol stays the same or goes up a little, triglycerides plummet, HDL rises as does LDL (in most cases). The oxidized LDL particle falls in most cases. When it doesn’t I look for other inflammarory conditions that I may have missed, esp periodontal disease.

    While most people feel so much better, women were slower to ‘like’ the change in the eating pattern. The love of fruit, bread, cake and biscuits, and their severe restriction was the usual source of this disaffection with the LCHF diet in these women. While they did lower their intake of carbohydrates, the fear of getting fat, or not losing weight, because of eating fat, left these women with an insufficient energy source LC, Low F) and they felt terrible. Coupled with the loss of sodium as the glycogen stores fell also contributed to this lethargy and malaise. Once we added more salt, more fat and less carbs, the system worked.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      Unbelievable!

      I just watched your breakfast talk on YouTube and was actually ‘turned over’.

      I thought I was “well read” on LCHF but I never came across your name.

      I feel ashamed 🙂

      In my present world view you are more than 100 % correct and on top you have got the same attitude as Malcolm towards the medical establishment and the influence of industry.

      It feels like it could be possible ‘turn over’ the world as well with people like you.

      A good hope for Christmas!

      Reply
      1. David Bailey

        I watched that video too, and I have to say, I think that although he made good points about cholesterol, statins, salt, and saturated fats, he then became a little hysterical.

        I mean the fact is that average life expectancy has risen substantially over recent decades – which you really would not think from watching that video.

        People were eating bread and other wheat products for a very long time, my mother made iced cakes when I was a kid, and she learned the technique from her mother! All lived into their seventies or beyond, and none of them suffered from diabetes!

        I am damn sure a lot of people eat or drink far too much sugar nowadays, but the problem is more one of excess – when I was a kid, a Mars bar would be cut into pieces and shared around, now a child will eat a whole one, and probably wash it down with a sugary drink!

        On his website he seems to blame the toxicity of wheat on the use of glyphosate too close to harvest time. I don’t know if that risk is real or not, but it hopefully doesn’t apply in Europe.

        I think that there is a huge danger in replacing the hysteria about saturated fat with new food hysterias. Indeed, Dr Willcourt would have us model our diet on one particular African tribe!

        I also think it is not helpful to depict everyone involved in this scientific mess as venal. I am sure that it is all too easy for people to be swept along with scientific orthodoxy and not realise the enormity of what has happened regarding dietary advice and statins.

        One of the things I really like about Malcolm’s approach, is that it is nuanced, and he recognises that the complete answer is not going to be simple. He doesn’t advocate extreme diets – except LCHF for people who are diabetic or tending that way.

      2. Flyinthesky

        David,

        I didn’t see it as hysterical more as frustration.

        THe essential to me is balance and moderation.

        Balance is a bit of a problem, if we rely on corporate interests to feed us, as a lot of people do, their brief is to make the product as profitable as possible. The clinical or sub clinical effects of this are of no concern to them. The only balance of concern to them is on a sheet. Everyone seems to trust them and assume they know what they’re doing.

        Moderation, one of the most powerful drivers is the ubiquitous insulin see saw, eating a lot makes you hungry. The only relief from that is to eat again. Quantities become exponential, If I eat x I feel better if I eat x times two I will feel more betterer, bad English I know but you get the drift.

        There is the unmeasurable possibilty that this is compounded by the body’s desire to eat could be somewhat fuelled by the bodys’ realisation that it is deficient in a particular nutrient leading it into desiring more food. Most modern industrially produced food is high in calorific value but contains near zero in nutritional value.

        You “need” a good breakfast to start the day, really, who’s telling us this? the people who make breakfast products of course.
        The last time I had breakfast I was at school, I’m mid sixties now and I’ve had some physically gruelling occupations.

        I eat once a day usually around 10pm and except in unusual circumstances nothing in between. Breakfast, I would vomit at the thought of it.

        Happy Chrismas to one and all.

        May your Malt cupboard always be bountyful.

      3. Stephen Rhodes

        Hi David,
        re: “I don’t know if that risk is real or not, but it hopefully doesn’t apply in Europe”

        That horse has already bolted, I am afraid, the farmer presenter on BBC’s ‘Countryfile’ was recently happily extolling the virtues of spraying the (un-named – can’t advertise on the BEEB) weed killer to squeeze the last iota of life into the seeds as the plant dies, and to make the seed separate more easily from the plant. Needless to say this would be a Monsanto Roundup type of glyphosate.

        I think I read that 80% of all wheat based products in the UK contain some amount of Glyphosate based herbicide. Totally safe for humans of course, not so much though for our biome and some bacteria in it that produce essential amino acids and suppress disease causing ‘bad’ bacteria.

      4. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        David,

        If I had not been as strong adherent to the LCHF way of living as I am I think I would have agreed with you about Dr Willcourt and his firm stand in this talk.

        My own stand here is simply that you shouldn’t go to ‘my’ extreme if you are not seriously ill or care about your future.

        My own thoughts around this and about insulin sensitivity is with Dr. Kraft that if you have a high insulin response still two hours after a standard carb load test you are in a vulnerable metabolic position though this doesn’t seem to be any standard test easy to get in our ‘healthcare’ system. And a standard GP wouldn’t have the faintest idea of what you are talking about when asking for such a test.

        The total ignorance among GP’s about the fundamental mechanisms involved i a disease which is carried soon by about 500 million people is astounding.

        What a profitable market of ignorance!

      5. Flyinthesky

        As an aside I’m watching a documentary on Christmas through the decades, The essential gleaned form this is in the fifties the food spend was in the order of 33% of income, the modern suggestion is somewhere in the order of 12%. We can afford over twice as much now but that is in quantity not quality. Get your chicken vol au vents here 10 for a pound! Almost certainly of no nutritional value…….at all.

      6. David Bailey

        Goran and Flyinthesky,

        Don’t forget that people have repeatedly pointed out on this blog that some tribes and communities live on a very high carbohydrate diet, and indeed bread has been a staple food long before the diabetes epidemic.

        I am not saying that anything against LCHF diets for those that have T2D (and possibly cancer), but trying to persuade everyone to eat like that seems unnecessary. Part of the problem with the hysteria against saturated fat and salt has been just that – the hysteria. This, I suppose persuaded dietitians that keeping SF low was more important than the danger of feeding diabetics food that would resolve into glucose!

        I don’t like the thought of chemicals being applied to crops shortly before harvesting, but I guess that is a separate point. Dr Wilcourt was not suggesting we eat organic bread, but no bread at all!

        I am also in my mid sixties, and I would feel greatly deprived without breakfast – I think people vary in this respect.

        We are, of course, omnivores – we have evolved to eat a range of foods.

        The essence of the problem is that people have been cajoled into changing from the diet they would naturally eat, into one that was supposedly more healthy but was actually less so! Those who have T2D are cajoled with ever greater force. This, to me is a huge scandal (together with the statin scandal that brought me here), and I would be sorry to see this scandal obscured by becoming simply yet another extreme diet.

    2. Kathy S

      The only way – only way, I’ve ever been able to loose weight is to eat like a diabetic which is essentially the LCHF diet. I can exercise till the cows come home but will not loose but a pound or two.

      Reply
      1. Stephen T

        Kathy, the exercise to lose weight theory is strongly promoted by the likes of Coca Cola because it’s then our fault if we’re fat and not their sugar-laden junk that they spend millions promoting. I’ve exercised all my life and it has real benefits but weight loss isn’t one of them. Gary Taubes has said this repeatedly.

      2. Kathy S

        Thanks Stephen. Several years ago when I had really pushed my exercise routine trying to loose, I toned up nicely and felt great but no real weight loss – until I looked closely at what I was eating and started carving out the carbs – then bam! Lost 18 pounds!!

    3. mikecawdery

      That paper was most interesting. I downloaded Table 1 into a spread sheet and looked at the average NNT of the primary prevention papers. An NNT of 785 p.a. and an individual probability of NO BENEFIT p = 0.999 which is nigh on certainty. The NNT p.a for secondary prevention was 203 with p (no benefit) = 0.995.

      I was also intrigued to find the CI limits for primary prevention were −5 and 19 days and −10 and 27 for secondary prevention.

      Notably they do not mention how one spends these saved days – days spent dying slowly with cancer, COPD, Alzheimer’s etc in a semi-coma filled with opiods or worse, or “The Liverpool Care Pathway” My choice is a massive, fatal heart attack.

      Reply
    4. mikecawdery

      Dr Willcourt
      Just watched your youtube presentation. Thank you. I just wonder how you manage to keep it going. After that lady Dr who got slammed down in Australia (Debassi??) on her programme I wonder. looking forward to visiting your website

      Reply
  33. meagle

    Hi Malcolm, many thanks for the very relevant email and thanks for your courage. (I do hope its not the whale meat that is improving the Japanese statistics!)

    Have a lovely Christmas Kind regards

    Mark Eagle Behavioural Optometrist Irlen Diagnostician and Cellfield Clinic Director 06 876 4888 http://www.visionlink.co.nz

    ©¿©¬ ©¿©¬ ©¿©¬ ©¿©¬ ©¿©¬ ©¿©¬

    Reply
  34. Sarah

    In response to the query about getting rid of excess calcium, David Wolfe (known for his raw vegan website, interestingly) mentioned briefly that papaya can eat away at calcium deposits. He was referring to deposits in the joints, but it stands to reason it could have the same effect elsewhere. I’ve never been able to verify it through other sources, but have found what appears to be a good quality papaya supplement:
    http://www.iherb.com/Royal-Tropics-The-Original-Green-Papaya-Digestive-Aid-150-Capsules/16492?CAWELAID=120224250000020426&gclid=Cj0KEQiA496zBRDoi5OY3p2xmaUBEiQArLNnK9X5HYvxCGQsa6T8c6Knuh6EHpt4RpGUd4Vz3Tblx84aAjjz8P8HAQ
    I suppose one could eat a lot of fresh papaya but it would certainly mean loving the stuff!

    Reply
  35. Michael

    Yes, I wondered, as several others did, about calcium – isn’t the best predictor of CVD a calcium heartscan score? (And what has that to do with cholesterol?)

    And about vitamin K2 and the Japanese consumption fo natto. So I tried to find the figures. The best I could find was:

    “Japanese annual /per capita/ consumption of natto has risen steadily, from a little less than 0.4kg in 1965 to 0.6kg in about 1968, to 0.8kg in 1988”

    https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=53cqYOK4l98C&pg=PA438&lpg=PA438&dq=japan+annual+consumption+natto&source=bl&ots=s5kM_-BRs5&sig=jcDsl2TJnYdxw-zAyJ3-r3CG9yE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiJjYr26e7JAhWFOBQKHcmKApIQ6AEIPzAE#v=onepage&q=japan%20annual%20consumption%20natto&f=false

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Presumably this increase in natto intake would also increase the intake of nattokinase which as a fibrinolytic would reduce the incidence of blocked arteries thus affecting the incidence of CHD and ischaemic stroke but possibly increasing haemorhagic stroke.

      May be we should all be taking supplemental natto- or other fibrinolytic kinases.

      Reply
    1. Socratic Dog

      Worth mentioning, if a little politically incorrect, it’s a racially homogenous environment. Which makes for low stress. Oh dear, did I just offend someone?

      Reply
  36. Don MacG

    The article below, by respected medical journal, The Daily Mail, quotes a doctor saying
    “‘Familial hypercholesterolemia is often called a hidden killer,’ says Professor Weissberg. ‘The job we face now is to raise awareness and ensure that this is the last generation where families are left at high risk of early heart attacks.'”

    Surely Professor Weissberg must have some data backing up his claim ?

    There must be some basis for such clear, bold statements other than guesswork, one would assume/hope/imagine ?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3369582/How-Christmas-blowout-heart-attack-big-festive-meal-reveal-heart-problems-didn-t-know-terrifying-consequences.html

    Reply
    1. Stephen T

      Don, a rational person would assume there’s evidence, but one of the main points I took from Dr Kendrick’s book Doctoring Data is that there’s no evidence to support many treatments. Where’s the evidence to support blood-pressure medication or coronary bypass surgery? What evidence did they need to inflict the low-fat diet on us? How much ‘evidence’s is from the drug industry and how reliable have they proved to be?

      By the way, Doctoring Data is an excellent read. I hesitated about buying it because I wondered if I’d be able to follow the arguments with my complete lack of medical training. I shouldn’t have worried. It’s well written and fascinating. Horrifying too.

      Reply
    2. Frederica Huxley

      The Daily Mail article is similar to others which have been carefully seeded in mainstream media in the past 3-4 weeks – I started noticing them just after Dr K’s article on the new wonder drugs to supercede statins!

      Reply
    3. mikecawdery

      After the affair of Heart-UK promoting AMGEN’s new wonder drug PCSK9 (Dr Kendrick’s last blog) I am not surprised at Prof. Weissburg’s contribution. No doubt AMGEN is a financial supporter of BHF and the promotion of drugs is a quid pro quo. I wonder what the Charities Commission thinks of charities promoting and advertising commercial drugs on behalf of Commercial Companies.

      Reply
  37. BobM

    This doesn’t look good:

    “How to calculate risk

    The task force endorsed usage of an online calculator available through the American Heart Association’s web site.

    Doctors plug in information about the patient’s age, sex, race and other health conditions in addition to the level of LDL cholesterol, the so-called bad kind. Recent research shows the combination of factors is particularly important — that someone who might not have qualified for statins on the basis of an LDL level alone could benefit if other factors raise their overall risk.”

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/who-should-take-cholesterol-cutting-statins-new-advice/

    I went to this website:

    http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/HeartAttackToolsResources/Heart-Attack-Risk-Assessment_UCM_303944_Article.jsp#.VnmMFVKqawk

    And entered my data. I get a risk of 6%, less than the 7.5% necessary to be put on statins. However, I think the chances that this calculator will actually calculate a percentage that’s anywhere close to reality are zero.

    What would be an interesting study is to get 1,000 people to put their data into this calculator and follow them (without statins) for 10 years to see what happens. I predict a complete failure of this risk calculator.

    Reply
  38. Guy Flaneur

    Not fair picking out Japan unless you distinguish between Ischemic and Hemorrhagic Stroke. The Japanese suffered a high rate of hemorrhagic stroke because their cholesterol levels were too low to maintain the integrity of cerebral arteries. So if they increase their levels moderately, it will decrease their usual incidence of stroke without causing our favorite kind of stroke.

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Not fair picking out Japan

      Why not? The prostanists promote the use of statins with wonderful claims of efficacy which, if the HPS is taken as an example, claims a 17% efficacy over 5 years in “saving” lives but in reality is a mere 1.5%. Claims of “treat 3 million people and SAVE 10,000″ are promoted in the media. Wait a moment that reduces to 1 life saved by treating 300 every year. Wow! How wonderful. But turn it upside down; this means 299 will NOT benefit but will be exposed to adverse reactions which, depending on author, can be anything from 50% down. Thus the probability of NO BENEFIT to an individual is 299/300 which, rounded to two decimal places is 1.00 – near certainty.

      The pro-statinists also use the Hazard Ratio to inflate their claims. HRs are useful for graphically displaying results but what are they in fact. They are comparing the differences between two ratios; a great way of massively inflating otherwise trivial benefits.

      Incidentally, David Evans has written three books on cholesterol with a massive list of “black swan” reports repudiating the damaging effects of cholesterol.

      Recently, I found out that many experts are simply unconcerned about the individual patient. They are too bemused by all the “wonderful” HRs spewed about in research reports hiding the true data relating to the true benefits and risks.

      These days the medical research establishment has forgotten that patients are individuals, not a herd, and that they should abide by the principle of “first do no harm”.

      Reply
  39. Gretchen

    I like it when people challenge the current dogma, which is why I read this blog. There is good evidence that high cholesterol levels don’t cause heart disease. But I was wondering about familial hypercholesterolemia, in which the levels are *extremely* high starting in childhood, and the consensus is that it contributes to mortality in young people.

    However, the consensus is also that high cholesterol contributes to mortality in older people, and there’s now evidence that this is not true. So I was wondering if there was also evidence that the dogma about FH was also not true. And as I don’t have access to full text of articles on research in this topic, I asked what Dr Kendrick’s opinion of this was.

    He could have said, “I discussed this on page 342 of my book” if that were true. Or “The early studies showing this were flawed because . . . ”

    Instead, he challenged me to prove that FH *did* cause premature mortality. I explained that I don’t have full text access to a lot of the literature. I did find one paper whose abstract claimed that it caused extremely increased mortality, but I couldn’t read the full text to see if methods etc. were faulty. So I was hoping for analysis by someone who was more familiar with the literature.

    Dr. Kendrick never responded to that.

    I find this discouraging. I’m trying to learn the truth, and I can’t if people challenging the dogma just keep repeating their own dogma and don’t respond when questioned.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Gretchen. One paper does not constitue evidence. There are two forms of FH. One, homozygous. Two, heterozygous. The evidence in this area is complex. One fact is clear. People with heterozygous FH live as long – if not longer – than ‘normal’ people. Those with homozygous FH do die young of CHD. However, research done shows that their pathology is entirely different to ‘normal’ atherosclerosis.

      Only one unpublished study has ever looked at a non-baised sample of people with and without heterozygous FH. Done by the European Atherosclerosis Research Society. It found that students with FH were no more likely to have first degree relative with a history of premature CHD.

      Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Interested to see it. Post the the full reference and then I and any one else who is interested can download it from Pubmed. I assume that it is “Open Access” or have you paid for it?

      Reply
  40. BobM

    Does anyone know what this person is talking about in terms of studies?

    “There has been some debate in some quarters that we shouldn’t use statins for primary prevention because they don’t reduce total mortality,” he said. “That argument is dead because this is now the third systematic review in a row that showed statins reduce total mortality in addition to all the other things. If that’s your yardstick for something we should be doing in primary prevention, that has been met. That debate needs to end.”

    http://www.thetimesgazette.com/government-panel-recommends-preventive-statin-use-by-adults-40-and-over/10292/

    I did not realize there was one “systematic review” showing total mortality decreased for primary prevention, let alone three. (I assume all done by people employed by the statin manufacturers?) Which “systematic reviews” might these be?

    Reply
    1. RonC

      Others may have a better response, but this is a link to a review that is possibly relevant:

      http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/814960#vp_1

      Here is a snippet:
      The clinical evidence synopsis, by Dr Fiona Taylor (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) and colleagues, sums up their 2013 Cochrane meta-analysis that updated a 2011 meta-analysis reviewing the evidence on statin use in primary prevention[3]. Taylor et al’s analysis included 18 trials conducted between 1994 and 2008 and published between 2011 and 2013, enrolling almost 57 000 patients. Compared with placebo, statins reduced LDL by 39 mg/dL, all-cause mortality by 14%, fatal and nonfatal CVD by 22%, coronary heart disease by 27%, stroke by 22%, and coronary revascularization by 38%. Risk of cancer, myalgia, rhabdomyolysis, liver-enzyme elevations, renal dysfunction, or arthritis were no different between the patients taking statins and those on placebo, nor was drug discontinuation. An increased risk of diabetes with statins was seen “in one of the two trials reporting this outcome.”

      There is also a comment later on in the review on the results above that has some push back. I’m hoping that someone here can help unpick it all for us.

      Reply
      1. David Bailey

        “Risk of cancer, myalgia, rhabdomyolysis, liver-enzyme elevations, renal dysfunction, or arthritis were no different between the patients taking statins and those on placebo, nor was drug discontinuation.”

        As regards myalgia, this comment from the paper is borderline insane. After I recovered from simvastatin, I discussed my experience with others of about my age. I was amazed how many had been prescribed statins and then discarded them because of muscle problems, and general limb/back pain.

      2. Zahc

        RonC, there is nothing new to unpick, it’s the same flawed trials we’ve seen before, and Dr. Kendrick has already spoken about many of these issues. Regardless, here are some published papers you might find useful, each of which speaks about the trials included in the latest analysis BobM was referring to:

        Do statins have a role in primary prevention? An update. Therapeutics Letter 2010;77:1–2 Available: http://www.ti.ubc.ca/letter77

        Will new statin guidelines lead to overtreatment? David H Newman and Rita F Redberg Clinical Lipidology, Vol. 9, No. 2 , Pages 125-128 (doi: 10.2217/clp.14.9)

        Prasad V. Statins, primary prevention, and overall mortality. Ann Intern Med. 2014;160(12):867-9.

        Kristensen, Malene Lopez, Palle Mark Christensen, and Jesper Hallas. “The effect of statins on average survival in randomised trials, an analysis of end point postponement.” BMJ Open 5.9 (2015): e007118.

        De Lorgeril, Michel, et al. “Recent findings on the health effects of omega-3 fatty acids and statins, and their interactions: do statins inhibit omega-3?.” BMC medicine 11.1 (2013): 5.

        De lorgeril M, Hamazaki T, Kostucki W, et al. Is the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs for the prevention of cardiovascular complications in type 2 diabetics evidence-based? A systematic review. Rev Recent Clin Trials. 2012;7(2):150-7.

        Towards a Paradigm Shift in Cholesterol Treatment. A Re-examination of the Cholesterol Issue in Japan: Abstracts. Ann Nutr Metab. 2015;66 Suppl 4:1-116.

        Dubroff R, De lorgeril M. Cholesterol confusion and statin controversy. World J Cardiol. 2015;7(7):404-9.

      3. John U

        Cleary relative risk numbers are being quoted. Not useful. The other link showed an absolute risk of -.41% for all cause mortality and an nnt of 244. Not impressive in view of the side efffect risk.

      4. mikecawdery

        Zahc

        How right you are but the whole point is that if the “untruth” is repeated often enough it is believed as the truth. It is a ploy that the is frequently used and unfortunately with considerable success; vide the cholesterol’s guru and the 299/300ths of statin takers that will not benefit and whose life is extended by a mere 4.2 days (BMJ Open 5.9 (2015): e007118.)

        Many thanks for the list of references. Some new ones for me.

      5. mikecawdery

        See my comment below. The percentages you cite are purely relative. But they give the game away with their statement that 18 per 1000 would avoid a serious cardiac event over a period of 5 years. This is a minuscule efficacy rate (0.36% overall) inflated to the 20+% for various sub-conditions by using relative rates. They never, ever use the probability of benefit to the individual patient. I imagine that similar tactics were used in the 18th and 19th centuries to flog the snake oil products of the day.

  41. Pingback: Tedenski pregled #33

  42. mikecawdery

    Today on the news there is a paper on increasing the advice on BP to include even more individuals on more intensive treatment. As usual the actual reference was not published but I did find one paper on the subject..
    http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(14)61212-5/abstract

    Again, as is common with The Lancet the paper can be bought for $31.50 – not open access.
    From what I can gather from the abstract the increased intensity regimen(s?) had a NNT of some 120 for 3.8 years average duration.. or a probability 0.99 for NO BENEFIT

    Also Adverse Reactions were summarily dismissed but the increased numbers of patients suffering from the increased “intensive” (0.3% of half (??) the total Number of patients), Calculations still in progress but A lesson in how to confuse and deceive

    A lesson in how to confuse and deceive

    Reply
  43. Alcon

    Hi dr. Kendrick
    Thank you for the most precious Christmas gift this year. Enjoy your Christmas I am sure you need it.
    Alcon

    Reply
  44. Colin Cartwright

    Hi Malcolm

    We now have a Professor Kazem Rahini, an Oxford Don, saying that, and I quote: ‘The same approach used for statins should be adopted for blood pressure drugs…about 17 million people could be eligible’

    I wonder who pays his wages?

    In your book you state that if anybody is looking for financial assistance for research that does not support the validity of statin use, they don’t get it.

    The same thing happens if you are looking to disprove the claims of those who love ‘Global Warming’. Strange that nobody talks about Global Cooling. The Global Warmers recently arranged a conference just outside Chicago. It had to be cancelled because the place was covered in 10 feet of snow.

    All the best to you and yours for the new year and please, if you have to bang your head against a brick wall, then just make sure you knock down the bloody thing.

    Colin

    0161 794 1948

    PS Doctoring Data has arrived.

    Reply
    1. David Bailey

      My feeling is that quite a lot of areas of science have been infected by a malaise of group think. Global Warming is most certainly one example. We get told ponderously that such and such a year was the third hottest ever (or whatever), and nobody mentions that the variation is utterly buried in the noise. Even school kids are taught not to report results to more significant figures than is justified – yet it is good enough to try to push billions of pounds of wasteful changes to our power system!

      I think the only thing that might save science would be if a few of these scandals become accepted public knowledge – impossible to cover up. The statin scandal might be a good one – the typical statin NNT, and the trivial life extension statins offer. The scandal of people trapped in statin-induced myalgia might just start the ball rolling.

      Reply
    1. John U

      Since there is a paywall to see more than the abstract, can any one confirm what type of study was undertaken? The abstract says ” It is concluded that blood cholesterol influences the development of stroke above and beyond the influence of blood pressure.” The word “infuences” suggests that it might be causal. Is this statement justified?

      Reply
      1. Stephen T

        John, when they don’t have have any evidence they resort to ‘influences’. If they had evidence, they’d say so.

    2. mikecawdery

      Dr Willcourt

      Many thanks for the reference but as John U says the details are unavailable, and from experience, abstracts sometimes do not reflect the actual content.

      Reply
  45. Stephen T

    My brother told me on Christmas Day that he’d stopped taking statins. It’s taken a year of debate with him (“My doctor must know best.”). He linked his worsening memory to statins after I’d talked to him about that side effect. His memory has since improved. One small step forward. He’s now berating me for not publicising this more!

    Reply
  46. Martin Kemp

    Stephen T
    10/10 for perseverance on your part, “The doctor knows best” attitude is almost religion-like in its hold over otherwise sensible people. Sadly your brother’s deliverance from the dreaded statins will become another anecdote to be dismissed by the “church” of modern medicine / big pharma. Well done you, and well done your brother…one less victim.

    Reply
  47. Beyent

    In his book, “The Great Cholesterol Con”, Dr. Kendrick mentions bad stress and refers to the ‘dysfunctional HPA axis’. Let’s assume that there are persons for whom the test results seem to rule out any reason for having CHD other than HPA axis dysfunction. Furthermore, let’s assume that these persons (all of whom have had stents inserted) seem to have had a lot of bad stress in the past and still have a lot of bad stress at present.

    Can anyone tell me if there are any studies which set out what the persons mentioned in the preceding paragraph should do. That is, are there any studies which show (a) the type of diet, (b) the type and amount of exercise, (c) the type of meditation or other stress-reduction therapy and/or (d) the type or kind of stress-reduction drugs that these persons should be following?

    Reply
    1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      “Can anyone tell me if there are any studies which set out what the persons mentioned in the preceding paragraph should do. That is, are there any studies which show (a) the type of diet, (b) the type and amount of exercise, (c) the type of meditation or other stress-reduction therapy and/or (d) the type or kind of stress-reduction drugs that these persons should be following?”

      I think this summarises what it is all about – the complexity involved.

      The fact of the stunning complexity of our physiology is the ‘weak’ part of the ‘evidence based, one line explanation, medicine’ and the strong part of the alternative medicine which basically rejects most of the pharmacological drugs and instead takes a holistic approach to most deceases in our modern society.

      In this respect I find Dr. Mercola and his ‘business’ very interesting which doesn’t mean that I subscribe to whatever he claims. The same goes for another of my favourites, the double Nobel prize winner Linus Pauling, who has been nominated the “biggest quack” ever by the medical establishment. If you are interested in alternatives these “guys” give you a lot of “food for thought”. Bottom line for me is here: ” Why not first try alternatives which are documented not harmful.” This is in addition the Hippocratic oath on which our GP’s must swear leaving school but soon seem to forget very soon.

      As a sideline here I am keen to give the balance between the sympathetic and the para-sympathetic part of the autonomous nervous system deep thoughts. Dr. Knut Sroka’s paper from 1993 “On the genesis of myocardial ischemia” (since you asked for references) provided this kind of food to me.

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        Dr Goran,

        The allopathic medical establishment has an odd interpretation of deficiency conditions as step functions. If one has a “clinically observable disease” one is deficient, if no disease then one is sufficient. Many examples: coeliac disease – gluten intolerance; rickets – Vitamin D; pellagra – Vit B; scurvy – Vit C etc., etc.

        Vitamin C is particularly interesting. The human, the guinea pig and some monkeys have no means of metabolizing Vit C. Most other mammals can metabolize their own Vit C. For instance, the dog when suffering from an infection can up production to ~10 g/day. No wonder Linus Pauling is considered a quack by allopathic medicine (like their attitude to Vitamin D).

        That all deficiencies are basically distributions is simply ignored like selenium deficiency which in China causes heart disease, is vital for anti-oxidants (GPX) and other seleno-proteins. Nutritional diseases are ignored by allopathic medicine – no snake oil products available to treat them so ignore.

        Dr James LeFanu wrote a fine book “The Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine”. It is very insightful, particularly w.r.t. to the decline. Well worth reading

      2. Soul

        A few days ago I began reading a book on Linus Pauling’s vitamin C work with cancer. I had bought the book awhile ago and am finally getting around to reading it. I always wanted to learn about Paulings work so glad I’m going to do so. I honesty chuckled at some of the beginning commentary, setting the stage for the book. It talked about how the researchers mentioned in the book were looking to strengthen cellular bonds, thought vitamin C could help accomplish that, and with that hoped to prevent and fight cancer. The opening had me thinking of Dr. Mercola and some of his EZ water writings, which I enjoyed.

        I know you are a big advocate for low carb eating. If you have not seen it before, thought this medication might be of interesting. It is called 3-Bromopyruvate. It reportedly works in a similar manner as dietary measures – the theory of lowering ones blood sugar levels in order to fight cancer. I guess the substance has had very good success in curing pet scan detected cancer in animals. The few humans that have used it have seen some success fighting cancer, experiencing few side effects.

        A problem mentioned often with 3-Bromopyruvate is its good success and inexpensive price. Enthusiasts say it could work to well. As this article mentions it is likely that cancer centers will avoid using it due to this. Don’t know about that as I did see one hospital is now offering 3Bp to patients. But possibly true, as some cancer centers are reportedly owned by firms that manufacture chemo agents. As the article says it might come down to general practitioners and individuals to use it if the substances turns out to work well against human cancers. Hard to say of course and wish I new more about, but looked promising so thought to pass along.

        This is an article about 3-Bp from a health sight, which also has references to large American newspaper articles on the substance.

        http://www.resveratrolnews.com/cancer-cured-again/1077/

      3. mikecawdery

        Soul

        This is an interesting article:

        http://www.odt.co.nz/print/126632

        http://www.3news.co.nz/Living-Proof-Vitamin-C—Miracle-Cure/tabid/371/articleID/171328/default.aspx Unfortunately this no longer exists but
        this does
        http://sciblogs.co.nz/griffins-gadgets/2010/08/20/sins-of-omission-in-60-minutes-miracle-story/

        Alan Smith’s doctors wanted to turn of life support but family objected and went to court and won.
        Vitamin C therapy (massive I/V) started. Short story – Alan Smith now going about his business.
        in good health.

        Well worth reading – no such miracles with statins.

        In the old days (1940s) this would have lead to full research but now it is just called “quackery”

      4. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        Mike, Soul,

        You seem both to be “well read” about alternatives.

        I must apologise for my inherent ignorance of the English language, being second to my own Swedish one, and then did not observe that I used the word deceases but actually meant diseases although the allopathic approach on the latter seems to lead to the former.

        What alternative medicine is all about is to me that it challenges the dogmatic religion that permeates the medical establishment of today and historically.

        By coincidence I just now read, during the “Holy Christmas”, a book “The God Delusion”, by Richard Dawkins, and realise how difficult it is to break through the religious dogmas in our society.

      5. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        Talking vitamin C, I am currently running on 6 grams sipping it through the day. It is for precaution purposes and it does not cost very much – I am buying it by the kilo as ascorbic acid.

        You never know – it can help to prevent something and it doesn’t hurt 🙂

      6. Soul

        Thanks David for the information. I read that book! it’s where I first heard of 3-Bp. Good read, beginning with Otto Warburg’s cancer ideas. I enjoyed it greatly. I know a good number of low carb high fat followers hold high hopes that limiting carbs and sugars will lessen the chances of developing cancers. I agree with that idea too. Hopefully 3-BP can be another option that can be taken to accomplish that for us. I suspect it will not just happen though.

        Something positive that I saw on 3-BP is that as of this year one hospital is now offering it for cancer patients. I’m hoping it works for many of course, and if so it gains attention and traction. The hospital with their mention on 3-BP’s use, with a few patient cases, can be seen here ~

        http://www.dayspringcancerclinic.com/3-bromopyruvate-and-dayspring-cancer-clinic/

      7. Soul

        When I tested positive for a heart calcium score I began following a heart healthy diet plan I read about. The plan has me avoiding grains, taking vitamin D3 aiming for a testing level between 50 to 60 ng/ml, kelp tablets, plus a few other supplements, and while I have not taken vitamin C tablets, as it wasn’t part of the diet plan, I began eating a good amount of vitamin C rich foods on purpose. I figured it could be helpful.

      8. mikecawdery

        Soul

        A book by Dr Tom Seyfried, “Cancer as a Metabolic Disease” (raised on this blog by Dr Sjöberg some time ago) and Christofferson, “Tripping Over the Truth: The Metabolic Theory of Cancer” , a more lay oriented book go into details of the connections etc.

      9. Soul

        Thanks Mike for the information. I seem to have missed your writings to me! Apologize about that. It’s been a busy last few days with relatives in town for the holidays. I’m afraid I’m running on fumes and in need of a vacation.

    2. mikecawdery

      Just done some further research. The claim that there was “no evidence” of Vit C being given in large I/V doses is wrong (it has been used in cancer) and Dr F. Klenner did a lot of research on high dose Vitamin C on viruses in the 70s. But of course the big databases do not go back that far
      http://www.seanet.com/~alexs/ascorbate/194x/klenner-fr-southern_med_surg-1949-v111-n7-p209.htm

      Also as I pointed out earlier, dogs when infected (virus bacteria) massively increase their Vit C production. Why? May I suggest that it is not just for fun.

      Reply
  48. mikecawdery

    Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD004816. DOI:
    10.1002/14651858.CD004816.pub5.
    A quote from the plain English summary:
    Of 1000 people treated with a statin for five years, 18 would avoid a major CVD event which compares well with other treatments used for preventing cardiovascular disease. Taking statins did not increase the risk of serious adverse effects such as cancer. Statins are likely to be cost-effective in primary prevention

    18/1000/ 5 years! Wow! that is 3.6/1000/p.a. = an NNT of 278 or a probability of NO BENEFIT p = 0.996 rounded to 2 decimal places – 1.00 or near certainty. This is shotgun therapy at its worst.. Incidentally, the propability of death for all is 1.00……..

    18[per 10000 per 5 years] would avoid a major CVD event which compares well with other treatments used for preventing cardiovascular disease.
    Does not say much for the other treatments or indeed of the accuracy of diagnosis by risk.

    Much noise/chatter about very little

    And what about muscle damage including cardiac muscle damage (CHF), neuropathy, memory loss, P\Parkinson;s, ALS and Alzheimer’s.

    Just demonstrates the total lack of concern for the individual patient and the harms caused by statins. If statins “save” lives then individuals will die of something else, probably more unpleasant because from conception DEATH IS A CERTAINTY!

    Taking statins did not increase the risk of serious adverse effects such as cancer. Statins are likely to be cost-effective in primary prevention.

    First, what proportion of the studies before 2007 when a stricter control on studies were introduced?

    Second, what about muscle damage including cardiac muscle damage (CHF), neuropathy, memory loss, P\Parkinson;s, ALS and Alzheimer’s.

    Just demonstrates the total lack of concern for the individual patient and the harms caused by statins. If statins “save” lives then individuals will die of something else, probably more unpleasant because from conception DEATH IS A CERTAINTY!
    Apart from this it is clear from the HPS study that 5 TIMES more die despite therapy than are saved.

    Regretfully, it seems to me that a great deal of research goes into inflating minuscule efficacy benefits. Large RCTs then generate innumerable reviews and meta-analyses designed to publicize and emphasize the inflated but still minuscule efficacy rates.

    Reply
    1. Fratel

      “18[per 10000 per 5 years] would avoid a major CVD event which compares well with other treatments used for preventing cardiovascular disease.”

      Assuming the studies providing the figures aren’t tainted py spin, manipulation , fraud.
      Notwithstanding the unpublished studies that may exist in which case they are likely negative.

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        Fratel

        Assuming the studies providing the figures aren’t tainted py spin, manipulation , fraud.
        Notwithstanding the unpublished studies that may exist in which case they are likely negative.

        And as Dr Ioannidis points out In his paper Ioannidis JPA (2005) Why most published
        research findings are false. PLoS Med 2(8): e124. This was the most downloaded paper ever. But like the paper that showed up Poldermans, it was never challenged – just totally ignored by the medical establishment.

  49. Stephen T

    Soul, thank you for the interesting article on 3-BP. I’d never heard of it before, but it looks like drug companies are suppressing it. If so, it might be far an even bigger scandal than statins.

    Reply
    1. Soul

      Stephen T – Indeed, and agree for various reasons it does have the smell of scandal to it! Then again from what I’ve been reading lately, being scandalous in the health care industry seems to be the norm. Hopefully 3-Bp will be looked into to see if it works in humans. As inexpensive and easy to obtain as it is, I’m guessing there are a number of people that would like to see it disappear and go away.

      Reply
  50. Ken Macdonald

    very interesting, I will forward this to my brother now on statins. I do have a question though, did they look at iodine. AFAIK Japan is one of the few populations that are NOT iodine deficient.

    Reply
  51. Ken Macdonald

    very interesting, I will send this on to my brother who is, as far as I know, on statins for high chloresterol. (I was too but stopped taking them when I discovered their uselessness and damaging affects) I was wondering if there is anything in the data that looks at iodine? My understanding is that japan is one of the few nations to NOT be deficient in iodine.

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Ken,

      A very interesting comment.

      My father, a PhC, always considered iodine a very important supplement. Many decades ago we were brought up on a few drops of Lugol’s iodine in water every day. Very difficult to get these days.

      Reply
      1. Ken Macdonald

        My naturopath started me off with 2 drops per day. I am looking at a detox iodine protocol that involves up to 30 drops per day, but has to include seasalt for bromide detox, and other supplementation (http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/2013/12/29/companion-nutrients-the-key-to-iodine-protocol/)
        considering iodine is important for the thyroid hormones, and every cell has receptors (which can also accept bromide, flouride, cholride) iodine deficiency can be a concern, in addition to its protection from radioactive iodine. A good source: http://iodineresearch.com/research.html

  52. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

    Nothing new under the sun!

    As Malcolm (?) I have a weakness for philosophy and have now, as I have mentioned, the luxury of being on my final lifetime vacation and I do now enjoy this by reading the complete works of Plato.

    Being halfway in these works I now, in the Socratic dialog “Lesser Hippias”, read the eternal truth of Homo Sapiens that the only people who can really be liars in a specific discipline are those with enough knowledge in this discipline.

    Hey, hey!

    What about Big Pharma is my immediate association over 2500 years!

    So

    A Happy New Year

    to all of you who have the power of resisting all the lies in medicine.

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Dr Goran,

      A very happy New Year too you and your family.

      I genuinely love to see your comments. Your description of Homo sapiens is lovely but excludes a large section of humanity who believe the lies. They panic over trivia but ignore major causes of death – Dr B. Starbridge JAMA, July 26, 2000—Vol 284, No. 4 483.

      Reply
      1. David Bailey

        Though to be fair, can you blame them? For decades they were cajoled to reduce their intake of saturated fats, but many of them resisted. Now it seems they were right!

        Perhaps we should be less inclined to fight our bodies’ preferences!

    2. David Bailey

      “Being halfway in these works I now, in the Socratic dialog “Lesser Hippias”, read the eternal truth of Homo Sapiens that the only people who can really be liars in a specific discipline are those with enough knowledge in this discipline. ”

      What an absolutely brilliant quote!
      Mind you, it doesn’t half help the lies to be accepted, if the media stop doing their job. They could break open the statin question (to name but one) incredibly easily – just insist that anyone on either side of a debate should submit to questioning by someone who knew where the dirt is buried!

      I guess Plato wasn’t much concerned with the media!

      Reply
  53. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

    Having read through the “Lesser Hippias” dialog it seems now to be an open question if a knowledgeable and honoured entity, like the Big Pharma, when committing a criminal act with a drug is a better ‘entity’ than an innocent GP doing the same thing with the same drug – read statins here.

    Reply
  54. Dr Robin Willcourt

    Hope this helps:
    From Circulation, Japanese persons living in Japan, who had an average intake of 16 g/day of saturated fat and 40 g/day animal proteins, had a 3–fold higher incidence of hemorrhagic stroke than Japanese persons living in Honolulu, who consumed a mean of 40 g/day saturated fat and 71 g/day animal proteins. The groups had similar blood pressure levels. Low intake of saturated fat and animal protein was associated with an increased risk of intraparenchymal hemorrhage, which may help to explain the high rate of this stroke subtype in Asian countries. The increased risk with low intake of saturated fat and trans unsaturated fat is compatible with the reported association between low serum total cholesterol and risk.
    Prospective Study of Fat and Protein Intake and Risk of Intraparenchymal Hemorrhage in Women; Hiroyasu Iso, MD; Meir J. Stampfer, MD; et al Circulation. 2001;103:856–863, doi:10.1161/01.CIR.103.6.856
    http://bit.ly/1Md5VvT

    Reply
    1. JanB

      Oh, crumbs – if it doesn’t get you one way it’ll get you another.
      Happy New Year, everyone and keep eating the butter.

      Reply
    2. mikecawdery

      Dr Willcourt,

      Thanks for the report – will take some digesting but surely on a quick look the effects are marginal but beneficial in terms of the overall use of Omega3 – something that has been known for some time. I wonder if an RCT Omega3 v, statins was run which would come out better; probably we will never see such a trial – Big Pharma would never take the risk of losing ,

      Reply
    3. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      Thank you for the reference to this analysis of The Nurses’ Health Study which confirms ‘everything I believe in’ today about the LCHF way of living especially after now having devoured on our present huge mutton steak (was really difficult to get into our largest pot 🙂 ) for the second day now and still for another round tomorrow. After that there will probably be a fasting period. All this seems to refresh the insulin sensitivity for us badly trapped in the metabolic syndrome.

      Still I must say that I with age, in my research carrier in metallurgy, turned more and more allergic to all this statistical number crunching involved, massaging the data to your preference and then squeeze small ‘significant’ numbers out of the huge (incomprehensible ?) material base of these kinds.

      I was during my late years hard on the back of my Ph.D. students when I noted a preference for this kind of statistical work versus the hard experimental work in the lab. What I note in medicine, to say the least, does in this context not impress on me though it seems to be how the medicine ‘business’ is run today. (The statin business is perhaps here the epitome.)

      The link to the fish study also confirms my beliefs in ‘good’ fats.

      Perhaps it is better to talk with Karl Popper about corroboration.

      And of course I do regret that we are today leaving behind the type of scientific experimental approach which was introduced by one of the greatest physiologist ever, the 19th century, Claude Bernard. (I actually forced my students to study his experimental approach – great reading for people interested in a scientific attitude in medicine.) Instead we are today sadly returning to the overwhelmingly religious medical attitudes Bernard was fighting so hard 150 years ago and in the proper name of science.

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        when I noted a preference for this kind of statistical work versus the hard experimental work in the lab

        The problem these days is that to get research grants, researchers have to publish. It is quantity only that matters. Quality is measured by the the number of trivial “p” = results. When I see that the number of statistical units “n” is very large I know that the “significant” result is probably very improbable insofar as the individual patient is concerned.

      1. David Bailey

        I am puzzled – which study are you referring to? If indeed you trawl through many items looking for correlations, you will find random spurious correlations, but I don’t see such a study being discussed.

    1. mikecawdery

      Maureen,
      .
      Thanks very much for the link. Most interesting but as usual it is befogged with the use of hazard ratios leaving such questions as “What is the true incidence of kidney adverse reactions in statin users”. Is it really 30%? In which case the estimate of 20% for all adverse reactions is clearly a gross underestimate. When will the truth about these very dangerous drugs come out?

      For those who may not bother to download the abstract (Note: $31.50 for the few pages of the full article – typical AJC)

      Statin users had greater odds of acute kidney injury (odds ratio [OR] 1.30, ie 30%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.14 to 1.48), CKD (OR 1.36, 95% CI 1.22 to 1.52), and nephritis/nephrosis/renal sclerosis (OR 1.35, 95% CI 1.05 to 1.73). In a subset of patients without co-morbidities, the association of statin use with CKD remained significant (OR 1.53, 95% CI 1.27 to 1.85). In a secondary analysis, adjusting for diseases/conditions that developed during follow-up weakened this association. In conclusion, statin use is associated with increased incidence of acute and chronic kidney disease. These findings are cautionary and suggest that long-term effects of statins in real-life patients may differ from shorter term effects in selected clinical trial populations . But will this study be repeated? Somehow I suspect it will be swept away in the usual fashion! .

      Reply
  55. philip watts

    Malcolm There is an article in today’s Daily Mail Good Health Section titled ” Why having too much good cholesterol may be BAD for you ” written by one Jinab Harb. If you have not seen it, I think you will find it interesting. Regards Phil Date: Mon, 21 Dec 2015 09:51:08 +0000 To: philawatts@hotmail.co.uk

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Haven’t read it, but there is increasing evidence that good cholesterol can also be bad. We can, of course, also have bad cholesterol that is ‘light and fluffy’ and therefore good. So we have now reached a ratified scientific zone that is only available to the finest, most warped, scientific hypotheses. For with the Cholesterol hypothesis we now have the full set of contradictions.

      We have:

      bad cholesterol

      good cholesterol

      bad good cholesterol

      finally, good bad cholesterol

      At what point does a hypothesis finally implode under the weight of its contradictions, one wonders.

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        Max Plank is reputed to have said that science “advances funeral by funeral”. Unfortunately in terms of current chemotherapy medical research he seems to to be totally right.

        The current phase of anti-sugar advice could have been followed way back in the 60s-70s if they had listened to Yudkin rather than Ancel Keys. Incidentally, I am told that Keys in his later years admitted that cholesterol had nothing to do with heart disease.

      2. BobM

        I agree with you that these are ludicrous. However, assuming one has borderline “high” cholesterol at a doctor’s visit, it can be helpful to argue that your triglycerides are low, you have a favorable value on the “dangerous, small LDL” to “light, innocent, fluffy LDL” scale, and relatively high HDL, so that the doctor won’t put you on a statin. Otherwise, you have to go against the doctor’s orders, and they tend to fire you for that.

  56. Stephen T

    Doctor Mark Porter is ‘The Times’ medical correspondent and presenter of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Case Notes’ and ‘Inside Health’. In this morning’s Times, Dr Porter announced that he is changing his diet to low carb in an attempt to improve his blood markers, particularly HDL and triglycerides. He estimates his current diet is 65% carbohydrates, in line with the NHS ‘Eatwell’ plate, which we copied from U.S guidelines. He intends to reduce carbs to 25% for six weeks and then assess the results.

    Most people who eat a low-carb diet won’t regard 25% carbohydrates as particularly low, but it might well be an achievable improvement for many people, so the results will be interesting.

    Dr Porter is the doctor who stopped taking statins after noticing memory lapses that disappeared when he stopped taking them.

    In this week’s Style magazine in ‘The Sunday Times’ there’s a detailed article on the benefits of a low carb diet by Dr Mark Hyman, President Clinton’s doctor. The article begins with this question and answer, “What is the single best thing you can do for your health, weight and longevity? Eat more fat.” Dr Hyman admits that for years he advocated the low-fat diet, something he now describes as a “craze.”

    The low-carb diet seems to be moving from the fringe into the mainstream. Maybe the NHS will catch up at some point and stop being so backward and damaging.

    Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        I wish they were great big crevasses into which the “experts” would jump. There a\re so many “black swans” involved that the “white swans” are in danger of extinction!

      2. mikecawdery

        David Bailey

        Lovely link – many thanks

        So John P. Ioannidis in his famous paper (Ioannidis JPA (2005) Why most published
        research findings are false. PLoS Med 2(8): e124.) has once again been proven right once again.

        But These cancer researchers totally ignore the work of Seyfried and his many colleagues.

        May be they are all on statins and suffer from their neuropatholgical adverse reactions.

      3. Stephen Rhodes

        Mike,
        Re Seyfried, there is some interesting progress with even some human treatment though no trials as yet.
        PL Pedersen and YH Ko and others have been working on the small molecule 3-BromoPyruvate which seems to have shown remarkable results as it targets both mechanisms by which cancers derive their energy. It also has low toxicity as it relies on changes in the cancer cells’ that allow the molecule to enter.
        See http://www.resveratrolnews.com/cancer-cured-again/1077/ for a populist report.
        Or http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22382780 if you have the money.
        The patents taken out are not on 3-Bromopyruvate but are simply to point to the various formulations that have been found to be effective in the trials and there are no licensing costs.

    1. Socratic Dog

      When the high priests of medicine admit that their dietary hectorings have killed more people than perhaps any other single cause in history, then we will know they finally get it.
      I just made up that statistic, by the way, but it seems believable. Do I get to publish in Lancet?

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        Would not pass the peer reviewers I am afraid even if your data supported the thesis. Goes against the scientific gospel! However, I believe; it seems eminently more rational than most of the white swan medical hypotheses

    2. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      I guess that when a high profile medical media profile like Doctor Mark Porter of ‘The Times’ makes a nutritional U-turn like this a paradigm shift seems close.

      Funny – in Sweden where we are in the frontline of the world wide LCHF turn, with about 25 % now going low carb, it seems like it is only the lower end of the media that is on our side while the higher profiles seem to guard their traditional high carb positions.

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        Dr Goran,

        As you say “the higher profiles seem to guard their traditional high carb positions”. This is the STATUS factor coming in to play. Same thing happened with Helicobacter pylori and GI ulcers until even the supporters of the failed “belief” could no longer deny the incontrovertible facts

  57. Maureen Berry

    Just a thought, could the reduced incidence of breast, prostate cancer (maybe less thyroid problems) in Japan be linked to a diet rich in Iodine? Another of my favourite Mavericks is Dr David Brownstein who advocates Iodine supplementation. He notes that the typical Japanese person ingests 13mg of Iodine a day and links this to the low incidence of breast, ovarian and prostate cancer. I suppose that all the Japanese data will be skewed before very long from the nuclear accident. I don’t think I’d be eating much Japanese seafood / seaweed in future.

    Reply
    1. Soul

      I was just reading a mention on that myself the other day, about iodine intake being greater in Asia and less cancer seen. Maybe, maybe no I thought. Sadly I thought, with the current system hard to say. It reminded me too of Dr. Kendrick’s writings in his book and on the blog along others about how one defines and detects cancer. For breast and prostate cancer some will argue that current screening measures used in the west are unable to determine cancer that is a risk and cancer that is not. For example, here in America one of the larger critics of the current prostate cancer screen process is Professor Richard Ablin. He is the discoverer of the PSA used for prostate cancer detection. His book’s title gives a nice idea of his views.

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

      http://www.amazon.com/Great-Prostate-Hoax-Medicine-Hijacked/dp/1137278749/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1452038304&sr=8-1&keywords=richard+ablin

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

      &

      “Breast Screening – The Truth…”

      https://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2012/09/14/breast-screening-the-truth/

      Reply
      1. David Bailey

        I also can’t help wondering if biopsying a cancer that would have grown so slowly as to do no harm, might cause it to wake up – perhaps just because a few cells get released into the blood system in the process. Does anyone know?

      2. mikecawdery

        Pure agnotology by the medical establishment. The first few pages of the “look inside” outline the basically criminal “grievous bodily harm”. So much for the ethics of “first do no harm”

      3. Soul

        David,

        I’ve read writers that speculate that cancer could be caused by an infection, yeast or fungus, bring that up. They recommend if a suspicious lump is found have it cut out instead of biopsied. They speculate that a biopsy could release harmful material into the body. Just a guess on their part.

      4. mikecawdery

        Soul

        There are certainly cancers caused by viruses. Birkett’s tumour is one in children in Uganda transmitted by mosquitoes/biting insects. Avian leukosis is another in chickens. Statins themselves are carcinogenic in rodents.(JAMA. 1996 Jan 3;275(1):55-60. Carcinogenicity of lipid-lowering drugs. Newman TB1, Hulley SB.)
        However such tests in rodents have resulted in authorization failure in the past.

      5. Soul

        Mike,

        I’ve not read a whole lot on the idea that viruses cause cancer. It’s something I hope to get into someday. I have seen some of the ideas and work on immunity against viruses can be used against cancer. I know it’s an old idea that’s been around for 100 years, tried but so far without much success from what I understand. The TV program called 60 Minutes ran a segment last year on the hopes that virus therapy could cure cancer. It was a popular program. There is of course the gardasil vaccine, advertised to prevent cervical cancer 40 years after injection. It does not prevent cervical cancer from happening, just a belief that sometimes a virus might cause the cancer.

        A name that was brought up in Dr. Kendrick’s book, Professor Peter Duesberg comes to mind that I found fascinating. Professor Duesberg of course is the German born, American cancer researcher that expressed great concern over the first AIDS drug being used for treatment, AZT. AZT was originally designed as a chemo therapy drug. The creator of AZT came to believe the substance was to dangerous for human use and shelved it. Only years later it was picked up by a pharmaceutical firm and rushed into use, without full testing, as the first treatment for AIDS. Later, after use for years, AZT was found not be helpful.

        Some say that the virus HIV causes cancers. One of the credited discoverers of HIV, Robert Gallo was originally involved in America’s “War on Cancer” The war on cancer was a program begun by President Nixon in the 1970s with billions spent on research. My understanding was that a cure for cancer was to be found with the program, with a main research area being that viruses causes most cancers. From the little I’ve read the program by President Nixon was a failure. Many of the researchers found them selves without work. When the immune deficiency disease came out, new work was found by the former cancer researchers, such as Gallo.

        What concerned Peter Duesberg was the use of a high dose chemo therapy drug to be taken for life. Chemo therapy drugs are designed to be taken for as short of period as possible. AZT damages a persons DNA. Without DNA one can not live. When DNA is damaged cancers can result it is thought.

        What got Professor Peter Duesberg into hot water was his suggestion that other causes might explain why some people immune system has become compromised leading to many diseases and cancers outside of the virus HIV, such as recreational drugs, common immune suppressing drugs such as steroids, or chemo therapy drugs.

      6. Flyinthesky

        David, I have always been suspicious of FNA (fine needle aspiration) as a diagnostic procedure.
        What was once localised and encapsulated now isn’t. I don’t think anyone knows but it’s so widespread no-one dare question it. It’s that consensus thing again, if we think you have x, we do this.
        Though it is impossible to quantify in a lot of cases the patient would live longer without any treatment at all. I appreciate it’s a near impossible call. Seen to be doing confers power and wisdom, doing nothing, even if it’s the right thing to do, diminishes it.

    2. David Bailey

      Soul,

      Your comment:
      “I’ve read writers that speculate that cancer could be caused by an infection, yeast or fungus”

      This seems to relate (perhaps) to the more general assumption that cancer is the result of changes in the genome. Here is an article that effectively questions that:
      http://healthinsightuk.org/2015/04/02/governments-are-spending-hundreds-of-millions-researching-cancer-genes-is-it-all-a-big-waste-of-time/

      The connection I see, is that while there is an obvious way a virus could potentially cause cancer if its DNA gets incorporated in the genome, this is much less true of fungus or yeasts – through they could of course simply excrete carcinogens.

      The whole 3BP saga is also suggesting that cancer is a metabolic disease. This suggests that medical science might make a huge leap forward just after it gets thoroughly discredited!

      Reply
      1. Soul

        What I find interesting about the two cancer theories, fungal hybrid DNA and metabolic cancer theory, is how they largely overlap. Both suggest eating less sugar and carbohydrates to fight cancer, and both bring up damaged MtDNA. For the fungus theory, the items often pointed out is that one of the more toxic cancerous cause substance is aflatoxin, which is a regulated fungal toxin found in grains, peanuts, etc. They suggest that another 400 mycotoxins, while less studied, can lead to cancer development.

        With DNA changes, they will point out the Catchfly plant as an example. When the catchfly plant is infected with a fungus, the plant’s DNA mixes with fungal DNA so that the fungus takes control of the plant. Instead of producing pollen, the plant begins to produce fungal spores.
        Lichen is another plant that they point out as being part algae, and part fungus. The fungus takes the lead, while the algae supplies sugar to the fungus. Of course if that translates to animals and humans is not known.

        here in America there is a TV show on the theory of the different diseases, such as cancer, that could be involved with yeasts and fungus. It can be seen here:

        http://www.knowthecause.com

    1. mikecawdery

      Thank you for the link – most useful

      https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/yakushi/125/11/125_11_833/_pdf – English abstract. Japanese full text. Too large for Google “Translate”
      Some quotes from the abstract:
      However, these dietary recommendations are essentially ineffective in reducing TC in the long run, but rather increase mortality rates from CHD and all causes.
      More importantly, higher TC values are associated with lower cancer and all-cause mortality rates
      Although the effectiveness of statins in preventing CHD has been accepted in Western countries, little benefit seems to result from efforts

      The efficacy of statins in “saving live” is 1 in 300 p.a. (Collins – public media statement and HPS) a NNT of 300, with the probability of NOT benefiting approaching p = 1.00 or near certainty. Using “serious cardiac events” (which presumably includes death as a serious cardiac event) lowers the NNT to 1 in 278 ( 18/1000/5 years = 3.6/1000/p.a. and a p = 1.00 or near certainty Taylor; Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD004816. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004816.pub5).

      Add in the increase of risk of kidney disease with long term statin use (Tushar Acharya, MD DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2015.11.031), the increased risk of cancer (statins are known carcinogens in rodents) with low cholesterol (Epidemiology. 1997 Mar;8(2):132-6.Time trends in serum cholesterol before cancer death Sharp SJ1, Pocock SJ. AND ), memory loss, myopathy, neuropathy, COPD, AD, Parkinson’s, etc. and, I suggest, there is a very serious problem of adverse reactions.

      But the Big Pharma agnotologists could not give a damn! (http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20160105-the-man-who-studies-the-spread-of-ignorance
      6 January 2016 – Agnotology is the study of willful acts to spread confusion and deceit, usually to sell a product or win favour – Proctor)

      Reply
    2. Stephen T

      Omctc, a good article and more bad publicity for statins. Imagine all those patients talking about their side effects. Who’d have thought it? It will no doubt be another shock to the blind and deaf Sir Rory Collins.

      Reply
      1. JanB

        But did you read to the very end of the article. It ended up pushing the new horror. Still, who cares if it bankrupts the NHS so long as Big Pharma is okay. And patients? Ditto.

    3. mikecawdery

      Labret

      Yes I have seen this. An excellent article and Dr Peter H Langsjoen, a long term opponent of statins. But this is just another report in a very long list of black swan reports on the uselessness of statins but the statinists will not believe that their gospel is plain WRONG. As Max Planck is reputed to have said “Science progresses funeral by funeral.

      It is just like GI ulcers – Not caused by infection. Then Dr Marshall, after much criticism and abuse finally proves them wrong. The “six weeks strict bed rest” killed but held on for decades but disappeared after evidence in healthy young men proved it had fatal consequences, And then the Polderman affair and an official guideline proved to have fatal consequences. What happened to the report? Taken down for review and never seen again and a massive cover-up.

      Of course this is all in the interests of profit for Big Pharma and its snake oil “salespersons”

      It all stinks of money, money, money! Rant temporarily over

      Reply
  58. Leigh

    Just heard a nutritionist say on TV this morning that eggs are good for you and although the yolks are full of cholesterol, they actually contain ‘good fat’. Seems like they’ve been listening to you, doc.

    Reply
    1. Stephen T

      Dieticians twist and turn ever more desperately in an attempt to explain their ‘good’ and ‘bad’ fat contradictions. I think the only bad fats are artificial ones, such as vegetable oil and margarine. Why did we ever think that manufactured sludge was better than butter?

      Reply
  59. Maureen Berry

    I have just finished reading a book called Bad Pharma by Ben Goldacre and it has left me feeling like slitting my wrists! It really makes the whole situation seem hopeless! You cannot see a way forward out of the situation that the Health Service is now in. Spiralling costs, for unproven treatments and useless drugs, and virtually the whole of compulsory Continuous Professional Development financed / produced by drug companies. How will critical voices ever be heard? We are re-doubling our efforts to get entirely healthy and drug free (dh is now on a half dose of his last BP med, but as his BP remains at 160/100 still, don’t have the confidence to eliminate that). but it’s come to something when our delightful, caring, efficient, capable doctors all believe the exact opposite to us about virtually everything! Because it’s what they have been taught and what they continue to be taught – and there’s nobody there to challenge it! So we’re on a weight loss, increasing exercise, stricter application of HFLC diet route and no alcohol 5 days a week, really hoping it does the trick! And finally a question, if you had a BP of 160/100 and had to be on just one BP med, what would it be?

    Reply
      1. A. Pedrinha

        Mmm.
        I’d say a thiazide diuretic.
        The class most consistently proven to improve all cause mortality .
        The one cardiologists don’t prescribe , I guess because well it raises blood lipids. Or doesn’t work so much on the figures. Just save more lives.

        Then choice is equal as per “La Revue Prescrire” as of 2012, among :
        Ca channel inhibitors: amlodipine the best proven for cardiovasc mortality .
        or
        ACE inhibitors : captopril, enalapril, lisinopril, perindopril, ramipril

      2. mikecawdery

        Dr Kendrick

        Just had a long letter from the MHRA explaining that many ACE-inhibitors seem to be associated with fibrillation. I had sent in an SAR under the Yellow card system with evidence.

    1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      Maureen,

      “So we’re on a weight loss, increasing exercise, stricter application of HFLC diet route and no alcohol 5 days a week, really hoping it does the trick!”

      I believe that there is a very good chance that it will work for you.

      I’ve got a friend who was fighting his overweight unsuccessfully for many years but when he was on a ‘health checkup’ now in October he was informed that he had a very high bloodsugar, 13.4, and a BP 160/110 and then decided to follow my advice of a strict LCHF route. Now three month later his blood sugar is at 6.0 and BP 120/85. He has lost 10 kilo and his waistline is down 10 cm from 108 to 98 cm. And as he says everyone, except me, is surprised. No medication, only strict LCHF which he claims not to be as difficult as he had imagined. “No hunger!” although he includes some fasting days.

      Reply
    2. mikecawdery

      An even better book is the one by Prof. Gotzsche -“Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime” a BMJ prize winning book

      Reply
      1. Maureen Berry

        I’ll have to get over this book before I try another! It seemed so bleak! At least Doctor Kendrick’s Doctoring Data jollies us along with a bit of humour!
        My dh seems to get all the side effects from all the BP meds, from dreadfully swollen ankles that are incapacitating, to plummeting Sodium levels and now the gut wrenching, vomit-making, eye popping Ramapril cough! It’s a matter of ‘least worst’ for the moment – still hoping to resolve it ‘naturally’.

    3. Andrew Ward

      Maureen: I am in the same boat BP-wise. I stopped my medication last year but my BP never went much below 150/80 (I check every morning). I have tried all the natural remedies with little improvement, then last week I started eating ground flaxseed. Three days later: 122/65, next morning 128/75. I almost fell off my chair with that first one. There is Canadian research demonstrating a 15 point drop over six months for systolic BP and 8 for diastolic. It might work for you? Cheers, Andrew.

      Reply
      1. Andrew Ward

        Hi Carol,
        Three tablespoons. I am mixing it with Greek yoghurt (plain, of course :)).
        Cheers,
        Andrew.

      2. Maureen Berry

        I know we are going a little off topic and Dr Kendrick may think we’re really touching on quackery! Will try anything, Magnesium, hibiscus tea and hawthorn tea and apple cider vinegar have done no good, although still taking them. Hibiscus tea is delicious! What do you do with it? I did some reading last night, it would appear that buying the ready ground stuff it is in danger of oxidising. Does it grind in a coffee grinder? Do you just eat it by the spoonful or make it into something porridge-like? I wouldn’t like to bake with it, we don’t do sugar or artificial sweeteners.

      3. Maureen Berry

        Andrew, thanks very much for this most helpful advice. I went out and bought flaxseeds on Monday morning, milled them and made flax, garlic and Parmesan crackers, the poor man (who has not had a cracker for years on this LCHF diet) thinks he has died and gone to heaven, with 4 crackers and a fine Stilton or a good pate for lunch every day, and this morning (BP day) his blood pressure is 133/91 – it’s been around 160/100 for a while.
        Now I know that one reading means little – but an encouraging start at least! I await the publication of the Canadian study with interest, apparently it has been accepted by the journal ‘Hypertension’.
        Thanks again.

    4. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      Maureen,

      “So we’re on a weight loss, increasing exercise, stricter application of HFLC diet route and no alcohol 5 days a week, really hoping it does the trick!”

      I believe that there is a very good chance that it will work for you.

      I’ve got a friend who was fighting his overweight unsuccessfully for many years but when he was on a ‘health checkup’ now in October he was informed that he had a very high bloodsugar, 13.4, and a BP 160/110 and then decided to follow my advice of a strict LCHF route. Now three month later his blood sugar is at 6.0 and BP 120/85. He has lost 10 kilo and his waistline is down 10 cm from 108 to 98 cm. And as he says everyone, except me, is surprised. No medication, only strict LCHF which he claims not to be as difficult as he had imagined. “No hunger!” although he includes some fasting days.

      Reply
      1. Kathy S

        the pendulum is starting to pick up speed and swinging back to the middle with those out there that have stressed low fat now starting to claim foods such as eggs, butter and other fats to be a good thing and sugar and carbs, not so much. They are trying to pull their feet out of their mouths and hoping no one notices. By the way, Dr. K, I have ordered 4 more of your Cholesterol Books and one Doctoring Data – won’t help your bottom line as I order them used, but I do this as I am handing them out to people I know who need to read them. I’m spreading the word I hope.

      2. Maureen Berry

        Okay, here’s the recipe, Oh, and by the way, you buy them from health food shops, flax meal, ready ground or flax seeds, also called linseed. I got the organic golden kind, and if you have a coffee grinder I would buy seeds. They grind in seconds. They should be in the fridge and if they are not don’t buy them.

        Oven (fan) 180 degrees
        120g flax seeds (ground)
        60g grated Parmesan
        1 1/2 teaspoons of garlic powder
        1 teaspoon unrefined sea salt (use less if ordinary salt)
        100mls water
        Mix the whole lot together, leave to stand for 5 or 10 minutes and it ‘stiffens up’.

        Cover 2 baking trays with parchment or non stick cooking mats.

        Place a heaped teaspoon of the mix (by now it’s like a stiff cheese spread) and, using the back of the teaspoon, spread it out to make a round of about 3″ in diameter, basically as thin as it will easily go without breaking up, make sure the edges are not thinner or they will burn.

        Repeat, to make 16+ biscuits. Sprinkle with a little mozzarella cheese.

        Bake approx 12 minutes, till they are medium brown. Turn the oven off and leave the biscuits to cool down, this will crisp them up.

        Store in an airtight container in the fridge – a serving is 4 biscuits (or 1/4 the mix, depending how big you made them).

  60. Andrew Ward

    Ken, I would do a lot more research before taking 30 drops of iodine a day. My naturopath suggested that too much can cause hyperthyroidism. Just a thought.

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Takes me back seven decades. However in the context of statins and their effect on the mevalonate pathway they do effect the selenoproteins of which at least five are involved with iodine and the thyroid. And selenium is a vital micro-element in the nutrition of mammals. Deficiency can cause serious muscle disease including heart disease (Keshan Disease for one). Dr. Graveline (http://www.spacedoc,com) has also commented on this
      THE JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY VOL. 284, NO. 2, pp. 723–727, January 9, 2009 and Arthur, J.R. 1997.
      Selenium biochemistry and function. In T race Elements in Man and Animals – 9:
      Proceedings of the Ninth International Symposium on Trace Elements in Man and Animals. Edited by P.W.F. Fischer, M.R. L’Abbé, K.A. Cockell, and R.S. Gibson. NRC Research Press, Ottawa, Canada.

      pp. 1–5.

      Reply
    1. Anne

      That paper was so interesting that I printed it off, plus I emailed Dr Langsjoen, one of the authors, with some questions and he had the kindness to reply to me 🙂

      Reply
  61. HenryL

    Just a quick new year cheer, entirely devoid of medical relevance.
    Thanks to Dr.K. for a most reviving post.
    Having been away from the blog-face for a while (albeit I mainly skulk) and just returned wearily for a catch-up I must say how heartening it is to see you all still here and the quality of content, and civilisation in general, still prevailing!
    There may be hope again after all 🙂

    Reply
  62. helena

    Just found your writings through Dr. Zoe Harcombe. Brilliant stuff. I have high ldl-p and total LDL as well as VLDL. Suspect familial connection. 50 yrs old female. So far I have refused all statins and i feel like I dodged a bullet.

    Reply

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