Saturated fat and heart disease

The greatest scam in the history of medicine’ George Mann

I have been a bit quiet of late, mainly because I got a cough that ended up as a nasty chest infection, that also caused my brain to turn to mush for about three weeks. Maybe it was the antibiotics. Anyway proof, as far as I am concerned, that the mind and body are closely connected.

Yes, another little detour from my series, trying to explain what causes cardiovascular disease. But I thought I need to look, once again, at the hypothesis that saturated fat consumption is a cause – perhaps the cause of cardiovascular disease?

To be honest, I have studied saturated fat consumption many, many… many, many, times. The one thing that has always stood out, most starkly, is the complete lack of any real evidence to support the idea that it causes cardiovascular disease.

On the other hand, evidence contradicting it arrives on an almost daily basis. The following study was sent to me a few days ago, although it is now almost ten months since it was first published. The researchers looked at nearly thirty-six thousand people over twelve years. It was done in the Netherlands. The main conclusions were that that:

‘Total saturated fat intake was associated with a lower IHD (Ischaemic Heart Disease) risk (HR per 5% of energy 0.83). Substituting SFAs with animal protein, cis-monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats or carbohydrates was significantly associated with higher IHD risks (HR 1.27 – 1.37).’1

One thing scientific researchers have learned over the years is that you can never say anything in a straightforward way. I think the game is that, if anyone can easily understand your findings, you lose. A game played to its illogical conclusion by French Philosophers. Something I remarked to my son, who was trying to quote Derrida at me. Here would be one snappy Derrida quote:

“Every sign, linguistic or nonlinguistic, spoken or written (in the usual sense of this opposition), as a small or large unity, can be cited, put between quotation marks; thereby it can break with every given context, and engender infinitely new contexts in an absolutely nonsaturable fashion. This does not suppose that the mark is valid outside its context, but on the contrary that there are only contexts without any center of absolute anchoring. This citationality, duplication, or duplicity, this iterability of the mark is not an accident or anomaly, but is that (normal/abnormal) without which a mark could no longer even have a so-called “normal” functioning. What would a mark be that one could not cite? And whose origin could not be lost on the way?”

Yes, indeed. Couldn’t agree more.

As with Derrida, so with scientific papers. What these researchers should have said is the following. ‘The more saturated fat you eat, the lower your risk of dying of cardiovascular disease, and vice-versa.’ A thirteen per cent reduction in death for every five per cent increase in energy obtained from saturated fat consumption. Why do they run away from making such easy to understand statements? I think Derrida could probably tell us. If we could ever understand anything he ever wrote, or said.

However, I am not going to bombard you with endless facts contradicting the saturated fat hypothesis, I am going to get a little more philosophical here. To ask, what is it about some scientific ideas/hypotheses that they become so quickly entrenched – without the need for the tedious requirement of any actual facts.

My thoughts were drawn to this issue by something seemingly unconnected. Which is a legal hearing the UK concerning shaken baby syndrome. Most experts in paediatrics are absolutely convinced that there is such a thing. It is quoted in textbooks as an undisputed fact. Many parents, and other adults, have been convicted, and sent to jail, for shaking their babies so hard that it caused the ‘triad’ of shaken baby syndrome: subdural hematoma, retinal bleeding, and brain swelling

On the other hand, we have Dr Waney Squier, a paediatrician who used to provide expert opinion on child abuse cases in the UK. She was struck off by the General Medical Council (GMC) for, well the exact judgement is, as per Derrida, impossible to understand.

The GMC judgement has certainly been criticized:

‘Michael Mansfield, Clive Stafford Smith and others argue that the General Medical Council is behaving like a “21st-century inquisition” in the case of Dr Waney Squier (Shaken baby syndrome doctor struck off, 22 March).’

The GMC responded thus:

‘Far from wishing to suppress different views, we recognise that scientific advance is achieved by challenging as well as developing existing theories, and importantly in this context we are absolutely clear that neither the GMC nor the courts are the place where such scientific disputes can be resolved. To be clear, it is possible that a doctor who ultimately was proved to have the correct theory could present their evidence in such a way as to mislead, just as it is possible for a doctor advocating a theory ultimately proved to be flawed to present their case in context and with integrity.’

Niall Dickson

Chief executive, General Medical Council

The only possible response to Niall Dickson’s remark is ‘bollocks.’ You can present the correct theory in a way to mislead, and you can present a flawed hypothesis with integrity? George Orwell would surely nod in approval of such perfect doublethink. You are right, but we don’t like the way you present being right. We would rather listen to someone talk absolute nonsense using the correct professional manner. Can I have my knighthood now, please?

Leaving the machinations of the GMC aside, the main issue is simple. Dr Waney Squier does not believe that shaken baby syndrome exists. Of course she knows that the triad of subdural haematoma, retinal bleeding and brain swelling exists. But she believes there could be other explanations. Including, perish the very thought, an accidental fall.

Because she does not believe in shaken baby syndrome, she has presented evidence in court which has tended to undermine the prosecution case against parents and carers, accused of shaking a baby and causing severe brain damage. Much to the annoyance of the police and they then, for it was indeed them, reported Dr Squier to the GMC.

Now, I know what most of you are thinking. Surely ‘shaken baby syndrome’ exists. This must have been proven. Well, it has not. If you think about it, how could it be proven? How do you think a study on shaken baby syndrome could ever be done? Get five hundred children, shake them forcefully and see what happens to their brains. I suspect you might find gaining ethical approval for a such a study might be tricky.

Despite this, and the fact that shaken baby syndrome represents an ‘unproven hypothesis’ almost all experts around the world are convinced that shaken baby syndrome exists. Dr Squier, who seems a well-rounded and sensible lady, has made the terrible mistake of questioning that this dogma. There could be, shock horror, other possible causes.

The police objected, judges objected, her peers objected, and she has been struck off. No longer able to practice medicine anywhere in the world. She has become a medical pariah.

The good news is that her case in going in front of an actual court of law in the UK. I strongly suspect (maybe I just hope) that her ‘conviction’ will be overturned. She does have the support of a number of other paediatricians around the world. However, in the meantime, other doctors, who do not believe in shaken baby syndrome, will not dare go to court to testify in support of those accused of shaking babies. Such is the power of the Spanish Inquisition.

Shaken baby syndrome: saturated fat consumption.

On the fact of it shaken baby syndrome and saturated fat consumption have very little in common. However, from another perspective the parallels are clear. Both are seductively simple ideas that appeal to common sense. That most deadly of all senses.

Most people can clearly see how a small, vulnerable, baby will suffer significant brain injury if it is shaken too hard. Close your eyes and you can virtually see it happening. If you can bear having that image in your head for any length of time.

Most parents, I think, can almost see themselves doing it, or having done it – when their child will ‘just not dammed well stop crying.’ In short, shaken baby syndrome can easily be visualised, and it triggers a kind of visceral horror. We can easily see how a feckless parent may lack the self-control required to stop themselves doing it. ‘Shut up, shut up, shut up….’

And that, dear reader, is as scientific as shaken baby syndrome gets. A hypothesis based on visceral fear, prejudice, and knee-jerk judgement. This makes it almost perfectly resistant to any contradictory evidence. Try to argue against it, and you will meet anger and bluster and the idee fixe.

I was once told a story which goes as follows. It concerns a psychiatrist trying to convince a patient that he is not dead. A battle that that had gone on for many years, eventually the psychiatrist comes up with a brilliant idea….

Psychiatrist:       ‘Do dead people bleed?’

Patient:                                   ‘No, I guess not.’

Psychiatrist:       (Takes pin from lapel and pricks the patient’s thumb, and a drop of blood appears). ‘Aha, do you see that?’

Patient:                 (Looks at thumb) ‘What do you know, I guess dead people do bleed then.’


The ‘saturated fat causing heart disease hypothesis’ comes from a very similar place called – well, it’s obvious isn’t it, just common sense. Heart disease is basically a build of fat in the arteries, isn’t it.? Where can that possibly come from? Fat in the diet. Especially the thick, sticky, gooey stuff that you get on a pork chop, or suchlike. That’s got to be it hasn’t it? The thick horrible squidgy gooey fat that you eat, ends up as thick horrible squidgy gooey fat in your arteries. Serves you right for eating fat, and MacDonald’s, and suchlike.

There rests the entire scientific argument against saturated fat. As such it is difficult to argue against. Facts simply bounce off. As demonstrated very clearly to me in a more recent publication. A very major review was published a few weeks ago on the Journal of Food and Nutrition Research called ‘Food consumption and the actual statistics of cardiovascular diseases: an epidemiological comparison of 42 European countries.’ 2

‘The aim of this ecological study was to identify the main nutritional factors related to the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) in Europe, based on a comparison of international statistics.

What did they find? Well, they found lots of things, but the key things they found were the following:

We found exceptionally strong relationships between some of the examined factors, the highest being a correlation between raised cholesterol in men and the combined consumption of animal fat and animal protein (r=0.92, p<0.001). The most significant dietary correlate of low CVD risk was high total fat and animal protein consumption.’

Now that paragraph really needs a however in it. Just after p<0.001 and the ‘The.’ Yes, they found that animal fat (mainly saturated fat) and animal protein did indeed raise cholesterol. However, animal fat and animal protein consumption showed the most powerful correlation with low risk of cardiovascular disease.

Which food items showed the highest correlation with increased CVD risk? Have a guess.

‘The major correlate of high CVD risk was the proportion of energy from carbohydrates and alcohol, or from potato and cereal carbohydrates.’

The conclusion of the authors:

‘Our results do not support the association between CVDs and saturated fat, which is still contained in official dietary guidelines. Instead, they agree with data accumulated from recent studies that link CVD risk with the high glycaemic index/load of carbohydrate-based diets. In the absence of any scientific evidence connecting saturated fat with CVDs, these findings show that current dietary recommendations regarding CVDs should be seriously reconsidered.’

When the British Heart Foundation was presented with the findings from this study they found a Dr Mike Knapton to make the following statement:

“Other studies, however, show diets high in saturated fat are linked to raised cholesterol levels, which is a risk factor for heart disease. So, for you and me, we should consider our diet as a whole to reduce our overall risk, such as a traditional Mediterranean style diet, which is a style of eating associated with a lower rate of coronary heart disease. The key is a balanced diet over all, rather than considering individual foods. There are many factors which cause heart disease and stroke and no single food or nutrient is solely responsible for this. We will continue to recommend switching saturated fat for unsaturated fat.”

As you can see, when presented with evidence, the BHF refuses to consider it, and turns to gibberish. Dr Mike Knapton argues that this study should be ignored, because other studies have shown that saturated fat raised cholesterol levels, and this is a risk factor for heart disease.

‘Hellooo Dr Knapton. This study also showed that saturated fat increased blood cholesterol levels. However, what it also showed is that this reduced the risk of heart disease. Did you even read that bit, or do you simply dismiss papers contradicting the diet-heart hypothesis on the basis they must be wrong – so what it the point of actually reading them?’

On many occasions I, and others, have tried to engage the BHF in debate. However, you can’t. They just provide ‘statements’. The statements never change, the evidence they use never revealed. However big a study, however contradictory it is, it will be met with statement such as Other studies, however, show diets high in saturated fat are linked to raised cholesterol levels, which is a risk factor for heart disease.

Made up scientific hypothesis are, I find, very difficult to dislodge with evidence.

1: ‘The association between dietary saturated fatty acids and ischemic heart disease depends on the type and source of fatty acid in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer andNutrition–Netherlands cohort’ Jaike Praagman, Joline WJ Beulens, Marjan Alssema, Peter L Zock, Anne J Wanders, Ivonne Sluijs, and Yvonne T van der Schouw. Am J Clin Nutr doi: 10.3945/ajcn.115.122671


430 thoughts on “Saturated fat and heart disease

  1. John Collis reports on the diet of people who lived in a Victorian slum, suggesting that it is healthier than our own because it contained high levels of monounsaturated fat in the pork dripping they ate as well as the omega 3 PUFA in the shellfish consumed. This seems to run counter to the current hypothesis that animal fat is bad for you because it is saturated, it cannot be both unsaturated and saturated.

    1. Josephine Pretty

      My father and his sister were born in the UK in 1911 and 1901. They both came from a very poor background. The diet they ate contained no butter, cream, or cheese. However, they ate beef dripping on their bread and both ate pork fat, etc etc. Although my father was a sickly child he lived to 92 years and his sister to be 99 years they never ate dairy.

    2. ellifeld

      I don’t know of a food that is completely saturated, mono or polyunsaturated. I think coconut oil is the most saturated at about 90%. In fact, olive oil per 100 grams is saturated 14.5 grams, poly 4.5 and mono 73. Bacon is actually the same proportions except the mono is 19 grams.

  2. Sylvia

    You needed the break and your body and mind have had a spring clean.
    I have an image of you with a megaphone on top of Helvellyn entreating all interested parties

    ” Please suspend your deeply held beliefs and imagine that there could be another valid view, because there is mounting respectable evidence to say otherwise, if you will only open your mind instead of closing it like a steel trap, which by the way is a sign of a rusty, rigid intellect”

    Sorry, my imagining and my words Dr Kendrick.

  3. barbrovsky

    The same is true of diabetes. I used the Diabetes UK Website and tried their ‘test’ (BTW, I don’t have diabetes, or am I ‘pre-diabetic’) to see whether I’m in danger. In fact I took the test several times, using different responses each time and no matter how I answered, I got the same response; I’m at high risk. But what’s it based on? Simply my age and nothing else (that’s the only parameter I didn’t change). I wrote to Diabetes UK and told their ‘test’ was rubbish and all it did was scare people. I still await a response.

    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      The response will be (if you ever get one). Our test is based on many clinical studies and expert opinion and has been validated by key opinion leaders blah, blah, blah…. (beep, message ends). We thank you for your interest in our society. If you would like to donate to support our reserch please click on this link.

      1. Mrs Sarah Chard

        That one brings me back to question – is it in the interests of (insert name of charity) to find a cure for (insert name of disease)?

      2. barbrovsky

        The same might said of ALL ‘charities’! Eg, in Haiti there are approximately 10,000 (western) charities operating. So consider that each has one foreign worker employed, that’s10,000 jobs for the boys and girls in the developed world! But the Haitians are worse off now than they were say ten years ago. In Africa it’s same. For every £1 ‘donated’, we get back far more in interest on the loans we supply.

        So too, with all these so-called charities, it’s all about money, it’s always about money. As they say, charity begins at home. Hah!

      3. barbrovsky

        Slightly off topic but my GP wants me to have a Shingles vaccination (I had chicken pox as a kid) but frankly, I’m leery. Should I not be worried or what?

      4. barbrovsky

        Hi Gaetan,
        It’s a long video but thanks, I will check it out. It’s not that I’m opposed to vaccinations per se, it’s just that I no longer have the faith that I once did, in the health industry, that is, back when it was a profession and not a business. BTW, in a complete change of course for one sentence, I distinctly remember my mum and dad talking about how the GPs were almost 100% OPPOSED the NHS and the govt was forced to make a lot of compromises in order to get it off the ground.

        Okay, that’s out of my system. I did a little research on the only available vaccine: Zostavax. This from Medwatcher:

        On May 19, 2012, a 69-year-old female in West Virginia received Zostavax made by Merck to prevent varicella, shingles or chicken pox. The symptoms reported were acute myocardial infarction, cardiomyopathy, dyspnoea, fatigue, immediate post-injection reaction, and other symptoms. The event was life threatening, required a visit to the emergency department & hospitalization. Details: Developed severe fatigue & shortness of breath within 48 hrs. of vaccine administration. Subsequently admitted to hospital on 9/12/12 with severe cardiomyopathy & acute M.I. Noted pain & swelling at injection site immediately.
        If you visit the site you’ll find a lot of stories of what happens after an injection with Zostavax but this was the worst I found, but there maybe others like this. Far more common seemed to a whole range of disorders, some seemingly permanent, but all kinds of things from hives to hepatitis!
        And it only seems to offer between 50 and 60% protection against shingles, is it worth the risk? I do know that it’s awfully painful condition and pretty much incurable but its symptoms vary from person to person. If you have a good immune system, you stand a good chance of not getting a really bad case of it. I think I had chicken pox as a kid, so that does put me at risk (along with pretty much everybody else!).

      5. Gaetan

        There is only one way to be healthy in my humble opinion, and it’s to have a strong healthy immune system. How is injecting a vaccine with foreign substances (and deadly ones too, like formaldehyde, mercury, aluminum etc.) into your vein is gonna help yourself build a stronger immune system? nonsense. Enough sleep, exercises, healthy diet, emotional well being and so on is the only way to go 🙂

      6. barbrovsky

        Gaetan, thanks for this! It just reinforces what I’d already discovered about this drug.
        From the site you gave me:

        Nevertheless, despite its questionable effectiveness at preventing shingles (and the fact that it can cause shingles!) and the serious side effects it can produce, online sites funded by the pharmaceutical industry (e.g., WebMD) and neighborhood pharmacies continue to ominously advise seniors to get the shingles vaccines – at a cost of $150-$300 per injection to insurance companies. Zostavax is clearly effective at something – and there’s nothing “potential” about the revenue it’s generating for its manufacturer, promoters and distributors.

        So here’s the reason: Money!!! Gives you shingles, messes up your vision? I think I’ll give Zostavax a raincheck.
        And y’know, I don’t even know what the odds of my contracting shingle are. If it was very high, then possibly I might be worth the risk, but it seems it’s just age. I’m confused.

      7. barbrovsky

        Gaetan, I like this from Mercola’s website:

        Chickenpox Is Nature’s Way of Protecting You from Shingles

        Nature has devised an elegant plan for protecting you from the shingles virus.

        After contracting and recovering from chickenpox (usually as a child), as you age, your natural immunity gets asymptomatically “boosted” by coming into contact with infected children, who are recovering from chickenpox. This natural “boosting” of natural immunity to the varicella (chickenpox) virus helps protect you from getting shingles later in life.

        This is true whether you are a child, adolescent, young adult, or elderly—every time you come into contact with someone infected with chickenpox, you get a natural “booster shot” that protects you from a painful—and expensive—bout with shingles.

        In other words, shingles can be prevented by ordinary contact, such as receiving a hug from a grandchild who is getting or recovering from the chickenpox. But with the advent of the chickenpox vaccine, there is less chickenpox around to provide that natural immune boost for children AND adults.

        So as chickenpox rates have declined, shingles rates have begun to rise, and there is mounting evidence that an epidemic of shingles is developing in America from the mass, mandatory use of the chickenpox vaccine by all children.

        As hard as scientists try to come up with ways to “improve” human biology, they just can’t outsmart Mother Nature. In trying to tinker with the natural order of things, we tend to destroy processes that nature has masterfully orchestrated to keep us healthy.

        This dance between chickenpox and shingles is a perfect example.

      8. barbrovsky

        Couldn’t find the ref to Herron in the article you cited, the Medscape one. Ok, the new drug may actually work in most cases (85%?) but the ‘side effects’ looked to be pretty much the same as Zastavox. And in any case, it’s not currently available here in the UK.

        And correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems those who really need it are those with a compromised immune system, otherwise, why bother with Zostavax? And it’s around 150 quid for a shot! What’s the cost of vaccinating everybody over 70? Say 4 million people times 150, ok, the nhs gets discount. But it’s still a lot of moola for a drug that only works in half the people who get it!!! I’m staggered by the way the NHS has been transformed into an endless conveyor belt; pills in at one end, and money shoveled out the other to the corporations.

      9. Gaetan

        Vaccines ”safe and effective” hmm no they aren’t and have never been. They are one of the reason pharmaceutical companies continue to make billions and they have all interest in promoting and enforcing them to the population. (see California) Same with Statins. (which they still try to promote even if we know cholesterol has nothing to do with CHD)

        Just like acetaminophen (tylenol etc.) will eventually destroy one’s kydneys, but are still widely sold like candies. Unfortunately ‘modern’ medicine is one that treat symptoms without ever addressing the root cause.

        Back to vaccines, they were so unsafe that in the mid 80s big pharma demanded the congress that they could not be sued anymore over vaccines damage, because they were running out of money and would stop producing them.

        ”Supreme Court rules drug companies exempt from lawsuits”

      10. thelastfurlong

        Got to log in on your second link so I couldn’t read it.
        I had shingles about 18 months ago. My doctor (NHS in a small village) was on-the-ball and intervened early. I was very lucky. It was excruciating in every way, but fortunately didn’t last long. And I have had no relapses. I had chickenpox as a child. I have moved to a new surgery in a larger town. Oh what a difference! I have been offered the vaccination every time I visit. I point out I’ve just had shingles and they assure me I might get it again. When I say that having it so recently should make me more immune, their eyes glaze over. Shingles is a dreadful thing – I have met people who it debilitated for years, and can haunt for life. The trick is to catch it quickly. The treatment on the NHS is VERY correct. It worked for me. I am 72. But anyone who suddenly finds themselves in excruciating pain, should FIRST check out for Shingles. There is always a blister, pimple, itchy place, stingy area on the body in the general area of the pain. Sometimes these places are so tiny, it is easy to discredit them as a bite or something not important. Pain, bite/pimple somewhere near it = doctor quick quick. ” Antiviral medicines are most effective when taken within 72 hours of your rash appearing, although they may be started up to a week after your rash appears if you’re at risk of severe shingles or complications.” I would remove “if you’re at risk of severe shingles or complications.” I would not try “home remedies” and no-one could tell you if YOUR shingles may be severe or cause complications or not! Link

    2. ellifeld

      All these associations, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc. are just lobby groups for the pharmaceutical industry. All are funded by the drug industry except the foolish people who make donations. Of course today it’s almost impossible to even go to a supermarket without a cashier asking you if you’d like to contribute to one of these associations. I also noticed that many ask for contributions for a particular disease in an obituary if that person died of that disease. It’s unbelievable.

    3. Kathy Bosse

      I believe the same is true of diabetes in the USA. I doubt anything they publish on Pre Diabetes except … they want to make a load of MONEY with their scare tatics.

      1. barbrovsky

        We now live in the world of ‘unadulterated’ capitalism, where wealth and power is everything and pretty much everything has been or is in the process of being repossessed by the same class of capitalists who stole Africa in the 19th century, and using pretty much identical methods but means even more murderous.

        So too with ‘health’, it’s merely a commodity, like water and pretty soon, cold, sweet, clean air will join the list of things to be commodified. They’ve got our brains (they’ve had our hands and our eyes for a few hundred years already) locked up in machines. And it appears to be relentless no matter that we squawk, shout. We may make small gains here and there but overall we’re moving backwards toward the19th century at a fast rate of knots.


      2. Anna

        I can’t say I agree with you on the prediabetes. I think at least half of all Americans are prediabetic, including many children.

    4. Stephen T

      Barbrovsky, does a charity ever say the problem’s getting better? I would never contribute to Diabetes UK or the British Heart Foundation. I’m now very sceptical about all health charities.

  4. Mrs Sarah Chard

    “To ask, what is it about some scientific ideas/hypotheses that they become so quickly entrenched – without the need for the tedious requirement of any actual facts.”

    Quote from Wikipedia:
    At a 1955 expert meeting at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Keys presented his diet-lipid-heart disease hypothesis with “his usual confidence and bluntness”.

    Another quote from Wikipedia:
    Eisenhower began smoking cigarettes at West Point, often two or three packs a day. He was probably the first president to release information about his health and medical records while in office.[215] On September 24, 1955, while vacationing in Colorado, he had a serious heart attack that required six weeks’ hospitalization…

    And it seems to me that the timing was perfect to promote the diet/heart hypothesis in the back of the President’s illness (and remember, the President was absolutely revered back then, irrespective of whether you voted for him – it’s ‘the office’ etc. Given that TV channels were limited, and alternative media unheard of, it’s hardly surprising the message struck home so forcibly, and was swallowed hook, line and sinker! Two things strike me – a) what a shame they didn’t focus on tobacco for the cause of the President’s illness, that really would have saved lives and b) there will never again be such perfect conditions for promoting health/diet guidance (irrespective of the quality of that advice).

    Just a thought!

  5. samuel

    A very good read.

    Hey, what about french fries cooked in saturated fats? Does the damaging effect of potatoes get balanced by the protective effect of the fat? Just kidding.

    1. Neil

      Ironically the American government put pressure on McDonald’s to stop frying their chips ( fries) in dripping ( beef fat) thus contributing to cvd risk !

    2. Anna

      What do you mean you’re kidding? That is just the question I have. If you’re going to east some carbs, shouldn’t it come coated in animal fat?

    1. Frederica Huxley

      I find it appalling that the powers that be will not even consider the possibility that severe maternal/natal vitamin D deficiency is a highly probable cause of the horrific injuries of “shaken baby syndrome”.

    2. Gay Corran

      Indeed, JD Patten. A double tragedy for innocent parents. And caused by much the same mistaken hypothesis: the instruction to cut out sat fat results in reduced absorption of vitamins D, A, K and E, all fat soluble vits unable to be used by the body without the fat they naturally come with, which is largely animal fat from healthy creatures raised in sunshine. Calcium cannot be correctly used under such circumstances either. So there is the recipe for broken bones and shaken baby syndrome in the very young, and osteoporosis in the older population, to say nothing of the findings that replacing animal fats with carbs appears to be a recipe for CVD, strokes and diabetes. Dr Kendrick, thank you again for a brilliant exposition of the truth. Please keep banging away. Sorry to hear you have been ill. More than a wee dram needed, perhaps?

  6. Don

    Are there reputable studies showing all-cause mortality in diets with vs without high levels of saturated fat ?

    Heart disease is very important, of course, but it would be good to look at all health impacts, or at least all mortality causes, when reviewing diet/lifestyle.

  7. Nigella P

    Various popular TV programmes that involve fat shaming people often have a huge clear glass containers filled with a viscous, yellowy grey sludge & they gaily hold it up to the poor fat person to show them how disgusting they are to eat so much fat. Clearly, that is never going to work as well with a huge plate of pure white sugar, as that looks so clean with all its white snowy loveliness! So, with that kind of endless reinforcement, it is going to be so very hard to get out of people’s minds that fat is not foul, disgusting, artery-clogging evil and that’s just with ordinary people. I can’t even begin to think how hard it will be to convince all those companies making a killing on flogging their ‘low fat’ & therefore high sugar, nutritionally worthless products.

    However, that shouldn’t stop us trying. Keep up the good fight Dr K & hope you feel properly better again soon.

  8. Ian Partington

    I’ve just had exactly the same kind of response from Diabetes UK, to my complaints of their continued recommendation to diabetics to eat starchy ( i e carb- laden) foods with every meal. Do you ever feel that you’re beating your , increasingly sore, head against a brick wall?

  9. Joe

    “Substituting SFAs with animal protein”

    Say what? How exactly does one do that?

    Doesn’t all animal protein contain SFAs?

    PS: Welcome back, Doc. I hope you’re feeling better.

  10. David Bailey

    I am actually very glad I escaped from science shortly after starting as a post-doc. By now, I know I would feel utterly ashamed of my subject.

    Science (in almost any area) blended with politics, blended with money is a disaster.

  11. Jean Humphreys

    When I was a very little child, I thought that there were little tables in my tummy, and there were little men who sorted out the food onto the tables for where it needed to go. Could someone tell the Grand Experts that they and my childlike self are wrong, and that it doesn’t work like this. By the way, the litte men had wheelbarrows.

      1. Jean Humphreys

        No to Hugh Mannity – this was long before the days of the Mr Men, and my little Tummy Men were proper workman shape, with proper workman boots and trousers with a piece of string tied under the knees.

  12. Tom Welsh

    “There rests the entire scientific argument against saturated fat. As such it is difficult to argue against. Facts simply bounce off”.

    Elegantly and persuasively put! The great Jonathan Swift said something very similar:

    “Reasoning will never make a Man correct an ill Opinion, which by Reasoning he never acquired”.

    – Jonathan Swift (“A Letter to a Young Gentleman, Lately Enter’d Into Holy Orders by a Person of Quality”).

  13. Tom Welsh

    I am sorry to hear about your bout of sickness, Dr Kendrick. I hope you are now well enough to manage that traditional aid to convalescence, the wee dram.

  14. Hugh Mannity

    Of course, what they eat in the Mediterranean region of Europe (the Mediterranean region of North Africa is a bit different) is very different from what is promoted as the “Traditional Mediterranean Diet”. Zoe Harcombe did a great analysis of it about a year ago. ( now behind a paywall) TL;DR they eat pasta, for sure, but not mountains of it. They cook with butter and use olive oil for salad dressing more than cooking. They eat meat and fish, veggies (cooked with butter). In many cases it would actually count as “low” carb — being that the definition of “low carb” includes some pretty high levels of carbohydrate.

    However, what I think is the most important aspect of the Mediterranean diet is the lack of snacking. Unlike here in the US, where people tend to graze on “healthy” snacks like granola bars all day. They also don’t eat on the run (another US habit to avoid) but sit down to a meal at the dining table, not in front of the TV or in the car while driving. I suspect those two factors are as important overall as the content of their diet.

    1. Doug

      Confounding variables Hugh ….. and plenty of them

      There are many confounding variables in the ‘Mediterranean diet’. One of the biggest was that the people studied went through WWI and WWII; starvation and a lack of processed foods or the money to purchase them.

      My father inlaw was born after the war in southern Italy. Poor, poor people eating only what they could grow, pasture, or catch. His uncle is 96, living on a quarter of a lung for the last 25 years and still tends his own garden in Canada. His brother, at 92, just died last week.

      confounding variables

  15. Mr Chris

    As usual this makes me shudder. Was there not a suggestion that doctors who are against statins are killing people and should also be struck off.
    What do you say to people who you explain about statins, and then ask how you keep your cholesterol down and also get all the gunge out of your arteries?

  16. Ann Walker

    Sally Clark was released from prison in 2003 after it was discovered that her baby had not been the victim of Munchausen by Proxy as claimed by Prof Roy Meadow, but had died of a bacterial infection. Sally Clark died four years later of a broken heart, having never recovered from the trauma of the case, false imprisonment and mourning the loss of two babies. As a mother of four I followed her story closely and was horrified by her suffering.

    You would think that her tragic story and death would have made people look more carefully into the theory of ‘Munchausen by Proxy’. But no, nothing has changed in the intervening years except that ‘Munchausen by Proxy’ has been replaced by ‘Shaken Baby Syndrome’ but the attitude to mothers whose babies have died is still on the same medieval witch hunt level.

    It was shocking that Dr Waney Squier was struck off for trying to protect mothers. Other doctors hesitate to defend mothers in case they meet the same fate. Our splendid police force can now prosecute innocent mothers without fear of failure.

    Thank you Dr Kendrick for bringing this to our attention. There is as you say a parallel between the two theories of Shaken Baby Syndrome and Saturated Fat Causes Heart Disease. Both are false but not investigated and exposed because of the stranglehold of vested interests. I suggest you read Thomas Kuhn’s ‘The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.’ It makes a lot more sense than Derrida.

    1. Socratic Dog

      As many here have testified, once you step behind the looking glass on any one subject, such as the saturated fat hypothesis, nothing is ever the same. You start to question everything. And I mean everything. It’s really a whole lot easier to flick on the TV, chug your statin, and turn your brain off.

      Well, that’s the price we pay. To me, it’s well and truly worth it.

  17. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

    I just watched a newly released French film (in an English version), at, cholesterol-the-big-bluff?, which is very revealing.
    It is the same class as the Australian Catalyst film that was withdrawn. We’ll. see about this one.

    I hope the links work.

      1. Sylvia

        Though it covers ground some may know well, it is worth watching, if only to applaud this growing band of brothers( and sisters) from our neighbours in other countries.

      2. barbrovsky

        This too, is slightly but not much, off-topic; a new report out of the US:

        ‘Drug Dependence Hasn’t Been Stopped by 45 Years of the War on Drugs’

        It’s a blockbuster datum, all right, but one hopes people will read past those headlines, because there’s a lot more in the new report. Every 25 Seconds: The Human Toll of Criminalizing Drug Use in the United States, a study from Human Rights Watch and the ACLU, is a multi-level, cradle-to-grave if you will, look at the myriad impacts of the criminalization—selective criminalization—of drug possession on the people caught up in the system.

      3. barbrovsky

        Another nail in the coffin of capitalism. This from the Mercola Website:

        Our Food Supply Has Been Radically Altered Since the Mid-’90s

        Between 1997 and 2002 the number of peanut allergies doubled, and the number of hospitalizations related to allergic reactions to food increased by 265 percent.2

        Between 1997 and 2011, food allergies (of all types) among children rose by 50 percent.3 Today, an estimated 15 million Americans and 17 million Europeans have some form of food allergy. Incidence of celiac disease and other forms of food intolerance have also become more common.

        So is there something “foreign” in our food today that wasn’t there before? Absolutely. There’s a whole host of ingredients that could cause problems, including food dyes, artificial flavors, preservatives, various additives and, of course, GMOs.

        Ever since the mid-1990s, new food proteins have been engineered and steadily introduced into our food supply, yet many are still unaware that a major shift has occurred. One of the first foods to undergo this change was milk, which incidentally is also the No. 1 food allergen in the U.S.

      4. Stephen T

        Thank you. A good film. Perhaps the French never succumbed to the cholesterol madness as America and the UK did? French cussedness have its advantages!

    1. barbrovsky

      Yeah, again, what is blatantly obvious and not just from this movie, is the key role our economic system plays, where generating profit is the only motivation. Worse, to keep on doing it, regardless of the result, regardless of the consequences. The big difference now, is that it’s the entire planet’s biosphere and even into near space that’s being totally **cked up!

      So big pharma answers only to its shareholders and no one else, unless we kick up a big fuss and even then, as the heroin disguised as painkiller reveals, such deaths don’t seem to make much of an impact these days (what was the figure, 100,000 deaths a year from prescription dope in the US?) Maybe because the death we’re visiting on who knows how many countries, makes our own insignificant!

      The NHS’s drugs budget is I think, £20 billion, maybe it’s more. It’s just become one big, sick system for keeping the capitalist economy going. And no matter which way you turn, you find that whatever it is we are producing/consuming in this madhouse, is killing us even as we revel in our abundance of so-called wealth! The problem is, it’s killing everything else as well.

      There is only one solution to this madness, we have to get together and get rid of this suicidal system, but I fear it’s already too late.

  18. Sue Richardson

    Perhaps we’ll have to wait for all the ‘experts’ on low fat diets to have strokes and heart attacks before anyone will begin to wonder if maybe, just maybe, they have it a tiny bit wrong.

  19. HotScot

    This might seem a departure from Malcolm’s point, but please bear with me.

    As far as I’m aware there is no conclusive proof that, in terms of the global warming debate, CO2 causes temperatures to rise. There is considerable evidence that CO2 lags temperature rise by around 800 years. Yet the future of the world is predicated on a theory presented as absolute fact.

    The planet is, in fact, greening thanks to CO2, by some 14% over the last 30 years according to Prof. Ranga B. Myneni, Department of Earth & Environment, Boston University, USA. About half of this is calculated as a direct result of increased carbon dioxide levels, rather than other factors like warmth, irrigation or fertilisers. It’s equivalent to adding a green continent twice the size of mainland USA!

    But when the AGW sceptic Matt Ridley used these facts in one of his articles for The Wall Street Journal, the paper’s author attacked him on a green blog that “[Ridley] falsely claims that CO2 fertilisation is responsible for the greening of the earth”, Then a few months later he himself published evidence that “CO2 fertilisation explains 70% of the greening trend”. (It had risen from when he first wrote his paper in 2012, and it’s publication in 2016, by 20%!). No, you couldn’t make it up!

    The paper can be found here:

    And Matt Ridleys presentation to The Royal Society is here:

    Now whilst this might seem a plug for scepticism of climate change, it’s not. It simply confirms Malcolm’s contention of distorted, dogmatic science driven by taxpayer (or big pharma) funding that cannot be challenged. The GW debate has wrecked the careers of numerous sceptical scientist’s, some expressing fears for their personal safety.

    But it goes further, how about the Swedish “Chancellor of Justice” investigating the Bible for homosexual ‘hate text’. Yes, it really happened and no, you still couldn’t make it up!

    And whilst I’m reluctant to take the word of an ‘internet red top’, it’s no worse than taking the word of politically and financially driven health professionals who would have us believe in shaken baby syndrome with no evidence.

    1. Goutboy

      I was going to write a piece for Wattsupwiththat on the parallel of global warming (climate change!) and cvd, suggesting that, on so many levels, the socio/politics were similar. Alas I can’t be bothered being more interested in travelling in search of warmer temperatures and vitamin D. Agree with Ridley on the good of the greening – increase in watermelons maybe -NOrUs.

      1. David Bailey

        Do write such a piece, because I think many of the campaigners against the various pieces of rotten science seem (maybe inevitably) to assume the rest of science is sound. For example, Peter Woit – a theoretical physicist – writes a blog that is partly about his long standing criticism of string theory, which has mushroomed for decades without any experimental verification. I complained to him that while he removes almost all off-topic comments, he allowed one comment that made a snide side reference to ‘climate deniers’, but removed mine that tried to set the record straight. I had wanted to point out that as a theoretical physicist, he had probably never studied ‘climate science’ at all, but that others, such as Freeman Dyson have studied this scam in their retirement, and come to pretty sceptical conclusions.

    2. David Bailey

      The whole issue of Climate Change was taken up in a side meeting at the recent UKIP party conference. The discussion mainly concerned the physics of the phenomenon and the reliability of the computer models (remember UKIP is supposed to be a party for the stupid).

      It was pointed out that a greenhouse doesn’t work as is usually assumed. It isn’t that the glass blocks the re-radiation of heat, it is that it blocks the convection of heat! When you think about it, it is obvious! So whether or not there is such a thing as an atmospheric greenhouse effect, the analogy with a greenhouse is not fair. The speaker went on to make an argument that the entire theory of the greenhouse effect is false – I won’t repeat that because I am not confident I understand it enough, however the data from the US Magellan spacecraft would suggest that if there is a greenhouse effect, it must be incredibly weak
      (Just look at the graphs to extract the temperature in Venus’ atmosphere corresponding to 1 atmosphere on Earth – as opposed to the temperature on the planetary surface, where the pressure is 92 times greater!

      1. Stephen T

        I hate the use of ‘denier’ for someone who disagrees with the current paradigm. ‘Denier; is a term that properly belongs only to the holocaust. The rest of the time it’s intended to silence debate and discredit opponents.

    1. Stephen T

      A BBC documentary on New York recently showed the waste food they feed the cattle to fatten them up as quickly as possible. It was pasta, crisps and sweets. In short, the sort of high-carb trash that many people eat. Interestingly, the cattle also ate some chocolate, but the ‘farmers’ were wary because fat would satisfy the cattle’s appetite and stop them eating. I eat local meat from farms I know, mostly or entirely grass fed. We need to encourage such farmers.

  20. Simon Thompson

    GMC is star chamber, we have our version down under called AHPRA gagging Orthopod Gary Fetke from giving “Dietary advice”. No respect.

    I love your continued debunking of the saturated fat-cholesterol-heart disease hypothesis.

    My personal experience of eating low fat was to sport a cholesterol of 3.7 and HDL 0.9.
    Two years and 28 marathons later (yes LCHF is energising!), my HDL is 2.1, and total cholesterol is 5.8). It will be interesting to see when I have my first AMI- as my Father and paternal Grandfather had theirs in their late 70’s.

      1. Socratic Dog

        I don’t know my lipid levels. And I expect I never will. I have no interest in them.
        I think that is the obvious and correct response to work such as Malcolm’s.

  21. Eric Turk

    “I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.” ~ Leo Tolstoy

  22. Eric Turk

    “The less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it.”
    ~   Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

  23. dearieme

    Doc, if your antibiotics were precautionary and your infection was viral, good luck for the next few weeks. The “upper airways infection” I had in the summer knocked me over for nearer to 8 weeks than 3. Cough, cough, ruddy cough.

      1. David Bailey

        I have always understood that a viral infection in the lungs produced perfect conditions for bacteria that happened to be present in the lungs to flourish. This seems to justify giving antibiotics to people who get a chesty cough – but is it valid?

        BTW, I had exactly the same bug I think (we don’t live far apart), but just as I was thinking of going to the Dr (reluctantly) for treatment, it cleared up!

  24. Gary Ogden

    Another cause of shaken baby syndrome is vaccine injury. A radiologist here in the U.S. became an expert witness for defense against this charge, and in more than one case has helped exonerate parents at trial. We have 51 individual GMC’s here; it’s not certain any of them are as bad as the GMC, but possible. An Illinois physician was drug before their version for using hyperbaric oxygen treatment and chelation therapy for his patients with autism. Both have been standard treatments for decades, for decompression sickness and heavy-metal poisoning, and both probably helped. But the religion of vaccination is even holier than the religion of the diet-heart hypothesis. And autism is swept under the rug by medical and government officials. Thank you so much for, as ever, restoring our faith in human intelligence.

    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Even I, the ‘mighty seeker after truth’, dare not do more than dip a toe into criticism of vaccines. Far too scary for me. Which probably means I am not a mighty seeker after truth at all.

      1. Hugh Mannity

        One battle at a time. After you win the fight against statins, you can take on another shibboleth.

      2. Old fogey

        Very sensible of you, Dr. Kendrick. Fight one battle at a time. I’m just surprised that the term “conspiracy theorist” hasn’t yet been applied to those engaged in the medical/pharmacological wars, as it seems to be bandied about whenever anyone asks a serious question about anything.

      3. Anna

        I am also interested in the philosophic aspect of this. It’s depressing. Not only do most people require a consensus reality, they bully others who don’t. Then, of course, there is money and power.

    2. JDPatten

      Two things to consider:
      Everyone is much more aware and fearful of autism so the diagnosis is being looked for more closely.
      And, just so no one gets lost in this search, the diagnosis criteria have been fine tuned and the threshold lowered.
      So, of course there is more “incidence” of autism now, whatever the cause/causes may be.

  25. McCormack Joanne (NHS WARRINGTON CCG)


    I was worried when I heard about Dr Squier and did not know the details of the case, so thought there might be more to it than met the eye. Worried because there can be no single way when it comes to any condition. I am glad that you are part of the THINCS group. I am glad I am part of and the Hyperinsulinaemia group. These groups mean we are part of a reasonable body of medical opinion and not going it alone. It affords us some protection, but not as much as we deserve. Look at Tim Noakes- he should be protected from the treatment he is currently getting in South Africa by being part of the enormous worldwide group of low carb doctors. Dr Squier appeared to be totally alone in comparison. Joanne


  26. Mark

    Thanks again for a very interesting article. I find this sentence from the survey you mention rather bit worrying as well as confusing: “The major correlate of high CVD risk was the proportion of energy from carbohydrates and alcohol, or from potato and cereal carbohydrates.” I had an MI 4 years ago at age 50, and I don’t want another one! I still don’t know what caused it – no family history of MIs, I was a non-smoker (for 20 years), quite fit and healthy, good diet, etc. Anyway, they put two stents in me and generally speaking I’m more or less the same as I was pre-MI. I consider my diet and lifestyle quite healthy. And I take my medicines – a daily baby aspirin, a low dose of statin and beta blocker. However, I partake of all the things mentioned above! I eat high fibre breakfast cereals and potatoes (but which are both high in carbohydrates) and I’m a daily wine drinker (two glasses of red, give or take), which I also understand to be beneficial. Things seem to be good or bad depending on which diet/report you read. Perhaps I should stop reading this stuff – it seems to only cause me stress!

    1. Stephen T

      Mark, I don’t eat foods that are chronically raising my glucose and insulin. I really don’t think that is helping you. I certainly avoid cereals (cultivated grass) and potatoes. Do a bit of Googling on the low carb diet recently adopted by Dr Mark Porter, The Times medical correspondent, whose heart risk indicators all went in the right direction. Some of his stuff is behind the Times paywall, but he also has his own site and I’ve attached a link. Dr McCormack, who commented earlier, has two good sites, one of which you’ll find if you search for fatismyfriend.

      Best wishes.

  27. rnspainter

    As I and others have pointed out before, the British Heart Foundation has form here – they are supposedly a charity but they suffer from a group think about diet and heart diseases as I know from prior correspondence with them. Sadly they, like many charities, they are now more of a business than a charity – like many charities they now have quite a set of highly paid (look at their annual accounts) executives – and in charities I have seen this lead to a desire to continue on the current path, don’t rock the boat, don’t do anything to endanger the income.
    Now, I wish the thousands of volunteers and other paid workers of the BHF all the best … but these senior, highly paid execs. set the policies and direction, they award funding and grants for research and more … some ARE medically trained, but are they prone to continuing the group-think they acquired at medical school? Are they funding research that “proves” more and more of the dietary fat/blood lipids/CVD hypothesis? And ignoring contrary avenues?

    See – p.64 shows 22 earnt more than £60,000 – 2 earning between £170K and £180K.

    1. Stephen T

      RNSpainter, don’t the British Heart Foundation get a lot of money from pharma? Are they promoting a cholesterol theory that keeps the drug companies happy? I don’t contribute to the BHF.

      1. Mr Chris

        Sometimes, if I am in the UK,I do contribute. You can find good books and clothes in their charity shops. Probably widows emptying their departed husbands wardrobes.

      2. info326vmt

        “…and clothes in their charity shops. Probably widows emptying their departed husbands wardrobes.”
        Being of a larger build I often look through the clothing rails and am always surprised at how few XL and XXL sizes are available.
        If being overweight is so unhealthy, why are the rails not full of these sizes?


      3. shirley3349

        As a large woman, I find my clothes very expensive and they are usually threadbare before they are thrown out. Only the odd item that never really fitted properly makes it to the charity shop, usually the British Heart Foundation one as they do collect.

  28. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

    The art of dismissing critics who pointing to our pertinent reality is certainly not a new art.

    I now read a favorite philosopher of science, Karl Popper, who has looked closely into the history of science not least in his book “The World of Parmenides” which is about the presocratic natural philosophers living about 2500 years ago.

    The philosopher which was closest to that reality was Xenophanus who was a critic of the society and especially the shamanism of those days and was for those obvious reasons dismissed by the establishment and not considered a “real philosopher”. Especially, he was sneered by Heraclitus who had a leading role and considered that a “true philosopher should be ‘deep’ and not precise about our reality”. For sure Heraclitus lived up to his teachings. 2000 years later the “very deep” philosopher Hegel knew his Heraclitus well and thus served the establishment equally well in the beginning of the 19th century. Today we have the “Post modernists” who are extremely deep.

  29. Sam Mackrill

    I am confused, in XIX (or XVIIII) you say: “I do not believe that diet has much of a role to play in cardiovascular disease” and here you say “animal fat and animal protein consumption showed the most powerful correlation with low risk of cardiovascular disease”. Well which is it then?

      1. JDPatten

        The full context for Sam Makrill’s question:
        [ ‘We found exceptionally strong relationships between some of the examined factors, the highest being a correlation between raised cholesterol in men and the combined consumption of animal fat and animal protein (r=0.92, p<0.001). The most significant dietary correlate of low CVD risk was high total fat and animal protein consumption.’

        Now that paragraph really needs a however in it. Just after p<0.001 and the ‘The.’ Yes, they found that animal fat (mainly saturated fat) and animal protein did indeed raise cholesterol. However, animal fat and animal protein consumption showed the most powerful correlation with low risk of cardiovascular disease. ]

        You seem to be explaining the quote in the second paragraph. Not your words?

      2. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        As you know, I am not convinced that diet plays a major role in CVD. That does not mean I think that it plays no role. It has a part to play, though I do not believe it is central. The absolute increase, or decrease in risk, regarding diet is limited.

      3. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        As an addendum. Those who think that high carb consumption is the primary driver of CVD need to attempt to explain the reduction in death rate from CVD in many countries esp UK and USA, whilst carb consumption has increased.

      4. Brian Wadsworth

        Dr. Kendrick, is there a significant difference between the incidence of CVD and the mortality rate/ I am wondering whether the death rate from CVD is going down because of life-extending treatments. Could the death rate go down while the incidence goes up?

      5. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        Of course. There is no doubt that acute treatment of heart attacks and strokes has improved significantly. More people survive a heart attack than was the case in the past. figures are hard to disentangle, but the dearth rate from a heart attack, once someone reaches a hospital, has decreased from around 40%, to around 20% – over fifty years or so. [Around about 40% of people die before they get to hospital]. I await an assault on these numbers, but I think they are broadly correct.

      6. barbrovsky

        Yes, my father was 47 in 1955 when he died in a London hospital of ‘coronary thrombosis’. His treatment? Bed rest. I think he died going to the toilet because he wouldn’t use a bedpan, in fact he wouldn’t stay in bed. I got ‘fixed’ in about 10 minutes! In fact, I got the thumbs up from the surgeon as he worked on me.

      7. Brian Wadsworth

        Carb consumption is reported across the whole population. But I am observing an increasing adoption of ketogenic/paleo diets (supermarket product mix tells all). Is it possible the number of high carb eaters is lower while the average cosumption climbs because the population as a whole is simply eating more and getting bigger?

  30. Brian Wadsworth

    I think I am a great demonstration of the fact that massive animal fat consumption does not cause CVD, at least not assuredly or quickly. According to convention I should be dead by now or at least in treatment.

    N might be 1 but it is as if I had taken cyanide for a long period and survived thereby proving the non-poisonous nature of the substance..

    In my case, I have lived for over 15 years largely on animal fat. My diet comprises eggs, cheese, butter, grass-fed meats, pate, liver sausage, ghee, and bacon with a minor contribution from green vegetables and anchovies and sardines.

    I am, at 67 years of age, in robust and perfect health. I have not had reason to see a doctor at any time during the past 15 years. I can run several miles without distress. I have no signs of CVD, so far.

    No doubt I will be told by the establishment that I have protection conferred by genetics!

    1. Old fogey

      Congratulations, Mr. Wadsworth! It is a pleasure to learn that you are in such good health. Only one comment. You mention that you can run several miles without distress. Running on a regular basis is not a normal human activity – most of us run only when we need to catch a bus. Friends who took up running some years ago when it was highly fashionable ended up with knees that needed replacing, while those who refrained still have their own knees.

      1. KidPsych

        I had listened to an exercise researcher a few years back say that evidence showed for the most part that runners had healthier knees in general due to enhanced musculature surrounding the knees. This effect did not apparently dissipate with age. (I’m not a runner, so I have no horse in this race, so to speak.)

      2. JDPatten

        Muscles have a rich blood supply. Tendons, ligaments, and cartilage do not. They repair more slowly. If you have not built your whole body up to running capacity over time – ideally from youth – you run the risk over overtaxing your slow developing support parts with your hot new musculature.
        Slowly – really slowly – and steadily gets you there in the end.

      3. Brian Wadsworth

        Happily I have been running for most of the 15 years without signs of joint damage. At one time I was running over 30 miles per week. I am imagining/hoping my diet is protective of joints as well as my heart! Fingers crossed.

  31. Steveo

    Iron enhances generation of fibrin fibers in human blood: Implications for pathogenesis of stroke, a paper mentioned by Mangum in his latest diatribe. Rogue Health and fitness. Com.. He has a few other papers cited in agreement.

    Maybe this is what you were alluding to with your thoughts on fibrinogen? Seems like Iron may drive it as iron tends to ncrease with age. Same should drive CVD. Makes sense as fish eaters in Japan should be on the lower side of Iron compared to meat eaters in Russia. Which you brought up a few weeks ago. So maybe there are some good theories here? If so giving blood regularly, using iron cheaters, etc should reduce stroke and CVD.

    Any thoughts or theories in this area? There are also issues with lower Magnesium and glyphosate is a Magnesium chelator, tying it up so that it cannot be taken up by plants grown after its application.

  32. The Longevity Whisperer

    The ignored reality is that an overriding contributing factor in atherosclerosis and for plaque forming in arteries, is the regular exposure to the halon groups of chemicals, especially chlorine.

    In municipal water supplies and even within emergency drinking water requirements, after natural disasters, or within the theatre of conflict and war zones drinking water needs to be adequately disinfected.

    Yet for drinking, cooking and bathing that water is healthier if the agents of disinfection can themselves be removed / filtered just before use.

    These halons trigger undesirable oxidation of beneficial cholesterol and beneficial fatty acids – which then accumulate undesirably with fatal outcomes. Adulterated and lower quality fats degrade faster and further than natural and higher quality fats.

    Higher levels of total dietary antioxidants also mitigate some of the oxidative harm, hence the French paradox, and the potential that French soils and farming methods provide higher levels of broad nutrients and a healthier microbiome over a lifetime.

    Drafted Vietnam veterans serving a tour of duty in country, returned to the USA with consistently high levels of Atherosclerosis, yet still teenagers.
    The rations they ate during service, based on dehydrated ingredients, with many of the fats removed to avoid rancidity could not have caused such high levels of heart disease, the culprit was instead the water purification tablets put into all water before drinking – chlorine tablets to overcome the extreme risks of infection from unsafe water collected during and between periods of active conflict. Thirst was a constant challenge in the warzone.

    Contrast and compare the veterans in Vietnam with indigenous peoples in Alaska at that time, eating the highest levels of saturated fats and cholesterol in any diet, yet drinking the purest water, melted ice / snow. Yet they had perfect heart and circulatory healthy. Their health challenges were instead mostly related to bowel cancers, due to lack of fresh foods, fruit and vegetables.

    Research undertaken with chickens all fed a high saturated fat diet, with half given chlorinated water and half given only purified water, had the same outcomes – the chlorine caused atherosclerosis for the chickens that were exposed to it.

    By all means disinfect water supplies with halons, hydrogen peroxide would be my preference, but please filter the disinfection agents, and the harmful byproducts they produce, such as chloramines, out of the water before consumption or contact activities such as cooking or bathing in such water.

    Filters should be mandatory – and subsidised because it is cheaper to prevent heart disease and circulatory diseases that to treat them, or to endure so many premature deaths in a productive population.

    1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      What an interesting comment!

      I have never thought about chlorine to be an actual external “cause” to CVD although I have lately, with my growing cautious attitude, become more aware of this possibility.

      In fact me and my wife have just returned from northern Sweden where we spent a month in our cottage situated at a stream coming straight down from the mountain behind and with an excellent water. Since our general health status improved during this month I thought the chlorinated municipal water where we live in southern Sweden may be a culprit to our less than optimal health.

      So, yesterday night I ordered a charcoal filter kit for our potable water to see if it can make a difference.

      Dr. Mercola is very keen on filtering the water that comes into your house. What is against this man is that he is making a good living on his “fear mongering”. Though I find his newsletters usually very informative and which adds to my present carefulness.

      1. barbrovsky

        Yeah, but Mercola lives in the US and judging by the evidence, the place is completely poisoned with everything from… well you name it. And who knows what the combined effects of disrupting nature will finally produce? I’m glad I no longer live there.

      2. Sasha

        You are probably right… American society is up there in regards to pharmaceutical and nutritional poisoning.

      3. JDPatten

        I wonder where you were in the States and where you are now that you feel you’re no longer poisoned. I, myself, have a 188 foot deep artesian well in rural NEW England. Tests fine. A little above average on manganese.

      4. barbrovsky

        Well JD, I didn’t say I was no longer poisoned here in London but I lived i NYC for 17 years and only drank tap water as far as I can remember but then again I left the US in 1992, and thinks may well have gotten a lot worse since then. As to London’s water? They say it’s been through at least three times already…

      5. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        Well, I think it is all about precaution. You can never prove that the municipal water or whatever caused your problems.

        My present attitude is to eliminate all things that I suspect, for whatever reason, that may cause health problems, having done my homework. That is why I ordered this tap water filter kit. May be a waste of money, but who knows?

        Well if we experience stark improvement we will probably go for a more comprehensive filtering system.

        With my present precaution principle i just received 70 kg of grass fed meat today and filled my freezer. We will survive the Swedish winter 🙂

      6. Frederica Huxley

        It isn’t just chlorine that exercises me about tap water – it is the pharmaceuticals and drugs that have already been through a GI system, not to mention pesticides run offs from farming that I understand water companies are unable to remove.

    2. Martin Back

      Personally I allow tap water to stand before drinking it, but that’s because I don’t like the smell of chlorine, not for any heath benefits. It seems to me that the stomach is well used to dealing with chlorine because of the 1 1/2 litres of hydrochloric acid it produces every day, along with the chlorine in salted food.

      Swimmers train for hours each day in chlorinated pool water. They must swallow quite a bit of it. Is there any evidence that they are at greater risk from atherosclerosis than the general population?

      1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg


        If I should believe what I just read at Mercolas site about chlorinated water it is not the chlorine per se but the products that emerge when the chlorine has made its job of killing the pathogens in the municipal water supply and products which are exceedingly poisonous and for this reason also monitored by health authorities.

        About professional swimmers we have a Swedish Iron Man, Jonas Colting, who is very keen on this subject.

      2. David Bailey

        Comparisons with sodium chloride or hydrochloric acid are not appropriate. Free chlorine, or sodium hypochlorite are powerful oxidising agents, and of course, in high enough concentrations free chlorine can be used as a chemical weapon. Neither sodium chloride nor hydrochloric acid are oxidising agents.

        What I wondered about, is just how far the chlorine in drinking water gets in the body.

        I also thought the original suggestion was thought provoking, and I’d be really interested if Dr K would comment on the idea that chlorine in drinking water might be to blame.

  33. mikecawdery

    I have tried three times to post a comment. usually it comes back immediately as “awaiting moderation” This time nothing

    1. mikecawdery

      “carbohydrates was significantly associated with higher IHD risks (HR 1.27 – 1.37).’[1]”
      Comment: As soon as I noticed that Hazard Ratios (HR) were involved I knew that a fiddle was afoot. HRs are used with large numbers of statistical units (patients to you and me) to establish a statistically significant difference between two treatments when that difference is tiny; a perfectly valid process. Then the fiddle comes in; the real difference is small and often statistically improbable (p of event often much less than 0.05, the conventional probability for rejecting H0 and accepting H1 for difference) so the much inflated relative rate is published as above)

  34. mikecawdery

    Seems as though there is a length limit. Bit by bit

    “Can I have my knighthood now, please?”
    Comment: This basic attitude of the Gospel is always right is responsible for the ever increasing number of patient deaths due to, as Starbridge puts it “106000 deaths/year from non-error, adverse effects of medications”, ie properly prescribed and properly used drugs. This, together with medical error ( puts this cause of death in third place after CVD/CHD and cancer. Again, these deaths are a direct consequence of a totally inadequate, closed, Safety Policy which treats those who report medical mistakes as pariahs. They back this up with a safety policy of “hide the errors and screw the whistleblowers” .
    To quote an airline official: “If we had the safety culture of a hospital, we would crash two planes a day.”(Gigerenzer, G. Risk Savvy: How To Make Good Decisions (p. 51).

    1. mikecawdery

      Re Shaken baby syndrome
      Comment: This is just the GMC proving that it can destroy careers when some impudent doctor challenges their view of the Gospel. It reminds me of the abuse directed at Dr Barry Marshall and his view of GI ulcers being caused by infection with Helicobacter pylori – a Nobel Prize winning view

      Try to argue against it, and you will meet anger and bluster and the idee fixe.
      Comment: “A hypothesis based on visceral fear, prejudice, and knee-jerk judgement”. In the case of saturated fat I would add the deliberate astroturfing by commercial interests to promote the sale of their product (How the sugar industry shifted blame to fat by paying Harvard researchers to do “research” it.)
      Remember the tobacco industry and their rejection of Bradford-Hill’s hypothesis that smoking caused heart disease? Big Pharma and its KOLs today are using the same tactics to promote their largely ineffective drugs by using statistically significant relative rates but statistically improbable real incidence rates.

      1. mikecawdery

        Dr Mike Knapton argues that this study should be ignored, because other studies have shown that saturated fat raised cholesterol levels, and this is a risk factor for heart disease.
        Comment: Re the BHF the one piece of information they did put on the web in conjunction with the WHO has been removed. Why? I think I sent Knapton the following – never got an answer!
        Estimated lowest mortality rates for TC blood levels
        All Cause mortality 222 mg/dl 5.75 mmol/L
        Non-communicable disease 210 mg/dl 5.49 mmol/L
        Cardiac Disease 208 mg/dl 5.44 mmol/L
        Now on

    2. mikecawdery

      However, animal fat and animal protein consumption showed the most powerful correlation with low risk of cardiovascular disease.

      Comment: If this is a WHO-EU-Monica rehash of the original reports, I find the comment by the authors of [2] ‘The major correlate of high CVD risk was the proportion of energy from carbohydrates and alcohol, or from potato and cereal carbohydrates.’. My own examination of this study was that the word carbohydrate was used but once in each report to remove all further data and discussion because it was “good”. From my analysis of the data in the original reports I found that carbohydrates (estimated by subtraction) was positively and significantly correlated with deaths due to heart disease while fat and fruit&veg were negatively and significantly correlated with deaths due to heart disease. Unfortunately I have not yet found a way to put these figures in my comments which confirm the following statements, ie.‘The major correlate of high CVD risk was the proportion of energy from carbohydrates and alcohol, or from potato and cereal carbohydrates.’

      Dr Kendrick pointed this out in his book years ago in his book “The Great Cholesterol Con”
      Yet this Con goes on and is apparently fully supported by the medical establishment, the NHS, NICE and no doubt by the GMC. Talk about mis- and dis-information, agnotology and astroturfing on behalf of industries.

  35. David Bailey

    I think what is incredible, and needs emphasising, is the way that science sometimes descends to mere typographical or graphical tricks to trick people. Thus you quoted:

    ‘We found exceptionally strong relationships between some of the examined factors, the highest being a correlation between raised cholesterol in men and the combined consumption of animal fat and animal protein (r=0.92, p<0.001). The most significant dietary correlate of low CVD risk was high total fat and animal protein consumption.’

    This is an extraordinary paragraph, obviously carefully crafted to say one thing but seem to say the opposite.

    It reminds me of a graph published in Nature, in which several variables were plotted on one graph so as to produce a rather muddled effect. The muddle hid the fact that one of the curves was truncated early in order to hide the part that didn't send the right message:

    There is another good example from an earlier blog here, when a paper was published with a title that implied the opposite of what was actually revealed in the paper!

    These tricks can only have been done deliberately – and with some effort, and are stunningly revealing of how far science has sunk in recent decades.

    Maybe someone could publish a whole book of these with a catchy title like, "When scientists need to lie"

    1. financialfundi

      Hi David
      In a similar vein, I have just watched a program presented tonight – 24th Oct – by Insideout west midlands BBC on the ‘disease’ diabetes 11 and the average viewer is left non the wiser as to its cause or treatment, just that someone – government – must do something.
      Even sadder is that prof Noakes has been brought before a court in South Africa by a SA dietary professional over his promotion of LCHF dietary advice to a nursing mother.

      1. Stephen T

        Financialfundi, the astonishingly misguided hearing against Tim Noakes continues and he’s making mincemeat out of them. Zoe Harcombe ripped apart one of their flawed studies that the dietitians wanted to use to discredit a low-carb diet. By all accounts, she was superb. No surprise there.

        Marika Sboros is writing cracking daily updates on the South African medical establishment’s attempt to silence Tim Noakes.

  36. Kathy Bosse

    Chlorine in the water … an enlightening read. Since Hurricane Matthew, I’ve been sick, thinking it was the water. I live in Central Florida and now I am boiling my water and I am starting to feel much better. Actually, I was waiting for the proper agency to put a notice on my door as to WATER SAFETY after this hurricane. Evidently they don’t get it !!!

  37. Leon

    Refering to the experiment in France where nuns and working women were given salt and the nuns had no increase in blood pressure, while the working women had an increase . This made me wonder about the possible reaction between sodium chloride and cortisol being a causitive factor in high blood pressure and CVD. As pointed out the young american soldiers and chlorine tablets.


  38. Randall

    Dr Kenkrick, I have been battling tonsillitis for over 25 yrs, once or twice a yr. I worked up to 3 boxes of Zithromax per episode to help. Three yrs ago I did some research and tried black currant seed oil. I have not had tonsillitis in the 3 yrs since taking black currant seed oil (one pill a day every day). I had told other people to try it for other conditions and it helped. I know you did not have tonsillitis but an infection is an infection so to speak. I hope I am not out of line, only offering a suggestion.

  39. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

    I just got my potable water filtering unit working with charcoal as a filtering medium which I believe in as a chemist an trained in chemical warfare during my service. It will take away most of any noxious pollution from the tap water. They claim that the filter will last for 4000 l or for half a year before you have to exchange the filtering unit. On extra filter unit was supplied with the main unit and at 100 USD for the complete unit.

    Just no I wonder why the US-soldiers in Vietnam was not equipped with such units.

    So, now I don’t need to buy potable water at a horrendous cost any more. They claim that the cost of clean water supplied from their unit for your table is at 1/100 of the cost of buying bottled water.

    We’ll see how this works out since it is all out of precaution 🙂

  40. Dr. Göran Sjöberg


    My unit happens to have for me the “heart warming” name “Clearly of Sweden”.

    My guess is that there are numerous other brands “out there” all working by to the same filtering process – that of charcoal and which is known to be very efficient of cleaning the medium, gas or liquid, which you allow to pass through it from almost all poisonous molecules.

    Anyway it is all about precaution. Our bodies, the liver and kidneys, are pretty good at cleaning away most things we ingest that may be harmful to our health but I guess there are dose limits for most foreign substances except perhaps for chemicals that disturb our endocrine system. It is today more and more recognized that from this point of view there are no safe lower limits.

    Dioxin is a typical endocrine disturbing chemical which has contaminated the whole of our Baltic Sea. That is why the fish from there is not allowed to be marketed in Europe. A sad fact is that two relatives of mine had a house by the sea and did a lot of fishing (there is nothing wrong with the taste) and they both had children with severe mental disorders from birth. As always it can never be proven that the cause was actually the dioxin in the fish although this seems very “likely”.

    Funny thing is that the fish can be used as fish food pellets in the Norwegian fish farms. Myself I wouldn’t touch this kind of farmed salmon with a ten feet pole although it contains all that “healthy” omega 3. And of course the farmed fish could not be filtered in my unit so I go for wild catch only.

    1. Sasha

      Thank you Göran, I will look into the units.

      Yes, endocrine disruptors… Hormonal Chaos is a very informative book on the subject. Even if very dry.

      The problem is especially acute in the US where every chemical is innocent until proven guilty.

    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Yes. Have been following it in some detail. No idea what the end point will be. This is not a court of law. It is more like a GMC hearing to decide if someone acted in an unprofessional way (bringing the medical profession into disrepute – whatever that means). We all know Watney Squier was struck of by the GMC, despite winning the scientific argument. The GMC decided [at least this is the official line] that they didn’t like the say she presented her evidence. Quite what this means, I have no idea. But these type of hearings have their own rules, their own ‘judges’ and their primary role is to maintain the status quo. Ergo, Tim Noakes can win every single scientific point, and still be struck off, if it is decided that ‘the way’ he presented his views was unprofessional. As this is totally subjective, there is no way you can argue against it. It is the type of nonsense we get with bullying, whereby is someone feels they have been bullied, they have been.

      ‘You bullied me.’

      ‘No I didn’t. I said that I wanted a piece of work done in two days, which was a reasonable request.’

      ‘I feel that you bullied me, and, therefore, you did.’

      Judge: ‘Case proven.’

      1. Stephen T

        Yes Indeed. It’s a Health Professions Council hearing, but in reality an attempt to silence and discredit Noakes because of his open criticism. It’s the establishment defending the established position that cholesterol causes heart disease and fat is therefore bad for us. Tim Noakes criticism of processed carbs and the official dietary position has angered and embarrassed dietitians. His criticism of statins and the cholesterol theory has angered cardiologists.

        Noakes has had the courage to openly say that they’ve got it wrong and are hurting people. His team have made mincemeat of the ‘prosecution’, but let’s hope that’s reflected in the verdict. The excuse for the hearing is a complaint made by a dietitian after Noakes sent two tweets to a young mother advocating that when the time comes for her baby to be weaned, it should move onto a low-carb and real food diet. The dietitians sponsors won’t have liked that. Rice Krispies or Corn Flakes are more the thing for South African dietitians, whose advice was described by Zoe Harcombe as ‘conflicted’ because of their food company sponsors.

    2. barbrovsky

      So let me get this straight: Aside from, smoking, alcohol, sugar, stress and a sedentary lifestyle, the the culprit is carbohydrates, at least that seems to be the prevalent view. So all that stuff about eating porridge on a cold morning is a no-no? So how much carbs should we eat then? I’m confused…

      1. barbrovsky

        So that means cutting out potatoes, rice, noodles, bread, pasta ad infinitum. Surely not? I don’t eat a lot of carbs. A typical daily diet would include for breakfast: a mix of bran, muesli, fresh blueberries and yoghurt and a cup of tea and my meds of course, which includes Vits D3/K2, B-12 (and concentrated beetroot twice a day).

        BTW, currently my meds are aspirin/ranitidine, ramipril and thyroxine. The aspirin/ranitidine doesn’t do any favours for my tummy though but I went through a year-long battle with the NHS over stopping the statins (they finally gave up) and I don’t want to go through it again over the aspirin, so I grin and bear it.

        Lunch might be a sandwich of say cheese, cress, tomatoes, cucumbers on decent wholewheat bread (two slices). I suppose I could cut the bread out and have it on a plate instead?

        Dinner is typically, fish or free range chicken, lots of garlic, ginger, onions, spices, carrots, broccoli and/or spinach or other greens, with around 50 grams of Ramen noodles (I think they’re wheat?). I cook in a wok using coconut oil and a good soy sauce.

        This has always seemed to a fairly well balanced diet to me. I’ve cut my sugar intake to the minimum not that it was lot to start with (half-a-teaspoon of unrefined sugar or a drop of organic honey in my tea, none in my coffee, and one or two cups of strong espresso a day, no sugar in my local Portugese restaurant).

        I exercise every day, I gave up smoking 7 yrs ago (after 50 smoking Gitanes) and rarely drink as my tolerance is pretty low these days. A glass of wine will do me.

      2. JanB

        Hi Barbrovsky – do try cauliflower mash in place of spuds. It’s lovely especially if cooked with onion/garlic and cheese and browned under the grill. And strangely it doesnt taste or smell cauliflowery. As for bread, I seem to have replaced it with walnuts – balancing cambazola on walnuts instead of bread is really good and doesn’t disrupt my blood glucose levels. And the walnuts don’t disturb my digestion as bread/cereals used to do. I have to confess though that my husband’s breakfast porridge sends me sniffing through the kitchen like a bloodhound. I used to cook it for myself with a little single malt whisky and a pinch of salt and the smell of it………. sigh. Eggs are good though.

      3. JanB

        Go on, be a devil and give it a try. I’ve never liked cauliflower very much so it was with reluctance that I did it but, as I said, it’s not at all cauliflowery. A bit of a faff to do though compared to potatoes (and if I’m honest there’s nothing quite like perfectly prepared buttery, silky mash)

      4. Mr Chris

        Some of this anti-carb stuff is a bit over the top.
        As a boy I had porridge for breakfast every day for ten years. True I probably needed more energy then, but the Scots lived on it in the 18and nineteenth centuries. Similarly the Irish lived on potatoes, it was all there was. My point is generalising and total exclusions are probably not the way to go. I had a correspondence with Zoe Harcombe on the porridge question, and she did not advise giving it up.
        Now table sugar is another story, after getting married I gave up sugar in tea, coffee and cocoa and any added sugar. I dropped a stone in weight.
        As the ancient Greeks said ” Moderation in all things”

      5. barbrovsky

        Some of this anti-carb stuff is a bit over the top.

        What I object to is the over-the-top, all or nothing responses. After all, they’ve been eating rice in Asia for probably thousands of years and potatoes in South America for probably the same amount of time and are they all dropping dead from CVD and diabetes? Surely the correct diet is a balanced one, where you get the right amount of all the foods the body needs. Hence if I was coal miner or perhaps a long distance runner, I think I’d need to boost my carbs intake. Isn’t it a question of efficiently utilising the energy we take in? We get fat not only because of the crap we eat but because we eat too much of it!
        I think I have a fairly reasonable diet considering that, for example, I’d like to eat all free range/organic but I ain’t got the moola for that, so I do the best I can within my resources.
        I know that when I lived in Africa and bought my veggies in the local market in Zambia or SA, it was infinitely superior to the stuff I buy here in London. But at my local farmers market in Clapham, a small loaf of quality bread is more than four times the price of the wholewheat I buy in the supermarket! So too with organic meats and line caught fish, two or three times the price.
        If I had the bread, I wouldn’t be living in London either! The pollution here is probably knocking years of my life!

      6. Sasha

        Yes, a lot of this anti-carb talk is pure nonsense. There was a commenter on here, Diana, who did a good job of demolishing most of the anti-carb arguments. Unfortunately she’s not here anymore but if you scroll through previous threads you will find her well supported posts.

        The problem with your diet as you describe it – you are getting most of the daily nutritional value from your evening meal. It should be the opposite. Take your dinner, turn it into something soupy and have small portions of it starting from morning and throughout the day. Have your muesli in the evening with some fruit. Do it for 2 weeks and see how you feel.

      7. barbrovsky

        The thought of getting up and first thing actually cooking a meal with all the preparations simply doesn’t appeal to me. Does reversing the intake really make that much difference? I’m not convinced.

      8. Sasha

        “I am not convinced” doesn’t really mean anything. At the end of the day – it’s your body. Do or don’t, it’s up to you ))).

      9. barbrovsky

        Sasha, there’s an awful lot of opinion here about what diet is best, when to eat it and how, and like I said, I’m not convinced that reversing my daily eating habits, or cutting out carbs completely have any basis in fact. Some people here are clearly healthy (or at least they say they are) but appear to completely ignore dietary ‘advice’.

        Frankly, I think if a person is content inside their own skin and at peace with themselves, let them eat cake!

      10. Sasha

        Barbrovsky, I was just pointing out that no claim can be made for or against a particular approach without trying it out first. Or without working through a lot of evidence presented by people who have tried. Thus, the phrase “I am not convinced” has no meaning, scientifically speaking.

      11. barbrovsky

        I was just pointing out that no claim can be made for or against a particular approach without trying it out first. Or without working through a lot of evidence presented by people who have tried. Thus, the phrase “I am not convinced” has no meaning, scientifically speaking.

        Agreed but the problem with the issues we’re discussing here, is the degree of subjectivity involved. We’re not talking about a specific disease that can be treated with a drug or whatever but a condition of life with what appears to have a myriad of different conditions impacting on the individual. Thus what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for someone else. As I’ve said before here, it’s got more to do with one’s overall condition and attitude toward life and one’s own body. Isn’t that why placebos work (or not as the case may be) in spite of the fact that there’s no ‘scientific’ proof (it can’t be measured)?

      12. Sasha

        Our stomachs produce more HCl in the morning, less in the evening. It’s a medical fact, not a placebo.

      13. barbrovsky

        <blockquote<Our stomachs produce more HCl in the morning, less in the evening. It’s a medical fact, not a placebo.

        So what? Surely it’s how the body deals with all these factors and your age, gender, health, the interactions are endless. Surely you’ve noticed that here, regardless, peoples’ responses to drugs, vitamins, whatever, are an endless permutation, no two responses are the same. I’m just very suspicious of any single thing, chemical, drug, eating regime, being some kind of universal panacea, we just ain’t built that way!

      14. Sasha

        My suggestion is to stick with the age old wisdom: “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like pauper.”
        You’re doing the opposite at the moment.

      15. Sasha

        It doesn’t need to be large, whatever fits into the palms of your two hands. But it does need to have all the essential food groups: proteins, fats, carbs. Asian style soups are a good example. What you’re having for breakfast now just sets you up for a sugar ride throughout the day. Don’t eat animal protein past 3pm or so. Not good for digestive system because stomach doesn’t produce enough HCl in the second half of the day. Some of the cardiovascular changes are due to people eating proteins in the evening. Once you start eating light vegetarian dinner you will find out that all of a sudden you are quite capable of having larger, nourishing breakfast.

      16. JDPatten

        As one whose A1C numbers have flirted with diabetes and who wants to avoid that death trap without meds and their unintended (or unknown!) effects, I can tell you that, yes, surely, one can eliminate those foods and (eventually) not miss them.
        Unless you cobble together your own muesli from known ingredients, you’re probably eating more sugars and carbs than you realize. Same with the “whole wheat” bread. Store-bought bread could be labelled whole wheat even if the bulk of ingredients is refined.
        You have to think like a rat avoiding the spring trap.

      17. barbrovsky

        Hmmm… okay, actually you only mention two ‘bad’ foods, my bread (which is Allinsons, no sugar or additives) and the muesli. I buy generic Sainsbury’s cos it’s cheap and it says ‘no added sugar’ but of course, as you say, the grains convert to sugar. I could quite easily switch to eggs but I’d need some toast with the eggs, but I get to eat fruit and natural yoghurt with the muesli which doesn’t go down well with a poached egg (is yoghurt ‘bad’ for me too I wonder?).

        BTW, I’m not overweight. At the last measure I was 62kilos (I’m 5’10’ and slightly built). The only time I’ve put on weight was after my heart attack (I put on 7kilos) but lost it all (and then some) once I started exercising.

        Are you saying that two small slices of wholewheat bread are bad for me? I find that hard to believe. I don’t have typical western diet at all. I don’t eat processed foods (except for the bread) at all, I don’t drink soda and never have, I don’t eat fast foods, I gave up my love for chocolate cookies awhile back. I eat a lamb every now and again, I’ll even demolish steak once or twice a year but that’s it.

      18. JDPatten

        I’m just sayin’ what works for me. I was never overweight. Always in good shape. The elevated A1C was a surprise. So I changed my lifestyle as needed.
        It’s so easy for our human natures to tell us “Just a bit. Just this once.” It all adds up. The thing to do is change your mindset and accept your situation.
        18th and 19th century Scots and Irish had VERY different energy requirements from those of today. Can’t figure on that.
        The nurse/practitioner at my diabetes clinic pointed out that her Asian patients, when switched simply from white rice to brown rice, did much better. They still had their rice.
        Whatever works.

    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      There are three subjects the GMC does not understand. Justice, logic and science. The HPC in South Africa will have exactly the same approach to this hearing, as was the case in Soviet Russia, whilst Stalin ruled.

    2. mikecawdery

      Unfortunately the UK GMC is concerned in one thing only; their own prestige and “knowledge”. Anyone who challenges that and their approved guidance is exposing themselves to banning. It is simply an example of their self-deification. Like the NHS, the GMC is in dire need of radical reform, but neither will do anything.

      For example in today’s news, the NHS fails to collect £500 million for therapies provided to foreigners. These monies in the case of EU citzens are easly recoverable from the relevant government and in the case of non EU nationals through the relevant insurance companies or claims on credit cards as per US.

      The fact is that the NHS is simply content to whine about money shortage while doing nothing to save money or recover dues for services rendered; in other words it is too much trouble for their lazy administrators.

  41. Håkan

    Malcolm, you have written a lot about how important NO is for heart health. Can NO levels be improved by a good diet? If so, what should I eat?

    1. Errett

      Dark Chocolate, Pistachios, Walnuts, Beets, Peanut Butter, Shrimp, Garlic, Cranberries, Watermelon, Salmon, Kale, Spinach, Brown Rice, Cayene pepper, Onions, Pomegranate

      1. mikecawdery

        Add in L-arginine and I suspect Gingko buloba. Judging from a recent hospital response Gb after 5 days abstinence is far more potent than aspirin on the day in so far as colonoscopy is concerned.

  42. Sylvia

    An alarming article in the Guardian today, proposing testing babies for high cholesterol, to identify those families with hyper cholesterol, can’t spell its proper name.
    I am in a slight state of shock. What am I missing.
    Think it was a New Zealand study. Pharma must be jumping up and down with glee.

    1. JDPatten

      It’s easier to scare parents into bringing their precious fragile babies in to get this screening than to get the parents themselves. We’re all protective of our kids first, right? Once the babies are found positive, you can then put the scare back on the parents also because “hypercholesterolemia” is hereditary.
      They’re trolling — the classic meaning of the word. Drag a hook through open water, see what you can get opportunistically.
      This is good — if you really believe heavily treating for hypercholesterolemia is of benefit.

  43. John Collis

    May I ask some naive questions?
    Is familial hypercholersterolaemia a risk factor in CVD?
    If so how does it differ in its mechanism to ‘normal’ hypercholesterolaemia?
    Should familial hypercholersterolaemia be treated with a statin?
    If so then, again why is this different?
    Are there different disease processes at work?

    Questions prompted by:

    1. barbrovsky

      I was tested (hah!) for familial cholesterol last year. They only use the three gene markers that they know about, and mine came back negative but as my GP said, there may be others. And what if it is higher than the ‘average’? Is there one? Judging by the comments here, nobody knows what the ‘proper’ amount should be, we can’t even agree on what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad’ cholesterol.

      1. Stephen T

        Barbrovsky, the diet you describe, although it contains plenty of good stuff, contains all the usual ingredients of the western diet and look at the disastrous results? An explosion of obesity, diabetes and ill health. We assume we’ve always eaten this way, but that’s not the case. Two slices of bread contains more glucose than a Snicker bar. Bran and muesli is a real glucose hit. So, yes, low-carbers limit or eliminate, bread, pasta rice and potatoes. These carbohydrates are essentially glucose, which in turn means a higher level of insulin and that’s linked to absolutely nothing that you want. We all have our own priorities and things we’ve grown used to, but I’ve never regretted making the change to low carb. I feel physically and mentally stronger, lost weight easily and I never feel hungry.

        From 1825 – 1983 doctors and nutritionists in the UK accepted that eating carbohydrates made people put on weight. The low-fat high-carb diet is an aberration in our history.

        “Every woman knows carbohydrates are fattening, this is a piece of common knowledge, which few nutritionists would dispute.” British Journal of Nutrition, 1963.

        The science at the back of Tim Noakes ‘The Real Meal Revolution’ is a good summary and there’s lots of talks online if you’re interested. Here’s an informative website.

        For other articles by Dr Kendrick, you could look up ‘carbohydrate’ in the search box on this site.

      2. PeggySue

        Phrases such as “two slices of bread contains more glucose than a Snicker bar” make my blood boil.
        No wonder so many people get confused about the healthy choices they should be making for themselves and their families.
        It may be true in the purest sense but it really doesn’t help – in fact it can alienate people completely from the whole subject.

      3. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        Phrases such as this are, or course, meaningless. What is the size of the snickers bar, how thick do you slice your bread etc. However, the general point is valid. Bread does contain a lot of glucose, it is primarily what it is made of. You should, perhaps, visit Dr David Unwin’s site where he looks at ‘sugar’ load, contained in various foodstuffs.

      4. barbrovsky

        PeggySue, a similar thought occurred to me; if what a lot of what is said here about what is good and what is bad for us humans to eat is true, then I’m amazed our species has survived, yet we have and we’ve done it eating rice, wheat, potatoes, starch of all kinds, and fat of course, and we’ve been doing it for at least 5000 years and no doubt double that amount of time.

        Surely, it’s all about what you eat but how much of the stuff you eat! So, for example, poor people tend to be overweight/obese because they can only afford to eat stuff that fills them up, ‘cheap stuff’ like bread, potatoes, and sugar of course as it assuages hunger (as does cocaine).

    2. barbrovsky

      BTW, did you read all that BBC article?

      FH is the main cause of early heart disease. If people with it do not take statins to lower their cholesterol, they have a 10-fold increased risk of a heart attack before the age of 40.

      Assuming this to be true (10-fold increase?) then FH is a genetic disorder that has nothing to do with food, ‘lifestyle’ or whatever and hence has virtually nothing to do with the discussions here, or am I missing something?

      1. mikecawdery

        This is another example of the use of ORs/HRs to inflate the actual real incidence of an event by many fold. It is rife in medical literature but as Gigerenzer reports in his book “Risk Savvy: How To Make Good” (P.165) “following a CME lecture to doctors a representative of the industry (Big Pharma) approached me: “Very helpful,” he commented, “but we will of course go on using relative risks for advertising benefits.”. The inflated percentages are far more important in flogging ineffective drugs and advice.

        As a simple example a change from 1 in 10 million to 11 in 10 million is an increase of 10 or tenfold relative but the real change is 10 in 10 million or 1 in a million (true probability change = 0.000001) a very improbable event

  44. Charles Gale


    My understanding from reading all of Dr K’s blogs and readers’ comments, is that daylight/sunlight and l-arginine are needed for NO production, which is what you want.

    I’m not clear on how you measure NO, if it is worth measuring (I don’t think it appears on tests offered by various labs) or even if you can measure it.

    Can anyone help?


    1. David Bailey

      I imagine the half life of NO in the body must be very short, because it reacts with oxygen to produce NO2, which would then produce nitrate and nitrite ions. I wonder if anyone knows what its half life is.

      Thus I imagine it must be produces as and when it is required, and so would be hard to measure. Again, can anyone help?

      1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        I guess the NO-spray I should have taken already 17 years ago has an immediate action on releasing angina though I have never thought about how long the effect will last. Personally I evidently don’t know since I have never taken it despite my sever CVD and lately my though angina at times – though not any more due to my alternative E-vitamine “medicine”? (I though wonder why the are trying to forbid the sale of such vitamins.)

      2. mikecawdery

        My recent reading about gingko buloba suggest that it improves blood supply by relaxing blood vessels and reducing clotting much like aspirin but far more potently (see a previous comment). Might be worth a try for angina. Of course as it is non-patentable there is “no perception of profit” so no research grants would be approved. Unfortunately in medical training these days “Materia Medica” is never included, only “approved (but often ineffective) drugs” are studied

      3. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        As far as I know, there is no such thing as nitric oxide spray. GTN (glyceryl tri-nitrate) will increase NO in endothelium, that is how it works to relieve the symptoms of angina.

      4. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        Malcom, David,

        Of course I meant nitroglycerine.

        As far as I have understood it is though nothing that works in the long run – just temporary?

        Anyway out of precaution I keep away from all medicine except for that Scottish malt whisky now and then as is noted in my journal.

  45. Robert Dyson

    The blood does not have free oxygen in it; the oxygen is safely wrapped up in hemoglobin till it gets picked up by a cell.
    I found Dr Waney Squier being struck off very distressing. I have two paediatrician friends and realize the pressure that can be put on people.
    Dr Mike Knapton must know he is doing waffle but is also fearful for his position.

    1. JDPatten

      Yes. Associated. But what does it REALLY mean?
      Look at the comments. Some nasty contentious stuff going on there.

  46. Charles Gale

    FYI – vitamin C supplementation

    I know many readers of this website supplement on vit C (me too) , perhaps to reduce lp(a) levels and I thought I’d mention this supplementation development.

    Just had an email from Now Foods in response to my query about their sustained release (SR) vitamin C being out of stock. They stated they have now stopped SR vit C as research shows SR to be less affective.

    I can’t remember how to attach the link they provided, but lots of good details on all sorts of vit c supplementation can be found at: under vitamins then vitamin C.

    Can anybody recommend a vit C brand? I seem to recall someone on this site using Now Foods SR vitamin C, which is no longer.


      1. Frederica Huxley

        Andrew Saul, who is a passionate proponent of Vitamin C advises that one use Ascorbic Acid.

      2. barbrovsky

        I see our Swedish doctor friend also uses Ascorbate. I take 2gms, twice a day, normally with food and so far, no problems I can see related to it. Is it better or worse than some other form? I dunno and frankly, I don’t really care at this point. I’m pretty sure the placebo effect kicks in with a lot of this stuff.

  47. Bill

    I am sure others of you here in the UK witnessed the BHF rep extolling the virtues of statin treatment for children who’s are likely to develop hypercholestriamia (I know I’ve spelt it incorrectly)on the BBC breakfast ‘news’. It struck me that this is the thin edge of the wedge in terms of bringing more and more people into the statin web of deceit, even now I can imagine ‘helicopter mums’ besieging the local doctors surgery demanding that their child is given a cholesterol test. If you put an 8 year old kid on statins I shudder to think what the outcome might be. There was lots of talk about ‘better diet’ and the assumption that statin ‘therapy’ would eliminate the risk of heart problems. I think Malcolm has covered this before but the figures of at least ’10 times more likely’ are I think an exaggeration. I think this points, again, to the likes of the BHF being lobbyists for Pharma.

    1. Sylvia

      Seriously scary stuff. That profits matter more than people is so very sad. What to do, arm yourself with facts, difficult because it can be a bit of a battle with the ‘experts’. Not too messianic. Have to say just watched Dr David Unwin, mentioned by Dr Kendrick, excellent stuff. For the carbohydrate intolerant amongst us, especially interesting. Not always a one size fits all, but the carb thing seems to creep up on you as you get older, was in my case. Sorry have gone a bit off topic.

  48. Anna

    “As an addendum. Those who think that high carb consumption is the primary driver of CVD need to attempt to explain the reduction in death rate from CVD in many countries esp UK and USA, whilst carb consumption has increased.”

    I am indeed contemplating this, because it seems to me that CVD goes along with metabolic syndrome, which is essentially diabetes and its complications, incuding high blood pressure, and THAT largely comes from eating too many carbs, eating way too much sugar, constant snacking, and eating vegetable oils. Conversely perhaps lack of animal fat and minerals. It is simple to reduce one’s triglycerides – just fast a little and/or cut the sugar. Aren’t triglycerides important?

    It seems implausible to me that CVD could be decreasing. Are diabetics prone to heart disease or not? Is that a myth? Because in America, half of us are fat now, including obese children, and I mean obese, that I see every time I go out. It is possible that stress has somehow gone down, but I dunno about that. Smoking has definitely decreased and perhaps smoking tips the balance toward CVD.

    1. Goutboy

      The primary driver for cvd is age. The lipid theory would suggest that this starts in childhood well 15-16 yrs old, hence the call by some on the extreme side,some years ago,to prescribe to children. I think evolution has no use for those over 40 ish so after that it becomes more difficult but science and society have ways of keeping us going.

    2. JDPatten

      Are you factoring these two Dr. Malcolm statements together?
      “As you know, I am not convinced that diet plays a major role in CVD. That does not mean I think that it plays no role. It has a part to play, though I do not believe it is central. The absolute increase, or decrease in risk, regarding diet is limited.”
      “There is no doubt that acute treatment of heart attacks and strokes has improved significantly. More people survive a heart attack than was the case in the past. figures are hard to disentangle, but the dearth rate from a heart attack, once someone reaches a hospital, has decreased from around 40%, to around 20% – over fifty years or so. [Around about 40% of people die before they get to hospital]. I await an assault on these numbers, but I think they are broadly correct.”

      1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        Those figures are not correct. However, the general point is true. Deaths from CVD have declined continuously since around 1960(ish) in the USA. Those countries, currently, with the highest CVD rates are, almost exclusively, ex-soviet union countries. Some of them with rates higher than those seen in the USA at their peak. For those who say CVD is clearly an epidemic, on the wane, the epidemiology does not even remotely fit. Grimes is interesting, but he cherry picks his data to fit his hypothesis.

  49. Stephen T

    Anna, there’s certainly a link between heart disease and diabetes. I’ve attached a quote from one of Dr Kendrick’s previous posts. I have also consistently read that triglycerides are an important risk indicator and reducing carbohydrate intake lowers the figure. Dr Mark Porter reported this about his own health in The Times a few months ago. We are always navigating our own path through all this information. The advice I see most consistently is to avoid sugar, wheat and flour-based foods and vegetable oils.

    “However it did not take long before I became side tracked by the very powerful and consistent association between heart disease and diabetes. People with diabetes have far higher rates of heart disease than people who do not. In the case of women with diabetes, the increase in risk hovers around five times the rate of non-diabetics. So it became clear that I would need to understand diabetes, if I was going to fully understand heart disease.”

  50. Bill

    Deaths from heart disease are decreasing due to better and more timely ‘mechanical’ intervention i.e Stents etc. Heart disease has been decreasing since the mid 60’s I think, pre low fat high carb thinking, however, I think it is about to make a reappearance due to diabetes, as you rightly point out. As to why heart disease started to drop in the mid 60’s; well Malcolm did a whole series of posts on the causes of heart disease. My money is on WW1 and 2, just a bit of stress, malnutrition, disease and trauma involved there for millions of people, the introduction of tipped ciggies post war perhaps, and a health campaign to make people aware of the issues with smoking, better nutrition ( well at least up until the late ’70s) and I think inoculation and better hygiene from the early 20th century. I read somewhere that people who contracted infectious diseases often died of heart disease quite soon after, so this might lead us to believe that the use of antibiotics starting from the mid thirties may of helped too. Last thought; I believe it takes a generation for the effects of a change in human diet to be witnessed- aren’t we there now with diabetes?

    1. Stephen T

      Bill, I think Dr Kendrick in ‘Doctoring Data’ says there’s no evidence to support bypass surgery or stents. Of course this doesn’t stop the operations happening, but based on what I know, I wouldn’t be signing a consent form. Goran has been there and might elaborate?

      1. Sasha

        I think Dr Kendrick said that stents are somewhat useful in secondary prevention with the NNT of about 100. They are useless and possibly harmful in primary prevention.

      2. Martin Back

        I just learned a friend of mine was rushed into surgery on Sunday for an emergency bypass operation. I don’t know the circumstances, whether he had a heart attack or not, but apparently his arteries were so clogged they said stenting was not an option.

        In his early 60s, a heavy smoker, and stressed because of unemployment. So an accident waiting to happen, then.

      3. Dr. Göran Sjöberg


        ” Goran has been there and might elaborate?”

        Well – I think I have done this a couple of times on Malcolm’s blog but still I give it another shot since it is all up my neck..

        I get basically chocked when I encounter the “aggressiveness” among cardiologists in their efforts to convince candidate patients to consent to the stenting or bypass procedures. The last time I myself was exposed to this ignorant people was two years ago and that guy was one of the most aggressive I ever met in the “health care system”. I was extremely clear in my written “NO” which didn’t refrain him to later call me to check if had taken the prescribed medication which he knew that I hadn’t done for 15 years and wouldn’t do this time either.

        I have today a younger friend in the same situation as I was 17 years ago. Now and then I get an e-mail from him telling how “his” cardiologist calls him to persuade him. But he still resists with me as “the good example” – and he is well read.

        And my recent Lappland experience made me aware of the fact that they are, in this far away northern province, chasing and stenting people without any heart health problems and to be followed by the usual “heart” medication.

        With the scientific evidence of “no use” at the base I ask why they are so aggressive. What is the deal for them? I refuse to believe that it should be out of pure benevolence. Is there a “rope” in the background for them if they can not make obstinate patients succumb? Are they a religious sect? Do they have to believe in the “Statin God” or be excommunicated?

        Oh, God!

        How this medical business stinks more and more in the hands of “Mammon”!

  51. Stephen T

    Barbrovsky, you said,
    “Surely, it’s all about what you eat but how much of the stuff you eat! So, for example, poor people tend to be overweight/obese because they can only afford to eat stuff that fills them up, ‘cheap stuff’ like bread, potatoes, and sugar of course as it assuages hunger (as does cocaine).”

    The ‘foods’ you describe don’t fill poor people up; they do the exact opposite. If they did satisfy people’s appetite, they wouldn’t be overweight and obese. These carbohydrates quickly make people feel hungry because they are all high on the glycemic index and quickly converted into glucose. A baked potato is 85, bread 70 and sugar 68. Glucose is the reference point (100). So, as your blood glucose rapidly rises, insulin comes to deal with the problem by removing the glucose and as your blood glucose drops, you get a hunger signal. Insulin stores unused glucose as fat. And away the fat storage cycle goes. Constantly stimulating insulin in this way is likely to lead to insulin resistance, diabetes and weight problems.

      1. Stephen T

        Joe, I’ve been watching a number of Jason Fung’s talks online and I really enjoy his unusually outspoken criticism of current diabetes treatment. He’s scathing. He’s equally critical of the diet-heart hypothesis and takes it to bits in his own way. Insulin is the key for Dr Fung when it comes to diabetes and obesity, and it makes sense. His blog’s very informative when it comes to fasting, something I’ve looked at only recently.

  52. Randall

    I wouldn’t take synthetic ascorbic acid, there are reports that it blocks absorption of nutrients. I take Acerola in cap form, for vit C ingestion and easy on the stomach.

  53. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

    I have now read the book “Fat and Cholesterol Don’t Cause Heart Attacks” edited by Paul J. Rosch, and a book in which several statin critics contribute chapters of their own and where Malcolm being one of those critics.

    For me, as a long time convert sceptic, it couldn’t though be a block buster. Still the book is very convincing when it scrutinizes all the under-reported “side effects” of the statins. I can’t refrain from the feeling of helplessness in front of the tremendous Big Pharma influence hovering in the background.

  54. Charles Gale

    F.A.O. JD Patten – vit C

    Hi JD

    I followed your link to Now Foods – SR still out of stock, which prompted my query to Now Foods.

    The link on their reply was:

    Or, I can forward you their reply. My email is:


    1. JDPatten

      Right. I see.
      It’s interesting that the link they provided bases its comments on research that’s 34 years old showing slow release might provide only half the dose. Four subjects.
      The more recent – 19 year old research of 59 smokers and 12 year old research of 48 smokers – indicate no difference in absorption. In these SMOKERS.
      Isn’t it odd that NOW should shut down the product based on this “research”?
      Meantime, I can could get the stuff here, in the U S:
      Considering that I’m now fighting a nasty cold after having regularly taken three of these sustained release Cs every day for years, perhaps I’ll look elsewhere for C.

      1. barbrovsky

        Or perhaps not everybody avoids getting a cold when taking vitamin C? Until very recently, I’ve never taken vitamin c and rarely do I get colds (or flu).

        The problem with much of our experimentation (after all isn’t that what a lot of it is?) ends up with us trying to prove a negative. It’s like that schoolboy joke about how to keep elephants out of the fridge… well there ain’t any…

      2. JanB

        Vit C – who knows? I’ll tell you something though; I haven’t had as much as a sniffle since I stopped the vile statin over three years ago. I’m well pleased.

      3. barbrovsky

        And strangely too, I’ve never had a headache since having a heart attack. Go figure… And yes, stopping statins and bisoprol and omeprazole, has left me feeling, well normal I suppose.

      4. Dr. Göran Sjöberg


        While having suffered grimly every possible cold that passed by for as long as I can remember I, for whatever reason, seemed to turn immune to the usual severe outcomes when I turned into the strict LCHF way of life. I feel something is coming on but usually the symptoms disappear in a day or two. (Might be with a little help of some whisky 🙂 ) Anyway, many of us LCHF-converts report absence of severe flues.

        Still I take my vitamin supplements and as usual am slowly sipping on a glass of water with 6 grams of ascorbic acid each day. As with the whisky it might help and it doesn’t hurt.

      5. barbrovsky

        Re your ‘colds’: Are you sure they’re colds? Every now and then I get a bug of some kind which starts out with what appear to be colds or flu symptoms. I feel like shit for a couple of days, then it clears up. I think it’s endlessly mutating bugs that do the rounds and if your immune system is working ok, the body shakes them off, at least that’s my theory. Colds don’t come and go in 48 hours!

      6. JDPatten

        Yeah, I never expected to become cold proof, but the question about the sustained release with no good science to depend on and my getting more colds than I think I should spoiled whatever confidence I might have had.

        I couldn’t find Kathy’s C either. Kathy??
        I’ll check out Dr. Humphries. Thanks.

      7. JDPatten

        Dr. Göran,
        I’ve been a LC convert since 2010 and feeling the better for it. I’ve gradually come around to the idea of HF lately, battling my cardiologist and instilled “conventional wisdom” along the way.
        Maybe ascorbic acid sipping will make the difference.
        An experiment with one subject.

      8. Dr. Göran Sjöberg


        “if your immune system is working ok, the body shakes them off, at least that’s my theory.”

        I fully agree with you.

        Then the question surface what makes your immune system work at top. Or perhaps we should put the question the other way around. What is it that compromises our immune system.

        For whatever reason I am today never down in bed with a high temperature, a red nose and a sore throat. While this happened a couple of times, lasting for a week or so, each year before my “conversion” I have only been in bed “not feeling well” for two days during the last seven years. The winter 1998 preceding my severe MI early 1999 I was especially bad struck by a flue – two weeks in bed.

        The connection between bad flues and subsequent MI is well documented.

      9. barbrovsky

        Barbrovsky, you say you haven’t had headaches since your heart attack – is that when you started taking your aspirin by any chance?

        Now that you mention it, yes. I never thought about that connection.

      1. JDPatten

        I haven’t had a migraine (I was a martyr to them) since I’ve been on anticoagulants starting five years ago. First warfarin (Ugh!), then dabigatran (Ugh!! – GI trouble), then rivaroxaban (Scary bleed risk), and now apixababan (Least scary of choices).
        I still take this to help prevent stroke from residual cardiac arrhythmias following mostly successful atrial fibrillation ablation.
        I don’t like taking this med at all.
        I like less risking a stroke, however.
        And – not a minor consideration – no migraines.

  55. Charles Gale

    Supplementation for (1) vit C and also (2) HPA axis dysfunction

    Vit C

    Hi J.D.
    Following Frederica’s comment about Andrew Saul, I was on youtube this p.m. checking him out and noticed a few presentations by Dr Suzanne Humphries on vit C. I thought they were very well done (especially the one in Stockholm) and she actually gives some detailed supplementation recommendations incl brands and pros and cons of natural vs synthetic vit c supplements and much more. Worth checking out.

    HPA axis

    I followed Kathy Bosse’s link to Standard Process but couldn’t spot any vitamin C. However, the section headed “HPA axis dysfunction” supplementation grabbed my attention.

    But there were 6 options of supplements to choose from! Nothing is ever simple it seems. Sadly, I’m on information overload following my April cardiac event trying to get my head around causes, medications, supplements and so on and haven’t drilled down into what they offer.

  56. Andrew Larwood

    Thanks Malcolm for another very interesting article. Is it possible to change direction or is the Government and NICE too deep in the pockets of big pharma and charities?

    With regard to the response from British Heart Foundation, this is not surprising at all. One just has to look at how big pharma through “charities” like BHF and Heart UK influence Government policy for citizens of the UK:
    This meeting was sponsored by Heart UK and Benecol.

    Furthermore, Heart UK recently asked healthcare professionals and the public to petition NICE over the introduction of new PCSK9 inhibitors, the new “statins”. Heart UK is funded heavily by two big pharma companies that manufacture these new drugs. See Heart UK’s campaign advert below:

    From: Primary Care Cardiovascular Journal []
    Sent: Monday, December 7, 2015 4:25 PM
    To: Andrewplarwood
    Subject: Can you help HEART UK campaign to overturn NICE’s decision on Amgen’s new PCSK9


    This is a special Cholesterol e-News Bulletin asking for your help to draw your urgent attention to a recent decision by NICE that is of great concern to us.
    There has been significant progress in the management and treatment of cardiovascular disease (CVD) over the past two decades, which has resulted in an overall decline in CVD deaths in the UK. Heart disease still remains one of the UK’s biggest killers. Over half of all UK adults have raised cholesterol increasing their risk of cardiovascular disease; leading to heart attacks and strokes. Not only does it have a devastating impact on patients and their families, but it also places significant burden on our health service and wider economy.

    Innovative new medicines, such as PCSK9 inhibitors, are an exciting development in the treatment of cholesterol, with little known side effects and very good scientific evidence that they work to significantly reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in those at high risk of CVD.

    NICE reviewed the first of these PCSK9 medicines and recommended that it should not be available for NHS patients.

    HEART UK is concerned by NICE’s recent decision to turn down the use of the first of the PCSK9 medicines. This means patients will not have access to the best possible treatment options to help lower the levels of bad cholesterol, particularly those at high risk such as people with an inherited high cholesterol condition called Familial Hypercholesterolaemia.

    NICE are conducting a second round of consultation, closing on Tuesday 8th December, before issuing final guidance.

    On behalf of the patients in England adversely affected by this decision, please join HEART UK’s efforts to reverse this decision and allow PCSK9 inhibitors to be more freely available for NHS patients. Please click here to support the submission to NICE from the public and patients.

    Please click on the link above which will take you to the HEART UK website where another link will allow you to send us an email to support the campaign. Please add your full, name, title, work place and town/city to the email.

  57. Kathy Bosse

    Vit C at this website: ( Cataplex C and In the
    Immuplex ) If you are looking to boost you immune system because of any issues, a person should use these products. I had a heart attack and two stents put in, in 2014. I am doing great. My vitamens come from Standard Process and I follow the heart condition protocall from a Doctor in California. If any one wants his information you may email me at … I am so proud of my progress so far. Thanks for asking.

  58. Brian Wadsworth

    Great news?

    Pfizer Discontinues Global Development of Bococizumab, Its Investigational PCSK9 Inhibitor

    Tuesday, November 1, 2016 – 6:30am
    Pfizer Inc. announced today the discontinuation of the global clinical development program for bococizumab, its investigational Proprotein Convertase Subtilisin Kexin type 9 inhibitor (PCSK9i). The totality of clinical information now available for bococizumab, taken together with the evolving treatment and market landscape for lipid-lowering agents, indicates that bococizumab is not likely to provide value to patients, physicians, or shareholders. As a result, Pfizer has decided to discontinue the development program, including the two ongoing cardiovascular outcome studies.”

    1. Frederica Huxley

      Methinks this decision is greatly influenced by “The totality of clinical information now available for bococizumab,” It must be pretty dire, if the results can’t be massaged.

  59. Kathy Sollien

    I just wanted to share some good news that my bone density test showed that I actually had improvement from my last test several years ago with a diagnosis of osteopenia (not sure if that’s the right spelling). It went form a negative 2.3 to a negative 2.0 and heading in the right direction. The reason I am sharing this is because I credit this improvement to my taking not only Vitamin D3 but also vitamin K2 mk7 – something I first learned about on this blog. I read the book suggested, Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox – excellent. I told the nurse that called with my results today that I credit the Vit K2 with this improvement and she was fascinated by this and is going to check it out. Doctor wanted me to continue with my Vit D and calcium but I haven’t taken calcium in years.
    So….. all of you bloggers – keep talking, keep reading, keep telling your friends, family and Doctors! about what you are learning and experiencing. It’s the only way to spread the word.

      1. Frederica Huxley

        Interesing – I have never felt that Dr Mercola is pushing his products, as his main articles rarely mention them.

      2. barbrovsky

        Re Mercola: I think you’re being a little unfair on the guy. He does oppose the role of big business in food and health. Ok, so he wants to sell his pills and whatnot but the advice he gives (and of others) I find quite useful. After all, you could argue just as persuasively, that Dr Kendricks uses this blog to promote his books and thus undermines the content here. But you wouldn’t say that would you? Would you?

      3. JDPatten

        Mercola represents the confluence of Small Pharma and Alternative Medicine.
        I have no means of judging whether his advice is brilliant and incisive, or simply opportunistic.
        It’s pretty clear that his bottom line is largely dependent on sales of his products. Nothing wrong with that per se, but it SEEMS suspicious. The production values of this product presentation are pretty classy. Where’s the RCT?
        It seems that (Some!) independent thinkers might be subject to influences beyond the well-being of their “patients”/customers. What about cardiologist Sinatra and his products? Same ballpark; different base.
        Would that there was a litmus test for thought-leaders/small-pharmacists.

      4. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        I think Mercola is generally genuine. We cannot all be Diogenes, and live in a barrel, so he does sell stuff. But I think the stuff he sells, he truly does believe in. That, anyway, is my view.

      5. JDPatten

        Is it unfair on Mercola to wonder?
        Unfair when those in establishment medicine with “evidence” behind them have been so discredited?
        Perhaps he’s perfectly honest, having convinced himself. The thing is, there’s little for we-the-people to decide what’s dependable.
        Concerning expert opinion:
        It’s discouraging. Makes me think of Ben Franklin: “Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see”.
        Such an optimist!

      6. barbrovsky

        Re Mercola and his alleged misdeeds:

        This from his latest on the chemical Aspartame:

        Newly Leaked Emails Discuss Rumsfeld’s Involvement in Aspartame Approval

        John Podesta’s leaked emails have turned up a number of damning pieces confirming the collusion between the soda industry and high level officials within the U.S. government, including Hillary Clinton.

        In a recent batch of leaked emails, Donald Rumsfeld’s9 involvement in the approval of aspartame is discussed.10 Rumsfeld served as White House chief of staff from 1974 to 1975. He was also secretary of defense from 1975 to 1977, and again from 2001 to 2006.

        In 1976, Rumsfeld became CEO of the drug company G.D. Searle & Company, which was trying to get aspartame approved by the FDA.

        To put the email chain into context, in 2013 the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) filed a petition with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requesting the agency “amend the standard of identity” for milk and other dairy products.

        This change would allow them to add aspartame to chocolate milk, which is a primary milk product served with school lunches, without labeling it as a low-calorie drink. I wrote about this in my article, “Big Dairy Petitions FDA to Allow Unlabeled Use of Aspartame in Dairy Products.”
        Former Head of FDA Reveals His Concerns About Aspartame

        At that time, Wendy Abrams, founder of Cool Globes Inc., an organization dedicated to raising awareness of climate change, forwarded correspondence to Podesta that she’d received from Don Kennedy.

        Kennedy is a former head of the FDA11 and current editor-in-chief of Science Magazine. In his email correspondence with her, he shares his concerns about aspartame’s potential toxicity:12,13

        “The whole sweeteners issue has interested me since my early time at FDA … A little later, still during my time as Commissioner I was called on by Don Rumsfeld, who introduced himself as the CEO of Searle …

        [W]e told him that we would look carefully at the evidence and rely on our expert committee structure as usual.

        Aspartame continued to attract concerned critics, and we at FDA saw no resumption of Searle’s effort to get it approved. I looked up one piece on that history, which I append below. Not a very nice story.

        ‘In 1985 Monsanto purchased G.D. Searle, the chemical company that held the patent to aspartame, the active ingredient in NutraSweet.

        Monsanto was apparently untroubled by aspartame’s clouded past, including a 1980 FDA Board of Inquiry, comprised of three independent scientists, which confirmed that it ‘might induce brain tumors.’

        The FDA had actually banned aspartame based on this finding, only to have Searle Chairman Donald Rumsfeld … vow to ‘call in his markers,’ to get it approved’ … ”

        Aspartame ‘Blew Holes in Their Brains’

        In her correspondence with Kennedy, Abrams also noted her own adverse reactions to NutraSweet, noting that:

        “… I think it is poison … Doctors will swear to me it is fine, and I will tell them, maybe I’m the only person in the world who reacts like this, but clearly it affects me, and then they’ll tell me again, it is fine. They are so brainwashed by the propaganda, they refuse to believe anything contrary.

        I also have a friend who worked for the researchers at University of Chicago (which has a top rated neurology dept [sic]) and the doctors there said when they gave NutraSweet to lab mice, it literally blew holes in their brains.”

        In a subsequent email, Kennedy tells Abrams that: “Rumsfeld has a lot to answer for in his next life.”

  60. Gaetan

    i must admit i am a bit confused with this new article of yours. In your book, which i have read and enjoyed, you seem to dismiss the diet as a causation of CVD, emphasizing on social dislocation, strains, bad stressors etc. but now you seem to say high fat, low carbs is good (protective) ? What with your recommendation of drinking alcohol ? Should we also stop eating Pasta, Bread, Cereals and so on?

    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      I do not believe that diet has a major role to play in CVD. However, there seems little doubt that over consumption of carbs (in some/many people), can lead to over production of insulin, obesity, the metabolic syndrome/type II diabetes.

      1. Gaetan

        Would you say that a high fat / low carbs diet has a protective effect or just that a high carbs is detrimental? i am very curious about this. Because no one in my family ever had any CVD, and if i look at what we eat, we eat a bit of everything. No one focus on fat or carbs or veggies, we just eat what we want and drink alcohol and we can afford anything really. Can we be slender (not much body fat ) and still have over production of insulin?

      2. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        I think that some people can cope with carbs with no problem. Others have problems. This is probably, primarily, genetic. The PIMA Indians for example have real issues and 90% of adult males have diabetes. They have clear issues with insulin production long before they are diagnosed with diabetes

      3. Gaetan

        When it comes to food, i think we first need a study long term 10-20 years minimum built this way. 2 group of people with relatively the same kind of life (economical, social etc.) who eat exactly the same thing except for one thing. One group eat organic and the other group eat GMOs, and food grown with herbicides, pesticides, colorants and preservative agents. Then we need to compare their health and the prevalence of CVDs in both groups.

        Why? because i suspect eating steaks from cows raised with steroids, growth hormones, antibiotics and fed soy, will lead to illnesses in human beings. Same with wheat or veggies.

    2. Dr. Göran Sjöberg


      By the staggering complexity of our physiology you can not but get confused when you are trying to find simple answers about the effects of carbs on your metabolism while doing your serious homework.

      The simple one-liners you usually get from your GP: “Eat less exercise more!”.

      The most convincing act is though to try for yourself and see how whatever works.

      If LCHF works health-wonders on yourself as on my wife and myself there is a large risk of being converted. My guess is that among us older and severely caught in the metabolic syndrome (heart disease/diabetes) the risk of converting is overwhelming while the risk of conversion is minimal if you are young and healthy.

      1. Gaetan

        While i agree to what you are saying, i don’t see why i would change my diet. I eat a little bit of everything (saturated fat, carbs, not many poly and mono fats). i always cook with coconut oil or butter. I eat plenty of fruits, veggies, salmon, bread, cereals, eggs etc. I still have have to great aunts who are alive both respectively 98 and 100. I can assure you that they don’t have a high fat low carbs diet, but a – i eat whatever i enjoy eating diet. – So what gives? Do you know personally anyone who lived up to 100 y.o. eating a high fat low carbs diet? Just curious. I mean if i reach 100 eating carbs, are you saying i could reach 100+ with a high fat diet?

        Like i said i am very skeptical about the diet. Because we can compare our diet with those of Australopithecus Afarensis (or Africanus) all we want, or Cro-Magnon, they never reached an age where they could suffer from heart diseases, right?

      2. Dr. Göran Sjöberg


        As far as I have been able to “boil down” all I have read about carbs the essence seems to be about insulin resistance which is the same as to say that you are in a hyperinsulinemic state. In other word you have too much insulin moving around in your body and for too long time after a meal in comparison with metabolically healthy people. High levels of insulin seems to be harmful for your health.

        Carbs are drivning the high insulin levels!

      3. Gaetan

        So, is it that bad if people live up to be in their 90 with hyperinsulinemic state?

        in my humble opinion, a heart stops beating when the nervous system stops working, and the nervous system stops working when the hpa axis is exhausted. it remains to be proven that high insulin in the blood will cause adrenals fatigue. It also remains to be proven that high fats low carbs allows people to lives longer and healthier.

        If (healthy, i say healthy because to me a carb is not just a carb and a fruit is not the same as drinking a soda) carbs were dangerous for health, would not we die much younger? Orangutans thrive on fruits, as well as Capuchin monkey, their digestive systems is not that different from ours. why don’t we check if those apes or monkeys die from CVDs because of high insulin levels?

      4. Kathy Sollien

        the misunderstanding with most people in regards to carbs is that if we were to just be eating good,whole foods – fruits, vegetables and such we wouldn’t be having this conversation but what has happened is the mass production of processed ‘food’. Just walk thru any grocery store and gasp. Soda, chips, crackers, breads, desserts, pastas, sauces, dips, candy, frozen pizza, ice cream, and on and on. Companies are making stuff to eat, not food. When you buy whole foods and go home you don’t make food, you prepare a meal. Sugar has been added to almost everything. It’s the processing of our real food that is the problem. If you will start researching about the processing of the so called vegetable oils it will scare you to death. This new book Dr. K is recommending has several good chapters on this in the beginning but I’ve been reading about these things for a while. Makes you wonder what the FDA is actually doing.

      5. Dr. Göran Sjöberg


        You seem well read.

        However as far as I have been able to find out the human intestinal system differ significantly from that of the fruit and vegetable eating apes and monkeys. If I have misunderstood this it should be easy to check up – pleas do!

        The small intestines of the chimpanzee. e.g. , constitutes 25 % of the digestive system while it is 65 % in humans and here is where meat is digested. When it comes to the large intestine, the colon part, where the vegetables are processed the proportions are reversed.

      6. Joe


        “I eat a little bit of everything (saturated fat, carbs, not many poly and mono fats). i always cook with coconut oil or butter. I eat plenty of fruits, veggies, salmon, bread, cereals, eggs etc.”

        Coconut oil. Butter. Salmon. Eggs. Saturated fat (beef?). MONO fats.That doesn’t sound like a high carb, low fat diet to me. But you’d be doing even better by doing without the cereal and bread, IMO, which offers little to no nutrition, and needless calories. And the industrial PUFA oils, which, IMO. no one should consume.

      7. Gaetan

        Check out Capuchin monkeys and savanna baboons, they have a similar digestive tract. Otherwise yes, the length proportion of the small intestine vs the colon in Apes & monkeys, is different than humans.

        So therefore, i think the period of time the food we eat stays in our intestine to be assimilated is important. Thats why i think refined sugar are bad, because they get in the blood stream right away and will cause glucose to spike (sodas, candy bars, sugary spreads, energy drinks etc)

        i am almost sure if Capuchin monkeys started to drink sodas daily they would eventually develop diabetes and tooth decay.

  61. Stephen T

    Gaeten, there was some discussion of this subject earlier and it might be worth scrolling down from the top and looking at the entries on this subject that interest you. Pasta, bread and cereals are carbohydrates and essentially glucose. They are all very high on the glycemic index and generate an insulin response to remove the excess glucose. Not good at all, particularly if it happens regularly. I don’t eat them.

    You might find the attached talk from the BBC’s Dr Michael Mosley useful. I think every food you refer to is mentioned at some stage. He mentions his awful airline breakfast in the first minute or so. His book makes it clear that refined carbohydrates are best avoided. Here’s a quote from ‘The Fast Diet’.

    “One way to prevent the downward spiral into diabetes is to cut back on the carbohydrates and instead start eating more vegetables and fat, since these foods do not lead to such big spikes in blood glucose. Nor do they have such a dramatic effect on insulin levels. The other way is to try intermittent fasting.” (Page 62)

    1. Gaetan

      I have read a lot on the topic, including wheat belly and DR Kendrick -the great cholesterol con- and watched many youtube videos, Tim Noakes and so on, but honestly i am still very sceptical that bread and pasta and so on, especially if they are exempt of colorants and other chemical stuff, might cause CVDs. France, Spain, Italy are all eating a lot of pasta and bread and pastries etc and their CHDs overall is very low. If i look into my family and my extended family, no one ever suffered from CHDs and we all eat a lot of carbs and fat. Both my grand mothers and great grand mothers lived to their 90s, and they add beans, potatoes, pasta you name it regularly. So, i am skeptical …

      1. robert lipp


        It seems to me that you and your family may be insulin sensitive (=about 1/4 of the world’s population), some would say you are lucky, as many of those suffering metabolic syndrome and consequences are insulin resistant. However, what I have experienced is those who are Insulin Sensitive cannot comprehend (or even accept) the Chronic Non Communicable Disease conditions of the Insulin Resistance sufferers (= about 3/4 of the world). Give us a break.

      2. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        I think that there are other factors at play here – clearly. The problems with ‘insulin resistance’ (not a term I like, but I am stuck with it) start to reveal themselves if: you eat too much, you do too little exercise, you eat too many refined carbohydrates. If you do all three, and you have a propensity to develop insulin resistance (which is a lot of people) you will start to run into trouble, metabolically speaking – some far earlier than others. The problem is that more and more people now do all three, and so the issues of the metabolic syndrome/type II diabetes have become more of a problem for millions and millions. For those in this situation, the simplest way to sort things out is to eat a low carb, high fat diet. It would be better to take exercise and eat less at the same time. The LCHF is not the answer for everyone, and eating carbs in hot going to kill everyone. however, the general principles are simple.

      3. Sasha

        I wonder where this idea that 3/4 of the world’s population is insulin insensitive comes from and how that number was derived.

      4. Gaetan

        If LCHF works, how can we explain that advice:

        1. Get the Plaque Out of Your Arteries

        Trim the fat and overhaul your diet. Under the Reversal Diet, only 10% of your diet comes from fat; 15-20% comes from protein; and 70-75% comes from complex carbohydrates. Your body can start to heal once you stop doing what’s causing the problem in the first place; if you stop consuming the food that contributed to the blockages in your arteries, your body will have a better chance of rebooting and recovering. Incorporate heart-healthy foods into your diet that contain protective and preventive nutrients. A plant-based diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and soy products in their natural, unrefined forms not only helps to reverse heart disease, but also possesses anti-cancer and anti-aging properties.

        Is Doctor OZ just that, lost in wonderland?

        i would never eat that diet myself, mine is more like 40%fat, 40% carbs and 20% proteins and i would never touch soy unless its been fermented for months.

      5. barbrovsky

        It’s my understanding that in the past, ie 1000s of years ago, our diet was 80% vegetable (fruit, nuts, leaves and roots) and 20% meat and fish. Just look at chimpanzees. For them, meat is a delicacy, and it’s the only food they share as it’s such a big deal to catch it.

        I suspect a lot of this has to do with the totally unproven idea of ‘man the hunter’, naked in tooth and claw etc, competing with lions and such on the veldt. A theory I suspect that yet again is a product of capitalism and twisted Darwinism, survival of the fittest (isn’t there some irony here given that the richest country on the planet seems to be the sickest).

        I don’t think our health problems have anything to do with carbs or protein or fibers or fruits or fats. Surely a balanced diet of all the above is what’s best for us? It’s what we’ve survived on for around 2 million years or so.

        I try to make (without measuring it) about 20% of my diet meat/fish/cheese and over time I’ve cut this down. The rest is fruit and veg (green stuff, carrots, olives and such), a little whole milk, plain yoghurt, a little wholewheat bread and noodles and a couple of shots of espresso. Plus of course, herbs and spices. I do my 30 minute walk almost every day (even though it’s really painful), have the occasional of glass of wine. I don’t see anything wrong with my diet whatsoever. I don’t think it gave me a heart attack. But smoking plus stress did.

        I think to broaden Dr Kendricks ‘social isolation’ or stress if you like, makes perfect sense. I mean just look around you, those of you who live in one of the imperialist states, like me. We’re stressed out, unhappy, stuck on a fucking treadmill to pay the mortgage, or working in shit jobs for shit money. The future is uncertain (do we have a future with madmen/women at the helm?).

        Add to that crappy, so-called food, which is actually industrial waste of some kind. BTW, elsewhere I mentioned that there 40,000 novel chemicals swilling about in our systems. Well that’s wrong, it’s 80,000! Surely it’s obvious that it’s our ‘way of life’ that’s killing us? And to hold on to this, we’re destroying the planet! Don’t tell me this isn’t a culture that’s psychopathic. Look what’s it’s done to the NHS. Back when it was setup, it might have been a bit ragged around the edges, the paint peeling and so on, and definitely not high tec, but somehow it connected to us simply because most people in England had NEVER had access to decent health care before, EVER!

        But now, the NHS is just a marketing vehicle and consumer and peddler of stuff and we the patients are actually no more than demographic data for future advertising campaigns.

    2. Kathy Sollien

      ……… what was I served in the cardiac intensive care unit???? All carbs !! White bread, cereal, french toast with fake butter and fake syrup, orange juice, low fat milk, full sugar coca cola ……..really!!! Couldn’t get a black cup of caffeinated coffee though – after all, I was told, I was in the cardiac intensive care unit.

      1. Gaetan

        Personally i think that as long as its organic food (exempt of pesticides, not refined or processed or pasteurized at high temp, etc.) its healthy to eat. Fake butter and fake syrup are obviously pretty bad for health, and so is low fat milk (because its not milk anymore but a chemical product sold under milk) coca-cola and soda have way too much refined sugar in them, and (high fructose) corn syrups, your fake syrup is a real evil food wise.

      2. mikecawdery

        Starch = a string of glucose molecules (grains, potatoes etc). Diabetes = hyperglyceamia = surfeit of glucose. Official guidelines = feed glucose and hope to control with drugs. Some logic!

        I despair – money and profit are the sole objectives of Big Pharma, Big Food, Big Business with increased status for their KOLs and Politicians.

        The only hope is people like Dr Kendrick Dr Rosch and the other authors in the book promoted on this blog.

      3. Kathy Bosse

        I was served the same type of food in a US Hospital after a heart attack. I was thourghly discusted with the whole diet situation in that Hospital. In my survey they sent me, I told them ” Just put a Mc Donalds in the parking lot, we would be eating a whole lot better” of course … no comment from them.

      4. Kathy Sollien

        that’s funny – in both hospitals I found myself in, there were Dunkin Donuts inside both of them. I had to send my husband down to get me coffee and at one time a breakfast sandwich so I could eat the egg and sausage from it. I told the doctors and rehab nurse that until the health care professionals (all of them) and the hospitals start practicing what they preach that they were losing a lot of credibility. I keep wanting to ask my heart doc if he is growing patients because most of the women on his staff are quite obese. Shameful.

      5. Sasha

        All this demonization of carbs ignores one simple fact – there are so many black swans contradicting this theory as to make the whole “carb hypothesis” worthless. OKinawans, Polynesians, traditional South American societies, Germans, French, Italians, Russians… The list is virtually endless.

        Look up Walter Kempner Rice Diet and how he was able to reverse diabetes with it. That thing is a glycemic nightmare, basically. A classical black Swan in the face of anti-carb theory.

        It is nice that some people were able to reverse diabetes by following LCHF. But they didn’t get fat and diabetic by eating fruit, we’ll made bread, and whole grains. They got there by eating crap. And lots of it…

      6. Sasha

        Not the whole world. It’s a generalization, but the problem seems to be especially acute in Anglo-Saxon countries: UK, US, CANADA, etc

    3. mikecawdery

      Stephen T

      An interesting item came my way today. Americans are dying sooner than expected according to the actuaries
      Despite all the drugs produced by Big Pharma and all the “good” advice provided by the government.

      Also in the book (Rosch) promoted here is an excellent chapter by Prof. Sultan on adverse reactions. It follows his paper (Open Journal of Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases, 2013, 3, 179-185 ) which incidentally was followed by Sultan being ordered not to talk about this by the Irish Medical authorities. This ban is totally and absolutely contrary to freedom of speech. Furthermore it is a deliberate attempt to HIDE THE TRUTH!

      I might add that this chapter and paper confirm my beliefs that statins kills and damages fare more patients than it saves.

      1. David Bailey

        I suppose I am a fairly optimistic sort of person, and I think when a professor is banned from speaking about his own subject, that is an act of extreme desperation – the breach in the dyke is getting really troublesome, and the unbearable truth (unbearable for those responsible) is ready to come flooding out.

  62. Stephen T

    Mike, all those wonder drugs and all the profits, but where’s the benefit? Of course, benefit to the public is of little interest to people wholly interested in share dividends.

    Professor Sultan is another worrying example of attempts to silence those who put patients first and question the current orthodoxy. He joins the list with Tim Noakes, Garry Fettke and Jennifer Elliot. I hope he’s able to fight this ban, but professional bodies seem to have the whip hand.

  63. Errett

    Normal, healthy heart muscle is well-supplied with oxygen-rich blood. But UT Southwestern Medical Center cardiologists have been able to regenerate heart muscle by placing mice in an extremely low-oxygen environment.

    Researchers with the Hamon Center for Regenerative Science and Medicine gradually lowered the oxygen in the air breathed by mice until it was at 7 percent — about the concentration of oxygen at the top of Mt. Everest. After two weeks in the low-oxygen environment, the heart muscle cells — called cardiomyocytes — were dividing and growing. Under normal circumstances cardiomyocytes do not divide in adult mammals.

    The findings, published in Nature, build upon years of work that began with the discovery that the hearts of newborn mammals have the ability to regenerate, similar to the way skin has the ability to repair itself after a cut. But this ability of heart muscle to regenerate is quickly lost in the following weeks as the animal ages and cardiomyocytes are bathed in the oxygen-rich environment of the beating heart, causing damage to the cells.

    “The adult human heart is not capable of any meaningful repair following a heart attack, which is why heart attacks have such a devastating impact,” said Dr. Hesham Sadek, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and with the Hamon Center. “Though counterintuitive, we’ve shown that severely lowering oxygen exposure can sidestep damage to cells caused by oxygen and turn cell division back on, leading to heart regrowth.”

    In the current study, researchers lowered the oxygen level from the normal 21 percent to 7 percent over a period of weeks, then monitored the mass and function of the heart. They demonstrated that reduction in oxygen leads to both an increase in cardiomyocytes and improved heart function.

    The researchers had tried a 10 percent oxygen environment, but there was no heart regrowth in the 10 percent oxygen environment. To avoid oxygen damage to cells, oxygen levels needed to be very low, a situation referred to as hypoxia.

    “This work shows that hypoxia equivalent to the summit of Mt. Everest can actually reverse heart disease, and that is extraordinary,” said Dr. Benjamin Levine, Professor of Internal Medicine who holds the Distinguished Professorship in Exercise Sciences, and who directs the Institute of Exercise and Environmental Medicine at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, a joint program of UT Southwestern and Texas Health Resources.

    “In theory, creating a low-oxygen environment could lead to repair not only of heart muscle, but of other organs as well,” said Dr. Sadek, who holds the J. Fred Schoellkopf, Jr. Chair in Cardiology. “Although exposure to this level of hypoxia can result in complications, it is tolerated in humans when performed in a controlled setting.”

    The latest findings build upon previous research by UT Southwestern scientists that includes:

    1. mikecawdery


      Thanks for the link. A very interesting thought as high oxygen pressure apparently useful in cancer therapy. Now low oxygen is useful in CHD. May be this is all to do with ROS( reactive oxygen species).

  64. Stephen T

    Dr Waney Squier was reinstated to practice at a High Court appeal yesterday. However, she can no longer give expert witness evidence in shaken baby trials. A substantial victory.

    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      So I saw. Good news mainly. However, the message is still very clear. Dare to go against the mainstream and we will have a go at you, and you may lose your job. Even if you get it back, your reputation will have been seriously damaged. But please have a go, if you are brave enough. Yours, with love, The Establishment.

  65. Dr Liz Stansbridge

    I hesitate to say, since I went low carb, my colds and chest infections, which previously knocked me for six, have reduced in frequency and have become so mild as to become a mere irritation.
    I realize this is a study of N=1, but you must have come across a lot of evidence that a low carb diet modifies inflammation in your research.
    Malcolm, sorry to hear you have been unwell, perhaps low carbing would help your general health.

    1. Gaetan

      I eat a bit of everything, but mostly organic food. This include a lot of fruits, whole breads etc. I dont catch any colds during winter and i am perfectly healthy. This seems to contradict what you are saying, no?

      1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        Well Gaetan,

        Everyone is different and you are a lucky healthy person. I guess everyone has to find out for himself what is his optimal fare. What we are offered on a wide scale today by “Big Pharma” doesn’t seem to be optimal.

      2. Gaetan

        Everyone is different indeed. I want to point out that imho, some carbs are totally unhealthy for human beings and i stay away from them. I think the carbs rich in fibers takes a longer time to digest and thus no blood spike occurs. Why would we stay away from blueberries and apples ? Raw honey and maple syrup ? they are full of anti oxidants, vitamins, minerals.

        Cardiovascular Benefits

        Blueberry support of antioxidant defenses has been especially well documented with respect to the cardiovascular system. It’s the many different pathways for cardio support that are so striking in the blueberry research. In repeated studies of blood composition, blueberry intake (usually in the amount of 1-2 cups per day and over the course of 1-3 months) has been shown to improve blood fat balances, including reduction in total cholesterol, raising of HDL cholesterol, and lowering of triglycerides. At the same time, blueberry intake has been shown to help protect the blood components (like LDL cholesterol) from oxygen damage that could lead to eventual clogging of the blood vessels. Protection has also been shown for the cells lining the blood vessel walls. Connected with this antioxidant protection of blood vessel structures and blood fats is an improved overall antioxidant capacity in the blood itself. Interestingly, the ability of blueberries to increase plasma antioxidant capacity seems to continue as blueberry intake goes up above everyday levels. For example, some studies have shown better total antioxidant capacity when 3 or more cups of blueberries were consumed per day as compared to a daily intake of 1-2 cups.

        Recent research has added yet another factor to our understanding of blueberries and cardioprotection. That factor involves an enzyme called nitric oxide synthase (NOS). Most studies on NOS have focused on a form of NOS called inducible NOS, or iNOS. Excess formation of iNOS is generally associated with increased risk of inflammation. However, there is a second form of NOS called endogenous NOS, or eNOS. Increased activity of eNOS is usually associated with better balance in cardiovascular function. Recent studies have shown that daily blueberry intake can result in increased eNOS activity, and this result is viewed as helping to explain some of the unique health benefits of blueberries for the cardiovascular system.

        It would be wrong to end a discussion of blueberries and cardiovascular health without talking about blood pressure. In both men and women, and in study participants of many different ages, routine blueberry intake has been shown to support healthy blood pressure. In individuals with high blood pressure, blueberry intake has significantly reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressures . In individuals with health blood pressure, blueberry intake has been shown to help maintain these healthy pressures.

      3. mikecawdery

        You eat a lot of fruit, ie you are consuming a lot of Vit C which Dr Klenner (in the period 1940-70) had considerable success with in treating viral and bacterial infections. But Vit C is not patentable and so is of absolutely no interest to Big Pharma and their perception of profit. You should read Prof. Gotszche’s book “ Deadly Medicines and Corporate Crime – a BMJ prize winning book; well worth reading.

        As Gigerenzer in his book Risk Savvy: How To Make Good Decisions (p. 165) commented: “After my first CME lecture, a representative of the industry approached me: “Very helpful,” he commented, “but we will of course go on using relative risks for advertising benefits.”. In short, Big Pharma inflates its results to sell!

      4. Gaetan

        yes i have read on vitamin C and reversal of atherosclerosis. Although i tend to think of heart diseases coming from high level of stress (strains, emotional trauma) going on for too long and people inability to get long lasting stress relief.

        ”Pauling proved his point by testing his theory on guinea pigs, which, like humans, are unable to make their own Vitamin C. Pauling separated the guinea pigs into two groups. Each group was fed the same diet, except that one group also was given the human equivalent of 2,000-3,000mg Vitamin C per day, while the other group received only the Vitamin C which was present in the diet. The group which had been given high doses of Vitamin C remained free of atherosclerosis, while the other group not receiving supplemental high doses of Vitamin C developed atherosclerosis.”

      5. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        As I mentioned I have turned quite liberal during the last months when it comes to vegetables, fruit and berries but as I also mentioned I have now a serious suspicion that this liberalism may be the “cause” to my present downfall. Nothing can be proved but I still fell very lousy on the fifth day. People will laugh at me since I am always advocating that I don’t catch colds anymore on my strict LCHF regime. Perhaps I have involuntarily “proven” my case now?

        I my kitchen I have presently a bucket of great apples from my garden cut i thin slices hanging in the ceiling on strings. Before that I did the same thing with my pears. They turn out to be rather sweet when they are dry. From Lappland we had another bucket of lingonberries preserved in water in the frige and in the freezer. These lingonberries are claimed to be especially good for your health so I have typically had a cup of them each day.

        Well, well – who knows except for the establishment?

      6. Gaetan

        i dont know what to say, but obviously if fruits wreck havoc in your body, stop eating them. I can only guess, and i can be wrong. Maybe your current diet provides you with enough calories intake. When you eat fresh fruits, are they organic or full of pesticides? I ask because a lot of people do not believe in the benefit of naturally grown fruits without chemicals. they don’t want to pay the extra dollars.

        I dont believe that a little poison is harmless to the human species, it adds up. Little herbicide there, little pesticide here and little round up there etc. Also, GMOs are not proven safe, many mice in studies have grown tumors from GMOs. My guess is, it only takes much longer in human beings to develop, when the immune system is weak, its when DNA damages occur most often. Macrophages and white cells cant destroy bad brand of DNAs as easily, and chemicals will weaken the immune system.

        Maybe your gut flora have a build up (overgrowth) of yeast or candida, and adding extra sugar will obviously be bad; “But when overproduced, candida can break down the wall of the intestine and penetrate the bloodstream — releasing toxic by-products into your body and causing leaky gut. This can lead to many different health problems, from digestive issues to depression.”

    2. Dr. Göran Sjöberg


      Interesting to read!

      Well that is about the same experience my wife and I have had for seven years know. I often hear similar stories from other “converts”. Historically archeologists tell similar stories about health status when they compare skeletons of farmers and herders.

      However, lately, during a couple of month or so we have “relaxed” and turned more liberal when it comes to the carbs, basically in the form of vegetables of different kinds. For the second time now during these seven years on strict LCHF we have both been hit by a “bug” of som kind. Starting with a chest infection and turning into a bad throat I have been feeling real lousy for a couple of days and finally was forced down into bed with a temperature.

      I am now recovering but believing in “cause and effect” (can never be “proven” in a N=1 case like ours or yours of course) and with my present general growing cautious attitude I will now try to return to our stricter LCHF way of life which has worked so fine for us.

    3. mikecawdery

      Dr Stansbridge,

      Despite repeated flu vaccinations I used to have 2-3 “flu-like” high temperatures annually. That is until I upped my Vitamin D3 intake (5,000IU) plus Vit C (1-2g/day) and of course locarb/hifat. I also lost weight and my blood anti-oxidant level, despite being a diabetic, is way up with the best of normal people. You can up the “N” to 2.
      The total anti-oxidant capacity (TAC) of blood test can be got at

      As reactive oxygen species are so common in many diseases, particularly cancer and diabetes (the TAC level in diabetics is usually very low), it would seem sensible to use this test as a standard but as both VitD test (despite CMO’s comments) and insulin blood levels are not routinely available (do not sell pharmaceuticals) I doubt that anything will happen.

      1. jane

        wish it would do something for my BP. tried cutting meds in half and following lchf but it shoots up.

  66. mikecawdery

    This item on statins from WebMD has come to my notice

    It concentrates entirely on the skeletal muscular adverse reactions of stains and ignores the battery of acknowleded adverse reactions listed on the data insert and even more on those demonstrated by Prof Sultan. But gives no indication of the real incidence of the adverse reactions other than to say the benefits outweigh the harms, ie the claim suggests that the incidence of harms are less than 1 in 300 benefits (lives saved) claimed by Prof. Dr, Sir Rory

  67. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

    Today, I wonder a lot of about high levels of insulin circulating in our bodies and what pathological damage that may inflict versus the same thing about moderately high blood glucose levels.

    Little seems to known about insulin as a direct pathological cause. However, hyperinsulinemia is strongly associated with diabetes type II. Consulting Dr. Kraft’s book on this subject, “Diabetes Epidemic & You”, it is quite obvious that the connections are complex. Dr. Kraft firmly believes that we should be much more concerned about the effect of high circulating insulin than glucose.

    He claims that most of the glucose measuring is futil except perhaps in full blown DM where levels are well above 11 mmol/l (times 18 to convert to mg/dl). His claims are based on the 14 000 in hospital clinical tests he performed and where he measured insulin and glucose simultaneously over time, typically 5 hours. He also claims that measuring fasting glucose is irrelevant as a predictor contrary to common medical dogma.

    Above all – never turn categoric – your dogmas may be wrong!

    1. Stephen T

      Goran, I agree. The paradigm of reducing blood glucose by taking insulin strikes me as mad. High blood glucose is surely the sympton and not the disease? If you’re insulin resistant, taking more insulin will lead to ever greater resistance and ever more insulin. Not surprisingly the people receiving this ‘treatment’ quickly put on weight. A vicious downward spiral, yet it’s the standard incredibly destructive model for our health systems. This only makes sense to people selling insulin.

      1. Sasha

        People taking insulin put on weight because it gets glucose into the cells, not because they are more insulin resistant. Those who are purely insulin resistant pee a lot and loose weight.

      2. Gaetan

        I agree as well. We need to ask questions like, why would the cell prevent insulin from doing its job, which is to my understanding put the extra energy (calories) in the blood and store it as fat.

      3. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        Since this subject of DM is up again I cannot refrain from also agin refer to Professor Roger Unger’s prize awarded lecture and if you would like to have your grounds shaken please watch.

    2. mikecawdery

      Diabetes UK in an email to me had an article on a “new” adult diabetes Type 1. I suspect this arises from a depletion of insulin production following high levels of insulin caused by insulin resistance from hicarb ingestion and consequent “control” of hyperglycaemia with drugs; the pancreas being damaged as a consequence. The failure to use insulin level testing possibly contributing to this condition.

      I have also seen a study where the introduction of insulin therapy was introduced in diabetics after an MI. This introduction increased the risk of death. I suspect that in some cases where high blood levels of insulin existed (insulin resistance) the consequent further elevation of insulin was partially responsible for the increased risk(reference confidential). May be the use of insulin level testing could help prevent such increase of risk of death.

      1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        This is really interesting!

        What he has to say is based on his extensive clinical testing. What though surprises me is that he stay clear of the question of nutrition and it is the same thing with professor Unger in his lecture above. Is it a mine field they by all means avoid?

        I may be naive but to me it is just clear cut. If you stay away from things that do raise your blood sugar it will probably not get high and then you don’t have a problem?

  68. chris c

    Do you know of any effect of thyroid on arteries? Reason I ask is, a couple of years back I went hypERthyroid. Curiously this dropped my LDL by exactly as much as the statin (which I no longer take, despite suffering no side effects, simply because I don’t see the point). Yet it was then that I developed Peripheral Arterial Disease.

    A very clueful cardiovascular surgeon told me to walk through the pain and I would revascularise myself. This proved to be the case and I was able to walk up to five miles, albeit still with some pain and the need to slow down or stop occasionally.

    Here comes the kicker: after successful treatment with carbimazole my thyroid suddenly shut down (TSH 12 which is even actionable on the NHS). I stopped the carbimazole hoping my thyroid would return to normal but expecting it to go back up slowly.

    Instead it rocketed up, in a few weeks TSH was 0.001 something and I don’t recall the T4 and T3 but they were horrendous. Suddenly I was reduced to hobbling again. Now the second round of carbimazole is working I am already back to walking two or three miles, and although we didn;t bother to test it I have little doubt my LDL plunged again.

    So much for the cholesterol theory eh?

    Ah yes, relevance. Well when I went LCHF eleven years ago all my health markers improved significantly.. I expect to be dead soon from CVD which will of course be blamed on eating “too much fat” and not enough starch. No-one will take into account the fifty preceding years of undiagnosed diabetes, because, well, it was undiagnosed, and anyway it was “just a touch of prediabetes”, and anyway it never happened now the diagnostic criteria have been changed. Thus cognitive dissonance will not be engaged.

    During all this time I have only had one minor cold – until this current cough, which is still not as bad as many are suffering.

    1. John Collis

      I am hypothyroid and there is evidence that underactive thyroid, when treated with thyroxine reduces LDL and total lipoprotein, suggesting that hypothyroidism raises LDL. (Danese et al 2000). Underactive thyroid also increases blood pressure (Saito, Ito, Saruta 1983). Therefore logic would suggest that an overactive thyroid would have the opposite effect and reduce both LDL levels and blood pressure.

      In my opinion the medical establishment, for a variety of reasons, tends to view physiology as a series of separate subsystems and medicate to treat disease in each subsystem without considering the impact on the whole system. Thus you are treated for type 2 DM, for example, there is an increased risk of CVD (which according to current dogma is due to raised ‘cholesterol’) therefore this is treated with a statin, the side effects of which is increased risk of diabetes in those who are susceptible, resulting in a positive feedback loop (not good). Likewise hypothyroid increases blood pressure and cholesterol, treat the hypothyroid +/- HTN and cholesterol, with side effects that may affect other systems, resulting in more medication and polypharmacy with its associated problems, both medical and social including increased admission to hospital etc.

      1. barbrovsky

        I’m hypothyroid and have heart disease and it’s actually worse in some respects when the two are combined because there is no consensus on how best to treat hypothyroidism and for most in the UK, there is only 1 treatment regardless. Add to that the fact that the medical ‘profession’, generally seems to reject a connection between the thyroid and the heart, though hopefully that’s changing.
        And given that it would seem that stress is closely connected to heart disease (and the HPA-Axis) then perhaps thyroid disease is also stress related? Again, it would seem that the ‘experts’ reject stress as a cause for thyroid illness as well.

      2. chris c

        Oh I knew the connection between hypOthyroid and raised “cholesterol”, in fact I believe before the “epidemic” of metabolic syndrome/insulin resistance high cholesterol would prompt thyroid evaluation.

        Because hypERthyroid is less common I hadn’t twigged that the opposite would occur, but in retrospect it’s obvious. Actually it shot my BP through the roof, which may be the actual reason my arteries got clagged.

        Yes I agree on the polypharmacy instead of drilling down through the metabolism to find and treat an actual cause, such as an inappropriate diet. In my case the decision was made in early childhood to claim my symptoms were psychiatric or completely made up. After all I wasn’t Type 1 and wasn’t fat so couldn’t be Type 2. I now know that something similar but not the same as one of the MODY diabetes runs in one specific line of my family and principally affects males, and curiously by treating myself AS IF I am diabetic ie. LCHF had reversed most of my symptoms and health markers.

        The thyroid is a new player – except my father was hyperthyroid when he was young. It damaged his heart and stopped him joining the army, but he still lived to be 82. We used to believe he did this DESPITE eating meat three times a day, and lard and butter, but now it looks like this was his salvation! My money is on possible autoimmune attack. One of his brothers became Type 1 diabetic, it would be interesting to dig them up and find out if these diseases both occurred at the same time.

  69. Randall

    Raising ‘good’ cholesterol doesn’t protect against heart disease after all, study finds. A new (important) study of 630,000 people in Canada proves it. “And death risks actually increased for those with extremely high levels of good cholesterol.” “helps explain why the drug industry has failed time and again, despite billions in investment, to develop a drug that cuts deaths from heart disease by boosting HDL levels.” published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology

    1. Gaetan

      I think cholesterol is the most precious molecule in the human body, its needed to create almost all the hormones, it repairs our body, tissues, injuries, the brain is 30% cholesterol and stores it to be sure it never runs out of it. Our body is intelligent, if more cholesterol is needed, the liver will produce more, if less is needed, the liver will produce less, simple as that. So trying to second guess the body with drug lowering cholesterol or improving HDL is, hmm, ridiculous for the lack of a better word.

    2. mikecawdery

      Many thanks for the URL. Most useful. the actual paper is
      J Am Coll Cardiol. 2016 Nov 8;68(19):2073-2083. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2016.08.038.
      High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol and Cause-Specific Mortality in Individuals Without Previous Cardiovascular Conditions: The CANHEART Study.
      Ko DT
      Extract from results
      Individuals with lower HDL-C levels were independently associated with higher risk of CV, cancer, and other mortality compared with individuals in the reference ranges of HDL-C levels. In addition, individuals with higher HDL levels (>70 mg/dl in men, >90 mg/dl in women) had increased hazard of non-CV mortality.

      Complex associations exist between HDL-C levels and sociodemographic, lifestyle, comorbidity factors, and mortality. HDL-C level is unlikely to represent a CV-specific risk factor given similarities in its associations with non-CV outcomes.

      Your second URL is also very informative.

      1. chris c

        Thanks for that, I’ll read it later.

        Some thoughts: women generally tend to have higher HDL and lower risk of CVD.

        Type 1 diabetics generally tend to have higher HDL but I don’t think they have lower CVD risk – unless they eat at Bernstein./Typeonegrit type low carb levels and use physiological levels of insulin, or less.

        Type 2 diabetics and people with metabolic syndrome, ie. insulin resistance, have low HDL and high CVD risk. This now amounts to the majority of the population in many countries.

    1. chris c

      IMO depends HOW it is raised. I doubled my HDL (and reduced my trigs to 1/10 of what they were) by going LCHF. Many people do better and not a few get their HDL higher than LDL. Obviously by doing this you are eating more heart-healthy saturated fats – and all the fat soluble nutrients they contain – and reducing nutrient-poor foods like artery-clogging whole grains (see what I did there?)

      Trigs/HDL is an indicator of insulin resistance, I got mine from nearly seven to generally below 1. I see “cholesterol” measures as an indicator rather than the cause of anything. Insulin resistance/hyperinsulinemia and nutrient status are important factors which a drug solution won’t change.

      Long term it will be interesting to see what happens to those people who get their HDL up over 100 (US numbers) which breaks the “cardiovascular risk” indicators never designed for three digit input (that’s about 2.6 in UK numbers).

  70. Soul

    I used to visit diabetes chat forums in the past. It’s been awhile since I visited these places, but quickly looking this morning the same discussions seem to be occurring. This is the general impression I had with low carb diets and type 2 diabetes discussions.

    Low carb diets are now well known by diabetics. That has been the case for many years. Some times hospitals and doctors would bring up dietary ideas to help their condition. Sometimes doctors would not. Regardless, overall due to books in the internet it seems to now be well known low carb diets are something to try and see if they help with one develops type 2 diabetes.

    The results from what I noticed were that some found low carb help greatly. A majority found diet help to some degree. Others found diet to not help at all and felt type 2 diabetes had little to do with what is eaten. The two main camps tended to argue with each others. The diet changers would say those that didn’t change their diet were not trying hard enough or lazy, etc. In the past at least the debates could be heated.

    I felt the idea of fasting interesting. I believe the main marketing with fasting is that it can reduce insulin levels.

    Fasting also involves avoiding all foods, naturally. That was something some type 2 diabetics would bring up. Diet changes to help diabetes was not as straight forward as avoiding carbs. Some report that other foods outside of carb rich foods would effect their type 2 condition. Equally some sugary and carb rich foods did not effect their diabetic condition.

    Mentioned on this sight I’ve found the idea that how type 2 diabetes is treated interested. Instead of using the hormone insulin, possibly another hormone such as glucagon might be the answer.

    This is all speculation, as I’ve only read it at one place, but I read not long ago of a professor that accidentally found some pancreatic enzymes cured gestational diabetes. As mentioned the idea never took hold or was tested out much. It had me thinking though of the idea that how type 2 diabetes is currently treated to precent could be wrong.

    1. Martin Back

      The medical profession seems to be only interested in medically-profitable means of treating DM2. As Dr. Sarah Hallberg writes:

      “At the annual diabetes association convention in New Orleans this summer, there wasn’t a single prominent reference to low-carb treatment among the hundreds of lectures and posters publicizing cutting-edge research. Instead, we saw scores of presentations on expensive medications for blood sugar, obesity and liver problems, as well as new medical procedures, including that stomach-draining system, temptingly named AspireAssist, and another involving “mucosal resurfacing” of the digestive tract by burning the inside of the duodenum with a hot balloon.”

      1. Stephen T

        Martin, healthcare has become a health industry. People whose diabetes disappears because of a change of diet are of no use to pharma.

      2. Gaetan

        i wonder if its only low carbs, or low carbs high fat vs low fat diet.

        the conclusion is ”In conclusion, our study demonstrates that among overweight patients with type 2 diabetes, there was no significant difference in the weight or A1C change in participants after a low-carbohydrate compared with a low-fat diet for 12 months. Participants in both arms achieved an average 3.4% weight reduction but did not reduce A1C. Differences in the short-term effects of each diet were not sustained.”

      3. Joe


        There is no better or faster or easier way to lower A1C or weight than to FAST. It can literally reverse T2D in a few months. Dr. Jason Fung writes extensively about it. And it can work with virtually any diet, but fastest with LCHF.

      4. chris c

        To Gaetan below

        “Of the participants using insulin, the dose was reduced by a mean ± SD of 10 ± 14 units in the low-carbohydrate arm and increased by 4 ± 19 units in the low-fat arm (P = 0.12) at 12 months.”

        Fancy that!

      5. Gaetan

        that seems perfectly logical to me, those people are already using insulin. It totally makes sense to reduce sugar consumption for those suffering from diabetes.

      6. Martin Back

        Stephen, you’re right that it’s now a health industry, not a calling. If you go into a restaurant and the waiter comes to recite the day’s specials, you don’t expect to hear, “You’re too fat. We’ll only serve you the green salad and a mineral water.” They’ll be bankrupt in no time. Similarly, a doctor will always give you a script and suggest more tests rather than telling you that all you need is to get more rest, a bit of exercise, and stay away from the carbs.

  71. John U

    I thought that this article by Ray Peat in relevant to a lot of what we see going on in this world of medicine. Here is an excerpt from an article:
    “This physiological mythology has made possible a practice of medicine in which “genes” and “a virus” are regularly invoked to explain things that can’t be remedied, and in which any fleshy body is described as “well nourished,” and in which malnutrition and poisoning by pollutants are systematically dismissed as explanations for sicknesses, while thousands of different drugs are administered according to instructions given by their salesmen. It is also deeply linked to attitudes that have turned the practice of medicine into the surest way for an individual to get rich and retire early. It creates a sense of confidence that the physician is doing the right thing, because there is a little physiological rationale for everything. When a practice is replaced by its opposite, there is also a rationale for that. In fact, medical textbooks are written to rationalize the highly arbitrary practices of the industry. If, for some reason, perpetual motion machines had been as successful economically as steam engines were, laws of thermodynamics would have been written to describe them, just as thermodynamic laws were invented to describe the theory of steam engines.”
    From this link
    He has quite an collection of articles which are worth reading.

    1. Stephen T

      John, this excerpt from the article intrigued me:

      It’s sort of analogous to the “mystery” of why breast cancer mortality is lowest in the poorest part of the U.S., Appalachia, and highest in the richest regions: the medical industry goes where the money is, taking death with it. Science, like health, thrives on the neglect of the corrupt industry.

      1. John U

        Stephen, I agree. I am now leaning toward the idea that medical professionals are not really any different than other professionals who are trying make a good living, i.e. increasing their wealth. I think that this is a good goal, and is an evolutionarily supported process, in that those who acquire more wealth would be expected (at least over the last thousands of years) to be able to support more progeny who would carry similar genes, etc. So I believe most of us try to increase our wealth over our lifetime. Doctors do so also. In the US especially, a medical education is a great career path for increasing one’s wealth, since the practice of medicine is still close to private enterprise in terms of regulation. Can we blame the medical practitioners for doing the things which result in greater wealth even if these may not be in the interest of all patients? Perhaps we can, if the practices are immoral and unethical. But most of the practices are not, even if they are not based on good science. Many doctors in the US start out their careers with substantial debt used to fund their education, so they will not be inclined to “rock the boat” and jeopardize their standing in the profession. It is a lot safer to just flow with the stream, and more or less guarantee oneself and one’s family a good standard of living. Most professionals in other fields do just that without being embroiled in controversy like doctors may be in medicine.

        It is certain that money is a big factor which drives our motivations, and this happens to doctors also. If we want to change this somehow, I don’t think that it can be done by developing better science or any other rational approach. Well, maybe it can, but it will take a very long time. I think such change must be driven by money, and as soon as someone or some organization shows that their approach works better (to solve health problems) than that of the establishment approach, money will follow. After all, the drug companies do it all the time in a perverted fashion. What we need to do is show that LCHF or whatever works best, not through science, but through old fashioned word of mouth, which today is the internet and social media. Science will always play a role, but for most folks, it is not significant. What we read in the media and hear from our friends is what will accelerate change. It is already going on, and we see more and more media articles challenging the traditional dogma. I expect this trend will continue and will be the major driver of change.

    2. Gaetan

      I just want to add to this by saying that we literally have billions of bacteria, microbes and viruses living with us, on our skin, in our gut, everywhere in our body, they are part of who we are and we have evolved with them and they have evolved with us. They protect us as silly as this might sound.

      For example, “sanitizing” our hands with anti bacterial soaps is beyond stupid, its almost criminal.
      Every time we use commercial soaps on our skin, we literally remove a protective layer, the first defense we have.

  72. Sylvia

    Don’t forget this cold weather, home made soups, easy. Especially chicken soup with the whole carcass, anti inflammatory, root veg, careful of bones for youngsters. Eucalyptus oil to sniff will clear and encourage discharge, don’t overdo inhaling. Today I am making soup of fatty breast of lamb, root veg, barley. Can’t get these peasant foods in a pill. The dog shall have some also. All ingredients from supermarket, can’t afford the posh butchers at three times the cost. Butter and creme freche after whizzing. I do care about animal welfare, I can only hope the products I buy have been treated humanely, no doubt they are not as nutritious as higher welfare products, but needs must. Keep warm and well. Dr Kendrick, forgive this WW2 type missive.

  73. John U

    Dr. Kendrick, I have just finished reading the chapter by Stephanie Seneff on “A Role for Sulfur Deficiency in Coronary Heart Disease” from the book which you recommended. This chapter was filled with biochemistry which was way beyond my ability to comprehend, nevertheless I persisted and was very persuaded that the hypothesis which she proposed had a lot of merit. Here is a excerpt from the concluding paragraphs which summarizes briefly what was covered:
    “In this chapter, I have proposed a hypothesis that explains the complex processes that take place in the atheroma as a mechanism to assure cholesterol sulfate supplies to the heart. Cholesterol sulfate is an important source of sulfate to maintain the RBCs’ (red blood cells) negative surface charge and to populate the extracellular matrix of the endothelial wall. This results in near frictionless trafficking of RBCs through capillaries. I maintain that the modern lifestyle of sun avoidance and exposure to toxic chemicals through food, sunscreen or other environmental insults results in impaired cholesterol sulfate synthesis in the skin mediated by sunlight. This pathology necessitates a mechanism to store cholesterol in the artery wall to be made readily available for cholesterol sulfate synthesis whenever sulfur sources such as homocysteine or cysteinyl-glycine are available, along with superoxide and ATP as sources of oxygen and energy to fuel the reaction. In an emergency, a myocardial infarction can initiate a programmed response that depletes taurine reserves to restore sulfate supplies. Microbes such as C. pneumoniae can assist in replenishing heparan sulfate to the artery wall. I argue that statin therapy interferes with cholesterol sulfate production, leading to increased risk to heart failure, which is now a major contributor to rising health care costs.”

    I was impressed – but what is your take on this hypothesis?

    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      I communicate with Stephanie on a regular basis. Her idea is intriguing. I thing she, and those like Pauling and Rath, and many others have identified an important causal factor. However, I think they all fall into the trap of deciding on ‘the’ causal risk factor and trying to fit everything around that, in ways that become increasingly convoluted. Another of the ‘THINCS’ group has decided that CVD is entirely due to micro-nutrient deficiency (primarily vitamin(s) B. He can reverse engineer any fact to fit this. Personally, I think vitamin B plays a role. A deficiency leads to increased homocysteine levels which, in turn, damage the endothelium etc. etc. However, you need to fit everything into a complete hypothesis, not just a few things.

  74. Gaetan

    An interesting article i came upon:

    ”…The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) support eating starch resistant food. Bananas, potatoes, pasta, whole grain bread, oatmeal, barley, and brown rice are typical examples.

    The logic behind the magic of starch resistant food is that regular starch foods gets digested quickly in the small intestine and are converted into short-term energy, which, if it is not needed immediately, is stored as fat.

    Resistant starch food, on the other hand, is digested through fermentation in the large intestine and converted into energy for the body more slowly. Resistant starch food stays in the body for a longer time, making people feel fuller for longer. This increase in feeling satiated also contributes to a reduction in the overall amount of calories taken in daily….”

    1. mikecawdery

      “”…The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO)
      And one could not find a nicer group of corporate supporters.
      Trouble is in the statement “, is stored as fat.” Starch (ie all the grains mentioned) is simply a string of glucose, Two books you should read “Diabetes and you” by Kraft and Feinman, RD “The World Turned Upside Down: The Second Low-Carbohydrate Revolution.

      What is good for a cyclist during an endurance test such as the Tour de France is very different from what the average non-athlete requires.

    2. John U

      Gaetan, complex starches and resistant starches have been studied for some time and are fine to eat. The real problem that is not studied is how these starches affect someone who is already insulin insensitive, or resistant? Most people (at least 50-60%) are probably OK to eat whatever they want and not suffer any negative consequence. If you can eat bananas and pasta and whole grain bread (no different than white bread in digestion) without consequences, then that is fine – you are probably not insulin resistant to any significant degree. But someone who is close to being diabetic would not respond positively to such foods. So for WHO to make such global recommendation is unreasonable.

      I also don’t have any confidence in WHO. They appear to be quite corrupt and in bed with big pharma and big agriculture. Just my opinion.

    3. JanB

      Mmm – not at all sure about that. Every one of those foodstuffs (except barley, which I haven’t tried) send my BG shooting up. In a process of elimination, I gave up every one. Sad, really, as I used to love bananas and porridge. I’ve even tried eating raw porridge oats, which I also love) but they have the same unfortunate effect. As I understand it foods like pasta and potatoes need to be cooked, allowed to go cold and then reheated for them to become properly ‘resistant.’ ……but it still doesn’t work for me. Alas for poor me.

  75. Gaetan

    Also interesting:
    ”Let’s hear it for carbs – Tour de France cyclists couldn’t do it without them”

    ”The extraordinary demands of the Tour de France requires a special internal combustion engine. For homo sapiens this “engine” constitutes a carbon-based fuel chemically reacting with oxygen extracted from air and burning, producing among other things energy. As far as we know, a focus on carbohydrate intake before, during and in between stages is the best way to facilitate this. So as the riders move through the Alps do not expect to see a new nutritional strategy.”

    1. Jillm

      Test blood glucose after eating carbs. My blood glucose after a ‘healthy’ high carb meal was more than twice as high as after a protein and fat meal.

      1. Sasha

        That’s to be expected given the biochemistry of carbs vs fats/proteins. The main question is whether LCHF really confers health/longevity benefits that its proponents say it does.

    2. John U

      Gaetan, have you ever read any of the research done by Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney? Or read their book called “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance”?
      This business of carb loading before a big athletic event is a myth being propagated by those who don’t know better. There is a place for carbs in athletic events, but not in ones which require long endurance. You are better off burning the fat stores in you own body.

      1. Jillm

        Exercise didn’t protect Prof Noakes from metabolic syndrome. He says if he eats more than 20g carb each day he puts on weight.

      2. Gaetan

        I watched all youtube videos of dr. noakes. I am still not convinced he got diabetes because of his high carbs regimen as a marathon runner. Something else is at works here. In my opinion, it has more to do with our gut flora, than fat vs carbs.

      3. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        Look up Dr David Unwin. He has ‘cured’ many patients with type II diabetes by using a high fat, low carb diet. He is a UK GP does not run a private clinic – makes no money from it – and does it all because it gives him great work satisfaction. His data are very strong, and I absolutely believe his work to be entirely valid. [Of course, I do not believe type II diabetes to be a disease, but that is another matter entirely]

      4. Gaetan

        Another thing i want to point out concerning CHDs is this;

        Since life expectancy is roughly the same in U.K. and France, People do tend to die around the same age and roughly of the same diseases with some variations.

        So here on this blog i read that Frenchmen eat more saturated fat compared to Englishmen, and because of this they are slightly more protected from heart diseases. Okay. But since overall they still die at the same age, those who were spared from CHD died of something else.
        What is it, cancer?

        Looking at this chart;

        Cancer is more prevalent in France. Am i going to conclude that High fat diet promote cancer?
        Maybe, maybe not. In the end i think diet got little to do with it.

      5. Stephen T

        Goran, I agree with you Tim Noakes and many others here. I really struggle to see how bread and pasta can be defined as ‘resistant’ starches when they convert to glucose so quickly. As for The Tour de France and endurance events, Chris Froome is a low carber.

        The WHO supports the cholesterol hypothesis despite having statistics that show it to be nonsense, so I take much of what they say with a pinch of salt.

      6. Gaetan

        Like i wrote already, i know what Tim Noakes said, i even took notes watching his conferences.

        extract from -Great diet controversy- youtube nov13, 2013 1h37
        ->The real question is why are arteries damaged? Because of high carbohydrates diet that makes the blood sugar spike and “upset” the arteries. There is also the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 that are problematic to the carbohydrates diet.

        ->in1920 when there was no CHD (supposedly, or no data is available?) the ratio was 2:1, in today’s world, the ratio is 30 to 1.

        ->Says that the best food are eggs

        ->less saturated fat, more heart diseases (although i would argue that its still very low in Japan)
        more saturated fat, less heart diseases (although it seems to have an increase in various cancers)

        ->Smoking absolutely match the rate of CHD, when smoking decreases, so do CHD

        ->weapons of mass destruction; coca-cola and pepsi (i agree)

        ->Those who can’t metabolize carbohydrates will get fat no matter what they do.

        ->with agriculture came tooth decay and overall worse health…

        ->He says that sugar and refine food are addictive, just like cocaine & heroin.
        (the problem i see with that is, contrary to the common beliefs, cocaine and heroin or gambling or sex etc do not create addiction in most human beings)

        Overall an interesting video and an hour and a half well spent.

      7. Samuel Ford

        Dr. Kendrick, you say that you don’t consider diabetes type II to be a disease. Is it because you beleive that “disease” is a word that should be reserved for infections? Or because that, just as no one would call traumatic brain injury caused by a punch in the face a disease, diabetes is more like “chemically punching” yourself in the pancreas over a period of many years?

  76. Lori

    Is there definite proof that heightened levels of cholesterol puts you at a higher risk of heart attack, or is that another common-sense theory?

    1. Stephen T

      Lori, I think this site is predicated on the cholesterol theory being nonsense. Take a look at the following facts and try to fit them into the high cholesterol is bad for you theory. I don’t think it can logically be done.

      • France has the highest rate of saturated fat consumption in the world and a heart disease rate one third of the UK’s. Many other countries show similar results, including Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Spain and Iceland. (WHO figures.)
      • Switzerland has the second highest rate of saturated fat consumption in the world and the second lowest rate of heart disease.
      • Lithuania’s population consumes half France’s level of saturated fat, yet has a rate of CHD nine times higher. This is one of many similar examples. The WHO figures in Europe show a clear relationship between higher saturated fat and lower heart disease.
      • In America of 137,000 people, in 541 hospitals, who’d had a heart attack, 78% had below average cholesterol. (American Heart Journal, 2009.)

  77. Charles Gale

    “50 foods that make you look good and live longer”

    is the headline for 50 foods recommended by Dr John Briffa in the Times dated Sat 29 Oct 2016.

    Plenty of interest re CVD and I was pleasantly surprised to see in the mainstream the homocysteine as a cause hypothesis mentioned (no.6 Garlic) and also c-reactive protein (no. 34 red peppers), both of which drew blanks or disinterest from my healthcare professionals.

    In fact, it seems mother nature provides everything you need to ward off or recover from CVD and ditch those medications.

    If only we could rely on the nutrional content of our shop bought produce, a topic which has come up in this website’s comments over the years. There was something in the Sun recently with someone claiming the nutrional content was 1/2 of what it was 50 years ago, or something like that.

  78. TS

    Leaving aside our awareness that natural food items with their normal sugar content are good and processed food with added sugar and an excess of other carbohydrates is bad ……

    Leaving aside our knowledge that nutritional advice is based on corruption and in many cases ignorance ….

    What are we to do about anxiety levels?
    Why don’t we look philosophically at the way we live our lives and try to get to the nub of problems?

    Here is some of my philosophy, as a starter (posted with love):
    We have one short life. Enjoy it. Don’t look for a point in it. There is none.
    Don’t be a victim. The vast majority of people are self-interested so be happy to be a bit selfish yourself.
    We are all going to end up as dust – the clever, the pompous, the rich, the famous, the stupid…. Nothing really matters so much. It’s all quite funny really so see the funny side of life and enjoy humour.
    Be stoical. Bad things happen. Life is not fair. Accept the fact.
    Beware of some praise – it can be used to manipulate: “What would I do without you?” “You are so good at getting things done.” “What a good cook you are.”
    Nothing we do or say lasts forever. Mistakes are part of life. No one is a failure for there is no requirement in life to “succeed”. View past actions in their context to avoid destructive guilt.
    Try to prepare yourself for your partner’s death, and vice versa. What will you/they feel like? How might you live your life then? Imagine the pain so as to avoid the complete shock of it should your partner die before you. Prepare yourself to accept change stoically. In this way, help yourself not to fear the future and the unknown.
    Avoid talking about yourself much. People are most interested in themselves. Be kind – but don’t let them bore you and waste your time.
    Don’t waste time being envious and don’t waste time with anyone who is jealous of you.
    None of us is that important. We are only as important as other animals. We are reformed dust in mere moments of time. We will doubtless go the way of the dinosaurs, perhaps leaving the less complex microbes behind.
    We share a very large part of our DNA with criminals and those we dislike. Collectively our DNA is passed on whether we, as individuals, have children, or not. No individual is worth making a god of.
    Life may not be fair but it owes us nothing and we owe it nothing.
    If you feel sorry for yourself visit a churchyard and look at the graves of all those people who died younger than you are.
    Smile. Don’t moan.

    1. Gaetan

      Well, its good to enjoy life and be a bit selfish in the quest of happiness. Imho, Inner joy is a state of being and not something we seek or achieve. No matter what our philosophy of life is, it doesn’t hurt to eat food that promote health and plenty of energy. It also doesn’t hurt to have healthy relationships and great conversations.

      There is plenty of evidence to support physical activity will increase the release of feel good hormones (serotonin, dopamine etc.), promote physical health, and release physical tensions, whatever our stake on Life itself is. Plenty of evidences to suggest smoking is the number one cause of lung cancers (probably CHD too) and too much alcohol intakes causing a plethora of diseases.

      So in the end, i think its a mix of everything, without abuses!

  79. John Collis

    According to the news yesterday, dementia in all its forms, has overtaken heart disease as the leading cause of premature death in the UK.
    Apologies in advance if I am spouting rubbish science, but could this rise be due in part to the widespread administration of statins and/or the emphasis on low fat/high CHO diet? Do those countries that exhibit lower levels of CHD exhibit differing levels of dementia to the UK (for example)? Is the prevalence of Vascular dementia compared with Alzheimers different in different countries? What about the ratios of other dementia such as Lewy Body? Also, although not a dementia, what about the prevalence of other neurological diseases such as Parkinsons or MND?

  80. Edward

    No evidence that saturated fat causes heart disease? It depends on what you replace it with: this cohort study from the Netherlands that you cite is the only study that I’ve seen suggesting that saturated fats replacing the other nutrients reduces your risk. The overwhelming weight of the evidence, however, suggests that replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats, particularly polyunsaturated fats, reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease.

    A 2009 systematic review of prospective cohort studies found that replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats reduces risk of heart disease:

    A 2010 systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized control trials found that replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats reduces risk of heart disease.

    A 2014 systematic review of randomized control trials and prospective cohort studies found convincing evidence that replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats reduces risk of cardiovascular disease.

    A 2015 systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized control trials by Cochrane found that replacing saturated fat with ‘cis’ unsaturated fats reduces one’s risk of cardiovascular disease, concluding that permanent dietary reduction of saturated fat and partial replacement by unsaturated fat is beneficial.

    More recently, two prospective cohort studies from Harvard published have found that replacing saturated fat with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats; whole-grain unrefined carbohydrates; and plant-based proteins such as legumes/beans/pulses reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease, in direct contrast to this one cohort study from the Netherlands.

    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      In most of these meta-analysis nothing was replaced with anything, they were observational only. The Mozafarrian meta-analysis did not include the MCI study data, nor the Sydney heart study data and relied entirely (for statistical significance) on the Finnish mental hospital study. A study so methodologically flawed that it has been dismissed by almost everyone. Be careful with meta-analyses, they claim super-powers, but I have yet to find one, in this area, that is not horribly flawed. I have come to the conclusion that the relationship between diet and CVD consists of so much noise, and so little reliable data, as to be worthless – in all directions.

      1. Edward

        Thank you very much for your reply. Both meta-analyses were of randomized control trials; one of the systematic reviews included observational studies along with randomized control trials, and one as I said was simply of observational studies, so I would disagree that the meta-analyses were of observational studies.

        The Cochrane meta-analysis is more robust than the Mozaffarian one, and the fact that both come to the same conclusions is some evidence in favour of reducing saturated fat in favour of unsaturated fats. There are important limitations of some of the trials included in each study, including the Finnish mental hospital study, but the fact that the bulk of the evidence from RCTs and prospective cohort studies points in the same direction does count as evidence.

        In this very post, you cite an observational cohort study as “adding” to the “evidence” that comes to contradict saturated fat being a problem “on an almost daily basis”. This suggests that you recognize that observational studies have some credence, and that you do not believe that the evidence points in all directions, but rather that it points in one specific direction. I simply disagree about what that direction is.

        Although I’m not too familiar with your work, plenty of people who dispute the link between saturated fat and CVD say that sugar and refined carbohydrates are bad in terms of CVD, and if that is your view then I would emphatically agree and say that this again shows that the data aren’t “noisy” but do point in a specific direction in some domains.

        Given that the bulk of the evidence points in favour of saturated fat being replaced with unsaturated fat (and possibly whole-grains and plant proteins, pending further investigation) being beneficial for CVD, I would say that despite the limitations of cohort studies and some of the RCTs conducted, dietary recommendations to reduce saturated fat and replace it with unsaturated fat are warranted. Due to the limitations that you point out, we shouldn’t be strongly confident in this, but dietary guidelines should nevertheless be made on the best available evidence, even if that evidence only makes us 60% credent in one course of action being correct as opposed to 99% credent. On a population level, the expected value of these dietary guidelines is still quite high, even if there is only a mildly high probability of them being correct.

        Again, thank you for your response. I think it’s important to have level-headed discussions about these issues and hopefully convergence and consensus will eventually emerge, as it already has on the dangers of sugar/refined carbohydrates and trans fats, and the benefits of extra virgin olive oil, Omega-3 fatty acids, vegetables and to a lesser extent fruits.

      2. JanB

        I find it really hard to believe that historically all populations had access to seed oils, olive oil and other non-animal fats. For countless generations people have eaten what was available to them locally and so for people in Mediterranean countries that would have been olive oil and possibly sunflower oil but if a very different kind to that which is factory produced these days. For those in The Northern Hemisphere it would have been lard, butter, dripping. I don’t remember as a child seeing vast fields of rape and sunflowers? Really? In the English Midlands?
        I have to question the idea that suddenly in the last few decades our health depends on these either foreign or unnatural foods.
        I take all those studies which seem to confirm that idea with an enormous pinch of salt – sea salt naturally.

      3. JDPatten

        That sounds definitive.
        In which case, Dr Kendendrick, might we move along from the noise to the next Roman Numeral?

      4. chris c

        Another important point is that most studies on the “dangers” of saturated fat added it to a high carb diet. As Richard Feinman pointed out, in the absence of excess carbohydrate, fat is metabolised quite differently. You could equally say “in the absence of excess insulin” which is a major factor in lipid metabolism. More research shows significant differences with saturated fats of different length, and of course the elephant in the room is the excess quantity of Omega 6 in most diets. Many of these researchers, led by Willett, conflate Omega 6 and Omega 3 as being equally “healthy” which is far from the case. Yup, as you say, largely noise.

    2. Gaetan

      […] “I have come to the conclusion that the relationship between diet and CVD consists of so much noise, and so little reliable data, as to be worthless – in all directions”

      I agree with that.

      Besides the stress, or strain argument the doctor wrote about in his book, which to me is the determining factor, i would add that so far the best evidence on “data” seems to come with a causation between smoking ( nicotine, cigarettes ) and CHD or CVD. And of course use of cocaine ( and its derivatives ) which increases the chance of a heart attack many folds.

      No one tell boys and girls in highschool about the effect of cocaine on their health and how dangerous it is for their hearts, if they ever try it. That should be mandatory to inform everyone, especially our youth.

  81. bill

    At least anecdotally, one can smoke cigars
    for decades and still live to be 90. That
    person probably ate very well though.
    Don’t know about his stress level.
    Maybe it was the military fatigues.

    1. John Collis

      There is another example from over 50 years ago. Sir Winston Churchill also smoked cigars, drank heavily, had two strokes but lived until he was 90. He was prime minister during WW2 and also in the early 1950’s, finally retiring as PM in 1955; but remained an MP until 1964, the year before his death.

  82. JanB

    Hi, Dr. K – I hope you are feeling better now…….just wondering. You care about us so we must care about you.
    And to all you good people out there, any suggestions as to why my Diabetic nurse should have decided that after much rigorous carb avoidance on my part my HbA1c at 5.8 is “too low.” and my Gliclazide SR stopped, causing my BG to spike very unprettily. I’m reet cheesed off. I was soooo happy to be in the ‘5% club’ at last. Oh, just ignore me – I’m just sounding off.

  83. chris c

    One word answer – ACCORD. It was “discovered” that adding heroic amounts of medication including drugs since banned for causing CVD to a high carb “diabetic diet”, you know, the one on the leaflets printed by Takeda telling you to eat a breakfast of a bowl of oatmeal with a banana and low fat milk, a slice of toast with low fat spread and no-sugar-added marmalade, and a glass of no-sugar-added orange juice, curiously caused greater mortality in people using MORE drugs to get a lower A1c, and yet still failing to get good numbers.

    This has been interpreted to mean that getting an A1c below 6.5% by any means is deadly dangerous and must be prevented at all costs. Now man up and prepare for your amputation, that’s a much lower risk!

    Once I cynically asked on a doctors’ blog where they were discussing this if as nondiabetics they would prefer to increase their own A1c to over 6.5% in view of EPIC-Norfolk (Kay-Tee Khaw) and the big New Zealand studies (Elley et al., Brewer et al). Then I realised this is EXACTLY what they are doing to much of the population.

  84. Lynda

    Just read this.

    The idea that saturated fats clog up arteries and therefore causes heart disease is “plain wrong”, experts have claimed.

    Writing in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM), three cardiologists said that saturated fats – found in butter, lard, sausages, bacon, cheese and cream – do not clog the arteries.

    To truly champion heart health, the nation’s focus should be shifted away from lowering fats and cutting out dietary saturated fat, they said.

  85. Bill In Oz

    Dr Kendrick, your link for the article you used as a major source for this post is no longer there. Can you suggest an alternative link so as to be able to read it ?


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