Sorry to get distracted from my series on what causes heart disease, yet again. However, I felt the need to blog about this article published in the BMJ on the 12th April 2016.
A group of researchers went back through the data from the Minnesota Coronary Experiment run between 1966 and 1973 in the US – on many thousands of participants. They were, in part stimulated to do this because they had previously looked at the Sydney Diet Heart Study 1966 – 73. In their own words:
‘Our recovery and 2013 publication of previously unpublished data from the Sydney Diet Heart Study (SDHS, 1966-73) belatedly showed that replacement of saturated fat with vegetable oil rich in linoleic acid (a polyunsaturated fat) significantly increased the risks of death from coronary heart disease and all causes, despite lowering serum cholesterol. Our recovery of unpublished documents and raw data from another diet-heart trial, the Minnesota Coronary Experiment, provided us with an opportunity to further evaluate this issue.’1
To make this clear. The Sydney Diet Heart Study (SDHS) was set up to show that replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fat would reduce the risk of heart disease The original researchers who set up and ran the SDHS did not fully publish their data at the time (one can only speculate as to why this may be so).
When this current group of researchers finally managed to get hold of the full data from the SHDS, it was found that replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat did lower cholesterol, however:
REPLACEMENT OF SATURATED FAT SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASED THE RISK OF DEATH FROM CORONARY HEART DISEASE AND ALL CAUSES.
I am not normally a great fan of capitalisation, and using bold, but I think this statement needed that treatment.
Now, a few years later, the researchers who re-analysed the Sydney Diet Heart Study decided to try and find all the unpublished data from the Minnesota Coronary Experiment (MCE). (One can again only speculate as to why the original researchers did not reveal all of their data). The main points from this re-analysis were the following
- Though the MCE intervention lowered serum cholesterol, this did not translate to improved survival
- Paradoxically, MCE participants who had greater reductions in serum cholesterol had a higher, rather than lower, risk of death
- Results of a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials do not provide support for the traditional diet heart hypothesis
I shall paraphrase their findings:
THE MORE THE CHOLESTEROL WAS LOWERED THE GREATER THE RISK OF DEATH
The Minnesota Coronary Experiment (MCE), a randomized controlled trial conducted in 1968-73, was the largest (n=9570) and perhaps the most rigorously executed dietary trial of cholesterol lowering by replacement of saturated fat with vegetable oil rich in linoleic acid. The MCE is the only such randomized controlled trial to complete post-mortem assessment of coronary, aortic, and cerebrovascular atherosclerosis grade and infarct status and the only one to test the clinical effects of increasing linoleic acid in large prespecified subgroups of women and older adults.
Those who have read my ramblings over the years will not be in least surprised by this finding. Because, as you may know by now. I believe that raised cholesterol has nothing whatsoever to do with the heart disease. So, this finding is not a paradox to me. It is simply further confirmation of many, many, other studies which utterly contradict the cholesterol hypothesis.
I would not, however, hold my breath waiting for this study to make any difference to anything. My current favourite comment on this study comes from an opinion leader from the British Heart Foundation. It is, as follows:
‘Professor Jeremy Pearson of the British Heart Foundation commented: “This is an interesting study which shows that decreasing your intake of saturated fat can have a positive impact in helping lower cholesterol. More research and longer studies are needed to assess whether or not eating less saturated fat can reduce your risk of cardiovascular death.’
Read and weep gentle readers. Here is a man so completely and utterly convinced of the dangers of saturated fat consumption and raising blood cholesterol that he is incapable of grasping what this paper is saying. Max plank said that ‘Science advances one funeral at a time.’ There is at least one funeral, currently, that I can think would help to move science along.
Perhaps time from a quote from Professor John Ioannidis, who wrote a rather sad article recently, entitled Evidence-based medicine has been hijacked: a report to David Sackett.
‘This is a confession building on a conversation with David Sackett in 2004 when I shared with him some personal adventures in evidence-based medicine (EBM), the movement that he had spearheaded. The narrative is expanded with what ensued in the subsequent 12 years. EBM has become far more recognized and adopted in many places, but not everywhere, for example, it never acquired much influence in the USA. As EBM became more influential, it was also hijacked to serve agendas different from what it originally aimed for. Influential randomized trials are largely done by and for the benefit of the industry. Meta-analyses and guidelines have become a factory, mostly also serving vested interests. National and federal research funds are funnelled almost exclusively to research with little relevance to health outcomes. We have supported the growth of principal investigators who excel primarily as managers absorbing more money. Diagnosis and prognosis research and efforts to individualize treatment have fuelled recurrent spurious promises. Risk factor epidemiology has excelled in salami-sliced data-dredged articles with gift authorship and has become adept to dictating policy from spurious evidence. Under market pressure, clinical medicine has been transformed to finance-based medicine. In many places, medicine and health care are wasting societal resources and becoming a threat to human well-being. Science denialism and quacks are also flourishing and leading more people astray in their life choices, including health. EBM still remains an unmet goal, worthy to be attained….
“David, I was a failure when we started this conversation and I am an even bigger failure now, almost 12 years later. Despite my zealot efforts, my friends and colleagues have not lost their jobs. The GDP devoted to health care is increasing, spurious trials, and even more spurious meta-analyses are published at a geometrically increasing pace, conflicted guidelines are more influential than ever, spurious risk factors are alive and well, quacks have become even more obnoxious, and approximately 85% of biomedical research is wasted . I still enjoy science tremendously, focusing on ideas, rigorous methods, strong mathematics and statistics, working on my weird (and probably biased) writings alternating with even more desperate poetry, and learning from young, talented people. But I am also still fantasizing of some place where the practice of medicine can still be undeniably helpful to human beings and society at large. Does it have to be a very remote place in northern Canada close to the Arctic? Or in some isolated beautiful Greek island where corpses of unfortunate refugees are found on the beach or floating in the water almost every day, as I am writing this commentary, although no naval battle has been fought? Is there still a place for rational thinking and for evidence to help humans? Sadly, you cannot answer me any longer, but I hope that we should not have to escape to the most distant recesses of geography or imagination. Twenty-five years after its launch, EBM should still be possible to practice anywhere, somewhere—this remains a worthwhile goal.”2
David Sackett, the founder of Evidence Based Medicine, is now dead. I presume he is spinning in his grave at what has happened to medicine and medical research. Which is, currently, not based on any evidence at all. If the evidence does not fit with the currently dogma it is simply not published.
Does anyone in the higher reaches of the medical establishment actually give a stuff about this? It seems that they do not. Meanwhile the shelves of our supermarkets groan under the weight of the super-healthy polyunsaturated fat products that we are encouraged to eat, by the likes of the British Heart Foundation.
Yet, here is what the uncovered evidence from the largest study done in this area is screaming at us:
Greater cholesterol lowering, using polyunsaturated fats, increases the risk of death
So, British Heart Foundation, the question must be asked… are you killing people with your advice on saturated fat consumption? Perhaps you ought to think about changing it, before more people die.
Here is what the BHF currently say about saturated fats:
‘Swap these for unsaturated fats. Eating too much saturated fat increases the amount of cholesterol in your blood.’3
Do you have any actual evidence to base this advice on… any at all? If so, let’s see it. If not, change it.
Your last paragraph kind of makes me want go to BHF charity shop and steal something!
You have my ‘thumbs up’, Jean.
The paragraph given to quoting Jeremy Pearson of the BHF makes me want to compile a dossier for the fraud squad . . . and another for the charities commission.
The people who head these health charities and who hail from the academic side to medicine . . . and who maintain an air of their agenda being one of acting in the interests of patients and the public . . . simply do not deserve to retain their liberty.
We have been conned over saturated fats, conned over the supposed involvement of cholesterol in the advance of heart disease, and when these bodies incite the public to participate in fund-raising events they are conned into believing their donations will help fund research into finding ‘cures’. Yes research may help finance research efforts but those efforts are typically intent upon finding ‘treatments’. To treat is not to cure.
The gold standard in delivering medical prescriptions given to chronic disease should be advice that helps the patient avoid contact with its cause. “Do not smoke”, “Enjoy real fats”, Avoid margarine and vegetable oils”, and “Do not assume a low-fat / high carbohydrate diet will keep you thin and healthy”, ought to be heard more often. Being rather more progressive on the matter than many others I’d like to hear “Equip your bed with an Earthing sheet” trend to becoming more commonplace.
An Earthing sheet serves to combat lingering and excessive degrees of protonation in your body, which in turn will help combat and diminish the extent and effects of oxidative stress malingering within your body’s biochemistry. The modern world is infected with endocrine disruptors that disrupt healthy endocrine balance and rhythmicity leading to chronic arrhythmicity and increased oxidative stress – enough to disrupt the expression of our genes perhaps.
Earthing is a great step on route to restoring the natural balances and rhythmicity of the endocrine system. It is not therapy. It is a step to restore a lost former and natural connection. And since the association of risk(s) rise(s) with the extent of isolation (absence) of connection) to reconnect is the mere removal of the risk(s). So long as you take no steps to earth the associated risks remain.
Every chronic health condition has its associated health charity – at least one. Alzheimers, MS, Diabetes, Cancer, etc., and they are each propagandist. They are intent upon promoting an image they are out to find cures. In reality they are intent upon finding treatments – ones, typically, that can be encapsulated in a pill, and that will contain at least ‘novel’ chemical agent that the body, and evolution, has never encountered before.
Health charities do not deserve charitable status, They are commercial enterprises. Their enterprising activities are intent upon paving the way for commercial profits in the next link in the chain. If they are being charitable to anyone it is to the pharmaceuticals companies and their shareholders. Through your pension arrangements that could be you.
Perhaps it is not easy to argue to an extent that would readily bring jurors to an understanding that lies ‘beyond reasonable doubt’, but these aspects to EBM have trended to fraudulent, have they not?
Hi, where did you get your earthing sheet from and how much do they costs. How do you use them. thanks.
Chris Palmer, being someone who has some idea about earthing (we call it grounding) from an electricity viewpoint, that is, conducting electrical charge to the earth via a low resistance conductor (metal wire, etc), I absolutely fail to see any possible benefit to humans in employing anything you have mentioned in this regard. The only time the human body has potential difference between itself and the earth is when it acquires some static electrical charge temporarily. Even this charge will dissipate all by itself in a short time, no grounding necessary. I cannot see any science behind supposed benefits to our health from earthing. Please provide some references.
I too would like to see some evidence to the idea that grounding is useful. However, I feel more open to alternative forms of medicine – particularly now that I have seen just what a mess orthodox science can make of things! It is also important to remember that alternative medicine may work, even though the explanation of how it works is wrong.
Daniel Kahnemann is author of a book given to illuminating the pitfalls of our innate tendency to think fast. Thinking fast can serve us well on many occasions whiles on others it can let us down.
You may know something about electricity, electrostatics, recall some of what was taught in high-school physics lessons, and you may have preconceptions about the theory and practice of earthing. You then show every indication of harried married these in hurry and rushed to a conclusion. But you are in good company. My initial scepticism for the topic lasted for a full six months. I now concede my scepticism was rooted more in that which I didn’t know than in what I thought I did know,
Earthing theory is based upon the simplest of observations. At no time in history has the modern human become so isolated from ground and for so long as he is now in the modern world. This state of affairs owes to several factors, but the use of rubber and plastic in the manufacture of footwear is the one that headlines.
I would not rush to base an objection to earthing theory based upon reference to static and to static discharge in the human. The same high-school physics deployed with a bit more care informs that electrostatics may be a natural phenomenon, but for a human to experience a shock from static is to experience an unnatural eventuality. Why? Because if we were not so isolated from ground static electric charge could not establish itself about the body. The man-made and non-conductive materials that are used in the construction of soles for our shoes is that which permits, and likely has some part in causing, the build of static which is a bigger problem for us when the atmosphere is very dry. If we went barefooted, or wore conductive antistatic footwear, then ststic could not establish itself. We ought never get a shock.
So to cite static as a reasons for objection is not kosher, because it point to exactly the same kind and level of isolation that the earthing theory informs has become problematical. It ranks more as kind of ‘evidence in favour’.
Plus, when you experience a shock from static you are experiencing an instantaneous discharge from a kind of charge that is distributed about the surface of the body. The nature of discharge, being instantaneous, informs that the charge rests in a place, the surface of the body that offers little in the way of impedance.http://www.earthinginstitute.net/?page_id=2859
In contrast taking initiatives to redress the level of isolation brought on by the fabric of modern footwear, mounting evidence indicates, is that neutralises some kind of charge that has residency within your body. This would discharge more slowly than static because its resting in places that have higher impedance. Individual molecules, it seems, that have been protonated point both to its residency and its origins. Th wearer of shoes made with soles of plastic or rubber can harbour an inner charge and surface charge, but the inner charge will not discharge in an instant because it resides behind a firewall of impedance.
For the sake of a few dollars grab some electrode patches, dig out, beg, borrow or buy a voltmeter and hook up in way that can test for voltage about your body. If you do not get a reading in the range of, say, 1 – 5 volts consider it possible you may not have gone about this quite right.
Test for impedance. Momentarily touch the kind of conductor that might have resulted in a shock in the past. What was the effect on the voltmeter reading and did it last. Go barefoot on good ground, nice grass will do. Can you rid y.s of the charge? How long did it take? What do you have to do to permit the voltage to return and how long did it take? What is the effect of exertion upon the rate that voltage returns?
If you cannot perceive the pertinence in these questions, and if you think it pointless to test, then consider it possible that you are less familiar with aspects of earthing theory than you thought you were.
But I have to thank you. I have witnessed the objection that mentions static before. Only on this occasion was I able to figure how to deflect it. The capacity to deflect an objection in advance of it arising is the Holy Grail of someone intent upon explaining. Consider it possible I am holding something back. I worked hard to get it.
Read the book on the topic by Ober Sintra and Zucker before you openly express scepticism again. That will save you the embarrassment of foot in mouth syndrome.
The list of references and articles is growing and you can access them via http://www.earthinginstitute.net/
Christopher Palmer: Thank you for this. Having gone largely shoeless for about six years, I can say that there are multiple benefits apart from the electrical. It improves balance, foot and ankle musculature, overall foot health, and assists in maintaining proper posture. In some way I have no idea how to describe, it improves what might be called body awareness.
In my reply to John U above you will find the links to the evidence you require. Rather than focus upon alternative medicine permit y.s to raise your regard for the relationships of cause and effect that give rise to illness. That opens the gateway to becoming more aware about cause, and if contact with causes is avoided then the need for medicine, conventional or alternative, is obviated.
Earthing ‘works’, not because it is therapeutic, and nor is it alternative medicine, but because it addresses the folly of being so isolated from ground as we have become. Being isolated to the extent that we have become is electrochemically disruptive to the the bodies biochemistry, and disruptive to aspects of our endocrinology.
I was hoping for some references to serious science based studies which might have shown the connection between earthing and health. You have not provided any. Everything you did provide to me appears as quackery. I own several volt meters and have often checked my “resistance” to ground. (I note you use words like “impedance” which is not correct. Measurement of impedence is reserved for alternating currents which will exhibit resistance in coils and capacitors, not in direct current situations such as static electricity.
My objections to this premise that we might suffer ill health due to a difference in potential between our bodies and the earth is not based on “thinking fast” but on science. I just don’t see and science. When a metal wire of sufficient size conducts electrons, these flow on the surface of the wire. Similarly static charge in found on the surface of bodies, and not in the interior. Please explain how the flow of electrons from the surface layers of my body to the earth can cause me harm. Besides, it is a rare occurrence. I spend 5 months of my year in Florida where the humidity level is almost always higher than 65% and I never get a static charge build up. This only happen on the driest days in Montreal when the relative humidity will be about 15%-20% inside the house. I could go on and on debunking your statements, but it is a waste of time. I could be persuaded about the plausibility of harm by static electricity if there was some basis supported by science, but I just don’t see any. Good luck to anyone who buys one of those sheets that needs to be grounded. I sleep just fine on cotton sheet which would never have a potential charge between the bed and the earth.
If grounding/earthing is so efficacious why do dogs and cats suffer very similar ailments to humans?
Ray Davies: Likely the following three things are the biggest reason: 1. The garbage people feed them (commercial pet food). 2. The toxic soup we all live in. 3. Vaccination (especially dangerous for cats). Additionally it should be noted that, as we evolved under the sun, and need it yet, we also evolved shoeless.
I was naturally sceptical, but now sleep on a grounding sheet when at home and have grounding mats that I use in my office for keyboards and mice. Arguably the most interesting publication on this (availabe via PubMed with free full text) is Chevalier et.al: Earthing (grounding) the human body reduces blood viscosity-a major factor in cardiovascular disease.
PMID: 22757749 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] PMCID: PMC3576907 Free PMC Article
Kevin O’Connell: Thank you! The smoking gun. Validation for all of us lunatics (so the neighbors must think) who go around barefoot in all weather in all seasons.
Hmm. Took a quick look at the Chevalier paper, and what do I see but that stainless steel was used for the grounding rod.
I happen to know, from bitter experience, that electrical interfaces of dissimilar metals, such as copper wires, with stainless steel are high impedance interfaces. I would not rely on any ground system that utilized stainless steel.
But more to the point, I find this a strange place to be posting something like this. Malcolm Kendrick talks to the numbers. The sole publication you reference had a n of 10. Pretty unconvincing, and any numbers you derive from a study of that size must be a bit suspect.
I no longer donate to heart-disease charities. They are either misguided or deliberately blind. I want to give my money to an organisation that actually helps people.
Let me share a family history. My father was one of eight siblings. All fed happily all their lives on butter, full cream milk and actually believed that “ghee” or clarified butter was essential for general good health. My father passed away at 101, all his sibling lived till in their late nineties except one who died at “an early age” of 82!! So, I find all this talk of misplaced Statin driven solutions plausible – even cholesterol has been said to be not linked to CDH (saw an article by Scandinavian doctors in the BMJ). I know we are fingering a 10 Billion dollar industry…..but what about our governments?
This whole article makes me want to shoot myself in the head. Excuse me while I go and drown my sorrows in a vat of melted butter…
I totally agree. Our charities have become totally focussed on the money, and ever more blind to the interests of those they are meant to represent.
Thank you for all the effort you put in to this blog. I have a relatively easy task of trying to get people to read and understand it (and your books) and to stop believing the mainstream mantras. I accept I don’t know anywhere near as much as you, but I’m comfortable I now know more than some medical professionals.
Minnesota? Ancel Keys’ old stomping ground. Just cam to make a reference to this new study and leave a link, that’s already done but here’s one of the researchers:
And this is the thesis that was never publicised.
Click to access Broste_thesis_1981.pdf
It seems that the original researchers have admitted to not knowing what to do when the data didn’t prove what they were trying to prove. The original was buried for about 16 years before being partially published. As I suspected, Keys was involved.
Evidence Based Medicine.
One of the best inputs and completely to my LCHF-taste!
Can the dinosaur really be tipped over or is it all about grass root efforts to save your own life?
Anyway the grounds are shaking.
Well, I’ve asked the BHF:
“Following the BMJ’s recent publication of the study’s report which found that replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat did lower cholesterol, but the replacement of saturated fat with PUFAs significantly increased the risk of death from CHD, do you think the BHF’s advice should be amended? This would help in “the fight for every heartbeat””
Good stuff. Let me know if you get a response. I expect the usual guff. ‘Many different lines of evidence strongly suggest that saturated fat is harmful and replacement with unsaturated fats provide benefit… blah, blah. We always carefully analyse all new evidence blah, blah. The health and safety of the public is our number one concern…blah, blah. Thank you for you interest in our work…blah, blah.’ Message ends.
My bet is that they will continue to say “We think more research is needed.” That, after all, was the response they gave to their own research, one that failed to find any link between saturated fat and CVD about 12 months ago.
Brings me to a question, or a series of questions.
The BHF seems to be very coy about their sponsors these days. At one time Flora Margarine was splattered all over their web site. Are they just hiding it? Have they severed their links with Flora? Are they quietly trying to reposition themselves without actually admitting to any past mistakes?
I thought I may have detected the beginning of the end when I noticed, in the supermarket low fat spread section, Flora with BUTTER.
What I don’t understand is how they (and this happens in the US and everywhere) can say that “more research is needed”? They’ve been trying to prove that saturated fat is bad (and polyunsaturated fats are good) for 40+ years, and can’t do it. After a while, wouldn’t you begin doubting your hypothesis?
Sorry Ems, Flora Buttery has been available for years. They’ve always been aware how disgusting their standard product tastes!
We need the cholesterol that comes from saturated fat, our hormones depend on it. That’s why lowering cholesterol and/or switching to vegetable oils have a quicker mortality rate.
Testosterone and Estrogen are manufactured from DHEA which is manufactured from cholesterol. Why someone would want to remove cholesterol from their diet is beyond me.
Here is the BHF response, broadly as predicted, though the first paragraph has turned their position on its head.
Reference link: https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-matters-magazine/news/behind-the-headlines/butter-and-coronary-disease
“Thank you for your email to the British Heart Foundation.
The BHF’s recommendations to substitute saturated fat for unsaturated fats to help improve cholesterol levels remain unchanged following the publication of this paper. You can view our response to this research here.
In the UK, dietary guidelines are set by the government, not by the BHF, and we communicate these in our publications and through information on our website. The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) is responsible for reviewing evidence for the development of dietary guidance for the UK. They take a thorough and systematic approach to this. More information about SACN and their review process is available here. The role of saturated fats in relation to health has become a controversial subject and is now under review. A report is expected in 2017.
However, lowering risk of coronary heart disease is not just about cholesterol levels – having high blood pressure, diabetes, being overweight or obese or being physically inactive all play a role in the overall risk of CHD. As well as the fats we eat we also need to pay attention to our diet as a whole and the balance of foods within it.”
If you haven’t read the link, it recommends one diet item should be whole grains.
“After a while, wouldn’t you begin doubting your hypothesis?”
I think all (most?) lipid researchers are issued black-swan filtering goggles before they begin their work. Some may even have them permanently affixed. They’ll only start to doubt their hypotheses if we can pry those goggles from their eyes.
Thank you so much for continuing to publicise this kind of information. I cannot believe that someone in the circle of influence cannot see what is right in front of their eyes!
Ah, but you see, Professor Pearson doesn’t need to worry himself about silly little studies. As he commented in a piece in the Guardian in 2014 ( http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/25/saturated-fat-heart-disease-balanced-diet#comments ),
“There is a wealth of evidence showing that eating too much saturated fat raises our cholesterol levels, which we know increases our risk of having a heart attack or stroke.”
So there you go, why worry about conflicting evidence, when you KNOW the Earth is flat!
Why won’t people listen? Thank you Dr Kendrick.
What completely astounded me was the statement by Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England – “The evidence shows that eating too much saturated fat raises your cholesterol levels, increasing your risk of heart disease.”
What part of the results of this study does she not understand? Or simply chooses not to believe because of loss of face?
I actually looked at the study, in its conclusions it is stated:
The intervention group had significant reduction in serum cholesterol compared with controls (mean change from baseline −13.8% v −1.0%; P<0.001). Kaplan Meier graphs showed no mortality benefit for the intervention group in the full randomized cohort or for any prespecified subgroup. There was a 22% higher risk of death for each 30 mg/dL (0.78 mmol/L) reduction in serum cholesterol in covariate adjusted Cox regression models (hazard ratio 1.22, 95% confidence interval 1.14 to 1.32; P<0.001)
yet Professor Jeremy Pearson of the BHF can only find to say that reducing SFAs and replacing them them with PUFAs lowers your cholesterol. He cannot find it in himself to say "but it does not seem to make you live longer, funny that"?
He is a professor, in theory interested in finding the truth, interested in the why's of life??
My feeling is that part of the answer is medical science has become accustomed to the idea that studies can produce contradictory results, even when they each have sufficient statistical power.
Obviously the answer isn’t to meta-analyse such studies, but to poke into what exactly causes these differences. I think the culture of meta-analysis has bred a peculiar complacency in which if a study goes against your beliefs, you just wait for the next one – vaguely akin to gambling!
Richard Feinman has some good critiques of meta-analysis. Vive la difference!
Leaving aside the cholesterol part, I suspect this is telling us that PUFA in & of itself is dangerous to eat in significant quantities. For my own part, I have decided to forgo as much PUFA as possible in exchange for saturated fat. Also, SFA is tasty, so this is not a hardship. Yum butter & bacon. 🙂
re: Leaving aside the cholesterol part, I suspect this is telling us that PUFA in & of itself is dangerous to eat in significant quantities.
That is the clear subtitle of the papers that should have been originally written to summarize what the data actually said. Any number of people have been warning about it for some time. I joined the chorus a month ago.
I suspect this too.
Wouldn’t surprise me if PUFA did unspeakable things to your blood vessels.
Yes, it is and this study tells WHY:
The deleterious effects are transmitted via a molecule called 4-HNE. See the diseases, that are connected to this molecule (stemming from omega-6 seed oils), in Table 1. No wonder they call it “Serial Killer”.
Didn’t you get the memo?
Oh well, I suppose after having been reading Hyperlipid for too long one tends to assume it’s been known to everyone for ages.
Hyperlipid has some interesting articles on omega 6 LA cancer and other bad things happen genesis. Sauer etc.
The more you read the more it becomes a tangled web of interesting things. It is not just the double-bond oxidation issue. It is not just the pro-inflammatory eica compounds from O6 PUFA.
PUFA apart from these also go to the endocannabinoid (EC) system. Especially LA. I always wanted to get even lazier and bulkier you know. (I suppose the biological reason for that is the abundance of O6 in late summer and autumn, to bulk up for the winter)
Then, recently, I found out that about anything that tastes good (black pepper, curcumin, what have you) makes the enzyme that makes DHT from testosterone less effective. It’s basically finasteride or whatever on your plate, and may very well be the reason some of these compounds are “healthy”.
Now here is the catch, PUFA do this too. See
Liang T, Liao S: Inhibition of steroid 5 alpha-reductase by specific aliphatic unsaturated fatty acids, Biochem J 285 (1992)
Now one has to take this with a grain of salt, when you actually read the paper you find that the substance class (fatty acid vs. ester) plays a bigger role than the particular kind of double bonds. Also these are FREE fatty acids, the relationship between FFA concentration at your reductase and PUFAs in your diet is, presumably, not trivial. Haven’t figured that one out yet.
It’s sad that hobbyists and overworked GPs have to figure these things out in internet blogs. You’d think society would pay professionals to scratch their heads about it. It’s a novel idea. We could call these scientists. They would be just like the eggheads on television except they would actually care about the truth and occasionally say something else than ‘tasty food is bad for you’.
Oh dear. Too many years of swallowing dogma has left them without the ability to think and evaluate for themselves. It’s a real tragedy, particularly for the people the establishment mislead.
It’s obvious now I come to think about it, it is not swallowing dogma that is the problem. These people have been swallowing PUFAs, which obviously are sentient compounds, and have the ability to inhibit cognitive processes, other than those that support the consumption of PUFAs. A bit like cholera killing its host.
“Swap these for unsaturated fats. Eating too much saturated fat increases the amount of cholesterol in your blood.”
For those of us old enough to remember, the term “stuck record” seems appropriate here.
How is the everyday aging patient ( I’m clocking at 69 now ) supposed to discern whether the medical directions provided by a long time primary care physician is credible. I am a victim of the classic arthritic hips disease. My doctor of 25+ years has advised the I’m at my discretion on
having hip replacements. And he has shared with me a few account of patients of his who didn’t fare very well at all. On top this, he prescribed statins for me over the years to get my lipid numbers into the “acceptable” range. Meanwhile I have acquired the symptoms of leg muscle pain and weakness that is vividly described in several anti-statin locations on the web. Interestingly my faithful physician has prescribed the same cholesterol lowering drug for himself and exhibits much the came symptoms in his legs as I do. He refused to accept and relationship with statin use. There is no doubt in my mind that my doctor is 100% certain that his line of medical care is correct……… how am I to know ?
Keep reading, watching and listening. Pieces of the puzzle come from unusual places. I was chatting to a farmer about another topic, when he said that feeding grains to cows makes them fat, then they have heart attacks. The person making the most money is the vet.
They fatten pigs by feeding them skim milk. Because it has so little fat, it doesn’t trigger the satiety reflex, so they keep snarfing it up.
I ditched the PUFAs months ago. Butter, olive oil, and vegetable fat made from coconut are what I cook with. Any fat coming out of frying meat gets made into gravy and eaten to the last drop instead of being thrown away. After some months on this regimen I am practically at my goal weight, and all this without exercise (I’m very lazy) or feeling starved. And I never took the statins my general practitioner prescribed. What’s my cholesterol? Who cares!
Jill, I am learning new things every day and actually had a conversation with a farm raised lady yesterday who saw my statin recovery book and knew why I had it and why she never will. Farm fed and worked to be a healthy body with no need or concerns with all our miracle drugs…..
And I saw a documentary about a.o. The meat industry. Cattle went to the slaughterhouses where they for six weeks were fed with grains in order to fatten them up. And why are many dogs and cats so fat?
how am I to know ?
How I got to know was by forgetting to renew my statin prescription. Ran out of the things. Best mistake I ever made.
Suggest you try it. If your improvement is a rapid as mine was – you’ll have your answer.
Christine – yes my experience almost exactly.
Spacedoc gives an ominous warning about any statin use. He said he only took a low dose for about three months, but some years later began to rapidly age physically. This is apparently one of the “side effects.”
Christine your are very correct for your situation. Mine was a bit different in that I was dutifully taking the pill every day for ten years or so and it was until some years later that I began to have strong symptoms. Thanks for your input,
this is of topic but I listened to my former GP and two physics for two years telling me I did not need a hip replacement. Finally unable to walk more than 5O metres without pain, I took my X-rays to a surgeon, he took one look and started talking dates!
I had no problems at all.
Chris, your experience was good and I’m glad for you. My personal view is that I have two separate and yet related issues. The statins have taken away my leg muscles. If I had new hip joints today those muscles would presumably still be in a poor physical condition. So my reticence to let the surgeon do his magic is based on not having confidence that my legs would support the rehab cycle. I’m focusing on the statin poisoning recovery just now and then ……..
After 3 years of taking statins, I got painful cramping muscles in my right leg. The pain was fairly variable, and sometimes it seemed to be in my knee joint. Because I had had polio in my right leg, my doctor sent me to be assessed for “Post Polio Syndrome” – which has no specific test. Very, very fortunately, I wondered if those muscle pains described on the statin data sheet might be contributing to my problem. After stopping and starting the statin several times, it was clear that statins were the cause of my problem, and after about 9 months, and taking as much exercise as possible (using pain killers), I returned completely to normal.
I am not a medical doctor, but I would strongly advise you to give yourself a statin holiday of – say- 3 weeks and see how many of your symptoms subside! Since my right knee also started to feel painful under statins (and recovered once I stopped), I guess it is even conceivable that your hip might improve somewhat as well.
Some people comment here that their statin damage did not fully reverse after stopping the drug, so I would not wait too long to test this out.
I too had the pains in the leg, and other symptons, lack of libido, foggy feeling etc. I was on a minimal Crestor but bulked up with Ezetimibe for about seven years. I have been off that lot for a year now and most of what I was experiencing has gone. My lipids man wants me back on Ezetimibe, Isend him snippets from the HOPE trial and the MCE trial.
My opinion is that the side effects are due to lack of cholesterol rather than anything else.
Stop taking the statins for a while and the pains are likely to clear. That should be enough evidence for you. Your doctor is sincere but still wrong. As the quoted study shows, the more you lower cholesterol the worse the outcomes.
Stephen T, after being on statins for many years, my overall cholesterol was at a “healthy” 121. I felt worse than I had ever felt. I would go so far as to say that I thought I was dying. I was determined and had faith I could and would find an answer. Had I not happened upon a certain blog, I would not be typing this post. Quitting statins has not only brought back a marked difference in cognitive abilities, but physical as well. It was not so quick for me however. It has taken time and a lot of effort to learn the why’s of my situation. I continue to learn.
121, that seems totally bonkers to me. Congratulations on still being alive.
Stephen, Thank you for the suggestion. I guess I’m one of those who stopped the statins after about 10 years on a hunch that my physical state (strength / stamina) was declining. It wasn’t until some years later that the really nasty symptoms started limiting the amount of biking, hiking, jogging…… walking I was capable of. You might say a “late bloomer”. Along the way arthritis has come in my hips and I have endeavored to learn to deal with them as well as the leg muscle wasting. Anyhow thanks again.
I am gradually climbing back from statin damage, but it sure is a long row to hoe. Since I gave up statins, I am hardly ever ill, and rarely visit my doctor? Coincidence?
I don’t think so.
James ; I had one hip replaced 17 yrs ago and the other 10 yrs ago ; both went smoothly ( apart from a pulmonary embolis for the first one, fully recovered) but I have always had a superb physiotherapist who gave me exercises to do before and after ,which I did 100% . I still go to the gym 3 times a week & was skiing before Easter.
It was this same physio’ who recommended books on the Statin Debate including those of Dr. Kendrick, having absorbed it all I gave up the statins & advised my GP who remarked’ I am not unduly worried’ (I’m fortunate to have an excellent thinking GP!) Incidentally since learning of this revelation I have discussed it with every Medical Consultant that I have come across; as well a s a female Dr at my gym who goes to medical conferences ,& asks the same question ‘Do they take Statins’ to a person they all say NO & some are extremely vociferous on the subject.
Also since giving up statins over 2yrs ago I am on a LCHF diet ,lost a stone in weight & feel so much better , this year I became an Octogenarian & so pleased I have taken all the above steps. All of which was initiated by the Statin side affects of Aches ; pains , weird dreams & sleepless nights, plus some loss of memory which only became apparent after I had given up.
I only suffered all this for 9 months before thankfully giving up Statins.
Your GP is correct in putting the decision in your court; my Physio’ did the same thing and for a number of years gave me 5 reasons not to have it done until my quality of life was so affected he advised I should think about it seriously & was then fully supportive.
All medical operations are serious with some risks which you need to discus and assess with a hip Surgeon( bearing in mind this is how they make their money). I would suggest you talk to a lot of folks who had the op’ and their experience of the surgeon ; mine has an excellent reputation and only does Hips & has done 600 / yr for many years. Ones this good have so many clients lined up they do not need to be anything other than straightforward.
Forgive me for providing so much detail but I know how I felt at the start of my ventures and need all the info I could get.
I wish you every success.
Gilbert, Thanks for all the energy you pressed into your input for me. I think we think a lot alike.
I find no conflict in any of your thoughts. My statin time was longer than yours, about 12 to 15 years. I was not experiencing the major ( pain ) symptoms until years after I stopped the statins.
What made me stop was the very clear decrease in stamina in my legs. Could no longer hike until the day was gone……
I have had the same debates with various doctors but have not yet ditched the statins because I had a small stroke last year (now recovered) and their argument is that I need the statins to protect against further stroke occurrence. However, is more harm being caused by the cholesterol lowering impact of these drugs. I’m only 55 and am concerned that I have years ahead of polluting my body and causing more harm. Has anyone found themselves with this dilemma?
Bernie, Dr. Goran Sjoberg, who comments on this site frequently, would be in a good position to reply to you. He has often stated in his comments that he did just that (dropped the statins and even decided against arterial by-pass surgery, all this many years ago. You should read his comments on many of the older blogs and you will find information about what he did.
John – thank you for your response. Everything I’ve read leads me to conclude that staying on statins will be more harmful in the long term. Best wishes
Bernie, My humble apologies for not keeping up with this conversation. I don’t have much experience in the blog game. From all the reading I have accumulated, I gather that the effects of statins are as variable among those prescribed to take them as would be the experiences we would all have at the craps tables in a casino. The more I read, though, the more I am convinced there is not likely to be a good outcome for the statin user in the long or short run. My intuition is like yours, I suspect, in that we should trust those who have spent their lives training to save ours. But in the history of the medical science that initiated the medical theme of the past 30 or forty years, it is now a considered finding that the basis for believing that controlling cholesterol in our body, was based on flawed data. It would seem that each of of must consume as much information as possible about this topic and make our own assessment about our own directions. Your stroke experience has to be a strong influence on how careful you must be. I am in no way qualified to recommend what direction you should take. However, I would still recommend that you read and read on about the possibilities.
Good health to you,
Hi James – many thanks for your response. I decided to stop taking the statins a couple of weeks ago, so here’s hoping! There seems to be too much weight of evidence against and very little for. I do feel better – more clear headed certainly.
Nothing here that we dissenters did not already expect to find when the lid was lifted to reveal the unpublished data. However, what does surprise me is that no one seems to have made the link between this study and Statins or any other cholesterol lowering treatments. Surely the same must be true and such treatments will also have no effect on heart disease mortality and may even increase the risk. Could the proverbial be about to hit the fan pretty soon.
You certtainly have raised a valid point. Over the years Dr Kendrick has I think associated the whole sorry story of saturated fat, cholesterol, statin therapy, diabetes and heart disease. There is a campaign “Alltrials” to get access to the full data for independent analysis and I believe that the BMJ under Dr. Fionna Godlee is also attempting the same thing.
The BMJ has instituted the principal of the patient reviewer that includes “carers” which as a doctor caring for many patients would include you and colleagues. Why not sign up? I have found it an interesting execise; done 4 reviews so far and hopefully more.
Personally, I have diabetes as a direct consequence of official health advice – hicarb/lofat limited eggs, meat etc – all those nasties. Never a fan of the so-called “junk food” or sugar so that my gaining weight had nothing to do with the claimed “usual suspect”. Ended up with diabetes and a meeting with the local trust nutritionist who apparently, when asked, did not know how calories were measured. Having spent much of my research life working with animal nutritionists and doing nutritional work with animals, I was frankly appalled. Nowadays I simply ignore official advice as it is frequently based on flawed published data supported by commercial interests.
“Nowadays I simply ignore official advice as it is frequently based on flawed published data supported by commercial interests.” Well said, I feel exactly the same on a number of topics.
Not diabetic but hypothyroid & the treatment is severely lacking & ignorance amongst many mainstream medics is woefully lacking. I believe that the understanding of this condition has actually gone backwards, not forwards with so called ‘scientific progress’ and misinformation from drug peddlers.
I find that the sensible course is to do the opposite of official advice most of the time. This has certainly served me well in giving me robust health. About the only things they get right are the benefits of exercise and the dangers of smoking, although how many of us remember the “More doctors smoke Camels” ads on TV?
I’ve become so cynical about medical advice that I bought a pipe a couple of years ago and took up smoking the occasional after-dinner pipe, for my health.
“There’s none so blind as those who will not see.” What I fail to comprehend is how these intelligent people can live with themselves. These are the ‘experts’ we are supposed to look up to and follow.
The answer I am afraid is quite simple. To progress in medicine as a student or junior doctor you do not challenge the “boss”, professor or superior. This is a lesson learnt early and it results in the long lasting belief in the official directives (aka guidelines). Dr Kendrick is a rare example of successful bucking the system for which we all should be truly thankful.
But remember the medical establishment is only concerned with status (honours, professorships, knighthoods) and money. The health of the individual patient is the last thing that concerns them. Whereas I believe that doctors working in the front-line are doing their best for their patients insofar as they can without out getting into trouble with the law or the GMC
There’s also a phenomenon best described as “the wisdom of the anointed” (there’s actually a book with that title, which goes into it in depth).
TL;DR The experts and authorities know what’s best for us because they’re experts and authorities. So they propose a solution to whatever problem they’re interested in (anything from health matters, through education, the economy, climate change, public transit, etc.). The solution gets implemented, but doesn’t work. (obesity rates continue to rise, heart disease deaths continue unabated, inflation increases, the global temperature rises, gridlock moves a few blocks over, etc.) Now this can’t possibly be because the experts were wrong — they can’t be wrong, they’re experts after all. The reason why their solution didn’t work was because of us, the hoi polloi, who’re too stupid, lazy, or incompetent (or all 3) to comply with the experts diktats. So they double down: build another bypass, issue stricter emissions controls on cars, print more money, raise taxes on sugar…. Because to say “maybe we were wrong and a better approach would have been…” is something their ego can’t handle.
And none of them ever mention that statins increase the risk of diabetes by a pretty large %…
Oh dear – isn’t this all appalling? Pass the butter, please, someone. And thank you once again, Doctor K.
Thank you again, Dr. Kendrick, for all of your effort to spread the truth far and wide. I have sent this message far and wide, and have already been thanked for doing so by a recipient who has a widely-read blog here in the U.S. and throughout the world.
The history of the saturated fats/cholesterol saga is based on biased handling of data as far back as Dr Keys. Dietary advice still holds onto unrefined carbohydrate (another concoction if ever there was!) and unsaturated fats (high in omega 6). A toxic mix if ever there was but ironic that it’s the proposed solution to the CVD epidemic.
Keep up with the heresy
PS Lard is now a health food is low in PUFA and a source of Vit D
Ask your butcher for some fat to render. You will get it at a good price.
Pennies really, or even for free if you’re a loyal customer.
how do you render it. Our butcher looks very doubtful when we talk of lard?
Rendering the fat of any animal (other than a human, which I wouldn’t advise-too many toxins) is quite easy. Cut the fat into small (1/2″/1cm) cubes, or a bit bigger if you wish, put a little water into a heavy-bottom pot (I use a glazed cast-iron), along with the fat, put it either on the stovetop or in the oven on low heat. Takes a long time, so have patience, and stir occasionally. When the pieces of connective tissue are browned and shrunken, you won’t be getting any more fat out of them. Cool sufficiently to strain into glass jars. You will be left with glycine-rich crunchy stuff which can put into stews and such. I usually store the excess jars in the freezer, and the jar I’m using in the fridge, although my mother always kept the bacon fat in an open crock on the counter (and she made it nearly to 98). So proper storage is an open question for which I have no answer (lard, by the way is about 40% SFA, 50% MUFA, and 10% PUFA, so is considered a monosaturated fat). For anyone interested in the fat composition of foods, I recommend the late Mary Enig’s fine book, “Know Your Fats.”
how do you render it
Just cook it slowly over a low heat. Frying pan ideal but any pan will do. The fat will run free and then can be used for cooking. Just run it off into a jar and keep it in the fridge. Simple, cheap and good.
You can also dice it finely (backfat is great for that), stir regularly while rendering to make sure little cracklings are nicely brown but not burned, then put in jars and store in a cool place – great for frying, esp scrambled eggs or veg like Brussel sprouts 🙂
It is a bit hard to find decent backfat in the UK though, pigs nowadays seem to be bred lean, worth checking farmers market for rare breeds farmers/produce sellers.
Our local Tesco has taken beef dripping off their product list. Lard remains but the shelf space is a tiny fraction of that allocated to non-saturated fat products. Low fat, low cholesterol and high carb products dominate the food shelves. The “guardians” of our health have really caused a major problem – the obesity epidemic but they cannot admit it. Just think of what US class action lawyers would do if they did!
Mike, as I walk around my supermarket I’m struck by how little I’d be prepared to eat. Sugar is stuffed in large quantities in almost everything, even savoury food. I’d tax added sugar harshly and force the manufacturers to label it prominently and clearly by displaying the number of tea spoons of added sugar. I’m normally against such taxes, but the playing field is so skewed against the consumer and the health consequences are sinking the NHS.
We found low fat items dominating even in Jersey! The supermarket we shopped in never sold whole milk in large containers. Skimmed and semi-skimmed came in all sizes – and of course, larger containers are cheaper per litre. I did ask the assistants why the shop didn’t seem proud of their lovely Jersey cream but got no response.
Our local Tesco stopped stocking dripping too – I put in a request for it but it didn’t do any good. Maybe things will change?
It is a chicken and egg problem. The
British Heart Foundation and such
cannot comprehend the truth, because
they are carb addled and over PUFA’d.
They could only change their minds if
their minds were healed by eating more
saturated fat, but they won’t because
they can’t see the truth – repeat ad naseum.
There could potentially be a tsunami of litigation here, another poster touched on this. And I suppose some doctors are reluctant to prescribe statins, but faced with an eager patient who wishes to take them is in the horns of a dillema. How will all this play out.
In the US doctors will practice defensive medicine and prescribed statins even if the patient and the doctor also agree that they are a waste of time. The prescription issued is evidence that he followed the official directive. A terrible state of affairs but the LAW
Guidelines and laws are two different things. Fortunately for the lawyers, most people don’t understand this concept.
I really do hope some doctors and people are starting to listen more to this. I recently saw my GP about various bits but not my high cholesterol, not any more. She agreed it was high when I mentioned it first and I said but I’m not taking statins, I won’t. She said OK moved on. I was encouraged that there was no fight!
Linda, like you I saw my GP recently, I’m 62, after falling for their routine health check scam. I’d tried statins for a few weeks two years ago but gave up due to the adverse effects then came across Dr Kendrick’s books, this blog and other evidence, including from an elderly neighbour who blamed statins for leg muscle damage: he stopped taking them too. So we had this conversation: GP: “your Cholesterol is high (6.5), it used to be about 5 and was 3.9 when when you were on the statins, you’ve got a 25% chance of having a stroke or heart attack in the next 10 years so we need to get this down”. “I couldn’t get on with the statin due to the adverse effects”, short discussion of the adverse effects then he said “here’s a prescription it’s not a statin so you won’t get the side effects”. I wondered what sort of wonder drug he was prescribing, maybe one of the new drugs. But it was for Bezafibrate 400mg one a day. I looked it up, Fibrates are an earlier type of cholesterol lowering drug than statins. I only tried one, just to see the effect really, and it made me feel lousy, just like the statins, maybe worse, god know what bad effect these would have if I took them for a few weeks.
I’m not sure if the GP really believes in statins and cholesterol lowering, he must spend much of his time dealing with people complaining about the adverse effects, my neighbour told me that he’d not put up any resistance when he told him he’d stopped taking them due to his leg damage. But there seem to be these NHS targets to meet. However the general public is getting more aware of statin dangers due to newspaper articles, the internet and Dr Kendrick’s books, which are available in all good libraries, and well borrowed too, they don’t just sit on the shelf. And I can’t imagine that any GP is unaware of all this. Perhaps they aren’t allowed to think for themselves these days, do they have to follow NHS procedure to the letter?
Perhaps they aren’t allowed to think for themselves these days, do they have to follow NHS procedure to the letter?
Delete the “Perhaps” and you are right on target!
I no longer attend annual checkups at my GP’s surgery. The nurse talks about diet, diabetes and heart disease and knows nothing about any of them. I loaned her a book after my last visit.
Victor, after 3 years of being medication-free, I now spend a lot of time refining my LCHF diet. The new way of eating has been my salvation in combatting the atrocious effects brought on by the nonsensical NHS high carb recommendation for type 2 diabetes, and the preposterous statin -induced lowering of my cholesterol. I was also being prescribed way too high dosage of B/P lowering drugs. This triad of toxins seems commonplace in today’s health culture, and I am so sorry that not enough GPs are speaking out in support of Dr Kendrick.
I also blame the incredible consumption of HUFAs and PUFAs in the post war diet for interfering with our health. Rather than Big Agriculture and Big Food manufactures removing these products, I believe they are playing into the hands of Big Pharma which will continue into the forseeable future to look for ways of reversing their bad effects.
I accept that polyunsaturated fats are an essential part of our diet, and indeed, I use unrefined nuts and seeds ( all of which have more than a smattering of omega 6 to accompany the omega 3), on a daily basis. The message to get across to consumers is that it is the over-refinement of PUFAs, especially by heat, that changes them from being healthy requirements for our systems, into dangerous toxins. Also, the demonisation of Sats, has caused an inordinate over-consumption of these damaged PUFAs, which, along with the Statinisation of the nation, is a double whammy for all the inflammatory problems of ill health.
Are you still on bp meds. how do you know the dosage was to high.
Hi Jennifer, how did you manage to get off the BP meds
Sarah, I changed from a high carb to low carb diet, and all my readings changed for the better. I was seen by an endocrinologist who told me to half the dose immediately, and if my home readings continued to be good, then to come off them all together, which I did.( would have stopped them anyway, as I had turned my back on poly-pharma by then)
I am a great believer in what we eat being very influential in how we are either ill or well. That is why I am getting as much info about natural foodstuffs. I turned away from processed foods a long while ago, but I also think we ought to be aware of the benefits and, perhaps, pitfalls, of ‘wholesome and natural’ foods developed over the last century. e.g. apples and oranges which have been developed into ‘sugar bombs’
Sarah: This is exactly my question, too; that is, weaning, or cold turkey? I take only Lisinopril, but wish to be drug-free. I’ve learned two things about Lisinopril which give me pause: 1. Lisinopril can damage the kidneys, and 2. Lisinopril is number 5 on the FDA list of drugs with adverse outcomes leading to death (warfarin is number 1). After reading what spacedoc says about BP I’m no longer concerned (last reading in December was 131/78, at age 66, and not even taken correctly). I’ve come to the conclusion from reading spacedoc’s various posts about BP that unless it is taken correctly, there is no point, since our BP can vary widely, depending on what we are doing at the time it is taken. Spacedoc I trust, like Dr. Kendrick.
There is an interesting editorial in the BMJ this morning.
http://www.bmj.com/content/353/bmj.i1763 by Dr. Margaret McCartney. The BMJ is very good at letting ordinary folk, patients et al comment as a rapid response. Well worth a try
I, too, had no fight when I casually mentioned at a medication review that I was no longer taking the prescribed statins. I added that I believed they could shorten my life, make conditions like alzheimers more likely, and maybe even cause heart problems.
The GP just said “OK, I’ll remove those then”. I then asked, I wonder if you doctors will be taking these medications one day, and he replied “oh no, we probably won’t take anything”.
I have a feeling that many of them know more than they let on, but as someone has said, they’ve learned not to argue with official recommendations or pele above them.
Well and good, but wait until you tell them you don’t vaccinate your children. You’re unlikely to get such a casual response.
Spellcheck. Dilemma. Sorry to give you more work Dr Kendrick.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, for being a voice prepared to speak out and fight for our health.
Seems i was picked up in the US by the Washington Post – interesting commentary on it and some insight as well. Let’s see if any of the major networks pick it up as well.. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/04/12/this-study-40-years-ago-could-have-reshaped-the-american-diet-but-it-was-never-fully-published/
Don’t hold your breath waiting for a change. One paragraph caught my attention: “Part of the problem, Broste suggested in an interview, may have been limits on statistical methods at the time. Computer software for statistics wasn’t as readily available as it is today. So, at the time of the study, it wasn’t as easy to know how significant the data was. ” Pure mathematical hogwash! While modern computers can cut the time required to do the statistics, they don’t change the math. Statistical analyses were done, and were done rigorously, before computers became available — and they were available at that time, just not in desktop/laptop models. In 1973, when the study ended, I had just slogged through doing my thesis stat analysis using one of the first desktop (not PC) computers and a good old HP calculator. And isn’t it a coincidence that both teams of researchers (MCE and SDHS) just happened not to publish, and not to “realize the significance of”, those data that showed the cholesterol-heart disease relationship to be a myth? Yes, such a coincidence. Couldn’t have had anything to do with money, bigwig reputations, or anything like that, could it?
Any excuse will do in a storm.
I fully agree!
I had the same experience during the 70th making statistic on my HP-calulator. I actually had to replace the keybord when being worn out. At that time we, by necessity, had to do the actual programming ourselves which couldn’t be done without understanding what we were doing.
In ten years this picture completely changed with all the statistic softwares entering the PC-world. I was myself a pioneer applying this kind of software while later actually turning allergic when seeing the abuse in the hands of careless students.
Great article, Danny. William Willett must be getting palpitations every time Ramsden publishes something.
Bronte, who worked with Ancel Keys and Franz on the study, had this to say: “The results flew in the face of what people believed at the time,” said Broste. “Everyone thought cholesterol was the culprit. This theory was so widely held and so firmly believed — and then it wasn’t borne out by the data. The question then became: Was it a bad theory? Or was it bad data? … My perception was they were hung up trying to understand the results.”
The same thing happened in the Sydney Diet Heart Study. Pretty damning, especially when you consider that Keys is the reason we’re all in this mess. Confirms a lot of what people say about his character.
From everything I have read it is clear that Keys was a liar and a bully and he ruthlessly manipulated the data to crush opponents. A totally odious man.
Interestingly, Keys lived to be 100, not something you find very often in driven personalities. Maybe he derived extra satisfaction from revelling in his own presumed greatness.
Would be interesting to know whether he reached that high age on a high corn / high PUFA / low animal products diet. At least, Walter Willett, seems to live (or rather eat) what he preaches.
Keys had a ville south of Naples, and probably benefitted from the Italian paradox
“Eating too much saturated fat increases the amount of cholesterol in your blood.” Perhaps it does, but, “So what?” First, this is an idiotic statement on the face of it. What is “too much” saturated fat? Eating “too much” of anything is not advisable. And if the amount of cholesterol in your blood goes up, why is that a cause for concern? The data show that’s not in the least harmful.
“There is at least one funeral, currently, that I can think would help to move science along”
I have just suffered a myocardial infarction brought on by sustained hard laughter !!!!!!
I think you’re all being very nasty to poor Professor Pearson. Just put him on a healthy diet high in PUFAs, that ought to do the trick!
There’s a good deal of evidence that linoleic acid (LA) is the cause of atherosclerosis, and all the rest of the metabolic syndrome. This has largely been overlooked in your series, unfortunately.
Toxic metabolites of LA (like 4-HNE, the best studied) can be consumed with heated oils, but they’re also produced by the mitochondria in the body. They *are* the source of the “oxidative damage” that we hear so much about. Among many other things, they impair NO production. These metabolites are *always* found in atherosclerotic lesions.
“4-Hydroxynonenal Prevents NO Production in Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells by Inhibiting Nuclear Factor-κB–Dependent Transcriptional Activation of Inducible NO Synthase”
Like statins, LA acts as a liver toxin, which is probably why both reduce cholesterol in the blood—they impair liver function.
Ha, that might be the explanation I was looking for why PUFAs appear to lower cholesterol.
LA is a PUFA. LA is a liver toxin. LA appears to lower cholesterol by damaging liver function—the liver is unable to completely export cholesterol and you wind up with fatty liver.
Intriguing. Do you have the full reference or link?
This is probably a good place to start:
“Cell death and diseases related to oxidative stress:4-hydroxynonenal (HNE) in the balance”
Scroll down to the section on Cardiovascular disease. 4-HNE is produced from linoleic acid only.
“HNE has been shown to be implicated in cardiovascular diseases, as an accumulation of HNE was described in atherosclerotic lesions in both human and animals. LDLs can be oxidized by ROS from vascular cells. This leads to the formation of HNE and other aldehydes. HNE can form adducts with apoB. Oxidized-LDL bound to HNE-adducted apoB has a lower affinity for the apoB/E receptors that are expressed in most cell lines, except macrophages. Such modified LDLs are then reoriented toward scavenger receptors, expressed at the surface of macrophages and smooth muscle cells, leading to the formation of foam cells. The accumulation of foam cells promotes apoptosis induction and the formation of lipid cores.”
Tuck: “4-HNE is produced from linoleic acid only.”
Any reference for that? The English and German Wikipedia entries say otherwise:
“4-Hydroxynonenal is generated in the oxidation of lipids containing polyunsaturated omega-6 acyl groups, such as arachidonic or linoleic groups, and of the corresponding fatty acids viz., the hydroperoxy precursors to 15-hydroxyicosatetraenoic acid and 13-Hydroxyoctadecadienoic acid, respectively. Although they are the most studied ones, in the same process other oxygenated α,β-unsaturated aldehydes (OαβUAs) are generated also, which can also come from omega-3 fatty acids, such as 4-oxo-trans-2-nonenal, 4-hydroxy-trans-2-hexenal, 4-hydroperoxy-trans-2-nonenal and 4,5-epoxy-trans-2-decenal.”
“Any reference for that? The English and German Wikipedia entries say otherwise”
Most of the arachidonic acid in the body is made from linoleic acid, although meat is another source of it. If your linoleic acid levels are low enough not to be problematic, then the arachidonic acid levels in the food you eat are unlikely to be an issue.
Additionally, the demonstrated mechanism for producing 4-HNE in the body is via linoleic acid in cardiolipin in the mitochondria, and only appears to happen (that I’ve been able to find) when cardiolipin is composed exclusively of LA.
Of course, 4-HNE is a far more effective oxidizing agent than pretty much anything else, so it can certainly oxidize arachidonic acid after it’s produced.
There’s exactly one study I’m aware of that attempted to treat metabolic syndrome via LA reduction, inspired by Ramsden’s earlier research. They had a 100% cure rate of NAFLD, on a high-carb diet. Pretty fascinating result, as it suggests (as Ray Peat has been saying for years) that carbs aren’t such a problem in the absence of PUFAs.
Tuck, this IS REALLY good stuff:
“There’s exactly one study I’m aware of that attempted to treat metabolic syndrome via LA reduction, inspired by Ramsden’s earlier research. They had a 100% cure rate of NAFLD, on a high-carb diet. Pretty fascinating result, as it suggests (as Ray Peat has been saying for years) that carbs aren’t such a problem in the absence of PUFAs.”
Any more searchwords or a link for that study?
That last sentence makes perfect sense. Most critics of orthodoxy will go after either sugar or PUFAs.
I’ve linked to the study Tuck mentioned here, with some other NAFLD studies. That study limited both sugar and PUFA, and though it was low fat, favoured dairy fat.
Well this paper (Tuck reference) and the exchange of comments is blockbuster stuff from my perspective. It would be good to see more discussion of this thread. Is the problem carbs or PUFA’s?
“Is the problem carbs or PUFA’s?”
I think the primary issue is pretty clearly omega-6 PUFAs. Excess omega-3 PUFAs also appear to be harmful, but much less so (unless you’re also an alcoholic. Nota bene).
I think carbs are harmful, but much less so in the absence of the mitochondrial damage caused by PUFAs.
I avoid PUFAs (but eat fish regularly) and also eat low-carb.
Wow, I haven’t even gotten into PUFAs and macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness!) or skin cancer.
The latter has been revolutionary for me personally…
What a great reference!
I just happen to be at the section in my favourite reading (in order to ‘understand’ some basics about medicine), “THE CELL”, where the lysosomes and cell ‘traffic’ to feed these organelles is discussed in detail. The complexity of the physiological processes involved and as revealed, in the textbook but not least in your reference, is as always just stunning – at least to me.
Perhaps it is as within any field of specialised discipline (as in my own case with metallurgy and the superalloys used in aerospace) that ‘understanding’ turns overwhelmingly complex when you get into the details bedding for simplified overviews and ‘one-liners’, e.g. “PUFA’s are bad for your health!”
Still I think that ‘knowledge is possible’ 🙂
Tuck, how does the excess LA get through the endothelial cells to form plaque?
“Tuck, how does the excess LA get through the endothelial cells to form plaque?”
OK, LA permeates every cell in the body (it appears to be limited in getting to the brain, however), and alters the composition of the mitochondria, where it gets oxidized. LA doesn’t form plaque, per se, but after it gets oxidized and the OXLAMs (Oxidized LA Metabolites) damage other molecules, those downstream products form the plaque.
As I understand it.
Tuck, any links on macular degeneration and PUFAs? My mother has this and has lived on Stork for years. Slapping it on like jam. *facepalm*
Regarding PUFA and cancer there was some saddening experience in the beginning of kidney transplants.
The patients to be transplanted were given large amounts of sunflower oil in preparation for the transplant, if I now remember right, in order to eliminate the immune defence system reaction to the foreign organ. It worked fine and the patients kept their new kidneys but the practice had to be abandoned due to the high incidence of cancer.
“Regarding PUFA and cancer there was some saddening experience in the beginning of kidney transplants.”
Yes, I’ve seen that story on Barry Grove’s (RIP) site, but I’ve never been able to find confirmation of it. I’ve seen studies that lead one to the same conclusion that there’s some fundamental link between LA and cancer, however, but perhaps the best bit was this:
“Animal experiments indicated that a minimum amount of linoleic acid is required to promote growth of artificially induced tumors in rodents…”
The problem with the rest of that abstract is that you’d have to take people on a low LA diet and add it, and then see if cancer increases. That’ not been done, and the epidemiological studies I’ve seen are not particularly enlightening, since they’re just trying to elucidate a link when everyone has the same variable.
However, given that oxidized LA metabolites are capable of damaging DNA, it’s hardly a stretch to think it could lead to cancer!
Many thanks for the link. I have downloaded the whole paper. Will take time to digest the details.
TucK: However, given that oxidized LA metabolites are capable of damaging DNA, it’s hardly a stretch to think it could lead to cancer!
And that’s on the somatic theory of cancer. If one of the mitochondrial theories is closer to the truth about cancer, ω6LA might be even easier to explain as an enabler.
“And that’s on the somatic theory of cancer. If one of the mitochondrial theories is closer to the truth about cancer, ω6LA might be even easier to explain as an enabler.”
LA fits very well with the evidence we have about cancer. One study I saw that looked at genetic mutations in cancer found that a single type of cancer had thousands of mutations, all different, but some cancerous cells had no mutations at all. So pretty clearly the simple somatic theory of cancer is wrong as a blanket explanation.
But one still has to explain all those seemingly random mutations. If mitochondria are pumping out a chemical that’s both a mutagen and damaging/fatal to the mitochondria, that explains an awful lot of the features of cancer cells…
Göran, any reference on transplant patients being given sunflower oil to attenuate their immune response? This does not sound entirely plausible, and a quick google search didn’t turn up anything, either.
“carbs aren’t such a problem”
That’s what I have been trying to tell you.
“Göran, any reference on transplant patients being given sunflower oil to attenuate their immune response?”
Unfortunately I don’t have any references and I don’t remember where I actually picked up this story. Though, a few month ago I had a discussion with a retired MD who confirmed the practice but there was no time for me to ask him further.
As you say something must have been published about this though I have myself not done any search. It should also surface today after the BMJ-paper one might suppose.
I did a search and found something about the use of PUFA at early transplantations.
So there seems to be a support to the story I read some years ago.
Anyway it make sense to me that with a compromised immune system cancer is more likely than if your defence system is intact.
Lysophosphatidylcholine lowered years before people get cancer
Heard about this on the radio. Here’s the papers:
Apparently, it had been known for some time that lyso-PC-levels are depressed in cancer patients, but in this study they found depressed levels years ahead of cancer diagnosis.
Their discussion revolves around how cancer cells consume lyso-PC. I guess they assume that some undiagnosed lesions were already existing when the blood samples were drawn. I wonder if something in these people’s diet lowered lyso-PC which in turn facilitated mutations.
Unfortunately, the wikipedia article on lyso-PC is a mess.
Apparently, some lyso-PC are being investigated as cancer drugs but lyso-PC are also implicated in MS and similar diseases. The article states also what foods are rich in lyso-PC, but not what reduces lyso-PC.
“The article states also what foods are rich in lyso-PC, but not what reduces lyso-PC.”
According to this paper, lysoPC is part of the cascade that also produces 4-HNE.:
“In addition to 4-HNE,we have demonstrated that a chemically inert oxidized lipid, lysoPC(lysophosphatidylcholine), can also induce mitochondrial ROS production through a Ca-dependent process that leads to the selective activation of the ERK (extracellular-signal-regulated kinase)/MAPK pathway. The mechanism remains to be defined in detail but appears to involve an interplay between the Ca2+-dependent mitochondrial dehydrogenases and complex I”
“Cell signalling by oxidized lipids and the role of reactive oxygen species in the endothelium”
Click to access 1385.full.pdf
So if malfunctioning pre-cancerous cells are less reliant on the mitochondria, that could explain lower lysoPC levels.
Göran, the secondopionons link was very helpful. Pity those old editions of Lancet are not freely available..
I love it. Very nice. My HDL is 153 and Trigs just 46 with a ratio of just .3. According to the docs I need statins. Haha. These docs are in the business of profit making and not health care.They are not cool docs who fix people like Dr. Kendrick. My total cholesterol is a lovely 356. I am 47 and look and feel like I am in my 30s.
So does fish oil have the same ‘benefits’ as vegetable oil?
Fish oil does seem to have benefits, although the studies can be conflicting. For instance, there was a study (saw on twitter) that fish oil helped with people with heart failure. They improved their ejection fraction, for instance. There are other studies that haven’t been as good, though.
It also seems that fish is better than fish oil. In the study I just referenced, however, they took several grams of EPA per day, which means you’d really have to eat fish every day and quite a bit of it, too. So, realistically, you’d be looking at some fish oil, at least on most days.
I completely agree. The Bristol study is behind a pay wall, but is a powerful refutation of the (at least here in the U. S.) “don’t eat fish because of the mercury” nonsense, especially when such advice is given to pregnant women, whose developing fetus requires large amounts of DHA. “But get your flu shot.” Madness.
re: So does fish oil have the same ‘benefits’ as vegetable oil?
I’m convinced it has actual benefits, in both cardiovascular and neurological health. I deliberately take 3+ grams of DHA+EPA Omega 3 per day. I deliberately avoid all the non-native Omega 6 LA that I can manage. There are a number of dietary fats that need specific consideration, and these ω3s and this ω6 perhaps top the lists.
The problem with ω3DHA+EPA is that with most of us being off our ancestral diets, we don’t get enough (and getting enough from random seafood has some modern hazards).
The problem with ω6LA is that we get too much, both from deliberate use under mistaken official advice, and relentless inclusion as an ingredient in prepared and processed food-like substances (enabled by cheap subsidized industrial grain and seed oils).
The rise in production of PUFA vegetable oils is a graph that perfectly correlates with the rise in a number of chronic non-infectious ailments. I’m inclined to think it’s only partially causative, because there are other agents with similar modern trend lines (I put consuming grain products generally, and added sugars, ahead of ω6LA on the list of usual suspects).
I noted in the supermarket tonight when stocking up on organic butter that I could have had the same amount of margarine at one fifth of the cost for the butter. As some have observed (Gary Tubes for one) good nutrition tend to turn into a class issue.
re: …good nutrition tend to turn into a class issue.
A century ago, only the affluent could afford to eat poorly (excess sugar, mostly).
But we are seeing the market respond to demand (at least in the US), with a noticeable growth in products featuring claims of things like organic, grain-free, low-carb, ketogenic, pastured, gluten-free, non-GMO, etc. Some are just pandering, of course, and few have grasped the whole elephant, but it’s encouraging.
Those on budgets do need to pick their battles, but they are worth picking. Consensus medicine is almost entirely useless at treating the myriad malaises caused by the diets they recommend. The savings in reduced cravings, lost time for treatment, medical travel, and clinic/med co-pays alone can pay for a lot of pastured organic butter.
Consensus medicine is almost entirely useless at treating the myriad malaises caused by the diets they recommend.
The “diets” are indeed caused by official advice as you say but I find little attempt of officialdom to correct otself
This may have been posted already – it’s a nice and simple overview
Adele Hite (Earthopolgy) had a post about this today, too! She said it is getting much more airplay (in the U.S.) than that Willet/Katz Oldways sunny Greek Isle nonsense from last year.
I’ve completely changed my diet after reading your blogs and books and feel and look all the better for it. Well done. Hopefully, more people will listen. Keep up the good work.
Looks like more science based ammo to throw at my GP’s when I go for my prescription revue in a few months time and I enter into the battle again, as to why I refuse to take Statins. I think they are learning not to argue with a Doctor of biological sciences now though.
As we know, money talks, so perhaps things will begin to change when manufacturers of so-called cholesterol lowering products (and/or the BHF) are hit with lawsuits from relatives of people who died after taking their advice……
Tough law suit to win. I think the US government is immune to such suits, so only the doctors are left and possibly the pharma companies. However, I would love to see some deep pockets individual go for it. The publicity would be incredible.
There’s some very amusing wriggling going on in the various responses to this. A favourite one is to point that cholesterol lowering often predicts death, especially in the elderly, because some unspecified “illness” that lowers cholesterol also causes death. The implication is that it therefore can’t be the oil causing death.
The relationship is nicely shown here
However, note that in elderly people with low cholesterol whose cholesterol level subsequently went back up, the death rate was reduced. It was only significant in people whose low cholesterol stayed low through the spaced series of measurements.
So why in heck would you give these people something that would stop their cholesterol from rising? If high cholesterol is protective in this population, shouldn’t raising cholesterol be the rational intervention?
I love this comment as the conclusion:
We have been unable to explain our results. These data cast doubt on the scientific justification for lowering cholesterol to very low concentrations (<4.65 mmol/L) in elderly people.
So why try?????
PS I am old, 76!!!!!!
Thanks for the link. We can’t explain the results.
The statement of those who cannot use their little grey cells as they have been totally brainwashed
Thank you, as ever, Dr Kendrick for your dedication to revealing these truths.
Margarine has long fallen into the category of a “frankenfood” for me. I clearly remember in the late 1970s when Flora replaced butter in my childhood home. It was beyond disgusting, we all hated it but my mother told us it would save us from having a heart attack. In my early 20s, I found out how margarine was made & I was horrified. It was so unnatural & uncoloured was nothing more than grey slime. I quickly changed back to butter & started to be interested in organically produced foods and the emerging paleo concept of eating.
There is a lot to be said for food being food, as it has been for thousands of years. I am personally persuaded that anything that requires industrial extracting, industrial mixing or scary looking chemical additives is unlikely to be particularly good for the human body – if not actually harmful.
One of the first thing I recognised after my serious heart attack 1999 when I scratched my “research” head wondering why this had happen to me and then went digging was that margarine would be one probable culprit in my case as the “cookie monster” I was proven to be.
I remember reading that a lipid researcher then stating: ” If we had known what we today know about margarine and health it would probably not have been approved as food for humans.”
Since I recovered pretty well after the serious blow people tended to ask me what they should do stay fit. My simple answer at that time was: “Never eat margarine!” and of course to stay away from all sweets.
That’s what I found most interesting about this study, they seem to imply that the vegetable oil rich in linoleic acid replaced the trans-fat laden margarine of the control diet.
So the controls had trans-fat margarine and did better than the intervention group at all cause mortality.
How bad is vegetable oil rich in linoleic acid that trans-fat margarine is less bad for you?
What would the results have been if they actually used real food saturated fats?
That trans-fat could be rather innocent is a really interesting point of view.
I while ago this issue was addressed with rigour by a commentator here at Malcolm’s blog and to some extent her remarks made sense to me. To ban the trans-fat could then possibly be just a BigPharma trick to cover up for the real culprit; all the omega-6 stuff involved.
The whole purpose of the margarine process is not only to turn the PUFA oils into a spread as a cheap replacement for butter but at the same time to make the product inert for an extremely prolonged shelf life.
The saturation involved in the hydrogenated margarine process certainly produces high melting temperature inert fat out of the fluid oils but evidently the cis-PUFA’s turned around their double bonds into trans-PUFA’s also make them much less prone to react with oxygen and to go rancid for some reason I have not understood.
This is a subject seldom brought up but it is intriguing.
Dr. Goran Sjoberg: Read what Dr. Fred Kummerow has published (he’s still publishing at 101!) about trans fat. He’s been warning about them since 1957.
I am fully aware of Dr. Kummerow’s liife long struggle against FDA and I am certainly on ‘his side’. Still I found the point made by the serious commentator interesting in it’s logic and Doug’s comment here reminded me of this.
My ‘golden rule’ of caution is still since 1999: “Never touch anything that contains ‘partially hydrogenated vegetable oil’ !”
Truer words were never spoken!
Nigella, it’s tragic how many people have tried to do the right thing and harmed themselves by following Government advice. I did the same as your mum. All those well intentioned people who are still buying low fat spreads, yoghurts and vegetable oils in good faith. All that artificial junk and sugar. I think historians will call this the biggest self-inflicted public health disaster ever. Those responsible for dietary advice in the UK, like Alison Tedstone, should be ashamed of themselves. Thank goodness for Zoe Harmcombe, Trudi Deakin and Caryn Zinn.
Look, let’s be clear about this. If you tell someone to do something, and it leads to him dying earlier than he otherwise would have, you have killed him. It’s called murder.
We aren’t talking about the “experts” being a little misguided. We are talking about criminal culpability. It’s my guess that more people were killed in the 20th century by following this advice than by Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot and the Israeli state combined.
These people were murdered. They put the food in their own mouths, but they were murdered. By doctors and by benevolent government. Get used to it.
Had two stents fitted in October ( after a cardiac event ) which I believe was caused by inadequate treatment of hypothyroidism!! Another scandalous area ignored by many medics! I refused the “aggressive secondary treatment of 80 mg Lipitor” and explained that cholesterol had no bearing on heart disease. I was swiftly discharged!!
Reblogged this on Lorraine Cleaver.
You are the Man, Dr Kendrick, long may you continue 🙂
The position of one being defeated in a debate is to move the argument to defence of ones position, rather than continue to debate the subject matter.
Thank you so much for your seemingly endless supply of information which I promise is not being wasted.
I take it that the BHF is a charity? I ask with heavy heart, as I have concluded over the last decade or so that virtually all our national charities are hopelessly corrupted. Nowadays it’s only local charities that get our money, in hopes that rumours of corruption might reach our ears rapidly. Terribly sad, innit?
In another blog someone complained that Heart-UK was promoting a new cholesterol lowering drug by AMGEN. I complained to the Charities Commission (CC) and after a whole roundabout of answers I finally got an answer to the point – namely that the complaint was not within their remit but the CC were looking in to this area of charity activity.
Yes, it is terribly sad that even the medical charities are now corrupted to the point that drug companies are using them as “credible” drug advertising agencies
Before giving to any charity, it is saluatory to go online and garner two facts a) who are the funders and b) what are the administration costs, especially those relating to salaries?
Yes, and at least in the U.S., most of them (except those which actually feed the needy) exist simply to exist, with slick marketing campaigns, high salaries for the bigwigs, and the bulk of the money spent on salaries and promotional activities. This is particularly true of disease charities.
I boycott all the pink ribbon crap.
I am wondering if naturally low cholesterol levels, (ie low without drug intervention) is just as likely to lead to “higher mortality rates” as low cholesterol levels achieved by drug intervention? If “high” chol levels are simply a marker, indicating that cholesterol is doing its mending and rescue job, then naturally low chol levels might indicate that nothing is wrong, and nothing needs mending. So, as with lowering blood pressure, reducing levels to those of a fit 25 year-old will do nothing towards curing the problem?
Very interesting question, indeed. I wonder if there is anything published that would address it. What would the normal range of TC, LDL, HDL, TG, and the rest be in humans? I suspect it partly relates to diet. The only reference I have are the graphs in Joel M. Kauffman’s book, from MRFIT showing lowest mortality for men for TC between 4.1 and 6.2, and for women between 5.2 and 6.2; and one from Forette of elderly French women (mean age 82) showing the death rate five years after measurement is lowest at 7.0, not rising much until above 8.0, but rising faster below 6.1, and rising rapidly below 4.9. This gives a bit of a broad picture, and possibly Dr. Kendrick has addressed this at some point, but I find it remarkably damning to the statin pushing agenda.
Low Cholesterol, particularly LDL, is associated with a poor prognosis in COPD while low and/or falling TC is associated with increased death rates from CVD and other conditions such as Alzheimer’s (Lorin – Alzheimer’s Solved.
This paper is of interest:
Anderson K.M. and others. JAMA 1987;257:2176-80Cholesterol and mortality. 30 years of follow-up from the Framingham study.
Anderson KM, Castelli WP, Levy D.
From 1951 to 1955 serum cholesterol levels were measured in 1959 men and 2415 women aged between 31 and 65 years who were free of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer. Under age 50 years, cholesterol levels are directly related with 30-year overall and CVD mortality; overall death increases 5% and CVD death 9% for each 10 mg/dL. After age 50 years there is no increased overall mortality with either high or low serum cholesterol levels. There is a direct association between falling cholesterol levels over the first 14 years and mortality over the following 18 years (11% overall and 14% CVD death rate increase per 1 mg/dL per year drop in cholesterol levels). Under age 50 years these data suggest that having a very low cholesterol level improves longevity. After age 50 years the association of mortality with cholesterol values is confounded by people whose cholesterol levels are falling–perhaps due to diseases predisposing to death.
Incidentally the US guidelines by the NHBLI and AHA cited this paper but claimed that cholesterol lowering was associated with decreasing CVD. In that the authors put “11% overall and 14% CVD death rate increase per 1 mg/dL per year drop in cholesterol levels” in their abstract for all and sundry to see suggests to me that they considered this very important,
It also raises the issue of why the NHBLI/AHA should apparently misquote the report.
In a study by the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA of LDL levels in over 22,000 heart attack patients back in 2009, they found that 75 percent of the patients had low to normal cholesterol. Out of that 75%, 55% had low cholesterol. Their conclusion, we need to lower cholesterol levels even more.
They didn’t even think that low cholesterol might be the problem.
Thanks for the link. I particularly liked the statement “it’s obvious to anyone with a functioning brain that high LDL isn’t the problem”. But surely that is the problem and I can only put it down to the fact that these researchers so believe their own myth that they are on statins and suffering from the well known adverse reactions of statins on cognitive ability.
Alternatively, they just want to keep their jobs, have attended our broken school system, are complete wimps, wish to see the grant money to continue to flow smoothly, and/or slept through the part of science class where they enlighten the students about how to conduct science. I suspect all of the above.
Another brilliant essay. One wonders how you have time to do it. I am finding it hard to keep up with you and I am retired. I might add that your use of capitals is entirely justified; personally I would have bolded them as well. Thank you so much
To quote you:
One can again only speculate as to why the original researchers did not reveal all of their data
After the Australian attack on the television series on cholesterol by Dr. Demasi I would suggest that the non-revelation was due to fear of attack by those of the medical establishment who support the view that “<i.saturated fat is bad”
You quote Professor Jeremy Pearson of the BHF “….More research and longer studies are needed……… which frankly is a common and standard answer for supporters of a mythical dogma when presented with a well done study that contradicts the official Gospel. It is the height of stupidity and desperation!
As an aside the FDA, MHRA and EMA approve a drug presumably on the basis of “medically based evidence”
and then later have to remove it from the market. BAYCOL as an example springs to mind. To me this shows that the so-called “medically based evidence” on which the original approval was based was seriously flawed and incomplete and raises the query on the validity of the original supportive assessment.
A further quote:
Diagnosis and prognosis research and efforts to individualize treatment have fuelled recurrent spurious promises. Risk factor epidemiology has excelled in salami-sliced data-dredged articles with gift authorship and has become adept to dictating policy from spurious evidence. Under market pressure, clinical medicine has been transformed to finance-based medicine.
My view entirely regarding diagnosis, prognosis based on risk factor epidemiology, particularly when those factors are merely surrogate markers. While this may be valid for an animal herd or even a human herd when the risk is high or relating to an effective vaccine but when it comes to daily therapy of dangerous drug with a 20% adverse reaction rate and a trivial benefit efficacy, it becomes an advertorial device, often based on flawed data as Dr Kendrick has shown.
I have been involved in risk (used to be called “challenge” as in trypanosomal challenge to cattle 1950s). In one study I was able to demonstrate that the challenge (risk) to cattle was an infective bite from tsetse every so many days; a view that had been proposed for malaria before the days of computers. Another model of human schistosomiasis showed that the most effective way of controlling the disease was not drugs but the provision of privies. These are examples of epidemiological models which are useful.
You ask whether the BHF really worries about the real health of people? The answer must be NO!
Even there own data combined with the WHO (see the graph I gave a link to in a previous blog) and the reference in David Evans “Low Cholesterol Leads to an Early Death” end of chapter 1 where BHF-WHO data on life expectancy and national TC levels are given with the result that life expectancy is negatively associated with TC levels. Yet the BHF steadfastly ingores their own data. There is also the EU-WHO-Monica survey, which Dr Kendrick first drew my attention to, which clearly shows that heart disease is negatively associated with Total fat, saturated fat and fruit and veg, but positively associated with carbohydrate. This survey which has been published on three occasions (plus a preliminary report) must have cost £millions but largely ignored.
Correction: The negatively is wrong. The higher the TC levels the higher the longer life expectancy is. Sorry, I am so used to positive associations from the experts being wrong.
The news this post imparts fills me with deep joy and great sadness, Dr Kendrick.
Aspects of modern human society are truly toxic. The burying of data that stands opposed to the agenda is a disreputable a thing as I can think of. I’ll bet you’d have loved to have these accounts to hand before ‘Doctoring Data’ went off to the printers.
My greatest sadness is that Barry Groves is no longer around to read your post and the remarks of your followers. He of course linked high-carb / high-PUFA diets with several chronic conditions of ill-health. Taking each of several health conditions in turn he looked at the evidence and formed conclusions with modesty and a degree of circumspection, I felt.
Each chapter ended with directions taken from a stance of ‘on balance of probability. Yet the serial analysis of one condition after another (which was the prominent synopsis of his book, Trick and Treat) reported a succession of ‘on balance of probability’ conclusions for a succession of conditions. Through this serialisation his work tended to squeeze out any remaining scope for doubt.
Barry was pioneering in his approach, he dared to think the unthinkable, then he set out to prove the unthinkable and counter-orthodox outlook was, in fact, the truth. Qualities any budding genius needs. Barry was a genius, God rest his soul.
At least the truth is out for us (that’s every man Jack and woman Mary) to promote.
Let’s get assertive. If not for our sakes then for sakes of the grandchildren – all of ’em.
Yes I do agree that something is beginning to happen. I’ve been banging on about cholesterol and satuated fats for more years than I care to remember but with little success. Now, just over the past few days, some friends and relations on statins have brought up the subject themselves, having read things in their papers. It must all be kept alive!
Treat and Trick looks like my sort of book and is now on my Kindle waiting to be started.
I bought Grove’s book years ago, and re-read it recently. It was still relevant and feels ahead of its time. A great man.
I am currently reading the Groves’ book. It is fascinating, I have no hesitation in recommending it to anybody
Isn’t there a “Hall of Shame” which we easily could fill up today?
Does anyone know the results of Dame Sally Davies’ prompted investigation into over prescription of statins. This was initiated last summer and a conclusion promised for early 2016?
No but I assume you have seen this http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-33127672
I liked the following snippet:
The letter reads: “There seems to be a view that doctors over-medicate so it is difficult to trust them, and that clinical scientists are all beset by conflicts of interest from industry funding and are therefore untrustworthy too.”
She says this is not in the interests of patients or the public’s health.
Pretty damning from a very senior medic!
Drano for the Arteries? cyclodextrin, removed cholesterol that had built up in the arteries of mice fed a high-fat diet, researchers report April 6 in Science Translational Medicine. The sugar enhances a natural cholesterol-removal process and persuades immune cells to soothe inflammation instead of provoking it, say immunologist Eicke Latz and colleagues. https://www.sciencenews.org/article/sugar-can-melt-away-cholesterol
re: Drano for the Arteries? cyclodextrin…
This is a development to watch. Cautions include that oral ingestion probably doesn’t work, and there may be various undesired long-term consequences.
The CD was administered by IV in these trials. The lit says (no cite handy) that taken by mouth, only 1% of the CD ends up in the blood stream. The rest is either cleaved to sugars, or feeds gut flora (not all necessarily the desired strains). The Hempel kids might be getting a full gram a day, IV. It’s not surprising that no one stumbled onto this previously.
This effect has been known for a while, Bob and Randall. Both Sporanox and Vfend IV use cyclodextrins to solubilize the active drugs and their development discusses its effect on cholesterol lowering. It’s also been tried for treating hypervitaminosis A. This cholesterol lowering effect is why Janssen got into the game. They are currently studying cyclodextin use for Niemann-Pick Type C disease (the Hempel twins), which is basically a defect leading to accumulation of cholesterol et al in organs. Although therapy looks fairly safe even at extremely large doses, the effect on lowering cholesterol is only modest if any. These researchers found no real change: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23218948
Plus, as you say, it would have to be given intravenously to reach “therapeutic” concentrations, so it’ll never make it to market for this purpose. I believe this immunologist is being a bit hyperbolic.
It appears that medicine and politics are bed fellows. Corruption and lack of transparency are blatantly obvious. Anyone who attempts to expose those ” experts ” who perpetrate fraud will be subject to attack. Probably the one who has challenged the establishment and suffered the most would be John Ioannidis, MD. He is likely, one of the most experienced and qualified. His learned opinions are dismissed as biased and misdirected. As I grow older I see my skepticism increase. Medicine appears to have an incurable disease.
More generally, I would say that science has an incurable disease. The same motivations to distort the truth are present in a host of areas.
For example, if you work at the LHC, are you really going to be able to treat scientific criticism of that endeavour in an unbiased way?
Also theories become the bedrock of further theories – just as the cholesterol theory has – and any doubt about a bedrock theory has the potential to invalidate much more research and upset a lot of your colleagues!
For example, the astronomer Halton Arp uncovered evidence that the red shifts of galaxies may sometimes be caused in ways other than the general expansion of the universe. This would invalidate some/most/all of the galactic distances that astronomers compute. The reaction was to ignore him, and try to remove his access to large telescopes to pursue his research!
Interesting comment about red shift in galaxies.
Still trying to get my head round dark energy, which sounds as
Though it was invented to fit the theory.
This is incredibly off topic
Mr chris: It was most certainly invented to fit the theory! Funny as hell. Modifying the theory to fit the evidence by inventing something entirely new and untestable. Methinks it ain’t science.
Gary and Chris,
Yes indeed, dark matter is another beautiful example of modern science at its worst! I mean by framing the problem in terms of a new material, you implicitly cut off alternatives without knowing anything more about the problem.
Science seems to have developed huge stacks of theory – think of the things heaped on top of Newtonian gravity and its successor General Relativity. If these don’t work over very long distances, then a mass of research results just collapse – just as they may if it finally turns out that red shifts can be caused by other mechanisms.
Halton Arp (who died recently) found evidence that high red shift galaxies were clustered about galaxies that are much nearer. He claims that this effect is much greater than would be expected by chance – but if the red shifts can be interpreted as distance (using Hubble’s law) any clustering is impossible because the relevant objects are half a universe apart!
He was a student of Hubble, and he claims that Hubble himself was beginning to doubt his own ‘law’.
David, Halton Arp is another person on my list of people intelligently disagreeing with the mainstream. Perhaps you should try sending me an email? anna oleynik at hotmail. no dots or spaces, except dot com.
Here is a good interview with dr arp.
There’s plenty of interesting stuff on the rest of this site. Celia Farber for one
cyclodextrin is a food additive and given GRAS – Substances Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS)
As Niland has pointed out oral consumption (as a nutrient) is likely to be ineffective. GRAS does not include IV administration which may affect results.
However, it is an interesting observation. Thank you for drawing attention to it
There is another sugar, xylose (??), which I seem to remember has useful effects in diabetes. It was several years ago. A monosaccharide Involved with glycoproteins/
I’m still reeling at the fact that I read only yesterday that women in the menopause/ peri-menopause have raised cholesterol therefore are more prone to heart attacks! Evidence for this would be really quite good 😦
What people need to know is this;
There have been absolutely no studies ever done in the past century that has ever pointed to cholesterol causing anyone early mortality. In fact, many of the test subjects over time who partook in a low cholesterol diet, in fact died early, and had numerous other problems.
Here is why we need cholesterol; DHEA gets created from cholesterol, and the hormones Testosterone and Estrogen are created from DHEA. It is absolutely VITAL to have properly balanced hormones for both sexes meaning, men with greater Testosterone. Some men do in fact have less Testosterone and more Estrogen than some women. You can not have properly balanced hormones if you follow a low cholesterol diet, it is impossible.
DHEA comes from our adrenal glands, and another hormone that gets secreted from there is Cortisol (stress hormone), they inversely affect each other meaning if cortisol is high, DHEA is either low or has difficulty converting to Testosterone or Estrogen. Cortisol will cause you to get fat, make your immune system weak, cause gastrointestinal problems, narrow your arteries (aka heart attack), just to name a few.
People you need Saturated and Monounsaturated fat, because we need the cholesterol it gives. We do NOT need polyunsaturated fat, that can be avoided.
Amanda: Largely true, but we most certainly need PUFA, though only in small amounts, except in infancy. The omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are PUFA, and they are called essential because they are. As far as I know all fats are composed of mixtures of SFA, MUFA, and PUFA. The PUFA content of animal fats varies from 2% (lamb tallow), to 16% (human breast milk), to 23-45% (salmon). It is widely agreed that the latter two are healthful. During gestation, and for a time in infancy (and perhaps beyond, I don’t know), the developing brain requires large amounts of DHA, as the human brain contains a high percentage of it. What we don’t need are hexane-extracted industrial seed oils, which vary in PUFA from 28% (canola) to 80% (sunflower).
You can’t avoid polyunsaturated fat. Anything with fat (not man-made) has a combination of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. For instance, see here for meat and other products:
For instance, a pork chop is 35% “evil” saturated fat, 44% monounsaturated fat, and 8% polyunsaturated fat.
You can eat less polyunsaturated fat, by not eating any “oils”. You could also choose which meats to eat, although this is more difficult.
“You can’t avoid polyunsaturated fat.”
Yes, this is an important point to make, which is why I always try to qualify it as “excess” LA…
Another brilliant synopsis, Dr. Kendrick. Worth a share.
Thank you for this post, Dr.Malcom Kendrick, you are a breath of fresh air!
>– Original Message — >Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2016 18:45:32 +0000 >To: email@example.com
Thanks to those who commented on my cyclodextins article. My main purpose was to give a little hope to those unhappy with statins. As far as IV goes, if I was dying of heart disease, getting an IV wouldn’t be a big deal. I know someone who cured (by blood test confirmation) for now, their leukemia by have injections of Vitamin C by IV. Here’s a link to a patent on using cyclodextins for reversing arterial plaques that was filed back in 2001. Much more info on how it works. https://www.google.com/patents/WO2002043742A1?cl=en
The question of PUFA and the effect to supress our immune system and the use at early kidney transplants made me do a search and arrived at an interesting UK Webplace which I was not aware of.
There I found the following about the effect of low cholesterol values on our immune system.
Very scary reading indeed!
Immunity to Infection
Part 3: Low Blood Cholesterol Compromises Immune Function
There is a substantial amount of evidence that relatively low cholesterol levels in apparently healthy individuals is associated with increased subsequent mortality from cancer. It is also associated with other, non-heart related deaths. A group at the Center for Clinical Pharmacology, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, tested whether the effectiveness of their immune systems differed in individuals with high and low levels of blood cholesterol.[i] The low cholesterol group’s cholesterol averaged 3.9 mmol/L (151 mg/dL); the high cholesterol group averaged 6.8 mmol/L (261 mg/dL). The immune systems of the men in the low cholesterol group were significantly less effective than those of the high cholesterol group. This finding was not surprising as several studies have shown that cholesterol is necessary for the proper functioning of blood cells — macrophages and lymphocytes — that form part of our immune systems. For this reason low blood cholesterol undoubtedly adversely affects our bodies’ ability to fight infection. This could well be another reason why infectious diseases are becoming more prevalent in our society.
Tuberculosis (TB), a disease thought to have been conquered decades ago, is returning. It has been noticed that low levels of cholesterol are common in patients suffering from TB. TB patients with low cholesterol also have higher death rates, particularly those cases with small (military) nodules. A hospital for respiratory diseases tested whether giving TB patients high-cholesterol meals would be effective in treating their condition.[ii] They split patients into two groups. One had meals containing 800 mg of cholesterol per day; the other had 250 mg of cholesterol per day. The trial was a success. By the second week, the numbers of TB bacteria in sputum was reduced 80% in the high-cholesterol group; it was only reduced by 9% in the low-cholesterol group. High-cholesterol diets now form part of the treatment for TB.
Infections and deaths in surgical patients
Low cholesterol is also linked to increased susceptibility to infection, including development of postoperative infection,[iii] and it predicts death and adverse outcomes in hospitalised patients.[iv] While some of this could be due to illness causing lower cholesterol, it may also be that low cholesterol contributes to illness; indeed, animal studies suggest lipoproteins may serve to protect against bacterial infection-induced death.[v]
It has been suggested in cases of critical surgical illness that a low cholesterol level is more likely to lead to the development of organ failure and death.
A study of patients undergoing surgery for gastrointestinal diseases at the Universita di L’Aquila in Italy, found that ‘Hypocholesterolemia [low blood cholesterol] seems to represent a significant predictive factor of morbidity and mortality in critically ill patients.'[vi] Of the patients studied, 35.1% contracted a postoperative infection. The highest incidence of postoperative septic complications (72.7%) was encountered in patients with cholesterol levels below 2.73 mmol/L (105 mg/dl). The authors say ‘The results of this study seem to indicate a significant relationship between preoperative hypocholesterolemia and the incidence of septic complications after surgery. Moreover, evaluation of blood cholesterol levels before major surgery might represent a predictive factor of septic risk in the postoperative period.’
Low cholesterol levels have also been associated clinically with the development of hospital infections. A study conducted at the Department of Surgery, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, set out to verify this. They found that lower levels of total cholesterol, and of LDL and HDL occurred early in the course of critical illness; this led to the development of a hospital infection; and with or without the infection, lower cholesterol was independently associated with a higher death rate.[vii] The authors conclude: ‘Decreased serum cholesterol concentration is an independent predictor of mortality in critically ill surgical patients. Repletion of serum lipids is a feasible therapeutic approach for the management of critical illness.’
Many patients in hospitals have or acquire infections during or after major abdominal surgery. The Department of Surgery at the Catholic University, Rome, Italy, conducted a study to identify factors that influenced mortality in patients who are affected by such infections.[viii] The hospital records of patients who had had a variety of abdominal operations and who had acquired an infection such as peritonitis were reviewed. Checking deaths against a battery of blood measurements, the authors of the study found that low cholesterol levels and low protein levels were both ‘strongly and independently associated with the outcome’.
Professor Uffe Ravnskov would not be at all surprised. He found that: ‘There is much evidence that blood lipids play a key role in the immune defence system. Bacterial endotoxin and Staphylococcus aureus a-toxin bind rapidly to and become inactivated by low-density-lipoprotein (LDL).'[ix] (Staphylococcus aureus is what the ‘SA’ in MRSA stands for.) Ravnskov also pointed out that ‘Total cholesterol is inversely associated with mortality caused by respiratory and digestive disease, the aetiologies of which are mostly infectious. Total cholesterol is also inversely associated with the risk of being admitted to hospital because of an infectious disease.’ In other words, if you have low cholesterol, you are more likely to end up in hospital and more likely to contract an infection while there.
[i]. Muldoon MF, Marsland A, Flory JD, et al. Immune system differences in men with hypo- or hypercholesterolemia. Clin Immunol Immunopathol 1997; 84: 145-9.
[ii]. Perez-Guzman C, Vargas, MH, Quinonez, F, et al. A Cholesterol-Rich Diet Accelerates Bacteriologic Sterilization in Pulmonary Tuberculosis. Chest 2005; 127: 643-651.
[iii]. Leardi S, Altilia F, Delmonaco S, et al. Blood levels of cholesterol and postoperative septic complications. Ann Ital Chir 2001; 71: 233-237.
[iv]. Crook MA, Velauthar U, Moran L, Griffiths W. Hypocholesterolaemia in a hospital population. Ann Clin Biochem 1999; 36: 613-616.
[v]. Read TE, Harris HW, Grunfeld C, et al. The protective effect of serum lipoproteins against bacterial lipopolysaccharide. Eur Heart J 1993; 14(suppl K): 125-129.
[vi]. Leardi S, Altilia F, Delmonaco S, et al. Op cit.
[vii]. Bonville DA, Parker TS, Levine DM, et al. The relationships of hypocholesterolemia to cytokine concentrations and mortality in critically ill patients with systemic inflammatory response syndrome. Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2004; 5: 39-49.
[viii]. Pacelli F, Doglietto GB, Alfieri S, et al. Prognosis in intra-abdominal infections. Multivariate analysis on 604 patients. Arch Surg 1996; 131: 641-5.
[ix]. Uffe Ravnskov. High Cholesterol May Protect Against Infections and Atherosclerosis. Quart J Med 2003; 96: 927-34.
A very useful comment and another, hopefully, nail in the coffin of statins and the cholesterol myths.
Muldoon has also published on the cognitive effects of simvastatin and I think atorvastin. Both reduce cognitive ability.
Some Refs you may find useful
Randomized trial of the effects of simvastatin on cognitive functioning in hypercholesterolemic adults.
Muldoon MF, Ryan CM, Sereika SM, Flory JD, Manuck SB.
Am J Med. 2004 Dec 1;117(11):823-9.
Statin treatment alters serum n-3 and n-6 fatty acids in hypercholesterolemic patients.
Harris JI, Hibbeln JR, Mackey RH, Muldoon MF.
Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2004 Oct;71(4):263-9.
Serum cholesterol concentrations are associated with visuomotor speed in men: findings from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988-1994.
Zhang J, Muldoon MF, McKeown RE.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Aug;80(2):291-8.
PMID: 15277148 Free Article
Psychological and cognitive function: predictors of adherence with cholesterol lowering treatment.
Stilley CS, Sereika S, Muldoon MF, Ryan CM, Dunbar-Jacob J.
Ann Behav Med. 2004 Apr;27(2):117-24.
Low central nervous system serotonergic responsivity is associated with the metabolic syndrome and physical inactivity.
Muldoon MF, Mackey RH, Williams KV, Korytkowski MT, Flory JD, Manuck SB.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004 Jan;89(1):266-71.
I have been reading this blog with utter fascination for the past few days and have now decided to throw the statins (atorvastatin) in the bin. Despite the stroke I had last year I am struggling to see how there would be any benefit by staying on these drugs. Thank you Dr Kendrick and everyone else for your dedication in bringing the truth to the fore.
Yep. We have an epidemic of sepsis going on that is not acknowledged. I’ve been in health care for close to 40 years, and the number of septic shock cases in the ICU is on a continuous upward trajectory. I suspect it is one of the side effects of statin use.
A good article from Tim Noakes-
Thanks for that. That was a very interesting read.
Noakes mentions the CORIS study. I took part in that while I was on a construction contract in a small country town. It was quite a big deal. The CORIS team rented a hall for a week, put up banners, and invited us to come in and be interviewed. Strictly, I shouldn’t have gone because it was a follow up from a previous visit, but I wanted the free health check. They sat us down, took our blood pressure, (Maybe other tests as well. I can’t remember.) and a nurse asked all sorts of questions about our health knowledge. I’d say it was pretty comprehensive. Nothing slapdash about it.
And the result? The more you knew about how to live a heart-healthy life (according to conventional wisdom of the time), the worse your health!
Prof. Noakes draws the obvious conclusion — the conventional low-fat wisdom was wrong. But the medical profession will not admit it.
I was also interested in his take on the reduction of heart attacks that so concerns Dr. Grimes. It was caused by the reduction in smoking leading to increased plaque stability. But not to worry. Clogged arteries as a result of sugar and carb-induced diabetes will be killing us off soon enough, so Dr. Grimes’s nightmare scenario of health services overwhelmed by the elderly and infirm who didn’t get heart attacks might not happen.
Martin: Thank you for this link. Beautifully explanatory. I hadn’t heard of Dr. Reaven before, but his work is so crucial to what ails us; however, it’s going to take a whole bunch of funerals before this is ready for prime time.
Thanks for the link!
Prof. Noakes is a fighting favourite of mine but until now I have missed all the information he has been made available on this site. Still as an ‘oldtimer’ LCHF-advocate, it is open doors for me. Though I must say that Noakes is here making a very important point stressing the artery problems among diabetes victims rather than among ‘heart victims’ like myself.
My own wife who was struck with severe DMT2 2009 reversed her diagnosed eye problems (e.g. glaucoma) within a year by going strict LCHF and the health condition of her eyes is today just perfect.
Dr. Göran Sjöberg: The Tim Noakes material is very, very good. Insulin resistance as the progenitor. I’ve subscribed, and am looking at some that I’ve missed. Pardon me for not spelling your name correctly until now.
Here’s an interesting blog in which a cardiologist experiments on himself with LCHF with the goal of putting himself in ketosis. Seems positive so far.
Personally I think more research is needed into why some of our esteemed nutrition experts are making such arses of themselves.
Dr. Kendrick: “Sorry to get distracted from my series on what causes heart disease, yet again.”
You were telling us about the “process”.
You started three months ago.
Some of us have naively damaged ourselves by following established advice… and might not have that much time remaining.
I meant the above to be an expression of apprehension.
What am I still doing wrong?
What am I not yet doing right because I don’t know yet?
And, yes, an expression of some impatience.
Thank you for the very informative and explanatory articles. When will the medical profession
take notice instead of denying all the evidence out there. Regards Leon
The LDL contains Fatty acids that have more than one double bond. i.e. polyunsaturated. which can be attacked by reactive forms of oxygen. These are known as free radicals, and can be generated as part of normal metabolic processes. The LDL becomes oxidized and may give rise to products that are toxic to the cells of the artery wail. What!! their teaching students veg oil is causing trouble? The North East Surrey College Of Technology biochemistry across the school curriculum guidance notes for advanced biology #9 http://www.biochemistry.org/portals/0/education/docs/basc09_full.pdf
Dont tell them, they’ll just change it once they realise the ‘error’ of their ways.
I saw that Pearson quote in The Guardian last week and had to express similar disbelief:
For those “scientists” working in research, maintaining credibility in the Cholesterol hypothesis is very important. More research is great! It is a “cash cow” for them. Just keep the funds flowing in and your position in world hierarchy of science keeps improving. They are not stupid.
I may be suffering from some confirmation bias when I say this, but I do believe that the rate of change for better science reporting is increasing. I certainly hope so.
Purely anecdotal evidence but after suffering a ‘small’ heart attack five years ago, stented and sent home on a cocktail of bp lowering, cholesterol lowering drugs I have suffered adverse reactions to beta blockers, blood thinners and most of all Statins. Four statins caused liver damage and were each discontinued, the fifth rosuvastatin gave me peripheral nerve damage in my feet and hands. All statins gave me major cramp problems, and I also had some joint problems. Beta blocker stopped after a year because of low blood pressure problems, Statins now stopped.
Three months later – no cramps, no joint pain, feeling in feet nearly regained and hands now normal. All good.
However, my doctors now want me to have an enzyme injection to correct my ‘inherited’ blood lipid processing problems. I am left wondering what problems? My unmedicated cholesterol levels are in the fives, I have a healthy diet, plenty of exercise and have never been overweight.
Cause of heart attack? – Stress!
I now only take, estemibe, aspirin and low dose Ramipril, all of which I would like to discontinue.
Keep up the good work Dr. Kendrick.
I was wondering… anyone with any positive experience with accupuncture?
Complementary Therapy with Traditional Chinese Medicine for Treating Atherosclerosis-Related Diseases (Hung, 2015)
Chapter 8. Acupuncture and atherosclerosis-related diseases
“In addition to herbal medicine, acupuncture has been used for a long time in the treatment of cardiovascular disease in Asia. Acupuncture is applied in the treatment of hypertension and hyperlipidemia, which are risk factors leading to atherosclerosis. Kim et al.  demonstrated that electroacupuncture on the Zusanli (ST36) (Figure 2) point reduces hypertension by activating nitric oxide synthase signaling mechanisms . Tian et al.  report that electroacupuncture on the Fenglong (ST40) point downregulates the effect of plasma total cholesterol, LDL, MCP-1, and ICAM-1 in hyperlipidemic rats. Another study by Xiao et al.  showed that electroacupuncture on the Fenglong (ST40) point effectively lowers serum total cholesterol, LDL, and macrophage TNF-α and IL-6 levels in hyperlipemia rats. Li et al.  showed that electroacupuncture of the Neiguan (PC6) and Xinshu (BL15) points can suppress the increased expression of CD 40 L and MMP-9 proteins of coronary artery tissue in rats with coronary atherosclerotic heart disease.”
I once had acupuncture applied to my lower leg after I visited my Sports Med specialist (MD) due to a torn Achilles tendon. I was never sure if he believe in acupuncture or he was just experimenting with me, but in any event there was no noticeable effect from the treatment. He just inserted fine needles into various location on my leg (I think to potentially reduce pain), so I don’t know if “electroacupuncture” is different. However, I personally believe that inserting needles into the body in order to ameliorate some condition in the body is akin to taking homeopathic potions – i.e. another form of quackery which has no science to support it other than potential placebo effect.
I have perfect diabetic control via low carbing, Yet, if I have any kind of stress like a 30 min drive along the A75 or performing with my choir which gives me deep joy, my blood sugar rises to about 6. As I aim for less than 6.5, it worries me.
At home, doing nothing, I ride along at 4.5.
Seems a stress free life is inordinately good for you, yet singing is also proven to be good for your health. Perhaps I should sing and not perform,
Or just stay at home and do nothing.
Nothing is bad for you
Ho. Ho…love your ambiguity Dr K.
But in response to Dr Liz, I totally agree with her sentiments, in that stress, however caused, is at the root of the diabetic explosion. Yes, excess carbs are feeding the explosion, but people are living their lives under the most stressful conditions. Observe any High Street, and see the dejected, overweight, poor folks, stressed out of their minds as to how to make ends meet…..
stress of keeping mind and body safe and properly nourished, and there we see the perfect recipe for type 2 diabetes.
And I am not just talking about the unemployed and poorly paid….I include the spectrum of wealth, in fact anyone EARNING a living.( as opposed to living on unearned, inherited wealth). It is as though we are experiencing an explosion of instability, which in the post war years of Great Britain, decent politicians and trades unions were tending to get to grips with……sadly now all undone. With limited income in my old age, I tend to stress-out, but diabetic medications are not the answer.
Back to politics.
This may have been posted before, but worth a re-read – this chap is a vascular surgeon: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/10717431/Why-Ive-ditched-statins-for-good.html
I’m happy that I’ve done the right thing in stopping the statins, despite the stroke I had last year. I reckon I have more of a fighting chance with a LCHF diet and by reducing sugar intake.
I have come to realise that too much concern about one’s personal medical issues can itself be hugely stressful. I used to feel stress every time I sent off one of those faecal blood detection kits, and for the next 10 days or so, my mind would wander into what if territory. Indeed, I used to feel stress just going to the surgery for a routine BP measurement!
All sorts of measurements – BP, blood sugar levels, heart rate, etc. obviously vary for very good reasons, and I am sure it can be incredibly stressful to monitor them too frequently!
Liz, I’m a retired professional musician. If the stress of performing were bad for one’s health, I’d have been dead a long time ago. Keep up your choir — both rehearsals and performances — and enjoy every moment of it.
Dr. Liz Stansbridge:
Kudos to your LCHF diet. Have you ever tried it with intermittent fasting?
Diabetes is a lot like CVD when it comes to questionable pharmaceutical interventions. You might enjoy this article:
And maybe you have more glucose at these times because you can use more glucose, or, at least, evolution has taught your genes that you are more likely to need extra glucose in a tight spot.
If BG increased when you were trying to relax then went down whenever you committed yourself to something scary, that’s when I’d begin to worry.
Can anyone tell me whether fibrates are as bad as statins? I thought they were similar, but wasn’t sure. A friend, who I managed to apparently successfully warn about statins, refused to take them for his high cholesterol but the doctor put him on fibrates instead.
Umm, I think the point of all this is that one should not treat “elevated” cholesterol levels. Period.
The easiest way to do that is to abstain from measuring them.
You’ve fallen for the trap of arguing over which drug is safer. The safest drug is no drug.
Agreed. The data is clear that for men past 55 and women of all ages high cholesterol is protective, that those in this group live the longest. Not a good idea to mess with nature. As far as I know, no disease is caused by the lack of a pharmaceutical or biological.
No I haven’t fallen for that one. I do know that elevated cholesterol is not the problem. I just didn’t know if fibrates did the same as statins ie lower cholesterol. If so, I may have got my friend to understand that statins are bad, but obviously failed to get the point across that elevated cholesterol is not an issue. Consequently he is accepting his doctor’s advice to lower it. Do I take it from your reply that fibrates are indeed used in the same way statins are – to lower cholesterol. I want to be sure I am not giving him duff information. Thanks for answering.
No I haven’t fallen for that one. I am quite positive that elevated cholesterol isn’t a problem. I just didn’t know whether fibrates did the same as statins ie lower cholesterol, and I don’t want give my friend duff advice. I have managed to get him to understand that taking statins is bad, but it looks like I have failed to get the point across that elevated cholesterol is not. Is his doctor ‘tricking’ him into taking another form of statin? Thanks for replying.
Tell that to the vaccine shills Gary!
Sue: the answer is yes. Fenofibrate is used for the same purpose as a statin.
wasn’t clofibrate withdrawn because of undesired side effects? So long ago I forget!
The undesirable side-effect of increasing mortality.
Yes, I thought that was it, but didn’t dare say so in case they set the lawyers on me.
Back to the fundamental issue: the cause of CHD. If there is no proven cause then the natural conclusion is pretty clear. Confidence in the prevention and treatment is also obvious. So I consult with my cardiologist and he prescribes a cocktail. I’m really feeling good about the outcome!?
From the French weekly magazine Le Point – with daily updates on-line. The article refers to ‘Prescrire’. An independent pharmaceutical review magazine, that does not hold its punches…! It is very good, but a tad expensive to sign up for. Is also available in English.
The comments are also telling – telling it a it is
Molly C (France)
There are currently five families of drugs against high cholesterol. © GILE MICHEL / SIPA
Drugs against cholesterol: a meager balance
BY ANNE JEANBLANC
“Many failures and few successes,” this is the conclusion of the review “prescribe” just a study of 50 years of treatment. 10
Sorry about the two posts, I’ve just noticed them, one apparently under my pseudonym ‘Use’. Should have been Sue but I hit the wrong keys, then got confused trying to put it right on these silly keyboards, and accidently posted it! Too small these mini iPads!
Sue: Part of the problem is the QWERTY keyboard, designed well more than a century ago to slow down typists because early typewriters were prone to jamming, and not changed since! The human species is well-known for repeating the same stupidity over and over again. The computer age could have given us a much more sensible arrangement of letters, but then, those in charge aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer. Always appreciate your posts.
Gary, Ah the good old Qwerty keyboard. No it isn’t that with me really, it’s these virtual keyboards on tablets I find a problem. I trained on one of those old typewriters, and remember typing merrily to the Wiilliam Tell Overture with a shield over my hands so I couldn’t see my fingers. I can touch type so well that I don’t have to think about it – when I am using an ordinary qwerty keyboard. But with these flat things, I have been reduced to two or three finger typing, and am constantly making mistakes. I always did wonder why on earth they arranged the keys like that, but it’s in my head now and I’m stuck with it. Much prefer my proper keyboard.
Socratic Dog. Thanks for fhe link. I”ll ask my friend if he was put on them to lower his cholesterol (might be another reason). If so, from your link it seems they have the same side effects as statins – certainly possible muscle pain. Bit sneaky of his GP if you ask me. I shouldn’t be cynical, but can’t help it – it seems some of our GPs take advantage of our ignorance.
The changing view of saturated fat seems to be seeping into the Mainstream:
Anyone seen the article in the D.Express June 13 : ‘Doubt over statins as experts say cholesterol is good for the over 60s’ ? Is the tide changing? Will GPs change their tune? Not really sure about that. A friend showed me the article. Her husband had just literally returned from the doctor. He had mentioned the article to his GP, who had been ‘uninterested’. The poor man came home confused – who does he believe: his wife’s friend who googles stuff on statins, or his GP who has spent years studying and training for his profession? Difficult one for those without a computer or the Internet.
you say that cholesterol doesn’t increase risk of heart disease, but in US we focus on the LDL–which has been shown to be associated with CAD and outcomes, especially in diabetics.
The 10 years prospective data from Norwegian HUNT 2 study (> 58k participants), showed that total cholesterol less than 5 mmol/L showed the most deaths. Particularly for women, the deaths decreased linearly as the total cholesterol decreased.
I think you mean, increased.
Oh yes, I meant increased.
Having trouble understanding what the last comments contribute to the discussion?!
I’ve been following the Vit C supplementation discussion with interest. I was very interested to learn that high blood glucose inhibits the entry of Vit C into cells, as they share the same pathways and glucose wins out. Does that explain why high doses of Vit C are necessary, to counteract this? And could this mean that in a person who is eating a very low carb or ketogenic diet, with resulting comparatively low blood glucose, more Vit C can be utilised and there is less need for supplementation? I looked around and came across several papers suggesting this, and and some comments from Gary Taubes in “Why we get fat” pages 176, 177. Here is his comment for those who haven’t read the book:
“Vit C uses the same mechanism to get into cells (where it’s needed) that glucose does, so the higher our blood sugar level, the more glucose enters the cells and the less Vit C. Insulin also inhibits what’s called the uptake of Vit. C
by the kidney, which means that when we eat carbohydrates we excrete Vit C with our urine rather than retaining it, as we should, and using it. Without carbohydrates in the diet, there’s every indication that we would get all the Vit C we ever needed from animal products”.
This article is also very informative:
Click to access 2005-v20n03-p179.pdf
Thought you might appreciate this: https://www.vaccinationnews.org/20110124EvidenceBasedMedicineGottsteinS