What causes heart disease part XXIII

As 2016 draws to an end, I believe that a change is in the air. The dietary guidelines, or perhaps I should call them the ‘dietary misguidedlines’, are under a sustained attack. This, finally, may actually result in success. We will be able move on from believing that fat, or saturated fat, in the diet is responsible for cardiovascular disease or, indeed, any form of disease.

But where to then? The current dogma is that saturated fat in the diet raises cholesterol levels and this, in turn, leads to cardiovascular disease. However, as many of you may have spotted earlier this year, in the Minnesota Coronary Experiment (MCE), substituting saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat was effective at lowering cholesterol levels. However, it had absolutely no effect on deaths for heart disease, and greatly increased the overall risk of death.

The summary of this trial was, as follows:

  • It involved 9423 women and men aged 20-97
  • A cholesterol lowering diet was used, replacing saturated fat with linoleic acid (from corn oil and corn oil polyunsaturated margarine).
  • The low saturated fat group had a significant reduction in serum cholesterol compared with controls.
  • There was no evidence of benefit in the intervention group for coronary atherosclerosis or myocardial infarcts.
  • For every 0.78mmol/l reduction in serum cholesterol [Around a 20% reduction], there was a 22% higher risk of death [This is about a 30% reduction in cholesterol level]

Big deal, you might think. This is just one trial, so what difference does it make. However, this was no ordinary trial. It was absolutely pivotal for four main reasons:

  • It was the largest controlled trials of its kind ever done. That is, substituting saturated with polyunsaturated fats.
  • It was done by Ancel Keys (who started the entire diet-heart hypothesis in the first place)
  • It was finished, before the main clinical nutritional guidelines were developed
  • It was not published at the time, for reasons that have never been explained, by anyone.

As the authors of the re-analysis note.

Whatever the explanation for key MCE data not being published, there is growing recognition that incomplete publication of negative or inconclusive results can contribute to skewed research priorities and public health initiatives. Recovery of unpublished data can alter the balance of evidence and, in some instances, can lead to reversal of established policy or clinical practice positions.” 1

Which is a polite way of saying that a bunch of liars hid the results. Almost certainly because the results contradicted their self-promoted message that saturated fats are unhealthy. It is clear that these researchers, in particular Ancel Keys, did this quite deliberately, and then continued to promote their own dietary dogma.

I think it is almost impossible to overestimate the long-term impact of the non-publication of this trial.

  • For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
  • For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
  • For want of a horse the rider was lost.
  • For want of a rider the message was lost.
  • For want of a message the battle was lost.
  • For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
  • And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

Here is my updated version

  • For want of the MCE trial evidence the McGovern hearings were lost
  • For want of the hearings the guidelines were lost
  • For want of the guidelines the message was lost
  • For want of the message battle was lost
  • For want of the battle saturated fat was lost
  • All for the want of the MCE trial data.

The McGovern hearings which set the entire direction of nutritional thinking, and guidelines, took place in 1977. The MCE trial ran from 1968 to 1973. Had the data from this study been made available, the dietary guidelines in the US, the UK and the rest of the world (In their current form, demonising saturated fat) simply could not have been written.

If those guidelines had not been written, then the entire world of cardiovascular research would almost certainly have gone off in a different direction. The role of LDL in causing CVD would have been consigned to the dustbin history. Goldstein and Brown wouldn’t have done their research on Familial Hypercholesterolaemia, statins would never have been developed, and we not have been forced to endure fifty years of the damaging, destructive diet-heart/cholesterol hypothesis.

The fact that the diet-heart/cholesterol hypothesis is complete nonsense, has been clear as day to many people for many years. In 1977 George Mann, a co-director of the Framingham Study, writing in the New England Journal of Medicine called it ‘the greatest scam in the history of medicine.’ In my view, anyone with a moderately functioning brain, can easily see that it is nonsense.

So, if not fat and cholesterol, what does cause cardiovascular disease, and more importantly, what can be done to prevent it, or at least delay it? At last (some of you are thinking) I will state what I believe to be one of the most important things you can do to reduce the risk.

Returning to the central process of cardiovascular disease (CVD), for a moment. If you are going to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, you must do, at least, one of three things:

  • Protect the endothelium (lining of blood vessels) from harm
  • Reduce the risk of blood clots forming – especially over areas of endothelial damage
  • Reduce the size and tenacity (difficulty of being broken down) of the blood clots that develop

If you can do all three, you will reduce your risk of dying of a heart attack, or stroke, to virtually zero.

What protects the endothelium?

There are many things that that can do this, but the number one agent that protects the endothelium is nitric oxide (NO). Thus, anything that stimulates NO synthesis will be protective against CVD. Which brings us to sunshine and vitamin D.

  • Sunlight on the skin directly stimulates NO synthesis, which has been shown to reduce blood pressure, improve arterial elasticity, and a whole host of other beneficial things for your cardiovascular system, not least a reduction in blood clot formation.
  • Sunlight on the skin also creates vitamin D, which has significant impact on NO synthesis in endothelial cells, alongside many other actions. It also prevents cancer, so you get a double benefit.

Therefore, my first direct piece of direct advice for those who want to prevent heart disease, is to sunbathe. In the winter when the sun is not shining take vitamin D supplementation. Alternatively, go on holiday to somewhere sunny. Or get a UVB sunbed, and use it.

My only note of warning here is to say, don’t burn, it is painful and you don’t need to.

By the way, don’t worry about skin cancer. Sun exposure protects against all forms of cancer to a far greater degree than it may cause any specific cancer. To give you reassurance on this point, here is a Medscape article, quoting from a long-term Swedish study on sun exposure:

‘Nonsmokers who stayed out of the sun had a life expectancy similar to smokers who soaked up the most rays, according to researchers who studied nearly 30,000 Swedish women over 20 years.

This indicates that avoiding the sun “is a risk factor for death of a similar magnitude as smoking,” write the authors of the article, published March 21 in the Journal of Internal Medicine. Compared with those with the highest sun exposure, life expectancy for those who avoided sun dropped by 0.6 to 2.1 years.

Pelle Lindqvist, MD, of Karolinska University Hospital in Huddinge, Sweden, and colleagues found that women who seek out the sun were generally at lower risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and noncancer/non-CVD diseases such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and pulmonary diseases, than those who avoided sun exposure.

And one of the strengths of the study was that results were dose-specific — sunshine benefits went up with amount of exposure. The researchers acknowledge that longer life expectancy for sunbathers seems paradoxical to the common thinking that sun exposure increases risk for skin cancer.

“We did find an increased risk of…skin cancer. However, the skin cancers that occurred in those exposing themselves to the sun had better prognosis,” Dr Lindqvist said.”2

In short, avoiding the sun is a bad for you as smoking. In my opinion ordering people to avoid the sun, is possibly the single most dangerous and damaging piece of health prevention advice there has ever been. The sun has been up there, shining down, for over four billion years. Only very recently have we hidden from it. If you believe in evolution, you must also believe that sunshine provides significant health benefits. It cannot be otherwise.

Happy, sunny, CVD risk reduced, 2017

I have just added a little poem that was just sent as a comment on my blog. Thanks for the laugh.

Ancel Benjamin Keys
Researched dietary disease.
When the facts turned out contrarian,
He simply up and buried ’em. [Martin Back]

1: http://www.bmj.com/content/353/bmj.i1246
2: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/860805

988 thoughts on “What causes heart disease part XXIII

  1. Clathrate

    As a long term ‘silent’ follower, I’d like to come out of the woodwork to say how brilliant and informative this series (and the ensuing discussions on the forum) have been. Absolutely love it and have learnt so much. A very Merry Christmas and a Happy & Healthy (and sunny) new year to Dr K. and to all.

    Reply
  2. gillpurple

    Dr K, thank you for all your hard work and publishing another great blog on Christmas Eve. What continues to amaze me is the skullduggery and deception in research that has obviously being going on for many decades, in this case deliberately not publishing because the results contradicted the hypothesis being tested out.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you Dr K and all the other good folks on here.

    Reply
  3. robert lipp

    Another Swiss corp – Swiss Re – a rather large international business has come out in the LCHF discussion.

    Why?
    “… Swiss Re is one of the world’s largest, if not the largest, life reinsurer. They have multiple billions of US dollars’ risk exposure on long-term mortality, morbidity, longevity and medical-expense insurance cover. Thus, trends in life expectancy changes and serious disease incidence, including resulting occupational incapacity, are crucial to their business and bottom lines.”

    What did they say?
    “Global reinsurer Swiss Re is calling for radical reform of low-fat, high-carb dietary guidelines. The call follows global investment bank Credit Suisse’s damning report on the guidelines in 2015. Swiss Re devotes its last medical newsletter of 2016 to a research demolition job of the guidelines.
    In it, Swiss Re Chief Medical Officer Dr John Schoonbee calls the guidelines a “failed human experiment” over decades.”

    http://foodmed.net/2016/12/23/swiss-re-dietary-guidelines-failed-human-experiment/

    Dr Kendrick – merry Christmas and excellent Health to you and yours and all your many readers.

    Reply
  4. Christopher Palmer

    As 2016 draws to a close I too am heartened at the progress of the sustained attack on those dogmatic dietary mis-guidlines. News has seemingly reached the front pages of certain tabloid newspapers which is ironic because one certain tabloid newspaper did a great deal to promote the market driven non-solution to the problem of heart attacks, and in so doing championed the longevity of those freakin falsehoods.

    I read the book, btw, the one conceived as a dedication to the tireless efforts of Uffe Ravnscoff, the one edited by Dr Paul Rosch. It is very good. There is some repetition as is inevitable when several authors lend their views upon much the same matters. And I think there are some omissions. There are some things that can be said about cholesterol and about HMG-CoA reductase in the wider context of biology that can gift a mind with an entirely new high spot from which to look down upon all the dogmatic nonsense.

    Furthermore the book could do with a chapter dedicated to physics. From the point of view of understanding why life goes wrong and can give rise to heart attacks and strokes and cancer it would help to come to an assured understanding of what life is. And there is much about the membranes of cells that can only be explained properly with recourse to mention of physics.

    My gut feeling about the splitting of the hypotheses surrounding thrombogenesis is a great step forwards. That’s to say that even from my limited lay view is that thrombogenesis may well arise independently of unstable plaques rupturing and releasing clotting factors. Hence thrombogenesis may arise independently of the progress of atherosclerosis.

    Atherosclerosis, I am beginning to consider it a possibility, could arise because of epigentic corruption, but such thoughts are not ones that have been explored to any significant extent as yet. However a number of sources and findings that I have read into of late are suggestive of links between membrane potentials and maintenance of the epigenome, and one paper exposes a more dynamic aspect to genes switch between ‘off’ and ‘on’ states and as having some diurnal responses and drivers. That could be a major step forwards in scientific cognition.

    Membrane potentials, according to the writing of Jerry L Tennant can fall through a lack of adequate maintenance. The work of of Robert O Becker and the writing of Tennant suggest any decline in maintaining adequate membrane potential has consequence for the mapping of the epigenome. In the simplest terms adequate membrane potentials seem to maintain any cell-types sense of function over the cycles of mitosis. Degradation of membrane potentials seems to permit degradation of any cell-types sense of function and does so, seemingly, through degradation of the mapping of aspects of the epigenome. I stress, I simply have not had the time to pursue these curiosities to the extent that I feel I must.

    But I’d just like to give the science of physics a big-up. Physicians are already burdened with enough to learn and to think about and they would perceive physics is not so relevant to their concerns. That’s a shame because there is more physics that underpins the workings of physiology than most physicians could possibly account for. The more fundamental one is prepared to be, the more involved affairs seem at first, and after a mind can grasp the essence going all fundamental about stuff actually simplifies some things significantly.

    At the end of the day we are matter. We are but one species amongst innumerable species that are matter that has come to life. And when you go all fundamental and wonder how matter can come to life the fundamentals make it plain how little the distinction has to work with. What you wind up with is reverence for the force of electromagnetism and the phenomenon of quantum electrodynamics (QED). To top that we can thank Gerrald Pollack for casting light upon the properties of water and the extent to which water molecules feel the effects of QED. That explains a lot about how matter came to life.

    Reply
    1. John U

      Forgive me for being so critical of anything posted by Chris Palmer but I just about can’t help it. Just recently I read a post on the site “Science Based Medicine” which made me think of Chris Palmer. You can read the post at this link:
      https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/ohnomopomo-justifications-and-unsolicited-advice/
      It has to do with myths in science and how easily they can get propagated by apparently credible channels. In this blog post, the author quotes from an article written by Alan Sokol (for publishing) to demonstrate how such a process can work. Alan Sokol wrote a paper which was complete nonsense, but shrouded in very technical language so as to appear probable and true. He wrote, for example:
      “In quantum gravity, as we shall see, the space-time manifold ceases to exist as an objective physical reality; geometry becomes relational and contextual, and the foundational conceptual sciences — among them, existence itself — becomes problematized and relativized.”
      “Sokal continues with a lengthy and jargon rich argument that uses Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, Einstein’s theory of relativity, and an array of other naming conventions from particle physics to essentially say that scientific epistemology is subjective, and that quantum mechanics only demonstrates its lack of objectivity.”
      The article was published in spite of being vetted by apparently skilled scientists. That is how easy it is to fool even knowledgeable people, let alone lay people.

      Reply
      1. Stephen T

        John, I like your point about Alan Sokol, but he was exposing the nonsense in the social sciences, not physics. Any old pretentious drivel could be published in the social sciences to hide the lack of any real content.

    2. Eric

      The first three paragraphs seemed reasonable, then the next had me scratching my head and trying to follow, and then your post fell apart with each new paragraph. Are you the guy who’s into earthing and stuff?

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        Jillm: It would certainly make sense that a low fat diet would be lower in dietary vitamin D, since it is a fat-soluble vitamin, and in a vegetarian diet as well, since it is found only in foods from animals. It may be possible to maintain good vitamin D status with a diet rich in seafood; a portion of salmon which I customarily eat contains about 800 IU. But I think Dr. Kendrick is absolutely right about the value of sun exposure, not only for the vitamin D-producing UVB, but for other wavelengths of the spectrum as well, which clearly provide benefits.

      2. Eric

        Gary, interesting point. I have been looking into UVB light sources lately. Apparently, there is a narrow band source that emits mainly 311 nm and is meant mainly for treatment of skin diseases like psoriasis. It is made by Philips, and there is a copycat version by Arimed that has slightly more short wavelength UVB output:
        https://www.lighting.philips.com/b-dam/b2b-li/en_AA/products/special-lighting/phototherapy/downloads/new_light_source_for_narrowband_uvb_phototherapy.pdf

        Then there is a broadband UVB source by Philips and another by Ushio that is slightly narrower.

        The Philips 311 nm source is also advertised for vitamin D generation by way down in the list. Its spectrum occupies only a tiny part in the long wavelength tail of the vitamin D generation spectrum, so its efficacy is 5x down compared to broadband UVB, however, its erythema potential is more than 10x lower.

        So it looks like a good deal: get plenty of UVB while minimizing the potential for skin cancer. However, what about the other beneficial effects of UVB light, such as NO generation? Are they also triggered by 311 nm narrowband light or do they need shorther wavelengths? I tried to find some information on this but have come up empty handed so far. Has anybody had more success?

        Also, I wonder if the self-regulation by photolytical decomposition of vitamin D precursors works with narrowband light. On the other hand, at moderate doses it is probably not a driving concern.

      3. Gary Ogden

        Eric: It is UVA which stimulates production of NO, so we can benefit year round, except above the Arctic Circle. I would go with the broadband UVB, since that is more like what we are exposed to naturally. I am going to purchase one, and your comment will be very helpful in my search. Thanks!

      4. Eric

        Gary, didn’t realize it was UVA. We do get some of that through window panes. I doubt the triple paned, silver coated windows we now have almost everywhere in Germany allow that much UVA through but car windows probably do.

        The broadband lamp still does not have any UVA, but do you know if the NO generation spectrum extends all the way to 311 nm, which sits at the long end of UV? In that case, narrowband is probably the way to go.

        I have actually started collecting spectra of various lamps. Are you situated in North America or ROW? Philips seem to market a different line to NA, and some other lamps might not be available outside of Europe.

      5. chris c

        I suspect a low fat diet causes low levels of EVERYTHING, but especially fat-soluble nutrients.

        Think about it, if you have to eat the Government sponsored 230 – 300g carbs including 70 – 90g sugar, or worse still the 350g carbs suggested by Joslin for diabetics, or the 400g retweeted by a leading (well she believes so) UK dietician, you are going to have to avoid foods containing nutrition in order to fit them in.

      6. Eric

        Gary, you were absolute right about UVA producing NO and particularly NO*.

        We had a couple of cold but beautifully sunny days here, and I tried to get as much as possible. At this latitude (almost the same as Vancouver) as week after solstice, there wouldn’t be any UVB but still plenty of UVA. Maybe this explains why it made me content but drowsy hours after. On the other hand, I find that even in overcast conditions, working outside in the winter air almost always makes me drowsy.

      7. Gary Ogden

        Eric: Yes, sunny days in winter make me go outside happily. This is when I do my winter pruning. But cloudy days in winter don’t please me at all, nor the cats, for that matter. I get some vitamin D from food each day, and I’m still not certain whether I will get a lamp or take supplements, but I am going to check out the lizard light; if information is available about the spectrum they produce, and the price is right, this may be the way to go.

  5. Mr Chris

    Dr K
    Fantastic Christmas present.
    One question, what about actinic Kerastasis, I thought that was a dangerous side effect of sun exposure?

    Reply
      1. mr Chris

        ah yes, Kerastasis is the french spelling
        does this not lead to squamous skin cancer?
        when you say get into the sun, presumably without factor 50?

      2. JP Sand

        Xmas gift to Dr. Kendrick…as reported by Medscape Dec 21, 2016:
        http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/873557
        **************************************************************************************************************
        DROP IN TROPONIN 1, NOT CHOLESTEROL, PREDICTS CHD RISK IN WOSCOPS
        **************************************************************************************************************
        Excerpt: “GLASGOW and EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND — In a study of middle-aged men with hypercholesterolemia who were randomized to pravastatin or placebo, those whose cardiac troponin subtype I (troponin I) levels dropped as opposed to increased at 1 year were much less likely to have a nonfatal MI or die from coronary heart disease (CHD) during follow-up.

        Moreover, in this analysis of data from the West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study (WOSCOPS), change in troponin I levels predicted future coronary events independent of cholesterol lowering.

        These preliminary findings are being described as “exciting,” “provocative,” and even “revolutionary.”

        “Serial troponin measurements have major potential to assess cardiovascular risk and monitor the impact of therapeutic interventions,” Dr Ian Ford (University of Glasgow, Scotland) and colleagues conclude, in their study published online December 19, 2016 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology”…

        References:

        1) Ford I, Shah ASV, Zhang R, et al. High-sensitivity cardiac troponin, statin therapy, and risk of coronary heart disease. J Am Coll Cardiol 2016; 68:2719–2728. Article

        2) Jaffe AS, Wright S. High-sensitivity cardiac troponin and primary prevention: An important new role. J Am Coll Cardiol 2016; 68:2729–2732. Editorial

      3. JDPatten

        Many of us who have liked the sun, and are of an age, have plenty of what my GP calls “skin barnacles”, otherwise known as Seborrheic Keratosis. This skin anomaly is benign, but inconvenient.
        Actinic keratosis, however, can be dangerous. Ten percent or so of these can develop into cancer.
        So, it would be good to reliably differentiate between the two before you get too excited (or not excited enough!) about what you’ve got.

      4. chris c

        The troponin paper

        http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0735109716366992

        pdf available

        Pity people weren’t looking at this for all the time they were obsessed with “cholesterol”

        Another recent study

        http://www.bmj.com/content/355/bmj.i5953

        pdf available, also comes with a movie that badly needs its subtitles. A metastudy (for what that’s worth) backing up what was known long ago and since largely ignored about the effects of glucose, and surely also insulin, or CVD risk.

        A friend’s elderly cardiologist called Type 2 “a cardiovascular disease sometimes associated with high BG” which goes back directly to Joseph Kraft and Gerald Reaven.

        Caught plenty of rays today, which was good.

      1. Frederica Huxley

        Interesting – I use magnesium oil daily, but have never know about applying it to keratoses!

      2. JanB

        No, neither had I until I read about it on this blog (I think,) I’ll try anything once (within reason) but it really worked. So thank you to whoever posted.

      3. Anne

        What kind of magnesium oil ? I’ve never heard of it before, would welcome a recommendation since I have some of those keratoses.
        Anne

      4. Gary Ogden

        Anne: The “magnesium oil” I use is not an actual oil but a concentrated magnesium chloride brine “from the ancient Zechstein Sea,” and should be fairly easily available. Speaking of keratoses, mine have almost completely gone away since I stopped taking the ACE inhibitor (lisinopril). Astonishing all the health benefits from not taking drugs!

      5. Gary Ogden

        Caz: I weaned off of it-a few weeks at a half dose and a few weeks at a half dose every other day. I don’t take my blood pressure at home because it has become a negative feedback loop. It is what it is, and I feel and sleep better without the drug, and my workout goes better without it. I’ll expire when I do, and I will do so drug free.

      6. JanB

        Hello Anne – are you in the U.K.? I buy my magnesium oil from Holland & Barrett – the make is “Better You.” I get shocking,intractable cramp in my feet and it works wonders, soothing away the pain within seconds. Regarding the tiresome skin lesions, I read about it, I’m pretty sure, on this site.

      7. Anne

        Thanks Gary, but just realised I need to know if you put it on the keratoses ? I take capsules of magnesium citrate which haven’t done anything for the keratoses – first I’ve heard of something that will make them go away so wondering too if you apply the oil to them directly.
        Anne

      8. Gary Ogden

        Anne: I just did for the first time (spray it on my forehead and scalp-it stung a bit, but not much), after I read your comment. My keratoses seemed to disappear among the cascade of improvements in my health that followed stopping the lisinopril. There is still a little bit of roughness, but we’ll see if the magnesium oil improves that. Can’t hurt.

      9. Anne

        JanB – yes I’m in the UK – will have a look at H&B or Amazon.

        Gary – I’ll try the spray, but I’m not on blood pressure medications, not on anything like that. The keratoses are in areas which were very overexposed to sun when I was younger – spending holidays sitting out in the midday sun in June in the south of France !

      10. Gary Ogden

        Anne: I’ve noticed just after one application the skin is softer, so I’m going to keep it up. I have them only on my forehead and scalp. I take no drugs, but I am going to pick up some L-citrulline powder.

      11. Eugène Bindels

        Loose powder is many times cheaper than capsules. How can I be sure that I buy loose powder is not contaminated? At a certain website I came across a certificate of analysis. I just do not know how to interpret the figures presented.

  6. Chris B

    Thanks for yet another very wise and insightful essay. As someone who has had angina and been stented, I am interested in anything that can protect, or even reverse, my coronary problem. So, I shall get myself some vitamin d, and seek the sun. Presumably you have more to day on the subject of prevention of chd and in my case reversal too? I hope so. Thanks again.

    Reply
    1. finty56

      Hi Chris
      I’m not sure if you will believe me but this was my experience.At age 45 I suffered a massive heart attack whilst jogging on the beach. Granted my cholesterol was high my doctor had me on statin drugs for quite a while before the event. There was a history of heart disease in our family, my mother lost three brothers from heart disease in their early fifties.Since my heart attack in 2000 I had Benny taking statin drugs up to 2012 but I couldn’t help feeling really tired all the time despite taking regular exercise and sleeping well. I did some research on the subject and there was an alternative opinion to the usual prescribe statins by the doctor.
      I must admit that I was open to an alternative method after I had spoken to some people that had tried Proargi 9 plus.At the end of 2012 I decided to stop taking statin drugs in favour of Proargi 9 plus a natural product that helps the body to produce more nitric oxide which in turn relaxes blood vessels and cleans the cardiovascular system.In 2015 I had been on the product for two years so I had an angiogram the Cardiologist was very pleased with the results my cardiovascular system was completely clear of plaque even though my cholesterol was above 6 points. I have never felt better my email is fintanduggan@gmail.com if you need any further info
      Regards
      Fintan Duggan

      Reply
  7. HenryL

    Yes Merry Xmas etc. Dr.K. Keep up the good work! (And enlist the aid of the chap who offered to do the proofreading/spellchecking 🙂
    + similar seasonal wishes to all you regular and irregular commenters here whose presence and contributions make for such a good blog site.

    Reply
  8. thelastfurlong

    So are sunscreen lotions another bit of bad advice? I was reading about the idea they cause cancer. But maybe the cancer occurs because the UV light is blocked from the skin? “skin cancers that occurred in those exposing themselves to the sun had better prognosis”

    Oh – did you see the new paper on blue frequencies (irradiated from artificial light) on T Cell stimulation, Vit A production and more that just came out? Very fascinating for me because for 20 years I have used light frequencies for healing myself. With the invention of LED’s it has become super easy. For women, Red frequencies on the face is a skin improver supreme. “Beauty” light!

    I’d love a sunny Christmas – but I don’t think it’s going to happen. Not for us here in the North (where incidences of all sorts of illnesses are higher than the sunny South). I’ve always felt sure it’s our lack of sun. Pity about that, yes?

    Happy Christmas, everyone.

    Reply
    1. Stephen T

      Don’t use sunscreen when you want vitamin d, but don’t burn. I try to get 20 – 30 minutes when the sun is at its highest, but always err on the side of caution about burning.

      Reply
    2. john

      Perhaps not only sunblock but sunglasses. There was a researcher who had some interesting observations about constant use of sunglasses vs instances of skin cancer and some other issues which I don’t recall. If I recall correctly there was also something in his notes about the pineal gland and wavelengths of light absorbed through the eye with and without sunglasses.
      There was some evolutionary evidence that blue eyed fair skinned people are native to areas like Britain and Scandinavia with low levels of sunlight from either cloud or low sun angle. This allowed better sunlight absorption through the eyes and skin. When they move to higher sunlight areas, they can develop eye problems or skin cancers from too much sun exposure which dark eyed skinned people seem to avoid. So for those fair people some eye and skin exposure without protection but not to excess.
      There were other explanations, via diet I believe, to account for darker skinned sammi and inuit etc in some of those same areas. Not sure what happened to the researcher. Perhaps lost his funding. Or deceased.
      But it was interesting stuff. Pre popular Internet so not sure what happened to his stuff.

      Reply
      1. chris c

        I read on the internet, so it may not be true, that bright enough light can actually impinge directly on the pineal gland AKA third eye. So don’t wear a hat either.

    3. Eric

      thelastfurlong: this is the paper you were referring to
      http://www.nature.com/articles/srep39479

      Maximum at 480 nm which is near the green end of blue.

      LED lighting (white LEDs) usually have a blue LED at ~ 440 nm and a phosphor that downconverts to white light while leaving plenty of blue. So if you have plenty of LED lighting, you are getting your dose of blue already. 440 nm efficiency for T cell signaling is only 30% of the peak efficiency at 480 or <=350 nm.

      There are also blue phosphorescent tubes such as the Philips TL-D 36W blue, but they are also centered at 450 nm and pretty broad, so only about 10% of their spectrum goes towards T-cell signaling.

      Reply
  9. Maureen H

    Aaah. Bulletproof coffee and Dr. K’s latest. What a great way to start the day. Thank you so much Dr. Kendrick for your continued amazing series of blogs. And a very enjoyable Christmas and New Year to you, your family and everyone on this blog.

    Reply
  10. annielaurie98524

    Thank you for another great article, Dr. K! Besides the results of the MCE study, there are numerous studies (many of which Dr. K has cited in previous articles) showing that, for folks over 65, higher serum cholesterol levels correlate directly with lower all-cause mortality. So, why is the med establishment still injuring people (neuro damage, increased risk of Alzheimer’s, etc.) by putting them on statins to lower their cholesterol??? I suspect money is the driver. And how did the med establishment manage to get TWO major issues (sun exposure and saturated fat/cholesterol consumption) so very, very wrong? Dr. K thinks the sun avoidance advice was the worst ever, but it seems to me that awful advice and the equally bad advice on cholesterol are tied for worst place. How many people are disabled of dead as a result of this double whammy?

    Reply
    1. Gay Corran

      Annielaurie, I would add a third piece to make a triple whammy: medical advice to newly diagnosed diabetics to base their diet on 60% starchy carbohydrates at every meal, avoiding fats especially saturated, and, “if you choose to eat meat cut the fat off”, with its implied slapped wrist for non-vegetarians; followed by the statement that even if you follow this advice meticulously, “diabetes is always progressive, and you will be on medication within the year”.
      For most people diabetes is not progressive when meticulously following a low carb high fat diet, and on this diet medication may never be needed. But it takes courage to go against your doctor’s advice.

      Reply
      1. chris c

        Agreed!

        And a fourth, following on from comments on the previous post – the ridiculous non-treatment of hypothyroid, both refusal to titrate the dose of thyroxine up to suitable levels in those for whom it otherwise works, and the refusal to use T3 or Armour in those for whom it doesn’t, both drugs widely used in other countries. I see insulin, T3 and leptin as “master hormones” with knock-on effects throughout the entire endocrine system and beyond.

      2. John U

        I agree that going against your doctor’s advice might be scary, it only takes courage if you think your doctor is infallible. If you believe, as I do, that in the area of nutrition, most GP’s are not very well educated and thus very fallible, it takes no courage at all, just confidence.

      3. Jillm

        I read a post from a lady who said that when she gets sensible sun exposure, her blood glucose goes down. Easy to experiment.

      4. Stephen T

        Gay, I agree completely. The dietary advice given to diabetics is medieval in its stupidity.

        It’s so stupid that a thinking person made aware of the facts can easily reject it with confidence. The current position is a disgrace to mainstream ‘medicine’ and pharma.

  11. Old fogey

    Many thanks, Dr. Kendrick, for all your efforts to bring sanity into the world of medical research and its reporting. And a very merry Christmas and a happy 2017 to you and your family from New York.

    Reply
  12. Nicolai Worm

    Malcolm, great post!

    Here is some more sunshine…

    Happy holidays, Nicolai

    P.S.: I have included „sunlight“ in my dietary pyramid which I called „flexi-carb“, because carb consumption should be „earned“ with physical activity.

    >

    Reply
  13. Tony

    I have been following you for a year and eagerly look forward to your posts. This latest installment not disappoint….I notice you haven’t quite finished your advice on how to avoid blood clots etc which I assume will come next. Brilliant stuff!!

    Reply
  14. Martin Back

    Ancel Benjamin Keys
    Researched dietary disease.
    When the facts turned out contrarian,
    He simply up and buried ’em.

    We’ve no Christmassy reindeer and snow. Perhaps this will do.
    Compliments of the season to all from sunny 😎 South Africa.

    acacia and giraffe small

    Reply
  15. Sylvia

    Thank you for all your hard work to inform, it is so valued.
    I am making mince pies with Glen Miller and then you come along to add to the delight.
    Your news is always welcome, though I am a retired nurse, I never tire of trying to keep up to date, I always send it on to my dear ones who are still nursing, radiographing, microbiologing.
    Happy Christmas to you and all those who comment, helping to make your blog fantastic.

    Reply
  16. Gay Corran

    I don’t know how you have time to continue in your practice, do so much research, and write to enlighten us with such a humorous touch! I hope it wasn’t overwork that made you ill recently: it can’t have been lack of sun, as you had just been sailing around Greece… Thank you and thank you. Best wishes for Christmas to you and those close to you, and thanks and best wishes to all your faithful followers and posters. May 2017 indeed be full of sunshine for us all!

    Reply
  17. JanB

    That’s a great gift to receive on Christmas Eve. Thank you. I’ve always believed that sunshine is good for you – it feels so natural to soak it up a bit even without the science bit. Already I’m looking forward to Spring and getting out my sun lounger again.

    Reply
  18. Jennifer.

    Many thanks Dr Kendrick, for this and all your blogs. I am printing it out at this very moment for reading closely later on…..must get the meat and veggies sorted, along with the trifle….a must for the family Christmas, now entering our 50th year together.

    p.s. hubby surprised me with a 12 year Highland Park, saying that as I follow all your thoughts, I ought to continue the habit….( on offer at W..t….’s).

    All the best to you and your family, Jennifer.

    Reply
  19. joanne mccormack

    Thank you Malcolm. The narrative is changing in medical centres around the country. In my opinion, doctors prescribe statins less for financial gain, and more because they have been misled like the rest of society. Misled by the omission of important studies like the MCE from our evidence base. On social media I have questions from people asking me how to tell their GP that they do not want to take a statin, or telling me they want to follow a normal fat diet in spite of a history of heart disease. In 2016 you helped me and the 28 practices I work with by taking part in a series of 6 Food as Medicine talks in Warrington. There is not a single GP or nurse who approached me at the time or after and countered any of your assertions. I would say it is common practice in our area to avoid statins for primary prevention now- small progress, but progress nonetheless.

    Reply
  20. Frederica Huxley

    Slàinte mhath! Thank you so much for your endeavours this year – we have learned so much from your articles, especially this one which unequivocably shoots down a shibboleth of established thinking.

    Reply
  21. dearieme

    You may have relevant numbers to hand, doc. Do they support my supposition that Keys shortened more lives than Mao?

    Reply
      1. smartersig

        Dr Kendrick, the main counter argument from Cholesterol supporters is that in the Scottish study shown on your presentation the 27 factors deal with all cause death and the usual reply is that many causes of death lower cholesterol levels prior to death thus skewing the argument/data. Do you have an opinion on this ?

      2. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        I dont have an opinion, but I do have the data, and they say that reverse causation hypothesis is nonsense. It was never backed up by any facts, it was just made up by a man called Iribarren, as a way to explain away the fact that people with lower cholesterol levels have increased all cause mortality.

      3. smartersig

        What about the fact that when one go’s in and looks at the data in the Scottish study Cholesterol was significantly correlated with Heart Disease and yet as I was listening to the talk I was under the impression that it was not. I think many will have left the talk thinking the same

      4. smartersig

        I am sorry but it is, take a look at the table 5 in the actual report. Does that not indicate what I am saying. Three stars next to the cholesterol *** and increasing hazard ratios

      5. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        Can I point you to the paper in the BMJ Open (of which I was a co-author). http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/6/e010401.full This covers the entire are in far more detail. It covers the issue of LDL in the over 60s. What this does is to get over the problem that, in younger men, raised cholesterol is associated with CHD (and CHD mortality). However, in younger men, LDL and total cholesterol is raised by stress. So the raised LDL CHD connection seen in younger men is a result of the correlation with stress. Also, be very careful to disentangle CHD from CHD mortality. CHD is, often, highly subjective and prone to observer bias. CHD and overall mortality are the important end points.

      6. smartersig

        When we are talking about higher mortality in people with lower cholesterol is it possible that a bias occurs due to disease generally lowering cholesterol prior to death ?

      7. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        No, because this is not a real phenomenon, it is made up. In very late stage cancer, cholesterol levels tend to fall. In those with chronic hepatitis, cholesterol levels can be low. That is about it. However, several studies have controlled for this, and no differences were found. I should say that I don’t believe the low cholesterol was causal of increased mortality. It is simply an association.

      8. smartersig

        The data in the Scottish study shows cholesterol is significant in CHD DEATH, figs below, what do you make of this please

        3.96 5.41 6.01 6.56 7.31 9.44 424 3.98 5.47 6.16 6.80 7.65 10.25 733
        All CHD 1 1.13 2.05 2.15 3.15 1.34 (1.34 to 1.44) *** 1 2.43 2.97 3.51 3.94 1.28 (1.12 to 1.45) ***
        CHD deaths 1 1.14 1.50 1.74 2.21 1.23 (1.09 to 1.38) *** 1 1.10 3.23 1.87 2.27 1.14 (0.88 to 1.48) NS
        All deaths 1 0.88 1.04 0.93 1.13 1.03 (0.96 to 1.11) NS 1 0.83 1.00 0.73 0.86 0.96 (0.86 to 1.07) NS

  22. Charles Gale

    Hi there and Happy Christmas everyone

    re. Blue Light

    TheLastFurlong touched on it above, and Errett did in more detail in the previous blog.

    Can anyone provide further details, perhaps a buyer’s guide?

    It’s now the bleak mid winter here in the UK and it seems like blue light may be a good idea in addition to vitamin D3 supplementation. I think Stephanie Seneff has stressed the importance and health benefits of sunlight coming into contact with the skin, which you don’t get from D3 supplementation.

    Loved this blog too especially the format of issue (endothelial protection) and what to do about it (Nitric Oxide).

    Regards

    Reply
  23. dearieme

    Ancel Benjamin Keys
    Researched dietary disease.
    When the facts he found disappointed him
    He reversed them all and anointed ’em.

    Reply
  24. Peter Kurn

    When statins were first introduced I remember listening to a reporter on the radio touting there values. He stated that although he did not have high cholesterol he was going to take them anyway. It sounded daft then and even dafter today!
    Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year.
    It makes my day when I see a Dr. Kendrick blog appear in my email. Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Stephen T

      The establishment defending the established position. The MCE study didn’t happen and the flat earth society of diet-heart clings on.

      Reply
  25. Charles Gale

    P.S. My previous entry on blue light/vit D3

    Stephanie Seneff has a few essays on her website but particularly good was a presentation on youtube called “Stephanie Seneff – let the sun shine in”.

    She’s not convinced about vit D3 supplementation stating it’s the sun not D3 supplementation and gives a list of recommendations including using a sun lamp.

    Sun lamp? Blue light?

    Help!

    Reply
      1. Frederica Huxley

        Certainly the high incidence of MS in Scotland is attributed to vitamin D deficiences. There also tends to be a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis in higher latitudes.

      2. Kevin O'Connell

        And, I believe, by latitude (higher in N than nearer Equator). I seem to recall seeing some figures comparing Belfast(?) with Toulouse.

  26. Bren Wyse

    Dr Kendrick, Thank you for all you do. Thank you for being so informative, challenging, thought-provoking, irreverent, funny and downright brave. To those who would edit and spell check your wonderful blogs in order to tame them into something much less refreshing – I would say Bah humbug! Your occasional disregard for the conventions are just further evidence of a fast mind. Thank you for sharing so much, with such generosity of spirit. Wishing you and yours a very happy, healthy and special Christmas season.
    Bren.

    Reply
    1. Stephen T

      Todd, Keys was totally committed by this time. After being humilated at a conference he was damn well going to be proved right! He was happy to destroy careful scientists, such as John Yudkin who believed, with good reason, that sugar was harmful. Science always came way below Keys being top dog.

      Nina Teicholz vividly describes what went on in her book. It was a disgrace.

      Reply
  27. Gordon Ferris

    I have the temerity to add to Malcolm’s advice by advocating (as well as sunshine and steaks): daily aspirin (to lower sticky blood), l-arginine ( raises NO levels) , and loads of water (keeps arteries flexible and hydrated). More than half of stroke victims admitted to hospital are dehydrated.

    Reply
  28. Gaetan

    Great article Dr. Kendrick,
    Merry Christmas to you and your family and all the bloggers here.

    Since you talk about Vitamin D, do you think it makes a difference if taken with vitamin K, or is there a significant difference between D, D2 or D3. How many mg a typical northerner should take daily during winter?

    thank you.

    Reply
  29. Cary Blackburn

    Many thanks for this. My father had chronic CVD and was fair skinned and spent most of his life trying to stay out of the sun because he burnt so easily (on holidays he even burnt under the subumbrellas.) Are there an statistics linking fair skinned people with CVD?

    Reply
  30. Maddy

    Bah Humbug Ancel Keys
    You brought medical guidelines down on their knees
    Generations now suffer
    You devious old duffer
    Now sat fat, sunshine and Dr K will set us free!!

    Merry Christmas and keep up the great work for 2017 Dr K!! Best wishes!

    Reply
  31. Gary in PR

    Another great post on how “bad science” has hoodwinked us all. Here’s hoping 2017 treats you well and treats us to more of your insightful columns. I believe I will take heed of your sunshine advice and visit the beach for Christmas.
    Merry Christmas to all from sunny Puerto Rico.

    Reply
  32. Mark Johnson

    I’m convinced there are adverse epigenetic consequences of the current high carb / avoid sunshine advice and dare I say it, vaccinations. I’ll borrow a phrase from elsewhere “irreducible complexity” to suggest that we’ll never (completely) be explain to explain the “how” but only observe the why certain ways of eating / living have positive or negative (disease) effects.

    The further we remove ourselves from nature, ie real food, sunshine, grounding, natural exposure to infectious disease in childhood etc the more we expose ourselves to disease states. The most “uneducated” populations around the world knew these simple truths. How come we, the “educated” don’t?

    Wishing everyone here a very Merry Christmas and a very healthy and prosperous 2017.

    And a big thanks to Dr Kendrick for spending what must be an inordinate amount of time to run this, his blog.

    Reply
    1. Stephen T

      Mark, I think I had one vaccination as a child for polio. In the UK a baby now has thirteen vaccines in its first year of life and there are plenty more to follow. It’s even madder in the US where babies get a vaccine on their first day of life for a disease sexually transmitted or acquired through drug use. These vaccines contain small doses of mercury, aluminium or other highly toxic substances, injected into the bloodstream, to generate an immune response.

      I used to assume vaccines were wonderful, but pharma has been given immunity from prosecution, described as a disaster by the father of the polio vaccine, so they bring out more and more and they are not defined as a drug, so escape more rigorous trials. In America, in two generations, autism has gone from 1 in 10,000 to one in 43 and rising. Many parents insist children were normal up to vaccination and 4 billion dollars have been paid to vaccine victims, but the taxpayer pays.

      For those who assume all vaccine sceptics are deranged, as I once did, please find fifteen minutes to listen to this calm, measured doctor and professor of medicine. There are plenty of other brave doctors and nurses saying similar things.

      Reply
      1. Sasha

        There are also good talks on YouTube by Tatiana Obukhanych who has a PhD in immunology and who is a critic of the current vaccination schedule.

      2. KidPsych

        I’d be very cautious about comparing and contrasting rates of ASD over time. As someone who specializes in diagnosing and treating Autism, I can say with some certainty that what drives diagnostic rates is the wider net younger diagnosticians are casting. There are many kids who come to my clinic who have been formerly diagnosed with ADHD, for instance, whose social challenges are not very well explained by inattention. Classic Autism, as evidenced by flapping, a complete lack of social emotional reciprocity, and severe emotional disturbances, is no longer the dominant form.

  33. Sam

    My doctor struggles with telling me about Statins for my Cholesterol levels as you can clearly tell she is conflicted about towing the party line, medical malpractice and actually helping people.

    It’s hard for most people to go against the drumbeat of years of dogma, eating the supposed heart healthy crap instead of a good fatty piece of meat. I overcame thanks to people like you!

    Reply
  34. toddhoff

    I’m disappointed you removed my comment about Ancel Keys motivations. It was an honest question.

    On Sat, Dec 24, 2016 at 3:52 AM, Dr. Malcolm Kendrick wrote:

    > Dr. Malcolm Kendrick posted: “As 2016 draws to an end, I believe that a > change is in the air. The dietary guidelines, or perhaps I should call them > the ‘dietary misguidedlines’, are under a sustained attack. This, finally, > may actually result in success. We will be able move on from b” >

    Reply
  35. John U

    There was a post by Brian, way up higher in the order, who left this link:
    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/12/18/heart-disease-treatment-options.aspx
    The name “Mercola” sent chills up my spine, so I decided to check it out. It is rare to see such nonsense written in a blog. I had to stop reading half way through because is really got to be ridiculous. There were so many statements made which had no basis in science that I started to think this guy is real quack, not just misinformed. I won’t go into the examples of factual error because it would be a waste of time, and anyone who is the least bit knowledgeable about fluid flow and the nature of electrical charges would see right through the nonsense. Let’s just say that he seem to be a friend of Christopher Palmer.

    Sorry about such negativity just before Christmas. Best wishes for good health and good luck to all.

    Reply
    1. Joe

      “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.

      1. Get a lot of sun and/or Vitamin D.

      One down, nine or more things to go!

      Merry Christmas, Doc!

      Reply
    2. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      John,

      I agree with you about the fact that Mercola sometimes is advocating dubious “remedies” not least when it relates “electricity”. For you as for me that is a tough one!

      However, I often appreciate his scrutinizing (and well referenced) contributions to expose BigPharma and Big Agro frauds.

      I have though always pondered If I should through out the baby with the bathing water when it relates to Mercola receiving his newsletters. This guy is though living on selling supplements which I myself is in favor of and which BigPharma is fighting with all their might.

      My bottom line is that supplements have never killed anyone while “evidence based medicine” has millions of lives on their continuous.

      Reply
      1. John U

        Goran, I am not concerned about supplements. I am concerned about bad science and allowing it to propagate misinformation. I assure you that I am only one of many who react in this way to his site. I respect your opinion highly, but in the case of Mercola, we will have to agree to differ. I wonder if you read the article which I referenced (Brian’s reference)? What did you think of it?

    3. Anna

      Maybe I missed something. You seem to have a real issue with Chris Palmer. Dr. Mercola I have been reading for years and he has been the source of much good advice. He’s the reason I knew about Vioxx and that sunshine is good for you and that statins are bad for you. I’ve no idea why his name sends chills up your spine. The theory about the heart and blood flow is not his. He was presenting Dr. Cowan’s ideas. You may be right that it is nonsense, but it certainly had some intriguing ideas and the way that you dismiss it as being just too erroneous to bother explaining your objections, well, I’ve seen that technique used before, by smug debunkers of various sorts. I’m not impressed.

      Reply
      1. Sasha

        Yes, Mercola does seem to have some good info on his site. I don’t read him much but the impression I got is that he’s sincere. To dismiss him wholesale is silly…

      2. Gay Corran

        I’m right with Anna on her response to JohnU’s attack on Dr Cowan’s theories about how the heart acually works. It was all new to me; I don’t know if it’s nonsense or worth exploring further. However, I do know that many first proponents of a new hypothesis were ridiculed for years before science proved them right.

      3. Mark Johnson

        A number of years ago I’d have dismissed much of what was said on this board and called Dr K at best misguided and at worst dangerous for putting doubts in peoples minds about evidence based medicines. After all, medicines are carefully researched, formulated, tested and then based on the peer reviewed results, prescribed – all to improve the health of ill people. I now know how naive I was and what a load of bollocks a lot of this “research” is. As such, I’m now slow to dismiss most things.

        The guests that Dr Mercola interviews may sometimes have what appear to be crazy ideas, but I don’t dismiss them out of hand. The “body electric”, grounding, EMF, different ideas about blood flow etc a few years ago I’d have said were quackery, but we dismiss at our peril.

        “Science” tells us that the sun causes cancer and that eating healthy whole grains and five (or whatever number a day) veg coated in cholesterol lowering marg is good for us so why should we doubt the eminent scientists? I remember listening to Dr Mercola interview Dr Wakefield and then talking to a colleague about it. You’d have thought I was trying to tell them about an interview with satan, or worse. My colleague wouldn’t even listen. Dr Wakefield may be right, he maybe wrong but I’m loathe to dismiss him based on the fact that the GMC are trying to silence him – the opposite in fact.

        Overall I like Dr Mercola and the wide variety of people he interviews. Today’s crazy idea is tomorrow’s accepted, obvious mainstream.

      4. John U

        Sorry to not impress, but I thought it was soooo bad that it would be obvious to any scientifically skilled reader. Just the example of the heart not acting as a pump but a ram, and that when all the blood vessel and capillaries placed end-to-end would encircle the earth some number of time would preclude the possibility of the heart being able to pump blood through this length, was nonsense. This model is not real. What is real is that the large vessels divide into smaller ones and this reduces the resistance to flow so that the pressure is not an issue. This should be obvious to anyone who has some understanding of fluid flow. That is just the beginning. More nonsense follows, but if you don’t believe me, it’s ok. I am not trying to win converts, just to inform.
        I am also not saying that everything in the Mercola Blog is nonsense. Just enough to make it dangerous. There are lots of such blogs and I am sure that you have seen your share.
        BTW, did you bother to check out my earlier comment to the Palmer post which makes reference to the article written for publication by Alan Sokal? That post is an example of what I am talking about. If you don’t understand the nuance here, you will naturally feel that I am over reaching in my criticism of Dr. Cowan’s article and the blog in general. So be it.

      5. Sasha

        John U, I have a question: How does progressive narrowing of blood vessels reduce resistance to flow? I thought that it does the opposite. Provided, my understanding of physics never went beyond college…

        I never heard of heart acting as a ram. The explanation I have heard for heart being able to pump blood through great distances is that the heart isn’t the only organ that contracts. Blood vessels do somewhat, as well.

      6. JDPatten

        Yeah, but.
        Some crazy ideas are just crazy.
        It would be very handy if Dr. Kendrick could place a roughly comparative value on some of this choice stuff.
        A scientific or a strictly personal view.
        Where at all discernible, of course:
        1) On very solid ground
        2) Seems pretty good
        3) On the cusp
        4) Seems a bit shaky
        5) Bogus
        Even fewer categories would be helpful to us all, yes?

    4. Eric

      As a physicist who knows a tad about fluid dynamics and electrostatics, I’m very much with John U about the Cowan ideas as summarized by Mercola.

      The image about the blood vessels “in a series” circling the earth between one and three times is misleading at best. They are connected in parallel, hence the drop in both pressure and flow velocity.

      The hydraulic ram model seems to imply the heart is more like a controlled valve that restricts the blood flow to build up pressure impulses and vorteces. To the best of my knowledge, an (animal) heart, if kept alive and beating in a tank of nourishing liquid, will actually pump said liquid in the absence of an external pressure differential. A controlled valve in a tank would do exactly nothing except contract.

      The part about the fourth phase of water and sun, earth and human touch appears to be pseudo-scientific babble with a heavy dose of esoterics – I’ll admit that I haven’t followed the links, though.

      The rest of the article sounds pretty reasonable, though. A case of arriving at the right conclusions from the wrong premises? The case for the collateral network is well established. I haven’t heard about the part of switching from fat burning to carb burning and lactic acid, but at least it is not completely conjured out of thin air. G-strophantin was a well-established treatment in Germany for decades, and even if it has fallen out of favor with the medical establishment, there are still plenty of docs who will prescribe it, and apparently with good results. Some careful review comparing the former and the current mainstream treatments would be warranted.

      The danger I see is that if one starts from mistaken premises, some conclusions and decisions may not end up being reasonable.

      Reply
      1. Old fogey

        Just to put in a good word about Dr. Mercola – I learned about Stephanie Seneff and her interesting and varied research interests from the long and detailed interviews that Mercola did with her some years ago. If it hadn’t been for Mercola interviewing Seneff I never would have learned about the importance of sulphates, for example.

    5. Norman Appleton

      It never ceases to amaze me how “blogs” of all descriptions sink into slanging matches about anything other than the article(s) in the blog. The use of grammar is poor and the spelling and use of words is worse.
      e.g. “through” in Dr. Göran Sjöberg instead of “throw” (just one example) – his article is otherwise fair.
      I have been following thincs.org for about 8 years now along with mercola.com and westonaprice.org. I certainly don;t agree with everything either but if one takes a balanced view and weighs up the evidence, then their is no point in arguing about what you don’t agree with but agreeing together with what you do agree with.

      One of Malcolm’s earlier articles was about the use of Vitamin K2 in which he likened it to “draino” in domestic pipes at clearing out calcification in the arteries. Vitamin K2 is one of a number of supplements available to persons considered “at risk” that big pharma is trying to price out of existence.

      Reply
      1. smartersig

        Dr Kendrick I had honestly hoped that you would put me right as to what I am misreading about the Scottish study data. The table clearly seems to show that Cholesterol is significantly *** correlated with heart disease. It would have been nice to have received this corrective message or perhaps an admittance that you had misread the data

      2. JanB

        I feel an irresistible urge to defend Dr. Goran’s post – simply by saying that I wish my grasp of Swedish were as good, nay excellent, as is his of my native language, English.

      3. Gary Ogden

        Norman: Dr. Goran is one of the good guys, a highly educated man who always has something worthwhile to offer us. English is his second language. It is not at all unusual for a speaker or writer in a second language to make what are called “miscues,” especially with homophones and near-homophones, and is no reflection on the quality of the discourse. English is a wonderful language, but it is full of traps and pitfalls.

      4. mr Chris

        Norman
        I don’t think poor grammar is important, and Göran is not a native english speaker. How is your written Swedish?

      5. Jennifer.

        Oops Norman.
        Check your own grammar….use of the semi-colon instead of an apostrophe….and incorrect ‘their’ instead of ‘there’.
        But I am a mere Geordie, and don’t worry too much about such things when there is first-footing to do tonight.
        Sorry….way off blog topic, but couldn’t resist….those who throw stones…..get my meaning?

      6. Eric

        ‘cuse me, I don’t think Norman or anyone else is barking up Göran’s tree for his syntax, not even Norman. I’m right, aren’t I?

    1. celia

      David, If Ancel Keys were still alive I doubt you’d get a straight answer. As he appears to have been very narcisstic he clearly couldn’t allow himself to be seen to be wrong about anything.

      Reply
  36. john le cheminant

    thank you for your very interesting articles. I was on blood pressure tablets and statins for seven years. After reading lots of reports statins and blood pressure I made the decision with the help of my GP to stop taking both medications, That was four years ago I have 10ml of cod liver oil +4000i/u of vitamin d3 and 4grams of vitamin c 3 times a week. I stopped eating meat but I still eat chicken and fish and plenty of fruit. I haven’t had a cold or any other illness since I radically altered my eating habits.I also lost two and a half stone +I exercise three times a week. I would like to wish you a merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year.

    Reply
  37. abamji

    May 2017 bring final closure to the statin insanity that has gripped the world! This blog helps – but it is dreadfully disappointing to realise that, just as this quoted research has never seen the light of day, even now negative studies have an adverse publication bias.

    Null hypothesis or Black Swan, there are now so many that we appear to be fighting the flat-earthers. Keep up the good work, and best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

    Reply
    1. Norman Appleton

      We can each help, if only in a small way, by ensuring we re-transmit this great information to our own Facebook accounts, Google+ groups, LinkedIn etc or send the links to friends via email.

      HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL

      Reply
  38. Gary Ogden

    Thanks again, Dr. Kendrick. My favorite thing to do much of the year is to strip down to my running shorts and work in the garden barefoot. Just what the doctor ordered! By the way, I just found out Santa is a Scotsman (video on Climate, etc.). Who knew?

    Reply
  39. Mark Johnson

    I should have also said in my earlier post that the “abuse” of our bodies through a high sugar / high carb, low sun, vaccinination rather than natural exposure to childhood disease and the chasing of surrogate markers through pharma drugs induces not only epigenetic but transgenerational epigenetic inheritance consequences. We’re not only affecting ourselves but setting up the next and future generation through our lifestyles.

    Reply
    1. Joe

      Mark:

      I’m not anti-vaccination. But I’m anti unnecessary vaccinations. Here in the USA, we ROUTINELY give children 68 doses of various vaccinations before they enter school. I think that’s madness. In particular, the Hep B vaccine, to babies only hours old! And then 2-3 additional doses shortly thereafter.

      This, essentially for a disease of IV drug abusers and having sex with IV drug abusers. How many babies fit into those categories?

      Sheesh.

      Reply
      1. Sasha

        But don’t you know how many millions died of smallpox???

        That’s usually the argument whenever the current vaccination schedule is questioned.

      2. Gary Ogden

        Sasha: Smallpox and Polio. But most of what we’ve been told about the history of both is a fairy tale. The smallpox vaccine was of such little value, as smallpox sickened and killed the vaccinated and unvaccinated alike, and serious adverse reactions to the vaccination itself were not uncommon, the citizens of Leicester, in 1885, got fed up, held a mass demonstration (80.000-100,000 people attended), and replaced the local government with one who refused to enforce the vaccine mandate. They developed the “Leicester method” of infection control (still in use today) based upon quarantine of patients, isolation of contacts, and disinfection of the dwelling. The vaccination rate dropped within two years from 95% to 11-12%, and deaths from smallpox dropped very close to zero. Polio is a complex story full of shenanigans-read “Dissolving Illusions” for the details (and the Hindustani Times, July 8, 2015 about the growing epidemic of paralysis among children in “polio-free” India). Today, the flu shot is an amazing example colossal foolishness. There are 200-300 infectious agents which cause flu-like symptoms, so the idea that a shot containing two or three of them will give any sort of protection is absurd. It is also now known that having the flu in childhood offers partial protection from having it again. I think I probably had it in childhood, but I certainly haven’t had it since.

      3. Sasha

        Gary: thanks. I didn’t know about polio and smallpox, I will read up on it.

        Yeah, flu shots, they are pushing them everywhere nowadays. Madness…

      4. Sasha

        Gary: I’ve certainly had a flu a couple of times in childhood and to me it felt like it had some beneficial effects afterwards. We didn’t have flu shots but even if we did, I am pretty sure I wouldn’t have gotten them. I was lucky that I was raised by a family of physicians who dismissed many of the interventions of modern medicine as complete nonsense. They still do, in fact.

      5. Gary Ogden

        Sasha: Great! Growing up we had an old-fashioned family doctor whom we didn’t see too much of, and we got only three or four vaccinations, none in infancy. Mostly we just toughed it out if we got sick (this was the only time soda pop was allowed in the house, a clear, carbonated lemon/lime called “7-Up”). No acetaminophen (a very dangerous drug for children with a fever, but routinely recommended now after vaccination) then, either. Measles, mumps, rubella, and chickenpox were a rite of passage, as everybody got them. There never was a golden age anywhere, but the ’50’s in the U.S. were certainly better for children growing up than today (polio was actually quite rare, and undoubtedly required a toxicant cofactor, such as arsenic or DDT to strike a community).

      6. Mark Johnson

        I’m not anti-vaccination. But I’m anti unnecessary vaccinations.

        We flatter ourselves in the false belief that we understand the intricacies of the human immune system and the immune response. That somehow injecting denatured, inactive or fragments of bacterial / viral DNA brewed in: bovine protein, chicken embryo, Human diploid tissue culture, Lathan medium derived from bovine casein, Linggoud-Fenton medium derived from bovine extract, Vero (monkey kidney) cell culture, synthetic or semi-synthetic etc in a nice solution of amorphous aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate, amino acids, dextrose, formaldehyde, hemin chloride, mineral salts, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, potassium aluminum sulfate, sodium borate, soy peptone, yeast protein etc comes close to how the body responds to a viral / bacterial onslaught.

        I can wholeheartedly recommend the following meticulously researched book: Dissolving Illusions: Disease, Vaccines, and The Forgotten History by Suzanne Humphries MD, Roman Bystrianyk (if allowed by Dr Kendrick).

        If the science behind vaccinations is so robust, naysayers such as Dr Wakefield wouldn’t need to be silenced, hence my suspicions…

      7. Gary Ogden

        Mark Johnson: Thank you very much for your posts. The truth is, there is no science showing vaccination is safe or effective. There has never been a placebo-controlled trial for any vaccine. There are safety studies, conducted by the manufacturers, with all the data proprietary, and the placebo arm always uses either the adjuvant (most commonly aluminum), or another vaccine. And there have never been any safety studies concerning multiple vaccine at one administration (often as many as eight or nine antigens given at the two month and four month “visit”), or the full schedule (69 in total in the U.S.). The Institute of Medicine rejected 17 of the 22 studies the CDC promotes to bolster their claim the “vaccines don’t cause autism.” There are now hundreds of published scientific papers which contradict this claim. For further information, read “The Environmental and Genetic Causes of Autism,” by James Lyons-Weiler, PhD. It turns out that the most dangerous ingredient in vaccines now, since there is much less mercury (except in flu shots for pregnant women!), is the aluminum adjuvant. Aluminum is highly neurotoxic. We absorb only 0.1-0.3% of ingested aluminum, but 100% of injected aluminum. These nanoparticles are engulfed by macrophages, and carried, since the macrophage enzymes cannot dissolve them, Trojan horse fashion, to the organs, especially the brain. Alzheimers, anyone?

      8. Joe

        Mark:

        “We flatter ourselves in the false belief that we understand the intricacies of the human immune system and the immune response.”

        I think that works both ways, Mark. On the pro-vaccine side as well as the anti-vaccine side. My anti stance applies mostly to childhood vaccines. I just don’t think a child’s (or a baby’s) immune system can deal with so many vaccinations.

        I have read Dr. Humphries’ book, and I think it’s a must read. But it raises as many questions as it answers. At least for me. The immune system is complicated. We’re learning news things about it all the time. Like how “original antigenic sin” (the Hoskin’s effect) affects subsequent exposures to “wild” viruses, etc. “Wild” viruses and the kinds used in many vaccines (attenuated, etc.) are totally different animals. I don’t think we know the answer to that yet. And other things.

        I don’t presume to have all the answers, nor do I think anyone else has them. But I do think it should be a parent’s choice whether to vaccinate or not, in consultation with her doctor, not the government’s. And we can almost certainly find much safer ways to make vaccines, too, which I strongly support.

        If I worked as a veterinarian, for example, and handled animals, including wild animals, all the time, I’d certainly consider getting a rabies vaccination. Otherwise, I would not. But the practice of giving the HepB vaccination to an hours-old baby must stop. ASAP!

        PS: Dr. Wakefield, certainly a man to be admired, is NOT against vaccinations per se. He’s against giving children so many at one time, plus he’s against “combo” shots, and he also strongly supports finding safer vaccinations. Our positions are essentially identical.

      9. Gary Ogden

        Joe: Absolutely right, Andy Wakefield is a man to be deeply admired, one of those exceedingly rare human beings with moral courage (he’s doing good work now in the U.S., educating and advocating). The CDC is paralyzed by both having the knowledge of the damage they are doing and the cowardice to simply ignore it and the wealth of good science showing how that damage is being done.

    2. chris c

      Children of (poorly controlled) diabetics are often exceptionally large as a result of being bathed in insulin in the womb. Well either that or they are eating too much and not using their treadmills enough. Then they also give birth to even bigger babies with even more predisposition to gain weight. Consider how many people who are “not diabetic” are actually “not diabetic YET” to see the size of the future problem. Pun intended.

      I tend to half agree about the vaccinations, there are far more now than in my day. But the other side of the coin is what the diseases themselves may do. Pretty much as soon as I started school I had mumps, followed immediately by chickenpox, followed shortly afterwards by measles. Can’t prove it of course but I have to wonder if the prolonged viral attack did for my pancreas – not totally as in Type 1 diabetes but my Phase 1 insulin was hosed while my Phase 2 still works 60 years later.

      There’s a strong genetic component running in one specific line of my family so this may be coincidence OR it may be an epigenetic trigger. It’s well known these diseases, especially measles, may have other consequences, which IMO makes it likely that the vaccines may also have negative consequences, albeit at a lower rate than the diseases.

      Not a few Type 1 diabetics and sufferers from other “autoimmune” diseases relate their onset to some viral infection, flu or measles being the most common. I wonder how many others may be triggered by the vaccines, especially when multiple vaccines are involved. Clear as mud eh?

      We are supposed to put children on low fat diets starting at age 2, and statins at age 8 have been suggested. That will guarantee a market for drugs and stents down the line. And of course gym memberships.

      Reply
      1. Sasha

        I am not sure if the link that you suggest between viral infections and autoimmune conditions exists. Consider that well vaccinated Finland has prevalence of T1D 30 times that of rural China. And its incidence in Finland is growing at about 1% per year.

        There’s also evidence that viral infections have positive effects on our immune system down the line. For those who survive them without major consequences, of course.

      2. chris c

        Oh yes, like I said, clear as mud! Another theory is that without enough to do the immune system acts like a gang of bored policemen in a crime-free town who go round harassing law-abiding citizens just for something to do. “Multifactorial” comes to mind, do the Finns eat more wheat which affects the gut permeability and lets more protein fragments into the bloodstream? You previously pointed to differences between Finnish and Russian Karelia, are there similar differences between different parts of China? For example I know wheat consumption varies a lot between regions, also selenium content of the soil, maybe other variables which alter the reactivity of the immune system to the same diseases/vaccinations? Speculating . . .

      3. Gary Ogden

        chris c: Denise Minger wrote a fascinating commentary on the vast database of food consumption in China which was the subject of a book called “The China Study.” Very lengthy. If you have a few days to spare, it’s worth a read, and it is a fun read. She is charming and very bright.

      4. Gary Ogden

        chris c: The web site I was referring to is rawfoodsos.com. As I recall the only strong associations with mortality risk she found in the data were with wheat and salted vegetables. I don’t think the data shows anything about soil mineral content.

      5. Gary Ogden

        chris c: Well spoken. The consequences of having once-common infectious diseases can be positive or negative, and clearly our individual genome and exposures to other environmental toxins plays a role in those consequences; the consequences of being vaccinated for those diseases are likewise impacted by those two factors. This is why Dr. Lyons-Weiler’s book is so important, in showing where fruitful research can be done. Not nearly enough research has been done, but the pace is accelerating.

      6. chris c

        I was asking anyone who knows the answer! Yes I know Denise Minger and her stunning work, much recommended especially since she gets up the nose of the Militant Vegan Trolls. The selenium connection comes from elsewhere, there are parts of China which have toxic levels and other parts where it is severely deficient.

        I’m still pondering why my thyroid chose when it did to esplode, doesn’t appear to be related to any changes in my environment, no apparent infections either.

  40. Errett

    Circadian clock connection to fuel source used by our body (below)—-muscle tissue is now considered an “organ”—-and is the largest organ in our body—-build muscle—use it regularly—get sun exposure—–sounds very Paleo 🙂

    Making muscles burn more fat and less glucose can increase exercise endurance, but could simultaneously cause diabetes, says a team of scientists from Baylor College of Medicine and other institutions.

    Mouse muscles use glucose (carbohydrate) as fuel when the animals are awake and active and switch to fat (lipid) when they are asleep. The team discovered that disrupting this natural cycle may lead to diabetes but, surprisingly, also can enhance exercise endurance. The switch is controlled by a molecule called histone deacetylase 3, or HDAC3. This finding opens the possibility of selecting the right time to exercise for losing body fat but also raises the concern of using HDAC inhibitors as doping drugs for endurance exercise. The study appears in Nature Medicine.

    “How the muscle uses glucose is regulated by its internal circadian clock that anticipates the level of its activity during the day and at night,” said senior author Dr. Zheng Sun, assistant professor of medicine — diabetes, endocrinology and metabolism, and of molecular and cellular biology at Baylor. “The circadian clock works by turning certain genes on and off as the 24-hour cycle progresses. HDAC3 is a key connection between the circadian clock and gene expression. Our previous work showed that HDAC3 helps the liver alternate between producing glucose and producing lipid. In this work, we studied how HDAC3 controls the use of different fuels in skeletal muscle.”

    Skeletal muscles, the voluntary muscles, are important in the control of blood glucose in the body. They consume most of the glucose, and if they develop insulin resistance and consequently are not able to use glucose, then diabetes likely will develop. To study the role of HDAC3 in mouse skeletal muscle, Sun and colleagues genetically engineered laboratory mice to deplete HDAC3 only in the skeletal muscles. Then they compared these knocked out mice with normal mice regarding how their muscles burn fuel.

    Unexpected results

    When normal mice eat, their blood sugar increases and insulin is released, which stimulates muscles to take in and use glucose as fuel. “When the knocked out mice ate, their blood sugar increased and insulin was released just fine, but their muscles refused to take in and use glucose,” said Sun. “Lacking HDAC3 made the mice insulin resistant and more prone to develop diabetes.”

    Yet, when the HDAC3-knocked out mice ran on a treadmill, they showed superior endurance, “which was intriguing because diabetes is usually associated with poor muscle performance,” said Sun. “Glucose is the main fuel of muscle, so if a condition limits the use of glucose, the expectation is low performance in endurance exercises. That’s the surprise.”

    The researchers then studied what fueled the HDAC3-knocked out mice’s stellar performance using metabolomics approaches and found that their muscles break down more amino acids. This changed the muscles’ preference from glucose to lipids and allowed them to burn lipid very efficiently. This explains the high endurance, because the body carries a much larger energy reservoir in the form of lipid than carbohydrate.

    The finding challenges the widely-used carbohydrate-loading (carbo-loading) strategy for improving endurance performance. “Carbo-loading didn’t make evolutionary sense before the invention of agriculture,” said Sun. “Switching muscles from using carbohydrates to lipids could increase exercise endurance, especially for low-intensity exercise.” The study suggests that HDAC inhibitors, a class of small molecule drugs currently being tested for treating several diseases, could potentially be used to manipulate such fuel switch in muscle and therefore raises concern of doping.

    Link to the body’s internal clock

    The team performed a number of functional genomics studies that established the link between HDAC3 and the circadian clock. “In normal mice, when the mouse is awake, the clock in the muscle anticipates a feeding cycle and uses HDAC3 to turn off many metabolic genes. This leads the muscles to use more carbohydrate,” said Sun. “When the animal is about to go to sleep and anticipates a fasting cycle, the clock removes HDAC3. This leads the muscles to use more lipid.”

    Although these studies were done in mice, the researchers speculate that human muscles most likely will follow the same cycle. The study opens the possibility of promoting body fat burning by increasing exercise activity during the periods in which muscles use lipid, which is at night for people. “Losing body fat would be easier by exercising lightly and fasting at night,” said Sun. “It’s not a bad idea to take a walk after dinner.”

    Story Source:

    Materials provided by Baylor College of Medicine. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

    Reply
    1. chris c

      Interesting stuff! However mice are not furry little humans, they principally eat carbs while people (used to) principally eat fats and protein, so while the mechanism may exist it may be utilised quite differently in different species.

      Most Type 2 diabetics and many Type 1s, and I suspect also many “nondiabetics” show a major shift in insulin resistance, highest in the morning and lowest at night. I can eat a few carbs at breakfast but not many unless I want a glucose spike, I can eat a lot more without problems later in the day. Conversely on a low carb diet I can smell more ketones in my pee in the morning, the rest of the day I am presumably metabolising them at the same rate I generate them. Would be interesting to see this teased out further in humans. Especially athletes. Many find improved performance on low carb/ketotic diets, except for explosive non-endurance type events.

      Reply
  41. Mark Johnson

    May 2017 bring final closure to the statin insanity that has gripped the world!

    I don’t think big pharma will let the cholesterol lowering nonsense stop without a mighty big fight. Remember the millions and millions they’ve sunk into PCSK9 inhibitors and the billions they expect to get back. They’re the new wet dreams of the salivating pharma execs. Since when have inconvenient, contradictory facts got in the way of big pharma? It’s of absolutely no relevance that cholesterol lowering doesn’t treat any disease. According to big pharma, high cholesterol is the disease!

    Reply
    1. robert lipp

      PCSK9 or Berberine
      I am not sure how to interpret the reference below – maybe I have got it wrong. It seems to indicate that the cheap natural ancient Chinese supplement (Berberine) does the same thing by the same method (lowering LDL) as the hugely expensive meds PCSK9.
      Which would be deliciously delightful.

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19687008

      Reply
  42. Sue Richardson

    Thank you Dr K for a this encouraging post and all the work you have done this year. I will be getting some of that lovely sunshine soon when visiting our son and family in New Zealand. We will be leaving our mid winter and exchanging it for their mid summer for a few weeks at the beginning of the year.

    As I live in the Isle of Man may I say in Manx Gaelic “Nollick Ghennal as Blein Vie Noa” (Happy Christmas and a good New Year) to everyone. Have a good rest Dr K – you deserve it.

    Reply
  43. Roland Iä

    A few words from a “silent” reader, checking up and reading here many times every day.

    Just posting to say I’m very happy to being able to read all the information posted here by you, and all the informative comments added by other friends of science.

    I’m no sufferer of bad health and I do wish to stay that way, so I’m reading everything here with great interest. I’m an adherent lchf creature since a few years, still trying to learn why it works so well (for me).

    There are just a few of your caliber around in the whole world, with the knowledge and courage to do this, and I’m so pleased to have found your blog. Pls keep on, educating us!

    Wishing you a very merry X-mas!

    Reply
  44. Jeff

    Not sure about reading too much into the Swedish sun exposure studies.
    Healthy strong people tend to pursue outdoor activities.
    Chronically ill and weak constitution tend to stay indoors more.
    It’s hardly surprising a strong association is found.
    But an association between sun exposure and health is not cause and effect.

    Reply
      1. TedL

        There is a relevant study from Denmark. Researchers examined THE ENTIRE POPULATION OF DENMARK over age 40, 4.4 million people, to study the relationship between skin cancer and other health indicators. They found that people with non-melanoma skin cancers had a 48 percent lower risk of death from any cause, with lower rates myocardial infarction and hip fracture. Incidence of skin cancer is an index of lifetime sun exposure. https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/new-study-skin-cancer-protects-against-heart-attack-and-death/

      2. amie

        As you acknowledge, this is yet another observational study. You don’t mention the confounding factors mentioned by the authors in this study. I would appreciate any links you have to other evidence, which you say is found consistently. I have a friend with scleroderma and severe osteoporosis who just told me she never goes in the sun as she is terrified of it causing cancer. I gave her a lecture on the importance of sun exposure for her, and was about to fire off the link to your article when I found this, with the caveats:
        “The authors do, however, acknowledge some major limitations. Among them, it was impossible to differentiate between active sun-exposure habits and a healthy lifestyle, and they did not have access to exercise data.
        The results add to the longstanding debate on the role of vitamin D in health and the amount of it people need, but this study doesn’t resolve the question.

        “Whether the positive effect of sun exposure demonstrated in this observational study is mediated by vitamin D, another mechanism related to ultraviolet radiation, or by unmeasured bias cannot be determined. Therefore, additional research is warranted,” the authors write.”
        http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/860805

      3. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        Well, you are never going to get a randomized controlled study on sun exposure. So, if that is what you are waiting for, then it will be a long wait. You must remember, on the other hand, there has never been any controlled study to prove that sun exposure causes skin cancer. The worst possibly outcome is that sun exposure is health neutral, which I do not believe. I shall, shortly, gather together all of the evidence of the benefits of sun exposure. it includes a reduction of breast cancer of 50% of Prostate cancer of 50% and of colo-rectal cancer of 75%. Again, observational, as all such studies are going to be. The question I would have is that with consistently, highly beneficial data, why would you risk avoiding the sun?

      4. Martin Back

        My stepfather, a man of Scottish parentage, had to get rodent ulcers (basal cell carcinoma / non-melanoma skin cancer) cut from his forearms every few years. He blamed them on his years in the air force during WWII when he was stationed in the desert and went around with shirt sleeves always rolled up.

        What eventually killed him was cirrhosis of the liver, but I don’t think the sun had much to do with that ;o)

    1. John U

      Yes, an association must be very strong to “prove” something. So to make it health policy by establishment health agencies to AVOID sun exposure I think is blatantly unjustifiable knowing that sunlight exposure is important for our health. There is no science behind such advice to support it. Showing some plausible science to support your hypothesis is very important. Here there is none, in spite of the fact that many of us evolved from ancestors who roamed the African plains very exposed to the sun for millennia. The only “science” in support of limiting sun exposure is also completely association. Melanoma is often discovered in places on the human body where the sun does not shine. Somehow such black swans are not discussed, and do not get resolved.

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        celia: I agree. I heard her give a very interesting talk concerning the importance of dietary sulfur and the sulfated forms of cholesterol and vitamin D (very similar molecules). It is on her web site.

  45. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

    Well, everything in our eating habits seems to “coincide” when compromising our health.

    Bottom line is that excess carbs is the main “evil” in the diet if i should believe, and I do, what I just read in “Life Without Bread” by Allan and Lutz – great Christmas reading and highly recommended.

    An even greater reading is a new book by Jason Fung and Jimmy Moore “The Complete Guide to Fasting”. Although I thought I was “on top” I learn here a lot in this well written, “no quack”, book.

    Reply
    1. info326vmt

      Dianne, my wife, is reading it at the moment and is, so far, very impressed.

      She was especially pleased to see her quote appear on page 215!

      Ray

      Reply
  46. Mike Wroe

    Dr Kendrick thank you and a Merry Christmas and a healthy New Year Year to you and all your blog followers. You are an inspiration. I have decided to photocopy 20 copies of your latest blog and send to all the GP surgeries within 20 miles radius of my home town Newbury. But as you reminded us in a previous blog “the Roman Catholic Church refused to look through Gallileo’s telescope”. So we still have an uphill struggle.

    Reply
    1. Mark Johnson

      But as you reminded us in a previous blog “the Roman Catholic Church refused to look through Gallileo’s telescope”. So we still have an uphill struggle.

      Hmmm. The Galileo “affair” centering around his astronomical observations and that it somehow conflicted with the church is largely myth. It may come as a surprise to some on this board that the Vatican has its own observatory and it’s one of the oldest astronomical institutes in the world. Papal interest in astronomy can be traced to Pope Gregory XIII who had the Tower of the Winds built in the Vatican in 1578 and later called on Jesuit astronomers and mathematicians to study the scientific data and implications involved in the reform of the calendar which occurred in 1582. From that time and with some degree of continuity the Holy See has manifested an interest in and support for astronomical research. In 1981, for the first time in its history, the Observatory founded a second research center, the Vatican Observatory Research Group (VORG), in Tucson, Arizona in the United States, one of the world’s largest and most modern centers for observational astronomy.

      The library at Castel Gandolfo contains more than 22,000 volumes and possesses a valuable collection of rare antique books including works of Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Kepler, Brahe, Clavius, and Secchi. In addition there is a unique meteorite collection from which a knowledge of the early history of the solar system is being derived. Research results are published in international journals. The Annual Report is distributed to more than 400 institutes around the world.

      So why did Galileo get in trouble with the Church? The Church certainly wasn’t anti-science. Clergymen devoted a lot of their time to the study of the sciences even then. Many science books of that era were written by priests, such as Fr. Clavius (1538-1612) who was instrumental in the reform of the calendar, and Fr. Riccioli (1598-1671) who published the first modern map of the Moon and named craters on the Moon after Jesuits and other scientists, including Copernicus and Kepler.

      Many theories have been put forth over the years to explain why Galileo came into conflict with the Church. The mystery arises precisely because Galileo actually stood squarely in the long history of the Church’s support of science. Many churchmen of high standing, such as Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa, had suggested even more radical cosmologies than Galileo did; Copernicus’ work itself had been available without controversy for more than sixty years before Galileo first published his telescopic observations. Most theories explain Galileo’s problems with the Church as a clash of strong personalities; as coming from a fear that his ideas would threaten the basis of contemporary theology; or as a reaction by the Pope to the political pressures of the day.

      Things which we “know” to be true sometimes ain’t.

      Reply
      1. Sasha

        But he was still persecuted by the Church, was he not? And for ideas that later proved to be correct. Or are you disputing that?

      2. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        Mark,

        As you point out important controversies are often much more complicated than any “one liners” we often encounter. The Galileo case is still a “showcase” when we are talking about “paradigm shifts” of science in the Thomas Kuhn sense and especially in view of the resistance from the entrenched “establishment” towards such fundamental changes. The present “statin case” fits very well, together with the Galileo case, by its shear magnitude and complexity, into this way of looking at science.

        With your evident familiarity with the Galileo subject it though surprises me that you don’t mention the great book by Giorgio de Santillana, “The Crime of Galileo”, which, as far as I understand it, is pretty well within your line of thinking, It is rigorous although he only mentions Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa in passing in a note on page 26.

        Anyway, I would highly recommend Santillanas book for anyone seriously interested in this case. It is on a high scholarly level but still, without doubt, a captivating reading in its accessible narrative.

      3. Stephen T

        Mark, Galileo contradicted the earth-centred church view of the universe and he was forced to recant by the inquisition. He was then placed under house arrest for the rest of his life and his book was banned by the church until 1822. Threats of torture, house arrest for life and being banned are facts.

        You see a myth. I see the Catholic church defending its position and persecuting someone who recognised its absurdity.

      4. Mark Johnson

        Mark, Galileo contradicted the earth-centred church view of the universe and he was forced to recant by the inquisition. He was then placed under house arrest for the rest of his life and his book was banned by the church until 1822. Threats of torture, house arrest for life and being banned are facts.

        You see a myth. I see the Catholic church defending its position and persecuting someone who recognised its absurdity.

        It’s interesting – I used to think exactly the same as you. Exactly the same.
        Much as I used to believe in high cholesterol being bad, statins being a necessary evil and mass childhood multi – vaccinations being good not only for the child but for society through “herd immunity”.

        What all of the above have in common is that they are / were perpetrated by scholars, academia, scientists; the very people who should be searching for / defending the truth, not their own positions.

      5. shirley3349

        Readers may be interested to know that Copernicus’ work was actually first published by the Catholic Church, under the imprint of the See, (the bishop happened to be his uncle), of Frauenburg, in what was then Royal Prussia, part of Prussia straddling the Vistula, conquered by Poland in 1454. Copernicus lived and worked there for most of his life and is buried there. He was of mixed German/Polish ancestry, German was his first language but he wrote mainly in Latin, as did most scholars of the time.

        Galileo was unfortunate in being caught up in controversy at a time when the Catholic Church had lost confidence as an institution. It was the middle of the thirty years war, and the current Pope, not unlike many of his predecessors, was supporting the French and Protestant forces against the Catholic Holy Roman Emperor; northern Italy was suffering from a severe epidemic of plague spread by the various armies; and in December 1631 Vesuvius erupted, the most violently since AD 79. The summit was lowered by a third, mud and pyroclastic flows destroyed the surrounding villages and a 5m high tsunami on 17th December destroyed the coastal settlements around the Bay of Naples. The city itself, then the largest in Italy, was covered in ash and many buildings were damaged. Estimates suggest 3000 to 6000 people died in the whole area.

        There was a feeling that the end of the world was nigh. Certainly there was no longer any appetite for learned disputes, scientific or otherwise. Something had displeased God and Galileo, among others, was a convenient scapegoat. Even Pope Urban VIII, his formerly enthusiastic patron, who had encouraged him to come to Rome to promote his ideas, felt he could no longer support him. And Galileo made things worse by reacting badly; he ridiculed some of the Pope’s own views in a badly disguised satire, humiliating a proud man.

      6. barbrovsky

        Readers may be interested to know that Copernicus’ work was actually first published by the Catholic Church, under the imprint of the See, (the bishop happened to be his uncle), of Frauenburg, in what was then Royal Prussia, part of Prussia straddling the Vistula, conquered by Poland in 1454.

        Absolutely true! See ‘Against Method’ By Paul Feyerabend (Verso Books, Third Imp. 1980) where he talks about the fact that the Catholic church never opposed his ideas on the Solar System but didn’t want them publicised (for obvious reasons)!

  47. David Bailey

    I am starting to think the best way to achieve good health, is to ask the doctor/nurse for advice and then do almost exactly the opposite:

    Aim for high cholesterol
    Eat as much salt as you want
    Take plenty of sun
    Don’t take statins
    Eat plenty of saturated fat
    Drink a moderate amount of alcohol regularly
    Smoke 60 a day (but only if you are aged over 100)
    Don’t cook using sunflower oil

    There was a young man called Ancel
    And maybe you’ll find him in hell
    For he drew up a graph
    And just for a laugh
    Made all those who’d listen unwell

    Reply
      1. Jennifer.

        Thanks Dr Goran. I have followed the instructions to the letter, and had a wonderful day, as I trust you and yours have too!
        We have a family wedding on 31st, and the malt will be a perfect contribution when the celebrations spill over into 2017.
        Happy New Year to Dr Kendrick and yourself, and all contributors to this amazing blog.

      2. Anna

        Goran,

        What’s the deal on alcohol? I thought it was liver poison pure and simple, but which nonetheless is associated with longevity if done in moderation because stress is worse than liver poison.

    1. Mark Johnson

      Dr. Göran Sjöberg The present “statin case” fits very well, together with the Galileo case, by its shear magnitude and complexity, into this way of looking at science.

      …With your evident familiarity with the Galileo subject it though surprises me that you don’t mention the great book by Giorgio de Santillana, “The Crime of Galileo”, which, as far as I understand it, is pretty well within your line of thinking,

      You’re right Dr. Göran, Galileo and (not only) the statin case fit very well together. It’ll be interesting when historians look back at the diet / heart myths, cholesterol / statins nonsense, LCHF / high carb, Dr Yudkin against sugar, Dr Wakefield and MMR / autism associations, Marshall and Warren / Helicobacter pylori, global warming and of course Dr Kendrick’s blog(!) etc in a hundred years time to see who’ll “get the blame” and for what and how things will become distorted because of the prevailing vested interests of the time. It wouldn’t surprise me if on some futuristic blog a poster will suggest that a Dr Kendrick in the early 21st Century was responsible for setting back scientists from discovering what really caused heart disease by “confusing issues” and also persecuting scientists on some archaic thing called the internet by his irreverent rantings. That distortion of the facts is what’s really happened over the centuries with Galileo and his alleged persecution by The Church.

      Sasha: But he [Galileo] was still persecuted by the Church, was he not? And for ideas that later proved to be correct. Or are you disputing that?

      Yes, I am disputing that.

      Dr Göran, in the book you mentioned by Giorgio de Santillana: “The Crime of Galileo” the author demonstrates how academia was primarily responsible for the inquisitions and suppressions filed against Galileo, and how they used rhetoric and demagoguery to incite Church authorities to become involved. According to Giorgio de Santillana, “Those who Galileo feared were the professors,” not ecclesiastical authorities. And, “like Galileo, Copernicus had foreseen resistance but not from the Church authorities but from vested academic interests”. “It was not … religious convictions that stood in the way but simply … Aristotelian conditioning and … fear of scandal”. The author supports his case with a thorough and chronological review of the letters and legal records of the time. It’s exactly the same today with academia in the form of Sir Prof Rory Collins re statins, hounding good doctors who dare to speak against his wisdom, dietetics organisations hounding good doctors like Professor Noakes or Dr Annika Dahlqvist or Dr Gary Fettke, the GMC attempting to gag Dr Wakefield etc etc etc. Times just never change.

      So just like “everyone knows” that cholesterol causes heart disease, “everyone knows” sugar is a nutrient and OK as part of a balanced, calorie controlled diet, “everyone knows” that fat clogs the arteries and will cause a heart attack, “everyone knows” that mankind is causing global warming and “everyone knows” that bacteria can’t survive in the stomach (actually that one’s gone now but it was a widely taught fact in medical schools until only a couple of decades or so ago). And everyone also knows that the Church persecuted Galileo for his discoveries. None of it is true.

      It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble, it’s what we know that ain’t so.

      Reply
      1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        Thank you Mark – I really appreciate your informed respons.

        I am, as professor Richard Dawkins, a stern atheist but have always wondered about the high academic levels of the Jesuits.

        And I do believe in the natural “science” coinciding with “reality”.

      2. Gary Ogden

        Mark Johnson: Very interesting. I’m not certain if it was here or elsewhere that someone with experience in business, government, and academia posted. We all know that it’s all politics all the time in these three realms, but the point of the comment was that academia is the worst (nastiest) for this, and business the least worst.

  48. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

    About Mercola!

    I always read his newsletter with interest. It is obvious from his Merry Christmas greeting this year, when counting the number of people on his staircase.where he displays all his staff, that he is a “big player” in the alternative healing business.

    I though wonder for how long BigParma/BigAgro will allow him to continue before shutting down his business. Probably he has a couple of lawyers in his large team to help him off.

    Reply
    1. John U

      A lot of people believe that there should be a place for “integrative medicine” or “alternative medicine”, etc. I am not one of them. Either you are an accredited medical doctor or you are a not, and even here we have a lot of variance in skill. One main reason that such “alternatives” exist is because most people have limited understanding of science but unlimited desire for belief in miracles. Another reason is that many properly accredited medical doctors do not take the time to truly explain why the course of treatment being prescribed is the best one, in as simple terms as possible, especially when the patient explicitly asks for such explanations. This is a failing in the “market place of medicine” and many alternative medical practitioners are standing by to fill the void, often to the detriment of the patient, but not always. And therein lies the problem. Alternative medicine flourishes by default, not because it is offering better or even equal care quality, but because the patient perceives it to be so. I don’t think there is a solution this “problem”, and maybe one is not required.

      Reply
      1. Mark Johnson

        Alternative medicine flourishes by default, not because it is offering better or even equal care quality, but because the patient perceives it to be so.

        Tell that to a type 2 diabetic who was on metformin for ten years, then started on insulin, gained weight, suffered a heart attack and is about to lose or limb whilst going blind. Then speak to Dr Gary Fettke – if he’s actually able to speak to you without getting locked up.

        There shouldn’t be “conventional” or “alternative” or “functional” medicine, just medicine. Whatever works. Truly evidence, not eminence based.

      2. Sasha

        It’s a strange term “alternative” or “complimentary” medicine. There’s only good medicine, bad medicine, and quackery. A lot of good medicine, especially in chronic disease management, falls under what’s now considered “alternative”.

      3. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        John,

        The problem of medicine today is definitely not “integrative medicine” or “alternative medicine”. It is the evidence based medicine which we are all exposed to through the “health care system”. And this is not an innocent activity since it is killing people in millions in the name of science. To me, you must be blind if you don’t realize this.

        Are you e.g. actually defending the use of statins injuring people en mass today? Or of the medical community advising of our 500 millions T2 diabetics to continue poisoning themselves with carbs in order to peddle drugs by the GP’s and defending the medical inquisition chasing those trying to change this situation?

        This is an ongoing crime and a systematic fraud of science through a criminal medical system in the hands of BigPharma.

        As a man of lifetime natural science, this is just too much for me today.

      4. Sylvia

        Alt medicine, well you have to use it to know its efficacy. Homoeopathy is effective, use it on family and my animals. Everything has its boundaries. My daughter uses it on the horses at the stables where she teaches. George McLoud was a renowned authority on homoeopathy for animals, his books are full of extensive, useful, informative information, as are many modern day vets who know it’s curative abilities. I do get flak from those disputing this, and I apologise to my orthodox believers. My nursing career has not prohibited my love of another useful tool that heals, as an A/E nurse I also observed the wonder of another approach.
        It was a GP whose introduced me to homoeopathy, and it was a privilege to learn from him.
        Apologies for a well intentioned rant.

      5. John U

        Goran, I apologize if I gave the impression of defending statins or any other unsupportable practices for mainstream doctors. That was not my intention. I was trying to explain why such things as “alternative” medicine exist in the first place. I am not a fan of alternative medicine in general (homeopathy, Reikki, Naturopathy, etc.) because it is mostly not evidence based. Unfortunately, so too are some practices of main stream medical practitioner, and I also do not condone these ( statins and the slew of drugs prescribed for T2D related symptoms). But at least mainstream doctors attempt to use science properly while I perceive that the “alternative” group don’t really care whether their practice is science based, as long as people buy in. I spend my winters in Florida and read the local papers. These are full of advertisements for all kinds of practices which can only be described as outright quackery, but clearly the advertisement work because they continue to be repeated. Most people in need of solutions to their ailments are often desperate and will try anything, and there are always “doctors” willing to provide “solutions” for a fee.

      6. Sasha

        I don’t know about Homeopathy and Reiki but there are a ton of things in Naturopathy that are evidence based. They work and they work better than pharma alternatives.

      7. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        John,

        For sure I see the same weaknesses as you but realize that there are “gems” hidden in “alternative” medicin but you have to do your home work properly to sort things out for yourself.

        E.g., I learnt from Pauling about vitamin E in therapeutic doses (1600 IU) for angina and since there were no “side effects” I decided to try for myself. Actually it seems to work fine and now for three years and besides it is a cheap treatment.

      8. Mr Chris

        John U
        The medical profession is not infallible, they are not the unique source of cures. I don’t know how long you have followed these blogs, but in the replies and comments there are some pretty incredible stories and I doubt they are the result of self-delusion. I have the impression in reading your comment, that you think the existence of alternate medicine is due to the fact that all doctors are not perfect. I have listened to enough ex cathedra pronouncements by doctors, to have reaced the conclusion that the the medical professions major failing is arrogance and lack of humility. Just acknowledging that the human body and mind is incredibly complex, and that they do not have all the answers, would be a major step forward.

      9. sasha

        The whole differentiation into “conventional” and “alternative” medicine is silly. The only differentiation that exists: good medicine, bad medicine, and quackery.

        There are good and bad medical practices within both modern and traditional medical practices. If a patient is stabbed, or develops C. diff in his intestines, or suffers from an acute coronary event and so forth, modern medicine has the best practices to offer. However, in most if not all chronic conditions, including post MI recovery, traditional medical practices: acupuncture and Chinese herbology, Ayurveda, and some Naturopathic practices have much more to offer than modern medicine.

      10. Mr Chris

        Sasha
        We are in total agreement on this. My beef is with those who treat all alternate medicine as quackery. If you need a hip replacement, new knees, that sort of stuff modern medicine is miraculous, but the seeming desire to get healthy people on to expensive medicine for the rest of their lives, with dubious benefits is a no no.

      11. sasha

        Mr Chris

        I think we both agree that the term “alternative medicine” is incorrect. There is simply no such thing. There are good medical practices, bad medical practices, and quackery. The term was originally developed to describe everything that didn’t fall within the confines of modern medicine and has recently been hijacked by pseudo sceptics on various “science” based blogs (like SBM) to attack anything they don’t like. Those people aren’t scientists, they are religious zealots. They think that if they proclaim themselves to be medical “authorities” we will start listening to them. Nothing can be further from the truth. I quoted some of SBM writings to MDs I know and they just rolled their eyes and said things that I can’t print here because it would definitely violate Dr Kendrick’s rule of no personal insults.

        Regarding hip and knee replacements. Unfortunately, those things are far from miraculous even if they are presented as such. “The Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine” mentions that the human knee joint is more slippery than a skate sliding on ice. How can such a thing be replicated mechanically? The answer is it can not.

        Thus, the only thing truly miraculous is a human body and anyone facing an orthopedic issue should do anything possible to resolve the issue working with the body rather than replacing its parts. That means dietary changes, collagen supplementation, acupuncture, herbal medicine, Feldenkrais, yoga, etc. In short, all the things that work so well and which give SBM pseudo sceptics night sweats.

        Now, most smart MDs know this and you would have to work very hard to convince them to go under the knife. There’s a good article on this subject – “How Doctors Die”. I think it should be supplemented with “How Doctors Live”.

        I will mention two stories just to illustrate this point.

        My father has been in medicine for over 44 years, half of it as a general surgeon, the other half as anesthesiologist. In his younger years he was also a semi professional volley ball player so his knees are shot. He plays tennis regularly and a few years ago his knees started giving up on him – lots of pain, swelling, inflammation, etc. He consulted a couple of orthopedists who suggested high tech solutions including knee replacements. Being a smart, experienced MD, he disregarded their advice, did some reading on collagen supplementation (apparently there are studies done on it in Russia and Italy) and started taking it. It’s been 3 years now and his knees are fine.

        The other story is about a conversation between a woman (not an MD herself but married to one) and an anesthesiologist (an ex-colleague of my Mom). The woman developed back issues and was convinced to undergo surgery. Which didn’t help, as is often the case. The MD asked her if she found anything that did help. She said yes, yoga. And the MD said: “I am conducting an experiment. I’m asking all the patients I meet with back surgeries whether it helped them. I am yet to find one”.

        Sorry for the long post but I agree with Dr Kendrick that the world changes one conversation at a time))

      12. Eric

        Many here seem to be missing John U’s point. Turning your back on dubious practices by so called evidence based medicine does not mean that the opposite is automatically a good thing to endorse.

    2. MindBody

      they have been trying to discredit him for a long while. Many Americans I know glaze over and start calling him a quack whenever his name is mentioned.

      He is actually a very credible doctor (Doctor of Osteopathy- which in the US is very similar to a conventional family doctor) and has a number of studies and papers on Pubmed.

      Big Pharma have been trying to discredit him for years, but that is unlikely to succeed as
      1) Too many people are interested in functional medicine.
      2) Part of the reason for the growth of functional and nutritional medicine is that conventionnal medicine is now beyond the financial reach of many people requiring medical help.
      3) A series of scandals re the safety of new drugs ( Statins, Avandia, Combination Anorectics, Vioxx, SSRI related suicides) have eroded the trust of doctors and patients in pharmaceutical companies.

      I am a GP myself, and my world view was radically and permanently altered when I found that Vioxx had caused so many heart attacks and that the information about that risk had been suppressed at the time that Merck (I think) got the drug licenced by the FDA.

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        MindBody: Dr. Mercola is indeed a source of much good information, fully referenced. I trust what he says, as it nearly always agrees with the other research I’ve done, and common sense, as well. As for Dr. Cowan’s views of the heart and circulatory system, I find them interesting, and would enjoy reading a reasoned critique.

      2. John U

        MindBody, being as you are a GP in the US, I am curious to know if you read that article on his blog written Dr. Cowan. If you have, would you agree with his description of how a human heart pump blood, vortices and all, relevance of his description of so many blood vessel which would cover 1 to 3 football fields,
        He says “The heart is a vortex-creating machine……..” Is this relevant? Can any vortex be sustained in the blood vessel network to affect your foot? Not a chance in hell.
        Then he says “The fourth phase of water is formed by the interaction of water and a hydrophilic surface. What happens with that is you form a gel layer, or protective layer, on that hydrophilic surface, which is negatively charged.” Do you believe this? Is this another “Phase” of water, a gel with negative charge? What prevents the charge from completely dissipating being that is it an a very electrically conductive environment?
        Then he says “All you need is a hydrophilic tube, which forms a gel layer, which is negatively charged, and then the bulk water is positively charged. The positive charges repel each other and that starts the flow going up the hill” . What “hill”? Why would the charges not cancel each other out?
        Then he says “The ideal is to be exposed to the sun while grounding, meaning walking barefoot. This forms a biological circuit that makes it work even better.” Biological circuit, what is that? Fancy term for a conductive electrical sink perhaps? I don’t know, but it sounds like quackery to me.
        Then he speaks of Negative ions from the Earth and The field effect or touch from another living being, such as laying on of hands. What negative ions would those be? And then the laying of the hands, I had to stop reading. This was the most flagrant bunch of quackery I have ever read on a supposedly “good” site.
        Please let me know your comments. Would you post such an article on your page? If you would, I would not be visiting your practice for any help.

      3. MindBody

        Hi John,
        Re Mercola’s site– of course i would not propose that all of it was correct. I could say the same for Harrison’s Textbook of Medicine, with its doctrinaire slant on statins etc. Wherever we go- we need to use our sense and look for alternate sources of information that can cross reference and test what we are reading. I know of no site that I can say is all good or all bad and we always have to use our judgment.

        I struggle to understand most of what Cowan is talking about- and therefore I would not be putting my stamp of approval to it. His material was not well written, the ideas were not well connected and it was not well referenced.
        I did read a couple of articles about him on Mercola’s site– and they were like the curate’s egg– good in parts.
        I also did a bit of back dredging on the web and found that many of Cowan’s ideas about the action of the heart go back to Rudolph Steiner’s anthroposophical medicine. That is a philosophical approach and many of its assertions are based on Steiner’s claims to be able to see etheric planes and so forth That’s all a bit above my head— literally if you have ever seen the diagrams of these things (sorry– bad visual joke 🙂

        However the material discussed in the intervew I read made several excellent points
        1) Role of the parasympathetic nervous system. This is well established- and discussed in Stephen Porges book “The Polyvagal Theory” and various interventions aimed at raising parasympathetic tone (from minfdulness to biofeedback) are now well accepted.
        2) The value of full spectrum sunlight exposure- again well accepted.
        3) The role of grounding in human health is becoming more clear and is well supported by research- ie the Earth has a negative electrical charge, the atmosphere is positive. If we wear insulated shoes or walk on insulated ground we gradually lose electrons and become positively charge. Antioxidants in our system work by donating electrons to free radicals and neutralising them, but that works poorly if we are electron deplete

        Cowan’s idea of walking along the wet beach holding hands was all very romantic and lovely- but it is not convenient most of the time!. I have a bed sheet that wires in to the earth socket or into a spike in wet ground- and that works very well.

      4. Gary Ogden

        MindBody: Rudolph Steiner had some interesting and useful insights about the growth of plants, which today informs the practice of biodynamic farming and gardening.

      5. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        John,

        Here I fully agree with you.

        Actually the only entry I have ever made on Mercola’s website was actually to adress this nonsens about the “charged water”. The water molecules for sure are bi-polar which makes water the excellent solvent for ionic salts it is but that is quite another thing. I think this nonsense it is a real pity since I find Mercola’s site otherwise full of interesting information about what is otherwise covered up and not least with interviews and references to many interesting books.

        I guess, when you have come across this kind of flagrant quackery, it is easy, as I stated before, to throw out the baby with the bathing water.

        I have always wondered if it could be possible to clean “alternative medicine” from this kind of obvious quackery. It should, in fact, be much more easier to expose these often “childish” claims than to expose the extremely much more sophisticated quackery of Big Pharma claiming the evidence based medicine were the quackery is, most often than not, hidden under layers upon layers of abused science. And the amount of harm done is evidently in proportion to the sophistication and the money involved.

      6. Mark Johnson

        Can any vortex be sustained in the blood vessel network to affect your foot? Not a chance in hell.

        Hmmm, yes. Some of the assertions seem a bit left field, to say the least.

      7. thelastfurlong

        I’m still digesting what I am hearing and reading about this – but I think the vortex doesn’t carry on in the blood – the blood/electrical charge/whatever is set up IN the vortex. The vortex alters the blood, which then procedes out of the heart.

        I remember the absolute hilarity about the idea of Techtonic Plates, and that stomach ulcers were connected to bacteria.

        I’m not ridiculing just yet – just trying to understand.

      8. Sasha

        It’s important to keep in mind that 90% of the people with H. Pylori never develop ulcers and for them H. Pylori actually has protective effects. Thus, ulcer development (like any other condition) is never linear: bacteria – ulcer. Our mind tends to look for linear relationships which can create lots of problems in the long run. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Medicine.

      9. Eric

        Chris Adams: The book “the fourth phase of water” seems to be available for free download as pdf. I didn’t bother after reading some comments on amazon. Apparently, he is proposing oxygen triple bonds, which is plainly ridiculous and easily falsified by x-ray diffractometry. We are not talking about bad science in medicine here, this is already bad chemistry!

    3. Mark Johnson

      I am, as professor Richard Dawkins, a stern atheist but have always wondered about the high academic levels of the Jesuits.

      The Jesuits really are interesting. As far as I know they all have to be at least graduates and are often PhDs before they even enter seminary. Many are molecular biologists, astrophysicists, and MDs, who then choose to become priests.

      Reply
      1. Jim Chinnis

        But there’s no longer any incentive for pharma to fund statin trials. But just to be clear, I was mostly arguing that statins won’t be abandoned any time soon because of the published trials showing reductions in mortality, etc. Fudged or not, those large trials are out there.

      2. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        Jim. Sorry misunderstood your point. I agree, that statin trials will no longer be funded. I also agree they won’t be abandoned soon. The thincs group has just put together another broad attack on statins which, we hope, will demonstrate how fudged those trials actually were.

    1. Stephen T

      Jim, I wonder what side effects those studies showed? None, probably. But my brother was losing his memory and almost I everybody I know has suffered problems that mysteriously disappeared when they stopped taking statins.

      I would trust a pharma study if they told me Christmas fell in December.

      Reply
      1. Martin Back

        @mindbody: Christmas doesn’t necessarily fall in December. If you are an Orthodox Christian it falls on January 7.

      2. chris c

        I’m one of the only people I know who never had any problems with statins. Do you think if I told that to Sir Professor Rory Collins he would send me some of his money?

        Conversely my mother was one of the only people I knew who was never prescribed them. I often wonder if she’d taken them whether she would have lived to be 95? This is currently presumed to be impossible.

        My first thought on hearing of the death of George Michael at 53 from heart failure was “was he on statins?” I wonder about the Queen too.

      3. Gary Ogden

        chris c: I’ve read more than once that the British royals use homeopathy and drink raw milk. True or not, it seems they’re doing something right in regard to health, though the low-stress sinecure must play a role in their longevity.

      4. Frederica Huxley

        I may well be wrong,but I have always understood that The Queen has had a homeopathic doctor since childhood, so I would be extreme surprised if she was prescribed statins!

      5. chris c

        Yes and I believe the Queen eats a whole food low carb diet too. So much for the “extreme dangers” dieticians always warn us about eh? I could also suggest the Duke of Edinburgh eats royal jelly but I might be arrested for treason.

    2. Gary Ogden

      Jim Chinnis: Bear in mind that negative trials are not commonly published. I suspect were all trials analyzed in this manner the results would be different. It simply makes no sense that blocking a biological pathway could have an overall longevity benefit on a population level, since we evolved that pathway for a good reason and it has served us well for thousands of generations, while heart disease is essentially a twentieth century phenomenon. This paper also contradicts MRFIT, which shows that RR rises in men with TC below 160 and above 239, the sweet spot lying between these values; for women the RR rises below 200 and not until well above 239. Among elderly French women (team age 82) the lowest mortality is at TC 270, rising moderately between 240 and 310, but steeply below 200 (higher at 200 than at 350). I’m not buyin’ it.

      Reply
      1. robert lipp

        Evolution and Pathways

        Logically: If a Pathway kills the person before reproductive age then evolution should eventually eliminate that Pathway. However, if the Pathway causes premature death later in life then it is less likely to be eliminated from the gene pool – the Pathway, good or bad for long term health, has contributed to the continuity of the next generation.

      2. Martin Back

        @Robert: If a person is past reproductive age but is still able to contribute to the raising of the young e.g. by contributing financially to the family instead of wasting their money on ineffective medication like statins, then that trait will get passed on and spread throughout the population. (We might need tougher times and higher infant mortality for a rapid spread, though.)

    3. Eliot

      I seem to recall that no individual statin studies had shown a decrease in all-cause mortality in the past. So they did a meta-analysis and now show a decrease? Isn’t that like adding up a bunch of zeros and getting 10?

      They did admit that the results were not fully due to lowering LDL.

      Reply
      1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        No, there were studies that showed a decrease in overall mortality. 4S and HPS were the most ‘positive’. However, I do not like the concept of increase in overall mortality. Superficially, this is a good thing. However, this outcome measure fails to address the critical issues ‘how much longer did (those extra people alive at the end of the trial) live.’ Or how much longer, on average, can you expect to live if you take a statin. The answer, if you take all the positive statin studies together is, 4.2 days in secondary prevention and 2.9 in primary prevention – after taking a statin for five years. Or around 0.7 days per year.

      2. Sasha

        This is one crazy number. I remember being blown away by it when I first came across it in one of your books…

      3. David Bailey

        I think the crucial point about medical meta-analyses, is that if you need one to show something has a statistically significant effect and/or if the studies aren’t very consistent), then that effect is too small to be of any use to you as a patient!

      4. Eliot

        Are these meta-analysis studies mixing primary prevention with secondary? I think it has been shown that in many studies statins offer little no benefit for people without CVD. Maybe they are trying to get the small benefit for secondary prevention to spill over to everyone.

        Also, as Dr K points out, the rules changed in 2005 so meta-studies should give separate results pre and post 2005.

  49. Frances Chaloner

    Since reading Dr Damian Downing’s ‘Daylight Robbery’ many years ago I have been highly suspicious of the current fashion for advising people to avoid the sun and slather themselves in sun factor 50 lotions.
    This post if full of interesting information and wise advice, fully supporting Dr Downing’s observations.
    I hope common sense will prevail over the hockus pockus masquerading as good science. I also agree with the person posting about current UK hypothyroid treatment, which leaves a great deal to be desired.

    Reply
  50. Mae

    Did you know that, after new regulations came in ensuring full disclosure of clinical trials, in 2005, there has not been a positive statin trial. What a strange coincidence.

    It’s a conundrum Dr Kendrick. Perhaps we should consult an expert in numerology as it’s clearly something to do with the numbers 2005 and onwards. Obviously.

    Reply
  51. angiewhitelondon

    ironic eh…
    I have an appointment in the new year with a dietitian as part as an NHS community health programme who, on referral has emailed me the text in quotes below. One of those sources was yours which I discussed with my health partner. My initial thoughts were that I’d be wasting my time seeing her as she will only follow current NICE guidelines. As you say, there is still a long way to go to go re the CVD / Cholesterol hypothesis, statins and diet. I mentioned that overall cholesterol had reduced since I reintroduced saturated animal fats more olive oil into my diet and removed those that can cause inflammation. It seems I’ll have to continue to look out for my own health interests to do what I can to prevent becoming a burden on NHS.

    “with regards to some of the information you have obtained about saturated fat and cholesterol. I am responsible for clarifying and justifying nutrition and dietary information for our clients. I understand that you have found some resources online, however unfortunately, they are not from reliable sources and are not evidence-based dietary guidance. There are a lot of mixed messages in the media and by certain doctors who claim that saturated fats are beneficial to health, however there is no robust evidence and therefore public health guidelines remain unchanged – which is to reduce saturated fat intake (such as coconut oil, palm oil, butter, meat fats) and replace them with unsaturated fats (such as olive, rapeseed, sunflower oils, margarines). Dietary information must come from reliable evidence-based sources to ensure safety of consumption of food products, safety of our clients, but most importantly to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and long term health issues as part of this service. If there is any information you seek regarding fats and cholesterol, please ONLY use the British Dietetic Association website, British Heart Foundation, HEART UK (cholesterol charity). Each of these organisations have clinical teams (doctors, nurses, dietitians, clinical advisors) that provide evidence-based practice and information in line with public health guidance from WHO and foods standards agency.”

    Thanks for the most accessible books and this brilliant blog. Have a fabulous Xmas and all the best for 2017!

    Reply
    1. Sylvia

      Heard the tail end of news this morning about targeting those at risk of developing T2D, advice about diet ( what kind of diet) . Excercise advice. GP’s to identify and then refer. What will the rebel doctors say about this I wonder.

      Reply
      1. Anna

        This person does not know what she is talking about. Margarine was pulled off the list of acceptable foods in 2002. It was quietly, though widely distributed through all news media that the recommended daily amount of hydrogenated oils was zero. It was right after that they started talking about “trans fat and saturated fat.” That was a somewhat face-saving maneuver but whatever studies they had about saturated fat were not the ones showing that hydrogenated and trans fats were bad news. They threw them together so as to not have the change look so stark and so they could go on with the diet heart disease hypothesis.

    2. David Bailey

      Angie,

      You are obviously going to find your visit to the dietician ‘interesting’!

      I think one tactic would be to arm yourself with the results (plus references) of actual studies that have shown saturated fat intake to be harmless, and/or some of the many contradictions that get discussed here.

      You won’t get an immediate response (these people know their job is on the line if they deviate from their script), but if you leave the paper with the references, you may sow some seeds of doubt in your dietician.

      If you point out that HEART UK and other bodies seem to be ignoring the results of actual medical studies, that may have an effect behind the scenes.When I first read Malcolm’s books, it was my first introduction to a world where SF’s were good and nutritious, statins were bad, and cholesterol was irrelevant! What convinced me, was a) that he is a practising doctor, and b) that what he was saying was backed up by actual studies (that are performed at great expense, and then ignored).

      Having said all that, I must confess that I did hardly any of that with my doctor. I can’t blame him for being given rotten advice, and (I am British) I didn’t want to make a fuss! Also, I am sure that if anything actually went wrong with me, he would be useful. In return, he has never suggested statins again! I did once see a dietician (because of high blood sugar that would seem to have been caused by the statin), but that was before I knew better!

      Reply
      1. Mark Johnson

        @ angiewhitelondon

        Tell your dietician to get and read the following books:

        The Big Fat Surprise: why butter, meat, and cheese belong in a healthy diet by Nina Teicholz

        The Obesity Epidemic: What caused it? How can we stop it? by Zoe Harcombe

        The Real Meal Revolution: The Radical, Sustainable Approach to Healthy Eating by Professor Tim Noakes

        Then ask her to call you after she’s read them.

        Unfortunately for the dietician, if she does read the books and if she has any integrity she’ll find herself increasingly stressed at the dilemma she now faces in her professional life, ie can she in all conscience carry on giving out the old crap dietary advice she’s been trained to, now that she knows better?

    3. chris c

      Ah, the infamous “black ops outfits” all financed by drug companies, margarine manufacturers and carbohydrate processors. Must be telling the truth then.

      Reply
  52. MindBody

    Thankyou for this most informative blog.

    I was especially pleased to see the reference to the actual article discussing the benefits of sun exposure.

    I would make one comment though, in your passing reference to sunburn. You are discussing the matter from a Northern European perspective where the UV index is low.
    In Southern Australia at this time of year the index is often over 12 at the middle of the day and the “time to burn” for untanned skin is about 12 minutes.

    As a GP I have spent much time cutting relatively benign but destructive skin cancers (Basal Cell and Squamous Cell Carcinoma) off the heads of old men who have worked outdoors in their youth and middle age. The worst one I remember ended up with a non healing ulcer on the crown of his head about the size of the palm of my hand. That was triggered by overly aggressive surgery at the local hospital- but he had to have it re-dressed every day for the rest of his 6-7 years.

    Equally a severe sunburn can be quite a medical crisis, with a very severe inflammatory response, and can leave you feeling very unwell for several days.

    Overall though I agree with your basic premise- that we evolved as creatures that live outdoors, and that the real cause of most disease is an ill fit between our current environment and that which our genes fit us for.

    I just happen to live in a part of the world in which the natives have been selected over the generations for dark skin!

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      I have learned, over the years, that I can either be completely accurate, and mention all provisos etc. Or I can provide a broad brush approach. The first way of doing things is scientifically much better – unfortunately, eyes glaze over and the main point is missed. The broad brush approach gets the message out there, and then the important provisos can be be discussed.

      In short, your point is completely valid, thank you for making it.

      Reply
  53. MindBody

    You mention Nitric Oxide and the role of Vitamin D in producing it.
    Nitric Oxide is coming up more frequently in the medical and complementary press. It is probably best known for its role in making Viagra work.
    It is also possible to boost nitric oxide by taking supplements of arginine.

    I think you could considerably extend the usefulness of your blog by discussing the nitric oxide connection further.

    Reply
    1. finty56

      I couldn’t agree more, I speak from my own experience of almost dying from a massive heart attack at age 45.At that time I was a really fit person with a bad family history of heart disease, I was taking statin drugs to reduce my cholesterol levels.Luckily I managed to survive the heart attack with a 95% blockage of the main artery.
      The following twelve years I kept taking the statin drugs until I read up on the research conducted at the high desert heart inistitute by Dr Siva Arunasalam his study of over 33 end stage heart patients proved that by increasing the nitric oxide levels in the body some amazing things happened to those patients.
      I was encouraged to try Proargi 9 plus in December 2012 and I felt so good on the product that in February 2015 I had an angiogram done. The cardiologist said the results were reassuring and I had no plaque build up in my cardiovascular system the Proargi 9 plus had done a marvelous job relaxing my blood vessels and cleaning my arteries. I haven’t taken a statin for three years why would I?

      Reply
      1. Mr Chris

        Finty
        Proargi looks much more expensive than other means of L Arginine. Is there a reason for the price difference?

      2. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        If so, sorry. I get a lot of stuff where people spot a busy blog and think it fine to throw adverts at it. I have ad blocker, to stop most of this happening. I try to keep this site free from any commercial bias, if possible. I have no problem with people pointing at good books, or good products, the line can get blurry.

      3. Mark Johnson

        You can easily and cheaply buy bags of arginine and / or citrulline powder from body building sites and mix with water. Take a K2 capsule on top and you’ve effectively got the advertised product but without the artificial sweetener. You can’t patent an amino acid!

      4. Mark Johnson

        @ Gary Ogden

        Thanks for your reply re vaccines and the book recommendation: “The Environmental and Genetic Causes of Autism,” by James Lyons-Weiler, PhD. Looks very interesting.

        Once upon a time I’d have labelled anyone who questioned the efficacy and absolute requirement of vaccination as a dangerous nut. By my own definition, I have become a dangerous nut.

      1. Eric

        Can somebody enlighten me why would want to take citrulline?

        As far as I can tell, it is a byproduct of the production of NO from L-arginine;
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citrulline

        Maybe this is too simplistic, but reaction kinetics says that if you increase the concentration of one byproduct of a reaction, you are moving the equilibrium towards a higher educt concentration, so you will end up with more educt (L-arginine) and less of the desired product (NO).

        It is also an indicator of nitrosative stress, as occurs as a result of inflammation.
        https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citrullin

        The popularity of citrulline products with athletes seems to have its origin in this one paper:
        http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/36/4/282.long

        Is there anything else out there that points to a benefit for CV health?

    2. PeggySue

      “Considerably extend the usefulness of your blog” – ooooh, good job I’m full of Christmas cheer or I’d be very impolite.
      I speak personally of course, but I can’t put into words how grateful I have been to Dr Kendrick and to the many fine contributors to this blog over the last two years or so.
      With every single episode I have gained in some way – I was literally thrilled to find a new entry on Christmas Eve, like discovering a treat under the tree – and as we are talking about matters of our very health and wellbeing this cannot be considered merely “useful”.
      Thank you Dr Kendrick for providing this wonderful forum.
      I wish you all a Happy New Year. Hic …

      Reply
  54. Maureen Berry

    Thanks for this instalment, Malcolm and a Merry Christmas to you and your family, thanks for all you do. As a LCHF follower and naturist, I now confidently expect hubby and me to live for ever! Greetings from the finest naturist resort in Europe, Vera Playa where we we are enjoying fabulous Christmas weather.

    Reply
  55. Soul

    Natural full spectrum light is a nutrient I’ve come to believe.

    I suspect artificial lights, in particular some fluorescent lights with limited spectrum can cause health issues.

    Reply
    1. Gary Ogden

      Soul: Do you think a full-spectrum bulb would be more healthful for light therapy in winter than a bulb which produces more light in the UVB range?

      Reply
      1. Soul

        I don’t know. I lean more toward full spectrum lights as being more helpful in winter. Other spectrums of light outside of UVB can be beneficial to health. Additionally when indoors most would not wear sunglasses blocking light rays. The eyes are an important pathway for light therapy.

        This video by John Ott might be helpful. John Ott was a time laps photographer that did work on the health benefits seen with full spectrum light.

        “The Effects of Natural and Artificial Light on Living Organisms. Part 2.”

  56. Joyce

    Isn’t there anyone else apart from me who is just plain ANGRY beyond words at the LIES and unforgivable DESTRUCTION of so many people’s lives in the name of misplaced pride and MONEY? Thank you Malcolm for all the “flack” you’ve taken in the name of TRUTH. x

    Reply
  57. Jennifer.

    Hello Joyce, I think you will find that a great percentage of contributors on this blog, myself included, have constantly expressed anger about the state of affairs of our medical, pharmacy and food industries.
    The good thing is, that the message is getting out there to the general public, but it is up to us to get the ‘experts’ to acknowledge their lies, perpetuating the demise of public health, and the escalating expense to the public purse.
    I am thankful that I am retired, because had I still been employed in NHS, and aware of what I have learned in the last 4 years, I would be out on my heels by now, unable to shut up about the brilliant contributors to this blog.

    Reply
  58. Gary Ogden

    Speaking of Dr. Mercola, he has an excellent post today on the wonderful health benefits of beets, particularly when fermented. I’ve always liked to give my beet kvass a long time to age in the fridge, but I won’t be doing that any more, as the beneficial properties rapidly decline after 30 days of storage. I always have some before my morning run, as the nitrates increase the capacity for NO production in the sunlight I run in.

    Reply
      1. John U

        Dr. Kendrick, keeping an open mind is fine and advisable. However, you are a well educated doctor, capable of discerning good science from flakey. A lot of readers do not have this ability. So I am just not as kind as you in this regards. Good blog hosts need to control the quality of the posts which are made, and these post need to be delivering truth, or as close as one can come to truth within the confines of what we know. Some blogs do this well. Others are just in it for the money.

      2. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        Hmmm. Well I am certainly not in it for the money. If so, I have messed up somewhere. My rules for this blog are simple. No personal insults, no direct adverts, nothing that is complete gibberish (perhaps a few have sneaked through on this rule). Once I start to decree what is, and what is not, the truth, I think I might be suffering from scientific hubris. I also seriously doubt that the truth rests within the confines of what we know. To accept that, would be to deny science itself. I remember well, reading about Einstein’s views on Wegener’s hypothesis that the Earth’s surface moved on massive tectonic plates. He dismissed it as arrant nonsense. John Snow’s views that cholera was a water borne disease – dismissed as nonsense… one could go on, and on, and on, and on….and on. I see no benefit to a scientific discussion where the boundaries are drawn by those who feel they know what is, and what is not, the truth. As Isaac Asimov once opined: ‘The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ but ‘That’s funny…’ New discovery’s are not going to be made within the boundaries of that which is already known to be true. Science is there to be smashed to pieces.

      3. Sasha

        What a great response, Dr Kendrick! Spoken like a true scientist. You truly are an inspiration.

        An idea that MDs are scientists as opposed to practitioners of other modalities is a myth. There are scientists within all fields but they usually are in the minority.

      4. luanali

        Dr. Kendrick,

        You don’t actually believe your statement about scientific hubris and science being there to be smashed to pieces, do you? Science, the scientific method to be exact, is the only way we can objectively know what is true. Your conclusions that statins are harmful, saturated fat and cholesterol are not, along with the other positions you’ve taken, have come as a result of your years of study, research, and intellectual curiosity. You’ve followed the science, and your objections are based on the science. You wouldn’t consider this scientific hubris, or feel that since these positions are science-based that they should be smashed to pieces, would you? Our understanding of what is true about the world is developed like building blocks resting on foundations that are demonstrably true, repeatedly. We rest for example on Semmelweis’ success with hand-washing and haven’t needed to throw that out.

        I think a lot of the confusion from various comments about science, what it is, and what its value is, boils down to a fundamental confusion about the difference between science and the scientific method. Fields of science and their claims to knowledge are supposed to be based on the scientific method but as we have seen, many fields (medicine possibly being the worst), and scientists themselves (notably the self-promotional and charismatic types), don’t at all follow the rules of science but claim their scientific authority nonetheless. And now, heartbreakingly, we have the corruption of the appearance of the scientific method from business interests.

        But even still, we know what is good science, proscribed by the very straightforward rules of the scientific method. And if we are honest with ourselves and not caught up in hubris, then we have to acknowledge that if there’s something we believe in that has not been demonstrated and repeated by the scientific method, then the most we can do is say “I don’t know,” or “It seems to work for me, for now, but that’s all I can say about it.” And to me, I put “alternative” medicine and supplements squarely in that category. If we say oh, there aren’t good studies showing their efficacy because big pharma’s against them, that may be true, but it doesn’t change the fact that they haven’t been fully vetted in the same way we seem to require pharmaceuticals to be vetted, with all the studies we pick apart.

        And that brings me to Mercola. I followed him about 20 years ago when I was into all-things alternative, and hadn’t yet read Carl Sagan’s The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, which corrected my many misunderstandings about science. Back then Mercola was pitching very different things, but he was just as certain about them as he is his contrary things today. He’s like many charismatic health promoters who end up being wrong without ever a need for public acknowledgement or even self-reflection about their thinking process. The only difference today is that he’s aged dramatically, an unfortunate reality for all the anti-aging products he’s aggressively promoted over the decades. It’s like Depok Chopra writing all the anti-aging books then dying his hair jet black as if we’d all be fooled.

        Anyway, Dr. Kendrick, it’s kind of you, but you’re nothing like Mercola. However you want to frame it, you’re clearly a man of science, who follows the science, and argues on the merits of the science, and like most really good scientists I have known, you’re genuinely humble about what you do and don’t know.

      5. sasha

        I don’t want to answer for Dr. Kendrick but I think he was just being poetic. What it meant to me was: a true scientist always questions their own assumptions about reality and tests their hypotheses. Hence, “science is there to be smashed to pieces”. Quite a poignant image, actually))

      6. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        You are correct. To be more accurate. Scientific hypotheses are there to be smashed to pieces. Science itself is, of course, one of mankind’s greatest… not quite sure what the word is. Aspirations, things? Science should not be smashed to pieces.

      7. luanali

        Thanks for clarifying. I was worried that you too were being overtaken by postmodernism! 🙂 All that “all things are relative,” “there’s no objective truth” b.s. is tempting.

      8. Kevin O'Connell

        I tend to think of Dr Mercola as an ‘early adopter’ so maybe ‘out in front’ rather than ‘out there’. It was on his blog that I first came across Dr Gerald Pollack (EZ water – 4th phase of water) and also the idea of earthing/grounding (although maybe I saw that first on Dr Briffa’s blog). I thought they were both ‘out there’ (no doubt many still do) but Pollack’s science seems very good. Grounding/earthing is more controversial, but personal experience counts for a lot (improved my sleep no end) and, as Dr Briffa said – he didn’t care whether the effect was real or just placebo, as long as it worked!

      1. Jim Chinnis

        Wonderful response, Dr. Kendrick. I am new here and find your posts both thought-provoking and beautifully written. But there are quite enough echo chambers on the web, and you are exactly right that science cannot progress without disagreements.

  59. Frederica Huxley

    I’m going to reserve judgment on the 30 day comment – I have read a great deal about kvass and other vegetable ferments and have never read anything about the efficiency of the probiotics waning – many people keep their ferments active for months; indeed sauerkraut takes a month to go through the fermentation stages before maturity, and it can be kept for many months after that in the fridge!

    Reply
    1. Gary Ogden

      Frederica: The 30 day suggested limit for storing beet kvass came from a Polish lab, who tested it at intervals of up to 180 days. Not that it went bad, but that the antioxidant levels fell fairly rapidly after 30 days. You can read the paper by going to mercola.com to the article and clicking on reference 15. I usually age mine for six weeks, and the flavor is heavenly, but since it’s winter, when the beets grow very slowly (I only ferment my own garden produce), this works out for me; I’ll just use up all but one my jars, and by that time I’ll have some beets ready (I’ve had as many as fifteen jars stored at a time, which would mean about five months of aging).

      Reply
  60. thelastfurlong

    This is a comment made in desperation. I follow this blog minutely. I find the comments on it very inspirational – how ordinary people seem to be solving their health problems in all sorts of ways. But it’s not MY health that’s worrying me. I’m a diabetic sometimes, and sometimes not, depending on how I eat. Because I’m unmedicated, I can take any possible useful addition to my diet, like nettle, or Bergerine, or Turmeric/Curcumin and see if they help, or not. I am free to experiment.
    But,
    My husband developed Type 2 at least twenty years ago. Metformin gradually morphed into all sorts of dangerous medications like Avandia, Rosyglitizone (?), some kind of lizard poison ! (true) injectable pen, and I’ve forgotten what else. And now, having travelled through that territory, he currently takes Metformin and injected insulin.
    So,
    About 6 years ago, he developed arrythmia, then, two? years later he had a TIA – in his speech centre. More drugs.
    Then about two years ago he had a heart attack – more drugs.
    We have now ended up with a huge mix of possibly about 7 different drugs AND warfarin. He takes drugs for conditions he doesn’t even have (like high blood pressure)!
    In all this, they discovered a 95% stenosis in the right carotid artery (too dangerous to operate).
    He takes all his drugs, like a lamb.
    He has had two recent eye hemorrhages – from warfarin.

    He is not free! Nearly every helpful tip I find on this site, HE can’t try because – mainly – of the bloody warfarin.

    If it was me, I’d tell the doctor to stick his pills, slowly reduce them until I could use natural methods to attend to the problems I had.

    With all the drugs he’s on – is he healing? I don’t think so.
    We are both now in a position of fear. If I encourage him to dump the drugs, and he dies, or worse, is incapacitated, I’ll feel dreadful. And he is frightened of the same thing!

    Off the top of my head he takes one 75mlAspirin, one Enalipril, twice a day he takes Ramapril and Bisoprolol, also 500mg x2 Metformin, injected Humulin insulin 24 units morning and the same at night. Warfarin 10mg once per day. He did take Ator Vastatin (sp) but the side effects (cramps) were so terrible he told the doctor to shove them.

    What has made me feel extra frustrated about all this, was the latest NICE trials on the new blood thinner versus warfarin, which discovered that the more “other” drugs you take, the less successful either of them are.

    I’m just the wife, wondering if doctors are killing my husband slowly. Or if the diabetic drugs (which came first) have made him sick in the first place.

    Reply
    1. Sasha

      And the crazy thing is – T2D isn’t that hard to fix, especially in the beginning. But one would need to use the dreaded “alternatives”.

      It gets harder once you start injecting insulin. Still possible, but harder.

      Reply
      1. robert lipp

        Sasha and thelastfurlong
        Diabetes can be “treated” at any stage – the damage done may not be reverseble.
        my wife had diabetes for many years and was morbidly obese (still has diabetes but we call it “in remission”) . she was on blood pressure, statin, metformin meds and insulin injections. after reading Prof Noakes “real meal revolution” we switched to LCHF (in 24 hours) and she rapidly reduced weight and insulin. she no longer takes insulin, blood pressure, statins and her health is enormously improved. for us it really worked! she is her GP’s “star patient”.

    2. Errett

      I feel so very sorry for you and your husband—-I certainly don’t have any knowledge to share that will be of any help—-but I will pray for your husband—-and please don’t give up hope—only GOD knows the day and the hour.

      Reply
    3. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      I suggest that you get a copy of the book by Jason Fung and Michael Moore I referred to earlier.

      He is a leading expert on reversing diabetic T2 by a low carb diet and fasting in combination in his clinic in Canada. He seems to be very successful. So there is hope! Most patients can take away all their medication after a couple of months. Poor Big Pharma!

      My wife, seriously T2, has been free from medication for seven years now on a LCHF regimen. Recently we have introduced fasting which seems to add to the success.

      Reply
      1. Jennifer.

        Dr Goran. Thank you for your contribution regarding Dr Jason Fung.
        At this time of family get-togethers the food temptations are off the scale…..all the good work achieved during the previous months are compromised, because we are fallabe humans.
        I am going to seriously look into the concept of fasting, as suggested by Dr Fung. I realise it is not the answer to the indiscretions I speak of, but it must be a help. It is almost the opposite side of the equation whereby type 1 diabetics increase their insulin dose in order to indulge in the extra carbs…..they know it is wrong. But, if a form of fasting will help me get through my times of weakness, I will give it a try. I fully appreciate that both extra Insulin and intermittent fasting are only temporary measures, and certainly not to be relied on long term.
        p.s. We had the grand opening of the sauerkraut crock yesterday, and the family are suitably impressed. ” if at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again” Success at last.

      2. robert lipp

        Göran, can endorse daily (most days) intermittent fasting 12+ hours (overnight). worked is working wonders for us.

    4. Anna

      lastfurlong,

      What you don’t say is how he eats. Obviously, if he is living the same way these past 20 years then he can’t possibly improve. I would recommend watching some Jason Fung videos and get comfortable with them. He advises cutting carbs and fasting. Fasting can be all out or just like what I do – 2 meals a day and 16 hours from supper to breakfast. Minimal carbs and no snacking, (unless you’re truly hungry, which you can feel).
      Fasting is safe for diabetics if you don’t take any of the oral diabetic meds. The insulin is probably sliding scale but if he has a long acting daily insulin you’d have to stop that as well. There are some vidoes where people come on who were obese and/or diabetic and discuss their experience. He’s even got a book that might answer some more questions if you have them. (By the way John U, he’s a doctor.)

      You also said you can’t do any of the tips here because of the Warfarin. I am puzzled by that. What do you mean?
      You also said he takes blood pressure pills but does not have high blood pressure. Since you named 3 pills, how do you know he does not? The beta blocker is because of the arrhythmia (bisoprolol) and the stroke but the other two are a different class and I am not sure why he takes them if he does not need them.

      In my opinion, it is the diabetic condition that is doing the most harm, followed by perhaps too many meds. If you reverse/control the diabetes, he won’t need those drugs. If his blood pressure truly is OK or becomes OK, you might not need the ramipril or enalapril. They might be giving them for congestive heart failure. Again, in my opinion the diabetes drugs are probably the most harmful.

      But in the end, he might not want to change how he eats, or start some kind of exercise program. But if the problem is that you’re scared, I’d watch Jason Fung and perhaps find some other resources, because going against doctor’s advice is a personal journey that only you or he can take if you find the confidence and the knowledge. He can’t get off all of those drugs without some medical advice, and likely not even then, but he can very likely control the diabetes which is driving the whole thing.

      Reply
      1. John U

        Anna, I don’t know why you singled me out to mention that Dr. Fung is a doctor. I am well aware to this and I have been reading his post for several years. I agree with everything he has posted, with one exception. In a recent post on Diet Doctor’s site (Dr. Eenfeldt), he wrote that insulin resistance is caused by consistently high insulin levels. He may be right but I would like to see more evidence of that fact. It seem to me that since insulin resistance is not uniformly distributed within the body, eg. muscle cells show IR sooner that Adipose cells, and yet it is the same insulin in the blood which circulates to all the cells, this represents a black swan to me and I would like to get it clarified. Otherwise I enjoy reading Dr. Fungs posts and find them to be solid stuff.
        I also think that what you wrote here above was spot on and I gave you an uptick.
        And while I am writing to you, you asked if I have something against Christopher Palmer earlier on. No, I don’t even know him. I just judge what he writes and to me it is pseudo-science, cloaked in pretty clothes to endear himself to the audience. Then he springs his favorite subject, that being the pseudo science or Earthing. Here, again, I don’t care if you believe me or him, but all the hallmarks of someone pushing a quack agenda are present. My only objective is to say “watch out folks because you are being conned”. And that same warning I am applying to what was written by Dr. Cowan. I may be wrong, but that is what I my BS sensors are telling me based on the significant amount of science that I know, and believe to be true.

    5. Sylvia

      Have a similar predicament with my husband. He had never visited a doctor until 70 yrs of age and then cancer, extensive surgery and then of course the conveyor belt where ailments are found you never knew you had follow d by medication. But, unlike me, he follows, to the letter what he is told, except statins which made him ill. He is now 78, has a part time job. We have always eaten well but he will not give up bread, potatoes etc. And who am I to tell him, he is happy and may outlive me with my ‘ideas and opinions’. A person has to feel that there is another way, no amount of persuading can make that happen.
      My best wishes to you.

      Reply
    6. Brian Wadsworth

      There is no reasonable way of modifying predictably your husband’s health regime from a distance or even close up. Once so many years have passed with an aggressive drug regime you are in a world of unknowns and complex interactions that even the physicians involved do not understand. But I’m guessing you know this already.

      I have a friend in a similar state of healthcare lock-in. Whether his treatment is accelerating his demise or has become an essential prop to his survival is unknowable. Those of us on the outside looking in would like him to discard his medicines on the grounds he has nothing to lose because his life is so miserable. But who are we to try to intervene?

      This is really hard isn’t it?

      Reply
      1. thelastfurlong

        Absolutely. It really needs the desire of the person to change, to trigger it. My husband’s life is not miserable fortunately. He says his drug regime is what the doctors call “management”.

    7. Angela

      Hi Last Furlong, if it helps I can tell you that my husband was very seriously diabetic and on 120 units of insulin a day before taking himself in hand. As soon as he cut the carbs he was obliged to cut his insulin quite rapidly. We haven’t even seen his GP but we had read masses of stuff, including Jason Fung. He is now insulin free, metformin free and various mental health medication free. Its a different world. On a note of caution: he hadn’t yet had any heart or stroke problems although it couldn’t have been far off the way he was going.

      Reply
      1. thelastfurlong

        Well, most people who have made helpful comments suggest to work on Insulin first. Mr doesn’t eat a lot of carbs – no bread/potatoes etc – he sees me on HFLC, and we cut carbs to gether. But he eats fruit and fruit. In the new year we are doing a re-think. Thanks for your ideas.

    8. Pat

      Dear lastfurlong
      I couldn’t help but sympathise enormously with your predicament.
      My father is in a similar situation. I have watched the unfolding medical nonsense over 23 years. At no point has his condition improved with medication and at no point has any sensible advice been given re; lifestyle or diet.
      He began his journey with angina + Triple bypass surgery.
      To follow he was prescribed simvastatin, followed by metformin (diabetes known side effect of statins), blood pressure meds, aspirin etc etc.
      He has had endless ops, stents fitted, is almost blind – please nhs get a handle on this !!!
      Prescibed Injected insulin 2 years ago as the metformin was affecting his kidneys and told he could eat whatever he liked because he could just up the dose.
      I have watched him deteriorate with sheer frustration. He now at 87 has heart failure and kidney failure and is taking so many meds it is scandalous. My mother doesn’t have a pharmacy degree she just had to learn fast.
      It is difficult with the older generation who have been brought up on good old fashioned ‘comfort food’. If the diabetic clinic had just said to him steer clear of refined carbohydrates as much as possible, eat more greens,get plenty of exercise and sunshine, I think we might have been in a different position today.
      Now my mother is his nurse as he is very poorly and incapacitated.
      love reading all the blogs on a daily basis
      Sorry to veer off course with my rant

      Reply
      1. Jennifer.

        Pat, that is not a rant…you are quite entitled to be annoyed at the up-spiralling meds for your father, combined with the obvious down-spiralling of his health. It is beyond my comprehension how the NHS has failed to connect the two, because the scenario seems common place, as witnessed on this blog. ( I was one of the unhealthy, unlistened-to statistics, but, at the age of 65, I took the enormous step to jump-off the treadmill and “went it alone”…..with marvellous results, I am pleased to say.

      2. chris c

        What’s so horribly sad is that some of the instructions to doctors for diabetes “treatment” contain the line “monitor the expected decline in health”.

        The earlier you catch the disease process running the easier it is to control (I’m leery about talking of reversal, you can reverse insulin resistance and many symptoms but not regrow beta cells sufficient to return to a high carb diet). Probably starting when insulin levels are affected, before glucose goes out of range, would make it easier still. Sadly when enough damage has been done even the control becomes harder,especially when so many other systems are affected.

        The interesting thing about fasting is that as many have found, self included, once you drop the carbs your body starts to respond appropriately with hunger rather than carb craving – which IME is both qualitatively and quantitatively different, and once that occurs fasting becomes quite natural. I eat when I’m hungry which may take anything between 5 and 11 hours after I last ate. Most dieticians would be horrified at the “extreme danger” of going more than a few hours without carbs.

  61. Anna

    John U,

    I’m pretty sure I have read every post. I read some of the Sokol article and it seemed the veriest nonsense, but then I already knew. It’s quite an indictment of the scientific world though, isn’t it? It seems to me that is rather proves the point, rather than verifying yours. In other words, no, the Sokolt article was not an exampleof what you’re talking about but is an example of what WE here are saying. It is the bona fide scientific “trust us we are the experts” who were shown up as fools.

    I also read your linked article ohnomopomo – and I found it kind of silly. There were a whole lot of places where the argument didn’t follow, or was shallow, and basically this is a certain type of attitude that is common enough but so what. And if it is so that his or her particular disease does not have good alternative methods or is reasonably well treated conventionally, does not at all prove that the various arguments that he/she says people give for looking to alternative medicine are not in general true.

    That article seems to think that postmodernism has infected science and if so I did not know that. I rather thought it had affected philosophy and moralism. But I think the problems with science and medicine (try reading The Big Bang Never Happened) is elsewhere – corruption and ego and groupthink.

    I am intrigued enough that I will probably buy the book by Cowan and see for myself what I think. But I did agree with you that just because if you put the blood vessels end to end they will circle the earth is not relevant to the body, where they are not end to end at all.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      Anna,

      During the 70-th most of us who were young “concerned” students at that time were affected by the “alternative science” hidden in the “new philosophy” which finally appeared under the flag of “postmodernism”.

      Me too!

      So I tried to understand what it was all about reading some books at the same time I was studying my natural sciences. But to be frank I didn’t understand the gibberish I was reading in those books so i thought I must be the stupid guy and thinking that those post modernists must be much smarter than I was. I left it with that and focussed on my natural science studies.

      Anyway I came across the Allan Sokal affair 20 years later and also read his book “Fashionable Nonsense” which was just so revealing. The veil was ripped off. Please read the book for yourself.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Sokal

      The philosophy of Postmodernism is today in my eyes the most serious cancer in academia – “Anything goes”! – and that is not science to me.

      Reply
    2. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      Anna,

      What about this quote from Alan Sokal?

      “Anyone who believes that the laws of physics are mere social conventions is invited to try transgressing those conventions from the windows of my apartment. (I live on the twenty-first floor.)”

      Reply
      1. Anna

        Ha, ha! I found that last night. But the idea that physics are social conventions, has this really gotten any traction where it counts?

      2. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        Anna,

        To my utmost sorrow I have noticed that this postmodernist attitude is eroding science as I now understand this science even within my own discipline of metallurgy and physics at the Chalmers University of Technology. The belief in the non existent with the help of powerful computer programs is on the increase and the study of our real world on the decrease.

  62. Errett

    Dr. K—-I think you our handling your blog deftly—-I enjoy it very much and have told many about it—-please keep at it—-To every man upon this earth, death cometh soon or late, and how can a man die better than facing down the illegitimate use of power for private gain, and the corruption that erodes man’s faith in his capacity to govern. Semper Fi

    Reply
    1. Philip Thackray

      Errett – Horatius at the bridge! I worked for an old farmer who could recite the whole poem.

      Thanks for the memory!

      Phil

      Reply
  63. Gary Ogden

    Eric: Nearly everything I know about NO I’ve learned from Dr. Kendrick and some of the commenters, and as far as I know it is UVA which produces it in the skin. Sounds like you probably don’t get any through your windows. We have dual-pane windows, which lowered the cost of heating and cooling the house. I pay about $1,200.00 per year for my gas and electric service (certainly less than the average, since I conserve at every opportunity, being retired). I am in California, one of the sunniest places on Earth, but having solar panels is any thing but a boon. There is actually a disincentive to conserve; the power company charges $0.15-0.30 per KWH, but only pays the producer (me) $0.03-0.04 per KWH for the excess production (this year about 600 KWH). The installation was free. I pay $0.15 per KWH to the solar company, but this rises 2.9% per year for 15 years, and I pay for what I produce rather than what I consume. I saved about $40 the first year (the company claimed I would save $175.00). I’m just beginning my search for a proper bulb for UVB. I wonder if a full spectrum bulb would do the job. What do you think?

    Reply
    1. Eric

      Gary, found your post only now. Full spectrum bulbs usually cover the visibible range only, otherwise they wouldn’t be allowed for safety reasons. The Philips Graphica Pro 954 tube is the gold standard for professional lighting, but has zero UVA output.

      Some tanning tubes might be what you are looking for. but they don’t last long enough for general lighting, and I would be very careful about using them for general lighting and without goggles. It might be ok to use them near noon in bright sunshine when enough light is coming in through the windows to cause a very bright light adaptatin of the iris, i.e. very small pupils. Still, I would advise you to ask a lighting expert to make sure you are not frying your eyes with too much UV.

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        Eric: Thank you very much! All very useful information. So “full-spectrum” in lighting means only the visible spectrum? I was aware that goggles are obligatory, or at least advisable under a UV lamp. More research before spending any money.

      2. Mr Chris

        Gary
        My plan is sun in the period when it is high enough and supplementing with 5000 a day when it is not. This works for me, and when tested I am well up.

    2. Eric

      On second thought: maybe you were thinking about bulbs intended for keeping desert lizards? They usually have a very high coordinated color temperature on the order of 8000 K, like the sun in the desert at noon, and copious amounts of UVA and UVB, and they last more than a few 100 hours if expensive glass was used for the tube. Still, I would not use them without googles!

      Reply
  64. Mark Johnson

    Dear thelastfurlong

    I’m really sorry to read about your predicament.
    Dr K can’t possibly respond with anything remotely approaching medical advice. They’d shut him down faster than you can say: switch off the lights on the way out.

    You say that, “He [your husband] is not free! Nearly every helpful tip I find on this site, HE can’t try because – mainly – of the bloody warfarin.”

    I can’t see why your GP or the hospital wouldn’t put him on one of the novel anti-coagulants such as Apixaban, which could be a start for you. According to the studies less chance of some of the bleeding episodes you describe as well.

    Reply
    1. thelastfurlong

      Quote “Dr K can’t possibly respond with anything remotely approaching medical advice. They’d shut him down faster than you can say: switch off the lights on the way out.” I was not asking Dr Kendrick. I was tossing the problem into the air. And it seems, to tackle the diabetes first. However, my husband KNOWS, but seems to lack the will. THAT is what I can’t understand the most. I suppose that is the main source of my frustration.

      And I think he’s absolutely tired of ME whittering on!

      About Warfarin, just about every – well no, EVERY assistful supplement to lower blood sugar, warns against using it with Warfarin. So – I read this – about Berberine which would be possibly better than Metformin (which is suspected of causing heart arrythmia). This sounds good yes? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2410097/

      I then look up Berberine and get this – CYP2C9 Inhibition

      ” >>this study suggests that berberine (or goldenseal) is a CYP2C9 inhibitor. Although the effect of CYP2C9 inhibition on the efficacy of losartan is not clear, inhibitors of CYP2C9 are known to increase warfarin response, thus potentially increasing the bleeding risk if doses are not adjusted.”

      And this occurs over and over. ” Arginine may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin”

      Blah Blah

      We would need co-operation from the doctor to try anything really – we have just moved to a new town – the doctors are strangers. But on first impression, they are not illuminated ones!

      So I’ve read everyones response to my “frustration” comment to my husband. And we’ll see……

      Thank you for them – he might take notice, if they are not from ME!

      Reply
      1. robert

        Who does the shoppin’ and cookin’ 😉 Should it be you, you have a unique position of power!

        We don’t know enough about your DH’s food preferences, except for the carb “addiction”. Maybe you could direct it to somewhere else. If he’s into cheese, that would be a good target. Full fat of course.

  65. Anna

    Well, I may need to educate myself about this. I’m not very versed in just what postmodernism is. I only know the part that sort of says everything is relative and there are no absolutes. I want to know more about how this attitude can affect science. Science is supposed to be firm and not squishy.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      Anna

      Since you seem to have acquired a taste for the “philosophy of science” you are in for an great, stimulating and hopefully lifetime endeavor.

      A 1960 classic here which might be considered as in the spirit of the skepticism that flourished during these (about 20) years is the book of Thoms Kuhn “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” could be a good serious starter of such an endeavor..

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Kuhn

      Reply
      1. Anna

        I’m not sure it is a new taste. I have a taste for the philosophy of truth. Again, postmodernism I thought affected mostly people’s ability to reason about morals and other philosophy. You say postmodernism is the bane of modern academia. In what ways? But you say you are a strict atheist, which I think changes the equation morally.
        I just ordered 10 books and have a small stack from the recent library sale. I am not sure about Europe, but here libraries regularly shed very good books. One of the books is by Paul Feyerabend called Against Method, and he has a couple of others such as The Tyranny of Science. Kuhn’s book I have not read but heard it quoted many times.

      2. Sasha

        I think Feyebrand was considered to be fringe, wasn’t he? Most scentists accept the validity of the scientific method, as far as I know.

      3. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        Anna,

        I also see the opportunity when the libraries are “ridding” the shelves of “serious” books 🙂

        Paul Feyerabend is one of the philosophers “behind” the postmodernism but all this it goes back to Platon and not least Heraclitus. You have a wonderful journey of knowledge in front of you!

        Try Kuhn!

        And the of course Karl Popper!

  66. David

    I believe there is an important omission here – the reason for the reappraisal.

    Christopher Ramsden was led to investigate the Minnesota results after his previous experience, whilst performing a meta analysis, with the Sydney Diet Heart Study, which had originally published the expected results that heart disease was mitigated by replacing saturated with unsaturated fats, in this case safflower oil. His team noticed that more data had been collected than had been used. Some of it was lost.

    When the “lost” data, found on a computer tape in a garage, was added the findings were reversed: the margarine eaters fared less well. This prompted a second look at Minnesota. I don’t know if any other studies were re-examined.

    The NHS dismissed the new Sydney findings as “only one study” and “it concerned safflower oil”, despite safflower and sunflower being the same thing.

    The medical establishment will not let go easily.

    Reply
  67. Martha Carman

    I wonder what the outcome of the study would have been, if Keys had studied ((long chain) omega-3 fatty acids, which are antagonists of omega-6s, and have very different effects in the same biochemical pathways? …Perhaps this is the study that would have provided the outcome he was looking for?

    Reply
    1. BobM

      It would’ve turned out much better. However, I’m not sure anyone realized the Omega 3/Omega 6 split back then. I’m also not sure Keys would’ve cared, as he had already selected that saturated fat as “bad” and that anything that would ostensibly reduce cholesterol (such as seed oils) was “good”. For instance, Yudkin had the theory that sugar was worse than fat. Keys attacked Yudkin at every opportunity, including in Journals with peer-reviewed research. Keys was a real jerk. He would basically call Yudkin an idiot, and that’s in a Journal. (Someone posted a link to the study I’m thinking of, but it was on Twitter, and I can’t find the link now…It suffices to say that Keys was a complete pompous, overbearing A-hole.)

      Reply
    2. chris c

      Indeed. See the Lyon Diet-Heart Study (Michel de Lorgeril), one of the major interventions was the replacement of industrially produced Omega 6 margarine with industrially produced Omega 3 margarine, and frankly the results blew statins into the weeds.

      This is something Walt Willett at Harvard and his puppet Frank Hu have terminally failed to notice, along with all the followers demonising saturated fats and praising polyunsaturates.

      Reply
  68. Vivien M Harkness

    Thank you for all of your input to the Medical World. In regard to the sun, surely with the deplacation of the o zone is there not a risk of skin cancer,
    Especially if you have fair skin and live/visit hotter areas in the world!

    Reply
  69. John U

    My posts were not specifically targeting Dr. Mercola, just quackery and how to recognize it when it hits you in the face. But since so many readers seem to have very strong feelings for Dr. Mercola and his site which may bias one’s perceptions, I would like to bring your attention to this blog called Science Based Medicine, hosted by a number of accredited doctors (MD’s). This site is dedicated to fighting quackery in medicine among other goals. Here is a quote from a recent post:
    “Colonoscopy: More Misinformation from Mercola – Joseph Mercola, D.O., runs the website mercola.com which is full of misinformation, advocates all kinds of questionable alternative treatments including homeopathy, and discourages vaccination and other aspects of conventional medicine. Like Dr. Oz and Andrew Weil, he is more dangerous than easily recognizable quacks in that he combines some good medical information with egregious misinformation, and readers who know he is right…
    Dr. Harriet Hall / January 5, 2016 “. Then there is this one from Dr. Gorski, Oncologist,
    ” Joe Mercola: Quackery pays – We’ve written about Joe Mercola’s support for quackery on this blog several times (for instance, here and here). It’s good to see that some of the mainstream media are starting to take notice, as evidenced by this article by Bryan Smith for Chicago Magazine entitled Dr. Mercola: Visionary or Quack? It features comments from a couple of—shall we say?—familiar people. Although this…”
    You can read these and more at this link:
    https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/?s=mercola&category_name=&submit=Search

    Reply
      1. Mark Johnson

        Yes, but I get dismissed as a quack by various ‘authorities’ too.

        Quite, you and your ilk Dr K!

        John U, this is what sciencebasedmedicine.org say about THINCS:

        “THINCS would like us to believe that cholesterol has nothing to do with heart disease; that low cholesterol is harmful and high cholesterol is beneficial; and they demonize statins, even falsely claiming that they cause cancer.”

        and

        “There is an organization that calls itself The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics (THINCS). Its members “thinc” they are smarter than the average doctor. They “thinc” that cholesterol has nothing to do with cardiovascular disease and that we have been deluded into waging a “cholesterol campaign” for which the scientific evidence is non-existent.”

        and

        “They tell us about those contradicting studies; but they don’t tell us about the flaws in those studies, they misrepresent some of the results, and they don’t tell us about the many good studies that support the cholesterol/heart link. The issue is a complex one, and it is easy to find studies to support any claim. Good science is about weighing all the evidence pro and con before reaching a conclusion. As far as I can see, these folks have cherry-picked the literature to support an agenda. They seem to have a vendetta against statin drugs in particular.”

        About Dr Uffe Ravnskov’s book The Cholesterol Myths:

        “Cholesterol is highly protective against cancer, infection and atherosclerosis” and “high TC [total cholesterol] and LDL levels are beneficial at all ages.” These statements are not only false, they are potentially dangerous to the health of those who believe them.”

        I’m sure you could have hours of fun searching out more.

      2. John U

        Fair enough comment Dr. K, and Mark Johnson, I am aware of the bias emanating from this site regarding nutritional advice and that it goes against what THINCS advocates. I think this is primarily driven by Dr. Harriet Hall but maybe by other as well. That is one reason I am not a big fan of hers. However, Dr. Gorski pretty well only writes about medical practices divorced from nutrition. He also has his own blog which you may be able find. I don’t detect any bias from Dr. Gorski, Dr. Novella and a few other poster who post on a regular basis. However, one should take the merits of each post on it own and not ditch everything written because of a dispute with Thincs.

      3. chris c

        No that’s a misprint, actually you are a quark

        Supposedly when asked what he thought about Western civilisation Gandhi said “I think it would be a very good idea”.

        I feel much the same about what is called Evidence-Based Medicine

      4. Sasha

        There’s a good letter from Professor Ioannidis that can be looked up online “Evidence Based Medicine Movement Has Been Hijacked”. Or something like that.

    1. Sasha

      In my opinion, the people on SBM are a bunch of pseudo sceptics who will go to great lengths to try to discredit anything that doesn’t fit into their narrow version of what medicine should be. They are not scientists even if they gave themselves a name with “science” in it.

      In addition, there are plenty of MDs who think SBM pseudo sceptics are full of it and don’t know what they are talking about. I tend to agree.

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        I 100% agree. The way they treat the parents of vaccine-injured children, and dismiss the wealth of legitimate scientific evidence of the dangers and lack of efficacy of vaccines is appalling.

      2. Sasha

        Gary, those people are a bunch of tools. They will disappear into the oblivion just like all other religious zealots who’ve come and gone before them… They aren’t even worth paying any attention to. In my opinion )))

      3. luanali

        “Pseudo skeptics”? I don’t even know what that means–they’re not really skeptical?

        Re: “plenty of MDs”: When we’re on the other side of this and MDs are rolling their eyes at us, we no longer find their credentials so important. Shouldn’t we apply the same standards?

        Supporting a position by using a credential is what Carl Sagan called the “Argument from Authority fallacy”: “Authorities must prove their contentions like everybody else.” The only authority is data.

      4. Sasha

        Pseudo sceptics is the name I give to people on “science” based medicine blog because they like to present their opinions as facts and think that portraying themselves as medical authorities will make people listen to them. It won’t. A true sceptic is a person with an open mind. Those people aren’t, as far as I have seen. They will form an opinion and stick to it no matter the evidence.

        About MDs rolling their eyes at them, I didn’t want to make a long post but I will be happy to list their arguments, if you are interested.

        Precisely, the only authority is data and their is plenty of data to refute SBMers, at least in the field of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine (which is my main interest).

        And vaccination, as Gary pointed out.

      5. luanali

        Sasha, I agree that there are many dogmatic, strident voices in the “skeptic” community. In fact I have disassociated myself with them for this reason. But my point is that what I have observed with many of the comments on the other side is that they are just as “certain” and wave-of-the-hand dismissive, not open-minded as claimed. Dismissing things that have been shown to be patently false is categorically different than dismissing things because they are “reductionistic” and don’t fit an “openness” worldview. This is not open-mindedness.

        To me, being open-minded means being sincerely ready and willing to change your mind with compelling evidence to the contrary. It also means applying the same standards to our own position as we do to the opposing position, and at the very least, if there are a lot of black swans in our theory (whether it’s earthing, homeopathy, acupuncture, supplements, low-fat diets, ketogenic diets, etc.), it means having a lot of humility about how certain we can be.

      6. Sasha

        Luanali, I agree with the need to question assumptions in every field. I can’t talk about earthing, homeopathy, etc, I am only familiar with the field of Chinese medicine.

        It is my first hand experience that there’s a lot of dogmatism there also. People will get just upset when some of their sacred cows are questioned. Fortunately for us, most TCM practitioners are not nearly as arrogant as all the pompous pseudo sceptics on the so called “science” based medicine blog.

        If you are interested in how this applies to Chinese medicine , you can check out Mel Koppelman’s excellent blog where she regularly makes minced meat out of all the Novellas of the world who like to present their opinions as medical facts.

        And you are right, there are lots of black swans in many theories. Including LCHF.

      7. luanali

        Sasha and Dr. Kendrick, I’m sorry for that “Chinese Medicine” comment, at least in its snarky-ness. I could have done better with more time.

      8. Gary Ogden

        lunali: Well spoken. Humility is always the best approach in the face of the immense complexity of reality. Being able to change one’s mind in response to contrary evidence is one true test of a scientist, but only too uncommon in a politician.

      9. Gary Ogden

        luanali: The “Argument from Authority,” or “Eminence-based Medicine” is precisely what Dr. Gorski, the medical industry, politicians and the media use in belittling those who raise legitimate concerns about the vaccine schedule and about vaccine injury. This is why these sorts of web sites are so pernicious. There is now an abundance of evidence, of high-quality science, showing the biological mechanisms whereby, for example, aluminum (in virtually all pediatric vaccines except MMR) causes encephalopathy, or how the oral polio vaccine causes paralysis (this is why it is no longer used in the U.S.). There is no science showing that the vaccine schedule is safe. There is no science showing that multiple vaccines given at the same time are safe. Medicine can be very dangerous, and the willful and knowing purveyors of dangerous medicine, especially when they prey on infants and children, are deserving of our contempt, those of us who love and cherish the inquiry, the careful weighing of evidence which is science, and who love and cherish children. I’m not asserting that Dr. Gorski knows anything about the dangers of vaccines; medical schools don’t teach it. But the authorities, both in the U.S. and the UK know perfectly well. They don’t care.

      10. luanali

        Gary, thanks for your comment. I haven’t looked into the vaccination issue like you have, but it’s not hard for me to believe that there are legitimate concerns here. I agree, the authority is in the data, or the lack thereof, not figureheads. Thanks for all the book recommendations on the topic.

      11. Gary Ogden

        luanali: I knew very little about this issue until 2015. I had seen the film, “The Greater Good” in 2011, and heard Dr. Wakefield speak in Atlanta at the Weston A. Price Foundation awards banquet, where he received the Integrity in Science Award in 2013, but had no reason to do research since my daughter was grown by then, and I knew nobody with a vaccine-injured child. In 2015 there were a few dozen cases of measles at Disneyland. In my age-group, everybody got it; it was a normal part of childhood. But last year Pharma was poised to take advantage of this minor outbreak of a once-normal childhood disease. They had gotten one of their political operatives, Richard Pan, who is a pediatrician, elected first to the California State Assembly, and then to the state Senate. They got the media to publish scare stories, as if this was Ebola or something, and Pan introduced a bill to take away all vaccine exemptions (philosophical and religious) from California’s children (medical exemptions are very difficult to get, and the Medical Board is now targeting doctors who write them). As if the 1.5% of unvaccinated children were a danger to the fully vaccinated! I was one of more than a thousand citizens who attended the legislative hearings (five of them) and testified against it. Only a few citizens testified in favor, but the legislators paid no attention to the public’s wishes, and passed it. During this time I began to do exhaustive research, including fifteen books and hundreds of research papers, interviews with toxicologists and immunologists. My conclusion: From the beginning (in 1727, when the wife of the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire brought the practice home on a visit) vaccination has been worthless as a prophylactic, and dangerous to the recipient. I would ban them. We are facing a real crisis in public health here in the U.S., with 54% of our children having a chronic health condition (according to the CDC). The major reason for this crisis is that vaccine manufacturers and providers were fully indemnified in the U.S. in 1986, after which the vaccine schedule tripled, and the CDC was long ago captured by Pharma, and functions as a marketing arm for them. Health departments in all 50 states are perennially strapped for money. The CDC gives them enormous amounts of money, based upon vaccination rates. The CDC also operates a multi-billion dollar public relations operation, funding not only PR firms, but an army of internet trolls, to ridicule and disparage those who question vaccine policy. This is why many of us “anti-vaxxers” voted for Trump, despite having profound misgivings about his suitability as “leader of the free world.” Sorry, this is a bit lengthy, but we all face great danger from Pharma, from WHO, and from our politicians who do their bidding.

      12. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        Gary, perhaps you would like to write a short series of blogs (that I am willing to host) on the evidence that you gathered together on the potential harms of vaccination. My current position is that certain vaccines have been very beneficial, some less so, and some may provide no benefit at all. I believe that some people/children are more prone to vaccine damage due (primarily) to mitochondrial dysfunction, and that we should be looking to identify those people/children who are more likely to suffer damage in order to make vaccination safer. I am also very concerned at the lack of any evidence base in support of vaccination.

      13. Gary Ogden

        Dr. Kendrick: I would be happy to do so. The main problem with the vaccine program is capture by Pharma of both government and media, and academia, in the sense that government funds most of the research done. And in the U.S., with the indemnification of manufacturers. My own personal belief is that we simply don’t know enough about the incredibly complex microbial world and its interaction with our immune system to alter it, and to do so in an increasing number of ways. You’re absolutely right that while most children seem to be fine with most vaccines, some are not. But research into how to identify those is not, and won’t be done.

      14. Gary Ogden

        Dr. Kendrick: I have planned a series of four; 1 and 2 on smallpox and polio, since these are what are usually invoked in favor of the efficacy of widespread vaccination. 3 on measles for lots of reasons, and 4 on the vaccine regime today and some suggestions for policy changes. Nothing radical, just a means of helping educate. #1 is finished, and I’m working on #2. I will ship each to you upon completion for you to post or not as you wish. How do I do that?

      15. Jennifer

        Gary, I look forward to your blogs regarding vaccination, as I feel pretty ignorant on the issue. My knowledge is restricted to what I learned as a Registered Nurse, along with what I understood to be “best practice” for my children as they grew up. ( In NHS ), I just conformed, along with the rest of them. But I have always had a niggle in the back of my mind about mass vaccination programmes. I find the stories of imposed vaccination for the masses are little short of a fictional horror story…..except it is frighteningly real.
        My main interest today is going to change to the thyroid gland. I feel I have got as far as I can to having a practical understanding of diabetes and the great cholesterol debate as relates to myself.
        I need to update my knowledge of the thyroid because a close relative has been diagnosed as diabetic, with “a thyroid problem”. After 25 years of being extremely overweight, the topic of thyroid dysfunction was repeatedly poo-pooed by the GP…..until a new, GP joined the practice. Blood tests reveal a problem, so we will see where we go from here. I just wonder if I will discover that there have been years of mis-management of the thyroid, just as there has been with diabetes and vilification of nutritional fats?
        Any suggestions by fellow bloggers to point me in the right direction will be much appreciated.

      16. JDPatten

        Gary; Dr. Kendrick,

        As one of the few who had a truly near-death experience and continuing hearing loss from my “normal, everybody got it” experience with measles, I was profoundly pleased to present both my children to the pediatrician for their measles vac. Would do it again in a flash. Would want no one to experience what I had in that 1951 pre vaccination era.

        This is anecdotal, yes. But we, as the particular individuals we are, are nothing more than our anecdotal profile. Keep that in mind when deciding if the placebo controlled double blind randomized controlled trials with large populations of subjects that you may find actually apply to any given singular individual.

        Or not.

      17. Gary Ogden

        JDPatten: Infectious diseases certainly can be devastating for some, as in your case. I can’t blame you one bit for wishing to protect your loved ones from this. Your choice to vaccinate is one that parents should have (I stated in a previous comment that I would ban them, but that wouldn’t be good public policy, either, because it would take away a choice parents may wish to have). What I am looking at is the big picture, which for us here in California is that we no longer have any choice. There is a risk both from the vaccine and from the disease. I strongly support the rights of parents to do what they think is right for their children, including whether or not to vaccinate. It was already very difficult in California to get a medical exemption, and now the medical board, in collusion with the state department of health, is targeting doctors who write them. What doctor is going to write a medical exemption under these circumstances, even though it is in the best interests of the child?

      18. Gary Ogden

        JDPatten: Thanks. Very interesting the rabbit hole of infectious diseases and our response to them. A fascinating learning experience for me. They lost me at: “Modern molecular technology enables scientists ‘to design things at atomic resolution. . . .'” Oh, brother. Warms my heart! I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had the flu, except probably in childhood.

    2. Sylvia

      But as the wonderful Rachel Carson said ” who speaks for science” . I know she was an environmental ecologist, as is Sandra Steingraber, courageous female women of science, who swim against the tide. My O level human biology does not qualify me to speak with much knowledge about the subject, but people who perhaps run with the herd are not able to reach that level of passion which is needed in order to solve the unsolvable, for the good of all.

      Reply
    3. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      John,

      Talking of quackery I once again now consult the book recommended by Linus Pauling – the “greatest quack ever” with his two Nobel Prize – “Vitamin E for Ailing & Healthy Hearts” by Wilfred E. Shute, another “quack”, having treated 30 000 patients in Canada before they were forced to close their institute down.

      This book convinced me three years ago to try 1600 IU natural vitamin E against my own unstable angina. Since it was a very convincing reading in my eyes it made me jump on the train and for sure I have not experienced any serious angina since commencing on this regimen.

      Just wonder what is in it!

      Placebo?

      Reply
      1. John U

        I was also reading about vitamin C and so many other supplements in a book called “Life Extension” about 25 years ago. I started supplementing furiously, totally convinced in the merits of what I read. I stopped after a few years because I did not notice any differences. Now I am starting again, selectively, base on some more readings.
        I never considered Dr. Pauling a quack. I was consuming about 10 g of Vit C daily. Today I don’t but I have no opinion on whether he was right or not. I think that the term quack is perhaps used badly when it is used for politically motivated attack, and such like. Dr. Pauling did have some science behind his recommendation, and that is why I believed him. Maybe he was wrong, maybe not, but I would never ascribe the term Quack to him.

      2. Mark Johnson

        I was also reading about vitamin C and so many other supplements in a book called “Life Extension” about 25 years ago. I started supplementing furiously, totally convinced in the merits of what I read. I stopped after a few years because I did not notice any differences. Now I am starting again, selectively, base on some more readings.

        John U, would you mind me asking how old you are, what you supplemented 25 years ago and what you’re supplementing now? Just asking out of curiosity as I think it makes sense to supplement based on how poor even good quality food can be and people on this board are probably as well read as anywhere.

      3. John U

        Mark Johnson, I celebrated my 71st year a month ago. When I was in my later forties I read the Life Extension book and started on high quantities of vit C timed release (TR), as well as B complex 100 TR, Vit E 800 iu as alpha tocopherol, some zinc, some beta carotene, and a multi vit for the minerals especially selenium and chromium. Maybe there were others but I can’t remember any more details.

        Lately I have been reading books about mitochondria and what they do. It started to become evident to me that a lot of what ails us in later years is quite likely the result of mitochondrial transcription errors during replication and therefore living with malfunctioning mitochondria. There are supplements which could help and those are the ones I now emphasize, such as CoQ10 as Ubiquinol, and Omega 3 as fish oils. I also supplement with Magnesium as Mg citrate, some Glucosamine with MSM, and also a multi for the trace minerals. I don’t think the Glucosamine does anything much but I think the sulfates from MSM might.

        I should say that I am in very good health and do not supplement because of any ailments, just as a prophylactic. I also spend a lot of time in the sun, playing tennis or volleyball, and am quite tanned all year long. I was born in Poland and have a darker rather than lighter complexion, so I do not easily burn from excess sun exposure. I don’t use any sunscreen either. Other than for an enlarged prostate for which I have a prescription for Tamsulosin, I don’t take any other meds, and I am still working on how to get off this one.

      4. Gary Ogden

        John U: Thank you for this post. All good ideas and habits. I will be 68 shortly and I’ve been trying to get all my nutrients from food, partly because of the expense of supplements (and I don’t like taking pills), and partly because an abundance of high-quality food is available where I live, but I am going to add a-tocotreinol-rich foods to my diet. The list of these is pretty small, red palm oil being the only one with significant amounts.

      5. Charlie

        Even do I don’t agree a lot with what Ray Peat write. You and others may find this article about vitamin E and PUFA interesting:
        http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/vitamin-e.shtml

        ” Many of the events involved in inflammation are increased by estrogen, and decreased by vitamin E. Estrogen causes capillaries to become leaky; vitamin E does the opposite. Estrogen increases platelet aggregation, and decreases a factor that inhibits platelet aggregation; vitamin E does the opposite.

        Excess clotting is known to be caused by too much estrogen, and also by a vitamin E deficiency.

        Clotting leads to fibrosis, and there is clear evidence that vitamin E prevents and cures fibrotic diseases, but this still isn’t generally accepted by the powerful medical institutions. Estrogen and polyunsaturated fats increase fibrosis.

        Estrogen increases progstaglandin synthesis, vitamin E decreases their synthesis; estrogen increases the activity of the enzymes COX and LOX, vitamin E decreases their activitiy. (Jiang, et al., 2000; Ali, et al., 1980; Parkhomets, et al., 2001.) Estrogen releases enzymes from lysosomes, vitamin E inhibits their release. Beta-glucuronidase, one of these enzymes, can release estrogen at the site of an inflammation.

        Estrogen often increases intracellular calcium and protein kinase C, vitamin E has generally opposite effects.

        The polyunsaturated fatty acids and their derivatives, the prostaglandins, act as effectors, or amplifiers, of estrogen’s actions.

        If vitamin E is acting as a protectant against the polyunsaturated fatty acids, that in itself would account for at least some of its antiestrogenic effects.”

      6. Eric

        While I had read his name repeatedly, this link was my first contact with Ray Peat’s writings. He may be right about vitamin E, and certainly about PUFA, but he seems to be on a crusade against estrogen. Many of the properties he ascribes to estrogen are very much against what you can read in the text books. I find it equally puzzling that he promotes sugars as the primary fuel for the body.

      7. luanali

        Eric, you’re exactly right about Ray Peat. I have exchanged literally hundreds of emails with him (and some phone conversations), trying to understand his beliefs and the science behind them. A “crusade against estrogen” is a good way to phrase his position. He also believes that sugar is good thing, even for diabetics. He’s against grains, but very pro sugar (sucrose), fruit, and potatoes, and believes that Atkins went wrong by not encouraging more sugar. The ideal is orange juice, and he drinks high volumes of it (from frozen concentrate). If you present counter evidence to him, he simply calls the researchers morons and counters back with rodent studies.

      8. Eric

        Lunali, maybe he hasn’t watched Prof. Lustig’s talks on Fructose so his cells just don’t know that they can’t metabolize fructose?

      9. Eric

        Sasha, the liver metabolizes fructose. It will convert it to glycogen (which is why apple juice might be a good idea after a workout), but if glycogen stores are replenished, it will produce tryglycerides. Contiuous overloading with fructose leads to non-alcoholic fatty liver, visceral fat and possibly atheroscleoris.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fructose#Fructose_metabolism

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM (starting at roughly 45 minutes into the video)
        (This is Rob Lustig’s famous fructose talk, there is also fructose 2.0 to watch…)

        http://people.csail.mit.edu/seneff/why_statins_dont_really_work.html
        (Steffanie Seneff also has an interesting idea how statins work, apparently they force the muscles to generate more lactate, which is then burned in the heart as a very clean fuel, which is good for the heart but bad for the rest of the body – exactly the opposite of Cowan, who says that g-strophantine moves lactate out of the heart muscle cells which he considers a good thing).

      10. Sasha

        Eric, I agree but my question was in response to you saying that our cells “can’t metabolize fructose”, if I remember correctly.

      11. Eric

        Sasha, maybe I should have written that our cells other than liver cells can’t. So if he’s eating vast quantities of fructose, he may be overloading his liver.

      12. Eric

        Sasha, you are right in that Lustig says you can’t overeat on fructose in fruit (with the exception of grapes, which he calls little balls of fructose). The whole point is about not overeating, which Ray Peat appears to advocate.

      13. Sasha

        Eric, if people eat whole foods, get physical activity, and don’t overeat, they can eat everything: carbs, fats, and protein. And be problem free, for the most part. No need to go into LCHF, paleo, vegan, etc…

      14. Mr Chris

        Sasha
        Oh how I agree with you. I believe that eating real food in sensible quantities is OK. Real food is available, you have to make an effort to find it, but it is there.
        I recently found a source of real milk, not pateurised, not heat treated, not skimmed. It is fantastic, I make cocoa, without sugar with it most nights.

      15. luanali

        Sasha,

        That is categorically incorrect, from many, many people’s experiences. I think you saying that is just as dogmatic as those saying a LCHF diet is necessary for everyone (a position I’ve noted you particularly detest).

      16. Sasha

        Luanali, do you have evidence that populations that eat fruit suffer significantly worse health outcomes than populations who don’t?

      17. luanali

        Sasha,

        It’s funny, I was going to ask you the same thing. When I was familiarizing myself with this blog and went back and read through all the previous blog posts and comments, I noticed that your comments uniquely stood out as seeming to have an axe to grind over LCHF diets. You’ve made many authoritative statements against it without ever having presented any research of your own to dispute it, and you dismiss the many stories shared on this blog about how nothing but LCHF has worked for them. Did you think you’re better informed about what works best for them?

      18. Sasha

        Luanali, I have an ax to grind with all diets, not just LCHF. People are free to eat whatever they like but to make statements like: fruit is bad because it’s fructose, is not only ridiculous, it’s completely false. Since you’ve been reading previous entries, read posts by Diana from a few months ago, she backs up her claims with good research on how so many LCHF claims don’t stand up.

        I don’t dispute that LCHF helps people, so does bariatric surgery. My main point – if people learn from young age how to eat properly and get enough physical activity, they will be able to eat all food groups: fats, proteins, and carbs.

      19. chris c

        Sasha/Luanali: a young fit person whose metabolism has not (yet) been broken probably can eat almost anything successfully.

        An old fart like me who never succeeded in producing enough insulin to eat the HCLF diet I dutifully followed for decades can’t. Simple as.

        I ate an Ornish style diet back in the seventies when it was still called macrobiotic. Then things really started to go downhill. If I’d started eating LCHF back then I probably wouldn’t be here now, reading diet/health/metabolism blogs etc.

        N=thousands if not millions.

      20. Sasha

        Chris C, the idea is to figure out how you got to the place of broken metabolism. I doubt that fruit or wholesome carbs have anything to do with it.

      21. robert

        Please… what is a “wholesome” carb? I’ve never eaten anything like it. Anything with its main property being “carb” is likely refined or dried fruit such as dates.

        There may be a “wholesome” avocado, which happens to contain a few carbs. Or stuff like asparagus. But carbs per se are at best fuel, devoid of nutrition. Can’t build muscle, can’t build neurons. Nothing wholesome I can see.

      22. luanali

        Chris c,

        You too! I did macrobiotics, but in my case it was the original Michio Kuchi, Japanese version: an extremely rigid, 100% natural, organic, whole foods, heavy on the whole grains and beans, sugar-free, no refined anything. I gained 20 pounds and felt completely miserable, the worst I have felt on any health food diet I’ve done, but I somehow managed to persevere for three years, just to make sure! I have a few experiences like this (did I mention the 5 years of raw foods?), and feel I can confidently say, from the field, dietary dogmas are for the birds. It just depends on the person and circumstance, like you, and me too. Now I’m on LCHF and thriving even though I was never insulin resistant. But I would never suggest that’s the right diet for everyone.

        I think you’re right about young people, but it does remind me of Peter Langsjoen’s talk about testing college students and finding that their CoQ10 levels were already significantly compromised, he felt due to their abysmal college diets. I wonder if the junk diets do have very damaging effects from the beginning (childhood), but that there’s a triage-effect, like Bruce Ames talks about, where our bodies adjust for short-term stability and the expense of long-term damage.

      23. Martin Back

        I was interested to see a lot of fruit contains more sucrose than fructose.

        Apples, pears, grapes, figs, and berries are rich in fructose. But bananas, stone fruit, citrus, mango, and nectarines contain much more sucrose than fructose.

        Of course, you have to add half the sucrose to the fructose to get the total fructose, which they do in this table http://thepaleodiet.com/fruits-and-sugars/

      24. chris c

        Simple, I “based every meal on starchy carbohydrates” while not generating enough Phase 1 insulin to metabolise them (or alternatively thanks to Roger Unger, the insulin failed to shut down glucagon). Either way my glucose would spike after every meal (worse with breakfast) then an insulin spike followed, then the glucose crashed resulting in a dump of cortisol, epinephrine, norepinephrine etc. as my body tried to drive it up again, hence hypo symptoms – and a violent need to eat more carbs. Rinse and repeat for decades.

        Cut the carbs down to about 50g/day, mostly not in the morning, and suddenly everything works properly again. Today I mostly run on fats/ketones and my glucose largely looks after itself, even if it goes low it does so slowly and without symptoms.

        Part of this is genetic/familial, similar to MODY but the distribution is wrong for a truly monogenic diabetes. The other part is commonplace, probably the majority of the population readily becomes insulin resistant – that’s the part of “diabetes” than can effectively be cured: without the IR you can generate enough effective insulin to eat carbs, but probably not the 230 – 300g RDA let alone the 350 – 400g some dieticians recommend.

        Sugar was not as much of an issue as the brown rice (man) and especially my delicious home-baked bread, oh and the muesli. As Richard Feinman pointed out, in the absence of excess carbs fat is metabolised quite differently. “Excess” varies between people and differs with time of day.

        Alternately soaking in glucose and insulin is what brought me here. Nothing to do with saturated fat at all – though the excess Omega 6 most of us eat may be yet another factor in the IR.

      25. LuanaLi

        chris c,

        I think your story is so amazing–well, the you taking charge of your health part, not the way you’ve been treated by the medical profession.

        Could you say more about the Omega 6/IR connection?

      26. chris c

        Luanali: sorry I’m not organised enough to find the relevant studies but have read enough blogs etc. to know one of the majorbig changes in our diets is from an ancestral ratio of Omega 6:Omega 3 somewhere between 1:2 and 4:1 to 20:1 or even over 30:1. Omega 6 increases inflammation AND blocks the metabolism of O3 which reduces inflammation, and it changes cell wall properties when too much is incorporated, possibly also blocks leptin at the blood-brain barrier.Direct effect on IR is I think speculative but highly correlated over time. It makes evolutionary sense too, high O6 suggests a lot of nuts and seeds (especially with high carbs and high fructose from ripe fruit) hence a seasonal signal to switch on food storage (IR) for the winter which nowadays never comes.

        A quick search on PubMed shows 422 papers, the first few are more about favourable effect of Omega 3 on IR which of course the excess O6 blocks.

      27. LuanaLi

        chris c,

        Thanks for your reply. I’m familiar enough with the O3/O6 issue enough to avoid the O6’s, but I just hadn’t heard about its association with IR. Thanks for the heads up though. I’ll look into it.

    4. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      John,

      I think the bottom line is the degrading of “clinical” experience of whatever magnitude it may appear in an alternate shape. Behind all this degradation is the interest of Big Pharma, well aware of the fact the no clinic “proponents” can match their “scientific” power.

      So “evidence based medicin” however corrupt it is will always be the winner – as long as we live!

      Reply
      1. John U

        I think we need to distinguish Evidence based from Science based. I think you are right when referring to Evidence based, because we have been fed bad evidence and told that is was good. It makes it sound like the conclusions were SCIENCE based. The media fell for it and everybody now believes it. We are facing a monumental problem and I don’t have any idea of how to fix it except to continue doing what we do.

    5. Maureen H

      I don’t think Dr. Mercola is either a quack, or a visionary. I just think he has some interesting things to say, things to follow up on, and some interesting interviews. Please John U, give people the credit for having half a brain to sort out gibberish from plausible information. I used to read ‘Quackwatch’ and ‘Science Based Medicine’ and found both to be insulting, patronising and very negative to anything that doesn’t fit in their very narrow views. To claim ‘we are science based’ is ludicrous, when so many studies and clinical trials are found to be falsified, manipulated, badly designed, influenced by industry etc etc. Hardly a stable edifice from which to trash those of different opinions. Of course, there are always gullible people, and maybe the S.B.M adherents should be included in that group, as they seem to believe whatever ‘science’ fits their view.

      Reply
      1. Sasha

        If the info I heard is correct, the guy who runs “Quakwatch” couldn’t even pass his Psychiatry boards. Hardly a ringing intellectual endorsement…

      2. John U

        Maureen, please realize that I did not call Mercola a Quack. I said that he has posted material which is not scientifically plausible, and for that I don’t trust his site, and for those who find science challenging, this is dangerous. I agree in general with what you have written, including SBM site. I found the bunch of commenters to be very rude and uninformed, but as I said above in my comment, we need to judge each post on its merits, and there are posts on the SMB site which are very well written and convey important information. It just so happens that a few of the hosts do not think highly of Dr. Mercola, and nor do I.

      3. Frederica Huxley

        John U, you wrote ” we need to judge each post on its merits”; I think a number of us on this blog believe in approaching Dr Mercola’s posts in similar fashion.

    6. Stephen T

      John, the problem is the strict and divided categories of ‘conventional’ and ‘unconventional’.

      Statins, cholesterol and the low-fat diet are conventional and in my opinion wrong. Homeopathy is unconventional and it’s as credible as sitting under pyramids to enhance energy. But I increasingy question vaccines and that puts me firmly in the ‘unconventional’ camp. A low carb diet is unconventional but has benefitted me and many others. Conventional really means currently orthodox and accepted.

      I’m interested in what works, some of that is conventional and some of it isn’t.

      Reply
      1. John U

        Stephen, I agree with you, but my problem is not with what is unconventional – it is using blatantly false arguments which sound scientifically plausible to prove something which is not true. I can believe unconventional, just not scientific mumbo jumbo.

    7. Gary Ogden

      John U: What science is Science Based Medicine based upon? Does Dr. Gorski engage those who disagree with his point of view in a reasoned discussion? Does he allow them to comment on his blog? Here is some real science: A medical textbook, “Vaccines and Autoimmunity,” edited by Yehuda Shoenfeld, M.D. (world’s leading autoimmunoligist); “The Environmental and Genetic Causes of Autism,” by James Lyons-Weiler, PhD; “Science for Sale,” by David L. Lewis, PhD (the EPA scientist who discovered the risks of improperly cleaned dental hand pieces and colonoscopy endoscopes); “Thimerosal, Let the Science Speak,” by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

      Reply
  70. smartersig

    One other point about the 27 factors Dr Kendrick discussed in his presentation on the Scottish study. The screen shows data related to all cause deaths not CHD deaths and digging into the actual BMJ report shows hazard ratios for cholesterol levels. I had hoped to see nonsense prevailing in this data but it does show increased hazard ratios for increased cholesterol, something not mentioned by Dr Kendrick. Any thoughts on this, data below

    Colesterol levels men cholesterol women
    3.96 5.41 6.01 6.56 7.31 9.44 424 3.98 5.47 6.16 6.80 7.65 10.25 733
    All CHD 1 1.13 2.05 2.15 3.15 1.34 (1.34 to 1.44) *** 1 2.43 2.97 3.51 3.94 1.28 (1.12 to 1.45) ***
    CHD deaths 1 1.14 1.50 1.74 2.21 1.23 (1.09 to 1.38) *** 1 1.10 3.23 1.87 2.27 1.14 (0.88 to 1.48)

    Hazard ratios increase from left to right in both sexes as cholesterol increases

    Reply
  71. Walter Leadbetter

    Malcolm, as usual you do a good job of decimating (or should that be eviscerating) the opposition. However, a question: you state in the article that the Maasai eat no carbohydrates, however, their (traditional) diet was meat and milk. Surely they would get all of the carbohydrates they need from the milk they drank? I am going on George Mann’s description of their diet in his book ‘Coronary Heart Disease – the sense and nonsense’.

    Reply
  72. MalcolmS

    Two comments on Dr.K’s posting:
    1) I’ve often wondered what effect the computer screen has had on our health. The reflections make it virtually impossible to do computer work for any length of time in bright sunshine so we have become a nation of vampires cowering away from direct light. In the bad old days of curved screens I remember an office where in winter the staff cellotaped computer printout paper over every window in the effort to prevent reflections! What contribution do these low light levels make to “sick building syndrome”? Are those office blocks with tinted glass the sickest?
    2) In my opinion any establishment assertions as to the cause of disease are always going to diverge massively from reality until the medical/epidemiological professions take into account the huge contribution made by patient stress. So far as I’m aware the only person who has made a meaningful attempt to quantitatively separate the effect of psychological stress from environmental and dietary/lifestyle components is Hans Eysenck in his “Smoking, Personality and Stress”. Eysenck’s broad conclusion was that smoking did CAUSE lung cancer but that psychosocial factors were six times more powerful. So if both smoking and refraining from sunlight shorten life expectancy by 2 years then expect the effect of stress to be 12 years!

    Reply
  73. mikecawdery

    In this post-truth era I have become somewhat sceptical of many “official medical truths” particularly when they are hidden behind a paywall. It is therefore a pleasure to read books such as the recent book Fat and Cholesterol Don’t Cause Heart Attacks and Statins Are Not The Solution to which Dr Kendrick contributed. Many interesting chapters.

    With regard to the following:
    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/860805

    I finally chased it back to its origin at M.M. Donneyong et al, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.numecd.2016.02.008
    to find that the paper was behind a paywall with only the abstract available. This was preceded by the statement •25(OH)D may not be involved in the underlying mechanism between ORA and CVD mortality.
    and in the abstract itself the statement:
    A strong positive association was observed between frequency of ORA in the last month and serum 25(OH)D (p < 0.001) and
    Serum 25(OH)D was inversely associated with CVD mortality (p-trend, 0.01) in this same model. Somewhat contradictory statement I thought.

    This is all backed up by Hazard Ratios (with their usual inflated but hidden real differences) but no numbers and no actual 25(OH)D levels. This later point raises the issue of whether the 25(OH)D levels were within the “official” range or within the optimal range as defined by Dr Holick

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      To add to this I believe that if results are published in the public domain, the the raw data on which those results are based should also be in the public domain.

      If data are hidden on whatever grounds, how can the results be independently validated? With the FDA with its revolving door policy with Big Pharma can hardly be called “independent” which again has been demonstrated from “on high” with experts being overridden. We definitelr=y are in the post-truth fake news/results era.

      The GSK study 329 is a case in point as is the Poldermann guideliines resulting in 800,000 deaths followed by a rapid cover up. The question is “How many other studies are similarly based on selected favourable data, with all the negative data hidden “for confidential reasons”. The Vioxx study was another example in which thousands, possibly tens or hundreds of thousands died..

      Big Pharma, its KOLs and the controlling medical establishments have a lot to answer for

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        mikecawdery: How right you are! Public-funded research should be fully accessible, but isn’t always. Safety and efficacy studies of both pharmaceuticals and biologicals are nearly always done by the manufacturers, and the data are proprietary. There is a good reason for this; the data can be horrifying. In a 2014 court case in Italy, in which a child was awarded damages for vaccine-induced autism, discovery unearthed the confidential 1,271 page GSK report on the safety study for infanrix hexa, a hexavalent vaccine. Buried in this report is the following: 5.4% of the children had a serious adverse reaction (requiring an ER visit or hospitalization), and 1.2% developed autism. Our vaccine court here in the U.S. follows neither federal rules of evidence, nor federal rules of procedure. There is no discovery. It’s all hidden. At least with pharmaceuticals you can sue them.

      2. mikecawdery

        Gary Ogden

        Thank you for that. Do you have a link?

        Re: autism a CDC whistleblower showed that a study in young Afro-American boys using MMR resulted in autism – hidden f or 15 years. The incidence of autism in the US has risen exponetially in the last decade or so. The massive increase in multiple vaccinations in neonates would seem to be associated with the vaccines or their ingredients. But like the 100,000 that die annually from “properly prescribed and properly used pharmaceuticals” nothing is being done to resolve the problem. It might damage the profitability of the pharmaceutical industry which is clearly more important to certain people than saving lives. Hippocrates and “first do no harm” is not profit making.

  74. Gary Ogden

    A random thought, not really off topic. Reading a short piece this afternoon about Epictetus reminded me of “A Guide to the Good Life {the ancient art of stoic joy}, by William R. Irvine. It seems to me that the practice of stoicism is one of the important keys to curing what ails us. It certainly has a dramatic effect on stress reduction for me.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      Gary,

      I think you are right.

      If you realize that you can not fight the “windmills” then you have to accept what is unavoidable. This is a relaxing stoic attitude!

      As long as it does not involve psychiatric medication or vaccination we have still a possibility to avoid Big Pharma medication such as the statins. Though if they succeed in adding it to the tap we have though to install a filter to get away from being poisoned.

      Reply
  75. John U

    MindBody, thank for you response to my comment of Dec. 26. I was reading it with interest if not with conviction and I must congratulate you for trying to be kind to the article by Dr. Cowan.
    However, then you came to item 3.
    “3) The role of grounding in human health is becoming more clear and is well supported by research- ie the Earth has a negative electrical charge, the atmosphere is positive. If we wear insulated shoes or walk on insulated ground we gradually lose electrons and become positively charge. Antioxidants in our system work by donating electrons to free radicals and neutralising them, but that works poorly if we are electron deplete”

    At this point, it became evident that you must be in league (or even the same person). as Chris Palmer. After all, you and he say the same things concerning Earthing. Is this a coincidence? I think not.
    The Earth is NOT a negatively charged body. It is actually totally neutral, that is why it is called a “ground” for electrical purposes. The atmosphere may hold pockets of positive charge as well as negative charge, and when the potential difference between the two pockets is high enough and the proximity of them is close enough we get lightning flashes between them and the charges become neutralized. We also get lightning from the earth to the clouds as well as from the clouds to the earth. The earth is neutral and just acts as a sink or source of electrons to neutralize the charged pockets in the atmosphere. The earth is large enough to be source and sink and neutral.

    Then you speak of antioxidants donating electrons to free radicals. We do have within the mitochondria leakage of electrons from the Electron Transport Chain (ETC) which do result in ROS or free radicals being produced. We also have Superoxide Dismutase and glutathione produced in our cells to take care of ROS. All this takes place within the mitochondria, and there are no free electrons floating around in our bodies waiting to be “grounded” by an earthing sheet. As you must know, free electrons are highly reactive and do not exist in the free state for more than microseconds when in contact with tissue or any other reactive material. What happens inside the mitochondria is very controlled and natural. It has a purpose, to signal the host cell or the mitochondria unit itself to do something such as commit suicide or replicate using its own DNA or those of the host cell. There is virtually nothing you can do to influence what the hundreds or thousands of mitochondria in a cell will do by any antioxidant that you may consume orally. What you have written strikes me as a clever ruse to promote the sale of Earthing sheets which, by chance, are sold on Mercola’s web site. I hope that the readers of this blog can see through your attempts.

    Dr. Kendrick, I apologize for using the resources of this blog to make my points concerning this episode. This is the end for me. I will not post any more on this topic.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      John U,

      I am here again I am fully with you in your hard core science advocacy which does not refrain me from being a strong adherent of “alternative medicine” since it may help out and with very few side effects (BigPharma is here closely watching). It is Big Pharma that has corrupted medicine and the natural science I “love”.

      E.g. walking barefoot on a beach (not in my garden among the tics) seems to be a very relaxing activity and good for your health. More probably than not we can forget about any earthing part of it.

      Reminds me of Bob Dylans lyrics in the album “Modern Times”: “As I walked out in the mystic garden”

      Reply
    2. MindBody

      John,
      I have no commercial interests in earthing products, I had no idea that they were being mentioned on Mercola’s site (nor am I concerned that they are), and I have a limited understanding of the precise details of mitochondrial function but I do note that your lengthy reply to ( attack on) my comment was coupled to a refusal to comment further. That is hardly reasonable or honourable.

      Whatever your opinion is- you need to match that opinion with a study of the published science on the use of grounding in a number of medical conditions. There are a number of well researched papers, showing clear cut benefits in a number of areas, including reduction in severity of inflammatory illnesses, accelerated recovery from exercise induced injury and improvements in sleep associated with normalisation of diurnal fluctuations in cortisol levels.

      Reply
      1. Martin Back

        I often walk barefoot on the grass at my block of flats, not for earthing but because it is supposed to be good for the foot muscles, and anyway it is a pleasant feeling. Also, little kids play on the grass hereabouts, and I try to find any broken glass before it cuts them and their parents sue the Body Corporate.

        Regarding earthing, here is a comment from daedalus2u who seems to know what he or she is talking about:

        “Before I started working on nitric oxide, I worked 20 years on electrostatic separation, so I know a lot about electric fields, charges and electric potential. In terms of [direct current], the human body is sufficiently conductive that it acts as its own Faraday cage. In other words, any excess or deficiency of electrons shows up only at the external surface of the body. That is why people can stand on an insulated surface, put their hand on a Van de Graff generator and have their potential go so high that their hair stands on end. Their internal physiology is not affected at all.”http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/earthing/#comment-42649

        I am reminded of someone’s observation that animals, including humans, are inside-out plants. Plants are connected to the earth through their root hairs which grow into the soil and extract nutrients from organic matter residing in the soil. Similarly, humans are connected to the earth through villi which grow into ingested products of the soil and extract nutrients from the organic matter residing in the intestines.

        Plants cannot move and remain rooted in the soil. Animals can move and must carry their soil around with them in the gut.

        By strict analogy, therefore, in order to be properly earthed the way plants are, you have to — I don’t know how to say this politely — put an earth wire up your butt.

      2. John U

        MindBody, please feel free to provide links to such studies. The last time I asked for references to research studies, I was given material that was supported by the earthing organization, just don’t recall the link. I would be willing to bet big bucks that the research is tainted and unscientific. Let everyone see what you got. I personally am not interested to pursuing this any further . When there are NO ELECTRONS on the human body that need to be grounded, it seems ridiculous to go looking for evidence to prove that grounding somehow helps our health.

      3. Eric

        Martin Back,

        thanks for that quote. I was trying to explain the same thing a few months back in reply to one of Chris Palmer’s posts, but this is much more concise.

        On top of that, potential means it is measured relative to a reference point. Even the earth can be positive or negatively charged, depending on the reference point.

  76. Randall

    The calcium paradox. Some quotes – It is extremely important to realize that calcium deposits in soft tissues become worse when the diet is low in calcium. – About 25 years ago, David McCarron noticed that the governments data on diet and hypertension showed that the people who ate the most salt had the lowest blood pressure, and those who ate the least salt had the highest pressure. – Gross calcification generally follows the fibrosis that is produced by inflammation. – Since a very low sodium diet increases the loss of magnesium, by increasing aldosterone synthesis http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/calcium.shtml

    Reply
  77. smartersig

    India has far greater incidence of heart disease in the north than in the south and yet looking at the lipid levels of the two populations seems to show that LDL may not be the culprit. Average levels of LDL for 40 to 50 year olds stood at 3.05 mmol in both regions. Not outrageously high by most standards. HDL however in the south averaged at 1.6 mmol whilst in the north it averages at a miserable 0.8 mmol. Triglycerides are also high in the north at 1.8. There is no data for the south generally but in Gujarat it stands at 1.2.

    This seems to add weight to the hypothesis that HDL and Triglycerides are more important than LDL cholesterol in connection with heart disease. Drug companies have not surprisingly focused on LDL as it is more easily manipulated by chemical means.

    You can take a look at the data here

    http://medind.nic.in/gaa/t09/i2/gaat09i2p25.pdf

    Reply
  78. Anna

    Jennifer,

    Not to encourage you in your badness, but I think it is true that fasting can reverse a certain amount of dietary sin. The reason I think this has to do with an experience I had this summer, but it is too late at night for me to tell it right now.

    John U,

    Well I singled you out for teasing. I didn’t know that you are familiar with Fung. But anyway, I’m not quite seeing your objection to his statement that chronic high insulin leads to insulin resistance just because that resistance is not uniformly distributed.
    What I can see is that your thinking is a lot more conventional than mine. I take a lot of interesting ideas provisionally and think about them or look for more confirmation, but I don’t dismiss things that don’t fit already existent categories. Earthing, for example, could be true and why not. One thing I have learned from reading about biology is that life systems are so unimaginably more complex than we ever expected, and who is to say we have reached the bottom? Basically, we here live up on the surface of a very deep reality. And all these things that look so smooth and simple are supported by vast structures.
    At times you almost seem like a paid skeptic. You worry a lot about being conned. Mercola I have been reading for about 15 years. Someone said he has aged. I watched some good video of him recently and I think his body looks extremely lithe. I think he gets a fair amount of sun which does age a face and I am not sure he looks too bad for 62. I have found him consistent and his site is filled with good info so far as I see. His advice on colonoscopy might be very vital – there are two ways to clean the instrument, and only one is good. Again, you and I are different, in that I have never seen why people get so up in arms against homeopathy, and I know that for many people it works, and for me, once was enough. I’m also highly skeptical of excessive vaccinations. Dr. Oz I don’t know much about but Dr. Weil is a slow and cautious guy. Why anyone would rag on him or consider him a quack is truly a puzzle. I get the impression that are you completely trusting in the establishment, so much that I can’t understand why you are here! Whereas for me, the more I look into things the more it appears that nearly everything is tainted in our modern world and there isn’t that much honesty from the established sources. They do little but hold good people back, hold science and true progress back. The quackery they promote (and I’m talking about EVERY endeavor, not just medicine) is more harmful because they have a cloak of legitimacy.

    Reply
    1. Jennifer.

      Anna, please share your story….I am intrigued.
      I have started the 18/6 fasting regime and am on day 2 now. I have no requirement for weight loss, but want to avoid potential diabetic complications. Dr Fung’s series of lectures has convinced me that fasting of sorts is the final piece of my jigsaw to maintain the decent health status that I have achieved.
      So..over a 4 year timescale,..I have kept my weight at BMI of 23.4, and waist measurement healthy, both achieved within the first 4 months of realising that I needed to make lifestyle changes. (penny-drop time was New Year 2013).
      I have removed all medications, following many years of excessive ingestion.
      I have adopted a low-ish carb intake, ensuring that those I do eat are sensible and moderate.
      I am not afraid to eat saturated fat, and have none of the guilt of previous years, when it was considered “wrong” to use butter and meat drippings.
      So…..a form of fasting seems the next sensible step, a regime that I hadn’t considered previously, thinking it meant ‘starvation, hunger and reduction of BMR’, 3 pointers responsible for rebound weight gain, as associated with calorie restriction. I trust Dr Yung’s explanation that fasting causes none of those pitfalls of calorie restriction. No counting of anything, except keeping approximately to a ‘6 hour window of eating’, and forgetting about food for about 18 hours.
      As he says…it costs nothing to try, and can be stopped at any point if there is cause for concern.
      What’s not to like?
      HAPPY AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR TO ALL.

      Reply
    2. Gary Ogden

      Anna: Even if earthing is nothing more (which I doubt), going barefoot unquestionably improves balance and muscle tone and strength in the foot and ankle. It makes me more aware of and sensitive to my surroundings. I’m barefoot most of the time inside and out, in heat and cold, and I highly recommend it.

      Reply
      1. sasha

        I agree. I don’t know they physics behind it but going barefoot definitely does something for me. I live in Hawaii so we have lots of opportunities but in Nordic countries (Finland, Russia, etc) there are centuries old practices of strengthening the immune system by going barefoot for a few minutes in the snow. The best is getting your body hot in the sauna and then jumping in the snow to cool off! You sleep like a baby afterwards…

      2. Gary Ogden

        Sasha: Yes, sauna is a very healthful practice, with good science to back it up. Alas, I’ve never had the opportunity, though I’ve spent plenty of time being very active in snow, mainly Nordic, but also alpine skiing, also a bit of snowshoeing (don’t recommend this) and just trudging.

      3. Sasha

        Gary: if you get a chance, try it. It’s very popular in Finland and Russia and there are some good saunas in New York. Koreans have some good ones also in Queens and NJ. It’s part of their culture, I hear it gets cold in Korea! I once met an American guy in a Korean sauna who was there because his Korean girlfriend encouraged him to do it. He was overweight and congested, a typical example of modern diet. He said that in the month that he’s been going to sauna twice a week, he lost 25 lbs. Without changing anything else in his lifestyle.

        Many Russians do it weekly in the winter. It does stimulate body’s immune system and promotes cleansing, especially if you do contrast hot/cold plunges. Next morning you wake up with eyes crusted over from discharge and your bowel movements are out of this world (sorry for details). And you’ve slept like a baby.

        In Russia (and I think Turkey) there is even a profession of sauna specialist. If you are ever in Philadelphia, I will give you one guy’s name, it’s pure heaven))

      4. David Bailey

        My feeling is that alternative practitioners in general, get pressured into giving a ‘scientific’ explanation for their claims. Some of them end up cobbling together such an explanation that is then used to attack them.

        Unless we assume that there is nothing fundamental to be discovered in science (at least on earth) new effects may indeed exist, and it is utterly unreasonable to assume that those who discover them, can imediately explain them.

        These ideas should be judged on results.

      5. Gary Ogden

        David Bailey: Although it appears that we know a great deal, and indeed an enormous amount of detail has been discovered in recent decades in biology, physics, cosmology, and many other fields, in truth we truly know a vanishingly small amount of what there is to know, and it is quite likely that deeply held beliefs in our understanding of how things work today will, at some point in the future, be seen as wrong. It is hubris to claim otherwise, to claim that we are so smart that we surely know in this modern age what heals and what does not. How has allopathic medicine worked out? In some ways, such as trauma care, extraordinarily well. Pre-term infants have a far greater likelihood of survival than just a few decades ago. In other ways, such as cancer and heart disease treatment, not so well. It always puts my BS detectors on high alert when I hear other healing modalities disparaged. I know little about Homeopathy, but enough to trust that healing protocols exist here, as in other unfamiliar modalities. Although we have vast knowledge of many things compared to the ancients, we certainly are no smarter than they were, and no less capable of blundering. An astonishing example of this is mercury in medicine, in teeth and in vaccines. This element is so toxic it should never have been used in medicine, but it still is, every day.

    3. luanali

      Anna,

      Have you read any Carl Sagan? He was without question one of the best scientists to have ever lived, and in my opinion, was unparalleled in his intellectual curiosity and thirst for truth. He openly rejected fellow scientists who were the smug, dogmatic types, and even though many have assumed he was an atheist, he was a genuine agnostic because as he said, who really knows? But even still, he had a saying that you have to keep an open mind, “but not so open that your brains fall out.” And this is where I think John U’s and Eric’s points have been important. Scientific literacy does matter. I mean it really, really matters, otherwise we live in a world of superstition–demons and curses causing disease.

      If a claim is made, as a statement of fact, about the physical/natural world (like grounding or homeopathy) that is contrary to the laws of physics, it cannot be casually accepted as plausible in the name of an open mind. Instead, its veracity must be demonstrated empirically. It has to demonstrate the physical mechanism through which it works, and it has to show how the current physics is wrong.

      Science, empiricism, is the most spectacular model we’ve ever developed, in my opinion at least, because it provides freedom from dogmaticism, irrationality, and hysteria. It allows us to sort out what’s actually true verses magical thinking. And this is why postmodernism, which is by definition anti-science (it’s what the word means), has been so destructive. It’s validated superstition and put it on an equal playing field to science. It taught an entire generation that all “truths” are equal, and that science is just one of many. And unfortunately it’s been so effective that most, even now, don’t even know that there is a scientific method or what that might be.

      Since you’re looking for some new reading, I can’t recommend enough Sagan’s Demon Haunted World.

      Reply
      1. Anna

        Luanalai,

        I did read a Carl Sagan book but many years ago. I don’t remember which one. According to Google, the DHW is about explaining the scientific method to lay people and encouraging critical thinking. If I understand you aright, I need that explained to me because I mentioned that homeopathy works, and since homeopathy is against the laws of physics, I’m engaging in magical thinking.

        The problem is, though, that since homeopathy does work, it might be that some people don’t actually know all there is to know about physics, or biology. It does amaze me how homeopathy in particular provokes such ire. To say it is against the laws of physics is a puzzle, but perhaps what is meant is that some preparations are diluted to the point that there aren’t reliably any molecules of the substance in the preparation. And this might actually be a mistake that homeopathy is engaging in, that because a more dilute substance may be stronger, it does not necessarily follow that the dilution should go on forever. So let us say that a good homeopathic preparation does have a couple of molecules of the original substance.
        To speak of physics seems a bit inadequate though, because we are talking about the interaction of physics with biology, which is a whole ‘nother ballgame. It would be nice if what you say in paragraph 3 were true, but what really goes on is what is now going on, including a lot of rationalists whose minds are made up against certain things and are not interested in evidence. As to postmodernism, I have more or less rejected it in the moral sense, but I am having to look into what this is all about in regard to science.

      2. luanali

        Anna,

        I think the point that I and others have made is that just because there are many unknowns in the universe, this does not prove an alternative claim is true. The “there’s a lot we don’t know, therefore X is true,” is not a legitimate defense. Surely you agree with that otherwise you would apply the same criteria to statins: “Well there’s still a lot we don’t know, therefore statins prevent heart attacks.”

        You say that the problem is there are “a lot of rationalists whose minds are made up against certain things and are not interested in evidence,” but you put your position in a different category? You’ve stated repeatedly, as a statement of fact, that “homeopathy works”. Are you certain of that? You can explain away the studies that show it’s no better than placebo, or can explain why the tricks in homeopathy studies are at least as bad if not worse than big pharma including a publication bias of only 1% negative? And you’re completely certain that apparent positive results aren’t simply a regression to the mean of the body’s natural healing phase (my bet)?

        It would also be helpful to understand the mechanics of homeopathy since it claims to work by taking a substance and diluting it by more atoms than there are in the universe.

        I used to take homeopathy, Anna, and so was obviously open to it. I could never tell if it worked or not. But the impetus for me to stop immediately and start researching was when I discovered homeopathic pills have a long history of containing actual, unregulated pharmaceutical drugs. Here’s an article of the latest here in the US where homeopathic pills were found to contain antibiotics…and glass. http://www.wired.co.uk/article/homeopathy-contains-medicine

  79. Anna

    Goran,

    As a pretty constant lay reader I am surprised that I have never heard a whiff of this idea that postmodern ideas are infecting science but I am wondering what you mean about belief in the nonexistent. Are you referring to God? Many great scientists believed in God and it should not at all affect science. Or do you just mean believing in the imaginary?
    It sounds like Feyeraband may not be what I was expecting. This book is supposed to have been a best seller. I certainly didn’t think he was against the scientific method. I’ll just have to move his book to the top and read it soon! You are against Plato also?

    Last furlong,

    You said: “” >>this study suggests that berberine (or goldenseal) is a CYP2C9 inhibitor. Although the effect of CYP2C9 inhibition on the efficacy of losartan is not clear, inhibitors of CYP2C9 are known to increase warfarin response, thus potentially increasing the bleeding risk if doses are not adjusted.”

    But all this means is that Berberine might make the warfarin stronger, meaning he would require a lower dose. Nothing wrong with that. Consistency is the point with warfarin. If you suddenly start eating bowls of kale and then stop, it will mess up the warfarin. But if you take this supplement daily you would then adjust the warfarin accordingly with the blood test results. I also suggest that perhaps you can make it a bit of a challenge to learn some carb free meals. For example, a carb free breakfast can be quite good.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      Anna,

      I fully agree with your view about the staggering complexity of what we call LIFE, not least by me presently reading the “Molecular Biology of THE CELL” by Alberts et al. Reading this book has made me allergic to all categoric medical statements.

      This doesn’t refrain me from giving you the following simple answer to your questions that I, as e.g. Alan Sokal and contrary to all postmodernism, have chosen to only believe in the existence of ONE external reality which though, as more than evident, can be interpreted according to different vested interests as with the statins. Here I believe in Malcolm 🙂

      Thus, I am a “diehard” natural science materialist who doesn’t believe in ghosts, magics, undisclosed mystic “fields”, life after death (as Socrates), any gods (think about Xenophanes’ anthropomorphic blasphemy – one of my favorites) and for sure I don’t believe in the idealism of a slave owner as Plato.

      Again, get Sokals book an read for yourself if you don’t have made up your mind already. And why not Kuhn and Popper?

      It’s a fundamental choice you do!

      Reply
      1. David Bailey

        Goran, Anna,

        The real problem with consciousness, is that it is extremely hard to explain how physical matter gives rise to conscious experience. This was dubbed the ‘Hard Problem’ by the philosopher David Chalmers.

        Such an theory would have to explain why a certain configuration of matter (a brain) actually experiences pain, pleasure, or whatever, while another (a computer, say) simply processes information without any experience, or awareness of any kind.

        I think there is a big hole in science in this area, and it is daft to rule out phenomena such as ghosts until that hole is adequately plugged!

  80. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

    Anna,

    Since you seem to be a “serious” book reader and also interested in the subject of religion and superstitious phenomena I must admit that I am not denying the power of religion – quite the contrary.

    With your here declared interest you may be acquainted with the thoughts of the great sociologist Emil Durkheim about religions in his famous book, a true “tome” indeed, “The Elementary Forms of Religious Life”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Elementary_Forms_of_the_Religious_Life

    This book gave myself and my wife (we always are reading interesting books together) an unprecedented view into what religion is really about. Thus a book I strongly recommend to put on your reading list for your “journey into scientific knowledge” if you are not already familiar with that book.

    Reply
    1. MadMax

      For your consideration:

      What is Self? A Study of the Spiritual Journey in Terms of Consciousness by Bernadette Roberts

      which is a follow up to the The Experience of No-Self.

      Some random quotes:

      So the first thing to understand regarding the nature of self or consciousness is that it is
      not an entity, being, soul, or spirit; rather, it is an experience that we mistake for these things.

      It should be remembered, however, that self or consciousness is not a being or an entity
      – as so may people mistakenly believe. In fact, one of the errors discovered beyond self
      is that consciousness was responsible for the whole experience of “being”
      or the feeling of being a discrete entity, individual, soul or immaterial spirit;
      consciousness or self was this experience. But the Reality or Truth beyond this experience is another matter entirely.

      So the first notion to dispel is that the falling away of consciousness or self is the annihilation
      or extinction of some entity, being, soul, spirit. Rather, it is the falling away of the EXPERIENCE
      of being, soul, life, spirit.

      Unfortunately, consciousness is reluctant to admit that everything it experiences and knows is only as much as its own dimension and capacity permits. Indeed, for the most part consciousness does not even realize its own limitations.

      Thus while the self-experience defines consciousness, it cannot define the true nature
      of anything else or the true nature of what it experiences.
      Consciousness cannot know the “thing in itself” because consciousness cannot be other than
      itself; it is limited to its own field of knowing and experiencing.

      Reply
  81. Carol

    I have you had my blood results back and have been total cholesterol is 8.8. I do not want to take statins. I take mess for high blood pressure could these increase my cholesterol. Hav e been doing low carb for 2 years. Lost a so tone but no reduction in bop or cholesterol. Am really worried and don’t know the best thing to do. Will cutting down or stopping alcohol change anything.

    Reply
    1. robert

      Thyroid truly OK? (mid-of-range TSH, fT3, T4, normal rT3, no antibodies…)

      When I was having issues with that bugger, my levels were quite a bit higher than yours. Interestingly, I wasn’t “offered” a statin. Well, I wouldn’t have taken it anyway, given that it is well known that a wonky thyroid will have a strong effect on these things. Find and fix the root cause, as some people say. I must agree.

      Reply
    2. David Evans

      Carol,

      If you study the scientific literature, you will see that higher cholesterol is linked with a longer lifespan, especially for women.

      It is always perplexing that the “official” advice tells us to artificially lower (with toxic drugs) a nutrient that keeps us healthy and helps us live longer.

      Regarding statins, any doctor that understands the importance of coenzyme Q10 and heme A to energy production in mitochondria should never prescribe statins.

      Reply
    3. David Bailey

      Carol,

      Dr Kendrick can’t answer direct health queries over the internet because he would rapidly lose his license to practice medicine. I am not a medical Dr, but this answer is (I hope) gleaned entirely from Dr Kendrick’s books, which are themselves based on actual medical studies.
      I trust Dr K will censor this comment if it is in any way inappropriate.

      1) High cholesterol is generally a sign of good health in older people. In young men it can be a sign of a risk of heart disease, but even then it isn’t the cause of heart disease.

      2) Moderate intake of alcohol actually lowers a person’s risk of heart disease.

      3) Statins have some really horrible side effects (I can testify for that!). They may or may not confer some very slight advantage, but that isn’t worth being potentially crippled.

      Since dropping statins because of the horrible side effects, I don’t even have my cholesterol measured! I would suggest you do the same.

      Reply
  82. Karen

    Thanks Dr Kendrick – always refreshing to read. I came to this blog following months of worrying about a bad sunburn my 9 year old sun acquired in Italy this summer. All the advice on the internet is so scary. Does one bad sunburn really elevate risk for melanoma? Otherwise we have enjoyed sun responsibly and he has never been burned before

    Reply
    1. Jean Humphreys

      If one episode of bad sunburn in childhood was enough to cause trouble, I would have died of cancer years ago. One of the signs of summer was when we had to peel the skin off Dad’s shoulders. He died of “eveyrthing worn out” at 89 after 28 years in the aftermath of a heart attack.

      Reply
  83. Mark Johnson

    I have you had my blood results back and have been total cholesterol is 8.8. I do not want to take statins. I take mess for high blood pressure could these increase my cholesterol. Hav e been doing low carb for 2 years. Lost a so tone but no reduction in bop or cholesterol. Am really worried and don’t know the best thing to do. Will cutting down or stopping alcohol change anything.

    I had my cholesterol checked a couple of years ago. It was about 10. I am not worried.

    Your cholesterol is certainly normal and fits within a normal distribution curve for human cholesterol values. No one would ever say, “I’m 6ft 3in and I’m worried” or equally, “I’m 5ft 2in and I’m worried”. Both heights are of course normal and likely within 2 or 3 standard deviations from the mean. Just as not everyone is 5ft 8in not everyone has a cholesterol value of 5.4 (or whatever the mean is). Your cholesterol is normal and is what it is for a reason. Stop worrying!

    Reply
    1. Stephen T

      Mark, I agree.

      In a study of 67,413 men and 82, 237 women, low cholesterol was significantly associated with mortality, particularly cancer, liver diseases and mental illness. (An Austrian study quoted by Dr Kendrick.)

      Reply
      1. David Bailey

        Smartsig,

        Did you notice Dr Kendrick’s response to this point – that low cholesterol is only seen in the late stages of cancer, or in some cases of liver disease.

        Surely people aren’t taken on to these studies if they are so ill!

        If you want to argue a case with Dr K, surely it makes sense to make sure if he has replied to you, and respond appropriately.

        If the data is skewed because some ill patients get low cholesterol, why was this not taken into account in the various studies that have been performed – e.g. by screening people for potential issues? It makes very little sense not to correct for a potential problem of this sort, but then use it to excuse ‘bad’ results after the study is over!

        Cholesterol is needed for all sorts of purposes in the body, so it is eminently plausible that if it (or any other essential chemical) is at an abnormally low level in the body, this will cause problems.

      2. smartersig

        I posted a study where they made it clear that they were trying to answer the question of does disease cause ,low cholesterol or does low cholesterol cause disease and they came down on the side of the former.

    2. Sue Richardson

      Mark. Don’t worry about your cholesterol levels, it really doesn’t matter. Forget it. It’s only the blinkered medical profession (well most of them) that insist it does. Read Dr K’s book The Great Cholesterol Con and his other blogs on this issue. Also, watch the news – every now and then an article appears that says, in so many words, that “actually cholesterol levels aren’t that big a deal after all”. I think we will see more and more of these articles, along with the “actually, fat isn’t so bad for you after all,” ones. The wording is usually quite crafty, they don’t want us to know that they were wrong, but we know – oh yes we do”

      Reply
      1. smartersig

        And yet the Scottish study used Dr Kendrick in his talk does show that cholesterol correlates with heart disease

      2. mr Chris

        Smartersig
        the conclusions are not easy to tease out of this study, but the following seems to sum it up:
        “Thus, the two most likely reasons for the observed association between low cholesterol levels and increased mortality are an effect-cause relationship (ie, low cholesterol concentrations are the result of the illness, such as cancer, causing increased mortality) and confounding bias.”
        or did I miss something?

      3. smartersig

        That is exactly my point, is the low cholesterol linked to mortality argument flawed due to illness causing low cholesterol. People may say that they control for this but my question would be how?

      4. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        I have given you the URL of a paper that will answer all of your question. I would ask that you read it. I cannot answer all queries about scientific facts individually, I would have no time to do anything else in my life.

      5. Mr Chris

        Smartersig
        The BMJ article is very wellworth reading, but the clincher is the the reply from Tiffany Eatz et alii wherein they demonstrate the hollowness of their arguments, IMHO

      6. Gary Ogden

        smartersig: This study doesn’t appear to link cholesterol with heart disease at all. The conclusion: “The increase in mortality at low levels of total and LDL cholesterol . . . is explained by an increase in smoking-related cancer deaths among smokers.” What this paper is essentially saying is that smoking is a confounding variable in any attempt to link cholesterol levels and mortality on a population level.

      7. smartersig

        From the paper

        “At high total and LDL cholesterol concentrations, increased mortality was due to increased coronary deaths”

        It also says that low levels of cholesterol and mortality were due to the illness. If both of these hold true its a double whammy for the cholesterol sceptic in me

      8. smartersig

        Sorry perhaps I am not making this clear. The paper says that high cholesterol causes higher deaths from heart disease and the notion that low cholesterol causes death from other causes is skewed by the fact that too many of the those dying have low cholesterol as an effect from the cause of death eg cancer. Of course it is easy to say ‘they control for this’ but if so how ?
        The one paper I found that made specific point of checking for this found that death rates were not effected by low cholesterol

      9. smartersig

        Dr Kendrick I have looked at the Meta study for which you are a co author. How do you know that within the 28 studies looked at there were not a good number of people dying from diseases that just happened to lower cholesterol. In particular this could be a bigger problem with over 60 year olds studied as they are closer to death. A 70 year old with a low reading may well pop his clogs a month later from a cholesterol lowering disease. How is this controlled for ?.

      10. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        It is controlled for, and has been controlled for, by removing all deaths from the first year of follow-up. Why it is felt necessary to control for something that is an unproven hypothesis is a moot point. The reverse causation hypothesis has been disproven every time it has been studied.

      11. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        Hamazaki T, Okuyama H, Ogushi Y, Hama R. Towards a paradigm shift in cholesterol treatment. A re-examination of the cholesterol issue in Japan. Ann Nutr Metab 2015; 66(suppl 4):1–116.

        Please read this 116 page review and I can reassure you that you will not have any questions left on this issue.

      12. smartersig

        Dr Kendrick thanks for the Japan link, very interesting. I am not fully through it yet but already hitting areas that need some explanation. The report admits that higher cholesterol readings are related to higher heart disease in Men but not so in women. Indeed on page 23 they show a table that clearly illustrates this. They offer an argument that low cholesterol levels should not be used a baseline but even allowing for this the rates go up as cholesterol increases so if you chose a slightly higher baseline the hazard ratios go up. I would have hoped to see if not a decline then some sort of randomness. They also mention that MI death is not associated with cholesterol rates. this does not offer me much consolation as generally handling MI and avoiding death has improved world wide. These figures are in addition to the same aort of trend shown in the Scottish study cited in your talk. I am not trying to be confrontational in fact I would hope someone can give me a good reason why my concerns are baseless based on these figures.

        Untidy figures from pg 23

        Table 2-A. Multivariable hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals for fatal and non-fatal coronary heart disease according to low density lipoprotein cholesterol category: Circulatory Risk in Communities Study [21] LDL cholesterol level HR per 30-mg/dl (0.77-mmol/l) increment mg/dl mmol/l <80 <2.06 80–99 2.06–2.57 100–119 2.58–3.09 120–139 3.10–3.61 ≥140 ≥3.62 No. of participants (men and women) 1,774 1,899 1,949 1,302 1,207 Total: 8,131 Total CHD No. of cases 23 29 35 31 37 Total: 155 Multivariable HR* (95% CI) 1.0 1.35 (0.77–2.36) 1.66 (0.96–2.86) 2.15 (1.22–3.81) 2.80 (1.59–4.92) 1.30 (1.11–1.49) Non-fatal CHD No. of cases 13 23 24 26 29 Total: 115 Multivariable HR* (95% CI) 1.0 1.95 (0.98–3.90) 2.06 (1.03–4.13) 3.25 (1.61–6.53) 4.07 (2.02–8.20) 1.36 (1.16–1.58) Fatal CHD No. of cases 10 6 11 5 8 Total: 40 Multivariable HR* (95% CI) 1.0 0.57 (0.20–1.64) 1.04 (0.41–2.60) 0.72 (0.23–2.28) 1.24 (0.44–3.47) 1.16 (0.87–1.55)

      13. Mark Johnson

        Mark. Don’t worry about your cholesterol levels, it really doesn’t matter. Forget it. It’s only the blinkered medical profession (well most of them) that insist it does.

        I don’t think you read my post properly!

      14. David Bailey

        Smartsig,

        Here is a long list of studies that indicate that high cholesterol is slightly negatively correlated with mortality!

        http://vernerwheelock.com/179-cholesterol-and-all-cause-mortality/

        Those studies cover both total cholesterol and LDL levels.

        Are you claiming that if you filtered out those people with late-stage cancer or liver disease from those studies, the correlation would be reversed, and even if it were, would that correlation be likely to be clinically significant?

        If high levels of cholesterol need treating, how do you explain that data?

        I try to show that list of studies to anyone who is worried about cholesterol – it really tells an important story – stop worrying, and certainly don’t take something to reduce your cholesterol level!

      15. Sue Richardson

        David . Thanks for replying to this and to the others who have commented. You explain it much better than I can. I hope these observations will help. I no longer worry about my cholesterol levels. I explain why and receive skeptical looks and pursed lips. Am I bovvered?

      16. smartersig

        Let me first say that I am playing devils advocate a little here, I am not on this forum to try and disprove every theory put forward. I have personally been advised to take statins and refused. However it is most important that every theory is challenged and data examined. Thanks for the link provided. There does seem some evidence to support the ideas but the data is not 100% conclusive for example

        MEN
        Age ranges TC LEVELS, mmol/L(mg/100ml)
        <5.0(7.0(>270)
        20-29 1.10 0.38 0.30 0.00
        30-39 0.80 0.57 0.72 0.47
        40-49 2.22 1.38 2.27 3.37
        50-59 4.54 4.93 6.22 5.74
        60-69 20.31 16.20 17.37 18.47
        70-74 49.18 40.37 37.93 41.25

        At the age 50 to 59 when you are perhaps at most risk for a Heart attack if you have lived a pro inflamatory lifestyle, the table shows that all cause mortality is lowest in total cholesterol below 5.0 and highest in the upper ranges. Even at 40 to 49 higher ranges are disadvantageous. At higher ages it is somewhat the other way round. Can anyone explain this ?.Is it sufficient to allow 5 years at older levels before tracking deaths after serum testing. Perhaps people with low cholesterol after 70 are on a much longer road to death from disease which is creating an early onset of low cholesterol. Clearly from this data to say dont worry if you are 50 and have cholesterol above 5.5 is not correct, you should be concerned if taking this at face value.

        PS For what its worth I am more in the camp of impaired reverse cholersterol transport causing cholesterol to stay in the blood too long and therefore become subject to oxidiation or should I say the lipid become oxidised not the cholesterol. Chris Masterjohn explains this theory well.

      17. Gary Ogden

        smartersig: Here is the table from “Lipid levels in [136,905] patients hospitalized with coronary artery disease. . . “ Published in the American Heart Journal, January 2009, pp. 113-114.

        Table II
        Total cohort
        LDL (mg/dL)
        159
        (n= 18,191) (n=33,111) (n=28,429) (n=15,385) (n=8,516)
        HDL (mg/dL)
        59 (n=8,162) 1.4 2.5 2.1 1.1 0.7

        As you can see, those who fit the guidelines had the highest risk, and those with the highest LDL had the lowest risk, with those with high LDL and high HDL had the lowest risk of all.

      18. smartersig

        Thanks Gary, indeed the dominant factors seem to be low HDL and high Tri’s. The report suggests lowering LDL even further in the guidelines. How can this be if greater numbers are coming in with the lowest LDL readings and high LDL has the least beds

      19. Gary Ogden

        smartersig: Yes, a high TG/HDL ratio (above 5) appears to have good predictive power (mine is around 0.5). Astonishing the conclusions the authors reached-if low is terrible, lower is better! Logical fallacy #37. I also have in my printed materials (discovered hunting through them for the AHJ paper) a good article by Dr. Noakes, from the SAMJ 2013;103(11):824-825 concerning the inconvenient finding that “replacing dietary saturated fatty acids (SFA) with polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), specifically n-6 PUFA linoleic acid-‘increased rates of death from cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease and all-cause mortality compared to a control diet rich in SFA from animal fats and common margarines’ (p. 4). Also a good paper from Open Heart (DiNicolantonio JJ, 2014;1:e000032) on the same subject.

      20. Gary Ogden

        smartersig: I may be wrong, as I didn’t read it carefully, but this response appears to be logical fallacy #43, “change the subject.” In any case a dietary study based upon dietary questionnaires will always be suspect, unlike a ward-feeding intervention, where the subjects cannot fudge their answers.

      21. Gary Ogden

        smartersig: The trip across the Atlantic mangled my table, but if you go to the AHJ you can find it.

      22. luanali

        David, I understand what smartersig is saying. I’ve never found that article reassuring for middle-aged men. It makes the point that high cholesterol is not an issue for the elderly, but is bad news for the middle-aged.

  84. Steve

    G-strophanthin turns lactic acid in the heart muscle to pyruvate! EU uses Stropnanthin to isolate angina issues.
    http://www.westonaprice.org/modern-diseases/what-causes-heart-attacks-part-two/
    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/12/18/heart-disease-treatment-options.aspx?utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20161218Z1&et_cid=DM128815&et_rid=1802028542

    How about that, sugar and carbs, stress, Low NO, Sympathetic Nervous system, Plaque Placement result in heart problems! due to buildup in lactic acid in heart tissue, causing angina. 80% of heart attacks not due to blockages! Blocked arteries grow new ones to compensate….My wife is a vascular sonographer. It is well known that the body compensates for blocked arteries by growing new vessels and feeding from other arteries. In the case of carotid issues, the entire brain can be fed from one side when the other is blocked, in the arms and legs, new branches form from main arteries which is found in nearly all their patients. This reasoning for heart attacks Seems reasonable, what do you think?

    Reply
  85. Raymond Haagensen

    I have just come across this article,on Dr Mercola.
    Heart disease treatment options
    The Unexpected New Model of Why Heart Attacks Occur – and It’s Sure to Ruffle Some Feathers, video + Aryicle

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/12/18/heart-disease-treatment-options.aspx?utm_source=wnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20161229Z3&et_cid=DM129537&et_rid=1818076012
    Dr M Kendrick, Keep up the good work
    Ray, Australia

    Reply
  86. Steve

    Dr. Kendrick, Thanks for your hard work.

    What Ancel Keys practiced was professional and scientific misconduct. Cherry picking data to show cause that was not in the original data set and now discarding disagreeing data, these are the highest crimes a scientist can conduct. There are those who support this type of immoral conduct, I find it appalling and he has set back the science by decades and is criminally responsible for millions of deaths. I have seen this in my professional career and have seen people fired and demoted due to exactly the same behavior (at good companies). Money also corrupts science on several fronts, thus it has become corrupted at many levels and is now untrusted by many as a result. We can see how “science” has been used, corrupted and manipulated by powerful unaccountable corporations and governments to serve their own ends.
    Recovery from “bad science” may require decades to overcome, thus I suggest that we should prosecute people and companies in open court for these types of infringements. Bring civil cases against them for fraudulent papers, just like we do fro fraudulent of poor products. Unfortunately, proof is not so simple in these cases where it takes decades to prove their corruption.

    Reply
  87. JDPatten

    Dr Goran,

    About vitamin E:
    I know you take a goodly amount of E, but I wonder which form?
    I take apixaban (Eliquis), an anticoagulant for cardiac arrhythmia to avoid stroke. The label and various websites indicate all sorts of “blood-thinning” supplements – including E – that should not be taken with this stuff for fear of brain bleed. Ugh!
    I then came across this article about the tocotrienol form of E:
    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/276328.php
    It suggests stroke benefit. It also suggests the mechanism involves Collaterals. You have told us elsewhere that collaterals saved you, yes? Due to tocotrienols?
    (The “1 opinion” linked near the bottom of the page details eight different forms of E.)
    What do you think?
    There’s plenty on tocotrienols and stroke here:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=(tocotrienol%5BTitle%2FAbstract%5D)%20AND%20stroke%5BTitle%2FAbstract%5D

    Reply
    1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      JDPatten,

      As stated earlier in a comment my real eyeopener was the book : “Vitamin E for Ailing & Healthy Hearts” by Wilfred E. Shute, another “quack”, having treated 30 000 CVD patients in Canada before they were forced to close their institute down.

      Natural vitamin E contains all 8 components in a “natural” mixture, four tocoferols and four trienols, the d-alfatocoferol being the major component and according to Shute and Pauling 400 – 1600 IU is what seems to greatly benefit people with CVD and angina – I am a witness 🙂

      On my present box with “Natural E-vitamin” only tocoferol was mentioned so I got suspicious and had to check up but the manufacturer, Lamberts, UK, guarantied that all 8 components where there but that the amount of trienols varied “naturally” so they just claim that each capsule contained 400 IU of alphatocoferol – the most active substance.

      “I can confirm that both our individual Vitamin E formulations (250iu and 400iu) contain mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols. However we do not quantify the tocotrienols and tocopherols and we standardise only to d-alpha tocopherol, as the levels of the other nutrients tend to vary from batch to batch and the testing of each batch would be prohibitively expensive.”

      And yes – my collaterals save me, as “they” told me already1999, really surprised that I survived my severe MI, and it is more than plausible that it is in these small collateral arteries the E-vitamin works ‘magic’ – there is a logic to me in this. What is claimed by Shute is that it is the oxygen which is utilized in a more effective way due to the action of E-vitamin.

      But for “whatever” reason 1600 IU each day seems to work fine for me and that is what counts – now for three years – without any serious angina. By the way E-vitamin is the second supplement mentioned after vitamin C on Paulings list of recommended items for a “healthy life”.

      Reply
      1. JDPatten

        Goran,
        Thanks for your reply.
        From what you say, it seems that you’d had the collaterals in place before taking E as a supplement? I wonder why some have collaterals ready to go and some don’t.
        I’ve been taking E as the four tocopherols. I’m going to cut back on that (bleeding risk) and invest in some “Tocomin Supra Bio”. That seems to be the go-to product for tocotrienols. Here in the US, anyhow.

    2. Gary Ogden

      JDPatten: Thank you very much for this! I’m putting annatto seeds and red palm oil on my shopping list. These are good sources (as is coconut oil) of tocotreinols. There are some good ways to use annatto seeds in cooking on line. I used to use them in marinating beef heart, but then tossing them. Dumb. I’m going to be grinding them and putting them into my stews.

      Reply
  88. Anna

    Jennifer,

    My regime is more like 16/8, but it gets messed up a bit because I have a work schedule that is quite varying in the hours. One of the reasons that this regime can be quite comfortable is that you get used to it and your stomach doesn’t bother you, so keeping a steady routine is very helpful.

    The story is this. I have a brother I haven’t seen but once in 25 years. He is homeless and has been more or less all this time. So I am trying to convince him to perhaps come live here with me and he would only agree to a visit. In today’s surveillance world I don’t even know if he could get a ticket. But as luck would have it, I found that someone who lives only 3 miles from me goes to the west coast a time or two per year and was willing to bring him. I had toyed with the idea of checking my a1c. I noticed he didn’t walk with agility and he admitted that he has some numbness in half of one foot. This was a red flag and the next morning I tested us both, and, sad to say, I was 6.0 which is prediabetic and he was 6.3, which is the last decimal before outright diabetes. In fact I suspect his case is worse because of the foot issue and because he had undergone a 9 day fast about a month prior. He did this fast because he’s a religious fundamentalist. The a1c gives an average blood sugar over as much as 3 months. So I think that without that 9 day fast he might have been higher than 6.3.

    I sat him down in front of some Jason Fung videos! He took it very seriously, and in fact from that moment decided not to eat. 3 days later the neighbors had a party and he ate. He refused to believe that bread isn’t good and when he would eat food, the amount could be astonishing. But he continued to fast 2 days a week. Again, in the Orthodox Church, half the days of the year are fast days, and they are mostly vegan. He was loathe to think that this might not be good for the health and refused to consider low carb. But what he did instead was simply not to eat on those 2 days.

    What I did was to straighten up and stop eating any excess carbs, although I do eat them a bit. At the end of his visit, 2 months, we tested again, and while I improved down to 5.7, he got an astonishing 5.5, which is nondiabetic. He ate carbs freely, but I must also say that his diet at my house was no doubt of much higher quality and also the sweets were few. He apparently eats a fair amount of sweets, not because he doesn’t know better, but because he eats whatever is free, and cheap food is more often available.

    Reply
    1. Jennifer.

      Anna, many thanks for taking the time to tell your story. What a fascinating insight into fasting, but experts would no doubt criticise it for being anecdotal. I love anecdotal stories!
      It intrigues me as to how homeless people survive for years in dire circumstances….cold and hungry. Years ago I nursed a vagrant who developed severe diabetic complications, and your intervention with your brother will hopefully reduce his risks of going down that path.
      I am so grateful to the blogger who gave us the link to Stephanie Seneff….( which I too, had lost). She is an amazing person, and one of the prime reasons as to why I have ‘gone organic’.
      It is heartening to see on the Internet the number of intellectuals who are devoting their time to improving the diet of the globe….but as Stephanie says….the politicians need to take these things on board to get positive changes.
      Can I just re-iterate from previous blogs, that I have not measured my blood glucose in nearly 4 years. However, when I was acutely ill with shingles in 2015, it soared to 20mmol. A & E staff were too premature, and blamed diabetes, so there seemed no reason to diagnose the reason for my extreme, unrelenting pain that was distrupting my whole being. No physical examination….just a number on the glucometer, done as one of the baseline admission observations, meant they didn’t need to look any further. I was recalling the episode to my husband the other day….and for the first time told him that I was so ill then that I thought I was going to die. The ‘not-knowing’, with no diagnosis for several days ( made when a doctor decided to do a physical examination) , added to the extreme, incapacitating pain, which would certainly disrupt all base-line observations. I think medical practitioners are blinkered at times.

      Reply
  89. Anna

    My thoughts on earthing was that I ought to have very low blood pressure in that case as I always have had the habit of going barefoot. Meanwhile, my husband has quite low blood pressure and absolutely never goes unshod in the house or out. Although my habit has been considerably less and my pressure has gone up…

    We have plans to build a sauna!

    Reply
  90. Anna

    Goran,

    I also believe that reality is One, although I don’t know about calling it external. I am not so much interested in religion but consider myself a mystic, although I’ve come to an odd conclusion (about which I may very well be wrong as I can’t grasp certain concepts in physics, such as massless particles. If it doesn’t have mass what does it have)? Anyway, my conclusion is to think that there is only the material world, or a better way is to say there is only what exists, without strong divisions such as material and spiritual, although there might be phase changes. And what exists includes what people, for lack of better terminology, refer to as the spiritual. But we might as well call UVA and UVB spiritual, or xrays or radiowaves. Maybe even bacteria or atoms. All of these things are completely inaccessible to the bodily senses, and yet are very much existent. Likewise my conscious soul. I think there is good evidence for the ether if that is what you mean about mystic fields. One can stop thinking in foggy ways about such things and just accept that we have certainly not discovered all there is to discover about reality and how it works, and, knowing how unbelievably small and complex are the workings of a cell, why should there be no such surprises in the workings of a cosmos that includes consciousness or is driven by consciousness? After all, if a thought can go from one mind to another, there must be a medium for its travel.

    As for Xenophanes, according to Wikipedia ” While Xenophanes is rejecting Homeric theology, he is not questioning the presence of a divine entity, rather his philosophy is a critique on Ancient Greek writers and their [anthropomorphised] conception of divinity.[24] ”

    I’ve no objection to reading Sokal, Kuhn and Popper. What I’m wanting to read is this whole story about postmodernism in science. Is that what they are about?

    Reply
  91. PaulG

    Dr K I have just stumbled on this article which purports to show a link with an increased metastasis of cancer and a diet high in saturated fat. This certainly contradicts the recent evidence pointing towards a Ketogenic diet being ideal for cancer patients as it starves the body of glucose. I am as sceptical as most people who contribute to this fantastic blog about Big Pharma’s attempts to discredit cancer or indeed any treatments that are not patentable.

    Not sure if this research ‘evidence’ has a ‘hidden agenda’!

    fat.https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161207132117.htm.

    Reply
    1. Randall

      The study was done on mice, not people. All studies done on mice do not apply to people. Is fat a main source of food for mice? Reminds me of a rabbit study.

      Reply
      1. Jim Chinnis

        Randall: The tumors studied were human, though. The human tumors (the cells that could metastasize) were able to utilize dietary fats, it appears. I need to get the full text and find time to think about it.

      2. Maureen H

        I found this interview with Dr. Eric Westman, here is part of it:
        SHELLEY – Well, it’s too bad that the main studies of “high fat” diets in mice and people is the “donut diet” variety, moderate in fat and pretty high in starches and sugars. It’d be nice if more researchers would study truly high fat, low carb diets.
        ERIC WESTMAN – You know, it’s possible they never will, because low carb diets don’t create the outcome they want . . . they’re trying to create the model of the disease. This was explained to me by a monkey colony researcher who used moderate fat, high sugar diets typical of the American diet. He said, we’ve never changed the diet because we already have the diet that creates the disease of atherosclerosis. High sugar, high fat. He wanted to induce atherosclerosis and then study it and try to fix it with a drug, rather than create a diet that fixed atherosclerosis. So I saw him many years later and I asked him, have you studied different diets to change and reduce atherosclerosis, and he said no. Because he’s basically paid to create the disease of atherosclerosis and just try to modify it. So a lot of these researchers are interested in the mechanism of the disease rather than the prevention of the disease.
        Here is the full interview: http://www.meandmydiabetes.com/2014/11/17/eric-westman-md-carb-health-microbiome/

      3. JanB

        I’m in total agreement with you. I responded in the same way – MICE????????? I just don’t know how they have the brass neck to present such ‘evidence’ and expect to be taken seriously.

      4. David Bailey

        I have slowly become utterly cynical about much scientific research. Here is an article discussing a study that purports to show that mice do badly on a LCHF diet.

        http://healthinsightuk.org/2015/01/05/why-high-fat-diet-studies-on-rats-and-mice-are-not-to-be-trusted/

        It would seem that these studies use a strain of mouse that has been bred to put on weight rapidly in response to fat!

        In view of that, I’d suggest that it would be worthwhile to investigate the exact strain of mouse used for these experiments. Has it been bred to be susceptible to cancer metastasis?

    2. Gary Ogden

      PaulG: Interesting research, but what it shows is that metastasis in human cancers in mice is enhanced by fat intake. What this means for humans is another question. How much fat do mice customarily eat? Can’t be much. Kind of reminds us of the cholesterol-fed rabbits.

      Reply
      1. chris c

        I like to think of the corollary. Rabbits eat grass and their own droppings. How long would humans last on that diet? Mice eat grains and remain small, this doesn’t occur with cows, pigs, dogs, cats or humans.

    3. Martin Back

      I think this is a case of the report reading more into the research than is warranted. They fed the mice palmitic acid. We can’t avoid palmitic acid, because we are partly made of it and our bodies synthesize it.

      “Palmitic acid (16:0) is a saturated fatty acid present in the diet and synthesized endogenously. Although often considered to have adverse effects on chronic disease in adults, 16:0 is an essential component of membrane, secretory, and transport lipids, with crucial roles in protein palmitoylation and signal molecules. At birth, the term infant is 13–15% body fat, with 45–50% 16:0, much of which is derived from endogenous synthesis in the fetus.”http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10408398.2015.1018045?src=recsys&journalCode=bfsn20

      Palmitic acid is a constituent of olive oil and is therefore part of the Mediterranean diet, which has not been implicated as cancer-causing.

      “…the existing evidence from observational studies collectively suggests that there is a “probable” protective role of the Mediterranean diet toward cancer in general”https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20924961

      Which is not to minimise the potential importance of the finding. If you have cancer, and the CD36 protein is detected in the cancer cells, it looks likely that the cancer will spread.

      Since CD36 helps the cells take up fatty acids, reducing the fatty acid load is obviously one avenue to explore. Except you are also trying to reduce the glucose load to stop feeding the tumour. No fats, no carbs; what can you safely eat?

      We know that people with cancer have reduced cholesterol. Is this the body’s way of trying to prevent the cancer spreading?

      I think we need to know more before jumping to conclusions about the best way of dealing with cancer without medication, but certainly if they can find a safe way of blocking the CD36 it looks a very promising medication-based therapy.

      Reply
      1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        Martin,

        A good point you are making – fits well into to my present LCHF view on life and especially after having devoured a good piece of grass fed beef with garlic butter for lunch 🙂

        If we believe in the Popperian refutation theory pointing to the Maasai and the Eskimos it is certainly not an argument for any dangers with high amounts of saturated fats.

        Besides, now reading the “Molecular Biology of THE CELL”, the overwhelming complexity of the interactions between our 10 000 active proteins makes me extremely suspicious to any claims based on weak associations between diseases and any specific protein although there are traditionally strong cases with strong effects when one essential is missing due to genetic errors. In most individual physiologic processes there is though a staggering number of proteins involved to balance the contributions of one another. Should dampen all tendencies toward dogmatic views.

  92. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

    The present blog is basically about how saturated fats were demonized 40 years ago by Key’s deliberately hiding obvious contrary facts.

    Since Linus Pauling often appears in the comments here I couldn’t refrain from searching my bookshelf for his books and then I got into reading his 1986 book “How to Live Longer and Feel Better”. Pauling was here very aware of the dogmatic lies permeating the official “science” of nutrition.

    I love the scientific logic he is advocating which doesn’t mean that I swallow all he says in his book. During 40 years knowledge has though accumulated which brings new perspectives.

    Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        Long winded as you say. One factor is anti-oxidants, CoQ10, Vitamin C, seleno-proteins, glutathione etc . The overall effect relates to the Total Anti-oxidant Capacity (TAC) of blood. But this in turn is related to good health – something that is anathema to Big Pharma and its KOLs so don’t expect to see the test in general use. My TAC is excellent despite diabetes.

    1. John U

      MikeCawdery, that was a great link. I really enjoyed watching it. I noticed that the video could not be advanced in the usual manner – they wanted you to listen to the whole thing. That was a sign. However, it was actually a very well done sales presentation and the parts on CoQ10 and PQQ were reasonably true based on what I have read from other sources. As you probably know CoQ10 functions as a transporter of electrons from Complex 1 and 2 to Complex 3, in the ETC, a very vital function and very important to maintain in good order. The whole preamble was pretty well done by the use of the graphic artist who was drawing the pictures and writing the text. This is VERY effective. That presentation probably cost $50K or more just for the graphic artist. The promoters of these vita-pulse products did a credible job and the product they are selling may be important for good health, more so for older folks like us. As I was watching, I was wondering what kind of product they will promote, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was not blatant quackery like oxygenated water or copper bracelets with magnets, both of which I have seen.

      However, my main source of Mitochondrial information (because the mitochondria are the primary generators of free radicals) was Nick Lane’s book called Power Sex Suicide, Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life. In it he really pans the idea that we can somehow enhance the effectiveness of the Mitochondria by the use of anti-oxidants. Here are a few clips from the book:
      “Rather than simply causing damage and destruction, free radicals play a vital role in keeping respiration fine-tuned to needs, and in signaling respiratory deficiencies to the nucleus.”…….
      “we eliminate superfluous antioxidants from the body because they have the potential to play havoc with sensitive free-radical signals. I have probably down-played the possible utility of antioxidants to a degree, if only as a corrective to the usual hyperbole; it may be that they can benefit us in various ways, but frankly, I’m skeptical that they can do much more than correct dietary deficiencies. And I think that the problem with signaling means that if we wish to prolong our healthy lifespan, then we need to tear ourselves away from the lure of antioxidants, and think afresh.”……
      “According to the pioneering work of Gustavo Barja in Madrid, most free-radical leakage comes from complex I of the respiratory chains.”…..
      “The spatial disposition of the complex means free radicals leak straight into the inner matrix, in the immediate vicinity of mitochondrial DNA. Clearly, any attempt to block leakage needs to be targeted to this complex with extraordinary precision— no wonder antioxidant therapies fail! Apart from the fact that they can potentially play havoc with signaling, it’s virtually impossible to target antioxidants at a high enough concentration in such a small space. There are, after all, tens of thousands of complexes in a single mitochondrion, and typically hundreds of mitochondria in cells. And of course perhaps 50 trillion cells in the human body.”

      So based on this book, which I have now read twice, I am skeptical also that CoQ10 and PQQ can help as antioxidants. Even though I now take CoQ10 as a supplement, it is only to see if I perceive any advantage. If I don’t, I will discontinue it.

      Reply
      1. mikecawdery

        John U

        TAC is now being used to check for over training in both humans and horses – in short as a measure of good health. Has other uses as well. As Dr Graveline pointed out some years ago, ROS (reactive oxygen species) can damage mtDNA as well as nDNA. As Christofersen explains:
        (The process of a PET scan was a dramatic visualization of cancer’s grotesquely voracious appetite for glucose. The scan was evidence of cancer’s perverted metabolism, the Warburg effect, and Pedersen’s unruly enzyme hexokinase II.(Christofferson, Travis. Tripping Over the Truth: The Metabolic Theory of Cancer (p. 81). This being due to damaged mtDNA.

        The interesting thing is that ROS actually assists in the “treatment” of cancer but as one up and coming oncologist said to me, “my patients die” which is backed up by a BMJ editorial
        Too much chemotherapy
        http://www.bmj.com/content/355/bmj.i6027/rapid-responses
        and some of the responses.

      2. John U

        MikeCawdery, I don’t understand TAC. Is this a measure of capacity or does it tell us something about how much freely available antioxidants we have in the system?
        Yes ROS can damage mtDA and that is why there are 5 to 10 copies of the DNA stored locally in the mitochondrion, so that replication can be done properly and that is also why we do have superoxide dismutase and glutathione present. I have read “Tripping over the Truth” – good read, but I am not sure what your point here is. Nick Lane’s position was that it is very unlikely that any antioxidant which you may consume as part of your diet would find its way into the mitochondrian which needed it. There are potentially thousands of them in the cell and how would the body know which one needed the additional antioxidant? There are no addresses on each mitochondrian to target the right one. Nick Lane believes that there is much more likely hood of negative effects from generalized antioxidant flooding by interfering with the signaling process. I tend to believe this argument.

        Protecting our mitochondria is, in my opinion, a very important objective, and perhaps all the stress which we experience in life have a toll on our mitochondrial health and may indeed be the primary cause of illness and ageing. But what to do about it is unclear. Perhaps eating a LCHF diet is beneficial because stress is reduced. And of course eliminating any other sources of stress might also help. Just don’t suggest meditation. I can’t seem to master that process.

      3. Gary Ogden

        John U: Isn’t the point of dietary antioxidants hormesis? I can’t figure out meditation either, and the local organized group is not particularly friendly, but strenuous exercise does increase mitochondrial number and function (plus it makes me feel so good).

      4. mikecawdery

        John U

        TAC is the measure of available level of anti-oxidant in the blood. The system i am acquainted with is the system developed by http://www.knightscientific.com

        The extent of the usage of their system varies from health relating to athletes, footballers, horses etc and the commercial application for foods. Dr Jan Knight has published many papers on the use of their method. You might be interested to check out this website. I visited them this summer; very stimulating. Researchers after my own principles

  93. luanali

    Gary Taubes’ Case Against Sugar just arrived in my mailbox, hot off the presses! Anyone had a chance to read it yet? Looks like it’s going to be great.

    Reply
  94. John U

    Have any of you seen Dr. Jason Fung’s piece at this link on Dr. Eenfeldt’s blog.
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/new-paradigm-insulin-resistance
    In this post Dr. Fung makes the point, as I understand it, that insulin resistance is caused by high insulin levels for too long. This is different from the model I have read from other sources which basically stated that insulin resistance was a result of cell receptors not responding to insulin due to already excessive levels of glucose in the cell. So, my question is, since I could not find and references to support this hypothesis, does this make sense to you. I question this because it is a fact that different body cells exhibit different levels of IR. Fat cells seem to be last in line after muscle cells and liver cells to show IR. Yet all of theses cells are exposed to the same level of insulin. I would have thought that since different cells exhibit differing degrees of IR, then IR should be a function of the cell biology and not just a response to insulin in general. Did I miss something here? I would be interested to know if you have any references which may shed some light on this and in any comments you might wish to share.

    Reply
      1. John U

        Dr. K, I am pretty sure that I have seen that presentation and it was my primary education into glucagon and its role in the body. I will check it again to see if I missed something.

    1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      I agree – there is a lot we don’t know about insulin resistance.

      Here is a great prize lecture with professor Unger who adds new controversy.

      As far as I understand Ungers main point it is that with deteriorating beta cells and with the insulin resistance present in all our cells the beta cells are not any longer able to produce the necessary insulin spikes, upon a post prandial glucose charge, to be able to shut down the glucagon production in the adjacent alfa cells and thus the liver continues to produce glucose although there is too much in the blood stream already.

      Reply
    2. mikecawdery

      John U

      Thanks very much for the link

      I would add that hyperinsulinaemia is bad for both heart and brain. In the later case there are researchers that some cases of Alzheimer’s that could be classified as Diabetes Type 3. But as insulin levels are never routinely checked in the NHS, who knows? There is also the case where an arising diagnosis of adult Type 1 diabetes due to hypoinsulinaemia but without testing how does one diagnose it? Guess work from ineffective therapy perhaps?

      There is a book by Dr Kraft That may be of interest ( ISBN: 978-1-4251-6809-4 (sc) ISBN: 978-1-4251-7812-3 (hc) ISBN: 978-1-4251-6811-7 (e)). Diabetes Epidemic & You He has used insulin levels and glucose tolerance tests for many years. A quick search on “insulin resistance” found 67 instances.

      Reply
      1. John U

        MikeCawdery, thanks for that. I am sure that high insulin levels are bad for just about every organ in the body, but I was specifically interested to know if it is insulin which is responsible for the actual cause of IR. I was lead to believe, and I found the explanation plausible, that it was resistance to excessive glucose in the circulation which lead to receptor revolt because the cells already contained a lot of glucose, or something along those lines.

      2. chris c

        Yes I know a significant number of adult onset Type 1/LADA diabetics who were diagnosed precisely because the “oral therapies” failed. In the NHS insulin/c-peptide is routinely NOT tested except in already diagnosed Type 1s, this would be an excellent diagnostic and is used in other countries.

        I haven’t ploughed through all the references here yet

        https://www.researchgate.net/post/What_is_the_evidence_that_insulin_resistance_in_type_2_diabetes_and_in_metabolic_syndrome_is_NOT_caused_by_hyperinsulinemia

        but interesting discussion.

    3. mikecawdery

      John U.

      Re antioxidants and mitochondria. From Dr Graveline’s work and Langsjoen PH on CoQ10 (several papers in Pubmed) on oral supplementation would suggest this antioxidant can help control ROS intracellularly after statin damage to the natural process of generating CoQ10 by the mevalonate metabolic pathway. Indeed, even Merck seems to have similar thoughts based on their two patents covering the combinations of simvastatin and lovastatin.

      Reply
  95. mikecawdery

    You may be interested in the following:
    http://annals.org/aim/article/2593601/scientific-basis-guideline-recommendations-sugar-intake-systematic-review
    The Scientific Basis of Guideline Recommendations on Sugar Intake
    4 Annals of Internal Medicine • Vol. 166 No. 4 • 21 February 2017 http://www.annals.org
    Downloaded From:
    Downloaded From: http://annals.org/ on 12/31/2016 Annals of Internal Medicine • Vol. 166 No. 4 • 21 February 2017 3
    The financing is shown at the end of the report
    References excluded Yudkin’s work and only one ref by Lustig.

    Reply
  96. Old fogey

    I’m just jumping in here to thank “Soul” for the link to the fascinating work of Mr. Ott on the effects of sunlight – both visible and invisible – on plants and animals. And I’d also like to wish you and all the commenters a happy and prosperous new year.

    Reply
    1. Mark Johnson

      John U: Mark Johnson, I celebrated my 71st year a month ago. When I was in my later forties I read the Life Extension book and started on high quantities of vit C timed release (TR), as well as B complex 100 TR, Vit E 800 iu as alpha tocopherol, some zinc, some beta carotene, and a multi vit for the minerals especially selenium and chromium. Maybe there were others but I can’t remember any more details.

      Lately I have been reading books about mitochondria and what they do. It started to become evident to me that a lot of what ails us in later years is quite likely the result of mitochondrial transcription errors during replication and therefore living with malfunctioning mitochondria. There are supplements which could help and those are the ones I now emphasize, such as CoQ10 as Ubiquinol, and Omega 3 as fish oils. I also supplement with Magnesium as Mg citrate, some Glucosamine with MSM, and also a multi for the trace minerals. I don’t think the Glucosamine does anything much but I think the sulfates from MSM might.

      I should say that I am in very good health and do not supplement because of any ailments, just as a prophylactic. I also spend a lot of time in the sun, playing tennis or volleyball, and am quite tanned all year long. I was born in Poland and have a darker rather than lighter complexion, so I do not easily burn from excess sun exposure. I don’t use any sunscreen either. Other than for an enlarged prostate for which I have a prescription for Tamsulosin, I don’t take any other meds, and I am still working on how to get off this one.

      Thanks for that John. Interesting, I have similar thoughts to you. I think ultimately many disease states are the result of deranged mitochondria. Look after your mitochondria and they’ll look after you (Terry Wahls).

      Following something which Dr. Göran Sjöberg wrote a while back about his vitamin C regime and reading the work of Linus Pauling et al, I’ve started to supplement with 5-10 grams of soluble vitamin C and 1 gram of lysine. Figuring it couldn’t really hurt this is coupled with 5 grams(ish) of powdered MSM, and 10-15 grams of ribose (one quarter of the Sinatra Protocol) all dissolved in a half a litre or so of water and sipped throughout the day. Quite a pleasant drink. Tried it with potassium potassium chloride (thanks for the tip Dr K!) but that makes it taste too salty so just use that on food. I too am not ill and it’s all self experiment / prophylactic.

      Reply
    2. Soul

      Thank you. Glad you enjoyed the video.

      ON a personal bases thought to add, I’ve been using UV and light ideas for around 10 years. I’ve found they are wonderful to use in the winter time. The UV light makes me feel warm for a couple days, and I stopped developing cold/flu. That flu mention is similar to what John Ott mentioned happening with restaurant workers in Chicago that worked under full spectrum with UV light bulbs.

      The full spectrum bulbs are relatively new for me, I’ve had two full spectrum bulbs for over a year. This past month I’ve converted most of the light bulbs in the house to full spectrum.

      I’ve also begun sunbathing in a regular bases.

      Reply
      1. Old fogey

        I also plan on buying full-spectrum bulbs and will be searching for some, Soul. About 25 years ago I developed psoriasis and found that visiting the California desert for a week was a far better treatment than the steroids I had been prescribed. I mentioned this to the dermatologist who had diagnosed my condition and he told me how pleased he was that I had made that connection, as he had forgotten how effective lght was in treating the disease. He then had me spend a minute in his mummy-case light machine. When I saw that the government was paying him $100 for my minute under the light I decided to find out if I could do something on my own that wouldn’t cost my friends and neighbors their hard-earned taxes. I found that a hand-held uvB lamp on line for very little money. (By the way, here in the U.S. it is quite difficult to buy any such equipment without a doctor’s prescription.) Using it for only two minutes a day over a six-month period cleared my skin completely. I followed that up by getting a lot of sunlight in the garden for about eight months each year. Blessedly, my skin is in a better condition than it ever has been – and I’m nearing 80 years old.

        By the way, that reminds me that in her 80s, after a lifetime of terrible outbreaks of eczema, my mother’s skin also cleared. Perhaps hormonal effects and other factors associated with aging may be at work as well.

    3. TS

      Soul
      Thank you from me too. Very interesting video. One wonders if the advantages of wearing sunglasses and even glasses routinely are outweighed by restricting eye health.

      Reply
      1. Maureen H

        There are some very interesting talks by Dr. Alexander Wunsch on circadian rhythms and the effect of sunlight on our bodies. In this video some of the questions are answered that have cropped up recently:

      2. Gary Ogden

        TS: I’ve wondered about this, too, and I rarely wear sunglasses any more, except when the sun is low (like it is now), and especially for driving.

      3. Soul

        John Ott was worried about glasses and sunglasses for many reasons. He felt most of the health benefits seen from natural light and full spectrum light bulbs came through the eyes. He felt light through the eyes signaled the endocrine system to perform many bodily tasks.

        I tried an eye experiment the other week. I read in one of John Ott’s books that the eyes dilate when UV rays strike them. Other spectrums of light do not cause the closing off of light.

        It was added that normal window glass, such as in cars, block UV rays. It was thought that this is a reason why sun through glass can hurt eyes more, as the eyes do not receive a signal to close up and not allow as much light in. In conclusion this is why many originally took to wearing sunglasses while driving cars. (At least this is what the book said.)

        My experiment was this. I don’t wear glasses. I rarely wear sunglasses and when I do wear sunglasses it is when the sun is shining through my cars glass window, causing me trouble to see. I’m in Florida. The weather is still warm. Of late I’ve decided to roll down windows in the car, allowing all the spectrums of natural light in. The result, my eyes do not hurt. I haven’t had a need to wear sunglasses, even when the sun is shining strongly through the front windshield.

  97. Anna

    Luanali,

    “The “there’s a lot we don’t know, therefore X is true,”

    This is not something I would ever say.
    Yes, I’m fairly certain homeopathy works, but that is because I and many others have benefited. Perhaps you do have an open mind, but I get skeptical when people are willing to dismiss each case as a coincidence. Eventually that gets tiresome.
    I read your linked article. Certainly there are some areas of concern, and I have not bought any products from the mentioned companies, probably only Boiron. I also have not actually used homeopathics very frequently. But I found the article biased in its attitude and so therefore am leery of it. For example, they claim near the end that tragic consequences often result from homeopathy. That certainly seems like an exaggeration. Also, use of silly insults like “leave sugar pills to the 19th century” are not helpful.

    Reply
    1. JDPatten

      Anna,
      Perhaps you didn’t see my previous post:
      Concerning homeopathy, it turns out that placebos are effective… even when you know that that’s what you’re taking.
      http://www.bidmc.org/News/PRLandingPage/2016/October/Kaptchuk-placebo-effect.aspx

      To this I would preemptively add that children are profoundly effected by parents/trusted adults. This is expressed emotionally and physically in ways that cannot be accounted for conventionally. They are eminently suggestible.
      Same is true of animals.

      Reply
      1. MindBody

        Placebo effect is undoubtedly important for healing all sorts of problems. Unfortunately our need to cover ourselves by warning extensively of side effects is often counterproductive.

      2. Anna

        JD,

        No I didn’t see your previous comment, but I have read a very extensive article all about the placebo that sounds very similar. Placebo for animals? That is a stretch. They may be suggestible, but I don’t think they know when they are being given medicine. As to placebo, sure it’s very real, but for heaven’s sake, it has been asked to do a lot of heavy lifting.
        The basic principle of homeopathy is to give a tiny stimulus. Why that gives so many people hives I cannot imagine. And yet can the body detect that tiny stimulus? I would say yes, as apparently the body is able to tell and use differently molecules that science thought were the same, except maybe a right handed arrangement instead of left, or one atom out of place, and it is no longer the same.

        Here is one example, oscillococcinum, for flu. I took it the first time maybe 15 years ago when trying to attend some sort of event at a health food store, but I had a flu that was better enough for me to be out but I had a headache for a couple of days that wouldn’t stop nor respond to my usual headache pills. I said something to the store guy and he sold me that potion above, and my headache disappeared about an hour later. Oh, sure, I was just ready to get better anyway. But 2 more family members were just behind me getting that flu, and I was able to give them the medicine and they also responded in about an hour, feeling much better. Usually with flu, nothing makes you feel better. You slip back a bit and take doses divided every 6 hours, supposedly only 3 but I’ve taken more. It doesn’t cure the flu but puts you on the mend in a way rather miraculous. I was so impressed with this that I kept it on hand for years, and took it several times in hopes of feeling better when I had a flu like infection, but nothing, zilch. Then, last year, I was sick and took it again and got a result like that first time, suddenly much better in about an hour, and took several more doses as you do slip back a bit. I see no placebo here. I was expecting a result in several illnesses and got nothing. Totally ripe for placebo.

        So far as I can see, the problem is that this flu remedy is quite specific for the real flu, which is a disease of migratory birds, and only works on that type. Many illnesses are called flu but really are not.
        And for heaven’s sake, how are we to account for the many, many times when people take a medicine and it doesn’t work even though they expect it to and it is the right medicine?

      3. JanB

        Honestly, it’s not my intention to sound or be facetious but I get a similar result with Lemsip. A tiny hint of a sore throat/cold – whatever – I take Lemsip (one only) and next morning, better. My husband refuses the Lemsip (because “it tastes horrible” and the next morning he’s in the throes. Coincidence maybe, but by now I have such an overpowering belief in it that I think maybe in future I’ll only have to look at the box for it to work. The power of the mind is unfathomable. By the way I haven’t had a cold for three and a half years, coincidentally since I gave up the rotten statin. Statin/Lemsip ….who knows.

      4. Gary Ogden

        Anna: How right you are. Flu-like illnesses have a multitude of causes, but since they are relatively mild and inconsequential (except to the sufferer), almost never causing death except in the elderly who’s systems are already weakened with age, the authorities usually lump them together into a single category. They can sell more flu shots that way.

    2. Sylvia

      Homoeopathy is a naturopathic form of medicine – it seeks to assist nature rather than bludgeon her. Every person is different. Poor diets. Destructive emotions, environmental stresses will limit the benefit. Homoeopathy is not for those who want easy answers, though it can act swiftly. The prize is higher vitality and greater resistance to all disease processes.
      Dr Andrew Lockie graduated from Aberdeen University, then gained his membership of the Faculty Homoeopathy.. his words.
      He further said that no one medicine has all the answers for all the ills that afflict mankind.
      Forgive me Dr Kendrick for being a bore over this. Neither myself or family use it to the exclusion of all else and indeed it is very often appropriate to do nothing as homeostasis can slip beautifully int place all by itself.

      Reply
      1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        I try never to totally dismiss ideas, nor to totally accept ideas, so I try to put everything into one of three places. Probable, possible, unlikely. Homeopathy currently sits in the status of unlikely.

      2. luanali

        There have been many studies showing placebos can indeed play a role, though typically minor and temporary. Even the color of the pill can make a difference. But “regression to the mean” of the body’s healing response is often overlooked as a likely explanation. Many ailments tend to ebb and flow, and acute conditions do have a healing curve. We’ll often try something when we’re the sickest, and will get better whether we tried a placebo or did nothing.

        I’m not against placebos, though there is the professional ethics of it. My issue with sugar pills is they’re sugar!

      3. Maureen H

        I’ve often wondered how much, if any, of the placebo effect is present in clinical trials for various drugs. I can’t believe there is none, it’s probably not something that can be measured at all but an intriguing thought nevertheless.

      4. Sasha

        “Breaking the blind” is common in trials comparing a drug to sugar pill because of side effects.

      5. Sasha

        Because side effects are common with pharmaceuticals, anyone in the treatment group who begins to experience side effects can reasonably assume they are not being given a placebo. As can their supervising physicians. They break the blind. Thus, at least in RCTs comparing a drug to inactive placebo, the idea of double blind is really a myth. It’s estimated that’s it has about 80% occurrence for patents and even higher for physicians.

        Look up “The Emperor’s New Drugs”.

      6. John U

        Another issue with homeopathy is that if people believe that it may help, then they are likely not applying any other form of treatment to their ills. Just this fact may be very critical. Why try to deceive people with bad science? The answer is obvious.

      7. Frederica Huxley

        It is my understanding that a number of people have espoused homeopathy when allopathic medicine has failed, and/or when the side effects have become intolerable. There is a homeopathic hospital in Glasgow that has been highly effective in alleviating chronic pain.

      8. thelastfurlong

        There should be no reason why homeopathy and ordinary medicine could not work to gether. They are addressing completely different issues. I think homeopathy gets clobbered by science because it’s unable to be subtle – loses the plot in an infestation of ignorance.

      9. David Bailey

        John U,

        My feeling is that after all the discussion – here and elsewhere – about broken science, I don’t know how deep that damage goes.

        That means that although homoeopathy seems to violate scientific common sense, I am inclined to give it some benefit of doubt since people claim to have been helped by it. I once used it myself while (unknowingly) suffering statin-induced pain. It is also obvious that trials run by homoeopathy sceptics are also unfortunately suspect, because as Dr K amply illustrates both here and in his books, scientific studies are often dishonest if that is needed to get the ‘correct’ result.

        Science really is in a mess.

  98. Anna

    John U,

    I still am unsure why you question that different cell types could become insulin resistant at different rates despite the same blood levels of insulin/glucose. They are, after all, different cell types.

    Reply
    1. John U

      Anna, I question things when I don’t understand why they are said to be true. But I don’t question the efficacy of homeopathy – I already know what it is.

      Reply