The diet heart hypothesis suffers another attack – hoorah!

[Go Canada go]

I was writing another blog, on another matter, when someone sent me an email containing a petition signed by over two hundred Canadian doctors. You can read more about it here

It begins

Re: Canada’s Food Guide Consultation

From: Group of concerned Canadian Physicians and Allied Health Care providers

For the past 35+ years, Canadians have been urged to follow the Canadian Dietary Guidelines. During this time, there has been a sharp increase in nutrition-related diseases, particularly obesity and diabetes.

We are especially concerned with the dramatic increase in the rates of childhood obesity and diabetes. In 1980, 15% of Canadian school-aged children were overweight or obese. Remarkably, this number more than doubled to 31% in 2011; 12% of children met the criteria for obesity in the same reporting period. This has resulted in a population with a high burden of disease, causing both individual suffering, and resulting in health care systems which are approaching their financial breaking points. The guidelines have not been based on the best and most current science, and significant change is needed.

From the Report of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs on Obesity in Canada, “Canada’s dated food guide is no longer effective in providing nutritional guidance to Canadians. Fruit juice, for instance, is presented as a healthy item when it is little more than a soft drink without the bubbles”

They have put together a list of things that they believe should happen

Points for Change

The Canadian Dietary Guidelines should:

  1. Clearly communicate to the public and health-care professionals that the low-fat diet is no longer supported, and can worsen heart-disease risk factors
  2. Be created without influence from the food industry
  3. Eliminate caps on saturated fats
  4. Be nutritionally sufficient, and those nutrients should come from real foods, not from artificially fortified refined grains
  5. Promote low-carb diets as at least one safe and effective intervention for people struggling with obesity, diabetes, and heart disease
  6. Offer a true range of diets that respond to the diverse nutritional needs of our population
  7. De-emphasize the role of aerobic exercise in controlling weight
  8. Recognize the controversy on salt and cease the blanket “lower is better” recommendation
  9. Stop using any language suggesting that sustainable weight control can simply be managed by creating a caloric deficit
  10. Cease its advice to replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated vegetable oils to prevent cardiovascular disease
  11. Stop steering people away from nutritious whole foods, such as whole-fat dairy and regular red meat
  12. Include a cap on added sugar, in accordance with the updated WHO guidelines, ideally no greater than 5% of total calories
  13. Be based on a complete, comprehensive review of the most rigorous (randomized, controlled clinical trial) data available; on subjects for which this more rigorous data is not available, the Guidelines should remain silent.

Oh, happy days. My sense of what is now happening is that the momentum against the very stupid and damaging nutritional guidelines that have dominated the Western World for the last forty years is reaching breaking point. This group even managed to throw ‘restricting salt intake’ into the dustbin. Oh, happy days.

If this carries on, I will have nothing left to blog about soon. Suits me.

365 thoughts on “The diet heart hypothesis suffers another attack – hoorah!

    1. David Bailey

      I guess UK GP’s could start by looking at this (presumably UK-based) website, that was linked to in the letter:

      Quoting from that website:

      “the current system of dietary advice is working, in as much as the nation is generally following the advice. Unfortunately, it just so happens that the current advice being given is making us unhealthy rather than the desired effect of becoming healthy.

    2. AH Notepad

      Thus is unbelievalbly bad news. My Swiss and French cheeses, not to mention all the other full fat real cheeses, will cost more, My real cream will cost more, as will my jumbo eggs. Oh dear!!

      1. John U

        Good conclusion. Clearly the demand for all the good foods we low carbers eat will rise and costs might also. However, the offset should be lower social medical costs and therefore taxes. The cost of diabetes treatment alone is like zillions!

      2. chris c

        Yes, when did you last see butter on special offer at the supermarket? (Actually I was recently told President butter was on offer at ASDA but we don’t have one of them).

        Canada is a great but surprising place for this to happen and to be backed by so many doctors. I don’t know if it is still true but I was told a while back by Canadians that it was illegal to mark or market anything as “low carb”

  1. Gaetan

    Health is simply not just a matter of what we eat Doctor, so do not worry, you will have plenty of future blog entry to do!!

    1. John U

      That is probably good advice, but if you have ever read a book called “The Great Reckoning” by James Dale Davidson and William Rees-Mogg, or “The Sovereign Individual” by the same authors (both excellent books BTW), you would begin to appreciate how the invention of the microchip and thus eventually computers and the internet revolutionized the speed of invention and change (scientific, social, and political) which takes place. What used to take 500 years for a new idea or invention to become common place soon became 100, then 20 years and now takes 10 or even five years all due to the speed with which information is transmitted among us all. So I am quite optimistic that our past history of change will likely not be repeated. Nevertheless, there will be a lot of resistance, perhaps less in Canada than elsewhere. In Canada I don’t think that we have so many “experts” who will have to dance to a new tune.

      1. robert lipp

        change I fear will be slower than we would like because it is held up by the resistance of the food industries.


        the first reference is a strong and horrific indictment of the “sugar” industry influence
        only when their profits are threatened will they change their behaviour.

  2. martinedmundson

    “Light at the End of the Tunnel”? Historically the Canadians have a tendency to ‘Lead the Way’ on health matters, think of ‘Callanetics’ as a way to keep fit from the Second World War.

  3. annielaurie98524

    Sadly, progress will be slower than we wish. Wait until the sugar manufacturers, soft drink purveyors and wheat farmers (Canada is a major wheat producer) and their lobbying groups get wind of this letter. The evidence has been accumulating for years against the “official” low-fat, high carb diet, but it lingers on — the US recommendation is still 11 servings of grain-based food daily! When the USDA, certainly no paragon of progress, eliminated its dietary cholesterol limit, it was sued by a vegan organization. Numerous studies over the past two decades show that, for people over 65, higher cholesterol levels are associated with lower all-cause mortality, but statins to reduce cholesterol are still being handed out like candy. Progress is coming, but there are a lot of big-money foes arrayed against it.

  4. HotScot

    Brexit; Trump; Climate Change scepticism; Dietary/Heart/Statin scepticism.

    What will be the next question we ask of the establishment, I wonder.

    1. David Bailey

      Clearly I am not the only one to think these issues are linked! I think our free media has been slowly taken over by vested interests, and people are starting to fight back.

    2. Eric

      Well, I for one do not think they are linked, and it concerns me to see them painted with the same brush.

      Brexit and Trump are cases of legitimate anger of larges parts of the populations that the system was perceived as broken, that they were being left behind. This anger was hijacked by professional liars, and these liars were helped by the media, not only Murdoch press / Fox news, but also mainstream media who took an unhealthy interest in these clowns and essentially provided them with free advertising. And look where that has led. Boris and The Donald are free to troll international politics, Britain is happily gnawing off her own legs at the behest of a PM who, against her previous, stated convictions, is pursueing a hard brexit that was never stated as the goal of the referendum, probably for fear of losing the support of hardliner Tory backbenchers and the Murdoch press. On the other side of the pond, the Donald is choosing people from big business and Wall Street, the very establishment he vowed to fight. These were really cases of the bathroom getting thrown out with the baby!

      On climate change, I think we are where we can hope to be with nutrition 10 or 15 years from now. The old establishment dogma was that unlimited growth in consumption of fossil fuels was good for everyone. These days, most leaders in business, government as well as the general public have been turned around, convinced by good scientific work and a good job at communicating it. The mainstream media have been gradually turned around.

      These examples are totally different from dietary and statin scepticism, which is a very legitimate cause, but is still up against the medical establishment, food and pharma advertising (and their more subtle ways), governments and most of the media.

      1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        I am going to start drawing a ling under overly political debate. Me, I love a good debate on Brexit and Trump etc. but I think I need to keep a bit more focus on the main themes here. I fear a diversion into matters that may best be discussed elsewhere.

    3. rosetta_maria (@rosetta_maria)

      Dietary/Heart/Statin scepticism has nothing to do with the others mentioned; it’s pure common sense, whereas Climate Change scepticism is pure ignorance/stupidity!
      (Won’t comment more on Brexit or Trump here, other than that supporting the latter is utter stupidity too ;))

      1. Dave Knowles

        This is classic. You all can see how nutrition science went off the rails, driven by political and financial influence but can’t see the same thing happening with other issues.

      2. Gay Corran

        Dave Knowles: I think many on this blog would agree with your comments. There is a huge amount of money involved in keeping us all frightened to death about climate change, for example. My own scepticism is not down to ignorance; I have read very widely on the subject. To castigate brexiteers and climate sceptics as “ignorant” is condescending to say the least. My antennae start waving when the person expressing views is attacked rather than the tenets of the argument…

  5. brian griffin

    What I wonder is how much the nutritional guidelines of any country influence the food choices of its population. Don’t get me wrong. I welcome this as much as anyone but how much power does it have vs the marketing dollars that drive the other choices?

    1. Tony P

      I believe the nutritional advice has a significant influence on the general public. If you look at the CDC’s Health of the United States they issue every so often, most Americans (sorry, but it’s my frame of reference) are following the health and dietary advice.

      The average was for 2012 results were:
      Total Fat-33%
      Saturated Fat-10.6%

      And what were the recommendations in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines(the ones in effect for these eating results)?
      Fats- 20-35%

      Looks to me like they were doing exactly what they were told.

      The problem is not people following the guidelines, but that the guidelines are shaped by those marketing powers. It’s why I blame the government many more times over than I do the corporations. They are designed to make money and influence buying habits. The breakdown is the sanctimonious way the government tells us they are protecting us and then endorses clearly false ideas.

      1. Kay

        Tony P wrote: “The problem is not people following the guidelines, but that the guidelines are shaped by those marketing powers. It’s why I blame the government many more times over than I do the corporations. They are designed to make money and influence buying habits. The breakdown is the sanctimonious way the government tells us they are protecting us and then endorses clearly false ideas.”

        Exactly! The problem starts with governments telling people what they should and should not eat. Then all organizations that receive government funding in some way — schools, hospitals, etc. — are required to prepare meals according to those rules. Many health care professionals see no reason to question the rules. Many dietitians feel it is their duty to recommend or enforce those rules. All this determines the marketing directions food producers and food processors and such will take. And since the dietary recommendations create ill health for many people, this also sets ups lucrative marketing opportunities for the pharmaceutical industry.

        No doubt peoples’ compliance with the government’s rules is aided and abetted by the continual stream of articles in popular magazines supporting the “politically correct” view. A couple of days ago, I read an article telling of plans to mix mushrooms with ground beef for burgers in school lunches. Replacing some of the beef with mushrooms would reduce the calories, sodium and saturated fat in the burgers. The article reports that two commercial organizations have teamed up to explore how mushrooms “. . . could trim the dietary sins of common beef dishes. . .” . . .[!] Not only will red meat kill you, but it’s a “dietary sin.”

      2. Anna

        The government is a fair maiden that has been kidnapped and held prisoner in the cave of corporate money. She must be rescued.

      3. Eric

        “The average was for 2012 results were:
        Total Fat-33%
        Saturated Fat-10.6%”

        Does not tie in with my observations. To me, who likes meat, when in the US, I still find that disporportione amounts of meat are being eaten, be it as steaks, burgers, chicken wings, “lean healthy white meats”, …

        Or maybe the problem is with percentages, that high absolute amounts of protein are dwarfed percentage-wise by even higher amounts of carbs.

    2. Stephen T

      Brian, a fair question, but the supermarked shelves are full of low-fat products because they are endorsed by the low-fat Government dogma. One meal in four in America is directly made, or heavily influenced, by the USA guidelines. This is in schools, for the armed forces, and for people on food stamps.

      The guidelines are important because many people do care about their health, but are pushed in completely the wrong direction. Diabetics being the most egregiously misled group in the country.

      1. Tony P


        Thank you for the response. And I think we are saying similar things, just changing the arrows a bit. You said the marketing takes a direction shaped by the guidelines and I think the guidelines are shaped by the marketing. Specifically the largest marketing is in the form of the “research” performed by the diabetes industry or the pharmaceutical countries.

      2. Eric

        Doubt that about the armed forces. When the study came out that compared atherosclerosis in fallen servicemen from the Korean to Iraq wars, there was quite a bit of discussion. Several with first hand knowledge commented that the present GI were the unfittest ever, small wonder with round the clock free access to soft drinks, pizza and burgers from (vending is not quite the right word if provided free) machines.

      3. chris c

        I recall an army PT instructor, but can’t remember now if US or UK, remarking that he had never seen so many fat and unfit soldiers since they started serving pasta in the field canteens.

    3. celia

      Brian, I think the nutritional guidelines have a rather more subtle influence in terms of the foods available on supermarket shelves. This now needs to find its way into food manufacturing guidelines.

  6. Ann Walker

    Terrific news. I monitor the number of low fat yoghurt on supermarket shelves with interest. No change so far, but I have recently noticed that there is more goose fat, lard and beef dripping about. Enjoy your Christmas roast potatoes.

    1. Anna

      I have noticed, very slowly, full fat products are becoming available again.
      And yes, Brian, the reason everyone got used to the low fat versions was because they were told they were healthier.

      1. chris c

        Our Co-Op had Wyke Farms (delicious) butter on sale at a remarkably low price for a while. Then it went away and the shelf space is now filled with a new version of Stork (I think) “containing real butter”. You just couldn’t make it up.

  7. gillpurple

    Very promising. I’m feeling quite optimistic that the message is getting through here amongst the general public, I’ve recently met three people who know about the terrible dietary advice and are eating high fat low carb, newspaper article/recipes from time to time and supermarkets stocking coconut oil. Despite the same old advice on NHS Choices website.

  8. Sylvia Brooke

    Wonderful news Dr Kendrick. I have also been really pleased to see your name in the newspapers more recently fighting in our corner. It looks as though people are eventually latching on to the truth. Please don’t stop blogging, I’m sure you will always have something to say that we all want to hear.

      1. Anna

        Shouldn’t the doctors being hounded in S Africa and Australia perhaps use that letter in their hearings?

  9. Bob Knight

    Dear Dr Kendrick.

    I believe this fantastic news and at last could we in the western world be heading in the a better nutritional direction?

    I have for many years believed that present guidelines were to put it mildly bunkum and from reading much on the subject have come to believe like so much in our lives this area has been guided by vested interests and not necessarily for the greater good of the people.

    Well done to yourself and to the many other’s sticking by their beliefs.

    Double Hoorah [😊]

    Kind Regards,

    Bob Knight
    Mobile: 07917509475

    Have a Fab Day


  10. Millie Thornton

    Please don’t stop blogging… There are so many topics that need airing. And you are just the man to cover them!

    I just wonder what will happen in the States after President Big Business Trump is inaugurated. I can’t imagine their food industry will take kindly to these types of guidelines should they be suggested in the US…

    1. Tony P

      Yeah we should have elected a President that wasn’t kind to Big Business. Just like…….I’m having a tough time. Can you help point me in the direction of the last President who oversaw policies that weren’t shaped by corporations?

      1. Michael J. Jones

        “I place economy among the first and most important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.”
        ­Thomas Jefferson
        I do not want this to be political speech and it is NOT personal but I have to respond please. In this type of society there is nothing without the ‘big businesses’. Where do you think the money is going to come from? really, lets hear it from someone who has an alternative! What is needed is investment and no one will invest when the government takes the money for NO return. Small businesses which is where jobs start will benefit from growth with the tax cuts, operating cash flow increasing up to 40% + and then they can INVEST which means more jobs and better paid jobs. Then the country will start growing financially. If the alternative president had got in the whole society and culture as you know it would be gone in months. LOOK at it properly, look at the track record, not with the eyes of the MSM who have everything to lose at the moment. Watch the actual speeches, the facts of what is said not the edited politicised versions Look at what is reported and made up by the left wing commentators and then look at the stock market performance right now, look at the investment already coming back. See how you are being deceived and look at the promotion of a espionage lie and evidence-less conflict with a country that have said over and over again publicly that they would like to have good relations with the USA but are refused. Look at the last 8 years of interfering in ‘other countries’. Is this what you want for your children? With no investment there are NO jobs, there in NO money. Personality has nothing to do it, The UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is a CORPORATION and HAS to be run efficiently. Would you just give your money to the government with question? Do you want to have illegal immigrants living in your neighbourhood for nothing, spending your tax money, taking your jobs, taking your children’s school places, telling you that you cannot say merry christmas? The new President understands that you need investment and NOT regulation but you need to protect the diverse culture that makes AMERICA GREAT. A socialist economy does not work as it requires choke hold regulation. Under the TPP a foreign company can dictate your government policy if it undermines their bottom line i.e. minimum wage! OK rant over, but to be honest The ultimate ignorance is the rejection of something you know nothing about…yet refuse to investigate.

        If you don’t want to post this Malcolm then that is ok but any political reference or comment should be removed also however, I believe it is all related and change will come and this will affect everything.

      2. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        Micheal, you are going rather off-line – with regards to this blog. But I think any debate about health and guidelines and what we eat eventually always leads back to the political. I think I would suggest that economies you may perhaps consider socialist e.g. Denmark, France, Sweden, seem to be doing pretty well – particularly so when it comes to looking after the most disadvantaged in society. In the political arena what we must always resist is extremism – in any direction. Clearly, we need a healthy economy. Equally clearly we cannot let economic interests over-ride social responsibility. Which, in my opinion, seems to have happened in the arena of food production/consumption.

      3. Sasha

        To quote someone whose name I don’t remember, the reason US can’t be like Denmark is because “most of America’s poor don’t see themselves as poor. They see themselves as millionaires temporarily stuck in unfortunate circumstances”.

      4. David Bailey


        I think a lot of people support President-elect Trump, and see him as far less extreme that the alternative – who seems to want confrontation with Russia for no obvious reason!

        I think short pithy comments work much better than long ones, and they don’t strain Dr Kendrick’s generous reluctance to censor this blog.

        I do see some connections between Trump and the CVD/Heart disease issue, not least the fact that the mainstream media have taken a totally one-sided approach to both issues – quietly ignore the mountain of evidence against the current medical advice, and excoriating one candidate in a democratic election.

      5. Tony P


        Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post. Were you respond directly to my post? Or to Millie? I didn’t do a good job of expressing my tongue in cheek intention of the comment. Corporations are completely bastardized from what the founding fathers intended. Business helping the economy as a whole is completely different from wielding power to shape policies to ensure their market place, The intentions clearly derived from how they were limited in scope in the first charters and state laws. And both parties specifically are money making machines trying to protect their interests at every election.

        And not to be a direct attack on Millle, but I was joking that I can not come up with any President or policy maker over the last 100+ years that weren’t affected by business influence. Specific to this blog is the direct shaping they have had on policies for the DSM and thus prescriptions and diagnosis designed to make them money and not help patients, or the mounting evidence that every “what can it hurt” conclusion drawn from nutritional studies has resulted in unacceptable levels of harm while pushing the cheap, high profit processed foods.

        Either way, thank you for the discussion. And I hope you have a happy, healthy, and merry holiday season!

      6. Eric

        Malcolm expressed wonderfully what I was about to write.

        I was going to point to the Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands and Germany as examples of striking the right balance between taxation, caring for the needy and returning in terms of health care, infrastructure, education and no over-regulation for businesses. As as a result, there is also plenty of familiy owned small and medium companies that thrive and grow. Yet, in all of these countries, inequality is on the rise, too, and politicians have been trying a bit too hard to make their countries (more) competitive.

        Italy is an example of where the people are wary of government and taxation because it does not return to the people. The UK and US maybe have become similar in that they return, but only to the few. Read this this morning:

        France, which I know well and love very much, is a special case. It does a good job where public health care and child care are concerned. It doesn’t do an overall good job integrating even third or fourth generation immigrants or keeping rural areas alive. There are many things wrong with it. There are few small and medium sized businesses, partially due to overregulation. Its politicians and upper management of its large cooperations as well as influential media positons are almost entirely staffed from graduates of a few elite universities (grandes ecoles), end if there ever was an establishment elite, this is it. Most (not all) of these folks have an innate sense of having swallowed wisdom by the bucket (this is much different from the air of superiority and entitlement that Oxbridge alumni effuse). It scores highest in the Western world for authority gradient, and folks are used to taking what is decreed until it gets to much, which is when they take to the streets for sometimes violent protests. This mix of authority, entitlement and rebellion has proven to be particularly hard to reform. In spite of these inefficient structures, the country is still surprisingly affluent. One does not stay there from being a premier tourist destination and exporting fashion, cheese, wine, quirky cars and world class airplanes as well as the odd nuclear plant. Some say France is profiting enormously from its hold over the African countries that still use the CFA-Franc, with French companies striking lucrative deals with local governments. I have not read up enough on that but I get the feel it could be true.

  11. Nigella P

    Wow! What a brilliant list of points from those Canadian doctors. Hurrah for them. I hope they get the result that they want and this is the start of change in other countries too. Point 2 is brave indeed.
    If you ever run out of material Dr Kendrick, your fighting spirit would be very welcome indeed for all the woefully treated and untreated thyroid sufferers here in the UK!

      1. luanali

        That’s great news you’re getting involved in the thyroid debate! My husband and I have dietary-induced hypothyroidism, according to the specialists we’ve seen. Years ago we did five years of a raw vegan diet and ended up with full on hypothyroidism (TSH’s over 9.0). Turns out large volumes of raw cruciferous vegetables and juices can damage the thyroid. One expert told me that in the old days they used to give raw cabbage juice to hyperthyroid patients because the goitrogens would attack the thyroid and bring it down. So…after five years of attacking our thyroids with our “healthy” kale juice and broccoli salads everyday, we ended up on medication (not what we were going for with the diet!). Another tale in the long history of stupid diets.

      2. Chris Sedgbeer

        Malcolm, what’s that about the thyroid scandal? I’ve been told today I need my thyroid function checked and am booked in for a blood test next week. Please can you point me to some material relating to this?

      3. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        You could go to Thyroid UK and start reading. I would advise you look up the issue of the accuracy of the TSH test, and the need for T3 in many people. If I say anymore I stray into the minefield of providing individual advice on the Internet.

      4. barbrovsky

        Re your TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) levels: As a hypothyroid kinda person, it really depends on who you talk to about the ‘right’ level. In the UK, it’s around 2.5 -3.0. In the US it’s 2.0 or under. I’m told to be euthroid (in perfect balance) a level of 1.0 should be achieved but you’ll never get it in the UK from the NHS, they only dish out one hormone Thyroxine, which works for some people but not others.
        The other problem you’ve got is getting tested for all the right levels, not only TSH but T3 and T4 and then there’s Free T3 and Free T4 (I think there’s a couple more as well).
        My GP has tried to get me tested for T3 and T4 as well as TSH but without luck (you’ll have to go private), but by chance I got T3 and T4 tested internally at Guy’s an St. Thomas here in London.
        The Thyroid/Pituitary/Hypothalmus Axis seems to bear an uncanny resemblance to Malcolm Kendrick’s HPA-Axis and Cortisol (can I call it a theory?).
        The Thyroid influences all kinds of things in the body, it’s more akin to a car engine’s ECU (electronic control unit), so cholesterol levels, the body’s thermostat (homeostasis), the quality or lack of, your hair, skin and nails, weight gain and on and on.
        Before Big Pharma got in on the act, the best treatment, actually discovered toward the end of the 19th century, I think in Germany, was an extract of pig’s thyroid, so it actually contained T3 and T4 (TSH theoretically anyway) triggers the body to produce the T3 and T4 but it’s not always successful at this. But in the 1960s they got Armor (the commercial name of pig’s thyroid) outlawed, but it is available now along with other variants you just won’t get it on the NHS. I know, I’ve tried.
        Over the six years I’ve been on Thyroxine, my levels of TSH have swung between 44.0 and 0.95! Currently it’s around 2.3 I think. A specialist refused to see with this level., they consider me ‘cured’.

      5. barbrovsky

        A word of caution about Thyroid UK. I used to subscribe to it but stopped for the following reasons: 1. It’s the website of the ‘official’ UK charity ThyroidUK. 2. Because it’s an ‘official’ charity, it’s closely connected to the NHS, hence is bound never to contradict what is effectively, government policy on health matters (see Statins). 3. The NHS only sanctions Thyroxine, I know, I’ve tried to get other remedies from my GP and failed spectacularly. Yes, many of the people on the site appear to use other treatments eg, T3 or even Armor or the like (dessicated pig’s thyroid), but I doubt they get them on the NHS, which is where I guess most of us in the UK get our treatments. The weird thing about the condition is that it affects a goodly proportion of the population, mostly female at around 15% and in its worst case, can deeply impact on a person’s life, yet it doesn’t figure very much in the public eye.
        According to the NHS, my thyroxine treatment is effective but the fact that I start shivering when the temperature drops below 22-23 degrees (fully clothed), that my hair is brittle, as are my nails, apparently doesn’t count. About the only symptoms I’ve not had which are associated with hypothyroidism, is weight gain and hair loss. Raised cholesterol is another symptom but the problem with the condition is that it affects people in so many different ways that the list of symptoms appears to have no end! So how do you distinguish the real from the imaginary let’s call it?
        When I started on Thyroxine in 2008, the hormone impacted on me so strongly that I effectively ‘lost’ almost three years of a normal life, only to literally wake up one morning and it was as if a veil had been lifted. I was staggered. I’d been living in a nightmare for three years without realizing it! Was it the medication? My body eventually acclimating to a ‘normal’ hormone level?
        The bottom line is; the NHS won’t per se expose you to whatever treatment options are available, and attempt to find the one that suits the best. It has only one solution, Thyroxine.

      6. luanali

        I suppose I’ve been lucky that all my docs have been educated (or have been willing to be educated) about the full panel of thyroid tests as well as prescribing Armour. I really feel for you guys stuck with the NHS.

      7. Bill

        If you go down that path, and I hope you do, I’ll again suggest my own endo’s latest book, meant mostly to pass along to other doctors all he’s learned about diagnosing and treating hypothyroidism. He has found both the standard of care and the common “alternative” thyroid protocols wanting for most people. Tremendous experimentation and trial and error with thousands of patients have resulted in a kind of middle way. I can tell you from experience how well it works. I was one of the many told to see the shrink by other endos before I found Dr. Blanchard. He’s a very amusing guy and would love to talk to you I’m sure:

      8. barbrovsky

        Re TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) levels: As a hypothyroid kinda person, it really depends on who you talk to about the ‘right’ level. In the UK, it’s around 2.5 -3.0. In the US it’s 2.0 or under. I’m told to be euthroid (in perfect balance) a level of 1.0 should be achieved but you’ll never get it in the UK from the NHS, they only dish out one hormone Thyroxine, which works for some people but not others.
        The other problem you’ve got is getting tested for all the right levels, not only TSH but T3 and T4 and then there’s Free T3 and Free T4 (I think there’s a couple more as well).
        My GP has tried to get me tested for T3 and T4 as well as TSH but without luck (you’ll have to go private), but by chance I got T3 and T4 tested internally at Guy’s and St. Thomas here in London.
        The Thyroid/Pituitary/Hypothalmus Axis seems to bear an uncanny resemblance to Malcolm Kendrick’s HPA-Axis and Cortisol (can I call it a theory?).
        The Thyroid influences all kinds of things in the body, it’s more akin to a car engine’s ECU (electronic control unit), so cholesterol levels, the body’s thermostat (homeostasis), the quality or lack of, your hair, skin and nails, weight gain and on and on.
        Before Big Pharma got in on the act, the best treatment, actually discovered toward the end of the 19th century, I think in Germany, was an extract of pig’s thyroid, so it actually contained real T3 and T4 (TSH theoretically anyway) triggers the body to produce the T3 and T4 but it’s not always successful at this. But in the 1960s they got Armor (the commercial name of pig’s thyroid) outlawed, but it is available now along with other variants you just won’t get it on the NHS. I know, I’ve tried.
        Over the six years I’ve been on Thyroxine, my levels of TSH have swung between 44.0 and 0.95! Currently it’s around 2.3 I think. A specialist refused to see me with this level. they consider me ‘cured’.re tsh

      9. David Bailey

        I have seen suggestions (it might even have been from you) that the blood test results for the various thyroid hormones are very inaccurate. I think the accuracy of these tests plus the degree of natural variation should play an important part in any discussion. Indeed, it should be a consideration with every test that is offered to us.

        For example, I didn’t realise the natural variation of BP measurements until I started taking my BP at home, rather than having it taken in the surgery.

      10. S Bolt

        That would be great 🙂 I was recently told by a Dr in casualty, where I was admitted with a DVT and pulmonary embolism, that there were worse things than Thyroid Disease. As I told him, when you can’t think and you have no energy, you very quickly lose the ability to manage your life productively. When I asked for a copy of my medical notes last year, I discovered I had had elevated TSH for at least 5 years and it was only because I had been referred to the hospital to check the cause of chest pain on exertion, that I finally got a referral to an endocrinologist, who prescribed Levothyroxine. GP’s were content to leave me hypothyroid and with bottom of the range folate and B12, for YEARS, whilst happy to hand out anti-depressants or Hormone replacement therapy…. I wonder why that is? Reform is needed, please help, Dr. K.

      11. Nigella P

        That would be really good news Dr K. For those searching for answers about thyroid matters, is a great place to go. Stacks of research in its resources section and a helpful forum. Barbrovsky, in the UK, according to the NICE guidelines, you have to have a TSH of over 10 before Levo will readily be prescribed. There is some leeway given by the guidelines to offer a trial of Levo if you have a TSH of over 5! Symptoms seem to be wholly irrelevant, which is a tragedy. Diagnosis is completely hampered by this desperately inadequate TSH test. Medicine has actually gone backwards with regard to thyroid issues.

  12. Edward Hutchinson

    While it is true changing the dietary guidelines may eventually have an impact on the foods consumers choose, the underlying problem is we are all consuming more processed and highly processed foods.
    Consumption of ultra-processed foods predicts diet quality in Canada
    “In 2004, 48% of calories consumed by Canadians came from ultra-processed foods.
    Consumption of such foods was high amongst all socioeconomic groups, and particularly in children and adolescents.
    As a group, ultra-processed foods were grossly nutritionally inferior to non-ultra-processed foods…………Lowering the dietary share of ultra-processed foods and raising consumption of hand-made meals from unprocessed or minimally processed foods would substantially improve the diet quality “

    EAT REAL FOOD is a simple message but UK supermarkets in the run up to Xmas have shelves stacked high with utra-processed CRAP.

    1. Stephen T

      Edward, you’re right and I used to be one of those people. Then a day came when I’d read enough and decided to go low-carb and high fat. Within a few days I felt such a surge of mental and physical energy. Suddenly I looked at those supermarket shelves in a very different way, with their sugar, wheat, grains and low-fat rubbish. Where we lead, and spend, the supermarkets will follow.

      I now rarely buy food that comes in a box or tin. I’m a poor cook, but manage easily.

      1. chris c

        Even the “Health Food” shop is wall to wall grains and “vegetable” oil. They do have some excellent herbs and spices, and washing up liquid, though.

    2. Mr Chris

      Hello Edward Hutchinson
      Some time ago you posted ina discussion on Vitamine D, that in fact the vitamine had an availability in the body of about thirty hours. Since this nails the habit of giving once a month massive shots, I wonder if you could post a source for that?

  13. Martin Back

    Canada has signed Obama’s TPP agreement. Trump has threatened to ditch it as soon as he becomes president. If he doesn’t, my understanding is that under TPP, if Canada takes actions that harm a company’s profits, e.g. by recommending that sugary drinks or breakfast cereals not be consumed, the Canadian government has to make good the loss of profits to the company.

    Big Food and Big Agra packs a powerful financial punch and wields considerable financial muscle. I wonder if the legislators will stand up against them? But kudos to the 200+ Group of concerned Canadian Physicians and Allied Health Care providers for speaking out. Individual bloggers can only do so much. An organised movement can accomplish far more.

    1. Stephen T

      Martin, Canada, the US and Mexico are in NAFTA. It was signed years ago. TTIP is the agreement with the European Union that the UK is escaping from.

      1. Martin Back

        “OTTAWA — The federal government is studying the potential economic impacts of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership, Canada’s international trade minister confirmed Wednesday.

        Chrystia Freeland was in New Zealand on Wednesday where she signed the massive 12-country Pacific Rim treaty, a deal opponents warn could eliminate Canadian jobs and damage some sectors of the economy.”

        That was in February this year. It still has to be ratified before it becomes law in Canada. If the US withdraws, the treaty becomes null and void, I believe.

    2. A Man

      TPP is the one issue that the right wing and Obama agreed upon and it is a betrayal of the common people. It was negotiated in secrecy and kept locked away so that citizens could not find out what was in it. Despite the secrecy we can rest assured that it would be a massive give away to major corporations around the world. One that would not be beneficial to you and me. I hope Trump can do away with it.

    1. Jeffrey Dun

      I have read Taubes on the role of exercise in controlling weight and, based on my own personal experience, I am sceptical.

      In my experience, the more intensively I exercise, the more weight I lose. I note also that friends of mine who have been unable to exercise because of injury, or those that have retired from athletics, tend to put on weight, in some cases a great deal of weight. In most cases their diets have not changed very much.

      As a consequence, I’m not cheering on the Canadian doctors regarding their #7. For me, exercise is beneficial for a range of reasons, including weight control.

      1. Mr Chris

        Must say that my personal experience is that enforced inactivity made me put on weight, even with eating less’
        My own thought is that exercise stirs up the body and in a way keeps the weight stable.

      2. Sasha

        I totally agree. Exercise has incredible range of benefits including improving metabolism and insulin sensitivity.

      3. John U

        Jeffery Dunn, I don’t think that anyone here is not in agreement that exercise is a wonderful thing for health. It uses up a lot of glucose if there is an excess in the circulation, and it also does a few other things to boot. However, putting on weight is a hormone driven process, just like growth is of a child. If your insulin level is too high for too long, and you have excess glucose in the system (by excess I mean an amount which you cannot use up for energy before your next meal), you will store the excess as fat. If all the excess is stored and your insulin is still high, you will be hungry. Also, remember that exercise does use up calories and will lead to hunger if your body is not adapted to using fatty acids for energy, something which the vast majority of the population is not adapted to do. So hunger will become the problem driven by excess insulin. Exercise is great, and might be enough for some to keep weight off, but not for those who are already metabolically broken.

      4. PeggySue

        I agree Jeffrey – exercise brings many benefits, including weight loss for some (although sometimes it’s more a change in shape as muscles get toned).
        If you tell people they don’t need to do aerobic exercise anymore then many will ignore the “aerobic” bit and go back to doing nothing again.
        I feel the message is beginning to get through that a sedentary life is an unhealthy one.
        It would be a shame to undo the good that has been done.

      5. Martin Back

        Gary Player always says the best exercise is to push yourself away from the dinner table.

        Some exercise is essential for health. But enough exercise to make a difference to your weight is too much like hard work for my liking.

      6. Jeffrey Dun

        In reply to Jan B & luanali:

        Does that mean that, say, long-distance runners are slim because they eat the right foods, and not because they run prodigious distances in training?

        I don’t think I have ever seen a corpulent long distance runner, but I know several corpulent ex-long distance runners.

        As I say above, I am sceptical that exercise has no part to play in weight control, based on my own experience, and also from observing athletes in their prime, and after they retire. I know that when athletes retire, they don’t all start pigging out on junk food. So, in my view, exercise can play a role in weight control.

      7. JanB

        But Jeffrey, long distance running is hard, hard exercise and not the walk or jog in the park or hour’s tennis that most of us think of as exercise. Okay, yes, one can lose weight via exercise but one would have to devote one’s life to it and most of us don’t have the time (or inclination.) I’ve read that professional cyclists such those who take part in the Tour de France or the Vuelta eat many thousands of calories every day but burn it off.
        I’ve done the daily walk, still do, racking up between 15 and 20 thousand steps per day, but until I went LCHF I could never shift the unwanted 2 stones. And I know that if I went back to carbs they would come back.

      8. luanali


        Well, I think skepticism about any kind of theory is a good thing! In terms of what’s happening with your athletes, I don’t know anything about them. It could be there are explanations that are consistent with Taubes’ theory (…or these could be the black swans we should pay attention to). Athletes going from their prime to not and then gaining weight could argue for hormones, which is Taubes whole point. (He’s never argued that weight control is exclusively about insulin or carbohydrates, just that it’s the dominant player given our current diet. Sex hormones are a major player as well.) And when you say that they didn’t gain weight off of junk food, as many people can attest, “healthy” high carb diets can trigger the insulin/weight-gain cycle as well.

        I could also throw out my own anecdotal observations, like the fact that the majority of professional aerobics instructors (teaching 5+ classes/day) that I have known are quite chubby. And while you’re thinking of thin long-distance runners, I’m sure I could put up a picture of Boston marathon runners who are also quite chubby. And I could tell you stories of clients of mine who’ve determined to get in shape by training for a marathon, intensely running every day, who didn’t lose an ounce, but had amazing aerobic capacity by the end! And…another, I could tell you about my husband a serious (SERIOUS) exerciser (like 4+ hours every single day for years, and karate instructor for 25 years) who stopped working out for a few months while also switching to LCHF at the same time and lost 30 pounds.

        As I’m sure you’re aware, it isn’t just Taubes that’s challenged the exercise status quo. There’s been a mountain of research showing that exercise really isn’t particularly effective at weight control. Some have different hypotheses than Taubes, like it could still be about calories and that it’s just that people reward themselves with “treats” that cancel out the calories they burned, or that the amount of exercise you have to do just to burn enough calories is prohibitive. But most studies show that it’s about metabolism and that aerobic-type exercises in particular lower metabolism and while they’re great for fitness, they’re actually counterproductive for weight loss. Lots of different theories, but the conclusions are the same.

        And for the record, I’m a big believer in the health benefits of exercise, of which there are many, as is Gary Taubes, and I work out 5-7 days/week.

      9. Mr Chris

        As ever a very thoughtful comment..
        Is metabolism not another way of saying burning up what is in your food.?
        Aerobic exercise fouls up metabolism? Do you have any links, since that squares with what I have observed?

      10. Mr Chris

        About the corpulence or not of long distance runners, I know several multi marathon persons, the majority of which are slim.
        I suppose that th,ey apply like racing cyclists and jockeys, the lighter you are the less effort to carry it.
        I have also observed chubbier persons, obviously jogging to lose weight.

      11. chris c

        “You can’t outrun a bad diet”

        I suspect that if the exercise makes you go face down in the carbs this immediately undoes the benefits.

      12. Jeffrey Dun

        In reply to Jan B & luanali:

        Many thanks for your thoughtful responses.

        I guess trading anecdotes will not resolve my scepticism which, as I say, is based on my own experiences.

        Taubes is concerned to refute the calories in / calories out hypothesis. To do so he has to argue that exercise makes no difference for weight control. And there is evidence to back him up.

        In his book “Why We Get Fat” in the chapter “The Elusive Benefits of Exercise” he makes the comment: “Marathon runners as a rule are not overweight or obese; the front-runners in marathons often look emaciated. But this observation tells us nothing about whether runners would be fatter if they didn’t run……..” (page 46 in my edition).

        Taubes doesn’t answer his own question of whether the emaciated lead runners would be fatter if they didn’t run, but it is pretty clear that he thinks they would not be fatter. In other words, their weight is not, at least in part, a function of their training.

        This for me is too much to accept. To suggest that elite athletes would be no fatter if they didn’t train and compete is impossible for me to believe.

        I find Taubes’ arguments pretty convincing, except for this point. Perhaps high intensity training sets other process in train within the body that leads to weight loss, or at least, a maintenance of weight.

      13. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        I tend to agree. During the Tour de France all of the riders lose weight, despite almost force feeding themselves with food in the evenings. Is is estimated they use 12 to 15,000 calories a day during the race. These calories have to come from somewhere. However, when you move from such extreme endurance athletes I think the evidence is fairly conclusive that exercise does not help people to lose weight. I am always wary of absolutist positions, and the absolutist position that exercise, no matter how much you take, has no effect on weight, breaks down at the extremes. Equally, the idea that you can eat any amount of high fat food and not gain weight, is not credible.

      14. barbrovsky

        Hmmm… I lost weight exercising and although I had what I think was a low sugar diet (1/2 teaspoon of unrefined sugar in my tea or coffee was about it) I cut it down even more during the last year and recently I’ve cut out even more carbs as well. Current weight: 61 kilos (I’m 5:10 and small framed), which is pretty much where I was when I was 17!

        Surely therefore, genetics must play a part in the process?

      15. luanali

        And the question of calorie burn and intake in the elite athletes is further complicated by their diet. Jeff Volek and Steven Phinney published a study (the F.A.S.T.E.R study) comparing ketogenic athletes to those on traditional high carb diets. Peter Defty, who worked with them, gave a blow-your-mind (or at least my mind!) lecture about their work with the super elites, demonstrating that once fat-adapted, these guys can perform at top levels without the calorie intake. For example, cycling 100 miles in a fasting state for 4 hours with only 36 calories, and without depletion. Another one running the 100 mile Umstead race for 15+ hours with only 600 in-race calorie intake, finishing in second place; a competitive figure skater winning every completion…

        Volek & Phinney’s study:
        A summary article about the study:
        Defty’s lecture:

      16. luanali

        Re: “Equally, the idea that you can eat any amount of high fat food and not gain weight, is not credible.”:

        Should have also mentioned Alison Gannett, a former world champion extreme skier who ended up with a brain tumor. She’s now ketogenic in an attempt to cure the tumor. She drinks 1 1/2 cups of cream a day just as a supplement to her high fat diet. She’s a small, muscular woman without the weight gain despite no longer being an athlete.

      17. luanali

        Ok, I have no idea why that posted a video of Jason Fung and not the one I linked! Anyway, she spoke at Low Carb Vail. It’s on Youtube.

      18. Mr Chris

        Another subjective observation. After my gym class, the monitor gives a class for elite athletes, they are mostly runners, they are without exception, ultra thin.

      19. Martin Back

        Exercise makes a huge difference. National service was compulsory in my day, and I did a year in the army after matriculating. Take a bunch of young men — fat, thin, tall, short, athletes, couch potatoes — make them run around and carry heavy loads for a year, feed them cheap carb-heavy crap, and they will all look in pretty good shape at the end of it. That was my experience.

  14. michael pollard

    Nothing will happen in the short term, just as nothing happens when a Tsunami forms hundreds of miles from where it first strikes land.
    The tsunami is on it’s way!

  15. Bob

    You should drop heart disease – it’s clearly going nowhere – and blog about DVT instead.

    I’m only half joking.

    I may or may not have an interest.

  16. barbrovsky

    I think reality is finally catching up with the elites when they see their working (and unemployed) dropping like flies around them and the sheer cost of fixing them up which they are not prepared to foot the bill for! And all to line the pockets of handful of giant transnational corporations who control the sugar, chemical additives, soda et al industries. I see it happening slowly here with the NHS, so all of a sudden it’s all about ‘prevention’ but we have a decrepit and reactionary political class totally in the pockets of the corps (or should that be corpse?).

    1. thelastfurlong

      Thank you Sylvia for this link. I found it fascinating. I have heard suppliments don’t help people but there’s never an explanation why! I think the body doesn’t do things mindlessly. If it uses free radicles as messengers (which is amazing) then, it follows, not to scavenge them too much, not so? If Drug Companies profit from their products, then Suppliment Companies are doing the same. Business is business. Fear is BIG business. Don’t be incensed. Chill! It comforted me – I don’t do supplements. No! Thats a lie. I’ve just started with Curcumin and also Berberine to lower my blood sugar. I have no idea if they will work – but at least that’s something I can test. I enjoyed your link. Thank you.

      1. chris c

        Long ago, in a diabetes newsgroup far, far away, a huge argument blew up. Some people claimed that chromium supplements helped their BG control while others found no effect. The latter called the former scammers, spammers and shills for the supplement industry..

        IMO the people helped by chromium were probably not getting enough from dietary sources, the others were already replete.

        Same for most other “supplements”. There are U curves and J curves throughout biochemistry, and probably genetic and other variation, and a lot of RDAs are probably inaccurate anyway. I tend to trial things and then stop them and see if there is any difference: sometimes there is, sometimes there ain’t.

  17. BobM

    Yes! Particularly #13: “Be based on a complete, comprehensive review of the most rigorous (randomized, controlled clinical trial) data available; on subjects for which this more rigorous data is not available, the Guidelines should remain silent.” If something is not supported by RCTs, the guidelines should remain silent. That would’ve killed the low fat theory years ago.

    1. Bill

      Depends on the quality of the so-called RCT doesn’t it? Statin efficacy and safety was led by RCTs. At least it is what himself RC would have us believe……….

  18. Sue Knight

    Professionals like you Dr. Kendrick are as rare as hens teeth! Get stuck in to thyroid, as well as CVD and Diabetes… and keep jabbing those IDIOTS, who claim to represent the population. Having spent the past two years reading virtually nothing but the science of natural medicine and of cellular medicine I have felt increasingly that I exist in some weird science fiction movie, where virtually everyone (the media, the government, the NHS et al.) are feeding us lies, none of them the least bit interested anything other than patents and money. My trust in pharma-based medicine vanished having suffered endometriosis for 11 years before diagnosis, during which time I was told I was “neurotic”. Perhaps I was, because the pain of the condition and the distress of not being believed was enough to make anyone neurotic. Then I suffered the treatment! To see this email from the Canadian GPs is incredibly gratifying; maybe there are humans on earth, as you are, and a wonderful handful of others battling the cause. We all need to get of our arses and educate ourselves about health. We need to stop blindly accepting bogus “facts”, extruded by corrupt corporations who have the media and the professionals in their pockets and the public swinging along in ignorance to their unwitting and miserable existences!!! Having got that off my chest, Should I now accept a diagnosis of naivety?
    Ps. “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” Margaret Mead

      1. Frederica Huxley

        I am getting too cynical to believe that, alas, given corporate vested interests and the utter corruption of government officials who are richly funded by lobbyists. Look at all the brave scientists who have had their careers ruined because they dared speak the truth. I think it is marvellous that these Canadian doctors have made their statement, but I am sure it will be swiftly silenced.

      2. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        This is why I did not pursue a career in ‘science’. Luckily they cannot silence me, for I am not within their jurisdiction. A shame that you cannot change things from within, but twas ever thus.

      3. mikecawdery

        Prefer the Max Planck one
        Science advances one funeral at a time.

        Incidentally I found this beauty in Collins Int J Clin Pract. 2002 Jan-Feb;56(1):53-6

        Two interesting points: first to quote the summary “Among high-risk patients in this western population (with a minimum total cholesterol [TC] < or = 3.5 mmol/l at entry) there appears to be NO THRESHOLD CHOLESTEROL VALUE below which statin therapy is not associated with benefit; even among those with pre-treatment cholesterol levels below current national recommended targets”.

        Out of the mouths of experts, the truth sometimes slips

        In short, the benefit of using simvastatin HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH BLOOD TC LEVELS.

    1. Bill

      My feelings exactly. The ‘media and its coterie of ‘experts’ thought Trump would lose and we would stay in the EU. I think they need to get out more (from London. NY, LA and any other capital city or ‘trendy bubble’ location they are in). Most media people, and I include in that high profile journos, are fed info from others like them and those with their own agenda with the financial and/or political clout to garner influence.

      The current ‘crisis’ in the NHS is the end game of probably 40+ years of poor science, pharma and big food, corruption and successive governments staffed by the articulate, the overeducated and political fraudsters. I am sure it was always thus but just seems to be rife now because we have better ways of communication maybe. Just my opinion of course.

      1. mikecawdery


        Your comments are very perceptive, particularly the second para. The problem of course is the fact that the world has now entered the “post-truth” era. Can I quote from a BMJ editorial:

        In an editorial on “post-truth” society (doi:10.1136/bmj.i6467), Tracey Brown cautions that we abandon facts at our peril, but she adds that we must use them to empower people and provide “the means by which the less powerful can call the world to account.

        The concept of evidence based medicine (EBM) is great until evidence is simply ignored to preserve the “gospel” of the official faith and belief system; acceptable for religion but not for science.

      2. Bill

        The other issue here is the ‘a lie told often enough becomes the truth’. I guess that we are on second generation medical ‘professional’ now since the original ‘healthy eating’ and ‘diet heart hypothesis’ was launched (surprises me that no one took the time and effort to look into the word hypothesis) . That is to say that the whole ‘fat is bad, fruit and veg and minimal fat is good’ has been passed down to the next intakes of trainees as scientific truth. This reminds me of the old first world war joke about how messages get distorted. In the little story a front line officer sends a message via courier ‘send reinforcements we’re going to advance’. When the message finally reaches HQ its’s turned into ‘send three and fourpence we’re going to dance’. The analogy I am attempting to draw here is that too much training can lead to poor information becoming the new and later established truth. ‘Experts’ as you know bet the farm on their ‘truths’ and are keen to sell it to others who are often in awe of the professional accolades that surround that particular ‘expert’. Until the arrival of the internet it was difficult to get at the truth for us ordinary people, unless, like I did, you stumble over Atkins and Eades in Barnes and Noble whilst on holiday in the US (1996) one Xmas whilst trying to figure out why I had chronic indigestion whenever I visited the US. I swear that the US fast food industry is sponsored by Pepto-Bismol or visa versa. Upshot being that I cured my indigestion in 24 hours, lost 30lbs and have been more or less been the same ever since. Now , hopefully, people, if they have a mind to, can find out for themselves simply by typing what they are looking for into a search engine. Most people still seem to believe what there ‘betters’ tell them. It’s also interesting how the professionals still deride the internet as s source of information.

      3. Sasha

        Yes, one of the best things about Internet is democratization of knowledge. In all areas. I can watch a YouTube video and figure out how to fix a problem for which a car mechanic wants to charge $500.

      4. JanB

        Oh, Sasha, you are so right. Earlier this year (this is a complete aside) we had trouble with the controls of our central heating system. In came the electricians who first of all said that our house needed rewiring – it didn’t, then that the thermostat controls were broken and needed a large amount of money to repair it. I said thank you, I’ll think about it and did my own online research. It turned out to be the mid-position actuator, nothing to do with the thermostat at all. I replaced it and hey presto. It all worked fine. Sorry to be just a tad off-topic but it just illustrates how marvellous and democratic is the internet. It’s always my first port of call. It’s so important to have input into our own health and well-being (and central heating.)

  19. Philip Thackray

    Dr. Kendrick,
    I enjoyed being a renegade food outlaw. All those strange looks when I took my hamburger out of the bun. (The buns went to the chickens!) So now I’ll become “mainstream”? What do I do next???

      1. David Bailey


        I think that might be an idea! How about getting some T-shirts printed with a slogan or two of that sort, and selling them on this website? I fancy, “I love my cholesterol because people with more cholesterol live longer!”

        followed in smaller type by one or two of the links contained here:

        (possibly converted to Tiny URL’s so that people have a chance of typing them in correctly)

      2. TS

        I wore my two t-shirts regularly this summer, including parading them along the crowded beach where we live. It was people (particularly men) in their mid thirties and forties who showed the most interest – the retired age group pretty well ignored me. It was so satisfying when a doctor in a hospital corridor did a huge double take.
        I’m slim – I think that helps – no one could say I was obese because I favoured cholesterol.
        My T-shirts say “I love Cholesterol” (love is portrayed by a red heart). I think Malcolm’s “I love my cholesterol” is better. With mine there is always the danger that people think I am referring to liking ‘naughty’ food (cf. I love chocolate). Jean’s “I Need my cholesterol” is very good.
        You can’t add any more script to it because it needs to be seen at a little bit of a distance (people don’t like staring when they’re close up). Make sure you order the same message on the back of the T-shirt – then people can stare with impunity and you catch many more of them too.
        All I can say is that it works and sometimes even gives you the opportunity to discuss the subject with people.
        I recommend wearing them.

  20. Michael J. Jones

    Good luck with this but over here it will be destroyed by the American Medical organisations, Sadly, Canada will be threatened with sanctions if they do anything with it. The mainstream media will debunk it with dumb medical commentators as they always do. There are still people pushing for Statins in the water supply and promoting fluoridation, lowering ‘safe’ blood pressure numbers, lowering ‘safe” cholesterol numbers etc. Shame, but that is how it all works as you know very well Malcolm. This is a very sick nation with perfectly healthy people being converted into patients with blatant lies and manipulations. They still think whole wheat bagels and an egg white omelette is the healthy way to go and poly-pharmacy will be next.

      1. mikecawdery


        That is a lie and myth. The studies claiming this are those where the follow-up is relatively short. Where the follow up has been long the reverse seems to be true. A paper by Solomon et al (J Alzheimers Dis. 2012;32(3):531-40. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2012-120802. Review.) makes this observation:

        Interestingly, the associations {with AD} between these factors measured at mid-life are stronger, or even opposite, than with the risk factors measured at late-life”.

        In short, low cholesterol in late life is associated with AD.

        In a subsequent paper, the same author (Solomon A, Kivipelto M,Wolozin B, Zhou J, Whitmer RA. Midlife serum cholesterol and increased risk of Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia three decades later. Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders 2009; 28(1):75–80). This is a particularly interesting study with respect to the therapy details left out. On the other hand the author trawled through 2-3 decades of individual patient records to find “the high mid-life cholesterol level, which implies that the more recent TC levels were low and acceptable. In turn this suggests the use of cholesterol lowering drugs; after all the publicity surrounding cholesterol has clearly frightened US citizens into demanding statins from their doctors.

        Furthermore in Tables 2-4 the row titles are cholesterol levels. Change these row titles and change them to US guidelines. The numbers and stats remain the same but the interpretation is reversed. Statins are associated with increased incidence of Alzheimer’s. This is to be expected from the work Pfreiger and colleagues and their finding that cholesterol was essential for synapse activity( SCIENCE VOL 294 9 NOVEMBER 2001 1355) and Muldoon and colleagues who showed cognitive decline following statin use (Muldoon MF, Barger SD, Ryan CM, Flory JD, Lehoczky JP, Matthews KA, Manuck SB. Effects of lovastatin on cognitive function and psychological well-being. Am J Med.. 2000 May. 108(7):538-46. PMID: 10806282
        Muldoon MF, Ryan CM, Sereika SM, Flory JD, Manuck SB. Randomized trial of the effects of simvastatin on cognitive functioning in hypercholesterolemic adults. Am J Med. 2004 Dec. 117(11):823-9. PMID: 15589485)

        Additionally, Lorin in his book |Alzheimer’s: Solved (some 3000+ refs) also concluded that AD was strongly associated with low cholesterol.

      2. Bill

        Mike, I think you missed the irony in my comment. It’s complete BS. How can something that messes with your mind in the way statins do, have any benefit w.r.t Alzheimer’s? I have experience, I was once a victim of statins myself and suffered all the side effects- that don’t exist according RC et al – by the way I figured this out for myself before the media got involved so I was influenced by any form of placebo. I can’t even credit them with a capital letter thats how big a fan them I am.

    1. Stephen T

      Michael, everything you say is true, but the truth will out. As these organisations become increasingly irrelevant, one day they will smell the coffee and jump on board, saying they never personally advocated a low-fat diet or statins. When this is firmly established in one country, others will have to follow or be utterly discredited.

      The money only comes in if people are prepared to listen and they are beginning to walk away from ‘official’ advice because it fails so often. Diabetics increasingly refuse to listen to dietitians and low-fat rubbish because a friend tried low carb and made huge progress. They can’t silence success.

      1. gillpurple

        I agree. Getting information out there for folks to read on the internet, like Dr K’s blog, is giving easy fast access to information to many more people, if they want to read it and decide for themselves. Daily Mail on line today – just look at the comments to see how many people are already ditching so called expert advice on diet.

    2. Anna

      No, I think the tide is turning. By the way, my daughter tried hard to lose some weight and was frustrated that although she was running 5 miles it didn’t budge her weight. So she got serious and went low carb, and although she did not attribute it to me, I have been talking about it for over a year. The weight fell off in 2 months. She lost 30 pounds or 2 stone for you Brits.

      1. Stephen T

        Anna, my brother stopped taking statins and his memory problems disappeared, but he said his decision had nothing to do with me! I’d been debating with him for a year. He made the right decision, so I just smiled. Well done to your daughter.

      2. TS

        I’m never given credit for anything either. I await the “My god she was right!” moment that I know will never come! (Sounds arrogant dunnit?)
        P.S. Feel so sorry when I see overweight sweating people struggling on their runs. Always want to stop them and say something to them – alas, not the right moment!

  21. Michael J. Jones

    “The American people don’t believe anything until it is on the Television”
    -Richard Nixon.
    But having said what I said earlier ( or later depending when you post it )
    One person with courage is a majority….

  22. wdmeans

    So, common sense is still alive?? I wonder how soon the ‘lower 48’ will get so smart? You know Big Pharma is going to do everything it can to stop Little Farma (aka real, whole food)! I would love to see it all collapse and all of them suffocate under all those little pills they hand out like candy!!!
    Oh happy day, indeed!! And don’t you quit this blog! I love reading it–you are quite humorous !

      1. Pete M

        to the utmost or most absolute extent or degree; absolutely; completely.
        “it’s quite out of the question”
        synonyms: completely, fully, entirely, totally, wholly, absolutely, utterly, outright, thoroughly, altogether, in every respect, in all respects, without reservation, without exception
        “there are in fact two quite different types”

  23. Joyce F

    Light at the end of the tunnel at long last! More doctors standing up to be counted. Unforgivable that for so many years, those whom we should be able to trust, have either led us down the garden path, or stood by watching and done nothing.
    For the last two years, I have been “chasing my own tail”, trying to do the “right thing” after a cardiac arrest. Taking statins….suffering liver problems….stopping statins, (although being told I NEED THEM TO SURVIVE)…. Basically being treated as a disobedient child. Stuff their misplaced advice, I sought out my own way forward with the help of this and other similar websites/blogs, and fingers, legs, and eyes crossed….I feel fit and well, statin free and eating well and healthily.
    We should be able to put our trust in the medical profession. Instead we find they are basically a bunch of self serving, money grabbing cowards. Shame on them!
    Just jumped down off my soapbox…feel better after thar rant! lol ;o))
    Keep up the good work Malcolm…no rest for the wicked! ;o)

    1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg


      “Unforgivable that for so many years, those whom we should be able to trust, have either led us down the garden path, or stood by watching and done nothing.”

      Could we call it cowardliness?

      I guess this is what history always teaches us.

      Before any “revolution” is evident it is just one in a hundred (Malcolm e.g.) that dares stand up against the with the power to punish. Though, when the revolution is imminent everyone wants to raise the banner and participate as a “good guy”.

      1. Joyce F

        All true Göran, but how utterly soul destroying it is to think this apathy coupled with the original LIES has ultimately destroyed or damaged millions of people’s quality of life, unnecessarily. Happy Christmas anyhow! …….and Stuff THEM, and the turkey of course. ;o)) (Does this mean I’m banned now Malcolm? hohoho!

  24. Stephen T

    What an outrage! Only dietitians are allowed to tell us what to eat. Why haven’t the Australian Dietary Police sent arrest warrants to Canada to haul these doctors before the International Food Producers Court?

    We can’t have doctors commenting about food and public health! We have blinkered, backward dimwits called dietitians for that.

  25. Joanne Smyth

    Thank you Dr Kendrick, for your posts.

    Please don’t stop blogging, even if the world turns on its axis and realizes the truth of what you are saying. I follow this topic very closely, and am totally in agreement with your principles. As a South African I am appalled at what is happening to Prof Tim Noakes; it is just as shameful as what is happening to the Aussie bloke. We are going to need people like you who cannot be bought by the (so-called) food industry to keep on spreading the good word. I truly admire all three of you for standing up for your beliefs, even in the face of blatant attacks by large corporations who will stop at nothing in their quest to keep us silent.

    All the best for a happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous new year.


  26. Joe

    “I will have nothing left to blog about soon”

    Not so fast, good doctor! You have a promise to keep.

    “Finally, I will put together, what I believe, are the ten (or so) best things you can do to protect yourself from CVD.” March, 2016.

    Where’s the list? 🙂

    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Tis true. I keep getting dragged off line. A problem with trying to do too many things as the same time. Will have some down time over xmas and the New Year to get this into some decent structure.

      1. mikecawdery

        Dr. Kendrick I for one am looking forward to your next installment.

        But I understand the problem. Must-do problems have to be sorted, patients in particular. I always wonder how you manage to do as much as you do.

      2. Jennifer

        It is nice to know you will be spending some time on the list, but not too much, I trust, during the festive season.
        I notice that only 52 more followers will take you up to the 4,000 mark….so many anticipating your fascinating thoughts, which in turn, stimulate amazing, and generally, intelligent discussions.
        Merry Christmas, everyone.

  27. Brian Wadsworth


    Please allow me to add my voice to the many thanking you for your work so far and letting you know we look forward to more of it.

    Personally, I am confident that your work and the work of other right-minded experts will have the desired result of “cleaning up” medicine in the longer term. The advance of science is rarely linear or consistent. Distracting highways and byways are usual fare no matter the domain.

    Although the power of vested commercial interests is a major problem, we live in a world where the barriers to information and to community action have been lowering for a long time and continue to so do. It does seem the health crisis might have reached a tipping point by its scale and ubiquity and perhaps the costs are finally becoming sufficiently untenable to force a response?

    Anyways, I think you should see yourself as on the right side of history and a contributor to a successful movement. Ultimately, the truth will out.

    Best Regards and early Season’s Greetings.

  28. jo

    I work for a diabetes team and our dietitian would be mortified if I were to show her this. Already she lectures me on my disgraceful diet (LCHF). How on earth can we ever change that sort of dogma and if we ever do, how are those people who have been made ill by it feel – law suits maybe?

      1. PeggySue

        Exactly what I was thinking. You really do never know …
        Up until a few months ago my husband totally dismissed anything I had to say about cholesterol, hflc etc. But it really is being mentioned more and more on the tv and in newspapers these days and every time he gives me a sideways “look”. I say nothing (don’t need to).
        He’ll have a crick in his neck before long … baby steps as they say.

      1. mikecawdery

        Stephen T

        Personally I would recommend Feinman’s book The world turned upside down………. Feinman is a biochemist/nutritionists and present what dietitians seem to hate, ie “hard biochemical facts” amongst other things like the Bradford-Hill guides for epidemiologists, invariably ignored these days.

      2. chris c

        Haven’t gotten round to reading it yet but Volek & Phinney (Art & Science of Low Carb”) was recommended as being highly scientific. Michael Eades Protein Power likewise but is now well out of date and Protein Power 2.0 is not out yet. By the time is is published pretty much any book is out of date as research advances.

        I’m leaving some of my books to my doctor in my will.

    1. Bill

      Phrases like ‘not the sharpest tool in the box’ and ‘a sandwich short of a picnic’ apply to a lot of ‘dieticians’. I know some- it’s all in the training it would seem.

  29. Mark Johnson

    I really wish that the diet / heart hypothesis would die a not so slow and painful death but the reality is likely to be somewhat different.

    To put some perspective on the 200 Canadian doctors signatory to the above:

    97 are family doctors.

    The rest are made up of 17 anaesthesiologists, 17 emergency doctors, 8 gynaecologists, 8 psychiatrists, 5 radiologists, 1 nutritionist!!!!!!!, 1 dentist (they’ll lose a lot of money! 😉 ) ONLY 1 diabetologist, 1 nephrologist (go Dr Fung!) et al.

    The total number of active physicians (excluding residents) as of January, 2016 in Canada is: 80,544. 52% are family physicians

    200 signatories of 80,544 active physicians = 0.0025%
    97 of 41,883 family doctors = 0.0023%

    I’m afraid we have a long way to go.

    Dr Kendrick, I fear your blogging days are far from over.

    1. chris c

      Ah, I just spotted your mistake!

      You are reporting absolute numbers. If you used relative numbers this would be 30% of all doctors and dieticians.

      You need some maths lessons from Lord Sir Professor Rory Collins!

      (and yes I know he isn’t really a lord . . .yet . . .)

  30. Mark Johnson

    Re dieticians it’s even worse. In 2006 (it’s late and I couldn’t track down more up to date stats) there were about 8500 registered dieticians in Canada. One out of this number = 0.0001%.

    The number one “vision” for dieticians in Canada (as proudly proclaimed in their “Vision for Dietitians in Canada publication (A Vision for Dietitians in 2020, Dietitians of Canada, 2007) is:

    Dietitians are leaders in promoting health.

    Ten years ago that statement was made. Ten years later 200 Canadian docs state:

    “For the past 35+ years, Canadians have been urged to follow the Canadian Dietary
    Guidelines. During this time, there has been a sharp increase in nutrition-related diseases,
    particularly obesity and diabetes.”

    Does anyone, in any position of influence anywhere actually sit up and ask themselves what on earth has gone wrong with health policy?

      1. Joyce F

        We need to whole heartedly tell them we have had enough of this “control”. Call it Brexit 2! We want our trust in the medical profession returned to us! I want the truth about my health and wellbeing, so I can treat it accordingly, and get on with my life instead of spending endless hours trawling the internet checking out who’s right or who’s wrong. Even then we are left in limbo….Which side do we believe?
        On a calmer note Dr. Malcolm Kendrick…Thank you for sticking your head above the parapet so often….thank you for taking the endless batterings….I know from experience it’s not easy. In fact I was thinking of making you an honorary “Geordie”, but then thought.. “them Scotchies are nearly as tough as us anyhow!” ;o) Thankyou again, have a wonderful Christmas, and then get back in the saddle…..There’s work to do!

      2. Jennifer.

        How come the ‘experts’ are able to say that people are not following their (stupid) guidelines? Of course we follow, or in my case, followed them. That is human nature….most of us ‘ do as we are told’. They preferred to be blind!

      3. Doug

        From a Canadian ……..

        Well, yes but …. when was the last time ‘you’ voted to INCREASE government spending for scientific study?

        As a Canadian and a government worker I watch as the politicians promise to cut government waste and no one in the public says ‘Wait… what about protecting us against false industry studies by increasing spending on government led scientific study?”

        You get what you vote in. and that’s as political as I’ll get on this blog.

        PS. I have commented in the past that the Canadian doctors I’ve been dealing with no longer talk about testing cholesterol, even heart specialists. One friends heart doctor even worked with him as he took my advice for a LCHF diet and got off all his meds from his previous heart attack.

        PPS. Health Canada did remove the limitations on egg consumption a while back, to the sounds of loud trumpets and marching bands….. or crickets. I’ll leave you to figure out which.


  31. Christopher Stent

    Love your work – Malcolm!!

    Chris topher Stent CSC Accounting Limited Postal: PO Box 33489, Barrington Mall, Chris tchurch 8244 Office tel: 03 974 1050 Cell Phone: 021 873 692

    1. TS

      Have signed. I think it’s important for folk to put qualifications after their name if it seems appropriate – particularly science/medical ones.

  32. mikecawdery

    Dr. Kendrick

    Many thanks for the link; another excellent revealment. It is wonderful to know that there are doctors out there that can look at facts, make their own conclusions and have the courage to publicly say so.

    If this carries on, I will have nothing left to blog about soon.

    I fear not. There are a lot of people out there that will have some screwball hypothesis that requires more and costlier but trivially effective pharmaceuticals with serious adverse effects that will be hidden. These will still require skeptics like yourself to promote the real truth, not the agnotological truth put out by the current drug and food/nutrition advertisers. And it will take another 40-50 years to sort out again. The key of course is the perception of profit for the few.

    The appendices are worth reading too.

    1. John U

      Yes, glad you mentioned FB. I came across this information about 2 days ago and also immediately shared it on FB. A lof of older folks avoid using FB, but I find that it spreads much more quickly than individual blogs. Everyone here should consider using a FB page.

      1. chris c

        I used to use usenet before it became a repository for trolls and spammers. Anyone else remember Compuserve? Half of you will have to ask your parents what that was

        I only recently started reading Twitter, lots of good sense and also the exact opposite. I’m leery of sites that require your personal information before working. Who are they going to sell it to?

  33. Mary Denton

    Please, please, PLEASE make the thyroid debacle your next target. For years I was kept barely above zombie status by being prescribed Levothyroxine only until a very dear endo saw and recognised my problem and decided to try me on T3, since when I haven’t looked back. I picked up my business and brought it back from the brink, gained a BA (Hons) degree at the age of 59 and got my brain back from the fog. Now these CCG’s are threatening to take this essential hormone replacement therapy away from us because some greedy pharmaceutical company have raised the price to over £250 for 28 tablets… If I have to go back to T4 only, I might just as well finish it now because my life just won’t be worth living. So please… blog away.
    We need you!!!

    1. Aafje bruinsma

      Unbelievable. Several years ago I had forgotten my cytomel on a short vacation in France. A local pharmacy was willing to sell me a package of Cynomel, 30 comprimés for 1,97 euro. In the Netherlands the price on the package was something like 33 euro, for the cytomel, but that was the price for the insurance, so I don’t know what the selling price really is. It’s only available on prescription, as it is in France.

  34. barbrovsky

    I stopped eating muesli/bran/fruit/yoghurt for breakfast and ‘reverted’ to egg, bacon(uncured), mushrooms, tomatoes and slice of toast and not only does it taste so much better, the extra roll of fat around my waist disappeared within a couple of weeks! I’ve changed nothing else; still walk two miles a day and wack down a vica at the end of it.

  35. DrAM

    I think the link below will be of interest to many of this community.
    I have pasted the opening paragraph to stimulate your interest.

    ” I have just discovered a report entitled “Obesity in Canada: A Whole-of-Society Approach for a Healthier Canada” (1), which I find very encouraging. It has been produced by a Standing Committee of the Senate and demonstrates a willingness by politicians to examine the scientific evidence in a genuinely objective manner.” Verner Wheelock


  36. Mark Johnson

    200 signatories of 80,544 active physicians = 0.0025%
    97 of 41,883 family doctors = 0.0023%

    I was thinking some more about the above stats and how poor they are but then took some consolation when I realised that they’re not far removed from the efficacy of statins! And if the raw stats were revealed by Sir Prof Rory, they could easily be better!

  37. TS

    I took a look at this “wrong link” and found the following passage astonishing:

    “Contrary to what most people believe, the key to staying with a LCHF lifestyle is to not give up sweet things! For most people the taste of sweet, particularly in the form of dessert, is part of life. Unless you’re one of those people with an iron will who can forever resist anything sweet or starchy, live with the fact that “sweet” is part of life.
    The key to staying with the LCHF way of eating and to never return to eating sugar is to invest in non-calorie sweeteners like erythritol and sucralose and low carb flours like almond flour and coconut flour and use these to make sweets and baked goods (see links below). These products are life changing and essential if you are ever to eat anything baked or sweet again!”

    ! This is not in the way of eating natural foods. Personally, I find it easy to avoid processed carbohydrate goods (or bads) and I suspect that is because I know them to be bad for me and I have become used to nicer tasting food. It could not be argued that I just don’t have a sweet tooth – I was brought up on lots of carbohydrate loaded stuff and for years ate Mars Bars regularly. I like the odd bit of honey and you can’t get much sweeter than that. Education helps to inform the palate and make it behave sensibly. Eating sweet things throughout the day is hardly natural and sweeteners should not be the answer. If they were, their prices would escalate too.

  38. Randall

    Another crack in the dam from Canada. Cardiologist Dr. David Mymin director of the Lipid Clinic at St. Boniface Hospital (which mainly treats heart problems) states – Other groundbreaking research that has reversed previously prevailing thinking about fats, cholesterol and health involved trans fats — liquid vegetable fats turned into solids. Researchers found hydrogenated oils containing high levels of trans fatty acids, which had been in wide use as a healthy alternative to butter, were more harmful to cardiovascular health than saturated fats. Even more notable is a 2014 study that indicated consumption of saturated fats — a culprit in raising “bad cholesterol” — did not raise heart-disease risk more than diets rich in unsaturated fats, which are generally considered protective. Moreover, it pointed the finger at trans fats and refined sugar. “There’s an element of truth to that,” Mymin says.

  39. Anna

    Mike Cawdery at December 17, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    Sorry, I don’t see the problem with the below quote. They took high risk people and came to the conclusion that even if you have normal cholesterol levels, you benefit from a statin and there is no threshhold below which that is true.

    “Two interesting points: first to quote the summary “Among high-risk patients in this western population (with a minimum total cholesterol [TC] < or = 3.5 mmol/l at entry) there appears to be NO THRESHOLD CHOLESTEROL VALUE below which statin therapy is not associated with benefit; even among those with pre-treatment cholesterol levels below current national recommended target"

      1. chris c

        No no NO!!! What it actually means is that cholesterol levels are still too high and must be lowered even more. Here we have some new and very expensive drugs that do just that!

        Well AFAICR that was how this and similar studies have been interpreted.

    1. David Bailey


      I think the point is that if statins lower the risk of a heart attack (very slightly) as a result of a side effect, rather than by lowering LDL, it would almost certainly be possible to devise a drug that would help prevent heart attacks more effectively, and with fewer side effects.

      1. Umberto Ucelli

        Does anyone know which study shows statins “work” even independently of cholesterol ?
        I always find it suspicious when something works in an unexpected way on the disease being targeted fr other reasons.
        Besides, the weight of evidence is not on any benefit of statins even as in secondary prevention.

        ANd by the way there is no eason a drug would work in secondary prevention and not in primary prevention. Both target the same disease. It just is or difficult tp prove. There is no lack of number of patient studied so , if even the cholesterol crusaders accept statins ae poorly efficiaent in primary prevention. And if you need myriads of patients in RCTs to prove a statistically significant effect, then that effect is small enough to be nothing useful.

        So if there is a new study proving statins eficient please tell me. I would need to change my mind and start myself on statins immediately.

      2. Maureen H

        Thanks to those who clarified that statement by R.C. I couldn’t figure out what the heck he was saying. Maybe that was intentional.

      3. Bill

        They are poison. No efficacy ; lets stop even thinking that they have any benefit. Even if they did, for some spurious reason have a marginal effect on the likelihood of a heart condition what about the well known, often debilitating side effects?

    2. Umberto Ucelli

      What study are you referring to that purpportedly showw statins do simething useful and measurable ?

      1. John U

        Umberto, there are a number of studies which “show” that statins have a very very small positive effect on reducing heart related events, something in the order of 1% to 2%. Even if these results and statistically significant, there is no reason to conclude that statins are actually causative in the results. When the statistical P number is in the order of magnitude of the resulting improvement, i.e. if the P value is around 0.01 and the absolute benefit ratio is around 1.01, the statistical calculations are invalid. This is well know but ignored by the researchers because the media do not understand this concept and the journals are anxious to print something positive that appears to have statistical significance. So the answer to you question is that there are not any believable studies which show that statins diminish the true risk of cardiac events nor prolong life in any important way. But there exists a lot of anecdotal evidence that suggests that the side effects of statins could be very debilitating. The RCT’s don’t show these effects properly because the study subjects are usually triaged for side effects, so that those who do not tolerate the statins well are not included in the final studies. The net result is that the evidence for any benefits is questionably small, if any at all, and the probability of serious side effects is, in my opinion, too high. Of course, then there is the question of science – there is no plausibly rational scientific reason why statins should be beneficial. So all those who take them are, in my opinion playing the equivalent of Russian roulette.

      2. Umberto Ucelli

        John U
        Good evening ,
        Precisely, the studies that show ludicrous benefits but touted as significant are so flawed that their results should’nt event be looked at. This is particularly true for the pre-2005/6 studies in secndary prevention , before some untoward scnadals resulted in publication rules being somehow hardened.

        (We know the rules are not implemented hard enough however with high impact and arrogant medical journals as accomplices, take some anti-emetic and look up : )

        It is a long task to decipher the flaws and cheatings in those studies . A researcher did that , he is well aware of the techniques and rules of good research . His book is there:
        The studies analysis comes late in this book , but it is an astounding read.

        You are very correct in insisting side effects are blanked out with the “wash out” techinique that serves to optimise clinical trials.

        I thought there was a recent study being alluded to that really showed some statin effect. Not the case ?

      3. Bill

        Posted a reply else where on the blog in reference to the efficacy of statins. John U is absolutely correct. My wife worked for a well known Belgian Pharma company. The people who end up on the main trial are effectively those that can tolerate the drug. This is why side effects are ‘minimal’ ‘cos the people in the trial can tolerate the drug.Lets not forget, also, that poison is in the dose. I was ok ( I think) on 20mg of statin per day, 40mg was a different ball game.

  40. HB

    Not for publication…

    Did I inadvertently offend you with my last post where I talked about the thyroid? My comment hasn’t appeared. 😦

  41. Umberto Ucelli

    Good afternoon,
    While official guidelines in many a country are dumb, ill informed and somewhat deleterious, I doubt their responsibility is very high in the obesity/ metabolic syndrome epidemics.
    [Which are caused by high cholesterol and statin deprivation.
    OK I’m kidding.
    Forget the cholesterol]

    But no guidelines ever told to ingest unreasonable amounts of candies chocolate (not much chocolate in them anyway) bars, sweet sodas, ice creams no one said you MUST munch a huge bucket of pop-corn at the movie theatre, and the like.

    In this, industry might (methinks) be more guilty, or rather, the governments are , for not regulating this business. Which is as much “criminogenic” as the tobacco industry , and that of whiky and wine. Oops ! Was joking (can’t refrain) for whisky and (Italian, and less so , other ) wines. Industry does its (sometimes filthy) job of employing people and making money for the CEO and a bit less for investors.

    1. John U

      “But no guidelines ever told to ingest unreasonable amounts of candies chocolate (not much chocolate in them anyway) bars, sweet sodas, ice creams no one said you MUST munch a huge bucket of pop-corn at the movie theatre, and the like.”
      However, nobody told them not to do so either. Nobody told them that it would make them fat. Most of the people are just not that smart.

  42. Errett

    Stress—-plays a role

    Frequent sauna bathing can reduce the risk of dementia, according to a recent study carried out at the University of Eastern Finland. In a 20-year follow-up, men taking a sauna 4-7 times a week were 66% less likely to be diagnosed with dementia than those taking a sauna once a week. The association between sauna bathing and dementia risk has not been previously investigated.

    The effects of sauna bathing on the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia were studied in the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study (KIHD), involving more than 2,000 middle-aged men living in the eastern part of Finland. Based on their sauna-bathing habits, the study participants were divided into three groups: those taking a sauna once a week, those taking a sauna 2-3 times a week, and those taking a sauna 4-7 times a week.

    The more frequently saunas were taken, the lower was the risk of dementia. Among those taking a sauna 4-7 times a week, the risk of any form of dementia was 66% lower and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease 65% lower than among those taking a sauna just once a week. The findings were published recently in the Age and Ageing journal.

    Previous results from the KIHD study have shown that frequent sauna bathing also significantly reduces the risk of sudden cardiac death, the risk of death due to coronary artery disease and other cardiac events, as well as overall mortality. According to Professor Jari Laukkanen, the study leader, sauna bathing may protect both the heart and memory to some extent via similar, still poorly known mechanisms. “However, it is known that cardiovascular health affects the brain as well. The sense of well-being and relaxation experienced during sauna bathing may also play a role.”

    Story Source:

    Materials provided by University of Eastern Finland. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

    1. Umberto Ucelli

      But this is yet to be investigated.
      T’is an observational study and doesn’t prove anything but a corralation, not a causation link.
      We need an RCT.
      unfortunately it has to be blinded . See what I mean ?

  43. JanB

    This sounds like a bit of an early Christmas present. Thanks, Santa Kendrick. Fascinating to see where it will lead. Will there be a pandemic of common sense, I wonder, and red faces?

  44. dave mcalonan

    Malcolm, I have followed your blog for some time and having been a triple bypass recipient 16 years ago, I’m always on the lookout for fresh thinking, ( like yours), and I have commented on it in the past. It’s ultra-complex with the Canadian bravery and the anti-sugar intake stuff, and more time is needed but what do you think of the ‘muscle’ paradigm, ( as opposed to pump), I’m talking about Dr Tom Cowans. I can follow the medical/physiological jargon…does he have a case with the lactic acid flush and strophanthus data? As a personal trainer and au-fait with mitochondrial function, he sounds accurate. I’d welcome any comment in what is already a muggy field.

  45. peter

    I have been told if you take vd2 then you should take vk2. I have read you shouldn’t take vk2 if you have high blood pressure as this can make it worse. Any body know about this. On two meds for bp. hate taking them.

    1. dave mcalonan

      Peter, it is well documented and there are many sources out there. However, briefly, and from what I understand: You need to take VIT D3 WITH VIT K2, ( ie, not standalone). They work together as a complementary model. D3 is the ‘sunshine’ vitamin which we do need in northern latitudes in winter, ( and probably otherwise too…) . K2 has long been touted as the calcium builder for healthy bones skeletal muscular function. BUT, if you take K2 on its own there is apparently a threat of calcification in the soft tissues. Veins and arteries and organs are soft tissue….D3 partnership allows the metabolization of K2 to be used where intended – the skeletal system. I may have used some incorrect jargon here, but I gather that this paradigm is accurate. I hope you check it out start to benefit!

      1. JDPatten

        I believe you’ll find that taking D alone is the calcifier. D needs K2 to keep calcium in bones rather than soft tissue. That’s been the concept. Still waiting on RCTs to verify.

      2. barbrovsky

        Peter, I’ve been taking a 1000 IUs of D3/K2 every other day for the past four years or so, and my level, last time I checked was right in the middle between under and ‘over’. I can get the actual measure if you need it.

      3. barbrovsky

        Way off scale? I don’t think so. I took them straight off the printout I got.

        This is verbatim

        Serum vitamin D: 98 nmol/L

        50 nmol/L: Vitamin D sufficiency
        In certain high risk groups, concentrations of >75nmol/L may be indicated (I’m not sure what this means)

      4. PeggySue

        A year or so ago a couple of tv doctors suggested that vitamin d supplementation was a good idea in the uk (this was before “they” issued the directive that we should all be taking a daily dose of 10mcg).
        Having dutifully checked with my own GP I started taking a daily dose which turned out to be 1000iu/day (25mcg?). I think it is purely d3.

        My understanding is vitamin k2 (and calcium) is fairly widespread in a good diet so supplementation should not be necessary.

        Is this not so?

      5. JDPatten

        The only way to know what the effect is of the dose of D3 that you’re trying is to take the blood test for 25(OH)D. Then you’ll have to decide what the best level is and adjust.
        The vitamin D council suggests taking 5,000 IU a day for a month or so, then take the blood test and adjust accordingly.

      6. Edward Hutchinson

        The basic form of vitamin D3 as made just under the skin surface CHOLECALCIFEROL was thought to be inert but recent research has shown it be actively responsible for stabilising endothelial function.
        Unfortunately, the half-life in cholecalciferol is just 24 hours, so to keep freely bioavailable cholecalciferol in tissue requires a DAILY creation (UVB from sun or tubes,) or consumption of between 5000 and 10,000 iu Vitamin D3. far less than the 10,000-20,000iu made from full body sun/UVB exposure and probably 10x more than any UK would prescribe.
        There is a huge difference between the levels your doctor considers adequate and the levels your body would naturally attain and maintain if given the chance of full body non-burning UVB exposure. You DNA most certainly has it right in that at 125nmol/l human breastmilk is vitamin d replete and there is always surplus cholecalciferol freely bioavailable to upregulate the antimicrobial peptide cathelicidin to fight infection or to resolve inflammation, or maintain endothelial function.
        Because most UK residents have 25(OH)D levels bordering on deficient/insufficient this time of year it is waste of time and money testing everyone.
        We know that 10,000iu daily is absolutely safe and that daily dose can be used by everyone for 2-3 months before a 25(OH)D test is needed to ascertain if optimal 125nmol/l status has been achieved. At that point, a maintenance amount 70 iu for each kilogram of bodyweight will be appropriate.
        Do not rely on prescription vitamin D3. These are not only ridiculously expensive to the NHS but they are also made with additives no sane human should ever consume. Your best best is 10,000iu daily from Amazon or Ebay.
        Vitamin D testing is relatively cheap. PLEASE consider buying a 10 pack and sharing the surplus with family, friends workmates so everyone can benefit from the discounted price.
        When looking at any vitamin D research please check DAILY dosing was used and if at any point in the trial 25(OH)D were higher than 125nmol/l 50ngml. If neither of these conditions applies the research doesn’t pass the common-sense test. You may as well believe in homoeopathy.

      7. Frederica Huxley

        As it happens, not only do I agree with your evaluation of Vitamin D3 dosage and testing, but I have found a number of homeopathic remedies to be, for my family and me, more effective than comparable allopathic pharmaceuticals.

      8. PeggySue

        Many thanks for the vitamin d summary, really interesting. I can see why testing would not even feature in the minds of many gps serving the general population.

      9. JDPatten

        In research science, the state-of-the-art tool for discovering the factuality – or not – of the hypothesis in question is the double-blinded placebo-controlled randomized controlled trial using large numbers of subjects.
        Can we agree that any questions concerning homeopathy will never be answered this way?

    2. Randall

      The supplement that worked the best for me was cocoa polyphenols, but Life Extension stop making it. I lowered my systolic by about 15 to 20 points by now taking many supplements for different reasons, but the supplements I believe that are lowering my BP are – D3 drops, K2mk4, complexed potassium, taurate magnesium, seal oil, black current seed oil, and Q10. Also my triglycerides have been as low as 1.18 as they were high enough before the supplements that my DR. wanted to put me on statins.

      1. Eugène Bindels

        After my bypass, they made me take a small dose of amlodipine. I was supposed to take it for 6 months to avoid muscle spasms in the artery used for the bypass. Turns out, I got serious side effects. So quit those and switched to L-arginine to keep my blood pressure (which is normally not too high to begin with) in the range 120 – 70. L-arginine increases the NO in your blood which does not only relax you blood vessel (hence the lower blood pressure) but is also good for you’re endothelium.

    3. Frederica Huxley

      I haven’t come across any mention of vitamin K2 affecting blood pressure, but I do know that K2 is needed with vitamin D3, to control calcium levels in soft tissue. Vitamin D3, the natural supplementation which is virtually identical to the D3 precursor produced in the skin by exposure to UVB sunlight, is superior to D2 ( I also understand that there is a question of possible toxicity with D2.

  46. mikecawdery

    May I take this opportunity to wish Dr Kendrick and all his readers a very happy Christmas and a very prosperous New Year.

    I would like to thank Dr Kendrick and all those that have contributed comments to his blogs over the last few years. I personally have learnt a lot, something that I appreciate immensely. Thank you all

      1. chris c

        Yes I was impressed enough after a few visits to go back and read the entire blog from beginning to end. Consider a virtual bottle of Scotch heading your way. And a Christmas pheasant. That will save the cost of a drone, it’s a homing pheasant with GPS.

  47. Stephen T

    Today I received a letter from my GP’s Surgery inviting me to book an appointment for my “important review”. This is where they fret about my cholesterol, ask daft questions about my drinking habits and tell me to eat 50% carbohydrates and low-fat food.

    I telephoned the receptionist and informed her that I didn’t want an appointment and could they please stop sending me these letters. She politely asked if she could have a reason to pass on to the doctor. I said, “Because research commissioned by Public Health England says they’re a waste of time and possibly doing harm. Dr Clare Gerada, former chair of the Royal College of GPs, agrees and so do I.”

    ‘Too Much Medicine’. If you haven’t seen this short documentary, it’s good.

    1. chris c

      When we first moved here the surgery was first rate, you could see a GP within days and the staff were friendly, knowledgeable and communicative.

      After a few years it became just another third rate effort, the receptionistas were triaging patients and sending everyone to the nurses whose ability to do stuff other than Follow The Guidelines was nil. It routinely took 3 – 4 weeks to see a doctor and if the appointments list was over four weeks you couldn’t make an appointment at all.

      I suspect a large reason for this was doctors doing “important reviews” and “well person checks” to the extent they were no longer able to actually see ill people.

      This has started to reverse since the PCT was replaced by a CCG and the Practice Manager was replaced by a human, everyone seems to have an order of magnitude less contempt for those damn patients interfering with the smooth running of the surgery, but I don’t see the doctors’ time to see ill people improving much as yet.

  48. Errett

    Format: AbstractSend to

    Nutr Rev. 2017 Jan;75(1):61-70.
    Role of folic acid in nitric oxide bioavailability and vascular endothelial function.
    Stanhewicz AE1, Kenney WL2.
    Author information

    Folic acid is a member of the B-vitamin family and is essential for amino acid metabolism. Adequate intake of folic acid is vital for metabolism, cellular homeostasis, and DNA synthesis. Since the initial discovery of folic acid in the 1940s, folate deficiency has been implicated in numerous disease states, primarily those associated with neural tube defects in utero and neurological degeneration later in life. However, in the past decade, epidemiological studies have identified an inverse relation between both folic acid intake and blood folate concentration and cardiovascular health. This association inspired a number of clinical studies that suggested that folic acid supplementation could reverse endothelial dysfunction in patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD). Recently, in vitro and in vivo studies have begun to elucidate the mechanism(s) through which folic acid improves vascular endothelial function. These studies, which are the focus of this review, suggest that folic acid and its active metabolite 5-methyl tetrahydrofolate improve nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability by increasing endothelial NO synthase coupling and NO production as well as by directly scavenging superoxide radicals. By improving NO bioavailability, folic acid may protect or improve endothelial function, thereby preventing or reversing the progression of CVD in those with overt disease or elevated CVD risk.

    © The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Life Sciences Institute. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail:
    5-methyl tetrahydrofolate; endothelial function; folic acid; nitric oxide

    PMID: 27974600 PMCID: PMC5155615 [Available on 2018-01-01] DOI: 10.1093/nutrit/nuw053

    1. Mr Chris

      Thanks for that. So for good NO is the answer to eat plenty of greenstuff, to aid absorbtion, and no need for beetroot, which I don’t much like?

      1. Errett

        Mr. Chris—you got it—-I love broccoli—avocados—almonds—-no need for that nasty beetroot:)))

        All the best to you—-Merry Christmas

      2. Jennifer

        Please can I be excused from yucky broccoli? I will eat the lovely beetroot instead.
        Seasons greeting to all.

      3. JanB

        Amazing, isn’t it, how we all differ. I just about tolerate broccoli (if doused in a brandy, garlic and cream sauce) I loathe beetroot but, ooh, how I have come to love Sprouts – the garlic and mayo help too.

      4. barbrovsky

        I love broccoli! And bok choi (a relative). BTW, I read somewhere in this thread that broccoli is goitatronic (sp?) and thus bad for my thyroid. This is absolute nonsense! Another one of those myths, like the one about eggs and cholesterol. Broccoli contains a slew of necessary vitamins and minerals inc. B6 and B12 if I’m not mistaken. But I agree, if you eat nothing BUT vast amounts of broccoli, then surely you’ll turn green and nasty things will happen to you.

    1. luanali

      Dr Goran,

      I’ve wondered about taking vitamin E based on Dr. Peter Langsjoen’s caution that above 400 IU, it will interfere with CoQ10. Do you track your CoQ10, or have you noticed this to be true?

      1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg


        I don’t know what “keeping track” on the CoQ10 means and I haven’t heard about any interference with vitamin E. Please, read the PDF-file, there is a lot of BIG Pharma, big money, discrediting of vitamin supplements. The medical business is almost completely corrupt in my eyes.

        I though take supplements now and then and I eat a lot of organ grass fed meat, ox-heart is a favorite, which is as a part of my persistent strict LCHF-culture. Lately (without any reference to any vitamin E interference) I have learnt that supplements with CoQ10 and selenium is extremely beneficial for people my age, 70+ according some well done placebo trials lately, so I will probably introduce this on a regular basis.

        Anyway, my heart seems to be in a surprisingly pretty good shape after all and I just feel great sipping a Scotch single malt whisky (AnCnoc) in front of my fireplace although I have been hit by a nasty flu from which I am now slowly recovering. (I thought I had turned immune 🙂 )

      2. luanali


        Thank you for the link. It’s interesting that the study used a much lower dose (200mg) of CoQ10 than the studies Langsjoen talks about (>300mg), and from what I can tell, they also used the ubiquinone form verses the ubiquinol form that provides much higher absorption. It’s encouraging anyway; ubiquinol is expensive!

        Langsjoen says the very best way to get Q is from chicken hearts, which from what you’ve posted sounds like something right up your alley! 🙂

        Regarding the vitamin E, it’s because of Dr. Langsjoen’s expertise in CoQ10, and the fact that he’s one of us (anti-statin) and probably pals with Dr. Kendrick, that I took note of the vitamin E caution.

        Here’s a video of a Langsjoen lecture. There are many others on Youtube. I believe he mentions the vitamin E interference in this one.

      3. Dr. Göran Sjöberg


        Thank you!

        Internet at its best!

        A great lecture indeed by Dr. Peter Langsjoen which makes my Swedish heart beat stronger since he evidently has Swedish ancestry (Langsjoen is an Americanized version of the name Långsjön which means a narrow large lake typical for the Sweden waterways).

        As you, I suspect that Malcolm may have come across the research carried out by this serious statin “sceptic” (to say the least). Langsjoen is just ripping the veil from the face of this “stinking” medical corruption and as Malcolm expresses it straight out. I might have missed his name if he has appeared here at Malcolm’s blog although the name rings familiar to me.

        About vitamin E he just mentions in passing the problem of absorption of CoQ10 when taken together. It doesn’t seem to be a question of any physiological antagonism and this makes sense to me. What I’ll do is be to separate the intakes when I resume my CoQ10 supplement on a regular basis.

        Thank you again!

      4. luanali

        Langsjoen is one of the contributors to the book Dr. K and Ravnskov just put out, and he’s featured in Statin Nation.

        With regard to the vitamin E, honestly I don’t know exactly if he’s saying that it’s only an inhibitor to CoQ10 if taken at the same time, or that if supplementing with higher doses of E (>400IU) is a problem for Q in general. I spoke to his office last week to arrange for my father-in-law to see him (he’s still a practicing cardiologist), so maybe I’ll get a change to ask him! But yes, Goran, you opened my eyes to the value of vitamin E a long time ago, and I certainly believe your stories, but I suppose like with most things, the devil’s in the details.

        By the way, thank you for sharing so much of your health history and keeping us updated. You’ve certainly been an inspiration to many of us!

      5. David Bailey

        I think everyone should listen to that lecture by Dr. Langsjoen’s lecture on CoQ10 depletion and its relation to statin damage.

        It would be great if Dr K could extend his site to include a selection of videos like this gem which really needs to be watched by as many people as possible.

        I tried taking CoQ10 when I was recovering from statin muscle damage. It didn’t seem to make a lot of difference, but that video probably indicates why – I should have been taking higher doses and consuming them with fatty food. Fortunately I eventually reached the point when there was no problem left to test with C0Q10!

        I was also interested that he mentioned statin side effects occurring years after starting the drug, and thus the danger that neither doctor nor patient makes the connection, so that they go on taking the statin. In my case it took 3 years to see significant side effects, and I think I (not my doctor) was lucky to make this connection, and to confirm it by stopping and starting the treatment..

      6. barbrovsky

        This is interesting. After my heart attack and even though for a few years before, I’d resisted taking the damn things (statins), I relented and initially was 80mg a day! My cholesterol dropped to hair over 1 but my joints started behaving very weirdly, they would lock up, especially my thumbs and elbows and I’d get rising pains over several days in my knees and chest, which would then fade away over a few days.

        The point is, even though I stopped taking the them in March of 2014, I’m still getting my thumb joints locking up, especially my right hand (I’m left-handed). Does this mean the statin has done permanent damage to me??????

        I might add that since stopping the statins, I no longer get the pains in my knees or chest. Was it attacking muscle, bone or ligaments?

      7. Sasha

        They were damaging your liver. The symptoms you’re describing are first signs of the liver being stressed. I think they are even on package insert for statins.

      8. Sasha

        Depends. You should do things to strengthen your joints. Eat soup made of chicken feet. Or aspic. Or take collagen as a supplement.

      9. Agg

        barbrovsky, how about pigs trotters or head? Great for brawn/aspic, esp with a little bit of vinegar, sourdough bread and a shot of freezing cold vodka 🙂

      10. barbrovsky

        Dear Malcolm,
        My thoughts entirely! Except for the shot of vodka, preferably with grapefruit juice. And thank for providing such thought-provoking discussion.

      11. Sasha

        Bone broth then. Chicken feet are very high in collagen, that’s why. They are actually quite tasty when done properly )))

      12. barbrovsky

        Bone broth, chicken feet, chicken bones? I think I’ll tolerate the locked up thumbs thanks very much. In any case, is there any established relationship between these bits of chckens and restoring collagen?

        Have a Happeee!

      13. Sasha

        Is there any established relationship? What does that mean? Try it for a couple of months and then you will establish a relationship)))

      14. Mr Chris

        When I broke my foot I took 5000 units a day of Vit D and 2 gms of vitamin C for collagen fixation. The callouse was very big and the healing very rapid.

      15. barbrovsky

        Sasha, established relationship means cause and effect. I eat chicken feet etc for a period of time and see if it alters my joints? It’s not exactly scientific I know, but short of a randomized trial of chicken feet ingestion (along with placebo chicken feet), it’s all entirely subjective. Look I know the collagen etc inside bones is very nutritious but does it reverse the effects of the statins? You say try it for two months but why two months? Has this been tested? Frankly, it’s all a bit hit and miss.

      16. Sasha

        Unfortunately, if you are looking for a properly done RCT comparing chicken feet eating to a placebo, there aren’t any. Nor is there likely to be one in the future. But I think if you look at the things you do in life, quite a few of them do not have much in terms of RCTs backing their use.

        Chicken feet, aspic, bone broth, etc have centuries of use in Traditional medicine. Ultimately, it’s up to you whether you want to test this on yourself… Good luck with your search!

      17. JanB

        One of the, for me, most pleasing things about stopping statins, apart from the severe nightly foot, ankle and leg cramps, was the whitening of my eyes. They had had a nasty yellowish tinge to them for a long time – I was taking statins for at least ten years then, one day, to my delight, my eyes were restored to a natural whiteness.

      18. Dave McAlonan

        Hello Barbrovsky, I couldn’t resist this one being that your circumstances sound familiar to my own. I’ll try to avoid an earlier mistake whereby I got my D3 and K2 data skewed. I was on high dosage statin, ( Simvastatin, then Zocor), circa 12 years post MI and triple CBG. Ironically, I turned to the fitness industry in an attempt reverse damage and improve my life quality…BUT, I suffered various muscle/joint pains and cramps which I initially attributed to my training regime. Lots of online research later,( and a stand-up verbal battle with my pharmacist), I quit statins. I also received a few incredulous phone-calls from my GP surgery, which I ignored. Following my online process, I arrived at the Co Enzyme Q10 scenario. I could not believe how such a benign antioxidant is actually blocked/depleted by statin interference! The heart is a muscle and its mitochondrial functionality is paramount, and of course CoQ10 is the perfect/logical agent. I realise I’m being over-simplistic being outside the medical profession but I have a vested interest, namely survival. One thing though: As we get older, we apparently biosynthesize CoQ10 (ubiquinone) less efficiently. So, I supplement with ubiquinol, which is the reduced form and so better utilised. Four years on, statin-free and ubiquinol’d-up, I’m physically in good shape and with no ‘bad’ muscle’ conditions. Highly recommended.

      19. barbrovsky

        Dave, it seems you went through the same hell I did! In fact when I stopped taking the statins, it set in motion a train of events that took over year to play out. And all to get me back on statins. First I’m sent to see a ‘consultant’ who tried to get me on an even stronger statin that you take once a week and Ezetimibe, a different kind of cholesterol killer (that the consultant tried to make out was the same as those plant stanols you get in is it yoghurt, which it aint!). Then back again and put on a treadmill and another visit and I’m ultrasounded, then to a lipid nurse and finally back to the consultant. God knows what it all cost the NHS, I would think thousands (no wonder it’s broke!). Finally, my GP apologised for “over-diagnosing me”. Even my BP was messed up because I suffer from the ‘white coat syndrome’, so I’m not sure I even need the blood pressure med. I was also mistakenly put on Bisoprol Fumarate, to control the Angina that I’ve never had! I discovered I was allergic to it after I stopped it as the growths on my feet and head, quickly disappeared. It was the good thing the consultant did for me.

        I’ve read up on CQ10 but it’s quite costly. Currently my total meds (inc. vits etc) consists of aspirin/ranitidine, ramipril and thyroxine. I also take beetroot concentrate twice a day and D3/K2 alt days along with B12 on alt days. But I think exercise has done more for me (I walk about 2 miles a day) and modified my diet somewhat (I switched back to my delicious streaky bacon, eggs, mushrooms and tomatoes for breakfast, instead of muesli, bran etc, which I never liked and I put weight on. But I continue to have a bowl of blueberries and yoghurt pretty much every day.

        Last time I looked, my cholesterol was 4.9 and my BP 128 over 81. I’m not overweight and aside from the hypochondria inflicted on me by the NHS (which I’m trying to get over), I think I’m in pretty good shape for a 71-year old.

        I think my only regret is getting stents put in, but then at the time (my heart attack) I really didn’t have a choice. Can they be taken out I wonder?

      20. Dr. Göran Sjöberg


        Talking bad feelings about Swedes I don’t know i any Scotch has ever been awarded The Nobel Prize?

        Anyway I have stocked up now with two bottles och single malt Scotch Whisky to compensate.

      21. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        Goran. There have been twelve Scottish Nobel prize winners. Scotch is what we call whisky, so I don’t suppose any Scotch has won a Nobel prize, although I think an honorary Nobel prize for Highland Park is long overdue.

      22. David Bailey


        Unfortunately, based on reports by people here, and on other sites, it would seem that a proportion of people suffer permanent joint/muscle damage from statins. Even more unfortunately, it would seem there is no real research into how to treat these problems because they are not supposed to exist!

        I have no idea whether I would have been permanently damaged, but since I normally take a fair bit of exercise, after I ditched the statins I kept going by taking pain killers and exercising regardless. Over a period of about 9 months, all the symptoms went away. Whether this would help you, I have no idea.

      23. barbrovsky

        David, well I stopped taking statins in March 2015 after taking them for 3 yrs and over time the weird pains in my knees and elsewhere disappeared but not my finger and thumb joints locking up! I literally have to unlock them with exercise. How can I be the only one who suffers this? How can the medical ‘profession’ not be aware of this? There’s none so blind as those who do not want to see (or something like that).

      24. Dr. Göran Sjöberg


        The pig head was the actual “crown” on the typical Christmas table in Sweden (evidently not in Scotland) and that head by the way had a red apple stuffed in his mouth for decoration purposes. So whenever you felt for it you could go and cut a slice of whatever part of the head you preferred.

        And the pig “trotters”, as well as those of the reindeer, well cooked were delicacies. Actually these pig feet was one of my fathers favorites although I, myself, was reluctant as evidently also Malcolm. Though, today I am much more openminded but they are difficult to get by as with all healthy and delicious food today. I am happy to be able to still get hold of bones for making my broth.

  49. Dr. Göran Sjöberg


    Please read the pdf-file I linked to and get “convinced” about the benefits of vitamin E.

    Actually my wife, as a T2 diabetic, is just now being exalted when jumping on this train since it seems to have alleviated the remaining peripheral neuropathy problems she has been fighting successfully with our LCHF-culture for seven years. The solution of these serious problems were actually the main reason for us being “converted”.

    BTW, Brighter times are coming about in two hours.

    Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!

    Especially to Malcolm but of course to all followers here.

  50. Sylvia

    May I mention one of my favourite Swedish men, the magnificent Jussi Byorling. Utube will find him, to hear him sing, especially with Victoria De Los Angeles is utter joy.
    Dr Kendrick and all your posters, have a very happy Christmas and peaceful New Year.

  51. Stephen T

    On Monday I declined my surgery’s annual invitation for an “important review” and politely asked not to be sent any more invitations. The system can’t seem to cope with this.

    This morning the surgery rang me and again asked me to speak to the doctor. I said no thank you. When asked why I didn’t want an appointment I again explained that the former president and chair of the Royal College of GPs had both expressed the view that such ‘prevention’ was a waste of time and money. I also pointed out that my last appointment had included advice on diet and cholesterol that I believed to be about 30 – 50 years out of date. I said that I saw no point in listening to backward NHS nonsense on diet, cholesterol and many other matters.

    Will they now leave me alone? Don’t they have enough people who are ill? Am I missing QoF point.

  52. Anne Smith

    Excellent, excellent, excellent :). At long last things are moving in the right direction! Thanks, Dr Kendrick for all your informative and amusing articles.

  53. Charles Gale

    Re. Vitamins D3 and K2 discussion

    Chris Masterjohn is worth checking out on vit K2. It’s my understanding from reading his website that there is no blood test for K2.

    I think if you want to check for calcification in soft tissues you need the CT – CAC scan.

    Not sure where our ancestors got their dietary K2 from, or any modern tribal culture enjoying good health. It wasn’t from eating Gouda cheese and natto as they wandered around in the sunshine getting their vit D3. So, not sure how K2 and D3 are considered needed in unison.

    Any answers?

    1. luanali

      Charles Gale,

      Do you know about the book Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox by Kate Rheaume-Bleue? It’s an excellent book and will answer your questions, including testing. If you don’t want to buy it, you can also go to Amazon and click on the “look inside”. Most of what you’re looking for can be read right there. In terms of sources of K2 pre natto and gouda, grassfed meats and eggs have good amounts (MK4).

      Chris Masterjohn does seem to be the source for D & A info, doesn’t he? It’s interesting that most vitamin D recommendations keep being revised downward based on more recent research, with 50 ng/mL now being the ceiling (used to be 80), with 35 being the sweet spot. Here’s a very interesting discussion about it with Chris Kresser:

    2. Frederica Huxley

      As I understand it, most cultures have utilized fermentation to preserve foods – like natto and cheese as you mentioned – and thereby have had good sources of vitamin K2. Butter, made from milk from grass fed cows, is also high in K2, even if it isn’t cultured.

  54. TS

    Aging can bring a lot of osteoarthritis with it and at multiple sites, with a variety of joint, muscle and nerve symptoms. Statin side effects cannot be blamed for symptoms that can arise in those of us who have never taken them but have arthritis. Some rigid research is necessary to expose the statin damage.

    1. Jean Humphreys

      The nice middle-aged nurse asked me “Why did you give up statins?” “Muscle pain” said I. “Are you sure it wasn’t a touch of arthritis?” “No, dear, my arths are fine, I said MUSCLE.” Do they not teach professionals anatomy these days?

    2. Dr. Göran Sjöberg


      Of course but such rigid research will never be carried out. Who would pay for it?

      The thing, as I see it, is that is more plausible than not that the statin should bring havoc into our metabolism since it interferes with our most essential physiological processes..

      If you haven’t had time to watch the Peter Langsjoen lecture linked to above – please find time for this during these days off. It is a very scientific lecture and very informative.

    3. David Bailey


      Having experiences statin side effects and a small amount of osteoarthritis, I can tell you that they are quite different. Statins make the muscles hurt and cramp in a very peculiar way. The joints hurt too, but the pain is not the same as osteoarthritis.

      However, at the time I still believed statins were valuable, safe drugs, however when I was struggling with a very painful leg, I decided it might help to stop the statins just in case they were exacerbating my problem. Of course, the problem started to recede, and I just thought whatever it was had gone away, and it was time to start my statins again…… About a week later I could feel the problem returning.

      It wasn’t until I had stopped my Simvastatin 3 times, that the penny dropped that this drug was causing my problem. Therefore I think that I can reasonably claim to *know* beyond reasonable doubt what caused my leg pain – which has not returned over the three and a half years since I stopped taking statins.

      If you are a doctor, I suggest you talk to some of your patients – particularly those who have stopped taking their statins. Please listen to them instead of trying to impose your preconceived idea that they just suffered the pains of getting older.

      1. TS

        Re: If you are a doctor, I suggest you talk to some of your patients – particularly those who have stopped taking their statins. Please listen to them instead of trying to impose your preconceived idea that they just suffered the pains of getting older.

        I am not a doctor and I have no preconceived ideas… I am as anti-statins as anyone on this list. But the differences between arthritis and statin damage do need airing. You have begun this airing, albeit in an unfortunate manner.

      2. David Bailey


        Sorry if I thought you were trying to push the conventional line that most/all statin side effects aren’t actually related to statins. I must admit that prior to this experience I was pretty sceptical of all the claims of drug side effects in general. If I was prescribed a medicine (which wasn’t often), I’d read the list of side effects and just laugh!

        I suppose pains do vary qualitatively, and in my experience statin pain was distinctly odd – unfocussed and yet strong. The affected leg had been weakened by childhood polio, and I assumed for some time that I was afflicted by Post Polio Syndrome – which I imagined might explain the unusual sensation! This was why I didn’t realise the statins were at fault until after repeated stops and starts.

        Honestly, I don’t think much research is needed (or it has already been done) to establish the link between statins and muscle damage. I discovered that it is only necessary to chat casually with a few people of about my age, to uncover statin stories. Ordinary people are becoming far more aware of the damage these drugs can do, than the doctors (with honourable exceptions!).


        Obviously there was no way that I could measure my own cholesterol level as I came off the statin, but I think it must obviously have risen as statins undoubtedly inhibit cholesterol synthesis!

    4. Dr. Göran Sjöberg


      To be frank it was easy to misinterpret your comment as a defense for “statination” although not overtly.

      Your comment still raises the question of the specificity of the statin damages. It goes without saying that those parts of our bodies which are the most dependent on cholesterol, e.g. the brain, and/or Q10, e.g. muscles as the heart, are also the most vulnerable parts. But why shouldn’t damage occur everywhere but at various levels and develop with time as Langsjoen insists.

      But as you state research is imperative to shed light on these criminal insulting activities by Big Pharma on the health of hundreds of millons of people world wide . Though, I insist that this research never take place in our present world.

      By the way, my wife just called a elderly relative to wish Merry Christmas and who has been on statins for several years and had grown more and more mentally absent over these years but now all of a sudden seemed to be well connected again. He admitted having stopped taking one of his medicines but he didn’t know which one 🙂

  55. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

    When we now are talking about vitamins in “higher doses” as a self preserving habit among many it is today also a “habit” intensively fought by our medical authorities.

    The bottom line of this is that it at such doses may work “like a medicine” (ask me!) but to mention this is just taboo. For competitive reasons it is Big Pharma which has the exclusive right to define what constitutes a “medicine” and the GP’s to prescribe.

    For sure, my excellent sauerkraut does not belong to that medical category (although Hippocrates claimed otherwise) although I believe it adds to my health.

    So, does preservation of health belong medicine?

    1. Stephen T

      Goran, there was a doctor on the BBC Radio 4 this morning discussing herbal remedies with barely concealed contempt in contrast to what he called “real drugs”. His scepticism of herbal cures might be reasonable, but I doubt that anyone has died from taking them, unlike the mass cull of the public every year killed or harmed by “real drugs”.

      The same argument applies to vitamins. I take several vitamins, and maybe I’m wasting my money, but I seem to be alone at the pool where I swim in avoiding colds this winter. I don’t take any prescription drugs and will not do so in the future unless the benefit is clear. I’ve seen too many people medicated into ill health for the convenience of the pharmaceutical industry. Only this morning I was speaking to a waitress in a cafe whose father took statins and quickly began to lose his memory. According to Sir Rory ‘Statin’ Collins, such people are exceptionally rare, but my brother was one and I keep meeting them. Perhaps Sir Rory doesn’t get out much.

      1. Jennifer.

        Yes….inappropriate over-medication is at the core of many cases of continuing poor health.
        My husband, while in his mid 50s, was diagnosed with pulmonary disease ( a fairly obvious diagnosis as he had smoked from the age of 13 to 38), and prescribed this, that and the other inhalers, with poor response. Now, after 20 years, I have persuaded him to take an inhalation of eucalyptus in hot water, as was practiced years ago. Voila….he can’t believe the relief he is experiencing. When I practiced as an ENT nurse, the Nelson Inhaler was a commonly used soother for such patients, and I do not recall the mass- prescribing of puffers, as we see today.
        (Hubby says that had I lived a few centuries ago, I would have been declared a witch for my non-pharmaceutical interventions; hopefully a nice white witch.)

  56. Charles Gale

    Thanks for the further comments on vit K2 and D3. I am aware of Dr Kate Rheaume-Bleue (from comments on this website) and will check out her book. I’ve enjoyed her presentations on you tube.

    I’d also like to agree with Mike Cawdery’s comments about this site and this community.

    Sadly, I guess a lot of us are all here for the wrong reason i.e. primarily, some sort of cardio vascular event but the website and blog does cover other ground.

    And another reason: we fall into the category of those who take responsibility for their health, as opposed to those who don’t (i.e. those who docilely follow the advice given by their health care professionals). I think Dr K said he wrote for those who are willing to risk thinking for themselves about their health.

    I’ve spent a lot of my recuperation on this website, going all the way back to the blogs starting in 2012. It was like gathering pieces for a jigsaw puzzle – a lot didn’t make sense e.g. that discussion on vit C/scurvy in the diet blog (I forget which number that was) which I skimmed over. Now I know quite a bit more about this – another piece in the puzzle. Trouble is, the 1st read through felt like a gathering of the pieces, now another read through is required to put them into context or some sort of picture.

    I’ve learnt a lot and smiled and had my heart broken. But just very glad that I’m not alone in all this trauma when pointing out the emperor has no clothes on.

  57. John U

    Dr. Kendrick, you said above in response among the long list of responses about weight gain and exercise that
    “Equally, the idea that you can eat any amount of high fat food and not gain weight, is not credible.”
    However, a type 1 diabetic, when not give exogenous insulin, would NOT gain weight. Insulin is what determines whether you will or won’t and not exercise. When a person injects insulin into the same spot regularly, that spot will increase in fat content. People gain fat in different places on the body. Is it exercise of lack of it which determines where we gain fat?

  58. Errett

    i’m sending all of my Orkney cousins a blue light for Christmas—-

    Sunlight allows us to make vitamin D, credited with healthier living, but a surprise research finding could reveal another powerful benefit of getting some sun.
    Georgetown University Medical Center researchers have found that sunlight, through a mechanism separate than vitamin D production, energizes T cells that play a central role in human immunity.

    Their findings, published today in Scientific Reports, suggest how the skin, the body’s largest organ, stays alert to the many microbes that can nest there.
    “We all know sunlight provides vitamin D, which is suggested to have an impact on immunity, among other things. But what we found is a completely separate role of sunlight on immunity,” says the study’s senior investigator, Gerard Ahern, PhD, associate professor in the Georgetown’s Department of Pharmacology and Physiology. “Some of the roles attributed to vitamin D on immunity may be due to this new mechanism.”

    They specifically found that low levels of blue light, found in sun rays, makes T cells move faster — marking the first reported human cell responding to sunlight by speeding its pace.

    “T cells, whether they are helper or killer, need to move to do their work, which is to get to the site of an infection and orchestrate a response,” Ahern says. “This study shows that sunlight directly activates key immune cells by increasing their movement.”

    Ahern also added that while production of vitamin D required UV light, which can promote skin cancer and melanoma, blue light from the sun, as well as from special lamps, is safer.

    And while the human and T cells they studied in the laboratory were not specifically skin T cells — they were isolated from mouse cell culture and from human blood — the skin has a large share of T cells in humans, he says, approximately twice the number circulating in the blood.

    “We know that blue light can reach the dermis, the second layer of the skin, and that those T cells can move throughout the body,” he says.

    The researchers further decoded how blue light makes T cells move more by tracing the molecular pathway activated by the light.

    What drove the motility response in T cells was synthesis of hydrogen peroxide, which then activated a signaling pathway that increases T cell movement. Hydrogen peroxide is a compound that white blood cells release when they sense an infection in order to kill bacteria and to “call” T cells and other immune cells to mount an immune response.

    “We found that sunlight makes hydrogen peroxide in T cells, which makes the cells move. And we know that an immune response also uses hydrogen peroxide to make T cells move to the damage,” Ahern says. “This all fits together.”

    Ahern says there is much work to do to understand the impact of these findings, but he suggests that if blue light T cell activation has only beneficial responses, it might make sense to offer patients blue light therapy to boost their immunity.

    Story Source:

    Materials provided by Georgetown University Medical Center. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

  59. Anna

    Hey Goran et al,

    Regarding supplementing with COQ10. I had noticed in my old age that during the winter I become very deconditioned if I don’t watch out and I began taking COQ10. But then I saw the herb Arjuna in the health food store and with that I noticed a real difference. I’m talking about getting out of breath easily, that sort of thing. (Arjuna was the greatest warrior around during the time of Krishna.)

  60. Anna


    My understanding is that the cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, brussels) should be cooked to delete the issues for the thyroid. Fermenting as in saurkraut also works.

    I’m wondering about all the people taking K2. I take cod liver oil for D3. I look at the sources for K2 and think I probably get enough in my diet.

    1. barbrovsky

      Like I said before, unless you eat nothing but broccoli etc, everything I’ve read on the subject seems to indicate that the negative effects are only apparent if you eat nothing but RAW broccoli. A light steaming, 4 minutes, takes care of that.

  61. Anna

    You don’t even have to eat the chicken feet. We keep a bunch in the freezer. Put one in some soup and it flows out of the feet and makes a lot of gelatin in the soup. Taking gelatin, like even in jello, will help a lot with arthritis. Then, we give the actual feet to the dogs, who consider them a delicacy of the highest order.

  62. HenryL

    “If this carries on, I will have nothing left to blog about soon. Suits me.”
    Well there’s a rare reason to hope the world carries on being as infuriating as usual!

  63. Roisin Costello

    Malcolm , very interesting to see shift coming in consensus view re nutrition and diet as per the doctors who recently emailed you . I have been in touch with you before and am delighted to find that people are beginning to recognise your name and views globally . You will be vindicated ! I was also intrigued by posts of your s re leptin and grehlin rather than insulin metabolism requiring in depth study
    it’s always refreshing to hear from original thinkers . Good work , keep it up
    Roisin Costello GP Tipperary Ireland

  64. carlrcraven

    I recently watched a video in which you posted data from the bhf website about rates of heart disease across europe compared to intake of staturated fat. I went to the site wondering what I would find. It kind of saddened me to see advice that is still 40 years old as if no one at that organization seems to be doing no real research that actually adds to heart health.

    Almost everything is towing the party line (which seems to come out of the USA). It really angers me. Such a hard uphill battle against medical professionals and uniformed family members and friends who still see nothing more than pills fix things, eggs are bad because they are full of cholesterol (never mind that it is full of the ‘supposed’ good cholesterol) and that we should stuff our faces with carbs as an energy source.

    I really hope this is the beginning of an avalanche.

    1. AH Notepad

      Don’t get angry, that would cause stress which would have adverse effects on the heart. Be thankful that most people are wedded to carbs. If they all wanted to eat saturated fats and eggs there would be a shortage and the price would rocket. It’s an ill wind……………………..

  65. lotus604

    I have just seen a food programme on the BBC, stating that Coconut oil is 93% saturated fat,therefore it is not a healthy oil to use. What chance have you got when they are telling the world such things?

      1. barbrovsky

        Malcolm, it would be hilarious if it wasn’t so tragic, to see the NHS and its boosters in a minefield of of its own making! Several times now on the BBC, I’ve seen ‘experts’ twisting in the wind as they try to explain why FAT may not be so bad after all but of course, they finally admit that ‘things change’. I’ll say! Next we’ll hear that statins might not be the ‘wonder drug’ after all.

    1. AH Notepad

      If they said it was healthy the price would go up, so be thankful. They are a bit stupid though, as other programs on the same channel have indicated it is healthy, so you pick whichever suits. Though it might be healthy, I like it for sweet dishes (erk!!! High carbs) but I don’t like it for general cooking.


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