Duane Graveline

I was pondering my next post, when I received some sad new today, the death of Duane Graveline.

‘Very sorry to report that Duane Graveline died in hospital this evening after a very short illness.
I run the spacedoc.com site and I just got off the phone with his wife Suzanne.
I thought that you would be able to let everyone on the THINCS group know.
I know he had many friends there.



I never met Duane Graveline in person, but we communicated regularly. He was a doctor who trained as an astronaut with NASA. Sadly, he never made it into space. He was also a dedicated researcher and aerospace doctor https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duane_Graveline

Superficially at least, a very conventional doctor, he was found to have a high cholesterol and his doctor put him on statins. He was initially grateful for this, firmly believing that raised cholesterol caused heart disease.

He then suffered an episode of transient global amnesia (TGA). A scary event, where you forget who you are or where you are, for a short period. Initially, he feared that he had suffered a stroke, but he had not. He stopped his statin, then re-started, and suffered another episode of TGA. His doctor assured him that the statin could not have been the cause.

However, he began to research transient global amnesia and a possible connection with statins. He found many other people who had suffered exactly the same symptoms – whilst on statins. An adverse effect still not listed, or accepted, by the medical profession. The normal response is that… statins don’t do that.

Following this, and with his faith in statins and the cholesterol hypothesis, seriously damaged, he concentrated his efforts into looking at all of the potential adverse effects that these drugs may cause. He had been repeatedly told that statins were absolutely safe and side effect free. He had been confidently informed that his own adverse effects were nothing to do with statins. A sadly familiar story to me. However, he no longer believed such reassurances, and set about trying to discover the truth.

One area where he focussed attention, probably due to his background in aerospace medicine, was a growing concern that any airline pilot taking a statin could suffer an episode of TGA – and simply forget how to fly the plane [an issue he raised that worries me still].

Shortly after (I am not entirely sure on the timeline here) he developed Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Called Lou Gehrig’s disease in the US – I believe. This condition is normally fatal within a couple of years. But his syndrome did not develop that rapidly. He believes, and so do I, that his ALS was caused by statins, and was therefore not true ALS. Difficult to prove, but there have been many other recorded cases, and the WHO issued a warning about a possible association between statins and ALS.

In time Duane became the most outspoken critic of statins – that I know of. He wrote books on the subject, including ‘Lipitor, thief of memory.’ And ‘The statin damage crisis.’ He set up the website spacedoc.com where he collected an immense amount of data on statins and adverse effects data.

There was also ground-breaking research on co-enzyme Q10, trans-fatty acids and much else to do with CVD. In addition to this, he was gathering and compiling data from the FDA Medwatch database, and putting together an extensive and scary list of all the reported statin adverse effects [the tip of an iceberg]. For example, he calculated at least eight hundred recorded deaths from rhabdomyolysis.

He was not a zealot. He believed that statins do have benefits in CVD. He believed these benefits were due to anti-inflammatory actions – nothing to do with lowering cholesterol levels. Following from this, he thought that the beneficial, anti-inflammatory, effects of statins could be obtained at very low doses. Doses that would not cause severe adverse effects. We disagreed on the inflammatory aspect of CVD – but agreed on pretty much everything else. He sent me papers he had written, asking for my input and editing. I obliged when I could.

He was an energetic man, an honest man, and a man who was trying to do his best to help people, even into his ninth decade. He will be sorely missed.

98 thoughts on “Duane Graveline

  1. maryl@2015

    Dr. Graveline was a stalwart, a true American hero. I saw him as a Godly man, a family man and one who stood his ground to the end. I told him not long ago that by some small wonder, I had run across someone over 3 years ago who said “Go to spacedoc”. His response was, as always, gentlemanly and kind. His were the first two books I had read about statin damage, with Dr. Kendrick’s to follow. My medical life changed for the good as my health improved. He gave us all courage to speak out, tell our stories and learn when learning about such things did not come easy. The world is a little less friendly, a little less smart but overall a better place for all his efforts. And, I hope heaven is being run right and by the rules as I have no doubt Graveline would have something to say about that as well. RIP Dr. Graveline and thanks.

  2. Flyinthesky

    Team player down, tragedy. Just done my last chemo, second primary in ten years. Should be illegal to do this twice. Will we ever get an angle on this? Sorry Malcolm off topic.
    We have a few statin mavericks, we now need a few cancer ones.

    1. celia

      Flyinthesky, I just finished reading a very inspiring book by Dr Charles Majors “The Cancer Killers”. Much food for thought. There is more like this out there in books and on the web in terms of a new approach to cancer.

      1. Flyinthesky

        Thanks Celia, I’ll look it up. I’m doing conventional at the moment. See how it goes but I’m researching all the alternatives.

    2. Archie Robertson

      Flyinthesky, I combined very limited conventional radiotherapy and chemotherapy with a strict ketogenic diet when I developed oesophageal cancer. As a result, the conventional treatment worked much better than expected, and much to the chagrin of the gastrointestinal surgeon, I did not require an operation.
      I’ve now been officially “cured” for 18 months…
      Look at the work of Thomas Seyfried, Dominic d’Agostino, Colin Champ, Eugene Fine, et al.

    3. BobM

      Depending on what type of cancer you have, you might want to try a diet very low in carbohydrates and very high in fat and low in protein. See these for instance:



      There are other articles on cancer and ketogenic diets on the diagnosis diet website, search for “cancer”. Also, you can search for cancer and ketogenic diets online, too.

      I note that getting into high levels of ketosis and low blood sugar (the common protocol for use of ketogenic diets for cancer) is challenging for me. When fasting (even for days) my BoHB (beta-hydroxybutyrate, a ketone measured using blood) are lower than what’s recommended. I have to eat very high fat, very few carbs, and low protein to get near the levels of blood sugar and ketones recommended for cancer. However, each person is different, and my results may not be yours.

  3. Frederica Huxley

    How very sad. How insulting and ridiculous to be told that statins could not have caused such side effects. I hadn’t come across TGA before – it’s not just pilots (shudder), but what about all statin taking drivers on the roads?

    1. Anna

      I stopped taking Statins, prescribed after a heart attack, almost two years ago. I had an episode of TGA while I was driving a very familiar route – it was terrifying. I later had another episode – my cardio and GP did not want to consider that Statins might be the cause. I was also suffering from very painful muscles in my arms – all stopped when I stopped the Statins. Now I walk and walk and walk and do Yoga as often as I can – I accepted that I am not immortal after my heart attack.
      Thank you Malcolm Kendrick for being a massive beacon in the darkness.

  4. anglosvizzera

    Very sad – I have his books which I found very useful when my mother-in-law developed dementia whilst on a high dose of statins. He’ll be missed greatly.

  5. Gerry Gabel

    I’ve been aware of Graveline’s history as I too have had 4 attacks of transient global amnesia, the first in 1994 before I started taking a statin for high cholesterol. I have been on various statins over the last 18 years and I did have incidents of TGA during that period, the last one in 2000. I was diagnosed via angiograms with CAD in 2001. My cholesterol levels are fine now although I do have a high Lp(a). I am currently on the lowest dose (10mg) of Lipitor and I take 3000mg of Niacin daily.

    However, and this is why I question the connection proposed by Graveline, as I understand it, transient global amnesia was first reported in 1956 (and may have occurred earlier) whereas lovastatin (the first statin) was being tested in 1984 and was not approved until 1987. So how do you reconcile this anomaly?

      1. Gerry Gabel

        Of course, you are right, it is a very complex subject. I should know that after reading the numerous blogs you have done on the causes of CAD. But I can’t help wondering why Graveline felt so strongly that there was a link between stains and transient global amnensia given the timeline. I did a lot of reading about TGA at the time of my first attack and there was no mention of statins then. I’ll have to read his works again especially his more recent ones. Thanks for the comment. Best regards, Gerry Gabel

        1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

          In part because synapses are, almost entirely, made from cholesterol. So it did not seem a great leap from statins (depleting cholesterol in the brain) to statins causing problems with memory.

      2. Gerry Gabel

        In rrsponse to your reply about a connection between statins and transient global amensia, you said: “In part because synapses are, almost entirely, made from cholesterol. So it did not seem a great leap from statins (depleting cholesterol in the brain) to statins causing problems with memory.”

        So what caused TGA and memory loss before statins were available? Isn’t this one of the anomolies that you like to pursue? I am still on low dose Lipitor because of an identified heart condition (which you agree with, I beleive), so I worry about another TGA episode. I have no other statin related side effects and it’s been many years since my last TGA.

      3. Michael Babcock

        I also seem to recall from reading “Lipitor, Thief of Memory” many years back that Graveline’s TGA cleared up when he stopped the Lipitor. Then when he started taking it again, he had another episode of the TGA. The association seemed quite clear.

      4. Gerry Gabel

        People suffered from TGAs before statins were available. I had my first TGA before starting on a statin. I had others while taking a statin. I have not had one for over 15 years while continuing on stains. Consider these timelines and the cause and effect relationship. I conclude that there must be something else at work here. As a neurologist once told me “No one dies of TGA so there is little research as to it’s cause.” Perhaps Dr. Kendrick can take it on.

        One final personal note. A friend of mine, who introduced me to Dr. Kenrick’s work, had very high cholesterol. About 8 years ago he stopped taking Lipitor. He died of a massive stroke this past summer.

      5. Jennifer

        Oh yes….and human beings with small feet are almost certainly poorer at spelling than those with big feet. Not every time, as there will always be exceptions to any rule…..but no one will convince me that there is a safe dose of statins, despite the odd person gaining a few extra days at the end of what could likely have been a miserable end-of-life experience.

    1. David Bailey

      Maybe it is worth mentioning that some people get a less dramatic, but just as devastating form of amnesia from statins. I know a man (in real life, not on the internet) who was tried on several different types of statin, and he suffered from both muscle problems and amnesia which nearly cost him his business because he lost/forgot all the orders people gave him!

      He is better now because he doesn’t take statins.

      If any doctor wants to know the truth about statin side effects, all they have to do, is chat with a group of 60+ people about aches and pains of growing older – preferably without mentioning his profession!

    2. anglosvizzera

      @Gerry Gabel – Duane Graveline stopped his statins as he felt his symptoms were related to them – and his problems went away. He tried the statins again some time later and the same thing happened…which is why he did so much research into them and how those kinds of adverse effects could have been triggered by the statins.

    3. Don

      Pauling therapy should be looked at for high lp(a). As much vitamin c as you can handle, around 5-6 grams of lysine, 2 grams of proline, are the central components. More thorough treatment can be found by searching Pauling therapy.

  6. Sasha

    Statin Damage Crisis was the first book I read on statins. Dr Graveline was a very good man and he did a lot of good for lots of people. My sincere condolences to his family.

  7. Kay

    Thank you for keeping us informed. Such a tragedy — that his life was thus ruined, that someone of his stature was never taken seriously. that there are untold and unknown others suffering similar fates. Do I remember correctly that none of his concerns about statins ever were entered into his medical record?

    1. Gerry Gabel

      What was his cause of death? Not likely a heart attack but rather a complication of ALS. Where does the damage done by stains end?

  8. mikecawdery

    Dr Graveline was possibly the most informed doctor on the adverse reactions of statins and one of the most interesting doctors I have ever had correspondence with. Always helpful and never afraid to make his point with a truly open mind – a true researcher. His passing is a great loss to all those researchers that truly believe in seeking for truth. I for one will truly miss his newsletters.

    1. maryl@2015

      He made his own misfortune count by helping others. What better legacy can any man or woman leave? Actually, he led a pretty long life despite the fact that his quality of life was not what it could have been. I think he had a will of iron. His poor body just gave out. His work will live on forever. As long as we tell his story, history will forever know this great man.

  9. nina anstee

    A friend of mine who was taking statins died of Motor Neurone Disease two years ago. Perhaps there was no link, but maybe there was. She was a strict vegetarian and some people had suggested to her that this was the cause. But surely then a lot of Hindus would get MND.

    1. anglosvizzera

      She may have had a nutritional deficiency – many vitamin deficiencies seem to be implicated in Motor Neuron Disease

  10. Jean Humphreys

    Thankyou for telling us the sad news. I came across his work before I found yours, and was so grateful to find that I was not going into dementia. I owe him.

  11. Sylvia

    Wonderful pioneering people like Duane Graveline and you are in that category Dr Kendrick, are simply priceless I am sure he will be sorely missed, but has left a legacy to be proud of.
    I declined statins after a TGA event a year ago, the strangest, scariest thing.
    Not pleasant challenging health professionals, a differing opinion is not always welcome.

  12. Marjorie Daw

    I hope Dr. Graveline knew how many lives he touched and the influence he had on so many.

    Lucky for me I came across his website when I fell ill after 5 months on a low dose of Crestor. Most likely my doctor would have given me another drug to treat my symptoms. I threw the statins away and quickly recuperated. From Spacedoc links, I discovered Dr. Kendrick, Thincs, etc and have delved into the cholesterol myth, statin drugs and other sacred cows of medicine. It is a continuing journey and one for which I owe much thanks to Dr. Graveline.

    My heart goes out to his family at this sad time.

  13. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

    Isn’t it remarkable that most most of us, like Dr. Graveline, must have a personal experience of some really serious ailment before we are able to question dogmas which though only have to be superficially scratched upon before you realise their hollowness? But once you have started your scrutinising it seems like a never ending story of disbeliefs adding up and ending by seeing the whole health care system as in essence criminal.

    1. Nigella P

      So true Dr Sjoberg. Hypothyroidism for me. I feel betrayed by a system (NHS) I thought was great. That bit is sad, but on the bright side my quest not to be beaten by the system has led me to some wonderful websites where people are determined not to give up trying to see healthcare as about helping people be well & healthy! This has encouraged me to take more responsibility for myself & educate myself better – all very positive.

      RIP Dr Graveline. Even though I didn’t know you, I am grateful to you.

    2. John U

      Yes, so true indeed for most of us. Mine however was different. I was a fortunate 65 year old who was in good health when my son offered me a copy of Gary Taubes’ book with the remark that I would enjoy it. I guess he knew me well because I loved it and had to read it twice to make sure that I absorbed as much as possible. I immediately started my journey into LCHF based on what I read, somewhat how did Dr. Gorczynski (Orthopedic surgeon at this link: https://www.yourorthomd.com/orthopedic-dietnutrition )
      He said in his blog and I quote “I began researching alternatives to the standard American diet. I came across a very interesting book. “The Big Fat Surprise” by Nina Teicholz. This book alleged that all of what I knew about nutrition, despite my training as a physiology major in college, and medical school was wrong. This prompted me to read yet another book. “Good Calories, Bad Calories” by Gary Taubes. I couldn’t get enough.”
      That is pretty much how I reacted and now 4+ years later, I still love learning more. However, I am still mystified by the majority of the people with whom I share what I have learned. Their reactions are lukewarm at best. How could someone be so blasé about their health? Only a handful of folks actually tried what I was advocating even though there was no downside, only potential benefits.
      I did not need to lose weight but I did anyway – a little more than a stone. However, I was particularly interested in the dementia avoidance benefits of low carb eating, and today I see a post by Dr. Georgia Ede which appeared in Psychology Today magazine at this link:
      It made me fell like maybe I am on the right track. But I do feel sorry for all those who are not taking charge of their own health.

  14. annielaurie98524

    How sad to hear of Dr. Graveline’s passing. Over the years, I have referred many people to his website, which, I hope, dissuaded many of them from taking their docs’ advice on statins. It’s sad to see how these dangerous drugs are still being pushed, based on an erroneous hypothesis about the cause of CVD, to the extent that one industry shill suggested putting them into the public water supply as a preventive measure! Nothing like starting the profit-making poisoning of the population from birth.

  15. Susan Moles

    I am sorry to hear of Dr. Graveline’s passing. I learned a lot from his writings on SpaceDoc. I especially appreciated that he had a wonderful writing style that made it easier for a non-medical person to understand complex subjects like cholesterol and statin usage. His was one of the sites I visited early into my interest in statin drugs and the side effects I was experiencing from them, as well as from red yeast rice, which I tried when I could not tolerate Lipitor. He will be missed, but he will surely be remembered by many, as well, for his contributions to their health and knowledge.

  16. foodnstuff

    Sorry to hear of Dr Graveline’s death. His website was a valuable source of information. I first found it when I was researching statins after my husband was put on Lipitor. His cholesterol was not high, lower even than mine, but his doctor had no knowledge of the side effects. Nor did anyone else I spoke to about statins. I promptly took my husband off Lipitor and told his doctor why. Friends who were taking statins suffered TGA’s. Now it appears that high cholesterol is protective in the elderly…..my husband was in his early 80’s when it was prescribed and lived to 95, after heart bypass surgery at 90!

    1. Robin Nigel

      Thank you for this post! I am 64 ys age-recently had 2 heart attacks and a Triple Bypass. I was first diagnosed with CAD in 2003. ”Bad” chol. 7 plus and with change of diet in 3 months it was 3.8mmol/L. Since 2003, I have not taken any medical drugs. Now of anti-plat., B-Blocker, aspirin and Atorvastatin. I am now in a different category and its hard to make a decision on Chol. drug. I have cut it down to 1×2 days and then I will do every 3 days. I am aware of anti-inflamm. effect, but as Dr Kendrick says-this is not the problem. However, Dr Uffe ravnkoff explains about a review of the infection theory of about 100 ys ago. BUT, and a big BUT…heart attacks occur in around 50% people who do not have atherosclerosis. So by this very ‘fact’, chol. factor cannot be true..for Heart attacks in ALL. Anyway, I am encouraged by your comments regarding your husband. My aunt who is late 70s had valve replacement and a bypass 11 ys ago and took herself off statin drugs as she had pain. She does have diabetes.

  17. Diana

    RIP, Dr. Graveline.

    One of the less known effects of statins is metal chelation. Metal homeostasis (think copper etc.) is severaly disturbed in ALS.

  18. Vivien M Harkness

    I am sorry to hear of Duane Gravline MD death. His book on ‘The Statin Damage Crisis’
    opened my eyes to statins and other prescribed drugs I wish I had read his book before my husband took statins for his cholesterol. He died in July age 66 with MND and I believe it was due to taking statins for four and half years. I now always read all leaflets and ask my doctors if there any long time side effects on any of my prescribed drugs.

  19. Jude

    I enjoy your emails. They are open and honest….a rare commodity in anything mainstream unfortunately.

    My father had a heart attack when he was in his 70’s and put on statins and a low fat diet in his mid 80’s. Initially, prior to statins, he took high doses of vitamin E and took raw garlic every day; at this point he seemed exceptionally well. He was put on warfarin, blood pressure meds and statins. After taking statins for a year or so I noticed the muscle wastage. He fell getting on to a bus and put it down to his joints (dad had no arthritis or rheumatics). I tried to explain what statins were doing to his muscles and his memory and that his body and brain needed cholesterol. In his early 90’s he stopped taking the statins but unfortunately damage had been done. He suffered continual water infections and issues with bruising and blood not clotting effectively. After countless bouts of antibiotics his immune system was pretty much non existent and Im sure it was sheer determination that got him through pneumonia when he was 94. Sadly, the huge amount of antibiotics made it impossible for his immune system to cope with a stroke in his 95th year and a further bout of pneumonia picked up in hospital. Regardless of the antibiotics used which, to quote the female consultant were “just like domestos going through his system”!!! Not really surprising that dad didnt make it. He had cheated death so many times, starting with a raging bull in his teens and as a jap prisoner of war in Kinkaseki, and then as a deep sea trawlerman. The man had the constitution of an ox. I just wished he maintained a healthy scepticism for all the medication and advice he was given.

    I feel better now. Had to get that out. Thank you Doc for searching for the truth and being open to learning as you do so. Truly, you are a breath of fresh air.

    1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg


      Thank you for the incredibly great story you told about your father!

      That such a sturdy man should finally be fooled by Big Pharma is really sad to hear. Again I realise that it is just such a huge step for anyone to realise that it is a trap that you are caught in by our authorities. Most everyone tends to believe that what the GP prescribes is based on “true” knowledge. Well I did that myself 17 years ago.

      1. Robin Nigel

        Dear Dr. Goran, Are there any links about people who have had heart attacks and bypass surgery who have decided not to take chol. drugs. I found it easy to make this choice when diagnosed with CAD, but now that I am in a different category, my common sense is really challenged?


  20. Hugh Mannity

    Very sad news. I follow spacedoc intermittently — whenever I have a need for a big juicy pile of fascinating data.

    He did excellent work and will be greatly missed.

  21. Robert

    I am sorry to hear of Dr Gravelines death. I followed his advice and stopped taking statins a couple of years ago. Unfortunately I just suffered a stroke and have been told by the hospital Dr. that my cholesterol doesn’t matter however I now must take a statin and a baby aspirin for the rest of my life, no matter what anyone else will tell me. The Dr. was very adamant about this. I can only guess that the statin is for it’s anti-inflammatory, protective effects.

  22. Janet V Martin

    He rescued me after two years of statins which resulted in me being unable to walked as I used to. I still have some intermittent problems after ten years . I owe him a great deal and am very sad that he has left us. A giant of a man. Thankyou so much.

      1. singinghinney

        I’m just returned from Voice and Dance Camp.
        I adore voice camp. Singing makes me happy. Singing is proved to be therapeutic.
        However people love the arcane.
        Even in every day life, I am shown people who will believe in anything! Without evidence. One guy made £200 telling people they need inordinate amounts of magnesium. Ayurvedic.therapies like detoxifying your blood by mouth washing with coconut oil.
        Family constellations! Family constellation therapy….’quantum quackery’ according to Wikipedia.
        People will believe anything without evidence. It’s extraordinary.
        Never mind the fact that most conventional medicine is corrupt.
        What on earth are we to believe in?

      2. Uricon

        Seems ironic that with the news of this chap’s death also comes a report from Rory Collins’s Oxford lot on the overall benefit of statins.

  23. Soul

    I suspect statin promoters are noting Dr. Duane Graveline’s passing.

    “What are statins? Treatment with widely-prescribed drugs can continue for LIFE”


    I didn’t have a chance to review Dr. Gravelines sight often. I remember Dr. Eades would often link to it, and write about potential health problems with statins. That wasn’t the first time I had read about their potential harmful side effects, or heard from family friends about that. It was awhile ago but my father is friends with a retired US general. If I remember the story correctly, he had to stop working due to what he eventually figured out was a sever side effect to a statin.

    About the only item that sticks out that i disagreed on Dr. Gravelines sight was the cause of the 1918 Spanish flu. It’s his 4 post on the sight at the moment. I suspect aspirin and the “orgy” or vaccines that occurred is the more likely cause. It could explain why the US Navy’s tests in 1918 didn’t find the disease contagious – of course if the Navys test was done well enough.

  24. mikecawdery

    While this may be off topic it is relevant given the recent death of Dr Graveline

    Today’s (9 September 2016) news by Collins attempting to cover up the adverse reactions of statins is typical of the astroturfing, agnotological drug flogging practices of Big Pharma. That it comes so soon after the tragic death of Dr Graveline who was probably the most informed (and truthful) researcher of statin adverse reactions on the planet has left me incandescent.

    Interpretation of the evidence for the efficacy and safety of statin therapy

    Click to access PIIS0140-6736(16)31357-5.pdf

    Some quotes and comments
    The only serious adverse events that have been shown to be caused by long-term statin therapy—ie, adverse effects of the statin—are myopathy (defined as muscle pain or weakness combined with large increases in blood concentrations of creatine kinase), new-onset diabetes mellitus, and, probably, haemorrhagic stroke.
    Comment: This simply ignores the neurological effects and most of the adverse reports in the literature and indeed the MHRA DAPs. What about the 500 references in David Evans’ book “Statin Toxic Side Effects” – totally ignored or disposed of by claimed flawed research. Compared with the HPS study and its 1 life “saved” in 300 treated p.a. and trumpeted in the media (3 million treated; 10,000 saved) with a NO BENEFIT probability of 299/300 (p = 1.00 to 2 decimal places – near certainty) and so on an on……. this paper is pure hypocrisy

    In the SEARCH randomised trial,83 simvastatin 80 mg daily produced a more than ten-fold higher rate (at least 1 case of myopathy per 1000 patients treated yearly) than 20 mg daily (or 40 mg daily in HPS;222 about one case per 10 000 yearly), so the high-dose regimen is no longer recommended routinely.
    Comment: In the HPS study the actual patients studied were a highly selected, known statin tolerant group a mere one third of the original panel (20,000 out of 64,000)

    Any observations from this study only apply to patients who would meet the inclusion criteria for this study. Extrapolation to the general population is just poor science/

    More moderate increases (eg, risk ratios of about 1 E5 to 2) in the rate of myopathy are also seen in other circumstances (eg, in combination with certain antihypertensive drugs and in women, people aged older than 80 years, and those with

    Comment: And what about the much higher incidence of muscle damage in athletes and the very active?
    Like every thing in this drug flogging pro-statin research anything that is contradictory is blatantly ignored.

    I have not had time to go through the paper in its entirety but this sort of misinformation is typical of the doctoring of data written about by Dr Kendrick, Prof Peter Gotszche and Dr Marcia Angell

    1. Sylvia

      Prof Collins was given a lot of air time this morning on the Today programme. Where was the balance, will they give as much air time to someone with another view.

      1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        I did some stuff on Radio 5 and a couple of other BBC programmes. Very little time to make any point, of course. However, I think Collins may have taken his hubris a little too far. There are rumblings from very senior people.

      2. David Bailey


        I am extremely glad to hear about those rumblings, because the report I heard almost dismissed the issue of statin side effects. As I have said before, even though I might have been a slightly unusual case, what amazed me, was that merely mentioning this subject to people my age, produced an incredible number of similar reports.

        Since it took 3 years for my side effects to start, it would be great if someone could obtain enough data to estimate the number of people who are taking statins, and suffering from muscle problems (i.e. mobility problems in many cases), without realising their cause because the side effects took time to develop.

    2. mikecawdery

      Dr Kendrick

      The man is just defending his status (the knighthood) and the £/$ hundreds of billions provided by Big Pharma for his “research”. The list of co-authors is a list of very conflicted researchers.

      In the light of his 1 in 300 efficacy rate (0.003%) and 20% adverse reaction rate, surely the money would be better spent on researching the pro-rata 50,000 deaths a year in the UK from medical error and the pro-rata 20,000 deaths (Starbridge) from properly prescribed and properly used pharmaceutical drugs and developing a proper safety policy on the lines of the aircraft industry.

      In my work an efficacy rate greater than 90% was required for authorizing a claim.

      As a start the QOF could be radically upgraded with an adverse reaction (inlcuding patient death) section.

      Personally I belief this paper demonstrates an ignorance of what is actually happening to patients and a care less attitude for patients, only money and status.

      1. mikecawdery

        Correction 0.3% 0.003 is the probability of the individual patient benefiting.Sorry i was very cross when writing the comment

    3. Stephen T

      Mike, it’s very strange. I seem to meet all the people who suffer side effects from statins. Clearly they all live near me for some inexplicable reason.

    4. David Bailey


      You wrote:
      “Comment: And what about the much higher incidence of muscle damage in athletes and the very active?”

      Do you have a reference of some sort for that, because although I am no athlete, I am fairly active.

      1. mike_cawdery

        Yes somewhere but as I am just off on holiday it will have to wait until I get back. Why not try Pubmed searching on statins nd athletes

  25. Eric

    Sad to hear about Duane Graveline passing away, I read a few of his articles and was impressed.

    And now for something completely different (or maybe not, as Duane was very much into the side effects of statins), the naysaysers are back:


    Quite unusually for the Guardian, this article is very one-sided, quoting only the article and proponents of statin medication, the other side is only quoted by what the proponents would like to project. Even more unusually, there is no comment window, which at the Guardian usually only happens for opinion pieces.

    Is there any sane explanation before I ask everyone to write angry letters to the editor?

    1. mikecawdery

      unusually for the Guardian…..

      Personally I find that the mainstream media usually take medical press leases without critically examining the contents; after all they get paid for adverts from Big Pharma. As an example they frequently just print an undefined percentage which is often a much inflated relative rate.

      The 80,000 heart attacks and strokes (unidentified – presumably ischaemic as haemorrhagic are reported as an adverse reaction) prevented a year. Furthermore, the article does not appear to identify the number of people treated each year to attain this number. Why not? Also what are the actual numbers involved? Or is it a guesstimate? And how many heart atttacks and strokes were not prevented by statins – 1 in 100 or 1 in 10,000 or what?

      And how many adverse reactions were actually recorded given the a frequent medical answer to a patient complaint is “statins do not do that” and a general medical failure to report adverse reactions to the MHRA? How much of that attitude is based on the HPS claim of “few adverse reactions” in the unnoticed(??) fact that this result was in a KNOWN selected statin tolerant group?

      But what about deaths; after all in a highly selected statin tolerant group (the HPS) only 1 in 300 treated were “saved” p.a.(156 lives estimated to have been saved in 5 years in a 10,269 patient group). This poses the question of how many actually died despite statin therapy. In the HPS study 5 times as many died than were saved (781 deaths divided by 156 “saved”)

      Sorry but unless the questions are answered fully then I conclude that this Collins report is a typical example of Big Pharma’s astroturfing and agnotology policy of confusion; or what Dr Kendrick has rightly defined as “Doctoring Data”

  26. Suzanne Looms

    Sad news indeed. I heard a couple of interviews with him and was impressed by his sober and rigorous approach to medical science, despite his continuing health problems. I read your post on the same days as spotting yet another whitewash of statin side effects in the media: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/statins-side-effects-exaggerated-safe-the-lancet-safe-safety-medicine-heart-attack-stroke-a7233296.html

  27. Martin Back

    Given the advances in the treatment of heart attacks, a heart attack is no longer as serious an occurrence as it used to be. Thus it is no longer so vital to prevent one. So when balancing the benefit of preventing a heart attack against the cost in side effects and finance of preventing a heart attack, the cost of side effects must be given greater weight than before.

    Are the therapeutic guidelines ever updated to reflect advances in medical science?

  28. Lynn platt

    I have stopped Crestor 5 mg. getting pains in legs. My cholesterol was only about 210 total. Don’t even think I should have been prescribed it. I take fish oil coq10 and krill oil. I will see if these work next time I’m tested. But I have no intention to go back on them. I can’t convince my husband do do the same. He’s a diabetic his cholesterol was never high. Dr said its good to lower it more for diabetics. Don’t know if that’s valid or not. It’s amazing to find out what some drugs can do to hurt us. Between Drs prescribing unneeded drugs and GMO in our food supply I think they’re out to make us sicker so they can reap the profits.

    1. David Bailey

      Does your husband realise that one side effect of statins can be to raise blood glucose levels?


      I think I encountered this while I was taking Simvastatin – I was diagnosed with reaised blood sugar level. I just avoided anything sweet, but then I gave up statins because of the muscle side effects, and the sugar problem seems to have gone as well.

  29. MalcolmS

    Medicine is traditionally the profession for providing a cure to a disease and in this field doctors have centuries of experience, a rigorous training regime and, for the most part, they restrict themselves to evidence based medicine.
    It seems to me the major problems started when it was decided a 30-40 years ago to invest a significant amount of a doctor’s time in prophylaxis: the prevention of disease or sustenance of health. This would have been fine if the approach they had adopted had been rigorously scientific and based on painstaking experimentation, which in this field is inevitably expensive and slow. Instead they did what professionals often do and simply followed their prejudices, leaping feet first into at least four errors:
    1) They bought into the snake oil salesman called Ancel Keys and his Cholesterol Con
    2) They fell for the log-linear model for BP which arose out of a (wilful?) computational error (DrK”s blog 7Dec13)
    3) They fell for the notion that statistical correlation alone is sufficient to indicate cause. Richard Doll is deified as the man who proved cigarettes cause lung cancer. I see him as perpetrating a gross intellectual error (that of confusing correlation and causation) which he then succeeded in ingraining into the practise of epidemiology.
    4) They persist in totally ignoring the huge role stress plays in the propagation of disease
    As a result of these 4 errors, prophylactic medicine is in a right royal mess and probably in a worse state than when leeches were being used to treat ailments.
    Whenever I try to persuade someone to take an interest in Dr.K’s blog/books I’m wary of sounding like I’m trying to undermine people’s trust in the medical profession as a whole. I now try to emphasise an important distinction:
    “trust your doctor entirely to treat your ailments; don’t believe a word he says about preserving your health”.
    Any 18 word statement attempting to summarise a highly complex situation should be treated with caution but I see this as forming a good basis for when to trust and when not.

    1. Diana

      “They bought into the snake oil salesman called Ancel Keys and his Cholesterol Con”

      Did Ancel Keys follow his own teaching? He died at the age of 100.

      1. Kay

        I don’t know if Keys practiced what he preached. I’ve read that he did. I’ve read that he didn’t. It probably doesn’t matter a whole lot. It know someone who will soon be 105. Her diet has been the opposite of what Keys recommended.

    2. Katharine

      Malcolm S wrote, “trust your doctor entirely to treat your ailments; don’t believe a word he says about preserving your health”.
      I would add, “only accept that you are ill when you feel ill”, in other words, you are not ill when your cholesterol is 5.1.

    3. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      “trust your doctor entirely to treat your ailments; don’t believe a word he says about preserving your health”

      To me this is an interesting distinction.

      But still your doctor is, in my eyes, basically trapped in a criminal system and the best thing you can do is not to trust him but to turn into an expert into your own “ailment” and not least look for alternatives outside the realm of the pharmacological industry. Then you, like me, may end up with you turning your back to “your expert doctor” and all medication and treatment prescribed and thus in total distrust since as you state I know, and they know as well, that there is no interest in preserving my health.

      E.g., when you realise that a close relative with cancer has been”doomed” by the system but still given serious chemotherapy at huge costs and only for the profit of the industry, but grave suffering for the patient and with no prospects of cure; how can you then “trust your doctor entirely”? (Most oncologist wouldn’t prescribe such treatment to their own relatives in the same situation because they KNOW the prospects.) The saddest thing in my eyes is that most patients in that situation, for various reasons, are shielded from looking into alternative treatments and this shielding being a part of the criminal system in action.

    4. JDPatten

      Those of us who’ve had major bits of us knocked off through trauma and then reattached have reason to be grateful for leeches. They provide anesthetic, anticoagulant, and drainage of stagnated blood while veins heal, often making the difference for a successful outcome. What used to work still works.

    5. David Bailey


      “trust your doctor entirely to treat your ailments; don’t believe a word he says about preserving your health”.

      This is something I have felt for a long time. I consider myself extremely lucky not to have been maimed by statins, and once bitten twice shy!

      I’d recommend everyone read “Doctoring Data” as they approach the age when the medical profession wants to mess about with you!

  30. Stephen T

    Goran, are you saying that oncologists wouldn’t use chemotherapy for their own relatives? I really question this treatment, but I don’t know what to say to people who are receiving it.

  31. Marie - Sweden

    Thank you for sharing the sad news about ”Spacedoc” – Duane Graveline.
    He and others (you and Uffe Ravnskov) opened my eyes in 2004.
    I read a Swedish health magazine (Hälsa). There was an interesting article about the “cholesterol issue” and a doctor mentioned your cholesterol sceptic network – http://www.thincs.org.

    I googled some of the members.
    I started with Uffe Ravnskov because his name sounded Scandinavian. It turned out that he lived in Lund and had written an interesting book.
    I also googled your name, Dr. Kendrick, and found your Red-Flag-articles – very interesting.
    Then I came to Duane Graveline.

    The reason for all this googling/reading was my mother.
    She had been on Zocord (=Zocor = simvastatin) for a couple of years after a small heart attack. She was around 80 at the time.
    She had insomnia (sleeping pills had been prescribed for many months), muscle cramps, aches and weakness in one of her legs. She suspected that it could be side effects but her doctor said – no – and he must be correct.
    After all – I was not a doctor, nor a nurse – had no medical training what-so-ever.

    I kept googling and it did not take long before I found many, many patient stories. People who had the same kind of problems as my mother (and many more).

    I read Uffe Ravnskov´¨s first book (and so did my mother). I sent letters/mail to him and Duane Graveline. They answered in a very informative and friendly way and without delay. I gave Uffe Ravnskov´s reply to my mother and translated Duane Graveline`s as well as some patient stories from the U.S. She worried and said – if I don´t take Zocord – which kind should I take then? I answered – don´t take any statin at all – they will ruin your quality of life – all have similar side effects.

    She had been “brainwashed” by the media and her doctor had mentioned that he was on the same kind of medication. She took that as a guarantee that Zocord was beneficial and harmless.

    I offered to come along as “support” on her next visit or write a letter. She refused – he was such a kind man. He took his time and listened. I said – that´s good – but not enough.
    I had given her all the information that she needed. I left the “issue” for several months. It was up to her to decide. Then I asked her – are you still on Zocord? She replied – no – I stopped long ago. I asked what had happened. She said – I phoned the nurse and asked her to tell the doctor that I wanted to stop. She returned my call and said it was okay.

    My mother is still living in her own home, cooking, baking, reading books, sending birthday greetings to her grandchildren (and their children) etc. etc. She takes daily walks with her stroller and seems to enjoy life in spite of her age – 96. We are so glad she is still here.
    By now, she also knows, that you cannot always trust your doctor`s advice.

    I have an idea what would have happened to her if she had remained on the medication. I have seen it in others.

  32. Dave Watson

    I find it incredible how the evidence against statins and positive effects of LDL in older patients is ignored. As a scientist I have seen this over and over again how opinion outweighs evidence. Doctors were wrong on blood letting for 2000 years so history can repeat itself. I have high cholesterol and a very healthy lifestyle. I am not going to avail myself of the negligible benefits and potentially damaging long term effects of these drugs.

  33. Stephen T

    Well said, Dave. When I think about ‘modern’ dietary advice to diabetics, blood pressure medication, statins, CABG, chemotherapy and the billions and billions spent on cancer research with little return, I wonder where our health system can be trusted. We seem to have a lot of examples of modern ‘blood letting’.

    I avoid the NHS and refuse all checkups, ‘preventative’ medicine, scans and tests. It may all be well intentioned, but it looks more like creating opportunities for the pharmaceutical industry.

  34. Pierre Robson

    Just a brief mention of a TGA episode I experienced. I was cycling (road racing) in heavy urban traffic at the time. Subsequently realised I couldn’t remember parts of the ride, I was missing about 12 minutes. A very odd experience. So back to the ‘net, TGA seemed to be the explanation, confirmed by my doctor and a neurologist. The comforting thing they both said was that my riding function at the time would in no way have been impaired, I just wouldn’t remember anything. They were correct, as the lost memory period included traffic lights etc. They reported same happening to drivers – no risk involved, just an odd experience. Yes it was, and perhaps sllghtly amusing too, in an Alice-in-Wonderland sense! Repeated episodes may be a different matter, however. Oh, I don’t take statins…

  35. Tarry R Knauer

    Thank You Dr Duane Graveline, and all associated with his wisdom! I lost my dear husband (57 yrs) in a tragic auto accident(2006) because he didn’t remember anything(TGA), and a doctor had him on Lipitor. So thankful I am finding all of this information and will keep spreading the word of evil pharmaceuticals and doctors.

  36. jduffydo

    I had the privilege of visiting with Dr. Graveline on the phone several times. I also recognized the damaging effects of statins. He shared with me his belief that low dose statins could be beneficial due to their anti inflammatory effects. I did not agree with him on this issue and had none of my patients on a statin. It was a reason that I was fired from one hospital. I have a short article on my site Downtoearthmedicine.org. I do believe his books are important on the shelves of doctors today.


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